Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Do you do spring cleaning? I do. I love it. It seems so therapeutic to me! So this morning a friend put a bug in my ear about doing a spring cleaning of sorts for the body-a detox for the equinox. Spring is typically a time when we think about birth, renewal, awakening and shaking off of winter's long cold embrace. We clean out the cobwebs that have accumulated in the corners of our houses, but how about cleaning out the toxins we've been stuffing away in our systems for the past few months. You know what I'm talking about. All the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas Eggnog and cookies, the New Year's Eve drinks, and the warm starchy comfort foods that have gotten us through the long bouts of gray snowy days are tucked away in the recesses of our cells. (not to mention our hips!) So spring is a perfect time to sweep it all out and start fresh. We can take advantage of this energy which transforms a brown, dormant landscape to a blooming, green vista. We can co-operate with this energy to transform our inner landscape from toxic and sludgy to healthy and vibrant.

I've decided to start the cleanse tomorrow. I was sick for quite some time this winter and went through a couple rounds of antibiotics, steroids and countless other medications which I hated to take. There's no denying I've got a bunch of junk that needs tending to. Plus this is the one area from my New Year's goals I haven't seen any progress in to date. Maybe I just need some good Spring energy to jump start my plan! What do you want clean out this Spring? And the harder question to answer...what's stopping you?!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Today I got to do what I love to do and get paid for incredible is that! I spent most of the day either taking photos or editing them. And I got some really nice shots if I do say so myself. I took some baby photos of little 4-month-old CoraLynn. She was so sweet. Have you ever noticed the innocence, and at the same time the wisdom, that radiates from the eyes of the young? It's such a dichotomy. They look like they have seen everything and have the wisdom of the ages, and yet at the same time their souls seem to shine with a pure unadulterated innocence-untainted by anything that might have clouded them. Now that is truly incredible!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


My friend and I took the kids to the zoo on Sunday. Now her whole family is afflicted with a serious stomach bug. I am crossing my fingers and seriously praying that we don't get it. Knock on wood, we all seem to be fine at this point. No barfing at our house yet, and if we are very lucky it will stay that way.

I can handle being sick. I don't like it of course, but I can handle it. Now seeing the little ones sick, that kills me! I would so much rather take it on myself than see them deal with it. Of course, when Riley was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, none of us knew how we would handle it. But being the amazing little girl that she is, she has taken all the struggles in stride and shown us what grace under fire is all about. It is quite incredible and I sometimes marvel at how something so traumatic at first, now seems common and mundane-just another part of our everyday life. I guess we all play with the cards we are dealt. Today I'm hoping that some aces are coming our way!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a process

After my blog last night I had the great idea that I would try to spend one whole day without saying anything negative. So this morning I woke up with that intention. Then the first thing out of my mouth to my son found me falling short already. It was the truth. He asked how I slept. I said not very well, I kept waking up. But how could I have answered in a more positive way. I could have said, "Not great, but despite that I feel well and rested" which was also the truth. Why is it so much easier to blurt out the bad stuff? Maybe it is conditioning. Maybe it is my personality. And I surely don't want to feel like a spin doctor in my own life always having to edit what I say. But I would like to be able to look on the bright side-to see the silver lining instead of the dark cloud. I suppose it's a process just like everything else. Every time I bring my awareness to that intention, the intention to be positive and uplifting, I give it new life.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


"The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, but where we are moving" Oliver Wendell Holmes
This is one thing I can say for myself. I may not be perfect, but I am always striving to move in that direction. I am always trying to improve myself and the world around me. I think that's a great way to be. So many people just make it through life without thinking about growing. It takes thought and it takes work and it's completely worth it.

I had a great conversation today with a friend about the power of our words to create our life. And I realized I need to grow in this area. How much of what comes out of my mouth is ultimately negative ie: a complaint, gripe, negative comment, whining etc...! How much better would my life be and the lives of those around me if I were more careful and more positive in my speech? I think I would see many things coming to fruition that I have only dreamed of till now. So today I begin moving in that direction. What direction are you moving in today?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eyes of a child

Today was an incredible day. I took the kids to the zoo. The weather was perfect-sunny and almost seventy degrees. But what made the day truly special was the chance to see things through the unfiltered, uncluttered eyes of a child; where everything is new and exciting. I loved the way their faces lit up when they saw an animal move or make noise, swim or slither, fly or crawl. Nate loved the goats in the petting zoo and thought the Leopard was a wonderful big Bubba. (our kitty) I'm sure he would have walked right up and pulled her tail if he'd had the chance. How would the world be different if we as adults could preserve just a little more of that sense of wonder? If we could keep ourselves from becoming so blase to all the beauty and diversity of the world around us. If we could get excited about all the small miracles we seem to pass over as we navigate the grown-up world of work and finance and struggle. It might not change the physical world, but it would surely change us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Goodbyes. I hate them. Especially the ones at airports. Even if I know they are not permanent, they still provoke some sadness in me. Maybe, they just remind me of other times that the hug has been the last I'll ever experience with that person, the last time I'll see them face to face, or hold their hand. Life is always changing. We can't cling to those things that we've left behind, yet at times we still mourn them. Sometimes they still linger in the recesses of our memories and bring us sorrow when something in our present reality shadows them a little to closely. So today I am sad and happy. Happy that this goodbye is not of the permanent variety, not even of the lengthy variety. And sad for all the goodbyes that have been. And perhaps even more so for all the ones that may be in the future.

Friday, February 19, 2010

love the one you're with

I think that love is centered around finding that someone who sincerely likes the person you are. You don't have to pretend to be anyone other than who you are at that very moment. And of course, you must like and love and enjoy the person they are as well. If you are very lucky, you are both growing in the same direction so that as you grow and change, and we all do, you grow in the same direction and ultimately end up closer as time goes by. Unlike those unlucky souls who are growing in opposition to each other so that at some point they are so disparate they no longer enjoy the person the other has become. They are different people and too different from each other to have any harmony.

Do you truly love the one you're with? Do you love their weaknesses and their strengths. Do you love their darkness and their light, their quirks and their frailties as much as their finer qualities. Then you have found what most people only dream of, I think.


Finished up leadership training at the hotel today. It was actually very good. They use a book called "Good to Great" that has some pretty interesting principles. We touched on it, but I am eager to read it fully and see how I might apply it to work and life in general. They fed us a wonderful breakfast and lunch each of the three days of training and I feel like I need to fast for the next week to make up for the overindulgence of this week.

The sun was actually shining here today. What a difference in attitude a little sunshine can make. Everyone seems in a much better mood and happy to see the possible signs of Spring teetering on the horizon. Let's keep our fingers crossed. I'm not sure we can handle any more snow days! Maybe I can actually get the muck cleaned off my car. My pretty new baby isn't so pretty right now. The road salt has covered up her shiny red paint with a dull white film. Yuck! She needs a bath desperately. 

I'm looking forward to having the next couple of days off. I get to spend it with my grand babies, as their parents are chaperoning a youth group trip. Riley wants to play Monopoly favorite. Not really, but she likes it, so we will play. One of the hazards of being la nonna!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


As I think back over the last two months, I see so many changes. Not necessarily the ones I'd envisioned, but they are good none the less. I see myself opening up, slowly becoming more confident in my own voice and my own abilities. Owning the beauty of who I am. I find writing coming more and more naturally, the words flowing out of some honest place. I find myself no longer feeling the need to constantly edit myself in my writing, or in my thoughts and actions in daily life. I am becoming more brave and more sure of myself. I am becoming more authentic. I still have lots of areas that need radical change and radical authenticity, but then "becoming" doesn't happen all at once now does it? What's important is that it does happen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

real thing

My thinking is very scattered tonight, so please bear with me if I bounce around.

I realized something about myself tonight as I talked with a friend over dinner. I have never made any long-range plans for my life. I've always just kind of survived, flown-by the seat of my pants and did whatever came down the road to do. Planning and executing this trip to Italy is the most long-range thing I can think of that I have done. Isn't that strange? I'm such an organized person. But I'm always organizing the immediate. It's kind of like something I learned in a management training class today about the difference between managing and leading. Managing takes care of the day to day operations, and Leading is a long-range task, looking toward the goal and vision of the organization. It takes both to make a successful business and I would venture to say the same applies to making a successful life. I have been lacking in being the leader of my own life. I've let life, or fate or circumstances lead me.

And you want to know what's even stranger than that? At 46 years old I'm just recognizing that in myself?! How unaware does that make me? And here's another realization...I think I am so painfully unaware of so many aspects of myself because I don't talk enough. I know that sounds strange. But I am NOT a talker. In any group, I am the one who listens and asks questions about you. But I rarely talk about myself or share what's going on in my own life. I thought it was my way of protecting myself from others, hiding (unconsciously) my issues from the world. But maybe it was my way of hiding my issues from myself too. Without voicing them and talking with others, I keep myself unaware of so much about myself. Now I have a friend I have been able to really open up to, and it is creating this mirror in which I can see myself more clearly. Not sure if that's a good thing, but at least it's an honest thing. At least it's a real thing.

Maybe with a clearer picture of myself, I can see the world more clearly and create a plan to navigate my way through this journey instead of being carried along by the current of circumstances.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Have you ever wondered where some of our strange expressions come from? We say them all the time and we know the general meaning, but just vaguely. Well today I learned about one first hand. I got a little sideways. And let me tell you, it's not as fun as the popular country song makes it sound. I'll set the scene: another round of snow and slush on the ground, I wake up not expecting bad weather, running late, rushing, on the phone with my boss telling her I'll be late as I approach the intersection onto the main road when guessed it- I get a little sideways. "Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t", I say into the phone with my boss on the other end, as I slide into the spot who's occupant sees me coming and vacates just in time. "I'm ok, gotta go" I mutter as I hang up the phone. Yikes!

Ok, shouldn't have been talking on the phone and driving number one. I know. But isn't that just like life? You think you have it all handled, juggling all the balls, and then you hit an unseen slippery spot and WHAM you end up somewhere with a sick feeling in your gut saying "How the heck did that happen?" I ended up fine today. And I guess I've ended up fine whenever I've gotten sideways in my life. But these days I'm not prepared to settle for fine. I want super, fantastic, incredible, lovely. And for that you can't go gettin' sideways all the time!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I was blessed today to have several hours with three of the most wonderful woman I know. We went to massage school together over 5 years ago. They were all very important to me at a very critical time in my life. I am so grateful to have their friendship. As I drove home after our three-hour marathon lunch, I wondered why we let people slip out of our lives at times. I think sometimes people are in our life for a season when we need them, or they need us. Then some thing in our lives takes us in different directions. If we are really lucky, at some point down the road, the really special ones flow back into our lives for another season. I guess all we can do is enjoy the season while it is upon us. But I can't help but hope for a very long season.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Well, it happened. I walked in to Target today and was assaulted by the horrendous site of swimwear! Isn't it bad enough we have to suffer through this cold and dreary weather without being reminded of all the warm wonderful sunshine we are not feeling on our suntanned skin?! Cruel, I tell you, just plain cruel. Add to the longing for summer, the ghostly specter of how we will look in those bathing suits, after 4 months of comfort food and depriving our potato bodies of sunlight and I think we have grounds for a lawsuit. Don't you?

But it was a wake-up call to the countdown. I have exactly 33 weeks until I leave for Italy. And I plan to wear a swimsuit on the Italian beaches. If that doesn't put the fire under my buns to get working out, I don't know what will. 33 weeks is a good chunk of time. If I lost only one pound a week I would be feeling pretty terrific by take-off.  So that is my modest goal. Just one little pound per week. I shouldn't  have to do anything radical to reach that goal. Just eat a little healthier, a little lighter and get to the gym or outside to get some activity a few times a week. Easy right? We'll see. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today, I was surfing the net a little, looking up information on how to improve my writing. I found a website that had free essays. I assume these are for people in high school or college, who don't want to do the work themselves, so they download some anonymous writing off the web. That is the first wow. I know students since the beginning of time have been trying to squirm out of assignments, but this is a whole new level of sloth. I wonder how teachers deal with this new cheating technology. But the second wow came when I read some of the essays. They say you get what you pay for and in this instance they hit the bulls eye dead center. The writing was horrible. Not that mine is perfect. I'm sure I have dangling participles and split infinitives and all other kinds of grammatical sins peppering my writing. But these essays sounded like they were written by someone who did not speak English very well, at least not as their native language. Come on people, if you are going to cheat at least have enough sense to use material that will garner you a good grade! I guess that is just one example of why you should not trust every peice of information that flows to you on this vast river of information, the internet. Be selective and use discretion as to what you accept or reject. But hey, why not be radical and write your own darn paper. Just a thought.

On the good side, I found one of the best pieces of advice when trying to improve your writing was to "just do it". Do it often. Do it everyday if you can. It admonished that the exercise of the muscle was the only way to build it. I was pleased with myself because that is exactly what I am doing here. My prose may not be perfectly planned or executed, but I am doing it. I'm doing it every day and flexing that muscle. Hopefully it is growing stronger, more agile with exercise and these short wind sprints will prepare me for the marathon ahead! Only time will tell if I make it across the finish line.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ok, so tell me why the doctor prescribes steroids, which say right on the warning can cause you to be unable to fight infection, when you are trying to fight an infection? The war goes on against bronchitis for me. Today I took the steroids and the other meds the doctor said to take and I feel completely drugged. I can't tell if they are working or not, because of the aforementioned feeling drugged. Hopefully I won't have the sudden urge to go to the gym and lift weights. (I know they are a different kind, but I still don't like it) Because that would not be good in the resting department- which I tried to do for most of the day. I did accomplish a few things from my room, so I don't feel like a total slug. If this entry does not make much sense, I apologize for writing while under the influence. Not sure how I'm supposed to get to work tomorrow feeling like this, but I'll figure out something. For now...good night all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

shiny bits

I cannot remember it snowing this much in Tennessee since we moved here 13 years ago. It's hard to believe I have lived here so long. I never expected it. When I had to move here from Montana I was heartbroken. Montana felt like home from the moment I arrived. It was the kind of place I'd always wanted to live. And I still miss it. But Tennessee has it's own charms that have grown on me over the years. I adore the dance of the fireflies over a moonlit summer lawn and the scent of honeysuckle that floats to me on the breeze at the most unexpected moments and the riot of colored leaves that form rainbow drifts in the fall. Tennessee has also seen some of the most difficult moments in my life. And somehow through those rock-hard moments I have discovered surprising strength in myself. Coming out the other side, I've become more of who I am supposed to be. Or maybe I have just uncovered and washed away some of the things that weren't necessary and unearthed the shiny bits of me that were buried underneath.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Italy here I come

Today was extra, super exciting. I have actually purchased tickets for the trip I've been wanting to take for as long as I can remember...Italy here I come!!! Then I came home and filed my taxes (a record for me as I usually wait till April 14 or 15) and found that my refund will cover the cost of the flight. How sweet is that!? Also this weekend I registered for the World Massage Festival which will be held in KY in June. I will earn 24 CEU hours which will complete my requirements for the year and will hopefully infuse some fresh ideas into my massage sessions. I don't think there is anything more I could have accomplished in the past few days that could make me any happier! By the way, any massage therapists in the area -check out the website for the conference. If you sign up and put down that I referred you, I may get to go for free. Which would be just another dollop of icing on the cake. Yum.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

no power

Yes, what a wonderful night for the power to be out at my house. How then am I writing this blog? My friend Jules has come to my rescue and is letting me crash at her house. She has power, and a woodstove if that fails, so I will be warm and toasty. My kitty, on the other hand, may be a kitty-sicle when I get home. No, she has her fur coat to keep her warm. Add to that, the fact that she's probably snuggled up in my bed right now and I don't think we'll have to worry about her. Stay warm, snuggle deep.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Some of you may have noticed my absence over the past couple of days and I must apologize. By way of explanation for my slacking, I can only say that my life has been consumed by coughing. Yes, coughing. I have learned that it is almost completely impossible to do anything else when you are coughing.

I am one of those very stubborn people who go to the doctor kicking and screaming. It may come from years of not having health insurance, when we only visited the doctor if we were on death's door, and we all survived. But I did finally go yesterday and found that I have bronchitis. Not lethal by any means. I've started on antibiotics and am hoping I will be able to occupy myself with something other than coughing soon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Good Stuff

Goals Inventory

Good Stuff:

Got my website up and running (and it looks awesome if I do say so myself!) check out

Lost 4 pounds...quite a bit more to go, but at least moving the needle in the right direction. Adding much more activity to each day. Tried quite a few new raw recipes-some successful, some not, but I attempted them.

Writing every day. Have missed 4 days on my blog out of 31, but did other writing, so I'm good there.

Taking pics for fun at least 2x per month. Have gotten some really nice images too. I'm happy with that.

Have a great start on my savings account for Italy. Making lots of headway on learning the language. All my flashcards are memorized, need to make more. Getting the pronunciation down pretty decent! those are the things I have accomplished. There are lots that I haven't yet, but the year is still young. What would I do with the rest of the year if I'd already accomplished all my goals? Am working on adjusting my plans and strategies for the rest so that I can do and be all that I desire to do and be in the upcoming year. One month down, eleven to go!