Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's Time To Hang Up Your Boa!

I admit I love any show on t.v. that has some sort of dance and singing competition to it. So I discovered a few weeks ago - ta da - Let's Find The Next New Pussycat Doll". Now for those of you who are not familiar with this group (like me) you might recognize....(imagine a music beat playing) "Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me." I've watched all of ten minutes of this show and I Do Not Recommend This Show!!! Repeat-Not! But...In that ten minutes I have picked up some life wisdom that begs to be repeated. In fact when I heard these small tidbits of knowledge I was deeply moved, my soul stirred. Get ready, here is the first:
NUMBER 1 - Every woman has a little pussycat doll in them. Wow, I didn't know that. The next time I go out, I'm gonna git down, snap my finger, give some unsuspecting man a feline sultry look, and watch out! There gist ain't gonna be no stoppin me. You bet, my claws are ready and my purr is revving up-so be prepared.
NUMBER 2 - It's time to hang up your boa! OOOOOOH....that's harsh. At the end of every show one girl is eliminated from the competition. (A little background info)-each girl has a bright red boa that she dances with in rehearsal, at home and finally in the competition. After their bootylicious number one girl is called out and told, "Sorry hon, but it's time to hang up your boa." A truer statement has never been said. For each of us, at some time, we will all have to hang up our boa. But, will we know when, and will we do it with the style and class a boa retirement requires. I don't know about you, but when I last got up in front of the ward in an old robe and curlers with fake eyelashes and belted some lyrics from "Guys and Dolls", why oh why didn't I recognize that a boa ceremony would have been appropriate. Oh no... I had to go on to dress up like The Mad Hatter, A Cheerless Housewife, and countless other moments that were past the true pussycat stage. I sorrow to know that when I got up to bear my testimony in church and happened to fall down, all the way, legs over head-only to stand up and wave to the congregation- didn't someone I love come to me and say, "Sorry, sweetie, but it's time to hang up your boa." Remember: Friends don't let their friends carelessly flaunt their boa's.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

MAMMOGRAMS! PG 13 - for males

My mother died of breast cancer so you would think that I would be at the medical center yearly for my mammogram, but you would think wrong, because somehow the fear of the MAMMOGRAM is stronger than my fear of cancer. Does this make any sense to a rational woman? Of course the answer is no, but here are the facts: 1- I haven't had cancer, although I've seen the misery, first hand, that it can cause. 2-I have had MAMMOGRAMS and KNOW the pain they cause. thus...The real pain is greater than the perceived pain. Does that sound like a good theory to anyone who actually studies psychology, logic, etc...
Well here are the next set of facts: 1- each MAMMOGRAM is totally different depending on the clinician giving the exam. 2- each MAMMOGRAM is totally different depending on the size of your breasts. 3- each MAMMOGRAM is different depending on the time of the month.

So...after three years of no MAMMOGRAMS I finally went in and hit the slab, so to speak. You know what, not too bad this time!!!! That is why I am dedicating this blog to "The Professional Mammographer with a Gentle Touch."
One year I had a girl that had just gradutated, I guess that could be a term, from her mammography clinicals....I fondly refer to her as "The Mammographer From Hell", I was one of her first 20 victims. After that experience, I trembled uncontrollably, I broke out into a sweat, couldn't stop from crying with a whinning to it, and then tossed my cookies. I was in pain for several days.
A few years past I had lost alot of weight and as women all over know, this means the bust size goes first, so I was really small. Those exams were painful but never, ever compared to the MAMMOGRAMS of a larger bust size.

The conclusion: 1- I heartily encourage all women to get mammograms. IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. 2- Some of you won't have too bad of an experience. 3- Some of you will want to rip someone's eyes out. For the latter I suggest blogging, it's a great way to vent.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Puzzle Challenge

Today I was challenged by the "Great Dragon Puzzle" created by James Ballard. I tell you, he is very tricky, and clever, and sadly my puzzle went down in defeat. Here are the rules: each person draws a picture, then cuts the puzzle up in several pieces, then hands the pieces to the other player, who then tries to put the puzzle together.

The person whose puzzle causes the greatest challenge for their opponent wins. Besides the fact that James clearly had the better picture! He also had a strategy not stored in my aging gray matter. Namely... cut your pieces into teeny, tiny, 1/100th of an inch pieces every so often just to make the other person sweat. He also used a little known fact - make your picture soooo scary that the other person trembles while putting it together, causing shaking hands to fumble with the microscopic pieces. If you plan on coming to our house any time soon here is my advice: BEWARE AND BE SCARED!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Pebbles!! Oh the joy of scooping and sifting through the millions of tiny stones the ocean transformed from giant boulders for billions of years. Each pebble has it's unique shape, it's unique color which makes each pebble a find. My quest this day, as it has been before, was to find the perfectly rounded (like basketball round) white pebble. Through my years of searching I am beginning to think that nature does not create such a find. In fact, it leaves me wondering whether nature is trying in it's own way to teach us that conventional perfection is an illusion...but alas, we will leave that blog for another day. But today....Delight!!! Dark red pebbles, soft sea foam green pebbles, pearl and clear pebbles, pebbles that are an amalgam of the various rocks in which they were honed. Then there is the touch! Each stone seems so refined, so smooth. I find myself on a new search for the perfect worry stone. A stone of good size to fit between one's thumb and fingers, with the right degree of, yes, I'll say-smoothness. A stone, when worried between agitated fingers has the power to ease all the cares from ones soul to the very core of the stone. After years of worrying, a stone has a sleek, dolphin-like feel, truly a treasure.

The highlight of the afternoon was seeing how infectious the quest for treasure can be. James would come running up to me with each new pebble, describing just how unique THIS new pebble was. "Isn't this just the best, Grammy?" I look at him and I look at the stone...what can I say but, "Treasures!"

So...speaking of treasures...we found absolutely spectacular specimens of sea glass, they were blue, aqua, clear, amber, white and each ...and we...and I...ahhh, treasures!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Just For Show

I remember when a family (who will remain unnamed) finished a 2 million dollar remodel which included a huge library, then proceeded to call a respected teacher to ask where they could go to find old leather bound books so their library would look authentic, somehow missing the point that if they weren't using their own books the library was already not authentic. Okay, so I admit, I love the look of leather bound books and if I had my own library I imagine I would probably purchase some used books just for effect. You probably get where this metaphor is leading, but here goes, anyway...When all is said and done I hope that enough of me is genuine, worn from life's road. That I am genuine, like "The Velveteen Rabbit" That I am real. Because every now and then it occurs to me as I'm embellishing a particular story, that doesn't need embellishing cause it's really good on its own, that parts of me are for "show".

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Raffi was singing to me today and I was singing along with him..."All I really need is a song in my heart, food in my belly, and love in my family." In the middle of a full voice aria, it occurred to me that I couldn't really sing this with a full heart, cause there were some other things that I really need. Like a bathtub, a Jane Austen novel, a good hair colorist and stylist, 500 thread count or above sheets, "Project Runway", and "The Office", and..., and.... Not to mention the really important things like no wars, and the end of the torture in Darfur, and..., and...., well there we are. Hmmmm..... Have you noticed that some songs we sing with full belief when we are children are not necessarily true. But, the catch is, we think they ARE true. We grow up expecting them to be true. Like - "When Your Heart is Filled With Love, Others Will Love You." - NOT - and how about, "Families can be Together Forever", what if you don't want your extended family to be together forever? What if you have an in-law that has made your life miserable and the thought of living with them forever seems more like hell than heaven. Okay, so maybe we should teach our children, "Send in the Clowns', or, "Rainy Days and Mondays", or how about, "Cat's in the Cradle", you know that part - "...when you coming home dad I don't know when....". I'll admit I'm being facetious, I don't think we should teach our children, "Apocalyptica." All I know is that today I felt great when I was singing along with Raffi. I feel great when I sing children's songs. Even if all our childhood truths twist and change and even seem to wound us at times, I would never trade the joy I felt and still feel singing and believing those innocent and pure dreams.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

...Speaking of Spring...

Speaking of Spring...when I was a little girl I spent hours at the very bottom of our property (about 2 acres away from the house), where I felt very alone and free to be whatever I created. Well....I decided that I was the guardian of all the spring blossoms, trees, and creatures. At the very back and left of the yard was dozens of lilac bushes, then a small lane of grass bordered on the right by dozens of crab apple trees, which formed a brilliant branching arbor to walk under. Each spring, robins would build nests in the crab apple trees. One year the nest was so close to my reach that I would daily climb up and inspect the brilliant blue of the egg. I would carefully pick each egg up and hold it in my cup shaped hand. One day an egg slipped out of my hand and landed with a splat on the ground. I heard the mother bird chirping madly at me. I was devastated! I cried as I picked up each piece of shell, and yet I couldn't fix it. Sometimes I wonder if at that moment I realized what it meant to be kicked out of "The Garden of Eden." Innocence with all it's wonder and magic was shattered by reality. I had killed a bird. For I truly knew and had seen new born birds and I knew the tragedy of this accident. My magic kingdom had been ruined, I lay prostrate on the grass sobbing. Although I had grand adventures in my yards for many years, with all the magic of imagination, I never played the "Guardian of the Spring Kingdom" ever again.


It's a standard family joke that years ago Catherine went on vacation for the first time and came home with 100 pictures of lava. (It certainly wasn't 100, but I admit a trifle too many) What befuddled me greatly, was that no one, and I mean NO ONE seemed to see the absolute magic captured on film. The day I hiked miles over nothing but black hardened lava in the very hot and humid Hawaiian sun, to suddenly see, smell and hear the magnificence of a hot lava flow, will always be one of my favorite days on earth. I watched the black lava about two feet high and several feet long, slowly move like an awakening dragon, twisting and rolling over itself, then suddenly turning a scorching red pouring over the earth, only to quickly turn darkest black again. It's movements were wildly unpredictable and exciting as it crackled and hissed. Suddenly, I had an amazing thought wash over me - I was witnessing creation. Creation happening at it's very most elemental form. It was as if I was allowed to stand near to God as He formed the earth. This black, red, hissing, oozing, boiling mass was life! The start of all life on this beautiful planet I live on. And in just a few places on earth it is still happening, and I witnessed it.

Friday, March 2, 2007

A Fine Character

My father had a huge nose, and I have a rather large nose, some would say huge. But it wasn't until I had teenage children that I had any clue that I had a huge snauzola. In fact, I thought my nose was one of the very attractive parts of me. My mother repeatedly told me while I was very young, that my nose, "...indicated fine character". She would smile and lift up my chin with her hand and admire my nose, all the time repeating how lucky I was to have such good character. I grew up believing that people would look at me and naturally know I was something pretty special. In fact, I was sure my nose, aka, character would be one of the things my, yet to be found, fiancé would be attracted to. I believed without one doubt. teenagers brought reality into my life, not just by comments, but comparisons, and sessions in front of the mirror. Oh horrors -they were right. I had a huge nose. I had noticed when I gave Eskimo kisses at night that my nose was the only one that didn't bend. It was true! But, what was it that for so many years convinced me otherwise? Quite simply - it was my mother's image of me. My mother's belief that my nose was beautiful and had character turned into my belief. As one of my daughters pointed out to me recently, a mother is the mirror of their child's image of self. Oh what a fragile, but essential mirror.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


"There is no remedy for love but to love more"
Henry David Thoreau
Last week these 5,000 year old skeletons were excavated in Italy, not far from Verona, Romeo and Juliet's fated city, where they loved and died. This picture left a haunting image wedged in my mind along with a myriad of questions. Who were they? How did they die? And did they meet death while gazing into each others eyes? I admit to being somewhat jealous, as I doubt whether I will leave this life while holding my loved one, his gaze strengthening my fears. I have been extremely lucky and blessed because I have a wonderful companion who is my best friend and source of all comfort, except that of my Lord. Such love does exsist, it always has and will continue to fall on a lucky few. Why me? I don't think the answer has anything to do with my conduct or Roy's, it just is. And for that I will hold on tightly, gazing into his eyes as we face the future.

"There is no remedy for love but to love more" Henry David Thoreau

Why Atticus?

If I could become one character out of all the characters I've read about in fiction, it would definitly be Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird". And yes, that includes serious thinking about Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett, and Woodstock, (who I feel lives a life of great creativity, ease, and a slightly warped sense of humour). But, there never has been serious compettition for the place of Atticus. His strength, courage and kindness are equal in their depth, and he has a fierce sense of humilty and gentleness. I love that one can be fierce in gentleness , fierce in kindness and fierce in humility. Just saying the name aloud..."Atticus", fills me with the best I could ever hope to be. I guess you could learn a great deal about me by reading the book. Wouldn't that be a great game at a party...Write the fictional character you would most like to become, then everyone place the names in a hat and read aloud and have everyone guess who chose which character. But I would love to go further and have each person tell why that particular character has a hold on them. I feel like we would learn so much more about a person from such an exercise, than a series of conversations at school, work or church. I like that idea so much, that you now have been warned if you come to my house for a party or just a informal chat.