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Just a note (floating post)

Hello. Thanks for dropping by. This is mostly a Friends Only Journal, but drop me a note and let me know if you want to be added. I believe journal friends begin somewhat like a feather floating in the air. If it comes your way, you're bound to notice it for awhile. You don't know where it came from, but it gets your attention and often makes you feel that ticklish inner smile. 

I don't offend easily. Differ with me if you want. Drop me like a hot potato if you want. 

I thrive on differing perspectives. I'm a junkie for learning new things and new ways of looking at things. 

I respect my friends. Assume that I respect you. I don't package things in fluff as a general rule. 

With gratitude - always - to my flist. 

Food and Idol non-entry

Missed my LJ Idol deadline. It was on Food Memories. I had so many ideas on this and three different drafts, but I didn't get it done. 

Did you know that you are born with 10,000 tastebuds (or so) and you lose half of them by around the age of 50? It is the salty and the sweet tastebuds that go, the bitter and sour that stay. So, as you age you want more sweets and more salt. NOT exactly a healthy scenario, but as some of you know, I'm a gerontologist and work with the elderly when I'm not making herbal tinctures and selling Scentsy -- and I really do believe in moderation, ice cream raises endorphins and helps the elderly on multiple levels.

As administrator of an assisted living center, I worked with many families who felt "helpless" with regard to their parent's care. They would respond in various ways: withdrawing, controlling, blaming, shaming and the list goes on. It is not unusual for a family member to come up with a diet that they think is going to cure their loved ones dementia. Hey! I even think there is something to that. Honestly. But, an occasional spoonful or five of ice cream isn't going to cause the parent harm. I went as far as finding a study that backed up the theory. The joy of tasting the ice cream boosts the immune system. 

It isn't that I didn't have anything to write about food. 

The unexpected knock on the door rarely is good news. When I was 5, it was someone saying that they ran over our dog Tigi. I was seated with my family for dinner at the time. It was over 20 years until I ate spaghetti since that dinner. I didn't even realize I avoided eating spaghetti, I just thought I didn't like it. It was, of course, what we were eating when the knock on the door came. Taste buds have memory. 

So......if taste buds de-sensitize and if they have memory, it wouldn't be too far of a leap to say that each type of taste connects to types of memories. . . but I digress. 

And, of course, I managed the kitchen at the ashram. 

Who of us doesn't have food memories?  

There is a biological and emotional connection between taste and smell, also. And this is one of the things that I love about Scentsy. (No, I'm not trying to sell it to you right now, just sharing part of why I do it.) No two people respond to the scents the same way. The scents have memories. There are over 80 scents available right now. Sitting in a room smelling these scents, people begin to talk about their memories -- and they get to choose which ones they want to bring home and which ones they want to leave behind. 


Friends list

I tried to clean up my friends list -- deleting closed accounts and people who haven't responded to friend requests and such. Unfortunately, I got interrupted in the middle of it and I'm not sure what I did. 

If I accidentally deleted you, let me know. 

Sorry. :)

Three Little Words

Three little words, oh what I'd give for that wonderful phrase,
To hear those three little words, that's all I'd live for the rest of my days.
And what I feel in my heart, they tell sincerely.
No other words can tell it half so clearly.
Three little words, eight little letters which simply mean I love you.

Three Little Words was one of the three last songs that Nat King Cole recorded before he died. He knew that he was headed to the hospital when he recorded it for his last album, L.O.V.E.

Growing up, I heard these three little words more often than I can count. The words would follow us as we left the house. When we went up or down the stairs, these words were there. I wore the words “I love you” like a blanket. My childhood home was quite dysfunctional, but I always knew I was loved.

Over time the words took on different meanings. Boyfriends would speak it in a way that implied ownership of my time or of my body. I fell for this time and time again. The desire to be loved was strong enough to fool me with false overtures. Real love could not be found in these pursuits. If that was all there was to love, it would be depressing.

My father would speak it almost as a warning. He would be disciplining me as he said it. His voice would follow me around as though he were watching me and judging my every move. There felt deep love from my father, but it wasn't present in these three little words.

My mother would often speak the words with a whimper. B-b-but, but I love you. Her love came with expectations. Living up to these expectations became difficult. My calls were never frequent enough, my birthday cards were often late. I gave up trying to meet her expectations way too easily. It must have been a way to avoid feeling guilty. Eventually, I got better at showing her my love in a way that she could see it. Hallmark and mom were both happier once I did.

My ex-husband showed his love by doing things for me. Carrying on the tradition from my childhood, my kids and I say I love you to one another as if it is a mantra or greeting. “I love you” was not easy for Steve to say. His way of showing love was being there, building toy chests, writing poetry, and cooking meals. The three little words were saved for rare occasions.

It isn't always easy to recognize the ways someone shows their love for us. A friend of mine always believed his father to be cold and unemotional. When his father died, he inherited the car. Opening the trunk of that car was an ah-ha moment for my friend. There were torches and supplies packed in the trunk for any emergency. Suddenly, my friend remembered the times during his college years that his father put money in his checking account without saying anything to him. He dropped off winter coats for him on his front porch without a note or ringing the doorbell. Tears rolled down my friend's cheeks as he realized that his father's way of showing his love was to make sure he was prepared for whatever circumstances may arise.

I listen closely for the I love yous that are shared around me. Once in awhile, they are audibly spoken, but most often they are found in a touch, a gesture, a song, a smile, or a gentle acknowledgment of a piece of me that I can no longer keep hidden from their view. I have missed some very important gestures of love by not noticing how it was shown to me, by not being present. 

Listening now, I notice that I am surrounded by love. It is everywhere. Listening now, I become conscious of the ways that I choose to show my love.

Listening. Being present. Receiving. I love you.

This has been my entry for therealljidol, Season 8, Week 2. Thank you for reading.

LJ Idol - Season 8, Week 1

When you pray, move your feet. 

One of the best things about my ex-husband was that he made the morning coffee every day. I woke every morning to steaming, fresh cup of coffee brought to me while I was still in bed. When I left the ex a couple of years ago, I left this tradition. Soon, I began starting my days with meditation before I had the cup of coffee. Six a.m. comes early for me. I'm not a morning person. And, meditating in the morning when you're sleepy reduces its benefit. Consuming caffeine with meditation creates a precarious balance.

When I get it right, though.....when I get it just right, the day turns to magic. After a morning meditation, I am able to move through the day with the presence it deserves. It gets me closer to getting the day just right. Even though days have a certain structure to them, every one is different. Without the ability to be present with the day, it is possible to turn into a robot believing that each day is the same and is devoid of meaning. 

Morning meditation begins my day with gratitude. From there, I can attend to the little things of the day that greet me with the "not good, not bad, just so" attitude that stems from Buddhist teachings. Some days I get it just right: my attitude is the prayer I offer as I walk through the day. My prayer is gratitude, presence and joy. It works much better for me than an hour every Sunday in church. My days have meaning. The routines may all be the same, but if I attend closely to them, like snowflakes, I appreciate the differences. Deep in those differences, there is beauty.

Of course, coffee every morning helps. My partner makes the coffee in the morning now. He doesn't bring it to me in bed, but sipping it together in the morning after our meditation is divine. 

This has been my entry for LJ Idol Season 8, Week 1. 

LJ Idol time!

This is my official post saying I'm going to play LJ Idol, Season 8 this year. Why not?

No fancy links this time because I'm on my iPad. You, too can play! Read about it here: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/485253.html

Anything special you want me to write about, let me know. ;)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Haute (LJ Idol, Week 11)

Quit acting like you are better than other people,” the middle-aged bartender pronounced. “Don’t act so haute-taute.”

The bartender was an overweight, pock-faced guy who took an immediate disliking to her. It was 1979, the days before microbrews. She was sitting in a bar in Macomb, Illinois, drinking Coors. That is how she spent a good part of those college years. This first attempt at going to college was a social experiment. Don’t act so haute-taute. What the heck does that mean?

Glancing down, she noticed that she raised her pinky while lifting her beer to her lips. Conditioning. Damn conditioning. She was taught to raise her pinky when she sipped her drink. That’s how proper girls behaved. This properness of character didn’t come naturally to her. She was sent to charm school at the age of ten. Her mother said she needed to smooth out some of her edges or she would never get a man. She did not know that charm was a requirement for good living, but there she was smoothing out her edges and walking the runway with books balanced on her head. Charm school was the beginning of trading herself in for someone else’s version of what was acceptable.

“Do you think I’m haute-taute because I raise my pinky when I drink my beer?” she inquired. He grumbled something under his breath as he walked to the other end of the bar. She had been coming here for months with her roommates. It was a good place to have a few drinks before going to listen to the music at the other bars in town.

You pretend to be something you’re not,” he protested.

“Me? No, I don’t! What you see is what you get.”

“That’s the lie you have to quit telling yourself.” There was an air of finality in his voice. “Now, get going.”

It was close to 10 p.m. on a Thursday night. The bar was getting crowded. He had pushed her buttons straight into reactivity. She never minded that the bartender did not like her. Either like me for who I am or don’t like me at all, she often said. She emptied the contents of the pitcher into her glass and walked over to sit with her friends.
“How do I look in this outfit?” Susan, the most beautiful of the group was inquiring. “It is pledge week. I want to look my best.” Oh, god. Pledge week. She had no intention of joining a sorority. She just smiled and joined the others in complimenting Susan. “You look beautiful, as always.” Yes, Susan was beautiful. She was also a prude. The bartender wasn’t calling Susan “haute-taute.”

Frustrated, she looked around the bar. There were two guys sitting at the table next to her talking about some class they were taking. She smiled at them and they smiled back. That conversation certainly seemed more interesting than the one at her table. She pushed her chair back, considering whether or not to join them. She got out of her chair, but walked right on by. There was an empty stool at the bar calling her name.

“Why don’t you go join your friends?” the bartender sneered.

“I get more honesty from you.” She told him the she couldn’t relate to the conversation that her friends were having. “Do we ever get away from the conditioning of our past?”

“It isn’t just the past that conditions us,” he replies pointing at the Ford Mustang commercial on the television. “But you get a choice in what to believe. For instance, Susan believes in her beauty. It is her truth.”

He smiled smugly as he poured her a shot of tequila. “You’ve forgotten your truth,” he said. “You gave it away long ago.”

“I’ve just wanted to make others happy.”

She licked the salt off the back of her hand, squeezed the lime into her mouth and took the shot of tequila.

He smirked. “You didn’t raise your pinky.”

“Oh, if it were only that simple,” she remarked. “If finding truth were about when to raise your pinky and when not to raise your pinky.”

Maybe it is,” he said. “Maybe it is.


(This is my entry for LJ Idol , Season 7, Week 11. If you liked it, please let me know by commenting. Voting for LJ Idol begins on Saturday at 4:00 pm EST and runs through Tuesday. VOTE HERE. Thank you for your support.)


The smell of melting wax is exhilarating to my spirit. I fly so close to the sun that I create new mazes after successfully freeing myself from the last one.

After the wax melts and the wings fall off, I fall back to the ground, lesson learned. I reach out for new inspiration hoping the trappings will not encage me from flight.


“Why did they get 3 points for that basket?” I asked the person sitting next to me. It was 1981. The NBA 3-point field goal became a permanent part of professional basketball in the 1980-81 season. Obviously, it had slipped my attention. Nonetheless, Clyde “the Glide” Drexler and the Portland Trailblazers were part of my regular entertainment. Little did I know that those would be the first words uttered to my future (and past) husband.

He packed cheese, crackers and fruit for our first date. We sat in his ’69 VW bug with the windshield wipers going looking at the Pacific Ocean as he read poetry to me. He reads Theodore Roethke’s poem, The Waking, to me. It becomes our theme. “I wake to sleep and take my walking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go.”


Time marches forward. The merry-go-round gains speed on its endless track. He taught me to love poetry and to love myself. I introduced him to his soul and became his best friend. Even on this circular path, we find ways to live parallel lives. We clutter our lives with what does not matter. Do I stay here and create ruts in the ground or do I find a way to get off? “Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.”


I miss the smell of melting wax. The passion leaves. What sin is that? My path opens one direction, he plants himself in one place becoming an anchor. “Great Nature has another thing to do To you and me, so take the lively air, And, lovely, learn by going where to go.”


Loss turns to opportunity. After giving up my material possessions and risking the love and understanding of those close to me, I am in a beautiful place. New environment. New relationship. Grounded on my spiritual path, I’m living on an ashram. He remains my friend. I am blessed. A path becomes a labyrinth when you do not trust yourself. Remembering the lesson, I keep my heart open, allowing both love and pain to enter. “This shaking keeps me steady. I should know. What falls away is always. And is near. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I learn by going where I have to go.”


I am learning to fly without touching the sun.

(This is my entry for LJ Idol , Season 7, Week 10. If you liked it, please let me know by commenting. Voting for LJ Idol begins on Saturday at 4:00 pm HERE  EST and runs through Tuesday. Thank you for your support.) 


First World Problem

Living on an ashram has been a bit like going back in time. The closest town has a population of 12,000 and is a 30 to 45 minute drive away. There is no television. Indoor plumbing exists here, but not in my abode. At moments, time stands still.

Have you ever been to the place where deep silence meets a deafening cacophony of hoots, chirps and clangs? The high-pitched tinny sound in the ears yields to the noise of the dark abyss that has no boundaries at this juncture. Meditate on this long enough and the sound of aum comes through loudly. It is where the absence of all sound creates sound, like the absence of all color is black. Listening to the aum offers a new perspective. Here lies the realization that everything that is needed is within.

Once found, it is hard to stay at this place for very long. Sounds creep in from the external world. The urge to travel down the long, windy mountain road to the closest town enters in like an itch that needs scratching. The journey outward begins with a trek down a 2-mile road called Jack Ass Flats. The search for gold changed the landscape on the side of the road where the mountains were stripped naked of their vegetation long ago with water cannons. The decimated landscape offers a unique beauty consisting of sharp peaks of a brilliant orange-red sierra. Still, the landscape cries for what it was.

The inner sounds of being are lost on the road to town. Road noise begins to fill the air, soon followed by music, conversation, and traffic. A mental list of what to purchase is created and soon completed. An obligatory stop at the coffee shop is checked off the list. More than the necessary material goods are consumed. Still, the itch has not been scratched hard enough, long enough. Searching for relief, more stores are visited, the local movie house may be visited and the environment is consumed in new and fun ways.

Traveling back home, the itch is gone. A subtle numbness has taken its place. The radio is turned off and a handful of noises are eliminated. The sound of aum is deep inside, but not available. The scent of local pine trees and madrone shrubs fills the senses. A hollow ache of the ancient Maidu Indians run off the land pounds heavily on the being. The desire for gold once trumping nature, being and existence.

This lesson will be learned over and over again. The mind knows what the soul needs to remember. Searching outside, instead of looking inside to fill the void exhausts our energy. Everything exists within ourselves. When that deep silence meets the deafening cacophony of hoots, chirps and clangs, calmness enters. Our beings are filled with an abundance of joy. I am learning to carry this inner place with me into all environments. From this place, I wish to enter the world.

“You are that which you are seeking.”
----Saint Francis

If you liked this entry, please consider voting for me at here. I'm in the third tribe this week. Thank you!

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