Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Taking a little "blogcation" until such a time as I:

1) Have something interesting to tell you
2) Return from Philly, where I already am in mind and spirit

Don't get me wrong, in fact, get this right, I am dancing with joy that my life is "boring" and lacking in "material" at the time. That has always been the goal.

Check, check.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Feel Better

Wil has been sick, but true to form, he has not missed a minute of school. It is his MO to come down with a bug on a Friday afternoon, and be rarin' to go by Monday morning. This past weekend he was extra puny, but of course, Monday was a holiday, so his record remained in tact: perfect attendance. On Saturday he napped most the day, so I knew he was super sick. By Sunday he perked up enough to take a shower and put on clean pajamas before going back to bed. By Monday his appetite was back and he had me running to his favorite hamburger and milkshake dive, and getting him food to go.

"Where's Wil?" asked Kelly, our favorite gal there.

"He's sick," I said, "so I'm getting it to go."

"Oh, that's too bad," she said, "tell him I hope he feels better!"

"I will," I promised.

I then ordered from a guy at the cash register, that we have only seen a time or two. "Two plain and dry hamburgers, and a large shake with rootbeer and orange creamsicle, please," I said.

"I know who this is for," he said.

"At least this time he's not also adding the Reese's peanut butter cups to the mix!" I commented.

No wonder Wil is well-known there, not only is he engaging and friendly to all that work there, his orders are unique.

I then took my seat on the bench reserved for those waiting for their to go orders, and watched the mad flurry behind the counter that I've never seen before, as we always eat there. It was a choreographed dance, the likes of which I've never seen before.

I saw Kelly making the shake, then put it in the fridge to wait while the burgers were made to order. When they were done several minutes later, she reached back in the fridge, handed me the shake and the bag with the burgers. Again she repeated, "Tell Wil I hope he feels better."

I grabbed the stuff, said goodbye, but didn't take a good look until I got in the car and was looking for a cup holder for the shake. That's when I saw it, "Hope you feel better." Just four little words, but repeated three times by a virtual stranger. That's just the thing, "strangers" are just friends Wil hasn't met yet. I honestly can't take him anywhere where he isn't recognized and known, if he's been there at least once before.

And you know what? Right after that shake made with love and good will? He felt a lot better.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Rosie Project

If you want to read a book for the sheer JOY of reading, look no further than The Rosie Project. Two friends told me about it, and I'll admit, I was hesitant. "It's about a guy with Asperger's that wants to find a wife," they said, "and it's funny." Not sure I was going to find that subject matter "funny," but they assured me, I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the book, and they were right on the money.

Wil, unfortunately for him, was sick as a dog on Saturday. Fortunately for me, and thus, fortunately for you, that freed me up to do nothing but read, read, read. I started it Saturday afternoon and had read 3/4 of it by the time I went to bed (early). And I am a slow reader. I simply got my nose in it and couldn't/wouldn't/didn't get it out, so delighted I was by everything about it.

I don't want to tell you too much about it, I  don't want to spoil your own joy in discovering it. The author, Australian writer Graeme Simsion, originally wrote it as a screenplay, and it's been optioned by Sony to become a movie. It would make a wonderful movie, but don't wait for that, hop over to your nearest independent bookstore, and buy a copy. I promise you'll want to own it so you can pass it all around and then have it returned lovingly to your bookshelf where you keep all your favorite books!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More Helpful Hints from Care

Apparently, my pumice stone tip was a big hit, lots of happy people out there with pristine, white toilet bowls. So glad I could be of help. I've got two more you're going to eat with a spoon, and they are as follows:

1) To get that filmy, stainy, not-clean look to go away from your flower vases? Drop a denture cleaner tablet in some warm water and let them soak, run them through the dishwasher, and, voila!

2) This one is for all you poor sleepers, I learned it from my BFF, Theresa Caputo, aka The Long Island Medium (more on her later). Do you have a bunch of crap under your bed? Are you like me? Do you have a compulsive child that cannot STAND anything being on his parents' night stands, and hence, there is everything but the kitchen sink under there? What I pulled out from under our bed includes, but is not limited to:

1 small saw
1 large hammer
1 roll of electrical tape
1 electric tester thingy
1 cardboard box
1 fluorescent light bulb
6 water bottles, each partially "used"
1 set of hand weights
innumerable dust bunnies

I'm sure you're wondering why on earth there ever was a SAW on the bedside table, but I can assure you, it was all on the up and up.

So. I pulled all that junk out of there, vacuumed the living daylights out of the carpet below, washed the dust ruffle (once a year, whether it needs it or not, despite the fact that Flicka Link (x3) lies up against it and it is NASTY), then smudged under the bed. And I did not put any of the afore mentioned crap back under there, not even the saw!

And guess what, for the first time in years, STM says he slept through the night!

So, get yourself over to Target for some denture cleaner (the Target brand works great, no need to splurge for name brands), and then hop over to the nearest New Age bookstore and get yourself some sage, and whatever else your guides nudge you towards.

As for Theresa Caputo, say what you want about her, but I love her and everything about her, including her hair, nails, and crystal-studded stilettos. If you want to read an EXCELLENT, and I'm not exaggerating, a completely wonderful book that spells out Spirit A-Z, I highly recommend her new book, There's More to Life Than This.

If, however, your name is also Theresa, and I am coming to visit you in 14 days, do not buy this book. That's all I'm saying.

Happy cleaning, everyone!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I got to have coffee this morning with someone I haven't seen in years and years. The last time we met she was visiting Portland, and now she's moved here. We aren't close friends really, and on the surface, have next to nothing in common, yet when we talk we never run out of things to say, and have a shared love of books, writing, and several friends.

"You're radiant," she said, almost right off the bat. "What do you attribute that to?" she asked.

"I'm happy," I said. "2013 was a good year for us."

And it was.

But it's more than that. I was thinking how many things had changed in my life since the last time we shared time with each other. They say you replace most of your cells every seven years. You regenerate.  It's been my experience that it takes about the same amount of time to regenerate as a person emotionally, spiritually, behaviorally, psychologically.

To regenerate means to grow new or replace that which is damaged. That's what the last seven years of my life have been about, both in a very concerted effort way, and simply by the grace that comes from the passage of time.

Driving home after coffee I thought of her choice of the word, "radiant." I immediately thought of Charlotte's Web, and how Charlotte spun the word into her web to help save Wilbur's life. Wilbur got all the credit for being radiant, but Charlotte did all the work. Nobody comes through a dark period on their own, we all need a Charlotte or two (or in my case, many more than that), ones that help us spin our story in a different direction from the one its going in. We all need someone to champion us, to believe in us, to sacrifice for us, to endure us when we're at our most unbearable.

And then we need those that bear witness to our progress and affirm it in us, so that we can go out and be a Charlotte for someone else.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Everything Matters

I watched a fascinating interview with Starbucks' CEO, Howard Schultz about a month ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. Among other things, he said that one of his business philosophies is Everything Matters. The details count. How we do anything, is how we do everything.

At first I explored the opposite way of thinking, that nothing matters, and quickly became depressed. While not sweating the small stuff is wise, that doesn't necessarily mean that the small stuff doesn't matter. There is a paradox in that, and therein lies the lesson, I think.

We know for a fact that energy cannot be created or destroyed, and we're all just carrying it, moving it, spreading it and re-arranging it all the time, so it stands to reason that how we do anything, has far-reaching ripples. The energy that we put into the things we do, matters. Everything matters.

So, while we are busy not being busy sweating the small stuff, that's more of an energetic release of the anxiety around the "small," not an abandonment of our intentions around things that are "small." At least that's where I've landed on the issue for the time being.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. What matters?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year

I don't get too excited about the "new" year, don't make a lot of resolutions, don't stay up until midnight to ring it in. For me, it's better to one-day-at-a-time it, waking up each morning with a sense of newness and promise, hopes and objectives. I think it's dangerous to lump 365 days together, call them a year, and deem the whole sum as either "good" or "bad." Things come in waves, cycles, and it usually takes more than the turning of a page on the calendar, to abruptly interrupt that.

There is something to be said, however, for resolving, for taking inventory, for starting over, for having hope, faith, optimism and a can-do attitude. January 1st can be a good time to do that, because there is strength in numbers, there is a swelling and momentum, that can take hold and help move you "out" of wherever you are, and that is the first step.

Our dear friend, Claire Rose, Wil's guardian angel of 11 years, lost her mother on Christmas Eve. Her death was sudden and tragic, and the community is shaken, her family reeling, the sadness reverberates in every direction. I can't wish Claire a happy new year, I can't tell her everything will get easier and better and back to "normal." Her life has been altered forever. What I can tell her is she's not alone. She has a community ready and willing to step up, to not replace, but to substitute for her mother's role in her life. I can tell her that there are any number of people she can grab onto and hold on, until the wave of I-can't-do-this passes. I can tell her that although the year ahead may not be happy, it is not resigned to being terrible, either. It will be hard. It will be different. It will be sad. It will also have moments of piercing grace, love that shines through and sustains her. I can tell her that each morning of this new year, she will have to resolve to make the day anew, lean into the changes, make open her heart to receive all the love we have to give, so that one day she wakes up and the resolve to have resolve doesn't have to be so strong.

For Claire, the "page turned" on the day her mother left her in the physical world, and became a guide from the other side, one that will shepherd her through these dark and difficult days, with a little help from her friends.

Sorry Not Sorry

I'm sorry I keep pointing you towards BrenĂ© Brown's podcast,  Unlocking Us , but I'm not that  sorry.* I've appreciated ever...