Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Eve at My Aunt Chita's

Christmas Eve at my Aunt Chita's house was THE place to be, at least the place I always wanted to be. I KNEW I could count on certain things to happen. Since we usually lived in a different state, the times I was lucky enough to be there it was if I became an instant celebrity. EVERYONE (that being more cousins than I could keep count of) stopped by my aunt's house on Christmas Eve for her "open casa".  When they heard that we were in town as well then I could be assured of plenty of squeals and hugs. Who needs presents when a child starving for love got more than she could ever wish for at my Aunt Chita's? It's funny how Christmas memories can blur together however the ones that I was lucky enough to spend at my aunt and uncle's house are unblurable.
She liked no I should say LOVED Christmas decorations.  Every inch of her small home would be decorated, including elves, snowmen and reindeer in the bathroom! One year my parents hung glass ornaments from the ceiling at our house in California. My aunt liked it so much that she adopted the same idea. (I personally always liked staring up at them and seeing my face look all goofy)
It was always very comforting to me to could count on the decorations, the family, the FOOD (especially the tamales) and her saying every year that "THIS IS THE LAST YEAR I'M GOING TO DO THIS".  Christmas Eve at my Aunt Chita's is what I like to muse about especially when I hear folks getting all frustrated about the shopping they have to do, the crowds, the this the that.

Thank you auntie for the very special place it has in my heart.
I miss it as I do you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

THANKS-GIVING Two Wonderful Words

I am going to try an old standby that teachers use when they need to have their young students do a language assignment around the holidays. They tell their students to write a "poem" beginning with the first letter of the word (this would be Thanks-giving in my case).
Luckily I will NOT be grading myself on this little exercise.

T his is my favorite time of year when leaves whirl, swirl and blow crazily about creating the best kind of messiness.
H ow can I show my gratitude?
A m I living my life to it's fullest potential?
N uts remind me of the fall season.
K ites also remind me of this time of year, and Kindness, (which we could use more of).
S hucks, this is more difficult than I thought...glad I am not grading myself, at least I would remember to be kind.

G reat ideas become truly magnificent when allowed to emerge and take flight.
I hope that by this time next year I am not fiddling around with a word game such as this and am being magnificent with my dreams.
V is an interesting letter, I personally love the letter Z however I have a "V" here which reminds me of Voting and how grateful I am that the people of our country voted the way they did the last Presidential election. YES WE CAN.
I nteresting the way my thoughts have bounced around here, I hope to stay committed and involved in doing what I can to help this be a better world.
N o more excuses...(that's from Wayne Dyer's latest book)
G ive...may I do that more, for it is in Giving that we truly receive.

God bless us everyone.
Happy ThanksGiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Trail of Ant Tears

So what am I supposed to do? It is November and these itty bitty little black ants have decided to invade my kitchen space.
I do not like to kill.
However, I also do not like four legged insects cruising all around my cooking/eating space.
These little guys aren't taking any food, but they are in my dishwasher, on the counter, marching on and on and on to some undisclosed location.
And some of them are not making it home because I am killing them.
I had hoped that they would figure out that some of them were not making it back to wherever they were headed to, and then perhaps put out an alarm to each other with a warning to STAY OFF OF THIS LADIES COUNTER AND OUT OF HER DISHWASHER.
It hasn't happened yet.
I am calling it the "Trail of Tears" because like I mentioned before I do not like to kill anything and I am just smooshing them and then rinsing them off down into the drain. I also confess that I have windexed them. They are much too small to try and relocate to an outside destination (something that I did try and do during the summer months).
I have no idea if they scream in agony, or if they travel in fact, as a child one of my favorite stories of all times was called "The City Under the Back Steps" and it was about, you guessed it...Ants.
Maybe I should go to confession or something like that as I obviously feel bad about this situation. I have asked my guides/angels to PLEASE make them stay away as this is really starting to depress me.
My Trail of Ant Tears.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Are they even called that anymore? I know they exist...I go in one every time I need an RX filled, and the amazement I feel each time I walk through the doors never ceases. Amazement that a person can find just about anything they could EVER need/want/dream of IN ONE STORE.
And for only $9.99!
Looking to add a bit of zen-like feng shui to your environment? Buy a fountain for only $9.99. Add $2 bucks to that price and it will emit mood fog and play Gregorian chants by the chipmunks as well.
Need something new to wear? You can purchase five t-shirts (different colors!) for only $9.99.
Want a souvenir from someplace? The travel isle offers shot glasses, spoons and key chains. They even offer from neighboring states or countries, just in case you forgot to pick something up during your wordly travels.
How about FOOD? Candy, chips, soda, milk, hard boiled eggs, Jimmy Dean sausages are plentiful, did I mention candy?? Unfortunately dark chocolates usually cannot be located in a drugstore.
Want to beautify yourself? One stop shopping in that department. Pick up a magazine, and read all about it, then tootle over to the make-up department and wah-lah instantaneous beautification can be yours.
And smell good...the drugstore has you covered there, from deodorant to fancy perfumes/aftershaves and colognes. And only $9.99 each!!

Suffice to say that drugstores are not given the kudos they deserve.

Brings to mind the lyrics from a song from the sixties called "DOWNTOWN" by Petula Clark. "When your alone and life is making you lonely, You can always go Downtown. When you've got worries..."

You can always Walgreens.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My 1995 Buick is Dead

So it finally happened, at least I think it did. My 1995 Buick Regal 4 door Sedan died. 241,000 miles and she was one tired car. Just to make sure we do have a "second opinion" stopping by to listen to the old gal to see if she is as bad as it sounds. She is making lots of LOUD grinding, won't idle, spewing up steam sounds.

It does not look good.

She took care of me to the very end. Broke down just one mile away from the cottage. Now she sits in the driveway awaiting the "second opinion". I emptied out my belongings because deep down I know I will not drive her again.I cleaned her up one last time reflecting on how good of car she truly had been.
She (I never gave her a specific name) was a gift from some good friends who knew I really needed a car. I had set my sights on a cool little motorcycle, however, they stepped in and just gave me the car...title and all. My dog Lucy was happy that I got the car instead of the bike. I have to admit she was not my "style" except that she was free so I guess the universe knew better than I what my "style" should be. She looked like a retired "snowbird" car, (snowbirds are OLD PEOPLE who flock to the southwest each winter in search of warmer weather). In some respects it was kind of neat to have a car that looked like that...other drivers tend to give a wide margin of error for cars driven by OLD PEOPLE. Expectations of being a good driver are much lower for a gramma-type car or as a friend liked to call it a "stealth mobile". She actually could clip along quite nicely however she didn't draw attention to herself like a sporty little red car would of, i.e. not one speeding ticket.

I remember the first decal I stuck on her in hopes of giving her a tad bit more personality. It was a cool phoenix type of bird. More were added, reflecting various parts of my life that I wished to share with the world, or at least other drivers. I especially like how the car looked when I put my surfboard on top. The first board I had was sort of strange looking, but it didn't matter, it was a a surfboard and when I strapped it on I felt a bit more alive since I knew I was on my way to scare the living crap out of myself.

The car brought out the best in people.

As I mentioned before the car was given to me. That in itself does not happen to many people. Louie and Nancy, I bet you didn't think that I would have her for 241,00 miles! Thank you for your generosity. It didn't stop there. The kind things that happened to me because of the car are almost too numerous to list. A Starbucks customer giving me $100 to help me with a move to the coast. Little did he know that the car desperately needed brakes, and I had a brother to put them on, just no money to buy the brake pads. A friend bought (via telephone and credit card #) me an alternator in a small town in Quartzsite AZ when she (the car) broke down. It was 110 degrees and some very kind people towed me to a patch of shade and put the alternator in since I did not have the money to have a mechanic install it. And that is just two instances. I had many more.

It was situations like that, that made the car so special.

The first dent was by my daughter wasn't a bad dent, however now she looks like she has been in a demolition derby. I have to admit I put in most of them (dents)and for that I apologize old gal...(at least your rear still looks good!). As I was vacuuming her for the last time this morning I have to pat myself on the back that no matter how beat up she looked on the outside, I always kept her clean, and kept up with the oil changes.

I will miss her, she moved me from Tucson, Arizona to Seaside, Oregon then up to Astoria,on to Portland, back down to Tuscon then returned us safely to Portland.
No wonder she got worn out. She did get vandalized once. The crummy thieves broke a rear window and got a poorly hidden purse and laptop. Lesson learned.

I actually felt a few tears as I took the last bit of personal "stuff" from the car. It was a weird looking piece of dried seaweed that was in the rear console area of the car. It was given to me by an artist when I had a coffeeshop and looked like a large sperm.

I know the car was just a bunch of nuts and bolts, metal and rubber, however the memories run deep. Friends safely carried, moves safely made.

Good bye 1995 Buick Regal 4 Door Sedan.

Hello Mini Cooper.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


It's the Fourth of July and certainly a time of celebration. Let me begin with the fact that I LOVE living in the United States of America and am grateful for all that I have and for all that we can be. I live in a free country where anything is possible and a person is only limited by the size of their dreams. We are an intelligent, peace loving nation (unless, perhaps you are a Republican) who have embraced the dreams of our forefathers so long ago and want to see this country rise to be one of inspiration to the rest of the free world.
Which brings me to what I want to muse about today.
I know, I know, by speaking negatively about them it is if I am attacking warm apple pie and ice cream. One of my personality quirks is that I want to know WHY we do what we do. I am the type of person that when I was selected to direct our church's Sunday School Christmas play, I researched and put together a play to help the congregation learn WHY we have a green tree, and WHY we put lights up, and so on and so on...
I don't MIND doing what everyone else is doing and have done forever, however it needs to make some sort of sense to me.
When I make a pros and cons list as to why we have fireworks, the cons far outweigh the pros. The pros: memories of family get togethers watching the fireworks. Let's see I am sure their must be more. Oh yeah, the job creation for the companies that make and sell the fireworks. Let's see, perhaps overtime pay for all the people who have to work to take care of the injuries related to the fireworks. I will try to think of some more, if there are any.
Now to the cons: Noisy/they scare our pets and other animals/they burn fingers,hands/they start fires/they litter our beautiful planet/they appear to represent ROCKETS AND WAR/they freak out veterans/they are expensive.
It would be nice if, as a spiritually evolving country, we could come up with an alternative way to celebrate our freedom. Perhaps hold gatherings where people give thanks for our plentiful water and beautiful parks instead of shooting up fireworks that literally terrorize animals, litter the planet and all for a moment of visual pleasure. Perhaps people could take a look around and notice the natural beauty that surrounds them. And if what they see lacks beauty then maybe a group effort to help to create something beautiful would be the ultimate thanks and celebration. Think about it, we are using visual reminders of WAR and DESTRUCTION to celebrate our Independence and birth of a country. I would like to think that we could do better.
Maybe a baby start would bet eliminating all private fireworks and just having large displays? If they are over water then only the fish will be terrorized and polluted.
It's a thought.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


It's time for a bit of a rant...maybe I have said this before but it is REALLY DIFFICULT to be a spiritual warrior when a person is SURROUNDED by greedy, insensitive HUMANS!
Not all humans that I encounter fall into the aforementioned category. This rant is not about them.
I believe I blogged about my love of sampling. I just returned from a visit to one of my favorite "natural" stores and as usual they had some good samples out! Delicious pears, gelato, they even had little pieces of imported English white cheddar cheese. There were FIVE little chunks just sitting there, tempting us shoppers. I was politely waiting to try one of the little buggers and the lady in front of me somehow managed to SWOOP UP ALL FIVE OF THEM!! She carefully put them in the palm of her hand, not making eye contact with those of us waiting to try one. May BAD CHEESE KARMA follow her! (I know, I know that is NOT the way of a spiritually enlightened person...but she took FIVE FRIGGIN PIECES!!!
While I am ranting I will bring up my latest dealings with Craigslist. Firstly, I LOVE Craigslist! I consider myself a practically professional Craigslister.
To make a long story very short, I bought a screen door, we painted it, went to hang it up and realized I totally blew it and got the wrong size! We are out like $65 so I figure I might as well try and recoup as much as possible by trying to sell the new door on Craigslist. I am offering a's new, it's painted and I am asking $45. A seemingly nice man in a very nice newer SUV came and bought it...OOPS he is short $ that O.K.? I say...well alright...frankly I was happy to sell it. He did not seem like the type of joe who would purposely not bring enough $. However LATER he calls to ask what type of paint we used on the door. Trying to be a generous nice human AND wanting to give him the opportunity to actually pay my asking price for the door, (since he said he "accidently" did not bring the full amount) I tell him I will GIVE him the rest of the quart of paint, that was bought and used only on the door ($13). He said that would be awesome and he would throw in a couple of dollars for it when he came back to get the paint. I was hoping he would pay the other $5 that he skimped out on, and perhaps $2 more???
He handed my boyfriend a little wad of dollars.
Total $4.
It's just my opinion but I think he was being a bit of a schomoe! May nickle-dime karma follow him!!!
Again that isn't too spiritual of me is it?
I am working on it.
You know, being a decent HumanBean.
We did get a really nice rowing machine today off of Craigslist. It was worth the total amount they were asking, which yes, we did bring along.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

One Determined Duck

While driving the other day I had a very emotional experience.
I was in a hurry, trying to do one last errand before getting on the freeway to make it to the other side of town. Nothing unusual...and by the amount of vehicles on the road, the expressions of the drivers and the honking going on, there were many others like me with the same agenda.
I had just gotten off a four lane off-ramp, was waiting to merge onto a six lane street when I saw her.
One mama duck with six or so little ones attempting to cross the same six lane street.
I had a stop light and could see her as she scuttled, then stopped, scuttled, then stopped with her ducklings gathering near or underneath her each time she paused.
The other traffic, on my three lanes of the six lane street, was not supposed to stop and I watched with my four way flashers going as she somehow made it to the middle of the street safely.
I was going to jump out to frantically wave to make people stop, but there was no time.
She was one determined duck.
My light turned green, and I had to turn all the while holding my breath, saying whatever prayers I could to my angels, to duck angels and mama angels to help her make it across the next three lanes.
After I had run my errand I was afraid to look to see if I would see little feathers on the street.
Keep in mind this all happened at an off- ramp off of Interstate Five and at one of the busiest intersections I usually encounter AND at afternoon rush hour!
While I was looking for feathers (and very grateful to not see any evidence) I could not fatham WHY the duck HAD to take her little ones across that street to what appeared to be the Interstate??!
Only after using the on-ramp was I able to see a beautiful pond that looked like it was a "duck sanctuary" that was underneath the freeway.
So I learned a few things that day. Or at least remembered a few things.
Firstly...IF you are in traffic, driving and someone is not going when you THINK they should be going. Forget the Angry Horn!!
They could have car trouble, be having a seizure, saying a prayer or WAITING FOR A MAMA DUCK TO CROSS THE STREET WITH HER BABIES!!!
Secondly...She knew what she needed to do. Granted it appeared to be a very crazy idea, and the timing could of been better, however she needed to get her babies to the water and flying was not an option for them yet.
We all KNOW what we need to do in our own lives, and there is no guarantee that what we need to do will be easy.
I will forever remember the image of that mama duck doing what she needed to do regardless of the obstacles that appeared in her way.
She was one determined duck.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dogs Are Cool

Lately I have been spending the majority of my time with dogs.
I find their personalities easy to be around...they stick to the basics in life, and they do not know how to act phony, unlike us HUMANS.
Do I sound bitter?
Maybe. It's just that life is just too friggin short to "try" and figure out what is on any humans mind.
If you don't like something. Growl already.
Something pleases you. Wag your tail.
It's simple really.
So why do HUMANS have to make things so complicated?
And dogs do not require a whole lot of maintenance. Feed regularly, an occasional scratch behind the ears, maybe a bath or a good brushing once in awhile. Yearly check ups, oh and timely visits outside to go poop. If you choose to throw in a few extra doses of love and will have the type of friend that you could only hope to be.
Yea, dogs are cool.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Like Sampling

Yesterday was THE BEST DAY EVER for samples!!! I know it might seem silly, but a good freebie can truly brighten my day. There actually is an art to sampling if you think about it.
If I want company on my excursions to Costco, all I have to do to entice someone is to remind them about ALL THE SAMPLES there.
Timing is everything, if you go too late in the work day, the nice cart people are winding things down and ready to hit the road, irgo zero to no samples. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday, you have to fight the shopping carts and other samplers and frankly it just isn't worth it.
So Rule One is:
*timing is everything
Usually the people cooking and handing out the samples are very sweet so you "should" allow them to give their little spiel about the product, mumble something asking where is it located...blah blah blah, maybe even grab the product (if you are a insecure sampler or perhaps have actually taken seconds) then stash it on another aisle.
Rule Two:
*be polite, even if it gags you, smile and move on. After all they did not invent the product.
Rule Three:
*keep it quick...
smile, grab and go.

Let's get back to WHY yesterday was so awesome for sampling.
I did not go to Costco.
I went to a fancy organic grocery store. A person on a limited budget could almost get a complete, tasty meal at one of these stores!
Saturday and Sundays are usually THE ONLY days that these type of stores will put out samples. Of course they are hoping to entice the more upscale shopper, but heck, who needs to know if you are actually buying or not? A good day of sampling will lift anyones spirits, especially if you are on a BUDGET.
The best part about these stores is that they do not expect to banter back and forth with you so the sampling experience can be one of quiet joy.
I went to TWO stores yesterday....
Store One I enjoyed *Organic Potato & Garlic Soup with fresh bread. (there were 4 different types of bread to choose from!) WITH whipped Irish Butter, I also had Chocolate/Cherry Bread Pudding, (warmed up of course) and a piece of Organic Cinnamon Swirly Bread.
Oh and a small little cuppa joe (organic of course)
Store Two
I had PIZZA.
And it was good. I tried to snatch one for my boyfriend who was off shopping in a different store...which brings me to:
Rule Four:
Do not hesitate! Granted one must not appear to be greedy, but if there is no one around...JUST DO IT! If you DO grab two and someone is prepared for the evil eye, in which case quickly escape down another aisle.
Happy Sampling!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking for a Rental....

We are looking for a new place to live. We have to rent. We are clean, (almost too much so), hardworking, pay the rent on time, improve the rental tenants. We also have one dog and one cat, who are generally more respectful of property than most humans. And yet, why is it next to impossible to find a place? Oh, there are a kazillion rentals out there, most do not allow any type of four legged creature at all, AND if they do, be prepared to pay boo-koo extra. Now we do not mind this, and understand that there are many unrespectful humans and animals out there and that these extra fees help the landlord protect his property. What about protection for the people who are paying your mortgage? That's right, your TENANTS.
It is shocking to see a picture, (become optimistic even) read the advertisement, and then actually go and see the property. Rentals ask for $1000 down/ $400 cleaning fee and yet leave the person paying all of the fees drawers full of old food, appliances not cleaned, or screens coming off of doors and windows. One place advertised a seperate garage...and neglected to mention that most of the roof had caved in.
Seriously, if I was in "the dating mode" I would be VERY scared to meet someone on line if they represented themselves as "honestly" as people who advertise their rentals do. More times than not, the pictures of the places are old perhaps taken before time had taken it's toll on it, or enhanced by a digital guru.
The search will continue.
SOMEWHERE there has got to be a place to call home where doors work, has decent sized rooms, neighbors who are not crazy (crazy in a good way, not scary crazy) a yard for our dog to sniff around in peace and windows for our cat to watch birds from. That's not too much to ask is it? Oh and perhaps hardwood floors. We will pay our rent on time, keep it clean, practice our music at respectful times and even plant flowers in the yard.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


What is your definition of a Fresh Start?

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end”….

Doors close and a window opens (or so they say). It seems that sometimes the doors in my life have not only closed, they have friggin slammed shut, hitting me on the backside, propelling me forward, but… to what?

I know. Another door may, possibly, o.k. WILL open (usually one that I have not considered going through) and I find myself wondering if I really want to go through this "stuff" again. I would like to say that I take a "leap of faith", however it is more like I stick my foot in the water and wiggle around a toe or two before figuring out that I just need to CANNON BALL it and jump in.

I have lived in fine homes and been comfortable financially. I have also had to sell my favorite possessions on Craigslist to pay rent and used a credit card to buy groceries. Faith gets me through the grey times. I call them "grey" because no matter how bad it seems I have never looked at a situation as being totally dark. Something deep inside tells me that with just a glimmer of hope the grey will continue to lighten and things WILL get better. Eventually.

The animals that share this world with us do not vex themselves as to whether they will have a home to live in or a meal to eat. Granted, sometimes these things are difficult to obtain, however they KNOW that they will be provided for. I wish I was more animal like at times. I guess all I can do is to remind myself that the next time I begin to use energy to stress or worry about what could, would or should be I just need to step outside and watch a bird zooming or a squirrel leaping from tree to tree and hopefully that will snap me out of my crazy human thinking.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


You KNOW you are in a committed relationship when you let your partner share the bathroom with you.
It's easy to share the bedroom (well for most), the living room, easybeezy, the kitchen has it's fair share of "I do it this way moments", however the bathroom, now THAT'S another story.
It's funny how when a relationship is new a person spends much of their time attempting to pretend that they are not 100% human...example: burping, passing "gas", snotty sneezing and doing other slightly gross but very necessary body functions. Unlike the animal kingdom, we DISGUISE the way we look and smell until we can be sure that the person we are trying to impress is hooked.
And then it happens. You let a little "toot" and own up to it, maybe turn red, or giggle it off, however the main point is that you actually let it out instead of knotting up your insides trying to hold it in. That's the first step, and I believe a truly big one. At this point you know that the relationship is progressing to the point of telling your significant other that they have food in their teeth, a bugger in their nose, or that they have a bad case of halitosis. O.K. maybe that will take a bit more time.
So you are sharing living quarters and starting to relax. Except in the bathroom. Some couples never actually get to the point of sharing the bathroom, and that's o.k.
I'm not talking about figuring out who gets what shelf in the medicine cabinet, or even the save water shower with a friend concept. You know where this is going. That's right, the ability to actually be able to use the toilet WHILE your partner is in the shower or busy doing make up. This is HUGE.
So in pondering the benefits of living in a very small 700 sq ft, one bathroom, one closet apartment I have come to the conclusion that it will either make or break a relationship. Time tells all and as the expression goes, you can run but you cannot hide.... Who needs a diamond ring to "tell her how much you care". If your partner has endured all of the above and more and STILL thinks you are beautiful/handsome/awesome...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Domino Effect

It happens all the time. With me it usually starts out first thing in the morning. Forget the "good intentions" of beginning my day, waking up slowly and easing into it with a bit of quiet reflection...
First the cat either decides to lick my arm (with her sand-paper little tongue) which in turn wakes up the dog, whom we REALLY try not to wake up until at the very EARLIEST 5:45 a.m.
Which then means the dog will start her click-click click-yty pacing until someone gets her ready to go outside.
All of that wakes up MY own addiction for a cup of Stumptown coffee...SO might as well stay awake, feed the dog and start the coffee.
It doesn't end there.
Remember the afore mentioned "domino effect"? Keeping that in mind I should know not to attempt something too technical like entering something in my planner and then deciding to White it Out. White Out is great, and is a remarkable invention, however one should note that if one drops an extra blob they should NOT use their finger to wipe it up. I now have FIVE fingers that have traces of whiteness all over them as the stuff does NOT rinse out well. It is not as evil as super glue, however it does stick and spread when it comes in contact with water.
Oh well.
I guess I could hope that this "domino effect" could turn into really good, great and fun things happening one after the other throughout my day.
For some reason it usually doesn't happen that way, does it?

45minutes later...
It, (being the White Out) is on the soap pump, and on the faucet handles, oh and I found a smudge on the door knob.
And so it goes.