Monday, September 15, 2014

"Where is the Love?"


I was nine years old when the Watts Riot erupted in the neighborhood that my Grandmother Neva lived in. We were living in white suburb-e-a Anaheim, California (home of Disneyland!) and I had never heard the term "riot" before, so had no idea what one was when I heard my parents speaking of it after a phone call to my Grandmother.

It did not sound good.

The (predominantly black/hispanic) Los Angeles neighborhood that my father and mother had grown up in, was under siege with residents unable to leave their homes for fear of being caught in the crossfire of the riot. The news stated that no one who lived or worked in the area were safe from the violent release of suppressive feelings that had long been a part of living in Watts. The looting and physical violence affected everyone and everything in its path.

My dad knew he needed to drive into the city to pick up his mother and remove her from the danger, however, even he, (tough Irishman that he was) seemed a bit unnerved as to how he would make it to his mother's house safely. Being a "ginger" he knew he would stand out driving through the rioting streets.

It was decided that perhaps if I accompanied him, that would avert any problems.

After all, a father and his nine year old daughter would stand a better chance of making it to my grandmothers house unscathed than just a single white 40-something male driving through the area. (I always KNEW my parents had it out for me...)

This whole driving to rescue my Granmother (and her black next door neighbor) was long ago filed away under my "childhood events" that I thought had been forgotten until something, such as the recent events at Ferguson, Missouri, pushes them to the forefront demanding to be examined once again.

Wikipedia-ing the Watts Riot I was appalled to read that the very same situation that I had been a part of 49 years ago was happening in Ferguson, and had been, in communities through out the states. I knew that we citizens had a long way to go before this country could live up to it's (self established) name of "Land of the free..." it's just one of those facts that get filed away to the back of the cabinet unless you are directly affected by it. What a supreme tragedy that after all this time, situations like these are still such a part of who we are in this first world country.


Perhaps we all could use a refresher (or introductory) course asking ourselves..."Where is the Love?"

Change is more than long overdue.








Thursday, June 05, 2014


let the packing commence!
OK, there are some folks out there that have down-sized much more than we have. That being said, I still think that we can be considered in the running for some sort of award (as long as it does not take up any space) for doing our part to lesson our "foot prints" on this planet (and hopefully some of our debt as well)!
Last September (2013), after we had recieved a "nudge" (actually, it was more of a gentle boot) to vacate our Lake Oswego rental, we decided that it was as good as time as any to simplify our lives and our monthly bills. We had one month to find a new rental, one that accepts pets as well, and sift through our five year accumulation of stuff . Hoo-rah for Craigslist!!
We found a 408 sq ft studio in the way cool NW Portland. Some serious sorting of our, what we thought we had to live with, stuff commenced. We were aware that we would be squeezing two adults one dog and one cat into the studio, as well as host an occasional grand-munchkin slumber-jam. Our Lake Oswego rental had a bedroom, a bathroom, a laundry room (with my brand new washer/dryer front loading machines) a faerie room, a meditation room, an office, a living room, a breakfast nook, a plant sunroom entry way, a reading nook inbetween the meditation and faerie room a full size basement where we kept a drum set and our art easels...1300+ sq feet. AND we were there for almost five years. You get the picture...LOTS of stuff to consolidate and fit in a one closet 408 sq ft studio.
tip of the mountain of STUFF!
It was a bit difficult to begin with. Actually, it was tougher than "a bit". Choosing one spatula to keep, not three. One mixing bowl. Six dinner plates, not twelve, you get the picture. And our books!!! We LOVE our books! How does one decide which to keep and which have to go? Zoey the kat had to give up two of her favorite perches and get used to the fact that there was "no place to hide" in our new digs.
Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
Well we DID get quite a bit of our "dood-le-doos sorted. Some of them got sold, some donated, some given away to happy friends who of course always said..."if you ever want it back..." And now eight months after THE MOVE we are going through even more totes!! These last few are going to a pain in the hiney. LOTS of loose photos, picture albums and even more CD's than photos! I plan on picking out just my favorite songs from all of those CD's and copying them to my iTunes, if I didn't keep going down memory lane whilst doing these tasks I would get them done straight away!
And on that note I will sign off and contemplate how badly I want to reclaim some of our space back and get busy.


bed (with CTP's toys) is in middle of studio


Saturday, March 01, 2014

A Re-Write

Have you ever done something over and over and OVER...and you know it needs to change, but you have been doing it for sooooo long that wish as you might,
it. just. does. not. happen.
And perhaps you feel frustrated.
Or angry. Or sad. Or totally fed up with yourself, and yet the behavior continues?
I look in the mirror and say "Oh yea, that's me." And yes I do feel totally frustrated, angry, sad, and fed up with mySELF! :( One would think that with all of those negative emotions whirling and twirling inside of me that I could change, that I would WANT to change. Years of therapy, self talk and all that jazz have not managed to do the trick...YET.
The other morning during the first walk of the day with Kona the dog, I had a profound epiphany! You heard me, I am labeling it profound!
It was on June 19, 1965 that I was caught sneaking off to play one beautiful Saturday morning, BEFORE my chores had been done. When I finally arrived back at the house for a mid-morning snack, I was greeted? by my mother who was NOT in a snack provinding mood, (SMACK-ing would be a more appropriate assessment of the situation) Not knowing what punishment would be dealt out for my crime, my mother took a less physical route and instructed me to write a letter to her as to what I thought my appropriate disciplinary action should be. The letter was to include a list as to what my house hold duties were. At the time of said letter I was nine years old.
Since the letter IS 49 years old I will not make a copy of it to use in this blog (although my pensmanship was very impressive if I do say so myself) I will write it down verbatim:

June 19, 1965

All my jobs are sweeping doing all the dishes, clean my bedroom, clean the bathroom, make my bed, clean the house, dust. The time I should play is after all my work is done. And helping you with your work and helping the boys. What you should do when I don't do my work is weap me or make me stay in our yard for a month or two months or make me stay in my room for a coply of days or not let me watch T.V. for a week or not let me play with my toys for a coply of days or not let me ride my bike for a coply of days or make me go to bed at 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. or not pay me an allows for a long time.
The time I'm supost to do my work is in the morning before I go out and play.


Can you believe that I have had that letter with me for all this time?! It was given to me when I left home so that I would remember (like I could ever forget?) the proper order of how to do things, and that play before work is taboo. Well, after much distress over my inability to get the things done in my life that I really want and would love to get done, my epiphany told me that it was time for a REWRITE!!
So here goes:
28 February 2014

All my things that I love to do are talking with animals, sitting next to a nice tree, savoring a perfect latte,strolling in the sunshine, writing from my soul,loving myself. The time I should work is after all my things that I love to do are done.And having coffeetimes with Nate and hanging out with my grandmunchkins. What I should do when I don't do the things that I love to do is pet Kona or Zoey, or go on holiday for a month or two months or curl up in a chair and read for a coply of days or watch Sherlock or Star Trek for a week or let me play with the munchkins for a coply of days or let me ride my bike with Nate for a coply of days (sunny weather!) or make me stay in bed reading until 7am or 7:30am or treat myself to something new for a long time.
The time I'm supost to do things that I love to do is in the morning before I do any work.
My Munchkins!!!

bicycles, coffee and thee

Sunday, February 23, 2014


One might wonder what being Sherlocked entails. To be quite honest, I'm not totally sure, one thing I do know is that it involves me saying things like "the game is on!" or looking for clues in every situation I encounter. After Season Two wrapped up I felt an emptyness in my mystery musings. A trip to the public library produced an antidote to those feelings of loss. When I read, usually mysteries work their way to the bottom of my list for holding my interest. And yet, due to my recent introduction to the mystery genre, I soon found myself reading a YA (young adult) series called The Boy Sherlock Holmes by Shane Peacock. Not only was I reading the mystery series but enjoying them as well! I was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised. Six books later I felt that I had a fairly good grasp as to what made this intriguing character tick when he was a young lad roaming the streets of London. 

It, (the state of mind of being Sherlockedstarted innocently enough when I first started watching the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes several years ago. Each season consists of three episodes (which are actually just like mini-movies). The Sherlocked hook was set. 
Season Three (the most recent Sherlock presentation from the BBC) was a wild ride of excitement and as always, did not disappoint. As luck had it, Omsi (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) complemented the season with an excellent International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes!
I realized after visiting the exhibit that I was sorely wanting in my knowledge of the man they call Sherlock Holmes. The exhibition was well done, interesting and worth the visit. What would of turned it into one of the most AMAZING exhibitions that I had EVER had the joy of visiting, is if I had read Sir Arthur Conan Doyles stories FIRST, and not relied on my televison only knowledge. Hence began my quest to read Sherlock Holmes the Complete Collection to help me through the end of Season Three. As I read and savor this collection, my ever-evolving condition of being Sherlocked flourishes with each page.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



Yesterday I was able to go see a doctor and a psychiatric nurse to discuss meds, my health and where I go from here without the ginormous worry that I cannot afford the tests that need to be done!

It was a big deal.

I know this sounds corny but I cried tears of relief when I got the letter in the mail saying I was in the system to start receiving health care. I even had to share my good news with the people sitting next to me on the streetcar.

For the past several years I have lived with chronic pain 24/7. It wakes me up every two to three hours. Imagine having an infant that wakes you up with colic except you are the one who feels like crying. When I sit down to write, my arms and legs go numb. Sometimes, various parts of my body like to send sharp shooting pains that can stop me in my tracks. Oh, and I have a couple of teeth that are starting to feel neglected and are demanding my attention as well. And that's just for starters. It's not that I enjoy living like this. But when push comes to shove and a person has to choose between eating and paying rent or a visit to the doctor, healthcare gets put on the back burner or not on the stove at all.

I am grateful that I live in a country that cares that the water I drink is good for me. Or that the food my grandchildren eat is not laden with poison (for the most part). I know our country is not perfect by any means, but at least it is trying and luckily we are allowed to share our thoughts and take action if we feel strong enough about something. It seems so simple that there really is enough in this world to take care of it's inhabitants, but I guess the inhabitants need to agree that everyone deserves to be cared for.

In the meantime I will continue to try and do my part, however small, to help make someone elses journey a bit less difficult.

Metta Prayer

And I will give daily thanks that my own journey is being helped along with the Affordable Care Act.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Snowy Sound of Silence

It's snowing, here in Portland, and it's beautiful. The poor little plant buds that started popping up a couple of weeks ago did not think this would happen (actually those of us who call Portland home did not think so either!) Snow is a rare and wonderful gift...especially if you are able to walk in it, manage to stay warm and dry and thoroughly enjoy the quiet that only a fresh blanket of snow can create.
If you are one of the many who weather the winter season in snow country you possibly may have lost the enchantment of experiencing new snow. For those of us who it only visits every other year or so, it is truly magical. I especially like the snow days that accompany a heavier snowfall. Businesses and schools close, people on cross country skis or children being pulled in their little plastic bucket cones replace the usual cars on the roadways. And dogs go nuts trying to bark at and eat snow at the same time. All of the crazy, busy schedules that everyone is on come to a standstill (or at least a major slowdown) when winter weather plays her hand.
I love it.
Snow covers up the ugliness that happens to our planet when people do not take the time to care for it, blanketing it with crystal white beautifully sculputred mounds. And until it melts, the landscape and our souls are transformed by its pure beauty.
It's snowing, here in Portland, and it's beautiful.

Friday, January 24, 2014


I'm actually a bit nervous about the whole adventure (which is typically NOT me when it comes to doing new things) Will it go fast enough on the Interstate? Will I be blown across the lanes when a semi 18 wheeler zooms by?? The what-ifs and will-i's are getting to me this early morning. As part of our downsizing-get out of debt-simplfy "plan" we sold our one and only vehicle. Granted it was a money pit and the lucky guy who bought it (and subsequently paid off our auto loan) got a heck of a better car than the one we bought two years ago! Our studio is located in an area with a "walkscore" of 92! So that's exactly what we have been doing. Walking, riding the streetcar, the max (no busses so far). It's been great so far however today I have a doctor appointment that to ride a BUS (maybe 5 miles??) would take 86 minutes!!

Enter the Car2Go. We signed up and I will make my debut run with it this morning (hence the apprehension) My daughter will help out by picking me up at a designated car drop off spot. Sure hope I get that (where to leave it) part right! Ah-the anxiety of it all! At the very least it should be a blast to drive the little go-cart car (official name is Smart Car) And I am going to see my psychiatrist so if I-5 stresses me out too much she will at least be a calming factor in this little excursion.

Piece of cake.





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So This Is Christmas...

"So this is Christmas

And what have you done

Another year over

And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear one

The old and the young

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear..."

John Lennon

I am starting back in with my blogging with including my "Yearly Yodel" that I try to send out each year tofriends, family and anyone else who cares to read it as I write down my "musings" of the year gone past.I *wish* that I could justify/explain/figure out/ my looooong absence from writing this past year.

But I cannot.

There have been many changes in my life these past months, except one major change that NEEDED to happen.

Giving mySELF permission to pursue what makes my heart sing.

I AM working on it and am *hoping* with an emphasis on that word that these next few months actually see a transformation in how I manage my time.

OK back to the "2013 Yodel" & may the New Year ABUNDANTLY bless you and yours throughout the coming days.

Christmas 2013

Ah-December is upon us once again.

A time of year which can evoke mixed feelings amongst many of us. It would be a lovely world indeed if all of our feelings were warm and inviting like a toasty fire in the fireplace with a beautiful evergreen standing tall beside in all its glowing-wonderful-smelling-splendor.
Our joy, or our darkness usually depends on the circumstances that are swirling around us at the time.
I say..."Bah Humbug" (to quote the infamous Scrooge) not to Christmas but to the harsh judgements of ourselves that often happens during this festive time of giving and celebrating. Things like, what will people think about me if I cannot afford a nice gift for them or can't bake very well (or not at all) or that I do not "feel" as merry as it appears everyone else is...
You get the picture. What the "Bah Humbug" applies to is those thoughts that do NOTHING to contribute to ones enJOYment of the season. If you give them space in your head then there is hardly room to savor the magical moments that are happening all around you!
So...Bah Humbug to the bad to allow room for the good. It is out there if you only remember to allow it in.
Now time for the yearly yodel. We moved. Again. Downsized a bit this time as well. Instead of the 1400 sq ft cottage we were renting in Lake Oswego, we are now in the "Alphabet District" of DT Portland renting a 408 sq ft studio. Funny how it got a bit easier selling/giving away and tossing MANY possessions that we mostly stored or had a couple of. Bulk Costco purchasing is a thing of the past, and there is NO ROOM for nick naks (sp?) or other misc doodlidoos. We DO have a couch to offer visitors if one does not mind the togetherness that happens when living in a studio!
Kyle/Jessi and Carter (4 & 1/2) live in Portland which allows us plenty of coffeeshop get togethers and breakfasts out. Rona/Mark/Shiloh (13!!)/Isabelle (10) and Cameron(3 & 1/2) live in Forest Ranch Calif (near Chico) and luckily we have been able to go camping with them, spend Thanksgiving together and have the munchkins come stay with us. (yes, even here in the studio!) My mom also joined all of us up here in the colder damper NW for Thanksgiving as well!
Well that about wraps up 2013...
Hello 2014!! I'm hoping it's a good one.