Saturday, March 21, 2009

Playing for Change ... Peace

Enjoy. Well done.

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Stand By Me | Song Around The World from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This is what is happening...........

I have avoided my reality for a while here in blog land. Sometimes it is just easier not to write about it and keep it locked inside hoping it will change for the better and I can write about things like Disneyland. That is not what seems to be going on. This is what is happening now.

I am watching Tess’s body break down. You know when you live with someone you don’t always notice the gradual physical changes the other person is having right away. Like when a person is dieting and looses a lot of weight. The changes may not be that obvious to those who have daily exposure to the dieter but when they do see them in a new tighter outfit, whew, the changes are obvious.

Tess has always been a full figured woman. Very Rubenesque in her appearance. She never seriously dieted so when she began loosing weight we both felt it was great as it medically would be good for her body. Now, she has lost over 120 lbs and I feel so sad about it. She has not been dieting but rather nausea has caused her not to be interested in food. Medication will do that, you know?

We are still in a waiting mode. My patience is running thin. We are waiting to see a new doctor. A Pulmonolgist. It seems as though there is still something else wrong with her body. Her body is seizing up on her. Everyday she has less mobility and recently she is beginning to look really frail to me.

Her need for my care is increasing. Making a simple sandwich takes all her strength. She tries, she wants to do for herself, just as we all do. She no longer can do it all. It is difficult for her to ask for help. She uses a walker when we are home and a wheelchair if we are out of the house. Every step she takes causes her face to grimace and the air around us fills with sounds of pain. Oh, the sounds of pain eat at me and cause me to detach from the reality of what is happening to her, to us, to me.

Someone told me that denial is not such a bad place to be. It’s not if you are not there too long. I didn’t realize how much denial or avoidance I was in until the other night when I reached over to touch Tess and tell her good night. I wanted it to be like old times. I wanted to be close and feel connected and when I touched her all I could feel was thin skin and bone. The forearm bone shocked me but the rib cage stopped me, just froze me in the moment. I laid there stock still, my eyes began to tingle, all those feelings I have been avoiding came rushing in. I began sobbing and sobbing. It was as if my reality was crashing in on me.

And what does my dear sweet Tess do? She wants to hold me just like she used to do. It didn’t seem right. I am healthy, strong, pain free; I should be the holder and not the one being held. I know it really doesn’t matter who holds who just as long as we are there for each other. I know this deep in my heart. It is as it has always been between us. We are there for each other.

I may blog more about this process in the weeks to come. My one escape has been the exercise regime I have kept to. While Tess is sleeping, I go to the gym and workout. The women down at the club are loving and caring. They know what is happening in my life and are there for me in so many ways. I am touched by their kindness. Today, I had a complete meltdown in the middle of my routine. Ironically, as Tess gets physically weaker I am getting physically stronger. I am overwhelmed with all that is going on in my life now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Birdhouse Photo Challenge

As we all know, timing is everything. Turns out that this is just an ordinary decorative birdhouse unless Miss Lizzy Lizard visits and you happen to be walking around the back yard with a camera. She popped out just as I took the shot, the funny thing is: I did not even know she was in there. Sometimes it pays to walk around with a camera hanging around your neck.

Click on the photo if you would like to see the birdhouse and Miss Lizard enlarged. I think her little foot hanging down is so cute.
Blogger's Community Birdhouse Challenge

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's age got to do with it?

Take deep breath. Now take another. Fingers touch keyboard. Shut world out. Be here now. Another deep breathe. Begin to blog. Let it flow.

I just described my last few seconds in a three-word sentence format. I read about that style of writing today. My style is more random. Sometimes my mind goes on and on and rambling nonsense fills me. I have so many choices to write about. I love and appreciate my mind and usually find my own company pleasant. Streams of consciousness’ have always been so important to me both personally and professionally. Be aware. Notice what you are feeling. That is some important stuff. Just talk nonstop for two minutes. You will get to it eventually if you trust the self and the process.

Now I am ready to share.

These past few days were filled with a mixed bag of surprises. I was reminded that I could be more accountable to myself and for myself. True.

I have been going to the gym for nearly four months now. A lot can happen in four months. I have been on a weight program. I feel much more balanced, my coordination has improved, I feel physically strong but overall much more alive all over. I have been 100% aware of everything I have put in my mouth these past few months. It is time.

I see now how I have avoided exercise because I feared more pain in my back. Guess what? I am pain free. I am not saying I don’t have a few aches and pains…actually, my feet cause me some pain and I am stiff in the morning when I wake up, but as I was told for the first time a couple of weeks ago, “Sheesh, you’re close to sixty.”

I hear an echo in my minds-ear. "CLOSE TO SIXTY."

I think I was in shock for a few minutes when my dear trainer said that to me. I thought, ‘Holy hell, I know that.’ Yeah, sure I knew it intellectually but there was no way I had ever really embraced it. I really don’t care much about age. I mean we all age and we can’t really stop it, so to hear “close to sixty” somehow felt like it had a negative connotation when we are helpless to change it.

My initial reaction was to laugh. I know that I laughed and joked. Under that laugh was the truth, I was not being very realistic about my expectations of my weight. I must have momentarily forgotten that I had given birth to two sons more than 30 years ago, spent the last 25 years adding a few pounds each year and avoided most situations that required too much physical exercise. Privately I feared I was turning into a sloth. When Tess got hurt, life changed for both of us. I am turning that around.

A therapist told me once that I hide behind my smile. Both my trainer now and that therapist then was right. I do tend to laugh when I feel sad or angry. Besides, I know I have a wickedly quick sense of humor and every now and again, I can dodge a painful bullet with a well-timed series of rapid-fire retorts or wisecracks. I know how to avoid my own discomfort.

You would think in my almost 60 years I would know better than to hide. To everything there is a time and season.

On Tuesday my BFF and I had our annual day at Disneyland. We have been doing this for about five years now. The first time we went to Disneyland together we were sixteen years old. We sang in the Christmas program as juniors and seniors in high school. Need I remind you that was more than forty years ago? We managed one year to miss the bus back to school because the Matterhorn broke down. It was a memorable event. Our parents were put out with us as they had to drive to Disneyland and pick us up at midnight.

This year we had just as much fun as we did back then. We rode the rides that make you forget how old you really are. Actually after we rode BFF's favorite one:

one of us said, “Let’s do it again.” A woman sitting at the exit of The Tower of Terror overheard the comment and said, “You sound like a couple of teenagers.” God Bless her. Meanwhile, BFF and I knew that the other was up for another go around.

After dropping 13 stories we decided to do the Screaming Roller Coaster which is my personal fav…

We can’t get enough of it. Of course, we ride it multiple times. Can you blame us? Wouldn’t you? I think the thing that we most appreciate about those types of rides is that we have absolutely no control over anything. Once a year, we ride with total abandon. Multiple rides. Multiple times. Screaming, laughing and acting our true age.

We were not done with Disneyland yet. BFF and I always dine at Club 33. Yes. It is a real restaurant at Disneyland and it is private. Read about it. It is special. Too bad Walt never saw it finished. I only know a handful of people that have eaten there. It's over the top and it's yummy. My weight management program was put on hold for that meal. I stuffed myself. It was a buffet dinner so there was a little of this and a little of that. It is wondrous and elegant, not like the hot dogs we ate at sixteen, more than forty years ago.

Since I have already burned off the additional calories, I consumed that night I will share a bit of the evening offering. I personally had: 2 lobster tails, crab claws, shrimp, Thai beef salad, fresh kiwi, strawberries, pineapple and various melons, huge yellow and red tomato slices with thick cream cheese slices, lox, asparagus salad, Caesar salad, NY steak, 2 lamb chops with horseradish and mint jelly, fresh yellow beans and baby carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, Mickey Mouse pasta with Alfredo sauce. I was stuffed. Who wouldn't be? I had a cup of coffee and raspberry mousse, passion fruit cake, macaroons, cheese cake, rolled chocolate straws, and glazed pecans. I avoided the chocolate fountain only because I would have been sick. Anyway it is a once a year splurge that is without a doubt a 5 star experience. I am grateful I don't have to pay for any of it.

Definetly a special time. BFF really knows how to spoil my inner child.

Maybe after I am sixty I won't have such a voracious appetite and I doubt my inner child will ever age. I wonder, what does age really have to do with anything?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blogger's Winter Photo Challenge

Our WINTER challenge starts today & ends on Thursday Feb. 26 @ 9PM EST. This challenge is about WINTER, could be something representing winter, a snow scene, snowflake, snowstorm...... you may use a file photo, but it must be your photo.
Please follow guidelines.
To Join in click here: Bloggers Photo Challenge

Click on the photo if you would like to see it supersized.
After my step dad died, in 2002, I spent a year in western New York taking care of my mother. I am a Southern California girl and this was the first time I experinced the four seasons. My mother lived out in the country and every day was filled with things city folk just don't see. I did my best to photograph everything I saw that year so I would never forget them. This sunset was taken a few yards from the entrace to my parent's place about 50 miles south of Rochester.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Palm Trees and Snow

While I was out and about today I found myself on the 5th level of a parking stucture with a fantastic view of the snow covered mountains here in southern Calif.
Do you think we have enough palm trees?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Close-Up Photo Challenge

Macro is Close-up Photography

In this Challenge we are looking for Close-up or Macro images.
It is capturing something, usually small, at a close range, & seeing things at a different viewpoint. You can use a macro lens, macro settings...or just get as close as you can, but make sure your subject is in focus.

I love macros photos. Especially when I they give me the feeling of being in another world. This flower has so many different worlds that I just got lost in it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Courage Campaign

Ken Starr -- and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund -- filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and attempting to forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year? The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, 2009, with a decision expected within the next 90 days.

The Courage Campaign has created a video called "Fidelity," with the permission of musician Regina Spektor, that puts a face to those 18,000 couples and all loving, committed couples seeking full equality under the law.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

If you go to Courage Campaign you can sign the petition to stop this shameful attempt to interrupt loving people's happiness.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blogger's Community Photo Challenge Food

Cherry Tomato
We have a few Challenges still going on, but our bi-weekly challenge starts today & ends on Thursday Jan. 29 @ 9 PM EST. Our Poll will begin on Friday, Jan. 30th.
This week's Challenge is FOOD! So you may cook, bake, or just take an interesting shot of anything that we eat. Can be growing on a plant, can be placed on a decorative plate, as a still life image..... Can be just fruit in a dish. Try to be creative, make sure you have plenty of light, & again keep a steady hand when snapping the shutter....

This is Digit and he loves homegrown cherry tomatoes. It was growing on a plant in the backyard until he picked it himself.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

America's Song

I like this new song.
From The Oprah Show

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Feeling Better Now

Deep sigh... I am having a difficult time pulling myself out this thing called depression. I call it a thing because I want to separate from it. It has hovering for a few weeks and now that I am physically feeling better, I find myself emotionally zapped. During the time my back was injured there were many things that I keep up on that had to go by the wayside, so my house is in need of a little TLC.

My back is feeling 100% better. The only way I know how to explain my back is to say that my lower back is unstable. It slips out and I am in pain and cannot bend over to do some of the other things that I usually take for granted. I injured it about 7 years ago and my life has certainly slowed down since then. If it was not for this computer, I am not sure what I would do to occupy my mind. Only so much TV a person can stand.

I like TV but I am getting sick of it. As I think about it, TV was not really a huge part of my adult life until I hurt my back a few years ago. Anyway…

What have I been doing?

I have played a lot of online poker since that did not require much thinking and I could sit and alternate heat and ice on my lower back. I am sick of poker right now too but that is only because it was mostly what I sat here doing.

I read 100s of blogs. Wow! There sure are a lot of interesting people sharing their lives.

I went to the chiropractor more times than I want to think about. Each time I would have some relief for a little while then my back would slip back out. It took several weeks to get it back place.

There was a flood in Ace’s garage. All of the contents of Max’s house are being stored there and unfortunately, the entire garage had to be emptied in order to reach the broken pipe. I had walked back to Ace’s for dinner, saw water under his truck, and thought his AC might be leaking fluid. I mentioned it to him and he assured me his truck is in A1 condition.

Later he walked over to my house to get something and when he got back to his place, he called me in a huge panic. “MOM, big problem. The whole garage is flooded.” Max came over and for almost 4 hours, we unloaded the garage. It was dark and I held the flashlights. Plumber came the next morning and fixed the pipe. PINTA.

Many boxes from my mother’s estate were also in Aces garage so I asked my sons to walk them to my garage so I could tend to them this year. I have avoided it for a long time and it does not seem to be going away. She was a major crafter and had 100s of books that I need to sort. Keep, eBay, recycle to library.

Ace got a ticket for parking in the alley in the middle of the night. I never knew it was against the law to park in the alley. We are going to fight it because of the flood.

My car has been at the body shop and I am driving a loaner. The loaner got a ticket from street sweepers because the code enforcement man could not see the handicapped placard that is in plain view. I hunted him down and he said he would make it go away. Still upset me for a while.

I was invited to be in the Posse this week. Seems like my alter ego, Sierra Dawn met up with the rest of the posse over at The Starr Ann Chronicles to fight off the bad men bloggers who are trying to shut down the lesbian bloggers.

I sat outside with Tess for a while today. The weather was almost early summer warm. We have been having hellacious winds and now a little heat spell. I told Tess that tomorrow I would work in the yard. Prune my roses and copper tree. I am not going to overdo it, but I know the opposite of depression is I am going to get busy.

Earlier today, I found this old book in my mother’s things and when I opened it, the picture at the top of this post caught my eye. The book was an old Magee Reader by Anna Magee of NYC. Copyright 1920. Ginn and Company. The illustration is by Ethel T. B. Baines and Eugenie M. Wireman. It predates Dick and Jane readers. I love to look at well-illustrated children’s books. This particular book also has a lot of fairies throughout, which surprised me for a school text book from back in the day. Old school for sure.

That is just a bird’s eye view of my unproductive week.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Why Did You Start Blogging Part 3

Robin is an ex client who was transfered to the midwest several months ago. She emailed me asking about a site that helps you set goals(for profit). Here is my response to her. After I wrote the email I thought it partially answered the question "Why Did You Start Blogging" that I addressed back in October and November. I have a few more reasons and will write about them in the coming months. Maybe.

Hi Robin,

No. I have never seen that site before. I looked at it and it is structured like a MasterMinding could be powerful if you do it. That seems to be the problem with people...they start something and do not finish it or they want something and they stop before they get it.

Are you looking for support? Or accountability? Goal setting and keeping goals requires both for some people.

Along those same lines of getting on track and staying on it..., I started a blog and I like that process. I write about whatever happens to come out when I sit down to type. I have found that if I plan something too much I tend to avoid it for a various reasons. So for me, it is just more openness to the process of blogging. When I first went into the field of psychology, I remember this type of communicating being referred to as a, "stream of consciousness.” I just start typing and have no idea where it will lead me. I can’t edit too much or I would never write anything either. I have learned a lot about myself through blogging.

I am surprised that anyone reads my blog but there are people that do. I feel supported from people out there and I give support right back, not always the same people involved in the exchanges but neither is it that way in real life. I doubt I will ever meet anyone who's blog I follow or anyone who follows mine, although, as we know, anything is possible. One thing is for sure, they all seem like incredible people who write much better than I do.

I am honest with my feelings and I think that is what makes blogging so rewarding. At first, it was hard to share anything that made me feel vulnerable but I have now written from the centermost part of my being and felt relieved to have a place to share those deep feelings. Clicking ‘publish’ can be powerful in many ways too. I have never felt judged by anyone out there. It is a place to sort through feelings. Actually, it is like free therapy- you know all the answers are inside don’t you?

Blogging takes effort and I find it to be an interesting exchange of energy. It is what works in my life right now. I write about whatever suits me for the day...affirmations, care giving, being in a relationship, my mother, being a lesbian, being me, being honest. I try not to put any pressure on myself about blogging either. I have my own built in filters and am well aware of the risks. I choose to risk rather than not help myself with what the Universe has provided. I hope you don't think me condescending to mention quietly that we are all living our own soap opera, comedy, drama, all the time anyway, so why not be real with it? Blogging has become part of the life adventure for me.

I have to admit, I am more of a reader than a writer but there is definitely a connecting the dots thing that happens in cyberspace. You know that I believe all of us are both teachers and students to each other in all of our relationships. People are so interesting and have such varied viewpoints on any given subject. I have some fabulous teachers. Anything at all in the whole world you are interested in, I guarantee you that, there is blog about it and it not there will be one soon. Like attacks like you know. We all have something to contribute.

Hope I didn’t overload you.


What do you think is the best part of blogging?