Wednesday, May 28, 2008

3WW - Blurred, Illegal, Match

Sara would soon be graduating college and instead of feeling joy she felt like she was walking in a fog. Sara was a smart girl and had been accepted into a good law school. Her friend's would often tease her that she wasn't a lawyer type and she silently agreed. But she would always smile at them as she pictured herself driving around town in her Mustang convertible with her perfect match by her side. She would make her parents proud by having more than they ever dreamed of.

She had a great childhood that was full of love with a great emphasis on education. Sara was told how special she was on a daily basis and growing up her childhood was filled with "be all you can be, follow your dreams and grab the big brass ring." Her parents saved and sacrificed for her education so she could concentrate strictly on school. Before she left home all she knew was her family but when she returned on vacations she had become a visitor.

Sara had spent her four years of college being very bored. It was not the boredom you feel after work and play but a soul-sapping emptiness. It gnawed at her gut making her a thinking ghost. She saw no reason to take classes about Jane Austen, theoretical physics or ancient Greeks for a law degree. When she was not behaving outrageously with her pals she would space out in front of the TV. Politics left her cold as she surfed passed the casualties of war without a single pause. She was clinging to the superiority of the present to out shine the past and believing everything would workout in the end.

She felt numb because nothing moved her deeply and any elation did not last very long. Her friends would become a blurred piece of her past once they all graduated. She was drifting and did not like what she was seeing in the mirror so she experimented with illegal drugs as a salve for her emptiness. This kept her absence of longing at bay but throughout her days it was never completely gone.

Sara became a lawyer, wife and mother. She repeated the patterns of her youth with plenty of platitudes. Without direction and balance she saw that familiar emptiness reflected in her children's eyes but it was simply too late.

I have been engrossed in research of apathy in our young adults. Lions for Lambs inspired me to find answers. I wrote this fictional piece on one young adult that describes what I'm seeing. Not all young people feel this way but sadly many do. Boredom is the common denominator which could be caused by the decline of politics, community, confidence in God or reason and clinging to a weakening doctrine of progress.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Writer's Island

I had taken a few days away from my computer because it was a holiday weekend for Dave. He had been trying to shake fatigue from a bug all last week, so three days of much needed rain forced him to relax. Dave does not do well with vegging but since I have perfected the art form I made sure we were equipped. Snacks and lots of movies kept Dave from climbing the walls. We rented 6 movies and watched four TV movies in three days. Californians are not used to three days of rain at this time of year so we reverted back to winter weekend movie watching. God forbid we go out and get wet or cold!

I was inspired to return to my blog after the holiday by two of the movies we watched. "Lions for Lambs" was an amazing independent film that articulated my thoughts on the current state of American politics. Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise came together to make a smart, thought provoking film. It reminded me of the movie "Crash" and done in the same kind of way.

The other movie is "Coach Carter" with Sammuel L Jackson. A true story of a basketball coach trying to make inner city kids realize the importance of an education. What grabbed me was a paraphrased poem by Marianne Williamson recited by a student.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I was very moved by this poem and felt the need to share it in light of our political climate and in honour of our soldiers. I look forward to "The Return" of our soldiers and my wish to live in a "Parallel Universe" with no more war.

Photo by StockXpert

Join the island at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

3WW - Locked In

Delayed - Edge - Focus

Locked In

I heard him utter beneath his breath
I'd never want to live like that.

How would you know? I asked
with anger rising defensively.

That could be me one day living on
the edge locked deep inside.

I saw the man looking at the world before him
hearing its symphony of sounds.

Loved by family and friends, he had value
still a contributor to this world.

He has choices to give him focus
with technology as an ally.

He may not speak or move his body but
he can feel the wind brush his face.

His life might get delayed in its pace
but he has so much yet to do.

How do we know what we would do
until we are really there?

I was inspired to write this after watching the "Diving Bell and the Butterfly." I related to the character that was totally locked in his body. There is a big debate going on at the ALS site on whether or not ALS is fatal. Many patients on ventilators feel they are very much alive and living well. Others feel that is not really living, its a burden on family and a financial drain. I hope no one told Steven Hawking that because he just might find a way to deck them. It's a personal choice that we should get positive support in making. Many patients don't have supportive families and are given no hope to keep fighting for a cure from the majority of doctors. ALS patients are sent home with a time frame and hospice while similar illnesses are sent home with rehab and resources. It saddens me greatly! This is not so much of a poem as it is a commentary because that's just what came out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Meme Just for Giggles

My buddy giggles at has tagged me for a meme. I don't remember who dislikes doing them and who doesn't mind so I will invite everyone to join in. Let me know if you do it because I love reading them. ;)

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was a single mom of two girls and my oldest was getting ready to enter high school. I took a leap of faith and bought my first home. I moved to the country to get out of the city and find us a better life. I didn't know a soul but we made it work. Both girls are still there and have yet to forgive me for moving to the mountains.

2. What are 5 things on your "To Do" list?

- Clean green pollen dust that covers everything inside and out!

- Spend Best Buy coupons before May 30th or I'll be waisting over $100.

- Buy my youngest her 23rd birthday gift.

- Help Nikki with her "new house" separation anxiety issues. Doggie Prozac and training for us in a 30 day program by our new vet. If we pass she will be weened off the pills.

- Finish the books I bought. "Ascent from Darkness" and "The Pact."

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy? (In no specific order)

- Chips and salsa

- Starbucks frappachinos in the 4 packs

- My own trail mix of unsalted almonds, cashews, banana chips, yogurt covered raisins and dried cranberries.

-Bagels with fruit cream cheese but I first grill the top with butter.

-Hot artichoke dip with fresh sourdough bread.

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.

Pay off my house so Dave could retire, hire a caregiver that is a good chef, help Pam with her caregiving needs and start a camp for kids with family members who have chronic illnesses.

5. Name some places where you've lived.

California has always been my home. Hayward, Union city, Sunol, Fremont, Livermore, Tuolumne and Pollock Pines are my cities.

6. Name some bad habits you have.

-Hard to forgive people who continually give me grief and there are a few.


-I can swear like a sailor

-You can read my face and the tone in my voice even though I think your oblivious as to how I'm really feeling.

-I can be negative and cynical about our countries choices and intolerance.

7. Name some jobs you've had.
-Waitress (my favorite!) in high school.

-Passenger agent for an airline in college.

-Accounting for a small business while having babies.

-Sales assistant in office supplies while struggling in my 1st marriage.

-Account Manager, keeping Apple Computer well stocked in office supplies as a single mom.

-Retired stay at home mom from Jr high until they flew the coup. (Hardest job by far!)

8. Name those whom you are tagging.

This is a way to get to know each other so give it a try. ;)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "Soar/Sore"

Today I soared because after two summers I'm back in the pool...yay!!! This actually helps fight muscle loss and I can't stop grinning that I'm back in the water. It was not a simple task to do cheaply in the mountains. I can't climb a ladder, I must have a water temperature of 80-82 degrees and I need a good space to strengthen my torso. Too hot and it will not work for my body. Here is what "the man" came up with.

A $300 15' round 48" pool with filter and thermal blanket from Wallyworld was placed in the garage. He then rigged a plastic lawn chair from a ceiling hoist to raise me up and over the pool. The biggest problem was the temperature of the water. The cost to heat this watery big guy was too high for us and solar would be difficult in a garage. Hence the cute SKIN TIGHT Roxy wet suit for $200, plus boots. The trick we were told was to fill the wetsuit with warm water while squeezing into it. This keeps the cold water out and me warm. Most scuba divers just pee in their suits but not this girl and not in my pool. I was full of water as I waddled to my chair ready to soar through the air (up 4ft and over 1ft, so sue me).

On the first go the chair tilted so Dave swiftly got in, fully clothed, to catch me before I slipped off the chair (yes, I cried like a baby but I can't swim). Adjustments were made as I worked out happily, until I felt a tiny bit of weakness. The key is to listen to that signal and stop. I did stop but then I floated, splashed and played. Nikki needed to see mama but she no likey water and stopped whining. It was pure heaven in that water! When I have my dumbbell floaters I feel normal again. I wish I could describe the feeling of moving through the water as if cured. In the water I'm not disabled and it reminds me there is still hope. I don't have to sit and wait for the cure, I can swim to it. $500 bucks plus chemicals is very cheap to keep me walking. Thank you Dave! (He kept the garage closed in case it did not go well. lol)

I will fall asleep tonight with a big smile on my face and I will welcome being SORE tomorrow...WooHoo!

To read others go to

Friday, May 16, 2008

Writer's Island - "Impulse"

I have discovered this week that as I have gotten older I am calmer in a crisis and can think fast (who knew?). We awoke yesterday morning to a power outage during our news and coffee. We did not bat an eye over this as we went about our morning routine, not realizing the power pole had started a fire. As the planes began to fly overhead we became concerned and frustrated that without power we were unaware of the location of the fire (note to self: buy a battery operated radio). Dave took a drive to check it out and returned in a hurried state. "Get dressed we have to get ready to leave." The fire was in our canyon as the wind was continuing to howl. You could walk a few houses up the street and see flames moving up the opposite canyon wall spreading our way. He asked "what do you want to take?" I calmly recited a list as if I'd done this a hundred times before.

Important papers
a few days of clothes
three family heirlooms

His impulse, bless his heart, was to save the computer for my blog but I said leave it thinking I could retrieve it. We received a phone call on the streets that were to be evacuated and we were not on the list but we were told to be ready at a moments notice. Dave's impulse was to water the fence and trees keeping busy but mine was to sit by the phone (luckily we still had a wall phone) reflecting.

I was sitting there wondering how I would have done if Dave had been at work. The one neighbor who knew I was disabled was on vacation. My impulse was to plan in my head what I could do for myself in a similar crisis. Dave was obviously thinking the same thing as he headed down the street amidst the chaos and met a lady who insisted on exchanging numbers in case I ever needed help in the future. When the containment got to 40%, with the evacuations lifted, I told Dave to go ahead and go to work. He left names and numbers in case the fire got out of hand.

As I type this they are still keeping a close eye on the fire's location and the power has been restored. The wind died down during a critical time but picked up again during the night keeping us vigilant. The wind blew in our favor and no houses were lost. Living in the forest is a gamble but the firefighters really know their stuff and the lake provided lots of water drops. :)
Fire is an impelling force that brings out an instinctive mode of survival. Dave went a little spaz and I was calm so we balanced each other out. We were "baptised by fire" and feel blessed.

Photo by StockXpert
Join us on the island at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

3WW - Flash Fiction

Average - Neck - Scratch

Ella had never been more afraid of anything in her life. If she left her marriage could she stand on her own? He had always told her that no one else would ever want her. She had believed the observations he had spoon fed her over the years. She ate like a bird to remain painfully thin but he always found a flaw. They had a beautiful house on the beach, she was given everything she could ever need, so why did she feel less than average. Ella was beginning to see herself as he was painting her in his verbal lashings. She was lonely within her marriage and knew at her core that there must be more.

Adam threw his key's on the table as he went through the mail. He noticed she was at the kitchen sink gazing out at the ocean deep in thought. She looked beautiful as he watched her silently from the other room. She looked to be preparing his favorite lamb dish. Damn, he was a lucky man! He turned toward their bedroom calling out "I'm home," casually over his shoulder. He would eat his meal without a word of praise and retire to his den.

Ella had slithered out of bed around midnight and tip toed out to the beach. The moon seemed to light up the shore illuminating her naked flesh. She found a beautiful flower along the path feeling compelled to pick it. She held the fragile flower close inhaling its fragrant beauty. As she reached the water's edge the waves were washing over her feet as they began to sink into the sand. She arched her neck towards the sky and began to pray for strength. Standing against the breeze, defying its power, watching as the tide carried away her fears.

Adam awoke to an empty bed assuming that Ella was making his breakfast. He sniffed the air but did not smell her delicious coffee brewing or the aroma of her cooking. Puzzled, he stumbled out of their bedroom into an empty kitchen finding only a note. His name caught his eye as he tried to focus on her distinctive chicken scratch. His heart dropped to his gut as he read the impact of her words.

"I have freed my heart, farewell, Ella."

He fell into the chair, confused, trying to understand why his beautiful Ella would leave him.

Art found here

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Water Feature Almost Done

This is how we left it two weeks ago.
(Click photos to see details)

This is after this weekend.

The red dirt needs gorilla hair bark so we don't track mud in the house. Dave wants more plants so we need irrigation for this area. The seating and fish will be last and that's when I will get a final shot with the lighting. The sound in the video does not capture the sound very well but you will get the gist. The guys worked hard and did a great job! A big hug and thank you to my brother Patrick!

I'll be away from my computer for a few days. I'll be out on the deck with Steven Wilson's book "Ascent from Darkness."

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

3WW - Tanka/Haiku

Cautious - Human - Maybe

I had to escape
looking for serenity
I'm only human
cautious of my sanity
maybe I'll go a fishin.

Gliding through ripples
table for two glistening
webbed pair paddle by

I've been away from the computer and hanging out at the lake, fishing. The sun and light breeze were heavenly. I caught my first fish of the season and boy was he tasty on the BBQ. I'm watching the garden waterfall grow more beautiful each day but sadly it's not done yet. Gorilla hair bark, irrigation and seating are coming soon. I'm still going to sneak in a shot even though my brother wants me to wait. ;) Photo from this morning by me. :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "Family"

Family has come to mean different things to me as I have grown. I grew up in a "normal" family in the 60's and 70's with a mother, father, younger brother and my maternal grandparents. Both parents worked and we joined the generation of latch key kids that were exposed to way too much TV. There was not a lot of communication or affection but I felt we were a typical middle class family. Material things were important and a spanking was still acceptably the norm. We were not the "Cleavers" but we took family vacations, ate together and my brother and I fought like normal siblings. Being the oldest and female I had extra responsibilities, like housework, and stricter boundaries but it was a stable family.

Once I had my own family I wanted to do better but I ended up following similar patterns of my own upbringing. I craved affection yet I had to learn to give and receive it. In my search for romance and affection I married with eyes wide shut. I had married into a HUGE Latin family and that was a big change coming from a small family. Even though I had no choice I chose to work. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom because I felt I could do both like my mom did. I had always wanted a bigger family growing up but my first marriage made me re-think that. Large families can be fun but the grass is not always greener on the other side. My marriage did not last but my two little girls were wonderful additions to my new version of family.

My parents divorced after twenty two years of marriage and my mom drown about six years later. My grandmother died of cancer and grandpa of dementia soon after my ALS diagnosis. My family was fading away when I needed them most but I discovered a new kind of family.
I learned that friends can become a part of your family but I had to put aside my pride and receive. Reaching out was so contrary to my personality but it became a necessity. I was rewarded with beautiful friends and given a second chance at love with Dave. Who says you can't pick your family? My definition of family has evolved through my own experiences and I'm truly grateful for the people in my life who love me.

Photo is StockXpert

Friday, May 02, 2008

Writer's Island - "Identity"

She awoke to the neighbors blower at 7:45 in the flipping morning. She felt the sweat on her neck and back as she realized she had pushed the covers off her body in the night. It must have been at least 57 degrees in her room as she rubbed her chilled bare arms. She was amazed that her body did not wake her to say "hey I'm freezing here" but it usually didn't.

Shuffling off to the bathroom she felt that occasional tick of pain shoot up from behind her ear threatening to reach her head. She new from past history what steps must be taken before the throbbing started setting the migraine in motion. Four aspirin, lots of strong coffee and a hot shower was going to start this day. "Not today" she said under her breath.

Brushing her aging fragile teeth, like a thousand other mornings, she caught her reflection in the mirror. The grey hairs were spreading like ground cover dulling her bright blue eyes. Her once tanned smooth skin was showing splotches of browns and her eyes were circled in blue. "When did this happen?" she asked the empty room. She never minded getting older with the sagging body parts, a tummy and some character lines but things were changing. She took once last glance and simply looked away.

Having beaten the migraine she dressed for work. Irritated at the cat for wanting attention, pissed that her green shirt was still in the wash and annoyed that she was going to be late did not brighten her mood. This was simply not the well organized morning person she usually was. This was not just a bad day because this was becoming a thing. She felt like she was losing control of who she was bit by bit.

She felt her identity slipping away but it was not a constant. It would simply creep into the night and steal her away but always brought her back within a couple of days. When these things would emerge she found it hard to fall asleep but not from the lack of being tired. She would often stare at the ceiling feeling like she was at a precipice. One night it simply hit her, she was going through "the change." Relief washed over her as everything came together.

This was only a transition like in her adolescence. That hadn't been too bad plus she got a great figure out of the deal. This next transition will be tougher but with the wisdom she has gathered it will be empowering. A new life was beginning to emerge from her body and she wanted to embrace the change. She rose from her bed and crept outside in her bare feet. Standing under the light of the full moon she inhaled deeply and swayed to the rhythm of nature.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday Love - "Going Green Dipey"

I'm so very impressed with Dave's daughter, Jolene, for being a stay at home mom of three boys and yet still finding time to help save the planet. She does many things to help the environment but making her own cloth diapers is one step I had not heard of.

They are made with a flannel material that is colorful on the outside with a white flannel on the inside. It has an absorbent inside liner that is like a washcloth folded into 3rds and it is fastened with a Velcro strip. Baby Warrrick is now 3 mos old and wears these during the day. He has very sensitive skin at the legs with the plastic diapers but she still uses them a night and for outings due to leakage. They are washed and hung out to dry in the breeze.

Here is Warrick wearing mommy's love diapers. ;

Here is a cute tush that is doing his part to go green! Great job Jolene!

Love for a child and the environment makes the perfect "Love Thursday" find!