day 201 – Peace Within

I reconcile the inexcusable and unforgivable moments of my life by remembering the positive segments and acknowledging the beneficial lessons.

I allow bitterness and resentment to slowly transform into sweet memories of flawed human nature that we all share, bringing me and all who share in the moment, gifts of love and caring.

Even though I must go through a process of grief, anger, and/or trouble… I also want to remind myself of the solution.

By accepting that resolution is always found in the context of love, generosity and open-heartedness, perhaps the suffering I put myself through will be shortened and the wisdom I acquire will be deeper felt.

Ahhhh, here is the peace I seek within.


day 200 – Unique Find

Have you ever found a new use for something old?

This morning on our walk, my friend (same gal pal who advised me to run now and get my Copper River salmon) and I saw a rusty table on the sidewalk obviously on trash/free/please take me away status.  We saw this same table two days ago and then I never remembered to pick it up with my car and bring it home.

Since it was still there and my friend thought it was darling and perfect for the yard and knowing that I’d probably forget to drive the car over and pick it up again, we walked it home.  She would have gladly taken it, since I hesitated, but she’s selling her home.

This table is made of iron and has no soft spots to grab on to.  This table is rusted and rickety, only useful for décor.  This table weighs at least ten pounds.  We joked we were getting our walk plus resistance training workout in.

Two crazy garden lovers who saw potential, loveliness and charm in something abandoned carried this table home in spurts.  It was an act of love and hope.  We walked about three quarters of a mile with it together, switching hands, places and avoiding banging into fire hydrants, bushes and mailboxes. She graciously carried it alone with both arms in the home stretch at the top of our downhill climb to my house.

We re-arranged the aged relic in about a half dozen places till we found the exact spot we both felt was

1) Filling a purpose or space.

2) Pleasing to the eye within its dimensions and in relation to the immediate environment it was framed in.

We did this using a keen eye for proportion and using our aesthetic appreciation for pleasing landscapes on our walks. It took seconds to agree on the appropriate placement.

She wanted me to send her a picture when I was done filling it with what I perceived to imagine, ferns and shade loving plants.  But after she left and I hurried into my car to visit Home Depot once again this week (I am in total garden mode), I realized what it needed was for me to collect all my weathered finds I had scattered all over my property, and place them in unison around and on top of this table.

Voila!Unique Find

 Reuse Recycle Restore

I am going to totally add some ratty, ‘seen better days’ wind chimes and hang them from the tree branches!

day 199 – Copper River Salmon

Right now, this fish is running upstream of Copper River, Alaska and being caught in record numbers.  It is simply the most delicious salmon you can ever eat.  I just sautéed one whole organic leek (sliced thin) and organic wild mushrooms in organic coconut oil. I covered the pan and seasoned and stirred around five minutes in. Then, I patted my very own seasoned salt mix, some organic turmeric and a dried basil rub all over six ounces of fresh wild caught salmon and dropped it into the leek/mushroom pan (I made room for the fish by moving the veggies in a clump to the side).  After about three minutes a side, (pan covered) the meal was done.  The entire prep and cooking took about 20 minutes. Mmmmm.  I should have taken a picture but I was famished and forgot.  No worries, the supermarkets will have them for the next two to three weeks and then, POW! They are gone!

So go get your Omega 3’s!

day 198 – 10 Lessons

I posted this about a year ago but I believe it’s good to revisit certain ideals, values and advice, for myself, especially if this is the way I want to live, behave and view the world.

10 Lessons Learned

1) Don’t take anything/anyone for granted or personally.  Everything/everyone matters but it is not my fault or responsibility to fix everything or everyone, only what I really have the power or influence to make better.  Wisdom knows this difference.  Use the serenity prayer.

2) Make every moment precious and be in the now.  Use this human body and mind as a tool to meditate with my breath and awareness.  Cultivate mindfulness and compassion for self in all I do.

3) Forgive everyone; this is for me, not for them.  That being said – I need to protect myself and have boundaries and it also doesn’t mean I approve of anyone’s bad or harmful behavior.

4) Let people, things, appointments, etc. that are cramping my style, go (see above).

5) Live authentically – find my true north and BE it – don’t apologize for my uniqueness, don’t diminish myself or aggrandize myself either.

6) Never pass up the opportunity to be silent or shut my mouth.  Pause. Share when appropriate or helpful.

7) Be of service to someone or something else.  It will take me out of my ego and it is my purpose and function.  Encourage, guide and support others along their path.  Freely give of the gifts the divine source has bestowed and come from a place of abundance and grace.

8) Find my spiritual path and grow moment by moment.  Every challenge is an opportunity.  Every heartache is a lesson learned.  Every joy is enhanced with gratitude.  Every action can be made sacred.

9) Be grateful – list 5 things daily.  Happy people are grateful people and those who are not, aren’t.

10) Make amends as soon as my gut and intuition tells me to.  This takes courage and constant, continuous, consistent self-reflection.

This might not help you, or you may already know all this, but for me I have to remind myself of the things I need to be reminded of.  None of this is original – it is ancient wisdom, not my own; it’s just some of what I have learned so far………..just passing it on.

Thanks to all my fellow human teachers for bringing this information to me in all forms and ways of instruction and keeping me accountable.

Marianne Williamson

“It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.”

— A Course in Miracles

day 197 – Memorial

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

-Joseph CampbellAs we unite in remembering those who have fallen for both just and unjust battles, and the innocent caught in the crossfire….May we enjoy this day and hope for every day, in Peace, Love and Harmony.  May we have no need for heroes, casualties or violence.  

May we see the world as one. Imagine


day 196 – Garden Fever

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms, Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.

Auguste Rodin

I have been gardening all day.  Muscles sore after an epsom salt bath.great satisfaction and expectationsTime to plant tomatoes and basil too!

day 195 – Expertise

What are you an expert at?  They say follow your passion and the money will follow.

I’m an expert reader.  Not fast, but I relish each and every well-placed word.  Unless I become a professional proofreader, which I tend to morph into as I read and question the spelling and even highlight errors if it’s my own tome, I don’t see myself making any profit off my enthusiastic poring over of literature and non-fiction texts.

I love books!  I love to read!  I peruse instruction manuals, lists, signs, newspapers, computer screens, magazines, menus, mail, and flyers of every sort – anything in print.

Ask me a question and I won’t say, “Google it!” like the generation I spawned.  Instead, I’ll go straight to my collection of reference materials and look it up the old fashioned way.

Let’s say you have an issue, a relationship problem or need a new way of looking at something… Have I got the book for you!  I will recommend and lend you the latest edition of what ails you.  Something in the third chapter fits your dilemma and gives you an exact solution.  I flagged and marked out the page for you, already.

Sometimes in mid conversation (and I know it’s rude and abrupt but I don’t want to forget), I will interrupt with something like, “that reminds me of the fictional character in a Daphne du Maurier’s melodrama I read on the beach back in 2004 and it’ s the perfect quote for your situation, let me go get it and find the page…” I cannot help myself.

I have three days of rest.  I intend on plunging and dipping into several books I am involved with on a personal level right now.

I’m on the verge of finishing up a collection of snippets from seasoned chefs called  Don’t Try This in Your Kitchen.  Every short story is by a different world-renowned gastronome and encompasses their worst moments in a restaurant kitchen.  Disasters, humiliations and crazy scenarios are witnessed.  The survivors live to tell us their tales.

Then, I just started today; I’ll Never be French (no matter what I do).  It’s a memoir of Mark Greenside’s stay in a small village in Brittany.  His awkwardness and lack of language skills humble and change him.  I believe the transformation greatly influenced his comical and self-effacing style of writing.  Many of his sentences, observations and comparisons are pure genius.

Meanwhile, on my kindle, I borrowed a lending library book for free because of my prime account.  It is named, Written Together, A Story of Beginnings, in the Kitchen and Beyond by Shanna Mallon.  Another memoir, it’s about a food blogger who meets her future husband on line via their love of all things delicious.  I am about 20% into it.  I especially enjoy reading my kindle in the dead of night.  I don’t want to wake my husband up when hot flashes or insomnia strike so the backlit screen allows me to read under the covers.  Reading is the only way I can go back to sleep and I always read before turning off the lamp on my night table stacked with books, sticky flags, pens, highlighters and pads.

I also travel to every office and airport with my kindle.  My go-to reading preference is a real live physical page turning piece of inked tree – but I love having the back up, convenience and pure marvel of tons of books at my disposal in a neat pink leather wrapped five by eight by half an inch thick portable rectangle.

I also have an extremely long novel by Isabel Allende I am simultaneously consuming whenever I seek to visit a 16th century Nueva Espana historical account of a Spanish woman who withstands the sea, plagues, battles, natives and coarse men only to rise to become the Vice royal’s wife of Chile, as told by her, in first person, at a ripe old age, reminiscent of the way the plot unfolds in the first movie I ever saw Dustin Hoffman in, Little Big Man.

This weekend will be about walking, lots of lounging, eating and a fair amount of much needed time to read in my own library and home.  I intend to bury myself and thumb through my literary encyclopedia by the pool, in bed and on my balcony, all my favorite reading spots – on my tummy, lying down, sitting with my feet up on an ottoman and on my side, all my best reading positions.

I am a reading expert because it’s my passion to read words, I enjoy language and I love the brilliant turn of a well put phrase.  There’s very little subject wise that doesn’t interest me and I’m never bored because my field of expertise is to amuse myself and savor the details.  Reading is my vehicle and it leads me to the practice of writing.

What are you an expert at ? and why? Ponder it.

day 194 – Massage

Guess who is getting a massage?My senior’s project was to learn how to give a massage.  After taking a class with me at a local massage school, her visual portion included this adorable series of the Cal Bear at “the spa”, getting a massage.

Look at those magic hands and how relaxed the Cal Bear seems.  Nothing like a day at the spa…

And relaxing with a good cup of herbal tea after.

I hope your long weekend is filled with humor and repose as well as respect and deference for the Memorial Day holiday.

day 192 – Crazy

What a crazy day/week.

I have one daughter interning in LA this summer.  Needed to find her an apartment, get her new glasses and clothes, then drive back to LA to sign the lease then return to move in all weekend.

Other daughter is graduating High School.  Senior projects, field trips, permission slips and special nights of awards, dinners, etc… PLUS, book flight, freshman orientation and hotel for Berkeley for the two of us, late June.

In the next few weeks, book annual checkups and teeth cleanings for both college bound offspring.  Graduation, baccalaureate, dinner at Medallion Awards, parties and eventually,  breathe.

My mom came back from Argentina after visiting for two months and I still haven’t had a chance to catch up in person, yet.  I have candy and chocolate gifts that hopefully will keep and won’t melt or be eaten by the time I get over there to pick them up.

I just feel a little flustered.   Everyone else seems to be taking it all in stride but for some reason I feel as if I just drank ten cups of coffee (and incidentally, I am down to anywhere from half to one cup only).

Mixed in of course is the emotion of it all coming to a head and the baby is graduating and soon flying away and my NY daughter is now going to live all alone in LA (which for some reason is more intimidating than the Big Apple to me).

I think it’s time for some tools from my anxiety bag of tricks.  Meditation, breathing, affirmations, exercise, music and quiet time alone are my instant prescriptions.  And, of course, writing it all out.  Welcome to my nerve wracked, self – induced apprehension blitzkrieg.  Ahhhhh.  This too shall pass.  All will be well.  Inhale, Exhale, slow and deliberately.

That was three hours ago.  I feel much calmer.  I practiced some of my interventions on myself and am much relieved.  I took care of the most immediate “to do” listings and am planning on a visit to my mom in a few minutes.  I do not do well under stress.  That is plain to me.  I give myself the ulcer. Every item on my agenda is nothing but enjoyable next to the hassles my wonderful husband lives through every day, just to make sure we are comfortable.  Here’s to my loving, adorable and unfortunately ‘under the weather’ husband.  Happy Anniversary Eve! Twenty four years tomorrow of pure bliss.