Y2 – Day 252 – I Remember Paris

OMG – I cried my eyes out when my daughter forwarded me pictures of Paris!  The briny wet drops just began streaming down my face after welling up and filling my eyes.  I did not expect that.  I did not anticipate her showing me pictures she took that were clearly a retrospection of our stay, ten years ago.

She returned to our luxury, three story apartment we rented in the 4th arrondissemnet right across the street from the Louvre. She artfully captured our residence from the outside, at the Palais Royale and its gardens and square.  She re-visited Notre Dame and the grounds at the Louvre and some other familiar sights.  The gloomy, overcast weather remained intact on her unedited photographs, as if it were the past haunting me, luring me, transporting me, back to Paris – and time.

She was able to enjoy a crepe by a magazine stand, taking a selfie of her delicate morsel in front of touristy periodicals, and my heart broke from times gone by.  I remembered how incredible it seemed to be able to enjoy a street side, sweet filled crepe with my children.  How strange how time flies right by, and here she was, sending me mementos now, of her adventure and visit, re-tracing the places we took her to, but recreating it years later without holding on to my hand, not needing her parents to cross the boulevard.

My first and only trip to Paris, my childhood and lifelong dream, was back in April of 2004, thanks to my husband arranging it for us as a family.  Her second stop in the City of Lights was just a few days ago.  I was 44, my first time in Europe, ever.  She was ten.  Just so bittersweet to receive a reminder of how fortunate we all are, but the minutes, the hours, the days and months and years keep ticking forward, and she is a woman now, living far away, across the span of the country.

There is just something melancholy about the grey Paris skies, the distance of time and space, how life moves on, tender memories are resurrected and the now, seems so faint and gone.

The Palais Royale balconies in the background. 


Y2 – Day 251 – Depression

5 things you can do to ward off depression:

  1. Meditation/Breathwork
  2. Clean eating/Good Nutrition
  3. Exercise/Movement
  4. Doing Random Acts of Kindness – Anonymously
  5. Gratitude List

Change your mood.  Change your mind.  Change your thoughts and you can change your life.

 “Sometimes your body gives up but your spirit is alive.  Sometimes your spirit has died before your body gives up. ” – me

Y2 – Day 250 – Happy Birthday

To my one and only, the love of my life, the father of my children, as I waited your arrival this morning up here in our treehouse, as I worked to get things ready, I kept hearing Close to you by the Carpenters, it always reminds me of you.

“(They Long To Be) Close To You”

Why do birds suddenly appear, ev’ry time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.
Why do stars fall down from the sky, ev’ry time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.

On the day that you were born the angels got together.
And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold,
And star-light in your eyes of blue.
That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you…

Just like me, they long to be close to you…

Happy Birthday, my love.  I am sure as we watch and listen to the little and big, blue birdies and stare at the stars tonight or early morn, I will be humming this tune, thankful for life and our wonderful experience here on Earth, especially celebrating you and your existence.

Y2 – Day 249 – Be Responsible

“Think with the whole body.” – Taisen Deshimuru

We were created in Joy.  If we are not experiencing or creating Joy, we become blocked, bitter and negative.  Cranky, argumentative, discourteous, disagreeable or just plain mean people die alone, or at the very least, without knowing the Joy of giving and receiving true Love.

Sweet, pleasant and kind people are missed with genuine loss.  Open, endearing and cheery persons are whom we want to spend time with.  All you have to do is be the best self you were always meant to be.  It is up to you.  Be the person you want to hang out with and then hang out with yourself.  Spend time alone reflecting on who you are.

Chris Prentiss writes in Zen and the Art of Happiness, “The more you engage in any type of emotion, the greater the desire for it will become.”  Therefore, choose wisely, I say.

Take responsibility for your emotions, thoughts, words and actions.  Feel empowered that you DO have options on how you respond to life and to others.  But, you DO NOT have control over others.

What is happiness? It is a conscious choice.

Don’t get hooked by negatively charged vampires like a fish gulping the worm.  Remove yourself, do not engage, don’t put on the boxing gloves just because the bell rang and you will instead bring grace to the situation.

How you respond, dictates the quality of your life.

Byron Katie explains that “everything happens FOR us – not TO us.”

The Universe delivers what is perfect for you.  All it takes is willingness to believe all of it is good – All is Well.  Accept what is and give thanks.

Every moment depends on what we think and do, for that becomes our future.  Your thoughts become form on a cellular level.  What you put into your mind and feed your soul affects your biology.  Your body has an intelligence of its own.  What you eat influences you too.  Mental health is important.  Think and act yourself into emotional and physical wellness, not illness.

Once you have been given the torch of awareness about how you decide your outlook on life, all sorts of dark bends in the road begin to appear for you to illuminate.  Challenges become opportunities for practice and growth and obstacles become gifts with positive benefits.

“The highest nobility lies in taming your own mind.” – Atisha


Y2 – Day 248 – Attitude and Elevation

As the most recent contestant, Willie, left the Master Chef show, he quoted his grandmother, “Attitude will always determine your altitude.”  I imagine this in reference to how your disposition decides how high you can achieve a dream.

Today, as our Hummel flies out of Germany, into Paris and then on to New York, I ponder determination, choices and aspirations.  Reach for the stars is an old slogan that bears revisiting.  I believe that the Universe conspires with you when you are committed to your vision.  And, if it is not meant for you in the scheme of things, it will not happen.  I also know, it never looks or unfolds, like you think it will, if it does come true.

Below, is a picture V took on her adventure.  Imagine being 21 and seeing this for real!  A dream come true for all us fairy princesses who have grown up.

Reach for the Stars and Dream Big!


Y2 – Day 247 – Germany Still

If you have been traveling with us, on V’s adventure, you know she is staying at hostels with just a backpack as she traverses Germany, with a bit of Austria.  She has one more day and she leaves and flies into Paris with enough time to see a few sights, she hopes.  Meanwhile, here is a German cat, an inside look at the beauty of a German hostel and a view from her room (hello, Virginia Woolf).

Last I heard, she visited Heidelberg, home to the oldest university in Germany and an old bridge with its famous castle displaying architecture from Gothic to Renaissance styles.  Plus her dad as a toddler and grandparents were stationed at the US military housing base there, many moons ago, so it is a trip through family history too.

And, this word just in, she arrived safely into Frankfurt am Main, a hub of museums and theatre.

Y2 – Day 246 – Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria also goes by the name Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas. I grow big, wild hot pink ones in my garden by the pool.  They are a hearty and easy plant to grow yet they are striking and are often found in florist bouquets.  The blooms are long lasting and work well in many arrangements, taking bold center or as extra frills.

“Alstroemeria symbolizes friendship and devotion, and the twists in the flower symbolize the trials and tribulations of friendships.” – The Flower Expert

Wealth, Prosperity, Fortune and Friendship to all!

Y2 – Day 245 – V’s Trip

V is visiting some historical, romantic and scenic places.  She went to Bavaria, Germany imbedded with palaces as far back as the 6th century and headed for Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart and renowned for its Baroque architecture.

Fuessen in Bavaria

V in Salzburg – Our little Hummel

HABEN EINE WUNDERBARE ZEIT – Have a wonderful/lovely time!

Y2 – Day 244 – Alone Again

Our youngest chickadee left very early this morning for her sophomore year in college.  Here we are, alone again like two young twenty somethings.  Except we are smack dab in the middle of our fifties and have 5 pets living at home still.  Three cats, one doggie and one hamster.  I am quite content and look forward to our ‘alone again’ time.  I am even more madly in love with this man I call my husband than ever.

Today, cell phones abound and they are teeny and smart.  High definition and flat screens are de riguer and most everyone has upgraded to stainless in the kitchen.  The internet, the web, video calling, playing, chatting and movie watching is a common scene on small computers we call laptops or notebooks.  The world has really changed in the last twenty years or so, even more than at any other time.

Even between my son and my youngest daughter, a span of five and a half years, there is quite a difference in the exposure and face of technology but a lack of evolution on the human compassion scale and historical level.

The Simpsons and Seinfeld debuted in 1990.  The Hubbel Space Telescope is launched and quarks are confirmed as a reality.  Personal computers are still in black and green and white only.

By 1993, when V was born, the World Wide Web was also born.  Terrorism arrives and the first bombing of the World Trade Center happens, precursor to 9/11.  Rodney King and the LA riots resemble and predate Ferguson.  Humans are cloned.  Film can now be converted into digital bits and can be cut on a computer.

When my youngest arrived in 1995,  terrorism again struck in Oklahoma and OJ Simpson was declared not guilty.  Genetically manufactured produce is first being approved by the FDA and the White House launches its first web page.  Spamming becomes a thing as e-mail use starts to climb.  “You got mail” remember that?

Today, terrorism has destroyed the World Trade Center and continues to escalate around the world, OJ is in jail for a different crime but behind bars nonetheless, Family Guy and The Simpsons meet in the new season, everything is done it seems by computer like self-checkout at the grocery store, cloning, GMO’s and computer hacking is rampant and I actually got to see multi universes in photographs from the Hubbel Space Telescope in a New York museum near Ground Zero and I have been happily blogging on my very own website for over two years.

Will wonders never cease?

Alone again, but richer experiences.  Alone again, just us two, but with a lifetime of memorable moments, traditions and pictures of our three chickadees.  Alone again, a new phase, with a fun and wonderful future agenda illuminated by a full and rewarding past.


Y2 – Day 243 – Ambiguity

The Ambiguity of Life

The uncertainty we feel and the vague moment to moment and “What comes next?” or “Now what?” question is part of reality.

On the one hand, it is always the first time and the gloriousness of change and movement and momentum is infectious and never boring.

On the other hand, the ambivalence can be frightening and unsettling.  Those of us who desire security, structure and knowledge can never be guaranteed stability.

We have to make friends with the incertitude.  We need to come to terms with the fact that we do not know anything, cannot predict anything and that anything can happen at any time.  It takes courage to live in that awareness and perhaps that is why many find it difficult to meditate.

Awareness is always meditating on something.  You realize you are not the experience but a part of the experience.  You understand that the truth is beyond the mind.  Meditation brings mindfulness and erases the needless chatter.  In deep presence of your soul, you even feel your blood flow.  With profound contemplation, you encounter your body and realize you are not your body.

Be willing to master yourself.

Good blessings come when you let go.

Dismantle your imagined self and become your reborn self.

We have constant opportunities to let go.

In beginner’s mind or “I don’t know” mind, we can receive the gift of optimistic potentiality.

In your meditation, inquire, “Who am I?” and then stay in the place of “don’t know”.

What is God?  God is the witness of your mind in the micro cosmic orbit of “don’t know” mind.

Part of Verse 33 of the Tao Te Ching

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

Part of Verse 65

When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide.  When they know that they don’t know, people can find their own way.

You have all the answers inside of you.