Y4 – Day 182 – Gratitude for B-day Wishes

I only have the utmost gratitude and heartfelt astonishment at all the birthday wishes, cards, FB messages, texts, gifts and telephone calls I received this year. I had no expectations. Imagine my bewilderment.

The day before my b-day, the love of my life announced he was way too busy and behind schedule to leave early enough from work and not hit the horrendous traffic on the 91. I would see him bright and early the morning of my actual b-day. This suited me fine. I had lots of work and writing planned. Terrific, I thought. Let’s make those appointments and get some contractors up here, while we are at it.

We looked around the lake and decided it was wiser to stay in our treehouse and just update. We know our neighbors, we love the views and it has good bones. Yes, it is small and right across the street from a lively Christian Go-Away camp, but I don’t need to clean bigger and it is kind of wonderful to hear the laughter of children across the street. Therefore, Friday afforded me the time to have some estimates for flooring, a new bathroom and resurfacing the fireplace.

On Saturday morning, somewhere in the wee hours, M texted me HB. At 5 or so, I awoke and showered and got ready to see M, knowing Cindi would hear him come up the road first, wagging her tail and rushing over to the front door. At 6:48, I received the text from M he was off the freeway. I put my timer on for 25 minutes, the time it takes to climb up the 18 to our treehouse. Meanwhile, I dressed carefully and spent quality time putting on my make up. Although all I wanted to do for my birthday was hang around, I still wanted to look my best and have my best face forward for any selfies to send to the kids.

A little after seven, my alarm ding donged and Cindi heard M’s loud, black Mercedes coupe up the road. Both alerted me. I leashed Cindi and stepped out onto the covered wooden deck outside our front door. The dog was ecstatic as usual and we ran down the steps and around the next level of stairs. She stopped, so I stood there waiting for M to get out of the parked car he backed into our driveway. We both remained there expecting his door to swing open and all wagging and joy to let loose. Instead… the passenger door opened on our side.

I dropped the leash and covered my face in total surprise, tears streaming. V, my daughter, shouted out “Happy Birthday!” The dog took off and greeted them both like it was a party and indeed the whole weekend became one.

Thank you for these amazing gifts, thank you!


Y4 – Day 181 – New Blog Schedule

Dear Readers,

As I entrench myself in yet another online writing class plus writing full time with a couple of projects, as of August 1,  I will be posting less but still numbering the posts the way you have been accustomed to. After a little survey, I realized you, the reader, are not reading it daily. Most of you, are reading it in one fell swoop. You check in maybe once a week.

I might do the same, just so I can stay sane. When I have the time, I may post more and when I am feeling under pressure, I may post less. Hopefully, you will still stop by.

Thank you.


When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. – Audre Lorde


Y4 – Day 180 – Ten Day Vacay

I am baaaaaaaaack!

Ok – so in the last ten days a lot has gone down. In the world, in our country and in our own little neck of the woods.

My godmother, my dad’s sister in Argentina passed away, leaving a hole in our family. She was suffering so much though it seems merciful to let her go peacefully in her sleep. Yesterday was her (would have been) her birthday. Her daughter Gaby, rounded up all her mom’s cousins and had them over at my Tia Betty’s home where my son and I stayed back in 2004. She videotaped each person as she went around the large dining room table and sent it to my sister and I, here in the states via smartphones.

Le Tour de France is in its 16th stage as of today. Chris Froome (Froomy to his fans) is wearing the yellow so far. I have not seen today’s stage yet. We record the live tape from three in the morning and watch it together when love of my life gets home.

ML has come to visit and gone. Much fun, tears and laughter as we watched all twenty-six episodes of Grace and Frankie, shopped, went to see Bryan Adams at Verizon Amphitheater, met up with Dana and went up and down the mountain. This was my second time watching the two seasons of Netflix’s comedy with my adorable Lily Tomlin and it was even better and more nuanced this time around.

I had not been writing much due to the visit, but my real, true, I mean it this time, start date is August first anyway. That is when I will sit to write and make myself have office hours. This is the day I become a new woman and actually discipline myself. I owe it to my writing if not to myself.

My words take on a meaning and trip of their own sometimes. They fly out of my hands and I can’t take them back once they are in black and white. Hopefully, I will get some material down and then edit, edit, edit and edit and share and edit and workshop it and edit some more.

My memoir class is just about over with a weird space between the July class and the last one in late August. I began another online class I am not very good at attending. I think I hate online video classes just as much as I hated TV aerobics and VCR yoga tapes back in the day. GIVE IT TO ME IN WRITTEN FORM for G’s sake!

Today was the first day back for my yoginis too. We limbered up today after a long hiatus.The theme was third chakra or your core power, especially your will power. Together with emotion and heart, intentions materialize when you match it up with your yellow sun energy. Last night, I downloaded incredible new age and soothing spa songs, creating two fresh yoga playlists.

At Bower’s museum, I purchased yet another bell sounding Tibetan singing bowl. I saw the Mummy exhibit too and wish I hadn’t. I had nightmares due to the graphic nature of the displays.

My garden is out of control especially with cherry Heirloom tomatoes in golden yellowish orange, red and green Christmasy ones and teardrop shaped bright red specimens. I don’t even have to buy lettuce anymore because plot one is exploding with curly leaf, almost romainey salad greens. Zucchinis are sneaky and all of a sudden they become huge baseball bats from yellow flowers. One pumpkin, so far and herbs to last me a lifetime. The neighbors in Arrowhead and down here are both benefitting from our constant harvest.

Mastermind concluded but I belong to a writing community online now and have homework due every Friday that is critiqued by fellow writers and in order to stay in the group, you have to read and give feedback to at least three people. I am making writing friends with ex Pats in Spain and Germany and others living in the US. I am impressed by most of what I read.

Meanwhile, I have re-read through Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and this time I made the commitment and wrote out the prompts scattered throughout the chapters. I am heavily invested in Writing down Your Soul by Janet Conner, working through the powerful and profound questions on a daily basis. I am also relishing Chapter by Chapter by Heather Sellers. I am doling out pieces of The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, which J had signed (oh how envious) to myself as I somehow fit it in with my library lent copy of Writing Memoir Together by Joan Tornow. I also started the fiction novel, A Paris Apartment which ML said was very good and a new memoir by Joan Anderson, this one called, An Unfinished Marriage. I love reading so much at once so I never have to say goodbye to any one book right away.

I think that’s about it and you are caught up. My poor dog, Cindi is looking at me waiting on dinner and I am about ten minutes late starting M’s supper. Bye for now.

Y4 – Day 178 – Company Coming

I am ecstatic about having my BFF coming tomorrow to spend a week! Every time we get together, it’s memorable. I will probably be spotty, at best, with my posts. Perhaps even absent. But I will be back.

What having company does for me, is it makes me pick up or hide the clutter. Throw in the usual laundry I didn’t keep up with while I was away, dishes that pile up from everyday meals and grocery shopping and you have a backup of chores while still needing to clean the entire house thoroughly.

I am currently contemplating making four desserts tonight, one zucchini lasagne is made and I purchased a few ready made items at Mother’s.

Whirlwind days and nights, so many conversations I lose my voice and laughter at every turn. For some reason, my BFF finds my idiosyncrasies delightful and she helps me view them as comical. She is also a great observer of irony and can be amused by hypocrisy and her own misgivings so I plan on munching quite a lot, smiling most of the time and letting out a few belly laughs from time to time this week.

Looking forward to your arrival ML!


Y4 – Day 177 – Deadlines

Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move. – Osho

I have given my self a set of deadlines to meet. Finish setting up ML’s guest room by today. Clean up the rest of the house by Thursday when she arrives. Entering a writing contest by the 11th. Doing my homework for the memoir class by Sunday. Re writing the next piece I need to read by the 16th. Re writing the piece for the online writing community I joined by this Friday. And, then review and critique three pieces by Monday. Re writing the piece I am entering in the contest by the 23rd and entering it by the 31st. I have a lot of hemmed in dates which can bring on fear. Although writing gives me joy, these restrictions give me parameters I need in order to write.

On August 1, I will be officially writing, editing or clustering, working out ideas at least one to four hours a day, strictly for my memoir I plan to finish by – deadline, June 15, 2017. If it happens earlier, great! I believe that is a reasonable amount of time. I am breaking it up into little bitty pieces and plan on getting two to four chapters written a month. I will be eliminating extra curricular activities as much as possible, so be forewarned. I may need to blog just once or twice a week instead of daily. I will remain positive and will need everyone’s support.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit – Helen Keller

Y4 – Day 175 – Drama Solved

The good news is, you decide how to react, you choose how to respond to any given situation or person. No one can make you angry, sad or frustrated unless you let them.

The bad news is, it is pretty darn hard to remember you are answerable to your own behaviour no matter what the circumstances or pain inflicted and only you can be held accountable for your actions, beliefs and words, even if you really want to retaliate, resent or wreak havoc.


Y4 – Day 174 – Surrender

Surrendering, caving in to our feelings and exposing our vulnerabilities is rewarding, relieving and renewing.

Our emotions need to be released in order to process, refill and refit into our new selves.

Letting go and relinquishing, we can finally work our way out of any dark hole we have dug for ourselves.

We fall apart and break so we can have a breakthrough not a break down.

Instead of bandaging over our wounds, we cut to the core of the feeling, the motive driving the symptoms.

Surrender takes courage, not weakness of will. The more we yield wide open, the more we trust. When we turn over our troubles, we become authentic. And, in the willingness to share, we become whole. In this state, no one can touch us.

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength. -Sigmund Freud

Y4 – Day 173 – Writing Questions

How do I write? – One page at a time and in complete silence.

When do I write? – One day at a time.

Where do I write? – Anywhere I’m comfortable or if inspired, I just need a scrap of paper and writing tool or recorder. I also find myself writing in my bed, at a desk in my office, the dining table, on a lounge chair and sometimes in the car.

Why do I write? – Because I have a unexplainable need to express myself in words and know myself. I write to explore, document, share, record events and for memories’ sake.

What do I write? – Mystery, story, memoir, reviews, musings, blog, articles, poetry, personal essay, fiction, non-fiction, journaling, free write, prompts, letters, emails, thank you’s, gratitudes, yoga lesson plans, dialog, character sketches, descriptive, funny, sad, tragic and dramatic. And so it is.

Who do I write for? – Initially me, but in rewrites, revisions and editing, probably looking to share the human experience.

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. – Henry David Thoreau

Bottom Line: I don’t know if I am happy and so I write or if writing makes me happy. Either way, I am happy, I am writing and I am happy writing.