Online Classes

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

HandScapes® Honoring Your Hands Through Art--new free online class!

Guess what?! My new online class, "HandScapes--Honoring Your Hands Through Art" is now available on SkillShare! I've listed it as a free class for the first 250 people who enroll. Once you enroll, it will always be available to you even after I switch it over to a paid status. It's my gift to you in hopes you will engage with me to experience the meditative, healing benefits of art. This class is designed for all age levels. Plus, it can be done individually or in a group setting. 

Are you homeschooling? Do you have a special group gathering or family reunion planned? Do you want to make some lasting memories and heirlooms you can pass down generation-to-generation? Watch your group or gathering come alive making HandScapes together. I am available to teach this heart centered workshop or train others to do it, too. Message me for details. 

Watch my introduction video to "HandScapes®--Honoring Your Hands Through Art".

You can enroll here. Just click the link below.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Announcing My New Online Class!

Create an instant splash of color for your windows or places and spaces using Sari ribbon, plus a few items you most likely already have--in an hour or less! When I tell you the possibilities of creative expression are limitless using sari ribbon, this hippie-hearted girl truly means it. Got an hour to invest some happy into your world? Cool. Put some groovy tunes on and come play with me today creating instant gypsy whimsy for your places and spaces needing a “WOW” boost!

First 25 people who click on the link 
below can take my class for free!

Enroll HERE 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

When Miracles Find You Part Two

My journal entry created on January 1, 2015.
The items written in each circle in the picture above came from a list of things Superman, my better half, and I wrote down on the Winter Solstice and New Moon in December 2014 as a step of faith. We trusted the Universe to provide us with a home beyond our wildest dreams somewhere in the Four Corners area some 1800 miles away from Ohio. And this, my dear family and friends, is the story of manifesting almost every, single item we wrote on our list.

I am here to shout it from the roof tops that if you can visualize it, you can manifest it! I know many of you already know about the power of visualization and how it helps us manifest our goals, dreams or desires. Some call it prayer. My hope is that after reading my story, your faith will be revved up like a hot rod at a drag race on Friday night and you'll start a journal or make vision board (link below) of your own. There's many ways of doing this powerful practice but the one I know that works best for me is to write down my goals, dreams, etc., Research how others are making journals, paintings, videos, or art for this type of prayer.  I've been doing this sacred practice in a variety of ways since I was a young girl, but it wasn't until the mid 80's that I experienced firsthand how writing things down helped me manifest something beyond anything I'd attempted before. 

In early 1985, I was pregnant with my son, Jake, and knew we needed a bigger home. It seemed like we were facing an impossible task of making it happen due to our extremely limited finances. I wrote on a simple, white, lined index card, "Bigger house with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace, big yard, attached garage", then scribbled hearts and thank you's galore all over it. I taped it to the inside of the door on my antique Armour--smack dab on the mirror so every time I opened the door I could see it, and be able read it to myself in the mirror. Google the practice of reading a motivational affirmation to yourself while standing in front of a mirror. 

Guess what? Within a year, we manifested everything on the list, in an area we wanted to live in and miraculously sold the smaller home we were living in at a price no one thought we could get or as fast as we needed it to sell. But we did. It blew our minds and all the naysayers scurried back into their dark holes, tails dragging and grumbling under their breath at our good fortune!  

Here's how we turned a recent BIG dream into a reality! Chair dance!

Now, here's Miracle Two in my series, "When Miracles Find You", showing how I utilized this technique in my journal dated January 1, 2015, and how the cosmic miracle that followed, brought us to Colorado, my birthplace, and where I've longed to be since I left as a teenager. There are soooooo many miracle related stories within this story but I'll save them for future posts in this series.

It became very clear to us in 2013 that living in northeast Ohio was NOT helping me get well from reoccurring bouts of Fibromyalgia, PTSD, chronic depression and anxiety, and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities--I'll be writing more about this topic soon and how you can get help for it). 

After many long conversations, prayers and allowing the Universe to guide us, we made a BOLD decision in the early spring of 2014 to put our house on the market and get my wimpy butt to a drier climate. We proceeded forward by getting rid of junk--lots and lots of junk, (I will be writing about that totally liberating experience soon, too) making repairs and fluffing our nest. We didn't have a clear message (yet) from the Universe to physically put our home on the market but we "saw" it in our minds as if the For Sale sign was already in the yard with a bright, red, bold SOLD sign smack dab on it. This is the most important part of manifesting your dreams. Just ask any successful athlete.


So we waited patiently, and not so patiently at other times, until the Winter Solstice arrived in December 2014. I sat down with Superman that day to write up a list of all of the things we'd like to have in our new home and area. We brainstormed with no limits to our dreaming and asking. Before we could move forward we had to get clear, very clear, about what we wanted. The process was fun and enlightening for both of us. We found as we downsized our physical belongings, it in turn helped us downsize and pinpoint what mattered most to us. Life suddenly became clearer and simpler. I tucked our dream list away until January 1, 2015 to write every teeny and colossal item down in my art journal. Here are close-ups of what I wrote in my journal.

:Our home: Artistic, adobe features with vigas, off grid, one level with enough bedrooms and bathrooms, well lit with natural lighting, open living spaces and glorious views. Private yet close to shopping, neighbors and community. Acreage that is low upkeep with trees, room for a greenhouse, and fenced area for Toby (our dog). Kitchen with window over sink, ample storage, gas stove and wood cook stove. Garage, storage, office, nice closets, laundry, pantry, covered deck or porch. Art Studio.

Wifi, gas stations, stores, restaurants, art galleries. Root cellar or basement, workshop with heat and good insulation. County roads maintained. Quiet. Economical heating, and upkeep. Endless supply of water, fuel, firewood, cross breeze.

 Big Skys (yes a typo but that's da way she rolled...) Sunrise to Sunset. Sunshine. Azure Skies. Spectacular views, Mountains, bluffs and rock formations. Trees and wildlife. Privacy and security. Lakes, rivers and river beds to walk. Tranquility.

 Our home and property have no restrictions on creative flare. Sunflowers growing everywhere. Bonfire pit, fresh air and LOTS of sunshine.

Community, artists, peaceful people, caring, like-minded, giving, resourceful, quiet, fun loving, nature loving, farmer's market, great food.

By mid February, (a mere 6 weeks later) after a full year of looking online for the home of our dreams, the house below "suddenly appeared" and was located only thirty minutes from my birthplace in CO. Sunny house in the trees!!

I lined up several other homes to look at besides the one we really, really wanted and hopped on a plane to Durango, CO--just like that! I met with the remarkable woman who owns the property my first night in town, and we hit it off beautifully. The next morning she drove me to see the property. I wept quietly, standing on Colorado earth while listening to the Ponderosa Pines sing as a gentle breeze swept me up into childhood memories. It was THE perfect house with nearly everything we'd asked for on our list. Three days later, and a ladies handshake, our dreams came true!

My art studio with attached greenhouse on the left.

Main house where we live. Guest quarters below to the right. Two lovely patios and 2 decks. In the middle of this stone patio there's a compass pointing in all sacred directions.

There was no garage, bonfire pit, covered porch/deck or spacious closets. But our life style now doesn't require over-sized closets, a garage or a fire pit. The trees are our shade. Our clothes are stored in unique, space saving places. Our cars are just fine parked in our ample parking areas. The greenhouse is already built. Our critters love it here and so do we. We are leasing with an option to buy and I might just add here that our former home, that we placed a for sale sign on the VERY DAY WE LEFT Ohio...sold and closed in 6 weeks for exactly what we projected we'd need, which was way over what the market dictated in our area. I'll be sharing the inside of our home and my studio in the weeks and months ahead here, so please stayed tuned!

 Taken June 2015...just look at these gorgeous flowers!
Our road, our neighbor's dome house, and the La Plata mountains. We're past the dome house.

This practice works! It works. It works. It works!!! Why? Because when one sets their intentions within a love-based container that asks for the highest good for all involved—the Universe hurries about lining up everything you will need to fulfill that dream. When you say “Yes!” to trusting the Universe, or whomever you call your Higher Power… He/She/It will provide, above and beyond, exactly what you need—at exactly the right time that’s best for you and your situation. Be patient. Miracles don’t always happen on "our" time frames, nor do they always line up in the manner “we” asked our happy miracle to occur. But you can rest assured, it will manifest in the most delightful way when you least expect it.

Fall asleep each night saying thank you over & over before your miracle arrives, & after it arrives. 

If you're interested in making a Vision/Dream board of your own, check out my post here, "Design a Dream/Vision Board...the easy way" HERE

Saturday, March 12, 2016

When Miracles Find You Part One

Each one of us are miracles in the making, and sometimes, we are gifted unexpectedly by becoming the recipient of a miracle, or two, or four or more, like I've experienced during the last two years. You know it must be a pretty BIG miracle that occured to bring me out of hiding from social media or blogging. This is where most folks apologize for slacking about not blogging regularly but I won't because I'll be catching you up to speed on ALL the other miracles that have happened since my last post. I'll spill the rest of the juicy news here soon, but for now let's focus on what JUST happened that nudged me to finally begin blogging again and filled my heart with a completeness I’ve never experienced before until now.

Last Saturday at this time, I had 4 brothers and 2 brothers, including my foster family...then everything literally changed overnight. After 40+ years of searching for siblings I'd been told existed but was never told how many, although I'd been told there could be a quite a few, I finally found a clue online that had never surfaced before--EVER! The next morning a link suddenly popped up "out of nowhere" showing another person out there looking for my dad--OUR dad! He had information only a true family member would have known. This only meant one thing--that I had finally found a brother--MY brother! I was in too much shock to notice a second brother had also responded to the brother I'd just found.

By Sunday night, I found the later of the two brothers mentioned above which is when, and why, I logged back into FaceBook from an 8+ month sabbatical from social media. Then I found his wife, and next another sister, and another brother, and then... Well folks, this could go on for a while announcing each one of them in this manner, so please allow me to enthusiastically tell the entire world... DRUM ROLL PLEASE! I have 3 more sisters and 6 more brothers! I am beyond blessed! As my dear friend, Bob, told me, "Now you have enough family to make a baseball team." And I do, omgosh, I certainly do!

I cried like a baby and walked around in a daze for days. I still am. While I have not communicated with most of them, I have been welcomed with open hearts by my brother, Larry, his precious wife, Kim, and my sister, Sissy. I am content to have found them and will continue to love them from afar just like I've always have. My heart is open should they feel the desire to get to know me. My heart has been open to them since I was 10 years old and found out there were others. It's surreal looking at their faces in pictures and seeing bits of me look back with the same eyes, dimples, hairlines, chins, noses... It's my family looking back at me. Then hearing my brother, Larry, tell me he loves me for the first time. It feels like I'm in a Hallmark freaking movie!

Me and my brother, Larry, around the same age.

I'm only going to share one piece of our private story with you in order to protect their privacy, as well as my own. This sweet nugget made me break down and cry the sweetest tears I've ever cried other than when I gave birth to my sons. You may remember, or not, that my father was an extremely talented musician that played with 50's country music icons Johnny Horton, Hank Snow and Hank Williams SR. My son, Jake, and I have inherited his musical gifts which has been the best gift he could have given us. All of my newly found siblings are related to me by my (our) father so can you imagine the depths of my bliss when I found out many of them are musicians, too?! Goodness gracious how that makes me shout out loud with a great big, "YES!" 

One day, soon I hope, we will all get to meet each other, get to know each other and make sweet music together. There's no sweeter sound than that of family's voices harmonizing together. Nothing compares to that perfect blend of genes blending into one voice. In the meantime, I feel complete just knowing they are alive, well loved, and especially, that they love each other. My prayers have been answered.  

When miracles find you, share them with the world because when you share your miracles you give hope to those who are still awaiting their special miracle to arrive. Keep believing. Keep your hope burning like a wildfire in your heart because it's worth mentioning the link that suddenly turned up last week was from 2002. It wasn't until 2005 that my brother, Larry, responded to the brother who wrote the original inquiry--and it would be another long 14 years until I unearthed what I found last weekend. I'm so grateful I followed the strong prompting that day to dig back into the search of finding my brothers and sisters. 

If that's you waiting for your miracle, it may take time for all the perfect ingredients to line up to become the perfect celebratory cake for you, and those you love, to partake in. Be patient because synchronicity is happening at this very moment conspiring to bring you just what you need. Believe it. Your miracle is on its way all you have to do is keep on believing. Focus on what you want, and not what you don't want.

"Thoughts become things. Choose good ones." ~ Mike Dooley 

Thank you for being here so I could share my story and my happiness with you. Before you go, would you please share your dream, wish, hope with us so we can stand beside you with heartfelt agreement that you, and yours. are on the brink of a big, happy, over-the-top, glorious miracle finding its way to you, too. Please feel free to share this post with others needing a faith lift. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Super Size Those Butterfly Wings, Please

I'm teaching art classes in my home town!!
It's true. I'm finally unearthing and nurturing my passion to teach in my very own art studio! I have so much gratitude for all my gifts and all the life lessons given to me. It's through this authentic place of creating something with your own two hands that gives one self discovery, freedom, confidence and joy.

This is a huge step for me coming out of my cocoon from PTSD after 4 and a half years, and boldly saying, "I can do this! I'm ready to fly!!" It was art that came to my rescue (and my beloved Superman) that gave me these new wings to soar above the limitations of self doubt, fear, and often times, paralysis of my very soul. This feels good. Right. True. Fabulous. The night before Christmas kind of magic. I am finally bursting free from the chrysalis to fly like a butterfly. Willingly! It's my time to shine!

1. A pupa, especially of a moth or butterfly, enclosed in a firm case or cocoon.
2. A protected stage of development.
What struck me, most profoundly, about the definition of chrysalis was the second one. 'A protected stage of development.' I spent a lot of time being in this protective cocoon while I healed from the auto accident. I spent even more time beating myself up for staying so long inside this protective barrier. But isn't it miraculous the ENTIRE process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly? Timing is everything. If I had busted loose before I had honed all the lessons inside this cocooned journey with PTSD, I may not have fully developed the skills I now have to give back to others in whatever stage of butterfly-ness they are in.

I'll be posting class descriptions, times, dates and fees in the"Classes I Teach". It's above under the big header picture in the line that says About Me, Find My Music Here and Hope Rocks. Or you can click HERE to get there directly. It's still under construction so please be patient with me. I'm also sorry so many of you live so faraway, and cannot attend my local, live classes. BUT I have plans to make instructional video classes very soon! For those of you who are local, this is where you sign up! WooHoo!

I have so much to share with you, and will do so in future posts, about all that has happened to me since my last post in July (geez where did the time go?!). But for right now, I just have to spread my wings and fly!!!! Little did I know the picture below, taken while I was in Sedona at the retreat, would be a preview of things to come in my future. Don't you just love how the Universe is always 20 bazillion steps ahead of you in providing just what you need, at just the right time?
Can you see my wings???
Yes... I AM Tink!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Write a Happy Ending To Your Story

Everyday for the last six weeks I have been doing one of the following: painting, gardening, writing, organizing my studio, and absorbing the multifaceted benefits adding one small dose of creativity to my waking hours brings. Some days it's been laborious gestures going through the motions to simply get started, and a few not so subtle boots to my behind, imploring myself to implement even one tiny outflow of adding a sprinkle of color to my world. Actions like these are medications that set my mind ablaze with freedom and help me fall asleep knowing I've made a much appreciated dent in my creative to do list as well as bolstering my physical, emotional and mental selves. Other days I passed over the threshold of limitations of Fibromyalgia, and PTSD, with clear thinking, warrior bursts of limitless energy, and Wonder Woman strength I've not felt for several years.

I've uncovered a lot within, not to mention multitudes of buried treasures in my studio I forgot I even had, but the greatest of these is the revolution, and evolution within my Spirit. These consistent baby steps, and giant leaps, have all led to transformational manifestations I can see, speak about, feel, smell and hear. Yes, I can hear my heart singing, rejoicing, and applauding in the beauty I'm allowing to flow out of me. It's grand to be back in the land of the living. Granted I never 'actually' missed a breath or skipped a heartbeat but my soul was parched, withered and painfully tired from watching the world pass by without so much as a nod from me while Fibromyalgia sucked me dry from last August to mid April of this year. Art has been an instrumental tool in helping me heal, as well as diving heart first into the dormant portals I once immersed myself liberally in to rediscover, and embrace, my own Spiritual truths.

I have started or completed some projects that have been on my list for ages. I'll be posting pictures soon in hopes you'll gather inspiration to tackle, and conquer, all you've left behind gathering dust, and taunting you to complete. But the most exciting news is that I'm working with a brilliantly talented photographer from Sedona writing the story for his forthcoming book, 'Beyond The Veil'. My love for writing, and especially for such an incredible book as this, is in full bloom. My Soul is in full bloom. I am once again making imprints in my book of Life, filling it with new chapters, and re-writing a happy ending to my story.  

Take some time right now to visualize the most amazing, Love filled ending to your story. What would you like your story to read like at the end of your life? Or how about one year from now? Or even six weeks from now? Be brave, and write your happy ending down in your journal or in a letter to yourself. If you write yourself a letter, seal it in an envelope, then mail it to yourself. Seal it with a kiss of gratitude before you mail it.This a method many people use to confirm a document, song or an invention they made as a form of a copyright. Copyright your right to manifest a happy ending to your story. Open it in a year from now or on your birthday. Or whenever it feels right to open it. Then take the steps to live your story just as it unfolded as you visualized it, and wrote it. 

I have an important, difficult situation I'm facing in my near future, and even though I've had a monumental breakthrough in PTSD, which I'll share at a later time, I have a happy ending I wish/need/would like to write for myself. It involves the auto accident so please cover me with some positive energy, and thoughts. I'm doing all I can to not allow this to trigger me, and the first step is writing a happy ending to the story so my body, emotions, and mind will respond in kind. And, yes, I'm mailing it to myself...

Much Love to you all~

Friday, March 16, 2012

Unwrap Gifts Disguised As Setbacks

My new video interviews with Tina van Leuven, from InnerDelight. You can find Tina on FaceBook, too. Click on either link highlighted in the last sentence to explore the beauty, and passion she has for creating JOY as a way of life, not only for ourselves, but for the entire world. There are three videos in this series. I am posting the first one, and if you go to Tina's YouTube channel, InnerDelight, you can find the other two we did, plus, many more delightful interviews with other guests.

Watch the video to catch up on what I've been up to, as well as seeing my dimples do their thang~

Monday, February 20, 2012

My new song, "Remember To Remember'

I wrote this song a little over nine months ago. My son, Jake, recently finished the final music and mix. He took my original music, kicked it up to a level of brilliance, and was my recording engineer. I truly feel like I've given birth. There were lots of delays, and setbacks while working on this song. One of which was being hit hard with fibromyalgia--a diagnosis that found its way to me after my auto accident.

I am healing. I am in great hand's with my beloved, Superman, taking the wheel to insure I get all the natural supplements, care, and love I need to get through this. Being nearly crippled by fibromyalgia, and the inability to exercise, I packed on quite a bit of extra weight. At the end of 2011, I was merely steps away from needing a wheel chair, and a handicap plaque for my car. I eliminated sugar, grains/wheat, and dairy (except an occasional indulgence with cheese) which has been a life altering experience in itself. I've lost 25 pounds since the beginning of January!

I have learned so much through this entire process of healing, and am well on my way to living my life as abundantly as I can. I have so much to share with you, I can barely contain myself! I'll be posting new videos soon, as well as the tidbits of wisdom I've experienced while healing. Thank you all who have been concerned by me being MIA here at Woodstock Lily & especially to those who took time to send me emails or messages of encouragement.

I am offering my new song, "Remember To Remember' as a gift to all who would like to download it or share it with others. I have been given so many gifts and talents, I feel it is my gift back to the Universe for blessing me so abundantly. It is also my heartfelt gift in song, as an encouragement to love yourself, and to love others. I invite you to take a listen. Close your eyes while you do, and soak up the message in the song. Click on the song title below to listen or download.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Year After Detoxing

A year ago I was drowning in a sea of medications for mental health, sleep and pain. PTSD had swallowed my mind like a crunchy snack for over three years. My wake up call came after we returned from our honeymoon--it was time to work through my mental dis-ease on my own. The medications had taken a toll on my body, and my mind. I needed to see if I could ever get in a car, or quench my anxiety, fears, unrest or sleep without popping a pill. The desire to face a day, even in pain without a pharmaceutical aid, or a glass of wine, became bigger than my need to mask whatever lurked beneath my fragmented, river of unruly thoughts.

I had to hole up, literally, alone for days at a time. Go inside the pain. Swim, and do belly flops in the deep waters I feared would suck me down, down, down till I had no more air left in my withered lungs. The body aches, and agitation festered, and grew like yeast in warm water inside my belly. I literally writhed in agony, and sleep was illusive. Superman braved the storm of my anger, unleashed and often venomous--his beloved Wonder Woman had become quite unlovely to be around. I was ugly with a capital U. Yet even at my worst, he continued to toss me an anchor of love to hang onto. I honestly don't know how he did it, but somewhere, deep below the troubled waters, he saw I was also becoming BRAVE--with the cap lock on. Letting go of my chemical buoy has been one of the bravest things I've ever done. Ever...

During the last year I have also undergone an intense spiritual awakening. It's been a journey of letting go of all things that held me captive. Old spiritual belief systems I wore around my ankles like a ball and chain fell off as I open my eyes to truth as it was revealed to me. Guilt about what people would think about me, especially loved ones whom I used to walk with in a certain religious faith, dissipated in my new found freedom. I'd always resisted the idea of separation of mankind, as in the ideas taught in many religions of "our way is the only way", "our God is the only God", "heaven and hell", "our book and teachings are the only way to enlightenment", etc, etc, etc... This is also one of the bravest things I've ever done. Seeking, and finding, truth about who I am spiritually has held me up while treading the waters of rediscovery. I know without a doubt I am a part of journey designed by the Universe that only wants the utmost good for me, and all of mankind. I am eternally evolving. We all are.

My body still hurts, a lot, on a daily basis. I'm chronically tired. I fight the grip of isolation, and on most days would rather never leave my house or talk to loved ones on the phone. But on a whole, especially looking back in hindsight, I am indeed a whole new person I've grown to love and respect. I'm healing and my bouts with PTSD are lessening. My fears feel more manageable when I can laugh at them instead of believe them as truths. I sleep like a baby most nights. I rest when I need to. I've found unlimited tranqulity being in nature; my new church, my new swimming hole. I don't beat myself up for gaining weight due to the lack of physical agility I had before the auto accident. Fat floats--right? I share any toxic messages forming in my brain to my higher power or Superman instead of allowing them to explode inside me. My inner water wings are holding me up, and my Superman, is still faithfully floating beside me.

I am not advocating anyone stop taking medications without consulting with their doctors. I am only discussing what was right for me. I had to see what it was like to experience my world, my thoughts and my personal swimming lessons un-medicated. This post is merely a reflection on the laps I've swam in the last year.

My hope is that I can continue to be brave.
For another day, another week, another month.
Another year.
With all my toes in the waters of life.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Colors Of Gratitude

The view from my studio window.

The colors wash my heart with joy...

And leave me in a puddle of bliss.

The reflection of autumn in my bird bath.

I could sleep and dream in vivid detail
on a bed of leaves like these.
Couldn't you?

I wish you all a Thanksgiving full of love, grateful hearts
and colorful, charming conversations with loved ones.
As you prepare for Christmas, please try to support
local, small businesses, local artists and craft people.
Or make something yourself to give as gifts.
Occupy your hearts.
It's the best place to be for the holidays.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finding Hope After A Loved One Dies

It's been awhile, my friends. Shortly after my last post I received news a dear friend of mine (40 plus years) had cancer throughout her body. The news hit me hard--it hit all who knew her hard especially her family. Betsi was the poster girl for living life with gusto, passion and sheer enthusiasm. She left us about 8 weeks after her diagnosis to wear a sparkly suit and eternal smile.

I went to CA to be with her in her final days. I didn't have time to chicken out traveling due to my PTSD. There was no time to hesitate. When Betsi woke up in the hospital and saw me standing beside her bed, her face lit up like a sparkler. She said, "Wow! Wow! Wow!" over and over again. For a few days she rallied. I told her over and over she had given me courage to do what I never thought I could do by leaving my safety net of home. She gave me a gift I could never have imagined--freedom from my mind's prison of PTSD long enough to be there for her, and her family helping them out. Hearing her tell me she loved me will never leave my thoughts. I can hear her say it as if she were in the room with me and it's always followed by her magical laugh.

It's been difficult for me to resume life as "normal". I've felt incredibly sad even though I have a wonderful life. I haven't been able to paint, play my guitar, sing, write, or do many things that bring me joy. It's as though I felt guilty to simply "go on with my life". How can one when your heart aches for it to just be a bad dream and not real? Betsi wouldn't like hearing this. She's always been one of my greatest fans in life and cheered me on in living my dreams great or small. She would want me to continue sparkling, shining and splashing color on every corner of the world.

Betsi's occupation was an HR Specialist , but she changed it to being an HR specialist for Hope Rocks. She was my right hand on my Hope Rocks page on Facebook--my faithful admin. The Hope Rocks she made (literally hundreds of them) and left for others to find gave her great joy her final months on Earth. She had no idea she'd be leaving us so soon--none of us did--she just did what felt right even though she didn't feel well physically. Here's a message she sent to me Valentine's Day 2011.

" Hey, 60-75 Hope Rocks left at high school for Valentine's Day! I put out all I had done and am doing more now. You gave me hope back and I love you for it! Well, I love you anyway but you know what I mean!"

Yes, Betsi, I do know what you mean, and looking back on these dark days, and months of grief, I see it's time to allow HOPE to light my way again and warm my heart just like your laugh did. You gave me my hope back that I could be even somewhat "normal" living with severe PTSD. I won't waste that gift. I'm shaking the cobwebs off my monkey pants and art supplies. My guitar needs me. Life needs me to re-boot and find more ways to spread hope. I'm grateful to carry the torch for all who need a little hope, and the only way hope grows is when you give it from the heart just like Betsi did and still does every time I think of her.

I love you, Betsi, my HR specialist. Until we meet again... Sparkle on, Cosmo Betsi, Sparkle on~


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