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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

...Monkey Pants Part Two...

The Kittenhood of the Traveling Monkey Pants

Part Two
Have you ever watched a kitten play with total abandon? Chasing its tail? Racing its own shadow? Or running from invisible foes only kittens see? What makes a kitten or cat suddenly do a back flip, or peel out with all four paws up your drapes then back down over the back of the couch like a wild fire is chasing it?

I have a theory as to what makes a kitten or cat scamper....

They're probably wearing their monkey pants.....

And every wise little monkey knows that there's an endless amount of sass in your step when you are wearing your monkey pants.

*~* And any childlike,
~*~* utterly silly,
*~*~*~* totally fun,
~*~*~*~*~ giddy,
*~*~*~*~*~*~ giggly,
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ jumping on the bed .....

can only occur if you are sporting a pair of monkey pants.
Opie Wan Kenobi, my wise, and sagely guru reminds me of this daily. He is never too "grown-up" to participate in a full on scamper up and down the stairs, nor will he turn down a chance to bat at my fingers when I wiggle them so deliciously over the arm of the chair.

He understands the importance of
keeping his kitten-like, child heart intact and active.

His imagination knows no limits. His love flows like an electrical current, just like his cattitude.

Opie Taylor wears monkey pants.

He never worries about tomorrow, or what he will eat today. He is grateful for a bowl of water, and his Tony The Tiger bowl I keep full of dry food. It is a celebration when I open the can of moist food. He knows when Dylan or Superman come over he will get a well deserved treat, and lots of love from them. He dances on his hind legs. He gives them a meow filled with joy.

The white text on the picture above marks the bottom edge of his bloomers.....

I told you he wore monkey pants.....

[kitty giggles inserted here]

Animals have so much to teach us.
Part three tomorrow......

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Kittenhood of the Traveling Monkey Pants

The Kittenhood of the Traveling Monkey Pants
Part One

Stay tuned for Part Two of this story where I will reveal how Opie Taylor acquired his monkey pants. This is a must read for those of you who need a splash of color in your lives or have just always wondered, "How can I get a pair of my very own monkey pants?" For the rest of you wondering what the heck are monkey pants? I'll give you the scoop next post..... (disclaimer: I am not responsible for lack of sleep readers may experience waiting for part two)

I don't have baby pictures of Opie Taylor--not "real" baby pictures. He came to live with us when he was just shy of being four months old and the only way I figured out how old he was is because he still had a few of his milk teeth. I wasn't exactly planning on adding a kitty to my already busy life with my son, our dachshund, Miss Frankie, and myself. We'd just moved into our 1929 Tudor style cottage, nestled on two acres dotted with apple trees, and overflowing with tranquility. I was much too busy making it a home, and learning how to mow all the acreage let alone think seriously about getting another pet.

I had merely mentioned the notion in a passing conversation that it might be fun to get a kitten. It was just a thought, an idea that slipped out of my mouth one day when hanging out with some friends. Jake, my son, and I laughed about how Miss Frankie may not share the same idea as fun, or good, or anything else. She'd been teased relentlessly by an old tom cat named, Big Red, we'd had in CA. His greatest fun was to hide in the flower pots on the front porch each morning, and wait for her to come out for her morning potty break. She always ran straight back to the front door quickly because breakfast was waiting for her. Thus her continual oblivion to Big Red lying in wait for her return--she was distracted by the thought of kibbles in her dish.
Miss Frankie would bark to let us know she was ready to come back in. We'd open the door and she'd scurry back in but just as her little lamb chop legs bounced over the threshold into the house, Big Red would reach out, seemingly from no where, to swipe her tail or bottom. She'd yelp, always taken back a bit from the cat spanking. He'd run off before she could retaliate, and we'd comfort her trying our best not to laugh in front of her because of Big Red's morning antics. But in our defense, it was funny. When you're a wiener dog the entire world is huge, very huge. So when we moved away from southern CA, Miss Frankie never once asked where Big Red was. Not once. She happily had her people all to herself.

One day I was surprised to come home from work to find some kitty paraphernalia lying about in the living room. My son, and a friend was there, both looking like a cat that had just swallowed a canary. This particular friend had a passion for buying gifts that were not on my "got to have" list such as the time he purchased a ball python, complete with tank, lamps, etc., for my son. How do you tell someone to take a gift back after your kid thinks he's just won the lottery? So when I saw the kitty toys, kitten food, and litter box, I felt an inner heat of righteous anger rise to my cheeks in knowing he'd just crossed the line again with me.

"Where is it?" I asked barely managing not to turn into a banshee. I was furious. How dare him bring a kitten home without my permission? Picking out a kitten, puppy, or any pet is a highly personal thing. I'd always had a specific type of kitten or cat I preferred, and how could he make that choice for me? So my first instinct was to find it and then make him return it to wherever he got it from. I stomped about the house, not angry at the kitten, mind you, angry that this friend had taken liberties he did not have, and I wanted to impress upon him that he had pushed the wrong buttons in me that day.

I saw the door to my bathroom was closed. I turned to see both my friend, and my son cowering behind me. "Is it in here?" I asked. Both nodded their heads up and down in a nervous yes.

My plan that afternoon was to walk into my bathroom, pluck the kitten up and hand it back to my friend without so much as a pet on the little fluff ball's head. I just knew it would be a kitty with a skinny face, weird set eyes, and no personality. I opened the door to my bathroom, and there on the floor, crouching behind the toilet, was the sweetest face I'd ever seen in a small bundle of cat fur. He meowed at me, helpless, and frightened with such an innocent, wide-eyed stare, I melted like a snow cone on a sidewalk in mid August.

"Awwwww....." The sound of instant love escaped my throat for the entire world to hear. I heard snickering behind me, but my mothering instincts were in full swing so I didn't turn around to slap both of them in that moment. I was too full of love to do anything but surrender my heart and soul to the kitten who came to live with us that summer afternoon.
That was ten years ago, almost to the day, that little Opie Taylor came home to live with us. He teased and tormented Miss Frankie with his kitten like ways. She tried to act like she didn't like him, just like I did, but we'd come home and catch them cuddled up together on the couch. They mooched food together and played chase. Opie Taylor somehow figured out the game of swatting Miss F's bottom when she came back in the house after her potty trips. And Miss Frankie taught Opie the rules of the house, all the "no-no's" and "how to's", such as how to kiss Mama (me). Miss F knew I didn't like doggy kisses directly on my mouth or face so she learned to dip her head when approaching me so I could kiss her on her forehead. Opie does that to this very day, just like Miss Frankie did. It's like getting a two-in-one kiss.

Miss Frankie left us a year ago last March. She wears a sparkly angel suit instead of fur now, and often comes to me in my dreams. She's always smiling when she sees me, and is wiggling her tail which leads to a full body wag when you're a wiener dog. I miss her so much. And now in a strangely comforting way, Opie channels her intuitiveness and her all around sensitivity to my needs. Just like Miss Frankie, he knows I'm hormonal before I do. He is my guru kitty. He's always there by my side to comfort me, make me giggle, and he always seems to know when I need him to dip his head to give me a kiss. I used to call her my "hot dog bottle" when she wouldn't leave my side when I was sick. Opie does that now, too.

If I'd have demanded my friend remove that kitten that day without ever really seeing it, I would have missed out on knowing Opie Taylor. He'd already been abandoned by someone, and dumped like so many cats and dogs are, out in the country. He came from a rural area that had several batches of barn yard kittens, and none of which were his litter mates. No one had any attachment to him whatsoever. He was one of the last kittens to find a home because he was older that the others. I had no way of knowing seeing him huddled behind the toilet that he was on his way to an animal shelter if no one picked him by the end of that week mid July 10 years ago. I just knew I loved him, flat out adored him, in an instant.
I'd like to believe Opie Taylor somehow picked me not the other way around. I cannot imagine my world without him in it. Or my life without monkey pants...

To be continued......

Friday, July 24, 2009

Looking For My Sassy Pants

I'm feeling a wee bit out of sync with the Universe. In other words.... I'm having some technical difficulties with my body. So I'm on a search to find my sassy pants. After I take a nap that is....

In the the video linked below.

Cool Wedding Video

My regulars know I only post "my stuff" but I'm too pooped to think, and too tired to try. This made me smile today in the midst of the heat wave of discomfort I'm wading through. So I know you will enjoy it, too.

As Arnold said, "I'll be backkkkk wearing my sassy pants." That was him who said that--right???

And just in case I can't find any sassy pants right away, I always have my "handerpants". (click handerpants)

So, I'm covered anyway you look at it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Life Rocks

I took these shots at one of our state parks.

I want to know what stories have unfolded in forests like these

Where every twist and turn takes you to another place and time.

I can hear voices whispering in the trees, the voices of the past.

A tree hangs stoically, silently on the edge of time.

Guardian soldiers of the past.

The rocks laugh.

For even the rocks have a story to tell.

"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity ... " ~ Gilda Radner

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Angel's Watching Over Me

I painted this angel in 1995. My son named her Elizabeth. She's painted on Masonite and measures approximately 5.5 x 4 feet. I painted an entire series of angels during this period of my life and at first hired some local carpenters to cut them out for me. None of them wanted to take the time to cut carefully around detailed lines I'd sketch out. Wings would be hacked off and one came back with all her toes missing. Bummer. So I decided to learn how to do it myself.

I cut around every feather, swirl in her robe, and toes on her feet with a scroll saw. On the backside of Elizabeth is a wired hanger attached to several pieces of pressed board glued together that allow her to fall away from the wall just slightly so she looks like she's flying.

Elizabeth hangs year round in a historical bed and breakfast in Ojai, CA. She is one of five Elizabeth's I painted in this design but in varying sizes.

I am happy to announce... I was asked recently to display some of my work in a local gallery so I'll be working hard to get my pieces ready to go.

My heart is soaring just like an angel's. And the humming you hear could be a scroll saw or me kicking arse on my PTSD.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pinocchio Is A Girl

Yep, it's me. Moi... Miss Monkey Pants~~

It wasn't even Halloween. That's the best part. When I first started singing pro I supported my music career as a server or a bartender. Or a clown. Imagine that... I decided if I had to work a "real" job [like a real boy] I'd make it fun and do it my way. And I sure did. [I'll post more about this at a later time...] One of my co-workers was studying Special Effects at a school in Hollywood. I was her willing, ever so willing, model.

Tis' good to be me.
~~~You can believe it~~~

I made a killing in tips working as a "real" boy.
Too bad a latex nose doesn't last forever.

Sigh.... Memories.
Some are just better than others--don't cha think?
And most get better with time. Thank the good Lawd.

Anyone remember that I Love Lucy episode where she lit her nose on fire?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bad hair day?

Was it the hair? Were my pigtails too tight?
Maybe it was the socks....
Look at that face.
I needed Botox at age five to fill in that furrow in my brow.

I've been scanning pictures that have sat in boxes, in albums, and in frames for years. If I just compiled a book of all my different hair styles I think it would tell a story all by itself. Don't get me started on my clothes. Isn't it funny to see an old picture of yourself in high school or when you thought you were stylin' it big time by sporting some current fashion trend--like shoulder pads or big hair? Or a perm that made you look like you were a cast member in the musical, "Hair"?

How can you tell someone that one day they will have a good laugh looking back at fashion trends they once wore? You can't... And that's the beauty of it all. Eventually, we all get to look like dorks whether our Mom's dressed us or we dressed ourselves.... No need to say, "I told ya so."

I'm not brave enough (yet) to show you some of the fashion statements I made all by myself trying to "find" myself through my clothes, and hair. But I will, I will very soon. Let me be the first one to laugh at myself. [chuckles to herself]...[chuckles again... she who laughs first wins]

More peek-chures coming soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My 100th Post

My 100th post!!! It's a [huge, humongous, gigantic, BIG] celebration for me.

I started this blog not knowing exactly where I was going but hoping blogging would take me somewhere wonderful. A pathway to heal the [notice I didn't say "my"] PTSD that visits me. Blogging has become a way of life for me now. I know many of you understand word for word what I just wrote. I feel like I know some of you as though I've known you my entire life. That's a good thing--blogging is supposed to be a way to link to each other's world. You've become my friends. I hope you feel that way about me, and Opie Taylor, too. For those of you who are just getting to know me, run now while you still can. Joking......

I promised when I started this blog that I was going to hang my undies out for all of you to see. I created a 101 list of creative things, and with you, "the world", watching me, I've been checking them off one by one. I'm going to be brave and knock a huge To Do off my list. I promised myself, and you, I would post an excerpt from the book I'm writing. Gulp... my undies are about to be waving like a parade queen.......

Look at me below.... I'm smiling nervously at age 7 like I knew I was going to be an exhibitionist when I grew up---oh that's right I still haven't grown up. Never mind....
Actually, I was trying to hide my missing front teeth not my undies.

This picture was taken when I was 7 years old a couple of months before the excerpt I'm about to share with you happened in my book, "Six Days To Haight-Ashbury". The book chronicles the events that led up to, and during, the time I hitch-hiked to San Francisco in 1967 as a runaway. The book is full of flash backs and if you lived during the 60's you will be transported back like you never left. If you ever wanted to know what it was like living in this historical time, I will take you there. It was the 60's--it was psychedelic, Man. Far out... Groooovy... Bitchin'... Keep on Truckin'.... [OK I'm done now] But it was what it was, and I lived it in southern California.

Now I'm going to take you on a magical mystery tour away from this site to my brand new link where I'll be showcasing my art, my photography and some other exciting adventures I want you, as my readers, my friends, to join me on. It's still under construction, too... just like me. I'll keep you posted here when I've nailed a few more pictures on the wall over there. Plus, I'll be taking all your pictures with me over there. We'll be all linky-like together. Peace, Love, and Tie Dye.

[Cue up the Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, or Cream--your choice]

Tune in, drop out and stick out your thumbs to the past.... But let's take a trip to 1959 first.

Click below on the Magic Bus to the past vrroooom vrrooommmm
It will take you to the excerpt and the new site.

Monday, July 13, 2009

~~~I'm Under Construction~~~

I'm under construction. Aren't we all???
And change is good...
At least that's what I keep telling myself.
Thanks for your patience
While I figure out who my blog wants to be when it grows up...

Plus it's my countdown to my 100th post!!!
One more post to go!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lillie Langtry, The Jersey Lily, and Lille Diane

I am working on a few projects (at once...) but one of them includes scanning, and compiling my personal photographs, as well as my professional modeling and musician portfolio. Big undertaking. This task is on my 101 List.

What many of you do not know about me is that I was born on the same day as Lillie Langtry exactly 99 years apart. She was called the Jersey Lily. She was a an independent woman more suited for our day and age, an actress that could be compared to our generation's Meryl Streep, and was considered to be the most beautiful woman of her time. In fact, Judge Roy Bean named his city, Langtry, TX, after her because he was so smitten with her. I hope this post will encourage you to read more about her.

Lillie above, me below....
I got goose bumps the first time I read her biography and discovered what seem to be so many similarities between us. At times I felt as if I knew what the next page in the book would say about her before I turned the page. Do any of you believe in re-incarnation? Past Lives?

Now I am not comparing myself to her caliber of beauty--in no way--it was more the "way" she thought, the "way" she believed in herself, and the "way" she lived her life. I ventured out on my professional singing career in my early 20's after I read about her. She gave me the courage to live my childhood dream. I will be re-reading my well loved, dog-earred copy of her book again. Perhaps she will inspire me from beyond, once again, to live my life with gusto. And without fear.

Excerpt from, "The Diva's Site"

""An open secret, Lillie Langtry became Prince Albert’s’ official mistress. Designers heaped free clothes on her so she never had to worry her husband with that expense. They were given a gilded coach so the Langtrys could travel to each party in style. Appreciated by the men, Lillie was not so coveted by the women, but was nonetheless invited to all social events as everywhere that Lillie went, the Prince was sure to go. The High Society Express was moving full steam ahead and Lillie couldn’t be happier. She was often known as “The Langtry Phenomenon.” The Diva was in full flower.

The press couldn’t get enough of her. She was written about on a daily basis and the public was eager to see what she would do next. George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying, “I resent Mrs. Langtry, she has no right to be intelligent, daring and independent, as well as lovely.” Oscar Wilde, great wit of the day and a bit of a Diva himself, once said “I would rather have discovered Lillie Langtry than America.” Princess Alexandra, often viewed as the long-suffering wife, soon met Lillie and the two developed a caring, friendly relationship. A quality not often found in the Other Woman, but a secret weapon used much to Mrs. Langtry’s credit. It gave her a special cachet that might otherwise have left her merely tolerated by the women of high society. Soon thereafter, Lillie was presented at court to Bertie’s mother, Queen Victoria. The Queen’s reaction was never recorded but it was said that she personally removed a picture of Mrs. Langtry from above the bed of her youngest son, Prince Leopold.""


Cameo of Lillie Langtry

Available from secondhand/Antiquarian Bookshops :-

The Days I Knew -by - Lillie Langtry - published 1925
The Jersey Lily - by - Pierre Sichel - published 1958
The Gilded Lillie - by - Ernest Dudley - published 1958
Lillie Langtry a Biography - by - Noel B Gerson - published 1971
The Prince and the Lillie - by - James Brough - published 1975
Lillie - by - David Butler - published 1978
Lillie Langtry - Her life in words and picutres - by - Jeremy Birkett & John Richardson - published 1979

The Jersey Lily - by - Sonia Hilson - published 1993
Lillie Langtry Manners Masks and Morals - by - Laura Beatty - published 1999

Or try Amazon, Borders or Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Opie Taylor's Video Debut

Opie wanted everyone to see he has acting abilities, and is requesting votes for his own weekly post. Actually he wants his own blog but will consider a guest spot as a contributing charmer.... errrrr I mean writer.....

How many paws up do we see out there? He said I could paint, finish my 101 list and he will handle the "cute" department. Should I be concerned if I will eventually have a desk in the far corner of the tree house while he's out signing autographs and Kittering??? Kittering is how cats Twit...

Psssstttt..... video has sound. Mute it if you're at work....
You're gonna love it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sweet Pea with Spikes....

Here's the little carrot (top) I'm using to motivate me to take a road trip 2.5 hours away...

His Uncle Opie thinks he looks just like him.
Hey, red-heads gotta stick together...

Oops...wrong pic..... This is the one Opie uses on Match Dot Com....

I meant this red-head below.
Notice he has spiked his hair to match Sweet Pea's...

Yes, sir... Uncle Opie is one kewl cat....
And Sweet Pea is one kewl grand son...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oh, how I miss me....

I miss me.

The "me" that would just get up and go.

In a car.

Anywhere, any time, any place.

I was reminded about this part of me that's still missing last night in a conversation that centered around loving to drive, and wanderlust. My wanderlust spirit is MIA. Well, my wanderlust is not completely missing. I still "think" about the places I'd like to drive to. I'm just having a hard time locating my courage to "just get up and go...." And my courage is apparently on a field trip somewhere with my wanderlust spirit. I wonder if they got a group rate by taking that trip together.... without me.

  • I'd like to visit my son, and my new grandson, who just turned 6 months old.
  • I'd like to visit my Mom who can't travel like she used to. Talk about a person with the middle name "GO"!!!
  • I'd like to drive to Colorado, and visit my beloved Rockies.
  • I'd like to drive out to my friend's farm about 45 miles away and chill with her, and her family, on her big, open porch.
  • I'd like to drive to visit my friend Ziggy who has a comedy team that does improv about 4.5 hours away.
  • I'd love to drive to PEI (in Canada) to meet a new friend that has overcome many of the PTSD symptoms I am still searching to come to terms with.
  • I'd like to drive to my doctor's office without timing my appointment around my fears of when it will be too busy on the highways.
  • I'd like to control other drivers on the highway around me. It's the not knowing what they're going to do in the lane next to me or if they are even paying attention to their surroundings that restricts my freedom, my peace of mind.
I know. I know--that last line is something I cannot, nor can anyone, control.... It sounds silly when I read back what I just typed but one's feelings, especially the ones that are irrational, have to be let out or discussed so they can dissipate. It helps me having an avenue like writing to release those fears I might otherwise carry around like junk in my trunk, and I feel safe sharing with all of you what happens to people like me who are dealing with PTSD. It is an irrational illness and I occasionally need a horn honking to remind me I'm drifting into a lane that isn't productive or healthy. And haven't we all drifted mindlessly behind the wheel of our lives from time to time? So even if it's scary as hell driving I have to keep trying. I have places I want to get to, and it will take a car to get me there.

But I can't help but wonder..... Where is that girl? That girl who used to race the sun on a westbound highway just because she wanted to make it run... Has anyone seen the girl who drove cross country multiple times all by herself--and a couple of times with a Cockatiel riding on her steering wheel that made the truckers honk, and grin... Where is that girl that didn't know fear?

If you see her out there driving in a pack of cars going about 15 miles over the speed limit...

Or cruising with the car radio cranked up full-tilt and singing like she's auditioning for American Idol while she drives down the road...

Or looking confident, and carefree, with a bird sleeping on her shoulder....

Will you tell her to please come home. I really, really miss her. I really do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kitty's Colorful Home

I took these shots on my Flip Video so they're not as sharp as I'd prefer, but as you can see, the color is delightful, and the kitty looks more than happy to show off his colorful digs. All cats, or dogs, should be so lucky to live in a home like this. But the bigger picture is all animals should not have to live in shelters or cages or live digging through trash cans to eat.

I know most of you who follow me regularly are animal lovers just like I am. I also know a few of you are saying, "Dang... I'd like to live in that house. Move over kitty face..."

I just wanted to remind people to adopt, and spay or neuter, your pets. A cat doesn't care if its house looks as charming as this kitties home does--they just want to be loved, and sheltered from harm. Their job is to love on us unconditionally. They are our earthly role models on how we should love each other.

Opie Wan Kenobi happily supports this post.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sky Lights

~~Thousands of tiny lights dancing in the sky~~
A collage of fire work shots I took.

Childrens' Names Revisit the 60's...a retro moment

I was looking through some of my files today and found a blurb I'd saved because.... Well you look at it and you'll see why my eyebrows were raised...

Yeah.... I'm rolling my eyes on this one, too.

Jamie and Jools Oliver

It's a Girl!

The 'Naked Chef' and his wife welcomed Petal Blossom Rainbow on April 3. She joins sisters Poppy Honey, 7, and Daisy Boo, 5 in the well fed clan.

Those poor kids may as well get used to repeating, and repeating, and repeating their names when people say, "Huh?? Are you serious???" Followed by the click of the phone as they hang up believing they were about to be pranked by Daisy Boo ordering a pizza or applying for a credit card.....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My attention span equals that of a firework....

Fireworks have a magical effect on the world. But through the eyes of a child, there are few words "big" enough to describe the sky booming with color.

I was raised in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, and drive-in theaters were the place to be on the 4th of July, or for that matter, any summer night especially on a Wednesday. Fifty cents for an entire car load. How could you beat that? We had two drive-ins in town to choose from. Pretty snazzy for a small town surrounded by a Navajo Indian Reservation in the high desert with no direct routes from anywhere to get there, and while it wasn't exactly in the middle of nowhere, it was right next door to nowhere.

Some of my fondest moments as a child happened at our local drive-in. On a hot, dry summer evening right before the sun went down, we'd load up the car with blankets, pillows, a big water jug, and some homemade popcorn, and head to the drive-in theater. Most of the time my sisters and I already had our pj's on--it was part of the ritual. Our "attire of convenience" never stopped us from running to the playground even before the crackly sounding speaker had been attached to my dad's side of the window. Up and down the rows of hills we'd run, between cars, and under speaker wires straight to the playground. There was just enough sound floating in the arid air to hear the cartoon while lying on the slide, gliding to the sky in a swing, or spinning on the merry-go-round.

On the 4th of July there was always a firework display at the drive-in. We'd huddle on the ground in front of the car, or on top of the hood to watch the sky pop into mammoth sized sparklers. Squeals in loud or soft "ahhhhhhs and ohhhhhhhs", or even an occasional scream, was perfectly acceptable by one and all. Once a year was the only time one could watch fireworks. It was special--it's not that way today. We set off fireworks at half time, at concerts, at amusement parks, in our backyards, off the back of ships, and to announce the next McWhopper-Doodle Burger.

Superman and I stood among the masses to observe the fireworks display last night. When we jockeyed in for our position, I purposely moved to a spot where we wouldn't be blocking any people with children, or people who were seated. It's a habit with me--I'm a tall girl, and it's expected of you when you are tall to stand in the last row when pictures are being taken or to retrieve something from the top shelf of the cupboard for someone who is vertically challenged. I'm OK with that. I'm vertically endowed.People were talking the entire time around us, and not about the firework display. One young man walked by us talking loudly on his cell phone to be heard over the loud bangs. He was quite loud, and it was strange to observe his compete unawareness of his surrounding's or that his behavior might be considered rude by most of the people he walked past. I looked to my right and saw four teens standing in a group talking away--backs turned from the sky aflame with star bursts melting into plumes of smoke. I looked left, and saw another three people talking, engrossed in their conversations and not the show. They weren't watching at all. I turned my attention away from the people not watching to begin watching after I realized I'd missed several blasts of color in gawking at the people standing around me.

Ribbons of color, and balls of fire wooed a girlish "ahhhh" from my heart, and out the window of my mouth. I'm truly the most awake, and alive, when I'm behaving like a child. My heart is still five, or seven, or nine.... and I will never grow up completely-- no never.

Behind me I heard a little boy two years old, maybe three, but no older, exclaiming, "Wow!!" after each explosion of light and sound. It charmed me so I had to turn around to see the cherub whose voice took me back to my childhood of summer nights at the drive-in. It wasn't a moment later I heard his mother begin shushing him, telling him to stop saying "wow". I could barely contain myself from making the biggest OHHHHHHS and AHHHHHHS and WOWZZZZ you'd ever hear to rally behind that little boy just doing what comes natural--it's called being "a kid"~~~

So I'm standing there aware I've been as easily distracted by my surroundings as the people I've been annoyed at for being distracted, and scold myself for not watching the fireworks. I just focus in again, when a tall man.... a very tall, large man walks in front of me, and stands slightly in front of me just to my right to watch the show. He never once turns to see who he just stood in front of... which happened to be a family with small children, and a grandma seated in a wheel chair. He just stood there pleased as punch he'd found such a primo spot.

At this point I'm having an inner conversation about the situation instead of watching the fireworks. I'm trying to decide whether or not to tap the giant on the shoulder, and challenge him right there on the spot to move his big hunkin' butt on down the line so the people he blocked could see better. I decide to leave it alone especially since my Wonder Woman costume was at the cleaners. After all it is July 4th... so I begin watching (again...) standing on my tippy-toes, looking over his left shoulder.

I'd just gathered my focus, and had successfully resumed watching, when the hulk pulls out his cell phone and lifts it high above his head taking pictures of the fireworks. Now I'm distracted again... I stand there like a 12 year old playing a video game watching the shots he takes, and deletes or saves. Argghhhhh!!!! It took me 6-8 shots before I realized I was watching the firework show through his small LCD on the back of his frigging cell phone instead of the sky itself...

But what it really reminded me of was that I had my Flip Video in my purse and hadn't taken a single shot! So out it comes, and I stand next to the massive man who suddenly, and oddly, reminds me of the Statue of Liberty with his arm held high, his torch fired up with a glowing screen lighting the way for freedom of speech, freedom to watch what we want--or not--freedom to stand together as a country, and most importantly, as the diverse individuals that make up this great country. I managed to focus the last two minutes of the firework display--looking a lot like Lady Liberty myself standing next to Big Guy Liberty, clicking away.

After the Grand Finale, I twist my face into a surprised frown, and with a pout sinking my bottom lip down past my ankles ask Superman, "Was that it!?"

The world spins by so fast today and it takes a lot to hold our attention. I'm afraid my attention span is that of a gnat, too. A fleeting firework... A mere flash in cell phone camera... And I'm wondering what the heck I started this post to tell you about... And I fret about how many of you had enough time, or interest, or attention span to follow this long story to the end.

Go ahead, you have my permission to change the channel... but if you're still with me, leave me some comments on how you feel about then, and now, and our attention challenged world.'s what I wanted to tell you. I'm working on an album of shots I took of the fireworks. I'll post them soon on my side bar.

Now click that remote..... I'm outta here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Freedom To Float

Happy Independence Day! Have a safe, and a really corny, corn on the cob filled weekend.

Turn your sound on and enjoy the lovely nature sounds I heard this morning while kayaking.... and one little giggle... that's nature, too isn't it???

Friday, July 3, 2009

Design A Dream/Vision Board...the easy way

Dylan and I have been creating our Dream/Vision Boards. Today I'm showing you her project in hopes you will be inspired to make one for yourself. This is a fabulous way to organize what you want to manifest in life or who you'd like to become--and I'm not just taking about material things. You can acquire all the stuff in the world and still not have happiness, or be content, or have inner peace, or have good health. I find it's best to create an atmosphere of balance between soul things and material things. Heart stuff always comes first.

I actually started doing this type of visualization (some people call it prayer) when I was in my teens. It's the secret behind all my greatest adventures, and successes I've had in life. It took a near fatal auto accident for me to realize I need to begin visualizing again how I want to design the next phase of my life. Dylan was in the accident with me, and lost her husband 2 years ago. It was my privilege to help her with this project. Together we are moving forward and a Dream/Vision board is a great place to start.

Here's a look at Dylan's Dream Board project start to finish.

Beginning stages of decoupaging small, preferably torn pieces of papers, napkins, cutouts, etc., on an up-cycled bulletin board. DIY tip: This is a quick fix for any old bulletin board even if you don't use it for a Dream-Vision Board. You can trick out an old lamp shade using this method, too. Heck, transform your car! Go wild!

Dylan gluing down a crocheted heart with Mod Podge. Look for items that will add texture and interest. Think about using old concert ticket stubs, that cocktail napkin you save from a special event, a doodle you drew on an envelope while talking on the phone, the tissue paper that bouquet of flowers was wrapped in... The options are endless. Kids like making projects like this, too. Invest this practice into their lives so they can get an early start on customizing their lives, too.

Don't forget to add an element of gratitude to your Dream Board. We secured this little bag that had sentimental value to Dylan right on her board. This way she can fill it with a handwritten thank you when one of her dreams come true. She could also fill it with folded pieces of paper with all the things she's thankful for inside such as... that parking space that magically opened up, the unexpected call from an old friend, a bird outside her window singing sweetly--just for her. Life is not just about getting "stuff" to fill up a mansion. It's about remembering to say thank you for all you already have first. FIRST. And saying thank you even before a dream comes true is one way to seal your wish with a kiss. Teach your children and yourself to say thank you for all things. This is the best magic making trick of all time. Promise!

Here's Dylan's finished Dream Board with all her goals, reminders, wishes, and dreams stapled on her refurbished bulletin board. Stapling or using push pins enables you to remove items that have come to fruition or are no longer on your bucket list and especially to ADD more! Look! See my picture on Dylan's Dream Board. I'm the one in the itsy-bitsy, black and white bikini. I'm famous!! And dreaming big time! 


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