Who cut the cheese?….

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I recently read that the majority of Facebook users are now around my age- old. I realize you’re all out there texting and tweeting and tumbl-ing or whatever now but…

Open letter to young people:

I know I’ve ranted and raved about the evils of the technical world over the years but I’ve also been darned amused with it myself so can’t really intend it so seriously. I mean, I do hope you are all out there walking through the forest, rock climbing, reading a good book, making love or partaking in some other much more worthwhile activity than posting on FB. However, I ask you not to completely give up on us…old folks.

I originally signed up for the social media site in order to try and keep an eye on the activities and goings-ons of my boys. Sadly, they realized that. Happily, I have been “friended” by many of their friends. I cannot fully express the hollow place I feel now that you’ve all grown up. Play dates, school functions, birthdays, sleepovers and all other manner of “family”-building took place over 24 years or more. You are all my family.

Ed asked what I got out of FB. Yes, it certainly is a time-sink. However, who’s having a baby, living vicariously through friends’ vacation pictures, who needs consoling, family biz… I do get it. Yes, there is a lot of crap. I think I am lucky in that so many of my friends are intelligent, feeling human beings that do like cat videos and occasionally a few lame things but for the most part… pictures and inspiration. That’s what the scroll thingee is for, skipping nonsense (okay, some people do more than their share of posting when they’re bored….GUILTY).

But, kids, don’t leave me hangin’! What I’d really love is a visit or a phone call or an actual letter, but, I’ll settle for your life updates on school, work, relationships or important topics that may have meaning in your life right now. Let me know how smart and beautiful and caring you are! Keep your shopping sprees and party antics to yourself but share the rest :).

I think that’s why the folks in this photo look so…??? They felt left out. Thanks for listening.

This post’s how-to: How to write a letter

Get a piece of paper big enough to write in your own writing, at least a few words. Find a writing utensil of any variety to accomplish this. Find an envelope. If you get junk mail, save the envelopes, cross off or put a sticker over all the info on there and use that. Most of you don’t know mailing addresses any more and phone books don’t give them to you, usually. This is a good time to pick up a phone and call or, at least text someone who may have a clue about the address. Now the really hard part. Go to the post office and buy a stamp. Do you remember where things go?  YOUR return address goes in the top left corner. The person you are writing to gets their address written in the middle of the envelope, down and right from yours. The stamp goes on the top right corner. (all this happens on the front of the envelope). Place in the nearest mail box and know you’ve done a good thing.

You may think this is silly but I’ve had young people who I thought were old enough to know this that did not 😦    Be well! xoxoxox

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’twas the night before Christmas and I finally got the 2013 family letter done….

WARNING: THIS PARTICULAR BLOG POST WILL LIKELY BE VERY BORING IF YOU’RE NOT FAMILY…. SHUCKS, IT WILL PROBABLY BE BORING EVEN IF YOU ARE FAMILY!!! Image

…and yes, Santa’s workshop is still open, thank you very much for asking….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

I have some crazy last-minute ideas for my great niece and nephew to do in the morning as well as some finishing touches on some other gifts for tomorrow’s festivities at my sister’s down in Arroyo Grande and….well, you get the picture. Raise your hand if you’re in the same boat at 10:32 p.m. Christmas Eve!

Pictured are ornaments (who says you can’t decorate with these things all year ’round??!!). My sister, Barbara, and her husband bottle their own wine. With the endless stash of yarn and fabric scraps I’ve got, I figured this was a good use of the corks someone deposited in my studio by the masses. Glue bits on with good ol’ white glue in whatever pleasing fashion you desire or feed seed beads onto pins and put into the cork at random intervals. Fabric ones look very cool sealed with Modge Podge or resin. Add an eye hook from the hardware store on one end and string yarn or cording, etc.  from it. Put an eye hook at the other end of the cork in which to put an ornament hook or string. Hang from trees, lamps, dresser drawers, or where ever you think needs some brightening up!

Merry Christmas or any other holiday you celebrate around now! Sounds awfully cliche but the years just seem to go faster all the time and 2013 was no exception. As I get older I do notice something a little disconcerting- more friends and relatives are dying or perhaps I’m just becoming more aware of it. Lost a couple of friends, my brother-in-law of 37 years as well as the last aunt on the Montgomery side. My mother’s generation is gone. Sigh. We carry on.

Gee, that’s cheery…. Any hoot, the love just grows and grows in my house. And, many of you have asked to know more about Ed’s girls and they’ve agreed to be a part of this goofy tradition of mine. My son’s are cheering that someone else can finally take some of the heat as they’ve been the subject matter of my weekly columns, more often than not :). I met his three lovely ladies back east last year. I am so impressed with their character, very bright and genuine.

Emily is the youngest and here is what she shared with me: ” As far as what to say about the two of us, we live fairly simple lives so there’s not a lot to talk about. Justin works in the IT field for a cable company, and when he’s not doing that he’s gaming.  I’m a manager at a fabric store, and I spend my spare time reading or sewing. I did go to two anime conventions this year and made 6 new costumes for them. But my new love is steampunk, and I had a great time strutting in my aviator duds at a couple steampunk events. You can definitely expect to see more of that, we even have an official name for our steampunk group; The Curious Consortium of Revolutionary Ladies. (photo attached of our debut steampunk outfits)”

This is Emily and her husband, Justin, from their wedding a couple of years ago and her costumed consort, below that-  ImageImage

Emily is second from left and oldest sister, Andrea, is in the middle! Very fun….

Next up the line is Bethany and her husband, Jeff. They are both in a field that boggles my mind- accounting. All the girls have their own homes and these two are putting in a lot of work on their’s right now not to mention getting geared up for that after-the-first-of-the-year tax season! They do some traveling and I hope they get to travel out to California sooner than later!

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Last but not least is Andrea and her husband, Pete. Andrea just completed her masters in Psychology this year all the while working full time! She does the Cosplay and (as seen above) steampunk events with Emily. Pete is a mechanic and is great at fixing things…. Just like my honey! 🙂  This is Andrea and Pete from last year at Bethany’s wedding:

Image  That was such a fun trip last year and I really want to get back to see them all again sooner than later. Obviously Ed misses them terribly. It’s hard being so far away.

That brings me to my boys….

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This is the first Christmas that neither of my boys will be home. Very weird. Don’t think I like it. HOWEVER, Zachary (on the left) will be turning 21 in January. Seeing as both of them are in the Portland, OR area, Ed and I will drive up there for a late Christmas and B-Day celebration. Zach’s dad, Craig and girlfriend will also go up and I’m hoping Miles’s dad, Woody, will also go. We do have a lot of fun together. I know. I’m a dork and love family gatherings….what can I say.

Zachary is working at a hotel in Forrest Grove. He is also attending Portland Community College while he decides his course in life. He and his girlfriend, Chloe, continue to have fun while they plot their course… 🙂 Still a big sports fanatic, he no longer plays football but has, in fact, become a fan of soccer due to his big brother’s influence!

Miles is working in Portland for Da Vinci (http://www.davincid.com/your-team.html#) (the frowning baby on the far right is my boy….hahahahaha) still. He continues to pursue his dream of ultimately being a paramedic- he took a wilderness rescue training this summer and THAT is really what he wants to do. Meanwhile he works away, attends the Timbers soccer games, reads voraciously and enjoys all the beauty of Oregon.

Me and Ed? Heck, we’re just a couple of happy hippies….

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This year, we got five chickens, two of which wound up being roosters. They were delicious. Hey, just needed to know we could “do that” if the need ever came up. A great stew was had with the clucks and the spoils of our garden- potatoes, onions, celery, etc. The three girls are much happier.

We took a marvelous, impromptu vacation in October since work was slow any way. Ed used to live in Moab, Utah so that was our destination.  You know, you can fall in love with someone and tell each other about yourselves but it means that much more when you can actually meet the people and see the places in their stories (meeting his family last year, mid-life adventures this year!). His friends were truly welcoming and fun folks and the terrain was, well, if you get a chance it is WELL-WORTH the effort to get there. We hunted dinosaur bone (just came out of the rock tumbler…. YES!), Indian dwellings and more. Then headed to Durango, CO to visit a young friend, formerly of Cambria and then on down into New Mexico to catch up with my former in-laws whom I love dearly. It was a good and much-needed trip for both Ed and I on many levels. Back into town and things were still quiet. As I write this, the massage world is finally starting to hum again and Ed’s handyman work also is picking up steam again.

More excitingly (in my small head), Ed has a shop here in Cambria who wants to hang his paintings, specifically his Hunter/Gatherer series! Perfect place with fossils, gems and the like. He is so talented and I probably nag him too much about pursuing it further.

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Me, I am still writing my weekly newspaper column (I hope they’re not as boring as this particular essay!) and just finished my 11th of hopefully only 12 years on the school board.

Okay, my fingers are cramping and even my mind is numb. If you’re still with me here, bless you!

We have some creative ideas for the new year and fully intend to see all our kids more. At least Skype, fer cryin’ out loud!

To you and all of yours (be they human or furry or feathered…or scaly, etc), the best of the new year to you!  Spread Peace!

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The almost Christmas letter….

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The models had a lovely day at the beach, all lined up for their audition for this year’s Christmas card!

(If you are reading this expecting to find the Christmas letter, it means you’ve gotten your hard copy card in the post before I’ve gotten the sure-to-be thrilling family history uploaded yet… please check back later) xoxoxox

“You always do everything at the last minute!” my honey pointed out… “It took you almost three years to realize that?” I calmly replied. And so, this leads me to the almost letter because I’m still hoping to get some other photos and put my brain around what needs to go in such an essay, especially online.

What can I say- my creative muse is extremely unpredictable.

Knowing that my ever-expanding hiney needed to get some exercise, I grabbed my little bucket and walked down to the street to collect the main ingredient for my latest brainstorm, Sand People. A beautiful afternoon, quite warm, it was a good excuse to ignore the dishes a little longer. Back up the hill from the beach to our mad scientist studio, I set to work concocting a sand clay of sorts. In case you are interested in how, this is my best recollection. There are better recipes elsewhere online.

2 cups of Sand 1/2 – 1 cup of White Glue (add slowly until desired consistency is achieved) 1/2 – 1 cup of Cornstarch – (See more at: http://www.creativeplayhouse.mumsinjersey.co.uk/2013/06/sand-clay.html#sthash.UBJO5tTm.dpuf) There are other recipes out there that include cream of tartar or exchange liquid for powder starch and cooking but that seemed like too much work.

Being the child that I am, I poured the ingredients into a tub and immediately stuck my hands in the mess to mix it. Just like tar and feathers….took forever to exhume my fingers. But it was fun. Once mixed, I realized the recipes called for “play sand” meaning fine and DRY. This was not un-fine, really but was damp from being drawn closer to the waves (where it’s less gravelly). SO, I threw in a handful more of cornstarch. Still didn’t seem stiff enough. SO I threw in a cup or two of flour (gluten makes things stick together, right?). Alas, it seemed about as good as it would get.Image     Into the house I went with tubs of sea glass and sea shells from years of collecting as well as toothpicks, pine needles from the yard and a craft mat (very helpful for keeping things clean and to be able to remove sticky things from…like sand clay). Big blob on bottom, toothpick into the middle, two additional blobs over toothpick (to keep them somewhat level and together). Couple bitty pieces of glass for buttons, cut the top of the toothpick off for a nose, stuck pine needles in for arms and put it aside to dry for a day or two. It shrinks, be forewarned! The end of the toothpick was sticking out so I took nippers and cut them all off and glued glass and shells on for hat and VOILA!

My nefarious scheme to take over the world is nearly complete. Hmmmmmm, maybe a herd of 1 1/2 inch creatures won’t do as much of my bidding as I’d hoped…. oh, well, it was fun! And I love my final Christmas card!

Now, if I can get some info from all our kids and pics, I’ll get the family Christmas letter out in the next couple of days!

’til then, spread peace!

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This little fella looks like he’s dancing, doesn’t he? A goofball after my own heart!!!

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What have you noticed lately?

Watch where you step....out front of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce

For publication in The Cambrian…
Word of Mind, Word of Mouth by Lady Tie Di

I was reading this book for young people about creative writing, “Rip the Page!”. I figured it was time for a fresh perspective. I loved being reminded about parts of speech in a voice that sounded more like my own now!

One sample writing was about a boy who commented to his mother he wasn’t seeing any yellow as they were driving. She pointed out a taxi. From that point on he noticed everything that was indeed yellow from the fire hydrants to the lines in the road to the sunflowers peeking over a fence to a yellow lab.

Have you ever noticed that when you get a new car and all of a sudden it seems like everyone is driving a Toyota Matrix (although not quite like the one I’m driving…)? It is true that we may see a particular pair of shoes we like and we go find some for ourselves or whatever it is that is a good bargain or useful and we just go and get. But that is not the point.

The writing sample ended with, “What if, today yellow cars…what if tomorrow, world peace?” I thought about all that implied… Yeah, what IF tomorrow world peace? What about today? What are we choosing to give attention to, life to?

Have you ever felt like everything is going right and it just keeps getting better? Or conversely, have you had one thing go slightly not-as-planned and “bad luck” just domino-ed on down through the day? Is it just happening to us or is it that we are giving it credence?

I choose to be optimistic when I think you all by now have heard of the power of positive thinking and maybe even have experienced it firsthand. Perhaps you are even aware of “vibrating” on the same level as someone and that is how we are connecting. People actually vibrate with others from miles and miles away. That’s why moms always know what’s essentially going on in their kids’ lives (others do it too, of course).

No, really. Why do you think conferences and churches and motivational workshops and even Weight Watchers are so influential? People start vibrating for a like cause or need or desire and it triggers momentum and things very often will move in a particular direction.

It’s where your focus lies and, how you can shift it. Remember when you were mad or upset and counted to ten (or better yet, count backward from 48 using only every 3rd number)? It was a nice little reminder for me reading that piece: when I choose something to pay attention to, I see it- birds in the woods, peoples’ hair, eye contact, a need for human contact… focus.

If I forget about an appointment in the morning, I immediately find three good things to pay acknowledge and shift my attention from one of stress to one of at least a neutral place! Try s-l-o-w-l-y breathing in every aspect of that blessing (what, why, how…) and exhale as slowly, letting the niceness settle gently down over you like a soft mantel.
And, “…what if tomorrow, world peace?”

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What is love…

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Over 40 years after he knocked her to the ground, breaking her nose,

My earliest memory of him,

28 years after their divorce, followed by another failed marriage and another

With the yelling still echoing in my ears

He says, as he lay there in a bed draped in his last regrets

“I don’t know what went wrong. I always loved your ma. I still do to this day”

So I ask yet again, What is Love?

Puppy love, the love of a good book, “Love, love, LOVE my BFF”

Is it naive to think it’s much more than the quickening of the pulse one feels

As your date pulls up out front

He worked hard, it’s not that

He told us every day how much he loved us, hugged and kissed us

Then smacked you across the head if you wore the wrong shoes

“What are you, stupid?” Was he joking?

Not when the police arrived. Every time they arrived

I never realized how much he loved us until I was much older

I never realized until even older than that, the word “love” is a cop out

Naivety strikes again

If someone says they love you forty times a day yet

Does nothing to contribute to your well-being

Often as not hurts your feelings, throws their dirty laundry of life in your lap

Sucks the living life out of you

Does it make it love because they say it is?

Some times there are those who pretend for a really long time to do the right thing

What is that?

I stopped pretending I knew when I was sixteen and ran away from home

I thought I was in love

Talk about rude awakenings

So, why the eternal optimism?

I’m thinking now that it’s really just a game of hide and go seek

I always was competitive in my own way

Into the happiness of pursuit

Is it because they need you so badly and they want it to be so

She had the brains

He had the braun

They both needed someone

Wanted someone desperately for alleged acceptance or support I guess

Even after they split she would call him to deal with the repairmen

Or her unruly teenage daughter

What do I know

I suppose it can only be real if every part of you screams out loud

“This feels right!”

But, what about when it fades away?

Who stokes the fire, who’s duty is it, what does that look like?

I’m waiting…

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Summer offerings…

ImageI felt today, that along with the water (blessed with my purest intentions and love) I normally offer to all massage clients, I might also present some small token from my garden. Consider it a token of the positive efforts of both myself, my sweetheart and especially, the earth. 

 

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Once again…

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Count the footsteps on the beach

Until they travel out of reach

One last bird sailing by tonight

Dancing on the wind ’til he’s clear out of sight

Everyone seems to have somewhere to go

How on earth do they ever know….

Where

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