Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I believe

Here Comes Santa Claus
Originally uploaded by Texas Finn
"And curious creatures that we are, in every sense of the word. Not only are we the sole animal in all of nature capable of believing in Santa Claus, we are also the only one that can come to grips with the unpleasant truth that he doesn't exist." 
- Jon Franklin

To believe or not to believe, that is the question.

Tonight, the kids put out oats for the reindeer.
We placed a plate of cookies, milk in a mug.
A special note was written, from Santa to the kids.
I am (Santa), therefore I believe,
Anything that brings joy to our hearts and connects us to others.
Let us perpetuate the love in any way we can,
Let every day be Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Guest House

Cal y Canto
Originally uploaded by scaamanho
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. ---Rumi

Monday, December 8, 2008

Change is Good

I've been shying away from writing lately for a myriad of reasons. Not the least of which is time - travel, holidays, sick kids - and the most of which is that frankly, my head is spinning a bit. I've had several opportunities (2 big ones) in the past month along in which to challenge my core beliefs, unearth the limiting ones and then push myself beyond them to a bigger and better life. I'm excited. I'm tired. I'm scattered and ungrounded. I'm eager and anxious to get started and yet my physical body is still reeling a bit. I cleaned out my office (pics coming soon) and have really been slowly working through my whole house drawer by shelf. I bought some new clothes and makeup. I gave up drinking coffee (or traded for root beer?) I'm getting a new computer. Now it's time to further clean out my life. Good bye! that which no longer serves me. Hello! Bigger and better things. Want to join me? Here is a topic to get you started...discuss.

"Fear is the cheapest room in the house. You deserve better living conditions."
- Hafiz

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks Giving

"When you arise in the morning give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks the fault likes in yourself."

- Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

Today I give thanks for:
My loving husband, his partnership and his humor.
My amazing children, their wonder and authenticity.
My family, their unconditional love and everything they have taught me.
The Muses, their inspiration and acceptance.
Yoga, it's benefits of health and opening my mind to many more things.
My body, for all that it is capable of and for being not flawless, but whole.
Nature, for teaching me and feeding me (in more ways than one).
Money, not a weapon but a tool.
And for all the things that I have resisted and disliked and feared, for they have taught me the most.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A million dollars

Lately every time I turn on the radio I hear the song, "If I had a Million Dollars" by the Bare Naked Ladies. hmmm, I'm sensing a theme.

The song says, "If I had a million dollars...
I'd buy you a house
I'd build a tree fort in your yard
We'd take a limousine
I'd buy you some art
I'd buy you a green dress (but not a real green dress, cuz that's cruel)

What would I do if I had a million dollars?
I'd buy a new computer
Redesign and streamline my office
Get some new clothes
Donate lots of money
Jump start our new company Muselan with an influx of funds
Take my kids to Disney World
Get a massage every week

What would you do if you had a million dollars?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Be BIG with me

"All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"
- Buddha

The recent election has done a lot of things. It excited and inspired many with feelings of renewal and hope. It has saddened and hurt others that their candidate lost. For many, a sense of let down and what next?. For most a sense of change and anticipation of something different.
What I didn't expect is that in this day and age and time that so many still have so far to go.
What I didn't expect is that there are people in my circle of family and friends that are blatant racists and bigots. For that I am sorely disappointed.

Speaking to them: Frankly, I am a little confused. When you personally know people of another race or heritage and claim to be their friends, does that mean you think it's OK to make racist jokes? Do you think the other person will think it's funny? I am a woman and you claim to be my friend. Does that mean you make sexist jokes when I'm not around? Don't you think that would hurt me, too?

Speaking to everyone: Now is not the time for petty differences. In case you hadn't noticed, the world is changing. It may change for the better or it may change for the worst. It all depends on how many of us can decide we want to be better humans and that being a kinder, nicer, more compassionate human is all that matters. We must be bigger than our differences in order to survive. As the saying goes, "Grow, or die". If you are not growing and changing and evolving, you are in essence going in the reverse. You are dying.
I want for everyone the same things I want for myself. Food, clothing, shelter, security, and most of all love. If what you give out to the world is petty and demeaning and hurtful, that is what you will receive in return. Don't be surprised. If you want wonderful things, then that is what you must give away. Being racist or telling racist jokes keeps you small. I'm sure you want a big, glorious, joyful, happy life, right? Then do things that are big. Do things that are glorious. Do things that bring you joy and happiness. Stop being small, start being BIG.

Speaking for myself: I am living my bigger life and it gets bigger everyday. This is truly the miracle of life! One of the challenging things about that is that sometimes I have to leave parts of my smaller life behind. I am strong enough to stand up for what I believe in. I am also strong enough to tell others that their so-called "jokes" are not funny. I am strong enough to tell others that I won't listen to lies. I am strong enough to say I don't want negativity in my life anymore. As my life gets bigger and better (and, dear reader, hopefully yours too!) I try to impact others by my actions. I want to be the light. Sometimes this means teaching, sometimes this means being accepting and loving, sometimes this means separating myself from others.

Remember, we are either growing or we're dying. Which would you rather be?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Excitement and Enthusiasm

I'm brimming with excitement today. I stayed up way too late and that would normally bring my energy down. I'm still so happy and excited that my lack of sleep can't keep me down.
I've been focusing on the positive, choosing to stay away from energy draining negative news and ads and discussions. I've held a picture in my mind of what I want in our country and for our people and the people of the whole world.
For awhile I avoided discussion of politics until about a month ago when we put a sign in our yard. Then a sticker on my care and a magnet on my husband's. While neither of the candidates mirrored all my beliefs and ideals, there was one that suited me more than the other. It does not mean one is bad and one is good. It was a matter of preference.
I determined that my choices, especially on these topics, don't need to be hidden. Why are we so afraid of saying "I am voting for ___" or "I support ___"? That just tells me we are all still afraid. Of what? Not being liked? Not being popular? Of an argument?
When I think about it, I don't really know which candidate many of my neighbors and friends supported. That's too bad. I wouldn't love them any less if their views didn't match mine. Isn't that what people are all about?
I respect people who can be honest and have open discussions about their views and beliefs in an atmosphere that is without judgment. I respect people who voted for John McCain. I respect people who are passionate about their beliefs. Let's just keep it positive. Negative discourse doesn't really help anyone, does it?
Now that the decision is made, let's all move forward moment by moment. Last week I felt good. Yesterday I felt good. Today I felt good. Tomorrow I want to feel good too. How about you?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YES, we CAN!

Barack Obama Hope Sticker
Originally uploaded by PEEL


Can you guess what we are?
I'll give you a hint. The milkman did it.

The kids and their pumpkins. Scary, huh?

Bear down, Chicago Bears! Originally Super Salad wanted to be Godzilla, then a mummy. Freight Train wanted to be a recycling man. Because he already was a garbage man last Halloween and the recycling guy is totally different, ya know? We talked them both into being Chicago Bears football players with some cool helmets that they wear all the time.

About the only thing little miss kitty was agreeable to was being a kitty. Oh, and eating candy. Otherwise everything else was "NO".

Monday, November 3, 2008

And a new office

My office no longer fits. It doesn't fit my stuff. It doesn't fit my mental state. And as I've been reminded, it doesn't fit my bigger life. It's got to go.

Here's the plan:
a. "before" picture
b. measurements
c. IKEA bookshelves, baskets
d. craigs list and ebay (sell, sell, sell)
e. reduce, reuse, recycle
f. move and rearrange
g. with a little help from my friends
f. new MacBook
g. reading, writing, computing, rock'n'rollin!
oh, and a great "after" photo

Clear the clutter, change your life!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

my new computer

I'm manifesting a new computer.

2 years ago, here is how it would have went:
"I need a new computer. This computer is old and slow. I'm so tired of this computer being so slow, it takes forever! I can't even watch videos because they're so broken up because of this darned thing. It takes 15 minutes just for it to start up! I can't run the new programs and gadgets because this thing is so old. etc. etc. etc."

Now I know that that line of thinking will probably just create a scenario whereby my current computer works even slower (essentially perpetuating the same thing) and may not actually get me a new computer. Remember, you get what you think about whether you want it or not. Why not make it intentional?

What does that mean?
I ASK (setting the intention)
I decide exactly what it is I want: A new computer. An Apple MacBook Pro to be exact.
I picture that computer on my desk. I see myself using that new computer as I'm using the current one. I think about how fast the new laptop is (especially with my wireless keyboard) and how I can do video conferencing with the Muses and create great podcast visualizations (my genius, I'm told) and all kinds of other great stuff.
These 2 are similar in that now I just wait. I know eventually it will happen whether by my saving for it, or a financial windfall, or financing it, or a gift or an exchange. It really doesn't matter. I have just have to be ready to recognize the opportunity when it comes and be grateful for it when it does.

I'm talking about computers mainly because I really do want a new one and every time I'm posting I'm reminded of it. It doesn't have to be this or even anything material. You apply the same principal to anything you want. More time. Greater joy. Experiences. Relationships.
My mantra has become, "don't focus on what you DON'T want, focus on what you DO want!" Then you might actually get what you want.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It has come to my attention

That I have not blogged in awhile. That is if you count a week as awhile. Just because I'm not writing doesn't necessarily mean nothing is happening, as my M-I-L says. Halloween is happening, a holiday I greatly enjoy (mainly for the cool fact that we all get to dress up in costumes!). In past years I have had great enjoyment and taken great pride in hand making many of our costumes, including the Pirate and Belly Dancer, the Goddess, the Spinosaurus and the Garbage Man.
This year I'm taking a break from costume making (frankly, I just don't have the energy for it right now) so we're creating costumes out of things we find or have. What will we be? You'll just have to wait to see!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Note to Karen

Sorry I abandonded the chat on Facebook yesterday. The damn US census called and they've been bugging me for awhile so I finally answered their crazy questions so they'd leave me alone. Then the kids came home from school and I forgot what planet I was on.
I'm still thinking about food though. I want bread. I went to Lakewinds Co-op and had a crazy hungry food buying spree. Coconut ice cream, pomegranate jelly (for said bread), honey dijon potato chips, Pomegranate red tea (sensing a theme? I also went to pick up my last fruit share from the CSA and they'd accidentally taken me off the list! I lost out on 5 pomegranates, among other things, and now I'm compensating with tea and jelly)
Oh, and Tiramisu. I inhaled it and it was de.lic.ious
caio. M

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am quite the buckler-of-swashes

It may seem I'm a bit behind the times, considering that International Talk Like a Pirate Day was over a month ago. It's not that I didn't know, I'm just already preparing for the next one. In fact I'm so prepared that I just bought tickets for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa Florida in February.
The hubby still needs needs a Blackbeard style Baldrick and I seemed to have misplaced my petticoat. Alas, tis probably better that way. With a Pirate name like this, I'm better suited to going in drag and waving a scabbard or two. Arr!
(BTW, you can call me MISS Iron Mary, Mrs. Iron Mary would be my mother)

My pirate name is:

Iron Mary Bonney

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Monday, October 20, 2008

Up Nort(h)

Up north we call it "up nort" (using a thick scandanavian accent). It doesn't seem like it would be so far, yet 200 miles pretty much straight north (in Minnesota) darn near gets you to Canada.
This past weekend I took the kids to see my family "up nort". It was MEA weekend (no school Thurs & Fri) so we had a couple of extra days.
The ride has the potential to be long and boring. Sometimes I listen to podcasts (this time I forgot to download new ones) but mostly I just listen to the sounds of Godzilla movies from the back seat. So this time I had my camera handy and became a bit of an armchair, er, drivers chair photographer. Here is your car photo tour from Shakopee to Little Falls to Motley, Akeley and Bemidji.
While it was no longer peak colors, there were still some fabulous sights to behold. The further north you go you tend to see more pines so there is a little less of the other colors. Although birch trees (of which there is also more of) turn a really bright yellow.

This was taken as we passed the Badoura State Forest Nursery near Akeley, one of 2 state nurseries where they grow trees to sell to the public. For as long as I can remember we've driven past these trees and I've always been fascinated that the grow in perfect lines, rows and rows of them.
Thanksgiving dinner. Just roaming around on the side of the road. Must not be turkey season in Minnesota. 2 weeks until deer season, didn't see a single one of them.

This one's for you, Karen!

View of Mud Lake, near Puposky. Yes, that is a plane wing. Yes, it is flying really low. Yes, I almost threw up. No, I'm not going to explain why I was in a small plane flying really low over an obscure lake in Northern Minnesota. Maybe some other day. We'll call that one overcoming your fear.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Walter Weiner

We found him as a puppy when my husband (then boyfriend) was out driving around and saw him being walked. He brought me to see him and of course we had to get him. Who wouldn't want a dachshund puppy? They're incredibly soft and silky and a little extra wrinkly. Walter was brown, long and happy. Plus he had this funny little bent tail, like the very end had been folded over crooked and stuck like that. That crooked little end of the tail got caught in the blinds one year and came right off.
He was named Walter after Walter Payton. When we got our 2nd dog we of course named her Payton. What relevance does her name have now, without him? He had many nicknames: snausage dog, brown guy, little guy, the thuringer, crabby old man, Walt.
He lived off and on between us. At the house in Alpine Village he pooped behind the couch, ate a wallets and shoes and CDs, and drank a screwdriver late one night. He awoke in the morning smelling quite sour.
He lived with my mom, temporarily, when we both moved away. He then moved in with me when I got an apartment in college. Hubby (still boyfriend) would come to visit us on the weekends. We'd go for walks and visit a field nearby where we'd unleash him and let him run free, as all weiner dogs should. I brought him to friends houses where he became a star and the center of attention.
He loved (or really hated) squeaky toys, removing squeaker in record time with each. Old socks turned in to tug-of-war battles that made us laugh at his herka-jerka pull. We'd play keep away like the one night he ran until he puked.
He insisted on sleeping in the bed with us. Torturing us with whines and barks if we didn't let him. Like a good weiner dog he burrowed under blankets to sleep in hot, stale air (how do they do that?). He hated his cage.
We joked that when it came to food he had to have his "fair share" and that whatever portion we gave him it was never the one he really wanted. I blamed the rabbits until I discovered it was he who ate my young tomato plants. We used to say he'd eat anything as long as it came off the kitchen counter. We experimented. The only things he didn't eat were cherry stems and orange peels. On Friday, his last day, he ate fresh cherry tomatoes from the plant on the deck fed out of my hand. Then he got a $5 Angus tenderloin bought and grilled just for him.
He famously bit everyone. Except my husband - a fact he is quite proud of and proves that indeed, Walter did love him best. He bit our neighbor Diana in Illinois and tried to bite the English sheepdog who lived next door. That one bit back and made a quarter size hole in his side that required stitches. He even bit me many times. New Year's Eve he bit my thumb and caused a bruise under the nail that took almost 6 months to grow out. He had jaws of steel.
He was a character and a personality unto his own. Whether they loved him, hated him or tolerated him, it seemed at least that everyone knew him.
We'll miss you, little buddy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Moon

"I will get you anything your heart desires," the King said. "Is there anything your heart desires?"
"Yes," said the Princess. "I want the moon. If I can have the moon, I will be well again."

Monday, September 29, 2008

29 Days of Giving

I have been feeling greatly abundant and generous lately yet not really knowing what to do about it. This weekend I went to a hotel for a couple of days with some of my girlfriends for some R and R - we ate good food, read, talked, painted our nails, watched movies. One of the movies was The Ultimate Gift. I actually didn't see it myself although it seems to have started this trend of synchronicities around giving in my life. My horoscope yesterday was titled "Gift of Giving", then this morning I randomly checked a blog I rarely read and it was all about the 29 Days of Giving challenge. The idea is to get beyond yourself (or over yourself!) by giving something each day for at least 29 days. It can be money or gifts, it can be time, attention, love, old sweaters, hugs or smiles. Without hesitation I signed up.
So today, my official day 1, my gift is something I've thought about and really just needed a push to do. I've been getting e-mails from Here is what their site says about them:

"The MoveOn family of organizations brings real Americans back into the political process. With over 3.2 million members across America – from carpenters to stay-at-home moms to business leaders – we work together to realize the progressive promise of our country. MoveOn is a service – a way for busy but concerned citizens to find their political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media."

So today, for the first time ever, I gave money in support of a political campaign. One person can make a difference, especially if you partner with 3.2 million other one persons. Now, can we get 20,000 to sign up to give for 29 days? I've already got day 2 planned and several other great ideas in the works. I can't wait!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I'm writing to you today from a Residence Inn in the town right next to where I live. I'm with girlfriends on a freedom weekend, a get-away to connect, relax, catch up and restore. We've hugged, we've cried, we've eaten good food and we've slept. Now we're painting, making cards, scrapbooking, writing and gabbing. Tonight we're ordering Chinese take out and watching a movie. Tomorrow we go home.
I don't have to get milk cups, make meals, change diapers, break up fights, or clean up toys. I can go to bed when I want and I can get up when I want. I'm even going to go to a yoga class in the middle of the afternoon! I need this.
We all need time to restore. I think women, especially moms, are often so busy taking care of others that we feel guilty taking care of ourselves. Everyone needs caretaking at times, and if we don't get it from others, we need to give it to ourselves.
My kids were a little sad when I told them I would be gone for a couple of days. I told my oldest son that I was going to do Mommy stuff and that when I come back I'll be a better mommy because of it. He seemed to understand that, or at least it sounded good to him.
I'm going to go have another glass of water and snack on a few edamame beans, then I'm going to do some Yoga.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Avast mateys

I missed it. Happy belated "Talk Like A Pirate Day"! (it was September 19th, however as the site says, "sometimes for days after".

What does this have to do with Yoga, Meditation, Happiness, Joy, Gardening, Beauty and Inspiration?

Everything. It's called fun. There's a day for everything, nowadays. I have an accountant neighbor who celebrates Pi day (March 14th). October 1st is World Vegetarian Day (for Muse Laura) the 4th is National Golf Day (for my hubby) and for my Scandinavian relatives, October 9th is Leif Erikson Day (by resolution of Congress, no less).

In October alone you can Take Your Teddy Bear to Work, enjoy Angel Food Cake or Pumpkin Cheesecake (I know I will), Babble, Smile, Tell a Story, Make a Difference and Increase Your Psychic Powers. Find a day and celebrate it, just for fun of course!

As for Talking Like a Pirate - Why not?

"Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple. It adds a zest, a swagger, to your every day conversation. Do you need another reason? Say "Aarrr!!" Feels good, doesn't it?"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Today is the beginning

Today is the beginning of my new life
I am starting over today
All good things are coming to me today
I am grateful to be alive
I see beauty all around me
I live with passion and purpose
I take time to laugh and play every day
I am awake, energized and alive
I am free to be myself
I am magnificence in human form
I am the perfection of life
I am grateful to be me.
Today is the Best Day of my Life

What a Wonderful World
Originally uploaded by MontanaRaven

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Focus on the Positive

“Lasting peace happens in the hearts and minds of people before it ever happens between governments and nations.” – Gregg Braden

If it's true that you are what you think about all day long, then we are a nation of fear and hate and prejudice and insanity. I don't even watch the news and I know what is happening in the political world out there. I don't care which side you lean to, which party you support, you can't tell me anybody wants hatred and fighting and arguing and negativity. This happens every election. I imagine that everyone starts off with good intentions - wanting to do good and help people and make a difference. It's just that money and power do affect people (and not always in a positive way). I think there are very few examples to the contrary. I don't know about you, I know I'm tired of the drama.

So here is my plea, focus on the positive! If all we watch, read and talk about is the "gossip" of what Obama said in a conversation 10 years ago, or how poor John McCain's health is or about Sarah Palin's family, then THAT IS WHAT WE'LL GET. More of the same. If we complain about how bad the economy is, everyone panics and we'll just create more of it.
So I encourage, no URGE, you that if you want to do anything to help this election, this nation, our economy and future generations, think about what you DO WANT. Focus there instead. Let's create better, starting in each of our hearts and minds first.

I'll start:
I want a nation of individuals who have freedom to choose anything they want (religion, personal physical issues, where to live, which school to send their kids to, which cable provider, which fuel to buy...)
I want fellow countrymen and women who feel safe and secure, who have jobs and food and shelter.
I want all of us to find ways to cooperate, to create national pride through helping others.
I want a leader who listens to the needs of the masses and makes a decision based on what is best for humanity and the planet.
I want a leader who is motivated by bringing us back together and doing what is necessary to help create great lives for all humankind.

Let's turn off our TVs and radios and stop reading the paper. Stop feeding the monster. Chances are you all know who you're voting for anyway. Instead, let's now spend that precious time and attention on what we want. What's your dream?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Open Arms

"Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there with open arms and open eyes, yeah!"

- from the song Drive by Incubus

Friday, September 12, 2008

What if?

Fear is something we all experience. Mostly in those moments when we have to slam on the brakes, run out of the house, or are in strange and scary places do we truly think of fear.
Fear is everywhere and behind virtually every negative emotion. If you are angry at the person in the car in front of you it's probably because their driving causes you fear, or because you are afraid of being late. If you are frustrated at your kids at it's heart is probably fear they won't turn out good, or fear of how you will look as a parent or fear of not being in control. If you are sad at the loss of a loved one it may bring up fear of being alone, fear of change and the biggest one of all - fear of death.
Now is a time when our nation collectively experiences fear. Yesterday was 9/11, the anniversary of a tragedy. one that caused, and still causes, great fear. This year is an election year. No matter who you are, likely you still feel the fear of change or the fear of the future (unknown). If that weren't enough, every campaign appears to thrive on creating fear as it's motivation for you to vote for that person.
I for one have had enough! I want to be fearless! The biggest step you can take in becoming fearless is to stop paying attention to fear. Like a toddler in a tantrum, as soon as you ignore it, it stops throwing the tantrum. Giving attention to negative things only creates more negative things. Stop feeding the monster.
But like that toddler, once you ignore it, it does whatever it can to get your attention back. Don't be fooled! Fear can take many forms. Be diligent in your pursuit of the positive, the good and the happy.
For today I will: not watch the news, not talk gossip with others, not talk badly about myself, drive slowly and enjoy it, be outside and love the sunshine, hug my children. And that's just the start. What will you do?
When you make your next decision, be it what to wear, where to go to eat, what job to take, who to marry or who to vote for in the next election, remember this: The best decision you can make is the one that causes you the least amount of fear.

Love > Fear O riginally uploaded by dk79

"Fear always distorts our perception and confuses us as to what is going on. Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. It's natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement. Love, then, is really everything of value, and fear can offer us nothing because it is nothing." - Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Birthday Manifesto

Today is my birthday! I love my birthday. I don't really care how old I am, I'm just letting this be a fabulous, happy, glorious day! Thanks, ma for birthing me! (he he)

Last night I was lying in bed almost asleep and this is what went through my mind. I wrote it down and felt the need to call it my Birthday Manifesto.

Birthday Manifesto

Does it matter which religion you follow?
Does it matter which political party you belong to?
Does it matter which country you live in?
Does it matter if your skin is black or white?
Does it matter if you are a man or a woman?
It matters not.
What matters is that you live a good life, a happy life, a purposeful life.
It matters that you are kind, thoughtful, generous and forgiving.
Your actions words and thoughts all come from a deep well of love.
It matters that you release all your fears.
Fear only serves to make insignificant things seem to matter.
Live everyday as if your very soul depended on it. Because it does.
Live only for Love.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

worry not fair lady

Things I've learned about worry this week.

1. My home page is set to Wayne Dyer's Daily Inspiration and the other day it said something to the affect of: The 2 most useless and futile emotions are worry and guilt. Guilt has to do with the past that cannot be changed and worry is about the future that hasn't happened yet.
true, true.

2. In a conversation with a friend she started talking about (and getting upset about) something that hasn't happened yet. So I shared Wayne's inspiration with her.
My husband and I do that sometimes although we can now catch and redirect each other. The whole point is to not create in your thoughts or words, an event or series of events that haven't happened yet, especially when you attribute them to another person. Don't decide for someone else what they are going to do when they haven't even done it.

3. In a conversation today with my friend and Yoga teacher Laura, she casually mentioned that she gets a lot of great ideas in the shower or while drying her hair and that she used to spend that time ruminating (worrying). She called it her "ruminating period" each day. Now that she's chosen to not spend that time worrying it has freed up this time for great inspiration! I really loved that.

How much time do you spend worrying each day? Do you even know you are doing it? Can you decide to dedicate that time to something that you love or enjoy instead? Why not daydream and see what inspiration you can find in those moments when they're not spent on worry! Enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2008


I most commonly associate apples with fall of course, but did you know many varieties (in Minnesota, at least) ripen in August? We took full advantage of some of the earlier varieties and went to the Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard over Labor Day weekend and stocked up. They did say they are about 1-2 weeks behind season-wise but they had a fabulous selection already available. We picked up 2 bags of State Fair apples (a nice sweet, crisp eating apple), 2 bags of Paula Reds (great for caramel apples) and a bag of crab apples for making applesauce. I also got 1 big bag of already picked Viking apples to make a couple of pies. I'm drooling already.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Limerick for a Fruit Fly

There once was a young boy called Freight Train,
And the eating of fruit was his meal main
He left plums in the car
No, they weren't in a jar
The fruit flies have multiplied, they're a real pain.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The birds and the bees

In our house the birds and the bees are now known as the sheep and the cows.

My mom has recently acquired 3 sheep: 2 Icelandic sheep, mom and lamb, that they bought and 1 baby lamb that was given to them. The orphan lamb, named Sammy the Lamby, is sort of a "Mary had a little lamb" kind of thing - fairly small, white and cute with soft ears sticking straight out to each side. After meeting him for the first time Super Salad (our Sammy boy, age 7) said that he thought Sammy the Lamby was cute but he kept "prancing" on him. My poor mom was horrified to think that her grandson might someday remember that Grammy's house was were he went and got mounted by the lamb.

Freight Train (age 5) was out fishing with his brother, uncles and cousin this past weekend. We had a little bonfire and smores later in the evening when he announced that he saw a bull on top of a cow. Matter of fact, just "guess-what-I-saw". I don't think I've ever even seen that. I don't think I ever want to see that.

Who needs the birds and the bees? My work here is done.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ode to the First Day of School

Anticipating so much went to bed without fuss
Reading stories called I Love School
and Tiptoe into Kindergarten

Labeling backpacks and discussing lunch menus
Let's not forget the gym shoes
Forms, forms, forms to fill out

What's my teacher's name again?
I wonder what project we'll start tomorrow
Pick out the shirts they'll wear first day

Don't think I'll like school
It's different and new
At least all my friends will be there

So excited he woke before dawn
Don't fix my hair, already brushed teeth, can't eat
Backpack on, waiting by the door half hour early

Thought he missed the bus, almost cried
Rained as we waited, we were wet, not from tears
Smiled as the photogs kept clicking, sustained "cheese"

Boys are gone, baby girl to sleep
House is suddenly so quiet
Nana gone, Daddy gone
Mommy sits in total stillness and silence.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On a positive note

Another day, another smile :-) (thanks, Karen)
Another day, another hug
Another day, another squeal of delight
Another day, another sweet sleepy toddler
Another day, another special Godzilla drawing for me
Another day, another snuggle with my squidgy widgy
Another day, another song
Another day, another laugh
Another day, another I Love You

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Day

I've decided we need to update some of the old-fashioned sayings. Here's my vote for today:
"Another day, another dollar" Here are my new suggestions:

Another day, another tantrum
Another day, another school open house
Another day, another 4 loads of laundry
Another day, another tomato smashed into the carpet
Another day, another bath towel in the bath water
Another day, another panty liner stuck to the toddler's head
Another day, another screen fell out of the window behind the couch because the toddler went back there and pushed it out and I found her standing at the open window and I almost had a heart attack.

I'd like the dollar too, please.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leave a message

Hello, this is Marya, I can't come to the blog right now because I'm being overrun by tomatoes. I'll be spending the next several days making spaghetti sauce, salsa and gazpacho. I'll be canning too. And as soon as I figure out what to do with 3 enormous patty pan squash and 14 huge cucumbers I'll let you know. Leave your comment at the sound of the beep. BEEP.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back in time

I had such a fabulous day! Our family went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival today and ate lots of food, watched some great shows and got a little bit dirty (dusty, really). I love the Renaissance Festival - it's fabulous people watching for one thing - and the kids love it too. This weekend I was really pumped to go because it was the Minnesota State Belly Dance Contest. (I think they just made that up) Regardless, they had more dance shows this weekend - including this one where they danced with snakes - and Dahlal Internationale had a booth where I spent too much money buying a couple new hip scarves. The kids brought their little wooden swords and Samzilla got challenged to a duel. As a side note, he has informed us that he officially wants to be called Samzilla.
Pink Baby gets the award for the first ever child to completely undress while on a ride (picture taken before she got naked).
And E found the Hookuh Bar.
The highlight was that Cassandra Shore of Jawaahir (where I take dance classes) was performing! I have been dancing for 2 years and had not yet had a chance to see her. I have read and heard that she is an amazing dancer. One teacher even described her as "the Baryshnikov of middle eastern dance" (except female, I suppose). She was incredible! It wasn't just her performance ability, it was also the way she engaged the crowd and made everything look so easy and just plain fun. I want to dance like that We were tired, we were full, we were dusty, we were happy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Not so much the saddle, I guess, as the office chair. Although I do sometimes get saddle sores from it.
I have been off gallivanting this summer and have just not spent that much time writing. I know you'll understand - summer is busy! Not only do you have the regular activities that you usually do - jobs, kids, housework, birthdays, eating - but then in summer you add additional activities - lawn mowing, barbecues, baseball, camping and festivals. Double your pleasure, double your fun (as long as you have double the energy).
I've also been busy with food. I've been inspired this summer by the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She and her family of 4 spent one year eating local. What does that mean? They grew much of their own food (they do live on a farm) and bought from local farmers or farmer's markets or even products in the grocery store that came from local sources. This meant lots of squash and tomatoes and no bananas. It also meant forethought and rethinking food in general. Do you know how food grows? Where it comes from? How much it really cost to grow? and what really goes into making what you eat?
It's not so much a plea for vegetarianism, or raw food, or even specifically organic. It's an encouragement to pay attention to what you are eating, how it got here and what is really in that thing you're eating. Even if you don't read the book, I encourage you to take one day to pay attention to what you eat. Do you know where it came from? Large corporate farm or small local farm? Sustainable? Environmentally safe? Pesticide free? How long did it travel (and how many gallons of gas to get there)? How does it taste?
My mom had a big garden when I was growing up and I definitely know that carrots fresh out of the ground (even with dirt on them) taste better than most of the carrots in the store. Tomatoes in the store can't even compare with those from from the garden. And did you know there are actually over 1100 varieties of lettuce out there? Oh the things we've forgotten.
So this summer I'm spending more time at Farmer's markets. More time in my garden. More time freezing (and soon to be canning). More time cooking and of best of all, more time eating.
Recently my sister came to visit. I had just picked up my CSA share and had been to a local Farmer's Market. She also brought food from my mom's garden, not to mention 2 dozen eggs from her chickens. Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All in a day's work

A summary of my day so far:

6:50 a.m. Wake up with husband's alarm clock. Husband does not get up.
6:55 a.m. Move car out of garage and on to street in anticipation of roofers coming at 7:30 a.m.
7:00 a.m. Turn on the computer. Go get dressed.
7:10 a.m. Do paperwork - get job list and route to our 5 work crews to install underground cable. Do a few underground locate tickets, check e-mail.
7:19 a.m. Fight with 5-year-old (Freight Train) about going back to bed because it's really too early for him to be up and not crabby.
7:25 a.m. Lie down with Freight Train.
7:30 a.m. Decide to screw it and get up anyway. Roofers arrive and start scraping on the roof. Go back to computer and do more work.
8:08 a.m. Wake up 2 year old (Pink Baby) and 7 year old (Super Salad). Change diaper, get them dressed, put my hair up, make 2 bowls of oatmeal, prepare snacks and water bottles, eat a bowl of cereal, put sunscreen on 2 kids, brush or monitor brushing of 3 kids' teeth, brush my own teeth, let the dogs out, refill dogs water dish, answer the phone, and tell Freight Train for the 10th time that he can't go outside and watch the roofers.
8:45 a.m. Pack up boys in the car, go around the corner and pick up 2 more kids and drive them all to golf camp.
9:10 a.m. Return home. Go through 5 days worth of mail, check e-mails again, make 10 customer phone calls and take 4 phone calls, clean up kitchen from breakfast, get toys out for Pink Baby, make much needed coffee, start dishwasher, do more locate tickets, update calendar on the fridge, talk to husband, give Pink Baby a snack.
10:45 a.m. Realize that I'm still wearing the shirt I slept in. Change shirts.
11:45 a.m. Go pick up 5 boys at golf camp, drop off 1 at their house, take 4 home with me.
12:10 p.m. Start making lunch. Try putting clothes back on Pink Baby, give up and give her a bowl of frozen peas to tide her over until lunch is ready.
12:15 p.m. Freight Train goes to the garage to show his friends how our garbage lid won't shut because I threw away the roller shade from their room that wouldn't work and is falling apart. Super Salad decides at that time to take his frog, Swimmer, out of his habitat and show him off as well. Standing in the door to the garage the frog takes a leap out of his hands. Dad and Mom spend 30 minutes, alternately, looking in the garage for the frog. With a flashlight.
12:45 p.m. Feed kids.
12:55 p.m. Clean Pink Baby, redress her (halfway) and put her in her room for a nap. Second helpings for 4 boys. Bus plates. Clean table. Clean floor. Hose down house.
1:10 p.m. Finally make it on to conference call scheduled for 1pm.
1:40 p.m. Check on the boys. Sit down and take a breath. Back to the computer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Ever thought about your values? What is really important to you in life? What you live by day to day?
I am blessed to be a part of a group of women starting a new community and a new business (really the same thing) that is all about living our perfect lives and inspiring others to do the same. We call it Muselan.
Recently we explored and discussed our personal values. I'm happy to share mine here. If you'd like to learn more about us, and all of our values check out our group blog, Muselan.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Speaking of letting go

Things I need to let go of...

1. Fans drive me crazy. The noise is overstimulating. The wind is irritating. What's up with that?
2. The cricket outside my office window. At least I think that's what that is.
3. My son's obsession with garbage and garbage trucks and recycling. It used to be cute. Now we're getting concerned.
4. Why is the dog pacing the kitchen floor above me? click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click
5. Ever having a clean house for more than 6 hours.
6. People who come to yoga class then afterwards ask if there is an "advanced" class
7. Large corporations who really don't care about the little guy, or the human condition (Comcast, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, to name a few)
8. When one of my kids asks for a glass of milk and I get it and put the milk away and then another one of the kids asks for a glass of milk.
9. Having to have 10 things on a list.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Letting Go for Dummies

Letting Go (i.e. surrendering)
1. Being able to let go of something is not an ability some people have and some people don't. Everyone can do it.
2. Everyone has the ability to let go. Not everyone has the desire.
3. Admitting you want to let go is the first step.
4. Like many things you may need first to learn how. Like most things you want to get good at, you must practice.
5. Letting Go has an amazing power to bring peace and calm into your life. Not to mention the ability to sleep soundly once again.

How NOT to Let Go.
1. Say you can't let go, then you can't.
2. Talk about what is bugging you constantly, as much as you can and to as many people as you can.
3. Try really, really hard to let go. It's called Forcing.
4. Worry a lot. Especially about things in the past. That you can't change.
5. Get angry. Get very, very angry. (Bitterness, resentment and revenge are also good here)

How to Let Go.
1. Breathing helps. Holding your breath is symbolic of, well, Holding. Consciously think about breathing and spend one minute focusing on your breath. (then 2, then 3, you get the picture)
2. Write it down. Get it out once and for all and be done with it already.
3. Know that you may not be proven right (or better). Know that it doesn't matter.
4. Do something (positive) that helps you to relax. Bonus points for something that occupies your body and your mind so fully that you can't help but not think about anything else.
5. Repeat after me: "Let go and let God"

Disclaimer: There are many times in our lives where we do need to speak our truths and to allow ourselves to experience our emotions, including anger. Please allow yourself to do so without harm to yourself or others, then please let go.
The subject at hand was born as a result of a conversation the other day. The other parties involved suggested "Letting Go for Beginners" as the title. I respectfully acknowledge their loving suggestion :-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beauty and the Trees

Near where I live we have the most glorious place called the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It is part of the University of Minnesota and it is over 1,000 acres of glorious beauty. I have taken the kids (and anyone else who will go) there many times in the last 5 years. It has trails, a 3 mile drive, several large ponds and gardens, gardens, gardens. Even if you aren't into gardening you can still appreciate these amazing gardens: Iris Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Lilac Walk, Kitchen Garden and Hosta glade to name just a few.

I took the kids there last weekend for a few hours. At the entrance gate we waited behind another car and put all the windows down. There was a nice breeze, blessed quiet and an amazing fresh smell, not quite pungent with flowers but just an overall sense of sweetness. I said out loud to the kids "I love this place!" and they replied in kind, "I love it too."

We had a picnic lunch underneath the most beautiful Oak tree. Each year the Arboretum has a summer exhibition and this year's theme is TREEology. There are juried art exhibits usually involving flowers or trees, or just built into the existing gardens. By this particular Oak the artist had placed 100 gazing balls of various sizes. It was to symbolize the 10,000 acorns that fall in order to grow 1 Oak tree. One of the other pieces of art was a room created entirely out of tree branches, many still growing (willow). Very cool.

My favorite is the Home Demo gardens, especially the vegetables. That's where I got the idea to grow cucumbers, melons and squash on trellises (they hold up the melons with little pantyhose hammocks!). And vine beans grow around corn stalks like the Native Americans used to do. It's also where they have apples trees that grow against walls. It says that in England they grow (or grew?) apple trees that way against brick walls to conserve space and take advantage of the heat.

A favorite of the kids is probably the various waterfalls and the Koi pond. We went with the idea of looking for frogs but since frogs seemed to be laying low that day the fish were the next best things.

My favorite that day was the rose garden. Next to the Oak we had lunch under, the rose garden has over 100 varieties of garden and shrub roses. They are absolutely incredible. A feast for the eyes and nose. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I guess summer IS officially here. I can't believe I haven't blogged for almost a month! It has been busy. Why does summer seem so busy? My theory is that we do all the things we normally do + we add outdoor activities. Still gotta cook and do laundry and go to work. AND want to garden, play outside, go to the park. No wonder it stays light later.

This evening I made it to the new corner garden for more than just a look see. Things have gotten big, including the weeds. Thing is though, I'm not sure what all is weeds and what just may be something of value. The kids tossed seeds from a kids seed mix, so I'm just not sure what's what (except the seedlings I did plant). Doesn't matter too much, it's crowded and certain I-know-what-it-is plants need more light.

The kids were playing in the sandbox. Freight Train created a lake with the hose and Pink Baby was thoroughly dirty. Super Salad joined them in the mess making. "Dammit!" I heard from the sandbox. I uttered the standard mom response, "WHAT did you say?!" Again I heard "Dammit!" then "Dam it up, Sammy! The water's getting out!".


Monday, June 16, 2008


Sometimes silence is good:
someone else is mad and yelling
your spouse or child makes a mistake
when volunteers are asked for
after lots of visitors
unearth a lie
don't need to talk so much
outside alone
I don't want to watch the train this close up
sleeping (exception: sounds of crickets and frogs through my open window in the summertime)

Sometimes silence is not good:
personal space is being violated
manners are needed
who did it? (not me, of course)
speak your piece(peace) - hello, 5th Chakra
ask for help, already!
not a doormat
there was a children in the room, now she is gone, where is she? in the bathroom covered with shampoo

Saturday, June 7, 2008

This is what happens...

when you have 2 older brothers.
Is it just me, or does it look like she's enjoying this? Mama, please don't let your daughters grow up to be headbangers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

7 Random Things About Me

Courtesy of Laura over at Reflections on Yoga, random things about me.

There are some rules on this if you have a blog, are tagged or want to do this post:

- Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog. (If you can remember who tagged you that is...)
- Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
- Tag people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
- Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

drum roll please...

1. I am a total sci-fi fan. I'm somewhat of an anomaly among my friends (aside from my neighbor/friend Steve). One of my favorite movies of all time is Stargate and I used to watch Star Trek pretty regularly. I loved the book Dune.
2. OK, Laura, talk about a closet rocker. I've seen KISS in concert 5 times and Metallica 7 times. My concert list also includes: Godsmack, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, White Zombie, Beastie Boys, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots and Static X.
In college a friend and I tried to see a concert each month for a year. I think we made it through Veruca Salt, Beastie Boys and Blind Melon before running out of funds.
3. I know how to clean a fish. (no, not bathing - gutting and filleting). I grew up on a lake and my dad taught me how to fish at an early age. I can drive a boat, change tackle, bait it (anything but grubs), clean it and cook it. Funny thing is, I honestly don't really like to eat it.
4. In school I played piano, flute and bassoon (because no one else would)
5. I love opera, mostly from the classical period (Mozart's Marriage of Figaro is my fave).
6. I was once "Miss Northern Lake Superior". Yes, I competed in beauty, er, Scholarship pageants when I was in High School. Looking back it's kind of crazy and yet I did learn some things. Like, after being on stage in front of 100's of people in a swimsuit and heels I don't need to be afraid of anything!
7. I used to be a brown belt in TaeKwonDo (2 belts away from black) I've joined again along with my boys but I've started back at a white belt.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The birds at dawn

Earlier this spring I wrote about my babies - 3 baby robins in a nest under my deck. Karen wanted to know how they are doing. They were born 5/5-5/7 and this picture was taken on 5/11. I think they all left the nest about a week later. We still see them hopping around our yard.
Then we got new babies:
A house sparrow nest, we believe, in our tree by the garage. The mother would dive bomb anyone going by it. Out of 5 eggs she ended up with 3 babies. We found one on the sidewalk one morning and another morning the nest was just empty. Vanished without a trace. Very sad. At least we still have the robins. This is from a nest in our neighbors tree. You could just walk up to them, just slightly higher than my head. Love them birdies!