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.