Wednesday, December 5, 2012

All Is Calm.. All Is Bright

This is my next door neighbor’s house. They are the first house on our street to have their lights up and their tree decorated. I noticed this Sunday evening as I was walking to my mail box across the street. (I hadn’t had time to get my mail for a few days.)

I said to myself Jeez! A bit anxious aren’t we? I then heard a voice in my ear saying “bah humbug..”.

I looked a little closer and noticed through the window people eating and laughing. My neighbors were having a holiday party and the guests looked cozy and warm inside- the windows somewhat fogged from the heavy breathing, fun laughter, and everyone talking at the same time.

I was transfixed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend with my Bestie!

Yes, that’s me on the left and Patty, on the right. We’ve been best friends since we were 14 years old but that’s not the entire story.

There have been ebbs and flows to our friendship. Not unlike any other relationship that is worth its’ salt.

We met in San Luis Obispo this weekend and reconnected after more than a year of silence, misunderstanding and stubborn angst. (Oh, you know what that’s like, do you?) Two women collecting evidence of a misdeed, a miscommunication, a missed opportunity, misconstrued intentions and somethings amiss.

We declared amnesty and bilateral disarmament. We raised the white flag of surrender and caught up on our children, our husbands and lovers and lives and decided that life was too short to continue the war. Amen.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Finding My Center

It’s been a difficult and challenging three weeks and I am finding myself less than brave.  Who was that woman who wrote that last post? While reading old journals and trying to remember who I am and what I am, I run across this beautiful quote:

In spite of illness.

In spite even of the archenemy sorrow

one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration

if one is unafraid of change,

insatiable in intellectual curiosity,

interested in big things

and happy in small ways.

-Edith Wharton

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Out of my comfort zone...

Three years ago I was in a friend’s kitchen engaged in a very uncomfortable conversation when he suggested to me that I “Be brave”. I was at a crossroad in my life and feeling quite insufficient, insecure, and needy. I wanted saving. But on this particular night it was clear that being saved was not going to happen.

I found this card somewhere in some store. I remember thinking that the whole universe was telling me to “Be Brave”! “Alright already” I responded and put the card in my home office in clear view. 

As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that I’ve become more attached to my house, my garden, the family silver, my mother’s jewelry. Does ADT really bring me the peace of mind that I require? Do my possessions make me feel secure? Clearly, no. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sentimental Journey

When my three sons were little boys we used to play outside on Tedemory Drive in the sunny Southern California weather. I say we because I was often the mom out there with all the neighborhood kids playing three flies up or kickball or freeze tag or slip and slide. What appeared to be a noble mother-like thing to do was actually this mother’s excuse to go out and play- re-creating my own childhood days on Halo Drive playing hide and go seek and football in the street, and rollerskating with my best friend Holly Kocher around the block. I have the scars to show for it. This one from falling out of Mrs. McDaniel’s tree. That one from roller derby induced road rash. Back here is where I ripped open my leg falling into rose bushes while trying to catch a baseball. (BTW- I caught it!) 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Beautiful Easter!

Nothing is more practical than finding God,

that is, than falling in love.

In a quite absolute, final way, what you are in love with,

what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,

what you do with your evenings,

how you spend your weekend,

what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart,

and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.

– Attributed to Pedro Arrupe. S.J.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It was a very Good Friday!

I’ve had at least two people ask me in the past two days why it’s called Good Friday. Funny… in all the years of being Catholic I’ve never asked that question. It just goes to show how much we Catholics take in and accept as truth in faith.

I guess I could google it. But I’d rather think that it’s “Good” because Jesus died and paid the price for our sins so that we can have eternal life. Granted… I have never questioned that either!

Yesterday I attended Good Friday services at the Santa Clara Mission. The lights were dimmed, the incense plentiful and the music was prayerful. It was a solemn liturgy and I had some heavy things on my heart. A good friend from high school recently died of a heart attack. Another family’s 21 year old son was killed in an accident by a drunk driver. A young teen has disappeared from Morgan Hill and has not been found.

Friday, April 6, 2012

One last Lenten prayer...

Lent officially ends tonight and I never really decided on what I was doing or not doing to observe the 40 days and 40 nights. I guess I wanted to keep my options open! So here we are at the solemn end and what do I have to show for it?

In hindsight I realize that I did get into a habit of praying. I often feel like such a flake when I tell someone that I will pray for them and then it dissolves into the thin air of my best intentions. So during Lent I kept a prayer list by my computer.

And I prayed in the morning when I got to work.

And I prayed in Savasana after hot yoga.

And I prayed when I was falling asleep at night.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Seek Forgiveness

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one would certainly qualify. I remember this moment as though it happened yesterday. This particular permutation of the daily squabbles among my three munchkins was not the norm. Patrick (my peace maker) was rarely the villain on the scene.

My two bookends, Rob and Peter, maybe.. :)

But I can assure you that minutes after this photo frame the three of them were playing nicely and had forgotten about the theft of the baby doll. Why would they continue to fight when they have one another to play with? Forgive and forget. So easy at this age.

This same scene in 20 years could potentially have a different outcome. You betray me or take something that belongs to me and it may be very difficult for me to forgive you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Live Simply

This picture of my son, Peter, in our back yard in Whittier, California, takes me back to a time when life was much simpler. Our morning ritual went something like this…

Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and then a tour of the vegetable garden to see what was newly sprouting and/or ready for harvest.

On this beautiful morning Peter uprooted a bumper crop of radishes and held them in awe and wonder only capable of a four year old reveling in his stay-at-home mom’s undivided attention. (Judging by Peter’s age I’m guessing Robert and Patrick were tucked neatly away at school for the day.)

The weed infested grass in the foreground wouldn’t win any awards I can guarantee you! And our front yard was no different being that it was the designated area for the neighborhood slip and slide on hot afternoons.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Remember who loves you, baby!

Does this look familiar?

No.. It’s not the collection for the pagan babies. That was SO yesterday. It’s been cleaned up and repackaged in a more politically savvy wrapper. It’s Operation Rice Bowl.

The premise is the same…

Have a simple meal or pass up the venti nonfat vanilla soy decaf latte and deposit the money you save into this little box. Write a check at the end of Lent to Catholic Relief Services. This organization supports programs all over the world in an effort to alleviate hunger and poverty.

And while we’re on the subject..

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Let's give it up for Lent!

Ok.. I am sitting here enjoying a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon so I guess I am not giving up red wine for Lent. Do I really have to give something up? Why not add something significant. Why not do something out of my comfort zone. Something that matters. Something that makes me uncomfortable or that makes me stray from my neurotic daily routine.

I’ve been toying with the idea of living life with more awareness and intention. Not multitasking. Not flitting from here to there. Not changing the subject mid-conversation.

Living with intention.

So cooking a meal is just cooking a meal. It’s not talking on the phone and cooking a meal. It’s not checking my email and cooking. It’s just cooking.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We interrupt this presidential primary campaign mud slinging and propaganda to bring you Ash Wednesday...

Yesterday I had some minor surgery on my eye and was forced to take it easy- not something that comes naturally to me.  I watched the news about children freezing to death in Afghanistan and then moved on to the updates of the Republican primary debates with the candidates manipulating every tactic and maneuver to make points with people who are vulnerable to their potential leadership. I then continued where I left off watching Breaking Bad– a series on netflix- the main character, Walter, dying of lung cancer and making moral and ethical decisions based on the short amount of time he has left to live.

I felt vulnerable and anxious watching all this despair, confusion and sadness.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Big Shoes to Fill...

Camera ready!

Time to fess up..

I have three wonderful and delightful sons and I wouldn’t change that for the world!

And yes…

I have always wanted a daughter.

There came that moment in our early marriage when my husband and I asked ourselves. “Should we try for a girl?” But after considerable thought and deliberation. After acknowledging how blessed we were with three beautiful and healthy little boys. We decided that our plate (and our joy) was full.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wishing on a Star...

that 2012 brings to you and yours

joy that keeps you jumping

hope that helps you hang in there

fortitude to sustain you

prevailing peace

trust that is true

a year full of graced moments

and a sweet lingering legacy of love

Happy New Year

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