Google+ Followers

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

...and the word is um...

If I knew a better word than companion I would voice it to the Universe and perhaps I would finally be given what I am seeking. I can see my guide, whom I call Richard, laughing to himself as I struggle to get past this road block. I can almost hear him mouthing, "you can only have what you ask for." If I knew what that was I would ask and this is not at all funny Richard!

Spiritual mate has always been uppermost on my list. All that got me was a couple of self centered control freaks.

Family hasn't worked out very well either. It put me right back where I was as a wife and mother just, because I am a generous person.

Friend is a good word, but just not strong enough plus I already have plenty of really good ones.

Partner makes me think that I should have a business of some kind.

Associate, no I have no desire to be a lawyer or work at Walmart.

Perhaps the word I'm looking for doesn't even exist in the human mind. I know it's something I have never felt that I had. I have been reading a lot of books lately about relationships, many of them between males and females, from all angles. I have found the ones that last have one thing in common and that is love. Now there is a good word and perhaps exactly what I am seeking and have thus far been afraid to ask for.

Perhaps love isn't really meant to be put into words. It is meant to be felt.

If I could find a human male who had the ability to give the love that my dog Ejay gives I would be very happy. In the meantime I think I will stick with him.

P.S. This post now makes 101 for 2014 just like the famous Dalmatians! Gotcha!

I believe we have a language problem!

Dear Universe, For several years I have been asking for the same thing- a companion. For several years you have sent me your version. Perhaps I did not make my request clear. There seems to be a serious language problem between us.

This situation reminds me of the quote “be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”. I have decided the problem is how you ask for what you want not what you ask for. If there was a Universe- Human dictionary I could purchase we could possibly be on the same wave length. A few years ago the popular expression, “give me a break” gave many people exactly what they asked for. I am very careful never to say that.

Let me go back to when I made my first request. I am not sure of the exact year, but I became single in 1999 after 27 years of experiencing a less than perfect marriage. I gave myself time to adjust to my newly acquired freedom to do as I pleased. Then I realized that although I had absolutely no desire to be married I would very much like a companion.

Around 2000 or so I came to the aid of a female friend who needed a place to live. She had been living with a male friend. It was a non physical relationship but being a small gossip oriented town she had gained a false reputation. I had hoped the move would give me someone to eat dinner with and talk to. It never happened and she moved out after a couple of months to live alone.

About this time you sent a man (again non-physical) whom I strongly felt and still feel was/is a soulmate. Back then I did not know we have many during our time on earth. Although this soul taught me about spiritual concepts that I was not previously aware of, he proved not to be a suitable companion. The relationship was short lived, except in my mind, which carried it on and on.

In 2009 you sent a man as an online companion. Over time this relationship caused me to believe I had found my twin flame soulmate. Many things pointed to this fact. These two men had many things in common, predominately; they are both control freaks and they taught me who I no longer desire to be. I have now concluded that neither were companions; they weren’t even good friends!

Backing off from men I adopted an adorable 10 month old male puppy in December of 2010. Ejay needed a home and I still needed a companion. He is loyal and loving and reminds me of my first dog when I was a child, a Golden Cocker Spaniel named Skippy.

You and I apparently still have a language problem because in June of 2014 my oldest son, who was about to become homeless moved in with me. Although I am happy to have provided help it has brought me back to being a cook and maid. After work and dinner he retreats to his computer in another room. That is not a companion!

So dear Universe it looks as if my first act in 2015 should be to look up “companion” in my dictionary.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A balancing act

In recent years I have realized that my life purpose is to inspire and encourage others to be the best that they can be. It took years and years for me to notice what my life experiences have been building up to. Really looking over an updated resume added clarity to the puzzle. There is a slight problem with this kind of purpose and it is knowing when to help and when to let go. Perhaps balance is the life lesson I am here to work on.

All the jobs I have held in recent years have given me an opportunity to look for and help those who just need someone to notice their struggle to be seen. That may sound strange to some, but I know how it feels to be treated like an invisible person.

This morning I am asking myself how come I know how that feels. It started as a child and like a dust bunny under a bed just got bigger as the years went by. Although my parents provided adequate food and shelter for some reason they were unable to encourage emotional growth. Even though I had a brother 13 months younger than myself I grew up alone, feeling that nobody really cared.

I was the kind of student who did the required work and never got in trouble. One might say I fell through the cracks. Not one adult person took the time to have “the talk” about what I was supposed to do next after high school. No one really noticed that I was a valuable member of society and was a lost soul. So I do know how it feels to be an invisible person.

My life moved on through two marriages and divorces plus the birth of three children. I still felt like an invisible person, often wondering if anyone really cared if I lived or not. Please do not assume by that statement that I ever once considered suicide because that is definitely not the case. I simply continued to struggle in silence to find the thing that I was here to do.

In 1999 during a hypnosis session to stop smoking (BTW it worked) I had a strange experience that I have since shared with few people. As I was sitting in the chair a bolt of lightening came from above and pierced my heart. There was no pain but it certainly got my attention! Thinking about it later I felt it was a wake up call from another realm. At this point in my life I began to delete the negative things that had been clogging my positive energy. Looking back to that day I now see that I had been right; it was a wake up call.

It was then that I began writing and sharing my experiences. I do admit that like many writers I was at first writing for myself. Then something unexpected happened and I realized that I was also helping others just by sharing my experiences. I realized that I was attracting souls who also felt that they were alone and had no value.

I now see that because of my own past experiences I always look for those who are in danger of falling through the cracks. I consciously do everything I can to encourage and inspire them to be the best that they can be; no matter what their age is. It is very rewarding to help others; however, knowing when to let go is still a balancing act that I am working on.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Spirit lives forever

This holiday season I haven't heard many traditional songs because I have not had my radio on. Oddly, most of the ones I have managed to hear have been sung by Bing Crosby, 1903-1977. Just this morning a Facebook friend posted a video of The Little Drummer Boy sung by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. It is almost like his deceased spirit is speaking to me. It causes me to remember that even after our soul/spirit leaves its current human body it never dies. The contributions we make while human live forever.

This is even more true with today's wide range of technology. One of the things I am most grateful for is that I did not let my advanced age keep me from dabbling in the internet and what it offers. If I had not made that move I probably would not be a published author of two books or a blogger or have friends all over the world. Living on Social Security does not allow extra money for publishing, no matter how good the material is, or even traveling. That's sad, but true.

Just yesterday I sent via email a manuscript I finished in 2010 to a friend, living in the UK. Although I have a copyright, it has never been published in the usual manner. After clicking send I began thinking about all the places this particular document has been, via electronic devices. Its journey of course, began in New Mexico and was first shared with select local friends. The words I wrote in Journey of an Enlightened Egotist have been to Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Texas, Nevada, California and no doubt places I am not even aware of.

Not bad for a so far unpublished manuscript and compared to the journey of the two that were actually published it is rather amazing!

Although I have no plans to separate my spirit from my body anytime in the near future, one never knows what action the Universe is planning. Even if I were to suddenly disappear from earth I believe my spirit would live on via the written words that would be left behind.

It's great to live in and be part of an age where this is possible?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Can you hear me?

Yesterday I heard something that not only resonated with my soul, but freed me from continuing a lot of wasted energy. It was "A messenger can only deliver a message to someone who is a vibrational match to the message, so don't wear yourself out saying things to people who don't hear you". It reminds me of the message on a shirt that I once bought for my grandson (which by the way he loved), "I hear you, but I am not listening".

Thinking back I have wasted a ton of energy trying to get people to hear me, some of them members of my biological family. A good part of the time I thought there was something wrong with me. Is it really possible that having 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren only one of those souls is a vibrational match? Wow that's a lot of mismatched souls out there in my family alone!

This last year I have become aware of the difference in energy after connecting with a member of what is known as my tribe; those souls whom I believe have a similar mission in this life time. There is no effort involved in the relationship. It is very much like connecting with a twin you didn't even know you had.

Allowing others to blame me for things that were never my fault has not only made me feel guilty but has kept me from believing in my own worth.

My mission for 2015 is to stop listening to those people and find the missing members of my tribe. Just for fun I am sharing a message from one of my favorite little guys to get the year off to the right start. Can you hear me people?

Friday, December 26, 2014

The cookie trail

Setting the scene for the cookie trail: my ex-husband and I were married for 27 years before we called it quits in 1999. Although we are no longer together we still speak and in recent years have exchanged token Christmas gifts.

Early in our relationship my mother-in-law introduced me to a Spanish cookie called Montecados that had been in her family for an eternity. Eager to please my new husband I tried making them one Christmas. He was happy, I was happy and the cookie trail took root.

I have to admit I never really liked the cookie, which is similar to a biscochito except it uses cinnamon instead of anise, but everyone else seemed to like them. My husband even said mine were better than his mother's. Since the recipe makes a bunch I only made them at Christmas- year after year.

Then came our divorce and I didn't have to make them anymore. Yay!

Sometime during the last 15 years my ex got the recipe from a cousin and started making them himself. Good for him I thought until they became his token gift to me- year after year! No!!

For the last few years I have accepted his cookies and promptly found new homes for them, moving the cookie trail along. For example: the Outreach Mission, which feeds the homeless and the family center for an after school snack for the kids.

In keeping with the spirit of Christmas I am sharing the Montecado recipe so that my readers can continue the cookie trail.

Ingredients: 1 lb. lard, 6 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs plus one yolk, 1 Tb. fresh ground cinnamon.

Directions: roll dough in walnut size balls and press thumb in center. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Dip baked cookies in mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Happy cookie trails to you all!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's still tradition.

For the last few years December 24th has been spent in the company of one of my favorite family members, my young grandson, Colin. For reasons I still do not understand I have not been invited to celebrate the rest of the holiday with immediate family. I had expected that my daughter's plans would be revised this year as her brother is now living with me. Apparently that is not going to happen. It is sad when someone is unable to forgive real and imagined wounds year after year. I feel sorry for her!

As the result of the above situation Colin and I have been able to create our own tradition on Christmas Eve. We eat dinner together and exchange gifts and don't give much thought to the rest of the family. I wasn't sure the tradition was going to happen last night as there was a little miss-communication between us. About 4:30 I decided that even though money is short right now tradition is more important.

First I asked my son, whose birthday happens to be December 25th, if he would rather scrap what I had planned for dinner and go out to eat. With a yes answer I then invited Colin to join us. After a scrumptious dinner at one of our most popular restaurants, followed by a birthday treat for my son, and a double scoop of chocolate ice cream for Colin, we returned home to exchange gifts.

As I went to bed last night I was grateful that no matter what It's still tradition!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Part three of me

This is the third and last post regarding writing a new resume. I promise!

The finished piece is now downloaded as a PDF document ready to be sent off just as soon as the perfect job comes into view. I expect that to be early 2015, celebrating the new year.

The new resume is divided into three sections, two of which were not included in the one I had been using. Perhaps that is why it never got noticed by employers. The sections are Professional Summary, Skills and Experience. Skills gave me a chance to use my creative juices and it is the section I like best.

The template suggested listing 6-8 so after thinking and re-accessing this is what I settled on. Ability to lead and follow others, dependable, honest, excellent organization and communication skills, intuitive, able to inspire others, community minded.

That's it, take it or leave it, this is part three of me!

Monday, December 22, 2014

I would hire me

Yesterday I received professional feedback regarding my current resume. Basically the one word that stuck out was simplistic. After checking it over I agreed. The basic information was there, but the person was not. I found a very helpful website to fix that problem. I recommend www.resumegig.com to anyone needing similar assistance. It is extremely easy to use and offers numerous options with plenty of wiggle room. The cost to print it is also very reasonable.

I chose a non traditional template because it best fit my job/life experiences. I have spent 77 years trying to squeeze myself into a mold like everyone else. That just isn't me. I am not traditional, never was and never will be.

In creating a new resume I not only realized I had been focusing on the wrong things, but that I had a lot to offer a prospective employer. I am still tweaking it a little to make it as positive as possible. I was told a resume has 30 seconds to make an impression so every word on that document counts.

After completing this project I compared it with my old resume. Wow! It was like comparing a black and white photo with one in color. The new version came to life and suddenly I could see a real person instead of just facts. I deleted the old document last night.

I am not sure where this is going, but I have found that following my intuition always creates something good. This morning a friend sent me a message wishing that the job Angels will connect my resume to the right employer. I second that wish.

All I can say is- I would hire me!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Back to the drawing board!

You know that expression "never say never"? Well, that seems to be where my life is right about now.

Stuff happens and it causes a change in perspective and perhaps walking on a new path. Not too long ago I firmly stated that I am retired! Well that didn't last long when I realized that money is a necessary component to living comfortably. A change in circumstances is going to lower my current income in the near future. Now I could sit back and wait to win the lottery or I could take steps to remedy the situation.

The lottery could happen if I buy the right ticket or a very rich soul looking for a place to drop a heap of money could pick my name, but the odds are probably not in my favor. So I may need to find work of some kind that will help.

With this in mind I have been accessing a local online job search, with merchandising in mind. I previously spent 9 years as a product demonstrator (I no longer desire to stand in one place for 8 hours) so I figured this kind of work would be pretty close. For the last couple of weeks several merchandising jobs have come through, but I didn't apply for any of them. Yesterday I received an offer associated with the website to review my resume free of charge. I clicked the button and heard back from them this morning.

After reviewing the feedback I could see why I had not applied for the jobs that had come through. The person pointed out that my experience highlights a professional writer and my resume needed help. Digging out a copy, I could clearly see that they were absolutely right!

My next step was to access another website that offered templates for various ways of writing a resume that will get attention from an employer. The light suddenly dawned! I was applying for jobs that I didn't even want and I need to spend some time writing a new resume for jobs that I actually have the experience for and a desire to be hired for.

So, with the approach of a brand new year, it is back to the drawing board with a polished attitude and a more realistic opinion of my current abilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I did it!

Over the course of two days I finished a task that should have taken 4 hours. I feel like I took the mail carrier oath; "neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds".

What did I do you might ask? In an effort to lower my car insurance I took the online safe driver course offered by AARP. It took me at least a couple of hours longer than it should have due to the age of my PC. Every time I tried to click next to move it along the freaking document just sat there and stared at me. I even called the support number, which only made me feel like an idiot. My son kept telling me it was my computer and not the program and suggested I use his to finish the course. I finally clicked exit to take a break for the night. I couldn't take any more!

This morning my son opened the program on his computer and I was able to continue where I had stopped last night. What a difference a working machine makes. After he left for work I finished the course and the certificate I was struggling to earn was downloaded on my computer.

One would think that would be the end- right? Wrong. Now my computer is refusing to open and print it. So once again I have to wait for help to get it to move. All I have to say about that is this had better reduce my car insurance!

I do have a comment about the course in general. Although it is a good way to refresh driving knowledge I do believe it is very repetitive in what it offers. Granted older adults may sometimes take a little longer to grasp a concept, but they are not children and for the most part not stupid.

Even though this was a very trying experience I am happy that I did it!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Do what you can

I will always be grateful that I took the step in 2009 to access Facebook. Granted it does share a lot of junk that I just pass by, but it also holds a wealth of knowledge and inspiration through posts shared by friends.

This morning several things came together regarding expecting changes. Some people believe prayer is all one has to do to have positive things happen in their life. Although I have seen for myself that group prayers are capable of miracles, I have mixed feelings about the subject.

The phrase, "God helps those who help themselves" is a mighty powerful thought. It is also one that I believe in. I don't think it is fair to just sit in a chair and pray for positive results, whether it is a physical, monetary or mental problem that one is dealing with.

In my opinion one should look at the situation and take every human step toward a solution before asking for help. I have absolutely nothing against help acquired from other humans, angels, guides or even God, but for human growth I believe you have to do what you can first. Think about it.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A lucky day

Today is 12/13/14 and the combination won't happen again for many years. it seems for me at least it is going to be a lucky day.

First thing this morning, as with every morning, I reached for my required BP medication, which is a small yellow pill. Recently I added vitamin D just to see if it would help with bone pain. It is also a small capsule. After putting them in my palm I dropped one and thought it was the vitamin. Oh well I thought, I'll look for it later.

A little while later I noticed the dropped pill on the kitchen floor. As it turned out it was the BP medication not the vitamin! This was followed by a flood of gratitude for what could have happened.

Having had recent Blood Pressure problems, a missed dose could have caused serious problems today. Plus my son's senior dog, who constantly licks the kitchen floor, could have eaten it and suffered a serious reaction.

So far 12/13/14 is doing just great and I expect the luck to continue the entire day!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lights-camera-action...

I have been thinking about a wonderful quote by writer, Denis Waitley, that I recently read. It was,"Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results." The more I thought about it the more I liked it.

The best way to make yourself unhappy is to expect canned results to your actions. Most times it just is not going to happen the way you want it to and there isn't a thing you can do about it!

Just when you think you've planned the perfect action to get someone's attention is when the universe steps in to prove you wrong. Don't tell anyone, but you aren't entirely in charge.

I have decided it doesn't matter at all. The only thing that matters is that your intentions toward the object of your action is positive. When you follow your heart and your intuition you can't help but end up happy yourself. At this time of year there are a lot of opportunities to do just that. Sometimes all it takes is a simple card, a Christmas cookie, a piece of fudge or even a smile to make a difference in a person's life.

I had an interesting experience the other day as I was entering a building to pay my property tax. A man was coming out as I was going in and for some reason he reminded me of another man whom I had previously had a "strenuous" relationship with. As I rounded a corner in the building that very man was standing in the hall talking to a lady. When you're tuned in stuff happens, but I had to laugh as I continued on down the hall to take care of what I was there for.

As I walked by the man and lady to leave he smiled at me and said, "Hi, how are you doing?" Although we had already reached a peaceful place in our relationship his acknowledgement made me feel good. He introduced the lady, who was his sister, and we all had a friendly chat.

I could have snubbed him and walked on by, but I chose to respond to his action and the result was a positive experience for both of us.

My point is, just because you don't always get the result you expected don't stop offering positive energy. You never know what could happen!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cookies anyone?

After making a batch of fudge this morning I am in the mood to make a few cookies. Since I don't have little ones under my feet anymore I probably won't make rolled sugar cookies this year. As there are still 15 more days until Christmas I could still change my mind. Checking over some tried and true recipes I would like to share a couple that are a bit unusual. Neither takes a whole lot of effort or very many ingredients.

Potato Chip Cookies

1 cup margarine or butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup crushed potato chips, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup nuts.

Cream butter & sugar, add vanilla, gradually add flour & nuts, fold in chips. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Sesame Wafers

2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup butter or margarine, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup sesame seeds. (you could probably use any small seed)

Sift together flour, soda, salt. Cream butter & sugar until fluffy, beat in egg & vanilla. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Chill dough for several hours until firm enough to handle. Roll a tsp full at a time into balls then roll into sesame seeds. Place 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 oven for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

I have successfully used both of these recipes for many years. The second one was found in 1950 something in a Family Circle magazine. Just goes to show if you wait long enough everything comes back!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Christmas wish

Sometimes an earth connection is made with another soul that is so strong it leads to growth for one or both. It is often called destiny and I believe it is so.

There are those who have bought the idea that a soul mate is one's perfect true love. I used to believe that, but I am no longer in that group. It is my current opinion that a true soul mate is one who partners with another to aid in learning an important life lesson. They often appear to be complete opposites, acting as a mirror, allowing the other soul to accomplish an assigned task.

One or even both can sometimes be hurt in the process, but it is only temporary. Ideally, they will both eventually remember the pact that was agreed to long before either soul merged with a human body. Because of the basic loving nature of the relationship there is no need to apologize.

In my recent life I have benefited from a connection with such a soul mate. While I am grateful for the growth the experience provided me, I am very sad that my partner has yet to realize that what happened was prearranged and agreed upon by both of us.

This Christmas my one wish is that this soul will wake up and remember the pact we made so very long ago.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Your presence is present enough

Yesterday I enjoyed a day long belated birthday present in the form of spending time with my youngest grandson. It reminded me of a birthday several years ago when he didn't have any money and he announced, "I give you me." His gift was more than enough then and now.

We started with breakfast at El Cafecito, a local eatery that we both like. I had been craving a smothered green chile/bacon burrito and Colin had one wrapped in a tortilla. I had a chance to catch up on the activities of my very busy grandson. Between mid school activities, sports and a community club he joined I have not seen much of him since school started and I have missed him very much.

After breakfast we did a few errands and stopped by the annual Christmas Craft Show held at our family center. I had found a bracelet that I liked and needed to pick it up. Since they were inexpensive I asked Colin if he would like to get one for his mother. His eyes were on a particular light green one so I told him I would pay for it. When we got home I checked on the birthstone for my daughter and verified the fact that it is peridot, the same color as the bracelet he had chosen. That fact made him very happy as we put it in a gift bag for him to take home and hide until Christmas.

The rest of the day we pretty much just hung out until it was time to drop him off at a friend's birthday party.

Sometimes a person's presence is present enough thank you very much!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

...and that word is

I am almost finished reading a kindle book about an unusual family Christmas and the universal question of marrying for love. Although for the most part the book is enjoyable, it has a giant flaw, which is the extreme overuse of one word. That word is- admittedly. Ever time I saw it I came close to closing the book forever. As an author it grated on my nerves!

The book did cause me to think about my two previous marriages and honestly ask myself if I married for love. After I stopped laughing I realized that love had not been a part of the equation in either case. It was more like a lack of confidence on my part. When one doesn't have confidence it is easy to settle for less than is deserved- over and over again!

Perhaps the marriages took place to give credibility to the three children that they produced, eventually creating two more generations.

Anyway as Christmas approaches once again I believe the only gift I would like is to know what it feels like to be part of a relationship based on love rather than addictions. After recently acquiring confidence, that one word would make a world of difference in my life.

There is always hope!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Damn the torpedoes

As I was preparing to write today's post the famous 1864 quote from Navy Admiral David Farragot popped into my mind. It was of course, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."

After reflecting on yesterday's post, regarding my upcoming birthday and the completion of 7 DNA cycles, the quote seemed to be a perfect fit. It represents clear thinking and determined action. Exactly where I desire to be.

My question to myself is, What did you learn from the experiences of the last seven years?

The answer is, to stop giving my life away to people who want to live it for me. I have repeatedly transferred my power to others, causing me to think of them as god like, thus becoming dependent on them. The second concept I have mastered through many hurtful experiences is one suggested by my thoughtful friend, John R., who is now a local minister. After reading a manuscript I had written he said, "I see in your writings both sides of the spiritual. I believe you need to present your insights, thoughts and beliefs as you have done, but you must stop short of attempting to impose on others and attempt to conform them to your will."

I believe the number one thing I have gained during the last 7 years is confidence; in my writing, my life and most importantly as an independent thinking person. That is why the quote "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" fits like a glove!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The beginning or the end?

In two days I will be completing eleven seven year cycles of my life. In celebration of this event I am sharing an excerpt from my yet to be published book, Journey of an Enlightened Egotist. This particular portion was written in 2007, when I thought it might be the end. It was only the beginning of another seven year stretch for growth.

It is now past Thanksgiving, but not yet Christmas and the end of 2007. I have just celebrated my 70th birthday and this year will mark the completion of ten seven year birth/death cycles. Scientists now know that every 7 years our bodies go through a complete change, including DNA. No doubt this occurs to put us in the right physical and mental place for new experiences. Just for fun check off your life in 7 year segments and note what happened.

This cycle is my biggest growth spurt so far. I have tuned in to my own belief system and developed my own philosophy. Although many have contributed to my success in their own way my journey has been a singular experience.

As I stand on the edge of a new cycle I wonder what the universe has in store for me. Is this the beginning or the end? Or somewhere in between?

I do not remember the life I helped program before this body and soul became one. I realize that a certain amount of amnesia is a necessary ingredient for human growth. Knowing challenges in advance of experiencing them would be like having the answers to a test before it is taken. Nothing new would be learned.

As the hands of the clock came close to striking midnight on December 31, 2007 I felt a little nervous that my physical life could end at any moment. Healthy people die every day of an unexpected stroke or heart attack.

I had good reason to feel this way. Years ending in the number seven have been land mark dates in my biological family. The year I was born 1937, my paternal grandfather died. My paternal grandmother died in 1957, my father in 1967 and my mother in 1987. On the other side of the coin, my paternal grandfather and maternal great grandmother were both born in 1867 and my maternal grandfather in 1887.

Since the proverbial ball dropped at midnight and I am still here I apparently have more time to inhabit this place called earth. Quite possibly many more years if I consciously choose experiences that evolve my soul. That is my goal for the next cycle of this physical life- and beyond.

That was then and this is now, seven years later and I am again at what could be the end or the beginning. I am choosing the latter as my intuition tells me I still have more stuff to do and learn.

Note: This post was partially written as a thank you to my friend and fellow author, Sadie Lydon, who recently read my manuscript and found this portion the most moving. We also decided to change the title to An Enlightened Egotist. Perhaps 2015 will be the year it is finally published!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Leftovers

For me the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, after the stuffing, is the leftovers.

This morning I tossed the carcass in a large pot and boiled the life out of it capturing all those scrumptious juices left by the clinging meat. While it cooled I added a little more canned broth to the pot. It was then time to toss in a hand full of leftover wagon wheel pasta and chopped onion and whatever spices came to mind.

I plucked so much meat off the carcass that I didn't even have to touch the leftover turkey that had been carved last night. The last step to turn my pot into a tasty meal was to toss in a bag full of miscellaneous vegetables I had previously frozen.

There you have it- turkey soup for lunch.

Later on I will make a turkey casserole with egg noodles, peas, mushrooms, cream soup and of course leftover turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Food for thought

Here comes that holiday again that sometimes offers more food than anyone should consume in a single meal. Thanksgiving is also a time for reflection of the past, offering food for thought.

For the last few major holidays I have celebrated alone, with the exception of my fur children. Sometimes our animals are the best companions as they don't point fingers and bring up painful memories.

Even though I have been alone these past few years I have still cooked a turkey, with not so many side dishes. This year will be different because my oldest son will be sharing the turkey with me. Of my three children he is the one who really appreciates the effort I use to make the meal special. I am grateful for his feedback and his presence.

On the menu this year I am bringing back a delicious cranberry salad that my son and I found several years ago and I would like to share it with my readers. It is very simple and can be made ahead.

The ingredients are 2 packages cranberry jello (or cherry), 1 can whole cranberries, 1 can crushed pineapple, 1 small package frozen strawberries, 2 cups boiling water. Dissolve the jello in the water and add the rest of the ingredients. Chill and enjoy. That's it!

I hope you all have a fantastic peaceful Thanksgiving, spending your time being grateful for the blessings you have been given today!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Judge not etc. etc.

In the mail I recently received a district court jury summons. I was not pleased! As I read down the long list of information on the form I noticed that because of my age I could apply for a permanent release and would never receive this summons again. I did not hesitate to follow the directions to make this happen.

First I downloaded from nmgov.com the proper form needed to fill out, noting that I would need to take it to be notarized. No big deal as it is free and in the building next to the one housing District Court.

This morning I took care of that little job, parking in front of that building. Next I walked around to the back of the building, which was actually some distance from where I needed to drop off the form. There is no opening connecting the two. I left my car in front of building #1. Yesterday's wind had stopped and it was a nice morning so I figured the walk would count as exercise.

Arriving in the court building I then had to wait in line to sign in and go through the security process. Finally arriving at the front of the line I was told to put my purse in a machine to my right. Oh wait! I was first asked if it contained a cell phone. Unfortunately for me it did.

I was then instructed to put the phone in my car. Excuse me, but my car is on the other side of this building, on another street even!

In response I was told, "Walk to your car, put the cell phone in the car and drive around to the front of this building: your car will be much closer when you leave."

My response, although I am not sure it was audible was "Oh crap!"

I did what I was told, but left my purse, containing the offending cell phone, in the car. At the last minute I tucked my drivers license in my pocket in case I needed identification when and if I finally reached district court. Next I re-entered the building, this time successfully getting through the security scan. There was one little problem, because I had forgotten to remove my watch. That granted me a dirty look from the officer in charge before I was on my way to my destination!

I had a really creepy feeling as I moved down the hall, which was strewn with people apparently waiting for court dates and or trials. I was certainly glad that I am a law abiding citizen and was only there to drop off a form. I found the window I had long since been seeking, pushed the form through to the clerk and my mission was almost complete.

I was relieved when she said at last, "You are excused".

Was it worth it you might ask? My answer is yes because I no longer have a desire to judge anyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A new job

One just never knows from one day to the next what we are going to be asked to do. My new job for the next 10 days or so is to care for my son's dog, Leia, while he is at work. It is not a job I asked for, but I don't seem to have much choice.

The above photo is Leia shortly before she and my son moved in with me last June. Due to a lack of a job for her master she had not been groomed for a long time. Her hair had grown to an unsightly mess. With the addition of a paycheck my son took her to my groomers. The groomer discovered a large tumor on her shoulder and decided it was best to pretty much shave her fur off. My son was not thrilled because he said, "You aren't supposed to do that with a Sheltie." Hopefully her fur will grow back and she will soon look like her old self.

That night she decided to start scratching the tumor. OMG what a mess! We had blood everywhere. It looked like she had been in a terrible car accident. We aren't sure why she suddenly started scratching, but suspect that she may have been allergic to the shampoo the groomer used. We set up a triage station with a bath towel on my kitchen table. We finally managed to clean her up and did the best we could to cover the tumor with gauze and wound a stretch bandage around her body to try to stop the bleeding.

Yesterday morning she had surgery to remove the tumor. Between having her fur shaved off and the surgery Leia has had quite a traumatic experience. I feel sorry for her, but all I can do is try to keep her quiet and comfortable. Today I purchased a package of child's stretch socks to have ready to tape to her back paw if and when she starts scratching the healing wound. I'm sure it's going to itch eventually.

I never thought I would have a job as a canine nurse, but it will be an interesting addition to my resume!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

You and your life

A few days ago a quote from author Neale Donald Walsh passed by that I have been thinking about ever since. It was,"Your life has nothing to do with you. It has to do with everyone whose life you touch."

At first I agreed with the quote and then I saw that there was one word I don't agree with. That word is "everyone". I think it should be "everything", which would include all things that breath; such as animals and plants.

My thoughts wondered to, what if one lived in a cave? Possibly the only living things one might touch in that situation are not human. Would that count? I think it would.

My next thought was remembering a favorite movie, Cast Away. Tom Hanks had a very real relationship for four years with a volleyball he named Wilson. Does that count? I think it does because every existing thing in the universe has energy and therefore is alive.

Next my mind wondered on to Jane Goodall, who has spent much of her life living with and studying the relationships of primates. Wow that certainly counts!

Thinking of my own life I probably have a more loving relationship with my rescue dog Ejay than with a lot of humans. The reason no doubt is that he accepts me for who I am. He knows from experience that I will treat him well and is perfectly content to be sharing my life with me. Of course, he would be a little happier if I were to get rid of my two cats, but that is his problem and they were here first!

All things considered I am sticking with my assessment of the quote; the word should be everything not everyone.

Ejay and my other favorite being, my grandson Colin, both of whom accept me for who I am not for who they want me to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I surrender

This post is going to be about my experience with Medicare so if you aren't interested I advise you to walk on by and read something more to your liking.

I'm starting with a quote from my long time, recently retired, dermatologist Dr.Chapman. On my last visit to him he was concerned that I have no medical insurance or Medicare B and his comment was, "Eventually your warranty is going to run out."

It seems that the universe just keeps popping out challenges until we finally get the message that it is time to act. After my recent experience in the emergency room, which ran up an unbelievable hospital bill of over $5,000, I got the message. Perhaps because I did get the message I was informed last night that the hospital has decided to write off that entire amount. Another unbelievable occurrence, which I am extremely grateful for.

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours talking to a Medicare/Medicaid representative who convinced me that my best option for health insurance was to enroll in Medicare B in January 2015. Once I do that there is a Medicaid plan (SLIMB) that could pick up the monthly premium if my income doesn't go over $12,093. In my case Medicare will tack on a penalty for late enrollment of $125.88 per month in addition to the $104.90 premium that everyone pays so I would qualify for this plan. That's a total of $230.80, deducted from my meager Social Security check monthly.

Unfortunately, in my case, nothing will wipe out the penalty. It will be there for the rest of my life. It could have fallen under special circumstances if during the 12 years since I became eligible for B I would have had insurance through an employer. All the jobs I had were part time and did not offer insurance.

What all this boils down to is Dr. Chapman was right, it looks as if my warranty has run out and it is time to apply for Medicare B, as a gift to myself in January 2015. I surrender!!

Note: This post was written simply to share my experience with Medicare so that it might help someone else. It is not a request for sympathy. What happened is due to a decision I made back in 2002 and I take full responsibility for the consequences.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stressing out

It has been one week since my unexpected visit to the emergency room due to an episode of extremely high blood pressure. After tests, no reason could be found for this happening and my primary care person simply increased my BP medication and suggested, "Don't worry. Do I look worried?". My answer was, "You never look worried!" A couple of days later a friend shared advice from her doctor which was: take your reading once a day and forget about it, which I have been doing this week. It has been staying in the same range, but higher than I would like it to be. I am trying to take the attitude that it is what it is- for now. I have a follow-up appointment in a month.

Not knowing whether the unusual problem is being caused by something physical or mental is in turn causing me stress. It is easy to take a pill as a band aide, but I want to know what is going on. Realizing that the stress isn't helping one little bit I looked back at my research on the subject to see what I can do to help stay calm. Besides drinking more water, walking etc. I have been concentrating on breathing exercises. I know I have shared the following information in the past, but I thought I would do it again in the hope that it can help someone else.

Exercise #1 (4-7-8)

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth and around your tongue. Exhale completely through your mouth. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a mental count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat the sequence 3 more times.

Exercise #2 (breath counting)

Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Breathe naturally, quiet and slow. Count 1 to yourself as you exhale. The next time you exhale count 2 and so on up to 5. Then begin a new cycle. Try to do this exercise for 10 minutes.

A fun exercise from a friend is "take three breaths, say something nice about yourself, smile and take another breath." You can keep going until you run out of nice things to say about yourself!

Another friend shared this wonderful quote from a yoga master: "Inhale and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation and God remains with you. Exhale and you approach God. Hold the exhalation and surrender to God."

I also found this appropriate piece written by Leo Babauta: "Breathe. Breathing can transform your life. If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm and release the tensions."

One last quote from the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy, "The breath of God was his breath, yet though it pass from man to man through all time."

That's all I have to offer today dear readers, I'm off to breathe and hopefully stop stressing out!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A guided tour

Lately I have been reading a lot of fiction about family relationships. It has been an interesting experience. Even though the lives I read about were made up by the talented authors, the experiences did make me think about my own family dynamics. Stuff happens in any family and it can either be swept under the rug and kept secret for generations or it can be dealt with at the time.

Something odd happened yesterday which started with a quote I found by Maya Angelou: "One isn't necessarily born with courage. Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest."

The quote had such a powerful impact that I first flipped through some other quotes of hers. Suddenly I was hooked. I wanted to know what other works she might have written and checked her out on Amazon.com, where I found and purchased I Know Why Caged Birds Sing. The book is the first volume of her memoirs, written at age 41. She went on to live another 45 years.

I am about half way through the book and I love it. I always knew that she was a woman with a beautiful soul, but through her words I am understanding how that happened. I found another quote this morning submitted by her family, which added to my view. "Maya Angelou (4/4/28-5/19/14) has taken flight. Let her rise, but hold fast to her words. We now have to learn to speak with clarity and beauty for ourselves."

I am grateful for whatever guided me to read Ms. Angelou's book not only because it is so well written with tiny drops of humor that I dearly love, but because I learned so many true facts about a culture I knew little about. I basically grew up in the State of Washington and didn't meet a negro until I was an adult.

Although Our life experiences have been totally different, because of this guided tour, I can relate to the courage it took to hold her head up, tell her story and move on with the rest of her life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's not all bad

This morning I kept my mammogram appointment with my very favorite Cibola General Hospital technician, Nicky. It is the only thing I get free because of my income and the fact that I don't have insurance. Since it runs several hundred dollars I'm not about to pass it up.

While I was a patient in the emergency room Sunday night, Arnold, another radiologist took chest x-rays. I jokingly tried to get him to do the mammogram while he was at it, after all it was in the same area- sort of. He declined, but thought I was funny.

After taking care of registration this morning I walked over to the radiology window to check in. Who was the first person I saw and waved at? Yup Arnold who shouted, "taking care of that mammo I see!" By the time I connected with Nicky he had already shared our experience from Sunday, which gave us another chance to laugh about it.

As my previous post stated it is wonderful living in a small town with a friendly hospital staff, who make me feel that it's not all bad.

The truth shall set you free

Honesty has always been #1 with me and this time simply stating the truth paid off. Facing a huge emergency room bill the first thing I did was call the hospital finance office and ask for guidance. Explaining that I had no insurance or Medicare B and my only income is Social Security, I was told to bring proof/receipts of monthly bills etc. that I pay and fill out a brief form and they would see what they could do. Learning from a previous experience I knew the first step was to make this call. We learn as we go.

Cibola General Hospital has a wonderful staff and that includes those working in the business office. I am grateful to live in a small town with a smaller facility because in addition to being less expensive I feel the care is more compassionate. It feels like home. My personal experience is that in a larger hospital a patient is just a number on a chart.

Following instructions, my visit to the financial office yesterday turned out much better than I ever expected. They are going to wipe out the hospital portion of the bill. Of course, I still have to deal with the doctor and x-ray portion. I am going to take the same approach with them and see what they can do. I'm keeping a positive attitude.

For those people who are quick to judge and are wondering why I don't have Medicare B let me explain. When I first became eligible in 2002 my income was so little I simply could not afford it and being basically healthy I put it off. Now Medicare wants to charge me a penalty of $125.88 per month on top of the $104.90 that everyone else is paying to add B. That would be forever and would reduce my Social Security benefit to an amount impossible to live on. I have checked other insurance options and haven't found anything not connected to Medicare. I was given some new information by the hospital that I will check on.

I'm sure I can't be the only person in America facing this kind of problem. When those in authority issue an order they seldom have the vision/wisdom to see how it could affect people in my situation. Oh well, all I can do is tell the truth!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A scary situation

I had a fun experience yesterday. My blood pressure decided to act up and this time it did such a wonderful job that it landed me in the emergency room for four hours, connected to various devices, while the staff tried to discover what caused the upset.

I had taken readings several times during the day and each time it went higher than the last. Each time it went higher it also raised my anxiety level, which in turn added to the problem. By the time my son took me to the emergency room the systolic number was over 200. Why these scary situations always seem to happen on the weekend when a primary care doctor isn't available is beyond me. Perhaps it is a test to see just how much we can actually deal with.

Anyway after an EKG, blood work and a chest x-ray no reason was found for the elevation. I did find out that my heart, kidneys and liver are all in good shape. That's going to be a hell of an expensive physical when I get the hospital bill, especially since I will be paying it entirely on my own.

As I curled up under my own covers last night I said a prayer of gratitude that I had not had a stroke or heart attack and that because of a capable hospital staff my reading eventually went down to a normal number, the assistance of my son and most of all that I was not admitted as a patient. I was told to increase my current medication and follow up with my own doctor to discuss my medication.

I still have no clue what caused the problem, but I do know that my own fearful thoughts made it worse than it needed to be. It happened and I just have to let it go and believe that some miracle will take care of the bill that at the moment I have no way of paying. I know scary situations help us grow, but come on guys this is really enough!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A family affair

It's over thank you very much! My muscles are sore this morning from working at the family center Halloween Carnival last night. Age plus repetitive motions for three hours straight don't mix. For the first time my grandson and daughter also volunteered. They were assigned to the haunted house and were out of sight most of the night.

Although it is fun mingling with the little people in their special attire I do believe this will be my last year helping with this event. It is time to turn it over to younger members of my family. Being a role model is hard work, especially when it takes people so long to catch on to the fact that they can do it too. Congratulations to my family- they finally got it!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Don't blame me

A couple of days ago I had a conversation with my ex-husband in the grocery store parking lot. He was going, I was coming. He had some interesting news to share with me. First he said he had been in the hospital for 10 days, with all sorts of things wrong with him, including pneumonia. Perhaps he should stop smoking? He also shared without emotion, "my kidneys finally gave out and I am on dialysis three times a week".

I also had no emotion hearing his news. He has probably been drinking and smoking since he was 10. Whatever is about to happen, I feel he did it himself. I was drug into his drama for 27 years until the day, 15 years ago, when I had reached my limit and said enough.

Looking back at our relationship I see that we lived in a circle. He drank, then I yelled and called him names, then he drank some more; using me as an excuse for his habit. For many years I think I took the blame, not having the courage to walk out and face life alone.

People don't realize how difficult it is to be married to an alcoholic who is still able to keep a job. On the outside everything looks good, but behind closed doors it is a totally different story. The children of the relationship are not able to understand how emotionally stressful the situation is to the spouse who doesn't drink. Their view is that of a child and they often grow up blaming the wrong parent.

It has taken years for me to realize that I was not to blame. I never once took a bottle or a glass and forced the contents down my husband's throat. He did that all by himself. Hopefully before the end he will take responsibility for his own actions and not blame me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flash back

Wow! This morning I saw a Facebook post from a friend stating that she was a 5 year endometrial cancer survivor. It immediately brought back a memory of the fact that I had the same experience 24 years ago. Back then my surgeon told me I would eventually not even think about what happened and he was right. Unless something comes up to trip the memory I leave the whole thing in the past.

The last time I thought about it was 2011 when I faced another surgery for a blocked bowel, due to my previous cancer and radiation treatments, which caused scar tissue. I thought that was totally unfair. Come on over 20 years! One of my funny nurses commented, "Hey you've got time to do this again!" I don't think so.

Every once in a while I bring my cancer experience up because I want people to realize that a diagnoses of the big C does not automatically mean death. I truly believe a positive attitude can work miracles. When my doctor informed me of the facts my response was, "Fix it so I can get on with the rest of my life." She sent me to the best oncologist in the area and he did just that.

This morning's flash back reminded me to be grateful for the people that have come into my life in the form of helpers. Some of them have become life long friends who share the same experiences.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I don't care

What is the message being sent when you ask a family member, what he/she wants for dinner and the answer is "I don't care"?

It has only been since my son moved back home that I have had to think about someone else when planning meals. I personally don't have a problem with eating the same thing a few days in a row. Odd combinations of food were not unheard of. In the last four months I have made a concentrated effort to put more thought into the dinner menu. This morning I ran out of ideas and while he was getting ready for work I asked if he had any brilliant ideas for dinner tonight. His answer was, "not really."

I suppose the positive reaction to that would be that I am doing a good job so far, keep up the good work and just do your thing.

Alright then! Yesterday I made a big pot of green chili stew, tonight I'm going for spaghetti, salad and Texas toast. If you wanted something else- I don't care!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last anniversary post- I promise

Today's post in celebration of the almost 5 year history of my blog is from 2013 and it was published on 12/25/13 and is titled A True Christmas Story

My Christmas began yesterday when my young grandson,who is the most special person in my life, asked to spend the day with me. It started with bacon and pancakes for breakfast. We then took a short trip to the store to pick up a couple of last minute gifts, hung out the rest of the day and last night enjoyed a peaceful dinner out. Oh I almost forgot we did exchange gifts along the way.

Although it was a very positive experience I knew I had an even more important one coming up this morning as a messenger for our Creator. I got up early and dressed in warm clothes for an errand I knew I was supposed to do, which began with collecting edible goodies in a bag.

Just before I put on my winter coat and gloves to brave the very cold Christmas morning I decided to check the Facebook status of a spiritual friend whom I have unfortunately lost touch with. The words I found on his wall were like a message from the Universe telling me that what I was about to do was exactly what I was supposed to do.

They were: "Was blinded by the Xmas (Christmas) spirit when I found a bag of non-perishables on my back doorstep left by a gentleman from the area- whom I had "helped" on occasion. The man is homeless."

That one word homeless motivated me to move on with my mission. I drove to the Riverwalk with my bag of goodies. I kept praying "lead me to the people I am supposed to give this to". In our little town the homeless can be found most mornings wondering around this area. As I entered the parking lot I saw three people, two men and a woman and knew they were the souls I was assigned to meet. I approached them and asked if they were hungry. They said yes and I handed them my bag and suggested they share the contents. The woman gratefully took it and thanked me.

I'm sure what I offered them must have seemed like a feast on this cold Christmas morning and I hope it restored their faith that someone cared about the true meaning of Christmas.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A day ahead

I decided not to wait until tomorrow to offer the next anniversary post. This one was apparently chosen by my guide/muse. When I tried to print the one I had selected this one printed instead. It was originally published on August 6, 2012 and is titled Play it again. Here it comes...

I just responded to an online test that was supposed to tell me what I wanted from life. The results were: experience,love and health. Oddly, before going to bed last night I wrote down what I believe I am searching for: good health, security and a mate.

The main difference was experience and security. My experiences have taught me what not to do and if I had another chance I would make different choices that would probably have led to current security.

First, I would not have listened to my ego telling me that compared to others I had little value as a person and had no special talent. I would not have listened to my mother and found a way to obtain an education beyond high school, perhaps finding out that I actually am worthy of the best the universe has to offer. That's called self-esteem.

I would have listened to my intuition and not married either of my two husbands; thus avoiding being subjected to their negative addictions. I also would have learned a lot earlier that I am quite capable of taking care of myself without the assistance of a husband. That's called independence.

As far as children go I may have stopped at my first born. Of course, that would have meant no grandchildren. Sometimes we have to deal with the negative to get to the positive. That's called a reward and is often worth the price we have to pay to earn it.

Unfortunately, I only have one chance to live my life. Approaching age 75 and knowing that where I am is the result of the choices I have made is causing me stress. Why didn't I listen to the guidance I was offered? Why didn't I trust that God made me perfect just the way I am?

Compared to many women my age my life would be considered wonderful. I own my house, my car and owe no one anything. I have enough of everything for today and I am truly grateful.

I guess the only thing missing is love.

Well that's it for today. Tomorrow will be my last anniversary post and like my readers I have absolutely no idea what that will be!

Second anniversary installment

This submission was posted on 12/25/11 and it was titled, The big C is here

The big day finally arrived- Christmas is here!

This morning I spent some time thinking about that first Christmas so long ago; about the mother who gave birth in a stable. In some ways I don't think that birth was anymore special than the birth of any other child since that night. We all came from the same source and that pretty much makes us brothers and sisters. I also believe we all have a mission to spread the love of our Creator. We also posses unique tools and a path to accomplish that mission. Some souls just become a little more elevated than others because that's the way it was meant to be.

Probably the tradition of gifts originated with the three wise men bringing their simple offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In today's world the gifts have gotten way out of hand,in my opinion at least. It makes me very sad to see what is piled under the trees when so many would be grateful for a simple meal or a warm place to sleep. I wish I had lived in the days of old when gifts were all hand made with love.

As I look out on my driveway still covered with a foot of snow everything is beautiful and peaceful. The untouched snow is sparkling from the light reflected by the sun. It is going to be a quiet day of reflection for me. Perhaps it will be a day of focusing on what I can personally do to make 2012 a more loving positive year.

Seven more days and it all begins again. It has been a traumatic year of devastation for so many and if people of the world have not learned their lessons there will be more to come. I hope that I will live long enough on this planet called earth to see the positive changes that are possible when love becomes the mantra to live by.

Tune in tomorrow for the third installment titled Play it again.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

If the glove fits...

I just noticed that I started writing this blog in November of 2009 making it almost 5 years old. As the memory of my first post came back I asked myself, "what are you trying to accomplish?" Well as I scrolled through the years I found my answer through a post published on 11/7/09. "Yea! I just took another step on my creative journey."

I simply have a desire to share my experiences with others with the hope that something I write will help someone else. If the glove fits...

For the next couple of days I am going to offer one post from each year that I really like. If it fits you are welcome, if not try another. They are free!

1/22/10 Man in her Dream

This is my submission to a recent short fiction contest. It received great feed back from readers including: humorous, a tease, original, clever, well thought out and made the reader think what if?

One morning Kate woke to the sound of a phone ringing. A man with a very pleasant voice said, "good morning, I hope I didn't wake you."

"You did", she answered, "but it was time for me to get up anyway."

"I am the spirit that guided you to where you are today", the man said.

"No way!", she replied,"spirits can't make phone calls to humans."

"They can if God makes it possible", he countered.

"I have not felt your presence for some time, I thought you were gone", she said.

"Not gone, proudly watching you finish the job of becoming who you really are. There is only so much a guide can do", he adding laughing.

"I am grateful to have this opportunity to thank you for helping me grow. I sincerely hope you have been rewarded for your hard work", Kate replied.

"Reward is the reason for this call. Our Creator has instructed me to tell you that your time for harvest has arrived. As a reward for your hard work and willingness to take every opportunity offered to align with your soul anything you desire is yours for the asking. The only question is- will you allow you to accept the reward?"

After a few moments of silence he repeated the question adding, "God is waiting for your answer."

Taking a deep breath, Kate's answer was, "Yes, I have worked my tail off and I am ready to accept everything God believes I deserve."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Memories are made of this

Yesterday I listened, via the Social Media, to a talk given at the Center for Spiritual Living in Florida, by my friend Rev. Bob Luckin. The title was "Cleansing the Doors of Perception" and as I listened to his recount of experiencing a recent stroke and being admitted to a hospital, memories of my own hospital experience, just about three years ago, came floating back to me.

I had been in severe pain for two days and finally around 2:00 am I decided I had better go to the emergency room. I had hesitated because I had no insurance, not even medicare B. For the same reason, I drove myself to the hospital and as the result was chewed out by the emergency room doctor who said, "I can't give you anything for the pain if you are driving". Somewhere along the line someone decided to take some xrays, which told the jerk that I had a blocked bowel and would probably need immediate surgery.

Nobody told me that as I was moved to another part of the emergency room. When a doctor, who I had known for over 30 years came in he greeted me with, "Hey Barb what are you doing here?" My answer was, "You tell me!"

He did just that and two hours later we again met in the operating room where he proceeded to take care of my problem, which I didn't know I had. I wrongly assumed I had the flu.

Although he expertly did his part, my body decided to take its time healing and I spent the next two weeks as a captive in the hospital with a tube shoved down my nose, throat and it began pumping gross purple stuff from my stomach into a container. Inquiring where all this stuff was coming from I was told by the surgeon's nurse, "everywhere, your body was hurt and it is crying". Well picture that!

There wasn't much I could do about the situation. I wasn't going anywhere, except to take daily walks around the halls. I finally decided that someone thought I needed a vacation from my regular life. I made the decision not to worry about the bill, which ended up being around $40,000,and enjoy the rest I had been given. It wasn't easy with that tube stuck you know where.

I had a great time getting to know the nurses and learning about their lives. As a writer I was the one who had a captive audience. Before I left I asked a friend to bring me several copies of my first published book, Wake Up!, which I signed and passed around to the staff. It was the least I could do after being treated so well by everyone.

My friend's talk was something I could relate to because, like me, he chose to consider his experience as an adventure and learn from it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Soups' on

At the request of a loyal friend and because the weather has turned a bit frosty I am posting a couple of delicious soup recipes today. The first is one I dug up from long ago when I had a family to cook for. It is a one pot very filling dinner to warm your bones on a brisk evening.

Lentil Soup

2 cups lentils 2 quarts water 1/4 cups dry onion flakes 1/2 tsp. minced garlic 2 bay leaves 2 cups diced tomatoes 2 cups diced carrots 2 cups shredded cabbage 2 cups sliced zucchini 1 Tb. salt 1/4 cup soy sauce 1-1/4 tsp. pepper

combine lentils and water, bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes, cover and remove from heat for 1 hour. Add onion flakes, garlic, bay leaves, tomato and carrots. Cover and simmer 1/2 hour.

Add cabbage, zucchini, soy sauce, salt & pepper and simmer 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves. I have also added bean sprouts.

Next I am offering a new recipe I found on the internet and recently tried. Both my son and I enjoyed it to the very last drop.

Broccoli Potato Soup

1-1/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes 4 slices bacon 2 cups frozen cut broccoli 2-1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth 1/4 cup minced onion 2 cloves minced garlic 1-1/2 cups milk 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 0z.) 2 Tb minced parsley

Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels. Add onion and garlic to pan, stirring about 2 minutes until soft. Remove from pan, draining any fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.

Combine onion and garlic, broccoli and chicken broth in large saucepan. Mix well. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in potato flakes. Reduce heat to low. Gradually stir in milk, add cheese and crumbled bacon. Cook over low heat until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Sprinkle each serving with minced parsley.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chill out!

As I was raking up leaves this morning I was thinking of my grandson and wondered if he is going to help me bag them this year. He's a big teenager now and very busy with sports and school activities. It isn't so easy to get his attention anymore. As I was recalling the memories of seasons past a photo I had taken of him about four years ago popped up. It was a cool fall day and we had raked up a big pile of leaves when he suddenly said cover me up grandma and take my picture. How could I resist? The picture was so cute I framed it and he gave it to his step-father for Christmas that year. It could have been titled chill out!
After posting it on Facebook a friend saw it and asked permission to share it, stating that it should go viral. She said "he looks so blissful- my kind of fall feeling".

The smile on his face just says- Chill out, a suggestion we should all consider now and then.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's all in the attitude

Be nice and treat me with respect and I just might reconsider my decisions and say yes.

A couple of days ago while exercising in the fitness room at our family center I had a couple of interesting one on one conversations that changed decisions I had previously made. The first was with an office employee, who like me had been treated with disrespect during the time I had worked there. (That would be the last school year.) There was a whole lot of negative energy going on during that time, partly due to the controlling attitude of the director. That person has now moved on and has been replaced by someone else. The energy in the entire facility has suddenly changed to positive instead of negative.

Looking back I can see that most of the negative energy was in response to how people were treated. It was like dust bunnies under the bed; if they aren't taken care of they just get bigger and bigger.

I was very happy when school was out and my job ended. It was a real struggle to finish out the year. By the last day I just wanted to get out of there! I commented to another employee that I wanted nothing more to do with the facility unless things changed. Little did I know that they were about to.

I probably won't consider working there again because I AM RETIRED, but I am still listed as a volunteer and have said yes to helping with the Halloween Carnival for the 5th year in a row. I wasn't going to help, but because the attitude of the person who asked me has changed to positive I said yes.

It would be nice to adopt the way Buddhists think and not react to negative energy, but it is hard to just let things go. That reminds me of a very helpful quote: "The loudest noise you can make is to quietly walk away". It is all in the/your attitude after all.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Read what you write

Since my last part time job ended in May I decided that I was really retired and firmly stated it in a previous blog post. I think it was called "This is it!"

Yesterday I noticed an ad for a part time activity assistant at our local Good Samaritan Center. I could do that I confidently said to myself, forgetting that I am now retired. I proceeded to copy down the web address and collected my resume, a list of additional volunteer jobs and current references. All set, I began to fill out the online job application.

Everything was going well, I thought, until I tried to send the document. In bright red letters I was informed that there were errors in the form. There was no mention of what those errors might be so after checking it I asked my son to also look it over. He found a couple of minor things that might be the problem and I corrected them,thinking now it would send. Well it didn't!

One nice thing about living in a small town for over thirty years is I know people and I happen to know both the HR Director and the Activity Director and as a matter of fact the Facility Director. I decided to stop by Good Sam to state my situation. After making my problem known I decided to ask a couple of questions about the job. I wasn't thrilled to be told that it was for the evening shift, which is either 4:00-8:00 or 5:00-9:00, 5 days a week, including weekends. I also wasn't happy finding out that everything has to be electronically recorded.

Even though I use a computer daily and have written several books, a newspaper column and a blog, I am not electronically inclined. I'm having trouble operating my new trac phone. Do I really want to learn how to use another new electronic instrument? I don't think so!

The hours weren't to my liking either, when I realized that planning and cooking dinner is something I really like to do. Since my son has been living with me I have enjoyed re-visiting recipes I haven't used in years and digging up new ones. It has also been nice having another human to eat with. Do I really want to give that up? No!

When I went to bed last night I sent out a message to my guides that I really needed some guidance on this matter. When I woke this morning I had pretty much decided that I should have not only read, but believed, what I wrote earlier. I am retired!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Be careful what you ask for

Yesterday a facebook friend and fellow author, Sadie Lydon, offered to share one of her books with me. I had never read her work and was curious. I had no idea what genre she wrote in. When she emailed her book, Lou Lou: Book One of the Front Row Series she warned me that it was all about "sex, drugs and rock-n-roll in the early '80s. I replied that I had been reading a lot of Kindle books lately so nothing really upsets me.

I started reading and found that she was right about the content. Although I appreciated the fact that it was well written and had a nice flow I really wanted less explicit sex and more story content. I kept asking myself, what else can the characters do? Even though I had, in my life, been married for 40 years to two different (wrong) men I realized my sex life left a lot to be experienced.

For some strange reason reading this book kept prompting memories that I had lived through. Even though my life path is certainly nothing like Lou Lou's I can relate to her and completely understand what motivated her. We both had controlling over critical mothers who were unable to offer enough love, encouragement or support. That sort of "lack" can often lead to bad decisions on the part of the child as she/he matures. It can also cause growing up way too fast.

After finishing the book this morning I followed my own writer's intuition and Googled Sadie Lydon, author. I found a wonderful quote that I would like to share because it is exactly how I feel about what I write.

In her words: "Watching my books circulate by word of mouth is like watching my children move around in life as they discover where they want to be and who they want to spend their time with."

I recommend this book, which is available on Amazon.com, to anyone who enjoys erotica; and even though I would still caution being careful what you ask for, sometimes it is worth it to take a step in a new direction.

P.S. Just so you know, I also shared my book Journey of an Enlightened Egotist with Sadie.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The wait is over

Four months ago I offered my oldest son a place to live because he could not find a job in the state that he lived in and was going to be forced to surrender his house to the mortgage company. There have been many times in those months when I thought, what in the hell did I do?

Today I see that I wasn't so stupid after all. The wait is over. He has finally secured a job that could lead him to a new career, if he just remembers to be grateful for what he has been given.

If he had not taken me up on my offer he would be homeless, jobless and moneyless.

I am also grateful that I have been given an opportunity to help but not control his life. There is a big difference between the two. I have had to hold my opinion many times in the last four months, which is difficult for a recovering controlling parent.

Perhaps the wait is over and I can finally let my children go and concentrate on my own life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

With these eyes

I have never considered myself a photographer, but I have taken some very interesting photos over the years with inexpensive cameras. After sharing a photo I had taken several years ago, a friend commented, "an amazing photo Barbara, you capture so much". I was once told by a professional photographer that it is not the camera, but the eyes of the person using it that produces amazing pictures.

Today I want to share some photos from my repertoire for your enjoyment.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Be careful who you follow

Lately I have been checking out the people whom I believed at one time or other to be worthy of my following.

As I have changed and grown so have these people. Some of them have grown right out of my life, which is not always a bad thing.

I have asked myself some simple questions such as, is this person dependable of does he/she come and go like a puff of smoke from a chimney? Does this person follow through with promises made or does he/she disregard them as null and void as soon as they are spoken? Does the person make every effort to encourage and help promote others or is he/she more concerned with his/her own self worth?

Honestly addressing these questions makes it clear to me why some people are no longer in my life. They have simply proved over time that they were not who I originally thought them to be. Honesty and dependability are number one qualities that I require both for myself and those close to me.

We all have role models, people we look up to and desire to emulate. That's just fine as long as in the process we don't forget the fact that we are not them.

One of my first role models was my maternal grandmother. I believe I ended up being a lot like her, which always made my mother cringe. Nana was an ordinary woman, with honest values and a giving heart. When she saw something that needed doing she didn't ask questions, she just jumped in and did it. She taught me by example to value my creative gifts and to freely give them away to those who needed them. She taught me to appreciate the natural beauty of things. She taught me to strive for perfection in the way I presented myself to the rest of the world, being mindful not to become egotistical. She taught me to acknowledge a high power and to always be grateful for what I have.

As I think of my grandmother today I am thankful to have been one she chose to teach. If it were not for following her honest values my life could have gone in an entirely different direction.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

An enjoyable evening

I spent an enjoyable evening last night at the amphitheater in our River Walk Park. The three person group playing was "Renaissance Man" and their music was oldies- my thing.

Besides listening to music that I really liked I had an opportunity to talk to many friends I hadn't seen in some time. It is interesting to note how people change over 20-30 years. Of course, some never do except to gain some extra pounds. Running through the audience off and on were a few of the kids I knew from working at our family center last year. One in particular is an adorable child named Harmony. She is the cutest little girl anyone would ever want to meet. Her smiling face makes me happy just being in her company.

The amphitheater has sat pretty much unused for years and it is nice that Grants Mainstreet has finally made use of the facility. Since June they have provided, free of charge, musical entertainment every Saturday night. Most of the groups have traveled from other places as far away as Albuquerque. The first group was the 44th Army Band which was making a tour of New Mexico just before Independence Day. They were a wonderful beginning and set the tone for a great summer of free entertainment.

A four piece group called "Rhythm Divine" will end the performances next Saturday. Just in time to celebrate our Fall Fiesta at the Fire & Ice park on October 11th. This event features a red-green-salsa chili cook off, with vendors, fun contests and live music. I think I'm getting hungry!

Amphitheater Grants, NM

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Playing the game

My super athlete grandson, who recently turned 13, really surprised me this morning during his soccer game. He started out as a forward and made the first goal of the game with little effort. For some reason the coach switched him out about 15 minutes into the game. This surprised me as he didn't seem to be injured. He had played in the forward position most of the previous game and had scored the only goals for his team. His team won that game 2-1.

I was really surprised when the second half of today's' game started with my grandson in the defense position. What is the coach doing I wondered.

As the game went on I saw that the kid I was focusing on was responsible for keeping most of the opponents attempts at goals well out of range of the net. I also noticed that he is a fabulous kicker. The other team never had a chance of scoring. The final score was 8-0. Yay team!

New coach, new season, new team. Perhaps this coach sees something that none of the rest have!? In any case this is the time to find any hidden talents as next year he will be playing in the high school league. It's not if a player wins or loses, it's how he/she plays the game that counts!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Deleted posts

How fun! I just accidentally deleted all the posts I wrote from July 20, 2014 to now! So if you read any of them great if not it's too late!!

Of course, my first reaction was SHIT!

My second was SO WHAT!

I wonder what are you trying to tell me now, oh mighty universe? Is it time to stop writing my blog or is it just that once my thoughts are shared there is no longer a reason to keep a record?

While I ponder the possibilities please feel free to go on with your own lives.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Living with a blue aura

Checking out a post that came by my vision, I took a test to see what color my aura is. An aura is "an invisible emanation of vapor; a field of energy visible to certain persons with psychic powers", according to Webster's New World College Dictionary. It is the essence of the person, place or thing. Before I took the test I already knew mine was blue.

Way back in 2000 or so I was manning a booth for Grants Good Samaritan Center at a community event. Out of the blue a Native American lady began talking to me. She said she had been assigned to watch over/protect me until I was ready to be on my own. She went on to share that she had been in my bedroom at night, sitting in a rocking chair in a corner of the room. The window was open and I was crying. Now most people would have called a cop to lock up this strange being, but not me. I not only listened to her I later followed her to her vehicle, a pink jeep, to finish our talk. Among other things she said that my aura was blue and added that I should keep it that way! The communication with the "lady in white", as she called herself, was short lived. She made me nervous and I decided that I could very well take care of myself. I released her from her assignment and never heard from her again. The meeting is still a very sharp memory.

A blue aura is associated with the throat chakra and a person possessing one is thought to be caring, loves to help others, sensitive and intuitive. Finding out this information right about the time that I began finding my own voice in my community is more than a little interesting today. Looking back I see that my aura has been blue all of my life. I also see that along the way it got tangled up with my ego, which is energy picked up from others. In the process I lost the clarity of my purpose for being here.

Yesterday while editing a manuscript called "Journey of an Enlightened Egotist", which is waiting for further direction, I noted in the archives it was once called "Cut the Crap". Today that fact makes me laugh because it is exactly what I had to do to get real.

Also about a week ago I backed away from Facebook feeling that nobody cared if I was there or not. Hey maybe I was right because in that week not one person bothered to ask where I was. It is sometimes funny how the truth of the matter bops you right in the face when you aren't looking. Dipping my toe in the water I shared a post that came through my newsfeed, then a poem that had come to me in my mail. It was at that point that I realized it didn't matter who if anyone responded. My purpose is to pass along what comes "through" me. It is what makes me happy! What happens after that is no longer my business.

Because my aura had gotten tangled up with junk I had begun to think it was my responsibility to not only pass on information to help others, but make sure people followed my insights. Wrong!

With all the writing related gifts I have it certainly makes the fact that I live with a blue aura understandable and at times very gratifying. I think I'll just keep what I have been given and get on with my purpose for being.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Most precious gift

Yesterday's post reminded me of an excerpt from my first published book, Wake Up!. It was called "Most precious gift" and I would like to share it with my readers today with the hope that it might inspire a positive perception of the gift of life.

If you are alive and breathing, whomever you are, whatever your origin, sex or age, there is a gift you share with everyone whether you want to or not. This gift is invisible, has no scent, makes no noise and can't be touched or tasted. It is the most precious gift we have and without it we would cease to be. We all have an equal amount, no matter where we live, how much money we have or whether we are dependent or independent.

Neither a high I.Q. nor a high paying job grants anyone more of this gift than anyone else. It cannot be loaned, bought or stolen from another. We all have 1,440 minutes in each day we spend on this planet. How we choose to use these minutes is an individual decision. We are not born with a road map or a list of rules. Good or bad the decision is up to us. No one can make it for us.

It is interesting how many people with titles assume their time is much more valuable than those without. Adults often think their time is more important than a child's is simply because they are adults. Nationality, tradition and training have taught some men that their time is more valuable than a woman's is. If the world ended right now, none of us would have time left to worry about it.

Every moment of every day we all have the opportunity to help others by sharing a part of ourselves with everyone around us. If we realized time could run out right now maybe we would be kinder, smile more, share a thought or help another. Wouldn't it be wonderful to spend every moment celebrating that we have it instead of worrying about things we don't have and probably don't need anyway?

How we decide to use our allotted time is far more important than who our parents were or how many material things we feel we need to be happy. We can choose to be negative, bitter and hateful or positive, grateful and loving; taking all opportunities to extract good from every experience.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why so young?

Early Monday morning yet another young person, 23 years old, moved on to another realm. She was driving home on the interstate when the driver of a semi truck fell asleep and abruptly ended her life. It leaves me wondering why so young?

I didn't really know the young woman, but I do know her father and step-mother. It must really shake up one's world to have a child leave earth before the parent. That's not supposed to happen, but it does. I am grateful that I have not had this experience.

If we had a crystal ball and could see into the future a bit would it change how we treat others? If we knew how little time we had would we stop making such a fuss about the little things that happen in our everyday life? Would we be more accepting of things that don't please us, knowing that we all have our own purpose and what others do say and think is really none of our business?

At my advanced age it is sometimes hard for me to understand why I am still here and much younger souls are not. When things like this happen I still ask why so young?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

If you don't like it speak up!

Lately I have been getting terrible service from my internet provider. It takes forever to download anything and sometimes that isn't even possible. In an attempt to correct the problem a new modom was installed. It worked, sort of, for a short time. After calling another provider I discovered that mine is the only one available for my area.

Next I called Century Link once more to ask what it would cost to upgrade my current service. I was told- nothing. What! I have been paying for crappy service that could have been upgraded for nothing. So why didn't anyone tell me?

My son's response was, "Since you didn't complain they assumed you were happy with what you were getting."

The rest of that story is that by 5:00pm on July 15th my internet service will be upgraded to a speed 10 times greater than I am now getting for about half the price I have been paying.

A similar situation is occuring with Facebook. Lately I am not getting posts from friends that I want to hear from and my news feed is clogged with posts from people I don't even know and ads for unwanted products. In the past FB has offered much useful information that I have passed on to others in one way or another. It has also provided many close relationships with people whom I would never have had the opportunity to otherwise meet. It just isn't the same as it was when I first joined the site in 2009.

Following a recent move by a very good friend I have decided to back off for awhile. After communicating with her I see that I too am wasting too much of my time on the site. Those few friends that I really care about can be reached in other ways. There are phones, emails and hey even hand written notes and letters. If anyone cares enough to contact me my number has been in the Grants, NM phone book for about 35 years.

The lesson learned, I hope, is that if I don't like something I need to speak up and change it instead of just sitting back and taking it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Coming home

Another article waiting publication in the Cibola Beacon.

Although, Sergeant Major (Retired) Jeffrey A. Gunn US Army Reserve, graduated from Grants High School in 1979 he was born in Seattle, Washingon and lived in California before moving to Cibola County, New Mexico with his family in 1976. He recently moved back to the area to begin a new life.

After graduating from high school Gunn chose to enlist in the Army because, "I was always interested in military history and the like."

Gunn spent twelve years in the regular Army, serving in Germany, Italy and finally Desert Storm in 1990-1991. He then joined the Army Reserve. As a reservist he was a Technical Instructor in biological and chemical defense and a Staff Trainer.

From 2004 to 2009 he was training units to go to Iraq and Afganistan. 93 days before his retirement would have become effective he was released from active duty. According to Gunn, "It was all about money and had nothing to do with my performance. During my active duty years I had been promoted twice and received the Meritorious Service Medal".

After being forced to retire and desperately seeking employment, Gunn spent 2011-2012 as a civilian contractor working for the military as a safety instructor in Kuwait. He summed up this experience as, "A hot place with a lot of dust and extremely bad drivers".

Since 2009 Gunn has owned and operated Oro Grande Firearms Training in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a Certified NRA (National Rifle Association)) instructor. He is certified to teach, pistol, rifle, shotgun, personal protection and Refuse to be a Victim classes. In addition he is a Range Safety Officer and an OSHA Authorized General Industry Trainer. As soon as he can obtain certification in New Mexico he will offer Concealed Weapon classes.

One of the programs he is interested in promoting is the Refuse to be a Victim class. It has nothing to do with shooting guns, but teaches ordinary people how to be safe in their homes, while traveling, protecting their children, in the workplace and even safety tips for senior citizens in nursing homes and persons with disabilities. With current situations as they are it is a class every citizen could benefit from. According to Gunn, "People need to know what to do before something happens, not wait for it to happen".

Recently moving back to Cibola County, Gunn is now available to teach any of the above classes and can be reached at Jeff.gunn@orograndetraining.com or his office 505-240-8250.