Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's a New Day!

On Tuesday, we had a holiday all over the world. Millions upon millions of people tuned in to see Barack Obama sworn in as president. Already we are seeing changes...the US adopts a non torture policy and Gitmo is slated for closure. Amazing to me that we needed to make this change...that it was every in place at all.
There are so many people who are proud to be Americans again. This doesn't mean that we relinquished our citizenship before but we weren't proud of what our country was doing. And the only thing that we could really do, besides writing letters which fell on deaf ears and participating in peaceful demonstrations which were also pretty useless, was wait.
But there is a change in the air.
As I watched the Inauguration, I felt full of gratitude. FULL of gratitude. I cried. Tears of joy. In appreciation that this man and his family are willing to step into the fire to restore this country to its former greatness. And to lead us to greater heights than we may have imagined. We are a proud country. My husband is English and they do not feel this kind of patriotism. We have something special and we have taken it for granted for far too long. We are great and there is responsibility in that.
When I see Obama and Michelle, even their kids, I am struck by how grounded they are. They deal with what comes along with calm and humor. With sensitivity and sensibility. I have a President whose character I want to emulate. Wow.
I want to make what is a rather surprising note for me. I attribute it to the wiser, more compassionate part of me.
When I watched Bush on inauguration day, my heart went out to him. For the first time in a long time, I saw him not as the buffoon who was tormenting the world, who inspired me to come up with the political party "denialist".
On Tuesday, I saw him as a human who was not up to the job. Some people have greatest in them. Some don't. He didn't. It's a dangerous thing when someone without greatness takes a place of power. It is kind of like a pack mentality. The alpha dog can do whatever he wants, whether he is right or not.
He wasn't. I am the first to admit that I would probably be a crap president. No, definitely. But I have the sense not to run. I want to change the world but I do it from the energetic place that I am in alignment with. That is where our gifts shine, when we have a level of self awareness that understands our strengths and knows how to best use them.
This man, who is now a former president and citizen, wasn't in alignment with his gifts. He must have some. I think he took so many vacations because it took too much energy for him to keep trying to live up to his position. Everyone who voted for him has to take some responsibility in that.
Today he is a man, living in a 4 bedroom house (at least one house sold in his area!) who 2 days ago was president and today can sleep as long as he wants. I can't imagine what that would be like.
I am so grateful that the Bush era (error) is over. So thankful.
And it is a new day. I am proud. I am calm. I am hopeful.
It is a time that America can once again lead by hope and strength and not the strength of fear. Our President believes in that. Millions of people believe in it, feel it.
This is rise of not only America, but of all those who long to soar.
photo taken by Erik Prince, sunrise, Outer Banks, NC

Monday, January 19, 2009

Too excited to sleep!

Have you seen that commercial for Disneyland or world...not sure which...where the little kid says "I am too excited to sleep"? I love that enthusiasm. The tone of voice and to be honest, just the sheer joie de vie. That moment, like waiting for Santa to come or going on vacation, when the thought of what is to come fills the present so fully that little things like sleeping and working simply find no room at the inn.
That's how I feel. This little girl says it all.
Anticipation. Something exciting is on the horizon.
A couple of months ago I went to my first hot air balloon show. It was awesome. My friend and I gathered at the field and I wondered where the balloons would stage and take off. Did we have a good place? I didn't want to miss anything. People milled around. Food vendors and artists were set up around the field. A local band was playing.
Then the trailers started pulling in.
People just casually stepped aside and let the trailers, full of balloon paraphernalia, pull right in amongst the crowd.
I wasn't going to miss anything!
That excitement is what I feel tonight. I am not going to be on the steps of the Capitol Building tomorrow at 11:30am. But I am not going to miss anything.
In fact, this is the first time in a long time that I feel that I am a part of something.
Of course, I am speaking about the swearing in of Barack Obama. I am so excited I can't sleep.
A few of my friends aren't thrilled. My family probably isn't. But a lot of those I know are. There is a new energy. And we need it.
So right now, I feel the gathering. I feel the excitement building. The crowds gathering. I live about 5 hours from DC (assuming decent traffic) and yet, the digital traffic signs warn of traffic delays to Washington. People are ready for less hot air and more flight. It's time for take off. Dare to dream again. Dare to speak up. Get involved. I received an email from the Obama campaign manager encouraging me to get involved in some of the community events in my area today. I didn't know that there were any. Yes, my bad, I am sure, but I want to give a huge note of thanks that the executive branch doesn't have their heads so far up their hineys that they lose sight of the importance of every person, in every town...not just 'real America.'
Get out and make some joyful noise.
Because whether or not you voted for or like Obama, the world needs a change. The economy needs a change. We need a shift. The fact that so many people are excited IS exciting. It creates a lot of good energy.
And I am all for that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


In between grocery shopping and finding a new collar & leash for Charlie, I came across this amazing frozen delight! We are having a cold snap, like much of the country, though by comparision, we are almost downright toasty. Apparently someone forgot to turn the fountain off when the temperatures dropped into the teens. I am glad they did!
The fountain looked like a frozen wedding cake. It was awesome. I stood there snapping photos for as long as I could before the reason for all of this ice got the better of me and my naked hands and I had to get back into the car. I felt like I was in the middle of the frozen tundra. Not sure if you would ever have the occasion to see a fountain there but you know what I mean. When I say this was cool, I mean this was cool!

Sign of the times?

Are you kidding me?
My bestfriends and I went to our communal niece's swim meet in another town on Friday. On the way into town, we saw this sign.
Free Casket.
Really? A free casket?
I don't mean to be insensitive but in all fairness, I don't think I am the trendsetter here.
And I am trying to imagine the conversation that takes place around this.
"Well, our dearest Aunt Matilda has left us. It has changed our lives forever but...good news, we just saved a bunch of money on the casket."
Has the market really gotten this tough? Are so few people dying lately that there is a price war? Is a casket an optional accessory in the whole burial thing...should we go with the mahogany or a Hefty Ultra Flex? Or perhaps some entrepreneurs are just so 'creative' that they will do whatever it takes to be number 1!
Just for the record, when my time comes, save the cash if this special has, ah, expired. Toast me and plant me in the garden. Use the cash to have a party and let what's left of me help the daisy population. If you want to send flowers, do it while I can still appreciate them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

up or down

Do you look up or down when you walk?
It is said that if you look down when you walk, then you are less optimistic and can be more determined, maybe closed minded, introverted.
It is said that if you look up when you walk, you are more positive, more extroverted, think more on loftier ideas, indecisive.
You also tend to step in more dog poop.
You know it's true.
But it's a great metaphor for life, I think.
I used to look up most of the time. Then I got dogs and learned that I had better look down more often. But looking down became a habit. I missed more things going on around me but was well aware of little gifts left by my neighbors dogs and gum that had passed its useful state.
I have seen some amazing mushrooms by looking down.
I saw this in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble the other day. Not quite sure what they are but they looked so cool. Maybe skittles or some such thing. Even squished, they were unapologetic about their pink and orange-ness! And they really brightened up the gray asphalt. Looked like art.

But my spirit wanted to look up. I felt informed but kind of lonely. I felt like I was missing out on so much. This is what I get when I look up...
Pinks and Oranges again but on a much bigger palette. Maybe that's what it is about. The size of our palette. Some days I only have the energy for a small one...some days the sky isn't big enough!
Remembering that there is a choice seems important. If you leave your head bending forward or back too long, it hurts. Maybe it is the balance. Not to lose sight of one even though you have a natural preference for the other.
I am, by nature, a skygazer. Clouds, colors, storms, the sun and the moon, reflections of the earth and mirrors of the atmosphere. Rainbows. It's who I am.
I am learning to keep the poo off my shoes and yet to delight in all the possibility of expanse.
I know the old adage...feet on the ground, head in the clouds. But you can never fly if your feet are on the ground.
I want it all...up, down AND all around!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We all leave traces.
We may not think so but we do.
On the environment, on each other.
On those we know and those we don't.
Just being here, being who we are, we make a difference. Our names may never show up in history books, but make no mistake, how we show up in the world will change it. Unlike the handprint left from a warm hand on frost, the imprint we make will be forever.

007...I mean 00Sister

On Monday, I got to do something that I don't get to do often enough...hang out with my younger sister. Sandy is an incredibly talented hair stylist and I always know that I am WAY past due for a haircut when she starts asking me about it. That has been happening for a couple of months now. So she was going to cut my hair and then we were just going to watch a movie and do some knitting.
I got the haircut (thanks, San)- it is short and sassy and fun! Then ran a few errands.
Then finally we got to the relaxing part. The movie is in, the fire is going, I have my knitting and wait...something is missing here. Oh yeah...this is my sister relaxing! I was sitting here and she had gotten up yet again for some reason. The woman is the real Martha Stewart in that she does her own work without the servants and does a beautiful job of it. She always looks great and has an amazing sense of style. Her house is comfortable and always annoyingly clean. I am inspired and intimidated by it at the same time. While I sat there, I came to understand the level of commitment doing what she does takes. I don't have it. Oh well. That's that. I guess I will keep knitting.
After awhile she reappeared and actually sat and watched the rest of the movie "The Women". I liked the movie and want to point out that it is truly a Chick Flick. There is not a single male in it. Not even in the background! Amazing.
I liked the movie but not as much as I enjoyed getting to sit and chat with my sister.
The 007 reference?
Well, other than the fact she is like a breeze, here one moment and gone the next, secretly working on her missions, all I could think of was her as a secret agent. She was 'modeling' the new coat she got for Christmas. She swirled around and looked like an upscale agent in her very fashionable trenchcoat! She's too funny. And she likes to strike a pose! Work it, girl!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

pretty moon

It's a full moon tonight. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago but I love it.
I have somehow made it about 4 1/2 decades without realizing that sometimes the moon sets at night. Not in the morning.
I don't like my moons to set at sunset. SUNset...not MOONset.
But I would also like for winter to be Dec, Jan, Feb. When March 1st feels like rolling around, then so does spring which will last until May 3oth. June got it...summer. While I would like that to last until around June 30th, I realize that might to be too much to ask. But spend a summer in North Carolina, and if you are a warm blooded animal, you might just land up agreeing with me. Mark Twain once said that summer in the south is like walking into hot dog's breath. Yum.
I will tolerate summer, with more or less whinging, until the last day of August. Day time highs in the lows 60s SHOULD begin promptly on Sept. 1. Color the leaves in brights and let them twirl their little hearts out until Dec 1st when we start all over again.
I am a temperature wimp. I am very happy between about 55-75 degrees. For the high. Nights can be cooler. Need to be snuggled under the covers at night. If I get too hot, I get bitchy. Too cold, depressed. So keeping me at an ideal temperature really is in everyone's best interest.
Yeah, it's a full moon. No idea why I am rambling about me and my temperature likes and dislikes. I guess it is on my mind because today, January 10th, it was in the 40s around 10:30am. By 6 pm, it was 60. It is January. While I am pretty okay with not having snow (Southerners are awesome people but scary snow drivers and the white magical blanket invariably turns into soggy, slushy, mushy, yucky mess!) it would be kind of nice to have some consistency. I don't know if it is global warming. I know that is going on, and no, I don't think it is Gore's fault/idea, but I don't think we can just keep saying "global warming" whenever the weather is funky. And funky it has been this year. Well, last year and the short bit we have had of this year. I was born in New England. There they say if you don't like the weather, wait 3 hours. Now it seems to be that way everywhere.
And then there is the other huge issue of my warming. Thanks to the depleted estrogen supply, temperatures fluctuate more wildly than ever. Boiling one minute and then freezing the next. I sometimes think that my mom taught me to dress in layers not so much to keep me warm but rather to train me for the quick change/striptease of menopause.
I stopped at Starbuck's yesterday and as I got out of the car, I was surprised to see the full moon. It was bright and round and surrounded by a Carolina blue, afternoon sky. It was pretty. I took a few pictures (yet to be downloaded) to remember the matinee showing of the queen of the night.
Yup, it's a full moon. January in NC, 59 degrees at 9:08pm. Clearly, the moon doesn't just make people crazy.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Out of focus.
Not knowing.
I took this photo at night, outside a restaurant. The red blur is a hungry person in search of some pasta. The blur on the left, the restaurant. The big white blur is the full moon- the largest of the year. This photo was an experiment in what my camera could do at night. Or rather an exercise in figuring out how to do what my camera can do at night. If the intention was to have a clear photo, then this was a failure. Blurry because I turned the flash off and the shutter had to stay open for a long time to gather light. The blur is me, my inability to hold the camera perfectly still while the shutter remained open, doing its thing.
But I love this photo. Its colors and composition. In fact, the blur of it seems pretty cool to me.
But maybe it's just because little seems clear to me right now. I am in flux. I am blurred. I am not sure where I am going, but know I am going somewhere. Not sure what to do, but know that something is on the horizon. My life coach recently told me that when a butterfly is in the cocoon, it goes through a stage of being like a soupy mix. Yuck. But I feel that I am in that soupy mix right now. Nothing to hold onto but I feel contained. Some transformation is going on but what it is is quite unclear. I am not sure that I will emerge a butterfly. But it would be nice.
I guess it comes down to my comfort level in not knowing, of being out of focus. I can't say that it is my natural comfort zone but I have spent enough time in that soupy mix to know that I can't rush it. I doubt the butterfly worries what it will become or where it will fly. But I can't help but wonder what I will emerge as. What version of me will be revealed?
I feel kind of bad that I feel this need for cocoon time. Like the rest of the world can move forward without holing up. But I have this need to allow myself to be out of focus. I came to this existence to grow. I guess I grow through cocooning! No answers here and in fact, maybe just more questions. Maybe what I am being called to do is to embrace the blur and find comfort in it while I am defining my new edges.
Yeah, maybe.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Yesterday, I took a rare solo trip to the movies. It is a delight for me to do that. I feel like there are no time constraints and feel free as a bird.
I saw "Doubt". Without doubt, it was a well made movie. It is about the light and dark of mankind. About conviction and doubt. How we choose to make a stand. And for what reasons. Really awesome movie.
No spoilers here, don't worry.
The movie held my interest the entire time and I was fully engaged, thinking and trying to figure things out the whole way. I had my suspicions about where they were going with it and all I can say is that I think that is just what they wanted me to do. Have my suspicions. Kudos.
Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman were both really wonderful in the roles, though I quickly admit to being a really big fan of PSH. I think he is an incredible actor. He brings so much to each role and isn't one of those people who is the same in every role. Yes, he is an odd one in every role but in a different way. One of my guilty pleasures is the movie Twister. My husband bought the DVD for me recently. I think he was tired of me recording it on the DVR. I can watch that movie over and over again.
And every time it flips me out to see PSH as a young guy in it.
Anyway, after enjoying my popcorn and smuggled Diet Sunkist, I went out into the day. I can't say into the daylight. The weather here has been funky. In the 70s one day then in the 40s. Rain, sun, clouds...and I mean clouds. We have had the most amazing clouds lately.
It was if the sky was wrapped up in the conflict of the movie, the battle of light and dark playing out above my head. I could look left and see fat patches of blue and then look straight ahead to a ridge of dark rainclouds. The sun shone blindingly through white spots which entwined with slate. There was no beginning or end. No clear line between light and dark. They wrapped over and under each other. They danced and brushed up against each other. There was no separating them. Like a load of mixed laundry.
Like the light and dark in us.
Go see the movie.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Yes, at first blush, it would appear that I take a lot of photos while in the car. Worry not, I am not driving at the time.
Which made reactions to this photo really intriguing.
This is my speedometer at night. It was just glowing at me and I love the way the photo came out.
People who saw this photo asked me why I was going 120 mph and did I take it while driving. Funny that.
There is no little arrow thingy pointing to 120. I wasn't moving at all but a surprising number of people thought that I was going 120.
It made me think (shudder!).
How often do we see what we expect to in life? And if we are also seeing what we expect, what are we missing? Why do we make assumptions that what experience has shown us is what the future will show us? Life isn't stagnant. But then, maybe it is if we only see what we expect.
There is a great little story that Wayne Dyer, truly one of the most influential writers in my life, tells. I don't remember if this happened to him, if he made it up or it's a little parable. No matter because the message is the same.
A man is walking down the beach when another man approaches him. The second man says to the first "I just moved here. What are the people like?"
The first man says "Well, what were the people like where you came from?"
"Oh, they were horrible. Always in your business and not at all friendly."
The first man replied, "That's pretty much the way they are here, too."
The next day that same man was out walking again when a woman approached him.
"Good morning, sir" she said. "If you don't mind me asking, I just moved here and wondered what the residents are like?"
The man said "Good morning. Well, what were the people like where you came from?"
She smiled and said "Oh, they were wonderful! Really friendly, helpful and great neighbors!"
The man said "Well, that's pretty much the way they are here, too."
We find what we expect to.
We see a photo of a speedometer at 120 and think that the driver was traveling that fast. We see a person of a certain race, nationality, weight , age or gender and make some conclusion. I think of this as lazy thinking. I have definitely noticed more lazy thinking in myself as I have gotten older. Don't know why. But just the recognizing keeps me more aware of my thoughts. Keeps me more in the thought and makes me notice more around me. Helps me notice what is actually around me, not just what I expect.
And thank God for that because my imagination isn't always that entertaining!
There was a quote from "I heard the Mermaids Singing" that I love! One of the characters says
"Isn't life the strangest thing you have ever seen?"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The First Signs Of Insanity

I don't know what happened. I know better than this. I am NOT that crazy woman who wears the light up snowman sweaters. I do occasionally don(ner) Reindeer Antlers but that can be understood. So what possessed me to buy this little santa hat is beyond me.
But I did. Maybe it was the insanity of Christmas Eve day or the 50% off sign or the fact that the little hat looked so pitiful all by itself. All I can say is that I can glad that my little furries cannot speak. I would never hear the end of this!
Cooper (left) is my best friends' French Bull Dog. Cute little guy and I think taking this with remarkable dignity.
Next up is Charlie (right), my little doll baby. This rat terrier mix is fast as lightening so getting a photo of him is not all that easy. This was the best I could do. He sleeps like a boulder at my feet all night all but can't sit still for a moment to have his photo taken. Maybe it is times like this that make him so quick!

And this little cutie is Indy, our Havanese/Maltese mix. He believes and acts like he is the center of the love universe. So he thinks it is quite okay that he should have headwear. I think he was hoping for a CROWN!

I don't know what to say. There is no excuse. Maybe I am just getting old! I did buy a christmas pin with a rhinestone. It can only be downhill from here...

Monday, January 5, 2009


I saw these clouds in the distance as I was driving through what I call "the 7 gates of hell"- a series of stoplights that you simply cannot make it through without having to stop at least a few times. For once, I was just clipping through the lights, not having to, or in this case, not getting to, stop at one of the them. I got closer and closer to being directly under these little cotton candy puffs. It seemed they weren't moving at all. Not slow moving clouds, they were no moving clouds. Like they were there for the fun of it and they weren't going to be the first goers to leave the party.
Then just as I pull under this canopy, I hit a light! Woohoo!
The pink filled the frame of my sunroof.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Okay, so I got a new camera for my birthday a couple of months ago. I wanted something that would help me capture the things that I see. Years ago, I heard that the guy who started Amazon takes a photo every day, to document his life. That stuck with me for all these many years. It was an inspiration that took a while to manifest in just the right way.
I have learned a few things through this.
I am no photographer but I don't care.
It's fun to learn about all the different features on a camera. No, not by reading the manual, which I am sure that I have around here somewhere, but by doing. I have had some really fun 'learning experiences', some of which I will share here.
You can get a fun camera small enough to fit in your baggalini.
I am fascinated by life.
Maybe it's the Libran in me...loving beautiful things.
Maybe it's the artist in me.
Maybe it's just that there is so much around us that is so freaking awesome.
So here I am. With my camera and my perspective. Hope you enjoy.
I was driving home a couple of weeks ago, around 11pm, with this amazing mist enveloping the world. I am no meterologist so I really don't know the difference between fog and mist but this wasn't fog. I feel like I was the only one in this little snowglobe...only there was no snow. No drivers on the road. Just me and this alternate reality. I had to pull over to capture this feeling. I didn't, really, but I caught enough to bring it back to me...that feeling of being protected, even loved, by something big and that this extraordinary natural effort was just for me.
Maybe if I found the secret door, I could have exited back into the land of night time drivers and rules of the road. But to be honest, I was really delighted by travelling around in my little mist-ical world. Sorry, I couldn't resist!