December 2, 2009

When it is raining cats

When I am out of sorts, I work with photos to cheer up. I have a camera cell phone and use it for all my pictures.

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November 5, 2009

Get Rid of Bad Breath - wikiHow

Get Rid of Bad Breath - wikiHow

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

There are many ways to cover up bad breath, but if you're tired of quick fixes and want to banish halitosis once and for all, take these instructions to heart--or should we say mouth?


  1. Clean your mouth thoroughly, regularly. Two major sources of mouth odor are bacteria and decaying food particles. There are hundreds of nooks and crannies in the landscape of your mouth where these offenders can get lodged. Brushing is not enough.
    • Clean your tongue. Your tongue, unfortunately, is like a shaggy carpet where all kinds of smelly stuff can hide.[1] When you brush your teeth (which should be at least twice a day) use your toothbrush, the edge of a spoon, or a tongue cleaner to "scrape" your tongue.

    • Floss. Make it as much of a mindless habit as brushing your teeth. At first, your gums might bleed as you dislodge chunks of food that have "stuck" to your teeth and gum for who knows how long. But take a second to smell the floss after you pass it through your teeth, if you dare. You'll see (or smell) where the bad breath is coming from.

  2. Keep your mouth moisturized. A dry mouth is a stinky mouth. That's why your breath is worse in the morning; your mouth produces less saliva as you sleep. Saliva is the enemy of bad breath because not only does it physically wash bacteria and food particles away, but it also has antiseptic and enzymes that kill bacteria.[1]
    • Chewing gum stimulates saliva production (in addition to covering up the odor with some kind of scent). Mints do not encourage saliva production.[1]
    • Drink water. It won't necessarily increase saliva production, but it'll wash out your mouth and it's good for you. See How to Drink More Water Every Day.
    • Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications and medical conditions. Ask your doctor about switching medications, or addressing the underlying condition.

  3. Choose your gum carefully. As mentioned in the previous step, any gum will help with bad breath because the chewing action results in more saliva being produced. Some gums, however, have better bad-breath-fighting abilities than others:
    • Cinnamon flavoring seems to be especially effective in reducing bacteria counts in your mouth.[1]
    • Look for gum sweetened with xylitol. For one thing, sugar's not good for your mouth. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that actually works to prevent bacteria from replicating in the mouth.[1]

  4. Eat a banana You probably already know to avoid notorious stink foods like onions, garlic, cheese, and coffee (or at least brush vigorously after eating them). But did you know that if you're on a low-carb diet, you might have "ketone breath"?[1] Basically, as your body breaks down fats instead of carbs for energy, it creates ketones, some of which are released in your mouth. Unfortunately, ketones smell bad, and so will your breath. If you're on a strict carb-restricting diet, or any diet that forces you to burn fat instead of carbs, consider throwing healthy carb-rich snacks into the mix, like apples or bananas.
    • This will also happen to anyone who fasts, whether for religious reasons, or because they are anorexic. If you are anorexic, bad breath is only one of the reasons to stop starving yourself. Read How to Cope if You Want to Become Anorexic.

  5. Talk to a doctor. If you've followed the above steps diligently and the bad breath persists, you may have a medical issue that needs to be treated. Here are some of the potential culprits:
    • Tonsil stones. These are lumps of calcified food, mucus and bacteria that appear as white spots on your tonsils. If seen, they can be mistaken for a throat infection, although sometimes they are not visible to the naked eye. You might also notice a metallic taste in your mouth, and/or pain when swallowing.[2]
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have diabetes, it may be causing your body to burn fat instead of glucose, creating the ketone breath referred to in the previous step. This is a serious condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible.[3]
    • Trimethylaminuria. If your body can't break down a chemical called trimethylamine, it will be released in your saliva, causing bad breath. It'll also be released in your sweat, so persistent body odor might be an accompanying symptom.[3]
    • Constipation is also cause of bad breath. Constipation bad breath could be due to several causes from dietary to hormonal or be even a side effect of medications and anatomical. Incidentally, normal bad breath (that is, bad breath not caused by digestive problems) may also be due to a side effect of drugs you are taking, which could dry up the mouth, causing bad breath.
    • Treating constipation bad breath consists in treating the constipation itself. If the problem is dietary in nature, then changing your dietary habits, laxatives, and fiber therapy could help treat the constipation and in the process the symptom of constipation bad breath. Enemas and surgery though rare may also be used to treat acute cases of constipation.



  • Mouthwash is only a temporary fix. It masks the odor.[1]
  • If bad breath persists after following these steps, see your Dentist for a professional cleaning and advice on other steps you can take.


  • Do not stop prescription medication without consulting your doctor first.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6


  3. 3.0 3.1

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Get Rid of Bad Breath. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

October 14, 2009

Chlorox (or less is more)

I have thin skin.  Very thin and very easy to damage.  Bugs know this and feast whenever I am outside even if I am wearing the strongest bug-off lotion made.  I also don't heal easily.  The wounds fester, itch and turn green when scabs form.  I explain this primarily because I re-discovered an old trick I had for healing what are known as 'hot spots' on dogs I learned with the Newfoundlands we had for years.  A solution of 2% chlorox poured on and scrubbed into the wound works well.  The skin heals cleanly.  That's what I finally had to do and the skin is now healing and I am reminded of the old saying 'less is more.'

Truly less is more.  We are (at least I am) used to finding stuff that is new. Ads push us to react instead of act aying  'Buy this perfume, buy that cleaning supply, don't worry, you can put it on your credit card,' or 'we will bill you later.'  Or my personal favorite after 9/11 when we were told to buy, make American strong, buy even if you owe thousands on your credit card, buy, buy, buy.   And for a while, I did just that, thinking I was being patriotic and not a sap.  Sigh.  So now, while I am delighted to find cool stuff, I try to walk away from the new spatula, new cooking thingie, new things, period. 

So I am especially pleased to be reminded that chlorox heals not only the outside of me, but also the inside from its smell.  It reminds me of clean sheets and houses that welcome you home.  I find I can face the fears of thousands of dollars owed on my credit cards easier when I smell clean chlorox smells.  Go figure.

So, forget the white linen and nutmeg and fancy perfumes the stores and ads are pushing.  When I need to clear my mind, I will stick to the less is more idea.....

May all beings know peace.

September 23, 2009

Not just for Zen Contemplation --- Seeing

Eyesight...A lot of what I do from organizing, admin/clerical consultations, driving, caring for cats and yes, reading needs good eyesight.  Sigh.  I forgot all about taking care of my eyesight during the tumultuous events of the past year.  So now, I live with my glasses perched on top of my head and squint suspiciously at newsprint, boilerplate, instructions, menus and my beloved books.  I see better up close than I ever did before which tempts me to go without glasses entirely.  But, no.  My eyes are not that much better.  The middle distance and far distance hasn't improved that much.  So today I will call my optician and steel myself for the cost of new specs.  Yerg....I am sure with the cost of everything else going up the glasses will be more expensive and they were never cheap since I had the eye sight of a bat before.  Maybe I can work on my echo location....eeek, eeek

Organic Organizing...

Organic organizing...that's what I do.  It is not so much planned as evolved to see what will work within a person's habitual patterns and what will work with their own workroom layout.  Because it is organic, I cannot predict how it will eventually turn out but it will be easy to use and easy to find things since it is the intuitive manifestation of what works for each individual.  And in a lot of ways, it is recycling with a view towards re-purposing things that were left behind as bad ideas and stored in basements or attics.  Whole house, whole organizing, whole serenity and whole person.......

September 16, 2009


Furthermore, as the resident paranormal type person in my family which readers of this blog know, I get dreams when something important is going to happen. Stubborn dreams that come back often depending on what is going to happen.   Before my mother-in-law died earlier this year, I dreamed of her best friend, Ethel, waiting for her.  With my dad, I dreamed a few months back of my cousin, Bud, waiting for him.  That was why I went out to Ohio this August.  Tough trip for a number of reasons but I was glad to make it because I knew the dream meant something was going to happen before the year was out.  And as it happens, the night before my dad's stint failure, I couldn't sleep.  I remained awake from midnight to 5 in the morning.  Why?  I don't know.  I kept thinking something was going to happen and was wide awake throughout the next day.  I was puzzled by it but figured I would find out what was going on.  I got a call from my sister yesterday evening to let me know what had happened and then things made sense.  Tonight I learned that without Eva arguing with the ambulance driver and forcing them to take my dad to the right hospital, he would have died.  Tonight I learned that things happen the way that they happen ... bashert.  Meant to be.  Truly remarkable.

Bashert Word of the Day

 "Bashert" is a yiddish word that means "meant to be."  The cantor of our synagogue has the word on his license plate and for years I thought it meant something romantic like "blessing."  I suspect that blessing is close to 'meant to be' for the torah that survived the holocaust recently installed in a Florida synagogue.  Truly a blessing when you think of how single-minded the destruction of the evidence of Jews was.  Truly.  But bashert is more than that for me today.  My dad survived another failure of the stints in his heart.  Completely unexpected and totally fatal if the failure isn't corrected in a certain time frame.  Luckily, for him, his wife was home and called the ambulance that got him to the hospital in time.  Luckily, he is covered by health insurance.  Luckily, he is well known by that hospital staff and all his records are there as well as his doctor.  And, luckily, his wife is a forceful woman argued with the ambulance driver who was prepared to follow the letter of the law and take my dad to a hospital that was .3 miles closer than the one my dad was so well known at.  Luck?  Honestly, I don't know.  Perhaps bashert is a better definition of what happened.  Perhaps it was meant to be that Eva is outspoken.  Perhaps it was meant that my dad met her just before his first heart incident that caused the stints to be put in initially 9 years ago.  Perhaps it was meant that Eva was home yesterday morning.  Bashert...a good word for the day

September 11, 2009

Wake Up Calls

After 9/11, the dark humor in the offce was 'would you jump from a window holding your co-workers hand.'  It was a sobering thought then and even more so now. Hard to believe, even now, that people had to make that choice.  It was tragic. 9/11 was one of the major wake up calls of my life.

Aftermath--the Collapse of Civility

Holy God, I am watching 102 minutes of 9/11.  Raw feed and really powerful.  It brings back all the feelings again.  The loss of trust, of innocence,  of the belief that everything would always be ok.  It took the hijackers years to realize but the fall of the towers finally brought down the financial center it targeted on 9/11 in 2008-2009.  We are told that what caused the financial collapse was housing or reckless lending practices.  I don’t believe so.  I believe that the loss of faith in the nation caused by 9/11 made people look out for themselves more and the rest of society less.  9/11 fed the native greed of the Street because, at the end of the day, only one can live. This attitude caused a trickle down effect.  From Wall Street to Main Street, from corporations moving their operations off shore so they didn't have to be US tax or health care costs for their employees.  It did it through health insurance and drug companies charging extraordinary prices for needed drugs and treatments.  It did it through companies refusing to pay a living wage to their workers.  It did it through the erosion of trust in public organizations--the Red Cross scams to the government agencies telling people that the air quality was just fine to breathe.  Air filled with toxic debris and the atomized remains of the people who were in the Towers and the government says it is fine to breathe the air.  First responders dying of aerosol related diseases and they are told they cannot be dying of injuries from helping out at the World Trade Center.  It is truly despicable for lies like this to be told.  New Yorkers were told it was fine to breathe even as the windows in their buildings were washed several times to remove the crushed bone and blood sprayed by the cloud storm that came from the Twin Towers.  The government failed to help those affected, both the bystanders and the first responders, in New York, DC and Pennsylvania.  It took Bush the better part of a week to arrive in New York City and DC is not that far away.  9/11  was just prelude to the massive failure of the feds in New Orleans--trailers filled with toxic chemicals to trying to keep the blacks from returning to their homes in New Orleans.  And again, it took Bush a full week to arrive down in New Orleans.  Now in 2009 we see the collapse of civility in the halls of Congress during a President address.   Rep. Wilson who yelled “liar” needs more than just a slap on the wrist. Unbelievable.  No President has ever been yelled at in the chambers of Congress.  Never.  Representative Joe Wilson never truly apologized, never said he spoke out of turn, ever.  His actions were shameful.  But the true beginning to Rep. Wilson's incivility stems directly back to the collapse of the Towers, the collapse of trust in the government and the collapse of the economy.  9/11 was the just the beginning.

September 9, 2009


God bless Senator Kennedy and others for keeping the faith and inspiring this President to reach for the stars.  It made sense for his widow Vicki Kennedy to be there tonight with the Kennedy children.  What a wonderful tribute to her, to him, to the children and all those who keep the faith of making the world a better place than you find it.

Oh, my god, the President's Speech was Amazing

Chores tomorrow now include finding a full and complete transcript of President Obama's speech.  Wow!  Words fail me.  I kept cheering (all alone, in front of the TV) and doing thumb's up and whistling.  Mind you, I think the cats were entertained.  But what a remarkable -- fulsome -- strong -- in your face speech.  My god I didn't think politicians had the guts anymore.  The C-Span website has the full text now online.  Read it, digest it and support him.


Sitting (not just for meditation anymore).  No sirree. Sitting is for watching the President use the bully pulpit to encourage the national discussion on healthcare.  This is going to be fascinating.  President Obama is an amazing speaker -- no matter whether he is in lecture or campaign mode.  Truly the best speaker (non-actor) of I have heard since the Kennedy's. 

Juxtaposition word of the day

Some people can realize moments, capture the grandeur, with photos.  Others explore our universe through use of words.  Tonight there were both on...Oregon's program chronicling the work of Art Wolf and his photography right before President Obama.  Fascinating juxtaposition

Travels to the Edge

I just discovered Art Wolf on a PBS Travels segment.  He has an amazing eye and command of how to make remarkable scenery  working in the margins of light to make a landscape into an abstract piece of art.  The program is filmed in Chile on the Antiplano.  Remarkably meditative and watching him take pictures as he kneels in the water watching him set up the photo as his reflection from the water shows a second image of him.  Truly incomparable.  Clearly, Art Wolf's Travels to the Edge is a program I am going to watch often.

Walking the Lake

Walking the Lake...peace = interior quiet = beauty = today.  From the worse traffic this morning to the soul knitting walk I had at our area Lake.  Fall is coming and I can see the final burst of flowers and plants taking advantage of the sun before the day's get shorter.  It is breath-takingly lovely.  One of those days that make being alive worthwhile if only to delight in the magnificence of the last days of summer. 

Today in Numbers

Today is September 9, 2009 (or 9-9-09).  Numerologically it is fascinating 9-9-9.  As I cruised through the tv channels hoping to find something to watch on the 50 some stations I can get.  No luck.  However, I slowed down at an evangelical station whose announcer-type person talked about how 999 was the reverse (dah!) of 666 which is significant as well.  Apparently the devil has dibs on 666 and 999 is the reverse of that which according to this program means that anyone opposing a 999 person would be overthrown.  Encouraging thought but I have never liked my own numerological reading and by extension am not really impressed.  It just goes to show that I will watch anything when I am bored.

August 29, 2009

Gravesight / Grave Site

The funeral has reached Arlington Cemetery in the twilight of the day.  All that is visible are the gleaming whites of the honor guard and the gold glints of their many medals.  It is so tough to watch because it must be unimaginably hard for those who are participants of the ceremonies.  Being at funerals before when bodies are placed into the ground is devastating.  Perhaps that is why I watch this so closely so I can continue my own process of healing from the deaths in my family this year and the deaths at the cattery.  The priest at the gravesite has said the kindest of all...that it is somehow fitting for a funeral to take place in the twilight in the promise of the light of the next day after the darkness of the night. 

How to....

Here is the link to the subject how to perform the sign of the cross.

Apparently, there is some debate on whether it is the right shoulder to left shoulder or left shoulder to right shoulder. Either way is correct. Good. I have been feeling out of step on this issue for quite a while. Because I was raised 'high church' Episcopalian, the doctrine teaches the sign to be done right shoulder to left shoulder. It feels right to me since my hand ends up over my heart which has a special meaning for me. The article goes on to say that modern Christians cross themselves left to right. And those who are old church cross themselves right to left. It is a good article and a good resource.

Here is the article that inspired the Tears note

Article of the Day
Human beings produce three basic types of tears: basal tears, which lubricate the eye to keep it clear of dust; reflex tears, which wash out irritants, like onion vapors, that come into contact with the eye; and psychic tears, which result from strong emotions or physical pain and have a different chemical makeup than those created for lubrication. Though tearing as an emotional reaction is considered by many to be a uniquely human phenomenon, some studies suggest that what animals cry too? More... Discuss
Article of the Day provided by The Free Dictionary


Crossing ... used to be a simple word for me. Crossing streets, crossing t's, crossing my eyes. Today's funeral reminds me that I cross myself when I say 'amen.' Head, chest, right, left. No, that is not written wrong. It is how I cross myself. Maybe I am dyslexic, maybe I never learned the right way, maybe that was the way I was taught by my Episcopalian minister. Head, chest, right, left. I do it every time I pass a dead animal on the road before calling the animal control number for the folks who clear the car-struck bodies of deer. If the road is no too busy and the animal involved is a crow or a squirrel, I will stop and pick up the body myself, wrap it in a towel I keep handy and take it home to bury. So I feel strange watching so many people do the gesture a different way and yet it is just as valid as mine is. Probably more correct, too. I can accept it. I hope they (that amorphous 'they') can accept my way as well.
May all beings know peace.

Interesting Article of the Day from The Free Dictionary

Today's article is about tears. Now that I write the word, I realize that tears are not only the wet streaks left after an argument or a cut or a funeral. Tears can also be read as "tears" in the fabric of clothe, a wound, the end of a discussion as in 'that tears it.' And certainly Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral today is full of both kinds of tears. Those from seeing the reaction of the people who are standing in today's 86% humidity and 86 degree heat here in DC to watch the motocade to those brave souls in Boston standing in the heavy rain from Hurricane Danny. The weather itself grieves and weeps its own tears. Up north in rain, down here in sweat. And in both places, tears fall from all. It is all so sad. Crickets chirp in the background of C-Span. I love the sound of crickets. I gauge the seasons by them. The louder they are, the nearer to the end of summer we are. We are all seeing the end of an era. May we still be around to witness the rise of another and may all beings know peace.

Saying Farewell to Ted Kennedy

Like the fishermen of Lake Erie, Senator Kennedy has not left us. He has just sailed on ahead.

On the loss of Ted Kennedy

Open letter to the family.......
You have my deepest sympathy for your loss. Your family has given so much to this country that it is unimaginable that the last brother has left us. Born in the 50s, I came of age in the 60s and 70s and all the while watched the news, seeing you all and feeling that here was a family who would fight for those who had no voice, protect the rights of others. Doughty fighters, eloquent speakers, capable of reaching hearts through words and smiles. And if the senator could do that from what could seem an unapproachable place as a United States Senator, then what kind of impact must he have had on close friends and closer family? Your loss is devastating and yet you continue. That's what I think of when I think of the Kennedy's ... loving life, living life, sailing on through storms and high waves. You are all profiles of courage. Thank you for allowing us to share in your loss and to continue to reach out even in your pain. You are all amazing. May you all find peace.

July 1, 2009


See post below on finding self. Still searching for that compass. I have been through all the self help therapies known to man and paranomal. From talk therapy, medications, aa, brain scans, spinal taps (no fun), journals, 4 steps, 5th steps, boundary work, chakra work, tai chi, soul retrieval and rewritten the life plan with the higher self. So far the best therapy advice I have ever gotten has been from watching my cats. They don't sweat the small stuff. I move a table, ho hum. I move them, sigh. I don't take them out for a walk (now that's where they draw the line). So they choose their fights. And know themselves and what they want. Eventually, they have taught me that working with others is more effective than working alone, that working with concrete things instead of ideas is far better for me, and that rubbing up against what I need sometimes works just as well as aladins' lamp. For me the cattery is like that. But just like Aladins' lamp, it helps to make sure that what you wish for is something you really need. Perhaps the best curse for current times is to be careful what you wish might get it and then the consequences will come calling for you.....

May 4, 2009

Just took me by Surprise this Morning

Surfing has a way of creating balance for me. For instance, this morning as I was slurping coffee, I found this article on wikipedia....and it said that it was ok to reprint here. My particular favorite line is
Love many, but trust few; always paddle your own canoe

How to Find Yourself

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Finding yourself is an enlightening experience. You become self-sufficient. You can do things for others without any expectations of return. You are no longer a needy child and you become utterly grateful for all those things people have done for you in the past. Finding yourself is a time of developing a philosophy or belief system that can carry you through the rest of your life. When you love yourself and who you are, you will savor and enjoy both life's pain and pleasures. How do you know you've found yourself? You will be able to help others find themselves. Finding yourself is not easy, but how can you be yourself if you've never felt connected to who you are, and you want to find whatever makes you you, then read on.


  1. Start with a clean slate. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life. Smoking, over-eating, and over-drinking will prevent you from functioning at your peak. Remember, you can't drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rearview mirror!
  2. Now that you have a clean slate and you realize some people still think you stink: Forget about what everyone else thinks! You cannot please everyone. While you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist to fulfill other people's ideas of who you should be, you'll never know your true talents. "He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." - Raymond Hull
  3. Find solitude. Get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.
  4. Ask yourself every question in the book, questions that are difficult, that dare to look at the big pictures, such as:
    • If I had all the resources in the world - if I didn't need to make money - what would I be doing with my day to day life and why? Perhaps you'd be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don't hold back.
    • What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted? Would you regret never having traveled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? This question can be particularly difficult for some people.
    • If you had to choose three words to describe the kind of person you'd love to be, what would those words be? Adventurous? Loving? Open? Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Realistic? Motivated? Resilient? Don't be afraid to pick up a thesaurus. Don't be afraid to choose words that are considered negative. Sometimes your traits that others don't like become useful only in emergency situations or are valuable to the job you are meant to perform. If you do have a truly negative trait work on redirecting that energy to something positive. Exercising compensates for many bad habits and there are hobbies for almost every vice. Pole dancing is becoming a hobby! Don't wash your clothes much? Try camping.

  5. Write down your answers. Beyond your time alone, it's easy for these thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again.
  6. Act upon your newly discovered knowledge. Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those water-colors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa, Mt Kenya, a walk at Nairobi Safari Walk. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you've decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.
  7. Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That's the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anybody - but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you'll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, you will always feel good about yourself.


  • Love many, but trust few; always paddle your own canoe.
  • You're never as bad or as good as people say.
  • Resist the urge to feel like you're the only one going through this:All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. ~ Ralph Ellison, "Invisible Man"
  • Be yourself and make sure no one influences who you are. It will make finding yourself even harder since people are influencing who you think you are.
  • Don't be afraid to sleep on it. There's no hurry in making decisions, and you'll be more likely to make good ones if your mind is calm and rested.
  • Be forgiving and learn to let go.


  • Don't spread bad gossip or otherwise speak ill about other people. Knocking others down is not the path to self-knowledge. It only compromises your dignity as a human being and makes others dislike you.
  • Do not let others decide for you what you are destined to do. Their path may not be the correct path for you. What works for one person may not work for the next.
  • Don't lie to yourself and try to be someone you are not. Remember this is about being yourself. As it is important to not let family members decide, it is also important not to let society and the media push you in a certain direction, especially when it comes to your physical appearance.
  • Don't let yourself get caught up in a habit of constantly changing who you are or how you act just to fit in.
  • Don't feel you have to prove your worth to the world.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Find Yourself. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

February 27, 2009

Boots and Backsides

I am on a rant. There are a number of unresolved issues because this formal part of mourning left a huge amount of anger in me. Not surprising, really. I haven't been able to get back to Baltimore to grieve since I live in another city and can't take time from work. Being a temp pretty much means if I don't work, I don't get paid. A stark reality. I finally called my counseller yesterday to talk. Thank god. I gauge my state by how much I talk to the cars around me as I drive to work. Usually I am pretty good at letting stupid go by me. Not at the moment. So I called and discovered by talking just how angry I am. At the economy, at the behavior of people at the first shiva service, at, well, a lot of things I usually let go and let pass me by. And purr therapy? Well, it works but caring for a cat who refuses to take pain pills and is dying of cancer is hard to relax around. Tigger is/was my main purr therapist. He used to come over, butt into my arm until I made a circle for him to curl up in. Or he would climb onto my chest when I was reading in bed and fall asleep. He is visibly changed now. Smaller, scruffier, and the change is immense. I just started him on the pills after last Thursday's biopsy. Now a week later, he has lost weight and fur condition and is not the massive cat I am used to seeing. But he still gets around, isn't meowing in pain, eats like a pig and drinks water. Not being a pet whisperer and cat psychic, I don't really "know" what he is feeling. I can only observe. So yes, I am tense, I am ready to boot a backside just to get some of the anger out. And I know that attitude is not who I am. It is a reflection of what I am going through. And it is a part of the road to mourning. And will be a part of the road from mourning. Life is a journey, death a destination and we are given much along the way....

May all beings know peace.

Renewal and Sitting Shiva

We renew a lot of things during our lives. Insurance policies, lawncare, contracts with landlords, phones all have renewal policies. Cancel is not a pretty word. Either to hear or to say. We renew vows of love on anniversaries and Valentines' Day. Renewal is a two faced word. It is all about making a choice to start over and refill our safety net we weave each day in relationships we have with friends and things around us. So how do we handle renewal of soul when we are unable to mourn with people around us. Sitting shiva for Bess is tough. Tough because we don't know the people who are coming to comfort us. Are they friends of Bess's, members of the synagogue or caring people at all? Or are they voyeurs in the business of grieving? Do they come instead to gawk at the things in Bess's life and exude envy as they point and stare? It is impolite to stare at any time and especially when prayers are going on in one room and we have to keep watch not only on the Rabbi but on the people supposedly coming to sit with us. Perhaps people no longer know their manners. That's a slam we usually say of young people. But these people who stare are over 60 and some are over 70 and a few are up over 90. You would think someone would have pulled them aside and said, "enough." I plan to put up large signs when I die about how to behave. No pointing, no nasty asides about the people who are actually there to grieve. Nothing to distract from the process of processing a loss. I probably should have a written waiver that if someone says they will behave and doesn't will be invited to leave immediately by someone who is allowed to put a boot up their backside. Since when do mourners need bodyguards? It is a sad time. Much gets revealed when we lose someone. Ugly, sublime, coddies and dairy platters. All of it is part of the swirl of life and death. And renewal? That will have to be a personal journey, at least for me. Communities ... communal grieving ... well, it is as good as the trust that is involved, isn't it? Tough. I will keep you posted on how to find renewal as I find it along the path. Life is a bumpy road...sometimes the landing is hard to deal with than the view at the top of the bump. Sometimes the view is better. Up and down....

February 25, 2009

Hmmmm, shoulder pads and stock market buys

All I need now is for the 40s fashions to come back...the shoulder pads are sure handy in distributing the load. Perhaps those clowns who say god won't give you more than you can handle are the ones who came up with shoulder pads in clothing for those who live in tough times. High fashion reflects the eras. Shoulder pads for the 30s and 40s. None for the 20s. Shoulder pads came back briefly in the 80s. Common wisdom indicates that as the stock market plunges the fashions change. Today's shoulder pads seem to be in hair styles. Instead of straight and smooth, some fashion mavens are talking about fluffing up the hair since we can't do anything about fluffing up the economy. Thank god I am not a fashionista. My hair is fluff-less. It snarls instead. So the hair equivalent of shoulder pads won't work for me. What will I do? Probably buy stock in shoulder pads. Anybody know their NASDAQ number?

Well Meaning Clowns and ...

The well-meaning clowns among us say that god never gives you more than you can handle.
Yup. That's why I have a well-developed phobia about clowns. The cream pie in the face routine is funny to watch. Not funny or fun to live. Two hours after Bess died, I heard the biopsy results for my cat Tigger. Squamous cell cancer is a clown I never heard of before. SCC is lethal to cats when it presents in the mouth. Palliative care is the best we can do for them. I run towards a fight and I am running towards this one with one hand wrapped around the pain meds and the other squishing up food for him to eat. As long as the fight is in the cat, I will fight with him.

Thank God for my Mom-in-Law

Bess would have cringed to be called a mom-in-law. June Cleaver she wasn't. She died on Monday, February 23rd.. Not suddenly as she would have wished. Hers was tough stuff. A death fought by every tube, every breathe and every eye blink. Very very hard. Frankly, June Cleaver is not now and never will be in Bess's weight division. Bess was a heavyweight for all her tiny size at the end. Her sense of looking the dragon of reality right in the face and raising the metaphorical fist to it...legendary. Absolutely legendary. Overwhelming in love. Overwhelming in all ways. Tough lady, you are missed and you always will have a place in my heart. Always. Flights of angels with gleaming swords came to offer you a place among them. The EMTs of the air. Blessings always...

January 24, 2009

Thank God for Cats

Thank God for cats and companion animals. Yesterday's encounter (see post below) was upsetting. So instead of crying or doing other bad things, I got a comfort meal from McDonald's and came home to my furry therapists. And purr therapy works. Add in a good book and sleep, stir gently and now I am ready to go to the cattery in a better mood. Renewed.

Training Fleas

I get to see all sorts of people as I work as a temp. Temping is the new field hand role. No one has to hire me. I have my own people. But I don't have my own economic fortress to go home to if I don't like where I am placed. The last two weeks were a real education in that. I spent a lot of money I didn't have to "live up" to my temp reps standard. I like eclectic clothes. Plaid skirts, turtleneck sweater and jackets on top are my usual office attire. I got placed into a firm where pencil skirts, button down shirts and office style jackets are the standard. Basically, I was told the new client liked uniforms. So I spent on an office uniform. And it looked as good as anything I have ever worn to an office. Sigh. But even so, I was treated like a fifth wheel and someone who was not trusted and not needed. Not by the bosses, they were sweet. As for training? The secretary couldn't train a pet flea. And she certainly didn't train me.

Training fleas, please............

January 23, 2009

Lighting the way

Isn't it always the way? Once the festival of lights is over and all the neighbors' holiday lights are packed away, I get gloomy because of the winter darkness. Today I have looked up some of the ways to combat darkness with lights designed to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.). Gotta love those acronyms......

Here is the link

Other less expensive solutions are Vitamin D as well as 5HTP. Both moderate mood swings.

January 21, 2009

Unwholesome Glee

I am no saint. Yesterday, I heard that Dick Cheney was in a wheelchair because he hurt his back moving boxes at his McLean home. And it reminded me of a page from the Jewish Daily Prayer Book....

  • The Gods We Worship. Through prayer we struggle to experience the Presence of God. Let us be sure that the One we invoke is the Most High, not a god of battles, of state or status or 'success' -- but the Source of peace and mercy and goodness. For, truly: "The gods we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And we will worship something -- have no doubt of that either. We may think that our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of the heart -- but it will out. That which dominates our imagination and our thoughts will determine our life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we are worshipping, for what we are worshipping we are becoming." (Page 240. Shabbat Meditation, Gates of Prayer.)
And the sins of what you sanction will be something you bear on your back forever.


I read things quickly and sometimes miss the critical parts of the whole. It can be a source of amusement when it is something like the notice of who is making vet runs out at FOHA. For about a week I was thinking that the dog run people were competing in long distance runs like the marine marathon. Then I realized all at once that the dog people were merely putting individuals on call to take animals to the vet. Therefore, vet runs. Ah, the perils of reading lite...

Interesting transformations through integrity

Monday, January 19th, I helped out at the cattery. Talking with other volunteers who have similar interests is always inspiring. Working with animals is a bond that over comes a lot of antipathy and competition because we are there for the animals. We are not there to show off. Actually, some of the volunteers do come out to show off but it is easy to spot who is real and who is not. Much easier than in the work world. Showing up and thawing food on a day when the food shed froze solid is not a competition on how awesome you are ... it is just a fact of life. Just doing the job of the moment ... no matter how tough, how smelly and how tired you are. Here is the latest Tarot card for Monday that really gets into this attitude:

  • The King of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in personal power. I inspire transformation, respect and support by discrete but charismatic example and tolerance. I am an instrument for dynamic, responsible, or passionate expansion that serves or protects the greater good of my legacy. I am a master of the universe and I am empowered with a reputation of experience, credibility and momentum and I transform through integrity.

Riding the Wave...Living the Dream

Obama was sworn in on January 20th. What a day! The Ups and Downs of life. Truly a balancing act. Here is the Cancer OM horoscope to commemorate that day

  • January 20, 2009
  • Staying Afloat
  • Riding the Wave of Life
  • Our lives are continually in motion, buoyed by the wave that is the universe’s flow. As the wave rises and falls, we are carried forward, through life’s high and low points. The universe’s flow may take us to a place in life where we would rather not be. As tempting as it can be to fight the direction and size of this wave that propels us, riding the wave is intended to make life easier. When you ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal effort. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It is an active process that requires you to be attentive, centered, and awake. You must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.

    Because life is dynamic and always changing, it is when we try to make the wave stand still or resist its direction that we are likely to get pulled under by its weight. If you try to move against the wave, you may feel as if you are trapped by it and have no control over your destiny. When you reach a low point while riding the wave and find your feet touching bottom, remember to stay standing so that you can leap forward along with the wave the next time it rises. Trying to resist life’s flow is a losing proposition and costly because you waste energy.

    Riding the wave allows you to move forward without expending too much of your own efforts. When you ride the wave, you are carried by it and your head can “stay above water” as you go wherever it takes you. It can be difficult to trust the universe and let go of the urge to fight life’s flow, and you may find it easier to ride the wave if you can stay calm and relaxed. Riding the wave will always take you where you need to go.

January 20, 2009

One more burden gone

Thank God, Bush is back in Texas. I wish him well and hope he is right about his place in history. Lord knows after 9/11, I was heartened by his forceful address to Congress about how we were going to get through the crisis. I grew to hate him, though, after all his policies of waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, invading the wrong country, misuse of the state National Guards, lack of oversight allowed within federal agencies from the EPA, USDA and others, culminating in the Wall Street disasters because there were no regulators watching carefully. By the end, I couldn't listen to the man without hitting something. I simply was that mad at him. I don't have to be that way now. I just hope I don't have that kind of hate festering again with anyone else. It weighed me down. But now, buoyed up by hope, by Obama, by change...we will see


Thank god for the inAugural. It was a long time coming. Too long. Perhaps we can legislate a quicker transfer of power. Perhaps that would be a bad idea because whoever wins will need the time to get a team in place. Obama has made this look like a duck in water. And of course, the part we see of the duck is calm but there are whirling legs paddling like crazy below our view. The next four years will need all the power that duck paddle can give it. C-Span was asking people if they thought we had too high an expectation for Obama. I fear so. It has taken a long time for us to get into this fix. Economically since the Reagan voodoo economics in the 1980s. Morally since the Vietnam/Watergate era. Nationally we have had heart cancer and have not dealt kindly with one another since the assassinations of the 1960s -- there are so many. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, JFK and RFK. The loss of so many soldiers through out the 50 years since 1960. We have lost faith, lost hope, lost our way. When god no longer answers, government no longer cares, it becomes a national theme to take care of number one. Not our brothers, not our animals, not our environment. You can call it enlightened self interest or greed. Whatever it is, I hope that with the new president we will see one another and our responsibilities to each other as well as ourselves in the clarity of the 'now.'

Perhaps there will be peace

High Heel Shoes

Wow! My respect for Michelle Obama is high anyway but after watching her stand at the parade podium and wave for the bands while still in her high heels is inspiring. Strong arches, strong woman, good Under-Standing.....

January 18, 2009

Watching Animal Planet with my Cats

Oh good cats like to watch tv with me. At least the boys cats do. This afternoon though my elusive girl cat came down to watch Animal Planet Dogs 101 with me. That is just plain weird. Sweet, but weird....

Pride and the Elizabethan Collar

Cats are like teenagers. They hate being laughed at. And yet, what is funnier than a cat with an Elizabethan collar on. So today, I decided not to laugh and told the cat that the collar (which was blue) was actually a super cat cape. IDK if the cat believed me or not but wouldn't it be better to treat them as the super heros they really are rather than laugh at them....


Going to a Peace Rally at the JCC

Oh, Good is an event I really don't want to go to. I am just not the rally girl for causes. I would rather work for those affected by the problem than march or rally to show my support for it. But in the case of Israel v. Gaza, I am conflicted. I truly am. I would no more tolerate anyone lobbing bombs at me and mine than the Israelis do. I would fight tooth and nail to protect those I love. So I understand them. On the other hand, the civilians in Gaza are motivated by the same fierce defense of their own. And why not? Why go after Hamas and create more enemies? Why? I disagree with the concept of war. If you must fight, make it fast and final. Don't leave anyone behind alive to hit you again. But this kind of war is horrible for both sides. Everyone suffers. I know it sounds weird for someone who converted to Judaism to say this but I believe in Peace Now. No settlements on the west bank. A state for the palestinians. And working on keeping other influences from intruding on the two sides. It will never happen. Not now. And it is sad. Both sides have vibrant and caring backgrounds. But when loved ones are killed in senseless conflict, there is no peace. Not unless there is a miracle. Let's pray for a miracle and work for peace.

Oh, Good Grief, The Horoscope Hits Home Again

No wonder I brought in lots of extra coffee, cookies and creamer today. Not to mention rearranged the kitchen. This article from my Cancer Daily Horoscope says it all.

  • January 18, 2009
  • Lost in Beauty
  • Cancer Daily Horoscope
  • Your creativity can serve you well today, whether you are endeavoring to complete a professional project or concentrating your attention on a hobby from which you derive pleasure. You may find yourself infusing everything to which you apply yourself with an atmosphere of artfulness that affords others a unique opportunity to appreciate beauty in everyday objects. The main beneficiary of your imaginative labors, however, will likely be you, as your devotion to loveliness ensures that your thoughts remain positive and upbeat at all times. You may also enjoy expanding your horizons through creative activities today, and the curiosity that blossoms within you as you create can become the seed of a lifelong quest for beauty.

    It is easy to put aside worldly cares when we lose ourselves in the beauty we are capable of creating, using little more than our imaginative minds. Our thoughts naturally revolve around all that is good and true rather than the challenges that are circumstantially thrust upon us in our daily lives. Because we are immersed in the rushing flood of the creative flow, we have little time or energy to devote to topics that fall outside of the range of our imaginations. The world is a much more pleasant place when we observe it through perception that is colored by our innovative vantage points. We can appreciate the loveliness that is inherent in simply living, without giving regard to the tension that is an established part of being. Your creativity will make the world seem like a brighter place today.

Bursting with Life, Bursting with Love, Living with Death

Life for the cats in the FIV house is really good. We offer care, love and sanctuary for cats who otherwise get euthanized routinely in vet offices. Uneducated vets kill for the best of their reasons. FIV is contagious. To control it, you kill the vector. A cat carries FIV - so the thinking goes - so the cat needs to be put down. It is not my philosophy though. My experience is that FIV cats are the happiest, sweetest, kindest, full of life animals I have ever met. When I sit in the FIV house, I am covered with cats within minutes. Covered. It seems odd that cats with FIV are so loving and yet when I consider it further....most cats with FIV are formerly feral cats. Feral cats get into fights and the virus is spread in saliva. My guess is that the friendliest cats are the ones who get bitten and therefore get the virus. How sad is that? Very sad. The friendlier the cats, potentially the sicker they may be. There is a correlation here. I hope that this is not the case with the little kitten I am so worried about. I really do. For such a young animal to be so bursting with live, love and quite an impact. And I have to hold to the 'bumpy road' nostrum from Buddhism. Life is a bumpy road. The view from the top is breath-taking (like last week with the rescue of the kittens) and the subsequent bump to the rump is part of the same package.

Until all beings know peace, may peace be

Learning to potentially let go

Last week at the cattery was all about redemption and saving. One of our volunteers was contacted by a woman who needed support rescuing kittens from a farm where she boarded her horses. The man was abusive. Very abusive. Fact, not fiction. When you kill kittens to feed the bodies to your goats, that goes beyond any comprehension I have about cruelty. When you punch a horse in the head while a farrier looks on, that's documentable. I do not know the individual's name. I do believe that these kittens were abused because of how they looked when they came in. So while triumph enveloped me last week about rescuing the kittens, reality came home earlier this week when one of the kittens tested mildly positive as an FIV-L cat. The L stands for leukemia. I didn't realize at first just how bad FIV-L is. I didn't realize how contagious it is. I didn't realize how lethal it is. If an adult has it, there is a 3 year life expectancy. If a kitten acquires it, perhaps a year is the best anyone can hope for life wise. It is a crying shame. And it makes me stop and think about fragile life is and how little any one of us can control what happens. So, of course, my first reaction was denial. Of course, a kitten bursting with so much love will be fine. But no, that is not always the case. I will just continue to hold the little one in my heart while we wait the 60 days until the retest and the verdict. Life is about death and death is about life. It is two sides of the same coin. But sometimes it is hard to handle.

Until peace, may we all know peace.

Om Glasses

My mom died 9 years ago this month. Some of the things she left behind echo a bygone era. One of those is the crystal glasses for those gala dinners. Weird to me because she lived in a small town in Ohio. How many galas were there? But the 40s, 50s and 60s demanded formal dining. The odd thing is that just now I realized that her initials also spell OM. Go figure...on two points. How odd is it that the OM predicts my ultimate taking refuge in Buddhism and odder still that it took 8 years for me to realize the spelling was OM? Very odd. But then, considering I live backwards, it took me a while to figure that out.



Best three letters in the English language and funniest are b-u-t. It can be used to counter an argument, it can be made into a joke by just adding one extra 't' and certainly I use it a lot.


The old adage says, "Hindsight is 20-20." No kidding. But living backwards isn't hindsight. It is living being surprised by the moment, living without a plan for the future that is in 5 year increments, it is waking up. At least, that is how living backwards is for me. I am always surprised by my place in the world. I was surprised to be a parent so I hated the responsibility of always having to be 'in charge.' I was surprised to have worked at a law firm for 15 years so I hated the responsibility of the commute, being there on time, self correcting typos, dressing the part. And I am surprised that I didn't see it then -- only now. Some folks back 5 years ago, kept telling me (then 52 years old) to grow up. Now I realize they were calling me to my true self -- not growing up but be-coming. Waking up. Ahh, now I get it. Re-flection. There must be a meaning that relates to history or mulling. In Judaism it is called return. Return to the soul. Return to G-d. In Buddism is it calling out the Buddas' name and hearing him/her call back to you in response. In universal terms, it is knowing there is a circle, being a part and then recognizing you are a part of the whole. Stay focused. Use the eyes of the head, the heart and the soul. 360 vision. It works if you are a clam with eyes around your head or if you are Janus-like and see backwards and forwards.

Blessings for today. Stay warm.

January 17, 2009


The Romans had a god of doorways called Janus. He looked back and forward. Here is a link that will explain more if you are interested. I bring this up because January is named for this god and for a more personal observation. I seem to live my life backwards. I back into parking spaces far better than I pull forward into them. I had my kids way late in life. I am finding my way career-wise in my late 50s. I am becoming more organized late in life as well. I observe others on this path we call life. Others who start strong knowing what they are going to do and aiming themselves directly at their perceived targets. On the other hand, my meandering way has many benefits. It has taught me how to deal constructively with frustration. My buddhist magazine, Triangle, talks about how to deal with goals and targets and frustrations. See January's issue for the article. It summarizes fairly what I have learned in 57 years here. Dealing on the level of equanimity is not easy though. It takes mindful vigilance to weight what is and what is not a stumbling block in my way. No jumping to conclusions, no taking on more guilt, no taking on more responsibility, no, no and no. On the other hand, it is not a recipe for staying indoors to keep out of getting into life. It emphasizes working in the midst of life while staying steady and accepting and working towards setting my path towards helping others. Not towards helping myself. The focus is not me. And perhaps that is why I have found backing into things easier than going into them directly. In taking care of cats, I have found peace. And I never expected to find it. I just hoped to make a difference for them. I never figured it would make a difference for me. Who knew! Clearly, Buddha did. Clearly my daughter who teased me when I said I backed into parking spaces better than I did going forward into them that I was describing a metaphor of my life. Me? Not a clue. Epiphany on Saturday. Living my life like Janus who looks backwards and forwards and yet remains in the middle is my goal now. Pax

January 12, 2009

There is something about Fear

There is something about fear that kicks up my negativity. When I am scared, I start to doubt myself and others. Never the cats, though. Never the universe...well, mostly never the universe. When I am really on a negative kick, I can even doubt that any good things happen. That's when I know to do a full on meditation session in a circle of stones that I have collected over the years for protection. It takes a while to work though. So the best thing for me to do is blog every day and look back to see that I have had good days, I have had bad days and that they both balance each other out.

My horoscope for today says roughly the same thing.

Releasing Negativity

Try not to dwell on unpleasant experiences and do everything you can to avoid holding on to negative emotions. When you indulge in self-pity, you only make a bad day worse. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, release the notion that you are a victim, and notice the good that exists in your life.

yum, brownies

Yes, I love brownies. My daughter has discovered a new recipe using peanut butter cups layered between brownie mix. Bliss.

It must be the Moon

It must be the phase of the moon. My daily horoscope is soooo practical. Happily, though, with all the various jobs I have, I just don't have the time to drool about what I want. It is as much as I am worth to pay for what I need and have time to go find it at a good price.

Logical, Sensible, and Practical
Cancer Daily Horoscope

  • Today your sensible side may come to the forefront, helping you logically assess things like financial responsibilities. You may find yourself being practical rather than whimsical in a variety of situations. This can be very helpful in dealing with practical matters, but you want to be sure to balance these considerations with your heart and spirit as well. There are times when the sensible thing may be something that crushes your spirit, such as paying for additional insurance instead of dance lessons or giving up a vacation to pay off a debt. Today you can sensibly make balanced decisions to lead a full and balanced joyful life.

  • Budgeting may enter into such situations, which some find an unpleasant reminder of the things they can't have. However, it is just like choosing how we spend our energy or time. When we make a schedule, we are budgeting those things≈making choices toward the best use of our resources. We may want to remind ourselves of our goals before making such plans to be sure that we make decisions that are in line with who we truly are and who we want to become. This is where heart, mind, and intuition come together to help us make the best choices for our present in order to build our future. Today, though you may be feeling sensible, you can use your senses to make sure that you appreciate the fullness of life and all it has to offer.

Damn this one is depressing

Ok, not all the cards are full of joy and light and happiness. This one today is full of endings and beginnings. And I always cry at endings and beginnings. It is a good thing my daughters aren't getting married anytime too soon. I'd need flood insurance....

But there is some (no, actually, a lot) of truth in today's comment.

  • The Tower card suggests that my alter ego today is the Survivor, whose superpower for revolution lies in my epiphany for change, brought on with the aid of a serious reality check.
  • Today I have reached a turning point. It may be all over but the crying -- but I have the strength to move on and create a better situation for myself.
  • You may say that I never saw it coming or learned the hard way, but with profound change comes new opportunity. One door closes -- another opens.
  • So tear down the wall, and rebuild anew.

My hope is that this reflects what I have gone through since June in my stubborness about not working at a mega law firm again. Not working down town. Not really working in law-cum-law at all. Hopefully, changes came while I worked at the cattery. Hopefully, changes came while I worked at my first temp job. Hopefully, I havfe learned the lesson I need to survive a turning point. Hope...

January 11, 2009

Emotional Availability

One of the difficulties I have in life is to 'be' there. When I work with one of our cats who has control issues, I have to remind myself that I am on 'cat' time which does not recognize that constant mantra in my head of 'wash floors, do it now.' If I listen to the cat, and not the voice in my head, I will be able to help him/her. If I listen to the voice in my head, I get antsy and the cat picks up my tension and claws/bites at me. I have a lot of incentive to listen to the cat instead. It is a good way to keep my focus on the 'now.'

I just found a card that describes emotional availability and perhaps that is what is happening with me and the cat. Lowering my drawbridges to allow access...

  • The King of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in emotional availability.
  • I inspire, protect and nurture with reliable compassion, respect, and affection. I am a master in the art and am secure enough in my role to connect to, express and pursue my hearts desire while defending the greater good of those who rely on me.
  • I am empowered by consistency and patience while trust is my gift or Holy Grail.

I am not sure that trust is a holy grail except in the notion that I always have to seek after it. But I am sure trust is a two way gift we all give each other. When the cat sensing I am available, he/she relaxes and ultimately heals. We all know what happens when we don't listen. We get scratched and bite by whatever is lying in our way.

Until peace comes, know peace

January 8, 2009

Wait ... There's More Insight from Daily Om

I mean ... who knew that these ezines would be so instructive? Not I! It is amazing. And it is shamelessly cribbed..... The reason I say it is instructive is that I have felt horrible this week with the cold sore from hell. 1 centimeter across. It even impressed the doctor when I walked in and mumbled what was wrong. I took the first dose of medicine less than 4 hours ago and do not expect it to start to work until tomorrow. Nevertheless, my energy is back and I tore the house apart and put it back together again making sure that like things were with like things. That may not make sense until you realize that my office occupied two floors. I am not a big operation. I just never thought to bother with having the computer, printer and fax on the same table, let alone on the same floor. Talk about complicating my life. You are now in touch with the queen of making the simple into the impossibly complex. That is my life and I have a goal now. Simplify the physical as I have simplified the soul side of me. And I am pretty ok inside....not perfect, not without stress, but realizing that life is a bumpy road and the view from the top of the bump is sometimes worth the pain of the ride.

Inner Seclusion For Reflection
Cancer Daily Horoscope
  • You may find yourself pulling your energy inward, seeking seclusion within yourself. The need for inner reflection may make you feel private and introspective. Perhaps you have not been paying attention to your inner guidance, so you have been given this opportunity to create balance between your inner and outer worlds. It may be helpful to seclude yourself physically as well as emotionally by finding a peaceful and nurturing place to spend some time. This may mean retreating to your bedroom or a garden. You may find yourself drawn to places of spiritual observance where the atmosphere is already created for peaceful inward reflection. Once you have cleared away all distractions, you will likely find what your inner self seeks today.

    You can create a new atmosphere in familiar places by lighting candles, burning incense, or playing soothing music. By making a slight shift in your outer world, you indicate to your body and mind to also shift within. Following your senses inward, you can then focus on your breathing and let your thoughts drift by, listening for the silence. From this place of stillness you will find your connection to the universe’s energy. You may be nourished just by being in its presence, or perhaps you will want to release an intention into the stillness, creating a ripple of energy that will lead to the creation of your desire. Inspiration may come to you, giving you something to take with you into the world. By following your desire to go inward today, you renew your connection to self and the universe.

Extremely Useful Information -- Daily Om Again

  1. A Separate Reality
  2. Disconnecting from the Source
  3. We all experience periods where we feel separated from the loving ebb and flow of the universe. These times of feeling disconnected from the source may occur for many reasons, but self-sabotage is the most common cause for us choosing to cut ourselves off from the flow of the universe. We purposefully, though often unconsciously, cut ourselves off from this flow and from the embrace of humanity so we can avoid dealing with painful issues, shun the necessary steps for growth, or prevent the success that we are afraid of achieving from ever happening. When you choose to disconnect from the source, you block the flow of the universe’s energy from passing through you. You become like a sleepwalker who is not fully awake to life, and your hopes, plans, and dreams begin to appear as distant blurs on a faraway horizon. Universal support has never left you, but if you can remember that you became disconnected from source by choice, you can choose to reconnect.

    Reconnecting with the universe grounds you and is as easy as you making a concerted effort to become interested in the activities you love or responding to what nurtures or stimulates you. You may also want to make a list of the activities and kinds of experiences that touch your soul. Try to pinpoint the times when you have felt fully engaged and aware and ask yourself what you were doing. But one of the easiest ways to reconnect is simply by stating the intention of doing so.

    When you disconnect from the universe, your sense of purpose, creativity, and ability to be innovative are not as easy to access. You may also experience a deep and empty sense of longing or feel devoid of ideas or unworthy of love. It’s important, however, to recognize that being disconnected from the universe is never a permanent state, and it can be reversed any time you decide that you are ready to reconnect. When you are connected to the universe, all aspects of your being will feel alive as the flow of the universe pours through your being and into your life.

January 7, 2009

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Daily or Ain't It Da Truth:

  • The Six of Swords card suggests that my power today lies in transition.
  • I have what I need and am willing to trust the process order to move on, seek refuge or new opportunity.
  • I'm not willing to remain where my perceptions are invalidated but being vulnerable I must rely on guidance to move in a new direction or trust that I can make it or be led to security and new hope. 'Wherever you go, there you are.'
  • I am empowered by perseverance and my virtue is survival.
God knows, I am stubborn. Often, too stubborn for my own good.... So as this year unwinds today's comment reminds me to live in the solution, not wind myself up in false dreams I need to let go. And learn to trust that I will be led to an answer, to security and to new hope.

Until then, may all beings know peace

January 5, 2009

Growing the Human Heart in Inhuman Times

Times are hard. I have never had as little money in my bank account and as many bills and as few hours to work. It is scarey. And yet, my fallback work at the cattery moves on apace. I worked there 6 hours today and found peace and exhaustion. Six hours is more physical work than I have done in a while. If ever. I am a desk person. And yet...if this paid more...I'd eat raw meat to work there full time and have the strength. We have kittens who need socializing. We have older cats who need to learn trust. We have cats who need to learn to trust, period. We have plenty of physical work to do -- cleaning litter pans, washing bowls, feeding, giving medications, washing laundry for the cats and dogs and then folding it up and finding space for it to go. And yet, the most important thing we do there is 'listen'. Listen for the cough. Listen for the muted growl which presages a bite. Listen to other workers in the same financial position I am in or worse. Listen to the kittens squealing happily as they tear down the stacks of clean sheets in the isolation room where they are at the moment. Listen. If there is one thing we have forgotten to do in this country with the war, with the financial situation, with the Bush administration, is listen to one another. What we have done instead (character assassinations passing as conversation) is not listening. Listening means opening your ears which lead to your heart. Listen. Listen. Listen to the rain, listen to the sleet as it falls, listen to the cats snore, listen to the dogs bark. Listen to peace and find peace inside yourself. Namaste.

January 2, 2009 Strikes again

I was just typing a note to myself on strategy for the 2009 year. How to make lemonade 101. And now this email arrives from Carpe Diem....

  • The Seven of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in seizing the day. I step in, recognize, or create opportunities to take it to the next level and communicate leadership or earn respect through performance. I am empowered to rise to the occasion by a window of opportunity and I transform through motivation.
It is fascinating how my life aligns with these emails.

January 1, 2009


What consoles me? Working with the cats. The good news is that I get paid to work with them and I am welcome out at the cattery anytime I can come and help. They will be seeing a lot of me until I find a place to rest. Who knows when LPI will come through? I sure don't. Who knows when I will become fully employed again? Same answer. I have never thought life was supposed to be easy. I have worked intensely at my jobs. I have driven long hours to get to and from work. I have grudged every minute of it. These last few months have been soul-filling. Blessings, really, in disguise. The next step then is to take a long look at how to get a job which I can manage without getting an asthma attack or a migraine. I need to take a step back and ask whether I want to be a rat in the rat race or find another type of administrative work which will allow me to work at my pace or even faster than my pace but which will not stress me out as much. As H would say, 'good luck with that.' Consolation comes at a price. And given the family, I don't have the luxury of saying 'no' to work...even work that I hate.

What I know

What I know from my talk this afternoon with D. is this...I need to call LPI and see about getting a position downtown. Even though I don't want to work downtown, even though I am scared of messing up because of inattentiveness which has plagued me all my working career, even though I am damaged in ways I cannot put in words by the way I was treated by my former law firm for 15 years.

The way I react to it now (after the fact) is what is important and what Mel and I need to work on. It took me 6 whole months to realize that this is why I have stalled on going back to work in any law firm. Even though LPI got me an interview with OP, I shied away in the interview. The first job I have gotten excited about is the one I just applied to as a Legal Administrator to a firm that would need me to drive from Arlington to Harrisonburg, Virginia on an 'as needed' basis. But D. is right. We don't have family health coverage that's affordable on COBRA. It is now $1,800+ a month and that's unsustainable. Grant me the grace to see my place in how to manage this paradigm shift in my thinking.

Faces of Fear and Noise

Another Amazingly Accurate Essay from Daily OM

Working Through Silence

Noise as a Distraction

Our lives are typically filled with noise. There are the noises from the outside world that we cannot control, and there are the noises we allow into our lives. These noises, from seemingly innocuous sources like the television and radio, can actually help us avoid dealing with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. However, using noise as a distraction hurts more than it helps because you are numbing yourself to what may be internally bubbling up to the surface for you to look at and heal. Distracting yourself with talk-radio, television, or other background noises can also prevent you from finding closure to issues that haunt you.

Noise as a distraction can affect us in many ways. It can help you stay numb to emotions that you don’t want to feel, allow you to avoid dealing with problems, distract you from having to think, and make it easier for you to forget reality. Drowning out the thoughts and emotions you find uncomfortable or overwhelming can complicate your issues because it allows them to fester. By tuning out noise and relishing silence, you create the space to experience and express what you are hiding. It is only then that self-exploration can begin in earnest and you can stare down frightening issues. In silence, it becomes easier to let your strongest feelings come forth, deal with them, and find new ways of resolving your problems.

When you go within without the veil of noise to shield you from yourself, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to heal. Embracing silence and introspection allows you to work through your thoughts and emotions and transmute them. Free of the need for noise, you can accept your pain, anger, and frustration as they come up and turn them into opportunities to evolve.

  • So what was/is it I feared/fear so much that I needed the TV on ... I would have to say solvency, job esteem, a place in society. When I left D., I lost what I perceived as my society status holder. I was no longer a wife. I was no longer a full time mother. I was no longer a part of a family that D and I created 21 years ago. And it hurt. It hurt more than I have words to describe it.
  • When I was let go by S., I lost my job esteem, my solvency, my place in society as a wage earner. The difference now is that instead of TV being on like it was for D., it is quiet around here. Sure, I find other distractions. I read a ton. Really 11 books at a time from the library. Just a ton of reading. And a ton of sleeping. Sure, it helps with the pain. Sure, I need to recharge more often. Sure, stress gives me headaches. But it is also a really good escape from feelings of inadequacy. But I do take time to think as I sit here typing my thoughts in the evening.
  • Here is what I know. Even though I know I am good, talented, smart as a whip, I still haven't found a full time position. I am working almost every day 4 hour shifts. Either at G or at FOHA. And I am earning a third of what I used to make. No health benefits, no time off, nada, zip.
  • If I were honest with myself, I'd say I was overwhelmed. I am frozen in fear. But what exactly is at the bottom of the fear? If I can identify it, then I can take a closer look and figure out a way to deal with it. I need to contact the Fairfax County Retraining of Seniors people and see if they can help me identify whether I need to train up to a new career or just find something less challenging. I get overwhelmed thinking that I am a failure if I ask for help and wind up pushing the help away. I will be calling the Skills Group just to see what they would be able to offer me in retraining for another career or assisting me to find something that would help pay my rent and other issues. What I am truly scared of is having to move into low rent housing and having to face my girls and tell them I failed. They need me stable in their lives. I fear being in a new situation. But I suppose having done the tough stuff with D and moving out in 2004, I could do that if need be. After all K is driving now. Pragmatically, this is just stuff to walk through. Grant me the peace of soul and soles to walk this path littered with the sharp rocks of fear. strikes again

The website strikes again at the heart of the matter for me and oddly enough explains why I wandered over to G'town yesterday after learning that G___ had found a new person who is starting there Monday. My boss knew, HR knew, LPI knew and everyone expected the other 2 to tell me and help me plan for transition. Who didn't know? Me. I do not deal well with surprises. Probably why, then, when I drove home I took a completely different way. Superstition will tell you that I took a different way so that the vibes and attitudes from that encounter would not follow me home. And, indeed, it worked. By the time I got home, I was better. I was able to face the evening without coming apart and calling everyone under the sun to complain that the system of being a temp worked. I had worked myself, honorably, out of a job. I had found a really standup kind of boss who went to bat for me with HR and fussed at them for dropping the ball on who was to tell me that my services were no longer needed. I was able to call the temp agency and ask 'what's next' and get an answer that was very positive. So this card today tells me I am not done dealing with the aftermath but gives very good advice.

  • The Three of Swords card suggests that my power today lies in truth or consequences.
  • Denial or control is no longer an option and I am ready to experience a breakthrough. My suffering, fear, or emotional loss is/was valid, incredible and deserves to be acknowledged and expressed in order to heal or transform the sacrifice.
  • I am empowered by recognition and my virtue is choice.
So, does that mean a shift to FOHA? It surely looks like it. Does that mean I apply for the Borders or Barnes & Noble job? It surely looks like that would help as well. I told my faithful lawyer client I was available to work on his projects.

life is one foot in front of the other