Friday, November 30, 2007


"And I saw the river
over which every soul must pass
to reach the kingdom of heaven
and the name of that river was suffering:~
and I saw the boat
which carries souls across the river
and the name of that boat was

~Saint John of the Cross
P.S. Margot Potter has posted links to all those who are participating in Ornament Thursdays. There are some really inspired, awesome, talented gals in this group! Go see.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Card Ornaments

This is based on a geometry lesson I did back in my teaching days. It's a great way to use up old Christmas cards. I also did a couple with tea boxes.

Christmas cards, or postcards, or tea boxes (I used Celestial Seasonings--so pretty!)
Cereal box to use as template (or card stock--something heavy & stiff)
glue (stick, dots, or white glue)

darning or embroidery needle

yarn or ribbon to hange the ornament

Determine how big you want the ornaments to be. The green ones I did are 3 inches in diameter when completed. The circles I drew for those are 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Essentially, you're just putting together a bunch of circles. You don't have to use a compass, but here are the geometry directions:

So this is the back of one of the Christmas cards. I made a template of a circle (with cereal box, but you could also make the circles with the compass). I also made a template out of the triangle. After I drew them all in, I scored the triangles with the compass tip because you'll be folding them.
Next you cut out all the circles, bend them and start fitting them together. When it's assembled, poke a hole (I used my compass, but you could also use a hole puncher) to fit the ribbon to hang up your ornament. Finished ornaments pictured below. The one on the right used 4 circles fitted together. The others all used 8. You could also do 6.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Story

I love this picture. It's so 1950's let's get a pretty girl in the picture because that makes the rocks extra-special. I love the hand-painted colouring and the way her manicured hand is indicating the crystal, like she prolly did when modeling a modern-day refridgerator. This is taken at Skyline Caverns in Front Royal, VA. These anthodite crystals are v. rare--there's only 2 other places in the world that have them. If I were taking notes when my friend Susan told me, I could tell you where. So this is the story of my picture.
The story-behind-the-story is how I aquired this:
My mother was friends with an older lady who was marrying the photographer of this photo. Um, if I were taking notes, I could tell you his name. I will P.S. it when Mum tells me. Anyway, my brother was hired to help move and clean out some things. This photo was stuffed in an old 1970's car in the garage--actually, I think that's how my brother aquired the car that we all called Das Boot. HUGE.
So big deal, 2 old people getting married, you may be thinking. Ha! Older Lady had moved from Texas to be near her fam (allegedly), leaving her husband behind. 2 years later, she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary--without him. It seems he'd been having an affair with the housekeeper. For 20 years. The following spring, she married Photographer Guy. But Jane, you're still married my mother said. And Jane-not-her-real-name, said, "Who's going to put a 78-year-old lady in jail for having 2 husbands?" Well put.
Well, it didn't last anyway. I don't think she bothered divorcing him, either. She moved out to California this time and he stayed in VA.
I don't think she married again.
Isn't it a great picture?
P.S. Mum suggests I not say Husband #2's name. So I won't. She also said she doesn't think he was the photographer of this picture. I remember her saying 20 years ago that he was. I guess it doesn't really matter at this point. All water under the bridge and whatnot. No point in alerting the Marriage Police, especially since Mum informs me that Jane is alive and well living somewhere undisclosed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Labyrinth Rocks

I liked the melted-crayon rock activity so much that I played with it on Sunday. I've made finger labyrinths before for journals, etc. But this is my first venture into a more 3-dimensional form. I used sparkley dimensional paint for the labyrinth lines. The heart rock and pink rock, I painted, but the other 3 rocks I did the melted crayon thing. Before I painted it, the pink rock reminded me of an elephant, and I thought of a recent post from Margot, so here's a pink elephant labyrinth. Other than that, I was kinda on a purple kick. The crayon gives it a nice, smooooooth texture and I'll definitely be making more of these!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Visit to Auntie Hal's

Oh what FUN we had! We played in the labyrinth. It's the perfect size for children. They ran, of course & overturned a few rocks. Hey! Put that rock back! It's sacred! haha Then they rolled down the hill. And my youngest nephew, who's 5, came to me and told me that his older brother had forced him into The Zone. I said, "The zone?" And he says, "You know, where the dogs GO." haha Fortunately, he was clean.

[imagine photo of kids in labyrinth]

We walked down to the river and collected rocks and then we heated them up in the oven (150-ish degrees) and melted crayons on them. My youngest nephew has a v. artistic eye, and likes to play with my camera. He took this photo of the rocks:

My almost-3-year-old niece had a lot of fun with my heart rock collection. I'm still finding them around the house. At dinner, she v. politely asked, May I have some marijuana, please? I looked to her big brother for translation. "She wants more water." OH. Yes, of course that's what she said. For dessert we had chocolate dirt. (Leftover truffle mix from the freezer). Yum. It was a whirlwind of activity and I so LOVE being an auntie! :-)

P.S. Thanks, Mum for driiiiiving all the way here!

P.P.S. If I had children of my own, this blog would be nothing but insufferably cute-things-kids-say.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day of Rest

Ah...trees. Have a gorgeous day. :-) H.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


"You never give up just wanting to play and have fun--the way that kids do." ~Jerry Seinfeld

There seems to be a lack of faith from my family when it comes to my spending time with my sibs's kids. Can I handle all 3 at once??? So let's review in order, shall we? I worked as a teacher's aide to a preschool & kindergarten for 2 years before going off to college the first time where I became a college dropout. Then I was a nanny. Then I worked at a Montessori school for 4 years and headed up the summer day camp program with 10-15 kids. Then I got an education degree K-8. I substitute taught for 2 years in classrooms that, incidentally, had more than 3 students. I taught first grade for a year before I went on to certify in brain-based learning.

I think I'm qualified for the afternoon.

Today I've sharpened the knives and we're going to learn to juggle. haha Perhaps it's because I'm not SERIOUS and I don't get upset about some kinds of parenty things. Usually I get my camera. Like the time at my sister's wedding when my nephew peed on a bush outside the church. Why didn't you stop him? my other sister growled at me. Stop him? Midstream? Really, what else could I do?

I draw the line at safety. But everything else? Childhood is a magical time and it's FUN. Or it should be. The backyard is an adventure waiting for exploration. All children are artists, visionaries, scientists. Ask any kindergartener who's the best artist and they will all raise their hands. Ask a fifth-grader that (or an adult) and you'll hear the limitations. There's so much more I could write on this--my whole philosophy of teaching and parenting, but I must heat up rocks in the oven for a special craft activity.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Black Friday

I spent a wonderful day with Mum & my sister's fam yesterday. Until I moved to my little river house, I used to think my sister was waaaaaay out there. And she is. But I think I win the prize for most-remotest. She and my BIL renovated a 100 year-old hunting lodge. It's an amazing place off of the national park. I hiked up the mountain with my nephews & niece--how many almost-3-year-olds know what milkweed is??? It's just like where we grew up. My sister said that the kids won't really appreciate it until they're adults--but isn't that the way it is? They go barefoot all summer and play outside in the creek and eat fresh food from the garden.
My BIL is a gourmet chef and made the most amazing meal--his sauces are soooo delicious. He makes me like French cooking. That's another thing the kids won't appreciate until they get older--the amazing family dinners they have together that they take for granted. I remember being at an Italian restaurant for dinner and a family came in and then they left because they didn't have a children's menu. That would not happen with any of my nieces and nephews. They've all been raised on real food.
Anyway, so on this day-of-shopping, I'm staying away from all that busy-ness & going for a long walk. I'll avoid the hunters, gather a few rocks and walk off the pumkin pie. :-) H.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Day of Thanks & Giving

Blogs across A-MER-ica will be paying tribute to today, this day of Thanksgiving. I've been Quote Gal this week, so here's my quote:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more....It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

There have been many influences in creating a sense of gratitude in my life. However, my bible is Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of comfort and Joy. What a gift she is to the world! When you ask yourself What am I most grateful for in my life? it opens the heart, brings you into the present moment, and dispels the worries and stresses of the day. Gratitude fills your spirit so that there is room for nothing else. In all things give thanks.

OK, so how to transition into this?

What is that in the middle of the labyrinth? you may be asking. Well. Let me tell you. Except I don't know. I've been eating lots of pumpkin. It all started when my GSF Bess said that she spent hours in the kitchen preparing this elaborate pumpkin recipe and in the end, it tasted like sweet potato. I LOVE sweet potatoes, so I went to a local produce stand. [Side note, here: It's operated on an honour system. There's a coffee can where you leave your payment. How cool is that in the 21st century?!]

So I got some pumpkins. I've baked and I've steamed them. Steaming is best for a uniform consistency. A hand blender makes it smooth & creamy. You can go savory or sweet with it. I've made cream-of-pumkin soup, and curried pumpkin soup (my fave), and just mixed in honey & cinnamon for a sweet. Bess said it's really great in pancakes, so I will try that next.
Back to the labyrinth: when I was at my brother's, they had hundreds of pumpkins at the horse farm for decoration and let me take some home. I took a coupla these and they are AMAZING! I think it might be a blue hubbard. They are by far the BEST! Smooth, subtle, light, creamy. Whatever it is, my mother had to go to an "International" potluck gathering & bring a traditional dish (because the English are known for their culinary skills--haha). In the past she's taken Shepherd's pie, & trifle. So she put the blue hubbard in a blender with some milk and then chilled it. No sweetener, and she said it was better than custard and everyone loved it.

So that's my Martha post for the day. Have a WONDERFUL day of thanks & giving! :-) H.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quote from a Tea Box

From Celestial Seasonings Teahouse Chai (my favourite tea-in-the-morning):

Some landscapes whisper, like lonely roads and quiet conversations. The ecstatic leap of mountains fills our blood with a triumphant confidence. The fold of a headland over a wide ocean gives rise to transcendent possibility and nuanced thought. The sense of opening awareness close to riverbanks, indeed, the bustle and din of a cavernous city--these ineffable surrounding give our lives comfort and context.
We can love passionately, but how much, I wonder, of our life's reflection is whispered to us from the distance of valley floors and high chilly winds? Places we've never been or only imagined color our notions of place, while landscapes live outside our door and call to within our souls. ~Todd Runestad


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.
~Chinese proverb

Monday, November 19, 2007


As I grow older, the identification with the here and now is slowly lost. One feels disolved and merged into Nature. The greatest experience we can have is the mysterious. ~Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day of Rest

Another view along my country road.
Have a BEAUTIFUL day. :-) H.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One person's normal....

So I was having a convo with John Morgan last night that started with me saying, So my drum circle was cancelled last night.... and I was talking about the email cancellation I'd gotten and how now I didn't have to go out into the world on Saturday, but I could stay home and listen to XM Radio Guy tonight on the Lucy channel 54 (9 p.m. EST). WOO-HOO!

Lucy...all the music you listened to when MTV just showed music videos all the way to when MTV taught your teenage daughter how to be a slut. The deep-voiced radio announcer that XM Radio Guy uses on Lucy was whisked away by Oprah and now he's exclusively the voice on her channel.

I've never heard him say normal things.

Anyway, so I'm yackity-yacking away about all this and John says, "Woah-woah-woah! Drum circle?"

I forget until I remember that what I take for granted as normal-everyone-knows-about-this is often not. But it's quite normal. Really. Mum goes with me. And it's led by this wonderful gal Wendi who is like an orchestra leader, so it doesn't matter what your level of experience is. There's nothing like beating on a drum, it's so...tribal. You can't drum and not *smile*.

But tomorrow I'm going out. Really, it's all-day event if I leave the house. And I coordinate it with my groceries--altho, Mum calls my pantry the Mormon Pantry. It's v. well-stocked. I could not go anywhere for months. Anyway, I'll be delivering a b-day gift to my nephew & attending some Bonfire Event at Mum's.

And if it's not too chilly, perhaps we'll even have an old fashioned firewalk.

Woah-woah-woah! FIREWALK???

Another day, another post. ;-) H.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Feedback vs. Criticism

I've been thinking about the difference between feedback and criticism since I've been watching The Next Great American Band. Tonight is another episode and another band will go home. There are some great musicians on this show (personal faves 6wire & The Clark Brothers) and it's interesting to watch the judges give feedback and the response from the bands and the audience. And then John Morgan had a great blog post yesterday on this theme called "Burst of Air."

Not that I want to get all L. Ron Hubbard and create my own Dictionary-of-Definitions, BUT this is the distinction I make between criticism and feedback, because I don't think they mean the same thing.

The word criticism, even if it's "constructive," has a negative connotation. Nobody likes to be criticized. It implies that you've done something wrong and it usually comes within the framework of an emotionally charged situation. Criticism doesn't offer solutions and often is taken as an attack, not just on a behaviour, but on the person. The first definition in Webster's for criticize is 1.) "to find fault with; censure." THEN 2.) to "judge or discuss the merits of; evaluate" and THEN 3.) "to judge unfavorably or harshly." I think most people go with options 1 & 3 when thinking of criticism, and who wants to be judged harshly? Think about someone you know who exhibits critical behaviour: are they particularly easy or pleasant to be around? Prolly not.

Feedback, on the other hand, is just that. We get feedback from our environment; a stove is hot, a dog's nose is cold & wet. Dave Dobson tells a wonderful story about how when he was a toddler, he ate a dandelion. And that was his first and last dandelion. Skip the techno-babble and definition about biological processes in Webster's , and feedback is "a reaction or response to a particular process or activity; information derived from such a reaction or response." No judgement, no fault-finding. Feedback is necessary for new learning and new growth and improvement. Feedback from a person can be a suggestion. When I was training in Eric Jensen's Brain-based Learning, we spent a whole day learning how to give directions and feedback. One of the things we did was list at least 3 things that worked in an activity, and then suggest one or two things to try for the next time. They were "opportunities" for improvement; no big deal.

This has something to do with how the brain works. The brain (and your Other-Than-Conscious) is first concerned with safety. Any perceived threat kicks in the fight/flight stress response. So by saying what works, the brain relaxes and is more open to suggestion and doesn't go into defense mode. Unless....

a person isn't open to suggestions or feedback and it's all perceived as criticism. As Michael Gerber says in The E Myth, failed businesses are led by people who spend more time defending what they're doing, than learning new things to make their business grow and evolve. This can be on a personal level. We all know people who take things way too personally and view any suggestion as an attack. And that's useful feedback in itself. There are certain people I don't say anything to because, really-- why bother? They could take a page from don miguel ruiz's Four Agreements, not to take anything personally. So, so hard to do--but WOW. What a difference.

So, back to The Next Great American Band: one of the judges, John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls gives really great feedback. Feedback, not criticism. And he'll start off with, "You guys were great. You did X, Y, & Z. The only suggestion I have is that you...." But the audience starts booing. Shut up you rude audience! And at one point, John turned to the audience and said something like, "Look, these guys are going to go out into the real world and it's better to hear it from us first." BTW, the bands who have listened to the judges, are still in the running. The Muggs, who agreed with Rude Booing Audience, and Rocket, with their every-song-sounds-the-same, are not.
Who will go home tonight? We shall the meantime, feel free to offer feedback on this post. ;-) H.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

At the Recording Studio

I'll wait until it's a bit more ready before I say the title or what it's about--except to say it's v. relaxing. I just recorded it and John is going to do all the post-production for me. I knew he'd ask me what kind of microphone we used and other techno-babble I know nothing about, so I took a picture.

At the end of the session, I said to Engineer Will, "I forgot to call on the tree spirits before we started." He had said when I booked the studio that a lot of hypno-meditation-newagers come in to record and say prayers to Nature, etc. I did walk my labyrinth before I went to the studio. Does that count?

I listened to the recording last night, but fell asleeeep. Woke up at 6 a.m. and listened to it again and fell asleeeeep again. If I didn't write it, I wouldn't know how it ends! Oh, that is a wicked joke that no one will get except the people I've given the test runs, to. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm melting....

Yesterday I received an advance copy of John Morgan's new CD. WOW. And on the heels of Bruce Lipton's AWESOME interview with Dr. Oz yesterday. John came up with this idea independently of Bruce, but this is what he says in his intro (sounding very Bruce-ish):

Imagine for just a moment that you want something from someone whom you absolutely loathe. Additionally, imagine that you have made no secret about this person. You've told them to their face and you've told everyone willing to listen to you that you despise this person. How cooperative do you think that person would be with your request? My guess is not very. This is how most people treat their body.

Yesterday Bruce was talking about the unconscious programming we have. So we can consciously want to change our behaviour, but our conscious mind is not really running the show. We need to work with our programming. Bruce sounds v. Dobsonian here! Anyway, John says the same thing on this CD and walks you through a process--v. relaxing, soothing. I melted. It goes deeper than weight-loss, beyond self-acceptance into self-love. It's for the anoerexic as well as the weight-loss candidate. It's for anyone who has body image issues--and really, who doesn't? The CD isn't ready yet, but I'll include a link when it's official. Stay tuned...

And speaking of CD's, I'm going to go record my next one today. I'm SO EXCITED! I'm not going to give away any details--except to say, no it's not labyrinth-related. Yes...v. hypnotic and relaxing...and melty....I've done some live test runs with it, John has been a willing guinea pig and has coached me through it and given me some v. valuable suggestions that have taken it from really good to GREAT. I did a final one last night with XM Radio Guy and he said, "Amazing." High praise! So stay tuned....

View from my labyrinth. Have a BEAUTIFUL day. :-) H.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Biology of Belief: Bruce Lipton 101

"I woke up one morning and decided to live my life in nothing less than joy." ~Bruce Lipton

This was one of the key phrases that shifted my para-dig-m of how I chose to live my own life. I was sitting in Bruce's Biology of Belief seminar learning about cell biology. Cell biology! Who knew it could be so exciting? It was one of those life-changing, Oprah Lightbulb Moment, Ah-ha experiences where you realize that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm.

A cell in a petri-dish will do one of two things: it will move toward things that are life-enhancing, in this case food. OR, it will move away from things that are life-threatening, e.g. a toxin. The first is a state of GROWTH. The second is PROTECTION. A cell can do either/or, it can't do both at the same time. You may be thinking, Yeah, OK. Why do I care?

Well. Let me tell you. A single cell in your body has all the same functions as your whole body. It takes in nutrition, oxygen, excretes waste, etc. Your body is a community of trillions of cells. It's not random. Think about a community: working together, each person contributing, communicating, relating. It's an organized network. And who's in charge? YOU, the leader. You're the director, the Queen-of-the-castle, Master-of-your-domain. The question is: are you a benevolent leader? Or not? What determines that? The environment you create by your beliefs and thoughts. Do you love your body? Do you love your life? Or are you stewing in a soup of toxic emotions? How long would you continue to work with someone who worked against you? How long would you expect your body to before it rebels? As Dr. David Lee (who gave Bruce his first cold-laser treatment) says, Your body. Your health. Your choice.

So, you give a cell some food, it moves forward, it grows. You threaten it, it retreats. You give a person nurturing and s/he grows. You threaten a person and s/he retreats into a state of protection. What's the difference? THE ENVIRONMENT. Change your environment, and you change your biology--YOU. In a state of growth, you have different chemical reactions happening in your body vs. when you're in a fearful state of protection. Bruce says that we're living our lives like we're in a race. We're at the starting line and we hear, Get ready. Get set. But we never get to GO. So our bodies are in a chronic state of stress. Stress is a protective state, not a state of growth.

This is your body's response to the stress Fight or Flight Response: your body prioritizes blood flow to the back of your brain, the survival part, to the back of your legs to run, and to the arms for fighting. It is the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex that has higher functioning skills of thought, logic, and reasoning. This is why it's hard to reason with someone who's fearful.
How much blood goes to other areas? The bare minimum. What about your immune system? That takes way too much energy. If your body is in survival mode, it's priority is not against some outside microbe. How much blood goes to digestion in this state? Not much.

And here's the thing about fear: new things are scary and avoided. Think about that. And then think about how when you're in a state of fear, you're much more likely to give up your freedom for security and personal safety. Which means you're easier to control. And now think about the media that shows scary-threatening-violence on TV, and drug companies that sponsor these "news" programs and tell you to take their pharma-zerka-toxin-el for your anxiety, your stress, your illness.

We weren't biologically designed to live in chronic stress. And yet, some people are so used to it, they think it's normal. Just because something is common, doesn't make it normal. We have a choice. So for me, I choose growth. I choose life. I choose JOY.

And if you ever get a chance, go to a Bruce Lipton seminar. Or read his ground-breaking book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. OR tune into Dr. Mehmet Oz's show on XM Radio today and listen to his interview with Bruce.

P.S. You can get a month of free XM Radio here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lots of Busy's

This is a quickie just to get something up besides my anti-tickle rant. When I first started working for John Morgan Seminars I booked a seminar in Myrtle Beach, SC and the next night in Birmingham, AL. John said v. dryly, "You may want to get a map." Yes, I had just lumped the South all together. At one time I knew all the states, their capitals, the whole world, in fact. At one time. Anyway, so I got a map & this is it. I write quotes on sticky notes & put them in California (no plans to go there anytime soon). And yes, that's Stephen Colbert in Canada. And yes, I knew that was Canada before I got the map! No, really. I did. For some extra fun, try your hand at this little geography game that John sent me after my display of geographical retardation. haha
P.S. HAPPY B-DAY Fairie Elaine!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Good Touch, Bad Touch

I like to think it's because I'm a massage therapist that I'm so sensitive. But then, I've met some pretty insensitive bodyworkers. So perhaps I became a massage therapist because I'm sensitive. Touch is so personal and subjective. One person's deep tension-relieving shoulder massage might be another person's torture. Or someone's deep tissue massage might be another person's tickle. Everyone's different, and it is my job to make a person as comfortable and relaxed as possible in a session. Once I'm working on someone, I'm looking for the "Ah Stroke." Again, it's different for everyone. For a stressed-out teacher, it might be a deep stroke across the top of the shoulder. For a computer athlete, it might be getting under the scapula or working the chest muscles. I had a golf client with lower back pain and his Ah Stroke was a slow elbow up along the spine. No matter who's on the table, I can feel when they sink into that place of deep relaxation and peace, and let go of the tensions, stresses, and worries of the day.

Being sensitive like this is helpful in the healing world. It makes it a bit more challenging when I'm just out in the real world because I'm tuned to all the little nuances and details of an experience. My chiro-friend Catherine gave me a book a few years ago called The Highly Sensitive Person. Before I read it, I thought it was about someone who overpersonalizes things. But it's not about that, it's about the sensory experience: sights, sounds, smells, touch, etc. When I walk into a room, I sense temperature, lighting, clutter, cleanliness, textures. If people are in the room, I'm reading the mood and energy of the room. John has pointed out that I go right from seeing something to having a feeling. This may be why I won't watch violence on TV. It doesn't matter if it's real or not, I feel it. And it is not a pleasant sensation. On the other hand, when I watch my favourite You Tube video Hugs in Tel Aviv, I SMILE everytime. Watch the baby in the stroller offer his cookie to Hugging Guy. So sweet.

I say this all as a preface to an observation. When I'm massaging a client, I tell her to say "stop" if there's anything I do that's uncomfortable. It doesn't matter if I think she needs me to work a particular muscle in a certain way. It's not about me, it's about her. She knows her body better than anyone. And she needs to know that she can trust me that if she says stop, that I will. Immediately. That trust allows her to relax fully and allow for some deep healing to take place.

So perhaps I am sensitive to that word. STOP.

Stop means stop, no matter who's saying it. And just because someone is laughing, doesn't mean they are enjoying the experience. So pay attention all you well-meaning uncles & aunties, moms & dads & other adults in a child's world:

Tickling is FUNny, until it's NOT.

Pinning them down to the ground with your ginormous-to-a-child body is threatening and overbearing. Forced touch of any kind is a violation.

Oftentimes adults are quick to discount a child's feelings just because s/he is a child. STOP. A child's feelings are no less real than yours. Ridiculing, cajoling, or discounting a child's feelings can get interpreted so many different ways and set up patterns for a lifetime. Patterns like:

"What I think doesn't matter."
"People don't listen to me."
"Other people's feelings are more important than mine."
"Other people are more important than me."

As for the tickling:

"I don't like being touched."
"I can't trust others to touch me in ways that I would like."
"Touch is not pleasant."
"I am powerless."

I used to be a nanny half my lifetime ago. And I used to tickle little Gabe's feet and he would giggle which would make me giggle. And even then, before an education degree or hypno-training or massage school, I would stop when he asked. And he would say it like this: it again! And I would. His body, his choice.

We are such a touch-deprived nation. And worse, not only have people not had positive experiences with touch, they've had negative experiences. Let's make an effort to create positive touch in the lives of the people we come into contact with. And while we're at it, here's another hug from Juan Mann, the guy who started the whole Hug Campaign. Have a LOVEly day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We're a Scrabblin' Fam

Last night I played Scrabble with my 2 brothers and Mum. One of my brothers scored 87 points with “throated.” Oh, I used up all my letters, he said. Mum was miffed when we wouldn’t accept “quillest.” We googled—not a word! She said, “It’s a person who does quilling.” Oh, you mean like a knittest? Or a carpentist? Not a word. She was doubley miffed when both my brothers accepted “malk.” It’s a Simpsons reference.

See, at this point, I was just going for the laugh, because pointage was futile. And this comes from a convo between my brother and his daughter at breakfast when she was 4.

A: Daddy, may I have some milk for my cereal?

D: No, sweetie. We don’t have any milk. We only have malk. Would you like some malk?

A: What's malk?

D: Rat milk. It has vitamin R. Mmmmm….

A: OK.

My brother is a member of Mensa, and in the magazine in his bathroom is a song written to the tune of "Born to Be Wild." With lines like:

Get your IQ runnin'! Head out on the highway!
Lookin' for a pop quiz, or whatever comes our way!

I like chess and scrabble--intellectual thunder!
Grapplin' with ideas, and things to make us wonder.

Born to be Mensans!

Today we're going to sit in a field in the rain and watch horses. Woo-hoo!

P.S. Listen to XM Radio channel 54 tonight at 9 p.m. EST The Bill Hutton Show
P.P.S. Bruce Lipton on the XM Oprah Channel on Tuesday!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bruce Lipton on XM Radio!!!

This Tuesday, November 13th, Dr. Mehmet Oz is interviewing Dr. Bruce Lipton on the Oprah channel. If you've thought of enjoying commercial-free radio with LOTS of channels, here's an opportunity. You can get a FREE 30-day subscription to XM to sign on and hear the show if you do not subscribe. You can go to Oprah & Friends Radio Network to check out airtimes.
And from my Fall Folliage series...this is from a red bud tree:

I see hearts wherever I go. This is what it looks like in the spring:


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Subtraction Phase

John Morgan gave me the name for this. There are times in our lives when we ADD: to our home, to our family, to our work. It could be a new pet or child or car or new landscaping. And then there are times when we subtract: children leave home, pet dies, job changes, home changes. It's a time of evaluating priorities. My friend Bess, (going through addition with new massage office), says she heard something to ask yourself when adding OR subtracting something in your life:

Do you love it?
Do you need it?
Does it make you money?

So this is my mantra as I'm slagging through the gazillion boxes I packed on my big move.: Love-need-money, love-need-money.... Do you ever ask youself: What was I saving THIS for??? Exactly.

This is my living room. The painting is an original by Rolf Owen, an artist friend of my parents. I've always LOVED this painting and I'm thrilled to have it now. I love retro Lane furniture (coffee table, end tables, & chair/ottoman). If you were sitting in the movie theatre when I was watching Down with Love, you would have heard me say, "Hey! Those are my Lane end tables!" as you see the swinging bachelor pad for the first time. I also saw them in a Doris Day movie, recently. The lamp on the left is a v. cool retro lamp, and the one on the right is an original from another friend of the family, Salahudine Hussein. I'll have to show a close-up of that sometime, it's v. clever. Anyway, all of which I love and need. For now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Gift Is in You

This takes my breath away.
I can't watch it all the way through without boo-hooing.
And I'm not even a fan of opera.
But. This. WOW. Go see Paul Potts audition for Britain's Got Talent. Watch Simon's jaw drop.

Paul says in the interview bit, "By day, I sell mobile phones. My dream is to spend my life doing what I feel I was born to do." We all have talents and gifts to share with the world. Something that makes you lose track of time and brightens your day. Something that puts a spring in your step and a SMILE in your heart. What's your gift? Is it in the back of the closet or are you still working on it? Did you have well-meaning people tell you to be practical or grow up? Did you give up? Is it on the Someday Shelf?

If you have a passion for something, it's there for a reason. Socrates said Know thyself. This is part of the knowing. When you have a sense of a Divine Purpose, it helps you to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Look for the gift. Listen to your inner voice. Feel that peace that comes with knowing without a doubt: THIS. THIS is why I'm here on the planet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

For My Fellow Anatomy Nerds...

"The brains of a cell are not where the genes are, it's not the nucleus...the brains of the cell are in the membrane. The cell membrane lets us talk to each other." ~Dr. Mehmet Oz

WHO DOES THIS SOUND LIKE??? That's right: Bruce Lipton! And yet, go to any basic biology book--even an anatomy & phys. book, and it says that the brain of the cell is the nucleus. It was just a passing comment, but having been through Bruce's Biology of Belief seminar and reading his book--WOW! That was my excitement for the day. Now...let's get Bruce on Oprah!

It's really great to see holistic healing getting attention in mainstream America. And speaking of Brimhall... Dr. John says that health care in our country is really disease care. While we're at it, let's get Dr. Brimhall on Oprah! I want to see Oprah get lasered. Ah...cold-laser therapy....Have a FABULOUS day!
P.S. Awesome post from the Grasshopper on anger. Go see.

Monday, November 5, 2007


You say tomato, I say tomato...

but Mum says, "To-Mah-to." When I moved into my little river house, my youngest brother had planted a tomato in the front of the house for me. He grew it from a seed. He is a fantastic gardener and will be helping me when I venture into Gardening World next spring.

He doesn't know that yet.

Anyway, he gave plants to Mum & my other sibs and we've all had various degrees of success with our plants. Mine was off to a slow start, but lookit! Here's Mum showing off one of my

I should have had her held it out like fishermen do when they're showing off their fish. ;-)
Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 4, 2007 Sabathy....

Rest. Relax. Take a walk. Take a nap. Watch TV. Read a book.
Have a BEAUTIFUL day! :-) H.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Launch Initiative: XM Radio Guy

To All Departments:
There's been a buzz around the office as we've gotten closer to launch-time. Let me just say that here at XM Radio, we are just super-jazzed around here with this new initiative. We've
been Rambo-ing this thing to the next level and we're really expecting to see a huge jump in this last quarter with the launch of the *new* Bill Hutton Show . And let me just tell you, with this new show, we're not chewing on yesterday's breakfast. This is the NEXT BIG THING. So if you can just go ahead and do me the courtesy of Cc-ing your department to bring them into the loop on this thing. We'll be all set to go by EOB. Gotta circle the wagons, keep our powder dry.

This stuff just writes itself. Friends & fam have heard me talk about my XM Radio friend for years. He used to have a radio show at WKMZ in Martinsburg, WV before he moved on to a little-known start-up satellite radio company called XM. He wrote his resume on the back of a "Footprints in the Sand" plaque. His boss still has it in his office.

One year I gave him a "Buddy Jesus" statue. It's on his desk. Along with Buddha & Ganesh. "Hey, if I'm going down, I want in with all the major deities." haha There are more stories I could tell, but I will save them for another time.

In the meantime, tune in tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern: The Bill Hutton Show on The Lucy Channel (XM 54) If you have Direct TV, it's Channel 838 and I think if you have AOL you can listen on line.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Power of An Apology

This comes from a conversation last night. I think a well-timed and sincere apology could have saved the relationship. This could be any kind of relationship. This is the kind of apology I’ve gotten in the past: I'm sorry BUT....

I’m sorry BUT here’s how I’m going to justify my crappy behaviour and/ or my mean words. AND I will further insult your intelligence by pointing out how you are wrong and silly for feeling the way you do.

The advantage for the But Apologizers is that they get to be right and fault-free. The disadvantage is that they chip away at the relationship. It's rarely just one event that will destroy a relationship, but an adding up of events that starts an avalanche.

And it would be so easy to remedy. An apology is the balm that sooths a hurt spirit. And like a THANK YOU, it’s never too late to offer an apology. It just might facilitate the healing that needs to take place.

Some people don't even offer the But Apology, they just whistle right into the Wrong & Silly. Years ago I had a friend staying over and she left half a bag of Hershey's Kisses out. At 11 p.m. there was nothing but a shredded, spitty bag on the floor. I didn't know which of my 2 dogs had eaten them. I was freaking out--OMG! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs! At my discovery, she told me I was wrong to be so worried. They would be OK because she knew of another, much smaller, dog that ate chocolate and he was OK, so I shouldn't worry. This happened before??? The advantage of Non-Apologizers is they get to be right. The disadvantage is that by never admitting a mistake, they don’t learn. And they chip away at the relationship…and at some point you ask yourself, "Why do I choose to have this person in my life?" And then you choose not to.

What if someone is expecting an apology and you don't feel like you've done anything wrong? How important is this person to you? If you don't care, then WTH. But if you do: say it anyway. I'm sorry. [Say to self the rest of that sentence: you feel that way]. Really.

And on the flipside: I would be remiss if I didn’t address the super-sensitive-type. You know them: you unknowingly offend and upset. A lot. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s just another way to make someone wrong, like crowding someone on the sidewalk. I am not making this up! You would think this is a story from the fifth grade. Sadly, no. Years ago in my summerstock theatre days, I had an actress-friend who stopped talking to me for taking up too much space. And I apologized. I did. And then I did something else…and something else equally innocuous…there was always the next thing. It wasn’t just with me, she kind of worked her way through the whole company. She was on a quasi-popular sitcom in the 90’s and I just felt sorry for anyone who had to tiptoe around her. But then, maybe she grew up. And I forgive her--that's another blog post for another day!

So, I'm going to apologize right now if I've offended anyone. Really. Not my intention. Someone once said that we judge others by their behaviours but we judge ourselves by our intentions. So here's my Apology Coupon. That little phrase "I'm sorry. I love you...." yada yada is from Joe Vitale. He's written a book called Zero Limits about the work of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who worked in a psych ward and healed patients by repeating that phrase to himself. That's a simplistic way of explaining it, but you can find out more about him from Joe's website.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Quote-of-the-Day & a Labyrinth photo

We tend to think that unpleasantness is a quality of the job itself; more often it is a condition in the mind of the doer. ~Eknath Easwaran

This came to my mind as I was washing dishes this a.m., listening to my dish-washing music, The Best of James Taylor. And since I am "Labyrinth Gal," here are some labyrinth photos! This is my dog Remington Steele. This gives you an idea of scale--sort of. He's 140 lbs.

Have an AWESOME day! :-) H.