Friday, August 29, 2008

Short Blogging Vacation

What are we going to do with all these lemons? Someone asked. We had an abundance. Well. I knew exactly what to do! And here's the recipe from a previous John Morgan blogpost

Yummy & Delicious Margarita Recipe
1 part tequila
1 part sugar water (Sugar water is made with 1 cup of sugar to 3 cups of water)
¾ part triple sec
¾ part lemon juice (Minute Maid 100% pure lemon juice) unless you have bags of lemons lying around

P.S. Not responsible for the crazy behavior of anyone who drinks these concoctions. Like Scrabble fist fights. Hahahaha

P.P.S. Speaking of John, check out the latest CD! Hypnosis for Dogs. That 's his v. cute Snuffy, the black-nosed-beagle featured on the cover.

Last Day at the Beach

Last night's sunset.

Not much of a sunrise, so here's a shot of the clouds.

Yeah, I know. Lame.

Backyard visitor.

Random Beach Shots from Yesterday

I love to watch kids playing.
Look! No electronic games, just hands in the sand.


More kids I don't know.

Looks like a spine...for all my chiro-peeps.

Random Brother References

Brother D & I went to the beach yesterday & played in the churning ocean. I was not as brave as he--pretty much I went in up to my shins. But when a wave came, it was up to my waist. It was a good workout, tho. Afterward, we sat on the beach for a bit. There were some girls nears us. I thought they must be cousins or sisters or friends. One of them had this bathing suit:
Brother D said, "Oh, look at that. A fake tramp stamp? Printed on the bikini?" Then she put on a T-shirt and it said, Jesus Loves this Chick. group. I thought they were sister-cousin-friends....
It was v. windy and little sand pieces were coming at us. Then it started spitting rain at us. Should we go in? Then we both started doing our Mum imitations: No that's all riiiiiight. I'm not getting wet. Then Brother D said, It's a DRY rain. Hahahahaha
We have a huge fruit bowl, but Brother D said no one could eat this peach:

Because it looks like a butt, of course.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Multi-post Day

Chiro-sister Ruthie's beach message.

In front of Brother D's sand castle.

Her dog, Albus.

The wind catches his ears and he gets Windy Dog Ear Syndrome. Hahahaha

Lots of photos from yesterday, so I've done more than one post. Scroll down...

P.S. Special Hello to B. Bliss who wrote me a sweet email yesterday. Go check out her blog; awesome photos and quotes!

Today's Sunrise

Yikes! Almost stepped on this little guy!

Over cast and cloudy:

And then I turned around & saw this:

Went for a walk on the beach, almost all to myself:

A cloudy day at the beach is still a nice way to wake up!

No Swimming

When the red flag flies, don't go swimming.

Unless you're my brother.

Brother D's Sand Castle

We have family movies of my brother playing in the backyard, pushing cars around in the dirt. Watching the sand castle construction was kind of the same.

Today's modern sand castle is Escher-inspired with wheel chair accessibilty.

BIL & Brother D hard at work. The center focal point looks like an ancient Shiva lingam. Chiro-sister Ruth added decorative seaweed.


Beach Labyrinth

While Brother D & BIL were working on their sand castle, I drew a labyrinth. People walking by would say, What is that? Kids would just walk right in. :-)

Castle Construction in the background.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life is Like a Sandbox

I see hearts wherever I go.
'member when you were a child playing in a sandbox? There are a lot of life's lessons that we can take with us when we leave the sandbox. And go on to bigger sandboxes. Like the beach. Reminds me of a non-beach-related Dave Dobson story . . .
Dave was sitting in a bar with a friend and at the end of the bar were two men having an animated argument. One of those Yuh-huh/Nuh-uh arguments. His friend commented about the men and Dave replied, "I don't see 2 men, I see 2 two-year-olds running their patterns."
Back to the beach: The house we're staying in has come with all the amenities, including fabulous beach thingies, like a pretty multi-coloured umbrella. Our party left the umbrella to go have lunch and when we returned, the umbrella was under someone's lounge chair. AND they were not going to give it back. She was getting the umbrella and then another woman from the other party told SIL's sister, F, that she couldn't take it because it might be ours. Really??? Might?
The question is: How do you play in your sandbox? Are you kind? Do you share? Do you take things that don't belong to you and claim them for your own? Do you scream mine? Do you play well with others? Do you have a smile for strangers or are they automatic outsiders unworthy of your attention & caring? What patterns are you running?
Back to the umbrella: F is a v. patient mother and is in the midst of potty-training. She is adept at dealing with childish behaviour from children of all ages. She said something like, You had 2 umbrellas, now you have 3. We're missing ours that looks just like the one that is under your chair. Phew! She got back the umbrella.

I see hearts wherever I go.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beach Sunrise & Backyard Labyrinth

I got up at 6 a.m. to watch the sunrise. It was cloudy, but a nice walk along the beach. In the end, the best pic I got was back at the house on the top deck.

This was just a quickie labyrinth I started while I was waiting for someone to show up with a key to the beach house. It takes 2 minutes to walk. We'll put the rocks back when we're finished playing. Last night chiro-sister made fish pies for dinner, v. yummy. Except they didn't thicken. This seafood chowder is so good you can eat it with a fork. Hahahaha After dinner, BIL got out his guitar and we had a sing-a-long. :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

At the Beach

My brother has gotten me connected and has repaired the house's wifi whatever. Thanks, bro! This is this a.m.'s view from the top of the toppest deck on our beach cottage:

The sun is up, I'm so happy I could scream.
(Fat Bob reference, see previous post)

Last night at sunset.

*sigh* cute doggie prints

The house is AMAZING. It reminds me of step aerobics classes from the '90's--4 levels of stairs! All open & airy & gorgeous. My brother, the kitchen snob who travels with his fancy coffee maker and chef supplies, says this is the best house they've stayed at so far. Awesome kitchen: fab workspace, kitchen appliances, & even tupperware. Whoever owns this is all about family. Not just that, but there are sweet little messages from Joy around the house giving instructions on how to work things. It's been a v. welcoming experience. [Insert Spread a little JOY joke here.]

This is my first visit with my SIL's fam on their yearly beach vacation. Everyone is asking Where is your mother? Gearing up for her trip to Hungary to build a house with Habitat for Humanity. Ohhhhh...right...they say, followed by: How old is she? They are not surprised. We miss you, Mum! So that's my report from the beach. Back tomorrow! :-) H.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Last night chiro-sister Ruthie & I went to a concert. It was a tribute band to The Cure. Called The Cured. Hahahaha They play all the songs that the real band won't play anymore! So we were ready to Death Rock out (the youngsters these day call it Goth). 2 opening bands??? Hehhhhh...finally the band came on around my bed time.

Back in the day, we used to call Robert Smith "Fat Bob" because he used to play with Souixsie & the Banshees and when Souixsie was asked about his role in the band, she said, "Fat Bob plays what he's told." Here's a shot of Fake Fat Bob:

Fake Simon did some really cool yoga-chi-kung-tai-chi. He held this pose for a v. long time:

There was no version of Lol and NO keyboards???? Here's guitar guy. Chiro-sis & I agreed he has a nice set of quads. Not something we ever would have commented on 20 years ago!

Here's what we 3 sisters looked like back in our Cure Daze:

And at the concert last night:

Did you bring protection? Ruth asked. Of course! We were not the only ones with ear plugs. Not even the real Fat Bob is worth hearing loss. The concert was a bit of a disappointment, not because of the band, but the sound. All bottomy bass & drums, with vocals & guitars v. faint. That was one of the things about seeing The Cure was that their sound is impeccible. The other thing is that Fake Fat Bob was way more engaging with the audience than Real Robert Smith. I'm used to being ignored. Hahahaha But there you have it. Now on to a fake U2 concert!

I'm on my way to the beach so will blog from there. :-) H.


Friday, August 22, 2008

What's Your Dream?

I have a friend who grew up in a musical family. Her father was a classical violinist and he wanted all his children to be musicians. They became 3 doctors, a massage therapist, and one musician (non-classical). Somewhere else, there is a family of doctors, who wish their children to become doctors, and they all become musicians. I had an accountant friend who became an accountant because his father was one. He really wanted to become a mechanic. On weekends he tinkers on cars and someday he'll retire and get to do what he really has a passion for.

What do you really, really, really want? What makes you forget time? What would you do for free just to be able to do it? DO THAT. I have a young, very gifted musician friend. She has a VOICE. She has her life ahead of her and her parents are steering her into something "practical."

I recently had a client who was in real estate but had been a musician. She has given up on a dream of creating music because she said, "I'm 50." How old will you be if you don't live your dream? How cruel would it be that we were given a desire in our hearts without pursuing it?

I've been reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. Our society has been dominated by the Practicals. They slash the art and music and physical education from our schools. Some even take away recess. They live a necessary life based on facts and figures and what can be measured. Eric Jensen once said, "How about we make what's important more measurable instead of making what's measurable, important?"

But there's a shift taking place in our culture. If it can be done faster and cheaper by a computer, you've been replaced. If it can be done faster and cheaper by outsourcing to Asia, start looking for a new career. Even lawyers and accountants are feeling the sting with programs and websites that let Do-it-Yourselfers do their own taxes, write their wills, even get a divorce. What does this leave? Things that can't be done by a computer or outsourcing. In a word: creativity. The right side of the hemisphere, the neglected step-sister, is about to get her crystal slippers. In this Age of Abundance, we are seeking not just practical and functional, we are looking for beauty, feeling, connections.

I was fortunate to have a mother who encouraged my artistic pursuits. She didn't tell me to become something practical. Perhaps because that's what she did. Back in post-war England, if you were a young woman you became a secretary, teacher or nurse. But Mum, being the creative sort, managed to make a life of adventure as a nurse. She met my father in the Yukon while working with Eskimos. She was a midwife and mother. She has never let age be an excuse. She took up karate at 45. She went to body guard school at 65. Next week she leaves for Hungary to build a house for Habitat for Humanity. Then she plans her trip to Antartica.

What do you really, really, really want? If you don't know, it's your job to find out. If you do, then do it. Create a life worth living:

Your desires. Your choice. Your life.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's Your Religion?

When you see the world in black and white, everything becomes a religion.

This phrase popped into my head as I was washing dishes one day. What happens when there is only ONE way to be, think, do? You create an inflexible list of rules and regulations, not just for yourself, but for anyone you interact with. From a family member, friend, or girl behind the counter taking your order, you have predetermined your thoughts, feelings, and how you will react.

The reaction is an automatic response with no conscious decision, it happens that fast. A reaction is judgement and you decide if you agree or disagree in a spit second. And then you decide if that person is right. Or wrong. If they are right, they fit nicely into your little model of the world, whatever it is: political, religious, economic, what you put in your mouth. If not, they are banished to the World of Doesn't Matter. You dismiss not only what they are saying, but you dismiss them as a person. Judgement dehumanizes anyone who doesn't fit into the structure you have created.

The question becomes: Where are your prejudices? What unexamined opinions do you hold as TRUTH? Whether you're a political leader or opinionated family member or an intolerant coworker, this is the stuff that creates wars. Little ones, big ones. Something to ponder the next time an automatic judgement pops up, ready to spew on someone. What's your religion?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Present Moment

Years ago, I had some neighbors who had a condo in Ocean City and they would spend weekends and a few weeks there every summer. I had been regaled with tales of how wonderful . . . the restaurants were. We have to go to such-n-such place, they have the BEST fill-in-the-blank, they would say. So one summer, we went to visit for the day. They were right on the ocean with a beautiful view overlooking the water. There was lots of chit-chat, just wait til you get to the beach. Oh, it's beautiful. Then we made it down to the beach. As we were sitting on the beach: just wait til we have lunch, we'll go to ________, they have the best crab legs/cakes/soup/whatever. What made this extra-amusing to me was that my husband HATES seafood. Loathes it. Is allergic.

We didn't stay long on the beach because we were off to lunch. At lunch, as we are eating the-best-whatever: Just wait til we have dinner. We'll go to _____, they have the best....

Well, you get the idea. The present moment was preoccupied with the future. There was no present moment. It was also infused with a sense of urgent rushing to the Next Thing. It was . . . exhausting.

Next week, I'm going to the beach. I'm taking my books, I'm taking my juicer to make frozen banana smoothies. My brother, a gourmet chef, has meals planned and organized. We are going to spend time on the beach, building sandcastles, splashing in the water, collecting treasures. The BEST!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Last night, in the middle of a deep sleeeeeep, the smoke detector beeped. It needs a new battery. Nothing worse than being awakened from a dead slumber. No batteries in the drawer, so I tried to go back to sleep, all the time wondering when it was going to beep again.

Did you ever notice that when you try, you fail? Try it. Try doing something. Try to go to a different website right now. What happened? You didn't. Try means it didn't get done. Whatever it is. As that great muppet-philosopher Yoda said, Try not. Only do. Or something like that.

Try also implies struggling. Struggling is a reaction against what is, instead of accepting the moment. Whatever it is. This too shall pass.

So I changed my strategy: I tried to stay awake.

I fell asleep trying.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day of Rest: Moon Rise

The moon rises for the past 2 nights have been gloriously spectacular. My photos have not captured their splendor. Here's the dot from last night:

I have a little Casio camera. For the most part it makes me a much better photographer than I am because I don't have to fuss with F-stops & stuff. It also has a feature where you can choose a setting (outdoor, candle light, night time, etc.) So I changed the setting:

Hmmmm . . . streaky. And I got a "J" for . . . Jesus? So then I moved the camera on purpose as I took the photo:

Kinda like a heart kite. :-) So then I changed the setting:

And that's the best I can do. If I ever get serious about photography, I'll get a real camera and go study with Holly or Nancy. For now, I like being able to slip it in my pocket and go.

I have had a rather philosophical week, and will post something about religion tomorrow. Yummy. In the meantime, these photos are a great metaphor for how we view the world. Same moon rise (stimulus), different filters (beliefs & patterns) to create a different outcome (response or reaction). Which one is "right?" All of them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I have a dear-mama-deer & her twins that I've successfully failed to photograph all summer. They are often in my yard and in the woods behind my house, but I've never gotten all of them together in a photo. Until yesterday! I walked to my postbox, and POOF! You have deer!

Friday, August 15, 2008


This hawk lives down by the river and escorts me down my road sometimes as I'm driving out. There are lots of animals that I've not managed to get photos of. Fisherman Willie has a beaver family living near his river lot. There's a mink across the river that scampers around after sundown. Singing bullfrogs and screeching owls. Last week I felt something flap in my ear. Willie said, "That was just a bat." Knowing Willie, I thought he was joking. He was not. I'm rather fond of bats. In Shamanic traditions, when you have an affinity for a certain animal, you look for the characteristics of that animal in yourself. Which means perhaps I am a bit batty. Hahaha

The next part of the post is now obsolete, since I've regained uploadability:
I may as well have written a story about the mink or the coyote or the bear because my AWESOME hawk photo is not uploading. Stoopid blogger. Or perhaps it's my ISP. Or the weather. Or the alignment of the planets. This puts a damper on my Backyard Animals theme. How can I just slap up a picture and be done with a spiffy post if the photo won't slap??? Hehhhh....I could interprelate this through the Door of Hawk: what am I not noticing? Hahahaha I will make an effort to upload it later. In the meantime, on with the day! :-) H.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

T is for Turtle

Some bloggers play the alphabet game. I thought I'd be random today. T for turtle. Oh! and T for Thursday. Turtle is also a nickname that the Tweed sisters call each other. [Who? Gene Simmons' Family Jewels. There; now you know. Guilty pleasure.] Turtles in the road has become a family joke, because I always stop to help them. Once, when I lived in WV, there was a HUGE snapping turtle on its back in the middle of the road. I pulled over and another gal pulled up behind me. We both were staring at it. HUGE! And hissing at us. It's neck was a foot long. Snapping turtles will take your arm. Luckily some guy in a pickup truck joined us. He said, "That will make some good soup." Don't eat it! we both exclaimed in a chorus of exclamation. He laughed and then picked up the turtle by its tail, and walked it across the road and set it down.

I ran into this little guy on my way into town. Fisherman Willie's grandson found a baby box turtle, so he put it into a little box for the day with some water and things to eat. Then Willie found a much BIGGER turtle that he put in the box. Too bad it's not on video, they would win America's Funniest Home Videos. When his granddaughter (age 6) & grandson (age 3) opened the box . . . Hahaha Happy T-day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


What the caterpillar calls death, the master calls the butterfly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I'm not particularly a fan of reptiles, but these are v. sweet. These little lizards live around my porches. They scamper away when I first open the door, but if I sit quietly, they venture back out. I have one in particular who comes and sits with me, sunning herself. I don't have a picture of it, but she closes her eyes and rests her front legs behind her. So sweet.
P.S. Grasshopper Guy suggested that I call this post Lizard Boredom. I didn't immediately get it, but then he broke it down for me: it's a play on words from Lizzie Borden. Hahaha

Monday, August 11, 2008


Last night I was sitting outside my labyrinth in between the sun set & total darkness. I was watching the deer settle into their beds in the field in front of my house. The night air was fresh (il fait tres frais!) and the crickets began their symphony. Glorious.
On Friday I was walking to my postbox and there was a dear in the field.

And then she followed me. I call her Sweetie (the generic name for all the wild life around here) altho--perhaps her name should be Dearest. Hahaha

I think this week's theme will be Animal Friends in My Backyard.