Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yesterday was laundry day. I take my clothes down to the river and pound them on the rocks. Kidding. But I do base laundry day on the weather; sunny & breezy are the best when you hang your laundry out on a clothes line. The BEST, Jerry! I do have the modern appliances, but there's nothing like fresh sheets & stiff, scratchy towels right off the line. *sigh* I don't have too many more days before it gets too cold & I have to use my dryer again. Back to yesterday~ I looked over and saw this:

I ran in to the house to get my camera, and she waited for me. She's about 5 feet-ish & judging by the lumpiness in the middle, it looks like she'd just had lunch. I'm glad to know that I have black snakes around because they keep away the copperheads & rattle snakes. Then as I was walking back to the house with laundry basket in tow, I saw this:

You may be asking yourself, "Self, what am I looking at?" [Or if you're a Grammarian, "Forsooth, at what am I looking?"] A 4-leaf clover, see? So. Yay, me. I'm not picking them anymore, just taking their pictures.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Best Friend's Girl

This is a silly, vulgar, delicious movie, starring Kate Hudson, Jason Biggs, & Dane Cook. How do you get back the girl who dumped you? Give her some perspective with a truly horrible date from Tank, played by Dane Cook. There are lots of funny moments, like when Tank takes a v. religious gal to a pizza place called Cheesus Crust. In the restaurant, there's a variation on da Vinci's Last Supper painting with Jesus holding out 2 pizzas. I think my favourite scene is when Kate Hudson's roommate tells her: You have to listen to that small, inner voice inside you. Lest you think she's going all woo-woo spiritual, she clarifies: It's the voice of your clamburger.

Throughout the movie, The Cars are in the background; Here she comes again.... I'm a sucker for that song because back in my Mary Wash. daze, I used to play keyboards in Attitude Exchange, a new wavy-ish band. And this was one of the songs that we did. So it was a fun movie to watch, definitely worth a rainy afternoon matinee. :-) H.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day of Rest: Down by the River

Hi Sweetie

We've had quite a bit of rain which means that my internet service is inconsistent. Yesterday, I couldn't get anything posted. Today: so far, so good! This is a shot down by the river. I was on the way to the postbox and here she comes....so sweet. Back tomorrow with a movie review of My Best Friend's Girl.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yummy Pumpkins

Today's post was inspired by Duchess Dreams. She has a pumpkin cookie recipe on her blog. Last year, my friend Bess told me she had tried a pumpkin recipe and in the end, it just ended up tasting like sweet potato. I love sweet potatoes, so I thought I'd give it a go. Thus began my love affair with pumpkins. They are so versatile--they can go savory or sweet.

Here's what I do:
Cut the pumpkin in chunks and put on a cookie sheet. Cover with aluminum foil to keep it consistent. Bake at 350 for an hour or so.

You can eat it like you'd eat acorn squash: mashed with butter & a dash of salt.
I scoop out the flesh and put it in a big bowl & use a hand blender to smooth it out.
  • Add it to pancakes or muffins
  • For kids, you can use it in macaroni & cheese for added nutrition & fiber. They'll never know.
  • Pumpkin soup--lots of varieties: savory with basil, garlic, etc. Cream of pumpkin soup. You can also make it as a soup base to make veggie soup, chicken soup, etc. My favourite pumpkin soup is adding curry for a spicy Indian theme.
  • You can also go sweet: cinnamon, honey, butter
  • Serve it chilled, like a custard
Pumpkins are an easy & nutritious addition to your repertoire!
At the pumpkin patch (also with a corn maze!) they had these goats. How cool that they have a house they can climb on.
King of the Castle.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And can I just say?

You may have noticed that I didn't post yesterday. I was on the road back home from my quickie-visit to Brother D's. Here's the b-day card I gave him:

This was actually a card I got by mistake. It must have belonged to the person ahead of me in line, and the cashier gave it to me instead. In any case, it did not go to waste! It got the laugh I was looking for. On the inside I thanked him for letting me & SIL celebrate his b-day with Kathy Griffin.

This is the wrapping for his gift. Hot Wheels paper! I orginally got this from XM Radio Guy & we've passed it back 'n' forth a coupla times. Brother D said, "Oooooh...Hot Wheels!" And the gift inside:

Original 1992 Simpson Halloween masks with all your favourite characters! And now for something completely different:

Can I just say...OMG, she is hysterical! She starts off with Where are my gays? As you know from the previous post, Brother D sent me & SIL with his friend Gay Dan--who was so much fun! [Side note here: I was driving SIL & Gay Dan to their cars after the show & SIL was giving me directions. She said, "Go straight at this light." Gay Dan said, "Never!" He said it right before I was going to say, "Except for Dan." Hahahahaha] OK, so back to Kathy: it started with clips from movies, shows, specials, interviews, etc. She was in Pulp Fiction? Really? And then she came out waving both hands to great applause.

Watching her is like having a conversation with her. Did you see [fill-in-the-blank TV show]? And then she gives her quirky, irreverant observations. She talks about her box-of-wine mother, her experiences at the Emmy's, encounters with celebrities, opinions on current events. It was all v. entertaining. So here's the thing--and an unexpected gift of insight from a night with Kathy. She would do a quickie imitation of Sarah Palin (spot on!), and then she'd say, "I've got lots on Sarah later. Don't worry, I'll get to her." She said that a coupla times. She told this hysterical story of sharing a dressing room with Pamela Anderson and then: that was the end of the show. And SIL said in the car, "She never got to Sarah Palin." And here's the thing: she didn't talk about a lot of things, but she didn't put those things on our radar. She didn't give us the idea that she'd be talking about Celine Dion or American Idol. And then not do it. So even tho it was an AWESOME performance, it felt like there was something missing. If she'd never said more on Sarah Palin later, we'd not have been waiting for it. Something to think about when we make promises or suggestions....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

OK, So here's the deal:

That's how Kathy Griffin starts: OK, so here's the deal:

SIL & I discovered that we share a guilty pleasure: My Life on the D-List. So Brother D scored us tickets to go see Kathy tonight! YAY, us! And he's sending us with his friend who happens to be gay. How perfect is that? We have our own gay to take to Kathy's show!

BTW, it's Brother D's birthday today. I asked him what he wanted and he said, "You know what I'd really like? I'd like to stay home and babysit the kids while my wife & friend go out with my sister." Hahahaha


Monday, September 22, 2008


Yesterday I attended the quarterly Spirit School gathering. Christen McCormack, the founder, has been a friend & mentor to me for 20 years. She was one of my original Reiki Masters, and much of the healing work that I do has come from her wise teachings. Also at the gathering was another friend/mentor, Susan Wiesniewski. Yesterday's theme was Vitality:

What gives you energy? What depletes you? What is life-enhancing to one person can be depleting to another. It all depends. It's about tuning in to yourself and paying attention. So this is the exercise we did:

  • On one side of the paper, list all the things that enhance your vitality: situations, activities, people. (e.g. laughter, great conversations, learning new things, naps)
  • On the other side, list all the things that deplete you.
  • Put a star beside the ones you do everyday.
  • Circle the ones you'd like to add to your daily routine on the Vitality side.
  • Create an action plan. (e.g. daily exercise, listen to more music, dance)
What gives you more vitality, enthusiasm, juice in your life?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day of Rest

I post everyday
except when I don't.

I'm out the door for a day with Reiki friends. Yay! Back tomorrow. Have a BEAUTY-ful day of rest! :-) H.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Touch is the most fundamental sense. A baby experiences it all over, before he is born and long before he learns to use sight, hearing, or taste, and no human ceases to need it. Keep your children short on pocket money~but long on hugs. ~Robert A. Heinlein

I'm at Mum's & I'm off to be a Soccer Auntie. Back tomorrow . . . .

*Sorbet refers to a cleansing of the palette. I thought this quote v. refreshing!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Protect Our Children


All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

Hundreds of thousands of children are victims of sexual abuse each year. Due to the sheer lack of resources, law enforcement is unable to follow up on the majority of leads they have.The PROTECT Our Children Act will:
Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators.

This information comes from Oprah's website. She has provided all the information you need to contact your senators. I live in a county that once had the dubious honour of being known as "the incest capital of the country." If you think that most children are abused by strangers, think again. Most children are abused by someone they know: a family friend, a neighbor, an uncle, or their own fathers. Let's get this passed before they recess on Sept. 26th.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Forgetting the Bad

The above picture is a Grasshopper Note quote from John. He said it to me in a conversation. The photo is a shot of one of the hundreds of sunrises I used to watch in my old backyard. *sigh* LOVEly. So I was a bit . . . down, yesterday. Not something I usually admit to, but there it is. Too many notes. So here's the good: the gratitude I feel for friends & fam. THANK YOU for your kind words. Doug is on the road this week for us and called yesterday to get a head count for our seminars last night. He went all Ericksonian on me. It was v. cute. And John, my boss, my friend, manages to say the right thing at the right time. THANK YOU. I really am so blessed.
It is hard to feel anything else when you feel grateful.
P.S. I received a comment from a fellow percussor enthusiast for my Percussor 101 blogpost. A friend! Carol Porter lives in Hawaii & wrote a great Sept. 17th post on her own percussor experiences. (I tried to click on the actual post to create a link, but it didn't work, so that's why I'm giving the date for it). Hi Carol! :-) H.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


My heart is heavy. The content doesn't really matter, it is more of a wishing things to be other than they are. John says in today's BRILLIANT blog post:

Accept natural endings and you’ll never endure the pain of staying at the party too long.

What good does it do to complain about the leaves changing? Time to focus on the BEAUTY of Autumn. Time to focus on gratitude. Time to look beyond myself.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Procrastination is not laziness, it is an active process of delaying things until we "feel better" about them. It's a kind of perfectionism in the sense that we think everything has to be "just right," when in reality, there's no time like the present and we feel better when we have gotten something done. ~Lissa Coffey
I read this quote from a newsletter this a.m. and thought it was appropriate. Pictured above is the final product of Margot Potter's Kewpie Doll Challenge. She sent me the 2-inch doll in June where it sat and eventually got covered up with other thingies. So I finally excavated it. Initially I had thought I would do a miniature Seth Godin in a purple suit, since he has a bit on kewpie dolls. Then I thought, No! Robert Smith! A tiny version of Fat Bob! But whenever I would think about it, I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to get the hair right. So it stayed in my head, picture perfect. And incomplete.
Michaelangelo used to say that he was just chipping away the pieces that didn't belong to his statues. They were there already, waiting to be revealed. OMG! Am I really comparing my artistic process to Michaelangelo? Hahahaha Yes.
So I held the doll and looked at it and . . . daydreamed the possibilities of this sweet, cherubic-faced . . . reminds me of the baby Krishna pictures . . . and then I thought, Ooooh . . . Baby Ganesh. I fashioned the extra appendages with Sculpey, oven bake clay. I did make 2 extra arms, but I couldn't get them to fit. Did I mention he's only 2 inches???? I baked & then painted.
Back to procrastination: This is where I make a joke about buying a book on procrastination but never taking time to read it. Hahahaha Except that I did. And it was v. helpful. The key is just to start moving, because that helps build momentum. It's a physics principle: Things in motion tend to stay in motion. So the next thing is to finish my new CD--2 months after recording. Because, you know. *sigh* It's not perfect.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On my walk...

Here's another dear deer on the way to my postbox. She's not shy!

I have a knack for finding 4-leaf clovers. Last year, I found 11 in a row within 2 minutes. And this year? What is wrong? I haven't found a 4-leaf clover all summer! John said that's like someone complaining they haven't gotten a hole-in-one in the last 6 months. Hali, some people never find a 4-leaf clover. Oh . . . right. . . .do you have a talent or skill that comes so easily that you think it's common? Doesn't everyone get a hole-in-one? Then on Saturday on my walk, I looked down, and there was a 4-leaf clover. So I've decided I'm not going to pick them anymore. I'll just take a picture. So here you go. A little luck for the day!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day of Rest: Grasshopper on Goldenrod

Saw this little guy sitting on goldenrod yesterday. In shamanic traditions, the grasshopper represents leaping forward, and following your inner voice. The main qualities associated with this goldenrod are: KNOW THYSELF & staying connected to a sense of higher purpose. A good reminder for us all.
Of course I don't see grasshoppers without thinking of John Morgan, author of Grasshopper Notes. My favourite quotes this week:
"Debating is a strategy taught to win a war; communication is a framework to find peace."
"There is always a benefit to watering down your thoughts and one of the best ways to do it is to give undiluted attention."

Saturday, September 13, 2008


God plants the seeds of desire in our hearts. Manifesting those desires is our gift back to God. There is a saying that God doesn't have hands so He uses ours. What are your hands doing?
I have had a year of self-reflection, asking myself all sorts of questions. I'm in the middle part of my life, and I'm wanting to be conscious about how I live the rest of it. Part of it is taking inventory: What have I lived with that I want to let go of now? This can be anything from unexamined beliefs or behavioural patterns, to the mundane of a bookcase of books that I've not opened in 10+ years. What are you holding onto that needs to go? A clasped hand holding onto something, can't possibly be open to receive anything new. A house full of clutter with every square space filled, can't possibly welcome anything else. There needs to be
It is like a tree that needs to be pruned; getting rid of the dead branches, trimming back the ones that have gone wild. It may feel like loss, but it is actually a letting go of what prevents the bearing of greater fruits.
Which brings me back to gifts. It takes energy to maintain all this STUFF. How much energy does that leave for sharing your gifts with the world? XM Radio Guy likes to say, "If I've learned nothing else, E-bay has taught me that nothing is irreplaceable." What are the THINGS that hurricane evacuees leave their homes with? Start there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Friday

I'm listening to New 92, a country station in Columbia, SC. John had an interview with Tyler & Turner, (the marshmallows in your hot chocolate of life) this a.m. He was el-O-quent, as usual.
I was going to send a link of Andrew Johnston's audition for Britain's Got Talent to Mum. But then I'll get the "it didn't work" email back. So I'm going to post it here:

Happy Friday. :-) H.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


, The above quote is lifted from a more personal vs. global ideal. However, the microcosm reflects the macrocosm. We war with ourselves and each other in our families or we take it into the global village. It seems the world is getting smaller and smaller as travel gets faster and the internet is everywhere. We are so connected--except we are not. Not where it really matters. I was thinking about this yesterday when I was on the phone AGAIN with my internet people because I couldn't get online. I was getting a bit impatient and then I took a breath. I stopped thinking about myself & I thought about this kid on the other end of the phone: doing his job, trying to help me. He has a family. He has people he loves and who love him. In short, he's a fellow human being doing his best, as I believe most of us are.

I would hazard a guess that there will be lots of articles and specials on TV marking today's anniversary. There is no easy answer, but I do know this: when we feel peace within, we carry it into the world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hungary Mum

If you look closely, Mum's co-workers wrote on her hard hat "Queen Anne."

The famous ditch-digging.

Housing for 3 families, Szarvas, Hungary.

A crew of 17 people from around the globe gather for 10 days to work on a new home. The house was a bunch of sticks-out of-the-ground when they started, according to Mum. I LOVE hearing Mum's stories when she gets back from a trip. [Favourite line from her Tasmania trip when her friend was fearfully backseat driving: Oh shut up, Judy and hold onto the Jesus handle!] The one that made me LAUGH was when Mum says, v. innocently, "Well, I volunteered to work on the roof, but I didn't get to." Faithful readers of this blog will recall her Roof Adventures.

She didn't protest too much because it was so HOT. Mum is not a hot-weather gal, but she is also v. English with a stiff-upper-lip. No that's all right, I'll be fine. Just let me WILT over here a bit....Instead she dug ditches. With a pick ax. And mixed cement: 37 shovels of sand to 1 bag of concrete. Pour into ditch.

At the end of the day, they went around and gave a highlight of the day. One day she said, "I was screwing all day." Hahahaha That's her blonde moment for the day. Someone told her that they had come up with the Anne Holliday Effect. Essentially it means to work harder, get more energy, laugh. She was the eldest, & there were a coupla college gals. Mum remarked that they both had sunglasses that cost $350. $350 for sunglasses? Can you imagine? I told C. that for $350, I would expect the lense not to pop out. Hahahaha That's Mum.

We laughed so hard in the car on the way back and it was prompted by a retelling of her airplane ride. They had individual TV's so she was watching Frazier. She was laughing so hard (and you have to hear her laugh to really appreciate it, but it's v. infectious) that the woman next to her asked what she was watching. So then they were BOTH laughing. Loud. It's one of the things I appreciate about Mum: her cheerfulness, her optimism, her get-it-done attitude. WELCOME HOME, Mum! LOVE, :-) BNO.

P.S. If you want to travel to exotic places and build stuff, check out Habitat's Global Village program.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Flowers for Mum

A few months ago, Mum & I were having tea, and she said, "I'm brushing up on my Hungarian." I thought it was like the time that she randomly decided to study Chinese. Didn't I tell you? she asks. No. She told my sister several times. Wow, Mum's really excited about her trip to Hungary.
Trip? Hungary? What?
Oh, I'm sure I must have told you. I'm going to build a house for Habitat for Humanity.
Of course you are. You're my mother! Today I'm picking her up at the airport & will hear all about her adventures. I do have the scoop on her next trip, however. Antartica. That's right. Because she's my mother.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Inspiring Blog Award

What a wonderful surprise! Yesterday Nature Gal, who's photography is stunning, stopped by yesterday's blog & left me with this:

How cool is that? It was created by another blogger, Ida, also a fabulous photographer, with the suggestion to pass it on. I am going to have to figure out how to translate Norwegian so that I can effectively communicate to these 2 gals! So I'm passing it on to the blogs that I visit regularly:

Holly Brimhall: Mother, wife, sister, daughter, & photographer. She captures all the sweetness & optimism of the human spirit in her pictures. She has handled a difficult year with such GRACE--truly an inspiration.
Margot Potter: Bead Queen & so much more, for your daily dose of creative genius, inspiration, & "Super Girly Goodness." Margot ROCKS! And I discovered her through . . .
The Crafty Chica: Kathy brings her glittery sparkle to everything she does--and she does it all! She inspired me to build my first website. She prolly doesn't know that, but she is a champion for the DIYer.
B. Bliss: I adore this gal. Great photos & quotes, I love seeing the world through her eyes.
Lastly, to John Morgan. I know this award is a bit . . . er . . . floral, but you can get in touch with your feminine side. His Monday morning Grasshopper Notes ROCK & I read his blog every day, religiously. He really is a daily dose of *inspiration*

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day of Rest

Bamboo Forest at Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. in VA Beach

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday. Was having internet issues & couldn't log on. Back tomorrow. In the meantime, here's part of a letter from my mother in Hungary. She's been building a house for Habitat for Humanity.
Hi ,Today was our last workday and afterwards we celebrated with the families for whom we are building .They made authentic Hungarian food .Fish soup was the first course which was quite delicious but HOT and full of fish bones.Three hours later and my lips are still on fire.
I'll be picking up Hot Lips from the airport this week.
P.S. I added a section on the side bar: Just for Laughs. In case you needed a few giggles.

Friday, September 5, 2008

So cute! Otter from VA Beach Aquarium

...if momentum or laziness or lack of will (or focus) is the thing holding you back, it's time to get serious. When you remove the one big thing from people's list of objections, your career and organization will take off….It just takes commitment ,
not a miracle.
~Seth Godin, from today's blog post

Thursday, September 4, 2008

2 Quotes & a Sunrise

This morning's sunrise off my front porch.

"Your fear of risk
only protects
the mundane existence
you seek to escape from."

When I let go
of what I am
I become
what I might be.
~Lao Tzu

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If You Need a Good Laugh . . .

This is Brother D's youngest, Marlene. She is so smart and funny and sweet. Marlene! What are you doing? is a familiar refrain. I'll get it on video yet, my brother calls it her Guilty Dance; I wasn't doing anything wrong. See? I'm just dancing.

My favourite on here is her second pass down when she yells, "Awesome!!!" My brother makes a brief appearance to investigate. That can't be good for you sweetie, he says. Later that day we went shopping and I took footage of him riding the shopping cart in the parking lot. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. :-)