Thursday, December 30, 2010


This a.m.'s sunrise.
I've had a cascading effect from my OMG-I-hate-desks-Ah-Ha-Moment. And it's this: ACCEPTANCE. I was thinking about how much energy I freed up by just accepting myself for who I am. I stopped struggling and trying to force myself to be something I'm not. Dave Dobson used to talk about holding a beach ball under water. You can do it, but it takes a lot of energy and effort. And as soon as you get tired or change your focus, the ball pops back up to the surface. What would happen if you were to let the ball go?

For me it's translated to having more energy. I've stopped fighting myself and I've noticed that with this new-found acceptance I've also stopped judging myself. It's not right or wrong, it's the reality of the way it is. The next part was a nice surprise: I then extended this acceptance to other people. That takes another layer of tension away. There's a Sufi saying, "If everyone sweeps their own steps, the world would be clean." 
I'm just focusing on my own steps. Another byproduct is that it has freed up the shoulding brain chatter:

I should _____. 
S/he should ______.

 If I feel this good just by accepting myself for my organization style, can you imagine what it feels like for someone who has something heavier they are shoulding themselves about? Ricky Martin comes to mind. Yeah, I know--giant leap. But here's my thinking: he's accepted who he is, and he's being honest with the rest of the world. I haven't read his book, but in it, he reveals he's gay. Quelle suprise. When I heard this I was thinking, "Who didn't know?" And really, what does it matter? But it mattered to him. He has a lot more people to judge him than the average person, as well. And this brings me to my final Ah-ha about acceptance:

When you finally accept yourself for who you are, you let go of the shame. You stop trying to hide that part of yourself in the dark & you allow the light of truth to shine. This is who I am, and it's OK. It takes courage to be vulnerable, because even when you accept yourself, there will still be others who judge you. The difference is that you no longer resonate with the shame.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

M&M Monday

This week has been wonderfully ordinary. Here are a few pix of our week:

Maggie, the plop-downer.

Maggie likes to be near me, so the coffee table ends up
more in the center of the room so she can fit by me.

Most of the snow has melted. Maggie plopped down. Again.

On the back porch. "Meh. It's not that cold. We'll stay out here for a while.
And if we just HAPPEN to see the cat . . . . "

View from kitchen window, this a.m. Our snowstorm is more of a snow dusting.

La dee da.


Maggie, post-breakfast snooze. Zzzzz . . . .

Notice Millie has her bone on her pillow.  Zzzz . . . .  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

* Snow *

Before the snow completely melts, I thought I'd post a few first snow-of-the-season pix.

View out kitchen window. Chiro-sister's stained glass adds a splash of colour.
View off back porch.
View off back porch overlooking the now-empty wood shed.
I love how the landscape can go from this:

See the bears? Kidding. No bears. Maggie & Millie out for a stroll.

To this:

Front yard:
Gorgeous afternoon shot.

Morning sunrise with snow.

Gorgeous pinky-sunrise clouds.

Back to the afternoon:

It really is so beautiful here. I'm reminded of Albert Einstein's quote:

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Sunset Pix

I'm sure there's some scientific reason sunsets are awesome in the winter time with their pinky-beautiful clouds. I just know that standing out in the crisp air, I snap away and drink in the beauty of the day.

I've been thinking about how there are repetitions of patterns throughout nature. Trees & branches are one:

This looks like dendrites in the brain or it could be the circulatory system. So cool.
As Albert Einstein said, "Look deep into nature & then you will understand everything better."

This tree looks like it's doing the yoga Tree Pose.  :-)


View out kitchen window with chiro-sister's stained glass in the foreground.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Organization Ah-Ha Moment

I have a really awesome desk. It's very sturdy-retro-circa-1962-ish. It's got great file drawers and it's nice and long. I had it in my classroom when I taught first grade and it has been in subsequent offices since then. And yet. I finally realized that I never use it. I organize, I straighten, I throw stuff in the drawers. But I never sit down and work at it. OMG: I hate desks. When I really want to work, I sit on the living room floor and spread things out in front of me. Or I get cozy on the sofa. And spread. I'm a spreader.

But I have persevered and tried to get more organized. I've read books by organizers. I've feng shuied, and eventually, no matter what I do, it ends up deteriorating into feng sh*t. I admire those gals with their label makers who have a place for everything and better, can find it when they need it. I'm an intelligent person, this shouldn't be so difficult. I should be more: efficient, organized. I should be less: cluttered, spread out.

*sigh*  I've been shoulding on myself about this for over 3 decades. And I'm done. "More organized" according to whom? I need to find and create a system that works for me. It doesn't have to meet anyone else's approval.

This point was driven home when I was talking to John Morgan and I was saying that I shouldn't be such a spreader; that I needed to contain my work and be more organized. He said, "Why are you trying to be what you're not?" And then he told me about a photo he saw of some CNN journalist who was in her office working; sitting on the floor with stacks of files all around her. A friend! Success does not equal non-spreading!

I have been fighting with myself all these years, trying-aspiring to be different than I am. And I've had well-meaning people say, "It's easy. You just do bleh bleh bleh . . . ."  It's easy because it's easy to them. You know what's easy for me? Whipping up a painting or a poem or making birthday newsletters for my nieces & nephews or putting together a calendar. I created 7 different calendars this year as Christmas gifts. That's easy. One person's easy is another person's never.

So it comes to this: I'm giving the desk to someone who likes desks. You're welcome, Mum. For me, this is my new work space:

Complete with my dogs. That's Millie.

I moved my large wicker sofa into the living room and shifted the leather sofa to where the desk was. The leather sofa is very cool with the whole retro-vibe of the room. Except. It's not all that comfy and it's cold in the winter and slippery and I can't take a nap on it. It's only still here because it's too heavy to move out.

Here's the view from where I sit:

This is my new desk; wicker coffee table where I can s-p-r-e-a-d.  See the cool carved wood basket? It holds my office supplies; sticky notes, white out, tape, etc.
The drawers hold all my different coloured pens and pencils. Who has that many coloured pens? Apparently me. Another ah-ha: I have to see it. Whenever I put things away, I never remember where they are. Those people with the label makers? Auditory. And that's so not me. I need to see. And you know what else? "Organized" does not mean "neat." You can stack things into piles and everything appears neat and tidy. It's not the same. Organization is about knowing what you have, and being able to have quick & easy access to it.

This is what I came up with as I was redesigning my work space:

1. Define the purpose of the space. What tasks are you doing in this space? More than one thing?  I work but it's also where I have my morning tea and write.
2. Tools needed.  I need phone, laptop (on the sofa with me), phone log (on clip board), calendar for scheduling seminars, regular pens & pencils, coloured pens, and a map.
3. Usability of space.  How do I create a flow?  Do I have easy access to everything so I'm not spending time looking for things. Everything is now within reach. And easy to move out of the way when I don't need it (like on the weekends).

I can apply this to any room, any space in my house. What is the function? Create the form of it because form follows function, and function dictates form. Above all, I want it to be comfortable, pleasant, and supportive to whatever activities I'm doing. That's my kind of organization.

Monday, December 20, 2010

M&M Monday

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

Mum's Xmas tree assembled before disassembling to move the family Xmas party to her house, due to snow.

See? Here's the snow:


Maggie loves to dive right in for some snow yumminess.

Maggie leads the way back up the ramp. By herself, no vertigo-wobbliness. :-)

*sniff* The girls investigate the cat house before heading in.  *sniff*

I have a Santa hat, so I was playing around with Maggie & managed to get a shot. Not that she looks terribly happy about wearing it!

Merry Christmas!

So then I tried with Millie. The photos ended up being a blur of red as she shook the hat off her head. But I finally managed a couple pix:

Zzzzzz . . . .

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

We all make mistakes in life, 
many about which 
we hold regret. 
The one thing we don’t do 
becomes our undoing 
for however many days 
we have left.~John Morgan

Monday, December 13, 2010

M&M Monday

It has been dreary. The trees are bare & it has been cold & wet. Good tea 'n' book weather. I'm missing summer . . .

View from the labyrinth. That's Millie.

Ever vigilant.

I think I'm going to make this a greeting card.
I'll end with Maggie:
She's getting better and better. Her head tilt is almost gone and she's walking much better. Early Sunday morning she woke me up at 3:30 wanting to go out. Hehhhhh . . . it's cold & raining. So I let the girls out and first they have to visit with the cat, who has settled in to one of Barkley & Remi's old crates on the back porch. Then they go down the ramp. And I'm waiting . . . and waiting . . . and I shine the flashlight down to look for them and Maggie is happily plopped down in the mud, eating it. "This in NOT some big pow-wow! Get back up here!" So they both amble back up the ramp. Silly girls. Even as I'm feeling inconvenienced, I'm thinking that it's nice to be annoyed for something normal and not be worried about Maggie being able to walk.

Monday, December 6, 2010

M&M Monday

I created an M&M calendar with some of my favourite quotes about dogs & animals.

Here are a few months:

One of my favourite images; the girls hanging out with fresh laundry on the line.