Friday, March 30, 2007



Just learned today is a day bloggers are being asked to take a stand against cyber bullying. I don't take stands against things, but for things, so this is a stand for saving the cyber world - keeping it a safe place to express one's opinions.

My friend Holly says it best, click over to her blog. I couldn't agree with her MORE!

Monday, March 26, 2007


1) Chris Brown - DARLING! Yes! I COULD be his mother! What's your point?

2) The whole shopaholic series! Read them ALL! OWN them all!

3) I do love me a Corona with lime!

4) Nothin' goes better with a Corona!

5) 1-Click! It should come with an automatic 12-Step program!

6) Can't make a move without checking out!

7) Nothing goes better with a Corona and nachos than a little sudoku!

8) Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2. This is such a "duh" I'm embarrassed to even mention it!

9) BTS!

10) Love everything about this show! Can't wait for Season III to come out on DVD so I can own that too! GOOD TV!

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Working with trauma survivors, many survivors of sexual trauma, I have thought at length over whether trauma "happens to you." I say it happens. I say it doesn't happen to "you." Yes, "you" are in the body that is traumatized, but "you" are outside that body, too. "You," to me, is your soul. I don't believe we are bodies with a soul. I believe we are souls with a body. Therefore, when something bad "happens to you," it doesn't have to happen to you.

It may just be a matter of semantics. It may be a difference of attitude. It may be a difference of having a victim mentality over a survivor mentality. It doesn't really matter what the difference is, to me, as long as there is a difference.

Why would someone with 100 balls in the air choose to keep tossing this one into the mix? I do love me a challenge!

I think how we perceive a situation is as critical to our handling of the situation as anything. Believing is seeing. What we water, grows. Period. If we tend to the garden of our thoughts with gratitude and love, we grow more thoughts of gratitude and love. If we tend to the garden of our thoughts with resentment and unfairness, we grow, WEEDS. The prickly kind. The thorny kind. The kind that makes others run in the opposite direction when they see us coming, to which we say, "See! Nobody loves me! My life is so unfair!"

Perhaps I am way over-simplifying this. Perhaps not. You decide.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I have JUST discovered the wonders of The Indigo Girls. I know, I know, where have I been, right? Well, I'll tell you where I've been, BUSY, that's where I've been! I've been busy in Busyville. Busy as a little busy bee. Anyhoo, I'm coming back from Busyville to the Land of the Living. We parents of children with special needs tend to stay in Busyville for a ridiculous amount of time. You can't believe what's involved in raising these kids. You're lucky to get out alive.

So, as I was saying, I've just discovered The Indigo Girls, and as I am prone to do, I'm listening to them non-stop. I'm all over the song, "Least Complicated." "The hardest to learn was the least complicated," the song says. Amen to that.

These special children can make the simple complicated, and the complicated simple. You find yourself raising one of these kids and you are challenged in all ways imaginable. Everything you thought was important, you're forced to reconsider. Everything you thought you wanted out of life - questioned. Everything you used to hang your hat on - poof - gone. I've talked before how this is a grief process - there is so much loss.

Like with all loss, you eventually re-build. Stronger, steadier, tougher and with any luck, funnier and with far more compassion. You find new friends along the re-building process. They mirror back to you what you're projecting. You begin to know again what's important. You start to have clear ideas of what you want. Your hat finds a new place to hang.

The view from Land of the Living is a lot brighter than you might imagine. The grief process sharpens the senses. Eyes see beauty. Ears hear truth. Mouths speak kindness. Minds seek wisdom. Hearts open to love.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


"I LOVE AT 8:30 ALL SO AT 8:45"


Terry the Toeless came from Philly to Portland recently, and "met" two old friends, Jess and Holly. For months the three had been reading each others' blogs, offering support and encouragement, and getting to know each other well. Finally they met face-to-face.

Terry and I compared it to Internet dating, where a flurry of e-mails and perhaps photos are exchanged before the two daters ever meet. By the time they do, common ground has been established. Same thing here.

It's a bit surreal to first sit down with someone you've never met, yet know so well. The usual formalities go out the window. You start right with the hard core questions. After one awkward hug you're right into the business of love lives, finances, hopes, dreams, careers, the meat of every matter. Chit chat be damned!

It's a strange phenomenon, but a good one. It's all that's right with the cyber world!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Rojo is not allowed on my computer. Period. He's ruined three. Count 'em. Three.

I come in just now and damned if he hasn't sent me an e-mail, from my computer to my computer.


He's spelled tomorrow correctly. He has punctuation. He already has plans to love me tomorow. He's just gained full access to computer #4.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I've got my friend, Toeless in Philly visiting. She's blog worthy! Not only is she blog worthy, she has her own blog that is well worth checking out! Separation Anxieties


1. She's got 9 toes and asks for a 10% discount every time she gets a pedicure. EVERY time. No one has yet to find this funny.
2. She finds that hysterical
3. She can make any and all situations uproariously funny
4. She's the first one to laugh at herself
5. She's a "fun mom"
6. She and her husband of many years laugh all the time
7. She calls a spade a spade
8. She's loyal to a fault
9. She's a work in progress and she works the progress with abandon
10. Except for the toe thing, I'd love to be just like her

Friday, March 16, 2007


I'm practically published! My writing friends are getting published, and that can only mean one thing, I'm super cool because I know them!

My great soul sister both in Cyberville and otherwise, Michelle O'Neil, has a story in this new anthology. It's available now in bookstores and on-line.

It's really true, "It takes one to know one." Michelle is a mother of a child with special needs. She "gets it." For those of us lucky enough to also be such a mom, it's truly a comfort to spend time with our other warriors on the path!

To read Michelle O'Neil's fabulous blog, Full-Soul-Ahead, CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

This is the Mother Goose version we had growing up. I remember being read this poem, "Monday's Child," and being quite regretful I was a Thursday Child.

Thursdays child has far to go? Who tells a little girl, "You've got FAR to go!" Whatever!

I "stewed" (a euphemism for obsessed) for a long time over this. Obviously I DID have far to go if a little ditty had me in such a dither!

It's really true, though. I did have far to go. F'ing far. So damn far it's not even funny - but you gotta laugh anyway. I'm not "there" yet, but I can see "there" from here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I can't even believe it's been 22 years since I graduated from college. I graduated at age 22, now it's been 22 MORE years. WTF? It feels like five years, until I look at the mirror and no longer see a girl in a Lanz nightgown worn backwards, with Clearisil all over her face and sleeping on a freezing cold sleeping porch with 65 other girls.

Spent three years of college life living in a sorority. Go ahead and hate me. Go ahead and tell me what stuck-up, spoiled, empty headed sorority girls are like. Go ahead. I've got my truth, and no one can take that away from me.

For me it was heaven. A three year slumber party with no parents. No chain-smokers. No active alcoholics (identified, anyway), no un-treated bi-polar middle aged men lying around in their bathrobes all day. It was heaven. Lots of good coffee. Lots of good people. Lots of good conversations and bonding. Lots.

Back in my day, freshmen were required to live on campus, in dorms. You could join a sorority, but you couldn't move in until you were a sophomore. Sophomore year I moved in with excitement, and felt joyfully at home for the first time in 19 years.

Sophomores got all the "bad" duties. Phone duty, kitchen duty and wake-up duty. I'll save wake-up and kitchen duties for another post, because my favorite was phone duty.

65 girls and two phone lines. One central phone and three more on the other floors of the house. Period. No cell phones. There were two pay phones, though, to use for long-distance, the only way to call home.

Sophomores had to take shifts answering the central phone during peak calling hours. There was a three-ring binder used to record all the calls/messages, if the person being called wasn't around. There was no privacy. The phone log was fair game for all to read, and when you're a bored sophomore waiting for the phone to ring, you've got nothing to do but stroll through the old messages.

For efficiency, codes were created. My favorite? BCNMWCBL. Boy Called, No Message, Will Call Back Later. I think I had 1 of those in three years, maybe. We also had BCNM, GCNM, and GCNMWCBL, but who cares about unidentified girls leaving vague messages? No one!

I just realized this week that that system must have been made obsolete years ago. I'm sure every girl has her own cell phone and handles her own calls. How sad. There's nothing better than your friends waiting for you to come home so they can tell you you got your BCNMWCBL call you'd been waiting for. I'm sure there are other ways sorority life has changed in 22 ways. I hope they're not all for the "better."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Check out this great new blog by my East Coast colleague in the passion which employs us... Changing Trains

And this one, Catbird Scout

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I'm the love. girl. The period is KEY. In fact, when I ordered my love. flag, the period was so light you couldn't see it, so I grabbed the nearest Sharpie and filled that sucker in! (Now it bleeds and looks bad, but whatever, it's all about the period.)

I owe everyone an apology. My family, my friends, my neighbors, my community. I forgot about the period. I was caught by surprise and reacted instinctually. Emphasis on reacted. I've been working on doing a whole lot less reacting, and a whole lot more careful responding, but as they say, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I actually prefer the words of the Indigo Girls, "This ol' dog is no magician."

None-the-less, I resorted to anger and harsh words, both written and spoken. I am not proud. This whole human thing really bites you in the ass sometime. Forturnately I'm so out-there with my preaching of love period, that many of my "congregation" were quick to point out the error of my ways. God, how I hate to admit I'm wrong and they are right.

I feel 1% justified in that my reaction was based on someone hurting my child. 99% of me knows, however, that there is a always a choice, and I made the wrong one, the easy one.

I'm back on the love. wagon. I'm sure I'll fall off. I know you'll let me know when I do. Thanks.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Each of the 112,000 white flags represents 6 Iraqi soldiers and civilians killed in the war in Iraq.

The 3,000 red flags represent the 3,055 American soldiers killed in the war in Iraq.

Friday, March 09, 2007


My son found himself in an unfortunate situation at school this week. It's not important what happened, what is very important is what happened AFTER what happened, happened. His class rallied around him with support the likes of which I've never seen. He was inundated witih gentle touch, how are you doings, offers to come over after school, friends wanting him to walk home with them, anything to cheer him up. Parents and kids called the house for days, e-mailed like crazy, offered their total support - they'd do anything they could to help.

My kids go to a Catholic school. Each week they have a kids' Mass, each class taking turns "doing" the Mass, something they all take pride in. They hear how to be a good neighbor, how to do unto others as they would have others do unto them, how to tell the truth when a lie would be easier, how to stick by a friend, even if it made it difficult for them. They "hear" it, we know that. But this week we learned just how well they are listening.

I've never been so proud to be a member of the human race than I was this week. A group of 9-10 year olds have it all going on. They are not confused. They are not conflicted. They have heard and they have listened. They are heros.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


This one is for you, Marlies...

At Safeway with Rojo we ran into a few of his old friends. (I think I've blogged before about the period where we were at Safeway EVERY single day at 9:00 AM.) He's got a new routine now, straight from school to Safeway for two maple bars. Licks the maple off, hands me one, licks off the second, hands it to me, I consume both bottoms and feel like shit the rest of the day. We've clearly both got issues.

Checking out at the Express Line because that's where Marlies is today, not because we have fewer than 15 things. Marlies says, "I've been reading your blog. You make me think about things I don't want to think about. Keep blogging."

I'm still floating from that comment, long after the sugar crash from the maple bar bottoms.

As long as I've been standing in Marlies' line, I don't think I've ever told her THE Safeway story. It goes a little something like this...

Once upon a time a couple built a house in Portland, Oregon. They gave birth to one daughter, Hortence. She spent her whole life in that house, and as she grew older she wondered what to do with the house when she was "gone," for she had no family to leave it with.

Hortence had, for years, done all her grocery shopping at the local Safeway. She befriended someone that worked there, Hattie. Hattie advised Hortence to donate her home to the Sisters of Saint Francis in Clinton, Iowa. Hattie's blood sister was a Sister there, and she felt they did good work.

Hortence bequeathed her home to the Sisters of St. Francis with the stipulation that the home be used by the Sisters for seven years, after which time they could sell the house for a profit, and continue to do their good work with that money.

Along comes my husband to the story. He saw the house and identified it as "the" house he wished to raise his family in. He'd grown up a few miles south of the home and had long admired it as he ran down its tree-lined streets as a young athlete in training.

He found out that the Sisters owned the house, and he began to inquire. Every six months for seven years he made a gentle inquiry into buying the house, not knowing there was magic in that number, seven.

Miles from home alone on his bicycle his cell phone rang one day. The Sisters were ready to sell. All he needed to do was a fair market analysis and make a fair offer. The house was ours.

We learned that the home had been used for spiritual gatherings for seven years. Two Sisters, lived there, one full-time, Sr. Mary, and the other, Sr. Phyllis, only when she wasn't in Peru.

Concerned that we were booting out two elderly nuns, my husband deeply inquired as to their needs in their next home, and spent considerable time driving them around to look at houses, before finding the perfect one for them.

We pledged to them when we bought the house, that we would continue to do the good work they had started in the home. It would look different, but help serve the greater good of all, we promised.

Through the blessings of this house I've met the most incredible people in the world, as they have gathered here. The home has a vibe, and we are blessed to be able to share that vibe with others.

We are also blessed by the wonderful people that have worked at Safeway before our time, and work there now. There are no accidents. There are no coincidences. There are only blessings - some disguised - but blessings none-the-less.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am a total beginner to astrology, but I've learned one thing, don't *&%$ with Mercury! When it goes retrograde, hold on to your hat! Expect the unexpected! It's like the whole planet has a bad case of PMS. I'm counting the minutes until 3/9/07, when Mercury is OUT of retrograde, and we all fall back into some sort of astrological alignment.

I "lifted" the information below (but I totally cited the source, so there's no problem really...) it'll help you understand that wacky planet and why we're all feeling out of whack ourselves!

February 14 - March 8, 2007

Here we go again... Mercury goes retrograde once again. It happens 3 times a year and it lasts for about 3 weeks. This time is from February 14 to March 8, 2007. Next, from June 13 to July 10, 2007.

This is an important period, and we should be aware of the effects associated with this astrological influence. Since it is so often, we must learn what it means and how to take advantage of it.

Astronomical background

There is no real backwards movement of Mercury; it's just that we see it this way from Earth, because of the combined movement of the Earth and Mercury around the Sun. However, astrologically this is very relevant.

General influence of Mercury retrograde

Mercury rules over the mind's processes, studying, communication, businesses, travels and the like. When Mercury reverses its direction, all these areas are affected as well.

The mind turns naturally inwards and people tend to analyze more the own thoughts and follow the common thinking patterns, rather then be curious and eager of new intellectual experiences or challenges. This helps the meditation or the thorough lonely long-term study of a specific matter, but it affects the study of new subjects, the communication with the others, the attention oriented outwards.

Businesses, travels and communications tend to experience delays and different problems. Computers and other processes that work with information may experience crashes, unexpected failures.

Don't enroll to courses, don't buy expensive Mercurian items (books, cars, mobile phones etc.), don't sign important contracts and do not marry.

What is this Mercury retrograde period good for?

It is definitely a very good period for some actions. No time is completely bad for anything, there is a reason in everything happens.

The key is the reversed direction of movement: take any known Mercurian action, reverse its flow, consider the keywords "re-doing something", "double-checking", "finish the old projects" and there you are, you've found the good side of Mercury retrograde.

For instance, you may want to read again a book you particularly liked, a subject you studied before, meet and discuss with old friends you haven't met for a long time, travel to places you've already been to before.

This is an excellent time to work on old projects that never got to be finished. So, think about the things you started and never finalized.

Next, you might wish to prevent any bad things to happen to you: so double-check your agenda, call your business partners to confirm that everything goes as planned, have everything ready before the deadline and leave some extra time for unexpected events. Make copies of your important files and documents, save your work more often.

The other solution is to go on vacation or at least slow down the pace of your projects. You will find that going slowly during the Mercury retrograde period will spare you many efforts of redoing the same action that wasn't performed right the first time.

Above all, be generous and compassionate: you are already aware about the influence of this period, but the others aren't aware of it or there may be uncontrollable events. That's why you should have more diligence with the others and give them some more time. It'll be your mental health that you'll be sparing actually.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I was raised to believe if I was good, I'd go to heaven. In heaven I'd be reunited with all my loved ones that have gone before me. There are a couple of loved ones I'd like to see again, a dog or two, one cat, but for the most part, that's just not enough of an incentive for me.

I could never justify the idea of how we'd recognize our loved ones in heaven. What if they died when they were a baby, will they still look like a baby? Will it be there "essence" we recognize? Will it be their soul?

For months I'd been hearing about a woman I needed to meet. We had so much in common our mutual friend believed. We'd exchanged a few e-mails, but no pictures. We lived 1,000 miles apart. Long story short, she arrived at my door one day, and I "knew" her instantly. I've never had quite that feeling before. There have been people I've "clicked" with instantly. People that after knowing only a short time it felt like we'd been friends forever, but this was different. I felt like I was at last being reunited with a loved one. Heaven.

"How've you been since the last lifetime?" I immediately wanted to ask, but refrained. It was like that. There was such instant recognition. Such instant familiarity. It would have freaked me out if it wasn't so wonderful.

I've long believed heaven is within - same with hell. Look around, there are plenty of people living their hell right here, right now. There are also people that are living a life of peace, joy, even bliss. Heaven.

The pieces are starting to fall into place. I'm liking the shape they are taking - the shape of heaven.

"Sisters" by Ali Golkar


A theme in my life I'm realizing.

I have no blood sisters, but I'm rich in sisters of the heart.

My mom has a sister, my aunt, a second mother to me.

That aunt has three daughters, sisters, my "as good as" sisters.

We have a home we can use in the tiny town of Sisters. My retreat house. My writing space. My place of rest.

I've always been drawn to friends from big families, especially families with lots of sisters.

I have two sisters-in-law that I love like sisters.

I joined a sorority in college for the sisterhood. I loved living with 60 other girls. Loved it. Loved the closeness, intimacy, growing up together atmosphere.

I swore if I ever had a daughter I'd give her a sister. Didn't work out that way, hope she finds the kind of pseudo-sisters I've always been able to find.

The only friendships I'm interested in having these days, are the sister-like ones. The I don't care what I look or smell like around you kind. The stay up all night talking kind, the call at 2:00 in the morning when there's a problem kind. The go to the doctor with you for the scary appointment kind. The lingerie and high heel shopping kind. The let's talk about sex kind. The let's talk about depression kind. The let's not talk at all but don't move an inch kind. The I love you every day, all day long, my whole life kind. The love period kind.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Growing up this book sat on our shelves from the time of its release in 1973, until, well, I'm sure it's still around somewhere. I didn't know what transactional analysis was, but I loved that title. I kept that title as a mantra to bring comfort and reassurance to myself for years.

I'm still struggling with old relationships that are conditional, where my being "OK" means they can't be for some twisted and dysfunctional reason.

I'm digging through old books in my baseement, Healing the Shame that Binds You, Co-Dependent No More, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Pulling Your Own Strings,boxes and boxes of self-help books. I've mired myself in self-help. I'm self-helped out. Done. There can't possibly be a book out there that is going to tell me what I don't already know. I think staying locked in the reading phase has kept me from the doing phase.

Today I graduate myself. I give myself an honorary degree in self-mastery. Of course I am not fully self-mastered, but I'm taking the degree anyway. Staying in the program has out served its purpose.

I am OK.

If you're not OK? That's really not my problem anymore.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Said while eating famed sourdough toast, kicking wildly on the stool and crackling a water bottle,

"Mom, you know what the good thing about you is?"

"Tell me."

"You put me to prayer and live in my heart."

Don't know where he gets this stuff, but it just bought him a couple more years...

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Do yourself a favor, be the first one of your friends to read this book and tell everyone else about it. This book is going Glass Castle big, you heard it here first.

In this FUNNY book about a childhood that is not funny at all, you'll fall in love with Monica. She'll be on "Oprah" soon, I'm sure, and is already scheduled to be on the Diane Reams Show next week on NPR. Monica has a background in theatre and it shows. She can deliver a line on the page, as well as on a stage. The woman is Lucille Ball funny to watch, Ellen DeGeneres funny to listen to, and David Sedaris funny to read.

This book cracks open the horrors of incest, while remaining readable throughout, beyond readable, damn right enjoyable.

Jump over to right now and pre-order it. It will be in bookstores everywhere, Target too, on Tuesday, March 6th.

Monica is the real deal. A real writer, a real survivor, a real hoot, and a real blessing to all.

I'm just beginning to come out of my post-workshop fog. It's a good fog. A happy fog. A fog of deep satisfaction, but nonetheless, a fog. Don't know my name exhaustion. Emotions running the gamut from happier than I've ever been, to recovery of repressed experiences I'm none too happy to have unburied.

Whatever it is you don't want to write about, whatever it is your heart says, "No, anything but that," write it. Let the rubble fall. You'll never truly heal until you get to the bottom of your source of pain. Damn.

Easy words for me to spout to others, so f'ing hard for me to do myself.

"But I am not a sexual trauma survivor," has been my pat phrase. I've got all of the empathy and none of the personal and profound experience. Perfect! Best of both worlds!

Sharing a story in a hot tub of safety a story transfolds. One I've never even told myself, let alone another. Never let myself categorize it as "story-worthy,", had it in the "don't touch this memory with a ten foot pole" spot in my long-term memory.

The f'ing story falls from my lips, into the warm salty water, tears we are soaking in. Tears of each others', tears not shed from our own eyes.

The dot-to-dot of my life finally connects.

F'ing dot-to-dot.

We all send a favorite song of ours to Jess. Music girl, Jess will put a CD together for us, one to take from the workshop and listen to long after our voices are gone.

"Write a blog on why you chose the song you chose," one suggests.

I chose KT Tunstall's, "Heal Over."

I was supposed to be giving encouragement to OTHER women, women with trauma. Women with the worst experiences a woman can ever experience. OTHER women. Not me. I'm the cheerleader! WTF, I'm in the game too? Way more than I bargained from.

Teachers teach what they most need to learn.

I have believed this about other teachers, but not me, I'm a self-realized woman.

F'ing hit between the eyes with the indisputable truth.

Never the same. Never better. Ready to heal over.

(NOTE: While traumatic, I was not raped or attacked. It was not on-going. Don't mean to alarm anyone.)


It Isn't Very Difficult To See Why
You Are The Way You Are
Doesn't Take A Genius To Realise
That Sometimes Life Is Hard
It's Gonna Take Time
But You'll Just Have To Wait
You're Gonna Be Fine
But In The Meantime

Come Over Here Lady
Let Me Wipe Your Tears Away
Come A Little Nearer Baby
Coz You'll Heal Over
Heal Over
Heal Over Someday

And I Don't Wanna Hear You Tell Yourself
That These Feelings Are In The Past
You Know It Doesn't Mean They're Off The Shelf
Because Pain's Built To Last
Everybody Sails Alone
But We Can Travel Side By Side
Even If You Fail
You Know That No One Really Minds
Come Over Here Lady

Don't Hold On But Don't Let Go
I Know It's So Hard
You've Got To Try To Trust Yourself
I Know It's So Hard, So Hard

Come Over Here Lady
Let Me Wipe Your Tears Away
Come A Little Nearer Baby
Coz You'll Heal Over, Heal Over, Heal Over Someday