Thursday, February 25, 2010


STM and I have been toying with getting DVR for MONTHS but always stop short because neither of us had the wherewithal to investigate the cost, installation, etc., etc. etc. To say our energies are stretched, is to minimize it. We knew that actually having DVR would make our lives nicer, but getting DVR might push us over the edge.


I e-mailed the one friend I knew with DVR then put on my Facebook status that I knew zero about DVRs and needed to be told, step-by-step, what to do and how to do it.

And I got answers in about 2 minutes! REALLY helpful answers! Doing my work for me kind of answers! Taking all the guess work out of it kind of answers. The best kind of good type answers!

And now we have DVR.

But nothing programmed.

So tell me, what are y'all watching that I need to be watching and am not? Of course Survivor: Villians vs. Heroes is a given, as is "Desperate Housewives," but that's all I know.

Tell me. Let's fill this puppy with good bad TV!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There is a movement to get SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER added to the DSM-5. Please help us to add this important condition. By clicking the above link you'll be given all the instructions.

Thank you!

* Photo from

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Just came home from ANOTHER pre-eval meeting to update Rojo's IEP. Because we are now having him evaluated - educationally- for autism spectrum disorder, we've had to start over from scratch. Just calling and saying, "Hey, could you add one more thing to the eval?" doesn't fly. Nope. You have to meet all over again, say everything you've already said, stammer in all the same places, look around the table hopelessly for someone to jump in and rescue you, then go home and fall apart. All. Over. Again.

Today I feel like I know nothing, have no answers, have nothing but a bleak future to look forward to, and really, have made one poor decision after another. After another. After another.

But that's just today.

And that's the nature of bureaucracy. And the nature of being a small cog in a very large wheel. And the nature of parenting in general, maybe. I don't know.

I don't know where Rojo will go to high school. I don't know what Rojo will do or where he'll do it after high school. I don't know what will happen to Rojo, where he'll live and what he'll need as an adult.

I don't know.

And that's the difference between special ed parents, we know that we don't know. Nobody knows, but we know we don't know.

And that's a powerful knowing.

* Photo of Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, from www.

Monday, February 22, 2010


In the Mary book I was telling you about, there is a section on challenges. The message is to stop resisting them, do not become emotionally involved with them, and in fact, enjoy them - they are learning experiences - LEARN.

I'm learning. More growth opportunities. Or, as someone I know calls them, AFGOs, another you-know-what growth opportunities.

To help with the AFGOs there is an exercise in which you make three lists, or answer three simple questions: 1) Who am I? 2) What is my gift I give to the planet? 3) What is my purpose in being here this lifetime?

Three little questions, so easy, right? I find myself avoiding these like the you-know-what plague.

Yesterday Rojo announced he'd like for Woohoo to babysit Flicka, as he really could use some personal time. "I just need an hour with no one needing me. I just need an hour all to myself. I just need to be ALONE." Where, oh where, has he heard those words before? And why is it easier for me to tell you who he is, what his gift to the planet is, and what his purpose is for being here in this lifetime?

Could it be that that is the answer? To share those answers?

It could be that you-know-what simple.

* Photo from

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town
Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town

The black crows are loaded
With the call of things discarded
The ribboned shard of battle
And everything burned
Have they forgotten we live here
Do they think that we gave up
Lay down and grew over
Weeds at every turn

Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town
Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town

I will not rest
Until this place is full of sunlight
Or at least until the darkness
Is quiet for a while
And we will not wait
For that murder to come calling
The night will simply fall
And the morning will rise

Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town
Oh sweet peace, when will you come calling
When will you come calling upon this town

This is one of my favorite songs. Period. There are also people in my life that have never known sweet peace, and when I hear this song, I can't help but think of them, and pray that it will come calling.


Friday, February 19, 2010


I ever so gently urged my husband towards what I considered to be a really great thing to "fast" form during Lent. He said, "If you get to choose mine, I get to choose yours," so of course, that was the end of my great ideas.

I knew what he'd pick: the computer. I can't completely fast from the Internet and e-mail as I use it to manage life (beautifully, I might add), but there is no question it's gone from a tool, to an addiction, something I get twitchy after just a couple hours without.

So, I agreed that I would turn off my computer at 5:00 PM each night and not look at it until the next morning.

It's brutal.

It's flippin' killing me.

Which just goes to show you how bad the addiction is. So, I have missed blogs the last few days and am sparse with mine - sorry. You'll understand though, right?

One day at a time.

* Photo from:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Come see me at Hopeful Parents today! Thanks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today is Ash Wednesday, and I have the black smudge in the shape of the cross on my forehead to prove it. I went to the Children's Mass at Rojo's school today, and slipped in the back, sat by myself, even though I knew 90% of the people sitting in the large, sunny church.

This, for me, is a time of quiet, this 40-day period marked with ashes to commence it, and Easter as the culmination. I could use a 40-day quiet period, go ahead and ask any of the people that have to live with me, they'll tell you, I'm wound tighter than a tick and as much as Flicka is a calming presence, I need more. I need forced quiet. I need external boundaries set on me that insist I take it down a notch or ten, and enter into a reflective period.

The church was packed and there were four stations to receive ashes, and later to receive communion. Although I am baptized and confirmed in a church, I am not in this church, and thus, I do not receive the blood and body of Christ, I receive a blessing. I have a "thing" about the blessing, unless I am seated in the section that is going to end up going in the priest's line, I just skip the whole thing. I don't want some regular person blessing me. Besides, the priest is one that really gets it, and when I do go through his line, he stops what he's doing, lays his big warm hand over my whole entire head and says my name. Then he delivers a fresh and personal blessing each and every time, and I swear to God, I can feel the blessing pulse from my head throughout my body as this holy man says the special words he's chosen just for me.

Today, however, after choosing my place of isolation in the back, I was not going to make it into the priest's line. When I looked up to see just who was doing the communion for my region, just out of curiosity more than anything else, it was Friend #2. I thought, why not?

I was the last person in the whole church to go through any of the lines, everyone was either on their way back to their pew or down on their knees waiting to wrap it up. Friend #2 might have very well wanted to give me the standard blessing in the name of time, but Friend #2 is not that kind of person, she is Holy with a capital H and she laid her hands on me and said, "May the blessing of the Lord be upon you." Then she reached over, grabbed my whole neck towards her and into an embrace and said, "ALWAYS."

One word made all the difference.

"Regular" people are capable of bestowing pretty awesome blessings.

May the peace of the Lord be upon you.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Today is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent, the last hurrah before a period of sobriety and solemnity. Traditionally, Lent is observed through prayer, penitence, giving or "fasting." I have done a little of each throughout the years, and have struggled to determine what I'm going to do to honor Lent this year.

Yesterday on our walk, Kathleen told me about a conversation she had about me, with someone else. She was telling someone about some of my struggles and part of my healing journey. Of course it was my story, and I know it well, so the surprising thing was that it sounded different coming from her. I actually learned something from my story.

It was a gift - to be told my story, by someone that has walked alongside me, literally, for ten years. Someone that has listened without judging, someone who came along after the healing began, but has been instrumental in moving it forward. Someone who has helped keep me on track as life has occurred, threatening to derail me more than once.

What I've decided to do as a result of that conversation, is make that my Lenten journey - to pray for the others in my life, fasting from judgment, giving in compassion, and with any luck at all, helping to reflect back to them, who they are.

* Photo from

Monday, February 15, 2010

You remember this, right?

And then Mr. Downer died on the vine and I chopped him off abruptly and without ceremony?

And then it looked like this.

Well, on Saturday I noticed something funny about the plant, all the stems growing towards the light were now jetting out at me. I can't tell you how many times I stopped to look before I figured out what was right in front of me, the STEM had straightened itself, the leaves weren't bending! Cutting off Mr. Downer had changed things at the SOURCE.

All I'm sayin'.

(P.S. I think Michelle O'Neil was right, the plant needs a bigger and better pot. It's getting one tomorrow.)

This will be short, I have a dog lying across my stomach and my arms can barely reach around her head and to the keyboard. Yes, she is on a bed. Yes, we made a strict No Dog on the Furniture rule. Yes, that has been broken by me, the rule maker. There's no telling where all this will end up!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


"Fill my heart with Love,
that my every teardrop may become a star."

Hazat Inayat Khan


*Photo from

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When you listen generously to people they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.
Rachel Naomi Remen

The golden rule in writing is show, don't tell. I'm learning that might just as well be the golden rule of life.

*Photo from Flickr

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Flicka remains perfect. She sleeps when she's supposed to sleep, she pees when she's given the command, "Do your business," she eats on schedule, doesn't beg, has yet to make a sound and is about the cutest thing you ever did cuddle. She gives great hugs and kisses and thinks she's a lapdog. Perfect, right?

We've found her flaw.

The dog drools.

And drools.

And drools.

We had dinner at the table last night (2x a week whether we need to or not), and she slept peacefully at our feet the whole time. When we got up, so did she. There, where she had just lain, was a wet spot! No way had she peed, but we couldn't figure it out. Then we started thinking back to all the other various wet spots we'd seen, or wondered if we'd seen, that didn't smell but could not be otherwise explained.

Tonight as we watched our 20,000th episode of "Seinfeld," (ironically, the one where Poppie pees on Jerry's couch), I realized her whole chest was wet! She'd been sleeping in a way that her massive amounts of drool had totally wet the front of her.

So, she's not perfect after all, she's human.

And we love her.

Drool and all.

(Photo of Drooly waiting for Rojo to take a shower.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


I talk a lot about Mary, and for some of you from non-Christian traditions, that may rub you the wrong way - I hope not. To me, Mary isn't "just" that Mary, Jesus' mother, she is the feminine face of God. She is Tara. She is Kwan Yin. She is Demeter. She is SHE.

STM gave me a great book for Christmas, Mother Mary's Teachings for the New World. The book agrees with me, but that's not the only reason it's great. It's channeled work and I know there are those that don't "do" channeled work, but I invite you to read this book nonetheless. Even if you think it's all hogwash, you will be comforted by the book and find wisdom and more importantly, profound love from every page, for that is Her message - the love of a mother - a good mother, a holy mother, the mother of God.

A couple excerpts:

On talking about death and eternal life: "This is the destiny that God has intended for you - to have eternal life. This is why the frequencies on the planet are rising now. It is preparing itself for you to live eternally. But you, too, must prepare yourself to receive this and to be ready to walk heaven on earth. When you say, "I want to create heaven on earth, " this is not a light statement you are saying, and it is of the very light. Take this seriously: You will be challenged to let go of whatever it is that you are doing that is not creating heaven on earth. Every single speck that is left within you that is not creating heaven on earth must be brought forward."

On judging others, the question for Mary was, "Is it good to ignore the behavior of someone else which makes us feel bad?"

And Mary's answer, "My dear child, become more grounded. Become present in all conversations, not through judging others. This creates you to become not present. This still keeps you apart from the situation, for you are not addressing yourself, you are projecting unto others. Address the situation. The question is: 'How does one use one's power without coming into the ego to overpower? How does one state what one wishes to experience in life and be inharmony with others who you are intermingling with? Is this not the question?'"

That's the Mary I know. Love her.


10. Walked the dog in the sunshine

9. Let the dog fall asleep on my feet and then couldn't/didn't get up until she woke up

8. Petted the dog

7. Stared at the dog and marveled at her beauty

6. Took more pictures of the dog

5. Brainstormed all the possible names for my new book about the dog

4. Walked the dog in the sunshine. Again.

3. Threw the ball for the dog in the backyard

2. Wondered how I lived all these years without this dog

1. Decided I'd used my day very wisely

Saturday, February 06, 2010


10. Mom, you're the best mom.

9. Mom, you're a fun mom.

8. Mom, I already love Flicka.

7. Mom, I am going to have Flicka for 25 years.

6. God bless this household, I love that dog.

5. Mom, God bless your three kids, Woohoo, me and Flicka.

4. I am a really good dad to Flicka.

3. This day just couldn't get any better.

2. Thank you.

1. Hell-alluia, I'm happy!

(Top photo taken by Rojo)

BTW, Rojo calls the Colts in tomorrow's Super Bowl. Get thee to Vegas.

Friday, February 05, 2010


No picture today, but don't let that fool you, I took approximately a million. Couldn't find any without Rojo looking directly at the camera with the biggest look of pure joy you've ever seen on another human. Would love to share them with you here, but alas, not part of the blogging rules I agreed to way back when. So, just picture this: a boy, a dog, two dimples, tail wagging. All. Day. Long.

Just got a postcard in the mail from Guide Dogs saying they received my online application, but due to the volume of applications they receive, and the limited number of dogs available for adoption, it could take up to two years.

Or two weeks, as the case may be.

Tell me Mary doesn't have her hands all over this. Her dog loving, all knowing, heart changing hands.

Tell me.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


First of all, not enough can be made of the name Flicka Link! I mean, REALLY! Don't you just feel happy saying it? Next time you get the blues, try saying Flicka Link three times fast and I bet you smile in spite of yourself. Am I not right?

"C," Flicka and Rojo walking the grounds of Guide Dogs of Oregon, getting to know each other.

Practicing commands and using positive reinforcement.

"C," Woohoo, Flicka Link and Rojo-de-do-de-do

Using "tie down" under my desk - I know it looks mean, but this tells the dog, "You can relax now, you're off duty."


Right by Rojo-de-do's bed, no more checking on him every 8 minutes! : )

And to all a good night.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


FIRST of all, Deb and I are thrilled to announce our spring line up of writing classes! We're offering a morning class in Portland, Oregon, a night class in Battleground, Washington, and an online class. If interest in the online class exceeds the six person limit, we'll offer a second class of that.

To get more information and to check out our fun new class blog, go to: Writing the Breathings of Your Heart. Both our e-mail addresses are there, please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Secondly, I spent the morning on the phone with the woman from Guide Dogs. We did an interview, and since she lives near me and was working from home today, she also came by to do the in-home "inspection." Let me tell you this folks, it's better to have a ten-minute warning than a ten-day warning that you're going to have a guest. I could only do so much, and let's just say, she got an accurate view of our home, not the OCD view I'd have preferred her to have.

We are going out tomorrow afternoon, all four of us, to meet Flicka/Flicker/Flickers. If she's a match as far as Guide Dogs and we are concerned, she'll be coming home with us.


Now, stop thinking about our dog and go sign up for our writing classes!

* Photo from

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Had a dream last night that I was all dressed up, skirt, heels (more specifically, pink Barbie-like shoes), and was outside in all the neighbors' yards, plucking their weeds for them. I was fully sneaky as they really wanted their weeds in their yards, and would be mad if they saw me out there digging them up for them.

In the dream I was clear those were noxious weeds and needed to come out. Not only were they an eyesore to me, they were toxic to the neighborhood.


They weren't my weeds.

I don't get to choose when it's time for for others to "weed."

Much as I want to.

* Photo from