Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Do You Nurture Youself?

Maybe a better question would be, "Do you nurture yourself?"  Women, do you?  Men, do you?  This is not just a woman thing.

You may be surrounded by people in your life whose main desire is to nurture you...but I doubt it.  It's pretty much up to you.  Not that others don't love you.  Not that others don't care.  But what you don't do for yourself, you are usually unable to do effectively for others.  And, really, how many of us do truly nurture ourselves?

I hope that doesn't sound selfish.  I don't like selfish.  But I don't like selfless either.

What one does to nurture herself, may not work for another.  For me, having a long, hot bath, with or without bubbles, a glass of cool water, and a good book, is close the Heaven.  I am nurturing myself to the hilt.  To someone else, though, they may feel they are just sitting in dirty water. 

Mammograms are not fun, I don't care who you are. But could they be nurturing?  I say, yes, if while you are there you really are grateful for the chance to care for your body, to give it the best medical info you can, to appreciate that you live in a country where anyone can avail themselves of this technology....when many citizens of the world can't even find a drink of clean water.

But if the mammogram is feared, dreaded, hated, scorned, then it's not nurturing.  If it's all about how much it hurts and how much longer can this take, well, then it's not nurturing.  It's okay.  Most people feel this way.  Only nut cases like me find it nurturing.

Maybe getting a mani-pedi nurtures you.  It does a lot of people.  Even my 94 year old uncle goes occasionally.  He and I don't go because it feels nurturing to us.  He just can't comfortably reach his toes and do all that work. And I just do it, very rarely, to present a better appearance.  It feels like wasting time to me.  It feels arrogant. Told you I was a nut case.

Being with my blog is actually nurturing for me.  It's all about me and how I feel here.  It nurtures me to write, to get it out, to hear from you, to maybe say something uplifting for someone else.

Being with my friends nurtures me.  I get to love on them, and them on me. I get to be real and to be supported.  I get to laugh.  I get to listen and support them back.

I used to get up at 5:30 in the morning...for many years.  Now, I nurture myself and get up when the sun lights up the outside.  What a gift to myself that is.

So, what nurtures you?  What do you consciously do that nurtures you?  That makes you feel good and makes you feel special in this big wide world.  Even if you don't leave a comment, just think about it and be good to yourself.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wednesday's God Wink

Sometimes you just have to shake your head in disbelief.  Either that or you just smile inside and know that God has just winked at you.

Yesterday afternoon I had lunch with my mother's youngest sister.  You probably know mom passed away June 17 so it is still poignantly fresh.  We were meeting to pass along some of mom's clothes to Marie.  In a large parking lot we were "playing with clothes", having fun, and knowing mom would just be delighted.

Out of the entire parking lot of patrons, the driver right next to me came to his car.  No, he actually came over to us.  He had noticed our clothing activity and was enjoying watching us.  Long story short, he was friendly, 73-ish, safe, etc....all the things you make sure of before talking to strange men in parking lots.

Here is the God wink part.  We were not exhibiting grief in this ritual.  He was not consoling us either... just teasing us about our clothes party in the parking lot.  I said, "Well, to tell you the truth, this is a sacred ritual.  My mom passed away in June and I am passing her special clothes down to her baby sister."  Then is when he said, "Well, to tell you the truth, I am a Pastoral Grief Counselor.  I just retired."  We hugged.  We talked.  We connected.  I loved it. 

There are really just too many coincidences in this story, huh?  Or there are none. 

"Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of Truth Thou hast for me."

Remember that song?  I think I got a little glimpse today.  Thanks God.

And George Pickle is an extremely nice guy and a very effective grief counselor who knows how to be at the right place at the right time.  Go George!

PS:  George is a Community Baptist minister.  His wife was a June Taylor dancer.  His faith-based community left the Southern Baptist Convention, as I understood from him, because of differing views re the ordination of women.  According to George, "If God calls a woman to serve in the church in any capacity, then she should surely serve."  Close enough.

The rest of the song?
"Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!"
I don't know about you but I am keeping my eyes open!  I don't want to miss anything!
God bless.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Helen Thomas: "Thank you, Mr President"

Remember hearing "Thank you, Mr. President" at the end of White House conferences?  That was started by Helen Thomas, front row White House press corps fixture for so long.   Helen died 28 days after my mom.  They were born the same year, 1920. They both wore  red lipstick, were outspoken,  brave,  blunt, respected. And, oh boy, will they both be missed.

Helen's bluntness and outspokeness finally 'did her in' when she was 89.  There are just some things you can't say if you work in the White House.  But, as we age, our filters begin to fall away and we might say something we would have choked on when we were younger.  Same with her.
Another news anchor, Joan Lunden, was 'asked to leave' her network desk spot in 1997 when she was, hold on, only 46!  She agreed not to talk about it then, but that was the real reason...and she talks about it now!  Good for her!
  You can buy anti-aging products all day long, but you can't not age.    We start the moment we are born.  Or we could say we grow from the moment we are born.  Right?  Much better perspective.
Interests change.  Change happens.  We do age.  We don't talk about sex in the city so much anymore, if we ever did.  We talk about:
Our Book Club,
Our Retirement and AARP,
Our Illnesses and meds,
That we must exercise
and eat right.
If we have grandchildren, we talk about their lives.
We talk of our travels and
 IRAs and Pensions.
We garden and golf.
We look for our glasses and keys.
 We talk about people who are sick and who have died.
Sometimes we talk about the same things over and over.
I don't think Helen talked about these things so much.  She talked, everyday, about what was going on in the world and she tried to make a positive difference.  May that inspire us to follow suit.
God Bless.
    Helen Thomas
July 20, 2013, Age 93

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not Your Grandfather's Funeral

Flowers From Mom's Garden and Our Father's House Florist.  What a gardener mom was!
The next time you attend a funeral, don't be surprised if it more closely resembles the last wedding you went to than the somber farewell you bid your grandfather 20 years ago.

This is a reprint from an article from the agingcare.com newsletter that I receive.  The author is Molly Gilger.  I couldn't agree more with Molly.  Having just planned (and attended) my mom's beautiful funeral service, I realize how important this is.  People put their day on hold, drop their work, buy last minute pricey airline tickets, to "be there" and honor the one they love.  And, I believe, the "one they love" would appreciate, not only being honored, but having the opportunity to host a celebration and a happy get-together for far-flung family and friends.  I know Mom did.  She was so very present.  Enjoy Molly's article.

In recent years, the funeral service has evolved from a formal or structured ceremony with religious music, scripture, prayers, and little or no information regarding the life of the deceased, to a true celebration of a life remembered.

The key to turning a funeral into a celebration of a life lived is through personalization.
Family, friends and visitors should be encouraged to share memories of the decedent and describe how they relate to the personalized elements of the service and the items on display.
Here's just a small sampling of some recent funerals that were customized to suit the life of the person they celebrated:
  • At a funeral for a well-known concert pianist, the family opted to have a Steinway and Sons piano moved to the gallery of the funeral home. The florist created a huge spray of white flowers cascading from the strings of the piano onto a large carpet of flowers surrounding the piano.
  • Another family brought in items related to the decedent's work as a professional horseman for his visitation. Saddles, boots, numerous bales of hay, partial fence structures and even a live horse in a make-shift corral transformed the funeral home.
  • For the funeral of an avid hunter, the florist turned the funeral home chapel altar into a hunting blind, and the deceased's hunting dogs were nearby, standing in hunting position.
  • The funeral service for a cycling enthusiast displayed the decedent's road bike and cycling medals next to the casket. At the cemetery, members from his cycling club escorted the hearse carrying his casket from the cemetery gates to the grave site on their bicycles.
Many families also choose to host receptions after the service. (We had Fincher's Barbeque, a family fave!)

Funeral services are changing to meet the needs of a generation that has different ideas about life – and death.

This is not your grandfather's funeral.   Molly is so right!  Thank Goodness!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Are You A Project Person?

If you are a project person, you know what that means.  If you are not, you may be wondering.

A project person must always have 'something' she is working on.  She may work on it in her mind for a long time before it actually happens, but she is working on it nevertheless.  A project person is really not the same as a planner.  A planner wants it all planned out, duh, with logical steps and timetables.  Planners feel in charge and in control of things...and they like it that way.  Are you a planner? 

Project people may also be planners, but not necessarily.  It's just that a project person wants to delve into 'something', preferable something new, possibly spontaneously without a lot of planning.  Finishing an old project just doesn't get it.  Projects flourish and expand and grow and feel good when they are new.  Makes me think a little of a love affair.  Yeah, it's kind of like that.  Ooh-la-la.

When I am project-less, I flounder a little.  I'm okay but not completely satisfied with my days and how I am using them.  I realized at mom's funeral service a couple weeks ago, that she and I had this in common.  It looked different....her projects and mine, but I know she loved them and felt lacking when she could no longer "do" projects.

My latest project is my Etsy store.  It's a huge challenge.  Yay!  Not so much setting it up.  That's easy.  Looking at my own art on screen is just fun, fun, fun.  Even if it just sits there.  Still fun.

Getting traffic to that new, baby Etsy store is another matter. It's challenging too but not in a fun way.  It's not the part I like.  Anyway, friends far and wide:  If all of you, or most of you, or some of you, hopped over and gave me a look or a like, that would help.  I'm not sure how all that works, but I know it helps.  And if you are an art-lover and have art-lovers in your life, or if you Tweet, please help me get this going. 

Normally my projects are just me, right here, contained, private.  But this one needs you.  Thanks for helping me.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Advice From A Whale

Pretty Good Advice From A Whale

Make a Splash!

Move with Grace and Beauty

Explore the Depths of your True Nature.

Think Big!

Keep A Song In Your Heart

Remember To Come Up For Air

No Blubbering!

by Ilan Shamer at

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Check Out My New Etsy Shop

Grand Opening Today

July 11, 2013

Hello Everyone!  I hope you can take a moment out of your busy day to help me kick off my new Etsy shop.  I "set it up" in 2009, let it sit there neglected and forgotten, and it dried up just like an apple core in a desert.
I consider today it's first day.  Like Opening Day at the ball park.
You want everyone to show up for hotdogs and chips and the big game.
No hotdogs and chips here but I do hope you will show up for me and help my little shop find its place in the big world of Etsy. 
"What's in it?", you ask.  Well, about a dozen of my favorite paintings.
And each one has a story. 
I am a lover of color.  You can see that in my home, in my closet, and in my paintings.
Have fun looking around.   Click LIKE if you can or Follow if you are an Etsy lover.
Oh, and all you Etsy Shop Owners out there, please send me your link so I can visit your shop too!
Thank you for supporting me on Day 1 of something great!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Not Quite Right

I got a card from a friend today that said:

"This must be a very hard time...

when everything is back to normal...

and yet, nothing is."

That is exactly where I am.  The new normal.  Life without a mom.  Life with no parent at all.  Doesn't matter how old I am.  Doesn't matter that I've been mothering her for quite awhile.  Nobody else on earth is really all about making sure I eat right.  Nobody else really can't sleep at night until they make sure I have enough cover.  Nobody else on earth really cares whether I bite my fingernails or not.  Silly, huh?  Maybe.  But real is real. And...
things just don't quite feel right yet.