Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hubby's B-day

Hubby's 40th was nice. Small but memorable. I ended up settling on:
One night in Tahoe at the Fantasy Inn (his pick) and dinner at the cozy & delicious Cafe Fiore...which ended up being walking distance from the hotel. The next morning we headed to Heavenly Gondola, they request that you check in 90 min. before your Heavenly Flyer reservation.
Unfortunately, they had a fire the previous night due to someone throwing a smoke out the little gondola they had to duct tape screens on all the gondolas before they could let anyone on... That put a glitch on my relaxing picnic plans on the observation deck. We had a 1:00 reservation and they ended up deciding to cut all reservations before 1:30...I worked my way up through management till I redeemed our reservation, and we ended up being the first ride of the day.
I was totally nervous on the steep ride up...but the zip line is a seperate (not nearly as steep) cable. They strap you in a harness, 2 at a time, pressed up against a mesh door that suddenly releases...and you're OFF...

Dave used his new iPhone to take a video:
MobileMe Gallery - Zipline

We headed by the Celebrity Golf Tournament but they had just wrapped for the day.
So, we headed get ready for dinner. Which was supposed to be with his four best friends (& their better halves)... it was a SURPRISE! I had reserved their "Champagne room" which ended up being perfect for an intimate dinner party. The service, food, & ambiance was great.
It would have been fun to carry the night on to a little longer but 3 of the 4 guys just turned 40...and they were ready to go home. All in all I think he had a nice birthday. Cheers!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Julie & Julia"

Inspiring chick flick for women of all ages--
especially if they cook & blog. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Simple Pleasures

"When we lack proper time for the simple pleasures of life, for the enjoyment of eating, drinking, playing, creating, visiting friends, and watching children at play, then we have missed the purpose of life. Not on bread alone do we live but on all these human and heart-hungry luxuries." --Ed Hayes

Friday, July 10, 2009

Random Romantic Rendevous

Not the best pic, but you get the idea.
Remember the excitement of anticipating & planning dates when you were single? I miss that.
I've been reliving some of the memories as my single girlfriend is in the throes of summer love. Rather than just live vicariously, I decided maybe we need to spice up the date nights with a little more creativity and spontaneity. So yesterday I scouted out her private beach location for a sunset picnic (the planning is 1/2 the fun). When tired hubby walked in the door, I handed him a glass of wine, told him to kiss the children goodnight, and I would be waiting in the car... We hiked down to the lake, with our handy picnic backpack. I knew he would be hungry, so in addition to the bottle of Cab, the Blue Catello cheese, the fruit, & homemade truffles, I also made Irish Beef Hand Pies (veggie)-- with an assort. of mini hot sauces (a must-have for him).
We had a lovely romantic evening.
Anybody else have some fun date ideas?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rule #31

I saw this book on my trip to the library and it piqued my curiosity. I remember reading "The Rules" as a single girl, and practiced many of them. I wouldn't really recommend this book, I breezed through most of the rules, which seemed pretty common sense to me... one rule stood out for me personally,

Rule #31: "Don't complain about the kids"

I have 3 beautiful daughters, and 1 handsome, mischievous DESTROYER. I can't even begin to tell you the never-ending list of things he scribbles on, squeezes out, shatters, pees on (yes), stains, smears, squashes, throws everywhere, & tears apart... He is quick & persistent. He will unlock, climb, and sneak. Just when I think he is sound asleep, or I am in the middle of doing an important contract for the hubby, or I'm trying to cook dinner, or I just look away for a second.... OH NO!!! He has a knack for finding permanent markers, nail polishes, any expensive cosmetic item, countless toothpastes, oils, powders, glitters, anything with dye... I don't even know why I still try to enforce no shoes, food, or drinks on the carpet. Our carpets are beyond repair now and I look forward to the day that we get laminate floors.

In addition, the beautiful daughters argue, whine, complain, ignore, & also make minor messes. So, by the end of the day I, like many wives, am exhausted & drained...I am trying to make a nice dinner (that no one will likely acknowledge or appreciate)...and the house is still a mess.

I want to release some of the episodes of the day like a teapot letting off steam... but alas, apparently I should not. Maybe I want to justify to my tired husband that I too am VERY tired, and that I have been tidying the messy house all day-- to no avail.

I don't feel like I'm insecure, but maybe subconsciously I am now? Now that I'm a housewife struggling with a messy house, do I have a need to prove that I'm not inferior-- that I just come against a lot of obstacles throughout every day.

According to the book, "he will eventually tire of it and secretly think she doesn't know what she's doing... He might start questioning whether you are spending enough time with your children and feeding them all the right food groups. He may look bewildered every time you raise your voice or scold your child (even when the child deserves to be scolded) as if there is something wrong with you! You will feel judged, unsupported and diminished. Trust us, if you let your husband constantly see how your kids upset you, he many be compassionate for a while, but then he will become your biggest critic, the resident backseat driver."

They suggest that you tell him positive things about your kids ("Johnny brushed his teeth by himself today, Jane wrote her name for the 1st time, Brittany is saying please & thank you"). He will appreciate the happy news & think you are doing a good job. If you want to complain, vent, or get sympathy better to call a friend. I totally relate to this after having a handful of "Mother's Helpers"... I much preferred hearing how well things went to how terrible the day went-- it definitely made the helper seem more competent & caring when things went well and who doesn't love hearing when their kids do something good?

If your husband came home every day looking disheveled, disorganized, with more disaster stories you might begin to think he is just incompetent. So, instead of acting like a harried, overwhelmed mother who seemingly lets her kids run amok- we can pretend we are a CEO. The house is the company, the kids are the employees, & we run a tight ship. We will not accept insubordination. We will set rules for everything (meals, bathing bedtime, time-out, etc), and stick to them. We will act confident, not flustered. The more structure we give the kids, the more they will respect us. We don't need our husband's approval, but we will get it anyway.

Update: Ironically I posted this right after the "law of attraction" post, and I must say I had the worst afternoon/evening yet... he was like a mad midget on crack. He turned the house upside down & inside out...till 10:30pm (bedtime is 7). So, I'm noting that from here on out I really need to make an effort to focus on my progress with his improving behavior, not his out-of-control behavior.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mind Movies

Somebody forwarded me a link to Mind Movies.
I wasn't totally impressed with the amateur presentation (maybe that's their niche), but I think it really is a great idea. I believe in quantum science and the "law of attraction" and this just takes it to the next level...beyond writing & collaging. What better way to help you clearly visualize in the ideal vibrational energy than by actually looking at images of what you want, plastered with powerful affirmations, to music you love.

Several people have posted theirs on youtube, here's one example:

Me & the hubby, and the girls can all do this. It will be fun. Their program is only $49 (& includes lots of extras). I thought about just trying to make one on my own using my MAC but beings that I'm not very computer saavy, it's probably worth spending the $ for all the time I would save. Plus they will show you how to embed your movie with subliminals as well (hmm, maybe I'll make one for my husband with my own agenda embedded...mwa-ha-ha).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"The One Minute Mother"

So this morning I see this book in my son's rm. I don't know how long I've had it or if I've ever even read it before...but it was a quick, easy read on the treadmill. I realize parenting methods are controversial, but this has some good, simple advise told in a story format of a mother & her 3 adult daughters who are being interviewed about the 3 one min. secrets (it could really be summarized in 3 paragraphs but then you would miss out on alot of helpful details & examples).

Here are some quotes from the book:

"Children who like themselves like to behave themselves."

"I take a minute. I look at my goals. I look at my behavior. I see if my behavior matches my goals."

"I help my children reach their full potential. I catch them doing something right."

"We become what we think about."

"Is is important for me to start right away to do the right thing than it is to wait until I think I can do it just right."

"I take a minute out of my day every now and then to look into the faces of my children."

"What's important as a parent is not so much what happens when you're there, it's what happens when you're not there."
"Children learn in three ways: by example, by example, and..."

"Goals begin behaviors. Consequences maintain behaviors."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Naughty Teacher

LOL!! Wow, poor sexy teacher. Like she's really going to answer her door and chat about her DVD. Funny. Glad they reassured us that the G-rated version would be sent out soon.
So, do you think this teacher should lose her job?
Do you think a male teacher would have lost his job??

Sunday, July 5, 2009

BEST restaurant in the world!!

I have wanted to experience El Bulli for quite some time (on my "bucket list")... in Dec. I hope to be announcing that I made the cut (8,000 out of 2,000,000) and will be flying to Spain in 2010 with my lucky reservation. If not, I will cross my fingers for 2011...

El Bulli recently won "Best Restaurant in the World" for the 4th year in a row. It is the ultimate culinary affair...average of 30-40 gourmet courses over the course of 4-5 hours (only open 6 months of the yr, with a new menu every yr). El Bulli is a cross between a research lab & an edible art institute, with dishes designed to entertain as much as nourish, to magically surprise the palate... Ferran Adria is obsessed with flavor... his creations provide sensual & intellectual emotional experience.

Video cameras aren't allowed, however this lucky fella landed a dinner interview:

In reviewing the top 100 restaurants for 2009, I see that I've had the fortune to dine at 3 of the 12 USA winners, so far... French Laundry (random surprise from my honey), Chez Panisse (b-day w/ my BFF), & L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (in Vegas, baby). 7 are in NYC, 1 in Chicago, and to my surprise 1 I've never heard of, Manresa, fairly close-by in the bay area.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Don't drink and...

...stick a firecracker in your @$$!! :O

Gross-- sorry.
HaPpY 4th of JuLy!!! :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

kiddie parfaits

Here's my patriot treat for the kid-infested partay this afternoon...
jello, pudding, & whip cream.

Does it get any easier?

Actually, I wanted to make these:
frozen watermelon pops (note all the comments:)
but I couldn't find a star cookie cutter!!
Oh well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Spouse pet peeves?

“It is the ignorant and childish part of man that is the fighting part”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Love vs. Rights

I haven't been following this custody battle but I saw this clip last week on the treadmill. In my opinion, it appears to be another case of I-am-the-father-I-have-my-rights... not a sympathetic parent demonstrating love and a strong desire to be with his child. He hardly made an effort to even make contact until the mother died. I believe if this is really about being with his son, he should jump on the opportunity to have him back 6 days a week (unsupervised), even if it does mean temporarily relocating to Brazil. What is more important? He is fighting to win the battle, meanwhile losing the war (connection with his son). Seems he would be much more likely to get custody, if he had a relationship with his son. Heck, he could even try to "kidnap" his son back to the US & the fight from here.

Maybe I'm judging somewhat based on personal experience as a child in a custody battle. My biological father fought for sole custody & when he didn't get it, the visits and contact ceased. My father & I are close now, but he missed out on my childhood. My step-father was my "dad".

A child isn't impressed with how much you fight for them and they don't want to hear about it or be in the middle of the two most important people in their lives. What really matters is the love and connection that is shared through time and experiences. If fact, they are more likely to sympathize with the parent who is less angry and more loving. David Goldman doesn't get it. It does appear that his son is happy and well adjusted with his extended family in Brazil. Here is a link to the interview with the step-father & grandmother:
Sad Situation.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Is your jar full?

When things in your life seem almost to much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar......and the beer.

A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The Professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "Yes." The Professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed."Now," said the Professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first", he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. "When he had finished, there was a profound silence. Then one of the students raised her hand and with a puzzled expression, inquired what the beer represented. The Professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers (or wine!:)."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Free Books

So, this is going to sound pretty silly to some... every since I can remember when I wanted some books I went to the store & bought them or more recently ordered them on Amazon. Then I'm lucky to read them once, unless it's a cookbook or discipline bk. Even then, how many times have I bought them, then been disappointed... It probably started when I was young and used to love to read & highlight, then collect all these books...that I have since outgrown & that are just CLUTTER. So, a light bulb went off last week & I decided to take the kids to the library (1st time!). I am so excited!! SO many books --FREE...and I can return them when I'm done. No $, no clutter. Better than that, I can order what I want online, then I can just pick up my free stuff at the desk... cookbooks, parenting & relationship books, magazines, audio books, DVDs, CDs..... sweet. Did you know you can check out 30 items per person?? Crazy. Oh yeah, & you can download audio books to your iPhone. Nice. Did I mention you can return them to any of the local libraries (we have 28!)? If you don't have time to read them or lose interest-- no $ lost. Isis has already read through the 6 books she picked out (2 days ago)--great free diversion from media. Okay enough, I feel like I'm doing a library commercial.

2nd & last subject of the day is comments. Is anyone out there? :) Please, I would LOVE to have some feedback... Pretend this is just a random Facebook post and throw me a line once-in-while.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Take it like a man

Outstanding set of DVDs.
Applies to everyone, in any relationship.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Great American Backyard Campout!

Wanted to do it (well, sort of) but unfortunately, we live too close to the road (car noise). Almost every night is a campout in our bdrm anyway...Bella's beautiful venetian crib is still in there, Isis has nightmares from horror movies she watches @ her dad's, & Jade joins because she's a more-the-merrier kinda girl. If I would focus on helping poor Isis we could get our bdrm back.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homemade Gifts

We're 1/2 way to Christmas(!)...which is my favorite holiday. I do my best to come up with thoughtful personal gifts for everyone on my list... & secretly wish everyone did the same.

I can predict that again this year, most of the family will decide to just pick a name or buy just for the kids (usually gift cards) or immediate family. I feel like the spirit of Christmas is getting lost... celebrating connections with family & friends.

Due to the economy and my desire to still give gifts I have decided to get crafty. If I can get organized this could actually save me some holiday stress (& $) and give the kids and I some creative summer activites. I had been compiling a long list of ideas on my phone, somehow it has just disappeared (Beau I'm guessing), so here I go again (help me, Martha!)...

* Etched glass storage jars- for storing flours & sugars in particular. I would love to get these. Most people could use these. I know you can find inexpensive jars at Ikea...

* Spa kit, including bath fizzies, body scrub, soap, solid perfume, lip balm, candles, & a relaxing CD.

* Photo calenders / photo books - both sentimental, easy, & inexpensive (compared to scrapbooking)

* Hot Sauce (my hubby & sister-in-law love it) - lots of great recipes, bottle it, & come up with a creative label ("Hot Mama" sauce;)

* Homemade jams - not very original, but rare these days. Spare the healthy recipes.

* Homemade truffles (with variety of toppings) * Chocolate fudge (cut into squares & wrapped up like a gift with lil red ribbon) * Choc. dipped dried apricots * Homemade Roca * Nut Brittle / Toffee * PB cups * Peppermint bark

BTW, while googling ideas I see that the Pitt-Jolie family do the same... Any other ideas??

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Easy, Yummy Tacos

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw

Who needs meat? The cumin-scented black bean filling is hearty, satisfying, and incredibly easy to prepare. Round out the meal—and get a complete protein—by adding Mexican rice.
makes 4 (you may want to double recipe)
Prep: 25 minutes Total: 25 minutes
Recipe by Bon Appetit
February 2009

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups coleslaw mix
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 white or yellow corn tortillas
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Bottled chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce

Place beans and cumin in small bowl; partially mash. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add coleslaw, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer. Spoon 1/4 of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Fill tacos with feta and slaw. Pass hot sauce alongside.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon - Kate + 8

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

I don't even watch this show, just been following it via the news & gossip...but I'm sad. I'm sad for the 8 kids who have selfish parents who just gave up on being a family without fighting to save it, and I'm sad for Kate who mothered 8 children with Jon...yet he makes no effort to fight for her. Infact, he's "excited" about his future?? He could at least feign some heartbreak for the loss of his wife & family, for the cameras... Maybe it's somewhat lucky for Kate that his true colors are coming out. Imagine how painful it must feel to have your partner say they're excited when they're announcing your seperation. There is no question that there has been infidelity with Jon and the thought of his freedom & fame getting him laid are the only excitement he's thinking of...not how this is going to effect all his children, his finances (alimony + 8 child supports!), & his future relationships. Now they both (mainly Kate) get the additonal stress of trying to do all the same things as a single parent...juggling all the daily duties, stresses, schedules, dating, and working ( if they lose their show). Now maybe Jon will understand why his wife is stressed & demanding...we'll see how he does when he has to handle everything himself, especially while the cameras are rolling. I just can't understand why they aren't trying marriage counceling or marriage seminars...especially when the divorce rate for marriages with multiples is 75%. It's not just about them! Everybody has challenges. I'm not opposed to divorces...but I believe you should try everything to save the marriage first. I also believe that man needs to fight for his wife. I think she's letting go fairly easily because she sees & feels that he doesn't really care. I think men need their ego stroked-- Jon hasn't worked in years, and he isn't very pro-active or appreciated by his wife at his own now the new female attention is like a's all he can think about with no regard as to the really important things in life. Jon, you can't run away from yourself. Things are only going to get harder, unless you address the underlying issues before it's too late.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Daddy, Daddy, Be There"

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Put your hand out to me in scary crowds,
on first school days and roller-coaster rides.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
When my questions need your ears, listening,
your eyes, searching, and your heart, loving me.
Tell me I am smart, Tell me I am special,
Tell me I am able with your ears, eyes, and heart.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Point out pictures in my storybooks,
Read the nursery rhymes to me,
Show me your daddy, your mama, your growing up.
Share a cookie, half a sandwich, a joke,
Share your music, your dreams.
I'll listen with my heart as best I can.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Hug Mama and smile at her
on Tuesdays and in the grocery store.
Kiss us and take our pictures
at picnics and on birthdays.
Tell us big and little stories.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, be there.
Not only on weekends or across telephone lines,
Not only during commercials or between innings.
Share surprises, the only one-time times.
Shout when I slide into home base
or sing solo in the school choir.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Plant new trees and flower bulbs,
And a rose bush for Mama.
Play inside and outside games with me,
Flick water drops and light campfires,
Dive into cold waves,
Slide down snowy hillsides with me.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Trains speed by, Planes lift off,
Cars race around, Trucks inch forward,
Ships sail away,
Teachers change classes,
Grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles die,
Sometimes even sisters, brothers, and best friends.
Big people separate and divorce.
See what I see.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
I hear your holler
About money and bills.
I see you push Mama
And take another drink
And turn the television up,
Then leave, slam the door shut.
I feel the holler, the push, the door slammed.
Please stop. Stop, please. Please. Stop.
Make home safe.
Daddy, Daddy,
Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Don't let the world knock you out
And drag you off.
No matter what, struggle back home,
Take my hand,
Let me be your friend.
Do the tough work.
Get well and strong.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
If we live where you and Mama stay gone,
Letting sitters or private schools raise me,
If we live where everyone works
But there is always barely just enough,
And no one sees me,
And feelings end up stuffed in a box,
Find a way to save us.
Make a family.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
During the hard times when the money goes,
During the bread-and-brown-sugar-breakfast mornings,
During the saxophone-blowing-blues nights,
During the in-between, weary working months,
During the string of long years,
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
When others gather,
When they tell family stories,
When one someone says to me:
"What's your daddy like?"
Who you are and what you area,
Who you are and where you are
Will answer!
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
When I dye my hair green or cut it off
Or pierce my ears and nose,
When my music rocks the house.
But grab me when I wander too far from home,
Too close to a danger I cannot see.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
With a firm hand and confident grin,
when I take off with you,
When I graduate, head high,
When I enter a new world,
One you helped me reach,
One you could never enter.
Daddy, Daddy, Be there.

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
As I swim mountain lakes, Stride across deserts,
Stretch to the sun and moon and stars,
Build doors and rooms and skyscrapers and worlds.
No matter what, Daddy, I'll know
That you area there, close by.
My Daddy, Daddy,

Daddy, Daddy, Be there.
Let me sit with you,
Let me hold your spotted hand.
Let my eyes be yours, and my ears as well.
I will remember when you were there for me
And asked nothing in return.
Now I am here for you.
Daddy, Daddy,
I love you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Food, Inc." & "Meet Your Meat"

I Am a Hot Mama, and I Am a
Check Out All the Celebrity 'Veggie Testimonials' at

I've had this movie noted on my planner for awhile, but looks like most of us will have to wait for DVD...

"Meet Your Meat":

Sir Paul McCartney: "If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That's the single most important thing you could do. It's staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty."

Chrissie Hynde: "The meat industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars lying to the public about their product. But no amount of false propaganda can sanitize meat. The facts are absolutely clear: Eating meat is bad for human health, catastrophic for the environment, and a living nightmare for animals."

Alec Baldwin: "Every time we sit down to eat, we make a choice. Please choose vegetarianism. Do it for … animals. Do it for the environment, and do it for your health."

Watch more videos at

'Veggie Love': PETA's Banned Super Bowl Ad


Friday, June 19, 2009

My "Human Bowling" commercial

I just found this on youtube...a commercial I did when I was pregnant for Beau. I was supposed to be a WT mom, obsessed with my son becoming a pro human bowler.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

40th Birthday

This pic of my hubby was shot on the spur of the moment with my iPhone before we headed out to dinner-- not bad, huh?

So, on July 17 is his big 4*0. I have been mulling over ideas since last year... Beside Camp Watanda (which would have been perfect), I checked into the Forest House Lodge (where we had initially planned to our wedding, you get the entire location including a catered dinner, the bar, & 27 rooms for 24 hrs-- too much $$$$)... the Mikuni Sushi Bus (no longer travels)... inquired about some houseboats... considered a limo/party bus, but where to go?
Just inquired about Palm Lake Retreat, we'll see (nevermind that, they want $2500 for an event or $1200/2 nights)...

I wish I would have had it all squared away then when we had more $. Now with only a month to go it's looking like just a party (surprise party?) at our place instead of a more unique, special shindig I had envisioned. I wanted to make it really memorable. I suppose I could throw the 2nd annual 40th party...

My other disappointment is his gift...I'd love to surprise him with a Rolex. That's going to need to wait for another major milestone. What I really wanted to get him is a photo session with my fav semi-local fashion photographer, Billy Winters. He's been doing weights & cardio 5x/wk for months and he looks hot. It'd be great to have some really flattering shots to treasure through the years.

I had hoped maybe we could get his old band together (The Council) to do a birthday show...that's not going to happen. But what I am hoping to be able to do is track down his estranged best friend-- he would so surprised & happy! No luck online, need to start making some calls...

Since this has been a pretty whiny post, I will also add that all the 40th b-day decorations are crap! Why can't they have anything that looks decent or is along the lines of "Life begins at 40".

No worries, my man doesn't read my blog unless I ask him to...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

6 Secrets to a Happy Family

The 6 Secrets:

* Define your core family values (when you know what really matters it reduces conflict and builds a stronger family identity)

* Lean on each other (having a support system creates self-confidence, Family is a team--kids contribute too)

* Learn to bounce back (focus on the positive, continue rituals, "Anyone can do well when times are good", going through a tough period can make you more connected, Resiliency can be learned)

* Breathe (connect in relaxed ways)

* Be respectful (in the way you speak & listen, acknowledge & appreciate)

* Spiritually connected (...families seem to do better, happiness is valuing experiences more than possesions)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brag Book

Decided to try throwing together a couple Grandpa Brag Books before Father's Day. So easy. Will definitely do that again...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Experiences make us happier

I heard about this study on Oprah radio on the way to our weekend away. I have to totally agree! Not just because it justifies my desire to travel and try new things, but it really rings true. I don't regret any trips or new experiences I've "invested" in and I can't think of anything I've bought for myself that I'll treasure for life. Trips and special events have made up some of my fav memories. It's funny how the challenging parts just fade away or seem funny in retrospect.

I also remember hearing about a study that you remember more about visiting new places vs. going to the same annual vacation. It stimulates your senses more and you are more aware. Whereas, when you go to the same place every year you may forget alot of the details or they blur together.

Live life to the fullest!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Camp review

We loved it! Perfect spot for a group, regret I don't have it for hubby's b-day now.
The cabin (that sleeps 6) with a lake view was only $330 (+$35 cleaning fee) for 4 days/3 nights.
It really is a private lake and a spacious camp. The pics on their website don't do it justice. The cabin is charming and well stocked. I was taken aback by the composting toilet, but it really wasn't bad--that's coming from a girl who refuses to use out houses. (The lodge and kiosk shower room both have normal toilets.) The kids loved all the boats (several canoes, row boats, & kayaks) and spent most of their time paddling around the lake. :) Each night they picked a flick out of the cabin collection. I loved the beautiful view and the private location.
We ended up sharing the camp with a couple and their 3 boys, who fortunately wasted most of their weekend in the lodge playing video games! Crazy. So, really it seemed like we had the camp to ourselves.
I definitely would go back, preferably with a group of friends.

We also enjoyed "Humbug Days" (Malakoff Diggins). The kids got old-fashioned candy in the General Store and Sarsaparilla root beer floats at the Saloon. They also had delicious homemade ice cream wonder they had so much fun with all the sugar, huh? They made candles & did tin-punching, and gold panning. The highlight was chillin on the grass in the shade while the kids played all the free oldies...Tiddlywinks, Pick-up Sticks, marbles, hopscotch, ring toss, bean bag toss, jump ropes... Isis said she wants to go every year and Beau actually cried when we left (a first).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Father of my child? (rated R)

A guy goes to the supermarket and notices a beautiful blond woman wave at him and say hello. He's rather taken aback, because he can't place where he knows her from. So he says, "Do you know me?" To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."

Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I laid on the pool table with all my buddies watching, while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery and then stuck a carrot up my butt???"
She looks into his eyes and calmly says, "No, I'm your son's math teacher."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Camp Watanda

This is a year of milestone birthdays for us...hubby turns 40, I turn 35 (new life cycle), Jade turns 13, Isis 10, Bella turned 1, & my brother turned 30.

In the process of trying to research venues last fall for Dave's 40th b-day (during peak wedding season) I discovered Camp Watanda. It is a 38 acre retired summer camp on a private lake just outside of Nevada City. You have the option of renting the lodge, a cabin, & 4 kiosks-- for a fairly reasonable price. I had envisioned renting the whole darn place and having a "Summer of 69" weekend with friends & family. I sent email invites months ago and put down a non-refundable deposit. Unfortunately, I only got two RSVPs back. So....I scrapped the idea. Fortunately, they let us use the deposit towards our family renting the cabin for the weekend and in the process of negotiation we ended up reroofing their lodge and making money on the whole deal. Sweet!

Tomorrow is the last day of school and we head out for our Watanda weekend. Their calender is showing the lodge rented too...I'm hoping it's wrong.
Our first night we're goin to hook up with my Mom & her man and check out the Mill Street Farmers Market in Grass Valley. Have some dinner & wine & do a little shopping...
Friday we'll chill at Watanda, do a little boating, & enjoy my tasty grill menu.
Malakoff Diggins is the Waldorf 4th grade field trip and Jade was highly disappointed that she missed it because we drug her to Maui for 2 wks. I just found out Sat. is their 43rd annual Malakoff Diggins Humbug Days. If we survive the trecherous narrow dirt road, costumes, wagon rides, ghost town tours, gold panning, candle dipping, tin punching, & live music... await us.
Overall, hoping for some relaxed family bonding time.
*fingers crossed*

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wanna see my box?

"Whoop, there it is!"

Went to Jade's BFF's house yesterday and all of us ladies made our moon boxes-- on the full moon (see "First Moon Wkshop" post). Everybody's boxes turned out beautiful. A fun time for all.
Kathy (BFF's mom) made us a delicious pizza on the grill...TJ's WW dough, pesto sauce, lg. portabella mushrooms caps, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, garlic, & goat cheese...mmm, mmm, good. I will definitely be duplicating it this weekend.

The girls were pumpin up the Lady Gaga and Kathy was bustin out the hot dance moves. She recently took a class and has sexy routines choreographed to songs. I was green with envy.
Dance classes have been on my to do list since last fall when I heard at Tony Robbins seminar that dancing helps women stay in their "feminine". I need to take those classes. Then I can be a smokin' hot mama. ;)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New Homely Doll

EL SEGUNDO, CA—Executives at Mattel Inc. held a press conference Monday to unveil the toy company's latest product, Plain Pamela, a homely doll designed to boost the confidence of girls ages 7 to 12.
Girls of all ages can spend hours feeling superior to the squat, unappealing doll.
The pale, unsightly plaything, which has a plastic torso scaled to the proportions of a 5-foot-4, 179-pound woman in her mid-30s, is being touted as the first toy expressly intended to raise the sense of physical and emotional self-worth in preteen females.
"While we still value our classic Barbie franchise, we understand the need for dolls that offer an alternative body image," Mattel CEO Robert Eckert said. "And that's why we've created Plain Pamela. She's drab, she's dumpy, she's nothing to write home about, and she's going to make the girls of America feel like beauty queens."
Added Eckert, "Relatively speaking."
Mattel, which has been criticized in the past for promoting unrealistic standards of beauty, claimed that the new doll would not only improve the self-esteem of growing girls, but would also give them someone to feel superior to for hours on end.
Modestly priced at $7.99, each Plain Pamela doll comes prepackaged with a variety of unflattering and ill-fitting blouses to drape over her shapeless torso, as well as a packet of paste-on psoriasis spots to apply along her arms and back.
Mattel designers have also included a button at the base of the doll's pudgy neck that randomly plays one of 24 preprogrammed phrases, including "I wish I was pretty like you," "That's okay, you go out and have fun without me," and "Ugh."
"Kids today want toys that are highly customizable," Eckert said. "Which is why every Plain Pamela comes with four interchangeable hairstyles: Just-Woke-Up, Too-Long, Too-Short, and What's-the-Point-of-Even-Trying-Anymore-It's-Not-Like-It's-Going-to-Make-a-Difference. Girls are going to love deciding which of Pamela's hairdos makes them look prettier by comparison."
"Plus, each doll comes with a variety of fun, ego-enhancing features that will allow girls to feel better about themselves as they help Pamela fit into her size-14 doll pants or wipe refillable 'tears' from her swollen face," Eckert added. "This is a huge leap forward in body-positive toys."
Mattel plans in the future to sell a number of playsets for the doll, including the Plain Pamela Cramped Studio Apartment, complete with special Dinner-for-One Kitchenette and Depressing Stack of Old People Magazines.
If Plain Pamela catches on with kids, company officials said, she may soon be joined by an entire line of fun, psychologically reassuring friends. Already in the works for the fall are Lil'-Too-Drunk Linda, whose debilitating dependence on alcohol will make any girl feel better about her own unstable home life, and Plain Pamela's Sympathetic Gay Friend, Craig.
Medical consultants for Mattel have confirmed that the poorly postured and overly awkward doll can effectively serve as an image-enhancing device for children.
"Preliminary tests have shown that as little as one hour of playtime with Plain Pamela can make even the frumpiest, least self-assured young girl feel remarkably positive about her own physical attributes," Mattel child psychologist Dr. Martin Janosch said. "Which, if you've seen the Plain Pamela doll, is not entirely surprising."
Added Dr. Janosch, "She's not exactly easy on the eye."
Mattel also announced that it would begin production next year on Timorous Tim, a fey, cowardly action figure designed to boost the confidence of shy young boys.
-the ONION

Friday, June 5, 2009

Toy Snob

That's it! I am done with the hodgepodge of plastic toys that have all been gifted to my children.
I boxed them up and plan to dump and donate them. The energy in the play room felt better immediately-- more inviting and calm.

Was I raised with only wooden toys? No. Am I a hippy? Definitely not. Am I environmentally conscious? I'm working on it. Bottom line is, I HATE PLASTIC TOYS, especially battery-guzzling plastic toys. I have tried to politely mention this to family & friends before parties...yet, still more plastic crap. I realize I should be grateful they come to the party or even bring a gift...yadi-yadi-ya. I don't make a gift registry (maybe I should), or refer them to educational stores, or hand out catalogs (like my friend)... but there are a plethora of alternatives. Books, balls, art supplies, blocks, puzzles, instruments, puppets, dress-up... Even Target has a natural and retro toy section...with Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, blocks, pounding benches, metal Slinkies...

Wooden toys feel better, they smell better, they look better (to me), and my toddlers would probably say they taste better. They're quality-- heirloom quality (many are handmade). They inspire imagination and creativity...hence, they will play with them much longer than a plastic toy that loses their interest quickly. Last but not least, they are safe and environmentally friendly. They sometimes cost a bit more, but are well worth the investment. Used wooden toys are just as great. So are the dolls made of felt or soft flannel cloth & and play silks... or the old metal toys, like the old metal Tonka dump trucks vs. today's junkie plastic alternatives.
If you prefer bright colors, they make some beautiful non-toxic painted and lacquered toys--prettier than any plastic toy.
Honestly, I don't care for plastic toys because they just seem cheap to me. They are built to be disposable. They require dictated play. And children automatically want to know, "What does it do?" They are intended to entertain and distract our children...but an assortment of them just over-stimulate. I hate all the beeping, vibrating, talking, singing chaos. I'm not one of those paranoid parents, but natural is always better than synthetic.

After doing a little more research today I also learned some things. I found that PVC, the most toxic plastic, is the soft type of plastic most commonly used in children's toys (especially infant toys). Heavy metals (like lead and cadmium) are added to make the rigid type of PVC more durable for use in older children's toys. Yes, the chemicals can be absorbed through the mouth and skin, and can show up in the bloodstreams of children. These chemicals are also hormonally active and can interfere with normal growth and reproductive development in children. Lead causes damage to the nervous system, leading to decreased learning ability and behavioral deficits. Children are especially susceptible because they absorb and retain lead more easily and because their brains are still developing.

Wooden toys are memories that last a lifetime. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Job Opportunity

This morning I was looking for roof related ads on Craigslist and this pitiful post popped up:

Hello, I am looking for a girl to stay at my house and help me with the day to day responsibilties of caring for my five children. I am recently separated and was not planning on raising my children by myself but my wife decided to become a lesbian and ubruptly move out. I am currently on welfare and cannot afford to pay someone to help out but in exchange I can offer a roof over your head and 3 meals a day for the right person. You must posess good maturnal instincts and great character for me to trust you with my kids. No drugs, alcohol, drama, no exceptions. If you think you can do this please e-mail me for an interview. Thanks, Jonathan
Location: yuba city, ca
Compensation: no pay

Oh my!! Good luck with that. So, really only homeless people (with internet access) need apply. Heck, "no alcohol"-- I'm not even eligible. His best bet is to kiss his wife's ass and bring the poor children's mother home. Seriously, uncover what it is that she really craves...respect, appreciation, passion, compassion, love, cunnilingus... and GIVE IT TO HER! She is the mother of your 5 children. It is a tragedy for all involved. Man up! Get a job. (Learn to spell check.) Try that "Love Dare"...
It is insane to expect anyone else to move into a no-income situation and care for 5 children-- with no compensation. Their own mother couldn't take it anymore...(though that's no excuse to abandon your children). It's hard enough to be a mother and housewife to your own children, let alone to someone else's bratty kids-- with no carrot dangling at the end of the stick. Shoot, you can't even have a glass of wine at the end of the day-- because a) you don't have any $ and b) you're not allowed to drink.
I've been through a handful of paid "Mother's Helpers" (and interviewed countless) and I can attest that good help is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. For this poor guy, it's going to be like trying to find a needle in the ocean.

Monday, June 1, 2009

UP (3D)

Rave reviews... #1 movie ($68m)...1st Pixar 3D:

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weird Laws

My girls are always downloading new apps to our iphones.
This morning, Jade, downloaded "Weird Laws" and started rattlng off a list of amusing laws... BTW, I'm curious how they enforce this! :) -->

In Alabama...
* It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church. (Good to know!)
* Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death! (Guess throwing salt over your shoulder isn't always lucky.)

In Arizona...
* In Glendale, it is illegal to drive a car in reverse. (They really had to make a law for this, huh?)

In CA...
* It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
* In Pacific Grove, "molesting" butterflies can result in a $500 fine. (Uh, wow!)
* It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting license!
* In SF, it is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear. (Was this really a problem?)

In Colorado...
* In Logan County, it is illegal for a man to kiss a woman while she is asleep. (So much for the fairytale fantasy.)

In Connecticut...
* It is illegal to dispose of used razor blades. (So, what do you do with them?)
* In New Britain, the speed limit for fire trucks is 25 mph, even when going to a fire. (What is the point then? You better live right next to the station.)
* In Hartford, it is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday. ("Breaking the law, breaking the law")

In Florida...
* In Miami, it is illegal for a man to wear any kind of strapless gown. (But spaghetti straps are fine?)
* In Sarasota, it is illegal to sing while wearing a bathing suit.

In Georgia...
* In Quitman, it is illegal for a chicken to cross the road. (Or what? That's it-- off to KFC.)
* It is illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless the shades are down. (Even mannequins have their rights.)

In Idaho...
* In Pontello, it is prohibited for pedestrians and motorists to display frowns, grimaces, scowls, threatening and glowering looks, gloomy & depressed facial appearances, generally all of which reflect unfavorably upon the city's reputation. (So much for authenticity.)
* Boxes of candy given as romantic gifts must weigh more than 50 lbs. (Yes, you read that right. Forget shopping at Godiva!)

In Indiana...
* Monkeys are forbidden to smoke cigarettes in South Bend.
* In Gary, it is illegal to attend the theater within four hours of eating garlic.

In Kansas...
* In Natoma, it is illegal to throw a knife at anyone wearing a striped shirt. (Jade said she would have only striped shirts if she lived there.)

In Kentucky...
* It is illegal to remarry the same man 4 times. (Guess the 3rd times a charm)

In Maine...
* In Portland, it is illegal for men to tickle women under the chin with feather dusters.
* In Rumford, it is illegal for a tenant to bite his/her landlord. (I think that's illegal anywhere.)

In Maryland...
* In Baltimore, it is illegal to wash or scrub sinks, no matter how dirty they get. (What?!)
* In Halethorpe, it is illegal to kiss for more than one second. (Law made by bitter single people sick of PDAs.)

In Massachusetts...
* In Boston, is is illegal to take a bath unless ordered by a physician. (That stinks.)

In Arkansas, a man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month. (I bet I can bet what time of the month.)
In Jasper, Alabama, it is illegal for a huband to beat his wife with a stick larger in diameter than his thumb.
In LA, a man can can legally beat his wife with a leather strap, as long as it is less than 2", or she gives him permission to use a wider strap.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shakespeare Festival

Buy your tickets this weekend & save 1/2 off the 2nd ticket (for July 14-31, Mon-Fri shows, upper/lower gallery )--a decent $11-20 savings. You will also be entered into a drawing for 2 free rounds of golf (hubby would be happy).

I've been enjoying the Shakespeare Festival annually for nearly a decade now. It's great to be able to bring your own gourmet picnic. The last couple years we also took the kids to the free Young Shakespeare matinee performance as well.
Our fav place to stay in Tahoe with the kids is definitely Embassy Suites. $169/night for 4-star 2 rm suite. Best of all it includes the complimentary manager's reception (all you can drink :) and a breakfast buffet...when you have 4 kids you can't beat the price!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Family Camp or Disney Cruise

My middle daughter, Isis, returns from a 3 day field trip to Emandal today. I had actually wanted to chaperon this field trip, to scout out this pricey "farm on a river" as a potential family vacation. Unfortunately, they decided only fathers could go with daughters (& visa versa)--dumb. It sounds like an idyllic location. An opportunity to truly relax and connect with your family. Each family stays in a small rustic cabin and share a community bathroom. They serve 3 farm fresh family-style meals a day (except weekends- Sat/breakfast & Sun/dinner). There are no programmed activities, however there are ample experiences to be had with numerous hiking trails, natural swimming holes, a hands-on garden & farm, and a nightly campfire circle. Your memories may be priceless, but there is a pretty steep price tag for the simple life-- $2531 for 6 nights (based on 2 adults & 3 children- ranging in 3 age/rate categories, under 2 yrs. is free). Wow, it better be the good life!

In comparison, last fall we took our family of 6 on a fun-filled Disney Cruise (Western Caribbean) for not much additional $125/day ($20/each) included 2 state rooms (privacy)--with bathrooms, all we could possibly eat anytime of day, and activity options galore...swimming, cooking / health classes, comedy shows, Broadway plays, movie theater, health club, dance, games /contests...and a trip to 4 tropical islands. For a reasonable additional fee, we also tried wine tasting, tandem para-sailing, helmet scuba diving, hair braiding, arcade games, a couples cabana massage, and their adult-only gourmet Italian restaurant. They also have a world-class spa. The best part is the option to do family or adult-only activities. A vacation with the kids 24/7 isn't really a vacation. They have fun kids clubs for every age group (infant - teens)-- and free pagers to stay in touch with your kids. There is an adult-only deck (pool/hot tubs), clubs, restaurant, & beach. Of course, airfare could be an issue if you don't earn frequent flyer miles.

I understand the value of nature, but I also appreciate the value of the dollar...and I want to feel like I'm getting the most bang for my buck. If we want the whole organic experience, it can be found for a fraction of the cost. For example, last summer we stayed at the Big Basin Redwood tent cabins for $65/night (or $455/week). They were really nice, with 2 padded double beds, table/chairs, & a wood stove. Not to mention it is a beautiful park (18,000 acres!) with several waterfalls, near Santa Cruz & the ocean. So, we could take the $2076 we saved by not going to Emandal and decide how we want to delegate that to meals. You could even hire & house a personal chef for the week if you really didn't want to cook...& still save at least $1000.

And it you want to get fancier, Yosemite now offers a variety of tent cabin options including fresh bedding, housekeeping, an electric light, a bathroom, heat, & breakfast (ranging from $56-$126/night).

Or last but not least, you could always check out a vacation rental site such as VRBO or Craigslist. Rent a remote cabin with a view or a pimped out waterfront pad to party with your pals. Heck, for $2500 you could rent a villa for a week!! I just found this beautiful 300 yr. old Tuscan villa (sleeps 8) for $1720/week!!
(You could even visit the Olive Garden Culinary Institute...LOL!!!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grape Escape

June 7th marks this years Grape Escape at Caesar Chavez Plaza (10th & J St).

60+ wineries * 200+ wines *
40 + restaurants * live music * art

$50 for all-inclusive tickets at the door or buy ahead online for $35 when you enter the "RALEYS" discount code (use the $15 saved on a bottle of wine!) AND print out a free VIP pass to get in an hour early.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This is an easy, light, tasty soup (even if you're not a big asparagus fan). White pepper in my secret ingredient.
It's what's fa dinna tonight (w/ toasted homemade bread)...

Serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped shallots (about 6 large)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. In a large (4-quart) saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and thyme; cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour; cook until incorporated, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
2. Add the asparagus and 6 cups water; season generously with salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, until the asparagus is bright green and just tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until very smooth. To prevent splattering, fill the blender only halfway, and allow heat to escape: Remove the cap from the hole in the lid, and cover the lid with a dish towel. If serving right away, stir in the cream and lemon juice.
Excerpted from Everyday Food Copyright © 2007 by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Just What You Need!"

This morning I read a thought provoking article from the April issue of O magazine.
The subject was on just-in-time (JIT) vs. just-in-case (JIC) thinking, much like "Law of Attraction". The belief behind just-in-case is that "Everything good is scarce!" In contract, just-in-time is the assumption that "Everything good is readily available". We live in an abundant environment. Believing that good things are scarce leads to a host of dysfunctions that can all be summed up in one word: excess. Most of us are living in some form of excess...working too much, eating too much, shopping too much...we just keep doing & accumulating more.

The most common issues are:
People who starve themselves, by dieting or poverty, automatically activate their bodies just-in-case mechanisms that store fat on the body to get through the next "famine".
Just-in-case thinking triggers impulses to hoard good stuff. JIC attitudes combined with a superabundant culture lead to clutter. There have been several cases of people who have taken this take this belief to an extreme. Recently in Shelton, Washington, a woman suffocated under a pile of her own possessions. To recover her body, police had to climb over clutter half way to the ceiling on their hands & knees.
Having lots of money doesn't quiet scarcity-based JIC anxiety. A German billionaire lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the recent financial crisis, despite his existing fortune he threw himself in front of a train.
Just-in-case thinking destroys relationships. It triggers excessive attempts to control our supply of love-- that is, other people. Anxious lovers have their lovers followed. Parents micromanage their children. People-pleasers try to manipulate others into liking them. This is all a fear-based belief that love is scarce. If you have ever been on the receiving end, you know it makes you want to run, not bond.

The great news is one simple mental switch to a just-in-time mindset ("Everything good is readily available") restores health & balance. By focusing on the abundance of your environment, switches your psychological settings so that your life automatically improves in many areas that you many think are unrelated. A leap from fear to faith...that we'll be able to get what we need when we need it.

I know from personal experience, that when you let go of strict dieting the body can let go of its panicky fat-storing mode and into a state that helps it shed excess fat.
Choosing just-in-time confidence can eliminate clutter and achieve a wonderful, spacious feeling.
Trusting life, even in the current economy, will bring clients out of the woodwork.
It often seems nothing short of miraculous, perhaps this is why the Bible included the story of the wandering Israelites who were given manna from heaven, but only permitted to gather enough to supply their needs for the day (except on Friday when they could gather for their Sabbath). Otherwise, the manna would rot or melt away.
Just-in-time confidence keeps supply lines clear and prosperity flowing.
I've done my share of just-in-case controlling when it comes to love, still do sometimes. I am learning that I can respond to someone as he or she really is, instead of trying to force them into my box.
If we can reroute a few simple brain habits, our lives will improve almost effortlessly. We wouldn't need to drudge up childhood tramas or hook up an anti-depressant IV. We can just flip the neuro-logical switch from fight-or-flight (sympathetic nervous system) to rest-and-relaxation (parasympathetic nervous system). Animals experience this switch in response to environmental conditions. We, as humans, possess the unparelled ability to switch it with our thoughts alone. It's almost too easy. The best way is to use these 3 simple exercises:
  1. List ten times you thought that there wouldn't be enough of something and you survived.
  2. List ten areas where you have too much, not too little.
  3. List 20 - or 50, or 1,000 - wonderful things that entered your life just at the right time, with no effort on your part. Start with the little things (oxygen, sunlight, a song on the radio). You'll soon think of bigger ones. Many of the most important things in our lives show up this way.

Once you focus on all the abundance (try a gratitude journal), you'll be overwelmed by all the good things that show up like manna in the desert. You will find yourself struggling less and acomplishing more. Don't beat yourself up for not starting sooner, you're just in time. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Moon Workshop

Today I attended a workshop with my daughter and most of the other sixth grade girls & mothers. It was empowering & educational. They split up the girls & the mothers. The girls formed clay uteruses, as an educational tool & distration while they learned about their bodies. We learned that...
*When a young woman begins to bleed she first experiences her Wise Woman, then throughout her life she practices her Wise Woman, and alas when she quits bleeding she becomes the Wise Woman.
*Menstration was considered sacred throughout much of history in many cultures. Women were honored and considered to have special powers (they could bleed for days and not die). Men would travel to hear their wisdom.
*The moon interacts with the electromagnetic fields of our bodies, so our creative biological and psychological cycles (and the seasons & stages of life) parallel the phases of the moon.
*If your cycle is not being regulated naturally by the moon (bleeding on the new moon & ovulating on the full moon), go out and spend some time in the moonlight and your pituitary gland will sync you back with the moon.
*Evidently menstration blood is the highest bio-energetically charged substance...and can be an outstanding fertilizer for your garden!!
I'll just take their word on that one.
We also learned about alternative supplies, without all the harsh chemicals & environmental burden... such as Lunapads (washable organic cotton pads) that come in a variety of fun prints.
I never even considered using cloth diapers with my children, but I will admit these are interesting. My daughter after seeing all her options, said these were definitely her pick.
I have preferred "Instead" for years, and now they have the new "DivaCup", which is a reuseable silicone cup. They also showed Sea Pearls (sea sponge tampons!). Curious!
They gave each of the girls a wooden box to create (with their mothers) a sacred "Moon Box".
The demonstration box was beautiful-- paint, glitter, pictures, symbols, glass gems/stones, sm. dried roses, and a peacock feather. I want to do one too now. They also gave them a small journal that could fit inside. The idea is to set up a monthly ritual. The box could also hold a favorite tea (or herbs for moon tea), dark chocolate, symbolic jewelery (red ring), lavender oil, bath salts, a moon calender, alternative supplies... Evidently, women that slow down and listen to their bodies experience less PMS.
We all wrote a special letter to our daughters...then sewed it up inside a red felt heart pillow (with fairy dust). At the end of the wkshop, we did a ceremony. The girls made a shrine with their favorite childhood momento, then lit a candle, placed it on the designated red velvet tablecloth (with flowers and the symbol of the young maiden as a butterfly) and joined their mothers. We fed each other chocolate covered strawberries (good ice breaker) and then gave them the heart we made for them. It really was lovely.
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