Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This just in,

I wear ordinary clothes and I put on ordinary makeup

I order easily off menus and rarely confound the waiter with my eclectic choices

I can be tracked easily in the "norms" range during a yearly physical in my height, weight and eye color

Even the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) lady yawns when she enters my stats in her computer and takes my picture

No one will ever feel compelled to write my biography based on my scintillating "different ness"

I pride myself on being different but really? I am never the first to
name my child after a fruit

or buy the latest style

or own the newest cell phone

new shoes?

I'm there!

Oh wait a minute....

so is everybody else

I am only one cow in a large stampeding herd of fashionistas

We all end up following the same colors and skirt lengths and buttons and well, never mind...

I am never going to be popular by writing about this.
Apparently my eccentricities are mundane except to me!

Women need their "fashion cloak" like birds need feathers...I guess its all part of identifying and belonging.

I would love to fit in with that concept. I love new clothes and beautiful textures, but alas, when you get right down to it, I am a fashion flunkie.

I commit the ultimate sin

I buy off the shelf

I need to further confess that I am not really sure who

Manolo Blahnik is...

There isn't a poster on the wall at Shoes R Us that covers that

I shop at outlet stores and thrift shops and only feel I am in deep disastrous fashion waters if I catch myself in a Dollar Store looking at a blouse and saying "well isn't that cute!"

So as unique and wonderfully "individualized" I may find myself in my own head. The truth is sigh, ..

my distinctiveness isn't bubbling to the surface in any jaw dropping kind of way

I'm not sure but this may be a good time to go ahead and confess that I subscribe to Oprahs RSS feed to help me find my best life, I let Dr Phil solve all my emotional problems, "The Doctors" show gives me and a hundred million other viewers health care answers
I also watched the Bachelor oh and um...the Greatest Race.

Wow. I am



( a misfit)

(all of the above)

i.e.; ordinary

and in today's far out and freaky world...

could that qualify as extraordinary?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Today's Thought

I have observed

that people know who is real and who is faking without you telling them

That life is full of amazing chances

That the people who love you are the ones that really know you

That every day begins again with chances and opportunities to change what happened in the past

That the past is dead, the present deserves some thought and that the future is totally up to you

That life goes in cycles and if you are really down, the nice thing is you are headed back up again

That when you smile you change everything around you

That love is, quite simply, powerful

That no one means to hurt us, people are just driven by what they fear

That anyone can change at anytime

It is the beauty of life.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I am big on starting things on the first of the month or the first of a week (don't ask me why it makes a difference but it does so I go with it) SO I decided last month that the 1st would be exercise day for me! Way back in the day I used to run 4 miles a day. I felt and looked great. I worked in a hospital and was a single parent and was busier than I am now. I should be able to pick up where I left off right? So in the interest of extremism I decided that is what I would do.....

I woke up the next morning feeling puffy from having had wine and chips the night before(a condemned woman's last meal I suppose) I made a cup of hot tea and stood there thinking when?????

When do I go out and run? I decided I would be better off to just do it rather than have it hanging over my head like some aerobic sword of Damocles all day. Besides if I wait till later and somebody has a flat tire or I have some other distraction then I will use that as my "reason" not to fit it in, and I will miss my first of the month deadline and will then have to wait until next month.

So I sat my tea down (it was too hot anyway) and went to dig out my jogging shoes. I still had the pair from my last attempt at walking with a neighbor about 4 years ago (she moved and that ended that) those shoes are the kind that are "engineered" and cost the same as one semester of my sons classes at college so I really needed to find them. I finally did find one (we have a new puppy so lets just go ahead and blame her) and it was missing the shoelace. Not to be out witted by that I DID discover my hiking boots which predate the tennis shoes and are leather and comfy and well structured and should work just for today. I can interrogate the puppy and buy shoe strings later.

Now on to my attire...too cold here this morning for black bikers shorts and my big black T shirt. I don't have any of my fat pants left because of all the "experts" telling me to get rid of them when I lost weight, so I did that months ago. Haven't bought any new ones except one pair of dress slacks and one pair of Capri's. Even I know the dress pants wont work so on with the Capris! My hiking boots are brown, my Capri's are black, I found a black tank top (and since I'm nothing if not fashionable I dug out my brown and black herringbone sweater) and I'm off!. I didn't dare look in the mirror I just went with it.

When I hit the front door my very startled old dog Sasha waited till I had laced up my hiking boots to get up and stretch and yawn. She couldn't believe her eyes but was too polite to say anything. SO off we went! There was pretty much trouble immediately. I was out of breath from jogging by the time we got to the edge of the yard and the road stretched out ahead of I decided to amend things to a very fast walk.

My knees were feeling very creaky which I guess is only fair giving the fact that they are very small compared to what is packed on right above them...see I am one of those women who is shaped just like a pear. From just above my knees to right around my waist things are very bad. From my waist up there is someone else's body who is several times smaller. This has its advantages and its drawbacks. MY sister says at least your face is never fat in pictures. This is true (and the main reason you can always find me in family pictures standing in the back behind my sister) but have you ever noticed what happens when you put something small next to something LARGE??? Well yeah....the large thing (in this case my butt we are talking here) the LARGE thing looks even Bigger. Its just wrong to mislead someone with my skinny face and then turn around on them! OMG! Their eyes could fall out from the shock! It really only would work out well if I got a job involving being seen only from the waist up. Like maybe a television anchor or the ticket taker at the movies. That should keep everyone's eyes safe. But I have neither job and so I just walk around menacing the eyes of society right and left which IS one more reason WHY I am jogging! It's practically a community service! Hooray!

By the first 40 feet (hope you all don't mind me reporting this first "run" in feet instead of miles...will work up to that later...) my knees were joined in their protest by my right hip and it was a little hard to breath. I decided to call my "run" a jog just for now and I started walking....I DID walk real fast though! Like the hounds of hell were after me! Really it was just Sasha and she was actually ahead of me, but you can picture how fast I was walking right?

I got pretty warm pretty fast for some reason and I had to shed the herringbone fashion statement pretty much in the first block. Fortunately for me I didn't care anymore I just wanted to draw a complete breath. I didn't stop moving though and when I saw an ever so slight downward incline in the road I broke into a jog again. Well it was kind of a sloooww jog maybe a SLOG??? But when each hiking boot hit the ground I felt the ripple effect of jiggling fat up my thigh and around my butt. Fat cells under attack! Just thinking of how startled they must have been made me laugh. AHA! Take that! I said as they jiggled around in a panic.

I SLOGGED a little farther than I intended just because at some point I was able to breath less painfully and to noticed the absolute brightness of the sun and the clear cold sky. The combination of warm sun and cold air made my face tingle (or maybe it was an artery unclogging but I prefer to go with the first thought)

I almost hated to turn around...Ok that is a lie. I have never been so glad in my life! On the way back I did notice that my knees didn't hurt anymore, I guess they either went numb or decided to get with the program. I actually made it home without encountering anyone at all except my son on his way to work who said "Mom what are you doing?"

"I'm jogging silly" I gasped, as I clung to the side of his truck window for a second to catch my breath. Since I know him so well I know his look of skepticism masked how impressed he REALLY was and on that note I said "well have a good day at work, I have to keep my momentum going!"

I slogged back all the way across the front yard..BIG FINISH and up the front steps. According to the clock I had three more minutes and I would have been exercising for a HALF hour! What to do???? Cross training I thought! So I jogged into the dining room and grabbed two wine bottle off the rack and did some presses while I jogged around the dining room table.

It took another 45 minutes before I felt cooled off... I sure hope that was a big ole metabolic hint to my body! It has now been 90 minutes and I have NO hunger although I did force down a cup of hot lemon water.

So all in all I view today as a huge success.

Marathoners look out, here I come!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love the way old houses shift and creak at night.

The wind blows on a cold night and the floorboards and walls shift slightly

everything gives way just a bit

With each bit of pressure on the top of the floor the wood shifts. It bends. It accommodates. The paint shrinks and expands as do the walls.

Imagine if we all shrunk together when life was "cold" and we all expanded when life was "warm"

if wood and plaster and mortar and paint can do that - why cant people?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blackberry Hill is a magical place. Here, where the land is mostly flat it rises majestically and lets you look at the surroundings from above. You see things from a different perspective. Kind of like writing does for the writer. True to its name, this gentle hump in the land grows the most delicious deep purple berries in the summer and gives us a great place for fires and wienie roasts in the fall. This hill is where my children came, pails in hand, to pick berries when they were young. Now I bring my my little grandchildren here to do the same.
This is the place I feel drawn to when I am sad or need to contemplate my small part in the vastness of all that is life and its out workings. I guess then it could go without saying that Blackberry Hill is my spot to come and write. To pour out what ever thoughts seem to be most tangled up in my head, and the ideas that are sticking close to my heart. Up here on the hill on this day of gray and mysterious weather, I lay back in the grass and watch the clouds moving in their apparently aimless fashion. Pushing and bumping against each other, then drifting apart and away. Where do they go next, these clouds? Little gusts of wind blow a whistling symphony in the grass around my ears and the clouds seem to hear it and respond. I feel so a part of it all and my heart soars.
Even though I don't understand much at all about this universe, I am here. It lets me be a part. I share the mystery. I get to experience this while I roam around inside my own head. I am reminded of the words of Tolkien... "Not all those who wander are lost."
Recently on Blackberry Hill we had a wonderful memory building moment. My son got married in one place on the farm (a hay field) BUT he and his bride had their pictures taken guess where? Why Blackberry Hill of course!

The bridal party was moving down the hill to catch the light for more pictures. The bride is way out in front in the light colored dress. The father of the bride carries the flower girl in his arms. Others lift their long skirts to walk in the tall autumn grass.
I love this one picture the most because it caught the happy and spontaneous mood of the moment. To have planned this shot would have been next to impossible. It just had to "happen".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Is Being Worthy Synonymous With Being Real?

On Being Real (Worthy)

I love real butter

Fresh fall air beats out the best air conditioner for sure

And there is no fruit flavored gum candy or syrup that tastes anywhere near as good as the actual fruit itself.

I know I am not alone in this. Everyone, given a choice prefers the real to the fake. The genuine to the knock off.

Real costs more, is desired more, and carries more substance.

So why is it then that as women who know the value of real, we settle for less in ourselves, our friends and our relationships?

What creates that climate?

Is it fear?

Maybe we wont be liked (or loved) if we are real?

If not fear then what are the other possibilities?

Is it conforming? Does who we sense that we are seem out of step with what we see in the world around us thereby driving us to become our best imitation of ourselves instead of being real, as we strive to carefully fit in with societal expectations?

That begs the question, who is it exactly that originates societies expectations? Who is behind the news or the fashion and currently admired humans that over saturate our eyes, minds and ears via the TV, movies, magazines and the Internet?

What is the fascination with holding other humans up to emulate rather than being what it is we admire in them in the first place.

So if its not fear or the desire to conform what is it?

There seems to be one more reason why a woman cant be real.

Because she doesn't know who she really is.

Like it or not, we are all products of all that came before us to a certain extent.

Be a good girl, sit up straight, eat all your food, behave. Those are all powerhouse subliminals that inadvertently work against realness aren't they?

Its not that those time honored parental phrases are wrong but they were perhaps in many cases the only defining message that got through to our "child" ears.

No matter. The adult ears and eyes we have now are the ones that are in charge. What do they tell us about what is real and what isn't?

On this walk through life we carry inside all the stages we have ever been. Little girl, teenager, woman....its all still there inside so the capacity to know who we are isn't unattainable even if it does seem just beyond our grasp at the moment.

It just requires a determined reach that's all.

Wether our suppression of our own realness comes from fear of failure or the need of conformity of the lack of self knowledge, the solution appears to be the same.

What if a woman took a week to explore this?

Would the world stop spinning?

We know the answer to that.

So what's to be lost in trying.

It doesn't have to be in a scary drastic way.

A woman does not have to chop off all her hair or go braless to work to begin to be authentic. It doesn't have to be big or external at all.

It can be as small as stopping yourself in one moment to really look at the person in front of you.

Or doing something you want to that you fear might seem silly if someone was walking in the rain.

The world wants to claim your childlike enjoyment of life. Your innocence and authenticity. It wants to leave you jaded and bitter.

The universe wants the opposite.

The universe is an impressive and explosive mixture of unique and varied forms all working in perfect harmony.

Why should we as women have to be any less?