August 21, 2011

Our day in phrases, cuz mama's too tired to think

coffee with the one I love
picnic packing
waking children
yogurt, fruit, pecans and chia seeds
mcgriddles - yep, you read that right :)
1.5 hour drive through the gorgeous hills that we call home
VW westie cruzin'
happy children
peeing on a gravel road
exploring the hilly slopes, weeds and creek after the pee
sanctuary with UU's
Pathways Spiritual Sanctuary
meandering hike
babies and snacks
picnic lunch under a shady tree
sleepy stroller ride
Buddhist water ceremony
carrot eating horses
sun and blue sky
ice cream with beloved friends
playing and falling more in love with ZJ
lots of nursing time 
giggles and funny faces, enough so to warrant picture taking by passing bikers
pitiful fire pit fire
but hot enough to burn little fingers :(
snuggles with my biggest boy
sleepy time

August 10, 2011

Here's Your Order, Ma'am...

I've been driving myself crazy lately.  Isn't that a funny sentence?  ** I'VE ** been driving myself crazy.  Why?  Why would I do that?  Isn't that just stupid.  Yep.  Stupid, indeed.  It's all up in my head, too.  This conversation, this story that I tell myself over and over and over.  Lots of stories, really.  All of them limiting.

I don't have time to --- fill in the blank.
I can't do that because --- insert lame excuse here.
Why is my life so much harder than everyone else's?
They just wouldn't understand...

Don't you just love how the Universe lines up with exactly what we ask for?  Look at what I've been asking for!!!  And I'm surprised that I actually got what I was asking for???  WTH.  ;) When will this silly little human ever learn?

But, today... something happened.  I just **was**.  I went along with things.  I put my agenda aside, and simply trusted everything was exactly as it should be.  But I kinda just did it without really thinking about it.  I mean, I didn't wake up and say, "today, I shall trust that all is as it should be" -- (but I probably should make a habit of doing THAT!) --  No.  Instead, something, some force just carried me along and I surrendered and it felt GOOD.  So good.

And now, my focus shall shift.

I needed a day just like today.  

July 27, 2011

Lessons in the Dentist Office

**This post was written on May 20.  Stuck in draft mode for all this time, but it's out now***

Saylor has been complaining for a short bit about one of his teeth bothering him.  He said that when he chewed, or bit down on that particular side, it was uncomfortable and annoying.  We're leaving for a long road trip (Life is Good in Vancouver, WA)  in just a few days, so we thought it wise to visit the dentist... if one could get us in on such short notice.  We called a dentist he'd seen when he was 3, and had done really well with during that time.

We arrived, she took digital x-rays, discovering that the discomfort he was feeling was not because of a cavity, but because a new tooth was pushing down and the other tooth would be falling out within the next couple months (her estimation).  He decided to just have it pulled now and skip two more months of annoyance.   He powered through the 'pinch' of getting numbed... one in the gum area and one in the roof of the mouth. :(   Then.  He sat.  For an Hour.

This particular dentist works solo, evidently to the point of doing her own paper work, etc.  While she's asking me the details... name, address, email, phone number, insurance card; my son lays in the chair dreading what's coming.  And the longer he sits there, the more his mind goes and the more frightened he becomes.

I was on the phone asking about finance options (upon her insistence) and she went back into the room where Saylor was.  The person I was speaking to needed to speak with her, so I came around the corner to find Saylor fully sobbing in the chair.  Turns out, she'd waited so long that he now needed another shot.  And I step into a conversation that went something like this:
 "I will allow your mom to get you settled, but if you don't calm down I won't let her stay here with you.  She can stay for a few minutes to get you settled, but if you don't settle right now, she will have to leave the room.  She is not going to rescue you.  This is not negotiable.  Do you understand me? "  All of these words were said in the most un-loving of ways.  It made my stomach turn.

I held his hand.  I spoke softly to him and re-assured him everything was going to be alright.

The dentist went to chat with the person on the phone.  Saylor said he wanted to leave, go home.  He didn't care if he had to live with his tooth just the way it was....  "I just want to go home," he urged, tears flowing. 

I moved the tray out of his way, and helped him up.  I told him that if he wanted to go home we could go home.  I said it with love and acceptance.  He was afraid to leave the room, "she's gonna see me", he said.  I told him not to worry, just to walk out and go wait for me in the van.

She finished on the phone and I stood there, waiting to see what her reaction was going to be when she saw he wasn't in the chair anymore.  I told her he changed his mind, he was done and would just leave the tooth to come out on it's own.  She said she'd like a chance to talk to him, that she was good at getting kids to settle, that "that's what she does".  So, she went *out to the van* to speak to him.  That conversation included more coercion and guilt tactics to try to get him to do something that he did not want to do.  Needless to say, he didn't budge. ;) 

What a bizarre experience.

I am proud of Saylor for listening to his gut, for being brave enough to say when enough was enough.  I can learn a thing or two from him in that regard.

I am so happy that I followed my heart in that moment, rather than what I thought I 'should' do, or what someone else expected me to do.  I looked at my child.  It was simple to know what to do.  *Listen* to him.  *Honor* him.  Right then, right there.  

It's absolutely insane that someone would dare talk to a child that way.  Is that what happens when an adult goes to the dentist and has fear or apprehension?  Are they bullied and coerced and forced into shit they aren't ok with?  Unreal.

I paid what we owed for her time, the x-rays and the shots and left feeling like I did the right thing for my son.  I could have easily made him do what she wanted.  Thank God I didn't.  I'm more concerned about what my children think of me than the random man on the street... or the dentist. 

John talked to Saylor about it later that day and told him some really beautiful things that made Saylor smile.  He also said some really nice things to me that made me smile.  That John is pretty damn out of this world.

Our boy is happy.  That's what counts.  And, he knows his parents are his partners.  We've shown it in action.  Words are easy, it's what we *do* that shows the people we love what we're really all about.

May 22, 2011

The Light in Me see's The Light in You

So if I can meditate I feel fortunate. If I can meditate with Ahjuan I feel inspired, blessed and much more. Today was all the above. When i got to the temple Ahjuan was performing some kind of ceremony that might bring good fortune to someone who lost a job and out of work for some time. So Nice!!! Than he started his ritual chanting before meditation. Half way through meditation two people came in he began to talk with them I continued to meditate. When I was done I found out the two were college students researching Buddhism and meditation. One of the girls was Laos and the other American, The Laos girl ask me what had brought me here and why I began to meditate. It took me a second but I simply told her I was meditating with friends back home but what really brought me down this path was a time over a year ago that had stuck with me. It is or was hard to explain until today. Ok it might not be easy to explain but I'll try my best. I had a moment that was profound to me and while reading "Stages of Meditation" by the Dalai Lama it dawned on me what to call it "Emptiness" ultimate reality, free from elaborations, it is uncontaminated. It felt so good I needed more so here I am. Lucky enough to find a teacher like Ahjuan I told them he is a great teacher.
Than Ahjuan began to talk for a long time time to this girl in Laos I had know idea what they were talking about I think he may have told some stories of his life as a young man and it my have been very brutal. As time went on I realized I had to go and I politely excused myself but I wanted to know what he had said and wanted the girl to email me. She said he said many thing and she couldn't understand everything. I kind of laughed but on the way out she told me He said that He saw something in me strong and good. I told those girls that just blew my mind and made me very emotional as it does just writing it. I can't wait to see him again.

I pay homage to that being sublime
Amongst the Buddhas, the propounder of the teaching,
Who taught that things arise through dependence
And that there is no cessation, no birth,
No annihilation, no permanence,
No coming and no going,
No separate meaning and no sameness,
Thoroughly free from elaborations, and completely at peace

May 20, 2011

Hard Day / Great Day

I had a rough day Wednesday I was very frustrated, agitated, belittled, and sad. What to do tried to get my mind right but couldn't. My day improved but it was still lingering. Vent to my gracious wife but still there. Fortunately I had a chance to go meditate at the Buddhist temple with Ahjuan. When you meditate sometimes your mind wonders all over the place and you can't focus but if you keep taking steady breaths and breathe in the bad and out with good. Ya I know it may sound strange to go that way but that is the way another teacher of mine had taught me " why would you want to put bad back into the world when you have the power to change yourself and your environment" I like that It seems to give me strength. Any way I was able to get on track and remembered what a friend (KP) had told me all people know good from bad. In this situation I was mad at someone that I felt was harming my integrity and couldn't speak my mind and be heard, that's what really got my goat. All people know good from bad why did this come into my mind. Yeah that's it I don't have to get all worked up, I don't have to prove myself, I know who I am and I'm happy with that. I don't have to tell the other person he's wrong, he knows good from bad.

What a relief the burden was gone and I didn't have to be a jerk about it I felt great. Meditation is such a powerful tool I think I will keep doing it. Ajhuan says you should meditate every day, I'm trying.

The root of Buddhism is the Four Nobel Truths, which states that there is suffering and we can rise above it by applying techniques which reduce our attachment and clinging to things, people and life itself.

"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others."

May 15, 2011

No words

I'm in Lakeville, MN I have had about 4 days off due to weather. My normal past time might be fishing and drinking, uh going out with friends and drinking, or staying in room and drinking. I will admit I did have a glass of wine Thurs. But that night I decided to continue my journey to self improvement and that lead me to the Wat Lao Buddhist Temple just a hop skip from here.

I have noticed this place for quit some time but in the past i was curious but to scared. Was I scared this time, not really. I guess I was ready. Friday morning I pulled into this beautiful courtyard were i was greeted by a monk who was doing some gardening (he had rubber boots on under his robe) I asked if there were any time to meditate and he invited me at 4pm. I was pretty excited to practice with the pros. So on my return there he was on the mower cutting grass and he gave me a kind wave. I was reading my meditation book and he was finishing up I guess but he started a vehicle and I was wondering what was going on. He tried to explain but his English was not clear but than I saw he had gotten the mower stuck. So yep I helped getting it out, it was a trip to say the least.

This kind sole told me to go into the temple i thought it was this one building but it was locked and he directed me to the other, temple confusion. I had no idea of etiquette so that's me winging it. The monks name is Vunsang which I found out the next day you don't call him by his name. You say Ahjuan which means teacher yes I called him Vunsang duh. So we go to the altar and I just about sat up on the same area as him he said no no you sit there. Than he said now we chant, chant long than meditate and gave out a giggle. Ya it was long about 1 1/2 hours with legs crossed but I loved it. Than we meditated for 30 min and he invited me to eat. I felt very honored.

The next day Saturday I was able to get more info via the Internet and a nice lady at the temple. Don't call him by name, take shoes off at door figured that one out on my own, bow three times when you enter and three times at altar, don't set higher than Ahjuan, don't point feet towards the Buddha. I don't Know how tho spell her name but it's V and she had two granddaughters with her 5 - 8 they were just as crazy as my kids. Made me miss them, the girls were fighting and loud but when we began to chant they settled down and it was a long time for them to set. It was amazing. After meditation I met a man KP and he took a lot of time to explain certain things and just get to know me and i didn't realize they were going to perform a ceremony yep more chanting but i was completely into it. This was the preparations for tomorrows ceremony. Yes KP invited me to eat with them. The food is Laos food lots of sticky rice and you use your fingers
mostly to eat good good food.

Sunday morning there were many people there to celebrate the birth of Buddha, his first ceremony, and the day of enlightenment. I know right i get to experience this blows my mind.
Lots of chanting its a time to donate. You take this bowl full of food and some money and empty it out on a table while making wishes for good things for family friends anything. Well I didn't have a basket so some of the women made one up and gave it to me to empty. Another wow.
We tied these stings on some of the Buddhas statues for good luck I had one left over and KP said put on Ahjuan. Ahjuan say you have good luck John. He had a banana in his hand while I was tying the string on, he said this is not for you, it made me laugh.

We finished the ceremony with offering food to Ahjuan and than KP made an announcement at the end he ask me to tell every one what brought me here. Ah Ah Ah. The funny thing was I didn't have any words of wisdom but I was able to speak clear and calm to a group of about 100 plus that i didn't know. Than we ate.

That was just what I experienced physically there is no way I could even begin to describe my emotions my deepest most inner thoughts.


"I am the owner of my karma .
I inherit my karma.
I am born of my karma.
I am related to my karma.
I live supported by my karma.
Whatever karma I create, whether good or evil, that I shall inherit."
The Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya V.57 - Upajjhatthana Sutta

May 3, 2011


This song is AMAZING.  I love it, love the band.  It makes me think of John, and it reminds me of the conversations we have.

 Lyrics here:
_Home_  by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

We've been married for nearly 17 years.  And the years keep getting better.  And the love keeps growing stronger.  Good, good stuff.

April 15, 2011


Something I need to keep reminding myself mostly about work is to be thankful even in the trying times there is always something that can lift your spirits. Thankfully I have such a great wife to tell my stories of so called horrors at work and together we are able to see a new light. Thats why people get married it is a joint effort at least for us. If it weren't for our great relationship I would have gone postal a long time ago. She is definitely my soul mate and together we will rise to any so called glitch in life.

It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good
heart whatever they might have to say. Gandhi

April 14, 2011

The Times

Today was kind of a rough day for me.  Zuri has been grumpy with a cold, and so is quite needy of me, my arms, my attention.  I do mostly pretty good at just *being* with her, but when my other sweets need, oh, say... Food! it gets more difficult.  And so, because I don't have 'down-time' during the day, here I sit at this crazy hour, reflecting, breathing, being still.  (really, though, i should be sleeping, because i woke up with a head-ache and vowed to myself and Zuri that we'd take a nap together today.  didn't happen)

Zuri and I went on a short bike ride today, which included a slight hill, so I'll count that as my little work-out.  My legs felt like rubber when I was done, so, really, it counts.  I was in a better frame of mind after some fresh air and walking around by the pond that we rode to.  Zuri was fascinated with all the goose poop, and kept leading me around, pointing it all out to me... "poop", she'd say.  Yep.  I even let her touch one (it was pretty dried out, so there).

The boys and I watched some Daniel Tosh stand-up stuff.  He's a funny one, that Daniel.  Of course, some cool conversations came out of that.  Also watched American Idol.  I'm pulling for Casey Abrams.  Zuri was ready for sleep at this point, so we came downstairs and laid together while John and I had a long, great (as usual) conversation over the phone.  He's in Torrington, WY, heading home tomorrow.  Damn weather better allow his safe travels.

I told John this, and I'll say it here, too:  I am in awe and so inspired by the man that he is.  I sometimes have to do a double-take and blink my eyes a time or two and remind myself that this is real.  This relationship that we have.  I love who he is as a human being.  And I really, really love that I get to be a part of his journey.  Damn lucky, us two.  Fo Sho.

After I said goodnight to Johnny Ray, I slid out from under Zuri to go fix the boys a snack and take it upstairs to where they were (corn dogs and clementines).  "Oh, awesome, this is so awesome, thanks mom!"  says Stone.

Sage came down requesting more clementines, so I sent him back up with a bowl full (peeled).  I'm working on my 'food issues' lately.  I will trust my children with their food choices, no guilt attached.  And that includes no crazy eyes.  It's easy to not *say* anything, but most times, our faces say it all, even if we don't utter a word.  Well, mine does, anyway.  Ask John.  So, I've decided that for them to trust me where food is concerned, I first need to trust them and *their* food choices.  If all I ever do is shove my agenda down their throats (nice pun, huh?) how will they ever really have space in their thinking that will allow them to simply watch and decide if the way John and I eat interests them, or holds any real value for them.  

Well, my teeth are brushed (was going to wash my face, but... nah), the kids have all been checked in with one more time and kissed and told that they are loved.  They're set.  And I'm off to bed.  Sweet dreams...xxoxxo

April 12, 2011

Our Day

Zuri is under the weather (i wonder where that saying ever came from?) today, so we hung close to home.  We did spend a short bit at the park nearby.  Figured some sunshine and fresh air never hurt anyone.  She enjoyed herself, too.  First time riding the merry-go-round.  I was on it with he at first, but then had to get off and have her big brothers hold her on the horse so I wouldn't lose my cookies in front of all the other park-goers.

We spent some time on the trampoline, watched a movie (sage and I), played Xbox w/ friends (Saylor & Stone), watched Netflix thru Xbox live w/ friends (Saylor, Stone), hung clothes on the line (me), watched some Youtube vids (S,S,S), went for a walk with Grandma (Stone, Sage, Zuri, me), practiced some parkour (Stone, Sage), rode a bike (Stone, Sage), took a couple naps (Zuri), ate some frozen blueberries and strawberries, twice (Zuri), made a smoothie, twice (Saylor, me), started a hilarious book (me), played with the dollies (Zuri, me)... --- ... --- and a whole bunch of other stuff that I'm not thinking of now.  It's late, afterall.

I caught myself thinking today:  "Wow.  This is my life?  Really?  It's ***MY*** life!!!!!"  I'm Grateful beyond words for our beautiful life.  The simple things bring me so much joy.  Just being here to take care of our children in a mindful way heals my heart and makes me whole.  Everyday.

April 6, 2011

Make Time for Play

After I got Zuri nursed down to sleep, I slid (very stealthly... else she'd wake up and search for the boob!) out of bed, got my face washed and teeth brushed, then made up a quick batch of nachos for the boys.  I took them upstairs to where they were playing MW2 and hung out with them for a while, watching and learning about how that whole thing works.  They're very patient with me, and all my questions.  (I am a woman with many, I assure you.  Maybe not always a good thing.  Or maybe it is.)

Stone was playing on-line with someone who I could hear through his headset.  He sounded like a cool kid, and Stone and he were having fun running around showing each other little glitches here and there.  And I was enjoying watching.  WHAT?!?!?  Yep.  I was actually watching with pure, un-distracted interest in what they were doing.  I think it helped that I could hear the conversation, because then it helped me understand what their goals and objectives were.  It was so cool.  Even though I don't understand every. little. detail. about their game, I'm there, watching, participating in whatever way I know how.  They like that.  They want me there.  They explain what they're doing, and what this term and that saying means.  I'm there for them now so they know that I'll be there for them always.  As parents, we can tell our kids that we'll always be there for them or we can simply show them.  Actions always speak louder than words.  

I attended a drum circle this evening.  Another friend of mine attended, too.  She said she only came because her daughter wanted to be there, and that she *herself* would never come to something like that because it would be something too close to what her mother would do.  She and I went on to have a conversation about the role of being the first born child plays (or, how shitty it is to be the first born)., um, maybe I'll switch to "I" now.... I am always serious.  I always have to make sure everyone else is taken care of.  I can't have too much fun, because who has time for fun, because I have to be the UBER responsible one, making sure everyone gets home safely or doesn't drown in their own vomit.  Play?  Nope, sorry, too busy being responsible.


I want to PLAY.  I want to PLAY.  I want to PLAY.

My children remind me to play.  To stop with the responsibilities and just Play, right here, right now, before this Now is gone.   I'll never regret putting down the 'serious stuff' to have some fun and make memories with my kids.  They are, and will remain, my Greatest Teachers.  

March 29, 2011

On Listening

This past Sunday at fellowship, our lay leader shared with us a spoken word essay on life's themes and detachment.  It was lovely to listen to.  Who doesn't like to be still and listen to a good story?  John tells the kids stories all the time, (and I've heard the stories several times) but I sit and listen like it's the first time I've ever heard it. 

As I was cleaning up the kitchen today, a thought stumbled into my head:  just think of how much we miss out on, because we're too busy talking...or preparing to talk.  Listening is big.  Today, I will try to be a better listener. 

The spoken word essay was from this site  ::::   ~Listen Well~   From its homepage:  "offering once monthly, recorded pieces that speak to our need for individual awakening, and embrace the shared wisdom of all faiths..."

Can't wait to hear more, there are a whole list of archived pieces just calling my name.

March 26, 2011

Spring is here?

We celebrated the spring equinox last weekend and it was gorgeous. Friday the 18th we spent alone just our tribe of six. On Sat 72 friends came together to bring in the spring with planting seeds, decorating eggs, hunting eggs, Hula Hooping, dancing, drumming, singing, and telling stories. It was so much fun, what great souls. This weekend a bit of snow but I know it will be warming up soon cause I got the call to go back to work. I am excited about the work season this year I feel I have grown so much. My perception of life has changed in many ways, it is hard to put into words. I am very grateful and blessed with such a wonderful life.
Its Saturday 26th we just turned the electricity back on after an hour of drumming and singing by candle light to honor mother earth so nice. Boys hanging with cousin Jarod , Mama in bed with baby girl I think I will join them.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world


We're spending the day lazing around, mostly. I"ve spent some time playing around with a free webinar service that we can use for the coop help our members becoming more familiar with our on line ordering procedures and stuff like that>

and now<> or an apostrophe " this is what i get> sHIT!!! And my letters will become upper case for no reason, at random times. shhhh. Don't tell John. Saylor and I just got done 'damaging' (oh! look, it's working now!) John's computer using uTorrent. Evidently, we invited in a nasty little infection. But. Fred (fixmycomputer) fixed her up for us. Next time, we'll just save the $95 and buy the movie we want. :)

John is scheduled to start his first mill job of the season on Monday. However, we now have 2 inches of snow on the ground, so that may get pushed back a bit.

Our life is buzzing right along, ever so sweetly. John and I were just talking about how content we feel right now. It's wonderfully wonderful. I love that we have such real conversations. We're both comfortable with sharing our feelings and that is what makes our relationship so special, I believe.

The other night, while laying in bed trying to go to sleep (on a night when I had to have my alarm set for a wake-up the next morning, so naturally, could NOT fall asleep), I decided to start a blog for each of the children. I wonder if they show up automatically within this little place (like in my profile somewhere?) or perhaps I should link to them here, too?

Ya. That's what I'll do. I'll put them here, and then I'll add them to my sidebar.

John's watching "Thumbs Up", and I'm listening in. Sounds interesting. It's about hitchhiking.

Ok, so John is giving me crap about... "what, now are you going to become a rolling reporter? someday you'll have to actually interact with your kids" -- because I'm giving a play by play here.

I'm gonna go now. Interact with my kids. :)

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy