The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

pics from the front porch

This summer has been the hottest, stormiest summer we've had here in a long while.  The last summer that was anything like this one I had only two children and they both sat looking out a backyard window with adorable little rain boots nearby  ... that summer a bird built a nest in the hood of a purple rain coat which was hanging up outside and we watched from the breakfast table, cozy and dry, as the eggs hatched and the babies eventually took flight under the cover of our back porch. That summer was a long one ... but oh how time does fly.

This summer I spent a bit of time, no where near enough, sitting on the front porch close to the roof line where the rain could splash on my bare feet.  This was also a long summer in some ways ... one which also past too fast.

These two pictures and why they are here ... a reminder mostly ... of pleasant days after the storms, not blistering hot days when we ran from one air conditioned space to another, not days when it stopped raining just long enough for me to notice steam dancing up off the asphalt streets ... these photos recall sitting on the porch days.  Days when I can notice things written in red.  Uh, red letter days maybe.

The first, a little pot of flowers purchased on a whim for their brightness.  I routinely get these at the grocery store.  They stage them right where everyone will see them on the way to the check out.  I buy them like I buy orchids, with no expectation for them to stay around once the flowers bloom out and wilt.  They bring a little joy then make room for the next little pot of floral sunshine.  These found their way out to the front porch on their way to the trash can ... it must have been the daily rain that saved them because they sat out there unnoticed long enough to re-bud.  I spent many a childhood moment inside a commercial nursery, of course I knew they would flower again given the opportunity.  I just don't/haven't thought of them that way.  Now I need to see the re-flowering of something that seemed ... might as well have been ... dead.  I'm looking to see what they will do.
The other picture, the humming bird feeder ... I put this out primary for my husband's possible pleasure.  He is tending the front bed this year and has spent the early morning hour pulling an epic proliferation of tiny mimosa trees out of my beds.  And  poison ivy, man, it has thrived during these back to back high humidity  days.  I am extremely allergic to it ... now he is also.  Anyway ... the feeder.  Provided for these little guys out of generosity ... they are not the least bit decent about sharing the bounty!  There is plenty for all and yet they create strife at the point of blessing.  I think there is definitely an object lesson there.

Gotta go ... busy as ever ... but trying to slow these days down enough to notice how good they are.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Notes on "The Language of  Choice Theory"

symptoms and complaints are viewed as creative ways individuals choose to deal with current relationship problems (anger, headaches, depression) (the author of what I'm reading didn't say "ice cream", but I think that is my creative go to ...).

"coercing, controlling, relationship destroying psychology used when having difficulty getting along with someone else" (Glasser 2003)

false beliefs:
  • one is made to behave
  • you can control someone
  • we know what's right for all
habits of external control:
  • criticizing
  • blaming
  • complaining
  • nagging
  • threatening
  • punishing
  • rewarding to control
alternatives to above habits:
  • supporting
  • encouraging
  • listening
  • accepting
  • trusting
  • respecting
  • negotiating differences

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

John O'Donohue ... Love/Shelter

“The heart is the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered.” 

“Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul.” 


"Send some rain, would You send some rain?

'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again

And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade

Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?

Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid"

~Nichole Nordeman, Gratitude

I know I am way too busy with less important stuff when I realize I haven't spoken with my brother in I don't remember when.  Spent some time visiting with him this morning.  A quick look around the house shows me that I have enough little projects to keep me busy 'til Thanksgiving probably.  I like it.  I like doing stuff around my home quite a bit.
I am trying to spend some quiet time thinking about actual landings (of airplanes) and some of the life lessons which may be culled from thoughts on landings.  All of a sudden I am inundated with people who want help working on their landings, just plain ole landings, also performance landings ... the basic spectrum.  It's interesting how many ways a landing can happen/be executed and still be referred to as a successful landing.  And ... it's interesting to think about the ever-changing dynamics of landing an airplane ... and about most desirable landings in a metaphoric sense. Maybe I am trying to circle in on the finesse that maturity might bring to the event, maybe it's about acknowledging the "gravity" of the situation ... it's got a lot of little pieces which come together for better or worse outcomes ... and those little bits are in flux.   I am definitely not of the school of thought that supports the notion that "any landing one can walk away from is a good landing".  That's just a ridiculous statement ... surely it's intended in jest?!
Anyway ... landings.
And little projects around the house.
And ... most importantly, time with/for my people.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


1 cup of 2% cottage cheese
lotsa protein, but almost 1/2 of the desired fat grams for the day!

scoping out a very cool place
Figuring out how to get the recommended 20% fats/40% carbs/40% protein combo from my meals.  That's actually a lot of protein! Plus ... the gym opened!  Very exciting ... found the locker room, now to select a few classes (I'm mostly interested in the yoga, gravity pilates, core barre, aqua yoga and cycle). The track in this pic is a 1/3 mile cork screw that bridges through the buildings ... very cool.  I also really like how the cardio machines are scattered around the buildings.  I just need to work time in to my schedule for all this fun.


After Sunday lunch L and I hung out at the library for a while
I like to browse through their stack of magazines
Snaped this pic because I think I will make a skirt similar to this one for myself
from a heavy crepe or a light wool.
Having the sewing machine out reminds me that I know how to sew!

Surprisingly delicious juice ... magenta from a beet ...
I love that juicer.
(recipe in previous post somewhere)

End of summer vacation cake, L and I made this one together
it's been a long time since we made a cake together
our cake makers are out and about these days!
I am going to learn how to rock the piping deal
(my girls have inspired me!).


Saturday was move in day at the dorm ... house getting quieter and quieter!  IV ... already missing her!


These fabrics are for pillows for the living room.  The turquoise is for the welt cord on the two easy chairs, their primary fabric is dark grey, almost as dark as the wall paint.  I'll get the pillows that belong on those chairs monogrammed ... been here in the south for over 20 years and I'm finally getting with the program ... the monogram will be turquoise.  I'm trying to decide if the pillows are all grey otherwise or if the back will be the turquoise dot fabric pictured above.  Trying to be less conservative, and I know it would be adorable, just not sure that adorable is me.  I have a couple of friends with good hearts and outstanding eyes who I can consult with on such an important decision!
Finally found "the" quirky little table I've been looking for to go between the two goose neck arm chairs.  In the garage is a big piece of plywood (4x6), already primed in gold, which is in the process of becoming the focal art for that end of the room. The black and white chairs with this green table will be in front of it and the two water colors are nearby on the adjacent wall.  I am leaning towards dark periwinkle, glossy white/white and glossy cream/white with just a splash of the coral/melon color.  It'll be an abstract with those pics I posted earlier this summer serving as inspiration.  I expect I will take the form from the grain patterns in the wood.  I'll build a frame/edge from molding (painted black) to finish it off.  It could go so many ways ... I am excited to see what will evolve.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I want love to be a shelter, more then a vessel. 

I said that a few days ago when I didn't have time to really explore what I intend those words to identify ... 


1   a : a container (as a cask, bottle, kettle, cup, or bowl) for holding something
    b : a person into whom some quality (as grace) is infused
 ... vessel of the Lord — H. J. Laski
2   : a watercraft bigger than a rowboat
: a tube or canal (as an artery) in which a body fluid is contained and conveyed or circulated 
(Merriam Webster)

1. A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container, especially for liquids.
a. Nautical A craft, especially one larger than a rowboat, designed to navigate on water.
b. An airship.
3. Anatomy A duct, canal, or other tube that contains or conveys a body fluid: a blood vessel.
4. Botany One of the tubular conductive structures of xylem, consisting of dead cylindrical cells that are attached end to end and connected by perforations. They are found in nearly all flowering plants.
5. A person seen as the agent or embodiment, as of a quality: a vessel of mercy. 

(And, btw ... arteries carry blood from the heart, veins carry blood to the heart, capillaries are "exchangers" ; they facilitate exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and tissue.  
Learned about this distinction while at Bodies Exhibit last week...thanks to IV and V)

So there's that ... a vessel may be thought of as a mechanism for containing, and containing with the intent to transport, and transporting to a place where the contained is dispersed, poured out, finds purpose.
Maybe the idea is less about the actual conveyance then it is about the contained.  Um, maybe the contained is a "marinade" for another contained.  But I think the important distinction for me is that a vessel is a temporary place for what ever it contains, even when it provides long term storage ... as a container for something precious which improves whilst contained.  It does, for me, imply both holding something then letting go of something.  So ... if love is the vessel, a crafted vessel, what does it contain? 

If the vessel is made "from the material of love" maybe it is more like how I think of the concept of "shelter".  Shelter to me is a "feeling" I get in "a place" and that place may be a relationship that "works" like a vessel works, as blood vessels work (so ingenious, I love the circulatory system ... so elegant, so practical ... I smile with the residual joy of the experience provided by the Bodies Exhibit ... we are wonderfully made).  And ... this puzzles me ... how in the world do we "know", how do we sense (and if we do sense, how can we trust that, trust ourselves when we know we have been "wrong" before) ... how do we sense a "place" hospitable to/for love to flourish?  I mean. I believe some of it must be hedged about my our morals, our values, our customs, our constructs.  But given that everything appears to be kosher, how does one determine who, what, when, where, why of love.  For me it is less about can "this" hold my love and more about is my love safe there ... am I safe there (and in some lovely cases, I don't need t be safe ... it would never occur to me to need to be safe with my children for example ... I am safe with them and they are safe with me)

Atlanta, GA / Las Vegas, / NV Buena Park, CA

Let's see how shelter is defined ...

1575–85;  perhaps alteration of obsolete sheltron  testudo, Old Englishscieldtruma,  equivalent to scield shield + truma  body of fighting men;see trim

retreat, asylum, sanctuary, shield, haven, harbor. See cover7.harbor, house. 9. guard, safeguard, shield, defend.

something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal,or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions,etc.; refuge.
the protection or refuge afforded by such a thing: He took shelterin a nearby barn.
protection from blame, incrimination, etc.
a dwelling place or home considered as a refuge from theelements: Every one's basic needs are food, clothing, and shelter.
a building serving as a temporary refuge or residence for homeless persons, abandoned animals, etc.

Well that's kinda interesting (yes, I know, maybe to only me ... lol);

I want love to be a shelter more then a vessel.

Shelter to me is a "feeling" I get in "a place" and that place may be a relationship that "works" like a vessel works, as blood vessels work.  I want love to be about exchange ... and I like thinking about it as a refuge ... a "place" one can truly "come home" to replete with all the metaphors of home (BTW ... that book by Kidder, House ... really good, and I especially loved the other book, Mountains Beyond Mountains ... and, among other important things, they have in common to me at least, this notion of "shelter" which may also be seen demonstrated as an exchange of pouring out one's supply of love upon "something" which replenishes one's supply of love
I want love to be about an exchange.  But I also want love to be about "shelter" ... When I was thinking about it the other day I intentionally substituted the word "vessel" (cup) for the word "chalice" which conveys spiritual connotations.  And ... I think it is a lot easier to "love" someone when that someone is seen as being "a soul".  It takes more of an investment to intentionally observe the obvious ... that that person has significance to God ... it takes more time then "Have a good day" encourages ... it requires actually "seeing" that person.  Some people are difficult to look at.  And some people are too busy to look.  And some people really don't want to be seen. 

Well ... my time is again "up".  Love is a huge idea.  I want to give and receive love as shelter, maybe it has to do somewhat with my intrinsic "woman-ness".  Maybe it has to do with my deep need to "feel" safe ... my vigilance/weariness in seeking to provide that for myself while knowing that for one thing safe is a construct ... and safe  ... okay, I like the wading pool and I like the deep waters ... I like both and what is between as well ... one may look safer then the other. I like the idea of love as a vessel ... and I like the idea that it may be constructed as "something" offered by each partner in the "loving" relationship.  The guy who wrote the Newman vows talked about love as creating a circle within which a group (family, by blood or by choice ... my words)'s the line: 

"... .  It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. ... . "

Newman letter ... notes on from 11/18/11

notes from 11/18/11

Paul Newman's letter to his wife on their wedding day:
“ Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner."

Read this morning ... Wise words to live a marriage by.

21 Nov 2011 Yesterday I showed this letter to my husband and asked him what he thinks of it. He shrugged dismissively, maybe disdainfully, but didn't comment about the specifics. I said I thought it was a very nice letter ... something his wife must have cherished. I told him that I need his version of a letter like this. He said he would put this on his list. I said I sure would like his version of a letter like this for Christmas. This part of his list will go in a little round file.
A few days ago I said I was going to ask Santa for a telescope ... then I started researching which one ... those little wonders are expensive! That's not going to go on my list, a telescope isn't as important as it seemed for a minute there. I can look at pictures on line for now. But ... I would like a letter. Thirty years later ... I need to see the words that express his heart. And ... Honestly, I feel bad about asking for that because I know he is busy providing for all of us. I should tell him what I need ... I just wish I didn't need more then what he's already got on his list ... a request like this just creates a burden (for me). I'm encouraging myself to "feel blessed". He needs to feel appreciated for what he can and does do. That's part of how I can be the right partner. And I am thinking about these quotes noted awhile back.
" ...Not to use another as an emotional scratching post for my own yearnings." ~ paraphrased ~ I don't want to make him feel bad for stuff he is unable to do.
or these in a book by E. Gilbert ... Eat, Pray, Love
"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."

"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thinking about LOVE from Oct.2011

Looking back and thinking back over some of the thoughts I've had, and conclusions I've half reached on the notion of love (which I really didn't want to think about in the first place ... ).  Lewis' work, FOUR LOVES was a good study to read, it helped me organize my thinking on the semantics.  It is a shame when words can't quite convey significance.

Love is wrapped in a lot of other words and I believe those words must be carefully arrived at, forged with purified truth ... that's a process, purification, and maybe love makes room for that.  I think that's where we mess up a lot of times.  We want the words to be true ... and probably even eternally true, but maybe we just either don't want to do the work of love or maybe we just aren't up to the effort that love requires.  It does kinda wear one out.
Little loves are easier ... and little lusts which may present themselves as little loves, like little sparks they offer the potential of becoming ... uh, more ... they promise something but I think they don't appear to have anything to do with the huge idea of eternal echoes. Little lusts want to be sneaky like that, maybe they become a fire that consumes, maybe they become a fire that purifies, maybe they  are a bit of both.  I personally think lust is lovely, it just has a mind of it's own sometimes ... sometimes it is not good company for life, much less love.  (That's what I think.)
Some of the little loves are like Cheetos (I love Cheetos ... not the icky orange residue ... and not the empty bag, always empty before it fills me up ... but yeah, they melt in my mouth, or crunch ... they leave the experience entirely up to me and ask for nothing even while they insist on hanging around as unsightly ... lol, love handles, too perversely funny ... I hate Cheetos ... nasty little unsatisfying empty anti-nutritional calories ... yeah, good only for stroking cravings ... yummy yuk ).
Some of the little loves are more substantial ... little only by size as something elemental [Primary or basic: "elemental features from which structures are compounded"],  as something overlooked or unseen, as the electrical wiring which leads to the outlets and light switches in my house.  I take the comforts facilitated by electricity for granted and I am amazed at the ingenuity the idea of an empty Coke bottle plugged in to a structure to provide light ...unimaginable to a person who knows only the ease of flipping the lights on at will (I love those 3 way bulbs ...  and dimmers ... love dimmers).  Okay, smaller then electrical stuff, small like baby steps ... small like DNA (smaller then DNA).
I want love to be a shelter, more then a vessel.  I want it to do the bigger work of love ... more on that later.

My time is up for now.
Quick tiny note:  I absolutely adored flying yesterday.  I sat to offer guidance and basically keep the guy safe while he figured some flying stuff out.  Fun for me to figure out the most useful way to present what seems to me to be very basic (elemental) flying stuff.  It's interesting to see how many ways one can screw up a very vanilla landing ... first this then that and how difficult it can be to make the adaptions to get the monkeys back in the barrel ... and how intuitively easy it is/was for someone with plenty of landings, not that the next one might just suck, just that it was cool to add just a schoosh of juice to keep the the gear healthy ... stuff like that.  It was fun to see someone working at baby steps, and to offer a timely hand.

It was really cool to remember hands I have reached for during some of  my own baby steps ... I think of those hands today and smile.

Friday, August 9, 2013

"Love Gone Missing" via American Digest - GVdL

"Love gone missing takes with it the hostages of trust and truth but they don't come back with it if it returns. They've been buried somewhere en route and their locations long forgotten, far off the map. Even if you could accept it without them, you'd still see the fine hairline cracks in the vase you put back together together." 

And the only thing I think I've learned about love gone missing is to let it go -- and I'm not even sure about that ... ."

Perhaps it is better, in the end, to learn to let it be. Nobody says you can have only one love with one person. If there can be, and there is, room for more than one love in one life, perhaps there can be more than one love in one love. Maybe the answer, if answer there be, is not the easy answer of repair, but the harder answer of starting all over from the gross and shapeless clay of love.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

(Pic deleted)

Weird, huh?
This is how they did my metabolic testing.
They gave me the breathing tube which was attached to a machine and these nose pinchers.  Told me to be still, breathe like a scuba diver, only through the apparatus, and fidget with my phone because they found it helps people to accomplish breathing naturally.  I decided to take a pic ... .

Ten minutes later the results pinged out ... My metabolism is higher then the average for my height/weight/age perimeters.  That's good news I guess.  Wonder what it would say after my coffee ritual which I dutifully neglected in favor of the required resting metabolism.  Bottom line ... I am supposed to consume 1600+ calories a day to maintain my body weight and they should be divied up calorie-wise as 20% fats, 40% carbs, 40% protein.  That's trickier then it sounds!  I'm making a concerted effort to rock that. So far, doing good to get up around 1200 calories a day ... a glass of wine with dinner helped out last night.  The deal is that all the real calories are in the bad fats ... well, in the good fats too, but they are not as handy!  (Buttered starchy carbs would be easy.)  What I'm saying is, consuming adequate calories from the entire pool of proteins, carbhydrates, and healthy fats is challenging ... processed, sauced, fried, sugared, etc., is where all the calories hid out!   Also ... on days that I work out I am to absolutely add 150 calories (and I think those really should be all protein, fortunately I like plain ole beef jerky).

So ... food and hydration ... that's the big project right now.  And, btw, those juice drink recipes that I like ... add too many carbs to make the 20/40/40 thing really work.

Here is the app I like ... fitness pal.  And the %'s to the right are theirs.  If it is possible to reconfigure the numbers to match what was recommended for me, I haven't figured out how to yet! Looks like I need a high protein dinner.  I'm working on figuring the whole deal out! I have about 500 more calories to work with before I hit the 1200 ... which is really what I am shooting for.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Breakfast menu for this week

JUICE: nutrient/calories per your own recipe

Papaya 1c
Watermelon 2c
Pineapple 1c
Ginger 1"
Cucumber 1 whole

  • Beet Root - 1 beet (3" dia)
  • Carrots - 3 large (7-1/4" to 8-/1/2" long)
  • Celery - 2 stalk, large (11"-12" long)
  • Ginger - 1 thumb (1" dia)
  • Lime - 1/2 fruit (2" dia)
  • Pepper (jalapeno) - 1 pepper
  • Spinach - 2 cup

  • Carrots - 2 large (7-1/4" to 8-/1/2" long)
  • Celery - 3 stalk, large (11"-12" long)
  • Cucumber - 1/2 cucumber (8-1/4")
  • Parsley - 2 handful
  • Pepper (sweet green) - 1/2 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2" dia)
  • Spinach - 1 cup
  • Tomatoes - 3 medium whole (2-3/5" dia)

  • Apple (golden delicious) - 1 medium (3" dia)
  • Cilantro - 4 handful
  • Cucumbers - 2 cucumber (8-1/4")
  • Lime (with rind) - 1 fruit (2" dia)
  • Pepper (green hot chili) (ribs/seeds removed) - 1 pepper

  • Apples (granny smith) - 2 medium (3" dia)
  • Celery - 4 stalk, large (11"-12" long)
  • Cucumber - 1 cucumber (8-1/4")
  • Ginger - 1 thumb (1" dia)
  • Kale - 6 leaf (8-12")
  • Lemon - 1/2 fruit (2-3/8" dia)

  • Apple - 1 medium (3" dia)
  • Carrots - 8 medium
  • Ginger - 1 thumb (1" dia)
  • Lemon - 1 fruit (2-3/8" dia)

  • Apple (granny smith) - 1 large (3-1/4" dia)
  • Beet Root - 1 beet (2" dia)
  • Carrots - 4 large (7-1/4" to 8-/1/2" long)
  • Celery - 3 stalk, large (11"-12" long)
  • Cucumber - 1/2 cucumber (8-1/4")
  • Ginger - 1/2 thumb (1" dia)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Music expresses that which cannot be said

 and on which it is impossible to be silent.
~Victor Hugo

It gives soul to the universe, 
wings to the mind, 
and charm and gaiety to life 
and to everything. 

After silence, 
that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible 
is music.
~Aldous Huxley

Saturday, August 3, 2013

visited several Alabama State buildings yesterday

The red brick building to the left framed by a pane at the top of this spiraling climb ... King's church.
Montgomery feels unresolved to me ... and stagnant ... or, well I'm still thinking about it.  It should feel better there then it does and I can't quite figure out why ... it is disquieting.  Anyway ... pics from yesterday's stroll.

some of it's gold leaf ... some of it is  trompe loeil (is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion) ... pretty much summarizes the feel of the day's ramblings.