Category Archives: gratitude

NaBloPoMo: Shall We Try it Again?

I’ve been participating in NaBloPoMo for the past few years.

Some years I finish.  Some years I give up.

I wasn’t going to participate this year since I’ve kinda abandoned this blog (seems I spend most of my time on Facebook these days).  But I thought that maybe this might be just the motivation I need to get things going again.

Thing is, counting this personal blog, I also have two other business blogs and a newsletter.  And if I stick to writing on all three, daily….well, that’s a lot of writing!

So I might just switch things up a bit and instead of posting at one blog or on each daily, I’ll commit to writing (and posting) daily across all three blogs.  And I’ll still be writing for my weekly business newsletter.

And to give me something to focus on…I’m thinking I’ll go forward with a 30 Days of Gratitude theme.

DAY ONE – Just Breathe: I just had a meltdown carrying the groceries and wet laundry from the car to my door.  You see, I once again seem to be sick (waiting for the doc to call in my prescription to the pharmacy) and just the short walk from the car to the door left me stopping twice.  By the time I made it inside, I just lost it and started crying like a baby.  Which then led to a little bit of a panic attack…seems when you’re having trouble breathing, your nose is clogged and you start crying…you have even MORE trouble breathing.  When then leads to the holy shit panic attack when you realize that it’s even harder to catch a breath.  Luckily I was able to talk myself into slowing down and leaving the crying behind for the breathing.  So for today…I am grateful that I can breathe easily and effortlessly.

What I Love About October

Harvest Charlie

October means many things to many people. For some it’s the start of the official fall season. For others it’s the fun of Halloween. For others, fall harvest and colorful leaves.

For me, I love how October brings forth the following:

Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins! Pumpkin spice coffees. Pumpkin muffins and breads. Pumpkin facials. You name it, pumpkin is everywhere.

Cranberries!! After pumpkin flavored everything, I love the how cranberries are everywhere…in mojitos, in salads, in muffins and white chocolate chip cookies! Love it!

Fuzzy blankets! In our home, the favorite blanket is the microfiber, faux shearling throw. When that blanket comes out, the cat and the dog are all over it. In fact, I typically have to fight them for it.

Fuzzy Footwear!! As much as I love me some flip flops, I also love me some Uggs (or in my my case, faux-uggs). There’s just something about warm fuzzy boots…they’re like slippers, only they’re shoes. I also picked up a pair of Ugg (non-faux) clogs last winter and I can’t wait to dig those babies out.

Tea!! I love tea. I love whole pots of tea! I love starting the day with a cuppa milky, sweet, black tea. And once the cooler temps hit, I’m able to drink copious cups of tea! Yay!

Scarves!! This time of year, especially here in LA, our days can still be warm, but our evenings are chilly. So now I get to pull out my collection of scarves and have fun!

Rainy Season!!! I think this has to be my favorite time of year here in LA. We don’t exactly get seasonal changes so there’s not much to look forward to. But every October, the rains come. Granted, it’s nothing like monsoon season in the SouthWest, but it’s still nice to know that there’s a bit of a rainy season.

Now if I could only get it to rain hard enough to actually clean my car instead of turning it to a muddy, misty mess.

A Note From the Universe

Aurora Borealis, the colored lights seen in the skies around the North Pole, the Northern Lights, from Bear Lake, Alaska, Beautiful Christmas Scene, Winter Star Filled Skies, Scenic Nature

Photo by Beverly & Pack

What if, loneliness was simply a feeling of impatience, telepathically sent to you by friends you’ve yet to meet, urging you to go out more, do more, and get involved, so that life’s serendipities could bring you together…Would you still feel alone?

What if illness was just the signal a healthy body sent to urge clarification of your thoughts, feelings, and dreams…Would you still, at times, think of yours as diseased?

What if feelings of uncertainty and confusion were only reminders that you have options, that there’s no hurry, and that everything is as it should be…Would you still feel disadvantaged?

What if mistakes and failures only ever happened when your life was about to get better than it’s ever been before…Would you still call them mistakes and failures?

And what if poverty and lack were simply demonstrations of your manifesting prowess, as “difficult” to acquire as wealth and abundance…Would they still cause you to feel powerless?

Well, whatever you feel, I still consider you my only begotten, my champion, and my equal.

Are we close, or what?

~The Universe

Allowing For an Imperfect Life

imperfection is your ally

by Peter John Chen

Well, I could whine and harp about how I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to blog in ages. But really, what would that accomplish?

Instead I figure it’s best to acknowledge that I’m by no means perfect (who is?) and just jump right back in and start blogging again.

And of course, now that I say I’m going to do that, I can’t exactly think of something pithy or witty to say. Go figure.

I have realized though that often times, we hold ourselves up to some lofty and crazy expectations. In my case, I recently decided to sign up for a ten week business program with a 2 hour+ weekly commitment.

I knew that this wasn’t the best time. I was already way behind in blogging (both personally and professionally) and I haven’t touched my newsletter in weeks. I was also just finishing up my Beyond Social Media Basics Intensive with immediate plans to redesign and relaunch the program.

On top of it all, I managed to book 4 out of town trips within an 8 week window. One of those trips is yet another business conference. And all the while I need to finishing putting the office back together (some might call it organizing, I’m thinking it’s slightly closer to breaking the pre-hoarding cycle).

And as could only be expected…I feel behind in the (10 week ) program that I paid some good money for.

I could beat myself up about this. But instead, I figured I might as well practice the fine art of imperfection.

I knew before I even started that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it all. No one could.

So instead, I’ve decided to move at my own pace and be grateful for being able to do so. I have to say, once I decided to allow for this (and chose to not beat myself up), it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I’m no longer clenching my teeth. I feel more relaxed.

Which of course makes me wonder…why do we often hold ourselves up to such high and often stress-inducing expectations? Why can’t we just go with the flow and allow stuff…life…to just happen?

As Ieyasu Tokugawa reminds us, “Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.”

That works for me.

Kisses: What You Give When You Have Nothing Else to Give

This weekend, as part of a beat the heat promotion, Anthem Magazine was giving away passes to the Irish movie, Kisses.  And yes, yours truly was lucky enough to not only win a pair, but was able to beat the heat as well!

While it didn’t have the happy ending that most of us Americans have come to appreciate, it was a great movie about two teenagers running away from home and heading into Dublin on Christmas Eve (full synopsis below the video trailer).  If it comes to your neighborhood or on-demand, check it out.  As Anthem Magazine puts it, it “features an original score by Lance Daly’s band, Go Blimps Go, as well as half a dozen Bob Dylan tracks, making the movie perfect for the audiophile and film buff alike.”

And yes, it is in English with English sub-titles.  I have to say, we’d have been lost without them.  Oh, and totally unrelated…I have pictures of that very Christmas tree in Dublin 😉


“On the fringes of Dublin two kids, Kylie and Dylan, live in a suburban housing estate devoid of life, colour and the prospect of escape. Kylie lives with five other siblings and her overworked mother. Next door, Dylan lives in the shadow of an alcoholic father and the memory of an elder brother who ran away from home two years earlier. After a violent altercation with his father, Dylan runs away from home and Kylie decides to run away with him. Together they make their way to the magical night time lights of inner city Dublin, to search for Dylan’s brother, and in the hope of finding, through him, the possibility of a new life. Lance Daly’s vision of Dublin, as seen through the innocent eyes of our protagonists, is a kaleidoscope of magic, wonder and mystery. But as the night wears on, and Dublin takes on a darker character, the two kids have to rely on the kindness of strangers, the advice of Bob Dylan and their trust in each other to survive the night.”

It’s Summertime And The Living is Easy!

Lifeguard Stand

After a month or so of some June Gloom, summer has hit LA hard!  We went from days in the mid-70’s to days in the 100’s.  This is something I was hoping to avoid as much as possible.

Luckily,  this year won’t be nearly as difficult as the last years.  While we are still in the same apartment (we didn’t feel comfortable moving since both of us are now working from home), we picked up a portable AC unit for the back office.  So now we have two rooms that are cool enough to spend some time in.  And since the new unit is portable and small enough to move about, we can move it into the bedroom if it gets too hot in there.

Finally, we can beat the crazy Valley heat!!

Of course, in full disclosure, the actually KEEP the cool in the living room, we had to go a little ghetto and use something to block the doorway into the hall o’hellish heat.  So we have a piece of white foamcore blocking it.  It stands about 3.5 feet high and it makes a HUGE difference in keeping that room cool.  At this point, I’ll take what I can get, and this sure as hell works.

It’s keeping things so much cooler that I actually had the brilliant idea to tackle the fridge…inside and out!  Of course, the sink is too small to fit the entire shelf and the drawers, so I’m dragging it all outside.  Shelf by shelf.  Piece by piece.  The half-shelves sure look good!

And I’m just telling myself, as I sweat through it all, that I’m just clearing the clutter and old energy to bring in something bigger and better!  I can’t exactly get a new place to love if I don’t love the place I’m in, right?  Or else it would just be more of the same.  And after nearly 10 years of bitching about this place, I figured it was time to learn to love it.

So a ‘cleaning we shall do!

It’s Official, He’s Joined the Masses!

I know I haven’t been around here much these past couple weeks, but we’ve had quite a bit going on.  You see, we’ve been gearing up for the big layoff.  We knew it was coming, and to be honest, we are quite excited about it.

And now it’s official. My husband is officially a socio-economic statistic.

Well, technically, it was official last Monday, but I was too busy running errands to say much about it.

Now both of us are working from home.  Although for the past week, I basically spent most of my time trying to get things in order.  I figure with the temperatures about to be on the rise and the hubs now working from home, I needed squeeze in one super good cleaning and do as much laundry as possible (still have sheets & blankets to do…hate the laundromat!).

On top of the basic household chores, I’ve been doing some shopping. I mean, FSA funds are use it or lose it, so you better believe we were using it!  That’s a lot of doctor appointments to squeeze into two weeks.  So I also spent a little time on in their FSA store.  Did you know that condoms and athlete’s foot treatment qualify for spending down those FSA dollars? Who knew.

Not to worry though. He knew it was coming (they all knew it was coming).  His next project launches tonight!!  Woohoo!

And presently (or at least until I’m done teaching this semester), my primary goal is to come up with lunch and dinner menus.  We figure we spent a good chunk of our money eating out (together for dinners or alone for lunches), so the quickest and easiest way for us to save some cash from the getgo is to cook at home.

Now if only I knew what to cook.  Or how to plan a menu.

Any suggestions?  What’s your favorite at home, lunch item?  What about dinner – what sort of easy recipes do you fall back on?

In particular…any killer ideas for leftover rotisserie chicken (we tend to eat a lot of rotisserie chicken here…especially when the triple digit days come and it’s just too crazy hot to even boil water).

In the meantime, I’m sure things will be getting pretty interesting at Casa de LA Blogger Gal…two of us, working from home, all day, with a dog that barks at anything in a two bedroom apartment that in mere days will surely be 85 degrees WITH the air conditioning running.  Oh  yeah, it should be fun.

The Little Guy is Finally On the Mend

It’s times like when I’m dealing with a sick dog that I remind myself of two things that I’m extremely grateful for: 1) that I’m not a mother and don’t have to take care of an infant or sick or teething kids and 2) that I work from home and don’t have to go to an office at a particular time.

It’s good to be me.

And it’s even better to know that my little guy is feeling better.

As I mentioned the other day, we had some rough patches over these past couple of days; blood in his vomit, diarrhea, not eating or drinking, shallow breathing, total lethargy.  But after IV and love from his brother, Charlie (seen here lying completely on top of him – typically, this is unacceptable according to Griffin) Monday and some subcutaneous fluid treatment yesterday, he woke today like a brand new boy.

He inhaled his breakfast.  He’s been drinking water again.  He’s taking his medicine and keeping everything down. He’s barking at the mail man and the meter reader.  And better yet…he’s playing with his favorite squeaky toy and asking me to throw it (which I won’t do yet – but I will “hide” it under a blanket so he can go “find” it).  And he’s full of stinky breathed, doggie kisses.

Today is a good, good day.

And worth nothing…I absolutely love my vet clinic (Animal Medical Center in Van Nuys) and their doctors.  Any doctor – pet or human – that actually follows up with phone calls and stays late to make sure you’re taken care of is an angel in my book and worth recommending to any and everyone.

Rub a Dub Nothing Beats Soaking in a Tub

Most of my friends know of my love of soaking in a bathtub.  Heck, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here that when I vacation, one of the things I look forward to is a good soak.

You see, in our apartment, we have a pretty dinky (and enclosed) tub.  In my places in NM I had a shower stall in one apartment and yet another dinky (and enclosed) tub. Which means I’ve been without a decent, soaking tub for the past 10 or more years.

But in my last place in Atlanta…oh baby, in Atlanta I had an AWESOME tub.  It was long and deep.  And had a great tilted back that was just made for lying back and soaking.  Is it any wonder that I took a bath pretty much every other day on the days I didn’t showered (which I only did to wash my hair).

Needless to say, most of my friends know of my love of a good bubble bath.  So much so, that when a dear friend from high school was in town on business, he invited me to soak in the tub in his hotel room.  I was torn though.  I mean, let’s face it, it’s one thing to search out hotels with great tubs when going on vacation.  It’s another to use a married friend’s tub in his room while he’s on vacation.

Weird right?

But then again, it just goes to show that he’s a long-standing, old friend for a reason (and I believe years ago I used his awesome tub when I visited him come to think of it).  I mean let’s face it, he obviously knows me right?  He knows what makes me happy and that in turn makes him happy.

So yeah, I took him up on it.  He sat in his room and caught up on his business while I took a quickie bath – the hotel even provided the rubber ducky.  Boy, did I appreciate it too.

Let me just say, our next place WILL have a decent tub.  And decent counter space (but that’s a different story).

SISTER GIANT: Rousing the Sleeping Giant of American Womanhood

Photo: Library of Congress

From Marianne Williamson:

On February 26, 27 and 28, 2010, I will be hosting a weekend gathering called SISTER GIANT: Rousing the Sleeping Giant of American Womanhood.

This seminar/conference speaks to the role of women at this pivotal moment in history. It’s a critically important time to transition from disastrous probabilities to fantastic possibilities, and women can lead the way.

If you are a woman who feels a prompting in your heart that goes something like this: “Okay, it’s time. I might not be perfect, but I’m good enough. And I’m ready,” then this invitation is for you.

During SISTER GIANT, we will review the historic forces that quelled the voice of the Western woman, as well as those that both challenge and invite us to speak our truth now. I hope you will come to Los Angeles on February 26th to join with other women who feel moved to both find our greatness and to do something great.

We will journey from an understanding of our history …. to a reclaiming of our personal power …. and ultimately to a vital commitment to be a powerful collective force in eradicating hunger and poverty on the planet today. It is time for us to change the world.

We will look within, and we will look without. In partnership with the RESULTS organization, we will work on forming a women’s delegation to the regional Microcredit Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2010.

Sister Giant will take place at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel. The cost of the seminar will be a suggested donation of $250 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Click here for registration information