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When I was in my early 20's a friend invited me to go to Hawaii with her. It was a last minute invite as her fiancé had to decline due to work obligations and I soon found myself aboard a 747 for my first ever commercial flight. Hawaii was beautiful and we charted a trip to an island paradise where we would snorkel and relax on private white beaches. While on the one hour boat ride to the island we were laughing and merrymaking with others on the trip. I had been told to bring bring a half-loaf of bread and tie it to my bikini so I could feed the fish. Obediently, I did as I was told. Soon after I had waded into the waters waste deep and was prepping my face-mask for the dive. I looked down

On Guard

I remember living in the high desert with my horses and being told to be cautious of the rattlesnakes in the area. One of my neighbors told me her horse had been bit by a rattlesnake and for weeks it was “touch and go“ because the skin was falling away from the wound where this rattlesnake bit the horse's leg. A few days later I found myself absorbed in a serious phone call while I was outside with my horses. It was common to hear the sound of rattlesnakes in the bushes but on this day a large rattlesnake about 6 feet long and 3 inches round was in my horses stall. I grabbed a flathead shovel and made my way into the horse stall. Continuing to chat with my friend, I lay the flat side of the

Darkest in Winter

The Corona Virus has recently been determined to be a problem of "pandemic proportion." The World Health Organization has alerted American's to be "prepared" that the virus may come to our communities. People of faith are concerned that this virus was prophesied in the Bible. Economists are concerned as the supply chains that run through China are effecting our world economy. An online news site called MarketWatch.com had a headline yesterday saying, "Coronavirus update: 80,238 cases, 2,700 deaths; CDC warns Americans to prepare for disruption." I received an email from my financial advisor who wrote that the market drop is based on fear and to hold fast to our investments because, "...whil

Look Up

Have you ever noticed how much we look down? We look down at our phones, we look down at our iPads, we look down at the paper that’s piled up on our work desks. We look down at our spouses and we look down at our children. We even look down at our own life and wonder what it’s all for. We can be down in the dumps discouraged and depressed. And all of that happens because we look at our circumstances instead of looking up to the possibilities. When we look down we are looking at things that tend to distract us and discourage us. Those negative things can bring us to our knees. Conversely, everything that is positive is “lifted up.“ We lift our voices, our eyes, and our hands in praise. We lif

Half-Baked

I am more of a baker than a meal planning cook. I know how to meal plan, but find it to be challenging to come up with creative meals with any consistency. My mother was a terrible cook who my father said could "burn water." I never developed the finer culinary skills when I was older because when you're a full time single mom and work a full-time job including a 2 hour commute, meal prep is the last thing from your consciousness. But, when it came to holiday meals--I was the bomb! Well, most of the time. Some times I bombed out, burnt the rolls, and put too much garlic in my garlic potatoes. Where I excelled was in baking. I made cookies galore, brownies that were the rave, and combined in

Earning Yearnings

Have you ever gone somewhere with the intent of getting lost? Some of my fondest memories are travels where I didn't know where I was, where I would end up, or if I would have gas to get me there. A few years ago, I traveled with my friend Lorie (pictured with me) as we rode motorcycles to another friend's home in Oregon. On the way, we stopped for a bite at the entrance to the Redwood Forest. Lorie has the gift of gab and suddenly we were convinced by the locals to take a detour that we would never forget. Realizing our next stop was only 45 minutes away, and we had all day to get there, we headed off to destinations unknown. Well, for the sake of time, I'll not recount the travels in great

Fanciful Meanderings

I love reading and listening to classic books on audio. The old English and turn of the century American expressions tickle my fancy and make my imaginations meander down whimsical lanes of thought. Even just writing that line of malarkey turns up the corners of my mouth and crinkles the sides of my eyes as a subtle laugh quietly escapes. As a child, I often found contentment and calm solitude in the turning of the pages of my favorite prose or mellow-drama. The fictional characters whose travels I envied lived lives filled with challenges that they easily overcame. Damsels in distress were so often rescued by strong and capable hands that those imaginings made my heart go aflutter. A mind f

Maximum Impact

Have you ever felt like you are waiting to start your life and feel like there are so many directions you can go you don't know what to do first? I remember thinking like this several times in my life. When I was graduating from high school, I contemplated the choice of college or career. I knew from the age of 11 I wanted to go into law enforcement but at 18, it seemed so many years away before I could even apply. So I got a job at McDonalds and quickly discovered I had a gift: Courage. I was fearless and would approach my employer asking for raises and promotions way before I deserved them. What I lacked in skill I quickly learned and continued to gain confidence and with that came opportu

Journaled Life

I love books. Not all books, mostly the old, dusty classics of the past. They contain such rich language and words that we never hear anymore and when I listen to those stories of the past on audio book, it's even better. Right now I'm listening to Little Women on Audible's "10 Masterpieces you have to read before you die. Vol:1." Hearing the book read with an English accent tickles my fancy and my ears. One chapter of the book is the mother's counsel to her four daughters to not marry for money but to seek a good man who will love and care for them and that she does not wish anything more than, "I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good." Little Women is one of those clas

Salty Peace

Do you ever get frustrated with others? Sure, we all do. We can want "the best" for our children, our marriage, and for our parents, but often what we want and what they want are in opposition to each other. A son wants to lay around and play video games all day and his father wants him to get a job. An adult daughter wants to get her hair colored pink and get piercings and tattoos and her mother wants her to stay as pure and unblemished as the day she was born. Parents want to impress on their children their concerns, but often those concerns can sound nagging, controlling, and shameful as the parents run out off ways to express their wants. Ultimately, parents lose their temper in frustrat

Presidential Greed

How did we get "President's Day?" I mean, I remember celebrating two president's birthday's as a kid, George Washington (February 17) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12). So why did we lump them into one day? And who are we celebrating when the celebration is just "Presidents" in general. Are we supposed to have a parade, or fireworks, or...gee I can't recall anything celebratory about President's Day. Oh wait...there's the President's Day sales! That's right...that's the ONLY thing that makes this day celebratory. REALLY? Being naturally full of wonder, I researched why Washington and Lincoln lost their special holidays and were combined into one holiday and found this information on the Hist

Simply Beautiful

Have you ever noticed how radiant a woman is when she's pregnant? Her eyes sparkle, her nails grow long and strong, and her hair is thicker and shines more. Everything about her speaks of beautiful simplicity, elegance, and joy. Many stories in the Bible reflect the wisdom of women and their hard labors of love. I think of Ester who saved a nation at the risk of her life. I consider Ruth who being a widow chose to remain with her mother-in-law and care for her. Even the Lord Jesus was born to Mary a virgin, “Blessed are you among women" (Luke 1:42). There are also stories of mothers who brought harm and discord. These stories greatly contrast with the respect and honor of a woman of "Noble

My Miracle

My youth was filled with pain and uncertainty. I had big dreams that were crushed by my reality. I looked at life through the lens of television of missed opportunities and love that I yearned for and thought I'd never find. Then a miracle happened--and her name is Christina (pictured on her pony). I remember the day I drove to the OBGYN's office for my first ultrasound appointment. I was 29 and in an abusive marriage. I wondered how I was blessed to have the opportunity to be a mom and at the same time, the thought of being a single parent terrified me. Alone with the nurse, she smiled and asked if I wanted to know the sex of the baby. I wanted a baby girl with every ounce of my being, but

Moon Dancing

Dancing in the moonlight and Moondance where two songs by Van Morrison who connected romance and moonbeams. He certainly wasn't the first one to sing about dancing under the skys natural night light, but he was one of my favorite artists of the 1970's. This past weekend we had a beautiful full moon before the rains came on Sunday. My brother Michael sent me this photo he took from his home in Florida. I love it. Living in Southern California it's been so long since I've been able to see the "The Man In The Moon." This photo has brought back memories of my childhood when the entire family would sit on the roof of our house and star gaze under the light of a full moon. I also thought it grea

Same Difference

I was talking with one of my therapists and they were trying to convince me that what they were saying was the same thing as what I was saying. What I was hearing was except for this and that and other things, "it's the same difference." Mmmm? I don't think so. In life, I find we are all trying to get along by compromising our uniqueness. We don't want to offend anyone so we pick careers, relationships, and degrees that are safe. We hide our opinions, our perspectives, and shut down when those ideals are challenged. Why do we settle for mediocrity instead of excellence? Is it codependency? Is it because of who they are to us that we want to be "just like them"? Or is it because who we are in

Toss Across

Remember Mattel's game called, "Toss Across" where you threw bean bags onto a board and scored by winning in Tic-Tac-Toe? Well, when I saw this photo it made me think of the way some parents can "toss" their children in game of life. They toss them criticism. They toss them unrealistic expectations that they can never meet. Then they toss them guilt they didn't earn and shame them for failing. They even toss them across the room. Carelessly, parents repeat abuses that were committed against them as children, but now they justify as adults. They have forgotten what it felt like to be criticized, shamed, and blamed for things beyond their control. Parents who are frustrated in their life circu

Pace Yourself

Dignity is a word that is not often used anymore and I think its significance is hard to explain by today's standards. The online Dictionary defines dignity as, "The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect." I think in today's world of hate crimes, rude hand gestures, and use of profanity in every day conversations, we have forfeited our own dignity while we disrespect the dignity of others. I was flipping through old emails and found this article from The Jewish Standard (2016) in reference to First Lady Melania Trump's visit to Israel. No matter how you feel about President Trump you have to admit Melania was dignified: The most memorable moment from the trip in Israel of pres

Trash Day

Yesterday, I was walking through my house emptying the trash cans and thought, "Man, I have a trash can in every room of my house," and it makes sense that there would be for convenience sake. After all there was trash in everyone of them. Then I contemplated, "How much of our lives are like trash cans filled with trash?" I mean think about it... We talk trash all the time when we say things that are not true or are hurtful. We see trash in the things we find entertaining. We live in trashy environments where there is hurt and pain, and in our relationships we hold onto old trash that should have been tossed out long ago. Like a good house cleaning, we need to clean up and clear out the tras

Pondering Possibilities

I love to ponder life's possibilities and my Attention Deficit mind enjoys running wild. When I was a cop, I looked for evidence to prove or disprove a crime had occurred. Today, as a therapist, my job is to look at all possibilities, and the cause and effect of any problem in order to help people create solutions that will result in positive change. I was looking at an advertisement on Facebook that suggested that Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) contributed to repairing the negative effects of aging on the brain. Being naturally courous, I looked it up what BDRF is (don't you love Google?). This is what caught my eye as I looked for solutions to brain fog, Dementia, and Alzheimers.

Touch o' Luck

Have you ever noticed how much we give credit to the concept of luck? We have 4 leaf clovers that give us luck, we have a lucky rabbit's foot, and we have "the luck of the Irish" when The Notre Dame leprechaun pulls through for a win. We have "games of luck" that are really just based on chance, a roll of the dice, or yes, luck. We even have our lucky stars, lucky jersey, and can wear our lucky socks (please wash those things!). Luck is everywhere...or is it? We also have the opposite that says we've "run out of luck," had "bad luck" or we are "just unlucky." I wonder how much luck is really laziness without planning? Roman Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD) often kn

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