close your eyes...

When I see this, it reminds me that we were made to move. We were made to feel the sun on our face, the wind in our hair, the wet between our toes.

To close our eyes is to be able to dream, to imagine, to use our imagination. It is Something we need to do all of our lives, not just when we are children.

It says, it is well with my soul. Not that the checkbook is full of money, everyone is healthy or that we have the best neighbors in the world. It means that despite what is not going well in our lives, we are grateful for having a life. We understand that the sum may come out tomorrow and we are ready. If it doesn't, maybe the day after that, or the next day. That life is a series of emotions that run hot and cold. Nothing last forever, the good or the bad. Change is constant and if the glass is completely empty, it will not stay that way forever.

It means we have the ability within us, to close our eyes and imagine ourselves in a new way. In a new place, with a new mindset. All we have to do is close our eyes...

ode to being a girl...

It occurred to me that being a girl is Something that has always fascinated and frightened me. Always.

Am in awe of my grandgirl and how she handles her brothers. She can be as girly as they come, with loads of pretty bows in her hair, an outfit that she has put together that is too cha cha and smack a brother like he was shark bait. Nothing they do phases her. She talks about their bathroom habits with much disdain, too much for her delicate self. If all else fails, she can scream like no one's business.

Look at the females in your life. There has to be some strong women that have captured your respect for a variety of reasons. There is Something about a good woman that makes each of us know, it is possible. The kind of woman, we would like to be, Someday. There may also be women in your life that make you want to run in the opposite direction. It's ok, we learn from them too.

When a woman is good, she is the apple of her people's eye. If she can be trusted, she is worth more than gold. A woman is not loved in a vacuum but because her loved has been lived out and felt by others. Covet those in your life who make you feel that way. Love them, adore them and model yourself after them. Be the best woman you can be, a gift to your family that money can't buy...


Last October, we launched Instagram live in the App Store. Today, less than one year later, we’re happy to announce that the Instagram community now consists of over 10 million registered users.

As we prepare to celebrate our first year in the App Store, we’d like to extend our thanks to each and every one of the ten million folks who have taken the time to participate in Instagram by sharing small moments of life through gorgeous mobile photos.

The Instagram Team
photo and statement via Internet and Blurb.

In less than a year, there are 10 million people who have changed the way they see and photograph the world. Quite an accomplishment, if you ask me.

I knew Instagram was a big deal. A few weeks ago, there was a post on Twitter about shooting a whole wedding on a iPhone. The book maker, Blurb, also saw the potential of offering us the ability to make Instragram books. It may be passing fad. In 10 years, would you still think having your wedding shot on a mobile phone a great idea? Maybe so.

My wedding photos now look like they were shot in Instagram. In shades of yellow, green - they look like the original 1970 photos that they are. If you are looking to save money, you could not find a better option. The iPhone 5 is on its way with better resolution that could just make it a option for those, not quite outside the box. While there will always be a need for a professional photographer, the digital age has taken quite a chunk out of the their business and continues to chip away at their livelihood. When the times get tough, the tough play a new game.

It is amazing to see how fast our lives are changing from day to day. Congrats Instagram, you have changed the way we think and these days, that seems to be a good thing...

soy sauce...

It has always been this way. I could eat Mexican food every night, DH would choose Chinese. Chinese is ok, but there was always Something about it that made me hold back.

DH has been perfecting his cooking skills and I want to help him as much as possible, Unfortunately for me, he is all about the Chinese thing. He got himself a wok, a few cookbooks but mainly has been figuring out his own thing. After trying to like and encourage his new-found hobby, my enthusiasm has been less than honest. Tonight, that all changed.

He started to make my meal and as I watched him gather his ingredients, I spotted the soy sauce. Please make mine without the soy sauce, I asked. In the midst of his sea of bottles and jars, that one stuck out. I never use soy sauce, never liked the smell. Would soon discover, I didn't like the taste.

I had the best Chinese meal I have ever had tonight. The only wrong with it was that it was gone too soon. I could eat the meal I had tonight, every night. One change made a mountain of difference.

In light of changing one thing, the natural progression that occured to me was, what other soy sauces are in my life? By making one change, what could go to whatever to stunning? Are we able to pick them out or do we just have to be brave and stumble upon them. Wish it weren't so but I believe it is the later. Getting ready to be open to more stumbling...

The roar of the crowd......

Nothing quite like a day of tailgating at a college football game. New experience but with 90 degree weather that lasted well into the evening, it was crazy good. The people watching, good food, a sea of blue and orange and what appears to be the friendliest people in the world. Almost 7 hours of doing not much of anything and not feeling guilty.

As the sun started to set and with our team in little danger of falling behind, the nice man next to us, shared his TV and those of us who chose to hang around our home away from home, still got to see our team, do what they do best. This time, with roar.

Since my football experience so far, has only been taught by TV, the roar of the crowd was Something I didn't see coming. The first time I heard it, I could feel myself just getting the Fever. Now I understand. It is one place where the crowd mentality is a Wonderful thing. Every time the roar came, all I could do was smile, I couldn't help myself. Those combined voices, in a football frenzied unison, can do what less than 20,000 people, can not. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a stadium full of people to roar the roar.

In a month when the weather turns bitter cold, not sure...ok, pretty sure, my romantic feelings would not survive, but for that crowd, they are die hard fans and that is exactly what makes the roar. Those dedicated to their team, no matter what...

warm and fuzzy...

These days, you can check your social FB account and learn quite a bit about yourself. Of course, there is a tier system. Family, close friends, acquaintances, those suggested that you might like, but they all have one thing in common. They are on your list.

For whatever reason, you have allowed them, in. You allowed they to see every comment, every photo, every political view, every religious view and any other thoughts that have popped in your head while you were close to a keyboard. Sharing likes, peddling wares, being invited to events. We spend little-much time reading, responding, posting and sharing. It is exhausting.

But not everyone is into the whole Like me mode. Must admit, I would have guessed myself to be a non-FB person. It kind of started out on a whim with me threatening to pull my account every day for a long, long time. Then it seemed like a good thing to do. To learn new technology, to keep up with life, I stay, but there are days...

I feel like this guy. In the middle of shops on a very busy street in Oregon, I imagine he has no FB account. Makes you wonder what he is doing that could make his business take a back seat. I wanted to call him and buy Something just because I liked his ethic. Warm and fuzzy in a different way. I like that. I resemble that. Sometimes it is easier dealing with a computer screen that Real People. If I ever go back, I am going to give him a call and see what his deal is. There is a Story there and without making a lifelong commitment, I could find out what it is and that, my friends, make make me more warm and fuzzyer...

growing like a weed...

My neighbor's yard. When you come out my front door and look immediately to your right, this is what you see. It didn't look like this, the beginning of summer but it mirrors his life. In fact, it is perfect for him, right now.

By no means is my yard, weed free. There is Morning Glory growing in one of my little rock gardens. It borders my neighbor's and his MG has now, jumped the imaginary property line with disastrous results, for me.

Once a week I go out when I check the mail and clear out the pesky plants on my side. Can't spray weed killer because he has a little bush, right on the property line. There is no Place where his plants and my plants are separate. It is all one big mess. Pulling his is an option that would take a big commitment as it has had all summer to grow, and is everywhere. I know what his summer has been like, there is no energy or value in weed pulling.

Do we have weeds in our lives? And if we do, do we notice them before they get completely out of control? Like an unattended yard, does life have to be great and happy for us to notice them? I have watched this particular weed all summer. From a distraction to watching it wrap itself around and try to strangle the life out of a plastic hose holder.

Think it is safe to say that most of the time, when there are overgrown weeds - there is something going on. Something not quite right. Something that says, I don't care and that, the feeling is growing like a weed. If you live next door to them, just keep the faith that there is hope for them ...

don't stop believing...

News reports have a celebrity Housewives woman running off with the lead guy of the band Journey. Her husband reported her as missing, all the while - she had moved on and didn't tell him. Except for the didn't tell him part, there is a part of me that gets it.

What is the old adage, True Love never runs smooth? The older I get the more I believe that this Over The Top feeling happens to people and they can either fight it and fight it with all they have...or they can give in. Call it chemistry, fireworks or whatever, we have seen it time and time again. Like Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie, Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe - sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't but in the Moment, it is as real as real can be.

Now this couple. Apparently, they have known each other for years. He just got married in July. We will never really know what happened but suffice it to say, they have made their decision and looks like they are on the road, together.

My SIL and grandson just saw this Journey tour in SLC in July. What is not to Love? With my and DH dream job being a roadie for our band of choice, couple that with a bit of uncontrolled Love and boy, one sees how this could happen. I warned DH when we got married the only men he had to fear me running away with were the Hostess and Coke truck drivers. They would be the ones I would be most attracted to and likely to run off with. It has been almost 40 years and I am still here but I get it that in a heartbeat, that could all change in an instant. Never think it couldn't happen to you...don't stop believing...

Michael McDonald...less

Under the stars, in a fabulous venue - concert night. Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs. The anticipation had been growing for months. A birthday gift for DH and I, from our kids.

With Grandma Sue in charge for the evening, we headed out. Seats in place, snacks in had - ready, set, go. Boz Scaggs hit the stand and the crowd was properly, uncontained. This was definitely the Geezer crowds nite with a few young ones, thrown in for good measure. The visual alone, was worth the price of the ticket.

After an unusally long set, Michael McDonald hits the stage, thanking us for our patience and saying stuff like, I know you came to hear me but I will make it up to you and you will hearing alot from Boz tonite. It still didn't dawn on me that we would not be hearing, Takin It To The Streets, sung by Mr Golden Voice. I was stunned. As was the audience. They bravely tried to act like they were fine with the whole change in plans but looking around, many were leaving. They went on to play 3 songs and then abruptly, ended the concert. They explained that MM was advised under doc's orders, not to preform...and just like that, we are on our way home.

Thinking back on last night, with the wide collection of people, the one thing that stands out is that music moves people. Everyone there last night was there for the music. Obviously fo rmany, they way they felt in their youth. For the less than Geritol group, it seemed so natural, like they have been doing it their whole lives. We were all there for the same reason, and it felt so good.

Life isn't fair. We all know it but when it happens to us, it is a different matter. Sometimes the unfairness is disappointment, sometimes it is much worse. A small thing in comparision to Real Life but MM said he was going to make it up to us - can't wait to see what he has in mind...

get ready to rumble...

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his “700 Club” viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s is justifiable because the disease is “a kind of death.”

“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.

Fall is finally starting to make an appearance around these parts. Over night, the weather went from summer to not, summer. The skies turned gray, the sun disappeared and the rain came. Just like that, summer was over.

let's get ready to rumble... we all know that means football, here you come but I think you could make a case for a bigger life lesson.

Life is a big rumble. We don't know what specifically is coming, most of the time. Our lives can change in a minute. The sun can be gone in an instant and the dark skies move in, seeming to dig in for the long haul. No promises, no whistle blowing, no ref calling the shots.

I will not say what ran through my mind when I first heard this but yes, it does rhyme with cupid. I once worked with a man who when his wife got sick, packed her and her stuff up and left her on her mother's front porch. As you could imagine, it was difficult to be nice to him.

This has nothing to do with Jesus. There are legit reasons to leave a spouse but late in life, onset sickness isn't one of them. We are always hearing Stories of couples who have had a tragedy before their wedding and they go on to honor the commitment they made. They are the Real Thing. The Road less traveled. What PR is talking about is people behaving badly. If this is your mindset, you are headed for a heap of trouble throughout your life. Get ready to rumble in Real Life, in the long run - it will make you the best you, you can be.

makes me want to pray...

The football game started and ended with prayer. Don't often see this in sports but you do here. We often think that prayer has rules, it doesn't.

How, when, the amount of minutes, what you are wearing, if your mind wanders, all those things don't matter. No certain verbage or order mater. If you are of the persuasion that throw up prayers in time of trouble, that's ok but you are the one missing out. Like anything else, if you only do something when you are in panic mode, lots of time you forget to ask the important stuff.

Yesterday morning, we were asked to pray for a family in our church who had a missing pilot and passenger, who did not return from a scheduled flight. The news kept us updated during the search and when, in the late afternoon, the plane was found, there was still no information of survivors. An hour or so later, the news that there were no survivors was made official.

How does one pray? Do you try to bargain your way out? Scream so loud on the inside that your head throbes? Or is this the time to try to find some peace, no matter what the outcome? None of these is right or wrong. I dare say that there were many different prayers sent up in this situation and all were in service to the One, loved by us all.

For me, prayer is not just about asking for things. It is a state of being. It is learning to live in the Moment, no matter how painful it is. To look the Present, straight in the eye, and keep the Panics at bay.

I used to hate prayer. You must get up an hour before everyone else, here is your list of do's and don'ts. If you fall asleep or your mind wanders, you are bad....
When I let all that crap go, and started to a new Road, prayer changed for me. I love it so. now. Whether I have all the time in the world, or just a few seconds - the whole experience is nothing short of joy. When I think of Keaton as a grandfather, when the sky makes me grateful or when a call comes in where courage and peace is needed...There is no place I would rather be...

one man band...

Just like the guy next to me, sharing the shade, said at Arts In The Park - Anything Goes!

He has been at every AITP I have been to. He looks like a homeless guy, carrying all his belongings but actually, it is his music that he carries with him. A set up, he has obviously built with complex plans, one can't help but snicker.

His tambourine and a few other percussion instruments play when he pulls the attached strings...or, just dances. Either work and he used them both. He sings, plays and dances. The man does it all. Does he do it well? Well, Bono - he isn't.

What happens when we try to do it all? It's not a pretty sight, either. None of us were made to do it all. We each have strengths and weaknesses and we would do ourselves a disservice if we thought, otherwise. Trying to pull the strings to make everything work at the same time, works as well in Real Life as it does for a one man band. Not so much. Dollars may fill part of his guitar case, but not for the right reasons. More for the the entertainment of it all...


It doesn't look the same on everyone.
There is no right or wrong way.
We see the same God in different ways,
even within the same religion.

When He is a part of you,
everything else, falls away.
All those things that seem to matter so much,
no longer do.

All our self-imposed shortcomings,
don't look so back.
All our good intentions,
don't look so good.

Just take the time to be,
present with Him.
No asking for anything,
but to be in His presence.

Be still and know that He is God.
Whether you bow down, giving your heart for the taking.
Or, look up into His beautiful face, offering everything you have.
worship Him, just worship Him...

different strokes...

Less than 12 hours after leaving the Shakespeare Festival after seeing The 39 Steps with Keaton, we were on the sidelines of Gage's first football game. First play, went to Gage with a touchdown. Of course it did. This boy thinks of nothing else. Football is his life. With his dad as his team's coach, he is getting everything he needs, including learning how to be try different things even when you were made to play wide receiver. His dad is no slacker and wants his boy to be well rounded. He loves football, but understands there is more to life.

As for Keaton, he could not care less about football. His heart is with the arts, writing and now, he is in love with live theatre. Ready to buy season passes next year, hearing him laugh Friday night, was well worth the price of a ticket. The boys could not be any more different. Between everyone in the family, their individual interests are being encouraged and they could not be happier.

You wonder how 2 kids with the same parents could be so different. A wonderful book by Cynthia Tobias, The Way They Learn, is an fabulous resource for understanding how to help one understand how their different children learn and how to change the way you relate to them which in turn, helps them learn how to be the best people, they can be.

Learn not to pigeon-hole kids. Learn to go with their flow, whatever it looks like to them. To be or not to be....Run like the wind, Bulleye.

dear Keaton...

We had just finished celebrating your 2nd birthday. It was a Tuesday, Grandma's Sue Tuesday, to have you. I was home, Poppa had one of those early morning shifts. Hadn't been to bed all night so when he got home about, 7am. so we both headed to bed., exhausted.

The phone rang just before 9am. It is Auntie Mel, Turn your TV on, she says. I do. The rest is history.

I remember holding you closer the next day, mommy and daddy off to work, back to just you and me. I remember thinking how this might affect you, Down the Road. Here we are, 10 years later. You now, know the Story. While you were not affected directly the way so many were, there are things you now take for granted because they have always been a part of your life.

You will never know what it is like to wait for someone at the airport gate and wave a big welcome sign for them as they get off the plane.

911, takes on a new meaning.

It define a generation, and you will want to know eventually, what your definition will look like.

It doesn't seem like 10 years ago. For you or 911 but for each of us, that day changed us forever. I fear for the 911 of your generation. Just because of technology, it would have to make ours, look like child's play. I pray that it would pass you and yours by but I know better.

When you study other unimaginable events, keep in mind, man has always been capable of anything. Don't confuse evil with God. Someday, we can ask all the questions we want but for now, we need to understand that this side of heaven, there will no peace and we will have more events like these, God help us.

This commercial, done by Budweiser, was shown only once. In tribute, not as a commercial money maker. This, my wonderful boy, is what it is all about.

We talked a bit about 911 last night on the way to the Shakespeace performance. I asked it you were taught about 911 at school. You said not much, but you have read a lot on your own. We went on to discuss being taught evolution in school to which your response was, God's version is less complicated and makes more sense. I smiled.

A few weeks ago, we were sitting at your dining room table and for no apparent reason, you looked straight at me and said, Real Men love Jesus. You said you read it on a bumper sticker. Don't forget it son, it will help on days like to infinity and beyond, nana.


We make these movies to entertain ourselves and we hope that the rest of the world connects with them as much as we do. Pixar via Twitter.

I would really like to believe this to be true. Would love nothing more than to think that fame and fortune was second to creativity and art. To making others laugh, cry, or to inspire them. Have had multiple conversations about motivations this week, like parts of a puzzle - and it keeps coming back to a few basics.

For me, I am better when my motivations have no end value. Not because of money, or being hailed a hero. When it is about the art, the gesture, being kind for kind's sake. When there is no value except for just being, motivation is at its best. I would make a lousy salesman, no matter what the product. If you seeing me use said product, because there has been a relationship and there is value, that is one thing. When I am just hocking Something because I am trying to run up the assets of said product, the motivation has changed and so have I.

Doing a little rethinking which will hopefully led, to a change in the way I do life's business. Motivation is too strong an emotion to run around, unchecked. I think I have a pretty good handle of it, but need to make sure that in all areas of my life, no matter what the outcome - I can put my head on the pillow at night and know I did the right thing for the right reasons. If the motivations of our lives are running the show, we are living in some bad territory.

When life goes south, and it will...I want to be able to look in the mirror and know, I did the right thing. If I choose not to, well..that is a post for another day. My point is, you always have the choice...

school year 2011-2012...

The beach is behind us and school, is upon us. Hard to think about reading, writing and arithmetic... or as Keaton says, Math - not even once (based on a meth ad here. Guess you can tell, his least favorite subject!)when the weather is going to be in the 90's for the week.

This morning, we headed out at 7am to start Keaton's 7th grade experience. The school has decided to integrate jr high with high school. Pretty sure this is a bad choice but time will tell. A quick trip to the local coffee shop to wait for the Gage to present to 3rd grade and Miss M to start her first day of 1st grade, gave us some breathing room and a bit of sugar.

By 9am, everyone was settled into their new digs for the year. Tonight, we will be Facetiming to see how the day went. The first day is so exciting, day 2 - a bit less. Good thing it is a short week.

Fall is on its way... It is a wonderful time of the year. My personal calandar starts September 1 and I was well aware of it on the Oregon Coast. What a way to start the year! It is a new beginning for all of us. Everyone is in school, DH will be retiring. New year, new changes and it all starts today...


8 of us - 3 grandparents, 2 parents, 3 kids.

1 iPod Nano
3 iPod Shuffles
3 DS
3 iPads
3 laptops
4 video players
5 phones
7 cameras
14 sets of earphones.
luggage, backpacks, purses.
2 cars, completely loaded.

When we stepped into the front room of our house on the beach,I felt it. A few nights later, I had time to feel it again. Going on vacation is more of a emotion than being in a particular place. Some times, vacations are not really, vacations. Disguised as family reunions with a lot of have to's, while these may happen away from home, they are not vacations.

Even doing dishes and a bit of cooking, this was a true vacation. We obviously had our electronics with us and need more. Note to self, 3 iPads are not enough. Even with everything we brought, the ocean called to us on a regular basis and we, responded in kind. We spent quality time together, and had to place to be at any particular time. We fell into bed each night, very little chit chat and were ready to go again, every morning. Vacation, true vacation, reminds you that while your Real Life is waiting back home - that for now, this is your Real Life and to live it fully. Run, dance, smell the air. We all did that and so much more...