Welcome to my Journey

Hello, and welcome to my Journey. Over the last few years I have been learning more about my personal journey, my Path and my Soul Purpose. The further I travel, the easier I find it to share my journey with others, and to learn from their journeys as well. The most recent evolution has caused me to expand my Universe and allow more people access to my travels, as well as allowing me access to more people, their travels and what they have learned as they walk their own paths. Feel free to share your journey here as we all have much to learn in our lives as Divine Beings having a Human experience.

Love and Light.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31, 2013 Shedding negativity

Woke up feeling kind of blue today and after cleaning the kitchen, making the kids' healthy Easter baskets (veggies and nuts instead of candy) and sitting down with my first cup of coffee in my Eeyore mug, I realized that it is probably because I wrote a post last night which deviates greatly from my usual positive, upbeat topics.  The only way to counter negativity is to send it a veritable tidal wave of positive energy and drown it out!  So this is me, finding my joy again, and filling myself up with positive, productive, happy, energetic, bunny hopping energy!  Can you feel it??  I said, CAN YOU FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL IT!  

Let me hear a Hell Yeah!!!  Change the wallowing into singing, the blues into rainbows and the foot dragging into dancing!  My 15 year old Calico agrees as she is sitting at my feet purring as loud as she can, as if to say, "yeah, baby!  THAT's what I'm TALKING about!"  Maybe that should be the title of my first book:  "Everything I learned, I learned from my cat!

They have the right idea, after all.  Eat, sleep, play, cuddle, bathe self, bathe each other, cuddle some more.  Sleep some more.  Find a warm lap to sleep on.  Demand attention from humans.  And above all, Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

<jumping up and dancing>  I just want to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, I just want to celebrate...LIFE!!

How many songs have been written over the years encouraging us to let to of the grumpy, sad stuff and enjoy life.  How about this oldie?  "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile smile.  While there's a lucifer to light your fag, smile boys, that's the style!"

No matter how down and out a person might be, there is something in their life worth appreciating.  I will concede that it is harder for some people than others to find that something, but for those of us who have a roof over our heads, work to keep us productive, food to keep us healthy, family and friends to keep us grounded, there really isn't anything we can't overcome.  Sure, we have bills to pay, and repairs to make and cleaning to do.  Sure, the job might not always fulfill us.  Sure, the same family who loves us can also make demands on us.  But would we really be able to appreciate them fully if it was all perfect?  It's the challenging times that remind us how precious it all is, how it is a privilege, not a right to be so blessed and to be grateful for it all.

As I write, I can feel my joy meter rising quickly.  It's past the halfway point already and I have a smile on my face as my fingers dance across the keyboard, looking for more joyful noise to make.  I'm also popping back and force to Facebook as I read my friends' posts and vicariously share their traditional activities for this day which some consider holy.

My daughter is certainly doing her part to fill my joy meter to the top!  We agreed that Easter baskets this year would not be filled with candy as we've been eating healthier lately, so she filled mine with little containers of loose tea in yummy flavors, a slotted red spoon whose slots make a happy face, a water bottle and a sheep who sings "Moves like Jagger".  What fun!  She and my son-in-law got baskets filled with veggies, eggs filled with pistachios and carrots and tomatoes instead of jelly beans.  A little creativity and a lot of humor went into our baskets this year!  (and my blues are officially gone!)

Now I'm waiting for our delicious brunch to be ready while watching my grandpuppy hunt Easter eggs filled with dog treats.  My grandkitty is also here but has yet to fully emerge from his perceived safe haven behind my sofa!  Could the day get more perfect???

The perfect ending to a joyous day spent with the kids eating brunch, watching movies, relaxing, reading and finally, falling asleep on the couch with my kitties!  My positivity is restored and I look forward to a busy, productive week!

Love and light.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 30, 2013 Lessons learned from other peoples' bad manners.

Over the years I've seen a lot of times when family members take each other for granted, and in so doing, unintentionally treat each others' feelings carelessly or even callously because they know that regardless of what they do now, their family will always love and support them.  Good relationships may see less of this behaviour as they are more aware of the possibility of slipping into careless ways, but I think, at some time, we all experience either taking someone for granted or being taken for granted.  Good communication, however, can go a long way towards ameliorating this tendency.

I've seen it a lot in families by blood or marriage, but lately, I've been seeing it in a family by regularly shared activity and venue.

Last year, one of the couples we dance with got engaged and everyone was thrilled for them.  I didn't think much about it past that point as we're not all that close, but just know each other from dancing and share a regular participation at a common location.  However, a couple of weeks ago, she started passing out invitations at the club to what I thought at the time, was her select group of friends. The other night, she gave an invitation to two ladies with whom I've become friends and even they remarked that they believed they only received one because someone else wasn't going to be able to come.  But the real kicker was when a couple who only come in maybe once or twice a month asked if I was going to the wedding!  Clearly, there is some kind of problem with this woman and she has neither the class nor the balls to just come out and tell me what, if anything, I've done to offend her.  They're having the wedding at the club on a Saturday afternoon which means that I'll be showing up to dance, most likely, when the party is winding down.  My daughter suggested not dancing that night and I made it very clear that someone else's lack of good taste would never prevent me from doing something I loved where I loved to do it!  We will simply walk in with our heads held high and be the better for it.  (and heck, I don't have to waste money on a gift!)

But the lack of manners doesn't seem to have stopped there.  Tonight, one of the couples who has a table reserved next to ours arrived late to find that one of the other regulars had taken it upon himself to assume that they weren't coming and changed the reserved sign on their table to his name and to top it off, he invited someone else to share the table with him!  This same "gentleman" tried to excuse his rudeness on the dance floor a week or so ago when I asked him not to try to talk to me while I was focusing on learning a new dance with the comment "well, that's just how I am!".  Sorry folks, but the rest of the world is not obligated to accept, respect or understand your rudeness or misbehaviour any more than they are obligated to accept, respect or understand mine.  Frankly, if I have offended someone, I want to know so I can apologize.  About 95% of the time, I am not trying to offend someone and if I have inadvertently done so, I would appreciate it being brought to my attention so that I can not only apologize to the injured party, but learn from what I did to avoid offending or insulting someone else in the same way in the future! 

Now that my rant is over (or over for now) I want to point out that once my hurt feelings and annoyance are dealt with, I need to focus on something within myself which is reflected by such offensiveness and from which I need to learn.  If these incidences cause emotional responses in me, there is something I am doing which makes these behaviours annoying to me.  I know for a fact that I'm hardest of all on myself, but I also try to be brutally honest and try to improve upon the me I am today at every opportunity.  But I'm really at a loss!   I know it's not worth getting my feelings hurt over something so stupid and fleeting, but damn it!  They are!  But I realized that the best thing for me to do was to act like they were people I don't know to prevent me from saying something hurtful that couldn't be taken back.  I will just wish them a lovely event and life together and take a line from "Fiddler on the Roof".  May G-d bless and keep them....far away from me!

One friend suggested that it was because they weren't invited to Heather's wedding, but I wasn't sure that could be it as Heather invited only a few of the people she'd come to know well herself, and not necessarily those who were better acquainted with just me.  And we certainly didn't pass out invitations at the club, but obtained addresses and mailed them out, thus minimizing, though not eliminating making anyone feel singled out.

One thing is for certain here.  I am going to make a special effort to make the people I've come to love and care for know that I appreciate them and want to be called on any behaviour which makes them feel like they're being taken for granted or having their feelings dishonored!  So many people have touched my life in the past few years and made it a much better place for me to live!  I love and appreciate all of them every day, even if I don't get around to saying so.  And I will make sure that I get around to it a lot more after this little wake up call!  Perhaps, when all is said and done, that's all I was meant to learn from this.  

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities to reassess how I treat others.
2. I am grateful to be able to acknowledge my feelings, even when it annoys me that I can't control them as well as I'd like.
3. I am grateful for loving, caring friends and family.
4. I am grateful for dance nights as, for the most part, they keep me centered.
5. I am grateful for continued opportunities to learn and better myself.

Love and light.

March 29, 2013 Blessings upon blessings upon blessings

Today was chock full of bonuses for me!  Bonus #1:  I got off early from work with enough time to get an Easter present, grab my favorite cucumber wrapped sushi roll and shop a little.  Bonus #2: Got to spend some time with my daughter who also got off work early.  Bonus #3: Spent the evening with two girlfriends who had me in stitches the whole evening!!!

One of my friends kept us amused with her plethora of voices and accents, although my favorite was her very British woman who reminded me far too much of Robin Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire!  In between, we managed to cover every topic from classmates to men, to families to kids to movies to...geez, what didn't we cover???  We might have even found the answer to World Peace in there somewhere!  There's no telling what three strong, self assured, intelligent women can accomplish given the opportunity!  The best part, though, was getting some more insight into two women I respect and am coming to love like sisters (actually even better!)  I find it enervating and refreshing to spend time with women who can laugh about the twists and turns in their lives, get a little bawdy, love their daughters to distraction and who you know will cry "bullshit" if the situation warrants! 

Despite the less than welcome addition of a screeching child behind us (who, thankfully was gone long before we were done!), I know this evening was a special gift for me, and I look forward to doing it again!  And I may even be making use of that passport to take a little trip north when the weather warms up a tad (a tad being about 30 or 40 degrees!).  Rumor has it that it even warms up enough to shed the Uggs for about two months of every year!  Oh wait, I don't own a pair of Uggs!  Maybe sneakers and my extra thick leg warmer socks?  And it was nice to find someone else whose hamster bladder rivals mine!  But I'm giving up my dream of a career in standup because my impressionist friend really puts me to shame!  I swear, she could even make Eeyore laugh his tail off!

Is there really any better mood booster than nearly four hours of laughter?  Even better, we were all sober!  OK, maybe a little punch drunk, but that doesn't count!  The best part was, I don't think anyone was trying to be funny, per se.  It was just natural ebullience rising to the surface.  I am surprised that when the screechy child family left, they actually seated another family with children near us!  As our conversation was a bit less than G rated, I have to question the wisdom of the host.  Could they not where the conversational bubbles of three, thirty-ish women might float?  But I guess you can't expect teenage boys to consider whether or not guests would keep their conversation within the guidelines for family entertainment despite the fact that it was a Friday night which is traditionally a night to blow off steam at the end of the work week, right?  Add in the faces my comedic friend was making at a little girl behind me and you have the makings of a routine worthy of the likes of Abbott and Costello!    I have always been particularly fond of the song "I love to laugh" from Mary Poppins, and the scene where laughter causes her uncle and the children to float near the ceiling.  It would be extremely useful to be able to float up to the ceiling to clear cobwebs or paint or reach something from a high shelf in the cupboards simply by thinking of something funny enough to make you laugh.  The therapeutic value would be amazing and an added bonus. 

I find myself wanting to skip around the house chanting "Laughter and blessings and bonuses, Oh my!"  and only restrain myself for fear of traumatizing my cats.  They're only just becoming accustomed to me doing line dances in the living room!  I need to allow them time to adjust before I start working on "Skiffle Time", which is 64 counts of insanity workout!  If I'm not careful, the living room will become a no fly zone for them, at least when I'm home.  I can hear them thinking "ok, what is that crazy human going to do in here tonight?  Did you see how close she came to my tail last night???  Does she not realize that when I stop right in front of her, she is to cease all other activity and give me attention?  It appears we may soon require an intervention!" 

If you have ever been subjected to a cat intervention, you know what that entails, but for the uninitiated, let me give you a small glimpse into the process. 

It typically occurs somewhere between laying down to sleep and oh dark thirty.  The cat with the largest paws (in my house, that would be Toby, of the Labrador feet, paws down!) begins practicing the Sonata in D sharp major for one cat and mini blinds, thus abruptly dragging the human out of a deep slumber as said human becomes aware of Chatty Catty sitting on her chest, singing along with the instrumental accompaniment.  As the human reaches full consciousness, Esthetician Kitty begins a vigorous tongue facial, making sure to include macro dermabrasion on eyelids, nose, cheeks, chin and lips.  Harmony Kitty now joins Chatty Catty to add volume and discord to the cacophony.  Finally, Sabre Tooth kitty uses the human's body from toes to neck as a racecourse, making sure all claws are extended for maximum traction. 

If the human does not, by this point, understand that her behaviour has displeased her owners, Labrador Feet will drape his ample body across hers, preferably across the bladder and demand the skritch of two hands, refusing to take no for an answer.  Compliance is mandatory.  Resistance is futile!  Chatty Catty and Harmony Kitty increase the volume and the discord while Esthetician Kitty adds additional vigor to the

macro dermabrasion.

Now that the human has been properly reconditioned, she should immediately get up and open cans of food for her now exhausted bosses who have had to exert so much energy to retrain her.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for girlfriends who make me laugh and keep on laughing long after we part.
2. I am grateful for bonuses and blessings.
3. I am grateful for my daughter who gives me reason to smile nearly every day.
4. I am grateful for a home which, although I never manage to get it clean, is always filled with love and affection.
5. I am grateful for abundance:  friendship, love, laughter, success and prosperity.

Love and light 

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 28, 2013 New habits are persistent!

Half an hour ago, I was sitting her thinking, "Oh, man!  I still need to fix my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow!  Maybe I'll be lazy just this once and just pick something up tomorrow!"  But you know what?  I couldn't do it!  I just could not bring myself to take a chance on what I eat tomorrow!  I've gotten myself into such a routine that I would just not have felt good about doing that, nor would I have felt good about what I was eating.  So now it's 12:30 and my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow are waiting in the refrigerator, the kitchen is tidied up, the cats' dishes are cleaned and I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself!  I have a tasty salad with a little container of vinaigrette, my veggie scramble and a container of fresh fruit.  I'll most likely nibble on my breakfast until around 11, then nibble on my lunch until about 3:30 or 4, keeping me, for the most part (and believe me, I am far from perfect!) from eating too much that might get in the way of reclaiming that girlish figure I know is waiting underneath this padded suit I've been wearing for too long now!

This was actually a pretty good day overall.  I got up early enough to not only wash my hair, but get some exercises done, with the dubious assistance of Dylan and Toby.  (Dylan has trouble understanding that I don't need him to stand under my leg while I'm doing leg lifts, and that my leg really is supposed to go all the way back down to the floor!)  I got a lot done at work in preparation for month end and ended the day with several hours of very satisfying dancing. 

That is not to say that my mind is not still wandering down some trails which deviate from the positivity I strive to follow, but it gives me the opportunity to find the good in those situations and, if nothing else, toss some imaginary heart shaped confetti at it, which always brings a smile to my face, and raises my level of joy and that is always a good thing! 

The world is full of sad things I could allow to drag me down as I have in the past, but I moved away from that street and have no intention of going back.  When I encounter those sad situations, it is just another reminder to be grateful for the many happy things in my life.  Laughing over nothing with friends certainly tops that list, and I had quite a few opportunities to do exactly that tonight.  I expect to continue that trend when I meet two girlfriends for dinner tomorrow night, followed by a massage Saturday, putting together healthy Easter baskets for the kids and more dancing Saturday night.  Sunday should be fairly quiet, allowing me to get a few things taken care of which have been gnawing at me as I keep putting them off.  And getting them off my plate will just yield more joy for having completed the tasks and moved on to other, more interesting things. 

I want to take a moment to send healing energy out to those who have lost a loved one, are suffering from an illness, are struggling financially or who are having any kind of difficulty which makes it hard to find the blessings,  I picture them all, wrapped in a warm, soft blanket of light as they are slowly detached from the pain and the sadness, comforted and loved and have their burdens lifted, if only for a little while.  I am so fortunate to have a wonderful, delightfully imperfect life, amazing mentors and teachers (even if they don't realize that they are for me), everything I need and much of what I just want, and love, laughter and passion.  All of this is really meant to be shared rather than hugged to my chest as if I were afraid of losing it.  The fact is, the more I share, the more there is!  As each of us shares, everyone we share with has more to share, and when they share, the pool grows even further.  I'm convinced that if we really perpetuate the sharing and caring and love, we will choke out the ugliness and sadness much like a strong, healthy lawn will choke out the weeds. 

It is very clear to me that negative energy and positive energy repel each other so they don't tend to exist in the same place.  Also, positive energy is much stronger and more persistent, whereas negative energy tends to be sneaky and insidious.  Positive energy meets more positive energy and grows exponentially.  Negative energy is a loner and grows only when it feeds on something else.  It needs to be treated like we treat a fire.  Take away the fuel and it will burn itself out.  Opt out of the pity party and the party will fizzle. 

I'm not saying it's easy.  But I am saying that it's worth it!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for things which remind me to appreciate my blessings.
2. I am grateful for good habits which have become ingrained in me.
3. I am grateful for an abundance of love, friendship, success and prosperity.
4. I am grateful for exchanges of ideas which make my mind work and grow stronger.
5. I am grateful for my warm, cat-filled bed where I am able to sleep soundly and worry free every night.

Love and light.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013 A day of lessons

Started the day with a bang, first by oversleeping then by receiving a ticket from the local law enforcement agency who is playing their "hide the pea" game yet again.  I allowed my focus to drift to making the green light and ignored my speedometer.   I'm only grateful that it was the locals and not the starving California gendarmes.

Driving to work after the delay, I focused on having the day get better, only one way to go now, and that's up..that sort of thing.  I also realized that I forgot to tune in to the full moon meditation I'd signed up for last night.  And I wondered if I was sending the Universe too many "lack" messages and not enough "gratitude for having enough" messages.

But as the day progressed, it occurred to me that the Universe in it's own inimitable fashion was giving me a very loud, very clear message to slow down!  I need to take more time to appreciate what I have instead of just giving it lip service.  My walk yesterday was a great example.  I took time out of my day to enjoy the beauty around me, to experience an impromptu concert, and to see what else exists in about a mile radius from where I work 5 days a week.  The message today was that I need to do more of this.  I'm spending too much time doing mindless, meaningless things and I'm in danger of atrophying my brain.  So I'm setting a new intention, to listen more, talk less, focus more, detach less and make more opportunities to add experiences I can share instead of digging into a dark, dank, empty well of ennui.

In one of the many inspirational emails I receive, I found this quote today "Many great inventors and artists have found that the inspiration they need to get to the next level in their work comes not when they’re working but when they’re walking around the block or doing dishes."  

How timely and appropos.  Not only is someone else recognizing that those walks are therapeutic and mind clearing, but my mind's need to make lunches, clean the kitchen, set up the coffee pot and other mundane chores is essential to my own writing process.  Clearly, the errant thoughts I've had about hiking, going to the gym and spending more time with friends has a definite purpose as does dancing in my living room with wild abandon, acting as a sounding board for a friend's thoughts and ideas and taking every opportunity to flex those writing muscles!

Listening to the Universe's message, I skipped the dance lesson to come home, do some paperwork I'd been neglecting, read a little "Laws of Attraction", meditate and exercise my brain a bit with some strategy and word games.  As usual, I had lots of company for these endeavors!  

I also heeded the message to listen more and talk less while participating in a 4 hour meeting.  I still need to work on listening more and talking less, but overall, it was a really good exchange of ideas from all.  

I did find, tonight, that I wasn't really interested in watching TV.  I turned it on for a bit while I ate my dinner, but was quickly bored and turned it off in favor of my book.  I attribute this, at least in part, to the new intentions I've set.  I have found that once I set such an intention, I lose my taste for certain things which are counterproductive to where I want to go.  This may be an unconscious part of the allowing process, or it might just be my subconscious taking the messages I send and doing its part to help me along with the help of my Guides and Higher Self.    But whatever it is, I'm very grateful.  Now, if it could help me love exercise and find chocolate distasteful....   Well, I can dream, can't I?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the Powers within and without which help me to manifest my intentions.
2. I am grateful for my increasing ability to not only turn what could be a day wrecking situation into a lesson, but to find the lesson in the challenge.
3. I am grateful for new intentions which come to me about the time I've nearly mastered the last ones, or need more tools in order to fully master earlier ones.
4. I am grateful for more opportunities to learn new skills, whether or not they may be job related.
5. I am grateful for inspiration received from people around me: those I see and speak to and those I know only from their wonderful, inspirational posts.

Love and light.

March 26, 2013 Animal magnetism

Laying in bed last night after posting my blog and dancing one last "Fairy Tales and Love Songs" in my living room (and scaring the crap out of Patches in the process), my mind began turning over what might have been my next blog post when something interesting happened.  Dylan jumped up onto the bed and almost frantically began searching for the perfect spot.  He walked around the pillows for a few seconds, leading me to believe he was going to settle on the ones next to me when he suddenly turned, made a beeline for my pillow and, instead of curling up between the wall and my head as is his usual pattern, he lay ON my head with one paw across my forehead, then began to purr even louder than I'd ever heard before, which is saying a lot as he can sound almost like a plane getting ready for takeoff under normal conditions!  If that wasn't enough, when I woke this morning, Toby had taken his place as if they were tag teaming me to ensure that I got my sleep!

If there was ever any doubt that our animals tune into us (and especially after writing about it last night), there are doubts no longer!  It is interesting that he laid his paw across my forehead in that manner because my chiropractor reminds me often that that is one of the ways we can connect directly with our emotions, and it seems that Dylan nailed it because I slept long and deeply, waking to find that I'd overslept and barely disturbed the bed all night long!

I thought I'd switch things up tonight and write my blog post (or rather, finish it) before I made my breakfasts and lunches for the next couple of days when, much to my surprise, I couldn't write a word!  My brain literally shut down because I was trying to work outside of my pre-set routine.  "STOP!"  It said.  "Writing is your reward for getting everything done and ready for tomorrow's work day!  Until you get those things taken care of, you are not entitled to your reward, and must wait until all is in order!"

What the heck???  Now my conscience is giving me orders and telling me when I can and cannot write??  This is absurd!  But while I was doing those chores, my brain churned and gave me fodder for my post, which it had very blatantly withheld when I tried to do things out of order!  As if the cats aren't bad enough at trying to order me around?  Now my innards are getting into the act?

This feeling of being unsettled continues to rear its head at every odd moment it can find.  Today, after spending the better part of the last two reviewing and critiquing a proposal, I got to the point where, if I didn't get up and move, I'd simply spontaneously combust!  (that Phoenix has nothing on me in full melt down!)  The solution was to just go out into the absolutely beautiful day and walk.  My intention was to just walk around the buildings which, if I take my time might take all of ten minutes.  But when I had made the circuit, even stopping to play with one of the other tenant's dog for a bit, I realized that I couldn't possibly go in and sit at my desk yet, so I decided to walk up to the next side street, then walk back.  Great plan, but when I got there, I was still to antsy to sit still so I decided to walk up to the first street that crossed back over to the main street and just make a big circle.  Little did I realize that that street was about a mile up the road!  Needless to say, my little walk to clear my head and calm my bouncing off the wall feelings ended up being a two mile jaunt!  Had I realized I was going to make such a trek, I'd have changed into my sneakers as my sandals rubbed a blister into the back of my right foot!  But the good news is, I was able to settle for the rest of the afternoon, though not enough to meditate!

I know part of the problem is my unpleasantly high tax bill for last year, but I took steps to ensure that next year's bill will be much less and might even be a refund by adjusting a couple of things to allow for changes in my status and deductions now that my daughter is on her own.  It was nice while it lasted!  But I also remembered to ask the Universe for assistance in working everything out to my best advantage, so I've released the anxiety and will just take things as they come.

Meanwhile, I had emailed a rescue group to see if they could make use of my writing skills and was very happy to get a response with some suggestions as to what I can do to help!  In the next few days, I'll be reviewing the stories they have for their adoptable kitties to see if I can freshen them up a bit.  They also told me that there are some resources I can tap for guidance on writing more effective stories to help get the cats adopted.  More to learn and I am always up for a new skill!  It seems that my path towards writing/creating more and analyzing less is still on track, even if the train is moving at the speed of a snail.  Forward progress is still forward progress!

I'm also loving the flow of ideas and the camaraderie of our newly formed Reunion Committee.  More bonds are being formed as we join in this labor of love to make a fun weekend for our classmates.  I know that there will be a lot of brainstorming in that area over the next few months, and the result will be some amazing, fun ideas!  I guess I'd better pencil myself out for the whole weekend and I might consider taking half of Friday off too (after I get the close done, that is!  Timing is everything!)  But I'll see what is needed when the date gets closer!  And can't forget to order my ticket once the tax dust clears!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities to not only give back, but learn something new in the process.
2. I am grateful that I can take long walks without worrying about limitations (blisters aside)
3. I am grateful for friends who know when to take me to task for being too hard on myself (Yes, MPP, I mean you!)
4. I am grateful for the connection I have with my cats who know just when to insist I just stop and give them cuddles or snuggle until I fall asleep.
5. I am grateful for routines that have set in so strongly that I am no longer able to slack off or skip steps.

Love and light.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 25, 2013 Channeling Positivity

As the days get crazier, work gets busier, responsibilities at home increase and the social calender gets more entries, it's easy to forget to keep those positive thoughts and feelings going.  But that's when they're needed the most, and will make the increased pace of life seem like a stroll in the park (or a golf course, for some of my friends!) instead of a race on a hamster wheel.  It is also important to maintain the healthy eating habits we work so hard to master and to keep exercise levels up (one which, aside from the dancing, I struggle with constantly!).  But just as we need the up and moving time, we need to remember the meditation time too.

I find that it's easier for me to remember to take it when I have a set amount of time when I disconnect during the day, so my daily meditations are more consistent, believe it or not, when I am in the office.  When I work from home, it's just as easy to work straight through, munching on breakfast and lunch while I try to get as much work done as possible.  If I do take some time to myself, I am always joined, which really isn't a bad thing as long as my company settles down and sits still.  Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't, but I have to say that when I settle down with my ambient music playing, a cat in my lap and another next to my head, purring, finding that peaceful place is just that much easier, just as it is easier to fall asleep with everyone in their accustomed places, purring and snuggling.  I have found that animals really are attracted to the energy generated with meditation, tarot cards, or other spiritual activities, and have read many reports from other animal parents who concur.  Maybe because we find it easier to connect with Source with the aid of our animals, we have a greater probability of doing so.  It would be interesting to research (in my spare time, of course!)

Although the knotty, empty feeling in my stomach seems to have subsided, I am finding it harder and harder to stay focused, despite the increased work and play loads I have incurred in the last couple of weeks.  I am finishing projects, though it seems to be taking longer than it should.  However, I also seem to be making new discoveries in the process to it might just be that I need to take longer in order to make those discoveries.

And blessings are coming into my life in unexpected ways.  A casual conversation turned into a reunion committee of seven amazing, energetic, creative people and me after we discovered that no reunion had been planned for this year.  I am also flabbergasted at the number of people from other classes showing an interest in attending ours!  But the school was small in our day, and we all knew people in all 4 years as a result of our interests and activities.  One thing that is making me a little crazy, though, is that I see a name and recognize it, but am unable to put activities or classes together with the name!  It is clear that I interacted with these people in high school, but I just can't drag the particulars out of my memory banks and it's driving me nuts!  Especially when some of my classmates seem to have a photographic memory of specific incidents in their high school lives.  Sure, I remember certain things, and some with a reasonable amount of detail, but most revolve around the theater or choir or a social activity.  I remember a girl who crocheted in my Spanish class, but a friend and I disagree as to who it was.  I also remember that I was in a modern dance club, but don't remember a single day of it!  But I do remember square dancing and Oh Johnny Oh and repeatedly failing to get over the vaulting horse in P.E.  I guess it's just selective memory!

I also remember time spent with certain friends more than others.  But those were, for the most part, the ones I spent most of my otherwise unoccupied time with. I may have to tear my office apart and find my yearbooks which might jog a memory or two loose before I see everyone in November!  Otherwise, I'll just have to hope that other memories are as sketchy as mine and we will all just be kind and appreciate the opportunity to meet new people who share an important part of our past. 

And still, I write.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friends, both old and new, and yet to be made.
2. I am grateful for down time with my kitties to keep me grounded.
3. I am grateful for activities to keep my mind and body busy and strong.
4. I am grateful for opportunities to learn and grow.
5. I am grateful for abundant health, love, joy , success and inspiration.

Love and light

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 24, 2013 Returning to the original purpose

Every so often, I return to the original purpose of this blog, and driving home last night, my thoughts headed in that direction again.

I was thinking about birthdays and age as many of us are now in our 40's, 50's and 60's and still dancing several nights a week and loving life!  It occurred to me that in a couple of months, I'll be one year shy of my mom's age when she took her life, and that I am honoring her memory in the best possible way:  by living the life she gave me to the fullest, finding joy amidst loving, caring people.  As I looked around the table last night at some of the amazing women who have been brought into my life in the last few years, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the blessings and lessons they bring to my life. 

The whole evening was rather serendipitous, beginning with my daughter being unable to go dancing due to a swollen foot.  Arriving at Borderline, I found that the party of 50 we'd been warned about was overflowing our side of the club so that the regulars were pushed into about 5 less tables than normal and had also lost half of the bar area we usually occupy.  Not only did this encourage more friendliness than normal, but our numbers were larger as people who aren't normally there decided to show up last night!  I shared my table, at first, with a couple of ladies I'd gotten to know a little better, on and since the cruise, but was delightfully surprised by not one, but two other women I wasn't expecting to see last night!    In addition, an early in the evening practice session of "Fairy Tales and Love Songs" with only three of us on the floor was a fabulous bonus!  And of course, we nailed it both the first time we danced it last night, and the second, later in the evening with a more crowded floor! 

I've been feeling a bit out of sorts today, and didn't do most of what I'd planned to do, though I did finally start to do my taxes.  My stomach has felt like it had a big hole in it and despite a meditation and some reading of one of my Laws of Attraction books, I haven't been able to find the cause.  It could be just the trepidation at preparing taxes for the first time without benefit of Head of Household status (and yes, it will be an expensive shock!), but when I touched on that in my meditation, it didn't seem to be what was really bothering me.  I put the word out to the Universe that I need a couple of more clues so we'll see if the answer arrives in the next day or two, or, better still, the issue resolves itself and I return to normal. 

Loki spent a good part of the day climbing all over me and crying in a way that was almost reminiscent of a cat in heat, which I know is impossible as she was spayed long ago!  I have to assume it is the appetite stimulating medication and am seriously considering skipping the next dose, depending on how her appetite seems to be doing by then.  It's as if she's regressed back to when we first brought her home and she was annoying in an endearing kind of way.  But right now, she's climbing all over me without bothering to sheath those rapiers she has for claws!  I'm sporting lovely little nicks all over my hands and arms as a result!

With no thanks to Toby who insisted on sitting exactly where I needed to walk back and forth, and who did get tripped over a couple of times, my breakfast and lunch for the next two days are assembled and packed up neatly in my refrigerator.  Coffee is ready for my morning commute and clean clothes are hanging in my closets.  All that's left for me to do is write my gratitudes, take out my contacts and go get some sleep before the new week comes roaring in (and judging by the last emails I received on Friday, I'll be lucky if it merely roars!).  A peaceful, productive, joyful week to all!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for routines which are making my life easier.
2. I am grateful for healthy furballs who keep my stress level down.
3. I am grateful for serenity which I find more often these days.
4. I am grateful for allowing:  when I set an intention, I can now allow the Universe to address it in its own time and manner, knowing that everything will turn out far better than I could have planned, analyzed and sweated over.
5. I am grateful for acceptance and forgiveness, of myself and everyone who has ever touched my life.  Although I still struggle over some, I have learned so much and have better tools to apply now.

Love and light.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23, 2013 For my cat loving friends

As most of us cat owners know, there are certain things which are always an adventure when it involves or feline friends.  These include baths, administering medicine and vet visits.  Today, I was blessed with the task of taking three of my little darlings for a visit. 

Loki isn't a big deal, especially with her health issues and addiction to attention of any kind.  Just pick her up and pop her in the carrier and she's good.  Scooby can be a bit more challenging, as you can pick him up and carry him to the box, but when you get there, he suddenly sprouts eight legs, all going in different directions, and each bearing razor sharp talons, regardless of how many times we clip them!  Add Loki sticking her nose out of the carrier to see what's going on and it becomes a comedy act worthy of Barnum and Bailey's circus.  But the real joy is my 15 year old calico, Patches.  I was hoping that she'd follow her recent pattern and just be waiting for me on the sofa in the living room, but my dear, sweet, loveable bear of a cat, Toby, saw differently. 

Around 7 AM I heard Patches' distinctive growl/hiss combination as she scuttled under my bed and, as Dylan was purring serenely beside me, I knew who the culprit was.  Silently cursing his fluffy hide under my breath, I got up, fed everyone, then prepared a bribery bowl for Ms. Patches.  As soon as I entered the room and locked Mr. Dylan out, she scuttled out from under the bed and headed for the bowl.  I patiently waited for her to finish, only to have her make a beeline for the bed again as soon as she'd eaten her fill,.  Fortunately for me and my bare arms, she stayed near the edge and I was able to gently pull her out, carry her down the hall and put her in her carrier where she immediately set up the most pitiful wail you've ever heard!  Hardening my heart, I put the two carriers into my car in the dark garage to await departure about 30 minutes later.

And this is where I made a remarkable discovery!  Putting the cats into the carriers early, then letting them sit in the unmoving car for a little while to settle after being put into the carriers had a calming effect on all of them.  There was no wailing and howling on the 20 minute trip to the vet, and all three were much easier to deal with once there.  That is not to say that Patches didn't hiss and growl a bit (and pee all over the vet!) after being poked and prodded, but she was far less cranky than she usually is!  Scooby wanted to hide in the corner under the bench, but was his usual, fairly mellow self when it was his turn.  Loki, of course will pretty much let you do anything to her as long as she's getting attention and melted the heart of one of the techs while giving up some bodily fluids for her lab work.  I do want to add one warning here.  Putting them in the car if the garage is getting warm is not a good idea!  This was fairly early in the morning when it was still in the 50's outside so they were not in any danger of heat stroke for the half hour or so that they spent in my car.

Speaking of my old girl, Patches, she has gotten into a very bad habit of late.  When I get up in the morning, I find that she's left a deposit right in front of the sandbox in my front bathroom.  I couldn't figure out why she was doing this as I know she can get in and out of the litterbox until I happened to watch a show about a cat behavioralist.  In one episode, a couple had a cat who insisted on urinating in the bathroom sink.  As it turned out, the couple only emptied his litter box every two weeks and it did not appear that they scooped it in between!  The cat was offended and refused to do his business there!  Small wonder, if you ask me!  But it made me think.  Perhaps Ms. Patches is on the finicky side and doesn't  like going in when there are, in her mind, too many previous deposits (which could be one or two for all I know!).  So it occurred to me that since this was happening overnight, perhaps the solution was to make sure that I scooped the litter boxes just before going to bed.  That way, she has a relatively clean facility and might be convinced to make use of it instead of the floor!  I'm giving this a try tonight and will see if it solves the problem!

Today's vet visit seems to have awakened other undesirable behavior, this time with Mr. Scooby Doo!  I went out to the garage to check stock before going to Costco, and Mr. Escape Artist (who I just discovered was NOT microchipped yet!) slipped out the door and headed for the cat door at the back of the garage.  Fortunately, I found him nibbling grass just outside the cat door, and by walking slowly towards him, caused him to go back into the garage, allowing me to block the cat door temporarily.  Returning to the garage, I found him being herded by one of my garage cats so that all I had to do was open the door to the house and he scurried back inside where he belongs.  Needless to say, I will be opening the doors carefully for awhile, checking to make sure he isn't lurking, and the microchip situation will be rectified next week when he goes in to have his teeth cleaned!  It may also be a good idea to invest in some cat grass to encourage Scooby to stay inside and Dylan to stop eating the flowers I keep in a vase on my dining room table!

Meanwhile, poor Mr. Toby felt sorely neglected because he wasn't loaded into a carrier and taken for a ride to the vet and expressed his displeasure by curling up in my lap, demanding some serious consoling and refusing to budge for a couple of hours.  He was finally properly mollified and climbed up to the top perch on the cat tree and proceeded to snooze away the rest of the day, complete with his little snuffly snore. 

Ms. Patches has apparently recovered from the day's abuse and is, once again, throwing herself against my leg and licking me from time to time.  Either her memory is short or attention far outweighs an hour's worth of unpleasantness, though she's still not willing to sit still so I can comb out the knots in her derriere!  She's a bit remiss in the grooming department, partly due to weight and partly due to age. She just doesn't bend as easily as she used to, something I can definitely relate to!

At any rate, I get to repeat the process with Scooby later in the week for his dental visit and the other three are probably good for another few months.  Thankfully, they are much easier about loading and riding.  Toby will literally walk into the carrier if it's on the floor, Dylan will go wherever I want him to and Munchkin is small enough to just corral and load. 

Loki is on new meds to settle her stomach and increase her appetite (with a delightful possible side effect which would make her more demanding of attention, if that is even possible!  But I gave her the 1/4 of a pill about 30 minutes ago and she's already on my desk insisting that she's neglected and abused!)   If her current behavior is any indication, my sanity may not survive a lengthy adherence to this particular regimen!  She is currently meowing non-stop like she did when we first got her.  Even tempered Dylan finally had enough and started smacking her around just to shut her up the last time she behaved like this!

And such is the life of a cat owner.  I'm sure most of you recognize at least one or two of these characteristics!  But I also get to snuggle with them and am purred to sleep by them every night, snuggled when I sit down at my desk or on the sofa, and greeted when I walk through the door with little, furry faces with big, adoring eyes focused on me.  Yes, it's all worth it!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for awesome nights of dancing.
2. I am grateful for an unexpected girls night out.
3. I am grateful for the responsibility and the unconditional love my furry children provide.
4. I am grateful for the continuing good health of my cats and kids.
5. I am grateful for an abundance of energy, health, friendship and love.

Love and light

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22, 2013 Brief and to the point,

This is another one of those nights when I dutifully sit down at the computer with little to say, so you may actually get that short post tonight.

Had a lovely time at a fundraiser tonight.  Spaghetti dinner, country music, a little dancing and even some cowboy poetry.  I'd have stayed longer but the kids were tired, and Heather drove, but it's just as well since I have to be up early to take furballs to the vet tomorrow, and my old girl, Patches, is likely to be a challenge to get into the crate!  But I came home, got the crates out, refilled the cat food bin and made Dylan happy by giving him a full feeder.  You'd think, to listen to him, that his food bowl is empty most of the time! 

I did, at one point, find myself getting a little crabby, but imagined throwing a handful of heart shaped confetti at Heather and the moment passed.  She didn't even realize she'd been confetti'd. 

Had a much busier than expected day working from home.  As usual, when I'm trying to finish a project, the sky has to fall!  But, also as usual, we managed to get everything dealt with and the project completed, even if I did work straight through from about 7:30 until 5:30 without a break.  I get to spend the beginning of next week reading and critiquing the finished product.  The fun never stops!

OK, I'm beginning to bore myself so unless a brainstorm occurs in the next 30 seconds, I'm going to have to cut this short or risk being used as target practice for rotten vegetables. 

Looking up at my bookshelf, my eye stops at one of my Laws of Attraction books, The Astonishing Power of Emotions and I realize that I never really got more than a couple of chapters into it, so, instead of sitting here trying to come up with something clever and witty, I'm going to end with my gratitudes and go read for awhile.

1. I am grateful to be able to help my community.
2. I am grateful for laughter and sharing.
3. I am grateful for being more organized.
4. I am grateful that I was able to complete my project.
5. I am grateful for an evening out which still left time to catch up on some reading.

Love and light.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013 Dance night. Need I say more?

What a wonderful night!  What terrific energy!  What amazing friends!  Can you tell I had a fantastic time?  We got to dance our new dance not once, but twice again tonight and the second time, I got it perfect!  I was even able to talk a little in the middle of it so the muscles are definitely beginning to memorize this one!  And next week, we get to preview another of the ones we learned on the cruise!  What fun!!!

I did have to make an emergency trip to the chiropractor today as my back and neck muscles were revolting!  I'm still a bit on the stiff side if I sit still too long, but a weekend of dance is sure to ensure that doesn't happen!  I will probably get very cozy with my foam roller over the next few days, too!  Some pain now means happy muscles later! 

On the ear front, it seems to have run its course as my equilibrium is normal again and the dizziness and nausea have subsided.  I was not about to let them interfere with my dance nights!!!

I'm noticing that energy levels have been very high the last couple of days which is a good thing in a lot of ways. I, for one, am accomplishing a lot and things which were malfunctioning a couple of weeks ago are suddenly working smoothly and better than expected.  The energy on the dance floor is also high and people are, for the most part, friendly and happy. (OK, so I got a little testy with one of the guys tonight, but he was screwing me up on the first go round of Fairy Tales and Love Songs!  How rude!!!)  Some of the kids are home for Spring Break, but I don't really think that's the source of the high energy as it is apparent in the crowd of regulars too.  Everyone seems friendlier than ever, more relaxed, more affectionate and just happy!  Not that starting the day with one of Toby's full body snuggles did my disposition any harm!

Even at work, I'm getting better vibes from my co-workers, for the most part although I still need to work on my own negativity towards some people.  I need to focus on accepting their right to make their choices and stop allowing those choices to impact my own joy in any way.  Instead, I need to remember to apply liberal doses of imaginary heart shaped confetti at the first sign of a negative thought or feeling.  And if I don't like how things are going, I am always free to make a choice which will take me away from anything that displeases me.  On the other hand, I can also choose to just believe it out of existence.  In the long run, that is simpler and doesn't require an adjustment period.  It also allows me to save the changes in my life for those things which take me out of my comfort zone and into the magic zone.  This seems like a no-brainer to me!!!

As some folks are aware (and now you are too!), I am not a big fan of garbanzo beans, in fact, I think they taste like dirt and used to gladly give them to my sister when we were kids.  That means that, until recently, foods like hummus were not seen in my house.  That has changed since I discovered white bean hummus with pesto and edamame hummus!  I've found them to be quite tasty and full of nice, lean protein as well!  The white bean is good both on my gluten free crackers and on veggies like baby carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers.  However, I seem to be container challenged as I practically ripped the little plastic bowl apart trying to get it open.  Sometimes I just don' know my own strength!  Or maybe its all of that nice, lean protein that's making me strong like ox! :) 

I'm still adding little notes to my Joy Jar, though not every day.  It's not that I don't find Joy every day, but I don't always remember to make an entry for the jar, especially after spilling my guts here.  I will, however, make an effort to put something in the jar a bit more frequently.  I don't want to show up at the end of the year with a half empty jar!  That would hardly be a fair representation of my year, now would it?  Nor would I be setting a good example for my fellow Joy Jar-ers! 

But the hour draws late and Toby is eagerly awaiting more snuggles, so I'll draw this badly rambling mess to a close.  (I can hear those sighs of relief!  You can't fool me!)  Until tomorrow, my blog friends, I bid you adieu and sweet dreams.

My gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful for days that start with kitty cuddles.
2. I am grateful for the energy that is permeating my life right now.
3. I am grateful for accomplishments.
4. I am grateful for dance friends who up the Joy quotient simply by being there.
5. I am grateful for a social calendar that's starting to get full again.

Love and light.

March 20, 2013 Reunion, Anonymous remarks and Dr. Seuss

Every so often, someone will comment on a post on the blog, and I appreciate the feedback.  However, some of those comments show up as "Anonymous" which simply means that they don't have a Google account.  Thankfully, most of those people identify themselves in their post and I'm happy to share their comments with everyone, but once in awhile, I get a comment from an Anonymous user with no indication as to who wrote the post.  So I'd like to request that if you wish to comment and are an anonymous user, that you identify yourself in your post, otherwise, I can't guarantee that your comment will be posted.  (If I'm not anonymous, it's only fair that commenters identify themselves too!)

Thank you.  This has been a public service announcement brought to you by a blogspot user.

It came to pass that what should have been a reunion year for my high school graduating class was looking like it would pass without a whimper.  Enter a classmate who didn't want to see that happen, and lo, a reunion committee of 8 was born!  Numerous phone calls and a Facebook page later, we have a venue, a date and will soon have assignments for everyone, but in the meantime, we are all getting very excited about gathering some of our classmates to commemorate this auspicious occasion.  It is amazing what can happen when you bring eight intelligent, talented, strong, determined women together through the miracle of the internet!  Maybe we should address our energy towards dumping a bunch of useless senators and congressmen and finally balancing the darned budget!  Just removing all of the special interests from the equation is bound to cut through some of the red tape!  And imagine cutting 535 salaries at around $200K each?  I think $107,000,000 would certainly make a dent in our budget deficit, and that is just salaries and doesn't include all of the perks and bennies, office space, staff and heaven only knows what else those deadbeats in Washington sponge off of the taxpayers!  I daresay we'd see a billion or two going back into the country's coffers!   Oh, the thinks you can think!

I've always been a great fan of Dr. Seuss and, in fact, my outgoing voicemail message used to go something like this:

Heather and Jenni and Mommy and Dad
Can't come to the phone now, we're oh so sad.
But leave us a message after the tone.
We'll be certain to call you when we return home.

Apparently, I passed on my love to my daughter Heather as she included a Seuss quote in her wedding ceremony.  He managed to convey a responsibility for our actions and to our environment in his whimsical fashion, but one which kids could relate to and who better to teach that responsibility to than the ones who will ultimately be the decision makers?  Although I loved that irrepressible, sublimely irresponsible Cat in the Hat, one of my favorite stories was the Lorax.  It really brought home how it is our responsibility to protect and nurture our environment and that someone has to take a stand against the large conglomerates who profit on its destruction.  I often wonder if that is how my daughter got her strong sense of responsibility for the oceans and rivers.  There are some pretty strong subliminal messages in the stories of Dr. Seuss. 

We are making noises now, but so far, we have yet to truly organize and make any noticeable inroads into healing the sicknesses humanity has inflicted on the Earth.  I've come to realize, though, that trying to fight to fix the wrongs is the wrong approach too.  We'd simply add more fuel to the funeral pyre.  Instead, we need to find ways to spread love across the land, giving it protection from those who value profit over the perpetuation of our home and her natural resources.  There are peaceful, subtle ways to bring about the necessary changes, and we have the tools to find and implement them, if we'd only start looking. 

Thinking about it, though, if it is occurring to me right now, how many others have already thought about it and, in fact, may already have a plan in place which is making subtle changes?  Could some of the energy shifts we've been feeling have been put in place by those sensitive to the destruction?  Are they, at this moment, reversing the tide? 

Whatever stage we are currently at, I look forward to being a part of the rebuilding process.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for people who care about the earth more than they care about profiting from it.
2. I am grateful for a home filled with love.
3. I am grateful for the warm, soft bed waiting for me to rest my aching bones.
4. I am grateful that I am blessed to know some really amazing, talented, intelligent, ambitious women.
5. I am grateful for dancing.  The people make my whole being smile and the dancing keeps my body healthy.

Love and light

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013 Turning the tide

One thing I've noticed when I'm feeling like there's something in the air or a change coming, or a weird energy is that my cats seem to hang a lot closer to me.  I've yet to determine whether it is because they sense whatever I'm sensing or because they're sensing my energy, or perhaps a little of both, but their presence is infinitely comforting when I'm trying to make sense of the shifts I'm feeling.

For the last couple of days, along with the energy shifts, I've been experiencing dizziness, vertigo, mild headaches and nausea.  As a result, I've worked from home rather than risk driving when I am, to be honest, somewhat impaired.  My cats are, of course, delighted to have me home and although they have been pretty good about letting me get work done, they take full advantage of those times when I stop work.  Whether they curl up in my lap or sit beside my head, purring loudly during a meditation or take advantage of my sitting and watching TV to occupy my lap and my attention, they know that this down time is going to be short lived so they may as well make the most of it!  Of course, the plus side for me is their incredible calming influence.  The time spent cuddling and giving them attention results in me adjusting to energy shifts and potential world changes from a much better vantage point of serenity and calm.

I saw this today and as it pretty much fits how I'm feeling, I had to share it!   This down time with my cats is what keeps me from getting my knickers in a knot so I can, instead of fighting the changes and stressing myself out, go into them with the ability to just go with the flow and become one with them .

I was reading something today which essentially said that we are the keepers of our own destiny and can remove stress from our lives by consciously focusing on things which please us.  In other words, if we encounter something which stresses or displeases us, we can simply dismiss it and as far as we are concerned, it ceases to exist.  It is like choosing who is welcome in our home.  We welcome those who make us smile and feel good, but prefer that those who make us feel uncomfortable or bad in any way not come through our doorway.  We can use the same technique by telling those circumstances and events which make us unhappy, uncomfortable or stressed that they are simply not welcome in our home.  But it has to be a rather passive, turning of the back rather than a more aggressive heaving them out the door because the whole idea is to refrain from giving any emotion to the situation.  Emotion gives thoughts strength and form so withdrawal of emotion would have to weaken them and render them essentially invisible and of null form.

I cannot begin to count the times I've railed at something or someone, adding strength to their position by giving them my anger.  Although the experience was clearly necessary for my learning, it appalls me that so much energy was wasted on such trivial issues.  

Of course, it's not always easy to ignore or turn away from things.  Take the obnoxious little rat dog in the yard behind me.  Again, he is barking his idiot head off and the neighbors don't even have the decency to shut him up.  Last night, I went after him with the hose and he finally subsided.  It appears that I'll have to apply the same technique again, only this time, using the nozzle I noticed laying on my patio last night after I'd finished dousing the aggravating little creature.  I suppose this is my current challenge, though.  Learning how to tune out aggravation, regardless of the form in which it might be delivered.  I recognize that some annoyances are easily ignored but some are as persistent and annoying as a fly on harrassment maneuvers.

Thankfully, as I've been typing, the dog has stopped barking.  I can only hope that one of my rat eradicating cats has recognized him for what he really is and done her job, or at least put the fear of Demigod into him!

In the coming days I will be working on turning away from annoyances and hope to report continuing success.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for ideas and reminders which help me approach things from a better perspective.
2. I am grateful for the sharing of positivity, encouragement and humor.
3. I am grateful for my furry stress relievers.
4. I am grateful for prosperity and abundance.
5. I am grateful for positive improvements in my daily routine.

Love and light.

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013 Blank brain, hoping for inspiration

Tonight is one of those nights when I sit down to write and my brain is utterly blank.  Not a single interesting thought bounces around in that sometimes vacant place I laughingly refer to as the control center.  At the moment, it is merely controlling the necessary functions for keeping this human machine alive, but does not appear to be inclined to exert itself any further than that.  This comatose while awake state may not be doing me a lot of good, but the furry children are quite pleased as it means that about the only thing I'm good for is to be a warm place for them to sleep which also scratches a cheek or strokes a back on occasion.  From a cat's point of view, add in feeding, and this is the perfect organism for them! 

I did manage to arouse myself enough to get the sandboxes emptied, scrubbed and refilled and the rest of the trash taken out for tomorrow's pickup since my plea, albeit a weak one, for a trash fairy went unanswered.  I have to believe that they were far too busy helping people who really needed it and knew that I wouldn't go to bed with the task undone.  I am grateful that I am self-sufficient and don't really need to depend on fairies, trash or otherwise, to accomplish the tasks which need to be done around here. 

That thought being released allows my mind to wander aimlessly once again, acknowledging, one minute the head butting I'm receiving from my 15 year old cat, Patches, who, for my dance friends, reminds me a bit of Bonnie.  Old, demanding, a little cranky and very set in her ways, not to mention her "screw with me at your own peril" attitude.  As my mind wanders, so do my eyes and they slide across the shelf above my monitor where over a dozen tarot decks are stored along with books about tarot, kabbalah, laws of attraction and other inspirational texts.  Somehow, several years worth of Turbo Tax have also wound up on that shelf, perhaps as a subtle reminder that I need to get the deed done soon. 

And since I'm on the subject of my library, I look around the somewhat jumbled shelves to see "Joys of Yiddish" snuggled up to "Thinking Like Your Editor", "Dead Aim" and "Syndrome X".  The only thing they have in common to have them sharing a shelf is that they happen to be hard cover books instead of paperbacks.  I did try, at one point, to organize my collection, putting all of Norah Roberts' books on a top shelf, but once they were three deep and two high and I still had more of her books to shelve, I gave up the task as being just too impossible until I can build my two story library!  Meanwhile, the Encyclopedia Brittanica is now in a box so that the shelves can be used to get more of the books off of the floor and every available flat surface (which, by the way, is only an invitation for the kitty olympics to exercise their book scattering gymnastics skills) and I brought another free standing bookshelf in to accommodate still more.  I admit it.  I'm a book-aholic but I have no plans to seek a cure.  I am, at least, getting some of my books for my iPad now to save a little shelf space and limit the havoc wreaked by the kitty olympics.

Reading has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and I made a point of sharing that passion with my daughters.  We spent many an evening snuggled on the couch or my bed, each of us engrossed in our latest selection.  I think, in some ways, I like the disorganization of my library because it forces me to search for a book I know I have, and in the search, I am sure to run across other treasures I just have to read or re-read.  Over the years, I've gone through three copies of Lord of the Rings and two of Heinlein's Job just because they were favorites that I read to death.  Another of those is Time Enough for Love which I really need to locate and read again!  Nothing like a little hunting expedition in my own home!  

A long post tonight or even one with some deep meaning is just not meant to be.  ADHD brain is in full gear and my lack of focus is even starting to annoy me, so I'll end with my gratitudes and save us all from my endless rambling.

1. I am grateful for my self-sufficiency.
2. I am grateful for my aches and pains as they remind me that I am still alive and able to do most things for myself.
3. I am grateful for cat purrs which lull me to sleep every night.
4. I am grateful for friends I have now and friends I have yet to meet.
5. I am grateful for life's changes as they keep me alert and interested.

Love and light.

March 17, 2013 This one is for Heather. GMO vs. GEO

Following a conversation we had while driving back from St. Patty's day lunch with friends, I told Heather that this one was going to make it into my blog as she believes it needs to be explained somewhere where people would understand the difference, so here goes, from a non-scientist type.

GMO vs. GEO (that's Genetically modified organisms vs. Genetically engineered organisms for those who haven't been listening to all of the bruhaha) 

A lot of noise is being made about GMO's in our food supply and sadly, much of it is uninformed, in my opinion, by design.  Nobody is in a big hurry to explain that there his a huge difference between GMO's and GEO's.  They just lump them both together, a lot like schizophrenia was in the '60's and let people freak out on their own time.  But the truth, as I see it anyway, is that there are worlds of difference between the two.

If you remember studying genetics and, specifically, Mendel and his dratted peas, there are recessive and dominant genes which occur in essentially predictable ratios in any organism.  There are some traits which are pretty much benign, whether they are dominant or recessive, but others are clearly better survivors.  Enter Genetically Modified Organisms.  These lovely little guys are the result of selecting for the stronger characteristics,  helping nature along by carefully breeding the stronger gene holders together to get more, stronger gene holders.  This methodology (and I'm grossly oversimplifying here) can also be used to create new cross breeds of species like, for example, pluots which are a cross between plums and apricots, or tangelos which are oranges crossed with either tangerines or grapefruits.  In these cases, grafting is used to cause the two fruits to cross breed, but the result is similar:  Something with characteristics of both parents, but unique in its own right. 

Either way, the actual chemical makeup of the food isn't altered.  It's simply allowed to mutate into something a little different, a little stronger, or maybe tastier.  We see the same thing occurring on our lovely, Southern California hillsides.  The plants and grasses have mutated themselves to our dry climate such that the slightest amount of rain causes the chlorophyll to run amok and make everything green again!  Essentially, if left to their own devices, plants, animals and other organisms will naturally cull their weaker members over time and develop characteristics to allow them to decrease mortality in their chosen environment (man and his propensity for war notwithstanding). 

Now, enter GEO's and our lovely friends at Monsanto.  Here, the seeds are modified chemically, altering their actual DNA in an unnatural way.  In the long run, this isn't good for the plant and it's certainly not good for you and me.  Modified in this fashion makes it difficult for our bodies to recognize the finished product as food.  And if it isn't recognized as food, our liver sends out a red alert to isolate the invader and usher it straight out the door!  This, of course, causes a number of problems, but at the top of the list are poor absorption of whatever nutrients are actually left in the fruit, vegetable or grain and overtaxing of our poor, confused liver! 

Is it any wonder that people experience so many health issues (and don't even get me started on antibiotics!) these days?  When our fruits, vegetables and grains are genetically engineered, our chickens, cows and pigs are fed this chemically altered crap, then pumped full of hormones to artificially fatten them up.  Pretty soon, we'd get the same amount of nutrition if we just ingested the chemicals they use to alter the organisms in the first place, and our bodies would be much the worse for it!

The trouble is, the average consumer and voter doesn't realize that there is this enormous difference between GMO and GEO, and uses the terms interchangeably, ending up fighting to control the naturally occurring one instead of the chemically induced one, and companies like Monsanto are laughing all the way to the bank! 

Sadly, our scientists have all of the information they need to keep us healthy and chemical free, but big money convinces them to make the wrong choice.  Genetic modification, natural selection, and yes, evolution have been around for a very long time and, for the most part, were working quite well.  Granted, it might take longer for something to adapt to drought or a new kind of pest, but in the end, the organism is stronger for the natural evolution, and retains its original chemical composition.  One serious side effect of this genetic engineering is the creation of sterile plants.  These poor guys have been so drastically changed from their original form that they can no longer reproduce!  They have been modified into potential extinction, and if the plants are affected, how long will it be before humans and animals are as well (assuming we aren't already)? 

I hope we will all get better educated (and I include myself on this) with regard to the true meaning of Genetic Modification and Genetic Engineering, and stop fighting the one which is the healthier choice. 

<stepping off of my soapbox now>

It was a simply gorgeous day for a drive through the canyons and as I got to be a passenger today, I was able to truly appreciate the beauty of the hillsides around here.  A little rain last week had everything turning a beautiful green and flowers were beginning to bloom as well.  I saw some lovely spots for picnics, assuming they aren't private property, but definitely awoke my desire to do some hiking and picnicking this Spring and Summer.  I know that I don't take the time to really appreciate the beautiful area I live in often enough, and I want to change that starting now.

I want to take more hikes in the mountains, more walks on the beach, spend more days in my yard, watching the birds and the squirrels and my outdoor cats playing.   I want to stop and smell the flowers and appreciate this beautiful, rural area I call home.  I want to take drives through the canyons and watch the hillsides change as grass turns green, then brown, wild mustard, lupin and poppies fill the hills with color, and watch the trees shake off their winter nakedness with a riot of greens in every shade imaginable!

Mother Nature outdoes herself out here and we don't take he time to appreciate it as we rush from one activity or errand to another.  <Warning:  Intention ahead!>  So I am setting the intention to spend more time outdoors from now on, instead of cooped up inside.

My gratitudes tonight are:

1. I am grateful that I have a mind which thinks, questions, ponders and analyzes until I understand, then questions, ponders and analyzes some more.
2. I am grateful for the beautiful hills and valleys I get to experience every day, if I just open my eyes.
3. I am grateful for days spent with friends, just doing stuff.
4. I am grateful for being able to out dance the 20 year olds!  50's Rock!
5. I am grateful for weekends, even if they're never long enough to get everything in, but then, I have something to look forward to for next week.

Love and light. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 16, 2013 Sharing thoughts to make life simpler

A friend posted this and I found it so inspiring that I decided to paste it into a blog post.  Although I've seen most of these before, it was rather handy to have them all in one place as a reminder to myself that, in essence, everything is small stuff!

My favorite has always been #2, but clearly, I'm guilty of forgetting 1, 4, 5 and 7 as well.  I rather suspect that I'll print this out and put it up in highly visible places like my bulletin board in my home office, my vision board in my bedroom, the refrigerator, and of course, my office at work!  I think every one of these is worth reminding ourselves every day!

I certainly spend more than my share of time overthinking, overanalyzing and hairsplitting in my quest for enlightenment or simply the solution to some mathematical problem at work, despite the fact that I know from experience that if I find myself mired in the details, the very best thing I can do is just walk away and look at it with fresh eyes a little later.  Chances are pretty good that the answer will literally jump off the page at me!  This is one of those areas where, as a former acquaintance used to say "take my advice.  I'm not using it anyway!"

I had myself a very lazy day today for some reason.  I slept until about 10:30, then lazed around doing pretty much nothing most of the day.  I finally felt a little guilty so I swept and mopped the living room floor, having finally found the source of at least some of the messes my furry little darlings left for me to clean up!  But I'm still procrastinating doing my taxes, despite the fact that I've had everything ready for at least two weeks!  <sigh>  I guess I'd better just bite the bullet and get them done already as I still have to do the kids' too.

Yes, I admit it.  I am a procrastinator.  Especially when it comes to cleaning or taxes.  I see both as pretty onerous, even though I really do like living in a clean house.  I guess I should have been born into a household that had a maid to do all of the cleaning for them so I'd have just known how to live comfortably with regular maid service.  I don't mind doing laundry or cleaning up the kitchen, but I have to fight with myself to clean bathrooms, vacuum and scrub floors.  But I'm not liking how my living space looks and smells right now so I'm just going to have to get over my distaste and get the jobs done!  I should take the advice I give my kids and break it up into small, manageable chunks and congratulate myself upon completion of one of the small pieces.  It would certainly help if I could teach the cats to clean up after themselves, but I wasn't even successful with my daughters!  Although the house is much neater now that I'm living alone, I'm still working on the "clean" part of the equation.  That's it!!  If I turn it into a logic problem or a mathematical equation, I might stop seeing it as cleaning and begin seeing it as a puzzle to be solved!  Hmmm, I'll have to give that some thought.

So I'm talking to one of the dance folks tonight and he's saying that he forgets things a lot because he's getting old.  I laugh and say "oh yeah, what are you?  XX?"  He says, "no, I'm older than dirt!  I just had a birthday and I'm XY!"  I looked at him and said, "that's how old I'll be in a couple of months.  Thank you for informing me that I am older than dirt!"  Poor guy!  He wasn't sure what to say to that so he just gave me a hug.  Gee, is that all I have to do to get a hug?  Why did I make it so complicated? :)  But it's all good, and in all honesty, I get lots of hugs because dance people tend to be very touchy feely and hug each other hello, good-bye, happy birthday, congratulations and anything else they can think of.  I guess that's why I enjoy them so much!

One of the couples is getting married next month and has invited some of the dance people but not others, which makes sense because I'm sure that, like everyone else, they have a limited budget.  I've noticed that they have been a little bit stand-offish this last week and I really hope its not because they think I'm offended at not being invited.  Having just helped plan a wedding, and agonized a bit over the guest list with my daughter, I really do get it and certainly wouldn't do as someone did to us and drop less than subtle hints about getting an invitation.  When a friend of mine mentioned the wedding and said they weren't going to be able to go, I simply told her that I hadn't been invited and left it at that.

It's really sad that people get their feelings hurt because they are left off of a guest list.  When planning a party or an event of any kind, you have to establish limits or the costs will spiral out of control.  I'm very sensitive to that, and wish I could assure this couple that I don't take it personally at all.  I still wish them well and am very happy that they found each other and decided to make a life together.  In fact, if I think about it, I didn't expect to be on their guest list in the first place.  I'm not overly close with most of the dance people and am still working on getting together socially with some of them outside of dancing.  So to most of them, I'm just a dance friend, and nothing more.   At any rate, if they are a little uncomfortable around me, I hope I can find a way to ease the discomfort as, from where I sit, it's entirely unnecessary.  And besides, I'm spared having to buy a wedding gift or figure out what to wear, not to mention, the agony of watching all of the couples dance and not having a partner to dance with. 

I see so many people having to miss dance nights because of their full social calendars.  My dance nights are very important to me, and I've said it before to some of those people.  In a lot of ways, I'm grateful that my social calendar is pretty sparse because I don't have to try to juggle too much with my dance nights. The dancing is my recreation, my release and my passion, so I'm not as willing as most to compromise and miss too many nights.  That isn't to say that I don't watch some of the happy couples and feel a twinge of envy at times, but that is far outweighed by my joy at being able to go dancing whenever and wherever I like.  I'm not ruling out the possibility/probability of that man who dances coming into my life, but I won't be sitting on the sidelines, watching, until that happens.  Heck, he'll have to dance or he won't be able to catch me as it's more than likely that I'll be on the dance floor! 

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my independence.
2. I am grateful for hugs.
3. I am grateful for my furry roommates, despite the fact that all of the cleaning falls on me!
4. I am grateful for weekends when I get to wrestle with my procrastinating side.
5. I am grateful for my readers who encourage and inspire me, even if they don't realize they're doing it!

Love and light.

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013 Something frivolous for a change

Today I was reading a post about the 7 things you can no longer do with a cat in the house and realized that I can add to her list with my own little darlings:
1. Eat a meal without my 25 pound Weegie, Toby, smacking at my fork hand with his labrador sized feet.  He gets 1/2 a can of wet food in the morning (more if he can chase the girls and Scooby away before they finish) and is free fed dry food the rest of the time, but if I sit down with my own dinner, he is suddenly being  starved and must be fed NOW!
2. Sleep through the night with: a. the entire pillow to myself and no big, fluffy tail smacking me in the nose.  Both Dylan and Toby like to do this and, at times, will stage a war on my pillow while my head is on it trying to actually use it for sleep!  Dylan also finds this a perfect opportunity to give me a cat facial with his sandpaper tongue.  b. Roll over without removing Loki from my body and Munchkin from my feet.  Neither of them weighs more than 7 pounds, but when they're laying on top of me, they become 900 pound immovable objects, and Loki, in particular, can cuss like a sailor when she's been disturbed.  c. Take up more than my allotted 1/4 of the bed on my designated side.
3. Do anything in the kitchen without having to sidestep Munchkin and Loki or avoid Toby who simply plants himself in the exact center of wherever I'm trying to move back and forth.  His favorite spots are between the sink and the refrigerator if I'm preparing, and in front of the sink if I'm actually cooking.
4. Arrive home late and do anything other than giving everyone attention when I first walk through the door.  Dylan has perfected the "guilt" look if I fail to acknowledge him and give him the requisite amount of skritch time before doing anything as mundane as hitting the bathroom or hanging up my keys.  Turning on lights is also a luxury until everyone is satisfied.  Those who know me well can appreciate the gravity of this requirement as the first place my hamster bladder wants to see once I get through the door is the bathroom!
5. Use the bathroom for any reason without an audience.  Munchkin, in particular, finds a closed door to be a personal insult and will body slam it just to let the perpetrator know that the insult was duly noted and will be dealt with accordingly.
6. Come home without counting noses to make sure everyone is ok.
7. Leave the house without evidence on my clothes that I am owned by cats, and a good observer can probably tell you the colors and how many.

Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way as my furry darlings give me unconditional love and are always there if I need comforting, company or just help meditating or doing a tarot read. And who knew, after all these years, how many things I'm incapable of doing without feline supervision?  And heaven help me if I've acquired the scent of another animal while away from home.  This will result in a thorough sniffing down followed by Dylan, at the very least, spending a great deal of time putting his scent back on his person! 

On a more serious note, I was thinking about how another person's propensity to talk but not listen was really bugging me to the point that I'm behaving completely out of character and speaking very little.  It occurs to me that the behaviour I dislike in another person is a reflection on me.  Giving it further thought, I think it was a reminder to myself to listen more and talk less, which is always a good lesson to learn, over and over and over, if need be.  And if I'm honest with myself, just about everything that bugs me about another person needs to be turned inward so I can figure out what I need to learn next! 

The muse is losing her momentum so I'll wind this up with my evening's gratitudes:

1. I am grateful for the opportunity to improve my own behaviour.
2. I am grateful for the unconditional love of my cats.
3. I am grateful for dance nights and new dances to learn and perfect.
4. I am grateful for weekends when I can catch up on chores and relax in bed with my kitties for a little longer.
5. I am grateful for computers which make journalizing and sharing my thoughts so much easier, and editing, seamless.

Love and light

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013 I heard what you said, but what did you really mean?

It has come to my attention again in the last couple of days that communication is as difficult to corral as a jellyfish or a herd of cats.  I used to put a lot of emphasis on intonation, but I'm finding that, in reality, an even larger factor is the listener's own experience.  What might seem like a benign remark to me will trigger a painful past experience in someone else so that, from my perspective, the message I was trying to convey wanders down a road I wasn't even aware existed!  What I see as my blunt, direct way of speaking (and writing) has gotten a serious wakeup call.

So I want to carefully reiterate here that I am throwing a lot of data out to the Universe and, often, asking for the perspective of others because something is either unclear to me, or frankly, isn't working.  I want and need those perspectives so that I can not only understand why I'm not communicating what I think I am, but also so that I can improve upon what I'm doing so I can communicate better.  I also want to make it clear that I'm pretty thick-skinned and am unlikely to take offense because someone disagrees with what I say, whether it's done politely or sans sugar coating.  In fact, if I am to be completely honest here, I thrive on those challenges!  So bring it on!  (yes, I know, I should be careful what I wish for, but how will I learn and grow if I don't get a few scrapes and bruises along the way?)

I know that I'm not always going to manage to convey my meaning to everyone no matter how hard I try, but if I'm clearly miscommunicating on a large scale, improvement is definitely needed.  I appreciate being challenged about what I've written, especially since, all too often, I literally turn my brain off and let my subconscious do the walking across my keyboard.  Unlike my brain, my subconscious has no muffler or internal editor, so what comes out is often rather rough around the edges.  But it is also very honest. 

On another topic (I can hardly be expected to stick to just one topic per blog, now, can I?) my feelings of being scattered are intensifying and staying on task is becoming nearly impossible.   Even the ADHD side of me is having trouble keeping up!  Interestingly, I'm not only hearing other people mention that they're feeling scattered as well but am finding references to the condition in some of the predictive materials I have been reading lately.   A friend recently referred to a feeling of great change which seems to correlate with the feelings I've had for several years now.  Is it possible that the scatteredness I'm feeling has to do with a speeding up of those changes?  Am I feeling discomfort because I'm more connected to those changes than others?  Is there any correlation between the intensity of the scattered feeling and our sensitivity and/or involvement in the coming changes?    Although I've tried to incorporate these questions into my meditations, I seem to be getting the opposite results, which aren't necessarily a bad thing.  When I meditate lately, what I get more often than anything else is a feeling of complete calm.  I am surrounded by light and floating, unrestrained and unencumbered.  Could this just be the other side of the same coin?  Am I my own Yin and Yang?

And who among us are feeling the changes more clearly?  Is it those who are more aware of their connection to one of the elements:  Earth, Air, Fire, Water?  Or is it one particular element over the others?  Does it have to do with where we are on the continuum between Human and Spirit?  These questions and many more will definitely be explored in the weeks to come.

I suppose part of the insanity right now is directly connected to communication.  Once again, I made the mistake of trying to rationally discuss Spirituality with someone who was raised with the dogma of "our way is the one, true way and anyone who doesn't believe the way we do and accept christ as their lord and saviour is going to rot in hell" isn't going to even consider accepting the fact that all roads lead to Rome, as it were.  This person even told me that she didn't believe in the Old Testament.  I guess I was misinformed because I thought all of the Judeo-Christian faiths started with the Old Testament and at the end of it went either to the New Testament or the Talmud.   I was also told that there is only one truth and that truth is found in the New Testament!  OK, well, lesson learned.  Know when to drop the subject before the other party gets their feelings hurt.  Note to self, recognize close-mindedness early, respect the individual's right to their beliefs and don't bother trying to get them to see that everyone's beliefs are valid, because they just aren't wired to accept that.

But aside from that one wrinkle in my dancin' dress, it was a fine night for dancers!  The music was great, the crowd was pretty friendly, the level of line dances was kept fairly high and we got to do our newest dance, "Fairy Tales and Love Songs...Whatever" not once, but twice!  I'm not sure if it's the way the dance moves, the music (Payphone by Maroon 5), the newness and the fact that only a few of us really know it right now, or a combination of the above, but I could really feel the level of Joy rise when we all hit the floor to do the dance!  Or maybe it reminds us of our cruise?  Whatever it is, the dance brings back flagging energy and makes my heart smile as big as the Universe!    One thing is for sure, though.  If the younger crowd plans to learn this dance, they're going to have to put down the dadgum cell phones.  I can't tell you how many times I saw someone dancing while texting.  For heavens' sake!  Do they have to stay THAT connected?  Sheesh!!!  If the person at the other end wants to talk to them that badly, they can get off their butts and join them at the club!  Or the texting dancer can at least leave the floor and finish his conversation.  Do I sound like a crotchety old lady?  I just think that at certain times, the cell phones are extraneous.  I put mine on the table or in my purse when I dance.  I might check it a couple of times during the evening, but usually just to see what time it is.  This is my dance time, and nothing is allowed to interfere with that.  Dance time is sacrosanct!

In celebration of Pi day, my crazy daughter brought a yummy fruit tart and a chocolate mousse cake topped with fruit.  We had a good time explaining Pi day to our dance friends, but the cake and tart were definitely a hit!  And as my dancin' girls were there tonight, it was a wonderful, love filled evening, and yes, the clothes were soaked and had to be peeled off!  Therefore, the night was perfect, but my feet are looking forward to a night off as they have had two late dancing nights in a row and are ready for a break.  And I am going to make this an earlier night in what will probably be a futile effort to catch up on sleep!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my girl friends who make me laugh, make me smile and make me feel loved.
2. I am grateful for energy to dance and give the young whippersnappers a run for their money!
3. I am grateful for a new dance which we can do and get the kids excited to learn it too.
4. I am grateful for weekends filled with dancing, chores and good friends.
5. I am grateful for good health which allows me to keep my activity level up and even increasing.

Love and light