Wednesday, June 26, 2013


My husband and I have lived in different places, and, regardless if we own or rent, we always care for the yard, add a garden or flower beds.

We're currently renting where we are now, and when we moved in to this cute two bedroom the backyard was mostly dirt with a small section of grass, which was really more weeds than anything.  I asked the landlord if we could plant grass, and he said yes, pretty much free reign.

We planted grass and a vegetable garden, a simple one, and I surrounded the veggie garden with rocks and wild flowers from seed.

After a few weeks now, the grass is growing and seems like a regular yard, where two rambunctious boys can play and wrestle, and the veggie and flower gardens are maturing, a promise of color and deliciousness.

This morning, early, I began the arduous task of pulling weeds from my flower garden.

What came to mind for me this morning while pulling weeds is how weeds will over take, suck the water from the ground, and hide the sun's rays, stealing both from the flowers and plants I want to grow.

These weeds are similar to behaviors I keep with me from long ago that no longer offer a benefit to my life, like throwing temper tantrums or manipulating or whining or staying up too late or being hungry and forgetting to eat or eating too much when I'm full or being sarcastic and flippant when I really need to voice what's going on with me or judging and criticizing others for things I need to change myself or pouting because no one patted me on the back for a job well done or waiting for someone to reach out to me when I could call them and get the ball rolling or watching television instead of joining the world, out there, where things happen and so on.

I collected a lot of "weeds" while growing up, normal it seems, behaviors that worked as a child, or, at least, I thought they did.

When I'm tired or hungry or stressed or overwhelmed or unsure my tendency is to rely upon these old behaviors because they're well-used and easy to slip into, instead of trying something new.

What's funny is, I had a friend several years ago say, "They're not old behaviors if you're still practicing them."

She was right, though at the time I didn't like hearing it because it meant I was choosing to participate somehow.

Looking at my "old" behaviors and being realistic on whether they are still standbys for me to fall back on is like pulling weeds from my garden.

If I don't take the time to assess how I'm showing up and try and practice doing the opposite of what those old behaviors say to do, they will grow and block the sun's rays and suck the water from the behaviors that I want to grow.  I will create an environment where I will wilt and shrivel like the flowers I saw this morning that were desperate in trying to survive the weeds' thievery, but just couldn't do it.

And now, with the weeds pulled and a little water, the flowers have perked up and have the chance of reaching their potential, which, from my perspective, seems amazingly profound and beautiful.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


This morning, conversing with my husband, I realised my birthday is this coming Saturday, and I will officially be embarking on the last year of my thirties.  Curious.

What I find to be curious is the movement of time and how, at the moment, I don't feel like a girl in her late thirties, but, the reality of it is, I am.  Things are different, but I don't always feel different, or more like my state of being seems constant throughout the years until I am reminded otherwise.

For example, when I was at the swimming pool with my boys yesterday there were these two young teenage girls in their skimpy, two-piece bathing suits, and, by the way they were walking and sitting and leaning against the side of the pool, I could tell they were more interested in showing off their bodies then actually getting in the pool to swim, which I don't think they ever did anyway.  I remember doing that, flaunting what I had to get attention and trying to hide the fact that's what I was doing.  And now, I'm more interested in swimming then getting the life guard to goggle at my ass.

Another example, chatting with my boys and telling them stories of "When I was a kid..."  When I was a kid there were no cell phones or computers or answering machines (remember the old ones that sat on a side table, and you had to use mini tape cassettes) or internet or cartoons on any day except Saturday or 24-hour television or satellite radio or CDs or DVDs or Blueray or Xbox or Play Station or iPads or texting or any other thing that has made life quicker than it used to be.

I remember riding my bicycle a lot and playing in the dirt and reading books and collecting cassette tapes to play in my boombox and waiting all week for Sunday night to watch the Disney movie of the week and saving up to go the movie because that was the only place to see it, unless I wanted to wait for the hoped-for-day when it would be edited for television.

My boys give me wide eyes and open mouths, like I speak of a world that is inconceivable to imagine, and I see that and remember when I did the same to my parents and aunts and uncles and grandma, well, grandma just came from a time so long ago I couldn't even comprehend how she survived it.  It feels odd, them doing it to me, and, yet, there I am, a woman who's in her late thirties with a suitcase full of things that are outdated and most likely collecting more.

When writing the word outdated I thought of attaching the word unusable, but I know that's not true.  The things I used to do may be outdated and some of them are not ones I would care to repeat again and don't feel the need to, but some of them are still usable and beneficial to me.

Take cell phones.  I have one for emergencies, and I don't use it.  I don't answer it unless it's a planned thing, like I'm traveling or I've told my husband I will have it turned on for a particular reason.  I used to have the best cell phone and would have had it seared to my hip if it had been feasible and not painful.  I thought I needed it, couldn't live without it and there were a lot of "what if" scenarios attached to it.  I've found I'm less stressed by utilizing one only rarely, if that.  Living like there aren't cell phones is beneficial to me.

Books.  I love to read, to get lost in another's world, using my imagination coupled with their words to get there.  I remember before my husband and kids, the one possession I had were my books.  I'd pack them in blue milk crates that way I had a bookcase in the making, and the moment I stacked the crates up with my books gleaming forth I felt comforted, like the dinky little bedroom could be home to me, if only temporarily.

My boys are more interested in playing with their iPad or getting on the Xbox then reading books, so, of course, it's a constant topic of discussion or argument on their part to convince me that technology is better for them than books.  Another thing about books is the feeling of having one in my hand, the smell, the texture, the sound of flipping paper, the tangible essence of creativity, and the benefit of not bothering my eyes or mind with a computer screen's light, even if it's dimmed.

I know there was the benefit of not having everything at my fingertips, of not being able to get a hold of everyone at any moment of the day, of having built in pauses in my day because there was no other way around it except to wait.  And now things are fast and demanding, and I have found there is an underlying expectation from people of having to be available because it's possible, and, of course, everyone's doing it.

People look at me odd when I tell them my number is a landline and not a cell phone, and if they want me to call them back, they need to leave a message.  I'm not big on checking to see who called me and then feeling obligated to call them even though they didn't tell me they wanted me to call them, plus my caller id light doesn't work.

All in all, regardless of what's different, I'm still here, participating and experiencing my life and the inevitable change that comes with it.  I get to pick and choose what fulfills me, and I choose to try and live a little simpler, less consumed with the latest gadgets and whether the life guard's eyes are locked on my ass.  Though I do have to say, I did have a moment where I wanted the body I had when I was 20, things stayed where they were meant to.

I am embarking on the last year of my thirties this coming Saturday, and I choose, today, to enter it with gratitude for having more time on this earth to hang with my boys and go swimming and walk my dog, Stella, and laugh with friends and ride motorcycles and hike amazing mountains and so much more.  My life takes the hue of my perception, and mine is bright with color and joy, today.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


We spun in circles in the warm water,
again and again, until my legs burned,
and we laughed, and I jumped higher
for them, until they giggled more.

Wyoming wind blew grey clouds our
way, streaked with rain but no rain fell,
just dry heat flush with our cheeks
and arms and legs that were bare and wet.

The heat never abated, and we swirled
in the water and played basketball, and
the ball doused our faces and smiles,
and I kept the ball from them for a time.

We came home to hot dogs and potato
salad and Quinoa with beans and spice,
and later we had ice cream, Rocky Road
and Vanilla Cherry, all such sweetness.


I started this blog a little over a year ago with the intent of practicing putting myself out there, to the unknown masses, with my writing, and I have done that.  Hurray for me, so excited, but here I am not sure what to write and having one of those days where, even though I've written almost 2000 words this morning and feel I'm in the meat of the short story I'm working on, I feel lost or maybe just unsure of what the hell I'm doing, once again.

I have these moments, where nothing seems to make sense and my mind banters me with questions, deep life-changing questions, like why am I here, and why am I compelled to write, and why do I feel uncomfortable letting people get to know me, and why do I have the tendency to isolate and why, why, why?  It goes on, and, of course, I do know the answers to some of these questions, but having the answer doesn't always solve the problem of asking the question numerous times.  My brain exercises a glitch of repetition, wishing for a different answer then the one it received, so it questions again and again in case the true-right answer pushes up from the definite daisies it has being hiding under.

Why am I here?  Here, I'm guessing, means alive on this planet we call earth.  My answer:  I don't know, won't know, don't need to figure it out.

Why am I compelled to write?  My answer for this one is milky and more like the tip-of-the-tongue-phenomenon, where it's right there, but I can't touch it no matter how much I reach for it.  Again, I don't know, not really, but I do know how I feel when I do write and after I'm done.  I feel whole like I found the puzzle piece I needed for the moment, clicked it into place, and it fit.

Why do I feel uncomfortable letting people get to know me?  Easy.  Fear of being hurt.  That's what it comes down to though I don't necessarily enjoy saying that out loud because it would be cooler to say something other than that or to just not have the issue in the first place and be social and open with everyone who crosses my path.  I can say that I've made huge strides of growth with this and don't go straight to "What the @#*& do you want?" when someone says hello.  I used to.

I remember my husband and I moving into a new house, several years ago, and a neighbor across the street came over to welcome us, and my mind went literally to what I just quoted, and I know I had a scrunched-mean look on my face.  Gratefully, my husband doesn't live by the same emotional-means I do and said hi and was friendly, thank goodness.  Now, my defenses are subtler and not always easy for me to recognize when I'm hiding behind them, but I keep my hand out there, keep chatting and listening, and keep writing.

Why do I have the tendency to isolate?  This one rides on the coattails of the one above, so I counter balance it by leaving the house and trying new things.

And the other whys, well, they are just too numerous and once I move through the ones already mentioned, I find I don't need to answer the others because they're irrelevant for the day.

The main question I need to answer today is "Am I experiencing today in its entirety?" because if I am, then none of the other questions matter.  If I am experiencing today in its entirety, then I'm not trying to figure out why I'm here because the simple fact of being here is enough.  Why I'm compelled to write doesn't need to be dissected any longer, it just is.  Why I feel uncomfortable letting people in and tend to isolate becomes mute because if I'm experiencing my day in its entirety, then I'm not hiding, I'm living and feeling and laughing and talking and so on.

At the end of it all, after the feeling of what-the-hell-am-I-doing passes, I find I'm okay, and life is simple.  If I show up on this journey called life, I'll be wherever I need to be when I need to be there and will know whatever it is I need to know at the time of needing to know it, and, in the meantime, I get to enjoy where I'm at and the possibilities that come with change and challenge, as long as I cultivate an open-mind to what could be while I keep moving forward.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Two summers ago I had the opportunity to ride my Suzuki SV650 motorcycle, Mazzy for short, from Missoula, Montana down through West Yellowstone and back up and over the Beartooth Highway, which splits between Montana and Wyoming.  What a fabulous ride.  I thought of it this morning, when I was listening to The Black Keys on my way to yoga.

I had just picked up The Black Keys' Brothers album the day before our Beartooth trip.  It became apparent the grooves and blues melded quite well with the road and my tires.  And once in West Yellowstone, where the speed limit dropped to a crawl, at least for a girl on a sport bike, the music's rhythm eased the drag of such a leisurely pace.  Don't get me wrong, slow is good for some-
Climbing up the Beartooth Highway
things, but 55 mph on a sport bike is torture; I could walk faster.

Once we sidled into Cook City, filled up our gas tanks, edged out of town, and chose the directive sign toward Beartooth Pass, the rock of blues and warm asphalt jived with unbelievable synchronization, and the real journey began.  At first, the scenery was as anything else I had seen and smelled, living in Western Montana most of my life, fresh mountain air, Pine trees, wild flowers, the basic loss of all civilization, but it took on a state of something grander, majestic.  The convenience of city life is enjoyable but to step outside of that and be set in the middle of a wild, mountain range is awe inspiring, and my intuitive self that connects with the spiritual came to life, and I forever have been altered by the experience.

The Beartooth Highway, toward the top
Elevation increased at an alarming rate, higher and higher, and everything changed, the air, the trees, the foliage, and then there was snow, and the fresh mountain air was crisp like a winter kiss on the brow.  The Beartooth Highway  soars to 10,947 feet, and the views from such a height are mind-blowing and heart stopping, views so out-of-this-world that words fall short of ever describing them in their entirety.  They must be experienced, seen, felt, smelled, touched, and if I hadn't had to get to camp before dark, kneeling down and tasting the earth would have been worth it too.

The challenge of motorcycle riding and such magnificent country is keeping my eyes on the road.  I constantly had to adjust my eyesight to not target fixate and fly off the mountain with the birds.  My husband, the year before this, with a friend, stopped on top and camped under a tarp tied to his bike in a make-shift lean-to and slept under the stars.  They were frosty and chilled by early morning, but he said the morning was vibrant and stunning, not something to be missed.  Next time I will do this too, camp on top in a wildflower meadow and enjoy such closeness with the vastness of what is and what can be.  Motorcycle riding and the adventure of being on the road and getting to places I've never been before, especially curvy mountain roads, is like sitting with God and having a cup of joe.

The Beartooth Highway is riddled with tight, smooth corners, a sport biker's dream, though one wrong input or a corner taken too fast would put even the best rider off the road and into the air.  Whether slow speeds or not, the highway is spellbinding and invigorating to a motorcyclist's soul.

I haven't had the chance to get back there since, life has a way of happening and diverting my intentions, but it is in the back of my mind, a special place in need of visiting, experiencing again, and I know I will get there, ride up that twisty, windy road, feel that crisp winter, summer air caress my cheek, and sleep under multitudinous stars, so many I couldn't fathom there not being something beyond me and my small world.

If you're interested in learning more about the Beartooth Highway, check out