Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saint Snow

I saw this a few years ago in a Church garden....I imagine it is St. Francis since he was in a garden but then again, he could be someone else! At any rate, I found the snow had fallen to garb him in cape and hat and found him quite appealing! I hope you enjoy the photo!

We are still traveling and will be for another week. I will not be able to post again until we land somewhere fairly permanent so while I have the opportunity I am just popping in to say Happy New Year and I'll be in touch. I'm sorry I can't read all your posts or comment right now but I do so enjoy doing that and will be back again soon. Thank you all for being in my life!

Happy New Year to you all! May 2010 bring you your heart's desires!

Blessings and love,

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Secret Garden

image courtesy of

A classic children’s story and film, The Secret Garden is a wonderful story for young and old alike. My sister read this book with me when I was growing up and we delighted in the mystery, the suspense, the tale of friendship, healing and redemption. One Sunday recently TCM showed it on TV and I re-watched the film that was made before I was born…which is a long time ago!

And what came out of it was seeing again how faith, attitude, and love can change what is into what can be. For those of you who don’t know this charming story, it is about a walled garden in England that has been locked up for 10 years, since the owner’s wife was killed in the garden by a falling tree branch. Their child, now 10, lays crippled in a bed, never going outside, and growing up lonely. The owner’s niece, who has grown up in the Crown Colony of India, comes to live with her uncle and discovers little Colin hidden away in his bedroom, fully believing he will die as a child.

I won’t give away the rest but the healing powers of nature come into play, as well as the faith, love and friendship that arise between the children. What I walked away with this time was a fervent desire to encourage each of you to read this charming story, many of you for the first time. Or rent this sappy old movie, which I adore. It is pretty simple given all the special effects we are used to, but I for one am continually drawn to these simple old movies where the story often comes out right in the end and there is a clear moral teaching in it.

Maybe this is my reaction to the craziness and uncertainty and unwanted changes that are occurring in this world. A return to something simple, clear, and morally right feels good. Still, it is a lesson worth remembering about how powerful nature is in the healing process, how a clear vision and faith in that vision can make a difference, and how having a strong friendship and support system can change a life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Help for the Holidays

Often in my line of work I am asked, “Can you give me some simple ways to cope with the stress of the Holidays?” So in the interest of giving some helpful hints to my clients,

I have created a brief list of things anyone can do to smooth out the Holiday stressors!

  • Breathe. Take 5 minutes each day to breath consciously. If you want to include prayer or mediation during this time all the better, but do remember to take long, slow deep breaths.
  • Change. Remember that traditions are “someone’s way of denying that things change”. I am quoting a client here but her message is a good one. For myself, I used to insist on making dozens of cookies, and 5 gingerbread houses besides decorating to the nines, sending homemade cards, having our entire family for Christmas. Finally, after ending up in tears after every Christmas I heard my husband say for the umpteenth time, “Why are you doing all this?” And I realized no one cared except me. When I let go of MY expectations, I moved into really enjoying being in the moment and being with my wonderful family. THEY didn’t make those demands of me, I did. And guess what? NO ONE, not even I, miss those once held sacred demands! So check into your own traditions and see if there are some you can let go, to free you up to enjoy things more.
  • Simplify your gift giving. If you don’t like to shop, use catalogs or, if you have one, the computer. It saves hundreds of steps and many hours. Better yet, make donations to charities for gifts when and where appropriate.
  • Food and Exercise. Remember to eat nutriciously and to continue with your exercise program. Nothing zaps our energy and spirits more than endless overindulging and giving up on exercise.
  • Rest. Take a nap when you can. I find that even a 10-minute time out with my feet up can revive me for hours.
  • Simplify your meals and support your local talent. There are some great options right in town for precooked yummy and nutritious take out meals. Preorder some of your Holiday meals from places like these or some side dishes for your big entertaining needs to help lighten your load.
  • Smile. I’ve noticed that even when I am feeling the most rushed, harried or stressed that my day improves considerably by being kind and friendly to everyone I meet. And you’ll spread goodwill along the way, passing it on to others, who will pass it along to others and so on, and so on!
  • Stay hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you in your car as you run errands and when you are busy cooking at home, remember to keep a big glass of water going as you sip your way through the day.
  • Give. It is a proven fact that one of the best ways to get out of our own problems and troubles is to volunteer our time, talents and/or money to those less fortunate. There are hundreds of places and people who need what you have to give. What better time than now to start.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bobbing Corks

photo courtesy of

"You cannot really disconnect yourself from the passionate, desirous being that you are. It was with enormous clarity that you came forth into this body, and that's why when you try to hold your desire down, it keeps coming up...Your cork will always float unless you are holding it down."

--- Abraham

Excerpted from the workshop in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, April 19th, 1997 #275

Our Love,

Jerry and Esther

This is an excerpt from a transmission from Abraham who is the entity that speaks through Esther Hicks. Abraham says so many wise and supportive things that help us sort out some of our thoughts, worries, and concerns. At the suggestion of one of my client friends, I have subscribed to their daily quotes. This one appeared recently and I love how simply this truth is expressed.

I decided to highlight this quote because this week I have seen so many clients who are struggling with this issue. They WANT to change, they WANT to seize their dream, but they are not doing so. Because of fear? Lack of self-esteem? Lack of support, direction or clarity? Yes, yes, and yes.

But today I saw a client with whom I have worked for several years. A few years ago she slowly began to let go of those things that held her back. She slowly began to lay aside the voice within that told her she was not worthy. She slowly released relationships that did not serve her. Today when she walked in, she was radiant. RADIANT! This from a woman who less than three years ago was ready to just sit down and give up.

What made the difference in this one woman? She persevered in spite of her fears and doubts. She held onto her vision of what life could be. And what happened for her is that life became more than she had dared imagine! Make no mistake: she has had challenges aplenty: financial, marital, employment, familial….it goes on and on. But one thing that kept her going was her spirit, that cork that Abraham mentions above in the quote.

Keeping that connection with our spirit, that “passionate, desirous being” that Abraham talks about, is what is so important. If we loose that, we loose our liveliness, our radiance. We become dull, lifeless, without passion.

If you or someone you know has lost that connection, it is important to find it again. Without it life becomes joyless. And God does not want that for us. Sometimes small steps are what is needed to begin.

Begin by holding a vision for what a full life would look like to you. Then take action. Continue to take small steps towards that vision. When doubts arise, thank them for coming and ask them to go, for you no longer have time for them. When challenges arise, strengthen your vision, hold onto it tightly and do not let it go in the face of problems.

At some point, you will find you are having more good days than bad. You will find you have made progress and you are moving closer towards your goal. Just keep going. Keep going! As long as you are following your dream, you will be supported by the Universe. It takes courage, vision, steadfastness, determination, and will to reach your dream. But then, like my client today, you will radiate life and light from the core of your being.

It can be done. Start today. Let your cork bob to the top!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Healing with Stained Glass

image courtesy Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France

"Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."

~ Oscar Wilde

When my husband and I were raising our children, the church we attended was blessed with several Louis Comfort Tiffany windows. Every Sunday we enjoyed their beauty and color along with the music and inspirational words we heard. It was always a wonderful experience for me.

And it seems that wonder and inspiration is shared by many. On my blog a reader mentioned the stained glass and music at her church in Dunedin, New Zealand: "One of the things I really love is the mix of gorgeous, soul-stirring music and the beauty of the light shining through the stained glass windows of the Cathedral."

It is no accident that our churches developed a tradition of combining stained glass with music. Color has been used for healing for centuries. Before Christ, the cultures of Egypt and Greece were known for their temples of healing, which had "stained glass windows" of each color. People would have a consultation and be placed in the room or rooms with the color that related to their issue(s). For example, if someone had depleted energy they would no doubt have been placed in the room with red windows, and if they had heart problems the destination would likely have been the room with green windows.

As the Church in Rome extended its power, healing temples were abandoned, viewed as paganistic. But the tradition of colored glass in sacred places continued. Cathedrals incorporated stained glass windows, and later, churches used scenes made from stained glass to teach Bible stories to the illiterate and the poor.

Music may also have been employed in ancient Egyptian and Grecian healing temples. Perhaps there were stringed instruments, which speak to the heart and were found in profusion in Egypt and Greece. Perhaps, too, brass horns, or flutes, whose resonance is carried directly to our cells to move and change them for the better.

As ancient cultures recognized the power of music and sound and color to touch our bodies and souls in healing temples, so do we now, when we sense the healing energy of sunlight through stained glass.

I wish you the peace and the power and the healing of color and beautiful sound resonating in your body and life.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

photo courtesy of Norman Rockwell archives

On this national day of gratitude, I give thanks for many of them is you. Many blessings to you and your loved ones today and always.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


photo courtesy of Babs Young, Eastport, Michigan

I have a friend who is an amazing photographer. She took this photo of the beautiful and mysterious milkweed plant and I wanted to share it with you. These wondrous plants grow in abundance where I live and I see them every day as I take my walk. I see them as they sprout up in the spring and grow and produce green pods that look full of life but then they just sit there for the longest time. Then, after the fall is well on its way, the pods dry out, turn brown and then BURST open releasing hundreds of seeds propelled on the wind by their little plumes of fluff. Like dandelions, the fluff gets scattered far and wide allowing the seeds to land all over the meadows and fields to begin a new life as they burrow into the ground, hibernating through the winter waiting for the warm wet weather of spring or summer so they can grow again.

But when they seem to be "just sitting there", they are providing lots of food for insects like bees and butterflies. In fact, the Monarch butterfly lays its eggs on this plant, the caterpillar makes his chrysalis on this plant, and the butterfly is born on this plant! Its Latin genus is named after the Greek god of healing, Aesclepius and indeed many folk cures are made from it.

It really is such a wonderful plant and is a great one to meditate on. How is this plant like we are? What has to crack open in us to release our seeds of new growth? Can we be as patient as this marvel of the plant kingdom waiting to mature and burst forth with our ideas, creativity, gifts? Where are you as it relates to the cycle of the milkweed?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Home Again

Finally home after a long time away. It is always so good to come back home. When I was younger I could hardly wait to travel, but now that I have the time to do so, I don't have the desire! Why is life so backwards? When we needed the space in our home for three growing boys and assorted animals, we couldn't afford to have a big home. When we could finally afford a bigger house, it was time to downsize. When I was young and thin I couldn't afford to buy clothes. By the time I could afford to get some new things, it wasn't fun to shop for old lady clothes. It is one of those paradoxes of life I guess!

Anyway, here we are, home again and settling back into our routine. If you could go anywhere, where would it be? For me, it would be here, at home, but it wasn't always the case. I had dreams of going many places and I did get to go to many, many places all over the world. So tell me your dreams...where would you go? Or what would you like to do? I love to hear about your lives....I love the sharing. So share away!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Woodsy Path

Story time again! This time the photo is this beautiful path through the woods....but WAIT! What is on the other side? And where did the road come from? Ah, it is YOUR TURN to write a tale about this the road well traveled or the road less traveled .... or WHAT!

Something to do while I am leading the Feng Shui Institute International conference this week in Marco Island Florida. I'll be back online mid November! Everyone who writes a story will be entered into a drawing for a deck of Simply Color cards! Take a peek at them at

Ta-Ta and have fun writing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Colors of Fall

I am always inspired by the colors that are predominant in each season of the year. I imagine the angels of color intend for that to be the case!

What are the colors of fall? Well, where I live here are the predominant colors:

Red, Gold, Orange, Yellow, Green, Tan/Wheat/Brown, Purple/Magenta/Deep Crimson.

This year all the colors are quite muted due to all the rain we have had here. Some years the fall colors are totally brilliant, but this year they are more muted and so beautiful in that understated way true beauty is.

So what do these colors want to tell us? Their main messages follow:

Red: Tells us that energy from the earth is available to us any time we wish. That red is energy and passion and courage. That it is luscious life force.

Gold: Tells us that we have a treasure within the core of us. It tells us that we have a deep knowing within that we can trust. It tells us that we are worth something and we are valuable.

Orange: Tells us that bliss is available for all of us. It tells us that our boundaries need to be in place for a truly successful relationship. It brings us creativity and joy.

Yellow: Tells us happiness is at hand. It helps with finding clarity and focus in any situation. It helps us assimilate knowledge and experiences.

Green: Tells us that nature is one of our best allies. That our heart center is the center from which we should be living. That our path can be clear to us if we have faith and trust.

Tan/Wheat/Brown: Tells us that friendship is important. It helps us connect to the earth and helps us stabilize. It can help us feel safe.

Purple/Magenta/Deep Crimson: They tell us that the Spirit is all around us. They bring us closer to a spiritual reality in our daily lives. They activate the higher mind consciousness and connect us to our spiritual centers.

I give thanks to the Creator for all the fabulous colors in our lives. And I love that fall brings us such a vibrant color palette to enjoy! Which colors in this palette resonate for you?

For more about color please see my website or my book, Simply Color, available on my website and on

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Divine Dominos

I've been reading a wonderful book for all you animal lovers out there: The Language of Miracles by Amelia Kinkade. She is a writer who can impart profound knowledge about communicating with animals in a very interesting and often funny way!

Anyway, I came upon this passage and I thought it juicy enough to quote. Enjoy!

"Still, Dr. (Edgar) Mitchell's argument is thought provoking: When humans and animals get caught up in the karma and energy of each other's fields, they form what is called a 'quantum entanglement'. A term of similar meaning in psychology is 'family constellation'. I like this image: you have your own personal solar system, meaning that you, your human loved ones, and your animals revolve around each other and affect each other with thoughts and actions. There's a certain sense of gravity and magnetism that holds your behavioral patterns in place. When one person or animal in the system heals or changes his behavior, it alters the dynamics of the entire constellation. (italics mine) That's why the idea of healing yourself is so important. If your spiritual and emotional growth can impact everyone on your pathway, eventually we can heal the world, one by one, by initiating a cascading catalyst like divine dominos tumbling all over the world. 'Love, love, love, love, love...' Wouldn't that be nice?" page 84

Imagine if in our quest to heal ourselves we could spread this healing to our loved ones, and out even further. I know this to be true because I've experienced it. So hang in there with your own path of healing. It makes a difference not only to you, but to all of us around you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

An Evening Walk

I went for a lovely stroll last night just as the sun was about to set. I took these photos with my cell phone so they aren't the greatest but I am hoping you will enjoy them anyway. Sunday blessings to all.....

Landlocked Salmon...they are about 24"

Tree Fungus

Yellow Maple

Leaves on the street

A Money Plant

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Detach from the Outcome

photo from the book, Simply Color

As feng shui practitioners we work to bring in desired changes in our clients’ lives. Most people are looking for help with relationships, money issues, career paths, or health. Other issues do come up of course but those seem to be the ones that become the main issues in people’s lives.

However, change, no matter how much it is desired, sometimes comes in a package we do not like. I know of a woman who had a feng shui consultation and after the changes were made, her boyfriend broke up with her. She was devastated until she met the love of her life a few weeks later and realized her first boyfriend was lacking several qualities she was seeking.

Then there was the client who had been married several years and asked for help with the stagnant relationship. She was not happy when several weeks after she implemented recommended changes, her husband moved out. However, they both decided to work on the relationship and sooner than later, he moved back in and they had a second wedding!

Or how about the woman who owned a failing restaurant and came to her feng shui pratitioner asking for help? When her restaurant failed soon thereafter for good, she was furious. But what happened is that loosing her restaurant freed her up to move on to what she REALLY wanted to do: sing opera. And that is what happened.

There are countless tales of people who are seeking change and yet when it comes they do not trust what they get. The package is not what they think they want. They get angry. They may be hurt, or disappointed and certainly dismayed. And quite often they may lash out at the feng shui practitioner.

The point is, when change comes, it is hard sometimes not to question the result. The Tao or the Buddha or the Dali Llama would teach us that we are to detach from the outcome and enlarge our thinking to include the possibility that getting what we DON’T want might be the gift. As in the example above, the woman lost her boyfriend but found the love of her life. The restauranteur lost her restaurant but literally found her voice. The couple lost each other only to return to love together in a whole new form.

Change. It is constant. Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we don’t. Can you think of a time in your life when what you didn’t get what you wanted turned into a blessing?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Being Present

Along the lines of the last post on detours, I read this chapter from the Tao Te Ching today and found it relevant. Hope you do too.

Verse 15
The ancient Masters were profound and subtle.
Their wisdom was unfathomable.
There is no way to describe it;
all we can describe is their appearance.

They were careful
as someone crossing and iced-over stream.
Alert as a warrior in enemy territory.
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Shapable as a block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Clear as a glass of water.

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

The Master doesn't seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


photo courtesy of

Today I got a nudge from the Universe through Cheryl Wright, a blogging buddy of mine, asking me if I were AWOL again! Yes, I replied, I have been. We returned to Chicago a week ago and the usual six-hour trip turned into over eight long hours as we negotiated all the TARP funded improvements (badly needed I might add) along our route! The first one took us by surprise (no signs until we came right up to the closed road) and that first detour took us an extra hour, then many extra hours on a two-lane road. I have to say, though, that the scenery was breath taking and well worth the detour!

So it is with life. We often think we are well on our way on our journey and all of a sudden we get a big detour sign in front of us. Nothing to do but follow the signs, hoping for the best. Sometimes we get little gifts along the way on a detour: meeting someone we wouldn’t have otherwise, an experience we get that wouldn’t have happened on our “regular” route, or like we got, stunning scenery along the way. We never know what lies ahead but if we keep our hearts open, we often have lovely experiences we were not expecting.

It’s hard to have a head of steam up and come upon a detour. It can be maddening, frustrating, and difficult, OR it can be adventurous, beautiful and full of miracles. Which detour are you choosing to take as you take your life’s journey?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blessings and Forgiveness

This has been such an incredible period of time. I have not posted much in the last month or so because life is moving at such an incredible speed and so much is happening I can’t keep up with myself! Some very, very challenging events have happened to dear friends, there was that family wedding last weekend, we have seen precious friends we haven’t seen in years, one son is moving to Uruguay, one son is closing his business and on and on. This is not the half of it. So you can see, we have been otherwise engaged.

So, I pulled out my old Bible Study Bible the other night as there was a passage in there that I particularly love and I couldn’t find it in my other Bible. I am not a religious person by any means but I am deeply spiritual and I enjoy and am inspired by wisdom from all the world’s religions. Still, the Bible is what I grew up with and I am most familiar with it, so I often return to it during times of stress and overwhelm.

That is a long introduction into what I want to share with you today. A piece of paper flew out of my Bible Study Bible and on it was a quote I had used about twenty years ago when working with someone who had betrayed me. A friend of mine gave this to me and she told me to say it over and over until I believed it. And guess what, it worked!

So I am sharing this lovely statement with you in case any of you need it. Here it is:

“I have absolute faith that the spirit of God within me gives me the power to forgive those who have brought me suffering past and present.”

A small post it note was on this sheet of paper and it read: It’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it”. I’m sorry to say there is no source quoted for either of these but the depth of their meaning is what I wanted to share with you today. For those of you to whom this post particularly speaks, I send you warm loving hugs from the angels above.

And I send many blessings to each of you today and all days. “All will be well, and all will be well and all manner of things shall be well.” (Julian of Norwich)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wedding Weekend

Adieu for the weekend everyone! I'll be back next week. Meanwhile enjoy this garden....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Healing With Color

Color healing therapies go back centuries to cultures in Egypt, Greece, India and others. It has been around so long that its origins are obscured but once again we are beginning to turn towards modalities such as this to assist us in healing on all levels of our being. Color healing modalities are becoming more and more popular as people realize how powerful they can be. Color helps and supports all kinds of things from headaches to depression to adrenal exhaustion etc.

I would be remiss if I did not also add that in this country we can not make physical claims about how color can help us. So let me just say that color seems to help support our quest for wellness and is a good helper. But I cannot claim it is a cure-all due to regulations, rules, and laws against such claims.

That said, what are some of the ways to use color?

First, I would always consult a specialist or color therapist for your particular issues. What could seem just a headache might start from something else so it is important to consult a professional as well as your regular doctor.

Second, once the color has been selected there are many ways to bring it into your body:

  • Colored light therapies (available through a color therapist)
  • Wearing certain colors
  • Being in a room painted a certain color
  • Eating fruits and vegetables of a certain color
  • Wearing color therapy glasses
  • Color breathing
  • Color meditations
  • Color sprays (

How do you select the right color to work with? If you do not have a color therapist near you, the next best thing is to educate yourself about which colors affect your particular situation. My website has a lot of information on colors in the section on color sprays, and my book, Simply Color, is chock full of information on color and how to use it. The book and sprays were created with the intention of being easily used tools for everyone to use: Easy to understand, access and use.

Color is so effective because it comes to us through the energy system connected to our eyes (color therapy glasses, paints, colored windows, accessories, furnishings, flowers, trees, water etc), our skin (clothing, color sprays etc), our stomach (foods we ingest), and our lungs (color breathing, color sprays). The energy and vibration of each color goes throughout our bodies to the area where it is housed in our bodies (chakras). When we have challenges, the color is drained from our chakras and we need to replenish it. For example, when we feel ungrounded or listless, we have probably used up much of the red color in our bodies or perhaps we are naturally deficient in it. The need for red is met by wearing the color, eating red foods like raspberries, strawberries, red apples etc., or holding a red object in our hands. This red deficient person could also do red color breathing, wear the red color, use the red therapy glasses etc.

Color is around us always. It is part of our everyday lives. If you can learn about how to use it effectively, you will always have a tool for healing and wellbeing at your fingertips.

Anyone who comments here will be entered into a drawing for a copy of the Second Edition of Simply Color recently released!

Rainbow blessings to all!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I’m feeling a bit out of sorts tonight. All our sons have made it up to the lake this summer and I am eternally grateful for the wonderful, quality time we had with each one. One of our daughters-in-law made it, and our two grandsons. All in all, a perfect summer.

But now I am sad that fall is kind of here, and people are leaving to go home for the winter, and the summer fun is behind us. We didn’t have much of a summer really. Al Gore should have experienced this cold, wet summer! He might have begun to doubt the idea of Global Warming in a place where the heat had to be turned on 12 months in a row now moving into the 13th month! Oh my. It has been so cold here! I am sitting here writing this in my fall weather fleece jacket.

Nonetheless, we have now had 4 days of sun in a row, a record for this summer of rain, rain and more rain. The flowers and plants are green, but scrawny, some even drowned. Most plants in our yard are smaller than usual, some didn’t even bloom well. And the strangest thing: I haven’t seen one butterfly! Some birds have already left to go wherever they go. The geese are beginning to practice their V shaped formations, the hummingbirds are feeding like crazy as they do just before heading South, the light is fading from the skies earlier and earlier. All in all, I am not wanting to let go of summer this year, partially because we feel it hasn’t really yet arrived!

When you live in a seasonal tourist area, you really notice when people leave to go home for the school year. You can almost feel the air go out of the area as if you got a flat tire. One day there are people all over the place, the next you are looking around for another boat, car or jet ski in sight! Don’t get me wrong…we love both the crowds of summer and the peace of winter. They are so contrasting that it makes life very interesting and varied. There are more and more people staying up here all winter but this former winter loving woman is now becoming one of those old fogies who is looking forward to spending part of the winter away somewhere warm!

I realize I truly am rambling, but that’s what I do when I am in this “between seasons” mood. As much as I love the fall, it is short here, and the cold winds blow all too early. There are little treasures that winter brings like seeing the deer come down to the lake to drink, or the snowy owl sitting outside my kitchen window in the tree, or the bald eagle soaring high overhead looking for his dinner.

And then spring will come again. Living so close to nature again after years of city and suburban living I count the seasons by seeing what is blooming throughout spring, summer and fall, and how the light shifts throughout the winter into those long, endless summer days. Living this far north our night lasts about 6 hours at the height of summer, 15 in the dead of winter. I realize how truly fortunate we are to be able to experience these varied moods of nature. Still, I wish summer would last a little bit longer, and that time with our family could be extended another few weeks. I feel a little guilty for wanting more, but I guess that is just my human side pouting. There is no holding back nature even in the best of times. So I guess I’ll just have to settle into this fleece which will give way to a down parka sooner than later now. Hopefully my reluctance to move on will give way to an embrace of what comes next and I will get immersed in the best of what each season brings.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What's in a Name?

As a reader of the Akashic Records, I realize how important our names are in the whole scope of things. They literally set the vibrational pattern in our energy field. There is a belief out there that we might just choose our names before we are born and that our parents are then inspired with the name we have chosen. I've also heard the theory that the vowel sounds in our names are the ones that we need to hear to remind us of who we truly are, and what we are here for.

There things may or may not be true, but I have always been fascinated with names. Especially unusual or silly names. Remember the Hogg sisters in Texas who were named Ura and Ima? What a thing to do to two lovely young girls! I had a teacher in high school whose friend was named Nancy Ann Seancy....say that three time fast! My husband's great grandmother was saddled with the name of Fanny Buttolph! That always cracks up the young men in our family! Then there is the guy named Jim Shortz! And the lady who lived across the street from us when I was little was Jessie Annabella Rapohannock Mae Wolcott.

Which brings us to the names of my sisters and myself. Our maiden name was Smith and our parents felt it was important to give us unusual first names to distinguish us from the crowd. Of course, as a young person I hated having a name that stood out. I wanted to be a Nancy or Susie so much that my cousins actually began calling me "Nansue". I finally grew into my name but it was a long time coming!

With the name Diantha I don't run into many people with the same name but it does happen. Imagine my chagrin when last year there was a teacher who was plastered all over the news with my exact same name: Diantha Harris. What are the odds! She had publicly and on film castigated one of her female students for voicing her support of John McCain rather than Mr. Obama. So far no one has mistaken me for her but it was an amazing coincidence!

Recently I was emailing back and forth with Lynn from Happy Belly Bakery Blog ( which you must check out sometime! It turns out that her Grandmother's name was Diantha Dibble Hubble Humphrey! Now that is a name! Here is what Lynn wrote:

"Ah----unusual names. My mother went to school with an Anna Louise Pinkepank who eventually married a Mr. Gieselman. We've had years of enjoyment from saying "Anna Louise Pinkepank Gieselman" rapidly. Of course, Anna Louise's mother (a widow) remarried and became Mrs. Stringfellow, which is pretty good too. My husband's grandmother shares a room at the nursing home with a lady named Ploma Blaha...

And then a college friend of mine had an Aunt Missouri Bybee, who in turn had a son named Blu(e)ford Bybee. She also had an eormous Aunt Becky who hid under the bed when company came, but that's another story..." (By the way, Lynn, I want to hear that story too!)

What funny names have you heard or do you have in your family?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feng Shui Tips for Fall

Our grandchildren left yesterday to head back home as they are starting school on Wednesday. I figured it might be a great time to offer some feng shui tips for fall:

  • Position the bed: Beds should ideally face the door but not be in direct line with it. When you enter a bedroom, you should be facing the bed. The idea behind this is that when you are sleeping, if anyone comes into the room you want a clear view of who it is. Back in ancient China, the intruder was often up to no good so if one had a good view of the door from where they were sleeping, they might have a chance to react and protect themselves. We and our children still have this reptilian brain response embedded in our brain stem.
  • Organize-to a point. This gets harder the older the student becomes as they want control of their space which in mind takes precedence to what the parents want to a point. It is important to keep it clean, if not neat. I once had a child who was so messy I refused to clean his room unless it was picked up. If it wasn't, he had to clean it, under supervision. The rule was no food or drink in the bedrooms because with three sons, who knew how long the empty plates or cups would sit there under piles of sporting gear and clothes. However, if you can, get their rooms as organized as possible and if you have little ones, train them early by having bins and baskets to put things in.
  • Clear the Clutter. A sub category of organizing, this is often the result of poor organization combined with a ho-hum attitude. Everyone knows how distracting clutter can be. However, for some kids, it can fill a need for a feeling of security and safety. Some people need a kind of buffer between them and the world. Do your best to support clearing the clutter, but if it becomes a habit for the child, it might be an innate need for stuff around them to make them feel secure.
  • Add Color. Surround your child with colors that will be support him/her. If you are not familiar with this, consult a professional color specialist or Chapter Six of my book, Simply Color. ( Don't be upset if your teenage child chooses black. It is a pretty typical choice for that age group.
  • Move electronics. I know we are in the information age and that there are many electrical things kids want in their rooms. Try to place these as far as possible from the bed. And yes, this includes digital clocks. The EMF's emitted by these appliances are harmful to our body's energy field and over time can cause damage to our bodies as well as lowering our immune system.
  • Place Chairs. Windows are wonderful but they provide distractions for kids. If you hae a child who is dreamy by nature, place their chairs with their backs to the windows. this will help them focus either on conversations at dinner or when studying.
  • Stay clean. You know what they say about cleanliness being next to godliness, so I probably don't have to elaborate much here. Suffice it to say that dust mites, cockroaches and vermin cannot only be annoying, they can carry disease. 'Nuff said.
  • Use aromatherapy. For times in your child's life (and yours too!) when they cannot control their living space (sharing a room with a sibling, living in a dorm or apartment with others, even living at home with you) they can use aromatherapy. Life Potentials offers two lines of aromatherapy sprays: Simply Feng Shui and Simply Color. They were developed with the idea of offering indirect feng shui and color support when spaces cannot be controlled. You can find them all listed at If you are knowledgeable yourself about how to combine essential oils into formulas, you might want to try making your own!
  • Tip: For teachers, parents and students: use yellow for focus, to remember things, and for clarity.
So good luck to all students and teachers returning to school this year. May you all have a blessed year!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Gardens

With summer on the wane, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at some different types of gardens to see what kind really makes your heart sing. Here are a few examples to peruse. Which garden would you like in your own yard?

I'll be taking a few days off here to be with my grandchildren. Talk to you all later! xo

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Hat Are You Wearing?

I had a nice long talk with a far away friend yesterday and we got started talking about how we all wear different hats both in our everyday life and at different times of life. She was saying that at some point, she would like to get a bunch of different hats to keep in her studio and would so enjoy putting them on and off depending on what role she was playing: Mom, Artist, Friend, Confidant, Coach, Teacher, Student, Cook, Cleaner, Laundress, Patriot, Leader, Follower, Lady at Tea, Seductress, Hermit etc etc. We were laughing so hard over all the hats we would have to have and what hat would fill what role!

So just for fun….here are some hats for you to choose from today….which ones are YOU wearing? Which ones do you WANT to wear? What is missing from your etheric hat stash?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Supporting Your Local Farmers

I just picked up my share from our local Community Supported Agriculture program. We got carrots, lettuce, onions, new potatoes, beets, collard greens, carrots, dill, garlic, zucchini, and broccoli. Yum Yum!

For anyone who is unfamiliar with CSA’s, you buy a share for the year and each week you go pick up your portion of what they have for the week. They provide whatever is in season. When the fruit comes in, we get a portion of that too as long as we let them know we are interested. They also have free-range chickens available as an add on. Each CSA is different. In one I belonged to we also got a flower share if we wanted one. At an extra cost of about $10 per week, we got a huge bouquet of flowers grown on the farm. This one I am in now does not have that option but we do have the fruit/chicken option which the other one didn’t.

The cool thing is that local farmers are supported through these organizations. You can even volunteer to help if you want to! I met a woman up there a few weeks ago who is taking these local organic veggies and canning soups to be given to the needy and homeless this winter. I loved that!

Today in their newsletter it say that if every family in our state were to spend just $10 per week on products produced in this state that we would keep $40 million dollars right here in our state weekly. We could use it. How about your state?

So if you have one, I highly encourage you to buy a share in your local CSA. If not, go to your local farmers’ markets, farm stands, or whatever you have near you. Even when we lived in the heart of Chicago there was a local farmers’ market almost every day in one neighborhood or another, including the very downtown! So you can find these almost everywhere. Try googling for local products too. It helps everyone from you and your family and friends right down to the people who make the products. What community wouldn’t welcome more of our money staying put in our communities!

Hope you enjoy the bounty of the summer in your local area!

Farmers' Market Zucchini Pizza
4 C. shredded zucchini, dry with paper towel
2 eggs, beaten
1 C shredded Cheddar
minced onion and garlic if desired (saute until clear in olive oil)
cooked and crumbled bacon if desired, 4-5 pieces

Mix it all together with clean hands. Press into a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar on top. Bake @ 350 degrees until firm. Delicious! This is one of those recipes you can play with, changing cheeses, adding or subtracting meats etc. Have fun!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pooling Our Resources

The current economic picture has provided different challenges for most of us. One is the broken nest eggs of many retirees or the loss of jobs in the younger generation. What’s interesting is that many are returning to a way of life familiar in our country a few generations back when families pooled their resources and moved in together.

My Mother’s Mother, the kind that puts the word “Grand” into Grandmothers, lived with us my whole growing up life. She passed away just after I left home to get married. Going home was no longer the same without her there. The benefits of having Grandma there as I grew up were many. No matter how in trouble I was with my parents, Grandma always had a hug to give. My own Mother was very involved in community service and it was Grandma who taught me to cook and sew and do crafts. My Dad had a huge vegetable garden and lots of berry bushes and she could create amazing dishes out of what he brought in from the garden. She taught me how to enjoy creativity and creating something out of nothing. She was great at taking old gardening catalogs and doing collage with the beautiful images, or painting an old chair to make it a seating place we all fought over using, or cutting out rooms from Ladies Home Journal and making houses from them. We had such fun, she sang funny songs, she took us on long car rides through the country, beeping the car horn under a bridge so it echoed, and speeding up as we approached the bumps in the road, causing us to sail through the air more than a few times!

Oh the memories. Perhaps this is a good outcome from the economy, bringing the generations back into closer contact again. I know I would be a totally different person without Grandma’s daily presence in my life. Oh to be sure, there will be stress combining households and if possible, I recommend, from a feng shui point of view, that the living space allow for privacy and independence for all residents. For example, my Grandmother had her own living quarters attached to the end of our house so she could come and go as she pleased, entertain her own friends, have her own life, as could my parents. She cooked her own dinners, and lived on her own, but we shared things like costs of utilities, mortgage payments, homemade ice cream and the like. She came on vacation with us sometimes but not all times, she had parties and didn’t’ invite my parents and vice versa, so to remain independent for as long as possible is an important ingredient in this scenario.

Having a separate unit is often not in the cards but there are other things you can do to create a living space for a part of the family returning to the “nest”. If you have experienced this or have ideas, this will be a great forum for you. We all would love to hear what you have to say and what some of you have learned from experience.

Here are a few ideas to spark the conversation: combine two bedrooms with a bath for an in-law suite. Use an underused room in the house (like a formal living room) and create a suite there. Use a basement or a part of a 3 car garage. Install a lift to the second floor for aging parents. Replace hardware on cupboards so they can be used by older people.
What else have you come up with or seen used?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Tao

In a recent post I mentioned the Tao Te Ching. I want to revisit it today because it has brought me such peace in my life and that is something to share.

There are as you know many sacred texts in the world. I find them all to have value and to espouse similar tenets. Did you know that all the world’s religions have a version of the Golden Rule for example? (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you). They all have a story of death and resurrection. They all have a belief in a supreme being. We are more alike in our religions than we are dis-similar. But that is another post!

The Tao is one of the most ancient of texts. It was written by a Chinese scholar named Lao Tsu. The simple wisdom in the Tao appeals to my husband and me. It is uncluttered with additions and subtractions, it is straightforward, it is full of wise guidance.

Perhaps you have heard the phrase “a Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” This is from the Tao. And although the wording is not the same, the phrase from AA “Let go and let God” is found all over the Tao.

These are the main things I get from the Tao: live my own life and don’t worry about what others are or are not doing. The Tao will take care of those who live their lives without care for the planet, or animals, or other people. Let the Tao work its wonders for it always does. Respect myself, respect all sentient beings, walk softly on the earth, follow my path, and let go of anything that is not mine to carry. It lessens the load I carry considerably.

This is not to say that I don’t have challenges! I have plenty of them. I have feelings and emotions but when I remember the Tao, those seem to wash away bringing me back to center and a feeling of peace, knowing that God is in charge, not I.

I can’t tell you how peaceful my life has become by studying, learning and following the Tao. It is a simple, powerful book of Truths that do not conflict with whatever religion you follow. It is extremely spiritual, profoundly wise, and like all simple truths, hard to put into action. But putting the effort into it is worthwhile because soon you will find that the effort has turned to habit, and the habit has turned to a spiritual practice that benefits not only yourself, but everyone around you as well. Just like that pebble that, when thrown into the pool of water creates resonating waves, your actions will spread out to affect many others.

So my invitation to you is to pick up a copy of the Tao Te Ching and start to read it. The translation I like best is by Stephen Mitchell. And the book by Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, is a wonderful book that dissects each chapter of the Tao, bringing it into more focus and into a way we can incorporate it into our daily lives.

Let me know how it goes for you. As always, take what resonates and let go of the rest. That is the Tao in action.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Rabbit Noticed My Condition

I was reading Wayne Dyer's book this morning in my little morning routine of being quiet and contemplative the first 30 minutes or so. He has a book on the Tao Te Ching that my husband and I both love to read titled Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. I've been a follower of Dr. Dyer since his first book came out ages ago when he was still a practicing psychologist. I even got to sit in a small audience back when they taped tapes for sale through Nightengale Conant of his work. Now they make DVD's but back then, I got to hear him talk for 3 days about life. It was great!

So, back to this morning. We always just randomly open the book and read the chapter we open to. The Tao is an ancient Chinese script written by Lao-Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher. My husband and I try to practice the Tao in our lives because we find it very wise, quite hard to do, and very effective. I'll get into that in another post, but today's chapter had a poem by St. John of the Cross, a 16th century mystic, that I thought was so sweet and so lovely that I wanted to share it with all of you. It is titled, "A Rabbit Noticed My Condition":

I was sad one day and went for a walk;
I sat in a field.

A rabbit noticed my condition and came near.

It often does not take more than that to help at times-

to just be close to creatures who
are so full of knowing,
so full of love
that they don't--

they just gaze with
their marvelous understanding.

Thank you to all of you who who both chatted and gazed with me this week during my sadness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Tribute to My Friend

It’s funny that my last post was about friendship. As you can no doubt tell, friends are very important to me. I value their presence in my life and do not take the good will they return lightly.

Yesterday I got bad news. One of my favorite client-turned-friend had died. Although she was about 25 younger than I, I considered her to be a friend. I was a friend with her Mother first, when she was growing up, and then as newly married young woman she contracted breast cancer, and through our work together, she and I became fast friends.

My friend came to me as she had heard through her Mom that I did bodywork and could help her move through her treatment. So she decided to undergo Western medicine surgery/chemo/radiation and at the same time do some alternative treatments to bolster her health, remove toxins from her energy field. She did all this with a smile on her face, love in her heart, and a stalwart hope that she would finally be well.

The first challenge ended in victory. She was clear for several years and for as long as we lived in Chicago, she would fly in from another state far away, visit her family, and have some bodywork sessions. After we left the area she and I would occasionally be in town at the same time and she would come to me for what we laughingly called her “tune ups”.

Several more years passed though, and I had not heard from her this year since Christmas. Her Christmas card did not carry the same energy as all the previous ones and I began to suspect something was up. I finally emailed her on Monday, the day she passed away. Her valiant fight was over and she was at peace. Her husband who as a young groom took on the news of his wife’s cancer with courage and commitment must be devastated that their worst fears were finally realized. Her parents and her brother must be devastated too. The problem is that like Princess Diana, my friend carried so much light and joy. There wasn’t a person in the world who thought ill of her. The world is a bit dimmer because she has left it.

My friend was one of those unique people who lit up a room when she entered. She always made people feel at ease and cared for. She was a good listener and always was optimistic. She loved her family and friends deeply and was devoted to them. She was there for everyone and everyone was there for her. You just couldn’t not be. She was that kind of special person.

I wish you, too, had known her. Your life would be much richer because of her. Perhaps you have your own special friend who brings this to your life. If you do, cherish your friend, for the days are short.

“Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, “Did you bring joy?” The second one was “Did you find joy?” (Leo Buscaglia) If this is indeed the criterion, my friend is well on her way in her journey!

Charles Caleb Colton said, “True friendship is like sound health: the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.” I feel sad to have lost my friend but feel secure in knowing that what we had will continue beyond false barriers such as death. I know she is still my friend. I know she will be with me in my heart for the rest of my own life. I know that my life is better for having known her.

And for her, I like to think of Walter Scott’s quote:
“Death….the last sleep?
No, it is the final awakening.”

Enjoy your journey, dear friend. I will meet up with you before we know it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Friendship from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (selected sections)
"Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
.....For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed....
that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence.....
let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit."

For some reason I am feeling sentimental today and thinking about all the wonderful beautiful friends I have had over my lifetime. Some are still with me. Others have moved on, some to the great beyond. New ones arrive with frequency and I am struck by how they always seem to be the perfect person at the perfect time.

So I wanted to take a moment out of my life to say how grateful I am for my friends. I am privileged to have friends from very young ages to very old ones and all ages in between. They all are loved and cherished by me. Each one brings me some enlightenment and joy. Thanks to the computer age I now have internet friends, ones I’ve never met nor am not likely to, but with whom I connect on some level, sharing thoughts and feelings and life stories. How amazing is that!

Then there are the friends who have taught me really hard lessons, like boundaries, or standing up for myself. Their friendship comes in different wrapping but they are just as valuable if not more so than those who are easy to be with and with whom I laugh readily. The ones who wound me are my beloved teachers who love me enough to hurt me. They love me enough to try to teach me lessons that are hard to learn. I hope I have been a good student, making their efforts worthwhile.

So today, Sunday, I am grateful for them all, in all their packaging. I am so fortunate and blessed to call so many wonderful people friend.

Tell me about your friends and how you view friendship.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Golden Heart Award

Thank you to Angela Recada who gifted me with the Golden Heart award. Angela’s blog is a breath of fresh air showcasing her art, love of family, rescued pets, and her dreams for travel and learning new languages to add to her many accomplishments!

I would like to pass this award celebrating “creative, caring souls” on to the following blogs:

Annie at Blissful Bohemian
Sema at Affirmart
Tabitha at ichoosebliss
suZen at Erasing the Bored
Jan at Awake is Good

Just enjoy this award ladies. You are each of you creating, giving, soulful and marvelous beings!