Sorry for the long stall, and an update on me

So, back in August a year ago after I posted the “whole grain is not an ingredient” posting, I was working on a furniture project I was excited about. Then, I started having breathing issues. I ended up taking myself to the emergency room twice in the period of a couple of weeks because my breathing felt labored/not right. I also noticed how eager I was to spend time with the emergency nurse. In the moment it felt as if he cared about me more than anyone else in the world and wanted to know I was ok. I felt embarrassed. Where were my friends? Don’t I have friends? At the moment I didn’t have a job or a career. I thought that I must not have any friends who cared about me because the only company I got was hanging out with the emergency room nurse.

I went to my primary care doctor, got treatment for asthma and was thinking about posting a blog here to warn about watching too many home renovation shows without thinking about the impact of the products they are using on your health. Just spray paint this old vase, and voila, a new vase! No one says, do it in a ventilated area and preferably use a ventilator. And, if you use a ventilator, make sure that you replace the charcoal filter after each use because it loses it’s activation and isn’t much better than just breathing in all the fumes. Because, you know, when you are wearing a ventilator and thinking it’s working, you breathe through it. Well for me, it turns out I was breathing through the ventilator but not getting any of the benefits of filtering out the fumes.

So, I got to experience asthma first hand. I had bronchitis seasonally as a kid exercise-induced asthma as a young adult, but now I had caused myself asthma. This along with living alone caused me to panic. Just so you know, the upside of panic – the oxytocin and adrenalin create a fight, flight or freeze response. Right? But did you know, part of the purpose of oxytocin is to get you to go be with people. The emergency room nurse, remember? And, then the shame of the emergency room nurse now becoming my best friend motivated me to get out and spend time with other people. Which brings to mind my friend Veronica who thankfully walked to me to the registration table at my church and stood there until I had filled out the paperwork and paid the down payment to go to church camp in August 2018. Also, at this time, the fires were burning in the Washington Cascade Mountains and the sky was filling with smoke. Asthmatics are supposed to avoid all breathing contaminants – chemicals, fumes, smoke, etc.

Yes, as you imagined, it was a challenging time. But out of it blossomed something beautiful. I unexpectedly connected with my old friend, Noam, and we spent a lovely next few months getting to know each other better, dancing contact improv and being invited to all sorts of activities that I hadn’t participated in before – house concerts, clown jams, contact improv retreats, etc. My fears of not-enoughness were wearing off. I also started a beautiful new job at a Montessori on Capitol Hill that had a reputation for being a kind, magical place to develop children, families and teachers.

I am now grateful for the many blessings that came from this experience. Things are continuing to unfold in my life. God is always there looking out for me.


Whole Grain is Not an Ingredient

Ok, so I am starting today with a little rant: “Whole Grain” is not an ingredient. I say this because as you see in the picture below, General Mills is trying to convince you it is. I crossed out their little lie: “Whole Grain is the 1st Ingredient” and replaced it with my own words, “Whole Grain is not an ingredient, it’s an adjective.” Right?

Basically, they left out the word “wheat.” This is important for me in particular as I am giving up wheat.

Yes, I could read the list of ingredients, but I just get so bugged by lies in advertising. I’ve done some internet reading about advertising (I am not an expert, in other words) but can see that one of its purposes is to boost the economy; getting people to spend money: A little about the history of advertising in the US.

But, maybe I am just naive, I would like a little more honesty in the world and I am bugged that even my box of cereal couldn’t be honest.

Ok, I could stop there, but maybe I will turn this around and find some companies that are very honest. Check this out! Ok, the first link I found was a little more tongue-in-cheek than I meant, but I thought it was funny.  My favorite, “Maybelline: Maybe it’s Photoshop.” Yes, it is.

Ok, here is a real honest ad: honest advertising examples Image result for honest advertising examples

And, as far as I can tell, this is a real TV Commercial: Really honest advertising!

Well, you decide. Let me know how you combat advertising lies you encounter, whether you succumb to advertising lies and whether you think more honest advertising is the solution.

Have a super weekend!


Sail: Word for the Day

In responding to today’s prompt, I am calling on one of my favorite TV shows, So You Think You Can Dance, and one of my all-time favorite auditions for this competitive dance show:

Maybe not what one would associate with 4th of July in a coastal town, but, nonetheless, worth the time it takes to watch this clip!

Prompt: Sail

Letting Go of Suffering – Why Do I Suffer?

I haven’t posted in a little while and an evening with a friend had stirred me up and I wanted to post about it. I started with a rant, but realized that was only going to leave me feeling more like a victim. So, I checked out the site of a mentor of mine, Karuna Poole, and was reminded about suffering. I usually don’t realize I am “suffering” as it is such a habit. I believe that our thoughts create our reality, but I often get caught up in old emotions (memories of a similar experience to my present day experience and the feelings I have about those memories) and forget that I can actually stop it. So, I thought that I would share this in an effort to take the high road and not get caught up in my disagreement with my friend.

I also feel like I need to remember that I don’t always see eye-to-eye with others. Everyone has their own unique experience of the world. I’d like to explore how to be in the world with differences of opinion and not to be resentful or superior or shut people out because I disagree.

Here’s Karuna’s post:

The task for this week and the next will be to explore WHY you suffer, e.g. why you are suffering now as an adult and why you learned to suffer as a child. The primary tool you will use is Pam Levi…

Source: Letting Go of Suffering- Week 4: Why Do I Suffer?

Spiral Scarf?

I like Christmas. I like Christmas because it’s about new things, a new baby savior, new stuff wrapped in paper and tied up in a bow, new books, new jewelry, etc. I was thinking about that over the last few days because I’ve been working on this spiral scarf I had started several years ago but had set it aside because it was taking too long. I was going through my grandma’s old sewing cabinet a few months ago and I found the scarf, liked the colors and started working on it again. I had lost the instructions, so I had to wing it…with the help of a friend who looked at it and said, I bet you can figure out how you did this. She was right! I did figure it out!

At least enough to keep doing what I had been doing so far. But I didn’t like how tight the spirals were. At the rate I was going, I was sure that I’d use up all my yarn without making anything long enough to even come close to wrapping around my neck. So, I altered the scarf to shorten the spirals and create a longer distance between each spiral. I wanted to end up with an actual scarf and not just a stack of closely knit kitchen rags….this was ok, I thought. It looked a little sloppy, but I could dig it! And then I ran out of yarn. The yarn is a pretty swirl of blue, green and purple. Surely, I should be able to find more like it…it’s so pretty! After scouring the endless shelves of yarn at my local JoAnn Fabrics, I found one yarn with a very similar blue and green color but without the purple. Ok, how do I fix this? I bought a skein of purple yarn to use at the end. That will look cool, right?

Yesterday, I was ready to pull the whole darn thing out and start over. This looks dumb! I thought. It looks like a mistake. Was this a mistake? It would be easier just to pull it all apart, start over, start something new. Right?

That brought me back to my thoughts on new things. This is why I like getting new things and I don’t like finishing things I’ve already started. I have to decide…do I unravel it all? Do I continue what I started? Do I stick it back into the sewing cabinet to pull out months or years in the future only to have to decide then what to do? How is this like my relationships? Do I continue the relationship with the person I’ve known for years…but we are both changing in different ways, aren’t we? Are we starting to get so mis-matched, like the yarn I bought to finish my project? Or can I be patient and trust the process, so that the relationship will evolve into something new and different? Will I be glad that I didn’t yank it all out and start over? Will I be glad I stuck with it?


I recently saw a documentary about Walt Disney’s life. Did you know that after creating Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, he got distracted from his animated movies and became very interested in trains? They were half-scale or quarter-scale trains. He would create tracks around his property and ride his toy trains all day. It was all he wanted to do. He didn’t have a grand idea of why he was doing this, he just did it. His wife questioned what he was up to, neighbors noticed, but he kept doing it because that is what he was called to do. Eventually his ideas started evolving and they turned into the idea of bringing his movies to life so children could interact with the characters….his ideas evolved into what we know today as Disneyland and Disneyworld, complete with a train that will take you around the whole property!

I really like that story. It reminds me that I can be working on something without any idea of why I am doing it. And there’s no reason for me to stop. I can continue working on the scarf with it’s funny shape and colors or I can rip it all out and start over or I can set it aside to mull it over and come back to it with a new perspective. I can even post a blog post about it because I feel compelled to, not knowing what purpose it will serve or why I am doing but just trusting that pull from my solar plexus and that ache in my heart is trying to tell me something.

Ok, so what does this have to do with Christmas and new things? Maybe they are all connected. Christmas is about the darkest season of the year and something new and wonderful arising out of the moment of our darkest experience. There’s a certain amount of trust that the wise men and Joseph and Mary had to have to trust the guidance they were getting that this child really was the son of God. Joseph was betrothed to a pregnant woman who wasn’t pregnant with his own son, the wise men had heard that this son of God would be born but how could this child sleeping in a stable meant for livestock be this baby king? I think it’s a matter of trust and knowing that I can start over and begin anew or I can continue something I’ve started. Either way I am going on faith. That’s what I want to practice doing more of trusting my spiritual guides, trusting God and knowing that there isn’t a right or wrong way, but the best way is if I learn to trust myself.


Childless and Middle-Aged: What’s wrong with you?

Click here for this article: Childless and Middle-Aged: What’s wrong with you?

Last Sunday was mother’s day. I was feeling really down and I wasn’t exactly sure why. Was it because I was feeling grumpy about my last interaction with my Mom? I certainly was feeling pressure to talk to her but didn’t want to. But is that what was up?

I think it was more than that. I think it’s because I am over 40 and I haven’t had any children. Unlike this article, for me, I don’t know that I’m done yet. I still get strong urges to be pregnant, to have a child, but I talk myself out of it. ‘I don’t own a home,’ I’ll think to myself. ‘I shouldn’t procreate. How irresponsible of me! I’m not married. My relationship might not last as long as this new child. I am not structured enough.’ Etc. I have a litany of reasons why I shouldn’t have a child and yet also a very strong ache to have one.

No, I haven’t started menopause yet, at least I don’t think so. I haven’t been there yet and although I probably should, I haven’t read up on all the symptoms. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe in my head, I’m still 25 and I have time to figure it out.

I was feeling pretty upset about this on Sunday so I brought it up to some other women I knew who were over 40 and childless. I heard at least one person say that they had excuses too and now it’s too late. I also met a woman who had a child because she felt so strongly about it but now had broken up with the father. She’s still happy she had the child, but she says it didn’t resolve all the feelings she was having.

I am curious how other women feel about this and if they chose to have the child, or even gave it much thought and then, like the silly Pop-Art refrigerator magnet says, “Oh my gosh, I forgot to have children!”


Emergency! kit

Emergency! kit

A possible kit to provide for my safety and well being in case of a disaster

I posted this picture because I’ve been working on an emergency kit for my home in case of a disaster. Interestingly enough, I find it difficult to not feel anxious when I think about the purpose of this kit. Yes, it’s important to be prepared as much as possible for a disaster, but I avoid being prepared because that requires me to think about something that is scary.

I am curious what others think about this.

Being anxious is a place I go to usually too quickly. I think I’ll put away my emergency kit and schedule a time in a month to update it.

Have nice night!