Monday, August 31, 2009

Ode To The First Cup

It sits with me
Like a warm old friend
No need for much between us.

It waits for me to turn my thoughts
And lips toward it
Taking in its heady aroma.

The cool turn of the morning
Allows me to see the warmth that waits
Its swirls its magic up, up, up.

I stop my fingers on the keys
Long enough to grasp the familiar
The handle of this old red cup.

I carefully swallow the heat
The depth of the blend appeals.
Black, sweet, rich, pure.

I close my eyes with a sigh
Yes, this is love between
This first cup and I.

Each morning I look forward
To this shared moment.
This first cup starts the day.

I stay true to the relationship
I very rarely stray
To another cup of coffee in the day.

Some bonds are meant to be strong
Like the coffee in my morning cup
Some last all day long.

Some moments of a day
Are more like ritual
They bring the sacred to the ordinary.

Now, that's a big red cup!

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Sense of Identity

Acquaformosa, Italy

I am from words and painting with them; from Webster and his dictionary. Passionate about all things Scottish Terrier. Lover of Scotland, though I've never been.

I am from the Land of Pleasant Living, Charm City, ethnic, blue-collared, neighborhoods, with the smells from McCormick's Spice wafting through the air.

I am from the Black-Eyed Susans and the Chesapeake Bay; from the Atlantic Ocean and the waving grasses on sand dunes. From tenacious crab grass growing up through the hot cracks in cement sidewalks. From sumac growing wild in abandoned lots.

I am from Italians whose family tree has roots in Albania and from the wilds of Wales on her side of the mix. Of the family Dituri turned Dietor to hopefully fit in better as Americans, Raimondo's, from the Zink's though little is known about that. And for awhile I was of the Duggan clan. Now am claimed as a Frock. But, I keep Dietor in memory of my father and those who have past.

I am from the exuberant, abundanza, and deeply loving. Loud and raucous. The harsh but caring. The realest, the pragmatists who secreted big dreams. From immigrants and those who were brave enough to follow their dreams. From the fey on her mother's side.

I am from Catholic tradition. Pre-Vatican II, with incense, rituals, mystery, awe. And choirs and organs. Wearing your 'Sunday Best,' each week. Women with mantillas and hats in church. Men who removed hats when coming through the doors. Little girls with patten leather shoes. Little boys with cowlicks wetted and flattened and springing back in defiance before Mass had ended. Confession lines on Saturdays. No meat on Fridays. No place for women in the leadership.

I'm from Baltimore City with roots there since 1907. And my family comes from the earth someplace south of Rome and Naples, called Acquaformosa. Relatively unknown, unseen except on local maps. From pasta and garlic. Tomatoes and basil. Seafood and sandwiches.

From the grandparents who owned an outstanding restaurant. From a mother who was an artist, wild and untamed. Crazy and unpredictable. From a father who was the wisest man I've ever met. I am from Green grocers. Cooks. Home makers. Printers. Car salesmen. Roofers. Boarding House owners. Lamp-lighters. From hard working entrepreneurial folk.

I am from a place of Sunday family dinners of home made pasta and a sauce pot on the stove's back burner. I am from a home where there is always room at a dinner table. No one who comes through the door as a stranger ever leaves without becoming a friend.

I am from the tradition that everyone deserves a place to call home where they feel safe, loved, fed, and are greeted with, "Welcome home; how was your day?" Where your feelings weren't considered as important as your physical needs. Where tears were dried with chiding, "If you want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about," and an offer of a taste of sauce on bread. Cheese sprinkled on top. With a waiting while you ate it and the wise advice, "Better? Go on then."

Thursday, August 27, 2009


As part of my exploration of The Artist's Way, I have to commit to these things called Artist's Dates. That's a time for me to go hold hands with me. Doing something that I've always been interested in seeing or doing, but never made time to do.

It's also an opportunity to learn to say, "Yes," to experiences instead of the more predictable, "No thanks, I'll pass," that seems to fall out of our mouths more frequently. A chance to step out of a comfort zone or our predictable boxes.

Let loose with things and just have an experience. So, I did it. Yep. I went golfing! You heard me, golfing. Well, not on a golf course of any import. I didn't show up at Arnold Palmer's stomping ground, Latrobe Country Club and announce the arrival of The Queen. I could have, as it's just up the road. But, I thought I'd better start small.

So, on a delightful, as they call them, Executive Par Three course I walked the links and did 18 holes! You heard me...18. I am too much.

Now, if you know anything about golf, and I really don't, you know that the Par Three means you're in the hole from the tee in three swings. HA HA HA HA HA!!! Yeah. That didn't happen.
Not once. But I am proud to admit that on two of the 18 holes, I did it in FOUR! Yes sir, Tiger watch your back. The rest of the holes? Well, let's not go there.

Still, for my very first time, I am feeling all smug and self-righteous. I am the least athletic person I know. I decided to take my camera along because we all know that golf courses tend to be beautiful pieces of property. I figured, if I hated the golfing part, I'd just take pictures.

So, I stopped to watch the blue sky reflected in the water of the stream...

And, I thought about the fact that I had to cross this bridge to get where I was going. And, wonder how to get a ball all the way across this vast divide.

The sky was so clear and blue which seemed to celebrate one of the very last days of Summer in the Laurel Highlands.

And, I had to stop for quite awhile and sit with this fallen sentinel. This massive oak that had come down recently. I couldn't help but wonder how much noise that must have made when it toppled.

For the time being, it's now a hazard on the course. The tee smelled of new wood and the forest. The warm air brought out the fragrance so very clearly.

And, I'm happy to say that I was able to hit my golf ball over the hazard! Cleared it, baby! No small feat considering I never once got any of my shots up off the ground very far. They seemed to hug that earth like a bur!

I closely considered all the various shades of green more than I did any of the swings I took. And, lost count of how many I saw. But, loved every second of this new experience.

I'm not sure I'll take up golf as a hobby. It's quite stressful. And, I learned quickly that I still have quite the Potty Mouth. Not like I needed a new experience to confirm that.
And, knowing how much I love irony in life, I just had to throw in this last picture. This is a prime example of a Marketing person being very opportunistic. Very. Trust me, I'm fairly certain that more than one golfer has had to go to rehab due to this sport, game, or whatever you want to call it. Truth in advertising for sure in this case!

But, don't be surprised if you hear me say that I'm going again.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Tiger's Competition In Her Own Mind

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

Cool Image Courtesy Jamie Ridler Studios

I have to admit, I like today's Wishcasting question, " What do you wish to acknowledge yourself for?"

I am always quick to acknowledge others; what they've done for me, how they've made a difference. Acknowledge an accomplishment. Acknowledge their effort and contribution. Acknowledge them and be a conscious participant in their lives.

It's time I did the same for me. Yep. ME.

So, I want to acknowledge two things today: First, I was invited to participate in Blogging The Artist's Way by a blogger, Lisa, who I adore. Per usual, my first inclination was to shy back and say, "Thanks for thinking of me, but no." Instead, I gave myself an opening. I said, "Let me think about it."

Then I heard myself say, "Go by the book. Just do this." So, I'm acknowledging that instead of saying no, I said yes. I have no idea where it will lead or what may come of it. Perhaps nothing new. But, something new has already happened because I changed my pattern and said yes instead of no.

But, here's what I really want to acknowledge about me today. I want to acknowledge that I continue to show up. Just show up.

I once heard a motivational speaker answer the question, "What is the way to success?" The short answer was, "Just show up." Show up today. Show up tomorrow. Show up the day after that. Just show up.

So I do. I show up. And, I play it through. I'm proud that I do that. Yay ME!

Here's to showing up!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka The Bad Penny

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunrise Moment

Los Cabos, MX

In each sunrise rests a moment
that can only be shared
by you with you.

It is a sacred moment, quiet
when you are made new
aware of the beauty of life.

A moment when you feel
as though this is the first
time you have seen anything.

Certain that you are seeing
a miracle of such magnitude
that you wonder if you're worthy.

You find it easy to be grateful
The grandeur makes it easy
To find the glory in the expected.

To find the "Ahh!" in the regular
And be delighted with the familiar
To feel connected to the essence of life.

When the day wears on and tests you
It's easy to forget the sunrise moment
Forget the real reason we are here.

In each sunrise rests a moment
That is the portal to a new possibility
Walk through with courage to find your joy.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bits & Pieces

I have housework to do today. Other than laundry and odds and pieces that ask for my attention, I need to do some blog 'house work,' and take care of some details like thanking some lovely bloggers. And share things that have come about because of friendships that are being formed via our blogs.

Let's start with that first picture. Those are my new salt and pepper shakers that I got via e-Bay. Aren't they cute?! They're vintage, in great shape, and I'm so very pleased with them. I lost an auction last year on a very similar set. They're not easy to come by and not always in good condition. This set is in terrific shape; just the right amount of predictable wear. What is really a nice bit of synchronicity is that the seller lives in Emmitsburg, Maryland which is where Michael was born and raised. So, perhaps it was meant to be.

Why do I show them here? Well, I wouldn't have these gems if it hadn't been for a follower, Suzie of Cat In The Moon. After enjoying the post about my kitchen, she happened to see a set of these at an antiques show, and looked on eBay to see if she could find something like them to share with me. She most certainly did, sent me the link, and all good wishes that they would come to my kitchen, "As I know they'll feel immediately at home there!"

Here they are, Suzie, what do you think? Thanks for your keen eye and having fun in my kitchen even if it's from afar!

Over the weekend, I was gifted with two awards. This first one was given to me twice. First by Sarah, of Cottage Garden Studio and then seconded by Barb at A Bird In My Hand.

The designer of this award is a woman named Ces. She explains: "I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honor the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she epitomizes all of these things. She is an inspiration to many of us."

Here's the thing- I don't know Ces and I don't know Bella. But, I'm very happy to be counted among those who are defined by her lovely words. I really don't 'know' Sarah or Barb in real time, at any rate. But, we are becoming friends as I follow their blogs and I am learning about them as individuals and as writers. I'm learning about their trials and celebrations. I am learning that we are all more alike than different. I am learning a great many things from writing and following other blogs.

Sarah & Barb...thank you for thinking so very highly of me and my work here by including me in this award.

And, while I don't always forward these awards on, I do want to share this one with Toni, whose newest blog, The Weight of Me is now a favorite because she's pursuing her writing with the same gusto as she does her visual arts. But, mostly because she feels like my sister. And I love her.

Late last evening, I noted that Beverly of Bunny's Girl gave me this award! Now, to be honest, neither of us follow each of our blogs daily. Beverly and I are fellow wishers in Wishcasting Wednesday. When I go to visit with her each week, I spend some time going back through her writings and I suspect she may do that here. The award is nice, but what she said about me is the true award, " Holly is always so very supportive of all who take part in Wishcasting Wednesday. Thanks for your special thoughts." Thanks, Bev...I really do take a lot of time to help fellow wisher get their wishes!

I'm now supposed to reveal seven bits of stuff about me in accepting this MeMe Award:

1.) I wonder if there's anything new I can tell you that you don't already know because of all I leave here?

2.) There's no veggie I won't eat. I like them all, in various levels of liking...but I can't think of one I won't eat.

3.) Losing weight is hard work. It's work. But, it's work worth doing.

4.) I'm currently blogging through The Artist's Way.

5.) I'm an excellent cook. And, I always like to have people stop by for dinner.

6.) I'm attempting to get back into my water colors.

7.) I'm way too hard on myself.

So there you have it. Seven bits of me.

I owe a thank you to a dog and his mom. I wish I had a picture of what she sent to us, but alas, Rory & Fiona completely enjoyed the home made dog treats that Michelle made for them. And, she even tucked in a wee treat for me; a lavender pillow! My favorite scent! How did you know, Meesh?

Chester is good friends with my two highlanders. And, they spend quite a bit of fun time chatting on Facebook. For my money, it should really be called Dogbook. Rory gets way more action on his page than I do on mine! Of course he has his own page! Doesn't everyone's dog?

Chester is the most delicious chocolate lab. Rory calls him Big Brownie. If you want some dog fun, make sure you visit with him over at his very own blog, For The Love of Chester. Tell him Rory's Mommer sent you.

Okay, now this last shot? What in the world am I doing showing an apron?

Not too long ago, on a trip to take care of some business for Michael's father, I got an email on my phone, which brightened up considerably, what was a stressful visit. And, I need to thank Lisa of Diary of A Not So Glamorous Housewife. She had a give away over at her blog of an apron that she fabricated. She's a great seamstress. And, I love her blog because she's droll, witty, and real.

I was the winner! I'm telling you that, just recently, I was thinking that I really should invest in an apron because I end up with more stuff on my clothes when I'm at the stove. And, Lisa's give away made that possible.

I'm a bit late in thanking everyone. But, truth is, it's never too late to thank someone for a kindness. With that, the timer just buzzed on the washer so I must fly. Hope you all have a smooth and productive week!

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

You will not find God in the intellect. Divine Intelligence is in the heart.
~ Gary Zukov

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Friday, August 21, 2009

But, Can She Juggle???!!!

Okay, I warn you: This is a rant and it's going to be short as I'm dripping wet. Not kidding, dripping.

I often wonder about this business of multi-tasking, who invented it, how do I find him or her and, as to the rest of what happens next, you don't want to know. That way you can't be hauled into the court room as a witness for the prosecution. Trust me, I'm only looking out for your welfare.

So, here's the thing, we know that life is incredibly different for women and men. For more about my thinking about why that might be, take a read back on Tigers & Berries. But not at this moment because then I'd be forcing you to multi-task and that would just be wrong.

And, when it comes to the most simple of tasks, sometimes it's not fair that it is more simple, or let's say less complicated for our men folk. Taking a shower being today's example:

When Michael gets into the shower, I'm telling you, if he decides to lallygag, it will take him, oh, about five minutes including drying time where he flaps and snaps that towel around like it's the mainsail of a schooner. That extended shower almost never happens. Most of the time, he's in and out in about three minutes. Amazing! Hair washed, body squeaky clean, and he's even one of those wonderful men who squeegees the walls and glass! I know! Lucky aren't I?

We have one of those showers that when you see them in the model home, you're fairly certain you'll die if you can't have one just like it for your very own. Yeah, tile and glass on two sides....lovely. Well, be careful what you wish for! Can I tell you how I hate that shower now? There's no keeping it looking pristine...NO WAY!

So it bugs me. I try to ignore it but it's too big for that. It's a huge rain box staring at me. Taunting me with its streaked self. But, I digress...

I'm in the shower this morning and I look down at the container that neatly holds all of our shower supplies. And, I think, "Cripes, Mike has one body/hair wash. ONE! While I on the other hand have my body wash, my shampoo, my face scrub, a razor, a pumas stone, a luffa!"

Let me remind you, I am not, am NOT a girlie-girl. But, still, I have all this stuff. One thing I take great pride in is that I don't use conditioner. Score one for me. So, I'm still one up on the average chick.

The shower then commences. I wash my hair; I scrub my face; I shave my legs and my underarms; I scrape off my feet with a stone. I run the luffa around. And, I'm exhausted.

It's now a tropical rain forest in the bathroom. I'm certain two Scotties were in the room when I started, but I'll never find them in the fog. Bark so I can locate you!

Now here's where it really gets nuts and you know me, I always get back to the point I started...back to the multi-tasking. Some of you with weak stomachs may want to stop here because the rest of this entry is not pretty. It may fall under the heading of TMI, but it's my blog.

At the very last moment, I decide to hop out of the shower, dripping wet, run like a mad woman to the kitchen to get the bathroom cleaner. Did I mention the front door is open? Why did I go streaking through the house? Because I may as well clean that freaking shower while I'm in it and already soaking wet.

Yep...there's a naked woman standing there, soaked, scrubbing down the walls and glass. Don't look hard you'll likely burn your retinas out. It's seems the easiest way to get it clean! So, water off, me dripping away, standing there to squeegee the walls and now clean glass. Even wipe it down with paper towels.

It's now 25 minutes later than when I started running the water. 25 minutes to his three in the shower. So not fair. And, a simple thing like a daily hygiene ritual has turned into a marathon of multi-tasking! To make it even crazier, I decide I have to go rant about this, so I rush in to the office to fabricate this! Rrrrggggg!

There is one bright spot, though; up until now, I haven't found one good point about the fact that I'm wearing glasses for the first time in my life. The fact that I can't wear them in the shower turns out to be the bright spot...

Without them, everything looks really clean. And, The Queen is very pleased. Clean, exhausted, but pleased.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Hates Housework

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Other People Say

"Certainly she feels no shame but inhabits her life as she lives it, her head held high."
~ Sena Jeter Naslund

I so want to be that woman- completely inhabiting my life with my head always held high! But, I have my fair share of moments looking like that gal in the painting; shoulders slumped from the weight of feeling less-than or the target of attitude. When I came across this quote it seemed to jump off the page at me. It kept rolling around in my brain. Eventually, I realized it's because of a theme I've noticed recently on lots of the blogs I visit.

Don't read further thinking I have an answer to this one, because I don't really. I still struggle with it from time to time, this issue of caring more about what others say about me or think more than I listen to or believe about myself. Why do we fall victim to the trap of caring more about what other people say, rather than use that energy to develop the truth of what we know about ourselves?

As I read what fellow travelers are wishing for and pondering, many of us are working hard to stop the tendency of caring too much about what others think or say. Their opinions, their advice, their notions of us. Their conviction of knowing absolutely what's right for us, what we should do, think, say, feel, believe.

But, it's incredibly difficult to stop falling into the trap. Especially when the other person is someone who is important to us, or we feel has some dominion over our life. We don't like that we do it, but we allow them to have power over us, wound us or undermine our faith in our abilities, our potential, our singular place in this world. It's really hard not to listen to what other people say.

Most of us begin our journey away from caring so much about what other's think by developing a false bravado, "I don't give a damn what they say about me! Who the hell are they any way?!" But, that doesn't really ring true. We say it, but in secret we torment ourselves by going over and over their words till we make ourselves crazy.

When that technique doesn't work, sometimes we seal ourselves away from others figuring it's best to keep apart....stay above it all....let no one in too deep. That way we don't have to worry so much about what's being said. That doesn't work either because we discover we're safe from the considerations of others, but we're also incredibly isolated and lonely. No...that's not the answer either.

Eventually it begins to dawn on us that the only way to be at peace with what other people say, is if we begin to strengthen our own internal voice. The one that is clear, strong and capable of cutting through the noise and clutter of all that's being said about us and around us.

The singular voice that is your spirit, your reflection of your truth as a Real Human Being. You begin to get comfortable with the sound of your own voice. Then you begin to like it. You begin to use it as a compass in the confusion of all the exterior words. It starts to act like a sacred knife cutting through the falsehoods and the you the space to keep moving ahead.

Poor thing never said, "Let them eat cake!"

You accept that you aren't any different from any other Human who has trod the earth. All of us are tempered and trialed by the words that other people say. Some of us are branded wrongly. Falsely accused. Talked about repeatedly. Reviled. Demonized. But, it makes no difference when you know the truth of hold your head high when you can clearly hear your own sacred voice. When you begin to understand that your internal voice is your unique sound of Spirit's song.

When you love the sound of your soul's voice like an operatic Diva, you begin to realize that what other people say does not own you even though it will impact you. You begin to realize that it cannot diminish you unless you allow it...and slowly...

The words, what other people say, becomes nothing more than the background hum of living. The white noise of life. You find yourself smiling as you realize that you are one of those rare Human Beings who feels no shame but inhabits their life as they live it, head held high.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Listens

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

The question is cast:
Who is the you you wish to be?
If not he, how about she?
If not she than I must wish to be me.

The me of my life
Who navigates strife.
The one who ignores
The every day chores.

Who communicates well
With a tale to tell.
She who finds glory
In your very own story.

The me who is loved.
Bellow and above
The one who's known pain
But has experience gained.

She who shares
Who truly does care
Who makes you feel good
As we all should.

The me who is wise
Who looks in your eyes
Who loves you as you
And hopes you do, too.

What me do I wish to see?
The one who is all that she can be.
The me who was lost
But found at great cost.

The me who Spirit loves deep
The me who is complete
Just as I am,
I share her with you, animal, woman or man.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not Just Any Day...

...Today is My Lion's day! Happy Birthday. Many happy returns of your day, Michael. You make my life wonderful in all its moments. I never knew my capacity to love could be so great.

Thank you for all of it!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Mrs. Michael Frock

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Need A Favor..., not this kind, but aren't they cute? I need you all to do something for me.

I'm going on a job interview this Wednesday. And, they've asked me to bring three writing samples. I have various examples of my projects and former writing pieces for show and tell,but I want to take three from my blog to leave for their consideration.

I'm hoping you all will help me decide. Would you be willing to consider which three I should take? And, if you could tell me why you liked them so much, that would be great.

Meantime, I'll be processing some very unsettling dreams I had last night. And, I may want to talk about them more but later on. Right now, I'm just shaking me head about them.

Anxiety about this job interview perhaps? Perhaps. But, most definitely there's a disturbance in the force.

So, thanks in advance for helping me out...and I'll look forward to your input as we get ready for my interview later this week!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Hopeful

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

Great Mother of the Sun
Descend into the arms of the earth
Winged Goddess of balance
Come unto me who cries out to you
For justice and truth and strength
Help me find Balance in the world!

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stairway To My Heaven


It's a gorgeous Saturday and I don't have anything deep or philosophical to share with you this morning. I simply loved these photos that Michael took and thought they'd bring a smile to your face.


Whatever you're doing today...I hope it brings you steps closer to loving life and finding joy, small or big.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Fiona & Rory's Mommer

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Good Witch or A Bad Witch?

How cute is this? I tell you, some of these awards are enough to make me giggle for most of the day. This is one of them. And, I am quite pleased to have it bestowed on me by Dreamwriter over on her blog, Spiritual Expression. Thank you, Dreamy Writer! I admire your frank and open way of discussing so much of life's mystery as well as the mundane.

This award is relatively new. And, when I went to visit with The Domestic Witch, I found a woman of mirth and daily magick. A fun little spot to lurk about in. She crafted this award to honor:

For Achievement in Magical Housecrafting

The rules are simple enough~

If you've been bestowed The Domestic Witch Blog Award:
~ Pass the award on to 3 blogs about Domestic Witchery that you really enjoy.
~ Include the award in your blog post.
~ Link the nominees within your post.
~ Don't forget to mention the person who gave you the award.
~ Let your chosen winners know that they received The Domestic Witch Blog Award by commenting on their blog.

Hmm, three out of many...three out of many...three, the power of three:

Sarah: Cottage Garden Studio

Sara: Momma Craft

Cinner: Things About Who, What, When, Where, and Why

While these three writers express ideas in her unique voice and are quite different one from the other, the common bond for me is that they all nurture, support, wonder, and share. There's an openness and a kindness about them that makes the reader feel honored, safe, and comforted.

In our increasingly complex world, places like those they have crafted are necessary and true gifts. And, I'm most grateful for the daily rounds that take me to visit with all of them.

Turning a house into a home truly is the work of magick and heart. I work at that every day. It's nice to be recognized for those efforts. You all are most welcome at my home anytime. Just park your broom and come on in to sit a spell.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Domestic Witch

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fabulous Red

"Yay! I found the perfect color," I gushed holding up the paint chip. "You're kidding, right," he responded with a bit of fear in his eyes. "Absolutely not kidding! Look, it's even called Fabulous Red; I told you I wanted to put Max Factor lipstick red on the walls! At any rate, once everything is in place, it won't be that much red. But oh, this is the color!"

"Yeah, but I guess I didn't know what red looked like..." responded my very brave, but tentative husband while we stood in the home center. Then, "Look, you know I trust you. If that's the color you think we should use, just get it."

He was not the last man with whom I had a similar discussion. I had it with the painters when they popped the tops off the cans and just stared up at me from the floor with a look of surprise on their faces. One actually whispered, "Are you sure? Really sure?" I laughed at that one.

His partner, a wiry guy who looked like a biker said, "I think it's fantastic! Good for you!!" Him, I liked right away.

And, then I had it with the installers when they came in and saw the screaming red walls. When I said, "Look, I promise you when you get the cabinets up and the whole thing in place, you'll think this is one of the best kitchens you ever did."

His response was, "Lady, I just install them; I don't critique them." LOL!!! Best line ever. But, three days later, he stood there looking around and then said, "You were right, this is one of the best kitchens we ever did."

So, I stuck to the theme...and there definitely is a method to the madness. I've always wanted a a black, white, and red kitchen. And, thanks to Michael coupled with my ability to see things finished in my head, I so have my dream kitchen. While I know it's not for everybody, certainly not the faint of heart, I adore this spot. There's never a time when it doesn't make me feel happy or warm and safe.

Equally important, everyone who comes to visit loves being in this room. It's energetic and snappy. People always want to eat dinner at this kitchen table. Or sit and have a cup of coffee and a chat. So, here you go Toni...since you can't visit with me in person, I'm posting it so you can add it to your kitchen collection.

I painted this old table and it turned it pretty well. Again, a project that Michael said, "You want to do what to the edge? Oh, that'll be time consuming but should be cool. Let's go." Love that man!

How did we work without center islands? I use the heck out of this one. And, no, I didn't buy that dog treat jar. A friends sent it to Rory & Fiona for Christmas! How fun is that?

Even the M&Ms are coordinated., white, and red. You don't need money...just give it a crank and you get the prize.

A part of my collection. I love Scottie stuff from the 30s and 40s and that's what I concentrate on. I didn't design the kitchen around my collection, but it turns out the best place to house it. I figure if you're going to collect, you might as well put it in a space where you will see and enjoy it every day.

And the work space is well planned. Trust me, it doesn't have to be expensive to be perfect; that's ceramic bathroom floor tiles I used as my back splash. Easy to install as they come on a webbing- no fiddling with individual tiles. It was really inexpensive and works great as I can just wipe it down to keep it clean!

This is command central. I love cooking with gas! Michael says the dogs call this spot, "The Magic Corner." Fiona is generally under my feet while I'm prepping dinner. I call her my "Shoe Chef."

It's all in the you have to take your time and hunt to find just what you need.

When I was looking for hardware, the first consideration was expense, but it had to add to the over-all look. Since I was going bold and graphic, the hardware adds to the cohesive look. And, they were on sale! Sweet!!!

You already know I am one of those people who has to have everything in its place, so yes, I designed a unit to hold my cookbooks all in one spot. And, the television is always on HGTV or Food Network. But, when Michael's home that gets switched to golf or news. We share well.

And, because I did this post at Toni's request, she asked us to show the inner workings of our kitchens not just the highlights. One that she suggested is the Tupperware and where it resides. So here you go Toni, here's where my containers live. And, no, I didn't straighten them up just before I took the picture!

So, there you have it...a quick tour of the Queen's kitchen...

Feel free to stop by for some coffee and cake. The door is always open to you. And, if any crumbs fall on the floor, don't worry about it...the Shoe Chef will make sure it gets cleaned up.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

Today's Wishcasting question is, "What doors do you wish to open?" And, my answer is, this one. Either of them....yeah, look closely, there's two of them. I'd like to open either, but I'd really like to see what magick might happen if I opened the smallest one. Who do you suppose lives there? Would the fairy invite me in willingly? Hmm.

As to doors, my front door stands open most days that I'm home. I thought I did it so that Rory & Fiona could lay and look out on the world, but I realize that I do it more as a soft, unspoken, "Welcome," to any who might wish to come in for a visit. In our very busy world, few ever take me up on it, but occasionally someone drops by.

Growing up on 27th Street, our front door was never used. The back door was never locked. You simply walked in. Some would knock first as they opened it. Some would simply call, "Hello?" as they came in. Those of us who lived there, simply announced, "I'm home!"

I'm home...two of the most wonderful words ever spoken.

The door I wish to open is the door to the new. I wish to walk through it to what awaits me. To push the door open and stand on the threshold with anticipation and not dread. I wish to be excited by possibility and ready to see wonders I never dared dream for myself before.

I wish to open the door to my future and my life. And realize as I do, "I'm home!"

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Seeks

Monday, August 10, 2009

Here's To The Moments

My Sister-in-law, Theresa, is the only Frock sibling who still resides in Hanover. So all of this turmoil in Dad's life has fallen on her to manage. She has done a yeoman's job of navigating the entire grueling marathon. We're all exceedingly grateful.

Theresa is one of those lively, no-nonsense, love-you-completely, do-anything-for-you women who you hope to have in your life. We all know how lucky we are that she's the one at Dad's side while he fights the good fight. Theresa is a counselor and works with high-schoolers. Tell me she's not on track for sainthood, huh?

Recently, on one of his really bad days, Dad barked "What the hell am I doing all this for?!" Which is perfectly understandable. It's been hard...more seems lost than gained. No positive end in sight and uphill all the way.

Theresa's inspired response to that lament hit me between the eyes like a magic bullet. She said to Dad, "You're right. Life sucks. It sucks for everyone at times. But, every now and then we get a 'moment.' Like when you see your grandchildren graduate or achieve a goal there's a 'moment'. Or you taste something really good, there's a 'moment.' Or you're with all of us and we're laughing, there's another 'moment'.

"So we all live for those moments. Dad, if you're telling me you have no more 'moments' to look forward to, and there aren't any more 'moments' to hope for, then you're right, there's no reason to keep fighting this fight."

And, she got quiet. After a brief period, Dad said something profound, "Shut up and drive." Which is Carroll's way of saying, "Pax vobiscum." He hasn't asked that question again. In part because he had a 'moment' with Spirit via Theresa.

It really is about the moments. Not the minutes. Sometimes not even the days. It's the moments. And, moment to moment is as much as most of us can manage at times. Should want to manage because life is all in the details and our awareness of them. The details of a good life reside in the moments.

So I'm sharing two moments with you:

How different can one little girl look in 30 days? Take a look at sweet Livy there sitting up and looking more like a toddler than an infant. Sitting up all on her own. Being very proud of herself! Doing that rocking back and forth thingy on her knees just before the brain puts it all together and crawling and forward mobility are just around the corner.

Seven months can make such changes come about. It is a miracle, yes?

And, let me leave you with this one:

Recently, Dad agreed to go with Theresa and have a pedicure. Yep. First and only time in his life...and he was game enough to give it a go. That's why I love him! He's really up for most experiences. The stories that he has from that road trip? I'll save them for another time.

Even though the picture isn't the best, I love it because you see Theresa about to break out in hysterical laughter over this happy, silly moment in a long struggle toward life. I say toward life because Dad has decided he most definitely has more 'moments' to look forward to and he absolutely wants them.

So, in your moments today, if there's something you've really wanted to try or were always hoping you'd do, be it crawl for the first time, or reward yourself with some pampering, I hope you'll...

...Take a moment and really live it.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svha

Tara! You are the great destroyer
of fear and failure,
of oppression and disease.
Lift the burden of helplessness
Empower us to see potential.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Excerpt of prayer and art courtesy of the Internet
Thank you Rose, for sharing your dream!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Surrounded By Lions

Loyal, and sometimes rather traditional, Leos are, after all, a fixed sign. They'll hold on to situations and people for a very long time before they give up. There is an unmistakable idealism to Leo's view of the world and the people in it. Often, Leos have a very noble inner code that they answer to. Although on the surface, Leos appear rather confident, they can actually be some of the most humble souls around. They are the first to blame themselves when something goes wrong. Once again, it's the Leonine self-importance at work, and this characteristic works in unexpected ways. Instead of being the conceited, self-absorbed show-offs of reputation, they are usually very self-aware, self-conscious, and, yes, even humble. ~Cafe

Lions: I am surrounded by them. And, even my own astrological chart, though I was born in Cancer, by most aspects, I present myself to the world as a Leo. The stars don't lie. Funny, I see myself very much with the traits of a true Cancerian, but what most perceive me to be is a fiery Leo.

I am married to a Leo- very brave, loyal, protective, generous. I call him, My Lion. Figuratively speaking, on occasion he can be all paws swiping at you and roaring. Best to step away and be still! Passing quickly, like a cloud burst on dry plains, he's back to contentedly basking in the sun and lovingly sharing his domain. Only those closest to him know that he can be shy and a bit retiring. A Leo works hard to hide the fact that they have their feelings hurt easily. That's not how they show themselves to the world. Like any great cat, they go off in solitude to lick their wounds. And, they only close their watchful eyes when they feel safe.

Melissa, Michael & Evan

Michael is an excellent provider for his pride. And family is everything to him; making sure his children are feeling safe and successfully confident is a trademark of the Leo father.

Even one of my dogs is actually a Lion! I know, how crazy?!


Rory who is quite docile, silly, and loving by nature, doesn't exhibit his Leo tendencies unless he is on his leash and encounters another dog. Wow, then you can really see that king of the beasts behavior in action! Oh, wait, the whole Lion of Scotland thing going on! I get it now!

Some of my closest friends are Lions...

Carole & Al

Like Al, who you see here with Carole, his wife and one of my dearest friends. Al is a retired college professor. He's written two books both published! He has exuberantly and precisely taught countless hundreds about Sociology. Al is fascinating to talk with for hours about everything. He's fun loving. Well traveled. Debonair. Witty. Laughs richly. Loves deeply. He's simply one of those fabulous Human Beings who makes you feel completely loved and liked.


And, this Lion, will soon mark his 80th season living on the savannah of Hanover. He's father to eight children and blessed to have seven of them still with him. He's learned to successfully balance the magic of being a parent and a good friend to his adult children. He's in a struggle, now, for his own survival and we adore him. Admire him even more. If love, alone, could ever save a person's life, he would live forever.


This is My Lion's father, Carroll, or as his many friends call him- C.F. Dad has countless stories that he tells so well. His life is rich and colorful. He was a traveling sales man for years. And, he was Hanover Shoe's first Distribution and Warehouse Manager. In his 25 years with the company, he put systems in place that made it operate smoothly and efficiently. Even now as a division of Clark Shoes, his innovations are still making a difference.

He's mellowed as he's grown older and wiser. His love has taken on the tawny hue of depth and life experience. His children love, respect and even better, like him. What more can a man ask as a legacy than to be recalled with love and fondness by his children and friends?

No matter how long it's been since some Lions prowled the earth...


...their paw print is indelibly pressed on the spirit. Leos like my father. Oh, he was the epitome of the celestial Lion! Hard to live with at times because he had such a lofty notion of himself, combined with an iron will, and a strong sense of his importance. His very high expectations of himself and me could be truly maddening at times. His challenge to consistently do the best possible sometimes made me weary.

But, there is so much more to this Leo- His charm and sense of humor. The beauty of his bearing and ability to see correctly into another's soul. His generosity of being. His courtly demeanor. His ferocious loyalty. His tenacious curiosity about life and quest for knowledge. His regal view of the inherent goodness of Human Kind. His desire to make a profound contribution to mankind. His capacity to love completely and guide unerringly...

Those are the qualities I most admire about my father. Those qualities are what I recall easily. And those are what I strive to put forward to the world.

So, please over look the occasional roar; most likely it's an attempt to hide wounded feelings. Don't take a growl for more than a gentle reminder than that I'm feeling a bit vulnerable. And, if I knock you flat at times, remember that I'm simply a big cat who can be very exuberant in my desire to be part of your life.

Happiest of birthdays to all of the Leo friends and family who make my life so rich and warm. I wish you many, many happy returns of your day.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Dwells With Lions
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