Monday, November 30, 2009

It's A Jungle In Here Now

"Aunt Hol, I was wondering if you could paint a palm tree and some grass on Livy's nursery walls. I'd like to add some color in there and since we have the whole jungle theme, I thought it would be cute."

"Sure, I think I could do that for you! Let's do it the day after Thanksgiving while I'm down there. It shouldn't take me that long."

So, that's what I did for my Baby Girl and her Littlest Girl. When I looked the space over, I asked, "Do you really only want one palm tree? I'm thinking it would be more fun if there were more, but it's your call." Laura answered, "Well sure, I'd like them but I was afraid I'd be asking you to spend too much of your time if it was more."

One or several, it's about the same time I explained. So, she sat on the floor and chatted with me while Michael and Eric kept Livy occupied downstairs. Of course refusing to be left out, you can see Georgie, my assistant, in this picture. She was quite the good Boxer girl through the whole process.

This is the artist's publicity shot. I will autograph it for you if you wish! You can see my absolute delight in being a daily part of Livy's world. Even when I am not there, now I will be.

Monkeys and critters now have a place to rest instead of being mid-air without anything to catch them while they swing about.

And, now when Princess Olivia gets her bottom changed, she'll have more than just a blue monkey to capture her attention. Laura says that every morning after she's changed Livy, she stands up on the changing table and with deliberation, waves at the animals marching along the wall. How fun is that?

When it was complete, the client was invited in to examine the work and determine what she thinks of it. No sense buying it if you don't like it. She was quite a critical eye and looked very closely at it all.

She stopped to carefully ponder it before giving her vote of approval, "Hmm...let me consider it all first."

And, then, very suddenly, I got the biggest reward ever for some paint and a wee bit of time. I'll remember that smile forever, I think!

So, the day after Thanksgiving, three girls got together and made another great memory. My Baby Girl and my Littlest Girl were as pleased as they could be.

Here's the best surprise of all, and Michael was there to witness it so you can ask him if you don't believe me. I know that everyone thinks their baby is the most miraculous thing, the most talented, the most adorable, the brightest, the fill-in-the-blank. And, I often remark how fast babies seem to develop in our fast paced world.

But, Livy is only 10 months old. And, this is what she did when she came in the room to see the mural for the very first time. She sat in Eric's arms starring at the walls. She stopped for a bit and then, she clapped her tiny hands! Olivia clapped!

Can you imagine being so small yet so aware of your surroundings and so tickled with the changes?

Amazing I tell you! Simply Amazing.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Great Aunt Holly the Painter

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

Love is all you need.
~The Beatles

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka The Painter aka Great Aunt Holly

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks & Blessings

Let's be grateful for those who give us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom.
~ Marcel Proust

Normally as this is Wednesday, I would be casting my wishes with all of the Wishcasting Wednesday group. But, as this is the day before Thanksgiving, I hope you don't mind if I go a road less traveled. I want to take a minute to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, and to tell you how grateful I've been for so many things in this past year of living and blogging.

Mostly, I want to say thank you for being there. For the spirit of generosity you have extended to me. For the surprises and gifts and tokens of affection that have found their way to my front door. Pieces of you that you share now with me. For the moments when your writing has made me think...deeply consider...expand my notions of life and living. For being part of my journey here at Your Mother Knows to being a Real Human Being.

Thanks to those of you who have become friends and loved ones. Thanks for the energy you invest in running your own blog and/or being a visitor regularly to mine. Thanks for sharing your talents with us. Your creative spark. Your Muse's whisperings.

But, mostly and simply...thanks for being You.

Michael and I are off in a short while to go over the river and through the woods to Aunt Kat's home. We'll spend Thanksgiving with her and dine with my brother and family. We'll make time to visit and catch up with dearly loved friends. I'll spend some time with Laura painting a mural on Livy's bedroom wall. I'll take pictures to share with you if it turns out as I hope!

Rory & Fiona go with us because that's what Aunt Kat wants. And, as I have a feeling that I am running out of time with this last of my Aunts & Uncles, well, I want to make certain she has a good Thanksgiving and remembers that she is loved.

We received some outstanding news for which to be genuinely and deeply grateful; Dad Frock went to see the oncologist this week, who strongly believes the cancer is dead and in control. He's released Dad for the time being saying he'll see him in six months to make certain we are headed in the right direction.

And, here's where this comes back once again to all of you, for I am grateful to my core for all the prayers, good wishes, positive energy and feelings you have invested in him because I asked. Because I know the power of the collective move mountains and make love thrive when it seems all is lost. Dearly, I thank you. Michael and the Frocks do as well.

So, whatever you are doing tomorrow in your corner of the world, I hope you'll be able to feel me hugging you and smiling as you share your moments that make a holiday memory. I will be saying thanks and blessings tomorrow as I share my day with those I love.

When I come home, I think it time to share some things about me, my life, and this blog. It's really about wondering what I want to step into next...but we'll save that for another day.

For now, I wish you Bright Blessings for a day of thanks and love. You've certainly made that possible for me. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends and readers!

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happily Ever After Chapter 3

Today marks my third wedding anniversary. And, when I tell you that I can't believe how fast the time has jetted past, I'm not kidding. Three years; I suppose that means I'll sadly have to stop referring to myself as a newly wed. But I hope each anniversary that mounts up never means that Michael stops thinking of me as his Bride.

Part of the reason it's so hard for me to realize that three years has gone by, is because I have the odd sensation of never having been with Michael, and yet waking up and looking at him every day, I realize I still feel like it's a new relationship...a new love...a building bond...a best friend.

Laura, Moi, Melissa

Yesterday, I met Melissa and Zach at a very charming place to take a look to see if this should be the venue for her wedding next October. Michael had appointments so couldn't go with us. About ten minutes after we started our tour, a door opened behind us, and when we looked up, there stood My Lion! He made the effort to find the place and stop there between his scheduled appointments because he wants to be part of this for his daughter.

But, the most amazing thing happened for me. I was so delighted and surprised to see him coming toward us, that my heart started to beat fast, and I got butterflies like you do when you're in that first flush of love; the madness of the mating. Oh! To think that I can still feel that way when I see my Beloved...what a gift.

So, today is our anniversary. And I am blessed. We got married the day after Thanksgiving. I thought it seemed fitting because I am, indeed, very thankful. Michael's story is that he did it to keep me out of the stores on Black Friday and stop the credit cards from melting.

Oh, that man of mine...what a dear to always be looking out for me like that! Happy Anniversary, My Lion. You make my life complete.

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

Simple conversations held at kitchen tables, or seated on the ground, or leaning against doorways are powerful means to start influencing and changing our world.
~ Margaret Wheatley

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Loves Her Kitchen

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prezzie For Me

See that adorable canvas on the wall that looks like an old post card with a Scottie on it? That was a surprise that came in the mail yesterday! For me. Just because.

And, it was sent all the way from the Deep South where my friend via the blog world, Nancy, aka Big Pissy lives. She runs an adorable blog that is like snippets from a great magazine you love to look at for the photography, the color, the points of interest, the spots around town. I met her when I was following another blog...and though that connection is not in place any longer, I think it was only in place to lead me to Nancy's blog. I visit with her and smile.

I can't really explain what it is that her blog makes me feel. But, here's the feeling it evokes- it's like coming into a rich, quiet, library, where you can sit and relax and look at anything you like for as long as you want to stay there. You can watch people come and go, and wonder about the books they check out. You can feel the quiet and peace and the joy of experiencing parts of the world that aren't your every day.

You'll like her. She's warm, and flip and funny and dear. She loves to go junking, and Trader Joe's, and Target and Ikea, and shopping in general. Window shopping, farmer market shopping, just walking about and seeing the sights. She's your best gal pal on a Saturday morning excursion to some new corner in town that you always wanted to visit but never found the time. And, I wish we lived closer.

So, just like any good Shopaneesta, she's always on the look out for fun things for her friends who have a particular passion for something...and can you believe she found this?! Bought it for me and sent it. Yep! Just because she thought I'd like it. But, she's wrong. I don't like it; I adore it!

Here's the thing; I've looked at and almost bought this piece of art for myself a couple of times and at the very last moment held off. I know, imagine me showing restraint! But, now I think it's because as much as I would have loved it had I bought it, it means so very much more to me that Nancy would find it and send it to me, just because she hoped I'd love it.

And, I most certainly do. Thank you Nancy. I wish I could really tell you how much it means to me, but somehow, I think you know already.

I love it. It's perfect. Very much like you. Don't argue with me about that. I know the goods when I see them!

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Traffic Lessons

So, I'm sitting at the corner of a small road, waiting to make a right into two lanes of very busy traffic that moves at 55 miles an hour. Fiona & Rory are in the back seat going along for the ride.

Across from me in the suicide shoot, is a truck waiting to make a left, cross the two lanes of solid traffic, and continue its journey on the road where I wait.

Traffic races by, vroom, vroom vroom, vrrroom! The Santa Fe shimmies from the force of the air surges blasting with each passing vehicle.

After a time, in the lane closest to me, there is a break in the race. I get ready to move out sharply, commanding Fiona, "Fi get down now!" When the car isn't moving, she likes to stand on the door so she can peer out the window. She's learned to get down immediately when the car begins moving as she's tumbled off the seat onto the floor a couple of times.

Do not call PETA or the SPCA on me; I don't have harnesses for them, and I don't care for them or the politically correct way we deal with pets and everything else these days. So, if you want to send me gifts of harnesses for both of them AND come deal with bullheaded Scotties each time I need to go somewhere, great. Otherwise, let's move on with the story.

Just as Fi's butt hits the seat and I start on the gas to make my break in the small opening, a driver in the far lane, seeing the truck waiting in the suicide shoot, does an incredibly nice thing. To create a space for him to start out across the road and without putting on her indicator to signal her decision to change lanes, she darts into my open spot sealing it off, just as I was beginning to pull out.

My breaks slammed on. I stopped in time; the woman doing the incredibly nice thing probably doesn't even know that she almost got T-boned by me. But I sure the hell know it.

And, that's when, with my heart racing, it struck me....

I wonder, how many times when someone was doing something very nice for someone, does another person get unintentionally hurt by the nice act?

Have you ever been supportive of a friend who is having a tiff with a mutual friend, only to have the other friend let you know they feel betrayed or let down by your kindness to the other?

Have you ever decided that you had to attend an event which meant that you had to disappoint another friend? My friend couldn't make it to my wedding because her mother's anniversary party was the same day. And, I thought, "Yeah, it's her Mom but she's had lots of anniversaries and this is my wedding!!" But, I had to be nice about it, not make her feel worse. It didn't hurt me so much as disappoint me, but you get the idea.

And, how many times have you been told, "I didn't know which one to pick. And, I thought you'd understand, but So-in-so would never forgive me if I didn't come to their party so I went there."

Yeah, sometimes the fact that I'm so flippin' easy going and understanding gets on my own nerves.

There's no answer to this musing today. Just that there will be times when you will do something incredibly nice for someone and find out later, that someone else was injured by that kindness.

I think it's the same about many things in life. A political party does this to support that group, and the taxes goes up for everybody...Ouch. Laws are passed to make some part of the population safe, only to have less freedom available in the over all.

And in our own lives, subtle things, not always noticed. Certainly not all that earth shaking such as the case of who gets to see you at a party while another gets to miss you at theirs.... but makes you wonder.

Perhaps that's what we really mean when we say, "No good deed goes unpunished." Perhaps only in heaven can something go well for every single person. It sure doesn't happen here on Earth.

I just know today, some woman I don't know trying to do something nice for someone she didn't know, caused me to almost pee my pants and say some words that haven't fallen out of my mouth in a very long time. And, that's got me thinking.

I can't talk longer...I have to go wash my mouth out with soap and while I'm at it, I might as well change my pants.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Potty Mouth Pee-Pee Pants

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

Two roads diverged in the wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka A Fellow Traveler

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Get To Decide

Oh, this world of ours...the mystery of it...the wonder of it...the complexity.

This world of ours where fear and uncertainty run wild and fill our days....

And monsters are real...

...who will do unspeakable, unimaginable things that now are so clearly imagined, burned into our collective consciousness.

This cold, harsh world of ours that seems to have less than what is needed. Where physical and emotional starvation is the way of existence for countless, nameless ones...

... and continues to stalk us, prey upon us through our lack of awareness, or indifference, or inability to make a change.

Where emotions like anger, rage, violence, fear, and distrust stomp unchecked through our days...

Escalating higher and louder, till all is a cyclone of noise and horror which becomes catastrophic.

This world is also the one where...

...lovers entwine. Where the thrill of a first deep kiss is burned into memory that saves the spirit during the dark night of the soul which tests and tempers us into beautiful creatures...

And, fairy tales do come true so long as you believe and do the necessary hard internal work of becoming open, ready, and deserving of the happily ever after.

This is the same world that breathlessly awaits the gift of new ones into our lives. Where the miracle of it all is felt over and over with each new tiny experience. Each new look. New laugh. New cry. New sound. When each new experience makes you halt in wonder as you consider you had absolutely no idea how much you could truly love and feel. But now you know and keep discovering there's no end to how much you can feel and hope to share.

This is the same world where puppies and animals can bring you to tears of hysterical laughing! And make you melt when you feel them curled, warm, next to you. Being part of who you are, not just what you have.

This cold hard world of ours full of conflict, war, starvation, and hate, and sadness, and fear, and destruction is also the fertile training ground to test and learn the truth of who we are and what we are made of; begin to own that Spirit's truth in our creation is that we are capable of so very much more than we think possible.

Where horror is turned into heroism through acts of love, honor, valor, service.

Where people learn the power of prayer and faith, love and hope, truth, laughter, joy.

Yes, this is the same world. The very same world in any given minute. On any day.

Which is the world you wish to support, nurture, and abide in? You get to decide.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Believes

Monday, November 9, 2009

Autumn Never Looked So Sweet

Is it the same at your home this year? Has this fall been one of the most lush and beautiful? Full of bright moments of sunlight that glints off of pumpkins, gourds, mums? Making them glow...

Early mornings that drip with dew or snap with frost in fields that have been mown and now lay brown and sleepy? On walks through your town, have you noticed the bright carpets of leaves of every color? Resting on green lawns where they wait to be piled up and jumped in?

Have you been graced by a visit of an angel or two, stopping by to remind you with a whisper that the season is fleeting but its beauty last forever?

So long as it is held in reverence by your your spirit.

I was lucky enough to catch one of those angels in the act of making it real and memorable for me. I thought I'd share it with you. Livy, ten months and counting.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Adores Autumn & Livy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

Frank Lloyd Wright's, Falling Water

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

- Marianne Williamson

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is More Than Enough
Picture taken by me early fall, '09

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lesson From My Tree

You may know that we haven't lived in this house very long; five years now. We were the third family to move into the development. For the first two years, it looked like the ass side of the moon. Construction stuff everywhere, rocks, boulders, felled trees and dirt in huge piles. So not what you envision of when you think of your dream location.

Eventually it all came together, and now that I look out and see a pretty and lush environment, it seems like magick that it's so different from its raw beginnings. Like a lot of things in life...

No builder installs expensive trees or shrubs as part of your landscape, 'package.' They go for the obvious, the mundane, the usual, the cheap, the thrifty, the tiny, the least expensive size. And, so it was with our landscape package; one spindly maple tree per front yard. A match stick with some leaves on top.

Once planted the wee trees looked like scared kids on a playground standing alone with wide open space surrounding each. I'm not certain, but I think I saw leaves shaking, and it wasn't wind that rustled them, I think they were scared, they were so little.

At any rate, most survived the first winter...amazingly. But, come spring when all the other trees started to bud and act all proud of themselves, mine just stood there. Nothing. No buds. No sign of fuzzy tufts. Nada.

I sighed. Figures mine would be the only one that didn't make it. When I looked at it, though, the gardener in me felt, "I just don't think it's dead...give it some time." And, that's exactly what it needed. Time.

A few weeks after all the other fledgling trees unfurled vermilion, transparent new leaves, my maple finally started to sprout its head of new growth. A late bloomer it seemed. Well that's all right, I thought, at least it didn't die.

It wasn't until the following fall that I saw the individual glory and wonder of my slow tree. For, the change started for the other maples in late August; by the end of September, their bright yellow leaves began to drop. And, by early October they were as bald as they could be.

And, my slow bloomer turned a brilliant red orange! Even now, well into November, it still holds its leaves with the same tenacity that my terriers hold onto their stuffies.

I've often read wonderful posts of people who home school or usher their children through the complex maze of life these days. People like Sarah or Mel who have shared their views on labels and the silos we insist on placing people for our convenience.

I completely agree with them. We're too quick to judge others by personal measures to make it easy to hold them fixed in our consideration and thoughts. If it's different from our norm, we either pigeon hole it or attempt to discount it entirely.

What a shame.

Why can't we look for what is unique in each thing we encounter? Each person we meet? Is it really more difficult to wonder about its unique charms rather than the effort required to insist on slamming a square peg into our round hole?

So, back to my wee tree: Yeah, in comparison to all the others immediately around, it looked like a dud; a disappointment; a failure. Looked like it until I had more experience and time with it. Had the opportunity to get to know its unique nature.

But now, as I look out at all the other bare trees, and see my little gem glinting in the sun like rubies, I realize I got the prize out of all of them. My neighbors have often commented about the pretty color of its leaves and how different it is from the rest on the street.

And, how lucky am I? Here's to celebrating the differences! Viva la Difference~

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

"What do you wish to experience?"

Easy wish for me today. Answer: My life. Every second of it just as it comes. And, the biggest part of the wish for today? To remember it rests in my hands alone how I see it and love it. I wish to experience every second of my life and remember that I craft my love affair with it moment by divine moment.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Sun Flowers

It's cooing time again! I am so in love with the holidays through the experiences of this Livy of please indulge me while I share her first Halloween with you all.

Laura loves sunflowers; I plant them every spring just so I can think of her and send love when I see them. And, her nature is exactly as you would think a sunflower's to be. Happy, sunny, generous, laughing, and supportive. Not sure if that's what attracts her to them, but they do share the same qualities. She's always liked them. So, when she dreams up a costume for her baby girl's first Halloween, what could be more appropriate?

Livy meets some of the neighbors for her first Fall fun, and shows off in style. That goose is just too much to resist.

Grammy LAMmy looks as if she's found her all time favorite sunflower just ripe for the hugging and the squeezing!

And, what sunflower wouldn't pick up all sorts of treats with a smile that big and wheels that stylin'? So going to have candy for a year, I can just feel it!

On the cloudy gray days that are sure to be part of my world as the season shifts again, this is the sunny flower I'll keep close to remember that even when the sky is gray, far above the clouds, waits the sun to smile and shine.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Great Aunt Holly

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Silent Sermon Sunday

The wheel turns, the new year begins.
Take what is meaningful forward with you.
Leave the rest for the winds to blow away.
Remember those who have left this world.
Cherish those who have taught you much.
Celebrate the harvest and the love that supports you.
Settle in now for a winter of deep rest.
And ponder what learning, love & joy you harvested.
Be glad and hopeful.
Bright Blessings of Samhain!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

My Previous Musings