Archive for June, 2014

Children as a SPIRITual Practice

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Children are our spiritual teachers

Pushing your buttons is a spiritual practice, and children are our spiritual teachers.

You don’t need an expensive spiritual retreat to become enlightened. Your little sage-teacher is right in front of you, offering you true wisdom free of charge!

Children watch our every move when they’re little, studying our inconsistencies as they try to figure out this crazy world. And they will call you on it. When a child pushes your buttons, remember: they are your buttons, not hers. Take the time to listen to what your child is trying to teach you. One of the secrets of parenthood is our willingness to transform ourselves out of love for our child. When you’re willing to look at your buttons, you open up a deeper self-awareness that is transformative for both you and your child.

We’re in Dog Years Now

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

A friend of mine said that we have entered the dog years because of the remarkable way that time is evaporating at the moment it arrives, and all the past is blurred into events both giant and infinitesimal and this could be the reason I am looking out of eyes that haven’t aged inside looking out, it’s only outside looking in reflected in the eyes of others. The mind plays tricks on us at this stage – is she dead? did I travel to India? was that me? did I have a mother and father?

Every photograph I take I look ten years younger in. Uncanny. And photographs of me when I was very young appear to have been taken yesterday.

There are moments when we are young, and a blip when we are not young or old, and then we cross over and everything else fades away.




The Hunger Games

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Does anyone find it ironic that an ex-heart throb I ran into at a restaurant told me my ex is in Venice [where he was supposed to take me for our 10th wedding anniversary since I got sick when we went there on our delayed honeymoon] having dinner with my ex-friend of 25 years who always thought him pretentious and who quit speaking to me because I told her her hair was frizzy one rainy day in a bar and simultaneously within the same rotation of the earth, I ran into my ex-lover who used to be my ex’s and my best friend and who I haven’t spoken with in eight years and he told me my bald head is beautiful.

“and he said: you pretty full of yourself ain’t chu

so she replied: show me someone not full of herself and I’ll show you a hungry person.”

~Nikki Giovanni~ Poem for A Lady Whose Voice I Like

My Grandmother’s Garden

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

When I moved into my house the front yard was filled with bricks and dog shit and the backyard was a newly planted lawn. I stepped up my game on this one – using lots of passalong plants that came to me like manna from heaven and little by little the landscaping that I couldn’t figure out began to take shape. It is much like everything else – you just start and see where it will go – all life is organic. My grandmother was someone to just stick something in the ground or a pot and see what happens and from that came her magical garden. I was blessed with some of her genes even though I think my Aunt Sue got most of them.

Milkweed and rose marrow and vinca

Mammoth sunflowers

Rose marrow

Hydrangeas and blueberries

Palmetto palms and liriope

Vitex, abutilon and coleus

Spiral (attracts hummingbirds) and Butterfly (fragrant) Ginger

Virgin Mary, echeveria and night blooming cereus in the background

What type of writer are you?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

If there was world enough and time, I would tell you a little bit of what I know, but these days, I just have to go with what is top of mind rather than any deep sense of knowing. My financial client left me but then boomeranged back when I was least expecting it, which caused my working world to go into overdrive – lickety split. Yesterday, I wrote four different reports on four different topics ranging from fraccing, Network Television, educating girls in Ghana, to Aikido lessons for the workplace. It’s a wonder I even have anything left to say after that. And yet, I do. Go figure.

So here’s how I carve up my life:

Mommy Blog
I had my come to Jesus with Tin and the food issues. Having learned that other parents have gone through similar, it’s back to rule enforcement and so we had a family meeting and outlined how we roll. Breakfast and dinner – either eat it or shut up. If you request something specifically and don’t eat it, you will be served it again, and again, and again, until you do.

Relationship Blog
I rated my desire for a partner on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a crisis at a three. That means that it is not critical in my already full life and that if it happens it does, but I’m not stopping the clock waiting for it. It’s funny because this all came up with Tin (see Mommy Blog) who has been in love with a few girls lately, one he even gave a ring to – crazy! He has a crush on his counselor at camp. And he professed his love to his dear friend from Waldorf. He’s got so many love interests it is crazy. Last night, when I was headed out to a meeting, he said to the babysitter that I was “in love” and I was going to see my “love” and I just looked at him as if he were crazy. And he is.

Work Blog
I closed the door to something and thought I was caulking the sides of the frame when suddenly there was a knock, and lo and behold, I opened the door again. So here I am working on Media, working fraccing, working on racism, working on Aikido’s newsletter, working on educating girl’s in Africa, and so if anyone wants to know what it takes to keep up two blogs – ask me – or rather watch the tumbleweeds scrolling by when you click on either of my sites.

Gratitude Blog
I called Flower today to vent about a number of things and oh, I had a number of things that needed venting – a lot of what was happening is that the zipper on my past baggage, which is heavy and cumbersome, broke and everything was spewing out all over the wet sidewalk and I didn’t have time to spit, much less turn each page or photograph over and revisit, and I’m perplexed at why I thought all this stuff was my responsibility to pick up anyway. Instead, I kicked it all to the curb and didn’t even worry about a littering fine. I’m grateful for Flower – there when I needed to just be ungrateful for a few moments.

Opportunity Blog
I had spent a lot of time invested in this house in back of me, the one adjacent to my yard, that is burned out and has been derelict since I moved in. I have remodeled it, razed it, invested in it, flipped it, and pretty much have done so many things to the house that I’m exhausted and this was all just in my mind. I put in an offer on it and day before yesterday they came back to me with something firm and I decided I didn’t want it after all. I don’t want any stress or extra projects – I am resource challenged right now. So my friend is now going to buy it and she is going to remodel it into her house with her daughter and we are going to be neighbors! Yay! How exciting for her and for us.

I don’t even know where to begin on all the other stuff that has been swirling around my brain in the interstitial moments when I’m not hustling and hustling in my work and mommy life. It will come to me, I promise, but for now, don’t turn away just because I’m only giving you the surface stuff – I promise there is more to dredge up – light and dark.

What if I don’t want a cure?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Friends have been emailing and posting to my FB page the news that XELJANZ, an arthritis drug, cures alopecia.

It made me think back to when I turned the corner on my baldness and accepted it and actually worried that my hair might grow back.

Even now when I see photographs of me with hair and those without, I have a natural fondness for me without.

I’d love to lose ten or more pounds, but hair – nah – I’m good.

I don’t have worry about how to wear my hair or mess with make-up anymore. I never worry about jumping into a pool. No hair products to buy. No expensive stylists. And in this heat – having hair – nah – I’m good.



A day in the life of a single mother

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

I woke up this morning still hacking up my lungs and unable to breathe through either nostril – another day of my summer cold. Stella woke me at 5:15 and I would not give in until 5:47 at which point I could no longer stand her whining. Outside for dog activity and peeing, inside for feeding, then walking, then finally I made a cup of decaf and by the time I got the cup to my lips, Tin woke up.

He was hungry. What would you like? I asked. “French toast,” he said. So I then I took out the eggs and the butter and the cinnamon and the bread and milk and the powdered sugar and proceeded to whip up French Toast. And I scrambled some eggs for myself and put them in a warm tortilla. We had some sweet watermelon left so I cut up some pieces and cleaned blueberries and then we were ready to sit down to eat.

We sat, and immediately Tin started pouting. What’s wrong? He wouldn’t say, but I could see he was looking at what I was eating and thinking about it. He ate a few pieces of watermelon and one bite of French toast and said he was full. Really? I thought you were starving and you asked for French Toast.

Then I cleaned up the kitchen, took the sheets off both beds, started the washing machine and we got dressed to go take Stella to her obedience class. We got to PetSmart and as soon as we got into the room for the training, Tin began running around causing Stella to want to run, but thankfully the A-student was on her best today, but the instructor talked to him about helping to train. She had encountered this on Tuesday when he came with me and wouldn’t listen to either her and me.

As soon as we began the lesson, Tin started demanding to be fed. He was hungry. I said you should have thought about that before you wasted all that French Toast. The rest of the lesson was spent with more time disciplining Tin than Stella.

We came home. I had bargained for a day of nothing – clean up his room, finish the laundry and lounge for the Lord – that’s what I thought was in my cards. I made tunafish salad for lunch and let him watch a dinosaur video and took the dogs out back. I made the beds, and ironed a pair of pants and got Tin’s camp stuff together and then gave him some lunch.

A friend called and said her daughter wanted to come for a playdate. Tin was very excited. They came over and the minute they walked in the door Tin was mean, rude and wouldn’t let the child play with one thing. Everything was a fight and struggle. I tried to have a conversation with the mother about our stuff, but it was interrupted at every turn with a fight that had to be broken up. By the time my friend left, I was vexed, completely vexed.

When they walked out the door Tin was whining for a video, for gummy bunnies, and I said absolutely not. He wanted pasta he said, so I made a pot of penne with peas and pesto. We sat down for dinner and I calmly told him that I did not like his behavior all day – I explained about the breakfast (he said he wanted what I had), the dog obedience class (he said Stella was being bad), the playdate where he jumped on the little girl which busted her lip and he told me that it wasn’t him, it was his evil twin Skippy.

I told him that we all have an evil twin Skippy but we have to own him. Just then Heidi bit Stella and Stella let out a hurt cry and Tin laughed. And that’s when I lost it.

So now he’s in bed. I have few minutes of solitude. And a day that had begun with all good intentions ended raw and overexposed.

Right now, I’m grateful that tomorrow is Monday and camp resumes because one more day like today and one of us would not come out of this partnership alive.

What will they call my child? Me?

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

The new generation is called Boomerang before them were the Millennials, and there was Gen-X, and every generation has been defined by some overarching theme. What will Tin’s generation be called? Hard to say, there is still so much to find out about them.

For now I still grapple with what to call us, should I say I’m an older mom or is that fact self-evident? Why do people assume I’m a single mother? What is it about the way Tin looks that makes people think he was not born in the U.S.? Shouldn’t the fact that I’m white, Jewish, over 50, and bald with a 5 year old African American son have it’s own category?

There is no definition that fits us exactly, and so we just go on about our business. The daily life of waking up and feeding the dogs, making breakfast, seeing friends, working and playing, washing clothes, and going to bed – thankful.

In my bathroom:
Tin: “Why do you have two sinks?”
Me: “When I have a partner, they might want their own sink.”
Tin: “Wait. I thought I was your partner?”

In my bedroom:
Tin: “I like pretty girls.”
Me: “And I like you.”
Tin: “You’re not pretty. You don’t have any hair.”
Me: “Well that hurts my feelings.”
Tin: “Awww, but you’re my partner, right?”

In the car:
Tin: “I’m in love and I’m going to marry the coach of the Shrimps.”
Me: “What’s her name?”
Tin: “I don’t know, but we’re in love and we are engaged and going to get married.”
Me: “You might want to ask her her name.”
Tin: “We’re having a pool party wedding.”

In the pool:
Tin: “I love Khemi and I’m going to marry her.”
Me: “Did you dump Coach Telly?”
Tin: “What’s dump mean?”
Me: “Break up with.”
Tin: “Yep, I dumped her.”

In the kitchen:
Tin: “Mommy look what I found! A ring for my girlfriend!”
Me: “Which one? Khemi or Coach Telly?”
Tin: “Telly. I’ll bring it to her tomorrow.”
Me: “Lucky her.”


New Orleans is a place where …

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

You have to run the tap water till it gets cold.

You jump into a lukewarm pool to get refreshed.

People are happy when the sky darkens and lightning flashes because they know the rain will ease the heat.

In one weekend, you can make five new friends.

Despite the fact that it is Africa hot outside people are playing volleyball, running, and outside!


All good things come to an end

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Good books.

Some good friendships.

Some good lovers.



Good movies.

Delicious meals.

Birthday celebrations.

Hot showers.