Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hairballs, Skunks, & Yawns

Last night as I was getting ready to climb into bed, I noticed something very wrong on one of my decorative pillows - a hairball! Yes, my beloved cat, Oliver, left me a present.  

This morning a friend that was to come by my house to clean had an incident before leaving her home - a baby skunk in her garage.  When my friend entered my house, so did the pungent aroma of skunk.  Bless her heart, she touched nothing, yet the smell quickly permeated my downstairs and me.  She left, cleaned up, and came back this afternoon free of skunk.  

Last week I sat next to a young male employee at Verizon Wireless while he helped lower my bill.  He yawned a number of times. Finally, I said, "I must be really interesting."  He said, "I'm just tired."  Today I went back to Verizon Wireless for more help with my phone, and saw a different young man.  He preceded to yawn and yawn.  I had to say, "I must be so mesmerizing," and shared with him about last week's experience.  He said, "I have to work a lot." Ha-Ha!  I'm sure being tired was the reason these two separate people almost fell asleep while helping me.  Is it true, "There are no coincidences?"   

These are the kind of incidents that trigger my sense of humor. They trigger another thing though that I call "dying to self."  To me that means, I feel humbled, and realize that I'm not too hot. Being humbled is actually the very place I want to be.  Years ago, in my Webster's Dictionary, I read a quote by the poet, John Donne, "Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification."  Yes, this was in the definition of "humiliation." Whoa, Cowgirls and Cowboys!!!  As much as it hurts to feel humiliated some times more than others, I have learned that it is a very positive thing for my internal growth.  There is a deepening of my spirituality, and a sense of becoming a little more like my God. For this kind of maturity, I definitely know there are no coincidences.  

(Photographer unknown)

Friday, May 24, 2013

What Do You See?

Photography has been my passion for a long time.  With photography, I see such metaphors for life. Life is how we see it!  If I don't like what I see, I can change the angle, the lighting, and what I'm even looking at. Sometimes the view is blurry, so I have to adjust the lens for more clarity.  I do not intend to take blurry pictures.  I do not want to look at life through the blur of the lens of my eye.  As I look through the lens, I have to focus, focus, focus.

Sometimes a scene unfolds in front of us that is horrific or seems so at the time.  On a global level, we have been exposed to planes crashing, bombs blasted, buildings coming down, hurricanes and tornadoes destroying, school shootings, and on and on.  Life is filled with tragedies, losses, and grief. It seems nearly impossible to reframe circumstances such as these, yet I believe it is possible....eventually. Yes, it takes time, time for hearts to ache, and for hearts to heal. That time is necessary for reframing, refocusing, and being able to see any glimmer of hope.

As I sit here at my kitchen table, I'm looking at the bird feeder that welcomes a number of visitors throughout the day, palm trees swaying in the breeze, my cat enjoying another helping of breakfast, and roses in full bloom. My circumstances are what they are, yet I can still choose to look at what is in front of me which right now are some lovely gifts of nature.

Chase Jarvis says, "The best camera is the one that's with you." Grab any kind of camera, and go outside, look around, and snap some pictures of what you see.  Think about how these photos can apply to your life right now. If you don't have a camera, sit in one spot, look around, and capture what you see through your mind's eye. You might have to focus and refocus, but you will see more clearly even if it's a little bit. Give yourself the gift of time to see.

Be blessed and safe this Memorial Day weekend!

What do you see from up there, little bird?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thank You, Barbara Garcia!

Tragedy and fear have raised their heads again through a tornado in Oklahoma City, a city with more than it's share of heartache. This morning as reality set in even more to those directly involved, we as a nation and throughout the world grieve with them.  The losses are horrendous.  In the midst of the rubble stood Barbara Garcia, an older woman that lived alone with her dog.  In an interview with CBS news, she expressed that she was sitting on a stool holding her dog when the tornado hit.  Her plan had been to go into the bathroom.  Apparently, Barbara and her dog didn't get as far as the bathroom, because when she woke up she was lying in the rubble and saw light.  Barbara said she had prayed that she would be alright, and God answered.  All of a sudden, the journalist interviewing Barbara said, "The dog! The dog!  Hi, Puppy!" Barbara acknowledged that God had answered her second prayer, the safety of her dog.

I want to keep this video.  I want to remember Barbara, her faith, her plan, her light, and her dog.  She is a true inspiration of strength that I want to honor with gratitude.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Me, Myself, & I

A close friend had surgery yesterday to remove one breast, and have reconstruction at the same time.  The last time I saw her, I said, "You are not afraid, are you?"  She said, "No, I have so much support."  First of all, she has lots of faith.  She knows God is in control, not her. And, next, she is surrounded by family and friends that love her dearly. Some were at the hospital waiting all day while others were praying that all would go well.  So far, it looks like all did go very well.  The cancer was taken out completely, so there may not even need to be follow up treatment.

What spoke volumes to me was that my friend was not afraid.   Her courage while waiting to have surgery, meaning the weeks before, was inspiring.   Her ability to enjoy her life continued in spite of not knowing all that was ahead reflected a bright light of bravery to me.  My friend was and is one brave cowgirl!

Another close friend was on a road trip with her daughter.  She shared that her daughter wanted the two to split up, have time apart.  I love my friend's take.  "I went off and spent time with my three best friends, Me, Myself, and I." Now we all have those best friends if we allow ourselves to have them.

Friendship is a part of this blog.  It is invaluable to me. There have been numerous times when the support of friends got me through some difficult circumstances.  Friends have been my support in times when my courage felt weak as well as in times of much happiness.  Friends have helped me to be brave!

Cowgirls, go out and spend time with, and get to know that "best friend" that you have inside.  You have a tremendous resource just waiting to be called upon.  Would you consider me a friend, too, that wants to share your journey?  Will you share mine? Together, we can be stronger!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3)  Thank you to all the brave cowgirls that commented, affirmed "Be Brave, Cowgirl," and encouraged me to hang on to my horse so to speak.  I was overwhelmed to read their blogs, and to find out what painful circumstances some are in now.  Many are grieving horrendous losses, yet they wrote me words of encouragement. "Encouragement" means to instill courage, to put courage back in.  For many, this spring is a sad time, yet they write blog posts that inspire others, and take time to encourage me.  You all are my heroes. You make me want to rise above my day to day battles, and "pay it forward."

I am loving this spring.  For me, it is a season of beginnings, a time to push through my weaknesses and stand strong.  Yesterday I delighted myself by taking photos of this season's gifts  - peonies drapping white fences, a red silk cotton tree bursting with bright red, etc.  After downloading to my laptop and feeling excited to hold this beauty, somehow the pictures disappeared. Gone in an instant.  Maybe I forgot to import them and/or got distracted watching The Voice or who knows.  Today I had the gift of time to go back to these beauties to try again.  Do you know they were even more gorgeous?  It was as though they were waiting for my return.  A hollyhock even caught my eye!  I, also, wondered what the people in the neighborhood thought if they saw me snapping pictures in front of their homes again.  In California, I really could've been a paparazzi.  As the blooms of spring dry up, there will be new ones in summer.  Just as grief seems to have it's grip on a heart, the time will change to a new purpose.

Be Brave, Cowgirls!  You are appreciated and loved!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Butterflies & Courage

What is a blog without posts?  Again, this is a learning curve for this cowgirl.  Yes, this is my blog home, yet as a late bloomer in life and Blog Land, I want to make a difference.   So after such kind, encouraging comments, I admit to having a tummy of excited butterflies and increased courage.  My heart could explode with gratitude for those that took the time to make me feel at home and most of all, safe.  My heart's passion is to do the same for you ~ help you feel encouraged and safe.  I love the image of us together on our horses riding off into the sunset. We do need each other to be brave!  We need friendships in all shapes and sizes.  We are here together from all over the world to lift each other up, to learn from each other, and to inspire each other's passions.  I am falling in love with so many new friends.

Another brave confession.  I am chronologically 61 years old, yet there is a child inside that is becoming freed up to "let the words fall out," to create like never before, and to play.  My heart's desire is to inspire cowgirls of all ages to tap into their inner children too.  I'm having a problem with a few words such as "elderly," "senior" (unless it helps me get into movies cheaper), and "old" (as in, "She is old.").  How about not even using these words, and instead, just be women or even better, "cowgirls."  Thank you, Theresa Jarosz Alberti for sharing this fabulous video!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Feeling Vulnerable, Living Brave

In the e-course, Build a Blog You Truly Love, Liv Lane has asked us to write a post about being vulnerable.  Since this is my first blog and post ever, I am feeling vulnerable.  How interesting that my blog is built on bravery!  I am seeing this as a great way to introduce my blog, and share it's purpose.

First of all, I am one that has had a multitude of fears throughout my life.  To carry around a bottle of Pepto Bismol in my little purse at nine years old definitely reflected fear.   When I began to date Jim, now my husband of almost 39 years, I carried a bottle of Pepto Bismol in my purse just in case I felt nauseated or someone else did.  Jim remembers this like it was yesterday.  He would take me out for fabulous seafood, and I would order fried chicken, because I was scared to eat boiled crawfish or shrimp. 

There are too many other situations to write about this time, but just know I am well acquainted with fear.  As a licensed therapist, I have made it my goal to face my fears head on.  

After all, how on earth could I help anyone face their fears if I couldn't face my own?  I now eat raw oysters, sushi,and relish Mexican food.  Nowadays if I gulp down Pepto Bismol, it is usually for over indulging.  

"Be Brave, Cowgirl", came from a collage I made to encourage and inspire others.  A cowgirl represents courage to me.  She is not afraid to get on her horse and ride with hair blowing in the wind.  And, one of my favorite characteristics about her, she loves to have fun!  Will you join me on our imaginary horses to be brave together?  This cowgirl sure hopes so!!! 

Bonnie Hall Knox c. 1933