Thursday, August 27, 2009


What ever you do, do it with style!

Take a lesson from this pooch, he was cruzin' through Lassen National Park, well...he did have some help.

Grab life and make it your own.

Who says senior citizens aren't flexible?

If you look closely, in the background, you can see the dog in the above photo on the trike on which he was riding.

No matter what anyone else says, leave your mark!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bye, Bye Baby

"Hi, Ronda."

I turn to see this soft speaking, young woman. My first thought is that I don't know her. I have no recollection of ever meeting her. Even if I take into account her clever disguise of little packets of silvery tin, layered with wisps of long, brown hair standing all over her head, plastic protective cape topped by a salon hair dryer, I still don't recognize her. Her Hershey Kiss colored eyes stare back at me awaiting my response. Lord, what am I going to say? I don't have one. I go to the well.

"Hi. How are you. I haven't seen you for a long time," I say. My neurons are rifling through the files in my brain, hopping dendrites, attempting to make connections to a memory.

"I'm back to work," she says.

"Well good for you. How is it going for you?" Keep the general responses coming, I think to myself, until you figure out her name. I'm starting to think I really don't know this girl when she sets me straight.

"It is going okay. I've seen B, but not J or T. "

At this point, I know I am stuck. She knows too much about me for me not to know her.

"L is going to rent our house," she says as she points to the obviously happy hair stylist attending her. "I just can't stay in that house any longer. Not since what happened to M. I just can't," she says as tears overspill the rims of her eyes and run down her cheeks and down her protective cape.

And the dendrites and neurons connect and hit a grand slam, outta the park homer in my brain as the memory of the story I heard about this girl shatters the light in my heart.

"Oh, M," I say. "I hardly recognized you. You look like a little girl." And, indeed, she does look small and dwarfed by her surroundings. Right now she looks like a 15-year-old rather than the 25-year-old she used to portray.

"I know," she says. "I don't wear make up any more and I let my hair go back to its natural dark brown instead of keeping it blond. You know, the autopsy showed that there was nothing wrong with him. The doctor said that with SIDS, his brain didn't fire right and he just forgot to breathe. D got us one of those really good infant monitors. I could even hear when he rolled over or wiggled. But I knew something was wrong when he went longer than two hours for his next feeding."

I asked, "Were you the one to find him?"

"Yes, and I knew. I knew right away that he was dead. The room. The room was cold and dark. No life in there. It is funny how it feels so different when life is gone. We tried for three years to make him and we only got to have him for one month and 20 days. I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant in the first place. And now...he's gone. It's just not fair. Pray for us," says the small, foil covered head with the pale, tear stained face, "Pray for us."

Not even bothering to wipe the tears rolling down my face in tandem with hers, I say, "I will, honey. I will," as I walk away.

There are people in life who do harmful things to other people. Not killing or maiming, but being party to acts that are less than honorable and to the detriment of other's lives and careers. This girl is one. Oh, not my life directly, but the lives of ones close to me. I could go into how karma, or right action, balances our deeds. Or how each soul chooses life on this plane to fulfill its own purpose, but I won't. I'll simply do as she asks and pray and ask forgiveness for all people who were a part of this story.

Forgiveness is as much for the healing of our own heart and soul as it is for the ones who wronged us.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You're Invited...

Shakti Day

Shakti is the divine, primordial, cosmic energy that moves through the entire universe. Humanity in Unity, in the grace of Her Holiness, Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi, invites people all over the planet to join us in creating a vortex of Love, Peace and Understanding for this International Shakti Day.

The power of our group prayer, meditation, and positive thoughts will raise the vibration of our beliefs, causing a transformational shift in every aspect of our Being, sending blessings and healing to Mother Earth and enriching all humanity.

Who: Every Being of every belief

When: Saturday, August 22, 2009
Where: Anywhere and everywhere
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PST

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. MST
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. CST
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST

Just take a moment to send positive thoughts out into the world on Saturday and receive some back. We are so powerful when we come together as One. See you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Lookout Tree

This is one of my favorite sculptures in the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay. It was created on site in March of 2009 by environmental artist, Patrick Dougherty, during his three week visit. Our natural landscape inspired his design and the willow that he used was gathered locally.

Through his love of nature, Mr. Dougherty began to combine his artistic and carpentry skills. He studied primitive building techniques and started experimenting with the use of saplings as construction material. The Lookout Tree is one of his many natural creations that will give pleasure for many years to come.

He was assisted by Turtle Bay staff and community volunteers. My friend, L, was one of his helpers. Her job was to dip the fresh cut ends of the willow into mud so they would look aged. I can't even imagine how many strips of willow saplings were used for the hut. When I stand inside of The Lookout Tree, I feel like I am in a fairytale. Hansel and Gretel, maybe? No, that would be the gingerbread, candy and sugar house. Hmmm, it'll come to just feels so familiar.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Break Time

She leaned over and flipped off the switch.

No need for the air conditioner. Time to open all the windows and let in the fresh, cool breeze. Quite a change from the last month of blow-torch-blasting, egg-frying-on-the-sidewalk heat. The kind of heat where your feet literally blister when you walk barefoot on the pavement for too long. And sweat-glistened skin turns into integumentary drip hoses. The kind of heat where you notice the difference between 100 degrees and 110 and think to yourself how enjoyable is the former.

The two-leggeds are happier for a few days. Nicer to each other. Giving thanks for the break, the coolness, the all too few, but still welcome, drops of rain. Smiling. Commenting to each other on this beautiful gift given in the middle of a Hell Hole of a hot summer. The four-leggeds notice too. And the birds, the insects and the plants all join in the enjoyment. Even the fish notice they don't have to swim as deep to find cold spots in the waterways. And the parched, over baked earth sighs with relief.

But all too soon, the two-leggeds forget to give thanks and start taking these pleasures for granted. They come to expect that these blissful days will continue without interruption. They start thinking that they control the world around them.

She sees this and sighs in exasperation. "Angel, my love," she says to her winged companion. "See that group of beings down there along the west coast of the United States of America? I have been working with them on gratitude. For a minute I thought they were getting it but I can now see that I have more work to do. Can you flip that switch back on and turn the setting to INCINERATE? No, just turn it to HIGH HEAT instead. God only uses INCINERATE when she has to teach the biggest of lessons."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And the Winner is...

Okay, so this is my nominee for Actress of the Year to date. Dalia Dippolito, in the Boynton Beach Babe. A newlywed, she allegedly hired a hit man to kill her husband, Michael. I know that marriage can sometimes be a drag, but really, do you need to take a hit out on the schmuck? I think she paid somewhere around $4,000 for someone to cap his a**. Turned out the "hit man" was an undercover cop. Where did she find him? Craig's list? In my opinion, bargain shopping for a hit man is like bargain shopping for eye surgery, just not worth the risk. The price point should have been her first clue that things would not go well. I don't know the going rate, but I would think that a top-rate killer, who can get the job done AND keep his mouth shut, would charge at least $10,000.

Now, I'm not saying her husband didn't deserve it because I don't know. More information is coming out about him and he's not so squeaky clean either. He did a couple of years in prison for Grand Theft and Organized Fraud. Right now, his lawyers are saying there is no connection between the hit and his priors, but it certainly makes me wonder.

I have been married over 30 years and I can honestly say I've never thought about putting out a contract on my mate. There are times he makes me feel passionately in love, just in love, in like, lukewarm, indifferent, ticked-off, thinking about how nice it would be to show him the door, wanting to send him to the moon, and then back to passionate again. Sometimes my emotions can range through these levels in a matter of hours. I'm sure that R feels the same way about me.

Really, what would it take for you to send out a hitter on your mate and what is the going rate these days? Holy Moley, I know we're in a recession but, she paid four grand and is surprised when her stair-stepping buns get hauled to jail? Nice try Boynton Beach Babe.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Saging for Success

Well, I had a very busy weekend getting one place of business shut down and the other up and running. I am officially open for business at Claws now. I gave my first massage in my new space on Saturday morning. It went very well for the first time. It always takes a little while to get used to working in a new environment. Where do I set the oil and lotions so that they are convenient? Which is the best spot for the sound system? How do I situate the table to minimize outside noise? What is the best regulation of temperature so that my client, and myself, are neither too hot or too cold? Darn it! That candle overflowed from that air conditioner blowing on it. I sure am glad I set it on that glass topped table, it will be so easy to clean up. I need to do some fine tuning here and there, yes indeedy. And just like Goldilocks in the story of the Three Little Bears, after a few adjustments, it will feel just right. I've included a couple of photos of my room.

One area that is important for me to address is the energetic hygiene of my work space. Energy that is gone or dead is easily trapped in rooms with fluorescent lighting and little or no availability to fresh air from outdoors. Fortunately, my room has neither of those problems but unwanted energy can still linger. When this type of energy accumulates, the frequency of vibration slows and break down and illness can begin. One's sensitivity and intuition can become clouded.

Sometimes clients can come in with astral entities stuck on them. Oh, this is not intentional. Most people simply don't have a sense of these attachments. The entities are invisible hitchhikers who may decide to ditch their current host and try hanging out in my space. Have you ever had an experience in which a visitor left your domain and it no longer feels like it usually does? They could have left something behind like negative emotions, energetic trash or illness. That something is not an energy you want in your life. Trust your feelings and clear it out.

One way to do this is by performing a smudging ceremony with sage. This is what I did to clear my new workspace of any pre-existing contaminants. This ceremony was particularly potent because of the high energy being generated this past weekend. Native Americans have used this sacred, spiritual ritual for thousands of years. I use it on a daily basis in my work space, usually at the end of the day so that clients don't think I'm smoking weed. My space is cleared, grounded and ready to go. So am I. Yes!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Alphabet Soup

Photo: Bumpass Hell Mud Pot

Sulphurous blasts of steam shoot up from holes in the ground, fogging the area with a lingering, eggy aroma. The kind of smell usually released in the bathroom. Primordial as Hell. To be exact Bumpass Hell, a valley of churning, roiling mud pots located in Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California. Mt. Lassen is less than an hour to the east of Redding, where I reside, and is an active Volcano. Statuesque pine and fir trees outline the valley and crawl up the encompassing slopes. Life seems to have abandoned the lower areas. But billions of years ago, this might not have been the case. Biochemists are recreating one of the most important events in the evolution of life: when hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen came together in the primordial soup to form DNA, amino acids and the remaining building blocks of life.

The beautiful surrounding terrain and Bumpass Hell stand together like a gorgeous young lady and her homely friend. Bumpass Hell is barren and dangerous. But, to biochemists, it is indeed a precious place. If they are correct, the extreme conditions here are the key to the momentous coupling of the components of life. To them, this is one of the richest places on Earth--bubbling in its kettle, the closest chemical ingredients from which life may have grown over 4 billion years ago.

I live in a geologically fascinating area richly laced with origins of creation. This is but one example. 4 billion years? I have a hard time imagining 4 billion of anything--let alone years. I grew up exploring this area. It is right in my front yard. When I step into this region, the world I know disappears. Who says time travel isn't possible?

Film clip: Bumpass Hell Mud Pot