Clean Living advice & strategies emotional cleanse emotions & emotional inventory housekeeping mind maintenance personal sanctuary self-care the soul triggers & the inner critic

I have always wanted my home to be a place where people could stop by and I wouldn’t be worried whether there were dirty dishes in the sink or my bed was unmade.  I want people to visit, have something good to eat and immediately feel comfortable.  I want my home to be the place you say, “Ahhh, I feel better now!”.   My home is my oasis, my sanctuary, or as I like to say, my little Zen Den.

I dedicated Sunday to cleaning my Zen Den; a chore I actually enjoy.  Magazines often feature a “ten minute clean up” which essentially means you hide dirty dishes in the oven and toss your clutter into the closet.  It looks good on the surface but lies in wait for your attention to return.  I’d rather keep things neat as I go reserving the big jobs for the weekends.

The first room on my list was the kitchen.  I can no longer ignore the smell belching from my refrigerator every time the door opens.  Some odoriferous army must have secretly invaded while I wasn’t looking!  My baking soda and white vinegar rinse wasn’t sufficient to disarm them so today I will resort to the big guns:  an apron, rubber gloves and hot soapy water.

Thoughts of the week run through my mind as I wipe down shelves and dispose of the expired items.  It occurs to me that not only do I have a physical home to maintain, even more importantly I have a spiritual home to maintain.  Pretty profound thinking for a sober Sunday afternoon!  As Oprah would say, “It was a tweetable moment!”  (I don’t tweet but I like you to think Oprah and I hang out.)

I call my spiritual home “my Soul” for lack of a better word.  SOUL sounds so pretentious and as vague at the same time.  My Soul is my emotional engine and the home of My Girlfriend Voice.  It is where my wisdom and intuition hang their shingle.  To keep my Soul healthy, I too need to keep it clean!

My Soul feeds my emotional state as my frig helps feed my physical state.  While you could hire someone to clean your kitchen, you cannot hire anyone to clean your spiritual home.  No outsourcing this inside job!  Ha, ha.  Cracking myself up with again…….

The shelves of my Soul can get sticky and filled with useless items.  My Soul’s chilly crisper drawer can hold onto negativity and grudges.  Or like today, my Soul can shine bright and smell like lemons!

So what do I mean by the maintenance of the Soul?

  1. Do you pause at least daily to memorialize what you are grateful for?
  2. Do you pause to evaluate what made you feel exceptionally positive or present?
  3. Do you pause to review what made you feel yucky?

By yucky, I mean those times when you feel uncomfortable, when you are in a messy spot and while you’d rather not go there, you know you NEED to go there.  Avoidance, like hiding dirty dishes in the oven, only...

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall….. #selflove accentuate the positive advice & strategies count your blessings letting go mindset matters my own worst critic stop the nonsense triggers & the inner critic

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most self-critical of them all?  Me, me, me!!!

Recently I was asked if I would emcee a local event.  What may be a frightening role to many, lands me well within my comfort zone.  I really shine in this capacity, thank you to my high school teacher and acting coach Mr. Bashara.  I have deeper fears than public speaking but that is whole nuther ball of wax!


Besides, this was an opportunity to dress up and talk to people– two of my favorite activities. My dance group was asked to perform a salsa number at the same event and it was my first time dancing with the team.  I may have “Broadway in my blood” but a sparkle bra and choreography tends to knock me a few feet outside of my comfort zone!  Oddly I am perfectly comfortable in a solo but group choreography is where the rubber hits the road.  Turn the wrong way and everyone knows!

Now if you are going to dance in front of people, I highly recommend wearing a sparkle bra!  I felt like my bra gave me “super powers”, which unfortunately did not translate to my feet but did help fuel my DD’s; my Diva-tude Demeanor”!  This was part of our costume – to be worn under a sheer blouse.  Ok, I admit that it was my idea to make it part of the costume!  Go big or go home.

I have always loved acting and perhaps this is one of the reasons I can sell myself.  Whoa people– not in the literal sense! I am strictly speaking in metaphors!!  I appear super confident and charming and on the outside with Teflon coated nerves.  WTF, I just realized I could be describing myself AND a sociopath!   Rest assured I am not a sociopath.  I care far too much for myself, I mean others, to be labeled this way.

My acting skills allowed me to play the part of a happy person for years.  Even my closest friends had no idea that I was struggling with depression.  Had they opened my chest, (again, metaphorically as my friends are not creepy like that!) they would have seen my broken heart covered with deep wounds and necrotic tissue. Today those scars have healed and they take up far less space than they did ten years ago.  The necrosis has reversed and my heart shines with resilience.  What may surprise you are the tiny tender bruises of new injuries; those that I inflict upon myself every time I believe what critical voice has to say.

Yes, my friends.  Words are weapons, especially when they originate from your inner critic.  So less than twelve hours after a spectacular success, I looked at my photos and felt run over by negative imagery.  I laser focused toward the part of me I hate the most, my belly and thought, “You look like you are about to birth twenty two kittens.  Who in the hell let me go out there without any Spanx????”

My Girlfriend Voice was silent.  I knew...

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My Own Little Holiday advice & strategies celebrating courage and resilience divorced with kids emotional rollercoaster emotions & emotional inventory moving on after divorce my letting go ceremony relationships & communication triggers & the inner critic

Last fall what I affectionately refer to as my “Un-Divorce” finally became FINAL after a mere seven and a half year process.  Initially I was jumping for joy and popping the bubbly because this Mama was hot to trot and ready to prowl!  By December and contrary to what I thought was “normal”, I felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck.  There were so many emotions seeping to the surface, then like a toddler they were whining for my undivided attention. Darkness surrounded me and I was breathless.  I was speechless.  Why were these emotions surfacing again and so intensely?

I surrendered to my grief.

Seventeen days of rain and the sappy movies on TV made me feel worse, you know the ones where the woman always finds her happily ever after?  Her life gets tied up with a red ribbon in less than ninety minutes.  Snotty nosed and spotty faced, the result of chronic ugly crying episodes, I left the safety of my couch only to restock the essentials; Cookies and Kleenex.

To add fuel to my emotional pyre, this was the first year neither one of my sons would be home for Christmas.  Here is the visual…….No shower for three days, so I was sticky, snotty and spotty AND on a sugar rush.  Not a very pretty picture, even in cute pajamas.

GRIEF…..  Unless you have experienced divorce, you may not be able to understand how much it REALLY sucks.  Divorce is on the list of the top five stressors in life (death, divorce, moving, job loss and serious illness).  Not only was I struggling to get divorced for seven years, I moved three times, struggled with clinical depression and changed jobs twice after a lay off!  And I might as well add the stress of being a Modern Day Mother. (Thank God I survived to bitch about this.)

(Thank God I survived to bitch about this.)

It is not like my “X” died – in fact in some ways that may be easier! I wouldn’t have to think about him with his new girlfriend or his white carpeted pied-a-terre.  (actually the list is quite long but I restrained myself to the top two on my list!)  My grief meant I was letting go of my happily ever after and facing the future alone.

My body vibrated with fear.  Most of my critical voices are female but this one was definitely male.  It bellowed, “Will you grow old alone?  Will you ever find true love?  Will your sons be impacted by the divorce and never have healthy relationships?  You are pretty old to be starting over.”  on and on an on…….

While treading the muddy waters of the last decade, I learned that two things would be important in order to keep myself healthy and my mind present.

  1. Give back—volunteer. Find a way to help others and practice kindness.
  2. Commit to self-care and not only cultivate “My Girlfriend Voice” but let her flourish!

Following MGV, I researched various types of...

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HOSTAGE!!! advice & strategies fear holds you hostage inner critic mindset matters triggers & the inner critic you are good enough

I have an army or critical voices in my head.  If I had to put a body to these voices, it would look like an ugly bottom feeding creature that never sees the light of day.  Negative thought energizes the creature; the family of creatures then energize each other.  They feed on my fears, blow up in size and bellow familiar tunes.  It’s familiar melody.  This is an oldies station repetitively playing the classic tunes I have carried since childhood.

My playlist includes:

  1. “You are not good enough”
  2. “Who do you think you are?”
  3. “Stupid, stupid, stupid”.


Lately “the army” has become so boisterous that they convinced me to quit writing.  They staged a hostile takeover!
It isn’t that I don’t have anything to share; my life is one crazy Seinfeld episode after another!  I would start writing and “the army” would chant “waste of time bullshit-no one will care-no one is going to read this – your ego is out of control”, then the chorus comes in, “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE”.

Fear was shutting me out—shutting down my creative spirit. 

The very reason My Girlfriend Voice is important is that I am NOT those thoughts!  I have become victim to what I had valiantly learned to silence or at least tolerate.  My Girlfriend Voice has gone mute.  The critics are holding me hostage.

Writing has saved my sanity.  It is really that simple.  I started writing when I had trouble breathing — trouble envisioning how to make it through the day without being crushed by sadness.   I am not looking to win any awards.  It is my hope that my stories will help someone else take a step towards embracing who they are and what they give to the world.

I have found comfort being vulnerable (still hate this word) and I have never been happier.  In giving love, I feel love.  In sharing myself with you, I feel completely present and grateful that I have a voice.  I am good enough.

I find it interesting that when life is good, I have less drama and less fight, my insecurities surfaced for a reunion concert.  It tells me that they are likely to be with me forever but it is up to me how much space I give them on the stage.

In these quieter days, I have the space and time to delve deeper into my blueprint of being.  I look forward to my recommitment.  Let the laughter, the learnings and the wisdom flow! That crappy critical playlist is background noise.  My Girlfriend Voice is in the starring role—welcome to another chapter of authentic living!!

From the heart,


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Rewrite? No, I’ll Redefine! choices emotions & emotional inventory happiness letting go of the past mindset matters new beginnings positive thinking redefining the future relationships & communication triggers & the inner critic

Author’s Note:  I found this blog on my computer, written last April, but not published until today.


Writing has become difficult these days.  My brain races from topic to topic.  One thing I know is that it would be really easy to list the things I don’t have.

  • I lost my job today. I don’t have a rainy day fund.  Like California, my bank account is in a drought.
  • My son may be heading to prison next month. Mental illness combined with addiction just SUCKS.  Just when things are going well, “it” comes out and bites you bad, knocks the breath out of you and feels like acid on your tongue.
  • The divorce is still not f-ing finished even though we separated almost seven years ago.
  • I grieve after putting my goofy big dog down in February because he had a brain tumor.
  • Mom is in the hospital again with a blood clot.  Not good.

Lucky for me there is something deep down that that moves me and keeps me from getting stuck.  “It’s not my style to be negative,” I say when people ask me how I persevere.   Don’t get me wrong.  I have moments and sometimes days when I slip into sadness.  I am human.  I walk that fine line; fearing the fall into another depression.  (the sticky dark pit)

My strategy?  Every day I live what I speak and my strategy is to focus on my choices.  Without choices I WOULD feel hopeless.  I would be stuck and probably dead.

I ask myself, “If I don’t like it, can I make a change?  Will I practice gratitude or wallow in negativity? “

  • The Job—I won’t get caught without an emergency fund again.  I will find a new job and make good use of the time off.
  • My Son—I can’t describe the pain I feel when my son struggles.  It is a visceral ache with no remedy that I carry every waking moment and often in my dreams.  Despite numerous hospitalizations and arrests, he is alive.  He has his own path and purpose in this lifetime.  My lesson is to love without judgment while surrendering any concept of blame or control.
  • The Divorce—uhhhh.  Enough already!  I am going to get this done before the end of the year.  Realizing I will never receive the apology I seek from the “X”, I can forgive myself and then celebrate my courage, integrity and endurance.
  • Bosco—you were one of a kind dog and so many warm memories remain.  I did everything I could but you told me it was OK when you stopped wanting to take walks or tear up the garbage.
  • Mom– we can spend time together and I can try to help without the pressure of working.

What else will I do?

I will dance

I will cocoon.

I will laugh.

I will sleep.

I will give.

I will learn.

I will breathe.

I remember the day I understood that MY happiness was strictly MY responsibility.  I had been...

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LMAO advice & strategies eliminate stress emotions & emotional inventory lmao mindset matters relationships & communication second hand stress stress management stressfree

I love that I can make myself laugh. Yesterday I was cleaning my computer and found a folder called “assholeness”. I invented this word (no surprise, huh?) because I wanted a way to describe and quantitate the degree of unacceptable behavior displayed by my son’s sperm donor. Surprisingly there is nothing in the folder but I am keeping it around for the chuckle factor. I am also acutely aware that anything I put in writing may be used against me in the “un-divorce” so I’m attempting to take the high road. (attempting is the operative word, thank you very much.)

Then there are the funny things I say like, “If you dressed me like a bag of Skittles, I’d be cranky too”.  And, “Do my bunions look big in these sandals?” I never thought those words would come out of this mouth but I speak the truth. I don’t much like my aging feet but they keep me dancing so at least I can outfit them in cute sandals. Or take a look at my latest Selfie! I wanted to get my shirt and sandals in the same shot and find it hysterical the way the photo came out. I feel like I look—a bloated tropical flower! I know you are now looking at my bunions. Please stop.

Visiting my Mom at the hospital I overhear the nurses debriefing during a shift change. The patient in the room next door is there because of a duck attack. What? Did they say a D-U-C-K attack? I confirm with the nurse, without looking too nosey, that indeed it was a duck attack. How much damage can a duck do? She tells me it was a pet duck but that she is prohibited by patient privacy from saying any more. I see her giggle as she leaves the room. You can’t make this stuff up.  That is the stuff nightmares are made of!

It is a good thing I am better at finding humor, especially during stressful times. My default method was to stuff my emotions until I exploded! Stress impacts both our physical and mental health. Have you ever thought about the impact of “Second Hand Stress”? I hadn’t put much thought into this concept until I heard a news story regarding a study done by Sara Waters at University of California San Francisco showing that babies could not only detect when a mother was stressed, the baby also started to demonstrate “stressed behavior”. “By knowing how this happens, we can start being mindful of both what we’re putting out, but also how people around us are affecting us,” Waters said.

So are we more influenced by our “stressed out” loved ones than a stranger? Yes, in fact it was said that we are four times more likely to be influenced by the stress of a loved one, coworker, friends or a roommate than a stranger.

Trying to do more, do better, do faster while making my life look effortless, stress became my drug of choice. If I was stressed, I was important. Didn’t all successful people have stress? So my stress manifested with short...

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Six Little Old Minutes advice advice & strategies coolville dance don't quit emotions & emotional inventory fear laugh at yourself mindset matters

When I entered high school, I had very little coordination and hated to run anywhere except to the JC Penny sale rack but I wanted more than anything to be an athlete. The thought of playing on a team was likely my ticket to “coolville” because being smart was often a lonely place. Basketball was out—too much running. Softball required being outside which in Michigan could mean snow or tropical heat in the same week. I chose volleyball. The lesser-est of all evils!

Initially the practices were killer but I loved the camaraderie and the sense of complete physical exhaustion. I felt so cool or should I say FOXY wearing my knee pads around my ankles with short gym shorts!! I was relieved when I didn’t make the starting line-up, I still got to wear a uniform, but I was TERRIFIED of looking bad and/or making mistake. I sucked at volleyball and as I became more and more uncomfortable, there was only one solution.  

I had to quit.

On the car ride home I mentioned to my Dad that I was going to quit and boy did he blow a gasket! He told me, “So if you want to be a quitter, quit. If you stick with it, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing. Everyone, even a bench warmer, has an important role on the team.” We never discussed it again. He had put the ball in my court. (Ha, ha, pun intended)

Lesson number one:  Finish what you start.*

So what did I do? I finished the season; partially because I didn’t want to disappoint my Dad but also because I knew at 15 that I needed practice honoring my commitments. The only time I played in a real match I somehow managed to score a point for the other team. How in the hell that happened I will never know! Luckily we were so far ahead it didn’t matter. MORTIFIED I made it through the embarrassment.

Lesson number two: Practice laughing at yourself. It sure comes in handy!

Fast forward thirty odd years to the present day and déjà vu. I want to quit before the end of the season!

On my “wouldn’t it be great fun” list, I joined a ladies salsa team. If you ever danced salsa you know that it is a very athletic activity! Not only does the music give me “Happy Feet”, I get the chance to hang out with great ladies (most of whom I could be there mother) and exercise once a week for ninety minutes. The class culminates with two public performances at the end of April.

The problem is, I talk much better than I dance! How do I know? Most of our practices are videotaped! Yeah for technology but @$#%@$ for seeing my mistakes in HD. It feeds the Bitchy Becky voice in my head who squawks, “You really should quit before you make a fool of yourself. You are letting the team down. Girlfriend, it is time to hang up your sequins and exit stage left.”

I love the stage but I don’t love feeling like the weakest member of the team. I also feel fat and old. There, I had to say it...

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Beautification Cannot Be Outsourced advice & strategies beautification cbt emotions & emotional inventory mental wellness negative thinking positive thinking sadness triggers & the inner critic

Last Friday I drove by my neighborhood school and the marquee stated, “Beautification day is cancelled”. What?  How could they do that?  I was really amazed at my reaction.

Now I don’t have a clue what type of project was planned but it got “my dern thinker ah thinkin”.  Why did it get cancelled?  Why wasn’t beautification a priority?

One of the many gifts of “growing up and older” is that you realize self-beautification is the key to mastering a happy life.  I am not talking about Botox and wearing fancy labels.  That would be too easy!  I am talking about making the commitment to do whatever you need to do in order to shine from within.

Beautification is shedding the clutter surrounding your heart that   fertilizes negative thinking. 

It is deciding to let go of what no longer fits, whether that be people, clothing, a job or a habit.

Beautification cannot be outsourced. 

Recently I’ve been feeling so much sadness that frankly I worried I may be headed into a depression.  But stop the presses!  I came to realize that this sadness was different; very different than my time in the DARK PIT.  When I was clinically depressed, my brain was mush and there was on ocean between my reality and the real world.

Today my active brain is acknowledging the sadness then reshaping or shedding the thought that creates the sadness.  The sadness is in a loading zone—no long term parking allowed!

I’ve never had the courage to sit with uncomfortable feelings.  Who wants to do that?  Wade through disappointment, jealousy, doubt and fear?  I would rather do just about anything else so I became quite comfortable over-scheduling myself or just stuffing those feelings for a later date.  With the help of my support posse, I have developed a method I would like to share with you.  If you really like it, please send cookies.

  1.  Hello there [insert thought here].  Where do you come from?  It is like meeting someone new and asking them where they live.
  2. [Thought speaks].
    1. How can I change this thought from a negative one into a positive one?
    2. Or is it such a useless thought that I can just let it go?  (no re-gifting please)

For example, my “X” repeatedly called me the N-word;   NEEDY.  Sadly, I believed him.  I told myself if I were smarter, stronger and worked harder, I could overcome my neediness.  Well, thank goodness the cray cray fog has lifted!!   I turn that negative thought to a positive one like this:

Although he says I am needy, I simply want to feel connected to that stupid Mother Fucker.  It is a basic human need.

By the way, the thought doesn’t have to come from someone else.  It could be your critical voice speaking to you.  Same method applies!  And don’t forget, if you like this, please send...

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Guilty as Charged! healthy boundaries helicopter parents relationships & communication smother and hover

Guilty as charged! You, CaraW, on this 23rd day of September are cited with the following crimes:
• Sometimes too helpful,
• Frequently too kind and
• Annoying too optimistic.

Confused? I was too when I heard that our best attributes can get us to trouble. It took a few days to wrap my head around this concept but this is how I digested it.

Have you ever “fixed” something for someone because you could jump in and solve a problem rather than let that person struggle and eventually figure it out?

Have you intervened for someone rather than let them suffer the natural consequence of their actions?

You couldn’t say no to a request despite already having too much to do?

I bet it is sounding more and more familiar because it is easy to fall into these traps. Please realize it is NOT the attribute itself causing the issue. The problem is that you are masking your true motivation with a cover of daisies, rainbows and sunshine. Your motivation boils down to three simple words.


I can really relate. Fear drives my need for control. For instance, if I am always prepared, I won’t stumble for answers and you won’t call me stupid. Reality check: It is impossible to prepare for every scenario, every minute of my life. Solution: Trust myself with what I know and have faith in my ability to get the answer if necessary. I am not stupid.

Fear drives my need to do too much for my kids to prove that I am a good mother. Doesn’t self-sacrifice guarantee their love and respect? Reality check: Are you stupid? Ha, ha! Despite my wishful thinking and stellar efforts, it just ain’t so! Solution: Strive for striking a healthy balance which requires introspection and foregoing the need to do it all. It isn’t impossible. Let the kids learn by my example of being a confident, open hearted, vulnerable adult. (By the way, this concept also applies if you do too much for a parent, an employer, a friend, a lover, a neighbor, etc.)

Fear drives me to clamp down on people and situations. If I can manage or predict the desired outcome, I don’t have to worry, right? R.i.g.h.t. Reality check? Fear intoxicates my thinking. I leave you feeling “less than” because after all, I came to your rescue (again). Solution? Pause. Breathe. What is my responsibility and within my control? I can’t do it all so I will focus on managing my own cuppa crazy.

There is a term for parents who just won’t let go—helicopter parents. They probably would evacuate their kid’s bowels if there was an App for it. These parents act in the auspices of being attentive, helpful, knowledgeable, perfect and “they know best”. They make most to all of their kid’s decisions, fight their battles and act as a glorified life coach without breaking a sweat.

Local author and psychologist Madeline Levine defines helicopter parenting as good intentioned adults who are physically...

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I Vant to be Alone being alone change general new beginnings unemployed

There are times when you just need to be alone. Decompress, evaluate, cry, binge on TV, sleep, eat cookies, fret, eat more cookies and then WRITE about it.

I’ve found myself requiring more solace than usual lately. Respite and quiet times are healing but to the outside observer, this may look like isolation. In a way I guess I do isolate myself but this is a necessary part of my self-care regime. BUT, if you don’t see me surface after a few days, please check on me. I may have been arrested and hello, there is no internet in jail.

I don’t want to complain but let me take a sec to give frame to my need for space.

The job I have loved for the last 29 months came abruptly to an end on Friday. While I knew it was likely, I told myself I had at least six more weeks before it ended. It isn’t that I haven’t been looking for a new position because I have! My heart was still tied to the company because I worked with really good people (minus one)! Good people who work hard, play hard, laugh at themselves and laugh at me for my creative (a.k.a. critical and controlling) ways. I salute you!

You see, I have only been unemployed once and just for six months. I had a husband to rely on then and my bruised ego didn’t have to worry about paying the bills. Now it is just me. JUST ME and no safely net. Will I be OK? Yes. I will figure things out. I am going to make the most of this opportunity.

Last night I started watching a new series on Netflix where the main character goes to federal prison for carrying drug money once when she was 22 and very stupid. Looking at 15 months in the pen, she tells her fiancé that she plans to get ripped, read all the books on her Amazon wish list and maybe even, learn a craft. I think that this is perfect advice for me!!

      Time to exercise. No excuses about my schedule.



          Read, read, and read. My favorite thing to do!



              Craft– you bought a vintage sewing machine. The possibilities are endless.


              I will add one more to the list.



                  GET SHIT DONE.


        I am starting a list of the things I want to tackle like get a serious grasp of my finances. God willing, I will move from the UNdivorce to the DONEdivorce. Further explore my love of storytelling and find a writing mentor. Boost my visibility as a voice actress and launch a self-marketing campaign. Organize the photos. Get a will. Date, cook, dance and enjoy the company of amazing friends.

        Hopelessness is contagious but so is gratitude. I could be angry or I could be happy. The choice is mine. Watch out now, here I come.

        From the heart,

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        Express Yourself……. Come on now Express Yourself art decorating general manifesto repurposing

        Hello friends! Another week goes by and despite the stress of my life; there were some really funny moments. These are the best things from my week:

        At a local senior center, I lead a Friday discussion group with early stage Alzheimer’s patients. I asked the group, “What is something that you should never lie about? One lady said, “Your shoe size.” Another lady said, “Why are we talking about suicide?” This reminds me of the joke where three seniors go out for a stroll. The first one says, “It’s windy. Another one replies, “No, it’s Thursday.” The last one says, “Me too. Let’s get a drink.”

        At another place I hear an older lady say to friends, “I finally picked out the photo of myself I want to have on display at my funeral. My daughter said I was too much of a bitch then. She has only liked me for the last few years so she suggests a more recent photo.” This is a true story!

        At an uber cool Oakland diner, a tall drink of hot chocolate introduces himself by saying, “My name is Greg, Gregory or Big Daddy.” (Did he really say that? Uh huh!) My friend responds with, “I am an overly educated black woman.” I tell her no, no! You are an HIGHLY educated black woman! Big difference! Her name has been withheld to protect the slightly inebriated and innocent.

        Another laughable moment is my dinner with my retired bachelor neighbor. I will call him Mr. Delusional as he is crazy with a capital C. I am not making fun of him—just the situation. Mr. D. has invited me for dinner every week since I moved in 2 months ago and because my mother raised me right, I agreed to go. (maybe I am the crazy one here?) I made sure my son was within ear shot in case Mr. D. decided to make a pass or cut me up for the freezer. The highlight? Watching a 68 year old legally blind man playing air guitar to the Moody Blues telling me it was him in the video. I ended up leaving two hours later with half a bottle of wine and raw salmon. He never got around to cooking so he sent dinner home with me to make myself! Mom tells me it is OK to stay away from Mr. D now and I wholeheartedly agree!

        Always do what your Mother tells you to do.

        Last night I came downstairs feeling quite sexy in a black jumpsuit and statement earrings when my son tells me that I remind him of Cruella Deville. I said first of all, “She is not a real person and second of all, what part of me says “puppy killer?” (Cruella is the villain in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians) He claims the resemblance stems from my sassy hair style and not my sassy outfit.

        I have white blond highlights around my face which may be more reminiscent of a halo or wreath of laurel. Just kidding! This isn’t the first guy to say this and he also meant it as a compliment. Let me set the record straight. Her…… Me…. No #%&% resemblance.

        By the way, I was headed out all to a...

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        Lessons Learned change choices general gratitude mental wellness new beginnings

        Hello there friends! Wondering where the heck I have been? Well, let me tell you, I have been “embracing change”. So as I nurse my heat wave induced headache and my second pineapple margarita, I am happy to bring you up to date.

        My friend Jo asks me what is going on with my divorce or rather the “UN-divorce”. Don’t you love that? The divorce that never progresses! Despite the tease of mediation, I still have nothing substantial to report. I got sidetracked when I found out I had to move. I will get to the divorce as soon as I recharge my tanks. Lesson learned? What does a piece of paper have to do with my happiness? Nothing unless of course we are talking about a settlement check. :0

        Let me say a little more about Jo, a friend from my first days in California (notice how I didn’t say OLD friend?) We haven’t seen each other in a very long time. What is miraculous is that we had lived in the same neighborhood for the past two years without running into each other. As soon as I move to a new place, we see each other at a local grocery counter during lunch! Twenty six years ago she gave me a place to stay when I arrived here all white bread and corn fed from the Midwest. She is still as genuine as ever and I consider it such a gift to have reconnected. Lesson learned? It was’tn by chance we ran into each other. It was meant to be. I needed to feel grounded.

        Yes, my big move. With little notice, I was told the house I was renting was going on the market. Nothing like being thrown head first into a big stressor but then again, I firmly believed that there would be something good awaiting me. Three weeks later when another friend Katy found me at the gas station searching for a Tootsie Roll at 10pm in tears, she reminded me of the power of visualization. After sucking down the candy, I wrote out exactly what I wanted in my new home and hung it on my refrigerator. One day later the perfect townhouse was listed on Craig’s List and I grabbed it. It was meant to be. Lesson learned? VISUALIZE while eating a Tootsie Roll.

        Now that I had the move conquered, it was time to put a little attention to romance. Why several gentlemen couldn’t see my “fabulousity” (a Real Housewives word!) is a mystery to me but it is clearly their loss! Finally I met a fine man I’ll call Mr. Sweetness. We had a record three dates only to find out that there is this little thing between us that I find incompatible. Today I am bummed out, feeling the letdown. The excitement and attention made my 50 year old brain feel 15 again. Mr. Sweetness gives me hope that there are other wonderful, communicative men in the world! I will get back on the horse (stallion preferred) and keep trying! Lesson learned? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

        There were a few other things going on too like a minor surgery, seeing a loved one’s resilience after relapse and wondering if I would still be employed by end of...

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