"Think how you can, not why you can't." - Dr. John H. Cox -

Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering and Celebrating...

~ two 100% healthy feet ~
~ and one gorgeous downward dog ~ 
~ today - 5/31/10 - 8 weeks since surgery ~

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Walk upon the Earth...

...as if each step were a kiss...

It has become my joy - my love - my passion - 
my heart's desire...

...to tend to the Earth each morning...

...it's my own little secret way...



Friday, May 28, 2010

My Apothecary

...and if you wonder how my scar is healing so quickly, I'll letcha in on a lil secret...

I don't often "plug" anyone here, on my website, or anywhere for that matter.  I don't even "plug" MYSELF!   lol

But, I simply must tell you about my dear friend, partner-in-crime, gifted healer, and Aromatherapist Extraordinaire, Lorraine Rimando......this chick ROCKS!

If you're interested in her background, check this out!  If you just want to hear more about her as a person, well then....scrollllll onnnnnn dowwwwwn ;)

Lorraine Rimando, RN, BSN is a certified aromatherapist who has studied holistic aromatherapy and earned her Diploma in Aromatic Medicine from the East West  School of Herbal and Aromatic Studies in Maryland. She has also received training in aromatic healing II from Karen Reilly. A Reiki Master trained in Usui, Shinpiden, and traditional Japanese  Reiki through life long mentor, Carol Burbank, she continues to incorporate energy healing throughout her holistic nursing practice. Her background as a Registered Nurse for over 15 years in an array of acute care specialties, ranging from acute to chronic care settings, gives her first hand knowledge and experience when it comes to the holistic needs of individuals. She continues to practice nursing in an acute care setting. Lorraine enjoys sharing all that aromatherapy and Reiki have to offer and believes in holding great integrity in her practice as a holistic caregiver!

 Lorraine is a Registered Aromatherapist with the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) and is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association. She is a registered practitioner with the International Aromatherapy Association (IMA Group, Inc.) and professional member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) as well.

Lorraine's unique approach as a holistic practitioner includes combining her experience as a registered nurse with aromatherapy and Reiki to assist people in reaching their full health potential. She emphasizes customizing aromatic blends to fit a person's own individual needs.

Lorraine with her beautiful daughter.
On Lorraine, as a person:

There is not enough room or time.  Lorraine is one of the most powerful healers I know (and I know ALOT!) yet, she has a very gentle way about her.  She speaks softly and has one of the hugest, most radiant hearts I have ever known.  As far as her products go.....she spends a great deal of time and energy on each and every blend, and infuses them with 100% pure and loving intent.  Let me tell you --- it makes a difference!  She is a perfectionist when it comes to her clients, and if she's not fully satisfied with a blend, she starts all over again....from scratch.  Her oils are therapeutic grade and unrivaled, as far as I am concerned.  Just a few examples of the many blends she has created for me personally:
  • sinus relief
  • pain and anti-inflammatory
  • scars
  • headaches
  • blocked chakras
  • face and body scrubs
  • and my all-time FAV of course, my signature blend, "Floating Soulshine"
I simply cannot say enough great things about these products and their sweetheart creatrix (hard to even call them products, as they are so much more).  So, if you are still buying essential oils on the internet or at the natural market......well, no disrespect meant at all but, you just don't know what you're missing!


*if you are interested in purchasing Floating Soulshine, feel free to contact either of us directly.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our "Ordered" Lives - Heh

Order and Chaos
Lithograph, 1950

Take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
~ The Episcopal Church Hymnal 1982 ~

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quirkles and Samskaras Go Together

This morning I started out thinking about samskaras and ended up in a field of dandelions :D

Several things come to mind, here......

First of all, my recent discussion with a friend about how, I try so hard to discipline myself to do something "productive" (subjective, of course) and I end up taking pictures or journaling or sweeping my siddhi or lying in a field of dandelions!

Oh!  Back to samskaras...  What are they anyway?  

"Samskara is a Sanskrit word which roughly translates as a habit or pattern, in this context it can be seen as a habit or pattern which exists at the physical level or one that exists due to how we perceive and think."

Thinking about samskaras led me to some absolutely stunning photos of patterns in nature!  Yet again, I got "lost" for some 30 minutes.....lol

 For my friend, Elizabeth, who loves dandelions.  
Isn't this simply breathtaking?

If you happen to be one of my students, you already know that one of the foundations of IYT is the belief that humans exist on many levels, i.e., the "koshas"...in a nutshell...the combo meal of physical body, energetic body, emotional body, wisdom body, and bliss body.  

"When any of these "bodies" is individually or collectively injured and our experience is not fully integrated, a samskara results."

Here is just one very simple example, of many:

"The body inherently seeks balance. (LOVE THAT!) When we are physically injured, the body ‘copes’ by borrowing resources from other places; in the quest for survival the body re-creates balance. Different muscles are called into action to support the injured area. As these muscles are activated, and others are de-activated so they may rest and heal, we unconsciously change the way we move and hold the body. This coping mechanism remains long after the injury is healed and becomes a ‘habitual’ movement pattern. This manifests as the chronically tight neck, that one hip that just always seems out….the list can seem endless at times. Most physical trauma has an emotional component whether that emotion is present at the time of the injury or develops as a result of the injury. In either case, if these emotions are not processed they remain locked in the physical and energetic bodies."

Read that again.  (I did!)

And if that's not enough to getcha thinkin, try this on for size....

"Emotional injury is stored in essentially the same way. A traumatized child will learn to hold their breath in order not to be seen or heard. When our self esteem is injured we learn to close our hearts and develop rounded shoulders, or we become quite military in our bearing, armored against attack. The practices of Yoga offer us a gentle way to open and explore these injuries to the bodymind."


There is so much more to learn about samskaras.  If you are interested, check out Yoga Journal or the IYT website......otherwise, I could ramble for days!  ;)

My main thought is this:  What happens when we decide to change some of those samskaras (no matter how we go about it)?  

I just wonder ---- what does that invoke IN YOU?  What picture comes to mind?  Devastation?  Or a living, breathing creature in flight?  Just curious......

And, by the way, I think I just need to declare to myself and the Universe...



Heh.  Maybe that's my own samskara.  One of many...

And also a great idea for a T-shirt!  ;)

*excerpts from "Healing and Releasing Samskaras – A Somatic Approach" by Sandra Coombe

Monday, May 24, 2010

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeze Those Lemons!

So...I had to buy some new socks.  It's kinda hard to explain but:

a)  higher up to keep the ASO brace from rubbing my calf and shin raw, and
b)  the kind that breathe really well to allow my incision to heal and keep it from getting aggravated, again, by the brace...

No biggie, of course.  But, for a flip flip kinda gal, NO kind of sock is going to excite me in the summertime!  So, Cammie and I decided to make the socks a little more fun. Plus, this will make it easier for me to find these specific *special* socks in the laundry and sock drawer ;)

*The best part is --- Cammie and I giggled and poked fun at each other and she told me she was "having fun with her Mom."  :D

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gnomes, Leprachauns, and Cooking Utensils

One day Cammie and I were discussing some sort of spiritual phenomena and she says to me, "Well...Ms. XYZ (revered spiritual leader) says...(fill in, whatever it was)."  Then she pauses for a moment and adds, "Of course, that was in the same book where she wrote a whole chapter on gnomes and leprachauns."  *chuckles*

At first glance, that may just seem like a humorous moment between her and I, and there are so many.  But, what I totally adore about my daughter is that she has the wherewithal to be open to so much, and honor and respect all of it; yet, she is able to distinguish what resonates and works for her Self.  Namaste, Dear Cammie.

What's my point?

I often challenge my students to enter my classes with minds and hearts much like a colander.  At the end of a class, I'll ask them to shake it out.  And whatever "sticks," belongs to them and is what they are meant to take with them...

I wonder what would/could happen if we all went out into the world today with the minds, bodies, and spirits of beautiful colanders?  Just a thought...

This is me today.  Like?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SOMEONE's Been Sleeping in MY BED!


Today I walked all the way down the stairs and back to my little siddhi/shed in the woods!  

Now, remember.....it's been (count em)...TWO SUMMERS...since I've been able to make it back there due to some....um....unforeseen physical circumstances!

I flung open the doors and, boy!  The creepy crawlies scattered like a busted bonfire party!  I do not even know WHAT some of those huge things were!  

Anyway....I let them run...stomped real hard on the floor to warn the mice, and sent my BIG BAD BOUNCER BOYS, Max and Dukie, in ahead of me to part the seas...

The first thing I said (yes, aloud) when I stepped in was, "SOMEONE's been sleeping in my bed!"  

The boys sniffed all around in the corners and since they didn't seem to be "on" to anything, I assumed the coast was clear.

My Gosh!  What a mess!  Now, I fully suspected the critters had been hosting some all-nighters out there.  I even think I heard some music one night.  But, sheesh!  Couldn't they clean up their mess!?  Must have been teenage critters! :)

This is going to take some work, folks.  And I don't move so fast anymore.  BUT...  Like everything else in my life right now, I will get it done, baby step by baby step!

Today was a day for pulling weeds, a wee bit of raking, some serious extermination, and lots of envisioning :)

Once she's back up to code, this is sure to be where I spend most of my summer.  Working.  Writing.  Yoga-ing.  Painting.  Sleeping (BEST sleep in the world in this joint!) Doodling.  And dreaming.

Here's a quick tour (please pardon the stardust):

Meet your tour guide :)  I've never been one of those persons who has managed to master the art of self portraits via mirrors.  lol   I so love this little shift my friend, Elaine, gave me.  EVERY WOMAN needs a least one garb item that brings out the little girl in her.  This is it for me :)

*not sure if the power washing will get done this year, but flowers for the flower box and small chimes are MUSTS!*

Plenty of room left for...
life-stages graffiti!

Herein lie the phenomenal creations of my artists friends from all over the globe.

If you look very closely, I bet you might see something of yours!  :)

Evidence of those lil fluffy-tailed LUSHES!  Have they no shame at all?

Very important reminders!

On the way "back home" I came across the most intriguing little moth.  When she sat still with her wings folded, she looked like any other ordinary gray moth.  But when she took off.............the inside of her wings were....pale lavendar! *smiles*

I GET IT, little moth.  I GET IT.  *smiles x infinity*

Friday, May 21, 2010


I just LUV me some MOONSHINE!

Lately I have noticed a blue halo around Her.  Have you?  They say this means rain or snow.  Hmmmm.  Not likely, eh?  What else does it mean?  Does anybody know? 

I love to watch the moon circle my house...  

The solitary parade begins at dusk, high above my back deck.  She plays Goddess, Interrupted, with baby bats swooping to and fro (which my friend, Lorraine, loves).  

Then She meanders around to Cammie's room to bid her goodnight.  Sometimes, when Cammie's not here, I sneak in there, raise her blinds to the top, and gaze out the window.  This brings back great memories for me.  When she was a baby I would pull the rocking chair over next to her window, and dream for the both of us - utterly enchanted by the lapping moonlit ripples waltzing across the lake behind our *then* house.  

Next, She saunters around and peeks at me through the kitchen window from behind the giant trees.  Sometimes if I don't see Her right away, I find myself leaning closer in to the window...in search of...  

Late night, She serves as a semi-angel-security light over my car - transmitting fiber optic ethereal messages via the windshield.

It's nearing midnight...
Let me check...


The art of graceful departure...

...a cloud-top minuet...

...talk about walking on water!

*the crowd (Me) goes wild!*

The Moon is My Sister
by my dear friend and phenomenal artist, Montserrat



Whirl as you like.

Crow as you may.

Behold. Me. Not.

Whisper softly.

Walk gently.

Know. Me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

*Gasp* - Is She Going ------- THERE?!

Perhaps it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway...

I respect and acknowledge ALL religions and forms of spiritual practice.  

My personal belief is that there are more common threads than many people realize or care to acknowledge, and that segregation is our own doing.

I do not engage in religious debate.  I'd much rather just say, "Of course you're right." and walk away, knowing what I know.

I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in the arenas of religion and spirituality, having studied and practiced a myriad of "isms" in great detail.

What I WILL openly profess is this:  the thing I totally dig about creating your own form of spirituality is that there are so many resources available today from which to gain insight and inspiration.  (I include nature in this genre.)

I am not advising anyone. 

What I am merely suggesting, based on my own knowledge and experience is:

  • should you happen to feel suffocated by the religious doctrine you were raised under...
  • should you happen to feel alienated by any/all religions you have previously been exposed to...
  • should you happen to argue that there could not possibly be any "Source" considering the state of our affairs in the world as we know it...
  • should you happen to feel lost, grasping at the air, feeling like you have nothing to hang on to...

open your mind and your heart, and keep trying ;)

my nightstand

*Note:  you may wonder why I would even dare to "go there" at all.....here's the reason...I've been thinking lately about how incredibly petrifying, hopeless, helpless LIFE must seem at times to people who have absolutely nothing to believe in.  Whew.  Sad.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Are You and TIME Getting Along?

I ran late this morning :(

And during that "running late period" some old habits and emotions arose in me...


Haste makes waste.

Running late makes me sweat.  And I'm not a perspirer.

I called my client.  She was fine with it, as always (THANK YOU, CR!).  I still didn't like that I was late though.  Because I VALUE AND RESPECT HER TIME.

I recall a time, about six or eight years ago, when my friend and I went on our annual beach vacation.  When we arrived and started unpacking we made a vow to ourselves and to one another.  We both took off our watches and promised not to live by the time for a whole week.  We would wake up when we felt like it.  Eat when we felt like it.  Go to the beach and come back a 1/2 hour later, or ten hours later if we felt like it.  Drink margaritas at 10:00 a.m. if we felt like it.  We'd eat dinner at 3:00 in the afternoon or 11:00 at night if we felt like it.  My God, was that liberating!

When I got back home I decided I liked that feeling so much, I'd never wear a watch again.  And to this day, I still haven't.

Now, suffice it to say, my corporate boss was none too happy with my newly-adopted doctrine-lol.  I realized the toll it was taking on me racing to work every morning.  The designated report time was no longer working for me because my daughter was now in high school and I needed to drive her to school.  This only left me about 35 minutes to make a 45 minute drive to work.  EVERY morning I nagged at Cammie (who is NOT a morning person to begin with!) and started off both of our days on the wrong foot, all because I was stressed about THE TIME.  I couldn't drop her off any earlier, as the doors to the school were closed.  Once I dropped her off, I would drive at lightning speed, gritting my teeth and gripping the steering wheel the whole way...Dodging in and out of cars, thinking nasty thoughts, saying nasty words, and invariably spilling my coffee all over my...gag...business suit.  I'd finally reach work and literally RUN from my car to the front door, and then make a mad dash to my desk and do my best to look "calm and collected," even though my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding.  NOT RECOMMENDED FOR DAILY USE, FOLKS.

Finally, I mustered the courage to approach my very structured and stringent boss.  I very respectfully asked for either a later start time or flexible hours, and explained the reasons why.  DENIED.  Hmm.  As my Mom would say, "Oh well."

The next morning was status quo.   And the next, and the next.  It took a good six months before I realized just how absurd and wasteful it would be if I perished at the hands of my own modus operandi.  One day, as I was speeding down Rte. 4 in the left lane, something just sorta snapped in me (don't panic-lol).  I just decided enough was enough.  I moved to the right lane, slowed down, and started some deep breathing as I drove.  I turned off the radio.  Opened the windows.  Purposely relaxed my shoulders and jaw.  I very simply declared to myself and the Universe, "I'll get there when I get there."  Period. 

Yep, I was late...And from then on - some days I was on time, some days I was late.  Boss-man never broached the subject, but I sure got some seriously condescending looks.  "Oh well."

I feel so blessed to have escaped that kind of pressure!  It does not work for me.  It does not motivate me.  Please don't get me wrong....if you are my student or client, you already know that I do my very best to be ON TIME, if not EARLY, EVERY TIME.  I do value your time.  And I do realize you are sacrificing your hard-earned money in a very tough economy for yoga classes.  I totally respect that.  BUT...I know and you know, the world is not going to end if I show up five minutes late or you show up five minutes late.  IT'S YOGA, for crying out loud!  My question to you is, "How effective do you expect your yoga practice to be if it stresses you out just getting there?"  Furthermore, on my part, if ever I short you any time due to some extenuating life circumstance, it will ALWAYS be repaid, plus, plus. :)

Isn't it just easier this way? 

I learned a mantra some years ago that has helped me tremendously and maybe it will help some of you as well.  It's very simple.  "There is enough time."

There is enough time.
There is enough time.
There is enough time.

Try it!  :)

It IS true, yanno.

What's my point?  Well, I have several (surprised?):


2-Being on time, all the time, is certainly commendable, but not worth making yourself sick (or worse) over.

3-Schedules and structure are valuable and necessary.  They provides us with a sense of security, among other things.  Some people thrive on schedules.  BUT, I personally (and professionally) don't believe it's necessary or healthy for any of us to FREAK if things don't go precisely according to schedule or our plans.  I find the "What's the worst that could happen?" technique extremely effective in resetting my perspective as/if necessary.

4-Last but not least...please don't misunderstand me.  I would never ask or expect anyone to subscribe to my philosophies or lifestyle.  Withal, I have simply chosen not to live a life that is CONFINED or DEFINED by time.

To know me is to love me, eh? :)

Watch my Nana gave me when I was a little girl.
I adore this watch.  
It opens like a locket and the "secret time" is inside.
She had such exquisite taste!

60 Days...

I'm sorry people...I'm just so dang proud of ME!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Since my release from the "ankle safehouse," I've noticed that my calf stays contracted and my foot flexed all the time.  It only took a little over six weeks to establish this pattern.  I am constantly forced to remind myself, "Tina, you need to take a deep breath and RELAX your whole leg, including your foot.  It's OK to  relax it now."

I've been thinking alot about this today.  If my body was trained to stay in this position after only six weeks, just think what a brain could do in that amount of time, with the "proper training."  Our brains are so much more powerful than our physical bodies!  

They say it takes 21 days to establish a new pattern, or break an old one.  This was and still is the premise for my own personal "Old Faithful" philosophy, affectionately known as Detox Roxx.  

I'm not really sure what the "gist" of this post is.  Just thoughts, I guess...

One of my all-time favs  -
from the Intricacies of Life series of my personal portfolio -
I call it, "Lifescripts."

Hope and Fear

One of the classic Buddhist teachings on hope and fear concerns what are known as the eight worldly dharmas.  These are four pairs of opposites - four things that we like and become attached to and four things that we don't like and try to avoid.  The basic message is that when we are caught up in the eight worldly dharmas, we suffer.

First, we like pleasure; we are attached to it.
Conversely, we don't like pain.

Second, we like and are attached to praise.
We try to avoid criticism and blame.

Third, we like and are attached to fame.
We dislike and try to avoid disgrace.

Finally, we are attached to gain, to getting what we want.
We don't like losing what we have.

According to this very simple teaching, becoming immersed in these four pairs of opposites -

pleasure and pain
praise and blame
fame and disgrace
gain and loss

is what keeps us stuck in the pain of samsara (generally considered the antithesis of nirvana).

We might feel that somehow we should try to eradicate these feelings of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and disgraces.  A more practical approach is to get to know them intimately, see how they hook us, see how they color our perception of reality, see how they aren't all that solid.  Then the eight worldly dharmas become the means for growing wiser as well as kinder and more content.

~ Pema Chodron ~

what arises?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


My good friend and partner-in-crime, Lorraine, sayeth, "Great day to clear all your stones and crystals....place them out in the sun until the sun goes down then regenerate them with new intentions and prayers." 

Stones...crystals...hmm.  As with yoga, it seems there are some controversy and myths surrounding these little things.  Some say they hold energy.  Some say they carry healing properties.  Some say they can be used in exorcisms.  OK, I don't believe that one, but it's ok if you do :)

I learned quite a bit about rocks and minerals when I worked for an aggregates supplier.  The gist of it is (IMHO, of course)...if they are supplied by nature, from the Earth, well, there must be some good to them!  :)

My personal belief (not that you asked for it) is...there couldn't be anything wrong with that, and we may as well use them to their fullest extent, whatever that means to each person.  Many of my friends wear them around their wrists or necks.  Some carry pocket stones.  Certainly, many of us ingest minerals in the forms of foods and vitamins.  And then there's the correlation between gemstones and the chakras :)

In any event, there are also stories about how way back in history (and don't ask me when) the older ladies in a tribe (i.e., "crones") would etch symbols and words on the stones and gift them to the younger girls (i.e., "maidens" and "mothers").  Now that, I DIG :)  

I have shared the story of crone stones with many of my students, particularly the elderly women.  Some of them have personally gifted me with crone stones.  These, I look at every day.  As far as I'm concerned, they hold some of the purest intentions, highest vibrational energy, and greatest wisdom I have available to me.  

I also have some other little treasures in my sacred "toolbox."  A turtle (one of my totems) to remind me to slow down.  A bit of coral from the Hawaiian seas from my Reiki Master.  An acorn triquetta, symbolizing the three cycles of a woman's life, and a very important sister kindredship to me.

Just my thoughts on a gorgeous Saturday morn...

So, the next time you want to give someone a gift (especially a woman younger than yourself) how about choosing something that's FREE?!  Walk around outside and find one that "calls" to you.  Maybe scribe a message.  Maybe carry it in your own pocket for a while and then gift it to someone else, carrying all the blessings and lessons you have experienced!

And, as for me...well, it doesn't take much :)

 Just some of my many treasures.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Life Strategy # 2057 - Small Stuff vs. OH WELL

As many of you know, I've been doing a little "driving practice" around town.

Ready. Set. Free Me Now!

It's so weird how taking a short break from something can make your return feel sooo....well....WEIRD!

It goes without saying that my body feels different.  Different in the seat.  Different on the pedals.  Different altogether.  Oh well.  We all know - our bodies are different every day anyway, surgery or not!

 Me and my "rolling reminders"

Seems I've forgotten how to use some of the buttons.  Of course, I haven't had this car very long anyway.  Oh well.  I'll just consider it to be that "new car feeling" all over again!

Hmmm.  Somebody changed my clock!  WHO DID THAT?  Oh wait!  Daylight savings time.  Did I not change the clock in my car before my surgery?  Isn't it supposed to change automatically?  Oh well.  Two button clicks and VOILA.  DONE.

OK, seems like I can't keep my foot on the brake for any extended period of time.  Oh well.  Shift er on into park at the drive-in window.

WHAAAAAAA?  Wait a second!  What happened to my satellite radio?  Mannnnn.....I guess it expired.  Oh well.  I wasn't really supposed to have it anyway.  Ha!  I knew they'd catch up to me someday!  lol

Seriously...with all this do I really need satellite radio?

Oh well.  Maybe if I press this button, I'll get lucky and have left a CD in there two months ago?  




Just open this lil baby up and say...

 All. is. well.  

*aside:  "OH WELL technique" compliments of my Mom.  It's her version of, "eh, how much does it REALLY matter?"  :D

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nature's Poetry

At dawn in its unfurling
In my soul I felt the burning
Said goodbye to yesterday
Has One become the luxury
The one we drop so easily
Because we just can't pay?

The moon as an illusion
Lost symbol of our fusion
Appearing in the haze
The road is always winding
Driving, thinking, crying
Can we just cut through the maze?

My mind is full of questions
Hung on promises and lessons
Spilled answers as a guide
Can we change the All we wanted
When the circle grows more daunted
And pushes us aside?

There just is no expression
When within our own confession
The Self gets left behind
To craft the perfect picture
Does the palette hold a tincture
With a tonic drop inside?

Our lust for life is treading
Not knowing where we're heading
The love we had in tow
If I could read the presages
Bits-and-pieces messages
Would I understand the flow?

2010 Tina Marks

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For "Brostrom Survivors"

I had said that one of the /many/ reasons for this blog would be to hopefully help someone else who is having the same procedure done.  So, as boring as it might be for the rest of you, this post is for impending Brostrom procedure patients and "Brostrom Survivors" as they are referred to on many websites and forums.

At six weeks post-Brostom, here are my thoughts/observations/suggestions:

  • NEVER, throughout this journey thus far, have I had anywhere near what I would call "excruciating" pain, so if that's what you're worried about, don't (understanding that everyone tolerates pain differently).
  • I don't recommend wasting money on cast covers for the shower.  They don't work and it's not worth the money.  In my case, I was able to take a shower after 12 days - you can easily get by on baths and baby wipes and hair washing in the sink until then. 
  • Use the money for shoes and clothes instead.  This is NOT an exaggeration - you need to get proper clothing and shoes IN ADVANCE.  I was not prepared for this at all.  When they say "comfortable clothing" - I'd say "ultra-comfortable."  For women, anything that slips over your head!  Loose, comfy nightgowns, shifts, sundresses if it's the right time of year (I got lucky).  A good quality pair of athletic shoes are a must, even if you hate them like I do.  If nothing else, you will need them for once you get your boot off.  Obviously, ankle stability is key!  New Balance seems to be the best choice (after hours of research).
  • If at all possible, get crutches in advance.  Chances are, you already have them, if you're at the point of having this surgery.  It may be called a "walking boot" - and as I understand it, many doctors are now eliminating casts and going straight to the boot - but at first it's too uncomfortable to put weight on your foot even in the boot, so I used crutches even from room to room inside the house, for at least a week.
  • I considered, but never purchased, a shower stool.  Many post-op patients and doctors recommend it.  I was able to get by without one, but had to be very careful.
  • 100% pure aloe and/or essential oils - once the boot comes off, there is all sorts of "stuff" to deal with that you probably never thought of, e.g., a whole leg of ingrown hairs, peeling skin, bone spurs, bruises, and of course, a scabby, itchy incision site.  Gentle massage stimulates cell regeneration and speeds healing!
  • Just when you think you can't take it anymore...you will turn another corner and have a major healing "growth spurt," as I like to call it.
  • Grant yourself any/all simple pleasures that bring you joy:  for me, this meant:  linen spray, lavendar laundry detergent for endless mounds of dirty linens, ice cream, a very sturdy and comfortable chair, all the books I wanted to read but never had time to, etc. etc.
 6 weeks and I am very happy with the progress so far!

Poetry in Practice

"An opportunity for quiet reflection
on moments of transcendence."


Her Majesty Obedience

A few years ago, when I trained under Iyanla Vanzant, everyone in our group was given a "name."  These were chosen, at random (if you believe in random) from a bowl.  We were warned that the name we drew may not make sense at the time, or perhaps for quite some time in the future.  I drew, "Her Majesty Obedience."  Of course, my immediate thought was, "Huff!  WHO am I supposed to be obeying NOW?  I have always been obedient, even as a small child.  I have always respected authority; in fact, moreso than most people I know.  W.T.F.?  How in the world does this apply to ME?  I want a redraw!"  lol  Of course, I was NOT granted a redraw.

Anyway, I have carried that nametag around with me for years now - usually it's over the visor in my car - and never did really "nail" how it was supposed to apply to me, although I've been granted a few glimpses hither and thither.

So, how does this apply to today's post?  Well, I've been thinking about "avoidance."  What it means.  Why we do it.  Why I do it.  And admit, I've engaged in quite a few silent battles of will with the Universe on the subject.

I decided to see what Iyanla has to say on it.  In this book, "Until Today," there's no way to just look up the word "avoidance" and find something.  You kinda have to scan.  So I went to the Chapter on Service to see if there may be something hiding in there.  I flipped right to a page that I have previously made notes and highlights on.

Herein, some insight on avoidance and obedience if anyone is interested:

"The greatest service I can offer is...doing what needs to be done."

Of course you deserve to have the things you want in life.  Of course you are worthy of having them.  These are givens.  The question is, are you willing to do the work required to get what you want?  I am not talking about physical work.  Oh no!  Most of the time, we are all ready and willing to kill ourselves working to get the things we want.  If that is all it takes, everyone's success would be assured.  It is the mental, emotional and spiritual work that we usually overlook.  When there is something that you really want, there is one thing you must really do - FOCUS!  Focus your thoughts.  Focus your energy.  When you really want to focus on something, there is something you must develop and maintain - DISCIPLINE!  You must be disciplined about what you think.  You must do everything in a disciplined way.  When you are working to master the art of discipline, there is something you must be - OBEDIENT!  Obediently follow your first focused thought.  Obediently follow through on the disciplined action you take.  When you are really obedient, there is one thing you will undoubtedly develop - FOCUS!  With focus, discipline and obedience, you will reach any goal successfully.

Until today, you may have believed that you could physically work your way to success.  Just for today, focus your energy and attention on the mental, emotional, and spiritual work that will serve you as you reach for your highest and greatest good.

Today I am devoted to being obediently disciplined about the things I am focused on being and doing!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All Rise

At some point you have to own up to how great you are, how beautiful you are, to how much inner dignity and potential you have. Drop complaining about what other people didn’t give you or do for you, or how they mistreated you. Take repossession of your Self and you will rise to a level of greatness that has been yours all along.

~ Michael Bernard Beckwith ~

Monday, May 10, 2010

Proceed With Caution!

First day with my new foot and TWO shoes!

So, I was gonna take a pic of me dancing in the grass, but I was afraid I'd hurt myself!  lol
I got a great report at the surgeon's office today.  I have progressed to this new "ASO" and have been given permission to slowly start practicing walking, driving, and even balancing on my right foot!  Woot!  Hang on, Dancer Pose - I'll be there soon!
I'm also doing my own P.T. at home, cuz ----- I rock like that ----- and can be trusted!
Today, I'm pretty proud of me!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Our Special Day

Happy Mother's Day to Mom - Thanks for all you do for me and for Cammie.

Happy Mother's Day to Cammie - Thanks for the honor and pure joy of being your Mom.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, 
and I immediately wanted to paint another one.  

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I saw you feed a stray cat, 
and I learned it was good to be kind to animals.  

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I saw you make my favorite cake just for me, 
and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.  

When you thought I wasn't looking, 
I heard you say a prayer, 
and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, 
and I learned to trust in Him.  

When you thought I wasn't looking, 
I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, 
and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other. 

When you thought I wasn't looking, 
I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing,
and I learned that those who have something 
should give to those who don't. 

When you thought I wasn't looking, 
I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, 
and I learned we have to take care of what we are given. 

When you thought I wasn't looking, 
I saw how you handled your responsibilities, 
even when you didn't feel good, 
and I learned that I would have to
be responsible when I grew up. 

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I felt you kiss me good night,
and I felt loved.  

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I saw tears in your eyes, 
and I learned that sometimes things hurt, 
but it’s alright to cry.  

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I saw that you cared, 
and I wanted to be everything I could be.  

When you thought I wasn't looking, 
I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know 
to be a good and productive person when I grow up.  

When you thought I wasn’t looking, 
I looked . . . 
and I wanted to say thanks 
for all the things I saw 
when you thought I wasn’t looking. 

(Author Unknown)

Happy Mother's Day and Happy Birthday to Nana - surely one of the most beautiful, wisest, strongest, angels in Heaven.  Thanks for all you did for me here on Earth and all you continue to do for me from above.  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Archangel Raphael Wears Reeboks Too!

I guess alot of people wouldn't "get" this, but I've been really upset about some gorgeous trees on our property that got weighed down in the snowstorm.  Now, these are some HUGE and HEAVY trees ---- it's not a simple matter of a stake and some rope and you're done.  I've toiled with thoughts of having them cut down and taken away (very expensive), or having someone come here to try to "do something" with them (also very expensive).  No one in the household seems much bothered by the trees left for dead except me.  And that's ok too - I realize that not everyone is quite as sensitive and "attached" to living things as I am.  I've also been HERE, at the house, for some 40+ days now, and you know how that is - you "see" things you might not even normally notice quite as much.

In any event, I was browsing around some of my favorite fantasy art sites earlier today and saw this one by Selina Fenech that I had admired some years ago but had forgotten about:

and I thought to myself....."Wow, that drawing depicts exactly how I feel about those dying trees in the backyard!"  In fact, I also have a tree stump just like that in my front yard - where the neighbors cut down a tree long ago (it's on the borderline of our properties).

I'm sorry people, but chopped down and/or dying trees make me sad.  That's just the truth.

Later on this evening, I had settled in to do some online work when my neighbor came to the front door and said, "I just wanted to let you know, we're in your backyard checking out your tree situation."

The next thing I know, she and I are sitting on my back deck with the animals (hers, mine, ours) watching her husband and his friend literally standing these huge trees up with the help of some ropes and tools!  Honestly, I didn't know whether to applaud or cry or swirl up a huge batch of margaritas!

 Huge thanks to Kevin 
and his generous friend whom I have never even met before!

There are no guarantees of course, BUT....I happen to believe, with a little nurturing and loving kindness, there is hope for my beloved ones.

And...with more people like this, there is hope for mankind.

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~Kahlil Gibran

Herstory 101 by Tina - with 1960's turn-the-page techno

I love apples.  Fresh, juicy green apples are my favorites.  I wish I could carry an apple with me each day as I go about my travels for a snack.  Apples really are the perfect, convenient, healthy snack.  Wouldn't you agree?  (Do I sound like a commercial?)

*Ding* Turn the page...

I'm allergic to apples.

*Ding* Turn the page...

I live in a neighborhood known as, "Apple Greene."

I'd say it took some guts to move into a neighborhood I'm allergic to, wouldn't you? 

*Ding* Turn the page...

All of the streets in Apple Greene are named after apples.

I live on the corner of Cortland and Quince.  The union of bitter and sweet.  The Cortland apple is known as one of the sweetest.  The Quince is very bitter.  Did you know there are some 7,000 varities of apples?

*Ding* Turn the page...

My actual address is Quince Court.  Now - Quince - she's an intriguing little thing.  Quince was the apple Eve used to seduce Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Look it up, if you don't believe me!  Aye, the tree of Forbidden Fruit -  Knowledge and Good and Evil  :)

Biblical Paintings - Dr. Lidia Kozenitzky

*Ding* Turn the page...

Known as "The Fruit of Love," the Quince is also referred to in the Song of Solomon.  Greek mythology associates the Quince with Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, and many believe that the golden apple given to her by Paris was a Quince.

*Ding* Turn the page...

The Fruit of Love...

    "They dined on mince and slices of quince, 
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;  
    And hand in hand on the edge of the sand  
    They danced by the light of the moon."
"The Owl and the Pussycat," by Edward Lear

*Ding* Turn the page...

A little more about Her Majesty, The Quince, and how she reigns now, in the twenty-first century:

"Looks can be deceiving with the flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa). Most of the year this fairy tale shrub is a mass of tangled, thorny branches with mundane foliage.   Heh, says Me.  But!  In spring the beast becomes a beauty with showy single or double blossoms. In October (when Tina was born) we are rewarded with fruit that makes a great marmalade or jelly."

*Ding* Turn the page...

Now, if you so dare to think She's beautiful but as useless as a dumb blonde, read on:

Revered for thousands of years (all the way back to the Garden of Eden, as we now know *smiles*) for her practical and medicinal purposes, including:
Anti-nausea syrup
Preserves, jams, sauces, and butter
Sore throat treatment
Inside home as a room deodorizer
In cosmetics for "glossy" look
Excellent source of Vitamin C
In skin moisturizers, especially body butters

*note to Self:  MUST TRY.   
Added bonus:  In the month of October (my birthday month), Korres will donate 5% of every Quince Body Butter sold to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
*Ding* Turn the page...

Oh yeah!  Back to Eden (which literally means "paradise" btw)...

A few years ago when I was working on transforming our shed into my little hideaway in the woods, I jokingly remarked to a friend, "All I need now is a serpent!"  The next day, in passing, my neighbor says to me, "Hey, Tina, just wanted to let you know you might wanna put some moth balls out...I saw a snake go under your shed yesterday."  Mmmmhmmmm.

*Ding* Turn the page...

That same summer, I joined an online writer's forum.  Of course, I had to come up with some kind of witty identity for myself...it IS a writer's forum, after all.  I decided on "I've Been Everything."  After I made my first post, I noticed that there was not enough room to display my whole name.  Dang it!  Oh well, instead it ended up looking like this: "I've Been Eve." 

 "Eve" by Montserrat

Perhaps it goes without saying...I decided to roll with it.  I mean, there's no denying how utterly enchanting she is!

*Ding* Turn the page...

Fast forward to today... 

We're in the midst of a sweet sunshower (the marriage of rain and sunshine).   Heh.  Nothing unusual here in the Garden of Eden.  You do know the old wives' tale, don't you?
"In the United States, particularly the South, a sunshower is said to show that the devil is beating his wife."  Satan's such a JERK!

*Ding* Turn the page...

Hence, we arrive at the conclusion of today's Herstory lesson.

I DO have work to do yanno?  What d'ya think - I just dawdle around muchin on fruit in paradise all day or sumn?

Signed, Eve Herself

*Note to Mom, who's probably the only one still here, and who buys me everything I want --- have you ordered a Quince tree for each of our yards yet?  :D