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Thursday, October 27, 2011

With Reckless Abandon






Just Kidding Around




There is a time for serious ponderous heavy handed highly concentrated effort. A time to plan, to plot and to produce. There is a necessity to be consciously conscious in our business and in our lives. Life is serious business. You know the old saying about idle hands. Nose to the grindstone. Making our numbers. Reaching our goals. Striving to get ahead. Being the best. Measuring up. Rising to the occasion. Managing. Controlling. Negotiating. Being a team player. Motivated. Maximizing potential. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need a nap. Having reached my fullest potential, I am exhausted.


Okay. Time for play. Uniforms. Rules. Play books. Strategies. Go for the burn. Adversaries. Hit 'em hard. Tackle. Wrestle. Score. Run. Jump. Leap. Pass. Shoot. There is no "I"in Team. Uh-Oh...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...sorry another nap. One leap too many I guess. Napping. I am good at that. Very good at that. 

Daydreaming is good too.

So is play time. 


Rest and relaxation. 

Time for a play date. Get out the crayons. Play-Doh. Dress up clothes. Sock puppets. Clown make-up. Hmmmm...maybe not the clown make-up. Clowns kinda scare me. But you get the drift.

Be a kid. 

Children play. All the time. They color outside the lines, run like the wind, and let their imaginations run wild. Little kids often find the wrapping and the bows and the box infinitely cooler than what is actually inside the box. They can make an entire orchestra out of a drawer full of pots and pans. They create their own soundtracks with zooming noises and whirrrs and vrroooms and kapows!

Remember Mr. Potato Head? Lincoln Logs? Legos? Anyone? Anything   sound vaguely familiar? There was a time when kids built stuff without instruction manuals, using Tinker Toys and Construx.

Entire cities. Fortresses. Castles. Enchanted kingdoms. 

I remember having boxes of old clothes we turned into costumes and then played dress up which led to a play we performed for our parents until fits of giggles brought the curtain down. If I told you right now to go to your junk drawer, the one beside the sink, and that you have thirty minutes to invent a new board game...could you...would you??

Play. Is. Important. Foolishness. Leads. To. Silliness. Leads. To. Giggles. Leads. To. Laughter. Leads to...


The wonder of the world. the world around us and the world that lies within. Without the ability to return to the childlike wonder that resides in our hearts, how can we ever be glad?  Happy? Joyous? 

Take time to play. Etch-A-Sketch a few new laugh lines. Then take a nap. Here is your permission slip.

Dear (To Whom It May Concern),

________ is under the weather today. Please excuse their absence. 


________'s Mother...

...Who Always Knows Best 

Maybe my dear one, just play your oboe.

Just for today, make your own music.

Thursday, October 20, 2011











Usher In

The Age Of

Seasoned Reason


I had a show this past weekend. A crimson maple festival. A celebration of the end of Summer and the welcoming of Fall. It is a time of mixed emotions for me. I find it sad, sometimes, to watch my hostas curl up and wither. To empty the clay pots of faded beauties, to cut back the dying foliage and to rake up piles of leaves beneath the shedding branches. I talk to my plants and thank them for such sterling service. For the breathtaking panorama. I walk through my garden and tidy up loose ends. Rake and trim. But as the dusk nears, the sun hovering on the horizon filters through the multicolored prism of red, yellow and gold, in a radiant fiery glow. I feel warmed and renewed.

I love the garden. Repeating lines and designs, the cycle of the seasons, the balanced palette of soft pastels and riotous color, the comfort of stillness and the eternal promise of Spring after a cold harsh Winter. 

I wonder.

Is this the passing of time, running out of time or timelessness?

As did a woman in my tent this weekend. She lingered near one of my pieces a moment too long. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, "That's me... starting a new season." She was scared. I stood quietly beside her, put one hand on her shoulder and said to myself..."50". The big five-ohhhh. Been there. Done that. I do remember it. The "pause", the intake of breath just before acknowledging such a significant passage of time. 

I had to catch myself. Temper my words carefully. Fifty, for me, was a problem only on the "day". Friends, family and coworkers love to drape you in black, mark you "over the hill" and laugh at your expense. It's all in good fun, but what they didn't know, is that the next day, fifty years plus twenty-four hours, I would have a private party. No more rules. None. A free woman. To think and do and be whatever I wanted. More of this and less of that.

Like a snake shedding its skin, or a tree losing its leaves.

Whew! A hot flash followed by a cool breeze. 


In fact,

there are only three important things to remember

on the eve of your fiftieth birthday...


One...Here. You are still here

Two...There. The past is exactly where it should be. Past. where you are headed. 


Women entering the third "season" of life need new accessories. I know the fashion magazines dictate that this is the season of black and beige, but this is no time to be colorblind. This is the season to be vivacious, voluptuous, audacious, bold, daring and spectacular. This is your time to startle, astound and amaze. Glam it up with large dangling earrings and a slash of red lipstick. Think candy apple red thoughts, be as cheeky as cinnamon, and load up on just enough sass to keep you on the edge of the trouble pit, without falling in. 


Growing older is a gift, not a curse. 


Open the door for...





Overnight the wind changes direction

The color palette softens to sienna, ochre and umber.

The third season of life is best viewed in diffused light.

But do not be lulled because what follows is:

Leaf Pandemonium

Leaves do not age gracefully. They have a riot.

So should you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Red Light Green Light












The healing power of "No!"


No thank you. Not now. No way. No how. Not. Nope.

It isn't personal. 

Oh yes it is. Very personal. 

If you are an amateur, a novice, a greenhorn, a neophyte, a tenderfoot, or in my case, a babe in the woods, the word "NO" stings. It hurts. Rejected. Not good enough. Not worthy of honorable mention.


NO...has the power to overshadow all the Yes, Yes, Yes, Come on in, For Sure, So True, Of Course, Right This Way successes.

That's why I advise any of you out there in the ether, trying on something novel, starting an adventure, rebranding your business or launching a new idea, to hitch up your flimsy little fish fins and before leaving the pond, prior to your nosedive into the ocean... buy boots. Steel toed construction worker boots.  

Purchase a hard hat and body armor. 

Live life like a lizard. Thick skinned and adaptable.

On the road to big, bigger, biggest and good, better, best, you will meet the troll under the bridge. Head on. Waving a red octagonal sign loudly labeled "Who goes there?" Boldly, you smile and introduce yourself. Make your pitch. Cock that bat over your shoulder and prepare to knock it out of the park. Whooosh. A swing and a miss.


Mr. or Mrs. Troll, on a roll, demand you pay the toll. 

Here are your choices. Stomping around feels good. Cussing under your breath is an option. Slapping your forehead with the palm of your hand is okay, but whoa, such a headache. Crying, weeping and wailing while slinking off towards home is very dramatic...a trail of tears. Ah! The pain of an artist. The suffering. Indeed.

How about this? What if "No" is part of the plan. Maybe it doesn't mean not ever. Never. Maybe it just means Not Right Now. Maybe there is another way around the tollbooth.

Remember when we were kids and Mom took us to buy new school shoes? How she'd pinch the toe and make sure there was room for growth? Hearing the word NO is tough when your toes are pinched and your feet are itchy. The important thing to remember is who wears the shoes. And the pants. The big girl pants, in my case.

You would never be here, in this moment in time, if you did not do something well. You love what you do. You love the people you meet. You live to be in the game. You try. You try very hard and so do those people who occasionally have to tell you No. Not right now. It's not a trick. They hear it too. The No. 

So while you may hear the word No, let me translate one more time. NO is simply an opportunity to lace up your boots , walk around in your own shoes and your own space. The space that you created, coordinated and cultivated. It began with a seed.

It is now a garden numbering flowers to the power of yes. 

Yes I believe I will. 

Yes I believe I am able. 

Yes I believe. In fairies. In Santa. In things I cannot see.

This is the part where someone says, "Clap if you believe"...

...and the light turns green...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Just Between Friends










Many years ago, in a moment of total insanity, I took my just-beginning -to-talk-all-the-time-toddler with me to buy a new bathing suit. He reclined in the umbrella stroller, fascinated by his new Spiderman sneakers. I gained twenty, thirty, forty pounds during my pregnancy. I heard rumors that I could lose up to two thirds of that weight during labor. Labor lasted twenty-six hours.

I lost three pounds. 

There, in the mirrored dressing room, in sacred silence, I struggled into something stretchy, while parts of me struggled to get out. A little voice floated out of the dressing room, wafting over the top of the stalls and down the corridor. The voice of my young son, lilting, "Oh Mommy, you're exploding !" Muffled giggles, snorts and hee haws echoed back. We left. Quickly. 

And thus it came to be.

My lifelong definition of friend is...the ONLY person I would ever let in the dressing room, while trying on a bathing suit.

We are much too casual with the term "friend".

We all have acquaintances. 






An acquaintance is one who says call me if you want help.

A friend is the one who shows up when you need it. 

Friends complement each other like:

Ketchup and Mustard

Salt and Pepper

Burgers and Fries

Ice Cream and Cake

Cheese and Crackers

Foodie Bookends...can't have one without the other. 

If I reached into my pocket and found one solitary M&M, I would share it with my friend. And my friend, well aware of the sorry state of the inside of my pockets...would eat it anyway. 


To my friend, I would say...

-Year after year I show you exactly who I am-

-year after year you love me anyway-

-year after year you show me exactly who you are-

-and I love you anyway-

-between see and saw-

We balance each other...

Sweetness and Light



You and Me. Tee and Hee.


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