Thursday, April 20, 2017

Where I am from

This initiated from BETH WOOLSEY'S BLOG.
I have take this to my family, and so far, me, my two granddaughters and my sister have written their own version.

Where I’m From

I am from the ocean,
from Europeans and Gypsies who traveled to work in the forests and make a better home. I am from a mail-order-bride grandmother who hitched her wagon to a logger & raised children in moveable camps.

I am from the whimsy,
the ridiculous, the redolent, the indefatigable.

I am from the gardens,
the rainbows.
I am from stick-to-it-ive-ness and fervor, from mom and her mom and her mom's mom, a legacy of COMPETENT (!) women.

I am from the tirelessness of an immigrant spirit,
from "be kind" and "it IS Spiritual!".

I am from a Catholic elementary school & a public high school; I am from that oil & water education.

I am from endurance and tears: tears of laughter & joy & the mixture of both, as the learning to love, while loving & living -parentage shaped the two siblings & I, as we grew.

I’m from Oregon, by way of Scotland & Yugoslavia, Pavatica & Scottish Shortbread.

I am from the
father & grandfather innately mechanically inclined,
the twin aunts,
the two half sisters I met when we were grown women,

I am from Oregon and valleys, coastal tide pools, Tillamook Bay, the Pacific Crest Trail, the shadow of Hood.

I am from encouragement towards dreams,
I am from follow your bliss and the happiness will trail: (taught to my children and their children.)

I am from biking, hiking, camping, skipping, exploring, mountainous & gorge, deserts & valleys that have planted the Pacific Northwest's nature's scent & desire.

I am from sleep under the stars, jump in the puddles, bike down hills with arms a-flap, gaze in awe & still be struck by the four glorious seasons.

I am from roots here, and a wanderlust to see, see, SEE all the other cultures, gardens, architectures, epicurean delights & witness their love-of-home.

I am from dip my toes, dip them in this and that and never ever, never ever tire of the new.
I am from let me smell that newborn's head, that newborn's feet, that honeysuckle, that jasmine, that daphne, that kiss.

I am from let me never tire of the next experience.

I am from...?

This from Helen:
age 10

Where I’m From:

I am from the ocean and I am from Chanel 5 and I am from Rice Krispie Treats.

I am from  the home of laughter and tickles.

I am from the daphne, and the tree house.

I am from gingerbread houses on Thanksgiving, and from Christmas presents early in the morning.

I am from joy and chaos,  from Whitesides and Haynes.

I am from silliness, and music, from sign language for “more cookie” and  constantly being told, “put the book down!”

I am from love and grace, from dance and sleep.

I’m from Albany and Scotland, from Yugoslavia and Ireland.

I am from tacos and brownies.
From my Dad in Modesto, and Mom in Oregon City.

I am from Legacy Ballet, and the Albany Community Pool.

I am from technology and from the sprinkler. I am from all the arts,
and I am from my family.

This from Alice:
age 12

Where I’m From:

I am from book, from Junior Mints and peanut butter.

I am from the home of caring, heart, and family.

I am from the daffodils, and from the swing.

I am from the Birthday Queen, from the tech whiz and the Spanish aficionado.

I am from love and loyalty.

From have book, will travel, and I love you.

I am from believing in myself and feminists and fighters.

I’m from Albany, Oregon and falafel and spaghetti.

From the Whitesides and the Haynes.

I am from Harry Potter and Keeper of the Lost Cities and drama.

I am from friends, teachers, and family.
I am from all of you!!!


Where I’m From:

I am from pen, the chocolate and peanut butter.

I am from the village, close to the city, accessible.

I am from the earth, the roses and the alstroemeria. I am from family gatherings, from Tomac and Haynes.

I am from the Yugoslavian and Scottish immigrants.

I am from the nickname Happy, and from hope, and from honesty. The letter H rules.

I am from Catholicism, but I walk my own path.

I’m from cabbage, shortbread, and venison.

I’m from the creative beautician and the mechanic. If only Etsy had been around during their time.

I am from black and white photos with wavy edges, camping in home-made trailers, and home brew.


The author writes about her son, shares a template, his version of WHERE I AM FROM and then hers:

Where I’m From Template:

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.
I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)
I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).
I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).
I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.
I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).
From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).
I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).


Where I’m From
by Cai Woolsey

I am from computer.
From Twix candy bars and XBox.
I am from chaos.
I am from madness.
From helpful
And dirty.
I am from the willow that weeps
And the pear that is sweet.
I am from eating snow
And joyfulness from Beth and Greg.
I’m from loudness
And ruff housing.
From peace
And love.
I’m from kindness
And giving.
I’m from my Papa’s Marines
And from cheese and steak.
I’m from the hospital.
I am from my home.


Still, I thought. Still, I’d like to try so I might see. You know? And I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I steal some lines from my son.
Where I’m From
by Me
I am from the wilderness.
The jungle.
The highlands.
The home.
I am from chaos.
From magic and mess.
From grace and grime.
From wonder in the wild of a life lived off course
from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
I am from the water;
the ocean which is dark and light
and full of life and danger.
I am from hot toddies made by fierce and friendly women.
From ancient Irish enemies — Kerr and McDonough —
and their Scottish Murray foes,
turned friends, then lovers, then strangers, then friends again.
I am from dramatic sighs
and doing things a better way
and blowing up
and quieting down
and trying and succeeding
and trying and failing
and trying
to love each other well.
I’m from Stop Baiting Your Brother, Beth
Someday You’ll Be Best Friends,
and she was right; we are.
^^^I’m from telling my kids the same thing.^^^
From Brainwashing for a Better Tomorrow.
I am from Love made real who walks among us.
From Love which still turns the whole world upside down.
I’m from the Celts and the Gaels
and the Viking pirates who sailed the sea.
I am from the Wild, Wild West
and an Asian jungle,
and so I’m made of rice and whiskey
and freckles
and things that taste free.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


“Every time you make a commitment to your own self-care, self-love and self-respect and then follow through, you build trust in yourself.”~ Miranda J. Barrett

"The difficult thing about being empathic...  is that most of us can’t turn it off.

Some days that’s fine. We feel strong, and we can roll with it. You know what I’m talking about. When you are well centred and emotionally strong, when your energy is high and you’re feeling great, then it is easy enough to cope with difficult situations, troubled relationships, needy people. Things roll off you. You don’t take life personally. You don’t bring it in under your skin.

But sometimes (we, who feel this)... our energetic skin becomes so thin that everything affects us. Maybe we haven’t had enough sleep. Perhaps we’ve had a shock or an upset. Or we’ve simply had so long immersed in the mega-sensory space that our lives entail, that we’ve reached sensory overload.

When that happens, emergency measures are needed. We need to redefine boundaries and self-care.

Here are my top ten tips for protecting yourself from further burden, and allowing yourself to come back to balance again. I’ve learned all of this the hard way, and I know that it works.
  1. Don’t watch the news on television, or news clips on you-tube, facebook or other social media. Don’t listen to it on the radio. When you’re already fragile, any kind of trauma can put you over the edge.
  2. Avoid movies or television that portray violence, aggression, struggle or pain. You’re an open wound. You’ll take this in too, and feel and process it as though it’s your own. Turn it all off. Don’t go there.
  3. Don’t answer the phone. If the thought of talking to that person makes you uneasy or if you feel you need to force yourself to pick up, then don’t do it. Don’t put yourself in that position while you’re vulnerable. Speak to them when your boundaries are strong again. Now, it will only make things worse. You know it. Don’t do it.
  4. Avoid crowded and noisy places. You’re a raw nerve, friend. What you need is sanctuary, not stimulation.
  5. Turn down the invitation. Don’t go out of duty. Spend some quiet time at home. When you’re overwhelmed everything is harder. You may well put yourself further down the hole in an effort not to let others down. This time, put yourself first.
  6. Rest. Read a book, watch a gentle movie, spend time lying on the bed or sitting in the sun. Cuddle loved ones and pets. Nap often. Lavender essential oil on your temples, back of neck, and soles of feet,
  7. Sip warm tea, and eat simple warm foods. Cold and raw are harder for the body to digest. Warm soothes shock. It nurtures and comforts. If it’s furiously hot weather, drink fluids at room temperature, or sip tea anyway. A little sweetener is fine, and often helps.
  8. Let go of plans and commitments for a few days. Empty or reschedule your calendar. Simplify everything. You need space and time for this energy to clear, and to become strong again.

I am totally fine at "stealing/sharing someone else's wisdom.  It is well done, and here it is:

Here’s my new plan and goals for 2017.  Short, sweet, and I hope, freshly fabulous. My hope is it gets you thinking about your 2017 – in a new, light and happy way.
  1. Make money on the product I (and my partners) have focused on for 15 plus years. Get leverage from years of work already finished. Continue to make it better as it takes off. New technology will allow us to sell it quickly (January and February launches are set) see what works, what doesn’t and what maybe never will.  Dump it or celebrate it.
  1. Feel as good as I can every day. Exercise, meditate, pray, give time and attention to those in need who are present on my road. On the days I can’t do these things, take a longer nap.
  1. Use some new inputs for spiritually, reflection, growth – mix it up a bit. Get off old lists, or emails and get on newer ones. Constantly curate my world.
  1. Continue to write. Continue to read good books. Watch more Netflix. When in doubt or any distress, listen to classical or spa music.
  1. Have as much fun, find reasons to laugh and do as many new things as possible – both alone and with those I love. Travel frequently but lightly.
  1. Coach people I love and know I can influence – keep that group very small. Let my tribe thrive (those who matter) and keep those close who care, and detach from those who don’t, without any thought. If something needs a great deal of analyzing, skip it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Three things from Hot Tub


Today after work, I went in my hot tub and opened up the umbrella to sit on the top of the gutters. (It provides an extra covering for me because part of the hot tub is under the eaves.) I also love the tip tap of the rain on the umbrella.

It is quite a Zen place for me. There was no wind at all; the spinner wasn't spinning the chimes were not singing and the WhirlyGig was not whirling.
Right near the WhirlyGig is a pottery plaque that has the sun and the moon kissing.

As the tip tap of the rain was on the umbrella, a dove landed by the "moon and sun kissing". I have never seen a dove in the neighborhood; I don't know if I've ever really seen a dove.

It made things even more Zen and shortly the bird flew away, followed by a fast thrumming overhead.

Hanging over the hot tub is a hummingbird feeder, and I had recently filled it up again.  The bird buzzed over my head multiple times before landing and staying, I bet, five minutes slaking it's thirst before it sped away.

I could hear ambient traffic, but it was mostly silent, the sun was going down and I had a very pleasant "three things."

                          le deuxième colibri jacuzzi

Which is French for second version of hot tubs and hummingbirds.

In tonight's hot tub chapter, the snow drifted lightly and the wind spun everything and all the chimes were singing.

The funniest part, is that, as I sat on the side of the hot tub (& unlike last night, when the hummingbird feeder was directly over my head,) I watched one hummingbird have its dinner... it also
 "had its bathroom."

Luckily it crossed my mind, that it might be a multitasking bird, so I had sat to the side of it in the hot tub tonight.
Later on, I saw two of them come to the feeder.

(You know, I gave up on my birdfeeders because I have ravenous and marauding squirrels. Knowing that the hummingbirds have found my feeder gives me joy.)

(The snow is beginning to be here, heavily, enjoy the snow fall. 

                                                                   and the hummingbird was very grateful.)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stitch ... unfinished

...her thoughts:
"To me Stitch isn't that bad of a name, as nicknames go."

 Yes, she knew how to "keep it together" and she knew that she was a good fixer. Another aspect of being called Stitch is- she was FUNNY and kept people in stitches sometimes. Of course “a stitch in time saves nine" was a motto she adopted, so that a problem "right now" was dealt with currently, and not later, when it was worse to deal with. Although she was pretty modest, she had been a "streaking child" and would run with abandon "without a stitch of clothes on." Who knew where the name originated? It was apt. It was easier to ask what jobs she HADN'T had in her life; she'd worn so many hats, but she always had been a person who could stitch it together at the last minute.

Sometimes, to play with the metaphor, she hung on - barely by a thread.  Obviously the stitches weren't holding well if she was thread bare. And there were times she had gotten "a stitch in her side" that took her by surprise so badly, she had to drop out. Dropping out is what she did when the grief overwhelmed her, and people were just TOO much to be around, and all that people exposure just UNRAVELED her.

To the outsider, the weave was tight and durable and pliable and would stand the test of time. Zoom in to the microscopic areas, and the vulnerable flaws were glaring. It occurred to her that she tended to rescue people:
(those who were falling apart at the seams?)...
and fall for those she helped...
A favorite song describes it well:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you had not have fallen,
Then I would not have found you -
Angel flying too close to the ground.
And I patched up your broken wing and hung around a while,
Trying to keep your spirits up and your fever down.

I knew someday that you would fly away,
For love's the greatest healer to be found.
So leave me if you need to, I will still remember:
Angel flying too close to the ground.

Fly on, fly on past, the speed of sound;
I'd rather see you up than see you down,
So leave me if you need to, I will still remember:
Angel flying too close to the ground.

So leave me if you need to, I will still remember:
Angel flying too close to the ground.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

                     She DID pick them up and they DID leave,

The loose thread, that if yanked would be the end of her, the un-ravelling, she noted, was always on HER, because of her helping...
It was all about the broken-winged, and she would fall for them, and then the grief of THAT,
of giving love to them was magnified,
that was only -
like a "round of antibiotics that would be taken temporarily"...
 and then once, healed,
 they no longer needed her.

A friend of mine wrote this in their blog and it fits for me, too:

2016 has been a year of falling. And falling. And falling. And getting up. Today, I felt like maybe I wasn't learning the lesson - that maybe getting up ISN'T the point. I talked myself out of that, but it wasn't easy.

I have had two physical falls in the last couple of months. Yesterday, I took a very bad fall while on a work trip. Like call the EMTs, bleeding, totally scary, still shaky today, kind of fall. And I got back up again. But I am changed.

I realized today that this is how it happens. You fall (physically, mentally, spiritually) and it HURTS. And you are vulnerable. And you have to trust people will help you up. And they do. But you lose a little faith - in yourself, in your ability to cope, in your ability to get up.  And then you don't want to take a path that isn't perfectly laid out, that isn't smooth as glass, that doesn't have 100% visibility. It's too dangerous. So you don't take that road. You don't take any road. And then the world gets a little smaller. And so does hope. And faith. And trust.

I realized today that I feel like I am disappearing. And that is unacceptable. But I don't know how to stop it. Falling HURTS. And I have been doing it all year. I can't do it much longer and that scares me, too. I am going to take some time to reflect on all of this. I have been ignoring some signals and I guess the real point is that I can't ignore them any longer.

I think I might be visiting here a bit more often right now. This is kind of a good place to reflect on some things.

Monday, August 15, 2016

David Lincoln:

1/25/48 - 8/15/99

A man of great life, he explored with vigor, bicycled NOT with speed, but with MUST SMELL THE FLOWERS - curiosity; (cannot miss a thing, you know,) hiked with enthusiasm and loved deeply. He loved so deeply.

Dear Dave, I recall in you in SO many things. You have been gone 17+ years, and it feels like 6 minutes. It was Spring of 1993 and the internet didn’t exist. The local alternative paper (Willamette Week) had singles ads. I gave it a whirl. I immediately wanted you to get back to me, after I responded to your ad, and after one or two letters, I was really eager to meet you.

Our first date was a breakfast at Sharri’s restaurant, followed by a bicycle ride up in Oxbow Park, mostly along the Sandy River. It was an immediate revelation of who you were and your personality and I fell; you fell, and we fell hard for each other. Years went by with terrific vacations, many weekends on a shoe string budget (often $20 limit; boy you were so frugal!), and an inventive way to get out there and have a good time. Oregon is so diverse, it was easy to fill our weekends with The Gorge or mountain, coastal, local hikes, bikes and constant other adventures.

You had the best nickname for me and I can still hear what you called me, I can still call up (my brain can STILL hear your voice), that name: ANNIEDEAR, like it was one word.

You were pretty tidy, lived clean, not a slob bachelor, but you were not too great about random hazards: i.e. fish hooks. Once, when I lay on your carpet, in front of the wood-stove, I found the back of my hand attached to a hook that was stuck in the carpet. That was not too fun, extracting my hand from a barbed fish hook, but the second time was worse, when the fishhook was in your van’s passenger seat, and I hoisted myself up, in, and attached to a butt fish hook. Seriously, I don’t know how you managed to extract me from either hook. I was not angry and you were always so funny; you invented a new Native American name for me after that: Hook-In-The-Heiny. Not to be outdone, I named you Whiz-in the-Woods. (Yes you did, why use a bathroom? If we were outdoorsing it, you would pee on a tree. Granted, most men do.)

It was a great love. A fantastic love. An ill- fated, cut off early, not a rocking-chair-retirement future, but it was a Rocking Chair love.

You were only 51. Too young to leave.

I Still See You!

I still hear you.

Te amare por siempre.

(I love you forever.)

****David Lincoln (Jones) RIP, 1/25/48 - 8/15/99****

It's such a colossal effort not to be haunted by what's lost, but to be ENCHANTED by what was.
I don't know how the heart WITHSTANDS it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

3 things... 8/2/16

My three things:

My lovely deck requires lots of tree detritus maintenance.

Currently, it's nuts to sweep off the deck.

Lots & lots of nuts.

My peaceful deck is #1

I decided to clean the deck and throw some nuts away from near my rock stack.

My peaceful stack is #2

Something moved near my rock stack.

The view from above:

Right where this arrow was, was the tiniest frog.

To be honest - that's a stock photo.

I ran in, got my camera, tried to find & capture him on film, there, resting in my rock stack - & he blissfully hopped away.


While I was liberating nuts from my deck and trying to "capture" the frog on film, I kept hearing a young female "cry out" a few doors down. "Mike. pLeAsE! Pleeeeeeez! Don't." over and over and over. Mike. Please. (I know there are good "Mikes" in life. Lucky-them. Me, not so much; I had a relative, Mike, who was a merciless teaser. This felt reminiscent of child hood or other times, where I was "not heard".)

I could not tell what it was I was hearing, for sure. I remember recently reading a little thing on Facebook, where a father heard a sibling teasing the other, there was many times that stop was said and stop did not happen. The father got all up in the event and made it very clear that the word stop means stop and you have to listen and you have to listen and you have to STOP.

Mike. Clearly. Ignoring. Her. Pleas.

It felt like that thing from Facebook. The plea was loud enough and continuous enough, I was emotionally disturbed. I did not know exactly where it was coming from, and I was ready to go confront them.

Instead. I yelled in their general direction. I yelled: "Listen to what she is saying! Listen to her!"

It stopped.

Whatever had been going on, stopped.

Don't we all have to interfere?

Message in a bottle (nod to Sparks)

messaged in a bottle

I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away.

I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier in Garibaldi. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the marina rail. You are stunning; I am stunned, I think, as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when I think you’ll turn to me, you begin to fade. I think to myself... "Do you know him?" It’s a simple truth. "Better than my own heart."

I stop before I can reach you to take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, you cannot return my embrace, yet I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again.

I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, miss how you protect me. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be. But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us.

I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible.

And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. Your voice echoes in my ears and the gull cry, the briny scent of the marina, the wind in my hair... these never fade.

Where are you? And why, I wonder as I sit alone in my darkened house, have we been forced apart?

I don't know the answer to these questions, no matter how hard I try to understand. The reason is plain, but my mind forces me to dismiss it and I am torn by anxiety in all my waking hours. I am lost without you. I am soulless, a drifter without a home, a solitary bird in a flight to nowhere. I am all these things, and I am nothing at all. This, my darling, is my life without you. I long for you to show me how to live again.

This bottle, it was the right thing to do, write this note, seal it, travel to the Spit and send these last wishes off to you. I could not be here when they scattered your ashes. My daughter got married. You would have LOVED the ceremony. The same day your ashes became one with this bay, she said her I-do’s to a wonderful man. I believe my son-in-law will care for her as well as you have cared for me. The cycle goes on. One of these days, I might be a grandmother. Today, though, I send these wishes to you, bottled up and hoping that by some delightful chance, your ashes and this bottle meet, and you smile that goofy smile with that "Mr. Ed" hat, and all is well in the “fishing place in the sky.”

My life began when l found you. And l thought it had ended when you passed. l thought that hanging on to your memory was keeping us both alive. But l was wrong. I am hoping to be brave enough to open my heart & love again, no matter how terrible my grief. lt will scare me and hurt. l know you'll bless me. And bless us all. lf l can't, then l'm still blessed because l've had the privilege of loving in my life. YOU gave me that.

Loving you always and always, your