DINK #164 Grateful, Grateful, Grateful

Posted on : 31-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Tonight I’m scooting in here just under the deadline to make it a daily blog! Had a great day today with my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, husband, brother, sister-in-law and best friends. I’ve been with some family member since Friday at 10:30 a.m. and I’m pretty much just feeling grateful. Yes, I did have a couple of mini-meltdowns, at my husband’s expense, but nothing like I used to have in the past.

I don’t know about you but when it comes to being around family, especially family that I’m not around very often, I can get a bit tense about things and my need to do everything perfectly can raise her ugly head. Most of the time; however, I can take a quick inventory of what is going on with me and what I need to figure out what I need to do to stop myself before I go over the edge.

Tonight I’m thinking that feeling grateful feels like love. I think that gratitude and love are interchangeable. When I’m feeling grateful my heart expands just a bit to accept love that I may have otherwise overlooked and when I’m feeling loved or loving, I am grateful that I am able to feel it. I’ve often wondered if anyone else–especially people that I respect–have ever had the experience of going from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds flat with a vicious inner dialogue about someone that you love but for whatever reason are completely miffed about at the moment. It’s such a gross feeling when I feel that way, like I’m sliming all over the inside of myself. And when I get down to it, I’ve got to say that the over-arching feeling at that time is the feeling of being constricted by fear. It’s a tight feeling that squeezes even tighter with each negative thought or scenario so that I can really get worked up into a really good frenzy about the person, bless their heart.

The moral of the story? I like the way I feel when I’m grateful because my heart feels expansive and I’m able to let more love in and give more love out. What’s not to love about that?!

Feel grateful, it’ll do your heart good

DINK #162 Caught Between Being Too Old To Understand Kids And Too Young Feeling Not to Understand Them!

Posted on : 30-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Sometimes I wonder how I ended up being the age that I am and not a mother (at least not a mother of the two-legged kind (we do have 2 dogs and 3 cats). Luckily, I do have three nieces (16, 13, 11) and a nephew (14) and they are all great kids. Still though, sometimes I feel like I’m caught between being too old to understand kids and too young (thinking at least) not to understand them.

Right now two of my nieces are creating Avatars for their SIMS games. They’ve spent about an hour and a half doing everything from creating their faces (heard a lot of comments about how nice Daniela’s “mom’s nose looked) and now they’re figuring out where their families will live. Every once in a while I hear some Japanese words spoken by the characters when they meet up and I can understand maybe one in twenty words (aso deska). I have no idea how the games are played but they do sound like fun from what my nieces have tried to tell me about them.

My little brother and sis-in-law came by to meet the girls tonight upon our return back from the beach and I was immediately aware of how my (considerably younger than me) SIL is so good at interacting with kids. She’s fun!! And has great energy to boot. I never stop to think about not having kids around all the time until the girls come to visit and then I realize what we don’t have. It’s nice to have them hanging around (except for when they’re fighting, then not so much). It’s also interesting to observe my brother’s kids’ behavior and my brother-in-law’s kids’ behavior…very different yet the same in many instances. One set have always had a mom and dad who love and respect each other and the other set have two homes with parents who love them very much but not each other. My hat is off to my brother-in-law who has made it a point to be very active in his girls’ lives and just bought a new home about five minutes away from them.

When I was little, I was infatuated with the idea of having six children, like my friend Jeanette from sixth grade who came from a large Catholic family. Then I grew up and didn’t get married until later in life which may be one of the reasons that the window for creating offspring shut fairly quickly (that and all the repercussions from my rather rambunctious youth!). I’m not sure what kind of a mom I would have made to humans (I seem to do quite well with the four-legged variety) but I’m starting to see that being a mother would be another awareness and acceptance of who I am. Sometimes I’m crazy fun and can stay in the ocean for literally hours and hours boogie boarding and other times I can sit quietly reading and just hanging.

What I know for sure (thanks O) is that I do not want to grow old and stiff in my ways and thinking. I hope that I can always be a fun aunt and also an aunt that my nieces and nephew know they can come to with various questions which I will definitely listen to intently while helping them to sort things out.

As Joni Mitchell sings, “we’re all just aging children”.

DINK #161 Yes, It Is Possible to Be Sober At The Beach And Have Fun Too!

Posted on : 30-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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This past July I celebrated 20 years of continuous sobriety. I came through the back doors of a program that is designed for friends and family members who have a problem with somebody else’s drinking and then about two or three years into it realized that I was one too. My denial was really, really high for a number of reasons. First of all, I was what you might call a high-bottom drunk. That meant that I could get pretty tipsy on not very much liquor, beer or wine and usually, I’d drink past my capacity trying to keep up with my drinking friends and end up making donations to the porcelain god throughout the night, always waking up with a horrendous hangover in the morning.

It is so nice to be at the beach and to be sober if for no other reason than to not feel sick. But the allure of alcohol is everywhere seducing us from billboards to outdoor cafes to radio ads with the come hither viewpoint of a cold one that will hit our spot just right. I gotta confess that even after these many years of so many miracles and gifts in my life from not drinking, every once in a while I can find that addict part of my brain pining for what never was. Like tonight in a little Italian restaurant we went to off of a side street in the older section of Galveston, the glasses of red wine were calling me name and then the bread drizzled with butter and garlic added in its melody and there was a veritable symphony happening right in my own head. And then spirit decided to send one of those red wine drinkers to the bathroom just as I was finishing up washing my hands and I got to hear her talking a little bit too loudly as she jostled the door handle a couple of times. On my way out, she acknowledges me with that false intimacy that sometimes comes along (at least it always did with me) after two or more glasses of vino. No thank you.

And not that there is anything the matter with drinking for those people who can drink and be normal like I have never been able to do. In fact some of my best friends are scuba diving party people in the most fun way and I’m right along with them getting silly on my sparkling water. I just recognize myself in those people like the woman outside the Ladies Room tonight and it makes me glad that I don’t have to live like that anymore.

So, yeah, it is possible to actually enjoy the beach without a beer or margarita to help smooth out the time. I’m not even doing caffeine right now so there is pretty much nothing between my experiences and me. I have noticed that by gum those negative ions pouring off of the waves from the ocean have mellowed me out considerably and the chatter in my brain has smoothed out to the sound of the surf flowing in and out. Maybe some of the time I’m not the party animal that I was in the past but I was able to stay out in the ocean for a heck of a long time with my niece as we patiently tried to catch a wave on our boogie boards.

For those of you who do drink, enjoy a cold one for me and for those of you who don’t, yes, it is very possible to have a really enjoyable time at the beach and be as sober as the day you were born.

DINK #160 Aussies At The Shore

Posted on : 28-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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This morning while enjoying the morning waves at the beach in Galveston to what did my joyful eyes see but three beautiful Aussies making their way to me! I met “Trig” who is a tri-colored champion in confirmation; “Bailey” who is a Blue Merle ranked #35 in the world for Frisbee catching and Storm who is another blue merle and I believe has championships of his own in agility. For the life of me, I cannot remember their very nice human momma’s name (Kristen?) but she was very nice and spent a good amount of time telling me about her dogs and answering all my Aussie questions. Her female, Trig, is the champion in confirmation but she could jump straight up vertically and make all kinds of twist and turns to catch a Frisbee while playing at the beach. Trig usually doesn’t get to play Frisbee because they want to protect her from harm, but she sure did get to have some fun today–which was fun to watch!

You know that I was in dog heaven with all these guys running around ready to play and so well trained. I’m just ignorant enough about what makes an Australian Shepherd champion that these guys reminded me of P-Paul a lot! All of this made me think of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers” about what enables some people to be such winners. In Gladwell’s synopsis, sometimes it really does boil down to the luck of the draw and being born into the right place at the right time. Of course I realize that with dogs it boils down to genetics but I also believe being born into the right environment or at least raised there can make a difference.

Even though I certainly don’t have a champion Aussie at home, I do have a guy with important qualities that I enjoy like paying attention, alertness, great temperament and the love of fun. I saw those same qualities exhibited in Bailey, Trig and Storm. Just gives me a little bit more to ponder in regards to the importance of what we bring to the table as humans and how we make the most out of what we have.

I wonder what Bill Gates or Steven Jobs are like when they are allowed to just run free at the sea shore. And how many people are out there with their same qualities but haven’t found their niche yet in which to express it?

Be willing to jump for the twirling Frisbee no matter how many twists it takes….

DINK #158 You Can Never Have Too Many Hamsas

Posted on : 28-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized



Maybe this is just something that can happen to you as you get older, but for some reason in the last year or so all of a sudden I’ve become very aware of several things that we seem to have many versions of in our home. Maybe it’s because we forget that we have something when we’re traveling and don’t realize we already have at least one or two or even four of until we bring said purchase home and start looking for a place to put it only to find another one of its kind already there. And here I thought I was a minimalist!

Take the Hamsa, “Hand of Fatima”, an amulet that defends a home against the evil eye. Several of our Israeli relatives have sent various versions of the Hamsa to us with a blessing for our home and, of course, they are so beautiful that I love hanging them up but I’ve often wondered that if you weren’t me or my husband, (which you wouldn’t be because I am me, he is he and you are you….) then I’m not quite sure how our home would look through your eyes to see Hamsas adorning at least one wall of each room, if not two or three. Still, it seems like you can never really have too many Hamsas because is there ever such a thing as receiving too many blessings or warding-off of the evil eye?

The hands must be doing something because we lived in our home for almost 15 years come this December, which is the longest I’ve ever lived in any place in my entire life. After a weekend of enjoying my side of the family, now we’ll be enjoying David’s side of the family for a few days before we all jump back into school and life. David and his brother already had a truly obscure Austin scenario while driving down Slaughter Lane they spied a huge fish, like the kind you would eat, laying on the side of the road. It seemed like it had been alive at one time (meaning it didn’t look fake or like someone’s abandoned art project). Now what, you begin asking yourself, could have possibly happened that caused this fish to be on the side of the road? My brother-in-law said, “oh you know, it’s from road rage, you know when people get road rage and they begin flinging fish at each other….”. I explained to them that it is for times like these that those handy cameras on the cell phones are truly meant to be used. To memorialize the impossible, digitally. Otherwise, it just becomes a really big fish story…a good one no doubt, but still a story….

It feels good to have family sound asleep in almost every room in our house tonight. Sometimes I really do feel like I could live in a commune quite well, as long as everyone picked up after themselves and, of course, as long as we could hang as many Hamsas as we desired.

May the force be with you…

DINK #157 Acting As If….

Posted on : 27-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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When I was younger, okay I admit from embryo up through my thirties at least, I did not know who I really was nor what I believed in from my own free will. Oh sure, I had some definite preferences such as loving animals, deep belly laughs and swimming in the ocean but for things like what books I most enjoyed reading or music that really touched my heart—I pretty much relied on the people who lived outside of me (which, of course, is everyone!) to take my cues. So you know that if I couldn’t even tell you what was my favorite color then I surely couldn’t tell you what leader I favored and why I chose them.

Then after many years of deep belly button searching and spiritual exploration, I began to know more and more about myself. And what I began to know and, most of the time accept, was that in some groups I had a very, very different way of thinking and feeling about ideas, people, places and things. In looking back on my life, I can see that I’ve always been this way but I just hadn’t realized it. Maybe most of us are this way but often times we just don’t talk about it.

For me, I can see now that when I was in the process of coming around to what I believed and thought that because it was so different, I judged it that I must be wrong. I mean, if people who I respected in my life believed in ways of being that were so different from me, then I must not have a brain in my head. The problem must have been with me, right? Of course I see now that this was a pretty hard way to look at myself. Either- or, black or white, good or bad I could only see things in two ways. In some cases, there are only two ways to see something, I grant you that.

I feel grateful tonight because it feels like my family accepting my wish not to attend an event that they are all enjoying right now is a breakthrough for me and for them. It’s okay that they’ve gone on and that I’m sitting here back in my hotel room catching up on work and touching base with you guys. I enjoyed today very much hanging out with my brothers, etc. and I don’t feel like I have a big ole head of purple hair (not that there’s anything the matter with that if you do).

Acting as if we have a brain in our heads means investigating the meaning of truth for ourselves, accepting who we are and allowing others to be who they are so that maybe just maybe we can all learn how to get along with each other in our own special way.

DINK #156 It’s All Relative

Posted on : 25-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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All I have to say is it’s a good thing I love my family on both sides (mine and my husband’s) so much. This weekend, my husband’s mom (via Israel) as well as my brother-in-law and our two nieces fly into Austin at 11:00pm tonight from New York. Meanwhile, I drove up from Austin to Dallas with my littlest brother and his bride to meet our other brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, mother-in-law and my father to attend the Freedom Festival. Wow….now that is a whole lot of family to digest in one weekend (I’ll be driving back on Sunday to meet up with my husband and then we’ll take off for the beach). I love all of them very much and feel very grateful for each and every one (that’s me channeling my Tiny Tim).

One thing that I’m learning from this weekend already is that no matter what my opinions may be about “the” war or war in general, as my brother “Howdy” says, “it doesn’t matter what cause you pick to get behind to support the troops and their families (because there are many)….get behind something”. More to follow on this I’m sure as I wish that mankind could learn to get along with each other well enough that we didn’t have to blow each other up in various ways to prove who is the most right and/or to protect our freedoms.

It was interesting to hear my brother talking about the impetus of the Army guys to stay in the war and enlist for more tours was to help out their fellows and then to hear my Dad ask him to consider what special motivation had to come from pilots such as himself when they were flying alone into the war torn skies. What got them to get back into their planes and head up into the special hell that RF-4’s met. Makes me grateful to be too old to enlist and especially appreciate the comfort of my bed at night.

Meanwhile, on a completely different note I get to celebrate my nieces and nephews in all their differences and similarities. Whereas my brother’s kids have been home-schooled in a Christian environment, my brother-in-law’s kids attend public schools and are raised in a Jewish household. Still, all the same anxt that hits kids at various times in their growing years happens to all parties. It is interesting to see how each handles their particular situation.

Sometimes, I wish we could all live in a big family compound and share the wealth of experience, strength and hope that all have to contribute to the group but then again, it’s nice to have a quiet household now and again. I’m grateful for the life I have today and that because of the devotion, dedication and courageousness of some people I will never meet, I can feel confident in the privilege of having the freedom to possess different opinions.

Thank you to all the men and women who give of themselves so that others may enjoy the lives of their dreams.

DINK #155 When Nature Beckons To You, How Do You Respond?

Posted on : 25-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I don’t know about you, but my days are so “full” from sunrise to sunset that it’s easy for me to go way, way inside of my head thinking about people and the world, figuring everything out and trying to make sense of so many issues that don’t make sense that as a result sometimes really important matters fall by the wayside. Today was no exception with going to this meeting and that meeting and running errands all over the place plus catching the talking heads on NPR discussing the impact of China being #1 in the economy department. This evening, I did some last minute neatening up around our home with family coming in late tomorrow evening and as well as packing to go out of town this weekend.

So it’s no surprise to me that when I sat down to type out this evening’s blog, nature started beckoning me first with the image of the moonlight on the water in the pool and then the thought of the swaying Cottonwood above and since the temperature has finally fallen to the balmy 80’s with a nice breeze blowing…I had to go submerge myself in it all! I stopped what I was doing and went out to our back patio and just laid right on the pool’s cement edge which was still a little warm from the day and right below the leaves of the tree blowing in the moonlight. I probably could have stayed there most of the night but I still have to pack for the weekend.

Even though I only laid there for about 15 minutes, I feel much calmer now. I was starting to get a bit revved up with all the loose ends that need to be tied up before 11:00 tomorrow morning and I was starting to get scattered with starting two or three things and leaving them all partially done. It was time for me to take a break and listen to nature beckoning me to come be still.

When nature beckons you…..respond to it. Even if all you do to respond is take five minutes to go sit by a window and look out. My best meditations are those that I do outside. And spontaneous meditations, like tonight, make all those times when I’ve sat still for half an hour with a raging racing mind, so worth the effort. Eventually, your spirit will overtake your mind and you will be able to disappear into the calm stillness of what is effortlessly.

Sending you thoughts of peace softly folded in the summer moonlight. Ommmmmmmmmm

DINK #154 Screech Owls Screeching In The Light Of The Half Moon

Posted on : 24-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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As many times as I’ve heard Screech Owls, I’m always caught off guard just a little bit when I hear one screeching in the woods next to our house. This one made up a fine chorus of notes tonight. Got all the neighborhood dogs to singing and talking about it for blocks all around us. I think our guys are used to it because they gave a half-hearted couple of barks and then trampled over to me, as I listened intently on the steps, demanding my attention.

It’s fitting that my day would end with a Screech Owl letting us know all about it because my morning began with a dear friend of mine calling me from New York as I got ready to set out on a long walk. The net-net of our talk was about how grateful we are to have each other and other friends like us who get enthusiastic about what we’re up to , give us wild support with encouragement and a listening ear. We both realized how important those people who encouraged and celebrated our creativity was in our lives and how much their spark of excitement kept us moving forward. We both are finding ways in our lives to be a spark of excitement for others and also ourselves.

Today a friend of mine posted a You Tube Video of Janelle Monae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwnefUaKCbc and I’ve been playing it over and over and watching all their dance moves. I love the rythm and the beat of the music but even more so is the fun that Janelle and her fellow dancers seem to be having. We need to be celebrating more examples of people having fun with their creativity. Music just happens to be one way that I can instantly join with the musician’s enthusiasm, but there are many, many other ways as well. After listening to my husband grumble and mumble to myself all morning, he was thrilled when he created a new app for his IPAD.

Most of us are out here screeching for everyone, or at least someone, to notice us. Who out there do you know, maybe even yourself, who has a great idea that they want to make real? I think we need to make more of an effort to be the spark to get someone going in the direction of their dreams even if, to you, their dreams seem ridiculously fantastically insane!! As long as they’re not going to cause harm to anyone, what is the best that could happen by giving them support?

My dreams as of this posting are: write and publish a book next year, get picked up by the networks as a talk show host on the air and have the talk show that I’m working on right now get picked up by t.v. for the new Spring 2011 season.

What are your dreams? What have you always wanted to do but needed the support behind you to keep you going?

DINK #153 Angels In Uniform (and not just the kind that immediately comes to mind…)

Posted on : 23-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Ever since I was in 19 and became a Laboratory Tech in a hospital, I’ve always had at least one friend who is a nurse or a doctor. With all the talk that we hear about the medical state of things, at least in the U.S., why it must just be dumb luck that I happen to know some of the finest doctors and nurses out there.

Move ahead many years later and I have two dear friends in my life who are nurses. One has a high level Director job and the other is a postpartum nurse. Both have been “working on themselves” for years and are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally (not to mention physically) while serving humanity. Even when one of these friends took a hiatus from nursing for a year or two and experienced what it was like to be a waitress, she was still the most loving, helpful, caring and diligent waitress that I betcha anyone had ever experienced at that particular place of business.

I will also make a shout out to my physician, Al Lindsey and “lady doctor” nurse practioner, Connie Ryan who I have been going to for years. Both are “real”, honest, insightful and take the time to connect with me. I told Connie the last time I visited her that someday we ought to have a party with her as the special guest and all her clients that are also friends of mine. Probably the same thing with Al as well. I’m grateful that I can go to them even with all the insurance ups and downs to get the kind of medical care that offers working with real human beings.

A good friend of mine found herself back in the hospital last week for a combination of pneumonia and wounds from falls (she’s a Diabetic). I had never been to the hospital that she was in (Lakeway Hospital at Lakeway Medical Center) which is gorgeous! and so was not sure which door to go in. As I was walking in, a nurse who had just gotten off duty asked me if she could help me and actually walked me almost to my friend’s room via elevators and hallways to make sure I found her. Wow. I know that was above and beyond duty.

This friend had to transfer to another hospital where the doctor on her plan is and so I went to visit her there this afternoon. She was very dopey acting even though she said she hadn’t had any medicine but the blood thinner they were giving her before her bronchial procedure in the morning. Finally, I went to the nurses station to find out what was going on with her. The nurse assigned to her case wasn’t there, but eventually the nurse who I’d been asking the questions of and who had seen me in my friend’s room and realized that I was taking care of her, gave me the scoop. She told me what drugs (methodone in the a.m. and a pain killer at noon to name a few…..) she had been given (and this is with HIPPA people!) and then I informed my friend. I had been given permission to know about her condition, but I’m grateful that this nurse helped me so that I could help my friend without making us go through the administrative gauntlet.

It’s easy to bundle everything up and call it good or bad, like everyone and everything about medicine or in the medical world is not good but, of course, it’s more complex than that. Like everything else in this world there are good things and there are bad things. There actually are many good people who are physicians and nurses (and aides) who are sane, caring people trying to do the best job they can. They have parents who are aging, kids graduating from high school, widowed moms, and celebrations just like the rest of us do.

Remember our friends in these kind of uniforms too, the angels are out there if you just look.