Sunday, December 14, 2008


Rebecca and me at a Christmas party, 12.11.08
This picture could look better. It's a little blurry, I would have preferred it to be more zoomed-in, we were supposed to be posing but were cracking each other up instead.
So, yeah. It could look better. But I don't see how it could be better. Two friends with their arms around each other, laughing and truly enjoying each other. What could be better?
I've been wrestling with my perfectionism lately. Well, longer than lately but I've been more present to it lately. Moving to a new house, trying to figure out where to put everything, getting overwhelmed and being stuck. Being completely stopped.
My mantra has become, "you're not stuck with anything." I've been practicing just making a decision - "the dishes will go in this cupboard" - and knowing that if that doesn't work or something else seems better later, the dishes can easily be moved to another cupboard. I've also had to take it much slower this time around as I've been ill and also grieving. This is not an easy task for me - taking it slow - letting go. I want everything in its place and I want it to be ~ perfect.
I am starting to realize, like with the picture above, so much can be missed while waiting on perfection. And it really doesn't matter what cupboard the dishes are in. ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Mom

my mom, 2008 - her 73rd birthday at King Estate Winery in Eugene, OR
I wonder why some people think that having a baby - the actual act of a baby growing inside them - makes them a mom? I don't have kids nor have I ever been pregnant, so I won't pretend to know. I can only speak for myself and for my own experience.

I was adopted so I didn't "grow inside my mom's tummy" - or as I tell her - "just because I didn't come out of your vagina doesn't make you any less my mom". She loves when I talk to her like that. ;)

I know with 100% certainity that this woman was meant to be my mom. We were meant to be together and adoption was the way it had to happen. She had four boys and wanted a girl - or as she put on the paperwork she wanted "a girl with brown eyes who was cuddly". Sometimes I think she got more than she bargained for. ;)

I've been reading Boho Girl's blog - she just adopted a baby and as far as I can tell, all the feelings are the same. The pure joy, the unconditional love, the welcoming of the baby into the family. The fact that a baby doesn't have to grow inside you to make you a mother.
The fact that my mom is the best mom I could have ever grown beside.

my mom, 2008 - Scandanavian Festival in Junction City, OR

Monday, December 8, 2008


Some days are just like this. There's just no getting around it. And actually, some weeks, some months and even some years are like this.
I have a cough that won't go away which makes it difficult to sleep which makes it difficult to function.
We moved the weekend of Thanksgiving and the boxes are fewer but still overwhelming. Not to mention the fact the guilt from the voice telling me that we need to put up our Christmas tree and decorations soon. And the fact that I don't even know if I want to.
I'm pretty sure Christmas comes whether or not you put up a stocking for your dog or a teapot shaped like a snowman (which was a gift from your mom so you really should put it out).
In spite of all this (and other complaints and worries) - I'm looking for joy where ever I can find it....
...finding baskets at Goodwill for $1 and then seeing very similar baskets at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $15.
...a squirrel tight rope walking across the electrical line in the backyard.
...sharing candy with friends at a movie about a dog who thinks he has super powers and a hamster who steals the show.
...sunny days in Oregon in early December.
I'm going to unpack some more - and go to the doctor today. And look for joy in every moment.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Big Brother

Michael Dean Glenna
Born: 9.20.56
Passed: 11.12.08

I miss you, big brother.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Proud to Be an American

Gonna party like a Barack star....

Friday, October 31, 2008

We Believe in Fairies

on Halloween and always.

our magical neighbor Charli (on the right)
and her BFF, Riley.

and our fairydog, Molly.

"Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world,
for I would ride with you upon the wind
and dance upon the mountains like a flame!”
~ William Butler Yeats

Monday, October 27, 2008

Coming Home

There's nothing like coming home after a weekend away to a gorgeous man handing you pink roses with nothing but love in his eyes.

I am loved. I know it. I feel it.

I deserve it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Moon Tonight

"May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and smooth road all the way to your door." ~Irish blessing

Friday, October 3, 2008


My husband got a job today. Today, on the last day of his severance pay. He starts Monday.

Thank you for all the love and support - here and in all areas of our life.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Be Grateful?

A quick glimpse at my life right now can easily lead anyone to believe that there is not much to be grateful for.

My husband was laid off earlier this year and his severance (and benefits) are over this week. My brother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The doctors speculate that he could be gone in the next 2 to 8 months.

I'm living in a land mine of questions that are currently unanswerable. Is that job going to pan out? Will we be able to stay here in Eugene? If not, where will we go? How long does my brother really have? Should I go to Tennesse now or wait till he comes back to California with my mom? And of course, the always popular why and what if? So...why be grateful?

I was very lucky to just complete a 40 day gratitude program called Gratitude Groove with my dear and beautiful friend, Kristin. We spoke on the phone every day and talked through daily exercises together. I realized that I can be grateful - no matter what.

My brother may not live past 6 months - but I am grateful to know this now so that I can spend as much time as possible with him and make sure he knows how much he is loved. It also helps me remember that we really don't know how much time anyone has left - and we shouldn't waste a single second of it - the time to love yourself and love your friends and family is NOW. And love everyone else too.

Malcolm's job situation is not optimal but we are better off than a lot of people - around the world and here in America. We won't go to bed hungry or cold. We also have each other.

It's not always easy. I want to talk myself out of it - I should be sad, I should be scared, I should be sick with worry.

I took a break from the sadness, worry and fear and we went to the Saturday Market yesterday.

Malcolm bought this bouquet for me.

I got some beets that I am going to roast with olive oil and sea salt.

Our friend, Brent showed up and made me laugh.

We saw Get Smart at the dollar theatre and laughed some more.

I realized that the sadness, worry and fear will always be there. I am grateful for what they can teach me. I am grateful for knowing that I can choose to set them aside.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." ~ Buddha

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Church of the Painted Rocks

We live in a new development and there are lots of these rocks around. I've been painting them and leaving them in our neighbors' gardens. I completely stole this idea from the DancingMermaid.

It feels really good to do this and I also get a little scared. I feel sneaky as I plant one of these among their flowers or on their porch.*

Today, just as I was about to put one down, the neighbor's front door swung open. I held it out to her and said, "you caught me - I was leaving you a rock." She said, "you must be a Christian." And I blurted out "No." And then I was stammering, "well, I am, I guess, I don't know." And she asked me what church I go to.
"Um, I don't go to church - I just leave these rocks." :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Say Anything

I first saw Say Anything at the Valley View Twin Cinema in Cypress in 1989. I had just turned 20 and had been engaged for a little over a year. My fiancee refused to see this movie so I went alone. By choice, man. Conscious choice.
I left the theater so in love with this movie and pining for a Lloyd Dobler of my very own (sorry, Jake Ryan).

Things happened like they happened ... married at 22, divorced at 23 and while still pining for Lloyd Dobler, I met Malcolm at age 27.

On our first date, we spent hours doing the "me toos!" -- you love Calvin & Hobbes? Me too! Usual Suspects! Princess Bride! I swooned when I found out that he was also looking for a dare to be great situation.

We ended up back at my house and watched Say Anything till 4 in the morning - and yeah, we made out a little [a lot].

I don't know why, but I was thinking about us and our Say Anything connection this evening - maybe because our first date happened 12 years ago on August 16th. Whatever the reason, I realized that I had used Say Anything as a kind of test. If I wasn't going to find a dude to hold up a boom box for me, I at least wanted one who liked the movie.

And 12 years later? Lloyd Dobler, eat your heart out. I'm only pining for Malcolm now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper

SARK's newest book, Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually DO It is available today. [insert confetti and noise makers here - YIPEE!]

I had the pleasure of being in one of SARK's Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper workshops at Celebrate Your Life in 2005. It was an amazing workshop and I am so glad she wrote the book. I highly recommend both the book ~ and her workshops (I'm intending on the Big Sur workshop in November - at the Henry Miller Library! - yum!). I'd also love to get to one of the book tour events. That's right, I'm a groupie for SARK! :)

One thing I really like about Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper is, while it's the perfect book for someone who wants to write a book, it's not just a book full of "tips". In fact, "this book is for anyone who wants to write and share what's in their heart." It's full of games and exercises but also, as always, SARK shares herself throughout the book and you see yourself in her brave sharing. I especially love the story of her parents meeting and a peek at "how SARK books are made".

As SARK says, "write and share what's in your heart" ~ and I say, do it in whatever form inspires you - blogging, poetry, journals, books, rocks, etc. Just write!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


is a 9 year old neighbor who sidewalk chalks your driveway.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Portland Rose Garden

A life with love will have some thorns

but a life without love will have no roses.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thank you, Al Gore

Two of my closest and dearest friends, J. and K., are coming for a visit this week. I first met them on a message board for the author SARK.
It got me to thinking about the friends I've made because of the internets.
I met J. face-to-face in 2003, when she flew from Florida for a slumber party I was having for 30 virtual strangers. We now sport the same tattoo on the inside of our left ankles (along with our Canadian friend, V.). K. came to a pumpkin carving party I hosted. She brought a pumpkin but refused to cut it. We are forever joined by our associations with a Mr. Dave Grohl.
I have countless stories about other friends from the SARK board - slumber parties, road trippin' to San Francisco to meet SARK herself, beach parties, skinny dipping, baby showers, art dates, and more - so much more. I wouldn't know about Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers (and have my baby, Molly) if it wasn't for Rae from the SARK Board and her sharing about her wheatie, Samwise Gamgee.
And then there's Meet In Eugene. I found this group while doing research about Eugene. This is one boffo group of people and so much FUN!
Lastly, and never leastly, is my husband. We met in an AOL chat room - Southern California room - on August 11, 1996. This was before dating sites. We were just in a chat room and started "talking". An hour later, we were on the phone. Three hours later, I knew I was going to be *very* tired at work the next day. We met face-to-face 5 days later and were married on November 13, 1998.
So, in short, thank you, Al Gore for inventing the internet. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Dear California,
I've been gone 5 months now and I think it's true what they say...distance makes the heart grow fonder.
Someone asked the other day if I miss you. I had to think about it - I've been a little caught up with Eugene and answering questions about why did I move here. There seems to be a note of "you're crazy" in the question. I will tell you though that I've met quite a few people already and not many of them are from here. Crazy, indeed.
Of course I miss my friends and family and think of them every day. But what about you, California?
Do I miss being able to go to the beach and the snow on the same day (not that I ever did that but people in Southern California *love* to say that)?
I'm caught up in the memories right now. Finding sand dollars at Sunset Beach, turning my hair orange with sun-in, my niece's terrified scream when the walrus swam up to the glass at Marineland, my dad singing along in the Tiki Room, countless concerts, riding my bike in the Bolsa Chica wetlands, Dodger and Angel games, swimming and BBQing in December, the fireplace lit and the a/c blowing on Christmas Day, coffee houses in Long Beach, Farrell's Ice Cream, a red scooter, the Southern California chat room on AOL, KROQ, Skateway (now a church) and back to school shopping at Miller's Outpost.
I don't regret one second of my 39 years there. It was just time.
In other words, California, it's not you, it's me.
With nothing but love,
p.s. I'm praying for Big Sur.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Summer!

In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams

Aloha Fairies!

The fairies have discovered that Charli's *very* quiet friend, Riley is not quiet (at all) on paper. She has *a lot* of questions for the fairies - including their mode of transportation ~ "do you ride on birds - hummingbirds? Or butterflies? Or dragonflies?"

After toying with the idea of teeny, tiny scooters, the fairies answered that they use their wings or yes, sometimes hitch rides on butterflies and dragonflies - but not birds (as they are unpredictable).

There were immediately two more notes - one from Charli with a big thank you and one from Riley with *a lot* more questions. The fairies are starting to feel like they are on the talk show circuit and left a note today (with lots of goodies too) - that they are taking a vacation to Hawaii - and it takes a *long* time to fly there and back. The fairies will miss Charli and Riley and will be sure to let them know as soon as they are back.

Aloha dear fairies!

A picture of "fairyland" taken just now....

It really is a lovely home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Officially an Oregonian

I tie dyed over the weekend. And I liked it.

Well, at least Malcolm has something to wear to Country Fair next month.

"Hippies, hippies... they want to save the world
but all they do is smoke pot and play frisbee!”
~ Eric Cartman

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

Reason #389,743 That I Love Malcolm

From cute....

to naughty....

in 2.46 seconds.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy Fairies

The fairy saga continues.

Charli and her friend Riley who was over for the weekend moved the fairy area to the empty lot right next door to Charli's house. They left notes for the fairies (I know this because they came over and asked me for paper to write the notes) but the fairies couldn't get out there till they knew Charli was back to school yesterday.

Note from Charli...
Dear Fairies,
I moved your fairy home! I hope you guys won't get mad at me for moving it but I put it somewere better, you guys get shade and I brought your fairy stuff over.
Charli Jo

this is charli, by the way

Note from Riley...
Dear Fairies,
My name is Riley. The fairies at my house are maybe greedy. I just love fairies so, so much. Can you please give me a bag of things? And what do you look like? Please wright me back.

The fairies responded to Charli with abundant thanks and this was their response to Riley...
Dear Riley,
Fairies are never greedy - but we do get busy. It will be easier to take care of both you and Charli in one place - here. We love you too. We look like blooming flowers and shining stars and dreams come true.
Keep Believing...
The Fairies

The fairies left behind tiny garden pinwheels, letters that spelled out Riley, a tiny latern that lights up and loads of glitter.

The fairies just snuck out to take this picture and found another note...
Dear fairies,
When me and Riley are outside do you guys watch over us? Riley and I think fairies are just so pretty and cool. Will we get to see you guys sometime? We want to be best friends with you, but we all ready are. How old are you? What color hair do you have? What flowers are your favorite?
Love, Riley & Charli
p.s. agien we want to see you! in person!

The fairies' response...
Dear Riley & Charli,
It is best for fairies to stay hidden to human eyes ~ and we also enjoy being sneaky. :) We are "pretty and cool" but also very smart. We are as old as the stars in the sky and as young as each new day. We have all kinds of hair colors...we love all flowers and especially the ones we can wear as hats. We move around a lot but we will always come back to this wonderful spot you have made for us.
Keep Believing...
The Fairies

Sunday, May 25, 2008


“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it" ~ Confucius

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Love, Twoo Wuv

"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."
~Morrie Schwartz

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Boffo Oregon Folks #3

We moved to Oregon and didn't know anyone. I knew we would be okay in the friend department 'cause Malcolm is so darn friendly and everyone seems to like him.

What I didn't know is how lucky we would get in the friend department.
We have met some of the best people in all of Oregon (through

We dress up and eat candy and ice cream cake together
(you should always have a pastry chef in your group).

We karaoke, drink, play badminton, drink, play games, drink,
watch mediocre Hawaii themed movies, book & movie club,
get all pretty ....

and rock out on guitar hero and rock band....

We eat korean food and get serenaded by Joy, the owner of Brail's (voted best hangover breakfast in Eugene).

Evidently, we light up Joy's life. :)

Basically, we celebrate good times (c'mon!).

In all seriousness, this is one great group of boffo Oregon folks
and we are, in a word, grateful.

We also get sad when we have to be apart...

It's okay, Rebecca. We have a lot planned for the summer! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bloom Like a Flower

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Girl & Her Dog

We all know the day will come when we have to say goodbye. But knowing doesn't make it easier or make it hurt any less.

Thank you, Sasha Washa Wiggle Butts for taking such good care of our friend, Jamie.

We'll see you at the Bridge, sweet girl.

Rest in peace, Sasha.

photos by Leigh White

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Keep Believing...

Charli left a note for the fairies today....
Dear Fairyies,

Thank you for the rocks and the fairy items I really like them. One of the farmer guys crushed one of your fairy houses even the activities center and your guyses rock broke. I am really sorry can you guys give me a new rock please!


The fairies wrote back....

Dear Charli,

You are so very welcome. Thank you for building us such a wonderful place. We are used to the farmers and their machines. It is okay. We hope to make you a new rock someday (they are very heavy).

Keep believing....

The Fairies

The fairies left the note along with some beads that spelled out Charli, 5 glittery magic wands and plenty of fairy dust glitter. Due to the sneakiness of this 10 o'clock mission -- by the light of the moon and in full view of Charli's dark bedroom window, the fairies regret that there are no further pictures to share. ;)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Charli & The Fairies (aka Boffo Oregon Folks #2)

Our next door neighbors (Mike & Juli) have a 9 year old girl, Charli. The kind of girl that makes you reconsider not having children. ;) She has a purple bike with flowers and she likes to use the port-a-potties stationed around the neighborhood (for the construction crews). She is very outgoing and Molly loves her.

Yesterday, she showed me the fairy land she built in the empty lots across the street from us. She also told me about her future expansion plans for the fairies' home and hoped that they would like it one day.

So....I got to work last night building a fairy "kit".

And while she was at school, we got busy leaving treasures for Charlie to find in the boy fairy area....

the girl fairy area...

(she made the leaf beds)

leading to her front porch...

and on the front porch....

I watched from the office window as she discovered the surprises in the fairy land. She was jumping up and down and screaming for her dad who was on his way over to see (he helped her build the land a couple of days ago).

Malcolm's over there helping her dad dig out the backyard and when I went over...she came running to me, showing me everything. She told me that she knew the fairies had really come because they had left behind fairy dust.

Her dad told her, " should always believe in your dreams."


p.s. "I think that people who can't believe in fairies aren't worth knowing." ~Tori Amos

p.p.s. very special thanks to dancing mermaid...maker of magic and an inspiration and muse to many.