Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rise and Shine!

Each morning daybreak tiptoes through my bedroom window, nudging me on the shoulder. And each morning, I pretend to ignore it, turning my face to the darkest corner of the room where night still clings. But the wee hours of dawn have accomplices in my bedroom. I’m yanked from the arms of slumber by 16 pounds of house cat flopping across my chest with a resounding “whump”, followed by the slap of fur as a tail methodically pummels my face. Attempting to escape this feline flogging, I turn my attention to the soft trilling chirp now emanating from my left hip. I can feel the rhythmic squeezing of kitten fingers on my knee, but all I see is a flat-panel truckload of silver tabby tummy waiting to be stroked. Draping her chin across my leg, Momma’s Little Princess gazes up lovingly and reminds me that “bellies are for petting”. On sitting up to reach kitty’s tum-tum for some early morning scratching, I dislodge the cat loaf from my chest who now rolls into my lap, spilling toes and whiskers in every direction. This ruckus awakens the dog, of course. All 70 pounds of him proceeds to stretch, stiffening his legs and firmly entrenching the claw hammers at the ends of his toes into my ribs. He drapes his head across my neck and sticks out his tongue at the wad of cat still wallowing in my lap, who promptly spits at the dog and jumps off the bed. Stopping at the bedroom door to toss a challenging glance over his shoulder, the living Halloween cat cut-out then leaps into the air and charges down the hall, with kitten and dog in hot pursuit. The trio races across the wood floors, drifting through every turn with speed that would make a Formula One driver envious. I lie in bed for a few seconds more and almost drift back to sleep, when I hear the shatter of something I’m sure is important crashing to the floor in the living room - or my home office. I know when I reach the site of the disaster, I’ll be greeted by three innocent “It was like that when we got here” faces, but I clamber out of bed and greet the day anyway. Time to rise and shine.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kaleidoscopes!

spyderscopeweb
A friend introduced me to the wonderful world of photo editing and taught me how to make kaleidoscopes out of everyday photographs. Needless to say, I’ve been having a blast turning pictures of my fur-babies into WORKS OF ART. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Married Spiderman!

The secret is out and his hidden identity has been revealed, as apparently I married Spiderman!

spiderman
Steve and I just returned from our fabulous trip to Las Vegas where we attended the wedding of his brother, Jonathan to the beautiful and charming Naoko.

jonandnaoko
While there, it was such a joy to see the family again and meet some of Jon’s delightfully entertaining friends and colleagues. We also visited the Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire which were both breathtaking. As usual, Steve took hundreds of photos, some of which are available in my gallery HERE.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dreams Don’t Die

Sometimes they are crushed, trampled, broken, ignored, forgotten or ridiculed. We may think they die, but that’s because we often we confuse our dreams with expectations we think others have of us. Don’t believe me? Look at the dreams you’ve had throughout your life. Have they changed over time? Is there one in particular that seems to stay with you, perhaps something you always thought you’d like to be or do if you ever got the chance? Something that has remained hidden in the recesses of your mind, but you never could quite shake? That’s your real dream, the one that cries for attention and without which you feel lost, unfulfilled and alone.

Let me give you an example. When I was a child I had a variety of dreams, things I wanted to be when I grew up – an astronaut, a veterinarian, a writer, a ballerina, a pony. As a teen and young adult, my aspirations changed somewhat to include artist, writer, musician, millionaire. Moving into adulthood, I found myself drifting toward athlete, writer, dancer. At midlife, those priorities changed to writer, homemaker and businesswoman (yes, you can be both). Now that I’m well into the second half of my life, I realize there is a distinctive pattern in those dreams. Do you see it? Notice the one thing that has remained consistent throughout the list, the only change being how much closer it moves to the front.

When I was small, I remember watching the first moon landing on television and spending many hours playing with our family dogs. Thus, my ideals focused on astronaut and veterinarian. However, upon entering the teenage years, my natural inclination as the oldest child was to follow in the footsteps of my mother who was then establishing her career as a freelance artist. So it makes sense that the first item of priority on my dreams list at that time would be artist as well. When I met my husband, it truly was love at first sight and I felt an instant connection with him that has never wavered in over 13 years. My soulmate and greatest source of encouragement, he is also a talented athlete, and it is no surprise that early in our relationship I jettisoned athlete to the front of the aspirations list.

Despite all these transformations in my list of dreams, however, one thing has remained constant. From my earliest memory to the present moment, I have always steadfastly wanted to be a writer. In fact, I have always believed I was a writer – something I can’t honestly say about any of my other dreams. Oh, Iwanted to be an astronaut. Or an artist. Or even an athlete. But I never really believed I was any of those things. I have forever yearned to be a writer, though, and felt empty and lost when I couldn’t, for whatever reason, put pen to paper.

And I believe that is what separates a dream from an expectation. You must believe in your dream and know that it always has been and always will be a part of you. It has to reside deeply and permanently in your heart, independent of what else is happening in your life at any particular time. Most importantly, it should inspire you, motivate you, refresh your spirit and give you a sense of being alive. No matter what else anyone may expect or demand of you, your dream must uplift you with a joyous sense of wonder and awe at this amazing creation that is you.

But understand that your dream cannot survive without nourishment. You must cultivate and encourage it if you want it to thrive. I keep a promise to myself to write for at least ten minutes every day, without fail. Sometimes it’s more. In fact, often it’s more. Just like an athlete trains her muscles or a musician perfects his scales, I practice my writing. It’s a gift I give myself, freeing my creativity and encouraging my Muse to visit often and linger just a bit more each time. Once you discover your dream, cherish and nourish it. It’s your gift and it’s worth treasuring.