Accept Yourself….and Others, Too!

I don’t care for the National Calendar of Days today…

You see, today is “National Blame Someone Else Day”, and really. I think we do that far too easily already. Don’t encourage it, for crying out loud! Instead, let’s put this quote somewhere we can see it.


“You can get discouraged many times, but you are not a failure until you begin to blame somebody else or stop trying.” ~John Burroughs

Yes. Blaming someone else is easier. Is taking the easy way out one of your goals for this year?

Mine, either. I won’t use blame to excuse my own bad behavior. Throw it on that pile of destructive tendencies we’re getting rid of and walk away.

I fully realize that it’s difficult (but not impossible) to accept yourself and others unconditionally. We’re learning to take things in small steps, right? Here’s how to start:

  • Yes, try to make things better…but also accept the fact the we live in an imperfect world.
  • Remind yourself that we are here to learn lessons. Life is going to keep giving you the same lessons, over and over and over, until you learn them. I, who have to learn everything the hard way, can attest to this. Just consent to learn, even if it feels uncomfortable.
  • Admit that YOU might have helped create the problem, whatever it is, that you somehow contributed to your current situation.
  • Take some alone time. Try to view the situation from a different perspective. Yes, this does require you to be really honest with yourself. That’s on the pile of things we’re keeping.
  • Let go of your attachment. In other words, ….(some of you had better sit down for this one)….Stop trying to control the problem! Again. Not easy. But this is the only way to create room for growth.

You can do this. I know it. So can I. Remember-we’re all in this Universe together.


Folic Acid Awareness Week


Folic acid helps the body produce and maintain new cells, so it may help reduce the risk of colon and cervical cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It repairs both DNA and RNA, and enhances brain function.

What is folic acid? Also known as Folate, it is a synthetic form of Vitamin B9. Naturally, it is found in many foods. Dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, whole wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli….the list goes on and on. But because the human body does not store folic acid, we need it every day. Good news for my husband, since he could eat broccoli every day and be quite content!

You should always discuss your vitamin regimen with your doctor. With folic acid, you should especially discuss any kidney issues, infections, alcoholism, and any type of anemia.

What is folic acid used for?

  • to prevent certain birth defects
  • restless leg syndrome and sleep problems
  • anemia, when caused by folic acid deficiency-it will not treat the deficiency of Vitamin B12. Symptoms of folic acid deficiency include forgetfulness and fatigue.
  • depression
  • memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, age-related hearing loss and macular degeneration, osteoporosis
  • nerve and muscle pain
  • vitiligo

Unless you are allergic to it, no common side effects have been reported with the use of folic acid. Some people have, rarely, been known to suffer from an upset stomach.It is not expected, according to the FDA, to be harmful to an unborn baby, and the risk of overdose is minimal because folic acid is water-soluble. Excess is naturally excreted by the body.

Did you take your vitamins today?



Crystal Grids


Have a lot of crystals lying around? Confused by the idea of combining them?

I was recently present where a question was asked about how to create and use crystal grids. Despite my extreme addiction to other areas of organization in my life, this is not something I regularly do. Not consciously…anyway. I will admit that I have my three personal “Power Stones” arranged on the corner of my work space table. But I never thought much of it.

You create a crystal grid by arranging crystals in a specific pattern that strengthens the focus, both yours and theirs, of your intention. This can help your intended results to manifest more quickly.

So how do you do it?

Well. That’s the thing. There are as many ways and ideas as there are people. Or crystals. I am a strong proponent of the intuitive approach (to almost everything), so I have no hard and fast rules to offer. You may have come to the conclusion, and rightfully so, that I don’t much like rules. I truly think that there is no one “right and wrong” way to do much of anything. You have to find what works best for you and do it.

That said, I did browse around and gather some resources for those of you that prefer to have a step-by-step guide. Please feel free to ignore any part of these articles that says: “you have to”, “you need to”, “only”, or anything like that. I offer these resources as a guideline for you, and I fully expect you to build on this foundation to find your own way. If these ideas, as you find them, work for you—that’s wonderful! The sources of these articles are all ones that I respect quite greatly. But if their ideas just don’t quite work for you….adapt them! Change them! Make them your own!

Here are some places you can go to learn more about crystal grids:

This should give you something to do on a cold and snowy day! Crystal grids can be used for any goal, so have fun, and feel free to share your results and opinions.

Someday We’ll Laugh about This

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

We’ve almost reached the end of our first week of 2017, which is, coincidentally, National Someday We’ll Laugh About This Week. Don’t ask me why…

Many of us have set out with grand goals, good intentions, and a full-on positive outlook. Time for our first check-in! How are you doing? Making progress? Or already regretting your stupid mistakes?

Let me make this clear. I don’t believe in stupid mistakes. I don’t believe in mistakes at all. Why? Because you can track your progress in mistakes (more reliably, sometimes, than in your successes). Mistakes expand your ability to solve problems. Nothing that happens in your life is insignificant, and, no matter how devastating it might seem at the moment…it might be funny later.

Mistakes set the stage for new possibilities, because you can always try again. I know that Yoda disagrees with me on this point. He’s been known to say, “Do or do not. There is no try.” While I get his point, I respectfully disagree with the little monstrosity. Only by trying do you develop an appreciation for what will work…and what will not.

If you judge yourself for every perceived mistake you make, letting it become a reflection of your potential, you’re digging yourself a hole. Holding onto mistakes prevents us from achieving harmony.

Look, I don’t like it, either, but short-term discomfort is crucial for long-term growth. Sure. It may be embarrassing or painful, but a mistake serves a purpose – it is a learning tool. And tools are things that you can use to improve!

Fear of a mistake is a limitation. Do you want to accept limitations?? I don’t. I want to learn to drag race this spring. I’m terrified. I’m going to make rookie mistakes and Elmer is going to announce them for the crowd to hear over the loudspeaker. What could be more embarrassing? What could be worse than that?

I’ll tell you. What’s worse than that is that I’ve allowed this fear to prevent me from trying something I really want to do! So the more experienced racers might laugh. They won’t be laughing for long, I promise you. Because instead of regretting my mistakes, instead of hiding from embarrassing loudspeaker announcements, I intend to take away from those experiences whatever lessons I can learn. My dining room wall is going to have trophies by the end of the season.

How we relate to our “failures” is what matters most. So do something for me. STOP defining yourself by your mistakes.

Avoiding this learning process does nothing to benefit you. Throw it on that pile of old habits we’re ditching. Release yourself from the limitations – no one put them there but you.

You won’t know what you can do until you try. Keep in mind – our thoughts have real energy. Are you going to let them defeat you? Or use them to propel you toward success? There will always be obstacles in your way. These don’t prevent you from trying. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t let defeat stop you. The only real mistake is not trying again.

Get out of your comfort zone! We’ll laugh about it later…


Small Steps toward Big Changes

I recently asked my Facebook followers to submit posts for the blog, according to January’s “new beginnings” theme. Today, I am happy to feature one of those submissions. The writing “voice” may sound familiar to you, but (although I was given complete editorial freedom) that’s simply because this was written by the woman responsible for….ME! My mother! Some of you know her (we call her “General Mom”), but for those of you just meeting her, she is not only a successful Director of Sales at a very busy restaurant, but also a second-level practitioner of Reiki (and my biggest safety net). Please enjoy her post today!


I have never been one to make huge New Year’s resolutions- I cannot remember them. So this year I have decided to try to change my life for the better in small ways, regularly, with the hopeful goal of  decreasing the stress in my life that all these small things cause me. Sounds simple enough, right?

My first goal is to reduce “nit picking”. (Yes, I can see those of you who know me trying not to laugh out loud). For those of you who are not familiar with this word (it might be Pennsylvania Dutch?) it means BEING VERY PARTICULAR. Other traits include: being overly methodical, extremely orderly, very regimented.  I am very good at it.

Maybe not such a small goal, especially for me, but let’s just start “nit-picking”.

Mismatched socks for instance. SERIOUSLY, the person who invented mismatched socks must be one of those people so lazy that they just take their socks out of the dryer, throw them in a basket, maybe dump them in a drawer, and grab any two when ready to wear.  Whoa! I just described most of the sock-wearing population as lazy (note to self…future goal=less judgmental).

My apologies. So, let me just say that the inventor was looking for the easy way out…(nope, still a negative, sorry), dis-organized (negative), color blind (very negative)…I have it- they were free spirited! Yes, that’s it! FREE SPIRITED. Now that sounds like a good, stress-free, non-“nit-picky” goal.

But, back to the socks (2nd note to self…3rd goal=less digression).

I was first introduced to these socks last Christmas when my daughter gave me several pair for Christmas. Knowing me very well, she introduced me gently-they were all black, with different patterns of the same color. Not so bad right? Wrong! Really, who wears zig-zags with stripes? polka dots with triangles? Apparently, everyone but me. Sorry to say I did not make it very far with my first try, and these socks have just been lingering in my drawer (matched as best I could).

This Christmas, I asked my husband for knee socks. “Knee socks?” he said. “What do I know about buying you knee socks?”

“It’s easy,” I answered, “they are in the sock section, labeled KNEE SOCKS.”

My mistake. I should have been more specific.  Christmas morning I received not ONE pack of four mismatched pairs, but TWO! (My husband seldom buys me just one of anything). No black background here. Try hot pink, neon coral, turquoise, yellow, orange, PURPLE for goodness sake. Good grief! And he looks so pleased with himself! “I found you knee socks!” He sure did.

The next day, we started our annual road trip to visit relatives. I said, “I can do this”, and bravely donned two socks that had absolutely nothing to do with each other. Grant you, I was wearing blue jeans and boots, so the chances of anyone seeing this bizarreness was slim. I tried (unsuccessfully) not to notice the clashing of my feet as I traveled, boot-free, for a couple hundred miles.

Thank goodness, a rest stop! Time to put my boots back on. I could stop looking at these socks and wanting to rip them off. ( This is me, the original “barefoot contessa”, being happy to put my boots on??)

We finally made it to my husband’s cousin’s house. I sat down and absent-mindedly kicked off my boots. The cousin turned to my husband and whispered, ” Her socks don’t match”…

MORTIFICATION! Seriously? People really notice? I am going to have to rethink this entire process.

In the meantime, I am trying – I put on my mismatched socks in the morning, pull on my knee-high boots, and don’t take them off until I get home. So nobody can see. But I know they are there-just arguing with each other, those pink and coral flowers, the crazy purple and turquoise stripes. I will persevere. My feet, at least, will be FREE-SPIRITED!


Get Ready to Soar


So we’re all ready to set off into the new year on a positive note. Right??

I thought we could take a minute to discuss birds and their symbolism. Because of their ability to fly, birds often evoke thoughts of freedom and liberation. They can also bring us perspective.

What is the significance of a certain bird if it has appeared in your life? What does it mean when a bird shows up in your dreams or meditations? If you just happen to have an affinity for a particular bird, what is it’s spiritual significance?

I’ve compiled a checklist of keywords for various birds, sorted alphabetically. Have a look at it, then head over to the Facebook page and take part in today’s activity!

  • albatross: signs, omens
  • bluebird: modesty, happiness
  • bluejay: proper use of power
  • canary: finding your Voice
  • cardinal: renewed vitality
  • catbird: communication
  • chickadee: truth, expression
  • chicken: fertility, sacrifice
  • cockatoo: relationships
  • condor: overcoming limitations
  • crane: wisdom, honor
  • crow: wisdom, universal law
  • cuckoo: new fate
  • dove: peace, maternity
  • duck: integrity, emotional comfort
  • eagle: leadership, creation
  • emu: responsible fatherhood
  • falcon: grace, mental agility
  • finch: variety
  • flamingo: healing
  • flicker: growth
  • goose: travel
  • grackle: excess
  • grosbeak: family
  • grouse: personal power
  • gull: communication
  • hawk: guardianship, messages
  • heron: self-reliance, aggression
  • hummingbird: faithfulness, joy
  • kingfisher: warmth, prosperity
  • lark: harmony, luck
  • loon: hopes, re-awakening
  • macaw: vision, healing
  • magpie: intelligence
  • martin: luck, peace
  • meadowlark: inner journey
  • mockingbird: recognition of abilities
  • nuthatch: higher wisdom
  • oriole: warmth, joy
  • owl: magic, omens
  • peacock: pride
  • pelican: unselfishness
  • pheasant: fertility, sexuality
  • pigeon: security, home
  • quail: protection, secrets
  • raven: magic, creation
  • robin: new growth
  • sparrow: awakening
  • starling: etiquette
  • swallow: home, protection
  • swan: love, grace
  • swisher: accomplishment
  • vulture: new vision, fulfillment
  • waxwing: courtesy
  • wren: resourcefulness, boldness

Spread your wings, my friends, and let’s rise to meet the challenges!

Filling in the Blanks

There was a blank spot on my blog plan today….

That’s good, right? Wrong! I cannot be trusted with blank spaces….Given my freedom, I tend to end up in one of my twelve sets of Grinch pajamas, curled up in my leopard-print Snuggie, eating potato chips and watching old episodes of Law & Order.

I can do this for weeks.

Who am I kidding? I can do it for months! It is, after all, cold outside.

This blank space is exactly what I intend to avoid in the coming year. But, woe is me, I haven’t received my planner yet. Planner procrastination. How am I to go about keeping on task??

This past weekend, I resorted to Google Calendar. It’s easy to use, and the most suited to my super-obsessive system of color-coding everything. I like colors. I sat down and planned out my days, in half-hour increments and pretty colors. I planned everything. I’m not kidding. Everything. Not just when there are presentations to attend and important birthdays to remember, but also when to wash the dishes and when to get dressed to “go to work”. (Which is a whole other story….)

At some point, The Barbarian walked by and the rainbow-colored computer screen caught his eye. Peering over my shoulder at the array of green business events, yellow social events, very important red events, and so on, he asked, “WTF are you doing?”

“Making a schedule,” I told him jauntily, entering my morning routine into a turquoise box, “so I can stay motivated. I have to start thinking of my work as a job, and jobs have scheduled tasks to be done.”

Having been self-employed himself, many times and for many years, he nodded  wisely, albeit with a somewhat smug grin. He didn’t say another word.

Until yesterday.

When he came home from work, I was frantically rolling our cigarettes, donned in full Grinch regalia, with my hair standing on end. He burst into laughter.

It is rare for my husband to burst into spontaneous laughter. Rare enough that I should treasure the sound of it. But really? If it wasn’t for his dimples, I think I would have kicked him.

“Scheduling working out well for you, then?” he finally managed to sputter.

I took my frustrations out on the cigarette machine. Tobacco flew everywhere. It’s okay, though…I’m scheduled to vacuum today. “I was!” I insisted. “I did my meditation and my workout. I worked on product photography. I was right on schedule until 3:00”.

Which is true. I was. And 3pm is a dangerous time. It’s the time that the human body wants to slow down, take a break, unwind…or in my case, take a good, long nap. But it’s all good. We formulate our best plans, plot our desired routes, but there are always going to be road blocks, detours, and obstacles. We just have to re-calculate (to quote everyone’s satellite navigation system everywhere) and keep going. And guess what? I’m making this post right on time!! Yes. I know it’s not 3pm yet….

Before you go, have a look at the new photographs I did. You’ve probably already seen this products. They’re not new, but the pictures are, and I think I’m finding my style. My skill isn’t improving much yet, but you can’t have everything at once. What fun would that be?

Thanks again, for spending some of your valuable time with me (can I be coded in purple on your Google Calendar, please??) and please feel free to visit the Etsy shop if you’re interested in any of the above items.

The Value of Patience


One of the nasty things I’d like to see us put behind us for the coming year is our all-consuming need for instant gratification.

I hear a lot of people saying that young people today expect to get anything they want, any time they want it. This is not surprising, since people of all ages have become accustomed to acting without limit or restraint. The result is the childish minds that were so prevalent across social media in the recent U.S. presidential election, among many other such topics.

People have come to have a “present focus”, with no attention to the resulting consequences of their words and actions..Rather than control our impulses, we fire off a tweet, text, or post in reaction to every little thing. We become susceptible to those who trying to tempt us to stoop to their level.

Our society, as a whole, is perpetually impatient. When we could search for information and actually learn something, we find it much easier to simply ask someone else to hand it to us. This affects every corner of our lives.

The craving for instant gratification, in itself, is nothing new, but in this modern age, our expectation of “instant” has become faster than ever. The sad thing about this expectation is that it most often leads to abandonment of our goal, because we are simply not willing to put in any effort. Most people are becoming shallow consumers of information, not wired to think in the long-term.

But can you really gain something from nothing?

Sure you can. You can gain debt. Clutter. Bad health. Distraction. Mindlessness. Narrow-minded thinking. Anger. Impulsive behavior. Higher stress. Lack of self-discipline. Poor planning habits.

These are not things that are on my wish list.

I’m as susceptible as anyone else. So what’s the solution? Moderation. Setting limits. Finding focus. Becoming more conscious.

Part of my goals for this year is simplicity. To better my health and achievements requires the ability to appreciate things. With more sense of control, you’ll find more value into putting forth YOUR OWN effort. In my opinion, this is how to build strength of character, build willpower, and promote self-discipline. There is value in patience.

Want to join me in this endeavor? Here’s how we’ll begin.

Curb the urges—you don’t have to act on every whim. Delay, calm down, and make a conscious decision—know what you want, why you want it, and what you intend to do with it. Enjoy the moment, most certainly, but set clear boundaries for how you will reward yourself. Build a strong support network (I like to think that’s what I’m doing here!) of people who help you through difficult moments.

So keep yourself accountable for your decisions and actions. Think about how you impact the people and the world around you.

A lot of things that are really valuable take time. It’s that simple.

Imagine the Impossible


Today we are celebrating National Science Fiction Day!

Okay, I’m excited, but I see some of you out there scratching your heads. Come on! We’re all familiar with sci-fi.

This form of speculative fiction is crammed with imaginative, but maybe not so imaginary, concepts. Futuristic technology, space and time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. (Oh my!) The underlying theme of science fiction is to explore the potential consequences of innovation. I would suggest the major technology corporations read some….

Sci-fi has a wide range of themes, but it is different from my most beloved genre, fantasy, because of one major point. The imaginary elements of sci-fi are largely possible.

It’s highly unlikely that I’ll fall down a rabbit hole into Wonderland or follow a yellow brick road to Oz, as I hoped when I was a child. I still hope it, come to think of it. But. When I was a child, one of the most fantastical cartoons on Saturday mornings was the Jetsons. Remember them? They had all sorts of strange gadgets. Gadgets that are far from extraordinary today: flat screen televisions, tanning beds, and video calling.

Think about all the impossible things, the fictitious concepts, that are real now: hoverboards, robotic vacuum cleaners, automated cars, smart watches, iPads, GPS tracking, instant messaging, 3D printers, ear buds, wireless electronics…..

I could go on….and on…and on…..

It seems only appropriate, in our quest to embrace the unknown, to imagine the impossible in our new year, that we, too, celebrate Science Fiction Day. This date was chosen because it is the (presumed) birthday of Isaac Asimov.

Celebrate with a good book, a cool movie…heck, watch old Star Trek episodes if you have to resort to that. And if you don’t know Isaac Asimov, do it in memory of Carrie Fisher.

Those of you who are more enthusiastic might be interested in this list at Upcoming Cons (a “con” is a fan convention, if you’re still scratching your head at me).

Dare to dream, my friends, and may the Force be with you!


Let’s Get This Party Started!


The month of January was added to the calendar in 713 BC, making it one of our newest months. It was named for the Roman god Janus, whose name translates as “door”, the two-faced god symbolizing beginnings and transitions. With his two faces, he is able to look back upon the old year while simultaneously looking forward into the new one.

The gemstone for January is traditionally the red garnet. Sadly to say, I don’t have many of these, just a few tiny faceted ones. Their red color can represent the way that light is beginning to return, now that the winter solstice has passed.

Every beginning naturally prompts us to look back, to consider past events and reflect upon the things that we wish to change. Unlike Janus, we can’t just stand here, though-we have to leave the old behind in order to embrace the new. This doesn’t have to be a mind-blowing event. Even a small change can be meaningful enough to transform some aspect of your life.

Some ideas for making a fresh start:

  • First things first. Accept change, embrace the unknown. Renewal is a necessary process, so let’s undertake it with a spirit of adventure!
  • Boring but true-clean out some clutter. Get rid of that stagnant energy!
  • Forgive someone.
  • Start meditating. Easy for me to say, I know. Harder for me to do, I admit. I really, really want to do this. I’ve even programmed my stupid Alexa gizmo to prompt me.
  • Re-arrange your furniture. It might be fun to study up on the principles of feng shui.
  • Try a new recipe. It might just be that simple.
  • Break a habit. Another one that is easier said that done. I doubt I’ll quit smoking, and I probably won’t quit procrastinating, but I’m going to pick some habit, I promise you.
  • Take up a hobby.

My “theme of the month” (I’ve decided to have one, how about that?) is going to have to do with these new beginnings. I have posts planned for here and for the Facebook page to inspire and motivate you (and me).

Get ready to celebrate our small victories!