Friday, April 21, 2006

Find A Penny, Pick It Up

I've been thinking a lot about "prosperity" lately. I tend to focus on what I think I lack -- not enough money, too much debt, too few good relationships, too unhealthy, too sad, too unfocused, too disconnected, and so on. But there is that other part of me that realizes that in truth, I have a rich and overflowing abundance of good. I am wealthy beyond measure.

I have plenty of money, I'm managing my debt very well, I have wonderful, supportive family and friends, I can walk and talk and see and hear and I actually have tremendous health, I live in a country that values freedom and choice, I can determine my own destiny, God loves me... More than having enough - I am rich. So how do I get to a point where it is this belief that defines me, my thoughts, my beliefs and my actions?

I am truly grateful for what I have because there are SO MANY people with SO MANY bigger problems than mine, and ultimately I'd like to get to a point where I can focus more on others than on myself, but that's really a different subject for another day...

I read an article about a wealthy man who said he never passed by a penny, or coin, on the ground without picking it up. It's not that he needs the money, but he feels like it is disrespectful to pass it by. It would be taking "wealth" for granted and not being appreciative. This really stuck with me, and I've adopted this exercise. When I see a coin it has become an instant reminder of how prosperous I am and, as I pick it up, I say a little "thank you" prayer for my many blessings. I keep the coins together in the candle holder in my room as a reminder of the good.

The number of coins that have been placed in my path has been amazing. I don't go more than a day or two without seeing one. Maybe it's because I'm actively looking for them now so I've become more aware of their presence, or maybe it's because God is putting them in my path because he knows that I am trying to learn these lessons on a deep level and need these helpful reminders.

I do know that the ultimate key to my breaking free from the depressed and negative thoughts that have kept me down for so long, is by choosing to shift my thoughts, "purify my perception" as Marianne Williamson says, to focus on, AND BELIEVE, the positive and good. While I KNOW it in my mind, I want to FEEL it in my heart. When that happens, I believe true transformation is possible.

In the meantime, I will pick up pennies...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


In general, I am not an early adapter. I'm probably just left of center on the adaptation bell curve. I appreciate technology -- and I use technology -- but it takes some effort for me to get on the band wagon.

So -- I only recently discovered the joys of an iPOD. What a cool toy! I've purchased and downloaded a few songs from the iTunes store, but mostly I've just imported my own CDs. This process has made it glaringly obvious that I'm secure in my nerdom...I have eclectic musical taste, to say the least, which becomes very apparent when you "shuffle" the selections.

Shuffle is my absolute favorite iPod feature. I love the randomness of it all and it makes me laugh to hear what comes up. I am partially convinced, however, that shuffle only takes in to consideration about 100 songs because there tends to be certain repeats that show up every day, but that's probably not true.

I decided that I had to truly respect the shuffle and not short change it. My usual temptation was to skip over songs that I didn't think I wanted to hear. But it ended up that I was listening to basically the same songs all of the time. So I've decided -- If I'm going to "shuffle", I listen to what comes up with no skipping. I figure I like all of the music I imported, so I need to revisit it and hear it out since it's been years since I've listened to many of the 1,121 songs I currently have in the queue.

Here are the top 10 songs that came up last night when I shuffled...

"It Hurt So Bad" - Susan Tedeschi
"Genuine" - The Derailers
"Some Kind of Wonderful" - Buddy Guy
"I've Just Destroyed the Land I'm Living In" - Willie Nelson
"Farewell Andromeda" - John Denver
"If That's What it Takes" - Theryl "Houseman" de Clouet
"Standing There Wondering" - Harmonizing 4
"What a Savior" - The Statesmen
"Beauty on the Big Screen" - Lou Bega

And given that I just wrote about this song two days ago, I was surprised and thrilled to hear the 10th song that played...

"Every Morning" - Keb Mo

Rock on, nerd!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Pocket Full of Poesies

I am in awe of flowers. Their beauty, diversity, color and design can take my breath away. I love them all - roses, bluebonnets, orchids, petunias, tulips, iris, daisies, hydrangea, lilies, pansies, poppies, bougenvia, sunflowers - and every season brings new blooms to admire. Over time, my decorating and design sense have absorbed this infatuation and it can be seen everywhere in my home. Collecting floral oil paintings has become my thing and it has been a lot of fun -- mom has helped me find many of my favorites and these are flea market finds, so none of them cost over $15 and most of them come unframed. We're not talking gallery quality here, but I never get tired of seeing them. I just counted and I have 21 floral oils now...Too much? Never. I want to live in an English garden!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

True Love

I cannot adequately describe the pure bliss I experience when I see Keb Mo live in concert. It's been that way from the first time I saw him on Austin City Limits over 12 years ago. I fell in love with his music that day and my appreciation for him just grows stronger!

There are a bunch of different reasons for this adoration. For one thing, he writes the majority of his own songs and I think that is one of the most impressive, and difficult, artistic skills. It might be soul-touching poetry or a humor-infused little chorus, but he can make it real.

"Every Morning" is a song about true love from one of Keb Mo's early albums, and when I hear him sing it, I say a little prayer that someday, someone will love me like this...

"And in my wildest, imagination,
I could never, imagine you
Lovin' me as much as, as I love you."

After playing with an on-line translation website, I can sing this phrase in French:

"Et dans mon plus sauvage, imagination,
Je ne purrais jamais, vous imaginer
Lovin' j'autant que, comme je vous aime."

And in German:

Und in meinem wildesten, Phantasie,
Ich Konnte nie, Sie sich vorzustellen
Lovin' ich soviel wie, wie ich Sie liebe.

With babblefish I could go on in Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and even Russian, but the absolute truth is that "Lovin'" is "Lovin'", proving my long-held belief that "Lovin'" truly is the REAL international language.

Thank you, Keb.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ruby Kate

I just knew from day one that Ruby Kate Holliday was going to be special. My reasoning was more intuitive than rational, but I knew she'd be amazing when, 1) I learned her name was Ruby Kate -- one of the all time great names, named after one of the all-time great people, Ruby Jo Pounds Lewis, and 2) I saw her resemblance to Matt. Again -- not concrete evidence of awesomeness, but a hunch. And this last fifteen months have proved me RIGHT. Ruby Kate is sweet and coy and a little love bug who will absolutely melt your heart. She's done an incredible job of being Mason's sister -- and that is no easy task because Macy likes center stage and has been pretty adamant about "defending her turf" -- so Ruby has learned how to be her own little person, with her own unique sense of adventure and style. What an angel.

Sometimes I think I'm going to collapse into the weight of the love I have for my little nieces.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Mrs. Luebeck, I've been thinking about you so much today. Thank you for being such an important part of our lives and for giving me some of my most precious memories. I've also been reminiscing about all of our Easter traditions associated with family, friends and the First Baptist Church of Helena, Montana.

Blessings to all.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Best ideas...Best advice...Best fun...Best crawfish pie...Best memories...Best partner in crime...Best stories...Best friend.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Mason!

Dear Mason,

All of our lives changed forever when you were born three years ago today! It's like another physical dimension was added to our family's existence that gave everything new life and new shape and new definition. It's been amazing.

You are such a wonderful person, Macy -- really smart, full of energy, always curious and FUNNY. For me, time and space have no meaning when it comes to you -- I don't get to see you very often yet I'm truly with you every step of the way. That's mainly because you have an awesome dad and mom and papa and grammy who tell me every story of their time with you and they share millions of pictures. Talking to you on the phone, or getting a message from you, makes my whole day! But the very best part is when I've been able to spend time with you playing, and running, and talking, and singing, and dancing, and doing all of those super cool things.

Always know that you are loved, Mason. Crazy, fantastical, infinitely big love, too. May that give you the confidence and the courage to fuel your journey through life.

Forever Yours,
Aunt Lori

Thursday, April 13, 2006


My crazy little Brownwood Rose, Dot. She's always happiest at the Last Stop Ranch where this picture was taken.

"Pray steal me not, I'm
Mrs. Dingley's,
Whose heart in this
four-footed thing lies."

~ Jonathan Swift
Inscription on the collar of a lap dog