Tag Archives: silly

Smells Like Childlike Spirit!


Last night’s soup swap was a great success. I marveled at the way the same basic ingredients could be presented in such unique ways. Fall and winter vegetables teamed up with lentils and beans in many dishes, but each had its own flavor and texture. A “golden” ladle was given to the soup voted as overall favorite. The winner was a cherry dumpling soup! We tend to think of soup as an appetizer; a beginning to dining or a hearty stew-like main course for lunches. So this soup (along with the others – over a dozen in all) surprised and delighted everyone. We went away with recipes and new ways to combine basic pantry items that we get tired of, or use over and over in the same way. Grandma’s acorn squash and lentil soup tastes great, but we tire of the routine.

So let’s look at something that is also always there, and can get stale no matter how much we love it – our occupations. Do you remember when you were a child, dreaming of the careers you would have as an adult? As 5-year-olds, there were no boundaries – we planned futures as firemen, mommies and daddies, doctors and pilots. I decided to ask other writers this question: What would you be if you were not a writer?

At first my colleagues insisted that they would want to do nothing else except what they were doing at present. So I asked, if skill/talent/money/whatever was not in the way, what would they choose to be? Reality should play no part in their answer – there should be no logic attached. I wanted to hear what they would do if there were absolutely no boundaries –in this imaginary world, only their spirits were in charge!

The answers were amazing –given the chance to throw aside the hackles of reality, a few stated they would be farmers, dancers, artists and singers. Without the requirements of formal education, others said they would be veterinarians, paleontologists, and physicists. The answers were exciting and eclectic – pipe organ player, rabbi, metalsmith, kitten photographer, ranch owner (where children could ride horses for free), Radio City Rockette, Indiana Jones, and many more. In the imaginary world, it didn’t matter whether we had long legs, beautiful voices, had degrees or owned acres of land – not even the sky was the limit!

So, as adults, how can we unlock the doors that hold in these dreamy wishes, and make them a little part of our reality? If we gave our spirits control of our lives, instead of allowing logic and all the other things to handcuff us to a specific daily grind, how would it change us? Of course, I am not suggesting we all live completely in a dream world of our making – we all have to pay bills and taxes, raise children and do laundry. But if we did something to fulfill a part of that inner desire, wouldn’t it only serve to make our lives better?

Instead of planning a vacation, what if you spun the globe, closed your eyes and pointed to a destination – and took off on your own Indian Jones adventure? What if you bartered for lessons in something you had interest in doing – dancing, acting, baking, or religious instruction? What if there were no boxes to define you? Dig deep – and uncover your passions!


Lend me your ears!


Today is National Day of Listening. What an interesting concept! Do we all listen in the same way – or even interpret this unique and obscure holiday in a similar fashion?

For the past year I have experienced a ringing in my ears – a probable side effect from treatments. The ringing is called tinnitus – and after a year I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce it. If I say TIN-it-tus, it sounds like a Latin philosopher, spouting profound comments while wearing a toga and peeling grapes. If I say tin-I-tus, I conjure up visions of an aging hobo, playing harmonica and stewing rabbits in coffee cans. Neither fits what I am hearing. The sound is like a tuning fork without the initial clang; just the constant, smooth vibration of sound afterward. And it kind of plays into the old “if a tree falls in the woods” question, because the sound is something that no one else can hear.

So on this Day of Listening, I am going to tell you about the other sounds I hear that allow me to embrace this particular one and accept it as part of my senses. I hear the sounds of Main St. just steps from my porch; police and ambulance sirens; the almost clownish squawks and squeaks of car security systems; and the chatter of people as they go back and forth to work or to do day to day tasks. Tuesday is garbage pickup day, and my 7:00 alarm. These aren’t obnoxious sounds to me, but reminders of the energy around me. The sounds of honking are minimal here – in Vermont, the general thought is to be patient and allow others a bit of courtesy while driving. Instead, I hear conversations sprinkled with laughter, and many wishes of “good morning” when passing strangers on the street.

At night my dog howls out every now and then – for moments in her dreams she is decidedly a sleek wolf calling out to Dog Star in the light of a full moon. I hear the ring of my cell phone; the voices of friends and the gifts of their deep or funny or informative, but always loving conversations. Even the sudden beep of the breadmaker is a happy sound, sending soft puffs of yeast breath into the kitchen.

So you see, hearing the philosopher hobo in my head is a small trade for all of that, and there is so much more I haven’t listed. But I am going to hand it over to you. What happiness do you hear?

Nirvana on Tour


Last week, I sent Nirvana (the wig) off in the mail to her new owner, Kathie Kelling. Nirvana arrived at her new Phoenix digs while Kathie was enjoying some time with three of her daughters. I received this message from Kathie:

“Today, 3 of my daughters took me to lunch for my birthday, which is coming up on Monday. We were going to a movie too, but had extra time in between so came back to my house. The mail had arrived, including the box with Nirvana. I opened it out of sight, put her on, and walked outside where my daughters were sitting in the sun. They laughed so hard they almost fell off their chairs! It wasn’t Nirvana’s fault – I am just not a long hair person and evidently no longer a blond. My daughter Candace decided she had to take a picture of me with her phone and send it to her son, Cody, who is 14. He responded immediately – OW! Then everyone took a turn getting their picture with Nirvana. Of course, my daughters wore her a lot better than I. We decided to create the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wig. After getting pictures with my 3 granddaughters here, she will go to my 4th daughter, who is in Riverside, CA. Then to my granddaughter in North Hollywood, and on to my sister in Placentia and her two daughters. Each person will have a picture with Nirvana and send it along. I envision Nirvana traveling the world and bringing joy and laughter to all.”

Yeehaw! Nirvana is carrying on the message of this blog – to find the silly in the serious. What better way than to send this part of my big adventure and bring laughter to others! I suggested to Kathie that we give Nirvana her own page, complete with pictures and updates, here at Trust the Universe, to show readers her global journey. Kind of like Flat Stanley for grownups.

Bon voyage, Nirvana!

Auld Lang O’Nine


By now, you are all shoving balls of torn wrapping paper into open boxes – or smoothing out those balls for use next year and breaking the boxes down for recycling. And by now, that Christmas dinner doesn’t look so appetizing, and you’re poking around the covered dishes looking for something less holiday-ish. The cookies have been picked through, and there are only jelly chocolates left in the Whitman’s sampler. Maybe you’ve stopped watering the Christmas tree. You haven’t, have you? Hmm?

The year is nearly over. Then what happens? Yeehaw! A fresh new 2010 calendar is ripped from its smooth thin plastic and the cardboard backer removed. Do you look at all the pictures before hanging? Or do you just scan the thumbnails on the back and hang it, wanting to be surprised on the first of every month? Do you sit down and write in all the family birthdays in careful block print? I can tell if you do – appointments and notes are always scribbled in sideways, hurried handwriting. But those first, most important dates are given time and consideration on the first opening of the new calendar. Penmanship counts on the ones that count.

I always clean out a cabinet or two on the first day of the year. I guess it’s my way of telling the cosmos I want to leave the cobwebs and crumbs and dead batteries behind in the old year, and start fresh, smelling like Murphy’s Oil Soap and citrus water. And by cleaning, I can see what I have accumulated and put things in order again. It’s a gesture of cleansing, of renewal and preparation for the days ahead.

I am so grateful for the many lessons that have come my way this year:

I moved to Vermont late last year and celebrated alone on New Year’s Eve, throwing imaginary confetti in instant messages to other friends who were alone in other states. The lesson: friends don’t have to be close by to offer good energy and love.

In February, I turned 50 years old and celebrated! It wasn’t a bad thing: the number 5 means change and transition. I had no idea just how true that would be: a few days later I was standing in front of a screen, looking at a mammogram of my left breast. The mass that looked back at me looked just like the face of Tina Turner, and so it was dubbed. The task began to roll her right on down the river!

I won’t get into the details, because now, it’s just a story. But I want to tell you that I am so grateful for the people I met along the path. I met incredible doctors who went to the edge, and were willing to think outside the traditional medical box for a solution we could all be comfortable with. I found a way to embrace the treatments we agreed on, and stand strong on the ones I was not able to embrace. To all the doctors, nurses, naturopaths, alternative health personnel, and other staff members, those who opened their minds and those who didn’t, I am grateful for the lessons that we were all a part of, and for the time we had together. And I am very glad to announce, Tina is gone. Thanks TT, it was real.

Friends and family helped in so many ways this year. They fed me, clothed me, entertained me, bought herbal supplements, sent coffee, movies, and totems, dog-sat, did errands for me – even paid bills. I received daily doses of healing energy, reiki, thoughts, prayers, and good wishes from those who were far away – I felt every bit of it. Silly happened along the way: funny scars, the realization that I have a not-so-perfectly shaped head, a brief time period after chemo where I could actually drink milk and not get sick (but at the same time was unable to stomach chocolate), lots of dancing, a great trip to the Smokies with an amazing and sweet soul, happy dances, shared laughter on the phone with friends all over the world, snow angels in parking lots, towel animals, and so much more. There are too many people to list here – but they all played a part in the healing. I learned to receive, and I am grateful for that lesson.

My dog, Fae, became a clown to help me laugh, a wolf to protect me, and a therapist to offer a warm head and a cold nose during the longest of long nights.

Even the mounting bills have been a lesson. Although I have always been good at cutting corners, I learned to cut even more. As a part of that snipping and clipping process , I am heading up north for a few months to a smaller place – my inner Huck Finn exploring new territory, looking for a barrel that might fit for the time being. Bennington is still home base, and my earthly possessions are staying here, but I’m off on another side road to meet new people and float down more rivers. It’s a good thing – the universe likes action, and riding the river is always better than pushing it!

To 2009 and all its players, to Mother Earth and all her gifts, thank you. You rocked! To 2010, I’m ready for my pie. Let the fun begin!

Finding the Silly in the Serious


My buddy, Michelle Rafter, has issued a Blogathon challenge. Participants are challenged to post a blog a day during the month of May. Michelle, I officially accept your challenge. Should I throw a blog glove down as I say that?

So get your eyes ready for some good reading, folks. On May 1st, I will post participating bloggers’ links for your viewing pleasure. Oh, and since most blogs have a theme, here’s mine : find the silly in the serious.

May is going to have its serious side for me, and I will share that when we turn the calender page. So, I am making my own personal challenge : to learn something new (and perhaps a little silly) every day.

You learn something new every day. We have all heard this phrase. We usually mutter it after we have read something we hadn’t thought of before, or when someone shows us a surprising way to accomplish a task. Next month, I will attempt to learn something small-but-new-to-me every day. Ahhh, now you are curious, eh?

Stay tuned. I might post pictures. Britain’s Got Talent hasn’t seen anything like it.