Monday, September 30, 2013

Om Shanti...

Greetings of peace.  To get into a meaningful explanation of my interest's deep, mystical meaning would probably bore you even more than I usually do.  I will try to keep it simple.

 I happened across a crossword clue that asked for the answer to 'meditation in motion'.  Yoga.  Of course.  Years of high impact aerobics, competitive gymnastics, and even (gasp!) running, put this old hippy bod searching for a different way to move.   After experiencing many teachers, styles and theories, I found Tim-- as if he was lost!! We share a mutual passion for the ancient practice and have spent many long hours at Borders and Caribou Coffee studying and discussing all it's aspects.  He is pictured on the right with myself and uberyogi Bryan Kest at a recent seminar.

Tim has taught me the meaning of the word "equanimity." We have delved deeply into sutras and chakras, inspiring me to identify with and have the second chakra tattooed on my back. (see post  'Tattoo You' dated 09/01/08 for details!) It symbolizes the very essence of me. Yoga is over 5,000 years old, and is a very self enlightening practice that teaches inner peace thru non competitiveness. Basic principles are much like the "golden rule".  The physical benefits are immeasureable--suffice it to say--the entire body, all of it's systems, muscles and even organs are stimulated and opened up. Kinda like an inside out massage.

 It is also quite sensual--it just plain feels good. Living in the moment without regret or anticipation helps me to enjoy the simple things. Cheesy, but true. Yoga teaches calmness in the face of adversary and pain, as well as non judgement of self and others. Meditation simply helps me get right.

 Do yourself a favor, and give some time to allow some of these aspects into your life--you won't be sorry.

The divine spirit in me honors the divine spirit in you.  Namaste..  P.S. Shout out to my ever fabulous yogi, Tim. I don't think I've ever thanked you for the changes you have spurred in my life. Keep it up, Babe, the world needs you. Check out Tim's blog at    xoxo

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chances are...

Last Friday, which happened to be the thirteenth, was the 34th. anniversary of my brother's brush with death.  As a matter of fact, Steve remembers seeing the white light before he was sent back to finish his life.  Other memories of that night came back in bits and pieces over the years for him.

34 years ago on a dinner break from his job, Steve, my cousin Ray, and friend John made a very unfortunate connection with a train.  Yes, a train.  As in Detroit and Mackinaw train lines.  And the boys were not driving a Hummer-quite the opposite.  A little Ford Pinto, the kind that blew up if it got rear ended was the vehicle they were packed into.  Heading to a party store, they were caught totally unaware as they crossed the tracks in sync with the train.  The warning lights did not go off to warn them.  The guys were dragged down the tracks for 28 boxcars at approximately 28 miles per hour.  The car was trashed and by the grace of God, all three boys survived and lived to tell the tale.  John lost vision in one eye and died a few years ago from an unrelated cause. R.I.P.

My cousin Ray walked away with minimal injuries and my brother, the driver, suffered the worse.  Steve ended up with 5 broken ribs-some with multiple fractures, a punctured lung, a broken clavicle, and head trauma caused by blunt force.  (Oh, so that explains it! teehee.) 

Needless to say, our family was scared spit less as we charged up to the E.R. to find him happily in and out of reality due to liberal doses of morphine.  Recovery was slow and painful. 

Today finds my brother the father of three boys and Ford salesman extraordinaire.  He is an avid fisherman and joins us in the Keys every March for our annual 'Sloth, Indulgence, and Debauchery Tour.'  Steve is also wonderful golfer having recently won a club championship.

Yes, he hit a train, but was lucky to have lived to tell the tale. I still double check when I cross a track and say a quick prayer.  You can never be too careful on that day. 

Hope your week goes well and all of your Friday the thirteenths are lucky. xo

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Small World...

Holy bulging biceps Batman!  Here's the fastest and easiest was for me to feel like a petite, 'lil thing-park my cookies on Big Mike's lap! I'm instantly a delicate little flower.  Works like a charm and sure beats the hell out of Santa!  You can imagine my surprise and delight when I ran into my friend at our local bar/hangout up north last weekend.  Mike is the owner of the gym that I work out/socialize at.  It's a small world after all..

I think all of us have a crazy story of being at the same time and same place of someone expectantly.  I once ran into a friend at the dog track in Tampa.  Both of us were hopefully placing our bets when our eyes met.  Those odds were even slimmer than me winning anything big at the track that night.  Years ago, my cousin found herself in an elevator at the Pontchartrain with none other than Rod Stewart.  How cool would that be?  I've ran into Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker at non concert places, but hey, they live in the area.  Same goes for Anita Baker at the Caribou Coffee House in Grosse Pointe.  Bob Seger bought me a drink years ago. IN Alpena.  That was a little weird, but I heard that he had family in the area.  Sometimes when I have a wonderful day with grace and luck combined, I will say that the 'stars aligned' and offer up a little thank you.

John Green has this to say regarding 'coincidence'.  "It's hard to believe in coincidence, but it's even harder to believe in anything else."  I think I agree.

So what do you think?  Do you prescribe to coincidental thinking or just shrug it off to crazy cosmic timing?  Fate maybe?  Luck?  Kismet?  Have you ever had a situation that seemed to be one of these options?  Let me know whatcha think!

Have a lovely, blessed week, My Darlings and may all of your coincidences be happy ones! xo

Monday, September 9, 2013

Farah Layla...

Why do we always want or at least think we want something other than we are?  I have always longed to look exotic.  As a short, blue eyed blond, such a thing was almost impossible to pull off.  I was told I looked 'girl next door' and 'all american'.  I felt common and dull while my beautiful porcelain skinned, black haired Irish girlfriend thought I had it all going on.  (Yes, Therese, I mean YOU! xo)

Well the grass was surely greener on Sunday when my very exotic and cosmopolitan family visited from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  I finally got to meet Sidra, my tiny great niece.  She is named after a tree in heaven, but she is our little piece of heaven on earth.  I have never met a happier and more content baby as we all passed her around and smooched her incessantly.  Nephew Eric and his gorgeous wife Hanna and Sidra were at the tail end of their 6 week vacation.  The first two weeks were spent in Europe where they enjoyed a cooking class in Bologna and treated the family to their new skills one night at dinner.  Last night they cooked some regional favorites of theirs that are now favorites of ours!  I am patiently waiting for my dates to ripen.

There was plenty of 'grilling' going on other than on the Weber.  I asked them all of the questions I could think of regarding their life.  Customs, beliefs and such are quite different, and very interesting to me.  Eric is a househusband that does ecological consulting on the side.  Hanna is in finance and specializes in acquisitions and mergers.  I truly needed more time, but I am very grateful that they could fit me in at all with their schedule and the complications of traveling with a 7 month old.  And Hanna is expecting their second child in February, so it might be a while before they are back in the states to visit.  I hope to visit there someday.

I come away with one thing for sure.  No matter what our differences are, our similarities are much stronger.  Family, food, laughter, respect, fun and our children are universal to us all.  I am honored to be part of such a diverse, exotic family.  I miss you all already.  Safe travels back to Dubai and I will think of you all often and fondly.  Kisses to my irresistible Sidra.  Your All American auntie loves you! xoxo

Monday, September 2, 2013


Happy Labor Day my Darlings!  Hope you had a relaxing, long weekend doing whatever makes you happy.  I had my traditional time with family, friends and food.  Ahhh, life is good and I am blessed.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending our friends, "up north, redneck" wedding.  Their words-not mine.  And it was a blast!  First we went to a small, country chapel I had never heard of in a small town with the same notoriety.  It was perfectly lovely-a simple ceremony where the bride and groom said the age worn smooth vows that can choke me up every time.  We then moved on to their cool-as-hell schoolhouse/house for the reception.  The dress was casual and four wheelers were a common mode of transportation.  The weather was perfect as was the barbecue feast of pig and corn on the cob.  And the open bar was none too shabby.  And what beats a luscious wedding cake?  It's one of my weaknesses (well, one of 'em)!  A giant bonfire was roaring and the hay wagon was circling giving anyone interested a tour of the property.  Horseshoes and jello shots both were met with crazy abandon.  A giant ice luge kept the vodka just above freezing.  At least that's what one participant TOLD me...Don't know where they found the dude on the guitar, but he was nailing every song he sung.  What a treat he was!  A cute, singing cowboy was the perfect touch.  As the guests trickled off, the newlyweds were able to retire to their favorite honeymoon spot-home. 

I am always honored to be a part of the special day that is a wedding.  And that day was no different.  Best wishes for a long and happy union for Natalie and Lee.  Stay in love, Dolls. xo