keep your peepers open!

keep your peepers open!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

day is done

As my birthday month comes to its end, the unusual October snowfall is a reminder that the unexpected can bring both elated bliss and change. This month, my artwork has unveiled a shift in perspective and voice that could introduce me to a different audience. New friends have come into my life as I reacquainted myself with friends from my past and shared time with friends who are and have been with me through thick and thin. All of them have made me laugh, laugh, and laugh some more! And while I have cried over those who have come and gone, having to now make the adjustments necessary if I want to heal my body has kept me creatively preoccupied mentally, physically, spiritually and in the kitchen as I adjust to the change that comes with absence. Thankfully, my journal full of artistic expression has kept pace with all that has occurred, is a pleasurable place for me to go each day before it's done, and will remain as a permanent record to remind me of one thing -- it truly has been a memorable October full of all sorts of changes that not a one would I change. That, as they say, is a good thing.

Snow makes me giggle and is the perfect punctuation mark to an exceptional birthday month. Closing it out on such a quiet high note is just where I want to be as I prepare for the adventure that is going to be my November so…

keep your peepers open!®

ps...happy birthday to my nephew!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Undoing habitual behavior is a hard habit to break! Though breakfast has never been my favorite meal of the day, I came to terms with the fact that it is a must for getting the day and the body started. A toasted bagel, sometimes with peanut butter, banana and honey, more often than not, plain did me fine at work. Weekends required a cereal bowl, which I would fill with oatmeal, Cheerios, Shredded Wheat or Greek yogurt with fruit. Who knew that, with the exception of the banana, each of those foods is not compatible with arthritic conditions? It was time to put on my creative kitchen chapeau. What would be healthy and tasty that was not only arthritis friendly but would also be something I would want to eat first thing in the morning...

On 11/10/10, I wrote about a quick breakfast of sweet potato and banana with pecans and honey…so I turned that idea into a yummy pudding. You will need a food processor (I bought a small Cuisinart with a three cup container that is perfect) to get the consistency right; until I bought mine, mashing and stirring sufficed but the texture was far from the superior smoothality obtained after a few seconds of whirring in this little kitchen appliance. Below are the basic ingredients and measurements for my morning sp& b pudding, but I suggest you experiment with how much seasoning you use or try some other ones. If you don’t like bananas go bananas and substitute something else (should you use the yellow potassium filled fruit and want to make some for later, note that they may cause the mixture to turn brownish-orange. Not to worry, it’s still good).

sweet T’s sp&b pudding

¾ C baked mashed sweet potato
¼ C banana (or 1 small)
1 tbsp. ground flax seed
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. imitation rum
2 tsp. chopped pecans
½ tsp. agave nectar
chopped walnuts

Put all ingredients except walnuts in the food processor and I pulse for a few times with chop button then hold it down to puree. Scoop out into a nice bowl, top with walnuts, maybe a tiny bit more agave and get ready to say yum! 

I knew this was good when I let some folks taste it and they remarked how the layers of flavors just kept coming…if I haven’t learned anything from Top Chef, I do know that I had received a high compliment. Enjoy the pudding anytime of the day and as you do…

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, October 23, 2011

bling!...with a backstory

Reestablishing my journal writing at a time when I am working on reversing or at least holding in check this arthritis is a marriage that though I didn't plan for has proved to be a perfect match. My creative energy is consistently flowing, infusing me with a positive force that little by little is moving out the blockage in more ways than one. The word game I’ve been playing in my journal produced this page a few days ago…

Yesterday, a new collage goddess appeared. I struggled with who she is, had no clue as she developed before me. Even when she was complete, I was still clueless. It wasn’t until right before I went to sleep that I realized she was somehow connected to what I composed with my paper words the other day. I also understood that she represented a longtime struggle between two sides of me…the bourgeoisie and the bohemian. Thankfully, she let me know that it’s okay to rock Doc Martin’s by day and Jimmy Choo by night but more importantly she unlocked a door that has been jammed shut for me for way too long -- no matter how glamorous we make ourselves, without a healthy, well and working body, eventually all that is will no longer be. Perhaps that’s a leap to those who are reading this; it makes all the sense in the world to me.
My body truly is now a work in wellness motion, so here I am, “bling!…with a backstory” and boy do I have more tales to tell, so…

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

rewarding awe

Though I’m not too crazy about insects, there is one that makes me pause and behold; the praying mantis outside of the holistic treatment center was a message meant for me to discover. But let’s back up for a moment…

I pulled into the parking lot of gravel very much in tune with the crunching sound beneath the four tires on my car, swung my feet out the door to step onto the crunch now in touch not only with sound but direct feeling…thank goodness I had on solid soled shoes that absorbed the sharpness of the rock sparing the soul in my feet from a jagged wake up call on a perfectly lazy warm afternoon I noticed a small white butterfly flitting near the purple flower and goody for me I had my camera which I whipped out to capture the tiny creature before she flew away but she stopped me in order to show me more than her pretty very fortunate yet not fortuitous, I can’t describe the moment that made me remember when I was a child and how in awe I was on the rare occasions when a praying mantis would show herself to me and how curious I thought it was then and now though somehow I knew not to harm her but I will admit that I captured one in a jar once…later, after I stared at it for who knows how long, I let her go and today I paused to really watch the slow deliberate motions, noticed a face carved with wisdom which made me shake my head in seriously dumbstruck awe as she continued on with her doings I felt she knew I was there admiring…it felt as if she had willed me to discover her presence that was now the reward…had I been in a split second of a hurry I would not have noticed her in all her camouflaged glory and missed what she wanted me to tell me…

The praying mantis is a symbol of patience and stillness; she only makes a move when she is 100% sure it is the right move. When one appears it is time to get quiet, go within, get centered and before the next move is made, all should be copasetic.

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, October 16, 2011


time is precious
love is breathless.
life is about
black magic moments...
feel beautiful.

life is a collection of experiences.
trust your instincts
let your hair down
live the moment.

I’ve been challenging myself to a creative writing game in my journal. I flip through a magazine, clip words or phrases that speak to me, then place them on the page. I move them around linking one to another until they reveal other messages that become part of a collage made with pictures that curiously seem to relate to what’s written with the glued strips of paper. I love this mental exercise. Not only is it fun but relaxing and just the right amount of light lifting that my brain needs to keep it in shape.

it’s lovely at the top…
keep climbing.

And as you do…

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

in the pause...

...when the days are dark and uncertain remember that the sun will come out if not tomorrow, if you’re waiting for brighter times, be still in the pause and…

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, October 9, 2011

week in review

As my birthday week off draws to a close, I am pleased to note that it has been beyond splendid as well as productive and uplifting. So much laughter and time shared with friends provided a spirited foundation for a lifestyle change; the past seven days was not just about celebration but restoration as I embarked on a wellness adventure. At first, I struggled with understanding the difference between alkaline and acidic foods and once I got somewhat of a handle on that, educating myself on what alkaline foods are also arthritis friendly. Yes, I’ve been diagnosed and decided to take action while it’s just a mild diagnosis; a change in what we eat can make a difference in the progression of something that affects millions.

Somewhere in the midst of the week, I turned to creativity or maybe it called out to me. Art has played a huge part in healing for me in my past and once again has helped me ease into managing an illness. I decided to begin keeping a journal again, something I abandoned once I got into writing the blog. As much as I enjoy blogging, nothing beats the tactile experience of writing with different color markers, scribbled drawings, pasting in pictures, painting with watercolors and making torn paper collages on a whim; the act of tearing provides a release of that well-buried mild anxious anger that comes with how did I let this happen.

For the first time, I actually decorated the front of my journal and did so with abandon yet meaning.

I also enlarged photographs of fruits and vegetables, cut them into pieces, reassembled them on top of an x-ray of my bones then put the picture into a frame, upon reflection knowing that what I was telling myself is that surrounding the challenge with healthy beauty is my way to wellness. That those words I found in a magazine, BE COLORFUL, were both an affirmation that the bright work I was producing in rapid succession for my eyes only was exactly what I needed as well as a reminder for what I should select to nourish the body, bones and joints.  

Taking photographs of pretty arrangements of food and understanding that it’s one step at a time, hence the bacon on the plate is quite helpful; there is something psychological about showing the mind pleasant visual images as a means to shift thinking and behavior.

But not all of my creative energy was channeled into dealing with health issues hence my sudden desire to make mini torn paper collages out of the bags my birthday gifts came in and send the picture as part of a thank you note.

And then there was my trip to the museum, which produced my own interpretation of some of the work I viewed…

…and a view of the museum.

It really has been a full birthday week which will now turn into my birthday month, days that I know will be filled with creative exploration in more ways than one. So as I lift a glass in celebration of health, wellness, and healing expression, I know for sure there is more to come...

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


...lots of birthday fun last evening…LaughedMAO so now I'm sleepin’ it off as I continue my week long celebration so until Sunday…

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

queen every day

…a few birthday eve thoughts that somehow wrap together, I just can’t seem to tie them with a neat bow because it’s too early in the would please the queen if you would indulge her for this one…

Birthday 2010, I was walking in the footsteps of kings and queens that may have been part of my ancestry as my friends and I toured Egypt; birthday 2011, I received my very own crown and dubbed the Queen of Hearts during an early birthday celebration. It never matters when, where, or how my special day is marked. What matters is that I’m here to rejoice in some unique way with others as well as by myself relaxing, reflecting, pampering and/or making merry.

One of my nicknames is Queenie, a term of endearment used several years back by my close female friends; one of my male friends has referred to me as Queen since we met. I’m honored because two definitions of the word queen are, in part 1) a greatly admired woman who stands out and 2) a place or thing considered the best of its kind. The Queen is also the most powerful chess piece something I did not know but have now stored to play when needed.

Those who know me well know that my birthday is major. They also understand that sometimes the simplest things are the most meaningful. I love my red paper crown with its sparkling faux jewels, artful design and heart-shaped cutouts created just for me with me in mind. It was indeed a most thoughtful gesture, as the person who made it knows I collect hearts and that I recently took a photograph of roses that when turned upside down revealed the queen of hearts, my favorite playing card followed by the king of spades. True confession -- when I was a little girl and to this day, they are a couple and whenever I play solitaire if at all possible she always rests on him.

So on this October 3rd I will be reminded that though my king has not yet arrived, I am still the queen each and every day…I have the crown to prove it. Happy Birthday all!

keep your peepers open!®