Monday, August 31, 2009

Not Tuning In

I have written in my other blog a few times about my relationship with the evening news. In fact, I JUST wrote a blog post about this very thing! My husband is an avid watcher, but I try to avoid it. All the bad news is not how I chose to end my day. I usually go take a bath around that time instead and read. And think about how great life is instead.

The other night, I overhead a news report saying "It's predicted that 90,000 Americans could die of the flu this year." It is no wonder we have such a fear-based society.

Not Tuning In
have u been listening- haven't you heard
we're all going down and there's nowhere to turn
at the top of every hour- coming to you live
the news will inform you we're all gonna die

it's true if you believe what you hear on the news...
it's true, it's true if you believe what you hear on the news...

the flu's gonna get you and lots of your friends
90,000 will die before it all ends
line up for your flu shots cuz you gotta get three
this years outbreak's gonna be misery


people are crippled from blackberry thumb
technology's made us a little more dumb
you're taking a risk every time on the road
cell phones are worse than drinking studies have shown


a big storm is coming they've spotted the wall cloud
it's off in the distance but you better get down now
high speed winds and tornadoes descend
floods will be coming to signal the end

and i don't know about you, but i'm not tuning into the news

Friday, August 28, 2009

A new but yet untitled song...

Maybe we've got it easy
living the way we do
with all of these numbered days, the living is more true
nothing is left unspoken
there's time to right the wrongs
we place our hearts where they belong

if i step back and look at the the life that we have lived
the small framed photograph of life is rather big

i could say the time was too short
and there was not enough
i could feel sad for myself cause losing is always tough
but i've got time and distance
and i know the heart can heal
i got so many memories left to be revealed


anyone who's ever loved and lost
knows it's more than worth the cost...


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Racing in the Rain

I'm putting up a song today that I had previously posted elsewhere and received unsolicited advice on what needed to be changed about it. Being the overly sensitive girl that I am, I let that comment stifle me. I haven't been posting many of my songs up since that comment.

All of these songs are very raw and unedited as I write at a pretty fast pace. By no means do I consider them finished or in a complete form just because I've put them up on YouTube.

I am a little lame in my need to explain that. It shouldn't matter. This is for fun. So I'm going to get back to putting at least 2 songs a week up here. I'm not going to be a wussy!

This is called "Racing in the Rain"- Inspired by a fantastic book I recently read called "The Art of Racing in the Rain".

Racing in the Rain

There is an art to racing in the rain
I've watched you so closely, so I can explain
I've see how you do it, and I don't see your mistakes
You can't slow down a moment, so you don't need the brakes

Just the tires and the tread, and no distractions in your head
and your eyes are peeled to the road
and there's no where else to go but home

This is the here and now and the why
this is living real life and there is no disguise
so i'll live everyday like it's stolen from the grave
when the track smells of danger I'll try to be brave


I'm fully prepared, I'm ready to go
I've studied and practiced- you've taught me all that I know
Maybe one more, just one more lap
Just one more lap, and then I'll never look back


Fear Based Flu Shots

I try to stay away from listening to the news. When I accidentally do, I'm usually appalled by how negative it is.

Last night, I was watching Larry King, and during one of the breaks, they had a little news update. I was folding laundry and barely listening, but I thought I over heard the news person say, "90,000 are expected to die this season from the swine flu." I had dvr-ed Larry, so I was able to rewind that, just to make sure I heard it right because I thought surely I had not. But after listening a second time, I verified that yes, that is exactly what had been reported. 90,000 Americans are expected to die this season of the swine flu.


Is this really what "they" think, or are they just trying to scare us all into getting out there and getting our flu vaccine?

It reminds me of when as a very young adult, I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. I can remember during my stay at the hospital, I was assigned a diabetic educator that told me very dark, scary things about my disease. She told me more than likely, one day I might be in the grocery store doing some shopping, feeling fine, and the next thing I'd know, I'd be passed out and in an ambulance on my way to the hospital. (20 years later, I can tell you this has never happened. Low blood sugar, as well as high blood sugar is a treatable situation that doesn't just come at you out of nowhere.) She also told me there was a good likelihood I'd eventually suffer a leg amputation in my older age from poor circulation. I become visably upset and she told me she was simply telling me these things so I'd realize how serious my disease was and really take care of myself- because she said, many diabetics do not. I remember at the time thinking her little scare tactic was not the right approach for me.

I don't make my health choices- everything from taking my insulin, to working out, to choosing healthy foods- because I'm thinking, "Well, it's either this, or lose my leg!" That approach seems awfully negative to me. And I think this death by swine flu prediction is also grossly negative.

Let's just wash our hands, get enough sleep, get some healthy workouts in regularly, eat well, and if you are someone who believes in the flu shot, by all means, get it. And if you do get a bad cold or the flu, stay home and rest until you feel better.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

King Spa for Dogs

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post here about the King Spa and Sauna. Well, today I wanted to tell you about another great and similar discovery with a less prestigious name. Dirty Dawgs. But I'd reather just call it King Spa for Dogs.

Now that my girls are a little more mature, keeping them stinky free is more of a challenge. I'm not sure why that is, but there breath is stinkier, and their coats are stinkier too. Lately, they've been so stinky, it's sort of embarassing when guests come over. I think our house now smells like "dog". Dirty dawgs.

Let me tell you that giving my dogs a bath is complete hell. Scout howls the whole time and it sounds like she thinks we are trying to kill her- and perhaps succeeding. When Zoe and Scout were very young girls. they really didn't need baths at all- They were sort of cat-like and did a great job with the self-cleaning. But eventually, we had to bathe them. Very dirty work which left me with a bathtub full of hair and an aching back. We then moved on to Fermin hosing them down and giving them showers outside. But they hate it, they cry the whole time, and I don't think he ever really gets all of the soap out.

For weeks I've been asking Fermin to please, please bathe our girls. He decided that the showers weren't really doing the job. So he found a place near our house called Dirty Dawgs where you take your dog to bathe them. And you get to do it yourself. And after messing up the place with all their dirt, stink, and hair, you just walk out. YAY!

They stand in this little tub like thing, but it's at eye level so it doesn't hurt my back. After you bathe them, they've got brushes and blow dryers that blow cool air very powerfully and all sorts of stuff blows out of their coat. They even get their ears cleaned out while they're there, which much to my disgusted surprise was very necessary, especially in Zoe's case!

My dogs look really beautiful now. Fluffy, back to the intended colors God gave them, and stinky-free. And they seem really happy- Sorta like I felt after leaving King Spa. I've given myself the gift of going to King Spa about every 2 weeks. I'm going to give Zoe and Scout (and myself!) that same gift by taking them to the King Spa for Dogs every 2 weeks too!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Here's #28-
For now, it's called "Balance"

The sun's gonna go down today, and the moon will rise up
There's always this yin and yang, the low and high tides of life

It's a perfect balance of the scales
If one side was winning then the whole thing would fail

There's gonna be days like these, when it feels like you should just walk out
Then just when you've given up, you find something that makes you hold on


It's black and white, wrong and right
Don't let it make you loose sleep at night
It's up and down, silence and sound
You'll find it all here, the lost and found...


Paul McCartney

I went to see Paul McCartney at the new Cowboy Stadium last night. My husband got our tickets last minute, so thanks to that, we went late and avoided all the traffic of both the concert goers, and the people going to the Rangers game right next door.

The new stadium is really pretty- but as far as a concert venue, the rumour I heard was true. The acoustics are bad (I guess because it's just so huge!) and the sound is not good at all.

But C'MON! It was Paul McCartney! Former cute Beatle! And he's still cute. I'm glad I got to see a living legend perform so many great songs. I felt like he wasted a little time on some of the lesser known solo stuff, BUT I think ultimately, he should get to play what he wants to.

Paul is 67 years old. Doesn't look it at all. At least from a distance. Or even up on those big screens! I don't know how long his tour is, but last night he played a little over 2 1/2 hours without a break. Sounds exhausting, regardless of age. I wonder if he's touring because he just loves it, or if he needs the money, or....what.

My favorite part of the concert was when he told us he was going to play a song he wrote for Linda, and then he played, "My Love". I wonder if it made him feel as sad as it did me. I kept thinking about Linda all night. How she used to be on stage with him, how they barely ever spent any nights apart through out their lives, and just about how much he must miss that kind of partner.

My other favorite song was "Something", written of course, by the late and great George Harrison. It was a really nice little tribute to George, who was a ukelele player- Paul started off the song playing a uke. Very great rendition of a very great song.

Being that Squeaky Fromme was just released from prison and was a part of the Manson family, I sorta wished he had given a little shout out to her before he played "Helter Skelter".

Even though it was a huge stadium concert, I think Paul tried to make it seem intimate by talking quite a bit. I had trouble hearing him tho, because of the echo-ing of the sound.

He of course, played tons of great classic but he left off one of my favorite songs: "Maybe I'm Amazed". But with a catalog like his, I realize some are going to get left out. Too bad it was that one.

Anyway- Paul McCartney!! One of the 2 living Beatles. I feel so lucky I got to see him in concert. Definitely I'm Amazed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Squeaky Fromme

Squeaky Fromme, as you may have heard, was just released from prison after serving 34 years for "attempted assassination" on President Ford back in 1974. She was a member of the Manson family but was not involved in the infamous Manson murders (She was, however, outside of the courtroom with other Manson followers howling and raising all kinds of hell during the trial.)

You can find lots of information on Squeaky, and the rest of the Manson family out there- And it's all weird and freaky and quite interesting.

Anyway, I did a little research of my own and wrote a song.... Here it is:

Charlie Manson found you when you were looking for a home
He took out out to Spahn Ranch so you would never feel alone
You thought he was a genius and you'd seen the face of god
Death Valley was your heaven where everybody got along

(ch)oh Squeaky, oh Squeaky
you got all the grease
Oh Squeaky, oh Squeaky
now you're finally free

You weren't at the houses of the Tate's and Labianca's
but you were there in spirit 'cuz you believed in Charlie's causes
When he went to trial you refused to testify
You carved a little swastika right between your eyes


Oh, you loved the Redwoods and you spoke about their plight
You stuck a gun in Ford's face, but he didn't want to fight
They just hauled you off to prison and they sentenced you to life
For threatening to make a widow
Of the president's wife


You broke out of prison to see Charlie Christmas day
you'd heard that he had cancer so you had to find a way
But you didn't get too far, and after 2 days you were caught
They threw you back in prison because they wanted you to rot


your parole was granted after 34 long years
you didn't ask forgiveness and you haven't shed a tear
you're still friends with Charlie who by now is pretty old
and not a likely candidate to ever be paroled


Friday, August 14, 2009

Before You Were Mine

This is my half way mark on this 50 song challenge- This is my 25th song that I've completed since July 4th. This one's called "Before You Were Mine", also known as, "Back Before We Started Taking Each Other for Granted"! ;)

Let's go back to the start all over again
We could give it a go before it all ends
Give it one last shot with everything that we've got
Before it breaks, we could bend

And I'd look at you like you're shiney and new
and you'd see me for the first time
And my mind would be open and your heart would too
Like before you were mine

We all have our opinions and our own ideas
We all have some moments when we're living in fear
Let's just slow it down and take a good look around
Maybe what we want is still here.


Oh, I think it's time because you know time is brief
Just a little window of opportunity
We can set it straight before it gets too late
We might both get what we need


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not Lost, but FOUND

For weeks- honestly, almost a solid month- I was missing my wedding ring and my watch. I never referred to them as "lost", but I was missing them. Aching for them, really.

This is the problem I run into when I can't find something: Usually by the time I realize, "Hey, I haven't seen that in a few days! Where is it?", I've already forgotten when I last wore it, saw it, or used it. I try to think back so I can retrace my steps, but like I said, it seems usually by the time I realize I'm missing something, it's too late for that.

Fortunately for me, both the ring and the watch went missing together. Safety in numbers. I figured, they couldn't have both fallen down the drain, which would've been my biggest realistic fear. Also fortunately, I have a small house and there aren't all that many places to look. I usually put my jewelry in one of about three spots. But I had looked in those spots! And looked. And looked.

I spent hours looking. In all the usual places, and in some unusual places too.
The most obvious spot being this hanging bag I bought at the Container Store that's divided into sections for different pieces of jewelry. I looked there on at least 5 different occasions. Each time, I'd run my hand along each pocket so I'd be sure not to miss anything.

I had nearly given up. And I was about to label them "lost." But one day, while putting some other jewelry up in that damn bag (yes, it had finally become the damn bag from that crappy Container Store)hanging in my closet, there they were. My watch and my ring! So easy to see because I wasn't looking.

I'm not sure how I missed them those other times, really. It could be that they were stolen by a burglar who had second thoughts and returned them after several weeks. I'm not sure. All I know is that now they are found, and safely back on my finger and wrist.

Out of Nothing

Here's song #23...

Before there was a color, before there was a word
I got a glimpse of something, a little whisper that I heard.
Then right there out of nowhere, if fell out of the sky
And landed in my pocket- some kind of great surprise

Is this really something out of nothing that wasn't there before?
It came from nothing and that's worth something
That's worth nothing more
Than I'm glad I picked the right door

It takes a little silence, and it takes a little space
I've driven myself crazy waiting around all day
But then something shows up, when I've almost given up
But I've stuck around and now she's found and finally filled my cup


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, I'm plugging away with the 50 songs in 90 days. I've written 23 songs now!

I feel pretty creatively inspired lately. I've read some great books, seen some movies, and I'm into the new hobby of jewelry making. All of that inspires me and adds to the wellspring of ideas that I need as a songwriter.

A few years ago, I was taking a mosaics class. I remember one day after class, I came home just so happy to have found the art of mosaics. I loved finding the little pieces to fit together. I loved the way time passed so quickly because I was so focused on what I was creating. Anyway, I wrote a song about it that day. It seems to me that one creative endeavor begets another creative expression. Whenever I'm feeling a little stale, I realize it's time to take a class in something, or look at some art, or see a film. Usually, that really helps get my creative juices flowing again.

And really, just spending time alone and allowing a little space for things to start flowing- I know how important that is as well.

I read lots of books on creativity. One of my favorites is The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I was in a group that met weekly as we read through the chapters of that book and did many of the exercises in it. I think that group dynamic fed me more than the book itself. My song called Walk Beside Me, which is also the title of one of my cds, was written about that group of people. It's such a benefit to have a person, or a group of people, to bounce ideas around with. I miss having that creative group. We've all kind of gone our separate ways now.

Like I said, I think creativity begets creativity.
So what inspires you, creatively speaking?

Monday, August 10, 2009

My New Thang!

A few months ago I went to a craft fair. I bought a couple of cool pieces of handmade jewelry. And was inspired by many. So much in fact, that I decided to take a jewelry making class.

I'm currently taking a 6 week "Jewelry Basics" class, but it is not very basic at all. It's not what I was expecting, anyway. I just wanted to learn how to bead some necklaces and put on clasps. Basic stuff like that. Instead, I'm sawing and piercing sheets of sterling silver, using torch-looking devices, soldering, bezel setting, etc...And honestly, not really enjoying the process at all.

But one day, our class was cancelled. My friend that is taking the class with me said she could show me how to do the stuff I thought I was going to learn in the class. We went to a cool little beading shop and picked out all the supplies I needed to make something. (fun!) My friend taught me all the stuff I needed to know to make my first piece of beaded jewelry. (even more fun!) I made a necklace and I love it. (icing on the cake!)

(This picture does NOT do it justice, by the way. And I apologize that the picture is flipped sideways!)

Later that week, I made another necklace (or two) on my own. Again- I loved everything about making the jewelry. Not only is it super fun to do it, but when I'm finished, I have a cool piece of unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry to wear. And I can (eventually) give them out as gifts. And who knows? One day, I might even sell them at a craft fair, or online!

(Again, not great pics, but trust me, my necklaces are really pretty! I just gotta learn how to use a camera!)

It's so fun when you first discover a new hobby and are giddy with excitement. My husband came home from playing golf the other day and I was just finishing up my jewelry making session of the day. He said he was starving, so we went to eat Mexican food. Going out to dinner was fun, but honestly, I kept thinking about my little unfinished necklace waiting on me at home!

Now, I just can't wait for my Jewelry Basics class to be over so I'll have more time for my new hobby.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Habit Forming

I've heard contradictory things about how long it takes to form a habit. Anywhere from as little as 7 days, to as many as 6 months. By definition, a habit is "an aquired pattern of behavior that has become almost involuntary as a result of frequent repetition."

As you may know, I am in the midst of writing 50 songs in 90 days. I'm keeping a blog about it, and I'm posting (usually) a couple of songs each week.

At least for now, after a month of an accelerated pace of songwriting, I am in the habit of spending time on writing every day. I think when you're trying to form a new habit, you've gotta get some positive feedback. Like if you're trying to eat healthier you've got to either feel or see (or both) the benefits or it's going to be really hard to stick with it. If your trying to develop the habit of walking your dog every day, you've gotta see that your dog is better behaved, or that you're feeling a new kind of bond with her because of the walks. If you're trying to adopt the habit of making your bed every day, you've got to care that it makes you room look neater or whatever. There's got to be some kind of payoff, or benefit. Otherwise, why would you put in the effort to force a change- to develop a new habit?

With my daily writing practice I am getting the payoff for sure. Nothing makes me feel better than to sit down and create something. I'm amazed that something can come out of nothing. When I get a comment or an email from someone who listened to a song I posted, it just makes me want to put another one out there. Also, as of late, I'm feeling pretty in touch with all of my emotions. Nothing is bottled up. And it feels great.

Habits are hard to make, and fortunately (and unfortunately depending on the habit) hard to break. Once it's really a habit. Once, like that definition says, it's "almost involuntary". I don't expect to involuntarily write songs, but I do hope to find myself walking to my studio and picking up my guitar out of habit, or "frequent repetition". And that simple act of sitting down with my guitar will lead me to writing a song.

Just like: I don't ever find myself involuntarily running, but I do roll out of bed and throw on my running clothes and tennis shoes when I first get out of bed in the morning. That part of it is involuntary, done when I'm still half asleep. So maybe it's just about the first step- the trigger that makes the rest of it happen. That part can become involuntary.

Scout's Song

I wrote a song for Zoe a week or two ago, and so of course you must have known Scout's was coming soon!

If only we could love other people the way we love our dogs- unconditionally. Scout never disappoints me, never lets me down, and never says the wrong thing when I tell her something. I think it's true that putting expectations on someone is a pretty dangerous thing. I put no expectations on my dogs. I just love them for who they are. It's really pretty simple.

This song is called "Unconditionally".

It's really pretty simple, the way that I love you
This loves not complicated, and I know that you love me, too.
You've got no expectations, and I don't let you down
I don't have to impress you to make you stick around

It was easy to find, it was meant to be
I love you and you love me

I'm not disappointed when you don't want to talk
Silence fills the air and it's beautiful on our walks
I trust you with my secrets I know you'll never tell
You don't offer your opinon and I guess that's just as well


It's really pretty simple the way that I love you
This loves not complicated and I know that you love me, too.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Song #20!

Number 20. I am loving life right now with this daily songwriting routine I've got going on. It's a good change for me to mix it up this way. Like I've said before, I don't normally write this often.

I love that I can sit down with nothing, and after enough time, I have created something. I also love knowing it's not all going to be good. So each day, I sit in my room playing around, knowing I'm going to get something out of it. There's no pressure for it to be good at all.

Here's another one- Not sure about the title, but for now, I'll call it "I Might Not Finish First".

You're out there in the distance as I try to find my way
I take my little steps winding thru a giant maze
I feel like I've been left behind and cannot keep the pace
That someone faster set at the beginning of the race

So I might not finish first, but I might not finish last

I'm done fighting the traffic out on this crowded street
Where there are no sweeping exits and there is no field of dreams
I hear the bells ringing and I want to take there call
I count up all the stars so I can catch them when they fall


King Spa & Sauna

Above is a picture of me pre-King Spa & Sauna magical experience. I walked in at about 6:30pm, and left just a little before midnight- a changed woman.

I arrived feeling pretty good- like my normal self. I've got a few little aches and pains nagging at me, which I tend to ignore and tell to "shut up", like many people do. But after getting a 40-minute accupressure foot massage and then laying around for hours in different rooms that ranged from 35*F to 175*degrees, I think the little aches and pains finally got the attention they wanted and I felt like a brand new girl! Sorta like what I imagine the Tin Man must have felt like after Dorothy used that oil can on him.

The King Spa & Sauna is a Korean spa. As soon as you arrive, they give you little uniforms to wear- gym shorts and t-shirts in extra, extra large sizes. Pink for ladies, and gray from men. I went into the ladies room to get changed. But I was reprimanded by not following the rules... which are: you have to scrub down in a communal shower area, get in your choice of several hot tubs (of varying degrees of heat), and then hop into freezing cold water and THEN you get to put the clothes on. I didn't mean to break the rules, I just wasn't clear on them. So then I said to the woman, "Oh, okay. So where are the towels then?" and she then pointed to little white hand towels. Being the modest girl that I am, I felt a little nervous about the walking around naked and showering and bathing with strangers, but, when in Korea....

I then dried off, put my ugly-pajama-looking-uniform on and met my brother out in the main area that is like a little Korea! We were some of the very few Americans there.

We had about an hour before our scheduled foot massages, so we visited a few of the sauna rooms. From the outside, they sort of looked like igloos, but most of them were hot saunas. And people were laying on the floor. The first room we went in was about 120*, and then we moved on to the 35* room, which felt really refreshing. And before we new it, it was time for the foot massages.

I am not exaggerating when I say this foot massage was the most incredible massage of any kind that I've ever had. Magic. From what my brother told me, his was equally as great. 40 solid minutes of accupressure on our feet.

Then we went to an "oxygen" room, then a room that was 175*, and then a few others...But honestly, they all start to blend together once you're that blissed out. When you're not in one of the rooms, there is a huge area with lot and lots of recliners that people lay around it- talking, reading, eating a snack, or napping.

There's also a movie theater and a karoake room there, but we didn't use those. There just wasn't time.

We finally decided it was time to go home. But we could have stayed as long as we wanted- Well, up to 24 hours, anyway.

It's only $18 to get in. The massages and food cost extra. It's open 24 hours a day. It's family friendly. And it's really clean. (Thanks in part to the mandatory showers at the beginning of your visit!)

I'm going back often. Those Koreans seem to have it all figured out. The body deserves rest. That's how it heals. I'm a believer.