Monday, December 31, 2007

22 year Anniversary of my Mom's death.


Twenty two years ago my Mom passed away. How can that be? Twenty two years have passed and I still remember her as if no time has passed. So many thoughts, memories and feelings come up as I take this time today to post Mom’s photo in honor of the anniversary of her passing.

I’m so different than I was the first 41 years she knew me. I was always a problem for Mom. I wasn’t an easy child. Toxic insecurity and over sensitivity manifested rage; frustrating and confusing my parents. How I wish she could have known this Linda today rather than the Linda I used to be. If only I could have seen how much I must have hurt her with my punishing silence and withdrawal.

Later when I was about 39 or 40 I remember we tried to spend a bit of time together. I was so uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to be or what to do the few times we planned dates to be together. Truthfully, I didn’t know how to be with anyone, not even myself.

Years later as part of living amends to my Mom and Dad, on Sunday, October 08, 1995, my sponsor asked me to list what I admired about my Mom and Dad.

Here is that list:


Incredible businessman
Great desire to be responsible parent financially and wanting us to thrive for the best.
Loving parent
Generous parent
Bright – witty – interesting
Good looking
Responsible with making us be responsible kids
Loved his work/life
Informed re: world happenings
Loved travel

MOM - (After I wrote this list for Mom 12 years ago I was surprised. You see my Dad had always been my hero. My Mom was just, well, just my Mom. I had not fully seen my Mom’s incredible qualities until I put a pen to paper for this assignment.
Also right now I am surprised looking at this list again today noticing how many similar traits Mom and I share – minus of course being a Linguist, Historian and Knowledgeable about everything! I’d always thought we were so different.)

Well read
Knowledgeable about everything
Self sufficient in entertaining herself
Loved travel
Kind, patient
Loving parent

Mom, you are in my thoughts always. I know you feel my love, respect and gratitude today. And, I feel your love too.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A "kaboom experience" this morning while reading Moving On by Sarah Ban Breathnach this morning.

On 6.16.07 I bought the book Moving On by Sarah Ban Breathnach because some 17 years ago I experienced such awareness and change while reading and following suggested actions in her book - Simple Abundance. I valued Simple Abundance so much, I gifted it to my sponsees (this, of course, was before I stopped recognizing Xmas with gifts).

I only started reading this book Moving On I'd bought back in June. This is what Sarah writes on her intro page to this book: "As a passionate reader, I'm hard on books and other writers. Since I spend most of my waking hours in the company of words, I need books (my own included) to knock my socks off. Ravish my resistance with the first paragraph, or seduce me slowly through the introduction; as long as the feeling is intimate and immediate, I'm yours. I long to be bowled over by an author's insight, to wonder how I lived before her book explained it all to me or how the author knew me so well."

I started reading Moving On, not at the beginning, but in the middle of the book. I was trying to get a sense of whether I wanted to take it with me on an upcoming vacation as a daily meditation book. Well, from the first reading Sarah knocked my socks off. I haven't been able to stop thinking about how right on she is AND how succinctly and flawlessly she says what I think and feel. She tells the story of my life in a few selected pages I've included from her book below. While reading these pages, just substitute her buying and keeping her NY apartment for me buying and keeping my Dixie Cyn house and my ranch. Not bad choices, just wrong choices. Sarah says, "The apartment represented something far more than shelter: To my eye it was what success looked like." Bingo.

I'm living my choice now living here in Rancho Mirage. Sarah writes, "Unfortunately, there's no sure way of knowing the tab until we've lived the choice; we can't see in advance whether the choice was a wise or wrong one. But at least it was ours to make. We also can't really know where a choice will take us, although we might sense its directions." I've been contemplating how long I think I'll be happy living down here in the desert. But I see that's silly. Right now, I am happy. When I'm not, I trust I'll know it and have the willingness to "Move ON" to another place.

So, for me to re-read at some point and time, and for anyone of you who might be interested, the following pages are what spoke to me this morning:

(Clicking on the page will enlarge it enough for you to read.)

What was your "apartment"?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Homebound with my hubby.

I’ve been sick with a cold since last Sunday that now has rendered me pretty useless from the energy exerted blowing, sneezing and eating….(I remember an old belief of my Mom’s, “Feed a cold, starve a fever.”) It sounds like as good an excuse as any to eat. Ray has been busy doing 2 food runs a day. And, guess what? Ray is now sick too, 2 days behind me with his cold. He keeps asking me how I feel so he can tell what to expect..

In between phone calls, answering emails, working on Ray’s 30th Birthday Book (which is coming along great), watching old movies, getting all the documents and paper work ready for our upcoming Club Med vacation, drinking Theraflu and eating, eating, eating, we have been watching funny You Tube Videos. Here is Ray laughing his head off. Who says being sick can’t be fun!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My son Lane and his girlfriend Nicole in Thailand.

Lane writes in his email, "We've attached a Christmas photo from Koh Tao, Thailand where we are currently having a very wonderful time (reminiscent of Cabo, in the 60's -70's, style Christmas Holiday, Thanks again Gramps, For Everything!)."
Boy do I ditto Lane on Thanks to Gramps, My Dad, AND of course, the same thanks to my Mom for the life we "Shers" and "Aherns" live.

I got some flowers from Lane! Thanks Nicole.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What a wonderful birthday!

First outing of the day....
I was like a kid in a candy store at the Salton Sea with all the wonderful photo ops.

Click on photo to enlarge and see this bird's red beak.

Then our next stop....

Mecca Wilderness Area -
After visiting the Salton Sea we still had some time to explore before heading back home for dinner with Sandi and Jerry at 5pm. So we went into the town of Mecca and out the other side of this small town following signs to Box Cyn Rd and the Painted Cyn. We entered a dirt road that indicated we were headed in the Mecca Wilderness Area.

Below is a video I took while driving through the box canyon.

And some car play on the way home.

Beautiful sage, just for you -

because of who you are, and what you do.

This symbol of knowledge passed from heart to heart, guides us unerringly, though sometimes it "smarts."

You share words of wisdom; thoughtful and kind, and help us all, to slowly unwind - from the thoughts that have locked our hearts and souls, you guide us gently into being whole.

Happy Birthday Linda.



Thank you very much for your birthday sentiments Susan. L, Linda

Monday, December 24, 2007

Second test recording with my new recorder of Ray and Linda

This recording was made in bed after the previous recording last night, the night before my birthday.

We, Ray and I, sing Happy Birthday to Linda together!

I can't believe how many calls and emails I've received today wishing me a Happy Birthday.

Ask and you shall receive.

Thank you everyone. I feel very loved.

Happy Holidays too. Bah Humbug:-)

Playing with my new Voice Recorder

10:00pm last night I got in to bed with Ray. I brought my new voice recorder and the manual.

Here is a test recording and an example of how goofy Ray and I usually get around bedtime.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The 1st Mission Hills Country Club hiking group hike.

Somehow I recently became a Spa Fitness Center Committee Meeting member here where I live. I think it was a trainer I worked with named Valeria that initially suggested I attend one of the committee meetings. Since I joined 2 months ago, the committee has been working on getting a few activity clubs going to help facilitate like minded club members meeting each other through forming clubs for hiking, biking, running, walking and strength training.

A "Kick-Off" meeting for all these newly formed clubs will be held Jan 6th. I learned that some of the other newly forming activity clubs have already begun meeting to bike or walk etc. So I sent out an email to members on the hiking sign up roster I received suggesting we go for a pre-launch hike.(Before the start of the "Kick-Off" meeting where we'll discuss the basics for our new hiking club.)

I was surprised to find a number of the members would have loved to participate in the 1st pre-launch hike I set for yesterday had they not been involved with holiday happenings. And I was over-joyed to hike with the members who showed up for this first ever MHCC hike.

For the first hike, not knowing anyone's experience level, I planned a relatively easy local 3.5 mile hike/700 feet elevation gain. I called the hike the Eagle Canyon Hike (near Von's). I was a bit worried how everyone would do and whether they would like the hike. A couple of days before I'd taken Ray on the hike to see his reaction. Thanks Ray!

Everyone loved the hike. Below is one of the photos I took while on our hike. I received many emails just like this one following the hike:


The hike was just wonderful and the company as well.
Thank you for putting it all together. Ernie and I look forward to the next one.
PS We also loved the pictures!!
(I emailed them some of the photos I'd taken.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Very moving 1st and 2nd place International pictures of the year. Get some more kleenex.

Normally I ask people not to forward me any of their favorite email jokes, sayings, etc. My friend Sandi knows that I will get mad if she makes an exception and sends me a forwarded email and clutters my mailbox. So, while on the phone, she mentioned and described the incredible photo of the year she'd been sent. I was really curious. So, I made an exception and asked her to forward the photo. I'm glad I did. Here is the link online where you may view 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th place award winners also.

First Place
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process: "See the people in the windows? They'll sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home," he said. "They're going to remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should."

Second Place
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why does thinking about my birthday make me sad?

I was doing morning pages earlier. From this early morning brain drain writing came today's blog entry. When I wrote that my birthday, December 24th, was only 4 days away, I started feeling those old sad feelings I've always had around my birthday. It came to me that I might want to examine on paper some of my age old beliefs from when I was young. I really want to see if my beliefs then are what they are today. So I did a belief system inventory. Here is what this belief system inventory turned up:

My beliefs about my birthday are:

• people won’t make a big deal no one will remember I won’t get what I want
• It will be trouble for others
• They won’t know how to make a party for me
• I’ll be disappointed
• I’ll feel alone
• Unimportant
• No one will notice it’s my birthday
• No one will care it’s my birthday
• It is MY day
• They won’t make my day a big deal
• They are too busy
• “let’s combine "it" with Xmas”
• Who cares
• I don’t really want anything
• what I really want is too expensive
• they won’t find what I want
• It’ll be too hard for them to find “it”
• they’ll get the wrong thing

I felt bad seeing all these beliefs. I see how needy and insecure I was.

How do I feel about my birthday these days? It's just another day. Now every day is a big deal. I think my birthday, Xmas holidays etc, all of these times just make me sad because I remember my parents and miss them terribly.

A number of years ago I realized every November I started to get depressed. Come January that depression left. Once I realized this pattern I made the decision that I was no longer going to participate in the holidays like I used to. I treat the holidays just like any other day. Every day is a holiday. Every day is a birthday. No big deals anymore. Just one big deal. I'm alive and I'm very happy.

Happy Day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Great start this morning.

Katie canceled and Stuart (18 years old and adorable) showed up for this Wednesday morning hike. Monday and Wednesdays I hike bump & grind with Katie at 5am. Last Monday we had two other people join us: Jessica - Katie's friend and Stuart - a grandbaby of Ray's.
Stuart stayed with me, walking backwards at times and putting back on his extra layer of clothing he taken off as he wasn't working hard enough I guess hiking my pace to stay warm. We had a great time on the downhill, much like on Monday's hike, we talked non stop. Who would have thought an almost (in 5 days!) 63 year old woman and an 18 year young man could have so much to talk about.

Then on my drive home from the hike, maybe around 6:50am, while talking on the phone with Cindy, I snapped off this photo.

Here is my daily agenda for yesterday and today. I email an agenda out to about 6 or 7 other ladies. They in turn email me their daily agendas. A good way to stay accountable and on track. Here is an example of what I sent out this morning:

Good morning ladies!

I’ve hiked, showered and am ready for the day. Bring it on. 7:30am.

Here is my recap of yesterday followed by my schedule for today.



TuesdayDec 18, 2007

7:30amStep phone call

10:30amannual physical appt.

12:30pmmake toes and nails appt for

1pmThings I want to accomplish make flight for Milly and me to Deb's birthday

2pmReview Ray's 30th birthday letters and photos to see if I have everyone's

3pmcall and make appt to have leaking in condo dealth with - condo dealth with

4pmwrite responses to flagged emails from friends

9pmblog a photo or something

Tuesday kind of had a life of its own.

Physical appt. – After waiting an hour I was brought back only to be told I would still have to wait more and I realized they didn’t have me down for a physical appt but just a regular appt. I said, “I’m not sick and don’t need to see the dr.”. I left. Waste of time.

Made appt for nails and toes that are cracked beyond belief due to lack of attention in weeks.

Made hair cut and color for Wed, today.

No. On Ray’s 30th.

No on leaking condo.

Went on an unscheduled hike with Ray. Checked out, timed and made notes as this is the hike I’m taking the newly formed Mission Hills Country Club Hiking club on Saturday morning. There are 5 of us going. Should be interesting.

Ray and I tried out new hamburger at Grill A Burger. Ummmmm good. Sweet potatoes fries not as good as fries at Living Desert. (Important fact)

Rest of night I never left my computer until I went to bed at 10:30: emails, photoshopped and uploaded new photos of hike to Flickr, worked on hiking club email list.

WednesdayDec 19, 2007

Forecast for 92270 (48° | 65°)

5amhike with Stuart

Daily Schedule, breakfast, blog.

9:30amleave for Dolls of the Valley Meeting

11:45 pmlunch with Sandi

Nails and toes

2pmDennis - hair color and cut

7pmwrite recap of Baby Meeting

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A moving short movie.

If you have 6 minutes and lots of kleenex, treat yourself to this You Tube movie titled
my name is lisa.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Picking up the camera in the midst of activity.

At an Xmas party last night, my friend Carol and I were talking about our upcoming online photo class that we'll be taking and how our instructor Carol Leigh suggests taking a photo a day if you want to see and shoot better photos. So at the party last night I looked for a shoot. My friend Carol pointed out the glass heart on the table. I temporarily found the glass heart a home on top of this red lap.

Why do I like this photo of Ray and my 6 eggs before I srambled them this morning? Because I noticed that the eggs might make a photo of the day shot. That I even thought about shooting the eggs is progress for me!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Out the door and home with a question for you.

I got myself out the door. That was the hardest part. The hike I took this morning, into the hills south of Hwy 111 and north of the San Jacinto Range, was just what I needed even though my head toyed with me until 11am telling me it was too cold to go hike. Normally I just go out and exercise. Lately though, I don't seem to have the will to do it.
Hiking south east above Eagle Canyon.

Photo taken facing north from the same vantage point as previous photo. The city pictured is Cathedral City next to Rancho Mirage.

The top center of this 3rd photo is north.
Here is the question: What time of the day is it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Mr. MHCC Coyote video, with views of our back yard.

I had taken 3 photos of Mr. Coyote. This is the first one. I was way excited and didn't hold the camera very steady. I ran so fast out the back door I almost fell. But oh, what a joy to spot MY new friend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My friend JJ is great.

This entry is my friend JJ's Blog December 11th entry that I copied and pasted here. I also copied and pasted my comment to his post. JJ's blog entries often address what he is doing to prepare himself physically for his 2008 PCT thruhike.

I like his blog better than mine. So, I'm using his blog entry here today.

Too Much to Eat
December 11th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Celebrate with food. Who does not do that? I just thought that the preceding question is similar to a child’s saying, “Well, everybody else was doing it.” Hmm. Sixty-four years old and still thinking like a kid. Anyway, yesterday was fun. Mark came over from San Francisco and Maria from Berkeley, and we had a marvelous lunch at Huynh Vietnamese Restaurant. This was after an office party and Elaine’s famous lemon pound cake. And Ed, knowing I did not want to go out last night, brought Persian food his wife had made. People really do celebrate with food. It was a wonderful day for me. My brother and other friends called, including my sister-in-law, Jane.

Very little walking.

Okay, today is the first day of my sixty-fifth year. Seems exciting to me. I am so very glad to be on the planet. Now back to counting calories.

Tags: Joy · Weight Loss
1 response so far ↓


1 gottago // Dec 13, 2007 at 12:12 am

Ray and I will be in swim suits in Turks and Cacos Jan 12 for a week. A couple of weeks ago we made a deal and started dieting to lose weight to look better in front of friends who will also be there. Not for ourselves but for what the friends will think. God bless vanity. The more I diet, the more I want to eat.

Today we celebrated with food twice: First when I bought a huge tub of red vines in Staples. (Who has a slip in Staples?) Then Ray came home with Starbucks Coffee Java Chip because I was feeling sick and he’d had oral surgery yesterday and is limited in what he can eat. So we celebrated that we’d found two plausible excuses for indulging with ice cream - something we rarely eat, but love. Ray remembered from last year when my sister Leila brought home her all time favorite ice cream – Starbucks Coffee Java Chip. He has been in obsession since that time.

I had no choice but to eat the ice cream - you can’t decline a gift from your honey.
And besides, the extra fat makes my wrinkles fill out a little. Phew, sure glad I thought of that rationalization. I feel better now.


What chance do you think we have with our "diet" when our freezer looks like this?
Ray will probably kill me for this post. But that's ok...He already bought me my birthday and Xmas presents today in Staples. And the red vines were not part of the present!

Last of the 3 coyote sightings this morning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From MHCC Hiking Leader to MHCC Hiking Coordinator

This is where I initially fantasized I'd take all the MHCC members that just signed up on the hiking sign up sheet below. I am their fearful leader.

I photographed the sign up list on my way out of the MHCC Fitness Club Committee Meeting tonight. There is another half page of members who signed up to go hiking under this top sheet. That makes about 48 in total. Hmmm. This is going to be interesting. I am the hiking coordinator (before tonight, previously referred to as the hiking leader). I am worried, very worried about my $$$ liability taking these hikers out on the trail. We decided at the committee meeting being a coordinator is not really a leader. Well, that's fine for those who head up the running club, the walking club, the biking club (which rides in the MHCC complex, not on the streets). But I am taking people out of MHCC, not up to Mt San Jacinto, but out onto the trails where lots of things can happen to young, experienced hikers. Am I crazy?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cold morning hike with two hiking buddies.

Paula called first early this morning checking to see if we were still hiking as it had rained all night with strong possibilities of rain today. Then Katie emailed me asking if the hike was still on.

Sure it's on. I did bring some fleece tops, hats and rain gear for the girls though.

Great morning hike as we all got to know each other a bit more. Paula and Katie thought they were posing for a still photo. Click to see the very tiny photo.

Last night after making our plans to hike today. Katie and Paula

Friday, December 7, 2007

Upon awakening rainbow.

I lifted my head up from the pillow, glanced at MY mountain as I do every morning, said to Ray "Look at the clouds" and took a double take, before I jumped out of bed to take this shot.

Tom and Alima's kids: Catie, Jess, Emily and Henry.

In an email today, Alima writes: "OK – I have WAY too much time on my hands……enjoy!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My other son, Josh

Josh is now stationed aboard the USS Winston S. Churchill 3 miles off the shoreline of Iraq.

My son Lane

I don't have a lot of photos of my son as, in the past, he was less than interested in my taking his picture. But the photos I do have and here are some, I love, almost as much as I love him.

Remember where this was taken Lane?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Emotion provoking video.

I was just sent this youtube video. Wow!

Turning up the volume was recommended.

My backpacking friend, Meadow Ed, writes his thoughts while in the Grand Canyon.

I took this photo of Meadow Ed last year while on a trip in the Grand Canyon.

Meadow Ed just emailed me what he had recently written while on a recent Grand Canyon trip.

"May these Canyon walls surround the inner me and protect me from the world of men. May this River of life also cut thru me as this River cuts thru the layer of time here. I need to expose the inner me to new feelings and expressions. I ask these Canyon walls to give me their strength and the River i ask for guidance.

I tasted today the memory of Cociel St Jack, Oyster Rockefeller and New England Clam Chowder, oh for a tomato to make it Manhattan Clam Chowder but none was to be found.
I walked again the white sandy beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, golden sand between my toes but try as i might i saw no seagulls nor pelicans least of all i saw no terns.

I believe the god I seek lives deep within me, God then is I.

Words are not real real, words can say many things to many people but words have no wisdom in them, they are just a group of letters. Jesus, Buddha and Mohammad are just words as well. There is more wisdom in a grain of sand then in a the spoken word. A grain of sand has mineral content that can be absorbed into a plant, we who eat of this plant can be said to consume the knowledge or wisdom of the grain of sand-in consumption of this grain of sand we grow with the strength of the content of the mineral in the plant. This is real, this is how we grow, this is how we live our lives. A deaf person hears no words yet he too lives out his life and grows with wisdom that nourishes his body."

By E.J. Faubert