Friday, February 29, 2008

leap into love.

Well, I was going to write about Leap Day today — the gift of an extra day and different ways to celebrate it. But at 6:45a, the phone rang. It was my birthmom's husband, Bob, letting us know that Pat (my birthmom) had fallen and sustained a head injury that required emergency brain surgery and put her into a coma. The doctors had told him to prepare for the worst, so he was telling us to do the same.

Pat is 60, a chain-smoker since 14, an animal-lover, witty, chatty, and one of the bravest, most generous women I know. Being the product of a closed adoption, I didn't know Pat until 15 years ago, and though I was blindsided at first when she and my birthdad found me, I now consider myself amazingly blessed to have her in my life and to be in hers. I am her only child.

But we haven't seen one another for over three years — mostly because she's in Florida and we're in Texas, she has big dogs and a traveling husband and I've got little kids and a traveling husband, and coordinating our schedules and our lives was just too much hassle. We talk with some regularity, we sometimes email and occasionally send real mail, but we haven't been face-to-face for more than a thousand days.

So now, all I can think of is how much I wish I could spend some face-time with her, hold her hand, give her a big hug, let her know how grateful I am that she had me, gave me up for adoption, and came back into my life a quarter-century later. Let her know how much I genuinely love and honor and appreciate her.

So today, please consider just for a moment how tenuous this world really is, how our whole lives are really built upon unstable structures that can topple at any minute. Use this day to connect with someone you love, someone you miss, someone you wish you had made more time for. Let them know how thankful you are for them, let them know on this Leap Day, this gift of a day, their presence is a gift to you.

Come back to us, Pat.

Monday, February 25, 2008

tina, hillary & the new black — must-see tv!!

monday afternoon gratitudes.

To be honest, I'm struggling with feeling thankful today. I woke up — on the couch downstairs, having surrendered our bed to my incessantly and deafeningly snoring husband around 4a — feeling like I had been run over by a dumptruck, feeling like a bad mom, an outsider in my own family, someone who's good for providing meals and laundry and a clean countertop and that's about it. I feel like I could disappear and would be missed only when they ran out of groceries, clean clothes and stuff from Target. I feel like I spend much of my family time either actually being the "bad cop" or being reinforced as being the "bad cop" ... and frankly, who wants to hang around with the bad cop? I mean, who can blame them?

Wow ... since there's only one side of a couch to wake up on, I guess I can't claim I woke up on the 'wrong' side of it, but that side was definitely dominated by a big ol' pool of self-pity with plenty of room for wallowing. I realize that, I recognize that, but I still don't feel better.

So here's my feeble attempt to force better feelings — my top ten list:

1. puffs plus tissues w/lotion (terrible for cleaning glasses, but terrific for allergy attacks and crying jags)
2. good foundation makeup (fabulous for fewer than four hours of sleep and crying jags)
3. new eyeglasses (fun, and also good for camouflaging lack of sleep and weeping)
4. windy days
5. clean bathrooms
6. health professionals you trust
7. do-overs
8. build-a-bear birthday parties
9. having a son with a strong immune system
10. having a hobby that is a fail-proof path to feeling better (especially effective when you've got time to do it, which of course I don't for the foreseeable future)

Please post your gratitudes and let me live vicariously through your good life until mine feels all better again. :]

Thursday, February 21, 2008

it's d-day!

Debate Day, that is. Or really, it's DD-Day — Democratic Debate Day ... hey, I'm a DD — but that's probably TMI, huh? ;D

Yes, Austin is hosting presidential hopefuls (some more hopeful than others, I think) Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a modern-day Texas showdown tonight. Should be fascinating ... but I can't help but wonder whether our local ABC affiliate, KVUE 24, will be covering the event live, and if so, then when will they be airing tonight's episode of Lost (so I can set our DVR appropriately — I love me my Lost, but I'm definitely watching the debate live!)?

Senator Obama's campaign has announced a public rally on the south side of the Capitol Friday night @ 9p (go to for info); Senator Clinton's campaign hasn't yet scheduled a public appearance here, but confirms she will be coming at some point. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 18, 2008

for "Lost" fans.

Much like the show itself, I'm not sure there's any rhyme or reason at all to it, but it's a fun e-xercise for fans of "Lost": Sawyer's Nickname Generator.

Just call me "Lightbulb."

more monday morning gratitudes.

Here are mine ...
  1. The idea of a daily intention — during my morning shower, I've been practicing the ritual of establishing how I want to be for the day (yesterday was playful & productive, for example), and I'm finding that this simple notion works ... amazing!
  2. Jazzercise.
  3. Japanese rice crackers (utterly addictive).
  4. Visiting with old friends.
  5. Big breakfasts, preferably at a diner.
  6. YouTube (you can find almost anything, I swear).
  7. Nurturing new friendships.
  8. A Fuji apple a day.
  9. Epiphanies that provide enlightening perspective about a difficult situation.
  10. Discovering new comments from readers of my blog (and I'm not just including that to pressure you!).
How about you — what are you grateful for this fine Monday morning?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

not into valentines?

Judging from the derth of comments from my Day o'Hearts posting, I'm assuming maybe you're not (or maybe, like me, you're just too dang busy to spend time commenting on other people's blogs ...).

*Regardless,* here are a couple of Valentine's Day video clips well worth finding the time to view, thanks to Ellen Degeneres and her fill-in dancer of the day, Naila Hay (and a special other someone whose identity will be revealed).

WARNING: Go get a tissue before you click through. Seriously.

Part 1:
Part 2:

I know, I know — this is supposed to be a blog about feminism and women's issues; how exactly does a traditionally romantic event like this fit in? Easy — it speaks to the heart of a woman. Oh — and it's got a lesbian smack-dab in the middle of it all ... so maybe not quite as traditional as all that, huh? ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy happy heart day.

My great hope is
to laugh as much as I cry;
to get my work done;
to try to love somebody and
have the courage
to accept love in return.
— Maya Angelou —

For a Valentine's ecard
from me to you,
just point at these linked words
and click right on through!!

I've already come across a couple of folks expressing their love and joy in uber-creative ways this morning ... so how are you celebrating the people you love today? Please comment and share the love!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

numero uno!

Austin is all a-buzz today, as we've suddenly come into the national spotlight for a pair of news items we can be proud of:

1. Ch K-Run's Park Me In First, or as he's known about town, Uno the beagle, used his wagging, white-tipped tail to sweep the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last night, becoming the first beagle ever to win in the dog club's 100 best-in-show competitions.

Uno has close connections to Austin — he spends some time here with his handler, Aaron Wilkerson, who grew up in the Austin area. One of Uno's four co-owners also lives here in the heart of Texas.

Click through to read the full story of Uno's shining moment, and don't miss the accompanying slideshow. He's really something to howl about!

2. A week from tomorrow, February 21st, Austin will host presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they engage in still another Democratic candidates' debate. The 90-minute event — organized by the Texas Democratic Party, CNN and Univision, in conjunction with the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation — will air live from The University of Texas Recreation Sports Center @ 7p.

The latest news is that the debate will be invitation-only, closed to the public (irony, anyone?) ... but we're hoping for some sort of rally or other public appearance by this dynamic Dem duo, so we — and especially our nine-year-old daughter — can catch a real, live glimpse of who we hope against hope will be America's next history-making leader.

What fun to finally be a state worthy of wooing! Texas' and Ohio's presidential primaries are coming up March 4th. Ought to be interesting ... stay tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

monday morning gratitudes.

I'm beginning a new Monday morning ritual, intended to help make my Mondays not quite as manic. The notion originally comes from Cheryl Richardson (life coach extraordinaire), who notes — and I definitely concur with her — what better way to launch your workweek than reflecting upon what you're grateful for?

So here's my inaugural list of Ten Things I'm Thankful For This Monday Morning:
  1. My husband's continuing clean bill of health (he is a cancer survivor).
  2. My daughter's glee about awakening to her new Tinkerbell alarm clock.
  3. A no-whining morning.
  4. Our Tempurpedic bed.
  5. A high-functioning water heater.
  6. Someone else cleaning my house every other week.
  7. Scrapbooking (I completed three layouts this weekend!).
  8. Dealing-with-kids wisdom from my sister, the educator (who came to visit this weekend).
  9. My ipod.
  10. My husband changing his schedule to accommodate my need to exercise today.
So, what are you feeling grateful for at the moment? Please feel free to share with a comment!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

let the planet know you love her,too.

Yes, yes, of course the traditional colors for Valentine's Day are red, pink, white and the like. But are we traditional women? OK, a little, maybe. But infusing your V-Day gift-giving with some green won't hurt — in fact, it will help Mother Earth feel the love, for sure.

Here are some sites with some great ideas for how to show the eco-love come Thursday:'s "eco-fabulous Lust List" includes recipes for Valentine's cocktails made with VeeV, an all-natural, organic, 60-proof clear spirit distilled from acai berries (Oprah's #1 superfood!). splits its offerings into helpful 'Hers' and 'His' categories ... consider the Solio Universal Charger for an even exchange (he can get hers in pink; she can get his in silver; or both can get basic black).

Martha Stewart's Eco-Valentine's Day Gifts includes some surprising options such as Zulugrass jewelry, which helps protect the environment while it promotes economic opportunity for central Kenyan artisans.'s Valentine's Day gift list provides a diverse selection of items, including Aromatherapy Theme candles, which can be selected according to the state of your relationship — from Arousal to Wedded Bliss to Panic Attack.'s "Green Your Valentine" offers information about and links to green gifts from carbon credits to handmade heart-shaped kites.'s "50 Ways to Please Your Lover" features not only tangible, but also experience-oriented gift ideas ... are you ready to henna your lover's name along with some valentine doodles on his or her favorite part of your body? how about karaoke-ing to your key canoodler?

Yahoo! Shopping's Green Eco-Friendly Gifts provides a full gamut of V-Day shopping opps ... what says 'I love you' like the gift of a stainless steel countertop compost pail?

My honey and I have settled on a massage exchange (from a professional massage therapist, naturally) for our Valentine's Day gift-giving circa 2008 ... ahhh, I think I'm in love.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

sweet communications for our soldiers.

For the folks who feel too driven by their guilt and/or their sweetooth to just say 'no' to the nineteenth Girl Scout Cookie table they encounter ... there is hope!

In many parts of the country, Girl Scout troops have collaborated with civilian-to-military delivery services to establish a system where people can buy Girl Scout cookies to be sent to our troops overseas. Here at home, the Girl Scouts of Central Texas are working with Operation Interdependence to gather cookie contributions and deliver them to our courageous service men and women.

So now you can eliminate the guilt and the gluttony, and feel good about helping the Girl Scouts and America's Armed Services — it's a win/win/win/win!

I've sent a dozen boxes over to date (and brought none home — amen); I chose a few boxes of America's perennial favorite because I can imagine how utterly delicious a Thin Mint must taste when you're used to a mouthful of sand ... but mostly, I selected boxes of the cookie with a message: Thanks-A-Lots.

Monday, February 4, 2008

i believe in cool tees.

Great idea for the coolest tee shirt you'll wear this year:

Here's what they say:
"mondonation is an experiment built around the idea that if we all share our beliefs on a daily basis by wearing them on our bodies, then they will grow in strength. This will begin to affect the people who wear their beliefs as well as everyone they come into contact with. What we do is give people the opportunity to wear their beliefs. You choose a charity from a growing list of charities, and we give your designated amount ($1, $5, $10 or $20) to the charity you choose. So the strength of mondonation is threefold: (1) giving money to something you believe in while (2) wearing something you believe in while (3) looking great in a product ethically made by American Apparel."

Here's what I say:
Design your own tee, beginning with the words "i believe" ... Be creative! Concepts swing wildly from the banal to the beatific ("i believe i can drink you under the table" vs. "i believe you must be the change you wish to see in the world"). Several styles and sizes and many, many charitable organizations to choose from. Not as expensive as you might think.

My tee (already in the works) will reiterate the words I've repeated so very often here on my blog:
i believe where there is connection, there is power
i believe we are all connected
i believe we are all powerful

What will yours say? Leave a comment with your inspiration.

Thanks to Michael Bungay Stanier (life-coachy guy) for referring; his Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun website is cool, too.

Friday, February 1, 2008

celebrate the everyday.

It's February, 2008. How will you celebrate being a woman?

Remember, where there is connection, there is power.

Where there is power, there is hope for change.
For ourselves, and for our world.

We are all connected. We are all powerful.
Until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.