meet Silas

Meet Silas, a royal kitty. He rules my neighborhood. He’s not my cat, but he’s at my house more than he’s not. He sleeps at the foot of my bed! His real mom lives next-door, and because of him she and I are good friends. She shares him with me! He gives me a lot of comfort and joy, and has taught me that cats too have souls.

me & si

like, seriously?

From ACMTC’s BATTLE CRY:

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This is laughable. Like, seriously? They just make things up, right off the top of their heads. Jamie Bridgewater begs Josh Green to marry her? I advise two defecting women to call the police? And I’m famous and have made a fortune from lying and slandering the Greens?

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my Lilly’s birthday

Today’s Lilly’s birthday. Steve would be real proud of her if he only knew of her strength, creativity and beauty. I don’t regret marrying the man—he did father 3 unique, beautiful children, and I can’t imagine life without them.

If there are winners and losers, then he’s the one who has lost here. My children and my grandchildren are my greatest treasures.

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10251952_1068697313157366_2151266930089556678_n-2Grandson. Eric, Lilly’s oldest

for a dose of cuteness

IMG_6505Oldest son Nate and baby Ella

in the face of uncertainty

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She just keeps going and going. Despite having a type of early onset alzheimer’s disease (she’s only 5o), my good friend and neighbor Theresa excels in maintaining a positive, grateful life. She’s another of life’s brave heroes. Here she is running in our neighborhood, revving up for her next marathon. Last year she placed first place in her age division.

Once a University teacher, writer, editor, and poet, she now has a hard time putting her thoughts into words. But despite her limitations, her frustrations, her huge personal loss, she always has a smile that lights up her face. I love people like this—people who master living life positively in the face of great challenges and uncertainty.

youngest daughter and family

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I’m so proud of my children—all of them. Here’s my youngest daughter and her family at the ranch in Texas. It’s weird, but my children (and grandchildren) are often my teachers, as I am theirs. It’s as if we were all intended to be in one another’s lives. Lilly teaches me how to love and be present when someone is hurting and wobbling inside. I love her and my son-in-law’s wise choices, and how they always follow them up with action.

I love watching my children rebound after difficult beginnings—not that they don’t still have challenges. Our injuries can heal, but scars remain forever.

We can embrace life’s challenges as opportunities to learn, to grow, to expand. Or we can rant and rage about them, blaming others for everything bad we attract into our lives as a result of our own faulty thinking and consequent hateful actions, and be miserably bitter. It’s a choice. I believe in the law of attraction. I choose happiness, and good comes to me.

We who are born or walk into a difficult, challenging life—we are given a life to grow in. May we wake up and embrace the positive changes that we long for.

my Aunt Mary’s 90th

Drove to Monrovia with sis for our Auntie’s 90th birthday. Aunt Mary’s as sharp as a tack, and wise.  “May the wind always be at your back,” she says. 
10334283_871013889592377_8397785129009155349_nSister’s daughter-n-law, sister, auntie, sister’s son and his son, and me in Monrovia. Finely got our boy to look at the camera. HA!

thankful

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Thankful to be free of past mindsets, other people’s mindsets. Thankful to be free from needing others to show and tell me the way. Thankful to have been loosed so I can think and discern life for myself. No more crutches. It’s a friendlier, happier world now. Quoting an old hippie friend of mine, Graywolf, “sometimes we go about learning who we are in life by first learning who we are not.”

twenty years ago today my son walked away from ACMTC

IMG_0197I’m so proud of my son Nate. He’s strong and kind and wonderful and smart and aware and funny and talented and more, of course. Here I am with him in his wood shop. He’s come a long way.

Nate snuck out of ACMTC headquarters late at night, leaving with only the clothes he had on. The escape was planned. My son-in-law at the time, Mike (who years earlier with my daughter Rebekah and their two children also quietly left ACMTC late at night) flew to Gallup N.M., rented a four-wheel drive and drove out to Fence Lake with a State Trooper guiding him. The plan was to pick Nate up at 11PM, so at 11 PM Nate walked out to the roadside, and 15 minutes later Mike showed up. The plan worked.

Today Nate’s one of my shining stars. I absolutely love the integrity of this man who suffered so much as a boy, who was denied love by his father, always put down by him, humiliated by him and the Greens, made to feel “not good enough.”

Upon leaving, good men were drawn to him. Today he has two fathers, so to speak, in his life. First there’s Mark, a downtown Sacramento contractor/developer. Mark saw Nate’s talent and good nature and swooped him up, calling him “his boy,” and later made him his business partner. Together they restored historical homes.

DSC04255-1                                                                     Mark (“Gino”)

When Mark more or less retired, Gary, another good-to-the-bone guy, a world renown wood turner, invited Nate to come make furniture with him in his shop—“our shop,” Gary says, and he gave Nate the keys.

A really sweet thing Gary does is that every time a loved one dies, he buys an old machine in his or her memory, restores it to great condition, puts it in his shop, and then every time he uses it he thinks of him or her. Mark, Gary and Nate are all kind and thoughtful men.

on the light side, meet Sheba.

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On the light side, this is Sheba. Family dog. Nate’s dog. Granddog.