Sunday, December 31, 2006

Things I learned/discovereed/rediscovered in 2006

How to Hula Hoop

How to walk in flip flops


The world does not stop if I miss Kerrville, but it does wobble on its axis.

How to make sour dough bread.

That the hokey pokey may really be what it is all about.

Having a canine companion is a lot of work and responsibility but it is sooooo worth it.

The relationship of work to money is not what I always thought it was.

How I view the situation is the situation.

I am my own best friend and my own worst enemy.

A Heads Up

This is a heads up to everyone to read Christine Kane's blog today. She writes one of my favorite blogs and her take on our "resolution" tradition is not to be missed.

Have a great New Year and be safe.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Yet another list

the Z list started as a list of marketing blogs. I have checked most of them out and enjoyed them. Here is the latest version I've seen.

Creative Think
Movie Marketing Madness
Blog Till You Drop!
Get Shouty!
One Reader at a Time
100 Bloggers
Critical Fluff
The New PR
Own Your Brand!
in Plain English
Buzz Canuck
New Millenium PR
Pardon My French
The Instigator Blog
Marketing Hipster
The Marketing Minute
Funny Business
The Frager Factor
Open The Dialogue
Word Sell
Note to CMO:
That’s Great Marketing!
Shotgun MarketingBlog
Customers Rock
!Being Peter Kim
Andy Nulman
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Working at Home on the Internet
MapleLeaf 2.0
Darren Barefoot
Two Hat Marketing
The Engaging Brand
The Branding Blog
Golden Practices
Tell Ten Friends
Flooring the Consumer
Kinetic Ideas
Unconventional Thinking
Conversation Agent
The Copywriting Maven
Hee-Haw Marketing
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Multi-Cult Classics
Logic + Emotion
Branding & Marketing
Carpe Factum
Steve’s 2 Cents
Popcorn n Roses
On Influence & Automation
Servant of Chaos

Presentation Zen
Dmitry Linkov
Urban Jacksonville
John Wagner
Nick Rice
CKs Blog
Design Sojourn
Frozen Puck
The Sartorialist
Small Surfaces
Africa Unchained
Marketing Nirvana
Bob Sutton¡
Hola! Oi! Hi!
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Community Guy
Social Media on the fly
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
SMogger Social Media Blog
37 Days
A Clear Eye
Alex Halavais
Brand Autopsy
Brand Soul
Creating Passionate Users
Crossroads Dispatches
Doc Searls
FAST Company
gillianic tendencies
Good Experience
Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere
How to Save the World
Josh Hallett
Joy of Six
Learned on Women
Make it Great
my topography
New Charm School
Occupational Adventure
Orbit Now
PureLand Mountain
Seth Godin
Songs of Experience
Talking Story
Time Goes By
Tom Peters
Tomorrow Today
World Changing
Tertiary Education
Break Out
Joyful Jubilant Learning
re:invention: a toolbox for women-led businesses
CultureKitchen: Fresh Dissent Served Daily
I Work at Home
2020 Hindsight
100 Bloggers

The W list...not that W

I got this list from Jana B's blog, Jana's Journey, and added a couple of my favorites to it.

Tammy over at Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together had the idea of making a meme list of blogs "by women for women." So if you want to participate, here's what you do. Copy and paste all of the links I have here onto your blog post, and add the blogs you want onto the top. (Along with instructions for other people to do the same lol) I'll be putting blogs on here that I haven't linked in a while.
Women, Art, Life
California Fever
Gobulous Hottie Bloggers
Wings of the Morning
Tuff Toe-Nail
Be Alive, Believe, Be You
The Viral Garden
Looking Beyond the Cracked Window
Aphra Behn - Danger of eClectic shock
The New Charm School
Creative Every Day
Methaphor Bling
Simply Wait
Jana's Journey
Tinker Art
Art In the Garage
Thick Paint
MollyGordon Authentic Promotion
Christine Kane
Guilty with an Explanation

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ch Ch Ch Changes

As I write this I am listening to John Edwards speaking from Iowa. I agree with so much of what he says. He is speaking of each of us taking responsibility for where we are and what we as individuals and as a country can do to facilitate positive changes in our world. I have been waiting for some time for him to announce his candidacy for president. A few days ago, the following email was forwarded to me. I am posting it here so that anyone who sees it can take whatever action he/she wishes:

For the past two years, we've worked together to build an America
that lives up to its promise -- one where we all share in prosperity
at home and one that shows real moral leadership around the world.
I'm proud of our successes fighting poverty, supporting working
families, and standing up for what we believe.
Now, we have a big decision to make -- and I do mean we.
I'm getting ready to take this effort to the next level - to bring
Americans together in all fifty states to tackle the big challenges
facing our country, from poverty and lack of health care, to energy
and global warming.
But this is our effort, and we can only succeed if we're all in it
together. So before I make a final decision, I need to hear from you:
Are you ready?
If you're ready to take this to the next level, and launch a renewed
national effort to change America, send me a note and let me know:
If you have friends or family who share this vision, I want to hear
from them too. Please forward this on to anyone you know who might
want to join this big new effort.
I believe we can run a totally new kind of endeavor -- one that puts
our ideals into action, and puts the hopes and dreams of the American
people above the personal ambition and play-it-safe strategy of
traditional politics.
I can't promise you where this will ultimately lead. But I can
promise you this: if you're on board, we'll launch a renewed
commitment to change our country from the bottom up. We'll always
speak from the heart. And together, we'll reach out to millions of
people to let them know it's still okay to dream big dreams, and do
everything we can to make them real --because that's what America is
all about.
So the only question is: Are you ready?
If you want to take this effort to next level, send me an e-mail and
let me know:
Stay tuned: I'll let you know what we decide early next week.
Happy holidays, and may it be a bright new year for all.
Your friend,
If you would like to unsubscribe from email communications sent by
John Edwards, please visit this link:

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Nobelity....worth watching

We just watched the film Nobelity. I had seen it previously at the Crossings. We found a copy of it at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. The film is a documentary put together by Turk Pipkin. He went around the world interviewing Nobel Prize winners in all kinds of catagories to get their opinions on the 10 biggest problems facing the world and what they think can be done to address these problems. It is inciteful, beautifully shot and has a great sound track.

Anything important enough to complain about, is important enough to take action aimed at its improvement. There are many ways to take action, from making donations of time or money to meditating on a good outcome to spreading the word about the efforts of those who are affecting change. As Jody Williams says in the film, change is not hard to accompllish. You just have to get off your ass and do something.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Antidote

In my last post, I wrote about the effect that BigBox retail is having on our communities and the world at large. It is easy to gripe and complain about what someone else is doing to us, to our way of life, to the environment. They are always up to something. One of my favorite quotes is from Walt Kelly’s Pogo who said, “I have seen the enemy and he is us.” In other words, there is no they. We are all creators of our world and we all play a part in whatever happens to it.

How, then, do we change the things we don’t relish? It is hard to even know where to begin. It is very easy to feel so discouraged that we just give up and don’t try to do anything at all to facilitate change. I think the best thing to do is to be conscious of each choice we make, whether it is paying cash or paying attention.

One of my favorite thinkers and authors on the world situation and how each of us can make a difference in it is John Perkins. His book Confessions of an Economic Hitman is a must read. It has spent 59 weeks on the New York Times best seller list. He is the founder of the Dream Change Coalition, an organization that came into being after John was told by a South American shaman that the world is how we dream it and that having dreamed up a nightmare, we must now change the dream. I encourage everyone to visit and learn more about what we can do to change the dream.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The following post was inspired by a situation with my sister. She is in a very fearful place right now with her financial situation. Fearful enough to take as a client a company which
has applied BigBox marketing to the massage business. Fearful enough to become very upset with me when I expressed my objections, thus providing me with yet another opportunity to decide who I want to be in relationnship to the situation. I have had quite a struggle with it. (The photo from )

Bill had a hardware store. He had bought his father out when he retired. The hardware store had been on operation in this town for more than 45 years. Bill wasn’t rich, but he made a comfortable living and provided a needed service to his community.

Then the BigBox opened on the outskirts of town. People found that they could get the things they usually bought from Bill at a much lower price than Bill could offer on the same items. Everything was so cheap at the BigBox. Pretty soon, Bill went out of business and filed bankruptcy as well.

Joe bought Bill’s house at auction for a fraction of its worth. He had been going to build a house for himself and his family but Bill’s house was very nice and it was so cheap. Besides, it was a good investment. Joe figured that in a couple of years, he could double his money on the house and use it to buy more investment property.

Since Joe bought Bill’s house, he did not need the services of Bob, the local contractor. Bob also did not to get to hire Jerry and George to help him build the Joe’s house. This also was a blow for the local lumber yard and plumbing supply business who were still in business because BigBox Home Improvement has not come to town just yet.

Jerry decided to go fishing. However, when he got to his favorite fishing place, the creek was full of trash. Several BigBox plastic shopping bags were caught in the trees. Cans, bottles and other debris had washed downstream from the BibBox parking lot.

Out of desperation Bill and his wife both took jobs at BigBox making minimum wage for 30 hours a week. They signed up for food stamps to feed their children. They use the county clinic for medical care. It doesn’t look like they will be sending the kids to college as planned so they will most likely work at BigBox, too.

Their old customers kept making their purchases at BigBox. At first, they could get everything Bill used to have but, little by little, that changed. BigBox only stocked the things that sell the fastest and at the most volume, so the special things that Bill used to keep on hand because he sold a few of them a year and he knew that his customers really needed them are nowhere to be found. Some of them don’t even exist anymore because BigBox did not see fit to set up manufacturing in China to make them and the small companies that made them here are gone because they could not compete with the slave labor wages that the companies BigBox buys things from can get away with overseas.

Two local grocery stores and several clothing stores also went out of business after BigBox came to town. If anyone in town minds that all their clothes look alike and that they don’t have as much variety in food choices as they used to, nobody says much about it. After all, everything at BigBox is so cheap.
They do gripe about taxes going up due to the clinic being suddenly busier than before, more kids needing free school lunches and more families needing food stamps. Few people see the connection between their higher taxes and the fact that everything at BigBox is so cheap.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

More Dogness

The picture in the previous post was made at the shelter in April or May. Here is Lani after 5 months of good nutrition and lots of love.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Light a Candle

A click on this link gets a dollar for AIDS research.

Her Dogness

I have enjoyed the companionship of dogs all of my life. There have been times when I felt that my only friends were of the four-legged persuasion. I had been without a dog in my life for more than eight years when we adopted Lani, although it is probably closer to the truth of the situation to say that she adopted us. Our agreement with her is that we buy her kibble, toys and treats and take her to the vet when she needs it and in return, she makes us laugh. She keeps up her end of the bargain and then some.

We had been working through the local golden retriever rescue group and had become frustrated with the bureaucracy they had developed and the time it was taking to go through their process. I finally came to realize that we had given power over something very meaningful to us to someone who did not really know us at all. At this point, I began looking at other sources for our dog.

I first spotted Lani on the local shelter’s website. She was described as a golden retriever mix. She certainly is that. We think that there is some Shepard or border collie in her ancestry. Anyway, I went to the shelter specifically to see her. She walked up to the front of her kennel, tilted her head to the left and looked at me as if to say “It’s about time you came to spring me outta this joint.” (She has climbed up on the couch beside me and appears to be looking over my shoulder to be sure I tell this story correctly.) We went to the shelter every day for a week to spend time with her and get to know her better before bringing her home. The shelter has a policy that dogs have to be neutered or spayed before they leave. On the day her surgery was to be done, I got a call from the shelter staff. I was informed that Lani was sick and they couldn’t do the surgery. Then they asked if I still wanted her. Of course, I did. She only had kennel cough which is the equivalent of a human having a cold, or so we thought. It turned out that she also had a much more serious but easily treatable condition. She had just gotten over that when she injured her knee and had to have surgery on it. I am happy to report that she is now doing very well and is a happy, healthy girl. I am grateful to have her in my life.

As much as dogs add to our lives, they also bring new levels of responsibility. In addition to the kibble, toys, and vet visits, they need lots of time and lots of attention. I have been involved in a couple of situations the past couple of weeks involving dogs who were not getting enough of these or who had not gotten enough when they were very young. My daughter went to an adoption day at a pet store sponsored by different shelter in this area. They were about to close the operation down for the day and gave her a dog that she had shown some interest in without getting much information from her and without disclosing the fact that the dog had a history of aggression. She spent a lot of money and put a lot of effort into working with the dog. It escaped from its crate while she was at work and tore up the carpet in her bathroom. She bought another crate and then had to put locks down the corners so it could not get out. She took it to the vet who put it on anti-anxiety meds. It was aggressive to every one except her. Finally, it became apparent that she could not keep the dog. One worker at the shelter humiliated her to tears when she took it back. Only then did one of the other people there tell her about its history.

At the same time this was happening, I was asked to look after my neighbor’s dogs while they were away. I got to the house and there was no heat in it and one of the dogs was in a kennel that was way to small for her. I had to call the landlords to help with the situation. Luckily, our landlady is very into dogs and is active in several rescue groups. She was able to get a bigger crate and the heat got turned back on.

I have read staggering statistics on the number of domestic animals that are put to death in shelters across this country each day. I can’t help but feel that we as humans have some responsibility for it. We did not get Lani until we had a great place for her to live. We had her spayed as soon as her health allowed. We don’t leave her outside by herself for long periods of time or while we are not at home. We don’t expect her to behave like a child. We know that she is a dog and we honor her dogness. I wish the same for every dog on this planet.

Friday, December 8, 2006

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Goodbye, Old Friend

I turned my back as he pulled out of the gate and headed up the road, not wanting to see him leave for the last time. We had been together more than eight years and covered a lot of territory in that time. More than a hundred thousand miles. My friends were all a little surprised when he came into my life in 1998. They just didn’t see him as my type.

We had many adventures together. He took me to Phoenix, Flagstaff, Barstow, Bear Valley, South Tahoe, San Francisco, Eugene, Yellowstone, Flaming Gorge, and brought me back home to Texas. He took me to Key West, Asheville and DC and brought me back home again. He provided lodging and music along the way. He was always willing to carry my stuff, even if it meant pulling it along behind him.

The first thing my friend David Lamotte said when he saw him was “That’s a big honking truck.” That stuck and he became BH. (I don’t always name my automobiles but if one comes out and tells me its name it gets to keep it.)

Stephen had been grousing for more than a year about how I really should start thinking about getting a smaller vehicle. I was resistant to that idea even though it was a pain to park due to its length (extended cab with a long bed) and used more gas than I was comfortable with from an environmental stand point and parts were wearing out on it faster than I could get them fixed. It took awhile for me to realize that I had formed an emotional attachment to a huge hunk of metal and rubber. That really gave me something to think about. Finally the day came when the transmission started failing and it started dying on me for no apparent reason in the middle of the street. I knew it was time to let go. I parked it in front of the house and bought a ’99 Outback.

A guy who works for my landlord wanted to buy BH. I know he will be able to do all the work it needs himself and will give BH a good home and a purpose is life. BH will be hauling tools and materials around to his new owner’s work sites. The new owner appreciates BH’s body style and the captain’s chairs I put in to replace the bench seat. He is very happy to get such a great ride. I am happy that my old friend will not be sold for scrap just yet.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Glass Hearts

The following is an essay that I wrote last year (Aug.2005) the night we got home from spending the afternoon at Crawford. People continue to ask me about it so I decided to publish it here.

I was struck by how different the situation was from the way if was being portrayed in the press. The day we were there, there was one lone "counter protester'. We were told that there had never been more than a dozen or so. We had been led to believe that there many, many more. I have participated in several peace marches. I am not protesting a war. I am standing up for peace. Here is the essay. I call it Glass Hearts. I am publishing it in its original form.

There is a small glass heart on my desk as I am writing this. It came from a basket full of them on a card table in front of the Peace House in Crawford, TX. Someone donated them so that everyone could take heart and be thinking of Cindy Sheehan and what she is doing.
Stephen and I arrived at Peace House around 1:00pm today (Tuesday, August 16th). We were there all of 3 minutes before Barbara turned to us and said, "Can you help out?" For the next 3 hours, I manned the welcome table and Stephen helped with computer problems and whatever else he was asked to do. We mostly listened to every story we could. Everybody who arrived had one.
Barbara is from San Diego and is the official parking goddess. She told me that she is agnostic and does not believe in miracles. The proceeded to tell me of three miracles that had happened in the past day and a half: shuttles were needed and people with vans showed up; they were out of ice and a stranger showed up with a truck load of it; someone ran over 500 of the 800 crosses with a pipe pulled behind a truck and took out most of the flowers that had been sent as well. After hearing about it, someone in Florida sent 35 dozen roses to replace them. I said, " You have to believe in miracles. They are happening all around you." She said, "I know, I know, I know."
Mary came from New Jersey to bring a cloth wall bearing the names of all the US military personnel who have died in Iraq so far.
Roger came from Minnesota to join the campers at Camp Casey.
A large percentage of the folks we met have family members serving in the military, some in Iraq and some other locations. There are veterans of several wars there. There are veterans of the 60's peace movement and youngsters who don't remember those times.
We finally got out to Camp Casey where more than 100 people are camped in a 10 to 12 foot space between a single lane road and a fence. On the other side of the road was one lone counter protester. He was carrying a cross of his own and yelling until he lost his voice. Then he would wait a while and yell some more.
We did not get to meet Cindy. She had been in court this morning. ( You can read about it on or ). We felt that there were enough people wanting her attention already.
Go to Crawford if you can. Find out what is really going on. The media has reported that only a hundred or so people have been there and had been over 4000 sign in by the time we got there. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help. Take ice, flashlights, food for the staff and campers or make donations of money to keep the electricity on and the telephones working at Peace House.
Go to Peace House and take a shuttle to the camp. If you can't get there but want to send something, make sure that you put the whole 9 digit zip code on it. The postmaster in Crawford has been ordered not to deliver anything to Peace House or to Cindy without it. (If you are mailing something to anywhere else in Crawford, this is not an issue. Go figure...)Here is the address:
Crawford Peace House9142 East 5th St.Crawford, TX 76638-3037 or for monetary donations:Crawford Peace House9142 East 5th St.Crawford, TX 76638-3037

You can also make donations via the website(s).
Go to Crawford. Pick up a glass heart. Take your video camera. Listen to all the stories you can. Find out what is happening for yourself.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Just when the catapillar thought its life was over....

it turned into a butterfly.

In one of my favorite books, Letters to a Young Poet, Ranier Maria Rilke describes our fears as dragons guarding our most perfect treasures. The dragons are waiting for us to become our shining selves by [Photo]confronting and overcoming our fears so that they may experience true joy and turn into princesses.

Fear has a negative connotation for most of us. I tend to view it as a protector and a powerful messenger. It protects us from situations that could cause harm to us and to those around us in fundamental ways. We fear getting too close to a flame because it burns. Anything that we fear has something to tell us, so I try to look closely at things that scare me. I’m not talking about scary movies. I ‘m referring to self-limiting ideas that manifest as fear. We all have them. They are usually so ingrained that we don’t even realize them until someone points them out to us. A friend will say “why don’t you…..” and we say “because……” Whatever follows “because” is the name of the dragon. The best friends I have had throughout the years are the ones who refuse to let me feed the dragons by making excuses for myself or for anyone else in my life. I am more grateful than I can express for the presence of these friends in my life.

I have become aware of many dragons in my life. Some have become beautiful princesses and others are still around breathing fire and waiting for me to shine for them. I look at each one to see if it will reveal its message to me. Sometimes I get the message and sometimes I don't. Good thing I have had mostly patient dragons.

I was introduced to Rilke by
Ray Wylie Hubbard in his song, The Messenger. Thanks, Ray.
Labels: gratitude draft by seventh sister 12/2/06 Delete

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Birds Birds Birds

I have gotten into the habit of taking my dog Lani for walks down on Slaughter Creek . We are fortunate enough to get there between 9:30 and 10:00 most mornings, allowing us to have the place to ourselves most days since folks who run or walk before work are usually already gone. We take the rough trails through the park and then along the bank of the creek. A quite approach sometines enables to sneak up on the winged residents of the park without being noticed. A pair of cormorants have staked out a spot on a dead tree that hangs out over the creek just above the dam. Ownership of the tree is sometimes shared with the largest blue heron I have ever seen. All is peaceful until the swans show up. At times we have heard the ruckus before we even get to the lookout. The heron screeches and the swans honk. The cormorants just fly away.

Last Tuesday the water was clear, the cottonwood trees were bright yellow and orange and the temperature was almost 80 degrees. The birds were on the tree and for once, the swans were gliding gracefully by without disturbing the others. Even Lani was still and quiet as we watched for a few minutes. I knew that the weather was about to change and that we would not be able to return to the spor for a few days. I also thought that the birds might not be around much longer. My high school English teacher, Alta Hawkes, called such experiences "crystal moments". They are the ones you file away in your memory to be returned to again and again.

I am grateful for such moments and for all of my teachers, formal and otherwise.
I consider everyone with whom I come into contact a teacher/messenger. Sometimes they show us what we would like to be and other times they show us something we don't want to be. Always, we are shown a part of ourseslves. We get to choose how we react to that. The outcome any situation is determined by our reaction to it. It is my intent to remember that I am a teacher for everyone with whom I come into contact. At the very least, I teach them who I am in that moment.