Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

Historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes. Traditional English holiday.
My goal today is to not leave the "compound". I plan on exercising, eating chocolates & leftovers & watching some more Christmas movies. This year the stress of work & Christmas left so little time to enjoy, but traditionally the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day & now I have the time to enjoy it.
There are still board games unopened. Adrian got some cool stuff & I haven't heard any dissapointment over not getting an X-box. He got an Erector Set, a snap circuit set, a 1,000 piece Lego set, Blokus, Scrabble, Magnetix, a basketball backboard, Harry Potter movie, a DS game, & killer computer game call Civilization. My only regret is there were no new books, but he visits the library every week & I like geting books 4 the home at sales where he can have many choices when he runs out of library books.
Civilization allows players the chance to lead their chosen nation from the dawn of man through the space age & become the greatest ruler the world has ever known. He will learn so much history from this game. I so wish my family members could understand the greatness of the amount of learning that comes from technology. Our civilization has advanced so much, why do people find it hard to accept that the school learning system is so archaic. Why is it so hard to give up the fact that a kid at age nine can write anyway that makes him comfortable. What is the most I write down these days? My grocery list & sometimes that goes on my Treo too! I can see in no way where he is inferior to his schooled friends. By contrast I see a boy whose logic ,common sense & vocabulary far outrank most of his age. Noooooooo! I must not compare! We all learn what we want to when we want to, no matter how forced regulation tries to change that!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Working for the Holiday

What's this? I am an independant owner of a small company who is to be able to take advantage of much needed time off when ever she chooses!!!! HA! HA! HA! Can I get a : "LMAO"?!!!
I saw pictures yesterday that I found from a link from a former neighbor in St. Thomas who is now on FB. It was photo's of Hull Bay, St. Thomas. My old stomping grounds. During our last month there we spent every evening watching the sun go down on the bay. I'd swim in the Ocean as the sun would touch the water. It was an "aw" moment. Wow! How I miss that beauty.
Today, Chirstmas Day, I had the most wonderful day! It was the first day I've had to do nothing but what I enjoy and love (cooking good food, watching movies and enjoying family) in months!!! Here's how it went down. Cappucinno in fine china.

Drum circle.

As washing machine ornament that lights up and the clothes go round and round for the laundry man!
My annual Gluf Coast ornament. This year the Downtown Cathedral!

MMM! Those chocolate covered cherries

The best gift I ever gave to guys in a family. The cowboy pistols. There have been gunfights all day!
The grande finale. Scallops, Lamb, mashed potatoes, and a salad made with fresh beets, maple walnuts, and my garden greens!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the moment..

We have a whiteboard on our refrigerator. It always has the days date, but what else goes on there is a random call. Sometimes it's what happened on this day in history, or hints on journal writing (someday I know he'll pick up that book and write for days) or it may have a spiritual quote from a varied of places. I like the Daily Word from Unity Church. I like Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williams and tons of inspirational writers. We never know what is sinking in and sometimes I feel I am erasing it too soon as the new day begins. I wonder did he get that or was that just a waste of my time. But erase it I do and the next bit of tidbit goes up.
This week, Adrian and I were driving home from the show listening to the radio. Adrian made the comment that the lyric "reach down and touch me", should not be in that song. I looked at him and asked if he thought it was a sexual innuendo. He said "mom!". I said "yes". If I had wanted to hear that word I would have said it myself. "Sex" I replied. "Yes" came from his. I went on to explain that I would like to always keep the doors of communication open when it comes to sex. I explained how he'd have sex some day, that it was a natural progression. His remark was once again priceless: "I would rather live in the moment."
Something did sink in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

How Long Has It Been....?

Unbelievable! Really! (I must say that for the sake of sounding hip.) We have been so busy. Adrian usually has a full fall schedule with classes at the local recreation center, but this year there were many classes cancelled, including his past favorite, homeschool science. But unlike past schedules, this fall he was able to take Jr. Architect. It is taught by an architect who helped on several projects in Las Vegas, before retiring to become a full time mom of 3. He has built bridges, arches and roller coasters. Tennis was cancelled, but he has joined a basketball team for the early winter. This is his first team sport. We are all having a ton of fun.
Christmas is upon us! I have to say I am not into it. Paul and I have been working more than overtime for the past month. I would love to escape for the next month in our RV on the Baja. I really want some time to not do a dang thing. But guess what? It's Christmas! And my son is on a team. Team means supporting each other. I really am having a very hard time getting out the decorations. Decoration seems like work. My feet are killing me. Seriously.
So as you may have guessed, I cannot stop complaining, I cannot stop feeling like I would love for us to be any where but here. Yea, I'd like to be somewhere experiencing a different culture or seeing new sites. In the words of my son who was then 5. "It's time to blow this Popsicle stand."
Maybe some spiked eggnog would get me in the spirit. Hmm.... It's not much but here are a few pictures I took this fall.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why do sugar, salt and bad oils taste so good...

We belong to two homeschool groups. We enjoy both, but usually only get to one. Yesterday we got to the one least visited. The leader is great and always brings snacks for everyone. Yesterday as my son was munching down, I reminded him I had brought some food too. His response, "Yea, but you didn't bring cake and potato chips."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

September Adventures

Every year, due to a series of shows, we head to the East Coast for the month of September. Our business started 12 years ago on the East Coast. I considered settling in the beautiful country side of Virginia many times, but Paul really wanted to see more of the West before we made any decisions. I was surprised this year while heading to the Virginia Fall Races Steeplechase in Middleburg, VA when Paul said "It is really beautiful here, but.." and there always is a but, "it gets too cold." I have to say it also gets too wet for his arthritis ailments.

It is an adventure during this time. We stay with friends and in hotels. Staying with friends we eat the best, staying in hotels we sleep the best.

We had some great times visiting east coast friends. We always celebrate Paul's birthday at our friend's "Aunt Mac's" house where she always cooks her delicious crab cakes and we have a chocolate pie celebration! One of our all time favorite shows is the Maryland Wine Festival. We get to work with our friend Sandy and Adrian gets to play with her son Josh. On this trip a friend of ours who is from Germany (and I make this point because I find Germans have the hardest time accepting the concept of homeschooling) commented on Adrian traveling with us. He wanted to know if there was someone we could leave him with so he could go to school. Paul's response was wonderful. "Why would I not want my son with me?" Here's Adrian, not socializing and having a terrible time because he goes to work with us.
We have done a show near Philly forever. It is one of our favorite shows because it is the best Dressage Show in the country! Here's a picture of our shop for the week we are there.

This year we hung around Philly and saw some historical sites. I found this to be such great fun! It was inspiring knowing that we were in the home place of our constitution. I truly felt the earth move while visiting Ben Franklin's grave as he was turning restlessly at the thought of our government today.

In DC we went to the International Spy Museum. What a treat. A really fascinating tour. I just have one question? Why do we prosecute and execute men who turn spy's against US yet pay top dollars to the person willing to do the same against their country?

I had to drag the boys to see some significant sites of DC! You can tell how close we got. LOL!

Is that the Prez?

Another highlight of DC is hanging with our friends Edna and Carsten. The meals are the best home cooking ever and the conversation is inspiring. I loved that Paul got to experience Peggy's front porch. Happy hour is amazing as characters in or combing the neighborhood drop in. This time we were visited by a young retired Marine collecting for Amnesty International. He never asked for money but sat talking with us about a myriad of topics, then their was the couple who had just got back from Tangier. They had stayed a month in a remote part of the country. The hardest thing was the lack of food choices they had. He spoke of how all the money from the US never went to the intended. Wow! After the hour, Paul compared the "Frolic Arms" happy hour to a TV show!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Instant Forgiveness-A required tool

In raising a boxless child (thanks to my friend Tara for the inspiration) as a parent we want to give our children all the room to grow and make their decisions with their consequences. We don't want to mold them into what's best for society or for our life. We want them to know true happiness. To be comfortable in their own skin. We want them to make the decisions that will bring them peace.

"Making choices that respect all parties", although the best way to solve any conflict or difference of opinion, is 8 times out of 10 not what we do in the heat of the moment. In those times we act from our ego state instead of our right mind. While being able to diffuse a conflict is ideally the best, what tool can I give my child to recover from the explosion that usually occurs? While it is important for our children to make their own decisions, it is also important to teach them the tools that will help in their decision making. The most important tool to help us in life is the understanding of the meaning of instant forgiveness.

Instant forgiveness comes in atonement. An instant reconciliation. It is forgiving the person who we feel has done us harm and then forgiving ourselves for our part in the situation. Trapping anyone in my head with conflicting thoughts does the "enemy", nor I any good. In fact it hurts us both. Peace can not come from hate, dislike,resentment or judgement.

So how do I teach my son to use this tool? It's benefits are not the easiest to see, when he's hurt because a friend declares "I hate you and you are not my friend anymore." How can he find himself to forgive automatically a person who has deliberately tried to hurt him as much as he can? I don't. Not right away. I give it time. It might be 3 hours or 3 days. Sometimes I'm still trying to help him understand after 3 months but he gets it eventually. Usually because he sees that having a friend whose company he really does enjoy is better than being mad. He likes the fun of playing without hard feelings. He likes knowing he can see his friend without the bullshit of egos getting in the way.

Another way to teach my son about this important tool, is by example. As a family we are big proponents of that 3 word sentence "I am sorry." This doesn't always come from a place that means I feel different about a situation or that I have changed my mind and see that my love one is right. It is apologizing for my part in the conflict. It is forgiving them and myself for the hurt that has been caused. It doesn't happen right away. Sometimes it takes 3 minutes, sometimes 3 hours and sometimes until the next morning, but it never takes more than that. We seek atonement because we want to be happy and we want to live in harmony.

I didn't learn about instant forgiveness early in life. As a family we would spend months not talking to each other after a conflict. Saying I am sorry was never common in our household. I learned to sweep it under the rug, but never to forget it. I don't blame anyone for this. Unless we seek other answers we only know what we are taught.

Maturity is a big part of obtaining the learning tools that give us peace. Looking every one we have a conflict with in our life, whether if be friends, lovers, parents, or our children, in the eyes and saying "I am sorry" every time helps us get it. It is not always easy, just letting the situation drift into the past is probably easier, but it doesn't bring us peace. Conflicts will always happen, but if we're not learning peace from it, then it becomes nasty and painful.

Even without our influence, instant forgiveness is easier to learn from childhood. I tend to think it's easier. Childhood is like cat play. When a cat can't catch the butterfly, it moves on. In that moment he forgives the situation. It doesn't hold resentment or get frustrated, it just sort of shrugs it's shoulders and goes on to the next act. For children to remember that as the best course of action for the rest of their life without support and good examples is harder than forgetting.

At times it is hard for me as a mom to forgive a child or mom who has hurt my son. But in those times I use all my self control not show this to my son. I don't want my ego to influence his decision making. That is not to say I don't want my son to see me make mistakes, but at the same time I don not want to put my thoughts, words or judgement into his head. But keeping our egos from influencing our children is another topic.

Understating our boundaries, is understanding ourselves. Understanding ourselves is living in peace. Living in peace happens when we have the tools to love ourselves and others. Go without boundaries but most important go in peace.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Business as Usual

Wow this month has flown by. I have enjoyed this stint of 6 weeks in Northern California more than other years. I know the farmer's market schedule and which one has the date guy and which one has the best seafood purveyor and which farmer doesn't use pesticides. I know the best beach for body surfing and the best way to get to Pacific Grove.
I have my list of must do's every year:
1) Visit Carmel Valley Wineries
2) One evening spent at the bar over looking the 18 hole @Pebble Beach Lodge, eating fried calamari and drinking good local wine.
3) Eating Ciopinno at Phil's Market in Moss Landing
4) Eating sand dabs on the wharf not visited by a ton of tourist on Monterrey Bay and watching the otters play between the sailboats.
5) Slurping down a few Fanny Bay oysters at the Farmer's Market.
6) Visiting the gardens at Earth Bound
7) Takine long morning walks to hear the seals bark.
8) Listening to endless amounts of KPIG radio.

After 4 years in Las Vegas it is now a great pleasure to be wet and cold for days on end in July. It no longer depresses me to be covered in a thick fog and only see the sun shine for a few hours each day. I no longer miss my new home, but enjoy staying cozy in my RV keeping my son close by all the time.
I love the life Adrian has for one month. He has a fort, a sand pile and a tree he plays in with his friends for hours at a time. He sleeps in the tent with his best friend. He runs so much that his skinny jeans bag on him!
I have been accepted (at long last) by the riders, trainers and owners. I look forward to seeing them every year. And my friend Dion, who I spend hours with talking endlessly about our different religion philosphies trying to figure it all out and coming away fulfilled, but still perplexed!
I'm gonna miss life here next summer. It seems the US Open will be taking place at the Pebble Beach Golf Course and there isn't enough time to prepare for the show. We're looking at Oregon, Washington and Europe for next year's summer. I'm thankful that I have a business that allows for so much traveling! Otherwise I'd not be me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Adrian's View on the deYoung Museum

If you look real hard you can see the Golden Gate Bridge on the far right hand upper corner.

Summer Time

Taking a ride on the Sea Turtle at the Institute of Science in San Fran.
Can you see the turtle under the gator's head?

Harry Potter at the base of the falls in the Redwood.
Big Sur.
"On the big rock candy mountain!"

Big Sur Bridge