A sweet sojourn from the busyness of life.

This blog is a journal of forays into my loves of creative writing,
humor, and photography. It is a departure from daily stresses.
Some of life's greatest journeys are detours.

The real act of discovery is not in travelling to distant lands
but rather in seeing with new eyes. - Marcel Proust

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Putting the Fun back in Functional

I love this video. It is a reminder of the power of of attitude in whatever we undertake. You have heard the term KISMIF (Keep it simple, make it fun) It seems the longer I travel on the Earth the more I see the value in this simple concept. We all have the heart of that playful child!
So I say put more fun in your days! Find the awe and wonder in the world, it may take a little doing these days.

I am putting this concept to work in my life. Yep! I am beginning by continuing my attitude adjustment by replacing my "have to" with "get to" . I realize that this is a personal sales job that requires a high level of marketability in some cases because many of your "have to" things are quite crappy and it isn't easy to convince yourself that it is fun. I know this! As I wrote about in previous renderings, I am working on this with my "less jiggle to the wiggle" fitness campaign which is coming along, I keep repeating snappy sayings like "It's fun to run or "If it's meant to be I'd be a size three" I am making progress, I know it is a journey.

I am putting this concept to work in another area of my life; cleaning.( See photo) Today I "get to" clean. Wow I am pumped I am ready to go! I just can't wait to spend the day chasing those dust bunnies! Laundry...I embrace you....bathrooms...I adore you! Vacuum...I am ready to begin our joyful dance! Hey this is working! I feel better already!
Hmmm time for a break!

Let me know how this works for you! Remember it's all about putting the FUN in Functional!

Note this picture is adapted from the work of Sally Swain.. The Great Housewives of Art.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fighting Agism One Dream at a Time


Agism is beginning to be a cold reality for many of us boomers these days. Many of us are finding ourselves benched just when we have finally figured out the game!
Go ask your nearest actuary..we are living longer and we're here to stay!
We're a lean, (mostly) mean, awesome machine!(just ask us)
Anyway I am on board with this philosophy of Growing Bolder in our mature years.
Let's fight back..old age and treachery beats youth and skill every time! There are more of us than there are of them. we are a sociological anomoly, a large group of mature people! Lets jump right on this!
Will we go softly into that dark night!
Hell no!
We won't go!
We want our voices heard.
I invite you to sign on to this Growing Bolder idea.
Remember whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger!
Ignite those passions!
Dust off those dreams!
Make a friend of fear! (and an even better friend of Advil)
Go for it!
You're burning daylight!
If you are looking for me I am working on my new reality show
Cinjolina the Suburban Video Stalker...uh...master.
(for the record this series in NOT about me or any of my alter-egos)

Carpe Diem

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Bouquet of Friends

In my life there is a sweet bouquet. Not just a "swing by the supermarket" bouquet but a true "designed by the master" bouquet. At times, like now I step back and just marvel at how I lucky I am. This bouquet is the special people in my life. (You know who you are)I don't always tell you what you have brought to my life.

In this bouquet I can see all the beautiful differences and my world is much richer for it. Over the years at one point or another, I have wanted to be you. But now I get it. I am me BECAUSE of you and that makes me a better person.
You inspire the songs
the poems are in your honor
You are witness to the highs and lows and the seasons of my life.

The good times make their homes as special memories.
and a lot of my best memories include you.

In case I haven't said this lately.
I appreciate you.
The language of friendship is not words but meanings. ~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, July 31, 2009

Less Jiggle to the Wiggle

"Less jiggle to the wiggle" that is my renewed fitness goal. After a summer
of eats, treats, and overall abuse my body is no longer speaking to me so I am called to action. Yes I admit to a checkered past when it comes to a commitment to diet and fitness. I have tried many approaches; “Sit and be fit” the ever popular “Teeny Korean girl” diet which included Kimchi and mountain hiking- actually this one worked for a while.South Beach and most recently, Lake Michigan Beach Diet (this one did NOT work
the main focus was hot dogs, Gin and tonic and S’mores) So here I sit in carb withdrawal wondering where to turn. I have been in major denial, I know. All of my diets come down to this agonizing truth; EAT BETTER, MOVE MORE.

So it is the dawn of a new day. I rise with fire in my eye and dimples in my cheeks.
(Well ok…I have dimples in ALL my cheeks about now but that is all going to change)
I went to a wellness class where the speaker urged us to find the physical activity that we love. Find your “get to” she said rather than your “have to”.
This made sense until I scanned my life for my current “get to” activities. In all honesty, not many of my get tos involved activities where you sweat.
Hmm truth be told, my get tos mostly involve eating, talking, reading, writing, taking pictures of cool stuff, or traveling to places where I do the previously mentioned activities.
So in this quest for change, I realize that it can really work with the help of a great self sales job and a suitable rewards program. (Chocolate may be a factor)
And so it begins… today I am dancing and singing loudly to my Ipod. This is a great start, then on to my rightful reward.

Remember I’ll be pulling for ya. Soon there will be..
Less jiggle to the wiggle

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Study in Joy

I am continuing my study in Joy, keeping daily reflections of those treasured moments that make life worth living. I would like to share with you these sentiments that
describe what Joy means to me.

A Forever Friend
I am making a friend of Joy
I bask in the warmth of her goodness
I relish the sweet experience of her.
Nose-to-toes, body and soul
She is a wonderful gift
For us frail beings.

I am pulled along on her wandering path
drawn to her beckoning call.
Her journey is my daily denouement
I am awakened by the gentle whispers of her sweet soul.

I listen to her irresistible song.
Calling me to dance to her rhythms
twirling and swaying
losing myself to her charms.

So I silence the din
Turn away from the cacophony
Park my car
Joy is my patient friend
Always she waits.
She is there
Joy- my forever friend .


Hope your life continues to be filled with joy. You may have to go and find it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Word

A wonderful aspect of today’s technology is opportunities for sharing;
At lightning speed we share fotos, news, highs lows-all the aspects of our lives.
A very special kind of sharing is blogging. Many blogs are like windows to a person’s soul. I have seen beautiful creative writings and sharing of all manners of creative endeavors. What a tremendous opportunity. We no longer have to wait to be”published “ to share our gifts. On one of my forays around the web I discovered Caroline’s
blog; “the Zen in you.” I would like to share a really neat suggestion that she has
It is called “One Word” You pick a word and focus on it and what it means to you.
Her suggestion was for a year. I must confess I was doubtful. Hmm what can you say about one word for a whole year? But I have been really having fun with this process.
I have chosen the word “Joy” and have maintained a Joy Calendar as well as writing in my journal.It has been wonderful to find a the joy in each day. It really changes your perspective to be open to the joy that you might miss if you weren’t looking.
I am glad I am looking….
Thanks Caroline.


Next Blog A study in Joy

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

don't worry be happy

I always liked this whimsical tune, it is a gentle reminder that attitude is everything. Yeah, don't worry..be happy, not always easy.

I remember when we were preparing for our move to South Korea and I was very stressed and worried. We had never lived in another country and I was nervous about it.
A very memorable moment in this process was when I caught a glimpse of the following words on a poster;
“most of the things we worry about never come to pass”

Hmm this gave me pause. How true! We spend so much time worrying in our lives about things that thankfully, don’t happen.

As it turned out,none of my worries about moving came to pass. We had a wonderful experience in Korea. I think of this from time to time and, after further reflection on this, I have come to the conclusion that the statement is true but I would like to include a little addendum;

“most of the things we worry about never come to pass…..
it’s those meteors that come out of nowhere that tend to flatten you”

So I keep reminding myself of the fact that worry is very counterproductive. It really doesn’t add anything to your life and worse, it robs us of our present over something that may never happen.
So what the heck..even though it looks like the world as we know
it will never be the same and things are crumbling all around us.
I am chosing to be grateful for what I have and whistle that happy

Don’t worry…be Happy

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Retirement

Hmm Retirement. There is a lot of that going around these days.
Just when we finally think we have it figured out.. ..benched!
“Put me in back in coach” we say… Hurry while everything still works, the inevitable physical decline is looming on the horizon.
(the way, way DISTANT horizon)
Here we sit muttering “where am I going and what am I doing in this handbasket!)
(Note for those of you non Americans reading this or for the dull and humorless, this is a clever play on words based on the expression
“going to Hell in a handbasket” well...I thought it was clever!)
Anyway let me go on record as saying there is nothing wrong with retirement, we are looking forward to it, it is just retirement when you are not ready for it.

Today I am writing about a retirement that I have seen coming for a long time. There have been glimpses of its coming, foreshadowings that have hinted of this day.
And here it is arriving way too soon. Those ever turning pages in the chapters of life have recently changed gears and have turned into rifling pages zooming along. The retirement I am experiencing is a Mom retirement. I have just packed up my youngest child and moved her to Colorado where she will seek her fortunes. She has graduated from college and is ready to make her way in the world. She is turning into a grownup with a capital G. This is a good thing, as a mom, it is what we work hard to accomplish. But it is a definite transition. It is weird not to have her an hour away, and she is no longer a student. This is definitely a closing of a chapter. It will take a little getting used to.

Realistically I know moms never really retire, the role just changes. Now I must go.. I have to clean my empty nest..

note.. it isn’t REALLY empty she did not take much of her stuff!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

12 Days of Mothers Day

Hope all the mom’s had a wonderful Mother’s Day, full of love and good wishes!
But now two days later as I am looking at the laundry and preparing to go out and mow the lawn I am asking myself…why does it have to end here?

I am promoting an idea whose time has come. I am sure it will catch on with most moms
and our wonderful children will surely support this because they realize that they are forever in our debt for being the wonderful human beings that they are.

It is the 12 days of Mothers Day. Actually I am working up to 365 which is what it should be but a girls gotta start somewhere!

Think of the possibilities. I have been humming this tune since the official Mothers Day ended. Just fill in your own list but here are a few of my thought starters.

One the first day of Mothers Day my family gave to me
A massage and a margarita times 3.
Two dinners out
Three French men
Four gift cards
Five Diamond rings
Six cleaners cleaning
Seven maids-a-dusting
Eight shoppers shopping
Nine cooks-a-cooking
Ten Flowers growing
Eleven mowers mowing
Twelve Days in Bali

You get the idea plug in your own list…get ready for next year.. it’s not too late for this year.

Anyway Happy 12 Days of Mothers Day

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Lifelong Gift

Who would have thought that this spiral notebook would become a lifelong gift. This notebook is from 1969, it is a my first journal. It was an assignment from an English teacher and she did something wonderful that was actually life changing for me. After I turned in my first attempt at a journal, she returned it to me telling me to do it over. She said it was a diary and she wanted it to be a journal. She said “write so I can know you” She said a journal is more about who you are than what you do. Hmm I have thanked that teacher many times since then. I have kept a journal ever since and it is a real gift to have introspective glimpses at different times of my life. It is like an inner “growth chart”.
Since I have been home from my time in South Korea I have taken time to continue this enriching process. It is very lifegiving. Writing your story leaves you with a valuable memoir and it doesn’t matter if it is literature in anyone else’s eyes. It is always at the top of your own “best seller” list.
So even if you have never been a writer in the past, I would encourage you to pick up a pen and just have fun with it. Take time for you.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A fan of Susan Boyle

47-Year-Old STUNS Britains Got Talent - Watch more Funny Videos

Today I became the 1,401,404th fan of Susan Boyle (more or less!) I just listened to her performance again and still it stirs my very soul. I say thank you Susan Boyle, thank you for stepping out of the shadows to sing your own song! It just sends such a strong message to never stop believing in yourself and your dreams. It is the sound of her sweet spirit that is brought to life in this song. It can't help but touch you.
How many people walk among us that hide their bright light? How many will die with their songs left in them.
It is never too late.

No music is sweeter
it just can't be wrong
than someone who chooses
to sing her own song
-Cindy Keil (from Open the Door)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reflections from the land of broken hearts and shattered dreams!

I say this as a true blue Spartan fan, not one of those “Johnny-come-lately”
wannabe Spartan fans who were just there for the party.(Oh no, not me!) True blue …oops..green Spartan fans chant the ever familiar mantra “for better or worse” or “til death do us part” (or more accurately when my student loan is paid off..whichever comes first!) True fans are in it for the long haul, like your mutual fund or 401-K, so minor upsets like losing the national championship are mere blips on the screen.
Yes-we’ll get em next year, we say with a high degree of confidence. The team is very young, a lot of freshman, we say… but underneath we ponder what might have been…another championship trophy to go with the one from ’79 (the Magic years)
a whole week worth of parties…a break from watching that same game from ‘79 on the Big Ten channel, more extremely cool Spartan shirts to go with our shirts from the football season(the "heartbreak collection"). Being a Spartan fan is a lifetime commitment that begins with your first clueless day on campus to your last clueless day wondering where the years went.(almost "womb to tomb") We will rise again!
On a serious note we are proud of the Spartans and the job they did to get to the “big dance” It was very exciting to have them playing in Michigan the whole state was ignited with excitement!
Go Green! Go White.!
We’ll get em next year!
Good thing my self esteem isn’t tied to the performance of a lot of guys in baggy pants dribbling the ball around and making baskets (or not)! We love you Spartans!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quotes-The Great "Ahas"

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” William Blake

I really like this quote, William Blake was an inspiration to the Doors and in fact this quote was the inspiration for their name. This is very interesting to me to think of infinity; the vastness of it all. I have to admit…truth be told ,I am in a bit of a “the world is flat ” phase so infinity is kind of cool. So I am presently working on cleansing my doors of perception, this is way more fun that cleansing the windows of my house!

I really love quotes, they are the great “ahas” in someone else’s life; when the proverbial light bulb goes on. We all know these moments of clear focus tend to be fleeting and sometimes rare. So to me clarity is when you take the “fuzzy stuff” in life and examine it through the lens of wisdom. ( If you are like me, there is no lack of “fuzzy stuff” in your life).It is only from this perspective that we can truly bring things into focus.
And we have to have a “lived” life to gain this wisdom, there are no shortcuts. Intelligence and enthusiasm are contributors but real wisdom comes from trying to make sense of it all and learning from it. So that is why I really appreciate quotes, I like to share in others’ moments of clarity. I don’t have time to learn every thing first hand and I am not too proud to learn from the insights of others.
Second hand wisdom works for me!

I really like to take a list of quotes and pick one that speaks to me and journal about it.It tends to awaken different insights depending on my perspective at the time.
It is always interesting the insight that comes from this.

So take care and don’t forget to cleanse those doors of perception.

Coming up What is your RLAI? Real life age index?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Ballad of the "Travelvestite"

To begin with, this ditty is in no way intended to reflect negatively on the Midwest or its inhabitants. We are very awesome just ask us.
I wrote this when I was having a bout of "travel envy". My friends were basking in the sun in the land of fru-fru drinks and deep blue waters. This was their reality. My reality was sub-zero temperatures and shoveling snow. (Hmm figuratively speaking of courseI must interject here that my contribution to snow removal is that of a consultant, I am very supportive just ask my husband.)

The Ballad of the Travelvestite
There's a name for what I am
I know it must be true
For one who yearns to wander
And is ever "fleet of shoe"

Each day brings a new journey
To lands I haven't met
Yet I must confess these journeys
are on the internet!

Near and far I travel
I tap those pearly keys
Send me to exotic places
I'll even learn Chinese!

It's a serious affliction
to people just like me
to be a world traveler
trapped in a midwest body.

It's an aberration to venture very far
to want to go to places
where you can't go by car.
"Travelvestites" are what they call us
They humorously jest
Trapped in a midwest body
and wants to leave the nest.

Have a great day and through all your journeys remember there's people who love you a ton!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Sweet Sojourn

An introduction to "A Sweet Sojourn"

One of the very positive things that I have experienced since I have returned to Michigan from Seoul, South Korea is my reconnection to a lot of my "loves". It has been wonderful
to connect with friends, family and familiar traditions. And especially nice has been the opportunity to reconnect with one of my true loves, writing. In this blog I am sharing some of those creative renderings. In this time of world turmoil and uncertainty, I find that taking a time apart from all the busyness makes my corner of the world a brighter place. One of my favorite quotes is from Marcel Proust; "The real act of discovery is not in traveling to distant lands but in seeing the world with new eyes". This is an oft repeated quote and a great reminder to appreciate where we are. To see our world with "new eyes"and appreciate what we have.
Hmm On a side note I should add that I would very grateful just to see with my "old eyes"
but that is another topic!
I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Coming up...The Ballad of the Travelvestite. A modern tale of woe!