August Moon Healing

To those of you who have started following me since my last post about precognitive dreams (and want to read more similar posts about my work as a psychic) I have migrated those types of posts and my working site to:  I welcome you to join me there.  Alternatively, I can be found at 

Welcome and thanks for joining me here!  Alisa

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Summer 2014 precognitive dreams

June seems to be a busy month for me to have precognitive dreams.  At the end of June last year, I dreamt of the Simi fireworks explosion, the SFO airliner crash, and three passenger train crashes all within about a week.  They were so vivid that I knew they were more than just regular dreams.  As July unfolded, each event came to pass…

This year, also at the end of June, I again had three dreams.  Two have come to pass and one is described here. 

It’s not unusual for me to have precognitive dreams, but not with such uncanny accuracy as came true with a recent plane crash that took place in San Diego. In my dream, I was standing in a large parking lot of a Walmart, with a Home Depot and Costo nearby.  It was a sunny day and a small plane was taking off behind the buildings, but couldn’t gain altitude. The plane turned sharply and I watched it crash in the parking lot. I also saw a Target store logo on the plane’s tail. In the dream, as the plane was coming down, I locked eyes with the elderly female passenger (who I guessed was the mother of the pilot, and who was sitting in the front of the cockpit) just as she realized she was going to die. She was terrified, and then peaceful; she thought the plane was under control. Then the plane suddenly veered, crashed and burned. The dream had the quality of being pre-cognitive. I know a dream is precognitive when it’s particularly vivid, and in this case, loud. It’s as if I’m there watching it unfold.

I surmised that the plane would crash in Florida or Southern California because the woman who died was older/retired, blond/gray, she was thin, and she wore a fashionable one-piece, orange jump suit which reminded me of how my great aunts dressed in Southern California back in the 60’s.  And using my imagination I connected the orange of the jumpsuit to oranges, grown largely in Southern California and Florida.

Well, the actual crash happened two weeks after my dream, in a parking lot of a Target and Costco in San Diego. The passenger, Joy Gorian, who was the mother of the pilot, died (and in fact, looks like my “dream” woman). It was a sunny day, so weather wasn’t a factor (as in my dream). The pilot couldn’t gain altitude upon takeoff, and crash landed in the parking lot, exactly like in my dream (and thankfully, no shoppers were killed, due to the pilot’s great skill).

On a final and synchronous note, they were taken to the very hospital where I was born, Sharp Memorial.

Rest in Peace, Joy Gorian.

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My Duality Exposed

My facebook profile states, “I’m an introverted extrovert, a fat artist, a conservative dyke, a Christian Buddhist, a lesbian mother, bohemian suburbanite, a whiny optimist, a hard-partying meditator – as comfortable in a biker bar as I am in an ashram.” I love contrasts and contradictions. I enjoy a bawdy time out on the town as much as I enjoy a day in the garden. I loved my quiet, rural life on Bainbridge Island, and I’m excited about my new life in the heart of urban San Francisco.

One day, I can be as loving as Amma, or as compassionate as the Dalai Lama, and on another day (or even later that day), I’m engrossed in some superficial television show, or dressed in the most revealing outfit I can find, to go out dancing and drinking on the town. If people were more honest with themselves, I wonder if they’d embrace their deliciously multidimensional self, rather than fearing it. I wonder if this question underlies the success of the book, “Eat, Pray, Love”, a story about a woman who gave up the security of a predictable and stagnant marriage (and accompanying societal expectations of motherhood and housewifery), to explore aspects of her own hedonism and gluttony, her quest for non-traditional spirituality, and her desire to encounter romantic love, all on her own terms. How many of us can overcome the fear of the unknown, to acknowledge and embrace those aspects of ourselves that lie outside of societal or cultural norms?

My mentor, Amma

How willing are you to embrace all of the disjointed, and seemingly-opposed aspects of yourself? What if you are ok, just as you are, even with your vices, your secret desires, the “shadow-self” you keep under wraps? What if we weren’t afraid to be exactly who we are, instead of trying to project an image of how we want people to see us? What if each of us approached the world with an attitude of curiosity, rather than fear or judgment? What would life be like if we lived as our full, authentic selves? Is it even possible? (This is coming up for me lately as I make new friends, and encounter judgments, lifestyles, and/or values that are both similar and vastly different than mine).

Phillip McCluskey is a raw foods “guru” and all-around-spiritual-seeker, who I discovered on-line last summer. I can very much relate to his poem, here.

My Duality Exposed, by Philip McCluskey

What dualities do you embody?

What the hell am I, anyway?

What I’m trying to say is beautifully captured in a quote by the insightful writer, Erin Pillman (

“There is a doorway to a wonderful place. A place of deep peace, deep contentment, and deep inner knowing.

And it is such an incredible journey which leads to this place. It is a journey of intense emotions, constant change, moment after moment filled with infinity, the sacred & the profane, expansion & contraction, duality & paradox, ecstasy & hell, comedy & tragedy, gratitude & regret, fear & trust, frustration & release, exertion & relaxation, forgiveness & resentment, excitement & disillusionment, agony & bliss, awe & contempt, wonder & despair, passion & apathy, confusion & clarity.

And when a person can sit in one of these incredible, dynamic spaces, filled with the ever-changing energies, tumultuous and flowing, and just BE – surrender, let go, and relax into the Infinite – this is when one connects with the Self, is filled with the light of his or her True Nature, and steps effortlessly through the doorway and into the garden of infinite potential.

Comments, please!


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I’ll be darned and happy new year

Dear readers,

According to our year-end stats, people are actually reading my blog, and that has inspired me to get a little more active here in my virtual journal-land. Thanks for your continued interest and encouragement during my big transition to living in California!

San Francisco, my new home

My head has been spinning since first arrived in California on December 5th, returned to Seattle, attended meetings in Spokane (to wrap up work), and returned to California once again, all within a two-week period. In the last month, I signed a lease on an apartment, broke said lease, ignored Christmas and celebrated New Years Eve at a fun dance in the Castro, followed by midnight hitch-hiking and hysterical laughter with Kytha, have attended numerous yoga classes and dharma talks, seen every movie of interest, started the new job, was laid off the new job, signed a contract to work for the Santa Clara Mental Health Department instead, made a few new friends, and am preparing to move to a flat in San Francisco, right in the heart of the city’s Mission district, across the street from the women’s building. Whew! 18th Street is a thoroughfare for the annual dyke march and Critical Mass bike ride, among other political and social activities. Talk about culture shock (honey, we’re not in Kansas anymore…or Bainbridge Island, for that matter).

Critical Mass, monthly in San Francisco

I’m finding it easy to connect with the lesbian community, thanks to the internet, friends, and “Meet Up” groups. My roommate teaches yoga, and through her, I’ve made some nice connections which led to activities such as eating dim-sum on Christmas day and attending a cheese-tasting party at a local goat farm. I enjoyed Christmas dinner with Terri and her co-housing neighbors and family. Cousin Joe and his handsome gay friends took me out for a night of dinner and live music at the Rrazz Room, a small dinner club located at the ritzy Hotel Nikko in SF. I spent a glorious, sunny day at Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park with a new friend. It appears that I’m going at a rather frantic social pace, however, and I’m admittedly packing a lot in before work starts again, and I’m back to parenting when Jack joins me. My spirit is thriving here, despite the unexpected upsets along the way – the abrupt ending to work after only 7 days on the job, thinking I moved here and would now be unemployed, losing my deposit on the new apartment, losing my wallet, having my bank-account frozen for a week, and missing my son and Island friends, among other things!

Kim Nalley, singer extraordinaire, Rrazz Room

All of these trials and mis-steps have pushed me to the outer edges of my emotional limits. One day, when I thought I was unemployed, my bank account was frozen, and my wallet, missing, I had a major meltdown. Sitting in the parking lot at DMV, wondering how many hours of torture I would have to endure to obtain a California driver’s license, the phone rang. Even before I could answer, I burst into tears, seeing that Jillian was on the other line, and would know just what to say to help me put things in perspective. Five blubbering minutes later, I was giggling at the absurdity of my situation, and had braved the long line, waiting to have my picture taken with bright red eyes and a swollen face. The photo was horrible, but I was miraculously out of there in 35 minutes, even with having to take the written exam! Things improved from there – I found my wallet, I got a new contract, and my assets were freed up by Wells Fargo (whereupon I immediately closed my new account).

Friends and loved ones have spent hours on the phone and emailing me (you know who you are). Attending dharma talks and practicing Buddhism have also helped me keep perspective, and to stay focused on gratitude and what is working (I’m making great new friends, getting a break from work and parenting for the first time in years, I have a terrific place to live, I’m getting the luxury of socializing to my heart’s content, and getting to focus solely on taking care of myself, among other things).

The Women's Building - across the street from my new apartment

Ultimately, this experience has illustrated that even when we are stripped of our work, our money, our belongings, all that’s familiar – even our identification, what hopefully remains are the loving relationships that sustain us, along with our faith. Of all the things I could lose, the most painful would be the love of my friends and family. How lucky am I, that in the midst of all the drama and uncertainty of the last month, I knew my friends were there for me in any way I needed, day or night. And really, what was the worst that could happen?

I’m also reflecting on my own progress and personal growth. A year and a half ago, during another very challenging time (my mother dying, among a list of other things), I reacted in a self-destructive way that only inflicted more pain and misery upon myself. This time, I’m staying connected with others, taking care of myself, and reaching out, rather than giving in to momentary fear and overwhelm. Everything passes, even misery. We must remember that, and never give in to the momentary pain that life will inevitably cast upon us.

Happy New Year, everyone. Aren’t you glad we made it through 2010? Here’s to a little more lightheartedness and joy this coming year. What are you most grateful for?

Dedicated to Gracie, I still miss you, my little friend.



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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 43 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 240 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 181mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 27th with 1,070 views. The most popular post that day was Minimalism.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and Google Reader.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for lake merritt, freeze fire place, lake merritt sail boat house oakland ca, girls burning wood, and augustlake blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Minimalism September 2010


About September 2010


Alisa’s Custom Art September 2010


Links September 2010


Monthly Challenge September 2010

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If you ain’t scared, maybe you ain’t livin’

Well, at least this is something I tell myself as I delve into my new life here in the Bay Area, after a relatively mellow run (work wise) in the Pacific Northwest. I am incredibly nervous about my first day in the office tomorrow, knowing there is a great deal of political and other pressure on me to make the project I am to lead, succeed.

The move has not been without its drama. My subleasors have decided, after 3 days in my old place, that it needs major work which my landlord isn’t willing to do (like servicing the furnace after a 13 year hiatus and cleaning out the nasty duct work and moldy windows…As a result, I may lose out on the return of my sizable deposit should they leave, and I feel badly that my new tenants are so unhappy and will likely move out, due to unresolved problems. I’m also mad at myself for living in those conditions for a year and a half, and not insisting the work be done when the landlord ignored my requests or asked me to deal with it myself.

All this said, I’m loving California – the sun was shining today and there was a warm breeze outside the open window. I slept in a bit, worked all morning, then took a break to go buy a printer and have lunch at the Emeryville Market, and to purchase an audio book to accompany on my new commute to San Jose, starting tomorrow. My temporary roommate is warm, welcoming and accommodating. I feel fortunate to have found such a great temporary housing situation, however, I miss my kiddo and girlfriend terribly…who am I if not a partner and mom? Oh, yeah, career girl! I asked for it, after all. Yes indeed.

Oakland sky today, December 6, 2010

I have to be patient and loving with myself and just trust that I’ll get through this state of ambiguity…being away from my friends and loved ones, living with a near-stranger, living in a city that I must reacquaint myself with, and the uncertainty of a new job and all its expectations. (What if I fall on my face???)

Yet this is exactly what I’ve been dreaming about – a challenging new direction, living in a sunnier, more urban climate, and I just have to go through (and embrace?) the transition period. A year from now, I will feel settled once again…reacquainted with old friends and family, established in my job, newly acquainted with co-workers and associates, and Jack will be with me, hopefully enjoying own Bay Area adventure. And with any luck, Noel will be here, too. So much trust, so much patience, required for this larger-than-life move.

I realized today that not since 1986, have I made a move of this magnitude, alone. I’ve always had a lover helping me with all the little details, comforting me in bed at night, pitching in with all the little details like setting up the cable. It’s hard to do all of this alone and I do find myself waking up at 2am, heart pounding, and palms sweating. But then I talk myself down, remind myself this scary feeling is part of any big, positive change, and keep moving forward. I remind myself of all the times I made big changes in the past, and how afraid I was – to attend graduate school, to have a baby, to move to Seattle 5 years ago…all huge and wonderful changes, that I don’t regret, but which terrified me at the time, as does this change.

Breathe, Alisa. Just breathe, and take it one day at a time.

I’ve been reading through numerous documents related to my new job. Feeling there’s an awful lot of bureaucracy and verbosity involved, and that it could all be much more simple than it’s become. Maybe that will be my contribution to the project….applying my motto of, “KISS”. Hopefully, I won’t just be dealing with a bunch of egos, but with people who sincerely care about the educational and psycho-social needs of young children and infants. I’d love to be a part of something meaningful, with a lasting legacy, that I can truly believe in and promote. I hold a high vision for myself, hoping to make a positive and constructive contribution to what is about to become my 24/7 life, at least for a while.

Here’s hoping for a good nights sleep, sweet dreams, and keeping the faith, when I find myself asking myself, What the hell was I thinking?”


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Embracing Unexpected Time Out

Smack dab in the middle of my frantic efforts to move out of my home by Sunday night, a severe storm wiped the power out on Monday. Huddled in front of the wood burning stove on Jack’s mattress, we managed to keep a warm fire going until we ran out of wood, around 8pm. The temperatures plummeted as we slept, and when I awakened at 5am, it was 20 degrees. In the house.

Jack tending the wood burning stove.

I live in a little mobile home park community, and so to be very honest, I bundled up and went in search of wood to steal (borrow?) from my neighbor’s new wood pile to build a fire…but there was no kindling, and the log I stole was too big for my stove anyway. So I sat on the floor in front of the stove, shivering pathetically in the dark, as my slept on his mattress, trying to figure out what to do next.

Tap, tap, tap…there was a light knocking on my door. Embarrassingly, it was the very neighbor from whom I’d just stolen wood. With an uncharacteristically big smile on his face, he extended his arms full of kindling and smaller pieces of wood, saying, “This should do the trick,” to get a fire going (obviously I’d had no smoke billowing out of my chimney). I sheepishly confessed my theft which it turns out he’d observed from his window, and he simply responded by asking he could take my tea kettle and heat it on his bbq to make hot water for me. I can’t tell you how much this gesture meant to me; it’s probably one of the kindest things anyone’s done for me, in light of the dire circumstances of the sub-freezing temperatures and no power on the island!

Later that morning, we accompanied Jillian to work at Virginia Mason Clinic, blessedly warmed by a generator. As our feet thawed out, we spent a lovely day in the spacious and generously stocked staff lunch room, visiting with Larry, Eli, Jillian and her co-workers. We had a thoroughly lovely day, but when it became apparent that the power was going to remain out yet another night, Jack and I hightailed it to Seattle (in the sunlight of the 14 degree afternoon, while the black-ice-coated streets had had half a chance of melting a bit). A relaxing and unexpected evening ensued, spent with my son and Noel’s father, who prepared a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs for us.

Although I was extremely anxious to get back to my packing (and my mess of a house, by this time), I made the decision for Jack and I to drive to Cannon Beach, Oregon, to fulfill our plans to spend Thanksgiving with some of my family, who had come up from California to visit my niece who is attending a little Bible college there in Ecola, just a stone’s throw from legendary Haystack Rock.

Haystack Rock, Ecola, Oregon

Despite my anxiety about the move, and all the pressures I felt, I was actually able to relax and enjoy our visit together in our tiny cabin for two days. We enjoyed Cornish Game Hens (or as Jack named them, Turkish Corn Hens!), steamed broccoli, yams, potatoes, and lots of goat brie and crackers. Not exactly our typical over-the-top Thanksgiving fare, but made all the more special for the long treks we each took to arrive at the beach just for the enjoyment of one another’s company.

The trip home included an enjoyable detour to Portland to explore the Hawthorne district and enjoy an incredibly delicious Thai lunch with Jack’s other mom and her step sons.

I’m so glad that I took time out of my hectic life to enjoy some small pleasures. The gorgeous drive down the snowy coast, walking on the beach at 9pm, with the tide seemingly miles out, hanging out with my niece at her dorm and meeting some of her friends, and even watching mindless HGTV upon awakening at 6am, waiting for the rest of my family to stir, hours later. The trip to Portland, and a sweet reunion with my honey (who arrived with homemade pumpkin pie), upon my arrival home last night.

Today, it’s back to hauling, painting, Goodwill runs, and cleaning. All fortified by the time I took to rest, enjoy loved ones, eat some good food, and take a few more days off (due to the storm and power outage) then expected. I’ll always enjoy the memories of our trip to Cannon Beach, and the time spent with my son, before the pace of life triples in the next few weeks, following the move to California and the start of a new job.


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A Short Guide to Consumer Disobedience

A Short Guide to Consumer Disobedience.

I love this post, and I think she makes a lot of great recommendations. When I think about how much interest I’ve paid to credit card companies in the last 20+ years, it makes me cringe. Credit card companies are criminals, folks! I cut up my credit cards two years ago, and now live entirely on cash.

It’s admittedly hard at times…there are times when I’d like to make a large impulse purchase (like a great chaise-lounge or a boxy Scion wagon!) but I simply cannot do it until I save the money first. I’ve learned that I won’t die without the chair or the car, and since I haven’t managed to save the money to purchase either, maybe they weren’t all that important to begin with.

I recently came into a bit of money (thank you, mom). My only priority was to pay off my son’s medical bills, and make some much-needed repairs to my car, including replacing the broken windshield, which had bothered me for several years. So I had the windshield replaced. As excited as I was to drive away from the glass-repair shop with a spanking-new windshield, only a few days later, I’d already forgotten that the windshield was broken. This is to say that even folks like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt take their fancy cars, huge homes, and jets for granted once they get used to them. Happiness is an inside job, after all.

I admit, I’m still paying off old debt from decorating a home I purchased over 5 years ago! I no longer own the home, but I had a great time decorating it – While on some excessive-credit-manic-induced-high, I purchased gorgeous Pergo floors, tiny green iridescent tiles for the bathroom, Room & Board custom upholstered chairs, a Pottery Barn sleigh bed, a gorgeous dining set and a bees-wax-finished armoir, and much more. I say we purchased them, but in reality, we charged them. Big difference. Which means, I’m only just now paying for the bed, chairs, tiles, and flooring (plus about 50% compound interest!). Those things did not bring me long-term happiness, nor did they fix all the problems in my relationship. I see now , how those purchases were just a short-term-high.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love beautiful things. Aesthetics are important to me. I love beauty, pretty linens, gorgeous potted flowers, my Fiesta-ware dishes, and colorful area rugs! My aesthetic is Bohemian-chic (think Anthropology, flea-markets and farmers’ markets). But now I only buy what I can afford; I live within my modest means, and I look forward to the day that I’m free of old debt. A friend recently asked me, what will you buy with all the money you earn from the new job? I replied, nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’m going to relish the spaciousness I feel from becoming debt-free, and having money in the bank for a change. I have no major needs, other than to live debt free. Think of all the options one has, when one is debt-free. Radical! I’ve come to relish (financial) freedom over any beautiful objects I might own..Took me way too long!….


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Sitting on the dock of the bay…

Monday night, I fell asleep to the sound of blaring car horns, cheering, and the hoots and hollers of San Francisco citizens celebrating the World Series championship in North Beach. Exhilarating, but not the stuff of good sleep, the night before “the big interview”! Just weeks before, I’d been invited to interview for my dream job, however, it would require a move back to the bay area – an unexpected turn of events!

Sunrise in Northbeach, October 2010.

My last memorable bay-area world series took place in Oakland at precisely 5pm, October 17, 1989, when the “big one” hit and took out the bay bridge, the Cyprus highway, and melted the ground under our feet for 15 seconds. I was just leaving work on Stuart Street, as the building swayed around me, and brick facades tumbled into the street. As the facilities manager for the Jewish Federation, I returned to the building where the security guard and I camped out until the electricity came on several days later.

Then there was my first move to San Francisco, back in 1987, on Super Bowl Sunday. Do not move on Super Bowl Sunday. You will do it alone. I’d been living on a sailboat in Sausalito since I’d arrived from Omaha, following college graduation. Sausalito was picturesque, but a bit isolated for this city-loving-lesbian. So I networked (how did we do it back then, before Craigslist and google groups???) and found a lesbian couple with a spare room in the Haight. Twenty-three years later, one of them is like a sister to me, and the other is about to become my roommate again, upon my return to the bay area after a 5-year hiatus on Bainbridge Island, outside of Seattle. Truly a full-circle moment.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve become pretty focused on the topic of minimalist living, being-over-doing, and as my friend, Terri coined the term, avoiding the “acquisition lifestyle”. After being offered a lucrative dream job in the bay area, I really struggled with this concept, because the bay area represents anything but minimalism (in my mind). In fact, it pretty much represents sitting in traffic. I worry that moving back to that environment will be too distracting, and I’ll lose the grounding I’ve gained while living a relatively simple, quiet life these past years. But I’ve also felt isolated as a single lesbian on this sleepy little island, and working mostly from home has exacerbated that feeling of loneliness. My son is getting older, and fewer hours are spent parenting these days, and my Aries nature does not care for strict routine!

I’ve had a lot of painful endings during the last year or so. My mother died of cancer, soon followed by my step-father. I had to put my mom’s dog down (after she had so lovingly entrusted her to my care). Then, my beloved dog, Gracie died just last week. My son had a couple of hospitalizations. And I made the very difficult decision to end a not-all-bad, 8-year relationship. It’s been a tough go, and a time of deep reflection and striving to create a beautiful life for myself, despite the pain of these losses.

Mom and Klaus' headstone in Memphis

Despite the excitement I felt about the job opportunity (a fun and perfect next-step in my career), I wondered if I could still fit in with old friends, since I’d stepped off the city-dwelling-rat-race years ago. However, as I thought about my old friends and the lives they had created for themselves living in the heart of big cities, the anxious voices in my head ceased.

Rita, the CEO of an investment banking firm (and my honorary auntie), lives about 1/4 mile away from her financial-district office. She has lived in a 3rd story walk-up flat in North Beach for 19 years, doesn’t own a car, and hikes most weekends with her adult children and friends. She is an artist and writer, with a small group of very close friends.

Cousin Joe lives in a gorgeous Golden Gate Victorian, which he has owned for decades. Retired, he and his partner John enjoy a quiet life when they aren’t traveling the world. Joe’s house looks like it has since I first visited in 1986.

Tamara lives on Alameda Island, just minutes from her job with the Oakland school district. The modest property has two little houses, so she’ll rent one out for income, and live in the other with her 9 year old son. She lives just a five-minute walk from the beach, where she goes to meditate each evening after work.

Terri lives in co-housing with her two children, and life revolves around a bustling, creative, loving community of like-minded individuals. She drives an old Honda she’s had for years, and enjoys traveling whenever she gets the chance.

Stack has been living in the same apartment for years, where she raised her nephew, and is now a yoga instructor.

I could go on, but you get the idea. These are all people I know and love, who don’t necessarily subscribe to typical big-city-acquisition-lifestyle. They have each carved out beautiful, meaningful lives for themselves.

This is all to say that I felt reassured about my decision to take the job in California, despite my initial misgivings. My “slice of life” will include paying off old debt (talk about simplifying), connecting with the local SGI (Buddhist) community, walking around Lake Merritt (where I will live in one of my very favorite neighborhoods), cooking with fresh ingredients from local markets, taking classes at Oakland’s Studio One Arts Center again, and socializing with dear friends.

Beautiful Lake Merritt - my new neighborhood!

I don’t regret moving to Bainbridge Island five years ago. I have forged deep relationships and will remain forever connected to them. I found a loving and supportive Buddhist community, I raised my son in a safe and nurturing environment, and I learned how to entertain myself in ways that didn’t involve recreational shopping. I’ve mellowed and hopefully, matured. I’ve become a great cook. I met sweet Noel, and we will continue our shared and individual journeys.

At the same time, I’m the consummate adventurer, and this will not likely be my last move. So stay tuned!

“When an adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it”. Amelia Earhart

I dedicate this post to my devoted companion of 9 years, sweet Gracie. You are so very missed.



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My dog, myself

Hello folks,

My last post was a reflection on the passing of my mother. This post, sadly, on the heels of that one, is about the passing of my most devoted dog of 9 years, Gracie. But talk about keeping it simple…what’s simpler and more special than the love of a dog?

My sweet companion, Gracie

I found Gracie on a blustery, cold day (much like this one) at the San Leandro animal shelter, nearly 9 years ago. She looked bedraggled, skinny, old, and filthy. Despite the rotten teeth and nasty dog breath, I had to have her! I told her she was my dog, her name was to be Gracie, and not to go home with anyone else (she had to have the required vet exam and a week’s time to see if anyone would claim her). Just after Christmas, I was invited to pick her up from the vet’s office; no one else had come forth to claim her; she was all mine.

Gracie loved to help with gardening

When I arrived to take her home, they set her down on the floor, and I said, “Let’s go home, Gracie!”. I remember it like it was yesterday; she excitedly wagged her tail, immediately followed me out the door, and piled onto my lap, as if we’d been together forever, and had just been reunited. Why did she trust me so much, I wondered? When she came into our home, there was no transition period. It was as though she’d always been with us, with me, my little shadow, my little side-kick; my kindred spirit. (Note, I was never before a dog person; I’d always had cats, and Gracie was my first dog.)

Gracie’s only been gone six hours and already I’ve been brought to tears so many times. There was no barking as the UPS truck drove by the house this afternoon (I barked in her honor). She was not here to greet me when I arrived home from running Noel to the ferry this afternoon, nor was she riding in my car, squeezing her coughing self into my lap. I ran into our postal carrier at the grocery store, the woman who Gracie loved to hate, despite the delicious treats she tried to bribe her with (Gracie just hated anyone in uniform). I keep thinking that I see or hear her, but it is only other dogs, or a bird flitting by in the yard, or just my imagination.

Gracie in the Aveo- she loved the wind!

Gracie was my longest and most successful relationship in life, aside from my son. Sad to say, but it’s the truth.

Gracie taught me much:

There’s just nothing like soft, processed American cheese for cheeking distasteful medication.

The best place in the world is to be resting on the lap of someone you love (or chest, or arms, or back of…)

Flies are a great form of entertainment (and nourishment).

Don’t mess with the (big) neighbor cats (or raccoons).

Laying in bed during the day is the best, most decadent thing ever.

If you need to be loved, petted, or held, then just demand it.

Routine is good.

Love unconditionally.

Don’t follow the rules (salmon, wine and chocolate won’t, in fact, kill you; neither will two percocets).

Be excited when your loved one walks in the door. Act as if you haven’t seen them in months. Shower them with attention, kisses, and devotion.

Don’t nag; just look incredibly cute.

Feel gratitude for the small things in life.

I’ll miss her cuddled up against my back in the dead of night. She knew my spirit better than anyone else.

I love you, Gracie, and I’ll miss you so much.


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