Thursday, January 01, 2015

A New Year

Like most people, I enjoy this holiday, but don't celebrate it like I used to ( Thankfully ). New Year's is a good time for list making. What do I hope to achieve in the coming year. I think I attained one goal out of the six I made last year at this time. I made a nice looking rock stand for those who want to display their Spirit Rock prominently.

Yesterday, I went for a hike with my friend Dave, and then met up with my family ( including my niece, nephew, brother-in-law, sister and assorted grand nieces and nephews ) at the "Castle of Love" near where I live in Calistoga. It was loads of fun exploring the castle and taking lots of pictures with our I pads, I phones etc. I am so happy that I have a family like the one I do. The newest member is Casey, who my niece adopted this year. She is a very sweet fourteen year old who had not been off the island of Hawaii since her birth. This was her first big adventure to the mainland. Below is a picture of the crew as they appeared yesterday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Memes

I don't know if this happens to you around this time of the year, but I have what I call "The Christmas Song Meme Syndrome". It entails waking up to a Christmas song that you perhaps heard at the mall, saw on TV, pondered on an escalator or maybe listened to at your daughter's Christmas recital. There it is, playing over and over in your head as you shave humming merrily along. Then, when you try to shake it by thinking of another tune, it reappears in your head holding you hostage for the rest of the day. You can't get rid of it no matter how hard you try.

ARRRrrrrgh !! Enough is enough. I promise not to post any audio files or midis to distract you, because I feel your pain. Suffice to say that even the mere mention of the name of these particular tunes will begin to burn holes in your brain. It seems that the only way to rid myself of the continuous loops is to pass these bouncy little ditties on to you !

They include Jingle Bells, Here comes Santa Claus, White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Deck the halls, Grandma got run over by a reindeer, et al.

I'm sorry, I because all I really wanted was to wish you a...


ARRRrrrgh !! (tee hee)

Friday, December 05, 2014

Happy Birthday, Eric !

December was a great time to have a birthday as a kid, because we usually got presents both on our birthday and on Christmas. Next Saturday, I will be turning 64 on 12/13/14 ! My oldest friend Eric is turning 65 just the day after.

One cannot help but think that something very auspicious is going to happen on that day because it is that last numerically sequential date of this century! A lot of people get married on that day, because it makes it very easy to remember your anniversary, and my guess is that it binds a couple for eternity whether they like it or not. Eric lives in Eugene with his lady, Colleen ( They were not married on a numerically sequential day ), But now he is a grandfather, and devotes much time spoiling his grandchild when he is not putting the finishing touches on his new house ( Eric is a very talented builder and craftsman ). Those Oregonians know how to build stuff.

I spoke with my sister in Portland who said that they were enjoying the sunshine, and we have finally experienced more than a week's worth of rain... in such a long, long time. It is my hope that we have a long WET winter here in the Napa Valley. It would please us all to see our reservoirs and rivers fill up to overflowing, just because the summer left the land and trees so parched.

Today I've been preparing for the big Annual Holiday Gift show at the Black Stallion Winery near Soda Canyon on the Silverado Trail. This event is an invitation only event for the Craftspeople, and an open house for anyone who wants to attend. Lots of delicious snacks and finger food will be passed around and I hope to sell a lot of gift rocks for the holidays.

It will please me if Eric reads this blog, because he is generally the only one who checks to see if it has been updated. If you are reading this, beware, as I might mention you in my next blog.Well, I'm happy to have him as my oldest and dearest friend and I wish him the very best birthday this year, and for years to come. Happy Birthday, Eric. YOUR SPIRIT ROCKS !

Friday, November 28, 2014

Another Loss

I met Bob and Lou Crutcher at a CCE event at Roberta Meyer's house back in the early 80's. He had bright red hair and other than that, I thought that we had little else in common. I was wrong. He and I both shared common addictions.He was the owner/director of an iconic recovery center in St. Helena. His wife Lou, who he met at the St. Helena Hospital worked with him there. He was involved in alcoholism recovery here in the Napa Valley and contributed a great deal to many who went through Crutcher's Serenity House ( which has since been closed). He was also a veteran. Bob Crutcher was a class act. I don't know if he ever reconciled his relationship with his son Eddy, who had moved to Hawaii. But he and his sons were very much alike in their charismatic personalities.He drove a Harley and lived an enviable and full life. Later on in his life I had learned of a few setbacks, but he did not drink over these events and died sober. His humor and gentle spirit will be missed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Friends that stay with you

This is a photo of a dear friend of mine that just recently passed. Although I fell out of touch over the years, we still remained strong in a heart-felt way. The woman I am speaking of is the one on the right. Probably the most talented and gifted person I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Her name is Roberta Meyer. I met Roberta early on in my sobriety, and she offered workshops for anyone with a desire to be in Communication. I spell that with a capital "C" because that was her gift. She brought that ability out in people just by her willingness to listen with intention.

She taught us that the degree to which we discount ourselves, is the degree to which we will damage others. In other words, love yourself, and know that you truly make a difference in the lives of the people around you. She authored two books, held many workshops and seminars, was an accomplished ballet dancer and taught dance throughout her life. She began programs that assisted families and youth at risk. She was a powerful speaker and  personality.

It was Roberta who listened when I had lost my mother to cancer. Ironically, she died from the same disease. She heard the language of my heart and I will forever be grateful to her for that. She was beautiful inside and out, and anyone who knew her would say pretty much the same thing.

May her Spirit live in the hearts of the people that knew her, forever.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

This Week So Far...

Monday I had a meltdown, Tuesday the Giants won the World Series. Wednesday I went for a hike around Lake Hennessy with a friend named Jim. Thursday I went to a men's meeting. Friday I prepared Coffee for the morning meeting and went to Thelma's house for Boysenberry Pie and whipped cream which Cathy brought, later i bought some fire cheetos for the trick or treaters who came by my place for Halloween. Saturday was the Farmer's Market where the rain lightened up and I made a modest income. Today is Sunday. A week of ups and downs.

I should mention that I went to see my physician on Thursday and was prescribed a medication. I am willing to give it a go. Doc says three weeks and then to return to his office for an update. It's a mild anti-convulsant called Lamotrigine. It is prescribed for bipolarity.

The doctor assured me that this has been very effective in treating people with mood disorders. I believe now that I fall in to that category. Over the years I have tried a few anti-depressants, believing that I just suffered from what I have learned is agitated depression. These medications have only served to make me feel a bit like a zombie. Emotionally flat. As an artist I was left generally uninspired and unmotivated. I gained weight and noticed that my libido was not was it was before taking these medications. I stopped taking them at different intervals throughout the late 90's and early part on the millennium. I stopped entirely around 2008. I don't like taking things that can be abused. These medications do not fall into that category.

Recovery from alcoholism has taught me to proceed cautiously when it comes to seeking advice and treatment from professionals. I have known my physician for over thirty years. I trust his judgement around his practice. I have been to other so-called professionals and have experienced many adverse results over the years, but have always returned to what has made a positive difference in my life. Good friends and fellowship has never failed me in times of desperation.
I am truly grateful for having been brought up in a loving family, however dysfunctional... we are all miracles. I am also grateful for my sobriety ,and the people that have supported that over the thirty seven years I have been drug and alcohol free. My life has been an incredible adventure and I would not trade my
problems for anyones. I have discovered how my experience can benefit others, but I know only a little. No one likes a know it all who is sometimes right.

Today, It is clear to me that I know very little yet am being directed through the belief in a Power greater than myself . That Power continues to serve me to the degree that I ask to be shown, and am willing to accept the outcome.

I am blessed to be living in a beautiful Valley, and thank God every day for the opportunity to live here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nice Autumn Weather

Friday brought some overcast skies which seem so unusual since they haven't been around in quite awhile. Warm, sunny and blue-sky days have been the ho-hum norm around here. It almost wants to make me snuggle up to a good book in front of a fireplace somewhere ( yea right, you hopeless romantic ). Last night the Giants won the National league pennant which was a good excuse for fans to go bonkers up and down the streets of S.F. ( saw it on the 11pm news ). I even painted a few extra Giants logo rocks to sell at the Market tomorrow.

Okay, so I haven't a license to sell Giants swag... just send me a cease and desist letter and I will stop. I've also painted a number of Mandala rocks and a few Halloween rocks with spooky faces like Frankenstein. This is a good time of year for that sort of stuff. Lately, these blog entries have been rather mundane because I find my sense of excitement has somehow flattened out.

I long to live more spontaneously as I get older. Below are some beautiful Hydrangeas. A lady at the Market let me take a picture of them. Are we all happy now?