Archive for the ‘Dog Journal’ Category

Live Art Quilt Inspiring

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

quiltUntil this afternoon, I’d never really considered the possibility of making a quilt of life stories. But a live art performance of personal monologues by a group called Howling At The Moon changed all that.

Rather than each creating yards and yards of fabric by writing a longer personal memoirs, the Howling women – all over 60 – simply brought their own patches of life to the stage and allowed the common rhythms of their stories to stitch together a picture larger than any one of them might have separately envisioned.

The fragments together created a view of female aging – varying perspectives on men and widowhood, on aloneness and busy-ness, exercise and weight-watching, and most soberly, wariness of dementia, losing control, and being “taken.”

Inspiring, this piecing together. And reflective of the way we as women collaborate and connect over the course of our lives. For those lucky enough to live right here in Columbus, OH, the Howling women will train other writers, who can occasionally appear with them as guests, at a Lifewriting Workshop July 10, details online.

If you’re a woman of a certain age, It’s bound to enrich your balancing act.

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Dad’s Fortune Read “Dependability”

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Steve Ondo I once opened a Chinese fortune cookie and cringed to see: “You are dependable.”

“Wahoo!” I thought. “Why not ‘A great fortune will come you way’? ‘Sunshine will light your path today’? ‘You will have amazing success in all you do’?

Reflecting on my dad this Father’s Day, I award the dependable cookie to him.
Without cringing.

It might be fun to share some zany dad stories like my Facebook friends are posting today. But other than insisting – for years – that “unjar” was a word in Scrabble, Stephen Ondo was not a character. He was “Even Steven,” as he liked to describe a perfectly equitable arrangement.

Shying away from flair, he was a cautionary tale who saved his warranties, changed his oil on time, and ran to the encyclopedia in the middle of dinner to settle a point that the rest of us didn’t even know was a point.

A self-described “realist,” he humored my mother by reading Norman Vincent Peale. In later years, he began to cross the line toward optimism. “Don’t get your dauber down,” he would tell us, and – though not religious – “Keep the faith.” From him, these admonitions seemed real.

In an age of fleeting Internet fame for all (he would hate this post), he has lived on as an increasingly important reminder of the value of consistency, stability and – yes – dependability.

I his honor, I have booked an oil change. (Sorry, dad. It’s slightly overdue.)

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Big Oskar Saga Continues….

Monday, June 13th, 2011

$(KGrHqN,!lEE2ETsMqzrBNkjyuzno!~~0_12This week, I was set to report a miracle of the universe. After publicly bemoaning the death of Big Oskar, my years-faithful food processor, I was excited to announce that thanks to eBay, I had found another of these gems that is no longer made.

Not only that. I was excited to announce that the Big O had carried the sought-after acronym NIB (“new in box”) and had, in fact, been found like an abandoned treasure, under the rafters of an old house. Through my wishful thinking and Oskar’s need for a home, I knew the two of us had been synchronistically connected!

All this I was writing in my head as the Big O was making his way from Pennsylvania to my kitchen counter.

“He’ll be good for another 20 years!” I exclaimed to all who would listen, as I finally lifted Oskar from his original Styrofoam packing onto the counter.

All was blissful until I plugged him in, fitted the shiny new lid into its familiar locking position, and flipped the switch. At which point, as my mother used to say, the silence was deafening.

Apparently, with nary a carrot chopped, Oskar died a quiet death from disuse under the rafters. Or perhaps, he was Oskar the Lemon to begin with, and his young newlywed owners had stashed him rafter-ward in frustration.

And so I am left to ponder the philosophy of my friend and fellow coach Amy Ryan Rued, who assures me that the universe will attract my vision “or something better.”

Maybe a paring knife???

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Surgery Prep’s Easier Than Behaving

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

duo When it comes to medical procedures, I’m a complete wimp. Spoiled by pristine good health, I view hospital stays of even one night as terrifying and rare. So this past week, when I had some surgery that required a night’s stay, I eagerly volunteered to work with a pre-surgery coach, visualizing comfort and a great outcome, and recruiting friends to do the same.

What surprised me was how willing the hospital was to go along with the process, which is outlined in a book called “Prepare For Surgery – Heal Faster.” The “Prepare…” routine involved taking an IPod loaded with meditation prompts into surgery and taping several “healing statements” to the front of my hospital gown for the doctor and the anesthesiologist to read.

The thought occurred to me that maybe their attention should be on something other than reading meditation statements, but apparently they are good at multi-tasking.

The fact that I’m home and writing this blog post just 48 hours after leaving the recovery room is the best recommendation for positive visualization that I know. Now I just have to behave myself for at least two weeks. No overdoing. And that will be the hardest part of all.

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