Friday, March 30, 2007

I Am With You Always

As mentioned in my previous post, yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my mom's death. Earlier this week, I got a James Avery catalogue in the mail. As I flipped thru it, not very interested in fact, I saw a bracelet that spoke out to me. It said ( does actually say it on the bracelet!) "I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS"

I kept thinking and thinking about that bracelet. Wanting to think it was some cool message from Mom.

This is what I KNOW. If she could've given me that bracelet, she would have. If it's possible for her spirit to be around me, or "with me always", I know she would be. So, yesterday I went and bought the bracelet. It was a splurge but it was the best splurge I could've made on that day.

My husband said, "Isn't that a reference to God, or Jesus?" Well, for some people, I'm sure that's what it is. But since I practice my own dis-organized religion, to me it's a reference to my mom. I LOVE my bracelet. It reminds me that in lots of ways, Mom is always with me. She's in millions of my memories and loads of my thoughts- with me always.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Miss You

Two years ago today was my Mom's last day here. I still think of and miss Mom every single day. I've finally gotten where I no longer think, "I need to call her and tell her this..." when I have something I wish I could say to her. I really get it that she isn't here anymore.

But I still dream of her. Often. But unfortunately, in my dreams she still has cancer and her time with me is only temporary. I hope that in time, the cancer part of the dream will just get left behind and Mom will be happy and healthy. That's how I want to see her, because for most of her life, that's how she was.

Some of my memories make me sad, tons make me laugh, most make me happy but all of my memories of Mom are welcome. I wish she came up more often in daily conversation. It feels so good to speak her name and to reminisce about her and I feel like I just don't get enough of it.

So as morbid as it may seem that I'm mentioning that my mom died two years ago on this day, if feels necessary. In ways I've moved on and time has healed, but in other ways, I think I'm no further along in the process of grieving than I was 2 years ago.

I was lucky I had my mom the time that I did. She really was the perfect mom for me. And I think I was a great daughter for her. We matched up well! I know there are parts of her that make up ME and so even on my worst day, I gotta love myself for that!

I love you and I miss you, Mom. I always will.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"Chick Flicks Are Porn"

Huh? That is the statement I heard made on the radio today. It was some talk radio show, and I think it was on a "religious" station. As I was flipping around looking for SOMETHING of interest in the radio I heard a woman say, "So yes, chick flicks are porn".

So THAT explains why I am embaressed to admit it, but I DO tend to like movies categorized as chick flicks. But today, I learned porn- this kind in particular- is dangerous! The woman speaking, who has written some book on the subject I guess, said that these so called chick flicks paint the male charactor as unachievable perfection, making us women unhappy with the real men in our lives. She equated this to the perfect unattainable woman that men watch in the other kind of porn movies (really?). She even brought up catalogues you might look thru and see pretty furniture and think, "Urgh, I n-e-e-d this stuff. My house isn't near this cool" So that I guess, is catalogue porn- Leaves you hot and bothered and wishing you had something other than what you have.

Porn is everywhere...and evidently, I'm a big fan.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ahhh...The Rain

The weathermen/women are pretty unreliable with their predictions lately. Or maybe I haven't listened close enough. Rain has been in the forecast it seems for weeks now but until today, there wasn't barely a drop. But now, ah- we're getting a good soak. I love the sound when I'm inside and I can hear it tapping on my window. It's springtime- the green grass and the flowers were getting thirsty and now they can drink it up!

It's a great night to be home. My poochies were crying to get inside. So now, here they are, right by my side. They're glad to be home too.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Egg Hatching

Last night my friend Sarah was the facilitator of our group that meets each Wednesday. We did a lot of talking about eggs. Mainly, as metaphors.

Sometimes with creative projects you can have too many eggs you're trying to deal with at once and you MIGHT do better to just take care for one egg at a time. "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" Otherwise, how can you care for them enough for them to ever hatch? And besides that, with all those eggs knocking around, a few are bound to become broken before their time.

So Sarah posed the question to all of us (and it's a good one for you to consider too!) "What egg do you intend to hatch in 2007" I'd love to hatch my new cd. I've been ready, or at least the songs have been, for months now but have had various problems, mainly with computer cliches in my studio. I've gotten frustrated enough times that I turn to other much less important projects instead. But I'd like to re-focus my energies on really taking care of this particular egg. It needs to be nurtured, cared for, loved, and made to feel important so that it will finally come on out and hatch already! I've got the time to devote to it now. I'm a little overwhelmed when I look at the mass of the project. But if I break it into little steps and give myself the time, this egg will hatch!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Green Thumb

Last week, mid-week, mid-day that is, I got the brilliant idea to go to the Dallas Arboretum. It's of course, Dallas Blooms, which is one of the best times to visit. And I figured (wrongly) that since it was Thursday it wouldn't be very crowded. Oh! But I was wrong. There were over 1 gazillion people there. And all of them had children.

The tulips and all of the other flowers I don't know the names of were beautiful and inspiring. So inspiring that I went and bought some flowers to put in my pots. And a bought a few houseplants as well to liven up the place.

I have such a problem keeping plants (house plants in particular) alive. Do I overwater? Underwater? Sing too loud? Is my house too cold? Too hot? Too humid? Its just an ongoing little science experiment here at Casa Arista. Sometimes my husband will say to me as we walk by a plant I want to buy, "No Kerri! Let 'em live!" But I love plants. I want to take care of them. I want them to live in my house. So I keep trying. I keep looking for the ones that will want to stick around.

Monday, March 19, 2007

24 Hours With No Complaints

I spent the last couple of days (some of the time, anyway) reading a book called "Positive Words, Powerful Results". It's a little puzzling to me WHY this book was on my bookshelf, or rather why I bought it in the first place a few years ago. I barely remember it. Anyway, I was curious enough to read it. And really, I'm so glad I did.

There's no earth shattering news or advice here, but like so many self-helpy books, it's a good reminder of the things you already know.

But one thing that really got me thinking was this: The author, who is also a high school teacher, tells of his challenge he's posed over the years to about 16,000 (sixteen thousand- just so we're clear here) to go for 24 hours without complaining. You may be wondering, "Ok, how many people succeeded?" You might then be sad to learn that only a handful of people were able to do it. To go without complaining for 24 hours. How hard can this really be? I haven't actually attempted it myself yet (why not? hmmm..... ) but I'm getting really close to giving it a go. I think I CAN! But the author might be on to something when he says that we often socially bond by our complaining. About the weather. About the long lines in retail. About something we've just read in the paper. About how tired we are. The list is sort of endless. Just reading this has made me mindful of my own complaining. And whenever you become aware of something, you magically become better at controlling it.

So think about this 24-hour of no complaining idea. And spread the word. Who knows what might happen!

Friday, March 16, 2007


The other day on my run, I saw so many of those flying bugs called "No See-ums". Although it was sort of gross because I felt pretty sure one was bound to fly into my mouth, I was glad to see-um, those No See-ums! I BELIEVE (whether its true or not) that they eat mosquitos, which aren't out yet, but will be soon enough...

That's because Spring has Sprung! As of a few weeks ago, the days are warmer and longer. Every now and then we'll have a day that feels right on the verge of being almost hot. And I have the tendency, as do many people, to think, "Oh no. Summer's almost here. Pretty soon it'll be 100 degrees. And the mosquitos will be unbearable." And I've often said, and heard others say, that we don't usually have much of a Spring in Texas. That we go straight from Winter to Summer. But you know what? This IS Spring! The temperatures vary, but most days are in the 70s. And that just about perfect I think! So I am going to stop anticipating the unruly heat of summer. I'm going to enjoy seeing the green pop out in my lawn, even if it is primarily weeds. And I'm going to buy flowers to plant that do well in Spring-time temperatures and not worry about how long they're going to last. I'm going to especially enjoy my walks, runs and bike rides that I can do at just about anytime of the day without being either too hot, or too cold. Besides Autumn, Spring is my favorite season of the year. And it is here right NOW!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Not Having a Ball

Months ago I took a Restorative Yoga class at the Dallas Yoga Center. I wrote a blog about it and I think I referred to it as "Public Napping" because that is what it felt like. Or as I've heard someone else say, "The bubble-bath of Yoga". So when a group of friends and I decided to go to a Restorative class at another Yoga studio, I had my bubble bath in hand and was ready to go.

But this class was entirely different. During a large portion of the class,we rolled our armpit and chest on top of softballs (and by softballs I mean the hard balls you use for the sport!) That was NOT napping, nor was it a bubble bath. It actually hurt, as you can imagine. And I found my thoughts centered around fears of having some horrible pain hangover the next day. I would've forgotten to breathe, but fortunately I guess, the class was so full and there was so much loud breathing going on, it was impossible to forget. So I breathed into my pain.

I don't have any unusual aches or pains today. Maybe it WAS, in fact, restorative. Just different than what I had expected.

Later that night at dinner, one of my friends was saying that everyone has different wants and needs in Yoga- That you've got to find the studio and teacher and class that's right for you. And I know she's right. Being a girl who loves bubble baths, I think I know where I belong!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Weepy in the Best Way

I tend to not be a fan of songwriting contests. It seems a little dangerous to have a creative personal expression judged as being a winner or in most cases, a loser.

Yesterday my friend stopped by my house with some paper in his hand and began with, "Now I know you don't like these, BUT..." and I sighed, "Is this a songwriting contest?" He said he wanted to enter two of my songs in the Kerrville songwriting contest and wanted to pay the entry fee and I could just pay him back if I was a finalist.

Sometimes this kind of support comes at just the right time. Its hard to be in any kind of funk when someone has such confidence in your abilities. Even when you don't. After he left my house and I continued to think about his gesture, I felt weepy. Weepy in the best way.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I've been reading a book by Danny Gregory called Artistic License. One of the things he promotes in the book, is an ILLUSTRATED journal. Being a big journaler, this piqued my interest. Why the illustrations? Well, because for one, it looks more exciting than just handwriting on the page, and according to Danny when you draw something, you look at it intensely and you begin to look at everything differently. A whole new world.

So I began my latest blank journal and decided this time, I'd try to do it as an illlustrated journal. I tried to draw my breakfast. I tried to draw a couple of other things on my mind on that particular morning. None of it was pretty. What I intended to draw didn't equal what appeared on my page. I haven't spent much time with drawing. I sort of never got past the artist I was around the age of 7.

I signed up for a Quickdraw class, which from what I read is a sketching class. Sounds perfect for me. I am so excited to start. TOMORROW! But the icing on the cake is that I asked my brother if he wanted to take the class with me and he said yes! So I think it will be loads of fun. And I think I will become quite the sketcher! I have no where to go but toward improvement in this department!

*Please note, the above illustration was not drawn by me, but subsequent drawings just might be so please stay tuned!

Please Don't Be Late

This is a bit of a rant. Maybe its my mood. Maybe I'll want to delete this later. But it is true, and it is something that gets on my nerves.

Today I met my friend for lunch. I was right on time, because I nearly always am. He was THERE already! I realized this shocked me because most people I have experienced tend to show up late. There are a few people in particular that are so predictably late that I try to make myself late just to avoid feeling annoyed. However, I am puntual to a fault and so I struggle with this little plan of mine. So instead, I'll sometimes bring a magazine, my journal, or just a preparedness for people-watching or day-dreaming. I could just enjoy the extra time, but instead, I'll admit it, I get a little anxious.

Why do I let it get to me? I think because I take it personally. I feel like people who are notorously late think they're more important than the other guy. (The other guy in these cases are ME) I'm probably wrong in this assumption of mine. God, I hope I am or I'm friends with some cocky bastards!

Anyway, just by showing up on time today, my friend communicated that I was important to him and that our time together is valuable. Or maybe I'm just taking it too personally!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Living Vicariously

Yesterday was my "live vicariously thru others" day.

I went as an auditor (cool word for observer) to a master guitar class at SMU where Sharon Isbin was the guest teacher.
First of all, just walking on the campus on such a lovely day made me wish I was back in college because, THOSE were the days! And I'd love and appreciate it even more now than I did then. There were groups of students meeting outside, others reading and studying (also outside), and since I was in one the the ARTS buildings, I could hear music practice. Ahhhhhhh.....

During the class I sat in on, 4 different students each performed a song of their choice (I think) and then Sharon Isbin, who is a classical guitar virtuoso, gave them feedback and tips for correcting their trouble spots. Although they were way beyond me, I loved listening in. I loved seeing and hearing little improvements right before my very eyes and ears. And I can apply some of those tips she gave them. I sat on the front row and so I could see and hear every little thing. I could see how nervous the students were and could imagine how I would feel if I was them. So even though that part of it isn't fun, what a cool experience they got to have...and I got to have just as an observer!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


There are so many things I take for granted, and then something reminds me to be thankful.

I went to see a movie (a really depressing one at that!) and made a pitstop before walking into the theatre. As I was walking out of the bathroom, an older woman and man were coming in. As soon as the man spotted me, he asked if I could help the woman get into the restoom. As we walked in to the VERY well lit restroom, the lady commented on how dark it was. Then as we were RIGHT next to a bathroom stall she asked me where the bathrooms were. It was obvious this lady was nearly blind.

I realized I recognized her from Garden Club. I remember a few years ago knowing that she was 90-something, which makes her 90-something-even-more now. I introduced myself to her as she washed her hands. (Which by the way was VERY difficult and confusing since the faucet and soap dispenser are motion-activated.) Then, as we walked out she asked me where "her friend John" went...He had walked up and was right beside us. So she introduced me to her friend, John and told him we she and I were in the same Garden Club, even tho she has since moved out of our neighborhood and into a retirement home. John was equally unsteady on his feet and his hands were shaking. I asked them what movie they were seeing, and it happened to be the same one I was seeing. We then said our goodbyes and we were off to the movies.

I watched them walk into the theatre wondering HOW they were going to do it. I was ready to run down and help if they looked like they needed it. But they somehow took their seats on the second row. During the movie, it occured to me, that if one of them needed to use the restroom, I don't think they could find their way out in the dark.

As I was watching the movie, I was very aware anytime the F word was used. Usually I am completely unaware, unoffended, etc. by language, and seldom do I refer to it as "the F word", but I was so bothered that the older couple might not like it...

The movie was all about dying. It was sad to me, of course. But then I started thinking about how much more sad it might be if I was closer to the end of life...Urgh. It just made me feel bad, and sad... I felt like my grandparents were in the room with me. (I actually don't have any grandparents left, but if I did, I guess they'd be about that age) I wanted to run down the aisle, sit beside them, cover their ears during bad language or sad talks of death, and help them find their way out if/when they wanted to leave.

Sometimes I agonize over MY aging. But, GOD!!! I am NOT old. I've got years of lots of good stuff all in front of me. I can walk great, I can even run!!!, I've got great vision..don't even need glasses! And when I see a movie about the end of life, it mainly makes me miss my mom- I don't relate on the level of "This will be me within a few years..."

Monday, March 5, 2007

My Finger Is Safe

The other night, while I was out playing, my new music stand cut me. SLICED my pointer finger. I didn't even realize it had gotten cut until I saw THE BLOOD, and then it nearly brought me to my knees!

But there was a first aid kit, and my friend took care of me. She had me hold a towel on my finger until the bleeding slowed down, then cleaned it, put a band-aid on it and then put on what appeared to be a condom for a very, very small man- or my finger. I didn't know such equipment existed and I found it fascinating. Its purpose is to protect your finger, so to speak, so that you can get "work" done without risk of touching something and then getting it infected. (So similar to what a condom can do!)

I couldn't help but make stupid jokes all night regarding my protected finger...About how it was safe from STDs, and about how I wouldn't be having any baby fingers.

Friday, March 2, 2007

I Love You, You're Perfect...

Last night I saw "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" at Theater Two inside Theatre Three. The play was very entertaining and would be worth seeing in any venue. I know the play has been around a long time, and has been in Dallas lots of times, because I've wanted to see it, but somehow always missed it. I am so glad when I finally did get around to seeing it, it was at such a small, intimate theatre.

I had been to the Theatre Three a time or two before, but just to hear a speaker, not to see a play. When we arrived, we found out it was actually in the downstairs theater, Theatre Two. When I had purchased my tickets by phone and was told I was in the center on the 2nd row I thought I had scored the best seats in the house. Once I got into the theatre, I realized, all seats are the best in the house...there are only 3 rows!!!

If I had known beforehand I might have felt clausterphobic. The Theatre is so small, that if you had to go to the bathroom during the play, you'd be running a big risk! There's very little room to walk out, and you'd basically have to walk across the stage. And, additionally, the actors carry furniture in and out during the play as the scenes change so you'd be in their way as well. Fortunantly, the thought of using the bathroom never occured to me anyway, until after it was over and I got to thinking about it. Besides, there's an intermission after the first hour of the show and the second half of the show is less than an hour.

"I Love You, You're Perfect..." is a play all about love relationships- from first dates, to growing old together. It's really funny and relatable. It's playing at Theatre Two thru March 19th.