Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Better Tomorrow

Couldn't embed this video, but you can watch it here:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Friendship Attempts

See, here's the thing:

Once you've been involved with someone romantically, can you ever truly be friends with them again? I like to think that you can; it's what I've always believed. It just makes sense to me that once you've cared for someone, then it should be fairly easy to keep caring for them, at least enough to create some sort of friendship.

But maybe that's a bit naive and idealistic on my part.

Maybe once you've been in love with someone, you've experienced such a deep attachment, that it would be hard to ever really let go of that. So, you would constantly be having thoughts and opinions based on the bond that you had before. Or maybe the only way to transform that habit is through the process of practicing a new habit, of indeed practicing a satisfying friendship.

I mean, that must be how successfully divorced couples do it. The ones who become friends and partners must practice a new habit, while the ones who cling to the old relationship mire in bitterness and acrimony.

Ahh... Back at the Office

I'm giving my brain a change up and writing at one of my favorite locales. I've still got quite a few proposals  for this week and even a deadline tonight, but I'm sick of sitting at the kitchen table, so I thought I might get more done if I was out somewhere.

It is amazing here.

The late afternoon sun is beaming through the tree branches. A bit ago, everything was gold and backlit with shiny edges. Tiny gnats flying around looked like stars dancing in the air. Now It's shifting to silver and deep greens. The air is growing cooler, and the light is slipping away imperceptably.  A green throated hummingbird flits between lemon blossoms. The happy fountain to my left burbles and bubbles, and I revel in being all alone in this wondrous space.

This wondrous space with a sturdy table and bench and amazing free wi-fi. It truly is perfect.

And the coffee is good too. :)


Ever since I read Sophie Kinsella's book I've Got Your Number, I feel rude and churlish if I don't end my text messages with either a smile emoticon or hugges-and-kisses xoxoxo's. I never would have thought of it before the main character scolded someone for not using them. Now I almost always use them for my family, at least. It's like my signature sign off.

My daughter read the book - she's a huge fan, just like me - so she does it too! And the other one picked it up from us. We're very warm in my family. : )

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Futile Searches

Even though it's "vacation" time, I am hard at work, typing away. I wanted to play some music to distract the restless part of my brain that always prowls around when I am working.

I listened to the beautiful "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap and then I wanted to hear this song I know I posted on my blog. But I couldn't remember the artist or the title. Or what the song was about. Or the lyrics or tune. I just know I liked it a lot and it's catchy. I thought it was by a group called Sunsplashed Day in the Truck or Sunspot Truck. Something like that.

Searching my blog yielded nothing. Well, searching for "truck" did pull up a funny anecdote I wrote one day in CBTL, so that made me laugh. I tried googling but came up with zero. So finally I just went through my post titles and found it in February.

Turns out is Silversun Pickups. Lazy Eye. Oh well, I was close.

It's still a great song.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring into Vacation

Having the past week of vacation has been soothing and relaxing. We've done fun things but tried not to be too scheduled.

The minute vacation started, literally the first Friday night, I radically altered my sleep schedule. I don't know if I'm choosing my own natural pace or just matching my rhythm to J's, but I'm staying up til midnight and sleeping until at least 9:00 or 10:00 am. It's such a relief to wake up when I want to! And not to have to constantly nag at other people about where to be.

I find myself writing in the evenings now, getting going around 6:00 or 7:00 pm and working past 11:00. I don't know if I would keep this schedue forever. Given a few more unstructured weeks like this, I might prefer to shift back towards being awake earlier in the mornings. But I am enjoying it for now!

Last week, we had one of J's friends stay with us for three days. It was weird always having an extra kid or so around, like our family suddenly expanded. But she fit right in. In fact, we had others of their friends over each day as well, so there would usually be somewhere between three and six girls hanging out in our living room. Can I just say how very, very grateful I am that they are a group of girls and not boys?? I think that would be a whole different story! But I like the girls, and they like me, so we had lots of fun together.

Thursday I took four of them to the mall and that was just a blast. I let them do whatever they wanted while I just trailed around after them. For a long time, they tried on fancy prom dresses together and giggled and I was free to do my own shopping and periodically check on them. Then we spent a lovely hour or so in Sephora - a magical place of make up - while they sampled nail polishes and I bought birthday presents. Now, I am not at all interested in trying to "fit in" with this group. They are young, and I am the adult. But it did bring back memoreis of my own teen years when my friends and I used to go to the same mall. Now is so, so much better!!

Now, I have my own sense of style. My hair always looks good. I'm not looking for a boyfriend, Thank God. And I have a job, a car, and a credit card. Much more fun in every way! We had a good time together doing our girl-fashion-shopping thing. Having them around made vacation fun for the girls and fun for me too. And S didn't seem to mind. (Although he did decline to join in on the mall trip.)

This weekend was about my friends. We joined my group in San Diego and had a nice get together with my French friend and her group. It was nice to hear French again, and sit around snacking and drinking wine. It's everything I ever dreamed of all those years when I was learning French word by painstaking word. Suddenly, one of the women decided we should go to the beach for sunset. So we all leapt into our cars and went. We were eight adults and ten kids, trailing along the beach, digging in the sand, the kids turning cartwheels, the adults grouping up to chat in French and English -- just meadering along and watching the view. What a perfect day!

Hope your days are good as well -- relaxing and giving you all the stress-free sleep you want!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fresh Starts

I finally started a new blog. This one is in my own name. My real, full name. With everything difficult finally moving behind me, I wanted a chance to put my own message out. To see my own words under my own name and feel proud about it.

My thinking is that after a few years of regular posting, I will have completely reclaimed this identity for my own self and own purposes. Instead of pulling up the past, a search will pull up my musings and meaderings on a subject that is an integral part of my life now. A neutral/positive message that I create myself.

It is indeed possible to create or re-create one's self. It all begins with the energy of intention.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Heck Yeah

"Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously."

--Tom Robbins

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Cheer Up Song

We used to practice this in yoga teacher training. It seems ridiculously silly, but singing it through a few times really does make you feel better. More hopeful and whole, and less worried about life.

(Tune of Momma's Little Baby)

Every single cell in my body is happy
Every single cell in my body is glad
I'm so glad
I'm so glad
Every single cell in my body is glad...

We really are made up of an astonishing number of cells, which for the most part, work together in an amazing perfection of cosmic beauty. We shouldn't take that intrinsic, esoteric beauty for granted. Inside lies more freedom, space, peace and love than we even imagine. Truly.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Calm on Monday

I got to teach two yoga classes this morning. Back to back.

I am thoroughly relaxed and stretched out.

I had a bit of a hiccup with the CD player, but I solved it by staying calm. When it wouldn't play, I tried what I could. Then I stopped and got the class going. When I had a pause in the istruction, I took a breath and tried again. When it didn't work, I accepted that there would be no music for class this day.

Then I thought to try to universal solution to electronic problems. I turned it off, waited five minutes, and turned it back on. Success! The lilting notes of joy filled the room.

This day is so peaceful without the time pressure of school! I'm going to write a bit, then have my parents over for dinner. Then write more.

Ooh. And I keep having good ideas for the possible novel. Hmm.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

This Is

Oh my. It is the very first day of vacation -- just a Saturday really -- and I already feel like a whole new person. I slept a blissful, uninterrupted sleep and actually dreamed my dreams that free my mind from some of its problems. I had a slow late morning and now I've slipped away from my family. Because I need to work at least four hours each day these next two weeks, it seemed logical to leave them lounging at home and come out to a cafe where I feel more of a "work context." I'll have plenty of time to write at home as well, but I know that I need the different environments to keep from getting bored.

(I still get bored. And restless. But that's just the damn ADD. I try to simply cope with it as much as I can.)

It's working great so far! Yesterday I had a blank page devoted to describing a program I've been writing about for four years. I wanted to take it down to nothing and start from scratch. Today, I just finished 1000 words of good depiction. Just a bit more, and I can call that template done.

And... AND... I am still churning around that flip idea I threw out yesterday. I really could write a novel based on this blog. I've got over four years worth of material and ideas right here in front of me, which would easily turn into fiction. I've got experience with both memoir and fiction techniques. AND I certainly have some conflicts which could hook a reader. (Nothing like a bit of conflict to keep the plot going midway through. What will happen next? A fiery showdown? Another chance meeting? Nothing at all ever again? Only time will tell.)

I went back and picked a random date  just to see what I was writing about in the past. I also thought it might be fun to look for correlations. This is from February 6, 2012:

“All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality,
the story of escape.
It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times,
how to escape.”
– Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925)

Blissful Rest

I just slept 12 hours straight. I didn't have to wake up for anything.

I had the most lovely dreams. Very calm and friendly. I kept dreaming about hanging out with old friends and boyfriends, chatting and getting re-aquainted. In my dreams, everyone looked good and was getting happier. My subconcious must be fairly benevolent. : )

Now I'm awake, and slowly going about the day. I probably still will empty the dishwasher -- it's a habit too engrained to break, and, since I am hungry too, I will cook a hot breakfast for the lot of them out of pure loving generosity. But that's it. No yelling at anyone to get dressed! No driving anywhere before my eyes can even focus!

In fact, I've got a bit of writing to do on this lovely Saturday.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Midday Friday

Wow. I am just not myself today.

I'm doing my normal Friday activities. I tidied. I went to a cafe and wrote while drinking coffee. I made some progress. Especially considering I started from scratch with a blank page.

I stopped in time to go to the Farmer's Market. I bought produce and snacky-stuff for some friends coming over tonight. It just wasn't fun. I feel bleah. Bored, and tired. Wanting to be left alone by the people around me. Not at all like my usual self. Perhaps it's the weather. We vaulted from cold rain straight to brassy heat in the high 90s. It feels like Spring just got skipped. Perhaps it's just accumulated fatigue.

All I know is I drove past three yard sales, and I just didn't care. I didn't even want to buy anything. That's not like me at all!!

I didn't even enjoy grocery shopping. And usually that's my favorite.

While driving, I was thinking about writing. Imagine having a sense of the aesthetics of the written word. Imagine noticing whether a sentence is elegant or clunky, whether it sings or stumbles, whether it is lithe or wordy. Imagine having to have that on your mind. Like there's not enough other stuff in life to keep us occupied! Caring about writing -- "it's a blessing... and a curse..."

Friday Successes

Both of my daughters got to their respective schools before the bell rang today. Both.

I think it's a new record. It may be the first time we've had correct attendence in two weeks. Or maybe three. Or possibly longer.

All I know is we've been getting mean calls from J's school threatening her with discipline if she is absent any more. But since this is the last day of the quarter, the attendence tally will start fresh in April. Whew. We made it right to the line.

(Stop laughing at me. This is really, actually very hard. You know I've never been that great with time just on my own, and now I have to move other people around based on time. I don't even like Time. I only partly believe in it. Time knows it, too.)

I'm tired, but I'm looking forward to catching up on sleep during the blessed, blessed respite of vacation.

I've got tons and tons of work to look forward to as well. So much that it almost feels a bit daunting. I've been in the habit of procrastinating but now I'm having to sit my writer brain down and have a bit of stern talk with it. Just get started. Pick one thing and write one page. You know, that sort of thing.

I do have 25 proposals to do between now and the end of the month. Realistically, I doubt I'll get to all of them, but I can carry some forward into April. It does feel wonderful to have guaranteed work. I sat down yesterday and split the first parts I need to do into manageable chunks. My job today is to write a new program description backed up by whatever research I need to do. I think I can get that done. Then tomorrow a description of the other program. Then on to a new need statement. And so on.

Once I get some new generic parts written, I'll put them together into the tailored proposals. It should turn out really well, but right now I'm at the super-fun/terrifying blank page part.

Here's the thing: It's a really, really good job. I try to remember to appreciate it.

(Like my Monk allusions? We just finished back to back watching all eight seasons. It took us a few months, and now I'm sort of lost without my friend Monk showing up in the living room every evening. He's such a nice guy, and a very interesting character. )

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Rundown


I've had a lovely morning. Spent those extra hours with my daughter since she missed first period again. At this point, I'm just being calm. Making the most of the time. We sat down together and went through her social studies chapters on The Civil War. At least she's bright and learns quickly. Just one more day --ONE MORE DAY!! -- and then vacation starts and we get to FINALLY sleep in a bit.

Then I went to a nice yoga class. And now I'm here. Typing away. Actually getting my work week going. I told you that I decided to give up on Mondays and Tuesdays and just start the week on Wednesdays or even Thursdays and then work straight through the weekend. I decided that I actually have more time and energy available on Fridays - Sundays since there is no drop off/pick up or homework to hassle with.

I counted. Yesterday I had to be at a specific place at a specific time to drop off or pick up TEN times between 7:30 am and 3:00 pm. That's right. That is more than once per hour. So now I don't even stress the writing.

Bad news is that I have enough other stuff to do all the time that I think I could probably procrastinate my writing indefinitely and never run out of other things that need my attention. So at some point, I do just have to sit down and get it going, even when the homework and laundry isn't done.

And I know that this is my bad for trying to work in a public setting but geez these ladies near me are bugging me. Thank God they finally just got up and left. I'm in a nice little patio and since all the other tables were full, I said they could share my large one. But I've never seen people shift around in their seats and pound/lean on/lean away from/lean back on a table SOOOO much. My computer keeps dancing around like a jumping bead. I can ignore their conversation, but please, please just hold still. But I know. If I wanted stillness and isolation, I could just stay at home. So I shouldn't complain.:)

Speaking of complaints... I keep asking questions. And I keep getting zero answers. It sort of makes my head hurt. In the absence of a response, I tend to create my own story. And here's the thing. My own narratives tend to be pretty nice. In the stories I tell myself, people are basically happy. They have some sense of resolution and meaning. They aren't just consumed by aching angry bitterness. But I just had the experience of finding out that real life ISN'T like the story I had. The real life guy actually seemed pretty darn angry. To the point where I'm checking my back when I'm out in town now, keeping my eye out for a sea-green Corolla. In fact, a friend honked at me when I walked out of yoga and I just froze in caution.

At least it's nice to be free. I do keep realizing how nice it is not to feel warded away from basic life. I'm enjoying being in the parks again, especially with the nicer weather. Anyway, best to all on this sunny Thursday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Good morning.

It's Wednesday, and the sun is shining. Birds sing. Routines carry on.

I'm trying to count my blessings and focus my energies towards the positive.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maybe Man

If you haven't listened to this song yet, you really need to. It is just so beautiful... and catchy too. I love what he's done with the rhythm of the words. I posted it a few days back; you can find it and play it from this blog.

Maybe Man ©2002 Jim Beckwith

I may not be the one you think you’re dreaming of
But in due time I might just be the one you love…

The prince and princess might just find their riches
after time and time again they find each other’s arms.
Older then, we understand
Love is like a castle built of sand.

I'm the maybe man, I maybe can
Be the one to take your hand

You might just find a simple romance in the single slow dance
running several circles in your mind…
The pleasure of this simple treasure not expecting ever
Never, -- ever shrinking over time.

But how to know - how time will flow
To gamble love; might miss a show…

I'm the maybe man, I maybe can
Be the one to take your hand

Do you wait to think you’ve finally found the one
And never really ever learn to craft your love?
And every time you’ve tried to love and lost
You reel in pain and grow more bitter daily til your gone?

We block the pain and try again
To learn at least, to be a friend…
I'm the maybe man, I maybe can
Be the one to take your hand…in love

credits from Maybe Man, released 01 October 2011
Jim Beckwith, guitar and vocals
Charlie Chadwick, recording

Some Sugar?

A little wooden sign sits on my kitchen counter.

It reads "Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes" in soothing peach letters. That is not bad advice, not bad advice at all. I am just remembering that I purchased a coupon for a dozen cupcakes from a new bakery nearby. Apparently, all of their food, cupcakes included, is made with various alcohols.

Hmmm.... Mmmmm......

This is Why I Don't Even Try to Work on Tuesdays Anymore

Big, deep breath. It’s been another day, with its own challenges.

My fourteen year old is turning out to be a high-need child. Who knew?

I wake her up each morning at 7:00 am. Then I check on her about every 5 minutes to be sure she’s still awake and getting dressed. This morning, at 7:50 am, which is the last possible minute to leave and still be on time, I opened the door of her room to find her standing, in tears, with a look of dejected confusion on her face, still wearing her pajamas.

Her room is such a mess that she couldn’t find something she wanted to wear. All the clothes on the floor and in the closet were in the way of her finding clothes.

What can I do?

I can start screaming or I can choose to be as calm but firm as possible. Okay, find something and get dressed. She just literally gets stuck like that periodically.

Ultimately, I took her along to her sister’s orthodontist appointment. Her treatment ended last year, but after the first month, she forgot/refused to wear her retainers. So her teeth have started to move out of place. Kind man that he is, the orthodontist fit her into the day’s schedule; he adjusted her retainers and jammed them into her mouth. As he lectured her, he said that it would hurt for a few days but that if she starts wearing them now, she won’t have to go back into braces. So now I have to monitor that more carefully as well.

I feel like I spend about 12 hours each day taking care of J’s needs. And the rest on everyone else. Later today, an appraiser is coming back out to complete paperwork. The refinance is basically done. With luck, we can sign everything before the weekend. That will be one less thing I have to hassle with. I’m sure the grumpy loan processor at Wells Fargo is not going to enjoy being the spurned party. But that’s too bad. The other lender got everything done first, and they were much more polite too. I wanted to stay with Wells Fargo, but they made very little effort to keep our business. So that’s the way it has to be.

I’ve been doing a lot of questioning lately, a lot of reassessment of my life choices. Running into such a bitter ex really shook me up; it made me question my judgment. Like, how could I ever have been so into him? Was he a different person then? Was I just deluding myself? But why? Did he actively manipulate me? How did I not see that? All those kinds of self searches.

I know that I’m being as honorable as I can. At the end of the day, I demonstrate loyalty, and caring, and dedication, and persistence. Those are qualities I like having. Now if I can just keep all these little daily challenges in perspective...

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Week in Review

Quite a week, it's been quite a week. With ups and downs like a twisting, mountain road.

Monday I spent the first two hours of what should have been the school day home-tutoring my daughter in her social studies homework. Then I taught a nice yoga class and had a walk through the downtown.

Tuesday, my daughter was late for school, I fought it out with the neighbor about the tree, my daughter came home sick, and we missed my younger daughter's band concert.

Wednesday, everyone stayed home sick. I took the girls to the mall for lunch where we brought birthday presents for friends and then got pedicures to let us de-stress. I worked hard to let go of my tension and depression. Then I spent a good three hours working companionably with the elder on an essay for her English class. It's shocking and appalling to me that she has never been taught even the basics of essay writing. She refuses to let me teach her properly. But she will work with me when she has an assignment. So I'm teaching her by doing. I also taught her how to use semi-colons in a series of items. Te he. The essay came out beautifully.

Thursday was amazing. I still took my daughter to school late. She simply refuses to get ready in a timely way. But after I got her there, I went to the most amazing yoga class ever. Live music and great companions made practice a spiritual event. Then I met my former boss for a catch-up lunch. And guess what?? She wants me to come back to work for her!! She's pregnant, so she wants me back part time for six months and then she wants me to take over her entire client case load for four months while she takes a maternity leave. Yay!!! The day before I was soooo depressed about our ebbing money and now I have way more money coming in for the whole rest of the year. Ahh, how fortunes can change.

You just never know what's coming next. Barn's burned down, now I can see the moon!

And today, Friday, my daughter was late AGAIN. (That's right - the fifth time this week. I really do not know how to help her. I am at a total loss.) Then I went to a birthday brunch with friends. That was great. We got to swap all our frustrations and tips as moms of beleaguered students. Then I went to Target and Trader Joe's. Then I picked people up and made brownies. I brought home two friends for my daughter with the idea that they are all doing their late math work together. That's necessary because they are already deep into Algebra I/II quadratic equations and I really can't help them anymore. While I rocked Algebra in my own high school days, it's been a long time since I've had to run through all those steps in a trouble-shooting kind of way. So I brought the peer support in, and they've been chatting and (barely) working for the last three hours. At least, I really know her friends well. They are a delightful group of girls. I try to focus on these blessings with my daughter and not just be overwhelmed by the time management issues.

So, struggles, resolutions and good fortune -- angst and love -- that's my week.

Amazing Yoga Day

With the stress of this week, I've made an extra effort to get to my regular yoga classes. Yesterday's practice was amazing!

Talented yoga musician Jim Beckwith came to the studio and performed live music during the class. It was extraordinary. Being in the room with a whole community of people, all moving in sync, all breathing in a relaxed, flowing manner, sharing the spiritual energy of the moment was incredible. Jim's voice and quiet playing filled the room, lifting us along. My heart opened and love poured into me and then out into the world. A rush of warmth and caring projected out towards those in need.

I hadn't felt anything like that since my teacher training. Maybe, man...

Conflict Resolution

Barn's burned down
Now I can see the moon -

I gave myself a couple of days to simmer down. Over that time, I drafted a nice letter in my head that I could drop off with my neighbor. After many, many revisions, I was ready to put it on the page. I picked out an appropriate card from my greeting card collection basket. It had the haiku above on it, which I thought was appropriate. For every bad thing that happens, there's something good to find. I skipped over the card I was tempted to use. It said, "If I keep a green bough in my heart, maybe a singing bird will come to perch on it." But that seemed sort of snarky, considering the cause of the disagreement. And also the sad fact that my neighbor now has very, very few green boughs left.

My daughter decided to bake some cookies. Since we periodically share our baked goods with one or more neighbors, that's just following an established precedent. And along with the plate of four gooey fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies, I handed over the nice card with a message saying that I hoped our tree was now trimmed enough for them, that I apologized for being so overwhelmed by my life responsibilites that I was crying sobbingly in their front yard, and that I hoped we could continue being good neighbors. So we'll see how that goes.

As I told the girls, it's not about being right. It's about being friendly and maintaining a good rapport. (Because I actually KNOW I was right. I don't care if the neighbor ever knows that or not. I know it; that's enough.) And the tree looks beautiful now. And our very kind and professional arborist got a bonus job and made some money. (Bye, money.) So it is just a blessing in disguise.

And now we can see the moon.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Free Association Because I am Bored Helping with Homework

nvnvnnvnvnvnvvnvnllllllkkkkkk mmmmm nnnnn dowowowowowowokdinedinie kinekinkkin kin are fine and kith and kine will dine in the hall of the house at nine as we gather together to bring in the feast with simmered root vegetables and hunks of roast beast we will raise a glass tall to our heroes of old and the tales that we'll tell will all shimmer like gold with the laughter and warmth of our fellowship crew come along and join us, we’ll wait just for you.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

About Hell

"If you're going through hell... keep going." - Winston Churchill

There is no way I am ever, ever going to Hell. God has been waiting to deal with me for too long now. I'm sure He's looking forward to the never-ending sets of questions and comments that I have for Him. Frankly, I'm surprised I'm even still here...

Tree Trimming

Attachment to a certain outcome is such a cause of pain and suffering. The self knows this, but the mind forms attachments anyway. I have lots of opinions of how things should be. I believe I have "facts"; I think I'm "right." Despite my best efforts to be accepting of what comes, I still have preferences and opinions.

I prefer to be treated well. I prefer not to feel threatend. I believe that I am likable, and people should like me. They certainly shouldn't seethe with hostility and resentment. That is just one set of beliefs that I am currently aware of, which are swirling around in my head and making up stories that I tell myself.

Today, I am having a dispute with the next door neighbor over our trees. He is having his trees trimmed and wanted to trim mine as well. He asked me months ago if he could trim all the trees off his property. We discussed what he wanted and I agreed - mostly because I know he is terrified of trees since one fell on his house* a few years ago. I even offered to pay half, which he declined. Good thing cause we don't even remotely have that extra money.

Today, he finally got around to scheduling the trimmers. Suddenly he wants major cuts in the pepper tree in our front yard. I don't know why people don't understand this but a tree is a LIVING THING. You can't just hack pieces off of it willy-nilly and expect it to survive. Even if it lives, it will be weakened and much more likely to break, fall, or drop branches under stress (i.e. wind). A tree doesn't understand property lines; it is simply growing the best way it can to get what it needs.

The law says that you can trim a tree over your property BUT you CANNOT cause it to be DAMAGED!!! If the tree dies, you're responsible.

But I can't wait around til his chainsaw crew chops my tree, then it falls over in a year or so and then sue him. By then the damage is done.

So when he got all unreasonable, and quite rude, this morning, I rushed in and called our own tree guy. Who is a CERTIFIED ARBORIST. Who studied trees in college. Who trims these trees regularly (which only needs to be every few years for a healthy tree). So our tree guy showed up like a hero, and explained to the crew in functional Spanish that I didn't want them to touch my tree. Those poor guys were already skulking around like dogs with their tails between their legs just trying to stay out of it all. They don't want any legal trouble. They readily agreed.

My tree guy will be back in an hour or so and professionally and safely trim the tree. There goes a cool thousand dollars of cash to this cause. I have no idea where that will even come from. Guess what? The pro says we can't even trim as much as I was willing to and had already agreed to. He says it's too much. I will have him document it in writing and mail it to my neighbor. Then I will try to continue to be friendly and neighborly - I think this guy's getting crazy as he ages.

You should see the poor trees in his yard now. They look like war survivors. I won't be at all surprised if one or more of them breaks or falls within the next year. They weren't well cared for to begin with.

And I will keep trying to take deep breaths and remind myself that if one has equanimity, things always turn out to be okay in the long run. No matter what opinions I might have right now.

*Now I understand why the tree was aiming at him; I'm almost sad that it missed.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wisdom from a Friend

"Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." - Buddha