Thursday, December 31, 2009

46 Things to learn in 2010

Okay folks I don't have to make up a new list from last year just add a few more things onto it. While I accomplished and did learn masses I strayed from my list a bit last year! Below is my list from last year with added tidbits from me!

45 things to learn in 2009

One of my friend Cindy's favorite blogs is 37 Days. I went there to check it out and she encouraged you to learn in 2009 as many things as your age. Since I am (shhhh....45) years old I made a list of the 45 things I would like to learn this year. Man that seems like a lot of things to learn in one year. I do love learning new things so here they go! I encourage you to make your own learning list.

1. Learn to play tennis. 1.On the list for 2010. I did not even pick up a racket all year!

2. Learn conversational Spanish. 2.On the list for 2010. I did learn some phrases but not enough for a conversation. Meet some spanish speaking friends to help me out with this!

3. Learn how to jog a half marathon. 3.On the list for 2010. Ha! I don't even think I jogged once in 2009.

4. Learn photo shop. 4.On the list for 2010. With my new camera I really want to learn this!

5. Learn to play guitar. 5. On the list for 2010. I should probably purchase one for this goal!

6. Learn salsa dancing. 6. On the list for 2010.

7. Learn to scuba dive. 7.On the list for 2010. I did snorkel that is a step in the right direction!

8. Learn how to make an organic garden. 8.On the list for 2010.

9. Learn to say NO! CHECK!! This was not an easy one to do but it does make me feel empowered. I can make my own choices and sometimes it is as simple as saying NO!

10. Learn to sew. (My mom is laughing very loud right now!) 9. On the list for 2010.

11. Learn to water ski. 10. On the list for 2010.

12. Learn to snow ski. 11. On the list for 2010.

13. Learn how to make jewelry.CHECK!

14. Learn how to do watercolors. 13. Still on the list for 2010. I did dabble a bit in them!

15. Learn how to make my hair look nice everyday! 14. On the list for 2010. My wild hair drives me crazy!

16. Learn how to do my nails. 15. On the list for 2010. By doing them I mean more them chewing on!

17. Learn how to jet ski. 16. On the list for 2010.

18. Learn stand up comedy. 17.On the list for 2010.

19. Learn how to act in a play. 18. On the list for 2010.

20. Learn how to sing. 19. On the list for 2010. I sang a lot but did not get any professional training!

21. Learn how to use an iPod. 20. On the list for 2010. I need to get one first!

22. Learn how to love better. CHECK! Myself at the top of this list!

23. Learn some art history. CHECK! I have loved the art history I have learned at the art museums I have visited across the U.S of A.

24. Learn how to write poetry. 21. On the list for 2010! I have been writing in 2009 not sure just how poetic it is.

25. Learn more about holistic healing. CHECK!

26. Learn to let go. CHECK!

27. Learn that I am ENOUGH! CHECK!

28. Learn how to live a Goddess life. 22. I want this on my list for 2010. I would give it a half of a check for 2009!

29. Learn to live simple. CHECK! I gave away almost all my stuff!

30. Learn to drum. 23. On the list for 2010. I panned for gold in California instead!

31. Learn to do public speaking..motivational! 24. On the list for 2010.  I shared my story with many people in 2009 working on the public part!

32. Learn to design clothes. 25.On the list for2010. Love love love fun clothes!

33. Learn to design shoes. 26. On the list for 2010. I still love shoes!

34. Learn the settings on my camera. 27. On the list for 2010. I received a different camera for Christmas this year.

35. Learn to embrace life. CHECK! LOVE life living it EACH day!

36. Learn to forgive. CHECK! Myself was on the top of this list! I have been way too hard on myself for way too long.

37. Learn Native American culture. CHECK! Traveling west across the United States of America was a real eye opener for me!

38. Learn to sky dive. 28. On the list for 2010. I flew out of the country for the first time but did not jump!

39. Learn to mountain climb. 29. On the list for 2010. I did go hiking in Tennessee with my brother this past summer.

40. Learn white water rafting. 30. On the list for 2010. I did go canoeing!

41. Learn to horseback ride. 31. On the list for 2010. Was not on a horse once in 2009.

42. Learn to surf. 32. On the list for 1020. I swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time does that count?

43. Learn to play more. CHECK! I did this one!

44. Learn to belly dance. 33. On the list for 2010.

45. Learn to remember my dreams. CHECK! I did remember more dreams this year. I even wrote them down!
34. Learn to use my etsy shop to sell my creations.
35. Learn how to have an art show.
36. Learn how to write a book.
37. Learn how to keep kindred spirits close to me.
38. Learn how to knit.
39. Learn to listen to my physical body's needs.
40. Learn to sail a boat.
41. Learn to trust my instincts all the time.
42. Learn peace making.
43. Learn how to use an iphone.
44. Learn story telling.
45. Learn candlemaking.
46. Learn to fly an airplane.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

This is a repeat blog. I received the DVD for a present and thought this was worth repeating.

While going through "The Artist Way" course I have been taking my artist self on "dates". I am not sure how to "date" so I just do what seems like fun at the time.

I had heard that the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" was a must see movie. Oprah had said it is a love story like no other you have ever seen. Since one of my goal rocks for 2009 is LOVE decided to go see it. I rarely go to a movie theater but I would have to say it is better that way. I tend to fall asleep when I am watching a movie at home.

I don't want to ruin the experience for others but I want to tell how it impacted my life. I did cry during the movie, but when I got in my car after the movie I sobbed.

The movie is gut wrenching to say the least. My stomach was in knots several times. The story is set in India and is based on their version of the game show "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire". The contestant on the show is from the bottom of society in India. They are amazed because he is able to know the answer to the questions and he keeps moving up the ladder of questions on the game show. While not giving too much of the movie to you he knows the answers because of every BAD thing that has happened to him in his life.

My sobbing experience in the car was a personal one that I took from the movie....I know the answers to all the BIG questions in my life because of all the "BAD" things that have happened in my life. Sobbing because my life is not just a jumbled has a plan.... it has a purpose.

As you can probably tell I highly recommend this movie. Just be ready for the full range of emotions to course through your body. When you do see it let me know I want to talk about it to somebody!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Still thinking about my life having a plan and a purpose. I think back to when my daughter Bethany was in her auto accident. She was 15 at the time. The timing and placement of people in our path could not have been more beautiful.

It was New Year's Eve 2000/2001. Bethany was in Portland at her dad's for the weekend. I had a guy coming to my apartment to take me to a party that my sister invited me to in Anderson. This was very special to see I have never had a "date" for New Years Eve nor had I ever been to a New Years Eve party (I am still waiting on these...but that is another post entirely!) The guy never showed up at my apartment...I had been stood up on New Years Eve. I felt awful. I was still planning on going to the party but it would be later. I fixed myself a drink to calm down my mind and heart.

While sitting there sipping it the phone rang I thought it was the heart sank when I heard my dad's voice. "Lisa, Bethany has been in an accident and they have life lined her to Ft. Wayne." "Which hospital in Ft. Wayne? I asked. He was not sure. Mike Weesner, a neighbor of my dad's and a family friend had been an emergency responder at the accident and had recognized Bethany and contacted my dad.

I called Jay County Hospital to try and find out which hospital they had flown her to. I talked to a nurse Carla Runyon in the emergency room who I "just" happened to of graduated high school with. Her daughter was the same age as Bethany so she knew Bethany well. Talking to her later she said she had to leave the room and cry a few times taking care of Bethany. She told me Bethany was awake and talking to her but that she was pretty bad. They had flown her to Parkview Hospital.

I called my friend Barb Barton and told her. She told me to come through Portland on my way to Ft. Wayne and she would go with me. We drove her car as well because mine was an old college car that was best for in town driving. It was nice having someone to talk to to keep my mind focused on driving. When we get to Parkview they tell me to sit down in the waiting room so the chaplain can take me back. What the hell do I need a chaplain for? As we waited I told Barb I can't do this... I can't bury one of my kids. We watched the ball drop on the TV before the chaplain came to get me. He took me and the rest of the family that had arrived in the meantime back. My dad and his friend, Sharon was already back there with Bethany. What a relief she was alive and had people with her. I leaned over her and started talking to her. She said "Mom whatever happens remember I love you." Then she started cussing at the people in the emergency room to get her some water to drink. I knew she was going to be okay at this point.

Bethany had several injuries, a fractured skull, broken wrist, collapsed lung, her liver was pulverized, kidney bruised, she had several lacerations all over her body, her ear drum was busted, her teeth were chipped, her eye swollen shut. It has been 8 years so I am sure I am missing somethings. They did not have to do any surgeries on her. They told us that they have found that the body heals itself remarkably. They just did scans every 15 minutes for a while to make sure the bleeding was stopping on its own.

Later we found out about Bethany's two angels, Dave and Linda Stoner (that is what she calls them). They had been driving home early from a New Years Eve party when they saw a van in the ditch. They checked in it and did not find anyone. They thought that it had probably been already taken care of. They decided to drive up to the next house just to make sure. When they were driving away Dave noticed something up under the trees. He ran over and put his coat over Bethany and told his wife to go call 911. He said he just kept talking to Bethany until the emergency team got there. The two other kids who had been in the van with Bethany had gotten scared when the van wrecked. The van had been stolen by one of them and they thought Bethany was dead. They had drug her body up under the trees. I look back on it and think the trees probably protected her from some of the cold that night.

During her 10 day stay in the intensive care unit we had tons of friends and family doing all they could to help us. Another person placed gently in our path was a former pastor of my sister him and his wife had moved to Ft. Wayne. I was able to go to their house and take a shower and have a small break when they could finally get me to leave the hospital.

I was suppose to start a new semester in college during this time. My sister knew people who were also going to the same college as me and they found out who I needed to contact. What a blessing. The guy was a journalism major and even wrote an article for Ball States magazine about my experience.

The carefully orchestrated symphony.

1st ...guy who did not show up.

2nd...scared kids who put her under cold protecting trees.

3rd....angels who found her.

4th...neighbor who knew her. dad actually being home. actually being home.

7th...nurse who knew us...and cared deeply.

8th...Barb actually being home and going with me and letting me drive her dependable car.

9th...grandpa and Sharon being with Bethany when they would not let me see her.

10th...being at a hospital that believes in modern medicine that allows the body to heal itself.

11th...former pastors who move to the right city.

12th...friends who go to the right college.

13th...everyone who did the right things.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Speed Dating N.E.X.T.

One of my favorite sayings that my daughter uses is "Men are like McDonalds Drive Thru...N.E.X.T!" I think it is the very modern way of saying there are more out there if you don't work out. Last night at my Speed Dating experience I said N.E.X.T. thru the 7 men there.

Example number one. There were questions on the table that you could ask. I choose "If you were an animal in the wild what would you be?" After much thought the man said 'a honeybee". N.E.X.T.

Example number two. The man said there were three of us boys and it is a surprise that my mom is still sane we were such dicks. N.E.X.T.

Example number three. You left your abusive marriage, I think my wife would have told people I was abusive. Even though I never was. N.E.X.T.

Example number four. So you are a visual artist. You know I am very visual, us men are visual beings. N.E.X.T.

The others with their deer in the headlight stares when I told them I am a visual artist and I have 4 kids. N.E.X.T.

It was a good experience and I did exchange phone numbers and email addresses with a lovely lady that I talked to while waiting on the men. The ratio was in the mens favor, 7 men for 12 women.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Do one thing every day that scares you.

Eleanor Roosevelt
US diplomat & reformer (1884 - 1962)

I was talking to a friend recently that has been doing new different things in his life. He told me that he truely feels alive when he is stretching himself to the limits. Doing one thing every day that scares me has been a great way to feel alive. I want to live and FEEL alive.

Friday, December 11, 2009


My thoughts lately are about the balance in my life. I know currently things are tipping a bit out of balance. It makes my world a bit rocky. How do I get it back? I heard bits and pieces of an interview with Oprah about her weight and she said something like "when my weight gets out of control I know my world is out of balance. I need to get back to putting myself first." I can relate to that. When I don't put Lisa first on the list my world tips out of balance and people, places and things start sliding to the edge. I can visualize it now I am standing on one edge of the world stomping up and down trying to keep everything from falling off the edge of the other side. Not a very affective way of balancing things out. Much better to stand in the middle like a teeter totter, not too much to one side.
The balance theme reminded me of a couple of classes in college. Dynamic equilibrium in metrology class. This is where weather tries to keep a balance in the air temperature. Very complicated and basic at the same time.Whenever there is a" big storm" I think dynamic equilibrium. The earth is just trying to keep its balance. This has made me think whenever I have a "big storm" in my life is the universe trying to create a balance in my life? Have I gotten off balance?
Mentally I learned of a thing called cognitive dissonance in one of my classes. Basically it is when something happens in your life that is too far off of what your reality is that your brain works to try to reason it back to the center.
BALANCE this is what I will be seeking in my life. Any ideas for me to accomplish this?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smells that Transport

Last week was unusually stressful for me. I don't usually stress over things. I was trying to do too much in too short of time. Also there was some strain in a relationship with someone. I happened to go to the store and noticed Organix Revitalizing Pomegranate Green Tea shampoo on the shelf. That is the shampoo I took with me to the Bahamas. I took a sniff and was transported back to the pebbled shower where I took so many showers washing the sea salt off my body. The whole relaxing experience was again vivid in my mind and the tension was released from my body. I know the research on how scents affect mood. If you happen to see me open my purse take out a bottle and sniff it, just relax. It is my Pomegranate Green Tea shampoo transporting me back to the Bahamas. Please do not disturb me for a while.... Ahhhh!!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12 signs of a controlling personality and potential abuser

1. Jealousy

2. Blames others (including you) for his faults, him being the way he is

3. Blames circumstances for his problems (it's not me, it's how life is treating me)

4. His behaviour is unpredictable and you don't know what to expect from him at any time, in particular how he may greet you

5. He belittles you verbally, tries to take away your self-esteem and self-respect

6. He cannot control his anger and directs his anger at you regardless if his anger is due to something he feels you did or someone/something else

7. He always asks for a second chance to behave better

8. He says he'll change, that he won't do it again, after he's finished his tirade

9. His family resolves problems with violence, a history of violent behavior in his family, with brothers and sisters, against parents, his parents were argumentative and/or abusers

10. He plays on your guilt. (If you loved me, you'd...")

11. His behaviour often worsens when he uses alcohol or drugs, easily becoming uncontrollable

12. He is close-minded. His way is the only way and you'd better always do as he says.

Friday, November 27, 2009


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Quote by Marianne Williamson is from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191).

It is my duty to let my light shine in order to liberate others. My goals, dreams and desires all boil down to motivating others to reach for their highest. So I have to liberate myself from my fears first.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I went to The Jay Garment Antique Mall in Portland Indiana last Friday. Just to walk around get some exercise and look and see what they had. Which is EVERYTHING! I passed by childhood memories just amazed.

I had given all my "stuff" away in April of this year. Keeping a few treasures for myself. Knowing that I wanted to travel light.... very light. While talking to people as I have been traveling I have discovered they are very afraid to get rid of their "stuff'". They say "what if I need it later?" I say and can prove that there is a whole wide world out there full of MORE "stuff" out there.

If you want old "stuff" there are antique malls galore, flea makets in nearly every town, garage sales, rummage sales. "Stuff" "Stuff" everywhere. If you want new "stuff" there are stores and more stores. In the bountiful U. S. of A. there is no lack of "stuff".

There is no need to hoard "stuff".  Everywhere I go....I find everything I need is there already. If and when I decide to "settle" down in one place I now I can go to the antique malls and get any of the old "stuff" I have given away. I can go to the multitude of stores and get any new "stuff" I would choose to have. There is an abundance of "stuff" in the world.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Sunrises and sunsets what is so breath taking about them? What is so visually appealing about them? I have had the honor of studying them on the west coast, east coast, and in the midwest of the United States, as well as in the Carribean these past 6 months. What comes to me over and over is the contrast. The light and dark meeting.

I remember my drawing teachers saying to me "darker...darker...make the dark darker". "Lighter lighter make the light lighter". It is the contrast that make the drawing pop. Next time you see a picture that you just love look for the light and dark see if there is a major difference between them.

This contrast is repeated in life. Good and bad, negative and positive, ying and yang. I keep thinking if we don't have experiences in life how can we compare and decide what we like. When people tell me "I don't like_____" I ask how do you know? Have you tried it? That is why we try different things, that is why we date different kinds of people. We need to weed out what works for us and what doesn't. Take chances, seek out experiences that can show you the contrast.

When you have something "good" or "bad" in your life let the contrast allow your life to be the breath taking picture it is meant to be.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


6 years ago today my 18 year old son Andrew was killed in an auto accident. It has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. One of the things that has made it easier to talk about it is simply talking about it. On this journey I am on I have met some very awesome people. When sharing my life I have been able to talk about my son dying and the art therapy I did after it. It has not made the hurt any less it has just allowed it to be easier for me to talk about it. One of my friends thought I should be doing some sort of helping people through their grief.

I have dealt with death even before I was born. My brother who was born 2 years before I was died when he was 11 days old from birth defects. My mom said she took really good care of herself when she was pregnant with me due to this fact. My parents were grieving for a son my whole life. I did not understand this in its depth until my son died. I understand much more the reasons for their actions while I was growing up.

When I was around 12 my grandfather died. I remember being so upset that I was pounding my head on the kitchen floor saying "he probably thinks I don't love him because I did not go visit him the last time my family did". Oh course looking back on that it seems like a silly thing to think. But at the time it was very real to me.

The best way I can explain how my heart felt when my son died was an explosion. It completely exploded the pieces were scattered and I don't know if I will ever find all the pieces or if I will ever be able to put them back together. Oh course it will NEVER be the same. I was completing a bachelors degree in paychology at the time. I was blessed with having counselors I could talk to and a therapy group. I will share in future blogs the steps I have taken since then on my journey of deep grief.