Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SURRENDER TO THE DAY...great expectations await you!

Our Recreational Leadership instructor, Ms. Davis, told the class about an experience she once had where she allowed a day in her life to “just happen”! Ms. Davis described how she let herself surrender to what ever was going to happen and that she would try and enjoy that to the fullest. Our assignment was to do the very same thing, surrender to a day, and keep a journal of our experiences. Here is my account of Saturday, January 28, 2012.

On Friday, January 27th, I was busy all day. I had a class from 2 PM until 5 PM, and then I had to throw an anniversary party for my friends that kept me up until almost midnight. I was exhausted and I had to be up at 6:30 AM on Saturday! When Saturday morning rolled around I remembered my commitment to “surrender to the day”, and that is exactly what I did. It was still dark outside when I woke up, but as the minutes ticked by, the sun slowly rose and I felt the early dawn turn into daylight! I hadn’t experienced a sunrise in quite a while and it was very surreal!

My husband and I were committed to work in a mall art show, selling our wares. I would normally be very disgruntled by not having had enough sleep, but I was going to look for synchronicity! Although it was a lot of hard work starting to unload our truck, when I walked into the mall area that was to be our location, I heard birds chirping! I looked up to the ceiling and there was a huge, circular glass paneled skylight where sunlight was streaming in. Somehow, birds had managed to get into the mall and set up housekeeping in the skylight above! It was such a pleasant surprise that I may have missed if I had not started my day in a new frame of keeping my mind open to possibilities.

As the day went on, I tried to keep a positive outlook. Although I felt very groggy and wanted to take a nap, I remained happy and polite to my customers. A woman engaged me in a short conversation and I said the obligatory, “Have a nice day”! To my astonishment she said something I will never forget. This wonderful woman said, “Thank you, you have already made it that for me!” Had I not been open to all the day could offer me, I might have missed this very meaningful encounter, and for that I am grateful.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'LL MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN...if I even have to do it myself!

After an extraordinarily busy weekend of parties and mall shows and school, I find I still cannot get it together to post a blog of any consequence. I mean, it's 10:30 EST and I am DOING LAUNDRY! I am answering emails and writing emails about real estate business. What happened to my crazy life? It's getting boring in here!

Well, the wonderful thing is that tomorrow the weather in Detroit, Michigan,  on January 31st, 2012, is going to be near FIFTY DEGREES! Now THAT will be something to blog about!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

NO RELEVANCE...you can't win for losing.

I think tomorrow will be a new start to the finish of my first month of blogging.
The last few days have been tumultuous in terms of time...of which there is never enough of.
I am in the middle of flux...things are changing here.
My eyes are opening. My mind is reeling. I am so exhausted from the stupidity of it all...my life.
Countdown to the finale.
Birthday #62 is a week from tomorrow. Oh never mind. Superbowl Sunday sounds like a lot of fun though!

Cupcake gal!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

MALL SHOW...what a show!

When I should be writing...when I should be blogging...when I should be doing homework...I'M WORKING AT A MALL ART SHOW FOR MY HUSBAND!! Can't do everything. Can't do much of anything! I still need to upload all the photos from the anniversary party...I'll try and make time for it all tomorrow. No, wait! I have to work THE MALL SHOW again! There's always Monday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

KEEPING UP WITH MY BLOG...it's not as easy as I thought it would be!

I want to write something everyday! However, I want it to be rewarding...to me and to my readers! I am a full time college student and the last few days I have been consumed with schoolwork, AND, planning my friend's 30th Wedding Anniversary!

I just got home from the event and it was a HUGE success! Everyone had so much fun and we showed our love to this wonderful couple! I am posting a few pictures now, but I am exhausted! More tomorrow night!

Love to you all! xo Peace!

Happy Anniversary Dianna and Tom!

The party was HUGE!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A WAKE UP CALL...we're not so different after all.

As you all know, I am second year student at a local community college. I'll graduate in 2013 with my Associates Degree in Mental Health. The college I attend is in downtown Detroit. The students here are mostly economically depressed, not very book smart and not privileged. Some come to the college to try and take advantage of the system that doles out government backed tuition checks; even if you quit classes after a few weeks you'll still get a check. You won't get an education, but you'll get a quick fix in the cash department.

Last week in my class, I could tell just from looking at two women who were seated close to each other, that they were hardened. Today, we had an "unfolding" in our group therapy class where we all tell something about ourselves, and they shared a brief bit of their history. Here is an example of what I heard...

Several of my classmates admitted to being convicted felons who have done their time, some are out on parole. One of the women I had noticed earlier admitted to having been using heroin since she was fourteen and had spent 42 years in prison! She has been clean now for two years. She said she had a sixth grade education, but got her GED in jail. Her friend had that look of a woman in prison as well...cropped hair, multiple piercings, sweat clothes. Stereotypical? Yes. She too was a recovering addict and parolee. Both women however, were friendly and looked healthy. They appeared to want nothing more than to be part of this new life outside and most of all, they wanted to learn. I was like them.

Another woman also admitted to being a recovering addict, clean now four years. You would never know to look at her that drugs had been a major part of her life. Now she works for free at a local ministry, helping other recovering addicts A man in my class who I met last year admitted tonight to having served 30 years in prison. I was shocked! I could never have imagined my friend, this realy cool man I like a lot, had spent half of his life behind bars. And still another man I know from class has been sober for 25 years. Most of these men and women give back to their community and are good people. I am glad to know them and I am proud to be in a part of their lives. We are all trying to accomplish the same goals. We are really only one.

Concerning myself, you should know I am the oldest person in the class (by one year)...and the only Caucasian. It's been this way for the two years I've been here. My classmates don't treat ME any differently either. We are sharing this chapter in our lives together. I know I will be a better person for it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I have an amazing talent. I can manifest just about everything I want...except actual hard cash! For example, I can walk into a casino with a friend and that friend picks a slot machine, puts in a twenty dollar bill, hits a few buttons and wham, wins $200! Not me! Slot machines actually break when I sit down in front of them! I have never won more than $76 in a casino and that was miracle. I only go to the casino about three times a year and that's plenty! I can't seem to pick lottery numbers either! But today, as my luck would have it, I thought about the perfect paper tablecloth I wanted for the party I am throwing and it just magically appeared!              
                                                            SLOT MACHINE TIPS!

I'm a really picky party-thrower! I like everything to be "matchy-matchy"! I walked into Party City hoping to find things to decorate with  that I could afford! I didn't want some dumb junky plastic tablecloth, I wanted high class PAPER! I can't understand what made me walk down this remote aisle and look on a bottom shelf, but there it was! My dream paper tablecloth! For UNDER FIVE BUCKS!  I even had to double check the price because nothing at Party City is ever very cheap! Even PENNY CANDY is like, FIVE CENTS! But today was my lucky day! I found everything I needed...and it didn't break the bank! So I was really happy! With the perfect table cloth, I could easily decorate the whole party around it! I am really excited! Everything is going to look just wonderful!

I love things to coordinate! Matchy! Matchy!

Okay! Imagine this with only two long tables and no tent!
All I really had to do was just mindlessly wish for a paper tablecloth. I emphasize MINDLESSLY! In a split second I wanted that tablecloth more than anything in the world. It was pure and focused! Money, on the other hand, is more of an effort to conjure up! I just have to try and relax and maybe money will come my way as effortlessly as party decorations do! Or maybe I should get a part-time job!

                                   FABULOUS WHOLESALE CLASSY PARTY STUFF!

Come to me my pretties!

Monday, January 23, 2012

ANOTHER DAY IN BLOGVILLE!...Spillin' the beans!

Hmmm. There is the possibility that I am not as exciting as I thought I was!
There is the possibility that I am exciting, but not much can happen when you don't leave the house!
Of course, there is the possibility that something exciting could happen inside the house, but that would require me maybe falling down the basement stairs.
I haven't fallen down a flight of stairs lately!

I spent most of the rest of the day tracking down how to throw a cool and cheap 30th Anniversary Party (which is NOT a surprise anymore since one of the Guests of Honor reads my blog)! So, today I called one of  my BFF's and pumped her for all the information I could get on baking and decorating mini cupcakes. She is an excellent cook and baker and she owns every gadget in the world for cooking and baking. Williams and Sonoma used to be HER best friends! I am borrowing her mini cupcake tins, she had a brand new unopened package of gold foil mini cupcake papers. She has a THREE tiered cupcake tray and a pastry bag and squeezy things for the frosting! I'll make some boozy champagne punch and non-alcoholic punch, make some snacky stuff, and get some cute decorations too!

The party is Friday and it's going to be great! If I had more money I would throw a big tadoo...but my tadoo will just LOOK big because afterall, I am savvy!

                                             30th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY GIFT IDEAS!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

THE OLD FOLKS KNOW HOW TO PARTY DOWN...ain't no stopping us now!

The wonderful people at Showcase Collectibes!

I spent the weekend hanging out with people my OWN age for change...and what a great time was had by all! Older adults really know how to cut loose! We don't have to be home by any certain time, we can eat and drink as much as we want to, we don't get blamed for bad behavior because we can always play the "I'm old" card, and we can sing off key along with Tammy Wynette, and the louder the better! I had so much fun that I want to do it all over again! And soon!

Carl Lundgren and another famous poster artist, Mark Dancy.
 My husband and I were obligated to be at a speaking engagement for the last several days, Thursday through today, Sunday, and I was pretty much dreading every second of it! It was yet another art show, but this time a movie was involved. Between the lecture and the movie, we had to knock off about two hours each night and find something to do.We even had a snow storm to break up the monotony, but it was still a very long evening. And although the event turn out wasn't as big as we would have liked, the people who did show up were gracious and just happy to be there! With us!

Jack and Melissa Bodnar came to the show in a BLIZZARD! Love them!

Carl points out the art to our friend, Thomas Lubinski.
I took the opportunity to take advantage of devouring as much of the free all-you-can-eat  drowning in butter flavored oil substance...popcorn! Yum! Because it was also an art exhibit, we were offered all the cheese and delicious cookies and brownies you could eat as well! My New Year's resolutions never included eating healthy! But the best part of the event was the special open house party the great antique and collectible store across the street from our event held just for us, and all the patrons of the movie lecture were invited there too! What a hoot!

Really groovy "old" dude!  It just gets better with age!
Becky Tyner and Laura Grimshaw enjoy the food and wine!

The owners of the Showcase Collectible Shop have been in our neighborhood for years and they are just amazing! They have about 11 dogs that they take care of, plus chickens, flowers and more! Really fun guys with millions of friends who just love to live life to the fullest! The store had put out a great pot luck spread and there was so much wine, beer and other beverages, that I didn't even want to go home at all. Me! Who didn't want to go out in the first place!

One (or two) of the big dogs!

This, believe it or not, is a Standard Poodle face!
The best part of all of this is that after the lecture event, they had all this left-over really nice cheese that we got to take home! I'll be snacking for days to come!

This is my WHOLE cheese collection today...that nice
plastic bag in the back center is the NEW cheese!

So, my point it, even a bad attitude can't stop me from having a good time. I am going to try to resolve my negative habits and just always think that everything will be fine! (Easier said than done!) I really do love you all and thanks for such a great evening!


Friday, January 20, 2012


I wandered out a little while ago to take a walk on my block to look at the first real snowfall of the year. I took this amazing photograph. The house in the picture is the remains of the old SCOTT MANSION. What a splendid place this must have been. What grandeur. Located only about one-half a block from our Victorian house, The Scott Mansion...and it really was called that, is a testement to days gone by. Shrouded in a gauzey white blanket, oh what memories it brings back of the great city that once stood here...

Snow. Pure Michigan.

                                   LINK TO STORY ABOUT THE OLD SCOTT MANSION!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HEY! THEY CAN'T ALL BE LIKE "GONE WITH THE WIND"...Or, it's late and I have nothing to say tonight!

Being that I just started back to class after a six week hiatus, I am trying to get my physical schedule on track. I am in class four days a week, three late afternoons and one evening. Not a bad schedule at all! It still takes some time getting adjusted to it! So far so good. I already have a lot of reading to do plus a few writing assignments, so I need to get myself back in the swing of things! My blog today is short but sweet. Oh all right, it's just short!

If anyone out there has actually read this blog tonight, please feel free to comment or leave a "check mark" in one of the little boxes!

PS. Modern Family stunk tonight. Wasn't funny at all!

Night night!

A typical night in our haunted mansion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DIGGING INTO THE VAULT...Of past careers that can help you today!

Even though I've been going to college since August 2010, every semester is like the first day of school! You know what classes you are going to have, but everything else is going to be all brand new! What will your professors be like? Will you know anyone from your past classes? Will it be tough? Will it be easy? And most importantly...what will you wear? It's been almost 24 years since I graduated from high school and for me, not much has changed in that department! Here I am am with my textbooks and my note pads...and oh yeah, MY NEW HAIR!

A few hours before this picture was taken I was miserable and depressed because I couldn't afford to go to the hair salon! My hair was all dry like a shredded wheat, split ends like an electrical wire, and a horrible shade of pink! Who has an extra $150 right now for a color and cut...? Not me! So, I dug deep into "the vault of careers past", and pulled a magic trick out of my...hat! I was able to restore my hair color to a nice platinum blond and I am SO happy now!

I actually had managed to graduate from Mr. Arnold's Beauty School, in Dearborn, in 1969. Who didn't go to beauty school back in the 'sixties? I took my State Board exam and voila, I was a hairdresser. Mind you, it wasn't like beauty schools today. Back then if you chopped the crap out of your's or a client's hair and (accidently) dyed it green, you were KICKED OUT! But I worked in salons for a few years and learned the craft and ever since then, I've been doing my own hair...when I HAVE to! I would much rather prefer to have a professional with all the updated techniques available do my hair, but I'll resort to a do-it-yourself project when it becomes necessary. As it did today!

Just look at this beautiful head of hair now! I went to SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY  and for $13 I bought some bleach and toner! Every time you mess with your own hair you do run the risk of making an even bigger mess,  but sometimes its a risk you have to take. I was desperate and I am so glad the color worked out! I also remembered a crazy thing we used to do with our hair in the mid 1970's when we wanted to give it a trim. We bent over and brushed our hair forward and grabbed it all together and ran the scissors over the ponytail-like thing and just cut it! It worked then and it worked today! A nice, crisp, slightly layered trim! I am a very savvy gal!

So, my advice for anyone who can't afford to have something done professionally is to dig into your vault of past careers and see if you can't find something that will work for you! I'm not advising that you perform anything super dangerous, but I am sure everyone has hidden talents that they can use! Just do it...but be careful!

                                                                HOME DEPOT LINK

Monday, January 16, 2012


I am a woman of my word. If I say I am going to do something, you better believe I will DO IT! I will always keep my word. I promise you that! When it comes to graduating from my local community college with my Asssociates Degree in Mental Health, nothing will keep me from achieving that goal! I was a dope in high school and dropped out four months before my graduation. I have regretted it ever since. There is nothing I want to experience more that that feeling of accomplishment as I walk across that big auditorium stage, surrounded by family and friends, to be handed my college diploma. I will have completed my coarses and all of my efforts will be rewarded. I want to be proud of something that I did all on my own!

This my beautiful certificate is from my inductment into Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honor Society for Two Year Universities It was recently mailed to me! I am getting it nicely framed and I will be adding to it my list of academic achievements.

I will be returning to class tomorrow, after what seemed like an eternity on break! Six whole weeks with no school! I hope I remember what to do! I got all A's last semester, which was my hardest semester yet...5 classses, 15 credit hours including Biology and a lab! I now have 35 credit hours and I am over half-way to the end! If I can do this YOU can to! Remember: Any person sixty years-old or above can get FREE tuition at Wayne County Community College District, as long as you are a resident of Wayne County. I'll bet they offer the same incentives in Macomb and Oakland Counties as well. FREE TUITION! What is stopping you now?

Getting old doesn't mean getting dumb! Infact, senior citizens now have the time and wherewithal to do more than ever. Staying active and keeping our brains working is about the only thing we can do for ourselves that isn't going to hurt us! I hope I can inspire someof you to take that first step towards maybe making one of YOUR dreams come true! I sure am glad I did!

This will be me in 18 months! Phi Theta Kappa scarf, gold cords and tassle and more!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

TOO TIRED TO BLOG...Just got home from working all day...nothing eventful to report anyway!

I am happy to report that I stayed completely out of trouble for two whole days! Is this a portend of things to come? Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day and then Tuesday, I go back to class! Finally! It's been a SIX WEEK break!

Anyway, we left The Rustbelt Market at around 7 PM, did a little grocery shopping, and walked in the door at 8:40! I caught the last twenty minutes of Once Upon A Time and now, I am going to settle in to watch one of the last episodes of Desperate Housewives!

Nothing much to report for a change, and that's a good thing!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

SATURDAY NIGHT...Just got back from a day at The Rustbelt Market.

Carl's "POP-UP ART SHOP" at The Rustbelt! He's so cool!
Sometimes we eventually have  to work! If we're lucky! Today, we were lucky. And we were amongst friends and family! We were lucky enough to be able to secure a space at THE RUSTBELT MARKET, a wonderful, huge artisan marketplace. Located in Ferndale, Michigan, The Rustbelt opened less than a year ago to great accolades. As a speciality marketplace, it caters to some of best creative types in the metro Detroit area. Vintage clothing, hand-made clothing and other crafts. Posters, prints, photography and original art. The talent featured here is amazing. 

Our daughter, Cara, and her permanent set up at The Rustbelt!

Fresh ground coffee.  Award-winning pies and other baked goods plus live music throughout the day. The total experience. Plus, Chris and Tiffany Best, The Rustbelt's founders and the drive behind it, have made the former Old Navy store into a piece of art in itself! Chris and Tiffany have spared no expense in the amazing decorations that cover almost every square inch of the almost 10,000 plus sq. feet, (that isn't already occupied by OTHER masterpieces of originality)!

This fabulous wall decor is made from brown KRAFT PAPER by Tiffany Best!

Detroit Tee Shirt Wagon!

Organic hand-made light fixture by Kyle Keener!


If you haven't already visited The Rustbelt at the NW corner of Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, you don't know what you have been missing! The Rustbelt is only open on Saturday and Sunday from 11-7, and some Fridays for special occassions. It's a great way to be entertained on a cold, snowly Michigan day!

Michele is center stage as the folk type singers, "Partley Brothers", perform!

The Rustbelt "hipsters"!

Friday, January 13, 2012


The above blog was posted on a friend of mine's Facebook page this morning. The woman in the blog who died from the heart attack is a friend to all in the science fiction and fantasy writing community, of which Carl and I were a part of for many years. I was blessed to have been able to read this story and now I am blessed to be sharing this story with you.

It's was a long day for me after a long night. I was up all day yesterday with pains in my stomach and lower intestines. I had been taking Vicodin for five days because of the injury resulting from my slip and fall. I hear Vicodin doesn't usually react well with most people. Now I know I am one of them! It doesn't help much that I have IBS! I quit the Vicodin yesterday and the withdrawal was worth it. I felt much better today. The aggravated coccyx injury doesn't hurt as much either. However, for most of the day, yesterday, I thought I might be having some sort of an attack! I went to bed last night thinking it was my last! I didn't go the emergency room at the time, but I would have had I felt the need to. I tend to over react. But I would have gone despite not having any health insurance. Nothing would have prevented me from seeking medical care. I went to the emergency room when I broke my arm, and I got three free months of visits with a specialist.They kept billing me and I kept letting the bills pile up. It was me or them. I had a friend who had a family member who was a physical therapist! She gave me an hour worth of FREE advice and a rubber stretchy thingy and a beautiful printed brochure of exercises!  I am so lucky to be loved! Everybody wants to help! I went to the emergency room when I got the hives! Thank God for the ER! I went to a walk-in clinic when I got sick with an ear infection and while I was there, I had them check me for EVERYTHING! It cost me $120 including my flu shot! People tend to think that if they are sick, they should be able to make a doctor appointment! HA! You'll be lucky if you can see a doctor in six weeks! If my health insurance was FREE, as the Obama administration says its going to be, I'd go to the doctor every day! Seriously! The new "free health care" will assure us that we will have millions of doctors working for peanuts that will be at millions of sick people's beck and call! But it is not free, so we tend to neglect ourselves. I'll tell you what makes me sick, people who blame our health care system for their own stupidity.

Do not, under any circumstances, deny yourselves medical attention if you feel you need it. Just because you don't have the luxury of medical insurance is no reason for you to suffer and die! Don't be embarrassed to march yourself into an emergency room and demand attention...that's what they are there for! Pick up the phone and dial 911! Call someone! We can never be too proud to live. If you feel you need to see a doctor and you can't afford it, please check out low cost medical centers. Please tell all the other physicians that you are self-pay and they will give you a reduced fee. Please don't feel bad if you can't pay them right away...or ever. Hospitals bill the people who DO have insurance 100 times what it really costs them to treat them as patients, so they make up for your losses on them! I know that isn't fair, but you got to do what you got to do.

We love you! YES, YOU! We want you here with us for a long, long time! If you ever feel that you need medical attention, do not hesitate to ask any one of your friends to help you. Women today are in greater need of social support than ever before. Someone will know something and they will always come forward to lend you the hand that you need. If this poor woman, Melissa, had not worried so much about what she owed in medical bills, she would be here with her friends today. If her friends had even an inkling just how seriously ill she was feeling, they may have rushed to her side. But, she was a victim of a profound tragedy. This should not have happened to her. Don't let it happen to you, or to anyone else you may love.