Odds and Ends

Since I just wanted to share things, but didn’t have a specific topic in mind today I looked up synonyms for smorgasbord. Low and behold, there was “odds and ends,”  right along with accumulation, potpourri, and mishmash.
Odds & Ends was the name of the first salon where I worked in New York, in 1976. Here it is almost 40 years later.

DrewAnthonySmith, AAS

DrewAnthonySmith, AAS

1)  It is raining again as I write, and it makes me think of Tina Turner’s song, “I can’t stand the rain against my window.”
As most of you know, Texas has been hard hit by rain, floods, and tornadoes. It’s been a year for freakish weather down here.
Our drought ended…and we joked that it would take a flood to break it…but never imagined widespread losses of this magnitude. Shoal Creek flooded downtown Austin again, a reminder of the 1981 Memorial Day flood, and  Wimberley and Blanco – sweet little riverfront towns nearby – suffered terribly. Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by these events.

2)  As if I haven’t had enough change lately, here’s a great idea from Anna Bjurstam, VP of Six Senses Spa:
“Do the opposite of your normal routine. Research shows that breaking a habit is incredibly healthy. It doesn’t need to be a life-changing habit, just a small one like trying something new to eat or taking a different road to the store. The result of a group of people who introduced a new habit every day for three months was that they became happier and less stressed, and even lost weight!”

3)  If you don’t know who she is, you should: Danielle LaPorte is a bestselling Canadian author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and all-around kick-ass Goddess. Her “sermons on life, love, consciousness, and desire,” have been super-inspirational to me. She just developed The #Truthbomb App for IOS and ANDROID. It is everything I hoped it would be, and I am sure you will love it. Go here:  www.daniellelaporte.com

Empathy Cards

Empathy Cards

4)  Pure Genius –  So glad someone finally thought of this: Emily McDowell has a line of Empathy Cards for serious illness. Most of us struggle to find the right words when a friend has cancer, or chronic illness, or mental illness. Sometimes, since we don’t know what to say or how to say it, we don’t say anything at all…which can leave a friend or loved one feeling alone. Her cards are beautiful. Visit her website here:  www.emilymcdowell.com

5)  I just found out today that all Yoga Yoga Studios give a 20%  discount to students who are 60 or older when they buy a class card. Just one more benefit of exercising – you can save money doing it!

Thank you all for reading, I am truly grateful!
XO Donna


P.S. – I am not reimbursed in any way for directing you to these websites.  I wish!



Chase the Feeling

imageSomething has to be pretty special to get me out of bed early on a Sunday morning, especially when it’s cold! But, I was promised a bunch of 2014 Corvettes at a car club meet at The Oasis…so, I was up and dressed in a flash!

I love sexy cars – Aston Martins (think James Bond), Jaguars, Ferraris, Audi R8s, Porsches, too. And as much as I love these sensual beauties, I also delight in the old American muscle cars.  The 2014 Corvette is the ultimate marriage of the two,  in my mind! I strolled around snapping photos, admiring the cars, and struck up a conversation with a gentleman named Tom. The next thing I knew I was sitting in his car, engine idling, picturing myself racing through the countryside!  The dynamic lines, the powerful engine, the exquisite fit of the seat felt invigorating!

I’ve been focused on feelings lately. I follow Danielle LaPorte, not in a stalker kind of way, in a fan kind of way (wait…isn’t fan derived from “fanatic”?)  She’s a soul-sister/writer/speaker who offers weekly “Truth Bombs” and posts ways to help you get what you desire. She’s edgy, she’s here: http://www.daniellelaporte.com

I bought her new book, The Desire Map, as a gift for myself.  The book connects everything I have been learning for the last 30 years!  And, to get the most from it, I have joined a book club here in town to work our way toward our desires, together!  (More of these groups are going on simultaneously all over the world, and it’s become the largest book club ever!)

While the book is about achieving goals, the essence of the book, is about FEELING GOOD.

Which brings me to this: We are 2 weeks into the New Year, and statistics say that by now, most people have given up on their resolutions. Have you? Don’t despair – I have a solution!  I set one or two goals each year, but this year, rather than focus on the goal, I am focusing on the FEELINGS I want these goals to give me!

My first goal is to finish my book, “Sick and Tired…and Sexy,” by the end of February!  When I think about the feelings I will get from doing this…the primary one is “ACCOMPLISHED.”  I have started writing many, many things; I have folders full of unfinished fiction, short stories, and children’s picture books. When I finish this one, what else might I feel?  Powerful?  Prolific?

How can you use this? Let’s say you want to shed a few pounds, (most folks #1 goal) think about how will you feel when you do.  What would best describe the feeling for you:  Alive?  Vibrant? Luscious?  Awakened?  Next, think about your desired feeling as you go through your day making choices…will this choice give me that feeling?

Maybe your goal is to reclaim a cluttered room and turn it into your  image beautiful new office. Rather than having the goal be to just “fix-up junk room,” focus on how you want to FEEL each time you walk into your new office?  Peaceful? Centered?  Prosperous?

Now, with every page that I complete, I feel accomplished. I stay focused on that feeling…and I know it will be even more delicious when I hold the book in my hands!  No matter what happens after that, I will feel accomplished every day. I can see the finish line ahead, and I know just how I want to feel as I race across it!

XO Donna

…next to godliness

Some days when I sit down, I’m not sure what I am going to write, but I show up and I am always inspired, divinely or otherwise…

Today, inspiration struck as I was reading Daniell LaPorte’s blog. Don’t know her?  She’s a Fire Starter!  Check her out here: www.daniellelaporte.com.  In a list she posted, this one caught my eye, “For me, clutter-free living is up there with rainbows, front-row seats, and answered prayers.”  She took the words right out of my mouth!  

My father was an interior designer, and as such he valued order, functionality and sensuality. I am his daughter. My mother had been raised, very frugally, on a farm. She always said,  “It doesn’t cost anything but a bar of soap to be clean.”  Well, that, and a little elbow grease!  I am my mother’s daughter, too.  Unfortunately, they both judged people who didn’t share their ideas. The idea they conveyed to us children, was that slovenly people were bad. Sofa...so good! 004

“All places where women are excluded tend toward barbarism: but the moment she is introduced, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety and order. “    Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet hadn’t met any of my girlfriends from when I first lived alone;  they loved a great party just as much as the next barbarian!

And this created cognitive dissonance for me – I loved these friends. They were well-educated, philosophical, generous, intelligent people. And, a few were slobs. I had been taught that this was bad…but, they weren’t bad!  It finally occured to me that my parents were out-and-out WRONG!

Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.”  P.J. O’Rourke

Maybe that’s why I’ve become even neater as time has gone by…I’ve missed my chance at sainthood!   Our contractor was just here doing a spot-check since we are having work done (…more work done) on our house in order to finally sell it…and as he left he complimented us on how clean the house was. (Mostly we give him credit for all of the beautiful work that makes the place such a retreat!)   Standing 6′ 6″ tall, he even noticed that the top of the fridge was clean, and commented on it.  He’s a real straight-shooter that way!  I knew that someday, somehow, for some reason, cleaning the top of the refrigerator (where I can’t see) would pay off!  

My late mother-in-law, whom I loved dearly, had a sign in her kitchen that read, “This house is clean enough to be healthy, and messy enough to be happy!”   And that’s the bottom line…do whatever makes you happy.  Happiness is always sexy!


One step forward…

Framed bathroom…and two steps back.  My closet still looks like a bomb went off in it.  However, our bathroom is finished, and beautiful!  So sexy-assed beautiful that I keep walking in and admiring it. Feeling the cool surface of the marble. I’ve cleared everything except the essentials off of my counters, and even created an arrangement with a Raku vase, dried roses, and a heart-shaped pottery jar in one corner. I love the counters and faucets polished, and I (almost) hate to brush my teeth in the sink because it makes a mess which I then feel compelled to clean and polish immediately.  (Oh, come on….like you don’t do this with a new toy, too??)

Am I obsessing a little? You betcha!  It’s my way of not dealing with the messy closet that was created in order to create the new bathroom. I made a half-assed attempt to wrangle it back into shape with a trip to Target for new hangers, a jewelry organizer, and some attractive storage boxes. I came home with two out of three;  but not finding  storage boxes kind of left me hanging (no pun intended!). Truth be told….I finally realized that the mess in the closet is a reflection of how I am feeling right now…but, I’m sure any of you could have told me that.   I’m confused, a little bit chaotic.  Simultaneously chomping at the bit, and yet holding back.  Those boxes of stuff, and piles of clothes,  represent parts of me that have hung on a hanger or been in a box for too long, and need to be brought out, and either “added to the rotation,” or released, let go of.  Things that are still useful, but  just aren’t useful for the ‘me’ that I am now.  I know they’ve served their purpose, yet I haven’t found the courage to let go.  Oh, yes, I’m still talking about the clothes. Maybe.

Let me tell you one thing I know about myself  –  at 61 I am still growing and evolving!  This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this upheaval, and I doubt it will be the last.  And that’s okay…it’s just uncomfortable.  (I had an image of a cocoon this morning, and the stress that occurs before the butterfly emerges!)  I’ve always gotten through it, and things have always been better than before!

I have been very lucky to have had many inspirational people in my life.  Two online presences that I rely on right now are:  #1) the always powerful, Danielle LaPorte (www.daniellelaporte.com). This woman is the definition of living large. I mean large in bold print, all caps. LARGE!  And  #2) Marie Forleo (www.marieforleo.com).  A sassyFramed tableau young woman who has a Q & A on Tuesdays that always addresses a relevant issue in a wise, and wise-cracking way!  Today’s topic:  The feeling of something missing in your life.  And having the courage to go for your dreams, take risks, and be willing to look stupid.  (Oh, that…I hate that.)

But her pearls of wisdom were exactly what I needed to hear in order to let go of the past, (make sense out of my closet...) and to be willing to “feel the fear, yet do it anyway! ”

XO Donna