Monday, January 29, 2007


You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.

You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.

Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.

You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

Well I have been an entrepreneur- owning my own floral design business for 10 years. And quite successfully, I might add.
Journalist? Hm, does the fact that I just offered to write a monthly article for a small local magazine count? I'm still laughing about this one. But, It will be fun, creative, challenging and hopefully I will be inspired. Thank God I have a good friend who is an English teacher and will correct all of my grammatical errors.
Politician? Never, I don't even vote. No judgements please- I just can never make up my mind. They All seem to have good ideas. Better bone up on my perception in that case.
Colorful language? Yes, definitely- I can curse like a sailor. Just ask my kids.

I don't really know how accurate these tests are. But, the one's I've posted seem to be pretty close to how I think I am (most of the time).

Saturday, January 27, 2007


THE BLUE WATER OF OUR POOL IN COSTA RICA-during my bluest moments on our last trip this was my respite and solace.

Your Aura is Blue

Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.
You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.

The purpose of your life: showing love to other people

Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah

Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

With the Dali Lama also being a blue I am in very good company indeed.

Your Life Path Number is 5

Your purpose in life is to life freely and collect experiences.

You love life - new adventures, new people, new ideas.

You are very curious, and you crave novelty in all forms.

You tend to make friends easily, and you enjoy the company of all types of people.

In love, you are fun and even a bit intoxicating. But you won't stick around for long.

You are impulsive and spontaneous - which sometimes leads you to do things you regret.

Sometimes you can be overindulgent with food, sex, or drugs.

You have many talents, so many that you are often scattered and unfocused.

Much of this is definitely right on.
Scattered and unfocused is definitely an understatement. There is so much running around in my head that I end up not doing any of it. Often I do have to tell myself (out loud) to simply focus.Otherwise nothing would get done.

I do not agree that I don't stick around too long in relationships.And if a relationship does end I desire the friendship to remain.
The fun and intoxicating part I do want to believe, however.

Impulsive and spontaneous- yes, unfortunately. I sometimes jump right into a situation without thinking it through clearly. I'll deal with the consequences later.

Living freely is a life-long goal of mine- and always has been. I do crave new experiences and can get quite bored without them.
And I like nothing more than meeting new and "offbeat" people.


Blue floats and hovers
it never comes to rest
its scent is distant bonfires
its touch moth-breath

Blue is man-child
with spiritual eyes
a stranger in a room
who isn't one
soft down on upper lip
felt without touch

it is dreaming at night
of what is not and cannot be
it is gauze-vision

it is a shaky signature
on a typewritten page
seen through mist

Blue is pain that is borne alone

it is quena music
bone-notes quavering over absent flesh
in death worship

yawns are for want of blue
and partially for having it

Blue is pigeons
and siamese cats
and snow shadows
it is for ever

it is ten billion spindles
weaving blue fabric endlessly

it is the certain

Philippa Lane


This week's theme is SILVER

This is a shot of the Kidney Bean in Millenium Park in Chicago. I was standing under the bean shooting up. I thought the reflection and distortion was a great element in this photo.

Did you play?

Monday, January 22, 2007


love and the snow

Snow falling…..

Love abounding…..




But where?




Silent flutes play

Whispering winds blow

But the snow, is still falling…..

cedar wind

Our first snowfall of the season. A dusting really, but beautiful just the same

Saturday, January 20, 2007


This weeks' theme is "WILD"

I can think of nothing wilder than Mother Earth.

This is an aerial shot of Mt. Kilauea- Big Island, Hawaii. The plumes of white smoke are the result of the hot, molten lava flowing into the ocean. This truly shows the power that our planet is capable of.

Did you play?

Monday, January 15, 2007


Our last trip to Hawaii proved to be the most beautiful, spiritual journey that I have ever recalled having. The two weeks were spent on the Big Island- A place where I feel my spirits and soul soar whenever there. It truly must be the Paradise of legends.

I must first say that ever since I was a child I have been inexplicably drawn to anything having to do with whales and dolphins. Yet, it wasn't until I was a grown adult that I have had the pleasure of seeing them in the wild. At home on their seas.
Recalling my first whale-watching trip off the San Juan Islands in Washington State, I know that even though the whole trip was a wonderful journey the sight of the killer whale pod was, for me, the most memorable experience. To see these beautiful creatures playing in the deep blue water around the boat was breathtaking, and worth the several hour boat trip to find them.
My second experience was a trip taken in Maui, Hawaii. Here we traveled into the pristine waters of the far Pacific to watch several humpback whales at play. Taking sight of the first spray and then the massive tail flipping back into the water made me gasp in awe at their sheer size. Watching as they glided hundreds of feet below our boat and exclaiming at the enormity of these creatures even at that deep distance. The water turning an iridescent blue whenever their huge bodies appeared below the boat. Unbelievable.

Two weeks was spent on the Big Island of Hawaii. The natural beauty of that place will forever be imbedded in my memory- The sight of Kilauea as the molten lava glugs into the ocean, creating more land of dark, rich earth-The deep, green beauty of the rainforests hiding their abundance of prehistoric flora- Hiking off of the beaten path to reach ever running waterfalls-the intensely colored rainbows after one of their legendary rainfalls. Everyday the beauty of this place surrounded us. And it was noticed, appreciated and loved.
We headed out one day to grab a couple of kayaks to paddle across the bay to the Captain Cook memorial. We understood the snorkeling there to be magnificent. This was also the home to spinner dolphins. We were told that if you headed out in the morning you would most certainly be accompanied by these sociable and joyful creatures as we made our way across. Sadly, however, we saw not one. Yes, I was a bit disappointed but once in the water with fins and face mask that was forgotten.
It seemed that the best I could do was to watch the tamed dolphins at the Hilton in Kona. There a program called Dolphinquest allows visitors to get into a large tank with several of these mammals. Not exactly what I was thinking of. I decided to save my money and sit back and watch the two dozen adults and children take turns petting and hugging these silver creatures. Hey, this way at least I could get a mai tai.
On our last day in Hawaii we decided to go for one last snorkel, as our flight did not leave until late afternoon. We had much to do to get ready for our trip back home but I wanted one more chance to slide into those waters (who knew when we could make it back here).
We drove the short distance down to our favorite snorkel spot. Here the water is edged with a shelf of an old lava flow. The most beautiful and colorful tropical fish are at your feet almost before you even leave land. Once in the water I began to swim out to a reef where dozens of large green sea turtles could always be found lazily bobbing and swimming around. As I made my way underwater I heard a very strange, yet somehow familiar, chatter. Dolphins! Somewhere, sharing this deep blue with me were these amazing creatures I had so wanted to see. Popping my head above the water, I looked around to see if I could see anything. And, there they were. Straight ahead, driving right towards me I saw two fins. Quickly, so as not to miss anything, I dove back underneath the surface to look for them below. And there they were. Two of these most beautiful, romantic creatures were playing underneath of me. I was transfixed. I simply stopped moving. It was as if I had become part of the water. Floating right at the surface, looking straight down, hardly breathing, just watching. They swam in spirals just below where I floated-their large, slick bodies spinning around one another. Diving and twirling, doubling back to each other as they continued their upward spiral. Breathtaking. I continued to watch and listen to their clicking, whistling and chattering until they were no longer in sight. A calming, gentle feeling of well-being came over me as I watched this exhibit of sheer joyful play. I was moved, somehow changed by this enchanting experience.
Was it simply the experience of interacting with such wild beings on their home turf, so to speak? Or was it something else? I think it was something else. It was magical.

I found the following passages. I thought it appropriate to include them here.

At this time, around the world, there are Dolphins reaching out to connect with Humans, actively seeking an intelligent relationship, above all to PLAY, to re-kindle a relationship lost as Humans lost touch with their deepest essence.

The Dolphins have, throughout history, had the infectious effect on all Humans of bringing them hopelessly into such a heightened state of beingness & such deep healing of pathological states, that people travel accross the world to have an intimate experience with them, in the wild.

Fortunately I did not have to specifically travel across the world to have this experience. It was a gift.

To think, I almost did not go down to the ocean that morning. But fate had a different plan for me that day.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Popped in to visit an old friend today. I thought I had been stood up by another friend for our lunch date.( Turns out she just had a flat tire). So, after a 45 minute wait I decided to head over to an old friend's office and surprise him. Now, it's been at least 4 years since I've seen him. We had made various attempts over the years to get together for lunch and to catch up, but to no avail.
I wasn't even sure that he wanted to see me. He has a new business and interrupting his day might not be a good idea. I was soon to be proven wrong, however.
We spent a few minutes catching up- his life certainly has changed. He told me how nice it was that I stopped in and that he missed our get togethers in the past. Small talk really. Warm embrace followed with him expressing once again how thankful he was that I stopped by. We promised to meet for lunch very soon.
Later, as I was lunching with my very tardy friend a phone message was left on my cell. It was James, my long-lost friend. The sweetest, most heartfelt message followed. Turns out he has had a very rough few months. His personal life is in transition (shall we say) and his business has suffered a few ups and downs- all of which causes him worry. He continued to express how happy he was for my visit and that seeing me made all of his troubles completely melt away, as if nothing else mattered .
As he put it - the Spirits sent me to him today for a reason.

James is Native American. He is very close to his heritage and has chosen to live his life by those values. He participates in the tribal dances and is very involved in the ancient traditions. The "Spirits" are the greater being that he believes in. I am taken aback that my appearance meant so much to him today. It meant as much to me.
The knowledge that even when there is a great distance between people love, appreciation and friendship still abound. Even after 4 years.

In that 4 years he produced a daughter. A beautiful daughter, blond hair, fair skin, but with his deep, deep brown eyes. When I asked her name he laughed a small laugh and told me "Juliana". My name. Now, she was not named after me, mind you. But, when thinking of names for her he came across that one and thought of me. He thinks it's a beautiful name. It is and she is. And ,in my own small egotistical way, I am honored.

We've spoken again this evening. Again, he expressing his deep appreciation for my appearance. And I expressing my gladness that he accepted my interruption of his busy day and embraced me with open arms to make me feel welcomed and loved. I needed it as much as he did.

People show up in our lives when they are needed most. The Spirits working in mysterious ways.
It makes me think of how even the smallest gesture makes a difference in someones life. The book "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" addresses this very same issue. If you have not read it you must. It is a quick read, and a moving story. It illustrates how there are people (even strangers) whom you encounter who will make a marked difference in your destiny- whether you know it or not.

So the next time a stranger smiles at you, acknowledges your presence, gives you a helping hand, makes a concession for you or makes small talk remember that he may be one of the 5 people you meet in heaven- One of the ones who will make a difference in your life.
Smile back, thank him, acknowledge his kindness, remember him. You just never know.

You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
Albert Schweitzer

Just as I posted this I received the following attachment from James.
His message read " This helps me to appreciate my daughter every moment of every day!"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I got the news yesterday that an old friend has died. She was 50 years young, only 3 years older than I. She passed away in her sleep on New Year's Eve. Such a peaceful way to go. And, you have to think when it happens that way then it truly was her time to go.

Betty Jean was a wife, a mother and grandmother. She was beautiful. Her smile and joy were infectious. As was her ever present laughter. That is how I will remember her. Always with a huge smile and rapturous mirth.

She was an alcoholic. She was a drug abuser. She has been recovering for 10 years. Did it finally get the best of her? We do not know.

We had not seen each other in years. Our acquaintance was mostly based on mutual friends way back in our later high school years and early twentys. Yes, back when the days were spent smoking pot and drinking way too much. Our escape. Did she continue to feel the need to escape even as her life became fuller, more bountiful? Possibly.

I've been thinking of my own mortality much too much lately. The cancer scare last month had gotten the best of me. Of course, it did make me enjoy every moment of this holiday with my family that much more. So, something good did come of it. I have spent more time with my 2 boys. They have been good medicine for me. Their senses of humor have carried me through and lifted my spirits when I needed it the most. Thank you, Ryan and Dale, for that.

I have even thought of how I envisioned my funeral or memorial service. (morbid, yes, I know. I can be like that at times). The thought of lying there colorless and lifeless is not appealing to me, plus, whatever would I wear? But, would it be necessary for my family? I don't know.

Yes, a memorial service is more like it. We'll have lots and lots of pictures. But, only the one's where I look fabulous, mind you. And music, lots of music. I have actually chosen things that I would like played. I suppose one day I should put them all on a c.d. so that the family knows what I want to hear. And, I want the room filled with french tulips.-cream, blush pink and salmon.
Mostly I want laughter. A few tears would be o.k. (I'm not that good with people crying around me). So, more joy than sadness would be in order. After all- I've been blessed and have lived a charmed life. What more could one ask for?

Betty Jean- this is for you baby.

When I die if you need to weep
Cry for your brother or sister
Walking the street beside you
And when you need me put your arms around anyone
And give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something
Something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I've known or loved
And if you cannot give me away
At least let me live in your eyes and not on your mind.
You can love me most by letting hands touch hands
By letting bodies touch bodies
And by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn't die, people do
So when all that's left of me is love
Give me away.

Merritt Malloy

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


As this sunny, blue day gives way to cloudy gray skies I am bringing intense sunshine into my home. I have popped in a c.d. by Ottmar Liebert. A fabulous flamenco guitarist.

It's hard to believe that he has only visited Spain once in his life, where the roots of his soulful music began.
Click on the link below to hear the beauty of his incredible finger work. Soon, you too, will feel the warmth of the Mediterranean sunlight caressing your skin, and smell the scent of luscious oranges wafting in through your window.
Sit back, listen and enjoy a few photos taken on my last trip to a most vibrant and hospitable country.

Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos-Cordoba

Uplit bridge in Rhonda

La Mesquita- Cordoba

Gaudi Architecture


Orange tree-lined street - Sevilla

Valley view from Rhonda

The Alhambra- Granada

Monday, January 08, 2007


Nestled between pages 242 and 243 of The Dalai Lama's "The Art of Happiness" lies this bookmark- Gustav Klimt's "the Kiss". One of my most favorite paintings of all time.
It is a beautiful bookmark. I bought it at the Neu Gallery in NYC. I went in October of this past fall to see an exhibit of Klimt's work. This painting was not there; However, This bookmark was.

I love books almost as much as I love art. How lovely to have both at the same time.

At times, when I stop and ponder what I've read, I will simply pick this up, run the edges of the stiff card stock through my fingers and meditate on the beautiful, brightness of the lovers cloak.

It's a very sensual image, a romantic image.Her face the picture of resigned serenity, as a kiss is planted softly, yet determinedly, on her cheek.

Although this image was not on exhibit several others of the same style were. All painted during his "Golden Age".

"Whoever wants to know something about me, must observe my paintings carefully and try to see in them WHO I AM.
Gustav Klimt


How much suffering can one person take? Let me rephrase that- How much suffering will one person choose to take?
Now, I'm not talking of myself mind you. I have not been truly suffering lately. Just wallowing in self-pity (pretty pathetic, really).

No, I am talking about why one would choose to live an unbearably difficult life with another person who is bent on self-destruction. Does he feel that he deserves such a difficult existence? Is this a penance for something done in a previous life? I find this hard to believe. I don't think he possibly ever could have done anything to deserve what he has been dealt.
I do understand that the vows- for better or worse- are important. However, how much abuse and disrespect should he have to put up with? Doesn't he deserve to be with someone who will think of his needs, for once? Not to mention the needs of their offspring? Doesn't he feel he is worth more than that? He is worth more than that. I know.

I understand that often through extreme suffering goodness can arise.Take the example of pre-renaissance Italy. According to Graham Greene (in his book The Third Man) "In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed- but they produced Michelangelo. Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Renaissance."
If one is able to find meaning and strength through their pain and suffering then, in the long run, it will have been a positive, learning experience. After all, each new experience in life teaches us, enriches us, helps us to grow into the humans we are destined to be.

But, why choose to continue when something can be done? Isn't our desire for happiness and survival enough to make a positive step towards change? Shouldn't the need to protect one's child take precedence over the feeling of responsibility for a grown adult- One who chooses not to get well, one who chooses not to accept responsibility for the life that she has created for herself, or for her negative actions?

His Holiness - The Dalai Lama- believes that to develop empathy and compassion towards others we need to step into their shoes, see things through their eyes, feel the intensity and seriousness of their suffering. Only then can we understand their pain and only then can we become compassionate towards them.
I have tried to do this. I have tried to help take some of that suffering and make it my own. At least, make it more bearable by my being there, for him. I have developed extreme compassion towards his situation. His suffering became my suffering. To this day I feel his pain.
Maybe he is also doing that with his wife. Feeling her pain at the burden of this demon she is struggling with. Her pain becoming his pain. He is shouldering her suffering.It is more a part of him than of her.
But at what cost? The loss of a fulfilling and joyous existence, I'm afraid. Only he can make this change. Only he can decide that the happiness and health of the rest of his family is more important than that of one person who chooses to stay ill.

My wish, at the very least, is that in the long run he becomes a stronger man and chooses to live the life that he has imagined.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Helen Keller

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Forever under the moon, My tormented heart would beat glad.Under the full blazing moon I'd never again be sad.
Lamont Haywood

I took this shot of the full moon the other morning at 4 am. Taken with my new telephoto lens. Used the night setting on my camera as well.
I love the webby effect the branches present against the brightness of the light.

Moon Glow

The darkest night, flows with a
wind hush through open blackness.

Ya'ever see the moon glow?
Ya' ever hear the wind whisper?

Rivulets spill with water
across the mountain plains;
as liquid rolls down along the steep slope-

ya'ever see the moon glow?
Ya' ever hear the wind whisper?

Stars glitter through sparkles of the darkest night.
Wind cold breeze swifts;
swiftly into space.
Laughter engulfs the moon light.

Ya' ever see the moon glow?
Ya' ever hear the wind whisper?

Moon light angles corners,
as sweet melodies swell into air,
of silence.

You ever sight the bird dance,
as shadow flicker upon the moon?

Ya' ever see the moon glow?
Ya' ever hear the wind whisper?
Celine Berghmans

Friday, January 05, 2007


What is a soul mate? All of my life I have assumed it was someone that you would love so much that you couldn't live without them. By love, I meant romantic love. But is that what it truly has to be-Romantic love? Now, I know the answer is NO.

A very dear friend posted the following, for me, on his New Year's Day blog.

"To Giuliana, your love for me is immeasurable and mine for you, you are my soul mate, what you told me at lunch proved that, the place in my heart will always remain a shelter for you, you too I will always love."

Everyone should have such friends. No romance here- just pure, unadulterated, hearfelt love and friendship. The feeling is mutual. This friendship is the balm I am needing to get through these days. Who really needs romance when you have a friend like this?

Following are some theories about the term soulmate.

Twin soulmates – Very close friends with whom one has strong bonds.

Balance Partners and Messengers – The people you meet along the way who help you create balance in your life.

New Age concept of soulmate
There is a prevalent concept in some segments of the New Age movement that some souls are literally made and/or fated to be the mates of each other, or to play certain other important roles in each others' lives. These souls are thought to have created something in a past life and they have chosen this lifetime to help each other "heal."

He is here to help me heal. Thank God for you, C. A most important role in my life you do play. Listening when I need to just talk- Comforting, when I need to be comforted- Making me laugh when I need to laugh- Lightening my heart when it is too heavy.
We were drawn together almost instantly. Seeing something in each other that we each needed. A deep connection made, unexplainable.

No judgements, ever. Opinions, only when I need to hear them. Inspiration, when my creativity ebbs.

A truer friend no one has ever had.

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
Jane Austen

Thursday, January 04, 2007


As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin. ~anonymous~

I received this, above, from a dear friend today. This passage hit hard at this particular time in my life.
It's as if some of the sentences were written just for me.
However, I do realize that we all - humanity- go through the same things at some time in our lives. If we didn't,then have we really lived? Experienced all that life has to offer- good and bad.
I once told someone very dear to me that with pleasure comes pain- the yin and yang of life. Without the pain would the pleasure be as sweet? I think not.

I think the key may be to experience the pain without allowing it to paralyze us. Feel it, mourn, become stronger, learn from it, move on. Hopefully, in time, the painful memories may give way to the joyful ones- Receding into the background to allow the brighter, more loving, and happier memories to take center stage.
In the past I have been able to do this. I will do it again. I am doing it again.

My heart is still open. It will never stay closed for long.

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


As a beautiful new day begins I start to question my fears.
I have been told that I seem to be exceptionally more fearless than many women my age. Willing to take on new challenges (often where work is concerned), and seek new roads to travel down.

I truly believe that nothing ventured is nothing gained. Often jumping in, sometimes without thinking, to experience something (or someone) new. Is that so bad?
I don't usually think so.

Why live in a rut- experiencing the same old, same old? I get way too bored living my life so quietly. I have always been this way. Well, at least since my teen years. I could not (or would not) sit still. It caused me moments of distress at times. Feeling that I could be doing, or experiencing, something bigger than myself, my friends, my surroundings. And often not being allowed to act on my desires for fear of disappointing. Disappointing my parents, my friends, my employers, and now, my spouse.

But will I get to the end of my life and wish I had acted more? Not worried so much about
what others close to me may think. I think I am beyond the age of worrying about what my parents would think. Cue the Italian, Catholic school guilt here.

Should I truly be concerned with what my spouse thinks? Yes- probably. But at what cost? Regretting the roads not traveled down. The countries not seen. The photos not taken. The art not created. The relationships not forged?
Would I still be loved if I abandoned the expectations that others seem to have of me? Wouldn't I be a more "loveable" person if I were free to live the life I've imagined. I would be happier thus allowing me to make others happier. OR am I kidding myself?

My biggest FEAR is disappointing. Disappointing myself as well as others. Fear of failure also looms large. Fear of failing at important relationships (two,lately, to be exact). Will these fears paralyze me into becoming too distant next time. Fear of getting close. Fear of failing at a new endeavor? Thus, not even trying.

I don't believe I want to live my life this way. I want to be free to experience everything there is to experience. Stretch my wings and aim high.
Try something new, make some mistakes, but learn from them.

I want to live an authentic and full life.

Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully.
Frances Moore Lappe

Take a moment and check out the link below. Stay, watch and enjoy.