Adventures With Cars – Part II

I would tell it from the beginning, but the beginning is rapidly losing itself in an ongoing saga. But, best shot here: the Beginning was when the engine light came on in my Volt. Diagnosis showed the battery was overheating. Headed to Bravo Chevy in Las Cruces where there is a resident Volt tech – a true rara avis of mechanic breed. Chevrolet Central has twice sent them the wrong battery. I believe they use short-armed men from China to row these over because it’s been just about a month, now.

That was early February. They gave me an innocuous loaner, a Malibu, which I describe a bit in my prior post. What I didn’t mention there was that the second time I drove the Malibu, headed out of town to visit a friend whose sole connection to the grid is a shared telephone line, the Malibu’s engine light came on. It was 4:45

This conversation ensued:

Me: Ray, the engine light just came on in the Malibu!

Ray: Oh no, Miss Borsello. Just stop driving it!

Me: Ray, I’m halfway up a hill heading south out of town, and…

Ray: No, no! get it to a dealer right away.

Me: Well, it’s the “stabilitrak” light that came on, with a little wrench beside it. Are you sure I can’t just keep driving?

Ray: NO, no! The car will start going 30 miles per hour because the engine light is on.

Me: We have one dealer in town – Whitehead Chevy – the ones without a Volt tech. Ok, I’ll turn around & bring it there.

Ray: give them my card, we will take care of everything, no worries.

Me: Y’know, dear, I’m not so much worried as getting a little excited about the fact that I need a reliable car right now.

So I tuned around, drove 30 mph to Whitehead & hitched a ride home. The next day, I waited until about 4 to call them. Was it THAT serious, it took all day? Was I going to have a car at all? WC said they had had an exciting day; their service manager’s last day was two days ago & they are really catching up on things…so they just forgot to call me. They would come out right away to get me. The did. The Malibu needed to have something beeped at it to turn off the light. There was nothing wrong.

I overran the Malibu’s 500 mile allowance, but the next car – the Impala – was a dream &, like all dreams, it has faded already into something expensive & pensive both. You see, they were giving me 500 miles per loaner vehicle. But most loaners go to folks living in town. They don’t have 200 miles used of that 500 allowance just getting back/forth to the dealership. I need a large reserve which is difficult since some of my jobs are 60 miles round-trip from where I live. Or 20. Plus regular back & forth here to friends. I drove like Danica getting the Impala back to the dealer before their 5:30 closure time. I had to thread in & out of legal traffic with two Texans who ignored the speed limit like it was a noncommittal fantasy…Now there are two theories that go with this risky business on my heavily-patrolled highway: One is that if both in front pass the trooper, they will scout him or her out, lights flashing, sirens playing Doppler – while I get to slow down behind. Two is that I’m the last one of the three & I get the Statie on MY tail as (s)lowest fruit hanging. But I was game. I made it to the agency at 5:18.

Ray got me over to the Hertz agency where I waited for others to finish sobbing their stories about not enough on their debit cards to rent anything. (Not a joke this, b/c there’s a $200 deposit & a car might cost $238+tax for four-five days…) The young feller finally turned to me. I handed over my license, insurance card & a $50 bill. That was my day’s pay. YF slipped the $50 right back, gazing up innocently from under his billed cap to say, “We don’t take cash here.” I handed over my debit card instead (rent due tomorrow & I have $3 over the rent in the bank, O Lord)… I refuse to worry. Spirit has my back on this, I can only hope they have my wallet as well. I noticed a sign placed high above a door, clear out of sight for most customers, that said: “You fill it, $2.39/gallon. WE fill it, $9.99/gallon.” I shuddered & took a mental picture. “Good, I thought, “everyone must fill them before bringing them back. I’ll do that, too.”

After “topping off” the Impala with $30 in gas (remember, I only earned $50), I asked him for an economy car, but not a subcompact. Most drivers in NM drive F150’s if they don’t have vans or SUV’s that scrape 15’ high road signs. I want something that will at least show if it gets tangled in their wheel wells.

Now, YF had asked me if I wanted insurance. I innocently replied, “Well what’s the coverage?” He said, “Full warranty, bumper to bumper.” I said, “That sounds like enough.” He reached again for my debit card saying, “OK, it’s only $21.99 per day.” I gripped his hand with my massage-hardened fingers & slipped the debit card from under it in a smooth movement, hissing, “Can’t you see the notches in this already? I meant what’s YOUR coverage?!” He replied, “Your insurance.” I said, “OK, good enough.”

He said, “I’ll drive it to the front of the hotel, just go out that way.” So I did.

Another gent was waiting outside while his wife arranged for their room. We talked about the wind picking up, the dark closing down, the huge full moon. When I spotted a cute little silver minnow cutting around the portico, I inadvertently murmured, “Lord, I guess they didn’t have any whole cars to give me.” The kid tossed me the keys, reluctantly came back when I asked how to open the gas cover (which has been a challenge in each & every car)… He pushed a button, flashed a grin & sped through the heavy glass doors of the building. The kind gent helped me turn the lights on (embarrassed to say I didn’t remember how to do this as I’ve had a car for three years & loaners for a month which had lights on with ignition.)

Then I adjusted the seat so my nose was a bit above the horn, turned it on (a key? Really, you use a KEY?), drove ten feet into nearest parking space & looked around in wonder at this darling miniature vehicle. I found controls for the windows and the mirrors. I guessed that the eight buttons on the steering wheel had to do with cruise & some other things. I gingerly pushed every button in the car since it was blowing heat from the third ring of the Inferno out all available ice-cream-cone-shaped vents. Maybe YF was trying to overtake the bad perfume of the last driver permeating the vehicle. Turning on the a/c slowed the engine alarmingly. I heard the hamsters under the hood exchanging cowboy boots for Keds with tiny squeals. I pushed the defroster button & two or three of them started chanting: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Fortunately, we don’t have moisture enough to need a defroster in NM, so I turned that one off as well.

I mounted Betty Lou, my faithful Garmin GPS unit on the dashboard. I realized it took up a good quarter of the available window space, so moved it lower by the gearshift. I wanted to get to Olive Garden for some salad before hitting the road – something between breakfast & home right now would be good; it was 7 p.m.

I hoped that since half the Nissan is “Missan” (I will only apologize once for the bad puns this car has induced in me, so here it is.), I’d get good mileage. It had some pep. We made it to the light for my left turn to I-10. Across the street from the intersection, a train horn was rising in volume. All traffic was stopped on red lights as the arms floated down. I watched in jaw-dropped amazement as one of those F-150’s NAILED the accelerator to the floor, making it around the corner & over the tracks as the arms struck sparks from his truck bed & the burnt rubber rose about him in a demonic shadow. I even timidly backed up a little in case anyone else wanted to perform any similar maneuvers. I counted 110 train cars & two more red lights before I got an arrow, but believe you me, I was not about to move until I got that.

I was unsurprised to find Sirius radio available & happily spun the dial looking for Classic Vinyl, Deep Tracks, Bluegrass or Classic Rewind. I hit on Tom Petty station & noted the screen wasn’t even big enough to put up all the letters. “It’s Good To Be K” said the screen, by “Tom Petty & the Hea.” Ok. Economy, I get it.

When my sneakers began to smell of burning rubber, I figured it was time to locate the heat button to turn it down. That took a couple of miles. Olive Garden was well in the rearview mirror as I just wanted to go home now. “Home, where the h” by “Simon & Garf” was playing. It made me sentimental.

Once well onto the highway, with only 60 miles of pretty empty road, I lowered my right arm onto the .. the … what? No hump there in the middle to rest my arm? I could hang it so my hand fit into the tiny cupholder (no jumbo drinks in here, Ma’am). Back to ten to two position. Just nail the sucker & go home for God’s sake.

One thing YF said that I did hear loud & clear was “Unlimited Mileage” so I took advantage of the fact to plan a drive to Socorro to my favorite market today. (Socorro is about 70 miles north.) I turned on the car and an engine light came on. (No, I am not kidding.) Fortunately, this one was simple. I drove to Whitehead & got the guys to adjust tire pressure. Then I hit I-25 & headed north, did my shopping, got some lunch & headed home. I had found a wonderful relaxation CD for 25 cents at the thrift & plugged that in, humming softly.

About 35 miles out of Socorro, where there are no towns whatsoever & no services to be had, the cute little gas pump light came on. I called Hertz. I asked the Other Young Feller on for the day if they tank up the cars when they release them. “It all depends on the car,” he hedged. I said, “At $10/gallon, you don’t take advantage & refill the cars?” “As I said, Ma’am, it depends on…” at which point I cut him off to rumble, “It depends on how much you want to weasel out of this call, you coward.”

I hung up & hung onto the wheel. Now what? I have AAA. I was not worried. I had food to eat if it took until full moonrise to get a truck to me. I was thinking of how to make room in the glove compartment for a peeler & a can opener. I read each sign avidly – T or C, 41 miles, San Marcial one mile. (San Marcial is a farm.) I found out that turning up the relaxation CD to full volume does nothing for relaxation. And then a blue sign with a gas pump on it. OMG. My angels are on overtime & I will gladly put feathers in their tanks on demand! This is the ONLY gas between T or C & Socorro & I [literally] stumbled into it.

The gas station had two pumps, just tagged for pickup by the Smithsonian (or the hoarders, whichever arrived first.) See photos below. I believe there are two burros underground hoofing a tight circle to actually pump gas into these antiques. We aren’t talking including the “M” of Modern here, just the “o dern!” But it was gas in the desert. I waited for the septuagenarian at the pump ahead of me to move her truck from dead center of the two available pumps, which she kindly did & returned to filling up her eight red gas cans. I charged into the store & paid $15. The gal said, you need to move to the other pump because the one you’re at isn’t working. Now, there are only two pumps here with three hoses each, two sides of each pump. And the dance continued. After four tries & with the help of two others, I got gas into the car.

I’m home; the groceries are stashed, the blog is written, the photos mounted. Later, I need to drop off some picked-up items to a friend. If you hear a loud boom in a bit, it’s because an engine light came on when I started it up. You might want to cover your ears.





Look Both Ways

At the two ends of my days, I still my mind & whisper inside it, “Thank You!”

The mornings sing with promise & the evenings with premise. When I have slept & awaken to the expectation of another day, I choose to have it be orderly & full of life. When I lie down to sleep, I breathe in the now-deflated activities to bestir them once more. In that minute, I can see the what & how of my day’s deeds. Usually I achieve clarity on situations which set of the railroad crossing arms, clanging internal bells, & bringing down barriers in the moments they unfold.

This is where the proverbial “shoulda/coulda/woulda/if” dragon rears to flicker its tongue inside the brain. The witty reply you should have made, the idea you could have brought forth, the best possible behavior you would have taken to settle all once & future doubt…we don’t even have to consider the “if” because you have already experienced it as you’ve mentally closed out this sentence.

A recent example of this is a fella I met who told me he felt the people he met here in T or C did not get when he was being “jocular” (his word.) My midnight consideration of this pronouncement brought up his continual smile. Do you assume someone is joking when they only smile? Is that accurate? Perhaps as accurate as his feeling we were all too serious. My midnight consideration put together many later facts that emerged: He grows marijuana & makes a living selling it. The rapid speech, the soft voice, the simple grin were probably all indications of his being under the influence. Am I wrong? I could be; but this made the most sense to me in my retrospective of the situation. I have little respect at this point of my life for dope dealers. They interfere with life.

The shadow & the light are at play right now, as in some cosmic tennis match. We are served illusion & disinformation as a matter of course. I keep hearing that I should be discerning, but I’ve lost the meaning of the word. Each time I tune into something in which to believe, an equal, opposite case is made. So, I reserve judgment, observe my perception of reality & live by my truth.

In the movie, “What The [Bleep] Do We Know”, Joe Dispenza introduces his idea of creating your day. Here’s a link to a transcript: “I Create My Day” (Joe Dispenza)

If you don’t care to read all the words, a video interview is available: Interview with Joe on topic.

Singer/songwriter Peter Mayer says, “the gift is to realize that everything is a gift.” This is neither simple nor easy to do. It takes a suspension of current events (kind of similar to what it feels to smoke marijuana), to reinvent the world into Divine Order. Or it takes simple faith. Faith can be impossible until you are no longer hungry in body, mind & spirit. Hunger in any of these inhibits that cosmic flow we are to go with.

It seems that society itself is “jumping the shark” – a phrase I had to look up today online as I was not familiar with its true meaning. It means a kind of exaggeration to the point of losing the point. As soon as I read the definition, I realized it was familiar: I used to call it “bringing in the dinosaurs.” When the story line ran out of plausible situations, dinosaurs were written in & it was time to surrender the series to rightful oblivion.

Don’t let the dinosaurs get to you. Don’t let situations become so unstable & ridiculous that you are squeezed out of your own reality. Have that faith in what you have created. Investigate the causes of your emotional switchbacks along the mountain. Observe your thoughts. Did you think these before? Are these what you surround yourself with daily? You may be living yesterday today & offering up your tomorrow to the same discomfort.

Break the routine of being yourself once in a while. It pays off…and if the new becomes more fulfilling, you’ve won big.

I try to do this though I love my comfort zone like Wimpy loved hamburgers. (Remember his line: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”?)

I highly recommend the video “Stroke of Insight” on YouTube as an example of a singular, incredible example into change.

Let’s go for the new thoughts together & re-create this old world into the reality most satisfying to ourselves, most productive for all, most protective of that which is precious & most loving in sheer gratitude for what it can be, as we make that what is.

A Blessing:

“For food in a world where many walk in hunger

For friends in a world where many walk alone

For faith in a world where many walk in fear”

And so it is.



Cast in Stone (No Rewrites)

Times are, when no one believes in me; I cease to exist. I become invisible to the naked eye, such a marathon of years mapped across my face, no one sees me clearly. Or if they do, they take in the gray-blonde sand of my hair & wander away from greeting. I’ve said it before: to go gray (as a female) is to go stealth in life.

“Another old woman; another useless eater,” I almost hear the thought. No longer fecund of body, no longer generating taxes for a ravenous System, I am a bean in the bean-counter’s world. Into the slot of disposables I go, but still being alive, I vociferously protest the disregard.  

If you’re going to dismiss me, you’ll have to put me in the red bucket, the one with the radioactive syringes, the impossibles, the distortions in the fabric. Put me with the zippers that won’t close, the dress with crooked sleeves & a pulled hem. I’ll never fit your mold.

I cannot sit with a TV remote in my hand, watching dreams in which I have no place, no time, no empowering feelings. I don’t have a favorite show anymore. My internet radio features some two dozen channels I wander among. My values are invaluable & unsettling to the crowd. Everyone looks quizzical when I announce my decisions. Many ask for explanations I cannot give, for my value system is not theirs.

Some reach out to fondly pat my hand. One accused me of having a non-working brain, which so hurt I snapped immediate walls up against her. Many friends melt into a landscape where I can walk no longer; somehow discernment has barred my path. My hours are no longer stolen from financial productivity. But I’m not like B, walking her dog seven times a day because she’s forgotten she walked the beast as he manipulatively pants by the back door. I’m not like G, who sits smoking on her porch among the refilled oxygen tanks. I’m not like R & K & C who work every day for earnings, putting dreams on a ticking blinker hold. They may never take the call, and this frightens me for them.

I’ve answered too many calls! I’ve moved too many times, I’ve worried too much about how I can do things just before I did them because the worry was so fractious to my heart. I’ve run out of money & watched as sometimes it flooded back & sometimes trickled, but there has always been enough.

I no longer expect understanding. I’m patient in the face of others’ doubts about me. No one else is walking the miles in my shoes, finding my opportunities, holding the pens I write with. Feeling lonely is redundant when I am society’s answer to becoming obsolete. I am no longer useful in the worldly ways I once was. I support no one, believe in an omniscient range of possibilities at which others roll their eyes just before launching into a list of why these are actually impossibilities.

But I’m not ossified or moribund. I’m not helpless in the face of change. If one thing does not suit, I’m on to the next with a blink & a nod to circumstance. In a world frozen in place, I bring the sun that cracks open the ice & frees the fish to swim. In a sky gray with worry & layered separations, I peek through a ray of the only light there may be that day. I ride the beam in delight & blessing.

There’s no question for me anymore about all this. I am not one to surrender & simply sink into a chair. I love to be a part of it all, but only on my own terms. If this is my definition, rewrite the damn dictionary.

My life energy is mine to spend. My coin is not of this realm & whether I am right or not about that remains to be accounted. Others can sing “My Way,” but I have a legitimate claim to the phrase, & the ability to write an explanation in fifty words or less. I don’t do shades of gray! My life is vivid with color, light, sound, fullness, creation & walking time around like a crow on my shoulder. It repeats, it requests, it demands, it prays.

What I collect cannot be pressed into books or slipped into glassine envelopes. I am who I am with an expectation of being more in every moment. So it may seem to the casual observer that I’m doing little, while I am actually rolling full steam ahead on so many levels.

Even with all this, people argue me: you have to charge for this, you shouldn’t think about that; you’ve got to love [fill in the blank], find a man, find a life, find a lost city of gold in the Peruvian rain forest & taste the fresh ayhuasca.

Leave it! Just take me as I am or put me aside for the next good deed you want to accomplish. Not much is gonna change here. I’ll never be a specimen you can pin down or predict.

But I’ll never be bitter, resentful, hateful or unmystified by all that/about all that life offers. I’ll always share the humor in any moment of blessing.

I’m tired of being disapproved, tired of being criticized & ostracized. It would be nice if someone else were in charge, but there’s only me in this life. I don’t know about the rest of you. Where would I begin to find out? But I can extrapolate how people have lived by what they’ve left behind. Just check the secondhand stores if you want to find out about that. Pretty few surprises here, but always something useful…no way to know if it’s the people or the stuff that smells so musty. Very likely both.




Were runes the first secret alphabet of mankind? I associate runes with Vikings & what with Norse being a difficult language, they likely kept secrets in runes quite well.

If we think of runes as letters carved on tiny, flat rocks, it must’ve taken a Viking shipload to put together a note. Not to mention trying to glue these to the fridge.

Therefore, runes became symbolic – like using a heart icon to say like/love/dearie, etc. Runic shorthand is quite fun & was revolutionary in language learning, jumping the Norse ahead of the Chinese who scribed long before their northlander cousins, but used up much ink & wore down brushes, necessitating frequent trips to the pig bristle hut.

Runic tools lasted. Hammers & chisels hardly fit into pencil cases & must have been difficult for the children to carry to school.  While the Norse might stop along a coastline, it was mostly to steal sheep & hardly ever to replenish rune-writing supplies.

Many aboriginal cultures never codified words in writing. They used clicking & guttural sounds to speak. These conveyed meaning, carried through jungle undergrowth & cut tribal noise barriers in the villages. It must have been hard to whisper, though.

Runes & other symbols have gone through a difficult time lately. Witness the evolution of the dire warning of skull & crossbones indicating “poison!” into Halloween candy. Since runes dropped from favor & parchment plus bird-feather nibs have also eroded their market share, we have wound up with computers and spell-check. It is obvious that spell-check cannot spell, yet we continue to use it to mix homonyms into a language evocative of illiteracy plus one. This, plus people’s advanced inability to spell on their own has rendered written language somewhat comedic. Mixing words like “there” & “their” obscures meanings effectively. Is AI trying to divide & conquer or are we all so lacking in English skills now?

As to the spoken word, there are far too many verbal Tourette’s tics in conversation, like “y’know?” “got that?” [the ubiquitous] “like” & the ever-present, “um.”

Not me! I learned English at the end of a bladed 12” ruler wielded by a woman who wore rosary beads as ornamentation, probably had headphones blasting AC/DC under her wimple, purchased on my Catholic School March of Dimes money. The nuns I knew collected teeth for misspellings, cut off ears for talking in class & used arcane ritual in curing them to string under the habits. It’s been recently revealed on the Internet that they maintained the purity of the language through threat & the all-effective follow-through of nightly detention. The only thing worse than school all day was school all night, too. In all, what they DID achieve was a kind of immortality of race memory in a group of kids already burdened with confession, confirmation, & breathing chalk dust from clapping erasers.

So, while Vikings used rocks as language – cairns meaning, take a left at the fir tree forest to find more sheep, the Chinese rolled their Gone With Mist Wind manuscripts into thick scrolls & tied them with facial hair. Americans used to be fancy, but now we scribble/scrawl with the best of them. We use language carelessly, ignoring actual definitions, making up more words to misspell & randomizing spelling in general. I won’t even approach gratuitous besmirching of rules of grammar here.

Even as we attempt to simplify language, it becomes more complex. Imagine your average Norseman disembarking his elaborately carven boat to order a pumpkin mocha with turmeric… It was a different time to communicate for sure.

Now I must pull my tongue out of my cheek & I hope you will do so as well. I had to get this off my, um, chest.

Thank you.


Note to Self:

So, I’m unsurprised to be up & writing at 2 a.m.

I spent a lot of money today. The notch in my credit card required me to blow on it so it won’t melt my wallet down.

Worth every penny! I will seek to drop all anxiety around my expenditures. Living in a stretched zone of money has consumed my energy far too long in my life. I’m simply not ready for it to take me over again.

For as much as I have had abundance, I presume upon its continuance. I am proof to Youniverse – perhaps the exception proving the rule…which reverses the rule at once.

I’ve pulled off similar stunts successfully. No stopping now,

For all my concern about being in flow, I am So. It isn’t me running dry, it is a country at large making huge suction sounds. May these be only the swamp running dry! If one cannot see just how manipulated we have been over the short generations of today, one must be wearing a patch over one eye & holding a hand up over the other.

In a generous society such as ours, where people give freely until their fear locks that flow, sadness strolls about finding hearts to roost within. This is, most emphatically, not my fate. I sit assured I am beloved by Source, spinning words like suns spin planets. Should I doubt abundance, I simply look at the varietyof colors found in the hairs on my chin.

I am in this existence, in a time of potential unmatched other than by the original primordial soup (the good swamp) from which all life sprang.

My generation has seen tech spring from tiny transistor radios & watches that miraculously show time, date, & how fast our hearts beat…to driverless cars & the approaching, powerful resource of Replicators. How can I deny abundance?

In the moment, I must redefine it for myself by asserting it is what I have acquired. I am not collecting dollar bills in second beggar position on Date Street by the stores. I’m definitely not starving in a time when so many actually are.

I may wriggle & squirm like a kid enforced in school, but it is always under the hand of knowing better to sit still, said Hand resting upon my crown to direct me to see only faith. I set guards of love & bumpers of laughter at the insanity of starving in a world where apple trees grow hundreds in a season & rain down to be gathered by squirrels.

It is that I have joined an army stocked with weapons of Mass Creation, shooting out enjoyment, creativity, delight, wealth & blessing.

Then I rise in the wee hours to detail the love in my life, the easy joys of polishing another’s hand-crafted vase. I have a chair in which to park my days, several pens to perform word surgeries, many ideas to perfect in description. I have a bed & a means to stay clean in body, I eat well, I stay strong in the physical, re-move myself from toxic situations & rediscover the beauty of life in the desert. I help me. I help others accomplish their goals. I learn, but teach just a bit more than that. I offer myself as a translator of skills to make the lives of others more productive, more accomplishing.

I Am that I Am, but I am that others are, as well.

From the Other Side:

We are all so excited for you & we wake  you to 2 a.m. alleluia ’cause 2 a.m. is a great time to grab your full attention, Little Sister, Big Master! We just had to say how much we love you & where & how you “do” your living. When one well runs dry, whether it’s the oligarchs or the faithless who have defiled it, we help you in inclination & desire to simply move to the next watering hole.

We, too, giggle that you think you are lost at sea in the driest of deserts, or cold in the land where even the water bubbles in fantastical heat just below the surface crust.

We laugh as you puzzle payments – not in cruelty that you are nervy about where it will manifest from, but in a head-shake at your silliness to doubt!

We guffaw with you as you lift your white wings to check the bottom-most feathers are still there.

We flock with you like starlings at dawn & sunset, in a dance of beauty, raucous soundings & waves across the sky. We wheel & clip & sing in your joy of independence & unfettered movement.

We will never let you fall, for we love you beyond gravity’s attempts to hold you down, far past what you think may be your “if not sold by” date, way past any human measure!

Now get this move on, girl. We’re out of the heavy lifting part, leaving that to you. But we’ve got the rest & so much more!

























My roommate’s best friend stopped by today to pick up a decrepit rug which has lined the concrete carport for years. In fact, I’ve been somewhat amused to park my Volt on a rug for the past few months of living here. Her husband sat in the truck while we hefted the rolled-up rug into its bed. No longer shy in my crone years, I wondered aloud if he could help, but she said he’d injured his arm when their donkey decided to go left as he went right. This is the same donkey which brays loudly & thoroughly from his pen on the far corner of town. Many mornings, I hear this particular snorting, hoarse ‘call of the wild’ as I’m waking up. Fortunately, my timing seems to be opening my eyes just before the alarm. This donkey, however, was not the one who sang along with the Easter Service in April. That one was a different donkey who lives on the opposite side.

Just about every morning when I wake, after the donkey-calls, I hear someone banging their trashcans from atop the hill – which means the sound carries down & across our town-in-a-valley. Since the few of us who have trash pickup own a black plastic wheelie-bin, I wondered who had metal cans & why they’d bang them every single day at 5:30 a.m. I finally figured out it’s the horse that lives with the singing donkey beating his own drum, sending out a tattoo about breakfast now, please.

On the days I walk east, often there are two black dogs who clamber over the broken stone fence to rush me, snarling & barking, hackles raised. So much for the leash law – but we have no police here anyway to enforce it. I’m not an animal abuser, but I do sometimes wonder how much a Taser would cost, & if I could secrete it in my clown clothes worn for workout. Best not go there, tho, eh?

Living mostly off the grid does require tolerance for the unexpected outdoors. Like the cow sleeping on the road under the mailbox as her calf (or the back half of it) blocks the westbound lane. Or the brown horse making her way sidewise down a steep hill to come over for a scratch. Or the determined tarantulas crossing the street just in front of me, or the rattler in front of the post office steps after rain.

I love to walk in the morning. In Missoula, where I stayed at The Wilma for a short time, we had an old fella who’d stand at one end of Main Street to holler “HEY!” from about 5:45 to 6:15 every morning rain or shine. Amazing how sound carries at that hour. Perhaps this was his Sun Salutation.

Once I read about a man who put up a sign along the edge of his farm telling people that this was a farm, that animals lived here & his animals did what animals do, unashamedly, in “flagrante delicto” & not to be surprised at their activities, their smells, their unabashed enthusiasm for physical life in all its forms & functions.

(Which reminds me about the time I took my girl scout troop to the zoo where a monkey was delightedly pleasuring himself in his cage…we should have gone to the Snake House, I guess.)

Today I met a man standing in the field next to our B&B, with a coffee cup in one hand & a cig in the other, who smiled & said he was standing out there at dawn as he was trying to quit smoking.

So I guess this blog doesn’t really have a specific point, moral or story. I’m just telling you about my favorite time of day & some of its delightful surprises. I mean, any morning that includes all this deserves to be written about. Why not here?

I’m always talking about how wonderful it is to be able to paint, but just give me a thousand words & I’m happy.





Miracle Thinking – A Unity Talk


When I am asked what I would like to talk about, often the words come from my mouth before I can plan them. When I asked if I could speak on 12/6, the question returned: “What will you talk about?” I immediately typed “Miracle Thinking.” Then I looked at my computer, and said to myself, “miracle thinking?”

But, ya know, I’ve been doing this for a while now. Of course I wasn’t always like this. Somewhere the switch flipped from negative to positive & it ain’t never going back. I know that now. Some years ago you wouldn’t have convinced me of any reality about positive thinking even with a hypnotist in the room waving a watch, saying “you are getting sleepy.”

What’s a miracle? The Spanish word for sight is “mira”, so could a miracle simply be a different way of seeing things? I think it must be. I know once I move out from the surprise, kind of back up with the camera, a really wide angle emerges. When I can get the panoramic view, I have it made. The water changes to wine with a snap! And with all my experience, I’m still surprised to drink from the glass.

Sometimes miracles happen even when I’m clearly not in a state to anticipate them. When I graduated massage school in 1996, I was living with a woman named Nancy. I came later to call Nancy my roommate from hell & she kindly reciprocated by proving that out to me in no uncertain terms. Of course, Nancy was one of my best teachers.

Nancy knew a woman named Ruth. Ruth lived in Montana & wished to open a community for women healers. I had spent five months living in an intentional community in upstate New York & I loved the idea! And I felt I was a healer, hey, I just graduated massage school, yea?

Nancy & I shared a lot of fear & upset on that trip from Albuquerque to Montana. I had a vehicle; she didn’t. She sprained her ankle two days before we were to leave, I could climb on top of the car to pack stuff. She was getting unemployment while I had no visible means of support, having just graduated from being a starving student, to being a starving graduate. So after living together for six weeks in a room in Missoula, Montana, I finally got a job. In my LIFE, it’d never taken me six weeks to get a job. I knew Nancy was running really low on any desire to have me around and our disagreements were escalating. That second day I came home from work, which was third shift waitress at a diner, she said she wanted me packed, out, and gone by noon that day.

I listen to my Divine Planners & even then, I had had an inkling that things were going poorly enough that this might happen. Did I bring on an eviction with thinking those thoughts? Maybe. But my antennae were out & I had investigated renting a room. I just needed more money than I had in hand at that moment. Later, getting thrown out of our little apartment would become the best thing in the world for me, but in the thin moment of her telling me to be gone by 12 & slamming the door to go visit Ruth while I packed, I considered my options. I had $35 that I had made in tips over the two nights I’d worked. I’d given Nancy $5 toward what I owed her – totally a token payment, but I was six weeks without any cash & feeling pretty needy.

When I looked into renting that room, I found out I needed $130 to move in. So, I had $30. Now, one week earlier, before I’d scored my waitress gig, I’d written to a friend in Jersey to ask if he could spare $50 to help me buy gas so I could look for a job.

I was muttering to myself while I packed; I figured I at least had enough on hand to find a campground to stay in. After about ten minutes of mushing my stuff into big gray tubs, there was a loud knocking on the door. I was already aggravated, & got even angrier as I yanked it open, figuring Nancy’d forgotten her key, wanted me out on this abbreviated timeline & now was making me stop packing to let her in. I was astonished to find the FedEx guy outside who handed me a cardboard envelope & that signature device they use. I scribbled my name & ripped open the tab of the envelope. There was a $100 bill inside from my friend; no note, no words, just a Ben Franklin from someone I had not been the kindest to when I last saw him. So how much money did I have? How much money did I need? And I love telling this story because each time I do, I am beautifully assured that the universe loves me enough to rescue me from myself. And up until that moment in time, becoming homeless was my biggest fear in life.

Miracle thinking gets easier each time a miracle happens. I stopped calling it “universe” & started calling it “youniverse” right then.

Randy Peyser has written a great little book called “The Power Of Miracle Thinking.” It’s a book of stories, anecdotes & ideas about how to get over yourself by reaching out for the best that is out there every time. I’m happy to say that just about everything in here is something I’ve practiced at some point. I have had miracles greet me at every turn & I make so many wrong turns my GPS stutters its directions.

Randy’s first notation is choose to be #1. The Japanese call it “Ichiban.” Number one. Are you number one in your own mind? And if you’re not, I hope you feel really guilty whenever someone says, “Well, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first.” Because that is so TRUE! If you are not coming from a position of personal power that is rooted in personal worth your GPS probably isn’t going to work well at all.

From this internal strength & worth, from this place of belonging in the youniverse, you can ask for anything. If it’s right for you & if the timing is right for you, and if you have asked for it from a deeply felt understanding that it IS God’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom, it’s yours. Where is that worth & worthiness in you? If you had to understand it in the form of a standardized measurement, would you be living at 100%? Yes? No? What percentage are you living at? If you’re at 50%, how do you feel when you get half a miracle? Not me, baby. Recently I was at a dinner & when the hosts said they were having a raffle based on our ticket numbers, my first reaction was a mild, “wonder what I won.” My number was the first called & I won two tickets to ClearSpace Theatre.

Which leads to another of Randy’s premises: youniverse never says “yes…but” We say yes but all the time. We say, “Oh, sure I’d like to win the lottery, but that’ll never happen to me.” Or “I’d love to meet a terrific person in my life, but I don’t want my heart to get broken again.” 50% anyone?

You can’t find a miracle sitting in your easy chair, eating Doritos, watching TV & wishing for something different. Sorry, but you need to get off your duff & get out there & happen to life like you’ve wanted life to happen to you. You’ve gotta find the miracle you want by offering yourself up to it. And you have to allow the miracle. How many times has someone offered you something terrific & you’ve said, “oh, no, I couldn’t accept that!” I can’t tell you the number of times someone’s told me they’re hurting & could really use a massage so I say, “sure, come see me.” And I never hear from them. Of course the first reaction is money; but even when I say, just come see me, no charge! No call. It’s not an insult to be offered a gift. It’s often a need in the giver to even offer it out. I have had to retrain myself to simply say, “Why Thank You So Much!” when I am offered a gift in this way.

I am still learning to be a good receiver & that being in receivership doesn’t mean I’m bankrupt at all. Need some practice? There’s an exercise offered in the Abraham writings by Esther Hicks where Abraham recommends writing fake checks. He says to get your abundance muscles going, work them out by using an old checkbook to write yourself a check for some wonderful amount, say, a million dollars. Then focus your attention on what you would do with a million dollars. Next day, write a check for two million. What’ll you do with that? Make a list! I got up to about 16 million before I simply got tired of giving away money. By then, I had the idea well-fixed that I wouldn’t be keeping much of it, so I figured I was copacetic with the idea. Do this! It will awaken your abundance in a real way that’s also a feel-good, fun exercise! There’s a story told that one night in 1990 when Jim Carrey was a struggling young comic trying to make his way in Los Angeles, he drove his old, beat-up Toyota to the top of a hill. While sitting there, broke, looking down over the city, and dreaming of his future, he wrote himself a check for $10 million, put in the notation line ‘for acting services rendered,’ and dated it for Thanksgiving 1995. He stuck that check in his wallet – and the rest, as they say, is history.

By 1995, Jim had seen the tremendous success of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, The Mask and my personal favorite, Liar, Liar. His per film fee at that point had escalated to $20 million.

Visualize what you want. Sit still & feel how it feels to have what you want. World Peace? High-heeled sneakers? New golf clubs? How does it feel to be pulling those puppies around the golf course right now? Empower the feeling to bring it alive. Love the idea into being!

Always think in terms of this or something better. When I found the apartment I’m living in, the landlord said he had a few more people to interview before offering it, but he’d be in touch. Well, I felt pretty strongly in my gut it was mine – it’s the ideal size, it had absolutely everything on my list but one thing – remember the list, people? And when I make a list, I include everything on it. I even use a steno pad so I can have two columns. Still, when he said he had to talk to others, all my doubts rose up – did I make enough money? Was I ever going to get my own place? Apartments aren’t easy to come by near the shore, they’re either outrageously priced for a single person or simply not available. As I drove away from this gorgeous place what came into my head was the phrase: “this, or something better.” And I felt great again. I didn’t know what could be better than having an apartment over Derrickson Creek with everything I wanted, but I knew that it would have to be really spectacular. And I was comforted by that thought: Wow! What could be better? All right!

Another story: when I realized I wanted to travel cross-country, I wished for a van. I made a list of everything the van would have. The last requirement was that it be blue b/c I’ve always wanted a blue car. I had a small inheritance from my Mom to use. I focused on the van, I prayed, I visualized myself driving it, sitting up there over the road… no van. Weeks passed & the summer was ending & I had to get on the road soon and…no van. So I reviewed the list. I erased the “blue van” from it. Within a week I had a maroon van & the prior owner was a short man, so I didn’t even have to adjust the driver’s seat.

If you are stuck with a picture of something you don’t want, or if you are experiencing a health challenge, don’t hesitate to ask the Big Eraser to come in. My sister experienced this. When a loved one she knew sustained terrible, disfiguring burns, she went to see him in hospital. He passed away from his injuries, but Teri was left with an awful image of someone she dearly loved. One day when she just couldn’t seem to get this picture out of her head & was again choking up about it, a huge pencil came into her mind, turned itself over & rubbed out the image top to bottom. She never experienced saw her dear one that way again & remembers this person as the beautiful spirit he was. Youniverse will take care of you!

Bring Joy into your alignment with life. Youniverse likes a good target; make it easy to find you. “Hey, over here, good things! Yeah, me! I’m the one living rightly, I’m the happy person who found the pony in the room full of manure…c’mon down, I’m SO ready to be gifted by your presence.”

The best part is youniverse always has a bigger plan for you than you have for yourself. It isn’t about having the right answer so much as it’s about asking the Right Question. Lighten up & just do it: live your joy in life, don’t dip your happiness into the misery of another – that’s like getting the candle burning & dropping it into the sea.

If all this sounds like the impossible dream, stay awake.

So, take a deep breath & listen with both ears as I finish the story I started at the beginning of this talk. Here’s how one miracle fuels another. In the room of the house I stayed in after I left Nancy, there were many things Youniverse gave to me. A calendar of Ansel Adams photos – breathtaking. Books & cassettes which had been abandoned. Most intriguing to me was a pair of really good sneakers, but I’m a size 8 & these were 9’s. I kept them anyway, thinking maybe I could just wear two pairs of socks. These were expensive sneakers, well made, very sturdy. But after I’d been at the house for a few weeks, one day the phone rang & it was my dear friend, Ed & his good friend, Jerry. Ed asked me how much longer I was going to stay in Montana. I told him I had no plans to return – but what I didn’t mention was that it was only ‘cause I was mortally embarrassed to have made such a mess by moving there. Here I was waitressing the midnight shift, barely getting to do any massage. I couldn’t face going back to ABQ to tell my friends how much I had disappointed myself by leaving there. But when Jerry said “Ed, tell her WHY you called” and Ed said, “Carol, I have cancer. I want you to come back to work on me.” I simply said, “Ed, I’ll be there in two weeks.” And I started packing once again. I had lots to think about on those 1,100 miles. And I got to travel back through some of the most beautiful country these eyes will ever see, down through Utah’s Moab Valley, visiting Canyonlands & Arches National Park.

The night after I’d returned, I drove over to La Montanita for some health foods for the larder. A woman was sitting barefoot in the parking lot, begging everyone to give her shoes. “They took my shoes,” she said to me as I walked by. “What size?” I asked. “Size 9,” she replied. “Just a sec,” I said. And walked back to the van to get those sneakers.

I like to think Youniverse offered me the opportunity to be her miracle.

Think love, think empowerment & most of all, think MIRACLES!

Thank you.