Just breathe

Yes, some days breathing is an exhausting exercise, although your breath is more than inhaling and exhaling air. Read how being fastidiously persnickety is my recipe for health, happiness, and wholeness. From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity TO BE THE BEST YOU

Willy (coyote) Wisdom

Nine Thoughts to Ponder:

Number 9: Death is the number 1 killer in the world.

Number 8: Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 7: Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 6: Men have two emotions: hungry and horny, and they can’t tell them apart. (If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.)

Number 5: Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months…maybe years.

Number 4: Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

Number 3: All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Number 2: In the 60’s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now, the world IS weird. People take Prozac to make it normal!

Number 1: Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today might burn your rear-end tomorrow.

 And, as someone recently said: “Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last that long.”

REJOICE! Gratitude is a life-enhancer.

Rabbits in the Marijuana Patch

Spoiler ALERT!!…for anyone who’s put me on a pedestal: Cushion YOUR FALL! I’ve had mine.

In my youth, this innocent, naïve, credulous ostrich married a drug addict. In spite of a “should o’ been honeymoon night eye-opener,” I didn’t catch on until months into our marriage; even then, denial clouded my knowledge of facts!

Though I was out to “save the world,” after months of observing his and his friend’s TOK-clouded (transcendence?) behavior, I became curious. Yeah.

Would you believe that he was in Law school, and I was in grad school? Anyway, I always studied away from the zombie fray, and in solitude—the graveyard behind my church. I hatched a “harebrained”experiment: “what is the influence of marijuana?” for after I studied for a final.

I knew how to roll a joint. I had watched it being done, MANY-A-TIME, on the little thingamajig they used. But before my “education,” I mistakenly threw one away. (I never fessed up, and guiltily searched everywhere along with the motley crue.) But, I must say: I rolled a beaut!

I don’t remember why I drove the Bronco, because I had a Monte Carlo, but I did. Middle afternoon, I parked behind the church, found my favorite tombstone, laid out my blanket, and studied until experiment thirty—dark. It was time to investigate the supposed “marijuana effect.” I knew exactly what to do.

I reverently removed it from the baggie; hesitant but determined. I struck the match, lit the end, held it close to—but not touching—my lips, sucked in deep, watching the red embers glow….

It was like someone karate-chopped my Adam’s apple! I couldn’t decide if I was going to die from the “hit” to my throat or lack of air from the coughing fit! Man…how stupid…golly-gee!

Everyone always took several hits so, after recovering, I took 2 lesser emphatic puffs…nothing. No euphoria. No “peace out.” Nothing. What was the fuss? That proved it. It must have been those pills they passed around.

I packed up and headed home.

On the way, the steering column seemed to come out of the dash! OMG!

To be safe, I slowed down. While trying to maintain control, I had to overly rotate the steering wheel back-and-forth, and back-and-forth, and back-and-forth…like a child pretending to drive. To make things worse, some impatient driver behind me started honking and flashing his brights!

What’s his rush? Man!

I slowed down more. Who can be safe with people like that on the road?!

On the last stretch, I thought about the Zesty Cheese Tortillas in my pantry.



A.A. (After Awakening), not a P.S.:

In the 60’s, while in college, I remember a front page headline: “rabbits uprooting marijuana plants from the cannabis research patch.” I wondered how a rabbit could have that strength; and, how they got the plants out of the fenced field.

Now, I wonder if my ex was one of the “rabbits.”

Journey to Wholeness-VII “Solar Plexus Chakra (Personal Power-I WILL)”

During WWII, Eleanor Roosevelt suggested, “Do one scary thing a day.” By “scary,” she didn’t mean playing chicken with an oncoming car. She was suggesting learning something new—a language, a sport, a musical instrument, or practice something you’ve learned and haven’t utilized. It doesn’t have to be difficult or dangerous, just different. Challenging yourself to overcome fears increases your self-confidence, self-worth, and personal power. I mentioned 3 of my fears in the chapter, “Facing Fears,” of my first book Views From My Chariot….

The Lumbar or Solar Plexus Chakra represents personal power and will. When open, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-control are actualized. Located in the upper abdomen in the stomach area, when it’s closed, digestive problems may occur (constipation, ulcers, parasites, colitis). Nervousness, feelings of powerlessness, and a victim mentality may distort feelings of worthiness.

The Law of Intention and Desire governs this chakra. Be conscious and aware of your goals.

The Road Not Taken

The Road…Taken

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are going.” ~Lao Tzu

Can you give your full attention and map out your direction to an unspecified goal or desire? Make clear your intention (or you may be surprised by their fruit), then nourish its seeds for them to manifest.

Mental exercises and positive affirmations can reverse negative momentum.  Florence Scovel SHINN’s book, Your Word Is Your Wand, is resplendent with affirmations for success.

Read self-help and informative books to stimulate this energy, like my Views From My Chariot and HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU .

Enroll in a class you desire to take. Dance or take out the ol’ hula hoop!

It’s time for a “You say w-h-a-t?!” Remember Superman’s hands-on-hips stance and Wonder Woman’s twirl with extended arms, then hands-on-hips? They’re power positions. They portray strength and tell the body to produce testosterone. Girl Scout’s honor!

With shoulders back, position your feet about shoulder width apart (just sitting up straight with fists on hips works if you’re in a wheelchair), place closed fists on your hips, and say: “I AM STRONG. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM VICTORIOUS.” These are empowering affirmations.

The musical note “E” can open this energy center. Wind chimes tuned to E are delightful do-it-yourselfers.

Since yellow is associated with this chakra, stroll in the sunshine, invest in a yellow sweater, socks, or citrine ring. Add bananas, yellow peppers, yellow lentils, yellow squash, corn, and chamomile tea to your diet.

Use yellow essential oils, such as revitalizing and uplifting Lemon, #3578 ($14.80 for 15-ml). Lemon is researched to quell nerves, digestive problems, and gives a lift to emotions. Honk if you love happy! I start each morning with a cleansing couple of drops in my glass of water.

For those of you who are seriously changing your lives and will embrace an alternative method to help relieve negative thoughts, send me an email to or leave the comment to tap in to emotional freedom and personal power!

If you’d like to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils, email me or click here to purchase or become a member

Disclaimer: I am offering my insights and what has worked for me. This is not meant to diagnose, prescribe or treat any condition of the body. Always consult your health professional before changing any program. I am not legally responsible for anyone else’s thoughts, words, actions or ramifications of such. Quotes I have used, and books or information I have referenced are not indicative of their authors agreeing with or condoning my suggestions and approaches.

Winning, Warnings, and Wheelchairs

As with any of you living with a disability, my journey toward independence has been showered with ubiquitous “ups” and, at times, littered with dubious “downs.” One of the downers is shopping.

Just like the able-bodied, I use earth-friendly bags, paper bags and, less often, the plastic bag. Unlike an able-bodied person, I do the stack-on-my-lap, carry-with-my-teeth, and hang-around-my-neck tricks transporting my haul. In the “FYI” chapter of Views From My Chariot , I proudly share some of my inventive uses of plastic grocery bags for you other chariot (wheelchair) riders…even catching chipmunks. Yes, it’s a fascinating read and an excellent gift!

But, here’s one proven not so ingenious use. DO NOT try this at home, at work, or anywhere else.

I wanted to check my mail. From the street, my driveway slopes down to my house. My mailbox is halfway down my driveway, equidistant from the street and my house. (The P.O. approved my putting it off the street since I’m disabled.)

The wind was whipping as it began to rain. Being a SCI quadriplegic, I don’t have the dexterity to hold an umbrella and wheel uphill, so I thought I’d use an opaque plastic bag over my head as a rain hat; you know, like the clear plastic ‘rain hats’ your grandmother used after leaving the beauty shop on rainy days. It would keep my hair dry, and I could safely see through it.

ill-boding bag

ill-boding bag

I put it over my head and face, its handles hanging down over my ears like earmuffs. To secure it, I held the handles with my teeth and began my grind up to the box. Of course, to prevent a runaway wheelchair from sabotaging my errand in the rain, I had to brake my chair at the mailbox.

Once all my mail and catalogs were safely balanced on my lap, I unlocked my brakes. Again, to prevent a “runaway wheelchair” from skidding off the back of my covered carport, I held them in tension against my wet tires; yet, speedily grinding downhill.

Instantly, the wind’s pressure swooshed the plastic bag airtight against my face. My hands otherwise occupied, I couldn’t remove it…and I couldn’t breathe!

Although I could clearly see my carport, it seemed an eternity away. With bulging eyes, I finally screeched to a frantic halt on its level pavement, snatched off the suffocation bag, and gratefully gasped in depleted air. Whew! I didn’t pass out!

Lesson learned: The “Warning: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children….” lacks clarity.

I still use the multi-purpose opaque plastic bags. But now, on rainy, windy days—not only as a creative solution, but also representative of my winning attitude, I stick my tongue out against the bag. This gives me an air pocket when it tries to suffocate me.

Is my disability the result of oxygen deprivation, you wonder? It’s up for debate.



My Hero

Before I get to my hero, here’s the back-story:

I have three cats, but this is about “the boys,” my two male felines, Fred Astaire and Laptop.

Fred was a feral that I domesticated. Intentionally, I didn’t use the word “tamed” because his first year in captivity he eat through my screened-in porch, four times! I decided it was cruel (and expensive) trying to make him an indoor cat. Weather permitting, I let him out once-a-week.

Two years later, I saved Laptop from getting euthanized. By three-years-of-age, he weighed a hefty eighteen-and-a-half- pounds. I decided he needed more exercise than he was getting indoors. So, he and Fred get an hour romp outdoors weekly. (As of this posting, Laptop has lost 3 pounds.)

I let them out into the wild through my kitchen door. Thus, my kitchen door has become the stimulus–the association for escape, like food was to Pavlov’s dogs’ salivation responce. Even when I casually pass by the kitchen door, the boys rush me. And, as guests say their good-byes at the door, Fred sprawls in front of it or circles their legs meowing. Laptop doesn’t waste energy until the door is opened; then, he springs for it. My disability prevents me from running after them. Unless they’re napping, it’s a zoo trying to get out without a prison-break!

In spite of being stealthy and giving directions to friends not to give the boys a heads-up–a polite knock on the door–the sound of the UPS truck belied my best-laid plans.

I heard the brakes as the truck stopped in front of my house then, the sliding of its merchandise door. I went to the kitchen to meet him. Immediately, eight paws with two expectant tails pointing north joined me.

Through a barely cracked door I coaxed the man in brown: “When you come in, stomp your feet to deter my two cats from escaping. They will try to run out.”

He affirmed by nodding his head.

With a scanner in his left hand and two large stacked boxes in his right, he side-stomped through the half-open door. As he walked toward the kitchen table, Laptop saw the opportunity and made a break for the wide-open. I shrieked.

In mid-stride, the man in brown side-pressed Laptop, now in mid-air, against the door with his left calf then, swiped him like a credit card back into the kitchen…never losing his balance or a box. I slammed the door behind him with, “Thank you! You must have pets.”

He slid the boxes onto the table, quickly scanned them with, “Oh, yes.” and was back out the door.

It was a bird…a plane…the UPS man. My hero!

Off The Cuff

What’s with laughing gas? I had heard about it for years and been offered it in dental offices. It sounded a bit drug-ish, and drugs don’t like me. I don’t have one prescription. Mainly because a little of anything goes a long way with me, and I need to maintain my wits (and balance) living from a wheelchair. My memory has a short wick, and my bladder has a slow leak; I need to remember my schedule!

Anyway, I was anxious about having something major done by an endodontist or oral surgeon—can’t recall, so I accepted the offer with the contingency that I receive the lowest dose.

The assistant strapped this Hannibal Lecter-like mask over my face—assuring me that its cool hissing mist was on #2. Dimming the lights, she patted my arm with the instruction, “Call if you need anything.” She exited the operatory as James Blount piped in on the Musak, or Pandora, or who cares? I cried, and cried, and cried….

Laughing gas?