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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn Is In The Air!

Oh Those Lovely Leaves!

They are so vivid, yet so fleeting. The foliage and the chill in the air combine to make autumn is my favorite time of year.

Later this week, I am coming up to enjoy the coolness, drink in the beauty, and relax, perchance to write. I am imagining my favorite perch on the front porch--can't wait!

As we enter this invigorating season, let us use the gorgeous landscape to renew our creative souls. I think that it is impossible to ignore this time of heaven on earth. We need to do whatever it is we do to celebrate, be it baking, painting, writing, or giving thanks.

May fall jump start your engine's, dahlings!



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Is Your Brain On Menopause

There it is! I knew I left it some place!

Seriously, sometimes I do wonder if I have one! I love to whistle that tune, "If I Only Had a Brain" from the Wizard of Oz.

Menopause does come with some cognitive problems. Some of these are related to having less estrogen; some of them are from not getting enough sleep, or lack of restful sleep.

What's a woman to do? Well, there is hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. This may be risky and should only be decided after talking to your physician. Some supplements may help that contain plant estrogen. Another supplement is the herb Black Cohosh, which may help night sweats. Additionally, Valerian Root may help as a sleep aid, and your doctor may be able to prescribe prescription medications for you.

I have gone to bed with an ice pack under my neck. This does cool me down so I can go to sleep. I used to have a Chillo, but it wore out--it's about the same as a reusable ice pack.

Regular exercise may help to lessen menopausal symptoms. Just don't exercise two hours before bed, as you will energize your body, and get hot!

Also, watch out for spicy foods as they may keep you awake at night--think HOT! Alcohol is another issue, as you will wake up in the night after sleeping for a while. And guess what? You will be hot! Soy foods and other sources of food that contain plant estrogens, like flax, should help your symptoms.

Remember, you are still hot, only now it comes in flashes!

Think cool!


Sunday, September 5, 2010


My Friend Marion Pretending to Procrastinate!

It is amazing to me how quickly technology can squash you. I am rewriting this blog post due to the beastie below. He quite literally ate my text!

Here I was waxing profusely about writing an article about procrastination that was keeping me from working (i.e. procrastinating ) on my query letter. Suddenly, BAM! that little sucker took the text with him when I tried to move him!

I guess there is some justice in that happening. But, seriously, there are 3 types of procrastination, a) doing nothing, b) doing something less important (like errands, domestic engineering--that's cleaning!, and c) doing something more important (like the query letter).

Obviously, I am Queen of "b", with a small amount of "a" thrown in there. I have real trouble with "c". Generally that has to do with not having much confidence in getting said work published or accepted, as it is poetry. All you poets know that aside from poetry chapbooks and contests, how difficult it is to publish a poetry book--it's "just not main steam enough", blah, blah, blah.

In short, I am discouraged from sticking my poetic neck out again, if not plain scared to do it. But, fear not, I will make progress, even is it seems like a snail is working on this book at times.

So take that beastie! May the pen be mightier than the sword! Don't you dare eat my blog this time!

Rotten procrastination beastie!-->

Don't let him get you! Ciao! Joan

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love Is In The Air!

Congratulations Melissa and Brian!

I wish many blessings to this newly wedded couple. May all of your dreams come true!

I got to attend this lovely affair this past weekend. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was first class!

Here is a poem for Melissa and Brian that I wrote for them.

Right Beside Me

I'm not sure how long
You waited for me, but
One day I looked over and
You were right beside me

I felt a flash of destiny
The heavens aligning for us
And with time a sense
Of our one-ness developed

You are a good fit for me
As yin to my yang
You begin where I end
Together we are complete

As I wed you today, know that
Truly, madly, deeply in love
I join my partner in life

For Brian and Melissa In Holy Matrimony August 21, 2010

And a very happy 61st anniversary to my parents who are still dancing! I love you!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Being Present in the "Now"

Presence, this is surely where I long to be; in reality, I am rarely there. But, I am getting better at it. To get there, you must be "selfish" enough to give to yourself a small block of time where you are doing nothing but being present.

Ekhart Tolle, from the book The Power of Now, writes "Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature. . . You have to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems. . .your total presence is required."

From an article from USA Weekend, writer Laura Hoxworth discusses authors Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston, who co-wrote Fully Present. Hoxworth says that the authors advocate "paying attention with openness and curiosity to the present moment." This article states that "Mindfulness is based on heightened sensory awareness, and studies suggest it can help reduce stress, increase attention span, boost creativity and strengthen the immune system."

This topic always resonates with me, as I have always been such a busy person. I think perhaps I tend to do this to show my worth to myself and others. More recently, I have learned that to truly love yourself, you must give yourself the gift of "stillness". Sit down and contemplate the beauty around you, read something uplifting, or just share love while caressing your pet (one of my favorites and it definitely is good for both of you!).

I like this experiment from Ekhart Tolle: "Close your eyes and say to yourself, I wonder what my next thought is going to be. Then become very alert and wait for the next thought." Tolle says that it will be quite a while before a thought arrives. "As long as you are in a state of intense presence, you are free of thought. You are still, yet highly alert." I have tried this and it is so interesting when a thought finally gets through.

So give yourself a break this week. Sit down here and there for a little stillness. You'll be glad you did!

Please enjoy a poem from my book Water Running Downhill!; and may peace be with you!


Exercise in Morphology

Be very still
With eyes closed
And imagine you are
As a blank, white canvas
A page not yet written upon

On this image
Within your mind
Then use this background
To paint who you truly are
Using previous life as a guideline

The beautiful being
That you have within you
Sculpt and recreate yourself
With your dreams as the bones
Then flesh out the rest by sheer will

Live who you want to be!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Honoring Inspirational Author Sue Patton Thoele

This week I have decided to honor a fellow author and poet, Sue Patton Thoele. Sue has written several inspirational books. I have mentioned Sue's book Growing Hope in a previous blog.

Lately, I have been reading Autumn of the Spring Chicken, which is poetry, and very similar to my writing style. I am about to start the book The Courage to be Yourself, and am awaiting delivery of her newest book, The Mindful Woman.

Please feel free to visit Sue's website at http//

Here is a poem from Autumn of the Spring Chicken:

A New Day

Each day is
A newborn child
Living and dying
In the scant hours
Between dawn and dusk

It is our sacred responsibility
To nurture each day,
Unique and precious child
Of our waking hours,
Into the twilight
Of its perfect maturity

Have a lovely and blessed week!


Sunday, August 1, 2010


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