Great I CAN DO IT Conference in Austin, Texas

There is something about being in  a large gathering of people who have the same opinion or, at least, attitude about soul subjects.  Our conference lasted 2 days, packed with well known speakers such as Wayne Dyer and Brian Weiss. Dr. Weiss was my primary interest.  I have been able to relisten to them repeatedly over the USB port.  Interests come up at different times during a life time.  Maybe I wouldn’t have been interested in their topics 20 years ago.  Both are very unique in their own fields.

It seems like a random happening with those you sit next to.  But, that turns out to be very interesting because they each bring something to your life.  Given a chance, you find out you have something in common with your shared seat person.  I sat next to Cheri and Teena. Both tremendous “gals” and if we’d had more time to visit or “hang out”, we would have had a great time.  Just given the small amount of time, it was fun knowing them and sharing their friendships.

Giving people a chance to get to know you and exchange ideas and feelings is probably a little of what life is all about.  It has always been dangerous for me to “open” up and be vulnerable but it can always be learned.   There are obvious dangers but it’s like knowing what and where the danger lies that can be determined as time goes along.  Give what you can emotionally and maybe stretch it a little each time.

I am reminded of a little innocent girl who thought she was helping a man find his dog.  She had always been told by her mother that a “stranger was a friend you haven’t met before.”  She was found later, the victim of the stranger.  These are extremes but it is a reality of life.  Even if you don’t end up fighting for your life, you could be vulnerable with your beliefs.

I am rarely placed in a situation of complete strangers where you have to interact intimately.  I would feel comfortable interacting to save someones life, feeling like a mama grizzly. But, put me in a room where I have to be emotionally vulnerable , I would be as stressed out as a goose trying to swim over mud.  Why does life have to be so complicated?  Do we all have a Woody Allen complex?  I think the answer lies in exposure and repitition.  If we are put in these group situations on a regular basis , we would learn the proper responses and it would become like second nature.

So, go forth, stretch yourself and get experience in situations which stress you the most.  You have a choice.  No one will judge you if you don’t “stretch”. We all have free will. But, if it bothers you and you have the strength to fix it, the best thing to do is just go for it.





Bull to bull!

It was almost sunset when I looked out at the cows who had come up. The cows circle, much like deer, in a very predictable manner.  They come up from the back of the 500 acres to the front 50 acres in the evening.  Just before dusk, they drink from the fresh well water trough and soak their feet in the small goose pond beneath a huge towering pecan tree.

Two black Angus stood head to head.  One was considerably larger. I thought the other one was a calf that we’d missed last time we sifted through the calf herd that needed to go to the auction barn.  When calves get too large, they suck a huge amount of milk which pulls the cow down in weight.  About the time a new calf is about to be born, this larger calf would suck all the milk and the newly born would get practically nothing.
As I looked at them now, I thought this calf was much too big to still be out there with the mother. But, on closer inspection, it became obvious they were both bulls, butting heads which comes naturally to bulls. Their pushing and grunting grew louder and more forceful.  I had acquired another bull. Mine was the larger one. He was winning by sheer size and weight.
“Don” I said excitedly on the phone, “there’s an extra Angus bull in the pasture!  I think he has a blue ear tag in the left ear. He’s smaller than Smithy (my new Angus bull).”   Smithy was named after his deceased breeder and friend. It would be the last calf crop of Betty Smith’s to hit the ground and be breeding.
“Well,” said my 80 year old cowboy Don. “I just got a call from Chad to watch out for a bull that got out of his pasture. That must be it.”
Chad and I joined each other on the back eastern fences.  He leased the pasture from the owner and had a small herd of about 35 cows.  He described the bull and its identity checked out with the one I was looking at.
He picked the bull up before nightfall.  Two nights later, the bull is back here, perky as ever.
This time, Chad is taking the bull to another pasture with lots of flirty girl cows who will keep his wandering eye at home.  It’s nice not to worry about the bulls knocking down fences and plowing over buildings as they fight.  But, there’s some excitement from their escapades to break up an otherwise same old sameness, day in and day out, week after week life routine.
He was a good looking bull and I wouldn’t mind at all if I have calves out of him.  My friends have registered bulls and herds and it’s their nightmare to have a bull of unknown origin break into their beavy of cows and sire a few old gals and leave their illigitimate half breed calling card 9 months later.
 The bulls don’t know the diference. It is their primal instinct to butt heads and curl their lips backwards as they sniff  the cows tail section.
People know differently. You know when you knock a fence down and step across into someone else’s pasture that you are “doing wrong”.  Can bulls claim intoxication by mixed smells of  cycling cows?
Unless you have an IQ of close to Zero, you know.  You have to know it’s wrong.  That, my friend, is the difference between bulls and men. Between cows and girls.

No bull, it’s who shoots who the bull.

Waiting for life

So many of us wait and wait and wait for something to happen. An unhappy wife just waits for her husband to die.  An unhappy office worker waits for her perfect job to come in.


I’ve often puzzled over the fact that several friends are terribly unhappy in their marriages yet they wouldn’t file for a divorce if they were belittled every day of their lives.  What makes someone stay in an unhappy marriage. We often see these severly, physically abused wives who keep going back to their sorry husbands, won’t file charges against them and stay in a dangerous marriage.  More often than not, they end up dead or missing.


They can have the best psychologists or therapist in the world but nothing can reason with them about the fragile existence they live in. They keep going back and back again to their abusive spouse even though they know it will happen again.


How can this person expose themselves and their children to a totally unsavory person.  Even if this person can afford years and years of treatment, the outcome is vague and often has a tragic ending.


What is it in the psych mind that makes a person put down their defense , inviting self harm, and they are totally void of any self preservation or protective mechanism at all.  The scorpion stings over and over again yet the victim stoically yet willingly allows this physically or mentally surroundings.  How many stings does it take, to make the mountain move?


Life is passing by and still they wait.  Wait for change, wait for a kind word or gentle touch. Yet, we all have waiting tendencies. We wait to be happy, to be loved, to be financially secure.  Are we not all in the same circumstances.


Do we consciously have to force ourselves to get up, move out, take charge before we change.


Rise up, oh mortal soul.  Enjoy the chances you have to be happy, to be complete, to be loved. Don’t lean on your brother for they may never respond to your intensity for life.  Wait no more,  the day is waiting.


The day is waiting.

Scorpion Invasion

Fascinating and feared creatures, the scorpion appears to be fearless.  He/she will stand their ground. I’m sure they look up at you with narrowed eyebrows as they raise their claw- like pinchers and the tail comes errect over their backs.  Ready for battle. Meanwhile the sniveling human who must look as tall as a towering oak tree shakes in mortal fear.

A meat eater, the scorpion will eat anything from earth worms, to spiders, to all kinds of insects. They will even chomp down on dog food if available.  Scorpions dwell everywhere, it seems. They climb up the house wall, live in, under, and around everything where the house is.  You have to watch out for it from about 9pm on until just before dawn.
They don’t run. Did I mention that?  So, you either step on them which can get messy or you pick them up with pliers, sizzors or anything of equal protection.  Entomologest will tell you that nothing else will kill them but the exterminator is happy to spray your home and yard.  The harsh chemicals fill the air, they are gone for a few weeks but seem to come back.
I have heard that cats eat them. If you have cats, you won’t have scorpions. Fat Chance. I have about 8 really big mean feral cats and still have scorpions.
You can become a commando and try the black light trick.  Shine a black light around the house where you are walking and the scorpion turns ghostly white, like a skeleton and you can catch them easily.  Like spotting the enemy before it spots you.
Whatever purpose the scorpion has, it causes fear in all the hapless creatures who can reason that the word scorpion is worthy of flight if at all possible. Maybe sometime in the near future, the scorpion sting will be of some great medical treatment.

Good deed, Mr. Scorpion.  Your sting is still not my desire. Prepare to die. You are not welcome beneath my feet.  One good stomp and you are history. Hopefully, I will have shoes on.

Mixed Signals

We live in a world with mixed signals.  Just tell anyone who is learning how to use a new cell phone.  The salesperson may tell you it’s just like your old cell phone , the buttons seem to be the same but the functions have been changed.

    Maybe an old man who is yelling isn’t really mad, he’s just hard of hearing. But, before you are aware of the hearing problem, you may get ready for a fight because you view him as a threat. We always have to carefully monitor the problem to adjust to the motives and signals.
   A person who has been reactive most of his life, can’t adjust to the subtlies of body positions to calculate his reactions. He has to learn all over again what the whole language means and how it relates to his response.
   I have a very good friend who is approaching 90. His hearing went south many years ago and he refuses to wear a hearing aide.  Naturally, conversations is loud and repeated often.  His wife who is partially deaf thinks it’s funny because no one can hear a word of discord and all is hormonious.   Their son, who hears perfectly, tries to talk to the nondeaf guests but has to talk over his father.  The father doesn’t realize there’s another conversation going on and he keeps up his own conversation.
   The son gets really annoyed and justly because you can’t express yourself in a “normal” conversational manner .
   One time years ago, my mother and step father came to visit.  I was completely unaware that my mother had gone deaf , too.  My step-father had gone deaf earlier but not my mother. It was difficult to talk to both because I would have to repeat myself often not knowing if they would understand any of the conversation.  I surely didn’t mean to be rude but I think this is a very common problems between generations.  Frustrated.
   Next time when they came, my sister came too and it was so much better. We could talk to each other and share the deafness together.
   Are we all operating in an atmosphere where we don’t understand each other. We are frustrated and look for solutions .  Many times, it’s our own frail nature that takes a beating during these times and we long to have an understanding ear close by.
   My mother would look at me with these blank eyes because she didn’t understand a thing I said.  I would look back with equally puzzled glances.  The elderly are so often isolated by their hearing loss. It’s really frustrating when they refuse to wear their hearing aides. It seems like all they can do is clutch to each other.
  Maybe there’s nothing any of us can do. We resorted to playing cards to pass the time.  So, that’s a form of settling the issue and all will be happy and feel good about themselves.
  God grant us all patience to understand each other through non verbal communication and wisdom to figure out what works for each one.

Cold nights, warm clothes

There is no doubt that one of life’s infinate pleasures is to have on warm soft clothes on cold damp nights. It has been raining most of today and the nights for several days. The ground that was ravaged during the summer of the worst drought in recorded history in Texas is now well soaked. The ponds are filled up and running over. There is so much water that the once dry creeks are overflowing their banks. Powerful surges of water are pushing their way toward the Gulf of Mexico. We are about caught up with the drought.

    There is little doubt that nature cycles and the water has once again filled our lives with bountiful growth. Most of the cattle in Texas have been sold off and for those of us who still have cattle, they are beginning to pick up spirit and recharge physically with  lush green grass and tender weeds. They have not gained much weight because the vegetation still has a high percentage of water in it. The substance of strong summer grass has not come forth because it’s too early. We need warm nights so that the grass can grow strong.
   But, there is the excitement of things to come.
   Life is not always the same. There are good times and bad times and times in between. All living creatures tend to go with the flow. If one life is snuffed out by the changes of circumstances, another creature fills in their spot.
   Trees that died during the summer have fallen into the creek and washed down the stream, creating bridges across the creeks or clogging up culverts causing the water to spread out over the area like a yawning wet land. How interesting the passage of time. Old life is left behind while young, fresh life fills in the gaps.
   As I reach that time of my soujourn on this planet, time is scarce. Life still holds a fascination. So many things to learn yet. So little time left to enjoy and smell the bountiful enjoyment of just living.
   The climb to old age seems to drag on forever but once at that peak, the descent is more rapid than you can ever imagine.
   So, with raised glasses, we toast to life. However long or short it is, may it always be a vast mystery.

Moment before dawn

If every morning was like awakening from a mist, we would emerge from the energy charge of sleep. Leisurely stretch, arch your back and feel the body awaken and come to it’s full sensation. Where has our mind gone, through what realm has it traveled. Would that it could tell me all the wondrous worlds that await us. Will we cross the mist into green forests and magnificent fields of multi colored flowers. Will there be marble halls of tall columns and lines of golden books and file cabinets of Google like encyclopedic endless knowledge. What glory awaits us.

If only we could drag a tiny folder of knowledge back from the unconscious into our conscious selves. Conscious problems could be easily solved with only a little bit of unconscious knowledge. We would never have to use a whole battery charge to supply a tiny burst of energy.  Ideas and world solutions would flow both ways between two worlds to complement each other.
There is nothing new in this world that has never been said, dreamed of or been invented that hasn’t passed from person to person at some period. It’s like passing a football, it keeps being passed from one to another until it becomes a written word or thought.  What each person does with the football while in their possession is but a moment in time. Another may run for a touchdown with his chance at the ball. Some will fumble while others kick it between the goal post of life.  I have thought of so many things that I later hear in the news. That’s just what I was thinking, I say to myself. But, is there a cosmic thread that all thoughts run on, all inventions and all masters can tap into at any given time.   Greatness is only a hand stretch out. And, if we miss greatness this time, is there another chance.  Does it matter if we are able to be reborn again and again to try our luck another life time. Have we been above the crowd in another life. Maybe all we are meant to do this life time is just observe one little part of our earthly space, like the shepard’s in the fields watching over their sheep.
Do we need to feel guilty if we don’t seem to accomplish things in life. What is accomplishment.  Maybe, just to make it through life in one piece is good enough. We have touched many people along the way and maybe we are graded on those individual accomplishments. Our touching capacity. All we expect of our animals is that they let us pet them, to lay our hands on their back or head.  What can be more wonderful than to share moments with an unspoken truth where none is needed.
Please tell me where I have been before awakening. Do I have to wait for death before I learn about the dawn.  There is so much more to life than to life itself.
Let me receive the wonders of life while still in the moment. Experience the vibrations of sound, the waves of air currents, the smells of life itself.  Instead of becomming fainter with the passing days, I seem to be developing an acute hearing for music currents and can experience surreal smells, sounds and visual sharpness that no one is aware of and that I cannot share. There is much more to this world but we remain silent about our own receptions for fear of sounding “strange”.  The time is coming when we will be seen as normal and perfectly in tune with the universe.
A precious moment before dawn is to be treasured.

Memories atored or long forgotten?

I was driving down Villa Maria Ave. today and noticed a relatively young mother walking her boxer. Her gangly teen son followed along. He had his hands pushed down into his blue jean pockets, head bent and looking like he’d rather be anywhere but walking with his mother. The mother was relaxed and comfortable with her dog. She seemed to be unaware of her son’s demeanor.

How like a teen, I thought. Because of his posture, I imagined that he was thinking of his friends or school.  Was he thinking about how he hated his mother? Did he love her or was he just absorbed in his small world of figuring out where the next hello was coming from. Had he experienced his first sexual encounter with a girl?  So many questions and so few answers.
Relationships are, at best, wonderful interactions of two or more people in shared mutual companionship. At worse, they are so complicated and so full of complex interactions that they can provoke a range of emotions: murder, hate or any number of physical or mental reactions.  My grown daughter said I didn’t take as many pictures of her as I took of my older daughter. Frankly, the comment caught me by surprise. Didn’t she remember my taking her picture at every step, when she stood by the door looking out  at her first snow .  Her first blueberry pictures where she delicately picked blueberries off the prickly vines, did she not remember these times. She had blueberry juice all over her blouse and mouth.  Did she remember picking the first spring flowers in the pasture. The trail was dotted with bluebonnets and paint brushes. She had a fist full when we got home. I took pictures of her riding on her mini horse Chester with  her friend Kelly riding behind. There was the time she and Kelly rode Vargan bareback in the arena. Kelly was sitting backwards and they were going over jumps and giggling all the way. I began to doubt my sanity. I thought I’d taken a lot of pictures. Where were they?
I thought I took pictures.  But, my mind was full of self doubt and guilt. There were tons of pictures all the way until she left for college, I thought.   I was perplexed. Did I really take pictures? Where were they?  We eventually found all of them, in albums. I felt vindicated. I KNEW I’d taken the pictures and was surprised maybe even hurt that she’d ask me. Was the question an accusation or an earnest forgetful moment?
I remember one of my classmates talking about her 5 children. They had tight schedules and rules. The children of a minister, they were expected to behave and act obedient with their parent’s rules.  Years later, the grown children told their mortified mother that they had sneaked out of their bedroom windows and gone to parties. Patsy said “Are these my children? I feel like I don’t know they anymore!”
Would the young man with his mother remember how his mother wiped his nose, cleaned his face, carried him lovengly,  watched him throw food and get oatmeal or ketchup all over his face?
When we are old or gone, will anyone remember? Will the memories come out when he has his own children? Perhaps they are only in some storage unit deep inside his unconscious. Maybe they will come out of storage when he needs them for something to hold onto.

Give yourself the home field advantage

Kick Out the Demons

Somewhere, from birth to death, we have picked up little doubters that we carry around in our minds and that stick with us to upset our confidence. Maybe your friend told you that you would always be fat because you are short.  In steps doubters when you are on a diet and whispers “You’ll never be slim because you are short.”
No matter how many short slim people you see, you still believe that YOU can’t be slim. Logic and a good diet never come together to encourage you that you can be slim. You stop the diet before it has a chance to win.
Well, it’s time to kick out the demons.
Imagine the fat short demon pops up when you are craving a piece of pie. “You will be fat forever.”   “You will never be slim.”
You push this negative thought out of your head by making the voice get further and further away. “Go away!”  you shout.
The voice lingers on, but you become more persistent.  Go Away.  Go Away.  Go Away.
Say it until you no longer hear it and you can resist that piece of pie.
Bring in a good thought.  Replace the negative thought with a good thought. You see yourself getting better, you can resist cravings because you see yourself slim, wearing stylish clothes, feeling good.  The good images come often and the negative demons become less and less prominent.
You can replace the negative with lots of positives.

That, my friend, is the Home Field example. Create an advantage and you will learn how to apply it to all areas of your life.

Good night sweet Skipper

A sweet fat paint pony passed away today January 12 at 1 pm in College Station, Texas from cancer. He was special to his companion Anna P. Skipper came to Texas as a pair. He came as a pair of driving ponies but they were separated as single driving ponies. For awhile Skipper was used by Grandson Brooks to just sit on. He really didn’t like to be ridden and would let Brooks sit on him until he stopped eating, then he’d give a few crow hops and Brooks would jump off.

Skipper came with Molly from Pennsylvania. He was shipped to Texas in a cattle hauler on the lower level if you know what I mean. He was covered in feces from ears to tail. He also came with an unhealthy case of strangles. In horse circles, this mean his inner jaw was swollen and thick yellow pus streamed from his jaw. He had to be away from contact with other horses and cleaned daily with rags that were thrown away after each cleaning. He was soon well and went on to spend his days eating grass, visiting with his friends and just hanging out.
Just when most horses are given lighter carriage duties, Skipper changed hands and with Anna’s enthusiasm, they soon charged onto the local driving world in combined driving.  Anna has flaming red hair and Skipper was basically white with roan type spots. Anna had him decked out in a fancy harness and cart. She had matching clothes. They practiced daily and with dedication for their shows.  Both became fierce competitors.
Skipper and Anna lit up the show ring.  Then, he had some health issues that called for retirement.  Skipper had the best homeopathic treatments and acupuncture and no treatments were too expensive.  It was truly a matter of love and mutual devotion.
Life may just be a lightening flash in the textbook of time. Some make lasting impressions and some just hang out.
Anna chose to have Skipper make a lasting impression with anyone who saw them whiz around the cones and through the obstacles of life.
Well done.