Julie in Michigan

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

I want a Google Chrome Notepad!!!

Techsoup sends some great posts to me and yesterday brought a cool surprise, an opportunity to beta test Google’s new Chrome Notepad. I’ve been most happy with Chrome since installation a few months ago. I’d made the switch from IE awhile back and was trying out other browsers, but was most pleasantly surprised when I followed a friend's suggestion to try Chrome. The issues that I had were resolved, plus Chrome’s speed.

Chrome is so much faster and I like the fact that all my home pages are listed across the bar and available with one click rather than taking the time to download every one when I might not need them all every day.

Bringing up a new tab provides an instant image of all my home pages as they last appeared and a single click from anywhere will bring up one of them fresh. Now, instant web with a Chrome Notebook! Google features are listing the time from sleep to boot in ten seconds, I like that.

Everything stored in the cloud means that everything is still available no matter what happens to my laptop. No risk of data loss. As a graduate student I find classmates who email their documents to themselves at the end of every session, those who save their works in progress on a flash drive and those who actually print to protect themselves against loss of their precious work. Many have made the switch over to Google Docs so they’ve gotten used to storing their work in the Cloud.

Wireless technology means independence and the Chrome Notebook provides an always-connected situation with fast WiFi available everywhere. No more looking for hot spots, fooling with a plug-in or waiting til I get home. I won’t have to carry a phone and a laptop to have the best of both worlds.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, pick me!! I want to beta test a Google Chrome Notebook!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I’m in Dallas and the weather is fine! I think I got out of Michigan just in time; the first snow of the year was beginning to fall a few weeks ago as I was leaving. Now, the worst winter snow in ten years has hit as the area I’m visiting is experiencing 50-70 degree weather.

Finishing up a term paper on Second Life and how the virtual world is being used by librarians… very interesting~

I’m currently looking around for some work in graphics or website development. The work I performed last summer in Michigan was most enjoyable and while I would like to visit there again next summer, I do need to keep busy and Dallas definitely has the edge.

It’s good to be here, visiting old friends and familiar places. Oh, if I could only find a job or a contract, I’d probably settle right back in.

Michigan will always be in my heart as my native home. However, I never planned to return except for summer visits after leaving years ago. I almost stayed this time. I was in Michigan for two years, due to some family business I had to take care of. I’ll always visit in August but financially, I’m probably better off in Dallas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I care

If you’ve ever been in any kind of a therapy situation, you know the value of the ‘right’ question. I was asked one of those yesterday. I heard it coming as I was talking with a new friend and was invited to ask any questions that I had. My initial response was to reply that this wasn’t a job interview and I didn’t have a prepared list of questions, although I had recently had this assignment in a class situation and did have a few ready. I asked, “What are your goals?” knowing that as the response came, the question would likely be turned back on me. Although I was listening to the answer I was being given, my mind considered what I would reply… I planned something along the lines of the web work that I most enjoy. However, when the question came, these words fell out of my mouth: “To run a non-profit”.

Oh my, who planted those words in my mouth? Those of you who know me well will know my response is God’s plan for me. I guess maybe it is. My mind flashed back to spring and summer of 2009 as the most important thing on my mind was establishing AgeOut.org, a non-profit organization for teens who age-out of Foster Care. What happened? I wondered.

Life itself, or God as I choose to believe, needed me to physically change locations. By the end of that summer, the organization was not first and foremost on my mind, rather moving was. The next year propelled me from the east side of the state to the west. On the surface I had my reasons, blah, blah, blah. I also found another organization with the same focus, just not all my ideas. My idea was on hold until I determined whether it would be better to just support them with their organization.

This morning I have a glimmer of a reason. Complex, coincidentally, all those coincidences where God chooses to remain anonymous, but I choose to think of as Miracles. Going back into the business plan, I remembered, Western Michigan University is the location of several organizations that had sparked my interest because of their focus on teens facing homelessness based on their looming 18th birthday.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., Western Michigan University began a scholarship program last September for 51 students leaving foster care without support. Using a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, it offers free tuition, academic help and year-round housing. Foster-care teens become homeless and often hopeless, however help is available if they know about it.

Surprise, surprise, I have ‘another’ reason to go to Kalamazoo this week. I think I’ll stop by WMU and see who I might meet.

I smile as I see God’s handiwork as it all comes together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

First Snow

Last Thursday was it. I’ve heard this is an early date for the beginning of the season but the last two winters I’ve been here I’ve had other things on my mind besides recording the date and the years I grew up here are just a distant memory. So, I’ll accept local opinion and consider it an early start.

But it’s here! I actually love the first snow. Favorite memories of the first sight of those glimmering flakes make it a great day for me. Whether I’m inside by the fire, walking, driving as I was this year or leaving the grocery store, the vision always stirs me.

The image on the right is the last snow of the year, my first winter season back in Michigan after so many years. The picture was taken in April of 2009. I didn’t know, although I really expected, it would be the last snow. But it was just so beautiful I couldn’t resist.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day

Greetings and welcome to the world of change. Seems like things are evolving so fast that its hard to keep up with where I am today.

Only answer that works for me is to slow down, take the loads off my back that belong to someone else and give them back, prioritize the items that are mine and breathe.

That's what I'm gonna do today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just letting you know that I’m still here. There are so many things going on right now.

Saturday night, a Dallas friend is coming to visit for two weeks and help me get some projects done. I’ll be very happy to have that in process.

Mike sent me a link to the Two Rivers Coalition website. I’m interested in what these people are doing. I did volunteer to help. I’ll attend the meeting on the 2nd Wednesday and hopefully find a nice group of like-minded people.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

It’s very interesting where the path can take you if you decide to just always listen, in spite of the sometime absurdity of your actions. I've followed an unbelievable path (so glad i did - I wouldn't have had it any other way) and just stand in awe of God's creations ~coincidences? I think not, synchronicity? Absolutely. God's Power when we allow it.

There is absolutely no way that the events of a few days ago could have all come together at the same time and place, if God had not created the moment himself. If I ever had any doubts (which I haven't) they would have been irradicated at the time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


My favorite season appears to be on its way. Cool days and cold nights bring energy and vigor to my physical body. I’m inspired by my surroundings, the river, trails in the woods, leaves that will soon be turning my favorite colors. Sometimes I just need to know I’m free to leave before I can open my eyes to see all the reasons to stay.

I finally bought a motorcycle and now its for sale. I'm a starter, a late bloomer on the biker trail. I got a Honda Gold Wing and I think it's just a bit too big for me to learn on. True, I have a perfect place to practice, but I'm thinking a smaller bike may be better for a beginner. Why did I buy it? It was part of a larger deal, an added bonus to the pot.

Let's see what Craigslist can do for me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You gotta know when to hold em, and when to fold em

Bow to the Inevitable, Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can and ask God for the Wisdom to know the difference. God doesn’t delay long when he’s letting me have the Gift of Discernment.

An offer from a pharmaceutical in Chicago and a global online bookseller both came in on my birthday, yesterday. The willingness to go to work for the enemy doesn’t appeal to me and I wonder if I have the physical stamina for the physical work required from the online giant. But I hear the call …

Dancing Rabbit and Sandhill farm are both Intentional Communities I’ve visited in the area and might visit again, if I find Amazon’s not right for me. I’d like to swing down and visit my daughter in Texas. I’ll probably go by and visit my old friend in Kansas City too. Then I’d be getting near Arizona and New Mexico where I see a lot of communities that might suit me for awhile.

And when to walk away…

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home Grown in SouthWest Michigan

I love Blueberries. They may be Superfood and that’s great, I’m definitely into eating healthy. This weekend is the South Haven Blueberry Festival and it sounds like a fun time for all. But I don’t have to go anywhere this year – I’m surrounded by fresh blueberries!

In southwest Michigan it’s easy to enjoy eating healthy with the abundance of local produce. Fresh Sliced, homegrown tomatoes are on my plate most evenings, with buttered Corn-on-the-cob and something off the grill. Life is good when I’m eating good. Right here, right now, it’s easy and it’s cheap!

Fall is coming, I know. I just got the letter of approval from Wayne State for a May 2011 graduation. This will be my second Master’s degree, this time in Information Science. In addition to eating, I do enjoy going to school, obviously. 100% online, I spend my time doing what I enjoy.

I know, I know, the world around me seems to be crumbling with the stock exchange dropping to new lows, unemployment, war, and all the chaos. I’m just holding steady, maintaining my faith, being grateful for all the good in my life and dancing while I can still hear the music (between bites).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Primitive Sites

Even though the name stirs thoughts of Lost, Amazonian Jungles and hot, steamy places, what you truly find in Michigan campgrounds is rather cool and often cold nights with warm and sunny days. Water, woods, trails, campfires and many trees abound in southwest Michigan.

The primitive sites always draw campers, especially on the weekends. Plans to utilize canoes, kayaks and tubes early Saturday and Sunday morning stir the air as groups fill out the registration forms on Friday night and file into the restaurant for a home-cooked dinner.

It’s raining this morning and everywhere rain slickers and tennis shoes are the dress for the start of the day. Single campers and couples make the short journey to a hot shower and think about how the rain will affect their plans for the day if it continues.

The restaurant is open until 3 today and the tables and chairs built by Paul and his son are sturdy enough for card games, dominoes and group discussions on the best way to do whatever it is that you do. About two miles over folks might head for the Coloma movie theatre where the 1917-built picture show has three current releases playing. That will take care of one late afternoon or evening while we all wait for Michigan to turn the torrent off and bring back the beautiful sunny skies and open up bike paths, hiking trails and winding streams for floating down the river in a canoe… just like the Indians did!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Life is Good

It just keeps getting better. I love Website work, Google Analytics, Marketing… when I believe in the Business. When I work with good people, when the food is good and I’m finding it.

Canoe Rental, Fried Green Tomatoes, Camping, Michigan, cool evenings, shade trees. Why did I ever leave? At least I’m back!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Michigan Blueberries

Fresh Michigan Blueberries are wonderful in everything! I enjoy just eating them fresh or dumping a handful in a dish of vanilla yogurt. However, I’m in Heaven with a ~real treat~ a Hot-Buttered slice of Homemade Blueberry bread.


But I’ve got to leave room, later today, for a slice of the Homemade Blueberry Pie that I know is going to be fresh out of the oven, Two and a half miles north of I-94 on M-140 in Watervliet at Ma-N-Pa’s.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I’m on the Michigan side of the Lake

This weekend I’m visiting my Sister in Ferndale and some old friends scattered around the Detroit area… I almost typed ‘Metroplex’, a holdover from my Dallas/Fort Worth days but ‘Detroit area’ will come back to me in time.

My sister is holding a garage sale today for her daughter who is in the midst of moving to Philly. I was there for a long weekend a few years ago and I thoroughly enjoyed taking a tour of the home of Betsy Ross (maybe because I’ve enjoyed sewing my whole life?) and a late night run downtown for The First and The Originator of the Philly Steak and Cheese Steak, Pat’s King of Steaks, will always be remembered with a smile… just so Saturday Night Live. But it’s not a city that calls me to return.

I plan to visit the Eastpointe Pub in St. Clair Shores while I’m in the neighborhood. One of the girls from my high school class opened a bar on Nine Mile Road. Through Classmates, I’m learning that a few of those from my high school class, who still live local, frequent her establishment. Even thought I'm definitely not a 'bar person', I’ve got to pay a visit.

Driving through Chicago this morning was quiet and uneventful. Thank Goodness, I had my concerns with the Taste of Chicago running downtown this weekend, but I guess I got through while everyone was still asleep.

I’m in Watervliet this morning, enjoying the homey atmosphere of Ma-n-Pa’s Country Kettle Restaurant. I’m working on their website with their daughter, Joanne. She’s a teacher who works at the restaurant on the weekends and enjoys playing with websites as much as I do. We’ll be snapping photos this afternoon of all the water enthusiasts who come here for canoes, kayaks and tubes.

Friday, June 25, 2010


In 1985, in Dallas Texas, twelve individuals including myself began an intensive 3-month training program to learn Assembler (ALC), COBOL, JCL, TSO, ISPF and VSAM. It was a great class, modeled after EDS’s training where the principals of our company, USLIFE, had receiving their training.

We were told that it would be one of the most intense programs we would ever encounter. They informed us that probably 2 of us would not be able to finish it. They were right. For the next 3 months, I ate, breathed and slept programming. I would wake in the middle of the night and modify code. I didn’t pick up a magazine, newspaper or watch a movie. I didn’t have time. The average work week was 70 hours on-site. But, I learned the language in a way that is stored deeply in my brain cells.

When we finished the course, ten of us, we were ready for work. I was lucky to be placed in a very interesting spot where my next step would be to learn CICS. I got to travel to New York to interface with my group. I was able to do new development. I learned a lot about the life insurance business.

Fast forward 10 years and the Y2K frenzy was just beginning. I knew that it wasn’t a false alarm, but rather a warning signal. Everybody had to get to work and find all those dates that were coded when the year 2000 was so far in the future that we didn’t think it would ever arrive. Most companies took advantage of the opportunity to review all their systems to implement future planned enhancements into the code as long as we were making the date changes. Many replaced out-dated systems with new technology. They cleaned out obsolete code. We did a lot of work that would have been spread out over a larger number of years if we didn’t have the y2k thing going on.

Afterward, there wasn’t a lot of work for awhile. Some people said, it’s over, MainFrames and COBOL are obsolete. New development wasn’t being coded in legacy languages. But, the code is still there and it still has to be maintained. However, as we entered more fully into the twenty-first century a new trend was occurring – Outsourcing. People in India were being trained in COBOL and they were earning a lot less that we were.

Global Business? Not a topic I’m going to get into here and now. There are lots of pros and cons. Suffice to say, MainFrame jobs have been hard to come by the last few years in the US. Jobs have been hard to come by in any field, especially in Michigan.

But something’s happening here, I’ll be in Michigan, Downtown Detroit, on Monday morning, interviewing. The Internet ad said that fifteen MainFrame, COBOL programmers were needed. I applied, they responded, they are researching me and I’m researching the company. They even offer training in COBOL!

GalaxE.Solutions®, Inc., decided to take a leadership role in new IT initiatives and launched its first COBOL Training Program in 2008. GalaxE think it’s important to teach the basics of one of the oldest programming languages, to make a critical contribution to the educational initiatives and body of knowledge in the United States.

For business, finance, administrative and government systems, educating students on the importance and necessity of both learning and continuing with COBOL training will take one very large step toward bringing economic developement back to our home shores. Where are they doing it? You guessed it ==> Downtown Detroit.

Wow, I’m impressed!

Goodbye Elinore

Last night was my last night to visit my friend with Alzheimer’s. Yes, I was being paid for my time but she had become a friend and I will miss her. I don’t know that much about the mind, I’ve never had any training in western medicine - I'm strictly an alternative healing type of a person, but I do know that in spite of the fact that she would sometimes look at me and ask if I had ever been there before, she had moments of true clarity.

I always spoke to her as if her mind was operating at 100% capacity and I guess she gave me the verification this morning that she knew that. As we went for our morning walk around the neighborhood, she asked “You’re not coming back, are you?”

I had refrained from any discussion of the decisions her family and the agency were having as far as her continued care. I had not told her that I have been sending resumes out. But she’s still an intelligent woman and she picks up clues from people’s behaviors. I was honest with her. “No, I won’t be back”.

We said the standard things people say, “I’ll miss you”. But then she surprised me. She said, “I could count on you to answer my questions, I won’t have anyone now”. Once again, the tears threatened. How truly heartbreaking this disease is. This intelligent woman, a caring and compassionate human being, a former RN, who stayed married to her original mate and raised five children, is experiencing the deterioration of her brain. However, it appears to me that the cells that remain still work the same as they always have… it’s just that a lot of them are gone – the parts that store short-term memory.

This morning I didn't have to repeat anything. For some reason her mind was operating at near-full capacity. She was able to continue our thread of conversation. She asked about my new job, where I would be living. She asked what time I would be starting my drive. She commented on how good it is to 'go home'. We both agreed, its good to go home.

I’ll miss you Elinore, although in time, probably by this afternoon, you won’t remember me. But I’ll remember you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Michigan Economic Growth Authority

A few years ago... make that a lifetime ago, I worked downtown Detroit at Michigan Mutual Insurance Company on Grand Circus Park. I was in IT, an administrative assistant, doing balance and control. Frustrated that they would not promote me to a programmer trainee position, I went to Texas where I found that opportunity. I was happy in Dallas for a long time.

Things change as they often do and I'm back. This time with twenty years of IT Consulting under my belt. However, the economy has changed, many jobs like mine were outsourced to India. I went back to school and got that degree I never thought I'd be able to earn because of family responsibilities.

In 2008 I returned to Michigan to settle an estate of my former spouse. I fell in love with Michigan all over again ... yes, even the winter weather. I've been looking for work but we all know the story on that. However, I may have an opportunity to return to my old working neighborhood! Not Grand Circus Park but the old First Federal Building, just down the street from JL Hudson's historic enterprise.

An IT firm, GalaxE Solutions Inc., contacted me for a telephone interview for this Thursday. There was a day when a telephone interview was a pretty firm bet on a start date, but as I said, times have changed.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, saying my prayers... it's part of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).. not sure how it all fits together, but they wanted to make sure I was willing to work Downtown Detroit? ~~Absolutely~~

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm planning to head over to Watervliet this weekend and plan to camp at least one day at the Paw Paw River Campgrounds. The resturant serves an excellent all-you-can eat breakfast, has clean, hot showers and a very peaceful river for canoeing. You can rent the canoe from the office and they will take you upstream and drop you with the canoe for a very reasonable price.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reiki and Alzheimer's

This will be a short post but I must write something. I spent time with a most gracious, elderly lady yesterday. Intelligent, polite, friendly and losing her mind, one memory at a time. Pardon me if this description of alzheimer's is not medically accurate, but my first encounter and this is how it appears to me.

I cried this morning, it just broke my heart for her to awaken and tell me that she doesn't know why she is 'there' (in her home), who I am ( I spent last evening with her)... wondering where her husband is (he died several years ago) or how her sofa got in this place (she and her husband bought the home about ten years ago).

I held my tears til I left. When I got to my computer I googled "reiki alzheimer's" and found that even the US Government is studying the positive results of Reiki on alzheimer's patients, and all the positive results obtained.

I've been sending distance treatments to her today. I will continue this evening.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I promise

I promise to post a new picture today. My hair is so much shorter, spunkier! I'm enjoying Chicago, currently exploring the northwestern side, which seems like it should be the northeastern side although I guess there is no northeastern side to Chicago! I like Evanston. I've gotten as far north as Waukegan. Come back later today, I ~promise~ a current photo rather than this one that was taken about a year ago.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What happened to ageout.org?

First of all I want to provide an update on ageout.org, the nonprofit organization that I wrote a business plan for last year. I really thought it was such a great idea; it was hard to believe that no one else had thought of it! Well, they had. I found that a non-profit organization in Oregon was already performing this service and doing a great job of it. www.fosterclub.com - A great cause, helping teens who age out of foster care, find internships, education assistance and support.

Please support them if you are so inclined.This is a social network for teens who are aging out of foster care with a directory of opportunities for them and a network of supportive adults.

Be sure and follow the link to find out the incredible journey this awesome teen is on: Meet me half way

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reiki in Michigan

According to Google Analytics, Fridays are my best days for visitors although Wednesdays are a close runner up. Most people have me saved as a favorite or set up for an RSS feed and come directly to the site. They also come from blogger.com, Google and Bing searches, Transition Michigan, Wayne State University, Yahoo, Face book and LinkedIn! Yikes!

Most searches that bring people to this site are related to Reiki and I’m finding that Reiki is growing in popularity in the local area as well. Increased awareness is great, and isn’t that one of the greatest gifts we receive from all this Internet stuff? I’m sorry the newspapers had to die out as a consequence, but newspapers had to be so limited in their coverage even though they were frequently the only source of information to the general population. With the Internet we are unlimited in scope and depth.

I guess I better get going on this scope and depth of Reiki … I don’t know what to say, I wasn’t expecting this to be so popular, but I’m loving it.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Wow, I love Google analytics. I can see the city my visitors are in. I can determine how they got here – Facebook, direct-link, Google search, etc. I’m amazed, especially, to see that I have International visitors - Hello Romania! Perhaps that can be traced to my FB links to friends in New Zealand – thanks Marc for that! I can even tell how long they stay on my site and number of pages they visit.

What I can’t see is who they are. I sure do wish you’d say hello.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reiki – What is it?

The question I am asked most frequently, I think the name Reiki is deceptive in today’s society. Originating as a formal school of thought in Japan, it’s most basic form originates in a parent’s hands as they hold a crying baby. The sense of touch and the love that radiates from one’s hands doesn’t need formal training to be expressed. So why take a class?

The amount of healing energy that radiates from one’s hands can be increased through focused thought and clearing of the pathway. How is that done? Through education and Attunement, the amount of healing energy that radiates from a person’s hands can be increased. What is even better is that the healing energy can come through one’s thoughts without the actual touch!

If you don’t believe that one’s thoughts are transmitted, you have never walked into a situation where someone was angry with you and you knew instantly before a word was uttered or you saw their face. You have never entered a gathering and intuitively gathered that some big news was afloat. Verbal and body language clues perhaps, what about the thoughts of someone unseen and then the phone call comes? What about the thoughts to call someone and when you do, they remark that they were just thinking of you?

Thoughts move across time and space without limitation of physical laws. Intention to send positive thoughts can accelerate the process. You may or may not want to heal from a physical illness, a debilitating condition, mental stress, anxiety or pain. Why not? Read “Why People Don’t Heal and how they can” by Caroline Myss. We get ‘something’ out of sickness, lack and pain. But that’s another story for another day. Watch for it.

Today I’m talking about someone who truly desires healing and the possibility of that occurring without a pill or invasive surgery. Can we turn up the volume on the amount of healing energy that can come through a practitioner’s hands or a friend’s thoughts? Absolutely, I’ve seen it firsthand.

I burned my hand one day. It was a minor burn but uncomfortable. A few family members and friends were at my home and one ran to the bathroom for ‘medicine’ while another reached for the ice in the refrigerator. My Reiki student knew that what I desired was for her to send healing thoughts and turn up the volume and intensity of healing energy immediately, directed toward my burn. Quickly she did this while I stood silently, apart from her, and opened myself to receive. The burn feeling stopped immediately.

My niece looked quizzically at me while she stammered, “I thought you were kidding about this Reiki stuff”. Nope, serious as a heart attack.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I’m taking the train today, Amtrak, heading to Chicago. My beautiful, darling son is there with his wife and children. I asked him once how he learned to be such a good dad. His answer was that I showed him by being both. You don’t get many compliments like that one in a lifetime.

My niece is there with her husband and little boy, plus her big boy who has developed into a good friend as he reached adulthood a few years ago and became an artist and world traveler. Those don’t usually get combined but they did in his case. He was doing air-brushed art at Disney and a New Zealand couple took an interest in his work and now it’s offered on t-shirts on the Island on the other side of the world. I’m looking forward to a more in-depth chat about how his visit went.

Trains are a great way to travel. I enjoyed flying from the first time I got on a Michigan-winter flight to Florida back in the early 70’s. Went by myself and enjoyed every minute of the thrill. Back then the last few rows in the plane were reserved for smokers! Planes changed and while the smoking in closed quarters without any open-windows would be an issue, a bigger one is the rules and regulations requiring shoes, coats and belts to be removed, taking the laptop out of the case, everything in baskets and then on the plane, the seats up and down, trays, electronic devices. Give me a train today.

Trains are easy. You can reserve at the last minute, show up at the last minute, pay in cash, none of that credit card required to be scanned. Change your seat, move around, and take a break by walking back to the dining card and sitting down to have a coffee and bagel. Not the best food to be sure, but available. I can stretch out and open my laptop or read a book or sleep and five hours later, I switch trains in downtown Chicago.

A few blocks away from the Amtrak station is the Metra station. I get to walk along Chicago River and remember the summer jaunts I’ve taken on the Water Taxi. I love Chicago. Navy Pier is a favorite place in the spring and summer.

I visited Tall Ships Chicago in 2006. This year's event is still in the planning stages, but starts August 24th and they are looking for volunteers. Hmmm, if I'm still in the area...

Ships from all over the world, all sailed into Chicago on the same August morning for the Festival. A few of the local tour boat companies offered special cruises during the festival and my grandson and I were in one of these that was heading out into the lake as the ships were sailing in. Phenomenal day, never to be forgotten.

Unfortunately, it is March and not much going on this weekend in Chicago, at least not that I’ll be involved in, just a family visit. It’s good to have family.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Please comment

I love Google Analytics!! I had added it to my blog awhile back but wasn’t getting any info (I thought no one was reading it)… turns out I missed one subtle detail. BUT, thanks to one of my classes this semester I got the missing piece. So, I’ve been able to see that Yes, Lots of people are visiting my blog and I can see what city they are in but I didn’t know I had friends in those cities.

Please, please, please, let me know who you are. Comment if you like. I’m really interested in your opinion (I think).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reiki Healing Touch

Hands on or Distance? Is one more powerful than the other? I personally like hands-on although there are exceptions. Physical distance between client and practitioner certainly is a factor but in the case of face-to-face situations there are two major considerations. One is that not everyone likes to be touched and the other is that certain skin conditions prohibit touching, the most obvious, a burn, but also significant, a rash which may be contagious.

Burned skin will not feel good if it is touched, especially not when heat is radiating from the Practitioner, as it will when one has intention of allowing Healing Energy to pass through her hands. Even standing a few feet apart, using the Distance Symbolism to create the connection and then applying Power and Clearing Symbols will be most effective and most comfortable for the client.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I got inspired this week; I noted an ad for a writing contest in the Oakland Press. They want a 3-5 minute script. On impulse I clipped the ad and set it on the kitchen table. That’s an area that gets visited frequently and I need my visual reminders in plain view. A roommate once said that after we hung a curtain on a hall closet, the closet disappeared. Neither of us ever thought to look there when we were searching for something we knew was in the house, somewhere. If I can’t see it, I forget it. Makes for a mess in the bedroom but that’s another story.

So, I need to think of a story for the writing contest. I have a few of them, a few that I think about from time to time and know that I need to develop further, one that I’d like to expand into a novel, a few that would go well in a collection of short stories (maybe not too many of those), but the problem is what is right for a screen play.

I watch movies every day. I get no televised programming on my set… it’s for video only. I vary between Netflix, Blockbuster, Redbox, public library and whatever I hear of next. My current favorite is Netflix because of the streaming video. But that’s taking me off on another subject again.

I took a cinematography class last summer from Texas Woman’s University. It was a distance class but provided an excellent text book, inspirational discussion with classmates and many recommendations for movies I hadn’t yet seen. We studied color, setting, script, music, all sorts of interesting concepts related to film that we normally just process without awareness. I became more aware.

Plus, a friend of mine sold a screenplay and that really got me excited. I picked up a couple of books on how to write a screenplay – a little different than the novel or short story and started thinking about it. So, here I am with a contest requiring a 3-5 minute script. I just have to decide which story to create an excerpt from. I’m on the case.