Suki’s lesson of the day: See Flowers. Shree Yoga, Taos.

by admin

Thorns producing a flower.

I started the today at Shree Yoga, just south of Kit Carson Road and 1/2 block west.

The room was beautiful, warm but not hot, small white enameled wood stoves and a wonderfully aged floor.

Sweet Suki of the fun yoga practice.

Suki greated me at the door. Suki was Lace’s nickname (my daughter) as a little girl.

There were four of us of all ages, one young man. I cannot say it as beautifully as she did, but she began our practice with these thoughts.

Lent was the topic. And though she’d decided to practice a date late, she had pledged her commitment to giving up something meaningful.

Not chocolate or wine. For denial of pleasures, if not such excessiveness warranting total exclusion, was transitory creating a later craving in abstinence.

She mentioned a Balinese song, whose words went something like this.

“if your heart is a flower, you will see flowers.”

“if your heart is a thorn, you will see thorns.” 

Not to deny that one’s heart would sometimes be thorny and prickley, for these are necessary at times to learn. But, we control how long we stay in the darker, negative, contentious ones.

So, not too long. Because we will see what we think.

Her second point was in a personal commitment that she was making.

Unpeeling the onion.

Suki expressed that she was wanting to peel away the layers to better understand herself and her past. To uncover what is below.

I think this is a lifelong quest. Because, like an onion, if they are not continuously peeled and revealed, a crust and hardening will form.

And being almost 52 (and also having a facial today to peel away the layers), it seems that renewal is even more important. With the challenges of life in 20s, 30s, 40s in work, relationships, family, perhaps children it often seems too busy to do. The layers just encircle and encircle and the whirling dervish misses the point of wisdom and illumination.

In this and in so many other ways, I learn so much from children, from my children, from everyone younger who will take the world forward. It is okay to question, necessary. And to learn about self, which is unselfish. Really, no one really cares about you but you.

So I figure that I better figure it out.

To see what has worked, what has not, and to try to discover our true purpose. At least, our true purpose for this time.

When I see flowers, I am thankful and give flowers.

And then what I see is a big bouquet. Everyone’s flowers, complete with some thorns, all blending together in a beautiful joyous sometimes prickley arrangement with music and chocolate. 

Still Life. Jan Davisz de Heem.

Awaken Your (Indigo) Wild Joy & Take Back Valentine’s Day.

by admin

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2012. Kansas City.

one perfect Valentine's Day: Rosie black pug, sunflowers & greenflowers, Zum Grapefruit oil, man's soap, Andre's, Juicy Baby Doll set, a found bra strap, and a taupe lace half cami.

I moved recently to Kansas City and I feel as if I am living in Central Park East, upper 70s (?). Haven’t really a clue where as I don’t know NYC that well, but thinking since the Nelson is south and a little west and aligning this with the Met, I would say this is approximately my neighborhood. No point, but ADD has taken full hold working on financial, legal, unpacking, car title, health insurance, and numerous other things which I classify as WORK.

So, I had to take a break to do some of my other work today as it is Valentine’s Day and we all need to treat ourselves.

First, a preface.

My daughter texted last night:

“Well  XXX and I prob don’t go much. (???, new i-phone). I kind of want to dress up though and we’ll just go to din andhe’ll stay with me in KC.”

[XXX is name not disclosed to protect his privacy as a very smart first year full-ride KU law student by way of his former position as Assistant Pro at the Phoenix Country Club].

Then this:

“Jay thinks vday is so stupid.”

Now, as a smart mother, I agreed and sent a long negative viral text rant about social pressures, consumption, media driven economy, men having pressure to show their roll with gift, women having pressure to tell their friends what their “man” got them since the girl with the best (translation to many is $$, don’t agree) gifts supposedly has “won” which takes all women back into the dark ages in so many ways I won’t go into it relative to women taking control over their lives. Here are a few of the excerpts:

“…i hate those stupid special menus where they jack up prices and serve stupid bad valentiny food. Go to a gay bar or google knuckleheads. I may have to do this, greAt idea paula [someone else introduced me so I can’t take credit for finding this.]”

“you have to rebel itherwise (i-phone again) ots a lose lose for all. I did always like Dad’s dove bites never turn down a choc or flower but sometimes this happens for no holiday whatsover.”

“Plus men who buy into it will really hate it if they were socially forced into it for 30 years.”

“That being said, if i ever get surprised with a car or a big diamond i wont throw it back in anyone’s face.”

“I’m probably just jealous.”

Can you imagine having a mother like this from he!! who shares what reality of life might be like with this kind of cynical bad attitude 30 years from now? One good thing about mothers is that they can be a good role model or a frightening example, both work equally well.

Just ignore me, my first reaction is always negative, it’s kind of a boundary off-putting thing after which point I am totally open to whatever was said or suggested. I then have gotten this off my chest, have to make amends, and proceed to the PollyAnna Stuff. Any design perfectionistic people understand the critical nature. That’s what keeps buildings from falling down and artistic people working for nothing but their unrealistic desire to make others happy just like comedians want to make us laugh and musicians want to make us feel. We all have needs to be met.

Valentine’s Day. There was only one thing on the agenda.

Zum Store to have a tour with old family-personal-h.s.-KU friend Linda.

Tour was incredible. Soap room, other products room, met all the pups and peeps, beautiful creative design at every turn with ornate mirrors, corner booths with custom ottomans, an accounts receivable in metal orange casework to die for.

After: purchases for Lace and her BF.

Grapefruit Body Oil. Purchased this for myself the other day. Lace grew up on  pink grapefruit juice, so once again chose as preferable to the featured love oil scent for both genders and for positive memory association. We also had sectioned broiled pink grapefruit Christmas morning with powdered sugar. Very very nice.

On recommendation from a handsome man in the front office, I chose for XXX the shaving soap, a very mild clean masculine appropriate almost non-scent.

The fine young man at Starbuck’s on Main who gave me directions recommended the cedar. I asked if he also wore plaid shirts as he had fine beard. “Yes,” he replied. “And do you do log rolling?” “Yes,” he replied. “And you are working the lumberjack gig tonight?”, I said. “Of course.” Thumbs up!

But this just didn’t seem fitting for a man who wears beautiful golf shirts of the Scottsdale genre.

a note: Daisy the pug at Zum was wary of me and I was told she is normally so friendly. I was a little taken aback, maybe she smelled Rosie who does tend to be a bit aggressive at first and left some scent on me. I really was kind of hurt, dogs usually love me. I have pug paintings all over my website, have had 5 pugs in my life, wrote a little Prairie Pug Book. I will have to work on this, maybe I came off too strong. She may have also heard that I often photograph pugs, probably sensing that I might sneak a pic and use her to blatantly market the nothing I have to sell. Smart puggie, just like those (I still call them) Indians at the Taos Pueblo remind me,”It’s going to cost you.” I don’t think Daisy will want a gift certificate at the liquor store, though. I’ll have to think on this. 

I wanted to take a picture of all the pretty displays and colors in front retail but it didn’t seem appropriate to ask after all of their kindness and time today.

  • Rydell’s Alterations for button-sewing-on and button purchase consultation. Pick up black accordian pleat dress and jean leggings and drop off jean leggings.
  • The Dime Store upon his recommendation for buttons. This was complicated, it always is.
  • Back to Rydell’s to discuss the structure, shape, black vs. metal with all their great selections, and ease of buttoning which was my issue plus button loss which brought me in. He selected one, but it was in part for roundness as this was my issue.
  • Back to Dimestore to return others, and get more.
  • Back to Rydell to drop off and give him check from car for pickup items.
  • Back to Dimestore as I decided I liked the different flatter button with both gold and black as contemporary and a nice mix with lace and stripes. He totally understood the reasons why. Also the subtlety possible only discernible to design people and why I would go to this extra trouble to choose the more difficult beveled button though it was flatter than what I’d brought in. It is 12 tiny buttons up the back and usually unbuttoned or buttoned cockatew when I walk about the door requiring help at some point during my day.
  • Back to Rydell to drop off and try to sneak his picture. This is real reason why I go in here, especially on Valentine’s Day. He is European and wears these great European-cut form fitting pants, has the shaved head thing going on. Unfortunately he a) had his shirt out for some reason (he must have seen me coming) and b) does not like having his picture taken. I did get this one, but his best attribute is not visible, though his smile a nice second.
  • The dark and handsome man and exquisite tailor at Rydell in his black form-fitting pants we cannot see.

  • I then went to Shopgirls and picked up a taupe grey lace cami kind of thing that would be great underneath something sheer. Spoke with darling creative girl Carly Griffith about her blog about fashion.
  • Realized God was punishing me for shopping, even at the nomimal lingerie price range, and I had lost the bra strap to my black bra. If you could see it, you would understand why this caused dismay. It is flowery and ruffley and something I will never replace.
  • So had to re-trace my footsteps to go back to Rydell’s (showing him my brastrap of course, simply so he’d understand the importance of calling me) and leave my number in case he found it.
  • Voila! It was right there on the sidewalk on Brookside. God was smiling that I had not let it ruin my day. So, he rewarded me by not letting someone come by and steal this cool one bra strap, somone missed out (with a one cup bra).
  • Heart Torte's in the case. I had no reason to buy one for tonight. But, really cannot resist, so I may have to return tomorrow as they will be marked down a bit and will keep (except the raspberries) until Sat. Hmmm....who can come for dinner?

    These are the feuillete puff pastry palmier whatever you call them raspberry things.

  • Andrés to get a little chocolat. Found two great little heart shaped things. 1 petite buttercream torte with fondant for Lace, and a heart-shaped feuilleté (palmier) filled with raspberries. My dad and his partners designed Andrés (Steve Abend really, I think) arched opening years ago which I think are timeless. And André Bouillier went to my Church, Second Presbyterian. So, after the service he brought all the swiss pastries in Westminster Hall to go with the coffee. I won’t go into all the Bouillier-Design-Graves-Goolsbee-Theta-Pembroke-SME overlaps as everyone has this in KC. In sw Kansas, it was like 17 degrees of separation instead of the 2 in JoCo/KC, though I always found the connection.
  • My final stop. I was so excited, I have been passing by this place on Westport Road for the last two weeks. I have such a wild imagination, I was fantasizing great things that seemed perfect for today. You’ve seen in, that store….
  • Awaken (and Re-Awaken, yes, yes, yes!) your wild Joy.

  • Awaken (and Re-Awaken, yes, yes, yes!) your wild Joy.
  • Awaken Your Wild Joy.
  • This was the only slight disappointment. It appeared to be empty. Micah’s name was on the door, so I did take a picture because it might just be a front to something really even more enticing than I could have imagined.
  • So, I had another thought to take a positive spin on it. And not to get ahead of myself…But, if I ever do find I have anything to sell or find any service people might pay me for which would afford this rent, I would just keep this signage on the window. It seems like it could be applicable to anything I might do or may have done in the past: architecture, preservation, French, (maybe not grant writing), ranch cooking, a sexy spin on Art History as my young friend in my building from Belgium, Stephan, just showed me his beautiful French Explicité (pornugraphie….there’s a nicer word for art level of porn), mosaic chairs or birdhouses, jewelry, nude portraiture, and a host of other things I did for my egg money.
  • love blue, started with Indigo and working back to a baby hue as seeing my first love child tonight, but I guess since it’s it Lace this would be pink as Jack is in Lawrence. Two of my first true loves.

OK, it’s 6:30, and I have to get on to my Valentine’s Celebration with a drink at Nara with Lace and BF before their dinner at Drunken Fish. Her gift also includes a Juicy Couture cute little baby doll nightset but don’t tell her.

After that, I have no plan, but certainly will celebrate love in the air. I am my special someone these days and want to bathe in everyone elses’s happy feelings, so I will go out SOMEWHERE, regardless.

(translation, may go see Freud-Jung movie for the third time, except I missed the 7:30, so home to try to figure out this pesky cable thing and remote. Urban living is so difficult).

It was a Perfect Valentine’s Day. 

le sketch du jour. Sunday July 13, 1980. Every Day, Good and Bad, is a Lucky Day.

by admin

Paula walking the Streets of Paris losing her umbrella and carte d'orange in the rain.

Like a lot of people, there are things that I block immediately from my thoughts, but they sit there dark and unexplored until he thinks I can face up, grow up, move on, and feel grateful for everything in life that happens on the journey. But in the middle, on the way, I sometimes lose, or think I have lost my compass.

It was a Sunday which should be a day of rest and peace. And in hindsight, it was. My Grandmother and I had been to Giverny the day before, and I went to the Hotel Regina the next morning. From my journal, I had written:

-Went to Granda’s. Long story, not worth writing.  

Why could I be wise, but at times, so unwise now? For in the outpouring of words, there is a multitude of sin.

Mothers, Daughters, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, women, sisters. We have the same stories, different players different roles but same love which is all that matters.

So…(from my journal notes)

-Home. Lunch at 4:00 at Café on south side of Pont Royale. Lost umbrella. walked around alot.

-Dinner with Robb Barnes [this was Gina’s older boyfriend by at least a year who was so nice that Dean and Ginny allowed her to break rule of only dating boys in her grade who I guess was traveling abroad?].

-Very nice. Good Dinner at Restaurant with sort of Neo-Classical dude’d-up [is this a French word, Paula? must have been homesick for Kansas] interior, Le Mobillard or Mollard in le Place du Havre by Gare D’Austerlitz. He is at the Hotel Atlantic on Rue de Londres-small but clean.

Dinner menu: (It was taken care of by R.B.-nice treat!) 


fillet of sole

green beans and

Baked Alaska! – Fun!

[and can you imagine how??  the big brother I never had]

Lost carte d’orange.

[this is the pass pour le métro which was to get me through my time in Paris. As I was on my self-induced budget with goal to bring home money to my mother for this great experience to which she had treated me, I was dismayed, mostly with myself. I still am unhappy with myself when I lose things because it happens when I do not focus. And when I am sometimes upset by things which are just a part of life, plus a major case of ADD unless I am hyperfocused on work. And of course the talking….need to listen.]

Home at 12:00. Bed.

P.S. Got to talk to mom-made my day & helped 100%.

I know now as a mother what angst this must have caused her for me to dump all these emotions I always seem to feel so deeply which went from generation to generation but no one seeing through each other’s glasses because it is always different. But at the time, her listening was just the soothing that homesick Paula needed. I need to do better about this. It is my time to listen to Lacy who so often has been my mom. To grow up.

All I really have to say is this:  Paris was the best preparation for life on the High Plains that I could have ever had. 

Places, People, Pictures

Boulevards, dirt roads,

Seine, Cimarron,

le café and the cafe,

au lait or black,

du vin or Jack,

it don’t matter, de rien 

home is where your heart is

and back again. 

And with this loss of my carte d’orange, I only really then began to meet Paris of the street.

Walking alone, seeing, thinking, processing alone.

I so need people and so like to be alone.

Alone is good, but needy is not.

Love God, love others as myself. That is my compass.