Friday, June 4, 2010


Although life is a wonderful path of discovery I am taking the blog to Raising Lucy - my blog about connecting with people and animals.  I think the reason I didn't add a thing to either in so long is that I never quite knew where info should go. Simplifying and down-sizing - perfect for these times and symbolic of what I am doing in my life.
I thank you and hope you will follow me at Raising Lucy from now on...I will be a better blogger for it. 
Have a great summer, Carol 6/2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Well there ya go

Time flies and no blog postings!  ACK!  One minute it's cold December and the next minute it's balmy February.  We have had a 10th of the snow we had last year and frankly it has been a relief, although water concerns are always in mind.  The rest of the nation has been under seige with the weather and so far, we have really missed out. 
We have been resting, relaxing, and took a two week trip to Maui.   Nick and I accomplished a dream of becoming certified divers while there.  Both of us had long been wanting to become certified, but didn't want to do it in the cold waters of our lake.  We studied for weeks prior to our arrival and it took 3 days to test, learn, and demonstrate our new skills.  The picture of me is with a cheap little camera, but would love to have a nice underwater camera.  It had fogged up when the Monk Seal swam right by me so don't have a photo of that.  There are only maybe 1100 Monk Seals left on the planet, and as they get moved out of their natural homes by development and the presence of people experts believe they will be extinct in our lifetime!  I thought it was quite an honor to see one. 

The whales were having a great time and of course we did as we watched Humpbacks cavort in the waters.  You have to stay 100 yards away from them, which we did.  With the motor off while in our friend's boat a baby whale came quite close to us.  The escort whale came in between us quite close to remind us of who's the boss.  Most of the images I got on video so I'll have to obtain snaps of moments from the film. 
Glad to be home although much prefer going outside in shorts, tank top, and flip flops. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

To Christmas Tree?

Christmas is an interesting holiday when your parents and gone, relatives are flung all over the nation, and you have no kids.  I decorate less and less as each year passes and my Christmas letters get sent in January.  Spiritually, Christmas has nothing to do with who you are.  Who you are every day says who you are, not whether or not you put a tree up, exchange gifts, or put lights all over your house. 

But there is still a glimmer of the child in me and I remember clearly how wonderful it felt to be around my loving grandparents during the holidays.  Yes, the presents were great, what stays with me for all these years is the sharing and laughing.  The magical lights and reflective ornaments on the tree and angel hair on the mantle of the fireplace were wonderful, and I loved them.  It all contributed to the magic of the season as a child. 

There has been much discussion about whether or not one should call a tree a Christmas tree or a holiday tree, and should we say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.  I think people get too tied to their beliefs and can't rationally see beyond them.  Wouldn't it be better if those negative attitudes were converted to more loving attitudes towards everyone instead?  When did a Christmas tree have anything to do with Jesus?  There are Christian churches which actually shun such activities - like putting up a tree - as they really are based on pagan practices and have nothing to do with Christ.  My grandfather, when he was growing up in the late 1800s, would tell of their Christmases.  Even though their family was well-to-do, they did not have a tree, but they hung a stocking for each child on the fireplace.  They would get something small like fruit in their stockings.  Imagine how that would go over now! 

Nick and I haven't actually shunned the practice of gift giving, and we still might get a tree.  My sister is coming after Christmas and it would definitely add to the festivities.  For gifts Nick and I bought ourselves some things the house needed and are calling those our Christmas gifts to each other.  When I tell people that, some get so sad, like we are really missing out on something, like it's almost sacreligious to say we won't be exchanging gifts or getting a tree, but we're doing what fits for our lives. 

Who needs a lot more stuff - we certainly don't, and my hope is that I will use Christmas to reflect on acceptance and forgiveness of myself and others in my everyday life, and being thankful for so much along with where I am now, and the path I'm on.  Even though Christmas isn't on the actual day or month Christ was born, it never-the-less can be used to look reflectively into the quality of our lives.  With or without lights, a tree, and Christmas kitch my hope is to find the true Peace at Christmas that I can take with me into every day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Contemplation and Balance

Finding balance.  What we all seem to struggle with in these hectic days.  I think of parents trying to manage busy families and jobs and I'm in awe.  I don't know if it is just because I'm getting older and embarking on a new life, but balance has been a difficult one for me in this last year.
Because I work from home mostly, I find that I get pulled onto the dance-floor of life very easily which takes me away from all the real work I should be doing.  The phone rings, the laundry is there, the dust beckons to me, the dog excitedly reminds me she wants to walk. 
Publishing my own book was a massive project and putting every ounce of creative energy into it for 9 months created a huge sigh of relief when it was finally in my hand back from the printer.  It was very stressful for me, working out the final details, and I think once it was done - I just let go. 
I have always thought of myself as a pretty healthy individual although during the creation of the book I definitely wasn't walking much, breathing fresh air much, or visiting with friends, or eating well.  Heavens, I live on a lake and I couldn't force myself to leave the studio to take a dip on some of those lucious hot days.  I just worked and worked and worked. 
Finally though it caught up with me and I got very ill.  In fact, three times in the last three months!  Never before has this ever happened to me, in fact I was always the one who never took the flu shot and never got the flu.  Even when I was working with sick patients as an RN.
In the not too distant past I simultaneously went back to school and got my Bachelor's degree, ran a multi-million dollar facility and staff, and managed the remodel of our home without as much as a sniffle.  I guess things are different now. 
The result is that these illnesses have been a wake-up call and I realize the status quo will no longer take me where I need to go.  I've found that the stray dog we adopted, who demands my attention for walks, has actually been a gift.  She and I get outside every morning for a long brisk walk, regardless of the weather.
While I was sick I also lost my appetite for two things: alcohol and coffee.  These are two things that were a big part of my daily life for many years.  Morning coffee is now substituted with tea and evening wine - well I just drink a lot of water now.
I find tea to be an inspiring drink and it has a different sensibility than coffee.  To enjoy the experience even more I've brought out some old teapots that my grandmother gave me years ago and I feel her spiritual blessing as I begin my day.  While drinking my morning tea, I am writing again - every day.  It helps clear out the cobwebs of fear based thoughts and often I move quickly towards gratitude I have for life.  I flow into inspiration and the words just stream onto the page.
I also meditate.  The meditation isn't new and it's an important part of my day and I am renewed in my commitment to the peace and joy that it brings. 
My day is now beginning with such enthusiasm I feel ready to dive right into what the universe brings to the table. I am ready to embark on the creative journey again - refreshed.  Balance is being restored and I realize that my body tells me that my old ways will no longer be effective for this new creative life I want to live.  I must listen, and in my desire to live boldly I know that every moment is asking me to choose. Peace, health, and creativity demand I make the better choice.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Morning Walks

I have so much gratitude for where I live.  Coeur d' Alene Lake is my home.  As a kid, my family came to this lake from a hot and dry Walla Walla.  My sister and I would vie to be the first to see the lake as we came around the last corner.  The smells of the pines and the lake water were quite different than the dry pea and wheat fields that surrounded our town, and it completely filled our senses. 

Little did I realize that the place I swam in when I was less than a year old, learned to water ski on, the same place where at the age of 15 my girlfriend Linda Taggart and I, with 2 boys from Pullman, magically found a 6 pack of beer floating in the lake, and the spiritual place where I went to church camp at N-Sid-Sen, would be the place I would live many years later.  The place is my true spiritual home. 

My husband's family had a cabin on this lake when he was growing up.  I've thought many times about the possibility as we took my aunt and uncle's boat past their place that I might have glimpsed at the little kid I was going to spend my life with.  I met Nick many years later on a snowy ski slope high up 40 miles east of the lake.  The snow pack of Silver Mt. feeds the rivers that flow into this lake - which is symbolic for me.  Nick, a boat captain, lived on his big wood boat and me his mooring (my maiden name is Moring) came along to bring safe harbor.

Coeur d' Alene Lake has been everything for me, a thread that has woven itself through my whole life.  I have learned to trust here, to love here, to create and connect, and I might just burst into song - and I learned to breathe the air here.  I opened up an art gallery that overlooked the lake, calling it, appropriately, Sunset Gallery.  I raised an orphaned wild goose here and taught her to fly on this lake.  To teach Lucy to fly I had to become adept at driving and parking the boat.  After Lucy left with the wild geese the boat became my "car" to go to and from the gallery.  The goose and the lake have inspired my life, a film, and now a book and the inspiration seems endless.

I love my funky, comfy, fun home and my morning walks with our new dog.  Life could not have turned out any better and I have so much gratitude for all the decisions and choices and friends I made along the way that got me right here. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009


It's been an unusual 2 weeks.  I attended Bookfest 2009 in Seattle and met so many people.  While there I took the time to attend book readings by 2 of my favorite NW authors, Garth Stein and Jennie Shortridge.  I read Garth's book The Art of Racing in the Rain and highly recommend the book to anyone.  Jennie's new book, When She Flew, was just released and my sister won a signed copy during the question period afterwards.  I met Jennie at PNBA in Portland and she is an accomplished author with several modern novels that she loosely weaves some of her traits, like being the lead singer in a rock and roll band, into the main character. 

I met lots of librarians, teachers, illustrators, and many different writers.  I have since been asked by several schools to come to the Seattle area in the spring to present Lucy's story. 

I have been so busy in a myriad of ways.  We adopted a stray dog.  She had been running loose in our rural area for weeks and all of our neighbors had been feeding her, but she wouldn't come near any of us.  She's been with us several weeks now and is trusting more and more.  She acts as if she was abused and doesn't trust people in general, especially men.  Our old cat Bailey is barely tolerant of Lily's (we named her Lily) youthful enthusiasm and I know Bailey was enjoying life as the queen of the house until this "intruder" showed up.  I've been giving lots of special attention to the cat, and really, Lily has also been a joy to have around.  With a dog I've also been getting out of the house more and we walk the beach and different roads and trails near our home several times a day.  Especially when it's blustery outside it's always easier to talk myself into staying inside.  But once you have a dog who needs the exercise and a good poop (like I don't!) it is invigorating to be out in it, regardless of the weather.  I am really thankful for that little dog Lily.  We have both helped each other in so many ways.  Pics soon.

We also had our house interior painted professionally.  I would love painting everything myself and have painted several bedrooms and the kitchen within the last year, but I just didn't have time and a painter friend of ours needed the work.  We hadn't painted the main living area in 10 years since we remodeled and I wanted to get rid of the Italian jewel tones and go lighter.  The house has such a different feeling now.  I love it and wanted a change but the house was in chaos for over a week with artwork down and furniture moved here and there to accomodate the painter.

With a new dog, and adding dog walking into an already busy life, working at getting life reorganized, then the painting, book orders, and school presentations - I've been busy.  Then I got sick.  Maybe I've been more stressed than I thought I was and/or maybe I got it at one of the elementary schools presentations.  I'm contemplating getting the H1N1 vaccine.  I normally don't get flu shots, but getting out in public with the book signings and presentations has me wondering if I should.  Finally just today, I'm feeling more normal after a week of coughing, blowing, and sneezing.   

I am so thankful for feeling normal again and I'm regaining the enthusiasm for talking, connecting, planning, and getting out there with Raising Lucy.   Great big world - here I come!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Raising Lucy is an Award - Winning Finalist for USA Book News

We just heard this morning that Raising Lucy: The True Story of Raising an Orphaned Wild Goose is already winning awards.  Thank you for the recognition!