Category Archives: Friendship

Thoughts on people I love

Thank You, Shirley

I have been rather ill for about a month or so. I changed into “The Lone Wolf” which I tend to do when I’m sick – that is I go off by myself to “lick my wounds”, try to gather my energy, and heal while becoming a hermit in the process.

My dear friend Shirley was very concerned about me. She called me, sent me emails, and sent me healing energy to help me feel better. She understands my lone wolf proclivities and checks up on me once in awhile to make sure I’m still drawing breath.

This last bout of illness lasted a long time. I had been very depressed and had horrible headaches and digestive problems and just felt like crap. I am a huge reader, and it took effort for me to even pick up a book at times – that’s how you know I really feel bad.

So yesterday I woke up and there was some kind of framed object covered with a blanket sitting in our TV room. I had no idea what it could be…I uncovered it…and it was a piece of artwork my friend Shirley had created many years ago! It is an “Articulator”- Shirley innovated new materials and techniques inspired by an ancient art form to create these works of art. She calls them “Articulators” because the canvas is “articulated” – it has regular fan-like folds in it which allow her to paint one scene on one side of the fold, and another on the other side. As a result, when you look at the picture from the left you see one scene; as you move to the right of the picture it dissolves into a different scene. These works of art are a labor of love and can take many weeks to complete.

She had given it to us to cheer me up after all these weeks of illness! It certainly did that!!

So I was blessed with the gift of this Articulator, entitled “The Spirit of Life Dancing in the Winds of Change”. It has pride of place on my wall to all who enter the house. I love this painting because I have always been a lover of trees (yes, I am the original “tree hugger”). Trees are such an ancient form of life and I believe they are part of an overall Earth consciousness…as of course are we. The tree that becomes the Spirit of Life Dancing reflects, to me, that we all come from the same Source, all is made of energy dancing through its many configurations. As the leaves of the trees dance and bend to the winds of life, so we too adapt and change our dance.

The tree view

Walk to the right of the art and you see…

The Spirit of Life view

Note: The lighting conditions caused by flash photography do not highlight the full beauty of the work.

Isn’t it beautiful? Giving me this artwork was truly an act of spirituality by Shirley. She knew how much I liked this piece, it was hanging in her home and several months ago I had asked her rather sheepishly if she would leave it to me in her will. And now…here it is on my wall. To create such a beautiful thing and to able to detach from it and give it away for someone else to enjoy is a rare act in today’s world. I am so lucky to have a friend like Shirley.

I love you, Shirley. Thanks for the art and also for sticking by me and checking up on me when I’m ill. You and I are soulmates.

Here you can see how the two images are interconnected.



Filed under Art, Friendship, Life, Spirituality

Neighborly Watch

I get a kick out of the people in my neighborhood.

We live in a very stable part of our housing tract. By that, I mean that no one in our corner has moved in a long time, and the newest family has been here for 15 years. So we all know each other and keep an eye on each other’s homes. One of these couples, I’ll call them Ned and Sarah, have been here the longest, well over 25 years, and they are extremely friendly and outgoing. Everyone’s welcome in their home at any time. They are just that nice.

The other day I bumped into the college-age son of the couple who live across the street from us. Billy, whose father is Bill, told me this story that had me in stitches.

One night last week, Billy came home about 1:30 AM and noticed that Ned and Sarah’s car door was wide open and the interior lights were on. Although he didn’t see anything else amiss with the car, being the good neighbor that he is, he went home, woke up his dad Bill Sr., and the two of them proceeded to check out Ned and Sarah’s house. They knocked on the door, and it fell open; this really made them suspicious and concerned!

They entered the house and called Ned and Sarah’s name loudly as they looked through each room of the house; there was no response. The last place they checked was the master bedroom.


Ned and Sarah were in bed, a little surprised but beckoning to Bill and Billy to “Come on in! What’s new?”

Knowing the nature of Ned and Sarah, I just had to laugh. Their first reaction wasn’t “What are you doing here?”, it was simply “Come on in!”

Billy said later the situation could have been either dangerous (if they had a weapon) or embarrassing (if marital relations had been in progress), but instead, it was just plain funny, and a heartwarming reminder of how nice it is to live in a neighborhood where people really care about each other!


Filed under Friendship, Humor, Life, Musings, Unexpected events

Quantum Leaps 1st Birthday

I can’t believe this blog is 1 year old today! My little baby is growing up!

I remember when I first started blogging, I thought to myself “What on earth will I write about everyday? How will I come up with topics of interest to myself and others???”

But I was so excited about the idea after being introduced to it by my buddy Night Panther, that I just HAD to give it a try (thanks again, James!)

So today I am re-posting my very first post, since I’m sure that my current readers (except James and Nicola) have probably never read it.

And of course, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTOPHER, the person who’s known me longer than anyone else!! My childhood “partner in crime.”


Old Friends

(originally posted July 21, 2006)

Today was the birthday of my oldest friend. Not chronologically, but acquaintance-wise. My friend Christopher and I met when we were both three years old. My family had just moved from the New York City area to a suburb on the Hudson (called “the sticks” by urban folk). One day I was outside playing “Astroboy”, my favorite cartoon character whom I aspired to be, and two ladies came walking down the street with their arms around each other. They greeted me and said “we have someone for you to meet!”. So with my parent’s permission I walked around the corner and discovered Christopher. I was very much the tomboy and we hit it off immediately. I guess I had a somewhat dominant personality in those days, because sometimes when Chris would climb on the roof of the garage, his mom would call me over to talk him down when all else failed. We were lucky enough to live in an old area of town, and Chris’ property had a creek, hills to go sledding, big trees, a big front yard where his dad built a little baseball diamond for us to play on, a small playhouse his dad built, a handlebar “trolly” strung on a wire between two trees that we would hold on to and ride downhill, and a great little area for playing with our Matchbox cars that consisted of loose dusty dirt that could be tunnelled out for underground garages. Later there was a pool. It was childhood Wonderland.

I learned so much about the male world from my friend. I learned the rules of how boys play, which I know helped me later in the world when I entered the Electronics industry. I knew how to “play” with the boys and have never, ever had a bad experience with a male in the workplace. I understand the male sensibility. I love men and find that they often make the best friends. Needless to say, my women friends are very special, because I don’t know too many I can truly relate to.

Now my friend turned 46 today. I called him and wished him a happy day, and it felt like we had just seen each other yesterday, although it has been 20 years; 32 since I moved away to California. I feel blessed to have a friend who has known me this long. It’s a rare thing in today’s world. Many friendships seem superficial these days. People are too busy to keep in touch. But not me and my old friend. We will always be in each other’s hearts.


Filed under Friendship, Life, Musings

My Old Buddy

Readers who have been with me since the beginning of my blog might remember my friend Richie. He was diagnosed with cancer last year and went through surgeries, procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation. And…he’s in remission! I was happily surprised when Rich and his wife Cheri dropped in last week…from Kentucky!

Rich looks great. Due to his past illness, he dropped about 80 pounds. He still looks to me like the young boy who was my first friend when I moved to California at age 14. I had a huge crush on him and he tried to “get away” but…I was persistent. We became good friends and later we dated for over a year. We both worked at Xerox at the same time as technical representatives (i.e. machine technicians – the guys and gals who come to your office and fix the copiers). Rich still works there, but is no longer a roving tech.

Rich, his wife Cheri, and 6 year old daughter Maddie are happily ensconced in Kentucky now. They really like the people out there and the apparent neighborly concern everyone has for each other.

If Rich stays in remission for 5 years, he will be considered cured. I should not say “if”- I mean “when”!!

Richie and me last week. 

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Filed under Friendship, Life, Unexpected events

A Day with an Artist

My friend Shirley is an artist (you may remember her from one of my earlier posts called “My Amazing Friend”) . Shirley innovated new materials and techniques inspired by an ancient art form to create paintings she calls “Articulators”. She calls them Articulators because the canvas is “articulated” – it has regular fan-like folds in it which allow her to paint one scene on one side of the fold, and another on the other side. As a result, when you look at the picture from the left you see one scene; as you move to the right of the picture it dissolves into a different scene.

One of my very favorite of Shirley’s Articulators is called “The Attainable Dream”, it depicts a caveman pondering the moon from his cave opening (when viewed from the left) and when you move to the right, the caveman dissolves into an astronaut standing on the moon pondering the Earth. Fantastic!

Below are some photos of one of the Articulator which is on display at the Wells Fargo Bank in Laguna Beach. The bank is hosting an art exhibit at the moment, so Shirley and I went down there to visit her painting. It has been owned for many years by a friend of hers who now needs to sell it to get his estate in order. I decided to commemorate the visit digitally, but the painting is so much more glorious in person. I had some difficulty with the harsh lighting and plexiglas reflections on the painting, but I did my best. Shirley, the artist, poses with her work.

painting viewed from the right

painting viewed from the left

Here are some words from Shirley about her art:

Pioneering a whole new development of this ancient art form included several inventions, which my dear husband and I worked on together. This was one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges of my life, and I love sharing it whenever possible.




Filed under Art, Friendship, Life

It’s petty, but it’s how I feel right now…

I received an email from a longtime friend of mine who shall remain nameless. I have here changed the name to protect the guilty; I shall call this person Sue. Sue and I have known each other since high school, so we are very much familiar with each other. She has always been rather moody and broody, but I have learned to ignore that part of her personality as she has so many good qualities. She moved to the Midwest last summer with her family to pursue a new job opportunity.

Recently, Sue has had health problems – severe long term health problems requiring hospitalization. I spoke to her on the phone the other day and she’s hanging in there.

So today I get this group email from her about how happy she is in her new home and how thankful she is that all these people in her town and in her church who barely know her are so kind to her, bringing her meals, inviting her and her family to Thanksgiving dinners, etc. I think that’s wonderful. But then she says that this would never have happened in California, where often people don’t know their neighbors and keep to themselves, that they are too busy with their own troubles to concern themselves with others (“except for her friends who ‘of course’ would help her”).

So why am I just a teensy bit offended? Because this email felt like a little slap in the face. Sue has always been a person who complained about people not visiting or calling her, but she never calls back, or visits, or even responds to emails most of the time. Maybe I am deluding myself to the status or quality of our relationship.

Or maybe I just need to work on myself a little bit. It should not bother me this much – this is her path in life. There is a reason for the things we say and do. I have free will as does she, and if the friendship is no longer satisfying, it’s OK to let it be, or end it. I choose to let it be, as we have been friends for 30 years. But I know I will not be doing much of the calling or emailing until I feel that she actually wants to reciprocate. This is not a vindictive response, but a realistic one.

To have a friend, you have to BE a friend…


Filed under Friendship

Bird’s Eye View of the Bird

Love, love, LOVE this shot of Tim, son of my friends Mark and Svetlana. He and his family were enroute to Russia for a family vacation via JFK airport.

Little contemplates big…


Filed under Friendship, Life