Sunday, August 30, 2009

Perspective: On Mourning and Regret

A few years ago, a friend told me that a cousin of hers who was 20 had died due to sleep apnea. I didn’t know what to say, how to be. My heart went out to my friend. I couldn’t possibly comprehend what she must be going through.

The next day I got an email that she was having a tough time. If only she had...

I wrote back a longer reply than I thought possible, and only hoped that it would be something that she could receive in the state she was in. I debated about sending it before hitting the send key. I in no way wanted to take away her grief, but I did want to have her reconsider the guilt she seemed to be feeling.

I wrote, “I am sure your cousin looked up to you, and appreciated all that you were for her. While you now wish you had spent more energy and time with her, I am sure she valued all that he had with you. It is too bad that often people do not communicate what is in their hearts, because I believe that we would hear many things that people take for granted, but don't know because no one tells us. I suspect that she probably would have told you all of this, and then some...had there been, or had she created, the opportunity.

I understand that you are struggling...and that maybe you feel that you haven't been "good enough"...and maybe you have been caught up in your life...but never underestimate the power of what you have done. I have no doubt that you have impacted the lives of those around you, in ways that you may never know or suspect (think George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life).

The true test of life comes in the focus. You will honor your cousin's life more by focusing on what you can put into the lives of those still here, rather than focusing on what you have lacked or what has been missing.

Above all, know that you are human, and with your humanity comes certain strengths and frailties. You have a tremendous heart, and it will help you find the way any time you are willing to listen. Forgive your frailties, focus on your strengths, and give from your heart. Everything will take care of itself from there.”

I hadn’t been sure how to end the letter, but someone, or something did it for me. I was very pleased. It is always interesting to me how “I” will write something and really like it. However, the times I am especially pleased are the times that I know that I felt like I had some "help." How difficult it is to encapsulate those moments of grief that one feels after the death of a loved one.

Beside the letter I included a quote from Buddha that showed up in my mailbox that same week:

Your life is a gift.
Your life is a gift that you give yourself.
Your life is a gift that you give others.
Your life is a gift that you give the world.
Have you forgotten that your life is a gift?
YOU are a gift.
Where could you start giving?
To yourself, to others, and to the world?

The one piece that stuck with me more than others will be the one I will leave you with,

Forgive your frailties,
focus on your strengths,
and give from your heart.
Everything will take care
of itself from there.

YOU are a gift.

PS Looking back, I would now say that letter was a forerunner of what I currently call my Letters of Love - letters written for someone specifically, but often have profound universal messages of Love. If interested, see video in left column ("Looking for Answers?") for more details, and for information on where to read more letters, and a special offer, if you'd like to get one of your own. :-)

Perspective Short: Elizabeth Alraune

What good is faith in the "Universe"
if you don't have faith in Yourself?

Having faith in the Universe without
having faith in Yourself is like having
a car with an empty gas tank.

You have a vehicle to get you where
you need to go, but how far will you
be able to travel without fuel? And,
provided you can still get "there,"
how much more time, energy, and effort
will need to be spent to make up for
what was missing?

-Elizabeth Alraune

Perspective: Planting Seeds

Over the years, I have written thoughts. Some
I am not really sure where they came from, or
even what I think of them, at the time, or
even later.

In going through some papers recently, this
was one of those streams of consciousness. I
think it a perspective worthy of consideration,
so I am sharing it with you.

After you've read it, I'd be curious to hear
your thoughts.


I do not know the Laws of Physics personally,
but the laws exist. They are bigger than any
one person or idea.

Great Minds of the world are really different
expressions of one Great Mind.

Every Time during the course of man's existence
has had some one or ones who have spoken out in
a way never heard before. Most were thought
crazy at the time because what they said could
not be tangibly defined, and yet what they have
said has come to bear other fruits.

We bear the fruits of what we are willing to
grow. And anything that is a thought is a
potential seed.

Seeds don't always need care to grow. Some just
need a fertile environment, and they're fully

What have we sown when our backs have been


(The Great Minds comments reminded me of this
one-minute video that I saw about unique thinkers

Perspective Short: Elizabeth Alraune - On Drawing Lines

When one draws lines, there is always a risk of being
on the inside and wanting to be on the outside, or
being on the outside and wanting to be on the inside.
-Elizabeth Alraune

Perspective Short: John Barrymore

You can only be as good as
you dare to be bad.
-John Barrymore

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Perspective Art: Strawberries


I look forward to using some of these for
Strawberry Lemonade

Perspective Short: Senator Ted Kennedy

Above picture used with permission

"In short, I hope for an America where neither
'fundamentalist' nor 'humanist' will be a dirty
word, but a fair description of the different
ways in which people of good will look at life
and into their own souls."
-Senator Ted Kennedy

Perspective: Tale of the Carpenter

above photo used with permission:

I am not sure where I got this story from originally. It was in
some papers/files I was clearing out. It makes me wonder what
the world would be like it we took on everything as if we
"owned" it.

What does it have you consider?


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-
contractor of his plans to leave the house building business
and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could
get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and
asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor.
The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart
was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used
inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to
inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to
the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was
building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting
rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At
important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then
with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find
that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had
realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each
day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely.
It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one
day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.
The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your
life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices
you make today.

Author Unknown,
but appreciated

Perspective: Seeing Things Differently

YouTube's description of this video is:
"European Junior Championships Indoorcycling 2009
Carla Hochdorfer Henriette Hochdorfer
Artistic Cycling Juniors Women Pair,
European Champions 2009, 2008"

I didn't even know there was such a thing!

It gives bicycle riding a whole different
perspective. People stretch the bounds of
things all of the time, and give us new
ways to look at things.

Next time you feel stuck remember that,
and maybe you'll be one of them.

Enjoy this amazing video.

Perspective Short: The Road to Happiness - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The picture above is used with permission

I love this quote!
You'll see why in a minute.

People take different roads seeking fulfillment
and happiness. Just because they're not on
your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Perspective Short: In Times of Difficulty - H.K. Barclay

When walking through the "Valley of Shadows,"
remember a shadow is cast by a Light.
-H.K. Barclay

Friday, August 28, 2009

Perspective: A Sunday Morning Drive & Visit to Big Bear Lake

The first half of the video is the drive through the mountains,
and the second half is my visit to Big Bear Lake Village, CA

It ends a little abruptly, as it seems YouTube
shaved off the last 3 seconds.

I think you'll likely enjoy it any way. :-P
Here you go!

PS Serene Sunrise was filmed along this route.

Perspective Video: The Shift with Wayne Dyer

You likely won't find the movie The Shift is a
"regular" movie theatre. It is distributed by
Hay House, and is more along spiritual, non-
commercial lines.

The approach to the movie (starring Wayne Dyer,
Portia de Rossi, Michael DeLuise, Ed Kerr,
Shannon Sturges, Maury Sterling, and others)
is to tell a story around the ideas that Wayne
has to share.

A film crew goes to film him, and the content of
the "interview" is mixed with story lines of
people who are experiencing the types of things
he is describing. The movie is two hours, but I
certainly didn't feel like it took that long. It
is easy to get caught up in the story, provided
you are open to the types of things he is saying.

Fortunately, what he says isn't so much "woo-woo"
and even is often quite logical, like when he gives
an example of an apple pie. He asks if you cut a
slice of pie, and remove the rest of the pie from
the situation, what do you have, and how do you
know what you have?

The answer: Apple Pie.

And how do you know?
Because it came from an apple pie.

He relates that to us and where we come from. Call
it whatever you like God, Source, or anything else
you want to use. If we come from something, then
we must be a part of that something. Of course,
being a part OF something is a different experience
of being a part FROM something.

Here is the scene from the movie that addresses
this perspective:

(Here are some other videos with Wayne Dyer)

He also speaks about how people shift. Apparently
there were studies done of values of people over
the course of a lifetime. For both men and women
there was a shift, a pretty significant one, at that.

Interestingly, for men the #1 top value went from
being "Wealth" (before the "shift") to "Spirituality"
(after the "shift") which wasn't even on the first
list! For women, the top value went from "Family"
to "My Own Personal Growth."

If any of this "speaks" to you, or is in any way
intriguing, I invite you to have your own experience
with the film. If you have seen it already, please
add a comment below with your thoughts/experience.

I am also happy to share more of my experience of
the film and its concepts, and my perspective on
Wayne Dyer and his perspectives with you, just ask.

If this is the first you are hearing of Wayne Dyer,
do yourself a favor, and learn more about him, and
what he has to say. He has done several PBS specials
over the last several years.

Have an AWESOME day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Perspective: Super Size Me

I remember hearing about Super Size Me, a documentary
by Morgan Spurlock, but had not seen it until a couple
of days ago.

There are a few things about it that I considered as
I watched, and I wanted to add my perspective to the
perspective he offered, and how he went about it.

First, and foremost, I want to say that have a
"conversation" about anything, is likely to be a good
thing, in general, and I think his movie certainly
encourages conversation.

However, how Morgan goes about doing what he does, in my
mind, raises some questions.

First of all, he has certain "rules" about how he is
to proceed through the experiment. The biggest of
which is that he is to eat three meals a day of McDonald's
food. Toward the end of the movie, he states that he
knows that it is unlikely that anyone would eat there
that many times during the course of the month.

Next, he will Super Size a meal whenever he is asked.
Early on this leads to a very disconcerting scene
where he gets sick, as he forces down the amount of
food he is given.

Perhaps some people will keep eating when full, but
how often will someone eat to the point of getting

Before he even begins to make his case, I wanted to
see how he set things up. It is apparent from the
things he says (such as, "I knew if I was going to
do this, I would need some serious medical supervision"),
and does (including enrolling three doctors to supervise,
and a nutritionist) that he believes that the food
will not have a positive effect. He doesn't come
out and say a negative effect, it just seems to
be inferred.

There are experiments that have been done that say
that the outcome of any experiment can often be biased
by what the perspective and expectation of the person
doing the experiment (see What the Bleep Do We Know
for conversation on this topic). If the underlying
belief he had was that the food would be bad, then it
might seem that it would help to lay the foundation to
prove his belief.

Now, add to that that another condition of his experiment
was that he had to eat everything on the menu at least
once in those 30 days, which he says he does within the
first nine days. However, despite the fact that he has
already had considerable weight gain, he still eats with
apparent abandon. At one point he is also advised to
stop consuming the sodas and shakes. It is unclear to
me as to whether he heeds that advice, as you still see
him with what appear to be sodas (despite the fact that
he said that water was acceptable, since it's on the

He could have made different choices, and even in spite
of what appears to be alarming test results, there is no
obvious move to significantly alter how he approaches
his diet. Who knows why he did what he did, but does it
speak to his wanting to make a "case," for the food being
bad, and therefore attempting to push the envelope. I
am uncertain as to whether or not he is enjoying the food,
or would make the choice, if he had a different option.

While it might seem to be a radical thing to say for most,
does going counter to to what one truly wants, or chooses
because it feels like it's their best choice, create a
discord in the body, and therefore may have encouraged
Morgan's body to react as it did? What if his body didn't
like what it wsa being given, and was trying to reject it?

Some might say that of course it was trying to reject it,
after all McDonald's food isn't good for you. However,
at one point he speaks to Don Gorske who has consumed
thousands of Big Macs (an average of at least two a day)
and it is said that his cholesterol level is normal. It
might seem contradictory to the findings, except for the
fact that two Big Macs does not a whole McDonald's menu's
effects potentially make.

During the process he does highlight the amount of
advertising in the industry, and how it approaches its
relationship with kids. I'd say this is one of the more
valuable pieces, as it might give someone cause to consider
that young kids know who Ronald McDonald is that who the
President of the US is or even who Jesus is by image. I
realize that not everyone would know who Jesus is, but for
a culture that has a high number of Christians, I did find
that an interesting detail.

I know someone who said that after seeing that movie, she
would never eat at McDonald's again. There certainly were
some unappetizing details given. It would seem to me that
there are many unappetizing things that we are consuming
these days, and if attention is drawn to it, perhaps it is
a good thing.

However, I always wonder about the stories of the 80+ year
old man or woman who drinks and smokes regularly who is
apparently healthy. What is different about them than those
who have liver or lung problems and/or get cancer? What
about those who have never smoked a cigarette in their life,
and get lung cancer (isn't that, as some would believe, "a
smoker's disease?).

We are always seeking answers. It seems to be a part of
our human make up. We always seem to want answers, to be
able to "control" and "fix" things. There are countless
books on how to do things, including a number of different
diet approaches saying that "THIS" is the ONE. However, I
am not certain (having never experimented with it, and only
coming from my observations) that there is any ONE answer
that is a "one size fits all."

Questions are raised about the motivation of money and
whose responsibility is it to address these choices and
issues. Personally I think it is very easy for us to look
outside of ourselves for answers, but not so easy to find
the answers that work for us personally. As alike as we
are, we couldn't be more different.

To me, it speaks to the need to be "true" to self, in every
way, and if something doesn't seem good for us to eat, then
we should pay attention. Are there some universal "bad"
things? I don't know. What I do know is that if we could
look within, and then LISTEN to what we get, we'd likely be
in a much better place, and likely less influenced by those
things outside of ourselves.

Having said that, there does seem to be a challenge within
our current culture to do just that. Up until the age of
eight we have no real filter, and are quite suggestible to the
environment around us. Associations that are comforting and
familiar at that young age can stay with us, unless we become
aware of them, and have a desire to make a change - and then,
find a way to make that change.

Even as adults we can be suggestible to those things that
stay in our head, or we are exposed to over and over. It's
a form of "hypnosis" that is much more common than people
realize, and depending on what the suggestion is, and where
it "fits," it might be very easy to just go "with the flow."

I often say awareness is the key...I'd say it's certainly
one of them. Another is the idea of taking that awareness
and formulating what it looks like in a world of personal
responsibility. Then, of course, acting upon it. Awareness
without some form of action could be useless.

The health care industry is currently a source of a HUGE debate
in this country. Some would argue that foods like what McDonalds
serve only add to our health issues. Maybe it does, maybe it
doesn't (look at the two a day Big Mac guy).

And while the debate is very much at hand, and the issues need to
be addressed, I can't help but wonder how much we could benefit
ourselves by being more aware of what is going on with our own
internal rhythms. What if our problems are created in some part
due to our lack of being in synch with ourselves.

What if our health care issues are the symptom of a greater
picture? In the meantime, we should definitely address how they
are handled, however, I would say that if we could start doing
more looking within, we might find ourselves in a different
place. (Just a thought...not an absolute, and certainly not THE
answer...just a question that comes to mind in this conversation).

While this conversation is helpful, I would say that many of the
questions about money and manipulation could be laid to rest if
we used the most valuable tool we have - our own inner guide. If
enough people decided that food from McDonalds (or any similar
restaurant) wasn't good for them, then maybe McDonalds would
change their offerings, or go out of business.

But, in this regard, the choice HAS to come from within. An
unconscious choice isn't always going to do the thing that
benefits us (we often don't realize where it's coming from).

Perhaps eating McDonalds is OK once in a while, perhaps you
should never eat it, perhaps you can eat it every day. The
fact is, only YOU truly know what is best for you, AND only
you can take the responsibility for doing what you need to do
for yourself.

Yes, there can be things that have an addictive quality to them.
However, that doesn't mean to shrug your shoulders and point
the finger. Taking responsibility to become aware, and make
different choices, might just seem to be one of the most difficult
things we'll ever do. We might even need some help to do it.
However, seeking the help out is up to you.

I realize that, as with most issues, there are many levels and
many perspectives, so this is in no way meant to be an entire
discussion on the topic. It is just my contribution to the mix.

What is your perspective? Please add your comments below.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Serene Sunrise

Originally 30 minutes sped up to 10 minutes, but you can still barely tell the video and the sun are moving. Great for a short meditation, as it is easy to stare at, and the birds and music are peaceful and contemplative. Enjoy. :)

Here is another version, with different music

Perspective Art: A Flower Pretty in Pink


Perspective Short: Elizabeth Alraune - Beauty

May the beauty within you
cast a shadow on the world today.

-Elizabeth Alraune

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Perspective: Recipe for NYC Style Bagels

Recently I made bagels. I attempted several years ago to make
NYC Style Bagels, and was quite disappointed.

However, since it is one of those foods I miss from home, I
figured I would see if I could find another recipe.

The NYC Bagel Recipe I found came up close. The only
differences in what I did versus the recipe was to substitute
molasses where it called for malt syrup, and used quick rise
yeast (in place of dry active).

For the fun of it, I documented the essence of the process
in a short YouTube video. What took over 2 hours (more
or less) was condensed into approximately a minute.

If it's not something you're inclined to do, and curious
about what all the fuss is about, you can order NYC bagels
from H&H Bagels in NYC. I know first hand that those
bagels are delicious!

PS If you're interested in a recipe for NYC style pizza,
check this blog entry.

PPS Need to do some cooking conversions? I have never
tried it, but this site might be helpful.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Perspective Art: Arizona


Perspective Short: Elizabeth Alraune - Failure

What if...
failure is easier said than done?
- Elizabeth Alraune

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Dot Perspective

There are times that I write, and while I may actually do the writing, the content seems to flow, and is "inspired." The following is one of those times (circa 2001).

I often try to adhere to the style of the writing, so you may think there should be different ways to compose and punctuate the sentences. Sorry for that...however, may I kindly suggest that you focus on the words and content instead of how it is presented. There may be more to be gotten that way. :-)


There is a poison pen in the world - words are written in people's vile actions...or atleast what appears as vile to some. But without these actions there is no recognition of Love and family. Without separation there is no togetherness. Without appreciation are we who do not have opposites.

Know that at the core of all is Love. Love is for all, Love is mankind - Love is for mankind. Mankind is Love. Mankind needs Love, and yet it denies it for itself. It is scared of what is possible in living in Love. It often threatens its demise by its focus on all but Love - but all there really is is Love - and that is often forgotten.

To remember is to live in a world of infinite space of infinite time, infinite Love. Humans seek finiteness and yet they want to live forever. How ironic is that. To Love is all that is able to be given - anything else clouds the subject and blocks the ever present Love.

As I've said before all is illusion - all is just particles of dust that come together to create a picture - just as the pointillism artists. Stand back, see a whole picture, be up close and see only dots. The unity of the whole is lost when the dots are focused on. Focus on the big picture because the dots have already taken care of themselves.

You need to have a world consciousness for the world as you know it to survive. You need to forsake the self. This is not to say that one can abuse or ignore one's self, but rather that you are not here for you. If you were here just for you - why are there so many more people in the world.

Your life is not about you. Your life is about others. Your life is about reaching out and growing and only through others do you grow. Only through others do you truly live. Only through others do you get the point, the dot that is you.

Perspective Joke

"Anyone with needs to be prayed over,
come forward, to the front at the altar,"
the Preacher says.

Leroy gets in line, and when it's his turn,
the preacher asks: "Leroy, what do you
want me to pray about for you."

Leroy replies: "Preacher, I need you
to pray for my hearing." The preacher
puts one finger in Leroy's ear, and
he places the other hand on top of
Leroy's head and prays and prays and
prays, he prays a blue streak for Leroy.

After a few minutes, the Preacher
removes his hands, stands back and
asks, "Leroy, how do you feel about
your hearing now?"

Leroy says, "I don't know, Reverend,
it ain't til next Wednesday!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Perspective: Friendship

I have been going through some "stuff,"
and came across some of the things I
have written (many of which were several
years ago). Here is a poem with
perspective on friendship.

On Friendship
by Elizabeth Alraune

Each person has his own route to take
but when it crosses another
it is no mistake.
Our lives cross
and straighten
through various terrains.
Our lives together,
apart, know the strains.
In friendships
tried and true
the silences we
should never rue.
Days, months, or years
go by
but we always
come back to
saying "hi."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Perspective: Recipe for Success

I am not sure where I got this from, but I have had it for
several years. According to the originator,
"The following recipe was written by my great-great-
grandmother, updated and passed down through the

Gather equal parts:
Love, play, laughter
Appreciation of beauty, within you and around you
Self-discipline while striving to meet your goals
Intelligent, caring friends to share life with
Respect for yourself and others
Ability to give of yourself unconditionally
Compassion and tolerance
Honesty, loyalty and integrity

In a large container, combine first six ingredients.
Blend until the ability to organize, analyze, compile,
coordinate and prioritize a variety of life's tasks is
very smooth. Add compassion and tolerance.

Pour into a nonstick pan. Sprinkle honesty, loyalty,
and integrity over top. Bake at a low temperature,
constantly testing for success.

Serve warm. Have daily.

Connie Moore, Tucson, Arizona

Perspective Art: The Beach


This was another work inspired by a picture of @kismet100 from Leadbetter Beach. His original is on the left. On the right,
and on top, is the version I created.

Thanks again to him for letting me share. :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Perspective: Life as a Courtroom

Have you ever considered the possibility
that we as individuals hold court?

And within our courtroom, we are the judge,
the jury, the lawyers, and the defendant
all in one.

The defendant (who is us) is on trial for
something he or she has appeared to do.

The prosecution, who is also us, judges our
actions in some way, and makes its case. Have
we done too much? too little? Have we done
it "right?"

The defense lawyer makes their case for the
defendant, explaining why things may or may
not be as they appear.

The jury, also as us - then looks at all
that has been said, and makes a declaration.

The judge then gives the law that will carry
out the jury's declaration and the defendant
is set free (let off the hook), or sentenced

Have you ever seen a person wrongly convicted?
Or perhaps too harshly treated for what they
have done? Have you ever seen a judge dismiss
a case for wasting the court's time? Have you
ever seen lawyers bending the facts, stretching
the limits?

Can you see how your inner conversations
could be like this? If so, what might you
be sentencing yourself to?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Perspective: Pizza (NY Style - Sort of)

Different parts of the United States have different
ideas on what different foods should taste like.

I suspect that many people favor the version that
tastes like "home." For me, one of those things is
New York City style pizza (which extends to Long
Island, and possibly parts of New Jersey).

I have tried pizza in other places, even some
labeled as "New York Style," and sadly it is nothing
like the pizza from home.

Since I look for recipes that could mimic what I like,
I found one that sort of resembles the version I love,
but since it still is not it, I decided to amend it in
a few ways.

This is my version of New York Style Pizza:

1 1/3c, warm water (110-115 degrees)
2t. sugar
1 pckg of yeast
2c. wheat flour
1 1/2c. bread flour
1t. salt
1T. basil
1/2T. oregano

Combine water and sugar in a bowl, stir until sugar
is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast on top, and stir to
combine. Leave ingredients for 5-10 minutes, or
until you see the mixture foam.

Combine the flours, salt, and spices, and mix into
the yeast mixture. Combine until mixture forms a
soft dough, adding any additional flour to get the
soft, elastic texture. Ball should be smooth and
elastic before moving onto next step.

Place ball on counter, or in bowl, place in a warm
place,and cover until doubled in size (approximately
30 minutes).

Punch the dough down (it will remove the air) and
then knead an additional few minutes. Cut the
dough in 1/2 (it will make two 12"-14" pizzas).

Let dough rest a couple of minutes, and then roll
out to the size of your pan (which should be coated
with oil to prevent sticking), and stretch to fit,
if necessary. (I find pans with holes - like this
- to be the best type to use, or a pizza stone).

Next layer with your favorite cheeses and
pizza toppings.

Layer 1: cheese
Layer 2: other toppings
Layer 3: cheese

Bake in a pre-heated 500 degree oven, on the bottom
shelf until you see toppings cooked, and cheese
melted. (Depending on the topping, you may want to
pre-cook before baking). Approximately 8-10 minutes.

(Best pan is one that has holes in it like this one,
or a pizza stone.)

Watch closely,
and then...


If there is left over pizza, you can freeze it, and
reheat to eat at a later time. I put individual
slices in aluminum foil, and when ready, bake it at
350 for approximately 45 minutes (if frozen).

In addition, the second crust can be frozen without
baking it, until you are ready to have your next
pizza. Just allow the dough to defrost before
attempting to roll it out.

PS If you ever get a chance to experience the real
thing, you might be amazed. There is a place in
NY that will actually ship you a NY pizza, You really have got
to want to splurge, cause it ain't cheap. But odds
are, it will be worth it. Just looking at the
pizza on the page, mmmmm.....

PS Need to do some cooking conversions? I have never
tried it, but this site might be helpful.

Perspective Art: Street Scene


Perspective: Who do you please? A Tale About The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey

I thought this was a great tale.
It shows how there can be many
perspectives, and how ineffective
it can sometimes be to listen to

So many times people will have
opinions of what I do, and many
times their opinions - their
perspectives - vary.

I am fairly certain most people
can relate. People listen to
others for various reasons,
however, the best reason to
listen, I would suggest, is
because it feels RIGHT TO YOU.

I have to wonder in this tale
if the first way the Man and
the Boy did what they did is
the way that felt right to them.

It would make sense to me that
often our gut would have us
going in the right direction,
even when others might disagree.

I would never say trying out
other options isn't a worthy
consideration. However, it is
likely the REACTION to another's
comments and suggestions that
can cause us problems.

The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey

A Man and his Son were once going
with their Donkey to market. As
they were walking along by its
side a countryman passed them and
said: "You fools, what is a Donkey
for but to ride upon?"

So the Man put the Boy on the
Donkey and they went on their way.
But soon they passed a group of men,
one of whom said:
"See that lazy youngster,
he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off,
and got on himself. But they hadn't
gone far when they passed two women,
one of whom said to the other:
"Shame on that lazy lout to let his
poor little son trudge along."

Well, the Man didn't know what to do,
but at last he took his Boy up before
him on the Donkey. By this time they
had come to the town, and the
passers-by began to jeer and point
at them. The Man stopped and asked
what they were scoffing at.
The men said:
"Aren't you ashamed of yourself for
overloading that poor donkey of yours
and your hulking son?"

The Man and Boy got off and tried
to think what to do. They thought
and they thought, till at last they
cut down a pole, tied the donkey's
feet to it, and raised the pole
and the donkey to their shoulders.
They went along amid the laughter
of all who met them till they came
to Market Bridge, when the Donkey,
getting one of his feet loose,
kicked out and caused the Boy to
drop his end of the pole. In the
struggle the Donkey fell over the
bridge, and his fore-feet being
tied together he was drowned.

"That will teach you,"
said an old man who had followed them,
"please all, and you will please none."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Perspective Art: Gorgeous Flower


Perspective: I have to be honest with my feelings(?) - Mark Gungor

Have you "met" Mark Gungor? I shared a video of his
in a previous blog. If you haven't seen it yet, check
out his Tale of Two Brains here.

I was flipping through stations the other day, and
found him on his own television show, Love, Marriage
and Stinking Thinking
. The subject was: "I Have to be
Honest with My Feelings

From what I saw, his perspective seems to be counter
to what many are saying and doing in our current
culture of "I have to be honest with my feelings."

It's not that he's saying so much that one shouldn't
be honest. It seems, in what pieces I viewed, that he
is advocating a responsibility for how one expresses
what one does. In addition, he suggests that not
everything thought need to be said to the person the
thoughts are about.

In two previous blog entries I spoke about what I
thought about words and their perceived power
Some people believe that words do have power. I would
even say most people believe that.

If you go with that perspective, then it would seem
wise to me to be a staunch guardian of the relationship
you say means the most to you by watching what you say,
and how you say it.

It isn't an easy process. We learn many different
things in school, but we don't have classes in how to
communicate effectively with one another, or on how
to express ourselves in the best way to get our
preferred results in a way that honors all involved.

As I write this, I think back on how I have been in
relationships. I am nothing like what I used to be.
There was a time I didn't say what was on my mind, and
as a result it would fester inside of me. At the same
time, I felt like I was supposed to be letting my
feelings out, so it made it even worse.

In time, I have learned that the things that need to be
said can be said in a way that is responsible to me and
the other person, and I say them. I have also learned
how to look at other things in a different way so that
in the end, it is nothing that needs to be shared with
the other person. It was something that I just needed
to see for myself.

I suspect that this might be the kind of approach that
Mark Gungor would advocate/appreciate.

Check it out for yourself. You can see a short clip here,
and find out more info on how to see his whole show,
if you're interested.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Perspective: Nature

Today the person who created the video below
found me on YouTube. There are only a few
videos so far...and I think they're all great.

Check them out for yourself.
His channel is

Perspective: LawnGuyLand (Long Island)

See that piece of land that looks like a tail?
It is at the bottom on New York State, and to
the east of Manhattan and Brooklyn. That is
LawnGuyLand - "Long Island."

My family moved there from Queens, a part of the
"City," when I was in 3rd Grade.

Geographically Queens and Brooklyn are a part of
Long Island, but you'll never hear them say that.
Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx
are all considered "boroughs" of the City.

NYC and its boroughs are in many ways miles apart
from Long Island in terms of style and personality.
You may know nothing of Long Island (the "Island"),
except perhaps for The Hamptons, the playground
of celebrities.

As with every place in the world, I am fairly
certain there are things that make sense to the
locals, and few others.

Yesterday I got an email with several things
about those from Long Island. Many of which I
can relate to. For the fun of it, I thought I
would share. If you are interested in what's
here and need translation, just let me know.

And, for the record, I was a "South Shore Girl."

Here you go:

You live in the shadow of the greatest city in the world,
but you almost never go there.

You don't go to Manhattan,
you go to "The City."

When you're away from Long Island, you love it
and when you're there, you don't.

You think if you're not from Long Island or NYC,
you're not really from New York.

You know the exact point at which Queens
turns into Nassau simply on intuition.

You never realize you have an accent
til you leave.

Everything north of the Bronx is "upstate."
New Jersey sucks.

At some point in your life
you've gone clamming.

Either your parents or your
grandparents lived in the city.

You'd pay $11.50 for a movie.

You don't live in Long Island
you live ON Long Island

Your distant future might
involve the state of Florida

You can correctly pronounce places like
Ronkonkoma, Hauppauge, Wantagh, Mineola,
Islandia, Massapequa

You know the location of 6 malls
and a dozen McDonalds and 36 7-11's.

You never, ever want to
"change at Jamaica..."

You've tried to find the
Amityville Horror house.

No, you don't want mustard
on that burger!!

You can't understand why a
diner would ever close.

You've had a seagull
crap on your car.

You have or someone you know
has fallen asleep on the LIRR
and ended up in one of these
three places; Babylon, Port
Washington or Hicksville.

You know White Castle is terrible for you
and the food sucks but you periodically
"Get the Crave".

You want the Yankees to stay in the Bronx,
but would probably go to more games if
they moved to Manhattan.

You think that somehow, the Jets and
Giants still play in New York.

You've missed that "Drunk Train",
the 2:42 out of Penn and had the dreaded
wait until 5:30.

You or someone you know has owned an animal
that came from North Shore Animal League.

Quick! Who's your county Executive?
Don't know do you?!

You've never taken an MTA bus.

The Long Island Expressway isn't really
as bad as everybody thinks.

You know which parts of the godfather
were filmed on Long Island.

You think Islip MacArthur airport is cute,
and you enjoy watching it grow up.

Billy Joel said it best,
"either you date a rich girl from
The North Shore, or a cool girl
from the South Shore."

You don't really see the big deal
about the Hamptons, unless you got
smashed at the Bordy Barn.

When people ask "where are you from?"
You answer Long Guy Land and
automatically assume everyone in the
world knows that answer means New York.

You've always liked Billy Joel and
you own several of his "records."

The Belt Parkway sucks! You've been
stuck in a traffic jam for more
than 2 hours (without moving).

Your parents took you to All American,
Nathan's or Carvel (on the way home
from the beach).

Regular gas - $3.29 and you
still pay it!!!

You hate paying tolls.

You don't have to go far to
see your family.

You remember Grumman.

You know the color of the water
at Jones Beach is not BLUE!

You were upset when all the
Roy Rogers turned into Wendy's
and Arby's closed for good.

You can spout off all the LIRR
stops between Penn Station and

Paying $35 for a haircut
doesn't sound so crazy.

You think the people from Brooklyn are
"DA wunz dat tawk wit a accent."

You went sledding in the sumps.

You knew of Massapequa before The Amy
Fisher-Joey Buttafuoco nightmare.

You think going to Queens is a hike.

The first time you heard the term
"Long Island Iced Tea" you were
somewhere else and you laughed.

When you live somewhere else and are
astounded to see that people actually
stop at yellow lights.

When you just sort of presume that
wherever you live, you'll be able
to find good delis, good pizza,
and good bagels.*

You can name at least three bands
that came from Long Island.

When you walk in the city and you
see two men holding hands...
it becomes normal to you.

No word ends in an ER, just an AH.

You actually get these jokes
and pass them on to other
friends from Long Island.


*I sooooo miss New York's delis,
pizza, bagels, AND Chinese Food.

PS If you know who should be
credited with this list, please
let me know. I was unable to
find attribution.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Perspective Art: Sedona Arizona (Tlaquepaque)


This picture was taken in Sedona, Arizona
at a shopping center called Tlaquepaque.
As you can see, it was quite beautiful.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Perspective: Applesauce and French Toast

When I was growing up, my family always
had French Toast with applesauce and
cinnamon and sugar.

If you are anything like most anyone I
have ever told that to, you're probably
like, "really?!" or maybe even "yuck!"

Funny thing is that was my reaction as
a child to putting syrup on French Toast.
I couldn't imagine it, and yet no one I
knew outside of my family had ever heard
of such a thing.

(It was my understanding that it is a
German way to make it).

Now I have even had French Toast with
strawberries on it, and used a different
type of bread, and even baked it. I have
learned, too, that refrigerating the bread
and egg over night can help to puff the
bread up.

Mmmm. I'd be making some now, if it
wasn't for the fact that I just had some
for breakfast.

It occurs to me that the way we interact
with food and recipes is a lot like life.

Different recipes have different ingredients,
and different amounts of ingredients, and
prepared different ways.

How many times can life be handled in
different ways, some more preferable than
others, some better for others.

Interestingly, though, we don't often judge
other's recipes as much as we judge their
choices. And, often we are more accepting
of ingredient choices in a recipe than we
are with the ingredients that make up others'

We have our favorites, but there are other
options. If I never was willing to have
anything different than what I grew up with,
it certainly would have limited what I have
had to eat, and the fact is, that I never
choose traditional French Toast if all I
can have on it is syrup. For me, syrup is
for pancakes. However, I never stop anyone
else from making that choice.

In the same way, I can limit my options in
life. I can choose to refrain from certain
things and people. At the same time, I may
not always agree with the choices others make,
and it many not be for me, but I choose to
respect what others choose for themselves.

Having said that, one of my favorite recipes
for French Toast that I haven't made is years
is very sweet, and almost like a dessert
rather than a meal.

It melts in your mouth.

Decadent French Toast

Mix and cook until bubbly:
5T butter
1C brown sugar
2T corn syrup (*see note below)

Pour into 13x9 baking dish.

Arrange 2" thick slices of French
Bread over mixture.

Beat together:
1 1/2C skim milk
5 eggs
1t vanilla

Pour over bread.

Cover and refrigerate over night.

When ready to bake, bake at
350 for 45 minutes, then invert
and bake additional 5-10 minutes.

Serve with Cool Whip and

*I am not a big fan of High
Fructose Corn Syrup. My
understanding is that the kind
of corn syrup you buy is different
than the manufactured version in
our foods. If, however, you'd
like alternative options, please
see High Fructose Corn Syrup

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Perspective: Laid off: Bummer or Opportunity

When I got laid off of my last "real" job (defined as one
with benefits and paid time off), it was devastating.

I knew for a while I was doing things that I didn't want
to be doing, but it was all I knew to do.

I was determined not to go back into what I had always
done, but didn't know how to change things.

Someone asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, "I
want to get paid to talk to people." I was told that wasn't
specific enough.

The fact was, I didn't know then what it could mean. I
hadn't yet become a hypnotist or a coach, and didn't even
know what coaching was, but I knew I loved to talk to

I struggled for a few years to make a transition. It was
frustrating. It was difficult. It was humiliating. Demoralizing.

It was also a gift.

I was given an opportunity to uncover what I had resisted
from the "comfort" (which really wasn't all that comfortable)
of a job for so long.

I can now understand where others might be in relation
to their own personal treks through losing their jobs.

I personally feel that when we don't do what we "should"
be doing, sooner or later we'll get a kick in the butt.
Unfortunately, for many they're not ready for it. If they
were ready, they would have made the move on their own
before someone else - or something else - did for them.

Others, I see, are seeing things in a similar way now that
so many more are going through "it" together. Today I
saw this trailer and it
is what inspired me to write this entry.

Are YOU doing what you know you SHOULD be doing?

Check it out:

PS Re my headline: In my case it turned out to be
bummer AND least in the midst of
the uncertain transition time. Now, I definitely see
it as "opportunity."

Perspective: Have some fun with time (I Log Clock Apple Widget)

Just saw this clock - shown to me by a friend.

It's interesting how time appears with this clock.
Ever notice how time sometimes seems to drag,
and other times it seems to go by quickly? This
clock gives those feelings a "reality."

It's a widget for Apple computers:

Perspective: Wayne Dyer, Dan Caro and No Excuses

Late last night I was watching TV.

If you know me, you know I rarely ever watch
TV. However, last night I tuned into PBS, and
found Wayne Dyer.

I love how I always seem to find gems when
I sit down to watch, and late last night was
no exception.

Wayne has a new PBS special, his 8th in the
last 10 years. I don't know if you've ever
had the opportunity to watch him, but
as far as I am concerned he is grace and
practical wisdom in action.

He apparently has a new book, Excuses
Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-
Defeating Thinking Habits
, and the show
was based on the content.

If you have a chance, check him and his books
out, and see if they speak to you.

In the meantime, here are a couple of videos.

The first is an excerpt from the PBS show. The
second is a solo from Dan Caro, who was on
the special. He is a man who has had
extraordinary circumstances, and has found
his way to do what he loves. It definitely falls
into the realm of inspirational. To learn more
about him, and his story, visit

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thank You! Twitter Follow Friday Love

Thank you to those who Follow Friday'd me on Twitter.

I am always appreciative of the thought. :-)

If you're on Twitter, check these guys out.


Perspective Art: Orange Flower


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Perspective: Make choices at any age - Grandma Lee

On America's Got Talent, there is a contest who
is 75 years old. Her name is Grandma Lee.

She had a dream to perform, and decided
to take the opportunity to be on the show.
She wanted to show people that you can
live your dream at any age.

This video cracks me up, and there are just as
many laughs after she performs as there are
while she does.

What a wild grandma!

Perspective: Sometimes what you don't know can't stop you

Have you ever done something to afterward
say, "If I knew what I knew now, I may not
have done it"?

That has been my experience working with
Dan Pavlik (writer and director of Nominated).

I went up to Fremont to do a radio podcast
of his premiere party, and recorded lots of
hours of interviews, knowing that I would
have to go back later and edit them.

What I didn't realize was how much work it
was going to be, and the obstacles and
difficulties I was going to face.

I may still have done it, had I known, but
I do wonder if it could have even for a moment
have me consider stopping from doing it.

A few days ago I met with Dan and Brian Degan
in Hollywood. This time with a Flip
in hand. Once again, I jumped into
something I had never done, but figured I
would figure it out.

Hours later, it's 90 minutes condensed into
10. Once again, there were frustrations and
issues...and once again, I wonder, if I had
known what it would entail, might I have

It seems like sometimes being unaware can be
a good thing. Or perhaps it is more being
aware of the goal, and the thing that matters
that is the important thing.

By focusing on what I want to create, I
created it, even in spite of the difficulties
and frustrations.

I offer the video to you so you can learn
more about the film and these guys, and since
it was filmed in Hollywood, you'll get to see
some of the area, too.

PS To see more about the film, and why
Brian is going to NYC, visit the Nominated Blog

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Perspective: Life as a Recipe? And...A Recipe for Pumpkin Bread

Today I made some delicious Pumpkin Bread.

Recipe and picture to follow.

As I was making it, I was looking at a handwritten
recipe which didn't include flour. As that seemed
odd, I went to check the recipe elsewhere to see
that there should have been flour included.

It had me consider how when you know how to
do something, you know when something doesn't
look "right." If it was my first time baking ever,
I may have thought nothing of it, and then
wondered why it came out as it did, as it would
have had no real similarity to any bread I know.

On the other hand, I think sometimes when we
have a "recipe" for life, and follow it exactly, we
can miss out on some wonderful discoveries that
come from experiments and so-called mistakes,
and the joys of discovering something new.

Sometimes it might be best to go a prescribed
way, but we won't always know the possibilities
until we've made a choice to divert ourselves
from the spelled out path.

I would suspect the key is awareness. Being
aware of the possibilities puts us in a position
of being able to choose what we would like to
have/have happen.

Interesting how my mind works, isn't it?
Maybe I should call myself the philosophical

Without further ado, here you go! :-)

Pumpkin Quick Bread

Makes 1 loaf
Bake 350/50 minutes

7/8c canned pumpkin (w/o spice)
2 eggs
1/2c. olive oil
1/3c. water
1c. white sugar
1/2c. brown sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1t. baking soda
3/4t. sea salt
1/2t. cinnamon
1/2t. nutmeg
1/4t. cloves (ground)
1/8t. ginger

Mix together wet ingredients with sugars. Then stir in, just til mixed, the dry ingredients. Pour into a prepared pan, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mix. Bread is fully baked when inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy.

PS Need to do some cooking conversions? I have never
tried it, but this site might be helpful.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Perspective Art: Driving in Arizona


Hollywood, Twitter and Lemonade

A couple of night ago, I met up with Dan Pavlik
(@nominated) and Brian Degan Scott (@bdser)
in Hollywood. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like
to see/hear more about it, and Dan's film
Nominated, see the Nominated Blog.

(Dan Pavlik on Left, Brian Degan Scott on Right)

Some people say that Twitter is a waste of
time. I am not sure I would agree. I met
these two great people because of Twitter,
and am enjoying helping out with the film
where possible. It's likely I would never
have met Dan without connecting through my
time spent there.

Having said that, I bring this up in part
because the meeting is context for this
blog entry. We ate at Hooters. They had
a strawberry lemonade that was out of this
world, and probably because it was full of
sugar, LOL.

(making the important decisions)

So when I got home, I decided to make some of
my own. The following is what I came up with.
It was not as delicious as the Hooter's version,
but it wasn't too bad. Enjoy!

4 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 pint frozen strawberries

Blend the strawberries with enough water to
cover strawberries until liquid, and then
mix in the remaining water, sugar, and lemon
juice. Stir and chill.

I have discovered two things since posting
this recipe:

1. White sugar is better for you than brown
sugar (I have replaced the brown sugar with
organic sugar with good result)

2. I have cut the sugar in half, the strawberries
in half, and added twice the water, and it still
tastes good...maybe even better because it's not
so sweet.

If you want a recipe from someone a little more
well known, and a track record, here's Emeril's
Strawberry Lemonade Recipe

Have a great day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Perspective Art: Flowers


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Perspective Art: Peaches


OMG! This creativity bug has me, and
won't let go!

I am amazed at what is happening.

Today I took an image from @kismet100
of peaches, and created a new, Photoshopped
version, which you can see below.

Once again, I am honored by someone's
generosity to share...Another great
Twitter connection.

I am so enjoying this burst of creativity!

(I hope you are, too)

Perspective Art: A Flower for a Sunday


This picture I liked before I did anything to it.
But then, when I did something to it (a bunch of
somethings, actually), I REALLY like it now.

I had Trey Ratcliff (@TreyRatcliff) who is a HD
photographer on my World of Perspective Radio Show,
and he was talking about how our mind views
things different than what we see in a picture

(Don't have time for the full 90 minute show?
You can listen to excerpts here).

I have to agree, as so many times I will take a
picture of something so beautiful, and then afterward,
it just feels "flat."

I know some people are purists when it comes to
the idea of manipulating a photo. However, I
wonder if sometimes the manipulation does somehow
bring us closer to the memory we have of it.

I wasn't with @fishfire at the fair (see last
blog entry
), but I suspect that after what I did
it somehow more aligned with what his memory
thought of the scene. I probably need to actually
ask him at some point.

What I do know, though, is that what he thought
was an "ordinary" picture became what he now calls
a "work of art." To me that says something about
the effect of the perspective of the work.

Makes me wonder where else that could apply.
Any thoughts?

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Perspective Art: A fair

Tonight @fishfire from Twitter shared a
picture from the New Jersey State Fair at Sussex.

I thought, "Hmmmm," and proceeded to play with
it in photoshop. I am ever, always, amazed at
the diversity of the work that comes from
playing with that program. The possibilities
really do seem almost endless.

After showing it to him, I asked if I could
share it here, and his response was that he'd
be honored.

I am honored that he's letting me share.
So there. :-P

And now you get to see the work.
(click picture to see it larger)
You can also see pics here:
his version and my version



Perspective Art: Sedona, Arizona

Like this image?
It's available as a notecard and poster

Here's a picture I took while in Sedona, Arizona
a couple of years ago.

I created it in a way that was newly discovered
today. It's amazing...the more time I spend on
Photoshop, the more I discover. Imagine that!

Thank You! Twitter Follow Friday Love

Thank you to these people for their Twitter Tweets and RTs.

If you're looking for new people to follow, consider checking
these folks out!


Perspective: DNA Phantom Effect

A while ago I bought an audio program by Gregg Braden
called Spontaneous Healing of Belief.

In it, he talks about the DNA Phantom Effect. As you
can see, there are a few search results on the topic,
if you'd like to find out more.

Basically, what it says is that our DNA has
the ability to form the environment around us.

Take a moment, and think about what that means,
if it's true.

Here is a short YouTube video that speaks to it:

Interestingly, while this seems a little on the
"woo woo" side, it is backed by scientist study.

Check it out and see what you think. The video
also suggests that there are truly only two real
emotions - fear and love. It claims that all others
come from one of those two. It makes sense to me,
what do you think?

Btw, if this fascinates you, you will likely find
the program by Gregg to be quite interesting. :-)