Friday, May 30, 2008

hi-ho, hi-ho....

Tuesday. Yes, Tuesday is the day I begin my new job. Now it feels real that I have my professional permit. With the undue amount of time it took for the entire application/approval process, seeing my name on the States database was more of a "finally!" than a "jump up and click my heels" reaction. Having my start date has brought the excitement back into my spine (clicking heels).

So now I am preparing to return (permanently) to the work force. Getting some new garb, deciding on yoga classes that fit my schedule, pondering the most economical way to commute and mentally preparing to provide therapy again.

I love my work and have a true passion for it. To be able to hold the space for someone dealing with difficulties, to help them in finding the answers that are within themselves, to use my instincts to uncover hidden possibilities and ideas, and to provide people with tools they can use in coping with life provides me with fulfillment on a deep level. No, therapy is not all atruistic. I need to work at a job that is not just for a paycheck in order to feel statisfied in life and, yes, I do get a lot out of helping others. Therapy should be positively symbiotic with healthy boundaries.

Is it difficult at times? Absolutely. Since most people choose therapy to deal with difficult things a therapist is mostly surrounded by negative energy (though there is the occasional "I just need a place to sort out all the wonderful things I am doing in my life" clients). As a therpist, you need to be able to contain that without taking it home with you. Individual and group supervision helps with this, but more important: self-care and staying grounded. Yoga, laughter, friends, quiet time, plenty of rest, healthy boundaries, being in nature, etc. is how I try to accomplish this. People can not help others if they are not taking care of themselves first. (Shrink, shrink thyself!)

I washed and waxed my Mad Wheels (a.k.a. my little Hyundai) yesterday to look a little more professional when I roll in to the lot on Tuesday. (Hey, would you get therapy from someone with a dull car? I think not!) Today I am going shopping for some more work appropriate attire. It is important to look put-together in order to feel put-together, despite the fact that shopping is not my favorite activity by any means. Sometimes it just has to be done.

So, who needs their head shrunk by a well dressed, clean car-ed, yoga-loving therapist? Hmmm, maybe I need to work on my marketing skills.......

Monday, May 26, 2008


Originally uploaded by misslissa13

I am the younger of two children, having an older brother. From what my mother told me, her and my father waited for our births to find out our sexes. After I was born, the obstetrician told my mother, "you got what you wanted!"

Here I was all new and pink. My mom's new little girl. I wonder if that day over 35 years ago, my mother had known she really got a rough and tumble tomboy. I loved sports, played in the mud, and climbed trees. As a matter of fact, I still do these things. In high school, I embraced the black, baggy uniform of a teen punk complete with army issue combat boots or my ox blood Doc's. As a 20-something bartender/industrial club goer overalls and boots were very convenient. Heck, I was not going out to meet guys, I was going to dance hard and hang out with my friends. (Oddly enough, this "aloof" attitude got me hit on a lot back then.)

Despite all this, I know there is a feminine, graceful woman inside this shell that prefers hikes to beaches and umbrella drinks. This weekend I tried an experiment: Girly Clothes.

Dresses, newly acquired and flowery. And not because I had a dress up occasion. Just because I wanted to wear them. To my surprise, it felt nice. So much so, I want to dress this way more often. And I think I will.

Mind you, I will need to keep a change of clothing with me at all times, because you never know when I might come across a good climbing tree. And really, a lady would not moon the neighborhood.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


no seriously
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
A second hand accordion and some lessons....

Thanks to Groovy and his passion for music and the unconventional, I now know the correct spelling of accordion.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

joyous day!

It is official:
I am a permit holder in Mental Health Counseling in the State of NY! (after only 5 months of bureaucratic processes)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

my new friend ted

I wish I discovered long ago. But I didn't.....until this week.

What's it about?
There is a lot of interesting, educational and entertaining items on there that, I am sure, I will find something to share on here now and then.

Here is a video that I enjoyed this morning. If you have just under 40 minutes, take a watch:

Enjoy exploring, friends.

Monday, May 19, 2008

what makes you laugh?

what makes you laugh
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
No, seriously....what makes you laugh? I love hearing about where peoples' funny bones are located. I already got some responses in my flickr comments and would like to hear more.

I am a die hard fan of good stand up comics.
I drool over British humor....uh, humour.
I can laugh non-stop with my best girlfriends.
Sometimes I find humor in the silly or inane.
I can laugh at myself.
I can definitely laugh at life. Sometimes it's required.
Douglas Adams books....absolutely! ( <= even my dorkiness is a hoot!)

So, what about you? Did you laugh today?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

exercise your choppers today

Originally uploaded by misslissa13

My teeth. Yes, my teeth.
When I was young,
they were crooked beyond belief.
Biting partially into the flesh of an apple
revealed the awkward "T" my two front teeth formed.
My canines resided too far north
And my bottom teeth were not much better.

Realignment, that pesky realignment.
I had to wear a retainer for a year before braces could even be affixed.
Then the braces, oh the braces!
A full metal jacket.
The top ones fell off the first couple of days,
so doc had to put the metal band style
that strangled my teeth all the way around.

That big metal gnarly grin was with me for four years,
then another round with the retainer.
Only on top, though.

Needless to say, my bottom teeth decided they liked being disjointed
and moved to places where they preferred the view.

And where's the wisdom in my teeth?
Well, the top ones grew out sideways
and irritated my cheeks to the point of needing removal.
Too bad the Novvcain only liked one of the two and made for a painful departure of the second.

The bottom two wisdom teeth are no wiser.
They are still here and stand in gassho to the molars in front of them, nudging them every so often.

Today, I have an overbite
and one of my bottom teeth has been pushed forward
like the kid getting volunteered to go first in gym class.
Will I realign them again one day? Perhaps.
but until then, it's MY smile
which it comes out when passing strangers on the street
or with each belly laugh provoked
or thinking of my loved ones.
And I'm happy with that.

Friday, May 16, 2008

kate bush friday

Kate Bush - running up that hill

If I only could, Id be running up that hill.
If I only could, Id be running up that hill.

It doesnt hurt me.
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know that it doesnt hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that Im making?
You, its you and me.

And if I only could,
Id make a deal with god,
And Id get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh...

You dont want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware Im tearing you asunder.
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts.

Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, dont we?
You, its you and me.
Its you and me wont be unhappy.

And if I only could,
Id make a deal with god,
And Id get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building,
Say, if I only could, oh...

Its you and me,
Its you and me wont be unhappy.

Cmon, baby, cmon darling,
Let me steal this moment from you now.
Cmon, angel, cmon, cmon, darling,
Lets exchange the experience, oh...

And if I only could,
Id make a deal with god,
And Id get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems.

And if I only could,
Id make a deal with god,
And Id get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems.

And if I only could,
Id make a deal with god,
And Id get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems.

If I only could
Be running up that hill
With no problems...

If I only could, Id be running up that hill.
If I only could, Id be running up that hill.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

lump in my throat

lump in my throat
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I spend an inordinate amount of time in my thoughts and not enough time experiencing the sensations and signals that my body is giving me. In the past this trait was much more prevalent, but over time I learned to listen very closely. During graduate school, we were required by the program to experience thirty hours of private therapy. I chose a Gestalt therapist ( ) because it utilizes present awareness and some mind-body work. This definitely help hone my awareness of where emotions manifest in my body.

During times of sadness, anxiety, fear and stress, I tend to hold my emotions in the base of my throat. I can only describe the sensation as having a dense foam ball the size on a large orange stuffed in there. At times it forces my emotions down and numbs them out for self preservation. Other times, usually when experiencing anxiety, I feel like I cannot scream, speak or express myself.

My Gestalt therapist back in Colorado would have me focus on the sensation, stay with it and experience it without judgement. Inevitably, it is emotionally painful, but not unbearable. It has been wonderfully therapeutic to work through the sensation and not allow it to numb the emotions out.

I occasionally have this lump sensation and this week, I am experiencing it again. My awareness brings me to realize that there are multiple triggers for it this time, but the main one is how slow the State is in assigning my permit number.

For months now, this process creeped along like molasses running down the side of a cold jar. I spoke to them on Monday April 28th and they explained that my education was approved. I inquired if that means I qualify for the permit, to which she explained that it does, but will take some time for the secretary to get everything in order and get the number assigned. Okay, so how long should I expect this step to take? She said I should expect to hear from them in five to ten days.

Apparently, I should have inquired if that meant consecutive days. I called yesterday and no progress has been made. She said I can call again on Friday.

So here I sit, with lots of student loans and a great job offer, and I cannot do anything until the State catalogs me and stamps a number on my head. I am saddened, I am frustrated, I am occasionally numbing out, but I am looking for the lesson in this all. I certainly have learned extreme patience and acceptance of what I am powerless over. I have been reminded that I am not defined by what others do or do not do. I have recognized my integrity by not taking a permanent job that I would knowingly bail out on when my number is assigned.

My sense is that there is more to be learned here, and I will keep my heart, mind and body open to what lesson is lurking below the surface. You see, I have learned also that the lessons are there if we open up to them.

I will breathe through the lump, it will not suffocate me or keep my silent. I will even go to the mountains and scream from them if that is what I need. But first, I will experience the sensation for all it's lumpy goodness.


Originally uploaded by misslissa13
When I smell marigolds
I travel back
to my parents' backyard
where my mother planted
the yellow-orange-red flowers

the colors drew me in
I lingered in the scent,
clean and sweet

They were planted in the narrow bed
near the swimming pool fence
I remember how I couldn't wait
for the flowers to dry
and go to seed
so I could dislodge the clump of seeds
roll them between my then small fingers
and watch then fall to the soil

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

hey san diego office of education! do you drug screen?

I love how people find my blog. I think the top two searches are about the midget lesbian mud wrestlers, finding Jesus behind the couch and acera palms. Here's a new one and I find it disturbing:

209.66.200.# (San Diego County Office of Education)
ISP: San Diego County Office of Education
Location Referring URL you get off shrooms
Search Engine:
Search Words: how do you get off shrooms

So who at the Office of Education is doing shrooms and using Google to try and get help? Were they tripping face while surfing the Web during work hours? Frightening, I tell you, frightening!

Let's see how many people Google for frog licking, Lyme infected tick's having sex, slug fornication, Zen and the Art of Godzilla movie critiquing, or African clog dancing acrobats.

getting nailed

getting nailed
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Sometimes we fail to give ourselves credit for the little improvements. They often are overshadowed by My Critic Panel. (Yeah, most people have one voice in their minds that criticizes them, I have a whole panel. They're annoying and I want to dope smack each and every one of them.) But here I am, praising myself for a small thing that is huge for me. I know I have mentioned it before but..... I have stopped biting my nails and it has been many weeks now. (Wow! I do have staying power with some things.) For all you long-nailed, non-gnawers, you have to understand, I have always bitten my nails. Mostly, I would bite out of feelings of stress or, more often, being bored.

Somehow, something shifted in my and my approached the attempt to consciously stop biting was different this time. It did not give up if I had a little nibble. I did not beat myself up or get upset with my lack of discipline, I treated myself with some lovingkindness and it worked.

Now I have a new dilemma to deal with: how to not hurt myself with nails. I have bent a couple back (holy freakin' ouch) accidentally and I have had to relearn how to insert and remove my contacts. I have to learn to not scratch myself or those around me (sorry Groovy). I am improving by practice. I also "punish" the offending nail by filing it down if it gets bent back (That'll learn 'em).

I figure after a while I will be trained in the art of having nails. Until then, you might want to avoid my personal space.....for your own safety. Or at least make sure your shots are up to date.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

is it the 70s?

kitchen setting
Originally uploaded by misslissa13

Well, my mother had me in the 70's so I guess it is appropriate that the kitchen in the new apartment is looking like the 70's on this here Mother's Day. Now that we have a large enough apartment to entertain, I decided to invite our mothers (and fathers) to:


....and no one got food poisoning (that I'm aware of).

Mind you, everything (other then one item) were recipes I have never made before. (Risky? Sure....I am such the dare-devil-living-on-the-edge type of gal. Brunch with new recipes! I'm crazy I tells ya! Crazy!)

The Menu:

Fresh Fruit Salad - banana, grapefruit, strawberry, blackberry, apple, orange and pear (Hey, you guessed it off the bat! THIS was the one I have made before. Oh, you're good!)

Banana Nut Muffins - from scratch. It only took two batches to get them right. Though I could just call the first ones "muffin shaped scones"...yeah, a little dry for muffin-like items.

Spinach Cheddar Quiche - And I made it with a whole wheat homemade crust. I rock!

French Toast Bread Pudding - This appeared to have been the hit of the brunch. Not too sweet and the cinnamony-goodness greeted guests in the driveway. They didn't even need maple syrup or butter. Melt in your mouth mmmm-ness. Never underestimate the power of a recipe you find on the internet.

And, to wash it down and give everyone a caffeine boost:
Mexican Coffee Deluxe - Simply divine.

Since my father had to work, I sent home a care package for him to enjoy when he got home. He will, however, have to take my mom's work for it that the coffee was fantastic (again with the internet recipe).

We really enjoyed hosting brunch. Now that I know I can do it, we'll have to invite over some friends. (hmmmm....did I just admit that I used our parents as test subjects? Oh, well, Happy Mother's Day anyway, momola!)

DIY grow box

DIY grow box II
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Bought a $13 grow light and then came up with the idea to repurpose a two drawer cabinet piece into a one drawer grow box. Oh we could have just bought a similar set up for $120 from the back of the Burpee catalog, but we like to make stuff and grow stuff....and do not like to spend money on things we can easily make.

The seed propagation process has begun! Fresh herbs and veggies in......well, give it some time.

I also planted some marigolds, with their divine clean fragrance that reminds me of childhood, and white impatiens that should grow nicely in partial light. In no time, their leaves and flowers should be peaking into the kitchen window. We were also gifted a gerbera daisy that joined the others lining the walkway.

Of course, being the nomad, most of these are in pots. Hey, you never know........ ugh, I think I will root for a while. Happy Spring!

Friday, May 9, 2008

design and comfort

glass beads
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
It is starting to feel like home which, given my nomadic history and bouts of "un-groundedness", is amazing. Living underground with only two small windows and a windowed entry door is not as bad as I thought it would feel. The other day, I let me creativity flow a bit and created a window treatment utilizing glass beads, dollar store "crystals", some old picnic cups, scrap booking paper (I don't scrapbook, I just like colorful items) and some time off from work.

I like the way it came out, especially when the sun shines through. It was also calming to string the beads and the vibrant colors make me smile.

There have been a few problems with the new place, but my aunt and, landlords are great people and are helping us iron out any of the kinks rather promptly. No one has resided here for over two years, so there are some minor problems. The kitchen sink leaks slightly. Luckily, my uncle was a plumber by trade. The fan in the refrigerator ceased working from inactivity; they called in a repair guy right away and let us use their second fridge to keep our perishables from perishing. Unfortunately, the replacement fan is rattling as all heck, but I am sure they will let the repair guy know as soon as I tell them.

Some pluses to this place (and these are huge):

Private two car driveway and entrance. No parking on the street and no extra dings from having to park in a public lot.

Space. I have never had an apartment with such square footage. It is comfortable. No need to move a chair out of the way to open the fridge. The ability to entertain without people sitting on each others' laps (unless they want to, of course). There is even room to practice yoga without risk of putting your hand through the wall or banging into furniture.

A kitchen you can actually cook in. Counter space, lots of cabinets, full-size appliances, enough room for a full kitchen table are all things I never really had before.

A bathroom and bathroom mirror that allows two people can get ready for work at the same time.

A quiet, safe neighborhood, close to the running track, Thursday night's yoga class and family.

No more hearing the clop-clop of tires going over the seam in the road in front of the last apartment. Heck, no sound of traffic.

A yard, with a pool and cardio equipment we have permission to use.

Extra storage space! This allows us to not have part of our apartment look like a bicycle repair shop.

It is comfortable. Truly comfortable. And, as an added bonus, I can be creative and design the space how I want, though I still haven't come up with what to do about the forest green carpet against the red sofa bed making it feel like Christmas...but I will figure it out. Perhaps a really large area rug (I did mention there was a lot of space in here....and the sofa is of considerable size, too). Now, I have to go jog to the other side of the place to get something.....

Monday, May 5, 2008

great oogly moogly

I am plum tuckered out! (Yeah, so tired I am resorting to southern accents and sayings, y'all.)

Most recent old apartment: empty and clean
Newest new apartment: the land of boxes and bags
I'd take a picture, but I have no idea where the camera is packed.
Body: tired and achy.
Eyes: crossing
I'm quite sure this is move #9/apt #10 in half as many years.

Tomorrow's the last day at my long-term temp job, then I am going to sleep for about three days straight.
Might have a cable box when arriving home tonight.
Internet should be hooked up on Wednesday.

Brain is on vacation.

What's new with all of you? (hey, my crazy lurkers, leave a comment every now and then. No, really, I won't bite)


Cheers y'all,

The Nomad

Thursday, May 1, 2008

commuter sky

commuter sky
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I am doing my best to stay grounded during this transition. Having only been back in New York less than six months and moving again is making it difficult. I can only do the best I can, each moment. I think yoga tonight will be helpful.

Carloads of stuff have already been moved and put into proper places in the new apartment, so this time it really is easier. The rental truck is reserved for this Saturday and hopefully there will be some sense of rest on Sunday.

Despite it all, driving home the other day, I was simply in awe of the sky. Even though I have been entrenched in the stress of moving, which is making me a bit introspective and pensive, I have moments like this that bring my awareness back to the present. The color of the sky, the clean white of the clouds, and the lack of typical Long Island traffic were very calming to me. I simply had to use my lousy camera phone to capture it. My soul needs moments like these.

What keeps you grounded?