A MindFULL Moment

While I usually post on MindFULL Mondays, I took the week off and lounged around. However, yesterday I had a MindFULL Moment and decided that in the spirit of a moment, rather than waiting, I’d post now.

Long story short, I am in a parent/child struggle as old as the hills. My daughter is 13 and is craving more independence. Some days we coast down the hill and others, we struggle up. It is not that I don’t trust her. It’s that the news makes me feel like I can’t trust the world. Time to turn off the TV.

I got it yesterday, when I woke up and set about racing myself to empty the dishwasher before my coffee was done perking. My daughter came down and asked if I could wait til sunrise to finish putting things away, as the clanking of the dishes echoed into her room. No problem. I took out the silver ware basket and put it on the counter, poured a cup of coffee and headed upstairs to take a shower. I had a big day ahead of me – I was “sitting with Chemo” as I’ve come to call the act of visiting while a friend takes her IV drip. I was scared and sad and honored and optimistic. I was a mess.

When I came downstairs 30 minutes later, the basket was empty and a note was attached.

I was stunned and touched. I called her down to thank her and to let her know how much I appreciated her competence and thoughtfulness, of all days. She said, “You are being a good friend today, Mommy.” I almost wept. What I want to be, I told her, is a good Mommy and that I wasn’t feeling so proud of some of my choice words over the last day (Day 13 of Christmas Break – I was feeling a DONE), to which she replied, “You are a good Mommy. But I know you are also a friend and wife and daughter and a sister. Today you have to be Robin the Friend and I can stay alone and will do what I know I have to do (read for school, a load of laundry) and then my friend will come at 1pm to get me and I will text you. It’s OK. You can GO.”

And, so I went. And, so did she.

I needed that MindFULL Moment more than words can describe. It’s not an easy time. Letting go and letting my daughter walk on her own in this world is taking me longer than I thought it would. And it’s not her. It’s me. A laugh in our house was had when the burglar company guy came to install our system and asked my husband if he should put a sensor on our daughter’s window so she doesn’t “climb out. “Ha!” he siad. “You should put it on the master bedroom, not my daughter’s – it’s my wife I d be concerned about first.”

Really, she is going to be fine. I’m clearly the one who could use some help.

So, in the Spirit of “Continuing Adult Education.” I am thinking that next year I will try and find a fun and creative way we can share our MindFULL Moments and learn together. I’ll let you know how/when I figure it out. Until then, may this weekend bring you a MindFULL Moment that takes your breath away and reminds you of all you have to be grateful for.


A Happy and MindFULL New Year to All. Wishing you MindFULL Moments of peace and ease in 2012!









Clean as the Newly Fallen Snow

A new conversation has crept up this holiday season. It’s not about the hottest gift, nor the easiest appetizer recipe. It’s the chat about getting ready for guests and then cleaning up when they leave.

With so much to do and so little time, it is easy to cut corners and hope no one notices the dust balls blowing by the heater vent. But with more and more concern about the toxins in our environments, it’s one more thing to think about when you call on Mr. Clean to quickly wipe away any residual of everyday life.

OK, I can hear my husband chortling. It’s not like I even clean my house in between Katerina. But, let’s say I did. What would I use?

Well, instead of giving gifts that adds to the clutter, my friend Kris invited us over to make healthy, homemade cleaning products. It took no time at all and had us shaking our heads wondering what we were paying for in all the products collecting under our sinks. The ingredients were easy: Water, Borax and Vinegar. Add a little essential oil (lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus) and we could basically clean our house and wipe away nasty chemical cleaning staples we have come to rely on.

Kris also had a tip list for us from www.eartheasy.com

  1. Vinegar and lemon juice in small bowls throughout the house absorbs odors!
  2. Get Rid of Bathroom Mold – One part hydrogen peroxide, w/2 parts water. Spray on mold, leave for at least an hour, rinse off.
  3. Good-Bye Carpet Stains – Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle (by ‘em at Target). Spray on stain, let sit for several minutes, clean with sponge and warm water. For heavier cleaner = ¼ cup salt, Borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet, let sit for a few hours, vacuum.
  4. Toilet Bowl Cleaner  – ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar or 2 parts Borax and one part lemon juice.
  5. Water Rings on Wood – try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise and rubbing ring out with a damp cloth.

So, as you host your guests and notice the spills that could stain your carpet, the odor of onions from the easy to make appetizer or the water ring on your Great Aunt Sally’s sideboard, never fear. Just enjoy the moments and know you have all the ingredients on hand for a happy AND healthy holiday season.


How do you MindFULLY stay healthy? Let us know!


The Cut of Courage

When I was a tween, I would save my paper route/babysitting money and ride my bike to the Village Salon, where all the fancy ladies got their hair cut. Then, I’d treat myself to a slice of pizza. I am, afterall, a (double) Leo. It’s all about the mane.

I still have the same routine. Best salon. Slice of Pizza.

The importance of my hair and the longevity of this routine sat with me this week, as I sat with my friend while she, too, had her hair cut. Only she wasn’t savoring the moment. She was getting hers cut, so that when she started chemotherapy at the end of week, her shorter locks would lead her through the loss of hair she was warned would begin soon thereafter.

What courage she has.

Instead of the usual slice of greasy NY pizza, we had a comfort lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Then, we headed over to the salon. Not knowing what to expect, I braced my self for unknown emotions. The burger rolled around my stomach. However, I have to say, that it was not as scary as I was expecting. Her strength and courage gave me permission to laugh and grimace with her. Sitting in her lap was a wig she had made to look like her hair, and when she put it on to have it trimmed, surprisingly, you really couldn’t tell. When the hair dresser actually began cutting, the end result was quite elegant. We agreed that when it really started to fall out, I’d help her shave it.

Dear Lord, please steady my hands.

As we sat in the chairs amongst the prettiest people and hairdressers you can imagine, I thought of how much I take for granted having hair, what it looks like and the role it has played throughout my life.

How would I feel without my hair? Not so good. Clearly, I have a pretty shallow side. How would I like to feel? Like the story below. I posted it last year and am reposting it in an effort to keep our attitudes positive. I dedicate it to my friend. May she see that she is not her hair. May she be healthy. May we laugh about this day next year and until then, exclaim, “YEAH! Today is wash and wear!”

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror,
and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

“Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only
two hairs on her head. “H-M-M, ” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had
only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “YEAH!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”


What story do you MindFULLY use when you need a more positive attitude? Let us know!


It is literally 8 degrees today.  I am wearing a sweatshirt, tshirt, sweatpants and wool socks. Not lookin’ so good, but feeling beautiful on the inside. OK…that’s a stretch.

However, I have decided to try and embrace my inner beauty, as they say, and succumb to the season. I seek to revel in the days when I don’t have to wave a mascara wand. It’s that time of year, when I want to be “out” and yet, yearn to be “in”.  It’s a challenge. I tend to err on the side of caution on these days; snow falls in the morning and I cancel my evening, below 10 degrees and I figure that  my “to do” list is allowed to morph into my “to be” list.

You see, years ago, on a cold, winter day in Cleveland, I was driving to a “must have” interview and slid on a curved road, into a tree, setting off my air bag and smashing in the front of my car. Call it what you will – luck, angels, Grace – whatever you call it, it was on my side. The tree I hit was in front of a house, owned by a nurse who happened to be home. She, too, drove a Saab. She came out, helped me inside, called her car dealer and set about bandaging my fear.

What are the chances that I would hit that tree, in that car, on her day off?

And so, I am skiddish. Yes, having grown up on the East Coast and Colorado, you would think I could take the road on a snowy day, with ease. And yet, I take it with fear. A fear that I can’t seem to shake, but I can laugh at when my friend Ellen picks me up at the first sign of flakes.

I worry for the safety of people I care about. I cancel plans and hunker down, hoping the sun will come out and freedom will be mine.

And so it is on this day of 8 degrees, that I am finally embracing it all, letting myself off the hook and realizing that even birds are grounded when it snows. Instead of berating myself and stressing over making the exercise class at the JCC,  I jumped on the basement treadmill, watched Mark Nebo on OWN. Then I threw in a load of laundry, sent a thank you note, wrote some new house ideas in my journal and made a date with Colette for creative inspiration, David for physical inspiration and Jay for finalizing some things around the house that really do need to be done. I put on my Holiday Itunes playlist:

Home For The Holidays – Danity Kane

Baby Its Cold Outside – Vanessa Williams

Love’s Holiday  – Earth Wind and Fire

Someday at Christmas – Jack Johnson

America the Beautiful – Edwina Travis

Peace – Norah Jones

Hallelujah = k.d. lang (my favorite)

I appreciate the work I had this past year and the success behind me. I am trying to have faith that I will have what I need in the year ahead and that by not pushing now, I will have the energy and strength to push through when new work appears. That staying in my sweats doesn’t mean I am lazy. It really doesn’t mean anything, except for the meaning I choose to give it.

In this morning’s interview with Mark Nebo, he said, “Every experience we have reveals to us a word in the language of our own wisdom.”

Today’s word is surrender. Calgon, take me away…

How do you MindFULLY use your experiences? Let us know!