Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My first day at the new office

The space looks complete with art on the walls.
My first day was a typical day of 1sts. How to code my sessions for the office staff? How to record a 45 or 60 minute session? How to consult the TOVA test? Email? Schedule? I went to write a physician and I needed letterhead. I went to print said letter and I had to figure to which printer to print. I went to fax and I had to learn using a new machine. I met several new clients and saw one familiar face.

I even experienced a form of my grandmother yesterday---I went to print and I was offered the most heavenly pumpkin cake dessert. Joann offered it to me, told me about how the condo she in which she recently cooked only offered a broiler pan so she had to make-do, cut a generous slice, warmed it in the microwave and added whipped cream before I could even refuse. No kidding, it was like someone popped right off my genogram and fed me. I probably would have cried if she knew me better.

It is a little strange to get back on the long-term horse...no more meeting people and holding back lest there be any bonding...and yet it feels so right. Mondays are scheduled to be my longest day---from 9:30am to 8:30pm. Yesterday I came home, ate dinner, and even had the energy to go on a long walk. I think I'm going to love this next phase of life. It feels good to know why I am doing what I am doing---I've had to rule a few things out over the last five years. Today I experienced feeling settled, something for which I've been hoping now for several years. Today I am Psalm 40.

I set up my Psychology Today profile this morning. Will you read it, offer suggestions and tell me if I should consider changing something? Thanks!

I ordered a custom frame for this piece yesterday. I love how the frame brings out the warm tones. Now I just have to wait 2 weeks.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Painted Feather Pillows

Pillows and a soft blanket were the first things I looked to buy for my new office. I found these soft but crunchy feather linen pillows at Marshall's...and because they needed to be more blue than gray, painted them with a mix of Permaset Aqua colors. Once painted, they actually exceeded my expectations. Yay!

Hello, MARI symbols!

Making headway

No wall hangings yet but curtains raised (thanks to Cody) with a new extender rod on the way. Furniture pared down and rearranged. Pillows and soft throw ready to be squished into. Fish tank almost ready for fish. The rolling filter attached on the back makes the most perfect waterfall sound. I did not turn on the fireplace yesterday for fear something would happen and no one was there to help me figure things out..but I will get right to that tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, can you believe I already have 7 appointments on my first day!?!

When it comes to transitions, well, I always give it my best.
Aside from working like a farmer, this means adopting and reciting the mantra, 
"Be gentle with yourself."
It is this exact mantra that allows me to aim for my best, and still love with grace through sub-par. 

I know that practicing this mantra in my own life allows me to practice it with others. 
I am not the only one "fighting a great battle."

We must each take care of ourselves; no other human can give us the esteem we require for ourselves and others. 

Friday, October 28, 2016


I happen to like change. That said, there's still a taxing reality to moving through transition.

Remember all those videos I recently posted about California? In early September we learned Cody was losing his job---or being transferred to California. We went and we checked it out...and it wasn't our thing. So, we came back to Kansas wondering what was next.

In all this process, I have only freaked out twice, because I have known change was coming. Lots of dreams, lots of confirmation. It turns out that change in Cody's job, effects change in my job. Hmmm...do I sound systemic? While I am sad to be leaving the amazing team at Empac, I am so.incredibly.excited to be returning to private practice. I even bought www.melaniecloud.com and brought it up to basic speed.

Here are a couple "before" pictures of the office I am taking over in one week. And though my friend Lacy (who is transitioning, herself) has done a great job with the space, I am excited to make it my own. Instead of all the bright colors (short-term energy) I have had at Empac, I think I will go back to the healing blues and greens (long-term therapy + safety). Doesn't it have great bones? I have a fireplace in my office---what a dream!

I move in on the 5th, and I start seeing clients at Adult Child and Family Counseling on November 7th. Don't worry, I will still be taking my 41st birthday off that week.

In the meantime, I am saying goodbye to great co-workers, colleagues and clients. Wish us all luck!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Battleships

I train at a conference for state-wide workers on "Dealing With Conflict" today. They re-named my training, "You Sunk My Battleship." (Insert sassy 3 beat drum line here.)

Friday, September 30, 2016

A new poem, a mile high

I love flying. I love defying gravity at take-off. I love guessing the moment the wheels completely leave the earth, and I love feeling the wheels touch down on the tarmac at landing. I purposefully let my body go limp so I can take in the full ride---skips, lurches and all. I look out planes similarly to how I look out at the ocean. Maybe it's the novelty, the O2mix or the trance-like attention commanded by wave after wave of new sensory input? *bing* Whatever the case, I especially love how a shift in perspective ushers in new experiences, new treasure for those of us who are present in those moments.

Great limestone bones lie dormant
within calligraphic blue shadows
and my spirit hovers
just this side of an ancient and indecipherable code
I look with wonder and long for the whole story.

This sky-down blue lake had just a few white boulders (?) at the top edge. I just checked the GPS on my camera and it looks like this is Pyramid lake. Wowee! (Even Marilyn Monroe swam there once.)
And how about this view North of Sacramento? That river runs all the way to Sacramento.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Subconscious Images

I keep this little microscope slide gem hanging from my dining room chandelier. I must have made it 10 years ago. But isn't it a precursor to the Oceanic Astronaut/Ethnospheric Diver? And it makes so much sense I would have a saltwater tank in my home....

Where are all the fish? In the hospital tank when I took this photo. I'll grab another one with the healed little cannibals soon.


California on my mind...

...the beauty.

...the weirdness.

...the memory of what it's like to live in one place and long for home.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Coldplay Worth.It.

The first time we saw Coldplay was February 4, 2003 in this 3,500 seat auditorium. The second time we saw Coldplay was a few years later in September of 2005 where they played to 18,000 people at Sandstone Ampitheater. We saw Coldplay for the third time last week in Tulsa at the even bigger BOK Center. It was the band's 20th Anniversary of being together---and it is now part of our own 20th year of being married.

My Overgram illustrates how incredibly beautiful the night was. I thought I would put a few snapshots on the blog that I didn't put on Instagram.
Our seats were amazing---the best yet---and though expensive (let's be honest...after Sting/Peter Gabriel, I'm sure expensive is forever blown), I am sure we paid among the least in our section. We have never waited that late to purchase tickets so we were pleasantly surprised to see the seats were held to be released at random for face value in order to ward off scalpers. The seats we looked at early in the day were 2x what we paid and in the nosebleed section. We felt like we won the lottery!

Here's how the crazy day went: Cody woke up in Garden City the morning of the show. He only had 3 Litho cases but the Dr. scheduled a few surgeries before the Lithos so we were not sure it would even be possible to make the show. We knew Cody had to be on the road by 2pm or we were not going to get to Tulsa in time...so we held off on buying the tickets. I couldn't take it anymore so I finally called Cody at 1pm and asked what it was looking like. He had done 2 of the 3 cases. I went into my 1pm session and by the time I was done Cody had texted he bought two tickets and got us a hotel. Cody made no stops in the Diesel truck on the way home. I finished my sessions, got home threw my overnight stuff into a suitcase and waited with the car backed into the driveway. Cody drove up and we jumped in and drove like mad! Doors opened at 7. We knew there were 2 opening acts but we were sweating it out when we arrived at 8:30. Coldplay took the stage at 9. It was thrilling PERFECT timing! When we finally hit the sack at 3am (we had to go out for drinks with UJ afterward!) I mumbled something or other about "this day would not have been possible without our ability to tolerate ambiguity."

I really freaked out on this OA/ED effect. See Martin laying on the stage far left? They projected two images of him on the front screen for the ladder effect.

The round stage at the end of the runway had this swirl projected onto it so when the image was projected on the front screen it looked like it was "swallowing" Martin, who eventually laid down on it!

The confetti and streamer cannons were so great! I wound up with the orange ones wrapped around my neck. Martin acknowledged the party idea for this tour came directly from Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips (exactly what it reminded me of but on a much larger scale) At this mention people began pointing out Wayne Coyne who was there and can be seen in some of my photos. He was sitting directly across from us. Cool! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Psalm 40 In My 40th Year on Earth

I will sing a new song!

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him. 
---Psalm 40