Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good Times

My cousin Tyra recently sent me some old photo's via facebook, which bring back memories of good times. Let's start with a little photo I like to refer to as "Our Gang". The two adorable little boys are my brothers David and Jody, along with me and my cousins (Tyra is the cutie on the right with the pixie).

As you can see from the first photo my hair is naturally straight. Here I am at 20, a time in life when it really was "all about me". This is a good example of how easy it is to lose perspective. It was Dallas in the 80's, and my big focus in life was achieving maximum volume with the hair. At that time it wasn't unusual to see me shaking my fist at the sky, shouting "why me God, when will I ever have Big Hair!" Tyra and Peaches are my trusty companions.

Tom, Mika and Tyler - a time when I had Brook Shield eyebrows and Tom went everywhere dressed like a professional golfer.

Posted by PicasaTyra and Mika trying to determine if blondes really do have more fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

History 101

Have I mentioned that I adore the Obama’s? Barack, Michele and those darling little girls give me hope that we may have actually turned a corner. Even though it’s important for us to move forward, I also think we have to learn from history, least it repeat itself. In a strange way there’s a part of me that wonders if Bush was a necessary evil. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you are able to move forward and evolve.

It can happen to you
We must never take our way of life for granted, after all who ever thought that hanging chads, Guantanamo and the Patriot Act would become part of our daily lexicon.

Do the Right Thing
That old saying “there is nothing to fear, but fear itself” sums up the Bush years. Dubya used fear to appeal to the lowest common denominator and as a result held the world hostage for eight years. We must have the courage to rise above fear in order to make good, sound decisions.

Can’t we all just get along?
Does anyone else find it ironic that a man who surrounded himself with Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove had the nerve to refer to others as the “axis of evil”? Bush’s lack of diplomacy and refusal to work with allies’ undermined America’s reputation and power. The reality is the world has changed; no one can afford to go it alone.

Show me the money
Clinton left office with a surplus of just over $236 Billion – Bush leaves office with a deficit of over $10 trillion - and who says that men don’t like to spend money?

Times of War
War is not always the solution and should only be used as a last resort. Even if there had been weapons of mass destruction, it would have been ill advised to go into Iraq with guns blazing. In reality, the Middle East is a very complicated place, of which Bush did not have a good understanding. Not to mention that our brand of democracy isn’t necessarily the solution. As a result of the war in Iraq we have lost countless innocent lives, created the mother of all jihads, produced instability in an already troubled part of the world, and ignored countries that might actually be a real threat to our well being.

The American Dream
We keep hearing that Barack represents the American dream; the real miracle is the fact that Bush ever became president. While it is true that both Clinton and Obama came from humble backgrounds, they were also exceptional scholars, with a history of success in their chosen careers. Bush on the other hand, had a poor academic record and left a string of failed business ventures in his path. Shouldn’t we aspire to have the best and brightest as our world leaders?

Who’s the Man?
The days of middle aged white man ruling the world are coming to an end. Truth is most of our families look more like Obama’s, a mix of nationalities, races, religions, and sexual orientation. I look at some of the people in my world – Josie, Brielle, Christopher and Maturos – and see the beautiful faces of the future. We need leaders that represent more than just the Christian right, and are able to recognize that diversity is one of the building stones of life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Strong Like Ox

My good friend Jill recently sent me a beautiful Asian calendar – as I admired it I had an epiphany – oh my god, it’s the year of the ox, how in the world do I break the news to Tom!

You see in our house this is big news, Tyler, Tex, Maggie and I were all born in the year of the ox. According to the info Jill sent ox are genuine, hard working, trusting, responsible and fearless, which Tom points out is just a polite way of saying stubborn.

To make it even worse, Tom is a ram. According to ancient Chinese wisdom, rams are strongly advised to never live with ox………..seriously…….under no circumstance should ram ever cohabitate with ox.

Sure, I admit that one side of me really feels bad for Tom – but there’s another side that says Paaaaartay!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It's been a sad month, a time of loss for many of our family and friends. This poem is for our sweet neighbor Lila, who passed away last week - for my step sister Debbie, who lost her young son in a car accident - for Kristen who lost dear Yukon - for Dawn who is missing her darling Maggie - for our son Tyler, who was supposed to be celebrating New Years at a club in Bangkok and decided not to go at the last minute, narrowly missing a fire that took over 50 young souls, including several of his friends.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die...
- Anonymous

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mika's Wish List

Ever notice how January is the worst possible time of the year to hit the gym? It’s way too full of flabby, sweaty people who’ve made New Year Resolutions to finally get in shape. Trust me, break out your old leotards and Jane Fonda tapes, as it will be a few weeks before people loose their resolve at the gym, and things return to normal.

I speak from experience, as it’s taken me over 40 years to realize that unless you're willing to make a total life change, New Year resolutions don’t work. For the past few years I’ve tried a new approach, instead of making a list of tactics that come with a self imposed expiration date, I try to focus on where my state of mind should be.

Mika’s wishes for the New Year:

Optimum Health
Sure, I’d like to be 20 pounds lighter, but instead of going on a diet / exercise binge, my real focus should be working towards optimum health. This means eating things that are good for my body, while also understanding the occasional splurge is good for the soul.
It means that if I am too busy to work out, I’m not taking good care of myself and need to find a way to better manage my time. It means that by putting on the oxygen mask first, I am better able to take care of my family and friends.

Things of Substance
Considering that I only know how to play the clarinet, maybe it’s time to stop dreaming of being a rock star or winning the lottery. Instead, let me strive for things that will really impact my life – let me cultivate wisdom, love, patience, compassion, kindness and humour.

Don’t ever let me forget that the only person I can control is me. When I have conflict with others, I need work on myself, asking what can I do to make the situation better.
Instead of focusing on other peoples faults, I will try to be a better wife, mother, friend, employee, leader, colleague, person who cares about the planet.

Being Present
Don’t let me be so focused on the future, that I forget to show up for life. I want to wake up everyday and love the hell out of my family and friends, without fear or trepidation.