Courtesy Call

Once upon a time there were carrier pigeons:


YouTube video – humorous version

A few hundred years later we added pony express for communication:

We used morse code with a telegraph:

Telegraph and Morse code

A phone was invented:

old fashioned telephone

Alexander Bell and his new invention

We had access to fax machines:

historic fax machine

modern fax machine

Cell phones came into the market:

First mobile phone

It wasn’t long till we could email to communicate:

EMAIL    @     Internet

@ symbol

Soon we had access to texting  through SMS:


text penguins

The question is — why can’t people have the courtesy to contact someone when they change their mind about showing up for an appointment?!

There are a multitude of efficient ways to communicate. Find one and be courteous to other people.

tin can communication

Brain Bridge

Sometimes I’m amazed how fluid my thoughts are for spontaneous ideas.   Before the hostile takeover of my home/businesses, I woke up every day with some solution or new concept to implement in my wonderful work establishment.   A year after my forced evacuation, I am finally gaining the momentum to reconnect with the creative part of my mind.    My brain was bombed with mind battering. I was chased on a dark side of life with little means to cross over.  I work on activites to build what I call my “brain bridge.”   My brain bridge connects me with the outside world, the community, my customers, my students, my creativity, sanity and safety — a part of my life as I knew it — but most importantly — my new life as I rebuild it.

Here are the ways I build my brain bridge:

  • Melodious themes of notes hummm through my head in the morning.  I race to my workroom and press the point of my pencil to my manuscript paper before the moment ends.  There may be about 10 potential compositions ready for developing when I’m ready to fully concentrate on that part of my brain bridge. Music is forever helpful in building the brain.
  • Sense, observe, evaluate people, places, products, predicaments around me.  I respond and write in this blog.   My brain bridge is being built with woven words.   You, the reader are part of the process.  I’m not just writing to tap away at a keyboard.  I’m writing to reach you — on the other side.   Are you on the other side?  Are you helping to build the bridge?  Are you half way across waiting for me?  Are you ahead of me?


  • Drive and discover new communities.  The roads around here are curvy, full of hills, mountains — and are so randomly marked, I can get lost from just turning any direction.   There is certainly much to discover in the small towns.  There is a river nearby and plenty of creeks — so I cross bridges regularly on my treks around towns.

    The Susquehanna River

  • Learn to understand and speak Spanish.  Right now I’m in infant stages — understanding the words — just not ready to start full sentences.  I’m using predominently audio cds.   I listen and respond out loud —Level II — half way through.

  • Study techniques to improve online visibility and sales.   I study online because the hours for learning are best for my brain and my internal clock that operates on “second shift.”  eCommerce is my “job” because there is a broader base for income – and my career with six income producing venues was bullied (the wimpy way to say abused) away from me.

  • Spend time with my cat, Carmel.  He is precious, playful and gives me peace of mind.

orange tabby

Well, that’s the beginning of my brain bridge.  There will be more added on the way to stabilize the structure. I will know about that when I get to the other side and look back.

Fun Fig Facts

Most everyone has heard of the Fig Newton cookie — the dark gooey paste with a slight seedy crunch, nestled between 2 firm biscuit like cookies.

According to blogger, The Amai Life  “Even Nabisco doesn’t seem to have one singular solid story of where the Fig Newton originated from, but the best version states that a baker by the name of Charles Roser came up with the recipe for the fig filled biscuit. Then in 1892, James Henry Mitchell patented a machine that was  able to insert fig paste inside pastry dough. The machine was like a funnel within a funnel, continually spitting out fig paste and cookie dough, creating an endless filled cookie that could be cut into individual pieces. Imagine if Nabisco sold foot long Fig Newtons.”

What is this mysterious fruit that is rarely used in everyday recipes?  Are figs found in the produce aisle alongside blueberries, plums and strawberries?

There is a fig bush in my back yard.  It was a hearty year for the crop.   It is still producing the dangling bulbous oddities even after our first frost.

Here are some facts about figs.

More Fig Facts.

Just what do we do with all these peculiar delicacies?  Here is a link of recipe ideas.

Be sure to read about the health benefits for eating figs.

“Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer / We won’t go until we get some; / We won’t go until we get some; / We won’t go until we get some, so bring it right here!”  So WHAT IS figgy pudding?

No Grasp of Grief

3:00 am strikes with a sudden response I couldn’t have expected.  As I sit in the den of my childhood home, I look to the date on the computer monitor with the realization that is was just 3 short years since my fine father suddenly parted from this world and my life.    Earlier that evening in 2009, I was assured by my oldest brother that dad was doing better.  I trusted him and postposned my planned evening visit.  6 hours later, my brother called to inform me the nurse said “your father is not responsive.”    Though I had made sure to see dad 3 times during the time of his hospitalization, there is no way I was prepared for this moment.   I had a bag already packed for an overnight stay.


My “unresponsive” spouse barely made a reaction to the call that obviously had me in fear of the outcome.   I picture the dark, unfinished attic room where I was being housed in the marital home for 5 years.   The isolation from my family was certainly beginning to become more distinct in this moment of decision.   I left the home alone — as was often the case — if I wanted to see my family other than on major holidays.    It was nothing like the weekly or monthly visits I bestowed upon the mother of the selfish spouse each time his mother was taken to the hospital.  Year after year — no less than ten years of continual comfort to “your mother-in-law” as he referred to his mother.


Supporting, caring, calming — this is what I needed.  Comfort for ME, this time.  And there was NOTHING.  This pretend spouse, was treated  like a son.   My father chatted with him freely.   Shared with him consistently.  Asked about him regularly.   My kind, thoughtful, ever considerate father had parted this world — and the person I married abandoned me emotionally.   He didn’t show ONE time to the hospital – the first time my father was ever hospitalized his entire 82 years.   The louse-a-spouse went through the motions of attending the funeral services.  Then never asked me once “Are you OK?”  “How are you feeling?”  — NO — instead he began treating me with disdain, saying “get a job” (I worked 7 days a week), critiscizing, me, my family and worse of all — questioning the character of my impeccibly pure and honest father!

Unleashed: battering of me emotionally, mentally, sexually — even worse after the death of my father.  I regularly aided with the care of “your mother-in-law” for 15 years till her death in 2007.   When I needed to be supportive of my mother (82) who was widowed after 58 years with her husband — 62 total years — she was locked out of my household bathroom!


One year ago, I had to evacuate my home, business, town . . . My grief became darker as I experienced the death of no less than 6 businesses I founded and sucessfully operated with the help of 4 part-time employees.

Cancer Awareness Month (Oct) recognizes the disease and the loss felt by patients. Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Oct) barely makes mention the multitudes of victims who have lived with and survived the in-house bullying that causes scars not able to be seen on an X-ray or cell sampling.

I will go visit my father’s gravesite  — with my mom.    Here she stands behind her husband’s headstone — my dear, departed dad.

Smart Sleepers

There is research to explain everything, and now there’s new information to back up my inclination for late night hours. Ever since I can remember, I enjoyed the evening more than morning hours. It wasn’t until college where there was finally the opportunity to enroll in late morning, afternoon or evening classes. But I still had to conform to the world’s insistence to go to work in the morning at least for the first decade of my career. After my early retirement from the public school system, I began to hone into the hours that worked best for my productivity – afternoon and nighttime. The schedule occurred partially because my new student base from teaching private instruction meant I needed to be available during the hours they needed me — evenings. People would say I could set my own hours. Really? My hours were actually set by students and customers — 3:30 – 9:30 pm. I worked right through “supper hour” with ease, then had my evening meal.

After work was preparation for the next day, research, reading and designing marketing materials and sales items for my new business. The afternoon through evening hours carried over into all my areas of work: art, coffee, music, teaching. Customers in all the areas that I offered my services were best served — at night. An unknowing neighbor who couldn’t understand my business said that my hours were “counter-intuitive” — yet I knew without a doubt that my hours were spot on — right where they needed to be. I even had stats to prove it after 5 years in one of the last endeavors I successfully operated.

According to  “There are signs the business world is changing in this arena, too. Many smaller businesses have adopted much more flexible hours. More small businesspeople are, themselves, night owls. This correlates well with the fact more intelligent people have a slight tendency toward being night owls rather than larks. More intelligent people also are more likely to be entrepreneurs or independent professionals, rather than company people.” (September 28, 2011)


So what do researchers inform us about night owls vs early birds? Here’s what the Winnipeg Free Press provided from research about the characteristics of both types of people.

Jamie Nowinski writes “The phrase of “Thank God It Is Friday” has a special meaning to a Night Owl, because it means that I can stay up late, once again.  The alarm is set to off and creativity flows once more.  The hardest part is going back to the weekday schedule and falling asleep on Sunday night.  I am a night owl living in an early bird world!”

Which are you?  Take this quiz and see if you match up to the test.

Color Scales – Part 3

Painting with Color Scales
by Joey Howell (c) 2007

One way I narrow the choice down is simply to decide whether my painting will be warm or cool. A southwest desert landscape at midday will probably make me think of a warm or hot color, like yellow-orange; if I were painting a human figure and wanted to convey a down or depressed feeling, I might choose (…wait for it…) blue.

Sometimes I already have a musical sound in mind, with its own scale, or more correctly, its own mode (see below). If I have a particular mode in mind and one or more colors that I want to include, then the mental exercise of finding a color-mode satisfying all the requirements can be quite challenging. For example, say I want a major color scale with both red and red-violet in it. Well, there are only two choices: red major and blue-green major.

Sometimes the answer to the question, “What key should I use?” is rather less analytic and more subjective. You choose the key that you like at that particular moment, for whatever particular reason you have. Sure, I let my brain do a little work on the problem, because that’s fun and can be helpful, but sometimes, in the end, it’s my heart, or my gut, that decides, or some other internal “craving” for one color or another.

How do you actually use a color-scale in a painting? Here is an easy example. Without thinking about it too much, I choose a color. Say, blue-green. This is my root color. Now I write down the colors of the blue-green major scale using the formula above: blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, red, orange, yellow, green. Then I create a 4-color chord, á la the description of triads above, except extended by one note. The resulting chord is blue-green, red-violet, orange, green. Borrowing from music nomenclature, I name this chord Blue-green Major7. Now I can create an abstract painting depicting this color-chord. I take each color of chord in turn and apply it to the canvas, a splash of thin wash here, a bold slash there, generally letting the each color dry before applying the next color. I try to emphasize the root color, blue-green in this case, perhaps by using large blotches of saturated color. At the same time, I try to balance all the colors, just as I would try to balance the notes of a guitar chord, so each is distinct, but not overpowering. Sometimes it takes a few rounds of applying the colors, but the result can be a very cool-looking, simple idea.

A slightly more elaborate example is using a color-scale for a figure painting or still life. For a nude figure, I would use the different chords from the scale harmonization for different elements of the figure. I might use the 3- or 4-note chord based on the root note of the scale for the face, the chord built from the 2th note of my scale for an arm, and the chord built on the 5th note for a leg. So using the scale of blue-green major as the example, the face would be blue-green, red-violet, orange, green. The arm would be blue-violet, red, yellow, blue-green. The leg would be orange, green, blue-violet, red. The bump and hollow riff is extremely useful in drawing nude figures or animals, so I always look for these shapes in my models and feature them in the painting, like in the upper arm or knee. Applying the first element of Synchromism, I would try to depict advancing planes in warm colors and receding planes in cool colors. So if the face is looking out at the observer, I might use orange for the nose, because it sticks out, red-violet under the eyes and blue-green for the sides of the cheeks.

So why use color scales in the first place? Unless one is interested in music as well as painting, there may be no good reason. For me, it gives a way to use my knowledge of musical scales as an analog to understanding color. By mapping my knowledge of music notes onto the color wheel, I have a better handle on the relationships between colors, how to flow smoothly from one set of colors to  another in a painting. I use my musical sense to tell me when I should abandon my scale and “go outside”, when and how to create tension/release. Also, by limiting myself to the colors of my chosen scale, I free myself to be expressive in other ways. Most importantly, I can use my ability to generate musical ideas to suggest corresponding color ideas to try.

It is important to point out that the use of color scales is just a tool. I spend a lot of time thinking about music scales, but when I am actually playing music, I am not thinking about the key and scale I am in; I’m just playing, but my knowledge and experience of scales influences how I play. In the same way, when I am painting, I am not thinking about my color scale, I just have those colors on my palette and no others (except white). I am therefore freer to explore other variables.

Is there really any connection at all between the 12 colors of the wheel and the 12 musical notes, or indeed between musical and visual arts whatsoever? It’s debatable. There are lots of differences in the way we perceive and understand pitch and color, and in the way they affect our emotions. In my heart, I feel such a connection exists, and that color scales are a great way for me to start exploring it.

Color Scales – Part 2

Painting with Color Scales
by Joey Howell (c) 2007

So, how does one create a “color scale”? First, choose a predominant “key” color, for example, red. Then, map the colors of the wheel onto notes of the piano keyboard, starting with the key color at C.

Red = C

Red-orange = C#

Orange = D

Yellow-orange = D#

Yellow = E

Yellow-green = F

Green = F#

Blue-green = G

Blue = G#

Blue-violet = A

Violet = A#

Red-violet = B

What is the musical major scale and where did it come from? Many people know the major scale as do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti and back to do. The major scale dates from the time of Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician. Its mathematical/physical basis, as illuminated by Pythagoras, is very fascinating but beyond our current scope. What gives the major scale its characteristic sound is its interval structure. The interval (difference in pitch) structure of any musical major scale (regardless of its key) is whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step, where a whole step means skipping over 1 note, like from C to D, skipping C#, and a half step is going from one note to the next, like from C to C# or D# to E. For those less familiar with the piano keyboard, the notes that do not have the “#” or “sharp” sign after the letter are called the “natural” notes, or the “white keys”; those notes with the “#” sign are the “black keys” of the keyboard or “sharp” notes. The sharp notes can also be written with the flat (b) sign, viz. C#=Db; and, sometimes there is a good reason to use one or the other. To avoid confusion, I’ll only use the sharp sign (#). Note that there is only a half step jump from E to F, and from B to C; there is no sharp note between them. Thus the notes of the C major scale are C,D,E,F,G,A,B then back to C, in other words, the “white keys” starting on C.

Now having mapped the key color of red to the keyboard note of C, we can name the notes in the color-scale of red major: red, orange, yellow, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet. These colors will now make up the color palette for a painting. The colors are almost always used pure, never mixed. The value of the color can be raised or lowered. The colors are deployed in separate, discrete, but possibly overlapping patches. According to Tudor-Hart, “color melodies” can be generated by spacing colors out, separated by neutral ground. Furthermore, “color chords” can be composed by the juxtaposition of particular colors from the scale. For example, the root, or “tonic”, chord in the musical key of C major is C-E-G, the C major triad. (The word triad is used here in the musical rather than the color-harmony sense.) In the example of the color key of red major, the root chord would be red, yellow, blue-green. This color triad, juxtaposing these colors, can then be used to emphasize the emotional, psychological content of an important area of the painting, for example, the face of a figure.

Other chord triads besides the root chord can also be generated. To form a triad, you take any note from the scale, skip over a note, take the next note, skip a note, then take the next note. For example, you start with G, skip A, take B, skip C, and take D, resulting in the triad G-B-D. Generating chords in this manner is called harmonizing the major scale.

Any color can be chosen as the dominant key color, so how do you choose? Stanton Macdonald-Wright believed that each color key was imbued with its own emotional and psychological qualities and impact. He lays these out in his book, A Treatise on Color. He actually builds these meanings up from one simple axiom: Yellow = Light, Red = Strong, Blue = Shadow. Proceeding from there, Orange = Red +Yellow, or Strong-Light, Violet = Red+Blue, or Strong-Shadow, Green = Yellow+Blue, or Neutrality (Light+Shadow). He then associates these attributes of the colors themselves to psychological/emotional states of the mind, deeming some color keys suitable for some subjects and unsuitable for others.
I personally find this last bit a little too subjective and restrictive.

Color Scales – Part 1

Painting with Color Scales
by Joey Howell (c) 2007

I came to painting rather late in life; indeed I had been a serious, practicing musician for over 40 years when I first even attempted to draw with a pencil. So when I finally took up painting, I was very eager to bring as much as possible of my knowledge and experience as a musical artist over to my practice as a visual artist. At the time, I had just seen an exhibition of Synchromist paintings by Stanton Macdonald-Wright, and I felt that his use of “color scales” was a perfect way to tap that reservoir of ability. So, at least in some of my work, I have adopted the color-scale approach to painting. In this article, I will give a very brief sketch of the history and basic elements of Synchromism, followed by a more in-depth description of one of those elements: color scales.


Synchromism was an art movement based on the concept of painting “with color”. The movement had only two members, Americans Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890-1973) and Morgan Russell (1886-1953). Their first showing of Synchromist paintings was in Munich in 1913. Russell abandoned Synchromism in 1916; Wright, however, painted many of his most compelling canvases in the late teens and 20s, holding to the Synchromist principles into the early 1930s. He remained a color-painter throughout his life and returned to use of color-scales in his later years.

The basic elements of Synchromism are:

  1. Use of color alone to define form and space, based on the well-known psycho-visual phenomenon that warm colors (red, orange,      yellow) appear to advance and cool colors (green, blue, violet) to recede in the visual field.
  2. Application of “color-scales”, directly related to musical scales, to create the color scheme, and thus, the emotional impact in a painting. More on color scales follows below.
  3. Form based on the “principal rhythm”, also called the “hollow and bump”, consisting of 2 contraposed curves, expressed as ( ). This fundamental physical tension is reiterated over and over in synchromist work.

Color scales

What exactly is a “color scale”? It is a set of some number of distinct colors. By “distinct” I mean different in hue, not merely in value; for example, a pink made by mixing red and white is not considered distinct from red, whereas orange is considered distinct from red. How many is “some number”? Well, with a few exceptions, in the world of music, scales generally consist of 5-7 notes chosen from the so-called chromatic scale, which encompasses all the notes (see below). So, could you just take any old 5-7 notes or colors at random and make a “scale”? Well, yes, you could. And you might get really interesting results. However, there is also a more systematic approach, primarily based on musical major scales, which makes color scales much more useful in my visual artistic process.

Color scales were primarily the invention of Canadian Percyval Tudor-Hart (1873-1954), who taught both Wright and Russell in Paris. Tudor-Hart related the color wheel directly to the musical chromatic scale.

The basic idea is as follows:  The “standard” paint color wheel consists of 12 colors: the 3 primaries, red, yellow, blue; the 3 secondaries, orange, green, violet; and, 6 tertiaries, made by mixing a primary and one of its adjacent secondaries, for example, red-orange (tertiary), a mixture of red (primary) and orange (secondary). There is some confusion about the names of the colors; for example, some authors name the primaries magenta, yellow, cyan. Likewise, the western musical chromatic scale has 12 notes: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B. We tend to call it the “western chromatic” scale, but in reality, the same basic 12-note gamut has arisen in virtually every musical culture throughout the world.

Why there should be a common 12-note scale, and why there is a common 12-color wheel, throughout the whole world, are fascinating questions in and of themselves.   So let’s see. Twelve colors and twelve notes. Coincidence…..? Hmmm.

Renew the Recipe

I learned to bake in my late 40’s.   I discovered a creative area that was probably lingering inside since childhood.  I would spend a week at my paternal grandmother’s house for a week and would watch intently how she would measure and handle ingredients and tools.   Gram would always plan to bake plenty of cookies and pastries and was kind enough (and patient) to let me get my hands into the process.

When I first started baking for real, I was intimidated by the process not sure I could learn or handle yet another activity at work (already was operating 5 others).  Yet after a couple times reading recipes, I found the process fit my personality well.   Being a mindful student growing up, I follow directions well and worked till I had the best possible answer.   Baking required measurements, following sequential steps and there is an end result to test out at the completion of the process.

My prediciment was that I had to bake for OTHER people and they would have to be inspired to buy my baking.  Nearly everyone likes to eat sweets, but that doesn’t mean they’ll pay for them.   Well, within a short time, I had perfected one item after another that customers were buying, enjoying — waiting till the next batch was available — then requesting items.     It was an honor for me to make pans of apple crisp, oatmeal, quiche, brownies, cookies, cinnamon rolls.  I even perfected a pretzel that was touted as the best around — quite a praise coming from a people who had an abundance of soft pretzels at their fingertips everywhere in my state of PA.    My baked items became comfort food for many that entered the door of my coffeehouse.   My young employees were assigned items to make — and did so with pride.

I determined early on that recipes were only part of the process to create a great dessert.   Other factors were the tools, pan, ingredients, temperature — even the time alloted to complete the desert during a shift of work.   What I started to do early on, is recreate the recipes that I researched, altered them to be unique for my establishment AND typed detailed instructions for completing the process.

The recipe shown above is a typical copy of vintage recipe.  It goes on a “recipe card” size card.  There’s not much there to work with for instructions.    There is allot of assumed training and skill for how to actually make the pie.   I decided to make more detailed instructions, both to be sure I was consistent when baking and to be certain my employees had enough information to bake the item assigned to them properly.

Here’s an example of one of my more detailed recipes.  You are welcome to test it out and alter anything you’d like.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 1 1/2 can cherry pie filling


1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.      Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in large bowl

3.      Cut in Crisco with spatula until a dry, crumbly dough forms

4.      Press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of pan, making a firm even layer

5.       Bake bottom crumb layer for 5 minutes

6.      Carefully spread cherry pie filling in the crust without disturbing it

7.      Gently spread remaining crumb mixture on top of cherry filling with spatula

8.      Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until top is lightly browned

9.      Let cool and cut into 12 pieces

10.  Heat lightly and offer with whipped cream if desired

Locating Lunch

A university town seems like a logical place to look for a lunch location. The main street had plenty of on-street parking, with meters. I made a drive-around to determine the most likely section of town to park. All situated, feeding the meter first with quarters, I proceeded to walk into a deli that was easily accessible. I stood at the counter, looked at the menu for about 5 minutes to make a decision. There was one customer ahead of me picking up pastries. The girl at the counter asked if I was waiting for lunch. When I answered yes, she informed me that lunch (the grill) closed at 3:00.

I turned around, headed out the door, turned left and scouted for another location. The buildings are jutted next to each other, intermixed with restaurant, retail, office, and apartments. The next location I spotted was a deli with hours posted on the window and door. I double-checked the door to clarify that indeed, lunch ended at 2:00. Hmm, am I seeing a pattern here?

I moved up the street another half block, saw a known sub-shop and a pizza shop a few buildings farther away. But before I could get within three buildings, I began to cough . . . cigarette smoke coming downwind my direction attacked my nose and lungs. I halted. The “smoking section” was fully operational (3 people). That’s what I call the outside of buildings now that there’s no smoking allowed inside (finally) — so — I made an about face, doubled back to B&N where I knew I’d get in and get served.

It was 3:30 pm. My standard lunch meal has been at 3 pm for probably 15+ years. For 20 years my private teaching schedule was from 4 – 10 pm, 4 evenings a week. Then, as a musician, 95% of my concert work has been evenings, weekends, holidays.

I suppose I will always be on the edge of time for work, eat, sleep. I have a similar issue with my end of workday. If I want to go out to eat after work — 90% of any restaurant, diner, cafe, deli, pantry, and coffeehouse — is CLOSED by 9:00. You may be thinking, “There’s got to be a pub open somewhere.” Yeah — but — I don’t smoke OR “drink”. I’d be happy to have a cappuccino at 10 pm except were “supposed to” drink coffee in the AM. Oh, how I dislike conformity.

Now, this is more like it — a midnight cafe.

Heal Your Head

How to Heal your Mind

by Phyllis Capanna

Created on: March 20, 2008

First, accept that mind is not reality. Mind is not you. Mind is…mind.

Thoughts are to mind as clouds are to sky. Don’t get caught believing in your thoughts any more than you would believe in a cloud. They both pass. Notice, appreciate, admire even, but don’t believe them!

Heal your mind by ignoring it and attending to the moment. What is right in front of you? Pay full attention to it. Minute attention. Exquisite and rapt attention. Attend with the same sense of preciousness as you would if it were the last thing on earth you will ever be aware of.

// Heal your mind by feeding it well. Instead of listening and obeying, rise above and find high quality food for your mind. Read ideas that elevate and stretch your sense of what is possible. Discard consensus ideas! Consensus is based upon the lowest common denominator, what everyone can agree is possible. These ideas are useful for navigating in the world, but don’t believe them, either.

Learn a new skill. Follow your curiosity.

Listen to music. Better, make music.

Inhabit your body. This is a very effective way to heal the mind. Inhabit your hands, your belly, your legs . Pay attention to that amazing organism, the divine animal that you are. Stretch and feed the body. If you can’t do that, appreciate it for the miracle that it is. Think of whoever or whatever designed cells and mitochondria, cilia, corpuscles! Wow!

Heal your mind by talking lovingly out loud to yourself. Cherish yourself. Fall in love with yourself. If you can’t feel it, pretend. Just say the words.

Heal your mind by connecting with people you love. Strike up new friendships, especially with people you admire. Treat everyone as if they were God.

The mind is suggestible, malleable, and highly receptive. Keep it clean, like a mirror, then make sure to surround yourself with things that will make a reflection you enjoy dwelling upon.

It takes practice to begin to see the mind as something to rise above, to be able to see around behind it, and to place your awareness in the higher self that is pure, wise, calm, and joyful.

That practice, for many, is some form of meditation. For others, the meditation is in doing something well and completely. Others prefer the word contemplation. But whatever you do, don’t contemplate the contents of the mind. Instead, turn your awareness to the higher planes, the source of life, the mystery, the incomprehensible.

It is here that peace and healing exist.

It is here that you can begin to realize that you are already healed, already whole.

Capture Creativity

You can enhance your creativity by surrounding yourself with diverse stimuli–and, even more important, by changing those stimuli regularly.  Diverse and changing stimuli promote creativity because, like resurgence, they get multiple behaviors competing with each other.

Here’s the great news: Research shows that everyone has creative abilities. The mechanisms that underlie the creative process operate all the time in each of us. Every one of us has the creative potential of Mozart or Picasso or Edison or Einstein. To boost your creative output, capture your new ideas as they occur, challenge yourself in order to get ideas competing, broaden your training so that many new repertoires of behavior will be available to compete, and surround yourself as much as possible with diverse and ever-changing stimuli.

Anyone can master these creative strategies. They’re all that stand between you and the most creative people in history.

Something called “The Shifting Game” uses a team optimally to increase creative output. Two teams are selected from the larger audience. One is instructed to stay together for a 20-minute brainstorming session. The second team is instructed to “shift” twice from five- minute private work sessions to five-minute team meetings. Each team must generate names for a new soft drink, and each has a total of 20 minutes In which to accomplish the task.

The “shifting” group typically generates twice as many Ideas as the brainstorming group. Why? Because creativity is always an individual process, and social disapproval is the major deterrent to creativity our entire lives. Groups are far better at selecting good ideas than at generating them.

Music for Minds

Yesterday I had the pleasure of “meeting” someone online who has the title “Sound Frequency Practitioner.”  We met because she uses a Korg DT-12 metronome in her practice.  I prefer the Korg AT-12 model more.

“Our voice has the ability to keep us well physically, mentally and emotionally.  If we are missing certain notes in our voice then we are out of balance in these areas.  If a person is missing F in the voice then that person will have corresponding physical and emotional problems.  For instance the note of F corresponds to the kidneys, bladder and heart.” Joy eagerly shares her insight.

Neuro Note Chart
This chart shows the correlation between notes in a scale and related physical and emotional health considerations.

Joy continues to write “Do you remember how the voice of a depressed person sounds?  They talk in a monotone.  Their voice has only a few notes, no life, no energy, just like their physical body.
Twenty years ago scientists discovered a link between depression and cancer.”

She continues, “Agents of healing need to begin to test their client’s voices and teach them to tone these weak and missing notes.  Once the person is healed then the person can maintain that healing by sounding all 12 notes in their voice. What is the significance of 12?  This number is powerful.  There were 12 disciples, 12 zodiac signs (12 fruits), 12 months, 12 colors, 12 notes in the musical scale, the Tree of life bore 12 fruits, King Arthur had 12 knights, and there were the 12 tribes of Israel.”

“Scientists say that the frequency of the earth is measured and that the earth is vibrating at 7.83 Hertz.  Find out more detailed information about how scientists and spiritual leaders determine the Earth’s frequency.”

Ms Wallen offers Vibrational Acceleration Workshops about frequencies for healing emotional, mental and spiritual toxicity and how to do voice analysis in order to determine weak or missing frequencies.

The Write Words

We bloggers have a mission of providing information to the world wide web (www) of followers. “Posting” is mostly done for altruistic purposes.   I started a forum for oboists back in 2005 but wasn’t able to keep the momentum going.  There were too many distractions and my audience was not quite ready to take the time to read and respond.   What has changed?   The speed at which we can access the information and the popularity of the medium.

Then, I found a better medium to do writing and responding — a blog.  A blog allows me to keep in contact with my “fans” and meets the needs of my audience of readers.  Posts are limited in length to match the level of time people can dedicate to being online reading.   I’m able to cover a vast amount of topics which keeps my inquisitive mind intact while healing from losses in my life.

Almost anyone who has experience and information to share can start a blogsite and you can find a blog about almost any topic known to “womankind.”   My mother (83) has just begun her journey in the online writing world after self-publishing 4 picture books, 1 chapter book, and one personal collection of essays.

Now she gets a chance to do what she always claimed was one of her best skills: editing other people’s writing.  (She will probably find something to edit in this post . . .)   My mom was educated in the days of the one room schoolhouse when the class sizes were small and/or integrated with classmates of more skills.   She was always advanced in her reading/writing/grammer.   The grammatical and spelling errors that are prevalant in newspapers and published books astound her and she has a venue to voice her concerns and comments.

Tonight I will continue with my writing and introduce a series of articles that present the power of music for healing.   See you back here soon . . .


Justice for Jessica

A tragedy occurs in towns every day.  Many go unnoticed. Many are overlooked.  Some make national news.   The  tragedy of Jessica Ridgeway brings to heart the need for vigilance from violence.  Look for the signs of abuse or danger BEFORE a crime happens.

We were not able to save Jessica from the horrors of a violent predator.  Our hope is that the killer will be found quickly.   After the violence,  stay in contact with the residual victims of the crime — the family and the friends. The survivors need nourishment to overcome their own trauma.

Jessica’s friends will now live in fear for quite some time.    They will suffer from residual fear — a common reaction to any form of violence.    It is extremely disheartening that the legal system as well as law enforcement officers ignore the signs and effects of mental fear when it is presented to them.

Mental trauma from abuse lasts far longer than physical effects.   Police will only get involved if there is a definite sign of physical trauma.   Law enforcement appears to ignore or are unwilling to recognize the emotional, mental, psychological abuse that is the precursor to physical violence.

We can’t accept the concept of waiting till someone is missing, injured or dead to intervene.    We need to be proactive to notice signs and not be afraid to ask probing questions.  The worst that could happen is your embarassment for asking.   The best — one less victim of violent crime.