Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Zippity Do Dah Zippity Day
My oh my what a wonderful day.
Plenty of sunshine heading my way.
Zippity Do Dah Zippity Day

Feeling a bit down today because the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge is over?
Here's some ways to add some Zippity Doo Dah to your day: http://www.divinecaroline.com/22189/100749-zippity-doo-dah-simple-ways
Need the full lyrics for this song:
Click here.
Need the story behind this famous Disney song? Click here.
Well, thank you to the The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge people. What a great idea. I have never blogged for 30 days straight and it's been a great exercise.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Youth Advocate

So one day I'm going about my business and the next I'm calling myself a Youth Advocate.
Why? Here's why:
As a young person you have needs but you do not have all the skills to get those needs met.
You just have not lived long enough.
I've been around the block a few times and am not afraid to speak up. I know how to use my words and who to speak to and how to pull in the resources I don't have.
I know how to write a proposal, find the information I need and where to go if I don't have what I need.
I can stand up to an adult who is trying to put me in the position of a child. No way I'm buying that.
So here I am advocating for young people who skateboard.
Skateboarding is not a crime, but the athletes who skateboard are treated like criminals and ticketed for practicing their sport.
I'm standing up for these kids. Draconian measures of punishing skaters with tickets is not the solution. We cannot just say no repeatedly to skaters. We must provide solutions such as a sanctioned space for skateboarding. People, be it young people or adults, will always find a way around a "no." 
I am for keeping kids out of harm's way and providing a safe place for them to recreate.
This is the responsibility of our cities, our neighborhoods and our neighbors.
It is all our responsibility to keep our kids safe.
Where do you stand on this?


Is there a more thrilling sporting event than the Summer X-Games. 
I mean the winter games are cool too, but there is snow to cushion the falls. 
The Summer X-Games are a demonstration of defying gravity.
Sitting at the Orange County Fairgrounds, watching the "Vert" was thrilling. I know I was there watching the competitor literally flying though the air, but thinking about the level of risk and athleticism involvedin pulling it off, are mind boggling.
The second the winner pulled off a 900 degree (or something like that) the crowd stood and cheered. They knew that the winner had been chosen. In nearly one hour of doing the Vert, this guy had just nailed it.
I came to love this sport very late in life and now I'm hooked. It's so new, so fresh, so remarkable.
Something I would never contemplate trying, but completely embrace. Look for me this summer in the OC, I'll be right there watching the vert and more!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's a nice day for a white wedding

"White Wedding" is a song by Billy Idol that appeared on his album Billy Idol (1982). 
This is the same year that my daughter Kara was born. Her white wedding in 2009 was one of the best days of my life, and I know, in her life. It was exactly what she wanted the day to be. The love shared by her and Nick, and all the love shared with their family and friends made it a joyous, memorable day. I never knew the wonder and joy she brought into my life was even possible. And now her amazing husband Nick is a part of that wonderment.
I am blessed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Valentines

Q for Quirky + V for Valentines = Fun.


Unbelievable: the assortment of chochkiss that is dreamed up and manufactured and sold at chochkiss houses like Michaels. Really Wilton? Really? You thought that this 'humorous' wedding topper was going to be a big seller?

Monday, April 23, 2012


I've lived most of my life coloring in between the lines, being nice and trying to get things done by following the rules. And when I did not, the wrath of some authority figure was always there to shake me back in line.
At a certain age and at certain circumstances, that model does not always work.
Telling the truth, being disgruntled, and getting in people's faces is sometimes called for.
Yes, it feel a little but dangerous at times, but what have I to lose?
Getting older and being a troublemaker is not such a bad thing.
It's been three years since skateboarding became a big part of my life. I wasn't out looking for a new cause or hobby. I was out doing my usual routine of buying frozen yogurt and buying books. A trip to the local mall on a Friday afternoon revealed all kinds of skaters.
Fifty junior high boys who were hanging out at the mall.
Not skating, just hanging with their friends.
Well, if four or more kids congregate at the mall, it's considered loitering.
Thus, the local sheriff asked them to disperse.
Across the street at the yogurt shop, some imaginative kids were skating over a life-sized stuff animal sheepdog. Very creative, but since they were skating on private property, they too had to leave.
I was blown away by their deserted sheepdog and took a photo with my iPhone and car lights shining on this poor abandoned 'pet.'
My thought: Is that the best this community can do? Our kids deserve better.
And thus began my three year journey to get a skatepark built in our community.
And we will build it! It will happen!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I know I was supposed to write something, but I cannot remember what it was.....
Q is for Quirky

I am quirky, and I like it. Life is short, gotta have fun.

O is For Obama

That feeling: watching Chicago on TV that night. That night when earlier than expected, the deal was sealed. We WOULD have the first African American Black President in the history of the United States of America.

Oprah in the crowd, the look on her face, her tears. 
Remembering she had been drawing eyes and ears to this young Senator from Illinois, for years.
Obama and Michelle, Joe and Jill walking with hands together and held high onto the stage.

The permeating feeling of disbelief. Not only did we do it, but the word came down much earlier in the evening than ever expected.

Barack Obama, scholar, professor, statesman, man of character. Proud to call you Mr. President.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Miss November

It was a Friday, before lunch. I was waiting in my office for a candidate to show up for an interview. I needed a new PC tech. I would always think to myself, please, let this one be the one, because interviewing is such hard work.

The receptionist phoned me, my candidate had arrived. I walked to the lobby and there was a dapper guy in a velvet dinner jacket, bowtie and tortoise shell rimmed glasses. He greeted me with a big grin, shook my hand and said: “You don’t look anything like your Playboy centerfold.”
Okay, I now hate this guy and have to spend 15 minutes with him. We make our way over to a conference room where we sit at right angles to each other. I cannot remember much of what was said, but did look at my watch several times. He proceeded to tell me about the personality conflict he had with his previous female supervisor. I ask him if he has issues with women and he says YES.
Well thank you for that, I never would have guessed.
For the remainder of the day I could not get his catchy opening line out of my head. I now should mention that my last name is November. Thus, the Playboy reference which went right over my head.
It was not until dinner that night when I was recounting the Bowtie guy to my husband, that the most horrible politically incorrect thing you could say in an interview had been saved up just for me.
Yes, Miss November, me, does not look a thing like her Playboy centerfold. That is definitely one periodical I would gratefully not be seen in. I wonder how long Mr. Bowtie worked on that line before he sprung it on me and what part of his pea brain thought it was a good idea.

My Muse

The turtle or tortoise is my muse.
She has her house on her back and can go inside or come out when she likes.
Retreating is perfect fine, and so is going outside to play.
Here is a Giant Sea Turtle on the North Shore of Oahu.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

L is for Leaf

A moment frozen in time. Sitting in the hills surrounding Cuzco, Peru. A shaman had come to visit with me and my traveling companions. The shaman is an ordinary man, a farmer. He was chosen to be trained as a shaman because he survived being struck by lightening as a child.
He has brought many symbols with him and is going through one at a time. Each one is presented and each one has a ritual attached to it.
He passed around a small back that has coca leaves in it. Each one of us was to take three leaves and pass the bag on. The woman next to me, took three leaves, but those were not her leaves. She looked at each one and fished around for jus the right leaves. That was not my method. I picked three leaves and those were MY leaves. And so it was.
A short while after choosing our leaves, the shman asked us to look at the leaves in our hands, Something happened within that moment. The world stopped. No distractions. No other thoughts. It was me, in Peru looking at coca leaves. Seeing each and every vein. Seeing the shades of green. Seeing how perfect it was just as it was. The world was so simple and beautiful at that moment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

K is for Karma
Karma is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.

I do believe in karma. Sometimes karma presents itself quickly and sometimes, it takes much longer. But, we are governed by laws that are true for the Universe. Cause and effect is something that we humans on Planet Earth are ruled by.

Today I believe that my topic from yesterday: Justice, is present in our United States of America. That the laws of karma are at work and that the world is striving for good and healing in all its affairs. Sometimes the pendulum swings so far out of kilter. People have been damaged and are not able to live a positive, healthy life. But today, there is good karma if you look for it. I continue to believe that justice will be done.

Photo: Ellen November

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

J is for Justice

I have been sickened by the Trayvon Martin case since I first heard of it.
Is there justice in the United States of America? Should not some form of action have been taken to bring justice due to the loss of this young man's life?
I do not like how the laws are written and rewritten to further cripple the disadvantaged in our society.
We desperately need justice now.
I am waiting and watching to see what and how justice will prevail in this case.

I is for ICE CREAM

Is there a more perfect food than ice cream? I think not.
It brings joy. It provides happiness in the anticipation and the eating.
It has variety. There are more flavors to choose from than in any other food category.
Its entire existence is to bring an elevated feeling.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ooooooh Heaven is a Place on Earth

While people look up to the Heavens, it might actually be here on earth, in forms we never dreamed of.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Green

Today, the word green is all about ecology and saving the planet.
But before it became politically correct to 'be' green, 
people actually 'turned' green.
Green with envy. Where does that idiom come from?

Yahoo Answers has a nice explanation:
Why do we turn “green” with envy? In antiquity, the Hebrew word for envy, qinah, referred to the burning color in the face produced by a deep emotion. The Greeks believed that jealousy was accompanied by an overproduction of bile, lending a yellowish-green pallor to the victim’s complexion. In the seventh century B.C., the poetess Sappho used the word “green” to describe the face of a stricken lover. After that, the word was used freely by other poets to denote jealousy or envy. The most famous such reference and the origin of the term “green-eyed monster” is Iago’s speech in Shakespeare’s Othello: “O! Beware my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

To marry new with old, how about: Suzie was green with envy when she eyed the sustainable garden Vicky had created.

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Fun

Girls just wanna have fun, oh yeah they do.
Boys too.
Ferry rides.
Feeling good.
Fooling around.
Feeling feisty.
Feeling forever young.
Fooling around with family, friends as well as feline friends.
And, just feelin' groovey.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Everything

Trying to think of a single 'E' word to write about just cannot be done.
My name: Ellen, is top of mind.
These are all really positive words.
They all start with 'en.' Looking at Dictionary.com, I found the following:
en-1: a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from French and productive in English on this model, forming verbs with the general sense “to cause (a person or thing) to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem; more specifically, “to confine in or place on” ( enshrine; enthrone; entomb );  “to cause to be in” ( enslave; entrust; enrich; encourage; endear )...

Well, let's just wrap this up by saying: E is for Most Excellent Letter of the Alphabet.
A little bunny told me so....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D Is For Dream

My dreams are colorful and meaningful.
My last technicolor dream:
I was at the veterinarian’s office. I brought in my little cat in a carrier. The cat got out and was running around the office along with other cats. I could not find my cat. I asked the vet and staff for help. They kept bringing me cats that were not my cat.
What is even more disturbing was the fact that there was a dead 
on the floor in one of the examining rooms. I am pretty sure this 
my horse and that the staff wanted me to see it.
Back to reality: I had had a recent dream that had the same horse on the same floor in the same examining room.
Back to second dream: Someone had prepared an elaborate hand-drawn storyboard of the room and its contents with at least ten frames, for me to see to prepare myself for seeing the dead horse.
I told them: I already saw it. Someone went to a lot of work to prepare me for what I had already seen or known.
And then the missing cat – by the end of the dream, it was still missing within the vet's office.
So, now for the meaning. According to Dream Moods:

To see a dead horse in your dream indicates that something in your life that initially offered you strength is now gone. This may refer to a relationship or situation. Consider the phrase "beating a dead horse" to indicate that you may have maximized the usefulness of a certain circumstance.” 
At first, a dead horse in my dream was utterly shocking and peculiar. Then I read the interpretation. A friend that should have been let go of long ago, a job I had long outgrown, an activity I kept showing up for, but did not enjoy. That dead horse was not so strange after all.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C Is For Cold

Cold is a noun. We hate catching a cold and suffering through it.
Cold is an adjective. Todd gave you the cold shoulder. Cindy is a cold person. They have little affection.
And when cold is a feeling, I turn up the heat.
Cold is an adverb, as in Judy quit her job cold,
or she learned her speech cold.
I have had a cold, felt the people's coldness
and been cold to others. And I am generally 
cold and sitting next to a space heater.

Typing the word cold so many times, it looks so odd. I may have to look it up. Am I spelling it correctly. What an odd word with so many meanings.

The word cold is included in so many idioms: 
Catch a cold, in cold blood, in from the cold and left out in the cold.
And I'm starting to sound like Andy Rooney. I have no clever way of ending this, so we'll see where the letter D takes me tomorrow.

Monday, April 2, 2012

B Is For Bully

Bullying is a hot topic. It perks my interest when I hear or see it written. Bullying has been a part of my life.```
I bullied a girl in grade school.
I was bullied as a child.
My child was bullied.

The girl I bullied: My entire fourth grade class identified 'Judy' as a girl who looked different from the rest of us. She was overweight and her hair was very curly. I am too ashamed to spell out the cruelty we bestowed on her. She had a tough time overside the bounds of her nurturing home. Judy had two loving, adoring parents. One day my Mom and I went over to Judy's house for a visit. Judy showed me her bedroom. To my astonishment, the walls were entirely covered with hand-painted murals done by her father who had been a Disney artist. Snow White, Cinderella and other Disney characters graced her walls. They were magnificent. In Judy's home and extraordinary bedroom, she was safe from the daily torture she received in the classroom and playground.

I was bullied at the same time by my Catholic neighbors. We were the only Jews on a block where St. Margaret Mary's Church and School graced end of the street. I was left out a lot by my crafty older Catholic neighborhood pals. This would climax with a massive game of hide-and-seek at dusk where the entire gang would hide in a far remote impossible location. I would walk home and enjoy the private oasis of my bedroom. So Judy and I had more than a little commonality.

My child was bullied by boys who understood that my son was not a jock and was easy pickings. In fifth grade I met with the Principal to discuss this. She told me: have him stand up straighter and walk with more confidence. She advised we not call him by his nickname, but by his given name. Of course this advice was all crap. He was who he was and she did not address the issue of bullying.

And now bullying is a daily topic. All forms of media discuss it on a variety of levels and major public figures address it and the topic is now in the forefront. Bullying is bad behavior and discussing it will make a positive change.

And then there is the 2012 Presidential Campaign. It has always annoyed me that candidates put each other down instead of selling us on their own virtues. And the media hatred spewed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh. And the gossip columns. Is this not a form of bullying accepted by society?

Bullying may be a primitive form of behavior. And yet we live in a civilized society. We are not animals. Discussing bullying and looking back into our own childhoods will make us kinder, gentler. I think of Judy now and know that in all our own little private bedroom oasis, we are all the same. The same pain, the same need to be loved and to love.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is For April

A is For April

Today the sun shines bringing forth the joy of spring. Outside my door baby birds are tweeting, buds are ripening into fruit and flowers. Spring, the time of rebirth and new beginnings.
Emerging from the darkness of winter, our days are filled with more light and aliveness.
My desire to create has renewed energy.
How many ways can I express myself?
Crocheting, quilting, photography.
How many ways can I enrich myself?
Reading books, museums, lectures, movies, provocative radio and TV shows, lively discussions with my brilliant friends.
How many ways can I express my gratitude and give back?
Quilts of Valor, youth advocate, community activist, calling a friend to check on their health, being present and loving to family and friends.
April is full of promise and light.
Today, the first of April, brings unseen joy and light.
I embrace her and wrap myself in all her promises.