High Desert Winter Sunset

Mother Nature Puts on a Show!

Tonight I had to go to the market for a few things.  At the check out I could see what looked like a very  pretty sunset through the sliding doors.  As I wheeled my cart through the doors and the sky came into full view I nearly gasped!  The sunset was glorious!  The sky was brilliant orange and blue with the bright yellow-gold outlining the mountains. It was breathtaking! I pulled my cart over on the sidewalk and had to take a picture.  I got out my iPhone and snapped one.

While I was taking the picture, several people noticed me.   A couple said, "oh, nice sunset" with a quick glance to the west, another woman just smiled and then laughed (like I was from another planet seeing a sunset for the first time), and a then a young man with his family pointed at me and said "Look, she's taking a picture of the sky, that's funny".  I was taken back, first, that they even noticed me and what I was doing, and second, for their own lack of recognizing the beauty of that moment.

Last night I was at the Awaken • Emerge • Create Spiritual Discussion Group and a few people talked about nature being their connection with God (Source, Universe, etc).  I feel that too.  When I walked out the market doors and saw that beauty - Mother Nature's show - I had no choice but to stop and be in awe. It felt like a sacred moment.

Now as I am writing this, upon further reflection, I am aware of how most people pay little attention to nature.  Most of the folks coming and going from the market tonight were busy and in a hurry.  They are caught up in the business of living in the modern world.  A world where seeing someone appreciate an amazing sunset seems odd.

Today I am filled with gratitude for making the conscious decision to step out of "modern world" in 2001 and start living a life that is more authentic and allows me time to appreciate nature.  Being able to stop and become present, in the current moment, is a gift and true blessing.  Today reminded me that I want to be there more often!

In the spirit of nature's magic,  Cindy

Riverside Festival of Lights

The Mission Inn

What a sight to see!  The Festival of Lights in downtown Riverside, California!  The Mission Inn, a historical hotel dating from the late 1800's is the hub of the festival.  It is covered with over 3.6 million lights and it is spectacular!

We strolled the streets and downtown mall, explored inside and around the Mission Inn and enjoyed the shops and tasted a few holiday treats on our trip there Tuesday.  The weather was perfect and there were crowds of people, which made it all seem more festive.  It is truly an opportunity to experience the holiday spirit in action!  You can't leave there without taking some of the energy with you!

Along the downtown mall all the store windows are filled with glittering lights and fanciful decorations.  Loads of bling!  One even has an up-side-down tree!  There are outdoor cafes and booths with cupcakes (Casey's was a winner of Cupcake Wars on Food Network), hot chocolate, caramel corn and salt water taffy. There is even a reindeer to feed, live music and a skating rink with skaters galore!  It was really quite fun!  If you live anywhere near, you really should go! Here are some pictures of our evening adventure.

In the spirit of the Festival of Lights,  Cindy

Creative Spirits Rising

Charged with Creative Energy

Yesterday I had the pleasure (and opportunity) to met a group of artist's and have conversations that filled my heart with joy.  What matters deeply to me is engaging with people on a soul centered - heart level and that's exactly what happened.

Last month I met Chandra of 2UrbanChikz and bought some of her art and jewelry.  I knew right away that she was different, and I mean that in a very good way.  She was creating her art and business from a place inside herself that was real and filled with passion.  I was immediately attracted to her.  A couple of weeks later I went to an art class she taught and made some fun encaustic (beeswax) art.  Over the next few weeks I kept bumping into her and knew that the Universe had a hand in all this.

Yesterday I meet her at Starbucks to tell her about some of my plans for 2012, particularly my workshop on creating a heart centered business plan.  She loved some of my ideas and we shared thoughts and stories.  Then she invited me over that night to meet some of her fellow artist's friends at a Holiday Boutique she was having at her house. Of course I went!

She introduced me to some amazing women!  I was lucky enough to talk to them individually and hear their stories about their creative process and the struggles they had following their passion.  It was moving to learn how they each have faced obstacles, yet still honored their creativity by making time for it in their lives.  It was very clear to me how much they all wanted to live their lives from that creative place inside where they all feel the most authentic.  I was charged with energy and knew I had found some of my "people"!

In January I will be teaching a 6 week class - yet to be named - on creating a heart centered business plan.  I hope that some of these women will be joining me.  (Actually, right now I know two are for sure!)  Past experience tells me that some new relationships are on the horizon - ones based on a deep level of shared passions and awakening!   Can't wait to get started!

If you want to find out more about the upcoming workshop follow me on Facebook and "Like" my BLOOM: Awaken • Emerge • Create page!

In the spirit of building creative community, Cindy

Before & After Art Work

RELAX . . .

This week I decided to liven up the color in my bathroom.  At Target I found some bright green and blue towels on sale, and a cute dragonfly towel hanger.  I hung it all up and realized I needed some art work above it on the wall.

Years ago I bought a vintage framed picture, with an old village painted on it.  There was something about it I liked - maybe the fleur-de-lis pattern on each corner.  What ever it was I just couldn't leave it behind. (I paid $1.50 at Village Thrift!) It traveled cross country with us from Ohio and has been gathering dust in the hall closet.  I decided this was the time to use it.

I painted over the farm village scene with bright green and used white on the outside frame.  I then found images of nature in magazines and gathered up a few.  Next I made paper patterns of the letters R E L A X and used them to cut out the magazine images.  With the help of a little Mod Podge, (decoupage solution), a row of blue painted dots and a coat of bees wax - I have a new painting for the bathroom.

At last the old frame has a new home!   It looks good and reminds me to take it easy!  It is a joy to make recycled art projects.  One of my favorite things!

In the spirit of recycling,  Cindy 

Peanut Butter Pecan Turtles


Last week my Mom made some very yummy candy - Peanut Butter Turtles.  If you love chocolate and peanut butter then you'll want to make these.  She said they were pretty simple to make and they turn out very cute and do look like chubby turtles.  Here's a pic of one of hers and the recipe.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Turtle Candies


  • 72 pecan halves (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons shortening


  • On waxed paper-lined pans, arrange pecan halves in clusters of three.
  • In a small bowl, beat peanut butter and butter until blended; gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. In a microwave, melt candy coating and shortening; stir until smooth.
  • Spoon 1/4 teaspoon melted chocolate into the center of each pecan cluster. Place teaspoonfuls of peanut butter mixture into the center of each cluster; press down slightly. Spoon remaining melted chocolate over tops. Chill for 10 minutes or until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.
This recipe comes from A Taste of Home.

In the spirit of holiday baking,  Cindy

Good Vibrations!

Vibration and the Law of Attraction
It is a simple fact that what you focus on intensifies.  I remember years ago when I first found out I was pregnant, everywhere I turned I saw things that had to do with babies.  Suddenly, in every isle of the grocery store there was a baby in a cart or some item on a shelf for babies.  This was the same store I was in the previous week, and I never noticed babies, or baby stuff.  Another example people relate to is the thing that happens when you buy a new car.  You love the new car and are so excited. You start driving around and everywhere you look you see a car like yours. You never really noticed them before, but now you see them at every stop light. This is the the law of attraction at work - where your attention goes, energy follows - and like things start showing up in your life.
Michael Losier, a teacher of the Law of Attraction, has a phrase he uses to describe this phenomenon; “You don’t get what you want, you get what you vibrate”.  That’s what energy does, it vibrates.  So when you activate an energy - like I did when I found out I was pregnant - that energy (as a vibration) goes out in the air and finds a similar vibration.  That’s how it works - like energies connect.
So stop for a minute and think about your life.  What is it that you have been focusing on?  If you have been thinking about how much you hate your job, than you will attract more things to hate about your job.  If you are constantly worrying about money, than you will attract more money issues to worry about.  If you are trying to lose weight and all you think about is being fat and how you want to lose weight, you won’t attract losing weight, instead you will be creating more ways to stay fat.  What is it that you have been thinking about that isn’t fitting with the true life you want to live?
Change you thoughts, change your life.
Just around the corner is a brand new year, 2012!  A great time to start fresh and begin thinking new thoughts, ones that send out the vibrations you want to attract.  All it takes is one step at a time.  First, identify the thinking that is creating what you don’t want. Next, for a few days or even a couple of weeks, pay attention to your thoughts. Notice the thoughts that are creating that unwanted vibration.  Once you have that awareness, you can develop thoughts that are in alignment with what you really desire and replace the old thoughts with the new ones.  It is also good to develop a mantra to repeat when your mind goes off on the negative patterns again.  I used the mantra “Abundance” to stop worrying about money.  When ever I started worrying about money, I would stop, take a few deep breaths and begin repeating silently “abundance, abundance, abundance. . .”  Within seconds the negative thoughts were gone, I felt calmer and I was re-programing my mind with a new thought “abundance”!

Try it and let me know how it works for you!

If you want to learn more about how to change your thoughts and this process, contact me.

In the spirit of energetic vibration,  Cindy

Remembering Mary Kapper

Some people are more than they appear . . . .

About 10 years ago I meet a woman at church. Her name was Mary Kapper.  She was small, demure, and looked like a really nice old Grandma.  But when we started talking, my opinion changed quickly.  Looks can be deceiving.  She was a powerhouse, opinionated, feisty, and not afraid to put in time volunteering for a cause she believed in.  (And there were many). She had such a peaceful ease about her - between that and her social activism I immediately liked her and we became friends. We weren't the kind of hang out and talk on the phone friends, but we were "glad to see you" kind of friends.  She was a mentor and a role model for me.

On November 25th she died at 86 years old.  It was so sad to get the news.  I went on line to read her obituary and I read an amazing story.  I knew she was something special, but I didn't know the half of it.

Mary earned a degree in English Literature in 1947 from St. Joseph's College.  She got married and raised 10 children!  In the 60's she worked for civil rights causes and women's issues.  She helped establish the Akron Women Against Rape in 1974.  In 1978 she earned her Master's Degree in Social Work from Case Western University and became a dialysis social worker.  Then in 1988 she moved to California and received her Master's Degree in Divinity from Starr King School for Ministry.  She became an ordained Unitarian Univeralist Minister in 1989.  She was pastor at a church in Minnesota and then Chaplin for Pathways Hospice in Oakland California.  In her 70's she returned to Akron, Ohio to retire and be closer to family.

That's when I met Mary.  I knew some of her history, but not all.  I knew she had 10 children and she was a retired UU Minister but . . . . who knew!  As I read her story I was overcome with gratitude for having known this amazing woman.  She was a small, unassuming woman who showed her family and all that were lucky enough to know her that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.  She was as real as they come and always ready to speak her truth.

Thanks Mary for being an example of faith in action. As a guide for living a full, meaningful and authentic life.  And teaching us that anything is possible and age is no boundary.

You will be remembered,


High Desert Bloggers Meetup

Blogging Goals 

Today was Blogger Meetup day!  I always love to meet with my new blogging friends.  Just getting together and sharing ideas and knowledge is so motivating.  It reminds me how great the group process is, I love it.  Today we discussed each of our individual blogging goals.  Since I have been working on my "Right Brain Business Plan", I was prepared and shared it with them.  It was my commitment to this group two weeks ago that motivated me to get it done. The feedback was great.  They loved the idea of a visual map for the vision I have for my business.  It is pretty cool.  I will share it with you soon.

It took me a few moments to decide whether to add the picture or not.  Some of my old "fat mentality" stuff was coming up and gave me a moment's pause.  But I forged ahead, thankfully living outside of my old "fat mentality" and accepting myself just as I am today --sick with a cold, having a bad hair day, hearing a shirt that is too big -- and enjoying myself.  That's what's important!

When I envision my goals, about blogging, my business, or about my life, it's what's inside me that I bring to the table.  A spirit and an energy that is mine, unique to me.  Today I am celebrating that!  Also am filled with gratitude for Angie (on my right) for starting this Meetup.  It has added a wonderful new dimension to my life.

In case you're interested, the next High Desert Blogger Meetup is Saturday, December 17th, 9:00 am at the new Starbucks at Hwy 18 and Dale Evans Pkwy.

In the spirit of community building,

Awaken, Emerge, Create! New Meetup

Edwene Gaines
Spiritual Discussion Group 
Starting December 28th

During the late summer I went to a workshop by Edwene Gaines at Agape International in LA.  During her talk she said she was so tired of "seekers".  She loved that people were seekers, but when did it end?  When did people become "finders" and start sharing what they have learned with other people! Everyone laughed. We all knew that being on a spiritual path was a life long journey.  But, I realized what she meant - sometimes you are the student and sometimes you are the teacher.  Take your turn.

This line of thinking fell right into alignment with some other revelations I had recently.  First and fore most it was time for me to stop trying to FIX myself (which was part of my seeking) and accept that I was perfect just the way I am!  Accept that I had done loads of soul searching, learning, healing, growing and evolving and I really understood a lot.  It was time for me step into something bigger.  I knew I had information to share and recognized that part of my life purpose was helping others awaken to their own greatness (wholeness, divinity, etc.)  So move on girl!

In the wisdom of Edwene I am venturing forward as a teacher.  This is really nothing new to me, teaching.  But what is new to me is the motivation behind the teaching.  Now I see it from a different perspective, before I was seeking and taught what I desperately needed to learn.  Today I am teaching what I have learned from my heart, for the growth of my soul and the fulfillment of my life calling. The urgency is no longer there, but the calling is deep.  It is a peaceful, yet exciting place.

To start it off I have set up a new Meetup called AWAKEN EMERGE CREATE! Spiritual Discussion Group.   It will meet weekly beginning Wednesday, December 28th at 7:00 pm.  To find out more click here.  It is free, open to anyone interested in spiritual growth and will be a topic based discussion.  A kind of consciousness raising group based on learning to live your best life.  That is the CREATE part - learning to create a life that truly matches your authentic spirit.  That makes living a joyful experience!  I know it's going to be interesting and I can't wait to get started.

So, if you live in the High Desert and want to join me in some great discussions, then please join the Meetup and bring a friend.  If you have never heard of Meetup and what to learn more, read my blog entry at High Desert Blogging.

Hope to see you on the December 28th!

In the spirit of sharing,


Blooming in November

BLOOM: Awaken Emerge Create

Over the summer I had an awakening and realized that there was something big missing in my new life in California.  Work.  I miss my work. Not just having a job, but following my life's purpose kind of work.  The work I was doing in Ohio - life coaching, leading workshops, developing classes, and working on my Body Belief workbook.  It was an important part of my life. And now, I feel it is more important than ever!  I have things to do!

With this new insight, I decided to come up with a plan.  Over the last year I kept running into Jennifer Lee, a business coach. And by running into her I mean, finding her website when I was looking up a recipe for crock pot stew, then seeing her book at Borders, or reading a blog that had a link to her site, then randomly viewing her on YouTube. It became clear to me that the Universe was trying to tell me something - so I ordered her book, "The Right Brain Business Plan". Right down my alley, being a right brainer myself (creative type).  

For the past few weeks I have been working with Jennifer via her insightful and fun book and I am putting a plan together for my new business called BLOOM: Awaken Emerge Create. The kick off is in January. (However, I am returning to my blogging, starting today!)

So in preparation, I am doing some hard work, looking at what I want to offer and how to promote it in my new environment.  Over the weekend I have been doing some exercises from the book.  The one I finished today was "Make a Card Deck of Your Values".  In this exercise, she suggests focusing on personal values and narrowing them down to 5 to 10, then making a visual collage of each one.  It was so much fun and also very telling.  I was totally engrossed and realized these values are the truth of who I am in all areas of my life.  Here they are, in no particular order of importance: Creativity, Courage, Compassion, Relationships, Health, Spirituality, Peace (world & personal), Knowledge, Organization.

I am off to a good start and look forward to my next step - creating "The Big Vision Collage".  I'll be sharing more of my journey soon!

In the spirit of purpose,

21 Day No Complaining Challenge

No Complaining for 21 Days!  Can you do it?

On Sunday I went to Agape International Spiritual Center to hear prosperity teacher Edwene Gaines.  She was amazing.  She reminded me of my grandmother Amy and great-aunt Grace, but with a message that was nothing they would ever speak.  She talked about prosperity using stories from her life, which brought them to life for all of us.  She was motivating, empowering and gave me an entire new outlook on life.  She has a book called "The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity" and I highly recommend it. (Although I have only read the first 10 pages! Trust me.)

The other thing she challenged us all to do was to go 21 days with out complaining, judging, or criticizing ourselves or others.  Wow, that brought a big laugh from the crowd!  But she was serious!  She said start the first day and go as long as you can with out complaining and if you catch yourself complaining, start over at day 1.  Geez - it could be a long 21 days!

On the drive home I thought about it and realized how much I do complain.  Whether out loud or in my own self talk and mind chatter.  Just the awareness of it made me want to do something.  How would my life be better in 21 days if I stopped complaining, judging and criticizing?  It could be transforming.  But could I?  So I have decided to take the plunge.

Starting today I begin my 21 Day No Complaining Challenge.  Anyone out there want to join me??

In the spirit of acceptance, Cindy

Blue Ribbon at the County Fair!

It's time for the San Bernardino County Fair!  This year opening day was the busiest in 7 years - record crowds!  And I was one of them.  There was a good reason - I was checking to see if any of the three art projects I had entered had won any ribbons.  Jeff and I scoured the Community Building filled with hundreds of projects --everything from gems to quilts --baked goods to antique collections -- woven plastic to fine jewelry.  It is a huge building!  Finally we found my stuff.  There is the case was my little folded book called "CREATE" and along side it was a blue ribbon! I was thrilled!  My second item a necklace called "Apple Valley Memories" didn't win - too much competition, but my third item, a encaustic painting called "Bloom" (inspired by my friend Thea) won an Honorable Mention ribbon.  Not too bad over all.  I was pleased!

The reason I decided to enter the fair this year was for old time sake.  When I was a kid growing up here in the desert I belonged to our local 4-H club.  Instead of raising animals I did the homemaking stuff - cooking, sewing and home decorating.  Each year we were required to enter our projects into the fair.  I made baked goods, clothes, aprons, placemats--all kinds of things.  It was a great experience and fun winning ribbons for my work.  It gave me a real sense of confidence and pride.  And the part I liked most was going to the fair with my Mom and looking at all the booths and seeing all the ribbons.  It was a special thing we shared.

So this year I did it to celebrate that memory and I am glad I did!  It was so much fun that I think I will do it again next year!

In the spirit of good old times and creating new memories,  Cindy