Seeking the positives with Spontaneity

Each morning, as I wake up, my habit of cradling my nice cup of coffee, sitting and sipping it which starts my day off in gratitude. The taste of the coffee lingering on my tongue, enjoying the essence of it’s rejuvenating liquid. Once settled on my couch, one of my two cats, mostly Sneakers, will be up next to me asking me for attention. I get the energy of his gratitude that I appreciate so well. The smile on his whiskered face, the “meow” of his good morning. Morning habits…we all have them and I find that if mine starts off the same each day, I find balance throughout the day.

This past Memorial Day, Chris, my room mate/lover/boyfriend or SO (significant other)- and I decided to spontaneously get on the Vallejo ferry to San Francisco. The weather was beautiful, brisk, and the trip worthwhile. I have many memories of going out on the San Francisco bay. (So this was my Memorial Day). My first real memory about the San Francisco Bay is taking a boat (I think it was an Army transport boat that my father actually skippered) out of Fort Baker, which is just north of the base of Golden Gate Bridge. He was in the Army at the time. The year was around 1956, and the Army families had a picnic on the eastern beach of Angel Island. Angel Island, Fort Baker, and Fort Cronkite were all Army military sections in the Presidio region. I must have been around five or six.

My fondest memory was going on an impromptu trip with my dad from our military housing in Fort Cronkite, (now known as the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate Park District) and getting on a military duck transport with an Army truck on the back. The truck had supplies for the post exchange on Angel Island. Before my dad got the the boat started, he and I walked around the back of the truck, which was loaded onto the duck already. He lifted me up and sat me on the tail gate of the truck and reached into a milk crate pulling out two small cartons of fresh milk. It was cold and tasty. I had my daddy all to myself…didn’t have to share him at all with my big brother or little sister. This memory seems so fresh, and will always be one of those positive memories that I shall retain, and I love remembering him that way. I suppose that’s my happiest, when I’m on the San Francisco Bay.

My SO sometimes doesn’t understand how excited I get when I do go onto the bay. When we passed some of those sailboats and smaller motor boats on the Bay, the significance on how large the Bay is to those small boats is stunning. I’m not interested in going on someone’s personal boat, the ferries will do just fine, thank you. So the San Francisco Bay was choppy and brisk, and very few people on the ferry. It’s funny, but I truly get giddy when I’m there on the water. Reincarnation? Don’t know…but maybe there’s a shred of thought there, a previous life of delight. I scan the waters for porpoises, remembering the ones I used to see as a young child.

It is rewarding to get emails from readers that have taken the time to read my book. All of them have been delighted to read it and have received something out of the book that relates to their own journey. Not all of them are widows or widowers. My best recent comment was from Ernie (he is in Chapter 8 – The Dates, along with Chris – my significant other). Ernie came to my recent book signing in Pittsburg and got a copy of my book. I didn’t tell him that he was in it (very few of my dates do know that), but he bought his own copy and read it. He called me last week and told me that the book was like an “anti-gravity device” and he couldn’t put it down. He complimented me on the process of my writing, and loved the way I wove the past and the present in and out my journey. He also said that he could relate to my journey, even though he had not lost anyone to death. But ultimately, he told me that he was happy that we have crossed each other’s path. He is always a fun person to be around. We sometimes meet at the dancing parties in the summer. Last year I went on a white water rafting trip with his group. Although I wasn’t on his raft, I got bounced out of my raft twice and his raft would reel me in. His comment would be “Alright, I know you wanted to be in my raft, but this is ridiculous!” He is great fun. So is my significant other!

Chris and Ernie

So looking at the world positively has great benefits. You can cheer on what’s coming to you and not worry about the past. You can appreciate the fact that this life of yours is created in your own reality, and if you glance at it from history, look for the memories that are clearly uplifting. Enjoy each memory with intention and good thought. Ultimately, I’m finding that being spontaneous can bring back wonderful memories and create new ones. In the meantime, go enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea, pet your cat or dog, and believe that all is going along just fine, the way it’s supposed to be.


Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are.
John McLaughlin



The process of Letting Go – Spirituality

SpiritualityThis weekend will be exciting. I will have my first official book signing for the Bay Area at the Railroad Book Depot in Pittsburg - my old hometown – and I will go to the San Francisco Book Festival to receive my honorable mention for writing “Escaping the Jaws of Life“.

As I reflect on my book and open it occasionally, it seems the words that I wrote have changed. They truly haven’t changed, but my perspective has. At the time, a lot of emotional writing took place, reflecting a person who was transforming and healing. It’s exciting to me when I hear from others who are in the middle of reading or having completed the book. They seem to understand my process, and I get a renewed feeling of welcoming from them. Most importantly, are the comments of widows/widowers who have read the book and have said how inspiring it was – to give them the boost that they needed to move on.
That process for me was one of spirituality…something I had denied myself for a long time. It feels good to meditate, be grateful, and appreciate – all components of happiness.

One of the things that I have truly learned – the Ego certainly has a lot to do with your transformation. By letting it go (it takes patience and fortitude) you can define your purpose in life more clearly. Ego – symbolically identified by many spiritual leaders as “Edging God Out”. That’s a definition worth keeping and remembering. So when my Ego gets the best of me….I am more aware of it and go to the quiet zone somewhere to remind myself, that it isn’t ME…it’s US, and everything is just fine.

Many people find peace in their religion, and that is so good for the soul. For those not inclined to follow a religious path, soul searching can be found with meditation too. Either way, your uniqueness (and your soul) is content to know that you are taking time to just breathe and it doesn’t matter where, how, or when.

So reflect a few minutes a day and understand, that your human being form naturally seeks quiet away from chaos, just to find balance. Observe those singing birds, the wind on the chimes, the floundering butterfly, and truly appreciate all that is around you. It helps get you by. It brings to you a larger appreciation of your path and how you can seek joy.

Sending love and light to all.


It gets better and better

Tonight, I reflect on my friends, acquaintances (new and old), and my readers on how grateful I am that they are a part of my journey. The doubt a person has in their lonely moments can really become a detriment to someone who wants to move forward. It was an amazing opportunity for me to come to the home of my friend, Ann Miani, from Pleasant Hill, CA. She was hosting a book club dinner, and wanted me to be her guest. This book club has been in existence for many years, but they have never had an “author” with her own book at their dinner. A first for some, I guess. (Me, an author?)

I offered a reading of my two chapters that I share, Chapters 8 and 10, on how I am “getting there”. I’m sure to be positive, using my “interpretative voice” enunciating the words that I wrote and configured a couple of years ago. These women, none have gone through the experience of becoming a widow, may not, and hopefully so, become that label of “widow” for many years in the future.

So I rest my words on this page with some intuitive comment…that it will all be the way it’s supposed to be. The dinner was wonderfully light, the rain outside refreshing for Ann’s beautiful garden of irises, the wine and chocolate sensually mingling on our lips, and the humor amongst us fun and delightful. We should all seek such joy in “being”. It’s getting better and better each day.

Tomorrow….what’s next?


“My husband doesn’t live here anymore.”

We’ll that’s what I told the salesperson on the phone when they asked for Larry Anzini. I was thinking to myself, why did I say that? It took me several years to finally say the words “my husband is dead”. Of course, that was a shocker for the person inquiring about me and who I lived with. A new neighbor said to me the other day, “you and your husband seem very happy”. That’s when I turned around and said the words “oh, that isn’t my husband, he’s dead, but that man I’m living with is great friend, er, boyfriend, er, significant other (now known as SO). You know!” And I would just smile at them.

It incomprehensible for some people to even look at death as something that is just part of life. Fear and upbringing as told us that death is the end, finite. So many old friends have looked at me with an almost “sorry that it happened to you” look, not knowing what else to say. So many of them still haven’t read the book, even though they bought it. I understand that they were being polite. Oh, but those who have read it, first say to me, “I didn’t know you were going through such a tough time….I wish I had been there for you!”. What else could they say? They are just words – with great intentions, and that I truly appreciate.

I can accept these last four years, acknowledging that my journey is no different than many wives. What I have come to understand and what I have learned, is this expansion of my better self is just scratching the surface of what I can expect and enjoy. If I continue to grow and expand in my understanding of this universe, and how nothing is really planned or controlled, I can radically accept that grief is just a word – a five letter word of expansion.

So where does that take me? It takes me to what I believe that I am seeking…pure joy. Surely, as each day opens up for me, I can create my day by being present and understanding, and observing the beauty around me. By doing that, I can become a better person, full of love, and willing to share with each and all.

As for the roommate or SO? He is a part of that expansion, making life funny, witty, entertaining, and better. Sure, my husband is dead, but as a lightworker told me at a Holistic Fair about a year ago…”your husband has told me, he had to leave, so you could continue to grow, and wants to let you know, that love is always within your reach.”

I felt lighter upon those words and could feel a presence around me that was full of affirming truth.


Aligning with my readers

It has been awhile since I have written, because I have been dwelling on the results of “who has read my book?, how many have been bought? Does this really matter?” The problem with self-publishing is that you have to market your book – especially if you are on a budget. I’ve never been a salesperson, and I have doubts with my ability to go out an sell and item. I did, however, have the opportunity to have my first book signing at the Fortuna Public Library, in Fortuna. A great name for a town, don’t you think? The local Eureka Times-Standard paper did an awesome job writing about my book and delivered a compelling review.

It was raining that day and there was a fairly large booksale going on at the Veterans Hall next door. As I sat there watching people hurrying through the rain from their cars to the hall, I couldn’t help but think, is this going to be a total flop? Will no one show up? As usual, doubt lingers in my mind, a process that I have been working on. Self-help videos remind me that the ego stretches your importance factor. Chris, the librarian, was so helpful. He was amused at the people coming in, seeing me there waiting at the table, books there and a pen in hand. My ex-brother-in-law was providing the entertainment as he was catching people at the door to try to get them to sign a petition for the California ballots. Then he would tell them, “don’t forget to go in and see my ex-sister-in-law, she’s has written a book and she is signing today.” They would glance at me and then go to the internet computers, or seek out books on the shelves. The librarian had displayed the article from the newspaper on an easel next to the table I was sitting at, annoucing my booksigning. I felt honored that he let me do this. It sort of made me feel important.

I was relieved that during my three hours there, about six different women came to see me and buy my book. They were recent widows. Most of them had a dear friend or family member with them. They had seen the article in the paper and came to see me. I could tell that these women were reeling in their recent journey of widowhood, and I felt it. The ability to touch them and give them words of encouragement brought new inspiration to me and many tears to them. I knew that they left feeling much better. It was worth the 5 1/2 hour drive up there.

So with renewed spirit, I realize that I am helping others. This inspiration finally took me back to the place I avoided most – Hospice of the East Bay. They were my soul-saving angels when Larry was dying. They stepped in when I was floundering. They gave me encouragement with dignity. When I got back to the East Bay Area, I stepped into the office and the Director of grief counseling sat with me. When I handed him five of the books to share, he was consoling while accepting my books. He asked me many questions about where I was with my journey, and I know that going there helped me complete another step in my healing. I told him that if there was anything I could do that would help – I would be ready to help them.

So my friends, my inspired self is to find more places to do book signings. Kim Weaver, the Store Manager at Railroad Book Depot has penciled me in on May 20th. The address is 650 Railroad Avenue, Pittsburg, California, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Thank you for reading this….and I encourage you to come back from time to time. What’s next? Maybe a movie? A summarized script has been created and will be delivered to the Hollywood database for the film industry. Perhaps an aging actress – like Julianne Moore, or even Susan Sarandon could play my part? I’ll just put it out to the universe and see what comes back.

So…if you have read my book, kindly insert comments here, and by all means rate the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I see only one person has done that, but maybe at my request, you could take some time and do that for me. Much hugs and love to all of you.


Does an honorable mention count towards a Pulitzer?

So I submitted an entry to the DIY 2011 book festival and received acknowledgment that I have received a “nod” or an honorable mention for my entry in non-fiction. I have been invited to attend the ceremony at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood next Saturday, March 3rd, but I have decided that an honorable mention doesn’t deserve a drive to Los Angeles, or a flight down there. Of course, the $95.00 ticket is a problem too. It’s a start, and I absolutely appreciate the fact that my new journey into writing is teaching me how this world of publishing works. I love this creative outlet I have. My ability to be frank and honest about my experience as a widow feels very freeing. Is is the beginning of trading in my label of “widow” to “author”?

Occasionally I pick up my only hard-cover copy of my book, open it and find an editing “oops” in the middle of the book. This is a problem for self-publisher. You hope people who were paid to edit it would have found those mistakes, but I think my emotional state and doubts of publishing my book overcame my ability to find them. A first-time writer’s flaw – I suppose.

My friends who have picked up the book and read it have given me validation with a “thumbs up” and general response. Are they being polite and sweet to not point those “oops” out to me? I think that my process of “letting go” has enabled me the ability to think to myself, it’s the content of the book, not the quality of the editing that counts. I could be wrong, but I think just writing this thought satisfies my doubts.

Ultimately, those who read the story, will take or gain whatever perspective they want from it. It all sits in the head of the reader, doesn’t it?

Today…I will just enjoy the day, read a little more of another book and consider my blessings of my life, my family, close and old friends, and my newest friends. Thank you for being a part of my journey.


Book Signings are coming in – Happy Birthday!

Four years ago, my daughter Donné sent me on a journey to find me. It was a trip to Las Vegas to some outlandish place near Area 51. The company that jolted me into submission of realizing I was in for a significant journey was called Rapport Leadership. This company models its team workshop skills similar to EST – a popular program used back in the late 60′s and early 70′s. I went under duress. I didn’t want to disappoint this daughter of mine who had been bugging me to take the class for several years. I finally submitted and went. I flew into Law Vegas and took the two hour bus ride on my 57th birthday. Of the many breakout classes that were immersed in the social teaming of many people who knew nothing of each other, the one significant tool I came away with I glance at each day. You see, there’s a board that each of the attendees had to write on from a list of statements that they felt were holding them back. Mine was “lack of purpose”. So I wrote those words on the board and flipped it over when the instructor asked us to. Then we were all asked to write down a list of things that we would love to accomplish. Those words I am looking at as I type this, were (and are) Happiness, Success, Wealth, Love, Self-Esteem, Confidence, Self-actualization, Peace and La Vita Del Loca.

On this fourth year of celebrating my “break-through” (it’s all in the book!), I know that I truly have accomplished many of those items. I broke that board with my hand. No I didn’t hurt my hand, but the significance of that action became a true and real metaphor of what we, as individuals, need to do to get through our past into our future.

So today, I’m celebrating my birthday with the grandest appreciation that by writing my book, I released a lot of old energy that was not beneficial to my healing. I am absolutely grateful that my daughter’s insight of pushing her mother to make this tiny step, was a significant step towards sharing my joy with others. It takes awhile, and it does happen. It will if you set your intentions there.

So the book signings are starting to happen. The press release about my book has been sent to all media outlets that I wanted it to go to, and I will wait for the results. I’m humming my bliss to all of you out there, so you can have some of too. Enjoy today, enjoy everyday, as if it’s your very last. Enjoy every day as if it’s your birthday! And celebrate with La Vita del Loca!


A Press Release is coming!

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ~Gerard de Nerval

When I got up this beautiful Friday morning, my morning routine is exact. Turn up the heat on the thermostat, open the door and let my cats in from the garage, pet them, go to the coffee maker and pour a cup, let the cats out into the backyard, sit and be quiet for a few minutes, then go over to the computer and read the email.

AuthorHouse, my publisher, managed to send me the press release for my review. After reviewing it and editing a few changes, they also asked for the six cities that I would want to have it sent to. Well..of course, that first one would be San Francisco. But how do I describe my qualms that it really doesn’t matter which cities I choose, who would care?

I’ve read about others, and now I’m experiencing the self-doubt in writing about yourself and exposing your inner thoughts. Why would anyone want to buy this book and read it? Well, for starters, I needed to heal. Writing this story was cathartic. Yes, it made my memories come up in a flash and then vanish, leaving more details that anyone can imagine. But then I realized, that the book had meaning. Not just for me, but for anyone who is traveling this path of widowhood. You can ignore the hills and valleys, or just start hiking up and down those trails with acceptance.

Many, many widows/widowers can’t narrow their grief into one place, because any memory that pops up will remind you of your loss. I’m getting there. I know that whatever led me to this place of writing with my own words about the process of life, it’s my journey and I should share it. I want to let people know that it isn’t all sadness….only if you want it to be.

So with that said, I’m going to try to bring forward the joy that I share, sharing my appreciation of a new day, with that delicious sip of coffee in the morning, the petting of my cats meowing for my attention, and the breath that I take outside. Enjoy this day, be grateful for it, because when you do that, everything wonderful comes your way.

Now….let’s see, where else should I have this press release sent to? Seattle, Portland, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Phoenix, New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago??? Your comments are appreciated. With love……till next time.


Books are in my hand, is anyone reading these blogs???

I have now received my author’s copy of my book. Both softcover and hardcover. I feel like a brand new mother showing off her baby to the world! I carried the first one around in my arms Friday night and Saturday showing it off to all my friends to the several functions I attended.

It is interesting to know that even as I ripped open the cardboard shipping wrapper, keeping my excitement intact, I immediately checked the book over to make sure my very last edits had been included. I can compare that excitement and pride to the moment the nurse put my daughter in my arms after her birth. I had to unwrap her that December 31st day in 1974 and check to make sure all of her toes and fingers were intact! I wasn’t disappointed (with either event!)

I have contacted a few places to inquire about a booking/signing party. I haven’t heard back from Barnes & Noble in Antioch. If they don’t respond soon, I will find another more intimate place for my event. If any of you have suggestions, please respond via my email contact or leave a comment for me.

It’s hard to tell if people are reading these blogs. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just here for my own satisfaction, thinking that maybe, just maybe someone is out there reading these. In my earlier days of programming (many decades ago), we used to plant little “easter eggs”in our technical reports, or on computer screen menus, just to see if anyone was reading them. Perhaps I should do that now and say that the first person who does put a comment in this blog and my other one at, PLUS Facebook “LIKES” my “Escaping the Jaws of Life” facebook site, will get a FREE signed softcover book from me. Hum……I wonder who will be first???? Can you do that?????


A Widow’s Journey to Happiness

My journey has been breath taking.  My “knowing” has moved me into a spirituality that I can now wear proudly.  All those years of ignoring it has actually allowed me to review it with great enthusiasm.  It is healing.  It is healthy.  I don’t wake up with a guilty feeling of “why me”…..or “why not me”.  

Decades before Larry had been introduced to a “Positive Thinking” seminar through his employer.  It really stuck with him for several years.  We practiced it with our children, taking a more detached role and allowing them to grow as humans.  As the years went by, careers realigned, children grew up, Parkinson’s set in for him.  Those skills of looking at life became diminished.  It took him more than 3 years to realize (with my encouragement and insistence) that the doctor was wrong…and it wasn’t just a shoulder tweak that needed physical therapy.  He wasn’t feeling good at work.  He got frustrated very fast.  He felt his boss hated him….this really, really nice guy, that never said anything bad about anyone, could not tell that he was sick.  I could tell that there was stress in worrying about that.   Most men deny that feeling and hold it all in.

Move forward 8 years…after battling early-onset Parkinson’s disease and removing ourselves to the country into our “retirement house” , I found the movie “The Secret” one year before he got really sick.  I bought it and brought it home for him to watch….I could tell that he was resigned more into being sick rather than seeing the message that “you are what you think”.

After he passed away from the brain cancer….I dwelled in my “widowhood”, quietly.  Trying to figure it all out, I started writing in a journal.  It worked.  Then I reviewed a movie called “The Secret” and went and found another video called ”The Secret behind the Secret”.  It resonated with me.   My love knew about it and we sort of practiced it early on…but lost touch with it.  “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha

I know that grief is painful….death has been all around me since my grandmother died at our dinner table choking on meat.  I was 18 years old and just watched it happen in slow motion.  Then my father when I was 30 years old.  Then my girlfriend at the age of 44, my Uncle, and Aunt and my mother (all within 3 months of each other), my nephew (aged 21 – suicide), then my mother-in-law, and my husband within 5 months of each other.  Perhaps all those experiences prepared me for my greatest loss.

I know now…and appreciate the fact that I can take the time on a daily basis…reflect on all that I have now, meditate on the good, and seek the wondrous.

I have found that I am attracting people of “like minds” into my life now.  I have changed significantly.  My grown children (my contrast right now) don’t like the decisions I am making. Very likely, this expansion of me is significant enough that they can’t handle the changed woman that they see.  I believe they will come around some day…or not.  

So every day I try not to get “into my mind” and think of what people are thinking of me….but think what I can do for myself and just love from within.  I am finding that I am happier, healthier, and significantly better off than getting into my pity party of loss.

So that’s all of it in a nutshell.  I will continue to go dancing, write, listen to music, and find humor in things that make me joyous. And Larry….just in case you are watching…yes, I am having a fine time.