Saturday, January 29, 2011

I lost my SANITY for three days... but....

Thank goodness my sanity has returned. It all began with a BLOWOUT with my cell phone company who shall remain nameless. The BLOWOUT began on Tuesday... and was followed by a 3 day meltdown on my part. Apologies go out to all family members, friends, colleagues, and even people I do not know for listening to my rants, mad ravings and unintelligible mutterings about the atrocities which had taken place. My story is as follows....

The date was December 23, and I decided it was time to update my cellphone from my 2007 flip phone to a new device which would include Internet capability. I was trembling with excitement, frothing at the mouth, and overjoyed with ecstasy as I looked over the wide selection of phones available to me at the cell phone store. I was immediately drawn to the 'PRETTY PINK' (oh so girly) Blackberry 3G curve. My daughter, who was with me kept saying, "MOM, Blackberry's STINK". But did I care? NO! My overriding thoughts and logic were that the phone was pink, AND most importantly, it had Internet capability. So, within minutes I was the proud owner of a Blackberry with Facebook downloaded in another 5 minutes. (Did I mention I was excited about Internet access?)

Oh, I felt like a kid at Christmas! I was reading Facebook updates in the store, the mall, the restaurant. I was a VERY happy camper until Christmas day when suddenly, my updates stopped. Thank goodness the cell phone workers were working on Christmas Day, because "I" had a problem that needed an immediate fix. And within minutes it was fixed and working - UNTIL the next day. WELL, after 5 phone calls to the company, I finally happened on a friendly little salesman, named "SNERDLY". (I am calling him Snerdly to protect his identity and because Snerdly is a name which fits his repulsive behaviour to a "T" as you will see by reading on!
Snerdly was overly sympathetic toward me and my Blackberry issues, assuring me that MANY other consumers had experienced the same Facebook issues, and that they were ALL switching to the DROID X. Snerdly painted a vivid picture of the Droid X's outstanding features so much so, that I heard harps playing and angels singing. Within 5 minutes, he had convinced me that, 'YES, I DID' want to update to the Droid X', and with a glazed look and the feeling of a hypnotic state, I walked slowly to my purse pulled out my bank card and charged in excess of $300.00 for a DROID X! Interestingly enough, it was at this very moment, Snerdly noticed that on this VERY day we were speaking, it was the LAST DAY in my 30 day period to return my Blackberry, or I would be stuck with it. That was a slap of reality, and suddenly everything snapped back in focus. It was Sunday, it was 4:30 p.m., there were BIG football games I was tuning into. Return a phone that day? NOT a chance! So with Snerdly's reassurance, we would cancel the order and he promised that he would call me back the next day to see if I had been able to return the blackberry. "Please hold while I have my manager cancel this order", said Snerdly, and I kindly acquiesced. After a 5 minute hold, Snerdly assured me that my order had indeed been cancelled. Just to be safe, I asked the all important question: "Are you SURE this will not come out of my bank account?" and he responded, "I can assure you of that!". Relief ensued and I promptly ditched my football game, ran to the cell phone store, returned my Blackberry and with a gleam and the promise of a phone that would work, I IMMEDIATELY purchased a Droid. Snerdly wouldn't care. Surely he would be understanding, since he had just painted an incredible picture of the Droid and he would KNOW the immediate gratification I would have by purchasing the Droid right then and there!
My peace came to an end on Tuesday when I casually looked at my bank account and... BLOWOUT! Snerdly had fibbed, and there was $300.00 plus dollars gone from my account. All I could picture was Snerdly rubbing his hands together, sneering, and patting himself on the back for his 'wiley salesmanship' and his impending commission. It was at that moment that the meltdown began. I promptly called the cell phone company to plead my case. Would they help me, would they refund my money, would they make things right? OF COURSE NOT- THIS IS A CELL PHONE COMPANY. In a state of panic, I called my bank. Could they help, NO the charge had already gone through. To make a long story short for 3 days there was a cell phone battle of Olympic proportions! My calls to the company started out politely enough, but on day 2 they became less nice, and by day 3, the 'wrath of Patti' was falling from the skies above onto the cell phone company below... all to NO avail. Raging, Ranting, Lunacy, and Threats of bodily harm to everyone working at the cell phone company did nothing to help my case. Finally, on the third day, I called my bank. They were kind, courteous, consoling, and finally I found someone who would listen and take my side. I found JUSTICE. With my fist in the air, and a grimace on my face, and my best Scarlett O'Hara imitation, I proclaimed, "I shall NEVER deal with this cell phone company again"!
But, now that justice had been served, my bank account saved from insufficient fund fees, and the possibility of no food in the house till payday no longer a threat, I started using my Droid, and, I LOVE IT. It takes fabulous photos, which I can download to my Facebook. I am getting Facebook updates wherever I go, my family and friends can rest assured that I am still alive as I respond to their statuses and post my own. Joy and rapture, peace, tranquility and SANITY have all been restored! This is, as Martha Stewart would say, "A GOOD THING"

But, Mr. Snerdly, BEWARE, I have your number, I have your email. Don't mess with me again. One more slip and I will have NO CHOICE but to have you pry my Droid from my hands, and move on to a new company, who do not have an employee by the name of "SNERDLY"!

Till that day, I will continue to check my status, get my updates, respond to my friends, post my silly comments, and download all of the pictures I take. I was very close to saying "Oh, this is the biggest heart attack I ever had. You hear that Elizabeth? I'm coming to join you honey. " (thank you Fred Sanford for your hysterical comedic drama), But the moment has passed and I am excited I was not pushed over the brink to the CRAZY side! Now off to check my Droid!

Living, Laughing and LOVING my Droid,


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Creative Temperament- crazy or not?... YOU DECIDE!

“The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.”
Frank Barron

I asked a reliable source this morning what they thought this meant.  Here was their response: "It takes reaching inside to find your  animal instincts, to take the most basic of elements and pull them together to form a Creation.  And while the creative person may seem full of chaos, and hell bent on destroying themselves, when channeled and focused, out of the chaos comes something remarkable and amazing."

Another friend said, and i quote:

"Surround yourself with those creative people, and your life will never be dull!" Oh how true. Creative people are known for their off the wall, silly and quirky sense of humor. Many creative people are the 'life of the party'. And you NEVER know what a creative person may pull out of their sleeve! By surrounding yourself with creative individuals, you will experience the ride of a lifetime

Now, while my office and craft area are may not look 'quite' this bad, my office is a definite reflection of the creative chaos I live in. The rest of my house is clean. But my creative space chaos! It is with white knuckles that I cling to the quote: "out of chaos comes order" Nietzsche. The most fun part of my creative chaos is when a family member needs something, and as they stand there looking with utter dismay at what they see as a disaster, I calmly go to the exact spot of the item they are needing and with a smile of purely delicious triumph hand it to them! The fun part, seeing the look of dismay turn to a look of complete and utter disbelief! This alone shows that what may appear as chaos to others is merely order to me. In my chaotic space, I may find bits and pieces of paper that I use to design a card. I may find a piece of music that I have wanted to learn and begin to practice. I may find a sheet of paper and a pencil, and pen a poem or thought for a new writing project. Chaos, CRAZY? no... a sign of complete and utter Sanity and Creativity!

As a musician/artist/ author, I am a definite right brain thinker! And so proud of it. After all, I am lumped in with some of the most famous RIGHT BRAINERS: Einstein, Bach, the Beatles (love my Paul Mcartney), Leonardo Davinci! Many of these individuals were considered eccentric, slightly crazy! Now I am not claiming to touch the creative achievements of any of the above, but I am proud to join their ranks... and yes I know many of my friends think I am just as 'crazy'!, but what they see as crazy, I see as creative thinking leading to a masterpiece! I just believe that people who think with their right brain get a bad rap, instead of a pat on the back for what we contribute to society. In learning a piece of music, there is a lot of 'creative and colorful' language that goes on, a lot of emotional tears, and temperamental stomping, a lot of growling and groaning... but in the end, the creative process allows me to bring forth something that is truly beautiful and worth all of the effort. Was I conflicted and full of chaos during the creative process?- YES. Was it worth all of the pain, time and effort put into creating the finished product? -YES. Many people would scream 'YE GODS' and run if they caught me in the beginning stages of my creative process, but once the process is complete, the above mentioned individuals will sit with rapt attention as I perform or share my creation.

SO! Before labeling one of your creative, right brain thinking, chaotic friends a complete 'crazoid', just remember... we are NOT CRAZY, we just operate on a different level. We have much to offer society in the form of music, art, books, crafts, and passion. AH, the passion, artists are some of the most passionate people you will EVER meet. So, I encourage you, before labeling those of us who are creative, as 'crazy', look deeper and see that we struggle to create something beautiful that we want to share with you, as our friend, and the with the world as a whole!

Express your love to a Musician, Artist, Author, Cook etc. today, and you may be surprised at the beauty and laughter they can add in abundance to your life!

Creatively Yours,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Multiple Personalities in the form of the Seven Dwarfs! CRAZY!

YES!  I am convinced that I have a Multiple Personality Disorder that links me to most of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs!  I came to this conclusion yesterday morning when my alarm awoke me from my peaceful slumber to remind me that, TODAY, was my first day back to the 'Coal Mine'. I was SLEEPY and that alarm was a VERY clear representation of the 'whistle' blowing to call all workers back to the mine.  I must admit, in my very sleepy state, that I was bewildered, befuddled and slightly confused by this sudden awakening, and it was at that moment that I began to experience a definite personality change.  Yes, I hate to admit it, but I, like Sybil, morphed into a different character entirely.  My thought pattern changed, my attitude changed, the 'voices' in my head took on an new tone, and suddenly, I was...

GRUMPY! Oh! how I grumbled and mumbled.  I certainly did NOT deserve to be awoken from my peaceful slumber to face a day of work, especially after I had just come off of the most LOVELY of holidays!  I muttered under my breath about the injustice of having to crawl out of my warm bed, and into the chilly air of my bedroom.  I growled about having to 'get ready' for the day with 'real clothes, make up and hair done', instead of  my vacation look which included 'pajamas, no make up, and hair in a permanent ponytail'.  I growled as I stumbled down the stairs to make my coffee, and croaked as I put the mug to my lips, and then SUDDENLY, another personality shift!  What was going on?  I was seriously considering psychiatric assistance as I changed from Grumpy to....

HAPPY! As I stood there with my steaming cup of "Donut House - Cinnamon Roll' coffee in my palms, and a marvelous homemade 'vegan' blueberry muffin (yes, I am STILL sticking with my new vegan diet!),  I smelled the coffee and tasted the fresh blueberries, and I quickly became happy over the fact that I had food, a warm, delicious, fragrant cup of coffee, and a job to go to, when so many are looking for employment.  I had friends at my job, whom I respect and love, whom I had not seen since vacation started, and students who were excited to share all about their  Christmas vacations.  And, I was simply happy over the fact that I woke up to face another day!  What more does one really have to be grateful for than these comforts; family, food, friends, a home, a job, LIFE!  I was happy because I was counting even the smallest of blessings!  BUT, yet again, there was another personality change in the making. I felt my brain fighting the next personality, as if it were a force trying to take over my entire being, and indeed, a NEW and different personality emerged and  it was...

DOPEY!  Yep, that was me.  I had been away from work for 2 weeks, and I was feeling slightly nervous about going back and teaching music to my eager pupils!  Could I dredge up the excitement and enthusiasm needed to engage these eager young minds?  After all, I was feeling quite DOPEY from all of the Christmas parties, the sweets and meals, the late nights, the CHRISTMAS REVELING! Was I up to the task of 'performing' for and 'creating' an enthusiasm for music in the minds of my students?  I thought long and hard, as much as my Dopey brain would allow me, and it was at that moment the last and final personality pushed through to lay my worries to rest!  The next and final personality to present itself was...

DOC! Yes the voice of reason broke through! I had made it though my Sleepy personality, my Grumpy grumbler, my Happy 'count my blessings' dwarf, my Dopey doubting demon, and had arrived at my final destination, "DOC", the voice of reason, the purveyor of sanity in my multiple personality scenario! I thought the thoughts of a person with wisdom and insight into the mish-mash of personal transformations, and as I 'thought my thoughts' and analyzed my personalities, I came to the conclusion that, I was NOT someone going through a SYBIL LIKE MULTIPLE PERSONALITY CRISIS. I am simply a normal individual, experiencing the same thoughts and emotions that any NORMAL person experiences when being awoken at 5:15 a.m. faced with the prospect of returning to work after a wonderful two week vacation. And my logical DOC like personality also helped remind me that is just fine to experience these emotions and differences in personality. And chances are, I was still going to feel like a "SNEEZY" allergy moment some time during the day, and I may, though not likely, experience a "BASHFUL" moment! All of these multifaceted personalities, when mixed, shaken and pressed together, may look like a lump of coal from the mines, but in reality after some polishing and perfecting in the form of 'life circumstances, and 'hard knocks', NO LUMP OF COAL, but a BEAUTIFUL DIAMOND waiting to shine in all of its brilliance

We are all made up of different personalities that present themselves at different times, and that is what makes each of us so unique and so absolutely CRAZY wonderful! Rejoice in, and embrace the different facets of your personality. Work on chipping away at the rough spots and jagged edges that you don't like, and polish and perfect your best qualities, so you can reveal the INNER DIAMOND that is waiting to shine brilliantly for the world to see... your CRAZY Uniqueness!

Uniquely and Crazily Yours,


Sunday, January 2, 2011


That's right! I am making a CRAZY CHANGE as the New Year begins, and it totally involves my eating habits! I am a lover of ALL foods, ANY nationality, ANY course... from salads to dinner to desserts. I enjoy trying new things and usually love it all! Indian, Mexican, Italian, Thai, Seafood, you name it, there are very few things I don't simply love.

When I turned 40, and stepped onto the scale, I was reminded of the comedian Vicki Lawrence's quote: "after 40 everything heads south for the winter"! I looked at the scale and thought to myself, I shall not descend to the south except in the proximity of where I live. Therefore, a change in diet is in order. Thank goodness a blessing in disguise named "GWEN" has come along to encourage, cajole, and all but cook a Vegan meal for me! Love you Gwen! Seriously, I believe people are put into your lives for a reason, and along comes a new friend to advise, guide and give direction in the way of healthy eating... and she used the magic words, "YOU'LL FEEL SO SKINNY"! Well hop down, that was all I needed to hear!

So with my friends guidance, a list of stores to find the correct ingredients, and some recipes to boot, I have ventured out into the Vegan lifestyle. I went to Publix for a few items today, and felt like a kid in a candy shoppe, yet in reality I was simply an adult in a health food aisle... how IRONIC! I had so much fun pouring over foods that would be healthier for me, and with relish, I picked my breads, my fruits and veggies, and my TOFU! Now I have to admit, that the word TOFU simply intimidates me... but then the words, "You'll feel SO skinny' popped back in my mind, and my ego overruled my intimidation, and I placed TOFU in my cart with confidence and relish.

It is impossible for me to do anything half way or haphazardly! If I am going to do something, I am going to do it with gusto, excitement, and raw determination. SO, I came home armed with my ingredients, and prepared to fool my family into 'thinking' they were eating a fat ridden, meat laden, greasy chili... But I giggled as I chopped my onions, added my peppers, and 3... 3 DIFFERENT kinds of beans. I rubbed my hands together with a gleam in my eye as i added tomatoes and spices galore... and as it simmered, I snickered as they kept asking how soon it would be ready! They are eating as I type, and as of yet, I have heard no complaints. Little do they know that they are guinea pigs in my diabolical plan of turning myself and them into a healthier happier family!

I've have already tasted, and tested, and given a 5 star rating to this recipe, and I can say, with the enthusiasm that usually pours out of me, I am EXCITED about eating healthier in 2011! Now you may say, "HOW is that part of her crazy life?" It is crazy because, I am so busy that dinner has to be easy, fast and quick to prepare. BUT I say to you, "HEY I AM CRAZY"... I am willing to give it a shot! I am insane enough to try something new if it means a healthier happier me! I am willing to invest the time and effort into cooking a meal that will be good for my family! AND, I invite you along for the ride. So with that said, I will post my "VEGAN CHILI" recipe, tweaked here and there with a few more herbs and spices and a few more tomatoes! Try it! I dare you. YOU NEVER KNOW! You just might like it!

And AHA! The verdict is in, hubby and kids could NOT believe there was no meat, and that it was a VEGAN dish! Their exact words in describing the chili.... "I NEVER would have known it was vegan if you had not told me." So, as I rap up this blog, and pat myself on the back, I hope that you will find ways to make your year a healthier year! You never know where a walk down the health food aisle in Publix may take YOU!



Patti's Vegan Chili:

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

1 chopped yellow pepper

2 garlic cloves minced

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 package. McCormick Chili seasoning

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 (28 oz.) crushed tomato

1 cup tomato juice (leave this out if you want less liquid)

2 (16 oz.) cans black beans rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained


Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, peppers, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve in a bowl and WAIT! Just wait, and soon you will hear the sighs of contentment and the gasps of surprise as you tell them... YOU ARE EATING VEGAN!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Waiting for the CRAZINESS TO BEGIN!

Bring it on 2011! I am excited for every CRAZY opportunity, experience, adventure and crazy new friend that comes my way! I love to know that I have a BRAND NEW YEAR ahead of me that is filled with new possibilities, new projects, new adventures. Thinking about a new year for me is like imagining a clean canvas just waiting for me to paint the first strokes of delicious and delectable colors! A canvas WAITING for me to create a painting that will represent my NEW YEAR! I am ready to run and grab my paint brush, squeeze out dollops of rainbow colored paints on my palette and start and.... WAIT!... without a plan, I may create a mess...

"A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power." Brian Tracy

Words of wisdom! I must design a plan, with 'crazy' in the mix so that I can create a 'year in painting' that I will be proud of when the year ends. I need the right mix of colors, which for me will be: living and celebrating my life with no FEAR, and living to the FULLEST. Loving all around me without abandon, and SHOWING my love rather than just speaking it. The saying action speaks louder than words is definitely applicable here! Laughing until my belly hurts! (an absolute necessity when it comes to riding the waves that come my way!) Being true to myself and my convictions, without fear that others may disagree. And lastly, when spending time with family and friends, making sure, that when I walk away, that person feels better after having spent time with me. WOW, some lofty goals, but at least it is a plan. Yeah, Call me crazy, but I know what I want, and I am willing to do what it takes to get it. And I am claiming this promise:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

SO, with the first day of the new year ahead of me, I have made my plan, I have chosen the colors, I have donned my artist smock and french beret (must look the part!), and I am ready to start painting my year! I am 'aquiver' with excitement.

I hope you to have a plan in mind for the crazy things you want, and I pray that you will EMBRACE the new year with all of it's exciting possibilities! Make your year what you want it to be! Paint your YEAR with wild abandon!

With a grateful heart!


"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."