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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: December 2005

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Setting Intentions


Oh...I should post an entry. But it's the holidays. Not that I'm off celebrating much. It's just the week between Christmas and New Years. Work is slow - and so am I.

It's nice to be lazy sometimes. Especially with gray days that make it much easier to lay around watching mindless TV, reading Emmanuel and mastering a new obsession, Tangrams (contributed by Robbie).

I've also come deeply into the knowing that I need a new guitar. I've toyed with the idea long enough. It's time to start saving. I just can't play this one anymore. It's so dull that it actually turns me away from wanting to play. A different guitar, with different energy, is top on my list. Don't let me buy anything else before I get a new guitar.

It's a few days before another new year. I can hardly believe how quickly time flies lately. It's that time again to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the coming year. Letting go of things no longer needed or beneficial to growth, and welcoming in new energy for continued growth.

Last year I shed a tumor that had been weighing on my heart (physically behind my ear) for a few years. I shed mono and depression. I shed obsessive behavior. Well, much of it.

This year I intend to shed debt and the fear of collection agencies. I intend to shed the need to rescue poor defenseless bunnies. I intend to shed the notion that my life is meant to be slightly above mediocre.

I welcome new energy in the physical form. I welcome a boost in business or easy career change. I welcome abundance in love and money, freeing my creativity. I welcome a deep sense of commitment and determination that allows me to follow through with my creative endeavors.

Well, that's a start. Guess I had more to say than I thought.

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Wishes

Wishing everyone a safe, fun and peaceful holiday.

With Love,

Trish-n-Hunny

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Peace and Friends


As my anxiety eases, I find myself coming back to that peace-place I'd forgotten about. Life goes in cycles. I guess this is my time to be more physically active and social. But quiet time is still essential. I've spent the last couple of years in much-needed hibernation. I didn't want to do anything outside of what moved me. Which wasn't much in terms of activity. In that time I learned the importance of finding the balance between activity and quiet, alone-time. Let's hope I learned that, anyway.

Recently, I'm reconnecting with old friends. The holidays are good for that. We seem to pick up right where we left off. The difference being me. I'm more connected to myself. I don't need anything outside of myself to fill empty spaces. I also realize I really love my friends.

At the same time, Hunny and I really, really miss our new friends from downstairs. It's been a long time since I've had a friend with such similar interests. Someone who can go deep when needed and be light and fun just the same.

We talk about buying bikes so we can ride to the beach, about playing tennis (badly) together, about driving to the snow and going tubing. I'm also about to dust off my rollerblades.

Movies, dinner, baking, driving up the coast, walking on the beach with the dogs, playing music, dancing, creating. I'm like a kid with a new best friend. A new best friend who went home for the holidays.

I spent a few hours making collage-photo-booklets for my clients as holiday gifts.

I get so sentimental about my dogs when I do that. And this photo of my new best friend's dog - Hunny's new boyfriend, Piper - just makes me melt.

...

So yeah, Hunny and I miss our buddies. Sounds silly to mention it. But it's what's up. So why not?

I used to feel this way between semesters when I was in college. I hated being home for the holidays - away from my friends. It was too boring. I liked being in the action of the campus and dorm life.

That's kinda what this reminds me of. Our friends live in the same building -- like a dorm. I can run downstairs with a cup of coffee on my way to take Hunny out. We're usually greeted by Piper. He always hears Hunny and barks for her. Gosh, I might miss him most. But let's keep that between you and me.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ooh That Smell

I smell like gasoline.

I went to fill my tank today and the gas nozzle popped right out of the tank, flung up and poured gas all over me. I stood there like a deer in headlights. Luckily I only had two more dogs to drop off and I was almost home.

I've showered.

Still, gas is all I can smell.

Is this anything like being skunked? Do I have to do some kind of tomato or vinegar bath to get rid of the scent?

Clearly not one of my better days.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Journey to Holiday Baking



I'm ready for my easy-bake-oven now.

So far, I haven't been able to find the courage to bake alone. Last week, Paula helped (read: did most of the work). We made the best (ever!) chocolate chip cookies and baked the chocolate mint bars.

The cookies are gone. All gone. We brought a batch of them to a party last Saturday night and they were gone before we had a chance to tell folks they were there. I plan on making more this week.

Yesterday Robbie came over to help supervise my baking attempts. We made banana bread, peanutbutter cups and the glaze for the chocolate mint bars.

Everything looks and smells delicious. But with my lack of appetite I'll have to take Robbie's word for the actual taste. I believe it went something like this: Mmm-oooh-Mhhmm.

The chocolate mint bars have dairy in them. And I'm mid-experiment with my eczema. I've given up dairy since Monday. I just want to see how it really affects my body. I've always thought I was allergic but haven't paid much attention to it for a few years (I just love cheese).

No worries though. I've been vegan (egg and dairy free) before. I can certainly do it again. There are many substitutions for baking. But this go-round is for exact recipes. Oh, and you can be sure I'll have a cookie when they're made! That is if my appetite returns.

Today is filled with reading (yes, actual reading), cleaning, clearing and later going to a holiday gathering. Here we go. It's that time of year. At least this time I have something more to bring than a bag of ice.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Trish-n-Hunny Time



Spending time with myself -- and Hunny, of course.

We dropped a friend off at the airport early Thursday morning. (how early? it was dark.) We'd been spending lots of time with this friend and her dog. It didn't occur to me that Hunny might be affected by their leaving. Thursday was tough for my little one. She didn't eat all morning. She was depressed, like I hadn't seen her in a long time. Every time we walk by our friends' apartment she stops at their door. Still. Even today.

It wasn't until later that I realized, bringing friends with dogs to the airport is something Hunny is used to. But usually the dog returns home with us. Not this time. Hunny's doggie friend went on the plane too.

And it was so hectic at the airport that there wasn't a big to-do of a goodbye to Hunny. There was hardly time for any goodbye as I tossed luggage to the curb, being hustled along by airport security.

So I've made it a point to give Hunny extra love and attention. She's still out of sorts (not eating as regularly) but she has bursts of energy when she wants to play. I was lucky to capture a moment of her playful energy.

I've still been anxious-like-crazy. It's forcing me to take better care of myself. From head to toe. I can hardly eat so I make a superfood smoothie in the mornings. Later I'll eat something with a little protein and vegetable (yesterday it was a few bites of chicken with sliced tomato, apple and onion). Later I made a baked potato and ate half of it. Drinking water and adding electrolytes and vitamin-C. Taking Rescue Remedy. Breathing. Singing. Walking. Working.

It was colder Friday. I walked continuous laps, the length of the dogpark. It was great. Crisp. Cool. Invigorating.

More baking today. Maybe a yoga class. A movie. A brisk walk with my Hunny. Whatever the day brings. As long as it keeps me calm, active and motivated. Mostly calm.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Life, Change, Anxiety and Hope



Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned. It's been a week since my last post.

That's not the sin.

The sin, my friends, is that I haven't had the desire to post lately because I'm busy enjoying life (mostly). It's challenging and difficult but there's a faint joy of light in the core of me that had been dimmed for a long time.

Lots of change ahead. Some I don't want. Some I look forward to. Some I can't even see at the moment. It's big, heavy, even scary but freeing at the same time. I go in and out of angst. Just another layer of the onion.

Coming back to myself. Where have I been? Right here all along, I guess. I just forgot. Lots of self-reflection. Remembering is sweet(ish). Except for the anxiety.

It's the not knowing. Leaves me with only myself. My instincts. My intentions. My truth.

Fancy that.

I'm trying to stay in the moment. I find myself projecting into the future. That's where the angst comes in. It's unconscious. I'll be off in a thought and my heart will be racing, my body shaking and I'll come back to the moment and gasp for air.

I haven't felt anxiety like this in a few years (or ten). It's icky. Very uncomfortable. I'm taking advantage of my lack of appetite. Not a diet I would recommend. But at least it's driving me back to yoga.

Work has been keeping me busy too. And it's about to get even busier for the next couple of weeks. I need it. Sitting around waiting for another ball to drop is not my idea of a good time.

So while I've been enjoying life, I've also been challenged to really show up and face a few demons.

Fear, you know. It's only fear.

Easy to say. Harder to remember.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

LA Dogwalker from Head to Toe


(click image to enlarge)

Busy, busy, busy ... and I like it, like it, like it.

Someone (Wil) was concerned about the recent decline in my business. I've been concerned as well. This business goes in cycles. Recently I lost (permanently) two clients. I also lost (temporarily) one other daily client. And last week I lost another client.

All were for different reasons. One is living part-time in another city. One just got too aggressive and disruptive for the group (she's getting the care she needs from her loving folks and a good trainer). And we know about the other two. They were part of the same pick-up. When one canceled, by default, so did the other.

It's true, I haven't talked much about the business I do have. Here's where I stand as of today.

In the last couple of months, I've gotten weekly business from clients who had previously been once-in-a-great-while. They've become more consistent. I've also been blessed with double the work, covering my friend's dogs as she is still recovering from her car accident (she's okay, just in pain, unable to physically handle her big dogs).

Needless to say, my days have gotten longer -- just in time for the light of day to be much shorter. Again, no complaints. Only praises. I'm grateful for the work.

I love my work.

Today at the park, I saw a trainer that I met a few months ago. Back then she was really interested in working together. She liked the way I handled my dogs. I thought she might've forgotten about our connection until I heard she recently lost her father to cancer. So she was out of the state for two months. She's back and ready to work. She took my card again today and assured me she still wants to collaborate. She's already got a couple of her clients she wants to refer to me.

She no sooner left when another trainer approached me asking about my business. He too likes my energy and the way I handle my dogs. He pegged the PeaceMobile as mine, saying he can tell I'm "good people." He took my card and said he would "definitely be calling" to refer business to me.

No matter what happens, the point is, the energy is opening up. It feels good. It's time. The ebb and flow. I have to remember to trust the process.

I never know what's around the corner. This is a reminder that this moment is only this moment. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just perfect. Just is.

Maybe it has something to do with the classical music I've been listening to in the car. I feel a shift in my energy when driving. I noticed today that the dogs were also calm and quiet -- even on the way to the park.

In this moment, life is good.

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Remembering Peace



Yesterday was cold and windy again. Uh, relatively cold, very windy.

[ha. sorry, got distracted by a loud rock-opera-singing man outside my window. great voice. wacky personality.]

Anyway, where was I? Oh right...cold, windy. This weather is tough on my hands. The eczema I acquired last February has not gone away. It's doubly difficult to play the guitar in a cold room. We have a heating unit in the center of the apartment. It's nice and toasty everywhere but my room. And it's costing us a fortune.

So I went on a mission yesterday for a portable (electric) heater for my room - and something, anything else to try on my hands. A few folks have suggested diaper rash cream. Why not? I've tried so much already. And I figure, anything gentle enough for a baby's bottom must be soft enough for my sore, cracked fingers.

Went to the drug store and got Aveeno. Used it twice so far. And you know what? It's working. ::knock wood:: No portable heater yet. We decided against joining the crowds of holiday shoppers by avoiding shopping malls and department stores.

Later my neighbor and I drove up the coast at sunset to take the dogs for a romp on the beach. I'll admit, I was completely resistant to the idea for most of the day. But when we arrived at this secret location, the stresses of life disappeared. Nothing mattered. Everything was perfect.



Why hadn't I come here before?

This is what I love about LA. I had forgotten. The ocean, the mountains, the creativity, the diversity, the activity. Well, it's difficult not to notice all the activity.

We had the choice to drive to the snow, take a hike in the mountains or walk on the beach. And if we wanted to, we could've done all three in the same day.

I want to try snowboarding this year. At least go tubing. You know, sledding down a snowy mountain. I haven't seen the west coast snow - ever. I've been here for over 13 years. I think it's about time.

Today though, I'm happy right where I am - spiritually. Physically, I would love to be in a cozy guest house at the beach again. That longing feeling never leaves me. It motivates me.

I'm creating a list of goals for the new year. Realistic goals. Join a gym is not one of them. (anyone know the html code for underlining text?) My goals are more like, go to the snow, and buy a beach cruiser, and get album produced. Well, yeah, there's always that.

[Aww...a child just skipped by my window singing Jingle Bells. Now that's something to live for. I love this time of year.]

Today, heater!

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Friday, December 02, 2005

Monaco Music - O HOLY NIGHT

This entry was inspired by our friend Vivian who has decided to join us here at blogger and enjoy the season, rather than letting a little corporation like ::ahem:: get the best of her. I second that emotion! Viva La Vivi-Land!

So...

It's that time of year again, when we break out all the holiday decorations and fantasize wildly of happy children and empty shopping malls. My total sum of Christmas decorations consists of the following:

1 Santa hat
1 tree ornament (gift from Andi last year)
8 sets of string lights (used year-round)
1 missing Andy Williams Christmas album (my favorite)
2 missing Amy Grant Christmas cassette tapes
1 Kitaro Christmas CD (gotta be here somewhere)

and this:

1 Trish Monaco recording of O HOLY NIGHT from Christmas 2003

There's a slight chance there will be another holiday song recorded this year. I'm hoping. But no promises. An elf can only do so much.

Happy Holidays to Vivian and all of our friends from J-Land and beyond.

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Holiday Tipping and Baking

I was looking for the appropriate amount of Holiday tip/bonus to leave for our water deliverer. He comes twice a month with two cases of bottled water plus 3-gallon jugs. It's worth it, just for the door-front placement alone. It's been six months. I just want to be prepared.

I haven't gotten very far in my search. This is the opener of the first article I came across in CNN/Money.com:

Who's in the running for a $300 tip this holiday season?

Nannies, personal trainers and even dog walkers might possibly nab tips in the hundreds of dollars...though it's certainly not required.


Who knew?

The fact that dog walkers are even mentioned in this article shows how far the industry has come. Nine years ago there were like five of us. Probably more like dozens. But I only knew of one other when I started.

There's a tip chart at the bottom of the article. I'm still not completely sure about my water guy. I can't just leave the envelope empty.

Who else do I need to think about? No gardener. No doorman. No parking attendant. I got two hair cuts all year. My drug dealer. My bookie. The Mob. Tell me I'm not expected to tip the guys at the gas station!

My clients. Last year I gave them a photo booklet of all the dogs from the year. They loved it. This year I'm thinking of doing something similar. Maybe a single photo in a frame. Not sure. But I can't spend a lot. In years past I've given stockings filled with toys, bones and biscuits.

Can I tip with baked goods?

Believe it or not, I'm thinking of baking this year. [I know, right?] I got a bunch of recipes from my mom. I'm talking four emails filled with recipes. I have at least twenty to choose from. She even trusted me with secret family recipes. [don't even ask. you'll never get it out of me. except, what's nutmeg?]

I don't know why, but the idea of baking seems exciting to me. Cookies, breads, pastries, pies, cakes...ohh, so much more. I don't necessarily want to eat it all ('cept the cookies). I want to smell it and give it away. Plus, the oven will keep things feeling warm and homey. Oh, my homeys! Hope y'all like cookies and pies...or whatever I choose to make.