Happy Halloween!


Speaking of all things that go bump in the nite ... this evening I watched a teevee program on ABC entitled "Ghosts". It was apparently showing "real" footage and photos of captured images of ghosties, etc.

I wish they would have entitled the program "Spirits" because I feel 'ghosts' denotes a rather negative energy (no pun intended).

Do YOU believe in ghosts, spirits, hauntings and such?

I do.

Without going into the details that would prompt my friends to have me committed, I have experienced the presence of spirits more than once in my life.

No, this was not after too many toddies or after one of my long periods without sleeping.

The most poignant "visitation" came when I needed it most. Three nights in a row.

For two nights I was blessed with a benevolent life form so full of radiant love, energy, warmth and kindness that even now ... the remembrance brings tears to my eyes.

The third night was not so warm ... no positive energy ... no glowing radiance that lit up my bedroom. The spirit was not malevolent, but instead it was simply bidding me goodbye knowing that the two previous nights had prepared me for the departure.

Thanks for visiting Dad ... come back soon!


I just gotta say it.

I know she will be embarrassed but I gotta tell on her.

I just gotta.

Suzn made her point in focus with love and generous understanding. She gave me a Princess.

Yes, a Princess.

Thank you Suzie!

Oh Suz, do I also get a Prince Charming? ... [*wink*]


The skies are once again blessed with dark rain clouds. The Fall winds are stirring the air.

And I am grateful. Falling to my knees and thanking God grateful.

Grateful for the weather? Perhaps. Always.

I have been playing the waiting game. Feeling the frustration of having to wait upon others to see which course life will take.

Waiting. For rain. For wind. And for the skies to clear.

It is with exalted joy that I share the good news: she, my Mother, does not have cancer! The "mass" in her body does need to be removed but the diagnostics reveal it will be a clean surgery. She will not need chemo. She will not need radiation.

Parts of Arizona do not need rain. They have been flooded and lives were lost.

Other parts of the state need rain desperately.

It is my wish that whatever you need ... rain, wind, blue skies ... or answers ... they are given to you today.

This is indeed a good day ... even with the umbrellas.


Free thoughts and some answers ...

Regarding the archives of past journal entries: they will be available after 10/31. [The pink of October simply looks horrid in frames against sweetaspirations.com's beige.]

It has been raining here in Arizona. Intermittent showers for the last 48 hours have given us much cooler temperatures and wonderfully dark, cloudy skies.

Previously, I have made journal entries about the summer monsoons and the majesty they lend to the desert. Ah, but a weekend in October full of rain is a mystery all unto itself.

I was born in Arizona and have lived here most of my life. After 30+ years in one place, I consider myself a rather adept student of the atmospheric changes in our state.

For instance, last month Mom and I were talking about the incessant heat and pondering when we would ever get a break from its merciless presence. I said, "Mom, you know we always have heat until we get a wet and cold storm from the west. Then and only then, do we see Arizona autumn-like temps."

Mom nodded in agreement.

[I wonder if I should consider becoming a meteorologist? ... *ahem* ...]

Alas, I digress ... it seems that the clockwork nature of the changing season always brings rain in late October and early November.

How do I remember this?

The Arizona State Fair runs during this time and I seldom recall a AZ Fair without rain.

Yet, if the Fair would change is running time ... there is still a constant reminder of forthcoming October showers:

Take a sniff. What do you smell? Perhaps the scent of freshly fallen leaves? Or the sweet odor of cedar and oak burning in fireplaces?

Not hardly.

It is manure. Cow dung. Strong and acrid ... assaulting the olfactory.

Huh? What? Manure in the Fall? Yep, it is the preparation of the soil for winter rye. That is "grass" to those of you who do not live in mild winter climates.

The result of lots of cow crap, grass seed, and watering 4-8 times a day (until sprouted) is a luxurious, deep emerald carpet of soft, wet grass. Honestly, it is the only time of the year that we desert rats actually see a blanket of grass that is truly green (versus the paler versions that we force through the soil 8 months out of the year).

October showers. Mmmmmm... the scent of cotton candy, corn dogs ... and cow dung.

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.


I am sitting here in the wee hours of morning thinking of all the clichés that seem applicable to my life in this moment.

"Into every life, some rain must fall."

Well, folks ... it is a virtual deluge in Jann's life these days. From too much work and not enough energy [due to illness], to an ensuing family crisis, to loved ones under the hand of illness. The rain falls heavy and floods my spirit with concern.

"The sun will rise just beyond the horizon."

My man, my Jason ... just recently had to deal with the stress of a potential reoccurrence of cancer in his mother. Into surgery she went to have the growing mass in her body removed, biopsied and dissected. The sun rose on our horizon when we learned that the sarcoma was contained and no chemo would be necessary.

"Every rose has its thorn."

Lately the thorn in the wonderful garden that IS my family has been "anger and stubbornness." Because of a stupid statement or two made over a simple game of cards, my Mother and my brother R. are not speaking! And who do you think is nominated to act as the intermediary? Yup, yours truly. Keepin' the peace ain't easy! Especially when you are dealing with MY family.

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself."

I am afraid.

My Mom (yes, SHE ... of the stubborn clan) came to me last Thursday to examine her. She said, "Jann, is this anything?" My hand found it ... and my heart sank. Something is growing now inside my Mom. Her CAT scan was yesterday and we are playing the wait-n-see game as to what type of surgery will be scheduled. It is tearing me apart with fear ... and worry ...

... so I call upon my older brother W. (who lives out of state). I want him to come home. I need him ... but ...

"If it doesn't kill me, it makes me stronger."

W. informs me that last week he was doing some sort of contortionistic activity behind a desk unit to hook up computer cables (sound familiar?) and injured his cervical spine (neck area) and he cannot move his right arm. After a visit to a chiropractor [*I shudder at the thought*] ... he is worse, not better. However, he assures me that he will be here when I need him. I hope he will bring his negotiating skills along.

"It's always darkest before the dawn."

Right now, I am praying that dawn comes quickly for my dear friend Peter. Yesterday, in a casual and matter-of-fact tone, Peter informed me that he has a brain tumor. While he tried to pass the situation off with a casual air, I know my friend is afraid. Today he sees the neurosurgeon. Please God, let the darkness pass and the early dawn bring new hope and healing.

"Always look on the bright side of life."

Another dear friend, Jeff, is soon to be having some eye surgery. Sure, he would tell you it is minor. But surgery is surgery. I worry about him and for him. He has an uncanny way to always see the bright side of life, situations, and circumstances. He took a bumpy and difficult road to get to this place ... and I wait patiently for the day that both eyes are healed and he truly DOES see the bright side of everything ... literally.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

It appears that while my life is going through "time passages" ... the ever constant is my friends. Friends that call me just to talk about slipcovers and banana bread. Friends who send me pink fuzzy rabbits and chocolate covered raisins just to say they care. Friends who make me laugh into the wee hours of the morning when my body hurts so bad that I pray for night to end. Yes, my life does go through changes ... yet some things simply do not change.

"Life goes on."

Yes, indeed it does. And whilst I may sit and ponder the clichés of my life, I would not trade what I have been blessed with for anything in the world.

Except perhaps that...

"This too, shall pass."

... and for those I love ... it will pass swiftly, gently ... resulting in peace, health and life's special harmony.


It pleases me beyond words to see other sites (blogs, journals, et al) that have either gone completely pink or are "wearing" a pink ribbon to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month" throughout October.

The autumnal breezes have finally definitively arrived here in Arizona, after what seemed like the proverbial endless summer.

No, we do not need sweaters or coats. Yes, we are still quite comfortable in light shirts and shorts ... but alas, there is a change in the air.

What is it about Fall that creates an anticipation of the spirit?

Phoenix and the metro area becomes a hustle & bustle of traffic, shoppers and tourists; residents smile at the visitors' out-of-state plates and continual failure to signal when turning ... and lovingly [*ahem*] call them "snowbirds".

The elementary schools are bedecked in hand drawn Halloween images with the windows illustrating spooky tales of the forthcoming Fright Nite. Boo!

The shelves in the stores are displaying a bizarre mix of orange-and-black costumes and teeth-shattering candy while dancing Christmas trees play their drained battery versions of "Jingle Bells". The department store aisles are plagued with holiday inspired neuroses to compete for display space.

Windows everywhere are open to the cooler Fall air, deep emerald winter lawns glisten with dew, and children run in the few fallen leaves stirring up dust ... and stirring up memories.

What is it about Fall that creates an anticipation of the spirit?

I believe it is the promise that endures within the slumber of Winter ... the promise of the rebirth in Spring ... these are the promises of change.


So much to say ... so little organization. So without further ado ...

Happy Birthday Jeff! I hope your day is spectacular!

Have you tried the McDonald's Soft Baked Cookies™ (that come in the cute lil' tote) yet? Oh my. So good ... so very good. Soft n' chewy: chocochip, sugar, and oatmeal raisin. Better than MY Mom ever made!

Speaking of foodage, I remember as a kidlet/teenager that frozen pizza sucked. It was horrible!

Have I told you about DiGiorno's Fresh Baked pizza? No? Well, they have come a long way baby, in the world of frozen pizza! This DiGiorno's Rising Crust stuff is actually quite nice, tasty... and even comes in flavors like smoked mozzarella or spinach/garlic/cheese. Designer pizza hot n' fresh in your very own oven!

While keeping in the line of epicurean thinking:

Comfort foods. Mmm... we all have them.

I trained at the University of Arizona with a woman who had to have "homemade style" tuna salad on WonderBread followed by apple pie whenever she stayed in a hotel. It was her comfort food. Not an easy item to order via room service!

Another friend finds comfort in butter. No silly, not eating pats of butter "raw" ... but instead butter melted on anything. Loads of warm, sweet tasting butter dripping down the side of a croissant or perhaps swimming in the canyons of a baked potato. MMMmmm... butter.

A business associate once revealed to me that a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich (on toast) was sheer comforting nirvana for him. He even went as far as to say that he would often forego his "evening toddie" of Glenfiddich and substitute its smokey bite for the sweet gooey concoction of his childhood.

Ahhh yes, comfort foods. So ... what's yours?

Gotta go now ... I am getting hungry.


I got nuthin'.


My sincerest of congratulations to the Digital Divas [link no longer active] for their settlement with Microsoft.

The ladies stood up to Goliath, tossed their stones of truth and integrity ... and brought the giant to the understanding that you simply cannot take things that belong to others!

Blessings to each of you who stood on the side of honor and assisted this group of women in this monumental endeavor.

Precedence is being set: copyrights, trademarks, trade names, slogan marks ... are not to be taken lightly.

In fact, they are NOT to be taken at all.

Brava Dana ... and all of the Digital Divas! Brava!


I recently revealed an aspect of my life, however insignificant, to a friend of mine.

I was sure that the revelation would repulse her. I was sure she would think, "Oh Jann, NO! Not you!"

Knowing that she is a woman of good taste, I thought that perhaps she would make an eloquent excuse not to phone me or perhaps use her Caller ID™ to avoid my calls.

In humbled voice lowered by embarrassment, I revealed the truth. I admitted it openly. I confessed.

Then, whilst waiting for her to tell me in disgusted tones that I am pathetically destined for stardom on The Jerry Springer Show, I heard her giggle.

With an expression full of the pure joy of friendship and acceptance, she laughed out loud at my cautiousness and meek approach.

She told me I was fun! She told me that it is hysterical. She told me she would get involved and even supply me when the time was right.

Yes, I admitted it to Kelly ...

*ahem ... clears throat* ...

I am a collector. I collect. I have a collection.

I collect refrigerator magnets.

Yes ... you ARE seeing P I N K !

In honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the "journal" of sweetaspirations.com will remain pink throughout the month.

It is my hope and aspiration that the "pinkness" will inspire all of you to:

1. Perform regular self exams (early detection is imperative!)
2. Call someone you love & remind them to do the exam.
3. Call someone you like & remind them to do the exam.
4. Make and keep that mammogram appointment
5. Walk, run and donate towards research.

Men, you also need to watch for changes in your pectorals.

Wanna learn more? Visit these links:

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
American Cancer Society

And ladies, please remember that October 20th is National Mammography Day. Please consult the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 for radiologists in your area who are providing low cost or free mammograms on this day.

Sign up at The Pink Ribbons Campaign for email reminders to do the monthly self-breast exams.

Early detection can save lives.

Research funding may change lives forever.

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