August Garden

garden August 2014

Somehow so quickly, the summer has past. It was a cool and wet summer but the flowers loved it. I spent as much time as I could, which is never enough, sitting out and enjoying the beauty. This is my canvas and I paint  in spring with my flowers. Mother Earth fills in and takes over as the summer progresses. It is the first place I retreat to when I come home and I end my day out there. This is my garden at night.

At dusk

At dusk

The long view from my chair

The corner of the deck

The corner of the deck

View from my chair

View from my chair

View of my chair

View of my chair

During the day I have many visitors. I also have my favorite tree named Elgin in honor of Rising Hawk. Elgin gives me great advice.

Mrs. Bunny                       Elgin in the light

This weekend we leave for Sacred Ground. We are off to The River for a long week.

My meditation spot at the River

My meditation spot at the River

 

The suitcases are packed. However, I had to face this look all day. They know we are going. But they have their Auntie Carolyn to cuddle and smooch them up all day and every night and Uncle John, their favorite is coming over too. So they will be fine. However, I still had this face.

ms attitude

Namaste.

 

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Floating

roses

New rose bush 2013

I can believe it is Sunday again. This week went by very rapidly. Makes me sad to think we are already at the end of May. My favorite month and time of year is June. Not because it is my birthday month, which it is, but because it is the most beautiful month of the year. The weather is usually perfect. The animals are visible and have babies. There herons are here and at the River. My plants are in and it is primetime for my favorite flower, the rose. A beautiful rose will capture my heart and my breath. I have several bushes, some I just put in last year and some have been here forever, and all are doing terrific.

open roses
I see a lot of growth happening with friends and myself. I have talked about this with my Spiritual Counselor who said this was a real phenomenon. It seems like the heavy stagnant energy that has been with us for a long while seems to be lifting. I know personally, I had a horrible winter which brought on some real moments of angst and fear. I felt lost and angry in all my relationships and felt I had fallen off my path and into a deep muddy gulch. I cannot express how grateful I am for the strong hands of support that helped me out and guided and worked with me to get back on my way. I highly recommend working with a mentor, guide, counselor and being with people who have similar interests to help facilitate growth and healing.

flying geese 1
Now is a great time for many to shake off the dust from their feathers and start to fly in the direction they feel is their path. For myself, I was stuck on having hard concrete path to follow. I have found it does not work that way. It is very difficult for someone like me who has been totally goal oriented and based her life on measurable achievement to refocus. This is a whole different approach for me to let go and float. I equate it to being on the air filled float in a pool or stream and just letting it take you where it wants to go. You do not fight it and you do not control it. I have discovered that when I let go, I automatically drift in a direction that really is amazing and where I wanted to go all along.

1 kid jump
The trick is to be in the right place to start. That takes lots of work to drop off unneeded baggage and things that weigh us down. It takes trust. That is the float or foundation that supports the journey. That has been extremely hard for me. Not so much trusting others, but to trust myself and to believe in myself. When my float is full of trust and confidence I move along but when it is deflated for whatever reason, I slow down.

geese to cove
We have to build at least a body of work to float on. This is figuring out the things you want in life and casting off the things that no longer work. I think of this as finding the right stream or body of water to float in or on. I am still working on this but as part of trusting, it is also forming on its own. I think we discover small rapids and difficult passages our whole life, but when the trust is there and the foundation is strong, the stream flows easily again and we prevail.

Annuals one of many flats

Annuals one of many flats

In upstate New York, this weekend heralds the summer with many traditions. People open their pools. The garden centers are mobbed as people rush to get their annuals and vegetables. Very few people grow from seed here as the season is too short. Farmers are turning their fields and planting. My backyard becomes my sanctuary. Even this space represents the feeling of this period of transition. When the snow finally left the yard, we did not have a lick of grass in most places. It was a mud pit and barren. With a little work and trust, it is now a lush green carpet.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

 

At the threshold

I feel like I am stepping up to a doorway lately. Behind me lies all the past grief and anguish and it is a soft dull grey cloud that is cold and stagnant. But it is familiar. I know I do not belong there anymore. Through the doorway lies a bright green field with a river running through it with very cerulean blue water. Everything is brilliant in color saturation, almost like a cartoon illustration. It is unfamiliar yet inviting.

.reaaching

There are hands pulling at me, trying to keep me from entering the threshold. Many of the hands are my own making. It is my ego telling me to stay and live in my life as it is. There are hands of those who have known me and expect me to remain as I have always been. The brunt of their anger and frustration transferred to me. There are those who want me to stay and fix them because that is what I have done.  It is all I have known but I have had glimpses of what could lie ahead. I have been so concerned with the reaction of others that I felt like I was trapped.

One of the things I am learning to do is pause. It takes great concentration for me to do that, I but I have been told that if I keep practicing this, it will become part of my nature. Instead of reacting to something someone says or does, I pause, think about it and try to see it from their place and not let it become mine. I used to do that with everything. I take it on. So now, I pause and I wait to see what really sticks, and so far, not much.

Also, something happened recently. I have been feeling very fearful, frightened and scared. It was a permanent state of being for me. I would wake up and when I would do a body check, I would find I was in a tense state with my neck and legs tense within seconds of awakening. I would put myself there by just thinking about an upcoming event or something I had to face. I have been very consistent with a morning meditation along with a hypnosis tape at night. The morning meditation gets me to physically relax before I start the day. The hypnosis tape is helping me deal with fear and undoing the freeze mode that I put myself into.

I was in meditation the other morning, and this was the vision I had: It was me as a small curly red-haired three year old running. This beautiful child was grimacing and crying and her hands were out stretched as she approached. I was the adult she ran to. I picked her up and embraced her and then enveloped her into me. As I did this, the voice in my head said, “I will keep you safe. You are safe small one; go back to being a loving and happy child.”  After the meditation, there was a big change in my peace level. I cannot really explain it, but I know it is there.

I was also taught a trick that is similar to EFT by John. EFT does not work for me because I do not like the tapping on myself, especially in the head area. It should be obvious why. Instead, I use a stroking method and it is very soothing. I can disguise it easily as it looks like something someone does when they have a headache. Only I am saying in my head, “Even though I feel like this person is making me feel: bad, sad , mad….whatever….  I am safe.”  I say it over and over until I feel the calm.

flowers in space

Another thing I am doing is I am collecting things that make me happy. It is a simple thing to do. For example, when someone sends me an email and says something nice it, I keep it in a folder. When someone sends me something nasty, I delete it. It is satisfying. I took down all the clutter in my office and put up some of my photography. I have pictures of my favorite spot on THE River to my left and to my right. I play forest and bird sounds in my headset at work so I feel like I am at least hearing pleasant nature sounds. I am buying flowers to have in my writing spot. flower in window

And then this afternoon,  I had a small miracle happen. I love balloons. When I was a child, I thought they were magical, and I still do. My favorite color has always been pink. Any shade, but I love rosy pink the best. I was doing dishes and I looked out and there was a balloon bouquet stuck in my neighbor’s bushes. It is very windy today.  I was sad to think some little person had lost their balloons. I was thinking I would try to get them but they were in a place that would have been tricky, and then they blew away. I left the kitchen for a moment and when I came back and looked again, they had blown up into my fence and were caught. I went and got them. They are shades of pink and white and two pale blue ones on long curly ribbons. This brought me a lot of happiness and I see it as a message that I am on the right path again. And so I am joyfully celebrating this and all the messages and miracles that are happening.

Balloons

My Beloved Olive

06-07_Chevrolet_Malibu_MAXX

There have been a few very strange extreme spiritual moments in my life. One happened when I bought my beloved car. I just had my baby tuned up at the local shop. I love to anthropomorphize her. (great word) I thought I would write a tribute to her and tell the story of her acquisition.

My husband and I were still in school working on our Masters. We were so poor at the time we could barely survive and relied a lot on our school loans to get us through. My husband was working part time as substitute and at a local deli. His nickname was Baloney Boy which has stuck. I was working fulltime teaching at a small college. My car at the time was a Saturn which was having a lot of issues but we kept it running for 17 years. His car was a Malibu and had over 100000 miles on it. It died on me in the middle of an intersection. It was time for it to be replaced. We drove it onto the lot, limping along only to find out how bad it was. It would not pass inspection ever again and I am sure that it now resides somewhere as a coffee table in a landfill.

I had been noticing these olive green Malibu Maxx cars on the road and thought how cool they were. I had a dream about that color and type of car. We search the internet and found one locally. As soon as I saw her, I said she was mine. The deal was amazing as she had been purchased by a gentleman who buys new cars and drives them for less than a year and trades them. He work for GM and always was checking out new cars. This one had less than 9100 miles on it and was loaded with all kinds of features. I saw her and named her Olive.

Then came the moment of reckoning. We had nothing to put down on her. The trade on the beat up car was negligible.  I was panicking, which I certainly did a lot back then, about taking on another loan. But because we had no choice, I did. My credit rating is fabulous so we had no issues. Car loans are secured and so just about anyone can get one.

As I was walking towards the actually signing, I felt absolutely wretched. I thought I was going to toss my cookies, I was red in the face, sweating and my heart was pounding. This was not my first time buying a new car, it was my fourth. I do not remember why, but I remember the moment. I was standing alone in the show room for some reason. I felt this warm sensation and then it felt like someone had put their arm on my shoulders in an embrace of support. I felt calm fill me. I heard in my head a soothing voice say that it would be alright. I do not remember specific words but they encouraged me to continue with the transaction. And I did. I do not remember much else of the following moments other than I was shocked about the spiritual experience I just had. I remember it seven years later right down to the feeling on my shoulders.

Olive has been a great car. We have taken her to the River several times. We would take off in her on Sundays for afternoon drives as it was one of the few things we could afford to do. I do not like to drive to new places. In truth, I do not like to drive much anymore. It is on the list of fearful things I need to get over. Having Olive gave me confidence to drive to some places I would not have otherwise. When I had jobs that required me to drive to do visits, she was one of the supports that made me able to do that. She just had a visit to the local Chevy dealer who does the work on her. She has new eyeballs and lashes, (headlight lamps and wipers) a pedicure, (tire rotation) and a colonic (oil change) Every time I bring her in they want to buy her because they know they will get a good deal for her. We are not ready to part and I know there are a few more years of adventures in store for her. She looks brand new because I baby her. She is near the top on my gratitude list.

Winter views

In an attempt to change my attitude, we decided to head out and have breakfast at our favorite place and then go to the lake. The water was calling me. I need actually a River fix, but we can only go to the source of the River, Lake Ontario. We live about 12 miles from the southern shore. The weather was not bad yet, but they were calling for Lake effect snow today. I am glad we did go out earlier because this is about four hours later and sure enough, as I write this it is snowing steadily. winter lake view This is looking out over the lake and a private beach area. We like to come down here in the summer and walk the pier.pier in winter        This is the bay outlet which is only partially frozen.   There were swans and duck swimming in the icy water.   swan on winter water

The bleakness and frosty wind was not conducive to taking pictures. We come down here a lot in the summer to enjoy the sunsets. You cannot really see the pier that extends out into the lake. It is fun to stand on the bridge which they remove in the summer to allow the outlet to be open and watch all the boats go out into either the lake or the bay.

The rest of the day will be spent working on a course I am taking or sitting in our new chairs. The boys beat me to it.

new chairs               asleep in chair

 

The funk of February

snow coming down

snow coming down

This has been one of the coldest and most dreary winters in a long time. Or so it seems. I think we say this every year. February is not one of those months I enjoy because I am sick of snow by now and look forward to the arrival of spring. This year, we had a very apparent lack of sunshine and too much snow.  Around these parts, we all start too get cabin fever. It is not like people do not go out, but the air has been so bitterly cold, that even venturing out is dangerous. Usually we get one week of below zero, but this year, the temperatures have been constantly single digits.

Last night I ventured out with the air so sharp it felt like little knives on your skin. I attended my music class as I do most Tuesday nights. I enjoy the class not only for the chance to learn to play my recorder but for the camaraderie and fun. Last night, we moved into uncharted territory with a new book and we were sight reading because all three of us heard our instructor say to practice the old book’s last lesson. So like three cats in heat, we painfully progressed through our new lesson. We learned high b flat which for some reason on my instrument sounded more like a goose caught in a lawn mower. And every time we had to play it, and this noise came out of my instrument, I burst into laughter. If you know me, you know I have this silly giggle that sounds like I am about three and it is hard not to laugh at the laugh. Whoa to us, because I would giggle and I would hear my dear friend chortle which would send me off in to a spasm of more giggles and we were lost. I would look up over the music stand to see the instructor glowering at me.

The result of the hour spent making more sounds like I was playing a party favor than a gorgeous baroque melody had a medicinal effect of calming me down and getting me a bit out of the deep funk I was in the past days. By laughing, I released my diaphragm which is the first thing that gets locked up when I am stressed. My body chemistry changed and like a tonic, I felt so much better. I realized again that I had fed the wrong beast too much. But it all fairness, it is hard this time of year for many of us who are trapped indoors to be cheerful. And we feed each other’s beast by being nasty to each other. So I need to find things to calm me and choose them. Even now, when I draw up in my head the pinched look on the instructor’s face from last night, I still giggle. I am not sure if it was his frustration with us or that his ears truly hurt. Thank heavens the man is slightly deaf.

Nightmare in Home Repairs

So tonight was a real nightmare in home repairs. I knew this project was going to be difficult but had no idea how much of an issue it was going to be. The first part of the project was to tear down and then replace some stuff throughout the house. It started small…. But does any house repair remain small? I am beginning to think not.

old basement pipesutility rip out

So today was supposed to be the big downstairs repair job. They were going to remove the rest of the stack and finish the new clean out and other piping. Then they were going to rip out the upstairs shower and vanity and ….my biggest fear….the remaining toilet. To a woman, the toilet, (say it in French. It is so much more civilized) the toilet is sacred. I have a phobia of not having access to a toilet. When they turned the water off at work one morning and said it was going to be off for HOURS….. I left in a panic. I was not coming back either until it was on. My boss thought I was nuts. I was as serious as I could be. I was quoting DOH regulations to her because she wanted to dock my pay when I left….. “F-you, lady…I am management, dock this!”

So tonight, I called my husband on the way home to say I was on my way. I was about half way home. I had called John the Contractor earlier who had promised me the water would be on and a toilet would be working by 5pm. It was after 5PM.  No problem.  My husband however, informed me this was not the case. John had left the house to go do something and was going to return later.

Now I have to digress into a not so nice situation. It is humorous only after the fact. When I get stressed, my plumbing in my body quits. It causes a lot of issues and discomfort. I have remedies and what usually happens is when I relax, everything relaxes and I get over my problem in a hurry. I have as of late had some real close calls and when I say relax…I am sure you get the picture. Well, because of all the stress lately, I have been bound up for the whole week causing me great distress. So…. I am so stupid….last night, I took a dose of my remedy, which usually works by the morning. Ok, truth, I took a double dose to make sure it would work. It did not. All day…. It did not. Until I was on my way home from work. So I practically took out the car in front of me and made a bee-line for the local Burger King.

Afterwards, I headed for home and pulled up to the house to find trucks parked in front. I opened up the garage door and the garage was filled with stuff……and water. I thought F**K, now what. An unknown gentleman comes out and moves the stuff and says to go ahead and pull in. There is a drain in the garage and the water had already dissipated, but you could tell it was higher. I walk in to the new utility room which is off the garage and there are three unknown gentlemen plumbers holding buckets under pipes. Ohhhhhh no. The new floor just put in where they had jack hammered the floor was wet and they had put down heavy cardboard to protect it. The water was still coming out of one pipe. Someone was up in the ceiling with a torch. I was so upset, I just went upstairs.  They had put the existing toilet back in place on boards and said it would be fine…… once they got the leaks fixed. They still had the water turned off.  I was in a panic and so upset I just wanted to cry.

So they finished up, turned on the water and called it good. And they left without a good bye. My contractor John showed up about a minute after they left. I was so upset I was crying. The floor was a mess, there was stuff all over. John is meticulous and picks up everything when he is done. He calls the owner of the plumbing company and tells him to get over and take a look. So he did. He comes upstairs and tells me not worry about the dog. I am….. what? Seems, my little Browny bit one of his guys and bad enough he went to the urgent care. Little baby boy bit this big lug? He must have deserved it. But the owner said it was ok because the guy did not say where and who the dog was. I looked at him and said, your guy was in my house and must have done something menacing because no one else has had problems. Well, not so, I find out. This is Browny ’s third chomp. John and his prime worker have had no problems. But when new guys come in, Browny gets nervous unless you say hello. This jerk , I found out, was running to the stairs to grab a bucket to help with the leaks. I know Browny gets upset with quick aggressive movements. So now I am not sure where all this is going to go. I am afraid one of these clowns will hurt him or I will have a law suit.

So at this point I am a mess. I was supposed to have a session with Mardrag and I look forward to this all week. I had to call her to tell her I had to cancel. I sat down to catch my breath and use the existing facility. Well, they for some reason have it up on boards and secured, but my legs are short. This is now a real challenge that only another woman would get.  My husband and I were figuring out what to do for dinner. We have not used the new stove and microwave so we decided to use the microwave and heat some left overs. John said he and Shelby were going to clean up and scoot. But no…. he decided to do some work on installing a fixture so they could see better in the downstairs. Shelby kept turning the power off and on. And of course it was the power to the same outlet as my computer so I could not get on line and we would be in the dark and then not, then in the dark and then not.  It was not fun

So the house is quiet finally. I am exhausted. The kids are worn out and in their beds. Browny AKA “Jaws” is dreaming of his next attack. Cookie loves men, the little slut, and so she is dreaming of the next snuggle. John often stoops to pick her up while he is upstairs working. I am afraid he will come take her…. Only I know his wife is allergic. He had small circus dogs like ours. It helps that he can get a doggie fix when he is here. He even lets them out to run and poop. He is a great guy. I have yet to meet I John I did not love…..and that can be said for all types of johns….. Ha. I did not even realize what I wrote until I did it. Time for bed.

kids

New Year’s Wish

I do not subscribe to the falderal of the New Year celebrations any more. I did in the past. I used to either host an event or go to one of the swank celebrations with friends where we got dressed up and had a full fancy dinner and drank all night. My body could not with stand that now. Being absolutely boiled is not the way I ever want to be now.  I have some funny moments from then though. The best or worse, depending on your point of view, was from almost 35 years ago. We were at one of those galas at a hotel when my then husband had downed a bottle of Jack Daniels pretty much by himself. He was a big man and it had been a long evening. The effect was that he lost all inhibitions and was extremely social. He also liked to go nude. So with the effects of the Jack encouraging him on, he decided to wander the halls of the hotel we were in, naked, somewhere around 4 am. It was a different era and he was not alone, I soon discovered, as I went to get him. Now-a-days, he would have probably gotten arrested. There was no harm in what he did other than to be in public with a blunt instrument….. Sorry, I had to…. HA! But as I said, it was a different time in the history of the world. I miss the freedom of that period and I miss some of the grass root efforts that I participated in an endeavor to save the world. I really thought it was possible back then. My young adult life was spent consciously being involved. Somewhere the air was let out of my balloon and heavy weights were added. I have spent over a year trying to free myself from the muck.

When I was younger, I believed we all mattered and we all were important. I took to my soapbox whenever I could. I protested unfairness and unethical behavior globally and locally. I escaped from my parental home very early as a method of survival. I spent the next part of my life as a young housewife entertaining and being creative in artistic endeavors such as theater and music and working mundane jobs. But I still was involved in local organizations that benefitted humanity. Slowly, my world turned dark and I turned inward. There were times that I would bravely climb upon my box to protest conversations within the constricting circle I had been allowed to participate in. I would take a stand on inequity and unfairness with a group of supremists whose narrow view was blinded by hatred and ignorance. After being kicked enough times, I crawled to the safety of silence. I allowed fear of being ostracized to mute me and I lost a big piece of myself.

I am acutely aware of the resurgence of the feelings of becoming involved again. See, I do believe we all do matter. Every single one of us including me. And injustice and inequity is rampant and will continue if we allow it. There are so many wrongs out there that I am afraid the world has turned a blind eye to it all. I think there is a broad spectrum of acceptance and tolerance of evil  today which for someone like myself is hard to look past. I am not sure where I am going with all this as it is hard to narrow down a direction of what to focus on to participate in. I have a few key areas of interest like domestic violence, gender discrimination and body acceptance, but there are so many things to get involved in. There are enough causes for everyone to find their niche.

So that is my New Year’s wish for everyone: Find something that is important to do that will heal the world and in doing so, you will heal yourself. And the circle will grow. Sending love to you all.

Four footed destressors

Yours better
After a peaceful night of sleep, I woke up with four marble eyeballs staring at me. I felt the presence of little snouts sniffing frantically at me in hopes to procure my awareness. As I slowly opened my eyes, the noses turned to little tongues offering doggie kisses. All the troubles of the week vanished. When the little ones finally knew they had gotten me up, they leaped and twirled in their success and off we went to the yard.
It was like a spring morning. The trees were filled with little birds chipping and squawking. I am not sure what they all were but there was an abundance of chickadees. The sun was cresting over the neighbor’s house and the rays streamed upward in the still misty air.
Like little cannons had been fired, the mighty hooves of little dog’s feet sailed through the air and landed out into the yard once freed from the confines of the house. There was no stopping the race to end of the yard and the offering of newly dropped scat from the squirrels and chipmunks. The noses again were in full operation and I could see the bellows of their bodies working as they scanned and spun and made no scent go unnoticed. Then as if a gun had been fired, they shot around the yard in wild abandonment. You could see the joy as the furry blur passed by.
When I first got them, their nervousness was demonstrated with rough housing and running around the house. They have calmed down so much because they know they can run free when outside. This is a form of doggie stress discharge, much like what humans feel after strenuous exercise. I wish I had the ability to do something like this but that is not happening. Just watching them race around is a reward. At night I attached these one inch balls that have red or blue led lights in them. As they race around the yard, it looks light a laser light show. I can only imagine what it looks like from the road through the slat fence.
This morning was so warm, I sat in my chair I have left on the deck and listened to the birds. The running around ended much faster and they decided to discover all the smells in the yard. There are many and they are ever changing. We have a large bunny that visits but I am not sure if she is still coming as I have blocked her holes where she popped through the fence. If she can get through, so can the kids. But the squirrels have not met the “Brownynator”. I have a feeling he is going to give them a run. There was a peace that enveloped me and I reminisced about the times I sat with Bishop at my feet. I will miss him forever and the garden will be different. But as my eyes started to fill with tears, I felt a little paw on my knee as to say, “Mommer, I am not Bishop, but I am with you now.” My little guy has my heart and soul already. He is learning to read my feelings. He is very smart and is learning new “tricks” like give me paw and high five. Cookie is winning her Dadder’s heart. But the Mommer is who she goes to for comfort. I am definitely Alpha.
I was so glad for the respite of the week and I am planning on spending more time with the kids in the yard. There won’t be many more days with sunshine and no snow.

Introducing…

It is with pleasure that I would like to introduce the newest members of our family. I struggled with whether it was too soon, but I had it on great authority from a whisper in my heart that Bishop wanted us to continuing to love and provide for dogs in need. The story of these two is a bit confusing and has huge gaps. This was their third time in foster care. The time before was last year when they were considered no longer “proper” for breeding. They were neutered and adopted only to return once more to Lollypop. This person said they did not have time for them and they went into the group Rescued Treasures, which is where they came from to me.
Meet Cookie who is slowly becoming PookieMiss Pookie Aka Cookie
She is the Mom dog and she is almost 7. She is the more aggressive of the two but is smaller. She is a sweetheart and seems to enjoy her new found place. She slept upside down between Joe and I last night.
Little Bear 11-10-13 This is Browny, slowly becoming Little Bear.
He is definitely Mommer’s new boy. He spent the night on me. He is taller and a bit shy.
Their favorite thing to do is Smack down. They run around like crazy and “fight” tumbling over each taking a turn on top. This is post smack down.Post smack down
They are getting used to their new world, but it seems like they have been here forever.Magoo the cat is not happy. They will all figure it all out.There are a ton of toys and new chew bones. They are a blessing. Love our bonesYours better
They are done with the coming and going in their lives. coming and going