Monday, May 28, 2007

I feel a Rant coming on....

People amaze me. They also frustrate me, disappoint me, and make me fearful. As I surf the internet and read various blogs, websites and posts, I'm elated and depressed in turn.

There are people out there that share my thoughts, desires, phobias, aspirations and preferences. I am inspired, heartened, and feel hopeful for the species. These are people that I call friends and family even though I'll never meet or see them.

Then, there are people that make me wonder what the planet is coming to. These are the people with itty bitty minds, strong prejudices, myopic opinions and lots of misinformation that they cling to doggedly. These people are also my family, even tho it pains me to own them. They are my family in the sense that We Are All One, so I'm sure that somewhere deep, deep inside me there is love and compassion for them. What I feel on the surface, however, is frustration. "Open your mind, your eyes, your heart," I want to scream/type at them. But it's useless. I know that.

I know because I was/am one of those people. I did open my eyes, my heart and my mind and changed many of my beliefs, opinions and prejudices. But I still have them. There are those, I'm sure, that feel these same feelings after reading my posts. I probably scare them, insult them, or make them shake their heads and wonder.

The difference is that I'm basically teachable. You show me something in a new light and I'll change my belief/opinion about it. Just because I thought a specific way yesterday doesn't mean I'm going to hold that thought for the rest of my life. I'm adaptable!

Fear is the underlying cause of all this mental unrest. Yet, it is true that "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."

So, to all those people out there that are frustrating me with their fear--give it a rest. Try for a moment, or even a nanosecond, to consider another point of view. Imagine another outcome, alternative, or possibility. Try for one instant to be different than you've previously been.

I will if You will!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

First Long Weekend of Summer....

It's official, we are now in Summer. The word, Summer, invokes so many feelings and expectations. Summers as a child were magical. Days and days of sunshine and playing outside. Festivals and fairs and Fun! Lots of work too, but outdoor work. Weeding the garden, picking vegetables, helping mom bottle the harvest. Lots of bean snapping and pea podding and corn shucking, with a little Ice Cream Machine cranking thrown in for good measure.

Summers as a youth meant a job to earn some money. I had a wide variety of summer jobs, most of them fun! I worked a lot in fast food jobs, some babysitting and house cleaning. It wasn't until I finished High School that I got a Real summer job. The kind that wouldn't let you off to vacation with your family. I remember the shock of that. Missing a family vacation because I needed to work to save money for college. About that time, I became a little resentful of summer responsibility.

Now, Summer is just another passage of time, but with heat! I don't have children, so I'm not concerned with what to do with them, or planning a family vacation. In fact, I RARELY travel during the summer. It's too hot, and too crowded. I'll do my vacationing in the Spring and the Fall, thank you very much.

My favorite part of summer these days is the Fireworks. I'll go out of my way to see fireworks. I also enjoy parades, barbecue, and concerts outside under the stars. My garden gives me a lot of pleasure. I love a good thunderstorm. Sandalls make summer enjoyable, as do the light, easy clothes. Cold beer after a long hot day! I guess I like Summer more than I'd realized.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Phist Knees

This message is for Phist Knees.
"Don't worry, your
paw paw still loves you.'"

If this message is for YOU, please respond!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wisconsin Weather

My husband frequently reminds me that Wisconsin Weather is Changing Weather! When I complain he reminds me to wait 20 minutes, and it will probably be different.

When I leave the house, I often forget to close the windows and have come home to some real messes. "But it was sunny and hot when we left," I always say. "How often do I have to tell you about Wisconsin weather?" he'll reply. Apparently, again and again! I find it hard to believe that weather can be THIS unpredictable!

In the space of one week, I have had to turn on the Air Conditioning, and the Heat! It was in the low 60's. Then is rained and got a little chilly. Next day--83! It was hot for two days, then cooled off. It was pleasant for a day, then so cold I had to turn on the heater (all the blankets and cold weather clothes have been taken down to the storage room).

I understand extremes. But not in the same week, and not week after week!

The forecast for the rest of this week is: weather in the 60's, with some rain and thunderstorms. I hope that prediction will be true!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Let the LAUGHTER begin

I keep saying I want to laugh more, but don't do it. I get distracted and forget to make the effort. Those days are behind me now (pushing me forward!) and I'm taking the pledge to be more in tune with my humor.

There is a course of yoga that involves laughter. I'm checking it out. Also, a CD of laughter to play every morning. I attended a laughter workshop one weekend. It consisted of a woman and her father looking at one another and laughing. They played off one another until they were genuinely laughing. Laughter is contagious and soon we were chuckling, then laughing and within a few minutes I was laughing so hard, tears ran down my cheeks. I laughed so much that my belly muscles were sore for a few days. It was GREAT! I want more of that, thank you.

Books by both my Swami's (Swami Beyondananda and Swami Sez--see links) are now in my possession and I'm taking them everywhere to keep me smiling and thinking. I'm trading my calendar for a Joke-A-Day one, and encourage everyone to send me jokes, humorous stories, and anything you think that will make me laugh.

With a BIG smile on my face, I'm off to greet the day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Tide has Turned!

There was a line from the movie "The Four Seasons" where Alan Alda's character is saying to Carol Burnette's character, "You know how life/relationships go up and down? Well, right now, we're in a trough. A very deep trough."

I've remembered that line because it often defines MY life. I know not to get too excited about these ebbs and flows, because what was down will always come up and what is up will always go lower. It's a roller coaster for sure.

For a couple of weeks, I've been in one of those troughs. If there was a 50/50 chance on something, it would always resolve on the negative side. I'm an optimist. I am really uncomfortable with these periods of negativity. Yet if I don't put a value judgement on it---just look at what is and let it be, I can live with it.

We're on the upswing now. Thank God! The Rune's describe is as "What was fire becomes water, and what was water becomes fire." I've noticed and charted these turn abouts, and learned to just try to get through them. If I react to them, then pain and suffering usually follows, because I've become attached to the outcome.

When I can remain neutral (and it's HARD to do) I can look at what's happening and say, "Oh my, look at that!" or "Isn't THAT interesting?" and know that if I can just twiddle my thumbs for this period of time, it will get better.

So, now that the tide has turned, and we're going up---where will it take me? What will come of these seeming catastrophes? It's easy to attach to the good stuff, because it feels good. But it can be just as dangerous as attaching to the negative. I'll try to be neutral, but I'll be smiling while I do it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

All Better Now

Guess my poker face gave me away this morning. And my darling husband took it upon himself to cheer me up. He told me I'd feel better after I ate. He fixed an unusual, but extremely tasty breakfast. Then he made me laugh, took me for a ride in the car, helped me shop for a few more plants and carried everything upstairs.

The "problems" that got me down are simmering in my brain. It's like a rubik's cube up there, with endless combinations and pairing of ideas to find solutions. (Yes, we recently watched "Pursuit of Happyness"--and loved it).

I have to trust my own process. Difficult, but necessary.

Time Changes Everything

This morning began in a blissful GirlFest. I took the time to do all the "girly" things that I rarely find time for. It was wonderful to begin my day all buffed and fluffed and manicured. The hubby was still asleep, so I spent some time out on the deck drinking my coffee and enjoying the day. The birds were feeding, the trees were leafing, and I had a big, contented smile on my face.

I spent time planning my garden and the planters for the deck. Normally I just put stuff in, but this year I thought I'd try having a plan. It was back and forth from the garden plot to the patio making notes and little sketches. This made me Very Happy, and I was basking in this feeling of wholeness and wellbeing.

When I came back from my last trip out to the garden, the hubby was awake. "You must have stayed up late," I commented, noting the time. "I didn't get to sleep until 3am. I was listening to Noam Chomsky's FAILED STATE on audible (ipod)."
He proceeds to tell me the highlights of the message and I can feel my well being begin to ebb.

After 30 minutes of discussing the State of the World, my good mood was completely gone. Back is that low grade, nagging feeling of "Somethings not right/good, but I'm not sure what or what to do about it".

I want my contented, peaceful morning mood back. I'll get it back too. But it's going to take some work. Some hard work.

This is something I struggle with quite often. I'm at that point where my deeply held beliefs are in conflict. It's an ongoing process to try to align the various pieces of the puzzle so that the picture they present makes sense to me. Wish me luck.
I'm going to need it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

So Little Time...

Since I began blogging, I find that I spend more time on the computer. That's ok, except one thing leads to another and soon I've spent several hours and have little or less to show for it. But there is always some enticing thing to read, to look at, to study. Who knew that I had an aptitude for surfing the net?

So, I need more time to spend on my blogging pursuits.

I also need more time to study the Reiki initiation that I got while surfing the internet. I want to learn this, as I've wanted to "have" Reiki for many years. Now that I have it, I want to get really familiar with it.

Next, I need more time to read a series of books I discovered (yep, on the Internet) about Merlin, the wizard, as a boy. I love to read, but reading takes time, and I'm finding I already didn't have enough.

Now that Spring has taken up residence, I'm going to need time to devote to my garden. I really enjoy spending time doing gardening chores: weeding, pruning, puttering, dawdling, smelling the flowers.

It seems that so far I've stolen the time I'm wanting from my time spent shopping, cooking, cleaning, and grooming. Yes, the house is a bit of a mess, the fridge is empty and I hope to get the laundry done before I run out of clothes.

But I'm having so much fun with these new technological toys, that it's difficult to employ even the smallest degree of discipline. I've spent YEARS shopping, cooking, cleaning, and grooming....and they all just need to be done again and again. So, I figure I'll give them AND me a few moments, (days? weeks?) off. I'm taking a well earned holiday from domestic responsibility.

Surf's Up!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Green, Part 2

Last night, as the sun was going down, we looked out and saw deer walking along the grassy area near the trees. Two yearlings were strolling along, without a care in the world. They were so lovely, peaceful, graceful.

We enjoyed them until they were out of sight.

Then I thought of the grass. The Chemically treated grass that they had been walking on. I began to worry about them eating any of it, or having a small cut on their feet that allowed the chemicals into their body. Just as I began to obsess, I let it go. The grass isn't going to kill them.

What's going to kill them is that we're in the middle of a populated area here. There is a freeway less than a mile away, and a major street just a few blocks away. They could stay in our little wooded area, but it's less than an acre in size.

I hope that they are on their way to somewhere better and that they have a safe journey.

It's not their fault that we've taken over most of their natural habitat.

I feel another rant coming on. Someone stop me.....

It's not easy being Green

Yesterday the ChemLawn guy was at our apartment complex spraying the grass. I was working in the Community Garden area, preparing my little patch for the upcoming tilling. I wanted to leave the area, because I'm sure that breathing those chemicals (that's the Chem part of ChemLawn) cannot be good for anyone. But, I only had a small window of opportunity to work in the garden, so I stayed. Bad choice.

The rest of the day I had a headache. Not the kind I normally have. This one wouldn't be cured by aspirin or alleve, or even sudafed. When I went outside later in the day, I noticed that he had posted little "Danger, stay off the grass" signs all over.

Now, I realize that something is needed to keep the lawn under control (as a nation, we're obsessed with controlling the grass). I appreciate that the bug population is minimized, and that the dandy lions aren't allowed to flourish (although I always enjoy a few!) and that we have a nice, green color to the lawn.

But Danger signs? Come on! And we are only one little complex in one small little town, in a medium size state, in a pretty large country. If we're doing this, I'm pretty sure that others (most others) are doing it as well.

One of the many gardening catalogs that I received this year was one that was promoting healthy grass techniques. They said that many schools and hospitals are tired of the "Danger" signs that come with Chemical Lawn control. I thought about it for awhile, and considered starting a small business that cares for lawns in a natural, normal way....but like most ideas, it came and went without me doing anything about it.

Now I'm not so sure. I'm going to look into this as something that might actually be a good idea!

And it's not just the lawns. While going through the various nursery's looking for plants, I smell the Chemical section and avoid it with a vengeance. I always get a headache if I walk down that aisle, or even near it. What alarms me is that these chemicals are available to the general public. And they use them! Driving around last week I saw numerous people out with sprayers and small machines spreading this stuff on their yards.

Am I right to be worried?

For years, I've maintained that most people with allergies are NOT allergic to grass, hay, flowers etc. They are allergic to the chemicals that are used in the growth and maintenance of these things.

Ok, it's time to stop. Otherwise I'll begin to rant, and that will give me another type of headache.

Please tell me I'm not alone. That someone out there is concerned as well. Someone? Anyone?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I've done it again

Yesterday I stopped in at my favorite plant store. I've been avoiding this, because after being flower deprived for so long, I tend to go crazy and buy too much.

So, I decide I'm going to just look and enjoy the plants. I left my purse in the car so that it would be more troublesome to purchase anything. I looked, I enjoyed, I began to visualize arrangements and groupings in my garden. I started collecting, and next thing you know, I'm running back to the car for my purse. $50 later, I'm on my way home wondering what in the **** I was thinking.

It's too early to plant anything. These plantlings are very small. I SWORE I was not going to have trays of seedlings moving around our apartment this year. I was going to plant mature specimens.

This morning I went into the storage locker to find the trays to put my little plants in. I know from experience that half of them will die. But I can't help myself. I guess I'm a plant junkie and needed a long awaited fix.

Now, I can't wait to visit my next favorite nursery, and the next and the next.....

Friday, May 4, 2007

Loreena McKennitt was Marvelous!

Have you ever been to a concert that wasn't quite....there? The music didn't sound as good as it does on the CD? It was too loud, or too disjointed, or even too contrived?

That was not the concert we attended Wednesday. We all had high expectations and none of us was disappointed. In fact, I think it was better than expected or even hoped.

The music was paced just a little bit faster than the recordings, so the energy was lively. The audience was present and enthusiastic, but no one shouted out something that no one wants to hear shouted out ("Loreena, we loooovvveeeee you!). She received several standing ovations and listening to the people leaving the theatre, a good time was had by all.

The binoculars worked well. We had good seats, and were able to watch Loreena's expressive face as she sang. We watched the various instruments being played by superlative musicians. It was magical.

We agreed that we all wanted to do it again tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that....

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Today we are going to Madison to see Loreena McKennitt perform! We are all excited, as she does not tour often, and we've never been able to see her live. Both of the girls are coming with us. The plan is to get dressed up, have dinner and walk around State Street for awhile before the concert. The Overture Hall is right on State Street, and looks to be a small, intimate venue. We have good seats and will bring binoculars. We watched a snip of this concert (see the link on my YouTube links) and were amazed at the number and variety of instruments that accompany Ms. McKennitt. Some of them have to be seen to be believed. The weather is going to be lovely and I'm REALLY looking forward to this day off.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I think it's FINALLY Spring!

May 1 and I'm noticing that many trees are in leaf. It's been a long, slow process this year, but I think we can count on its continuation. I'm so happy to see leaves. That lovely, new green is such a great color. I'm even willing to endure the pollen, as it means that Spring is finally here. I'm noticing that tulips have appeared. My own garden is full of daffodils and hyacinth that I planted a couple of years agol (I just LOVE bulbs!)

We've had quite a bit of rain. The creek out the back and down the incline sounds more like a river. It has overflowed its banks and takes up the entire valley. I noticed the farm fields have a lot of standing water in them. Hopefully it will just cause things to grow like crazy. It's suppossed to start heating up. I'm ready for a little higher temperature. Yes, I actually said that! We'll see how long before I begin to complain about the heat.

I think I'll go do my little "Welcome Spring" dance now. It's the only way I can think to get this smile off my face!

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