Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Moon in Cancer


July 1st  will bring us a New Moon in Cancer, accompanied by a partial Solar Eclipse.  In astrology, Eclipses speed up issues and situations in our personal lives and demand that we deal with them.  They trigger change.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which makes this New Moon a powerful one. A Solar Eclipse in Cancer generates sensitivity and feeling

The New Moon always signals a time of new beginnings, new cycles, rebirth.  The focus here will be on Cancer related issues such as home, family, our sense of emotional security and belonging.  On a personal level, we might feel a bit more insecure than usual.  As a result, one might have the tendency to be more sensitive and irritable. This watery Moon may also bring up memories of our childhood, and you may find yourself delving deep into your personal history.  And, since Cancer is the sign of motherhood, you may feel a longing to return to a childlike state and be cared for.  This Cancer New Moon provides an opportunity to resolve familial wounds.

 You may also find that your current home is much more meaningful to you at this time.  And, if you are someone who is always on the go, perhaps you may find yourself wanting to hang out at home during this New Moon, finding yourself drawn to deal with family responsibilities. 

Think about everything that is going on in your life right now? Is there anything connected with the sign of Cancer that has become  a major focus in your life?  Home?  Family?  Child care?  Motherhood?  Caretaking?


S
uperstitions in connection with the appearance of the Moon are numerous; it generally presides over lovers' wishes. In Devonshire, the young people, as soon as they see the first new moon after Midsummer, go to a stile, turn their backs to it, and say:

All hail, new moon, all hail to thee!
I pray thee, good moon, reveal to me
This night who shall my true lore be;
Who is he, and what he wears,
And what he does all months and years. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Personal Space

“Personal space refers to an area with invisible boundaries surrounding a persons body into which intruders may not come.”--Robert Sommer


We New Yorkers certainly have a thing with space.  Perhaps it is because we have none; hence, we are always ready to do battle for what we consider our personal space, that area around us that we prefer not to be occupied by another person.  Our turf, so to speak.  And when someone invades our comfort zone, we feel uncomfortable and some even react in some negative way. We've all experienced an invader at some time or another. 

For example, last night I rode the train home from work with a co-worker.  While waiting for the train, we had been discussing our reactions to a recent visit by the CEO of our company and how we felt that he was trying to pacify us when we expressed our concerns about our new office space.  When the train arrived, we found two seats across the aisle from each other, and since both of us are older ladies, we both chose to sit rather than carry on our conversation.  Resting our weary tootsies was more important than carrying on with our gossip.  I felt the lady I sat next to stiffen a little and move may 1/2 inch away,  but as soon as my co-worker sat down, the woman in next seat rather hastily jumped to her feet and moved off to the side, all the while glaring at my co-worker for invading what she perceived to be her a violation of her personal space.  

I've had worse happen to me.  I was at the register at a Rite Aid preparing to pay when one of my items fell to the floor.  As I bent to retrieve it, I barely brushed against the lady behind me, and she went off on me.  And when I say she went off, I mean she went off.  She shouted called me all kinds of names and brushed off her arm like I gave her cooties or something. The woman would not stop. Screamed at me until I paid and left the store.Talk about boundary issues!!!  It's actually quite funny when I think of it now, but, at the time, it was pretty embarrassing to say the least.

Now, granted, she was a rather extreme example, and there was obviously something wrong with her, but don't we all do it?  Don't  we all surround ourselves with a protective fence which forms an invisible boundary around us?  It's a perfectly normal human reaction to feel uncomfortable when someone moves into our space.  I know, myself,  when I am seated on the subway and someone squeezes into the seat next to me, I feel my body tighten.  It's an automatic reaction, but it's up to me how I react.  I always take a deep breath and try putting myself in the other person's place;  after all, I have a seat, and there is a seat next to me that is empty,  so why shouldn't they be able to sit?  Why, they've probably had just the same busy day as I have.  Somehow, I always feel better when I trade places with the other person....although, I have to admit,  it can be a little frustrating when the person begins rifling through their bag, eating something, or rattling the newspaper , but that's another story.  There are other things, too, that violate one's personal space.  Here are a few of mine:

I don't know about where you work, but in my place of work it seems we all have our same seats when it comes to lunch or staff meetings.  Even clients seem to sit in the same seats, group after group.  It seems as if I begin to feel strangely homeless when someone takes my seat in our staff meeting or lunch room, and I find myself forced to see elsewhere.  I want to cry out, "That's my seat",  but, the truth is, it is not.
 
Or, how about  when a stranger sits at  your table when other tables are available?  Why do they have to do that?  They don't attempt to chat with you, so they are not trying to be your friend.  They are just invading, pure and simple.
 
Hearing someone's cell phone conversation. On my subway ride home the train comes up out of the tunnel for two stops before diving back down again.  As soon as the first sign of light, people are dialing their phones and talking about what time they will be home or what they are having for dinner.  Who cares?  I have my own worries.  And I especially hate those 'beep beep' things where you hear both sides of the conversation.  Is nothing sacred anymore?
 
Loud people, or music.  Worse yet, why wear headphones if you are going to blast your music so loud that I am going to hear it anyway?
 
Spammers on my blogs.  Oh, do ever feel invaded when that happens.  My blogs are my sacred place.  I don't violate others' space, so please don't do it to mind.  And, with the American Woman Hater making his rounds, I think a lot of us are feeling this way right now.


So, what are some of your pet peeves?
 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Look to This Day

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities
and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of achievement,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
And tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn.

Ancient Sanskrit Poem


Didn't sleep very well last night so thus far today I have been moving around in a fog.   Should have called in sick today.  Don't know why I didn't.  Sometimes I am just a glutton for punishment.   Needless to say, I am here, and I am trying very hard to stay focused on the day as the poem above says, but truth be told, all I can think about is crawling into my bed tonight. 

Hoping you all have a great day.  I'm going to try my best to make the most of mine.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday This and That Plus a Rant


Never in the world does hatred cease
by hatred; hatred ceases by love.

--Buddha--


Another Monday rolls around.  Time is passing by so quickly.  Hard to imagine that July is around the corner.   It will be two years ago on July 4th that I quit smoking, quite an accomplishment for someone who smoked nearly 50 years.  I think of it as my own personal Independence Day.  Anyone out there still smoking, please, think about what you are doing to yourself.  You really can quit if you set your mind to it.

My weekend was far quiet, but busy.  Saturday was spent at the supermarket and slaving over a hot stove.  Sunday was basically spent doing some sorting.  Hubby decided he was going to sort through his clothes and take bag  to the drop box for the poor, and I had quite a few things that I knew just had to go.  I said earlier I was going to be merciless with my tossing this year, and I have stayed true to my word.  So, while it may be quite admirable to set a goal to get back into my size 12 outfits, the truth is,  that by the time, if ever, I get there, they will probably be old enough to rot away.  Hey, I'm being honest.  Let's fact it, these clothes are already a few years old.

Well, this was the weekend that the American Woman Hater found me.  Alas, I know the man is a kook, but he does have a legitimate blog and Facebook page on which he belittles women and has lots of nasty, hateful things to say. If not a nut, then he is obviously a man scorned, a coward who hides behind a line of numbers rather than give his name. If he hasn't been to your blog yet, he will eventually get there because he is making the rounds. 

I don't even think he reads the blogs he puts this pre-written comment on.  Otherwise, I have to believe he wouldn't have posted such disgusting remarks about women on a post that talks about two lovely women who were brutally murdered.  I think that is what had me the angriest.  The guy himself is a joke.  I am also aware of free speech, and this moron has a right to post what he wants on HIS blog, but free speech does not give him the right to infringe on MY blog with his hate mongering speech.   Spam is spam, but, in my opinion, this goes beyond spam.  This guy is preaching hate, pure and simple.


On doing some investigation,  I also discovered that his is not the only hate-filled blog; there are several of them out there, but, as much as I may be appalled at what they have to say, I respect that they are not out there spreading their muck all over the internet.  But this guy, this guy is invading everyone's blog; no one is immune.  I say enough is enough.  Keep your miserable beliefs to yourself.  There are too many women out there who are being abused, stalked, and killed by men who hate women.  All it takes is one man to become obsessed with what he has to say.

I know, many of you may feel I am over-reacting, and I probably  am...but I also AM one of those women who have been abused and stalked by a man who hated women, so this rhetoric has sort of hit home. And if you are not mad enough by now,  I kind of resent being compared to a group of pigs lined up at the bar, don't you?

Let us have love and more love; a love that melts all opposition,
a love that conquers all foes, a love that sweeps away all barriers,
a love that aboundeth in charity, a large-heartedness, tolerance,
forgiveness and noble striving, a love that triumphs over all obstacles.

Abdul Baha

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Most Precious of Gifts

How easily we can forget how precious life is! So long as we can remember, we've just been here, being alive. Unlike other things for which we have a good comparison--black to white, day to night, good to bad--we are so immersed in life that we can see it only in the context of itself. We don't see life as compared to anything, to not-being, for example, to never having been born. Life just is. But life itself is a gift.  It's a compliment just being born: to feel, breathe, think, play, dance, sing, work, make love, for this particular lifetime. Today, let's give thanks for life.  For life itself.  For simply being born! 
--Daphne Rose Kingman--


This past week a horrendous crime has been the topic of the morning and evening news.  A lone gunman walked into a small pharmacy located in the outskirts of Suffolk County and needlessly shot and killed 4 people on Father's Day--the 45  year old pharmacist, the 17 year old clerk who is being buried in the prom dress she never got to wear, a 33 year old customer who is being buried in the wedding dress she never got to wear, and a 71 year old customer.  They say that the shooter did not announce a robbery when he walked in.  If he had, they would have given him the drugs he was after.  He simply shot first.

It only took a matter of days for the police to locate and arrest this fiend and his wife, also an addict, who had driven the getaway car.  Forgive me if I don't understand the senselessness of all this. I know that violence has played a part in our world since the beginning of time...just look at Otzi, the iceman, who is perhaps the first recorded murder in history, 5000 years ago.... but that doesn't answer the question of why there are those who don't value life....because out of all the marvelous wonders in our world, isn't life the most precious gift we have ever received?   So why do some find it so easy to take it away?

We should never take our lives for granted by doing our best to live it to the fullest.  Sometimes that is not so easy, especially when one has many responsibilities, but even so, we need to find the time.  We should never get so wrapped up in the daily grind of living that we don't stop to appreciate the living, breathing world around us! Life is like a treasure, one that should be handled with tenderness, compassion, and love.  Just hearing the story above is a sad reminder of how fast unforeseen circumstances can befall us, and life can be snatched away so quickly.  We have to treasure and make the most of every moment.

May you all have a weekend filled with love and joy.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sun Enters Cancer

Symbol: Crab
Ruling Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Basic Trait: I Feel
Closest Metal: Silver
Lucky Gems: Moonstone

On June 22nd the Sun entered the astrological sign of Cancer, a Cardinal Water sign. Cancer, the fourth sign of the Zodiac is ruled by the Moon, the great mother element astrologically. It is considered a feminine or negative sign, meaning it is more introverted, and because it is the fourth sign, it is related to the fourth house, the house of home, of the mother. The astrological symbol for Cancer is said to represent the claws of the crab, or else breasts, to symbolise motherhood and the link with the moon. 

The star constellation of Cancer is a Northern constellation that lies between Gemini and Leo.  Cancer oversees the change into Summer in the Northern hemisphere, and Winter in the Southern hemisphere.  And as the sign of the Summer Solstice, it represents the sun at its highest elevation; hence, it was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven and 'the Gate of Men' or 'the Gate of Birth'; it is the door through which souls descended in human bodies from heaven to the earth.   The choice of the crab to symbolize the constellation goes far back in time to the Chaldean stargazers  who named it thus because the crab is an animal that walks backward or obliquely.  

The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese knew Cancer as a tortoise,  while the later Egyptians  represented this sign as a scarab, the beetle, emblematic of immortality which possessed the power of the perpetual renewal of life.  Egyptian mummies often had the carving of the scarab in place of the heart.  The Roman goddess, Diana, was sometimes represented with the figure of a crab.

In Greek mythology, the crab was placed in the sky by the goddess, Hera, who raised it in the skies as a reward for its bravery.  According to the tale, Hera had sworn to kill Hercules, the most famous Greek hero, and had attempted to kill him in many different ways, but each time his incredible physical strength allowed him to survive.  Eventually, she cast a spell of madness on him, causing him to commit a great crime. In order to be forgiven, he had to perform twelve difficult tasks. One of these tasks was destroying the terrible nine-headed water-serpent, Hydra.  It was during the battle between Hercules and Hydra, that Hera sent a giant crab to aid the serpent, but Hercules with his super human strength,  killed the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. As a reward for its service, Hera placed the crab's image in the night sky.

Cancer represents love of home, love of family, love of the domestic, love of the old or antique and tend to surround themselves with keepsakes of importance and sentimental value, this being why they tend to hang onto things for the span of years.  And, although they appear tough and thick-skinned on the outside, they are actually gentle, passionate, and caring on the inside.  Cancer is one of the most sensitive and emotional signs in the Zodiac and are well-known for their ability to nurture others.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And the Summer Begins

"The question, "Which is the happiest season of life?" was asked of an aged man.  And he replied: "When spring comes, and in the soft air the buds are breaking on the trees, and they are covered with blossoms, I think, 'How beautiful is spring'; and when summer comes and covers the trees with its heavy foliage, and singing birds are among the branches, I think, 'How beautiful is summer.' When autumn loads them with golden fruit, and their leaves bear the gorgeous tint of frost, I think, 'How beautiful is autumn.' And when it is severe winter, and there is neither foliage nor fruit, then I look up through the leafless branches as I never could until now, and see the stars shine in God's home."- Source Unknown


I had a wonderful Midsummer despite the fact that I had to work.  On  Midsummer's Eve,  after burying my herbs in the ground along with my troubles and setting out a few little cakes for the fair folk, I sat quietly outside in the dark until the wee hours of morn...just marveling at the magnificent universe above.  I knew I was going to feel it yesterday, but I just couldn't seem to pull myself away, and yes, I was so, so tired when that alarm went off, but feeling so much at peace with myself.

I'm not gonna lie.  Work was a struggle.  Once I ate my breakfast, my eyes just wanted to shut, and I wondered why I hadn't just called in sick for the day.  I'm kind of lucky where I work in that we are allowed to burn incense and scented candles, so shortly before Solstice I lit a lavender scented candle, closed my eyes, and quietly said a prayer welcoming the new season.  No one asked what I was doing.  And I didn't care if they did.  They all know that I am a Druid and pretty much know all about my beliefs.


Later that night after a light dinner of chicken and a salad, I chopped up some watermelon for dessert.  I have to tell you, though, my mouth was watering for our traditional strawberry shortcake dessert, but the fact is, I've not been doing well on my diet, and I am pretty much ashamed of my lack of will power. 

And then, it was off to bed, very early.  Forget about White Collar and Covert Affairs.  I'll see the reruns on Saturday.

So, tell me dear friends, how did you spend your Solstice?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Gods and Goddesses of Midsummer


Here, in the Northern hemisphere, the Summer Solstice marks the middle of summer when the sun reaches its most northerly position in the sky and this day, about June 21st in our calendar, has been celebrated by many cultures throughout the ages. This is the time when we experience  the longest day and the shortest night; in the Southern hemisphere, it is just the opposite.  It is their longest night. 

This day is to celebrate the Sun, to celebrate the life, and many cultures throughout the world celebrate the summer season.  Light was believed to be sacred, and the sun was considered a god. And because our ancestors needed a way to explain natural occurrences of the world,  myths evolved of powerful beings who were able to control the cycles of day and night...and you all know how much I love my mythology.  The following are a few of the gods and goddesses of the season.

Helios is the Roman god of the Sun.   He is depicted as a handsome young man with a halo who drives his chariot across the sky from his palace in the East to another in the West.   It is said that as each night ends, his sister, Eos (Dawn), threw open the eastern gates of the sky, and the golden chariot of Helios rolled out.  Once he appears,  Eos changes to the goddess Hemera (Day) and travels with him across the sky until, becoming Hespera, she announces their safe arrival on the western shores of Oceanus.

The Egyptian Sun god was Ra, the shining one, who was said to travel through the sky in a solar barge by day, pass through the Underworld, and then rise again from the water in the East each morning.  The Sun god, Surya, was is one of the three chief gods in the Vedas.  He is considered the celestial form of fire and the source of life who arose from the eye of the world giant, Purusa; he is the husband of the dawn.  The Egyptian

god, Osiris, was born at the Summer Solstice and died at the Winter Solstice, when processions went round the temple seeking him, seven times. Anubis was the personification of the Summer Solstice, and Ap-uat of the Winter Solstice.

The Inca believed that silver was made of tears from the moon and gold was created by sweat from the sun. As well as being the Sun god, Inti was the state god and the ancestor of the Inca people.  Inti was represented as a gold disc with a human face and sunbeams radiating out from it. According to Aztec myth, the Sun god of the spring and summer, Huitzilopochtli was responsible for driving back the darkness at the start of each day.

In the mythology of the Celts, the deities associated with the sun are Grannos, Grianainech or Ogma, Belenos, and Lugh, all masculine figures. Lugh,whose name means brilliant one, was skilled in all the arts and crafts. Grannos, an important healing deity among the Celts, was connected with the curative powers the sun instilled in the waters when it descended beneath the earth at night. The ancient Irish god, Ogma, had the title Grianainech, 'the Sun Splendid'  The Sun, in its aspect as the healing sun god, Belenos, protected the hot spring areas; the sun itself was seen as the source of heat for these springs, heating them up as it passed underneath the earth on its nightly journey.

Besides being a sun god, Freyr was a god of love and peace, of happiness and good luck.. Freyr is the most important and the most beautiful of the male Norse Gods and is also called the God of the WorldHe rides a chariot pulled a golden boar. In Norse mythology, the sun goddess Sol is pulled travels across the heavens each day in a chariot drawn by two horses with manes of fire.   She is pursued by a wolf named SkollKupala was the Slavic goddess of the Midsummer.  The water mother, She is associated with trees, herbs, sorcery, and flowers.  Her celebration falls upon the Summer Solstice.  

The Arunta people of Australia worship Sun Woman, and the major Japanese deity is the sun goddess, Amaterasu.  It is said that, when she was born it was like the sun rising in the east. Malina is the sun goddess of the Innuit people.  Her brother, Armingan , is the moon god who lusts after her and continually chases her across the sky.  And finally, the aboriginal sun goddess of the Wotjabaluk people of southeast Australia is Gnowee, the Brilliant One, who roams Earth carrying a huge torch, lighting the way for all people on Earth. 


"See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow'rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown'd with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew,
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats,
The mossy fountains, and the green retreats!
Where-e'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade,
Where-e'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes."
-  Alexander Pope, Summer-


Blessings to all on this most special day.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Midsummer's Eve


Midsummer Eve.  Also known as St. John’s Day, Midsummer was Shakespeare’s term for it; Wiccans refer to it as Litha. Such a special time of the year. The Summer Solstice is a very important event for many people around the world.  Its name comes from, Sol, meaning Sun and Stice, meaning to stand still, which is what it appears to be doing in the sky.  The Solstice heralds the longest day of the year and the shortest night of the entire year; it is  the midpoint of the summer season and is still celebrated by many people throughout the world, with the Northern hemisphere celebrating in June while at the same time, in the Southern hemisphere, the celebrating is occurring in December.

During the Summer Solstice our ancestors celebrated the Sun and its cleansing powers. This was done by lighting huge bonfires and jumping over them on Midsummer's Eve. It was believed that the fire would help keep the sun alive and  that by doing that, one could protect themselves  from evil spirits for the whole year.  Indeed, the our ancestors considered the night before the Solstice was considered to be a special magic night when all bad creatures were free to roam the world..

Girls made wreaths and released them in the waters to see if they would swim or sink. According to the wreath's behavior,  a girl knew if she would find a husband in the coming year.  Morning dew was considered to cure a lot of ailments, and also, after this night, swimming in the rivers, creeks and seas was considered safe. The ancient Druids believed that this day was a marriage between Heaven and Earth, thus the belief that June weddings are lucky. They gathered at spiritual places or on Holy Ground to celebrate...

...and, speaking as a Druid, this will be an especially exciting Solstice as this year the Druids in England will be celebrating it for the first time as a mainstream faith; hence, when the white-robed Druids gather at Stonehenge, they will be worshipping at the prehistoric stone circle monument as members of an established religion under British law. This new classification , a huge step forward, means that members of the ancient Pagan tradition now have mainstream status equal to the Church of England.

It really is a magical time for which we should all be grateful, for it is a time of renewed life in nature and in life itself. It is a time to celebrate the light and life in its fullest. The Summer Solstice shows us how to connect with the past and appreciate the present through simple celebrations.  Anything that brings you closer to the connection with nature and fills your spirit with connection to the ancient guardians of tradition will make good ways to celebrate the Solstice.  The following are some of my favorites.

Stay up from sunset on Midsummer's Eve to sunrise on Midsummer's Day.  There was a time when I loved doing this, especially when I was young and in the country.  We had a large open porch with a swing seat, and I would sit there waiting for sunrise to go to bed.
Adorn your hair with a flower.

Do some kind of divination, and have everyone pick a rune, for the coming year, and read its meaning.

 
Have a dessert of Strawberry Shortcake or Watermelon.  As much as I will miss my shortcake, this year will be watermelon in honor of my WW diet.

Put out some honey and cream for the fairy folk.  

Enjoy the birds, and if you're lucky enough to have hummingbirds, take the time to enjoy these magnificent creatures.  

Summer flowers and sun colored decorations of gold, red, and orange should be much in evidence.

Gather a few summer herbs into a pouch. Hold the pouch in both hands and mentally pour into it all your ills, sorrows, and troubles. Bury the pouch in the ground where you can never dig it up and bring the contents back into your life.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here's a Mystery For YA


I usually take the weekend off from blogging, but this couldn't wait.  Actually, it is because I get to the computer to late in the afternoon, as today, because my son works into the wee hours of the morn, and he sleeps in the room where my computer is.  I know, I am too nice.  Can't move it out of the room, either.  No place else to put it.  This house isn't wired too tough, not enough outlets.   But, this has nothing to do with my mystery.

When I first began blogging, all comments were immediately posted.  I trusted everyone to write something nice.  I know, myself, if I don't have something nice to say, I won't say anything at all.  So it was that one day I discovered a troll had posted some rather judgmental remarks on three of my blogs.  It was then that I learned that how to monitor comments so nonsense wasn't posted.  Along with that, I also learned how to have comments appear on my Yahoo email as well....and the mystery begins.

I have basic internet on my cell phone and  am able to check my mail.  Today, thought, the strangest thing occurred. When I retrieve messages on my cell phone, it is the names of the commentors that  appear and below it will say they had commented to Moontides.  There were two there this morning...my friend, Dede, and the other from my friend, Rue.  Now, mind you,  Rue's comment had already appeared a few days ago, but now it was back.  Now, here is the mystery.  When I clicked on the names, they disappeared and all it said was 'No Message.' Not mysterious in the least, BUT the date on these messages was Wednesday, December 31, 1969 at 7pm.

Now, how strange is that??? Now, not only did Blogger and Google not exist back then, but neither did Cell Phones, Yahoo or the internet. Where did this come from, and what the heck does it mean? I am so totally confused. It only happened with those two names, no one else. I have a folder with Blogger comments I save and tried a few names. This didn't happen with anyone else, and just for the heck of it, I went back and tried them again. Same response. Was either blogger even born at that time? I don't know. Does this mean there is some kind of connection between us that happened in another time and place? I have no answers for this one. Anyone have any suggestions? I've always loved a good mystery, but I am clueless on this one. 




*A couple things I forgot to mention.  My computer hasn't been hacked, thank goodness...and these messages appear fine when read from the computer.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Branching

Those little nimble musicians of the air that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. --Izaak Walton



As another Friday rolls around, I am preparing for a quiet weekend.  Rain showers are headed this way so it sounds like a good weekend to sleep in.  I've nothing planned so it will be pretty much a play it by ear weekend.  We had some heavy storms during the night, but they are pretty much cleared out of here. 

This morning as I walked to the train station, the world around me was alive with song.  It's such a blessing listening to the sounds of the birds trilling their songs.  Such a delight to hear them chirp, sending messages to each other through the air.   Everyone has heard birds sing, but not everyone pays much attention to them. Try it for a moment.   Listen to the sounds.


This year I have been blessed with a bird's eye view of nature at her best.  Yesterday I watched as one by the little eaglets branched.  Branching means going from the nest to branches, then back to the nest.  The next step is fledging, and by next week they will be gone.  Watching them grow has been has been quite the experience watching mommy and daddy as they took care of their young.  It's exciting for them to do this, and I knew this day was coming, but I'm not ready to lose them yet.  I'm happy and sad at the same time.


The other day I was watching, and they had a nasty storm.  The tree and the nest were blowing back and forth.  The eaglets had been in the midst of prancing about and exercising their wings when from a distance they heard mom's call.  The three of them immediately stopped what they were doing, moved towards the middle of the nest, and hunkered down to ride out the storm.  Nature truly is amazing.  


Yes, it has been quite an experience, and through the great mods on both the Decorah Eagle site and Phoebe's Place, I have learned so much about eagles and hummingbirds...the smallest of birds to the largest of birds.  Life truly is amazing. I am so thankful that  I had this opportunity to witness this miracle of life.

Fly free my feathered friends and enjoy the world that is awaiting you.

HE clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
--Alfred Lord Tennyson--



May you all have a beautiful, joy-filled weekend.
 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


"Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
How beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness
There is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with
The music of many leaves,
Which in due season fall and are blown away.
And this is the way of life."

- Krishnamurti -
Nature, with Her changing seasons,  provides us many revelations; sometimes they are hidden, so subtle that we do not see, and other times they can be very much apparent and out in the open.  And, just as the 
seasons of the year change, so does the seasons of our lives.  Life is a wonderful journey, and as we travel through, we will experience many seasons.  Some will be difficult, others will be quite easy.  Some will be seasons of sorrow while others will be seasons of joy.  Every season should be treasured, whether it holds joyous moments or difficult trials, for each season of our lives is a precious gift.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Full Moon Eclipse in Sagittarius

Above the tower -- a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.

Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light! 
--Tu Fu--


This Full Moon was known as the Mead Moon in Old England. Mead is the nectar of the gods. The Mead Moon was the month when the honey was gathered and the golden mead wine was prepared and set to barrels.  The appearance of the full, round Mead Moon heralds the end of fertility and the beginning of life anew.  In Europe, this Full Moon was known as the Honey Moon.  Some traditions call this Rose Moon as roses begin blooming this month.

The Indian name for June means Strawberry Moon, so called by Native American tribes of New England and the Great Lakes because at this time of the year the strawberry ripened..  Among the Cherokees, it is the Green Corn Moon.  This Moon is also known as the  Moon of Horses, Lover's Moon, and the Strong Sun Moon.

This Full Moon will be in Sagittarius and will be the second eclipse in the triad of eclipses. The energy of the moon is about emotions, relationships, and psychic energy.   Sagittarius deals with inspiration and flashes of insight.  The Sun in Gemini symbolizes reason.   At this time, you may find yourself beginning to question where you are going and how you plan to reach your desired goals...or whether this is really where you want to go.  Of course, the Full Moon also represents endings, so this can be a very emotional time, possibly having to do with endings of some kind.

Furthermore, since this will be a Full Moon Eclipse, the Moon will be hidden in the shadow of the Earth, and as the Moon represents your unconscious, you may find yourself facing and examining what has been hidden, beliefs and motivations.   Take some time to examine the people, things, and emotional attachments in your life. Do you see them as positive or negative?   Although difficult, this is a time to release old beliefs that no longer serve you.

Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.

--Emily Bronte--

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Audit Time...Crunch, Crunch

The successful person is the
individual who forms the habit
of doing what the failing
person doesn't like to do.

Donald Riggs


Surprise, surprise.  That's what our state funding source, OASAS, said yesterday when they showed up to audit our charts....five months early.  They are not due until November, but this is the way they try to get you.  With funding getting tight, they are pulling these spot audits to see who can hack it and who can't.  They're not stupid; they know that early in November our agency would be scrambling to get the charts together, so let's catch them on the sly.  

As I watched my office mate scramble about trying to get her charts in order, I had to breathe a sigh of relief because my work ethics are totally different.  I am paid to do a job, and I do it to the best of my ability. Don't get me wrong.  I love the counseling part of it, love working with the clients, and seeing a client succeed is all the reward I need.  But, alas, paperwork is a huge chunk of the job.  It shows the auditors what we are doing, how we are working with any given client...and if the paperwork is not up to par. they either pull the funding or give the agency a 6 month license, the lowest you can get, and if in 6 months there is no improvement, then they will pull your license. I'm just glad my charts are all in order and ready to go....

....and my bosses know this, so when they asked for a third chart from my office mate's caseload, my boss offered another of my charts instead.  He's always done that, even at the other job; he has always used my charts to cover for her shoddy work.  Talk about enabling someone. It angers me, yes, but, hey, I want to pass this audit.  This is my livelihood we are talking about.  

Just to show you the kind of insanity I work with, I just have to share this one with you.  It has to do with our illustrious nurse.  I think I have mentioned her before.  This is a person who still believes that you have to be careful because you can catch HIV from drinking from someone's glass, and once advised me to put hot compresses on an eye infection.  Heat spreads infection.  Even I know that.   I swear, it scares me sometimes that our clients trust her and go to her for advice. 

Well, it seems that she had not done the nursing assessment on my client, and if she had, it wasn't in the chart.  She had lost it.  So, I am working with her to complete a medical assessment so we can avoid a citation.  The client has been here since October so I know her very well.  We come to the question, "Does client practice safe sex?"  Mind you, the question does not ask, "Has patient 'always; practiced safe sex?"  

I tell the nurse to respond, "Yes, she does".  After all, the client has told me a number of times that she doesn't want another child and always makes sure that her partner uses protection. 

The nurse tells me, "No she doesn't.  She had a child.  If she was practicing save sex, she wouldn't have gotten pregnant."  

I respond, "But she had the baby six years ago when she was still with her husband.  Since that time she has been practicing safe sex."   

"No, no, no,"  she argues.  "I don't want them to question my license.  If they see she had a baby, and I say she practices safe sex, how would that look for me?"

By now, I am speechless.  I mean, how dumb can one be!  Heck, if that were the case, there wouldn't be a soul here on earth who practices safe sex.  I decide to try again.  "But this question is asking about NOW, not six years ago.  What is the client doing now?"  

In one ear and out the other.  Not worth arguing about.  Who am I to question the Nurse?  After all, she is the medical professional...or, at least she is supposed to be.  I'm just wondering where she bought her license because I want one.  

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand,
and the determination that whether we win or lose,
we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. 
--Vince Lombardi--

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Ramble

The insight we gain from solitude has very little to do with
the amount of time we spend alone. It has a lot more to do
with the quality of time we spend with ourselves.

Jan Johnson Drantell



I had a very quiet weekend. After a busy day on Saturday, shopping and cooking, I took full advantage of my Sunday. Slept in until 10:30 (late for me), then did some reading, watched a few episodes of Law and Order, and eventually put in a DVD I had recently bought about Ireland. And all through the day, I lounged in my jammies. I ate, yes, but made sure it was healthy food which kept me on my WW count.


Earlier in the morning, hubby had gotten a call about his son and had to go try to talk some sense into the kid before he winds up back to the hospital.  I don't know if I had mentioned this before, but his son's mom and grandmother both had schizophrenia, and the kid has inherited it. He refuses to comply with his medications and has been in and out of hospitals for the past 10 years. We tried having him live with us for awhile, but within a week, he had stopped his medications. Now, he lives in a supervised mental health residence, and even they cannot get him to take his medication. Sadly, I feel this will be the way he spends the rest of his life; he is only 27, but now, even on medication, has difficulty functioning.  I know this bothers hubby a lot more than he lets on. He knows that I am there for him it he wants to talk, but I don't push.
 
Needless to say, my son went to a friend's house for the day, and I found myself alone on a Sunday....not that I am complaining. In my opinion, there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. Some people can live comfortably with their aloneness, while others perceive the feeling as loneliness. I guess being an only child has taught me well.  Lately, I've been thinking about that a lot.

It's that time of the year that my co-workers as they busily prepare for graduations and weddings,  and I must admit, I have felt a tinge of regret whenever they mention their siblings and their parents for, aside from some distant relatives I've met through my Family Tree, I've no one left.  I never had that brother to watch over me, or that sister I could go to with my problems.  I know, it's always peaches and cream with siblings, but right about now, I wonder what it may have been like.  


When people find out I am an only child they usually say, "Oh, you must have been spoiled."  How little they know that it can be rougher on us than those who were raised in a large family, but one thing you do learn is how to improvise.  We learn to devise our own games and solitary pastimes, and although we may be the center of our parents' attention, it may not be the kind of attention that we really want.   While we may be craving for love and affection, we are, instead, flooded with material goods such as toys and clothing.  Yes, as an only child, my Christmases were filled with more gifts than any child could possibly want, but what I needed was to know that my life mattered, that I wasn't alone, that I was loved.

There were many times in my life, until I was left alone, that I wished for solitude. I now find that I love solitude. I never had the blessed gift of being alone until the last of my loved ones was wrested from me. Now I can go sometimes for days and days without seeing anyone. I'm not entirely alone, because I listen to the radio and read the newspapers. I love to read. That is my greatest new luxury, having the time to read. And oh, the little things I find to do to make the days, as I say, much too short.

Solitude--walking alone, doing things alone--is the most blessed thing in the world. The mind relaxes and thoughts begin to flow and I think I am beginning to find myself a little bit.

--Helen Hayes--



Friday, June 10, 2011

A Prayer in Spring



Oh give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

--Robert Frost-- 

Well, Spring is just about gone, and Summer will soon be here to take her place....although, for many of us, Summer has already blessing us with Her heat.  Be careful this weekend, and if you 'must' be out in this heat, be sure to take care of yourself.  Heatstroke is no joke.


Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend filled with love and joy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hope



When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light,
for your life and strength.  Give thanks for your food and the joy
of living.  If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

--Tecumseh--


Yesterday when I was running my Early Recovery group one of the clients began speaking of his life.  A new client in his 50's, and in very early recovery, he was obviously missing his drug when he spoke about how lost he feels right now.  He then spoke about  how hopeless he was feeling because he had thrown so many years of his life away.  And then the other members of the group chided in and spoke to him about being grateful for waking up in the morning and how it is never too late to start over.  And several members of the group began to tell their stories and spoke of their hopes and dreams for the future, and he listened.  We spoke about having hope and never giving up and it was sinking in.  And when I finally saw a smile come to his face, I knew.  He was willing to go for that second chances.

And after the group was over, I thought about my own life and how many times I could have given up, but rested on hope to carry me through...and it never let me down.  Without hope, there can be no success.  I keep that up front in my own life, and although tough times may get me down for awhile, hope always helps me to rise again.  This is something I always work to instill in my clients ....we must never give up.

It's going to be hot here today...pretty darned hot.  They are predicting 100 degrees, a record breaker for June.  Kind of scares me about what we might be in for this year.  Stay cool, drink plenty of fluids, and take care of yourselves.  

You've gotta have hope.
Without hope life is meaningless.
Without hope life is meaning less and less.
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Tests of the Sea


These are the tests of the sea: The third wave is for courage, the sixth wave is for perserverance, The ninth wave is for surrender.--Lunaea Weatherstone




I love the ocean and feel blessed to live so near to the Atlantic.  I love going out to the boardwalk and looking out across the blue green waters , seeing the never ending rush of the waves and how the sky seems to connect with them in the distances with the water reminds me of life as a never-ending cycle.  

Waves are a metaphor for our lives which can appear to mirror the changing of the tides and the calmness and storms of the sea by appearing cool, calm, and inviting an at other times, seemingly out of control, spinning in many different directions at once.  Seek to strengthen your ocean waves; make them powerful, but always kind.  

By the way my blogging friends.  Blogger has been giving me some difficulty when I try to comment.  Not the same problem some of you have recently have, but when I go to post my comment it says Service Not Available, Error Number .....I did manage to get a couple of comments through before it started. Let's hope it doesn't last too long.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June

"In these divine pleasures permitted to me of walks in the June night under moon and stars, I can put my life as a fact before me and stand aloof from its honor and shame."-  Ralph Waldo Emerson



June the sixth month of the year, was originally the fourth month in the ancient Roman calendar and originally only had 26 days. On the Roman calendar, it was considered the fourth month and had only 29 days. Julius Caesar gave the month 30 days in 46 B.C., when he reformed the Roman calendar.

The month of June, sacred to the goddess Juno, the Roman mother goddess.  She is ruler of the high point of year, when there is maximum light and minimum darkness (in the Northern Hemisphere). Juno was the special deity of women and the goddess of marriage and childbirth. The Romans held her annual festival on June 1st.  In Roman times, couples wanted to start their lives together under her protection; hence, the beginning of June weddings.

At this time, young ladies were often anxious to discover their future lover.  One method of divination they used was to wet a clean shift, turn it inside out, and then hang it on the buck of a chair before the fire. Thus magically summoned, the girl's lover was guaranteed to make his appearance.

Another, not less potent in its result, was to tie one's garter nine times round the bed-post, and to tie nine knots in it, saying to oneself all the while;
This knot I knit, this knot I tie,
To see my lover as he goes by
Id his apparel and array,
As he walks in every day.

The Celts believed this was the time associated with healing of the body and of the spirit.  An important part of the healing process was to use herbs which were used both as preventive medicines and as remedies for sickness. Midsummer has always been the most important time of year to gather magical herbs. On this day, herbs are harvested, for food, medicine and magick. In Celtic belief, the healing powers were believed to be directly linked to their Gods.

June is the month of roses, and this flower being the emblem of love and beauty, was perhaps the reason why the Romans considered June the most auspicious month in which to be married.   

According Greek mythology, the rose was created by the goddess, Chloris, who found the lifeless body of a nymph in the forest and asked the gods and goddesses for help. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, gave her beauty; Dionysus added nectar to give her a sweet scent, and the three Graces gave her charm, brightness and joy. Zephyr, the West Wind, blew the clouds away for Apollo to shine on her and make her bloom. Cupid, however, was shooting his arrows at some bees that had stung him and missed his mark. His arrows became the thorns. This, say the Greeks, is how the rose came to be.

Roses are of special importance on Midsummer's Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer's Eve, or Midsummer's Day will keep fresh until Christmas.  The birthstone for June is the Pearl. Pearls signify purity and innocence and over time have even been called “teardrops of the moon”.

June is a time for harvest and mythical beliefs. It is the time which since ancient times was thought to herald good luck with his coming.  The month of June is mentioned in many European countries’ folklore. Some myths associated with June are that if bats are seen flying on a June evening, it means that hot weather is surely coming. Another is that if swallows are seen to fly near the ground, it means that rain is coming.  There is an old saying that a swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon. This may also be taken to mean that if there is to be a long harvest, good weather is needed in June. Another saying is a calm June puts the farmer in tune.

On or about June 21, the northern Summer Solstice will occur, and in the south, will be the shortest day (Winter Solstice)

By the way, I did some blog cleaning when I was sick.  Got rid of those that never took off.  By taking off, I don't mean the number of followers.  I mean blogs I started off all gung ho about and then ran out of stem, blogs that have sat there for months.  The Egyptian blog was becoming more of a chore than it was fun.  

Speaking of fun, I have started a new blog.  I've so many fun memories to share that I have started a blog that so far has been a joy, a real trip down Memory Lane.  It's for all of us Baby Boomers out there and then some.  Check it out at Remember When....

"It's beautiful the Summer month of June
When all of God's own wildflowers are in bloom
And sun shines brightly most part of the day
And butterflies o'er lush green meadows play.

Light hearted skylark songster of the wing
High o'er the quiet and lonely moorland sing
Above her nest cloaked by the tangled heath
Her charming song so exquisitely sweet.

So mellow the gentle breath of june day breeze
The birds rejoicing on the leafy trees
And dappled trout in pool bed of the stream
Bask in the sun their spotted skins agleam."
-  Francis Duggan, June

Monday, June 6, 2011

Well, the Nightmare is Over


Was planning on a one sentence statement saying that the mattress was gone, but it was like the nightmare that just didn't want to die.  Took some cajoling and pleading on my part, but I finally elicited enough pity from the garbageman to have the dreaded thing picked up.  Here is how my Saturday morning went.

As you know, I was afraid to put the covers on and put the mattresses to the curb overnight for fear that someone might steal them, and this time, I might not be so lucky and get that $100 ticket.  So, on a sleep late Saturday morn, I set the alarm for six, and hubby and I were going to go out, put the covers on, and put the mattresses out to the curb.  Well, instead, son got up at 5:30 and did it for me.  

Son had to go into work early to prepare for the catering of a huge party, so I took my coffee out to the front porch.  I really wasn't happy about being up so early on a Saturday, but I must say, it was actually quite pleasant out there, and I did enjoy that bit of quietude.  Weekend morns can be quite peaceful and serene, even here in Brooklyn, New York.

Finished my coffee and ran quickly into the house to use the bathroom and rinse my cup.  Life was beginning to stir on the streets, so I didn't want to leave the mattresses alone for too long. Still shake my head when I think about having to babysit my garbage.  Is this where the economy has brought us?

Well, I am only inside a few minutes...enough to tinkle and rinse the cup.  I step outside, for a moment, I stand there overcome with shock. In that short time, the truck had passed, and the mattresses, in their covers, were still sitting there. What the heck!!!!  Fortunately, the truck had not gotten very far, so my adrenaline kicked in, and I raced down the block after them.

'What about my mattresses? ' I ask.  'How come they weren't picked up?'

'You have the wrong cover on them,' the handsome young man replied.  'What you have is a regular mattress cover.  You need a bedbug cover.'

Now mind you, a bedbug cover can run up to $100.  Hubby bought one for our new mattress, and they gave him a break, $50.  They don't come cheap....and here I was complaining about $12.  Now I kick it up a gear.  I want to scream out in frustration, but that never works.  Time for a play on  little sympathy here.  After all, there is rain in the forecast and can't have those mattresses sit out in the rain...and I definitely cannot keep buying covers and REFUSE to spend all that money for a bedbug cover which is only going to be chopped up in the garbage truck.

'But they keep stealing the covers.  This was just put on this morning.  That's why I am out here so early on my day off....I am babysitting the garbage.'  A few tears don't hurt, at this point.  'You just don't know what I have been through trying to get rid of these mattresses. I just don't know what to do. I am getting so stressed out; it's making me sick.'

At this point, he chuckles and takes pity on me.  'Stealing them?'  he asks.  I nod 'yes''I'll take them for you.  You don't have bedbugs, do you?'

'Oh, gosh no.  Please don't wish that on me.  And, I am forever grateful for your kindness.'

He signals for the truck to back up.  I breathe a sigh of relief as I watch as the mattresses disappear into the truck.  Nightmare finally over.

I tell hubby that I sure do hope the new mattress is durable because I don't plan on trying to dispose of another mattress any time soon.  The nightmare was over.  Now, I have to find out how to get rid of my old microwave, but I think I will wait a little on that one.  Oh well, it was my choice to live in the city, wasn't it?

Hope you all have a great day.  I've the last of those boring trainings this afternoon.  There is something to celebrate after all.