Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blessed Samhain


Today's the party and I am so excited.  66 years old and never been to a Halloween party.  This is also the day that the veils to the Otherworld are lifted, and we remember and honor our ancestors.  And for many of us, we also remember the Halloween of our our youth and bygone times when all the world was magical...once upon a time.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time rare flowers grew
 On every shrub and bush we used to see;
The skies above our heads were always blue,
The woods held secrets deep for you and me;
 The hillsides had their caves where tales were told
 Of swart-cheeked pirates from a far-off clime,
When cutlases were fierce and rovers bold -
Don't you remember? - Once upon a time.

Once upon a time from sun to sun
The hours were full of joy - there was no care,
And webs of gaudy dreams in air were spun
 Of deeds heroic and of fortunes fair;
The jangling schoolhouse bell was all the woe
Our spirits knew, and in its tuneless chime.
Was all the sorrow of the long ago-
 Don't you remember? - Once upon a time.

Once upon a time the witches rode
 In sinister and ominous parade
Upon their sticks at night, and queer lights glowed
With eerie noises by the goblins made;
And many things mysterious there were .
For boyish cheeks to pale at through the grime
 That held them brown; and shadows queer would stir-
Don't you remember? - Once upon a time.

Once upon a time our faith was vast
 To compass all the things on sea and land
That boys have trembled o'er for ages past,
Nor ever could explain or understand,
And in that faith found happiness too deep
 For all the gifted tongues of prose or rime,
And joys ineffable we could not keep -
 Don't you remember? - Once upon a time.


James W. Foley 1905

May you all have a Blessed Samhain.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yippee!!! It's Almost Here

Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October’s days.  

Author Unknown
Tomorrow is the big day, the day we have all been anxiously awaiting for awhile now as well as the first  Halloween party I have ever attended. I was listening to the news this morning and the newscasters were talking old memories. Brought up some fond thoughts for me.  Tonight is mischief night, and I remember ringing doorbells and running off. That was a big thing for us.  The 'bad kids' soaped up cars. We just contented ourselves with annoying our neighbors.

My day will be somewhat different than originally planned, but even the best laid plans must leave room for change.  I will be attending the holiday party at the Center, of course, but I'll not be cooking that elaborate meal of dishes from around the world that I had originally planned.   Indeed, how did I think I was ever going to get it all done--attend a party most of the day, then come home and do all this cooking?  I'm not that spring chicken who can do it all anymore.  Instead what we will have is an old family favorite.  I grew up on Hungarian Goulash, and I totally love it.  I've all the ingredients handy, and it doesn't take much to throw it together.  I think grandma will be pleased. She is the one who taught me how to make it.

On Friday evening I am planning  to attend an All Souls service at the Church.  What a great way to honor my ancestors!  This is also a 'first' for me.  I have no idea what to expect.  I do hope they have some music.  They didn't for the healing ceremony, and I do understand.  That was a more solemn event.  But this, All Souls, I look at as a celebration of their lives and not a time to mourn. Needless to say, I still plan on having my own little celebration of their lives on the eve of the 31st.  
This will be it for my Halloween costume. I didn't go all out and buy a complete costume.   With some black pants and a black striped shirt, I will be fine. 
 When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

Wishing you all a great day.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Brooklyn

 “Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true and was it that she, Francie, was the dreamer?” 

Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Did you know that Brooklyn  is the most populated of New York City's five boroughs? Indeed it is, and I love it here. You will often hear me say I wish I were living in the country, and that is the truth, but we cannot always have what we want, so, since I have to live in the city,  I am so glad it is Brooklyn.  When asked, I often say that I have the best of both worlds at my fingertips.  I am minutes away from the maddening rush of the city with its myriad of restaurants and Broadway plays, but I can also enjoy the charm of a tree-lined Brooklyn Street.

My German ancestors settled here when they first arrived in America in the early 1800's. Back then, Brooklyn was its own independent city; in fact, it wasn't until 1898 that it became a part of New York City. The first of my ancestors, John Hoffman, b. 1823 in Saxony, Germany, was a shoemaker.  His wife, Catherine, was born in Hesse.  His son John, b. 1843 in Brooklyn, was a carpenter.  His wife, Mary, was born in Ohio. Their son, John, b. 1869 in Brooklyn, was a fireman.  His brother was a police officer. They lived and died here, and sometimes, when I walk these streets of Brooklyn, I feel that this part of the family has come full circle.

So, moving on, graffiti has always been a problem in the city.  It's not as bad now as it once was, and some graffiti artists are so talented that stores actually hire them to showcase their work as in the following which appears on the outer walls of a Rite Aid not far from my home... 
This  is one of those old brownstones Brooklyn is famous for. My ancestors most likely lived in a building just like this.  Notice the alarm on top, the red and white sign offering instructions in case of a fire,  and the water  spigot?  They are all part of the building.
This is the new sports arena in downtown Brooklyn.  It sure is giving Madison Square Garden a run for its money.
The world famous cyclone, the father of all roller coasters.  It may not be the oldest or the tallest of all the coasters, but it sure is the most famous. It's a rickety old thing, and in my heyday I sure would have enjoyed a ride, but today I am content to just stand and watch.
Along with the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel is a centerpiece at Coney Island.  Despite Sandy, it continues to stand as a testament to old Coney Island.  The cars actually swing, so you know I have never been on it, but I can imagine that my ancestors must have when they were out for a Saturday of fun.
And finally, what I believe my be the most famous bridge in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge in the United States. Completed in 1883, it spans the East River and  connects Brooklyn with Manhattan.  This bridge figures prominently in one of my favorite films...Kate and Leopold.  Look closely and you will see another fire sign.

So, there you have my little tour and history lesson about Brooklyn.  It truly is a very special place. 

 
To Brooklyn Bridge by Hart Crane 
(one of the most beautiful poems you will ever read.)
How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull’s wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty— 


Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
–Till elevators drop us from our day . . .

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,–
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky’s acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover’s cry,–

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path–condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday This and That

I never get tired of the blue sky.  

Vincent van Gogh

I had a nice weekend.  The weather  was perfect.  The sky so blue.  If you notice, there is a little white dot near the wires in the above photo. That is the moon.  It was cool, but a comfortable cool.  A light jacket was enough. Totally adore this kind of weather. 

Went to take care of my banking early Saturday morning so that bills and rent can be paid.  Afterwards I headed off the the Farmer's Market and was so disappointed.  
This was all I was able to get with the $20 in coupons. Not much, is it? A few tiny peppers, 4 potatoes, a few onions, cilantro, Italian parsley, and a $6 head of cauliflower. Super expensive...and to think, the government provides the elderly with these coupons to help them get some healthy foods. The apples were smaller than the onions and would have cost me about five bucks just to get enough to make some applesauce. I can't help but wonder how long the government will let themselves be ripped off like this.  I realize that the farmers have to make money, but this was highway robbery in my book. 

Warning: Go through your Blogger reading list and stop following any blogs that have been discontinued.  I discovered a reading list overrun with porn.  What once was a lovely blog about kitties had been taken over by a porn site.  According the Google Help one has to go through their entire blog list, opening each one, to find out which one was the culprit and then stop following.  So, before it happens to you, do a good cleaning out like I did. 
 
I have some good news to report.  In fact, it is great news.  Hubby won his case with Social Security.  I was actually crying with joy.  It has been tough on me.  The union pension STILL has not kicked in, and it might be time to get in contact with Legal Aid.  And all I have been getting from hubby is $200 food stamps and $275 in rent.  PA pays nothing, and that's only a drop in the bucket with the bills I have to lay out each month.  My finances have been dwindling down to nothing since I have been laying out more than I am bringing it.  I am so relieved that it is over.

Made it back in time to catch a marathon of "The Good Witch" on the Hallmark Channel. Love this film series.  Kept me glued to my television all day.  Love the way Cassandra changes everyone for the better and inspires everyone to be better human beings.  My only disappointment during the day was Hallmark's announcement that next weekend begins the Christmas countdown of movies next week.  Even this wonderful channel is rushing the holiday along. Somehow the Christmas music they played in the commercial just didn't seem right. 

Notice the doorway at the end of the living room?  The hallway beyond leads to my bath and my bedroom. Saturday I was headed to the kitchen for something and happened to turn around to pick up my bottle of water,  and saw a figure moving through the hallway.  This was not one of those black shadow figures either.  This appeared  to be a woman. My apartment is in a pre-war building which was built in 1920.  It is rent stabilized so when people move in, they rarely move out until they pass on.  I have met the previous owner who lived here for 15 years, but who came before him. It will be interesting to find out.  By the way, you can also see Miss Minga, eyes glowing, in the photo as well.  She's waiting for me to come sit in my chair.

On Sunday I headed off to Church, followed by a trip to the fruit stand to pick up items needed that I was unable to find on Saturday.  Then I headed home and 'lost my head' in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Loved it. I remember we all had to read the story when I was in grammar school, and that is the last time I picked it up.  Can't believe it has been over fifty odd  years since I last read the story of Ichabod Crane. I must say he is tremendously different than the character on the new television series, but I do believe that re-reading of this tale will become an annual Halloween tradition for me. So, with that, I will leave you with a few quotes from the story.

"All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely pre-ambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasent life of it, in despite of the devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was - a woman.”

“They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions; and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air.”

 “All the stories of ghosts and goblins that he had heard in the afternoon now came crowding upon his recollection. The night grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the sky, and driving clouds occasionally hid them from his sight. He had never felt so lonely and dismal. He was, moreover, approaching the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost stories had been laid.”

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Roundup


When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
Author Unknown

Wow. Can you believe it?  Friday is here again.  Funny thing.  On weekdays I can barely remember what day it is, but I always know when it is Friday.  I guess years of celebrating Friday. 

I didn't go to the center today.  In fact, this week I only went on Tuesday. I've been feeling the effects of a cold that just doesn't want to come all the way on.  My nose is plugged, chest congested, eyes heavy, body achy and cold, but this cold just won't rear its ugly face in full.  I just stay in limbo awaiting the day it finally decides to come all the way on.  

This morning as I made my decision to take the day off, I began to get similar guilty feelings to those I used to feel when I called in sick from work.  I guess maybe that is because my peers at the center have been suggesting that I become more involved. I've spoken about my ideas for improvement in the daily schedule, and now several  have been suggesting that I be nominated for the board. I was flattered, of course, but in discussing the bylaws the other day, it was decided that good attendance was a 'must'. So, I guess this is where my feelings are stemming from. It's that old feeling that by taking off I am letting someone down. Old habits die hard, I guess. 

But, the fact is, I don't know if I really want it anyway. I go there to have fun and occupy my time.  After 51 years of work, I am finally free.  Do I really want to add any responsibilities at this stage of my life?  And, if it is already arousing such feelings, do I really, really want it?

After a weeks worth of dreams it is time to come back to reality and make plans for the weekend. One last word on dreams though. I have a name. Yes, a name  came to me in a dream last night...Abigail Abbott. Never heard it before.  So this morning as soon as I had a chance, I checked out Ancestry and found several Abigail Abbott's dating back to the early days of Massachusetts.  Without any further information, though, I will be unable to proceed any further.

It's going to be a cool weekend, and I don't have much planned.  Tomorrow morning I am planning a trip to so this weekend I can not much plans. I am nursing an autumn cold not really sick sick but have plans to rest so it doesn't get that far going to the Farmer's Market to see what goodies I can find.  As you all know, I don't like winter fruits, but I do plan on picking some up and trying out some new recipes. 

It will be church on Sunday, and then the preparation for a new and better week.  And with Samhain on Thursday, a very special week it will be.

'Tis the night - the night
Of the grave's delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they - it is they.

Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Wishing you all a very, very special weekend of joy, love, and peace.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Few Book Referrals

 "On the darkest days, a dream can be a hearthfire and a homing beacon. Charging us with the power of a deeper drama, inciting us not to let our minds fall - these may be the biggest ways that dreaming helps us through." - Robert Moss.

Aside from the early Edgar Cayce materials I read, my favorite dream author is  Robert Moss.  His books are not those simplistic 'cookie cutter' dream interpretation books. I have plenty of them, and in my opinion, they are fun, but practically useless if one is serious about interpreting their dreams.  A dream of flying have one meaning to someone, and a totally different one to another. It may be telling one person that they are flying, moving too fast, or indicate to another that they are about to go on a trip.  In other words, each person's dreams are individual, geared entirely to them.  The books I am presenting today make you think; they assist you in taking an active part in your dreams. Indeed, each of Robert Moss's books are a powerful tool for transformation. Despite the fact that there is some overlap, one can always find some new and interesting information in each of his books. Here are just a few of my favorites...
Remember. One may choose to read these books in any order, but if asked, I would have to say that 'Conscious Dreaming' should be the first because, in my opinion, it lays the groundwork for all the rest of the books. They tell us the things we need to do to get it done.  A sort of basic math, so to speak.  I absolutely loved this book and often refer back to it.

'Dreamgates: Exploring the World of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death" introduces us to those exercises and meditations which that are geared to help us  open our own dream gates and traverse the inner landscapes that make our dreaming world--"soul remembering" he calls it.  The book contains many inspiring teaching stories from dreaming traditions around the world.  From 'Dreamgates'....

"Poets and mystics have always known that the world of imagination is a real world - a third kingdom between the physical universe and the higher realms of spirit - and that is is possible to travel there and bring back extraordinary gifts"
'Dreamways of the Iroquois' is one of my favorites.  According to the  Iroquois,  dreams were believed to be important supernatural signs which must be taken seriously. They saw them as  experiences of the soul. This book explores their ancient tradition of dreams and healing.  From the book...

"When we wake up to the fact that our thoughts touch the people we are thinking about, we are again asked to choose which thoughts we send out. If we send out the thoughts of the heart, we can heal, even if the person who needs healing is far away." 

 "In the course of a lifetime, we may develop many animal connections. Some of these may stem from our relations with the animals who share our home and habitats, from family pets to wild animals encountered in nature and in our travels. Animals we have met in the physical world may reappear in our dreams, as allies and helpers."


'The Dreamer's Book of the Dead; A Soul Travelers Guide to Death, Dying, and the Other Side' is yet another one of my favorites. Oh, heck, they all are. This wonderful book covers all aspects of death, the afterlife, and the journey of the soul. It is written from a dream shaman’s perspective. Accordingly, our deceased loved ones come to visit us in our dreams, and this book offers us instructions  on how we, too,  can become 'active dreamers' and communicate with our loved ones. At the present time, I have decided to re-read this one.  I cannot put it any better than the following review...  

"In this captivating and inspiring guide to the land of the dead, Moss shocks and thrills by revealing the hidden truth--that the Otherworld is in fact the familiar landscape of our dreams, where we go every night. For a better death and life -beyond death, do not miss this extraordinary book." 

'Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole'  teaches us how 'to become shamans of our own souls and healers of our own lives'.   
"Whatever comes to us in dreams, even when the dreams are terrifying, we know that this is our personal material and that it is time to deal with it.”

"The important things usually prove to be very simple. They are also open secrets in the sense that no one is hiding the knowledge from us except ourselves."
  
And finally I recommend....

'the Three "Only" Things" spoken about in the book are dreams, coincidence, and imagination.

"When we are seized by a Big Story, our lives are different. We have the power to cope with everyday dramas with greater courage and grace, because we are aware of a deeper drama. We have access to mythic resources, in the sense Joseph Campbell conveyed when he reminded us that healing is what happens when we 'move beyond suffering into myth.'" 

Of course, this author has so much more to offer as well.  He has authored several other dream books and a series of historical novels.  If you are interested in dreams and shamanism, any of these books are for you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dreams Can Save Your Life

 “Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions.”

Edgar Cayce 

My interest in dream study began when I began reading  Edgar Cayce. I couldn't get enough of his teachings, and when I picked up and read the classic, 'Dreams: Your Magic Mirror: With Interpretations of Edgar Cayce' by Elsie Sechrist I was totally hooked, so much so that I joined his organization, the A.R.E. and took part in a dream workshop they were having the time. My gosh, that was so long ago, but  it was this book that taught me the techniques, such as keeping a dream journal, needed to not only remember,  but interpret my dreams. One thing I discovered was that seemingly unconnected dreams may, in fact, be trying to tell us something.  Sometimes, it may take us awhile before we find our answers.  Other times, it may be one dream that pops right out at us.   I was in my learly twenties when I had the following dream, yet I still remember it as if it happened yesterday. Perhaps it is because it saved my life.  Briefly...

'I live in a small house near the sea.  I am standing on my back porch looking out over the ocean. I am holding all my important papers in my hand, and I watch as a storm is brewing.  The wind is really beginning to pick up, and suddenly, all my papers blow out of my hand and are flying off toward the ocean.  I race to catch them because I sense that I am in big trouble if I lose them, that without them I will cease to exist,  but just as I get a few feet from the water, I find myself sinking in the sand, but then it turns into mud. I cannot pull myself out.  I cry out for help.   Now I find myself surrounded by people, but no one is helping me.  They are laughing amongst each other and having fun while I continue to sink, and just as the sand is ready to totally devour me, I awaken.'

To put this dream into context, one must know bits and pieces of my life at that time.  Bluntly speaking, it was a time that  I was sowing my oats...and not in a good way.  I was smoking too much, drinking too much, moving from job to job, and hanging out with a rather wild crowd, who I believed were my friends.  Remember, I'd lived an extremely sheltered life and had little in the way of socialization skills.  Mom and dad had always found ways to 'ground' me so I missed out on a lot of the fun things my peers engaged in--dances, proms, movies, etc. Plus, I had been bullied and teased since grammar school, maybe not so much in high school because it was a larger school and we'd been split up, but the damage had already begun.

So, when these people accepted me in their group, I really believed that they cared about me. It didn't matter that I seemed always to be the one buying drinks. It just felt good to finally be a 'part of'. I didn't even notice how no one treated me to a drink when I was broke. I was so young and naive that hit me that following after these people was leading me down a self-destructive path. Fortunately for me,  the dream put me back on the right track before it was too late. 

The storm of my dream represented the stormy life I was living.  The sinking in the sand/mud depicted that I was throwing my life (the important papers) away.  The people who gathered about laughing and having fun while I was sinking were the people I had thought were my friends.  The dream showed me that I had only been kidding myself and when the chips were down, not one of them would be there to lend a hand and help me.  It was up to me to pull myself out of the mire before it was too late...and that I did.

Needless to say, from that day on I began to take a look at my life andhow I was destroying myself as well as the destructive, shallow nature of my so-called friends, and I decided it was time to start anew.  Oh, I'm not going to say that everything was 'peaches and cream' from then on.  In fact, I continued to draw negative people into my life for quite some time afterwards, but the change was that I wasn't doing it consciously.  I wasn't seeking them out. I wanted friends, yes, but not enough to compromise myself as I once did. 

Life changing dreams happen to us all the time, but one has to be open to them. I am no longer a member of the A.R.E., although sometimes I think of re-joining.  And, for many years since that time, I've not paid much attention to anything that happened in my dreams unless they stand out to me, but at some point, at the beginning of last year, I returned to my dreamwork, only this time through the studies of the great teacher, Robert Moss.  Tomorrow, I will share more about him and recommend some of my favorite of his books. For now I shall leave you with a few Edgar Cayce quotes. 

Actually we have no problems,
we have opportunities for which we should give thanks...
An error we refuse to correct has many lives.
It takes courage to face one's own shortcomings
and wisdom to do something about them. 

There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.

For, he that expects nothing shall not be disappointed, but he that expects much - if he lives and uses that in hand day by day - shall be full to running over.

All souls were created in the beginning and are finding their way back to whence they came.







Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dreaming

“I live my life until I start the cycle of my dreams,then I leave and search for you until I die.When I come back,I live to remember,I live to find you” 

  Molly Bryant, Wandering Souls 

Lately I have been having some pretty realistic and powerful dreams, some I remember, some I don't. Sometimes I don't even want to leave my dream world. Does that ever happen to you? One thing I  remember is that in many of them I am making things, always making things and never seeming to finish on time.  And there is always someone who chides me on this and tells me that I must learn to keep up.  And, although I cannot picture them, I sense they are the same person.These are dreams that I can actually waken from, go to the bathroom, and then fall back into the dream, right where I left off.  I've sensed that these dreams have nothing to do with my present life.  I never fell behind at work in my present life.  In fact, I was obsessed with completing things.  Perhaps in a past life I was a procrastinator who never completed anything, or put my work off on others, and in this life I over-compensated.  I wonder.

This morning just before rising I had another odd dream.  A friend was suffering from a sunburn and asked me what she could do.  I advised her to rub mayonaise on the affected area.  "How do you know so much?" she asked.  "Because my family wrote the book," I responded.  What is odd about this dream is that I knew nothing about the connection between mayonaise and sunburn until I looked it up online this morning.  Hmmm!!!

I recently had another realistic dream which wanted to share and believe I was visited by a past life love.  Within the dream, I found myself waking up in a strange, yet vaguely familiar bedroom, and, as I opened my eyes a handsome  man appeared.  He wasn't someone from my present, but instinctively I know he was very important to me in the past. "Did you sleep well?" he asked.  "Whenever you are ready, my mother would like to see you.  Don't worry.  She is not angry with you."  So, I rose and followed him into another room.  

An older, gray haired woman was seated on a bench.  She was familiar as well, yet looked like no one I know. My gentleman friend stood there as well, looking a wee bit anxious.  I have the feeling that had not been friendly when we parted ways. "How is your back?" she asked when she saw me. "I was hoping you could help me if you feel okay." I agreed, and the next thing I knew my gentleman friend had disappeared and I found myself taking clothes off the line.  Socks, I remember there were lots of socks.  Suddenly, the maintenance worker from my job appeared and told me I had to clear everything off because she had to clean the area.  How she got into my dream I have no idea! 

Later I find myself seated back on the bed. My gentleman friend had reappeared and is telling me that some friends of his have arrived, and they want him to go with them, but he is hesitant to leave me.  "Would you like to go?" he asks. I tell him 'no', that I will stay where I am, but assure him that it is okay with me if he goes.  "Are you sure? Are you sure it is all right if I go?" he asked.  It is then that I notice that great sadness in his eyes, and when he left, I knew I wasn't going to be seeing him again... And then I woke. 

I don't quite know what to make of it exactly. I had such  strong feelings for this man in my dream. I sensed that I knew him, that we had once been together.  I also feel that perhaps his mother had torn the relationship apart, or perhaps that I did something that angered her, but it seems that she has forgiven me.  Who were these people?  Who was he? I'd always believed we had one soul mate in this world, and my husband was it, but I had such strong feelings for this man in my dreams.  I, too, felt that sadness as he walked away.  Did he come to me to say good-bye? Oh, I wish I could remember more...like the clothing we wore.  I can't even remember how we were dressed.  (Sigh)
You are the sum of all your thoughts, feelings and actions from this life and every lifetime in the past.”
Harold Klemp

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday This and That


Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

Anatole France
 Not much to report this morning.  It was a quiet weekend, to be sure.  Hubby went to visit his son, and Miss Minga and I kept each other company. I swear, she is so spoiled, but she deserves it.  She has been loyal to me for 21 years, and I love her so dearly.  Age is really beginning to creep up on her now, and I have become fearful, but, she is still eating well and getting about, so that is a good sign. As I sit here at the computer, she is at my feet.  'My shadow' I often call her. No one could ever be more loyal.

I was watching the news on Friday morning, and the newscaster said that she enjoyed leisurely perusing the Sunday paper while sipping on her coffee.  There was a time that I, too, used to enjoy my Sunday mornings with the news. I remember going through each section, page by page, ending with the weekly crossword.  Now, I can't remember the last time I bought a newspaper.  Heck, sometimes they'd be offering them for free at the subway station as I headed to work, and still I would refuse them.  The news is just too depressing.  I watch my half hour on television in the morning so I can keep up on things and hear the weather, but that is as far as it goes.

These computers are something else. My son was always big on taking and downloading photos so, when he lived with us, I asked him to please not download his photos onto my photo album so he installed something called 'Drop box' for himself.  So, on Saturday I am doing some work on my family tree, and I see this little box come up on the lower right hand corner informing me of items being downloaded.  But, I am not downloading.  Is it a virus?  Then I see that it is my son downloading photos.  But, he lives all the way up at the last subway stop in the Bronx, and I am here in Brooklyn.  Turns out he was downloading into 'Drop Box' on his computer and they were downloading onto mine as well.  Amazing.  I ended up uninstalling the program before all those photos before they ate up what little memory I had left.

Don't you just hate it when someone makes an appointment to come to your home and then not only doesn't show up, but doesn't bother to call?  That happened to me Friday afternoon.  I'd been calling around for information on insurance plans to offset my Medicare, and Emblem said they would do better than just send some information, they would send someone to my home to explain the different plans.  I had Emblem while I was working and was fairly satisfied with them, and this was great, or it would have been great if they had shown up.  By 4:45 I knew no one was coming so I called and lodged a complaint. I also advised that I 'probably' would have signed had the rep shown up. Things happen, I understand, but when you can't even take the time to make a quick phone call to tell the person not to wait, well, in my book, what you are saying is that they don't matter.

To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root. 
Chinese proverb 

I  purchased a very interesting book this weekend and was unable to put it down--'Research Your Surname and Your Family Tree" by Graeme Davis and learned some very interesting things about the surnames in my tree.  For example, my maiden name was 'Holmes' which turns out to have either Norse-Viking or pre-7th century Olde English origins.  It is what they call a 'locational surname' meaning it describes someone who lived in one of the places named 'Holm(e) which are found in counties in the East Anglian region or  someone who lived near a 'Holm' oak. In Viking terms it means 'island' or a fen. Oh, I cannot wait for my DNA results.  Why do they have to take so long?

Also on Saturday, I watched a marathon of "The Vikings", and this time around found it more fascinating than the first.  I love learning about ancient civilizations, and knowing I may have Viking ancestors made it all the more interesting.  Love learning about how they worshipped their gods...although their form of worship was a bit violent and bloody in my book.  But we know the ancients believed in sacrifice.   We still sacrifice to our gods and goddesses, as evidenced in our Christian Lent when we deprive ourselves of something we love as a sacrifice to god.  But, we no longer shed blood in sacrifices. And, we no longer call them sacrifices.  Today they are 'offerings'.

Whew, was I ever long-winded today.  For someone who had nothing to say, I sure said a lot.  Sorry about that.  I'll leave you now with the following genealogist's poem....


Lord, help me dig into the past
And sift the sands of time
That I might find the roots that made
This family tree of mine.

Lord, help me trace the ancient roads
On which my fathers trod,
And led them through so many lands
To find our present sod.

Lord, help me find an ancient book
Or dusty manuscript,
That's safely hidden now away
In some forgotten crypt.

Lord, let it bridge the gap that haunts
My soul when I can't find,
The missing link between some name
That ends the same as mine.


Author Anonymous

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Wishes

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope. 

Frank Lloyd Wright


May your weekend be filled with much love and peace, and may joy fill your every moment.  See you all on Monday.
 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday Muse...or Perhaps I Should Say Rant


Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results. 

Unknown

Last night I grew bored.  It doesn't happen often; it seems I can always find something to occupy my time, but last night, nothing held my interest for very long.   I read a few chapters of a book I am re-reading, 'The Mist-Filled Path' by Frank MacEowen and Tom Cowan and then realized that I had forgotten to charge my Kindle. And while I waited for it to charge, I discovered there was nothing that I wanted to watch on television. I'd already used up all the free tokens for the bingo games I play on my Android, so I turned to Facebook to see if anything interesting was going on. 

In all honesty, I only have Facebook because there are two games I love to play...and it helps me to keep up with my two active sons and a few friends, both online and offline. I do follow a few news sites as well as some television shows I enjoy. I never post anything there.  Seems I never have anything to say, but I do love animals and I follow a site that posts photographs of cute animals.  This I share with friends...and that's about it.  And I never read comments...until last night, that is...and I am sorry I did.  What negativity in this world!

Take the animal site I love.  They had a picture of the sweetest little kitten you ever saw, and most of the comments were so positive and loving.  Then, I come across "I hate cats".  So, who cares?  This is a site for enjoyment, a site to warm the heart. If you don't like cats, that is your business.  Why spoil the good feelings of others?  But, that's only the tip of the iceberg, a minor negativity.

On another site someone had shared with me, there was a debate going on about our government, but this debate was far from healthy.  On it I found talks of hanging, firing squads, etc. our government officials. And those making the comments were calling each other the worst of names, belittling each other's political beliefs,  and  poking fun at each other's writing skills.  It was so dreadful that I felt the need to interject and comment on the need for all this negativity, I was told to 'crawl back under my rock'. 

What really got to me were the comments about a news report.  I don't know if this news is countrywide or not, but a little over a week ago an autistic child was allowed out of school and has not been seen since.  He is unable to speak and take care of himself. A massive three-state search is on and good Samaritans have kicked in funding for a reward with a total of $70,000.  As time passes, I more and more fear the worst for this child, but I continue praying for his safe return as do most of the commentors I the news story.  But, there was one man who said, "If I find him I am going to tell them to give me the reward in one dollar bills.  Teehee"   Sorry, but I fail to see the humor in this. (Probably a troll)

I think the worst of it, though, was the woman who wrote, "I am sick of hearing about this kid.  What's so special about him, that he has special needs?  There are lots of kids missing and we don' t hear so much about them.  I dare anyone to call me cold-hearted."  That one hurt so badly that I had to lash out.  "Let me be the first...you cold hearted witch." Didn't make me feel any better though.

I guess what I am getting at was reading these comments was a real wake-up call for me.  There is so much negativity out there--anger, hate, resentment, ignorance, rage, and fear.  People are naturally afraid of what they don't understand and don't bother to take the time to learn.  Too many people just don't care about each other anymore.  Their negative emotions control them, and it rubs off onto others.   My stomach was in knots.  I was sick at heart from what I read and deeply concerned.  We speak of peace in the world, but if we, as a society, cannot respect each other, then how can we expect anything different from our world neighbors? 

If we ever hope that peace will come, we must experience a change of heart and mind.  These narrow-minded beliefs that I am right and you are wrong are only holding us back.  And, it is just not in the comments I read last night.  No, I have even seen it here in Blogger in posts that, when speaking of political beliefs which, in essence,  say,  'I'm right and you are wrong'. There is no middle ground. And what about those whose beliefs include "What's mine is mine and I don't care what happens to you." 

I remember long before I found out about Blogger, I was big into Yahoo groups.  Even had a few myself. Well, one of my members was into a survivalist group and spoke about it every chance she got, so I decided to check it out. My goodness, survivalists they weren't.  They were  more like 'hoarders' who were hell bent on taking care of theirs and the hell with everyone else. For example, if a hurricane was on its way, and there were 20 gallons of water and that was more than they could possibly use,  they'd make sure they got them all anyway, and 'if anyone tries to take what's mine, I'll blow their head off.'  Needless to say, I crossed that negativity off my reading list very quickly.  

So, what's the answer when everywhere we turn, there is violence,  hate or  prejudice?  Today I choose today to stay away from the negative and not allow it to gain any control over me.  I will  focus on the good in the world. The choice is mine, and I choose goodness over evil.  And next time I am bored, I will definitely NOT read the comment sections.  I will simply turn off all the lights, light a candle, and focus on love and peace. Thanks for letting me share today.

"There are millions of human beings who live narrow, darkened, frustrated lives - who live defensively - simply because they take a defensive, doubtful attitude toward themselves and, as a result, towards life in general. A person with a poor attitude becomes a magnet for unpleasant experiences. When those experiences come - as they must, because of his attitude - they tend to reinforce his poor attitude, thereby bringing more problems, and so on. The person becomes an example of self-generating, doom-fulfilling prophecy. And it's all a matter, believe it or not, of attitude. We get what we expect. Our outlook on life is a kind of paintbrush, and with it, we paint our world. It can be bright and filled with hope and satisfaction, or it can be dark and gloomy - lugubrious."
Earl Nightingale

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Little Wednesday This and That

The wise stand out, because they see themselves as part of the Whole.
They shine, because they don't want to impress.
They achieve great things, because they don't look for recognition.
Their wisdom is contained in what they are, not their opinions.
They refuse to argue, so no-one argues with them.

Lao Tzu

Good morning on this fine Autumn day, and a fine day it is indeed.  I'm off to the Center this morning for a little bingo and socialization.  It will probably be fairly slow there today for they are off on their monthly trip to Atlantic City. I chose not go this time around.  I have to remember I am on a limited budget, especially since the union has not kicked in yet with my pension.  They keep finding little things to stall it, and my fear is that I will have to start all over again.  The application must be redone after 6 months. I first applied in June.  That gives me a little leeway, but not much.  And I have decided if they find something else to return my application for, I will have no choice but to contact Legal Aid.  It is getting rather petty now and seems as if they are purposely making me wait. Last time I had to fill out a form and have it signed in front of a notary that I wasn't married and tell me it will be at least 30 days before they process it.  Heck, even if I was, it would not be my husband's business.  After all, I am the one who worked for it. And all these thirty day waits are adding up.

Now I know I have probably raised some questions.  After all, I am always talking about hubby.  Well, we never really got legally married, not that we didn't want to, but, at first couldn't because Social Security was sending benefits to my sons which would stop if I got married. Then,when my sons were older, and the payments were stopped, we still had to hold off because of my ex's residual payments and now, our Social Security benefits. Wow, when you look at it, it's amazing how much control they have over us and our lives...and acquaintances have said, it's only money, getting married should be more important.  Well, if you love each other, a piece of paper isn't going to matter.  We've been together now  for 22 years, and we are still as starry-eyed with each other as we were on the day we met. 

Yesterday I attended a lecture on 'Nutrition and Food Safety'. Since I found out I wasn't really as healthy as I thought I was, nutrition has been my big thing.  In fact, I have taken a number of courses on nutrition, health, and healing,  and hope to earn a certificate. What I will do with it, I don't know, but I am always into  learning something new, and retirement has opened up so many doorways for me.

I've been asked to serve on a committee to change the by-laws at the Center.  What that entails, I will be sure to let you know.  Needless to say, I was honored for the invitation.  I've been loving every moment of my retirement, but the one thing I know I have been lacking is that feeling of being 'needed', of being a part of an organization.  After all,work has played such a huge part in my life, and I find hard sometimes to think of myself on the other side...from counselor to client.  

Speaking of work, I have to say the old saying 'out of sight, out of mind' holds true.  During my last weeks on the job, everyone was talking about 'how much they were going to miss me and how sorry they were to see me go'.  Yeah, right!!!  If they miss me so much, why doesn't one person call and ask how I am doing.  In fact, I called my boss twice to say hello and left messages, and he never returned my call.  Maybe three weeks ago the receptionist called to see how I was doing, and I had to say it.  I mentioned that I felt forgotten.  She then put me through to the co-worker I shared an office with for almost ten years, and she had the nerve to say, "I was thinking about you today and was going to give you a call".  'And you must think I was born yesterday.' I wanted to say, but two wrongs don't make a right.

Then, the day after the call from the receptionist,  one person  texted me twice to ask how I am doing, yet, when I responded and asked the same, he never answered me back. This happened twice. This is the person I trained when he was just an intern.  Hey, buddy, don't you realize that that is just as hurtful as not writing at all?  To me it says you really don't care enough. If I text someone and ask how they are, I will be sure to respond to them when they answer me back.  How about you?

Yes, I am hurt and angry, and somewhat depressed, because it makes me feel that I never really mattered.  I know that I have to let it go, I have to et them go.  I have new life now, new friends, and I am happy.  But I am also missing what I left behind ,and now I must let the hurt feelings go as well.  And I know it will take some time; after all, they were a big part of my life, and it hasn't been that long. But, I just wish someone would pick up the phone and say, "How are you?  I am just letting you know that you are missed." (Sigh) Letting go is so hard to do, but I know I will be all right. I just have to keep the focus that these were co-workers, not friends.

Letting go doesn't mean we don't care. Letting go doesn't mean we shut down.
Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave.
It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment.
It means we stop trying to do the impossible--controlling that which
we cannot--and instead, focus on what is possible--which usually means
taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness,
and love, as much as possible.

Melody Beattie

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fairy Tale Magic


That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here,
all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.

Charles de Lint
(I purchased the above plate in 1993. Wind it up and it plays a beautiful rendition of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow')

'Once Upon a Time', 'Sleepy Hollow', 'Grimm', and now we have 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.'  I absolutely love these new fairy tales for adults and look forward to see what is coming next.   It tells me the magic is coming back, that magic we believed in when we were children....angels, fairies, trolls, fairy tale princesses who lived happily ever after, Tinker Bell, Red Riding Hood, Alice...Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the man in the Moon. Oh how we love our fairy tales! And how many of us remember fighting to stay awake as we waited for the Tooth Fairy to arrive or to hear the sound of Santa's reindeer on our roof.  Our gardens, the woods, forests, teemed with magical creatures of all kinds.  My goodness, the world was such a magical place when we were young! Why did it have to change?

I still love reading fairy tales and have a well worn copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales to prove it. On my Kindle I have the complete set of Andrew Lang's fairy books, and I love losing myself in them whenever I am feeling down.  Fairy tales not only remind me of  my childhood, but they also serve as a reminder that that there is still magic in the world. And in my life I have learned that the princess actually CAN find her prince, and the fairy godmother can and will show up when we least expect her. We may not even recognize her when she appears. 

I know there are those of us do not believe in the the magical story of the princess who finds her prince and lives happily ever after or of good always triumphing over evil. But, perhaps, one need not look any further than their loved ones to see that their handsome prince has been there all along. And, when one reaches out to help another without any expectations of return, isn't good triumphing over evil?


The world is a magical place. Just because you have grown accustomed to the magic does not make it any less so.

Ralph Marston

Magic is something beautiful, special, wondrous, and yes, there is a magic in our world, but, alas, far too many of us are too busy to see it.  Magic surrounds us every day as we leave the shelter of our homes and venture out into the world--the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset, the leaves as they change color and fall from the trees, crinkling under our feet, the stars twinkling in the night sky.  How many of us have wished upon a star?  And, yes, whenever I look out of the window and see one lone star twinkling in the sky above me, I still find myself mouthing the familiar words...

 Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

 I believe.



Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Greetings


We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted--our names,
the color of our eyes and the texture of our hair, the unfolding of varied
abilities and interests in different subjects. . . . Each of us contains within
our fragile vessels of skin and bones and cells this inheritance of soul. We
are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations,
sacred memories and future promise. Only when we recognize
that we are heirs can we truly be pioneers.

Edward C. Sellner
   
(Over the weekend I found the above picture of my great grandmother Constance Mary in her beloved garden. That's my grandfather in the background. Unfortunately, it didn't come out so well.  The picture itself is old and fading, and because I hadn't had it put on the disc, I ended up taking a picture of it with my camera. )

Good Monday morning, everyone.  I know it is a holiday for many of you, so enjoy this extra day off.  I remember how I used to look forward to these days with plans of sleeping late, but, alas, my body was so used to a certain body rhythm that it was hard to do.  Since retirement I have managed to push my rising time up from 5:30 to 6:30, but haven't been able to muster more than that.  Of course, bathroom runs and a hungry kitty have a lot to do with it.  Ironically, although Miss Minga's meows have gotten unbearably loud (old age loss of hearing), she DOES manage to hear me tiptoe into the bathroom, and once she hears that, I am finished. 

I had a nice time on Saturday when both of my sons paid me a visit.  It is so rare I have them there together that I treated it like a holiday by preparing a feast.  We had that chicken dish with pepper jack cheese,  stewed cabbage, baked yams, and vine ripened cherry tomatoes with olive oil and Italian seasonings.  No dessert necessary.    There was no need for it. Everyone went home with a full belly. And, peaking of feasting....
....as far as Samhain goes, I have planned a 'Dumb Supper' in which I plan to honor my ancestors with a favorite dish from each of their countries.  Thus far, the menu is as follows...

For my French ancestors I plan on serving Chicken Cordon Bleu although it is,  in fact, an American dish rather than a French dish. The French do like it, too.  For my paternal granddad and all of my German ancestors, we'll have a side dish of Rotkohl  (German red cabbage).  Of course, for my Irish paternal grandmother and ancestors Colcannon, one of my favorites, is a must. Also on the menu will be roasted root veggies for my Scottish ancestors, mulled cider for my great great grandmother and my English ancestors, and Dutch baked pears. Of course, the above is all subject to change.

As far as my ancestor altar, I plan to place orange candles to represent 'fire', my Hawaiian volcano rock to represent 'earth', my Holy Water and a seashell to represent 'water', and incense to represent 'air'.  Must remember to pick up some Marigolds.  Wish I had more photos of my ancestors, but will use those that I have along with whatever birth,death, and marriage certificates I have managed to find.

At church on Sunday they mentioned a November 2nd  mass for All Soul's Day.  Unfortunately, it will be in Spanish only, so that is a bit of a disappointment, but it  also affords me the opportunity to celebrate yet another day of honoring the ancestors.  Over this past weekend I purchased and read 'Day of the Dead' by Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack.  The book gave me so many ideas of things I would like to do, but couldn't figure out how to combine the ceremonies, especially the food dishes.  Now I can celebrate both.  Besides, who knows if any Spanish ancestry will show up on my DNA report.  After all, there is a history between the Galatians and the Celts. 

Speaking of Samhain, I was wondering if anyone else was feeling the effects of the thinning of the veil.  In fact, I have been feeling the effects for awhile now.  For the past year or so, what some call the Shadow People have been very active here.  I catch them flitting about out of the corner of my eye more often than ever before...and the visions last for a longer period of time. Has anyone noticed this as well?

Wishing you all a great Monday, and if you are blessed to have the day off, be sure to make it a fun-filled one.