Friday, April 30, 2010

Beltane Eve

Good morning, everyone.  Tis a wonderful day indeed.  It's Beltane Eve, and I am so looking forward to this weekend; even though it is a cooking weekend, I do plan to make it special.  This weekend I'm going to brush all the negativity of this past week aside and become like a little girl again...savoring this special time of the year, this special day which honors the return of the sun.  I've loved this time of for as long as I can remember.  As a little girl, spring and the rebirth of the world around me...brought joy into my life.  Actually, there is something special about each season of the year; I cannot say I don't like the winter...I do.  I enjoy the snow when it first falls.  I enjoy the cold as it stings my face.  I love the fact that winter forces me to slow down and spend time within.  I love the autumn with the falling leaves, crisp winds.  I also love the beginning of summer, but I will admit...I'd be very content to skip those hot humid days of July and August. But Spring? It is my favorite. 

At this time of the  year, the wheel is turning from spring into summer. Beltane is traditionally celebrated from sundown on the last night of April into the first day of May.  Traditionally, it marks the beginning of summer although on our tradition, linear calendars, summer does not begin until June.  As a Celtic festival, Beltane marked the beginning of the bright half of the year. As Samhain is about honoring death, Beltane is about honoring life. The Sun has been released from his bondage of winter to rule over summer and life once again.

  Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of 'no time' when the veils between the worlds was thinnest. 'No time' is when the two worlds intermingle and unite.  It is truly a magical time, a time when the Queen of Fairy rides out on her white horse and roves about, searching for people to entice away into Fairyland.  Legend has it that if you sit under a tree on Beltane night, you might see the beautiful queen; if you hide your face, she will pass you by, but if you look at her, she will choose 'you'.  So beware, my dear friends, as the fairy queen rides again, be tempted, but do not look.

Deities:  Fertility Gods and Goddesses, Flower Goddesses, The Green Man, Pan

Symbols:  May Pole, flowers, handfastings

Incense:  Rose, lilac, florals

Stones:  Rose quartz, emerald, sapphire

Foods:  Fruits, greens, salads

Herbs:  Angelica, ash, bluebells, clover, daisies roses, rowan

Activities:  frolicking through the countryside, dancing around the Maypole, leaping over fires, washing your face in the dew, making flower garlands

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Life is a Gift

 Good morning.  It's cool and sunny today.  It is supposed to go up to the 80's on it will be a pretty hot cooking day for me.  I've been thinking about that man who jumped in front of the train the other day.  What could make someone so distraught?  Yes, this city is in a mess. I don't know if you hear about this in your neck of the woods, but hospitals are closing down...schools are shutting their doors, firemen and police officers are being laid off, mental health and substance abuse programs are closing down.  Today, I hear that hundreds of transit workers are being laid off...and just the other day 3,500 workers received their pink slips because one of the biggest hospitals are no longer taking any inpatients; only the emergency room and clinic will remain open...and this following the other thousands of workers from hospitals and schools who have already been laid off.  When does it end?  Does it end?  Can the city ever get out of this mess?

We hear that unemployment rates are down.  Where????  I don't see it here.  It's frightening, very frightening.  It worries me that there will be more 'jumpers', more people who just can't take anymore.  Not that I am saying the man jumped the other day because he lost his job; I don't know that.  I've found no information about him, but I did light a candle and say a prayer for him last night. 

Life is so precious to me.   I've suffered much...death, abuse, addiction...but I've always believed in life.  It is a gift...a precious, wonderful gift that is to be treasured. Ever since the beginning of time, there have been human challenges, and few of us ever end up where we pictured ourselves 30 years ago.  We all end up with surprises, detours, disappointments, and regrets, but we move on. We focus on our strengths and do not allow ourselves to be consumed with depression and sadness. The challenge is to learn about ourselves and who we really are for then we can use our mistakes,and misfortunes to connect with others, to understand, to grow. I think the following poem says it all...enjoy.

Life is an opportunity...benefit from it.
Life is beauty...admire it.
Life is bliss...taste it.
Life is a dream...realize it.
Life is a it.
Life is a duty...complete it.
Life is a it.
Life is a promise...fulfill it.
Life is sorrow...overcome it.
Life is a song...sing it.
Life is a struggle...accept it.
Life is a tragedy...confront it.
Life is an adventure...dare it.
Life is luck...make it.
Life is too not destroy it.
Life is life...fight for it.
--Mother Theresa-- 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Joy of Being

Good morning.  It's a very cool day here, feels almost like fall has returned.  Actually, what I am posting today was not what I originally planned, but it is something I really have to share.  Writing has always been very healing to me and to be honest, this blog has taken a turn from my original intention; it has now become a healing journal and through it, I have met some wonderful new friends...with many of us having so much in common.  

"Rejoice in the abundance of being able to awaken each morning and experience a new day.  Be glad to be alive, to be healthy, to have friends, to be creative, to be a living example of the joy of living."--Louise L. Hay

It is so sad that many do not feel this way, that many are so disheartened that they believe their only recourse is to take their own life.  Yesterday, I was on the subway heading home from work.  It had been such a busy day, and I was feeling blessed to have found a seat.  I was deeply engrossed in my book on Merlin when we pulled into one of the stations, and the train just sat there.  The doors didn't open.  The train across from us pulled in, and there were several people on my train who began complaining as the other train pulled out because they had missed their connection.  Everyone just wanted to get home.

Then, I glanced out onto the platform, and I saw a woman sitting on the bench, crying.  She was wild-eyed as she looked from one side to another.  I wondered why.  My imagination was now beginning to kick into high gear.  Did she lose someone?  A romantic partner?  A family member?  Perhaps a job.  What was the origin of this woman's tears.  Well, I was soon to find out for it was then that someone on the train said, "Hush, did you hear that?"  

The car fell into silence, and we all heard it.  No one was complaining anymore as we looked at each other, our faces masked in a shocked expression.  Someone was screaming out in pain....and they were under our car.  (The hair on my arms is bristling again).  Then, the conductor instructed us all to walk through the cars and exit through the rear.  My friends, I will NEVER forget those heart-wrenching screams.  We were then directed to clear the platform...that those of us who were headed toward Coney Island were to get on the next train pulling in across the platform, go one stop, and then take another train which was headed in the direction of my home. Once on the train, the tears began to flow.

I thought about how much I wanted to get out of here.  Too much going on around me...never knowing from one day to the next what was going to happen.  From what I understand, the man yesterday had gone onto the tracks himself...and had lain down flat when the train pulled in...which is why he survived.  But, there are people out there who push others onto the tracks.  "I want to get out of here", I kept repeating as the tears rolled down my cheeks.  But then, it hit me.  There is no way I can get out of here, and by dwelling on those thoughts, I only bring unhappiness to myself...for setting unreasonable goals sets one up for heartbreak.  

The truth is, this city will be my home for at least the next 5 years...It takes money to move...especially from one state to the next...and we just don't have it.  We also both have our jobs.  I'm 63, it's not so easy for me to go out and find a new one...especially in a whole new state.  And then hubby has his doctors.  He NEEDS to be here.  I NEED to be here.  Moving at this time is totally out of the question.  Bad things are going to happen wherever  you go.  That's the way of the world, the way of life.  So, as Louise Hay said, I'm going to concentrate on the joy of being alive, of being healthy, of having my the joy of being.  Thank you for letting me share.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Good morning, dear friends.  It's another cloudy, rainy day here in the city, but thankfully, it should be clearing out just in time for tomorrow's full moon...which, by the way, will be in Scorpio.  This looks to be a magical time. The scorpion is a very intense little creature, and Scorpio is about secrets, the hidden, emotional depth, and transformation.  We become more attuned to the hidden or secret influences when the Moon is in Scorpio.  And because is such an intense sign, it dares us to look beyond the surface and turn our attention to that which is hiding beneath.   I've found this to be a good time to do some shadow work...or at least, to make a start on it. This full moon is one of empowerment through transformation...This is also a good time to work on overcoming your inner obsessions, thoughts, and desires...a time to begin thinking of changes.  

I don't know about you, but throughout much of my lifetime , I haven't dealt very well with change.  I hated it.  Never could understand why things couldn't remain...unchanged.  I know that is why I stay in jobs that I hate.  I don't adapt well.  It's not that I don't adapt, it just takes me a longer time.  My usual outgoing self disappears, and I revert back to that shy little girl who kept her head down and was afraid to speak.  Yes, even at 63, she is still hiding...within.  

Oh, I know that change is a part of life.  Oh, how well I know...and it's not that I've never made changes; in fact, I've made quite a few of states...It's just that I've tried to avoid making them whenever I could.  Resistance is my middle name. And it's so easy to resist change, because it stimulates's unknown...and we feel out of control.  The time comes, though, that we come to realize that resisting change won't stop it; nothing will.  

And actually, as I was writing this...I've been thinking of all the changes that I have made in my life...of the people who have come and gone. Human life is like nature...It has its ebbs and flows; it lives and dies.  And maybe, just maybe, I'm being a little hard on myself...for I have dealt with many changes...many difficult changes...and I have survived.  Maybe I'm not as bad at it as I thought I was.  Perhaps one change I have to make is learning how to 'give myself more credit' for being more adaptable than I think I am.

Enough rambling for the day.  Hope you all have a great day.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Good morning to all of you out there in blogland.  Today is my son's birthday.  My gosh, he is 33.  Where has the time gone?  It feels like just yesterday I was holding him in my arms, and now he is a man.  His birth was one for the history least my book, anyway.  

In the hospital clinic where I was getting my pre-natal care, you were taken care of my midwives...unless you had a difficult pregnancy.  Midwives not only saw you through your nine months of pregnancy, but also through delivery.  Everything was going fine until I hit my 9th month.  The midwife then informed me that she felt two heads...Was I having twins?  I was sent for further tests.  Turns out that my son was breach.  The midwife then referred me to the doctors...who, if the baby was big enough, would be able to turn him for a normal birth.  The midwife told me it should be no problem, that I was having a large baby...but the doctors said 'no'...he was far too small to turn.  So, my darling son came out...butt lie.  He was 8 lb. 3 oz. and 21 inches long...actually large enough to turn, but the 'doctors' had it wrong; the midwife was correct.  

I'd always worried about being a mother.  I was an only child, coming from a small family with no one but my own mother to model my mothering skills on. I felt so vulnerable about my abilities. I did know that I didn't want to repeat the same negative pattern of mothering that my own mother had chosen, but knowing what I wanted and doing it were two separate matters. So, many questions arose.  Was I doing too much for my son or not doing enough?  Was I too strict, or was I too permissive?  Was I allowing him room for growth, or was I smothering him with my protectiveness?  I was so inexperienced. 

But, the fact is, all those worries were for nothing. We do the best we can at the time, and that is all we can do. We are not super heroes...we make mistakes...and we learn to forgive ourselves.  And, I must have a done a good job...My son has grown into such a wonderful, caring man...a man with so much love in his heart for others, for animals, for the world in general.  Through my own process of mothering and making my mistakes, I have learned to forgive my own mother for the mistakes that she made with me.

Happy Birthday, Jerry.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Embracing the Night

 Good afternoon.  We're having a rainy, cool Sunday here, but that's okay.  It's nice to hear the rain beating against the windows and know that you don't have to go out in it.  I had a beautiful day yesterday...and a beautiful night.  I waited until after dark...when my neighbors had all gone in and closed their doors...then went out and sat under the stars, savoring my quiet down-time. I love the sunny days of spring, but the night has always been my time.

Many are more comfortable during the day, but  I've always loved the night, the darkness. I guess you can say I am a 'night person'.  I remember when I was a little girl, my parents would allow me to set up a tent and sleep in the backyard, but sleep was something I got very little of for as soon as I was sure they were asleep, I would climb out of the tent and sit out under the stars...the only sounds around me were the crickets.  And many a night, you would find me sitting up in bed in the wee hours of the morning, just staring out the window at the darkness.  As a young woman, I spent many a night just sitting on our front porch and watching the dawn as it rose. There was nothing like it.  And, when I moved to the city, I worked in a bar from 8 pm to 4 am, and when I got off work , instead of going into my room for sleep, I would go across the street to Washington Square Park and wait until morning.  (At that time, the parks were open at night) And the night there, had its own culture, its own people who only came out at night.

I find comfort in the dark; it's something that I relish. I've always found the quiet of the evening peaceful, and oh, so inviting.  A walk at midnight on a star- filled night is so refreshing.  Everything slows down, and there are not as many distractions...even here in the city. The night is a great time for experiencing inner peace.  There is many a night that I've sat outdoors gazing at the  sky and feeling as if I am a part of... myself...I am a part of this universe, and this universe is me.  Another part of enjoying the darkness is utilizing exploring your imagination.  It's a whole other world out there; it is a world of shadows and the creatures of the night. How different the trees and the plants appears in this shadowy world where nothing appears the same as it does in the daylight.

Many have too closely connected the word 'dark' with the concept of evil, but it doesn't belong there. Dark does not mean evil.  Dark is quiet and reflection; it is sleep and healing..and to embrace the beauty and the power of the dark is not to abandon oneself to evil, but it is recognizing the beauty and power of the whole; dark and light cannot exist without the other...darkness is nothing more than a lack of light.  The full moon will soon be upon us once again.  Get out there.  Enjoy.  Meditate.  Take notice of the world around you, the silence...There is truly magic in the night. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What a Wonderful Day.

 Happy Saturday everyone.  The weather here is beautiful...couldn't be better.  I went out this morning to do a little clothes shopping, and this time, I actually DID find some things.  Most of my things from last year are really, really tight...Some don't even button...and I'm being realistic with myself.  I'm not going to lose all this excess poundage overnight; it gets much harder to lose, the older you get...and being that I have to work with the public, I like to look neat and proper.  My roommate is also large, but she buys things much too small, and sometimes I will see her stretching...and this big tummy sticks out...all filled with stretchmarks.  It looks awful...especially for in an office.  I can now consider myself a 'large' woman...and I STILL can dress attractively. 

Shopping for clothing used to be one of my favorite things to do, but now I find it tedious.  Is it that I have gained so much weight?  At first I thought that's what it was, but now I realize it's not that at all.  Material things are just NOT that important to me anymore, and if I didn't have to work, I could probably get by on next to nothing. Oh, don't get me wrong, I like to look nice, but it's really not a new outfit that does it for me anymore.  Beauty is within.  As they say, it is in the eye of the beholder.  It's not the dress you wear; it is you.  Is this a part of aging?  Or is it a part of growth?  I think it's a part of both.   

Then, since last night I have had the urge for an orange soda.  Actually, I've given up soda altogether; namely, the Pepsi which I was addicted to.  I know I can't have just one of those so I avoid them, but orange is once in awhile sort of thing. I'm standing at the register to pay, and intuition sets in.  That little voice inside says "Check the date".  Now, I am usually very good at checking dates, but never check on sodas.  Good thing I did.  The soda had a January expiration date. Usually, I wouldn't even mention something like that in a post; but, I wanted to point out just how strong my intuition is...and how important it is to follow yours when it tells you something.

And now that I have rambled on...and virtually said nothing...I bid you all a wonderful filled with love and laughter.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday This and That

 Good morning, everyone.  What a blessed day it is.  For one thing, it's Friday, and I made it through a whole week without taking a day off.  Shows I'm learning how to deal with my frustrations.  I've finally realized that I may not be happy with what goes on here, but I'm only hurting myself by using up all of my sick time.

I also had a nice night last night.  It was a late day, so I didn't arrive home til about 8 pm, grabbed a bite to eat, then went out to the backyard for awhile.  It felt so good to be out there, close to nature, the crisp cool air on my face, rather than sitting on the sofa in front of the television.  I enjoy going out there after dark...I always have.  During the day, there is just so much going on in the backyards on either side of me that I just don't feel comfortable.  But at night when the city quiets down as much as a city can, when everyone else is inside, well, that's my time to shine...and last night I took full advantage of it.

I'm very excited about something.  I'm going to do something I haven't done since my youth.  I am going to be in a march, a walk to end violence against women on May 16th.  This is really an issue that is dear to me, and although I am not sure I can make it the full three miles, I'll be darned, I sure am going to give it a good try.  

Hope you all enjoy the following as much as I did.  Have a great weekend..

The Wise Woman
Sometimes it's not the wealth you have but what's inside you that Others need...

A wise woman, who was traveling in the mountains, found a precious stone in a stream.  The next morning, she met another traveler, who was hungry.
The wise woman opened her bag to share her food.  The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.  She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune.  He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious.  Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Oran Mor

 Good morning on this perfect Spring morn.  I most certainly don't want to be here.  It's so green and beautiful outdoors...a wonderful day to bask in the beauty of Mother Earth. Today we celebrate Earth Day, a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for our environment, for the Earth Herself.  Our ancestors understood the interrelationship between humans and the Earth, but we seem to have forgotten it.  We have forgotten that our relationship with the Earth is not merely a physical one, but that everything on it is alive; it is spiritual.  And if we take the time to listen, we can hear the Earth communicating with us.  She is calling us to listen, to touch Her, and by doing so, we will touch the Spirit.  

One of my lessons in my Druidic training was about the "Oran Mor", or the "Great Song". The Celts believed that the world is supported and sustained by a single all-embracing melody...all of creation is a part of it.  The Oran Mor is an ancient rhythm; it is the melody we hear in the wind, in the waterfall...the song of the Earth.  There was a time...many, many eons ago that the wail of the wind were the only sounds to be heard, but gradually, the Earth developed its own music, the rhythms of the Earth.

The Earth is calling on us to listen deeply. to listen with our feel the rhythms of the Earth through the Moon, the tides, and the seasonal open ourselves up to the sights and sounds of the living Earth, our Great Mother.  We open up to the feelings and sensations of the Earth by smelling the air just after it has rained...or feeling the warm sunlight on our skin in the summer...feeling the raindrops as they fall from the sky...watching the weaving of the clouds.  Mother Earth speaks to us everyday through a fragrance, a flower, an bird singing gleefully in the tree, the feel of the air... the  wind moving softly through the leaves.  

Yes, the Oran Mor is still sung today, but sadly, we live in an age that so few humans our able to hear it.  But, all is not lost for it is still there...we only need to reach once again experience our Earth as live in respect and commune with Her.  Even for those like myself who live in the city, there are so many ways to experience the life-giving beauty of the Earth...a tree in a city park, the tulips blooming down the block from my home, the power of our ancient Mother, the ocean...even a weed that grows in the crack of a sidewalk.  So get out there...enjoy...commune.  Love the Earth.

A Blessed Earth Day to all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Accepting a Compliment

Good afternoon, everyone.  What an absolutely gorgeous spring day it is!  Too nice to be inside, but unfortunately, I've taken off far too much lately, so here I am...seated at my desk.  Wasn't such a bad day though.  After a rather busy morning, the day settled down.  Then, we had a little training from a pharmaceutical company, and they always bring a nice lunch.  Today we had Mexican food, and it was great...the real thing.  You can always tell the difference in a fancy restaurant and those that we 'usually' order from. 

You know, I have come a long way from the person I used to be.  I really have.  I used to be a total wimp...the one who always hid in the corner and never had anything to say...the shy one...the one with the low self-esteem.  I was so beaten down that I felt that whatever I said was meaningless my mouth stayed shut.  But now, I sometimes surprise myself.  Never would I have imagined that I would one day be running my own group....ME, the one who never participated in group.  Always, when it came around to me, my favorite words were, "I'd rather listen".  Secretly, I had always wished that I was more like the others, so outspoken, unafraid to say what was on their mind.  

That's pretty much changed now, though.  I've grown a lot as a person since those days, and my self-esteem is so much higher...not sky high, but it's up there nonetheless.  However, there is one thing I have noticed. I still do not know how to accept a compliment.  Take today, for example.  When I walked into the room, the trainer complimented me on the skirt I was wearing.  My response?  "Thank you.  This skirt is so old.  I've had it for so many years."  Other times, I may say something like, "Thank you, but I think this skirt makes me look fat."  And this is something that happens ALL the time.  If someone tells me my hair looks nice, I have to go into a whole spiel about how much work I had to put into it.  Why can't a simple 'thank you' suffice?

I'm not alone in this, though...Surprisingly, it seems many people have trouble graciously accepting a compliment.  There seems to be something built into our mindset that tells us we cannot possibly deserve positive feedback.  And, as soon as someone gives us a compliment, our inner critic wakes up and goes to work...telling us that we are undeserving.  Why is it so hard to believe that someone has something nice to say to us?  

Someone once told me that I should start thinking of compliments as verbal gifts, something that comes from the heart...that I should try to put myself in the other person's place.  I should think about how I felt when I offered a heartfelt compliment to someone only to have them reply in a negative way?  It hurts, doesn't it?  Accepting compliments graciously is not a talent we are born with; it is something that we learn through practice. And the simplest way to accept a compliment is with a simple 'thank you'.  I'm learning.  Anything new takes time, but one day I know I will be there.  

How about you?  How do you accept compliments?  Can you simply say 'thank you?'

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Are Only as Old as You Feel

There's a saying, "You're only as old as you feel."  Well, for years I have never felt I was quite my age.  And I mean that.  When I turned 30, I still felt 20...when I turned 40, I still felt 30...and so on.  I look in the mirror now and SEE a 63 year old woman looking back at me, but hey, that face sure has me fooled. I think as kids we all went through that stage where we thought we were adopted; well, I went further than that.  I thought I was born in a different year altogether...and even today, I actually believe that  my birth certificate must  somehow be ten years off...physically....but emotionally it is maybe 50 years off.  No way am I 63.

By my nature, I still feel like a big kid.  I love to have fun.  I love playing with things.  I can get hooked on a video game at 5 pm and still be sitting there at 2 am...even though I have to go to work the next day.  I have a coloring book and crayons and love to get them out and color when I am under stress.  I am the oldest one at my job, yet I look around at the others, and they seem, oh, so much older than me.  

Yesterday I mentioned my toys.  There must be about 30 of them in my office...comes from years of buying at the holidays.  One of my favorites was a gift from my son...see, even my boys know I am still a kid at heart.  It is parrot who repeats everything that you say.  Oh, gosh, I have so much fun with him...I love chasing my co-workers around getting them to speak.  One time, I brought him into my parole group...thinking they'd have some fun...but, no one would say a word.  Turns out they were so paranoid, they thought I was taping them for their parole officers.  Had to remove the parrot from the room. 

Another great toy is "Officer Ron".  What a cutie he is!  Picture a little mouse dressed in a police officer's uniform...badge and all.  He's the cutest little thing with his club in his hand...and when you turn him on, he dances and sings "Bad Boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do when they come for you." One night I told my parole group that we had an speaker, and when they asked who, I told them "Officer Ron".  Well, they all groaned and carried on that they didn't want a police officer in their group...and then I brought him out and let him sing away.  They got such a kick out of it.

Now, don't you go thinking that I carry on like that in all my groups...only those that need a little jump start to get going. Sometimes, when nobody wants to talk because they don't really know each other, so they don't want to share...a little laughter goes a long way.  

Now, that's the emotional part of me...a big, overgrown little girl...the trickster.  Physically, I could be better.  My back hurts most of the time...and with the fibro, I never know what is going to hurt sinuses a forever acting up, and my IBS holds me back from doing a lot of the things I used to do...but, I can deal with it...the gift of laughter carries me through.  Hope you all have a great day...and make someone laugh today. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Morning Blues

Good morning on this back to work Monday.  These weekends just fly on by, don't they?  This is especially true on my cooking weekends when it feels like I don't have any time for myself.  But now, I don't have to cook for the next two weeks which makes it worth it.  And, I didn't sleep very well last night, so I'm not quite up to par.  Need a couple of iced coffees to get me going.

"Take time every day to do something silly".-- Philipa Walker 

Have you ever noticed that spring fever tends to bring out our longing and our sense of needs for attention, play, and laughter.  Some of us may be afraid to express those needs we don't want to be considered childish, so we keep them bottled up inside of ourselves and instead...and all we can express to others is frustration.  I totally "LOVE" being silly.  If only you could see my office...filled with little dolls and animals...all of which sing and dance...and sometimes I turn them all on at once just to cause a stir.  And, with each one singing a different song, it sure does cause a stir.  Those who don't know me would never guess that this is the office of a 63 year old woman.

So, Ifyou have spent the winter months all uptight and frustrated, let Spring be a reminder to give yourselves a break from work and study.  Laugh a little...and make sure you share that laughter with someone else.  And when you do, don't be surprised to find yourself getting back exactly what you need. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Little Sunday Love

"Love the animals, love the plants, love everything.  If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.  Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love."--Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Wouldn't it be great if we could all learn to love one another? Mother Nature provides the answer.  By learning to respect and love the natural world, humankind will one day learn to love each other.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mercury Retrograde in Taurus

Good afternoon.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.  Our weather is kind of cool and not very springlike, but I didn't plan anything anyway, so it really isn't bothering me much.  Did all my cooking this morning and took a little snooze after I was done.  This cold seems to be working its way out of me now, so hopefully by Monday I'll be back to my old self.

So, here we for another Mercury retrograde.  Actually, Mercury generally goes retrograde at least three times a year.  This time it will be in Taurus, and Earth sign.  Practical concerns will be in the forefront as the material world comes into focus.  While you may find fault with your surroundings, your job, even your body, this is not a time for you to do anything drastic.  Instead, look for new opportunities while keeping tabs on other possibilities that might be satisfying to you.  

On a personal level, you may find yourself being overly self-critical at this time.  While a critique of oneself may lead you to making some positive changes...such as watching what you eat, incorporating exercise into your daily is important to maintain one's objectivity, for being too critical can bring on a bout of depression.

The key issue will be one of maintaining focus.  Mercury, the trickster, tends to bring unforeseen changes and blockages, yes, but the frustrations and aggravations we feel during this period depends on how we roll with the punches.  Unresolved issues from the past may be pushing themselves forward making us feel very uncomfortable, foolish, and inadequate.  

But, the above doesn't necessarily happen to everyone.  Actually, your Mercury retrograde depends on where it hits in your natal chart.  This is actually a great time for some people...especially if Mercury is well-aspected or retrograde in the birth chart.  

At any rate, everything will straighten out by May 28th as he passes the point where he first became retrograde.  

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

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday This and That

Good afternoon.  I have spent much of my morning in bed and am feeling much better now...and it wasn't being in bed that helped, it was going out.  I've never been one to be held down by anything.  I may whine and complain once in awhile, but nothing stops me from doing what I have to do...not my back problems, not my fibro, and definitely not a nasty cold.  

So, when I got up, I made myself some chicken soup for breakfast (I eat weird breakfasts) and debated what I should do...this being a cooking weekend.  Should I continue to rest up today and go shopping tomorrow morning?  Or, should I get the shopping done today so I can stay in and recuperate the rest of the weekend?  Well, the latter won out, and I am so glad it did...for now that shopping is over.  I can get an early start on my cooking tomorrow and have the afternoon to myself.  

It's a cool day out there today...windy and raw...grey sky included.  It felt more like an autumn day, than one of spring.  Heck, if it weren't for the pink and white buds on the trees, I would have thought I must have slept through spring and summer.  I really have to say, though, that the cool, crisp air really brought me back to the land of the living. 

I am in awe of Mother Nature.  I am in awe of Her power.  I've been following that volcanic eruption in Iceland closely, and already there are worldwide consequences.  And then there are the floods, and the earthquakes, and the melting of the glaciers.  I read an article about the 1783 eruption of this very same volcano.  The gases that were freed turned into smog which floated across the jet steam changing the weather patterns.  Now, we have already seen changing weather patterns this past winter.  What will this volcano bring?  Also in the 1783 eruption, many died from gas poisoning on the British Isles; crop production fell throughout Europe causing widespread famine.  The winter of 1784 was also the longest on coldest on record in North America.  It was so cold that year that it was reported that the Mississippi River froze in New Orleans.  Let's just hope that disruption of flights is the worst consequence we see from this.

By the way, any of you who live in the Midwest see those giant fireballs Wednesday night?  I didn't see it in person, but it sure was something to see on the news.  Must have been something in person.  It's no wonder many thought the end was coming...the way the sky was lighting up.

Hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.   

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm having one of Those Days

Good afternoon.  Boy, am I late.  Been so busy this morning.  Not a moment for myself.  Even started work one hour early.  I'm really not up to par today.  I don't even know why I am here.  But, I had to catch up on my work before I get more new people next week.  I'm feeling pretty out of it today.  My roommate was very sick yesterday, and now, here I am with it...a chest cold.  I know, I know...I should be home in bed, but sometimes I can be pretty foolish.

I'm feeling kind of sad and lost today.  Can't put my finger on it.  Probably because I am sick.  My mind is thinking clearly.  I am forgetting things.  Like, since I started my diet and stopped drinking Pepsi, I have developed a taste for Arizona Black Tea.  And I was trying to tell someone about it, and I couldn't think of the name...All I could think of was Amazon.  I did an entire psychosocial on the computer and didn't press 'save' so now I have to start the whole thing over.  One of those kind of days. I brought my yogurt and forgot to put it in the now I won't eat it.  

I'm doing my best to keep my spirits up, but I've most certainly had a hard time of it.  So, with that, I'd like to leave you with a saying I have on my office wall.  It's written in a heart and at the bottom is a red rose.  I often meditate on it when I am feeling bad.

"When we can't have what we love, we must love what we have." 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Everyday Miracles

Good morning.  It's a sunny, but somewhat chilly day, but it's becoming so 'green' here in the city.  I love it. Awhile back I wrote about 'intuition' and those 'everyday miracles' that so many of us ignore.  We don't ignore them because we 'choose' to; we ignore them because we just don't have the time to pay attention.  We're always busy, always racing; our minds are always active on the things we have on our agenda...and how are we ever going to get them done.  I'm guilty of this myself, but since Saturday, these little coincidences and such have been very hard to ignore.  My life has been like something out of "The Celestine Prophecy".  

This is the week I had to do my taxes.  I always have to wait until close to the 15th of April because of the forms that filter in from the motion picture companies with my earnings of ex-hubby's residuals.  See, he was an actor; he died in 1996.  We'd separated before that and although he took me off his life insurance, he forgot about the residual checks from the Screen Actors Guild.  And because there are no taxes taken out on these residual checks, each year I have to pay because this added onto my income brings me into a new tax bracket.  

I've been going to the same tax place for three years now...and each year, like I said, I have to pay the state and maybe get no more than $50 back from the federal.  So, I planned to go on Saturday, but was still under the weather and hubby had a training, so I put it off...thinking he would drive me on Sunday.  But, when Sunday rolled around, I found out that he had planned to visit his sister, and he couldn't take me.  I was irate and planned to take a cab over, but I was too lazy.  So, what was left for me to do was to go to Jackson Hewitt down the block from my job.  

Okay, come Monday I head for Jackson Hewitt and open the wrong door...finding myself standing in this very small office.  I turned to leave, and the lady motioned me in.  Turns out that SHE had a tax business also...and she was cheaper than all the others.  Then, when she does my taxes, I find out that I didn't have to use the itemized long form that the other place insisted I use, (to charge more, of course), but instead could use the short form....and get money back.  As a matter of fact, I am getting $923 from the state (who I always paid) and $311 from the IRS.  In addition, she wants me to bring my tax form for the past three years, and she will see if she can get me money back on them.  And all this as a result of a series of a set of accidental events: being sick on Saturday, hubby not taking me on Sunday, and walking in the wrong door.

And last night, as I headed home on the subway, I found myself on the same subway car in the same seat.  Now, what are the odds of that?  At first, it was the advertisements noticed...immigration, English...all in the same spots...and then when I looked to my left...there were the same initials "CR" that had been scratched into the glass.  

Synchronicity happens to everyone, and every coincidence is meaningful. We are often surprised by the seemingly perfect timing of some events and often refer to them as lucky, accidental or unbelievable...these coincidences, unexpected happenings, surprises, and even deja vu.  They appear to happen haphazardly so we usual don't pay much attention, but what if we begin shifting our frame of reference and think of these moments as synchronistic occurrences?  What if we move these events from the realm of random to one with a deeper purpose and meaning?  The perfect timing arrivals by a person at the right place...Destiny?  Fate?  Or wonderful things that just seem to go right with our lives?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Subway Etiquette

Good morning to all out there in the wonderful world of Blogland. It's another workday, and here I am...waiting for it to begin.  I had a very uncomfortable ride to work today; I forgot my book.  Now, I know that sounds like something minor, but first of all, to and from work are my best times to read...and I am starting a new book on Merlin today and was so anxious to get started.

But, there's another reason, too.  I don't know if any of you have ever had the pleasure of riding on a New York City subway, but those of us who ride on a regular basis, know all too well about the unwritten rules of conduct.  Some things are basic common sense such as not putting your feet on the seat or placing your bags on a seat while people have to stand.  But, there is also this rule about "space".  We all have our boundaries, and get quite upset when someone intrudes upon them.  We get used to it, though, for the subways can get pretty darned crowded.

And there is another unwritten rule as well.  Avoid eye contact.  Or, in other words, don't stare.  But, what's a person to do on a crowded train when there is no place to look but AT someone.  If your eyes fall upon a man, he gets the impression that you are coming on to him...and women?  It all depends.  I know that some just LOVE the attention while others get all squeamish and uncomfortable.  And then, the young girls take it as antagonistic and usually respond with something like a very nasty little "What are you looking at?" or "Do you have a problem?"

So, how did I manage my subway ride today?  Well, I could have kept my head down...but my days of hanging my head are over.  Today, I can hold my head up high.  I could have closed my eyes and rested, but that's something I never do on the train.  I always remain alert. I could also have meditated, but even with that, some people get the idea that you are watching them. So, I read...signs.  If anyone needs a good immigration lawyer, I now know of one....and I know where one can learn English as a second language.  I also know the escape route instructions so well that I believe I could lead people in the event of an emergency.  

And there you have it, my friends.  That was how I began my day.  And before I close, I have a blogging question.  How do I add links onto my blog?  I have quite a few women's rights links that I want to add to "I Am Women", and I did find "Add a Link." on the "Add a Gadget"  button that opens up the different things you can put on your blog.  So, I added some links, and although it shows that they are there on the edit layout page, they don't show up on the blog.  What am I doing wrong?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musings

"Open your mind and your heart be still."--Shawn Phillips

Good morning to everyone out there in Blogland.  It's back to work Monday, and here I am.  Wish I could say I was raring to go, but nothing could be further than the truth.  It's just too nice and 'springy' outdoors to be cooped up in an office.  

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to watch the news.  Does nothing good ever happen anymore?  This morning I heard about the subway terror plot, a seven alarm fire which has made over 60 people homeless, and a man getting hit by a car and killed in the neighborhood where I work.  All this in a span of the first ten minutes that I got up.  I mean, I like to know what is going on around me, but lately it's becoming a bit much violence...wars...hatred.

Many of us try hard to ignore much of what goes on around us, but as much as we may try to bury ourselves into  our little cocoons, the world continues, and eventually the time comes that even we have to admit to ourselves that the world is not the beautiful, peaceful place that we want it to be.  A day doesn't go by when one doesn't watch or listen to some negative news on the media...which, by the way, has evolved into the 'messenger of doom' that keeps on infecting people with bad news.  Why?  Negative news sells more than positive news.  

After having our minds poisoned by all of these negative issues, how is it possible for one to focus on positive living?  Is it even possible?  It seems to me that we are always thinking on how we are going to tackle some problem that we may have or that we are busy tackling other issues...thus lacking time for personal development.  But, even when facing these challenges, we need to keep a positive attitude about life.

The world about us is constantly changing.  The trees turn from green to shades of yellow, orange and red, then back to green again.  Yet, even if we spent our days staring at the trees, we could not actually see the colors changes for change requires time and patience. Think of the world as a tree, a tree with many branches and nations...and in each of these nations are little communities where individual people live.  We are the roots of this 'world tree'.  And, as we begin to make a conscious effort to accept and love others regardless of our differences, the branches that extend from us and cover the world will begin to grow strong. It all begins with us.  The peace we make within ourselves can be reflected everywhere.  And the first step we can take is to have hope for ourselves and for our universe.  Hope is a melody that will keep us comes when we believe in the goodness of our world. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Home Alone

"Be able to be alone.  Lose not the advantage of solitude,"--Sir Thomas Browne

Hubby is visiting a family member, and my son just left for work, so here I myself and loving it. There is no quiet like the quiet of being alone with oneself at home. Several years ago, I never thought I would hear myself talk about how much I value my solitude, but today, I find it absolutely essential to be in my home with no one around sometimes. I love my family, but there are just those times when I vitally need to be in and with my home alone. 

Throughout most of my life I was one of those people who had to be doing, who had to be with.  I just never knew what to do when left by myself so I would tag along to places I really didn't want to be...just for companionship. That's because I didn't know how to be with 'me'.  I didn't like being with me because that meant too much time to think. I was in such a bad space back then. I was so needy and so co-dependent that I actually almost drove hubby away.  I was just too clingy.  Thank goodness I have grown since then or I would have been ALONE.

So today, whenever the last person walks out and closes the door, I, and it seems as if my home, both breathe a simultaneous sigh.  There's just something about being by oneself, especially on a Sunday afternoon...the day before the workweek begins... that allows one to move slowly through the house, naked if I so choose, as I prepare to gather those parts of myself, my psyche,  that have become distributed elsewhere during the previous week while I was out there doing my life.  Being home alone allows me to pull that lost part of myself back into myself while I snuggle down in a known and loved environment to regroup and prepare to participate in the active aspects of our lives.

To me, the supreme luxury is having a whole day at home with myself.  But, I'll take what downtime I can get for even one hour a lone with a good book can do to return us to balance.  How do you handle your alone time?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Ponderings

Good afternoon, everyone.  It's late...I know.  I had a busy, busy day today.  This morning I went shopping.  I haven't bought myself anything aside from books in a good long while so I wanted to go treat myself to something new to wear in the spring...something that fits.  It was a beautiful morning.  Cooler than it has been, but sunny and bright.  The bus was late, but I didn't care.  I was soaking up the sun.  Needless to say, all I came home with was socks. But it was a glorious day out...and I've noticed that I've been venturing out on weekends more often.  The exercise certainly will not hurt.

Across from me on the bus was a mother and her little girl...and the little girl was acting up...not badly, but just a little whiny because her mother hadn't bought her something that she wanted. Suddenly, the mother snapped, "Stop acting like such a child."  And I had to chuckle.

How many times when we were children were we told to "grow up".  We were told that we were "acting like children", which, when you think of it, can be pretty confusing because after all, we WERE children.  And then, as we grew older, we were encouraged to search for "the child within" and learn how to play. Then when we find our inner child and begin to play, someone always comes along and tells us to 'grow up'.   So as adults, we are told to act like children, and as children, we are told to act like adults.

So, my question for you to ponder is this?  How ARE we supposed to act?   

By the way, "I am Woman" is up and going.  I am Woman

Friday, April 9, 2010

I love all of You

Good morning fellow bloggers.  The sun is finally beginning to come out after a night of rain.  I've spent most of the morning in bed.  Seems I have picked up a spring cold and figure it is best to knock it out right away than have it linger. The pretty flowers are an effort to make myself feel better.  It was pouring this morning, and my body just said "No".  I didn't get much sleep last night either.  Besides having the worst sore throat and a sinus headache, my Minga was in one of her 'want company' moods.  She never used to do this, but lately, now that she is old, she has become quite demanding.  Of course, we all have our share of the blame...myself, hubby, and son.  She's going to be 18 in July, a ripe old age for a cat, and her kidney is beginning to shut down.  Now, she has always been loved and gotten plenty of attention, but since we found this out, it has been more so.  In our zest to make this time special for her and to always keep her happy, we have spoiled her...even more than she used to be.  And, then, when I am awoken at all hours because she wants me up with her, it catches up to me.  I'm not a spring chicken anymore either...and I work at a very demanding job full-time.  I need my rest.

I got some really wise advise from all of you yesterday, and I thank you all for taking the time. I plan on checking out the websites and taking into account all that has worked for you.  Of course, I want to look good, but this extra weight is also making me feel pretty bad. When I first quit smoking, I felt great...I could race up the subway stairs to catch my train.  But then, when I hit the third month, I noticed that I was having a more difficult time of it...and since then it has gotten worse.  I have to stop several times just to get up the stairs...and it all coincides with this extra weight.  My lungs and heart are fine...thank goodness.  I smoked for 48 years.  That's a heck of a long time.  And I am pleased to say, smoking is a thing of the past...No more...never even think of it. 

Instead, now I have begun running to food for stress relief.  I got addicted to Pepsi Cola...sugared.  Had to have one every day.  I've stopped that.  Now, I do drink teas and if I need a real caffeine, I give in and have an afternoon coffee.  On weekends, my snacks included...a pint of chocolate ice cream. honey buns, fruit pies, a large bag of Sour Cream and Onion Chips, three large meals, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches....Need I go on?  That is a food disorder.  I'm happy to say, I am going on the second week, and although I don't have a scale, I am beginning to feel the difference.  A lot less breathlessness. 

On occasion, I have mentioned that I have an addictive personality so nothing I do is in moderation...and no where is that more visual for all to see than in the number of blogs I keep.  Well, I've realized now that I do NOT have to post on each one every day.  I've also run out of steam with Anam Cara and plan on deleting it.  In its place I hope to begin a new blog about women...famous women, everyday women...basically women who have accomplished something with their life.  The blog will feature women from the beginning of history to tomorrow's news.  I am feeling really good about it.  I'd like to hear your thoughts.  It's up and running:

Again, thanks for rallying around me on another of my whiny days.  Now, I am headed for a few more hours sleep...if that is in the cards. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thank you

Good morning, everyone.  It's a sunny, warm Thursday.  I cannot believe the work week is almost over all ready.  So unbelievably fast.  I really wanted to take the day off, but my office mate is off this week, and the office is just so peaceful.  I've been moving from my classical to my Celtic to my Andes music and really finding peace on the job.  It's a struggle when you share an office with someone who is constantly...and I mean constantly...on the phone with personal calls.  Sometimes I just leave the office for my own sanity..and to avoid confrontation.  I don't handle that very well

I would like to thank everyone of you for your kind words yesterday.  I feel like such a baby...letting something like that get to me...but I realize that that was just a trigger.  I've been feeling pretty bad about myself lately.  As most of you know, I quit smoking 9 months ago...and since that time, I've gone overboard with food.  I can't explain it.  It's something that happened.  I wouldn't even be hungry...yet I would eat...never once thinking of the consequences.  I can blame it on my dad's alcoholism.  I know better now.  I know about addiction.  And, while it is true that children of alcoholics and addicts have a greater propensity for addictions themselves, it doesn't have to be that way. Overeating was something I CHOSE to do.

Ironically, I probably would have continued with this addictive behavior had not two things happened.  First, I realized that all of this extra weight I am carrying around is now starting to interfere with my health.  I become breathless when I climb up the stairs or do anything strenuous.  Secondly, I have nothing to wear.  I have blouses that were big on me last September that now won't even button.  I don't have a scale or access to one; don't think I would get on one even if I did.  But, I am guessing that I have gained a minimum of 25 pounds...and that's a only minimum guess the 9 months since I stopped smoking.  

(And please, anyone out there who is thinking about quitting smoking, do it.  Don't let my weight gain  me scare you off.  You don't HAVE to do what I did. Quitting smoking will be the best thing you did for yourself)

So, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I was once again that sad little girl that didn't fit in.  My clothes looked funny on me; they were too tight and the bulge hung out all over...much like the bulge around the waistline that came from rolling up my mom's skirts to make them fit when I was a little girl.  So, this wasn't about someone leaving my blog.  People have left before. This was about it happening at a time when I was already feeling bad with myself.

I have now begun to my food intake.  Lots of veggies, more pepsi which had become a new addiction.  No more cake, chips; instead, I have a 60 calorie pudding to satisfy that sweet tooth.  I know I also need to incorporate exercise...but that one I'll have to take slow.  It's been awhile.

If anyone has any tips it would be greatly appreciated.