Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Moon Eclipse in Gemini on June 1

The new moon, of no importance
lingers behind as the yellow sun glares
and is gone beyond the sea's edge;
earth smokes blue;
the new moon, in cool height above the blushes,
brings a fresh fragrance of heaven to our senses.

--By D.H. Lawrence --

An Eclipse signifies an intense time of energy that has the power to spark the beginning or end of relationships and situations; its  effect can be felt before and for months after the eclipse. A Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon is New and a Lunar Eclipse occurs on the Full Moon.   This New Moon  in Gemini brings with it the first of three eclipses that occur one right after another in June and July.  This will be a partial solar eclipse of the sun, one
in which the Moon blocks the part of a Sun’s face. Eclipses tend to bring abrupt change, usually too fast for comfort.

Most ancient cultures felt awe each time the sun rose and feared any unusual appearance or event they witnessed in their sky.  The heavens
were supposed to act in an orderly fashion; hence, anything out of the ordinary, such as a solar or lunar eclipse, instilled terror in our ancient ancestors.  To the ancient peoples, an eclipse was a bad omen who believed that this was a sign of displeasure of the gods.  In many ancient cultures, a solar eclipse was seen as a battle between the Sun and spirits of darkness.

The New Moon is a time of new beginnings, a time to start new projects and endeavors. Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini; hence, the focus here will be on learning and education, and around communication and relationship. The Sun in Gemini accents fresh directions, and the New Moon marks the time to take chances. This is a great time to pursue academic interests and to take care of communications both verbal and written. This will also be an excellent time to look for a new job or enroll in a new course. 

During this Lunar phase, it is a perfect time to plant mental seeds for what you want to create in the future. 
Think about all of the new ideas you would like to put into action and look for ways to bring these ideas to fruition.  Focus on what you would like to manifest during the next month. Make a list today, but be sure to keep in mind that Gemini deals with friends, networking, communication.  The following are some of the things you might want to do during this Gemini New Moon:

Look for a new job
Do some writing
Work on adaptability
Visit the library
Research new ideas
Work on short term projects
Take a class for fun
Write or call old friends
Dig out your favorite book and re-read it.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    May 30 Memorial Day

    Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o'er,
    Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
    Dream of battled fields no more.
    Days of danger, nights of waking. -Sir Walter Scott

    For many, the Memorial Day weekend is nothing more than the unofficial start to summer, and the earlier custom of cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves as a way of paying homage to the dead has largely been replaced with picnics and reunion.  Others relate this holiday to an extra day off work to catch up on some rest.  And still others, yet, relate this holiday to play golf and hit the summer sales events.  The sad fact is that while many still do observe Memorial Day as it should be, the show of patriotism decreases year after year.

    It began as a day when family, friends, and perhaps even strangers would decorate the graves of the fallen Civil War soldiers with flowers and flags; hence, it was originally called Decoration Day.  Then, after World War I it also recognized all American service men and women who served in wartime and were killed in the military, as well as a time to honor those still fighting today.  And, while  many do take this time to pay their respects, there are those who have forgotten the true meaning of this day and what it commemorates. 

    If you are like me, you probably have several ancestors or loved ones who gave their lives for our freedom. Let yourself remember your loved one, both the laughter and the pain and share with others.  Remembering is vital to healing for by remembering, we allow our loved one to live on with us in the world. Express your feelings, and be kind to yourself.   Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone, that people all over the country are united with you on this special day.

    A handful of old men walking down the village street
    In worn, brushed uniforms, their gray heads high;
    A faded flag above them, one drum to lift their feet-
    Look again, O heart of mine, and see what passes by!

    There's a vast crowd swaying, there's a wild band playing,

    The streets are full of marching men, or tramping cavalry.
    Alive and young and straight again, they ride to greet a mate again-
    The gallant souls, the great souls that live eternally!

    A handful of old men walking down the highways?

    Nay, we look on heroes that march among their peers,
    The great, glad Companions have swung from heaven's byways
    And come to join their own again across the dusty years.

    There are strong hands meeting, there are staunch hearts greeting-

    A crying of remembered names, of deeds that shall not die.
    A handful of old men?-Nay, my heart, look well again;
    The spirit of America today is marching by!
    --Theodosia Pickering Garrison-- 

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Friday Musings

    Changing the world begins
    with the very personal process of changing yourself,
    the only place you can begin is where you are,
    and the only time you can begin is always now.

    -- Gary Zukav--

    This starts by spreading the seeds of kindness...a kind word,  a smile, a helping hand to someone in need.... perhaps, they, in return turn, may be inspired to spread their own seeds of kindness.  That is how it begins  By spreading the seeds of kindness, one person can change the world.

    Wishing a safe and happy holiday weekend to all of you.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Experiencing the Mysterious

    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. They to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, are as good as dead: their eyes are closed.--Albert Einstein
    For many of us, the word magic conjures up an image of illusion, such as the magic used by the great magicians. However, rather than true magicians, they are actually just masters at illusion. True magic is the magic that comes from Mother Nature. Think about how you feel when you go to the beach...

    ...or on a walk through woods...

    ...or when you dive into a cool mountain lake....

    ...or when you experience the vibrant colors of the dawn...

    ...or the beauty of  the sunset...

     ...and find yourself relaxed and at peace with all, you are experiencing the best kind of magic for Nature and all of her mysteries surround us daily...from the birds chirping overhead to the trees blowing in the wind. We are surrounded by the mysterious, the magic of Mother Nature.

    And today,  let us all take a moment to join me in the following Interfaith prayer for those who have been in the path of destruction these past several days, 

    Father/Mother Creator,

    Please comfort all those who have been affected in the tornado belt and their friends and families who live elsewhere. Please let them be strong, and bring their communities together in love, in prayer, and help them care well for each other. Let the healing begin.  Amen.
    and light a candle at:

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011


    And starry Gemini hang like growing crowns,
    Over Orion's grave low down in the west. 

    May 21-June 20 (although dates can vary from year to year)

    Happy Birthday, Gemini.  This is your month.  Gemini is the third sign of the Zodiac   It is a mutable air sign. The main concern for a Gemini is change, adaptation and communication.  On the plus side, the Gemini person is intelligent, flexible, changeable, and communicative; they don't allow themselves to get locked into rigid patterns or belief systems.  Curious, sociable and  friendly, the Gemini individual is rarely found alone.    On the other hand, Gemini is quite changeable by nature and may, at times, suffer from a lack of focus.  

    Gemini is traditionally ruled by the planet, Mercury and is strongly linked to the role of Mercury in Roman mythology who was the light-footed messenger of the Gods. He represents our ability to think, reason, and communicate.  In our charts, he shows us how we process information and exchange ideas with others. The Mercury glyph represents the link between the spirit and matter, and between the soul and personality. It is represented by the crescent, the circle and the cross. It indicates the receptivity of the soul through the exaltation of the spirit over matter. The glyph for Gemini is the Roman Numeral II which symbolizes the sign of twin identities.

    More than 6000 years back, the Rig Veda mentions the two primary stars of the Gemini constellation as appearing as  two horseman early at dawn. They were part of the Ashvins known as Sahadeva and Nakula, the youngest of the Pandu princes. During that time, the two stars were only visible at dawn during spring season. This led to the idea that they were twins and linked with the Spring Equinox.

    The mythology of the sign Gemini is particularly rich because it involves two sets of twins, one divine and one mortal.  The tale of Castor and Pollux is perhaps the most well-known in ancient mythology.  Both were mothered by Leda, and, therefore, were brothers of Helen, but the twin brothers  were from two different fathers, one being  Leda's official husband, the King of Sparta and the other from the god, Jupiter, who impregnated Leda when he shapeshifted into a swan.  Pollux was Jupiter's son; hence, he was an immortal.  Castor, being the son of the king, was mortal and was famous for his skill with horses....and the two brothers loved each other more than their own lives.  Both brothers were involved in the Jason and Argonauts search of the Golden Fleece  and then fought in the Trojan War, but they never, ever allowed themselves to be separated from one another.

    One day Castor, the mortal, was killed, and Pollux was so overcome with grief that he pleaded with Zeus not to separate him from his brother.  Immortality meant nothing to him if it meant that Castor would forever remain in the Underworld.  Zeus relented and allowed the two brothers to remain together.  Thus, it was decided that the twins would spend half their time in heaven and half in the Underworld...and, to this day, the six months of light corresponds to the periods when the constellation of Gemini is visible in the sky.
    Among the ancients, and particularly among the Romans, there prevailed a superstition that Castor and Pollux often appeared at the head of their armies  and led on their troops to battle and victory.  Thus, they were invoked on the field of battle to insure victory.

    Have fought for Rome to-day,
    These be the great Twin Brethren
    To whom the Dorians pray.
    Back comes the chief in triumph
    Who, in the hour of fight,
    Hath seen the great Twin Brethren
    In harness on his right.

    Castor and Pollux were worshipped both by the Greeks and Romans, who sacrificed white lambs upon their altars to them. In the Hebrew Zodiac the constellation of the Twins refers to the Tribe of Benjamin.  The Egyptians identified the two stars with a pair of young goats who return to their goat herd at dawn, and during the same time period, the twin stars were referred as Gilgamesh and Enkidu by the ancient Babylonians...the  twin brothers and two heroes who fought a series of classic battles against the gods for attaining immortality.  The Arabs saw in this group of stars Two Peacocks, and in Asia, they appeared as the Great Twins and the Heaven and Earth Pair.
    A Buddhist zodiac had in their place a woman holding a golden cord indicating the idea of the sign...unity.   Castor and Pollux were regarded as twins by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Aborigines of the South Pacific Islands.  In Australian tradition, twins known as the Wati- kutjara, the two men, become the constellation Gemini after they performed heroic acts on the earth.  The South African Bushmen called them the Young Women, the wives of the eland,their great antelope.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Thoughts for a Hot, Muggy Tuesday

    Cut not the wings of your dreams,
    for they are the heartbeat and the freedom of your soul. 

    I realized last night that the graduation came and went on Friday night and I hadn't even mentioned here how well it went.  The ceremony itself was so special, and the food was fantastic...Popeye's chicken, barbecued beef, potato salad, cole slaw, tossed salad, biscuits, and cake.  I did blow my diet some, but who can blame me?  I love Popeye's and potato salad?  It's always been one of my favorite foods, but I never make it at home because I am the only one who eats it.  I only had to give three speeches and one graduate had to work overtime and the other did not show up.  My lone female graduate began to cry as she gave her little speech, and, of course, emotional sponge that I am, tears began flowing freely from my eyes.   But, they were happy tears.

    Meanwhile, as you all know, I've not only been watching the exploits of the Decorah eaglets, a baby hummingbird from the day it hatched.  From the day that he hatched, I have been watching Scout, the little hummingbird.  I've watched him grow from the size of a raisin.  Then, from the 19th on we were on a fledge watch.  I kept the window open and checked on and off during the day. The little critter sure did put me through the wringer as I watched on pins and needles waiting for those little wings to carry him off.  Then, the time came for me to go upstairs for the graduation.

    Scout was lying peaceful in his nest, eyes drooping after a busy afternoon of rimming.  I won't miss anything.  Surely, he was set for a few hours...or at least that is what I thought.  When the party was over and I came downstairs, and guess what?  The nest was empty.  Little Scout had taken the opportunity to graduate from the nest.  He had taken the next step of growth.

    It had been obvious all afternoon that Scout wanted to fly off so badly, but was afraid.  You could see by the way he clung to the rim of the nest, but he continued to work at his fears until he got up the courage to face them. The same holds true for my graduates.  The program is a safety net for them, and it is hard for them to let go and move to another stage of their life, of staying clean and sober without depending on the program.   Some are so afraid of cutting the cord that they will actually relapse so they don't have to go.

    Having fear is a part of our life. We all feel it at different points of our lives.  When I moved from my small country home to the city, I was afraid.  I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to make it when I took that step 20 years ago to leave my abusive husband.  Changing careers and going back to school when I hit 50 were no easy tasks either, but I faced the fears that had been holding me back.

    We all have fears... facing the unknown, facing new challenges, being alone. .Its when we don't face our fears that we get bogged down. We begin to stagnate; we don't move forward.  In fact, we don't move any place.  We just are.  We don't bloom and grow.  When we live in fear, we do not embrace life...and embracing life is what it is all about. 

    "Come to the edge", he said.
    They said, "We are afraid".
    "Come to the edge", he said.
    They came.
    He pushed them ...
    and they flew.

    --Guillauame Apollinaire --

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    And Life Will Go On

    Life is the flash of a firefly in the night. 
    It is the breath of the buffalo in the winter. 
    It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
    and loses itself in the sunset. 

    -Crowfoot (Blackfoot)-

    As another Monday morning rolls around, I have to wonder where has all the time been going.  Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer is right around the corner, and it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, and saying good bye to last summer's dreadful heat waves.  And, somewhere in between then and now, Samhain, Yule, New Years, my birthday, Beltane, and Easter have all whizzed by, and today are nothing more than a mere blur.

    Speaking of time, the promised Rapture of May 21st passed by without incident, and we are all still here  The earth is intact.  It is really kind of sad...not that we are still here...but the sadness is for those many people out there who were so desperate for something to believe in that they  quit their jobs, gave away all of their belongings, and drained their saving's accounts.   An ex-transit worker here in the city blew his savings and spent $140,000 on advertising proclaiming that the end is near.  The New York newspapers all picture him standing there amongst the crowd, looking bewildered as the bewitching hour passed.  Today, he wonders what happened.  He wanted so much to believe.  "I do not understand," he says.  Meanwhile, all he worked for his entire life is gone.

    How many are out there who thought they were spending their last day on earth?  And how many others woke up on Sunday morn with nothing,  having given away all of their worldly goods?  Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed preacher is keeping out of sight; the website to his Family Radio ministry hasn't even been updated  'This office is closed.  Sorry we missed you.' was what his broadcasting network is saying.  It seems he has left his flock high and dry as he either sits back and plans his latest excuse or plots his disappearance...and not as a part of the Rapture, to be sure.  In my opinion, the man should be prosecuted for swindling all those people. 

    Yes, it was their choice.  No one twisted their arms.  So why?  Sadly, people have always been easily manipulated by charismatic speakers such as Camping, a man who appears so confident in himself and knowledgeable that people are convinced that what he says is true.  He gathers his followers through personality and charm.  His self-belief is so high, they it becomes easy for others to believe that he is infallible; hence, they are able to manipulate their followers...even when they have received adequate warning from others.  Once under his spell, he then uses what I consider a form of terrorism to keep them in line...'Follow me and experience the Rapture or suffer with the masses.'  I shake my head in wonder because in 1994, his predictions failed as well, and he was still able to convince any number of people that this time it would really happen.

    Too many people have been hurt by his false claims, both then and now.  They are the real victims of the false prophet, and they are people just like us.  The climate we live in, with so many destructive and violent things happening in the world, lends itself to people believing that something is going to happen.  They are truly victims--victims of false hope, victims of religious fervor, victims of a man who really has nothing to lose.  Camping is an old man with little to lose. At 89, he has lived a full life  And, you can surely believe he will either disappear altogether with his fortune, or once again blame the math or find some other reason and eventually retire.   He will survive.

    And, before long, another charismatic leader will come round to take his place, and the believers will once again assure themselves that they have all the answers for that is the way of the world.  Life will go on.

    Seek always for the answers within.
    Be not influenced by those around you -
    by their thoughts or their words.

    Eileen Caddy -

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Have a Wonderful Weekend

    Make a mental list of happy thoughts and pass them through your mind several times every day.

    The above quote came from a calendar that my hubby had brought home. Each month not only has a beautiful nature scene, but also some great words of wisdom such as the one above.

    Tonight is the graduation here at work.  I've 6 speeches to give.  Who would have imagined me, who stuttered as a child whenever I had to get up in front of the class, would be giving speeches? The sun is shining; the temperature is warm.  I am loving it.

    So, as this weekend rolls around, I am going to keep happy thoughts in my mind. Yes, everything is up in the air right now and a possible move looming in the future, but dwelling on the negative will not make them go away. 
    So, I plan to begin this weekend by making a list of my blessings and focusing on what is right with my life and not what is wrong with it.

    And with that, I am wishing each and every one of you a wonderful weekend, one that is filled with happiness and joy. 

    "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." --Oscar Wilde

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Before and After

    Wow, can't believe I am sitting here at work already.  Five days sure can go quickly.  With the constant rainy days, I didn't very get much accomplished, but I did learn that it is very easy for me to pull the covers back up and sleep the day away.  Did manage to get some sorting and tossing done.  Trying to prepare myself for a move....should it come. It's amazing how much junk one can accumulate.

    I'd also forgotten why I gave up on going to the beauty parlor and began cutting my hair myself.  They never listen.  You show them a picture, and they do what they want anyway. Although my bangs were left longer than I wished, my new cut is much shorter than I had wanted, but I will admit, my head does feel free and easy without that heavy mass of hair...which, by the way, is on its way to make wigs for cancer patients.  That gives me a good feeling...the hair that was so hot, heavy, uncomfortable..and aging on me will help someone else feel better about themselves.    As promised, before and after pictures.



    No matter how you look at it, I take awful photos, always have. Actually, the hair cut itself looks better than the pictures.  But beauty is not in a picture; it is how you feel inside.  It is not something physical.  It reflects in your eyes.  If you have a good heart, that's all that matters.  William Butler Yeats knew and wrote about it in the following poem.  

    "NEVER shall a young man,
    Thrown into despair
    By those great honey-coloured
    Ramparts at your ear,
    Love you for yourself alone
    And not your yellow hair.'
    "But I can get a hair-dye
    And set such colour there,
    Brown, or black, or carrot,
    That young men in despair
    May love me for myself alone
    And not my yellow hair.'
    "I heard an old religious man
    But yesternight declare
    That he had found a text to prove
    That only God, my dear,
    Could love you for yourself alone
    And not your yellow hair." 
    --William Butler Yeats--

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Our Crowning Glory

    Well, this time I am definitely going to do it...no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Before I return to work tomorrow, I plan on being minus a few inches of hair. When I was a little girl, I had  long hair, But it was never the nice, pretty long hair you see on many little girls.  My hair has always been on the thin side, and, oh so straggly. It always had the look of not being combed. Although I don't have any pictures, I remember looking at the smiling little girl in our class pictures with the bedraggled look to her hair.

    Then, by the time I reached my teen-age years, those high teased hairdos were all the rage so my hair was chopped and piled high on my head; then sprayed so that it wouldn't move for a week. Heaven forbid when the rains came. Just try getting a comb through that sticky, tangled mess...but we thought we looked great.  Anyone remember the 'beehive'?  For those that don't, it literally resembled a beehive. We would tease it all up and then pile it high on top of the head, the higher the better.  Then you would take your brush and lightly begin to wrap...and spray, the more spray the better. Heck, I remember my hair being so stiff that I could sleep through the night with ne'er a hair out of place. Now, when shampoo time came around, that was another story.  It may be coming back in fashion, but in no way as drastic as the way we used to wear it.

    Moving forward to my 20's, I was still teasing, but not as much. I'd also begun coloring, and it seemed that my hair texture began to improve. Coloring worked wonders on my straggles, but I still mostly kept my hair short, never managing to get past the shoulder length. My hair tends to grow very slowly, and I am sure that most of you can identify with the fact that our hair growth reaches a stage that we cannot do a thing with it, and and it seems to stop growing.  Hence, it wasn't until I hit my 50's that I finally began  growing my hair long again, a dream I had had most of my adult life. 

    By then I came to terms with the fact that I wanted things easy.   The heck with the fancy styles.  I couldn't be bothered with blow drying or rollers, and  it was just so easy to just pin it up or pull it back in a ponytail. Wash and wear is the greatest.  But, I've grown tired of that. I'm tired of struggling to get the knots out in the back and the headaches when pinned up too tight.  I'm tired of looking in the mirror and seeing the same me...day after day.  It's time for something different....a new me, so to speak...losing weight, new hair do, putting a coat of polish on my nails again. A bright new outlook on life.

    Our 'crowning glory' has always been an important part of our physical being; in fact, isn't it the first thing we notice when we meet someone new? And most people spend a lot of time and money on their hair. We by fancy shampoos and conditioners, sprays, gels, mousse. I'm not one of them. It seems that many of us want something other than what we have been gifted with. If our hair is straight, we wish it were curly, and vice verse. Women spend fortunes and hours of literally suffering to have their hair braided while others swear by extensions. And many of us are not happy with the color of our hair so a natural brunette becomes a blond. Now, that one is me. I've been a blond for many, many years now.

    In ancient Ireland if a traveler was to happen upon a woman with red hair he must turn around and start his journey all over again because redheads were thought to be harbingers of bad luck. The superstition was said to have stemmed from the legend of the goddess, Macha,  who was said to have cursed the men of Ireland and their descendants for nine generations with horrible pangs like labor.  On the other hand, the ancient Greeks died their hair red for courage.

    It was once believed that eating bread crusts would make one's hair turn curly, but diet cannot change the texture of your hair.  The old bread crust myth is believed to have originated in Europe about 300 years ago when survival was precarious and people were starving.  People were losing their hair because they were sick and didn't have enough to eat.  Curly hair was seen as symbol of health, and those who had enough to eat, and this included bread, were generally healthier so bread became associated with healthy, curly hair.

    It seems that choosing a day to cut your hair or nails will bode for you in the following way:

    Cut them on Monday, you cut them for health;
    cut them on Tuesday, you cut them for wealth;
    cut them on Wednesday, you cut them for news;
    cut them on Thursday, a new pair of shoes; 
    cut them on Friday, you cut them for sorrow;
    cut them on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow;
    cut them on Sunday, the devil will be with you all the week. 

    (Will have before and after pictures)


    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Full Moon in Scorpio

    Astrology is a language.  If you understand this language, the sky speaks to you. --Dane Rudhyar

    Some Native Americans call the Full Moon of May is known as the Full Flower Moon for the reason that at this time of year, the flowers spring forth in abundance during the spring. The May Full Moon is also known as the Seed Moon since in May the earth is becoming fertile again, and it is time to begin sowing crops.   Some Algonquin tribes knew this full Moon as the Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.  As part of the seasonal calendar May is the time of the ‘Hare Moon’ according to Pagan belief and the period described as the ‘Moon of the Shedding Ponies’ by Black Elk. This was because when the warm days of May came around, the horses would shed their winter coats. 

    The Full Moon occurs when the Sun is opposite the Moon, and brings about the need for balance and integration. This month's Full Moon is in Scorpio, opposite the Sun in Taurus. Taurus is the opposite of Scorpio for where Scorpio is intense, Taurus seeks peace and serenity.  The Scorpio Moon is a Water Moon; it is feminine, fruitful, cold, and moist.  Taurus deals with security;  Scorpio deals with transformation and change.   Hence, you might feel a push and pull between the stubbornness of Taurus the Bull and the Scorpions need to get rid of things.

    The Moon is in its fall in Scorpio,
    so your emotional responses will be intense, enhanced and volatile.  Emotional needs will be magnified so there’s a  possibility that emotions have been building over the past couple weeks, so notice them before you react. In fact, during this time it might be wise for to hold back from intense emotional encounters, especially those that might turn negative. Power plays may arise, and others may become upset. 

    The Full Moon in Scorpio normally is a magical time of regeneration and rebirth. Scorpio rules over those areas of life that are normally hidden from view, such as our subconscious mind, our shadow self. It is in Scorpio where we find the deep dark well of our obsessions, our emotional pain...the betrayals, losses, wounds of the past.  The Full Moon in Scorpio symbolizes a light brought to those dark places.  Scorpio can also help us to release those dark feelings, and you may decide to use this time to address issues from our buried past...or face the truth about things that you may have been avoiding. Watch for the release of hidden emotions that you no longer need.

    Think of some parts of your life you would like to be healed. Make a strong link with your Higher Self and ask for the strength and hope to transform that part of yourself. Establish a firm intention that during the next few days the door will open to healing this part of you - whether a healer, therapist, self-help book or some new strength and insight that wells up from within. Imagine yourself opening up to a healing energy from spiritual sources and take in as much of this powerful healing energy as you need.

    Finish with the affirmation, “I accept my capacity to transform my life.”--
    from Donna Cunningham, ‘Moon Signs’

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    The Blogger Meltdown: A Rant, but not About Blogger

    Morning, all..or should I say good afternoon  Spent my entire morning in bed, and not just reading; I was fast asleep.  Didn't have a restful night so I am so glad that this is my first day of vacation and that I could climb back into bed.   Of course my mind was racing about all the things that must be done, but hey, they can be done anytime  It's not like I can actually do much with the spring clothes I was planning to dig out.  It's going to rain all week.  No, days like this are for resting.

    I'd planned to do my Scorpio Full Moon post today, but that is one that I lost in the great Blogger Meltdown of 2011.  So, after patiently waiting for its return, I've come to the realization that it's out there some place, lost, with no hopes of returning, so I have begun the tedious process of rewriting.

    Before I begin my little rant, I'd like to qualify something.  I love Blogger and am grateful for the day I discovered that there was another world out here besides Yahoo groups.  I've had so much fun since I arrived here and have met so many wonderful new friends.  I also understand that sometimes things do happen that are beyond our control so this complaint has nothing to do with the Blogger meltdown.  No, indeed, Blogger did its best and I commend their workers for their round the clock vigilance.  This has to do with being in limbo, something I've never been very good at.  

    I happen to be what one would call a  spur of the moment type of writer.  An idea will come to mind, and I have to have it written down before I forget.  Sometimes on the ride to work, ideas and even complete sentences for future posts will come into my head, and if I don't have a pen to write them down, I will repeat them often in my head to make sure I remember what it is I wanted to say, and as soon as I get to work, I will write them down on Blogger and save for future use in draft form.  Sometimes once I start typing out these ideas, they take on a life of their own, and yes, there are other times I arrive at work, sit down to type, and find that I have totally forgotten what I had to say.   

    Needless to say, at any given moment I have any number of drafts saved on my blogs.  And, this past Thursday, I had been feeling particularly creative, worked on several different drafts,  and had any number of posts ready for this week.  Then, the great Blogger meltdown hit, and all drafts done on the 11th and 12th vanished.  Posts from the 12th were returned, yes, but returned in pre-post draft form.  

    Frustrating, indeed, but what I found even more frustrating was the lack of lack of information given to us bloggers.  I did follow all their updates, but never did I see one that mentioned the missing drafts, and I was far from alone in wanting to know.  I and many fellow bloggers were asking the same question  on the Help Forum:

    ME: Will my drafts be returned or should I begin rewriting them?

    The only responses any of us received were not from Blogger itself, but people like you and me who, because they have responded to more questions on the help board, are listed at a higher level. For instance, with my first responses, I started at Level one and am now halfway up the meter to Level two, but I don't know any more about blogging than I did before.  My level may be rising, but I have not learned a thing.  So, the following response to the above question came not from a Blogger employee, but from someone, a Level 9, who has been around the help forum a lot longer than I have: 

    THEM: Blogger has informed that posts will be restored.   

    ME:  I know you are saying that posts will be restored.  I read that myself, but  I am not asking about posts.  I am concerned about the DRAFTS I have lost.

    THEM:  Blogger has informed that posts will be restored.

    Do you know how utterly frustrating that is?   Now, please do not get me wrong. Not all of Higher Levels are what I consider as rude; some were really trying their darnedest to help.  Unfortunately, none of the helpful ones  found me.  Maybe I am wrong, but I did feel very insulted I don't need someone telling me something I have already read.  I don't need a form notice from you. I very well can read for myself and was aware that posts will be restored (which, by the way, were restored, yes, but to their pre-posting, draft state.)  My point to this is, you so-called experts were once a nerd like me, so please, show a little patience and a little kindness.  Acknowledge our frustration and, at least try to answer our questions, and if you can't, then please leave it to the employees of Blogger. 

    So, as I try to sort out what it is that I lost, I would like to pose a question.  Perhaps I am wrong.  Perhaps a draft and a post are the same thing, and if so, then I do apologize for asking the question so many times this past weekend, but all I wanted was an answer.  What is your opinion about post and draft?  To me, posts are completed works that have already been put out there for the world to see, while drafts are works in progress...two different things altogether.  I'd love to know your opinions on this. 

    (This is not a complaint about Blogger.  It is basically about the rudeness of some people.)

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Living Life to the Fullest

    Cherish yesterday,
    Dream tomorrow,
    Live today.
    -- Richard Bach (from 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' -

    Seasons come and go, each passing season a milepost along the highway we call life.  On Sunday, I spent some time in remembrance of the two loveliest ladies in my life--my mom and grandmother--and how they cherished life and lived it to the fullest.  And then I think of the man in the apartment upstairs.  His wife had died a little over a year ago.  They had gone to the South Street Seaport where she collapsed with a heart attack.  The two of them, both retired, would go someplace everyday...to the beach, to concerts, to the fireworks, on boat rides, to picnics in the park.  They lived each day as if there were no tomorrow.  And, when she was gone, he continued living life until he, too, collapsed and died the same way...outdoors enjoying the things he liked to do.  

    The pessimist in life might say that they pushed themselves too hard and should have taken it easier.  The optimist says that life is to be lived no matter how old you are...and I had to sit back and think... Am I living life to the fullest or have I been simply letting it pass me by?  I tell my clients all the time, Never say you can't, but I never follow my own advice. When did it all happen?  When did I become that pessimist who constantly walks around telling myself 'I cannot do that anymore'?  

    My early twenties were a difficult time for me in many ways,  and if anyone out there has ever suffered from psychosomatic illness, they will understand what I am about to say.  A minor cold would become a major illness.  I'd get my old medical book and find something to fit the symptoms. And it is very real to those of us who suffer.  Your body believes whatever the mind tells it to believe.  I think the worst part was the hyperventilating. They were dreadful. I'd get a heavy feeling in the chest and struggle to catch my breath.  My lips would become tingly, and  I was sure I was I was going to die.  I went from doctor to doctor and each told me to breathe into a paper bag, but they were wrong.  I knew there was something seriously wrong with me.  

    Then,  one day I found a book about the mind/body connection and saw myself on those pages.  Wow, I thought, these doctors were right.  Well, the first thing I did was toss out that medical book.  It wasn't doing me any good and was only making my life miserable, and after that, I gradually began to pull out of it and haven't suffered for years....but...

    Fast forward about 40 years,  and I feel myself falling into the same trap, not quite so bad, to be sure, but a trap no less.  Granted, there is no denying that there are real aches and pains that come with age, but are they really enough to hold me back from living life to the fullest?  Or am I making them out to be worse than they really are?  I think it becomes easy on us, sometimes, to get stuck. 

    Now, I seem to have veered far away from my original topic, living life for today...which is the only day we can really live. The past is behind us, and the future lies ahead, so all we have is now. We can take what we learned from yesterday and use it today, but we have to live for today, every minute of it, every season of it.  Time is not our enemy; we are.  

    I accept the gifts of yesterday's memories, today's reality, and tomorrow's dreams

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,

    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,

    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. 
    --William Butler Yeats--

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Big Changes on the Way

    You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation:  If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. --Author Unknown

    Big changes on the way, and  right now it all hasn't sunk in yet.  As you all know, my place of employment will be moving to a new building.  I'm not too keen on that change.  Then, on Friday, when I arrived  home from work, I found out that the old man upstairs passed away.  I've mentioned him before, how he told  me to keep the garbage in my refrigerator.  He's always been a pest, but  one I've learned to deal with, and now  I am feeling so bad about the loss.  I really grew to like that man, and despite his trying to drive us out in the beginning, I know that in the end, he really liked us.

    I know this is going to sound uncaring on my part, but it's not meant to be.  I'm just being realistic. There is nothing holding them  back from selling the house, and if that's what they decide to do, and than means, I would have to move.  I always  knew the one day this would come, and although I have not been happy here for a few years, I'm not prepared to take a big step like this...emotionally or financially.  I've been here for twelve years; it was our first apartment together after living in a studio for so many years.  And forget the rents here in the city.  Just the other day a co-worker was went to see a small studio apartment, and it was going for $900 a month.  That's a heck of a lot of money for something I consider  one large room.  I'm paying $1,200 for 5 rooms and a backyard.  I have been blessed in that sense, and this is why I stay.  We do all the repairs in the household, and the rent is only minimally raised every other year.   

    I know, it doesn't do much good to sit and stew about the 'what if's' and the 'whens'.  At this point, the best thing I can do is start saving as much as possible so I will be better prepared....and just continue living my life.  What else can I do?  Worry will only make me sick.... 

    ...because no matter how one looks at it, change is the one certainty there is in life, because no matter what, change is going to happen. It may be a small change, like altering the  decor of one's house or a larger change such as changing one's abode altogether.  Hey, I always knew this would never be a permanent residence, but my plans were to hold onto it until I retire, and then I would move back to the country.  That's just not feasible for me right now.  I've three years to go before I can retire with my full social security amount, and, by golly, I do not plan on doing it early and letting the government have my money.

    In closing, I'd just like to say, let me be a lesson to all you.  Make sure you put away for a rainy day.  I've always tried to do that, but have never been able to accumulate much.  For a good many years, before hubby was well enough to work, it was only me holding down the fort, and then when his health began to improve, and he was well enough to go back to work, something would always happen that prevented me from saving or, worse yet, caused me to reach in and spend my savings.   Please, don't every allow yourself to get into my predicament. Find a way, no matter what, even if it is only a dollar a week.  But save.  Don't let yourself get caught out there.

    Nothing that is can pause or stay;
    The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
    The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
    The rain to mist and cloud again,
    Tomorrow be today.

    --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Feast of the Lemures: May 9th

    Today is the first day of the of the three-day Feast of the Lemures, a Roman festival held  in honor of the Lemures, the malevolent and fearful ghosts of the dead who wander the earth on these three Spring nights.  It was celebrated in Rome every year during the month of May.  It was celebrated at night and in silence, and during three alternate days; that is, on the 9th, 11th, and the 13th of May, because even numbers were considered unlucky.  These restless spirits believed to be those who died violent or otherwise untimely deaths and were believed exist in the form of unsettled, homeless spirits of the air who envied the living and longed for homes. They were thought to be particularly active on these three days.

    This time was called the Lemuria in recognition of the nocturnal household rituals practiced to drive away these spirits. 

    When midnight comes and drops silence for sleep,
    and dogs and dappled birds are hushed,
    The man who remembers the ancient rite
    and fears the gods, rises up (barefoot)
    And makes a thumb sign between his closed fingers
    to avoid some ghostly wraith in the quiet.
    When he has washed his hands clean with fountain water,
    he turns around after taking black beans,
    Glances away and throws, saying: ‘These I release;
    I redeem me and mine with these beans.’

    According to Ovid, on the nights of the Lemuria, the head of the household  rose at midnight and walked barefoot to a basin containing clean water. He folded his fingers around his thumb and washed his hand in the water. Then, he filled his mouth with black beans and walked through the house and spat the beans out, careful not to look around. When the beans were out he would say nine times, "These I release; I redeem me and mine with these beans."  It was believed that while he was speaking the lemures would come and collect the beans. He then washed his hand again, picked up bronze household instruments, and walked through the house clanging them. When he was done he repeated nine times, "Leave ancestral spirits!  Get out!"

    The myth of origin of this ancient festival was that it had been instituted by Romulus to appease the spirit of his unfortunate brother, Remus. Originally called the Remuria, this festival was celebrated at night and in silence. During this season the temples of the gods were closed because of this annual exorcism of the noxious spirits of the dead, the entire  month of May was deemed unlucky for marriages. 
    Romulus, complying, called that day the Remuria,
    When reverence is paid our buried ancestors.
    Over time the harsh consonant at the beginning
    Of the name, was altered into a soft one:
    And soon the silent spirits were called Lemures too:
    That’s the meaning of the word, that’s its force.
    And the ancients closed the temples on these days,
    As you see them shut still at the season of the dead.
    It’s a time when it’s not suitable for widows or virgins
    To wed: she who marries then won’t live long.

    Now, on another note....

    I had a quiet Mother's Day yesterday.  My sons are both away.  Hubby took his mentally challenged nephew to a movie.  He had asked me to go, but I chose to stay home and nurture me....and to light some candles on my remembrance altar and spend some time with the two special women in my life, to honor them.  Later, I did a little work on my family tree as a means of honoring the rest of my ancestors.  Then, later, I got out my Kindle and was reading a great book on Gaia, and the phone rang.  It was my youngest asking me where I was.  Home, I tell him.  So, why aren't you answering the door?  Well, to be honest, I wasn't expecting anyone, and there are just too many people around here who ring the wrong doorbell.  So, I go to the door, and there is a delivery man with the most gorgeous floral arrangement and a big balloon that says I love you, Mom.  Happy Mother's Day.  It melted my heart.

    My Saturday walk turned into a rather pleasant surprise.  For awhile now, I've had some shortness of breath when I walk for any length of time.  And, between the pain of the fibro, the extra weight, and this breathing issue, it's been hard for me to do the things I once enjoyed.  But, part of the problem, too, has been that I've become a weekend shut-in.  Only on cooking weekends do I go out, and that is only because I need to do my food shopping.  And the fact is, the more you sit, the more weight you gain, the more stiff and achy you become when you try to do something.  So, each weekend I have been trying to get around, even if it is only a walk to our neighborhood CVS.

    And, it seems to be working.  I noticed that not only was I not winded when I go a few blocks from home, but I also seemed to have picked up a little pep in my step.  The Walgreens I went to was one whole subway stop away, and I not only went the distance, but unlike other times, I didn't have to take the train home; this time I walked it both ways....and was still able to catch my breath when I walked in the door.

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Happy Mother's Day

    Wishing all you mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day.  And remember, you don't have to be a biological mother to have been like a mother to someone.  Mother's Day is for everyone.  I wish you all a relaxing, loving day tomorrow. 

    Your mother is always with you...

    She's the whisper of the leaves
    as you walk down the street.

    She's the smell of bleach
    in your freshly laundered socks.

    She's the cool hand on your brow
    when you're not well.

    Your mother lives inside your laughter.
    She's crystallized in every tear drop.

    She's the place you came from,
    your first home...
    She's the map you follow
    with every step that you take.

    She's your first love
    and your first heart break...
    and nothing on earth can separate you.

    Not time, Not space...
    Not even death...
    will ever separate you
    from your mother...
    You carry her inside of you...

    --Author Unknown--

    Such a bittersweet time for me.  I'm so blessed to have the love of my two dear sons, but all I have are the memories of the two women of my life.  Sadly, my photos were destroyed, and as time passes, their faces have begun to fade away.  But, they will always remain in my heart.  Nothing can take that away.  Happy Mother's Day Mom and Grandma. 

    "While we honor all our mothers
    with words of love and praise.
    While we tell about their goodness
    and their kind and loving ways.
    We should also think of Grandma,
    she's a mother too, you see....
    For she mothered my dear mother
    as my mother mothered me."

    --Author Unknown--

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    As We Head Into Yet Another Weekend

    As we head on into this Mother's Day weekend, many of us will be spending some of our time outdoors.  I know I have been wishing these winds would die down so I can plant my little herb garden, but I'm not ready to take a chance on having it all blow over.  At any rate, I've already planned a nice long walk for tomorrow morning.  These past few weeks of watching the eagles and the wee hummingbirds has taught me so much about the miracle of life and the lessons nature has to teach us.  Just watching Mama Eagle these past few weeks and her dealings with her now adolescent-age brood has taught me the true meaning of what it is to show patience.  And, Mama Phoebe, the little hummingbird who has taught me that a mother's love knows no boundaries.  Nature has so much to teach us if we would only take heed of what She has to say.

    It is said that the first celebration of Mother’s Day, was when the ancients honored the mother earth goddesses to insure the fertility of their crops in the coming year.  If you have no special plans, how about taking a walk in the park to smell the sweet fragrances of spring, hear the birds chirping, watch the swaying branches of the budding trees, feel the wind against your face, and savor the scents of the Spring flowers.  There is something so beautiful and powerful about nature.   She has so much wisdom to impart upon us; each creature, each object has something to share.  

    Nature, our Great Mother Earth, is truly the Mother of all Mothers.   Have a wonderful weekend.

    Earth Teach Me to Remember
    Earth teach me stillness 
    as the grasses are stilled with light.

    Earth teach me suffering 
    as old stones suffer with memory. 

    Earth teach me humility 
    as blossoms are humble with beginning. 

    Earth Teach me caring 
    as the mother who secures her young. 

    Earth teach me courage 
    as the tree which stands alone. 

    Earth teach me limitation 
    as the ant which crawls on the ground. 

    Earth teach me freedom 
    as the eagle which soars in the sky. 

    Earth teach me resignation 
    as the leaves which die in the fall. 

    Earth teach me regeneration 
    as the seed which rises in the spring. 

    Earth teach me to forget myself 
    as melted snow forgets its life. 

    Earth teach me to remember kindness 
    as dry fields weep in the rain. 

    Ute, North American