Friday, July 29, 2011

The New Moon

And on your day of gladness, and on your festivals, and on your new moons…."--Num. 10:10--

When we have New Moon, the sun will also be in the same sign. It is time to celebrate the arrival of the New Moon once again, which means it is a time of rebirth, of new beginnings and offers us an opportunity for another cycle of growth in out lives. It is a time to plant the seed of whatever it is that you hope to grow.  What is it that you hope to create in your life?  Where is your attention focused?  This month, we find ourselves in the sign of the Leo, a fixed sign.  Leo is a sign of expression. Ruled by the Sun, Leo is about expressing ourselves in a creative way. This is the time to make changes in a most creative and unique way. 

Speaking of the New Moon, I have mentioned several times that Jewish mysticism and beliefs have always fascinated me.  Their lives are so entwined with the cycle of the Moon.  So,  when I came across the book Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, Retrieving the Healing Gift of the Sacred Feminine by Heather Mendel, I couldn't help but add it to my Kindle library. Mendel, a feminist who practices reformed Judaism who writes about discovering the power of the feminine aspect which has been diminished in the patriarchal world. In this book I learned about Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) is a gathering now being observed by many contemporary Jewish women.  (By the way, I highly recommend this book for every woman to read.)

From the talmudic period to our own day, Rosh Chodesh has been especially sacred to Jewish women.  It is the monthly celebration of the New Moon.  It literally means First of the Month...i.e. in the Hebrew calendar the first of each month is ushered in by the appearance of the New Moon.   For at least 2,000 years Jewish women have celebrated the appearance of the New Moon.  According to legend, it began when the Israelite women wandering in the desert refused to give up their gold for the building of the golden calf, thus earning them a special celebration each month, and in the past, it was a day on which women were free of family chores.  

In ancient times, the new moon ceremony was a significant ritual, especially for women, because it celebrates the monthly cycle of fertility.  It signified the renewal of God's presence each month through the female aspect of God, the Shekinah,  yet in practice, it was no longer taken seriously by modern women, until... the early 1970s, when Jewish feminism was being born in the United States, a group of American and Israeli women living in Jerusalem began gathering monthly to explore and create new rituals and re-create the old rituals based on the celebration of the New Moon.  Now, today, in the modern day United States, Jewish women have formed groups to meet on Rosh Chodesh and discuss recite poetry, light candles, discuss texts, recite prayers, and mark the time as their special moment as they enjoy one another's company.   

Just before the New Moon is sighted, the arrival is announced to the public as follows:

This is a sign of beginning anew.
Blessed are You, as we start all over again.
New Moon, ancient light...
May my spirit rise to meet you.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday This and That

The difference between
a flower and a weed
is a judgement.

-- Author Unknown-

We've all been a bit antsy here at my job...workers and clients alike.  This who move business is just getting so frustrating.  It's like upper management just can't make up their minds.  It's an on again off again sort of thing.  We were supposed to move at the end of June, then some permit wasn't ready so it was put off until July 29th, and now it won't be until August.  As you all know, most of us here really don't want to move but have resigned ourselves to something over which we have no control.  It's the same with the clients.  Those who live in the Reception Center, our shelter, have been told to pack up and prepare to move just as often as we have, and the clients are really getting frustrated. 

Yesterday, this frustration all seemed to come to a head when two usually quiet and serene clients from the Reception Center blew up at each other waiting area.  It seems that one client had quite innocently said something to another client who took it the wrong way, and the whole thing erupted into a show of words. Feelings were hurt,  and things were said that can never be taken back.  It could have been worse.  In fact, the altercation was on the verge of becoming physical, but luckily we managed to mollify the situation before anything like that could happen. 

I've a rather odd request here.  First, let me explain why I am asking.  Hubby has been having some issues with his job and has been reluctant to talk about it.   It has gotten so bad that he has begun talking about not going back after his vacation next week.  Not good.  We're still up in the air about our housing situation, and it is not a time for one of us to be out of work.  I knew it had to be something serious for him to be feeling this way because he loves working there, and actually, not too long ago had received a promotion to Intake Coordinator.  Finally, last night, I got him to talk about it.

It seems that hubby's boss now has his girlfriend working there, and she wants hubby's position.  Hence, she has been making it very miserable on him.  Every time he assigns her a client, she finds fault and goes to her 'boyfriend' about it.  Hubby stated that he feels it is only a matter of time before the boss demotes him and puts her in his position...despite the fact that she is totally unqualified.  This is her first job in the field, and it appears that she is not willing to start at the bottom like the rest of us did.

Hubby also stated that this woman has been into witchcraft throughout her entire life...she is in her 60's, his boss is 74...and from what hubby says, the boss seems to be a bit leery of her.  In fact, he had told hubby, "I told her she better not light any candles against me."   Now, although hubby claims he does not believe in spells and such, when I offered to help him, he was all for it.  This brings me to my request.
Although I have always been into charms, gems, astrology, and other forms of divination,  casting spells has not really been my thing.  Oh, I've done a few banishing spells to rid myself of negative thoughts and habits.  I've also used sage to cleanse my household.  What I need here is a protection spell for my hubby, nothing that will be harmful to anyone.  I just need something that will wrap a protective aura around him.  I just need something simple and harmless.  So I am asking, can anyone help me here?  Anyone know a protection spell I can use for him, if only just to make him feel more comfortable?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Whether you know it or not, one of the most important relationships in your life is with your Soul.
Will you be kind and loving to your Soul, or will you be harsh and difficult?
Many of us unknowingly damage our Souls with our negative attitudes and actions
or by simple neglect. By making the relationship with your Soul an important part of your life,
however, by honoring it in your daily routine, you give your life greater meaning
and substance. Use your experiences--all of them--as opportunities to nourish your Soul!

--Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross--

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was a Swiss born psychiatrist who spent much of her career writing and speaking about illness, death and dying. I discovered Elisabeth Kubler-Ross many, many years ago...when hubby was close to death.  what I learned from her was more than how to cope with grief in loss; what I learned from this woman was how to deal with 'life'.   I'd like to share with you some my favorite quotes by her...and if you haven't read any of her books, do so.  You won't regret it. 

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
“It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.”

“Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.”
You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.”


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cantilena Mundi

Kind of at a loss for words today, so instead of typing out some long-winded post that says nothing, I thought I would share one of my favorite Fiona Macleod/William Sharp poems with you today.   Hope you all enjoy.  May you all have a wonderful Tuesday.

Where rainbows rise through sunset rains
By shores forlorn of isles forgot,
A solitary Voice complains
"The World is here, the World is not."
The Voice the wind is, or the sea,
Or spirit of the sundown West:
Or is it but a breath set free
From off the Islands of the Blest ?
It may be: but I turn my face
To that which still I hold so dear:
And lo, the voices of the days--
"The World is not, the World is here."
'Tis the same end whichever way,
And either way is soon forgot:
"The World is all in all, To-day:
To-morrow all the World is not."
--Fiona Macleod--

Monday, July 25, 2011


The Lion flames. There the sun's course runs hottest.
Empty of grain the arid fields appear
When first the sun into the Lion enters. 

July 23 to August 22 

The fifth sign of the zodiac, Leo, is a fixed fire sign which rules the heart.
  It is considered a positive (extovert) masculine sign.  The sun enters the sign Leo on or about the 22nd of July each year, and departs from the sign on or about the 22d of August. The Lion is the symbol of Leo, and the characteristics that are associated with that animal also describe the characteristics of that sign--strength, independence, individuality, courageous, and regal.

The key phrase for Leo is 'I will', and like all
fire signs, the Leo is fond of physical and social activity. The month of August is dominated by the all-powerful Sun.  The glyph for Leo resembles the tail of the lion or a combination of the tail and the main.  The symbol for the Sun is a circle with a dot in the middle.  The circle echoes the shape of the Sun, and the dot symbolizes the infinite source of Divine energy and vitality within each and every one of us.  

Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, (Little King)  has long been associated with things strong, mighty, and regal.
The ancient belief was that it ruled the affairs of heaven, and with astrologers it was always a fortunate star. In the ancient world, it was believed that Regulus made a contribution towards the heat of summer.

The Sumerians, Babylonians, Persians, and Syrians all revered Leo the Lion, and the Egyptians  recognized Leo, as well, but to them, the  constellation had more to do with the Nile river than with the  mythical lion.  For them, the sign of Leo coincided with the inundation of the Nile.  The Romans also connected this constellation to the god of wine, Bacchus, as he often dressed in the skins of lions. In Greek and Roman mythology, Leo is associated with Nemean the lion which was terrorizing the people of Nemes in ancient Greece.  In Peru, the stars of Leo are supposed to picture a puma springing upon his prey, and the  Mexicans also worshipped the Lion.  In early Britain, the chief Druid wasand the chief Druid of Britain was styled "a Lion."

The Lion of Judah was the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis, and the constellation appears in the Hebrew zodiac.  It was this tribal symbol of Judah that appeared emblazoned on the shield of Richard the Lionheart. The association of Leo with Judah arose from the fact that Leo was Judah's natal sign, and in the Bible we find frequent allusions to this connection between Leo and the tribe of Judah. Thus we read:  "Judah is a lion's whelp; On prey, my son, have you grown. He crouches, lies down like a lion.

Christians regarded
Leo as a symbol of the Lion’s Den in the Book of Daniel. The biblical story of how Daniel was cast into the lion’s den is also well-known.    Also, in a dream, Daniel spoke of four great beasts coming out of the sea, the first of which was like a lion with eagle’s wings. The lion was made to stand on his feet as a man and was given a man’s heart.   

The birthstone for Leo is the Peridot.  The ancient Egyptians called them the gem of the sun because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun.  They believed that it would send evil spirits away, lessen one's thirst in fever when placed underneath the tongue, and to drive out nighttime terrors when placed in gold. Alternate stones for Leo are the onyx,  Carnelian, Sardonyx and Ruby.

Flowers and Herbs: Marigold, sunflower, hops. 
Tree: Willow.
Color: Gold, yellow, blood red, green.
Bird: Peacok, cock, eagle.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Cooking is Done

Just a short note to let you know I survived my cooking spree  of yesterday.  It wasn't easy, but at least I know that we will eat for another two weeks.  I know it sounds odd that I would cook like this, but working full-time with irregular work hours makes it rather difficult to come home and cook every day.  So, as hard as this might be on me every other Saturday, I can now look forward to two weeks free.  

Thanks for worrying.  It means a lot to me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Oh What a Heat Wave !!!!

We're having a heat wave, 
a tropical heat wave.
The temperature's rising, 
It isn't surprising,

It's hazy, hot, and humid.  Temps rose yesterday to 104, a record for the city,...and that was the temperature iin the shade.  It's just too much, too soon.  Went out early this morning to do my food shopping, and it was already sweltering.  I've been putting off my cooking, but it has to be done at some point today.  Guess I'm just waiting for everyone to leave so I can cook in my birthday suit.  Last night and today we are having brownouts.  I totally understand and would rather deal with it being only partially cool than experience a total blackout and have no relief at all. 

I really worry about my cat in this weather, though.  She's old, 19, and this can't be easy on her.  I try to keep her cool, but you know cats, they are just so darned independent and have a mind of their own, so, rather than stay in the AC or the fan, she has to go to one of her special spots where the air doesn't reach.  Of course, I learned while watching the eagles manage survival during a snowstorm, that you shouldn't put human feelings on animals.  Just because we are uncomfortable, doesn't mean that they are feeling just as bad.  Of course, the moderators at the eagle sight haven't met Miss Minga who thinks and feels that she is a human.
Well, I was just checking in to make sure you are all okay and managing with this oppressive heat.  Please, everyone take it easy.  Not a time to be out there practicing for the marathon...and those who have respiratory illness...please, stay in. It is just so hot.  There is a little park around the corner from my house that had it's sprinklers on, and I was so tempted, but alas, adults without children are not allowed in the parks.  To do so is to take a chance on receiving a hefty fine.  A few years back I used to love going there to sit on the bench and read.  Now, there is no place nearby for an oldster to go.  Alas, another sign of the times.  Maybe one day, things will change.

Stay cool and stay hydrated.  Anyone looking forward to fall? 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Update on This Morning's Post

I'm feeling rather hurt  because I realize now that some of you may have gotten the wrong impression of me from my post this morning.  Please believe that I am not a person who will normally just stand aside and watch things happen without doing anything.  Under normal circumstances I would be the first one to jump in and do something.  But, you must understand that I am a minority in a very tightly knit religious community of which I am one of the 'outsiders'.  Even just saying hello to these women brings looks of scorn so knocking on their door 'reminding them' per se to watch their children would probably have me run right out of the neighborhood.  Well, maybe not so drastic, but nevertheless, it would draw a lot of ire to be sure. 

Believe me when I say it breaks my heart to see these things going on around me and being unable to do anything about it.   You really have to be in the situation to understand it...and by now, I may be making matters worse here, but I don't want anyone having the wrong impression of who I am as a human being.  Hopefully you will all understand.  I treasure each and ever one of you.

A Rare Friday Rant

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here; Warm southern wind, blow softly here; Green sod above, lie light, lie light - Good night, dear heart, good night, good night.
- Robert Richardson's "Annette" adapted by Mark Twain

OMG!!!  It's brutal out there today.  Only 8 am, and it has already reached the normal high temperature of the day.  I don't know about you, but this heat wave beginning to get me down.  I love the flowers and the freshness of the beginning of summer, but by the time we hit the August heat, which seems to have come early this year, I'm ready to be finished with summer and move onward to the fall.   I know that  many of you have it a lot worse than us, so I feel kind of guilty for complaining, but city heat is awful heat.  It literally stinks.  The subway stations reek of urine and, in the area where I work, there just happens to be a few places that deal with seafood.  The smell can become atrocious.   

This morning I am pretty annoyed or should I say...bewildered.  I really don't like ending the week with negative thoughts, but some things cannot remain unsaid.  Some things fester away at you, and  you have to let them out.   As you know, last week a little boy in my neighborhood was found brutally murdered.  Sources  now say  he was given a deadly drug cocktail that may have been sprinkled in a tuna sandwich, before dismembering him--a mix of Tylenol and three prescription drugs.... a painkiller, a muscle relaxer and anti-psychotic medicine.  In addition to the drugs, police sources said a towel was used to smother the boy.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that poor child.  Now police have found a box of children's clothing in the man's house, clothing that is no match for little Leiby, and they are looking into whether or not there have been other children, and is he a serial killer. No one likes to believe that such animals reside their own neighborhood, but sadly, they do.  So.... would think that after such a tragic incident parents would be leery and begin keeping a tighter watch on their children.  I know I would.  In fact, when my boys were little, they were not allowed to play outdoors until I had time to go out and watch them.  We live in a city where bad things happen to good people every day so we have to be aware.  One sicko may be behind bars, but that doesn't mean there's not another one out there lurking in the background.  So, you can imagine my disbelief when I went home last night.

Thursday is one of my late nights at work,  and it is usually after 8pm when I arrive home.  Last night, I turned the corner to my block, and there were two little girls playing out in front of their home.  They couldn't have been no more than three or four years old, and they were out there totally ALONE.   There wasn't an adult in sight. Even the front door to the house was shut.  Forgive me, but where are these people's brains.  I really have to wonder, do they even care about their children?  It was barely a week ago that little Leiby was brutally murdered, and you are allowing your  little toddlers to play outdoors, at night, with no supervision.  I just can't understand the way some people think.  And, my hands are tied on this whole thing because, suffice it to say, I live in a separate world than they do.

Whew!!!  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  Things like this eat away at me.  Didn't mean to bring any of you down with me, and it I did, please accept my apologies.  

In closing, I would like to say it's going to be a rough one this weekend.  Please, everyone stay safe.  Drink lots of liquids and don't get overheated. Stay under the AC if possible.  This is dangerous weather.  Have a great weekend.  See you Monday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Being Unique

I think everyone is unique. We know that. The only way you find out what you are
is by trying everything, and then at some point you take what you are, which
is unique. Don't ever try to mimic anybody, because you will only be second best.
You can never outshine the thing you are trying to mimic, so don't ever do that.
Don't idol worship. Finally, be yourself. Then you are going to be really unique and
exciting. People are going to beat a path to your door if you polish your inner self.

Robert D. Ballard

Yesterday a client asked me if I and my co-worker, Jane, were gypsies. I have to admit, we DO dress in what they would call a gypsy style...although I prefer to call it a hippie style.  For a moment, I was caught off guard, but then...

...I had to chuckle at his question.  'Why do you ask?'  He sort of put his head down now, obviously thinking he went too far asking staff a question like that.  'Because of the way the two of you dress.'  Another co-worker who had overheard told me she thought he had been pretty fresh.  'Why?' I asked.  He wasn't trying to be insulting.  He was making an honest observation and can't be faulted for that.' 

In fact, I was flattered that my uniqueness was noted.  I haven't been one to follow fashion or fad since my twenties when I discovered the hippie style of dress and stuck with it, in a modified version, of course.  I skipped the era leather minis and knee high boots and never got into punk.  No, my style has always been the long, crinkly peasant-style skirts, sandals in the summer and laced boots for the winter, colorful for every outfit, and flowers...I love putting a flower behind my ear.  Another staple of the hippie wardrobe is the scarf, and I've a huge bag of scarves in every color and style. 

Am I unique?  Yes, I would say that I am.   Am I happy with myself?  Indeed, yes.  I would like to take off a few pounds, well, more than a few (try 50) but I am happy the way I dress.  I have no desire to be like everyone conform so to speak.  I never have.  Sadly, all too often, we are so busy trying to be what other people want us to be that we forget that we are a self! We forget to be who we are...we forget to be who we were born to be....and in the long run, we become resentful because, along the way, we lost a part of ourselves.

There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think,
feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole
complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me - or walk away!
Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't
fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me
to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad--
you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.

Stacey Charter

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


When midnight mists are creeping,
And all the land is sleeping,
Around me tread the mighty dead,
And slowly pass away.
Lo, warriors, saints, and sages,
From out the vanished ages,
With solemn pace and reverend face
Appear and pass away.

The blaze of noonday splendour,
The twilight soft and tender,
May charm the eye: yet they shall die,
Shall die and pass away.

But here, in Dreamland's centre,
No spoiler's hand may enter,
These visions fair, this radiance rare,
Shall never pass away.

I see the shadows falling,
The forms of old recalling;
Around me tread the mighty dead,
And slowly pass away.

--Lewis Carroll--

 There are some mornings when the alarm goes off, that I am just not ready to climb out of bed.  It's not that I am so tired; the truth is, I've been awakened in the midst of a dream I am not ready to leave.  Sometimes I am able to turn over and pick up where a I left off; other times all I have left are the clues written in the dream notebook I keep near my bed.  

To me, dreams have always been particularly fascinating because they take us into a world of experiences, where, seemingly separated from our waking lives, we lead a second existence. In dreams, we create our own world,during which we encounter experiences that appear as real as when we are awake. In dreams, feelings that have been lingering on the edge of our awareness are given the opportunity to manifest themselves in a series of thematic escapades.  Other dreams are trying to tell us something; they serve as warnings, so to speak.  They can change our lives if we pay attention to what they are trying to say.

Such was the dream I had many years ago.  I'd been going through a rather difficult time in my life and had surrounded myself with a group of people who, in retrospect, were nothing but trouble for me.  In my dream, I lived by the ocean. I was standing on the back porch, and for some reason, I had all of my important papers with me.  Suddenly, gale force winds began to blow and the papers blew away from me, the wind carrying them towards the water.  I raced after them and just before I reached them, I began to sink into sand that had turned into mud.  People appeared and stood around me as I sunk deeper and deeper.  I cried out for help, but they ignored my pleas.  It was then that I woke up.

The meaning of this dream was very clear.  Since I had begun hanging out with that crowd, I was becoming something that I was not.  I was literally losing my identity.  They were dragging me down, and, the fact was,  when my life began to sink, and, it was going to sink, I should not expect any of them to reach out to help me.  

Not all dreams are so easy to interpret.  Some may be harder to decipher, and some messages may even in a series of different dreams.  This is when the dream notebook becomes important.  Recurring dreams have an important message.  Be aware.

Next:  Dreaming about your ancestors

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


To have a good friend is
one of the highest
delights of life;
to be a good friend is
one of the noblest and
most difficult undertakings.

Yesterday as I was typing up my notes at work, I couldn't help but overhear my office mate chatting away on the phone.  She and one of her friends were making plans for a party this upcoming weekend.  They were planning this for another friend whom they had gone to school with.  And, as soon as she hung up from that call , she picked up the phone and  immediately dialed someone else, and as I listened, pondered what it would be like to have that many friends as well.

I don't think I've had a 'really' close friend since early childhood, and in my entire life, I remember only one best friend.  We met when I was five years old.  My parents had recently bought our first home, and I was in my room feeling a bit resentful.  Up to that point we had lived with my grandparents, and I had really not wanted to move.  As a matter of fact, I gave everyone a hard time before the move and on the day of the move, but my miserable mood was soon to end.  It was summer, and I was in my room with the window open when suddenly I heard, "Little girl, little girl, can you come out to play?"

My spirits lifted I ran gleefully out to the back yard, and from that day until just before we entered high school, we were an inseparable pair.  Then, just like that, Kathy's parents decided they wanted to move to a new area.  Funny, now that I think of it, I wasn't as broken up by the news as I should have been.  I guess we'd already started going our separate ways.. She the bookworm, the smart kid of the class, the nerd...and I, I was the rebel who hated school, skipped class every chance I got, and ran with what I thought was the 'cool crowd'.  (Little did I know.) I spent one weekend at Kathy's new home, but was more interested in the boy down the block than I was in her.  That was the last time we saw each other.

And, as I grew older, I had acquaintances, but now, in my senior years, I realize there was no one I could call a friend...certainly no best friend I could share things with.  In fact, I learned quickly that if I didn't want my business out there for all to see, I should keep it to myself.  And that's what I did.  For many years I had no one to share with, no one to tell the things that I have been telling all of you.  Here I have felt comfortable opening up my heart and sharing the things that I've never been able to talk about. 

Although friendship may mean different things to different people, I believe it  is basically related to our human need to connect to others....and it doesn't matter how you connect, just so you connect.   I feel that this has happened here in the wonderful land of blogs.   I've not only been able to connect, but I have, in fact,  developed  some of the deepest friendships of my life have been with people I have never seen. 

Take my friend, Elizabeth.  We met on a Yahoo group, and immediately we clicked.  She was an only child as well, and we often called ourselves the sisters that we never had.  And a year and a half ago when she passed due to liver cancer, I mourned for her as if I had known her forever.  And this is the way I feel about  you.  When one of you suddenly disappears, I am fearful, and when I get word that one of  you is ill, I worry until I get word that you are okay. And when I see one of you who is not taking care of themselves, I feel comfortable getting on my bandwagon and nagging a wee bit.

Indeed, it is true that the foundations of a friendship can be built online just as easily as they can face to face, and in my case, even easier. I've always gotten along well with others, but have had difficulty cultivating friendships, because I have problems dealing with trust.  It's not like that here in Blogland.  Here I can say anything that I want, and no one will fault me.  No one will speak behind my back or try to belittle me.  

Just wanted to take the time to let you know just how much all of you  have touched my life and how important you are to me.  Thank you for being my friends.  I love you all.

No friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.

Francois Mauriac

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Great Weekend

“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.” --Albert Schweitzer

I had a great weekend.  Saturday morning I got dressed and went to have my hair trimmed, then plowed around in the 99 cent store.  I just love going  there and always come out with a bag full of goodies. Saturday it was some pretty little barrets for my hair, a couple new dish towels, and some scented candles.   Then, on Sunday, after I pressed the clothes for the upcoming week, I dressed, hopped on the train, and headed out to the beach.  It was kind of hot, but I put one of my little sundresses on and was quite comfortable.  My only disappointment was that I didn't get any pictures to show you.  I got out there and discovered that I left the battery at home in the battery charger.  It's obvious that I don't use this camera very much. 

There were lots of people out there enjoying a day in the sun, but I've learned to block them all out when I want to.  Other times, I just sit back and watch the show.  People watching can be fun. But basically I am not there for the people.  Of course, before making myself comfortable I always give a quick look about to make sure none of my clients are around. Not that I am doing anything wrong, but, heck, I am with them all week.  This is my time.  I am not there for the rides, either.  My one necessity is a stop at Nathans for some of their famous cheese fries and a hot dog.  Not exactly on my WW diet, but I do have those extra points...and this is not something I do all the time.  

I love the ocean; all the beauty it holds never ceases to amaze me.  The view is definitely magical as the sun glitters on the waters.  I love the smell of the salt water and the feel of the ocean mists upon my skin that hits you as soon as you step off the train.  At the ocean side, it is  easy for me to lose myself in my thoughts, even with masses of people surrounding me.  There is so much out there that we just don't know, so many deep uncharted regions holding mysteries just waiting for us to discover.

The other day I happened to hear on the news that scientists have discovered a mysterious lost world with furrows cut by rivers and peaks that once belonged to mountains off the coast of Scotland. After reading up on this I discovered that, even more exciting is that they believe it once had human inhabitants.  Could this be the mysterious Atlantis?  After all, a lost land or sunken island in the western ocean is found in many of the ancient Celtic tales. 

The island city of  Hy-Brasil, which legend says is now submerged somewhere in the North Atlantic  out to sea  off Ireland, is thought to actually be a reference to Atlantis. This island is visible once every seven  years according to  local folklore. The paradise of the fairy people, or ancient gods, was Tir-na-nog The legends say it is inhabited by invisible spiritual beings who live in a land below the sea.  Tir na Nog was difficult to reach, at least for humans; animals could seemingly cross over at will.

Needless to say, this discovery is such exciting news.  Could it be that the ancient Irish peoples actually did come from Atlantis?  Could we be descendants of the Atlantean race?  Could their blood flow through our veins?  I'd love to hear what you think of this latest discovery.

“Eternity begins and ends with the ocean's tides.” -- Unknown

Friday, July 15, 2011

Have a Wonderful Weekend

There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled,
which leads to an unkown, secret place.
The old people came literally to love the soil,
and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of
being close to a mothering power.
Their teepees were built upon the earth
and their altars were made of earth.
The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.
That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of
propping himself up and away from its life giving forces.
For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply
and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of
life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.

Chief Luther Standing Bear

The Earth is our mother and provider. Our ancestors knew this only took what they needed to survive. And, when they did take something from the Earth, they gave thanks for it and gave something in return. 

Wishing you all a weekend filled with love, joy, and peace. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Musings

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.

~ Albert Einstein ~

The very first night I moved to the city, almost 40 years ago, I was the victim of a mugging.   Naive (or just plain dumb)  country girl that I was, I boldly asked the muggers (three teens with a gun)  if I could have enough for train fare to get home. They must have been just as naive as I was because they gave it to me. I should have taken the money and ran, but a girl needed her cigarettes, didn't  she? The boys gave me my pack of cigarettes, as well. Then, with my purse in hand, they turned and ran away. It was then that my sanity kicked in because I turned to my friend and said, "Let's go." And we ran. You see, all my money was in my pocket, and these boys didn't get anything except an old useless credit card and my I.D. I just knew when they realized that they had been taken, they'd come back after us.

Fortunately, they did not, and my friend and I got away. But, we could have been hurt...or even killed...and all because I took for granted that nothing was going to happen to me. At some point, we all make the mistake of taking something in our life for, family, job, friends, even the air that we breathe.  Yesterday, as  I was reading an article in the newspaper about the little boy who was killed, I got to thinking about just how much we take for granted.  A reporter was interviewing people in  the community and all had the same thing to say, "Ours is the safest neighborhood in the city. Crime doesn't happen here." 
Well, wake up people.  We live in a world where any one of any race or religion can be the victim of a crime.  No neighborhood is safe.  

Sadly, I foresee that once the initial shock of this horrendous crime is over, all will go back to the way it was. The mothers who do sit out with their children will go back to paying more attention to their conversation than to their children, and those that don't sit out will go back to entrusting their five year old with the care of their three year old...because ours is the safest neighborhood in the city, and bad things don't happen here.  How quickly the horror will be forgotten!  I've seen it happen before.  Two years ago when a little girl from the community went missing, mothers were continuing to allow their little toddlers outdoors unsupervised.  Fortunately, that little girl was returned unharmed.  The fact is anything can happen.  It doesn't have to be some pervert kidnapping a kid. A ball can go in the street, and in a split second a toddler goes after it.  That quickly. Another tragedy.

Out of all the marvelous wonders in our world, I think life is the most precious gift we have ever received, yet I so many of us take it for granted.  We live as if we expect to be here forever.  We assume that the sun will rise, and we will live to see another day.  Sadly, that isn't always the case....especially for those of us who take our health for granted. 

When our body sends us little signals that are trying to tell us to take our butts to the doctor, we ignore them.  We think that it will go away or in our heads we imagine that it is nothing serious. When I was a smoker, and people would tell me I should quit, I shrugged them off.  After all, didn't my grandma smoke from the age of 20 and died of natural causes in her 70's, and nothing happened to her.  So, I continued to smoke until the day came that I couldn't make it up the subway stairs...and then I quit.  My breathing has improved, but I'll never be able to run up the steps like I once did.   We smoke, we drink, we overeat, we don't exercise anymore.  We think it will never happen to us.

Fortunately for me, with age comes wisdom, and I am no longer  that young foolish woman who so unwittingly put her life in jeopardy by asking  those thugs for her money and cigarettes...or thought nothing of hitching a ride with a total stranger.  I've learned  that nothing is to be taken for granted. Each morning when I awaken, I give thanks for another day to live my life to the fullest.  I give thanks for life.  What a precious gift it is!!!

Cherish yesterday,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monsters DO Exist

Last night when I went to bed, a massive search was underway.  As helicopters flew above, posters were being put up on every available space. Swarms of people joined into the block to block search.  A little boy was missing. This morning when I stepped outdoors to go to work the sky was gray and dingy, but even for more noticeable was the gray aura that surrounded  the area.  People of all races and religions were standing outside of their homes milling about, silent, with disbelief and sadness written across their faces.  The little boy was dead.

I remember when I  was young, I had a fear of monsters hiding in the dark at night. To combat my fear, I would check that all windows and doors in the house were locked, turn on the lights in every room and check under the beds and in the closet for ghouls and monsters, switch off my light and then lie in bed and wait.  "There is a monster under my bed, " I would cry out. 

"Nonsense,"  mama replied, "Monsters don't exist."

How wrong she was!  Monsters do exist, only not in the form that we imagine them to be as children.  Monsters exist in human form.   And human monsters are actually the most terrifying form...because they are real...very, very real.  

He had begged his parents to allow him to walk home like the other children his age, and they agreed to meet him halfway.  This is supposed to be a safe neighborhood, one of the safest in the city.  So, when this little  boy's mama sent him off to day camp in the morning, she fully expected him to return in the afternoon.   Little did she know that when her little boy left camp and got lost, he would stop a monster to ask for directions.  The police found  his  body parts at 2:40 this morning in two different places...some parts in a dumpster a few blocks away and his feet in the monster's refrigerator.  I've actually walked by the home several times.  One would never know the evil that lurked behind its doors.  What kind of monster can do such a thing?  Where does this evil come from? 

Tears come to my eyes as I sit here and imagine the unbearable fear this child must have when he realized that this monster was about to take his childhood away. I haven't been able to shake these feelings all day.   We always say it will never happen here, but monsters can be found in every part of the world.  Please take a moment to light a candle and say a prayer for this little innocent child.   May his soul find peace. 

A little soul scarce fledged for earth
Takes wing with heaven again for goal
Even while we hailed as fresh from birth
A little soul.

Our thoughts ring sad as bells that toll,
Not knowing beyond this blind world's girth
What things are writ in heaven's full scroll.

Our fruitfulness is there but dearth,
And all things held in time's control
Seem there, perchance, ill dreams, not worth
A little soul.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Luckiest Day of the Year

There is an old legend that tells that the archangel, Gabriel, revealed this day as one of the luckiest of the year.  On this day, July 12th, it is healing, planting, house building, traveling, and even waging war will supposedly proceed without a problem.   It is also said that children  born on this date is destined for a life of great wealth and success.  A new job begun today would be successful...

...but, if you feel as if you need a little more luck, how about a good luck charm?   A good luck charm is any object that you think brings you luck.  Talismans are general good luck charms. Amulets can be either natural or crafted by hand. Natural amulets are of many kinds: the feathers of birds, animal hooves, horns, teeth, and claws, bones, stones, plants and grasses. Smoothly polished pebbles are carried for good luck, and are called  lucky stones.

Do horseshoes really bring good luck?  Some people swear that horseshoes bring good luck; others say it's just a silly superstition. The idea of horseshoes as good luck charms started centuries ago, probably with the Celts.  They believed that iron repelled fairies so if one hung a horseshoe on their door, they just might keep the fairy folk from bothering their household. To have the luckiest horseshoe possible, it is said that you have to find it and not buy it, and that it must have been worn and lost by a horse. Then you have to hang it points up over your doorway.  Some say you should hang it points down so that the luck pours down over you. 

A rabbit's foot is one of the best-known good-luck charms and is still in common usage today. Seen as a symbolic guard against evil spirits, it is sometimes hung over a cot to protect a sleeping baby.  The rabbit foot
The rabbit foot as a lucky object has its origins in African-American folklore, specifically the practices associated with hoodoo, or folk magic.

The four-leaf clover, which originated in the Celts and Druids of the British Isles, is probably the most famous of all good-luck symbols, depicted over and over on lottery tickets, greeting cards and lucky-charm amulets and jewels.  The Druids believed that whoever found a four-leaf clover would be granted special power to see witches and evil spirits who roam the earth in order to provoke mischief and misery.  Each leaf is said to stand for something:  the first for faith; the second for hope; the third for love; and the fourth for luck.  

Create some good luck charms of your own. Choose something small that you can keep with you all the time, perhaps in your pocket, purse, or car. Every time you recall your lucky charm, by spotting it or touching it, look around! Say, "Is there a lucky opportunity somewhere here that I am missing?" A treasured object that someone has given you makes an extremely powerful good luck charm because of the personal associations it provides. It is also common today for many people to wear what they consider to be a lucky shirt, coat, dress, or jewelry on special occasions.

Hope the gods/goddesses are looking down on you!

“A farmer travelling with his load Picked up a horseshoe on the road, And nailed if fast to his barn door, That luck might down upon him pour; That every blessing known in life Might crown his homestead and his wife, And never any kind of harm Descend upon his growing farm.”
--James Thomas Fields

Monday, July 11, 2011

Never Meant this to Turn into a Rant

Patience is the companion of wisdom. 

--St. Augustine--

Monday morning, another work week begins.  Almost seems like it never ended.  Weekends pass by so quickly; sometimes it's like they were not even here.  Especially my cooking weekends.  My friends, it is dreadful in the summer.  There is no air in the kitchen, and cooking all these meals can feel like sheer torture.  For those that don't know, every other Saturday I shop for two weeks and cook for two weeks, freeze, and serve.  Some nights I work until 7 pm.  Who wants to come home and cook after that?

New York railroad style homes are the pits.  I've two windows in the front of the house and two in my son's room in the back.  The living and dining room have none.  This is because the houses are attached. There is AC in both bedrooms, it doesn't reach the rest of the house. The kitchen has a back door, but then I have to worry about my cat, Minga.  She has been poisoned twice so it has been about six years since she has been allowed out...and at 19, I don't think she would survive another round of it. So, usually the door remains shut.

But Saturday, I checked on her, and she was sound asleep in her little spot so I opened the door for a few, just to air it out; it was so darned hot.  It was only a few minutes before I happened to notice that I had an audience.  The kids next door who had been playing on the swings and in the pool were all lined in a row on their porch looking into my kitchen.  They had actually taken the seat from their picnic table and were actually leaning over the railing to get a better look.  I'm sorry, but I have to say there is something wrong with little children who will give up all their fun to stare into someone's home.  It's just not normal.  And to make it worse, the mom's sit there and allow it to happen.

What's wrong with saying to your child, "Don't do that.  It's not nice."  No, it is not nice, and it is downright rude.  I want so badly to ask these mothers what is wrong with them, and you are probably saying I should.  Let's just say it wouldn't be a good idea on my part.  Aside from allowing their children to be Peeping Tom's, they also allow them to destroy the neighborhood.  There is forever garbage on the sidewalks--paper cups, fruit juice cans, dirt they have dug up and thrown on the sidewalk--but the chalk.  I wouldn't mind if they drew a hopscotch layout, but they take this never-ending supply of chalk and they scribble up and down the whole street with mama sitting on her butt and watching.  One day I came home from work and found three of them on MY porch, of course with mama watching.  

Is it me?  Am I forgetting what it's like to be a child?  Am I becoming a bitter old crone?  I just can't ever remember doing things like that, or even allowing my kids to be so destructive.  I was always on top of everything they did, teaching them right from wrong.  Heck, when I was a child, mom had to practically drag me out of the pool, and it was the same with my boys.  Giving it all up to stand there watching someone cook, in their own home,  never crossed my mind.  

Forgive me, I didn't start out to rant, but as I wrote the words just started to flow.  I've accepted the fact that I have no privacy in my backyard and have learned to live with waiting til the darkness of night to spend time there...which is not so bad.  I not avoid the blazing sun, but the evenings are so much cooler and refreshing.  Night has always been my time.  But, when I am in the privacy of my home, I feel violated.  It makes me quite uncomfortable, and I am really amazed at myself that I have avoided conflict thus far.  Sometimes I stare back them and get a kick out of how they get all nervous and look down at the ground or off to the side.  "There, how do you like it?"  I know, two wrongs don't make a right.

And it's not just the children in the houses next door, it is up and down the block...and it is not just me. Whenever someone not of their faith passes by, they stop whatever they are doing to watch.  I want to say, "You know, I lived here first." so don't be watching me like I'm from outer space.  I wish I knew why they did that.  I wish I had the answers.  All and all, though, they are only little kids, and if their mom doesn't teach them any better, how can I blame them?  Besides, it could be worse.  I could be in one of those neighborhoods where you are afraid to step out of your door.  (Oh how I long for the country life!)  (Sigh)

Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold.
For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will be powerless to vex your mind.

Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's Friday, Time for a Smile

'I found a smile today. Every time I tried to give it away, someone would give it back to me!'--Unknown

I was on my way to work this morning and was feeling downright miserable and cranky.  The air outdoors is so thick that you could almost cut through it with a knife.  Coupled with the early morning heat, my clothes were sticking to me, and by the time I got on the train,  you would have thought I had washed my hair and left the house with a wet head.   And somehow, at least with me, that is, I find the contrast between the heat and humidity outdoors and the cool AC temperature in the train, makes me sweat even more, so as I sat and tried to read my Kindle, it was if my sweat glands opened up, and the water was running down my face...a totally yukky feeling.

Needless to say, by the time I arrived in the city, I was feeling downright ornery.  Everything and everyone around me was bothering me.  I stopped in my usual store for my iced coffee, and when I found it crowded, I felt my adrenaline rising.  I was stressed and downright angry that nothing seemed to be going my way.  To top it off, I was patiently waiting my turn in line when a man cut in front of me.  To be honest, I was angrier with the clerk who knew I was standing there, yet  still rang up the man first.  My blood was boiling now, and I was really to let the clerk have it... 

...but what would that accomplish anyway.  Since my regular store closed about a month ago, this is the only store on my way to work that I can stop and get my coffee.  If I go off on them, it's going to make for a  rather unpleasant relationship, and is it really worth it?  The point is, things like this happen in life, and it is up to us how we deal with them.  Do we get ourselves into a huff that is literally going to spoil our day, or do we go with the flow?  It was then, as I was standing in line, that I began to think of the above quote that I found in one of the messages in a Yahoo group that I follow.  So, I put a smile on my face and stepped up to the counter, and when the clerk saw me, he smiled back and said he was sorry.  And the whole thing blew over.  And I kept that smile on my face as I walked to work, and as if a miracle, my mood had totally changed from 'ugly' to 'beautiful'.

A smile costs nothing but gives so much.  A warm smile can simply make a person's day. It's a sad fact  that many people get lots of negative input every day and a smile can warm that person soul.  Gosh, I know how good I feel when I am feeling down and someone smiles at me.   An unexpected telephone call, a warm word, a genuine smile, a listening ear, have the power to affect another person's life far more than we realize.  It only takes a moment, but the memory that smile sometimes lasts forever. 
And for yourself,  the healing, rejuvenating power of a smile can do wonders to reduce stress and heal the body.

Wishing you all joyous weekend filled with love, peace, and happiness. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Earthbound Spirits

"When people believed the earth was flat, the idea of a round world scared them silly. Then they found out how the round world works. It's the same with the world of the supernatural. Until we know how it works, we'll continue to carry around this unnecessary burden of fear." - Dr. John Markway
Not too long ago, the man who lived upstairs from me passed away.  He loved this house, and despite substantial offers, would never give it up.  (As it stands now, his daughter, who lives in Staten Island) wants to sell; the other owner, my landlady, does not, leaving me in limbo.)  The man's son is still residing upstairs, for how long, I don't know.  I only bring this up to clarify that only ONE person lives upstairs.  Yet, whenever the son leaves the house, I hear movement coming from the the old man's bedroom--furniture moving, drawers opening and closing.   Now, mind you, it has been proven that there is NO ONE else living there.  

And this is not the first paranormal experience I have had in this house.  I have a spirit in my apartment, as well.  She really gave us a hard time when we first moved here....blasting radios at all hours of the night, but she has settle down since then.  I know it is a female for every once awhile when I am lying in bed at night, I can smell her cologne. 

Are incidents of paranormal activity on the increase, or are we simply more aware of them and open to them than in the past?  In my humble opinion, I believe both are right.  'Yes', indeed, paranormal activity is on the increase and, because I feel that the earth has, as a whole, moved into a more spiritual mindset, 'yes', we're more alert to noticing, accepting and discussing these event now more than ever before.  And, then again, perhaps it is not so much that incidents of paranormal phenomenon are on the increase, but that maybe our perception of them has changed. 

hildren are very much in tune with the world of spirits, and it is not uncommon for them to
talk about seeing  ghosts, spirits, deceased loved ones, and deceased animal spirits. And sadly, most children who claim to see imaginary playmates are told to hush and stop imagining things.  The result?  Children stop believing. The stories we hear from parents and the children themselves are not figments of their imaginations. Children really do see these entities.  They have not yet been taught that they don't exist.  We must remember that, in their world, ghosts and spirits are as real as  you and I.  

Each earthbound spirit is as much an individual as they were when they were alive, and most have a reason for choosing to see.   Some may be comfortably attached to something in particular here and have decided to keep this as their home.  Others remain for the soul purpose of helping or guiding the living.  In my opinion, the old man upstairs can fall into both categories. He cannot give up his home, and his son, although in his late 40's, has never had to live on his own.  I don't think he is capable of it, and I know his father thought so, too, because I  heard him say it many times. 

Belief in ghosts, an afterlife, hauntings or vengeful ghosts and more can be traced back to ancient cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians, to name a few.  In ancient Egypt there was a very widespread belief in the existence of ghosts; this belief was an integral part of ancient Egyptian culture.  They were obsessed with and at peace with their view of the soul and survival.  The ancient Greeks believed that those who died young had to be ghosts for the rest of their natural lifespan.  They also believed that the unburied dead would wander the earth.

In Oceania beliefs in gods and powerful spirits were less important in everyday life than were beliefs in ancestral ghosts and other spirit beings, who were regarded as daily participants in social life. The Celts had a vivid belief in the existence of the human soul after death.   Ancestor worship was undoubtedly the mainspring of their creed.  So intense and realistic was the Celts' belief in the future existence of the human soul, that it was said money loans were sometimes granted on the understanding that they were to be repaid beyond the grave.

In Chinese tradition the seventh lunar month is known as "Ghost Month," when the gate opens between this world and the spirit world, and since the rise of Japanese culture, belief in ghosts and demons have had a  powerful effect on the people. Both in China and Japan, the departed spirit is invested with the power of revisiting the earth.

In Mesoamerican belief,  the dead continued to 'live', and there was a belief in ghosts that could return to the present world. The souls and ghosts of dead people were also believed to intervene in disputes.   In Africa, there is a universal belief that ghosts and spirits were lurking  in the comparative darkness of sheltered areas.

Have you ever been in a room in your home alone cleaning or doing whatever when for some reason the hair on the back of your neck stands on end? Or have you been in a warm room when you begin to feel the hair on your arms stand up and you begin to get goose bumps? 

"A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night." - J.M. Barrie, in Little Minister