Friday, September 30, 2011


"I love fall! Fall is exciting.
It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.
It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.
It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.
It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall. That's why...
I love fall."

- Author Unknown -

My goodness, time constantly seems to get faster and faster and the months and years are passing me by.  September has been and gone in what seems the flash of an eye. Today  my son, Anthony, turns 29.   Happy birthday, son.  It seems like only yesterday that they placed this tiny little infant in my arms, and I fell madly in love.  He was a child that wasn't supposed to be, my little miracle.

After my eldest son, Jerry, was born the doctor told me that my system was so out of whack that I probably would not be able to have another child.  What devastating news that was, but I never gave up trying and never gave up hope.  I'd been an only child myself and vowed that my children will never feel that loneliness that I had felt while growing up and watching all my friends interact with their siblings.  Today, so many, many years later, both mom and dad gone, and that ache of loneliness still fills my heart.

Happy birthday, son.  Know that you are loved.  

Wishing you all  a lovely, peaceful, joyful weekend. See you  on Monday.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little by Little the Year Grows Old

Little by little the year grows old,
The red leaves drop from the maple boughs;
The sun grows dim, and the winds blow cold,
Down from the distant arctic seas.

Out of the skies the soft light dies,
And the shadows of autumn come creeping over,
And the bee and the bird are no longer heard
In grove or meadow, or field of clover.

Little by little our lives grow old,
Our faces no longer are fair to see;
For gray creeps into the curls of gold,
And the red fades out of the cheeks, ah me!

And the birds that sang till our heart strings rang
With strains of hope, and joy, and pleasure,
Have flown away; and our hearts today
Hear only the weird wind's solemn measure.

Youth and summer, and beauty and bloom,
Droop and die in the autumn weather,
But up from the gloom of the winter's tomb,
They shall rise, in God's good time, together.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When I compare the seasons of my life with the seasons of the year, it all makes sense to me. Life is similar to a wheel;  it has its seasons.  It turns and moves forward. I think back now to when I was young, and my grandmother was younger than I am now, I saw her as old.   She was in the Winter of her life...but that was my perception.  When I was a teen,  I thought everyone over 30 was old.  I couldn't  foresee myself that way.  When we are young, we believe we will be eternally young, but life doesn't work that way. It continues to turn, as the wheel of the year, and we, just as the earth, move steadily through our seasons in our journey through life.
Now, in the Autumn of my life, it seems that Spring and Summer, the early years of my life,  passed by so quickly, yet crawled along so slowly as I lived them.  Spring, the first season of my life, was a time of growth, a time of wonder and amazement.  I was so busy exploring the newness of the world, that I saw not that the wheel was turning. Childhood was a time to  play and romp with friends, a carefree time when life seemed as it it would last forever, but, alas...

...soon enough came the heat and weight of Summer, and with it, all that comes with, paying bills, getting ahead, much activity filled the days.  Suddenly, my world was filled responsibility.  It was time to put to use the foundations I had  planted in the Spring.  But what of those of us who laid no foundations?   We learned through trial and error. I chose the wrong men and found myself mired for many years in bad marriages.  I felt lost and helpless, for oh so long, and then, just when finally got it right....

...along comes Autumn. The wheel had continued to turn.  The leaves begin to fall as the earth winds down its activities and the warm days of summer give way to the cool, crisp days of Autumn. It is time for the harvest, a time to reap what we have sown. Things once thought young forever are beginning to fade. My body doesn't work as well as it once did, and my mind tends to forget things, a little more often; but  while I may not remember where I put my house keys, I find myself remembering what used to be, and once more, the joys of childhood begin to take center stage. I find it so amazing that, for so many years, those  memories were pushed back into the subconscious, only to be reborn in the Autumn of our lives.  And, before we know it...

...we will find ourselves in the Winter of life.  And I know, I just know that there will be joy there as well for the love of those around us, the joy of watching them live their lives will carry us through.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ask a Stupid Question Day September 28th

This is the National Ask a Stupid Question Day, and that's exactly what you should do today.  This is your opportunity to ask all those questions that you have been afraid to ask, all those questions that you thought were too stupid or dumb to ask.  This day is usually celebrated by students and teachers, but, hey, the way I look at it, we're all students, aren't we?  Life is a continuous learning process.  

National Stupid Question Day was started back in the 1980's by school teachers hoping to encourage timid and reluctant students to ask more questions in the classroom.  Wish they had started this day sooner.  I was such a shy child, and was already being harassed by my classmates, so how well I remember sitting in the back of the classroom, wondering about something, but not raising my hand for fear it was stupid,and I would be laughed at.

Well, that was back then, and this is now.  Now 64, I've learned that without asking questions, we don't learn.   The moment that we stop asking questions will be the moment in which things left alone we will start to decay.  The only way to become wiser is to continue learning. To continue learning, we continue to question things.

Remember, it is always better to
ask a stupid question than to make a stupid mistake. 

On the housing front, I didn't know that packing would be so difficult.  It seems that the more I pack, the more there is.  Packed another 4 bags for hubby to take to the poor.  Where does it all come from?  It's a non-ending process, but, by doing a little every day after work, should eventually come to an end. 

I did learn that her asking price for the house is off-the-wall high, $890,000, for a house that is listed as worth $179,000.  A Jewish man in the neighborhood stated that he and several others made calls, and no one is willing to go that it looks like it will be awhile.  She said she was going to leave it on the market for a few months, and if she didn't get a 'bite', she was just going to turn it over to her brothers...which will be a loss for everyone.  So, it does look like it will be awhile.

But that doesn't mean I am going to stop looking, and if something comes, along,  I'm grabbing it. I made the mistake one time of believing all was going to remain as is.  They won't catch me out there again. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ancestor Appreciation Day: September 27

(My second great grandmother, Mary Constance Hazel, from Norfolk, England.  A very special lady.)

Today, September 27th, we celebrate Ancestor Appreciation Day and the memories of those who both came and went before us. This is a day for us to reflect on our ancestors, learn more about them and the ways in which they influenced each of our lives. This is a day for us to learn about and appreciate our forebears, a day to express gratitude for our personal existence, and a time to pause for solemn reflection. Those from whom we are descended should be remembered.

Since I am an avid genealogist and always interested in anything about my ancestors, I'm glad to hear there is such a day.  Perhaps others will be inspired to look into their past, to learn about the beloved ancestors who forged the way for us to be born.  I usually places what photos I have of them on my altar, light candles, and say a prayer of remembrance.   Afterwards, I spend some time visiting grave sites on Findagrave and working on my Family Tree which one day I hope to have published as a legacy to those who will follow me. 

When I look at all the old pictures, of which, thanks to a fire, there are only a few, I reflect on their lives, their struggles for survival during hardships and wars. I am part of all of them.  I am who I am because of them   My grandparents have long since passed, about 40 years ago, and even my parents are now gone.  An only child,  it makes me sad that I was not interested in their lives when they were still alive.  If only I had questioned....

That is why I really want to encourage everyone to find out about your ancestors now. Visit those who are still living, and take the time to listen, really listen to their way back then stories.  You might be surprised what you learn.  Start a family tree to leave as a legacy to your own children and grandchildren.  Write down all the information you have on them--names, dates of birth and death, where they were born and died.  Add photos if you have them, and include stories to really make them come alive.  Don't be afraid to put your tree online.  When I first started out with my tree, I thought that I was alone...and then, I began hearing from them, those cousins from around the world that I never knew existed.  

In closing, I would once again love to share with you my ultra-favorite poem.

Dear Ancestor...
Your tombstone stands among the rest;
  Neglected and alone.
  The name and dates are chiseled out
  On polished, marbled stone.
  It reaches out to all who care
  It is too late to mourn.
  You did not know that I exist
  You died and I was born.
  Yet each of us are cells of you
  In flesh, in blood, in bone.
  Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
  Entirely not our own.
  Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
  One hundred years ago
  Spreads out among the ones you left
  Who would have loved you so.
  I wonder as you lived and loved,
  I wonder if you knew
  That someday I would find this spot,
  And come to visit you.

-Author Unknown

Monday, September 26, 2011


September 23-October 22

This is the seventh sign, and eighth constellation, from the vernal equinox, and is situated in the Zodiac, next east of Virgo. The sun enters this sign, at the Autumnal Equinox, on the 23d of September. Throughout Libra, a Cardinal Air sign, the time of darkness increases as daylight fades.  Libra is the  social Air sign. Symbolized by the Scales, it represents the desire for peace, truth, justice, and fairness. From an astrological point of view, Libra symbolizes both public and personal harmony. Libra has that special ability to judge and weigh differences between people, things, and events.

Venus, the ruler of Libra, was said by the ancients to have arisen from the foam of the sea at the time of the wounding of Uranus. It is the planet associated with harmony, balance, and beauty. People ruled by this planet are usually of a gentle, loving disposition, fond of social life and entertainment.

The name Libra is Latin for pound. Pound is the unit of weight for the scales, and a pair of Scales is the glyph for this sign, signifying balance. The sign may also be represented as the base of the scales resting on the setting  sun on the western horizon, which is symbolically the realm of the past, serving as a reminder that the past is always with us.   

The Egyptians were the first of the ancients to recognize Libra as a constellation unto itself.  Prior to this, Libra had been considered a part of Scorpio's claws.  The Egyptians believed that when an individual died, Ma'at, the goddess of law and justice, would place their soul on one side of her scale and on the other, a feather.  If the soul tipped the scales, even just a wee bit, she would deem it not ready for the afterlife.   The Greeks, on the other hand, saw Libra as a set of scales held by Astraea, the Goddess of Justice in whom the fate of all mortals must be eventually weighed. 

Libra also represented justice as a symbol for equality in several Middle Eastern cultures, and in ancient Sumeria, Libra was known as the Balance of Heaven.  In India, Libra was regarded as a Balance, as well, and in the Zodiac of that country, the constellation was seen  as a man bending on one knee and holding a pair of scales. In China,  Libra was once known as the Star of Longevity, but later generations changed the name to Tien Ching, which means the Celestial Balance.

The time of Libra is a special time that can bring harmony and balance into our lives.  It is the time of the harvest, and, as the seventh sign of the Zodiac, it rules the seventh house...the house of marriage, partnerships, and intimate relationships deeming this a perfect time for celebrating and sharing with others. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For Sale

Taking a few minutes rest from my ultra-busy weekend to share the latest with you.  It's official now.  Yesterday they put a 'For Sale' sign on my house and are selling 'as is' which means it could go quickly....very quickly, so, for me, this weekend has been a race against time.  The house itself needs a lot of work, but the Hasidic people who will buy it will tear it down and rebuild, so the work doesn't matter.  They've rebuilt all the homes on this block.  Hubby says it is because they cannot live in a home that a Gentile lived in.  How true that is, I don't know.   

I have to say that I am looking forward to the move, a new start, but I'm scared and depressed right about now.  What if they sell before we find a place?  I keep asking my landlady "How long do I have?", and she keeps telling me what I want to hear, "Oh, it is not going to happen right away.  You can probably stay until December."  At 64, I've learned to read between the lines.  Of course, she will tell me that.  She stands to lose our rent when we leave.

This weekend I went through every item of clothing we own, those hanging in the closet, as well as those packed away.  I was ruthless.  Hubby left a short while ago with six lawn and leaf bags filled with shoes and clothing belonging to both of us.  Heck, I'll never be a size 10 again, and he will never be a 32 waist.  Why hold onto them?   In hubby's case, we gave away size 32, 34, and 36.  (He's a 40 now).  In my case, we gave away size 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 as well as small, medium, large, and extra large.   

I began sorting through books and sent my son with three large shopping bags full for a friend of his who loves astrology and such.  I've taken things from the walls and heaved those that no longer serve a purpose.  I got on the small ladder and began cleaning out the top shelves of my kitchen cabinet which I always forget are there.  Heaved all that stuff out.  It' been non-stop all weekend.  And there is still so much more to do.  Hubby is going to bring me back some packing boxes so then I can begin packing the paintings we want to keep, knickknacks, and books that are keepers. 

There will be no more first floor, backyard, absentee landlords for us.  This enough.  As I can no longer care for a garden, a window garden will be it for me.  Hopefully I will have lots of windows and sunlit rooms, not this railroad style we have now where houses are attached, leaving no windows in the living room, dining room, and kitchen.  We also choose now to go into a building.  In a building you have rights.  Here, we are at our landlady's mercy.  

As I write this post, I am of mixed emotions, looking forward to a new start, but mourning the loss of the old.  My son reminded me last night that we moved here in February of 1997.  That means, this upcoming February will be 15 years.  That's a big chunk of my life, a big chunk of the 20 years I have had with hubby.  So many memories, so many...and now, as the tears begin to flow, I think it is time to take my leave.  Just wanted to let you know if I go missing, it's because I am busy, and that's all.

Thanks for being hear to listen.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mabon Blessings

"I know the year is dying,
Soon the summer will be dead.
I can trace it in the flying
Of the black crows overhead;
I can hear it in the rustle
Of the dead leaves as I pass,
And the south wind's plaintive sighing
Through the dry and withered grass.

Ah, 'tis then I love to wander,

Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature's undertone;
Wrapt in thoughts I cannot utter,
Dreams my tongue cannot express,
Dreams that match the autumn's sadness
In their longing tenderness."

- Mortimer Crane Brown-

It's rainy, hot, and humid here for the first day of fall, but that's okay.  It has arrived, and that is what counts.  And, I am home and don't have to go out in it.  As most of you know, I am one who can read an omen into almost anything, so, when I got up this morning and discovered I hadn't set the coffee pot last night, the debate in my head rose as to whether or not I should stay home today.  See, my coffee pot is set 7 days a week, 12 months a year.  My coffee 'must' be ready for me or, I swear, they can hear me all the way over in the next state.  I am a dreadful person without my coffee.  Actually, by now I think it is mostly psychological.  I only drink half a cup and toss the rest away. 

Once I heard the weather report, I had my answer....Call in and take a personal day...Heavy rain is on its way, about 4 inches they say, and there is a leak coming down from upstairs over my son's window.  The son upstairs says it's not his problem, but won't let anyone up there to repair it, let alone look at it.  Sick people, they are.  My son is in Connecticut and hubby has an appointment, so someone has to be here to man the fort.  (dump the pails).  The son also put a gate up across our back steps...telling us we can't go in the yard anymore.  Ha!  The last laugh is on him. I was telling hubby this morning I am not going to allow them to stress me anymore.  Actually, the more they do, the more I can smile to myself because I now see that they are the one's who lose by pushing us out.  Of course, after 12 years, they probably think we are here to stay, so are they ever in for a big shock when the ONLY income brought into this house is gone. 

I also worry about the trains with heavy rain.  The tracks always seem to get flooded during a heavy rain.  Who wants to be stuck in the city on a Friday night?  Yes, that's all projection, but something told me it was a day to stay home....and, alas, about 11 am I was sitting on the sofa, watching Supernatural,  when the telltale cramping began in my stomach.  I'd eaten just a 'wee' bit of popcorn last night thinking such a minuscule amount wouldn't hurt, but, even that touched off my digestive problems.  I've been through this at work before, and it's no picnic...especially on the ride home with no bathroom in sight.  Yikes!!!  Everything does happen for a reason...and with that, I would like to offer...

...Blessings to you and yours at this most special time of the year.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Autumnal Equinox Around the World

As Summer draws to a close with tomorrow's of the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd.  Our days are growing shorter, while our nights grow longer. It is one of my two favorite times of the year, the other being Spring.   During the equinox the periods of daylight and darkness are equal nearly all over the world; hence, it is a time of celebration around the world. 

In China, the day marks the end of the rice harvest.  The holiday is centered on recognizing the importance of the harvest. The Chinese also celebrate the birthday of the Moon at this time.  Special holiday birthday cakes, called Mooncakes,  are baked with flour from harvested rice, and traditionally, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the  moon, which is actually quite bright at this time of year.  It was also said that, on this night, flowers will fall from the sky, and those who saw them were to be blessed with great abundance throughout the coming year.

In Japan, both the vernal and autumnal equinoxes are national holidays—days to visit family graves and hold reunions. The Spring and Autumn equinoxes are known as higan and are seen as a time to meditate on the impermanence of our lives which is mirrored in the changing seasons.  Spirits are said to return at higan, and relatives and friends send gifts of melons and other foods to be offered on the altar to friends or family members who have passed on.  Higan lasts for seven days - beginning three days prior to the equinox and ending three days after it.  This is a time for families to visit the ancestor's tombstone and clean the grave, offer flowers, and pray.

In Korea, there is a three-day festival known as Chuseok, a time most comparable to Thanksgiving in the United States, and in Africa, the equinoxes are observed in subtle ceremony and rites.
  The Yoruba people of Nigeria had a celebration in October to celebrate the yam harvest. Dances were held to honor the ancestors, and to bid farewell to those who might have died in the past year.  In India, people of Kerala hold a harvest festival called Onam.  At this time, food is delivered to the poor and homes are decorated with flowers.

Norse  pagans celebrate this time as Winter Finding, a time period that runs from the Sabbat until October 15th, Winter’s Night, and in Celtic countries it was known as  Mabon and Alban Elfed. In rural England, the Harvest Home was celebrated on the last day of bringing in the harvest.  Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. A harvest supper was a dinner of thanksgiving and celebration.

Native American people at the time of the autumn equinox began their preparation for winter.   Their harvest festivals were very spiritual. The Chumash tribe in California gathers together to focus on the importance of togetherness during confinement in winter, death and rebirth. In Native American tradition, the Earth Mother and the ancestors are honored this time of harvest with feasting, bonfires, as well as drumming, dancing, story-telling and a variety of traditions from different tribes.  The Iroquois people celebrated the season as a Corn Dance, usually held in October. It was their way of giving thanks for the ripening of the grain. 

Jewish people celebrate Sukkot, a festival of thanksgiving that lasts for nine days.  On this occasion, the Jewish family builds a booth which is called a Sukka, which they decorate with leaves, branches, fruits, or vegetables from the new harvest.  
This is the time of the harvest,  a time to appreciate and give thanks to the Goddess for her bounty as well as  to share in the joys of the harvest with others.  It is also a time to appreciate the connection we have will all who share our lives.  This is a day of balance, and as the world begins to tilt toward the time of darkness, we, too,  begin to slow down and reflect on the harvests in our own lives.  As age creeps up on me, I begin to appreciate this time of year so much more, for this is not only the time to honor the turning of the wheel, but also to honor and reflect on the fruits  of a lifetime. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Day After the Bombshell

When one door closes, another opens;
but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
-- Alexander Graham Bell

Wanted to let you know I feel much better today, and thank you all for your kind concern.  Still not up to par, but not as depressed as I was yesterday.   I'm trying to look at the bright side of things, but a move is never easy....all that packing and sorting and heaving.  I know we will not be able to afford a big apartment as this one is, but perhaps a smaller one is what I need at this stage of my life.  It will be so much easier to care for. Choosing what will go and what will be tossed is the hard part.  I am one of those people who can find meaning in the smallest things.  

For example, 20 odd years ago when I was in rehab, I was in an art group and we were modeling with clay.  After I put together my ashtray, I took a small piece of clay and fashioned a simple little creature.  Do you know, I still have it?  I also have little cars I got from a cereal box 15 years ago...and a little green Apple Jack truck.  Then there is the Christmas and birthday cards, old classwork and certificates that are not needed.  And please, don't get me started on my books.  That's the part that is going to break my heart.  

Hubby is my rock; he always has been since the day we met.  He has a way of turning everything into a positive.  He's actually looking forward to a move and has me seeing it in the same way, or at least a part of me.  The other part finds little things to worry about....such as my cat.  She's was 19 years old in July, and moving can be traumatic to any animal.  When we moved to my current apartment 12 years ago, she went through it for about a week...walking the floors and howling at night.  She was a nervous wreck.  But, she was still fairly young then; she is an old lady now.  (Sigh) I don't know how she is going to handle this.  Any suggestions on how to make it easier on her will be greatly appreciated. 

Hubby made me see that I have been fooling myself all these years...thinking I had such a great deal.  Sure, in 12 years my rent has only gone up by $400, but look at all the added stress along the way.

(1) The electricity is so bad that I haven't been able to have my Christmas tree on for years because it blows the power.  A simple Christmas tree.  So every year I go through all that bother of setting up the tree and my Christmas village, and I really cannot enjoy them.   It's the same with ironing.  I have to turn the AC off if I am going to iron.  We've already had our bedroom remodeled, and now, last night, my son discovered an outlet in his bedroom that was actually quite hot to the touch.  The electrician is over there now.

(2)  The pipes in this house are so bad that we have been replacing them one at a time.  It seems that everytime we put some new pipes in, another leak pops up some other place.  

(3)  We've tiled the bathroom around the tub at least 4 times since we have been here.  It seems the wall is moving ever so slowly inward pressing them out.
(4)  What good is a back yard if you can't enjoy it?

(5)  The stress of dealing with the two brothers, of being in the middle of a family feud with everyone trying to gather you on their side.

(6)  The rudeness of the children on the block because we now are the minority.

And there is ever so much more.  I guess, when it's all said and done, I am a creature of habit. I don't  like change.  I was willing to overlook it all just to save myself from having to deal with starting up all over again someplace else.  We've also found several places to look at with rents the same, if not lower, than what we are paying now, so I guess it's true.  This wasn't such a great deal.  One change we have decided on is no more private homes.  We are going into a building with a super to do the repairs.  I've always looked for places with a back yard, but these are all in private homes, and when owners decide to sell, you have no rights....and as much as I love working in the yard, my fibro has gotten worse throughout the years, and I don't think I can handle it again. 

Before I close, I wanted to share something with you.   These are some rather interesting little sights around the area of my new office.  I had planned to share them yesterday, but totally forgot when my world went into a spin. 

 It's always fun to see pink elephants, bunny rabbits, and old carousel  horses while I am on my way to work. This truck always parks near the cart where I buy my fresh juices in the morning.  They are actually advertising for a thrift store.  You see everything here in New York.

This magnificent rooftop garden can be viewed from our group rooms.  We New Yorker's are a resourceful bunch.

If you think your whole life is going wrong
just because so much of it is going wrong,
then you're wrong.
Mostly when things go wrong,
they're meant to go wrong,
so we can outgrow what we have to outgrow.

-- Author Unknown --

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Did You Ever Want to Escape From Reality?

Have you ever just felt like you could escape to some alternate reality where your problems fade away and joy fills your life?  Yes, I know.  Not realistic.  Problems are a part of life, and try as we might, we cannot run away from.  Instead, the only way through them is to face them head-on. 

I'm not doing very well at the present time.  Healthwise, I am as well as I can expect to be.  Emotionally, though, I am so totally drained.   Running away from it all seems like the best option, but I am too old to run.   I am also too old for  on-again, off-again nonsense about my home.  Not too long ago I got the word that our house was not going to be sold for a few years until the market price came up.  I can't tell you how relieved I was.  It's not my favorite place to live, but we really don't have the money to move, and now with hubby out of work, I don't know how we will pass the credit check, let alone find a place we can afford.  We're fairly lucky here with our rent.  The deal was, my landlady wouldn't raise it, and we would take care of the repairs.  Both of us lucked out in that deal.   And now, to move on with my story....

....The owner who passed away left the house to his two daughters.  His two sons are both alcoholics and drug addicts so he knew better to leave it to them.  The son who lives upstairs has been on his best behavior so I have no complaints about him, but lately, the other son has been coming around and partying in the basement at night...and I do mean at night.  The man has DJ equipment down there, and he and his wife blast the darned thing for 7 or 8 hours at a time.  It is located right under my bedroom and the reverberation from the base drives me up a wall.  Saturday they were there from 7 pm until 2:30 am.

Well, hubby talked me into calling my  landlady and let her know what is going on, and I do believe that was the biggest mistake I could have made.  There is no love lost behind her and the brothers, and she rode this thing to the hilt.  I can't tell you how she drove me crazy with one phone call after another, always repeating the same thing.  Get an order of protection so they can't come in the house.  They don't belong there.  They don't live there. etc. over and over again. The sister who has control of the house was on vacation and was due back yesterday.

Later in the evening I received a very pleasant email from the sister apologizing profusely for her brother's bad behavior and assuring me that it will not happen again.  I went to bed feeling so much at peace.  Then, when I got up in the morning, my world crumbled around me....

...I was having my morning coffee when the phone rang.  It was my landlady.  I let it go because 5:45 in the morning, I'm not ready to deal with this.  So, after I took my shower, I called her back,  and my day hasn't been the same since.  It seems that now the sister is so fed up with everything that she is going today to sign the house over to the two sons.  She stated she doesn't need the hassle and has a house of her own to take care of, so she is just letting it go.  What this means is that the two sons are going to have complete control of the house to do as they wish.  The music can blast 7 days a week, and I cannot do a thing about it.  I can call the police, yes, but who wants to live like that? The other son, who has been on his best behavior, will no longer have any reason to so , and I fear the house will become a crack den...

...and I am not just projecting the worse.  This is what these boys have wanted.  They're mind cannot comprehend that to own a house one has to pay the bills, have insurance, etc.,  or they will lose it.  My  landlady refuses to pay their way so, now she is talking of selling.   She has told us that we should start looking, but finding a place isn't a matter of going to a huge mall and picking one out.  It takes time.  I'm wondering  how much I can deal with with these two sons.

I apologize for laying this on you. I normally try to be upbeat, but this has totally thrown me for a loop. All those months, waiting in limbo, not knowing, and then finally being assured that everything was going to remain as it is, once again getting comfortable in my surroundings...and then having it all pulled out from under me like this. I want to cry, but I can't. It was a fight to control my tears while I was on the train, and now, here I am at work, and I still cannot let them flow. I know I will feel better once I let it out. Crying opens up your heart allowing the healing process begin. Crying releases all those pent up emotions that are bottled up inside--fear, stress, pain. Crying heals and allows you to move on.

So, I will go home tonight, and I will cry. I will let out all those negative emotions that have eaten away at me throughout the day. I will cry, and I will begin  will heal...and then I will move on. Because everything happens for a reason, and perhaps that reason is to move onto better things.  Right now it is just the newness of it, the letdown after I was feeling safe. After 12 years I am tired of being in the middle of a family feud, and a family that is not mine, no less.  It's time to move on, I know.  And I will.  No matter what, I've always landed on my feet, and I know I will do so again. 

Thank you for letting me share.

"Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either." - Golda Meir

Monday, September 19, 2011

International Peace Day on September 21st: Commit Now For World Peace

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.--William Ewart Gladstone

On September 21,  2001, the United Nations voted unanimously to declare  that this day should be observed as an International Day of Peace.   The Assembly declared that the Day be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during the Day.  World Peace Day encourages us to be kind to others, and teach others to be peaceful. 

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.--Mother Teresa

Each year on this day, celebrations are held in hundreds of countries, all with the same goal in stop war and violence.
Wouldn't it be nice if this one day succeeded and spread, country by country, day by day, until there is no more war or violence?  Wouldn't it be nice to finally have peace? 

Commit to the Global Truce Here

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell? I humbly crave,
Let me once know.
I sought thee in a secret cave,
And ask'd, if Peace were there,
A hollow wind did seem to answer, No:
Go seek elsewhere.

I did; and going did a rainbow note:
Surely, thought I,
This is the lace of Peace's coat:
I will search out the matter.
But while I looked the clouds immediately
Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden and did spy
A gallant flower,
The crown-imperial: Sure, said I,
Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digged, I saw a worm devour
What showed so well.

At length I met a rev'rend good old man;
Whom when for Peace

I did demand, he thus began:
There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase
Of flock and fold.

He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save
His life from foes.
But after death out of his grave
There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;
Which many wond'ring at, got some of those
To plant and set.

It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse
Through all the earth:
For they that taste it do rehearse
That virtue lies therein;
A secret virtue, bringing peace and mirth
By flight of sin.

Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
And grows for you;
Make bread of it: and that repose
And peace, which ev'ry where
With so much earnestness you do pursue,
Is only there.

George Herbert

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wishing You All a Very Special Weekend

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy - myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)
published in Native American Prayers - by the Episcopal Church.

The weekend is here, and I am thrilled to say a touch of fall is finally upon us.  There is a soft, refreshing chill in the air as summer draws to a close, and Mother Nature is beginning to prepare for a new season.  Soon the landscape will be adorned with a beautiful array of crisp colors of brown, orange, red, and gold...and just as we prepared for the season of birth and growth in the Spring, we now prepare for our time of rest and reflection.  

This Sunday is National Women's Friendship Day.  The objective  of this day, is to promote special friendship among women. Just wanted to say to all the wonderful women I met here in the world of blogs...Thank you for being my friends.  

Wishing you all a magical weekend filled with wonder and awe.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Believe in Yourself

Found this on the net awhile ago and thought instead of the Thursday quote I had planned, it would be great to share this instead.    In the old office, I had this pinned to my wall and took solace in reading it often.  Here, we can't put things on the walls, but as I was unpacking some group stuff, I happened to come across it. The following is something that kept me going during some rough times.

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren't the way you had hoped they would be....that's when you have to tell yourself that things will get better.

There are times when people disappoint you and let you down,
but those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself and all that you are capable of.

There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.

Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are, 

So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be, because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep believing in yourself.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Little Bit of 'This and That'

Anybody catch the Harvest Moon?  Wasn't it amazing?  We were quite lucky here that the clouds parted long enough for a view.  I did managed to get a picture, but, alas, my camera is not for moon shots.  As big and beautiful as this moon was, all I got was a small white spot in the middle of darkness. There's been a touch of fall here, and you'll hear no complaints from me.  This has been a summer to remember, and I, for one, am ready to move on.  Actually, I was thinking that this upcoming weekend,  if I can find the time, I just might try putting together a new autumn look.

Not much is happening on my personal life.  I did find out that I will probably be able to stay in my home for another couple of years.  My landlady didn't want to sell, but the other party did, and my fear was the other party wouldn't help pay the bills, and my landlady would be forced to sell.  Luckily, for me, the housing market here in the city is low, and both would rather wait until it rises.  Whew!!!  That's such a relief.  And, I did learn a good lesson.  Be prepared for anything.  Nothing goes on forever, and you have to be ready to make the necessary changes to move on with your life.  You would have thought that, at 64, I would have learned that lesson a long time ago, but when things are going well, you tend to forget.  

I'm adjusting to the new work space...or perhaps I should say 'doing the best I can'.  I am still not overjoyed with this place, but I at least wish I could say I was happy with it.  I will NEVER get used to these elevators.  I have a phobia to begin with and stepping into an elevator on the 10th floor that actually rocks back and forth when you step in really sends me into quite a tizzy. I don't even bother with the freight elevator anymore.  It's broken down more than it is working.  Needless to say, even on the regular elevators, each ride up and down is quite an adventure.  I'm not a happy camper, to say the least.

On the plus side, hubby got accepted for unemployment.  What a load off my chest!!!  I just didn't know how I was going to handle it...the rent, bills, food, etc.  My son does help out, but I don't him to pull hubby's weight.  Now, it we could just find him a job.  I can see he is getting stuck in that 'rut'...staying up late and sleeping part of the day away, feeling blah, no energy. Perhaps he is a touch depressed.  He's used to being active, and when you take that away and loved getting up and dressing up in shirt and tie and heading off to work.  Now, that's been taken away.  Hopefully, something will come along soon.  I hate seeing him this way. 

And now, to get back to that gorgeous moon...for your pleasure, a lovely poem by Longfellow.

As a pale phantom with a lamp
Ascends some ruin's haunted stair,
So glides the moon along the damp
Mysterious chambers of the air.

Now hidden in cloud, and now revealed,
As if this phantom, full of pain,
Were by the crumbling walls concealed,
And at the windows seen again.

Until at last, serene and proud
In all the splendor of her light,
She walks the terraces of cloud,
Supreme as Empress of the Night.

I look, but recognize no more
Objects familiar to my view;
The very pathway to my door
Is an enchanted avenue.

All things are changed. One mass of shade,
The elm-trees drop their curtains down;
By palace, park, and colonnade
I walk as in a foreign town.

The very ground beneath my feet
Is clothed with a diviner air;
While marble paves the silent street
And glimmers in the empty square.

Illusion! Underneath there lies
The common life of every day;
Only the spirit glorifies
With its own tints the sober gray.

In vain we look, in vain uplift
Our eyes to heaven, if we are blind;
We see but what we have the gift
Of seeing; what we bring we find. 

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Defy Superstition Day, September 13th

What a great idea! Many of us have a long list of superstitions, and this day offers us an opportunity to break those superstitious beliefs that we have been living with most of our lives. And while many people will insist that they aren't superstitious, omens and superstitions actually play a part in all our lives. For some of us, superstition is something that has been passed down from our parents. For others, it provides a sense of control over uncontrollable things in life. When one feels they are helpless against circumstances, the feeling or belief that one can have some control by avoiding or doing certain things and actions can be comforting. And some of our superstitions have been passed down through the ages....

...For example, thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks were dropping special gifts into sacred pools in the hopes that their gods would help them. And, the idea that it is unlucky to pass someone on the staircase stems from an age before the invention of the banister, when passing could result in one person falling from the unguarded side. The fear of walking under a ladder stems from the early Christian belief that a leaning ladder formed a triangle with the wall and the ground, and one must never violate the Holy Trinity by walking through a triangle...lest you be considered in league with the devil. Speaking of the devil, did you know that the reason we are encouraged to place our hand over our mouth when we yawn was to keep the devil from entering through our mouth?

How may of you believe, or have ever believed, that breaking a mirror gives 7 years bad luck?   The origin of this comes from ancient Rome where people believed that reflections were actually glimpses of their soul.  Hence, many people had gazing pools in their gardens in which they could look at themselves. Any disruption of this reflection, such as a stone tossed into the pool or a rippling from the wind,  affected their soul and brought about bad luck.  Although we don't have gazing pools anymore, but the mirror breaking superstition continues to  lives on.  

The following are some rather unusual superstions:

If you accidentally bite your tongue, this means someone is talking badly about you, so bite your sleeve to make them stop.

Did you know it is unlucky to leave an oven completely empty when not in use.

Don't put new shoes on the table.  It will bring you bad luck.

To make a wish come true, make a wish at one end of a bridge, close your eyes and walk to the other end of the bridge while also holding your breath.  If you manage to do this successfully, your wish will come true.  

Lighting a candle from a fire prevents you from ever getting rich. 

We used to say the third on the match will get pregnant.  No one ever considered that it might be a male.

It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.

If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

Another famous superstition revolves around the #13. Hotels do not have a 13th floor or a room #13. Hotels usually do not have any room that ends in the #13. It's all because people are superstitious about this number. There are many different stories that have evolved to give this date its notoriety, among them:

A Norse myth tells of 12 gods dining at Valhallah, their heaven. A 13th uninvited guest, Loki, arrived, persuading the god of darkness to slay the god of happiness.

The biblical reference to the Last Supper, with Judas betraying Jesus. He was the 13th guest at the table. Jesus was reportedly crucified on Friday.

Did you note that Defy Superstition Day is celebrated on the 13th? I wonder why.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Harvest Moon September 12th

Oh, Shine on, shine on harvest moon, way up in the sky;
I ain't had no lovin' since April, January, June or July.
Snow time ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on harvest moon, for me and my gal.

This year, the legendary Harvest Moon comes early.   The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon which falls nearest the date of the Autumn Equinox.  It is also known as the Barley or Hunter's Moon, but these names were reserved only for those years in which the Harvest Moon is very late in September.  The Harvest Moon is one of the most celebrated Moons of the year, even today. 

September is the month when the main harvest is taken in, and stocking up for the cold season is the main activity of this month. The wild rice harvest was important to the Minnesota Chippewa; hence, they called this the Rice Moon.   The Cherokee called it the Nut Moon, and the Choctaw knew it as the Little Chestnut Moon.  The Shawnee called this the Pawpaw Moon.  

In China, celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival is associated with the romantic legend of Chang’O, the Moon Goddess of Immortality.  According to the story, there was a time, long, long ago, when  ten suns circled the earth, each one shining for it's own allotted time. Then one day something happened, and all ten shone at once, searing the earth with their heat.The earth was saved when a tyrannical archer named Hou Yi shot down nine of the ten suns, and for this, he was rewarded with magic immortality potion.

One day, while Hou Yi was out, Chang-O happened upon the potion and drank it.  Immediately, her body became lighter, and she transformed into a fairy, and as she ran out into the night, she found herself floating upwards, to the stars.  Finally, she came to rest on the Moon and found herself trapped there, never to return.  Hou Yi was heartbroken and pleaded with the gods to let him visit his wife.  

And so it is that once a year, the gods grant Hou Yi the right to ascend to the heavens to be with his wife. And this is why, on that one night, the  night of the Harvest Moon, the Moon  shines the brightest and fullest of the year, as it reflects Hou Yi's love for Chang-O.

May the Harvest Moon be a bright one for you!

All hail! thou lovely queen of night,
Bright empress of the starry sky!
The meekness of thy silvery light
Beams gladness on the gazer's eye, 
While from thy peerless throne on high
Thou shinest bright as cloudless noon,
And bidd'st the shades of darkness fly
Before thy glory—Harvest Moon!

In the deep stillness of the night, '
When weary labor is at rest,
How lovely is the scene!—how bright
The wood—the lawn—the mountain's breast,
When thou fair moon of Harvest! hast
Thy radiant glory all unfurled,"
And sweetly smilest in the west,
Far down upon the silent world. 

Shine on, fair orb of light! and smile
Till autumn months have passed away,
And labor hath forgot the toil
He bore in summer's sultry ray;
And when the reapers end the day,
Tired with the burning heat of noon,
They '11 come with spirits light and gay,
And bless thee—lovely Harvest Moon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Psalm of Life

As another Friday rolls around, I realize that this weekend will be the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Another year has passed by, and though I continue to go about my daily life, there is something missing.  Perhaps it is my naivety.  Here in the city I was not afraid of anything, but on that fateful day I learned that evil knows no boundaries.  I also learned that one can never be too comfortable.  One must continue to go about their business, but always must keep their eyes open and be aware of their surroundings. 

I saw on the news that tomorrow they will be having a special event that I would love to take part in.  Thousands of people will be meeting to form a human chain along the waterfront.  Hand in Hand, Remembering 9/11 will start at the tip of Lower Manhattan and reach as far north as possible.  My body doesn't allow me to do the things I used to do so I am afraid I will have to pass on this one, but I'll be sure to have my own little remembrance at home.  I will not forget.  

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solenm main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--