Friday, November 30, 2012


If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.

- Chinese Proverb -

What a special surprise was waiting for me last night when I got home from work. Several weeks ago I had entered  Debra's Debra at She Who Seeks  'Turning of the Wheel Giveaway', and last night, the gift was there waiting for me when I got home. Oh, I am so excited. It's such an exquisite gift, such a beautiful tapestry of the four seasons of the year.  I wish I had a camera, a cell phone photo just doesn't do the trick, but since I don't, so this is the picture from Debra's blog. 

Not much planned for this weekend. I really have to recuperate from last weekend. I know the holiday is quickly approaching, but I have little  energy left in me this week. A trip to Rite Aid for some Christmas scents and a stop at the fruit stand is all that is on my agenda. Besides, for the past two days I have been feeling a cold trying to take hold so it will be a weekend of homemade chicken soup and ginger tea to stop it in its tracks. Matter of fact, as I sit here now, throat sore and nose runny, I am debating if I should even go today.  

I may, if I feel like it make some Mexican Wedding Cookies.  One of my peers had brought some homemade cookies in that were very similar, and I opened my big mouth about my many years of baking. Now I have been put on the hot seat. Of course, I am looking forward to it. After so many years of not being able to bake, it really will be a pleasure to put the old creative juices back to work. 

Hope You will have a special Weekend. See you on Monday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meet Some of My Christmas Angels

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.

John Milton

Angels have always been an important part of my life, and, at Christmas, I go all out. This is their season.  I have always believed.  I know they are always with me, and on more than one occasion, have stepped in to save my life. I have heard it said that at our birth an Angel is assigned to us to protect on our journey through life. Oue   Angel is always with us and never leaves our side, from our day of birth to our time of death...and love us no matter what we do. And while they are always there to lend a helping hand, they won't step in to help unless we ask them, the only exception beinga life threatening situation which brings me to one of my newest additions.

Meet my newest angel (above). I just couldn't resist her, and although I'd just bought a new star for my treetop last year, the moment I saw her and her lovely white gown, I just knew she had to top my tree. She reminds me of the Angel who saved my life. I've told this story before on my blog, so I will make it brief. There was a time in my early 20's that I suffered from sleep apnea. On most nights, just waking and bolting upright was enough to bring my breath back, but on that one night, something was different. I could feel 'death' calling out to me. 

It was then that I saw her, dressed in a frilly white gown, standing in my bedroom doorway. She didn't say a word, she just looked at me. I realized then that I had been blessed, because usually they don't let us see them. Her ethereal beauty was so entrancing, I couldn't tear my eyes away from her, and as my breath gradually began to come back, she faded away. Now, almost 30 years have passed since that night, but I can still see that beautiful lady in white clearly in my head...and now she has a prominent place atop my tree. 

Blessed are the Angels who walk with us,
though we are unaware,
Those people who take time to listen
... to understand and care.
Blessed are those with unseen halos,
earned through deeds of love,
For they will always be for us Sweet Blessings From

Author Unknown

Above is my little faceless straw Angel.  She always has a prominent part of my tree. Made completely of colored straw, she was a gift from a very special person who is no longer with us in this world of form, but his spirit lives on in this darling little Angel. 

This is my other new Angel, the Angel of blue who represents the element of Water. The Angel associated with water is the Archangel, Gabriel, who can appear as either male or female.  He rules the  West, Autumn, the Moon, and Monday. He is in charge of souls and is associated with magic, clairvoyance, and fertility.  It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary, a teenager, and revealed her destiny. To invoke an Angel, all you need is love in your heart...and genuine motives. Invoke the presence of Gabriel when you wish to gain more understanding of your path of life. Ask him to give you clarity of mind.  

And finally, a blessing from a man who wrote like an Angel, John O'Donohue.

May the Angels in their beauty bless you.
May they turn toward you streams of blessing.

May the Angel of Awakening stir your heart
To come alive to the eternal within you,
To all the invitations that quietly surround you.

May the Angel of Healing turn your wounds
Into sources of refreshment.

May the Angel of the Imagination enable you 
To stand on the true thresholds,
At ease with your ambivalence
And drawn in new direction
Through the glow of your contradictions.

May the Angel of Compassion open your eyes
To the unseen suffering around you.

May the Angel of Wildness disturb the places
Where your life is domesticated and safe,
Take you to the territories of true otherness

Where all that is awkward in you
Can fall into its own rhythm.

May the Angel of Eros introduce you
To the beauty of your senses
To celebrate your inheritance
As a temple of the holy spirit.

May the Angel of Justice disturb you
To take the side of the poor and the wronged.

May the Angel of Encouragement confirm you
In worth and self-respect,
That you may live with the dignity
That presides in your soul.

May the Angel of Death arrive only
When your life is complete
And you have brought every given gift
To the threshold where its infinity can shine.

May all the Angels be your sheltering
And joyful guardians."

from "To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Farewell Beautiful Bird

Like a bird in flight, your life can soar
above the troubles of the world.
Breathe deep, choose, and break the shackles of your past.

 Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Yesterday when I checked out the Decorah Eagles site I was disheartened to learn that another of last year's babes had died.  D14 was the youngest and died just as his older brother, electrocuted after landing or trying to land on a power pole. I remember back just a few short months ago when many of us were concerned because while his siblings had left the nest, D14 didn't seem to have any intention of ever leaving the nest. We worried that perhaps something was wrong with him, but, eventually he took that big step, and now he is all too soon gone. His feathers and other parts will be distributed for use in Native American religious ceremonies while he and his sibling fly with the Angels. 

The following is an interesting link about a group working closely with their local power company to make the world a safer place for these magnificent birds. Bird Safe Power Poles

I also remember sitting there in shock several months back when one moment I was watching two of the cutest little hummingbird babes sitting in their next and the next moment they were gone, just like that.  A crow had carried them off. Devastating as it was, that is a part of nature, but this was totally preventable. Please get involved with encouraging utility companies in your area to modify poles and make them a safer place for our wildlife. 

The dome of heaven is thy house
Bird of the mighty wing,
The silver stars are as thy boughs
Around thee circling.
Thy perch is on the eaves of heaven
Thy white throne all the skies
Thou art like lightning driven
Flashing over paradise!

Edwin Curran

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Moving On

We should have no regrets. We
should never look back. The past
is finished. There is nothing to
be gained by going over it.

Rebecca Beard

I played hooky from work yesterday.  It's been a long time since I've done so.  I got up at 5 am, all set to go, then I remembered I had a doctor's appointment at 5 pm.  I usually go in and leave work and hour early, making it up on one of my late days, but yesterday I just didn't have it in me.  It is a long walk from my job to the subway, and then, because of Sandy, the train that stops at the station closest to the hospital is still not running, so it would either be two crowded trains or a long, long walk if I take one train...and it is cold outdoors. They are predicting a touch of snow this morning. 

Well, I came home armed with appointments for doctors, tests, and bloodwork. Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed. Have to have a sonogram on my thyroid on December 13th, but everything else is after the holidays--colonoscopy, mammogram, endocrinologist, pulmonologist, and my doctor. I'm glad about that. Another cat scan is due, and I really can't deal with any bad news before the holidays. My blood pressure is still up there 154 over 88 so my medication dosage is raised.  But the good news is, I shed another two pounds.  Before you know it, I'll be looking like a toothpick. Actually, there is still a long way to go before that. 

Later in the day, I actually began regretting my decision.  That's par for the course.  All my life I have been a workaholic, and this taking off for appointments is new to I begin feeling guilty a few hours after my decision is made.  I know there is 'no' reason for these feelings.  After all, it IS my time, and I earned it.  I guess it is just that some feelings are hard to shake.

It made me think about the many years i spent dealing with 'regrets' rather than moving on. Regrets about decisions made, relationships, not taking care of my health.The list goes on and on. Regrets, regrets, and more regrets. It may have taken me a long time, but I finally learned to accept that there are no mistakes in life, only lessons to be learned. As I tell my clients, "A mistake is only a mistake it you keep doing it over and over again."  

My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me,
or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.

Steve Maraboli

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday This and That

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

My goodness, is it that time already?  Have the holidays really ended.?  Perhaps I shouldn't have kept myself so busy. Should have spent some time watching the clock so that it slowed down.  I discovered several years ago that busyness  speeds up time whereas it seems to crawl when one is idle. Hence, when I really want to slow it down, I'll sit and stare at the timer on the cable box.  One minute can take an eternity.  

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving with my sons and my hubby. Family time is so important to me. The meal was delicious and no one seemed to mind an over-abundance of veggies...or that the mashed potatoes were made only with no salt butter and garlic.  This year there were no pies and cakes, and no one seemed to mind that either. We munched on grapes and clementines instead. 

One family tradition that crops up every Thanksgiving has to do with the cranberry sauce.  I always forget it.  Usually, it remains in the refrigerator when the food is served, and I only discover it when I am putting the food away.  This year I totally forgot to buy it so had my son stop at the store on the way over and buy some, and this year I DID remember to put it out with the dinner.  What I DIDN'T remember was to put it on my plate. Again, I didn't remember it until I was putting the food away. Since I am the 'only' one who eats it and 'insists' every year that I have it, everyone gets a big laugh out of that. Like I said, it has become quite the family tradition.

Another tradition is boiling the liver for Miss Minga.  Oh, how she loves turkey day.  I can cook year round without her 'carrying on' in the kitchen, but come Thanksgiving she drives me crazy with her crying and following at my heels.  She knows that smell of turkey roasting in the oven.  Well, after 20 years, I shouldn't expect anything different.  There was a time in the afternoon when we all became a bit melancholy and my eldest and I had tears in our eyes as it hit us that this could possibly be her last Thanksgiving, and we spent the evening making it extra special for her.  And at that, I'm going to drop the subject because I feel the tears beginning to well.

On Friday morning I turned on the news, and the first thing I saw was this young man on the news proudly showing off the new sneakers he got for $175 because he sat outside for 17 hours to wait for the sale.  It really sickened me to see such materialism. There are many in the city who lost everything and survived only with the clothes on their backs, yet all this young man could think about was 'his' sneakers. My gosh, young man, time is short, and none of us know what tomorrow will bring.  Is a pair of shoes really so important that you would miss the opportunity for some quality time with family, friends, or other loved ones?  And, if you had no one to spend the day with, what is so wrong about volunteering to help serve the poor and the homeless?

My son had called me early in the day and asked if I could please 'prepare myself to take a picture with he and my youngest'.  Now, what he meant was that there was a time that I'd always dress up for the holidays, even bought a new outfit if needed.  But, as time passed, and I grew older, dressing up no longer interested me, and so, after spending the morning over the stove, I'd shower and put a nice pair of my flannels on.  Comfort, not beauty, became the name of the game.  I know many of you are probably shaking your heads, but I wasn't going anywhere, so why not?

Hence, I, who hate having my picture taken, had a built-in reply when he'd want a picture. "Not in my jammies".  But during this past year I have come to realize that nothing is forever, and if mom getting dressed and having a picture taken with both of her sons would make him happy, then so be it. So, I put on a pair of slacks, a nice top, put on a little lipstick, and fixed my hair...and I took that picture with my sons which, by the way, is now plastered on his Facebook page, something I am not too happy about, but what the heck. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. 
Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause
every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level.
We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them,
allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.

Shakti Gawain

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day has many meanings. It is harvest day, a day for us to show gratitude for the bounties of the earth. It is also a day for family reunions as well as a national holiday.   The true meaning of Thanksgiving is evident when we look thoughtfully at the word itself.  It is a day for giving thanks and reflecting on our blessings.

Signing off until Monday. Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends! May you all be surrounded by your loved ones and may peace, love and joy fill your heart.

    God of the harvest, once again
     Our joyful tones we raise,
    For all Thy goodness, day by day,
     We give Thee thankful praise.

    With blessings rich, from fertile field,
     And gifts from fruitful tree,
    We wish, this day, our thanks to yield
     With earnest hearts, to Thee.

    We plough'd the ground, we sow'd the seed,
     But Thou didst send the rain
    In grateful show'rs, in time of need,
     And now we've reap'd the grain.

    The sun with grateful heat did shine;
     The dew did nightly fall;
    And now, for loaded tree and vine - 
     We give Thee thanks for all.

    The bee, in well-fill'd honey cells,
     Her sweets for us hath stow'd,
    The crystal water in the wells,
     For us from springs hath flow'd.

    The lowing herd, the prancing steed
     Receiv'd we from Thy hand,
    And we, this day, return our meed
     Of praise, throughout the land.

    Then let us sing with earnest hearts,
     Tho' joyful be each lay,
    And thankful ev'ry song that starts
     On this Thanksgiving Day.

  By Thomas Frederick Young

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Should Come Every Day

With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, the subject of giving thanks is on most of our minds. But, why should only one day be devoted to giving thanks. The giving of thanks should not be for just one day in November, it should be a year round habit, a whole way of life. Think about it. How many of us hurry along, so entirely focused on ourselves that we forget what it really is that makes life worth living. Far too often we are too busy or self-absorbed, myself included, to notice the beauty in the world all around us. Our minds are too busy thinking about getting through our busy day. We take our existence for granted

But if we would just take the time, we would see that every day we have something to be thankful for. Take our health, for example. Being healthy is truly a miracle, but most of us never notice of it until we end up at a doctor diagnosed with one illness or another. I smoked for 48 years before stopping and ate whatever I wanted without thought of the consequences.  For weeks on end, I never touched a piece of fruit. I lived on high sodium foods and sweets. I didn't believe in doctors. Heck, why go to a doctor when you can treat yourself. Besides, if there is something bad, I don't want to know. Denial will make it go away. Then comes the day when a very painful pulled muscle drags me to the emergency room, and I find that my body is beginning to fall apart.  Needless to say, I no longer take my health for granted.  I eat well, and I eat healthy. And each day I give thanks for another day.

We must also be thankful for the people, those in our living situations  and the people we live, work, and interact with each day, who have come into  our lives. They were put there for a reason. Instead of criticizing, we should appreciate them and give thanks that they have entered into our lives. How sad it is that we are often so preoccupied with our own needs and wants the we really see or appreciate one another. We should not take them for granted and utilize the opportunities that surround us each day to connect more deeply in each of our relationships.  I'd like to close today by sharing a poem from one of my favorite poets, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Her words always seem to speak to me, and I find them a nice way to start the day.Hope you like them as much as I do.

We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

    Our cares are bold and push their way
        Upon our thought and feeling.
    They hang about us all the day,
        Our time from pleasure stealing.
    So unobtrusive many a joy
        We pass by and forget it,
    But worry strives to own our lives
        And conquers if we let it.

    There's not a day in all the year
        But holds some hidden pleasure,
    And looking back, joys oft appear
        To brim the past's wide measure.
    But blessings are like friends, I hold,
        Who love and labor near us.
    We ought to raise our notes of praise
        While living hearts can hear us.

    Full many a blessing wears the guise
        Of worry or of trouble.
    Farseeing is the soul and wise
        Who knows the mask is double.
    But he who has the faith and strength
        To thank his God for sorrow
    Has found a joy without alloy
        To gladden every morrow.

    We ought to make the moments notes
        Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
    The hours and days a silent phrase
        Of music we are living.
    And so the theme should swell and grow
        As weeks and months pass o'er us,
    And rise sublime at this good time,
        A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday This and That

Take twice as long to eat half as much.


Well, I'd say that the above quote is definitely a lot easier said than done, especially at holiday time. Eating has become such an intricate part of day, and well it should as it is a celebration of the harvest.  So we pile our plates sky high with high calorie and thousands of milligrams of sodium. Then we wonder why we got high blood pressure. This year, though, it will be a bit easier than previous years as I have chosen to focus more on fresh veggies and fruits rather than high fat foods and cakes...and all will be prepared with no or much less sodium. There is no need to fill up on the unhealthy foods we have become accustomed to at Thanksgiving.  As far as my menu, the following is what I came up with:

Turkey (of course)
Herb Stuffing ( no sausage stuffing this year. Sausage is too high in sodium)
Mashed potatoes
Fresh brocolli with low sodium cheese sauce
Parmessan roasted cauliflour
String beans
Low sodium creamed onions
Sweet potatoes with pineapple,cherries, and brown sugar
Cranberry sauce

For dessert we will have fresh fruit, unless one of the boys brings a cake. 

Above is a picture of my two newest angels. Notice the broken wing on the green doll. What happened to this wing is quite a mystery, though. It was on when I picked her up in the store, it was there when I paid for her at the register.  And it was there when the clerk gently placed her in the bag. But when I got her home, the wing was gone.  It wasn't even in the bag. She was a half-price sale with no-return so there is no taking her back, and I refuse to toss her away. So I've chosen instead to think of her as a reminder that none of us is perfect.

My son came to visit yesterday, and he showed me something online that I found quite upsetting. It seems that Hostess is going out of business, and people are buying up Twinkies, cupcakes, etc. and selling them for a small fortune on E Bay. A box of Susie Q's was going for $400. So many people going hungry, or losing everything they have in this recent storm, and morons would rather fork over $200 for a box of Twinkies than donate to help the poor. Do you know how many Thanksgiving dinners that money could buy? And, let's not forget all those people throughout the country who are now finding themselves out of a job just before the holidays. What happens to them? Is a box of Twinkies really worth it?

We have so much, yet many Americans feel dissatisfied. Somehow the
full table, symbol of abundance to the pilgrims, is not enough. We yearn 
for something far beyond the material satisfaction. Find your place in 
history this Thanksgiving by stretching beyond your table. Celebrate your 
survival by offering peace and sharing with your neighbors. Make the shift 
from in illogical feeling of lack to the recognition of abundance. Invite the 
Spirit to your feast, and prepare to feed the world.

Jennifer James

Friday, November 16, 2012


How easily we can forget how precious life is! So long as we can remember, we've just been here, being alive. Unlike other things for which we have a good comparison--black to white, day to night, good to bad--we are so immersed in life that we can see it only in the context of itself. We don't see life as compared to anything, to not-being, for example, to never having been born. Life just is. But life itself is a gift. It's a compliment just being born: to feel, breathe, think, play, dance, sing, work, make love, for this particular lifetime. Today, let's give thanks for life. For life itself. For simply being born! 

Daphne Rose Kingman 

Thanksgiving weekend. Already.  Can you believe it?  I'm going to make sure this is a quiet weekend. I need some quiet time.  It has been so busy this week. There is just so much paperwork already, and the funding sources keep requesting more.  Now we have to complete a two-page smoking assessment along with a four-page mental status and 19 page psychosocial upon admittance. They are really pushing smoking cessation, which is a good thing, but it only adds to our paperwork.

I guess on Friday I will finish up my Thanksgiving menu which, this year will include lots of fresh veggies and fruits. It's so nice to have that fruit stand down the block.  I didn't have this at my old place.  I realized last night that this will be my first Thanksgiving in my new home. I want it  to be so special. So much has happened in this year. I've been diagnosed with several health issues, and hubby has made a decision to go on a treatment that is going to make him pretty sick for awhile, but we have so much to be grateful for. There are so many out there who are far worse off than we are. Why, just the other morning there were two ladies from Coney Island on the subway talking about Thanksgiving. They have no lights, no heat, but they have gas, and they were talking about how nothing is going to stop them from cooking and having the family over for Thanksgiving.   

And, I think of my clients in the shelter.  Many have no family to go home to. They are totally alone for the holiday.  I'm so glad that every year we give them a annual Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings.  Of course, before the day is over, my back and knees are usually aching from being on my feet so long, but the smiles we put on their faces makes it all worth it. Life really is good. 

Today, let's give thanks for life.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled with lots of love and happiness. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chief Yellow Hawk's Prayer

Overslept this morning. I was so busy at work yesterday, I barely had time to eat my lunch. Don't know how it happened, but this darn paperwork seems have gotten away from me again. First the storm hit, and I wasn't able to travel, then finally went back to work and the struggle to catch up on things that had become due while I was off.  

I hate to admit it, but I even missed the appointment for my thyroid sonogram this week. It was supposed to be on Tuesday, but with Monday off, I ended up confusing my days and Tuesday felt like Monday.  Why, I even put in a vacation day for Wednesday, and it wasn't until I almost missed 'Covert Affairs' on Tuesday night that I realized my mistake.  Hope all this forgetfulness is just a sign of all that has been going on and being overly busy.   

They fired our new intake worker yesterday. He's been there about two months.  That's too bad because I really liked him.  When he first started he added a spark of joy and humor to the place, but as time went on, I began seeing more and more of his dark side as he proceeded to burn himself out.  I talked to him until I was blue in the face about taking on more than he could handle, but to no avail. From day one he was paranoid about being fired, so paranoid that he actually brought it upon himself. But then there was also this intense anger at his ex-wife that was literally eating away at him. He never took it out on us, but as time passed, it was easy to see that he hadn't learned to leave it at home. He'd often bang his fist on the desk when he felt overwhelmed. And then we he talked about her!  Oh my, such intense anger! I fear that until he is able to let it go, he will be moving from job to job.

Not much time to write anything here this morning, so I'll leave you with the following:

O Great Spirit, Whose voice I hear in the winds,
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I come before you, one of your children.
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,
my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you
have taught my people,
the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers,
but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when life fades as a fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

Chief Yellow Hawk

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Maze of Sleep

Sleep is a pathless labyrinth, 
 Dark to the gaze of moons and suns, 
 Through which the colored clue of dreams, 
 A gossamer thread, obscurely runs.
 Clark Ashton Smith

Well, yesterday it was back to work, and I must say, it felt good to have my train back again.  I swear, I will never complain about the 'N' train again. I learned such a valuable lesson. The train may be slow and crowded, but it carries me back and forth to work without my having to catch a bus to get to it. It is so very true when they say 'You never know what you have until you lose it.'

I wasn't even going to mention this, but I wanted to tell you about a dream I had last night I dreamed I was lost in a maze-like structure like some huge apartment building. I was trying to find my way home and  traveling from room to room trying to make my way. Each door opened to somebody's apartment, but it didn't seem bother them to have me walking through. Some even tried to get me to say for a bit by offering me food and rest.

Several times I found myself reaching a dead end and having to turn around. Once inside the maze one must frequently change course and retrace our steps to find the correct route. For many, finding oneself lost in a maze can be frightening and confusing.   Usually when one dreams of being lost in a maze it indicates a feeling of being lost or trapped in real life, but I didn't have any of those feelings. I wasn't afraid at all. In fact, I found myself looking forward to opening each door and finding out what was behind it. I don't see it as a 'nightmarish' dream in any way. In fact, I found this dream as symbolic of my life and the many paths I have followed on my journey to called my life. 

Mazes are traditional symbols of religion, representing mankind's journey back to the Divine. They are a symbol of life, and dreams about mazes can be indicative of working with your Higher Self.  I am finding it quite ironic that I should have this dream now as I find myself coming full circle by incorporating my Pagan beliefs with my early Christian trainings. In my opinion,this dream had much to do with my  unconscious telling me that I must have faith and trust in the signs that I am being shown in my waking life, making my choices accordingly.  After all, it was a dream that saved my life many years ago.  One day I will share that one with you.

Have you ever had a powerful, life-changing dream?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back to Work

There is no real wealth but the labor of people. Were the mountains
of gold and silver, the world would not be one grain of corn the richer;
no one comfort would be added to the human race.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Well, it's back to work today, and the first day that I will have a leisurely commute, not that any commute here in the city is leisurely. What I mean is that I will know longer have to spend time mapping routes and running here and there just trying to make it to work which is good because today is a rainy day here in the city. Transit is back to normal. I do realize that, on snowy days, I will probably need to change my route if last week's storm was a preview. I thought the old neighborhood was bad, but as I stood out there on the day of the nor'easter and looked down the block, it was obvious that this one will be worse. People no longer seem to shovel, at least not before the hours that I have to leave for work. 

Hubby spent yesterday helping his sister in Far Rockaway. He said it is like a war zone over there, totally destroyed. Everyone's furniture is by the curb, police are on constant parole, and one must wear a mask, the fumes are so bad. Everyone, including homeowners, are ordered out at 5 pm. My sister-in-law is devastated. She has lost so much. She's lived there now for almost 40 years and suffered through floods before, but nothing compared to this one. Now, she plans on fixing the house up and selling it, but worries about who would want to buy.

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving next week? My goodness, it's bearing down on us so quickly that I almost missed it. Thanks to a post over at October Farms "Thinking About Thanksgiving" I remembered it in time. This is my last paycheck before the holiday which means my last food shopping day so I bought a lot of the trimmings. This year I have that fantastic fruit stand down the block so we'll be having a lot of fresh veggies on the Thanksgiving table this year. It's such a pleasure living here. I have so much available to me that I didn't have at the old house.

This weekend I did back down on my word. Ended up making a big pot of chicken stew. This time I made a few switches of veggies and added some cilantro. Sure came out good. I also made some chili, some low sodium curry chicken, pork chops, a low sodium meat loaf, and a chicken cacciatori. That's my food for the next two weeks. Hubby has his own, normal menu.

I have been doing lots and lots of reading. Finished "The Path of the Christian Witch" and am now almost finished with "Invoking Mary Magdalene" by Siobhan Houston. Excellent book and highly recommended. Not sure what my next book will be but I am currently leaning towards "Christo-paganism". Now, there is so much more to these changes in my thought patterns than just reading a few books.  Although I didn't realize it, I have been drawn to this for awhile now; in fact, every since I moved here. There is a huge church across from the bus stop several blocks down from me called the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

There is a sign there which reads "Behold your Mother", and although I am not a Catholic, She has been calling me, not so much to enter the church, but more to reconcile two seemingly opposite belief systems. There is a beauty in both Christianity and the teachings of Jesus and Paganism and it's love of the Earth. Perhaps now, as I enter my golden years, it is time for me to find a way to reconcile the two.

Hope you all have a wonderful day. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday This and That

Ah, does it feel good to have an extra day off. If I had my way every week would be a four day week, but, of course, that will never happen so all one can do is go along with the flow until retirement time finally arrives. Oh, I could retire tomorrow if I chose to, but to do so would be to lose out monies due because I am not of retirement age.  And, I have to say as I creep along with another year  and few months to go, I keep my fingers crossed that they won't move the ages up again.

On a sad note, one of the great Pagan writers, Patricia Monaghan passed from this world yesterday. She will be dearly missed by all. May she rest in peace. Her work will live on forever.

On Friday I received a comment on my blog complaining that when he opened my blog the music blasted and someone in his household was sleeping.  Instead of telling me nicely or asking in an appropriate manner, he  said, "Turn the music down, jerk". Needless to say, I got a good laugh at that one, and I do have a suggestion for you, Will. I suggest you learn how to speak to people and become a little more respectful. They say you catch more flies with honey.  And, if you don't want to hear musical blogs then, (1) Turn your volume down before you surf blogs because many people I know have music on their blogs, or (2) Don't surf other people's blogs.  Simple as that.  Why should I have to turn my music off because someone is sleeping in YOUR house. You're thousands of miles away from me.  (Sigh)

My goodness, did I ever get some good news on Friday after I arrived home.  I'd spoken with a transit worker in the morning, and he advised me that I should prepare for at least a month of having my train out of service.  Of course, I was flustered.  It's not been easy getting up every morning at 5 am, being out the door before the sun comes up, and struggling to get back and forth to work.  But, knowing what was going on somehow made it seem more bearable.  It was getting quite stressful waiting every day for word that the train was running and then facing the disappointment of knowing I would have to take that grueling trip again the next morning.  

So, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised at 7 pm when I logged onto the transit website to see that my train was back on track.  To be honest, I don't know how long I could have gone on at that pace.  Now that I look back on it, the buses, not the traveling, were the most tiring part of it.  Buses were slow, and bus stops were crowded with tired people just trying to get home.  Whenever a bus pulled up, it was  like a mob scene with all that pushing and shoving to get on.   The first couple days I'd hold back and wait for the next bus, but by then, another crowd had amassed, and I learned that if one didn't push and shove their way on like the rest, one might be standing there all night, so despite my misgivings, I became just like the rest.  I had no choice.

What really irritated me was those who waited around trying to catch a free ride.  A whole sub-culture of these people appeared at bus stops, and for awhile, they made it bad for the rest of us, the honest people who paid their fare.  What they did was, hang around by the back of the bus waiting for the door to open to let the people out.  When it did,  they'd squeeze their way in without having to pay a fare.  Then, what would happen was they would fill the back of the bus, and many of the fare-payers could not board because they took up all the room.  Finally, bus drivers got fed up and began letting us out before we reached the stop.  That meant they wouldn't have to open the back door to let people out, but it also meant longer walks for the rest of us. 

I don't know about everyone else, but I am still frustrated with this new blogger.  It seems that I type a post and in draft, everything is fine, but then when I preview it, some of the spaces between paragrahs is triple spaced rather than doubled...and what a great pain to fix it.  I just don't have it in me this morning.  Does anyone else have that problem?

And, so that's it; that's my news for Monday.  And for now, I'm going to kick off my shoes, grab my Kindle, and relax for the rest of the day for tomorrow, the work week begins.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day

On this day we honor and remember the service of the men and women who have served in the military in times of war and peace.  This day is also a time to remember the people who have died for our country. 

The Veteran

Underneath the autumn sky,
Haltingly, the lines go by.
    Ah, would steps were blithe and gay,
    As when first they marched away,
    Smile on lip and curl on brow,--
    Only white-faced gray-beards now,
    Standing on life's outer verge,
    E'en the marches sound a dirge.

    Blow, you bugles, play, you fife,
    Rattle, drums, for dearest life.
    Let the flags wave freely so,
    As the marching legions go,
    Shout, hurrah and laugh and jest,
    This is memory at its best.
    (Did you notice at your quip,
    That old comrade's quivering lip?)

    Ah, I see them as they come,
    Stumbling with the rumbling drum;
    But a sight more sad to me
    E'en than these ranks could be
    Was that one with cane upraised
    Who stood by and gazed and gazed,
    Trembling, solemn, lips compressed,
    Longing to be with the rest.

    Did he dream of old alarms,
    As he stood, "presented arms"?
    Did he think of field and camp
    And the unremitting tramp
    Mile on mile--the lonely guard
    When he kept his midnight ward?
    Did he dream of wounds and scars
    In that bitter war of wars?

    What of that? He stood and stands
    In my memory--trembling hands,
    Whitened beard and cane and all
    As if waiting for the call
    Once again: "To arms, my sons,"
    And his ears hear far-off guns,
    Roll of cannon and the tread
    Of the legions of the Dead!

Paul Laurence Dunbar 

Friday, November 9, 2012


The time to relax is when
you don’t have the time for it.

Sydney J. Harris

Wow, the weekend has finally arrived and none to soon for me. It's been a hectic week, struggling to get back and forth to work, but I made it, and tired as I was, I just kept trudging onward. What else can one do? I have no control over the situation and can only hope it is resolved soon. 

Needless to say, this is a three day weekend for me--Veteran's Day. I love these three-day weekends, especially when the fall on a cooking weekend. That way, tomorrow I can shop and cook and still have two days of rest. 

Speaking of cooking, I have no idea what I want to cook for myself to tide me over the next two weeks. For the past month I've focused on stews, both chicken and beef, because I can cook up a large batch and freeze in serving size containers...and great tasting as well. But to be honest, I'm stewed out at this point. I've still not mastered a decent low sodium or sodium free meat sauce and don't think I ever will. Italian food 'needs' sodium for taste. I have learned to make a mean low sodium chili and this last batch was fantastic. But one cannot live on chili alone. Suggestions will be greatly appreciated. 

New York is a city of districts--garment district, diamond district, garden district, etc.  In these districts one finds blocks of stores all related to whatever district they are found in.  For example, in the diamond district, one finds block after block of jewelry stores and pawn shops.  I happen to work in the flower district, and in the summer sidewalks are lined with flowers and plants of all kinds.  It's a beautiful sight to see...and the scents are marvelous.  Yesterday they were bringing in the live pine trees.  Not your Christmas tree per se, but small pine trees ready to be transplanted. The scent reminded me of Christmas and how fast it is approaching. Before we know it, it will be come and gone.  This year I am going to try my darnedest to catch up with it and not let it pass me by so quickly. I want to savor every moment.

Well, not much time left to relax before work so I'll sign of for now. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend filled with love, lots of fun, and peace.  See you on Monday.

Wise people know what time it is in their own lives and in the life of the
community. They know that sensing the kairos (the prepared or ripe moment)
is more important than conforming to the compulsive rhythm of chronological
time. Thus, wise people are able to give themselves gracefully to seemingly contradictory experiences because they know that they belong to different seasons
of life, all of which are necessary to the whole. Spring and winter, growth and
decay, creativity and fallowness, health and sickness, power and impotence,
and life and death all belong within the economy of being.

Sam Keen