Mississippi Moments

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Teachers everywhere.......
"Everywhere she turns, she feels their watchful gaze--
tender, urgent, enigmatic, patient, methodical, dazzling,
lovingly guiding here, pushing her for a year or a hundred
or a thousand or a million--whatever it takes." by Janine Canan, 2005

Okay, so there it is. Good to know. Good to sense. Good to trust.
Bright and Meaningful Blessings in this "New" Year with Love.

Friday, December 29, 2006

In response to my brother's well-intentioned email and sharing, I have a picture. I am on my way up the same mountain, to the top, but I am taking a different path. We all are. And Abba-Father, Loving Source, made all the paths and all the beings on them. Creator made the mountain, too. And the Shelties, which are not mentioned anywhere in our Holy Book, but mine took a short cut to the top, and Jesus doesn't mind the dog-hair. In fact, He invented it.:)
Twelve Holy Nights
Pray, Dear Ones, please pray. Or send your Positive energies for healing and hope.
He's not just a dog. He's THE DOG, right now. And I do totally respect his choices for staying in this world or going to the next, but it just doesn't seem to be the right time for other members of his packif her were to choose to go now. So, I'll jsut pray and Believe that All is well, all shall be well. And I've asked my own pack of angel-dogs and spirit-wolves to surround and support with healing, presence and power. I'm standing there, too, with open arms and heart.

These Twelve Holy Nights as they are called, according to ancient lore, are nights of dreams, understanding, heart yearnings, communication between the Holy and Here, and windows to clarity. I have been paying attention and remembering with almost hysterical attention to detail, the dreams of each night. They have color, sound, depth, storyline, differentiation, and elements of significance for my present situation. The one the night before last taught me about my present state of "being able to take care of myself" and dealing with whatever comes (so I hope and believe). In a nutshell, I was teaching up at St. Anne's again, but it was no longer a white, upper class yuppie neighborhood. The neighborhood and local population had become that of the public school in Montgomery. Alabama. Poverty, violence, some hopelessness. The principal at the school was the same one from back then-an Iron Maiden. I learned alot from her while she was my mentor for my principal's credential program at the time. In the dream, I witnessed the rape of a young black boy about 9 by three gang members. I was on the front steps of school in a bright yellow dress. Everyone else was in church. i had slipped across the street to pick something up in my 5th grade classroom and saw the rape happening in the car as they drove by. The kid's eyes met mine as they drove by and as they were hurting him.(NB: Interestingly enough, I was single, had no children or dogs of my own, and had no more brothers, sisters, and family in the neighborhood. Yet, I loved my job and my little cottage up there on Q. A.) I was wearing a bright, yellow dress that I had had in the 80's, one that I loved and that always called attention to me. I narked on the gang members to the police. The kid was both thankful and resentful that I had done this. His parents were not. They were pissed that someone had caused their boy more trouble. Only the kid and I knew that it was me that had turned the bad guys in. They were convicted and went to prison. The gang members began to seek out the person in the yellow dress to do her harm. Only three other women that day in the community had been wearing yellow dresses. The principal was one of them, too. I watched them corner her and she responded to their threats with grace and power. And they seemed to leave her alone as she locked herself back into the school, but I saw them slip a screwdriver unbeknownst to her under a sliding door so they could come back later. I also knew that eventually they would find out it had been me, and that didn't bother me. I knew I could take care of myself and I also knew that it didn't matter if I died. The other side of the Good-bye Door is a portal to Beloveds and Beauty, and it is just as REAL as this ordinary reality. More so. I have tasted it more than once. I have also "Seen" there on more than one occasion. It is not far. It is so close. It is a happy, pain-free Place.
Last night's Dream was about the adoption. In this reality this week, there were more emails from my social worker and the agency itself. They seem to be having trouble putting all the pieces of the present paperwork together, or even opening important stuff I sendback over the email. When that happens, I just make hard copies and hand-deliver them to the agency in Renton. Then they chase me in the parking lot saying that they don't have copies of other important pieces that I sent to the social worker WEEKS ago and could I get more copies of that. Then I get emails from teh social worker saying that they finally got stuff opened and not to worry about the other pieces of info..blah, blah, blah. And I am in this place of peace-can't describe it except to say that it is like standing on a big piece of green Alaskan jade rock in the middle of a river and watching all this swirl around me
and by me, knowing that if I stay on the rock, what I am waiting for will drop out of the sky to this spot exactly into my waiting arms and then I will hop off and off we will go. I have a great vantage point from there. I am not cold or lonely or bored. Just there and content with it. Last night's Dream was about just this. I went from being at the Field with the kittens and playing with them, to wanting to go to Gerald Ford's local funeral rites-something to do, not because I had any sort of feelings or even respect for him (although I do believe he was a decent man in a difficult spot). It was a "MUD DREAM". I left the funeral early and was walking home in the pouring rain with no coat and it was mud-where you can't move hardly at all-lifting your feet like they are encased in cement and then I got lost even though everything in the dream was extremely familiar (on Queen Anne again-go figure). When I couldn't find my way home, in the past I would have SCREAMED with rage and frustration until I woke up or kicked ass on someone or forced someone to show me how to get what I needed and wanted. this time, it was "Oh, okay. I'll just make myself comfortable under this warm overhang and go in to have a cup of coffee" until I can figure out another plan." And that's what I did. Hmmmm...
I'm sleeping alot. Sharing with friends alot. Savoring the restoration of spirit-alot. Looking forward to the movies today with taller than me kids...and lunch at Breadstick Heaven with Jacob!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year..."
A wonderful time with my sistahs and my mother at Loolie's. Made for some very weird dreams the following nights.
We missed Sara and had some good times sharing stories and listening to our mother share tales of defiance and stubborn-ness where called for. And we've always thought she was so proper-HAH!
More of this, Girls...it's good for our souls...
Just returned from the winter wonderland that is Grays Harbor County and the Field. They do pretty well off the grid, but Will and Little Feather were cracking me up because she had vacuumed the entire house and didn't drain the solar power. We got to have our wine and music, too--all evening long! They have installed double the number of solar panels now..the kitties are all well and wearing their winter fat..I mean, forms. We shared ideas, happenings, books, good wine and cheese and pickles in front of a huge fire in a special brick oven that then heats up the entire house for the rest of the night.
I also enjoyed a lovely dinner with Turi this week. Looking forward to more of that this winter.
Looking forward to some time with nieces and nephews over the next couple of days and time in my classroom...and naps.
That's always good, too.
I want to hear that Coli returned safely home to NYC.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm dense. That's the good news. It's also the GREAT NEWS.
There is nothing to worry about in the boob area. It's dense fibrous tissue that's, well, dense.
And there is a brand new, energy efficient washer in my cellar that's just too pretty and small and looks like it could bake soda bread as well as do laundry.
The Homestudy is on its way for the Vietnam Program to review and that should take a week. Then it's hurry up and wait again for the paperwork requirements from the government.
All is well. All shall be well.
Christmas was full of people I love and hold dear, good times, some surprises to be sure, and moments that help to remind me of the Reason for the Season.
Much love to all! I'm off to the ocean and to the Field for a few days. Love, Erin

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's 1:30 am.Wrapping presents is cousin to doing report cards. sigh.
And I hate it when I read back over old blog entries and find misspellings.
Lovely glass of Christmas riesling here. Making progress.
Went to late Mass at OLF tonight-the choir blissed us out, so did the homily, being in that sacred space.
It's a good thing.
Merry Merry!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bliss and Doghair.
That's how I have spent most of today, in both. I borrowed a dog. A sweet dog. Named Katie. A strawberry blond golden retriever-lab mix. We had three walks, two sessions with a peanut butter filled kong, mega playtime in the backyard, and a couple of naps on my little couch (Katie napped. I read Christmas stories). (Note to self:big dog-get bigger couch). She helped me unwrap over 60 presents from students and their families. We baked Christmas breads. We are also celebrating the good news about Mike and his healing. I am glad for this, for now. Thank You to All Healing Sources and Support. A sweet day with a sweet girl in a sweet place.
My social worker sent the latest draft of the Homestudy today. I found a couple of things to tweak but it is clear and workable. It goes to the Vietnamese "program" for final review. The okay should take a week and then it's ZOOM! Dossier stuff to complete and on its way to Vietnam (as soon as they put the ok stamp on WACAP).
I have decided not to put a tree up this year. I have simple decorations and lights, candles and well-placed greens. This will do. This is what my Heart and Energy want to do. So I will. I am enjoying everyone else's trees and decorations.
I managed not to get lost or overwhelmed at Northgate mall yesterday. YIKES!! What a bloody scrum--too much for the senses and sensitivities.
I met Miz Sister Teresa for coffee this early morn after working out. We did some good catching up and we're on for next summer (for now). I sure love and admire that lady. I also met someone that would likely give Bruce nightmares--Sister Linda came in later to meet with Miz Sister Teresa. As soon as she saw me, she knew I was a "Raney" and immediately asked after Bruce. Then she began to tell stories of Bruce and Tony Papsadero! I had a ball listening. Christmas Night dinner should be fun. Sr. Linda is now principal down at St. Anthony's in Renton.
I am not surprised the caroling and story-sharing isn't happening with the family of origin this evening. All is happening as it will and should.
I enjoyed a lovely evening of good food and Advent prayer, Christmas music and friendship with Mary J. and Christmas Kitty.
'Tis the season..and boy, am I ever in a place to celebrate with Gratitude, Peace, and Joy. God rest ye merry gentlewomen...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

FWOOM!-Womb...and Hoom-Hoom.
Bright Solstice Blessings, Dear Ones. One of the most special days (and nights) in the cycle of the year for me.
It has been another wondrous day. What a day.
The Brother in the Overalls had me out to help put a few Greening People into the Earth today, with help from golden liquid, Grandma tea, Stone People, a pinecone, and a stone from the Poulnabrone Dolmen region of Eire.
We first placed a male-energied basalt angled just so toward the south east and that was the FWOOM! That Michaeline archetypal energy of power, light, connected and directed from earth to heaven, from heart to Bosom of Abraham.
Then we placed a rounded, multi-layered, mother-stone in the north-east, placed just so, with a cocooning, healing, holding energy. She holds secrets and layers that weather and storms bring to the surface. Going inward to grow, heal, reflect, renew, and remember. That was Womb.
Then the placing of the red maple, the music over the field, the snow on the mountains, the working together with intention and love, the sharing of stories (and single malt ambrosia), straightening the wind-tipped ones, and finding homes for variegated hollies so as not to interfere with a deer track...that was "the bomb" or in Entish :"HOOM-HOOM".
I learned what "hog fuel" was today. The horses will be much happier not having to sink into the mud.
I appreciate watching big boys and their toys. This toy was a dump trailer and a truck. It is art and precision and amazing.
Being near Dancing Cedars. Stellar Jays calling in the wind. Mud on my knees, face, and hands.
Getting a call from Mis Sister Teresa from Mississippi wanting to know more about the Celtic celebration that I keep at this time of year. She wanted to celebrate and observe it with her own sisters and since we all couldn't be at Newgrange today, she wanted to know what to do instead! (I think I may have made an impression-I was down in Jonestown for Summer Solstice and do it up right there-minus a bonfire. Burning garbage in the ditch really doesn't count.) So we shared some details and she and her sisters of origin were going to have their Celtic-ness in turn this evening.
I also heard from the Patriach of the Rising Matriachy that he, too, planted a tree in his meadow in honor of this special day.
I shared a fire and Irish mist with my Star-Sisters and big, healing yellow dog this evening. It was community time of sharing, listening, prayer in our presence, and treasured moments.
I spoke with my piper-buddy-brother today and other Dear Ones.
And I watched Volume II of Pride and Prejudice (well, mostly, when I wasn't sleeping through it.)
I am missing Fiona and Sadie tonight. I am honoring my ancestors and my Families of Origin and Choice.
I Breathe my Joy and Peace and Hope.
It has been a splendid day, a Holy day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tripping..up the stage and "Belle off the Ledge"?
Julia tripping, Sara tripping, Philip doing some intriguing stuff like changing another broken Harp string on stage and forgetting that he was the one leading the next set of jugs..oh, not when Coli was dancing, I meant set of jigs..Bless the Brenin who got his attention and the transition happened!
It was a fun and long last Yuletide at Meydenbauer this eve. I'm beat and stanky as I write this but I want to capture some of the magic before I trip off to bed.
Except I don't have the brainpower to write about any of it...I just have the feelings and impressions-of Warmth, Love, Peace, Joy, Connection, Hope, Laughter, some Idiocy, Sharing, Reaching, Breathing the Healing and the crinkly knee sounds that go with the sharp intake of breath. This old "warhorse" kept up, kept in, looked good, and did her best this Yuletide season. The Heart cauldron is full in that area and will nourish the coming months and days.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Seattle Yuletide has a couple of warm images-
Holding Rowan in my arms as she looked through the tiny, jewel-like ovals in the stained glass window doors to see into the sanctuary so we could watch Thomas Arthur juggle.
Another one is the garden gnome running around in this wee green hat and an Hawaiian Santa shirt.
Another roaring crowd.
The front row of people crying as Mark sang his song, "Christmas in the Trenches". I'll bet there were more. We couldn't see them because there were no lights back there.
The light, airy voices of the Pacifica choir.
The hush as Coli sang the Lullabye of the Christ Child.
The power and punch and JOY of the dancers--at one point Brigie tried to "joy-dance" again, and it made all of us Laugh..and then to have Bert and Ernie up on the tier looking down at us and chortling made it even worse..no I mean, BETTER!
And then to yell at the Waldorf kids to stop running (that's tradition).
And to find my way off of Capitol Hill on the side streets to avoid sitting in traffic yet again this week to go have dinner with Bookgroup, these dear Book-Sisters who continue to sweeten my days, stretch my mind, and fill my Life with Friendship and Community!
It doesn't get any better than this!
Now off to Mount Vermin--ooh---ahh.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Having a "Wind Day" off? and "Residing in my usual state of oblivion"-
two new-to-me phenomena. The past few days have been unusual to say the least and full.
Thursday brought a couple of things, one of which was the biggest wind and rain storm in the region's history...ever.
I knew something was wrong when it took me an hour to move less than 1/2 mile on Elliott trying to get up to dance class at HNA. Another 1/2 hour just to get to the foot of Queen Anne, I did a radical left and went up on the Hill for refuge and a cup of tea at Mom and Dad's. Instead of being greeted with smiles at the door, I was greeted by smiles at the door and Dad yelling "DON'T STEP ON THE CRACKS!" (I don't think he knew he was yelling.) I went into dancer mode and put my heels up and voila! I'm in. Why? They have a brand new wonderful just grouted tile floor and kitchen counter. It's loverly. I wonder what the new stove looks like...They won't let us play "Don't step on the cracks" game on the kitchen counter..)
No school on Friday. A surprise and a bummer. I like to work. I like it when things are on schedule. But I was glad for the students. They needed another day to be kids. I went down to the Tacoma Yuletide with Brigie driving and Coli in the back doing what she does-which is yell at Brigie alot and then Brigie yells back. It was a very enlightening time...and a good latte to boot. (Thanks, Coli.) The music was great, eclectic, and loud. So was the conversation. And Brigie hit her mark of getting us there just by 5. She rocks and that girl can "drive".
For me, Tacoma Yuletide had wonder, joy, ease, and unexpected gifts. I got to ride home with Loolie. That was the bomb. I did my own version of Brigie's 'Joy-dancing" in a couple of numbers or it could have been that I was just "residing in my usual state of oblivion"--purloined that phrase from Brigie.(Thanks Brigie).
I just found out that one of my bright, capable nephews is flunking his English class. I don't have much connection with him but I would like to offer my services if it would help. I don't think that is the problem from listening to the talk about it...no Raney should flunk an English class. No Raney should flunk any class (unless it's me and Map Reading 101 or 3rd year Calculus and I squeaked by with the help of a tutor and lots of after-class help from the prof...(this was in the days when after-class help from the prof usually meant just that.) Or maybe we should...and that,too, is part of what needs to be learned.
Now it's off to Seattle Yuletide. Still alot of folks without power. We are going to be in a world of hurt when "the Big One" hits...one of my reasons for wanting to move out of Seattle.
MY thoughts and prayers are with Mike, the dear big yellow dog. He will have surgery next week. My prayers are with him and his pack...
One more thought from Prayers for Healing Book:
"Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness.
It strikes us when we walk throught he dark valley of a meaningless and empty life.
It strikes us when our own disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us.
It strikes when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Somethimes at that moment, a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying:"You are accepted."--Paul Tillich

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Picture this: Stan Borenson singing away about "Valkin' in my vinter undervear" and 3rd and 4th graders up to their armpits in glue, flour, and cornstarch...and one parent-volunteer who thought she was coming in for reading groups and got an apron slapped on her and told to help one particular 4th grade boy who was still working toward the standard of "is this a solid or a liquid..or hey, did you see how far I can toss this clump of white sludge near the lights?...it was a glorious day. I didn't sit down once! Well, that's not true--at dance we have to stretch and set our weekly goals for the week so that was sort of like sitting except I was too busy and focused to pay attention to it.
Another thing that was fun about today..try this sometime-put a dab of glitter on your nose and see how many people tell you about it or try to cue you nonverbally. (It's kind of a 4 thing.)That was a riot today (I was feeling elfish not elvish) and it garnered alot of commentary. No one believed me when I said that I had done it intentionally. Oh well, still fun. Glue-flour-and cornstarch is a magnificent combo for making ornaments. Equal parts. No water. Flour your hands and knead like dough. Can be used with cookie cutters or just shaped into ornaments. We are learning the symbolism of the candy cane and also of the Most Dangerous Carol on Earth (Twelve Days of Christmas). It was the first time in a long time that I have seen and heard everyone having a playful, heart-warming time. It was also an observation smorgasbord on the developmental continuum and Darwinian theories of get to the supplies first and take the most for me...4th grade girls-gotta love 'em. They rule the world.
I won two rounds with one of my students and in my winning, he won. I am not going to accept crap from someone that I have trained for four years running in academic excellence--so I did the UNTHINKABLE--I held his Redwall library book hostage on my desk until the work was completed and brought up to standard. Did you know I am the meanest, mean, not nice, meanest, I don't like you, No, I won't teacher in the world? I figure this is good practice for what's coming up. I tell you, it is tough to keep the sweet and sincere in my voice when I just want to shake him and say,"You're ten! Get it?! You're not in charge and you have to go to school and like, learn something, like everyday!!" But I don't. Me and my Love and Logic angel just script our way to his success over and over and over...the little otter slipped by me with one assignment and so I am girding the proverbial loins and we will work on that choice tomorrow...gee! and I get paid for this! Rubrics-you gotta love 'em. They spell it out so clear and crisp. And none of them can tell me that they can't read becasue I taught them to read (with hard work from their parents of course and the other amazing teachers)
Dance was fun and focused tonight.That's because everyone was on a very tight leash with clearly explained achievable targets. They really respond to "break out groups" and the chance to work on the next advanced thing once they have demonstrated mastery. No stickers here, girls!
I hve enjoyed every night this week after work because as soon as I step in the door, I put on the kettle for a cup of Christmas tea. And tonight is Christmas cookie baking night. All the traditions that are special to me are still special to me. So I embrace and enjoy and LIVE! The gift of this Santa Lucia Day was the light in the smiles and the challenges that the blob work -I mean ornament creating-offered today. Let's all open our Hearts to the LIght around us to share, to awaken, to hold, to heal.......off to the kitchen to make some real cookies!
Count your blessings instead of your sheep....
1. Happy Birthday, Brigie!!!
2. Coli's coming home soon!
3. I heard from my adoption counselor that my care provider let her know that I am in "excellent health" (to quote) and that she is looking forward to the results from the mamogram to follow-up.
4. The kids at school are settling in-sort of-and it is fun, in a sad nostalgic kind of way, to see how much they can do for THEMSELVES when we are crafting together. It was sort of expected that we do this in our classroom--because it has been a tradition since they were in kindergarten. Oh, and please could we not make more ornaments-our tree is getting loaded (this whine brought to you by one of the triplets.) I calmly said, "No, we make ornaments and other cool stuff in here. Go read if you don't want to." (We shall see. This guy has been on my radar all week. pushing. pushing.pushing.) He doesn't know that I wear sweaters everyday to cover up the bricks that are my skin and brain armor. Unfortunately, like Smaug the dragon, I have a vulnerable spot right over my heart.
5. There are a couple of my students who have heard about Jonestown from me and now they are making their own line of Christmas cards and all proceeds go to Jonestown. I am their best customer (and only I think)
6. Day #4 of Decaf/No caffeine for me and no one has died at my hands directly yet. Yay! Headache beginning to subside.
7. Hour and a half massages are worth it (esp. when in decaf land as a recovering addict)
8. MAUDE! Come dance the finale with us in Mt. Vermin....really, it's only one step at the end if you want...and you can see Brigie blow out some more holes in her dress and say "Son of a ...." so loud that the new cute drummer who sort of likes her but comes from Indiana so he's completely not on her radar but who looks up and follows her with his eyes and wears a pink cape and head thing during processional...it would be a TON of FUN. We want you there. (How's that for pressure, Brigie?)
9. The 12 days gift from Monday: Sigh from good work done well. I love working the Homeless Dinner. Maybe I can help prepare food or get involved in another way next year. It helps me remember that we are all God's children. And I have nothing to fuss about AT ALL.
10. 12 days gift from yesterday; Listening to the quiet, soft voice of God and having a 4th grader ask me if that could mean how God talks to him in the "eye of the tiger" in the middle of an intense soccer game--that one's for you, Coach Raney. I put it back on him, but it made sense to me.
Off to a day of dance, glue dough crafting, and teaching about elapsed time. The ONLY question that my third graders could answer about that topic was how many days until CHristmas...they all got it right!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dreams versus nightmares...
Yesterday at Mass, Priest-in-Essence Patty spoke to us about the reality of the nightmares around us-in our world, in our cities, in our homes, in our families, and in our own hearts. She also spoke to us about God's Dream for our world, our cities, our homes, our families, and for our hearts. God's Dream is the Truth, what's Real, what Is--inspite of what the insidious news reports tell us. I buy into God's Dream wholeheartedly and I go one step further in that I want to, choose to, continue to be one of the bridgebuilders...in my own Erin way. God gave us a Gift, HIs Son...He's got the tools, the job assignments, the hugs, the solace, the Love...and He's got His own scars to prove how hard the work can be. But we're living it, folks. I have everything I need. Obviously, I don't have everything I want---and alot of times, I don't want to show up for the work. It'll be there when and as I am ready. (NB. I am sure ready this morning! Get me back into that classroom.)
Saturday's physical was a shocker. I spent most of the day in tears at ...what I can and can't peg. My dreams lately have been about boat building--in the front yard, with no intention of going to sea or water, but building this craft so we have a place to play, have tea, bookgroup, sleep ins and sleep overs, lots of kids and families running around. The first night of this dream involved other families that I consider part of my Heart Family and their kids. The second night, last night, my own two were running around with everyone else. We shall see. So today, the gift is Equilibrium and Patience (idea borrowed directly from Sarah Ban Abundance). I am starting my twelve days of Christmas early. There might not be much decorating going on on the outside, but the Inside is all lit up and in full celebration mode. Yesterday's Yueltide in Kent ROCKED! More fun, more Julia-tableaux(what a sweetheart) and the other Tara dancers...good camaraderie adn Brigie still out there doing her own creative expression. Man, that girl has sparkle and strength of Heart! It's all about the Dreams and not the nightmares...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Good Yuletide in Oly tonight even though it was a fairly small crowd. And Brigie rocks...not just because she was expressing herself on stage in just about every dance and doing her "Joy" dance, but because she made me a VERY COOL CD to rock out with on the way home...I lub it. I can cross off two songs that have been on my fridge since 2004.
Thanks for the boob support, gang. I talked with the fuzzy doc tonight and he said to give up caffeine, take vitamin D, and wait two weeks to get a mammogram. Picked up the decaf coffee and the Vit D at the Ballard Market on the way home right in the middle of singing"Come On Ring Those Bells"...for the third time in a row. I may just make it to the concert tomorrow night to listen to Turi sing...this might be just the thing. Love to all...............

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Mountain was out in all her glory yesterday on my way to the Accreditation work at the school in Auburn. I couldn't tell you if she had been out at other times during the week, but the sunrises were gifts from our Loving Source...the colors were unreal and the snow on the mountain. Birds streaking across the template of brushed pinks, golds, purples, and burnished tangerine...I've had my head and being in the accreditation process tunnel and couldn't tell you what the weather was like any other time this week. I am very tired inside and out. It was a learning experience in every way. It was affirming and eye-opening. Thank heavens for an amazing team leader and a collaborative, supportive team. It was ideal and intense. I learned (again) that I do not choose to activate my principal's credential. I learned that accreditation is a load of hard work but that it is a viable accountability tool. I learned that I need to alter and ameliorate several of my teaching strategies and modalities and that it isn't a big, fat, hairy deal...it just takes time and practice until it isn't hard to do anymore. I love first and second grade more than anything, and hope I get to teach at that level again. I won't fear accreditation ever again. Rubrics are our friends.
Avis and her family were a respite of love and normalcy. A cup of tea was waiting every night, a warm bath, and a harp if I wanted to play...which I did a bit. Also, the balm of all--a 12 year old sable corgie named Puck. He sounded like Sadie, smelled like Fiona, curled up and sighed like both dogs, and the tap-tap-tap of those paws on woodfloor were balm to my heart. I got to go to work everyday with the right kind of dog hair on my suit. I also got to watch (until I fell asleep on the couch) videos of Vietnam and the people, places, and music from Grandpa Bernard's latest travels. I want to see more...I have alot to learn.
I am a little unnverved at the moment...I just got back from my latest wellness exam to finalize that piece for the adoption. They found a lump in my left breast...I hope it's nothing.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Light and Goodness, Life and Gratitude.
Add coffee to that. Dance. Patience. Soup.
Growing things.
Winter. Fall. Spring. Summer.
Something wonderful this way comes..............................

Sunday, December 03, 2006

...three hawks a-watching, two mountains dancing..and the best Yuletide concert everrrrrrrrrr!.... (you all know the tune-sing with me!) It's a been a quiet day of catching up. working, chatting, and finding that the simple things are what matters.
I'm not kidding about the Portland Yuletide. The audience was Roaring at several places during the evening...having wee little Madeline there to dance and delight with our Rowan was something precious. Sprites in ghillies...the drive down was beautiful and uneventful. A full car-Val, Caitlin G. and Robyn and great music (the McKassons' cds and some Christmas music, too). I had a bit of a meltdown when I went to vacuum out my car before the roadtrip. Guess what the v. cleaner smelled entirely of???...that blew me backwards and inside out and made me late picking up some of the others...it's crazy where these signs of love and loss come to knock you right on your heart and ass. I'm doing and being fine and when these 2 by 4's come, it's still fine. I used to be dead to these things-not anymore...it means that I am also awake and here for the other stuff.
No "full moons" at the concert backstage last night...sorry to disappoint anyone who was waiting for otherwise. Last year, I was so out of it, that on the last costume change, apparently I was walking around with my dress tucked up and no bloomers or any'ting and the moons were keeping their watch over a whole lot...love that Kodak memory. Love it even more when Mark or Julie catch my eye when we sing the last song of the night about the moon and watching and hills and vales and babies from Vietnam...maybe those are my own verses.
I also love to watch my mother in the audience singing with us. That's another kodak moment. And Dad with the video...
Went to work today and also went and enjoyed another trip to the laundrymat...warm, 31 minutes of uninterruped time--corrected reading papers and thought about this time last year. Book group was lovely on Friday. What a group...and the big yellow dog. It was cozy and creative and 'a good thing". Harry Potter movie is next. I like that.I enjoyed reading "Eldest" and wish that book 3 was already out. I made myself proud this past week in the teaching dept. I behaved professionally and with humor and in a quality manner. I intend to do the same this week. I have some energy to care with now although my teeth and hair follicles still ache from the grief. I am lucky to have my hair and my teeth, so the ache is part of the package. Doing the walking workout video is also a good thing and I am starting to have some creative moments while I sweat...usually I am wondering which of the women on the tape have had plastic surgery...here's to a good week. The first week of Advent is the week of Faith...sooo "4 sisters wheezing, 3 singers Joy-ing, 2 pixies prancing, and Brenin jamming on the celloooo...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, peace in our families, and peace in our world.
That's my prayer for today...
I woke up to a cold December morning, and then as I was finishing my first cup of coffee, the sun burst through.
I'm swathed in light and warmth...on the inside, too.
Book group was engaging last night. Wish I could have stayed awake for more.
We're doing a Harry Potter movie next. I like that idea alot.
Off top see what this amazing day brings...

Friday, December 01, 2006

On Plan B:
I am working on the parts about reconnecting with your passions and forgiving your mate...
The reconnecting with my passions part involves a diaper pail-go figure!
And the forgiving your mate part--this is the tough one right now---I miss our life together so much that I ache and cry especially when it snows or I see a beautiful tree or the ocean or when I hear a flicker or see that the rosemary is blooming even in the snow...and then I have to remember that it never really was real..or maybe it was...
..the other piece, the angry part, is sort of like a sorry piece of soggy potato stuck in the drain thingie in the kitchen sink when you've finished the dishes (some of us don't have a dishwasher and don't want one)...the meal is over, the dishes are all clean, and then there's this one stupid piece of muck that just won't be gotten scooped out and tossed in the compost bucket.
I am scooping and the bucket is open and ready...the fruit flies are driving me nuts though!
And behind door number three...........YOURSELF!!!
Before I get into this deeply, I want to preface this with I love my sisters, too.
Whole bunches.
Now, on with the blog.
It felt great this morning working out at Curves--been a few days with the snow and ice. I like the workout videos at home or walking, but there is something about being with the women there, in the early morning, in the light and with the music-bad as it is--just starts my day off. Then to the Ballard Market to get my first box of satsumas for the season-YUM!
A few other thoughts that are not meant to be taken by anyone in anyway with anything other than that these are my thoughts:
Therapy is a lot of things.
It is a place to be heard.
It is a safe place to explore thoughts and feelings that are killing you and scaring you.
It is a place to learn about yourself, who you are, what you want, how you plan to get it..or not.
It is a place to heal.
It is a place to meet your inner child (no this is not new age bullshit) and learn to parent her or him.
Therapy will not fix anything. it will not fix you. Therapists do not tell you to "buck up"--and if they do, fire their asses and go find another one.
Therapy does not mean there is something wrong with you, that you are damaged or not enough in some way. It means that you are on the path to believing that you are enough, you have enough, and that's damn good enough to the person to whom it matters most-YOU!
Therapy is a difficult thing to choose when eons of family cell memory have taught you and those around you that you keep all the laundry, including the soiled stuff, in the closet...or basement. That works for some people.
Me, no,...and I am only the shining example of me. I don't aspire to be anyone else-although for years I have tried and I have two failed marriages to lift up to that one--and one of those was even after extensive THERAPY. Go figure....(I'm still smiling because I wouldn't trade the therapy, my tools, my Life for anything). I credit therapy for giving me the hope and the trust to want to live. The thing is--I brought those things into therapy with me and all it took was double diggin in the interior garden to find that I had them inside me after all. I credit my parents for giving me the faith tools to know that God doesn't make junk and that I wasn't a fucked up mess from the start. I was just off path, didn't know I had one and no amount of degrees, certifications, being the "perfect" whatever would fill the HOLE in me...and for years, it was what hole?
Therapy is a place to get tools for this Life Now. It is a place to look at all the tools and habits that you have used in the past and see if they are still working for you--or if they never did.
Therapy comes in a lot of forms and situations. It can mean a very expensive investment in yourself for time and skills of a therapist or counselor with whom who click. It can be good books, music, walks with a good friend, kick-ass workouts, prayer, prayer with a friend or friends. It can be your relationship with yoru Creative Source. It can be exercise. It can be massage. Long rides in the country on winding roads can be therapy. Dancing with your sisters and friends can be therapy. Snow is therapy.
It can be tears and rage and defiance. It can be journaling or loving on an beloved companion animal.
It takes courage to go to a therapist--repeatedly.
It takes courage to know that going to a therapist isn't right for you.
It takes courage and power to know what you want in your own life and to tell others, albeit gently, to fuck-off. And I smile as I write this and Hold my all my Beloveds in tenderness and healing today.
So I will finish this diatribe(ooh that's a good word that I will torture some fourth graders with today-yesterday was "untenable" and the day before that-"vicarously"...they love it and one of them runs to the collegiate dictionary to look it up because they can't stand it when I throw that stuff at them and I am talking about them!:)
As Popeye says "I Yam what I Yam" and I found this last night online somewhere and I like it"
Learn to love yourself.
Learn to love and embrace solitude.
Learn to reclaim your passions.
Forgive your mate(this does not mean acceptance, just that you are not allowing the bitterness or anger to poison you anymore, but you are intent to move from hate to indifference an closure on what the relationship could have been)
Connect to your Higher Being.
Heal yourself.
Languish in the lessons you've learned....

And when someone asks if you have called a therapist, all that this really means is that you are loved and they see you in pain and they don't want you to hurt anymore...because they love you...
...Ok...now how can I use"diatribe" in the spelling test today ...hmmmm....?