Mississippi Moments

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boy, I am a whiner. And crabby. And it will be fine soon. Eventually.
Life is good. I just forget that from time to time.
And I am learning that I don't need mud/s**it/cosmic compost/curricular and techticular molasses to do my job well and with joy.
Time to unload my bad attitude and my habits of layered crapola where school is concerned.
I filled out the paperwork for PAWS tonight for Amore. Hopefully, they will deem him a good candidate for their rehoming program. More soon. Love, Erin

Monday, August 25, 2008

Looking to Rehome Kitty
I have begun the process of finding the best home for Amore. Here is not it.
Those of you reading this--will you please get the word out to your circles. He is a love...
Here is what I know and what he needs:
I "rescued" an orange cat. He is a neutered male. He is about 5-7 years
old. I am looking to rehome him. Here are his circumstances. He was starving. He
is not starving now. He has hyperthyroid and also compromised kidneys. He is on
a prescription (Hill k/d) diet. He will also need daily medicine unless his new
person chooses to treat him in other ways(homeopathically). He has had all of his initial cat panel
as well as rabies and one other set of vaccinations. He doesn't have fleas.
He was living/existing under the butterfly bush on the corner for a very long time.
He also has bad teeth, bleeding gums, and a sore mouth. I am committed to getting
his teeth fixed at the least but he needs to put some weight on first. I have
a month's worth of food for him already. He is a LOVE. In fact, that's his
name around here. Amore. He has also been called by Flatnose, Ace, Laverne, and
Horatio. He gets along fine with Cedar--let's put it this way, his cattitude
rules. Everything. He purrs at the drop of a hat. He doesn't like to be told
no or off. He talks and lets you know what he wants, when, how, and for how long.
He likes dog food. He is a neat catbox user. He doesn't sleep at night. He prowls
and explores. Then snuggles. I wish I could care for him. I cannot in the manner
which is required and take care of myself and Squishy. Do you know of anyone who
might like to enjoy and care for an orange cat? I am looking to rehome him before
we bond. Thanks, Erin

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Okay, so we're getting used to each other.
I'm not getting used to cat smells.
The water bottle is active. As Amore (aka Flatnose, Ace, Laverne, Max, Horatio, and You-Get-Down-From-the-Table-the neighborhood has had several names for him over time) gets his cottage legs, gathers strength, and gets into the routine, he also is showing his personality. He is a love but he doesn't take any grief off of anybody, esp. Cedar and Cedar hasn't tried to give him any. As Auntie Lydia says, they don't have to be best friends but they Do have to be good citizens. Oh, and cats don't sleep at night. Dogs do. I do. This is interesting.

I am glad for this quiet morning. Got a little bit of sleep last night.

Things are coming together slowly, very slowly in the classroom. Brigid has beenhelping. I will spend most of the weekend working on it. So much has "fallen away". I can't explain. While I know what to do, the way things were and kind of loaded with stuff --this doesn't work anymore. Today should put most of it into place so I can continue with curriculum needs. There has been a lot of upheaval as workers installed a smartboard. The phone doesn't work in there. I can get messages. What is it about phones in my life lately? OH, I found my other lost one. It was deep in the bottom of my dogwalking fannypack-it doesn't work now because I cancelled it but all the phone numbers are in there. Good. It has felt strange to be at school without my buddies. Like being in a new building everytime I moved and found a new position in a different school. Only the building seems familiar but not "my familiar". A new joy showed up yesterday. Her name is Mary Dewberry. I don't know her very well but she is now my new OLF BFF. You need at least one. It doesn't mean I don't get along and play nice with others. There are lots of nice folks there and friends, too. It's just different. Maybe because the lovely Ms. D is vertically challenged like me to the world, but to us, we are just the right size.

I'm off to walk my lovely dog and go to work. Brigie's reception is this weekend. I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow like they are predicting.

I am also aware of how being grounded changes everything. Everything. I like this.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cat is coming here to live. Today. In about an hour.
His name is Amore (say "amour"). He has a lot of health challenges. So what.
We're gonna love on him and the other way around.
I am in need of a kitty crate-not a cardboard one.
I also am in need of some cat toys. We have a litter box. I haven't seen it yet but it is coming with the cat.
The wedding was beautiful. Brigie is a married lady. If you haven't heard Colleen's song about it yet, go to her blog and listen. Amazing. Sweet. Lovely. The family scrum at the ocean was fun and full. Fletcher did not run away screaming although some of my brothers were giving him the once over...or so it appeared. I sidled away for a bit at the after-hitch affair and watched from afar. Someone handed him a dishtowel and off he went. Heard more than once from folks that this one is a "keeper". I hope so. He can make his own decision about that. So far, so grand. We are going to do more of that (family get together to play) but no wedding or funeral required, just getting together at the "shore" (but not Ocean Shores, hopefully--Little Feather calls it "Open Sores"). I have some places to suggest up at Copalis or near there. Went off to The Field (Will and Little Feather's home) and had some downtime. We went bushwacking in search of new beaver ponds and found at least three. Will loves to get off the beaten trail. Later this fall, I want to do more of that and plan to wear a bright orange vest. My dog will wear one, too.
Started working back at school yesterday. Lots more of that for the next two weeks and then children come. There will be twenty students in secondgradeland. And my Jedi who doesn't like Legolas because he is a weeny is back. Some fluke and a harried principal made some changes. Yippeee!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fair Isle Cat Rescue, Pie Making, Learning Consultancy R-Us

Let's start with a prayer.
...We call upon all that we hold most sacred.
the presence and power of the Great Spirit
of Love and Truth
which flow through all the Universe...to be with us.
Teach us and show us the way.
-----Chinook Blessing

So this has been a busy week. We (Will, Little Feather, and I) rescued a cat this morning. He is presently resting in the garage. He is a middle-aged, orange male with the temporary name of "Flatnose". My neighbor across the street, Tom, has agreed to adopt him. I introduced him to LF and Will last night on our evening walk. He has been living on the corner under a butterfly bush for some time. He is very underweight and it turns out, has some challenges with his mouth--which is why he hasn't been eating the crunchies folks have left out for him. I met an animal communicator earlier this week who was conversing with him and she told me his story. I said I would check with Tom. Truth is-if it turns out Tom can't have him, we will here at Fair Isle. I went and got one of those portable cat crates and Will suited up (the only male EVER to wear my Holy Names soccer sweatshirt) and we went and brought Sir Cat to the vet. Crown Hill had an appointment at the right time and Jean and Laura have received nothing but the best of care there for their animal companions. Turns out-he is neutered, undernourished, needed rabies, and I also ordered a full "cat scan" to find out if he has leukemia or AIDS and to find out about any other health challenges. He is not microchipped. Those test results come back tomorrow. He is a love. He has already eaten a can of soft food in stages. He was not happy with me when I just went out to sit with him. Tom will come by early evening to bring him over across the street. If he is in okay health, he will need fattening up and he will need dental surgery. I have pledged to help with the financial aspect of that. This cat needs the loving. It has already begun. He didn't bat an eye when Squishy was acting like a minor dork behind me last night. He has learned a few things about cats from being exposed to Chai and Pekoe (Fletcher's boys). Cedar has quieted down a lot around cats and other things that go bump in the night.

Pie Making-in progress. First harvest of the apples. Combine these with marionberries and blueberries and this place is starting to smell really good. Also feels great to be back in the baking saddle again. And....a Fair Isle apple/marionberry pie is a fair exchange of energy for a neighbor who knew how to dispatch a 2 foot rat that the trap didn't finish. What a deal--a pie AND a cat in one day! Tom is one lucky neighbor!

Learning Consultant R Us--I went to my aunt and uncle's uber-beautiful, contemporary home in Edmonds for a lovely evening of salad, news catch-up, and learning resources. It was an involved evening. I was struck once again by the beauty and grace of my Aunt Paula, the humor and generosity of My Uncle Mike H. and the down to earth, huge heart, and advocating spirit of my cousin, Melissa. Their darling, KAT, is an angel. Full of love, creativity, clarity, humor, candor, and esprit de vivre! God knew what God was doing ! I hope some of what I shared will be helpful. I know I learned and came away with a full and happier heart. p.s. NEVER take Hwy 99 to Edmonds during rush hour. Big mistake. It took almost as long as it used to take to drive from Pensacola to New Orleans.

Cleaned two rooms thoroughly here at the cottage. Was able to bring out, toss, and keep plans, memorabilia, journals, and books from the first round of "Cabin in the Woods" Dream. That was a toughie and there is more room for what is to grow NOW. Been organizing school stuff. Purging more things. Getting a working wardrobe in order for the school year.

There is a wedding this weekend. At the ocean. With music. And family. And lots of LOVE. I mean to plug into the Hope and Joy. I will also be hauling a Subaru of the H and J to the event myself. Squishy is going to camp. He will hate that.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Joy. Happy. Not. In Process. Where are You?
There was a fantastic article on Oprah's website that you might find interesting. If you are not a word-phile, just wade through the initial paragraphs....let it sink in and percolate a bit........

Friday, August 08, 2008

Pay attention to the Light. When you are not dispatching rats and avoiding bombs in the backyard. The author of "Under the Tuscan Sun" includes careful, touchable descriptions of the light in Tuscany. I started to pay attention to the light around here this morning. 7:35 am light is way different than 5:05 am.

I haven't checked the rat traps this morning. Too chicken.
I'll just turn up Hanson on the CD player and go brush my teeth. Have to go to work now. And then walk my lovely dog. And think about things. GOOD THINGS. I Sure do have A LOT Of lovely people in my life that I care about. Deeply. Some of them have shoes to share.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Scooping Up the Field Rats and Bopping them on the Head....
Le Rat was 2 feet long! From tip to tip.
And the trap didn't get him...only wounded him. It was not pretty.
It took my neighbor, Tom, to put him out of his misery. Thank heavens for neighbors who grew up on farms and whose job it was to get rid of the pest rats.
I am sorry to have had to do that. He was warned. It still stinks in the basement. There may be others. The other traps are still up. and loaded. Squishy and I are using the front door to come and go to the backyard.
Celtic Dance/Art Camp comes to its final day tomorrow. It has been challenging and fun. 12 dancers, ages 6-11. 3 levels. It has been good work. I am ready to think about other things. I am tired.
We found a dress. Wine-colored. Flowy. Form-fitting. It has taken more energy and courage on my part to do this. I appreciate all the offers of help and support. Shopping shouldn't be such an ordeal. Maybe I will bring this up in therapy...maybe I won't. Maybe there will be more weddings and I can shop more...or just enjoy this dress a whole lot. I was so distracted tonight that I was having trouble putting my head in the right hole. Zippers-forget it! I only cried once. Thank you for your humor and eyes and time and energy, Mary. I will not get a pair of old-lady, school shoes to go with it. Promise.
The Fletcher Radar--it's on. And flashing.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Channeling my Inner Surridge!
MWAHAHAHAHAHAH! We foiled Le Rat---at least for now with duct tape and a stick!
For those of you who may not yet be in the know (too late now!), my Grandpa Surridge could fix anything with duct tape, needlenose pliers and a stick. So I cut off access to the kitchen with duct tape. I really need to find a board or something like the doors on ritzy houses where the doors actually go all the way to the ground and don't have a space underneath. I mean, we took care of the mouse holes in the front door with steel wool and aluminum foil. It's all still there and still working. I will reset the traps after dance camp today......MWAHAHAHAHHA!

On another note: I was thinking during my walk and workout this morning---(oooh, that's a newsflash-*snort*) It used to be that I had gotten used to being "clobbered" by those cosmic 2x4s that bring "bad news" and it was my experience that my Breath would be takenaway...now I find that my Breath is taken away with the experience of the cosmic "Good News" that keeps coming my way. Except Now, I am becoming accustomed to it being MY Turn for the Good Stuff.:) And I keep asking and receiving the GOOD STUFF.And it will take time and learning to Breathe with this. Does that ever happen to you?

And underneath it all, I still don't understand anything really. I don't care to. And I still TRUST my Heavenly Father and God's Will for my Life. I just don't want to be a goat. More on that later. Love to you today. It is IN YOU. It IS YOU...and drink your water. It's gonna be a hot one.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

There is a line in one of my favorite movies, "Under the Tuscan Sun". The divorce lawyer says to the main character, Frances, that one day, she WILL be happy again. One day. I realized something today. I am happy. I was before I went to Cancer Check-up Day. I still am. I will be tomorrow, too. And the day after. And every day after that. My turn. My time. My inexorable thanks for it. All. And...
My joy (which is different than happy) is in the strength of the Lord. And I am happy. I am presently ecstatic...and being happy has its rewards. I was reading the book of "Under the Tuscan Sun" today (the story of which is nothing like the movie). It, too, is turning into something that is a personal favorite. And that makes me happy.

ALL CLEAN! I'll see them in November for the next round.
And I ate too much good food at Rainier and too much Erin-craptastic style camping food other places so I have a few poundages to get off. They did not tell me that today. I decided that for myself after seeing the weight on the scale. Not bad though. More observations later (or not). I am tired. Been there all day.Thank you Maude for being there. I appreciate you coming down for the news part of the day. And I am proud of myself for doing alright during the "sticking part" and my veins were not cooperating today at all. I have bandages on both arms and in a couple of different places. Love that nanopodtastic thing with Magical Strings and the McKassons. Pretended I was in Scotland and at harp camp. Lovely. Came home to find that the rats are back. The smell is horrible and the poop is everywhere on the back steps. These are pictures of Alice that Lydia used for a contest that she sponsors---what caption would you put with each photo? Pretty funny. Cedar had a great time at Camp. He sits and waits at 4:30 pm for the special little lights to start through the prisms hanging by the back door. I saw this today. He is such a "special" boy...also, I hve lost my phone. It has all the phone numbers of people I want and like to call. So...I am checking emails alot this week. And answering them---now that my brain is working again. LOVE TO EVERYONE......
p.s. Someone asked me what my name meant today and I told them "Peace" in Irish Gaelic...and I didn't snort right after the explanation. I am becoming my Name. Yowsa. For today....
Off to Cancer Care Alliance today.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Day After Lughnasaidh

"It is a strange paradox that fulfillment is so much about surrender. We recognize ourselves best when we give our selves fully. It is how we discover what we essentially are, or rather what we have been allowed to become from the gifts that were given us."-----Gunilla Norris, A Mystic Garden

The party continues. Been going on since Tuesday. Been down to the Mountain That Was God (=Tahoma, aka Rainier). That's some mountain. I'm some happy and changed from having had an amazing conversation with Tahoma. And the rivers that roar, grind, crash and splash down the mountain's sides. And listening to the mist. And ravens. And the tall, tall trees. I met "twin flower" for the first time in this real life--linnea borealis (remember that name). Lovely, craptastic ride down---along South Hill and that stretch of highway, the traffic is even worse than from Magnolia to Holy Names and in the middle of the day on a weekday. I don't know how people do it. But I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention: 1. Because I was going to THE MOUNTAIN (My last trip to a mountain at Lughnasaidh was to Lewitt-Mt. St. Helens for a different kind of conversation) and 2. Lisa McLean was in the car and we were sharing about all kinds of things- healing, growing, lessons, life, women and our wisdom, stones, journeys, boys, bodies, Spirit, faith, change, pain, dogs, coffee, camping, fear, courage, letting go, surrender, truth, movies, and junk food. My kind of conversation.

The weather was wet, cold, and nasty. Scott can still cook up an amazing Thai banquet on a campfire with a wok in the storm. We all shared a tent. There is a FANTASTIC invention from Japan called the BIO-TOILET! It uses cedar to purify and stratify the waste while you are sitting on a HEATED SEAT. Right there in the COugar Rock campground. It smells like cedar and you have hot, uncrossed buns. Life is GOOD!

We stayed relatively dry, somewhat warm. Long walks with my dog. Scott's sister, Mo is a ranger down there. She gives amazing presentations for the Junior Rangers and also about their grandmother, Mildred Evans McLean. Which she did at Paradise that second night. What a beautiful historic lodge. And Scott had baked a full apple pie in the Dutch oven over the campfire. We brought this up the the lodge to enjoy before the presentation as the sun was setting and the stars began to dance. Still 12 feet of snow surrounding the lodge. Mildred and her friend climbed all over Mt. Rainier in 1915-Pinnacle Peak, several falls that I can't remember, meadows that lots of people know and hike,across a famous glacier trail that is closed to hikers now because it is too difficult, and to Camp Muir. The women were not allowed to summit because they weren't "STRONG ENOUGH"----so they hung out at CAmp Muir and hiked all over until the boys returned. She and her friend went up with the YW and YM CA. Her actual camera rests on the table as her granddaughter speaks! The photos in the presentation are those Mildred took. The women are in homemade bloomers or split skirts which were totally against the norm and expectation for the times. She also is the one who left a teaching job in Nebraska in 19 ought something when she found out that the only reason she got the job was because her uncle was on the school board. She headed west BY HERSELF to take a teaching job in a one-room schoolhouse in a Finnish logging camp near Ilwaco in a place called Deep River. Mary J. and I have found where Deep River is and will return one day in the not too distant future to explore this spot. Mildred published her memoirs in a book that Scott has shared with us. Mildred continued to come and hike around Tahoma until her late nineties. Her observations and photos did not match the "official" line published later in the YW-A newsletter. Hers are funny, raw (for her day), and real. And her granddaughter who teaches around the world now (next year she is in England) flashes sparks of her love of the Mountain, nature, hiking, and women's power and perspective in the world. Maureen also came and hung out with us. I had heard as much about her as she had of me. It was like meeting a long-lost friend even though we hadn't really up till then. We also had the pleasure of her daughter's company for part of a day. Kara is a chef in Olympia, a graduate of the Celtic studies program and she has three crows with New Testament names tattooed on her ankle.

Squishy is a real trooper. He needs his own raincoat. Sadie's is only half long enough. But it kept him mostly warm and dry. He complements my rhythm. We walked. Grounded. Listened. Jumped logs. Leaned on Stones. Followed rave calls. Dogs aren't allowed on the trails down at Mt. Rainier, but for this time, it was more than enough to walk the campgrounds and small roads, esp. in the early mornings when we like to walk. And then add the Bio-toilet. oohh-la-la.

Back at Fair Isle to dump some more stuff and prepare for Lughnasaidh ritual. Too cold, windy and wet for the outdoor fire. I will admit I am a happy wimp these days.
Lugh(of Lugh-nasaidh), the warrior-hero-god of Celtic myth was "many-gifted"-warrior, poet, builder, harper, runner, smith, champion, fire-keeper, cup-bearer, story-teller, and healer. Before one was allowed in the hall of the King Nuada, one had to prove that one had a special gift to impart---like Top Gun-"The best of the best". Instead of just one, Lugh, in truth, listed ALL of his gifts and summarily proved and bested anyone who challenged him before the king and cohort. This Lughnasaidh in particular is, for me and anyone who cares to join in, about recognizing and stating, in truth, the gifts you have and are and recognizing how they serve community. This also entails awareness and letting go of those things which do not serve the Gifts of the Present and the Use of these Gifts for the Now. Into the fire with these and with the intentions/prayers/gratitudes for what is to be in the days to come. I am so glad the drama of past Lughnasaidhs is no longer alive in me. Or needed. It really is embarrassing. And--oh well. I continue to ask forgiveness where needed and where opportunities present themselves. It really is quite simple. And real. And alive.

We came home to no hot water. No matter. The gas company will be out on Monday. Tried several times myself to get the pilot light on. In between times, I heat water on the stove and use my camp shower--I LOVE SOLVING PROBLEMS with what works for me and mine.
We are off to Pine Lake for more camping. And book group this weekend. And Celtic dance camp this week and Cancer Care scans. And dancing. And sanding, priming,and painting the garage. It's coming along. I also am planning for 2nd grade land. We shall see.

What Gifts sing within you? What Gifts serve you and your community? What Gifts are the most strong, clear, and present when you hold them up to the Light? What do you do with them? What would you like to do with them? What would you like to share and what would say to the King and Cohort about YOUR Gifts?

p.s. The idea for my book solidified--actually came in a brilliant clear flash when I was on the road. I will be explaining more soon and sending out short questionnaires for folks whom I would like to be a part of this project. It is completely, purely an invitation. This will be a book, a compilation of stories, womens' stories---that emulate and reflect archetypal attributes---but these are REAL, NOW, ALIVE. I want to write a chapter for each one who wants to participate. Some of the stories may include those no longer on this plane. We will see. More soon. I have it now. Who knows if it will be published. Doesn't need to be for this to be "my" book. I am going to write it anyway. it has already begun. I am happily blaming Brigie and her wedding and her example of hard work around here. And Coli and her trip to New York. And....