Mississippi Moments

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blessed Samhain!
We're all wet over here.
Been stacking firewood (had a delivery this morning by a skilled driver who put the load IN the backyard, saving me hours of stacking, throwing, and restacking)
...praying for our good dog, Mike, who has taken another step toward the Rainbow Bridge.

Conferences are over. They went well.
I can't wake up today.
And Cedar won't wear the swim goggles I keep trying on him to go with his Halloween costume. Oh well.

It is a sweet, cozy day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Dumb but Good Thing About Curves...
Besides keeping you off anti-anxiety meds in the winter months (and hey, every month), hey have this little "Question of the Day" thing.. What do they call fear of Hallowe'en?......Samhainophobia! I am not kidding you! I knew it had to be that. And I knew how to say it. No one else won the prize...but (sarcastic tone now for you that might need the cues)--HOW ANGLO-BRIT-CENTRIC IS THAT???!!!I don't know who to call but maybe Oxford would be a start. That is just foolish. Afraid of the New Year. Afraid of the Veil. Afraid of your Self. Bah! HUMBUG!

Speaking of Fear, I had another one of "those dreams" last night. Which is significant considering I haven't had any dreams to remember for nearly a month. Last night, the boogie man DID catch me and mine. Usually, "it" doesn't. Last night, for the first time as those bony fingers were coming in the window (I was getting away in a red truck with the windows down), I turned and bit on those fingers and started whaling/wailing on them with a crowbar. "It" bit back on mine and I bit harder and broke some of its OFF MY DAMN RED TRUCK so we could get away. And I was driving....still am....whoo-whoooooooo.....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Squishy!
The big #2! He's had an extra long walk, a special dinner, a game of indoor soccer and now he is happily chewing on some birthday toilet paper rolls.

Me, at the end of a long week.
I grieve for the loss of play and simplicity in the children of today...at least the ones in my current sphere of experience. Not gonna change anything. Gonna keep my center and still stand for what I stand for and let the rest of it go...or burn. I really don't care.

So, back to Happy Birthday Christmas music, finishing up the medical forms and getting those off and having a cup of tea with Fletcher.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A few days later....
I got what I wanted this morning. Here I am up at o'dark three o'clock something unable to sleep...which is what I wanted because I have work to do for school and homestudy...and well, now, I am awake to do it. With love. And a cup of coffee...or three.

I have been thumbing through another book on healing, authentic living, etc. and it came up about addictions. The fourth "big" addiction (after drugs/alcohol, tv/computer and sex) is self-improvement...or rather self-distraction. Hmmm...That one made me stop and think. I can honestly say that that has been the case in years past. I like to transfer my addictions. Now, maybe I am doing much of the same---but it doesn't feel that way because there is no sense of urgency, must do/should do/shame on you if you don't do. Instead, it's more like--this is all this is all as it is,I like this groove and what I don't like, I will change or change my attitude on it, and the rest will burn. I'm staying centered, happy, and at peace. More or less. And I have some new-to-me sweaters from Dixie to enjoy this fall (which I have).

My social worker fell down the stairs and broke her ribs yesterday. I am stalling on getting the medical update forms out to the doctors because...well, I am afraid that this is the end of the line. It was a happy hassle to have to update all the financial stuff and see how "tanked" is "tanked". So what. I will send the others off with love today and see what comes back. When I say I am afraid, I'm not really---more apprehensive. I'll hold me in some compassion...that's a good plan.

It gets more and more "painful" to watch all these other families growing and going. It won't be long now until I know what's going to happen. A woman and her adopted 6year old Vietnamese daughter came to my door this week stumping for Obama. I was trying to nap. I inappropriately told her I was more curious about her family. She narrowed her eyes and asked me why. I told her why. She said her friend had received her photo last week of their Vietnamese child. HAd I received mine? I said no. She said well Viet Nam is closed now. I said I know. She said it's going to be a long time. I said I know...and that I will take her and her beautiful daughter being on my front door step as an omen, a good one. For something...and the more I think about it, the more I WILL take it as an omen, like the clouds, and the same group of recess kids coming up to me screaming yesterday that the bad witch was gonna get them and was putting spells on the doors to the bathroom so they couldn't get in and would I help. I said, of course, and then I asked them where their angels were--you know--to help with the witch problem? They stopped dead in their tracks and looked at each other. Then together three of them said, "OH YEAAHHH!" and off they went. Turns out the doors were just jammed on the other side by ball baskets. Keys, strong legs, and some 2nd grade help took care of "dem witches!

Going down to the Field this weekend for Family of Choice Thanksgiving celebration with Will and Little Feather and kitties. Bringing pie. And a gluten-free dessert. After I get the pleasure of teaching dance in MLT for Sara and getting the woodstove cleaned out by the pros. It sure has been getting major play every day, twice a day. I am getting better at starting and keeping fires going to heat the cottage. Camping in the living room has become the norm. More firewood gets delivered next Friday.I am late on the preparedness this year and lax in some areas completely. Doing what I can do.

Don't want to deal with crowds and strangers but I wish I had it in me to go to Ocean Shores to hear Colleen and Mark sing Will wait for another chance. CD release party soon I hope.

Loving the walks at this time of year in the morning and in the evenings. The golden light over the Olympics just before dark, incroyable. I am also learning to use a new cell phone. So if you get someone calling you with a 425-903.... number, it's me, not some stalker calling and hanging up...it's me learning stuff.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chapter 89 million: I Heard God Laugh Yesterday
Yes, I did. And it made me laugh, too. It was in the perfect, undulating layers of clouds against clear, sweet blue like the layers upon layers of sand patterns at the beach when the ocean has receded. It happens at Point No Point at low tide. Only this time, God did it in the sky with Whisp-FIngers. I heard this "YESSSSSS"....then I heard the laugh again when the first graders came out to join the second graders who were out a little early because their teacher needed early recess again----in about three seconds there was an altercation over on the monkey bars (those damn monkey bars and rings). It was two of the regulars (complainer-whiner-sadsackers)...but then two more problems came up (and while I have this Yes, Yes, Yes reverbing in my ears and soul)and I am surrounded by these issue-people, I get this cosmic tap on my shoulder...literally, energetically (these are the same thing to me now)--and there is Mary J. across the playground by the church waving at me-huge smile--shoulders back--happy...and she shared that with me...and GOD LAUGHED AGAIN---and there was a YESSS! Back to the problems........Girl says," S0-and-so pulled my skirt down and showed my underwear and then my butt." Me: I'm sorry that happened to you..blah,blah..what do you think you want to do about this problem...blah, blah. She: Want you to help get him in trouble. (I appreciate honesty). Me: Let's solve the problem, not just get him in trouble. How does that sound to you?She: Ok, let's go. Me: So....You who cannot be named here, please come here. He: Yeah, I know why you're over here. ME: Why? He: I pulled her skirt down. Accidentally. Me(in the past would have interrupted with a snort but I have learned a few things over the past six months):Tell me more. He: Well, she was gonna fall off and I was trying to help her get back except she's a girl. Me: (Trying not to snort) Tell me more. (While watching all the other kids on the playground at the same time AND paying attention to this problem solving session--ask Mary J. if you would like more information about "recess duty" on and off button. It NEVER goes off!) He: Well, that's what we do when they're gonna fall (Imagine hanging upside down on the monkey bar rings and you are losing your grip on one hand). (He is absolutely telling the truth. We have had two broken wrists this year already due to those falls.)He: Well, she's a girl. I tried to grab her pants.....but, but...she's not wearing any! She's a girl! She:Oh. OH, that's okay then. C'mon. (Back to play on damn monkey bar rings with no-pants-present-pulling-boy)
sounds like crow-raugh and on the inside it feels like all your cells are bubbling with this Yes-joy like when you put a pan of water on to boil to make hardboiled eggs and it bubbles up while you were busy doing something else.

And then secondgradeland---the PE teacher (who is excellent, who is a newbie, who is doing his master's degree online this year, and who is nearly Brenin-style bald on purpose) asked the students of our class what he should do to be a more professional teacher---after careful thought, they all agreed---"Grow his hair out." (And God is chortling in the background.
So, after P.E., I asked the students the very same question and there were quiet and thinking. Then a few put their heads together while the rest were getting their drinks. When they all came back so we could finish up the alst two pages of Bunnicula before lunch, a spokeswoman for the class stepped forward and said, "We know, Ms. R.' Me: Ok, Bring it on. She: You could let go. (Did I hear right?) Me: Say what? She: You could let go. You know, let us be more loose about stuff. Me (looking around at all the other students who ARE listening and watching SpokesGirl): Do you all feel this way? They: Yes. (Nodding heads and agreeing.) *God is now guffawing behind me, in me, and all through the walls and hallway.*
Me: Oh...(very pregnant pause and I AM twinkling on the inside) Now how would that help ME be a more professional teacher? Class: (No resopnse but all looking at spokesgirl. SpokesGirl: Well, it wouldn't really, but we would have more fun...and you would, too. (My cells are dancing and bubbling with bizillions of little Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, joy, joy, joy, hee-hee-hees...no other way to describe it.)

Annnddd......I "bent" my energy rule a little bit yesterday and today. Cedar has been scratching a LOT. So I turned on the "flea channel". Found 7 yesterday. 5 last night and 5 more this morning. You know that song by the Chixie Dicks "Earl's gotta Die"...Well, around here, "Those fleas gotta die..."..
Gonna do report cards today. Fill out the financial papers for the homestudy update and tell them how much everything has tanked and I don't care about it because there is nothing to fear anyway and I am gonna walk the Reflexology Path at Bastyr in Kenmore. And Laugh some more with my Heavenly Abba!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"The first thing she said to me is: 'Christina, this is a blessing that's happened to you in your life. Right now, you get to start over, and right now you get to change everything -- the way that you deal with things in life, the way that you react to things. Fear can hurt you. Stress can hurt you. This is the time that you have this opportunity to change the way you eat... everything you do,'"

--what Melissa Ethridge said to Christina Applegate when she was done with her surgeries....

it kind of makes sense. because there is a whole lot that doesn't make sense for me anymore. not one bit.

oh well.

gonna have me some tots. i might even stack 'em to look like a wedding cake or the big toy at school. or a particular 5th wheel on a lake...where's the ketchup?
I'm convinced that when we ask, God gives us the eyes to see things the way God does...with love and pure joy. It happened over and over again today. Mostly at recess. We had an extra one because the teacher forgot to go to lunch yesterday (uh, yeah, that was me) and so we had to eat our lunches in our room and miss recess because art was right after. Today worked out well because we got to play with the older and younger kids that we never see at our regular times. So my plan is to do more of the same. It put smiles on all our faces!

It has been a full moon week. Guess which kind of music I am playing? Yup, you guessed it. Jim Brickman Holiday on pandora. Love that.

Working hard doesn't begin to describe what it going on around here. But we'll take that. There is a lot of living goin' on, too.

We went down to the Field this weekend to bury the remains of Amore. It was a sweet time with Will and Little Feather. we had one minor situation when Squish and I went to play Sheltie ball in the lower garden and we surprised three young deer that were in there. They aren't supposed to be in there and Cedar chased them. Rather, you know how deer go BLING___BLING__BLING when they are moving fast. So does my dog in the tall grass of the lower garden. So picture this--three deer-BLING_BLING_BLING--Cedar after deer-BLING_BLING_BLING-cannot decide which one to chase...so we let our inner Sheltie kick in and try to Bling them into a small, tight group. This does not work for the deer and they start crashing into the deer netting fencing that encircles that garden. I got Cedar to come to me and we sat and watched the deer calm down and find the holes in the fence and slip under and out. Then we went and told L.F. that the deer were into what was left of her summer squash, broccoli, and leeks or whatever.
Cedar and I had a rousing game of Sheltie ball that morning. That wasn't the only one he had either. He automatically heads down for the lower garden as soon as we arrive at the Field.

Magical Strings performed at Astoria, Oregon this past Saturday. Brigie and I went down to dance with them. The concert was at a sweet local community college venue in an historic building on the hillside overlooking the mighty Columbia. We learned what it takes to be independent and responsible for our own counting, timing, and black tights. We also enjoyed Matt J on percussion. Let's just say it was not the best show. Perhaps it was the worst. But I had fun and did my best. The dancing wasn't bad, it wasn't great, it met a quality standard. Except when Brigie fell down. That sucked for her and there were some music snafus that the musicians forgot to inform us about....and only about 30 people in the audience but oh well. We had fun. And then we went and stayed in Long Beach. I hadn't realized it was so close to Astoria. I really love that part of the world down there--all the sloughs, and the smells of the sea and sand, the colors of the leaves and the herons in the mudflats.This was more on the Willapa side of things. It was a perfect drive home and there was time for more napping, some work, some splitting and stacking of wood. A restorative weekend.

I have been waking up down every morning for the last few weeks. Down. Sometimes with a headache. I do what needs to be done--water, breath, prayer, thanksgiving, movement, caffeine, and headache med.And then I get on with my day. I am getting one thing at a time checked off these lists I have. Things are slowly getting done....and I don't really care. I seem to do best when I am just in the moment, doing what I am doing, and the rest can (as mon pere puts it) "just burn".

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

All is still well...and so it is.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk.
Without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower blooom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.

Autumn beckons. Ladened morning air carried whiffs of apple-wood and fir fires. Some Ballard front porches sport bright orange and white twinkling lights, zombie posters, and glow-in-the-dark kid art. Cedar and I were all over the lower part of Phinney. I especially enjoy the contrast of deep red shrubberies against the evergreen ones. I enjoy seeing how folks are putting their gardens to bed for the winter. And how some are not. I have a fire going. Two rice casseroles are baking away in the oven. Potato rice soup is simmering on top. A peach-blueberry pie is in the queue. Three loads of laundry done. As many cups of coffee. Coli's "rough" tracks over and over in i-tunes. oh, I am so blessed. happy. grateful. alive. healthy. full of shit and non-direction. happy about that, too. Yesterday was a gentle enough day with its surprise blessings and healings. The funeral for Uncle Larry at St. Ben's was perfect. I must admit, it is balm to my soul and heart and miind to listen to Mary J. sing. And songs that I love. That I sing, too. Mary J. can see angels, but I wonder if she knows that she sings like one. I was approached by my cousin, Melissa, and thanked for the suggestions I made for her sweet daughter, Cat, earlier this summer about how Cat (a special needs learner) might have a more life-giving year of learning and growing and how Melissa and her partner might advocate for Cat in specific ways to bring that about. She has implemented several of the ideas and the success is reflected daily and consistently. Yay for Melissa. Yay for Cat. Yay for teaching-learning teams who listen and who pay attention TO THE CHILD. It is simple. Yay for me-willing to share what I KNOW. Yay for me wanting to do this for my OWN CHILDREN. The God-Box is full of new things.
Dance practice#1 for Yuletide and Astoria went well. Oh, we miss Maude and Coli. It is tough for me to not be attached to outcomes. So what. I'll get over it. I just want them there. In some way. In all ways. In THEIR WAYS. Yes, their ways. I don't believe in old, fat, or any of that crap. I believe in LOVE. I believe in Sisters. I believe in all that holds us together and what gives us courage to breathe and be our own persons. I continue to learn about the POWER of what we Believe.
Book Group was lovely, too. We read "The Importance of Being Ernest" by Oscar Wilde. I had to come home and do some research on old Oscar. What a conflicted soul. What a sad story. What creativity and power. What misplaced anger rage and disappointment (check out Queensbury). And it was Oscar who started the road to his own demise. Ego-shit. We enjoyed tea, talk, chocolate, and introductions to the newest members of Jean and Laura's household, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. It was quiet and nourishing. Right up to the politics talk. Then it's time for me to go. We are reading a book called "Zoe's Book". I had to do a little checking with this group and it is not bonafide TDN but an ATDN (almost trashy dike novel). Being the only straight member, I need to have a heads-up before getting into that particular genre. I don't like some kinds of surprises. In general, I don't like any. So what, I'll get over that, too.
Need to go check on my casseroles, hang up more laundry, and do some lesson plans. Then put the pie in. Bliss.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I just got back from doing something that I love. There are few things that are as satisfying as walking in the rain with your dog and a cup of coffee in a Pine Lake cup (oops, forgot to bring it back out there), in the early autumn when you are not awake yet and you know that you want to just walk and walk and walk....There are so many things that grab and delight you...the squirrels outnumber just about everything except starlings in their quests for nuts, berries, and taco time leftovers. The sweet scent of juniper tickles your nostrils and almost makes you sneeze while giving your brain a little wee "ooh, that was loverly" wiggle.The ginko trees stand tall in their "we're changing" finery--gold, bright yellow, sienna-edged change. The good mornings that come from all over the place--people nodding at you from windows over their first cup of something hot, flickers from the tops of cedars, other walkers and runners, the man throwing peanuts out his window for his local squirrels and same man who then threw out a few extra with an invitation to help ourselves if we liked, the rain-kissed and sometimes, rain-soaked wind that blew in from the southwest this morning catching my hood and hair, almost like it couldn't make up its mind what kind of mood it was in. Before, I used to let the wind move me out of my body and I would, in essence, join the whirl. Not anymore. It was a delight to feel my heels, heart, health grounded in Mother Earth and feel the wind tickle and whip 'round and to just feel its cleansing dance.

I found the Taoist Studies Center up near Phinney. I found a local yoga studio I am going to check out. I heard from one of my Star-Sisters about chi-gong. This came on my radar many years ago. Now it's back. I am paying attention to the impulse.

I learned that I cannot handle more than a half a glass of smoky chardonnay even with the best of company. That is another blessing of all this health stuff. You learn real fast what you can and cannot handle. It makes the wellness choices pretty easy. Not comfortable, just easy. I enjoyed a sweet, reconnection time with Turi last night. Overlooking the sound from the barstools at Anthony's, we enjoyed our conversation and catching up while seals blooped in and out of the grey mist and water, tug boats and fishing vessels paraded past,and a variety of local seabirds did their swoop and land, diddle and go moves. Everything was "aww-riiight"(use inner drawl and soften the ending final t,please). I have also learned that some dear ones reading this blog can't tell when I am being sarcastic and funny. I will try and fix that with supplementals as warranted.

Oh, and I forgot the big leafed maple leaves that are in any fall colors you want! We found some walking up on Billy Goats' Bluff p-patch and something that I think is dill-feathery, soft grey-green, snappy scent. I picked a strand and brought it home. It's similar to fennel but not as hearty. I also brought home 3 leaves--as big as placemats. I put them in a vase on the window sill. I love stuff like that.

Today is my uncle's funeral. Then dance practice with the Sistahs. Oh, I get to see my sisters today!!! Then book group. More Sisters!
I had the woodstove scheduled for maintenance today but then I found out the details about the funeral so I rescheduled. I hate waiting this long but oh well.

My last thought for today comes from the Sarah Ban Abundance book--I never have read the August section because I have always been in full blow drama-bullshit over things that really didn't matter and now I am clear about...anywho, I started reading yesterday morning and was struck by her entry on lessons...gentle lessons can teach us, too, and teach us well.

You may be saying to yourself--"uh, that was a no-brainer"...well, it wasn't to me until...yesterday. She goes on to write " If we are willing to learn our lessons gently, they patiently await us in countless ways. Today, try listening to the wisdom of children, accepting the loving kindness of a friend, reaching out to those in need, asking a colleague for advice, acting on your own intuition, laughing at your foibles and frailties and accepting them with love,observing how your pets live so contentedly in the present moment, rediscovering the surprising healing power of spontaneity, focusing on the good in any situation you are now encountering, expecting the best of everyday, and realizing what a wonderful life you are living---sooner rather than later."--Sara Ban Abundance, page for August 2nd.

Turi gave me one other Ah-ha last night. She mentioned the part where I had placed all my fears on paper and put them in my God-box...and that all my fears had manifested. Ouch. yeah. That has happened. Uh-ouch. Yeah.
Then she quietly, with laughing eyes and a gentle spirit asked me why I didn't do the opposite? Why hadn't I written down on pieces of paper everything that I DID WANT NOW and out them in the God-box......guess what I am going to do this evening with my Kenny G Christmas music playing in the background, a sweet little fire in the woodstove, some doggy lovins, and a cup of hot cocoa? I'll let you figure it out.