Mississippi Moments

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's as quiet as can be out there this morning.
I've been sitting outside on my side step looking northwest. All is mist. And this familiar zip-zip-zip-whirrrrrr came from the rubus liniatus. I've always thought that sweet morning noise was from chickadees on the roof next door. Nope. Hummingbird having breakfast. Watched for a long while. T'would stop and alight on a branch her eand there--even with Cedar bopping up and down the side yard letting the cats and squirrels know that he was home and out.
We had a lovely, quiet walk this morning. No one out. No cars. Few twinkle lights. Just us and coffee and morning shadows. Occasionally a cat would cross the path ahead and he would start bouncing the "what-for"....
today begins Yuletide. And I get to bring Humminbgird energy and blessings. There really are some Gifts early, early in the day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's hard to get going this morning.
...And going we are.
Coffee's settling in. Music on. Getting ready to do lesson plans for the next month or so.
Cedar and I enjoyed a quiet walk in the misty rain this morning.
I saw something that made me chuckle--a window ledge with the blind raised just so and on each end a pair of eyes and furry ears watching Himself as he sauntered by, oblivious to them but starting the alarm sequence for the child's truck that was on the sidewalk up ahead. It was a sweet chuckle moment when my legs were still warming up and I was figuring out my left from my right.
It's been an enjoyable couple of days. We had rehearsal yesterday and again today. The Yuletide concerts begin tomorrow. Also went to the Nutcracker last night with friends. It, too, was enjoyable. As a rule, I do not enjoy ballet...too technically expressive for me. But there is something special about the Sendak/Stowell Nutcracker--all of it and their incorporation of the imaginative, of Mozart, of timeless design and choreography and costume. The music speaks for itself.

Thinking on: How it is tough to disengage the "monkey mind" from chewing on stuff that a) is not my business b) never will be my business 3) doesn't matter 4) never will matter 5) will not make me happier, healthier, or in a better position to bring encouragement to another living being and 6)did I mention "is not my business". I have been having some direct, and gentle talks and interventions with myself this morning. I will be taking myself for a serious workout if it doesn't stop in the next hour.

Perhaps I will find a Christmas tree today. Haven't had one in several years. Plan to this year. I plan to have two. My mother used to let Julie and I have a little tabletop one in our bedroom growing up. (Maybe I am imagining this--but I sure love the idea of it)--so I plan to have one in my bedroom this year.

I also want to visit a place called "Wights" Nursery. I've seen their ads in the junk mail coming to Fair Isle. Looks kind of magical. The neighborhood is beginning to pop with lights. I like that, too.

Off to work--in my pajamas, with a cup of coffee, near my dog, Geo. Winston on, looking out the front window if I get stuck.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Creator, I speak to YOU
from within my Soul and within my Body,
asking that I may be an instrument of peace.
May others join together to honor Mother Earth.....
Creator, shine through us as we join in Your Spirit.
Help us remember, one by one, that we are created of Mother Earth,
and powered by Your Spirit.
In this remembering, our separation will end and
we will unite in Spirit to restore and care for Our Earth Mother, all Her life forms,
and for Ourselves.------H. Silver Fox Mette

SO much for whom and for which to be grateful...and grace-filled.
And in my particular order which is more of a Circle of Love and Gratitude:
All my Beloveds
white berries on shrubs with familiar leaves but which I can't name right now
minds that are happy
minds that are focused
minds that are muddled that can become unmuddled by good self-care
walks with dogs
walks with friends
walks with talks and dogs and friends
walks in mist
walks in rain
walks in sparkle predawn mornings under crescent moons
living in a spirit of hope
believing this
intentioning this
attending to this
being this
laughing at whatever
laughing at everything
laughing and crying about inanity (not insanity)
forgetting to laugh and then remembering
indoor plumbing
hot water
outdoor plumbing
picking up the outdoor plumbed and being thankful for the food that made it, the work that bought it, the healthy body that used it and the funny dog who is my friend
the feelings and connections for my spirit dogs--boy do I miss them today--so much
they are not missing me because from their perspective we are not apart
and that makes me laugh!
paying attention to energy-what is available and what isn't and RESPECTING that
this is part of the new and improved moi
taking the time it takes to do things and not rushing or pushing those limits--that's more of this Respect-thing
taking myself to bed when that is the only thing that will restore energy
going back to bed when I need more of it
knowing that storebought pie crust isn't going to kill the Thanksgiving feast
good coffee
and on some days, just cofee
tea--working on savoring the organic green tea thing
knowing I can change and have and will and am full of this
knowing that I don't change in some Core Spots
learning to forgive myself for my failings and lacks
learning not to beat myself up for not being perfect
learning to say certain words more and laugh when I become aware of my general lack or insensitivity or neglect or brusqueness or stupidity
learning not to be impatient when I can't do things readily
learning not to fear
learning to fear and be okay because in the end run, fear is a friend...gads-did I just type that?

live your Life, your Worthy, Spirit-abundant Life--I'm living Mine. And if you are reading this, I Love you and Yours

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

And what I want for Christmas....
Nothing really. I have what I need. And what I want. The rest is coming.
but here are some ideas--
* a month's supply of toilet tissue (I'm always running out)
*some snowflake/winter-knee-highs from Eddie Bauer just like the ones Little Feather gave me last year (ask me, I will show you)
*any CD by Taylor Swift
*Winona's new Christmas CD
*Josh Groban's Noel

"Supposed" to be working on lesson plans...instead, sending off tax documents to the adoption agency (yes, we are still awaiting the latest say--in fact, as of Friday, the social worker hadn't even begun to redo it. It expires on Wednesday of this week...) Me, I am not giving it another thought. I am thinking about the new water heater that is going in today. Custom, of course. Because this funky little house with its funky little spaces and funky little angles will only accommodate something "special". Well then, okay. Whatever will work. And I will just add it to the other wellness bills that got put on account last night. Once again, I am not fussing, not am I giving it another thought. I am doing what I can do--with joy, grounding, and presence.

Yuletide kicks up next weekend. Looking forward to that. Mostly looking forward to moving and the laughter and the black tights and the music and the not caring about other stupid, piddley details that used to shake my tail... and of course, Colleen's new CD. Something about that CD and her process and watching and honoring the birthing has been powerful for me. Not that I am living vicariously through her and it. My Loving on it from this Heart Space has expanded the Cosmic YES! and it has also affirmed for me that we (the girls in our family of origin) can undo this training/message/lesson/b-sh*t that we picked up somewhere that we aren't worthy of the Dreams, the REAL ONES. I hear this "message" in the next generation's questions and see it in their choices. Time to undo that crap just like the other stuff we have named, faced, and relanguaged in this Family o' Mine. And so WE ARE. Look at Maude--going for her realtor's dream and with her partner, making that marriage work and raising her boys-both of whom are manifestations of power, love, challenge, and great good. Sara and Julie with Tara Academy--my goodness, those women are in Phoenix with dancers at the Oireachtas looking forward to another time at THE WORLDS! From Jetta Cummins Lake City family room to this! And people lining up with their children because they want to dance with good people like us. Not to mention the other aspects of their lives which I don't have permission to comment on here. Thinking on going for my ADCRG when Sara studies for it next year and when Julie perhaps will choose to study for her TCRG. It would give me another set of tools for my box. And it would kick my dancing to the next level which would be lovely. (And it would give me impetus to fill me brain with a focus other than "teaching with the Brain in Mind" and learning Spanish. Some of it is starting to stick actually--I am studying at school with a teacher and a parent volunteer. We must start somewhere and I have...at the beginning of the yellow brick road.) Brigie---her boy, her wedding, her marriage, her creative solutions to her life, her sense of humor, her plans, her sticktoitiveness, her honesty. (She reminds me so much of our Grandma Surridge). Colleen-dreams, depth, dread, do, die, rebirth. Me--we shall see. And I already do. I would love more "story" from my sisters-in-law. I don't presume to have the relationships with them that I do with my sisters of origin or my sisters of choice---maybe that will grow with attention, intention, trust, and connection. All part of this book idea I have.

Yesterday was the first "Sparkle Day" of the year for me. Went walking on trails with my silly dog. And then did some more walking and crunching along leaf-covered paths. Napped a lot. Went and looked at stoves. (Mine is on its last leg--pretty good for a freebie from Spokane. Missing Fiona and Sadie especially at this time of year. Can't believe next Friday is "Elf Day" already. I am so happy to be present in this season of the year and what will unfold. For starters, Fletcher is wearing a claddagh...from me. Willingly. Life-good. Prospects-good. Health-great. Wealth--does it matter? We are warm, fed, dry, with more than the basics. And I sat and listened on Saturday morning when I had to be at work. It was First Penance for the secondgradecrowd and their families. I was not happy about having to be there. It is painful in some respects. I want to be able to share that with my own child/ren now not later. And to watch others have it when I have been waiting for so long is hard. And it is also my job to be there. So I was. And while I watched and prayed and listened, my Heart quieted. And my Thoughts. And my Energies. And my Breathing. And it's still pretty Quiet. And Happy.

It's more than Enough.
(We've come a long way, Baby, from 'we are never enough, won't have enough, cannot expect enough to........YES. Oh, YES, we are, we do, we can, we expect, we affirm, we breathe, we know ENOUGH. Abundant enough.)

And personally...where do I get off commenting on other people's lives.....chuckle. snort. get me a kleenex. what a bloody avoider, i yam.....oh and one more random thought, IT IS A TRAVESTY THAT TODAY'S CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW WHO POPEYE IS! (I did make the song more politically correct by singing "run to the finish" instead of "fight" because I can and I did and we have enough violence in the world.....)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One more thing....

The more things "out there" seem to contract and go to h*ll in a cheap, vinyl handbasket, the more my inner "YES" seems to expand...
Ohhhh, I just woke up. Haven't even had the first real stretch of the day---or coffee, neither. Ohhhh. (Yawn)Slept in, I did. Went to bed at 7:30 last night. Got my Andy on this morning (Andy Williams Christmas) and I am thinking on a few things. Like how much there is to learn about Planet Airedale (I am reading Aire-Tales newsletter from Lydia. Like how my body and its rhythms are so "ON" with the seasons. The time of aestivation (sp?) has come. I am "awake" for about three hours every morning from 4 am-ish to about 7 am and the rest of the time, I am lethargic, quiet inside, want only cozy, warm things, want to snuggle, want tea, want to listen to stories, tell them, or read them, want to locate corners for napping, want sweaters, want certain foods-noodles, bread, soup, carbs...how working out is essential for body/mind/spirit/mood-maintenance and how it is mud to do it--it's haarrrdd. But I'm doing it at least 4 times per week. Plus long walks with the dog. Ok, then.

I really found some thoughts yesterday in James and the Giant Peach that I wanted to share this morning, but the book is at school, so I found some others. From that lovely book, A Mystic Garden. Consider, enjoy, taste--
The young, the old,
the rotten, the fertile,
the ugly, the beautiful,
the poisonous, the sublime,
the forgotten, the remembered--
all belong in the infinite mix.
Are they not part of soil?
There is nothing that is without use---
nothing left out of the whole.
You are there, part of the Holy.
-----Gunilla Norris

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well, I made soup. Good kind. With thick noodle raviolis.
Mmmmmm. I am so happy I can hardly contain it. And I learned another cool French phrase:
J'en ai ras le bol. (I'm fed up). Merveilleux...sigh...just wish I had some punkin bars in front of me--to go with the grigio, the dog and the boy..and the stack of math tests that are calling my name.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Erin,
A gentle reminder for you.
Love, God

"All Good Gifts around us, are sent from Heaven above, so thank the Lord, thank the Lord, for all God's Love..."""""

....."I really wanna thank the Lord! Love, Erin

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here is what has been left on the teacher's desk in the form of notes in secondgradeland by Accreditation Visiting Team members over the past three days...and the last one was delivered in person by the principal (of an east side catholic school) Team Member who has been coming in and returning and was behaving smugly with wry smiles and what I thought were offhand and overly specific questions of the students during different lessons (I dreaded whenever he came in...I was wrong in my perception. quite wrong)....

"Bonjour. Thanks for a joyful few minutes. What great transitions. The students enjoyed the movement and began their seatwork so quickly. Obviously, so motivating for the students and helping them to love numbers! Thanks, S.H."

You are a very dynamic teacher! I enjoyed watching you use so many modalities! Keep up the great work at OLF! Blessings, C.A.

You have a wonderful calming feeling about your classroom and teaching style! You keep the kids so engaged and make it very fun for them! Keep up the fantastic work! -K.S.

"You have a wonderful classroom! That lesson was amazing! Your students were very engaged! --K.S.

(This Team Member came back three times to observe and then joined us in rhythmic exercises as our math warm-up. She is a multi-sensory learning specialist at another school.) "Would you mind...do you ever have people come in and observe you? I would like to come back and spend time observing you. Do you ever teach others what you do?"

(This when I sat down at the final group meeting this afternoon, said to me by the Commissioner and Team Leader who is Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Orange)--"Oh, I have heard about you!!" Wink, wink, smile.

And finally...from the principal who kept coming in, making notes, leaving and coming back over the three days. Just watching. Then asking kids all manner of questions that were not related to the accreditation report (this I know because I was on a team recently).

"Were you just doing meditation with your students? wait, you did that yesterday, too. You do that everyday with them. Oh, yes, you do. I watched the students transition yesterday and some came in ahead of you and went right into relaxing, heads down and deep breathing. You taught them to do that? We are all amazed at the transitions, well at everything you do in here. I mean I went back yesterday and said, "she's doing meditation with her kids!" That's all the team is talking about over there---Can you believe what is going on in the Raney classroom? We can't wait to go back and see what's next? This is amazing. You do an incredible job. The lessons, the handwork, the movement, the modalities, everything.
Really. "---and he kept talking as we walked out to leave for the day.

If I had any questions about how and what I do (knowing that I am open to growing in excellence and "tools"), the Universe certainly gave me some direct answers.
Accreditation Site Visit is almost over! Half day to go and two days down. The students in secondgradeland have risen to some occasion of their own, on their own. It has been one of the most enjoyable "teaching" weeks I've enjoyed this week because of them. They "woke" up. They are uber-engaged, uber-pliable, curious, cooperative, funny, responsive...maybe it's because something happened inside of me. Maybe both?

Beautiful full moon last night.

The Diva's boots are lovely. And just the right fit. And that girl is going to trouver du fromage d'or et du vin en France a Paris la semaine prochaine.:) Ooh, lala!

Had some interesting things jump out at me about how grace fills in the "holes". Learned some more stuff about piable boundaries and how boundaries are boundaries no matter how they hold. SOrt of like dikes and sandbags. They have a specific job to do. Would like to have more listening conversations with trusted ones about how there is no "safe" and how it is to be okay in this world with that.

Haven't heard anything from the adoption folks.
Me, I am looking into finding a reproductive specialist. Might be time to find a different path to family.

I am also in need of a new water heater. That search goes. Furnace gets serviced on Saturday. All the ducks in some kind of a row...just because. And it's Friday! Time for a long walk with my dog after work. I met a young sable smooth collie yesterday---Her name----Caledonia!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

And one other thing....
I listened to an interview with the composer, Richard Schumann (sp?) last night. One of his Cd's is entitled, " Camelot Reawakened". He composed a piece dedicated and named "To Those Who Emerge from the Center of the Labyrinth Bearing Their Gift". It was performed with the Asheville Symphony and the principal musician was a 12 year old uillean piper. The piece was mysteriously powerful and comforting at the same time. Schumann's comment about this piece and the inspiration behind it was also powerful and comforting. He says that trauma, loss, privation, and other upheavals call us to go inside, deep within. For him, the center of the labyrinth represents this "center, this core". And when we are there..and we listen...and we rest...and heal...and are restored and imbued with wisdom, we emerge...bringing a Gift for the World, for Ourselves...what Gift are you bringing from the Center of your labryrinth?

Been doin' a lot of thinking lately...would like to share some of that here today.
First of all, old 'traditions" can be life-giving if they are chosen and not just "done" because that's what's always been done...Mary J. and I went to Mass this morning and then out to Ballard Blossom shop for their annual Christmas Open House. Santa was there, of course. So were all kinds of theme trees and coffee and cookies and treats. Free calendars and roses. Nice people trying to sell you over-priced stuff and Bing on the store CD player. When I got the email reminder, I just knew I wanted to go. It was something that I enjoyed doing before with whomever would go...and when I listened, I found out that I still liked going. And we did.

And I've been holding space (and porcelain throne time)around the first almost-migraine in a lonngg time. Last one was before the second surgery. Pretty good! This one hit on late Thursday. And got bad on Saturday. And I managed to figure out why it was here and what I was gong to do about it. There is something precious and to be grateful for when your body is such a sensitive barometer of incongruity. Mine does NOT give me the opportunity to stand in Denial for even a heartbeat. I literally get slammed in the head--like in the church parking lot today when I slammed the door on my head. Only good thing about that one was that no one was around, my hair did not get caught, and it only left a little mark. I really shouldn't be driving yet.

The ceilidh that I called last night had some sparkly moments. First off, Val and I got some serious girl-time in the car to and fro. Next, there were some sweet people there. It was a benefit for St. Vincent de Paul and it was at Holy Innocents. The pr is not being done for these as in the past and there weren't too many folks-maybe 30 or 40. A couple of really nice families, some older folks to listen to the music and various other participants. My favorite was a 2 year old named Matthew. And he liked me and he wanted to dance. In his little yellow crocodile wellies. With a big grin on his face and occasionally something I did or said would make him laugh and it would send up this reverb and the whole place would giggle with him. The walls, too! There was a cancer-fighther there. She came with her friend. I invited her to dance with me for a soft version of the Seige of Ennis. And she did. Before she left, Val gave her this beautiful green-hued silk scarf that she had been admiring. I didn't recognize the "Chemo-cut" as Val put it, but she knew it. Makes me happy that this lady came out with her friend to enjoy the music and dancing.

Been thinking a lot on this Law of Attraction and choosing my thoughts with care and intention. And the "thang" is that I am getting immediate feedback on the ones that matter the most to me. Another couple of examples--I wondered what the doctors were saying about my health situation to WACAP and I got a copy of one of the reports and they are saying that I am in as glowing of health as I am saying and being at this time. I also wondered about some crap that is going down at work with some parent perceptions about how I do things and interact with the children and I asked for some feedback I could trust...and I got it on Friday. And I got it again yesterday.

And Fletcher and I are starting to make some plans. And it feels right. And we are still holding this "just for today" thing--and will for a year and a day like the Celts did. And we are still making plans. The "thang" is that most of our plans are already in place, already happening, already contributing to the bliss.

I have some hope with Obama's election. I am floored by the response from the "black community"...I watched "Selma, Lord, Selma" on Friday when I was waiting for drugs to kick in. I never knew all that much about Bloody Sunday and the Edmund Pettis Bridge marchers/violence/incident and what happened after and the Civil Rights Act. Made things more clear in relation to what is happening now around the election of Barak Obama. We shall see.

And it seems like everything that is coming out of Christina Applegate's mouth recently is exactly what is coming out of the mouth of my Heart. To a verb.

And what about those monks fighting in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. WhatdayahthinkJesuswould say about THAT?!?!!

Time for a walk around Greenlake before it starts to pour again. I am still in a place where I shouldn't split wood or use pruning tools. So I will walk and think and enjoy the beauty of this November Sunday. And listen to Christmas carols when I get home and have a cup of tea in front of the fire.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The November rains are here.
My latest scan/test who clear, clean, and HEALTY!
Cedar is well. Life is good.