Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Amazing Grace Fellowship

I finished reading the book I was guided to buy, Leaving Church, in no time.  This blog is not going to turn into a discussion on religion, but it's important for me to document my spiritual growth and transition.  It will be interesting to look back on these posts a few years from now and see how things have evolved.

I've mentioned before that I am currently unable to find a church that fits my evolving attitude towards God.  I have become more spiritual and closer to God in the last year than I have ever been, but I have also grown further away from the religious institution of the church.  I have never believed I needed a "middle man" to get to God, and I don't believe I need to go to church every week to show God that I am worthy.  However, I do miss being a part of an organization that helps it's own, a group of people that care for and shepherd one another.

Because of this feeling, I had the bright idea to start my own church about 6 months ago.  I didn't really want to call it a church per se, but more a "group of like minded people" that would help each other and the community.  A fellowship, if you will.  I envisioned a different leader each week, so that we would all be equal and there would be no power control issues.  I did manage to have the first and only meeting of the Amazing Grace Fellowship, which was attended by neighbors and friends.  We did a meditation and healing circle for the people of Haiti (it was right after the earthquake).  It went fairly well, although I was nervous most of the time and unsure of what to do.  I probably would have been able to continue with the fellowship had I not lost interest/motivation.

This is what I was referring to a few posts ago when I said I often start things and then never follow through.  It's why I've been a little skeptical with my new found enthusiasm after the Rhythm of Life Design.  I still would like to find an organization to be a part of, I just don't have the motivation/time/desire to be the organizer.

One of my favorite parts of the book, Leaving Church, was the thought of what life could be like if we realized that God lives in the world, not just in church.  What could we accomplish if people behaved like they do in church all week, instead of just for one hour a week?  What if we encouraged people that being kind to each other is more important than defending our own interpretation of the Bible?  What if we realized that everyone deserves to be loved, and then acted that way?  Here is the quote from the book that really resonated with me.

"What if people were invited to come (to church) and tell what they already knew of God instead of to learn what they are supposed to believe.  What if they were blessed for what they are doing in the world instead of chastened for not doing more at church?  What if church felt more like a way station than a destination.  What if the church's job was to move people out the door instead of trying to keep them in, by convincing them that God needed them more in the world than in the church?"

Now that's my kind of church.  One I could attend, or maybe even help start.  I have to admit, writing about this has started my mind thinking again.  Maybe my motivation has returned.  Although, I also had an idea the other day to start a school, so maybe I'm just floundering around trying to find some direction.  It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this and where it leads me.

I'll be on vacation for the better part of the next two weeks, so I probably won't be doing much blogging.  Writing has become a significant part of my day because it helps me to relax.  I feel centered and grounded when I write, and I really look forward to it.  For once in my life I am not excited about getting away from the computer.  I will have my journal, but for some reason it seems quicker and easier to pound out my thoughts on the keyboard.  Hopefully I'll return to you in two weeks with lots of stories from Scotland about standing stones, islands only accessible by boat, legends and myths etc.  I can hardly wait.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Another step in my spiritual evolution - learning to acknowledge my intuition.  Everyone has intuition, but instead of embracing it most people seem to avoid using it.  It seems that in our culture it's acceptable to have intuition as an afterthought, such as,  "I knew that was going to happen, I should have trusted my gut instinct."  For some reason it seems slightly less acceptable to act on what our intuition is telling us to do about something in the future.  Or maybe it's just the fact that we spend our lives ignoring our "gut instinct," so most of us have never really developed the ability to change the future with our intuition.

When my friend dropped me off at the airport yesterday, I had the urge to go to the bookstore.  Normally I would have ignored it, because I have a stack of books at home that are waiting to be read.  I've promised myself I won't buy another book until I get through that stack, but the urge to go to the bookstore was so strong I had to acknowledge it.

I usually gravitate towards the New Age/Spirituality section, but for some reason I stopped in front of religion.  I scanned the book titles not really expecting to find anything, but when my eyes got to the title "Leaving Church", I felt like the book was jumping off the shelf at me.  It was a paperback so it didn't really have a synopsis on the back cover, so I started reading the intro to find out what the book was about.  I was still doubting my instinct that I had  walked right to the book I was meant to have, because I still didn't feel like I needed a book.  By the time I had finished the intro I had cried not once, but twice, because I felt like I was reading about myself.  Now I had to trust myself and buy the book to read in private.  Seeing a uniformed pilot in the airport crying does not normally instill confidence in passengers.

The book is about an Episcopal minister, who found her way to God (and herself) by giving up the priesthood.  One of the things that made me cry was this quote, "You only need to lose track of who you are, or who you thought you were supposed to be, so that you end up lying flat on the dirt floor basement of your heart."  It's the "who you thought you were supposed to be" that really got to me.  From the time I was 17 years old,  I've thought I was supposed to be a pilot.  It's been my identity and how I define myself for over twenty years, but now I'm beginning to think there might be something more.  In addition to or instead of a pilot, I'm not sure yet.  I think my soul knows but my ego is still afraid to admit the truth.

I was reading the book in the gym this morning, and I had to come back up to the room because it made me cry again.  Barbara had just decided to leave the priesthood, and she was quoting Walter Brueggemann, a scholar of the Hebrew bible.  "The world for which you have been so carefully prepared is being taken away from you, by the grace of God."

I have very carefully prepared my entire adult life to be a pilot, but I still feel like there is something missing.  I have no doubt that this desire for something new and bigger than myself is being directed by God.  To read about someone who felt the same way, in a book that I didn't even know about and wasn't even looking for, proves to me that there is something to this intuition thing.  I just hope I can continue to use it to look forward, instead of regretting I didn't use it when I look back.

I Write, Therefore I'm a Writer

Ever since the Rhythm of Life Design class, I've been addicted to the internet again.  I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is check my email, to see if one of my new friends has sent me something inspirational.  Friday morning I woke up and the first thing I did was read this blog post.

Spiritual Evolution of the Bean: Acceptance: I am what I am.

I write, therefore I am a writer.  There, I've said it.  And I'm feeling more and more like one everyday.  As I have experiences now, I try to figure out how I will convert my thoughts and feelings about them to the page, and I can't wait to get them there.  I realize this probably isn't a good thing, because it's not helping me live in the moment, which is something I know I need to work on.   As I go about my day I find myself thinking, "how can I convert these thoughts and experiences into words, how do I get these thoughts onto the paper."  I desperately want to convey them as powerfully as they appear in my head, but I normally feel like something has been lost in the translation.  I will admit it's getting easier, and I am getting better at it.

It's a long, slow evolution, but I'm in it for the long haul.  I guess you could call it Spiritual Evolution of the Pilot, instead of the Bean.  I write, therefore I am a writer.  Thanks for the words of wisdom and inspiration Stephanie.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Living Legend

I must be getting into this writing thing.  As I sat watching an icon perform in concert tonight, I kept thinking about the blog I was going to write when I got home.  We'll see if it comes out as well as it did in my head a few hours ago.

I first became fascinated with the Beatles about the time John Lennon died.  I was ten, and I don't remember specifically hearing about it.  My dad used to watch about an hour and a half of news every night, so I'm sure subliminally I knew about it but didn't pay much attention.  There must have been something that got me thinking about their music though, because up until that point I don't remember listening to much music.

My parents were almost the same age as the Beatles, but for some strange reason they were never interested in their music.  Their tastes ran more along the lines of Jerry Vale, lucky me.  I guess it was of my own volition that I checked out a Beatles album from the library, I don't remember which one it was.  All I remember is sitting in front of my parents ancient, furniture-like record player (which they still have 28 years later), and crying.  My mom asked why I was crying, and I told her because there would never be another Beatle's album now that John was dead.  Not that there would have been anyway, but I don't think I realized that at the time.  She told me that if listening to the music had that effect on me, I wouldn't be allowed to listen to it anymore.  Obviously, she just didn't get it.

My next memory of McCartney was watching the Wings tour on TV.  I think it was on HBO, but I'm not sure.  I finally saw McCartney live in 1989 when I was in college.  I thought that might be my only chance to see him live, and that was over 20 years ago.  I've since been to the 1993, 2002, and now 2010 shows.  I don't say this to brag, but to show the way this man's music has followed me throughout my lifetime.

I knew from previous tours that he would probably play Blackbird.  As many times as I've seen him live, I've never heard him explain what the song was about.  It's about race issues in the south in the 60's.  I'm not ready to explain why, but I now know why I've been drawn to this song for so long.

I think the show tonight was just as good as the first one I saw 20 years ago.  It was 3 hours long, and it was the second night in a row in our town.  I'm amazed at the energy McCartney has at age 68.  I know 68 year olds that get tired after watching 3 hours of TV, much less jumping around on stage singing for 3 hours.  "He's worse than the energizer bunny," my husband said, and I had to agree.  I got tired just watching him.  And this is the first time in a long time that I haven't been one of the oldest people at a concert.  Not by a longshot.

I would like to end this blog with a public service announcement.  I've been to a lot of concerts over the last 8 years, and I've noticed a significant reduction in my hearing.  I realize that I also spend a lot of time around jet engine noise, and I'm sure that's partly to blame as well.  Standing in the first few rows of a concert right by the speaker stack certainly doesn't help though.  What really frustrates me is to see kids at a concert without ear protection.  Please, please, please, if you're going to take a kid to a concert protect their ears.  I had ear plugs in tonight and my ears were still ringing at the end.  Wait a minute, did I just admit that?  Maybe I was the oldest person there, not in age but in spirit.  Oh well, at least I'll be able to hear when I'm 64.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

Tomorrow would have been my dad's birthday.  He passed away in 2006, when my son was 8 months old.  We don't go to the cemetery very often, just for his birthday and Christmas and maybe one or two other times a year.  It's not that I don't care about going, it's just that I don't feel like I need to be there to connect with my dad.  In fact, in some ways I feel like he's always with me now, and that makes me happy.  It's a good thing I feel that way, because going to the cemetery with a 4 year old provokes some interesting, unanswerable questions.

"Does Pup eat cake in heaven?  What kind of cake does he have?  Where is he, is he under this stone?"  Those were the easy ones.  Then the inevitable questions about heaven, along with, "When will you die?  When will I die?  Does everyone die from cancer?"  How do you answer a question when you don't have the answer yourself?

There are an alarming number of young children buried around my dad.  My son is always drawn to the toy cars and trinkets people leave as a remembrance, and of course I find this all particularly heart wrenching.  As we were looking at the grave of a 3 year old, my son said, "Will he grow up in heaven?"  I wish I knew the answer.

This past year I have drawn closer to God than ever before, and yet at the same time some of my religious views are changing.  I find myself unable to find a church I enjoy attending, but I am becoming more in touch with my own spirituality and my connection to the divine.  I no longer believe in an angry, vengeful God that will send you to hell if you don't behave.  In fact, I don't even think I believe in hell anymore, other than the one we create for ourselves.

As my own spiritual thoughts are evolving and changing, I have the questions of a child to answer.  His questions make me examine my own feelings, and help me to sort through what I truly believe.  I guess I must be doing ok with the answers, because my son never seems to ask follow up questions.   The questions make me think about my own philosophy of life/death/heaven/reincarnation/spirituality.  Maybe the same question asked a year from now would have a different answer, I don't know.

At least I didn't have to think about his last question before leaving the cemetery.   "What does Pup do in heaven?"  That's an easy one.  I'm pretty sure he's on a perpetual hunting trip.  As a vegetarian, I always hoped my dad would come back empty handed from his hunting trips when he was alive.  Happy Birthday Dad, I hope you come home with a big one this time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

For the Love of Biscotti

Oh my, what a weekend.  As I sit in a local coffee shop writing this, I am enjoying a biscotti.  Not a sugar free, wheat free, dairy free biscotti mind you.  A full on, delicious, everything I shouldn't be eating biscotti.  That in itself wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't for the turtle sundae yesterday.  Or the cheesy bread the two previous days, or the six glasses of wine at the riesling festival.  You're beginning to get the picture.  And I haven't even mentioned the reese's peanut butter cup or the martini.

I'm not quite sure what is happening to me, other than maybe I've been abducted by aliens.  Ok, that's a joke.  I have just lost all will power related to food, and I am enjoying eating like a normal person again.  Immensely.  That has got to stop.  Not only do I feel tired and my allergies are cranking again, but I got rid of all my clothes that are now 3 sizes too big.  If I start eating like this again I"ll have to go shopping, and I'd be moving the wrong way on the sizing chart.

Strangely enough, I have had the urge to do "oil pulling" the last few mornings.  I wrote about this a few months ago, but if you missed it or aren't familiar here's a quick description.  Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic technique that supposedly rids the body of toxins.  You swish oil around in your mouth for several minutes a day, and the reported cures are seemingly endless.

Several months ago I was actively trying to do this every day but I kept forgetting.  Something has been making me remember it the last few days.  Maybe my body figures if I can't keep the bad stuff out of my mouth, it will help me try to remove the toxins another way.  I will say that I've had pretty good results.  The other day I woke up and my eyes were all gummy and teary.  After swishing oil for 15 minutes, my eyes cleared up and I had a ton of mucus running down the back of my throat.  Sorry to be graphic here, but if I could learn to spit like a guy I would definitely have been removing toxins from my body.

Now I just have to work on reducing this junk food craving again.  I'm mad at myself because I had been perfectly happy with a cup of tea or piece of fruit after dinner, and now I'm not happy unless I've had sugar.  I guess I need to look at this diet as a lifestyle change instead of an ongoing diet, and then it might be easier.  Or I need to learn to be happy with eye allergies and +20 pounds.  Right now that one sounds like more fun.  HELP!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something Smells A Little Fishy

I have a confession to make.  I have had fish for dinner for the last three nights in a row.  So what, you might say.  And I would agree with you, other than the fact that I've been a vegetarian for the last 12 years.

I've been having some problems with allergies, and that's why I started the crazy "no sugar, no dairy, no wheat, no alcohol, no fun" diet I've been on most of the year.  The upside - I've lost about 20 pounds.  The downside - I don't think I'm getting enough protein, especially at work.  Fish is the only animal I can even consider eating, so I'm slowly starting to try it out again.

Another reason I am experimenting with fish is that we are leaving for Scotland in a few weeks.  I used to look forward to eating in Britain, because there are a lot of vegetarians in the UK.  I can always find something to eat, but unfortunately, it's either wrapped in pastry or smothered in cheese.  Or my absolute favorite thing, a pasty, which is a pastry stuffed with potato and cheese.  Kind of like a giant pierogie with a crispy crust and diced potatoes.  Ok, it's really nothing like a pierogie.  Anyway, since I'm still not doing dairy or wheat I thought I might starve in Scotland, so I'm easing myself into the fish thing again.

I would really prefer to stay a vegetarian, but my instinct, as well as my nutritionist, acupuncturist, and husband seem to think the fish is a good idea.  Although I question my husbands motives, I think he's just tired of eating fake meat and veggie burgers.

I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.  What finally converted me to vegetarianism 12 years ago was living in North Carolina.  I would pass the hog trucks every morning, and I couldn't look at them as I drove past.  I would feel really guilty for having had a bacon sandwich for breakfast, when the poor pigs were crammed into the truck with their little snouts sticking out of the holes.

I definitely still need to pretend that the fish on my plate just manifested itself there, instead of thinking about the flopping, gasping thing that comes out of the water.  Hmm, I may have just made myself a vegetarian again with that thought.  Stay tuned, I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Damn you Ben and Jerry

Hmmm.  Wondering if I'm having a bit of a backslide.  Well, not a backslide I guess, I'm just not rocketing forward at lightning pace anymore.  My positive attitude has been shaken a little, because I seem to be surrounded by negativity the last few days.  I'm trying to let the bad vibes bounce off of me, which I have been successful in doing the last few weeks.  There must be a chink in the armor though, because today it's not bouncing as easily as I would like it to.

I did a great job of staying positive at work on Monday.  I start and end all of my trips in a different city than where I live.  That's the best and worst part of the job, that I can live anywhere I want.  It's the best for obvious reasons, and the worst because it means I'm gone an extra day each trip, either the night before or the night after my trip starts.  Commuting to work by airplane is interesting, to say the least.

On Monday I missed my flight home by 2 minutes, and had to wait 4 hours for the next one.  Of course, due to Murphy's Law of commuting, that one was late.  I don't know why, but it always works out that way.  It's never 5 minutes late when you need it to be, but if you've been waiting for hours it will be late.  One of the laws of the universe I guess, like gravity.  I can complain about it all I want but it's not going to change.

Amazingly, I kept a pretty zen attitude about the whole thing.  Normally I would be fuming that I was only going to make it home for bedtime instead of dinner time, but this day I didn't let it bother me.  I just figured I was meant to stay at work and get some studying done for my simulator training next month.  I was actually amazed at the fact that I didn't let it ruin my day like it would have in the past.

I just need to find that zen attitude again now that I'm struggling a little bit.  I did treat myself to a piece of carrot cake while I was waiting for my flight the other day, and today I have used "Everything but the--" Ben and Jerry's ice cream to try and annihilate my bad mood.  It's not working, now I just feel guilty for eating it.  What I really need to do is yoga or call a friend from class to cheer me up.  Well, maybe the phone call will have to wait.  There's only a tiny bit of ice cream left, and I can hear it calling me from the freezer.  Maybe I am backsliding, but it tastes too good to stop now.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I didn't want the last post to go on forever, so I thought I'd do two separate blogs.  During the Rhythm of Life Design class we did a lot of drumming.  The entire first day, a fly sat on my drum and wouldn't leave me alone.  He even sat there while I was drumming, which was amazing because the drum puts out a pretty good vibration.  I was astounded that he didn't fly away.  Then he had the nerve to invite his little fly friends over for a party on my drum.

The next day during one of the most transformational parts of the class, it felt like flies were swarming all over me.  Yes I know, cue the jokes about showering etc.  When I went home and googled "flies as totem" this is what I found.

"The Fly teaches the ability to greatly multiply prosperity, endeavors and ventures at enormous rates. He shows how to to be quick to act and respond to achieve results. Fly aids in demonstrating the power of keen eyesight along with expanding awareness in many directions.

Although flies are known for carrying diseases in unfavorable surroundings, the lesson of fly is in the value of carrying your emotions, thoughts and feelings in order to act quickly in sometimes unfavorable or uncomfortable conditions.

It takes about two weeks from hatching for new eggs to be laid, likewise, two weeks is significant in one's personal development.

Are you ready for quick and abrupt changes? Are you ready to move quickly? Fly will show how to make quick changes for rapid growth. "

Hmmm, considering I seem to be manifesting things at lightning pace this week, I think that description might just fit me.  During the Rhythm of Life Design course we set one week, one month, and one year goals for ourselves.  I have met all of mine already, in less than two weeks.  Talk about rapid growth.

Am I ready for quick and abrupt growth?  Am I ready to move quickly?  Absolutely.  The last time a friend gave me reiki she kept saying, "Are you ready?"  "For what?" I said.   She didn't have an answer.  Even though I still don't know the answer to my question,  I can say with a resounding yes that I am ready.  I guess only time will tell "for what?"

The Rhythm of Life Design

I have been promising to write about the class that has changed my life, so now I will attempt to put my experience into words.  I didn’t think it would be quite this difficult.  The course I attended was called the Rhythm of Life Design.  It was taught by Jim Donovan, formerly of the band Rusted Root, and Harry Pepper, a psychologist.  These two work amazingly well together, and to say the course has changed my life would not be an exaggeration.

To give you a small example, the first day of the class we were setting goals for ourselves.  My goal was to get over my fear of public speaking.  I was writing down that I would look into going to Toastmasters, and while I was doing this I almost had a panic attack.  Just the thought of looking into it made my palms sweat and my heart race.  By the second day of the class, I could say that I was definitely GOING to Toastmasters, and I was calm about it.  And guess what?  Last week I attended my first Toastmasters meeting, and I even gave a one minute speech.

My whole outlook on life has changed as a result of this class.  I wake up happy and I go to bed happy.  Who is this person?  I’m positive in a way I’ve never felt before.  Good bye Chicken Little, hello Polly Positive.  Positive is not a word normally used to describe me, just ask my husband.

Lately I’ve been having the feeling that things are going to turn out right before I’ve even started a project.  This is a foreign concept to me.  I’m usually too busy worrying about all the things that could go wrong to think that something might actually turn out successfully.

It all goes back to what I learned from one of my favorite mentors, Louise Hay.  All of us live our lives in relation to one of two emotions, love or fear.  If you’re coming from a place of fear, which I’ve spent my entire life doing, it’s hard to find love and peace and happiness in the world.  When you start projecting love, you draw that to you and are suddenly surrounded by more positive energy.

When you start expecting good things to happen, an amazing thing occurs.  They actually do start happening!   Previously, it seemed like I was always surrounded by negative people and energy.  That was because I was putting out fear, so I was also attracting it.  Now that I’ve become more positive I seem to be drawing smiling, happy people to myself.  The other day I was in one of my least favorite cities.  The reason I don’t like this city is because the people are so unfriendly.  As I walked thru the airport, every person I passed looked at me, smiled, and said hello.   It was so surreal it felt like a dream.

Because of the course, I am able to make eye contact with people now.  In the past this always made me feel uncomfortable and self conscious, but now it is much easier.  I don’t know what has changed, other than I’m more comfortable in my own skin.  Or maybe I’m trying to project my positivity to others, now that I’ve finally found it.  Fill the world with love, yada yada.  Whatever it is, I hope I feel like this forever.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Manifesting My Lake House

I spent yesterday morning on my boat with my mom and son.  Actually, I’ve spent most mornings that I haven’t been working on the boat this summer.  I don’t know what my connection is with water, but I can’t think of anywhere that makes me happier than being on a boat.  Well, maybe skiing behind a boat.

Unfortunately, we don’t ski on the river.  We have this small problem with sewers where I live.  So much so that after it rains all of the marinas put up orange signs that say CSO.  I don’t think many people in town know what this means, or they wouldn’t be in the water swimming when the signs are up.  I will confess it took me the better part of a summer to figure it out, but luckily I already had my doubts about the cleanliness of the water so we weren’t swimming anyway.  It stands for Contaminated Sewer Overflow, or maybe Output, but you get the idea.  Or as my son shouted across the marina yesterday, “Look Mommy, they’re putting up the poopy water sign.”

My dream has always been to have a house on the water, ideally on a lake.  Unfortunately there is only one lake within an hour drive of where I live, and our favorite lake is 3 hours away.  I know better than to think we would make it to a lake house very often. 

Recently I have decided I would be happy with a portable lake house, otherwise known as a houseboat.  I have a hard enough time maintaining one house, much less two, and this way there wouldn’t be any grass to cut.  I wonder how much the Break Out Another Thousand (my husbands definition of BOAT) expands when you’re talking about a houseboat.

I received an email from a friend yesterday, which said that yesterday was the day of the Grand Cardinal Cross, when the moon moves into Cancer.  I have no idea what that means, but it is supposed to be a significant astrological event.  Along with the full moon on the 9th, it is supposedly a good time to alter the status quo and manifest goals by setting new intentions.

Even though I don’t know anything about astrology, I’ve been setting intentions like crazy yesterday and today.  Just in case there's something to this Grand Cardinal Cross thing, I'd hate to miss out on my chance to set intentions and manifest my lake house.  I haven’t been asking specifically for a lake house, because I don’t want to limit myself, but I have been asking for a place on the water.  Any place, I’m not picky.  Just somewhere I can enjoy the peace and tranquility that envelopes me when I’m around the  water.  I just hope it's far away from any CSO signs.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pickle Plants

This week I've been wondering how I've suddenly found so much extra time in my day.  I've been writing and blogging a lot more recently, and I even had time to go to a Toastmasters meeting today.  (More about that this weekend when I have more time to write.)  And of course I've suddenly found more time to be on Facebook as well.  I realized today that I have so much extra time because I've been neglecting my garden.

This is only the second year I've planted a garden, and I enjoy it immensely.  There is nothing better than walking out to the back yard to decide what I'm going to have for dinner.  Last night it was "mock crab cakes" with zucchini, tonight it was tomatoes with thai basil, and fresh broccoli and beans to spice up our canned Indian curry.

I live in a 100 year old house, with an appropriately sized postage stamp for a yard.  Half of my garden surrounds the perimeter of our back patio, and I have 2 other beds about 2'x5'.  Not a lot of room, especially when I'm trying to grow space hogs like zucchini and broccoli.  Because of this, I spend a lot of time in the garden pruning.  Things like breaking off broccoli leaves so they don't shade my chili peppers, or cutting back the lemon balm that has started to grow like a weed take a lot of time.

I've also had a lot of problems this year with pests and disease.  The zucchini are slowly succumbing to powdery mildew, my tomato blossoms are all shriveling up and dying, and the *#$%@*&^ leaf miners are destroying everything from swiss chard to parsley.  Not to mention everything is now coated with a layer of black aphids.  I've finally thrown up the white flag and surrendered to the bugs.  I'll salvage what I can with minimal effort, and let them eat the rest.  It's the easiest way to create time in my day for my new projects.

Although I've given up on my garden for the year, I am passionate about community gardens.  Someday when time permits I would love to start one at our elementary school.  I once heard a parent complain that we shouldn't waste time teaching kids about gardens, but I strongly disagree.  The more removed we become from our source of food, the more problems we have with obesity and the related health care costs.  Not to mention the harmful effects to the planet, from factory farms to trucking our food halfway across the country (or worse yet the world).  When our kids can identify a french fry and ketchup but not a potato or a tomato we have a problem.

Which reminds me of a funny story.  I was in my neighbors garden the other night, talking to my son about the different kinds of vegetable plants.  I pointed to a cucumber plant, and I knew what was going to come out of his mouth before he said it.  "What's that?" I asked.  "A pickle plant," he responded enthusiastically.  We may have some more work to do, but at least he knows that we can grow his french fries and ketchup in the backyard.  That's a start.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mojo Risin'

This will be a short one because I am at work today. Every morning for the last week, my son and I have had a morning dance session. We get up and put on a song and just dance and laugh and have a good time. I didn’t realize how much I would miss that when I went back to work.

We have one song that is our current favorite. I’ve never really been a fan of the artist, and I didn’t pay much attention to the song when it first came out. It popped into my head a few weeks ago (the few words I could remember), and wouldn’t leave me. I’ve read somewhere that when a song does that you should pay attention, because there is a reason it has come to you. I played the song on You Tube, and it just happens to be the current theme song to my life. And it’s awfully fun to sing and dance to with a 4 year old. Here it is if you’re interested.

The other song I’ve been listening to is far from a dance song, but still a very good song indeed. I don’t know why this one popped into my head either, other than I’ve always been a Beatles fan and I've always been drawn to this song. According to Ted Andrews "Animal Speak" book - "Blackbirds indicate the need to use the winter to go back into the great womb of life in order to be able to bring forth new energy and expressions of energy the following summer." And it sure has been a great summer. Here’s that one. (Not my video.)

I was lucky enough to fly with a Captain today who enjoys life. He kept trying to get me to sing with him (in between flights of course), but I told him there was no chance of that happening. I’ve just started dancing in public, I’m afraid the singing will have to wait.

For the last few months I haven't even wanted to listen to music, much less dance or sing. I'm around so much noise at work that I want to enjoy peace and quiet when I'm home. Well, as much peace and quiet as you can have with a child that talks constantly.

During this time I also didn't want to talk on the phone or socialize much. I think this must have had something to do with my cocoon phase, because it is highly unlike me. I’m normally very social and don’t like to be by myself. I’m so glad that stage is over, and I am now enjoying music and conversation again. And dancing, oh how I’m enjoying the dancing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just A Quote

Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. - unknown

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have a deck of angel cards that I look at before I go to bed at night.  Each card has a different angel on it, and each angel is associated with a particular message.  I shuffle the deck until one falls out, and then I read it.  I use the message to inspire, comfort, or guide me for the next day.  The angel card I pulled last night was pretty amazing, considering  what I've been going through this week and what I blogged about yesterday.

PASSION - associated with Archangel Haniel - "Trust and follow your renewed passion in your love life and career."

Additional message:  "Playing it safe can lead to staleness and depression.  You've asked for more happiness and definite DIRECTION.  I've LIT THE FLAME of passion in your heart to lead and guide you.  It is SAFE for you to take risks and follow your hearts desire.  Ask me to be your partner along your path of passion, to guide and nurture you.  When you feel a STRONG KNOWINGNESS, alongside a burning passion, pay attention, as this is my way of giving you information about your next step."
by Doreen Virtue, PHD

I've capitalized some of the things that have directly applied to me this week.  I have been asking for direction.  My former fears and inability to feel safe have held me back from many things in this life.  After class, I felt a knowingness and inner glow that I can't even put into words.  It surprised and delighted me.  Never in my life have I been so sure something is going to go as I've planned.

My previous thought process had been to always prepare for the worst.  That way I'd never be disappointed, and in the unlikely event things went well, I might be pleasantly surprised.  Because of that thinking, I was drawing the very things to me that I was trying to avoid.  Now I look at some of the goals I've set for myself and I know I will achieve them.  I don't wonder IF I will achieve them, only when.

For example, a one year goal for me had been to dance at the Rhythm Renewal next year, which is where I was this week.  I love to dance, I just try to avoid doing it in public.  Thanks to some amazing encouragement from two wonderful new friends (thank you S and B), and a son that danced his pants off, I was out of my seat and dancing last night.  My one year goal has been accomplished in less than one week!  For a former glass half empty kind of gal, this is a minor miracle.  I would never have accomplished this if it hadn't been for the class I attended this week, which I promise to elaborate on in the next few blogs.

When I first started writing this blog, I thought I would have to censor myself and the topics I wrote about for fear of what others might think.  To this date hardly any of my friends know about it, and I certainly haven't publicized it.  It was more of a place for me to get my thoughts together, with the idea of maybe writing a book someday.  I guess the fact that I'm now writing about angel cards and faery gardens shows that there is not a lot of censorship going on anymore.  That still causes a slight quickening of the breath and tightness in my chest when I think about it,  yet my fingers keep flying over the keyboard typing the words.  I know I've talked about this quote several times before, but I'm going to end with it to reassure myself again.  I've come a long way, but I'm still working on my self confidence.  This will be my mantra for the next few days.

"Those that mind don't matter, those that matter don't mind."  Dr. Suess