Friday, October 30, 2009

tune in if you can.. .

to 90.5 FM... at 1:00 PM... i'll be speaking to colin mcenroe and chion wolf about halloween and other assorted merriment and mayhem...!

thank you to patrice for the suggestion! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

how writing saved my life

the summer i met my first husband, i was working on my first novel, and according to him, most of the people who knew me then thought i was crazy. (my children, if they read this, will most likely wonder how anything has changed.)

however, shortly after we married, i stopped writing.

i'm not sure how, i'm not sure why. i know i was very young, and a writer needs a certain amount of experience from which to draw in order to have something to write about. when i was first married, all my stories seemed flat and uninteresting. and so, i stopped.

years passed. i birthed babies, kept house, chased bad guys, taught aerobics, ran a daycare, dabbled in interior decorating, and mediated peace between neighbors, landlords, tenants and other tormented souls. i volunteered at the library for successive children, but where other parents read stories to their classes, i told stories to mine... stories no one had ever heard before, because i made them up.

along the way, i supported my ex body and soul through law school and his daily demons. nothing i tried i ever really succeeded at, mostly, because - as i realize in retrospect - mister ex sabotaged my success at any critical turn.

and then one day, i got an Idea. it was the kind of Idea i hadn't had in a very long time... in more than eleven years to be exact. it was the kind of Idea that spawned more. As more and more interesting ideas came to me, i saw that they came complete with names and needs, dreams and desires. it was the first time in a long time i felt the sensation of Something trying to eat its way out of my head.

so i bought a notebook. i carried it everywhere. when i stopped at red lights, i wrote in it, quick jottings that captured just a phrase, a place, a thought. then one labor day weekend, on the beach in ocean city, i turned to a fresh page in my notebook, and i wrote the first sentence of my first manuscript.

are you crazy, asked my ex.

i think i am, i answered.

i knew there was no turning back. when mister ex tried to sabotage my writing, he found a very different opponent from the one who had cowed so readily before. when he demanded i stop, i laughed. when he tried to guilt me into it (you wouldn't be the first woman to give up her career for her family, he said), i told him writing isn't what i do, writing is what i am. when he accused me of having lesbian affairs with the people in my writing groups (i didn't know any male writers), i reminded him i hoped i'd be able to tell oprah i'd succeeded because of him and not in spite of him.

when he threatened to divorce me (six times in four weeks) i filed first.

the year my first novel came out was the most terrifying year of my life. i had hardly any money, and an angry ex who was determined to punish me by using his advantage as a lawyer. i had no idea where i was going to live, or how i was going to live when i got there.

but i had my writing, my children, my family, my friends...and very shortly afterward (as a result of that first novel) Beloved.

and that, as it's turned out, was enough.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

what i know for sure

oprah asks... in this moment, what do you know for sure?

1. i know my parents love me.
2. i know i love them.
3. i know i love my kids... and most of the time, im almost certainly sure... they love me.
4. i know that whatever happens, it's all going to be okay.
5. i know that having stuff doesn't matter, it's the people and the connections you have that do.
6. i know that love doesn't have physical boundaries.
7. i know that i'm here to do whatever it is i'm here to do, and i'm not leaving a second before its done.
8. i know weather is never worth getting upset about.
9. i know that being kind is more important than being right.
10. i know Beloved loves me .... and most of the time, im almost certainly sure... he knows i love him.

so how about YOU, Gentle Reader? in this moment, what is it you know for sure?

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

what dreams may come

so very, very much to do suddenly... just as i would prefer the world to slow down and let me settle into a nice fictive dream-state. i can't complain too loudly, though... it's all of my own devising and choosing. i feel like a gardener suddenly overwhelmed by a plethora of plenty. it's all quite wonderful in its own way, but wow, is there a lot of it.

i pulled the Archetype cards that represent monk, mystic, shaman and warrior from the Caroline Myss Archetype deck, and now that i'm aware of Them, i can feel them quite clearly, hovering around the edges. i pulled my 12 "sacred contract" archetype cards, as well, and i can see how those energy patterns which i brought into my life merge and morph and shift into these others.

i have agreed to be a guinea pig of sorts for my friend carla of Wings For You Coaching, who is learning a new method of creatively coaching people. as part of that process, i will be posting a blog every week about what i've learned and what new insights i've had into my own writing process.

this new-old story that's suddenly emerged is going well - im frustrated by the lack of certain empirical knowledge - florida estate law to be exact - but at least i have friends who might be able to point me in the right direction.

the rest of the Angel chapters are gnawing away ... begging to be born. karen's first chart is perfect for chapter three, but part of the problem is that i've been so focused on decorating and painting and thanksgiving for 30 (yes, possibly) i've fallen off the Angel wagon, so to speak, and have been paying less than perfect attention to the Guidelines.

my plan for today - after the Writers' Circle meeting, and before the tarot readings im doing tonight - is to take some time and set some priorities and some goals for the next several weeks.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

monday musings

the air was very crisp and the sky was very clear when i walked the puppies this morning. i noticed orion first, just above me, and then i noticed how brightly the morning star was shining, so low in the eastern sky, it seemed about to touch the edge of the indigo horizon. it was still too early for even the faintest hint of dawn.

in the tarot, The Star is the seventeenth in the major arcana, and for me, it means endless possibility and bright shining hope. it's an optimistic card, one i am generally glad to see in readings for myself and others.

on the other hand, in Christian mythology, Lucifer is identified with the Morning Star.... before he fell, of course. in the tarot, the Devil is all that we fear.

the air smelled like pine cones, the puppies woofed and snorted at the underbrush, reluctant to come in, even for breakfast. i stood and thought about how to work with both these energies in the coming week.

then i noticed orion again, just above my shoulder.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

writing as a spiritual path

some years ago, when i first began to embrace my psychic and intuitive abilities, i was somewhat amazed to find how easily things came to me. i could take a class, attend a workshop, read a book or hear a lecture - and wow - i "got" it.

i could find my power animals, i could talk to my spirit guides, i could talk to dead people once i got over the shock. shamanic journeying, guided meditation, sensing the energy of crystals or chakras - no problem. past life regression? easy for me as falling off a log. understanding the energy of trees, animals and rocks... i could do that too. it was almost embarrassing.

a friend asked me once, "when they tell you to see a red seven, do you see a red seven?"

"what shade and how big would you like the seven to be?" i replied.

i knew it was connected to my writing. i knew there was something about the fact i spent so many hours and so many days - since i could read - immersed in another kind of reality, but i didn't know why. i had no language to articulate what i felt in my bones.

then a few days ago, i happened to pick up the book, Writing as a Spiritual Path, and i found my answer. when writing is something you ARE as opposed to something you DO, the writer, author jill jepsen suggests, combines the energies of mystic, monk, shaman and warrior, all rolled together.

i'm looking forward to exploring this book more deeply.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

shopping spree

when i was a child, i had two sets of clothes. there were the clothes my grandmother bought me because they were what she wanted me to wear, and then there were the clothes she bought me because they were what i wanted to wear. frequently, she and my mother vetoed the clothes i wanted the most and the fact i wear almost nothing but jeans now is probably due to the fact i wasn't even allowed to own a pair until i was old enough to go to a store and buy them for myself.

my grandmother, however, was a woman who raised the art of shopping to a religion. when my grandmother took me shopping, we went from store to store, rooting out bargains with the ruthless focus of a shaolin monk. she may have censored my wardrobe when i was kid, but she taught me a necessary skill in this world of too-too much.

one consequence of cleaning out my drawers and closets at the end of last winter is that i found myself with nothing to wear this week when the season suddenly turned chilly. so last night, while Beloved snored in front of the yankee game, and libby went off to see a movie with her friends, i took myself off for some seriously needed retail therapy.

over the years, i've learned to shop mostly by feel. the first thing i do, after the color has caught my eye, is feel the fabric. if i don't like the way it feels - if it's too slippery or slimey or itchy - i pass it by no matter how much i might like color or cut. the effect this has had on my wardrobe is that i tend to wear clothes that dont feel too much different from comfy pajamas - and i'm sure my children would tell you they mostly look that way too.

another thing my grandmother taught me is that there's nothing more satisfying than a shopping expedition that's NECESSARY. i love the feeling of not only wanting new clothes, but actually needing them as well. i came home with two sweaters (a cuddly blue cardigan and a purple striped crew), two turtlenecks in white and plum, three thermal t-shirts in gray, pink and plum, one black t-shirt, and three woolrich blouses - one in black corduroy, one in chamois flannel, and one in an aqua blue swirly print that made me happy to look at it.

they'll all look great with jeans.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Friday, October 16, 2009

snow falling on flowers

it's friday, finally, after what's felt like a head-long rush of a week. there just weren't enough days this week, and not enough hours in those days. i don't know what happened to seems i blinked and they went by.

the next few days are so busy i'm looking forward to next tuesday.

this morning brings a welcome moment of calm while improbably, snow falls in big white flakes. improbably, it's sticking in puffy clumps speared by long blades of too-green grass, and blood-red rose petals sprinkled overtop. i'm looking at a three-season tableau - summer, fall and winter all overlain into one bizarre kaleidescope of nature.

i'm sure there's a metaphor in that.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

blue room

that's what libby came home to.... a very, very blue room, courtesy of my friend, karen nemri, who is - in addition to being a magical painter - an amazing healer and channel. libby's room was finished in what felt to me like a blink...karen refused to let me anywhere near it, so that may have had something to do with it :).

libby's putting it all back together as i type this. i have some painting to do of shelves and mirror frame and bedside table, but its minor compared to how long the room would've taken me. i also need to iron her curtains and wash the bedskirt. eventually, hopefully not before too long, i'll find her a pretty area rug.

however, what's even more astonishing than the magic karen made happen is the snow falling outside and sticking (??!!!) to the lawn. it reminds me of our phantom summer - the one we never had. that was presaged by three extrordinarily hot days in april, almost six months ago to the day. so, until confronted with evidence to the contrary, i choose to believe this unseasonably early snow is just the one taste of winter we're getting. :)

and yes, i plan to keep telling myself that as long as i possibly can.

as my sister once observed... i live in my own little world. and it's okay - they know me here. :)

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

wow, it's wednesday?!

i can't quite believe it's wednesday already. the weekend is shaping up to be a busy one, with writing-related activities that continue through monday. today we're celebrating baby jake's birthday (for a truly poignant birthday blog, please read meg's, here) with a few balloons and a birthday cake.

in terms of progress on the house projects, the new fixtures for meg's bathroom are sitting on the driveway, and joe the builder is calling us back to let us know his schedule over the next few days. what joe says will determine my plan of attack over the next few weeks.

however, tomorrow my friend karin is coming over to help paint libby's room.... assuming libby can pick a color, and by next week, libby's new look should be completed... i'll post pictures when it's done.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

back from the Big Apple

we're home. the puppies are snoozing in the sun, libby's cuddled up on the couch. Beloved is romping through Pimpworld, and the yankees play at 7.

it's been a great weekend so far, even though it had it's moments.

once again, i was disappointed by the Dream Hotel. other than the erotic murals on the walls, there's absolutely nothing to recommend the place as far as i can tell. the rooms are bare to the point of spartan, and the blue and white decor only makes them feel angular and cold. the furniture is black and silver, and all right angles - there's not a curve in ANYTHING - except the drape of the comforter over the bed. so that's not really a curve in my opinion - it's a softened right angle which just isn't the same. if this is really deepak chopra's idea of what a relaxing hotel room should be like, i have to seriously question if he really does understand as much as he obviously thinks he does.

the fact that the shower head had a coating of slime and there was a noticeable layer of dust under the console only heightened my determination that we not return. Beloved says he likes the place, but i think this is a case of him being led astray by the little brain below his belt. i think what he really likes are the erotic murals - but they're all in the public areas. the rooms - which is what i think matters in a hotel - totally do not live up to anything promised.

on the other hand, we found a taxi just as we walked around the corner and we found seats at the bar at carmine's, that came complete with a bartender who kept us well supplied with just the right amount of food and drink before the play.

Beloved deserves a Best Long-Suffering Husband Award for the determination with which he threw himself into his attempt to enjoy hamlet. he seriously studied - reading all kinds of reviews and synopses to give himself a head's-up. unfortunately, where i found the lines like old friends, Beloved finds them as clear as old crud. so he tried - i could see he tried, and he only nodded out a couple times before intermission. things get livelier in the second half - ophelia goes crazy, hamlet rolls around with his mother on her bed, people start to die.

was there any part you liked at all, i asked wistfully as we strode through the crowd like fortinbras through denmark.

oh i loved the ending, said Beloved. it reminded me of your books.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Friday, October 9, 2009

practically perfect in every way

... that's what yesterday was. it was sunny and warm and breezy and bright. i walked the puppies up and down the driveway a couple times in my new super-sneakers. the orthotics make the shoes so comfy i can't wait to fully break them in and get back to my walking routine. neither, i think, can buddy - who needs to lose at least 30 pounds. (oh, for the life of one of my dogs.)

i gathered a big basket of pine cones, and a few herbs. there's a patch of thyme growing obligingly by the front path - i'm going to dig it up and bring it in. i finished painting meg's closet and began putting things away in it - neatly. it's coming together really well. the stuff for the bathroom has already been delivered and we just need to coordinate with joe the builder.

i think i discovered an elderberry bush growing in front of the house - i need to take some pictures to confirm it with my herbalist friends before i get too many crazy ideas in my head. i spent some time singing and playing the piano, and considering my writing. i took another look at the introduction to the Angel manuscript and think i may make a few tweaks. i went to bed with a tummy full of warm milk and puff pastry twists.

in fact, it was such a nice day yesterday, i'll take another twenty years or so, please :).

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the Angels on empaths and "brown" foods...

Empaths are getting a lot of press lately. Lately almost everyone I know claims to be one. One even showed up on this season's Ghost Whisperer. (I used to love that show - used to being the operative phrase.)

An empath is someone who is extraordinarily sensitive to the feelings of others AND is able to transmute those feelings into something better. You leave the presence of an empath feeling better about yourself or your life, often for some reason you can't quite name. Empaths are like deep sea sponges saturated with so much divine love and grace it leaks out to everyone. Not much frightens them because nothing shakes the inward connection they have to the Divine.

Such truly evolved empaths are still relatively rare. However, ALL people have the ability to develop their empathy skills - empathy, after all, is a fundamental part of our human nature. Children who fail to develop empathy turn into serial killers, narcissists, and sociopaths. Part of the "Big Waking Up" as the Angels sometimes call the process we are all going through is that more and more of us are aware of our empathic abilities.

Newly aware empaths will sometimes turn to foods - specifically brown foods* full of cushioning fats and softening sweets - to create a natural buffer between themselves and a world they feel too intensely. This is why many lightworkers, especially as they begin to develop their abilities, develop some extra cushioning. Women at menopause typically put on a few extra pounds for many reasons, and among them is that psychically, a woman is entering her most sensitive time of life.

The energy of brown foods is grounding. Some indigenous cultures believe that infants, until they're weaned or turn a certain age, aren't fully "human" and may not even give them names. What this reflects is that until a child eats "brown" food, his energy body is not fully anchored into his flesh.

Just as under our skins, we have a kind of spider-man suit called the fascia which holds us all together, there's a similiar layer of energy that connects the energy body into the physical body. This layer is directly nourished by brown foods energetically, so eating brown foods literally grounds us into our own flesh. (No wonder eating too many of them will make us fat faster than any other kind of food!)

Thus, all evolving empaths must learn to fill themselves not with brown foods or other people's emotions but with an awareness of the Divine Love that emanates from the spark of Spirit within all of us. If you completely saturate a sponge with clean water, it can't pick up anything else.

An evolved empath lifts the energy all around her, and is not brought down by the presence of negative or sad or depressing people. Such a person might never ENJOY those people's company, but she is not affected personally.

Therefore, it's especially important for empathic people to pay close attention to the brown foods they eat and to eat brown foods with awareness of the kind of energy they contain. Wholesome grains and starches provide not just fuel for what we do in the world, but also energy to nourish the connection between our physical bodies and soul-bodies as well.

*brown foods include grains and starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

amazing advice...

... from one sister to another. i couldn't have said this stuff better myself... Meg In Ireland...and then go read Ask Annie over at Sited & Blogged....

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

blue-blankie blue

when i was very little, i had a blanket. it was blue, and very soft, and over the years, the color faded to a soft shade of bluish gray and the flannel felt as fluid as silk. my blanket went with me to england and to college, folded small, tucked in a drawer, but always somewhere near. i brought my first three babies home in it.

when meg was born, i didn't think i'd have any more children, and so i let her have it, as "her" blankie. if anyone loved the blankie more than me, it was meg.

until one weekend when she was three, her father took her and her older siblings off on a camping trip. meg took her blankie, mostly because she took it everywhere. she didn't come back with it, mostly because her father, who knew how much she loved it, made sure it "disappeared." never mind that it was MY blankie, too.

meg and i both cried for the blankie, but i took comfort in the fact the blankie had been left behind in a forest, where it would decompose and go back to the ground, and perhaps, warm a bunny or maybe a baby bird.

this week, i've started work on meg's room. we've moved beyond planning and packing and into painting. today i started on her closet. the only hint im giving is... blue-blankie blue.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Monday, October 5, 2009

granny annie cooks

this afternoon, i hosted a dear friend for lunch. although i'd made plans with her a while ago, on saturday, my friend's mom died. although the lady in question was in her 90's, and my friend was as well-prepared as anyone could be, i could sense that my friend's entire energy system was reeling under the hit. so, mindful that her root and heart chakras were experiencing the brunt, i prepared this meal for us to share.

butternut squash-apple soup:
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
6 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 box (32 oz) vegetable broth
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup light cream

in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray or rubbed with olive oil, saute the onion and garlic in butter until tender. add the squash, apple, broth and thyme. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 - 50 minutes until squash is tender. using a potato masher, mash the squash and apple. add a tablespoon or so to the cream. heat the cream in the microwave for 30 - 45 second. add to soup slowly. once you add the cream, do not allow to boil.

grilled bacon, tomato and sweet basil sandwiches:
lightly toast four slices of bread. layer broad whole basil leaves, tomato slices and one and a half strips of oscar mayer prepared bacon. brush outside of bread with olive oil and grill in 2 -3 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until the outside is brown and crispy and the basil is wilted.

apple-almond crisp:
peel and slice four granny smith apples. arrange in buttered pie pan. top with a crumb mixture of 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup oats, 1 stick softened butter, 1/2 brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon. sprinkle 1/4 cup slivered almonds over all and bake at 375 for 25- 30 minutes. serve warm with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or clotted cream.

to complete the rainbow, and soothe both our souls, i served lavender tea.

sometimes you just have to brag...

here's a post my irish moo wrote... made me cry, even...Meg In Ireland...

weekend wrap-up

i got a lot done this weekend, considering i spent all saturday having fun and hanging out with my friend. libby's desk and bookcase are painted, stenciled, polyurethaned AND put away neatly in her room with all her stuff. i can see that the interior of the desk shelves might benefit from being painted the same color as her walls - which she decided on... thank goddess.

the boys got all the other furniture moved and sorted. this week im painting meg's closet. i decided i'll start there and work out. my son in law will come and help me do the prep and finishing work, but first i have to make some room.

this week im working on chapter four of Eating... the Angel Way and interviewing the fourth of my main characters. so far im finding Rachel and Evie most intriguing.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

what i'm making...

... is progress. slowly, but surely.

i have a list of all the furniture that needs to go to the storage unit. i have a list of all the furniture i intend to repaint/refinish through the month of october (and it's formidable, but the first item is done, the second item is in the process of being stenciled, the third item has its paint purchased, and its final look planned, and as for the others... those are all for meg and so im not saying much more than that.)

in terms of meg's room (meg, stop reading this and skip to tomorrow's blog) i have... the comforter, the accent pillows, the curtain fabric, the valance and bedskirt fabric, a color scheme, a list of furniture that's going by-by, a list of furniture that's moving, and a floor plan.

libby needs to pick a paint color. i'm formulating a plan of attack that includes the use of a truck and the help of strong young men.

i have three of my five character interviews begun, and three more to do. my reiki practice continues to grow, slowly but surely, even into places i never thought it would. at the event in cromwell this morning, i happened to sit next to a woman who did promotions for a living. big ones.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed, blessed be.