Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lego my ego

An insightful reader stimulated discussion and prompted me to clarify and expand upon my previous post. The enlightened reader suggested that when he meditates, he is disinterested in his usual thoughts. He indicated that thoughts are the ego, intruding and distracting. Yes, I believe this is so. 


If one does as he suggests, and engages in uninterest then the Reiki should flow appropriately. That's why I go into a meditative state when I share Reiki energy; and I advocate that for others. I might see images or visions, and I let them flow. I might try to remember them so I can examine and write about them. I like to look for patterns. But this is my own amusement. 


If the Reiki practitioner focuses on his/her own visions, thoughts, or advice, for the purpose of instructing the client, then the ego is taking over. Instead, the practitioner should support the client finding and following his/her own path. Listen to and support the client. 


During a session: just do Reiki. Uninvite your ego. Relax, focus on the symbols, and place your hands. Check to be sure your client is comfortable. Share Reiki. Assess your client's comfort again; check your hand placement. Observe subtle changes in your own patterns. Listen, breathe, assess, repeat. Reiki! 

Reiki and ego

Are you the High Priestess of Reiki? Do you do things no one else can do, tell clients secrets no one else knows? Maybe you have special powers.

Or maybe you have professional boundary issues.

Huh?

Do you hang out with your clients? Develop social relationships with them? Maybe you're popular. Or maybe you have boundary issues.

Are you there to listen, support, and facilitate health? Or are you there because you need to be needed: your clients make you feel powerful and special. Who does most of the talking during the Reiki session: you or your client? Do you interrupt your client to share your visions and messages, or do you listen to the client describe images and impressions?

A professional boundary: that's the line between a helping relationship and a co-dependent one.

Is your practice about your ego or your client's health? Please be careful. Examine your practice. Make 2012 a time to improve your therapeutic skills. Go back to school. Study therapeutic communication techniques and professional ethics.

Use silence. Listen, and reflect back what you hear from your clients. Support their interpretations of their own visions: their individual journeys.

Reiki practice stimulates spiritual growth in the energy of love and light. Ethical and competent Reiki practice between a practitioner and a client should be a therapeutic relationship, where the practitioner helps the client achieve optimal health. It's about helping a person realize his or her own powerful potential.

Let's lighten up in 2012.

Happy New Year!

2012. What's up?

Will the Earth ascend to the 5th dimension? Or will it fry, drown, and blow away with climate changes? Or both... Will people open up, become enlightened, remember and reintegrate their whole selves; will they become more connected? Or will people hoard, fight, and commit violent acts?

I have hope and faith. I believe there will be big wonderful changes. Wishing you love and light in 2012.


Friday, December 30, 2011

cave breathing

... helps me relax. When I start doing Reiki, I often take a couple of cave breaths. Do you?

I open the back of my throat and breathe like Darth Vader. Helps to empty my mind. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

it's what's for dinner

Really, isn't food the most boring topic? Don't you hate to hear people list off what they will and won't eat? I do.

Pics on the other hand. I like pics of food. I like see what you're having for dinner.

That said, be prepared to be bored, or simply click away right now. Because I feel compelled to explain. Why? Partly the looks I get, the reaction to my meals and my cooking, and partly because it does seem to be a topic that interests people. Here goes.

I like nuts, seeds, berries, roots, fruits, tofu, tempeh, and all kinds of beans. Breakfast is oatmeal, eggs, blueberries, or yoghurt with walnuts and maple syrup. Lunch and dinner is beans and brassicas. I like dark chocolate, black coffee, green tea, and red wine. I try to eat local, organic, and raw. Perfectly normal, right?

So why do my coworkers stare at my lunch, grimace, and say, "What's that?" And why isn't there a word for that thing they do: they make a face like they're about to hurl.

What's that?   "Cabbage," I respond.

"Raw cabbage?" in disbelief.

"Yes," I respond slowly and clearly. "Like coleslaw."

"But where's the mayonnaise?" in continued disbelief and nausea.

"No mayonnaise. Cabbage with raspberry vinegar, chia and sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, walnuts, and avocado."

"Chia seeds?"

You see how it goes? So many explanations. It's easier to eat at my desk and answer emails than to face the questions and disgust in the lunch room. And frankly, their lunches disgust me too. Bony pieces of meat, processed microwaved mush, leftovers microwaved in plastic, or stinky greasy fast food.

There, either you read all the way through or clicked off ages ago in boredom, disgust, or nausea. Yeah, should have simply posted a pic of what's for dinner. Care for a falafel ball?

cold in Maine

December 29 and it's cold.

Forecast: windchill of twenty below tonight. Just checked handy online temp conversion: -20F degrees is -28C. Either way: cold.

We had three big snowstorms here, and all three melted away in abnormal warmth. We had rain two nights ago. This is odd weather for Maine in December. Usually we get a snowstorm in late Nov or early Dec, and that snow stays til April.

My sons (and one girlfriend) are in Portland, Maine tonight. I hope they stay inside, stay put, stay warm, and stay safe. 

winter break 2011

... is going by way too fast. I had big plans to write a scholarly article, join a local gym, and paint my bathroom.

Instead I spent time with family: ostensibly resting and relaxing; but actually shopping, wrapping, driving, cooking, serving, cleaning, and facilitating the happiness of others. I answered work emails daily, went in to work three days, and traveled other days. I haven't spent a full day at home the whole time.

I learned some new board games: Apples to Apples and Catan. I read The Descendants (SO good), and started Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (excellent). Changed oil in car, washed car, saw a few friends, and checked on my assisted living facility.

So I've kept busy and connected. But no article, no gym, and my bathroom remains baby boy blue. 

Reiki stance, Reiki dance

Yesterday during our Reiki afternoon at the outpatient center, I watched the four other practitioners. I watched how they sat or stood, where they placed their hands, and how they moved.

One stood at the client's head. Her eyes were closed and sometimes her lips moved slightly, as though she was reciting something.

Another practitioner stood across from me. Her eyes were closed too. Sometimes her hips swayed side to side, in a Reiki dance, to music only she could hear.

I took a wide stance, to lower myself a bit. I tensed and relaxed my muscles and stretched my neck to my shoulders. When I thought of the symbols my face spontaneously lifted to the sky: Sun and stars.

The other two practitioners demonstrated slow, gentle, and deliberate movements.

When it was time to change hand positions, we made eye contact, smiled, and readjusted. I noticed that at beginning and end, several made Gassho motions.

That's it for the Reiki stance, Reiki dance. Someday I'll write about Reiki breath. 

Reiki hands

I worked with four Reiki practitioners yesterday. We spent the afternoon sharing Reiki energy with clients at an outpatient center.

One practitioner was a relatively new Level 1. As we walked out into the cold evening wind, she stared at her hands in wonder and told me that she could feel the symbols in her hands.  She said she started to feel them after her attunement.

I thought about how my hands pulse with energy when I share Reiki. I thought about the rush of heat that blossoms along my spine. I thought about how people tell me that my hands burn, palpable through jeans and sweaters.

Reiki hands. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

lights

Some people walk a long ways with you. Some people run for a short time. Some people light up your path momentarily. 

Reiki

What could be more rewarding? It's my favorite part of my life. I feel immense gratitude when I get to share Reiki energy.

It's a time to relax, give, and meditate on health and possibility. It heals you and me. We meet, share a moment of connection and agape, and say goodbye.

Reiki. I'm here for you. I will witness your struggles, your pain, and your persistence. You are fighting cancer. You got yourself here and you open yourself to the possibility of insight. Thank you and best wishes. 

One word: plastics

Dude in The Graduate, "Just one word: plastics."

Revolutionary word, amazing product of my youth. Made of oil. Now there's way too much of it. It's in my clothes, food, and furniture. It's in our oceans and soil. We package everything in plastic. It blows through city alleys and along country roads. It swirls in a giant vortex in the Pacific. Too much plastic.

new practitioners

Experienced Reiki this afternoon.

I worked with 3 new practitioners and 3 clients; demonstrating the paperwork and process for the new practitioners. The practitioners are awesome: experienced, compassionate, humble, and intelligent. Beautiful souls, full of gratitude and dedicated to service to others. The clients were awesome also, brave beautiful souls.

The clients relaxed as we gathered around and placed our hands. Pretty sure I heard some snores. From the table, not the practitioners. I felt my heart open and ironically imagined rainbows, unicorns, and glitter pouring out. Candy canes too. It amused me to imagine this. I felt pulsations in my hands as I held them over elbows and knees.

Afterwards it was all hugs and smiles. Reiki. What could be better?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

hopes for 2012

Despite horrific stories in the news, weather anomalies, and economic difficulties...
despite blinding sunlight changing to flat cold white light today,
despite misunderstandings, unmoorings, excessive solitude, and monotony...

I have hopes for 2012.

I hope to love, learn, laugh, and serve. I hope for long stretches of contentment and moments of joy. I hope for peace, health, prosperity, and enlightenment for all living beings.

I think that following the Reiki principles is a good way to get there. So here they are, as rewritten by a group of my Reiki students.

Just for today, forgive.
Just for today, have faith.
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.
Earn your living honestly, in a way that benefits others.
Respect and be grateful for all living beings, and all things have life: people, animals, plants, rocks, and planets. Everything.

Monday, December 26, 2011

faux- Pucci

Went to Reny's and bought several pairs of suave magnifiers. That's right, reading glasses. They're bright Pucci-like colors and patterns. I can see! Hey, who're you calling old?

Sugarloaf, games

Best part of the family vacation: the games. We played board games: talked, told stories, and laughed.

We played Apples, Spoons, Cranium, and Catan. Yeah, we sat on soft couches in front of the fireplace, drank beer, and played games. Fun times. 

Sugarloaf, the condo

Inside, the condo is three stories. 

The living room has a cathedral ceiling, three stories high. I'm sitting on the couch, in front of the fireplace. There are bookshelves full of literature and trashy novels, a TV, tables and lamps, and posters of Swiss ski slopes.

The kitchen has everything you need: the usual dishes and appliances. There's a deck off the kitchen. From there you can watch the newbies on the bunny slope.

Sitting here I can see into the kitchen and the second and third floors. There are two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, and steep steps, a ladder really, to the third floor. There are three twin beds tucked into a gable on the third floor. A triangular window is cut into the wall there; to allow light, heat, and smiling faces to poke through. 

Sugarloaf, the community

It's one of the older condos, well-lived in, well-loved.

Right beside the bunny slope; we can see chairlifts, the big hotel, and the main lodge. We can look uphill and see the trails, cut into the forest. We can see lots of condos, tucked into the pines.
It's a fun community. You drive to your condo and then you leave your car. Now you walk, ride, and ski everywhere you need to go. We can walk a few feet, then ski to a lift. We can ski right to the door of the condo. We can walk to shops, bars, and restaurants. We can walk around the neighborhood, admiring the homes and condos, the pond and pump station that supply some of the snow guns.


Sugarloaf, Pizza

So the dog and I walked around Sugarloaf village. I marveled at the engineering. A stream ran through the village: bound by boulders, cement walls, and culverts. Small bridges arced over the stream and restaurant windows jutted over it. Chairlifts everywhere, wide rivers of white tracked down the mountain, and shuttle buses looped from parking lots to ticket windows.

I heard laughter and shouts overhead. "Look! A dog!" some children shouted.

The children. There were hordes of them, all dressed in shiny colorful pants and jackets, helmets, boots, and iridescent goggles. They came up the slope on a trailer bench, towed by a snowmobile. They whizzed down, instructors shouting, "Pizza! Pizza! Make your pizza!"

Pizza, that means point your ski tips together, digging in the inner edges. That slows you down. That's the beginner's stance. 

Sugarloaf

We spent Christmas at a ski slope: Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. I found the place on VBRO.com
- and emailed the owner. Easy.

Myrtle, my GPS, brought me right to the condo. It was dark, so I had no idea where we were in relation to the slopes. Morning came; it always does. I could see 2 chairlifts out the window, and some buildings. People dressed in bright colored puffy suits floated past our windows, heads sheathed in plastic, boards dangling from their feet. People whizzed past the deck, laughing.

A small ravine, with a stream at the bottom, separated us from the slope. I walked out the door and up the hill a few feet and found a wooden bridge across the ravine. I stepped onto the ski slope and watched people cruise by. I looked up the mountain. Snow guns blasted clouds of vapor and trails striped up to the top where the sun blazed through the arctic air. Floating metal benches hustled skiers and riders up up and up. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

kale

Greens. So good, so good for you.

Kale, bok choy, spinach, beet greens. I like them sauteed with garlic and olive oil. I grow my greens or buy them at the farmer's market: local, organic.

My son drinks kale juice. I went to a juice bar with him. "I go every day after work," he told me.

We walked in. An attractive young woman offered me a taste of "Ocean Breeze." I figured the attractive young women were what pulled my son into the shop. Ocean Breeze was a frothy orange sip of mango and coconut. Sublime.

He ordered kale and ginger juice with a side of wheat grass. One of the attractive young women stuffed kale and hunks of ginger into a blender. The concoction was brown and lumpy. Oh, really? "Try it," he offered. Let's just say it wasn't Ocean Breeze. This is the son who ate only ramen and cereal as a child. Then she put a chunk of grass into the blender. She handed him a shot glass of green liquid grass. I tried that too. Also not Ocean Breeze.

Kale juice. My son drinks kale juice. 

serenity

I saw a friend in the grocery store yesterday. When she saw me she gasped and smiled. She said, "Oh good! I need me some serenity. Give me some!" She reached out her hands.

Then we compared groceries. She had kale, I had bok choy. I had smoked salmon, she said, "Oh I forgot the smoked trout." I had an assortment pack of local beer. "Oh, my husband would love that," she said.

My sons are coming. I bought grapefruit, bagels and cream cheese, and coffee. I'm going to make a stir-fry with  the bok choy, garlic, tofu, cauliflower, and carrots. I took a day off from work to get ready for Christmas. I walked with the dog, picked up a couple of last minute presents, walked with the dog again, shopped for groceries, and wrapped the last things. It was 50 degrees and sunny. I did some yoga and some Reiki. I enjoyed every moment.

Now it's cold and snowing: a white Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012

It's kind of a crazy world these days with freakish weather, protesters rising and dictators falling, tsunami wreckage washing up on Washington beaches, seals dead of avian flu, and world economies failing. A fraction of the 1% hold most of the money and power. Many people are struggling to survive.

Scientists have created a deadly form of the avian flu. What were they thinking? Methane bubbles are effervescing from melting polar ice-hastening global warming. Global storms. There's a young mother dying of cancer, days before Christmas. There's another mother grieving for her lost son, drinking too much, and wondering how she's going to survive the pain and weight of her grief. It's raining in Maine at the end of December. Pansies are blooming; it's 50 degrees. Crazy changing world.

Almost 2012. What will happen? Will there be a grand transmutation of our world? Maybe people will wake up and remember, maybe they will see more clearly. Maybe it's not too late to save Earth and her inhabitants.

Me, I still hope. I hope and believe in the power of love, light, and laughter. Reiki energy is part of that power. I share Reiki with anyone who wants it, anyone who asks. I love to teach Reiki to others and to share with other practitioners. I practice self-Reiki daily. I'm hoping the power of Reiki will calm and uplift our energies in 2012.

If Reiki isn't for you, then do something similar. Meditate, pray, do yoga, dance, or climb a mountain. Hang out with best friends and family: people who make you laugh. Volunteer, donate, give back, be an activist. Make a difference in 2012.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Monster High

Ever heard of it? I hadn't. I needed Christmas presents for my niece. Really she's my 1st-cousin-once-removed, but it's just easier to call her my niece.

She's 8 and lives in New York City. Sue, at work, told me about Monster High. Sue's granddaughter is 8 and lives in Maine. "Their hands come off," Sue told me.

So I looked. I found, bought, and wrapped.

She ripped open and shrieked with delight. "Monster High!"

We spent the evening assembling and dressing monsters. Not just hands; their heads, arms, and legs come off. Hair too. Their parts are interchangeable. They have trendy clothes: glitter, mini-skirts, and way high heels. They have impossibly long thin limbs and glossy black tresses with pink streaks. They also have fangs and fins. Other than that, they're like Barbies.

I filled a Christmas stocking with a Charlie Brown's Christmas DVD, goldfish crackers, and candy. Oh, I got her a shiny pink wig too, sequined gloves, and patent leather heels. She loved it all, and I loved her excitement. 

lobster omelet


Christmas shopping

Went Christmas shopping today. Well, not really shopping. More like Christmas walking.

My cousin and her daughter came to visit. They live in New York City, and came to Maine for the weekend. Last night we ate popcorn and opened Christmas presents. We had a slumber party. This morning we drove to Portland and had breakfast at Micah's restaurant.

It was sunny and cold. No wind. Temps in the low 20s: cold.

Micah is a cook in a restaurant in a beautiful hotel in the Old Port in Portland. I had a lobster omelet (3 claws and cheese), my cousin had bacon & eggs, and her daughter had chocolate chip pancakes with real maple syrup. She had hot chocolate too, while my cousin and I drank lots of hot coffee. We left a huge tip.

We got Fluff out of the car (warm with sunshine) and walked around the Old Port, looking in shop windows. We didn't buy anything. Then it was time for them to leave. We hugged and cried. They headed back to the city. Fluff and I walked more. We looked at yachts, wrapped in plastic for the winter. We saw seagulls. There were lots of shoppers. Women wore tight jeans, knee-high boots, and puffy jackets. Men wore jeans, sneakers, and puffy jackets. We walked.

I got cold so we started for home. I wanted to walk more, so I detoured to the Maine Mall. There, I wandered through crowds, glancing at merchandise. Sweaters, jewelry, boots, iPads, cameras, shoes, candy, and coffee. I saw Bob Marley, the comedian, selling and signing CDs. I saw teenage girls looking at cell phones.I saw gangs of teenage boys, still wearing those low pants. I didn't buy anything, I just walked.

Going up the escalator in Macy's, my hands started to tingle. Reiki. My body flushed with heat. Reiki? Why here? Why now?

I looked at towels, coffee makers, crystal goblets, dishes, forks, knives, and spoons. I looked around for someone who needed Reiki. Everywhere, preoccupied Christmas shoppers. Everywhere, people with lists in their heads: lists of people and things.

Then I thought of the dog in the cold. Retraced my steps, found the car. Again, the sun had warmed the interior of the car. Back on the turnpike; back home. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

congratulations, graduates

Went to a graduation ceremony tonight, in a church on a hill in the city. Drove on dark streets past homes covered with gleaming Christmas lights, and a tree adorned with Christmas balls the size of those exercise balls you see in the gym. The ones you sit on.

Thin wooden cutout angels hung from the church ceiling; big ones, like 10 feet tall. There was a tree, covered with angels: doll angels, paper angels, and feathered angels. The ceiling and windows were cut at odd angles. I didn't see a cross or bloody crucified Jesus anywhere. There was another Christmas tree in the common room, covered with tiny colored lights. The kitchen was worn and well-stocked with utensils and dishes: a friendly meeting place.

The graduates were dressed in white. Each woman carried a red long-stem rose. The men wore rose boutonnieres. There were speeches and archaic rituals. People prayed and wept. Then it was over and we drove home on dark rainy streets. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

six pack

of good books.

Looking for that perfect gift for the reader who loves science, romance, mystery, and fear? Here ya go: Mark LaFlamme.   Check out his six pack: Box of Lies (my fav), Asterisk (love this one), Vegetation (you like plants? they like you?), The Pink Room (you'll melt at this combo romance and quantum physics), Dirt (what?), and his latest, Delirium Tremens (started it, got scared, will try again; I dare you to read it).

LaFlamme is good and keeps getting better. His images will stick in your eyeballs, plots will twist around in your brain, and his characters will linger in your heart.

Where to start? You could go chronologically, yeah. I rec you start with my fav, the box. BOL a holiday treat for your mind and soul. 

olive oil and parmesan cheese

make anything edible.

Air-popped popcorn, rice cakes, pasta, or steamed cauliflower: all become edibly delish with the addition of olive oil and parm. The dog loves it too. She stands in front of me with her big brown eyes, mindmelding, intuiting, telepathing her wish to share.

Olive oil. Last check of my lipids was rosy. The good fat (HDL) was high and the bad (LDL) was low. Popeye was right. 

electric blanket

Love it. Love to stretch out, toes warm. But I wake up cold, blanket off.

Does it turn itself off after 10 hours? Or if it overheats? Maybe my hot flashes overpower it: short circuit. Or my hawtness. Or perhaps I turn it off in my sleep. It's a mystery.

you may be a winner....

... and I am!

We had a contest at work. We decorated our office doors for Christmas. My office mate said, "Let's go all out, over the top, to the max, and win this thing!"

I said, "Yeah," with equal parts wan enthusiasm and fervent reservation. I reached for my wallet. "Here's $10, go for it!"

"Oh, I don't need your money, I have tons of decorations at home," she replied.

We're also doing Secret Santa at work. We pick names and buy modest gifts for each other. We reveal ourselves at the Christmas party. My Secret Santa gave me a small fuzzy Christmas stocking full of chocolate. Great! I ate the chocolate and taped the stocking to our door. Then my Secret Santa gave me a Santa pin. I poked it onto the sock. For extra festiveness I dug into a desk drawer and found a candy cane from last Christmas. I stuck it into the sock. The sock fell off the door and the candy cane broke. I taped it back together.

My office mate never got around to decorating our door. Hey, we're busy. We work all week and weekends too. We work from 6 or 7 am til dark. She just didn't get to it.

Voting Day arrived. The students had ballots and were instructed to wander the halls and judge our doors. There were two categories: Most Festive (creative and cheery!) and Charlie Brown (pitiful and pathetic, but hey, you tried).

On our door was the small stocking with the Santa pin and broken candy cane.

I joked that in our great American political tradition I would stand in my doorway passing out dollar bills and asking for their votes. Or I would stuff the ballot box. Or I would pass out candy and beg for votes. In the end I did nothing.

Other doors had lights, posters, family photos, grinning Santas, fiberoptic trees, and blinking snowflakes.

Oh yeah, we won the Charlie Brown award. Prize: a bag of microwave popcorn. Woo hoo!

Merry Christmas: Lucy, Linus, Charlie Brown, Shroeder, PigPen, and Snoopy :o)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

tire

Left rear.

Yesterday was a long day, started early and finished late. So I zipped home at lunch to let the dog out. Spent two glorious minutes in the sun and fresh air while Fluff ambled around the yard. Got out of my car back at work and there was a car behind me. Older couple, window down, the man yelled across his wife, "Your tire is slack."

"Thank you so much," I called back. I looked. Yes, left rear. It bubbled down to the pavement.

I stopped at my office to shed my coat and grab a box of cookies. Chocolate espresso, from the Farmer's Market. Dark crunchy chocolate. Mike's office: Mike, Dana, and Denise.

"Trade you these cookies for help with my tire," I offered to the three of them.

"Open your car door...." Dana started to tell me, then wilted. She was sick, and on her way home. "Count me out," said Denise, slurping a creamy iced coffee. I turned to Mike, fearing he would say, "Fix your own tire." He said something like that. Panic rose. Seems like I used to put air in my bicycle tires when I was a kid. That was a long time ago. I knew the general concept, of course, tires need air. But the details, the exact process...unknown.

Mike saw my panic. "Come on," he said, grabbing his coat.

We drove to the gas station around the corner. $1.00 for air. A dollar? You have to pay for air? I didn't remember that from my childhood. "I have quarters!" I informed Mike. I looked on my car door, as Dana said. "36 PSI," I said.

He was determined to teach me, and make me do it myself. "Take the cap off, put that on there, and the gauge will pop out."

I was scared the tire would explode, but I did it. The gauge didn't pop out. "It's broken." Mike grabbed the air hose from my hand and applied it himself. He put in some air, then laid down the hose and stepped back to look at the right rear, comparing. He added more air. Then more. Suddenly the gauge popped out. 20.

"Look at that! It was so low it didn't even register," Mike said. He added more air, got it up to 30. "You've either got a nail in your tire or the valve is broken," he said. We went back to work, but Mike wouldn't take the cookies.

I drove home after work, worried the tire would explode. This morning it looked low. I called my tire guy and made an appointment for Saturday morning. I worked all day and Mike walked out to look at the tire after work. "It's a nail," he said. "I see it, right there."

I got down on the ground and I saw it too. I drove to the local tire place. It looked deserted. Was it open? It was. The guy was friendly. "That's a bad place to keep your nails!" he said.

"Can you fix it today?" I asked.

"Well, we can't do it right now," he said slowly... "but we can do it in 10 minutes," he grinned. Badaboom.

I sat in the waiting room with the day's newspaper and a TV blaring entertainment news. It took about half an hour and cost $25. Fixed! Cancelled my Saturday appointment. Nothing exploded. Ready for adventures.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

60

Sixty degrees.

The thermostat, 60: that's where it's at. I'm trying to spend less on oil. More on electricity, I guess, because I bought an electric blanket. If I can get into a warm bed, then I can keep the thermostat down. What about EMFs? I scorned electric blankets back in the day, when I had other ways to warm my bed. EMFs can cause cancer, right? Or have there been dramatic developments in the field of electric blankets?

All I know is, my house is cold. My bed is warm. 

Reiki: neXt gen

Amazing how something unexpected can renew your faith and hope.

I spent the evening with teens. Some were ill, some had lost a parent, and some had a parent with an illness. So what? All were teens. All were vibrant, beautiful, and curious.

They seemed restless, so we did some yoga. Tree. Not all could. Chair yoga is fine, or modified.

Turned out the lights. We meditated. They sprawled on the floor and conked out. I told them it was Ok to giggle. So they didn't. They found comfortable positions and didn't move.

Then self-Reiki. Mitten hands, not glove. One stayed in her curled up meditation position. One opted out; pulled out phone and texted. That's OK. Everyone else placed hands over eyes, ears, jaw, throat, chest, belly, and legs.

Last. Shared Reiki. First they paired up, hands on backs. Then they spontaneously made lines of 3 or 4 and did group Reiki. I went around and added to the energy. Amazing, the heat they were putting out.

It was quiet and peaceful. The ventilation system kicked in and they gasped. That's how quiet it was.

Thank you, teen group. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

small business Saturday

Shopping? Love it. Love to lose myself in aisles of shiny objects. I like to wander marble malls with escalators, skylights, and fountains. I like to look at people and fashion.

But crowds, big box stores, competitive parking, and frantic shoppers. Plastic (oil) crap made in China with lead and who knows what other toxins, wrapped in plastic (oil) and bagged in plastic (oil), no thanks. Sorry, The Graduate.

Online shopping? Easy and convenient, especially for distant friends and family. No wrapping, no trek to the post office. You can't beat LL Bean for customer service, quality items, and free shipping. Check out their solar products, winter boots, and snowshoes. Sweaters and long underwear. Pancakes and maple syrup.

Holidays. Me? I give to charity, volunteer, and buy homemade at craft fairs. I bought lots of rocks and handmade jewelry at craft fairs this season. I bought quilted stuff, candles, and local honey. Check out Etsy for gorgeous crafted items. We adopted a family at work, and I made posters; I wrote a big check. I'm determined to get to OccupyPortlandME and share Reiki.

Homemade. You can make your own bath salts. The legal kind; they go in the bathtub, not your nose or vein. Go to the grocery store and buy a box of kosher salt. It's chunky. Go to your health food store and buy essential oils. Make or buy some attractive packaging: taffeta bags, interesting jars, or recycled tins. Add oil to salt and package. Woop. That easy.

Small Business Saturday. Think about it. Shop at locally-owned stores.
Grow your own. Make it. Give yourself.
And remember to stop and enjoy people, laughter, and moments. Sing. Tune into joy.
Happy Holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice, and Boxing Day.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Wasn't sure til I woke up what I was doing on this major national holiday. I woke up and felt certain that I had to see my younger son, the one who lives in Maine. My older son lives in Pennsylvania, and was spending the holiday in Michigan. Too far to drive. But M lives just 45 minutes away, in Portland.

Really? Going to Portland? I thought about it as I shoveled snow off the deck, showered, and dressed up.

I ate an apple and a chunk of dark chocolate, drank a cup of coffee, and hit the road.

I knew he was working, so headed for his restaurant. Commercial Street was deserted: park anywhere. Old Port sidewalks also deserted, shops closed. I saw a woman pushing a legless man in a wheelchair. There were a few strolling couples and one pack of joggers.

I walked up the hill to M's restaurant, up the granite steps, and up the winding carpeted staircase. Inside was all wood, chandeliers, mirrors, and respectful staff. His restaurant is in a 4-star hotel. There's an outdoor courtyard with flowers and sculptures. They have an ice bar out there in the winter.

The dining room was full of sun. I asked for my son. "He's really busy," the hostess told me. "We have the Thanksgiving buffet today." She looked uncomfortable. "I think he gets out of work at 2. You could come back then." She hesitated. "Just a minute," she said, and turned to speak with the manager. She turned back to me. "You can sit at the bar. The buffet is down the hall," she smiled.

Thanksgiving buffet? Sit at the bar? Well, ok, I guess.

I wandered down the hall. I found a room full of long white tables and gleaming silver food containers. What do you call those things? The tops slide back and there are cans of flame beneath. Long handled silver spoons rested on white plates. Young men dressed in black stood at attention beside hunks of roasted meat. A family was there, filling plates. I grabbed a plate and bowl. Started with seafood chowder: shrimp, haddock, clams, and oysters in cream. Next was an enormous platter: chunks of cold salmon and strips of oysters were arranged artfully between broad purple cabbage leaves, on a base of asparagus mayonnaise. I looked to my left: a tray of raw oysters. There were five kinds of roasted meat and fish. There were sweet potato gnocchi, arugula and smoked trout with fig dressing, and cornbread stuffing. Brussels sprouts were shredded, sauteed, and adorned with oysters. Garlic mashed potatoes, lemon broccoli, corn on the cob, cranberry relish, cucumber salad, and mac & cheese.

There was a 6 foot table of breads and muffins. Another of cakes and pies. Diners drifted in behind me, exclaiming over the fare. M brought in a chocolate cake and hugged me. "Sorry I'm so busy. Happy Thanksgiving!" he wished me, and hustled back to the kitchen.

I went back to the bar and marveled. Every bite had about 10 distinct, subtle, and interesting flavors. Herbs, citrus, garlic, and salt.

"So what are you doing after this?" the waiter asked me. He wasn't asking me out, he was asking about Thanksgiving.

"Um, this is it," I replied. Then regretted it when I saw the surprise and pity on his face. I should have made a joke. "I'm having Thanksgiving with friends tomorrow," I added, stretching the truth a bit. Leftovers count, right? He looked relieved.

I wanted to go back for more but suddenly felt too shy. I left a huge tip. Fluff and I wandered around the cold sunny streets and waterfront. We looked at yachts, some were wrapped for winter. We saw fishing nets, lobster traps, and seagulls prowling inside fishing boats. I looked into store windows. I felt fuller as we walked.

Then I drove home and raked snow off my roofs. 

nook, kindle, or iPad?

Can't decide.

e Would like to trim down my library- have way too many books and they take up so much space. I love to read.

Paper But maybe my face is in a screen enough already. I like the feel and smell of paper. I like to read in the bathtub and in bed. At the beach.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving

The smell of roasting turkey, all day.

1 turkey, 2 pans of hot yeast rolls, 3 cousins dressed like Pilgrims, 4 kinds of cranberry sauce, 5 resin turkeys on the piano, 6 casseroles, 7 people in my family, 9 guests, 10 pies. 1 prayer before eating, 1 walk around the block after eating, 1 big bowl of whipped cream, 1 bowl of nuts, 2 nutcrackers, 2 tables (adult & kid), 2 football games, 2 bottles of wine (red & white),  3 games of pinochle.

We  had to stay out of the kitchen, all day. Some years we went out to camp for a lunch of oyster stew. We bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves, and sat near the roaring woodstove. We wandered outside, admiring the wet ground, bare trees, and cold grey pond. Then back to the stove, gloves off now, slurping hot creamy stew: crackers floating between the oily bubbles. Oysters: chew or swallow?

Back home. Dad watched football. He ran to the kitchen during commercials to baste the browning bird.

We dressed up, a little. Family and guests gathered. We set out bowls of nuts, olives, and carrot sticks in the living room. We set the table with linen, place cards, candles, goblets, good china, and silver. Napkin and fork on the left, knife and spoon on the right.

It was hot in the kitchen: oven and woodstove. Cold in the living room with football and snacks. Just right in the dining room between.

Kids ran, tumbled, and squealed. They banged on the piano. Relatives scooped them up for a quick squeeze. Men watched football and talked languidly in the living room. Women prepared vegetables, refilled wineglasses, and laughed in the kitchen.

Dinner. Turkey: dark or light meat? Who gets the wishbone? Make a wish. Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant parmesan, cinnamon rolls, broccoli, and green bean casserole. Yeast rolls, creamed onions, rice, and stuffing. Homemade pickles.

We all ate too much. So we bundled up again and went out; walked. It was dark and sometimes snowing. Our faces got cold. We walked until we shook the food down enough. Enough for dessert. We poured heavy cream into the mixer and turned it on. Add a pinch of sugar and a few drops of vanilla. Serve the pies. What's your favorite? Apple, cherry, pumpkin, rhubarb, mince, pecan, or blueberry? Chocolate? Glob on the whipped cream. Thought you were full before?

Then TV, card games, and talk of politics and travel.

Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

mushroom?

New theory on Fluff's seizure: a mushroom.

I was walking with Fluff this morning and chatted with some other dog people. I told the story of her seizure and our trip to the vet, the power outage.

"A mushroom," one suggested. "That can happen if they eat a mushroom."

My backyard is damp, there are mushrooms. It's fenced in, so Fluff can wander around. She could have eaten a mushroom. A neurotoxic fungi. She's all better, thank goodness.

Friday, November 18, 2011

quirk #152

Haircuts.

I hate having my hair cut. Always have. I remember my Uncle Roland telling me, "If you don't like it, make a fuss." How old was I then, 4? 6? We lived in Minneapolis and I think I was going to Great Aunt Amy's Dayton's department store for a chic big city haircut. I didn't like it. I made a fuss. A big fuss. Some people blamed Uncle Roland.

I don't like people in my space. I don't like to sit still. I don't like people fussing over me. I don't like leaning back into the sink, I don't like the smell of the shampoo, and I don't like the styling afterwards. I don't like paying all that money for something I could do myself. I don't like the way they cut my hair, and almost always come home in a snit and snip it more. Myself. My way.

So I had my hair cut today. It's been six months and I was quite shaggy. I mean, I've been chopping away at odd moments. Bangs in my eyes: snip snip. Too long in the back: chop. Feels dry: hack. Today I was walking fast in the mall and saw a hair place. Oh. I need a haircut. How long will it take, how much? Right away, $31. Too much; I walked out. Stopped. Went back, really needed a haircut.

"Let's sit and talk," she said. What? Talk? Panic! I'm outta here. Wait, really need a haircut. She lifted a handful of my hair and said, "You have too much bulk; it's not doing anything for you. I can fix that." Around my waist too?

I leaned back over the sink. She had fake nails and raked them across my scalp. The shampoo had a strong perfumey smell.She snipped delicately and raked the scissors over the ends, shagging them expertly. There wasn't much hair on the floor.  About a tablespoon -  for $31. She worked slowly and had a glum demeanor. Hurry up and get me out of here! I asked her about life. She recently broke up with her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years "What a waste of my time," because his mother was in all their business. She moved in with her grandmother. The boyfriend had custody of the 2 dogs and 2 cats. She was a full time student, community college, undeclared major, and part time haircutter. Six years experience cutting. Her father was a chef. He worked at a medical facility: nights, weekends, and holidays off. Good benefits.

I came home and chopped an inch off the bottom, shampooed out the shampoo, and combed it all back off my face. Whew, there, back to me.

I feel sorry for men. With your short hair, you must have to go quite often. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reiki principles. Just for this moment...

Went to a Reiki share tonight. It was wonderful, with some of my favorite people. It was peaceful yet powerful.

We talked about the Reiki principles, original and as rewritten by my Reiki students.

Here are the original principles. Are they from Usui or Hayashi? I'm not sure.

Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.
Earn your living honestly, in a way that benefits others.
Respect all life.

Here are the revised principles.

Just for today, forgive.
Just for today, have faith.
Honor your parents, teacher, and elders.
Earn your living honestly, in a way that benefits others.
Respect and show gratitude to all living things, everything.

Then we got talking about the pace of modern life.
Perhaps instead of "Just for today" we should say, "Just for this moment"...
what do you think?

Reiki for Fluff

She doesn't usually like it, but she accepted some Reiki last night. She usually shrugs it off after a few minutes. Maybe she's too weak to refuse, but she shared Reiki for a long time last night.

Today she's even better. Her eyes are bright and young. She ran around the yard a little, and jumped up onto the couch. I fried eggs for her, and added parmesan cheese. She loves cheese.

Now I'm grateful for every day with her. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fluff improves

She's better! Her eyes are bright and aware. She can  walk, go up and down stairs, and jump on the couch. She remembered how to eat. She walked around the yard and didn't plop down once.

I worked 6 am to 1 pm today; I thought about her all day. My boss gave me tomorrow off to take Fluff to the vet. To put her down. But she's better.

I made her another fried egg. She sleeps a lot. But she's still here. Thank goodness the lights went out in Farmington last night; thank goodness the vet's office was deserted.

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

fried eggs for Fluffernutter

I wore my moonstones.

That's the necklace I wore when Fluff was lost in the woods. I used the stone to help find her. That's another story.

Today, I wore the moonstones for Fluff. Fluffernutter.

Back up. Last night she fell off the bed. Clunk, right to the floor. Woke me up. I lifted her back onto the bed and fell back asleep. I woke up again. She was having a seizure. I turned on the light and stayed with her. I hoped maybe it was a squirrel dream, but I couldn't wake her up. She stopped shaking and I fell back asleep.

She seemed Ok this morning. Not very peppy, but OK. I went to work.

It was the first day at the hospital for my group of nursing students. This is a wonderful group. They get along well, learn quickly, and are friendly and likable.

I came home from work and Fluff seemed disoriented. She wasn't in her usual spot. When I called, she looked in the wrong direction. She was slow to rouse. Her hind legs kept giving out: plop to the floor. I called the vet and described the situation.

"Well, she's 12. You're going to have to make a decision. You can come in tonight at 7, or Thursday night, or Friday morning."

I thought. Tomorrow I work, and I'm giving a talk on Reiki. Thursday is work and a Reiki share in the evening. Friday I'm going to a conference in Portland. She plopped to the floor again.

"Tonight. I'll see you tonight at 7."

I was still in scrubs. I quick showered and changed into jeans and a sweater. I chose the moonstones. I called my ex and left a message, "Fluff isn't good, we'll stop by around 5." I ran up to the attic for the dog bed she never used and threw it into the van. I lifted Fluff outside and gently placed her on the bed. We headed to Farmington, an hour north.

The sunset was beautiful, all pinks and lavenders above the ponds and pines. It got darker as we drove north. Fluff shifted frequently, then crawled up between the front seats where I could pat her head.

"We're going to the vet," I told her. "I know you hate the vet. You might not want to hang on for that, but stay til you see Sky again. Sky and Jingle. You need to see them." I thought about life without Fluff and cried all the way.

We approached town. The street light was out. Strange. It got darker. I drove up the driveway at Sky's house. No lights. The house was dark. What? Was he OK? Did he get my phone message? Maybe he didn't want to see us? I sat in the ticking car, you know, that sound the engine makes as it cools. It ticks. I looked again. There was the merest glimmer of light from inside, probably the TV.

He came to the door. He was holding a flashlight.

"The power is out," he said. "It just went out."

"That's funny," I said. "There's no wind."

He came out to the car. I opened the doors. Fluff was still, she didn't move.

"Oh," he said.

He patted her and called her name. I thought she was gone, but I saw her chest move. She was breathing. He kept patting her. Then she got up. I lifted her to the ground. She seemed confused. I carried her inside and set her down in the dark house. Jingle Bell meowed and they touched noses.

Fluff paced around and didn't slump to the floor. "Oh, she's better!" I said.

"Do you want to eat?" he said. "I was about to heat up leftover eggplant parmesan and spaghetti."

I thought. I looked at the candles set out on the counter. "I am hungry," I said.

He cooked. I sat on the floor as Fluff paced, then I lifted her to the couch and sat beside her. We ate.

Then I had to go. I went to check on Betsy, who has been ill. Betsy gave Fluff some Reiki and asked Fluff what she wanted. "She isn't ready to leave you," Betsy told me. "She isn't ready to give you up."

"I'll never be ready to give her up," I replied.

The whole town was dark. It was eerie, downtown all dark. College students wandered the streets, flashlights bobbing like lazy fireflies on a summer night. The girls wore boots and tight jeans, the boys in low baggy jeans. Big flashlights. I drove carefully. I didn't want to hit one.

I drove out to the vet's office. Arrived; it was dark like the rest of town. All dark. I could see stars right down to the trees. I looked at constellations. Big Dipper.  I sat in the parking lot. No one came out. No lights. I headed home.

Again I drove through the woods, through the dark starry downtown, and past the bouncing flashlights of the careless students. I was cautious at intersections, where dead streetlights offered no guidance. It was auto anarchy, but we were respectful. I headed south. As I drove past the strip mall outskirts, the lights suddenly came on. Auto parts, Tires, Restaurants, Big Box Stores, and street lights. Light.

I kept driving. It's a two-lane highway back to the city. It was dark and I hate driving in the dark. I kept the wheels between the yellow and white lines. I dimmed my brights when cars approached.

We made it back to the city. I noticed a car was tailgating me. It had a funny shape, big. Was it a police car? I kept to the speed limit, 25 mph right there on Webster St. I could see the license plate and it had just 2 figures, strange. Police or diplomat? Still tailgating, what the heck? I made my right turn onto Scribner and glanced back. The big car pulled around me and accelerated aggressively. It was a hearse.

Back home. I fried some eggs for Fluff. She likes fried eggs. She plopped to the floor a couple of times. Now she's sleeping. Wonder what will happen in the next few days.


Friday, November 11, 2011

pick joy

Someone asked me today, "You're always so happy. What are you happy about?"

"I just choose to be," I replied.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

numerology: 11-11-11

OK- tomorrow's the big day. Lots of ones. New beginnings.

So on 11-11-11 at 11:11 am, let's all step outside. Turn our faces to the Sun. Breathe. Forgive. Feel gratitude. Breathe.

Ok, my pragmatic friends are groaning. So when you step outside to breathe: sure, release your inner gases. Eructate. Exhale. Expectorate, if you must.

Just go outside. Celebrate all those ones.

thank you ~

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2005 YU55 asteroid

Yes, a space rock is in an orbit around the Sun, and will drift past Earth this evening. According to news reports, YU55 takes 15 months to loop around the Sun. It will pass between Earth and the moon around 6:30 this evening. It is not expected to drop onto your roof or into your swimming pool.

It is expected to turn eyes upwards, and turn imaginations to asteroids, space ships, and the motions of heavenly bodies.

freakish weather

It's 70 degrees. I'm sitting on my deck: barefoot, soaking up sun. I'm a little obsessed with Sun right now, as it's November in Maine. It's the beginning of our 6-month winter. It will be dark, cold, and white. It's coming.

But now, right now? It's sunny. The grass is still green, despite chunks of melting snow from our freakishly early snowstorm. There are 3 big orange pumpkins beside me. The burning bush and Japanese maples still have their leaves, as does the neighbor's big oak. The calendulas are flat to the ground, but have hardy orange blossoms. A motorcyclist just growled by.

Color, light, and warmth on this November day. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

11-11-11

Do you have plans?  It's a big day. Numerology, New Age, Armistice, etc. This Friday.

What about 11:11?  Pm, of course, I'll be asleep. Am? Hmmmm. I'll be in a meeting. At work. Inside, no windows.  Could I close my eyes for a bit? Probably. Fold my legs, turns my palms up, grin at the sun, and chant "Ommmm"? Definitely not.

Sun? Oh, I did get some yesterday. Fluff and I went to Wolfe's Neck State Park in Freeport, ME. We wandered around the beach: rocks tilted at 60 degrees, loads of yellow seaweed, some fuzzy brown seaweed, barnacles, and blue mussel shells. We ran through the forest: roots, moss, and pine needles. Sun? I meditated on the rocky beach. I sat on a boulder and turned to the light. Sun was brilliant overhead, and reflected in a wide blaze on the water. It was 60 degrees, slight salty breeze, rocks were warm.

But 11-11-11 at 11:11? I'll be inside. If there's a download of light energy, quanta of information, well, I'll miss it. Perhaps I'll take a break and step outside for a breath of fresh air.

Let's all take a Sun break this Friday at 11:11.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

bejewled

It was a long day. The alarm went off at 5; I hit the snooze button a few times, I admit. Got to work around 6 and got ready for my lecture. It went pretty well despite a couple of snags: my guest speakers were no show and the technology failed because I forgot to stick in the jump drive. Oh well. There was a heated discussion about culture in general and circumcision in particular.

Meetings most of the afternoon, though I did manage to grade a couple of papers.

Then on to Reiki class this evening: bliss! I love to teach Reiki. Oh- before leaving the office I stopped at the bathroom. While unzipping my fly I discovered my amethyst and crystal bracelet tangled in the zipper. Huh? I guess the last time I went to the BR the dragonfly clasp came unhinged and the whole thing stuck in the zipper. So that means.... I was walking around for how many hours with amethysts and crystals dangling from my fly?

Anyway. Reiki class was super. We talked about the history of Reiki, ethics, principles, and symbols. We did self-Reiki, meditation, and Reiki on a volunteer recipient. Three people were ready to be attuned to Level 1. That happened. There are 3 more Reiki practitioners in the world today. Light & love ~ Reiki!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

love, learn, and change

What am I supposed to be when I grow up? I love teaching, nursing, Reiki, research, writing, travelling, people, nature, the Sun, and stones. I like to help people learn and change. Life shifts, changes, transmutes, and transforms us. 

just for today, have faith

Have faith?

Yes, that's my students' rewrite of the revered Reiki principle: "do not worry." My students found "worry" too negative. "Plants a negative thought in peoples' minds," they said. They suggested "hope", or "faith" instead.

So I did some reading and research. Some say "hope" is passive, and "faith" is active. Ok, maybe so. But to me, "faith" sounds like religion. Reiki is not a religion.

Reiki is a spiritual practice, a way of life, like yoga. Not like a religion. Reiki embraces people of all religions. One may be a Reiki practitioner, and access one's own personal private faith while sharing Reiki energy. When I teach Reiki classes, I don't ask people about their religion or religious beliefs.

"What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman

So today, when I find myself worrying about:
 my life, my job, my ability to teach, my future, my 401k,
 world hunger, Occupy activists, earthquakes,
 the happiness and success of my students,
 Fluffernutter's loneliness,
 too much snow,
 getting enough exercise, enough money, and enough time to maintain friendships...
I remind myself. Just for today, don't worry. Hope. Have faith.

I offer the same to my dear readers. Hope. Have faith.
Please reach out and offer comfort to someone today.
thank you

Sunday, October 30, 2011

cold person

I woke up at 5:30 this morning; the power was out. I figured bed was the warmest place, so stayed.

Got up at 7:30, put on boots and jacket, and went outside. The trees were flat on top, heavy branches dipped down to the ground. Most of them still have their leaves, and the leaves were weighted with gobs of icy snow. The Japanese maples, lilacs, and hydrangea were most loaded. I shook the trees and their big branches to dislodge the snow and the branches sprang back up to the sky. Did the same with the pine, cedar, rhododendron, and purple dollar tree. I don't know the proper name of that last one, but the leaves are dark purple, the size and shape of a dollar coin.

I scooped the deck and driveway. It was heavy slush and I could barely push a scoopful. I pushed with my legs, back, and shoulders. My neighbor from across the street came over with his snowblower to help me. How do I repay him? He won't take money. Sometimes I buy birdseed for him, and leave it on his porch. He has 3 birdfeeders.

I raked snow from the roofs: garage and house; got tired and came inside. I loaded the contents of my frig and freezer into two coolers and dropped the coolers into a mound of snow. The temp dropped inside as the day progressed. I ate cold leftovers from the cooler, apples, and rice cakes. I read and did Sudoku puzzles. I called my son to wish him Happy Birthday. Every couple of hours, when I felt chilled, I went outside to shovel more. That warmed me up. I wished  for a cup of hot coffee. I didn't want to drive anywhere because I haven't got the snow tires on my car yet.

Inside the house I wore leggings and pants, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of wool socks, a heavy wool sweater, and a wool shawl. It started to get dark. Maybe I should go to a hotel. It would be warm, I could shower and watch TV. I called the Ramada. They don't take pets. I called the Hilton: $75 extra for a dog. I couldn't leave Fluff. I went to bed at 6 with all my clothes on. I was nearly warm enough in bed, but kept waking up stiff and uncomfortable. At 10 I woke up and noticed the street light was on outside my window.

Power! Electricity! Heat! I got up and turned on the boiler and the electric blanket. Turned on light and the computer. Brought the coolers of food in and put them back. It was 56 degrees inside, 30 out.

I was going to be a cold person for Halloween, but now I think I'll go as an OccupyWallStreet activist. One of the 99%; Power to the People!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Farmington

Had one of those perfect days in Farmington: friends and fresh air.

I met Marilyn for breakfast. I had Thai Wonder Eggs and she had Scrambled Truffle Eggs. We caught up on current events: kids, health, family, & work.

Then I shopped at my favorite store: Reny's. I found some great bargains: an amethyst bracelet, a jacket for work, and a brown sugar soy candle.

On to Betsy's. I had bones for the dogs: Vader, Max, and Ellie. Black lab, shepherd mix, and Newfie. Dave took off to return Tirzah's car; Hannah emerged from the shower clad in 2 black towels, gave me a wet hug, reclined on the new couch, and told me about her job; and Betsy filled me in on her current events.

On to my beloved assisted living facility where I read the newspaper. All peaceful there. The tables were set for lunch, linen napkins and English china.

Next stop: Nina's gourmet food store, Up Front and Pleasant. Nina served me coffee in a tiny terracotta mug. I bought local free-range pullet eggs, hummus, and organic wine and left some books for her to sell. We caught up. I had a lot of catching up to do: I haven't been to Farmington for a month. I said hi to Nigel the Cat out in the parking lot and proceeded next door to The Chickadee's Nest, Julia's herb shop.

Julia shared some intuitive wisdom: focus on the positive, study Buddhism, and eat less. I bought a selenite  slab to charge my crystals. Julia grows herbs and sells soap, lotion, and stones.

Then Denise & I took our dogs for a walk in the woods. Today is the 1st day of hunting so we tied blaze orange bandanas on ourselves and our dogs. I wore the wrong shoes and kept slipping in the dry leaves. We found the sacred spot in the middle of the woods: branch and stone arrangements. Who decorated this spot? Her dog levitated, whirled, and jumped into every mud puddle. He stared at us from the water, asking, "Why aren't you in here with me?"

"Hello! It's 45 degrees, overcast, and you're in a swamp! No thanks!" The woods were gorgeous: all yellow leaves, pine needles, moss, and granite bedrock.

Then home. Prepare for snow and power outages. If I don't lose power, then I'm going to make a bean & vegie stew. I stopped at a farm stand on my way home and bought parsnips, peppers, red cabbage, and beets.

Back home. I got out the snow scoop and jug of salt. Winter? I'm ready. Bring it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

from Hilo, Hawaii...








Black sand beach in Hilo, Hawaii.

Want your own? click on this: HawaiiPhotoGirl.

Kindle Nation 2012

Reiki Stories to be featured on Kindle Nation Feb 23 & 24, 2012. Cool! Watch for it...

snow!

That's right. Snow. A Nor'Easter.

Before Halloween.

Maine is under a storm watch. We expect 8 inches of wet, heavy snow; wind; and massive power outages tomorrow night. Haven't got my snow tires on yet.  Better dig out the snow scoop, winter coat, and boots.

Oh, and I've got to figure out a costume for Monday at work. Saw something online. Cover yourself with post-it notes and be a little white lie. Oh, got to write some lies on the post-it notes. Like... ummm.... OK, that won't work. I can't think of amusing lies. All I can think of is that snow.  April Fool's?  No: Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hawaiian beach

It snowed in Maine today.

Meanwhile, somewhere on a black sand beach in Hilo, Hawaii....

HawaiiPhotoGirl is tracing Reiki Stories: My Hot Hands

 into wet sand

and filming waves washing over the words

and reversing the film

so the receding waves

will reveal the words.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

tune into joy

That's what my Dad told my sister, and she told me... "Tune into joy."

Some days it's harder than others to do that. But it's a choice, and it's always possible.

And it's always the best path. Walk in the light. Tune into joy. Be kind. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tamarack

 Tamarack, Wilhelm Reich's summer home in Rangeley, Maine.
 Dodge Pond.

Orgonon

What an interesting, beautiful, and peaceful place. Orgonon: Wilhelm Reich's laboratory, school, and summer home. I spent the weekend there. 


Orgonon is on a mountaintop in the Western Mountains of Maine. It's not far from the Appalachian Trail, not far from the stunning views of Height of Land, and just down the road from Lac Mooselookmegunticook.  It's close to where I was first attuned: Tangwala in Oquossoc. 


It was a Reiki retreat and there were 10 practitioners. We had a private tour of the Reich museum, we hiked around the estate, played musical instruments, and shared Reiki. 


The museum is a 3-storey stone building with a series of decks for viewing the stars and sky energy. Inside the museum we saw Reich's paintings of energy. We saw his cloudbusters. I put my hand in an orgone accumulator and got a jolt of energy. It felt like I was on a fast elevator to the basement. There was a fabulous view of Dodge Pond from the decks of the museum. I did an attunement there, outside, on one of the decks. 


We stayed in 2 cabins. Bunchberry was Reich's study, and Tamarack his home. I stayed in Tamarack. 


It was chilly Saturday evening, and I built a fire in the stone fireplace. We ate spaghetti, lasagna, a marvelously colorful salad, casseroles, and homemade pie. Pumpkin: my favorite. There were apples, molasses cookies, and plates of cheese. There was way too much food. 


After eating we did some Reiki and attunements. We drank wine and played musical instruments: a didgeridoo, a brass Tibetan bowl, rattles, bells, and drums.  Some people danced.


The next morning we walked down the grass path past the twisted pines and moss gardens to Dodge Pond. We stood on the floating dock in the sunshine. In a gentle breeze, with birds soaring far overhead, we did attunements on the dock. 


Orgonon. Halfway between Oquossoc and Rangeley. A spiritual place. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

virtual pets

Have you seen the fish? Scroll down. At the bottom, see? Goldfish. You click to feed them.

I know, I know. They're virtual. Still. If I don't feed them, I feel guilty, negligent. When I write & post I feed them. If not, they go virtually hungry.

books books books

I ordered 100 books. They arrived. It was a dark and windy evening, with rain earlier.

Home from work late, porch light on, I discovered the boxes: sitting in a plastic bag, exposed to the damp wind.

Now I have 100 books. For sale, cheap to good homes. But wait, isn't everyone e these days? Kindle and Nook? Who plants their nose in paper, oh, I know, the off-liners. There are many.

They live off the grid: sporadic use of solar, wind, or pedal power. Or they have faces planted to computer screens all day and want to come home to an easy chair and paper. They want to  crease open the spine, fold back a corner, and place a favorite bookmark. Maybe one with a pressed flower, or perhaps a tassel. They curl into a soft chair to read. Pets hover. Lost for hours, they rise only for a fresh cup of tea or to throw another log on the fire.

Ok, you people? I have some books. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shakeology

So I'm trying this superfood thing. It's a chocolate powder, comprised of roots, nuts, & berries from all over the globe. Also grass and fungus. It's anti-oxidant, anti-depressant, and anti-gravity. It's like drinking espresso with a pinch of ecstasy. I put it in yoghurt: chocolate yoghurt. Added a spoonful to my decaf this morning: hot chocolate. Or mocha. It's good and supposedly good for me. Maca, sacha inchi, and yacon. Yum. Shake it up. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

sell 1 million eBooks in 5 months

with this book by John Locke. Click here: sell a million books. Thanks for the tip, Mark LaFlamme. 

Only $2.99 on Kindle. Worth a try, right? Note to self: buy a Kindle.


book...

How do you sell a book these days?

Load up the trunk and drive around to bookstores, start a blog, or send copies to your family- begging them to buy 2 more? Do something outstanding, become famous, and hire a ghostwriter? Hire fiverrs to put up posters and make trailers?

Mostly what I want to know is how to sell a book while working as a teacher 50 hours a week, maintaining a home, volunteering, doing the downward dog, and walking the dog. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Reiki

Had such interesting conversations about Reiki today. Mostly about ego. About keeping one's ego out of the way, so the Reiki recipient can find his or her own way. Open to intuition. See the path.

I did a lot of listening today. And a lot of observing. Lots of traffic control, zipping around in a golf cart, and hugs. Blissfully shared Reiki with amazing practitioners and favorite clients.

I was in a tent all day with Reiki practitioners, massage therapists, athletes, and cancer survivors. It was a marvelous day- hot and sunny, breezy. Live music. Raspberry scones. Hope and courage. I saw bald heads, roses, and hand-carved walking sticks. There were lots of hugs. Some tears. Big smiles. What could be better than that?

Oct 8, 2011





Friday, October 7, 2011

Simard-Payne Park, Lewiston




This park is on an island in downtown Lewiston, Maine. 
There are a lot of abandoned buildings in Lewiston. 
There are canals, waterfalls, and the Androscoggin River. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

kindle nook eBook

I know, I know. I should buy a Kindle, Nook, or some such eBook reader. I know!

Like them in theory. A library on one device. No more piles of books in every room of my house.

After all, I successfully switched in music. LPs to cassettes to CDs to digital downloads and streams.

Yeah, I really like live music best.

And books. I like to curl up in a soft chair. I like to read in the tub and at the beach.

My nose is stuck to a computer screen all day at work. If a book is an escape, then I want to escape from screen to paper and ink. I want to go back in time. I want to feel the smooth paper, turn pages, and stick in a favorite bookmark.

So Nook? Nope. Kindle? I resist. As for you? Do as you like. For me? For now I'll continue to buy and share the archaic papyrus, I mean paper. Hey- did you know? You can read the Dead Sea Scrolls online!

procedures

Nursing school. Procedures, right? Placing Foley catheters and IVs, running codes, dropping an NG tube.

No. Why not? 

Because procedures change. Equipment changes. Teach you today and the procedure will be outdated before you graduate. And anyone can learn and do a procedure. 

So what then? Thinking. In nursing school we teach you to think. Why are you doing the procedure? What's the anatomy? How does the patient feel about the procedure and what does he or she believe about illness and health? What's the best way to perform the procedure, based on research? Thinking. Critical thinking. That's what we teach in school these days.

And holistic nursing. Look at the whole person, the family, and the community.

Communication. How will you speak to the patient, the family, and the health care team?

Politics. Where does the money come from, what can you do as a nurse, and what are the imminent reforms? How does one effect change? Thinking. That's what we teach. That's what nurses do. Welcome to health care 2011.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

first edition

Publishing a book is quite a process. First the fun part: writing. Then the work: editing. Art for the cover: fun. Editing the cover text for typos: work. 

Now waiting for the galley... the first edition: suspense. 

Soon it will be done, ready, & for sale. Then what will happen?

nurses care?

... or: The Battle of the Nurse Theorists.

I got buttons. "Nurses care" is one of them. Been trying to figure out why.

Martha Rogers v Jean Watson. Watson is all about caring. Nurses care.

Nurses respect patients' dignity, privacy, and autonomy. Mais oui. But is respect caring? I completely support treating patients with respect. I agree that we advocate for patients, supporting their right to autonomy. We must be courteous, respectful, nonjudgmental, tolerant, and polite. We must be culturally competent.

But must we care?

My employer may tell me how to dress and how to behave, but may my employer tell me how to feel?

That's my problem. That's my issue, my button.

I care about my family and friends. I love them. Frequently there is an internal shift, and I care about my patients and students. But. And this is a big but. I totally object to being ordered to care.

Martha Rogers said that caring is ubiquitous. We all care. Of course we care. That was her stance. Peh. Wave of hand. Like handwashing and clean linens: of course we care. Why bother to discuss it?

Why build a whole theory, a whole system around that? Around caring. As nurses, we own "caring"? Does that mean other team members don't care? Physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists... they don't care? Housekeepers, nutritionists, respiratory therapists: don't care. Is that what you're saying?

Yeah, I don't buy that.

As a professional, I pledge to treat each patient fairly, equitably, respectfully, and courteously. I will do my utmost to make each patient, family member, & coworker happy. Isn't that enough? What, I have to "care" about them too?

Nope. That's too much. Over the line. I have a professional boundary and it's right there.

I will do my utmost for my patients, their family members, and my coworkers- but caring- that's for my family and friends. You can't make me care for my patients. Darn it, I will anyway, but you can't make me!


Friday, September 23, 2011

the biopsy

My cheek itches.

I've had a couple of spots on my forehead, for a couple of years. My NP & I weren't sure what they were, so I saw a dermatologist. The appointment? Took a couple of months. The office? Gorgeous.

Are you in medical school and wondering about a specialty? Go derm.

The office was in an abandoned mill. All gorgeous brick, old wood, tile, black metal sculptures, and exposed pipes. The office uniform? Black scrubs. Chic. Staff: perky, cheerful, and agreeable.

My biggest pre-appointment worry: would I have to disrobe? Photos?

Don't worry! She's just looking at your face!

The spots, meh. Nothing. But, wait, hmmm. What about that freckle on your cheek...

Biopsy. So I reclined. Did Reiki on myself, called in my guides and angel. Was totally relaxed when the medical technician (not a nurse? why not? are we too expensive?) injected lido, "Just a pinch!"

The PA approached and asked, "Can you feel anything sharp?"

"Yes."

More lido. No sharpness. She punched out a chunk of my flesh, cauterized the capillaries who were bleeding excessively, and stitched me. "Come back in one week for suture removal!"

"Oh, I can do that myself, OK?"

"OK! Gee, that's bleeding a lot. I'm just going to put a bulky pressure bandage on that, OK? You can take it off in an hour."

OK. And then I was off to shop, in search of venetian blind wands. Found them. yay. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

flowers

I love the summer sun and flowers. Beach and gardens. I planted sunflowers and morning glories.



The sunflowers shout hello to the neighbors. The morning glories climb up the summerhouse, twine around the cedar trees, and fling themselves over the back fence.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

shift

Is summer over? Appears to be. Days are 60 and sunny, nights dipping into the 30s: risk of frost.

The garden is still a riot of zinnias, nasturtiums, and morning glories. Eating squash, roasted squash seeds, and green beans. Carrots are still in the ground. Waiting for a fresh crop of spinach.

I spent the summer thusly. At the beach studying for a CNE exam, reading novels, and swimming. Passed the exam. Read Nuala O'Faolain and caught up on my magazines.. starting at January. Went to the teen camp and worked double shifts every day, up at night too. Didn't do any spinning there, or crack open a single book. Did learn how to manage exercise-induced asthma and loss-of-consciousness due to heat and dehydration. Listened to The Cars, the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and Bob Dylan. Edited my book. Looked for a dog. Someone to keep Fluff company while I was at work.

Found a dog. Adopted her. For a month. It didn't work out and I took her back.

She came from a horse farm near the coast. Horses, dogs, and kids. There was one dog, Otis, half Great Dane and half elephant. There were miniature greyhounds and Australian shepherds. One of the shepherds was beating up on Lucy, a Walker Hound. She came from a shelter in North Carolina. I brought her home.

She'd been beaten. She startled at loud noises. Cowered and craved affection. I gave her plenty. Once I was reading a magazine and she cuddled up close. I raised the magazine as she curled up against me, but when she saw the raised magazine she began to shake and shiver. Ah. Someone hit her with a rolled up newspaper or magazine.

She was OK til I went back to work. Then she got anxious and chewed up my stuff. I'd come home from work to find a pile of chewed magazines, knitting, fleece, and pens in the middle of the living room. Urine & feces too. She and Fluff snarled at each other constantly.

I took her back to her family. The dogs and kids were happy to see her. She was happy too. The mom was apologetic, resigned, sorry it didn't work out. Me too.

Summer. I mowed the lawn, walked the dogs, went to the Farmer's Market. I tended the garden and baked in the sun. I picked peas, summer squash, zucchini, cilantro, and potatoes.

I had company: friends and relatives. I swam in the river with my friend and her dog. I rested.

Now it's back to work. Back to the marathon that is a school year. Back to the amazing awakening that happens when a person becomes a nurse.

And always, every day: Reiki.

Lately I think this about Reiki. What are we doing? We are awakening the client. We stimulate intuition.

Reiki is the best favorite part of my life.

Got a new book coming out. How I teach Reiki. It will be out in time for Christmas and Hanukah.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reiki today

Did Reiki today and had an aha moment.

As we shared Reiki, I kept seeing the client's third eye flick open. Reiki was raising the client's vibration, lighting the way, helping the client see her path. Reiki  helped the client achieve insight and optimal health.

Nurse theorist Margaret Newman says that health is the expansion of consciousness. Yeah, we were expanding today.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

cover

Todd Engel of BookLocker designed the cover for the new book. I sent him a watercolor painting, text, and photos; he selected colors and type and created beauty. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Irene

Sunflowers are flat. I felt like a discombobulated zombie. 74 hours without power. Let me explain.

Hurricane Irene. Well, Tropical Storm Irene by the time she arrived here in Lewiston, Maine. Still, we noticed. People shopped extensively the days before, as we had plenty of warning. Batteries, water, generators, milk, bread, and beer went off the shelves and into carts and cars.

I was poo poo. Prob some rain and that's it. I went to the beach the day before. It was hot, sunny, and deserted. No one! Everyone shopping and tidying their yards.

Yeah. I should have been doing that. I should have taken down my windchimes, the fabric canopy over my deck, and the broken outdoor light. I did put the lawn chairs in the garage and the pots of petunias down in a protected corner.

The rain started around midnight. It rained all day, and the wind picked up. It blew like a train. The clouds swirled. I saw a patch of blue sky, then a big gray cloud came over, and a big wind. It picked up the canopy over my deck and shredded it into Tibetan prayer flags. Then another patch of blue sky. Then more gray clouds, wind, and rain.

I took the dogs out. Lucy was afraid of the wind and thunder. She shivered, tucked her tail, and stuck to my legs. I did storm yoga in the summer house, tripping over Lucy.

I hoped the power wouldn't go out. It was way more rainy and windy than I'd planned on. I filled a pot with water, to flush, in case I didn't have water. I turned the dial on the frig to the coldest, in case I lost power. I wanted it to be plenty cold in there. I did laundry and took a shower. I wanted to be clean.

At 4 pm I heard a pop. The power went out. It was dark.

It stopped raining around 5 pm. The sky lightened a bit. I went outside. All the neighbors were out in the street: wandering, dazed, looking at the sky & trees. We chatted. I looked down the street: all the neighbors, everyone was outside, all at the same time. I put the dogs on leashes and wandered down, chatting, visiting. We went to see the big tree laying across the power lines. Live lines flapped in the breeze: stay back.

Later, I went to sleep. It was too warm, but no AC, no fan. The next day was my first day back at work. I took a cold shower. It's painful, and feels so good when you stop. I took cold showers for the next 2 days. My power was out for 3 days and 3 nights. Since I live in the city, I had water. I could flush, wash, and shower: I felt blessed. I remembered the ice storm of '98? '97? Our power was out for 10 days, and no running water since we had a well and a pump. I remember the hardest part was not being able to flush, and having to wash my hands with moist wipes. The best part was charades by candlelight.

So 3 days, 3 nights, no power. The dirty dishes piled up, as did the laundry. It was hot at night. Every other neighbor had a generator and the noise was disconcerting. It sounded like everyone was mowing their lawn, all at once, all the time. And the gasoline fumes. Yuck.

I'd come home from work and hear the generators. No power.

I'd sit in the evening, the gloom matching my mood. I painted watercolors. I patted the dogs.

Last night 2 cherry-picker trucks rolled up the street. Neighbors came out again, dancing and waving their arms to the sky. Workers had cut up the tree during the day, while I was at work. This was 6 pm. I'd taken the dogs for their walk, and taken my cold shower. A shampoo too, brutally cold. It felt good to sit in the sun after, on the deck, under the tattered canopy.

So the cherry-pickers. It took like 5 minutes to hook up the wires. Power restored. Hugs all around. More dancing in the streets. I felt energized, pulled up the flattened sunflowers and put them on the compost. I opened the frig and tossed out all the contents. Wow. Tofu smells really bad after 3 days. I did laundry and washed dishes. For thrills, I turned on the AC. I took a hot shower and shaved my legs.

Irene.