started in Maine with freezing rain and speed limit of 45 on the turnpike.
You could skate on the driveway, paved with a good half inch of ice. When I brought my car out of the garage to pack it with luggage and Christmas presents, rain hit it and froze, making a big car Popsicle. I drove slowly along the street and slammed on the brakes to see. The 4-wheel drive kicked in and I didn't skid. I hit the turnpike.
Blasting heat kept ice from forming on the windshield. Very few cars on the road. I kept it to 45 and watched other numbers: the outside temperature, nicely displayed on the dash, and my expected time of arrival (ETA) on the guided personal system (GPS). It was 29 degrees and my ETA 4 1/2 hours.
An hour later, an hour south, the temp rose to 32 and I put the pedal to the metal; 65 mph. It started to rain harder. There were more cars on the road. I stopped for coffee. Stopped at a gift store in New Hampshire.
Around Boston the roads were full and we went 65-70 bumper to bumper in pouring rain. I could see the car in front of me, and the next car, but not much else. It was raining hard and cars threw up sheets of water. There were lots of trucks: behemoths of metal that could crush a car like a slap on a gnat.
Sometimes the road would open up a little and someone would sail past me, going 80 or 90. Sometimes cars darted in and around others like a cat on stairs. Sometimes it rained a little less.
The temp rose to 48.
5 1/2 hours of freezing rain, rain, traffic: miles and miles; past Worcester, Boston, and Hartford; my GPS got me to my destination: my aunt's house in Connecticut. I made it.
My cousins arrived from New York. We nibbled on snacks, admired my aunt's Christmas tree, opened presents, and went out for Thai and sushi. We had avocado and cucumber sushi, appetizers and curry.
Then we hit the road for New York City, my cousins and I, leaving my car in my aunt's driveway.
It was dark and drizzly. A passenger, I gazed at Christmas lights as we sped past big tidy houses. It took us half an hour to creep past an accident. We got onto a parkway: no trucks! We told stories and laughed all the way into the city, 2 hours.
Back home 100,000 are without power from the ice storm. The weather was supposed to turn warm and melt all the ice, but instead the freezing rain continued and it got colder. Now my town in coated in a thick layer of ice. Trees are bent and branches hang low, weighted and sorrowful. Branches crack, break, and drop; trees tip over from the weight. They smash and crash on cars and houses. When they land on power lines they darken neighborhoods. People are cold, lighting candles, trying to keep holiday food from spoiling.
I'm in New York City. I can see hundreds of apartment windows and blue sky above. We're in a nice neighborhood, I saw that last night as we circled the block several times in search of a parking spot. There are shops and restaurants down the block. We're going to stroll down there after breakfast.
It's Christmas Eve day and I'm in New York City with my cousins.
It was, at first. I explored. It was easy to get around, and I got around in a new black VW Jetta.
Sun was my plan. Hot sun on a beach with a stack of murder mysteries. A little more summer.
So it didn't turn out like that. It was 2 days of sun with cold breezes, temps in high 60s and 2 days of overcast with temps in mid 70s.
I walked on the beach for an hour every morning. I explored. Went to bird and dolphin sanctuaries. Those are places for wounded birds and dolphins. Went out to eat once daily: Mexican mostly. Italian once. Snacks of yoghurt and grapefruit. Drank hotel room coffee: bland but effective.
Beaches were good, despite clouds and fog. Inland exploration was sunnier but frightening. Found gorgeous botanical park and place of old timey houses with people dressed in old timey clothes. But the alligator warning signs were off-putting. Kept encountering these signs. Loved the flowers, plants, old buildings, old machinery, old lifestyle. But those gator signs. I kept thinking the gator would be right beside the sign. Shocking realization that they could be anywhere. Heightened alligator alert. That was exhausting. Perhaps better at the beach, despite fog.
For the first time in 6 years I didn't check and respond to my work emails daily. That's probably good.
The ocean was right outside my balcony door, palm trees too: also good. Taking a vacation: experts say that is good.
So I did it. I took a vacation. Day 1: awesome. 2: OK. 3: maybe repeat #1? 4: really ready to go home.
I learned: I like parks and museums. I like nature, soul, culture, people, enlightenment, sun, and music. I don't like to feel like my life is at risk from alligators. I learned that it is good to get away, change it up, and do scary stuff. I like to drive.
Will I go back? Maybe somewhere. I like high dry plateaus, sun, people, Reiki, ocean.
- feel so lucky. Am having a wonderful semester with best kind of students. They are motivated, committed to learning, compassionate, thoughtful, supportive of each other, inquisitive, focused, balanced, articulate, and kind.
- feel so lucky. Have had the best jobs: mom, nurse, and teacher.
so planned, plotted, and parsed I find my holiday to be serendipitous, impulsive, and ephemeral.
Oh, I might need to buy bottled water tomorrow. That is the one big plan. Smaller plan: read one book every day. Otherwise...
So far south is better than north. All the southern adventures have been satisfying; the northern ones not. Example: this morning I went north to the Aquarium. Bought a ticket. Took a bus to the dolphin thing, but the dolphin thing was a movie exhibit. Some kid movie, never heard of it and why would I, I don't watch movies. Did get a nice trolley ride across the harbor into Clearwater and an interesting ramble from the driver. So the "Church" of Scientology owns over 69% of Clearwater. Lots of tidy buildings.
Didn't that "Church" start as a joke? As a way to make money? An irony? Yeah, pretty sure it did. Well, that's America for you.
No dolphins at the end of the tour, just props from the movie of which I had not heard. 5 min later I'm back on the trolley, back to the Aquarium. Once there I saw a few manta rays and 3 injured dolphins. 5 min later I'm headed back south.
Stopped at the other Mexican restaurant. Yesterday was all cheesy tomato soup bean mush at a fancy place. Professional wait-staff and blasting Mex music. Today was wild teens and make it right there in front of you burritos, etc. I bought a big bag of dried chipotle peppers to bring home, $2.99. Had a delish tofu burrito.
Stopped at a nature reserve. It was so quiet. I walked on a boardwalk. Geckos scurried. It was swampy.
Went to a beach and hung there all afternoon. Watched pelicans soar, plop, gather, take off, and repeat. Do they sleep? Dolphins don't, according to a woman at the Aquarium this morning. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology, and dolphins don't sleep. They would die if they slept; they have to breathe. They have 2 sides to their brains (don't we all?) and switch back and forth (don't we all?).
Anyway. That beach was relatively deserted.
The north beach is wall to wall people. Chairs, tents, and umbrellas are neatly arranged. You may rent a space and sit elbow to elbow with your new best temporary friends. There are boat rides, parasailing, drinks, and snacks.
Tomorrow I'm going south. The teen Mex place, the bird sanctuary, and the deserted beach.
I will be spontaneous, I will explore, I will enjoy wild nature.
Went to a bird sanctuary. How do pelicans get injured?
I watched them soar today, as I sat on the beach. They glide inches over the water with strength and grace. they go all over the bay, way faster than the boats. They slide down onto the surface and bob there, sometimes solo, sometimes in groups.
At the sanctuary, they can't fly. They waddle, clack their long pinky-orange beaks, and flap. No gliding, no sliding. They must wonder why they can't do that anymore. They eat, bathe, flap to dry, then nap. Their wings are broken. How does that happen?
I saw a baby, born yesterday, on Thanksgiving. Mom was sitting on a stick nest with two big eggs and a purplish squirming baby.
I saw white pelicans, wing span 9 feet.
I saw owls, blue jays, gulls, and vultures. All injured, all being cared for by dedicated and compassionate volunteers.
Last night I was convinced the hotel was burning down. I jumped out of bed, dressed and packed. Heart thumping. Listened for sirens. Nothing. Looked out in the hall, sniffed. Nothing. Wait a minute. Maybe someone was burning popcorn. Maybe it was heater I turned on 2 minutes before the panic. Yeah, it was the heater.
On the plane I sat beside a handsome young man in a white shirt. Italian. A pilot for the airlines. "So if it's turbulent, and you're ok, we're ok, right?" I asked him.
"Right!" His wife was a forensic scientist for the LA police. The LA in California, not our LA Maine.
"Ever see a UFO?" I asked him. He was so kind; smiled at all my questions even though he probably hears them every day.
"My mother-in-law is convinced that I have but I won't tell her. Hey, if I saw one, everyone on the plane would see it too. No, I have not seen one." No kids, but they're trying. She's Italian too, so obviously gorgeous and fashionable in addition to being smart and functional.
So when it got turbulent, "Oh, the pilot said it would be gassy," he said, it got embarrassing. I guess gassy is a pilot term for dropping 100 feet like a roller coaster. Then bumping like a bus on a dirt road in spring. Embarrassing because I felt sweat dripping down my face. My hands dripped too. I grabbed for the barf bag. "Are you Ok?" he asked solicitously. Obviously not, and he kept talking to me gently, asking me innocuous questions, and generally trying to distract me from the barf bag. I didn't hurl, but it was close.
At the car rental place they quoted me $40 over my deal. I questioned and they knocked it back. This was after a 45 minute wait. I thought the customers might mutiny. "No cars," they told us. How can there be no cars when we reserved them months ago? "You might have to sleep here," they told us.
I hate driving on bridges. I had to drive on a long bridge, a causeway they called it. It was dark, couldn't tell I was on a bridge, so I was fine.
I had to drive through a rotary. I hate rotaries. People always honk at me in rotaries. What's up with that?
I had the GPS, but still. The first time through the rotary I ended up in a marina and had to go back and start again. Second time found some nice restaurants. Third time I managed to exit in the right place and actually found my hotel. It was a 13 hour trip with much anxiety and near-hurling, so it was good to get here.
I took a shower and sat on the narrow balcony. Drank water. I could hear ocean waves and see a dim outline of palm trees. The burning thing, fear of fire, didn't sleep well. Got up to pee a lot. Tried to conserve water, so didn't flush. In the morning I flushed. It stuck. A clog. omg, how embarrassing. I used the ice bucket to dump water into the toilet, hoping it would flush. I filled it to the brim: no luck.
I walked to a convenience store and bought bottles of drinking water. $2 for 6 big bottles. Wow, $3 a bottle at the airport. What a rip, those airport prices.
More ice bucket action, no result.
Left a big tip for the chambermaid and set off exploring. When I got back, hours later, the toilet was still clogged. Well, this is awkward. More ice bucket dumpage. No success.
Hit the beach with sunglasses, new coverup, and good book.
Hours later got back to room. Toilet fixed, lovely! Thank you wonderful hotel people! I really need to chill. I need to stop worrying. I guess that's the point of a vacation.
Everyone agreed with me last night at the Reiki event: it's not OK to tell a person that guilt caused his/her cancer.
Especially when you just met this person. Especially when I'm providing a brief explanation of Reiki and encouraging people with cancer to try it. Especially when Reiki practitioners are committed to supporting each person's own individual cancer journey. Even though you read it in a Louise Hay book, and we all respect Louise Hay; it's not Ok.
Whew. Little rant there. Thanks for reading and putting up with me.
Treasure those moments of love and connection. Tell loved ones how much you love them.
So glad my dear friend B is OK after 3 car accidents last night. Blizzard conditions driving home from a concert. So glad you're OK, sorry your car isn't. Am sure H will be fine, but keep an eye on him. Love you, dear friend.
And other concerning news, health issues for a dear relative. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest and be well. Love you.
And yes, in this season of celebration and family love... remember that life can change in an instant. Grieve when you need to. Lean on your friends. And then, when you can:
It was summer. Hot. The door was open, the setting sunlight shone on her through the open door. It was my time. I felt it.
Walked in to the salon and had the best haircut in 5 years. Everyone said so.
I hate getting my hair cut; but she was fast, cheap, and good.
She had pink hair and we talked about when she took care of her grandmother as she died. I probably reminded her of her grandmother. We talked about angels. I found a fab hair person.
This week, with much giddy anticipation I made an appointment for a trim. Finally the day was here, here! Haircut!
I arrived several minutes early. OK, 20 minutes early. Settled into the leopard print banquette with my smartphone and relaxed: read newspaper, emails, and spiritual journal. Checked the time every 10 minutes, glanced at my stylist as she worked on the head of a platinum blonde. Almost done? Surely they were almost done. Wash, cut, pile on top, dry, fluff, straighten, smooth, omg how long is this going to take? Kept reading, kept glancing. It's my time! Are you done? Almost done? It's my turn!
Minutes ticked by. I got restless. 5 minutes, 10, 11. My hands went to my keys, to my coat. I put on my coat. The owner looked around, "Oh."
"I'll come another time," I said.
"Want to make another appointment right now?"
"I'll call," I said. "Maybe," I thought, and left.
When religious leaders object to Reiki... is it a power struggle? Do religious leaders fear people accessing spirit directly? Do we need intermediaries to access spirit?
Big churches are powerful: financially and politically. Do they fear losing that power? They work hard to keep their power, and amass more. They say we must go through a priest or minister to access God. I'm leaving out rabbis, temples, mullahs, and mosques here- because I don't know of objections to Reiki from those people and places.
Does Reiki threaten bishops' power? People find they don't need churches or church leaders to tune in to spirit, to practice, to walk the path of enlightenment. Perhaps that is the problem right there. A power struggle for the hearts, minds, and wallets of the people.
Any demons in Reiki? No, we do not summon demons. Reiki is love and light.
Reiki is passive. We don't summon anything. We simply tune in to Reiki, tell our egos to take a nap, and place our hands. Reiki just is.
As Pamela Miles (talk in Portland, Maine, July 2013) said, "Hands on: Reiki. Hands off: no Reiki." This is a beautifully simple description of Reiki. It works for me on many levels. One, I don't need to dance, chant, or engage in complex rituals prior to placing my hands. I simply take a moment to focus, then place my hands. Then Reiki happens. I don't have to wave my arms, screw up my face, shudder in a pseudo-seizure, or whisper cryptic riddles. Then hands off: done. I don't explain the session to the client; the client explains it to me. I'm there for my client: to witness and support my client's experience. It's simple. Hands on: Reiki. Hands off: no Reiki.
She also said (2006, Reiki: A comprehensive guide), that Reiki practitioners create and hold a space for Reiki. I like that. I just hold the space, and facilitate the client's ability to access and engage in his/her own healing.
No demons. No summoning.
Reiki. To me that means love and light. It's my path to spirituality. To me it's about loving and supporting others' journey to health.
Reiki student asked me today, "Does Reiki summon demons? Because my co-worker said she couldn't have it. Said her priest told her it summons demons." Well, I"m glad the student asked, instead of wondering and worrying. In case you are wondering and worrying: No. Reiki does not summon demons. As a Reiki practitioner I'm all about love and light. I access my own personal spiritual and religious beliefs when I tune in to Reiki. For me, Reiki is my link to spirit. Sharing Reikii feels like going to church, temple, or mosque. Similar to the ecstasy of climbing a mountain and getting to the top, taking in the view. When I practice Reiki I feel love, connection, and gratitude. Reiki is pure, powerful, and neutral: neither "good" nor "bad." It just is. But my experience of Reiki is all positive.
Was teaching a Reiki class recently. One student was already a Level 2. Another student was just diagnosed with a serious illness. The Level 2 Reiki practitioner told the other student to examine her guilt, as that was probably the cause of her illness. What do you think of that? Is it OK to tell someone, at in introductory class, that guilt probably caused her disease? No.
How did I handle it? I said each person finds his or her own meaning in life and illness. Now let's talk about light!
Yesterday was my first day home in 2 weeks. I work a lot.
So I had that new vacuum cleaner, still in the box. There were leaves on the lawn, dirty dishes & laundry, and crapola piled up everywhere.
Got out, assembled, and used the vacuum cleaner. Oh, wow. I think the old vacuum cleaner was broken far longer than I realized. I kept using it, thinking I was cleaning, but finally noticed the heaps of dust and that the appliance had ooom but no vac. Ok, now dust is gone. House sparkles. Kind of wish my houseguests of last week could see. Only thing, with that new vacuum cleaner: I read the instruction booklet and it says I have to wash my hands after using because there is an abundance of lead on it. Warning: birth defects, etc. That seems wrong, right?
Raked leaves and piled them between the garden rows. Washed dishes and laundry, disposed of crapola. Took out trash. Trimmed bushes, mowed the lawn, and transplanted narcissus and chives. Swept the deck. Removed canopy from deck and stored in garage. Thought about sweeping garage: didn't. Moved and arranged rocks.
So yesterday was busy.
Today I sat in the sun in the summerhouse and read Rolling Stone and Oprah. Cooked and made lunches (and breakfast & suppers) for week. Washed dishes and laundry. Watched the leaves fall. Felt the sun and wind on my skin. Rested. Happy Sunday, dear reader.
what if you were so ill you didn't know if you would walk again. What if the one thing that motivated you to get better was returning to an October weekend in Maine. What if you had Reiki in the dark, on an October morning, and then walked to your bicycle to get ready for a 20 mile ride. What if.
for my life tonight. For family, friends, and freedom. For my fulfilling jobs.
My nephew and his girlfriend came to stay. I was so impressed with their sensitivity and intelligence. We laughed a lot. I talked on the phone with my sister for an hour. I'm grateful for my family.
I spent the day in a tent with cancer survivors and people who raise money to support them. There was Reiki, massage, yoga, and sound therapy in the tent. I'm so lucky, even though it was cold and overcast and my toes were wet from dew and I was chilled all over. Even though all that, it was a great day. I should have dressed warmer, but I thought it was going to be sunny and warm. We all did.
Tomorrow, more of the same. More cancer stories, more bravery, more heart. More love.
Well it got cold. It was rainy. And I was just working. No fun original thoughts, no adventures. Nothing new in the garden.
Plenty of thoughts and adventures coming up this weekend. It's the annual fundraiser. I go to meetings monthly, all year. I'll spend the weekend in a big tent, managing massage therapists and Reiki practitioners, meeting athletes and cancer warriors from all over the country. I promise to write.
Came home from work and cut a big bunch of flowers, an armful of pink hydrangea, another unknown spike of pink flowers, fragrant Sweet Annie, and yellow daisies.
It was a rough week at work. Intense. Lots of human interaction. Mostly pleasant and wonderful, of course, but several encounters with angry and abrasive people. Plus I set mousetraps around the screens where I was drying sunflower seeds and two mice were killed. That was awful. What did I expect? Won't be drying any more seeds: I'll leave that to the professionals.
But I was thinking of a mouse-proof seed dryer. I suppose they exist. A wooden cabinet with racks of screens for drying seeds. Or metal trays with small ventilation holes.
Anyway. Like I said, a rough week. Now comforted by bountiful beauty and fragrance from the garden.
On sharing Reiki with others: I guess I'm kind of a plain Reiki practitioner. Like Pamela Miles said: "Hands on: Reiki. Hands off: no Reiki."
The more I do Reiki, the simpler it is.
I don't pant, shake, seize, gesture in the air, dance, rattle, sweep with feathers, talk about chakras, describe my visions, give a psychic reading, grimace, or moan: though I respect and accept those who do.
I'm quiet. I keep my eyes open so I can check on my client (Pamela Miles again: "Keep your eyes open: this isn't your own private meditation session."), and afterwards I listen to my client's interpretation of the session. I support my client as he or she finds meaning in the session.
Quiet, gentle, plain. Just plain Reiki is enough for me.
the solitude, because lots of social time is coming.
A fair, a yoga festival, the big fundraiser, company coming to stay, banquets and parties. Lots of Reiki. Teaching.
So I'm noticing quiet, consulting no one, interacting with humans not at all, and listening to cricket... at least for a few hours per day. I watch the sun rise; I watch the sun set. Temperature rises and falls. The grass is dry, then soaked with dew.
Soaking up serenity, imbibing introversion, preparing for exuberant extroversion.
Driving in the dark feels like a video game to me. Was rainy too. Tunnel focus on the road ahead, the white lines. Don't marvel at the mist, don't become entranced by the water dripping down the rear window, don't space out listening to tunes. Consider hydroplaning, drunks, and deer. Focus.
So I asked my guides to protect me, focused on the road, and ignored the windshield wipers and patterns of drips and drops. Just get there.
A big slow truck appeared, garnished with many red lights. It went slow, 30 mph, now 45. OK, I'm stuck behind this truck. Usually a speedaholic, I'm curiously OK with this. I leave a respectable distance, I happily go 40, I follow this truck. I feel protected by it's mass and the driver's competence.
It's dark and rainy, I'm at the end of a 14 hour workday, I'm making it home safely. Slow but safe.
Walking along Commercial St; there's a sidewalk craft fair. jewelry, scarves, and photo prints. Mostly cheap and ordinary.
One booth has stones, common beach or river stones, but beautifully wrapped in silver. I stop.
The proprietor is an older woman with a round face. She asks me where I'm from. This is a tourist spot. Boat, cruise, and island people pass here: people from all over the world.
Lewiston, I reply.
Oh, what a shame, what's happened to Lewiston, she says. It's like a third world country.
She pokes my arm.
I wonder what she means. Then I think of downtown, the tree streets, once homes for Franco-American millworkers and now populated by substance abusing low educated low income people with deficient hygiene and coping skills, dependent on charity and government handouts.
Oh, I say to her. Right. The substance abusing low educated low income people with deficient hygiene and coping skills.
She looks at me, pokes my arm. No! All those Somalians!
I look at her, I back away. What? The Somalis are the best thing to happen to Lewiston in 100 years, I tell her. They're hard working peaceful people bringing new life to our city.
She gets in one last poke and starts a rant about police inventing crime to save their jobs.
Went to the beach for a swim. The pond beach, not the ocean.
The air was hot and humid, the sky partly sunny, and the water cold. I was in the water when people started to gather on the beach. Mostly T-shirts and shorts, a few summer dresses. Lots of hot pink and turquoise. Oh, guys with black pants or shorts and shirts, turquoise and hot pink vests. One guy had a turquoise Mohawk. One guy had black ear things, I forget what those are called: gauges? He jumped around laughing and taking pictures.
I finished my swim and got back into my beach chair and watched.
One woman stood at the end of the line, near the beach. She wore a blue batik summer dress and flip flops. Long dark hair curled down her back.
Decided my chair was too close. I moved down the beach to give them more space. Kept watching.
The guests shuffled restlessly in the sand.
Then a line of women emerged from the dark forest. They wore turquoise summer dresses. Little girls in pink dresses with turquoise belts tossed flower petals.
Other people on the beach drew nearer, watching.
The bride, white dress, big smile. She joined the groom. Oh, that's the groom? That kid looks about 12. Black pants and vest, white shirt, glasses.
Quick ceremony. Clapping and cheering. People on the beach and in kayaks cheered and clapped.
Loud music: Lady Gaga's Born This Way. That's a funny song to end a wedding. The couple marched triumphantly back to the forest. OH. The groom was a woman, or a person in transition.
The cheering continued. The music got louder. There was a reception rock n roll party under the pines.
It started to rain. The sun came out. Drunk guests drifted down to the beach and into the water. Teenage boys love to wrestle in the water. Toddlers splashed. Kayakers floated back to the beach. Seagulls swooped and a shore bird skittered back and forth, into the water and out. Laughter and music from the reception.
Yeah, I hate those. I hate confrontation. Would way rather run, avoid, and deny.
So what would you do, in this hypothetical situation?
Let's just suppose that you live alone in a lovely neighborhood. Surrounded by Franco-American Catholic blue-collar retirees. Lawns and gardens, quiet.
Imagine a sweet elderly couple across the street. She's short and forgetful, kind, hair always colored and permed. He's got a pacemaker and a hearing aid. They are in their late 70s, perhaps early 80s. They bring you homemade strawberry fritters. He advises you on home and garden. You give them the key to your house. They remind you of sweet grandparents or parents. Some days he runs over with your mail. Sometimes he snowblows or whacks the weeds on the edges of your lawn.
Slowly you notice that he makes suggestive remarks. Huh?
The remarks become more and more vulgar. Explicit. Today he stroked your back. All of this makes you cringe, no, inwardly shriek with revulsion. Gag.
Got a DTAP the other day. TDAP. You know: diptheria, tetanus, something, and pertussis. What's the A again? Anthrax? Angst? Arrogance? Anyway.
It hurts. I woke whimpering in the night, desperately Reiki-ing my sore arm.
Barely felt the needle, and the serum going in. I feel it now.
Vaccinations, immunizations: they're all poison, right? And we do it for the sake of community health, or some such idea. We offer our arms willingly. I had to get this for my job. Condition of employment.
It was 30 hours later that it started to ache. I searched all over the house for an NSAID. You know, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Ibuprofen, naprosyn, etc. I prefer ibuprofen. Couldn't find any. Found some mixed with 25 mg of diphenhydramine (Tylenol PM), but I had to stop taking diphenhydramine because it was giving me BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) so I kept looking. Finally found some in my work bag, the one I take to clinicals. Poured some water by the light of the refrigerator and swallowed 3 ibuprofen. Loading dose.
Took 2 more this morning.
In the light of day I checked the expiration date. Oh, expired 2 years ago. Would I really have to haul myself out of the house to purchase fresh medication? I'd planned on a day of grading and housework.
Did the grading, did the housework, had to go shopping anyway for a friend, so picked up some fresh ibuprofen. Wow, does that stuff work great. Either that or the pain was starting to fade anyway.
Just a little prick on Thursday, pain on Friday night. Felt heavy, like I couldn't move my arm. When I did it was painful. I'd rate it 2 on a scale of 0-10, but it was enough to wake me. Reiki helps.
Decided that what I need before "returning" to work is a whole lot of solitude and quiet.
"Returning," because I didn't really leave. Didn't really take the summer off. I worked all summer, but less. Worked maybe 30 hours a week, rather than my usual 60. It was nice.
But before going back to the 60 it's solitude, peace, quiet.
I weed the garden, pick green beans, note the size of the beets and carrots. I admire the bees in the sunflowers and marvel at the number of calendula: soft soothing orange blooms. Betsy & Dave gave me one plant, now there's a plethora.
I went to the pond for a swim and sat at the South End, alone. Alone so I could listen to the waves and the seagulls. Alone to look at the dance of light on water. Alone to feel the sun and breeze. I waded into the water, warm after two hot days, warmer than the breeze; but still cool and refreshing. It's Maine, after all.
Home to prepare vegetables from the garden and the Farmer's Market. Eggplant, onions, and garlic in tomato sauce tonight. Cuke and tomato salad last night.
survived routine annual medical exam with new doctor despite awkward questions (hers), unexpected tears (mine), and gushing (her). She admired my skin tone, the fact that (at my age!) I'm not on any prescribed meds, and I manage to haul my body around every day.
She earnestly encouraged a colonoscopy, and even brought her boss in to speak to me re same. He said the top 3 medical interventions are: penicillin, darn what was #2, and the colonoscopy. I nodded seriously. Checked my intuition, "Not needed at this time," and nodded seriously, making eye contact.
She admired my blood pressure, asked me about Reiki, Ok had many questions about Reiki, said "You glow!" commended me for my activity level and never scolded me for a single thing.
Then the nurse gave me an intramuscular injection, which I didn't even feel, "What size needle was that? I didn't even feel it!" so it was a good interaction (1 inch 25 gauge).
I did have White Coat syndrome. My BP is usually 100/70; today was 132/88 ("good!" the doctor said). Pulse usually 70s, today 88.
Many people are sensitive to scents these days. Perfumes, colognes, scented lotions, and body washes can irritate sensitive respiratory tissues, trigger asthma attacks, and cause headaches, malaise, and nausea.
When coming to class, please do not apply cologne, perfume, body wash, scented lotion, or after shave. A little soap, shampoo, and deodorant: fine.
I see my role as this. Establish expectations and provide resources. Evaluate progress and offer suggestions. I don't have all the answers, and I can't tell you everything you need to know. Your journey to knowledge & wisdom: that's up to you.
I see the your role as this: put in the expected hours. Read, reflect, write. Engage. Experience. Try the offered opportunities.
When you write a paper, write your thoughts in your own voice.
When you write a paper, read the materials, then explain it to your dog. Or cat. Or plant, a baby. Then explain it to a spouse or friend, someone who will ask questions. Answer the questions. Write your paper. Read it out loud to see if it makes sense.
Submit your posts and papers. I love to read your thoughts. Love to see how creative you can be, expressing your thoughts.
If it's all recycled, copied & pasted, slapped together....well that's just sad. It's a cardboard shack instead of a finely crafted gem.
If you don't put in the time, and you're disappointed with the grades you earn, well... is that my responsibility or yours?
So.... commit, work; express yourself. I want to know what you think. Your thoughts are brilliant, unique, golden.
What scares you the most? What are the barriers to expressing yourself? Grammar? Vocabulary? Concepts? Format? There is help for all of those things. Seek help. If you want to be a student, and if you want to excel, then you have to put in the effort. Do the work. It's up to you.
I'm here for you. I can guide you to the resources you need. Just ask. I'll listen and help. And when you express your own brilliant thoughts, I will be your most enthusiastic supporter. "A" for the day.
I usually go to the pond. It's 20 minutes away. I like the cold clear water, the pine trees, and the loons. I like to watch the kayakers put in and take out.
But it's crowded. People get in my bubble.
Yesterday I could smell the rancid sicky sweet oil on the elderly woman to my right. She was bald and wore a turban. Round in the middle, her limbs were thin, baggy, brown, and wrinkled.
There were two women beyond her. They had five boys. The oiled woman left and suddenly I could hear one woman. She talked continually. "He said, so she said, and I said, so he said..." The space to my left opened up when the woman with her three pre-teens left. A boy and twin blond girls, "MOM! He spit in my mouth!" I moved into their space as soon as they packed up their 4 chairs, 3 inflatable rings, noodles, cooler, bags, and books. It started to clear out. So then two men and two boys came. They started a game of toss the tennis ball in the water in front of me, shouting loudly and splashing. The ball landed beside me and splattered me with water and sand. I moved again. A couple arrived. Long, thin, and pale. They had a sailboard. The husband was a retired professor from Northwestern, his wife a former student. He'd been sailing for 40 years. I know this because they were shouters. I moved again.
That's the pond. The water is nice. Sometimes there are too many people.
The ocean. Who can hear anyone? The waves are so loud. Plus the lobster fishing boats.
And there was plenty of space. Lots of sand. So why did the 3 slim gorgeous yackety teens settle 3 feet away from me? I moved. Plenty of room.
I like it when the nearest people are about the size of a penny. And I can't hear them. I like lots of space. And quiet.
So the ocean beach was good. Leaping fish, a porpoise, and lots of sand. Hot sun. Shockingly cold waves.
Wasn't sure how long it would take to get there. Sometimes there's traffic.
I woke early, with the sun. Should I go to the balloon festival? Watch them rise? Or to the beach
I went to the beach. Got there 45 minutes before the gate opened. Relaxed.
Arrived. Walked for an hour: north, then south. Saw 3 thin long silvery pink fish leap from the water. Saw a glistening black fin bob above the water. It swam along the beach for nearly I mile. I watched and walked along. I asked the lifeguards, "What's that?"
Two young guys, chilling. OH! They stopped chatting, feet down, and looked. "Probably a seal."
"Or a porpoise."
"Yeah. Did you bring your binocs?"
"Yeah. Probably a porpoise."
Ok. But I see a black fin. Do porpoises have black fins? I came home and looked online. Yes, they do.
So I waded in as far as I could. I waded with a porpoise! Or a shark.
The water was numbingly cold. That's good. Not just cold, but numbingly. So once I went in, I couldn't feel my body, so was able to keep going.
The waves slapped. Sprung up in surprise. Smacked and shocked. Felt arctic. I gasped and sucked in air when the water touched a new place on my body.
I could see the churned up sand at the base of the wave. The water was so clear.
If you just stand, then your feet get sucked down and buried in the waves.
Summer vacation is ending soon. Trying to enjoy every moment, even though I'm still working. I worked all summer. OK, vacation is in moments and hours: not weeks or months.
So enjoy the moment. Tune in to your senses. Today I sat in my backyard and looked at the flowers: yellow, orange, red, and white. I smelled their sweetness. I listened to the wind. I felt the grass beneath my feet and the tingle of the sun on my skin.
I stained the deck, bought a car, and sealed the driveway.
Went to a nursing conference in Virginia where I presented my research, visited my sister and niece in Minnesota, and stayed at the beach with my cousin and her daughter from NYC. Hugged my sons and gave them rides to where they wanted to be.
The garden grew. Sunflowers are at least 12 feet tall and loaded with bumblebees. Lush and fragrant flowers. Abundance of beets, carrots, green beans, potatoes, cilantro, and kale. Spread 10 bales of hay between the garden rows. Mowed the lawn weekly. Weeded, watered, and wandered. Welcomed bumblebees, hummingbirds, cardinals, and sparrows. Discouraged copper beetles, slugs, cucumber beetles, and blight.
Taught 3 courses. Shared Reiki. All CNA students passed state exam.
Went to the Atlantic Ocean and Range Pond. Trying to get to the Sandy River.
Played with seven Bernese Mountain puppies and children. Saw friends. Hosted visitor from China.
Ate lobster and ice cream. Went to Farmer's Markets. Climbed hills, hiked along rivers, walked on the beach.
Summer in Maine is great. Summer 2013 is almost over, but summers go on and on. So long, 2013, see you soon, Summer 2014.
12. In my open space: kitchen, office, living/dining room. Six of those windows are obscured by a giant hyacinth. Or hydrangea. I get them confused. It's a big bush with glossy dark green leaves and lush gobs of white flowers. Blue, sometimes, depending on soil conditions. Mine are white.
I can't remember when I last... ok, I've never done this.
Taking a vacation. Later this year. Just me. On vacation.
No family obligations, not a conference, no work.
Sun, sand, ocean.
All I do is work. I work 60+ hours a week and have for years (decades). I work full time and extra jobs too. I send money to my sons and I save. I travel for work and for family events like weddings, funerals, and major birthdays. But I never take time off. Even when I travel, I bring my laptop to check work emails and teach online courses. My best friends keep telling me to take a vacation. They say I could get burnt out on work. How can I? I love my jobs! But they are compelling, and I sometimes feel irritable, so.... here goes. I'll give it a try. Vacation: I'm smiling.
Those meteors. I diligently hauled myself out to the deck and spread out. A pillow would have been good. Kind of cloudy up there. Stretched out my back, shoulders, and arms. Felt good. Puffy clouds. Thick, but chunky, like dried mud, like old skin. Cool night, slight breeze.
So brave. Probably rabid skunks are sensing me right now. Coming closer, drooling, insensate.
I could see 2 stars. Watching for meteors.... waiting. Could see 2 stars, no 3, no none. No stars. Cloudy. Hmmm, thinking it's not the best time for seeing meteors. Still, the stretching was good. Are rabid skunks approaching, preparing to lunge at my toes? A good nibble for a rabid skunk, toes and fingertips.
Ok, no stars, no meteors, potentially rabid skunks: time to go in. Maybe next year.
Once I got in it was refreshing. Had to wait for a hot flash. You know, hot all over and craving a glass of ice water. Perfect for wading into a cold Maine pond.
Waded through the golden water out into the dark deep. Breaststroke, sidestroke, dove under and chilled my scalp. Cut off sound. Totally immersed in the heavy cold. Dive to the bottom and surge back up. Just enough breath to surface into the light.
An acquaintance of my sister, a Chinese student, currently studying in NYC. She came to see Maine.
I told her the name of every plant in my garden and took her swimming in a pond. We went to an assisted living facility and spoke with residents. She had a psychic reading. We shopped for locally made lotions and lip balms, gourmet food, and honey. We had soup and bread for lunch. We visited my friends and played with 7 Bernese Mountain puppies, a baby, and a toddler. She toured another garden. We picked blackberries and watched out for berry-loving bears. We watched my friend sew one of her famous hand-crafted purses. We went to Portland and ate lobster Eggs Benedict, loaded with fresh lobster, "pulled out of the bay yesterday." She met my younger son. We walked around the Old Port and Portland wharves. We saw yachts and fishing boats. We shopped. We walked around Fort William Park and Portland Head Light. That's a lighthouse. We saw the Atlantic Ocean: waves, rocks, and ocean birds. We walked and shopped in Freeport. We ate in good restaurants in Lewiston. She played the piano and toured my workplaces. We went to an art gallery opening.
I went to the beach today, the pond beach - not the ocean beach. Started clinicals early morning, worked til 3. Home, puttered in the garden, but was at the beach at 4:30.
Bliss. Sun, water, and pine trees. There were maybe 10,000 people at the ocean beach on Monday- a mostly cloudy day! And about 50 at my pond today. Quiet and sparse, just the way I like it.
And those 50 were mostly packing up and leaving when I got there, leaving empty expanses of sand and water. Singles and small quiet clusters of people. Wind, water, and sun.
I don't know how many people were at the ocean beach on Monday, but it was a lot. We sat in lines: shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip. There were strangers in my bubble. The motel manager told me that the population in the summer is 150,000.
So it was bliss at the pond. Big bubble, sun, and loons too. I got in the water and felt the hot sun on my back, the cold water swirling around my knees.
Then a family arrived. Three teen or pre-teen boys with floaty toys. Oh no, was my peace shattered?
Au contraire. I took great pleasure in their company. They were kind, playful, witty, and happy. They interacted joyfully. One brother appeared to have Down syndrome. So what? So maybe he taught his brothers compassion. I don't know. How would I know?
Anyway. I never talk to strangers. Wait, I talk to strangers all the time. Yes, for my job. When I'm off and off exploring or at the beach, in public, I never talk to strangers. Felt oddly compelled to speak to these people. Groan. How embarrassing.
I was cold and hungry. It was getting towards evening. I gathered up my things. The father glanced at me as I walked by. That was my cue. I was off on a rant...
"Hi, I'm a mother of sons and a teacher and I've worked at a teen camp and I just want to say that your boys are sweet and wonderful and so amazing and it's obviously great parenting."
He looked surprised and said, "Really? We were so sure we were bothering you. It was all quiet and then we came and they are so noisy and they splash around."
I probably repeated my first statement. Then I walked up towards my car and said the same thing to the mom. She said the same thing as her husband.
Healing Hands class this afternoon with children and families. Brilliant T, an LCSW, led the class.
My boss, PD, told me to work more with children and families. I love to do that! Always welcome that opportunity. T & I offer this class twice a year. Would do more if local families requested and attended.
It's so empowering for kids. Reiki: everyone can do it. You can help yourself and your loved ones. It's comforting and safe.
T makes it fun. She has engaging interactive activities, and a guest speaker (me).
That's it. Healing Hands. I hope it helps. I love kids.
Was pulling weeds. A bumblebee buzzed and approached. Usually they buzz and wander off. This one wanted to land on my right shoulder. Rabid bee? Attracted to my Reiki energy? I shrieked and ran off, shaking like a person with Tourette's.
Cautiously resumed. Same thing. Eeek! Times 2.
Grabbed my brown bucket and moved to another part of the garden. Again! Ok. Is it the lovely brown bucket? Does it look like a prospective abode? Or is it my alluring scent and physique? What is it about my right shoulder? So sorry, am not ready to host a new bee friend on my person. Am not that evolved. Maybe next year. Love you, but don't get in my bubble.
The brown bucket sits, abandoned, full of weeds. And me, bee-free.
There's a plastic sign on the wall that says, "PLEASE NOTE OUR CHECK OUT TIME. 10 AM. AFTER THE ABOVE TIME ANOTHER DAY WILL BE CHARGED. LEAVE KEY AT OFFICE. HAVE YOU LEFT ANYTHING? THANK YOU. COME AGAIN."
The hair dryer is inexpertly screwed to the wall, and falling off. The door takes a real key, clipped to a green plastic rectangle: 19. Room 19
The furniture has white paint, shaded light brown at the edges. In many places it's chipped and worn to bare wood.
A train goes by every few hours, out back, a few feet from the jacuzzis. It blasts a whistle and shakes the room.
The rooms are on the sides of a U with a parking lot in the middle and the pool at the bottom of the loop. We are on Grand Avenue: a street of old motels with outdoor pools, T-shirt shops, mom and pop shops, pizza places, a Greek restaurant, and a candy store. At the end of the Avenue is a carnival with scary rides and more shops.
Our favorite housekeeper is from Romania. She cleaned motel rooms all morning and then we saw her working a kiddie ride at the carnival in the evening. The girl in the candy store is from Turkey. She asked me how Bonono Turkish Taffy got it's name. I said I didn't know. She didn't either.
Across Grand Avenue is a path to the beach. A white sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean. A beach with hundreds of tourists. Maybe thousands.
There is also a synagogue. A man came to clean inside this morning. One year I saw people go inside on a Saturday night, to express their religious beliefs. What's it called when you must have enough people? A quorum? That's the right word for a board meeting, but I can't remember the right word in this instance.
The other guests here at our motel are from New York, Vermont, and Quebec. There are a lot of people from Quebec. Big family groups.
The Quebecois get three rooms in a row and gather in the parking lot to talk and smoke. They go to the beach even when it's 62 degrees, windy, and misty. They dig big holes in the sand and place their chairs in there, out of the wind. They swim and toss frisbees. They drink beer and smoke cigars and cigarettes. They talk and talk and I don't know what they are saying. Then they come back to the motel and get in the jacuzzis and pool. They drink more beer, barbecue burgers, and smoke more cigarettes.
The sun came out this afternoon. We lined up on the dry sand as the tide came crashing in. Frothy white on the green waves. Sky foggy around the edges. Thousands of us on the beach. Pizza, beer, and cigarettes. Boogie boards, beach chairs, and bikinis. Wind, rain, fog, mist, and then the sun. It was grand.
Calendula, yellow daisies, bee balm, morning glories, and sunflowers. Love my backyard. Perfect temp and humidity this evening.
I worked most of the day, then zipped down to Portland, and back up to Livermore. Gave my son & his delightful girlfriend a ride. They cuddled in the back seat, exhausted from work, while I gabbed: talked their ears off I guess.
Then back home. The deck. Not working, just admiring the view. So many colors, shapes, and textures.
I sat on the deck with a small glass of chilled chardonnay and listened to the songbirds. Looked at the flowers, bushes, and trees.
The vegetable garden is out back, the back forty. Not acres: feet, I suppose. Beets are big, peas gone by, green beans are slowing down, lots of kale and cilantro. A few blueberries and raspberries. Would like to keep chickens, but that seems too complicated.
Do they eat copper beetles? I find hundreds of them daily, in the trees, on the raspberry bushes, hibiscus, irises, and ferns.
What was once lawn is now rows of vegetables, lined with hay. My back forty.
A tent appeared on my neighbor's front lawn this week.
Wedding? Big party? Drunks parking on my lawn and crashing into my house? Traffic jam in the neighborhood?
What day? When? Oh dear. Should I offer my couch as a place to crash? Can I escape?
So it was today. As usual, all my fears and anxieties were for nothing.
People came in SUVs this morning, delivering 6 foot tables and folding chairs. There were about 10 tables. Then tablecloths, trash cans, jugs of beverages.
I thought I would bring over a vase or two of flowers. I have lots of flowers in my backyard. But I was engrossed in my work. I worked all day yesterday and most of today on my fall Reiki course. The syllabus and web page- it's a hybrid course, mostly online, 3 six hour face2face meeetings. Reading assignments, objectives, papers, rubrics.... I'm rambling. Sorry.
When I looked up the guests had already started to arrive. Oops. Can't really bring flowers now: party crasher. "Hello, here are some flowers, Oh! what are you eating there?" Right?
It was mostly elderly women, chatting animatedly in French. "Oui, oui!" I heard.
Anyway, I had to go and pick up my son & his girlfriend.
I'm at this stripped down stage. I don't prepare, I don't make arm or hand gestures first. I don't play sound bowls (love them!), burn sage (love that too), dance, shake rattles, or dangle crystal pendulums (wonderful beautiful tools).
Just plain. I just place my hands: share Reiki. Do that as long as I can, as long as feels right. Hands off, I'm done.
Like Pamela Miles said last week, "Hands on, I'm doing Reiki. Hands off, no Reiki." Or something very similar to that. "Hands on: Reiki. Hands off: no Reiki."
Yeah, that's how I am. No drama. Just Reiki.
Oh, and I don't try. I don't force it. I relax, eyes open. My mind drifts.
Another thing she said, "This is not your personal meditation session." This is for the client. Be there for your client. Check, does he/she look comfortable?
That's where I am with Reiki right now.
Heard Pamela Miles speak last week at the Portland (Maine) Public Library. She speaks well about Reiki. I like what she has to say about Reiki.
Sorry, poor neglected blog. It's been 14 hour workdays, trips to Virginia and Minnesota, visits with family, and exciting extra projects. Summer in Maine: beach and garden. Too little time to blog. Will attempt to reform self and blog more.
Circles, horizontal, forked with 3 tongues, 3 bolts at once, blinding like a flashbulb. I didn't know where to look, there was so much all at once. I had a 360 degree view and swiveled my head around to see it all.
Some summers I feel lucky to see one bolt. I've never seen a storm like this one and hope I never do again. 15 minutes solid of thunder and lightning. Rolling thunder that never stopped and lightning shapes I didn't know were possible. Bright as daylight.
It was an error in judgment. I didn't mean to do it. Really.
But I did. I agreed to teach 3 summer classes (I love to teach!) and this means no time off. OK, I have a few weekends. Most weekends off. But the classes overlapped spring and fall semesters. So I'm teaching all summer. Thank goodness I love to teach. Really love it. Love the students: watching them learn and grow in confidence and abilities.
But summer! Again, thank goodness, it's been exceptionally rainy. Might as well be inside.
But today? Today. Today was sunny, warm, and dry. Perfect summer day in Maine.
What did I do? I know you want to know. Hey, you made it this far: you want to know.
OK, alarm went off at 5:30, but I was having a compelling dream and hit Postpone x 6. At work by 7 for important meeting. Meeting went well: I love my boss, she does meetings so well. Lots of catching up to do, lots of work. Had lunch with a friend. Left after lunch, had my hair cut, bought sandals and work clothes, came home. Oh. It's hot and sunny. Went to the beach. Was mostly deserted. Read a good book and swam. Came home and worked in the garden.
Another big bag of green beans, which are thriving. But mosquitoes lurk in there, take care. Never had mosquitoes here before: rainy summer. Peas peaked and are going by. Picked them too, got about 1/3 cup. Wasted space? Picked kale.
Steamed green beans and kale. Delish with vinegar, oil, & tamari.
Now relaxing on deck. Listening to neighbors playing horseshoes: young guys. They talk about the score. There are sound effects and applause.
It was hot today and I remembered hot nights in Illinois.
I was a kid. Two parents, 4 kids. We had one air conditioner, in our rec room. Recreational room. It was at the back of the house, with windows out to the backyard. Winters, we used to roll newspapers in the rec room, roll them up and tie them, then burn them for heat. My hands got black from the newsprint.
Out past our yard and garden was an alley. Beyond the alley: a strip of fast food places, hardware stores, and grocery stores. The Dairy Queen where my little sister used to beg for ice cream, we found out years later.
Hot nights in Illinois I used to have trouble sleeping. Too hot. I'd get up, trudge around past the stairs and into the old bathroom. I ran cold water over my wrists, trying to cool down. Cold water.
School field trips. I remember the shrine in Nauvoo, the place where Joseph Smith died, the leader of a cult. There was a piece of glass over a bit of floorboard, with his blood beneath. I squinted, couldn't really see the blood.
And the town where Abraham Lincoln grew up. That was cool. I liked thinking of him reading and studying by firelight.
All enveloped by corn fields. Rows and rows of green spikes.
It's hot in Maine. 80, maybe 90. Humid and still. Quite uncomfortable.
So of course I turned on my air conditioner, the big box in my kitchen window. For 3 years it's cooled my kitchen and living room, for those 2 months/year of a Maine summer. Yeah, July and August. Summer in Maine.
The room wasn't cooling as usual. The AC unit was moving air, but it wasn't cold air. Did this have anything to do with the gush of water on the floor last week? So much it warped the floor boards. Hmm.
It was too hot to move so I bought a room AC for $288. A colleague recommended it, "I can lift it myself! It doesn't go in the window!" Bought it, brought it home, assembled it. Had to rearrange room and didn't care for that.
Stuck a hose out a window and jammed a pan under the outlet that "might drip when interior collection unit is full." Had to empty that foil cake pan 3 times in 3 hours. The unit put out cold air in front and hot air in the back. The hose was hot. Overall, no change in room temp.
I hate to return stuff. How could I get rid of this room AC unit? Who would like it? Could I put it on the street?
This morning I called around to see about AC repair for the expensive (over $300 3 years ago) window unit. No answer, leave a message, closed, OH finally: a real person. Yeah, "A service call starts at $300," Dawn told me. "You should just go out and buy a new one." Ok, a definitive answer is good.
So I called Home Depot to see if they would take back the room unit I bought yesterday. Took half an hour, talked to a few people. They would, and it would be helpful if I had the receipt. I probably had the receipt. Dragged my sweaty self across the room and found the receipt. Oh. bought it at Lowe's. I always get those 2 stores mixed up. Called Home Depot to confess. Called Lowe's. Got the same answer: bring it in for a return, no prob. Love that.
Disassembled, packed back in box, hot & sweaty, loaded into car. Returned room AC and bought a new window unit. Back home I managed to drag the old window unit out to the street. Free! Maybe someone will take it home. If not, hopefully the trash guys will pick it up on Tuesday. Assembled and installed the new window unit. It was blasting cool air before 11 am.
The purpling ones I'd been watching were gone. Birds. The doves, cardinals, robins, or sparrows. Gone.
I needed a net. But I wanted to go to the beach. I worked all day, starting at 6:30 am. 6:30 am! Who starts then? We did. Worked hard til 1 pm. Sunny and hot. Beach! But the berries.
I searched the attic for a net bag. I use them to store fleeces, until I can spin them into yarn. Found one. A net bag. Covered the precious bush, bursting with green berries, then off to the beach. Summer in Maine.
Three of the blueberry plants were cheap. Splurged on one, $28, with flowers and tiny berries.
The cheap plants are coming along. Perhaps berries in 2016. I like to plan ahead.
The expensive one has berries. I've been watching the berries, and giving them Reiki. Giving Reiki to all the plants. Really looking forward to the berries this season. Some of them were slightly purple. Large and ripening.
Today I noticed that those big purple berries were gone. Birds. I have lots of birds in the backyard, and enjoy their presence. Sparrow, red-headed sparrows (what are they, again, Tony?), doves, and cardinals. Love the cardinals. What a change, what a treat, what an indication of global warming. Oh dear.
Anyway. The berries. The birds. The birds got the purpling berries. Perhaps I needed to cover them.
so Maine. Anti-oxidants, deep blue, beautiful and healthy. You know.
A few weeks ago: less lawn, more garden. I bought 4 blueberry bushes, 100 pounds of stone, and 3 bales of hay. I covered the lawn with hay and settled the blueberry plants. Sunk them into the pit of stone. Covered a wide swath with hay.
It was too hot at the beach. Never thought I'd say that. But it was.
There were 5 school buses of campers. Each group had their own colored T-shirt and customs. Example: WHISTLE. BUDDY CHECK! Or: Marco! Polo!
In the game of Marco Polo, one person is in the middle with eyes closed. This person shouts, "Marco!" The surrounding people shout, "Polo!" The eyes-closed person attempts to tag one of the others. If successful, that person goes to the middle.
This game is incredibly annoying to crotchety old women who like to read, reflect, and watch loons.
Buddy check is where everyone stops, grabs his or her buddy, and the pair raises their hands. It is an attempt to prevent drowning and sex on the beach, I imagine. Also annoying.
All those people left. Ahhhh..... I could hear the loons.
The sun and air were too hot, but the water was frigid. Our Maine water is cold. Instant relief. Poland Spring water. We swim in it.
Summer in Maine. Another search for the perfect lobster roll.
Had one today in Boothbay Harbor. It was a warm, drizzly, muggy day. I wandered in parks and towns for hours. Got hungry and found a place.
It was a little sandwich shop on a whale-watching wharf. All old wood and pots of pansies. Grey skies and water. Mobs of tourists in matching clothes, standing in the middle of sidewalks and shouting in shops.
It looked good, the lobster roll. Was wildly expensive. $15 for a medium roll, no sides. Attractive presentation, with green leaf lettuce and lobster claw meat peeking out. On a buttered, grilled, white roll.
Took a bite. Miracle Whip: gak. Ick. Gag. Spoo. Who would add Miracle Whip to lobster?
Hours later, almost stopped at Red's Eats in Wiscasset. Too much traffic: couldn't stop. Too many Rte 1 summer traffic jams.