Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Myers-Briggs test. Have you taken it?

"...at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood -- particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type."


I take the Myers-Briggs test every few years and I always get INFJ. Took it again this evening: INFJ. I read the description and it explained me to me.

Something I'd been puzzling over recently: balancing solitude with socialization.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Reiki today

Reiki every day. 


I want to make a potato casserole for Thanksgiving dinner this week. Potatoes, garlic, and leeks in cream sauce. There will probably be between 15 and 20 people at dinner. My family is scattered, working. Thanksgiving will be with dear friends.

I walked away from most of my pots and pans seven years ago, and didn't have a large casserole dish. I've been thinking I should acquire one, hadn't noticed one in the second-hand shops. Hadn't ventured into the handmade pottery shops.

Today I searched my favorite Maine adventure store. One never knows what one will find there. It's a rotating panoply. There were baking dishes, but none had lids. Except the bean pots. There were bean pots with lids. That was a possibility. Twenty dollars each.

The posh kitchen store down the street was next on my search list. The pots and pans there were several hundred dollars each. Appliances too. Small pretty bowl $8 expensive. I found a bright orange ceramic casserole dish with cover for $85. I would have to want, need, and admire a casserole dish very much to spend $85. I said to the clerk, "I found a covered casserole dish for $85. Do you have any that cost less?"

She replied, "We have many colors. What color did you want?"

I said, stomping on my small twinge of shame, "The color is beautiful. I wanted a cheaper one. Do you have any cheaper ones?"

She stopped to fondle the $85 casserole dish: stroking it and lifting the lid; she pretended to think, wandered for a few moments, and then proceeded straight to a low shelf in the back. "Well, there's this," she said disdainfully. "Anchor Hocking, $10." It was a large glass casserole dish with a lid.

"Perfect! I'll take it, thanks."

There will be potato casserole. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Almine's 9 Questions

What is the lesson?
What is the contract?
What is the role?
What is the mirror?
What is the gift?
Can I allow?
Can I accept?
Can I release?
Can I be grateful?

Almine, December 2014 Sedona Journal of Emergence

waiting for the furnace man

with just normal annoyance.

I left work at 11:30 to await the furnace repairman. Company told me he'd arrive between 12 and 4. Ah, look! It's 4:07 and he just arrived. Yay!

The point is...I felt just calm annoyance, not panic. Called the company a couple of times this afternoon, to confirm. "Yes, yes," they said, "he's coming."

I purchased this house 4 1/2 years ago. That first year, whenever anything went wrong: blown fuse (circuit?), locked out by electrician, stuck garage door, or too much snow; I panicked. I got all shaky and weepy, thought I couldn't do the homeowner role, called friends and family at odd hours to express discontent and sorrow.

So he's down there now. Pounding on things, dropping metal tools on the cement floor, and going back and forth to his truck outside. He smells like cigarettes. Has wives, kids, and horses; told me when he was here in the summer for a regular cleaning.

I have heat, but I also have an intermittent stream of water across the basement floor. I watched it for a few days, a week, wondering if it would go away on it's own. Wondered if the dude caused it when he did the regular cleaning. Evidently not, according to the company, of course. The stream got heavier, so I called for a fix.

Calm annoyance: that's progress. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


The house is clean and cleared.
I vacuumed, scrubbed, dusted, and tidied. I played the sound bowls and smudged with sage. Now my house smells like weed. I set out bowls of apples, pistachio nuts, and M&Ms.
My friend Denise is coming over to do readings for several friends and coworkers. I have a neat schedule for the afternoon, sent directions to all. I set up the room with small tables and two lawn chairs, an amethyst lamp, a clock, notebooks and pens, tissues.
I've got apple cider champagne and frozen pizza ready to pop top and pop into oven.
I'm ready for my friends.
Let the messages begin.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Going to a Reiki retreat at a Buddhist monastery. A Reiki rock star will share his knowledge and experiences with us. Not like Keith Richards. More like Pete Seeger or Leonard Cohen.  Like the Dalai Lama or Annie Lamott. That kind of rock star. Reiki on.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

day in the life

Busy day with students yesterday.

We started at 6:30 am with a case study: patient with Parkinson's disease. At 8 am we toured our local cancer outpatient center and at 10 the hospice house. Ran into a dear friend there; she was making cookies. Next was a lunch n learn with nurse managers from the oncology floor where we'll be doing clinicals. The students had lots of questions.

We spent the afternoon doing simulation with an $80,000 manikin. Late afternoon we were in a cathedral basement, at a flu clinic. We did blood pressures for any and all. Last, we attended a presentation on Ebola. There was a slide show and panel presentation with local ER docs. More good questions from the students. A famous local reporter interviewed us.

Today I graded papers.  Came home and raked leaves. Tomorrow more papers. 

more recent news


Ebola in the news

Saturday, October 11, 2014

feel the vibes

visited a friend yesterday. When she started to apologize for a mess only she could see, I said, "B, I don't see your house, I feel your house. And it's full of love."

Friday, October 10, 2014

brussels sprouts

Bought a big stalk at the Farmer's Market. It looked like a Christmas tree: a triangle of green. Came home and hacked off the sprouts, big and small.

Chopped them finely and roasted at 425 degrees with diced garlic and hot peppers.

Good with melted cheese or can add to soup, vegie or rice dishes. 


Washed the new fleece. It's black and silky, long fibers, with curly brown ends.

I rinsed it twice in cold water from the hose, gently submerged in a tub.

Then I spread it out on the sunny floor of the summerhouse. I turn it, pick out grass, turn it again. I wipe the lanolin on my bare legs. When the sun sets I put on a wool sweater, showing the fleece it's future. 


Sat on Betsy & Dave's deck on an autumn afternoon.

The sun shone and the breeze blew through maple, popple, and pine on my left. Apple trees on my right. Like I was in an orchard. Blue sky, white cotton clouds.

We sipped green tea and nibbled on her blueberry muffins: crisp and sugary on the outside, warm and crumbly inside. Tart wild berries. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Amethyst Health

If you search amethyst health.... you'll be guided here.

Amethysts represent the search for higher meaning: the search for enlightenment, improved health. They are purple quartz. They magnify energy.

Health, the expansion of consciousness, according to nurse theorist Margaret Newman. Health as an "ah ha!" moment. Health as insight.

Purple insights.

family comes first

You may not see it, me working 50-70 hours/week. You might think I value work first. Well, I do have a full-time (50+ hours/week) and 3 part-time jobs. Yes, I work a lot. I like to keep busy and connected.

I volunteer too. Usually around 100 hours/ year. I share Reiki, manage a Reiki team, serve on a board, and participate in regional integrative health meetings. That busy and connected thing again.

Manage a home, garden, blah blah blah. Would love to have a cook, gardener, secretary, valet, and personal trainer. Alas.

Friends. So important to my soul and happiness.

But if you asked, I'd say I put family first. They're grown and independent. They have significant others, jobs, hobbies, friends, homes. But my sons come first. They always will. And now a grandson. Dear daughters (in-law). Cousins, siblings, parent, aunties, uncle, nephews and nieces...
Family first.

weeping angels

I don't know about you, but Dr Who has kind of ruined angel statues for me. 

Reiki Stories

donating a signed copy of Reiki Stories to the local United Way. This worthy organization helps those who need a hand.

My son needed a hand for a while. He used to thank me apologetically and I used to tell him, "You're just a man who needs a hand. I can help." Now he's a man who provides for his family; he's  responsible and kind.

I hope my donation will help a man who needs a hand.

Friday, October 3, 2014

let's all

be kinder, gentler.

A former co-worker (MC) said once, "We could all use a little more grace."

Is it fatigue or low self-esteem that causes some to be heartless? To play the blame/shame game?

Please take care of yourself, so you can take better care of others. Please be kind. You have a problem with another person's behaviors or statements? Take the time to listen. You might change your mind.

That's my rant for today. Thank you.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Because I am so handy I have a new toilet seat.

Why the splurge?  Why the filthy effort? It was just time, that's all.

$10, one large flat screwdriver, several bleach wipes - - >  gleaming new molded wood painted white toilet seat.

state of the garden

Worked and volunteered about 70 hours last week, neglected the garden.

Went to the coffee shop this morning for good coffee and a leisurely sit with the newspaper. Read about what I did over the weekend: our big annual fundraiser. I spent 30 hours in a Reiki and massage tent on an island park. The river, fall foliage, beautiful old brick mills, and tons of enthusiastic people.

Went grocery shopping, did laundry & dishes, graded student essays, answered emails. Steamed garden potatoes and carrots for breakfast, melted cheese & fried egg on top.

The garden. Just came in from inspecting, tending, and being tended. Picked a mess of pole beans. A little frost there wouldn't be unwelcome. Eggplant, tomatoes, and carrots still growing. Basil and cilantro have gone by. The raspberries are flowering again, and full of bumblebees. Doubt we have enough days for them to mature, still, nice.

The pussy-willow tree is shot through with purple morning glories. Quite a sight.

The artichoke thrives.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Catholic bishops

Reiki students are still discovering and puzzling over the Catholic bishops' denouncement of Reiki. Old news to some, new news to others. A student found mention of it in an old newspaper article. Here's my response to the student's post.

I went to the source you cited, and found a newspaper article with lots of errors about Reiki. Some of the Reiki errors, and my responses:
1) "There are zones, according to Reiki, known in Sanskrit, as Chakras" (Leggett, 2009).

Chakras are yoga, not Reiki.
2) "Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy. That energy supposedly passes from Master to Student and from Master to Patient, " (Leggtt, 2009). 
I don't believe the energy passes from teacher to student, I believe the energy is everywhere, all around us, and the teacher helps the student identify and access the energy. I believe the same re energy between practitioner and client. 

3) "It is known as Energy Healing for the life force within you. If your life force is out of balance, the life force needs to be balanced." (Leggett, 2009).

I don't understand how that means, as you concluded, "I find it interesting that if ones 'life force' was out of balance that they wouldn't be able to have Reiki done on them."   I don't think that's what the writer was trying to convey.
4) I do agree with the writer (Leggett, 2009), that there are many confusing websites and much misinformation about Reiki. That's one reason I teach this class. I want to teach you how to discern what is a reputable source and what is not. Was this newspaper article a reputable source?

I want to teach you about the Reiki myths, and how to separate truth from fiction. I want to teach you how to do plain simple Reiki, and not Reiki mixed with other modalities. 
As you research Reiki, try to tell the difference between a good source and a source full of errors. 

5) You're confused about the term, "lifesource." Do you think "lifesource" could mean something like "spirit" or "soul?"
Thank you.
Leggett, M. (2009, June 24). The Reiki Controversy with The US Roman Catholic Bishops. examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/article/the-reiki-controversy-with-the-us-roman-catholic-bishops 

bad egg

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch. What about one bad egg? And what about the whole good-bad polarity?

Many people these days ascribe to a unified theory: there is no good or bad. All just is. All is one. We dabble in the so-called "bad" to better see our path to "good." It's all part of the human experience, steps on our paths to enlightenment, to one-ness.

This morning I made a big pot of chai tea and fried up some leftover roasted eggplant, carrots, and tofu. Breakfast smelled good and I was hungry; hadn't eaten since lunch at the fair yesterday. My stomach rumbled as I sipped the hot tea.

I got out a box of eggs, purchased at the farmer's market: free range happy chickens. No cages. Fresh. I cracked two eggs and dropped them onto the hot eggplant fry-up.

I smelled a bad smell. Surely I was imagining things. Sniffed the air. Where? I sniffed the pan: bad smell. Can eggs be bad? I dug in the compost for the shells. One was stained black, stuck with sticky yellow, and smelled foul. I just wrote "foul."

Tossed entire breakfast into the compost. Started over: now for something completely different. Had a raspberry and honey smoothie. Frozen raspberries from the garden, yogurt, spring water, honey from Maine Honeybee. Blended together. Fresh crisp one-ness. 

the saga of the bees

Noticed flying critters near the door this summer. They were flying in and out, quite industriously, from a spot between the foundation and the wall. I didn't bother them and they didn't bother me.

They were small and straight, black and yellow, bee-like things. The question of their identity arose. Honeybees? Thus began the saga of the flying critters.

For two months I've been talking to and emailing beekeepers, researching online, and working with my carpenter. I became convinced they were honeybees. I couldn't bear the thought of killing them and neither could most of my friends and the beekeepers with whom I spoke. I like bees. I like my flower garden full of bees.

I saw photos online of the damage honeybees can do to walls and houses.

I couldn't find a beekeeper to come and get them. And then I did. A pleasant young man wanted them. I'd have to coordinate the bee-man and the carpenter. The carpenter to cut a hole in the wall and the bee-man to vacuum them up and take them to a new home.

The carpenter came to inspect. He measured, tapped, looked with a small flexible camera, listened with my stethoscope, and looked some more. He thought. He dodged the flying critters as he thought. He said, "I'd like to wait til November, when they die down a bit."

The bee-man said he couldn't wait til November, the bees would starve in their new home. He had to move them now to get them settled and keep them alive. The bee-man said he'd cut the hole in the wall, get the bees, and let the carpenter patch it up. Good plan.

Then I went to the Common Ground Fair. There was a beekeeper there, with a hive of honeybees. I looked at the honeybees. They didn't look anything like my flying critters. These were bigger and slower. Fuzzy. I talked to the beekeeper and said he it sounded like I had yellow jackets.

I came home and looked online again. I sprayed a few of the critters and took a close look at one. It was small, black and yellow, not fuzzy, and had 4 yellow legs. Yellow jacket.

I went out to the garden to pick beans. Something landed on a bean flower. Something fuzzy, brown and yellow: a honeybee.

Looked at my specimen again: yellow jacket.

Ok, so now I have yellow jackets in the wall of the house. Will wait til winter to cut open the wall and clean out the nest of dead insects. Will seal the hole. That's the plan. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

je suis allé à la foire

Went to the fair. The Maine organic farmers and gardeners association's common ground fair.

Got there early, before it opened, and didn't mind standing in line. It was misty, it showered, it poured, it drizzled, the sun came out. We shucked our layers. I took off rain coat, fleece vest, and second shirt. The wool socks and flowered rubber boots felt good in the morning but not in the nearly 80 degree afternoon sun. Left as it closed down, almost 9 hours of fair. Could have stayed longer.

I hung out with horses and sheep. I ate a tofu and veg breakfast wrap, Indian vegies and rice, strawberry shortcake, a crab roll, maple candy, and cheesecake. I fondled fresh wool and alpaca fleeces. Watched: a woman shear a German angora rabbit, the sheepdog exhibition, and the draft horse contests. I saw gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud and would have spoken to him but for the pouring rain in which we passed one another. He didn't have a raincoat.

My friends arrived. The sun came out. We wandered and chatted, in search of drop spindles. We searched for 3 hours. Found them and purchased one.

I bought just one fleece: black, with a long staple and lots of lanolin. I bought soap, lotion, healing salve, and an anti-inflammatory tincture.

I never made it to the Reiki tent. Went last year and shared Reiki. 

the fair

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Common Ground Fair

Spoke with a native Mainer today who'd never heard of this fair.

Thousands of people go, people from all over New England. I've been going for years and years, how many? Lots. I used to have a booth and sold there. Sold my herbal skincare products. Rosebud Botanicals, skincare products for the entire family.

My friend Vicki and I made and sold lip balm, lotion, bath salts, solid perfume, facial scrub, and toner. All natural ingredients. For the entire family.

My favorite time was first thing in the morning. I loved to hear the moos, neighs, baas, and clucks. I loved to feel the cool mist evaporate into heat. Loved to talk with people about our products.

That was long ago.

I still like to go. I wander the grounds, admiring the vegetables and gardens. Buy soap. Eat Indian food. Marvel at llamas, sink fingers into wool, sprawl on the ground with a new book.

MOFGA's CGF. Check it out.


The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine


Found item. Published abstract of my research.

Reiki on!

Friday, September 12, 2014


Cold night in the garden. Supposed to be northern lights tonight, will look later.

Everything is slower. Alive, but slower. Beans, eggplant, basil, tomatoes, and potatoes. The calendula and sunflowers are going to seed. The artichoke thrives, but does not blossom. Morning glories continue morning gloriousness. But cold nights and mornings, I shiver in my wool sweater and flipflops. September.

And so we turn to darker times, slower times. colder times. 

Monday, September 8, 2014


Pergola? Gazebo? Wooden structure with open door and lattice walls.... I don't know what to call it.

The previous owners had a hot-tub in there.

It's a nourishing space for me. I sit in a beach chair or recline in the hammock, the hammock from my wonderful son. He won it at work. It's a deluxe hammock with a metal frame.

Anyway, nourishing. I sit and absorb the garden energy. So peaceful. I watch the hummingbirds, bees, chickadees, sparrows, and doves. I admire the sunflowers, calendula, hibiscus, clouds, and grass. I see colors of yellow, white, green, blue, and purple. Morning glories climb up the lattice walls, and bloom in intense blue, purple, pink, and white. The sun shines through the green heart-shaped leaves. Bees disappear into the blossoms. They bloom in the morning and close up in the afternoon; after blooming briefly they drop to the ground, discarded bits of color.

The vegetables are behind me. Eggplant, pole beans, carrots, and artichoke. Herbs too: cilantro, coriander, and basil.

When I walk into the garden after work I feel welcomed, enveloped, enfolded, and healed. I like it at sunrise: slanted light hits the leaves and flowers. Birds flit and dive. I like it in the afternoon: I pick beans and soak up sun. I like it at sunset: dramatic summer clouds, dew, beauty.

But that structure, that building: what to call it? I call it the summerhouse. It's not a pergola- it has a roof. Not really a gazebo, it's rectangular and has walls. Lattice walls, still. It's a refuge.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


It was a lucky day.

I drove south, to a psychic fair. Traffic, couldn't turn in where I wanted to, so proceeded to stoplight. Made the left turn, oh, a gas station, lucky. I needed gas. Got gas, noticed a screw in the left rear tire. "That can't be good," I thought.

Oh, a tire place right there beside the gas station. Lucky. Tire guy took a look. "Can't repair that. Old tire, no longer in stock, all-wheel drive... if we have to replace this tire then we have to replace all four." That sounded expensive. Four tires, $1000? "But wait, maybe it didn't go all the way through. Maybe we can just pull it out. We'll look. I'll call you."

I walked to the psychic fair. Had a reading, was told I need to play. Purchased some stones. Shared and received Reiki. Got a call, "Your car is ready. It didn't go through." Short screw. Honest tire guys. Lucky. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

bee resucer

Found a beekeeper who wants the bees. Now just have to coordinate our schedules: the carpenter to cut a hole in the wall, the beekeeper, and me. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

honey bees

Now those bees.

It seems as though there is a bee hive in the wall of my house. There's been a lot of activity in a spot by the door, where the foundation meets the siding. Bees.

I've been talking to beekeepers. I think they're honeybees. Honey in the walls is not good, as you can imagine. So I've been asking the bees to move out, move along, find another home. They can't stay in the walls.  I asked 5 beekeepers to come and collect them. Posted messages on web pages. Emailed. No go. No beekeeper is willing to come and rescue them. So I tell the honeybees to go.

I spoke with my carpenter. He's never done this type of job, but is willing to give it a try. The honey and the bees have to come out of the wall. The carpenter will have to wiggle into a closet and cut through sheetrock.

He's a Reiki carpenter. With a Reiki Nurse wife. We have respect for all living things.

I hope the bees will move out soon. They need a better home. 

drive-by glass repair

Windshield took a rock on Saturday. The crack crept up and around in an S curve, catching and reflecting light. I nervously watched it's progress, afraid to drive farther than the Farmer's Market.

Instead of kayaking and swimming in the pond; I stayed home and read a good book, puttered in the garden, worried about the crack and the honey bees. The bees are another story.

Guy in a van came to my workplace today and replaced the windshield. So convenient. I didn't have to sit in a shop and wait. I prepped for teaching, met with students, and organized for clinicals. Meanwhile, out in the parking lot, a new windshield.

Tomorrow I'm going to leave my grocery list in the front seat. I'm hoping the grocery fairy will take the list and leave a bag of food. Laundry too would be nice. Fill the gas tank. Drive-by chores. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


The green beans and tomatoes are climbing up the sunflowers. The fences are covered with false cucumber, blooming sweetly. Spikes of greeny-white blossoms with a strong sweet smell. The sunflowers are 10 to 12 feet high, so I have to climb to reach the beans. I walk around and look for beans, but I have to sit too, to see them all. I sit and look, be the bean. Where are you all?

It's cooler today, so the bees have retreated from the sunflowers. Yesterday I picked a big bag of beans, sweat dripping down my face. Today cool and dry. I wore a sweater. I could get around the sunflowers, no bees, and found lots of fat long beans. I picked another mess of beans today. Another big bag.

What to do with the all? I asked my son if he wanted some. "Well, we don't eat many beans," he replied. That means no.

I cook them hot and fast; add vinegar, honey, pinch of salt, and hot peppers. Chill. Good in salad.

I used to bring extra vegies to my office friend, now moved on to another job.

The garden is most beautiful in the early morning. The slanting sun hits the leaves and flowers, morning glories bloom everywhere: deep purple, hot pink, and dark blue. Intense, ephemeral, searching.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

goodbye, summer 2014

It was great, but I'm back to work.

Best parts of summer: family, friends, water, garden, and books. I became a grandmother, spent time with sons and their SOs, traveled to Burlington VT, visited my cousin on an island, grew green beans and flowers, bought a kayak, kayaked, taught Reiki, read novels, swam in a pond and the Atlantic, ate lobster, and rode a bike. I laughed with friends, loved my grandson, and went to a concert. It was a wonderful summer, full of love and laughter.

There were difficult, sad, and scary things too. Life.

My garden is a jungle of huge flowers, armloads of herbs, and vegies ready for harvest. Bees, raspberries, and humming birds.

Now I'm back to work. A full-time job, 3 part-time jobs, and my usual volunteer activities. It will be a busy four months. Glad I've got my summer memories. Hope summer was good for you.

England and France

Thank you, Brit and French readers, for buying my books. I hope you enjoy reading them. Reiki on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

everything starts today

The past: recognize patterns, learn, move on.

The future: who me, worry? Whatever happens will happen.

The now is all that matters. Be healthy now. Open your heart now. Forgive, have faith, honor your teachers, earn your living honestly in a way that benefits others, respect all living things. Forget the past; let's just start over right now. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


You know that old saying, "Those who can't do: teach?"

I was thinking today. I shared Reiki with people with cancer and I taught Reiki to eager practitioners and people with cancer. Much as I love doing, I love teaching even more.

I mean, I like to model "doing" as I teach. I like the hands-on style of teaching. That's not what I mean.

When I'm just a "doer" I feel like a false expert. Well, I'm kind of am an expert in some things, but you know.... I don't like to be perceived that way. Like I'm an expert doer and the only best special doer. Because most things anyone can do. So I like to teach so they can.

When I teach, then everyone can do. It's empowering for the student. I like to teach.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reiki symbols

Respect the power of the Reiki symbols.

When you use them; open your mind to possibilities, your body to health, and your heart to love.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Had such an interesting Reiki session today.

There was a student at each shoulder, two new Level 2s. I was tired after a busy weekend, and happy to receive a session. Anyway, one at each shoulder. We began.

I felt like I was split in half. Heat ran down my right side from my head to my tailbone. Cold ran up my left side. I felt unbalanced and so tired. The student's hands on my right felt hot, and the hands on my left felt cold.

Suddenly it switched. I felt cold running down my right side, and heat up the left. Still unbalanced, but my system was trying to adjust.

Then I felt warm and good all over; I was done. I opened my eyes and thanked the students. I felt joyous and jolted with energy - like I'd just had a big cup of coffee. I told them what I felt, grinning and garrulous with excitement. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014


She came out toes up. Thin, white. Pale, frail. Still.

She wore an oxygen mask and was covered with a sheet. She didn't move. The ambulance guys loaded her up. Family got into cars. Police hovered. They all drove away.

That was 10 days ago. His car was gone most days, home at night. Then one night I got up for a glass of cold water and looked outside. His car was gone.

In the morning his car was back and after that it stayed in the driveway. Blinds closed, no movement. Their black cat snoozed in the bay window.

Then the son started to come, every day around noon. To feed the cat I guess. Tuesday morning, trash day, there was a sagging black bag of trash at the end of the drive.

Where were they? I read the obituaries every day. I imagined she was dead and he was staying with one of the kids, grieving. They were planning the funeral and writing the obit. He was drinking too much and playing golf with his son-in-law.

Today the son came and rushed around in and out of the house. He'd stop for a moment by the car door, then rush around some more. I wondered if they would sell the house, and I'd get new neighbors. Friendly ones. A man who wouldn't make lewd remarks. A woman who wouldn't pull up freshly planted flowers every week.

Then the son came back, and brought her. She was alive! She wore sandals, bright yellow capri pants, and a white button-down blouse. She got out of the car jauntily, went to the mailbox at the street, and then skipped back to the house. She was alive and walking! She started up the steps and it was like she hit a patch of ice. Except it's August, no ice. Her feet slid to the left and her head went right and smacked down onto the driveway.

Her son helped her up and she walked into the house herself, son two steps behind, arms full of mail. "Put your arm around her!" I thought.

He came dashing outside a few moments later, and scrubbed a fallen birdbath with a rag. Then he ran to the backyard with a watering can. He came back and filled the birdbath, then went back into the house.

They opened blinds and windows, and turned on lights. She was home.

They drove off 10 minutes later, for groceries, I thought. Back in half an hour. But where was the husband? Still golfing and drinking? Moved in with a floozy? Hospitalized with a heart attack?

They never came back. The blinds stayed open.

Did she fall again? She fell in the deli section and an ambulance took her to the ER. She just got out of a skilled unit, recovering from a minor stroke, and had another one in the car. He's still there, recovering from a heart attack. She'll go back, with worsening syncope and more small strokes; they'll share a room. He's gone to Barbados with the bartender from the Elks. Or the volunteer clerk from the hospital gift shop, a high school sweetheart. She hit her head on a watermelon in the grocery store and didn't make it. They're all at camp. I glance out the window and worry.

The cat is alone. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I experienced a Reiki session recently.
Some of the practitioner's techniques reminded me of things to tell my students.

* If you, the client, are uncomfortable with the practitioner's techniques or hand placements, speak up.
* The practitioner should not be squeezing you, or suddenly and silently repositioning you during the session.
* The practitioner should tell you where he/she will place his/her hands.
* The practitioner should not lean on you.
* Hands should be gentle, no pressure, not forceful. Reiki is not massage.
* The practitioner should keep his/her eyes open, to assess for hand drift and the client's comfort .
* When changing hand positions, the practitioner should lift his/her hands and gently replace them: shouldn't drag them abruptly or caressingly across the client's body.
* After the session, the practitioner should ask if the session was acceptable, and if there are suggestions for improvement.
* After the session the practitioner should listen to the client. Listen. The practitioner shouldn't overshare his/her own insights or offer unsolicited advice and instructions. The practitioner should listen, support, and validate the client's experience.
* Thank you for reading this far.

During this recent session, I whispered, "Gently" twice, when squeezed. It was an unusual Reiki session, in unusual circumstances. I was a guest in another teacher's class, and didn't want to be rude. Rather than stop the session or instruct the practitioner on better practices, which normally I would do; I found myself engaging my energetic shields, enduring, and mentally making the list above. I would have shared my suggestions for improvements if asked. I learned a lot about myself and Reiki practice, and that's good.

Friday, July 18, 2014

perfect baby

He's such a perfect baby. Beautiful skin. So chill. Sleeps a lot.

Fabulous loving attentive parents who are now stretched to the max. Because the last month has been all hospitalization, medical appointments, numerous complicated diagnostic tests, and scary prognoses.

And he's a perfect baby. Strangers come up to marvel at his beauty. He smiles at me. He adores his parents. He kicks and grabs. He has grey eyes and a round head with wisps of brown hair, reddish highlights.

I'm confident that he is and will be fine. He's my Reiki baby grandson. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

good books

Reiki on the island

I do self-Reiki on the ferry over. Not that I'm nervous or sea-sick, just because it's time. Unless I'm chatting with an islander, patting a dog, or watching the sea birds.

Shared Reiki with my cousin. She rented a house on the island. Reiki on her knees and ankles. Reiki plus sea air and island life = relaxation, rest. Just breathe.

Reiki on the beach. Reiki in the cottage. Reiki in the air.

in the garden

I listen to the songs of cardinals and sparrows. I talk back to them and to the plants too.

The artichoke thrives, in funny Maine weather.

Eggplants and hot peppers are blooming. There are green tomatoes. One zinnia, three sunflowers: yet to bloom.

I graze; nibbling green beans, basil, blueberries, and raspberries.

Picking lots of basil, cilantro, green beans, and chives. I pat the potato leaves, so soft. Speak to the morning glories, sing to the sedum, and curse the copper beetles.

The hummingbird is neon green against the red bee balm. Cumulus clouds pile up. The wind blows. I pull up weeds. It gets dark.

Friday, July 4, 2014

your story

doesn't matter. Those injuries, resentments, and jealousies: irrelevant.

That's what the psychic told me this week.

Would an infinite light being feel anger, pain, jealousy, or resentment? No. Forget your life story. Tune in to joy and love. Unzip your enemy's meat body to see the light inside.

Celebrate light and love. Laugh.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sharing Reiki is

joy. Love and light.

It's not much, really. I just sit there and open my heart. Think of the people I love. Tune in to joy.

Oh well, excellent communication skills are imperative. Knowledge of Reiki history. Ethics. Compassion. Presence.

All of that. Then I just be. There. For you. And tune in to joy.

I just met you, but I can share Reiki with you. Joy, love, light. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

the healing sessions

We each had an hour; table time, talking, and processing. We did mostly Reiki, but integrated other modalities too. We used a lot of stones and crystals. D went first. 

While I worked on D I saw a parade of ducks, bunnies, and fish. They went by three times. What was that about? It was like a child's parade, almost a cartoon. Ducks, bunnies, and fish. I have no idea. 

Then I saw steam rising from her body. A release of the stuff she didn't need. 

Then it was my turn. I experienced clarity and knowledge of my next steps. I felt T place a big heavy rock on my chest, a great pressure; except she didn't. 

T went last. I saw her swimming in a pond or pool. I placed stones around her head. D laughed as she felt the energy go through. 

lunch at the healing circle

I meet with two women for a healing circle. We met in the winter and today. We decided to meet quarterly.

We connected at a Reiki Share, finishing each others' sentences, sharing thoughts, and getting each others' jokes. Perhaps we shared a past life or two. Maybe the one in the Scottish stone spiritual retreat. We wore brown linen robes and fur shoes in that life. We meditated and prayed, wandered the stone halls. I see images of that life when I practice with T & D. We decided to invite L to our next meeting.

Today it went like this.

We had lunch first, salad and iced tea. There was potato salad with hard-boiled eggs: what a treat. Kale with piquant dressing and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Pasta salad with beets and shredded carrots. I brought pasta salad too.

I was nervous about a potluck. Most people don't like my cooking. First I boiled tiny teff grains for a teff salad. It turned out like mush and congealed into a solid mass. I started over with whole wheat macaroni.

Cooked the macaroni, added mayonnaise, salt, slivers of dried hot red pepper, and chopped sweet green pepper. Chopped and put everything into containers to layer once I got to T's house. The greens went on the bottom, greens fresh from my garden: spinach, red lettuce, cilantro, basil, and chives. Next a layer of chopped cucumber. Then the pasta. Spicy paprika, topped with sunflower seeds.

After lunch we did the healings. 


fall from the crabapple tree: a flock of goldfinches descends to the birdbath

Saturday, June 14, 2014

haunted house

Went to a haunted house today.

A friend had some business there and I went along.

too scared to look around, too scared to take pics, too scared to stay inside the house. Yeah, it was like that.

big old mansion. Front door wide enough to allow entry of women wearing hoop skirts. First thing I noticed was the gorgeous wallpaper, then the detailed woodwork and antique furniture. I love all that stuff. Then I noticed the ghost on the stairs and another in the parlor. Both wanted me to leave. It felt like there were more spirits. None extended a warm welcoming greeting. There was one spot where I was semi-allowed to sit in the parlor, and one spot on the front porch. I opted for the porch and was so glad when we left. I cleared myself and we headed for places with happier energy.

garden update

Ran out in the rain yesterday to scatter coffee around the seedlings, protect them from slugs. It worked. They're all ok today: eggplant, basil, tomato, and bean.

Peonies, not yet, almost. My favorite flower. The lush ephemeral blossoms, symbiotic ant relationship, and dark glossy leaves. The fragrance.

Morning glory, marigold, and sunflowers sprouted. Harvesting spinach and could do kale.

Potato in hay seems to be working. Lots of potato sprouts in there, along with the morning glory.

Neighbor most unhelpfully whacked the streetside seedlings along the fence. I might have expressed anger, just for that day.

The garden is a glory of color, energy, peace, and future abundance. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

hearing aid

Shared Reiki at a cancer survivor day at the local cancer outpatient center.

I spoke, showed some slides, and a group of us shared Reiki with the mostly geriatric crowd.

The guests raised their hands if they wanted Reiki. They all wanted it.

I stepped behind a short woman with white hair and a pretty blouse. I placed my hands on the top of her head and tuned into the energy. Reiki. After a few minutes I moved my hands toward her ears and heard a high-pitched shriek. What was that? I froze and looked around. What was that sound?

She quickly moved her hand toward her ear and pulled out her hearing aid.

I did that? With my hands? I hadn't even touched her ear, had just moved toward it.

I leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Did I do that?"

"Yes," she replied. "You did."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

sound, just for fun

Tonight at our Reiki Share we had a plant swap. I brought leafus giganticus, raspberry roots, bicolored artemesia, alien plant; calendula, cilantro, and sunflower seeds. I brought home a lamb's ear with a hitchhiker: day lily or narcissus, not sure.

We skipped our usual check-in, and I missed that. Felt like I didn't connect with some people. Too much to do. We did role-playing orientation for three new practitioners. That took up the first hour.

The second hour we presented sound therapy, which is not Reiki, but was fun. Two people ( M & me) brought tuning forks and presented what they (we) knew about sound therapy. Then we tried it out.

I felt strangely tense during my sound therapy session. I got a heavy pain in my frontal lobe with one fork. Dissipated as soon as the practitioner moved on to the next fork.

So an interesting evening. The end to a sunny May day in Maine. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

lost in the woods, again

Loose minerals: smoky quartz, tourmaline, garnets. That was my quest. A local mine: 0.4 miles, take all you want, keep it, no fee. Early spring, I figured no black flies or mosquitoes. A rainy morning, I figured no crowds.

Vague directions, off I went.

I had a nylon bag for the rocks and crystals. I had gardening gloves to paw through piles of rocks. I stopped to buy a small shovel and pictured myself digging through piles of dirt and rock.

The sun came out and it was hot. Found the vague location: an upscale housing development, with mansions, a golf course, and fancy street lights. There was a park, with trails. I remembered the last park, how I got lost in the woods. A map would be good. I opened the map box and two hornets zoomed out. I jumped back and screamed. Tentatively re-approached, opened the lid, and quickly grabbed a map.I looked at the map and read the descriptions of the trails. No mention of a quarry. A ravine trail, perhaps the quarry was there. I set off.

There was a lot of construction, and piles of interesting rocks along the road. I picked up a few chunks of quartz, maybe 10 pounds in my nylon bag. Then I wandered around the ravine trail. There was a meandering stream, woods, and blueberry fields.

I was in a nature conservancy. Do not collect specimens! Leave nature where you found it!  I picked up a stray rock in the ravine, anyway, one of few. The trails were woodsy, piney, ferny, steamy, and streamy.

I got tired. There was no quarry, and no rocks. Time to head back.

The trails were well marked and well-maintained, but I was on a trail that wasn't on my map. Where was I? I kept walking: went over a long scary metal footbridge, through a wet patch, along some railroad tracks, and into a housing development: more mansions, long driveways, and big beautiful yards. Good, I was tired and glad to be nearly back to my car. Where was it exactly? I looked at the GPS on my phone; oh, I was a long way from my car: a long way by  road, shorter if I went back through the woods. Two women were sitting in the sun, in a driveway, with two toddlers. I asked for directions, secretly hoping they would drive me back to my car. They said they had no idea how to get where I wanted to go.

I headed back to the woods. I'd been hiking for 2 hours: carrying a bag of rocks, lost, sweating through my clothes, old, thirsty, and tired. I imagined that maybe I got lost because of that rock I picked up in the ravine. You know, the one I wasn't supposed to collect. It was squarish, white, with streaks of smoky quartz crystals. I found it in my bag and set it beside the trail.

I lumbered along, panting and sweating. I saw a turtle on a sunny log in the stream. A blue jay flew onto a low branch ahead of me four times. Swoop, land, call - in that metallic jay squawk. A deer bombed across the trail, white tail up; the ground shook.

With phone GPS I found the right trail, found more rocks (lots of smoky quartz, some black tourmaline, mica), and found my car. Pretty sure I had 60 pounds of rocks by the end. Or 100. Had to carry with both hands and a sharp rock ripped a hole in the bag. I trudged; my legs ached.

The car. Bliss. Freedom, movement, and air conditioning. Headed home.

I stopped to shop along the way. I  purchased mesh bags to cover my blueberry plants and enjoyed an unsuccessful search for a shoe cupboard. Home, with rocks.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Reiki & meditation

both, one must train one's mind. Stay focused. Notice your thoughts, then let them go. Bring the focus back to center.

What is center? A sound, a vision, an action; doesn't matter what it is. It's the bringing back to focus that is the work of meditation. And that helps with Reiki.

When sharing Reiki and my mind drifts to my To Do list, or what I will eat next, or lower back discomfort; I bring my mind back to center. What is center: Reiki symbols, ethics, and intention. Breath. Back to Reiki.

Tonight my mind kept wandering to the endocrine system and chakras. I kept visualizing the endocrine organs: pineal, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries & testes. Then I brought my attention back to my client's comfort. Back to Reiki symbols, ethics, and intentions.

Then my mind wandered to the cardiovascular system. oops. Back to Reiki. 


Best part of holding my grandson: when I feel his small heart beat against my sternum. 


Wish I knew more about it. Is it chemical? It is in people, right? The flow of ions across cell membranes.

And batteries, aren't they full of chemicals? Acids and salts?

But lightning. That's not chemical. Is it?

Why I want to know more: because Reiki is electricity. I haven't studied electricity since grade school science classes. Suddenly I want to know more. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014


When you live in the city you notice. I can see almost 40 houses from my house. All with yards, cars, driveways, dogs. One neighbor has a pool. One house is empty. Over there, she's a beautician. That way, she's hearing impaired and has a barky little dog. He stands in his driveway and stares at his feet. She cleans houses and has lots of company. He's a flirt, borderline lecher. OK, he's a lecher. They go to church every Saturday at 3:45 pm. He plays horseshoes and drinks beer with buddies on weekend afternoons.

Not that I'm standing at the windows; I don't even notice that I notice. But I notice.

So I just noticed. Where is her car? He has a red truck, she has a white car with a pink ribbon on the license plate. They have a little girl; I remember when they brought the baby home and she cried at night. They put up a sandbox in the backyard last spring. Mom's mother visits sometimes, the mother-in-law. Dad's dad parked his truck in the yard and disappeared. Jail?

Where is her car, mom? Mom, the mother-in-law, the little girl: where are they? He hasn't mowed the lawn yet, and I've mowed three times. No barbeques, no sandbox action, no laughter. What happened?

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Second time in 4 years. A woman I knew died this way, a big blond pleasant nurse: Ellie P.

I wanted to check for water in the basement after a night of rain. First thing I did after getting up, stepped on the cellar stairs. Slid, bumped, and scraped all the way down in a heightened awareness of vision and sensation. Tried to grab, tried to stop, held my head up as sights blurred. Hit bottom, ran back up and took some homeopathic arnica. Did self-Reiki.

Inspected and bandaged abrasions. Wondered how long it would take to be found if... you know.

The humidity was a little high, turned on the dehumidifier. Welcome, summer.


The soil today was warm, wet, and soft. Light rain, mild temps. A good day to plant.

So I did. The artichoke, in the sunniest spot in the garden. The seedlings I've nurtured since March: eggplant, basil, and hot peppers. Instant garden.

Planted seeds: cilantro, marigold, sunflowers, marigolds, beans, carrots, cosmos, and zinnias.

Pulled weeds.

Yesterday I spread 3 bales of hay and 20 cu feet of pine chunks around the edges and between the rows. Today I planted.

Today I admired the passing daffodils, new narcissus and phlox, chickadee visit, and the song of the cardinal. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Any artichoke farmers out there? Will a seedling grow to maturity in Maine, and produce many delicious organic artichokes?

My son and DIL gave me a seedling for Mother's Day. It looks healthy: light green saw-toothed leaves.

I remember seeing plants in California. In San Diego, Old Town. And in a Montessori garden in Sacramento.

The plants are tall and sturdy, with purple flowers and multiple green globes. They seemed to thrive in hot and dry. Maine is often cool and rainy in the summer, so we'll see. I'll give the seedling the sunniest spot in the garden. So much of the garden is shaded by the Japanese maples, the crabapple, the pine, and the house. There is one super-sunny spot, and the artichoke will go there.

My garden recharges my energy. I love to putter around there, soaking up sun and green. 

Friday, May 9, 2014


When you have leftovers and no one wants to eat them?

Use as pizza topping or add to pasta. That's what my son, the chef, advised.

Reiki Stories

Using this book  in Reiki class. I wrote it as a text book; still weird.

Reiki Stories.


A student gave me a radon kit.

I precepted her through a community health course where she presented the ramifications of radon via lecture, bulletin boards, posters, and newspapers. I went to one of her lectures, and brought 8 nursing students. She was knowledgeable, relaxed, and personable. She brought homemade chocolates and cupcakes; she's a gourmet cook with high standards. The goodies were good.

I never really wanted to know my radon risk because really, what can one do about the bedrock beneath one's home? Oh, one can do something. Fans. Exhaust fans.

Ok, with that cheap fix, perhaps I do want to know. Planned to buy a kit. She beat me to it, and gave me one. I opened it, looked like complicated instructions and I was busy becoming a grandmother. I set it aside.

Got it out again. Instructions look simple. Set it out for 48 hours, mail it in. That's it.

Why? Radon gas kills more people than car accidents do. Radon causes lung cancer. It's easy to divert the gas. That's why.

I start my home test tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

on being a grandma

It's the best.

Total love without the physical pain and emotional earthquake. Appreciation for the man who is my son and the woman, the dear woman who bore and is caring for this child. My son is gentle, thoughtful, and caring. My DIL enraptured by her new son, but also respectful and grateful to her partner. I can see them working to be kind to each other in this time of upheaval, this transition to parenting.

Both are completely focused on the needs, safety, and health of their new baby.

And yet, they seem to need me a little. For companionship, calm, witnessing, and validation. To say, "oh yeah, that's normal," and, "good job!" I fill and empty the dishwasher. I knit blankets, rub backs, and drive. I cheer for them. They need me a little, or maybe it's more kindness.

So it's bliss. Earthly bliss. 


and the new mom. All those changes. Let's just talk physical.

Her body stretches out, her center of gravity changes. Organs get squished. Hormones loosen joints so her bones feel like rubber.

Labor starts. "I got this," she thinks. "What's the big deal? Let's go for a walk in the woods. I think I'll make a casserole or sew a quilt." Hours of this. No prob, well, just maybe slight prob, but hey, we're almost there, right? Uh, no, not quite.

It gets more intense. Oh. Talking stops as her focus goes inward, goes toward riding the wave and making it to the other side. It's painful. Time stops. There is no past, no future, no end, no baby. No room, no people, no clothes. Just waves of pain.

You could move or not, won't matter, still hurts. Pain becomes your whole being. You breathe, you endure, you rest. Are you going to crack open? Split open? Please make the pain stop.

You grunt and rock. The baby's head begins to emerge.

In the end you scream.

The baby's face is there. Then the shoulders, then tiny feet and he is born.

Then the placenta, oh god, more pain. Why did no one tell you about this? Pant, breathe, rest.

In the days to come your body will continue to change. Your bones and organs go back where they once were. Your belly is still jelly, and no pants fit. Your legs and arms are weak, why? Then the milk comes in and your breasts are enormous and enormously painful. They're like rocks. Rocks that feel pain, how can that be?

Your spine wants to crack back into place. Hips too. Breasts still hurt. Those afterpains too, as the uterus shrinks. No one told you about that either.

But the baby. The baby is bliss. He's a miracle. You can almost forget the pain when you look at his face.

Note to readers: I'm a new grandmother. This post is about my memories as a new mother, memories recently rekindled.

Another note: birth is easier with Reiki, massage, and love of family & friends.

blood and milk


They live on blood, the nutrients from mother's blood, in an exchange that occurs in the placenta. Then they're born and they switch to mother's milk. Mother's blood to mother's milk.

They start to breathe air.

If they open their eyes in the womb, not much to see. They they're born and there's lots to see.

In the womb sounds are muffled. Birth: must be a cacophony.


All the senses come alive, breathing and nutrition change dramatically.

And this is just the baby. How about all the changes for the mom and dad?

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Email from a medical student:
My questions would be the following:
- how you would describe how you adapt “traditional” Reiki in a conventional medical setting (vs. your own private practice for example)? In your books, you speak about not using stones for example, or not using the same terminology.
- how would you describe how Reiki works in a conventional medical setting (vs. your own private practice)?
- Would you say that you try to link Reiki to scientific evidence?
- would you have any comment on your understanding of how Reiki changes mainstream practice physicians’ opinion (when you work in a conventional setting) on science?

My responses:

I practice Reiki in a conventional (American Medical Association western biomedical) setting: an outpatient cancer center. I don't have a private practice, I don't have time for that. I teach 50+ hours/week, share Reiki at the cancer center, volunteer, manage my life & home, and spend time with family and friends. So, no time for a private Reiki practice. Actually, it's difficult here in Maine to rely on Reiki for a livable income. Our population here is sparse (Maine is 98% trees), and people have neither the cash nor the interest to support Reiki practitioners. 


I adapt by adhering to the protocols I established when I proposed the Reiki program to health network administrators. I instruct my team members (volunteer Reiki practitioners) to follow standards. We try to be consistent, and we do just Reiki, as we understand it. Though many of us are interested in other integrative modalities, we share plain Reiki, as we understand it. 

We try not to adapt Reiki; we adapt ourselves. 

How does Reiki work? I don't know. Who does? 

I avoid that question and advise my practitioners to avoid it too. Who can explain it? I tell my clients what I'm going to do: where I'll place my hands and that I may not speak. I tell them to keep their clothes on, get comfortable, and to tell me if they wish to change any elements of the situation. 

I do try to link Reiki to scientific evidence. I teach Reiki as a 3-credit college course at my small community college and also at the U. In those courses the students read current Reiki research. I'm fascinated by research. I'm conducting research at my cancer center: clients' perceptions of pain, stress, and happiness before and after Reiki. I've been doing this research for 9 or 10 years. A physician colleague is presenting my research at a medical conference in Miami FL in 2 weeks. 

So I guess my Reiki work might influence this one particular physician. 

Dylan Flint

Another author in the family.

My nephew kept a journal during a wilderness trek. He's editing and working on getting it published. It's compelling, a story of big trouble and spiritual awakening. A quest for balance, fulfillment, and the meaning of life.


There's something good to eat under the burning bush.

The young cardinal pair are back again today. He's bright red, with the color concentrated most deeply around his face. She's dove gray with a dark pink beak.

They hop around like bunnies, rooting in the old leaves like truffle pigs. He's better at finding stuff than she, but he shares. Sweet.

I remember cardinals from childhood years in Illinois. Never saw them here in Maine til the climate change. Now we have cardinals.

Laundry detergent

Just mixed up another batch of laundry detergent. Big boxes of baking soda, washing soda, and borax cost me $10. My last batch lasted 7 months, would have lasted 8 or 9, I still had plenty left. Made a new batch so I could gift some.

Mix the dry ingredients, then add essential oil to scent as desired. Of course that increases the cost. I like lavender.

It's good to add some tea tree oil too, for its antiseptic properties (antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Reiki Share

They insisted I get on the table first. Ok. Wait. Why? Do I seem like I need it the most? Frazzled, exhausted, double shifts every day- it shows? I'm worse than the person living with cancer, the person grieving 3 loved ones, and the person in chronic pain?

Well I jumped up on the table and felt rocked, safe, and loved. Felt like I was in the ocean, but supported, floating. Felt my angel. Felt my arms abducting and hoped I wouldn't hit anyone, but I couldn't help them moving inexorably away from my body. Felt my right arm shaking.

Felt like a minute and they were done. I said, "Thank you very much," and tried to open my eyes. Soon I could.

D said she saw a white horse. "Oh yes," I said, "my angel rides a big white horse and he was here."

"Did I hit you with my arms?" I asked. I apologized.  "I couldn't help it, moving them, and they were shaking." They stared at me. "Your arms didn't move."

We all had a turn on the table. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reiki tonight

Shared Reiki tonight. Late this afternoon, I guess. Felt like night, since I usually get up at 5 am. This was 5 pm, end of another long day.

Needed to orient a new practitioner, a lovely young woman who is passionate about Reiki and health.

"I was stuck in a negative vortex," she told me. "Now I feel like I'm home."

Home is our local cancer center. There is so much love, air, and light there. As I sat in the lobby, waiting for her to arrive I kept looking at the clouds, at the sky, at the river. Buildings, hills, and trees. Seagulls. It's on the 5th floor: a skyscraper in this town. I sat on a comfy couch and flipped through a shiny local magazine. Thought I should grade papers, so started on that. Felt sleepy so kicked back and closed my eyes. Worried about snoring, so sat up and wrote comments on student's paper. She arrived.

Our Reiki room was warm and stuffy, but when we placed our hands I got so hot I could barely stand it. I kicked off my shoes and shucked off my cardigan. Fanned myself, but that didn't help.

When we started, I felt the Reiki pulses in my hands immediately. I checked the client: looked fine, relaxed and peaceful. I looked at the other practitioner and we smiled. The client snored.

All is good in Reiki world. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Who chewed

on my raspberry bushes?

The snow melted, revealing the bases of the raspberry stalks.

Many stalks were flat on the ground. I looked, and there were piles of chips, raspberry sawdust. There were pointy sticks, 6 inches high, and fallen spires.

Who chewed on my raspberry bushes? Tiny beavers? Maybe mice. Maybe mice tunneled up through the dirt, under the snow, and felled the canes.

Oh well. They needed to be thinned. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

gifts to students

A pen, because you always need a pen.
A candle, because you are the light of the world.
A shell I picked up on a beach in Florida: a shell to connect you to the ocean.
A stone, because it is beautiful.
And chocolate, because it's delicious.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

wind, rain, melting snow & ice, floods

watching the basement for a return of the streams and puddles of  2 weeks ago.

Have fan, dehumidifier, and wet vac ready to go. 

fly up

Fly up on your angel wings and look down on our beautiful Gaia.

See the blue oceans, rugged lands. See the light from all our Reiki souls and lightworkers. Send love to consenting friends and family. Drift back down. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

just for this moment, listen

Tried my new script at Reiki class tonight.

Have a little problem with Reiki practitioners scaring the new clients. See, I offer this introduction to Reiki class. The students are a mixture of people who've never heard of Reiki, and Reiki practitioners. I found the practitioners were saying alarming things like, "Guilt causes cancer, what are you feeling guilty about?" "Reiki comes from other planets," and "Reiki angels work through me." "You won't need your medications if you try Reiki." The practitioners were scaring the potential clients. They were also being way too helpful in trying to teach my class for me.

So I practiced scripts and methods to handle this situation.

I came up with a script I liked and got to try it out tonight. This is what said. "Welcome new clients and experienced practitioners. I invite the Reiki practitioners to listen to how I present Reiki here. If you have a different understanding of Reiki, then I welcome you to speak with me at the end of class."

Seemed to work well, though I stumbled through the words. Luckily, the Reiki practitioners who happened to attend were people I respect immensely. They were gracious and understanding, and didn't seem at all offended.

So, listen. No scaring the potential clients! Thank you. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reiki from the summerhouse

seemed like a good thing to do after work.

Bundled up, trudged down, sat. Listened to birds and myself. Reconnected with nature, Reiki, and my better self.

Sent Reiki. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

spring sun

gorgeous heat from the sun, but arctic wind. I sat outside in the summerhouse, bundled up in boots, layers, and a warm sweater.

The sun beat in, bliss. Then the wind came, brrrr. Wind chimes played their songs. The mud dried.

I sat in the summerhouse and sent Reiki to my distant client: an emergency rescuer from Napa, California. I felt heat and energy pulse through my body. I felt twinges of pain in my left hip: me or her? I sent. I paged through a magazine: Sedona Journal, I sent more. I kept sending. Reiki.


Second presentation was on radon gas.

Excellent presentation, especially with the lemon cupcakes and caramel marshmallow chocolates. All hand/homemade.

Radon. Odorless, tasteless, and toxic. Maine is high risk, related to our granite foundations. Can cause lung and other cancers.

Cheap test - $20, and easy fix: basement ventilation. Get tested today.

Test kits available at your local home improvement store.

ovarian cancer

Took students to two wonderful presentations today.

First one was ovarian cancer survivors. I learned a lot.

Main symptom is persistent bloating. There may be abdominal pain which radiates to back and/or hip. There may be no symptoms.

Physicians do not routinely screen for ovarian cancer.

If you know a woman who reports persistent bloating, abdominal pain, and fatigue; please urge her to see a gynecological oncologist. You may save a life. Thank you. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Water is still coming into the basement. There's a sweet little stream going west to south, and a big puddle at the base of the north wall. I guess it's time to haul my tired self out of this comfy chair and get out the wet-vac.

I'll hose up the water and dump it down the basement drain. I'm running a fan and 2 dehumidifiers, but the humidity is holding at 65% down there. Time for the wet-vac.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

more rain

so the streams started up again.

Lots of water in the basement. I sweep it to the drain. 


I had a dream this morning. Woke up and remembered it. Thought, "that was minor, not worth recording." So I didn't write it in my dream journal.

Then the thing happened. The thing I dreamed. I thought, "wow." Thought, "should have recorded that."

Now I don't remember the dream or what happened. 

spring in Maine

is warm, dark, damp, and muddy.

Or bright sun, yellow crocuses and daffodils, and emerging grass.

Spring is floods, the possibility of snow, and hope.

death fears

related to water in the basement. Let's just list them.
* electrocution from fan in standing water
* bleach fumes. (Dumped bleach to kill mold.)
* infection in feet from walking in bleachy basement water
* explosion: electricity plus bleach fumes
* fungal infection in lungs

Sending Reiki now to water, flow, fungus, and bleach fumes in basement.

Nevermind. Just checked. Atmospheric chlorine is less than local swimming pool. Streams are probably diminishing. Feet still attached. Can breathe. Not perceivably electrocuted. All is good. 

gems and minerals

Yes, they're beautiful. Yes, we like to possess them.

But here's my question. Should they stay in the earth? In Gaia? Do they belong there?

Or do they belong on our shelves and in our pockets? On our sandals and handbags?

Are they responsibly harvested? Do they jump to the surface of the earth and say, "Take me home!" or are they blasted out with dynamite, hacked out with metal spikes, chopped, sawed, or clawed?

I'm all about crystals. But I feel guilty. Shouldn't we leave them where they are? Why do we destroy and destruct our planet?

new role

Have I mentioned the grandma thing?

A new type of love, a new way to be, the next unknown, and the next thing my son is showing me. Thanks, son. Thanks for teaching me how to be a parent. Now you and your son will show me how to be a grandparent.

I had the best mother-in-law. What made her so great? She listened to me, she accepted me, she didn't judge, she helped in many ways. I hope I can be nearly as wonderful as she was. I'm learning to be a MIL to my two dear girls. I hope I do it right.

I also had the best grandma. She's still with me. What made her so great? She loved me.

Cynical, ironic, jaded: oh, I'm all those things and I bet you are too. I've seen suffering, deep gaping wounds, grief, and betrayal. So don't dismiss me when I write about love. It's real. And it's a new kind of love for me:  grandson-love. 

adventures in home ownership #45

There was a damp spot in the basement this morning.

Took my shower and went to check on it.
2 damp spots.
It was raining, snow was melting. I turned on a fan, left the light on, and went to work.

Took a nice walk after work, so warm! Blue skies! Came home and explored the back yard: mud, sticks, snow, gotta thin those raspberries, more mud.

Came in and checked the basement. A stream is running through the basement. The rugs are soaking sopping wet. Water.

Well, it stopped raining this morning. The stream should slow down, right? I turned up the fan, turned on the 2 dehumidifiers, and left the light on. Swept the water towards the drain. Good.
Oh, mold. Right. Went back down and dumped bleach around in the streams. Good.

Came back upstairs. House reeks of bleach. I'm going to die, right? Opened windows, turned on fans, lit candles. The scented candles will dissolve or inactivate the bleach fumes, right? Or will provide the spark to ignite fumes and explode house. Blew out candles.

Will go back and check stream in a few moments. Meanwhile, the bottoms of my bare feet look funny from walking in the bleach water. My feet are going to fall off. Hopefully after the house explodes and before I die of lung fungus. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014



Too much work, coffee, sunshine, good books? 60 hours, decaf, spring but temps 20-50, Ross Thomas.

Can't sleep. 


Sun plastered me to the rock like one of those gel window decorations.

You know what I mean, right? My coworkers decorate their office windows with colorful gel seasonal words and symbols. I don't. Who has the time? Do decorations really add to the quality of education? Enhance student learning and satisfaction? Am I supposed to redecorate my windows monthly? And my door weekly (inspirational sayings, puns, or family photos)?

I like to poke the gel.

It's like thin jello.

Anyway. I went to the beach.

Drove right in, noticed a park ranger fiddling with the chain at the gate so I waved. I have my season pass already, so didn't stop at the honor-system money-can at the empty toll-house. Drove right on. The road was smooth.

The parking lot was empty and that was odd. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and the road outside the park was lined with cars. The ranger pulled in behind me, driving a golf cart or 4-wheeler. "You're the first one in," he told me. "We just opened up, after mud season. It was a long mud season."

"I have a season pass," I confessed, nervously, in case he'd stopped to check the money can. "I got it already, at Popham," I babbled on.

"You must really like the state parks," he replied.

"Oh I do. I love parks. Even when I travel, I go to the state parks." What was wrong with me? Why was I going on so, and to a total stranger? I'm usually a nod or one word to strangers. We awkwardly disentangled our conversation and I set off down the path to the bay, excited that I might have the small beach to myself.

Oh. No such luck. Remember all those cars? People hiked in, with kids and lunches. Like I said, it's a small beach. A strip of sand and shells, then a line of seaweed and tricky rock, and then a steep cliff to tall trees. There were lots of people there. People watching, discussing, and photographing the ospreys. Kids called  and cawed liked seagulls. Kids fell in tidepools. Mothers told kids, "Be careful! Watch your ankles! Don't get wet!" Was I ever that ridiculous and controlling? I hope I told them to go play, get wet, get muddy and sandy. I can't remember.

A middle-aged couple in hiking boots were wolfing down foot-long sub sandwiches. Huge bites and chews. A hipster couple was oogling the osprey nest. There's an osprey nest on an offshore island. No trespassing allowed. Just ospreys. Young couples with kids. People with cameras. I felt inspected and trapped. I turned right to walk along the beach.

I walked on muddy sand, shells, and seaweed. I walked past two women, planted on a boulder, eating lunch, and talking about working out at the local gym. "Treadmill..." I heard. "SO many INTERESTING people." Why were they shouting?

A young couple was huddled in a cove. I kept walking. I jumped from rock to rock, avoiding the snails. I carefully tiptoed across seaweed. I walked in mud and sand.

I found a stretch barren of people. I could still hear the hoots of the hikers in the woods above me. But I couldn't see anyone. The rock was black and glittering in the sun. The slabs thrust upwards. The seaweed was bright yellow and the shells were blue, white, and pink. I stopped and leaned against a slab, feet braced against small boulders. I felt the sun on my face, and slipped out of my winter jacket.

It was sunny, windy, and 45 degrees. Almost summer to a Mainer.

Sun plastered me to the rock. I felt sun and wind on my face. I could hear the wind and the waves. Snails dropped from the slanted rock and skittered down to the sand. I tried to nap.

I thought about sun, Reiki, light, and heat.

A family walked by, speaking melodic French. They found a boulder beyond, and sat in the sun, lulling me with language.

I couldn't sleep so I watched the ospreys, in the distance now. I watched seagulls swirl above, like an electron storm. I saw a bird with black wings soar and startle the seagulls and ospreys. I saw circles of light flash and float among the gleaming birds. 

Reiki journey

I don't have all the answers, but I'll help you start your journey. I'll witness, assist, facilitate, and participate. I'll walk some steps with you.

Just for today... be Reiki.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Reiki ethics

Students are discussing Reiki ethics and principles. We're in the last 3 weeks of our 17-week course. Students are writing final posts and papers. We have our last meeting next week, or maybe the week after. We'll share Reiki, do attunements, and say goodbye. 

winter is melting away

Early in the week there were patches of ground visible, now there are patches of snow.

Daffodil shoots are up. Snowpiles are shrinking.

Goodbye, winter. Hello, mud season in Maine.

Monday, March 24, 2014


I was sick last week. Bronchitis. My chest felt tight. I had a wheezy productive cough. I read a lot of books and drank buckets of herbal tea. I coughed, sneezed, and wheezed. Cancelled fun plans.

I slept 10 hours every night and napped on the sunny futon every afternoon. I didn't speak to another human being for 3 1/2 days. No work, no chores. Watched the seedlings germinate and grow.

I took elderberry syrup (1 tsp 4x day), echinacea & goldenseal tincture, echinacea throat spray, local honey, and ibuprofen. My friend Betsy intuitively created for  me an aromatherapy oil which I rubbed on my chest and throat, and then covered with a hot wet washcloth.

Every morning I did yoga asanas. I did self-Reiki. I meditated. I read enlightening spiritual articles and books.

Then I felt weller. I was ready. Had a cup of coffee and ventured out into the world of people: communication and commerce. 

when summer comes

when summer comes I'm going to have flowers, vegies, and berries everywhere. The backyard will be a kaleidoscope of color, texture, perspective, and aroma. Right now the soil is buried beneath 3 feet of snow and ice. 

There will be green. Spring will come, mud and ice and robins. Summer will come.

When summer comes I'll be outside all day. 

Right now my house is tidy. Orchids are blooming. The dishes are clean and put away, laundry too. Bed-sheets are clean, bathroom too. The futon maintains an erect posture, no slouching: ready for visitors. All vacuumed, dusted, scoured, and polished. Small but tidy. Perfectly controlled temperature and humidity. 

When summer comes my house will be disordered and dusty. 

When summer comes my gardens will be glorious with color, texture, and light. There will be orderly rows. Morning glories will twine and bloom up the fence. The cedars will burst with green. Raspberries will be an uncontainable jungle of juicy red petit bouches. There will be kale, carrots, and green beans. 

Inside my house it will be hot and humid. There will be dust bunnies in the corners. Stuff will pile up: mail, notes to self, grocery lists, and intended gifts. Laundry baskets will overflow. Dirty dishes too. Houseplants will wilt. I'll finally notice, but mostly I'll be outside. I'll be weeding, watering, and wandering. I'll replant, rearrange, and rest. I'll be at the beach, holding my grandson, and exploring. Well, also teaching full-time. But just full-time, no extras. Well, just a few extras. 

When summer comes I'll be a grandmother and a gardener.