Yesterday, while I was busy sitting at my desk doing paperwork and computer stuff, the three men in my life decided to take naps. It was one of "those" days anyway...the winds were howling, the snow was falling, and we were in our lounging clothes and were anticipating the electricity going out because it was out almost everywhere else but here supposedly.
Today was a different story. We woke up to brilliant blue skies, albeit VERY cold, and all the snow that had fallen had just enough time to freeze as hard as a brick outside. So, before our showing this afternoon we cleaned the house, organized everything neatly, and shoveled snow...lots of snow.
It still is cold outside this evening and expected to get even colder than last night but the process will just repeat itself again tomorrow. The weekends are usually very busy around here but we have developed a system when we need to organize the house fast!
So, rest while you can. It's not every day that you will be able to. I can see in just the short bit of time I was outside this afternoon that there is lots of debris to pick up from the storm. Just one of many chores that are part and parcel of home ownership. It's a good thing that I enjoy it as much as I do. If I didn't, you might just have found me on the other side of the sofa too.
I am reading a new book entitled: "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. This book is inspiring and uplifting and has some things in it that I have never considered before. One of them is: Giving an A.
The authors talk about the fact that there was a course taught at the University of Southern California in which some of the most talented and outstanding students were culled from each department. The graders of the course were instructed, no matter how talented and gifted these 50 students were (and obviously they were at the top) to break the grades down into three segments and give one-third A's, one-third B's and one-third C's. Can you imagine if you were at the top of the the entire student body before being put into this group of 50 and knew that you would probably make top grades, only to possibly be receiving a grade of a C because you were now in this new group? What a huge disappointment that would be!
This experiment shows that in most cases, grades really do not matter. They are only a way to compare one student to another and usually does not say anything about how well the student has mastered the material. The Zander's point out that "most people are also aware that competition puts a strain on friendships and too often consigns students to a solitary journey." (p.26)
The Zander's talk about Michelangelo and how he is often quoted regarding finding a beautiful statue inside of every block of marble. Imagine the possibilities that exist if one just shifts their perspective from comparing one student to another in terms of a grade but instead, focusing on finding the beauty that exists within each and every person. They say that not only does it transform the student but the grader as well. And they also talk about this flowing over to all walks of life and to every person "...and can be given to anyone in any walk of life----to a waitress, to your employer, to your mother-in-law, to the members of the opposite team, and to the other drivers in traffic."
"When you give an A, you find yourself speaking to people not from a place of measuring how they stack up against your standards, but from a place of respect that gives them room to realize themselves. Your eye is on the statue within the roughness of the uncut stone. This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into." (p.26)
What an incredible idea the Zander's put forth here. Universal contribution; a purpose larger than ourselves; a chance to transform ourselves. They talk about being able to go into your past and re-assign people in your history a better grade...to be able to see what that person contributed to your life even if you had originally given them a failing grade. Imagine the possibilities of finally being able to be at peace about something that you have been dragging around inside of you forever, never knowing how to deal with it? These grades we are given (and that we have given others) are actually "just invented" as they so eloquently state.
What brought this to mind for me was something so simple as a post over at Brian's "WaystationOne" blog. He is such an incredible poet and writer. Many of you follow him and no matter when I check in on his blog I am always way down on the list. This last time I was # 51. I don't think that I have ever managed to be #1. So, I jokingly commented to him regarding that. It doesn't really bother me because I know that Brian reads every one's comments ("every last one of them" according to him) so I knew that no matter what I said to him, he would read it. Well, there in my email box that afternoon was a comment from him that basically said: even if you are #51 you are much higher than that in my books." Wow...that woke me up and made me remember this section of the book that I am reading.
I guess my point is this: it doesn't matter what grades we receive in life, where we fall in terms of pecking order, etc. but it is our universal contributions, our purpose in life (which should be larger than ourselves) and the chance to transform ourselves. It is never too late to chip away all that stone and find the beautiful statue inside. It has always been there...it is just a matter of finally being able to have it emerge and show itself. Thanks for the reminder to this part of the book, Brian, and thanks for always thinking of me being higher than #51...after all, that number is just "an invention". I am really an A!
Let me first say that it is hard to catch a dog in motion. Very hard. And even harder to catch a dog in motion trying to eat a bubble! This is Natalie blowing bubbles for Kahlua and even though you can't see Kahlua jumping up in the air to bite them, believe me, he was! And Natalie and I got the biggest belly laughs over the whole thing. We had the best time. And you know what else? She beat me...twice!...at Candyland. How can that be??? She is the Candyland Queen.
And then, I arrive home, check out my favorite MAILBOX at the bottom of the road, and what is in there but a canvas print that Kimberly has made me of Natalie's Healing Spirals. You might remember a post a few days ago regarding her spiral drawings. Kimberly just happened to know that I REALLY needed cheering up over the happenings of the last couple of weeks and this was made by Snapfish for me. What a special daughter! What a special granddaughter. And then...
if that wasn't enough, there was ANOTHER package in my mailbox (what are the odds of two packages on the same day) from April. She sent me this package with a note inside that read: A gift for a special Mom. You know: I am the luckiest person on the face of this planet. My daughter's (and granddaughter) help remind me that I am a special person...if not to everyone, then to the ones who REALLY matter. And that is all that I need to know. They are here for me now.
This special package had a piece of jewelry handmade by Sylvia Anderson. She describes it as this: "I have cut off the lovely floral handle from a tiny antique sterling silver teaspoon, used the bowl for another piece of jewelry, and used the handle to make this pretty necklace. I bent the top of the spoon over to form its bail, and added wire-wrapped dangles to either side...
One of a bright and flashy faceted labradorite briolette, the other, three smooth iolite rondelle beads....I have done nothing to the spoon handle other than clean it. It has its original patina on it."
Isn't it just the most wonderful thing you have ever seen? That, and Natalie's drawing today has made my spirits soar. And soar and soar. Life is like that sometimes...just watching your granddaughter laugh so hard and so loud as her dog eats bubbles, opening my favorite mailbox and seeing not one but two of the most treasured gifts. And, to me it wouldn't have mattered what they were. Just the fact that they thought so much of me to send me something, to love me, to want to see me happy and full of life is the most wonderful gift a person could ask for. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful family. With each other, we can conquer anything that life puts in front of us. Love does conquer all!!!
And now, to turn off the computer because we are expecting REALLY low snow tonight and throughout the weekend. They say that it just might even snow in San Francisco. I think that hasn't happened in the longest time. So, if I am not able to get out because of losing power or because my satellite is blocked out, I will see you as soon as I can. Stay safe, happy, and warm. I love you all!
Recently, Donna Watson of "Layers" posted some photos on Sunday February 13th regarding the Year of the Rabbit. At the time, it made me think of the fact that I have so many rabbit items around my house too and I think that I commented to her that someday I would have to take photos of them so that she could see just what I was talking about. How many rabbits are "too many" anyway!
Out in my garden with heart-shaped indentation for water.
In my entry-way, holding keys.
On the dining room wall, purchased in Yountville years ago.
A Caruth Studio rabbit on wall.
Another Caruth rabbit on same wall.
Miniature rabbits among tea cup collection.
A rabbit box to hold all my CD's.
Rabbit netsukes I have as part of a collection.
A rabbit "sewing bird" I hand-carved that mounts on an old Singer sewing machine.
A "Santa Barbara Ceramic Design" clock hanging in my bathroom.
My wonderful painting of Gilberto by Lynne Hoppe, also hanging in my bathroom.
On my bookshelf.
Also on my bookshelf. And only part of the collection!
In the baby cradle holding items for grandchildren to play with.
Another carved box that has rabbits on the lid.
So, just how many rabbits is too many rabbits? In my case, there are never enough. I don't really know where the fascination for rabbits came from. I was not born in the year of the rabbit but in the year of the rooster. Oddly enough, I have a collection of roosters as well! Maybe I am just a collector of "things" (rocks, beach glass, rabbits, roosters, art, etc.)
I found a bit of symbolism regarding the rabbit that states that "rabbit is also an Earth symbol by virtue of the fact that he is so close to the ground, and lives partially in the ground itself. He could convey, symbolically, a need to center oneself more". (www.rabbit.org/journal/4-11/symbol.html)
It also states that "realistically, rabbits are prey animals and that symbolically Rabbit is a "Pray" animal. Rabbit as companion has specific meanings that can be translated symbolically. For instance, they teach us Unconditional Love, and Compassion for Life, by virtue of eliciting those things within us. If we watch them, they teach us to meditate every day." And "rabbit teaches us that you are what you perceive yourself to be...They teach us to assume self-worth as well."
I found this very interesting and informative. I can see, after reading this, why the rabbit appeals to me so much. I just never knew why. Now, it seems to me, that the rabbit has been trying to teach me many lessons and I have just now woken up to that fact.
Thanks Donna for inspiring me to look around my house and also research rabbits. You sparked an interest in me regarding this and my collections. I have always said that there are no accidents in life. This just proves it once again to me.
Rich in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, edamame is nutritious, delicious, and versatile. After having gone through all my scans the past month and not being able to eat much of anything, I went on a bit of a binge and now have decided to put on the brakes!
Trying to incorporate more vegetables and good things into my life now, I made this Broccoli-Edamame Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons. It wasn't to bad either. It kind of had the consistency of a split pea soup but with the taste of a cream of broccoli soup (sans cream).
I got the recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine, March issue. On the cover it says: Eat Green--Live Well. I certainly hope so!
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 lb. broccoli, trimmed, stems and florets chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
8-- 1/2-inch-thick slices from skinny whole-grain baguette
4 oz. aged goat cheese, shaved
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Saute' 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup broth, scraping bottom of pot to lift off any brown bits. Add remaining 5 1/2 cups broth, edamame, broccoli, and garlic. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes, or until crunchy on both sides. Remove from oven, and arrange cheese over toasts. Return to oven and bake 6 minutes more, or until cheese has softened.
Working in batches, transfer soup to blender, and blend until creamy and smooth. return soup to pot, and warm over low heat. Ladle soup into 8 shallow bowls; float 1 cheese crouton in center of bowl.
Per serving: 195 calories, 12 G protein, 9 G total fat (4 G sat fat) 19 G carbs, 15 MG chol. 174 MG sodium, 5 G fiber, 5 G sugars.
Today, I opened my email account to find an email from my daughter Kimberly regarding the fact that she has started a blog. If you'd like to check it out it is here. It is titled: Kimberly's Open Heart and that title, to me, has two different meanings.
That she is such a loving, wonderful daughter who always seems to offer such good, loving advice to me when I am perplexed. She is very fair, open-minded, and very smart.
And that she had open-heart surgery at the age of 21 for a very rare congenital heart defect that was never detected until she was running on the track team at Sac State and collapsed. We were very lucky that they were able to find what was wrong and correct it. Most people that had her condition were diagnosed during the autopsy! I thank my lucky stars that she has survived and gone on to get married, build her dream home, have a wonderful daughter (my Natalie!) and be a best friend to her identical twin sister, April.
Life always has a way of working out, doesn't it? We can be given the most terrible of tragedies to deal with but it is the "living through" them that makes us who we are today. We learn and grow and figure out (mostly as we're going along each day) how to deal with these things. Because most of us haven't experienced these things before in our lives, we are forging a path that we have never been on before. It is important to be able to look back later and see that how we dealt with it and the path that we chose to deal with it was the proper one. We must have no regrets.
My account of what she experienced and what her sister experienced are quite different. I was alone at home when I got the phone call from April and when she said "Kimberly's been in an accident" and then hung up. I thought "car accident" and "how did this happen? I just talked to the two of you not 30 minutes ago?" But, it turned out to be much more serious.
When we arrived at the hospital ER with the Fire Chief from Georgetown Fire Department driving at top speed, we never intended to see our daughter prone on a table, eyes open but not seeing, and starting to posture. Doctors were coming in and out constantly; nurses scurrying around as quick as possible. Probes being attached and neurological tests being performed before us. Fortunately, her toes curled when probed with a sharp pen...a sign that she had brain activity. I knew everything that I was supposed to know and sometimes I think that I knew too much. The doctors didn't offer much information, not wanting to worry us. But, having a husband who was a First Responder made information accessible. I whispered in Kimberly's ear constantly while I was standing next to her, telling her that she was strong, that she could recover from this, and that she was being watched over and taken care of by people here and above. I covered her in thoughts of white, healing light for hours and hours knowing that prayers to the divine can and would work. And they did!
I don't want to go on and on about all the details but suffice it to say that she ended up recuperating, they diagnosed the problem after a week in the hospital and many tests, and the anomaly was corrected a month later with open-heart surgery. This surgery was a very rare surgery. Only 100 reported cases in the world and only about 7 surgeries performed for what she had.
And months later, when we had to return to the hospital ER for another incident, we visited with the nurse that was present at that time. He asked us if we knew anything about statistics and did we know how many people survived after presenting in the ER like she did? We guessed: ONE?
He said "That's right. She was the only one that had ever survived since he had been working in the ER." What a miracle this girl is! What a gift. And the fact that she has an identical sister (well not totally identical because she had all the same tests and does not have the same anomaly!) that loves her, spends free time with her on the weekends, and that they share marriage to brothers (!), what an incredible thing. Not everyone comes into this world with someone that they will spend the rest of their life with and totally enjoy each other. Twins have a special bond. And I don't think that bond will ever be broken. They both have open hearts. Kimberly's has just been repaired and made stronger! April's open heart came from being with her sister at the right place and the right time. April was her angel. April watched out for her. Without April being there at that time, Kimberly most likely would have died.
I am so thankful to have two such wonderful daughters in my life. I feel as though they were my gift in life. And subsequently, what they have brought (and will be bringing forth) in this life has such a deep, spiritual meaning to me. They have shown me what it means to have "an open heart".
Julie Pishney is the owner of Prairie Thistle and creates the most incredible jewelry. She is having a giveaway at her site. I have purchased a bracelet from her in the past and posted about it on my blog. Go to her site if you want to see what she has to offer. I don't think that you will be disappointed. And, she has the most amazing country home and studio being built at the present time. Lots of sunny windows with wonderful light and large space for creating. She is a country girl at heart!
I met with my long-time friend Arlene today for coffee. Arlene and I have been friends since the late sixties when we used to work together and we have been through a lot together. She dated my step-brother for a short period of time and surprisingly, we both ended up in the same location after all these years.
This shot is her new feather adornment in her hair. Her daughter, Christie, is a hair-dresser and installed (I guess that's the proper phrase for this) these in her hair this morning. They are small pheasant feathers that attach like hair extensions and you can brush them and even wash your hair with them still in and they will last approximately 6 weeks. Really fun!
Arlene is one of those friends who will always remain my friend. She believes in communicating and sorting misunderstandings out before they get out of hand. She believes in talking about things and understands my personality because her husband has the same sort of personality. Her husband and I are both open and honest and sometimes say things that are unfiltered, but Arlene also knows my heart (and her husband's) and knows that there isn't anything that the two of us can't talk about. She is a wonderful friend. Her daughter is pregnant and due this year so we will be Grandma's together this year. We have already made plans to meet at the park and walk with our little ones. We can walk and talk and share things that women need to share. You know how it goes: sometimes you just need a friendly ear to listen. She will be babysitting her grandchild while her daughter works and so will I. We are so fortunate to be able to spend quality time with our grandchildren. Here's Arlene's rear-view mirror ornament. It is one of my favorite things on earth I think: a heart. Hearts symbolize so much to me. They are at the core of all things in my life. They symbolize healing for me, they symbolize love and loss, they symbolize what is deep inside of me that I cannot always explain but someone that really knows me, knows my heart. Arlene and I have both experienced loved ones in our lives that have had heart problems. Hearts are symbolic of what we have experienced in the process of healing our loved ones. On the way home from our morning coffee with each other I arrived at the vineyard to snow falling. The grape vines look so stunning when they are blanketed by snow. The vines have not been pruned yet so they are still in a dormant stage and are waiting for this blanket of white to turn to a blanket of green. When I arrived at home, I placed my new treasure in my kitchen. Isn't the face of this watering can spectacular? This was a gift to me from Arlene today who saw this at a store and thought that it reminded her of me. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful friend that can see something in a store and think that it belongs with me. Thank you Arlene! Here it is, in its entirety, resting next to my African violets, waiting to water them when they need it next.
Life: you just never know where it is going to lead you but the first time I met Arlene, we became friends. We worked together at Western Electric in the Accounting department and used to laugh so much. She has the best sense of humor, she is shy and stylish, she is a dedicated mother and wife, and she is a strong woman. Despite what she has been struggling with in the last few years with the economy, losing her house and her husband's company, and having her alternate home burn to the ground, she has survived and remained strong and steadfast in her faith. She has been a beacon to me and someone that I have looked up to in the last few years. We talk on the phone, she commiserates with me and offers me advice and care, and best of all, she cares for me. We never forget to end our phone conversations with the phrase: I love you. Because we do. We always have and we always will. I know this for a fact. I know that there is nothing that I could ever say or do to her that would make her abandon our friendship. We both have a strong faith; we both get a little depressed occasionally and don't mind admitting it to each other. We call each other, visit, and then feel better after. Isn't that the true test of a friend? We love each other through the good times AND the bad. I love you Arlene! Remember that always!!!
It started snowing last night and when I woke up, things were covered in snow. It has continued snowing on and off all day. It is now 2:30 PM and the sky is filled with snow flakes the size of my hand. (Well, maybe the size of a small child's hand but pretty darned big!). The winds have been incredible all day with snow blowing horizontal on and off all day. My prediction? That the east coast will see it next and will not emerge from under the blanket of snow yet.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it seems to follow that what happens here on the west coast, especially in the foothills, seems to make its way eventually to you on the east coast. And, to think that I was bragging a few days ago about the glorious sunshine and warm temperatures we were experiencing! I'm afraid that those blossoms and bulbs that have pushed up and out are being sent to duck for cover until it stops. The predictions from the weather people is that it will continue well into tomorrow with snow falling at unusually low elevations...down to 1,000 or so feet!
The day has consisted to reading, baking cookies, cleaning the house a bit, and trying to send this post between service and no service. Satellite internet is not the best thing to have in a snow storm.
Enjoy whatever weather you are having and I hope it you stay safe and warm.
For Valentine's Day, my granddaughter made me a card. I thought it was incredible and filled with love but Karen, of "Maggie's Secret Garden" pointed out to me that Natalie has used healing symbols. I found some interesting information at this website. Here is what it says:
"The spiral is an ancient symbol reflecting the universal pattern of growth and evolution. The spiral pattern appears again and again in the natural world from the milky way galaxy to snail shells. The living spiral does not begin or end, it is an ongoing process of innocence, discovery, community, and the essence that connects all things."
There is also a spiral design that appears in the Hamsa/Healing Hand/Hand of Fatima/Kabbalistic Hand/Khamsa. The Hamsa is an ancient symbol of protection used by many cultures. "It is called the Hand of Fatima by Muslims, the Hamsa hand in Arabic and hamesh hand in Hebrew. There is also strong evidence that this symbol predates Judaism and Islam and refers to an ancient Middle Eastern Goddess whose hand ward off the Evil Eye. There is usually an image in the center of the hand: eye, spiral and heart designs are common. The Hamsa's protective energy is said to attract good luck, happiness, riches and good health. As a Reiki healer, this symbol is very dear to me, a representation of Universal Healing Energy being channeled through the hands."
Is it possible that Natalie has channeled something from another time or has some latent ability from a past life that she (in this life) is not yet aware of? I have always thought that Natalie was an old soul. She senses things. She is deeply aware and sensitive. Natalie has been making spirals for the longest time and has a interest in making snails patterns too. I find this unusually interesting. I will definitely keep my eye on it. I'm happy that these spirals represent the process of innocence, discovery, community, and the essence that connects all things. This is what I visualize for Natalie and for all who read this blog.
Is there anything more precious than a Valentine from someone you love SO much? This one is from my Granddaughter, Natalie. Besides this handmade Valentine, she also made be a beautiful handmade necklace out of beads and string with three beads that say "I (heart) U'. Nothing could be better! Except the butterfly bead that she put right in the middle of it "because you love bugs, Grandma!". She really knows me well. It made me dig out some of the items that I have saved throughout the years. This one was from my nephew, Jake. (There's a photo of him when he was small). Such a sweet boy. He has always called me Auntie. And as he got older he changed it from Auntie to Aunt T. Same, but different.
That was then---this is now. He just recently graduated from Colorado State University in December. He is still a sweet boy, only bigger!
I hope that you all are having wonderful memories of wonderful Valentine's Days that you have had in the past and creating new memories of Valentine's Days in the present. I sometimes wonder why I hang on to all these things but now I know why. They bring that time right up to the present for me...a time that is so vivid in my memory but photos and letters help me re-live them again and again.
Today is Wendy's birthday. I remember the day that she was born. Her Mother told me she was an early Valentine's Day present. That was 30 years ago today. What a milestone this day is for her. She is now a married woman and very happy, I presume. Even though we do not speak to each other anymore I can't help but remember her and her family and all the good times that we spent together.
I am reading a book by Russell Simmons now entitled "Super Rich". And, despite the title, it is not about attaining money but as he states "...being "super rich" has very little to do with living in a penthouse or a mansion and everything to do with living in a state of consciousness where you are equallyconnected to the world and your highest self."
I quote here from Page 170 " Loving unconditionally is always in your best interest. And if you know that, but still find yourself struggling to find the strength to love the world, then try to remember the words of the Maharishi, who said, 'There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer. No disease that enough love will not heal. No door that enough love will not open. No gulf that enough love will not bridge. No wall that enough love will not throw down. No sin that enough love will not redeem. It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how great the mistake. Sufficient realization of love will resolve it all. If only you could love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.' ".
And then on Page 169 this: "You want your children to be inspired by the power of love, and in order for them to do that, they need to see you exuding love in all situations, and to all people. Even the ones you might feel the most negatively toward." So, that is the reason for this post today. I am extending love to you and your family. By practicing unconditional love "the pain will not only hurt less, but you'll be free to find the new love that's waiting for you out in the world."
Happy 30th Birthday Wendy. It's certainly fitting to extend love to you this day especially since you were an "early Valentine's Day present." Valentine's Day: it's all about love, isn't it!
No photos today because all the photos I took last night, I took in my dream. I cannot produce them for you to see but they are so vivid and beautiful, I wish that you could see them. Let me tell you about them.
Last night, in my dream, I was in Australia with my family. Yes...Australia! And, we were sitting at an outside venue that had wonderful exotic plants, lots of laughing people, and entertainment of all sorts. In fact, some of the entertainment was audience participation that involved competition and swimming. No...I did not participate but some of the people from our table did. And we laughed and laughed so hard.
To the right of our table was a young couple. She had dark hair and a camera...he was wearing shorts and had beautiful legs. You know: the kind that you just know are athletic. He looked to me as though he were a runner. All night long I kept glancing over in their direction. They were always laughing with each other and she was taking photos of the entertainment and the lush vegetation. I felt as though I knew her.
Later in the evening I mustered up enough courage to ask her "Are you 66 Square Feet"? She looked startled and replied "Yes! How did you know"? My response to her made me laugh (isn't it funny that when you are in a dream that you realize that you are laughing? Dreams are funny like that.) My response to her was: "I recognized Vince's legs!" You see...she speaks about Vince running while they are on holiday. At present, they are visiting her parents in So. Africa. I find it so strange that some of this stuff bleeds off into my dreams. And yet...somehow not so strange. And how did they get from So. Africa to Australia so quickly? Dreams!
I then said to her "Your name is Marie, right"? Now...this is the strange part that only a dream sequence can make sense of. She replied "MARI-A, NOT MARIE". (But in reality her name is Marie). Why was my dream trying to trick me? The whole thing seemed so odd to me WHILE I was dreaming it. I knew that I was making jokes (Vince's legs) and we were all laughing about it; I knew that her name is Marie but she was correcting me; and I knew that she was supposed to be in Africa and why was she in Australia with me? Dreams are funny like that and sometimes hard to make sense of. Most often hard to make sense of. But somehow "telling".
After we introduced ourselves to each other I told her I was Teri from Working the Earth and wasn't quite sure that she really knew whom I was. Was this my insecurity coming out in my dream? Wondering "in dream" about the quality of my blog and who reads any of this anyway? My sister leaned over and snapped a picture of the two of us because it was so odd and so wonderful to meet someone whose blog you have been reading for such a long time and finally get to meet. Marie (Mari-a!) handed me two photos that she had with her of two other bloggers she had met prior to our meeting. Apparently, this has happened to her before. Twice. I read the captions in my dream and they were type-written as though they were printed in a newspaper article. I cannot remember what it said now though. That part of the dream in lost. Funny how some parts of dreams are so vivid that they stick with you well into the next day but others are so obscure that you can't recall most of what you had "seen".
Next we were being served dinner and I remember thinking "I wonder if Marie will enjoy the meal or not"? Now, in real life Marie prepares the most wonderful looking meals that you'd ever want to see. She writes about food quite a lot as well as plants that she can identify. She seems really well-versed on both subjects in her blog and knowing this, I must have wondered in my dream if she would approve of the meal. There have been times that she has not liked certain foods that she and Vince have been served and she has no qualms about writing the good AND the bad reviews. If you want to see some of the foods she loves, go visit her blog. She has a special section there with all the wonderful foods she prepares. I'm sure that you won't be disappointed. Today she is featuring "InsalataCaprese with Nasturtiums?".
Then, as quick as the dream came, it vanished. And I was awake. I was awake and listening to owls in the distance. And I was awake, not dreaming. I had not heard owls in the longest time but after a conversation with Katherine I did. What does this mean Katherine? Do owls mean the same thing to you as they do to me? Hmmmm.... Maybe I need that book that Karen talks about in her blog "Maggie's Secret Garden". She wrote about a book by Trish MacGregor titled "Animal Totems". You can read more about it at her blog if you are interested. Apparently, it is helping many people decipher what it means when you see certain animals in your life. She talks about what seeing a centipede meant to her. It sounds really interesting and I think it might be helpful to many of us who see hawks or eagles swoop over our cars (Melanie), deer walking on the same path day after day through our yards, owls screeching in the night, butterflies appearing to us, etc.
Nature has a way of showing us what we need when we need it. But, we also have to be aware of what we are seeing and why. Otherwise, it might as well be presenting itself to us in a dream and appear vague and unclear. Or...is it the other way around?
Today I received this package in my mailbox. I have written previously about how special my mailbox is to me and how it is the highlight of my day. Today was no exception! When I put the key in the lock today, there was a package addressed to me from Stephen Baird. Stephen lives in Illinois and is an incredible photographer. You can find his blog "Nikon Sniper" in my sidebar and I know you won't be disappointed when you go there and view his photography. He is incredible!When Steve hit 3,000 (yes, that's THREE THOUSAND) viewers at his blog, he had a contest for a drawing for a portable hard drive. I actually don't even remember entering the contest but I must have because he sent me notification that I was the lucky winner of this fantastic portable hard drive. I am in awe and amazement at the generosity of this man. And I want to publicly acknowledge this generosity and say publicly "thanks, Steve".
Inside the box the hard drive was wrapped in newspaper from his area. I love to look at what is in newspapers from other parts of the world. Inside this box was a section homes in his area that are for sale. I think that I must be living in the wrong part of the United States based on the prices of some of these homes. Five bedrooms, 3 baths for $299,000? Unheard of here! Are these houses buried in snow right now? That would be the only deterring factor for me, other than my kids would not be within driving distance!!
They say that you can change a house, add to it, remodel it, etc., but you can't change the location. This house is adorable. And it is only $164,900!!! And it's in Woodstock! Is this "the" Woodstock, famous from the outdoor concert? If I could move my entire family along with me I'd be checking out this location in a heart beat.
Thanks again, Steve, for all that you do in this blog world. Thanks for hosting a drawing and picking my name. I am in awe of the magic that seems to be unfolding for me this year.
This "win" was the first of many wonderful things that have come my way this year so far. I got an "all clear" on my recent thyroid cancer scan too. And, other things are unfolding that I cannot talk about just yet. But, rest assured, this year is starting out to be one that is filled with amazement, wonder, miracles, love, and fortune. And, according to that saying "the best is yet to be".