Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon...

     Once in a blue moon... actually... it would be twice a full moon with Jamie Ridler Studio's Full Moon Dream Board this month of August. This moon she asks “What extra-super-special dream do you want to invite in?”

     I've been looking at caretaker jobs lately... house/pet sitting jobs around the world... wishing I had the freedom to just up and go right now.  To find a place to heal my heart...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Issac Storm Surge...

Tuesday 28 August 2012
Looking to the left of the path, you can see the sea grass line where the water had been at high tide.
Trooper does not understand why I won't let him go swimming today.
To the right of the path, at high tide this morning.  The storm still wasn't as close as it will get over the next 24 hours.
Tide out.  The grass showing in the water is normally not even touched at high tide when there isn't a storm in the Gulf.  During Hurricane Ivan back in 2004 the storm surge brought the water all the way up to the bottom steps that are in the upper right corner of the picture.

Wednesday 29 August 2012 5pm-ish
Almost back to normal.  Still a high tide, but not as bad as yesterday.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Power-full...

     I was on the phone earlier this afternoon arranging to sell the (P.O.S.) car to a junk dealer because since it came back from Alabama something has broken that will cost more to repair than what I have... and I can't afford insurance on it anyway to be able to legally drive it.

     But anywhos... I'm talking to this rockin' powerful Woman of God about general light conversational things... about being authors (she is part of a group of 14 women who are recording spoken word stories ~ which is just so important and incredible) and from there we got around to the current speed bump in my life.

     There are times when I can feel God moving in my life in such an incredible way that it just makes me burst into tears.  Talking with her was like that.  Towards the end of our conversation, she prayed for me and it felt as if I was being lifted out of my chair and into God's hands of protection.

     He is so powerful.  He IS.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lessons in Trust...

     I just got off the phone with my mom.  We were discussing "trust" issues... specifically that of my dog, Trooper.  He lets me "play" vet on him.  Like most big dogs, he has calluses on his elbows, and sometimes on one of his elbows, he actually gets a painful "pimple" when his pores get blocked with dirt.  Every few weeks, I try to get it to open to relieve some of his pain... a process which generally causes him more pain.  I hold a hot (but not scalding) washcloth to try to soften it, then roll it around trying to get it to open naturally before I put any pressure on it.

     Trooper just sits or lays there, patiently being a patient.  Eyes closed, he seldom even flinches, but I know that I'm causing him pain.  Even last month when a spider bite on the inside of his hind leg became abscessed and I had to frequently wash it with peroxide... he just stood and let me.  That one was a nasty wound that took almost two months to heal with the help of a maggot that got into it (yes, I know... GROSS!!! but even modern medicine uses them and leeches at times).

     Trooper trusts me without question.  He knows that even when what I am doing causes him pain... I wouldn't be doing it if it weren't for his own good.

     This morning I was reading in the Jesus Calling devotional book that my Aunt Nan sent to me.  In today's reading, Sarah Young wrote that we were to trust our loved ones to Him and release them into His protective care... that He will give them rest.

      Coming on the heels of yesterday's blog, my conversations with my mom this morning... I know that this message on trust is one that is meant for me to learn from... that I need to also trust Him with my heart and know that even when the trials I am going through cause me pain... they will be turned to good.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who do you wish to hug?

     I'm sobbing loudly and wiping the tears from my face after reading the 3x3x365 blog by three amazing women.  Topping it off is Laura Story's song "Blessings" on the radio.  Yes, this will be another wet day...

      Hugs... to give... to get... I wish I could give a hug to my friend, Lori, who is battling her own cancer dragon.  I wish I could hug my blog-friend, Kristin, who is battling dragons of a different kind.  I wish I could hug my mom whom I haven't seen since 2007 and could really use one of her hugs today.  I wish I could hug my dad who died in March of 2007 and who I didn't get to hug in the year before he died.  I wish I could hug everyone in my family... all of my friends near and far and electronic.

     Yes... today will be a very wet day.  I wish you hugs...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cooking with your mouth...

         Cooking with your mouth... and nose... as opposed to cooking with your eyes.  I didn't used to like to cook.  Baking was my thing because with baking you usually have to follow a specific recipe or things won't rise, or if they do rise, they will fall.  My 2nd husband used to tell me that we would starve to death if we had to eat my cooking all the time because I never cooked anything "right."

     So several years after I left him, I took cooking classes at Somethin's Cookin'.  Now I love to cook... with my mouth... and my nose.  I taste and smell what I'm cooking and add things that aren't in the recipe if my tongue tells me it needs something else.

     Cooking with your eyes, is just looking at a label on the store shelf and tossing it in your basket.  For example, barbeque sauce.

     Cooking with your mouth and nose, is taking ketchup, mustard, brown sugar (or honey), and strawberry preserves from the refrigerator.  Mixing them together in a pot on the stove, and cooking them down on a low temp until blended.  It is adding a few herbs and spices... like onion, garlic, and cilantro... and then tasting it to see if it needs more or something else.  Like maybe sometimes a splash of bourbon... or honey... or liquid smoke.  Or a dash of ancho chili peppers.

     Or taking a recipe... like today I tried one for New Mexico Pinto Beans which calls for ham, pinto beans, crushed red peppers, and garlic... and adding some more spices to it to make it dance on your tongue and fire up your nose.

     Sometimes the "right" way to cook is not the same way as someone else might think is "right."  But if it makes your tongue dance... who cares what he thinks...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Colossians 3:13

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

     In this journey through the New Testament, I have found it amazing that so often the scriptures I have chosen (in advance) are perfect for where I am each month.  I suppose amazing isn't the right word since there are no coincidences... all things happen for a reason.

     This has already been a month of reconciliation for me.  Forgiving... and being forgiven.  In doing so, I have found that I am able to let go of some of the pain of my past, and the weight of holding onto the pain caused by the rift between me and another.

     One person most of us forget to forgive, however, is ourselves.  We all can be our worst critics, holding ourselves to a higher standard than what we hold others to.  When we make mistakes... as we all do... we can often forgive someone else for the same mistake easier than we can forgive ourselves.  It is often the one "rift" with ourselves that causes us the most pain and the most discomfort.

     Whatever you are carrying on your shoulders today, whatever burden from mistakes you have not been able to let go of... forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Forgive yourself as the Lord forgave you.  I think when we are reminded to "love one another as I have loved you" we are also being reminded to love ourselves.  The first step to loving ourselves is learning to forgive ourselves.

     Forgive yourself.  Love yourself.  For you truly are worthy.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cabin fever...

No cable TV for a month.

No Internet at home for a month.

468 games of Solitaire later...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Journeys...

    This was me in the fall of 1987.  I was in California, 25 years old, and didn't know that I was about to file for my first divorce in just a month.  I was married, some-what happy, and on the top of my small part of the world.  I believed in love.  I believed world peace was possible.  I believed in happily ever after.







     This was me in the summer of 2009.  I was in Florida, 47 years old, and very happily single.  I wasn't dating anyone, loved my life and my place in my small part of the world.  I had recently self-published my first book, had a good job, good friends, and a comfortable home.  I still believed that world peace was possible.  I still believed in happily ever after, but wasn't so sure any more about love.



      This was me in the late summer of 2011.  I was in Texas, 49 years old, and married again.  [Apparently I did believe in love after all.]  I had three self-published books under my belt, a good job, friends, and an amazing rental house I would have loved to own.  I still believed that world peace was possible, but was beginning to believe that “happily ever after” was just an urban myth.

      In our lives we travel many roads.  Some that don't go much past the edge of our hometowns, others that take us farther than we ever imagined we would go.  We have many different teachers in our lives, and many life lessons.  Some of those lessons we learn enough to be able to share them with others.  Other lessons we are destined to repeat again and again, becoming a lesson for others just by our painful example.

      If my now 50 year old self could go back to that 25 year old self and offer any word of advice for the next 25 years it would be this:  "Don't ever let anyone take your smile away from you.  Don't ever stop being happy, or stop believing in world peace, love and happily ever after.  Don't ever let anyone take away your joy or crush your spirit.  Don't ever stop believing in yourself.  Ever."

      I don't regret the roads I've taken in the last 25 years, the person I was then, or the person I have become.  These roads… lessons… have made me stronger than that 25 year old ever was.  And I'm just getting warmed up…

Pug Zen 2

Dream Big.
Alaska Sled Dog in Training

 It could happen.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Om Pug Loo Pug

     Poor Henry.

     Since we've been back in Florida he has been tormented by skin problems because of the fleas.  I've used flea baths, treatments, and collars, but nothing seems to help.  I can only give him so many baths before his skin becomes dry and causes more problems.  I've also let him swim in the bay occasionally since the salt water helps to clean them.  But he still goes crazy scratching and itching.

     When we walk in the vacant field across the street, he loves to roll in the grass and dirt to scratch his back and occasionally winds up rolling in some of the orange clay that was imported for a failed construction job.  Hence, my Om Pug Loo Pug...
      This was a digitally altered pic [since my camera was stolen when I was being a nice person to someone in July] but you get the idea.

     Needless to say, he got another bath...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What do you wish to create?

     What do I wish to create?  Creation is bringing life to something... whether it is words on paper, colors on a canvas, a garden from seeds, or a living, breathing, miracle.

     Creation can also be remaking ourselves... lifting ourselves out of the ashes of our lives and rising again.  Rising above our past, our mistakes, our regrets, shedding our skin like a snake, or peeling off layers like an onion.  Creating our lives.

     I wish to create a new life for myself... to vanish from this place where I am now, disappear, and emerge a new creation in a different space and time.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Full Sturgeon Moon


     Jamie Ridler's prompt for us this full moon of August asks what our intuition is telling us about our dreams. She has an uncanny knack for hitting the nail on the head for me when she prompts for full moons or wishcasting Wednesdays.

     The sturgeon is a large fish, and so for my answer this moon, I'm going to share the first two chapters of one of my next two books, titled "Cierra's Soul." It opens with a Native American legend about the mermaid which is a integral character in this book.

     My dreams are telling me that I need to make changes in my life to move forward, and that I do not need to be controlled by my past.
Source

                                                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                         ~ ONE ~
     Cierra could hear the men pounding on the locked front door downstairs as she quickly slipped behind the false wall of the old house and ran up the stairs to the long forgotten attic. Why the most recent owners had closed off the attic behind the wall she might never know, but for now she was grateful.
     As she heard the door crash in, followed by automatic gunfire, she looked around in the dim light for a place to hide among the dusty furniture and boxes. There was a chance ~ a small chance ~ that the false wall wouldn't be discovered by the men searching the house below for her. But it wasn't a chance she could take.
     Silently, she slid between a writing desk and an armoire to a small window at the end of the room which had been painted white so no one could see inside the attic. She slipped behind an old Victorian sofa covered with boxes and trunks. Cierra could still hear the men below her, shouting as they went from room to room, occasionally firing their guns. She shook with fear and tried not to cry out each time the gunfire startled her.
     Suddenly the voices grew louder and she heard the false wall being kicked down. She held her breath as she heard the men on the attic stairs, then silence. Sweat ran down between her breasts and along her spine as she tried to breath in the hot, dusty attic. Cierra wondered if she had left footprints in the dust and slowly eased down to the floor to look under the sofa to see if the men were waiting to see if she would stand up.
     Her eyes widened in fear as she looked across the floor. There weren't men’s legs and feet on the other side of the sofa, but what was there was even more terrifying. The heat hadn't been from the stuffiness of the closed off attic, nor had it been dust that was making it hard for her to breathe.
     Flames rose through the cracks in the floorboards of the attic, moving closer to where she now lay trapped as the dry, antique furniture caught fire like tinder wood.
     Cierra stood quickly and turned to the window behind her, trying desperately to open it, but the century old paint held fast. Panicking as she felt the heat of the flames against her back, she looked for something to use to break the glass. Suddenly she felt the floor beneath her begin to collapse.

                                                                     ~ TWO ~
      Screaming, Cierra landed on the floor, waking herself as she fought against the sheets tangled around her legs. Lying on the floor, breathing heavily and tears running into her ears, Cierra closed her eyes. She tried to remember the last time she'd been able to sleep, really sleep.
     The nightmares had been occurring for several months now, the same scenario or slightly different every single night. The one constant that never changed was the house with the false wall and hidden attic.
     In most of the nightmares she was alone, but more often now there were children in the nightmare with her. Usually it was just a girl about seven years old, but sometimes there was a boy with her, who was smaller, and maybe a year or two younger. They never said anything that she could remember when she woke up, nor did they seem familiar to her. All she knew was that protecting them seemed more important than saving herself.
     The men chasing her changed occasionally. Sometimes one man whose shadow stalked her with a knife raised over his head. More frequently it was the men with guns. In every dream, she would be found by the men and wake as they shot or stabbed her, or as in tonight's dream, as she fell. Once she had dreamt of falling out the window as she tried to escape.
     After the first month, she bought an Encyclopedia of Dreams trying to solve the mystery of why she was having the nightmares, and interpret what the images meant. What she learned worried her almost as much as the nightmares did.
     Cierra walked into the kitchen and set the hot water kettle on the top of the stove and took a box of chamomile tea from the cupboard. She took her favorite mug, one with a picture of her and her grandfather on it from when she was ten years old, down from the hook where it hung by the stove and set it on the counter. As she heard the water begin to heat, she went into the bedroom getting the dream book and a notebook off the nightstand by her bed. Sitting at the kitchen table, she wrote down the date and time, and what she could remember of the nightmare. She opened the encyclopedia and began to read.
     The house represented herself or her soul. The attic represented her intellect; hidden memories or repressed thoughts, her spirituality. But it could also mean difficulties in her life that were keeping her from attaining her goals. A cluttered attic was a sign that her mind and thoughts needed organizing, that she needed to rid herself of her past and let go of any emotions that were holding her back.
     “Easier read than done.” Cierra shook her head as she read over the words again. Let go of her past. How long had she been trying to do that? It had only been five years but it seemed her whole life she had been running from who she was… or rather who she used to be.
     Being chased in her nightmare was an indication that she was avoiding a situation that she didn’t think she could win. It was a sign of her insecurity.
     “Yeah, I’m definitely having some avoidance issues right now, like avoiding everything and everyone in my life.” She sighed heavily. Why was it that her subconscious had to nag her almost as much as her conscious at times? If she didn’t worry enough about everything when she was awake, now she had her dreams and nightmares hounding her.
     The children in her nightmares could stand for her own “inner child;” the part of herself that wanted to stay in the past, a time when life was easier and there weren’t so many things to worry about. A time when she still believed that dreams could come true. The sense that saving the children in her nightmares was more important than saving herself signified that she was trying to save a part of herself from being destroyed.
     A tear welled in her eye and Cierra blinked it away. “Where is H.G. Wells when I need him?” she thought as another tear threatened to fall. “What I would give for a time machine right now. Or even Hermione with her time spinning necklace.”
     Her fear and the fall through the attic floor symbolized a lack of control and a feeling of a lack of support in her waking life. It could also stand for some kind of major struggle or problem in her waking life and that she had failed to achieve a goal she had set.
     The fire suggested that there was destruction, purification, or transformation of her old life into a new life. New thoughts and views.
     “Like the Phoenix. I will rise from the ashes of what was. I just wish I had some clue about what will come next.”
     The men shooting at her indicated that she was experiencing some sort of confrontation in her waking life. That she felt victimized and targeted. Hiding from them was her own reluctance to deal with an issue in her life. The wall she was hiding behind in her nightmare was the obstacles she faced in her life.
     “With nightmares like these, who needs a shrink? I can analyze myself better without having to spend a fortune.” Cierra sighed again and this time let the tears fall silently onto the book pages.
     Family. They were supposed to be the ones that loved you unconditionally and would always be there for you no matter what. Whoever thought that needed to have their head examined. It had been her husband's family that had hurt them the most, and were the ones that she was trying hardest to distance herself from. Why was it that the ones we were so closely connected to seemed to believe that they could say or do anything to us and it would be swept under a rug of forgiveness just because they were family?
     As she sipped her tea, Cierra’s thoughts wandered back the time when things had not been so out of control in her life. A time when she knew who she was, what she wanted, and where she was going. A time when life seemed simple, easy, and uncomplicated.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What do you wish to experience?

     I have had many experiences in my life.  Good, bad, and somewhere in-between.  Life is like that, and most of the time, it is only with hindsight that we realize an experience was truly good... or that what we thought was a bad experience was an opportunity to learn and grow.

     Lately I often think I am stuck in the middle of a bad experience, but as each day passes, I realize that they weren't as bad as I thought, and each day has its own blessings, lessons, and good in it.

     What I wish to experience ... and what I have been experiencing ... is the peace and serenity that comes with knowing that no matter what each day brings ... all things work together for good.  What appears to be bad when I first see it, or feel it, has been turning into good.  I wish that experience of bad turning to good will continue in my life... and in yours.