Mum's friend Stanley-from-The-Orkneys came for a few days. You may recall I told the story of how Mum hitchhiked up the coast of Scotland when her flight was canceled. Sir Stanley was her ride. He's smart-funny-brilliant with the handshake of a lumber jack.
He lived in India during WWII and had a pet cobra. His Indian friend said he should have one for good luck, so they went to a snake charmer & he removed the venom sack from the roof of a snake's mouth. It was about 2 feet long, & Stanley used to keep it in his jacket pocket. It would climb up his sleeve and come over his shoulder. That was all well and good until some women came to join their company. So he returned the snake to the snake charmer & the snake charmer says, "Where have you been? You were supposed to come back after 6 weeks." Stanley asked why. "Because the venom sack grows back." He'd been carrying a fully-loaded, venomous snake in his pocket! Ah, good times.
On Monday, Stanley & Mum came over for lunch and rescued my new silverware from bondage.
We had pumpkin soup & some sort of squashy thing, & proper tea. Stanley was talking about polar bears and said, "They say that polar bears are generally well-fed and that you're supposed to stand still and they won't chase you. What I want to know is if the polar bears know this rule." Hahahaha
On the way out, Mum holds pumpkin soup & points out my tattered Tibetan prayer flags.
This is Millie. I joke about the girls not lying on their beds. Cute pictures here. Here she is using BOTH beds. You can see Maggie's feet in the bottom left corner. Speaking of feet, they're not having the huge Lick Fest that they were having a coupla months ago. Allergy season seems to be over. We'll see how they do in the spring!
I'm writing this on Sunday a.m. Here's Maggie melting off the bed:
Here's Millie not using her bed. I should move it into the sun for her.
I got the 4 beds at Costco ($20 each); 2 in my office & 2 in the LR. I had a cashback rewards check, so essentially I got 2 for free. Yay, me!
Barkley & Remi's old beds are in the kitchen--so I think I have all bases covered--until M&M plant themselves in my bedroom when I'm in the shower! At first they didn't like the beds, & they sneezed at the cedar inside. Really, it smelled like a hamster cage when I was driving home! But they've gotten used to them & I think they're comfortable. We have settled into an ordinary life.
Woman goes shopping for turkeys at the supermarket, but they're all really small, and she has to feed a whole family. She says to the stockboy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" "No, ma'am," he replies. "They're dead."
I had no idea HOW we were going to do it, but we managed to switch out my woodstove with one that I can operate. And by "we," I mean Neighbor Dave & Fisherman Willie.
The "I'm-so-fancy-with-my-catalytic-converter" woodstove was too complicated. It was nice if I could get it lit. If. Really, it's not because I'm blonde. Not even Pioneer Sister could do it. It was designed for someone who likes to tinker with machines & whatnot. That's not me. I'm a non-tinkerer. So now I have an easy stove. I put the wood in with the kindling, and poof! You have fire!
THANKS to Neighbor Dave & Willie for all your help. The girls & I appreciate being nice and toasty by the fire.
Whenever I go to a seminar, it's the whole experience of it. The people I'm with, the Indian restaurant we go to for lunch. And then! The awesomeness that is Caroline Myss. Her new book is Defying Gravity. She has a webinar on Thursday that will give you a taste. You can click here for more info.
There was a question from the audience about getting an alcoholic spouse to stop drinking. Caroline said, "You have to be willing to be hated." How brave are you? It doesn't have to be drinking, it could be anything. Are you willing to be hated? Or will you stay in the land of mediocrity and dissatisfaction? Something to ponder.
It was so nice to visit Richmond this past weekend because it's still autumn there. We're definitely heading into winter here; no leaves on the trees even tho we've had a spell of warmish weather. My house has oil heat along with the wood stove that Stephen Hawking needs to explain to me. Or Neighbor Dave. Just when I think I've mastered it, I haven't. But at least I have a full tank of oil. Except.
I can't stand the smell of petroleum products. And when I turned on the heat, it smells. Awful. But this year even moreso. So Neighbor Dave came over to give a looksie. Well. There was a leak, which is why it smelled so bad. So Dave v. kindly took apart the furnace & we cleaned up the leak. Then I turned it on to see if it would leak.
"Is that FIRE?" I said, kinda-sorta surprised.
Neighbor Dave smirks. "What did you think it was? How did you think this works?"
Ummm . . . the truth is that I never thought about it. I just flip the switch. But I guess it does have to burn, right? That's why it's called an oil furnace. And that's what makes the heat. That comes thru the vents. So I don't freeze. Except I have all the windows open to air out the house because it smells like oil. And oranges, because I sprayed the oil filter with Healthfood Store natural air freshener.
I can hear John snorting right about now. This is where he calls me Blondie. I learned that I burn about 1/2 a gal of oil per hour. I have a 250 gal tank, so lessee . . . that would be math. I'll just keep my eye on the gage of the oil tank. THANKS, Dave!
I was at Brother D's for the weekend & and had a TF weekend. TF? Technology Free; no computer & v. little cell phone capability. When I travel, M & M go to their other home, Mystic Pet Resort. I loaded up the car on Friday:
This is how we roll.
I back the car up to the hill, extend the dog ramp across. The dogs walk down a coupla feet to the ramp and into the car. So easy!
I met Mum at Mystic Pet with Pioneer Sister's kids. The dogs were settled in their kennel, so I invited them back to meet M&M. Barkley & Remi were both great with kids, so they were excited to meet the new dogs. And then! I watched my sweet girls turn into barking-frothing beasts. Wow--I was so glad they were in their kennel. So we headed back to the front, and Lena said, "Oh yeah. I've been meaning to tell you that I don't think M&M like kids. They bark everytime Maggie [their 6-year-old] goes near their kennel."
I have witnessed them get snarly on occassion. They grumble at each other when it comes to food. Maggie is partial to slippers & socks. She never eats them, but she'll grab one & sleep with it. And then I hear it from Millie as they argue over the slipper. At 1:18 a.m.
Really, girls? Hehhhh...
I didn't get the photo fast enough, but Maggie was asleeeeep on my sneakers.
They got the full spa treatment this weekend; baths & pedicures & Frontlined. As I sit here writing this, they are snoozing on their beds with me in my office. Maggie's feet are twitching. Catch the squirrel, Maggie! Catch the squirrel! Back tomorrow. :-)
I got a package last night from UPS. I usually have things delivered to Mum's because coming down my road adds a good hour to the delivery route. But you know what's nice? UPS Guy Woody is a cheerful sort who always has a smile. No complaints about the road even as I apologize for it. 'member yesterday's post when I said I've been in the service industry? He remembers when I was a waitress half-my-life ago at the Melting Pot.
So he said his wife wanted to know if that was me quoted in Good Housekeeping. Yes, it was. And I let it go by last August with nary a mention! So here's the full article. How did I get quoted in Good Housekeeping? I'm glad you asked. HARO. It's a free service that links reporters to sources, founded by Peter Shankman. Pretty cool, huh? Now go sign up and get quoted!
P.S. Best. Laugh. Ever. Go read John's blog today. My stomach hurts from laughing.
I was in the supermarket & bought some beer. It was an impulse buy--eh, beer. Oh-hey-lookit! It's gluten free! So I'm at the checkout:
Checkout Girl: I need to see your ID. Me: Really? Checkout Girl: Me: Cool. You just made my day. Checkout Girl: Me: You know. 'cause I'm old. Checkout Girl:
I got nothin'. I got crickets. She just shoved my stuff thru & Bag Girl bagged. I'm sure they have a store policy that everyone gets carded no matter what. Not much more interaction than that. I had gotten chicken for the dogs so before I left, I put my hand on Bag Girl's arm and said, "Thank you for separating the chicken from everything else. I really appreciate it not being near my vegetables." And I really do! I also appreciate not having a bottle of salad dressing lopped on top of my lettuce. True story.
Dave Dobson used to say if you want to see people in trances, watch them in the supermarket. I used to be a Checkout Girl. I know what that job is like. And there are 2 parts: the technical scanning items, and the interacting-with-customer part. Or not. No matter what your job, you take you to it. And because I know what it's like to be in a service industry, I also know that you rarely hear from customers unless there's a complaint. That's why I thanked Bag Girl. John likes to say, Leave people in a better place than you found them.
The last few days we've had sweet summerish weather--the good kind. Breezy & sunny & warm. I even got bonus laundry-on-the-line time. But today is cold & wet & rainy. Perfect for a cup of tea--which is to say, anytime is a good time for a cup of tea. The girls are on their beds snoozing away & I have John Denver singing in the background. It's just an ordinary day. But how delicious.
I started this labyrinth a few months ago & set it aside. I was listening to a recording of Jerry Stocking's latest seminar as I started to work on this. I thought it would be cool to cover it with layers of tissue paper. Which I did as I was listening . . .
Anything you learn about yourself is good news.
and I don't like how this art piece is turning out. I don't like the shapes or the colours. But I keep adding more tissue paper, thinking that if I just put enough layers on there . . . still not looking the way I want it. Should I start over? No! I've come this far. So I added paint to the glue medium. Maybe that will transform it.
What a mess. And I've spent 2 hours on this! So I ended up trying to peel just the top layers off. Yeah, that worked. In the end, I got it sopping wet and scraped it clean. Really clean. Usually I erase the pencil marks & paint over the smudges. I didn't think more of it except that I felt like I'd wasted my time with it. Until I talked to John later that day. He's the one who introduced me to Jerry. So I was telling him what I had heard from Jerry's seminar so far, including the above quote. I didn't mention I was also working on this art piece. He said:
When you find out something about yourself, you're peeling away a layer of conditioning, like layers of paint; getting down to the essence of who you are which is nothing--which is everything. Layers are who we say we are. Once peeled away, they no longer have an effect on you. Layers & conditioning block your essence.
It was then that I told him about my frustrating art experience. Or so I thought. What had been a waste of time became a beautiful metaphor--and all the more because even tho I wasn't at Jerry's seminar, I was still receiving the benefits. It also sparked an insightful blog post from John, Peeling Layers. The question becomes, What layers are you hiding underneath? If you peel them away, you reveal your Divine Essence.
What if something bad happens? What if they don't approve? What if it doesn't work out? What if it's worse than where I am now?
What if you didn't ask what if anymore? What could happen then? What would you open yourself to that you said no to all these years? What if instead of not taking a step because of fear, you decide to step out in Faith? What kind of adventure would you be inviting into your life? What if?
There's some truth in the expression You can't teach an old dog new tricks. The lesser known rest of that is that Old dogs will teach you what they know.
As M&M have settled into their new life with me, I've noticed a few things:
They know how to behave in a house. No puddles to clean up!
They are used to being petted and loved.
They don't beg for food, in fact, even if I drop something on the floor, they leave it alone.
They are very comfortable with being outside. They are happy to plop down in the grass & hang out. I suspect that they were outside during nice weather. Perhaps they had an invisible fence?
They are both leash-trained. No tugging, and they walk along side or slightly behind.
They don't enter a doorway ahead of me. They wait and then follow. I never knew about this rule until my brother told me that dogs are supposed to enter after humans. Then I saw it on the Dog Whisperer.
They know not to chew on anything.
They don't root thru the trash.
They will, however, drink from the toilet. Eeewww!!!
In addition, they've learned a coupla things from me. I give their vitamins/meds in a glob of cream cheese. I always say, "Oh, boyeeee...." before I give it to them. Now when I say that, they start to drool. Hahaha I also massage them in the evening when I watch TV. Now when I go to the living room and turn the TV on, they go and plop in their beds.
It's interesting to see what patterns of behaviour they have, and what new ones they can adopt. Even if they're old dogs. :-)
'tis the season for one of my favourite foods! While I have written about pumpkins before, I've found some new resources and I've tried a couple new things with them, so it warrants a new post.
Pumpkins are so versatile, and I never get tired of them. Which is a good thing because they're kind of BIG, so there's a lot of pumpkin to eat. Last week I was steaming a huge pot of it on the stove, while baking a tray, as well as roasting it with other veggies. They are so nutritious and versatile. (Click here for a ton of recipes). My favourite is pumpkin soup; I puree it and add curry, sea salt & coconut butter (it's what I eat as butter instead of dairy butter). Recently, I added a tin of coconut milk--WOW! Very tasty with a rich, creamy texture. The other new thing I did was add it to my morning smoothie: frozen bananas, pumpkin, hemp seed protein powder, cinammon. AWESOME. And now I'm off to have a pumpkin omelette. Kidding. ;-)
Scientists have discovered that bees drink human tears. No kidding. Here's the whole article. I find this fascinating for several reasons. The first being, how did these sciencey-types come up with this idea? They're having a convo after a hard day at the lab, perhaps with beer in hand. "Hey, have you ever wondered if bees drink tears?"
Why yes, Bob. I have. Let's get some crying people together . . . .
So just the idea of it, is pretty funny. But, in addition to reading about the study, is the comments that people have left. They range from v. funny: You can tell that I'm sad because of the bees in my eyes. to random: It annoys me that people still used "man" to refer to humans, both women and men.
And then! It becomes a feminist argument about language instead of beer-drinking, I mean, tear-drinking bees. Really; read the comments. And I get it, I really do. We're ignoring an entire gender; my gender specifically. But it's an article about bees. Drinking tears.
Some people are waiting to be offended. You know what's funny? It's easy for me to recognize when other people take things so literally and seriously that they don't have a sense of humour about something. It's funny when it's other people who get their panties in a twist. Until . . .
Someone disses chiropractors. Grrrrr! That's when John will kindly point out that I have a burr in my saddle.
Or a bee in my bonnet. But I'm not sticking around to let it drink my tears. ;-)
P.S. For those of you who will point out the preposition lollygagging at the end of my post title--you know who you are. I am well aware of the rule and remember it everytime I break it. With glee. It's my version of sticking it to the Grammar MAN.
This is shot from across my road. From this point on the bridge, it takes 45 minutes to drive to my house. We call the mini-peninsula jutting out, "Overall Beach."
Here it is from the other side of the river at a different angle:
Would you know they were the same place just by the photos? Prolly not.
Here's another view. You can see my driveway up the hill:
Would you know it's the same road?
Things look much clearer from a different perspective. Pulling back to a wider angle helps you to see the road you're heading down. Conversely, walking the road, gives a concrete experience of it. It's all perpective.
Do you think the falling leaf thinks, I wish I were green again and back on the tree? Do you think the tree laments Things would be so much better if only I had all my leaves again? We can learn a lot from trees.
When the wind blows, trees bend. If they're not flexible enough, they break. What's your breaking point? Does it take a big storm, or a slight breeze?
To everything a season. It starts getting cold & trees pull their sap into their roots. Time to sleep. Time to rest. Do you take time to rest or do you drink caffeine to keep pushing yourself?
Trees accept the season they're in.
Trees provide a haven for other creatures. Shade for cows, nuts for the squirrels, and air for us humans. Trees contribute to their environment. Are you a haven for anyone or thing in your life? Do you have a nest that people come to seek comfort?
Trees send their roots down and out as far and wide as they are tall. How about you? How deep do you go? How grounded are you?
Older trees provide shade and protectionfor the younger saplings. They don't complain about the good old days. How do you interact with the younger generations?
Trees get along with all sorts of other species of plants & animals. Even things like poison ivy have a place in a tree's world. How many different things & people do you allow into your world? Do they have to have the same beliefs, opinions, religion?
Trees let life live through them. They don't deny themselves the light or the nourishment from water and soil. From their roots to the tips of their leaves, every part of them is vibrant with the energy of life.
Trees grow where they're planted. They send their roots down, and their shoots up. They'll grow through a concrete wall. Tony Robbins used to say:
Strong trees do not grow with ease.
The stronger the wind, the stronger the tree.
Isn't this a spectacular shot of my front yard? I think October has to be one of my favourite months! I love the light in this photo. BEAUTIFUL. Yesterday was gorgeous--even got some laundry out on the line. Today is a soggy day: rain rain rain. Perfect for indoor activities of tea and books!