~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Samhain 2010

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached. Yet, still we would live no other way."

- Irving Townsend

This year has seen the death of three of my beloved feline companions. As I spread their tiny white bones and gray ashes upon the Sedum bed, as the remains of their manifest form return to Mother Earth, I know that their Spirits fly free upon the wind into the ether and we are One in Love. Among all the bones, only Demeter's skull remains intact. Demeter was Mother Earth 'felinized' and so it seems proper that her bones were strong and solid, resistant to the intense fires of cremation just as she was resistant to chaos around her. The longest bones are those of Imhotep's legs. And so, I honor our lives together, the love we shared, and their many gifts to me. Candle, sage, water, salt, blessings, prayers; elements and spirit joining, purification, charging, consecration. I am eternally grateful that they chose to be with me during this earthwalk; they are in my heart and memory forever, as are all the others that have come and gone before them. So many and I am so blessed.

In many traditions, the days around this time of year are ones spent in reflection - upon the ancestors and loved ones who have died. In Wicca, tomorrow is the beginning of the New Year, and Hecate guides us through the crossroads. The veil between worlds is thinnest, and we can become thin ourselves, opening to the connections across time and space. I welcome whole-heartedly the wisdom of those who have gone before. These moments/days are beautiful reminding us of birth and death, and the deep knowing that life is eternal.

For what is it to die, but to stand in the sun and melt into the wind? And when the Earth has claimed our limbs, then we shall truly dance.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Supta Baddha Konasana

Since starting Yoga a couple years ago, there is one asana that remains a strong favorite. Whenever I make space to come into this lovely restorative pose, tremendous peace and love pervades my being. While the 'traditional' reclining bound angle pose feels nice, it wasn't until I got the book "The Woman's Book of Yoga & Health" and obtained bolsters that I really fell in love with this asana done as supported. Incredible! Truly.

I sink into this asana and feel my entire heart open, shoulders relax, arms heavy. I usually also put blocks under my knees as support - the opening of my hips varies each time I do this asana, and because it is a restorative pose, I don't want to feel strain, only a gentle opening, widening. I feel like I am the horizon between earth and sky; grounded yet open to the universe.

This morning while finishing my Yoga practice with this asana, the timing was perfect for me to be enveloped within the sunshine pouring through the skylight, a golden glow cast upon my entire being, warmth suffusing my body. Heavenly!

Friday, October 22, 2010

warm drinks!

With the onset of our lovely, cool autumn weather, most of us are drinking more teas and warm liquids. One of my favorites for years now has been the herbal 'coffee substitute' Teeccino. Ever tried it? My current favorite is the organic Maya Chocolate -- they put a touch of cayenne in it -- YUM! And, while I have a large supply of the loose for here at home, they now offer it in "tee-bags" for on-the-go. The winner of a recent contest gave a delightful use for these little tee-bags or, really, any tea-bag: "to send one in a nice card to a far away loved one (with a time to drink it as a long-distance get-together)". Isn't that a wonderful idea?!

And Teeccino is a healthy drink as well; non-acidic, energizing (but without caffeine), containing inulin (a prebiotic inherent in the chicory root that is good for the gut) and potassium (an alkaline mineral and a much-needed electrolyte). Most of us have systems that are far too acidic; Teeccino can help with this.

I have memories of my parents using Chicory in their coffee, so I was already a little familiar with the flavor. I'm guessing that they were introduced to it via their love of visiting New Orleans (French roast coffee regularly included chicory), but maybe it was a southern Missouri favorite as well? Hmm. I'll have to ask Mom.

So anyway, no, I don't sell Teeccino, but I sure like it!

free photo of chicory flower © Yan Zommer | Dreamstime.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Oddly enough, I like BIG ears! The Corgi boys have big ears, the Oriental Shorthair cats have big ears relatively speaking. Why is this penchant odd? Because I have always hated my own big ears. I know intimately the oft-repeated story of when I was a baby and Mom was showing me to my great-aunt (or great-great...I can never remember) who promptly said that I was lovely except it was too bad that I had my grandmother's ears. Grandma was mortified. Mom taken aback. So, I have big ears, or rather, the lobes, concha and lower half are normal sized, while the upper pinna, aka auricle, is big and flat. Where most people's ear 'curls' - at an area on the outer rim called the helix - mine doesn't. Bizarre. However, perhaps that is a reflection on the fact that in almost every relationship I've had, especially with other women, I'm the listener the larger percentage of the time. And since the job of the pinna is to capture sound waves, then I am physiologically designed for the part!

A day of random thoughts that don't really fit into a category so I stuck one up here ...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

where gypsies danced

Gypsies dance

Among the trees

Their bright skirts twirl

Multicolored leaves

A shoulder bare

Dips in the air

A branch now cold

Lost leaves of gold

To the patchwork path

Where gypsies dance

Tattered scarves


limbs of graceful curve

Revealing gaping

Wounds both fresh and old

While whirling in the crisp, cold

Air, there gypsies dance

So fair the fireworks displayed

And brightly play

The leafy veils

Where heat prevails

A moment more

While gypsies dance and soar

Their scarves like fire

Dipping down

To brush the ground

Then soaring high

To graze the sky

Slowly fading scarves descend

Landing softly in the end

To rest at last

On patchwork path

Where gypsies danced


For fun, I even recorded the poem in MP3 format; enjoy it HERE

Monday, October 18, 2010

a book of poetry

So, I finally did it. Mom has always loved my poetry, so this past weekend I pulled together a limited collection of my work into a pretty, hardcover book on lulu.com to give as a gift. Because of the format I chose (color pages, some photos), I can't see other people wanting to purchase such an expensive volume, but I'm sure that Mom will enjoy it. And that was, after all, the point of this particular endeavor!

For any of you who enjoy writing and want to share some of it with family or friends, or even just to have it printed/published into a 'real' book, I would encourage you to explore lulu.com -- it's easy and fun! We all know people who make crafts, or quilt, or knit, or do woodworking, or paint, or all manner of creative works, and they give these to others as gifts, or display them in their homes. So why not share your creative writing?!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Personal Rapture

"Insist on a balance between pedestrian responsibility and personal rapture."

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Women Who Run With The Wolves

I love that phrase - personal rapture - and all that it implies in living from our heart and soul.
To know our inner depths and be able to freely access that joy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Love Prevails

One night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I 'heard' that I should take Love Prevails Flower Essence the next day. I did and felt so deeply comforted all morning that tears kept welling up in love and gratitude.

A little backstory...

I am blessed to live with many companion animals and have for several decades. Because many of them are elderly, this year has been a challenging one as I have lost three of my beloved older felines (Liette, Imhotep and Demeter), the latest was on 9/11. And I have yet several dogs who are elders with chronic challenges that had flared up. At the same time as the above-mentioned sleep-message, one of my middle-aged cats, Khepra, was taken to the vet for exam because he had begun to exhibit a strange, sporadic hind leg paralysis; the vet said he has a heart murmur, and we sent blood off for a chemistry panel. So that evening was...well...difficult. I was already taking various flower essences supportively. But I was ever so grateful for the message to take Love Prevails, as the energy I felt from that essence blend was so loving and nurturing, bringing incredible additional peace.

I sent a heart-felt "thank you" to Molly, and everyone at Green Hope Farm (where Love Prevails Flower Essence comes from), for their sensitivity and intuition, and most of all thank you to the Flowers, Angels and Elementals, and all Light Beings of the Infinite for such precious gifts.

Later, after taking the essence and writing about my Love Prevails experience, I read about the making of it in the Venus Garden. I was struck by Molly's description of the Pink Cleomes; not knowing what they looked like, I did a search on the web. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Cleome was the flower growing wild in my Mom's yard in August that I took pictures (shown here) of because I loved it so much, was drawn to it so strongly, but didn't know what it was! She didn't know what it was either because the yard was Dad's hobby and he died two years ago. As Molly said with eloquence: "the Flowers were there blessing you and carrying your dad's love to you across time! I am really moved by the beauty of love and the synchronicities all around us and the special way your dad's ongoing love for you was revealed to you." So, another beautifully magnificent piece of Love Prevails fell into place for me.

We are all blessed in so many ways and the flowers open our hearts, souls, and minds to the unseen miracles and energies within and around us every moment... AMAZING.

In deep love and compassion to and for all Beings...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Later today...

Reading on the patio, I've lost the sun and the sky is gray, yet the soft tones of the chimes, the birds calling to each other, the rustle of the leaves, are notes to the music that carries me away, within, beyond the over culture perception of a day amiss and into moments of harmonious bliss.

Hawaiian Rain Forest

I ran inside the post office to buy some stamps and was immediately captivated by the new "Hawaiian Rain Forest" pane -- isn't it pretty?! Almost a shame to use the stamps! LOL Then, of course, when I got home I had to find the entire Nature of America series. I always feel so blessed to live in a country with such a diversity of beauty -- which is why I enjoy road trips! Alas, no driving to Hawaii, but flying there someday is on my wish list. :-)

Now, I'm off to sit on the patio, soak up the sunshine, breathe in the wind, bask in the glory of the changing colors, and watch the dogs romp!

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Friendships come and go like the tide, sometimes gentle, at other times reflecting a storm off-shore, but still they ebb and flow, and I feel peace in the release. I didn't used to feel this way, but now, most of the time, it seems so natural and easy just to Be with whoever happens to Be with me in that moment. I find that I less often think 'friend' or 'not friend' or 'old friend' -- unless I am corresponding or talking with a person, or consciously reflecting upon a relationship, categorizing 'friendship' doesn't seem very important in the moment.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pomegranate as Flower Essence

The Pomegranate is not just an incredible food, it is also an inspirational flower essence!

Molly of Green Hope Farm says:

"Powerhouse for womankind, supports our health, the vitality of our unique biology, and our freedom to choose how to express our creativity, nothing I can say about this Essence begins to do justice to it"

photo courtesy Green Hope Farm, all rights reserved

Pomegranates as Food

It's that precious time of year when I can easily get Pomegranates in the grocery store! I'm so excited as I absolutely LOVE this fruit and, with its growing season a relatively short one, I like to make sure I eat them as often as I want. They are not considered a food to favor for Vata-types or necessarily good during Autumn due to their astringency, however, if you are still feeling over-heated from the summer, they are balancing for Pitta, or if you are feeling heavy, weighty, and congested, they can be balancing for Kapha. Because of how Pomegranate can aggravate Vata, especially during Autumn, if you eat them, just be sure to balance them out nicely with some Vata-pacifying foods! Because my hot flashes tend to flare up in late summer, early fall, I find Pomegranates to be a wonderful coolant. Enjoy them!

photo © Melinda Nagy | Dreamstime.com

Monday, October 4, 2010

More Tiny World

Mushroom trees
put mind at ease
along the forest floor,
as I bend down
to see this town
beyond the mundane door.

A little forest of tightly clustered tiny mushrooms grow to the side of the path I walk. Their inner reaches beyond mine to grasp, yet I knew them, the dark inner sanctum where secrets to the universe lay in waiting. The fragile forest could not be breached by might or force because that would cause the secrets t sink back into the ground more quickly than the eye could see or senses feel. There is only one way to learn the secrets of the mushroom forest ... to sit on the rim, to open and allow the nature elementals and the fairies and gnomes to whisper in a still ear, to brush mushroom dust along eyelashes of closed eyes, to gently inhale the ash blown off the palm of a tiny hand. I try to sneak a peek, cheek against the ground, eyes narrowed and soft, blurring the view, willing, waiting ... What was that?! A white shadow, misty, deep within the mushroom trunks, she wraps thin wispy arms around a solid brown trunk, becoming almost invisible as she merges with the mushroom, she giving love and Prana from the Light in which she has been playing, the mushroom sharing secrets of the beautiful creativity that lies within all beings, sharing the building blocks of minerals to create solidity to manifest in form. Yellow sparkles twinkle around the two in their loving embrace, dancing and drifting, like miniscule puffs of a dandelion a hundred times smaller and less substantial than those I see in my own larger world. My eyes close and I sleep while the mushrooms send out tendrils beneath the earth to touch my no-thing -- the part of me that cannot be seen but is a more vital part than what is visible. To share secrets that we all know. All we have to do is wake up then, awaken.

When Ron and I take the walks together on the weekend, he's amazed at how every blade of grass is like brand new to the dogs, but then, learning to see through the dogs' view, is unsurprised when I show him two tiny, red pearl-sized fungi growing next to a root; bright and waxy, they appear on their own, just these two.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the enkindling fire

‎"It is important to keep our eyes open and to carefully weigh offers of an easier existence, a trouble-free path, especially if, in exchange, we are asked to surrender our personal creative joy to a cremating fire rather than enkindling one of our own making."

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nature Writing Etc

I recall waaaaaaaaaay back in high school, that I took one of those aptitude tests and it indicated that I would be best as either a forest ranger or a journalist. You think?! LOL Seems to have been pretty accurate, although, since I never did manage to attend college, I sort of fell into secretarial work ... for over two decades! But still, I've always made the time for writing and nature because I felt, and still do, that they sustain me. I've always had nature 'indoors' in the blessed forms of animal companions, and, even the few times I lived in a city, the weekends were more often than not spent taking forays into the mountains or woods or somewhere 'away' in nature. Writing has always been journals and stories and rhymes and all forms of shaping words to express, find, nurture, and heal my Self.

This morning saw a bright clear sky dawn after a somewhat rainy and overcast week, both so very nourishing in their own ways. The woods are filled with striking contrasts, boldly proclaiming the fall! This photo shows, as best I can, a particularly awesome corridor of light and color... Isn't Our Mother lovely?!

I find individual journeys fascinating.
And how each of us comes to realize our Self even more fascinating.
What I have discovered to be True is that just as each of us is unique in our manifestation in the world of form, so are we unique in the path we follow to the Light.
As I have begun to explore the world of Yoga and Ayurveda in the past few years, I find a sense of open acceptance among most, yet there is still a touch of 'only one way' in those most passionate about what they have discovered along the way.
And so we continue the fascinating journeys.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tiny World

Seems like lately when we walk our woods, I'm enthralled by the Tiny World. You know, the one that our eyes usually don't see. The world of insects and algae, of moss carpets in tree-stump castles, where mushrooms provide a bit of shade, and the smallest fern seems like a giant Sequoia.

One of my favorite movies is "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"... I love seeing the back yard from the perspective of being the size of an ant.
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