Monday, April 17, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Duck Puddles Edition

The local world is looking quite wet these days and for it I am grateful.
I've seen water puddles in fields that have stood dry for years.
Some local ponds have more water in them now than I have seen in more than a decade. One we saw yesterday is a great spot to watch birds. Plenty of ducks nest there as do geese. The catttails hold many a red-winged blackbird.
But for the last several years it has held so little water not many birds could make a home there. Last fall we had a great deal of rain which really rejuvenated the local watering holes. We've had enough snow in the winter to continue topping them up.
For ease of math I'll use small numbers and for ease of my own understanding I'll use imperial measure.
Imagine a 10 gallon container. Now imagine it holding maybe 1.5 - 2 gallons of water.
That's how bad it's been at this pond.
Yesterday it looked more like it held at least eight gallons. Geese were there as were a few ducks. I know more are on the way.
The red-winged blackbirds are due back shortly. I expect plenty of frogs this year, too,
There's still more melting to do and spring rains to fall.
The ponds are filling again and for it I am grateful.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Honey Brioche Edition

I've been experimenting by eating spelt flour now and again. It's going well and for it I am grateful, but I am especially grateful that the honey brioche buns I've been playing with are turning out so well and so tasty.

What I've done is adapt a brioche thin crust pizza dough. I've made these a few times, some even with gluten free flour, but the last two spelt flour batches have had honey in the place of sugar.

Not only do they turn out well (so far) they are easy to make because they are a simple pizza crust in a different shape. The sweetness in them cries for the missing love of a good, sharp cheddar or other cheese. That day will come because we only eat a few per batch and freeze the rest. They will be dedicated to hiking lunches as soon as we can get out for mountain picnic season.

I am grateful they are easy to make, that I like them, that I am tolerating the gluten fairly well, and that mountain picnic season is all but here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Happiest Problem Edition

The other day I was flummoxed. I could not decide what to have for lunch.
All manner of food awaited preparation. I could have gone to any restaurant I wanted.
The issue was I did not know what I wanted.
As I pursed my lips and knotted my brow it occurred to me that it was one of the happiest problems a person could have.
I have food.
I have money.
I have my own transportation.
My sole issue was not knowing what I wanted to eat.
There are people in the world, some may even live on my street, who do not know if they are going to be able to eat today never mind what to have. They'd likely be delighted faced with such a decision.
It was the kind of a problem I am grateful to have had.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Not Grateful Edition

They last few days I have been mulling over what to be grateful for in this post,
Many things came to me, as they do, but nothing stood up and made its case.
It was then I realized the most important lesson of gratitude:
What's not to be grateful for?"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Yay Spring Edition

Spring arrived this morning. I am so grateful. Not because it means the end of winter, but because I appreciate having definite seasons. They often overlap or get downright confused with a +20 Christmas Day one year and snow in July another, but they have their own style of weather and that's what's important.

Spring is also a very optimistic time. Plants start up believing in the sun and rain and the soil, animals mate believing in replenishing life, and humans? Well, the nice warm days and longer light makes most of us feel better.
So it's a new season, and in many ways a new year with a new life cycle, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Words Didn't Fail Me Edition

It's getting on time to send out a manuscript. I need to do a last edit on it and give it a good reading before it goes out. I am grateful it has gotten to this point.
But I also need to work on the query package.  Along with a query letter some places like a synopsis, long or short, of the story.
I've shopped this story in the past so some of the hard work on the package is done.  It's been a few years and I like to think I can do a better job of it now. To that end I was going to wait until today to get started on reworking the letter.
Instead I felt a draw to do it yesterday morning, after coffee but before breakfast.
I have more sense than to ignore this feeling so I pounded out a few sentences and decided they were much better than the original.
The query needs more work, but the basis for a fresh, new look is ready and waiting for me, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Pot-Bellied Slump Edition

The pain in my leg is almost gone and I have social media to thank for it.
An ad for a video course or somesuch and free ebook appeared in my FaceBook news feed. Normally I'd ignore it, but "leg pain" caught my eye so I read a bit.
After clicking around I learned about the psoas muscles and how they need to be engaged to walk properly without assorted pains.
In short we need to stand the way we were told to when we were young, shoulders back, chest out, tummy tucked. The latter should actually read the pelvis needs to be flat, but you get the idea.

 A few years ago I pulled hamstring, or so I thought. It never really did heal and I'd limp a bit after sitting awhile.
I've made an effort to stand properly and sit properly, something I never did. I slump. When one slumps one gets a pot belly.
Surprisingly, standing and sitting properly with the psoas muscles engaged feels really good.
The leg pain is reduced considerably, and best of all the stomach and abdomen muscles that were hurting me when I stood too long is all but cured.
I am grateful I found this ad, happy I was intrigued enough to look around, and beside myself that merely changing my posture has led to all this improvement.

I'm not sure engaged is the right word to use, but it gets my point across.
I must note this is anecdotal to me. In no way am I dispensing advice, medical or otherwise.
There's still a far way to go. The stance does not come naturally and it only hides the belly a bit.
But hey, it's a start, and that's good enough for now.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gratitude Monday--Crystal Clear Edition

Lately I've gotten back into talking with my crystals. I haven't done it in years, but I recently read a book about their uses and decided to get back to it.
In short, one relaxes and contacts the intelligence of the rock.  They are as alive as we are though in a different manner, and they have a consciousness. They, like the plants we use in medicine, help us. All we need do is ask.

The other day I contacted my smallest malachite. The first thing it told me was I had too much copper in my blood. It's a copper-based rock so I thought I may be misinterpreting its message.
Then I heard "manganese."
This meant I needed some in my diet.
After the sessions I researched foods high in manganese. One of the best is hazelnuts so I ate a handful.

I'd had a headache for more than a day. I thought it may have been from the old cheddar cheese I'd been eating so had decided to accept the punishment.  But less than five minutes after eating the hazelnuts the headache was gone.

I am grateful for that, for the message from the malachite, and for the book I'd read that sent me back down the path of talking to my rocks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Choosing Love

My opinion toward our Prime Minister changed profoundly the other day.
I originally thought he was too much of a political lightweight to do anything profound, and that he got the job solely on his name.
Justin Trudeau has opened Canada's doors to refugees. He's taken a great deal of flack for it at least on social media. Arguments are mounted about our seniors/veterans/homeless who ought to be looked after first.

Certainly they need to be cared for, but it must be understood that  if you are born in Canada, and especially if you are white, then you have already won the lottery. We have programs to help our own. Yes, there are those who fall through the cracks, but for the most part they can find food and shelter, even if only for a night.

Refugees have lost everything. They have what they can carry.
We give them shelter and food and clothing and most important of all, we give them hope.
This is the right thing to do.

Each and every day we get a choice to either act from love or act from fear. By the tenets of religion, spirituality, and plain being a decent person we are exhorted to choose love.

As I thought about it the other day I took an objective, overall view and realized that Justin Trudeau is doing what every one of us is supposed to do: he has chosen love.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gratitude Monday- My Forest Bath Edition

On Saturday I got to spend more than an hour out in the woods and for it I am grateful.
It's something I'd needed to do for a while. I need to be around trees and walk through the quiet forest and just be.
Mike was busy collecting wood for a later carving project and this left me to my own devices.
This is best.
I wandered. I leaned against spruces and poplars and then found a magnificent spruce who welcomed me to sit and rest my back against it.  Eventually I sprawled out underneath it enjoying the soothing energy of the trees and the ground and feeling the sun and wind on my face.
This is what the Japanese call Shinrin-Yoku and they are right.
I have always done this. Our farm was surrounded by a mixed wood forest and I spent as much time in it as I could.
My time Saturday was wonderful, almost like being a kid again. I am very grateful to the forest for soothing me.

The kindly gentletree:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Gratitude Monday-- Real Cake Edition

My husband baked me a Black Forest Cake on the weekend. He insisted it be a traditional cake. That means custard filling.
It took a great deal of work, but every bite makes it worth it.
He did it from scratch using a recipe for Mock Saddle Of Venison, one of my favourite cakes, and used cacao nibs for the chocolate.
The whipped cream is coconut milk. The cake layers are drenched in Kirsch. The chocolate curls were omitted.
It is a very rich cake yet I managed to eat a healthy slice of it as I think anything less would be an insult to the cook.
It took hard work, dedication, love, and plenty of eggs, and for it I am grateful.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Creating Beauty, An Angel Message

I have felt angels near me on two occasions. I expect they've been around at other times because, well, angels are like that, but on these two occasions I am sure.

The first time was about 20 years ago. My inlaws hosted a sounding circle at their clinic and I was one of the warm bodies helping to fill out the circle. Most of it is long gone from my memory, but I do recall quite clearly being blocked.
If memory serves we sounded assorted vowel sounds and I think they were directed at specific people in the circle. We may have sung their names, too, I don't recall.
At one point I felt something in front of me and could almost see it. The being was at least as tall as the ceiling though felt taller. Even though there was no one physically present it was like I couldn't see through it. I felt that it was time to stop. I also knew, by distinct feeling, the presence blocking me was an angel.

The second instance was last week. This time the Archangel Jophiel stood by my computer for most of a weekend.
Here's some background:
I've had some niggling computer problems since about December. Windows 7 won't shut down properly at times for one. It goes right to the very last screen and is less than one second, if that, away from shutting completely when it freezes. I have to press the button to shut it off. I asked the nice people where I bought it and was assured that as long as it all but shut down properly it was nothing to worry about.

One a few occasions the display didn't go black after two minutes of idling like its set to do. That appears to have resolved itself. I recently tried Reiki on the computer and discovered if I did it during shut down it would proceed normally. When I didn't, it locked.

But the most annoying issue was every time I exited Word it said changes had been made to the normal template and did I want to save them?
This started one day in December after changes somehow got made to said template. I put them back the way I want and saved the changes, as one does. But it kept asking me every day despite me not having done anything to warrant it.

I am not computer savvy. This is unlikely to change. Consequently, doing anything beyond the most basic clean up and the occasional system restore I leave it to the pros. I'd checked for all the things that could be wrong. I found things that could be done, but they were beyond me except for the one that said I could uncheck the box that made this box come up.
I didn't, because there was always the possibility that there was a wee virus inside and I didn't want to forget it was there if I ever had to take the computer in to the shop.

Then last weekend I felt a presence at my desk. It made me want to sort out the template changes problem again. I thought about it then did nothing.
But then one morning last weekend during my meditation my mind went to the presence. I asked who who was visiting. The question was barely formed when she told me she was Jophiel. She told me to create beauty.
Part of beauty is strength, part of strength is deciding, and part of that is doing a thing you've meant to do for a while.
In short, I checked all the factors that may be making the template box come up, actually looked through them and couldn't find any evidence of them. There may still be an issue, but nothing obvious, so I simply unchecked the box that makes the box come up.
Shortly thereafter, the Archangel departed.
I have yet to try not using Reiki on shutdown. I intend to do so shortly.

So now I must create beauty in writing, in life, in wherever it can be made and by whatever means is available. Part of that is writing about the things we don't normally discuss, like angel visits.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Inside Edition

Yesterday was cold. Snow was persistent though so thin one had to know it was there to see it.
I did not have to go out for anything and for that I am grateful.

Also, I got some writing done. I am grateful for that, too.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Your Life Is Your Strength

The above is what I received this morning while meditating. Preceding it was a blast of light near the bottom of the sacral chakra.  Preceding that was a blast of strength felt at the base of the solar plexus chakra coupled with a scene in which the cover of a manhole located there came off.

There's no mistaking the interpretation. It is time to talk of many things,* the bulk of which no one talks about for fear of being labelled a kook, a flake, or the like.
So what?
I am that I am.
My life is my strength.
That means the events of it, the things that shape you and make you what you are. In my case, I  believe those events include interactions with extraterrestrials.
I can't offer proof to anyone, nor do I presume to. What I have to offer in evidence is a series of events throughout my life that lead me to this conclusion.

For example, I had a dream when I was about 10 years old. In it I awoke on an operating table surrounded by a team of doctors. The room was dingy, dirty, and yellowish. All the doctors were in the usual mask, cap, and gown, blue in color. The only other thing I remember of this was thinking I should go right back to sleep. I did.

I have always remembered this. Consequently when I read a similar description in Whitley Strieber's Communion my heart thumped against my ribcage.  That has long been my signal to pay attention to what is happening.
I had the same response when I saw the bookcover. It terrified me yet I felt compelled to read it. It took several weeks before I built up the courage to do so. I am glad I did.

There are many other incidents throughout my early life. They've all but disappeared now, and I can honestly say I miss them.
Today's message is probably the signal to move on to the next phase of whatever is happening.
I am ready.

* Paraphrase from The Walrus and The Carpenter, from Through The Looking -Glass and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- As Promised, God, Edition

I promised God I would thank him publicly so here it is.
This happened:
Our computer crashed or claimed to do so Saturday night. We were terrified. Mike had been looking up information on hellebore when a popup came up saying a virus had crashed the hard drive.
We couldn't get rid of it and couldn't see the pop up behind it.
What we could see was a mostly blue screen behind it.

I presumed this was a scam so unplugged the internet as I could not make the popups go away. Mike suggested shutting it off, and as we were both panicking because neither of us have a clue, I pushed the button rather than shut down in an orderly fashion.

When I put the computer back on I got the usual screen about not shutting down properly and the choice of safe mode or starting normally. I chose safe mode.  Instead of starting it went to a screen offering start normally or the highlighted choice of using startup repair.
Tried that. It went to the Lenovo screen. Nothing else appeared to be happening. We left it a few minutes. Nothing happened. Shut it down from the button again as there was no other way.
After trying a normal start and getting this choice again, I shut it down deciding to let the pros look at it on Monday.
But I thought to try again and be patient. I did. I chose start up repair again and left it. Soon I saw some life as the second green button flickered. This gave me hope.
I live in fear of my computer dying even as I have most things backed up. What I hadn't backed up yet was the novella rewrite I had completed the day before.  I had an uncorrected version as well as the scrawled notes on the hard copy. I lost a hard drive in 2012 and this novella was on it. I found half of it back then and rewrote the rest from the hard copy.  I thought I might have to do something similar this time.

About 15 minutes had gone by. I was desperate. I prayed. I actually folded my hands at my desk and asked God to fix the computer. Then I said thanks and mentioned if it got fixed I would say so on my blog.
I opened my eyes and there in front of me was a small screen saying computer start up repair was searching for the problem.
Over the course of the evening it got fixed.
God got the program rolling, and I am grateful. Thank you, God.
Science did the actual repair work, and I am grateful for that as well.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Show Time Edition

The other day at lunch my friend Kathy Feys gave me the first season of Newsroom.
She said it was the best show on TV. I had never seen it as it is HBO and we have low grade cable. I was always curious about it.
I watched some of it, like it a great deal, am grateful for it, and for the thoughtfulness of my friend.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Wake Up To What? Edition

I had another spirit wake up call early Sunday morning. I am grateful for it, and for all the others I've had.
They'd slacked off for a time and when they came back they were rare and quite weak sounding.
If you're just tuning in or need a refresher I refer to being roused out of a sound sleep to the ringing of a telephone.
It only rings once and as soon as I am awake I realize the ringing is only in my head.
They've been back for a while now and I have written about them in the past.
Sunday's call came at 01:29 shortly after my husband left for his night shift to check the local highways.
It was loud. It was insistent. It was a single ring inside my head.
I am happy I get these. I've experienced them since late 1989 or so though the early ones were the door buzzer for my apartment. I've awakened to many spiritual things over the years from meditation to past life regression,to clearing and cleansing energy, you get the idea.
Of course there's more to learn and experience. I am sure there are many things I have yet to hear of and even more I may never hear of. There's something ahead for me. I look forward to it. But I wonder what I am waking up to?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Flour Downstairs Edition

Today I am grateful the flour downstairs is still good.
It's been a bit of a glutenfest around here lately. I craved proper toast the other day and rather than go out to a restaurant, get an order of toast and coffee, and be done with it I decided to bake bread.
Rice toast is fine, but at the end of the chew it gets a weird consistency like one is chewing cooked sugar. Essentially, one is.
Further, I'd had a nagging thought to eat a bit of gluten again and that's what really put it over the net. Five years ago I had a nagging thought to stop eating gluten, "for a week" as an experiment. It's been great, and it is not over, but it was time for a wee change.
I dug out the spelt I had in the cupboard, sniffed and sorted through it to make sure it was okay, and then fired up the bread machine.
I am so grateful for toast and coffee that I made myself. It was the best.
Then I decided to try making bagels with the rye and barley flours we had in the cupboard.
Yesterday I decided to try making pretzels. That meant a trip downstairs to the stash in the big tote.
Not only was it in fine form it does not require sifting. The stuff we had upstairs did.
I am grateful for that.
There are several large (ice cream sized) pails of it and that's wonderful because I have an urge to make tortillas and buns, and maybe more bread, and anything else that comes to mind.
It's fun. And I realized as I was rolling out the dough in ropes to make pretzels it is not the eating, it is the procedure that I am enjoying so much.
For that, I am grateful.

The pretzels:

are very tasty. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gratitude Monday - New Year Edition

It's another new year with no mistakes* in it yet and for it I am grateful.
I can do so much this year.  I make no promises that I will, but I can so I might.
Possibilities include, but are not restricted to,  I can continue to grow and change and improve. I can approach people openly with love in my heart. I can think before I speak, hold my tongue, or better yet, not hold my tongue.
Too much that should be said is left unsaid out of fear of hurting others.
What a load of crap.
Not that I advocate being malicious, I merely mean if a thing is bothering you, then get it out and get it taken care of. Keeping it inside eats away at our emotional innards and we end up living a lie.
This serves no none, least of all ourselves.
In that vein if you love someone, say so.
If you want someone to fuck off, say so.
Both are equally important, and ultimately, those who hear it will be grateful.
Have a great 2017. I know I'm going to.

* Paraphrase of Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery