Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Banishment Notice

Dear Negative People,

Get out of my life.
No exceptions.
This means you.
Venting's fine, I am all for it and like to indulge in it myself.
The occasional complaint?
Cool. I'm happy to listen.
But for all you whining, constantly complaining energy suckers for whom the glass is not only half-empty it's dirty and has a crack in it, go away.
I don't need you. I don't want you. I am sick of listening to you. If you don't like your life, then change it, and don't expect any sympathy from me until you do.

Have a nice day.
I wrote something similar last week which I posted on FaceBook, but it bears repeating.
While I do not believe any of my readers are the whining, self-involved complainers my notice targets I do believe that publishing it sends a message to the Universe. This, in turn, plays back to me in my social interactions.
This is my stand. 
This is what I want, and this is what I am not prepared to put up with.
I have been negative. I had wallowed in the warm, comfortable depths of self-pity.
It can be a fine soothing rut to a point, but like any rut it holds one in place.
This is bad. 
I have come to believe that rut-dwellers come to believe every negative thing they project upon the world and when that happens there is no altering one's view.
Perhaps they believe there is no point to seeing the bright side, maybe it is simple too hard, or most likely, they've forgotten any tools they had,  if they had any, to change their grey, downtrodden view.
If you believe nothing good ever happens to you, then you will be correct. Even if you win the lottery all you'll think about is the coming onslaught of charitable organizations asking for your help, all your new relatives and old friends who need help, and how everyone else is jealous of your good fortune.
This makes me sick.
Get over yourself and your blubbering anti-social negativity. 
Like I said, if you believe nothing good happens, you're right.
But if you believe good things happen to you, then you are right.
Choose wisely.
If you choose wish to remain negative such is your right, but leave me alone.
This will be your only polite notice.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Will End

It is the end of an era. Our era, the current time, the way things are. The world is changing, we are changing, and lets face it, it's scary as hell.
When change happens we have a knee-jerk reaction: Must stay same.
And so we try to pull back the wheel, stop it, reverse it, and in doing so we make laws and get ideas and try desperately to hold on with both hands while the world slips through our tightly laced fingers anyway.
The way things were is good enough, that's the belief. It's what I think is behind the reason for many of the laws being introduced in several of the American states. Notably the crack down on abortion access with all manner of silly hoops to jump through.
It's fear-based. It sees women having control of their bodies and their lives. This scares men. It cuts to their core identity. Who are they if not the decision-makers?
So they make decisions to keep women from doing it.
In all frankness owning your power and controlling your body and your destiny scares hell out of plenty of women, too. Why would I make a decision when I don’t have to?
The way it is has been working, we are told, there is no reason to change it.
It's going to happen anyway, people, whether you are along for the ride, in the driver's seat, or doing your best to haul the vehicle of change back to the starting line with tow ropes or a hook and chain.
It is inevitable.
You will die out.
Those who come afterward will make the changes you feared whether it's abortion, or voting, or helping the poor instead of grinding them down even farther into hunger and despair.

This era is the end of the Piscean Age. Take a moment before you scoff and think I've gotten all metaphysical on you. That's for later.
Right now I mean the precession of the equinoxes, the position of the stars in the sky as we see them, and specifically, where the sun rises on the morning of the vernal equinox.
It's been rising in the constellation of Pisces, the Fish, for about 2100 years or so depending on which authority you listen to.
A Great Year, the full rotation, around 26,000 years. Each constellation gets its moment in the sun during this cycle. Right now we're at the end of the sun rising in Pisces. Some calculations have it already ended.
Pisces the Fish has become a Christian symbol. The Apostles were fishermen casting their nets in the sea of Galilee when Jesus came along and said, "Come, we will be fishers of men."
Also, the Pope wears the fisherman's ring.

The Age of Aquarius is up nest. We may already be in it depending on which calculation you decided to go with.
The symbol is the water-bearer.
Look around you, everyone carries water with them now. We buy it in bottles, we can't be without it. Water has become consciously important to us and has become commodified. It will only get more so, I think, simply because fresh water is becoming rarer and rarer as we use more of it to hang on to using oil.
We are maintain our artificial dependence on oil and gas instead of acknowledging our dependence on water.

It is our way. It has been our way for a very long time and many people, lawmakers and the men and women behind the scenes who have traded their souls for oil wealth want to keep it that way.
Yes, we put oil and gas to use every day in more ways than I stop to care to count, but our lives do not depend on it.
We got by until the latter part of the 19th Century or so without it.
Then we found it, we found uses for it, and we created the demand for it. We need it so much we are sacrificing good drinking water for it though spills and fractionation.
To say this is silly is to be generous.
Water we need. Life on Earth depends on it.

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This is taking root in our conscious awareness now. The grasp of the old guard resource exploiters and wealth graspers is slipping. As the old guard losing its power it tries even harder   to clench its old, white-knuckled fists around what it is losing.
They will lose.
However much blood and heartache it takes their era will end.
We will change.
The Age of Taurus we had bull worship. It's gone.
The Age of Aries, the Ram, was the time of the ascension of the Roman Empire.
The Age of Cancer honoured the feminine.
All are gone.
Every thing goes. Everything changes.

All these ages faded away. The Piscean Age will go and with it Christian worship, I believe.
It will continue in places for a time, but water will be the symbol for the age.
Perhaps in a few hundred years we will hear the story of a saviour from today, or we will worship at a sacred waterfall in a faraway place considered to the very source of the water of life.

Whatever happens in our future, the laws  made today in the US and Canada and else where are the death rattle of a fading age.

They are awful.
They are damaging to lives and to our psyches.
They may worsen before things improve, but it will improve.
This age, like Aries and Taurus and Cancer before it, ends.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Generally Speaking

I am grateful for everything.
Good, bad, indifferent, it doesn't matter because it all matters.
Without a good mix in your life how can you know the good from the bad?
Let us suppose for a moment that it is a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit each day. An occasional breeze stirs up the abundant always green grasses and leaves. The skies are blue with a warm, shining sun for 12 hours and then deep, dark night for 12 hours.
You are neither too hot nor too cold. What rain you get is at night. It cools things off and helps you sleep.
Nothing changes. Each day is the same. Wouldn't it be great?
For a brief vacation, sure.
But if it was every day for your whole life?
Nope. Face it people, you'd  take everything for granted. You'd be bored silly.
Eventually you'd start thinking you'd died and gone to Hell.
I am sure I would.
With no changes there's nothing to compare.
With nothing to compare with current conditions you wouldn't know if it's good or bad or normal or unusual.
We need comparisons, a baseline, something that tells how we're doing.
Change matters.
Constancy in some things is great. In fact, it is probably necessary if for no other reason than being able to tell that something has changed. But even constancy changes over time and that's good because it means we are evolving through our lives.
Personal evolution and societal evolution are important. It got us where we are and even if it gets us into messes it gets us out of them, too.
This is why I say I am grateful for everything, because everything, in its own way and its own time, matters.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Good Goat

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This glorious mountain goat very thoughtfully posed for us on a rock face in Jasper National Park.
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Here's a broader view.

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In the interest of perspective, here's our goat in all his glory against the mountain while below and to the left you can see a young Bighorn Sheep.


May I suggest clicking over to Flickr for a bigger, broader view?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Gratitude Monday --The Day We Have

We took a drive yesterday.
Our original intent was to have a look at the Brazeau Dam about 60 miles away with the real point being a hope to see wildlife, such as owls, on the way.
We left before 8 a.m and took with us a lunch to enjoy somewhere as we intended to take our time.
It was early when we were done with the dam and we hadn't seen anything so we decided to go a bit farther and check out the Elk River campground.
This meant going mountainward on a gravel road and that meant a greater likelihood of wild things.
I got to see an open industrial camp that was on the way called the Pecos Inn. I was grateful for this because when my husband was driving truck he'd  had to stay there a few times and I'd been curious.
Open camp means that various companies can use it as well as the general public if there's room.  If we'd wanted to we could have gone in and bought a meal.
We were headed toward the Forestry Truck Road which would take us back to Nordegg, Highway 11, and then home.
But it was still early and a nice day. We'd packed food. We started with a full tank of gas. Mike suggested instead of turning south toward home that we turn north, go to Jasper, and loop home on the Parkway.
We did.
My first thought was to just go home, but then I thought: why?
Home had nothing compelling to offer other than a possible afternoon nap. Exploring is better, and this was a grand opportunity to do it.
Yesterday does not offer a second shot.
Tomorrow is a theory.
Now is what we have.
Now is what we work with.
We turned north and I am so grateful we did. We saw plenty of wildlife including, but not restricted to, a magnificent mountain goat and an equally magnificent bull elk.
I try to focus on the now in life. Yes, one must prepare for the future, but at no point should one ignore living today.
Yesterday we took the day as it was offered and used it to the best of our abilities.
For that I am grateful.

Lunch at Watson Creek. A relaxing break in a wonderful day.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Photo-Finish-Friday -- In Momma's Footsteps

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A black bear mother and her cub cross a rock field in the Rockies.

It was a three bear day last Sunday on our drive up the Jasper-Banff Parkway. We saw a young black bear just inside the Banff  Park gate along Highway 11 and then we saw this mother and cub along the Parkway near the Weeping Wall.

Mike spotted them. I pulled over as quickly as I could and then we proceeded to cause quite a bear jam on both sides of the highway.
After taking many photos we drove on to the Weeping Wall. When we came back to the site perhaps 10 minutes later there was an even bigger bear jam.
We stopped and got more pics including the one posted.
I hope seeing baby bear brings you as much joy as it brought us.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Walk in the West Country

Sunday was a good day for a variety of reasons.
My husband and I got out for a drive in the mountains, we stopped for a hike, we saw wildlife, and we had a wonderful, relaxing day together.

Such days are jewels.

It gives us a chance to step out of life, out of time even. We enjoy the world around us and how we perceive the world both separately and together.
We tried a bit of a trail new to us, White Goat and its branch White Goat Falls. I only made it as far as where the trail branches.
We'd wanted to go as far as the falls, but the trail turned into a steep decline and I have yet to bounce back enough from surgery to manage it.

It's a good time of year to be in the forest.

The juniper berries are juicy, and while they may be best known as the flavour component of gin they also have some long-standing therapeutic uses.
I use them for breathing.
I have a wee touch of asthma and have to almost 20 years. I rarely pay it any mind and it returns the favour.
But at the higher altitudes I find I like a good boost to the breathing and a few ripe blue juniper berries gives me that.
Husband eats them, too, as they are tasty.
Even if the boost is not needed I'll still eat them because I like them.

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Wild gin on the hoof.

The Western Wood Lilies are enjoying their finest moments. We saw several on our hike.

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We commonly call it a Tiger Lily, but its really a Western Wood Lily.

The trail continues on, but I didn't.

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These are Twinflowers. Beautiful, certainly, but freaky if you look closely as they look like fairies dangling from the stems.

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Linnaea  borealis.  The fave flower of Carl Linnaeus. He founded
binomial nomenclature.

And this is half a robin's egg shell. It was on the trail and I was pleased to see it. I am fond of this colour, and it tells me the robin in it got out.
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If you ever have trouble picturing robin's egg blue this is what you mean.
Thanks so much for coming along on the hike. It was nice to spend the time together.

And remember, this is the only imprint we leave:

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Gratitude Monday - What Nature Offers

Wild strawberries along the highway in the Rockies.

We went for a drive out west yesterday. That in itself is something for which I am grateful, but it is not the subject of this post.
We stopped to admire a tree a few steps off the highway in the magnificent mountain forest.
It is a lovely time of year to visit the west country. Alpine flowers are in bloom, bear and deer and sheep are gorging themselves as best they can, and right now the wild strawberries are in full burst of flavour.
We had wild berries in our lawn when I was growing up. I have a few in my lawn right now. They're fine and tasty, but the ones in the wild are better.
Perhaps it is the fresh mountain air, maybe it is knowing the animals themselves eat of this fare,  but in truth I think it is because in the wild is closer to the source.
It grows because it can, it always has, and it must.
It follows its own law of survival and continuance.
This berry exists to ensure the lives of others. It is meant as food and if it has any self-knowledge it knows it and gives of itself willingly.
This selfless act is love in one of its finest forms: sacrifice to save another. It is done with joy and that joy, that love, is what gives this wild food its edge.
Thank you, wild strawberry.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- That Other Memphis

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The Step Pyramid of Pharoah Zoser.
It's at Saqqara in Memphis, near Cairo.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I Could Eat This Book All Up

Our current bedtime story is a collection of stories from all over the world such as Ireland, Norway, France, Russia, and India to name a few, and a few of Aesop's Fables as well.
Many of these are well-known and well-loved stories from my childhood and many more of them have proven to be new treasures.
Among the famous tales in the collection is Little Red Riding Hood. It's listed as being from France, which was totally new information to me, and written in this version by Charles Perrault.
What impressed me is there's no tacked on happy- every-after nonsense.
No huntsman comes by and rescues granny and Red from the wolf's belly.
It ends as it should:

"'Grandmamma, what great teeth you've got!'
'To eat thee up!'
And saying these words, the wicked Wolf fell upon Little Red Riding-Hood and ate her all up."

That's it.
I slept well after this was read to me as it was refreshing and logical and exactly how the story should end.
The book is The Junior Classics, Volume One, P.F. Collier & Son Corporation , 1938.
Mike found it at the recycling depot.
There's another book of similar stories he picked up.
I hope it's just as logical.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gratitude Monday - Kept In Stitches

In theory I get the rest of my incision staples out today.
To recap, I had hernia surgery on June 27 and am grateful for it, but now it's time to get on with closing the wound.
I'm happy about it, but it hasn't happened yet. It may still be that they have to remain a few more days.
Better that than getting them out too soon and risking opening up my abdomen.

I am grateful either way. The staples will come out eventually. They have to.
I got half of the them out a few days ago. The practitioner who removed them said a week is too short a time for an incision of that length (about four inches) to heal. She removed every other one and told me I could get the rest out early this week.

I feel pretty good and am getting some of my bendability back. Staples and the slice in the flesh made it difficult to lean forward for any appreciable length of time.
I've healed well enough I could crawl around in the garden for an hour yesterday doing some much needed weeding
Today may still be too early. I won't know until I try.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday - Welcome to My ChurchYard

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This magnificent tree is in a chuchyard in Estonia.
We both hated to leave it.
Above, my husband stands under its gnarled welcoming  limbs.

We believe it is a maple, and likely a Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Grateful I Live Here

I am a happy proud Canadian. Always have been. I am grateful I live here.
Right now I am grateful for where I live plus many other things because I had hernia repair surgery a few days ago.
Said problem was discovered in April, diagnosed in May, and gotten shed of in June. That's fast for our health care system.
There was a redundancy protocol in place wherein almost everyone I spoke to from the day surgery room nurse to the anesthetist, the OR nurse, and the surgeon confirmed who I was, what I had, what was being done, and what part of my body it was being done to. It's the kind of thing I can see some patients losing patience with.
No this one.
I am happy each practitioner took the time and trouble to follow the rules and check.
Because of my heart condition I had spinal anesthetic and was advised of this in a meeting with one of the doctors ten days prior to surgery.
I was told what to expect so I could prepare for it, and I researched it, too, as I had an unreasonable fear of it. I said so on the table and was reassured again.
I am grateful for all of this plus the surgery went well.
I hurt, but it's a proper hurt and I am grateful for it because it means the matter was taken care of.
I am grateful it was in Canada because we can be assured the practitioners are properly trained, the OR is properly kitted out, the place is properly clean, and everyone involved cares enough to not want any mistakes.
And, yes, I am grateful because I am Canadian and I don't have to pay for medically necessary procedures out of my own pocket.

Happy Birthday, Canada.
I'll hoist a glass in your honour as soon as the antibiotics are out of my system.