Monday, September 3, 2018

Gratitude Monday -Cornography Edition

Husband grew some Hopi corn this season. When frost threatened yesterday he had to bring it in even though it belonged in the field a bit longer.

However, we got corn out of it and that included a cob that was mature, and for it I am grateful.
With its field mates.

A closer look.

The Cornfather.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Gratitude Monday - It Never Ends Edition

I am grateful all the time. Every day brings something for which one can be thankful for even if it is the simple act of waking up to another day of being alive.

With that I am calling an end to the weekly gratitude posts. I will still write about gratitude, but it won't necessarily be on Mondays.
It may not be every week.
It could be any day of the week.

I've enjoyed sharing my gratitude with you.
I am grateful to you for reading them.
I am grateful I have always found things to be grateful for.

It's been great.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- Picture This Edition

I am so grateful I was able to capture this photo:

Monday, May 28, 2018

Gratitude Monday - The State of the Butt Edition

It's all good and for it I am grateful.

In specific, I had a colonoscopy last Tuesday and nothing was found that wasn't supposed to be there.

It's been four years since I was diagnosed with colon cancer. This was my second follow up scoping and am good for another five years.

I am pleased to report all is well.

You'll recall what I asked of you four years ago and I am going to ask it again, this time in celebration.
If you've a mind to and a moment to do it either pour a glass of your favourite libation and raise it or simply pump a clenched fist in the air and say, "Cancer, my ass!"

Thank you.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- The Harlech Unicorn Edition

I finally got a proper photo of the wild stallion who grazes out by Harlech and for it I am grateful. For non-locals that's west of Rocky nearing Nordegg on Highway 11.
He was with two others Saturday as we were on our way to the mountains.
The stallion was kind enough keep eating as I took his picture and  to walk slowly past the car.

I am convinced this stallion is a unicorn. While I haven't seen his horn I can sense it. There's no question in my mind it is there.

What do you say?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Gratitude Monday - Winds Of No Change Edition

Yesterday I spent just the right amount of time outdoors.
The day was hot, sunny, blue, and quiet, as the best Sundays are and for it I am grateful.
I got a bit of work done, too, but most of my time was spent sitting and listening to the wind.

It was relaxing and that's great, but it also spoke to me in a new way.  It made me think about how nothing in life is permanent and that led me to consider the material possessions I have and what will come of them.

A few might be taken by family, assuming I outlive the ones who would take anything. And then I thought about my pictures. I have thousands in hard copy and that again in digital.
They are great to have, but they ultimately serve no purpose.
Yes, I know, old photos go to museums and history books, but that is only a few. The rest?

The wind blew and told me everything blows away with it. In the end there will still be winds blowing over the earth when I, and all I own, are long gone.

I am grateful to have the possessions left to me by family, but they don't mean anything to anyone else, and as I get older and see things differently, having them means less to me.
It is the possession of the material object that loses meaning, not the love and energy of what the objects represent.

I am nowhere near ready to get rid of these possessions. I  will someday, and it will hurt to see them go, but the memories stay.  They are what is important and they are permanent for as much as mental energy can be permanent.

So possessions can come and go with the wind, but the wind will always be, and for all of this I am grateful

Monday, May 7, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- No Choice Edition

Spring is in full swing.
We had a wonderful weekend with friends.
The weather has been gorgeous.
The leaves are coming out.
And those are just off the top of my head.
It's the kind of time where everything is wonderful and picking anyone one thing for which to be grateful seems unfair to everything else.
Therefore I refuse to choose.
I am grateful for it all.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Gratitude Monday - Look At it This Way Edition

I have a lot to whine about. If given a few minutes I can find even more things worthy of my complaining.
For instance, I had some invasive dental surgery the other day. It involved opening the gums and cleaning out around the implants.
There are sutures.
I had a bone graft to shore up some bone loss.
I can't bite or chew with my front teeth for six weeks.
The above is just off the top of my head, as it were.
But you know what?
I had chronic implantitis that had improved and then steadily worsened. The flap procedure I had done took care of it. I can eat anything I want as long as I am careful. It means bite-sized pieces and nothing chewy.
That does not matter.
I feel healthier already.
I had to go to Edmonton for it. My husband took the day off to come with me and do the driving. This was wonderful.
I did not know I would require this procedure and certainly hadn't expected to have it right then and there.
I did. This means no second appointment unless my dentists is reluctant to remove the sutures.
The procedure was done right away, my husband took care of getting my prescriptions filled, and there's a possibility that his company insurance will take care of at least some of the cost.
It was an expensive procedure, more than $1,000.
If I wanted to complain about the cost I certainly could.
Why would I when it solves the issue and I don't have to worry about bone loss?
My point is everyone has things to whine and complain about. It's easy.  And the more we do the more negativity we can find. The world will happily throw it at our feet.
Rather than dwell on the negative why not take the issue, flip it over and tickle its tummy and see the good in it?
I do, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Gratitude Monday --They're Here Edition

The mountain bluebirds are back and I am grateful.

On Saturday my husband and I went out to the Kootenay Plains --west of Rocky toward the Banff Park gate--to look for bluebirds, a favourite sign of spring.

We had 16 sightings though they were likely the same six birds spotted over and over. That doesn't matter. They're here and we saw them.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- Country Mourning Edition

I am grateful I live in a country that mourns as a community when tragedy strikes.

I am grateful that so many people are stepping up to help out in any way they can.

It's a good country to live in, and I am grateful for it.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Gratitude Monday - The Good Rejection Edition

I received a wonderful manuscript rejection recently and for it I am grateful.
Because the rejector took the time to tell me several good points before pointing out a glaring issue that put her off.
This is constructive criticism. It doesn't happen that often. I consider this rejection a blessing because I know now what needs fixing and I can get it done.
I am getting it done now.
It will be out for submission again and when it is it will be better, cleaner, and stronger.
This is good, and for this help I am grateful.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Gratitude Monday - Substitution Edition

I've been experimenting with rice tortillas as substitutes for gluten products. It works, and I am grateful.
I used them on Saturday in the place of noodles for lasagna. They dissolved in the course of baking, but there were still there in spirit.
And they were tasty.

Yesterday I tried used them in place of phyllo pastry in spanakopita.  They held together well and made for a reasonable substitute. Also, they were tasty.

I am grateful such products exist and grateful that I am able to use them.
I did something similar a few years ago with gf tortillas, but had kale in the filling.

Here's the spanakopita:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Gratitude Monday --What Might Have Been Edition

I slipped on the ice in a filthy mud puddle in a driving lane between two parking lots, and I am grateful.
Here's why.
I am fine.
Last Thursday was a cold, wet, grey day. I had my car in for a wheel alignment and to pass the time I walked across the road to a store. On the way back I had to walk in the puddle to give room to oncoming traffic, had there been any, and slipped.

The fall wasn't that hard. I believe I hit my back first and probably kind of rolled before knocking the back of my head on the wet ground. It was a good thunk, but I was mostly down already so it was only a drop of an inch or two.
This makes a difference.
I got up and immediately did some neck stretches and rolls and have kept doing them.

After my initial assessment at ER I was left to wait for 45 minutes before being called in to a room. Once in a room I was left for an hour. Rather than complain I was grateful.
When you are left alone it means you aren't in any danger. It's when they take you straight in and fuss over you that you need to worry.

Now I've got much to whine about over this. I was soaked and cold and did not feel clean and I had a headache.
However, I could have cracked my skull open, gotten a concussion, bruised myself, fallen face first in the icy water, or even broken my hip.
But none of that happened.
Instead I am grateful that all I had was a wee bump at the back of my head that was all but gone the next morning, whiplash, and a few pulled muscles.
As I said at the top of the post I am fine, and for it I am grateful.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Minding My Body

I am not comfortable in my body.
No, I don't hate my body. Despite the best efforts of the cosmetic, diet, and personal hygiene industries to convince us we are fat, ugly, and we stink, I'm okay with it.
It's old and lumpy and a bit slow, but it is the body of a woman near 60 so all is normal as far as I am concerned.
What I say is I never accepted being in a body. I didn't realize it for years. I had a shallow idea of it, but only lately have I developed the visceral understanding: I resent being in a body.
It is inefficient.
It must be fed.
After it is fed it has to get rid of waste.
This always bothered me. I hated the fact I have to go to the bathroom. It's human. Everyone does it. Every living creature—as far as I know-eliminates waste from its body.
Denying it does no good. It's harmful. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.
I hardly ate anything when I was little unless I was at home. Even then I can't say I ate much unless it was fish. That I keep at, staying at the table, until it was all gone. Or that's how I recall it.
It wasn't due to feeling undeserving though that came along as a possibility once or twice. No, it went deeper. It was a denial of essential humanity.
It bothered me that I had to eat. It shouldn't be. Why do I have to put food in my body? It made no sense. It wasted time. Sure, it is pleasurable. I liked how food tastes, I just didn't like having to eat it.
Now this wasn't every day. For a good part of the time life went about normally with eating and drinking and sleeping and all the things one does while alive.
But the memory of other stayed with me.
I never felt attached to my body. Certainly I, whatever I am, is in it, but we are separate entities, this body and me.
I am in it and I use it and it serves me.
We are told we are more than our bodies, that it is just a vehicle. We are told that it is what is inside that matters.
This is a great thing to believe. Yet it is wrong on a few different levels. We are our bodies. They are what we present to the world. They are how we show ourselves to others. Not just in looks, but in carriage, in how we dress, how clean we are, our shapes, our health, our manners.
Even as I say this, and stand behind it, we are not just our bodies.
This is part of the problem. We are made to feel less than right if our bodies don't met a certain standard thus ignoring that what we are inside is what counts.
This sounds like contradictions and it is. That's the world we live in. We have to keep those contradictions in mind to live a proper life. We need to present ourselves and be aware of our bodies, yet cultivate the inner person, the soul as it projects through us.
In my case I have strong memories of being other. Over the  past years I have delved deeper and deeper into the memories of the being who visited me until I was three years old.
When she and I talked I was an adult. I am quite sure I was male. It feels like male energy when I think about it.
I can recall that we spoke about what I was going to do as a human. I have a plan for it and I know we went over it, we confirmed it, and I feel when I think about it, that I nodded, agreed and believed it would be relatively easy to accomplish.
I have no idea what that plan is. I hope I am following it.
She left when I was three. She said she couldn't come to see me anymore. The adult part of me understood, but the human child part didn't want her to leave.
Two things resulted from this. An intense feeling of abandonment I have had my entire life, and a thorough resentment of being human.
I hate being in a body, it doesn't do the things I think it ought. I have no real idea what those things are though flying is a strong possibility.
When I was young I liked to jump out of the hayloft or off the combine hopper. For those few seconds I was in the air I felt free.
 Landing was not an issue. Landing on the balls of my feet and rolling was instinctive until one day when it wasn't.
At the age of 10 this instinct went quiet. I was going to jump off the combine hopper to the grass, a distance of maybe 10 feet. I'd done it easily a dozen times in the past. At the time I hadn't done it in a long time, maybe more than a year and I'd stopped jumping out of the hayloft, too.
I stood peering over the hopper to the ground, thinking about it. It didn't feel right anymore. Thinking had never been part of jumping. It used to be pure action. Form the thought to do it, do it and feel free of gravity, and walk away.
As a tomboy I often had a gun and holster set which I loved. I wore it often. It seemed right and that day I had it on. I threw it down first. It survived, I told myself, and proceeded to take off my shoes and throw them down.
They landed fine.
If they can, then I can, I recall thinking.
I thought some more, crawled out to the hopper's edge, swallowed hard, and launched myself into the air.
The thinking should have told me something, but it didn't. Instinct was gone. Instead of the usual land and roll that had served me so well I dropped hard on my heels. So hard that I limped for three weeks when no one was around to see it.
I felt shame. What had been fun had hurt me.
It had been in the past that when I flew through the air for those brief seconds I was at one with the world. I didn't have a body.
Slamming my heels to the ground brought home that I was in a body. I didn't like it.
My body must have known I hated it. It did its best with what I gave it then. Now the signals from it have gotten stronger: asthma, heart failure and irregular heartbeat, colon cancer, and until recently I still didn't get it.
There's information all over the place about how one's body give signs and signals it's time for a change. Ignore them and they get louder, more painful, and take longer to recover from.
Over the years I've had some vague idea that I didn't like being in a body. I longed to be who I was before deciding that a stint as a human female was a good idea.
Now I see it is more complicated than that. It goes beyond not liking being in a human body to not really being in one.
Oh, I am, no question, but the essence of me has never merged with the body.
It and I are two different beings. This must stop. I am a human female in a woman's body and I have energy running it that must integrate with it in order to be whole.
All the diseases and disorders were my body resenting being ignored. I need to accept it and be it. We are our bodies, and yet we are so much more.
When those two sides merge in me I will be healthy and able to move on to whatever the plan for this life.
I know it is there. I remember agreeing to it in the barn during the visits. I can see and feel and all but be back to the days when the being and I spoke. I remember agreeing. I remember  going over the assignment and taking a logical, objective approach to it.
And I knew she had to leave because it was time for me to just be a human. To be a three year old kid and get on with the human experience.
But I never forgot her visiting me, and the drawing she put on the barn wall.
Over the years I came to see it as a clown. That was fear.
Initially, it was a picture of, what I am guessing, is one of us. What we look like.
After she left I'd go to the barn and sit gazing at it, remembering. I remembered our conversations and pretended she was there with me. I'd think about my plan and was a grown up again for those few minutes and I wasn't in a body.
For as much as I want to remember those moments and see her again, and know my life plan, it isn't healthy. Not right now.
I have to get to the point where I am okay being in a body, I have to love it and nurture it as I am nurturing me. I have done it, and like it, but resentment lurks below the surface. I feel the need to be more than I am without having first to be what I am.
I am working on it.

-excerpt from Star Heart, the working title of a memoir I am writing to get a handle on the contact I have had in my life.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Gratitude Monday-- Coyote Beautiful Edition

We set up our trail camera on some wild property in Mike's family.
I am grateful we got this:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Gratitude Monday - Consistency Edition

There are certain things that come up at specific times such as the Academy Awards, the change of seasons, even grocery store sales that you can set the calendar by, and for them I am grateful.
Because they can be counted on.
No matter what is happening events that happen at or near the same time each month or year offer us consistency. It is this consistency that brings stability to our lives.
I'm all for new stuff, adventures, excitement, but the new and exciting must be tempered with the stable and consistent or we lose our balance.
So for that reason I am grateful.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- The Five Dollar Fix Edition

About the middle of last week our basement computer died. It hardly ever gets used, but my husband fires it up once in a while as needed.
It had been needed for several days in a row last week. He noted it had been acting odd and then one day it was fine. The next day it was dead.
Because we don't know anything we decided to open it up and clean it. When we did we found a little green light on inside. This gave us a bit of hope and utter confusion. A light meant power was getting in to it, but why wasn't it switching on?
We did everything we could think of and then gave up.
But deep inside, I don't give up. Not when a thing makes no sense.
So the next morning I researched "green light on inside, but no power" and found my answer. I spent several minutes checking other results and found they were all about the same: the CMOS battery was dead.
I had no idea what that was, but it is by the motherboard where the green light was lit. I didn't know what a motherboard was and still don't, but it doesn't matter.
I watched a video on changing a CMOS battery mostly because I had no idea where to find it, bought a new one for $5.80, and popped it in.
I am so grateful the computer works.
I am grateful it was an easy fix, grateful that I found the answer so quickly and could fix it myself, and so very grateful a computer problem was fixed in a few minutes for only a few dollars.

Properly I should have rounded up and called this "The Six  Dollar Fix," but $5 better suits my ear.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Gratitude Monday--Better Than A Purple Parka Edition

Friday morning I needed a new winter coat. The zippers, all of them, on my coat's shell were rendered useless and I was unable to repair them. The lining, which I'd zipped out in order to use the lining's zipper to do up the coat, was fine, so all I really needed was a new shell.

I made my wants known to the Universe. When I do this I directly ask the angels as they are often dispatched to do God's hands-on stuff.  I wrote down that I wanted a parka, ladies' style, but it wasn't an absolute. It was to be purple in colour, but that wasn't an absolute either.  I ended by asking for "a purple parka or something better."

I felt pulled to go to a particular store first even though I'd planned to make a secondhand store my first stop. At the store I found a wonderful (not a parka) coat, burgundy-maroon, my size, and on sale. I decided to check around as I don't like to make snap purchases.
The Universe had directed me to the right spot.

At the secondhand store I found a winter coat shell in two-tone purple for $4. Two women of passing acquaintance to me passed me while I tried it on and commented that the colour suited me.
The Universe directed me to exactly what I needed and underscored it by sending two people to comment about it.
That one I bought right then and there.
I searched a few other stores and then went back to the first store and bought the burgundy-maroon coat.

I put my desire out to the Universe and it answered me with what I needed as well as something better.
I am grateful.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- Well And Truly Tired Edition

We had all that much snow here, but we've had enough that having a good set of snow tires on a vehicle is more than a bonus; it is a necessity.

I have a fine set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta  tires on my Ford Focus and for them I am grateful.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Gratitude Monday- Crystal Clear Attitude Edition

Back in May I wrote about about showing my computer gratitude and how it was working better.
It shut off better and on many occasions it shut off as it ought.

It still froze up though not as often so I gave it some thought and decided helper crystals were the thing. I use a clear quartz to help with the hardware and general help as well as an amethyst for software.
This was the turning point.
It is all but perfect now and I am grateful.
I've learned that the crystals either get used up or cloudy after a time. I replace them and cleanse and recharge the used ones.
Most of the time when the computer freezes now it is due to the crystals needing attention.

I have also noticed when I thank it as I am shutting it down it will rebel if I am interrupted. Once I figured this out I warned my husband to not speak to me during this time. It has worked.

I have also found that it likes a particular wording for the thank you.  If I change it and it doesn't like it, then it freezes. However, I have noticed it really only stops itself for about 10 minutes. If the crystals are cloudy it takes up to 25 minutes to shut down properly.

I am grateful that my computer shuts off, that the fix for it was inexpensive ( I already had the crystals), and that when it stops I am able to figure out why.

Thank you, computer.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- No Real Reason Edition

Gratitude is a wonderful thing. It can sneak up on a person and, for no obvious reason, this person feels grateful.
Such happened to me yesterday. I had a great day. There is no one reason for it. It simply was. I had a wonderful sense of well being and am grateful for it. Yet, it is not the reason for my gratitude.
It was a contributing factor, but not the cause.
I like to understand things. I like to reason out the reason for something in order to understand it.
As near as I can figure it yesterday was a gift from gratitude: "Here, have some just because. There's plenty in the bank."
Fine by me.
And I am grateful for it.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gratitude Monday--Crafty-ish- Edition

Lately I've had an urge to work with my hands. I've always enjoyed that sort of thing, but for the most I'm not so good at it. One doesn't have to be good to have fun. I am grateful for that.

There are two main compelling reason for this. One was guidance received during a meditation. My Aldebaran guide told me to work with pyramids.
In the other reason the main character of the story I am writing is a clock maker, among other things. When I was young I used to take clocks apart, fix them despite not having a clue what I was doing, and then put them back together. I am pleased to report all the parts got used up when I put them together and the clocks worked.

But back to my point.

A major craft store had clock making kits on sale so I got one. It is a simple thing with a gear box and slot for AA battery, a shaft, three hands, and a pendulum.  I bought a cheap wood cut of Saturn for the clock face and built it on Saturday.
But while I was out at the local dollar stores looking for a cheap thing to use as a clock face I saw a cheap craft kit, sticks and some double-sided tape.
I bought this and as I considered the clock I put together a small pyramid.
It was fun. I really enjoyed the hands-on work. The downside is it requires looking closely at what is being done and that is hard on old, laser-surgeried eyes.
But I did it.
And then yesterday I made two more pyramids. It wasn't until the third one that I realized the craft sticks would hold together better if I put the sides up at an angle rather than flat.
I am grateful I figured that out.
So now I have a clock hanging from the cork board by the computer. I had it running for about an hour and then took the battery out. ( The AA would not fit. I used a triple A and added tinfoil so it could reach the connection point. It works, and I am grateful.)
The pyramids are in various places around the house. I haven't meditated with them yet, but I hope to get to it today.
I worked with my hands and I see the end results all around me. They are not perfect, but they are mine and for it I am grateful.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- Warm Wishes Edition

We've had a spate of cold weather recently. It is Alberta in the winter so this is to be expected, celebrated even.
But even as one loves or hates it there is one thing we all agree on: we must be warm.
I am grateful that I have a home, a roof over my head, and that it has a furnace which works.
I do not have to wish for warmth.
I have it.
Should I wish to be warmer I can put on another layer or simply adjust the thermostat.
Most of the time I just put on more clothing. I like layers.
But there were a few days recently where I turned up the heat.
I am grateful I can do that and grateful that it responded quickly.
And I am grateful to be warm.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Gratitude Monday -- Leftover Edition

We finally had our Christmas turkey dinner on Friday.  My MIL supplied the turkey and it was a big one, 5-7 kg (11 lb. to 15.4 lb. in the old tongue). She also brought cranberry sauce and I had made some, too.
The deal was I'd cook and Mike's mom and sister would have dinner with us.
That seems more than fair.
However, they don't eat much.  I convinced SIL to take some turkey home and stuffed as much as I could in a  container said to hold a kilogram.
I convinced MIL to take some of the bones for soup.
On Saturday Mike and I had shepherd's pie courtesy the leftover veggies I'd cooked with the bird, and of course the bird itself.
Last night we had the rest of the veggies augmented by a few Brussels sprouts that I'd been craving as well as more turkey.
I have a pot on the back burner making stock from some bones and skin. I started it yesterday and may leave it until tomorrow.
There's a good chance we'll have turkey again tonight.
I am grateful for all of it.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Gratitude Monday - A New Year Of Gratitude - 2018 Edition

I am grateful for another year. It's new, it's fresh, it's got a different feel, as the new year tends to do, be it real or only perceived as such.
Either way I am thankful for it.

This year I want a few things. I want to have conscious contact with extraterrestrials. They are a part of my life in the shadowy awareness of things that happened that I remember.
I want the awareness out of the shadows and in the bright light of now.
I want to talk to them, interview them, spend time with them, and write about it.
I want those books I write about ET contact to be popular, to be best-sellers, and I want them to have an impact on the world for the greater good.

It is my wish to speak publicly about ETs, to bring them out of the world of denial and dismissal into public awareness and acceptance.

I am grateful for the chance to talk about it here. I am grateful to know my stance is accepted, and if it is not, then it is at least read.

And if this doesn't pan out, well, that's okay, too. If they don't consent to be outed, maybe they've got some advanced medical techniques and they'll consent to rejig my heartbeat into the right rhythm.
I'd sure be grateful for that.

Happy 2018.