Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Oh what a wild month... We moved, and I still need to find all my clothes... Boxes everywhere. No internet until Christmas Eve... I went to bed appreciating that Brian could put our bed together - no more crawling on the floor... Two weeks of futon on the floor is too much for my back.

It was a quiet day for a Christmas. No visitors, no extra guests for dinner. I still struggle with childhood memories... Angry, drunken and abusive/violent father alone in the house with 2 scared little girls because our mother was working at the hospital. The scenes play and replay, and the sense of hollowness is as fresh now as it was 40 years ago. I try so hard to make Christmas so very different for our little girl. This year with no money, no ornaments, no Christmas tree, it feels a little empty. No money to exchange gifts with my husband. At least we could get an oven and a dishwasher (all on credit) to make a reasonably good meal. I want to get the better of my ghosts of Christmas past.

I like my new kitchen arrangement. The cupboards are great, although we don't have a table in the kitchen. My old monstrous pine table is too big for the space, so we have it in the livingroom for now. Later it will morph into a sewing table when we have a smaller one to replace it...

The new job is working out quite nicely. Brian and I appreciate the really nice people we work with in chaplaincy. It makes for a peaceful oasis when working in a prison setting.

The dogs and cats made it safely. The cats are pretty much acclimated, but Starr is having some problems with keeping put in our yard. No 50 acres here. So he's having accidents in the house and dislikes being tied to a tether in the yard. Max won't come upstairs with us at night, meaning the cookie routine at bedtime has been eliminated. We're not sure why Max isn't coming upstairs. The dogs seem really worried.

We've settled in to the idea of a trip to Wasaga tomorrow as Angeni wants this Nintendo thing at Walmart. I can't imagine what kind of zoo that will be... She got some gift cards, so we'll try.

I hope the season is brilliant and healing... That peace flows through you like a stream... And love replaces everything that hurts or haunts you. A-ho.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Anniversary Snooze

I can't believe we've been together 13 years today... and married 12 years ago today!!! One baby and a million animals later, we're still happy and still laughing. The move is a mere 3 days away and we're up to our ears in boxes. The house is painted and unrecognizable. While I'll miss this place, I have to disconnect spiritually and emotionally so it will sell... It is quite an unusual feeling to be a week away from full-time work and a regular paycheque. I think we'll do alright.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The more things change...

Well, in my case things aren't staying the same. Wow. On Nov. 16th we got word of a new posting in the Penetanguishene area. We've painted the house, renovated the bathrooms, and packed about 2/3rds of our life. We secured our financial stuff, and generally have complete chaos in the home. All the animals are distressed. I am distressed that the outside animals won't come in on moving day, and they'll get left behind - meaning friends will have to come and get them and bring them to us... I'm trying not to put that thought out as a fear to the universe, just something to plan around.

I'm going to miss this place in Varney and all the memories: llamas, alpacas, chickens, Jujube the donkey, Lucky and Mabel the horses... We arrived with Nonny, Zuna Piggles, Ethol Louise Carnivore, Spike and Pooky, and those last 3 have passed... We acquired Mr. Bill, Max the 1st (now deceased), Bob, Spunky, Maxine, Starr and Angel Piggles... I'll miss the pines, the sense of womb-like seclusion, and most of all, the spirit of this land.

Our new jobs put us in contact with a native population that requires our services, and we'll be paid. That's kind of novel, for us. Our new home has more space in the house and fewer stairs. What we lose in property we gain in proximity to the beaches and water - a big deal for Angeni. This is a 9-year cycle that ends a distinct chapter in our lives - Angeni's early childhood.

When I'm an old lady I'm pretty sure I'll review my life and remember this home as the one I loved the most.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Moody Winter

I was aghast to rise and see winter on the trees, and settled on the lawn... my calendula are covered over in a snowy blanket, so there are no more crops. I bagged the last dry florets today... I'm overcome with that gripping numb reality that says, "snow tires NOW", "get the clothespins in NOW", and who can forget "wear your boots/wipe your feet NOW"...

Experiencing the first snow is like losing your virginity... You can't say "I didn't like that, so I want to go back a be a virgin again." No matter how unpleasant the experience, you are changed... I'm at the other end of the spectrum. Winter's arrival is like menopause's arrival - cold, hard, fast and not predicted. My emotional landscape is covered in some schizophrenic blanket of crap and I easily fall and slip in it.

Like tonight. So not a stellar night to be writing anything the world will read. Except to say a dear friend, while visiting on the weekend, suggested I have too many spatulas. I countered that not all of them are for the same purpose, and I am writing a cookbook - all kitchen tools are on deck these days. She didn't believe me... she thinks I'm hoarding spatulas. Weird Al Yankovic and I are maybe the only people in the world who appreciate spatulas - he pays homage to them in a video where the protagonist goes to "Spatula World". I should apply as regional manager of Spatula World.

Maybe it's not menopause after all... maybe it's the attack on my culinary tool collection. I suggested I might take some spatulas up to the bedroom - isn't that a novel usage? My visiting friend just laughs at me, and says she misses my humour. Good thing she lives far away when I've slipped on my hormonal nightmare and landed in the sewage.

However, my husband, who turned 61 today, is knee-deep in the menopausal morass. He hasn't had a celebrated birthday. Didn't want a cake, so I baked him a pumpkin pie. It's the first time I didn't get him a card. I wasn't out, and e-cards are kinda crass - I'd rather not go there... We've worked hard lately, and it's a good thing the van needs extensive servicing in Guelph. He'll be away all day and I'll have the house to myself, to quietly work on jewelery commissions. I think a day away in Guelph and some time apart is good for us.

When he comes home, the snow tires will be on the van... I'll have the clothespins in the house, and a boot mat by the front door, with a place to wipe one's footwear. Maybe by that time, I'll meet him at the door with nothing on but a smile and a spatula clenched between my teeth. Yeah, right.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Havoc

I feel no remorse in stealing the name of a wrestling pay-per-view to title my blog entry. It is "All Saints Day" officially today, and "All Souls Day" tomorrow. The spooky triumvirate falls in the midst of the 2.5 weeks running from Oct. 25th to Nov. 11th, when the veil between worlds is the thinnest, and our communication with the departed is at its peak. How is your spiritual communication? Good, I hope - this is the perfect time to catch up on ethereal gossip and connect with those loved ones we haven't chatted with in awhile... I certainly do.

We had a number of occurrences here a couple weeks ago - the levitation of an umbrella in front of a client, the slamming of Angeni's door 3 times during a gathering, and finally the cord on the dining table lamp being pulled - and the light coming on - in front of Brian and myself. Seems my dad had something to say, and felt worried that Angeni spends too much time alone in her room. We acknowledged his concern - she has joined us more in the main part of the house - and the haunting behaviours have stopped for now...

Angeni and I have an annual mother/daughter ritual of going out for Hallowe'en together. I take her to the usual haunts in Varney, then into Durham, and home through the back concessions. It takes us about 2.5 hours. It was initially a bit tense, but she relaxed and we had a great time. The clocks used to go back to eastern standard time the weekend before Hallowe'en, but Canada is following the US initiative to wait until this coming weekend. Thus, we were going out at 6 PM while it was still light - that felt weird - but necessary with her bedtime and the route we take. Suffice to say we had a howling good time. The night was warm at 16 degrees Celsius, and it didn't start to rain until we parked the van at home - spooky!

Don't be the dummy who forgets to turn back your clock this weekend! Remember to sleep in and keep cozy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wild and Wacky Weddings

We had an interesting shamanic gathering on Sunday the 28th - it was our annual "feast of the dead" celebration for the ancestors, and additionally, a wedding. For weeks we busted our buns to get the renovations done that would give me a functional main floor bathroom (as long as the guests didn't need to shower) and a working kitchen. Why? Not only were we feasting at lunch, but after the wedding, we hosted the reception dinner, here at Moonstar. My goodness - I was still icing cakes at 11:00 PM the night before, and sewing special ceremonial shirts. Brian and I haven't worked that hard in years...

The animals were unusually silly during the festivities. Maxine was highly conflicted - she wanted to be inside with us, but the noise and the energy of 19 people had her agitated. So she went to the door every 5 minutes. Poor Denise was the one controlling Max's ins-and-outs. That duty should fall to a menopausal female, as those hormone rushes require some cooling off - that isn't Denise yet. I'd bought rawhide bones to keep them busy during the wedding, but the dogs decided that any other dog's bone was more interesting than the one they were given, hence some posturing started. It got a bit aggressive.

The cats, while very interested in cream cheese cake icing, were not as upset as the dogs. The only cat in the room during the main festivities was (surprisingly) Zuna. Nonny and the rest of the felines went to various sleeping stations upstairs, away from our madding crowd. No one's shirt caught on fire; no one set off the fire alarm; and there was enough food for all. The only technical glitch was the video camera didn't work during the ceremony. We all saw the light go on, and the aperture opening and closing - however, I suspect the ancestors don't like photos. Mercifully there were several digital cameras, so the "still" photographs happened.

So with a few days to clean up and rest, we're dealing today with Hallowe'en. Angeni and I have an annual mother-daughter routine, which I've done since she was very small. I drive her into Durham, after visiting the friends on Varney Road, and we come back about 9 PM. This is quite a silly evening for mother and daughter - it's one of the few things given my disabilities I can do with her. It is a warm day, but the wind is high - I know this is heralding a profound drop in temperature, and probably more rain, but I would like the wind to die down for this evening. I don't like the cold.

My friend Philomene will have arrived in Sedona by now... I hope her workshops are productive. I wish I was in Sedona right now, actually....

Have a Spooky Funky Hallowe'en!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Tail of Two Kitties

So I'm sitting here with my old friend Nonny cat... I'm typing and she's purring. I was reminded of an old behaviour today when the phone rang - Nonny was lying on my desk at the time and reached over to sniff the phone. When we lived in Guelph, we had a huge buttoned speaker phone, which sat on a table by the window. Nonny would walk across this phone on the way to the windowsill to watch birds with Pooky.

We found out that even as a very young cat, she liked to order pizza.

When she walked across the phone, she first stepped on the speaker button... then hit the auto dial button for the pizza parlour in the Grange St. plaza. The first time we caught her, I could hear "Hello, hello??? Who's there? Damn kids!!!" Nonny was just sniffing into the microphone, and the guy could hear her - I guess he thought it was an obscene phone call... Clearly he didn't have call display. Since this was our favourite pizza place at the time, we stopped in one day and told the guy about the cat. He laughed, and said he understood, and also suggested we move the phone!! I couldn't really move the phone, I just had to watch Nonny a little more carefully.... He asked one time if he could come over and see Nonny do her thing. We obliged, and he set up his daughter to answer the phone when he was dropping off a pizza for us... He got a good chuckle - all I had to say to Nonny and Pooky was "Birds, Nonny, birds!!" and they scrambled to the window taking her usual route across the phone. When the daughter answered, Nonny sniffed away at the voice. Too funny.

Thankfully that old phone is long burned out, so Nonny can't order pizza. I wouldn't really mind, as long as she paid and there weren't anchovies on it...

As for the other tail/tale of kitties... Tonight I had to bake a wedding cake. Actually two - one to decorate in a silly manner, and one "for good"... I baked a third cake to decorate with gummy worms, gummy frogs, licorice babies, and marshmallow monster faces. Oh yeah, and gelatin body parts. This last cake is for the shamanic gathering tomorrow, where the wedding takes place. My shaman feast at lunch, and perform the wedding with me in the afternoon. After they leave, I'm doing a dinner for the happy couple - complete with wedding cakes. Anyway, I'm doing my level best to ice these cakes and naturally, every cat we own is in the house because of the rain. It's also a lot of fun to "help" mommy. Icing, especially butter cream and cream cheese are deeply yummy. Good to lick, good to sit on - you get the picture. It took 3 armed guards to watch the cakes while they cooled, in order to keep cats off them... Nonny, of all the cats, doesn't eat people food. Cakes are for sleeping on. Get it right. So after being dutifully decorated and wrapped, I've actually put them in my sewing room (door shut) for the night. Here's hoping they're safe.

It's going to be a loooooonnnnngggg day tomorrow. Gotta get some sleep.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's been awhile...

Not sure why, but I haven't blogged in exactly a month. Part of this is the chaos of renovations, another part is all the time and effort spent job-hunting and finally the chaos of renovations. I'm not sure what is so disturbing about all of this, but it is disturbing. A friend suggested Brian and I take the time to do our pipe together - we haven't I must admit - in nearly 4 months. One reason I don't do my pipe as often is that I also have a direct line to spook land, and for whatever it's worth, they do have some interesting perspectives. One insight is, if we had the money when we first moved in here, we'd have done all these renovations 8 years ago - wallpaper removal, painting over their smoky walls, replacing the flooring (which had holes even then), updating the bathrooms and fixing the porch. Instead we put on a roof, put in a furnace and air conditioner, and built paddocks. So, even if we don't "move" away from here, we've done what most people do, and that's update and upgrade. If we don't move it will be a clean and fresh start.

The renovations are at all levels - physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. It's never comfortable and never pleasant. We can't find anything - beloved chatchki's are not in their places and we can't find clean clothes. Both bathrooms are nearly out of commission because of the reno's and this is upsetting. Having no water for long periods of time is a bummer. Most of my appliances are moved and disconnected. What could possibly be worse? The clients are staying away in droves... No income, big bills, and a sense of not knowing whether we have to move or not... Even with a good chat line to the beloveds, they cannot make decisions for me/us, so they stay quiet. My choices are my responsibility. I accept that....

If I push the envelope and elect to stay, one or both of us must take an outside job. Brian is almost 61 and I'm 50 - there is an invisible gray ceiling, even with the tsunami of the boomer generation changing things. I have obvious physical limitations, and this is a hindrance - whether it 'should" be or not, it is... Classes are poorly attended and there is no ministerial income, It's all very disturbing.

It is four months ago today that my beloved Pooky died and I'm still grieving.

So I guess I probably (subconsciously) haven't written because I don't think people need to read my whining on this blog. I'll write when I have something upbeat and funny to say.

Take care... Kathryn

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Renovation Boogey

Summer is back with a vengeance, even if just for a few more days... it's gorgeous out there, and we are blessed to have some painting going on to spruce up the outside. In another couple of weeks there will be too much rain for regular outdoor painting - hopefully this will be done by the weekend and Brian can move it all indoors. We're doing those little things to the place like replacing broken windows, adding a new screen door, tearing off old wallpaper, and removing visual clutter. The load of junk going out the door is incredible. Repairing and painting the inside walls will add considerably to the freshening of the place. I'm glad the windows can be open for most of the time... Neither Angeni nor I tolerate paint fumes.

Lucky and Mabel seem to be doing well in their new homes... Brian does miss Lucky, though, and we both notice how dead the barn feels without them. However, it is as the song says "time passages", and we must look ahead.

There is a new autumn newsletter, just published today - it has been emailed to everyone on our list, but after this evening it can be accessed from the website as well. Or email Brian and ask to be sent a copy... As it indicates, we've canceled our autumn equinox gathering this weekend due to all the renovations going on...

People have been asking about the book I was published in this summer... I don't have any extra copies, but they can be purchased from the Anishnabeg Outreach Centre in Guelph, or from Ningwakwe Learning Press directly. The book is called "River Bundles An Anthology of Original Peoples in the Waterloo-Wellington Region". If you contact me directly I can give you the email of my friend in the editorial group, the Plume Writers Circle. I also just received "Portico", the magazine of the Alumni Association at the University of Guelph, and I'm featured in an article on alumni with unusual jobs... Yeah, I'd say this is unusual.

Sometime soon you'll be able to see my art work in the Ontario Craft Council's web portal called the "Portfolio of Makers". This was submitted for a deadline in July, but I worked on it for nearly two years. It will be up and running shortly.... And, I have been contracted to teach native beadwork to a class during the Canadian Doll Artists Association convention next April. I've been a member now for almost 4 years, and I've never been able to afford to attend their convention. Now I get a chance to go and teach - how exquisite! Things are looking up in my art world.

Tonight is meet the creature night... I mean, Meet the Teacher night. We don't especially need to go, since this is the second year Angeni has been taught by this teacher, but Angeni is anxious for us to go... It's also a scam to buy books from Scholastic, which is what Angeni really wants in the long run. It's a tight month financially, so we'll see... It may be a quiet ride home.

Looks like we're doing a wedding here next month... more details to follow! Have a wonderful equinox weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Winds of Change

Mabel and Lucky went to their new home yesterday, and the chickens head out today - right now in fact. That leaves the barn empty... All the dogs and cats that remain are healthy and happy and won't be leaving - Angeni is happy there are no more animals going anywhere.

We didn't get our jobs down east. The Dear John/Dear Jane letters arrived today. Out of 9 elders who applied, 7 were required, and Brian and I got dumped. It makes me reticent to talk about any further developments, as I don't want anyone else having to deal with our roller coaster. Some of the pressure of waiting is off, but even now, we've hit the ground running in our application for another position with a different ministry. It has to be done by Wednesday.

In the meantime, since we have to sell our home anyway, we're continuing with minor repairs and painting. The house is a royal mess - wall paper is partially stripped off in the downstairs, and there is a lot of damage in the plaster/drywall to repair before painting. With the bathrooms also requiring a lot of finishing and repair, we're going to cancel Autumn Equinox celebrations for this year. Getting this place done by the 22nd isn't possible, especially with Brian working part-time.

We're doing the day-by-day dance...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lucky & Mabel

It is a bittersweet Sunday - we found new homes for Lucky and Mabel and our friends are coming today to pick them up. Eventually the chickens will go there as well... Angeni isn't really happy about this, but the best comfort I can offer is that we can visit our friends' farm anytime and see them - the horses won't forget us. Small comfort to a grieving child whose seen so many changes and experienced so much loss this summer...

However, life goes on, and Angeni is well entrenched in Grade 4. So far all she can say about her year is "boring" as there is a lot of writing and review, from her perspective. I trust it will liven up, and eventually whenever we get moved, she'll have the excitement of a new school to adjust to...

On this sleepy Sunday Brian is busily stripping wallpaper in the dining room. I've done my morning emails and scanned the news. We watched an episode of Celebrity Paranormal Project last night, so I did a bit of research on that episode's location. I miss being out "in the field" doing this exact work. I also miss standing in front of a congregation delivering messages. This celebrity show is quite ridiculous, as there is no recapitulation of what was found by the team of B-list celebrities - the entire show focuses the camera on their genuine fear and reactions to the paranormal. I'm not a fan, but I watch to see what I can discern in the background of the shots.

Anyway, as the day rolls along, I have 3 crystal necklaces to make (commissions) and a Metis ornamental ceremonial shirt to finish. I researched a more historically correct placket to finish the sleeves. This particular gentleman has arms longer than the pattern allowed, so this meant some tricky reworking of the sleeve with the cuff/placket. I'm pleased that I can get this finished in the next day or so to give him when he visits on Thursday. I figured out the tricky repair to a neckline of a rayon dress I've been mulling over, and hemmed 3 pair of pants which have been sitting there for months, awaiting my ministrations. I hemmed 2 new track pants for Angeni. She thought it was too warm for track pants, until I showed her the forecast for next week - some mornings it suggests no more than about 6 degrees when she gets on the bus!! She'll need the fleecy pants!! Slowly I am checking off the sewing list in my mind...

It's another couple of weeks before we hear whether we got the job postings or not... it's been stressful for the family. The wheels of government grind slowly, and I keep reminding Brian that is isn't personal. As will anything bureaucratic, there is a careful dotting of i's and crossing of t's... It isn't personal. The universe has to make things happen as it suits all parties involved, not just us because we're anxious to move on. The donkey and horses got placed speedily, and other aspects of this shift have happened swiftly and beautifully - we just need to be patient and allow the universe to unfold. Manifestation is happening.

Have a wonderful, blessed week...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labour Day mission of Love

So it's the most exquisite sunny Sunday - the middle of the labour day weekend... we've had a quiet weekend at home as our original plans had to be changed. The nature of our life right now means we adapt to flying by the seat of our pants, and landing without skid marks on the runway. We'd originally thought to take Angeni to the beach today, and there were other options, but none of them could happen. Last night she and her father went to a bush party for a girl friend turning 10, and that was an important experience. The mere thought of "bush party" would normally send cold chills through most parents, but this was a family thing. They enjoyed themselves.

I've had problems with a bowel obstruction made worse by gastroenteritis. I felt like I should have lived in the bathroom for these last several days. However, sleep-deprivation and pain aside, we're going to attempt another barn-burner sleepover in the trailer, with our friend Philomene. This should be interesting... we've got snacks, sleeping bags, coffee and cream for the morning, stuffed animals, playing cards with cows on them, and I'll take my knitting. The guitar is a given, but I'm not sure about my kazoo. And who could forget those feminine hygiene products? (Angeni goes "ewww" when she sees them.) We'll have a night without cats or dogs, and Brian gets to sleep in the house by himself, lucky bastard.

Mabel and Lucky will be going to a new home this week in Gowanstown, along with the remaining chicken family. Our old friends Moe and Kath are quite happy to receive them, and I'm donating a disco ball for the chicken coop - there is one rooster who has a penchant for disco. Got to make the transition easy for him, right? That gets all of our charges dealt with who can't come with us on the next phase of our lives - and thankfully the horses have a home for life. No more moves... their fate could have been worse.

Anyway, we're doing some fairly complex renovations to the house and getting it ready to go on the market sometime soon. Stripping wallpaper is horrible, despite steamers, concentrated acid removers and scrapers. We inherited this paper from the previous owners and I've always hated wallpaper. For me, it's white walls, and wild colourful accents - I'm not stuck with what the walls dictate when I decorate that way... In the next few days, when Angeni goes back to school on Tuesday, we'll begin another intense round of purging. In analyzing what we'll keep and what we'll shed, we're looking at over 70% of what we own is being dispersed. It isn't worth lugging to a new home. This is a good exercise for me in letting go of old paradigms and shedding. A snake must shed it's skin in order to grow, and I must unburden myself from the load I've carried in order to blossom. It is time...

Have a wonderful, restorative, restful Monday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

School Break Boogey

So it is now officially a month left of summer... today is the 23rd of August and while humid and stormy, there are fallen coloured leaves in the driveway. It is a normal sign of the gentle transition to a new school year and the official end of summer on Sept. 23rd. I welcome the leaves, I don't welcome the commerce-driven, retailers' need to start putting out school supplies in July, and Fall/winter clothing by Civic holiday... there really is no need to rush the season by over 7 weeks. One regional dollar store had a full display of Hallowe'en supplies out the day after Canada Day - a full 3.5 months before it is really needed. It gives us the false notion that summer is ending soon and we're missing something. Our lives seem driven by the materialistic rush directed by retailers.

I don't call the school year start on Sept. 4th the end of summer - it is still almost 3 weeks from the start of school until the end of summer. I can still barbecue, still go to the beach and still wear shorts. Anarchist that I am, I will wear white after Labour Day, thank you. What's the rush? Conscious living precludes being in the moment, living fully - it is NOT being worried that if I don't get seasonally appropriate autumn clothes for Angeni by mid-August, that there won't be any to have... Nonsense.

It is the normal time to begin harvesting and preserving food for winter. It is the correct time to make medicines and purge things that no longer serve myself or the family. Late summer cleaning, and late summer "taking stock". All in good time...

The week started out on the cool side, but has become seasonally hot and humid, if overcast. A friend commented that the protracted cold wave has inspired her to close her pool early. I hope she holds off - I think we'll have another hot spell, and her kids will thank her for not closing the pool.

Angeni is away at a friend's cottage for the night. Brian is in Holstein, working, doing seed cleaning. I'm home - alone - for about 7 hours - it's the first time I've been completely alone since I went away with Pooky in early June. That seems like such a long time ago - 2.5 months or so. She's been dead now over 2 months... I miss Pooky still so very much, but I'm almost giddy that I have this private time to myself. I think I deserve a nap....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Spunky and Skunky

My goodness - our dear old dog Spunky approaches 10 years old. You'd think that with fairly recent past experiences of skunks she would learn. Nope - the Biggus, dad's girl, Queen of the Nip Nips has not learned the skunk lesson. Within the last 3 years she got sprayed twice in the same day. Normally Spunk is a good adoptive mother, and really smart, but her skunk attacks didn't teach the black Newf pups a damned thing.

A couple of mornings ago, our dearest Spunk took umbrage with a local Pepi Lepew, and got nailed. Right in the ear. Naturally she sleeps on the floor by my side of the bed, making the past few nights somewhat difficult - she takes my breath away, literally. I can't see worth a damn, so my sense of smell is quite acute. Leaving the window open is fine until about 3:30 AM when the stupid rooster starts. I wish the skunk would douse him with stink so he'd be quiet.... I'm the kind of sleeper that needs the room dark, and some kind of noise like a fan so I don't hear other noises. It's been too cool at night for the fan, so I'm stuck with rooster noise and Spunky Skunky Stink. It's the only time I don't smell Brian and his phenomenal digestive skills.

Angeni has a birthday party to attend this weekend, and she seems to be looking forward to it. This is a new little fellow to the neighbourhood, so I hope after his party he feels integrated. We've recovered from the birthday party last weekend for Angeni, and after a week of enduring us working, I am glad she gets Sunday afternoon to be with other children. She hasn't had exposure to many kids this summer. I have a blanket to sew for her - a gift from one of her friends. I was in no rush to finish it for her, but the down-turn in temperature makes the nights chilly, so she's asking for it. I've got it all pinned so it can be sewn tomorrow, after our morning client.

Well, I guess it is time to settle in for the night - Blogger records things in Pacific time, and I'm eastern, so it's getting past my bedtime. I wish I had ear plugs, but I can't really have nose plugs. I hope Spunky learns!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Birthday Blowout

Well it took weeks of prep, but the 9th birthday party has come and gone... Angeni had 4 friends visit - we're unsure what happened to one child, who didn't RSVP. I was so tired by the time yesterday came, that I'm glad Angeni's godmother Kaaren and our friend Phil came to entertain. It took 3 women and one man to keep 5 children in line... Anyway, she had a great day.

We very much needed the rain today... the grass is burnt to a crisp and the trees are beginning to show stress. Although t cleared up briefly before dinner, I see more clouds, so hopefully the long-predicted storms for today are going to be a reality.

It is quite a time for intense working, and we've had a trip for meetings in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst earlier in the week. We don't yet know the outcomes of the meetings, and won't until about the end of August - this is the hard part. We can't put our house on the market like it is, but we also can't afford the debt we'll have to carry to prepare the house for sale. without a signed contract. Weird dichotomy. So we content ourselves with purging - furniture, garbage, clothing, old housewares, unwanted appliances, and more. We haven't finished 1% of the work, and not really any packing away. However, the big house trailer is fixed and ready to transport should it come to that. Many of our clients are coming for final meetings with us, in case we have to move in a hurry and can't have closure.

On another note, the night after we buried Pooky, I found a breast mass on my old cat Nonny. By the end of the week she had a mastectomy. Now I notice she's twitching a bit, like an involuntary spasm. Not knowing cat auric colours with any sense of proficiency, I can't say for sure, but I suspect she has metastases in the brain. It would account for episodes where I see her pupils dilated unequally. Her behaviours haven't really changed and she's still eating and affectionate - we'll keep watch and see how she progresses. I will miss her if it's her time, but she's done well to pass 16 years.

Jujube has a new home on our farrier's farm. The horses were bugging him a lot, and he seemed unhappy. The farrier lives nearby and has another donkey, so Jujube has a friend and a job - guarding sheep. This change came about very quickly, so we have been blessed to get a good home for him. Now it is time for homes for Lucky and Mabel, hopefully together, but not likely. We think Mabel can go back to her original stable, as the fellow wanted her last year, and Lucky will take some work. As long as they aren't turned into dog food, we're happy. Saving Lucky these past 5 years wasn't for the purpose of having him killed by someone unscrupulous.

We're keeping our fingers crossed about this new venture - keep praying for us!! Blessings to all in these dog days of August...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Heating Up

And I don't mean the weather, although I'm now really glad we've got air conditioning... The Ont. Craft Council portfolio is gone, the Canadian Doll Artists Association teaching application is in, and all our new job information. We've had such a busy few weeks. Angeni seems to be handling all the work and all the changes well, but she does have periods of being bored. I wish I could change that for her, but we have bills to pay and work to do... We have too much to do and no fun, and she has not enough to do - and no fun.

We've started purging, and that is quite the experience - furniture and appliances, old clothes, unnecessary dishes - all gone. What's gone doesn't represent 1% of everything yet to pass on. Oh my goodness this is like a tsunami of overwhelm. Brian is looking into renting a huge storage container (which are the back end of trucks) brought to the house, dropped off, and loaded by us as things get packed. Getting the best financial arrangement is going to be crucial and loading a trailer/container weeks ahead of time saves us on moving day, if a moving day comes about. So much to do, so little time, and our hands are tied until a week from now... But we're researching and looking at houses and making contingencies...

We had our shamanic gathering yesterday, and I was given 2 copies of a book in which I was published in recently. It's called "River Bundles: An Anthology of Original Peoples in the Waterloo-Wellington Region". To hold that book in my hands, and read my words was moving, and profound. Wow, I'm really a published author now! Although my writings have appeared in lots of magazines, this just feels different. I look forward to reading the writings of my peers.

We still talk of how to get a new puppy of the Yorkie-poo type (like Pooky); the average price is $750 per puppy, coming from reputable breeders. We've decided to wait until we move, if we move, and get the current stresses settle before introducing a wee one. I also need to give my heart some more time to heal. I was touched that an elderly gentleman who came for his healing appointment on Saturday gave me a $20 bill and said "this is for your puppy fund". He used to like how Pooky laid up on the healing table with him, and he missed her this time. Little acts of kindness mean so much...

We're heading into the Civic holiday long weekend. It's almost unbelievable. We're living fully this summer, and living hard - still things move quickly. Have a good one... we're going to try and relax a bit.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dancing with Blogs

I struggle with the notion that, as a minister, I'm trying to be open, "transparent" to use the buzz word, and allow people the space and time to wrap their heads around the idea that Moonstar Lodge is changing. We near bankruptcy, and I'm not going there... I love what I do, but the past two years have shown me that we are not needed for the services we provide here. When the gas prices started inching up - at times dramatically - in the summer of 2005, we noticed a sharp decline in attendance to classes and appointments. It was this way for people coming from a distance AND with locals. The gas debacle made us all nervous, so many people clamped down, removing anything non-essential from their priorities. We sold off our llama herd and cur expenses on all fronts to meet that challenge - including not replacing our old truck when it died.

When people come for counseling and tell me that they're boxed in, and things aren't working in their lives, I tell them - without exception - to examine what isn't working from the perspective that the Creator may be telling them, not very succinctly, that it's time to move on. This could be from a job, a marriage, a family/friend situation - whatever. We've examined the timing of some recent opportunities and have decided to go after them. And while it all looks promising, there are no guarantees. I will make announcements only after contracts are signed. What would a successful opportunity mean to Moonstar? Here are our thoughts:
  • The church, and all it's functions (weddings, funerals, naming, inipis) still truck on - we don't change what we do...
  • Moonstar is the name of the property, like "Tara" in Gone with the Wind; there will be a Moonstar Lodge to go to. However,
  • While we perform our new duties, all healing appointments and classes are stopped. Patients will be given a short period of time to make final appointments, then, if they wish, can be turned over to one of the nine shaman we work with...
  • There will still be spiritual services at equinox and solstice times.
  • As time permits, I will resume channeling over the internet with Skype and my wonderful computer eyeball.
  • Should we move, there will always be people who find that we're out of reach - it happened when we left Guelph, it happened when we left Wolverton, and will happen when we leave here.
The long and short of it is - we have to protect this beautiful child we've been given to care for; she deserves a stable home life and a university education. By the time she finishes a basic masters-level education, Brian would be 75 and I'll be 65. There are no guarantees about our health, so we have to make whatever changes necessary to ensure that she has a bright future.

The Buddhists and the Pueblo peoples of the southwest have, since ancient times, done these beautiful mandalas in sand - the sand paintings. They gather dyes, and work out motifs, then spend long times with their creations, knowing full well that within hours and days of their completion, nature will reclaim them. Why would they go to all that trouble? Don't they have enough to do? Quite the opposite - it is a statement of acceptance that things to not remain the same. We have choices and we have a certain flexibility around how long we stick with a situation, but ultimately things will change. Fear of change is NOT our ally.

My response to gossip is to clamp down, and stop communicating. That may not help in this case, but gossip infuriates me, and was one of the reasons I left the Spiritualist community - there is no place for gossip in a church environment. People expressing opinions of sadness about our changes have every right to do so - but whether it is this month, next year or whenever, Moonstar is changing. We choose to see this as an opportunity to broaden our community and serve those who are least served. We choose to make this a healthy transition and not see it as a "loss" - we need to show Angeni positive models for accepting change. God only knows her world will spin even faster than ours has, and she'll need to learn how to cope.

To conclude, I will not speak of these things in this format, or via email again, until we know whether or not we are moving in the short term. I have no further details to give - negotiations are still happening and it will be about 3 weeks before anything definitive is determined. Know that whatever happens, it is in the best interests of those of us involved.

Try to keep cool on this day between thunderstorms!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wild Weeks

We're 2/3 of the way through July - I can hardly believe it!! Summer is flying by, and the weather so far has been lovely, although there has been a third round of deer flies which I've never seen in 50 years. My portfolio has flown to Toronto (after 14 months) and we're working on projects for the fall. Right now the house repairs require attention as there may be a move in our near future. Brian is purging the household accumulated garbage and giving away stuff - even furniture - at the curb.

Zuna Piggles, our eldest tabby has been having some problems with the stairs, and so began urinating on the couch. She even climbed under tarps to make her statement, so we've had to get rid of the futon. Mercifully we kept our old futon, so it comes to replace the metal one - this means no more living room naps during the day, as this futon doesn't pull out very easily. I don't have time for naps right now, what with all the shifting...

We're still getting used to life here without Pooky. It's been a progressive acceptance this past month. I look forward to the time Pook lets me know her spirit is ready to return, and we'll look for her arrival, however that manifests.

Once we have our job submissions formalized this week, we'll go through the interview process, some time in early August. Angeni has her birthday party all organized and the kids have been invited. We're looking at 6 kids here on the 11th (including Angeni) and it should be fun as her birthday falls on the Saturday that we can celebrate. We can have a family celebration at the end of the kids' party.

We're off to get Zuna her own brand new litter pan, and are putting it in a place she can access without climbing stairs - I hope this works!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What a difference a day makes!

Wow - from 36 degrees yesterday to 19 C right now - what a blessed relief! I slept so poorly because of the heat, even with air conditioning, so I'm really glad today is cooler. It still feels like another weather front maybe coming through our area yet tonight.

I've been working most of the day on my portfolio to submit to the Ontario Crafts Council, and what a walk down memory lane - pictures of Pooky as a puppy, ex-husbands and partners, old friends, me 170 pounds ago, my sister about 100 pounds ago... Angeni was quite taken aback at who all these people were, and laughed from her belly at pictures of Nonny and Ethol as kittens... She didn't recognize me as a teenager, although she recognized all the photos of her grandparents - not sure why since she never met my father.

Anyway, it is like pulling teeth to make decisions about what creations of mine to include and what to exclude. I had to update and polish my artist's statement, biography and artistic CV. There are 3 portfolio binders in all - my main one, which never leaves my studio, the one being shipped to the OCC, and a back-up, should I need one for a future organization. Brian had to print triplicate copies of recent works not photographed since last fall. This has been a labour of labour for 13 months, and I'm now facing a kick-in-the-butt deadline of the 23rd. Begrudgingly I'm back at it... I need to ship it by the end of this week so it arrives before the deadline, since Brian and I have scheduled a few days away at the cottage. I'd like it gone...

This comes on the heels of submitting a teaching proposal for the Canadian Doll Artists Association concerning some courses for their annual convention in April 2008. I have a hard gut feeling that my work isn't topical for the theme of the convention (Salsa) as nothing I do can be construed as Hispanic. The proposal development and support material took a full 2 days to create, and may actually go nowhere, but it did have some off-shoot benefit towards what I'm doing today with the portfolios. A lot of my angst reflects inner turmoil over the quality of my work, and therefore reflects low self-esteem. I guess I fear the portfolio will be rejected. That would be a tough one, although logically they displayed several of my pieces for 4 months last summer, so why would they accept my work last year and not this year? It's just fear speaking.

We haven't had time to process anymore information about Yorkie-poo breeders in Southern Ontario. With all the client and submission work there has been little time for outside interests, like researching puppies. I'm not feeling quite ready, either. I want to wait until the fall to find another wee lass to bring home. Part of the distraction is more job preparation - we could end up moving this autumn. There is so much up in the air, and the times are exciting - I feel a sense of increased energy and anticipation. It's all good, and things are unfolding as they should...

Even if we do move, my work with these various organizations stays the same, so I'd better give myself another kick in the pants and get back to work... I'm so close to having it all done...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Finally some rain...

It's nice to hear the gentle pitter-patter of rain off the steel roof... the roll of thunder is almost soothing, and not so loud the dogs can't relax. Normally Spunky cowers at the sound of thunder...

I watched a terrible show on the Waverly Tuberculosis hospital (Kentucky) last night; a show populated by B-list actors who were themselves scarier than anything they encountered. Having worked in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons, the clear hands-down scariest place for ghosts is a hospital. This program, part of a series, does nothing for proper paranormal investigation, and has little to do with anything scientific. I watched for the background and not the "stars". I believe it's called Celebrity Paranormal Investigation - watch and be forewarned! Waverly is a very haunted place and deserves better coverage - would that I could go there.

Nonny improves daily from her mastectomy ordeal. The vet said she would not normally have done surgery on a cat of 16 years, yet Nonster is in such good shape she felt safe doing the surgery. Nonny came home that afternoon, got out of the carrier, and promptly ate - if one didn't lift her up to see the shave marks, you'd never know she was any different. I am so relieved that she seems well... it's been just over two weeks, and her stitches came out last Wednesday. Her incision doesn't bother her, and she'll let me touch the wound site to check for ingrown hairs. The vet thinks she might be one of those cats who lives to 25 - I hope so. In the meantime, Zuna is peeing where she shouldn't be, and it isn't because of the state of the cat litter. It is checked every couple of days, and there are several litter boxes. Zuna has had FUS and crystals in the past, but this might also be an infection. In the meantime we must shut our bedroom door and cover the couch every time we leave. That's annoying.

Well, the frequency of the thunder increases so I'd better post this and shut down.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Nice weather

So far, July has been a pleasant month, weather-wise - it reminds me of Salt Spring Island when I was out there in 1990... breezy, mid-20's and not a lot of humidity. We're taking advantage of this pleasantness to do some family outings. Today we looked for the Durham Dam festival, and that bombed, trundled to the Flesherton Farmer's market, and ended in Markdale. There was an ice cream festival in Markdale, but we stopped at the quilt shop for me... had to have a quilting supply fix. I found some bear joints and since I have some bears to make up, I am excited to have some more joint sets.

I am trying to walk more, and my crocs help me manage to move with the plantar fasciitis being so painful. I thought they were the ugliest, silliest fad going, until I talked to some nurse friends who tell me that they couldn't last their 12-hour shift without them. I've tried them and I'm a croc fan. Angeni and Brian even have some! We need some of the funky buttons that snap through the holes to make them special...

It will be 3 weeks on Monday that Pooky passed - there isn't a day I don't think of her wistfully. There are certain things we can do now, like sleep without night lights. There are no sheets to wash in the morning, and we don't have to carry her everywhere - but despite all the extra work she was at the end of her life, we miss her dearly. I've checked with local Yorkie-poo breeders, and I am shocked that the prices are so high - $750/pup, but a contract is signed, and the dog is guaranteed free of genetic problems for life. I guess that's worth the money, but I have to put up a Puppy Fund jar and stick my end-of-the-day change in there, so I can get to $750 for the fall. Pooky has come to me once in a journey, and she was still weak, but barked at me to be picked up - she hadn't been able to bark for a couple of weeks before she passed, so I was taken aback at that. She isn't strong enough spiritually to return yet, and we'll do a shamanic journey when she is ready to take her to the kennel and have her reborn, if she wants that... it will be her choice. Whether it is Pook again, or another gentle spirit, we're looking for another Yorkie-poo. If the circumstances of the universe dictate otherwise, we might end up with a wee poodle or even a Yorkie, so I leave it open to the Creator. Whoever comes has to be female, or Spunky will take serious exception.

Angeni seems to be having an alright summer, so far... She and I spent an overnight at my sister's place in Sauble Beach. earlier this week. I ended up with a touch of gastric distress from the water - Sauble's revenge, I guess. As I reconnect with my sister, we'll head up more often and give Angeni a chance to have some family expansion - my sister is all I have left of my family. Brian and I are going away for a couple nights - alone - later this month. To comfort Angeni, she is having her two favourite people "Aunty Kaaren" and Philomene here to kid and critter sit. They'll spoil her silly. B&I haven't been away together in over 10 years, so this should be interesting.

It's a busy time artistically for me, as I have some course submissions for the Canadian Doll Artists next conference, in the hopes of being asked to be a teacher, and also I have to get my portfolio into the OCC by the 23rd for the Portfolio of Makers. This puts a lot of pressure on me this week - it's positive pressure - and the proverbial kick in the butt to expend some energy in the artistic direction. I feel enthused, even uplifted, about both endeavours.

Our gardens look beautiful and the planters really perk up the porch. I'd sit out there this evening and enjoy them, except we're having round 3 of deer fly season - that's the down side of cooler July weather. Better get back to work!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Our resident striped racing rodents, the chipmunks, don't have it easy around here... they are the target of choice for Mr. Bill (the cat) and Starr. Spunky and Max dip into the chippie reserves from time to time, so cannot voice any denial. Coming home tonight we attempted to save a young chippie from Bill, only to have Starr scoop it. It was alive, so I called him to give it to me. He came to the van, and with prodding, relinquished it. The poor thing had the presence of mind to hide under the van, beyond teeth range... all the offending carnivores came into the house with us, so that solved it's problem, at least for now. I didn't seem outwardly too injured, but that's hard to tell...

The I'm shocked at the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit and his family. I would not be surprised if steroids were involved, although the WWE is upset with the media for reporting it was 'roidrage. The psychological effects of steroid use are life-long, in some cases, and mental breakdown can happen years after their use. Anyone whose had chemo or similar knows how that works. In young athletes whose bodies haven't always reached their adult proportions, the effects are devastating - there is joint damage, adrenal alteration, and effects on the reproductive organs. Mentally, the psychoses tend to lean toward paranoia and rage, and thinking becomes warped for the long term, at the very least involving generalized anxiety. WWE are saying his actions were premeditated based on the fact his wife was bound, and probably dead at least 24 hours when he killed his son, and then 24+ hours later he killed himself. He even placed Bibles with them. They claim he was clean for steroids in April, when tested. Well, this could have come from use years ago, and WWE was a part of the infrastructure involved in that early drug culture. Chris had a phenomenal career, but his legacy is shattered by this event - he is likely still a murderer.

Back to reality - Angeni has one more day left of school. Wow this year has flown. I look forward to having that family week off from Thursday until next Wednesday - with all we've been through the last 6 months, we need time together as a family. Better hope there are some chippies left to commune with...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Blog problems

I've been experiencing problems with my blog at sign-in. Every time I try to access my account, blogger says I don't have a valid email address - that's silly. So it's taken me a bit to retrieve my account...

Slowly my grief over Pooky's death has mellowed, and I'm beginning to smile again... Nonny had a positive surgery on Friday for her metastatic breast cancer (kitty mastectomy) and it's as if nothing every happened to her. She came home on Friday afternoon, very nonchalant, as if she'd been to the hairdressers for a new do; she stretched as she got out of the crate, ate like a pig, and resumed her normal daily activities. At 16 I marvel at her genetics and longevity, as she shows no signs of typical geriatric feline problems, according to the vet's tests. I'm not forcing her to eat the senior wet food - none of the cats will eat it, and it's a waste of money to feed it to the dogs. So, in her senior years, let Nonny eat what she wishes...

We had a powerful and successful inipi/sweatlodge gathering and feast on Sunday, to coincide with our Midewiwin group. It was well-attended, and things went smoothly - we thank Dave, Denise, Robert and Philomene for their assistance in advance to help with the preparations.

Our workload has not abated for several months - meaning we are going 7 days a week. Although we have distance channelings to do, and I have a few necklace orders I should do, Brian has announced that tomorrow is a day "off", more or less... We have clients here Wed morning, so we'll do the channelling in the afternoon, then plan a whole week off from the 28th to July 4th - we'll be here, but not doing clients... It's a week to acclimate to Angeni being home from school. The house is still clean from the weekend, and the laundry is caught up, so tomorrow will be a day off, indeed. If he hadn't demanded it, I'd have plugged away at working.

Actually, during the Canada day weekend, I'd like to fire up the sewing machines and do some needed repairs, finish a Metis ornamental shirt that's languished, and start a new quilt. At the cottage I persevered to begin knitting a sweater for Angeni (Aran style, cable knit cardigan) and I'm enjoying that immensely, although it reminds me of being with Pook at the cottage... I'm turning that into a different paradigm... I'm knitting the memories of Pooky into that sweater. In this heat it seems like an odd time to knit, but I like taking it with me in the car... good stuff.

I'm caught up for awhile with my medicine making, having created a batch of sacred cedar oil for an American client. I got the novel idea to dip the lids in bees wax, so the jars won't leak in transit. I remember my grandmother sealing pickle jars that way... I've got hummus still there, pesto, and a huge batch of fresh calendula cream so all is well until our new crop blooms. The healing necklaces are flying out the door faster than I can make them... I don't know whether it is that they are channeled for the specific needs of the person, or that they are all crystals or what, but I just can't keep ahead. I'm thankful Robert can do custom shopping for me in the big city, so we get just the right specimens. Brian has a number of pictures he's going to post on the website.

I'm sorry to see that the wrestler Chris Benoit died - apparently he killed his family then himself. I believe it's the pressure of that business frankly, and the ruthlessness of the promoters - they treat their stars like machines, and Chris must have caved. My heart goes out to their families...

If I'm not back before Canada Day - have a good one!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


My little Pooky who shared my life almost 15 years passed away Monday night at 8:55 PM - peacefully, with all of us attending and comforting. She is now buried with the other animals - Spike, Ethol and the original Max (big brother to the black Newfoundland dogs). I have been heartbroken now for weeks as you know, and crying like never before, even when my parents passed... I will miss her unconditional love. As a minister I've done many funerals and memorials, and have kept my wits about me, but this was beyond painful - I have had anticipatory grief for weeks and today I am numb. Brian built a little casket a couple weeks ago, and Angeni donated one of her receiving blankets. Philomene gave Pook a pink rose quartz and we put in her Dino toy and a chewy rawhide. Because of the rain, we buried her quite quickly that night, because things were ready - I didn't want the hole filling with water during the thunderstorms. It happened so fast I forgot to cut a lock of her hair, like I did with Pepi and Ethol.

I'm sure Brian is sick of my tears, but I have a life-time's worth of pain to shed... And yes, Pook has been a great catalyst of healing for me at so many levels. While Brian read Angeni stories for the last 45 minutes Pook lived, I had been holding her, but she wanted to be on her own beside me on the couch. She spread her front legs to widen her chest cavity. I just kept talking softly and gently - I went into strength mode and had no tears then. She looked into my eyes most of the time - she was lucid right to the end.

I thank Liliana for expressing her condolences - she asked who we'd been consulting about whether to euthanize Pook. Well, we talked to the vet repeatedly, other elders, our native healing group and Pooky's spirit guides/teachers/angels - whoever we felt would give us educated, thoughtful, objective opinions on the best course of action. Since Pook had no pain, and her passing was peaceful, we are comforted in knowing that we did what she wanted, in a good and sacred way.

Last night I was scratching Nonny Cat's belly when we were snuggled in bed, and found 2 lumps around a nipple. A quick trip to the vet gave us a tentative diagnosis of metastatic mammary cancer, with a good prognosis. She'll require surgery, but the vet is waiting for the results from blood work she took this morning. Apparently the lab will have the results by tomorrow! Nonny is 16 but in phenomenal condition otherwise - barring problems like diabetes or high creatinine levels, we should be able to proceed with surgery early next week, or maybe even Friday. In the meantime I'll start her on shark cartilage capsules to hasten the encapsulation of the tumours and give the vet a a better surgical session. I hold out hope that we have our Nonny yet awhile.

Angeni had her first long-distance school trip yesterday to the African Lion Safari, south of Cambridge. It was a stormy day for most of the time she was away, so the kids couldn't do a boat ride that was scheduled. She had a great time anyway, and managed to shoot a whole roll of film. I haven't been to the safari in probably 25 years or more, so it will be great to see how it has changed.

I'm having a quiet day - doing office work and getting the housework up to speed. This weekend we have a gathering of the community for our annual summer solstice sweatlodge (inipi) on Sunday. It is a wonderful event, but lots of work. Better get back at it...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Been away...

What a whirlwind two 2 weeks I've had - been away for 4 1/2 days to a cottage - had the van die there en route home, and have been ensconced in heavy client/channeling requests. All the while, my dear little Pooky is dying... she isn't suffering, but stopped eating on Tuesday. She's still drinking water and responsive, even standing and taking a few steps. Every day she visibly declines. I keep asking Brian to channel and see if she wants to be euthanized, if she is indeed suffering. Every time the answer comes back a resounding "No", that she wants to stay with us, and pass here at her home. It is her choice, and we respect that... we're just keeping her comfortable. I cry a lot...

In the meantime, as we have Father's Day tomorrow, I am also hosting a birthday party for my friend Philomene... We expect Pooky will probably pass sometime tomorrow and we are prepared. Ethol passed on our 10th anniversary, and Pook will probably pass on Father's Day/Phil's birthday. A bittersweet transition.

It's hard to believe that Angeni has 8 school days left for this year - Grade 3 is almost complete. On Tuesday we drive her in to school 90 minutes early so the kids can enjoy a bus trip to the African Lion safari in Cambridge. Angeni really wanted one of us to attend, but we cannot due to work. We will be there at 5 PM to pick her up, and I imagine she'll be wired... We took her out of school yesterday to visit my sister place in Sauble Beach. They gave us some firewood to start the process for next fall, and we had a good chat. My sister and I are transcending some old childhood wounds that have plagued any intimacy in our relationship. This time of healing gives me a sense of getting something back - my sister - when I'm also losing my dog. When one door closes, another one opens...

We're beginning the process of prepping for summer solstice inipi on Sunday the 24th... Fences come down, lawns get cut, cedar gets gathered and wood is chopped. It takes us a good week to get this event ready...

Send your prayers for my little dog...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Rain, rain keep coming!`

Wow, the calendula grew before my eyes today - literally. I actually watched for about 5 minutes to see the tiny shoots stretching in the rain. This amazed me... The day was freaky in more ways than one... got the oil changed and tires replaced on the van in Guelph. Had to - no more waiting for Brian to get a day off, which happened because of the rain. Pure serendipity. So I took my sewing machine into the place where I purchased it in Guelph since the dealer could see us today... this is an important and expensive machine that I have missed using for 7 months... Turns out they could fix it during our wait for the van... so I could return home with my machine, and no waiting, no return trip to Guelph just to get my machine.

Tomorrow the van gets a trailer hitch/ball so Brian can tow the utility trailer. This is not very exciting, but a farm necessity. It means Brian can retrieve some fire wood gifted from my brother-in-law... this is a head start for next winter.

I'm going away for a few days at the end of this week... I'm having a sense of child-like delirium over the opportunity to be in the shaman's place - where earth and sky meet rock and water. This is a wonderful gift from an old friend. I never got away anywhere in 2006, and I dearly need to...

It amazes me how many people we know are having marital woes... I wrote this to a friend just the other day:
"If you'll indulge me a moment of philosophizing on marriage... having divorced and counselling others all these years, I have learned a few things about this "trial separation" period, and the facilitation of repairing relationships - whether the marriage survives, a couple will need to have some relationship around any children they've birthed... and it should be a healthy relationship."
"Having young children is stressful and other issues (like being unemployed) add a horrifying dimension... If the couple can find a counselor who understands how to help them do a forensic audit (so to speak) of their relationship, they need help to find the real issues. We all have surface (read conscious) issues, but getting to the truth of what is ungluing a relationship can be eye-opening. A good facilitator will help the couple start by seeing that when they were first in love, the pendulum swung one way - now it's in the opposite direction because of stressors, and they may have lost sight of the person they married. A good facilitator will begin with having them dissect what is GOOD in the marriage, then eventually see where it has broken down... if it can be saved, they'll collectively come to that point. What I find most people do is throw the baby out with the bath water - they see the few hundred dollars and inconvenience of counseling as a waste, or somehow unattainable. it's quite the opposite - divorce is really, really expensive. Marriage counseling is worth it... If there are substance abuse or addiction problems, they need to be addressed, for sure..."

The Thunderbeings roar, so the computer needs to be shut down - stay well.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The things we do for love...

My apologies to Sir Paul McCartney... We've continued to nurse Pooky, and got Angeni through a cold that didn't turn into pneumonia, planted more garden stuff and rearranged same, had clients out the yin yang, and generally coped with our shamanic gathering at the end of May... I really find that busy is good, but too busy makes Kathryn a cranky old bag - especially when I miscarry a pregnancy all within this busy time. It makes for a nauseating ride on the roller coaster of hormones.

The temperature reached 35° C at different times today - a humid extravaganza for May. The mosquitoes are really bad this spring - larger numbers than we've seen for years. The equines spend a lot of their day in the barn, fending off the flying vampires. I commiserate, since I'm housebound with the kamikaze biters.

I've had a run on sacred healing jewellery requests... this has come out of the blue, frankly. I used to make a lot of healing jewellery, especially necklaces, but after Angeni was born we just didn't get back into it at all. Suddenly, 8 requests in 2 weeks - this has meant scrambling for raw gem stock, and I thank Robert for searching out semi- and precious stones to fill in my inventory gaps. We channel what will work the best for a person's issues, be they physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual, then stone-by-stone, lay out the beads. I'm working with materials like "tiger tail" which I love - this wasn't available when I first did jewelery. Tiger tail is wire coated with nylon and is much stronger for the weightier crystals. It is flexible and makes for a neater finish. This is satisfying artistry, and I love the finished products - every necklace is so unique. Eventually I'll get back into creating the bracelets and earrings... Brian is posting pictures on the website www.moonstarlodge.com if you want to see my babies!

Angeni never ceases to amaze me... Lately she's been talking about/questioning the function of a dreamwalker in altered states of reality and parallel universes. She has attempted journeys to get her own soul fragments back - that she understands (even though in a limited way) the nature of these alternative realities is quite mind-boggling to me. Her questions necessitate I review and fine-tune my awareness of these concepts - I'm going to be forced to be on top of my metaphysical game as the years go by... perhaps this will keep me from becoming complacent. If nothing else our children keep us young at heart...

I feel the tug to go away by myself for just a few days... I need to rejuvenate my soul at the shaman's place - where earth and sky meet rock and water. The thought of leaving Pook at this tenuous time in her decline gives me great guilt - I would hate for her to pass when I am away. At the same time, she has loss of bladder function and keeps us up half the night, which is what I need a break from... I couldn't let her pee on the floor at someone else's place. What if she died at the cottage? Also, we have air conditioning here, and not by the water - a lot of variables, and more not mentioned. It's a tough call, to be sure.

The mother and father bird, practicing tough love, force the babies from the nest when it's time to fledge - there are elements of this with people and situations in my life at so many different levels... The things we do for love indeed!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Laundry & Mosquitoes

We're fairly sure now that with whatever happened last week, we'll not be laundering diapers anytime soon (until Angeni gets married and has kids), but I do have to go through another test in a few weeks... for several days the Impregnator went about the house looking rather pale and zombie-like, at the very thought of more little feet tramping about the house....

I did laundry very early this morning and it should have been out on the line by now. I'm stalling, nay, procrastinating actively to avoid the sting of mosquitoes. It is supposed to be the warmest day of the season (so far), and the little blighters fry in the direct sun, so I've thought of waiting until closer to noon so I'm standing in direct sunlight. I got bit last night, and within about 4 minutes the swelling was the size of a saucer - Brian was astounded at the mess of my legs. Already I've had several indoor kamikaze attacks and am using up the "After Bite" solution. Brian is out in the bush wiring fences for a neighbour, and I don't know how he stands it, as he has no shelter from bugs while in the fields. We're using a natural-style repellent, so as not to be exposed to DEET, but it is a losing battle. We've tried it all - Avon Skin-So-Soft, tea tree oil, mixed oil repellents and more - short of bear fat, which a healer friend Eugene uses. With my luck, I'd attract a big old bear looking for love in all the wrong places... with every summer season the Gulf Islands look more and more appealing...

I have so many other things to do, but alas, I feel guilty about the laundry and don't want it to moulder... perhaps putting on my jacket and a mosquito net over my face will do... and that minty green stuff making me smell of... hmmm.... whatever.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Long weekends in Varney

It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday (Saturday) of this Victoria Day long weekend... I was thrilled to see how much gardening Brian managed. He is in the throes of transferring the remaining plants from the medicine wheel into the raised bed, and planting some calendula. I am glad we can save our two historical roses (a rosa ragosa and Carolina wild rose) as the rose hips make fabulous medicines... The giant garlics are happier being thinned and separated. Today, the sun stayed away, and the high reached only about 9 degrees - this felt like winter compared to yesterday. It kept the bugs down, and Brian felt more comfortable working outside. For me, I've had to put the furnace back on for the evening... He is so handy, managing to fix tires on the lawn mower, doing the engine rebuilds, and replacing broken parts. I admire his litany of practical skills.

I got back into jewelery making this weekend, having received 3 custom order requests all at once. It was quite a shift for me, as I had a lot of sorting of supplies before I could actually do the necklaces, but I managed the custom orders, and did up a couple for sale here at the lodge. It is interesting that I do my artwork in fits and starts - sometimes I'll go on a quilting jag, sometimes knitting, and other times nothing at all - it's been nothing for awhile. However, this has inspired me, and I'm right into fixing a few broken necklaces of my own and feeling like I'm accomplishing "artfully" again. Channeling what goes into the necklaces to benefit the purchaser is an interesting sidebar - sometimes the guides and teachers get very specific about exact stones, and other times it is up to my aesthetic. Interesting collective process... Tomorrow I have some mending to do, and will proceed with hemming some pants for Angeni and myself. Not as creative a process, but I do have to be in the mood to do that kind of sewing.

Pooky hangs in here... since April 5th when the vet wanted to euthanize her, she has gotten desperately sick 3 more times, and each time has rallied herself out of it... I was sure that on Friday we'd lost her. I called Brian home from work to help me deal with her... he even built a coffin. She was collapsing and non-responsive at times, yet after sleeping a bit, and being given some IV fluid, she is profoundly better - eating, drinking, urinating, and all the things I know she needs to do to stay alive. This rhinoceros spirit she possesses will not let her falter. Clearly, as she nears 15, she isn't going to have some miraculous rebirthing, but I'm trying to keep her passage as natural as possible, without using the vet's death drugs. I think the Friday problem was an intolerance to her diethylstilbestrol, so we're stopping that from now on...

Angeni has the spring cold I had a couple weeks back. It seems to be staying as a cold, and not going into her lungs. We're glad of this, and pleased her immune system seems improved.

I hope you're all enjoying this first long weekend of summer (unofficially).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Spring Haiku

Dandelions glow.
Deer flies Black flies Mosquitoes,
Smack them off me please.

Laundry smells warm breeze,
Barbecue glints ready rust,
Fanning fires water.

Rancid dog breath goo,
Swamp-wet gleefully stinky,
Dog paws sewage dreams.

Alright, I won't quit my day job. We've had a pregnancy scare and that makes me loopy. One can't drink one's way through a pregnancy (not that I would), but the initial horror of that wee surgical snip slip has my head reeling and my heart pounding. I never thought at 50 years old I'd be buying a pregnancy test kit. Angeni has been asking for a brother or sister - and we've given away almost all her baby things. Oh dear... Pass the smelling salts...

Mother's day has suddenly taken on a very different meaning this weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Rites of Spring

Most years a bit of rain and thunder are welcome in the spring, especially when we've had no precipitation for over a week - the grass greens up, the flowers rejoice, and the bugs stay away from the equines. Something about last night's storm must have bothered our horses because this morning the temporary fence was broken down (and through). When seeing this, Brian high-tailed it to the barn, to see if the horses were there - indeed, all heads are accounted for, mercifully. With Mabel being blind, a nighttime romp through an electrified fence could have spelled disaster!

Pooky still remains with us, although her transition seems to be nearing. She is comfortable, eating and drinking, and still asking to go with us in the car. She's pretty much nailed to my hip, and doesn't want to settle upstairs at night... hence I am still sleeping on the couch with her. Unfortunately her bladder control isn't what it used to be, so I do an awful lot of laundry. Like the old ones, she naps most of the day, so she's ready to perk up at bedtime. I could use a nap right now, and may join her...

As spiritual beings, temporarily inhabiting human bodies, I'm amazed regularly at how little some people understand about soul and spiritual progress. It seems to be that any talk of spirit hints at death, and we are so death-phobic in the West that heads go in the sand, like quaking ostriches, at the mere subject. It's unfortunate. I run into some interesting cases of hauntings where people in their spirit bodies are still afraid to move on... and they terrify humans in the process. We just aren't meant to share space with those who won't go on into the light.

Looking forward to clearing skies and a beautiful weekend. Peace.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bounteous Beauty

The forecasts of 13 degrees each for Saturday and Sunday were far surpassed - both days it hit 19 degrees. We've struggled to catch up with farm/property chores with Brian working out at another farm for the past couple of weeks... This weekend, despite the early dates, I wanted to finish the flower planting while we are in 3rd quarter of this moon cycle... in Native tradition we never plant in 4th quarter, just weed, prune, prepare beds and such... Brian is away again next week working off-site, so I needed his help. Next weekend we are in the middle of 4th quarter so no planting next weekend...

We rooted through the greenhouse for pots and salvaged 3 larger clay jobs which are all now full... It took an additional mid-afternoon trip into Hanover to purchase additional violas and pansies, but we managed to get the exact right amount. A friend gave me some ornamental pansies in a hanger, and we needed a second hanger, so we picked one up... The porch entry area is now beautifully adorned with lots of colour... even Angeni planted a clay urn this year... I'd like to instill my green thumb on her...

The downside to early warm weather is BLACKFLIES. Geez, the fargin' bastards swarmed me this afternoon and evening. I begged off bringing in the laundry... my testosterone-filled husband isn't as delicious as his premenstrual, A- blood type wife, so he has taken pity. I bailed on him when the last planter was done, leaving him to the laundry and watering-in our flowers. It is the bug season, if somewhat early. The equines are suffering with biting flies as well, poor things. Brian did some temporary fencing today which allows them grazing space on the lawn. They love this grass. It means my dear little donkey is just a few feet away for neck scratches and donkey kisses. When he puckers up there is no internal visual of Brad Pitt or Eobbie Robertson, but that's a cute ass.

Had she lived my mother would have been 86 today. She was really present at the anniversary of her passing on March 24th - setting off alarms and generally spooking the dogs. I send her love and light... As the years go by the hurtful memories ease, and time heals those old wounds.

I plan to enjoy this wonderful week of sunlight that's forecast!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Full Moons and Mischief Makers

I'm awake at one ungodly hour, having started to bed some 3 hours ago, thanks primarily to my dog Starr and his need to co-ordinate the social happenings of the neighbourhood, in his managerial best style... I'm not impressed. He nearly knocked me down the back stairs to get at some invisible thing outside, and I've waited all this time to get him in... I had resolved to teach him a lesson and leave him out all night, but the other issue I have pertains to my cold/sinuses, and they're keeping me upright. Sooo, he's in (sleeping) and I'm up - what's wrong with this picture?

I might as well have gone out and danced naked around the May pole, as that would have made this month a tad more fun... I developed a cold on May Day, and it is in full bloom right now. Mercifully the sun has shone these past two or three days and this trend will continue well into next week - I look forward to this fine spring weather. It's allowed Brian to do some outdoor work for the neighbour, and I've worked at home... the perennials are blooming. I'll plant the calendula this weekend.

I ordered some walking poles from a store in Walkerton, and got them today. I read about these special poles as a thing to use for weight loss and daily power walking - they take some of the stress off feet/knees/hips to allow one to walk for a longer time. This particular pair has spring-loaded tips to help with the recoil and this apparently amplifies the momentum. It features 3 sets of tips - basket tips for snow shoeing, some for mixed terrain hiking, and a narrow set which I'll be usually for the most part. My reason for using these is to see if I can ease the pain from plantar fasciitis when I walk - right now this is a serious problem.

On a different note, we have a friend... I'll use an alphabet letter for her name... Hmmm... How about "D"? Sounds good... Well, D has been travelling of late... not my best communicator, unless you include passing internet jokes via email. She is indeed a mischief maker, like Starr. Past 70, with fairly serious health issues, D reminds me of the teenager who has that sense of infallibility who says "Nothing can happen to me - I'm above danger." While life is short and I applaud her tenacity at going for what she wants and living life to the fullest, I'm also concerned that her fearlessness is going to get the better of her this trip, and that she's already in over her head. She has a hard time hearing this, and may dismiss my concerns as anxiety - she's not a child. Still, I am hoping if the situation gets uncomfortable, she'll march on back to Durham... Homeland Security may be happier for that decision... D'mischief maker...

Angeni wants to do something fun this weekend, as a family. I'm not sure what that will include, although I appreciate her lament that we're "always working". She's right. And we're older, without much money, nor the energy and stamina to do things like Canada's Wonderland or similar. There aren't a lot of children's activities in this neck of the woods, so we'll have to be inventive, I guess. I would like to plant the rest of my violas, and Brian will get out two clay planters for the porch for me to fill with flowers. He needs to rake out the old calendula bed, and replant it. I look forward to a good crop of calendula this year. I need to make a new batch this weekend, perhaps, and I bought cilantro to add to some hummus. Calendula doesn't require vacuum sealing in a canning kettle, but the hummus does. These are relaxing activities for me, but won't be considered "fun" by Angeni, so we'll have to see what we can do for, and with, her...

I got some of those charm dangles young females are adorning their purses with, and they look quite chic, if I do say so myself. This bit of faux bling bling seems to impress Angeni - I'm not a clothes horse, girly-girl type, but I do like my purses. The charms are a nod to her generation, and I expect she'll ask for some as well... she owns purses she doesn't really use much, but this may push her to carry one now. This is the closest I've come to mischief this month.

Pooky is still with us, and holding her own. She sleeps a lot, though, but at least she's eating.

I need to shut this down for the night...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day

I'm glad tax time is more or less over - taxes were sent last week but I'm still needing to post the receipts to envelopes and put them away in an archive box... I am planning to make amendments to my spread sheet for 2007 and re-categorize for the ledger statements reflecting the changes in the tax form from this year... Not a big deal, but at the same time I've sorted the receipts and such for the first 4 months of 2007, allowing me to get a third of 2007 done... I hope there isn't too much of a change in the tax form if the government changes this year. And I hope the government does change this year...

Yesterday was not the day to do any of this tax/accounting stuff because it was a PA day... Including today, there are 41 school days for Angeni until the 27th of June... Yesterday reminded me of how I should not handle summer vacation... After 3 days at home, she was bored and testy by dinner time... I spent time with her doing a new chapter of a story we write together, but after an hour she tired of that, and went off on tangents...

A few days ago I invested in some violas to put in my cauldron, and I managed to save a few from last year in the house... About half the plants in the old iron kettle survived the winter and have begun blooming. Daffs are out, and a couple of tulips. I love daffodils but I don't like tulips - never did. Not much gardening happening here yet this year. Brian filled in the area under the porch windows with grass seed, and leveling stones, so all the shrubbery and flower barrels are gone... I find the entrance blah looking, but we'll dress up the porch with some baskets. I managed to salvage 2 baskets of geraniums to plant myself, and have for the porch - if they don't look right, I'll get something else.

Since early April I've started having a bit of yoghurt in the evening to help me avoid munchie attacks for carbs. So far that's working. I want to try and get some weight off, and I've ordered some special walking poles that take the pressure off joints. They're very popular in Europe and not so much here, but they're catching on... I'm not as physically active as I should be with the plantar fasciitis.

I've started sleeping downstairs with Pooky and finally I got some sleep the last 2 nights... These 2-hour nights for weeks on end were turning me into an angry, frustrated being. I am tired today, even after a fairly good sleep, but this isn't compensating for all the lost sleep... Pooky still hangs on, and seems happier that I'm downstairs... I'm not happier downstairs, away from Brian and the comfort of my bed, but I feel it's what I have to do right now... we both don't need to deal with Pook at night.

It's a dreary May 1st... the sunrise was breathtaking, given there was a clear sky at that point. Not now... I won't be dancing ribbons around a may pole or any such drama today as it's about to rain... That means Brian has a short work day, which will be nice for us to have a couple quiet hours together before the school bus arrives... I hope this cold month isn't a portent of things to come for summer weather...

Brian is off working this week, so with Angeni back in school for these 4 days, I'm home alone, working away on whatever. I'd like to hire someone to help with spring cleaning, but I don't have the funds... Varney dreaming....

Back to work... have a wonderful month!