Friday, March 31, 2006

Emma Sightings (part two)

Soon after the charka balancing it was time to sit down with Linda Lee. As I settled into my chair I caught, out of the corner of my eye, a flash of movement down by the floor on the right side of my chair. As I turned to look down I wondered who had brought a dog into the building. I was surprisingly not surprised to find nothing there. I turned back to Linda Lee and asked, "Is there a dog with me?"
She smiled and asked me, "Who do you think it is?"
Then she told me Emma would always be with me and I felt both sad and comforted by this statement. I still can't believe how deeply an animal could burrow into my heart but at the same time I can't deny that Emma did just that.

Five days later as I was driving home after the big snowstorm I had Emma visit me again. I was out on the eastern plains of Colorado thinking about her when all of a sudden an image of her popped into my mind. It was almost like a vision. The image was so clear and sharp it was like looking at a 3D photo. The instant the image appeared I felt a great sense of loss and regret and started crying. I felt so alone.

When I got home and drove the car into the garage Duke came out to greet me. When I climbed out of the car he was standing by the back end of it and staring at me as if he had never seen me before. I called his name and he came up to sniff at me but did not greet me with the tail-wagging joy he has shown all the other times I came home from a trip. My dog did not seem to remember me. It was as if he had forgotten my scent. After a few days he seemed to warm up to me again but he still wasn't acting the way he did before I left. He was hesitant and timid where as before he had shown great confidence in himself and his surrounding.

One night he came into the bedroom to go to bed. When he got to his empty bed he stopped and looked at it and then at me the way he does when Kate is sleeping in it instead of her own bed. That look means he wants me to make Kate go get in her own bed. He stood there looking from me to his bed until I finally got out of my bed and went to his bed. I leaned down and patted it while telling him it was OK for him to sleep in it. After I patted it a couple of times he got in and curled himself into a ball and went to sleep.

It wasn't until last Saturday that I noticed his face looked different than the way I remembered it being. As I stared at it I got a mental image of him standing at back of the car and could see that his face had looked the same way that day, too. Now I understood his behavior. Emma was no longer with him. The way he had been acting since the day I got back from Denver was the way he would sometimes act when we first got him. He was only hesitant and timid on the days when I looked into his face and did not see Emma looking back at me.

It has been a year and 24 days since Emma died and a year and two days since Duke came into our lives. I knew that Emma was only with Duke to help him become a part of our family and I guess Emma thinks her job is done. And I think the reason Duke would not get into his bed that night was because he did see another dog there, Emma. Emma trying to show us she was now separate from Duke because it was time for her to leave him. Duke no longer needed her. Knowing that Emma is not with Duke any more makes me feel sad but it does not make me feel as if my heart had been torn out of my body once more. This is good to know.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Emma Sightings (part one)

One of the reasons I went to Denver St. Patrick's Day weekend was to attend the Metaphysical Fair at the Merchandise Mart. Three things were interesting this year. First, more and more "normal" people and less and less "dark" people were cruising the aisles. I don't think I saw one person who looked like she or he had arrived fresh from a Black Sabbath concert. Instead the people I noticed looked like the kind of people who did most of their shopping at Park Meadows Mall. The second interesting thing is that I got my chakras balanced. The third is that my dog Emma showed up there.

The first thing my sister and I did when we arrived was to sign up for a reading with our Spiritual Adviser. Since we like to schedule our readings one right after the other we did not find two consecutive spots open until late afternoon. While we waited we cruised the aisles ourselves but managed to keep from buying all the things that caught our eye. Everything from books, jewelry, CD's, metaphysical workshops and lectures, clothes, teas, incense, doodads, crystals, oils, candles, soaps, and artwork were available. There were a few free things going on and my sister and I got in the line for chakra balancing. The line was long even with four chairs set up and four people working.

When it was my turn I sat in the next open chair while a very gentle women attempted to balance my chakras. As she worked she talked to me. She seemed to be confused by the condition my first three chakras were in but then said, "Oh, I see, you are very tired."

And the second I heard her words I knew she was correct. I was tired but not so much in a physical way but more in a soul way. Then she reached my heart chakra and said, "Your heart is scarred."

I felt my insides collapse as an overwhelming feeling of sadness engulf me. I knew the words she was speaking were the truth; I was heart scarred. How, with the life path I was on, could this not be true at this point in my life?

As she worked her way through balancing my chakras I knew that my sitting in her chair was not an accident. There are moments in your life when you make a profound connection with a complete stranger and I knew this was one of those moments. As she talked to me about things that were the true about myself but that I thought no one else could see, I knew that my being there with her was a gift given to me (By who? Me, my angels, my guides?) to help move me to the next step in my spiritual journey through life.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


did they start making SUV's that look like sports shoes with wheels?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring, Spring, Spring

Oh, the barnyard is busy
in a regular tizzy,
And the obvious reason
is because of the season.

Ma Nature's lyrical
with her yearly miracle,
Spring, Spring, Spring.

All the hen-folk are hatchin'
While their men-folk are scrathin'
To ensure the survival
of each brand new arrival.

Each nest is twitterin',
They're all baby-sitterin',
Spring, Spring, Spring...

Every field wears a bonnet
With some spring daisies on it,
Even birds of a feather
show their clothes off together.

Sun's gettin' shinery,
to spotlight the finery,
Spring, Spring, Spring.
-from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

I will be doing laundry today and hanging it out on the line.

Spring, Spring, Spring.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Spring Growl

If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud,
In the meadows while you sing,
"This is Spring."

-Christopher Pearce Cranch

I managed to spend almost a week in my sister's house with my sick niece without catching her respiratory virus and yet came down with a intestinal virus the minute I got back home. After two days of being house bound I stepped outside this morning and found that Spring had arrived. The temperature was in the upper forties with a brisk wind blowing from the south. That wind brought with it the earthy smell of damp ground and, for the first time, a refreshing amount of humidity. I was on my way to the grocery store and the sound of water streaming off roof tops followed me through the streets as I made my way there. Almost all of the snow (14 inches) that fell last week has either evaporated or melted into the earth. The snow that had been plowed into large mounds throughout town is still still here but those mounds now looked like gritty, icy, four-foot-high dirty snowcones dropped by a group of giant careless children. Spring has definitely sprung.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"If You Don't Like The Weather, Wait A Minute"

Went to Denver for the weekend and got back this afternoon. Don't know which is worst, Fall or Spring snowstorms. Will catch-up tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

For My Mother

My mother is like a humming bird,
flitting from one flower to another without staying long at any one.
My mother is the color of the undersides of storm clouds,
reflecting brilliant white one second and then swiftly changing to black the next.
My mother is like an earthquake who's ground I did not stand on securely. I never knew when that ground would crumble beneath me.
My mother is the sound of waves on the beach,
sometimes crashing over me and threatening to drown me;
other times gently massaging my toes.
My mother will always be the smell of Coty's Emeraude,
who's scent still brings back the feeling of pride I had whenever I saw her dressed to the nines.
My mother is the feeling of sadness and loss of a life lived in fear and regret.
My mother is like the texture of a rock smoothed by years of being tumbled over the sandy bottom of a raging river.
My mother is like the taste of cotton candy
who's flavor would disappear just as it was dissolved by the warmth of the inside of my mouth.
My mother is the daughter of Athena who's wisdom she was not able to pass on to her own daughters.
My mother is like the Langston Hughes poem "A Dream Deferred,"
A raisin in the sun,
Gone and never to return.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

First Day Of Spring (Reality)

View from my sister's dining room window

Friday, March 17, 2006

Question Of The Day

What would we do without rhetorical questions?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Small Town Life

This beautiful weather has made me remember something that happened on the last really warm day we had here a couple weeks ago. I was taking a walk around town when I spotted a little girl sitting on a fold-up metal chair behind an old metal TV tray on the sidewalk in front of her house. The TV tray held a large plastic bowl and a child's old pink ballerina jewelry box. I could not see what was in the bowl and just had to go over to find out what she was selling.

When I got close enough to see inside the bowl I still was not sure just what she was selling but I could tell it was some kind of bagged snack that had been poured into the bowl. Whatever it was it was not something I had ever eaten. So I ask her what she was selling. It turned out to be Funyuns, a fake onion ring snack made by Frito-Lay. I decided I was game enough to try them and asked how much they cost. She told me a quarter (25 cents). For the whole bowl I asked. No, for two she answered. Two I asked. Two she replied. Can I pick which two Funyuns I would eat I asked. Yes she nodded.

I gave her a dollar and she opened the jewelry box and took out three quarters, put in my dollar, and closed the lid. I reached into the bowl and picked out the two smallest Funyuns I could find and popped them into my mouth. A strong artificial onion flavor flooded my sinuses. I started chewing and it was like eating the potato chip crumbs that you find at the bottom of an old open bag of chips. Not exactly a taste treat sensation. I gave the little girl a big smile and made a "ummmmm" sound as I chewed. After I swallowed I thanked her and walked away.

The things I do to encourage a child's entrepreneurial spirit.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Why No Real Post Today

Ah, the weather paragraph: A fine day for a ride,
with a back-wind rolling off the hills,
like a child losing his marbles
down a flight of stairs.

-Chris Gage, The Bicycle Poems

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What We Have Is Failure To Communicate

My Husband (after I come up from downstairs): I fed the dogs.

Me: I fed them already.

My Husband: Well, now they've eaten twice.

Me: Well, now they will want another treat.

My Husband: They got that too.

Me (looking down and seeing two smiling doggie faces): No wonder they look so happy.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Do You Know, What It Feels Like For A Girl, In This World?

Strong inside but you don't know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak?...
When you're trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less?


I am a feminist.

How does reading that sentence make you feel? Did you cringe? Did you roll your eyes and say to yourself, "Oh, God?" Do you think you now know just what kind of a person I am because of it and what you think is not flattering? Why? What is it about the world feminist that make people react negativity to it? Being called a feminist these days seems to be just as bad as being called a racist. How did that happen? I don't know how many time I've either heard or read a statement about something that has to do with women begin with the words, "I'm not a feminist but...," and then goes on to say something that is actually pro-women.

One definition of the word feminism is, "the theory of political, economical, and social equality of the sexes." I thinks this means a feminist is anyone who believes that women are entitled to the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as men politically, economically, and socially.

A lot of people today seem to be confused about just what a feminist is and are quick to say they are not one. I hate to tell you this but your dirty little secret is out. You, all of you, no matter how much you protest, are most likely secret feminists:

1. If you believe that women have the right to vote, you are a feminist.

2. If you are a woman and have ever voted in any political election, you are a feminist.

3. If you think women should have the right to run for any political office, you are a feminist.

4. If you are a woman and hold a political position (no matter what anti-feminist views you spout), you are a feminist.

5. If you are a man and hold a political position along with a group of others elected officials that includes women (no matter what anti-feminist views you spout), you are a feminist.

6. If you ever voted for a woman, you are a feminist.

7. If you think women should be allowed to work outside the home, you are a feminist.

8. If you thought, "What do you mean, 'be allowed'," when you read the above sentence, you are a feminist.

9. If you are a woman and work outside the home, you are a feminist.

10. If you think women can run a business just as well as men, you are a feminist.

11. If you are a woman and run a business, you are a feminist.

12. If you think both sexes should be paid the same wage if both are doing the same type of work, you are a feminist.

13. If you think women have the right to work at any job they are physically, emotionally or intellectually able to do, you are a feminist.

14. If you think a woman's ability to do a job should be based on her abilities and not her gender, you are a feminist.

15. If you think women have the right to own property, you are a feminist.

16. If you think girls (including your own daughter) should be sent to school the same as boys, you are a feminist.

17. If you think girls (including your own daughter) should be taught to read and write the same as boys, you are a feminist.

18. If you think young woman (including your own daughter) should be allowed to attend college the same as young men, you are a feminist.

19. If you are a woman and attend or graduated from a college, you are a feminist.

20. If you are a parent and sent your daughter to college, you are a feminist.

21. If you think women have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they have children, you are a feminist.

I could go on but I won't. Being a feminist has nothing to do with using the same bathrooms as men, being a bitch, being a lesbian, being uppity, hating men, or wanting to be a man; all things I have heard said about feminists. As I said back at the beginning of this post, I think a feminist is anyone who believes that women are entitled to the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as men politically, economically, and socially. Anything less is discrimination.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Music Game

(via Crazy Dust In My Coffee: Music Is Fun)

Pick any band or artist. Then using only titles from the band or artist's songs answer the following questions:

1. Name of band/artist: Rosemary Clooney
2. Are you male or female?: Sisters
3. Describe yourself: Hey There (You With The Stars In Your Eyes)
4. How do you feel about yourself?: Too Marvelous For Words
5. Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Love, You Didn't do Right By Me
6. Describe current girlfriend/boyfriend: I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
7. Describe where you want to be: Let's Get Away From It All
8. Describe how you live: Give Me The Simple Life
9. Describe how you love: As Long As I Live
10. What would you ask for if you had just one wish?: Pennies From Heaven
11. Share a few words of wisdom: It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
12. Now say goodbye: I'll Be Seeing You

Anyone can play- either in the comments or on your blog.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

South Dakota's New State Emblem

(via Changing Places)

Misguided In South Dakota.

Small Town Life (Madness Takes Its Toll)

Why do they keep trying to kill my dogs? Duke found parts of a dead deer on his walk yesterday morning and ate some of the meat before my husband could stop him. Next to the deer was a dead coyote.

(Some farmers like to kill coyotes by putting out poisoned animal meat for the coyotes to find. Some "hunters" like to put out non-poisoned animal meat in order to attract coyotes so they can shoot them.)

Since my husband could not tell how the coyote died he rushed Duke home and forced two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide down his throat to make him throw-up. Then Duke took a ride with me to the vet and had a syringe full of activated charcoal paste squeezed down his gullet in order to absorb any poison that he may have ingested. That he liked. They must put a flavoring in it that is very appealing to dogs.

While I was doing this my husband was taking a sheriff's deputy to where Duke had found the coyote and the deer parts to bring them back to town so the game warden could examine them. We don't know the outcome yet but Duke is doing find this morning. I hate that we put Duke through all that when it may not have been needed but, as they say, better safe than sorry.

And if that wasn't enough to really, really make me want to get the hell out of this town an article in local paper this week added to my anger. A couple living in the county south of us was arrested and charged with fourteen counts of animal cruelty when they left their horses without adequate food or water for "several weeks." Sheriff's deputies found ten starving horses and four dead horses on the couple's property. The first thing the deputies did when they arrived was to run a hose to the water tanks for the living horses before loading them up into horse trailers to take them to a vet clinic. This paragraph in the news article almost made me cry:

Deputy _________ said when he went in to give one some water the horse thought he was going to take the little water he had and tried to bite him.

The owners could not say they did not realize the horses were starving to death since their house was on a hill overlooking the corrals. The man still tried to justify his actions by telling the sheriff that the horses were sick and he could not afford to feed them. The article pointed out that the couple had lived in a house right across from the corrals but had just moved to their new modular house on top of the hill. The vet who looked at the horses said that although the horses were malnourished they were not injured and he expected them to do well once they gained their weight back.

What is wrong with some people?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

American Gothic

Ella Watson, 1942

I chose my camera as a weapon against all the things I dislike about America--poverty, racism, discrimination."
-Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks, photographer , movie maker, and author died yesterday at age ninety-three. You can read his obituary here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Astounding, Time Is Fleeting

And another week gets by me. What I have been doing since last Monday:

Monday, Feb. 27th- worked at the library. The temperature reached 74F (23.3C). It was a beautiful day, which everyone who came in the library just had to tell me about. After work I took a long walk on the river. Who wants to stay indoors on a day like that?

Tuesday, Feb. 28th- temperature gets up to 81F (27.2C). That's right 81F (27.2C)! I open all the windows in the house and spend the day outside watering trees and bushes, walking, and enjoying the sun and warmth.

Wednesday, Mar. 1st- temperature only reaches 65F (18.3) but I still spend most of the day outside. These warm day are not ones to be wasted by sitting in front of a computer down in my basement.

Thursday, Mar. 2nd- my niece's 16th birthday and my husband and I drive to Denver to help her celebrate. We go to dinner at Benihana's, a Japanese style restaurant that my niece loves. The place is always packed and the main draw is the show the chef at your table puts on. My husband called it "Hooters for families." No one goes to either restaurant for the quality of the food served. We still have a great time.

Friday, Mar. 3rd- my husband and I drive up to Fort Collins and spend the day with his father. Always good to see him. When we get back my niece has just arrived home from school with a friend. She asks if she can spend the night at her friend's house (We stayed to take care of my niece while her mother and step-father spend the weekend in Las Vegas) and I say it's fine. She then asks if they can get a ride and my husband says he will drive them. Now that my niece is sixteen she can drive as long as there is an adult in the car with her so my husband asks her if she would like to drive instead of him. She of course jumped at the chance.

Saturday, Mar. 4th- spend the day shopping. One of the things we are buying is a new vacuum cleaner. My old one stopped working about a week ago. Note to anyone with a vacuum cleaner: First, if it seems like your vacuum cleaner motor is getting louder, then it probably is. I started wearing shooting ear muffs when I vacuumed. Second, if it seems like the vacuum is not picking up dirt and debris like it should, then it probably isn't. Both of these things are signs that the vacuum cleaner is dying. We stopped by Sears and bought a new vacuum as we made our shopping rounds.

Later we went to Whole Foods to pick-up something for dinner. Whole Foods bills itself as "the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods." I hated the place. The food is good but it is also over priced. The store was a sensory overload for me. There are too many high power lights hanging from the ceiling with most of them positioned so that they are blinding you as you walk around. The entrance into the store is open (no doors) with high power fans used to keep the heat inside the building. Those babies are loud. Then they have the ubiquitous music tape playing just a little too loud so it can be heard over the fans. I don't know if it was the building or the people in there but the energy inside the store was chaotic. It was like being locked inside a small room right after a Super Ball had been thrown at one of the walls. I couldn't get out of that store fast enough.

Sunday, Mar 5th- Today we visited a couple of my husband's almost relatives. These are the people who are friends of his family and who he has known all his life. My niece came with us and acted as our chauffeur. It's kind of nice to have someone else do the city driving. I had to point out one stop sign and remind her that when pulling away from a stoplight or stop sign she did not have to use warp speed. All in all she is doing a good job.

One family friend we visited is about 65 and still lives in the house he grew-up in. The house was built in 1937 in a Spanish style. The front window is in the shape of a triangle. A very large triangle. The upstairs bathroom is in an Art Deco style and had both a shower and a tub. The tub had been set into the floor. The shower door was made of glass wrapped in chrome with the upper quarter of the door made up of chrome bars. The upper half of one wall of the shower (which faced into the bathroom) was also made of glass.

Since my niece had never been in the house before I took her on a tour. We walked though all the rooms in the house and when we stepped into "Dave's" bedroom I had the feeling we were not alone. Dave is what used to be called "a change of life baby" and was born nineteen years after his only brother. Dave's father died when he was young and for most of his life he was raised just by his mother. I have been told she was very protective of him. The room we were in used to be his parents bedroom. Family is very important to Dave and the walls of his room are covered with photos. There are a couple of his mother when she was young and as I stood looking at one of them I thought, "What a beautiful woman." At that instant I felt like I had been wrapped in a blanket of love and I knew the presence in the room was Dave's mother. I told my niece that I thought Dave's mother was in the room and she said she thought so too because she had felt someone was in the basement with us when we were down there.

When I told Dave that I thought his mother was still in the house he was surprised and a little shocked. I did not want him to be frightened so I told him that what I felt was very loving and...I could not think of the other word I was looking for and when I hesitated my niece said, "protective." That was it, protective. Dave is talking about selling his house and my niece and I said we both would buy it in a second if we had the means to do so. My niece was a little worried about the house having a ghost but I told her I thought that where ever Dave went his mother would go with him.

Monday, Mar. 6th- we drove home today and one of the first things I did was get the new vacuum out of its box and vacuum the living room carpet. The big surprise was how quiet the thing was and the second surprise was how much stuff it picked-up.

Tuesday, Mar. 7th- temperature now 77F (25C)and I am done for the day. Tomorrow it is suppose to snow.