October 2010
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Archive for October, 2010

Winter Readiness

Although it is not yet Halloween we have had some fair rain in our neck of the woods and temperatures are cooling.  These changes serve as good reminders that it is time to ‘get ready’ for Winter.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting rain above normal in our Pacific Southwest, so time to get a move on.

Our preparation list includes gutter-cleaning, changing furnace filters and making sure flashlights and lanterns have fresh batteries and fuel.  We live in earthquake country so this seasonal change is a good opportunity to check and rotate water and food reserves, make sure our first-aid supplies are in order, our portable radio has new batteries available, emergency phone numbers, as well as family numbers are readily available, that our computer and other major appliances and electronics have updated surge protection, and that we have made provision for our pets and animals too.  We keep a good supply of candles at hand, cards and games, and some fun foods.

Putting the yard to rest for the winter, wrapping outdoor piping to protect from bursting,  cleaning and  storing away our patio furniture, BBQs and fire-pits, are also part of the preparation for the coming cold season; as is moving winter clothing, gloves,hats and shoes to the forefront of the closet/bureau and putting away our summer frocks.

Keeping your gas-tank full and some cash on hand can make wheathering a severe storm or other emergency far less stressful.

Winter is a cozy time of year.  Getting prepared and being ready for the cold and stormy season will enhance your enjoyment of this special time of year.

Retreat

I meant to blog about ‘retreat’ Friday, but alas, the day’s preparations rushed me away toward the Sonoma Coast. 

As it turned out my daughter and I arrived early.  We began the retreat by stopping at the Tides where she treated me to an artisan beer.  Very friendly atmosphere, very relaxing beginning to our getaway weekend.  Arriving at our rental home in Bodega Bay we eagerly awaited the arrival of our retreat sisters.

This special time away from phones, including cell phones, Internet, the hustle and bustle of the daily grind are truly sacred.  We rest, we eat, we catch up with each other, we share the latest successes and sadness’s, we hot tub, we meditate, we hug, we breathe, we laugh…we relax.

In our busy culture this one time a year is really hard to carve out, especially for busy women; women with careers and families.  Yet we manage to pull it off year after year, because it is such a valuable and priceless time for us. 

 Not only is the relaxation important but there is research that suggests that friendships with other women are vital to reducing our stress and improving our health. I invite you to find time to retreat with your friends, for a few hours, hopefully you can find a precious few days a year.

Miracles

The miracle of the miners.  The whole world has been witness to the courage, endurance, community, technology, and amazing faith of so many.

I take with me into this day the inspiration of this miraculous event.  A reminder for me to be grateful for all the beauty that surrounds me, and the tenuousness and preciousness of life.  Take a few moments today to acknowledge the miracle.

Be well!

Reflections

The past several days have been difficult.  As we know living is not always easy.  I found myself unable to blog, so I posted quotes.  Yesterday it took me a couple of hours to find a quote and I was thinking that I could write something in less time.  Later in the day I was reflecting on the nature of this blog.

Cued by the ‘Moods’ post, I decided that I would continue to post information and inspiration, but that I would also put myself  more actively into the daily message;  not easy for me as I am a  private person, and making myself vulnerable is this manner is uncomfortable to say the least.

It’s morning.  As I ambled down to get the paper at about 5:15am, I stopped and studied the sky.  A crisp and clear sky full of  stars.  Breathtaking, humbling, and a good reminder to me that I am not alone.  I want the mood of the past week to shift.  I know well that grief is a process and the shift will come…is coming.  That this too shall pass. 

 It is warm in wine country.  The intense beauty of fall presses hard into my senses.  I am comforted by the sights, the sounds and the colors.  And another day begins….

Moods

“Today I will be master of my emotions.”

“It is one of nature’s tricks, little understood, that each day I awaken with moods that have changed from yesterday.  Yesterday’s joy will become today’s sadness; yet today’s sadness will grow into tomorrow’s joy.  Inside me is a wheel, constantly turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to melancholy.  Like the flowers, today’s full bloom of joy will fade and wither into despondency, yet I will remember that as today’s dead flower carries the seed of tomorrow’s bloom so, too, does today’s sadness carry the seed of tomorrow’s joy.”

The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino

Accepting Mistakes

“One thing is certain: you can’t correct mistakes if you feel ashamed of having made them.  Those who secretly believe themselves deified are chagrined when something goes wrong.  Being saints, and utterly wise, their conduct should of course be perfect.  The rest of us know how easy it is to be at fault.  We’re making mistakes all the time–and patiently correcting them.”

“Hell is in your memories.  The cauldron of remorse for what you did not dare to do is worse than any pain from wrong efforts.  A forthright striving, whatever its outcome, gives one protection by its very strength.”

The Art of Selfishness, David Seabury (1937)

The Trick of Living

“The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster.  I’m not a professional philanthropist, and I’m not running for sainthood.  I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

Paul Newman

The Seeds of the Mind

“Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness.  These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind.  The quality of your life depends on which seeds you water.  If you plant tomato seeds in your garden, tomatoes will grow.  Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow.  When the seed of happiness in you is watered, you will become happy.  When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry.  The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.”

Walking Meditation, Nguyen Anh-Huong & Thich Nhat Hanh (2006)

Loss

“When we think of loss, we think of big losses, such as losing a loved one, our life, our home, or our money….

“Losing those we love to death is certainly one of the most heartbreaking experiences.  An interesting comment, made with no disrespect to anyone, is that people who lose someone through divorce or separation will often say that they realize death is not the ultimate loss.  Rather, it’s the separation from loved ones that is so difficult.  Knowing about someone’s continued existence but being unable to share it with them may cause more pain and make resolution far more difficult than permanent separation through death.  With those who have died, however, we find new ways to share their existence as they live on in our hearts and memories.”

Life Lessons, Kubler-Ross & Kessler (2000)

Poem in Memory of Max

Sleek soft-grey shadow

Bright yellow eyes, one gone dim

Loud, proud voice shared with few, heard by many

Pure gentility, Pure heart. Pure Spirit.