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Connectedness

Ah, that sense of connectedness feels so good doesn’t it?

I met with an old friend for lunch yesterday and we decided to go and check out a little cafe that is just a few blocks away from my house.  Since moving back home, I’ve been trying to acclimate myself to living back in the inner city, and to reacquaint myself with my old neighborhood, and what better way is there to get reacquainted with the neighborhood than to spend time at a local cafe?

The city lifestyle is so different from the country and the suburbs, where I had been living for the 20 years prior, so it’s been a big adjustment for me.  Just dealing with all of the traffic alone is huge, not to mention all the noise.  And my little nature loving self longs for the calm, quiet, natural spaces.  Because I’m so sensitive to the vibes of my surroundings, I sometimes find myself struggling from being sucked in and drained by the busy, and often chaotic atmosphere of the city.  But at the same time, I seem to have gradually carved out a little inner sanctuary of sorts within myself, which I bring with me whenever I go, so I still have a little place of peace inside of me even amidst all the chaos.  And then as I go about my business around the city and interact with people I try to open the doors of that sanctuary to share and invite others to a little of that peace I carry within.  I know that sounds a bit weird to put it that way, but I don’t really know how else to describe it.  Either way, it helps me cope.  And hopefully it benefits others as well.

As I sat and visited with my friend, in this charming cafe, we talked about some of the things that we’re each passionate about at the moment – she about subatomic particles, Higgs boson, and molecular biology, and me about nature, the universe, and the Qigong practices I’ve been doing lately.  And we expounded on those things in relation to God, spirituality, humanity, and the purpose of life (which we summed up is to love, by the way).  Needless to say, it was a very stimulating conversation, as it always is with this friend.  I adore her and so value the wonderful connection we’ve shared over all these years ~ 33 years, to be exact.

Anyway, it was when we took our conversation outside that brings me to the subject of this post.  Maybe it was just a natural extension from/because of the topics we were discussing, but as we sat out in front of the cafe, I began to feel a real sense of connection to the vibe of my neighborhood, like I fit in here somehow.  It was a strange sensation because I’ve felt a bit lost as to where my place is since my divorce in 2011, and I certainly haven’t felt any connection with the whole city vibe in general, as I mentioned earlier, so it was weird, but in a cool way.

All the people who passed by us were friendly and I felt connected to them too.  A guy passed by with his dog and I even felt connected to the dog.  The dog must have felt it too because she ran right up to me like she knew me, like I was a long lost friend or something.  Her owner even seemed a bit surprised about it and was awkwardly apologizing as her leash got all tangled up around me while she was weaving in and out between my legs so happy to see me.  It was adorable.  The dog and her awkward owner.  And it felt so wonderful to feel connected.

I’ve always felt that sense of connection with nature, with my fellow humans (in a general sense), and with spiritual things, but it was really cool to feel it in relation to my neighborhood, I haven’t felt it in that way for a long time, and it gave me a fresh sense of wanting to become more involved in my community.  I don’t know how long I’ll be living here, or what the future holds, but I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, and that’s a great feeling.

And you know… in actuality, we’re all connected.  We each have only to open up ourselves to realize it.

 

“Find the sweetness in your own heart,

then you may find the sweetness in every heart.”

                                                                    ~ Rumi

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May your day be filled with sweetness, connectedness, and with…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

 

 

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25 Random Things To Do During a Winter Storm…

The recent winter storm has now passed and the lovely blue skies have returned.  But with the winter season now clearly upon us, I thought I would share a list of 25 random things one can do during a winter storm.  You know… just to be ready for when the next one hits.  If you’re in Minnesota, it will probably be one day very soon.   😉

Some of these are taken from or related to previous posts of mine, so if you click on the photos or the links, they’ll bring you directly to those, but most of them are just random things that popped into my head as I was making this list.  Well, without further ado, here they are, in no particular order…

 

1.  Bake

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One of my favorite things to do on a snowy day!  We made these chocolate chip cookies yesterday and they were so delicious!

2.  Read.  Here’s what I’m reading at the moment…

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Well… not at this exact moment.

3.  Read with your pets

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Or should I say try to read with your pets while they make themselves comfortable on top of your reading materials. 😉

4. Watch TV with your pets

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5.  Take a nap with your pets

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While your daughter creeps on you and snaps a picture of it.

6.  Creep on the squirrels outside your bedroom window

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While they’re creeping on you.

7.  Listen to music

8.  Or make some music of your own

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9. Light some candles

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“Come on baby light my fire.” Oops sorry, I’m still on the music thing. 😀

10.  Knit a scarf

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Even if you have no idea how, and it ends up turning out a bit deformed.

11.  Paint your toes

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12.  Paint your leg

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13.  Paint the walls

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14.  Talk on the phone

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An oldie of me and my sister. She’s the one on the phone and I’m the little mischievous looking one. These days it’s with each other that we’re talking on the phone, rather than me creeping on her.

15.  Write about your dreams

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16.  Or write about 25 things you can do during a winter storm  😉

17.  Work on home improvement projects

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18.  Contemplate all the mysteries of the universe

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19.  Or just contemplate the reason why someone would invent a gumball container shaped like a pink brain.

20.  Stare at your lava lamp

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21.  Stare at shadows flickering on the wall

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22.  Color in a coloring book.   I just bought this one the other day…

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And I can’t wait to color in it!  Because yes… I am an overgrown child.

23.  Shop online.  Here’s the last thing I bought online…

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This stuff smells freaking amazing!

24.  Play World of Warcraft

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And die a painful. miserable, virtual death over and over and over again.  But really… it’s fun!  😉

And last, but not least…

If you can’t beat em, join em…

25.  Go out and play in the snow!

 

And I’m about to go out and do just that.  Well technically, I’m going out to run errands and will be driving in it, but I still plan to try and have fun while I’m at it!  😀

 

Hope your day is filled with fun, and with…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Magical Moments

Well… although I didn’t end up getting the rest I wanted over the weekend, nor have the chance to sit beneath autumn’s branches, I did find other ways to get a bit of relief, and some of them turned out to be quite “magical.”

Now, I’ve never really been one to celebrate Halloween, I mean aside from doing the usual things like trick-or-treating, watching scary movies, or going to costume parties and such.  And other than carved pumpkins or harvest themed decor I’ve never decorated my house for it.  I’m just not into the macabre, ghoulish type of stuff that usually comes along with Halloween.  But this year, my daughter and my mom got it into their heads that they wanted to decorate the house for Halloween.  They were both so terribly excited at the idea, I just couldn’t resist, so I went along with it for their sakes.

We went out shopping over a month ago and bought a few decorations that we had found on sale.  The two of them were anxious to put them up right away, but I told them that we had to wait at least until the second week of October before putting them up, just until it felt more like Halloween season, ya know?  Well, with the nice weather we had over the weekend, it seemed like the perfect time, so even though I was longing for some quiet, peaceful time out in nature, we put them up and it was lots of fun.  And I still got to be outside.  😀

We were right in the nick of it all when look who/what stopped by to join us…

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A black cat!  How purrfectly magical is that… just as we’re putting up Halloween decorations!  I snapped this with my cell phone camera, so please excuse the poor quality of the photo.  I had a heck of a time trying to take her picture, she was always moving about and is pretty much just a black blur in all of the pictures except this one where she happened to be sitting still for a brief moment.  She was the sweetest little thing, so friendly and affectionate, purring and meowing and rubbing up against us.  I think she would have eaten us up if she could have.  😉

Now listen… I’m outside ALL the time, in my garden, on the patio, all the time, and in the two years since I’ve moved back here, I’ve never seen a black cat or any cats really, out wandering around the neighborhood.  So believe me when I say that her stopping by (at all, let alone while we were putting up Halloween decorations) was very unusual, and her presence really made our decorating time feel magical!

 

Here are a few other photos from our Halloween decorating…

 

 My daughter put up some cobwebs on the bush near the front door.  If you know me, you know that I am terrified of spiders, but fake ones don’t bother me so much…

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And look who moved in… Shelob.   😉

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Although the Shelob in Tolkien’s story is utterly disgusting and terrifying, I think this one is kinda cute.  For a spider, anyway.

 

This little ghost guy is kinda cute as well…

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But as for the idea of real ghosts… I think, not so much.

 

We also got this cute sign to post by the door.  I couldn’t get the stake to go into the ground, so I stuck it in my mom’s planter…

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Hey, whatever works right?


I was in charge of putting up the lights (I also climbed halfway up a 50ft extension ladder and strung some Christmas lights, but that’s a story for another time).   Once again, a poor quality photo, but you can still tell how festive it is…

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Nothing too fancy, but hopefully the neighborhood kids will like it.  Heck, I hope we even get any trick-or-treaters, last year there weren’t very many of them that came by.

Either way, it makes my daughter and my mom happy, and in the end that’s all that really matters. ❤

 

Gotta make the most of those magical moments…

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And I say it’s good luck when a black cat crosses your path comes to visit while you’re putting up Halloween decorations.  See… she’s just a blur.  😉

 

 

May your day be filled with a little bit of magic, and with…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Cozy Caturday

 

I’m not the only one around here who is getting cozy with all the cold, rainy weather we’ve been having… my daughter happened to leave a drawer open and look who decided to climb in and make herself comfy…

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My sweet, pretty, little kitty-girl, Sugar.  She didn’t stay in there very long though, because apparently I disrupted her intentions for a cozy nap with my little photo shoot.  Oops!  I just couldn’t resist… she’s such an adorable subject!  ❤

 

Have a wonderful, cozy weekend!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My….. Plants

Wow, that’s got to be just about the corniest music video ever!  Haha the 70’s!  I do love B.J. Thomas’ voice though.

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Sorry, it’s just that everything reminds me of a song.  😉

And the raindrops really do keep falling on my plants.  In fact, we’ve had some pretty strong storms here too, over the past several days.  I love me a good thunderstorm!  Three nights in a row I was awoken by some awesome thunder crashing.  ♥

Unfortunately though, the storms did do some damage in the area with flooding, fires caused by lightening, trees down from high winds, and many people are still without power.  My sis came back from her cabin only to find that power was out at her place.  She’s just a little way up the road from us and I’m so thankful we didn’t lose power or have any damage here.  I did have one bean plant casualty however, and our gorgeous peonies got decimated.  I’m really glad I got the chance to enjoy them before they did.  During one of the storms our street became a rushing river, literally.  It was scary and exciting at the same time.  Again, I’m just thankful we didn’t have any real damage or power outage.

As every good gardener does, I went out after one of the storms and checked on how my plants fared through the weather.  Aside from being completely drenched and having a few that were leaning over from the winds, I’m happy to report that things looked pretty good.

I think some of my mesclun is just about ready to harvest.  Finally!

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My peas are flowering!  ♥

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My zucchini is spreading out nicely.

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I’m really glad it didn’t get damaged from any of the storms because it’s the only one I planted this year.

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My carrots are doing alright.

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They had a rocky start though because something was nibbling them down at first, but they seem to be fine now and leafing out a little bit more.

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My jalapeno peppers are doing really well and have lots of pretty blossoms.

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Pretty blossoms that will hopefully become yummy peppers.  😀

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I was so excited to see that the trumpet vine I planted around the backside of the fence now has buds on it.

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I’ve never grown one of these before and I can’t wait to see it bloom!  I hope it attracts lots hummingbirds and butterflies!  ♥

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I bought my mom a new hydrangea because the one we planted for her last year didn’t survive.  This one is a little different of a variety so hopefully it fares better.  It sure is a pretty shade of blue.

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This isn’t actually in the ground yet and during one of the storms we looked out and saw it rolling around in its pot on the patio, being blown by the wind and the rain.  My daughter who was just itching to go outside during the storm (she is her mother’s daughter ;)) begged to go out and rescue it.  I’m glad she did, or it very well could have ended up another causality.  It’s getting a bit warm outside now to be planting, so I may just leave this in its pot until fall planting time.  But we’ll have to keep an eye on it during any storms so we don’t lose it.

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And lastly, with all the raining it’s been doing out there I haven’t kept up on keeping the weeds cleared very well.  And you know what…?  I happen to find some “weeds” to be completely delightful.  Clovers for one.  I absolutely love their little heart shaped triple leaves!  Just look at them, I swear they’re smiling…

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So cute!  I really can’t bear to yank them out.  I think I’ll just leave them there a while, maybe they’ll produce a four-leafed clover, I could use some good luck!  😉

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~Gardening is my therapy~

Remembering My Papa

It’s Father’s Day this Sunday and I’ve got my Papa on my mind.

The 26th of this month will mark the 2 year anniversary of losing him, and although I don’t want focus on his death, it’s hard not to think about it when the date rolls around, and that last Father’s Day we had him with us is really etched in my memory because he passed away the following Sunday.

He was in hospice care here at home, and we had recently needed to bring him downstairs (out of his bedroom) to be in a hospital type bed so that we could better tend to his needs as his health was declining.   He was having more and more times of being pretty much out of it because of the increasing doses of morphine he was on to help ease his pain, so it was far from Father’s Day as usual.

It hadn’t been planned, but a nurse came by that day to give him a sponge bath.  Although he had his eyes closed the majority of the time, I could tell he was enjoying it, especially while she was washing his hair.  It always feels good to be clean and freshen up a bit no matter what condition we’re in, doesn’t it?  God bless hospice workers…

My sis had taught my daughter how to operate my Dad’s lawn mower, so she mowed the lawn for her Grandpa for Father’s Day.  And even though he couldn’t say so, I know he appreciated it.  She mowed the lawn here just yesterday and it really brought back those memories.

Living here now with my mom there are regular reminders of my Dad all the time, and we take those moments as they come.  Sometimes it’s completely out of the blue that we’ll find ourselves sobbing at something random and missing him, and sometimes it’s more intentional.  Like I intentionally brought in some Lily of the Valley from the yard when they were blooming earlier this spring and placed them near his urn.  They were in bloom right around the time that he went into hospice and I would come by every day and bring some in to him.  I remember him holding them up to his nose and inhaling their lovely scent and the look on his face.  You know, sometimes there’s not much you can do for people when they’re suffering, and everything seems so empty and useless, but I do think that smelling those Lily of the Valley brought some joy to my Dad even in his difficult situation, and I’m glad I was able to do even just that small gesture for him.  ♥

I never took the opportunity to have a serious talk with him about life and death and such things while he was dying, and I regret that a bit now, but I wanted to be a joy to him at the time and not make him have to talk about the heavy stuff.  Although, I did tell him he needn’t worry about my mom because I would see to it that she was taken care of.  To which he scoffed and said “you don’t have a pot to piss in, how are you going to take care of mom?”  I had just recently lost everything; my marriage, my house, my job, the majority of my belongings, and it was true I didn’t have a “pot to piss in” (hah, my dad and his expressions), but I meant I’d take care of her in more than just a financial way.  And I believe I have done that.  Told you I would, Pops.  😉

I don’t know where my Dad is now, but I like to think that he’s somehow aware of everything I’m doing here and that it pleases him in some way.  My Dad wasn’t a perfect man or Father, far from it, but he was mine, and I wouldn’t have wanted any other.

I miss him so much.

This Father’s Day I have plans to get his stereo system all set up.  When my daughter and I moved in, my Dad’s stereo got moved to another spot in the living room and I haven’t yet gotten to the task of hooking it all back up again.  It’s farther away from the speakers than it was before so I may have to run out and get some speaker wire, but hopefully I can get it all hooked up by Sunday.

My thought in doing this is to have the stereo on all day continuously playing some of my Dad’s favorite music.  I think that’s a wonderful way to honor him and keep the day alive with his spirit for Father’s Day.

The music of Henry Mancini reminds me of him the most, and this song in particular…

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♥♥♥

And… Exhale

After Christmas there is always this sense of a sort of exhale for me.  All the hustle and bustle is over and I can finally release the breath that I feel like I’ve been holding in through it all.  It’s really quite a relief actually, seeing as I usually rather enjoy breathing, in general.  😉

I’ve mentioned many times in previous posts how much I hate busyness and unfortunately sometimes even the fun kind wears on me.  The past few Christmases have been so different and also difficult for me.  I hope one day everything will be back to normal, but perhaps this is just how it’s going to be from now on.  Maybe once you experience the death of a close loved one and/or other multiple major life changes, the holidays never really go “back to normal” again.  Or maybe it just takes time.  I did have a nice Christmas though, for the most part, and I hope you all did too.

I’d have to say that the best thing about mine was having my punk nephew home from California.  I only get to see him every few years, so it was really nice to have him here for Christmas this year.  On the first day that I got to spend with him we all went out to see the movie The Hobbit.  I am a huge fan of Tolkien and I really enjoyed seeing a beloved story of mine brought to life on the big screen.  I also thought it was very well done and I look forward to the next installment.

The next day, my nephew and his girlfriend came over and we all made candy together.  My mom happened to snap this photo while we were working on making our Christmas mice.100_3816Maraschino cherries dipped in white chocolate = yummy little mice!

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Yeah, they may be all smiles in that photo there, but on Christmas Eve when he brought over a new game for all of us to play, things got a bit heated.  Taboo…DSCF0112aWe always play games after eating and opening gifts on Christmas Eve, and Taboo was tons of fun!  I had never played it before, but I think I was pretty good at it.  Well… except for the whole not being allowed to talk with my hands part of the rules.  That was a bit tricky.  Yes, I’m one those people who talks with my hands.  Hey, I’m often overly expressive, what can I say?!  😉

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Another thing I enjoyed this Christmas was the new recipe I tried out.  It’s called Christmas Crack and omyfreakinggosh is it ever delicious!  And addicting.  Hence its being called “crack.”  DSCN6265This will definitely be a regular treat that I will be making around the holidays from now on.

Edit note:  I would love to share this amazing recipe with you all, but I’m afraid you’ll have to find your own drug dealer for this one, as I’ve just recently been made aware that this particular recipe is in fact Top Secret and was only shared with me in the strictest of confidence.  Oops!  My sincere apologies to the dear friend who shared it with me as I didn’t realize that before I posted it here earlier.  There are many other variations of this recipe out there on the Internet free for the taking, none as delicious as this one mind you, but you’ll just have to make due.  I know, I’m such a tease.  😉

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Well, I don’t know about you, but between doing crack and devouring poor unsuspecting mice, I had waaaay too many goodies over the holidays.  Oof, time for a diet!

And speaking of needing to go on a diet, look at the picture I took of my cute, chubby little kitten.  DSCF0089aShe is usually a timid little thing whenever there’s company over, but she was celebrating like a pro with the rest of us on Christmas Eve.  She kinda has a thing for wrapping paper and she wasn’t giving this piece up for anything ~ not even for a nap.

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And look what we subjected my daughter’s poor dog, Teddy to…DSCF0024aHaha oh how he detests wearing his Santa hat, but he just looks too darn cute in it to not make him suffer in it, at least for a little while.  😉

Besides, we’re all subjected to a bit of suffering over the holidays.

And… exhale.

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Now it’s time to get busy contemplating all of those New Year’s resolutions…