Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mystery...for my love

Mystery, he said to me, 
Is all I understand
All my life has been about living on this land
Beauty and integrity and Being who I am
Do you see what's real to me is only what I have?
I thought about his words to me
I think I understand
That mystery he sees in me isn't just my history
It's more a part of who I am 
And part of who I'll be
When we're together time stands still
Our hearts together beat
The mystery, he said to me, is all I understand
He slowly ambles 
Across the land
This place that he adores
Looking for and finding signs
Of life lived long ago
He sees the shards, the tracks, and sign
Of beast and Earth and man
He believes in honoring the simple things
Deep down all these are one
The ways of the world
Outside this place
He does not contemplate
He says if he can't change them
No time then, will he waste
But the first time he said to me
I've loved you
10,000 years or more
I smiled and said
I've loved you too
You've made all my dreams come true
He looked into my face just then
His eyes a magic blue
With gentleness and love so true
He took me by the hand
Mystery, he said to me
Is all I understand

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Last Request

Twenty five years ago today I gave birth to my second son, Joshua Ray. Twenty five years ago I had a friend named Janet dying of brain cancer. Janet was 24, married but had no children of her own. We had been friends since I let her cheat on a math test in 10th first year in Arkansas. She was a fun loving person and we were very good friends. She got married young and so did I and as life would have it we saw each other less frequently as time went on. She was diagnosed with cancer while I was in Nursing school and when she had the surgery I went to her house and did dressing changes...scared out of my mind, I was! I took her to some of her radiation appointments and watched as she realized it wasn't helping.
Sometime during my pregnancy with Josh she asked me, what was for her, a huge favor...would I name my baby after her if I had a girl. Her name was Janet May and I so wanted to fulfill her request and finally settled on Tracy Janette as a way to honor her. The one thing I wanted to know about this child growing inside me was if indeed I was having a daughter. I already had a son and really did want a little girl but mostly wanted like we all do...a healthy child. My baby was due to be born on November 25th and that November was a long one. I had several ultrasounds and each time the baby was turned so that the sex of the child was a mystery. I actually fell once late in the pregnancy and had even more look-sees to make sure everything was alright and still...the mystery. November 25th came and went and no birth. Every day I waited for those contractions to start but they didn't come. Finally, on December 5th my doctor put me in the hospital to induce labor. They did indeed induce false labor but still my baby didn't budge! They stopped the medicine and said if I didn't deliver over night they would send me back home! I was 10 days overdue and they were going to send me home? I was a bit frustrated and overwhelmed by then but as soon as the clock struck the new officially December 6th and also as fate would have it, Janet's birthday, I started into labor. The nurses realized the physical reason for my delay in delivering my baby...a breach birth was imminent and at 4 in the morning they wheeled me off to deliver with a C-section room set up just in case. I delivered that baby without the aid of surgery at 4:40 Am on December 6th and finally was able to see for myself that I would not be able to fulfill her last request. Joshua Ray was born and within a minute I looked up at his father and said...this will be my last child, no more, I'm done! I don't know when it hit me that I may not have had a girl that I could name after Janet but I had him on her last birthday. I held my excitement and waited until 7 that morning to call her. She lived another 5 months but that morning she was the most excited I had ever seen her. She came to see Josh and myself that morning and it was so evident that she was succumbing to the cancer in her body except for that sparkle in her eyes and the smile so big on her face. I felt like I had given her a gift after all even though I really had nothing to do with it except go with the flow. 
Thanks for being my friend Janet May Howell and gracing me with your fun and always real self. I have told this story of you and my son having the same birthday at least 25 times as every year on his birthday my thoughts turn to you. Rest in peace Janet.
Happy birthday my beautiful son. You were kept inside me 11 extra days by the pull of that wonderful all-knowing Universe and its everlasting wisdom. It is snowing outside as I look out the window this morning just as it did then...remembering that day twenty five years ago when in ways I hadn't imagined, I fulfilled that one last request. I love you so much!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A holiday greeting

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


What a road I have followed
ever winding and long
distraction has taken me 
to places that were wrong
they were scary
they were sad
they were crazy 
 they were bad
but I have you figured out
distraction of my mind
you tried to protect me
make me think things were real
when you thought I couldn't cope
with the things I needed to feel
so now I am on to you
and the pain has gone away
distraction is no longer with me
I am free for many a day

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our Victimness

Have you ever been a victim? Most of us probably have at one point or another in our lives and for a lot of folks it started in their childhood. Are you still a victim? That is the question isn't it? If you have ever been victimized did you get over it? Did you work through it and forgive yourself and the victimizer? Or do you carry with you at all times the hurt and anger still buried inside waiting for the next opportunity to rear it's ugly head? I always say there are two kinds of people in this world but once a decade or more ago I realized there are probably more...maybe 12 or 16. I think I settled on 16 back then. So, if there are 16 type of people in this world I am betting that at least one of those types are the people that hang on to being a victim. They were probably hurt more than other types of people that first time. Maybe they were abused as children with either violence or incest, maybe they were raped, assaulted or a victim of war, or other extreme violence. Some of these folks may have even repressed the original victimizing moment in their lives because it was too hard or they were too young to deal with the emotions it induced. Whatever the cause they are stuck. They continue to be a victim. They may be a victim to their bodies, to their relationships, to their financial situation, to their health, weight, wellness (or lack thereof) or to their job, living situation, family you see, the list is probably endless. Once a person gets stuck in the victim role it is very hard to get themselves out and why should they even try? I mean, it isn't their fault right? Someone did this to them, someone or something caused them hurt and now that is what they know in life to be the root feeling of their existence  Does that mean they are never happy? Of course not but it does mean that for them pain and suffering is a normal part of their life that they accept as their lot. They may view life as a struggle...did they struggle a lot in their first trauma? They may view life as a weight around their necks...did they feel heavy, deadened in that first hurt? They may view life as painful...were they physically beaten or hurt in that first traumatic experience? Now fast forward to many years later...are they always struggling now, are they overweight and cannot lose it no matter what or do they have chronic illness, pain or physical ailments? Their victimness keeps getting transferred to the many stages of life as they continue moving forward but still they are stuck.

Is there an answer? How can they move past the victimness and into a life where they are no longer victim to life's everyday-ness? I am not sure that they can but it seems to me that they should be able to forgive, forget, let go, and love themselves into acceptance of what was, what is and what will be. 

I am writing this with a migraine headache. I was victimized at a young age, I was hurt and I have had chronic pain all of my adult life. I continue to live in my victimness even though I am blessed with a wonderful life. I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful family and many beautiful loving friends. I live in paradise, I have a perfect job and I am for the most part very healthy. I am one of the 16 kinds of people that continue to hurt though. I have been trying to find cures for my pain for a very long time. I have been so very depressed at times that I have even thought of ending my life to get rid of the pain. My victimness is my body (my back, legs, neck, head, tummy, and pelvis) all of the parts of me that hurt chronically and for the most part daily!! Can I forgive, forget, let go, and love myself into acceptance of what was, what is and what will be? 

My very best friend in the whole wide world, my husband, told me not long ago that he has absolute faith in his body to heal, to be in good health, and when he does have pain he knows in his core that it will go away. Maybe he is a victim too and it isn't manifested in his body but let's just stick to his way of thinking for this (my) example and that the answer? Is it a belief in me that somehow during that initial trauma that my body failed me? That I don't have the faith that my body will heal, be in a state of health, or recover from pain? Just writing those words caused in me a stirring, a memory maybe of what beliefs I held in that moment living through that trauma. It rings true. How can I change that belief now? My body did not betray did not betray did not betray me. Can I forgive, forget, let go, and love myself into acceptance of what was, what is and what will be? And now, can I change the belief, probably a belief that I have held secretly from myself for a very, very long time that my body can't be trusted to heal, to love me, to hold me, to keep me safe? Hmmm, just maybe I can. Just maybe I can forgive, forget, let go, and love myself into acceptance of what was, what is and what will be AND I can believe that my body will heal, will live in a state of health, will keep me safe, will keep me safe, will keep me safe, will keep me safe. 

What is your victimness? Do you have a story? Are you stuck there? Can you see the pattern in your life? Are you one of the 16 kinds of people on this Earth that feels they were and still are a victim of unfortunate events? IF so, can you forgive, forget, let go, and love yourself into acceptance of what was, what is and what will be AND can you believe that whatever part of you remains a victim could now keep you safe? I hope so. I wish you love, understanding and healing. I wish for you the knowing that you have the ability to love and heal yourself, to hold yourself in that love and to know that love is all we need to be in that safe place we so desperately want to feel. We, the victimized can and shall be...the loved, the holders of safety and beauty and the lovers. So, go now, go and love yourself, go and forgive yourself, forget the hurts of the past, let go of your victimness, and love yourself into acceptance of what was (it was only a feeling of not being safe), what is (you are safe now) and what will be (have the faith that you are and will always be safe/love/health/beauty...whatever it is that keeps you stuck. It is no longer real, the threat is long gone...know this and that knowing will set you free. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Moonbeams and Daydreams

                      Moon beams and day dreams; sitting around in blue jeans
                      Makin magic outta ripples and seams
                      We didn’t choose it, we won’t lose it; don’t even know what it means
One day you plant it, next day you sow it
If you’re lucky it’ll go to seed
Don’t try to fence it or be apprehensive
It’ll be there when you need, just you wait and see

                  Some days you know it, other days you blow it; But it’s all good in the end
                  We’ve been together and as long as I remember
                  Along the way we both had to bend
One day you plant it, next day you sow it
If you’re lucky it’ll go to seed
Don’t try to fence it or be apprehensive
It’ll be there when you need, just you wait and see

                      Life is a lesson, a circle and a blessin’; and if we get to do it again
                      Don’t know if I’ll know you or even get to meet you
                      But if I do I’ll call you friend
One day you plant it, next day you sow it
If you’re lucky it’ll go to seed
Don’t try to fence it or be apprehensive
It’ll be there when you need, just you wait and see

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Full Worm Moon or Is it really Spring

The super moon it started climbing...and what a moon it was! Well, not really. I mean,we did go out and watch it come up and took all these photos but... really, it wasn't such a super moon...was it??

I had heard that you would be able to see the "man in the moon" easier with it being so much closer to Earth and all and low and behold...I see two eyes and a face is quite easily recognizable...oh, wait, that was only a tree!!
So, here she is in all her full glory and it is cold outside (the Bailey's helped). But we watched her come up and felt like we did our duty even though the porch still reeked of skunk from a few nights back when our fierce protector ran it off but not before it struck!
But she did indeed shine down on my yard art and made the evening quite enjoyable after all. Thank you Miss Full Worm Moon...but then there was the next night.
Still officially the full moon the cloud passing across her made her beauty stand out more.
Then the next morning when sitting in my favorite chair with coffee in hand I looked out the window and there she was still, I might add, quite glorious!
My favorite time of day for photographing on Rainwalker Mesa is when the skies are pink and blue and thank you, one last time oh Full Worm Moon!!

I have not looked into the reason for the name of this moon cycle and why it is that it is called the worm moon other than worms in many places are a sign of spring. I went for a walk this morning with a neighbor and her 5 month old son. We saw ants...the first time this year so it must be spring after all. I know the equinox was this past Sunday and though I used to celebrate that day a bit more I did take notice of the day. It is hard to see spring in these mountains since we get no moisture until the monsoon rains and then have our spring in September. We did however work out in the garden area and moved the bean fence from last year's location. The next day the wind blew 50 mph so it must be spring in New Mexico!!
My wonderful husband and I are celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary tomorrow and have reservations at a "wine bar and bistro" for dinner. That too means to me that it is sping...even though 21 years ago in NW Arkansas there was an ice storm going on and we slid all the way to our honeymoon destination! It seems that this week of March there is typically a late winter/early spring cold front. The last of my news for this first week of spring is that after almost 7 long weeks of having problems with our internet it is finally in good working order...she said with all the confidence she can muster. Happy Spring everyone and I hope you too enjoyed the Full Worm Moon.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My first crochet hat...

So, I first started crocheting again last year and I hate to say it but my first blanket that granddaughter Annie received was a disaster and luckily for everyone else I have made gifts for...I have shown improvement. Maybe I should make another one for Annie this year?!? Anyway, I have mostly been making scarves and I even kept one of the last ones but this is my first hat.
When my near-daughter, Amanda, came for a visit this last Thanksgiving I re-taught her how to crochet as she had learned as a child from her Granny but didn't remember how to get past the chain. She took off like a banshee and went home and made like seven scarves for presents by Christmas...I was amazed at her ability for sure. She started making hats to go with those scarves so I asked her for a lesson!!
She sent me a You-tube lesson on making hats "in the round" as they call it and last Saturday (a week ago) I sat down with the computer and my yarn and got started. By Tuesday, I knew I had done something wrong as it looked like a scarf for a two headed dragon...
While in the backseat of my parent's car going to a doctor appt in Albq. I unraveled and unraveled and got back down to the 6th row of the round and started again. By Wednesday evening I had a lot of yarn left but was back to the length I had got to by Tuesday's unraveling fest. Thanks to Deb for helping me to untangle all that yarn that I hastily wadded up in the car!!!
So, last night I said to my honey...I think it is still too big and trying it on asked him what he thought?? He said it looked good and I should just wear it as is and be done with it. So I agreed to stop where I was and try it out and if I don't like it I can always unravel, unravel and unravel some more.
So, here I am with my just a little bit too big, first ever home-made hat! And now that I am done? It is 70 degrees and I just put on my first pair of shorts for the year so I won't be able to try it out quite yet. Never fear though, this is Datil and at 7600 feet I am sure we will have a few more "hat days" before summer!! Now, maybe a scarf to match...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Best Dog in the World

As you may have bestest beastie has been diagnosed with Pannus, an autoimmune disorder that some dogs get that can cause blindness. Even though people have assured me that blindness in dogs is not the end of the world and that as far as the senses go...sight is #3 for dogs, still and yet, I don't want it to happen if at all possible. We are giving him his prednisone drops to both eyes twice a day and there is an improvement already but I investigated the situation and it so happens that where we chose to live, love and play is probably the worst environment we could chose for this condition. Since we won't be moving any time soon and no...he is definitely not leaving us to go live somewhere else where the light might not be such a problem I invested in some Doggles. Today, we got to try them out. I must say that at first I thought I had just wasted $25 but I was persistent and he figured out I meant business and after several attempts at trying to take them off he submitted. I am only going to insist he wear them for our walks for now as most of the time he is outside on his own he naturally goes for the shade...even in winter with snow on the ground. If all goes well I might be able to get him to wear them more often but for now he thinks I am mean enough so I don't want to push it...
                          So, here is to our Bubba aka: Roly-Poly Catfish. We love you and want you to know that you look really cool in those shades!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our New Toilet (the outhouse is the in-house) and what did you get for Christmas?

This is the finished project and one we made for ourselves as a holiday gift at the end of 2010. What used to be here was a store bought version which lasted a whole 5 1/2 years and that cost $1000 and that is the lower end cost of these things. Why do we have a composting toilet in the first place? Because we live at 7600 feet above sea level and this particular home site I believe is 7600 feet of ROCK!! None the less, we couldn't have put in a septic tank if we wanted to so we did the alternative...composting toilet. I will put this in perspective here and show you the plastic piece of SH@% we bought:
The thing started leaking a long time back so the boards underneath are there to try to level it but that didn't work most of the time. In the back corner you see the battery that we devised to make the fan work...there is a very small solar panel on the roof that allows the electricity to be stored in said battery but the set-up was just plain ugly! The bucket there on the right contains the "flush" that we may have heard the rhyme: if you pee let it be, if you poop add a scoop? Well, that is the scoop contents...again, just a tad bit unsightly. But the toidy itself just started falling apart, hence the next photo:
The seat broke, the cover was falling off and on the right upper side of the base was a growing crack...did I mention this cost us $1000???
So, finally one day I said to my hubby (who wanted to build our own toilet in the first place mind you but noooo, I wanted a "real" one)...can we please build our own now? Live and learn. So, David and I started researching sawdust toilets in general on the world wide web and low and behold most of the sites guessed it, store-bought ones!! There is even a site out there telling the 5 reasons you should consider buying over building. I can debate every one of them but that is another story. So, how do you build your own sawdust toilet you might ask...well, you probably won't ask but should you want to know...I am at your service.

David took measurements, cut out all the holes and you will notice that there isn't just one hole on top. He planned it so that the flush bucket, the battery and a switch to turn it on and off are all planned for. The back hole is for the venting pipe that came off the old one. We went on Christmas eve and bought the pretty blue paint, door pulls and hinges!! I got to paint it as I usually "get" to paint most things around this homestead.
So, here it is ready to put all the necessary pieces together. David wired the fan that goes in the vent to the battery and then we were ready to finish the installation.
And yes, he did clean up the battery before installing it but isn't that just the coolest thing?? It has it's own door and the little light switch above it is all we need to turn it off and on...awesome!!
Now the flush bucket was installed so it is handy for that second part of our rhyme. Oh, and I forgot to mention the toilet seat that we had to purchase so let's see we already had the wood, slush bucket, and many 5 gallon buckets (that are also hidden cozily away) from our recent re-stuccoing of the exterior of our home last summer so all we had to purchase was the toilet seat, white hinges, door pull and the paint! Not bad compared to our previous $1000 flop. I am very happy with our new toilet and have enjoyed immensely sharing the experience with you!! One last peak at the finished product just in case you want to try this yourself!! 
Happiness is a homemade toilet for the holidays!!