Saturday, June 30, 2007

moon illusion...

I am feeling so tired this weekend...I'm hoping to take some time to rest. I just wanted to post a little notice about the full moon's appearance according to NASA.

"Sometimes you can't believe your eyes. This weekend is one of those times.

On Saturday night, June 30th, step outside at sunset and look around. You'll see a giant moon rising in the east. It looks like Earth's moon with the usual craters and seas, but something's wrong. This full moon is strangely inflated. It's huge!

You've just experienced the Moon Illusion.

Sky watchers have known for thousands of years that low-hanging moons look unnaturally big. Cameras don't see it, but human eyes do; it's a genuine illusion.

This weekend's full moon hangs lower in the sky than any other full moon of 2007, so the Moon Illusion is going to be strong."

Hopefully I'll remember to go out there and see it!
What bothers me, though, is that cameras can't record this. I'll probably have to go out there and check that out for sure ;-).

Here's a little something about resting as well:

Saturday, June 30, 2007 @ 12:00:00 GMT
Keywords for the Day: Demands and Service
Full Moon Sun is at: 08° Capricorn (0) 25’ in I-Ching Hexagram 58 Line 5 at 13:48;
Moon is at: 08° Cancer (4) 25’ in I-Ching Hexagram 52 Line 5 at 13:48.
Take time to rest. Put the needs of others in perspective
while you take care to involve yourself only in things that align energetically with your Highest Self. When you doubt
an action, put it aside for the time being. We enter a period of relative inactivity with less drive cosmically for action. Take heed of this cosmic pattern to listen to your Self.
The demands of others challenge you to recognize your patterns of behavior. Attend to the stories you play in your mind so you can transform through positively reframing them
in ways that can empower you in your life. Today is the perfect day for this transformation of your thoughts as they activate throughout your interactive life. When
someone demands something of you, take time to listen for your inner feelings to guide you towards your deepest true response. Such depth of consideration can change the way
you think about things in very positive ways. Continue to eat carefully and thoughtfully.
Spiritual dimensions also gain in energy.

© Unified Life Sciences. 2006, 2007. Simply Your Self™. 2007. All Rights Reserved.
Contact Information: Eleanor Haspel-Portner, Ph.D.
Email: Telephone: (310) 230-7787

One more thing...a new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors...why do they all come out at the same time? (Kateri, Misty's in this one, too ;-)

Friday, June 29, 2007

co-creating with the Universe...

We're asking you to trust in the Well-being. In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing. In positive expectation there is thrill and success. In pessimism or awareness of what is not wanted, there is nothing. What you're wanting to do is redefine your relationship with the Stream. We do not ask you to look at something that is black and call it white. We do not ask you to see something that is not as you want it to be and pretend that it is. What we ask you to do is practice moving your gaze. Practice changing your perspective. Practice talking to different people. Practice going to new places. Practice sifting through the data for the things that feel like you want to feel and using those things to cause you to feel a familiar place. In other words, we want you to feel familiar in your joy. Familiar in your positive expectation, familiar in your knowing that all is well, because this Universe will knock itself out giving you evidence of that Well-being once you find that place. We have enjoyed this interaction immensely. There is great love here for you. We are complete

Excerpted from a workshop in San Rafael, CA on Wednesday, March 4th, 1998

All Is Well

from Abraham-Hicks daily quotes

Thursday, June 28, 2007

mercury retro...

We are in the middle of a Mercury retrograde period. This time around, Mercury is in the sign of Cancer, which is related to the moon, and to our emotional natures. At this moment that I am writing, just before 3 pm on the 28th, Mercury is at the exact position in the sky as the the sign of a strong impetus for emotional awareness, whether that be through talking, writing, or simply reflecting and thinking. The moon is passing through the point where Jupiter is right now, in Jupiter's home sign of Sagittarius, bringing emotional awareness to the part of our natures that has to do with expansiveness and higher truth. Venus, planet of love and relationships in general, is at the same point as Saturn, the planet relating to structure and authority, and they are in the 10th house, which carries a Saturn/Capricorn theme, and they are also in Leo...romance, art, expressiveness, playfulness. Libra is rising on the horizon, Libra also relates to Venus and relationships, as well as balance and fairness.

There are many interpretations of all of this, but I think just reflecting on some of these images is a good thing to do. We are heading towards a full moon on Saturday, with the energies of Cancer and Capricorn highlighted. Emotional awareness is very much at the forefront of our lives right now, our concepts of relationships, our relationship with our own selves, and even gender issues...what it means to be male and female in this time and in whatever culture you are most connected to, as well as your relationship with your own masculine and feminine sides.

With Mercury passing over the Sun as he travels backwards (from our perspective) this is the highlight of this Mercury retrograde period, and so will probably be strongly felt. I am definitely feeling very introspective and lots of emotional patterns are coming to the forefront for me. I have a very strong Cancer/Capricorn focus in my birthchart, and so these issues of the balance between sensitivity and structure have been a major focus in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity that I feel right now to look at these issues and feelings more closely. (and what I try to do is not so much analyzing these patterns, but allowing insights and feelings to come to the surface...which can allow for that 'ah ha' sense of suddenly knowing what it all means to me)

All of these challenges are pointing us towards being more loving towards ourselves. I've heard it many times, and it becomes more and more clear to me, that we cannot truly love anyone else until we are able to love and accept ourselves. What I have seen that happens is that we project aspects of our own selves onto others, when we are not able or willing to accept them as our own. It is not an easy task to recognize and accept all that is inside of ourselves that we may not even be ready and able to this takes time. It encompasses the negative and the positive aspects, as well! When you see something wonderful in another person, that is a part of your own self as well...sometimes we are not ready to fully live up to that and so we allow others to embody our own good natures, too.

Really, all of this is is a process that we learn through. Resisting these processes are what cause us if you find that there is much pain emotionally, it is good to try to recognize what you may be resisting in your life and in your awareness...and just allow for it to be there...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

more birthday...

In the birthday post for George, the first photo was of him dodging a water gun blast...not Carter's though, Cathy's. I wasn't sure if she was comfortable with having her photos here, as she has been quite uncomfortable at times with even showing people her didn't feel right to put her pictures here without asking her first. I knew Carter and George would not have a problem with their photos on display (and now even Michael is feeling better about his photos as well!) So, I get to show another part of the party, but what I am most happy about is that Cathy also gave me approval for posting her artwork!

Cathy had given George two drawings that she made just for his birthday, so that he could scan them and color them using Photoshop. What that means is that these are actually quick works for Cathy, who normally does very detailed, involved drawings. I may sneak a bit of her other work in here as well...

Now, I'm 'sneaking in' the mermaid that she's been working on for me. I had wanted to photograph it before it was fully colored in (I'm sure there's a better word for that, but I can't think of it), because I knew that the finished work would look very different, after having seen the process with some of her other works. It also gave me the opportunity to 'have' the artwork while she was still working on it.
Click on the photo and take a look at the scales on the bottom half of the mermaid and the detail in the hair.

Thanks Cathy!
George helped her to set up an account on Deviant Art, so expect to see more from her there.
George also just finished adding a journal entry about her here,
so here is what he has to say about her and her work...

Fairly new to DeviantART, but a very good friend of mine in real life... she's a fellow Aikido-ka at the Aikido Dojo I've been going to for the past two-plus years. Always fun to train or hang out with.
Anyway, she's got an amazingly detailed art style... most of her works are incredibly complex and beautiful. She doesn't seem to think so, but that doesn't make her art any less pretty. :D
So far, she's managed to upload two deviations (she gave them to me for my recent 19th birthday, and I managed to scan them for her). Make sure to check them out; as soon as we figure out how to get them scanned properly, I'll personally make sure she uploads more work. :mwahaha:

somerset studio...

I picked up this gorgeous issue of the Somerset Studio magazine, yesterday, while I was shopping for George's birthday presents. I've only had the energy to scan through it a few times, but it is full of nature artwork, and it's theme is Nature Preserved. I can't wait to have the time to just sit with it and absorb and try out a few ideas.

There's also a notice in it about a call for photographic journal submissions.
"Life Images will feature the very best of your most artistic, emotionally moving, or expressive photos along with a few of your words. These photos should be of people, places and things important in your life, whether for a fleeting moment or a lifetime. We are interested in your journal entry that would accompany these photos – whether it be a short story, comment, explanation or poem. "
The link is here
The link gives a different deadline for submissions than the I don't know which is correct. The magazine shows it as a single publication, Life Images, with a deadline of August 15th 2007 for entries, and the link has quarterly deadlines as though it will be a regular magazine.

Monday, June 25, 2007

happy birthday...

We had a good, simple day today. Birthdays have always tended to be simple, fun days for us. George invited a few friends, Carter, Cathy and Leah (who wasn't able to make it) were played, food was prepared and eaten, Carter, Mike and I went in search of the best cheesecake, while George and Cathy played video games. Trader Joe's actually came out the winner, with a New York Style cheesecake in the freezer section. Frozen strawberries and blackberries with chocolate syrup rounded out the deal (good call for Carter!).

Nineteen years old, today!
This mama is tired after a full, happy day.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Maybe it seems strange, to drive all that way to Brooklyn, and to turn around and drive back home again, but as I am reflecting on the whole experience now I see that it was really like walking a labyrinth.

Here are some thoughts about that process...

"Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path... exactly where you are meant to be right now... And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love."
Caroline Adams

"People, formal cultures, and traditions have used the spiral and labyrinth designs as a symbol of their search for meaning and guidance. The labyrinth is a "unicursal" or one path design - there are no tricks or decisions to be made - much as the surrender to walking a sacred spiritual path in life - our only decision is to choose spirit/God and surrender to divine guidance. The labyrinth is non-denominational. People of all faiths and people longing to re-connect to faith come to walk labyrinths."

"One walks a labyrinth by stepping into the entrance and putting one foot in front of the other. After traveling through all the paths and windings, the walker comes into the center"... "after a time there, the walker returns out to cover the same path out as in."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

back from brooklyn...

So much has changed since I was last home. I really needed this trip, and not for any of the typical reasons that anyone might think of. Since leaving Brooklyn 16 years ago, so very much in my life shifted and changed. I went through a lot, a whole lot, that was quite stressful and life changing. Part of that was living through several incidents of hospitalizing Michael for pneumonia, sometimes for 10 days at a time, and I stayed with him the whole time, so there was very much of an immersion in the experiences that we had together, although I wasn't the one who couldn't breath. The last time he was hospitalized was a few years ago, and both my sons had pneumonia and were both admitted to the hospital. But, while George was getting better, Michael was getting worse and had to be transferred to a children's hospital into their ER ICU. I truly thought he was going to die, and made some kind of peace within myself at that time to enable myself to deal with the possibility. So, when I say that I am not the same person that I was when I left Brooklyn all those years ago, you have some sense of what I mean. Sixteen years is not all that long, but it feels like several lifetimes to me.

Going back 'home' to Brooklyn felt like a reconsolidation for though neural pathways were being rewoven and restructured in some sense. I didn't know where I would go, exactly, or who I might see, so I let myself be led by my memories of the roads and places that I was on. I took the Outerbridge Crossing into the southern part of Staten Island. I wanted to go through there, as I had lived there for a short time after getting married, though I couldn't tell you what street it was anymore. We had what was originally intended to be living quarters for a maid, if I am remembering correctly. It was such a fantastic apartment, above the garages of a very beautiful, custom built home. The living room doubled as my first photography studio, 25' x 25' with windows on two sides. The landlords were exceptional people, and I think my life would have been quite different if we had stayed there. That's a whole other story, but after that we moved to Brooklyn again for a few years.

So, I ran into quite a lot of traffic going through Staten Island, and at one point got off the highway, figuring that I would remember to some extent which way to go. I did, but I was wondering what I was doing, and then saw a sign over a real estate sign that said 'It's for the experience.' Well, I truly felt that it all was, just to drive on certain roads, see certain sights, nothing that I knew ahead of time about, but it just felt that I needed to be exactly where I was at that time.

That's pretty much how the whole trip went. There was lots of traffic. Sheepshead Bay was not what I remembered it as, though many of the old landmarks are still there. It seems to have gone through a revitalization and there are quite a lot of fancy eating places, alongside the big lobster at Randazzo's. It looks like a great place to be, but there was no parking to be found, and it was too crowded for me to want to get out of the car and walk around anyway. I took a few photos from the car, and then headed for the streets. It truly was like being in a place that I had never been to before, and yet at the same time it was entirely familiar to me.

I had taken everything that I thought I would need, money, coins for tolls, though I was handed an EZ Pass at the last moment and that made everything a breeze! What I hadn't thought of was that I would need a bathroom somewhere down the line ;-). That's when Kings Plaza mall showed up in front of me, and I decided to stop there. My mom and I used to go shopping on Saturdays there, it is totally different now, though I did see some stores that helped me to remember what it used to look like. What I was feeling was that I didn't belong...I didn't feel welcomed...and that was good, because that feeling morphed into a feeling of being at home anywhere and knowing that I was always welcome no matter where I was. It wasn't that I had to reason that out, I know that already as a concept, but this was an actual inner shift that I felt happening, and I think that was a big part of what the trip was for.

I left there, after getting a slice of Sbarro's pizza, and just drove and saw familiar sites. As I got closer to Canarsie, I noticed that what used to be Pizza places had become Jamaican Jerk joints! So amazing, like being in a different country from the one I grew up in. I realized that places will change with the people who inhabit it, and that this is part of the natural evolution of a place. It wasn't meant to be primarily Italian forever, and it just is what it is now, and will probably be something else with the next generation of business people and residents.

When I drove down my old street, I had a moment of fear...just a little one...that I might not recognize the house! Everything was so different, but there was the house, just the same as ever, though the big maple in front has lost a few limbs. I'll have to go back for a proper visit some day soon, but I think I had to do this trip this way just once for my own inner evolution. I hadn't told my parents that I was coming in to Brooklyn, I wanted to see how it all felt to me when I got there, but then it was a little too late in the evening to surprise them, so I contented myself with seeing the block and the house from the outside for now.

I headed back up Rockaway Parkway and onto the Belt Parkway. At least there wasn't as much traffic as before, but it was still pretty full. I had fun listening to the variety of radio stations, I do miss that...and a great version of Peter Frampton's Do You Feel Like We Do? came on and carried me all the way through Brooklyn and across the Verazanno Bridge... The sound was great, and it felt very appropriate, though I'm not exactly sure why, except that I was feeling so different. Here's a video that I found, though what I heard was much clearer and I was able to put it up pretty loud and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like We Do? (1977 LIVE)

It was quite interesting that the minute I got on the Belt Parkway I found that I was able to slip right into Brooklyn-style driving again, you just never forget some things ;-).

Today's horoscope had talked about how hard it can be to reintegrate back into life again after spending time alone...I did find myself very much in my own alone-ness, not as a negative thing but just as the state of being that I needed to be in, but I had no problem shifting back into life again at home. I do feel different (and Pennsylvania feels different to me now as well), and I think that I will be feeling the effects of this trip for a while, and that I will be different in some fundamental way now, as well. It's as though I re-centered myself in to life from a different perspective, but one that was part of my life from the time of my birth.
It was very much needed!

1-Temple University Children's Hospital-Philadelphia (from the website)
2-heading back to the highway in Staten Island
3-on the ramp to the Verazzano bridge
4-Sheepshead Bay boat
4a-Randazzo's lobster sign (borrowed from their website)
5-ship's wheel in fence, Sheepshead Bay, probably from a long time ago
6-marina as seen from parking garage at Kings Plaza Mall
7-inside parking garage at mall
8-Arch Diner, corner of Ralph Ave and Flatlands Ave.(there's an old photo here, third one down)
9-corner of Foster Ave in Canarsie, at the end of my old street

daily om...

Kateri turned me on to this

They send out horoscope reports as well as other tidbits which are very interesting. Here's today's for Sag...

June 23, 2007
Courageous Emergence
Sagittarius Daily Horoscope
It is likely that you will spend a great deal of time alone today, even if your usual duties involve working cooperatively with others. You may at first find that your experience in solitude is refreshing and relaxing, and this can inspire you to delve deeper into your self-imposed seclusion. However, after a time, you may begin to feel isolated from your peers, and your already established reservations can make reconnecting with family, friends, and colleagues somewhat difficult. If you remind yourself today that these individuals still care for you, you may find that your reintegration into society transpires more smoothly.

While the time we spend in solitude nourishes our minds and souls in a profound way, a lengthy period spent alone can leave us feeling isolated and reserved. Once this transformation takes place, the notion of returning to the society of our peers can be a frightening one. However, when we are courageous enough to overcome our fears, we discover that we are never truly secluded. Each time we willingly isolate ourselves, we can be sure that there are people who are joyously anticipating the moment of our emergence. This knowledge provides us with the courage and the will to reintegrate ourselves into first the company of the people we care about and then the presence of those who exist outside our sphere of influence. You will no longer feel that your time in solitude has isolated you from others today when you choose bravely to re-enter society at large.

Pretty appropriate for today, as I get ready to leave for NY. I do find that when I spend a length of time alone, it gets more difficult to re-integrate into life as I left it, so that is an interesting horoscope for me.

I also 'pulled' a card from Osho's Zen Tarot...

26. Playfulness

The moment you start seeing life as non-serious, a playfulness, all the burden on your heart disappears. All the fear of death, of life, of love - everything disappears. One starts living with a very light weight or almost no weight. So weightless one becomes, one can fly in the open sky.

Zen's greatest contribution is to give you an alternative to the serious man. The serious man has made the world, the serious man has made all the religions. He has created all the philosophies, all the cultures, all the moralities; everything that exists around you is a creation of the serious man. Zen has dropped out of the serious world. It has created a world of its own which is very playful, full of laughter, where even great masters behave like children.

Osho Nansen: The Point of Departure Chapter 8


Life is rarely as serious as we believe it to be, and when we recognize this fact, it responds by giving us more and more opportunities to play.

The woman in this card is celebrating the joy of being alive, like a butterfly that has emerged from its chrysalis into the promise of the light. She reminds us of the time when we were children, discovering seashells on the beach or building castles in the sand without any concern that the waves might come and wash them away in the next moment. She knows that life is a game, and she's playing the part of a clown right now with no sense of embarrassment or pretense.

When the Page of Fire enters your life, it is a sign that you are ready for the fresh and the new. Something wonderful is just on the horizon, and you have just the right quality of playful innocence and clarity to welcome it with open arms.

Copyright © 2007 Osho International Foundation

Good words for anytime, but especially for me today.

ideas and reflections...

A long time ago, I had visions of creating all kinds of wonderful toys out of cedar branches and trunk pieces. My inspiration was a company called Heartwood Arts
whose products I fell in love with, but I couldn't afford to buy all that I would have wanted. Also, I really wanted to be able to create things more than just buy them from someone else, it was part of my mission as a let motherhood be the art education that I had always wanted. Little did I realize that art would be the thing that ended up on the bottom of the list most of time, after shopping, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, etc. At that time, my neighbor was cutting down his Red Cedar broke my heart to see the tree die...and I decided to salvage as much of it as I could and make things with the wood. At least the tree wouldn't have lived in vain ;-). I did manage to make some things with the wood, but a whole lot of it is still sitting on my back porch, waiting for me to do something with it. One thing that I had thought of doing at one point was to make hand-carved wooden beads, and seeing the beads made by Tari in my earlier post sparked that idea for me again. Well, all that cedar might have a use again, and I started cutting some slices from a branch to carve into pendants. You can see the pile above. Two of the slices have been shaped around the edges and sanded a bit for a start. It's an idea...I don't know what will come of it, but I will explore some possibilities with it. The wood is so light, though. I like a bead that has some weight to it, so I'm not sure how I'll like these, but it should be fun. Maybe they'll need a hole at the bottom to dangle something from.

One thing that I most enjoy about bringing my boys to aikido practice, is that in warm weather I can be outside and watching the class practice through the sliding glass doors of the dojo. Here is a photo from Thursday night's 'flyers' class...
The dojo is part of an apartment complex, and many people take walks and stop to watch the goings on. One wonders what they're thinking as they see people rolling around and throwing each other to the mat.

While I was outside I noticed the moon...I managed to get a nice photo...this is the moon of the Summer Solstice...June 21st...

I do much better at photographing the moon when there is still some daylight left in the sky.

I'm expecting to be on my way to Brooklyn tomorrow, for a much needed solo road trip. I wasn't sure how this was going to work out, I thought my sons might want to come as well, but they're not very enthusiastic about the two hour drive right now and it's just as well as I'm realizing I really need this time for myself. I used to enjoy (and need) lots of free time for myself, but that has not been possible these past years of homeschooling and just raising kids. There's a part of me that really needs lots of alone time for exploring and just being, but it's really hard to justify that when there are people who need you, so that's been hard for me to reconcile. I think with this Mercury retrograde in Cancer bringing up lots of old emotions and memories, this fact is becoming very clear to me. We are also starting a period of time where Uranus will be retrograde, and so that emphasizes this time of emotional awareness with a time of changes in consciousness, and I'm definitely experiencing that! You can read more about this here: Kim Marie forecast
Here is part of the forecast for June 23rd...

"Sometimes Uranus can take us by surprise and completely change the landscape. Many times with a little bit of reflection we can recognize the signs were there, and ignored for security reasons. This is the first time (in a long time) that Uranus has started its retrograde cycle during Sun in Cancer. The emotional shakeups may push our security buttons more than usual."

So, hopefully there will be lots of Brooklyn photos soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

mad world...

All this thinking and talking about Brooklyn...and George just brought me two versions of this video to watch, one of which happens to have been filmed in Brooklyn...

Michael Andrews and Gary Jules~Mad World


*This video is simply heartbreaking. Suspended above a schoolbuilding in Brooklyn, the camera views a score of children choreographing simple, child-like pictures on the pavement: a car, a house, a boat! Peering down wistfully from the rooftop is the adult, Gary Jules. He is singing a stripped-bare version of Tears For Fears' Mad World, played to the soft-pedalled, sad tones of Michael Andrews' piano, emanating from behind.*

Here's the other version, the original version by Tears For Fears...interesting contrast to listen to this after the Gary Jules/Michael Andrews slower version.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

of veggies and glass...

I went to Whole Foods Market today, in search of veggies, because they have a banner that says Local Farmer's Market Sunday and Wednesday. I was looking forward to lots and lots of locally grown vegetables, since I'm actually pretty disappointed in what this particular store sells...sorry WFM, but I miss having really fresh organic produce.

So, Mike and I pulled up in the parking lot and saw a few stands over on one side of the lot, and very little green...mostly plants from what I could tell. I didn't really look too closely, because as I was walking past I saw BEADS!! I had to stop for that!

In fact, I had to get Michael some food, go home, get my camera, and hurry back before 7pm and closing time for the Farmer's Market.

I met the most sunshiney, lovely woman, Tari Zarka, who runs an artists' collective and travels all over the country selling beads and art and other good stuff.

I had to slowly take in every single bead before I could find the one that called to me... I just can't take things in quickly, since I realize that it has a lot more to do with energy than visuals, and so I need to wait for that pull that tells me what I want. I saw some really great beads, and then noticed this one that I hadn't seen before, picked it up a couple of times and then found that it wasn't leaving my hand, so I knew it wanted to come home with me.

It was made by Jon Keeling of Southern New Jersey. I couldn't find his work on the website, but here is the site for Aspiring Artists of the Earth
and Harmonyworks Glass
and Tari's own personal site with her wonderful photography, art and poetry. Most amazing to me were these hand-carved wooden beads by Tari. I found them on the AAotE website, not at the stand, though I might have missed them if they were there. I love carved wood and these beads are just what I would love to make if I were to make wooden beads. Tari said something about opening a studio store in her back yard in Dublin, PA, maybe she'll do classes, too, someday, if she ever slows down on her traveling schedule...
Tari also makes glass beads, and if you click on her photo for a close-up you can see her own bead that she's wearing around her neck.

I'm so glad I went there today! I guess I'll still be in search of good veggies, but this was an even better find for me.

The two photos above are of the same bead, taken outside, the colors change in different light. Inside is a swirl of silver, which becomes something entirely different when heated with the glass.

While I was outside photographing this, my cat Tippy came over to join me. I knew he was there without seeing him, because the catbird and wren were having a fit right over my head!...

...and Tippy was sticking quite close to my leg, and waited for an escort back to the safety of my neighbor's covered patio...

and, a little higher up, I managed to get a non-doubled photo of the crescent moon...

AND....I am dedicating this post to Andrew, who has been driving me crazy with his posts of all the wonderful beads and crafts and great events that he's been finding, mostly in Brooklyn where I was born and raised and yet never got to see all the wonderful things that he shows on his blog ;-).

both my boys...

With George's birthday coming up,
I've been putting up some photos of him,
but don't want it to seem like I'm playing favorites ;-).

George has no problems with being in front of the camera, maybe because in his first years he was my captive photographic subject. Michael, though, can't stand to be photographed, so I hesitate to even post what photos I do have of him. I think I can get away with this one, though.

I guess they are about 8 and 4 here, I should remember, right? We had probably just started our years of raising rabbits, and these were their favorites.

Most of these older photos are scanned from the paper prints, so the quality of color, etc. is not the best.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

closer to the present time...

This is one of my favorite photos of George, taken about three years ago. Something seems to come over him when he's holding an animal or playing with a child. His Cancerian nurturing side comes out.

some baby memories...

A photo that I took of George and me...

I had liked the way this one came out that I had taken while I was pregnant with George, and was starting a children's portrait business...

...which means that both these babies are now in their 19th year of life!

I just love the eye contact happening between mom and baby.

More to come, as I am walking down memory lane with this Mercury retrograde in Cancer, but do have to get back to life in the moment...

Ok, just one more of an expectant cousin-in-law and her wondering children...

Summer Solstice Celebration

I have no idea if this is something that I would even want to go to...but I love the idea of an all night music and food extravaganza. This caught my attention while looking through the Philadelphia Weekly newspaper last night.

Actually, deciding to go to something like this involves so many other people. I think if it didn't I would just go to see what it was all about ;-), and I might still do that!

George's birthday is Monday...he'll be 19! and he's quite a homebody with his Cancer Sun. I've been trying to get him to think of somewhere that he'd like to go, maybe back to his birthplace in's been years since we've been there! and I think 19 is a good age for revisiting your birthplace as the moon's nodes return to where they were at your birth around that time. Michael didn't like the idea of the concert...he's still irritated that we went to a Yanni concert a few years ago while there was a monster truck exposition at the stadium next door ;-), though I do think he enjoyed the concert.

I think my Cancer moon pulls me to check in with everyone else, and then my Sagittarius Sun tells me to just take off by myself ;-). Oh, and then my Piscean intuitiveness says, wait and see what the Universe leads you to...(it's a veritable soap opera in there)...and then Libra rising says, hmmm, what are all the other options...

Anyway, check this out, it looks pretty cool.

Click on the photo to go to the website...I didn't even know I could make a photo into a link, but I did ;-).

Summer Solstice Celebration
Saturday, June 23 - Sunday, June 24
3pm - Dawn | All Kimmel Center Venues

Buy tickets online!
$10, adults; $5 children under 12

"Keeping their tough promise to bring the noise, the funk and a slew of musical diversity, the Kimmel Center makes good with the ... Summer Solstice Celebration." (City Paper)

The Summer Solstice Celebration sizzles with an all day and all night musical extravaganza! Family friendly performances are followed by a mix of classical, blues, gospel, R&B, jazz, folk, dance, Latin, world music, and more. Music and events are drawn from the deep resources of the Philadelphia talent pool. In addition to the scheduled performances, visitors can enjoy games, exercises, jugglers, chair massages, face-painting and more!

The Kimmel Center's award-winning caterers Restaurant Associates will have food stations set up throughout the building, including a special barbeque on the Cadence Restaurant terrace featuring Grilled Tuna with Summer Salad and Crab Cake with Mango Salad from 3pm - midnight!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

some random photos...

The crescent moon was so beautiful tonight. This is the best I could do with my camera...

In actuality, the moon was a thin orange crescent, and looked much more elongated than this, which is actually a double image. Up to the left is what I believe is Saturn. In between the two should be Venus, obscured by the trees.

There's a sky map here, and an interesting video showing the phases of Venus, here...

This is Akuma, with his new coat of fur...

From about the shoulder area down is all new. This is mostly the under-fur. The hairs are shorter than the longer ones that he will eventually be covered in, like the ones on his head and neck. He was all skin from his upper chest area on down until I discovered that he was having a reaction to the Ferretone that was supposed to keep his fur shiny and healthy. (You can look back to this post for more details.)

The new fur is so neat looking, especially after the worry that he might have some serious illness.

Here he is from an odd angle... furry!

A cloud from the other day...

....and some Daylilies...

Interesting Daylily info...

"The scientific name for daylily is Hemerocallis, most recently considered to belong in the plant family Hemerocallidaceae. Previously, many older works placed daylilies in the Lily family, Liliaceae. Notice that we prefer to spell the word "daylily" as one word. Many dictionaries spell it as two words. The word Hemerocallis is derived from two Greek words meaning "beauty" and "day," referring to the fact that each flower lasts only one day. "

A flower essence made from these would relate to a healthy sense of self-esteem and trusting your Self. Don't you feel good just looking at them? They look like they're ready to jump into life with open arms. I guess if I were only going to live for one day, I would too ;-). Isn't that the way we start out in life? How wonderful to remember that we can always feel this way!

A little note about flower essences, though it would take a lot more to explain what they do and how they work...every flower, tree, plant correlates to some aspect of our own natures. Imagine, we are not separate from anything in the Universe, it is all us. The healthiest flowers have an energy that we can resonate with and come back into balance by ingesting, or even just sitting with them and absorbing their vibrations. Think of how you feel when you see a beautiful flower, or breathe in it's fragrance...there is an effect that is more than just mental. We are uplifted by their presence and their energy, as much as by their beauty.

A flower essence is made by placing the flowers in pure spring water and allowing the combination to sit in full sunlight for a period of time, usually two hours. The flowers are then removed, while their energetic vibrations have been transferred to the water with the help of the sunlight. What is ingested is the energetic vibrations of the flowers, and taken over a period of time, this can help us to balance our own energies in relation to whatever emotional issue that particular flower embodies.

I hope you all had a great Father's Day, today. I took my sons to the dojo for an Aikido 'intensive' (which is actually where my last post was posted from), so that they could practice for their upcoming test for brown belt (or 2nd kyu), which is the last belt color before black!
(though there are two levels within each color, so this is the first of two brown belt tests)

They've come a long way in two years of weekly practicing. Next month they'll do their test at Villanova Universtity in St. David's PA, at a camp for over 200 people who come from all over the northern part of the east coast, and sometimes even further away than that, to practice with the founder of Kokikai Aikido, Shuji Maruyama, who will be visiting from Japan. This next month they'll be very focused on practicing as testing day looms closer!
Hopefully I'll have some good photos at that time.