Sunday, September 30, 2007

maps and everything...

Early this morning, Carter left me a nice comment for my singular photo in the last post. It's tempting to just quit while I'm ahead ;-)...but I don't think that was his intention, and I've got too much to show and say to stop here goes with the 'more to come' part of our beach adventure.

We had been wanting to take a trip to the Jersey shore all summer, and had planned to go to Cape May last weekend, but our plans were changed by several factors, including the fact that I just didn't feel up to the drive. So, George started making tentative plans again for this weekend, and somehow it all came together very nicely and we made our beach trip.

We picked up Cathy and Claire at the aikido dojo just after 12 noon, and after some very appreciated well-wishes and a pit-stop at the supermarket, we headed off to route 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) through Philadelphia to get on to the Walt Whitman Bridge into NJ and on to Cape May.

Here's a bit of our driving route. I actually couldn't tell you the roads that we took getting into Cape May, as I lost my way in getting to the main highway, but being in no hurry, and knowing that driving south had to take us into Cape May eventually, I just kept going. Except for one little stop at a Wawa to get some snacks and a map and find out where we were, which I think was Burleigh at that point in time, which is right between the words Cape May Courthouse and Wildwood at the bottom of this little bit of map above.

This next map shows the places we visited in dark'll need to click on it to make it big enough to read...

This is the very end of New Jersey...I love this has just about everything you might want if you're into natural sites and beaches...there are bird observatories, historical Victorian houses, a lighthouse, dolphin sighting cruises, and more. Just walking around the city is fun. I think my favorite beach is the one we didn't get to, which is right at Cape May Point. Maybe next time I'll head straight there, although we thoroughly enjoyed the places we did see.

Our first stop was to the beach at Beach Ave. near to Ocean St. This was actually Cathy's very first ever trip to the ocean, which made it that much more special for us and we got to enjoy her reactions to sand and waves. It's always so neat to experience something that you've done before through the eyes of someone who never has. Imagine the feel of shifting sand beneath your feet, when you've only ever felt solid ground! And maybe you're reading this and have not had the joy of that experience either!...something to look forward to one day, maybe. I was waiting to see Cathy's reaction to the water, and hadn't even realized that the sand would take her attention so completely!

We all enjoyed the warm water...(a little cold at first, but once we got used to it it started to feel like bath-water, after its having been warmed by the sun all summer), and finding little treasures of shells and stones.

This collection is just the treasures collected from the first beach.

Well, it's taking me all day to get this much uploaded and written! I've been doing this in between some other things, and just a floaty feeling left over from a day at the ocean...and still feeling like I could use another visit...(or a month or two there!).

I'll have to finish the rest another day, but want to put up a few of my favorite photos taken at this beach...

...could be the beginning of a great adventure story here!

There's actually a flock of gulls at the horizon line in this next on it to make it bigger.

... I love how Cathy looks here....

...and, last for today, this one from home...the perfect ending to a perfect weekend...

This is George and Carter toasting marshmallows to perfection in the fire pit that Michael and I made.

Yet still more to come, from Sunset Beach and a little bit of Cape May itself.

just one photo...

...from our great day in Cape May, N.J.!

Lots of driving for me, so I'm quite tired now. Just wanted to share a glimpse of our day.More to come...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

harvest moon...

This photo amazes me....I didn't even realize how clear it was until I uploaded it onto my computer. So, for once, I have a nice, almost sharp photo of the full moon. It's been quite a day for me...lots of insights and clearing out of old ways of being that have pulled me down for so long. While some people are dreading full moons, I am one of those strange people who look forward to them!

Here's one more...less clear, but colorful...

For the past few years, our garden has been cultivated less and less. This year, it's quite full of grasses and wildness, including some goldenrod flowers that I don't think I've ever seen in our garden. Of course, they've never had a chance to take root before. I've been watching them, lately. I'm wanting to make a flower essence out of them, as it is one of the projects that I need to do for the flower essence correspondence course that I am taking, and I don't think the opportunities to find flowers in bloom are going to getting any better than they are now. It's an interesting flower, the leaves are quite spiky, and the flowers seem to be pointing something out. There was a strong breeze yesterday, and I watched the entire stalk almost bend over backward, and yet the flowers seemed to hold their orientation and went right back to where they had been as if nothing had happened, when the breeze stopped pushing on them. The flower essence made from these flowers has a connection to speaking your truth...with that in mind, I can see how the flower itself holds to it's own way of being, regardless of the pressures put on it.

Goldenrod tends to be confused with Ragweed, and with causing much suffering to those with allergies. In fact, that is what I was taught, and I only just found out otherwise from Wikipedia! If you click on the flower names, you can go to Wiki and see more about them.

We've been having deer visiting the backyards just about every day lately. No photos, I'm afraid I'll scare them away if I try to get close enough, but today I saw a mother and her young one about two backyards over from ours. I walked to the back of my yard and she looked at me and started to walk closer. At the same time, the little one was jumping and bolting away a bit. At one point mom licked the baby's was so sweet to watch, and then they walked off to go back over the train tracks to the woods. I followed a bit, mom kept stopping to look at me, but the little one took off and then the mom followed. I ended up taking a little walk in the back as well. I'm glad I did. I've been wanting to for awhile, but there always seems to be something else that needs taking care of. This time, I let myself be guided without even realizing that it was happening!

p.s. here's a link to an article by Robert Wilkinson on the effects of this full moon.

Monday, September 24, 2007


A little of both, actually...
I've been teaching myself to solder glass sandwiches together...sounds yummy, but it's just pretty (and messy).
I originally learned how to solder while in tech training in the Air Force, so I thought it would be a piece of cake, now. Well, the benefit, at least, was that I knew I had done it before, so I had no fear of wielding this hot (900 degrees!) tool and using it to melt silver...but soldering little contacts on a circuit board is not quite the same as this. I think I've managed to do just about everything wrong that could be done wrong...which is a good thing, because now I know what to do to get it right!

I followed some instructions that I found online, as well as some of what there is to be found in Sally Jean Alexander's book, Pretty Little Things. It is a beautiful book, with lots of fun projects, but it's very short on soldering instruction...nothing more than some tips, with the assumption that the reader already has learned the basics of soldering. Then, I wore my first project in to the Aikido dojo and, after asking about soldering, was given a very thorough lesson by Randy, an instructor who also teaches in college. That helped tremendously, as did going back to the book Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories by Lisa Bluhm, which is very thorough in teaching soldering techniques.

Here is a photo of my first attempt at soldering.....
The pendant is 1 1/2 inches square. This is actually much less messy than my second attempt, as I learned that I was only 'tinning' with the solder....painting a thin layer on the copper tape that holds the pieces together, and what I want to do is have a rounded layer of solder on all sides of the tape. This takes a bit of practice, as well as getting the right temperature on the soldering iron in order to have the solder melt, I need a bit of work on this part of the process.

Here is a sad, blurry photo of the back of attempt number 2...

Quite messy...but I do love the little dried leaf...and I am quite thrilled with both of these as I feel that I am making progress and they really are very sweet in person.
I'm not quite ready to show the front..that has a photo that Kateri let me use from her blog, and I want that to look really good when I post it!

The possibilities are endless....just about any little flat piece of art can be sandwiched between glass pieces and soldered together, and I have lots of ideas! (and lots of patience for my messy attempts!)

On another subject...this is where I was just before midnight tonight....

Not even my wildest dreams of raising kids included video games, in fact, my wilder dreams had us all out in the wilderness with no form of electricity...but here we are at the midnight release of Halo 3! At least, here's a photo of the guy in front of me and Michael, along with the 80 to 100 people who were in front of him. The first people to go in the store at midnight had waited on line for three hours. We got there at 11:50 pm, and only had to wait about 45 minutes, then got to see some of our friends who work there...yes, another thing I never would have dreamed of, having been so much a regular to the store a few years ago, that they not only know us by name, but miss us when we don't show up for a long time! John, the manager, who also owns an internet gaming cafe nearby (though the website is unavailable right now or I'd post it), told us to check the disc for scratches, since he'd learned over the internet that there was a problem with the version that we got, where the disc was loose inside the case and could be scratched from moving around in there. We checked it in the car, and I ended up having to take it back in to the store for a replacement. I wonder how many people will be doing the same tomorrow.

One more photo...of what a ferret does after I've thoroughly cleaned the cage that they were using as a litter box...added several more litter boxes....and guess who doesn't really get it about what litter boxes are for?

Ferrets also were not included in those wilder parenting dreams of mine ;-)...but what did I know, anyway?

Friday, September 21, 2007

free speech and access to news...

While I do not feel comfortable with putting news stories on my blog (you can find that information without my help ;-)), I have decided to post a few sources of information that are not as well known as the more mainstream news sources.

Recently, Pres. Bush passed a resolution condemning out against our rights to free speech! An article on that is here.

So here are some organizations that promote free speech and access to the news that you may not be able to see anywhere else: (the info is from their about us pages on their websites)

The MoveOn family of organizations brings real Americans back into the political process. With over 3.3 million members across America – from carpenters to stay-at-home moms to business leaders – we work together to realize the progressive promise of our country. MoveOn is a service – a way for busy but concerned citizens to find their political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media.

Truthout is a full-service news agency dedicated to establishing a powerful, stable voice for independent journalism. The core of our mission is educational, as we believe the biggest impediment to responsible decision-making is a lack of information. We provide citizens with reader-supported news instead of advertiser-supported news. Our direction is one of social progress, as we attempt to shed light on issues of vital interest to the community such as health care, the environment, international relations and human rights.


It's been said that dreams are our roadmaps to the future. If so, where are we headed? Common Dreams is a national non-profit citizens' organization working to bring progressive Americans together to promote progressive visions for America's future. We are committed to being on the cutting-edge of using the internet as a political organizing tool - and creating new models for internet activism.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

blog play...

Three posts in one day!...when I've been so quiet for a little while...

I was just watching a few of the photos going by on Blogger Play and grabbed a few interesting blogs that went past. It's a good thing you can pause the stream and go back.

This one is mainly photos from Estonia...good, because I can't read the language anyway...Emanative Blogspot

and incredible, earthy sculptures from, I think, father and son in the medical field in Paranagu√°, Brazil...Canfield's Art.


the energy of the abstract...

I've been reading blog posts written by people who have had recent birthdays this month. Many talk about their inclination towards thinking, while they are also very artistic souls. Since I automatically wonder what these qualities might relate to in a particular person's astrological chart, I start thinking along those lines as I am reading. I tend not to comment about this, as I don't know how open people are to astrology, and certainly I wonder how receptive any one person will be to some stranger coming along and telling them something about themselves, when, truly, I don't really know these people well enough to say anything about them. This inspired me though, to writing this post, as it is very timely with the Virgo energies that we are immersed in at this time of year, as well as with people's wonderings about their own thought processes. So, although it was inspired by reading about particular people's lives and experiences, it is also very general with information that everyone can relate to.

The Human Design System takes the positions of the planets at the time that a person is born, as well as those same planets at a time that is about 3 months before birth and places them into a graph that shows how our energies flow through us. In addition, the Multidimensional Human Design System uses additional times based on both the sun's path and the moon's that show us even deeper levels of ourselves. All of these use the ancient Chinese system of the I Ching to detail what happens within ourselves. The accuracy is absolutely amazing! Yes, it can be very hard to understand and make sense of, all those numbers and graphs...but put into understandable words, the information that can be found there is incredible.

I want to write a little about the abstract, artistic process within all of us. The HD body graph can be divided into different 'circuits' that roughly compare to our understanding of right brain/left brain. Right brain would be comparable to the abstract/emotional circuit, left brain to the logic/pattern recognition circuit. There are a few is 'individual' which is uniquely our own, while the others are easily shared and understood by other people...this one is quite quirky and unique and very valuable in that it can bring to the world what only you can bring. The other two are related to communities....tribal and defense...and are all about what it takes to keep our communities and families together and functioning and surviving. These two do not go through the mental system...they are instinctual and emotional. These are aspects of being human that we all have, yet we are each configured in very unique and special ways depending on the energies that we were born with, as well as what we do with them throughout our lives.

The funny thing is that, a small amount of all of these planetary energies, or activations, are in the head...most of these energies are bodily..intuition, emotion, gut reaction, heart power, etc...and yet, our minds tend to take over most of our energies! The best way to counteract that is to get more into our bodies and emotions...sometimes so difficult if there are bad memories, hurts and disappointments...we'd rather rise above it all and stay in our heads...but then we feel the negative effects of all that thinking and get stuck there.

So, I will start with the head this is where we all seem to have so much trouble. There are three streams of mental energy that the Human Design System describes...whether or not there is more, as I'm sure there is so much more that we can't put down on paper, is outside the realm of what I can describe here. So, just know that I'm not saying that this is all there is to our minds, just that this is what can easily be seen and described through this system.

The Head Center is where all kinds of inspiration streams into our heads. There are three activations possible here...gate 64.. (and all relate to the I Ching hexagrams of the same number) which is the abstract/emotional kind of inspiration; gate 61, which brings the individual, quirky stuff and gate 63 which brings logic in the form of questions and doubts. All these are mental pressures that cause us to want to make sense out of things and find, respectively, clarity and ideas; rationalization and explanation; and answers and opinions.

Starting with gate 64 and our emotional we get all sorts of mental imagery...abstract, emotional bits and pieces of memories that we may not understand at the time where they are all coming from. This can fill our heads with all sorts of pictures that bring us all sorts of emotions that we feel pressured (internally) to understand. It may not feel like 'pressure'...I'm not sure if that's the best word, since we just tend to feel like we have a need to know what all this means, we may relate pressure to outside forces, but this is just our own internal process that causes us to want to know. Gate 64 meets gate 47 in the Ajna Center or the mind....this is where we process all of this 'data' and try to figure it those grey cells of the brain....

Gate 47 relates to 'clarity' finding the light in all the darkness of these confusing images and emotions.....the key to gate 47, though, is that we cannot just 'pull' clarity out of all of this mental has to come to us....we can make ourselves nuts trying to do that...trying to force some kind of sense out of all that goes through our heads. Hexagram 47 is called Oppression/Exhaustion! Better, then, to go out into nature, take a walk, make some art, make music, whatever it is that brings you a sense of peace and fulfillment...and just allow your mind to rest....the clarity will come in time, it cannot be forced..and really this is what we try to do when we are overthinking things. It's not that we shouldn't think...I'm very big on thinking ;-)...but I do get myself into very stuck places because of it....then it's time to let go...let the Universe bring clarity in its own timing.

From about the 10th of September to about the 15th, the Sun has been in this hexagram of clarity....bringing us the possibility of understanding things that we might not normally be able to see and understand. The Sun returns to this place once a year, and anyone born during this time frame, though it may start a day earlier or later and end a day earlier or later in different years, carries this energy of gate 47....of trying to make sense out of all these is important to know this, and to know that clarity comes when you are most relaxed and not looking for it. Also, opposite to this gate is gate 22...Openness...openness to other people, to emotions, to feelings....there is a bit of a key here as well....since whenever gate 47 is activated, gate 22 is also there in some way through where we stand on the earth...i.e. when the Sun is in one place..the earth is in the opposite place in the Universe....if you lie down on the ground and look up at the Sun (though not directly ;-)) you are actually lying in the forces of the opposite gate and pulling in the sun's energy through the earth's energy...there's always both.

The moon also activates this gate regularly, once a month for a few hours, as will each of the planets in their own timing through their there is always some of this energy around us, either through the planets, or through those people that we come into contact with in our daily lives. One wonderful suggestion that I was given through a teacher of this system was to take a walk through a public place such as a absorb the energies of all those people who are there, pick up on the gifts of their energies and can find the clarity or other energies that you may be needing yourself...and of course, you bring your own energies to them!

Both gate 64 and gate 47 are Virgo energies. Gate 64 was activated by the Sun during the approximately 6 days before the 10th. The Virgo gate activated right now (hexagram 6) brings more of an emotional focus. If you'd like a description of the weekly energies that takes all the layers of design into account, you can visit my friend Eleanor's work here, and register to read her weekly commentaries.

If I can, I may cover the other two mental streams of gates 61/24 and gates 63/4 at some future time.

blogger play...

This is quite addictive. Here's some info from Blogger:

Shortly after Blogger launched photo uploading two years ago, one of our engineers whipped up a web page that would show us the pictures that were being uploaded in real time. The result was fun, often beautiful, but above all, compelling. We couldn’t stop watching.

Over the years we’ve kept this photo scroller as part of the Blogger offices, on a monitor or projector, as an interesting (distracting?) slideshow, and a reminder of the diversity and vivaciousness of Blogger blogs. The fame of the scroller spread within Google, until one day we were asked, “so, when are you launching this?”

“Um...,” we replied. But we knew a good idea when we heard one. We got our UI people to come up with buttons and fadey effects and we got our engineers to make the whole thing fast and robust. A bit of work later, and now we can share it with all of you.

Blogger Play is a real-time slideshow of photos Blogger users have recently uploaded to their blogs. It's a great snapshot of what people are thinking and posting about, right now!

Blogger Play will show you a never-ending stream of images that were just uploaded to public Blogger blogs. You can click the image to be taken directly to the blog post it was uploaded to, or click “show info” to see an overlay with the post title, a snippet of the body, and some profile information about the blogger who uploaded it. We also wrote a Blogger Play FAQ with more information.

We are doing our absolute best to ensure that Blogger Play does not display inappropriate images. Blogger Play uses Google SafeSearch algorithms to filter out adult images; however, it is still possible that you may be exposed to such images while watching Blogger Play.

Click on the link above to Blogger Play.
Be can watch for a long time and still want to see more!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Artwork from my son, Michael...he drew this some months ago, and we scanned it a little while back...I just found it on his DA account ;-). He was inspired by the incredibly detailed work that Cathy does when she draws, so on this, all the little scales were painstakingly hand-drawn by him. When he was little he once looked at the new vacuum cleaner that we had gotten. It had all kinds of attachments in different colors on the back of it. He took a multicolored pack of clay and recreated the vacuum cleaner with each part attached in its respective color...I think he was about 4 or 5 years old! He doesn't draw much...gets frustrated with it when it doesn't come out the way he envisions it, but when he does he's very dedicated to the process.
If you click on the picture, it will take you to his Deviant Art page, then you can click again, and you'll see it large with all the details very clear.

Aurora by ~Blaze13 on deviantART

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the work...

A friend introduced me to The Work of Byron Katie about 7 years ago. I didn't take to it right away, but I did resonate with the idea behind it, it made sense to me, though I felt that I had my own way of processing inner conflicts. I keep coming back to these videos now, though. I love to see 'Katie' in action, helping people work through painful mental concepts that keep them in their own inner prisons. I love to watch people have realizations and find relief from their pain through doing 'the work'. This is a video that I especially like, I think it gives a very easy introduction to how Katie does what she does with people, and how much less painful life can be with just a little shift in consciousness.

The Work in Prison

There is much information, worksheets, etc. at Katie's website The Work of Byron Katie
more videos on her blog, and on YouTube.

Here is some information on how the process works...more of this can be found at the website...

In its most basic form, The Work consists of four questions and a turnaround. For example, the first thought that you might question on the above Worksheet (see website) is "Paul doesn't listen to me." Find someone in your life about whom you have had that thought, and let's do The Work. "[Name] doesn't listen to me":

The Blue Sheet
A Facilitation Guide for The Work

The following is a way to question what you believe to be true. The sub-questions are training wheels for people new to The Work and may be helpful for a while.

1. Is it true?

- Close your eyes, be still, go deeply as you contemplate your answer.

If your answer is no, continue to Question 3.

2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?

- Can you know more than God/reality?

- Can you really know what's best in the long run for his/her/your own path?

- Can you absolutely know that you would be happier if you got what you wanted?

3. How do you react when you believe that thought?

- - How does it feel when you believe that thought. Be still. Notice what happens.

- Does this thought bring peace or stress into your life?

- Where does the feeling hit your body when you believe that thought? How far does the feeling travel? Describe it.

- What images do you see when you believe that thought? Watch, be still, notice.

- When did that thought first occur to you? How old were you? What was happening at the time? Whose thought was it originally?

- How do you treat others when you believe that thought? How do you treat yourself? What do you say to them? What do you do? Whom does your mind attack and how? Be specific.

- How do you treat yourself when you believe that thought? Do you addictively reach for food, alcohol, credit cards, the TV remote? Do thoughts of self-hatred occur? If so, what are they? List them, and investigate them later.

- Can you find a peaceful reason to keep that thought?

- What terrible thing do you assume would happen if you didn't believe that thought? Write down the terrible thought, and turn it around to the opposite and test it for yourself. Would the opposite possibly be as true or truer?

4. Who would you be without the thought?

- Close your eyes and imagine your past without that thought.

- Imagine you are meeting this person for the very first time with no story. What do you see?

- What are you without that thought?

- What are you without a story?

After you've investigated your statement with the four questions, you're ready to turn it around.

Each turnaround is an opportunity to experience the opposite of your original statement and see what you and the person you've judged have in common.

The turnarounds are your prescription for happiness. Live the medicine you have been prescribing for others. The world is waiting for just one person to live it. You're the one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

new moon today...

It is interesting that the concepts of doubt and faith have been brought to my attention today. I have been spending some time reflecting, not feeling the desire to accomplish anything at the moment, and I am realizing that this is the effect of today's new moon. New moons do bring a time of reflecting, and this one in particular has the energy of 'clarity'. The Sun and Moon today are in a position in the zodiac that shows us the way to clarity, if we just allow that clarity to come to us without our trying to grasp at it or look for a particular answer. Try it today...keep yourself open to whatever may come into your mind without expectations of what that should look like.

Here are some of Carol K. Anthony's words on this hexagram (47...Oppression (Exhaustion))...

"We need to realize that we cannot judge matters by their appearances, for the way of the Cosmos is zigzag and subtle. It achieves change by remaining out of sight and beyond the interfering reach of our egoistic expectations and manipulations. It is able to benefit everyone and everything in the situation if we will but invoke its corrective action. We need only be patient and not shut the creative process down through doubting it. (To watch for results, for instance, is to doubt it.) We need to discern that, although all by ourselves we lack the means, the help of the Higher Power is not out of our reach."

"A neutral, open mind, through invoking the titanic creative powers of the Cosmos, is capable of 'moving mountains,' while holding onto a doubt 'as small as a mustard seed' can prevent all progress."

*These words come from "A Guide to the I Ching."

Monday, September 10, 2007

wissahickon creek part 1...

We took a ride today to Wissahickon Creek Park, which is the upper part of Fairmont Park, which runs through Philadelphia. It is about 15 minutes away from home for us, and feels like it could be miles away from any city.
We parked the car near the Valley Green Inn, in the parking lot that is next to this historic restaurant, "Philadelphia's last remaining roadhouse." People come to feed the ducks and geese, so they were abundant...

Over a bridge and across some wooden bridges, we walked to the other side of the creek and started down and then up the trail...

Most of the trail that we walked on is incredibly rocky. This is just some of the smaller rocks. I may be able to put up a photo of some larger ones when I get to that part of the walk.
Here, one can find mica schist that has garnets embedded in it, and even the little garnets that weather out of the larger stone.

Here we had walked down to the creek to enjoy the water, before heading up the trail to higher elevations.

Here you can see how rocky some of the trail can be...

More to come...blogger is going to have an I will post this for now...uploading photos takes a bit of time and I might run out of it before the service becomes unavailable.

wissahickon creek part 2...

Look at this great rock! I believe it is serpentine...though it's been awhile since I've looked at a geology book, so I could be wrong.
*(Yes, I was wrong...I'll update on it later if I's a combo of two types of rocks in layers.)

I researched this area a few years ago, there are some wonderful formations here because the rock was pushed up from the earth and shows all these layers and folds.

Heading up the trail again.. .they did a lot of stopping and waiting for me, as I stopped for photographs and to pick up rocks.

Here the trail divided, and I wasn't sure which way they had gone...until I found them sitting on this rock outcropping....
The rocks that they are on were full of garnets, and George used his famous pocket knife to get a few out...followed by Michael as well...

Here's a close-up of the rock full of garnets, as well as staurolite, which has a cross shape and is usually larger than the garnets...

We made our way back down the trail as the light started to fade....this is the Valley Green Inn at dusk, taken from the bridge above it...

Here's an earlier photo of the bridge...

and the 'spoils' of the day....

The tiny stones at the bottom are mostly garnets...I think the striped stone to the right is serpentine *(not...probably the same as above)...and the shiny stones are mica schist. There are others, unidentified by me at the moment. I was surprised by the colors...some of these are a very shiny reddish gold, very pretty.

Time for me to find some of the books that I had borrowed from the library before. There were some old geology books that showed where caves could be found..something to do for the next trip!

P.S. Had to reload most of these photos...blogger somehow just dropped them all off into cyberspace!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Just an interesting sight that I found as I took a walk around the apartment complex where the aikido dojo is yesterday morning.

This is the 'before' can click on this to see it full screen.

The two pigeons had been perched on the balcony railing above, and came down...maybe the people with the cats also leave out seeds for the birds?...or could they be waiting for leftovers?

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I'd been wanting to see the movie Once for a little while. I thought I had missed it when I saw that it was no longer playing at the Ambler Theater and was only in two theatres in and around Philadelphia. Then I found it again at the Hiway Theatre in Jenkintown, PA, less than 10 minutes from my house.

I went to see it tonight. It was my first time ever in the Hiway Theatre, and it was a very enjoyable experience. The Hiway is an historic old theatre that is undergoing renovations. There is one single room for multiplexes here! I went to the 10:10 PM showing, and shared the theatre with about 20 other people, scattered throughout the middle of the room.

I enjoyed the movie. It started quite slowly and meanderingly, the sound and imagery were somewhat gritty and earthy, kind of like a good quality home movie, and I felt as though I had been invited to share a part of the character's lives for a short time. The funny thing is, I can't say that it was wonderful or had a great story or even fantastic music...but all together it made a good story and a pleasant experience. I walked out of the theatre feeling more like myself in some ways...having not been bombarded with special effects, the experience was very grounding and intimate. I'm glad that I went, instead of waiting for the dvd. It was fun to drive back home and feel as though I had just gone around the corner to visit a friend.

Here's a live performance of Falling Slowly...

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

Friday, September 7, 2007

george's cast update...

George and I visited the orthopedist today to follow-up on the broken bone in his wrist. He had gotten so terribly frustrated with having a cast on, that he used his pocket saw blade and cut it off, just over a week ago. This took two hours of dedicated work on his part...not an easy task.

I have used natural remedies for my family ever since George was a's been a normal part of his life to be conscious of his body's natural rhythms and needs. His frustration with his cast was partly, if not mostly, because he felt that the healing process was being impeded by the immobilization of his wrist. It's an interesting situation, since, commonly, the general procedure for any kind of broken bone, when possible, is to immobilize it. However, this particular bone, the scaphoid, does not get a good blood supply, and so the healing process takes longer than usual. George's body was telling him that his arm needed freedom to move in order to heal. Now, what will bring more blood supply to a part of the body, immobilizing it, or moving it? I know, you don't want the bone to shift or get re-injured, but still, the circulation's role in healing has to be taken into consideration as well. So, I don't have answers, but I could see even more clearly today that George's reasons for taking off the cast had a good basis in his knowledge of his body and in the healing process.

I expected some degree of displeasure from the doctor today, but he took the whole thing in stride. Probably he gets lots of calls from people who just can't stand to keep a cast on, and maybe even people who come back in without the cast that they left the office with. On top of that, as a specialist, there really is not much time in these doctors' schedules to hang around and discuss how a patient feels...medicine has definitely become impersonal. It does become more and more necessary for the patient to be aware and be an advocate for their own healing...which is as it should be...leaving the healing to the doctor is just not advantageous to anyone. It is the body that does the healing, the physician can only be a guide and a helper, hopefully providing information as well, but they don't seem to have time for being very thorough in that department.

The arm was x-rayed and the bone looks good. It is healing, but there is still a visible line of fracture...probably because this type of fracture takes eight weeks instead of four to heal. The doctor expected this, and was pleased with the progress of the healing. George was given an arm brace to immobilize the arm again for another four is off as well, though he plans to use it when he feels that it is necessary, where he might be in a situation that could cause an injury if he's not extra careful.

I've dedicated much of the past 19 years to being a teacher and guide to my children, and I find that they teach me much more than I ever could have learned on my own. Their experiences and ways of handling life have been quite an education for me. Of course, I have taught them much as well...but I have been well blessed by their presences in my life these past years!

The photos are from a few years ago, rock climbing in Wissahickon Creek Park, in Pennsylvania, and, below, some kyanite collected from a creek just south of Philadelphia at around the same time. It's getting to that time of year again, when rock climbing and exploring feel like a good thing to do...I guess there is some relation here to broken arms and casts...hopefully being the idea of avoiding them ;-) The focus on the mineral aspect is also a good one...bones...healing...kyanite, which has a beneficial effect on the throat...but also removes energy blockages and stimulates vital energy. Plus, I just wanted to have some photos here along with my words...and these were fun for me to re-visit ;-).
Oh...and we found out today that George is double-jointed! I know that Michael can bend his fingers into the strangest positions, but George doesn't, he just has some unusual looking this was an interesting explanation for something that I never understood before...there's always something new to learn ;-).