Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!  May this upcoming 2010 be filled with deep Peace among all creatures on our most beautiful Earth and may each of us find that which we are seeking.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre

Just go visit this site - it is hilarious and macabre at the same time.  Right up my alley and,  in some ways, reminds me of Gary Larson, my favorite cartoonist.

Thanks to Lynne for the link!

Here in this house...

Here in this house......

I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of the other dogs 'out there'.
I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake my world will not have changed.
I will never know hunger, or the fear of not knowing if I'll eat.
I will not shiver in the cold, or grow weary from the heat.
I will feel the sun's heat, and the rain's coolness,
and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose.
My fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted.

Here in this house...
There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level.
I will be talked to and, even if I don't understand,
I can enjoy the warmth of the words.
I will be given a name so that I may know who I am among many.
My name will be used in joy, and I will love the sound of it!

Here in this house...
I will never be a substitute for anything I am not.
I will never be used to improve peoples' images of themselves.
I will be loved because I am who I am, not someone's idea of who I should be.

I will never suffer for someone's anger, impatience, or stupidity.
I will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by all.
If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to my teacher for blame.

Here in this house...
I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch...
knowing that, no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me.
If I am ill, I will be doctored.
If scared, I will be calmed.
If sad, I will be cheered.
No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and known to be of value.
I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly, or not cute enough.

My life is a responsibility, and not an afterthought.
I will learn that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs.

Here in this house...
I will belong.
I will be home.

(author unknown)


Same goes for Millie!

I took this poem from someone's Flickr site; since the author is "unknown," I felt it was alright to post it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Raindrop on a Leaf

Tiny crystal ball
Rests on green baize surface
Foretells a fierce storm.

We had so much rain last night - flood warnings out until 10 am.  No walk again this morning.  Poor Kylie!  Between the snow and the rain, she has only gone out to relieve herself - no fun romps in the woods!  The Sun is making an appearance as I type, though, so perhaps later on today, we'll be able to get out into the fresh air.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baby foxes

 Photos taken by Roger in Sonoma, California ~ click on images to see the cuteness!

This World

I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it
nothing fancy.
But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is a dark
pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
were singing.
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music
out of their leaves.
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and
beautiful silence
as comes to all of us, in little earfuls, if we’re not too
hurried to hear it.
As for spiders, how the dew hangs in their webs
even if they say nothing, or seem to say nothing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe they sing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe the stars sing too,
and the ants, and the peonies, and the warm stones,
so happy to be where they are, on the beach, instead of being
locked up in gold.

~ Mary Oliver ~


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kissed by a Star

I sat down looking upward
and listening to the stars,
each one glowing bright,
winking secrets in a spectral code,
a language of pure vibration.
One red-pink star said to me:

"Everything is alright.
Follow the directives
of your heart and
for a roadmap use your dreams.
Though at times
you may feel doubt and fear,
you may hide your beauty,
forgot your knowledge,
and question your ability,
know in this moment
as I kiss you with light
sent across a thousand million
galaxies of time,
that you have been
and forever shall be
wise, ancient and brilliant."

~Juliett Jade Chi, 2007, excerpt~
from this week's We'Moon desk calendar page

Photo taken from here.

And from astrologer Kelly Hunter comes this:


The NEW MOON of December16 (7:02am EST, 12:02pm GMT) dazzles with the inspirational fire light of Sagittarius. Venus close by to the Sun-Moon bespeaks the presence of the goddess and her quality of emotional intelligence in this moon cycle that takes us across into the New Year.

This is one of a number of juicy New Moons coming up that have surprisingly energetic patterns involving the most dynamic planets. This New Moon picks up on radical Uranus energy, in a very close square formation that changes things up. Uranus is like a wild card, you never quite know what unexpected impact is likely. This "odd ball" planet rotates on its side with its south pole pointing toward the Sun. It stays in a sign for seven years, presenting us with a revolutionary theme experienced on a global level. Uranus has been in Pisces since 2003-2004. It is one factor contributing to the global sensation of the psychic internet, to the flow of heightened energy that has swept in waves, literally, across our blue planet to awaken our sense that we are all in this together.

A Sagittarian moon stimulates the imagination and intuition, a state enhanced by Uranus in the dream-time sign of Pisces. This Moon offers a great opportunity to envision the New Year and even further out. Like a bolt of lightning, Uranus will shock us into present awareness if we get too spacey. A social revolution is afoot (Pisces rules the feet), and we're all in its flow, whether we are trying to kick upstream or go with the rapid current.

keeps us on track, as we continue into the era of Pluto in Capricorn, necessarily addressing pragmatic choices which face us early in the New Year. Sagittarius is idealistic. As you aim your arrows into the New Year, take a good and serious look at your life before moving too fast forward. In this era we are called to reshape our collective experience in relation to our place in the Cosmos. This New Moon opens a powerful window to create a heart-felt vision of your personal goals to keep you on track when the going gets rough and decisions loom. What action will bring you closer to your goal?

That's a relevant question, as red action planet Mars turns retrograde on December 20, as if celebrating Solstice. Seeming to move backwards through more than half of fire sign Leo, Mars energizes the New Moon and especially Venus. How nice to have the two mythic lovers in rapport at such an interesting moment. Imagine that Mars is stepping back to let Venus dancing gracefully across the threshold of the New Year. So close to the Sun as to be invisible to us, Venus is bathed in the radiance of the Sun.

Retrograde Mars can be frustrated as its energy is turned inward and internalized. It's a time for the "taming of the shrew" for each of us, as we need to step back from our personal agenda to see more clearly our part in the larger drama. Sometimes we have to stroke our little selves like a cat with fur turned up to tame that rampant lion that wants it all to be its own way. May your sense of humor bubble up from a deep well, and may the Great Spirit, the All-That-Is, the God/dess channel through you beyond the parameters your ego would allow.

This New Moon tunes beautifully into the rare Aquarian conjunction of the Big Planet Jupiter, quantum Chiron and mystical Neptune that signals the global dimensions of the change you may be feeling. December 7 featured the exact conjunction of Jupiter and Chiron, with its potential of quantum leap in belief systems. That's part of the existential quality of this timeless moment: what do you believe as what we call reality shimmers around you? So many people are feeling overwhelmed by the roller coaster sensation of daily life these days. A critical shift of consciousness inevitably ripples into the mundane. We are each responsible for our participation and will each reap appropriate results.

The next full moon is a Blue Moon with a partial eclipse on New Year's Eve. More commentary on that next time. May love light your way into the New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Slip of the Tongue

I just watched this video and I found it very powerful.  I have a teenage niece who was adopted by my brother and sister-in-law when she was an infant - she is from Korea and I often wonder if she feels like this young woman.

About-Face - thanks for posting this!  You can find the written poem here.

The Journey

 The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Straight Talk from Fox

Straight Talk From Fox

Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment's miracle. Don't think I haven't
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.

~Mary Oliver~

Photos taken 12-12-09 at the swamp by B. Fontana and used with gratitude.
Click on images to enlarge them. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pastry Chef apprentice




My cousin sent me these pictures in an email - they are just too cute not to blog!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sky Spiral

I received a "Blue Moon" alert from astrologer Melissa Stratton this morning.  In her message, she sent this picture, taken on 9 December in Norway.  Here is what she had to say:

The Blue Moon data is: 12/31, Full Moon in Cancer, at 2:13 pm Eastern Time with a partial Lunar Eclipse at 2:23 pm @ 10* Cancer.

I'll bet if you have strong Cancer influence in your chart you are feeling the affects of this already! And the rest of us will too. I put my general eclipse info below and since this eclipse happens on New Year's Eve, I will certainly be writing more specifically about it in my New Year, January issue, so stay tuned for that.

The second reason for this alert has to do with the "Spiral" part.  Just 2 days ago on 12/9 there was an amazing Blue Spiral in the early morning sky over Norway. My Aquarian Wizard friend George first told me (see the email below) and I attached a pic - it is absolutely amazing!  Apparently now the Russians are saying it was a failed submarine missile launch - see:  LINK.  Naturally UFO buffs will scoff at this explanation and say this is just yet another government cover-up, and most likely the debate about it will continue.

The reason I am brining it up here is not to analyze technically what it is or isn't - but to point out the beautiful symbolism of such an appearance now. The synchronicity of this Blue Spiral, images of which are now spreading across human awareness, is simply a beautiful metaphor pointing in the direction of the Blue Moon Eclipse. Personally I am totally fascinated by it - and if it is indeed a failed missile launch, that too plays into higher metaphysical concepts. Wouldn't it be wonderful if each time war-mongers sent out missiles to kill, they all turned into beautiful light shows in the heavens instead! May it ever be so!!!

Peace and Bright Blessings to you all during this season of LIGHT!

If you follow the link in her email, you'll see some more astonishing photographs taken of the event. This kind of thing simply intrigues me.  It shows me how little we know about the mysteries of being alive on our Earth.  And these mysteries make life so interesting and worth living, don't you think?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Aunt Leaf

Aunt Leaf

Needing one, I invented her -
the great-great-aunt dark as hickory
called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud
or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I'd call into the leaves,
and she'd rise up, like an old log in a pool,
and whisper in a language only the two of us knew
the word that meant follow,

and we'd travel
cheerful as birds
out of the dusty town and into the trees
where she would change us both into something quicker -
two foxes with black feet,
two snakes green as ribbons,
two shimmering fish - and all day we'd travel.

At day's end she'd leave me back at my own door
with the rest of my family,
who were kind, but solid as wood
and rarely wandered. While she,
old twist of feathers and birch bark,
would walk in circles wide as rain and then
float back

scattering the rags of twilight
on fluttering moth wings;

or she'd slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;

or she'd hang in the milky moonlight
burning like a medallion,

this bone dream, this friend I had to have,
this old woman made out of leaves.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas cactus

After the grey day yesterday with rain and snow, it is so nice to see the Sun again!  And it lighted up the Christmas cactus so beautifully.


 I love these plants - they are easy to grow and their flowers are so delicate with gorgeous coloring.  This one has been here since I came back in 2003.  I'm amazed that it's still alive what with the soil being compacted in its worn out clay container.  I keep saying I'll transplant it, but have never gotten around to it.  It's very forgiving, though, and blooms in November or December.


I went looking for a poem about Christmas cactii and actually found one!  The author noted that she has had to rename her Christmas cactus several times - from Thanksgiving, to Christmas to St. Patrick's Day cactus - because the plant has a calendar all its own.  Heh!  That's a goal of mine - to make and live according to my own calendar!

The Christmas Cactus

All during the Christmas rush
I waited for the thing to come alive.
Eyed it while I gift wrapped scarves,
By New Year's
I vowed to be happy
living with just stems.
Then one day in February-
the worst month of the year,
making up in misery what it lacks in length-
the blooms shot out,
three ragged cirise bells that rang
their tardy Hallelujahs on the sill.
Late bloomers,
like the girls that shine
and shine at long last
at the spring dance
from their corner of the gym.

~Liz Rosenberg~

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe - Tonantzin

I have been over to Rebecca's site and made a few comments about her work (worth a peek).  Her most current image, that of a tattooed arm with an image of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe  prompted a comment from me about this image being widely seen in California, how my Auntie Anne, a devout Catholic, was delighted that I was born on the feast day of La Senora - which jogged my memory about Tonantzin, "our dear Mother," Aztec Goddess and that reminded me of this fabulous mosaic mural in San Francisco.

This mosaic is stunning.  It was created by Colette Crutcher, who I read is part of Coro Hispano de San Francisco, a choral group specializing in antique music and instruments from Mexico, Spain and other Spanish speaking countries.  I had the privilege of seeing a couple of their concerts when I lived in the Bay Area - very wonderful.

So this post is really a nostalgic trip down memory lane, making me more than a little homesick for a place I lived for 30 years.  I think I'll have to cook up some Mexican comfort food, another thing I miss terribly.   There simply is no restaurant in NJ where I have found authentic Mexican food.  At least one can find corn tortillas now - when I was back  here in 1976, corn tortillas could only be found in a CAN - in NYC!  What a shock that was for me!

The images of Tonantzin are from here and here.  Colette's website with this image can be found here and Coro Hispano's website can be found here.  If you have any interest at all in Mexican art and culture, these sites are worth exploring.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wise words from 4 year old Sophie

I was over at Lyon's place earlier reading her post about "the dreaded scale."  Just a few minutes ago, I found this video at About-Face, another site I like to read.  The article that accompanies the video is worth the read - but the video is a must view in my opinion. 

I once worked at Whole Foods for a few years after being downsized from the corporate world.  I worked in the body care department and I used to spout the same message - you are unique, flaunt it!  Sophie's delivery is much more entertaining, though! 

So, Lyon - continue working on the healthy part and toss out that scale when you can!!  (PS - happy early birthday!)

Visual Perfume

I love fragrances.  They are intoxicating at times and sublime at other times.  I'm not talking about the synthetic fragrances - you know, the scent that immediately bombards you when you walk into Macy's or some other big department store.  Yuk.  That stuff gives me a headache.  I'm talking about natural perfumes made from essential oils.

Christopher McMahon has a great site about fragrances.  He is very knowledgeable and extremely generous in sharing recipes.  In his newsletter today, he shared a recipe for potpourri - or visual perfumes, as he calls them.  The recipe sounds heavenly and I'm posting it here, along with a portion from the newsletter.

One of the simple pleasures, bringing warmth and sweetness to the home environment in which one lives, can be achieved through the creation of visual perfumes. There are many aromatic botanicals which have been used and are used now in the form of incense and perfumes to sharpen ones focus on inner life. Frankincense and myrrh are in Western culture renowned for there role in sacred tradition. Other botanicals were used in preparing festive meals or because they were special treats that one might only enjoy at that season of the year. Many spices with their aromatic aromas and citrus fruits, which were once rare holiday treats for many people fall in this category. People in many countries have also enjoyed bringing into their homes scented green coniferous foliage to decorate with the homes in various ways. There is a vast fragrant wealth to draw upon if one wishes to pursue this lovely creative work.

Another dimension of creating a visual perfume for the holiday season is that one may start collecting and drying various botanicals for it during any season of the year when they are available. In almost every environment there are some types of mosses berries, cones, flowers, etc that can be harvested for making ones aromatic creation later on in the year. It can be a family affair and a great nature education for ones children and oneself as well. There are many elegant shapes, forms and colors as well as scents of plants to be found in mountains, meadows, forests etc, many of which can be dried. It can become a wonderful exercise in observation of the world around one and children, with their natural sense of wonder alive and active, can often discover things which one might never have considered from the angle of visual perfume creation. In fact one may include beautiful stones, shells, and other precious gifts from nature in their creations. In that way the visual perfume can also tell a story of personal discovery.

For the holiday season we have created Winter Radiance Visual Perfume using various botanicals to create a gold, brown, red and green theme and blending into essential oils and spices with a resinous, spicy, citrus scent.

 Natural Botanicals:

1 lb frankincense tears
1 lb star anise
1 lb dried orange peel
2 lbs corn cob grains(for the fixative)
8 ounces green cedar tips
1 lb red lichii berries
8 ounces birch pine cones
4 ounce grey oak moss

Essence blend:

2 ounces Sweet Orange eo
1 1/2 ounces Frankincense Cedarwood Absolute
1/2 ounce Fir Balsam Absolute
1/4 ounce Star Anise eo
1/8 ounce Cinnamon bark eo
1 ounce Pine Needle Absolute
1/2 ounce Templin(Fir Cone) eo