Ratatouille

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Image by Sergei Belozerov from Pixabay

Whether it be a delicious French country dish made from harvesting late summer vegetables, or the animated film centered around a rodent gourmand who dazzles a restaurant critic with the same dish, ratatouille involves nourishing our soul.

In the Chinese calendar, we are on the verge of the Year of the Metal Rat. These zodiac Rats are know for their industrious nature, and the ability to gather sustenance and prosperity and tuck it away much like the harvesting of late summer vegetables.

I am a Metal Rat and fit that profile quite well. Coincidentally, I am petite and small-boned and quite adept at hiding in corners. You will often find me there, worrying and working myself to the bone, typical behavior of the first sign in the Chinese Zodiac. Although it might not be listed in this lucky sign’s traits, I do love me some metal music.

If you are a fellow Metal Rat, it is our year to shine. Metal is a conductive energy, so whatever we touch will have powerful energy behind it. Be careful and vigilant where you focus your thoughts and tasks, you don’t want to waste that power down the wrong path or in too much worry. I consider it quite auspicious that I am about to retire and making plans to building the next chapter in my life’s story. My efforts have been in the left-brained, logical world for many a year, so I am gearing up to give my right-brain, creative side some release. #Create!!

Even if you are not a fellow – ahem – rodent, it is a potent year for shoring up your resources. Invest wisely, beautify your nest and fill your coffers with that which sustains your life. The little rat is a workaholic worrier, always afraid there is never enough financial abundance, yet loves practical luxury. That little nest will always be stylish and those little feet shod in beautifully made shoes. The task at hand for the rat, is that in order to avoid excessive worry about money is to not overspend. Go green, recycle, upcycle, my little friends, and don’t overlook secondhand and consignment shopping. I have just discovered this market, and have scored some lovely luxury items at minimal cost. Minnie Mouse understands that you can look fabulous and be frugal at the same time.

Don’t neglect the inside, while covering up the outside. An overload of chemicals will keep you feeling off, bloated, itchy and overweight. Chemicals are everywhere and in most everything, and our bodies have difficulty in eliminating them. Think of your intestines and skin as a filtering system, and drink pure filtered water every day. Eat organic, non-GMO food. Rats have thin skin and are susceptible to the “itchies” and you don’t want to look like that. This is going to be a big year and you want to keep your body in as good a condition as possible so you have the energy to give it your best. Not that you shouldn’t do that any other year.

Remember to be a little social too, my fellow Rats, all work and no play is unhealthy. Our workaholic tendencies cause us to put all our duties before play, and usually there isn’t enough time nor energy left for play. Yes, I know you want to put the laundry away before going to the party, but no one has ever died from not having folded towels. A much refreshed you is a much happier you.

Come out of the corners, little Rats, dream big and put those plans into action. Be sure to join those celebratory parties when you meet a milestone. #wineandcheese

PS. I’ve also been told that rats make good pets.

The Light Always Returns

background-3009949_1920Lest you all think I’m dead, I’m just on hiatus because of my wrist.  I get the splint bandage off on Friday and will be pounding on my keyboard once again.  Damn hard to do anything with only your non-dominant hand.

I needed to write this post, if only to remind myself.  This is the Season of Light, no matter the name or method you celebrate.  A time when it shines through the darkest hour.  It begins with the Solstice, the shortest day of the year, that scared the sh*t out of ancient people.  They believed the world was ending.  Symbolically, it represents our own personal “dark night of the soul”, when we mistakenly believe we are at the end.  Perhaps it may be your time, but it is often when we’ve hit the bottom.  It’s a long, dark night.  And then, the sun rises and light returns.

This season represents birth in many belief systems.  Again symbolically, it is we who experience rebirth, rising out of the long, dark night.  You see, the Light never, ever leaves us and it is always more powerful than the dark.

As you celebrate this season, always look for the Light within all.  Namaste.

Happy Every Little Thing

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I’m in a food coma from Thanksgiving dinner, but I am very happy to have eaten it. I am happy that my Sweetie had the forethought to buy a small turkey breast a couple weeks ago, because the restaurant we usually go to was closed.

Gratitude is about being thankful, but doesn’t it almost convey happiness? I am happy for this day: the food, a day of relaxation, time spent together, being warm, the sun is shining and the fact that I can still write in spite of the food coma.

People sometimes get tired of hearing the word “gratitude” like you should be thankful no matter what. Well, yes, but it is more of an attitude that you can find something in your life to be grateful for no matter what else is going on. Were you able to get out of bed, go pee and get a drink of water? Some people can’t, you know, because they are connected to tubes and things that do that for them. Shouldn’t you be grateful that you can?

And then there is the word “happy”, like you should immediately get a frowny face because you are supposed to be all upbeat and bouncy when you just got rear-ended. Be happy that you could walk away from that accident. Some people don’t, you know.

I have an endless number of things in my life to be grateful and happy for, even if I often don’t recognize them. We have the expectation that these should be something big, when sometimes all we need to do is be happy that we can still breathe and taste food.

What little things are you happy and/or grateful for?

Going Within

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Do you ever feel restless and out-of-sorts and don’t know why? Typically, it is because you have absorbed someone else’s yucky energy and your body knows and is trying to get your attention. So, first of all, clear your energy. There are a multitude of methods: you can envision a white tornado swirling through your body and sending all the muck down into the earth, you can literally brush your hands down your body like you are getting rid of cobwebs (yuck), you can ask your Angels to clear your energy or any other thing that works for you. If you have done all that, and still feel wonky, it’s the sign that you need to look within yourself for the answers.

Meditation is the way to connect to Spirit and your Higher Self to seek guidance and answers to your rampant thoughts. Sometimes we allow ourselves to feel off to avoid listening to those messages. We might just fear the answer, which is silly, because Spirit would never tell us anything bad. You may think it’s bad if it requires making a big change in your life. Silly again, because Spirit will guide us to really good changes and give you the action steps if you just pay attention.

If you still fear the answers, begin your meditation by asking that you feel safe and protected. Your guidance will then steer you down the path that is in alignment with your energy. The action steps may come slower or they may be disguised as brilliant ideas – always good. Meditation will help you see a brighter future.

So go within, if only to see the light within yourself.

Superman Stumbles

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Kryptonite is the fictional element that renders Superman weak, helpless and incapable of using his superpowers. One tiny little atom of that stuff will take him to his knees.

I recently read a blog posting from the wonderfully gifted intuitive and delightfully entertaining, Radleigh Valentine, titled “Facing Your Kryptonite. (I obviously love the man.) Article  Radleigh writes that even we humans can have our own kryptonite to deal with.

I know I do and the article provided me with the opportunity to recognize and accept my kryptonite. From the time I was a baby, I was treated as an unwanted burden and I should be invisible. With all soul wounds, each time you encounter a situation that mimics the original wound you add another layer, much like that of an onion. The bigger the onion gets, the more it makes you cry if you try to remove the peel. However, you just need to learn how to cut it down to size.

Until very recently, and prompted by Radleigh’s article, I didn’t quite get why this issue continued to take me to my knees. I believe that the continual triggering of the wound is how the Universe gets your attention to deal with the matter. I also believe that it just might not be necessary to heal it right out of your life. Some things are there to serve a purpose.

We are human beings filled with the Light of the Universe. We are here to love and to learn by experiencing many things, and find our way back to our infinite connection with Spirit. Life is messy, busy and hectic and we, too often, wear ourselves out in our quest. We forget to ask our Guides and Spirit for help to make life more enjoyable and simpler. Maybe Spirit tosses a little kryptonite our way to render us helpless so we look up instead of down. Maybe these moments are the only way we can look within and see the beauty, the gifts, the talents and skills, the very light that is our superpower. I think that we wouldn’t ever see this if we didn’t have our kryptonite.

You may think this is a cruel joke played on us by Spirit. I assure you it is not. Spirit created us and doesn’t see any flaws within us. It is only our peanut brain that compares us to others. Spirit created us with many versions and varieties, because, well beige is boring. Spirit loves variety and thought you would too, but being human, we stupidly think it is bad. Spirit loves us no matter what, and so should we.

What is your kryptonite? Don’t know? Think about something or some persons that breaks you down, especially if it is a consistent pattern. What about it makes you feel bad? Do you find that you defend some part of you that gets disturbed by the pattern? Can you identify it? Patterns are the key. Maybe write it down and post it someplace where you can see it. Then write down what you believe to be your superpower. Put it next to your kryptonite and see how one can be in opposition to the other.

My kryptonite is feeling like an invisible, unwanted burden to others. My superpower is being kind, generous and thoughtful of others. These are in total opposition, but yet born out of the other, sort of like karma. My mission isn’t to rid myself of the kryptonite, rather to diffuse its strength by activating my superpower. Do you see now how that works?

Stumbled maybe, but not down for good.

Ever Evolving

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Aging. There is a reason why it is a verb and not a noun. Or a journey rather than a destination. Some days I just blaze through them when I am focused on a task and not even notice that the time has passed.

Other days, I look in the mirror and think: WTF what is going on here?

Lately, I’m a bit obsessed with my wardrobe. I’ve always been a fashionista, with a tendency to make a statement with my clothing. I like edgy with leather moto jackets and studded boots. I like bohemian with flowy prints. I like color, texture and patterns. No one that knows me would call me beige.

What comes with aging, that is so mind-boggling, is the constant state of body change. All you women out there who have gone through menopause, know exactly what I’m talking about. There are a gazillion blog posts written on this very subject. Lots of WTF moments.

Change is inevitable, but I think it is difficult to accept what happens to your body. Your boobs get bigger and they droop. Your ass gets bigger and droops. And then there is this round thing that shows up around your waist like a Monday morning donut. WTF. It is not an easy task to get them corralled and back in shape.

A diet shouldn’t be a diet, but a lifestyle. Learn to love vegetables. Eat hormone free meat. Seriously? If it makes an animal get bigger, what do you think happens to you? Practice intermittent fasting, if nothing but to eliminate the digesting grumbles in the middle of the night. Take supplements because, yes, they really do work. Drink water with a chunk of lemon in it. It makes you pee, but you’ll notice the puffiness goes away.

Exercise. Walk. Take the stairs. Do weight-bearing repetitions several times a week. Even if it doesn’t do much for your shape, your bones and joints will love you. Having muscles will help you get out of bed in the morning, instead of just rolling over and hoping you don’t end up on the floor. Our muscles get weaker as we age, so you can counteract that by lifting weights.

Take care of your hair and skin. Nothing ages you faster than looking like you don’t give a sh*t. Gray hair looks awesome when it is well-cared for. Spending money on good hair products is worth it. Same thing with your skin. If you live in a dry climate, like I do, moisturizers are a must unless you like itching your way through winter. Coconut oil works quite well.

Keep up with your teeth. Brush, floss, see your dentist. Healthy teeth keep you healthier.

Breathe. Meditate. Get out in nature.

It will make it a lot easier to go back into your closet and throw out all the things you bought last year that no longer fit.

Sandals to Snow Shoes in 24 Hours

It is 80 degrees in Colorado on October 8th. We are expecting 72 degrees tomorrow, and then, SNOW on Thursday. That four-letter word that turns the average nice person into a maniac when it first arrives in the fall.

Leaves have barely turned. Flowers are still pushing blooms out for our visual pleasure. Ghosts and goblins are appearing on front porches everywhere and Christmas trees are arriving in stores.

Fall seems to turn everyone inside out. Traditionally, it is the time of harvest when we reap the rewards of all that we have planted. Did you sow a fertile field this year? Whether it is farmland wheat or just the seeds of your dreams, now it the time to see if it all has grown to meet your desires.

I hope you planted something. Action steps towards your dreams or just a pretty daisy in a pot, there is life and hope and beauty in your life. When we cannot plant even a thought, we lose sight of where we are going. The journey is yours to design, not just be swept along by someone else’s tide. Or snowstorm.

I don’t look forward to the first snow, yet I can still see its beauty. It dampens down the harvest, cleans the air, and heralds in a time of rest. Away goes our fun sandals of summer, and out comes fuzzy boots and the warmth of a fire. Time to settle in and nurture ourselves, give thanks for another season of growth, and relax until it is time to plant new ideas or something of beauty.

Goodbye happy flip-flops, see you in the summer.

Halloween Is Coming!

IMG_20191006_151509616 (1)Halloween is my favorite holiday. Ever since I was a child, I have loved dressing in costumes. It is a moment in time when I get to be someone or something else. In the past few years, it has taken on a new life with decorating my front yard. Now we are the hit of the neighborhood.

I’ve changed the theme each year, and then reluctant to put my – err skeleton crew – away, they take on new life at Christmas. The first year was random scenes that changed weekly. My crew consists of 2 skeleton people, 1 dog, 2 cats, 1 chicken, 1 bird, a fish, a spider, 1 owl and a six-foot tall T-Rex. Some of them stay out all year – the owl for sure.

 

Last year’s theme was football, called “The Pumpkin Bowl”. The score ended Rex 10, Bones 6. It’s a little difficult to tackle a T-Rex. They all buddied up for a victory parade on Halloween.

IMG_20191006_151305952 (1)This year honors the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, however in my yard it is Bonestock. First in the lineup is Jimi Hend-Rex. I think The Boo will show up in week 2. Beyond that, it is anyone’s guess. Or maybe I just like to keep everyone guessing.

And to all those legendary musicians who made Woodstock still going today, Rock On, and RIP to all those who have left us. Your music lives on.

Festi-fall

IMG_0687Every now and then, my fashionista side says “let’s go play fashion shoot” and off we go to some interesting locale to get my vogue on.

September is nearly at its end, and the leaves are changing colors and floating to the earth. These last few days of warm weather herald a flurry of festivals; whether it is an outdoor concert or a romp through a pumpkin patch. Or for many, a chance to suck down a few gallons of beer at an Oktoberfest.

The beautiful colors of fall had me pulling on some festival worthy garments, such as this gorgeously embroidery tunic from Johnny Was, aptly named “Festival Tunic”. The pants are from Sundance and the 4-inch platform sandals are by Schutz. Although I wouldn’t recommend sauntering through a pumpkin patch in them. The happy hippy hat is from some shop in Estes Park.

IMG_0674Fall is such a lovely season. I think Mother Nature gives us all Her glory as a present before the frigid days of winter. Something to stick in our mind as we hunker down and nurture ourselves while She rebuilds herself for another season. And so should we. Getting out there in all my glory helps to remind me that whatever is hiding beneath those layers of clothes, like it or not, it is me and I can rebuild myself with all the intent and care as Mother Nature. Sometimes She, too, doesn’t look Her best, but with faith and knowingness comes another season to get Her festi-fall on.

And so will I.

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Guardians of the Desert

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Leigh-Ann Edrich from Pixabay

We recently spent a week in Arizona, visiting friends in Tucson and Phoenix. Coming from Colorado, the desert landscape is quite different and requires some adapting. Colorado is dry, but not quite like Arizona.

The landscape is brown and rocky, and dotted with cactus and other vegetation. There is much beauty in its simplicity and the mighty saguaro cactus reigns supreme. From short to tall, slender with varying number of arms, these beauties symbolize the desert region. Some areas are heavily populated, and some without a single statue in sight.

I found myself studying them as they seemed to pulsate with life. I sensed the spirit beings within and slipped into their energy. Mystical, folksy, somewhat primitive yet highly spiritual, they reminded me of the famed Hopi Kachina Dolls. Their presence seemed to me that of a guardian and guide. A protector of both land and its inhabitants, who offers guidance to those who seek it. They also seem as lightposts showing them the way to the afterlife.

Arizona is a much-sought-after destination for retirees. Whether it is year-round residency or the wanderlust of the snowbirds (those who winter in AZ and summer in another state), the over sixty crowd can be found on the golf course, in swimming pools, grocery stores and the mega clubhouses of the various popular communities like Sun City. Draw by the warm winters, older folks find contentment and companions in the desert.

But what if there is something more to draw the older crowd? What if these stately cacti, filled with spiritual energy, are what beckons them to give up their family homes and move south? Perhaps these beings are there to assist people in their life transition. It’s not like I think people go there specifically to die, but maybe age gracefully and beautifully with peace and purpose until it is time to pass on. I believe these guardians stand tall to show them the way.

They are here to show us all that we are never alone.