Soul Massage

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Must Be Having Fun!

Time is racing along. It seems I am just up and going and it is time to retire again. DA, my grand, has been with me the past two nights. After daycare, we play, have dinner, bathe, read, and get her back to sleep. She is slow to rise in the morning. Today she told me, "I'm not done sleeping, GG." Me, either, but we have to get breakfast and head back to the daycare.

I stopped to talk to my neighbor this morning. They have put their house up for sale. So besides the heat keeping her inside (and me as well) she is not invested in the neighborhood anymore - or so it seems. I do understand. She has packed away her things and works on "curb appeal". Otherwise she wouldn't be out at all.

This morning we talked about children who blame their parents for the state of their lives. While I generally hold that we are each responsible for how we live and the choices we make, there is validity to the experiences we had as children and direct correlation between those events and the beliefs we held about family, choices, society, freedom and love - to name a few.

Some people live in compliance with the values they were taught while others live in opposition. Even where we claim we will never follow a particular pattern of distress, without deep searching and clearing of the hurt we are likely to find ourselves in the very situations we disdain. While I might disagree with the ridiculous choices people make, I understand. I understand how blame is easier than facing the moments when we felt helpless and hopeless as children. Rather than judge, we must offer compassion.

Early evening pollinators

Great buys for DA - 3 pants, 2 tops, 1 dress, and a cover-up $3.50
Ingredients for a Rusty Nail. I have enough!

My day is full!

I found reasonably priced local produce, played the evening at the spray park with my grand. Wandered along the rocky ledges. Watched her dance with joy.

Every day seems to pass so quickly. I occupy a few moments each day with call backs on my job search, or prayers for a job, or a second of angst. Then I acknowledge that I have enough of everything. Why should I feel discouraged?

This is the blessing. Following behind that dancing climbing singing playing child. Following. She happily leads and I watch the path for safety.

Time flies when you're having fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Give me a break!

We finally had a bit of rain in the early morning (4:30 am) and the temperatures dropped into the 70's. When I stepped out to check the plants for water (there wasn't that much rain), I saw my peppers had set fruit today. Yes, between dawn and 10 AM, they decided to grow while the conditions were favorable.

This Tospy-Turvy planter is watered daily, and still it wilts. It has just been too hot. This week I placed the patio umbrella over the potted plants to shade them from direct sun. Wilt. With no control over the temperatures, I do what I can and let go. That's a farming/gardening lesson, anyway.

Today, summer feels stifling, like when I was a child. I grew up hating summer vacations. It meant long hot days at home with my mother and a continually growing list of chores. We rose early in the mornings to beat the heat and then spent the remainder of the day sitting still. I learned early to read, write and think. No, we did not watch the boob-tube. We had a complete set of Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedias. I digress...

I almost booked a flight to San Francisco. I haven't received a start day for the last job offer. I haven't gotten an interview where I thought I had the hook-up. And no reply to my text. Only form replies acknowledging my other applications wait in my inbox. Travel seems the easy and exciting answer. That is what I love to do. Drinking my coffee and journalling, I am startled.

I want a massage but think it is too expensive. I'm out of tequila and saving my last shots of Glen Livet for National Scotch Day (July 27, 2012). I hold on to every dollar I get (after charitable giving), and am incredibly frugal with every nickle. Yet, I easily rationalize the airfare, transport, and food/yoga/fun in the city. This is bigger than priorities. It speaks to what I believe is important. What feeds my heart and soul. What I truly want in my life - to travel, write, and drink beer. (I'm out of beer.)

It has been a RUDE summer. Too hot to work outside. Too dry to grow efficiently. Too much, just too much.

If I had been employed I would have been inside for eight plus hours of the heat. I would have had less time and energy to devote to worrying about my garden. However, I may have been willing to water more since I would have had a steady income.

Today I realized all the years I dreamed of being home in the summer to tend my garden have come true. This was not what I expected. Time, yes. But that's all.

Still, I am thankful for my time to be in my space. I love being at home. And even though the paint sits in the corner and the mulch stayed in the bag, I know that fall will be here as well. I pray I am working, but between shifts I will pull weeds, dig hostas, till the garden, roll the compost. The forecast has us just below triple digits so I will do what I can. Just like the peppers.

When it's too hot to move, we will quietly wilt in the shade. Hydrated and exhausted reading a good book and pondering life (which I must confess, is part of my dream).

For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. Feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love: the passionate search for truth other than our own. With longing: the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on. God help us. God forgive us. We live on.
From my favorite book - Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

What are you reading this summer?

Tomorrow, National Scotch Day, my new writing project, and *he-he* what I did buy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tweet and aTwitter

I've got a peaceful easy feeling.
I am blessed. My life is full.

Before we step out in any endeavor, we must affirm the truth, establish a foundation.

There could be so many things on my plate, but I have left it empty until I have some knowing of what may unfold. That is still living in faith as I recognize that I am and will be in the right place at the right time. Some days I have to work on that belief. Some times I wonder. Still I move on.

Most of the topic belongs elsewhere. No matter. Let's integrate life. Deny any separation.

I applied for a half dozen more jobs. Found a couple with inside connections hoping that I could at least get an interview. On the one hand I think I might take any job to get some income. My deeper knowing will not. I had a phone interview Thursday for a phone job. As I listened to the description I realized I probably would rather pass.

"Little competitions to make things interesting. Contests to break up the boredom." Sound like pressure to perform to me. She said she would contact the temp agency with her decision. You do that. That was Wednesday. No call Thursday for a job that started Friday. Sounded good.

Friday afternoon the temp agency did call. I have a call back for the previous job I worked. This is good news. Even though I have other applications floating around that I am entertaining, this job is within walking distance, evenings, and I set my own schedule. It is still temp work, but carries through November. Talk about YAY! Well, YAY!

Today's mail brought a letter from the bank. Since there is no reason for me to fret (I am thankful to say) I waited until I had my coffee in hand. In preparation let me say that I have been home for the last eight months living on savings I expected to hold for six months. I went to work for one month (May) and pick up a four hours a week occasionally since May.

Bank error in your favor!!! NOT! (I just had to say it.) My interest rate has been lowered. I will be saving ten percent a month! Who says tithing doesn't pay? You can't beat God giving. No matter how you try. (This is what I would tweet, if I could twitter.)

Life is good, all the time...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family Fun Fest

It's hot again. Back up to 106 degrees. After daycare, I showered DA, fed her a yogurt and juice and we headed back out. Even at 6 PM we were still sweltering in the triple digits. I might have passed on the evening out, but my friend drove in to dance and how can I miss that?
It was an evening of cultural experiences. The gypsy dancers performed to their band. There were booths which were probably RenFest folks. I thought they were pagan from the distance, but closer decided, maybe not. The library brought the mobile bookshelf and invited kids inside - where it was cool. They offered plastic bags and trinkets. I was drawn to peek, but since I neither need nor want more stuff, I passed. DA wasn't attracted. Thank goodness. The radio station offered wooden rulers. Really?

There was a magician show, face painting, and animal balloons. The volleyball team was sitting around talking to themselves and a group brought lots of hula hoops. You would think someone, some group, would have brought WATER. We had police and a fire truck. Control and rescue? Maybe presence and education. We watched and wandered, eventually leaving the festivities for the spray park.

The cooling station was heavily populated with young people from nine months to five years old and broken! The pump was out (we surmised) as there was just a pool of water in the middle. The children were like little duckling splashing in a puddle. For those who knew the difference it was a source of angst. Adults and older children asked questions, twisted the knob that is supposed to turn on the fountains and complained. The youngest just got wet. (A lesson in being with what is.) Just before 7, we festivities for the closing dance and to say good-bye.

DA and the fan dance
As the evening wore on the crowd thickened. This group took the "stage" next and we saw more costumed dancers waiting at the side. It would have been nice to hang out for the rest of the show. Between the heat and the lateness of the evening we headed home. Leaving we watched the next dance begin.

This morning we had a slight rain. Someone said the temperatures fell to 72. It was 79 when I checked and the forecast is another triple digit day.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Making Connections

I am very happy to see bees in my garden.

A new friend in view.

We spent a bit of time studying each other.

A visitor finished the cat's food.

Living the Dream

This is my world.

I live in the city - isolated behind trees and trellis.
I grow perennials -daisies and irises, lilies and roses.
That blue plant is spiderwort.

When I was younger, raising children, working and going, I dreamed of being a little old lady in the woods. When I was very young I lived in the country, baking bread and planning to birth repeatedly.
I got over that.

But I kept cooking and sewing and learning.
I am a novice gardener.

Some things grow well. I plant survivors.
Some plants leave after a spell. It used to bother me, but then, I have friends that do the same thing.
I live in a city of transients.

This morning I was listening to Wayne Dyer talk about japa mediation. I have been praying and affirming for my right and perfect work situation. I have been living free of attachment to the source. Or so I thought.

Cleaning. Ahh-ing. Om-ing. Being. Waiting. Patiently. Trusting.

I decided that since I am planning to go back to work I had better get the stuff done that I have been ignoring. I was not as hot today. I took down the curtains. I dusted, vacuumed and mopped. When I stepped out the shake the rug I noticed the mail had already arrived.

It was a thin envelope. Not what I was expecting. Still, I imagined it might hold hope.

Reading the form letter, I nearly collapsed in sadness. I was heart-broken. Bad news usually comes quickly, like two days. It has been two weeks so I was sure I had the job. I cried.

I did not call my favorite support person because she will remind me that I am living the dream. That my life is prosperous. That I am blessed. She will say I already have everything I need and fortune smiles on me. She will remind me to keep believing. That stops the tears.

I called my Z and boo-hooed for a bit. Then, I too remember that I am seeking my right and perfect work situation. Since I did not get this job at this time, it is not it. No point in crying about not getting something that was not for me.

As the day unfolded I realized I was attached to this job as the source of my income. How had that lie creeped into my thinking? My life is living proof of greater possibilities than relying on any single source of abundance. I love my home. I am grateful for the blessing to live and dance and play. The day may come when I am called away. Until then, I bless each moment living being here free.

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival; a joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all. Even if they're a crowd of sorrows... still, treat each guest honourable. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. (Rumi)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Coconut Oil - Head to Toe

Coconut oil is great for the body - head to toe. I included a photo of the actual products I use rather than offer a generic discussion. 

Coconut oil is great for hair care and treatment. It contains fatty acids that act as anti-microbial agents at the scalp and hair roots. Used regularly it can help get rid of dandruff. Because it retains moisture, coconut oil helps prevent hair breakage and damage. Coconut oil contains Vitamin E. It keeps scalp and skin healthy and hair rejuvenated.

Coconut oil is great for cleaning and moisturizing the face. It is naturally antibacterial, calming, and moisturizing. Coconut oil melts at 72 degrees, and a little dab will do you. Apply to face with fingers and then wipe away with a warm cloth. Scoop out solid oil and place in the palm of your hand, it will melt. It only takes a little. Coconut oil is perfect for removing make-up. When coconut oil is absorbed into the skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep connective tissues strong and supple.

Apply coconut oil to your body for skin care and healing. It is known to improve skin elasticity, is great for shaving, and serves a perfect "glide" for massaging tired muscles. Coconut oil is rich in proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally. Coconut oil also helps in the treatment of psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. When applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Coconut oil will aid in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. It also penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin to strengthen the underlying tissues.

Apply coconut oil before or after baths to shift the effect of drying soaps. Use as the base for body scrubs (which can be made at home, easily, by combining sea salts or sugar with coconut oil). Used after sunburns, coconut oil can help reduce redness and limit some of the damage done by sun exposure. 

Coconut oil is great for digestion. The saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. Coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.

Use coconut oil for a natural sexual lubricant. When moisture is desired in personal areas or for vaginal dryness, coconut oil holds its glide longer than commercial lubricants and without strange unidentifiable ingredients or sugar (glycerine) which can cause yeast infections or promote them. Coconut oil is anti-viral and antibiotic, an added advantage during sensual activities. Remember, oils are incompatible with condoms and diaphragms.

Pamper your feet. Coconut oil is an effective cure for athletes foot because it has anti-fungal properties. As a moisturizer, rub coconut oil on your feet either after taking a bath or before going to sleep. It will cure your cracked heels and soften your feet. Corns and calluses will also be softened by applying coconut oil. Soak your feet in warm water with a sea salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil. Coconut oil softens and moisturizes while removing dirt from the outer layer of skin, leaving it shiny and smooth.

Coconut oil has been a well kept secret. We tend to only get the marketed bit. There is so much more to know.

About the picture. These are my body care products. I own some commercial products, but can't justify replacing them when they run out because I already own what I need. Dr. Bronner's is made from coconut oil and is Kirk's Castile soap. I included the cost for comparison to other body products on the market. We have a choice. 

I save where I can, to splurge when I want.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hot Time in the City.

The high today was who knows. It was scheduled to be 104, but at this writing the temps at 105. It is 7:32 PM. I spent the day working in a garage organizing, sorting, cleaning, recycling, pitching and setting things out for a garage sale. This is dated office material I am clearing, rather than personal stuff. We are recycling/shredding anything more than ten years old. There is easily 100 pounds of confidential paperwork that was unpacked and left to be tended. It was hot!

I was excited to be so productive; we made grand progress in cleaning and clearing. It's a whole new world. Only a few people stopped to visit the sale. I remained delighted for each one and at the complaint about the heat, I reminded them that this was like a sauna. A free sauna. All you have to do is sit back and sweat. We sold a few items, but the reward was a job well done.

This week I have DA (my grand-daughter) evenings. She wanted to go swimming. She cannot swim. Her Jojo (uncle) has a pool at his apartment, but he's working this evening. So, we went to the cooling station. There are a few of them around the city. Even though she lamented not stopping at the city pool, she had a great time, as you can see.

They're calling for rain in three or four days. Until then, we'll keep looking for ways to beat the heat.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Having My Way

That's my four year old grand-daughter insisting she can go up the escalator unassisted.

"I can do it myself."

The museum was slow enough that I was willing to stand back and watch (capturing the moment). She made it. This time. Other times things went differently.

We all want the chance to prove ourselves to ourselves and everyone else.

This four year old gets to make lots of decisions about her day. What she wears, eats, drinks. Which books to read. Which toy to play with. Still she is four, and as such needs guidance from one who can keep her safe and support her movement through the day. Sometimes, there is conflict.

Conflict, angst, and distress began my day...

Hair. Socks. Shoes. Tears...

And away we go! They promise a heat index into 108 degrees. While DA is at school, I am going to chill out. When she gets back home, we will do it her way.

As I let go, life gets easier.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Declaration

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Unsettled - Hellhole, USA

Pam used to scare me.  She was a big girl, wearing a man shirt and some baggy jeans or maybe overalls.  I could see she was filling out all those clothes, even when they hung kind of loose.  She would come lumbering down the middle of the street with her friends being all loud.  They seemed to take up the whole road, but really they were only talking and having fun.  I saw her when I would go over to visit my cousins.  She was their age – way older that I was.  She kept her hair cut real short, almost shaved, but not bald, and she was light skinned.  That’s all I remember about her.  No wait.  She had this laugh that I can still hear.  Deep and hearty, all out loud, like it didn’t matter what anybody thought.  There, that’s what’s scary.  That there should be somebody out there, a woman even, that didn’t care what anybody thought, even my father.

Walking down Spruce street I could see all the houses of the people I knew – my teachers, girl scout leader, deacons, elders, mothers and sisters in the church.  They all lived on this side of town.  Not that town was so big, but somehow, my family had chosen to live across the way so that we were the only black family on the block.  Not black back then.  We were colored or sometimes Negro.  I was Black, but that seemed to cause problems, too.  Seems people thought I was uppity.  I wasn’t.  I just had come from LA and we were all saying it loud, “I’m Black and I’m proud.”  I didn’t really know any different until I reached Hellhole with sides of town and egg throwing, and all other kinds of foolishness.  But this is just to describe walking down this very personal everybody in your business street.

On down a couple of blocks was William’s and Angie’s house.  William was really skinny and could be mean.  Angie was way taller than I and played basketball with the boys and had a really deep voice and was mean too.  It felt like everybody was mean walking down that street, but it was the safest way I knew to get to my cousins.  At the farthest block was my grandmother’s house and this woman that makes me write this story.  My grandmother lives with her sister in the same house where my parents lived when I was born, except they lived in the garage.  The houses are big and old, with valances and curly post on the fronts.  It always seemed the quietest of neighborhoods since all the kids were a block back and these houses had been here forever.

Ann lived in one of the houses.   What I heard was that Ann’s husband came home and caught Ann in bed with another woman and beat her with the telephone until he broke her arm.  I just heard it and tucked it away.  Every now and then when someone talks about a lesbian community in Hellhole and I would remember that story.  When I came out to my cousins, the same ones I used to visit, they told me that Ann was in bed with my cousin, Charles’ wife.  So, I asked about Pam.  Yep, big ole bull dyke.  And Angie, too.  I left Hellhole and the likelihood that I was going to associate with these people was low already.  Other than school and that long walk down Spruce Street we had no other interactions.  The list went on, but most of the other people on it were my seniors and I could find no memory to place them.  Even the pastor of the church we sometimes had revivals with, his son, was gay.

Somehow I missed out on this rich and varied community.  One, I lived on the other side of town.  Two, my father was the pastor of what was probably the most conservative church in the area at the time.   Even though we belonged to a denomination, the standards he set exceeded the current practices.  He was all out to nip sin in the bud.