summersgate: (eggshells)
Studying the Red Book.

When I made the Diversity Book recently I needed a holder for it to be displayed properly at the art gallery and Dave made me a really nice stand that could hold a book at an upright angle. Now that the show is over I have the book stand at home and thought right away, it would be great to put Jung's Red Book on it. I got the book back in 2009 for Christmas but only skimmed it. It was too big to hold or see it on my lap or flat on a table. Now that I have a new interest in examining my emotions and thoughts the Red Book might be really great for inspiration. I set it up and opened it this morning and was going to take a photo of it on the stand when I saw Skye stalking up to it. She acts like it is something really strange and fascinating. Maybe it is this page with the crosses in the "eyes" in particular? After I took this photo she settled down on her haunches and studied it for a very long time.

I took one photo yesterday when Candy and I hiked around Two Mile Run:

Some weak morning sun.

It was cold but didn't seem that bad - we were both bundled up in layers. I wore a double set of gloves. But after we got moving and hiking up hills we got warmed up and even had to take off our hats for a while. I went down to one pair of gloves eventually.

I guess today the big snow storm (Stella!) is supposed to come. I have an appointment at the hospital to have a mammogram at 2. Dave will be driving me in the truck though and it has four wheel drive so I'm not concerned. Maybe it won't be bad yet at only 2 or 3.

wild geese

Mar. 7th, 2017 09:38 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~ I came across this poem by way of a link that [ profile] bobby1933 shared yesterday. It really spoke to me too.
summersgate: (eggshells)
I have no idea what this will taste like but I got some today cause I am sure when it's all over and done with and I'm ready to say goodbye to this world I will be glad that I have a seasoned soul.


Update on diversity book - I had planned on diverse things like race, species, sexuality, size but I had totally forgotten about religion so now I think I need to add some more faces. I can't just add one or two more pages though cause books come in sets of four pages to every sheet of paper that you add. This book keeps growing - but I guess that is the idea of diversity - it IS a giant and all encompassing subject. I can't really do it justice but will try to find a few more things I can illustrate. I'm trying to make all this painting go quicker by drawing a lot of the design lines with masking fluid and then painting large areas over that. Here is a page that I liked how it turned out - plant life:

Started - with masking fluid still in place.



Dec. 26th, 2016 07:39 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Offering. I got the the King of Swords card this morning but this is what came out of it for me. I think the drawing is saying that we choose what we look at. The hand is offering a sword but the person is choosing to look at the butterfly on the sword instead.

As happens very often to me I see (once again) I am out of balance. With my food, with my activities (all I want to do is crochet!). I did quite a bit of cleaning and reorganizing in the basement yesterday and then Chloe and Mike removed a bed, large dresser and chair, plus some tubs and that created a lot of room down there. I got a really good feeling from that and it should encourage me to move forward and do even more but somehow I doubt it will - cause I am not a very balanced person. I feel abnormal. Other people can seem to keep up with their house and their possessions but I can't. I need to strive to be NORMAL. When I first started the 12 step programs 25 years ago one of the very first things I learned about myself was that I was out of balance - and that I should work to become more balanced if I wanted to be a better person. Anyway - today I will attempt to be more balanced.
Food - 3 moderate meals without "crap" foods.
Do a bit more in the basement - even if it is only for 1/2 an hour.
Get back to jewelry/stone/enameling work again - that is my business and I need to do it.

My life should have all these in balance:
work for livelyhood
other people
time for spiritual meditation
proper food

Though - this on another subject: there is always the political world out there beyond my little circle. Like the sword and butterfly image - I want to choose to look at the butterfly rather than the sword. I want peace in my life. When I read the news or hear the political news all I can do it feel hopeless and sad and angry. Not peaceful. Frightened. I try and insulate myself from it. Am I out of balance there too?
summersgate: (eggshells)
This was inspired by an image in the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot deck. Its card had an angry sea monster devouring a mouthful of snakes. When I drew it though it became something more like a mother snake holding baby snakes - perhaps carrying them to safety. At least that is how I see it when I look at it now. I got myself worked into a bad mood last night and am looking for ways to see things more realistically today. So I welcome the idea of a higher, kinder level of thought taking control of lower versions of the same thing (petty negative thoughts) and taking them away.

What would having a mouthful of snakes feel like?

Here's a couple photos I took yesterday while Dave, Chloe, Mike and I were taking a walk in the woods. )

2:47 am

Nov. 18th, 2016 03:13 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Had a big day with lots of driving today. Drove Hazel to her school in the early morning fog. The fog lasted a really long time this morning (no, now I should say it was yesterday morning). Drove to Steubenville with Nancy to see Kenyon - still mysterious fog everywhere. But it was bright enough that I could see well to drive. I loved it. Good to see Kenyon and see he is in a nice place. Up on the 5th floor of a high rise with a balcony. It was on the south side of the building. I was very much in admiration of the place. Looking down on the world like a bird. And there were numerous little birds that came to visit and look in through the sliding glass door even though he puts no bird food out.

Came home, ate dinner and read a little while. Went to bed early. So of course I woke up at midnight and have been up since. Sitting at the dining room table. A quiet house. My feet up on a chair and knitting. I was struck so much by how I haven't changed. Life hasn't really changed in the inner ways. When Jules was small (40 years ago) many nights I came out to the living room and sat alone. Knitting, or maybe it was crochet. A cat to keep me company. Tonight it is Skye. Then it was... can't remember! How could I forget his name? It was such a simple name. Was his name really just Kitty? Alone with thoughts and memories. Listening to music quietly. Then the music was on a tape player, now on a iPad. But it's still the same, I'm still the same. It's kind of amazing to me that the core of me endures. And I thought, I'm glad I have me for company tonight. We get along well - we're compatible.

being me

Mar. 28th, 2016 07:45 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
It is hard for me to believe that others have all these conflicting feelings in them cause people just don't talk about it that much. One minute I am elated with my life, my husband, my pets, my family, my "job", my friends, my life outdoors, my body. Life is good, there is hope, things are getting better, and better. It's amazing - things are so GOOD. A few hours later - doom, death, gloom and hopelessness. And nothing outside me has changed - it's only changed inside me. Sometimes I get so sick of being me. Right now, this moment - it's good though...

I have slowed down on a lot of my old interests. It used to be that jewelry designing, art and writing were the biggest things in my life. Candy asked me about it today and it got me thinking. Back when I was taking care of mom and I needed to have my life so scheduled I treasured my creative time - it was so precious. I only went out a couple times a week - for a few hours at a time. The way I "got away" was by doing art and creating. Now that I can get away physically I don't have the need to get away creatively so much.

Dreaming about summer and looking forward to cleaning up the back porch for a new season. How nice it will be to get up early with the sun slanting across the yard - going out in just pj's and slippers, lighting a stick of incense and writing in my journal as the world wakes up, with a cup of coffee (and Andy!) for company. Watching the progress of the morning glory vines. And I'm sure the wrens will nest in the gourds again too - something to keep track of.

Wrote this while I was passing time and copying new music into my laptop. Now I have Karen Dalton "Cotton Eyed Joe", Ryan Adams and the Cardinals "Cold Roses" and Ryan Adams "29" added to the mix.

I will soon be moving into Everything Book #8.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
John and Mom.

Well, one of the first things I thought of on this topic was to continue writing about my brother and how he showed an exceptional amount of human spirit to continue his life in spite of the difficulties he faced. Then looking through my files to see if I could find a good photo I came across this one of him and mom. This was after mom's stroke and you can see her bravery too. She was very much cut down after her stroke. It took her ability to speak, her ability to read, her ability to work with numbers and do the taxes - something she took great pride in, her ability to sew and cook, her ability to walk without a cane. She was 74 when she had the stoke and she lived for 26 more years. The last 15 were spent sliding deep into dementia - another thing that cut her down even farther. How does one live without self pity? I spent so much of my life watching those two not falling into self pity - so why can't I do that one simple thing? I feel like I was the one in the family to gather up all the sadness and hold it inside me. It fills me to the brim and sloshes over frequently. I'm the melancholy one. Though I know that isn't exactly true - [ profile] earthmother45 feels it too.

Later... Next day now - Sunday. Maybe the answer is in that question I keep coming back to: Am I living in the problem or am I living in the solution? It's a switch in the mind that can be flipped and it makes all the difference. I think they became experts at flipping that switch. I am still working on it.

We had a busy day around here yesterday. Chloe and her fiance Mike, and Johnny and his fiance Alison, plus Jules and his boys all came over for a birthday party for Sebby last night. I spent the afternoon house cleaning. I did take a nap too. We had a nice party with pizza and cheesecake. Sebby got a new bass guitar and amp. I gave him a stand to hold his 3 guitars and a bunch of sketchbooks - he's an artist too.

During the birthday song.

I have lots to do today. Start painting and preparing the pages of a new Everything Book, figure out how to get the prescription benefit with our new medical insurance, contact an etsy customer to converse about a commission she wants, basement sorting and cleaning work as always. The writing prompt today is Renaissance Woman. I have nothing to say about that.

And while I'm at it - here's my spad for today - once again my right foot and Andy, in the darkness of the bedroom early this morning:

We find Andy is just too big to sleep on the bed with us so I brought up an old sheepskin for him to sleep on beside the bed. He was happy to sleep on it last night but this morning after he woke up he started to eat it.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
That might be a pet peeve with me and Dave - I feel like he isn't listening to me when I talk - he starts talking to the dog or a cat while I am already talking. Though when I call him out on it he always can repeat back to me what I was saying so I guess he somehow is listening. I can't keep talking if someone else is talking. It's not in me to try to over-talk someone else so I just shut up and drift away (annoyed). I won't say it again. I think that is what I like about the LJ form - I say what I say and it's said. I don't know if anyone was listening (reading) but that doesn't matter. I say it and let go of it to the world. If it's ignored I don't know about it (for sure) and that's okay. On facebook I hate it when people post this thing that asks if you are reading this person's things they want you to leave a comment on it. I never do - even if I am reading their stuff. I think - stop being so needy. But that is just another form of what happens with me and Dave. Everyone wants to feel like they are being heard. There is something in the Course in Miracles that says that we all have the same needs and desires and flaws - but it takes different forms in each of us. Try to find what annoys you in others and you will see it is something you have in yourself in a different form. Mine is getting annoyed at Dave and theirs is posting this thing on facebook asking for confirmation. Thinking about this helps to forgive others (and ourselves). We all have it.

Trying to do a system restore on my ipad mini today. It is doing crazy stuff like turning itself off and then rebooting every few minutes and then sometimes the screen gets 100% bright and then everything becomes unresponsive. I don't want to spend the money on a new one if I can help but I use it dozens (hundreds?) of times a day and don't like to be without one. I figure it is worth a try to restore it - if this doesn't work I give up.

Yesterday I took this photo of Kenyon at the cemetery:

Kenyon posing. I originally put it with my LJ spad posting yesterday but then took it off. I like the photo and I know Kenyon would - he has a unique sense of humor and it was his idea to pose this way. But it seemed "too dark" yesterday to my mind. Maybe today is the day for it. I certainly don't want to see anything like this for real for a very long, long time.

And another thing. Soon this will be me - I get this tooth pulled next Tuesday. Not sure how long it will be before I get the permanent bridge that will cover it - I hope it will be soon:

My future.
summersgate: (eggshells)
I think revenge is what is wrong with the world. It just keeps the hate going, on and on. Though letting go of hatred can be very hard if you feel you have been wronged. But does getting revenge help in the end? There is a saying, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I don't want to drink poison.

I'm trying to remember, have there been times that I set out to get revenge in the past? Probably only by talking about someone - telling others about what the offending person did wrong. That is why I try not to gossip anymore - it can be a form of revenge, slander hurts me as much as it hurts others. I don't always succeed in keeping my mouth shut. Something to work on...

This has nothing to do with revenge - thank goodness. I am going to have a busy day today. The woman who wants a mosaic on her kitchen wall called yesterday and said her contractor has finished making me the frame that I am going to put the mosaic in. I have put barely any thought into it. No designs drawn - just a couple very tiny thumbnail sketches done. I will be meeting with her today so she can give me the frame. I guess I am just going to tell her that I have been concentrating on enameling and needed to get that done for another customer first. I am just now finishing up that jewelry and soon I will be thinking about and designing her mosaic. I am going to tell her that I won't be done for many months. I want to make the ceramic parts first and get all the elements together and maybe take them all to her house for one last consultation before I start to glue the mosaic pieces down. I hate that I will be needing to give her a definite price. It sounds so expensive (to me) when I say the amount I want but the time I will be putting into the project is going to be huge. The amount I have decided to charge really doesn't cover my time and effort. I need to keep reminding myself I am doing it for the love of mosaic and art - not for the money. And I'm sure I will make too many ceramic elements and then I can use the overflow later for something I might want to do for my own kitchen. That will be my bonus.
summersgate: (eggshells)
At first I thought it should have happened to me. I would have been able to handle it so much better. I could have been satisfied with a life stuck in a bed with nothing to do but read and watch TV. I didn't feel the need to be outside, to be strong and active. I could have accepted a life "without a body" so much better. If I could have changed places I would have. But I couldn't...

Later, I used to think there might have been some kind of purpose to it. A reason. A lesson to be learned. It was supposed to be him, and how it affected me was how my life was supposed to be. I couldn't really understand but maybe it was like one of those spiritual lessons you hear about. Some bigger picture - we see only the confused and tangled threads on the back of the tapestry but god can see the finished tapestry from the front.

Even later I thought it doesn't matter. It can't matter. Things happen. No matter what - we have to deal with the life we get as we get it. Life can change at any moment. No use thinking about what if or why. Stay in the present moment and make it the happiest place you can.
summersgate: (eggshells)
25. What do you think about more than anything else?

What a question! In my mind I have a jumble of worries and obsessions going on all the time - some are stuck in ruts - how to choose the one I think about the most? I better go get my morning coffee started and come back to this later...

Maybe deal with this as a list and see what comes up:

Thinking there is something "wrong" with me - either physically or mentally - I am essentially flawed.
What can I do to remedy the above?
Hopelessness cause I don't think I can fix those things anyway and am stuck.
Jewelry that I would like to make.
Jewelry that I am making and orders I am filling and the etsy shop I am managing.
Wishing I could go outside and bike or hike.
Reasons why I shouldn't go outside.
What is wrong with me that I don't deal with the basement or the garage next door?
Happiness and gratitude that my life is essentially good and I like my house, my life, my husband, my family - I am indeed fortunate.
I'm too fat.
I'm okay as I am at this age - it's middle age - most people have a spare tire at this age.
I wish I would do some "real art" - color pencil drawing, painting - finally get into encaustics.
I wish I was doing more art therapy work.
People don't like me.
I need to like myself first and then I will feel like people can like me.
I need to do my meditation readings and get centered.
I need to just be kinder to others and think kinder thoughts of them and everything will be okay.
I'm too tired all the time - what's wrong with me?
I love my room (studio space - my little world) - I am very lucky to have it.
Why won't other people (the people and world situations you read about in the news) stop all the insane and mean things they are doing?!
What is wrong with them? How to understand them?
At least I am not crazy like that. Good for me.
The sun is coming up now and there is a beautiful pinkish glow to the world outside.
I love this world. I love being outdoors.
Be present and experience this moment right now. Fill myself up with it. Lose myself in it.
I should get out a camera and take some pictures of it.
How can I make those pictures tell my story? Thinking about my LJ writing (which is important to me as a creative outlet).
We don't have enough money. I have to be a chintzy gift giver this Christmas. What can I afford? What can I make for people instead?
Can we make the money we have stretch long enough?
What about my dental work that needs done? It's going to be horrible, painful and expensive. Doom and gloom. I'm going to be brave though.

Oh dear lord! Where my thoughts want to take me.

Anyway - back to this moment - a sweet Skye kitty sitting in the window with a beautiful new day dawning outside. Dave has agreed to go with me to work on the garage today - so good hopeful thoughts and present moment thoughts...
summersgate: (eggshells)
Still thinking about "what's the point?" Then I remembered this quote from the Dalai Lama about the purpose of life:

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”

Okay - I can go with that.


I am getting a lot of happiness from contemplating the wonderful yellow of the maple tree out front today. It has lost 90% of it's leaves - it's all so fleeting.

summersgate: (eggshells)
Going through old things of my parents really makes me think - what is it all for? I found a whole box of index cards this morning that my mother had made (in her quavery post-stroke handwriting) that listed movies in the VHS collection that my dad had made. He taped hundreds and hundreds of movies for them all (Dad, Mom and John) to re-watch. Mom listed them on the index cards with a little synopsis, star rating and the # of the tape the movie was on. How many hours did she put into doing this, and how many hours did Dad spend driving into town and renting the movies and then taping them? All for something I just threw away - boxes and boxes of them. Not that I don't see the value of hobbies and interests - I think there would be less war and less trouble in the world if more people had more hobbies. I don't know what I'm getting at really... But I see how valueless all this stuff that we do - that I do - will be someday. Probably the most important thing I did this week was play cards with Rossy and spend time with him. Making him feel good about himself will pay off in the long run - something that will live on - helping a child grow up happy. There is nothing else that will last after I am gone. Perhaps the jewelry I make might last beyond my lifetime but that will not effect the future much - not in the same way that putting energy into children or other people will. I think that as I'm aging this is the the epiphany I am having: that very little of what I "do" (make - produce) is important (and I used to think it was the most important thing!)

PS - Back to thinking about the tapes of movies Dad made and the work Mom did in organizing them. That was their love for John coming through. Giving him something to do while stuck in bed all day. He died before them so where did that love go? It leaked out to the side to me, so I could witness it and carry it forward.
summersgate: (eggshells)
I just received this email letter, from me, written one year ago:

Dear FutureMe,
I worry so much about the deterioration of my mind anymore. I so hope when you get this a year from now that I will find it isn't true. I feel like I'm floating with no joyous thing to ground me or give my life meaning. Though I am looking forward to a summer of biking with the grandboys. But in my art and jewelry business I can't seem to get very excited. I keep seeing things I do wrong and doubt myself. I don't feel very proficient. Also I am disgusted with myself by how addicted to the internet I am. I hope when you get this I will have gotten that under control. I hope that you will find yourself in a better place than I am. Good luck to you.

Ha! I did not realize that my life has gotten so much better in the last year. I didn't realize that last year at this time I was still languishing in the depression and fear (for my own mind) that had settled in on me when I was taking care of my mom in her last days. Could another year in the future bring even more goodness? I will continue to try to get my internet usage in balance though. It is still a problem. I suppose as long as I have the excuse that I need it for my business I will have the temptation to overuse it.

You can write a letter to your future self HERE.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Black Beauty with her new "trunk" in place. It just arrived today - this will make trips so much better I think - I could even start to carry my dslr camera.

After the kids went off to school this morning Dave and I went back to bed - it was raining and just a sleepy morning. I dreamed that I was able to fly by lifting my arms and I was hovering in the air but no one could see it. It was so inconceivable that I was flying that no one would recognize that I was up in the air. I tried to lift someone else with me but I couldn't get off the ground with the extra weight so that didn't prove anything either. Still, I woke up with a good feeling from the dream. I think this dream is really about ME not believing I can fly. Things are going so well I almost feel guilty. Life shouldn't be this easy. Life has never seemed easy for me before - I have a tendency to look on the negative instead of the positive so I am afraid something terrible will happen to make it horribly hard again. How to just enjoy myself? I am getting very near social security age and in July will start to get checks. I have already taken all the commissioned things (made-to-size things like bracelets and rings) off etsy - that has taken so much pressure off me. Can "retired" life really be so simple? I am experiencing an undercurrent of peace. I hope it can continue!

But I do have one last commission to complete - the antique buttons. I have given myself a deadline and told my customer I will have them in the mail to her on Monday. I still have 4 more to do - so this is just a little break I am taking at the moment - back to work now...

old poem

Feb. 26th, 2015 07:59 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
I was looking for something else in my old art journal pages and came across this poem I wrote back in 2008. It's really not about a bone - it's about something hard that gets lodged in a heart. Today it really spoke to me so I thought I would share it.


I used to do stuff like this all the time - write poems - make collaged journal pages. How can I get back to that? Maybe if I just created a clear space on my painting table with a bucket of water ready for cleaning brushes - that would be enough to entice a collage or painting to appear there. Maybe if I made a point of actively reading poems in a searching way everyday, or read books with writing prompts in them I could get started. I want to try again. I miss it.

The words only )
summersgate: (eggshells)
The Gilded Tarot - death.

I am the one who... a hero who charges in on a white horse. My banner is a white 5 petaled flower - a flower of purity and grace with 3 rounds of petals, each round building evenly outward from the last round. My helmet has wings. My armor is gray, not showy. I come quietly to end the battle.

So what does this mean to me today? I didn't want to be upset by the sled riding incident yesterday but I guess I am. We were wrong to forget to move the broken part from the bottom of the hill. I could have reminded the kids when they got up to the top to get back down there or yelled at them to get it when they were down there. I could have gone down myself and got it. It wasn't down there very long - less than 5 minutes I am sure - it was just a fluke that it caused a problem so quickly. None of us set out to harm anyone - it was an oversight. I do feel bad. The woman wouldn't accept my apology. She preferred to continue with shaming us. My attitude when it first happened was the healthiest - I could see she had problems controlling herself and after she left I wanted to go back to normalcy. It wasn't that big of a deal, except to her. If we had an inflatable sled and it had broken on something I would have just accepted it and learned the lesson to not buy an inflatable sled next time - too flimsy. Or taken it back to where I got it for a refund.

So Death card, help me to accept and change this shame and guilt that I feel for causing a problem for this poor sick woman. Yesterday is OVER. Death is supposed to not be a "bad" card - it is a card of change, transformation and resurrection. Let go of the old so the new can come in. Let go of old thoughts and ways of being. I need to see this as a positive thing somehow. Let go of the pain. Forgive myself. Forgive her. It must be terrible to be her, angry all the time and needing to threaten and bully others.
summersgate: (eggshells)

I am the one who is falling,
always falling. Everyone else
seems to have a niche and be secure,
but I am not.
Hostile forces are watching and
approving my fall.
A kind one nearby is sympathetic - she
looks politely away.
If I were to fall far enough
I would come to the place of dark beetles,
death, endings, blackness and decay.
Two black horses steal away silently,
just as I wish to slip away silently,
sleeping my life away,
safe in my bed where I can do no wrong.
There is a gentle hand reaching out to catch me though
and it comes from a place of the power of the circle.
As soon as I notice and say to myself "circle"
I think of Sister Circle.
Is it my circle of friends that is my saving grace?
Not just the ones here today
(who are very important to me)
but the greater circle of all family and friends,
all the people who will love me
no matter how many mistakes I may make.
This is what works to solve my problem of depression -
the cycle of depression,
the endless falling from grace that is mine.


Oct. 10th, 2014 10:04 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
"Orb" - my latest ring. Listing HERE

Another day where I can be home to putter. Sweet. I was listening to shuffle and Matt Corby's "Resolution" came on. I just had to look it up on youtube so I could share it - HERE. I like the sound of his voice and the song so much - listening to it makes me cry.

I'm not exactly sure but I think this is the anniversary of when my Grandmother S died. It was maybe either Oct 8th or the 10th. But I have felt a lifting of my mood in the last day or so and that always happens after an anniversary of a death is past. Grandma S died when I was 3 1/2 so I don't have many memories of her but I was still affected deeply by her passing. A big hole was opened in me that was never addressed cause I was so little. I slept in the same room with her from the time I was born and I think in many ways she was my mother figure. When she died I moved into my sister Kathy's room into a big bed and my brother John moved into Grandma S's old room. I don't like October or fall much. At least not like some people do. It reminds me of death, endings, coldness coming, darkness. I can appreciate the beauty of it - the leaves changing and the smell of fall are wonderful. And it's usually not so cold yet that a coat and gloves won't keep you warm, unlike later when winter really gets here. There are lots of mixed feelings in early October and feelings of loss and feelings of dread.

Being a babysitting-grandma to my grandkids is hard sometimes (they are not perfect and I am not perfect) and I have been extra emotional lately. I had an interesting dream on Tuesday that I see now illustrates this. I dreamed that people had caught "The Head of the Nazis" and contained it under a stainless steel cooking bowl. It was my job to keep it under there till the people came back and then they were going to put it on trial. Somehow it pushed it's way out from under the bowl and was loose. It was a skunk that had been reincarnated from the soul of The Head of the Nazis. I never called it Hitler in the dream - it was always The Head of the Nazi's. Even though it was a skunk and I knew it was a skunk it looked more like a small ground hog. It was vicious and might bite so after I found it I grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and held it away from me. I was looking for something to contain it again and saw a 5 gallon bucket with water in it. I held the wiggling animal with one hand and dumped most of the water out with the other hand and then dropped it in the bucket. There was still about a foot of water in the bucket and the animal had to swim. I knew it would die eventually if it had to keep swimming like that so I was trying to figure out a way to empty more water out without letting the creature loose again. That's when I woke up. I have been so angry lately with the way the grandkids don't "respect" me. Instead of having expectations of polite and respectful behavior that I enforce I let them act badly then try to shame them about it. I am the "Behavior Nazi" that I am trying to contain and it isn't working. Water many times in my dreams means excess emotions - and there is a lot of that around here for sure. Anyway - after that dream and during that day things started to feel better and get better around here. I have been listening to that audio book that I wrote about yesterday, "The Gifts of Imperfection" and something she said in there really spoke to me. If a boss had an employee that was always not doing their job and the boss just spent time shaming them when they did it wrong over and over then the boss ends up looking like a fool and cruel too. The boss needs to tell the employee what he expects of him and if the employee doesn't do it then there will be consequences. If the boss then follows through with the consequences (no more warnings or cajoling) then things will get better. I rarely follow through - always giving second chances and being disappointed in their behavior and then trying to shame them into doing better - thinking I am being kinder that way. Anyway - my eyes have been opened and I hope they stay open.


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