Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Monday, November 22, 2010

What I'm Not..........

I'm not a mall shopper, I really don't like shopping at all, unless it is for art supplies.  Recently, I had cause to be at our local mall.  It is small and I like that, it is old and not fancy, if I need to got to a mall, this is my choice. 

It was a bit of culture shock.  Have you ever been at home in the winter, say when the kids are out of school for Christmas vacation, everything is centered around the home, the farm, your little center of the world?  Then you must go to a high school basketball game?  Suddenly you are thrown into a world that you feel unaccustom, the lights are too bright, the noise level is deafening, the movement takes some getting used to as well.  Somehow the adjustment comes.  That is how I felt while in the mall for only one hour.  The lights were too bright, the noise, the Christmas decorations, the stacks of clothes, the STUFF!  Honestly, how do I live without all this stuff? 

It's easy, in my small world, (the gourd studio, the farm and art/flute events) it's not about how fancy you are dressed.  I must admit the clothes looked very pretty, the colors, the textures, the style, still it's nothing I can't live without.  I am happy in my black shirts and pants with bright scarves, a change in jewelery and a vest if it's cold.  I wasn't drawn to the stacks of neatly displayed stuff as I tried to find my way through a store that had a path to zigzag you through several departments to tempt you with goodies.  The mirrors and lights and pathway reminded me of being trapped in a crazy fun house at the fair.  I almost panicked!

If I go to a mall once a year it is to go in and come right back out.  I can't fathom spending hours there any more.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I felt I had to do it when my children were small.  I was a conservative shopper then, always looking for the bargains. 

My second BIGGEST PET PEEVE, the fact that a few years ago a new mall was built.  It sits between three other malls, all within a fifteen minute drive from one another!  Less than an hours drive from one to the furthest one away, that is with traffic conditions and traffic lights!  It is insane!  Who needs this much stuff?
Why rip up perfectly wonderful family farmland to build another building with black wall to wall pavement and cement.  Are we never happy with what we have? Do we really need to have newer and bigger to keep us interested in shopping for more stuff!  What are we thinking?  I also don't understand businesses leaving a building to build another superstore across the street, leaving the old one behind, sitting empty.  Our county seat has lost all downtown business because they have allowed the merchants keep building at the edge of town, the edge of town is slowly connecting to our neighbors "edge of town merchants".  All the while the center of town is empty and struggling to survive. 

I haven't even mentioned where all the merchandise comes from, is it AMERICAN made?  I will spare you my thoughts on this, I'm sure you have already figured them out..........

I am sorry to be on my band wagon this morning, so close to the holiday season, but really it is important to think about what we are doing.  Shop small businesses, support American made products and maybe just maybe we can make the shift to being a more thoughtful consumers.  But then they didn't ask me.............. what I am not is a supporter of taking the land and filling it with another mall!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Touch the Earth Gently

Touch the Earth Gently, this is one of my very favorite quotes!  It can mean many different things on many different levels.  I always thought it was regarding how we walk on the earth.  Do we tread carefully, trying not to disturb other micro environments.  Do we keep the space that we live free of litter, giving respect to other people, animals, birds, insects and fish that share this space.  I remember growing up and being taught not to litter, this is my BIGGEST pet peeve, I hate litter along beautiful country roads, on interstate highways, on hiking trails!  Come on people, don't throw it on the ground, put it in your pocket and dispose of it properly! 

Touch the Earth Gently, has a much bigger scope than just my small center of the world.  I worry everyday what we are doing to this Earth on which we live.  The scope of stuff we throw away everyday boggles my mind.  They (the greedy ones) don't make things to last anymore, "throw it away, replace it with something better", is the theme of most companies.   It's not always better, my 25 year old washer did a much better job doing my laundry than this new one I have.  The reason I replaced the old one?  Because they no longer make parts for the old one.  Yet again the secret of the greedy minds causing us to purchase new.  Do you know the life expectancy for my new washer is ten years, do the math (if you can) how many of us will be replacing our washers in ten years?  Where do you think they go after they are hauled away?  How many things end up in the landfill leaving your house?  What do you do with plastic razors, plastic containers, tin cans, junk mail.....  the list can go on and on.  I recycle what I can and each time I take thing to recycling I pray it is truly recycled and not just something to give me a little peace about what we throw away.

Touch the Earth Gently had another meaning the other night in the tipi.  My friend and I sat at the little fire talking.  I saw her put her hands on the Earth and just touch.  I watch as she moved them to another spot and then she said, "I can feel the electrical charge from the Earth coming into my hands and I can feel it go up my arms!"  Have you ever sat on the Earth and touched it gently and really felt how alive it is?  It was an awesome experience.  I too touched the bare Earth with my hand, I could feel the prickling electric charges.  At first it is like your hand is going to sleep, then it gets greater and the charges move up your arm like little lightening strikes.  It was truly amazing. 

I recommend that you go and sit on Mother Earth and touch her gently.  Think about what you can do to help protect her from being ravaged and used up. What good will that be to any of us and our future generations to follow.  We should be protecting the place we call home, honor and respect and protect the gifts the Earth provides.  Can we afford not to TOUCH THE EARTH GENTLY?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Painting the Tipi...........

I'm one of those people who believes we are always receiving messages.  Some are coming from conversations with others, some come from something we picked to read and other things come in the way of intuition.  If I'm suppose to "hear" something and I miss it the first time, it will come again and again......  if I am not paying attention.  I may not have been ready to hear the first message, usually by the second or third time, I get it!

For instance, I have been reading a book, it has taken me all summer to read.  I loved the book!  The book is DREAMWALKER, by Mary Summer Rain.  It was a book that jumped off the shelf as I scanned the shelves at the bookstore.  It wasn't a book I felt I had to finish quickly to get to the revealing chapter, each chapter was revealing in it's own way.  What I was mostly struck by, the day I would choose to read a chapter or two, it would address the exact same thing I'd just been thinking about.  On another day I would have missed that message altogether, but just "happened" to read it when I needed to read or I needed to understand something I'd just been pondering.  Some days my friend and I would have just been talking about something, I'd pick up this book and read what we'd just been discussing, giving a clear explaination, I call her and say, "You are not going to believe this!" and read to her the paragraph.  We only can say, "Isn't that amazing?"

My friends and I often find ourselves thinking about one another and then one makes the phone call to the other.  One day I was calling one friend and my phone rings and there she was calling me!  We always laugh and say, "I was just thinking about you!"  Awesome stuff when you listen!

Last January I had this idea to take pictures of the hands of my children and grandchildren, as well as Richard's and mine.  I was having this time of reflection about my own hands, when did they begin to look old, where did their youthfulness go.  Who's hands in the family resemble mine or Richard's?  I decided to take pictures of all the hands in our family and do something with them, although not quite sure what, still waiting on the inspiration or "message".  I still have all these hand pictures.  I think it was the beginning of what I'm about to share now.

In October, I attended a retreat, I have found that at these retreats there is always something revealed to me.  I don't remember anyone else getting this particular message, it was just something I needed to hear I guess.  Before getting this message however, I had a wonderful massage.  While getting this massage I, of course, was chatting.  The topic of aging hands came up, I mentioned the photos of the family hands I have. She began telling me about a trip to Peru and at the end of her work there, all the children put their hand prints on a cloth and someone talked all the Chief's into doing it as well.  She described how wonderful it was, the sizes, the hands receiving knowledge and the hands of the ones sharing the wisdom.  This light bulb idea went off in my mind to do a swirl of my family's hand prints on the cloth door of my tipi lodge.  I was so excited!  It was if I had made the most amazing discovery! Then something was mentioned during one of the sessions of the retreat and hands again were in that message, it was brief, and it confirmed the idea that I had to do the artwork of hand prints of my family on that tipi door.

[I might also mention here, the tipi door I am still using was the same door from my old tipi lodge that was nearly shredded in a summer storm this year.  When I ordered a new cover, I kept the old door to continue to share the spirit of the old tipi with the new.]

In November all my children and grandchildren gathered at our house for a celebration of fall birthdays.  I took this time to explain to them my idea and ask each of them to pick their "spirit" color.   For some that may have been the wrong way to express the idea of choosing a color.  I restated by asking them to pick their favorite color. My objective was for them to pick a color they always think of when they think of their favorite color!  Their hand was painted in the order of youngest to oldest.  Little Tatum, just over one year old, has her hand in the center and they all swirl out and around to my husband's hand being last. 

I can now say I have "painted" my tipi lodge.  I have also decided to order a new tipi door and keep the one with hand prints in the studio for the winter months and use it inside the tipi as art next year.  It has become a treasure, a record of our families hands and their favorite colors in 2010. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Post Open House Syndrome

I debated writing this blog, it is very heart felt and a bit teary.  It seems necessary to write my feelings and then I can move on.  I thought just talking it out with a friend would be helpful, my dear friend understands and is considerate of my pauses to control my feelings so that I can speak clearly again.  She is powerless to do more than listen and agree.  It is something I struggle with whenever my emotions have run high and then all is over. 

I'm eluding to the open house that I just had at the gourd studio.  I spent weeks before the event preparing gourds.  I have to clean the studio, moving storage tubs out, rearranging the space, sweeping, dusting, decorating for a more shop like appearance and less of a workshop.  This major cleaning only happens once a year, so it is a big deal.  I also have to have the house and the grounds acceptable for guests, not that they care, but I do, so it is important.  My dear friend and I talked about all of the preparations, it is like a ceremony, doing all of these things.  Many prayers are said during this time, some are as simple as asking for the strength to get it all done and others more sensitive to the people coming. It is done with so much joy and excitement.  I think about food, coffee and treats.  Thankfully, a friend brought cookies and another friend brought a birthday cake, there were plenty of goodies, what a relief!  I sent out postcards and this year only half as many as usual, something happened to my list in the computer, I lost half of my 600 names and addresses.  Will anyone come? 

The signs are out and the morning of the event comes.  My wonderful friend brings his beautiful flutes and we wait for the first guests to arrive.  Yes, they did come, we were blessed with visitors.  The weekend was packed with amazing people.  The smiles, the hugs, the flute music and the beat of the drum was gifted to all.  The cookies and cake were eaten, the coffee pot refilled often.  The weather couldn't have been nicer, people gathered and visited inside and outside the studio.  They took rides in my wonderful husband's Model A Ford truck.  Horses were fed apples and loved on.  The coffeehouse concert was well attended and other flute friends played their flutes at the open mic.  There was the fire burning in the tipi and friends to share that fire.  There was the hugs of goodbye with promises of getting together soon.  My heart was filled to the brim and running over with gratitude.

Yesterday and today have been difficult.  I went to the studio yesterday to start putting things back into their normal place, so that I might work again.  The studio is quiet, too quiet.  How quickly it was over, I'm not ready for it to be over, I want more, it's like an addiction, I am not ready for it to end. 

I wonder how this happened for me, all of these people who came are so special.   We are all drawn together for the same reasons.  I have discovered it is because of the healing energy and power of the Native American flute.  All else falls away with this family, the insecurities, the doubts, the pain.   You feel the love that each has to share, it is given freely with hugs and smiles, it is also returned.  We are all looking for the same thing, love, respect, acceptance.  We might be a little different in the eyes of the rest of the world, "misfit toys" is a term I've heard used, "they" don't matter when you know you have this family of friends and their love. 

Open house 2010 was awesome, and, oh yes, I even sold some gourds.  Now I'm back on solid ground, I can finish restoring the studio to a working space.  Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder a little.  It is what I needed today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day, 2010

I am glad election day has finally arrived, now the home phone will be quiet once again.  I am glad election day has finally arrived and all the negative campaign commercials on TV will stop.  I am glad election day has finally arrived because it will mean the highway corners, country side road campaign signs will disappear.  Imagine the money spent, they could actually be helping fund some of the very tax increases that we are going to the polls to vote on!  I would like to ask every candidate to put that money helping the schools or other worthy cause.

I voted and I wonder about the people I voted for.  If they aren't corrupt today, how long will it take them to become corrupt because of special interest groups funding their campaigns.  I wonder, after watching a YouTube documentary on Electronic Voting Machine Fraud, if I trust our method of voting.  This morning when I went to vote at 8:30am several machines were already causing problems and  had an "out of order" sign on them!  Of course I had the option of a paper ballet.  It all leaves a bad feeling with me and causes me to question things people expect me to believe, just because it was posted in the paper or told on the news doesn't make it true.  Media reporters, paper or broadcasting stations will only tell what they want you to hear.  I fear nothing is as it seems......... illusion, deception, and greed are at the heart of our political democracy.

I want things to be open and honest.  I want to respect the opinion of a person and decide if I agree or disagree.  I don't have time to worry about it being a truth or lie!  Okay, I live in a dream world, believing that everyone is a good person and is only wanting to help save the world.  Is it wrong to want this?

Voting in our small community is much like a social event.  The people at the polling tables are all friends and neighbors. And yet we have to show a personal id when the person has already greeted us by name!  We stand and visit with people we don't ordinarily see.  We leave asking one another who this person was or that person.  Often times we haven't seen them since high school or as least since our children were out of high school.  I wonder how many people go away asking there friend or spouse who I was too!

If we wore our voting sticker to the local coffee house, we got a free cup of coffee.   So we ordered breakfast and saw even more of the everyday locals gather at the big table for their daily gossip session.  Cracks me up that these men have so much time on their hands, wonder when Richard and I will have that kind of time? 

I am grateful that women are allowed to vote and thank those women before me who fought for that right.  I am grateful to live in a country that gives us the right to vote freely.  I am glad I casted my ballot and now I will get back to cleaning my studio for an Open House next week!  This is something I have control of........

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm Still Here

It has been some time since I've posted, many things going on and too much on my plate to think of a topic to write about.  I shouldn't even be here today, so many things on my list of things to do!  I seem to be in one of those moods, I'm just a little annoyed about things that I can usually just cope with.

First, I have to go and get new glasses today, not because I think that need them, it's been a couple of years since I got these glasses and they have the transition lenses (they get darker in sunlight).  In the last month or so I noticed in the upper inside corner a little spot that seems to be cloudy, this spot is getting bigger and now starting to bug me!  It is like it is always smudged......... this is not good.  So I must stop everything I should be doing to get new glasses and you know it will take a couple weeks to actually have them on my face!

Secondly, I mentioned awhile back the I had to get a new washer, my old faithful washer of twenty five years could not be fixed again!  So I have a new washer and hate it.  Well, I guess it does wash the clothes and I should be grateful I have a washer.  The problem is the new designs in washers, where did the lint catcher go?  I know there is stuff that needs to be "caught", I live with dogs and cats you know!  So I find the "lint" all over my clothes and hope the dryer will whisk it into it's lint basket.  The person who created this new design doesn't live with critters!  Did they ask users of washers what they want in a washer?  I don't think so!  I hate how quiet it is, I never know what part of the cycle it is in as it swishes and whirs through the washing and spinning!  Hanging around until the load is finished to throw things in the dryer is impossible to know with this new washer!  Then it spins things so thoroughly that everything in pressed to the bottom and sides of the washer, I have to hope the dryer takes out all the crease lines.  Many things I hang to dry, if the breeze outside doesn't shake out the wrinkles then I have to iron!   I really don't like my washer, I think it's "efficiency" is not my efficiency!  Not when I now have to pull out the ironing board!

I also have to go and have a prescription filled.  Why do they only make them for thirty days, how many months have thirty one days?  I could use that extra day today! 

The other thing slowing me down this morning is my hair.  For some reason, nearly two months ago I got this idea to let my hair grow out.  Now why did this come to me, I can't answer.  You know that I have had short hair for a hundred years, timing haircuts before an event so it doesn't look "just newly cut" was always a concern.  When I told my friend what I decided, she said, "What, before the retreat, before your open house, before Thanksgiving, before Christmas........ ?"  I have no answer, I am into this hair growing process almost two months now.  It's not pretty..........  What am I thinking?  Don't I have enough to do without curling irons and electric rollers? 

Okay, so why am I writing a blog, when I should be using this time to work on gourds or clean the studio for my open house NEXT weekend.  I can't answer that, I think I am overwhelmed and needed to vent.  All is good and all will get done.