Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lights are up.

I was a bit hysterical this morning after my inconclusive-mammogram-phone-message yesterday. I called my doctor office first thing and got a follow-up mammogram appointment at 2pm and a promise I would leave with clarity (meaning a radiologist would read the films while I was still in the office.)

After some more breast-squishing and emailing films off to the radiologist, the lovely tech came back to tell me that the worrisome thing they saw were tiny benign calcifications, the size of grains of sugar. I will need a follow up in 6 months to see what they're doing. She told me I shouldn't worry and that I also shouldn't look it up online unless I wanted to freak myself out.

My dad's surgery went OK. he's staying overnight at Mass General. They put a stent in his heart where he had some blockages.

Jewel the rat died today. Georgia came home with a playdate and went to play with the rat. She yelled, "Mama, I think Jewel is dead!" Terrible. We wrapped her up in some soft fabric and talked about death and what might be in rat heaven. They thought: cheese, Jewel's sister Cakey, and nice places to curl up. I hope so. She was old for a rat. Always sweet with us, although she'd snap at Cookie through the bars of her cage when Cookie would come sniffing. Miss Jewel was quite a fixture. We will miss her.

But I think we're done with pet rats for a while. They are so sweet, funny and smart, but they die too quickly. I think Jewel had a stroke this last month and she was dragging her back foot around the cage. Uggh. We'd been feeding her very well since she got sick last month. She got her own little Thanksgiving dinner, complete with pie and whipped cream.

After we lit some candles for Jewel we put up the tree and listened to the Muppet Christmas Carols.

I got one of my migraines that don't hurt; I just can't see things in the center of my vision and there is a wobbly iridescent line in my peripheral vision.

What a weird day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I got this email today

Detours, challenges, and crisis, Katherine, are simply covers for miracles that had no other way of reaching you.

It's all good,
The Universe

(Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®
© www.tut.com ®)

It was perfect because

I had my first Mammogram ever last week. Tonight I got
a message that they need me to come in so they can get more images of my breasts.

Feeling sort of queasy.

And, quite suddenly, my Dad needs a cardiac catheterization tomorrow.
He likes my mother to call it a "procedure" not "surgery"

Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Skip the beginning

From Free Will Astrology this week for my fellow Sagittarians!

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
"It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything," said Sagittarian poet Rainer Maria Rilke. "I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning." I urge you to consider trying that approach yourself, Sagittarius. Instead of worrying about how to launch your rebirth, maybe you should just dive into the middle of the new life you want for yourself. Avoid stewing interminably in the frustrating mysteries of the primal chaos so you can leap into the fun in full swing.

I have been wondering how to start my new career being an energy healer. Hmmm, maybe I should just jump in? What would that look like?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Craft Fair with Lily

Lily sold her friendship bracelets, she ended up making as much money as me, filling custom orders until the end.

My massage oils (with Lily running in a blur behind them. It was harder for her to sit still than I thought it would be. She made alot of friends!)

Photos of the plants used to make some of the products.

Therapy pillows with flax seeds.

My magical cash box. The smell of lavender oil wafted out whenever I opened it.

My Lily making bracelets. It was such an encouraging loving crowd. The older women commissioned bracelets and called her a budding entrepreneur and a textile artist. She loved it. At one point I looked around and every woman in sight who was selling her wares was also wearing one of Lily's bracelets. It made me weepy, to have her help so tenderly with such support in a group of women I hardly knew.

Here her hands are moving in a blur as she fills her orders.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Craft Fair prep

Pouring off the St Johnswort oil

I have been harried since I got back from new York. I have a craft fair this weekend and I have so much to do to prepare.

Once I started doing the actual work with the oils and potions I loved it. My animal loves it. The oils and the smells and the way the plants have colored the oil thrills me.

Here's the red of the St Johnswort oil

The green of the Balsam oil

The gorgeous block of beeswax melting makes the room smell like honey.

St Johnswort salve, really potent for healing skin and relieving pain. They look like little desserts to me.

The Comfrey Root oil I used in my other batch of salves. It was thick like honey.

A tower of oils on my Reiki grid.
I charged everything on the grid and used the Seed Mantras I learned at pleasure camp to fill them all with healing power and grace.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Miss Sparkle is molting

She really looks terrible. We thought something had mangled her. It happened very suddenly. Thankfully the feathers are growing back and they are lovely as they poke out, like firm little colorful beads emerging from her pink skin.

Lily won't pick her up.
Poor Sparkle.
Rob put extra bedding to keep her warm in the coop.

Hopefully she'll be back to her full glory soon.

Odd things happen

in my job teaching nursing school.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Got this card when I got home

(All contents © Kris Waldherr 2008. All rights reserved.

Kris Waldherr, the artist who makes these cards said I could put them on my blog as long as I included this link to her facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/l/;KrisWaldherr.com. )

OK, I get the point. Time to take care of myself. I was so reverent with my health and body after my illness this spring, but the busyness of life did take over and I have been less vigilant of my own health. Pleasure Camp was a big wake-up call.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I really missed this crazy bunch!
Here we are waiting for the bus Monday morning.

Ooh, one of the things that happen when a mother takes some time off. (Rob pointed out that these were not too happy in the week before I left) Picking them up was truly disgusting, they were oozing rotten pumpkin slime.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Heading home

I had an amazing time, but I was ready to head home.

The girls would have loved this fish tank in a fancy hotel.

On my way out of New York City, loved the colors and the 888 is another lucky number for abundance! I'll take it. I felt very full of love and awareness of the beauty of my life after the weekend.
Thanks for Pleasure Camp, Jenna!

The lights were so beautiful on the way out.
I wanted to get photos of the strings of lights that were the bridges, but I also didn't want to crash.
So I put my camera down and drove home.

Off to NYC

I ended up taking a wrong turn as I drove into New York and thank goodness for my little buddy's GPS system (and thank god I paid a tiny bit of attention when Rob showed me how to use it.) I was sort of cavalier about the whole driving thing. I didn't think I'd get lost. But I would have been doomed or at least very very late if I did not have that nifty little thing. Holy crap. New York City is big and there are many many roads.

I met up with dear friend Miranda in her cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn with its high ceilings and such a light open feel I just wanted to just snuggle down there, but I was there for a pleasure camp adventure, so I dropped my things and off I went to the subway.

Off the subway, up the stairs and my first corner I saw this! The Empire State Building!
It felt so exciting to be in New York City wandering around alone at night.
I used to travel when I was a younger childless woman and I miss that feeling of floating along, watching the world around you and seeing where you end up. Ahhhh.

Pleasure Camp turned out to be a weekend of bonding, sharing, dancing, singing with 30 wonderful women and generally getting in touch with our neglected inner animal.

This song:


One Love by Sarah Tavares was our theme song and we danced to it alot. We used it as a love song to our own bodies. "I love you. I can't live without you. I know you can understand me. I need you." It was a sweet and dramatic shift to focus on feeling pleasure in the bodies we actually have, not feeling frustrated and annoyed by the needy body that keeps demanding sleep and food when neither is convenient (or at least that's how I often feel. "Really! You need to eat again. Cripes! Didn't we just do this!?")

Jenna LaFlamme http://www.pleasurableweightloss.com/ the founder of Pleasure camp has 5 presuppositions
1. Your body is a living breathing, feeling, decision-making animal.
2. Weight gain is your bodies cry for attention.

3. Pleasure is a trustworthy, intelligent guiding force.
4. Weight loss emerges naturally when the right conditions are in place.

5. Until sexy is safe you'll never lose weight.

These are each mind bending on their own and together they create an enormous and delicious shift in perception.

She asked us to imagine that our body and mind were like horse and rider. Many of our horses had been neglected and abused. So, instead we talked about cultivating a respectful dialogue between mind and body, asking the body what it needs.

"What do you want?"
"What are you trying to tell me?"
"What do you want to eat?"

And make it a team decision between body and mind.

I thought often of the Mary Oliver poem Wild Geese and that line:
"You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves"

Wild Geese

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

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.

© Mary Oliver

We talked about embodying the divine feminine and celebratin g life, love, sex and food. Being present for everything. We got gift bags with bright ostrich feathers, books galore and blindfolds. We took turns with partners. One would have a blindfold on and the other would take her time stimulating all the senses other than sight. Feathers, chocolate, raspberries, essential oils, blueberries and banana. It was intense, but there was alot of laughter.

We had homework.

The first night it was to find the full moon and stand in her lig ht for a bit, even there in the big city, we found nature and its womanliness shining right up there in the sky.

I called home to say hello and then I made it to Miranda's on the subway, my pink ostrich feather sticking out of my bag, fluttering in the rhythm of the train. I loved the subway alone, just sitting there with nothing to do but look around and breathe. I did some of my emotrance homework that I have been having a hard time finding time to get done. When can I just sit there at home or at work and just focus on how energy feels moving through my body? The subway was the perfect place.

Slept well and woke up to my water glass mysteriously pink. I was half asleep and was quite mystified, but when I sat up it was my feather reflecting in my gla ss.

An intense fun filled day followed.

Lectures, practical advice, dancing and more homework.
This time at lunch here is some of the assignment:

"When you eat, make sure you are sitting down and then br eathe three times before you begin eating. Continue to breathe mindfully as you are eating--breathing through your nose and expanding your belly as you eat through your mouth.

Seek unadulterated pleasure in every bite you eat. Aim to extract as much pleasure as possible from the experience of eating and the food itself. Do this by slowing down and breathing and feeling your body. Pay attention to what you taste, smell, see feel and experience. his will activate your body's natural appetite control."

I got to know and really enjoy some great women over lunch as we tried to breathe, taste, enjoy and talk. We kept forgetting, "Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be breathing!"

We did much more and the day ended at 7p.

Union Square after class for some Whole Foods splurges and another full moon sighting.

Subway fun. Can't imagine lugging the entire drum set down there.

Miranda's door! Home in the city! Miranda was out with family and I had her lovely apartment to myself. I drank tea and had a hot shower while looking over my books in the quiet. It was magnificent, but I was starting to miss the family. Interesting.

Last day of the weekend, loved how this curtain was floating in the evening breeze.

We had a lecture by Danyelle Demchock of gluten free and gorgeous http://www.glutenfreeandgorgeous.com/
that was very motivating about going gluten free. I've been very reluctant to admit that I have a gluten sensitivity. It just seems so trendy and annoying, but she addressed the immune issues and other symptoms that were familiar to me so I think it's time to give it a try.

A note from a fellow pleasure camper. I thought it was wadded up gum she wanted me to throw out for her.

But she smiled and said, "No, it's a note for you. Read it!"

I opened it at back at my chair.
It made me smile.
And I took a photo.
I love Pleasure Camp.

The gorgeous Hindu goddess who held the lemons in the kitchen.

The spread of healthy snacks they provided.

It was a wonderful program. I felt so lucky to be there. There was so much going on and so much information I could go on and on, but I wanted to write this and post it. I will share more.

Jenna came up to me during a break and excitedly grabbed my arm and said, "We picked you for the scholarship because you're an herbal witch and you're in touch with the magic of the Earth."

I was shocked, but not shocked at all. I was quiet for a moment and then replied, "It's true!"

Then she said, (all paraphrasing here..) "We also picked you because of your blog. You're out there and you'll spread the word!"

"I will!" I said and I will.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Packing up

I worked late the night before my trip to Pleasure Camp and came home to a gorgeous full moon. I was tired but I had so much packing, cleaning and planning to do so I could disappear for 3 days!

List list.
Pack pack.
Plan plan.

I set out at 11:11 on 11/11/11. Oooh I love that. I had been looking forward to the big 11/11/11 day (as my readers know I am a big fan of 11:11) so it felt quite magical to be taking a road trip to a weekend filled with transformation, Hooray!

I borrowed Rob's phone for the weekend. I pretend to be a Luddite and like the quiet and moments of solitude I get as someone who does not own a cell phone, but I really liked having one. It felt like my little buddy, which might be the problem, but it was fun. On the drive I listened to Healing with the Masters with Jennifer McLean http://www.healingwiththemasters.com/

who is lovely woman with an interview show online that I like. She did a big prayer circle for 11/11/11 and had us imagine moving through a portal. There were 10,000 of us on the line and in person and I got quite spacey and blissed out as I drove along in Connecticut traffic.