Nov 29, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I have decided I'm not a good traveller.

I really want to be. I fancy myself to be very worldly, in fact. But the truth is...I suck at air travel. Which means, I'm not particularly worldly at all. Just fairly road-worthy. I do incredibly well in a car. Can find my way by map or highway marker with ease. I'm happy to drive up to 14 hours at a time with very little complaining. But fly? Oh, no. No ease. No happiness.

Having said that, I did have a great time in Mexico. I came back tanned and full of red welts from their giant mosquitos. I bought bug lotion on the last day. Tip for travellers: bring the bug lotion with you - even if you think you won't need it.

I do apologize for the lack of posts. I tried to use the resort's computer (even pre-set a post here - hence the date on the last post, which was in fact written on Nov. 25th) but their wireless was on the fritz and I couldn't upload the post to my blog.

I will also get some photos uploaded in the next day or so. I'm suffering a bit of jet lag and my brain seems to still be on vacation.

It's also going to take me a while to catch up on all your posts, so bear with me. I can't wait to hear what you've all been up to.

Also, for those who were wondering:

-Yes, I drank Margaritas all day - every day. Also, Pina Coladas and Dirty Monkeys (coffee liquer and banana liquer - yum!)

-No, regardless of the copious amounts of booze, I did not get drunk. Which either means they water down their booze, or I was just sweating out the alcohol faster than I imbibed it.

-No, I am not pregnant.

-No, I did not bring home a house-boy named Jesus. Or a donkey. Or a small child.

Thanks for all the well-wishes. That, combined with many pleas to the elements and the gods, I had a nice trip and got home in good order. Blessed Be!

Nov 19, 2009

Mexico

I am here, in the land of sun and sand, and...rain. Yes, it's raining today, pushing the humidity from a constant 90% to about 200%. Still, it's hard to be disappointed in a place like this. I am not a summer person - don't care for the heat - but I am happy to be here nonetheless.


We went shopping in Playa del Carmen yesterday, and I wasn't fully prepared for the vendors...wow! I stuck to the middle of the street though and watched as the weary tourists got dragged into shops and stalls. We found a gorgeous little open restaraunt and had the first 'real' margarita of our trip. I don't know what we are getting served at this resort - but holy hell, it's sure not the same as downtown. One margarita and we had a hard time walking! We can drink them all day here at the resort and be just fine. I think there's some discrepencey in regards to how much alcohol is served from place to place...


Our group also went to Xel-ha (sounds like "shell-ha") which is the place where they filmed "The Blue Lagoon" and is a stunning representation of Mexico's natural water features including caves and cenotes (underwater rivers and pools.)

We also have an excursion planned to Xcaret, a Disney-like park that showcases Mexico's heritage and wildlife.

For now...it's more margaritas and a good book.

Catch you soon!

Nov 18, 2009

Elemental Greeting

I thought I would share my morning greeting of the elements. I endevour to do this daily, after lighting a candle and some incense. Hopefully a pre-yoga and meditation moment, but when there isn't time for the full-meal-deal, I'll merely speak my greeting, and be on my way. I do feel the difference in my day when I don't greet the elements in the morning.

This isn't a circle-casting - just a moment of thanksgiving to the elements and divinity. Although I've felt the elements from time to time, and my hands tend to heat up a bit while saying this, it's merely a balancing of sorts for me. A reflection and a moment of gratitude.

Please also note - my observations on the elements and their directions are merely mine alone. Some subscribe Fire to the East and Air to the South. The Southernmost end of the Valley where I live is desert, so I have a definite atachment to fire in the South. Also, some find that Water is intuitive, where others sense that trait in Air. Each to their own.

A big thanks to Happycrone, who inspired me to do this, a little more than a year ago now!


I say Good Morning to the East, and the element of Air.
Thank you for your breath of life. For birthing the sun and the moon. For your knowledge, your intuition, and your knowingness. Thank you for your winds of change, your winged friends, and your blessings blown in on the breeze. Blessed Be.

I say Good Morning to the South, and the element of Fire.
Thank you for your refining flame. Thank you for burning away the chaff in our lives. Thank you for your passion and vitality, for your celebratory nature and for the heat that warms our hearth. Blessed Be.

I say Good Morning to the West and the element of Water.
Thank you for your elexir of life. For your hydration and healing touch. Thank you for your wisdom of the deep. Your emotional fathoms. Thank you for washing away my cares. Blessed Be.

I say Good Morning to the North, and the element of Earth.
Thank you Pachamama for your stability, fertility and groundedness. Thank you for your abundance. For providing us with the harvest. Thank you for being our strong, safe place. Blessed Be.

I then greet the element of Spirit in the way that it reveals itself to me (guides, nature spirits, etc.) and then, lastly the Goddess and God, whom I spend some time with. In this case I don't call in a particular Goddess or God - I am merely giving thanks to the Divine feminine and masculine.

So - this is a bit of a peek into my daily practice. I change up the words too - I say what I am moved to say, so sometimes I am more tuned in to Water and have more to say about that - and sometimes it's Earth, etc. I hope it gives you one small idea on how to incorporate a moment of thanks into your day.

Blessings.

Nov 15, 2009

To Do...Or Not To Do...That Is The Question!


Well, the Mexico trip has been booked and I'm leaving...Thursday! Yes...this Thursday. I have so much to do I don't even know where to start. Work is piling up at the office and I'm still doing some Christmas production work for a friend. Something has to get tossed - I just don't know what.

I'm sure it will all get done - I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. Yes, I know. Suck it up. I'm going to Mexico. Have I mentioned that I'm terrified of flying?

A few other things on my mind this weekend:

1. "Eastwick" has apparently been cancelled. Bummer. I tried not to like this show - but I really did like it. Especially that dark Canadian boy-devil Paul Gross.

2. I'm looking forward to reading the half dozen books I'm bringing on my trip, including Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.

3. I just bought 3 turkeys at 40 cents a pound and I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking. But for $5-ish each, I can give them away as hostess gifts. Or bat mitzvah presents. Or something.

4. I have to actually leave the country to be rid of my Halloween candy. I still have a cookie jar full of it and I can't seem to stop eating those damn chocolate bars. I tried freezing them - but I've just about broken a tooth chomping on frozen Mars bars. I can't bring myself to throw them out. Perhaps if I vow to hit the gym while in Mexico, I won't feel so guilty....

5. Having just returned home from a wonderful dinner out with friends and being serenaded by a boy who looks like tennis star Rafael Nadal, playing spanish guitar, I'm feeling rather smooshy.

Here's hoping I don't dream about my to-do list!

Nov 13, 2009

Nov 12, 2009

Almost Gone...


I've been running around with my head cut off these past few days. I received a call from a friend who said "do you want to be in Mexico on Monday?"

We have been planning to go to Mexico, but decided to wait for seat sales, and now we have 5 deals to choose from, and possibly another 5 if we want to arrive Monday the 23rd. I'm hoping we get another week here, as I have quite a bit of work at the office, and could use the time.

Then, my brother and his wife called to say that they would like me to move into their basement suite in December (a week after I get home from Mexico.) The suite is larger than the one I've been living in here for 8 years, but of course, I've had the run of the backyard for all that time, and have some nice garden plots. I am able to take some of my favourite plants with me - but I can't take them in December. I'll have to come back in the spring and hope that the offer is still there.

My brother and his wife have a large backyard that is pretty much open space except a cherry tree. Even though I'd have to start from scratch, I could build some lovely gardens there. Also, there's the benefit of having my nieces so close. Now that they are tweens, they don't want to spend every spare moment with Auntie (I know...shocking!) so it would be good to have them around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I haven't dropped off the earth...yet. I'm catching up on your blogs slowly. I've had some long days at work, and a few nights out at meditation classes and hockey games, so my computer time has been minimal.

I'll get my act together soon....and then I'll be in Mexico! I am expecting to have internet access there, so I will definitely be posting while sipping margaritas. But I'll keep you up to date on what's happening as far as plans, and where I'm going to end up.

Wishing I could bring you all with me - wouldn't that be a party!

Nov 8, 2009

Pick A Card...


I've been trying an exercise to work on my intuition. I shuffle a deck of cards, pick 10 (face down so I can't see them) and try to guess if they are red or black. There are numerous exercises to help you work with your psychic mind, and those of us taking the Inner Temple course with Christopher Penczak are encouraged to try several of them. But I've been working with the cards.

I had tried this exercise in a group setting a few months ago, and only guessed one card right out of six. My partner guessed all of them correctly. To which I replied "wow - I'd never be able to do that." Of course, I didn't. You would think I would know better - being someone who puts alot of stock in 'intention' - saying or thinking something like that would ensure it would come to pass. Which it did.

Flash forward to yesterday, when I took 10 cards and held them one by one, in my left hand. I asked "is this card red?" and if I got a light feeling, the answer was "yes." If I got a heavy feeling on my left side, the answer was "no." I got all 10 cards right. To which I instantly said "Wow, I'll bet I couldn't do that again." Sigh... You'd think I'd learn. Because, of course, I didn't do it again.

I tried several different ways: listening for an answer, making quick, snap decisions based on gut feeling, and re-trying the original approach. I got anywhere from 30-70 percent accuracy. But not 100 percent again. Grrr! Blast my negative mind!

Today went a bit better. I tried 3 pulls of 10 cards, and managed to get 70 percent accuracy.

Still, that little seed of doubt was planted. I'm going to have to work on digging it up!

Do you do any kind of exercises to encourage intuition, or are you just naturally gifted?

Nov 7, 2009

Things to Ponder...



Why is it, when I wear white or cream, Dexter - my black beauty - always wants to cuddle? And when I wear black, Daisy - my grey, black and white kitty - gives me a nice snuggle.

Also to ponder...

Why does Dexter come running when I do any sort of ritual or magic-working, and Daisy leave the area? Does she find the extra energy in the space too much? Does he revel in it?

Ahh...if cats could talk...

Nov 5, 2009

Late Autumn At the River

I had a wonderful walk by the river today....

I saw this wonderful thing...a funny seed pod opened up and it looked like Einstein's hair!

The once green grasses by the pond are all golden...

A deer munching on fallen apples from a tree that was left to grow wild on some abandoned property.
These grapes were green and surrounded by leaves the last time I took a photo of them. There are only a few sad little ones left, and the birds will find them.

The wind came up while I was walking and it turned the stroll into something out of a fairy tale, with leaves blowing around me like I was walking in a snow globe. It was lovely, and I watched two crows catch the updrafts and twirl and dive with the gusts. Even the trees seemed happy, dancing this way and that.

Of course, tonight a full-on storm is blowing outside my windows. The temperature has dropped and the wind has gone from playful to agressive. I imagine the last of the leaves will be gone from the trees tomorrow.

I'm supposed to be going to a movie - the new Bruce Willis flick - but I'm wondering if a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate (and Bailey's) isn't a better idea....




Nov 4, 2009

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them!


Okay....I know I just said I'm not ready for Christmas. I know. But...but...have you tasted Starbucks holiday line up yet? I mean...Peppermint Mochas! Creme Brule Lattes. And egg nog too! I was at the bank today, and got sucked in by the shiny sign, promising warm things inside... I can't help myself. I'm a latte whore.

I'm still standing firm on the Christmas carols and the snow! Not yet!

PS - all you crafters and artisans out there - I know you have to start early. All that work - you'd never get done otherwise! Create away. I'll be hitting the local craft shows again this year, so I do understand and appreciate your situation. Especially because I can't sew a straight line, or use a child-safe glue gun without somehow burning myself. You are my goddesses!

Nov 2, 2009

More Autumn Please


Now that October has passed on like the ancestors, I am trying to buffer myself against the onslaught of Christmas and all it's shiny, happy, mass-marketing.

Don't get me wrong - I like Christmas, as far as it's a lovely time with family and friends, and copious amounts of special dishes my mother only makes once a year. I celebrate both Yule and Christmas, as my family is primarily Christian, and I have no issues with purchasing a few gifts for my neices (whom I shower with gifts year-round - so really, what's the difference.) My brother and his wife, my parents and I give each other small "stocking-stuffer" items, and instead spend our money on 'adopting' a local family through the Helping Hands program (buying them gifts, a turkey and other food items.)

I also take no issue with a certain (small) amount of snow. It's pretty, and brightens up our dark Winter in the Valley. I enjoy decorating with natural items -some boughs from a neighbour's cedar tree, pinecones, and other cuttings from the garden centre.

What I am trying to hide from today is Walmart.

I shop at Walmart. I'm sorry. But I do. Now, I do buy locally. I support the Farmer's market for the entire season it's open. I buy from small shops and pay extra for local products. But I just can't pay $10.00 for 6 rolls of toilet paper at my corner store. I just can't.

The problem is, that on November 1st - a few short hours after Halloween has ended - the entire Walmart store is filled to the brim with Christmas trees, Santa, Nativity scenes, bright bulbs and glittery snowflakes. And Christmas music. Lots and lots of Christmas music. I do like Christmas music. Just not on November 1st. Or 2nd.

Couldn't we just wait until December? I'm still mourning the loss of October. I'm trying to get in every spare moment I have with the leaves that are left on the trees (of which, there are few.) Can't we just wait a little longer for Winter and reindeer?

I've been spotting Christmas commercials on television for two weeks now. Christmas catalogues have been coming the mail for a month or more. I really don't mean to sound like a Scrooge - but can't we just have a few more days of Autumn? A few more days of pumpkin pies and walks in the falling leaves. Another week of apple picking and the smell of turned-over earth in the garden?

Maybe I should get my Christmas wish in to Santa early...

"Dear Santa - I've been a moderately good girl this year. Please send me more Autumn.

Love Rue."

Nov 1, 2009

Evidence

Yes, I am a real person! Giggle. I'm not a fan of photos (or a particularly good photographer with a digital camera) but here are a few from yesterday's Halloween/Samhain celebration!

I chickened out on the costume. Still battling a cough and a lost voice, so I needed something festive that required little effort. So - take some of my far-too-long hair, mess it up, add a few birds and some feathers, and voila... A birds nest....or...Macha the raven goddess.....or...the chick from "The Birds"....or....just some crazy girl with birds and feathers in her hair - lol!


Dex and Daisy, checking out some of the pumpkins as they were being carved...


Fairy lights in the front garden plot (which looks terribly sad now that everything has died back.) I fill the garden with little jam jars filled with birdseed and tealights. They look really neat in the dark!


My pumpkin display. I bought a dozen. Two went to the neices. One went to a friend. Three didn't get carved. So, we have six grinning faces (well...5, and one polka-dot fella!)



The nearly-full moon came out from behind some clouds to spook up our evening. It was a great source of light to the trick-or-treaters who were lucky enough to have some warmer (dry) weather this year! Unfortunately, they also had too many activities to choose from in town, so my usual 80 kids, turned into 35! Sigh. I miss the days when 100 candy bags weren't enough to last the evening.


After the goblins were no longer knocking, I took my offering out into the garden for the Spirits. I then did a Tarot reading for my year ahead, and had some meditative time to myself. A lovely night!

I've enjoyed reading everyone's blogs about your Halloween/Samhain activities! Hope you all have a spectacular new year ahead! Many blessings to you!

Now, where did I put those sugar skulls.......