Category Archives: Spirit

Bizarre Happenings and A New Beginning

Standard

Two Coworkers’ Stories

 

The first subject matter is my friend, Amy. I have some doubts about

the man who doesn’t like to be kissed on the mouth. But, guess what?

They have made incredible arrangements and plans for this new year.

Amy and Roy are heading to Missouri. Not just any town, but a fine

sounding one with the name of New Amsterdam.

 

They found online a three acre farm, barn and fences to hold their

horses in. If you remember I have posted about Amy’s horses, Spirit,

Sapphire and Lokie. Roy has a wild horse which puts Spirit’s wildness

to shame! His name is Lickety Split. But they call him “Split.” Doesn’t

his name show imagination and doesn’t it conjure exactly what this

horse tends to do?

 

Anyway, Roy and Amy have made more plans than I could imagine in

such a short time. They have given notice at the place they rent to live

in Cardington, they have told the barn that houses their horses they

will no longer be paying for their stall or feed fees. Amy has ‘put in’

for a transfer to a Kansas Advance Auto Distribution Center about

a 45 minute (one way) drive. She has over fifteen years in working at

the good ole’ D.C. #23 here in Delaware, Ohio.

 

I have my fingers crossed, since there are a few doubts, concerns and

worries for such a huge under-taking, relocating and a new job, to boot!

If you are one who sends prayers or well wishes into the air and don’t

mind including Amy and Roy, you would make me feel much better.

(When more than one are gathered in His Name and pray, sometimes

mountains can be moved!)

 

In honor of my sweet Amy, please listen to these two songs:

Pure Prairie League’s song, “Amie.”

Carole King’s song, “So Far Away.”

I shall miss Amy, but we are connected since she likes my posts and

reads my blog.  Plus, since she has email and a cell phone we can stay

connected. One way or another!

 

My other story is much more intriguing and less worrisome. My good

pal, Tammy has joined me for lunch, along with first and second breaks,

for almost 6 years now.  She has two big cats, along with the feral kitty

who has become tamed and one English Shepherd dog. She has a good

boyfriend from years and years ago. I wrote an old love story post about

them. Tammy and Mike, the “Fencepost Buddies” love story.

 

Anyway, her sister and brother in law have a neighboring house which

has been through a lot of trauma in the family. They have had the same

family living there and there have been rumors associated with this farm

‘homestead.’

The farming family had an open door policy recently giving away

all of their household belongings. The farming equipment was sold

in a public auction.

The house and furniture are considered ‘haunted.’ Her sister took

three intriguing antique trunks and two tall vintage dressers.  She

felt very ‘lucky’ to have not had to purchase these beautiful ‘finds.’

 

She shared one of each of the trunks and dressers with Tammy.

 

Here are the strange things that have happened in Tammy and Mike’s

house since they brought the furniture into their home. There have

been several times when one or both of the couple have felt unusual

‘presence’ and an accompanying cold burst of air. They have had

times where they left the house with all but one light left on, only to

come home and find the entire house ‘lit up like a Christmas tree!’

 

The weirdest things have been pull chains on fans, which when they

would turn them on normally, like in the summertime it would be at

the light switch since there are ceiling lights on every fan in almost

all the rooms of their house. They shut EVERY fan off, by pulling the

chains in November.

 

The fans should not ‘turn on’ when you turn on the overhead fixture,

just the light should go on. Both parties, Mike and Tammy, are

adamant they are not trying to prank each other with the lights or

fans.

 

No one can explain the recent way a curtain pulled out into a bulging

shape either. Nor can they understand why when Mike was taking

off his breathing mask to prevent sleep apnea, it was hurled out of

his hand. He felt a tug or pull on the mask.  More than once!

 

Someone at work suggested shouting these words,

“Go into the Light!”

 

Another gave some herbal or natural remedies to cast out demons.

 

So, my good friend Mark C. who works in my building and is in

the area below me often in the Aerosol Room knew someone to refer

this couple to about the ‘haunted’ furniture. His good female friend

named Ruth has a son who came and toured the house. He felt the

‘presence’ and also, when the lights were out, thought there was a

‘ghostly shape’ in two areas of the house. He is one of those ghost

hunters who has a website, too.

 

The trunk and the dresser are gone now. Ruth’s son hauled it away

to keep in his barn. He has a group of associates who want to use

some kind of machinery to detect ‘ghosts’ or ‘spirits.’

 

When she was adding things for the table of my coworkers, Tammy

told us that “rural legend” around her small town (not Delaware,

Ohio) ‘they say that this homestead has been in the family for quite

some time. The story goes that the wife of the farmer went mad

and the granddaughter who inherited the farm is in her thirties

and been institutionalized in a mental hospital.’

 

We all kind of shivered, thinking about the implications that the

women in this family may have been tormented by something

inexplicable.

 

Tammy says there was a moment recently that both Mike and she

were sitting watching television and the dog ran up the stairs and

into the bedroom barking.  Both of them looked at each other

with a little bit of ‘fear of the devil’ in their eyes.Neither one chose

to go upstairs and investigate. Mike called to the dog to come,

while they didn’t even bother to discuss the implications.

 

Tammy said their living room curtain is not bulging anymore with

the shape of someone hiding behind it. Instead it made a weird

circular motion where it rustled along the carpet, when the house

was quiet and she was reading a book. She looked up and saw the

curtain sway, then rise up and whisk sideways. Finally, it was pulled

back. In mid-swing of the curtain, she tried to film it with her cell

phone. In the middle of the noiseless house, on the short ‘video,’

you can hear a clattering. We all noticed it and asked Tammy about

this, she answered:

“I got up to see what was going on, since both the inside cats were

on the sofa with me and the dog was at my feet.  I just wondered

what the noise was. It was not in the hall nor the upstairs, it was

in the kitchen.  It stopped as I approached it, but for one brief

moment, I felt like it were the sound of plates bumped together.

There were no plates in my sink nor did the sound repeat itself.

If Mike weren’t here to verify the lights and the fans, during past

incidents, along with the startling shape of the bulging curtain, I

would not believe any of this.  As it was, he thinks the dishes

clattering is highly suspicious of  ‘more aggressive behaviors.’ He

believes me and does not think I am imagining it. We talked about

this out on the road, in his truck. It is so weird but we sometimes

wonder if there is something which could ‘listen’ to us in the house?

 

What if the ‘ghost’ or ‘being’ is still in my house?”

 

I looked at Melvin and Felda.  Both appeared a little spooked looking,

as I felt goosebumps rise on both my arms and the hair on the back

of my neck stood on end.  Melvin’s family believe in voodoo,  as

well as my Filipino friends.  I am not sure Tammy really has any

‘beliefs’ but she really thinks strange happenings are going on in

her country house, despite the furniture being taken away and put

away in Ruth’s son’s barn.

 

“All I want is some peace and quiet. I wish this issue would be

resolved,” my good friend and coworker, Tammy lamented.

 

Do you have any suggestions for Tammy and Mike?

(They really don’t want to sell their house!)

 

Here are two songs to represent my feelings about the bizarre

happenings in Tammy and Mike’s house:

“Strange Magic,” by Electric Light Orchestra.

“Witchy Woman,” by the Eagles.

 

I love both of these songs and had not heard them for awhile.

Hope you enjoy the playlists and don’t forget to send some

silent positive thoughts out into the universe for Amy and Roy.

It couldn’t hurt to do this for Tammy and Mike, too.

 

Celebrating a serendipitous happy morning moment for me,

while driving to the library I heard this ‘new song:’

“Roller Coasters,” sung by the ‘indie pop’ band, Bleachers.

I found this to be really catchy and a fun song, reminiscent

of older pop songs.

 

Would you consider listening to just one more song?

I am off for the day on an adventure with my good friend, Jenny,

who is a retired teacher. We did not have to work today, ‘lack of

work!’

Yippee!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Native American View on “Two-Spirits”

Standard

An article by Cecelia LaPointe, who refers to “Two-Spirit”

which addresses and rekindles awareness of Native Gender

identity, was in the Ohio “Outlook” magazine. This was my

resource which I used finding great Christmas music lists

and an article about Bette Midler in December.

 

In November, Cecelia came to OSU campus to host a poetry

workshop and speak on racial identity and the “Two-Spirit”

existence. Ms. LaPointe has also visited Columbus during

both Native American Heritage Month and Trans-gender

Awareness Week. (Two opportunities I missed last year to

feature in my monthly calendar.)

 

Indigenous communities of Native Americans use the “Two-

Spirit” label to denote gender variations within their people.

In the world, they consider Europe and American cultures

“binary” genders. “Two-Spirits” become a third or even fourth

gender among native societies.

 

“Two-Spirits” are denoted or designated from birth, through

a ritual. This belief of a person embodying masculine and

feminine spirits, two ‘identities inhabiting a single body’ is

not considered ‘weird,’ ‘strange’ or ‘inappropriate.’ Instead

the Native Americans ’embrace’ the different way of life.

 

Two things mentioned in this essay about Cecelia and her

tribe’s belief in what sets these particular people known as

“Two-Spirits” apart:

1.) They dress and change their choice of who they are from

day to day. They are not all ‘one way’ in their feminine or

masculine clothing.

2.) They may choose to carry out tasks or labor, not dependent

on their outward appearance. Gender roles are not delineated

or dictated in the “Two-Spirit” existence.

For example: A person could go out on a hunt or go to war, but

at other times may dress in women’s clothing and carry out

domestic chores. Women could become  ‘warriors’ or chiefs

over their native tribes.

 

Interestingly, according to Ms. LaPointe,  “Two-Spirits” were

not only tolerated, but they were ‘revered.’  For instance, they

were well respected and considered, ‘powerful.’ They often were

given special roles such as healers, mediators and counselors.

 

There are instances where bigotry of “Two-Spirits” has been

carried out. When historians bring up the arguments of their

contributions and respected positions it is to counterbalance

those who say Native Americans are “transphobic.”

 

Sometimes, Natives would bring up “tradition” as a reason to

exclude people who chose to carry out their ‘birthright’ as

“Two-Spirit” people.  They would be acting close-minded to

the long history of the revered members of their tribes.

Ancestors of Native Americans were not against “Two-Spirit”

people, elders were often of this delineation.

 

Ms. LaPointe brings up Spanish missionaries as those who

planted the ‘bad seeds’ which germinated prejudice against

“Two-Spirited” people. “They (Two-Spirit) were essentially

the first victim in the campaign of colonial violence against

the native population of the Americas.”

 

Ms. LaPointe considers herself of  ‘mixed descent’ and feels

she is part of “both cultures, both worlds.” She grew up in a

Detroit suburb and lives in the northern town of Manistee.

She travels to her reservation in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula)

regularly. She is a descendant of the Anishinaabekwe Tribe,

native of the Great Lakes region.

 

Cecelia LaPointe says her reservation is very small yet it is her

“home.” This is where she goes to be with family members. Some

of her own family members hold leadership positions within her

tribe. It is part of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Being

located far from the city means it is a positive place for her to

retreat. It is also good since. . .

‘There is less influence from the dominant culture there.’

 

Ms. LaPointe reaches out to others, through her writing

and public speaking. By going to college campuses, she

can share her poetry and also, her viewpoint where the

students may be encouraged to be ‘themselves.’ She hopes

to reverse the history of discrimination against both the

Native Americans and also, those who are filled with what

they call, “Two-Spirit.”

 

There was a wonderful piece of artwork that accompanied

this article in “Outlook,” November issue. It has the artist,

George Catlin’s (1796-1872) painting called, “Dance to the

Berdache.” This was drawn while the Sac and Fox people

of the Great Plains were engaging in a ceremonial dance to

celebrate the “Two-Spirit” person.

 

Here is a part of a poem that talks of her emotions,

“Poem: Ajijaak Dodem Anokil

It is so precious,

Those tears on my hands,

Covering my face,

This grieving is beautiful,

You see we had felt those knives turned inward

On ourselves,

On our family. . .”

 

You may wish to check out Cecelia Rose LaPointe’s poetry

or speaking schedule and other special events at:

http://www.anishinaabekwe.com

 

My youngest daughter and I recently saw, “The Imitation Game,”

which depicts an underlying sadness within the main character.

It is a true story about Alan Turing, a genius. He was the inventor

of a de-coding machine that ‘beat’ Germany’s war coding machine,

“The Enigma.” This British machine helped the Allies win World

War II against the Germans.

 

Apparently, Alan Turing was a man who faced accusations and

there were parts of the film which eluded to his sexual preferences.

This movie brought up the problems that people historically have

faced (and are still overcoming).  The end of the movie has details

about large numbers, unfortunately, of people who were thrown in

British prisons, due to their homosexuality.

 

The actor is one I enjoy as “Sherlock” on PBS and also, has been

in the “Dr. Who” British television series. His name is Benedict

Cumberbatch. You can see him in more than one 2013 Academy

Award nominated movie, since he played in “12 Years a Slave”

and “August: Osage County.”

 

The woman who befriends him and who is very talented in

decoding and helping with the Turing Machine, is played by the

wonderful actress, Keira Knightley. My favorite role she has

played was in, “Pride and Prejudice,” but there are many more

films to see her in.

 

After the movie, when I talked with my youngest daughter who had

cried (as I did, too) during some of the tender and intense parts of the

film, we both agreed upon deep emotions we have in common.

We also share values my parents and siblings embrace.

It is hard to understand why anyone would be so offended by

someone’s personal choices.

 

Sadly, the United States has had many different areas where

numbers of people who chose to be ‘different’ from what some

may perceive as ‘normal’ or ‘mainstream.’ Obviously, numerous

people are still either bullied or face judges in court rooms.

 

Persecutions in the United States have been appalling and we

talked about our abhorrence of this.

 

No country is totally ‘innocent’ of negative practices of prejudice

and persecution. “Racial profiling” has been a problem within our

extended family.  (My oldest daughter’s father of little Micah is

bi-racial. Mainly, since 9/11/2001, he has had taunts and threats

due to his outward appearance. In his younger years, he says at

least in Delaware, Ohio, he found people wanting to be his friend

throughout his schooling and working years.)

 

The numbers of those imprisoned, at the end of the movie, were

such that we just shook our head and looked at each other through

teary eyes, in disbelief. Felicia asked me, “How can anyone feel

they have the right to judge someone else?”

 

This article about Native Americans and “Two Spirit” individuals

was saved in my WordPress drafts.  It helped me to feel that there

is a positive force to include gays and lesbians within the Native

tribes. Their ‘explanation’ or interesting philosophy towards people

who choose to follow two different genders created new thoughts

in my mind. Mother Nature has some unique qualities which I

embrace, sometimes intuitively.

 

Of course, I have mentioned before. . . I have hope for our future

in the possibility that all peoples can accept and embrace our

differences.

 

Written in Memoriam of Alan Turing, scientist, original computer

inventor and mathematician who committed suicide at age 41, a

few weeks before his 42nd birthday in  June, 1954.

Queen Elizabeth II gave Alan Turing a post-humous “pardon” in

2013 for his criminal charges and offenses.

 

Wedding Story Part 2

Standard

I ended up wearing the first dress. It fit right in with the evening reception, along

with my youngest daughter’s insistence it was more ‘current’ than the other two!

I would love to share Nate and Holly’s love story with you, since it has been awhile

since I have shared a love story. If you have time, I have about 30 other ones in

my past writings! They cheer me up, as it is interesting to know how people met.

 

Nate and Holly knew each other since the fourth grade.   They say they  ‘went out’

or ‘were going together for about a minute!’ This was shared by the minister during

the ceremony. She said she was ‘charmed’ by how Nate told her that he ‘spent the

next eight years trying to win her back.’

 

About 6 years ago, they ran into each other in a local saloon, the Back Stretch, where

several of the Delaware High alums of 2004 were gathered. Nate really knew that this

might be one of his last chances to catch Holly. So while talking to her, he leaned over

and whispered, “That girl over there keeps hanging on me, could you pretend you are

my girlfriend and kiss me?” The minister chuckled, when she told the congregation

gathered, some like me, who did not know this fact. She even slyly added something

like what a great line and how wonderful that this worked.

When her sister was getting married, my daughter Felicia and Holly were bridesmaid

and Maid of Honor. Holly asked if she could bring Nate, even though he had only been

on a couple of dates with her. Megan said, “Sure, if he REALLY wants to get to know

us, this would be the perfect setting.”  Megan and Breck got married in a late summer

outdoor wedding, they had been high school sweethearts. They have a little one year

old boy who rode down the aisle after the flower girl with a boy who must have been

a three year old cousin, pulling him in a wagon.

Nate had mentioned to Megan at the wedding, something like, “What’s not to love

about your family? They like dancing and drinking and so do I. He fit right in, Megan

told us in her Matron of Honor speech.

Here are two of the beautiful speeches, almost poetic in their simple loving meaning.

The first was read by a good friend of Felicia, who was in her Confirmation class and

brought his very cordial wife.

Matt read:

His hello was the end of her endings,

Her laugh was their first step down the aisle,

His hand would be hers to hold forever,

His forever was as simple as her smile.

He said she was what he was missing,

She said instantly she knew,

She was a question to be answered,

And his answer was, “I do.”

(no author given)

 

This is the lovely passage at the end of the British cast  movie.  Felicia and I have

watched this for the past 13 years since 9/11/01. The meaning of love everywhere

entranced us, the Christmas Spirit is present throughout, and it has a little PG-13

action, so it isn’t one you would show anyone under that age. Colin Firth, Hugh

Grant, Liam Neeson and others are outstanding. As well as a sweet actress who is

played by Martine McCutcheon. She adds to the romantic tone of the movie, in

this international story, as the aide to the Prime Minister. Emma Thompson and

Alan Rickman have a different kind of love story in this movie, married with one

of them participating in a ‘dangerous’ flirtation. Their story has a really funny

element, where one of their children plays a ‘lobster’ in a feast. I love the song,

which creates a bittersweet tone in their stressful lives, sung by

Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now.” If you wish to listen to it, the 2000 version

shows an ‘older and wiser’ songstress singing about ‘not really knowing love

at all,’ with a grand orchestration. This newer version is more textured and

was chosen specifically for one of the scenes, where Emma’s character is

rather frustrated with her life. The Colin Firth story has a maid/housekeeper

who is not able to speak English, which creates comedic episodes, with clever

subtitles in it.

 

Felicia read:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the gates at

Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a

world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that.   It seems to me that love is

everywhere.   Often, it is not particularly dignified or newsworthy,  but it’s

always there- – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives,

boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as

far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages

of hate or revenge- – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a

sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

(Hugh Grant, playing the character of the Prime Minister, speaks these words

while you see people greeting, embracing and parting with hugs from all kinds

of international cultures, shown in their apparel.)

 

The reception was held in the second floor of the Clippers Stadium, so I do have

photos of Felicia and me, with the background behind us of the baseball diamond.

The place was cold, it is heated by radiant ceiling ‘pipe-like’ things. I got my popcorn

which the bag said, “It all started when he popped the question.   Holly and Nate,

October 4, 2014.” There is a dug-out café, also Tansky’s Grille and other interesting

parts of this location. When the sun went down and the lights of Columbus lit

up, it was simply the perfect, idyllic location for an Autumn wedding. The couples

came up the stairs from the first floor, while the DJ and announcer called out

first the couples where they were bridesmaids and groomsmen, then the Matron

of Honor, (sister of the bride, Megan) and the Best Man (brother of the groom.)

We had ‘ordered’ when we ‘R.S.V.P.’d’ our meal which mine was a grilled chicken

breast with a balsamic dressing, a tomato butter, freshly cooked green beans

and pasta in a garlic sauce.

 

I met some people I didn’t know at other tables, but knew the family of Doug

and Lisa, along with their children who are grown and out of college. They

each had a date, Lisa’s younger sister is planning a wedding next year and

her fiancé was encouraging her to ‘take notes,’ along with showing a little

excitement for the next wedding in their family.  I met and exchanged my

phone number with a woman in her fifties who likes country music, goes

to different activities and mentioned a reasonably priced concert coming

up in Columbus. I mentioned I love movies and going out locally, since I

tend to like to have one or two drinks and worry about sleepiness while

driving back from Columbus. Unless I could pre-arrange staying with my

youngest daughter in what is now called, “Olde Towne East.” We will see

if Pat calls me, since I was not as enthusiastic about a Thursday concert,

the one that is low cost.

I spent a lot of time with the bride’s grandmother, Ginny, who has been

a good friend for more years than the two children knew each other. She

and I met at a nursing home, where I was the activities director for over

four years. She was the home’s hairdresser, so we teamed up with her

bringing down people to the activities room, along with my assistant and

I, had coffee and donuts along with a weekly craft time. It made me feel

‘good’ for my own self, but not so much for the current residents, ones

who lived there after I was hired up at the preschool with the special

needs little ones. She told me that basically they didn’t collaborate or

work their schedules around her clients’ scheduled days (she works as

a part-time hairdresser, only twice a week.) Of course, it is a bittersweet

thought when she compliments me this way: “It never was the same

after you left! Lori, (my assistant) moved on to drive the disabilities van

and the city wide system bus.”

I got up and danced with the bridesmaids to a nice Chicago tune, then

pulled Ginny up to the dance floor for “Twist and Shout.” I ended up

leaving after ten o’clock, while the night was still ‘young’ and lively!

It had been a perfect day for a wedding, after all.

A little rain is supposed to bring you luck, along with the sun popping out,

when the couple came out of the church, bubbles floating around their heads.

The wedding party boarded a trolley car which whisked them somewhere

not divulged, to take photographs and begin their celebrating a marriage

I do believe will last.

It began at such an innocent age allowing time to grow, develop and

become true love.

 

 

 

 

Critter Lovers

Standard

My Mom and Betty White adore animals of every species and support their

lives with their extra money. My Mom has always been part of the ones who

would donate to any and all causes for animal preservation, prevention to

cruelty and local humane societies. They both use their humor and their

love of animals to ‘keep on going.’ Betty White is often on talk shows, in

movies and recently Hallmark featured her in a movie about a woman who

was waiting for her husband to come back from WWII. It is called, “The

Lost Valentine.”

 

Both women, although far apart in their professions, my Mom and Betty,

were widows and kept on their toes, with causes and interests. Betty has said,

she would have retired long ago, except that she wanted to continue to be able

to donate for animals’ rights. Both of these over 80 year old women, Mom and

Betty, live purposeful and meaningful lives.

 

Oh, and if you didn’t know this; both women ‘love’ Cleveland! You may see

Betty White performing and cracking her audiences up in, “Hot in Cleveland,”

on TV Land on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (Ch. 38- Central Ohio time)

 

If you were to live in Cleveland area, here are some extraordinary animal

supportive entertainment projects being carried on, forwarded from last

Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Mom.

Everything from hummingbirds’ research and studies, which you may be

willing to observe and participate to “cat karaoke night,” are included in

this list of 10 upcoming events or fundraising projects!

 

1.  On Friday, September 262014: The group named,  “tails from the city,”

will hold “Karaoke for Cats,” at Paddy Rock Superpub.  This is located at

16700 A. Lorain Road. The group will take questions or donations at:

http://tailsfromthecitycleveland.org

 

2. The Northeast Ohio Circus Boycott Committee can be found on Facebook.

This organization promotes animals living in their natural environments.

They believe that animals should not be made to perform, should be able to

utilize their natural instinctive behaviors and not trained behaviors. Forcing

animals to perform is considered, “mistreatment.” There also is a phone

number for this organization: (440)-213-6342.

 

3. There is a New APP for smartphones that will inform the public of how to

help orphaned or injured wild animals. Free guidance can be found for the

group, Animal Help Now or

http://ahnow.org

 

4.  Do you want to show your appreciation for animals with a variety of

t-shirts with slogans?

The two organizations support animals:

http://sunfrogshirts.com

http://SmolasRescueRailroad/rescue

 

5.  This is so cool! Did you know humane societies and animal shelters collect

package weight circles from Purina Pet Food bags and products? Apparently,

Purina is like the Campbell Soup labels for education program and will reimburse

different non-profit shelters by their receiving labels for dogs, cats, bunnies, and

other domestic animals.

 

6. The National Audubon Society is asking for information about the hummingbirds

in your area. They are offering a free APP for people to contribute to their study of

hummingbirds:

http://hummingbirdsathome.org

 

7.  The Volunteer Vets and Valley Save-A-Pet organizations in Cleveland, Ohio are

working together by offering free spaying and neutering surgeries for dogs and cats

of low income owners. This outstanding joined forces group helped to perform more

than 1200 surgeries last year. Their program is titled, “Have A Heart.” They request

the participants fill out income guidelines and the animals be younger than two

years old and at least 35 pounds. If you wish to participate or donate:  Please Call:

(440)-232-CATS (2287)

 

8. September 21st the Annual Rainbow Bridge Walk and Run will begin at 1 p.m.

to honor and remember pets who have passed on into heaven. This is located in the

North Park, 3595 Grafton Road, Brunswick, Ohio.

Details for the Rainbow Walk can be found at:

http://rainbowbridgewalk.com

 

9. The Medina Pet Pantry is accepting pet food donations, leftovers from animals who

have died or newly purchased at: 6335 Wedgewood Road, Medina, Ohio.

 

10. Going along with the #s 8 and 9, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio

will be holding their Pet Blessings service in remembrance of beloved pets who are living

and also, ones that have passed on, October 5, 2014 between 1-3 p.m.  More details at:

http://stpatrick4u.net

 

If you are an animal lover, you may already know about the fantastic veterinarian and

author, James Herriot. I loved his longer, autobiographical adventures for anyone from

middle school and older. They are rich in English countryside, customs and anecdotes.

Here is his beautiful list of books, which I have treasured for years:

1. All Creatures Great and Small

2. All Things Bright and Beautiful

3. All Things Wise and Wonderful

4. The Lord God Made Them All

There are several more, including The Best of James Herriot but I am not sure, unless

you are a parent whose children adored animals and you were in the juvenile books area,

that some of you are aware of these special and meaningful story books. Each is illustrated

beautifully and my own children chose one of these to focus on in their growing up years:

1. Moses the Kitten (1984).

This was our first James Herriot book we invited into our home.

2. Oscar, Cat About Town.

3. Only One Woof.

4. The Christmas Baby Kitten.

This is kept in our Christmas book collection huge basket.

5. Bonny’s Big Day.

Horse lovers, this is about a special horse!

6. Blossom Comes Home.

People who have affection towards those doe-eyed cows, should

check out this sweet story.

7. The Market Square Dog.

 

There may be more books, your own personal animal stories you may wish to share

in our comments and responses. We all like animals, it is a true fact, babies and pets

are sometimes what bring smiles from even the ‘grouchiest’ people!

 

I will be shortly walking out of the library to see one of the biggest horse parades in

the United States. (Delaware, Ohio at 3 p.m. on September 7th.) I will be running into

a number of my friends, church members and neighbors. I will be sitting on a curb

soon, enjoying the community sense of fellowship and high expectation. In the past,

there have been diverse costumes, including Native American, (some represent the

history of this area, as descendants of the Mingo tribe), KISS band member look-alikes,

old-fashioned period costumes, Servicemen and women, Amish men and women with

their bonnets on, guiding their wagons and Clydesdales.

I will keep my eyes peeled, my camera ready to capture the horses with my coworker

and friend Amy, her ex-mother in law and daughter, riding together as a Trio entry in the

parade. The parade committee and guest judges will be choosing Best of Show, Most

Unique and other categories of winners for varied entries in this annual parade.

I have written about Amy’s horses, Spirit, Lokie and Sapphire. I have not been sure of

which ones they will be riding, one in all turquoise, another in all golden colors and the

third one, still up in the air, as of Friday. This means the headdress and blanket under the

saddle are of a chosen color, all in the ‘regalia’ of horse finery!

 

I am wearing this cowgirl on a horse, fall colors shirt, you can see in my avatar photo. No pants

today, since it is quite sunny and pleasant. Will be sitting on West Winter Street, with some

members of the family waving at the cowboys, cowgirls and children who are in this

All Horse Parade.

Supposedly, it is still considered, “The Biggest All Horse Parade East of the Mississippi!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creek Walk: Blue Limestone Park

Standard

My only three granddaughters and I went on a special Creek Walk at Blue Limestone

Park on Saturday afternoon on June 14, 2014. Why note the date? It is the one where

I truly felt I changed their sweet, little lives. I asked if they would prefer, as we drove

past the beautiful new Big Toy, gym equipment installed at this ‘ancient park’ to play

there?

The unified answer was, “No, Nana!” The M & M girls, who are only 3 and 5 years old,

sang those lovely words out loudly. As they finished, their soon (next week) to be 10

year old sister, said these heart-warming words to this humble, nature-loving ‘hippie’

from the seventies,

“Nana, we look forward every year to being able to explore along the creek, cross over

the rocks and go under the train tunnel!”

Lara made me burst in pride, looking in my rearview mirror at her, my little step-

granddaughter, who is mine as well as others’. I said in reply,

“Thank you, Lara! This means so much to me!”

She came back instantly,

“You are the ONLY one who does this with us!”

Landen had gone off to be with the other two grandsons, Micah and Skyler, into the

land of video games and boys’ interests at my oldest daughter’s house. I was having

a good time, this day, with the ‘promise’ given at the onset to get ice cream cones

for three out of four of us, while Marley, whose ‘tummy hurts’ when she eats dairy

foods, will either choose a sherbet or a cookie, at our local place.

What did we find on our walk?

We found the light shining so brightly through the train trestle that I could not

capture through my camera lens, the brightly lit yellowish green still Spring like

branches and silhouettes up ahead of our journey. I took pictures of Lara, carefully

placing each foot upon the next rock, one by one, telling us behind her, of which

ones were ‘wobbly’ or ‘rocking back and forth.’

I helped my other two, sometimes having to hold their hand, putting my foot in

a simple sneaker, down into the clear and rushing creek water. They were filled

with a different kind of trepidation, I sensed a change in their development from

last year’s walk. They were more aware of the ‘danger’ of falling onto rocks and

the sense of imbalance to the stones. They had had more recent bumps and bruises,

evidenced on Marley’s shin and Makyah’s cheek. Little light bluish bruises, which

each carried their own story.

When we reached the place where they have to lean on the cold, damp wall of the

trestle, built of blue limestone rock, the oldest, Lara, was in the lead. She asked

why there would be mud up here, on the ‘shelf?’

I told her that sometimes the waters must have been higher or the wind roaring

through the tunnel, had brought mud upon the place we were walking. I also

told her the truth,

“Nana doesn’t really know the answer to that question, just a guess!”

When we got to the other side of the tunnel, to me, it is like a ‘fairy land.’ We saw

birds swooping, cheerily greeting our arrival here I saw so many branches of trees

leaning in, roots rising up and then arches created by low slung trees, bent into

bows. When they were under an arch, I asked the trio of girls to turn around.

They immediately did, knowing my camera was ready to capture this moment.

Lara, placing her arms around both the girls, showing the living definition of

‘sisterhood.’ The light filtering through the combination of hues of deep green,

light yellowish green and shadows made an entrancing photograph.

Mentally, I noted, three copies need to be made.

You see, I may not share the photos of my adventures with you, but I make

miniature albums of 36 pictures for each of the six grandchildren. They come

and take one of the recently made ones, sit and look them over. Their parents

make cd’s and videos on their cell phones, while I make the picture books that

let them know what seasonal adventures ensued during the past months.

Once in awhile, lately, the five year old, Marley has been curious about my first

husband, their “Poppi” who they did not realize was married to me, ‘once upon

a time.’ She asks to see photographs of our wedding, our days of young parent-

hood, raising her Daddy and her Aunt Carrie. Marley was thoughtful, again,

yesterday. She asked,

“Did you bring my Daddy here, when he was a little boy?”

I told her,

“Yes! In those days, there were tons of tadpoles or pollywogs, in these little

ponds that are back here, behind the big lake. The kids would bring buckets,

even ones I babysat, and we would all explore this area. Your Daddy, when

he was in 6th grade was allowed to come here on his bicycle and fish in the

Blue Limestone ‘lake’ that really is a ‘quarry.'”

I asked, as we climbed over a fallen tree, the little ones studying a spider,

bright, almost ‘neon’ green moss, and some little toadstools growing on the

side of it:

“Do you want to know what a quarry is?”

They all three listened as I explained how the Ohio Wesleyan University and

other buildings around their hometown had blue limestone that had been

‘mined’ from first the big ‘lake’ and then, later the smaller holes that became

other ‘lakes’ surrounding where we were walking beside.

We reached a ‘break’ in the trees, walked to the edge of the creek, finding in

the dirt, hoof marks of deer and also the smaller prints of raccoons and one

set of bunny tracks. I gathered them together and we all ducked under a low

slung branch, pointing across the creek, the separated undergrowth, the

path where the deer ran through the woods. We also could see, with a little

turn of our head, an opening where you could see the blue-green, almost

turquoise colored water of one of the more shallow quarries. I pointed this

out, saying:

“Your Daddy, Aunts Felicia and Carrie liked to swim in that ‘pond.'”

Oh boy! What a “can of worms” I did not foresee opening, with that remark!

I am sure you can guess, they wanted to go right across that creek and jump

into that smaller quarry!

I reminded them that their parents had bought a YMCA pass to the pools,

both indoors and outdoors. That, in those days, the possibility of algae and

other more dangerous bacteria were not so common. After all, this would

have been over 20 years ago!

They are such respectful children, allowing me to side track them, letting

them to think about taking off their shoes to dangle them in the creek

water.

I had them wipe their faces first, arms next, systematically going from

the top of their bodies to their feet, when we got back to the car. Then,

we carefully placed their special little mementos of their creek walk on

the passenger seat of the car:  wild lilac flower branches, three hickory

nuts that had been cracked open, halved neatly to reveal an inner design

that Lara found fascinating, the other younger ones chiming in that they

also “needed one of those!” and the wild daisies for their mother.

Then, having cleaned up, we ran down or rolled down, depending on

our age, the hill leading to the place where we would cross the parking

lot and play on the Big Toy!

Later, while sitting and savoring our treats, we were gazing, all four of

us, westward. There were first appearing, cotton candy blend of pink

and azure blue billowing clouds, then an orange-ish golden hue, and

finally a fire igniting across the sky.

When we got home, we all looked up at the waning Full Strawberry Moon,

the clear dark sky lit up with its presence. I said out loud, “Thank you,

God for this beautifully perfect day!”

Lara, who attends church more often than not, with her local father’s

mother, (Grandma) exclaimed: (I am not making this up!)

“Amen!!”

 

 

 

Musical Legend: Mavis Staples

Standard

Wishing an early “Happy Birthday to Mavis Staples!” Her birthday will be

July 10, 1939. Wow! In her 75th year of singing a rich and still fresh

combination of blues, soul, folksong anthems, and Gospel music, she

just put out another album in 2013!

Way to go, Mavis Staples!

Mavis’ newest album is titled, “One True Vine.” I learned more about

her personal journey through her life and also, a definite proposal

and romance I had no idea existed! You may not guess which famous

singer asked her “Pop’s” for permission to have her hand in marriage!

Mavis’ “Pop” put together the family singing act called, “The Staple

Singers” long ago, while she was at the tender, young age of 8 years

old! While the Peace Movement and Civil Rights Movement were the

ones who ‘took her there,’ the popular song, “I’ll Take You There,” was

what got the group on the top of music charts!

Listening to the lyrics, knowing it was originally a gospel song that

was intended for the listener to believe in going to a place called

“Heaven,” makes it even more spiritual and inspiring.

During the sixties, being on stage with Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King,

Jr. made her inspired and gave her so much encouragement for the

world. Her life was spent traveling around to big cities, performing and

feeling the wave of love and hope rising amongst African Americans.

On an interview with CBS Saturday Morning, (5/17/14), Mavis said that

being around MLK, Jr. was to feel ‘unbelievable joy.’ To be in his ‘presence’

brought her so much meaning to her life.

During this timely period in the United States, there was another

young ‘mover and shaker’ in the music industry. Mavis spent a lot of

time with that curly haired, good looking Bob Dylan.

There came a time, Mavis recounted that,

“Bobby told my Pops, ‘I want to marry Mavis.'”

Pops responded,

“‘Don’t tell me, tell Mavis!'”

While grinning happily, telling the interviewer this love story,

he asked with some excitement,

“What did you say to Bob?”

She reflected, smiling and said,

Well, remember I was very young, so I told him, ‘Let’s wait awhile.'”

She went on to say (the essence of this moment being the real meaning

in her words, paraphrased here):

She wondered what changes her life would have had, how marrying Bob

Dylan would have impacted her life and then used a phrase that I will

tell you the interviewer had to ask her to repeat and explain.

Mavis wondered what it would have been like to make ‘chrome-crushers’

with Bobby.

The words meant, children or babies with him. She was pondering this

and looking happy, still. She felt that she had been attractive, I

forget if she called herself a ‘fox’ or what, but he was definitely

someone she had love for and a huge crush on, too!

Mavis says that her life was spent ‘coming at it with her heart.’

When Mavis Staples won her first Grammy, she remembered that her

Pops had said not to worry about that but they were (basically)

singing for the Lord and “to reach people.” It was a great piece

of philosophy, not to worry about your awards in life, just what

actions you do and how it effects people.

At the 55th Grammy Award ceremony in February, 2013, Mavis Staples

won the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, looking very

stunning and vibrant. If you punch in her name and Grammy 2013, you

will see her the way she still looks. So beautiful inside and out!

She performed, by the way, in a tribute to Levon Helm, with the ‘likes’

of Elton John, Zac Brown Band and Mumford and Sons that fantastic

evening show to remember!

Mavis laughed, saying that she did, “Buy a stand for that Grammy,”

though!

The upbeat tone in her speaking and singing voice wins you over,

despite her vocal range not being as wide as I am sure it was in her

‘heyday!’ She has two songs that were very special to me.

I have sometimes, like many people do, worried about my appearance

and this song, “I Like the Things About Me,” including her comments

in the song disparaging her hair and her lips. She uses this verse,

“I like the things about me, that I once despised…”

“There was a time I wished my hair was fine…”

“There was a time I wished my lips were thin…”

In the end, the message was similar to today’s artist, Lady Gaga’s.

Mavis’ lifetime of having racial hurdles to overcome, make her

simple songs even more powerful. And timeless…

“Love yourself.”

(The essence of the lyrics was she came to the point in her life,

when she could accept ‘the me that I am.’)

The lively and pretty song, “Freedom’s Highway,” still has a world

wide application. As she mentioned the children (girls who were

kidnapped in Nigeria) and ‘everywhere looking at America to see what

we will do.’

“March each and every day,

Made up my mind and won’t turn around,

Made up my mind and won’t turn around.

There is just one thing,

I can’t understand, my friend.

Why some folk think freedom

Was not designed for all men,

Yes, I think I voted for the right man,

Said we would overcome.”

She repeated that ‘the whole world is wondering why America

is not stepping in to help those girls.’

Mavis Staples’ songs to look up on Youtube and listen to are:

“You Are Not Alone,” (2010)

“Eyes on the Prize,” (2007)

“One True Vine” (2013).

I was uplifted by Mavis’ energy and her loving nature shown in the

interview this Saturday morning. I needed only to see her face, to

remember that, not too long ago, Grammy Awards Show.

Where I had really listened to Mavis Staples’ singing and messages.

Adding to everyone’s loving voices raised in tribute to Levon Helm.

(If you were a fan of “The Band,” you were listening to his drumming

and percussion skills.)

Now go out, sing dance and march to the music!

Uplifting Messages for Everyday Lives

Standard

Serving people and volunteering reflect how culture has shown a

history of caring and pulling together in times of adversities

and strife. The valuable message and “roots” come from all faiths

and can be found in various examples.

Spurred on by my recent “Spire” newsletter from the First Presby.

Church, in Delaware, Ohio’s message:

“Mission work that is carried out by churches and other organizations

makes a difference in the lives of people all around the world. One

purpose of mission work is to help those who are hurting in whatever

way is appropriate to their specific situation.”

I could not help reflecting on the different levels of helping others

that I feel I have done and will try to add more to my own sense of

purpose in life. I wondered if I could investigate and find some

history in the United States, of being positive ‘lights’ and doing

good works.

Native Americans have always viewed the concept of helping each

other, as beneficial and calling it a “give away.” The process

is described as choosing a special gift to impart at a helpful

time.

This is a long-respected tradition, honored among most tribes.

The Pacific Northwest and Canadian Indian tribes have something

called a ‘potlatch.’ I found that the Chinook tribe was one who

originated this process, but if someone is more knowledgeable on

this subject, please feel free to ‘pitch in’ and help me explain!

Native American traditions are enduring, meaningful and loving.

There are traditional ceremonies held by other tribes as “Give

Away Ceremonies.” What helped me to understand better why they

do this, is by realizing that Native Americans don’t place a

“value” on individual property or money. They feel that if there

is anything that another person should need or will benefit the

other family, then one should ‘give away’ that item. Not having

personal “ownership” of the land and its creatures is also

included in Native Americans’ belief systems.

Other people consider when they are giving time, money or energy

towards a cause as ways we are “paying forward.” Eastern cultures

include “karma” (or “kharma”) and “kismet” as reasons one may

wish to engage in positive actions. What ‘goes around, comes

around,” does not mean that there is not respect and value in

those caring actions!

Another way we may explain the process of helping one another

could be as “giving back to the world.” You may hear this come

out of famous people or philanthropic projects.

Powerful actions, to positively impact and support one another,

crosses across the world in so many other dimensions. Churches

send out their teams out for rescue and retreats, sometimes

labeling this, “Mission Work.” Serving others helps both the one

who is setting out on a mission, and the ones who are on the

receiving end.

My family’s three children engaged in community church functions

called, ecumenical peace camps and ecumenical youth groups.

It is appropriate to view this subject on a Sunday, but every

day is truly the way you carry out your faith or spiritual

expressions in respect to your God, Allah, Mother Nature, Higher

Being or your own personal inner beliefs. Agnostics and atheists

give with open hearts and hands, through their acts of kindness.

Witnesses to 9/11, Katrina, floods and famine relief, Red Cross

and other ways that people are constantly reaching out and going

beyond their everyday actions (and comfort zones) are so inspiring!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that

no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

John Mc Mullin, who writes for a ‘healthy and better life’ local

magazine and other noteworthy journalism endeavors, tweeted:

“I can accept my wheels coming off the tracks as long as I trust

parts of my self know how to put my wheels back on the track.”

Another tweet by John:

“When the anguish and pain of what we think we know becomes

overwhelming, only then are we willing to explore what we don’t

know.”

I enjoy so many blogs with their famous quotations and photos,

I also revel in poetry. This local woman, Jennifer R. Harbor

shared this poem, (purposely written in lower case letters…):

“i am

not this Body

not these thoughts that consume me,

not these feelings that find me,

not these beliefs that drive me,

i am

not this used flesh scarred by existence,

i am

infinite spirit, limitless energy, borderless space,

i am the light of ancient stars

i am eternity expanding,

i am

not this Body

i am

radiant Light, living only to

Transcend this vessel

of eyelashes, fingers, lips, toes…”

JRH, 2007.