random ramblings wrap-up - today: wth do we do with this or the stuff that hides behind the back fence

Yes, that's a tree crushing a truck.

Yes, this is my backyard.

Yes, there is a bucket loader (I think it's a bucket loader) in our backyard with a tree on top of it.

The bucket loader, is of course a non-running bucket loader and so cannot be used to push off the tree ... of course.

There is a very heavy tire rim (I think it's a tire rim) at the base of this tree. I do not know if hubs set that there in an effort to keep that tree from falling or if it was just a random drop off point for the rim.

(hubs drops truck parts and yes, sometimes even actual trucks, the way other men drop socks - this is the real secret behind my lockets, folks)

The hurricane took 4 trees - one landed on the pool - which we removed - the only thing left of the pool are a few metal posts (because metal is valuable, or so I am told ... although it still sits there) and hundreds of pounds of sand.

There are a couple trees Chris was nice enough to cut up with a chainsaw and of course, the tree on the truck or Mr. Fibbets as I have taken to calling it. And then there is Mrs. Fibbets, another tree that looks about ready to crush our side porch, although hubs has assured me the situation is not as dire as it appears.

Most of the wood has been carted off as firewood - we throw a few pieces in the front yard every week and it disappears. We are down to branches (which are heavier than they appear), a broken storage shed (which I did not have the heart to photograph) and of course Mr. and Mrs. Fibbets.

Now, I am not posting this to brag (I know you are all thinking about the many things you could do if only you had a broken down, rusted out, bucket loader in your backyard) or complain (because obviously a whole hell of a lot of people had it way, way worse than we did from this storm), but simply report on what is happening here.

Months ago I got a price from a tree service of $2500 (insurance doesn't pay for tree removal unless the tree hits something insured) to remove these last 2 trees and chip the wood.

Hubs, who has lots of tree removal customers, thinks he can get it done for half price (this is his thinking with ... everything) - the problem of course is that his customers are out working with people they can get $2500 from and we are low on their list of priorities. So, here we sit, 7 months after Sandy, waiting ... I am not so good at waiting. George shrugs it off.

And not knowing if we are leaving or staying, which changes what we are going to do out there - is slowing everything down, too.

I get sad when I go out back, like I am walking through a forgotten, over-grown cemetery and really, really miss my time out there; hubs goes straight to his garden and can totally block out the dead trees and chaos (must be a man focus thing).

This weekend I am going to shovel the 33' circle of sand into a pile. I'm thinking I'll make a giant Zen garden somewhere out here ...  a little memorial to the trees.

(or maybe a bocce court - trees like bocce, too, from what I hear)

No aha moments yet out here - other than the obvious connection between this mess hidden behind the back fence (no doubt if this had all happened in the front yard we would have cleaned it up long ago) and all the other things we hide from the eyes of others and most importantly try to hide from ourselves that come up sooner or later to be dealt with.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone - the weather is supposed to be great here, I hope it is wonderful where you are, too! xo

random ramblings week - today: when things look too good or am I really sitting around waiting for my flowers to wilt ....

Three times in the last week someone has asked where we bought our hanging baskets.

One, an old man quite unsteady on skinny legs, talked to hubs and was given incorrect information. Ugh. I felt awful - I mean I realize he wasn't asking about something important, but still I wish he would stop back.

Now, I usually plant these baskets myself with a little of this and a little of that with moss liners, but this year I decided to buy the baskets already in bloom. They have just gone crazy out there. We must have just the perfect amount of sun and the perfect amount of water - something must be just perfect for these baskets, but ...

here is the thing with all of this 'perfectness' - I find myself totally unsettled with it.

Every morning I open the front door expecting to see flowers all over the porch floor and naked plants greeting me with brazen leers (who's your daddy now) - little springtime versions of that Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

Maybe this is because these baskets have been through crazy temperature fluctuations and they could be thinking "It must be August by now, time to croak off" - one day it is 90 degrees and the next it is 40 - the cold temps the other night made me sympathize with every Eggo waffle I'd ever abandoned in the back of my freezer. 

Maybe it is because the color seems lighter than when I first put them up. I'm not sure.

But it is another little aha moment for me - yes, I'm having a lot of them lately - because I am wondering why something that is going good is so hard for me to appreciate - why I am determined to look down the road toward some kind of problem around the bend - why I am spending my time waiting for the other shoe petal to drop.

I am thinking I might do this with other things in my life. I am thinking it is time to stop doing this.

random ramblings week - today: buffer zones - or good fences make good neighbors or if you turn around in my driveway I'll cut ya'

the view of our new fence from our front porch
Every house we've looked at since the idea of moving took root has been built on a busy street

(partly because we have ruled out suburban developments, but mostly I'm sure because we have ruled out busy streets - ugh)

and since we have spent so many years waiting for traffic to stop so we can pull in and out of our driveway, and this feels like something we would like to give up doing, and we have had 3 accidents in front of our house we've been hoping for something different.

I noticed that although every house was built on a busy street- they didn't have that busy street feel our house sometimes does.

I noticed they all had buffers.

They had trees that ran the front of the property line and gave the front yard a more private feeling and really blocked out the noise.

I needed a buffer (in more ways than one and I'll get to that) but I didn't want to plant trees since I'm pretty sure I won't be in this house to watch them grow up (sniffle) and I don't want to just see them through preschool after all - I am a better tree-mother, earth-mama than that.

And I didn't want to spend a gazillion dollars on picket fencing or landscaping.

Anyhoo, to cut to the chase here - we put up an inexpensive split rail fence a couple weeks ago.

The last post wasn't even in the ground on installation day when George and I were looking at each other like - why the hell didn't we do this years ago.

It had nothing to do with the way the fence looked, although it looks pretty good and everything to do with the way the fence felt.

Well, not the way the fence felt since it is rough and weathered and likely to give anyone running their fingers along it splinters - it really affected the way we felt.

For the first time in years (please don't be as slow as me to figure shit like this out) we had a front yard for us.

Our front yard had always felt like it belonged to other people. It was the yard where we cut the grass every week and watched dandelions bloom every spring while disgruntled neighbors looked on in dismay. It was the yard where we planted flowers along the house so they would look nice from the street - the yard where the drivers lined up out front at the nearby traffic light would sometimes throw their cigarette butts and often use our driveway for their u-turns.

(and we are not the kind of people to put up "no u-turn" signs - although it always gave me a funny feeling - and it happened almost daily - I'm not sure if it is because it feels like someone has come to visit and then abruptly decided to leave or it feels like an invasion of our space. I'm not sure what it is that bothered me about it, but it does did)

The front yard felt like something we had to take care of more than something that took care of us - now, I can see that we were looking at the whole thing backwards.

It is exactly the place that takes care of us and it was the fence that created the boundary that let us see this part of our space as ours.

We decided to plant a couple rose bushes - without hesitating we both knew they would be planted on the inside of the fence. The roses are for us.

(which is a good thing since there's no guarantee how long they will last with my not-quite-green thumb)

This buffer zone thing - this "things expanding within boundaries" and not even just within them but because of them is a lesson for my life in so many ways right now.

NOTE - whenever something really works for us or really doesn't work (a loud clear resonation either way) - if we take a moment and really look at it we can often see how this same thing can translate into other areas of our life - aha moments are aha moments for a reason and they are very personal things.

There is a structure creates freedom post I wrote a while back and it all holds true for buffer zones, too, which are the boundaries we create to lay claim to our space. The boundaries that need to come before the place where we get real and vulnerable.

This zone is like the relationship you build with someone before you let it all hang out with them, the space you've built together so you know you will be safe. Real growth only comes from being open and unprotected, but this doesn't mean we need to be stupid.

Yesterday's post about biting off more than we can chew, which was such an aha moment for me, and probably a snore-fest for some (this is really personal stuff after all) shows up in my life in other ways, too.

(which will take us back to next week's series, which I kicked off last week, about do-overs)

It made me think about all the ways I need to slow down and focus and finish my unfinished stuff (or toss it) before piling more on my plate. I don't like to call these things lessons because that feels a little bit like I could pass or fail (although if someone wants to stick a gold star on my forehead I am totally up for that) and that we need to struggle to get it right.

We don't.

These are simply experiences and taking the time to look at what it all means and the way the different parts of our life work together will create clearer, more full experiences for us next time - at the very least we get to feel like the Ewings every time we pull into our driveway (which other cars have stopped turning around in now that we have claimed it ... plus made it harder for them to maneuver into) - we may have to rename this place Northfork.

xo all

random rambling week ....today - why biting off more than we can chew is more than bad manners

My brother and I at NJ's rally
Some random ramblings this week feels like what we need.

(also a scary bad pic of my brother and I at the NJ rally against Monsanto's monopoly of our food supply)

1. Health Stuff

I am going to stay lighter with this stuff since previous posts - depression, thyroid, schizophrenia, cysts, fertility, hiatal hernia topics - have been a little uh depressing, but I did want to pass on a tip that I heard last week from an expert about digestion.

This is important so grab a pen and listen up.

Our only teeth are in our mouths

- that's it. Genius stuff. Write it down or better yet commit it to memory because if you're anything like me, you'll probably lose the piece of paper.

It sounds simple and a bit, well, disgusting if you start thinking about teeth in your stomach or your feet or something, but it really boils down to - we need to slow down and chew our food.

The 'expert' I heard - now I am not going to tell you what kind of expert this was because I do not want to ruin this piece of important information for you - you might get all judgey about it and say something like "now wait a minute Cat, your mailman isn't an expert" or "that guy at the rally with the hazmat suit and the ponytail isn't an expert" - look, I don't go around asking people about their credentials - that would be rude. You'll just have to trust me - this came from an expert.

Our stomachs are not supposed to digest huge pieces of food and when we ask our stomachs to do that - it will need to produce extra stomach acid and we don't want that - so we need to chew our food well. 40 times this guy said - yes, you heard me, 40 times.

So, here's the test- chew a mouthful of food and before you would normally swallow just spit it out

(on a plate not into your hand or anyone else's hand unless you have kids and you want this lesson to really stick with your kids and actually this is a great lesson for kids and we do want it to stick with them, so I say spit your food right into their hands- they will never forget this)

then take another bite and chew it 40 times and spit it out. Check the difference - this is how your food should look when it hits your esophagus.

Esophageal health and gut health are very important. This chewing thing may not be the entire picture - the stuff we are chewing and the eco-system we have created in our body are important factors of course, but this chewing thing is about more than just preventing choking.

Also, don't add food to your mouth once you have food in there. And only put enough food into your mouth that you can swallow it all at once.

You are probably thinking that you already do this. Hubs and I were thinking the same thing until we sat down to eat and realized we were adding food when we already had food in our mouths all the time and swallowing it a little at a time - because we had too much in there. And we were only chewing about 10 times (and I admit getting to 40 chews is a little challenging- we're shooting for 20).

So- today's random rambling - we only have teeth in our mouths. Let that sink in (the words not your teeth, of course if you do use your teeth, just remember to chew ... alot).

xo all

Marching to Save our Food Supply

Tomorrow I will be walking, along with my favorite brother and favorite sister-in-law

(of course we are expecting rain - this is Memorial Day weekend and this is the Jersey Shore after all)

as part of a global March Against Monsanto and genetically modified food.

There is a link to the marches taking place around the globe HERE - if you have a walk in your area and can spare a couple hours this is important. We are all affected by Monsanto's reckless domination of the food industry and our food supply.

Most countries require GMO labeling and more than 60 have banned GMO food altogether including Australia, France, Germany, Ireland and Japan.

This can happen for us, too - but we need to take action.

Studies have linked GMOs and Roundup to cancer, infertility, autism, parkinson's, alzheimer's and other diseases.

I don't want to focus on the problem - because we know that what we focus on grows - so my own intention with this walk is to focus on getting our voices heard, getting information out, coming together with like minded people - a focus on solutions.

pulling back to strengthen the foundation of our business (and our lives) part I

I may just be talking to myself with this one, but I have come to realize as we fix up our little house in preparation of selling it

(although the selling it part is looking a little uncertain right now)

we have spent years adding some kind of new or some kind of more or some kind of something else to this house without a clear plan for how all of these fixings work together.

Throw in a woman who loves a good project and a man who hates to finish one and there is the potential for some real trouble here.

(I am convinced hubs inability to finish things is the perfectionist's trap - if something is actually done he needs it to be perfect, it will never be perfect, so it is better to move on to something else less his work get judged and of course my own part in this little dance is that I continually take on projects that I cannot finish without him - which is a whole hell of a lot of stuff actually - I lift weights, sort of, but can't even hold a curtain rod over my head for more than 30 seconds without getting shakey arms? wth)

Those little unfinished things that I used to walk right on past and never even think about, my head being full of new and more things, well, I'm thinking about them now. They are staring out at me from every corner with red eyes that do not look very friendly actually and calling my name with a deep Tony Soprano accent when I try to sleep.

"Hey Cat, it's me, the carpet in the extra room - the room the cat got trapped in that one summer night and tried to claw her way out - I don't look too good. I'm down here."

"Hey Cat, it's me, that hole in the wall from that time you partied like it was 1999 and instead of fixing me you covered me up with that ugly painting, well the new buyer probably won't want your ugly painting Cat - I'm over here."

"Hey Cat, it's me, the laundry room tiles that were never replaced under the washer and dryer so the old ones are still down here. Does Home Depot still sell those tiles Cat?"


I can see now how our very foundation has been unstable for years with the weight of all this unfinishedness.

It's made our lives top heavy (and not in a good Dolly Parton kind of way either).

It's made us wobbly.

Wobbly people do not make good decisions. Wobbly places do not support us.

This works the same with our businesses.

For those of us who have been doing this a while we may have allowed our business to grow in unintended directions - we may have dropped so many oars into the water they are dragging down the boat - we may have been depending on the temporary fix instead of shoring up our foundation.

Part II the foundation of our business - back to basics (part II may be after the holiday- if so- enjoy the weekend everyone!)

avoiding toxic chemicals - a few quick tips and why ralphie was right about those bunny pj's

ralphie 1 - aunt clara 0
Bill Moyers had a great show recently discussing toxic 'disinformation'. I believe you can see the entire 30 minute program HERE

Working to eliminate chemicals in our environment (and money in our political system) are probably two of the most important things, outside of raising our own vibration (In Course of Miracles speak there is only really one of us here, so raising our vibration, ie letting more light in through clean eating, meditation, positivity and doing what we love, raises everyone else's vibration, too), we can be doing right now.

1. LEAD - We crafty mamas love our old windows - but think twice before bringing them indoors. I am also seeing a lot of gorgeous old shutters made into headboards and things on Pinterest. Anything painted pre-1970's is going to be painted with lead paint and minuscule amounts can cause neurological damage in children (I once read a study that said people in prison have the highest blood lead levels in the country, huge spikes in levels mostly thanks to childhood exposure, maybe we are fixated on the wrong kind of lead when it comes to crime prevention).

Also soil testing, especially for urban gardens is very important. Lead was in gasoline until the 80's and between that and the paint there has been a lot of soil exposure everywhere.

2. FLAME RETARDANTS - Studies have linked one group of flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, to lower IQs, behavioral problems, early puberty and fertility issues. Flame retardants are in everything from couch cushions to television sets.

This is where changing the money in our political system (ie changing Citizens United) is needed.

The California Furniture Flammability Standard essentially requires that cushioned furniture, children’s car seats, diaper-changing tables and other products containing polyurethane foam are dipped in toxic chemicals. Most furniture sold in the United States is made to this standard. We need to change this.

When buying new stuff look for products made with wool, cotton or polyester filling instead of polyurethane foam - if you are stuck with the old stuff - dust, vacuum and wash hands regularly.

Ditch the fleece pajamas - I know those footed fleece pjs are comfortable but they are probably treated with a chemical called Proban which has been linked to genetic abnormalities and cancer. Kid's fleece pj's that do not contain chemicals are required to be labeled "for child’s safety, garment should fit snugly” - look for this label!

3. BPA - Use plastics that are labeled BPA free, avoid containers labeled with the recycling codes 3 and 7, avoid canned foods - Eden Organics are about the only BPA free cans, Staples offers a paper-less receipt program (I get my receipts emailed to me) - it's easy to sign up and one less receipt for the cashier (the thermal paper includes BPA), and me, to touch.

wtdmb (not so sure this is going to catch on, it's not quite as catchy as wtf)

sarah donnell - patience
The best advice I've heard for the current planetary cycles is the practice of patience.

(Now life is a trickster and also a genius and knows that the best - and possibly only - way to develop patience is to encounter situations that require this of us. Life sends us an opportunity to learn patience by practicing patience - in other words - delays, traffic situations, time spent waiting - you get the picture)

This is the time when we get sightings of what's arriving, but Saturn says .... "hold up here a minute, don't rush forward too quickly! This may take awhile girl."

Impulsive or rash action brings regret under Saturn so don't push, don't manipulate ... just relax, we'll just breathe through this and do what is directly in front of us (the stuff we know is ours).

More details will become clear as the path before us opens.

Watch for signs.
Take opportunities that feel good.
Do our work.
Mind our own business.
Be kind.

when the rare is everywhere it stops being made of magic

Sooo, Kella and I drove up to Brimfield yesterday for the east coast's largest spring flea market.

We were planning to spend the night and go back today for more junk hunting, but ....

something felt different.

Maybe junking has just become too trendy for us - the prices too high, the vendors too testy, the weather too cold - maybe too many things are going on right now in both our lives for us to feel like 'shopping'.


Fleaing has always been more like a hunt than a shop, but at Brimfield - which is literally brimming with everything and with enough of the green stuff you can probably take home whatever you are looking for - maybe it is more of a shop than a hunt.

It was kind of sad.

We are going to try a couple new fleas this summer and see if it is the fleaing that has lost its magic for us or just this show -

as Kella said, "the problem with this show is that we like to find stuff and this stuff has already been found."

I thought I would be off treasure hunting today

(4.5 hours driving there yesterday morning and 4.5 hours driving back last night -ugh- hubs was a little disappointed; he says for me, but I think it had more to do with his evening plans for Iron Man III, which I may have to break down and go see I guess, not the 3D version though)

but instead I am off to the grocers and then to hub's shop to weld some lockets determined to wrest a little magic from this day somehow ... I hope there is a little magic in your day, too and a little of the 'rare' for us to appreciate. xo

happy mother's day week (yes, we all get a week now)

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, Earth lovers, goddesses and all those who nurture and love others!

(I realize I am a day late with this - spent yesterday gardening,  Mexican food eating and dumpster diving with my daughter - our town is having our annual/semi-annual, not sure, I am not so up on this - big trash pick up - so lots of curb side goodies, well actually not so much, but we did score these 3 retro hammocks and my own trash is mostly picked by other divers - so it's outta here - YAY)

mother's day 2013 - fish tacos, cork Marilyn and 50's/60's hammocks
We are going to Brimfield, MA tomorrow for their gigantic annual flea and will be back on Wednesday - will post pics and finds! xo all

maybe what seems like it's in the way actually is the way part IV - growing where we are planted

I am not totally sure what yesterday's post had to do with 'maybe what seems like it's in the way, actually is the way' but I did learn a lot from getting myself into and out of that mess.

(fortunately I have not let this stop me from climbing in and out of newer and even messier messes - I recommend work boots and seventh generation hand soap)

Leaping into something we have no passion for is not something I would recommend - doing it for the money works great for some people; the people who believe it will.

(if you believe it is wrong to do something just for the money, then don't - you will attract a million reasons to hate what you are doing and most likely muck it all up and make no money anyway)

I absolutely believe it is OK to do things just for the money (providing of course we are not going against our values with this - no stealing, lying, cheating or working for companies that do these things, etc) - the why we are doing what we are doing is the important part.

The things that appear to be in the way, the things that look like they are stopping us are actually the very things we (our higher self, soul, God) have chosen to get us to the next thing. Maybe skipping steps doesn't work. Maybe without that thing that looks like failure, but we know is really feedback we couldn't get to the next part of our journey or maybe we have learned some lesson from it that we will use later. We have to trust ourselves.

I know that as a maker every single time I am confronted with a problem with my makings (supplier out of business, some product I use gets changed in some way, venue I sell on changes, etc) my makings always end up stronger in the end.

And if it doesn't look that way to me I know that it is not the end.

gorgeous lidded box by mudcakes
The first time I heard the expression "grow where you are planted" it made me very uneasy actually it irritated the hell out of me. It sounded like "just accept where you are, stay in your place, don't try too hard, don't ask for too much".

(it can take a little age to see that this is not what it means at all, and if we see it that way, it is definitely not our message - if we see it that way, it is a clear sign we need to get our ass moving)

Now I know (or think I do) enough about the law of attraction (which is a very real thing and has almost nothing to do with getting anybody a Mercedes) to know that what we resist persists and we can only attract something new that we will love by loving what we have now (this is the tricky part).

Gratitude, forgiveness, compassion - appear to move mountains because the mountain is an illusion.

The only thing that can ever really get in our way is us (and since we are the way, well you know where this is going ....).

Have a wonderful weekend all - hubs and I saw Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter last night and they were just amazing - on stage together the whole night - it was magical. 

maybe what seems like it's in the way actually is the way part IIl - growing where we are planted

grow where planted locket - jude mcconkey

Maybe that thing that we are so certain is in our way - that thing that we are most likely to call a problem is really the very thing our higher self

(soul/God whatever you are most comfortable with here)

has lined up to get us where we need to be -  maybe without this space called problem our journey would be longer or harder - maybe this actually is the path of least resistance.

This is a planet of polarity

(which is more than a locket although the locket is pretty cool and you should get yourself one - blog readers use code BLOGBITES for 10% savings)

- a planet of contrast - often we learn what we do want by experiencing what we don't want - and sometimes that thing we don't want turns out to be exactly that thing we need.

Of course, it only looks like this in hindsight.

After I left banking, had a mini-breakdown, had a major break-through, did the mall cart thing for a few years and before I found Etsy - I had a commercial embroidery business. I did embroidery on shirts, caps, jackets, etc for local businesses from my home. The business didn't start out that way though.

It started when I bought a commercial 12 needle embroidery machine with a $30,000 price tag (including supplies, computer, table, etc - three years later I bought a 2nd one used for $5000 - these things depreciated big time - ugh - the $30,000 was from stock options I had from my banking days. I think it didn't even feel like real money to me and this is what allowed me to be so detached from it).

I had been selling other products on mall carts and so lined up a space in a mall to do personalized baseball caps, baby bibs, etc. The mall was about an hour from my house. I had no experience with embroidery and no passion for it, but thought it would be a big money-maker (and it was - for a lot of other people - the ones with the passion probably).

I had done things just for the money before and they had always worked for me (mostly) - I didn't realize though that life was requiring a little more from me now - I had been promoted so to speak, my vibration didn't line up with 'do it for the money' anymore.

I knew this in my heart but my head was still playing by the old rules.

The morning I drove to the mall to sign the lease I had major tension in my neck - I knew I had not done my homework on this machine (it was not as easy to operate as I thought it would be) - I knew I had no passion for a 2 hour daily commute and that managing employees an hour from home would be stressful.

In fact, the day I wired the money for the machine I had felt sick and tense. I thought at the time it was a buyer's remorse response and discounted it, but now I know that tension was a very clear signal to stop. I didn't.

(life had sent me the pebble and since I had ignored it - hit me with the rock)

I did stop myself from signing that mall lease though. I called the mall manager and told her I'd changed my mind. I had no idea what to do with the machine. I couldn't sell it - hubs was like "how much did this cost?!" - I had to make this work somehow. I did a mailing to some local businesses including a trophy shop that did embroidery. I kind of bluffed my way into getting their embroidery account and they sent me some small jobs that I did well.

(I embroidered every single piece of clothing and fabric I could get my hands on for practice. My daughter was going to school with college fraternity symbols, EMT stars and other people's monograms on her clothes- luckily she was still young to think this was sort of cool. Hubs was another story. Even though he has never been fussy about what he wears and only says "no sweater vests" and even though I only rarely used his shirts and even then always sewed near the hems since he's a tucker - he was not so into the random sewings.)

The trophy shop started sending me bigger jobs.

One day they sent me some jackets for a local fire department and I somehow managed to embroider the backs of 3 jackets totally crooked - the kind of crooked that can only be made straight if each fireman would agree to walk around with one shoulder 3 inches higher than the other - I considered this, but decided I needed to order new jackets. It turned out the jacket maker would not sell 3 pieces to me and I didn't want to let the trophy shop know about my screw up.

I decided to try a tailor. I took out all the stitches and took the jackets to a tailor who through some kind of tailor magic was able to mend enough holes that I could resew them without anyone knowing.

He asked me if I wanted to put my business card on his bulletin board.

(he somehow didn't see me as a total screw-up and for this I am forever grateful)

A couple weeks later a gymnastics/ballet/cheerleading shop saw my card and eventually I got all the local cheerleading teams through her (which would not have happened without my jacket nightmare). Those accounts (and Ebay) kept me going until she sold her business and the new owner bought their own embroidery machines - it was exactly at the time I was ready to move on so worked out perfectly for all of us.

That embroidery business was never a big money-maker. Eventually I paid for the machine and made some money and I did buy that second machine so I must have needed it at some point. Most of my memories about that business revolve around the repetitive motion damage to my hands and neck, which is a whole other story.

I had ignored life's pebble (you are stepping on someone else's ship Cat - this is not your ship) and of course, the rock had taught me the same lesson - the hard way, but maybe it was the way I needed to learn it and actually it was the way I needed to learn it because it was the way I learned it.

This story was so long (and yes, I realized this has been 5 minutes of your life you will not be getting back - don't hate me) that I lost track of the "grow where planted part" so will get to that in part IV.

xo all

new moon solar eclipse may 9th - it's taurus time

wish / new moon polarity locket
Tomorrow's solar eclipse new moon in the earthiest of earth signs makes this an especially powerful time for makers.

(this solar eclipse marks the end of a 19 year cycle - if you look back at where you were then and what was happening, you could find some interesting connections with what is happening in your life today)

Taurus is ruled by Venus the planet of flourishing, creation, expression and love - Venus is just in Gemini so we will likely have a strong need to share our creative babies (and beauty and love) with others.

This is the time to be seeking fertile ground to stand on - are we depending too much on unstable structures, how can we take our power back and claim more of our own energy for our own life. What nourishes us?

Taurus rules accumulation, the physical senses, grounded-ness, building, reliability, self-worth, stubbornness, the throat, chin and neck, the voice, vocal chords and that all-important little thyroid.

Some things you could be affirming now (new moons are an excellent time to focus) -

I easily create financial independence in a happy way. (money, accumulation)
I am clearheaded with my money and use my resources in ways that are in my overall best interest.
I easily find myself living in comfortable surroundings.

I easily find the time to cook, savor and appreciate healthy meals. (physical senses).
I enjoy and appreciate my life.
I easily build solid foundations that I can depend on in every area of my life. (groundedness)
I keep my word and am a person others can rely on (reliability) and I attract reliable people into my life.

I define what is important to me and easily find myself living with those values. (self-worth)
I easily express my views in ways that do not leave others out of the conversation. (stubbornness, resistance)
I enjoy perfect thyroid health (YES PLEASE).
I sing on-key (it will take a new moon solar eclipse to make this happen)

This solar eclipse leaves Saturn alone in Scorpio - if you are a fixed sign (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus) and especially a 2nd decan fixed sign (which I am and quite a few people in my immediate life) there could be some changes in the 2nd/8th houses (possessions, values, finances) - others will feel this stuff, too.

xo all

maybe what seems like it's in the way actually is the way part II - the why behind the what

cork ring by olive bites
When I sit down to do some kind of work (noun) and I feel a certain tightness in my chest or neck I know that I have taken all the fun out of this for myself and just left myself with the work part (verb).

Maybe because this particular thing was never something I really wanted to do in the first place or maybe I have done this particular thing a million times before or maybe it just seems thankless or unimportant or there is something else I would rather do - it doesn't really matter.

The tightness though - the indication that we have pulled away from our purpose, that we are tugging a little too tightly on that line that tethers us body to soul - does matter.

(this tightness is probably the very first indicator of the inflammation that leads to disease, too - we have literally outgrown ourselves; alot of new-age gobbledy goop is fast becoming new-age science)

This does not mean that I should stop doing what I am doing (although it might) - it does mean that I am focused on the what and not on the why.

Let's say I take a job at a grocery store stocking shelves - the what is that I am stacking cans on shelves - making sure the labels line up, making sure that things are in their proper places, making it easier for other people to find the things they are looking for. The "what" - the doing part - is important. These cans have to get on these shelves and someone's hands have to put them there.

But in another way the "what" is totally irrelevant because there are a million other things I could be doing. It's the why behind the what that really matters. It's the why behind the what that our soul cares about. The vibration of the why is what we line up with.

Our own perspective is the only one that matters here. What we do simply provides us with the means to be who we are. We are not our job; we are not our doing (we are a human-being after all) - our job; the doing, is just a vehicle through which we get to experience who we are.

If the stacking shelves is an underemployment situation for me and I am often annoyed by it (not good since I will focus on the annoyance and I will line up vibrationally with more and more things that annoy me) - I can move into a better vibration by allowing that I have created this place for myself as part of my spiritual journey. This work is simply a context to be who I am.

Who am I being when I take care of myself and other people by earning income? Who am I being when I help busy people find what they are looking for faster? What aspect of myself am I expressing when I pay my bills or buy someone a gift with money I have earned?

Look at what we are doing with our money - maybe this is who we are.

Next Up - maybe what seems like it's in the way actually is the way part III - growing where we are planted

maybe what's in the way actually is the way part I

myan soffia 'you're a star' polarity locket
Last night I was driving down the parkway totally lost in my own thoughts

when a toll collector jolted me back into my body by asking, "well, what am I supposed to do with this?" - when instead of the change I should have pulled from my bag (we haven't found our ezpass since vacation), I handed him my eyeglasses.

There was also the incident some time ago when I tried to open the front door to my house with my car keys

(not by trying to put the key into the lock, but by standing in front of the door clicking the open button - note to some genius out there - you really need to make this happen).

The mind's capacity is finite (soul=infinite, mind=not so much) - maybe like our laptops it can only hold so much information.

I don't really want to be so absentminded, but if my mind needs to create some space for the really important stuff by letting go of some minutiae then I am ok with this.

(I find it best to be ok with things I have no choice about anyway)

The quality of our life is determined by what we pay attention to after all.

This kind of relates to what I wanted to blog about (in the way that everything relates to everything) which is so many people feeling strongly drawn to following our passion

(even when we do not know exactly what this is - we usually know what it isn't - contrast is a great teacher and I'm pretty certain a big part of what we are here for)

quitting our day jobs, working from our hearts, doing work that provides value to others, etc and how this is impacted by this shift we are living through.

This shift includes the dismantling of our safety nets (not in an every man for himself kind of way, but more about how things fall apart so things can come together) - we are not meant to be fighting the current here, we need to be all about moving down river right now.

There is alot of talk about people losing their jobs, but not so much talk about the people who kept theirs

People who are in the same place they used to be while the entire landscape is shifting around them- maybe they are feeling like they want to be somewhere else (there is only so much doing more with less people in companies can do after all) but like the gangster who finds himself saddled with cement shoes (although things are not nearly so dire believe me) they are stuck - by the insurance, by the money - they need their job.

Now, I am a student of a Course in Miracles and a believer that you cannot be on the wrong road - you can definitely be on a long road though. God, your Soul, your Higher Self - whatever is most comfortable for you to insert here - isn't pushing us or pulling us along - it is calling to us.

One way to know if we are on one of these long roads is tension. That silver cord or consciousness thread that connects our soul to our body is a very real thing. When we are close to our soul, on the best path for us we have a feeling of satisfaction - we are in ac-cord, the cord and our bodies are relaxed. When we are taking the long way, like Olive pulling on her leash (she becomes like a hundred pound rottweiler when she doesn't want to go somewhere - she leaves me worn out and totally amazed by her awesomeness) - we feel the tension on our cord and in our bodies - we are getting too far away from our soul path - we are is dis-cord.

Anyhoo, back to our peeps with the jobs - and this applies to the space in each of our lives where we feel 'stuck' - the place we stand in our cement shoes - maybe what looks like it's in the way, actually is the way ...

Next up - maybe what's in the way actually is the way part II - the why behind the what

accessing that big vein in our necks ..... without any sharp objects although toxic odors and permanently stained fingers may be required

 "Listen to the sound of the waves within you -
you are dreaming your thirst,
when the water you want is inside the big vein in your neck." - Rumi

lucita peek polarity locket
When I was a little girl, a hippie cousin a few years older than me introduced me to Rumi - the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic.

Charlene spent part of a summer at our house sneaking visits with the boyfriend her parents had forbidden her to see while my mother pretended to look the other way.

I spent that summer obsessed with Rumi and my new colorful, thick permanent markers that left my fingers stained for weeks - making posters that read stuff like - "let what you love be what you do" and "what you seek is seeking you".

 (almost everything ever worth saying was said by Rumi seven hundred years ago)

I started 4th grade a totally different person. No one noticed.

I want to dedicate another summer to Rumi (and yes, I'm buying some poster board and colorful thick markers - I might buy the washable ones, but if they don't have that same toxic marker smell and I don't think they do - I might have to buy the old school kind and just work on the front porch) and since this a business blog (sort of) I have looked to see what Rumi has to say about 'work'

(although everything Rumi says applies to everything, but just so we have a kind of jumping off point).

"Everyone has been made for some particular work
and the desire for that work has been put in every heart."- Rumi

Let's start with this. It feels kind of like summer to me (and yes, I realize I am rushing things a bit - it is still spring in some parts of the world, although it is like 40 degrees in the shade here right now) - but it feels like the heartfelt work of summer to me. 

The best thing about being an artist now is that we do not have to wait for someone to hire us before we can get to work - we are not waiting to be picked anymore - not waiting to be discovered - we are done waiting.

Part 1 this week - vocations and avocations since the shift

"If you are irritated by every rub - how will your mirror be polished?" - Rumi
(just remembering how I irritated the sh*t out of my mother with this one everytime she complained about the heat that summer)

also this week we have to talk about the new moon / solar eclipse in Taurus -  this one is about security and self worth and anarchy and buried treasure - what a week!

maybe life is just an endless quest without knowing what our quest is ...

I have been advised by hubs

(yes, more than once)

that the cereal dust at the bottom of the box is not a good enough dinner for us.

And I would agree that it probably lacks vitamins and minerals

(unless some of the stuff the cereal company has sprayed onto the raisin bran in the raisin bran factory has managed to dislodge itself from the plastic bag and glob onto the crumbs on their way into our mouths)

But faced with the possibility of face-planting myself on a hot stove - it's all I have the energy for.

I know you are thinking, but Cat, you just had a vacation remember, a beach vacation with sun and fun and a freakin' GOLF CART - you have only been back from vacation for exactly 22 seconds, so why all the whining ...

(and if you are thinking this, you probably do not know me as well as you think you do)

I have no explanation.

I am going to take a catnap and try to put some sensible words together tonight (as well as possibly a dinner that does not include sugar coated raisins).

In the meantime I will admit I stole my title from this insanely intelligent 9 year old boy - if you missed this somehow it is certainly better than anything I could say right now and definitely worth a listen.