Monday, September 10, 2018

Pitchfork in Hands

     I have found that it is amazing what some folks will say to a person who has a pitchfork in her hands. One incident I could have blown off, but now it has happened twice. So with some ironic humor, I share these incidents here.
     In both cases, the pitchfork was for loading mulch into a cart to be spread around our garden. It's a dirty, sweaty job, but ultimately, it saves a lot of weeding.
     The first incident occurred when my older son was probably in the 12-14 years old range. I was in hot, sweaty, forking mode when my son stopped, looked at me, and said, "Boy, Mom, you sure have a lot of gray hair." With an exceedingly threatening "mom look," my reply was, "I have a pitchfork in my hands, and I know how to use it!" He high-tailed it outta there.
     Fast forward to last week, and the huge pile of mulch left in our front yard after having massive tree trimming done around our house. I'll refer to the offender this time as Fence, because it was the neighbor directly behind our house who doesn't take care of the place, and whose fence has been falling on our property literally for years. Her backyard is full of numerous noxious weeds that have invaded our garden and cause me considerable weeding effort. I feel much angst toward this person.
     Fence was visiting our next-door neighbor, saw me working on the mulch pile, and yelled, "Looking good, Leta!" My first thought was, "I have a pitchfork in my hands, and I know how to use it!" Fortunately my husband was nearby, saw the look on my face, and winked at me to diffuse my inclinations.
     Be very cautious when speaking to someone with a pitchfork in their hands!
             Leta

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Biomimicry--New to Me--Hope, Inspiration, Creativity

      Here's some news that is exciting and worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf4oW8OtaPY&feature=youtu.be

     It's a 21-minute video about finding solutions in the way nature does things. It gives me great hope for our collective future. I love the creativity being demonstrated in so many ways that we don't even know about, because we are so blasted with fear-based, negative news. Please hold the vision of a more planet-friendly humanity with me.
               Leta

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Freedoms AND Yours

Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.
         --Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of our (already, always has been) great U.S.

     Many years ago, I had a conversation with a family member discussing freedom of speech. Let's just say that philosophically, the two of us are worlds apart. We did, however, agree that freedom of speech is a bedrock of freedom, critically important. That was until I said something to which he reacted very emotionally and pronounced "blasphemous." He said, "You should not be allowed to say such a thing." Let me end this description of our conversation by saying that we simply agreed to disagree, and we have stayed clear of such discussions every since. 
     Please re-read the quote above. The conservative right end of our current cultural, religious and political spectrum seems determined to have the wealth, power, resources and freedoms for themselves, and prevent others whom they deem unworthy from sharing in the bounty. That goes against all our great country was founded upon, and clearly, the Founding Fathers knew from personal experience that that approach would not work.
     Our great country has fought wars and invests gadzillions of dollars in the military to maintain the rights that Thomas Paine referenced. It is standing up for the rights of every single human being that has made the U.S. great from day one. I am so grateful for the fearlessness of our Founding Fathers!
     Loving our freedoms,
            Leta


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Return to Joy

(See previous post, "Grieving")
      Slowly, the grief I have been feeling is mellowing. In a session with my spiritual coach, it became evident to me that I have been focusing on frightening things that could happen, but most likely won't. So many fears were overwhelming. My coach's gentle guidance brought me back to paying attention to the present moment, wherein, for the most part, things are fairly great.
     I generally make the conscious effort to live from a place of joy, and I am working my way back there with increasingly more energy each day. This morning, three fun moments reminded me to be present. The first was in a daily reading, the phrase that this is "another day in paradise." I agree! I have no cynicism relative to that phrase. Just being alive is paradise. On top of that, I swam over 3/4 mile, and taught a yoga class, all before noon. I'm grateful for all I can do.
     The second moment was seeing a Garmin (location technology) truck with the catchphrase, "Taking you to your next adventure." If I look at each next thing I get to do as an adventure, rather than a "have to," life is much more enjoyable.
     And in a third moment of playfulness, I noticed this on my drive to yoga this morning: on the power lines high above the highway, there were hundreds of birds in one section between poles. The three-wire set was almost full of birds. The next section was empty, then the next section had one single bird. "Ah, that's the introvert bird," I thought. Being an introvert myself, I appreciate that one bird's stand to be alone on that wire. It gave me a present-moment smile.
     Given the fear-based mentality so prevalent in our society right now, it is no small challenge to stay focused on the present joy-full moment. I believe a really famous person said, multiple times, "Fear not." I'm working on it.
     Breathe,
         Leta


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Grieving

     Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted.  (from the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:4)
     Over the past few weeks, a number of losses have impressed upon my psyche, including one very large one and a bunch of lesser ones, a pile that has finally built to overwhelming. Note that overwhelming for me means that I am crying a lot. For privacy's sake, I'm not going into details. No one close to me has died, though it feels that way at the moment.
     I have been through deep grief before, as both of my parents have transitioned. However, that was quite a while ago, so I forgot what deep grief feels like. Besides the crying, I don't feel like doing anything, combined with extreme boredom. I have to force myself to do even small tasks. I want to escape, literally by traveling, or by eating, or by shopping, anything to make this hurt pass. Some of it most likely will pass, but some of it will remain as an undercurrent in life, such as grief over aging, my own and others.
     I try to talk myself out of it. "Things could be worse." "Get over it." "Don't be so lazy." "Other folks have it much worse than I do." That's not working. I know I simply have to feel the feelings and keep on trudging along. Remind myself that all these tears are soul-cleansing. And this, too, shall pass.
      Looking forward to the comfort,
                Leta

Image result for grief

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Baseball Tour Day 10, and alas, Day 11

Monday, July 30 & Tuesday, July 31. I started Monday well with another Hyatt swim. This time the roof was open-I love swimming under the open sky! I called the Museum of Fine Arts and learned that I could check my luggage there, greatly simplifying my travel. So I checked out of the Hyatt and took an Uber to the Museum. It was outstanding! Just the structure alone is huge and amazing to see. You definitely need the map and plenty of hours to see everything. In my three hours there, I'd say I saw maybe half of it. My favorite thing was the whole room devoted to Monet paintings, including two of my favorites, Water Lilies and The Water Lily Pond. The variety of art is amazing. I saw Egyptian mummies and a huge hanging sculpture made from, I kid you not, "styrofoam cups and hot glue." Gaugin, Renoir, Van Gogh, Homer, along with sculptures, stained glass, and painted porcelain. It was well worth the steep price of admission, $25, which is so typical for everything in Boston. 

Mid-afternoon I called an Uber to go to the airport and was blessed with a driver wearing a Cubs World Series ball cap who was born in the Dominican Republic, source of many current and past great players in the Majors. Needless to say, a lively baseball discussion ensued. All went well at the airport and on my flight to Houston until we landed 45 minutes late. With a terminal change required and well over a mile of scampering, I missed my flight to Wichita, the last of the day. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, United would accept no responsibility, so I got an extra night of vacation at the airport Marriott for the United discount price of only $140!!!! GRRRRRRR!!!!!! I was so mad, I was in tears (as well as exhausted and sore from a 4-hour flight in the middle seat between two large men). I did get a few hours of sleep.

Tuesday... My 9:25 flight was late (why couldn't that have happened last night????), but finally, I'm home!!!!!! Plans are to avoid United in the future as much as possible. Overall, an outstanding vacation. GO, CUBBIES!!!!!!!!
Thanks for reading about my adventures!!!!
     Leta, the baseball nut

The Styrofoam Cup Sculpture


Monday, July 30, 2018

Baseball Tour Day 9--Quack Quack

Sunday, July 29. I slept in past 8:00, magnificent. Even more magnificent for my travel-weary body was a swim in the Hyatt's lap pool. After showering, dressing, and blogging, I called an Uber for a ride to the Boston Museum of Science. There I caught my ride on the Boston Duck Tour. The duck I was on was an original land-and-sea vessel from WW2, modified for tourists, of course. Touring the famous streets of Boston, our guide was equal parts full-of-shit, historian, and good teller of bad jokes, wearing farmer's overalls even. When it came time for the duck to go in the water, the driver simply drove down a concrete ramp into the Charles River, the propeller started up, and off we went for great views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. We got out of the river via the same ramp. I'm not sure the tour was worth the money, but it was a novelty I had not experienced before.
After the Duck Tour, I took off walking toward Little Italy and the Freedom Trail (a walking tour of Boston's historical sights). I saw TD Garden where the Boston Celtics and Bruins play. I had a great time roaming around the many stalls of the Boston Public Market, purchasing a couple of snacks for later. Humidity and hunger won out over history (no surprise, I've never liked history much), so I walked to Little Italy and settled on Pagliuca's Restaurant. There I enjoyed great Italian bread and excellent eggplant Parmesan with a side of spaghetti with red sauce. That fortified me enough to walk by Paul Revere's house, but there was a big line, and the entrance was blocked so I couldn't even see the house. Geez. So I called an uber and returned to the Hyatt, to rest up for the Cubs-Cardinals evening game. Cubs won, after midnight, due to a rain delay.
Tomorrow... the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and (yippee!!!) back home.