Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Unwelcome Summer Invaders

The other day I noticed a line of teeny ants coming through a crack in the caulking in the tile in our bathroom. There they were, hundreds of busy ants traveling from one crack, across the floor to another one. It was weird. Now I have nothing against ants or spiders or even termites, as long as they don’t come in my house! And I tell them so! Call me crazy but this time I did talk to those ants and told them this was my house and as long as they respected that and stayed outside everything would be cool. But if they insisted on coming inside, something would have to be done as hundreds of ants crawling around is just not my idea of a good time.

Well, in two days they were all gone. I kid you not. They left. I thanked them, wherever they are, for their respectful behavior and told them I would keep trying not to stomp on their very considerably numerous ant hills outside!

This had a good ending, but what if it hadn’t? What if those little guys had chosen to keep infesting our house? So I went to a book called Clean House, Clean Planet, by Karen Logan and found some natural ways to combat home invaders!

First, for ants, you can prevent their coming in by combining a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a squirt bottle. Spray the area where you have seen them enter. They do not like the smell of peppermint and will usually stay away.

If they don’t stay away, fill a spray bottle with water. Add a few Tbsp of liquid soap. Adding a few drops of peppermint in this mixture is also good. Spray the line of ants and wipe up. Caulk where they are entering or smear with a glob of petroleum jelly. Be sure there is nothing around that is attracting them like food or juice. Keep the area clean.

You can also try dipping several cotton balls in peppermint oil and rubbing the area where they are entering. Ms. Logan says that ants find their way through scented ant trails so rubbing the trails with this oil will confuse them and allow you to wipe up the scattered army of ants. I’ve also heard they don’t like crossing a line of chalk but I haven’t found that too effective myself.

But first try talking to them. I don’t know why but it worked. And if it works, imagine the energy and effort you will save, giving you plenty of time to attend all the wonderful events in your area for the fourth!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I just had coffee with a neighbor who is a grief counselor. John is what is commonly called a "recovering Catholic" which means he is still a member of the Church but he rejects many of their long standing ways and beliefs. I am not Catholic. But John does not think I am going to Hell because I do not believe in the same things he does. There are other things too, but that is not the focus of this post.

John writes prolifically and shares his poetry with anyone who is interested. He writes mostly about spirituality, his struggles, his disappointment with his Church, and his hope and joy at daily life. (For anyone interested in following his blog see: http://blogs.record-eagle.com/?cat=21 and his website: www.torchlake.com/poetman/ ) Over breakfast he told me he was on his way with his wife to his FIFTIETH College reunion and he would be having the opportunity at his alma mater to meet and talk with Father Donald Cozzens. Father Cozzens speaks up about what is wrong or missing with the Catholic Church and is well known for his writings on spirituality, very much like our friend, John. John gave me one of the Father's quotes over breakfast, and this is what I want to share with you on this post. This may not be verbatim but the gist is this:
"Unless you speak and write your truth you chip away at your own integrity."
wow. I was taken aback by the power of these words.

So here are two Catholics, one a priest, one a lay person who ministers to those who are grieving, who have similar paths. They love their church but see what needs to change. And they have the courage to speak up about their dissent, their beliefs, and yes, their love for their faith. They are both totally in their integrity, and both are wonderful role models for the rest of us.

I wanted to share this little piece with you because so much of our news is depressing. This little story lifts us up. And speaks volumes of wisdom in one sentence.

I hope this little sentence will help guide you in your daily life. Have a good weekend everyone. I am going to visit our children and grandchildren and will be back with you all next week!

Many blessings.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Intention Deficit Disorder

When I heard about this syndrome I laughed! How appropriate! I believe it came from Michael Beckwith but I could not state whether or not that is the origin of this great play on words!

It is appropriate because the solstices are the two times of year where our intentions for the next 6 months should be written down. It is the perfect time to do so. But how many of us take the time to do so? Or even know this is such a powerful time for intentions?

There is energy in the Universe right now that will magnify our intentions and make them so strong. Like planting a seed at its optimum time, creating and setting our intentions at optimum times such as the summer solstice allows them to unfold exponentially.

So take some time today and write thoughtfully about what you want to happen in your life in the next 6 months. The possibilities are endless. Without clearly defined goals, the angels don’t know what we want and we continue to float through our lives. But set an intention at such a powerful time and your life will change!

Let me know how it goes! Good luck everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Permission to Play

When was the last time you played? Laughed from your belly? Lost track of time you were so engaged in what you were doing?

I realized recently that I have withheld play and recreation from myself because early on I learned that work comes first. Play was a reward that was to be entered into only AFTER that work was completed….and completed well. Oh boy. What a burden to carry! And I know I am not alone! How many of us wait to complete our work before we play? How many of us play before our work is done and then don’t enjoy it because we feel guilty?

Here’s another discovery: play is as necessary to the creative and work process as is the work itself. Maybe even more so. Without play, work becomes drudgery, it becomes harder to do, we have less inspiration, and we often become stuck. Play opens up those creative circuits and allows our energy to come forward and fuel us. If those circuits of energy and inspiration are either shut down completely or closed off to a large degree, work is just work. It is not inspired, inspirited, fun, or filling.

These discoveries are not all that amazing but what is amazing is that I am so old before I discover this! I happened to take a teleseminar this spring from Sandy Nelson and Kay Hunt on bringing play into our lives in simple ways. We learned many ways of playing with everyday items like push pins, toilet paper rolls, paper clips, binder clips, water bottles….etc. If you have found yourself stuck lately and want to learn more about playing, check out their website: www.permissiontoplaynow.com . They just finished a class but if you contact them you will be able to get on their list for the next fun round of classes!

And if you just can’t wait for a class, pull out a sheet of paper, pick up a crayon, marker, pencil or something and just doodle. Make shapes, designs, sketch, doodle. Have fun. Then add more color. Remember you are playing, not creating a masterpiece. Who cares about perfection? Who cares about anything other than the process! Just have fun! No one else need ever see it. There is no judgement here and no reason for creating other than the sheer pleasure of seeing the pencil glide across the paper, and then the color fill up the page. Just enjoy!

Let me know how it goes for you!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Not too many years ago I remember there was quite a flurry of talk about Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs). I haven’t heard too much in the media about it any more but I am happy to report that it is alive and well at least in our neck of the woods.

About 50 miles north of where we live is a beautiful, magnificent bridge: The Mighty Mac or the Mackinac Bridge which spans the gorgeous turquoise and deep blue waters of the Straits of Mackinac, (pronounced Mack-i-naw) that magical place where the waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron merge. (Waters from lake Superior also enter near here through a waterway.) The bridge is a suspension bridge like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco but is considered to be, at 5 miles long, the longest suspension bridge between two anchorages in the Western Hemisphere.

The bridge is a toll bridge. I forget what the toll is exactly, maybe $2.00-3.00 per car, and they have about 10-20 people DAILY who pay the toll for the person behind them. Isn’t that just great? The man on the radio said that during the Christmas season it goes much higher, when people are in that generous Holiday Spirit!

Chivalry isn’t dead either, but that is another post! Enjoy your weekend and give a thought to doing a RAK today yourself. It creates good karma! Not to mention that “pass it on” mentality.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Individual Stories

Greetings all!
My husband and I had a marvelous trip to Vermont to visit his elderly cousins so I have been absent a while from the blog world. I've missed you all! But it was my birthday and we decided to celebrate by visiting these dear relatives, the last of our relatives in the previous generation. It is a weird thing to think of only a few cousins standing between you and whatever comes next. We tried to soak up their wisdom, their love, their jokes, their stories, so rich now after 90 years of life. We visited old homesteads, old cemetaries, old birthplaces...and my favorite, the old family farm still inhabited by cows and horses and dogs and kitties and green forested hills and filled with a wonderful new young family.

The older I get, the more I appreciate family. The more I appreciate those who came before us. The more I appreciate their struggles and contributions and teachings. Cousin M worked her way through college in the war years working 7 days a week as well as going to college at Middlebury. She became a well known dietician and worked for big corporations like Stouffers and others before moving back "home" to take care of her Mother. Cousin E was in the invasion of Normany and was in combat for 2 straight years without a break. His wife, a lovely British woman, (yes, they met during the war), worked as a radar specialist for the women's auxilary of the British air force. They each have an amazing personal story.

But so do you. Each of us does has amazing personal stories and I have always been fascinated by them. What makes each person the way they are? What causes them to think in a certain way? Why are some people such optimists in spite of huge odds while others live in fear and uncertainty? It is such an interesting subject. What do you think? Is there anything about YOUR STORY you would like to share here?