Saturday, August 29, 2009

What's in a Name?

As a reader of the Akashic Records, I realize how important our names are in the whole scope of things. They literally set the vibrational pattern in our energy field. There is a belief out there that we might just choose our names before we are born and that our parents are then inspired with the name we have chosen. I've also heard the theory that the vowel sounds in our names are the ones that we need to hear to remind us of who we truly are, and what we are here for.

There things may or may not be true, but I have always been fascinated with names. Especially unusual or silly names. Remember the Hogg sisters in Texas who were named Ura and Ima? What a thing to do to two lovely young girls! I had a teacher in high school whose friend was named Nancy Ann Seancy....say that three time fast! My husband's great grandmother was saddled with the name of Fanny Buttolph! That always cracks up the young men in our family! Then there is the guy named Jim Shortz! And the lady who lived across the street from us when I was little was Jessie Annabella Rapohannock Mae Wolcott.

Which brings us to the names of my sisters and myself. Our maiden name was Smith and our parents felt it was important to give us unusual first names to distinguish us from the crowd. Of course, as a young person I hated having a name that stood out. I wanted to be a Nancy or Susie so much that my cousins actually began calling me "Nansue". I finally grew into my name but it was a long time coming!

With the name Diantha I don't run into many people with the same name but it does happen. Imagine my chagrin when last year there was a teacher who was plastered all over the news with my exact same name: Diantha Harris. What are the odds! She had publicly and on film castigated one of her female students for voicing her support of John McCain rather than Mr. Obama. So far no one has mistaken me for her but it was an amazing coincidence!

Recently I was emailing back and forth with Lynn from Happy Belly Bakery Blog ( which you must check out sometime! It turns out that her Grandmother's name was Diantha Dibble Hubble Humphrey! Now that is a name! Here is what Lynn wrote:

"Ah----unusual names. My mother went to school with an Anna Louise Pinkepank who eventually married a Mr. Gieselman. We've had years of enjoyment from saying "Anna Louise Pinkepank Gieselman" rapidly. Of course, Anna Louise's mother (a widow) remarried and became Mrs. Stringfellow, which is pretty good too. My husband's grandmother shares a room at the nursing home with a lady named Ploma Blaha...

And then a college friend of mine had an Aunt Missouri Bybee, who in turn had a son named Blu(e)ford Bybee. She also had an eormous Aunt Becky who hid under the bed when company came, but that's another story..." (By the way, Lynn, I want to hear that story too!)

What funny names have you heard or do you have in your family?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feng Shui Tips for Fall

Our grandchildren left yesterday to head back home as they are starting school on Wednesday. I figured it might be a great time to offer some feng shui tips for fall:

  • Position the bed: Beds should ideally face the door but not be in direct line with it. When you enter a bedroom, you should be facing the bed. The idea behind this is that when you are sleeping, if anyone comes into the room you want a clear view of who it is. Back in ancient China, the intruder was often up to no good so if one had a good view of the door from where they were sleeping, they might have a chance to react and protect themselves. We and our children still have this reptilian brain response embedded in our brain stem.
  • Organize-to a point. This gets harder the older the student becomes as they want control of their space which in mind takes precedence to what the parents want to a point. It is important to keep it clean, if not neat. I once had a child who was so messy I refused to clean his room unless it was picked up. If it wasn't, he had to clean it, under supervision. The rule was no food or drink in the bedrooms because with three sons, who knew how long the empty plates or cups would sit there under piles of sporting gear and clothes. However, if you can, get their rooms as organized as possible and if you have little ones, train them early by having bins and baskets to put things in.
  • Clear the Clutter. A sub category of organizing, this is often the result of poor organization combined with a ho-hum attitude. Everyone knows how distracting clutter can be. However, for some kids, it can fill a need for a feeling of security and safety. Some people need a kind of buffer between them and the world. Do your best to support clearing the clutter, but if it becomes a habit for the child, it might be an innate need for stuff around them to make them feel secure.
  • Add Color. Surround your child with colors that will be support him/her. If you are not familiar with this, consult a professional color specialist or Chapter Six of my book, Simply Color. ( Don't be upset if your teenage child chooses black. It is a pretty typical choice for that age group.
  • Move electronics. I know we are in the information age and that there are many electrical things kids want in their rooms. Try to place these as far as possible from the bed. And yes, this includes digital clocks. The EMF's emitted by these appliances are harmful to our body's energy field and over time can cause damage to our bodies as well as lowering our immune system.
  • Place Chairs. Windows are wonderful but they provide distractions for kids. If you hae a child who is dreamy by nature, place their chairs with their backs to the windows. this will help them focus either on conversations at dinner or when studying.
  • Stay clean. You know what they say about cleanliness being next to godliness, so I probably don't have to elaborate much here. Suffice it to say that dust mites, cockroaches and vermin cannot only be annoying, they can carry disease. 'Nuff said.
  • Use aromatherapy. For times in your child's life (and yours too!) when they cannot control their living space (sharing a room with a sibling, living in a dorm or apartment with others, even living at home with you) they can use aromatherapy. Life Potentials offers two lines of aromatherapy sprays: Simply Feng Shui and Simply Color. They were developed with the idea of offering indirect feng shui and color support when spaces cannot be controlled. You can find them all listed at If you are knowledgeable yourself about how to combine essential oils into formulas, you might want to try making your own!
  • Tip: For teachers, parents and students: use yellow for focus, to remember things, and for clarity.
So good luck to all students and teachers returning to school this year. May you all have a blessed year!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Gardens

With summer on the wane, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at some different types of gardens to see what kind really makes your heart sing. Here are a few examples to peruse. Which garden would you like in your own yard?

I'll be taking a few days off here to be with my grandchildren. Talk to you all later! xo

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Hat Are You Wearing?

I had a nice long talk with a far away friend yesterday and we got started talking about how we all wear different hats both in our everyday life and at different times of life. She was saying that at some point, she would like to get a bunch of different hats to keep in her studio and would so enjoy putting them on and off depending on what role she was playing: Mom, Artist, Friend, Confidant, Coach, Teacher, Student, Cook, Cleaner, Laundress, Patriot, Leader, Follower, Lady at Tea, Seductress, Hermit etc etc. We were laughing so hard over all the hats we would have to have and what hat would fill what role!

So just for fun….here are some hats for you to choose from today….which ones are YOU wearing? Which ones do you WANT to wear? What is missing from your etheric hat stash?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Supporting Your Local Farmers

I just picked up my share from our local Community Supported Agriculture program. We got carrots, lettuce, onions, new potatoes, beets, collard greens, carrots, dill, garlic, zucchini, and broccoli. Yum Yum!

For anyone who is unfamiliar with CSA’s, you buy a share for the year and each week you go pick up your portion of what they have for the week. They provide whatever is in season. When the fruit comes in, we get a portion of that too as long as we let them know we are interested. They also have free-range chickens available as an add on. Each CSA is different. In one I belonged to we also got a flower share if we wanted one. At an extra cost of about $10 per week, we got a huge bouquet of flowers grown on the farm. This one I am in now does not have that option but we do have the fruit/chicken option which the other one didn’t.

The cool thing is that local farmers are supported through these organizations. You can even volunteer to help if you want to! I met a woman up there a few weeks ago who is taking these local organic veggies and canning soups to be given to the needy and homeless this winter. I loved that!

Today in their newsletter it say that if every family in our state were to spend just $10 per week on products produced in this state that we would keep $40 million dollars right here in our state weekly. We could use it. How about your state?

So if you have one, I highly encourage you to buy a share in your local CSA. If not, go to your local farmers’ markets, farm stands, or whatever you have near you. Even when we lived in the heart of Chicago there was a local farmers’ market almost every day in one neighborhood or another, including the very downtown! So you can find these almost everywhere. Try googling for local products too. It helps everyone from you and your family and friends right down to the people who make the products. What community wouldn’t welcome more of our money staying put in our communities!

Hope you enjoy the bounty of the summer in your local area!

Farmers' Market Zucchini Pizza
4 C. shredded zucchini, dry with paper towel
2 eggs, beaten
1 C shredded Cheddar
minced onion and garlic if desired (saute until clear in olive oil)
cooked and crumbled bacon if desired, 4-5 pieces

Mix it all together with clean hands. Press into a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar on top. Bake @ 350 degrees until firm. Delicious! This is one of those recipes you can play with, changing cheeses, adding or subtracting meats etc. Have fun!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pooling Our Resources

The current economic picture has provided different challenges for most of us. One is the broken nest eggs of many retirees or the loss of jobs in the younger generation. What’s interesting is that many are returning to a way of life familiar in our country a few generations back when families pooled their resources and moved in together.

My Mother’s Mother, the kind that puts the word “Grand” into Grandmothers, lived with us my whole growing up life. She passed away just after I left home to get married. Going home was no longer the same without her there. The benefits of having Grandma there as I grew up were many. No matter how in trouble I was with my parents, Grandma always had a hug to give. My own Mother was very involved in community service and it was Grandma who taught me to cook and sew and do crafts. My Dad had a huge vegetable garden and lots of berry bushes and she could create amazing dishes out of what he brought in from the garden. She taught me how to enjoy creativity and creating something out of nothing. She was great at taking old gardening catalogs and doing collage with the beautiful images, or painting an old chair to make it a seating place we all fought over using, or cutting out rooms from Ladies Home Journal and making houses from them. We had such fun, she sang funny songs, she took us on long car rides through the country, beeping the car horn under a bridge so it echoed, and speeding up as we approached the bumps in the road, causing us to sail through the air more than a few times!

Oh the memories. Perhaps this is a good outcome from the economy, bringing the generations back into closer contact again. I know I would be a totally different person without Grandma’s daily presence in my life. Oh to be sure, there will be stress combining households and if possible, I recommend, from a feng shui point of view, that the living space allow for privacy and independence for all residents. For example, my Grandmother had her own living quarters attached to the end of our house so she could come and go as she pleased, entertain her own friends, have her own life, as could my parents. She cooked her own dinners, and lived on her own, but we shared things like costs of utilities, mortgage payments, homemade ice cream and the like. She came on vacation with us sometimes but not all times, she had parties and didn’t’ invite my parents and vice versa, so to remain independent for as long as possible is an important ingredient in this scenario.

Having a separate unit is often not in the cards but there are other things you can do to create a living space for a part of the family returning to the “nest”. If you have experienced this or have ideas, this will be a great forum for you. We all would love to hear what you have to say and what some of you have learned from experience.

Here are a few ideas to spark the conversation: combine two bedrooms with a bath for an in-law suite. Use an underused room in the house (like a formal living room) and create a suite there. Use a basement or a part of a 3 car garage. Install a lift to the second floor for aging parents. Replace hardware on cupboards so they can be used by older people.
What else have you come up with or seen used?