December 31, 2008

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If these two guy cats can get along, we all can do it.
Until there is peace, find peace within yourself

If cats can, We can

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From the Ain't this the truth column

Ain't this the truth today:

  • The Queen of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in liberation.
  • I radiate or communicate personal power, passion, and allure and am not dragged down by trends.
  • I have a bold magical flair and a spirit of innovation and pride. I am secure in my identity or performance and thrive on creating, designing or fostering new or equal opportunities for aesthetic or personal growth, expression or awareness.
  • I am empowered with gratitude, attention and reputation to go beyond the call and I transform through exploring or initiating change.

And here I was wondering why I suddenly found an advertisement for a job that just fits my skills in Northern Virginia. Oh, well, not so close. It is actually down in Harrisonburg with lots of commuting to the Northern Virginia office but ... not a bad thing at all.

Let's just see what happens.

Be Well and at Peace

A modest wish of mine is for all people to 'just get along.' This is the tap root of who I am and always have been. So my wish for 2009 is Buddhist in nature....that all of us find peace in ourselves and reach out to make peace with each other.

May All Beings Know Peace
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December 30, 2008

New Year's Wish

  • I got an email from a friend of mine at a law firm downtown. It is one of those awful chain emails and promises luck to the sender who then afflicts all of their friends by sending it on to them. And as my friend said in her initial paragraph, 2008 was not a good year for her and she hoped that 2009 would be better. In writing back to her, I had to agree and then discovered I needed to write more on the subject.

  • I agree 100% with you. 2008 was a year when things fell apart for a lot of us. I am so glad you found a place at a downtown firm and I hope things will start to pick up after Obama gets sworn in. I truly do. We need more than luck. We need stable strong thoughtful calm leadership. We need to be able to trust again. We really need a miracle and I hope the Obama and his team can do pull this country out of the swamp of corruption and greed that Bush led us into. I have been alive (oh, good grief, I sound ancient but...) through Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and now Bush II. The shrub (aka Bush II) was just awful.
  • Bush claims he will be recalled as a good president. And just maybe he will be remembered in 2,000 years as someone who had to make tough choices. However, he has burdened the United States with a reputation we will spend years getting back, he has run us into so much debt we will not be able to pay it down in my lifetime, his legacy in every single part of his administration has been marked by a reckless abandonment of regulators keeping an eye on things.
  • From slaughter houses in California and Kansas, to illegal immigration, to civil liberties being taken away, to the financial meltdown, to drugs from China killing us, to toys being filled with lead, to environmental regulators being told they could not bring up issues that needed to be addressed. He has a lot to answer for and I don't think he will be prosecuted after he leaves office.
  • I don't even think Cheney will be prosecuted for making sure we got into Iraq. It is really a monumental screw up of historic proportions. Breathtaking.
  • In 2009, we all will get a new start with Obama, new congress, and fresh ideas. I just hope we don't expect too much. There is so much to fix and he is just one guy. But I figure that if FDR could create the New Deal, Civilian Conservation Corp and all the other programs that eventually edged us out of the Great Depression from a wheelchair, then perhaps we can have hope.
  • After all, hope was all that was left in Pandora's Box after she opened it the first time. You remember Pandora? According to Bullfinch's Mythology, the gods on Mt. Olympus created her and sent her down to earth. She came with a wedding present -- a box she was not supposed to open. The box supposedly held blessings from all of the gods. Curiosity overwhelmed her and she opened the box letting all the ills which afflict the world out -- except the one that was left behind when she hastily closed the box up again. I can only imagine how horrible that must have been for her. But the myth says that the one blessing left in the box was hope.
  • My memory plays tricks on me sometimes but I remember this legend differently at this point. I recall learning that Pandora opened the box again when another of the gods came down to tell her that there was one gift left in the box which would help with all the terrible plagues on mankind. He (perhaps the god was Mercury who was the messenger to all the gods) assured her that hope was in the box and needed to be released. She opened the box again and that is why even with such terrible times as we are having now, we can reach deep inside ourselves and find hope ...

    Until peace, may we all know peace and have hope in new beginnings.

December 26, 2008

Draining Experiences (shameless crib)

December 26, 2008
Helpful, Useful, Supportive
  1. Cancer Daily Horoscope
    You may be feeling helpful today, which could find you offering assistance to your workmates or making yourself useful in the kitchen. The underlying motive behind your desire to help is really the desire to support others.
  2. An act of support is a gift that is easy and inexpensive to give. It shows caring and the willingness to stand beside those we care about, regardless of the circumstances.
  3. Sometimes it is an act of connection between ourselves and another human being. By lending our energy physically to a situation, we also lend our emotional and spiritual energy to make the circumstance something new.
  4. Like adding a new ingredient to a recipe, it becomes something different than it would have been otherwise. By adding the uniqueness of yourself to any situation today, you make an impact while offering your support.
  5. You may be drawn to be helpful in a situation because you are open and receptive to the need for assistance. Maybe you have the perfect energy to balance a situation or can make it the best it can be.
  6. Or you could be drawn to a situation because there is something in it for you. You may not realize it but you could be about to meet someone who could change your life, or you could learn a skill that will come in handy in the future.
  7. By following your instincts today, you allow yourself to share your unique qualities while also enriching your own life.
Delayed GratificationCancer Daily Horoscope
Your sense of duty may have you putting your work ahead of your personal life today, leaving you feeling reliable and conscientious.
  1. Delayed gratification helps us create order in our lives since we do what needs to be done first so that we may enjoy rewards later. It is the discipline that guided us as children to do our homework before we went outside to play. Applied to our adult lives, it allows us to tend to our responsibilities before we seek out fun activities.
  2. But as adults, putting work ahead of our personal lives may mean we ignore the responsibilities of our homes and families for the purpose of making money, and that can create an imbalance in our lives.
  3. Today you can make a point of being conscientious toward your highest priorities in order to live a full and balanced life. We can take a moment to make sure that we have our priorities in order of true importance.
  4. Though society tends to stress the importance of work, our jobs are certainly not more important than our families. By seeking balance between work and play, rest and recreation, we can make sure that we keep our responsibilities to ourselves and to our loved ones as well as do work that supports them all.
  5. When you know what your goals are, you know the direction you need to take and can make changes accordingly to ensure that we live our lives to the fullest, today and every day.

December 24, 2008

A Sidewise Greeting to the World

Solutions to difficult situations come from looking at them in new ways.  Sometimes we need to see the world from a different perspective.  The quickest way to do this is to look through the corner of your eye.  Or tip known objects sidewise and look at them.  Never throw away any creative idea you created in the past.  You never know when it will become a launch pad for another phase of your life.

Until then may all beings know peace and reindeer.  Especially the reindeer.

More to ponder from ... shameless copying

  1. The Knave of Swords card suggests that my power today lies in promise.
  2. I am bright, edgy, curious and articulate and am developing respect and competence through preparation and practice.
  3. I am anxious to be tested or challenged -- but I am not afraid to question authority or participate in the latest craze.
  4. I am a perpetual student of learning and try to think before I speak or act.
  5. I am empowered by confrontation or opportunity and my virtue is self-restraint.

December 23, 2008

My Cats and Fish and life in general

  1. My cats love to look at my fish. Sadly, the fish aren't happy being watched. Over the past month, though, Freckles started to fish for the fish and drink the water in the tank. I tried everything I could think of. I finally covered the tank with a dark cloth to keep him out but I didn't think about the water being wicked up into the clothe and leaking everywhere. Worse, I didn't realize the dark clothe was not going to leak its dark dye into the water.
  2. So last night I changed the fish tank, swapped the fish out of the tank into smaller containers and put them up onto the bookcase with a lamp turned on to keep warm while I heated the water in the cleaned out tank to the right temperature for them again.
  3. Success this morning. The fish survived the night, the water warmed to the correct temperature and I threw out the lid which came with the tank because it was unable to keep out the cats. I have now covered the tank with two plastic chopping sheets and moved all the smaller furniture to keep the cats above the fish should they be able to jump up.

I think life is a lot like my cats and fish. I just have to keep working on the details on the job hunt to find something. Refining is not admitting defeat. It is, as am I, a work in progress.

Just for the Record...More Cribbing

From the Shameless Cribbing Network that is me these days....Here is the daily om horoscope.....
The original is in numbered blocks and my riff on them follows with regular formatting....

  1. Conditioned ResponseReactions To Life Events. Our experiences color everything. The events of the past can have a profound effect on how we see our lives now and what we choose to believe about our world.
  2. Our past experiences can also influence our emotional reactions and responses to present events. Each of us reacts to stimulus based on what we have learned in life. There is no right or wrong to it; it is simply the result of past experience.
  3. Later, when our strong feelings have passed, we may be surprised at our reactions. Yet when we face a similar situation, again our reactions may be the same. When we understand those experiences, we can come that much closer to understanding our reactions and consciously change them.
  4. Between stimulus and reaction exists a fleeting moment of thought. Often, that thought is based on something that has happened to you in the past. When presented with a similar situation later on, your natural impulse is to unconsciously regard it in a similar light. For example, if you survived a traumatic automobile accident as a youngster, the first thing you might feel upon witnessing even a minor collision between vehicles may be intense panic. If you harbor unpleasant associations with death from a past experience, you may find yourself unable to think about death as a gentle release or the next step toward a new kind of existence.
  5. You can, however, minimize the intensity of your reactions by identifying the momentary thought that inspires your reaction. Then, next time, replace that thought with a more positive one.

It is funny how one little article I wrote in the high school national writers competition predicted my life in recovery -- first, from my family and second, from alcoholism. The story concerned hitting the snags of life (aka Habits). Snags are the habits that catch us when we aren't looking. Imagine driving down the road and hitting a 35 pound pig. Disasterous for the pig, bad for the car and terribly upsetting to the folks in the car. Habits are as simple and as profound as that immediate reaction we have to something we like or dislike. They keep us stuck. Buddhism teaches me to hit the pause button -- hopefully before I hit the pig -- before I repeat habitual behavior. It stops me from cutting, drinking, throwing up, giving up and giving in. That pause is a powerful button.

December 22, 2008

Cribbing again for Inspiration (AKA ain't it the truth)

Oh good grief, my Cancer Daily Horoscope from Daily OM: What Holds You BackCancer Daily Horoscope might have been written just exactly for me. That void that appears after something is done...leaves me breathless. Not a good thing for my asthma and so not a good thing for my fear factor...... Here is what the horoscope says....maybe it is like you too.

  1. You might notice a lack of incentive to get things done today, which could cause you to procrastinate. Perhaps you want to consider the reason why you are dragging your heels and putting things off for later; it may be a sign that you are avoiding facing some aspect of yourself that you are not entirely comfortable with.
  2. Taking a few minutes to journal about your indolence today can give you some insight into what you do not wish to acknowledge. It might be that you are uncertain what you will do once your tasks are complete, or you may like the feeling of something holding you back in order to escape changes happening in your life.
  3. Understanding the reasons behind your procrastination could motivate you to get everything done and might also bring you to greater realizations about the ways in which you live and perceive your life as a whole.
  4. When we avoid our obligations it is usually because we are also circumventing something that is uncomfortable in our lives. Acting as if everything is okay or refusing to see what needs to get done is a way for our minds to lull us into a sense of temporary and momentary security.
  5. Thoroughly examining your inner self today, however, will give you an inside view into why you need this sense of certainty in the first place and will ultimately lead you away from your fear and instead to insights about how to live more efficiently and with greater courage and awareness.

December 20, 2008


This is Freckles....Really looks like the cat least to me

Picture of Turkish Angora

Just when I figured I would never know what kind of cat Freckles is, I watched a Cats 101 show on Animal Planet. Who knew? I sure didn't. So Turkish Angora cats are considered the 'dogs' of the cat world because of their gregarious nature and habit of greeting visitors. Well, finally something explains why Freckles cuddles up to every shoe left on the floor. If he was any bigger, I believe he would be running off with the shoes or gnawing them to death.
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December 19, 2008

Great Game for Working out Anger

Cribbing -- not just homes on MTV

Another really useful source of inspiration is today's OM:

  1. You could feel a sense of lack in your life today.
  2. You might also feel inadequate and want to purchase or display something of value to feel better about yourself.
  3. Your feelings might indicate a need to feel more empowered about your life and develop a deeper appreciation for your own value as a human being. A good way to do this is to help others. You might look into charitable organizations in your area and see if any of them require assistance today. You could donate money or simply share your expertise and talents by performing odd jobs or working on a special project. You might also make an effort to mentally affirm your value as a human being and strengthen your sense of interconnectedness with all living beings.
  4. Devoting our time and energy to serving others can strengthen our connection with humanity and help us affirm our own worth. While we might be tempted to quiet feelings of lack by acquiring material objects, this effect is fleeting at best. We would be better served by channeling our energy into helping others.
  5. As we devote our time and attention to service, we begin to understand that we are connected to others in profound ways. We also recognize that each of us has value, regardless of our material status. If you channel your feelings of lack into service to others today, you will benefit from a lasting sense of connection while affirming your innate worth.

All these are terrific reasons to think before spending. How we spend our money reflects not only on our bank accounts but on our own energy. What we spend that energy on can be the latest gizmo or the newest kitten at the cattery we are trying to medicate while it tries to bite our fingers. I know which one I will pick...bitten fingers every single time. Those bites remind me I have faced my fears of inadequacy by helping someone (and, yes, animals are someones) other than myself to the feast of life.

Until peace, know peace inside through volunteering

Art of Traction

The Two of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in attraction. I have a vested interest or am committed to sharing my vision, ideals, or game plan in order to make a connection. I am willing to step up because it takes two and I can't win if I don't play. Anything is possible. I am empowered by the passion of my own potential and I transform through self-discipline.

December 16, 2008

Hammett & Writing (Or how Old is New again)

I really need to brush up on my history reading... Really do. I am brushing up on my regular reading (the books I have meant to try but stayed away from just because they were the classics forced into the modern English courses I took in college). You know the ones, FitzGerald, Steinbeck and of course, Dashiell Hammett. Sorry to say, I still haven't read Steinbeck's classic but as this recession/depression deepens I will give it a whirl. Nothing like current events to validate the gloom of his Dust Bowl classics. FitzGerald and the Great Gatsby is still beyond me. I have read him but don't like his style of writing, no matter how much the teachers point out the way things in the novel reflect various things in the times. That's the problem with the teaching of the classics...the teaching to the philosophy of the times. I don't know what motivates writers to write the way they do. I do know that writing comes out of the back brain and down into the fingers to produce words. Is there conscious thought? Sure. Is there a plan of how the author wants the book to go? Absolutely! But!!! Is there a syllabus that tells the author -- dirt needs to be read as the way the stock market falls and this goes here because of the Great Depression, and that goes there because of the stock market? No. I don't buy it. Which is why I never majored in English. I couldn't spout the gospel according to whatever critic was forming the opinion of the teacher. That's why I went into Humanities and learned to take cultural things evoked in books and spoken of in histories at their face value and not 'read' my modern culture into them. I digress, however. Back to the main point of this note: Nothing could prepare me, however, for Hammett. I picked his work up after exhausting the library of my favorites. And fell in love. Lean prose, punchy dialogue and extremely close watch on what characters did and looked like. Really good background in the history as well. In the Maltese Falcon, for example, I always thought the 'bird' was just a story. Not something that happened in fact. I was wrong. Here is a link to the Knights of Malta (aka Knights of Rhodes, not to be confused with the Knights Templar). Thank god for google. I would never have had the patience to locate that information in the library. Fascinating history. And his prose on why he has to turn over the woman who killed his partner Miles is evocative of someone who had been through WWI and seen death close up:
"...When a man's partner is killed he'd supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it." (pp. 213-4) Maltese Falcon, First Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Edition, August 1992. First published 1929, 1930 Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Hammett served in WWI and it shows in that quote. The quote goes further than that. It shows me that the human urge is to do something when someone is killed. Death affects us all. And when death comes for a partner, it is avenged. Warts and all. Likable or not.

So I will start a collection of Hammett books of my own to come back to for thoughtful inspiration. Thin Man, Continental Op and The Glass Key are the books listed in the back of this edition. I am fascinated that at least two I know of have been turned into movies...Thin Man and The Maltese Falcon. But then I am a movie geek. Until peace, know peace

December 8, 2008

The concept of Enough

I used to think that enough was a word that described physical objects, as in, "George didn't have enough money for lunch," or "Phyllis has enough carrots to share with George." It was until I read a Hillerman novel that I realized the concept of 'enough' could be used as a philosophical standing. "Enough" vs. "never full." Given everything I've been through in the past 4 years, you'd think that concept would be blindingly obvious to me. But as with many things...fear keeps me from looking too closely. Fear...closing down...never enough. Knowing fear generally means an acceptance of fearful states. Keeping from shutting down is the trick to it.

Self Abnegation

Need to look up this word. Really do.

December 5, 2008

Law Firms -- OCPD

Now my career in law firms makes sense.

A mnemonic that can be used to remember the criteria for OCPD is LAW FIRMS.
L – Loses point of activity (due to preoccupation with detail)
A – Inability to complete tasks (compromised by perfectionism)
W – Worthless objects (unable to discard)
F – Friendships (and leisure activities) excluded (due to a preoccupation with work)
I – Inflexible, overconscientious (on ethics, values, or morality, not accounted for by religion or culture)
R – Reluctant to delegate (unless others submit to exact guidelines)
M – Miserly (toward self and others)
S – Stubbornness (and rigidity)

And another good reading...

Again, shamelessly copying from This time their Daily Horoscope feature which nails my day completely. Really amazing how putting positive energy out brings positive energy back and how old habits keep us old rabbits in a rut. I recently pledged and cleaned old items from an older chest of mine and as I cleaned I deliberately said "I sweep away things holding me back that I have held onto, consciously or unconsciously." Or words like that. And things, interviews, new ways of applying for jobs, new contacts with people started to rise up to the surface....

Philosophical PonderingCancer Daily Horoscope

  1. A philosophical mood may lead you to ponder all the different cultural and religious beliefs in the world today. You may be feeling liberal-minded as you explore the similarities and differences. By doing this, you could reach a greater understanding of the world you inhabit as well as gain the ability to share a different point of view with those around you.
  2. When we begin to share new and different ideas within our communities, we open others’ minds to the new possibilities and understanding. Today you can follow your philosophical explorations to lead you to a wealth of knowledge and understanding you can share.
  3. New ideas can be difficult for people to accept. Not everyone is willing to expand their awareness to include different ways of thinking about the world.
  4. But if an idea is presented many times from different sources, it begins to take root. As more and more people are willing to accept these ideas, soon it may seem as though the entire society is in agreement. This is how we can share what we learn from different cultures and religions.
  5. While others may not have the drive to explore such arenas, we can bring back the gems of our experience to help them broaden their horizons. When we can connect with others in understanding, we have a greater chance to create peace.
  6. It is when we see others as completely alien that we have difficulty bridging the gap. Today you can be a bridge-maker, sharing your liberal philosophies with those who are willing to reach a greater understanding.

Today brought to you by strikes again with my 12-5-08 reading:

The Ace of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in initiation.
I am a winner by virtue of my desire, belief, vision, and intention.
I bring fresh inspiration into the world and am "master of my domain."
My solution is found in creative transformation and I am empowered by my spark of life.
I love this one because I am inspired to try things I have not felt confident enough to do for many years...interview. And I was delighted that my interviewer today was so kind and said I was very personable. This is always good news. Always positive. Really a relief to know I can well as long term. Really good news and a good day no matter how this ultimately works out.

December 4, 2008

Haggis Hunting or is that Hunting Haggis?

The Hunt ...mht (6.5 KB)

So Does Staying in the Present Mean ...?

Chinese Horoscope for us Bunnies and Cats today:

Here is your horoscope for Thursday, December 4:
Keep focused on what's in front of you rather than planning ahead on projects that you haven't even started. It may be easy to lose track of what's presently going on, so take extra time to stay in the present. Future things will come when they should.
And does this mean paying bills or applying to jobs. I need to do both. I desperately need to get a job that pays enough for me to live on. But I desperately need to pay my bills. Decisions, decisions. Staying in the present is difficult. But breaking it down into one day and one thing at a time? Easy

Today's Note is brought to you by

I am a shameless copier of cool things. God knows, if I were in school there would be plagerism to pay. But for the says:

The Ace of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in capturing the essence. My emotions are valid. I am beautiful and I deserve to pursue, share, and express unconditional love, pleasure, and happiness. I bring new love into the world. I am empowered by love and my gift is beauty in truth.

December 3, 2008

More Meds....Maybe

We give the cats at FOHA pills to build up immunity. L-lysine and echinacea. Both are staples for cats under stress. Wait -- I am under stress too. So I started taking both this week. Here is a link for echinacea. Here is a link for that: Nov 17, 2008 ... Basic information on echinacea, including common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources to learn - 15k Sadly, the L-lysine links are all about selling and not about results but I will post once I find one that is put out by NIH or some other well respected group. Until peace,


And now another tip from astrology/feng shui style

Shopping list...almond oil, sea salt, sandalwood oil. All of which sounds really good to sandpapery me.

Here is your Daily Feng Shui Tip for Wednesday, December 3
As this is considered 'National Roof Over Your Head Day' you might think that I would be inclined to offer some seasonal advice regards how to capture any of those magical energies that will soon be, well, up on the rooftop. But, instead, I'll talk about the energetic rooftop sitting directly and right above the crown of your skull. Long considered a holistic 'energy' cleanse, during these days of hustle and bustle a nice long shower that cleans all negativity from your field is just what the angels ordered. Add a little almond oil to a handful of sea salt and make a thick paste with these ingredients. Add two drops of sandalwood oil and standing in a warm shower, rub the mix all over your body. While you shower, be assured that you are washing away any malaise that has accumulated during the day. But -- and here's the key -- while you are showering the salt mix off, you must make sure the water runs down from the top of your head. Now memories of sugarplums will be dancing to make tomorrow very, very merry and bright.

Say it with me, Folks...OUCH

My soul number when I dissect

sheldon elizabeth young kaufman

eo: 5+6 = 11/eae: 5+1+5 = 11/ou: 6+3 = 9/aua: 1+3+1 = 5/Adds up to 36...//3+6=9
Soul Urge #9The highest expression of your soul's urge is to connect in a mystical way with others. Although your aspirations are lofty, you are also a humanitarian who is often gifted with a sharp intuition and keen analytical skills. Your faith in yourself, God and the future is so strong that you live by your convictions. Your challenge in life is to be understood as more than a fanatic or flake by others who may not understand your idealism.

OUCH. This is so me!!!! And it is definitely my daily challenge to be taken seriously.

Gut Feeling

Brought to me and now to you by the Daily OM:

December 3, 2008Gut ResponseIn Touch With True Emotions
So often, emotions that we long to express get stored in our bodies instead. The space where this most often happens is in our bellies. Rather than telling people, our even ourselves, the way we truly feel, we may stuff our true feelings deep inside of us, where they take up space until we are ready to let them go. Stuffing our feelings in our bellies may feel like the "safe" response, since we then don’t really have to deal with our emotions. Yet, doing so can actually be detrimental to our emotional well-being and physical health. One way to connect with and release your emotions is to do a focused exercise with your stomach area. Take a moment to center yourself with some deep breathing and quiet meditation, relaxing your body fully and turning off the chatter in your brain. With your right hand on your stomach, tell yourself three times: "Please reveal to me my true emotions." Listen for the answers. Repeat the exercise as many times as you would like, allowing yourself to drop deeper into your body each time. Notice any physical response in the stomach area, whether you have a warm, relaxed feeling in the middle of your body or if you feel tight knots in response to any emotions that do come up. You may even want to write down any answers that come to you. Remember that the body doesn’t lie. Releasing our pent up feelings from our bellies can prevent disease and allow us to live more authentic and expressive lives. Sometimes, if too much emotional energy builds up inside of us, a blowout can result that can cause discomfort. You can help to alleviate this compression by doing the same exercise and adding sound to your emotional release. The more guttural the sounds released through your mouth, the more emotions you are likely letting go. Releasing your emotions from your belly doesn’t have to be painful and hard; rather, it can be organic and effortless. It’s important not to judge whatever comes up for you. We tend to stuff our feelings in our bellies when we are ashamed of them or not ready to express them. There is nothing wrong with having feelings, whatever they may be. You can’t help your feelings; if anything, you can help yourself by acknowledging the truth of your emotions so you can set yourself free