Friday, January 30, 2009

Memories, Longings and Paying Homage.....

Today marks the death of a brother of a dear friend, today marks a new beginning which is called tomorrow, today marks the death of a day we shall never see again, yet do we mourn for this day thats will soon be lost?

I am touched to the very core by a sweet woman that is innocent, charming, beautiful and rustic. My prayers and best wishes to you dear friend in this day of healing (you know who you are).

Do not stand at my grave and forever weep.

I am not there;

I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn’s rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and forever cry.

I am not there.

I did not die.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bridging the gap.....

Good day peeps! Things are finally settling down and I am getting back to business of reality and not living languishing memories of white sand and warm sunshine.

I have finally gotten some concept models down for some new jewelry pieces and I am delighted with how they are turning out. I should have quite a few new pieces to list by the end of the weekend.

Today is also day 8 of eating Raw - meaning eating only raw foods and I marked a 7 pound weight loss as of this morning. Part of my journey to self is correcting my diet and here is an example of what I will be eating today.

Breakfast, handfull of Goji berries, 5 Macadamia nuts, handfull of trail mix and pineapple.

Lunch, Salad comprised of Broccoli slaw, Purple onion, Acai Powder, Maca Powder, Coconut, shredded Carrot and all tossed in a balsamic of Rosemary of Thyme. Yummy!

Dinner, Tibetan Goji Salad with Romaine, Acai powdere, Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds, Goji berries, Raisins, Golden Berry all tossed in a nut butter dressing with Almond butter, sesame oil, olive oil and Tahini. Another yum!
I have finally hit to point of starting feel very good and I had forgotten how clean eating clears not only the body but the mind!
The only set back I have experienced in a very odd numbness on the left side of my mouth all the way to my teetth. It is better this morning though thank Heavens! Very odd sensation....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The meaning of Peace...


It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still

Be calm in your heart.

Thank you Cindy

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

74 to -10 in 4 hours flat.....

We are back and what a wonderful 5 days of warming the bones, readjusting, healing and planning. It was an average of 74 there and it was quite the wakeup call to come back to -10 and then -40 wind chill. Why do I live here?????
We shared lovely meals, lovely time on the beach, lovely conversation and a whole heap of introspect which was much needed.

Recall this picture:

This was my prior post which was an image that came from the site and this image came directly from my Blackberry which means that I got to stand in front of it and what a gorgeous sight it was.

Here is also a pic that we took of the huge Zen Garden at Morikami:

This was a beautiful Japanese Garden but you can tell that there is something gone wrong with the climate here. Alot of the bamboo was in bad shape and many of the ancient Bald Cypress either dead or in great distress. The lake was down by as much as 7-10 feet and things were definitely stressed. It was sad to see.

The picture below is quite interesting with the lanterns hanging against the backdrop of the lake.

All in all it is good to be back in our own bed and we missed the girls terribly! I will be writing more on the intropection part of the trip but for now here is me and a fun moment, "I thought I ordered Cannoli?"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

"Located in Morikami Japanese Gardens in South Florida, this Wisdom Ring is a replica of a stone lantern located in Delray Beach's sister city in Miyarzu, Japan, where it is the town symbol. The original Wisdom Ring stands on the grounds of a temple dedicated to Monju, the Buddhist bodhisattva of wisdom." Excerpt from the Morikami Japanse Garden website

We will be leaving tomorrow for South Florida for some warming of the bones and healing of the mind. We have not had a break for 2 years now and are very much looking forward to some time away for just the two of us. We will be having dinner with Ciro Marchetti as well and looking forward to meeting him.

The above image is the Wisdom Ring and we are planning to go to the gardens Saturday and I am very much looking foward to some Zen time.

That is my tidbit for the day and I will report back when we return.

Torn and Tattered?

Living within the boundaries of our little homestead that was recently transformed into something that we never really quite imagined it would be.

Living within the cold bitterness that is a Minnesota Winter and longing for the days of Spring.

Living with the hopes and dreams of two precious little girls and their innocent ways of life.

Living with the remnants of everything that still needs to be fixed or replaced or renewed somehow due to certain winds in July of 08.

Living with the stress of each day and the balance of what is a pleasure and what is duty.

Living with the torn and tattered trees?

I spent some time late yesterday evening in surveying what few trees we have left. We have two very large Birch in the front of the house that literally had the bark peeled off of them. I decided to not pull the peels but to let her (the tree) shed them as she must. It looks like they are about to come off and below the tattered shell is signs of growth. What appears to be torn and tattered is actually rebirthing.

When the bark does come off I will be soaking it and flattening it and then doing a special tribute drawing for our family.

So, as the image above shows, within the torn and tattered there is hope.....
Hope lights a candle rather than cursing the darkness - Keith Todd

Monday, January 19, 2009

Family and Friends - The Best Medicine

One week ago yesterday marked 6 months since the tornado. We have come a long way and we are very grateful for all the helping hands during this journey. There were literally hundreds of people involved in helping us with our little piece of heaven that was quickly turned upside down shaken and then contents dumped out (literally).

Along this journey there were instrumental people that have become so much more than friends, they have become family. Several families in particular and in celebration we had a small get together Saturday Night. We served Dim Sum, Artichoke dip, Veggies and Ranch, Tea Cookies and lot's of laughter and fun. We played Guesstures and Mad Gab and had a blast.

It has been a long time since I laughed that hard and it felt good. I am eternally grateful to those around us that have continued to offer their support and words of wisdom and most of all hugs. Thank you, you know who you are......

On another note, I finished the last assignment for course one of Path of Heart and this first step has been most interesting. Part of assignment 3 was as follows:

"You described the most meaningful or life-altering experiences of your existence so far. Strive this month to create the opportunities for any similar experiences. Report on your experiences or lack thereof, your efforts, perceived obstacles and personal feelings."

This one was very eye opening for me personally. I created an ooportunity for myself in discovery and I sat down at looked at several of my herbal books and I chose 5 plants to learn the properties of. Mugwort, Rose, Lemon Verbena, Witch Hazel Bark and Calendula Flower. I studied them, drew them and intimately began to know them, the properties are as follows:

Mugwort - Crystal Gazing and Rheumatism

Rose: - Astringent and Anit-inflammatory

Lemon Verbena - Calms Itching

Witch Hazel Bark - Pain reducer, anti-inflammatory

Calendula flower - Pain Reducer, Anti-Bacterial

In order to learn more about the properties of these plants I made up a salve with all 5 of the above. I had all of these in dried form when I was making natural soap and they were packaged in Feb 08 (Mountain Rose Herb) and were still viable. I prepared a oil base of Organic EVOO, Borage Oil and Vitamin E and then prepared my mixture of herbs and gently poured them into the oil. I infused the mixture for about 1 hour on a low heat and the house was filled with this absolutely lovely heady aroma that was incredible. I strained and then poured and allowed to cool.

What I came out with was a salve that is simply incredible! I used some on myself for a bruised calf, I used some on Emilie who is quite clutzy and managed to fall off the piano bench into the toy box and bruised her back pretty good. As of last night her bruise was gone and mine was reduced by 50% at least and no longer tender to the touch.

I also walked away with some important meditative time, the preparation of all the materials and even giving thanks silently for the opportunity. In this effort I awakened the person in me that has always had a love affair with plants and their individualistic scents.

Since selling the Essentials company I totally walked away from this aspect that I so enjoyed. I am glad to be back and have the leisure of learning and preparing and not have it be a business. This process confirmed that I want to continue with that education and perhaps myself become a Medicine Woman one day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gifts of Gaia

This above image (artwork by Jess-Wolf Hardin) is from the new website for Anima and when I saw Jesse-Wolf Hardin's artwork of the woman holding the bounties of the Earth I literally gasped. There is some sort of connection here that I am finding truly amazing and his artwork resonates to my very core.

Some of you are aware that our primary business is Heaven and Earth Designs and as you know we deal with hundreds of artists and I have never had anyone's art affect me the way that his does. The one thing that strikes me most often is that his portrayals are portraying the way that I "feel". Simply amazing.....

Ok, last night I continued work on my Path of Heart course and the questions are answered from the heart, no veils, no judging just simple outpouring of the heart. I have studied alot of various courses and materials in my 45 years and I have never "signed up" for anything but this is different and I have to tell you that I am very glad that the Universe led me to this magical place with caretakers that are genuine and of true spirit.

Wolf, Kiva-Rose, Loba and Rhiannon are more than caretakers, they are charged with the care of the land indeed but they are also charged with so much more than that. The responsibilities of guiding those that have a calling are immense and I have a great respect for what they are doing. I encourage you to look further into their site and hopefully you can walk away feeling a little better about the day or even perhaps embark on a journey by taking a course?

Part of the assignments is to make a list of reasonable or even unreasonable expectations by others such as parents, friends, family etc. Part of me fulfilling this assignment was to record what I thought my expectations were of myself and then my family and then that of my parents (who are both deceased). I am currently focusing on the expectations of my family and part of that was to sit down with Bob and the girls last night and to have a true heart to heart. Here is the outcome.

Harmony's (9) response to my question of "What do you expect of me as your Mother". She replied after some very long pensive looks:
Harmony: "I don't expect anything"
Me: "Really? Do you know what I mean by "expect"?
Harmony: "Yes, that means that there is something that someone has to do"
Me: "Yes, that is correct, so you don't have any expectations of me?"
Harmony: "No, you don't have to do anything for us, you love us and that is why you read to us, play games with us and make sure that we eat healthy"

Needless to say, I was astounded at the grown up comments from this little being and I was even more astounded that the expectations were not expectations but they were of love, they would still know that I love them if I didn't cook dinner, wash their clothes or even read to them. They know that, there are no strings, no attachments no expectations.....

I asked the same question of Emilie (7) and her responses were:

Emilie: "I know what expectation means Mom and it means that you have a duty to do something kinda like when we have to take a bath or clean our room without you asking"
Me: "That is correct, so what are your expectations of me?"
Emilie: "I would expect that when I hug you, you hug me back"
Me: "I will always do that for you, what else?"
Emilie: "That you will take care of people"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Emilie:" You take care of people Mom, you make sure that people are taken care of"
Me: "Can you explain a little more?"
Emilie: "sigh", you make sure that people are happy, you know what I mean Mom"

With that I learned or at least confirmed that my habit is to make sure that I am the sing song happy person that I am expected to be. This is something that my parents instilled in me, it is not ok to be anything other than happy and never let on that you are unhappy. This kind of behavior has led to the habit of burying emotion and the habit of stuffing frustrations etc. This explains why I have several meltdowns since the tornado. I have put Harmony into counseling, I have encourged Bob to do the same and we have educated the girls in the effects of Weather to prepare for the Spring (which is going to be rough) and the potential for storms and how they form. I have "take care" of everyone else but I have not taken care of me and I truly believe that I am on the start of that journey now.
I also learned the flip side of this comment which is that I need to speak to people, I need to guide people, there is something here that needs to be done and I am looking forward to that discovery of self.
Please take a moment today and hug a child, call a parent, pet your pet and be glad that the moment is available to you without "expectations".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good Medicine

I thought I would take a few pictures of my medicine bags for inspiration for those reading this blog.

The first images are some closeups of the my stones that I use most frequently along with a sterling silver pendulum that contains Rose Quartz. I consult with my pendulum on a daily basis to make sure that my chakra's are aligned and that I am centered and balanced. I have been using this tool for about 30 years as well and it is amazing how accurate it is.

Next is my "Love the Earth" bag and is centered around the Heart Chakra and contains stones that are near and dear to me. Within this bag is a piece of buffalo wool as well that came from a dear friend. The spiral is a symbol of the circle of life.

The secondary bag is my Herb bag and is done with a donut of picture jasper with Earthy greens for the main body of the leather. Within this bag is Alpaca wool, Lavender, crystals obtained over the course of 30 years, White Sage and a Turkey Feather.

These two bags go with me everywhere and I am working on a third smaller bag with the creator of these two (Pradoleather on Etsy) and hope to have the trine completed soon.

I wanted to share these as I have always carried stones with me along with things found from the Heavens and Earth. It is amazing how grounding having something so special with one at all times.

These little bags are a source of comfort, healing and a constant reminder that we are all of the Earth and we need to remember from whence we came.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


This image (from Jesse-Wolf Hardin of Anima) above is the perfect depiction of how I feel the past couple of days. I have risen up and I feel whole and complete. After meeting with the Homeopath we decided that a detox was in order and I realized that in my coffee and tea consumption I was consuming anywhere between 15 and 25 packets of Sweet and Low each day. I was horrified to learn this and I committed to leaving the caffeinated drinks far behind as well as cleaning up my diet.

This was Monday the 7th, by the time afternoon on Tuesday rolled around I was in bad shape, migraine headache, blurry vision, vertigo and in pain. I called a dear friend and asked her to come over and feed the horses and she graciously agreed, thank the Goddess. It was an effort to even drive home. I pulled up opened the door to the house and left a trail of coat, shoes, purse, lunch bag and headed for bed. I slept until about 9pm and then I couldn't get enough water and started rehydrating myself.

Wednesday was better but not much but I got through the work day and got home chores done and then remained still the rest of the evening. It was pretty much the same for the remainder of the week with some odd symptoms thrown in each day that varied from one to the next. From sensitivity in my fingers to a deep burning sensation in my core to feeling like I had the flu. Things I have never experienced as I have always thought of myself as healthy with only 4 visits to the Doctor in my lifetime.

Friday night I remained still for the evening and by being still I mean that I just existed. I didn't do anything that was a requirement other than the necessities. I played with the girls, watched a movie, and did some knitting. After going to bed I was was awoken to a burning sensation in my core that radiated to my back and I was contemplating going to the ER it was that intense. I waited it out and it passed.

Saturday morning I woke up and started my day and I quickly realized that I felt good! I didn't have the joint pain, I wasn't exhausted and I actually wanted to do things. I was motivated! A feeling that I had not had in a very long time! It felt good so I took advantage and completely redid the studio, put the meditation room back together again (not done since moved back in) and put other small projects in order. I felt good!

I keep saying that, I feel good and I am so glad that I can say that. I was scared and desperate and worried that I was truly ill. It seems that the Sweet and Low and Caffeine and diet was making me sick and it truly is amazing that these things can creep in and take hold before we know what hit us.

In light of what I have experienced I know that I also need to do some healing. The tornado had a terrible effect on me and there was so much loss with the trees and the property that I am having a hard time reconciling what I need to do here and my purpose.

I have embarked on a correspondence course with the Anima Organization, I have chosen to start with the Sacred Heart course and am very intrigued with the course materials that I have received so far. The girls and I would love to attend the Wild Woman's Gathering in the Summer if time permits. The Center is in the Gila mountains of New Mexico and if you have a moment, please browse the Anima site, it is a treat and you might find some good medicine along the way.

So, I promised I would return and here I am. I am ready to get back to the business of life.

Here are some fruits of that return:
Circle of Life

Wise Woman

Monday, January 12, 2009

She Returns to the River and is quenched

"At the root of all imbalance and injustice, and worsening every disease, is our imagined separation... from our real selves, our needs, gifts, hungers, visions, our purpose and dreams. From other people in our lives and other life forms on this planet. From the living land that provides and sustains, and that we are in reality remain an inextricable extension of. From the miraculous patterns and forces of creation. From the great mystery......" Excerpt from Anima.

I feel good today, I feel alive, I feel full and I feel blessed. I am truly gifted to be here and to be a part of this resonance we call life.

The picture above was taken at 5pm 1/11/09 and what a glorious sunset it was. It was the setting of a perfect day and one full of hope for healing and a new journey to embark upon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Designing by Homeopathy

I am sure that each of you have noticed that I have been pretty remiss in getting new designs out. It is fair to say that I have been dealing with some issues of my own that I believe are post tornado related.

Nothing inspires me, everything makes me sad and there seems to be no end to the spiral. In light of recognizing that I need to find myself again I have made an appt to see a Homeopath and I am hoping that some relief is around the corner.

If several days go by and you dont hear from me please remember that I have probably tucked myself away somewhere safe from the world but I will re-emerge, I promise.

In the meantime please bear with me as I dive into my crystal collection, healing herbs, healing light and my Homeopathic remedies. I will return, I promise.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Loss of a Friend

Many of you are probably familiar with the famed Fantasy Artist Tom Cross? He had crossed our paths about 7 years ago when he joined our family at Heaven and Earth designs as a contributing artist for Cross Stitch designs. Tom passed away last week from Non-Smoker Lung Cancer and he will be dearly missed by his wife Patti and young Daughter Amber as well as many others.

I wanted to post something that Tom had shared prior to his death and while you are probably familiar with the verse as it still touches deeply.

"Tom down but NEVER out!"
"Please respect my "ways" as I do yours. Lend me your encouragement, not your judgement."

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.