Friday, April 29, 2022

Happy Earth Birthday Sweet Jess!

Me and my girl XO!
Happy Earth Birthday to my beloved Celestial daughter! This is a day that I celebrate for all the times we had together and all the times we continue to have. Namaste my sweet girl! 

I'm not going to put a number on what her age "would be," because I talked about that in the post called Forever 26? NOT. Here's Why.

In the seven years she's been gone to True Home before me, I've learned so much, and the best way I can think of to give others hope and share some of the healing is to refer back to a page I included in my book about our journey, Coming Alive After Death, Recovery from Grief. It is one of three pages that appear in the book and I created them to show the progression of healing from shock and trauma to peace, love, and light. This is the page called COUNTING ALL BLESSINGS - GRATITUDE AND PEACE. May you all find this magical feeling that it really is okay, and we are all truly held in the dearest arms of LOVE at all times, as you go through these journeys with your beloveds both here on Earth, and in the Otherworlds.

You're my treasure, Sweet Jess. I am a buoy that will not sink. I take care of you with honor and dignity. I am strong. The angels are holding me. The angels are holding you. I do this with you. Thank you for your presence and your peace and your love. I feel it. You lived, here, with all of yourself, and for that I'm so glad. You are not cold. You are not sick. You feel no pain. You need no doctors. You're healthy and whole. You're Home, and where else would I want you to be after a job well done, a life well lived? 

You are surrounded by love. I am so honored to have been able to love you. I loved you from even before you were conceived. I loved you as a spirit dreaming of adventures on Earth. I loved you as a babe. I loved you as a growing teenager. I loved you as a young adult. I love you in your beautiful whole spirit form. I loved laughing with you. I laugh with you now. I can do this. I can do this with grace. I can do this with dignity. I do this with love. I carry you in my heart. You are everywhere. You are love. You are surrounded by love. I can hold happiness and sadness inside myself at the same time without conflict. 

I recognize you as an infinitely regenerating spirit. You've had a thousand children, and you will have a thousand more if you choose. You've been married, unmarried, male, female, child, adult, elder, and everything in-between. You've been royalty and slave, free, and encumbered. You have the right to experience here on Earth any thing you wish to experience. We all do.

I recognize and embrace worlds upon worlds of mystery and magic. I do not need to control. I do not need to save. No one needs saving. Death is but a doorway into life of another kind. Death is a blessed friend. Without death, we would have no children. We would have endless perpetuation of ownership and tyranny. Death is our freedom. I celebrate death. Death is birth, the birth of each and every one of us spirits being human.

We are not alone. You have your angels and allies both on Earth and in all of the other worlds. I have my angels and allies both on Earth and in all of the other worlds. Time is ever only now. I have learned to speak another language, the language of the heart. I have learned to listen. I am now able to hear. I have learned to look. I am now able to see. I have learned that questions are safe. And answers flow freely for all of us, directly from our Creative Source, the Source of Love.

I step forward with confidence, knowing that we are safe. We are always safe. We are loved. We are always loved. We love. It is our choice. No one and no entity can chain or bind our love. It belongs to us as individuals. Love is unending. Love is infinite. We are made of it.

I grow and develop compassion. I give. I forgive. I trust in the process. I trust in the beautiful cycles of life. I can laugh and I can cry all in the same day and yet retain my equilibrium. I love my heart. I love that I love. I choose love. Always and all ways. I love my Earth. I love the people around me. I love the creatures around me. I see the spirit in them too. I'm surrounded by love.

We are individual parts of the Whole. We are not separate, but ever, each, of one another. We are One. Like the facets of a diamond, we shine rainbow light from within when we step out of the darkness, into the light.

We are beauty. We are creativity. We are and always will be. We are color and sound and vibration. We are energy itself in all its forms. We are forever.

Let us sing. And in our singing, bring forth magic.

Smooch!


I remember!

Your heart is my new doorbell Momma!

All the loves and all the happies on this day and always!
XO!

AND, you want me to tell you how I know Sweet Jess was with me while I put up this blog post? First, I went to my original Word document to copy the section I wanted to post, but every time I tried to input it, the program treated it as an image, which, of course was too tiny to read. I went into the code to remove the image tags, but it didn't leave any text; there wasn't any text to leave in-between the image tags. Fine. We all know that copy and paste from a Word doc into another program gets ugly with dirty code. The thing is, there's no way there's any code related to images in the original Word doc because it's just straight text. Hm....

SO I got my paperback copy of my book and flipped it open, and guess which page it landed on right off the bat. YEP! The Counting All Blessings: Gratitude and Peace page. I chuckled and said "Hi Sweet Jess! Thank you!" Then I held it open with a clamp and paperweight and yes, I had to type in every single word of that section. In doing that I was deeply reminded of how much healing has taken place since the day of her death. And I was also deeply reminded that she is with me every single step of the way, as are your Celestial beloveds. Never doubt it. Where there's love, there's a connection that is timeless.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Why Create A Character List?

 

Sometimes I can be a real character; can't we all?!

This is my "mouse face," which cracked my kids up to no end over the years, especially when I pull my ears out with my fingers behind them. We used to sit at the dinner table and do this, good times. Sometimes my mouse face accidentally appears when I am editing and or writing and I see something egregious that we really need to fix in a manuscript. There's some entertaining breathing that goes with it too.... Mouse represents scrutiny, according to my favorite teacher, David Carson, with his animal Medicine Cards, and editors have to be reeeeally good with scrutiny. 

But seriously, I want to share a great tip for writers and editors that can make the job of completing a long manuscript (book) SO MUCH EASIER.

As a professional editor and published author, I've worked with various wonderfully creative clients and projects that are vastly different, but the one thing we ALL benefitted from during the creation of these works was a CHARACTER LIST.

WHAT IS IT? Always much longer than you might assume at the beginning. And really a lifesaver at the end of the project when things are complicated and getting all those ducks in a row can be challenging.

WHY DO IT? Oh, because so so so so many thousands of tiny details can go wrong and you might spend hours trying to make them right, such as the MATH in a book (dates, ages, what happened to whom and when, who are the key players, closure on characters as they roll in and out of the story) and much more!

I'll share a couple of examples of what happens if you DON'T have a Character List.

  • The author wrote a manuscript about 140 pages long, a page-turner for sure, and it includes 69 characters. The plot contains flashbacks, so some of the passages describe events from various childhoods, and it includes deaths, pregnancies, and loads of other juicy adventures. I realized that one of the characters as currently written (BEFORE I created the character list) was pregnant for TWO YEARS (cause the man who impregnated her had been dead for over a year by the time she had the baby later in the manuscript), yep, we fixed that! She was so relieved, that woman carrying that babe in her womb for so long.... And another character was somehow able to see with eyes in the back of her head as she fed her baby (strapped to her back because he was just an infant until we fixed that) strawberries and the juice went down his chin. We made him older and took him out of the papoose so the mother could walk next to him so as not to need those eyes in the back of her head to see the juice run down his chin while he was strapped to her back - though all mothers know, and some smart kids too, that we DO have those eyes in the back of our heads, oh YEAH!  
  • If you're working on a trilogy (very helpful to have a list on this one!) you have to make sure the characters are described the same way and how can you hold all that in your head when you're dealing with fairies with silver skin and purple eyes or green skin and yellow eyes and certain powers that other fairies don't have? AND who lives where? They have territories too! 
The Character List is truly one of the most useful things I've ever devised and I can say I've referred to it a million times working through manuscripts and been able to answer questions and solve problems with the flick of a page where that info sits, readable at a glance, as opposed to rereading or skimming through a hundred pages to find out the facts.

HOW TO ORGANIZE A CHARACTER LIST

Not too helpful to have a straight list of 69 names with brief descriptions. That takes wading, and I don't have time for wading unless I am out with my feet in a stream in the forest. I wanna flip those pages and go "AHA! I've got it! It's right here!"

So a little organization is a Very Good Thing.

To do that you can ask yourself - 

  • Who are your KEY players? 
    • they may often be closely related to other characters whom you should jot down in the description such as spouses, siblings, etc.
  • Next category - Who are your SUPPORTING players?
    • these are the ones that are well-developed in the story but not appearing in every scene, not the protagonists, but important nonetheless.
  • Next category - Who are the ones mentioned almost off-handedly, maybe important to the events as they play out but they only appear in one scene and aren't critical?
    • You can separate these from the main characters but still jot down a bit about them to preserve consistency throughout the manuscript.
  • Last category - Who are the ones introduced lightly in the beginning or middle so they need some closure but they're pretty much peripheral?
    • These might be characters who come in, create a kerfuffle, and may appear later, needing to be dealt with, but if we don't have them on the character list, it's too easy to forget them so the reader's left thinking, "Hm, whatever happened to the kerfuffle guy?"
  • And I have to mention that I have not yet worked with any author who doesn't choose the SAME NAME for more than one character in their manuscript. Yep, sometimes this is important, but it's like caviar, a little goes a long way and there better be supporting players, like son named after father, etc. One of my authors had five, count 'em, FIVE characters (females) with the same first name, and THREE (male) unrelated characters with the same first name. We fixed it. Easy peasy!
Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. That's why a Character List is so helpful.

The Character List can also save you from introducing someone IMPORTANT waaaay too late in the game (with a character list you can see where to add scenes that are pivotal for an important later appearance to support it). The art in creating a story that holds together, provides emotion to move the reader, satisfaction on all fronts but pulled together at the end, benefits hugely from something as simple as the Character List.

I actually don't need major software to do this and I don't belabor it though you can if you want to. You can do a spreadsheet with several columns of information, but I find that just choosing the categories listed above (and/or other categories as needed depending on the manuscript) on a Word doc saves oceans of time.

Tuck this into your toolbox. It'll be different for each manuscript, and likely it'll be a dynamic document that grows with the development of the story, so you'll need to update it and share it with your author, but its value is priceless!

You're welcome.

Namaste from the Jen who writes and encourages all who have an interest to do the same : ) And do get your material edited. Quality is so cool and satisfying on all fronts, and it makes YOU look so GOOD!!


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Forever 26? NOT. Here's why....

 

Happy happy birthday my Love XO!
My daughter died in 2015 and she had just turned 26 years old. She had a sickness for a year and a half, and 12 doctors on two coasts who never figured out for sure what made this sickness. And we could not stop it leading to her (what I realize now) full recovery, which didn't take place on Earth.

But she is fully recovered and very much alive nonetheless. I've learned so much from her since her transition, and I am most grateful for her ongoing presence and her teaching me about what comes after.

She loved EVERYTHING from very small... 
To a little bit bigger...

To even bigger...
Such as tiny little Earth creatures, animals who accompanied her on her Earth journey, and her work as a studio photographer.
Jess in her element. Camera an extension of her body.


Looking up. She's taught me to do this too.


She loved me. So well.
She still does.

So here's why I can't say "forever 26" when I talk about her now. After her transition. Because she's still very much alive. Because she's taken everything she's learned back to her Heaven and she gets to ride with it in as much detail as she likes for as long as she likes with whatever companions she chooses out of all that ever was, is now, or ever will be. Wow.

Yep. She's taught me that TIME is simultaneous in her Heaven, so there's no past, present or future, just whatever she chooses to focus on.

AND she's taught me that there are no Earth boundaries in her Heaven, so she can experience whatever she wants to. The only limitation is her Celestial gift of imagination, which belongs to each of us. (Yay!)

Imagine that.

She's also taught me that she's had past lives. And we can access our memories of those right here and now by experiencing something called Past Life Regression. It's real. It's connection to the experience of our souls. And it's really cool!

And in her past lives, (as well as my own) we've BEEN married. We've had children. Families. Love. And we've been heroes and victims. We've been free in some lives and chained in others, by people as well as substances and the vagaries of life. We've ruled and we've slaved. We've caused harm. We've hated. We've healed. We've done everything. All of it. And we continue to do that, all of us, as we choose.

And there is no judgment except our own. She's taught me that after we transition back to Home, we feel all that we've caused and we decide on a deep, soul level what we want to do with that. And we come around again, bringing with us our soul choices. 

She's taught me that even though we go back Home, to our Heavens, we retain memory of our life experiences and we retain emotion as well as individuality. She's taught me that the soul is composed of ALL our memories and experiences. And where there's love, we often experience many lives together with our beloveds. Over and over again, in different ways. Yay!! We play. We're safe. Because we're essentially immortal.

Like Nature teaches us, we cycle back and forth, back and forth, between our Heavens and our Earth and other places too. To experience life. And life is just the spark of the divine b e i n g.

She has soared. She still does!

Let us celebrate the soaring of our beloveds. We come naked to this world but not without so very many gifts from our Creator, the best of which is Life itself. Experience.

Happy journeys my beloved. Always.

So when I think about my Celestial daughter who transitioned in 2015, I cannot say "forever 26." I just can't. She is. She IS. We are. We ARE. I am. I AM.

Wow that's so cool.

I breathe the air, something in me connecting to all the creatures here on this planet who also have physical systems that breathe the air, they're alive. And I watch the sun, rise, set. 

It's really not going up or down, but around.

Like us.

Good to ponder, that....

Namaste,
~Jen


 


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

What Makes the Best Present Ever

 

Colors! Read below to find out more....
Nope. The best present ever is not a thing, even though I uploaded a photo of this lovely spice rack.

The BEST PRESENT EVER is my husband's observation of the blossoming that's going on inside of me and his support of it.

His present made me cry when I opened it. Because his present said "I care. I see. I'm right here with you."

I work nights. I'm an artist. I write, I paint, I draw, I make beautiful beadwork, and I work nights because the sounds of the day are rather invasive and in order to listen, which is a huge component of all the work I do, I need quiet. With leaf blowers and traffic and people banging about, I can't hear, so I work nights.

Most times I'm in my studio. But sometimes I putter around the house quietly so as not to wake those sleeping. And one of my putterings lately involved rejuvenation. I noticed that on my kitchen counter I had something that connects me with my Celestial daughter's physical presence. When she moved into her new apartment in Oregon in 2012, I sent her a spice rack. Well, food is love, right? So I contributed to her kitchen, her cooking, and her love of others. When I bought it for her, I bought one for me too, just exactly like hers.

When she died in 2015, I did not bring hers home, but I guarded the one I had just like hers for a long, long time. It sat on my kitchen counter by the stove and I didn't use the spices, I saved them.

This year I am definitely feeling some sunshine and sparkle in my life and I want to push that out into all the corners and cubbies so I emptied all those spices never used, and I filled up a tall container with soapy bubbles and soaked them for several days. That container sat on the counter for a while. Then I rinsed them with vinegar and set them up to dry.

My intention was to buy new spices and fill these lovely containers up and use them! But I had been a single Mom for several years and knew the stretch of the budget and had been worrying in my mind about how I would be able to afford all these new spices even now - a luxury indeed. I figured I'd be able to sneak one or two in on the grocery bill every few weeks without taxing the budget overmuch.

Well Christmas came. And my husband handed me a box that was beautifully wrapped. I didn't know what was in it. It's been years since I've been surprised at Christmas because usually we talk about what we might like or need, and the other makes it happen, but we hadn't talked about this.

I opened the box. Inside there were almost 18 brand new little bottles filled with colorful fragrant spices. WOW.

I just sat there and cried. Because my husband had noticed. He had swooped in and fulfilled a need that I didn't even think to share with him. 

I said, "How did you know?"

He said, "Well I saw them on the counter and realized you were washing them and sort of stepping into bringing life to things and I wanted to support that."

Oh. Oh!

He went to three different stores to even be able to find all the different spices. And there was one he couldn't find. I'll tell you about it in a minute. ALL of these spices I use in our cooking all the time (from the jars that we keep in the cabinet over the stove), so this was a very cool thing he did. I spent an evening recently refilling these lovely containers and noticed that all of a sudden they were all very colorful! 10+ years of no use had made the old spices fade, no color, no flavor, just sitting there without appreciation, being guarded. Now they were absolutely vibrant! AND I'm using them, and every time I do, I feel the love of my daughter, the love between me and anyone I'm cooking for, and the love of my sweet husband.

Names are on the top of each container, so yummy!

So he was able to get all but one of the spices, and that was fennel. He went all over town, no fennel anywhere. He googled it but search terms are tricky so he was unable to come up with fennel as an herb or spice.

So I googled it and I can't even tell you how much fun that turned out to be so I'm going to share it with you.

I discovered a FABULOUS web site called nuts.com, where I was able to find fennel seed, which has to be ground with a mortar and pestle, no problem, we do that all the time.... 

Rob uses this to make his Greek seasoning,
which uses 13 spices, SO GOOD!!

But the site where we found the fennel seed is worth sharing because it's a business worth supporting for sure. Lots of organic stuff, and their marketing FAR surpasses anything else I've seen except for maybe the Geico lizard, who amuses me to no end. It is a delight. Here we go!










How is that for TOO CUTE ENTIRELY?! RIGHT?! I know!!!!

So we were able to fill up the last spice, and it was a true delight, as is using my lovely rejuvenated spices to make good food to share with all my Lovies.

Thank you Rob. Very special Christmas present indeed. He noticed, sigh...I am a lucky girl indeed.

Namaste, and do check out nuts.com because they have lots of other good stuff too!
~Jen












Friday, December 31, 2021

A Completely New Way to Count Blessings!



Nature's Smile by Jessica Novak

Thought I might share this, for those who might be interested in trying it. My beloved Celestial daughter was much on my mind and in my heart these past few months (January 9th is her transition day). And this came to me, I think she helped to send it to me XO! It's one of the ways she helps me to find myself again : )

So I was enjoying looking at our lovely Christmas tree before going to bed last night, knowing we'd take it down today and remembering all the lovely trees we've had over the years. And a thought came to me: What if I could walk through a forest of all the beautiful, sparkly, beloved Christmas trees we've had over all the years?

And then my imagination took over and I had some real FUN! I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down what was streaming through my mind, and came up with what I call 

Counting My Blessings:
What I'll Do When I Get To My Heaven

(Because Heaven is a place, to me, where imagination is unlimited and comes with immediate results, and I'll need plenty of stuff to do, right? So I wrote this little list, and after I looked over it, I realized it was like capturing some of the most beautiful blessings I've experienced in life, and being able to do them in a new way, without the limitations we experience on Earth. What FUN!)

  • I'll walk through a forest of all the Christmas trees I ever had all dressed up in their ornaments and lights.
  • I'll walk through a camp, stopping to visit every campfire I've ever sat next to, and talk with the people there who spent time with me.
  • I'll visit every waterfall I've ever seen and sit by each one as long as I like, with the person of my choice.
  • I'll walk through a forest of every tree I've ever climbed and climb each one as many times as I like, like a monkey, no fear of falling, lol.
  • I'll go to each high place I've ever visited and enjoy the beautiful views again.
  • I'll walk on the beach with every animal I've loved and play and run, and sit and cuddle with them, all my pups and kitties and some horses too, and maybe even bears because I just love bears.
  • I'll sit on every porch I've ever visited and chat with my friends or tell stories again.
  • I'll visit with every artist I've ever admired and watch them create.
  • I'll put on each of my favorite outfits I've ever had and prance around in them, remembering how good they felt to wear, no matter how old I was.
  • I'll hold hands in a big circle with all the people I ever loved.
  • I'll replay every time I ever danced and feel the joy of it again.
  • I'll meet each artist who ever made something that delighted me and listen to their story about it.
  • I'll re-experience every loving kiss I've ever given or gotten.
  • I'll peek in and watch my Lovies as they received any gift I ever gave them that they loved.
  • I'll re-experience that first bite of every food that delighted my senses.
  • I'll re-experience every hug that ever made me feel loved.
  • I'll replay every time I laughed.
  • I'll hold hands with myself at each age of my life, a big circle of my selves at each year of my life.
  • I'll re-watch every sunrise I've ever seen and feel the hope and beauty in each new day.
  • I'll re-experience each of Nature's storms that made me feel so much more than alive.
  • I'll spend as much time as I like smelling all my favorite fragrances again, including my dog, who smells like brownies and marigolds, and my favorite wild roses that smell like spicy pepper.
  • I'll enjoy every twilight I've ever loved, when the sun turns the Earth to gold and the fireflies come out.
  • I'll listen again to every time someone told me I love you and every time I told another I love you.

This was a really fun exercise. Try it and though your list will be different, I bet you'll find it makes you feel really good inside! It's a great way to close out this year and welcome the New Year XO!

Namaste,
~Jen



 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Spirit Visitors Xmas 2021

MAGICAL visitations XO!
 

Best laid plans of mice and men, etc. Well ours got shot all to smithereens this year, as I would guess many others have been too, and my heart is with you all. Wishing many blessings your way XO!

We had planned to have kids coming to stay with us and visit from Washington DC, Berkeley Ca, and my lovely son and his wife here for the first holiday in eleven years after their return from South America, so very much to enjoy and look forward to. Menus planned, lists written, presents bought and wrapped, everything ready.

BUT Rob's son's wife's brother contracted Covid for the second time, he'll recover, but his son and wife decided not to travel from California because the mother had an anaphylactic reaction to her first vaccine so had to do Johnson, which doesn't protect from the variant, so they're not risking her health by flying and being near at holiday time. When it hits home we pay attention.

Other son is military and says FEMA is moving things into place bigtime, preparing for the upswing that's already happening, so he's needed at work, and also doesn't want to expose us to anything.

So we quick packed and shipped to Washington and California, and wonder of wonders, the packages all arrived before Christmas, thank you postal workers and all involved!

And my son's wife has recently come down with Covid, tested positive, though she's doing "okay," feels more like a cold she says (she's had her vaccines, yay), but we won't see them even through the New Year. 

We are being flexible. Counting our blessings, chances are excellent that they'll recover, and they're young and strong. Made chicken soup today, and delivered it along with ginger ale and coca cola and saltines and applesauce, what I could eat when I had Covid last year before they even knew what it was.

Wrapped their presents and will do porch drop-offs to the kids and family, no contact, OUCH!! I am so missing my peeps!!

But the magic of Christmas is with us. See, that photo above is interesting because we have some beloveds who've transitioned to what I call True Home, and yet they're with us still, checking in and sharing their love. That white light you see comes from no other source of light in the house or camera. I'm pretty sure it's sweet Jess swooping in with all her exuberant energy and Joey Max, our totally beloved kitty who recently passed, and most likely my Dad. Those two beams coming down gently. 

So we feel the presence of those who've passed, their love, and we feel the wonderful blessings of being able to give, which I enjoy most about Christmas, to our Lovies here. And Rob and I will have a very quiet holiday season, playing games, like backgammon (I challenge anyone to try to beat me), and parcheesi, and BaseCamp Cards, in which we learn so much about each other.

And we MAKE the moments bright and loving. Because we CAN. So we DO. 

I hope everyone's holidays are full of love, ours feels full of love even though very different from what we expected.

Make each moment special, because that's true treasure indeed. Love your Lovies all you can in all the ways you can figure out.

All the loves coming your way, now and through this new year too.

Namaste,

Jen


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

This is Life - A Lesson from Nature

 

It's all right here XO
I went out under the moon in the wee hours last night after I'd been working, to take a break before sleep. I often like to go out and clip a few little flowers and sniff the fresh air, so I did. Brought them in and filled my little bunny who lives on my desk, carrying tiny blossoms to make my heart sing.

Today I looked at it and realized that it tells the story of LIFE. There's no escaping it. Like the Dutch Masters' paintings of long, long ago of flower arrangements with fruit, flies, bugs, decay, and spectacular perfection, it's all there, the whole ball of wax. We can edit our "presentation" or representation of ourselves all we want on social media, but underneath it all, we each experience the whole ball of wax, and I for one, won't deny the existence of any of it.

In this image, what I saw was the detritus that has fallen from the beautiful rose that was in full flower when I picked it, but fell, once it was away from its roots. Little tiny flecks of what I had to ask my husband about. He told me that what had fallen was called the "anther" or the vehicle that holds the pollen for the bees and insects to carry away - the pollen that brings life. The shedding of the anther represents to me, our physical bodies that carry our spirits, soaring through life, and when we're done, we drop them.

The little pink bud on my desk tugs at my heart, and represents possibility that doesn't come to fruition. Some of us know that story way too well.

Vulnerability and Strength

As I continued to look at this beautiful little bouquet I noticed that the rose on the right had some scars. Oh it wafts out the most gorgeous spicy fragrance, but one of its petals has been consumed to some degree by some creature who now has been nourished by its offerings. Some might think this mars the perfection of the blossom, but to my mind, it shows that we can continue to shine and be quite glorious, as well as give some of ourselves to others in need. We can rock that, and not be ashamed of it. It's like wrinkles on an Elder's face. So beautiful. Why feel ashamed of our imperfections when we've earned them through our giving and our love?

I love that the little bud sits right next to this ongoing cycle of life, the bud is the promise, the beginning, the innocence.

Secret foundations XO

Then I turned my little glass vial held by the rabbit and discovered a pristine red rose with a little bud sitting next to it. And to me, this represents what underlies everything, beauty, faith, possibility happening, growth, the cycles of life. I feel a sense of constancy from it. It says to me, "You couldn't see me from the other side, but step into a different perspective, and TA DA, Here I am! And I'll always be here on the other side of what you think you can see."

Hm, quite a gift, this little moonlight bouquet.

Keep the faith peeps. And remember to let yourself view things from different perspectives if ever in doubt. The beauty isn't always right up front, but it's there all right. It's there.

In love and light, Namaste
~Jen



Thursday, August 5, 2021

I Don't Know How to Gossip!

I might like it....

The kids gave my husband a lovely book for us to read and digest and discuss called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari. It's interesting.

The author writes about many things, one of which is gossiping. His contention is that it is foundational to culture and society and the hub around which all organizations, groups, and institutions revolve, and even thrive.

Welp, I didn't get that memo. Does everyone know how to gossip? Do you know how? Do you do that? Is it a good thing? I've heard so much about the subject, and been the subject "of" it a million times in my life, having moved all over the world about every two years, and sometimes more often than that, so I was always "the new kid on the block." Great fodder for gossip since I was always "different."

The new kid on the block, if she's smart, doesn't talk much, she listens. Well it took me a long time to get smart, so I opened my mouth and spit out what I had been taught: "Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas," attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. She was quite something if you know anything about her hidden history. And if you knew her history you'd not be able to resist gossiping about her.

Throughout all my working years, my career years, I was taught by my father (early on) to be task oriented. Get the job done. Do an excellent job. Focus. Learn. Teach. Work hard. Don't waste your time. Don't waste anyone else's time.

I'd lived in big cities for much of my life, then moved to a small town when I was in my late 30s. Hm. That was quite different, and peeps got along by talking about other peeps a LOT. I just listened. I think I judged them too, my bad. Leaning into early admonishment about ideas vs. people.

What Harari proposes is interesting. And I would agree that this IS what happens. And now I understand why I wasn't the sunshine kid on the block. Peeps didn't know what to make of me because I didn't know how to join in the gossip.

And I often made the mistake of sticking up for the underdog they were gossiping about, oops. But I still do that every time. If it's nice talk I'm in. If it's throwing people under the bus, welp, that's been done to me so many times you'd think I'd be flat as a pancake, but pasta, bread, cheese, and good wine help me to avoid that. Not flat. But still stickin' up for the underdog.

Because through all the adventures of my life I've learned not to judge, and that every single person has the right to choose to be who and what they are at any given moment. It's not my business to stick my nose in.

I haven't yet decided if this is a good decision on my part. To stick my neck out, to stand with the underdogs, to admit that sometimes I'm the underdog, very loyal, friendly, love those pats and belly rubs, but not a biter, no not for me. My teeth were put there to chomp meat and grind grains and mush up veggies and fruits for nourishment.

And the best nourishment of all, I have found, is LOVE.

Can there be love in gossip? 

Maybe.

It's not a club I miss. I prefer celebration of others. All the happies. Me and my rose-colored glasses.

Your reputation is safe with me XO!

That's all.

Namaste





Thursday, May 20, 2021

Creepy Fun Monkey Tales

THE MONKEY LAMP!
So the theme of my house, in all the rooms, is Nature. And that covers plants, floral and naturey fabrics, all kinds of animals and green men and goddesses and all things fairy tale. A couple of years ago I bought this creepy monkey lamp on ebay, and the quest for the right lampshades began. I bought the classic small red "normal" ones you'd imagine on there but they didn't fit. So he sat in the basement waiting for me to find the right shades for him.

We were out shopping for the kids recently, and I bought another set of shades, again, they didn't fit. So creepy monkey lamp sat in the basement, w a i t i n g. Then ROB was doing some online surfing and he happens to be a really great shopper. He discovered on Zazzle, lampshades with designs that make you drool they're so beautiful. Very old world. Very Phryne Fisher, and if you haven't seen the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, they're absolutely not to be missed. The teardrop gemstone earrings I make are inspired by Phryne Fisher! You can get them at Art a la Carte in Bellefonte : )

So we chose our pattern and ordered them. And they arrived. And they are so weird Rob had to rewire monkey lamp with new special sockets so they'd sit on them (they have a ring inside and require a special socket to "sit" on). I'm so glad he knows how to do this. So NOW creepy monkey lamp is all happy in Rob's Indiana Jones home office, and I LOVE IT! 

I didn't realize how many monkeys I have around the house, and actually it's all Torey and Gaby's fault, because they visited one of the oldest forests in the world down in South America, and sent us photos of the capuchin monkeys in the trees. Oh they're so lovely. I just fell in love with them, and wanted to remind myself of Torey and Gaby's joy, so I went through my "Let's buy monkey stuff for the house" phase, lol.

Monkey in his new place of honor XO!
I love the symmetry of this lamp, and the way the shades allow the light to fall on the monkey so he shows up really well.

Monkey lamp by our bed, we have one on each side.

So during my monkey phase, I bought reading lamps for by our bed, and they amuse me greatly. They're tall enough to shed just the right amount of light when you want to read but someone else might want to sleep. And something about the statement they make, educated apes, hits my funny bone just right. 


Here's a closeup of little educated monkey : )

Doorstop monkey, just the thing!
We have lots of windows in our bedroom and certain times of year the breezes blow through and slam the door shut. I don't want the pups to get stuck in there, so of course I had to buy a doorstop for that door, and guess who, yes, ebay again came through with little monkey doorstop, yay!

Kitchen table educated monkey : )
Well lots of times, if I'm eating and Rob's doing something else, I read my book, whatever I'm reading at the time, and I love to sit at the kitchen table. So I was really on a roll and decided to get this lovely little guy, also on his pile of books, to light my way after sunset.

These little guys started it all!
These tiny capuchin monkeys are the ones that started it all, because they look just like the ones in the kids' photos. They live in my studio next to yep, my Johnny Depp bobblehead pirate. I bought him when the movies came out, and these bobbleheads are really hard to find now. Lots of times I go bobble his chin and he wags his head at me, hilarious. I have a strange sense of humor. Runs from Chevy Chase to George Carlin to sometimes weird and creepy, HA!

The funny thing is that when I was a kid we lived in Malaysia for a year or two, which is where my brother was born. It is a place of thick jungles and hot sun and amazing fireworks and at the time, armed soldiers on every corner. Banana trees in the backyard and a stream that was inhabited by lots of catfish which the natives fished for their dinner. Anacondas so we helped our Aya (caretaker and house helper with all things) put sulfer around the house to keep them from coming in because an anaconda can eat a small child no problem.

We'd drive through the jungles and they stole a part of my heart that will always be there in those lush green forests. Well those forests were filled with monkeys! I wanted a monkey so bad, and I begged my mother but she said NO! No! And NO again! Absolutely NOT!

Then just recently she told me a story that totally cracks me up. She said that she read in the paper when we were back in the U.S. that the pet store had a monkey available and SHE decided SHE wanted it. In New Jersey, you can get anything.... So she drove down there all set to bring that monkey home, and when she went in she had a lovely talk with the proprietor. "Jane," he said, "you don't want this monkey. Monkeys are wild and they can't be tamed and it'll drive you nuts. Just enjoy your children and count your blessings." They talked some more and whatever he said must have hit home with her, because she realized she didn't want that monkey so we came home without it and got a dog.

But the HILARIOUS thing about this is that my Mom is 87 and I NEVER KNEW SHE WANTED A MONKEY TOO! HA!

We learn something new every day. Some of the things I learn about my mother as she tells me her stories teach me what we have in common and it can be very amusing to say the least XO!

So that's the story for tonight folks. We love monkeys but the best ones for the home hold lightbulbs and doors and stuff, not curtains and chandeliers : )

Cheers!
~Jen