Saturday, 30 June 2012

What feeds you?

What really turns you on? What do you really like to do? What do you really like to read? What do really like to eat? What kind of art feeds you? What makes you feel full and saturated?

Do you feed yourself with these things or experiences? Or do you settle for something else? If you settle - think what it would be like to always be fed with what you love.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Cooling off

It has been a hot day. I haven't acclimatized yet. We went to the Fish Market in Grand Marais, Minnesota, today for fish and chips and Dorothy's root beer. The best place of both.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Meet Weber

Weber is the new love of my life. He is a fantastic cook. He cooked dinner and before I could photograph the plate of food it was almost gone. But at least there was some left for me.

Here he is! I haven't had a BBQ of my own for a long time........maybe 12 years, so it's a novelty.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I can't feel yours and you can't feel mine.

"Some people think that compassion means feeling another person's pain. That's nonsense. It's not possible to feel another person's pain. You imagine what you'd feel if you were in that person's shoes, and you feel your own projection. Who would you be without your story? Pain free, happy, and totally available if someone needs you - a listener, a teacher in the house, a Buddha in the house, the one who lives it. As long as you think there's a you and me, let's get the bodies straight. What I love about separate bodies is that when you hurt, I don't - it's not my turn. And when I hurt, you don't. Can you be there for me without putting your own suffering between us? Your suffering can't show me the way. Suffering can only teach suffering."

Bryon Katie in A Thousand Names for Joy

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Strong Sun Moon (Flicker) June 21 - July 22

Those born under the Strong Sun Moon, between June 21 and July 22, have the carnelian agate as their totem in the mineral kingdom, the wild rose as their totem in the plant kingdom and the flicker as their totem in the animal kingdom. Their colour is the pink of the rose and the flicker, and they are of the Frog elemental clan.

Carnelian is a clear chalcedony, which ranges in colour from pink to red to yellow. Because of its colour, the carnelian has been associated with blood. It was considered to be an emergency stone useful in healing injured people and stopping the flow of blood. It is also associated with the heart and carried, is said to keep the heart healthy. Like their stone, these people are often associated with the idea of ornamentation, especially of the home, because having a comfortable and beautiful dwelling is very important to them. Flicker people are very home-oriented, and they function best when their home, be it physical, mental or emotional, is in proper order and an attractive place to be. Like their stone, these people are easily engraved with new thoughts and feelings, and once this engraving has been done, they are very solid in their belief in whatever new concepts have been put upon them. However, they analyze and take time to consider first.

These people have the ability to flow freely with life. They are useful to have around in an emergency. Their hearts are capable of overflowing love to those around them.

Flicker people, like their plant the wild rose, have a wild quality about them and a special attractiveness when they are in a natural setting. When their lives are in flower, they bring happiness to those around them. Like the rose, these people are also useful because of their deep inner the rose hip. Rose hip or rose petal tea is useful for these people to keep their blood in a clean state and to help with any colds or flu.

Their colour is pink which is the colour of universal love.

The animal totem is the flicker, which is the most numerous and mystical member of the woodpecker family. Unlike other woodpeckers they spend a lot of time on the ground and will perch upright on limbs as songbirds do. The flicker is considered to be a courageous bird, and they are especially valued because of their drumming. Their drumbeat, like the beat of any drum, represents the beat of the heart and the beat of the earth. Flicker people do have mystical abilities when they are in balance. They don't realize what guides them and find it difficult to explain to others the decisions they make.

People of this moon need to be able to drum and sing their song in life, whatever they perceive that song to be. But, before they feel balanced enough to do that singing, they must first have a comfortable nest. More than most people they have a true love of home. Part of the harmonious home must be people with whom they feel a true oneness. Relationship is very important to these folks, and they will give much of their energy to establishing and maintaining good relationships with others.

When other people from other totems find themselves in this place on the Medicine Wheel, they will be able to learn about their own needs for giving and receiving love and for following their own perceptions and intuitions. They will also learn about their own sense of security and their personal need to find a spiritual direction that helps them to channel the life energy that always flows through all of us.

From the Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology by Sun Bear and Wabun

Happy Birthday Teppo!

Monday, 25 June 2012


Goodbyes are no longer as difficult as before. As before phone calls became so cheap and before Skype. My daughter left for home today after a lovely time together with home town and far away family. The house feels empty. And I phoned her already. I've been saying goodbye all my life to someone. But that means that I have been saying a lot of welcomes and hellos and love you!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Cookbook treasure

This is Don's grandmother's cookbook from the year she got married in Battleford Saskatchewan, 1909. Copyright 1887. Wow! What gems of information in it! I've learned so much today as I've sat drinking Earl Grey tea, from jolly old England, and perused this well-worn copy of culinary history.

Pectin can be made from orange pith.
How to make wine - really from scratch.
One should always sleep with windows open, summer and winter, to prevent colds and sicknesses.
Rainwater is the best for drinking for most nourishment and healing - they boiled their drinking and cooking water.
Beverages can be made with almost everything - dandelions, honey, molasses, hops, apple cider vinegar.....
Fruit cake has a lot of eggs and a lot of sugar.
Baking doesn't need a lot of foreign ingredients - but good fat, good sugar, and a lot of muscle - they mixed some cakes for 20 minutes!
How to cut your own beef.
You can make all kinds of catsups at home - even oyster catsup, yup.
How to boil a calf's head.
How to keep meat from flies.
How to cook squirrel.
How to roast pigeons.
How to cook a haunch of venison.
They already had macaroni in 1887.
Toast back then was very different. What they called American toast, we now call French toast. There was Nun's toast which was boiled sliced eggs and a light gravy poured over bread. There was Milk toast, Cream toast, Cheese toast, Oyster toast, Tomato toast, and Reed birds on toast. Mostly they were stale bread quickly fried in a pan and then these other foods cooked, boiled, or melted on top.
I learned how to wash feathers.
I now know that 4 tablespoonfuls = 1 wine glass or half a gill.
How to dye white eyebrows with walnuts.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

So much fullness

Today has been an enormously full day! Yard sales.......see new, very old and wise ladder in garden. Breakfast at Made Fresh....yum! Garden foot care on deck, with daughter from Montreal. Supper at Don's brother's country home and scattering of Don's dad's ashes......all the children choosing some of Charlie's photos. Here is one we brought home.

It has been such a day of abundance in all ways!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Day before

The bride is resting and being pampered on the day before the wedding :)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


My mind seems blank. Not such a bad thing except when I want to write something exciting, something to make you laugh, howl, chuckle or weep. Hmpf!
Below a picture of my mind. The second picture. My ipad has a mind of its own as to which pic to put first. I can't choose.
And the other is of a new mask I found at Value Village last week, while looking for punch bowls.
Does anyone have a good punch recipe, really simple, not too sweet?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Late night rewards

The sound of the rain is soothing tonight. Well, as long as I don't think about the possibility of rain in the basement. We just came home from the grocery store and my feet just sunk into the front yard. The earth can't hold any more water. Right now, that's not my "stuff" - it's the universe's stuff. I just figured that out this week - about "stuff". There is my stuff, their stuff, and the universe's stuff. My stuff is the only thing I need to do anything about. And tonight I am nourishing me with sushi rolls and a bit of sherry and reading in bed. How heavenly is that after a long day of getting ready for wedding. All is coming together. Good night and peace to all!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Felix really tries to keep the neighborhood free of noise (except for his own). He is outside barking at the thunder right now. How dare there be such a loud noise! He barks at helicopters, loud and fast planes or cars, motorcycles, and skateboarders. He howls with the ambulance and firetrucks. It thunders a lot at night in Thunder Bay, where he lives, and the humans don't wake up to thunder but are usually woken up to Felix flying off the bed and lunging noisily to the door trying to deal with this disturbance to his sleep. Then he comes muttering back under the covers until the next clap of thunder.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Garden wedding

Gardening is consuming me. It seems all of gardening in northern Ontario happens in the 2 very busy months of May and June. The weeds are now humongous with all the rain. But so are the flowers. Potatoes and beans are poking up their perky little heads.
And I have a push mower and the grass could be cut every second day!

My mom is getting married in my garden this Friday. It has been lots of fun putting it all together. A few friends and family, simple food, and lots of flowers and decorations. Now we wait to clean just before the day. At the moment we are just making a mess everywhere.

We are praying for a sunny day with no hint of rain. Hmmmm, we did have time for tea amidst all the work.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The simple i-pad

This i-pad requires no charging, no batteries. It fits in your pocket. It's encased in beautiful, silk fabric. Made with natural materials. It soothes, calms, and relaxes.

Friday, 15 June 2012


An excerpt from Anthony de Mello's book Awareness:

"There's the story of the disciple who went to the master and said, "Could you give me a word of wisdom? Could you tell me something that would guide me through my days?" It was the master's day of silence, so he picked up a pad. It said, "Awareness." When the disciple saw it , he said, "This is too brief. Can you expand on it a bit?" So the master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness." The disciple said, "Yes, but what does it mean?" The master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness means ------ awareness."

That's what it means to watch yourself......When you talk to someone, are you aware of it or are you simply identifying with it? When you got angry with somebody, were you aware you were angry or were you simply identifying with your anger? Later, when you had the time, did you study your experience and attempt to understand it? Where did it come from? What brought it on? I don't know of any other way to awareness. You only change what you understand."

Thursday, 14 June 2012


What is this breath? Where does the breath begin? Does is begin to be called the breath at the nostrils? Is it still the breath 1 cm away from the nostrils? 10 cm away? 20 cm away? When does the breath come to be called space or the air around us? In Finnish the word breath - henki - also means spirit. And it is so in many other languages as well (I just can't think of any others at the moment). Aren't we intimately connected to spirit with each and every breath? What else is this stuff that we breathe in? The infinite, the spaciousness, the essence of everything is our very breath. Look how we are animated by the breath, the divine existence without which we are not. We swim in it. We only exist because of it. It is what animates this body. It is what is absolutely fundamental. And we rarely pay any attention to that which is the most important part of our lives.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Moms and bread

I have had some busy days with a funeral tomorrow and a wedding in my garden next week. My mom ironed our clothes and made me a little Finnish lunch - rye bread, butter, and pickled herring to take with me to work. It is wonderful to have a mom to do that for me. I associate moms with bread. And my mom makes terrific bread. I remember as a little girl going to school with my dark sour rye bread sandwiches - rarely, thank goodness. Everyone stared at my food. But it was good. I couldn't understand why the other kids were eating that fluffy pastry-like stuff for. I remember thinking that we sure were different and that I didn't want to trade lunches. I usually went home for lunch to a little English lady's house who lived a few houses away from ours. I loved her voice and she had the most brilliant smile. I don't even remember her name or what she made for lunch but I do remember that when we colored together she colored in circles and always outside the lines. And it was beautiful!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Lovely old stuff

Lovely vintage sewing stuff that I received today. So much fun to explore later when I have more time :)

Monday, 11 June 2012

What if?

What if today you could do nothing wrong? What kind of day would you have? What if you could just be an infinite being? What if everything was already okay?

Pretend as if everything and everyone and every moment was absolutely perfect!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Spruce tip oil-infusion

We gathered spruce tips 2 cups to 4 cups oil - I used olive oil - and placed them into a crock pot on low setting for about an hour. A double boiler would be better because you can make the heat a little lower. Strain the oil through some cheesecloth and store in a glass jar. The oil can be massaged into skin for conditions like cuts, abrasions, acne, eczema and boils. Spruce tips action as an antiseptic, antifungal, disinfectant and antimicrobial. It also has a wonderful taste so I might just use a bit of it for salad dressings too..

Saturday, 9 June 2012


Charles William Clayton, Don's dad, left this world today to be with his best friend, Jane, whom he missed dearly. He was an amazing man - a superb drummer, photographer, a wonderful father of five, with a keen eye for noticing and understanding nature, both of the land and his fellow humans, and a heart so big that it hurts to see the hole he leaves in this world.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Upa guru

Years ago, I read in one of Deepak Chopra's books about the upa guru. An upa guru is someone who steps out of their usual role or relationship with you, like a friend, or partner, or parent, etc. and becomes your guide. Asking your spouse for help on something usually involves his or her ideas of how it affects him or her. But you can ask your spouse to pretend not to be your spouse for the moment and be your upa guru - a guide or teacher in the moment. It works wonderfully. It helps me to answer my daughters questions too. I answer as if I wasn't their mother. My mom hat is taken off for a moment which I am sure they appreciate. It really is about centering yourself in the moment and not answering with your own preconceived ideas and opinions but stepping into the wisdom of the source of all answers directly. Anyone at any time can be a teacher to us.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I have never been very good at making decisions until I know what the right one is. It's late in the day and I have a decision to make that has repercussions for other people too and not just myself. So it matters that the decision is the right one. I have thought about what is the highest good for all. I have made lists - pro and con. I have thought about it for a few months and have found no really good reason to make any decision at all. Yet, it seems imminent. Follow my heart? How do I know it's speaking the truth? If I was helping someone else with a decision it would be easier. But it's me and I don't like making mistakes. That's always the risk. I even picked a card from the Osho Tarot Deck and I didn't get the meaning, so I picked another card and I really focused and shuffled well this time but I picked the SAME card. I read it again. Hmpf! No apparent help there. So, I talked with someone who will be affected by any decision I make and we had the best chat. An honest chat. I feel enormously better though no decision has been made - except to re-visit the situation in a few weeks time. I am going to look outside the box of my mind which thinks things should be a certain way and perhaps something new and wildly perfect with unfold. I know that no matter what decision I make, after that, I will have to make it be the right one.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The buried life

I sat in my car this afternoon in a parking lot drinking a half-sweet dirty chai latte. I sat there feeling buried in stuff to do, stuff to think about. What needs standing up for? Not wanting to talk to anybody for a little while. It was wonderful. I got a little clarity on I don't know what, but it helped to just stop and sit, and breathe, alone.

A friend lent me a book by 4 young guys, Jonnie Penn, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn, and Ben Nemtin, called What do you Want to do Before You Die? The Buried Life. Here is a quote: "Life doesn't work perfectly, and it never will. It could work better, sure, but don't bank on happiness as a prize so far down the road that you forget the joy of right now. This is your "one wild and precious life," and it's up to you to decide what to do with it. Nothing should be out of reach. The shoulders of greatness are there for the standing on." They met to make lists and their need to make a list was clear by something written by Matthew Arnold wrote in 1852 "but often, in the world's most crowded streets, but often, in the din of strife, there rises an unspeakable desire after the knowledge of our buried life.....". They felt buried. They made a list of what they wanted to do, really wanted, no matter how wild and crazy, and also help others with their crazy lists. Wow! I love them for really living!

Someone asked me recently what I would do if I know I couldn't fail. I made a little list.......somehow a little pathetic because if I wanted I could actually achieve all of them. Don looked at my list and said "Is that it? That's all?" "I'll show you a list" and he did. Wow! I need to dream bigger, way bigger. I threw my list out and kept his - for inspiration! ........a sampling of his list - fly over Earth at satellite level looking and listening to life below - ride bare back on a great white shark - time travel by willpower alone.........

What about you? What do you want to do before you die?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Keep me reasonably sweet

This is apparently written anonymously by a seventeenth-century nun. I've kept this for years. At one time I thought I should memorize it....or at least read it daily!

Lord, You know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs, make me thoughtful but not moody: helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know Lord that I want a few friends left at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains, they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other's pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Out in the garden

I have spent all day in the garden. I put a roast in the slow cooker this morning and out I went. I only came in to finish the meal and eat. I have many little parts to my garden. Yesterday I was out in the front garden, mostly weeding. Today I added some pots. I love pots all over but I've learned to control myself because they need more water and fertilizer. This year I am trying seaweed as fertilizer. I hope it doesn't smell as raunchy as the fish emulsion. Felix was licking the deck and stairs last year if I happened to spill any. He loved that stuff. I wonder if he has more fur because of it.

Here is some more of my gardens.