The Swooping of a Red Tailed Hawk

Ohmyword. Sitting at my desk, which is next to a floor to ceiling window, I was privy to a red tailed hawk swooshing down from our roof, gliding across my yard and the street, where it swoop-landed on the roof of the house across the way. It took a short flight to go up further onto the peak, where it then spread it’s tail feathers broadly, precisely as I wondered what kind of hawk it was. No question–a gorgeous red tail was flashed for my eyes. Then it turned it’s head and looked back toward me. “Yes,” I mentally communicated. “I saw you, and I thank you for your visit. And you have a beautiful red tail.” ohmygoodness, I still haven’t caught my breath. The primal instinct to be afraid as a large bird of prey plunges in front of you, followed by the exultation of the glory of such a beautiful creature give quite a rush.

red tailed

red tailed face

I’m drawn to red tailed hawks, and have been my whole life. According to the Legends of America site, http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-totems2.html that I use to understand the Native American meanings of wild life sightings, hawks represent a messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship. Wowza–no wonder I love them so much.

Much of the representation connects. I’m not sure about the messenger part, although it could relate to this blog. I consider myself quite intuitive as I’ll sense something, and then have it confirmed far too often to be coincidental. The victory would be if I’m finally experiencing healing from my hyper sensitivity to synthetic fragrances. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve started NAET treatment, “a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine,” according to the site at http://www.naet.com . That would also totally relate to cleansing. Nobility, recollection, visionary power? Not sure. Nor with guardianship. There is another connection with that one, though.

Due to this window in the study, my dogs have a wonderful view of the cul de sac we live on. Gracie Jane and Spencer sometimes go ballistic as runners go by, or if people are out walking their dogs. The latest thrill for them is a marmalade cat, whom I’ve named Marmie and have decided is a female. She likes to sit under the shrubs outside the window, paws tucked under her body, just chillin’. Marmie looks very content out there, until they spot her. Then she scowls at the fiercely barking dogs as they try to protect their home from this awful intruder, pulling her feet out from under so she can take off quickly if need be. I’ll usually close the lower blinds so the dogs can’t see her and she can hang out, undisturbed. I like having Marmie around. She’ll dart away if I try to get close to her, and she doesn’t live with any of my immediate neighbors. I’m not thinking she’s feral, as Marmie doesn’t have that skinny, wild-eyed look I think of with feral cats. Here’s the connection I was talking about before. Cats represent guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, and independence, according to Legends of America. hmmm. She was my animal connection the last three days. Now today, I have a hawk. The overlapping representation is guardianship. hmmm. Wonder what the universe is going to show me next??

Isn’t life grand?? All these moments–they matter. Focus on them, be present in the present.

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

Hand-Me-Downs

Hand-me-downs vary in families. The best hand-me-downs I personally have are two of my mom’s recipe books.  I also have some old family photos which are very wonderful representations of the early 1900’s and family. But, honestly, the recipe books are more special. In one of the books are some yellowed handwritten recipe cards. I’d recognize her handwriting anywhere. She’d always swirl her hand above the paper to get into the “rhythm” of writing before the pen touched the paper. She said that’s how they were all taught to write. Mercy–cursive isn’t even taught in most schools anymore. It’s becoming a lost skill, with most things done on electronics with a keyboard. (whoa–that makes me sound old!!!) There are also newspaper clippings, golden with age, taped in that book. The tape is an even more vivid yellow-orange and curls a bit, the stickiness of it having dried out a long time ago.

The other cookbook I have was her favorite: The American Woman Cook Book, published in 1942.  I can’t remember who she said gave it to her, but it was a big deal, getting it around her second anniversary with my dad. The binding has come apart a bit, the edges of the cover are frayed. There are little spatters on the pages of the favored recipes. The very best part isn’t a recipe, though.  It’s her collection of four-leaf clovers.  She could spot one quick as a wink.  She’d make this tiny squeal and would swoop down to pluck it off the plant, with a beautiful smile filled with delight. And she’d say something about “the luck of the Irish.” It always astounded me. My mom, who wasn’t exactly proud of being half Irish, would find something that unequivocally represented her heritage. Four leaf clover represent a Celtic charm, (spell,) and were thought to provide magical protection, warding off bad luck. As a young girl, I bought her a special magnet with a four leaf clover hermetically sealed in resin. That magnet now has a special spot on my refrigerator door. In my early teens, she bought me a clover charm for my charm bracelet; a tiny four-leaf clover in a sphere. Sadly, it cracked and we had to discard it. I never thought until just now how clover, my mom, and I have a special connection. Funny thing is that I never can find one with four leaves in a patch of clover. Wonder how she did it…

There are nine four-leaf clovers on that first page of the table of contents. I wish I knew when she started collecting them in there. I never thought to ask. I remember them being there when I was little, so it’s been a while. They’re all a bit faded, but still definitely green.  I feel her love the second I open the book to look at them, which I do whenever I miss my mama. Pretty wonderful hand-me-down, eh? Remember to make your moments matter. They can become a hand-me-down without us even realizing it…

2014-09-11 Mom's 4 leaf clover 001

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

Simplifying My Mind, Home and Life

I was with my dear friend, Mary, and she asked me why I haven’t posted lately.  Guess I need to cross that bridge, get back into the habit, come out of my healing shell, and proceed.

Seen while on an adventure with Mary

Seen while on an adventure with Mary

I partially blame lack of posts due to the distraction of having my 13 year old home with me during his summer break.  He needs me to entertain him more now than when he was a baby or toddler or preschooler.  Or even a grade-schooler!!   Just opposite of what I had imagined when he was little!  Having not worked since mid-January put a screeching halt on cash flow.  And most fun summer camps cost money.  Oh, and then there’s the matter of my injured foot, which still isn’t completely healed, but doing much better, as I posted yesterday.  That, too, limited the fun adventures we’d planned for the summer break, using up a teen’s extra energy, allowing me some uninterrupted writing time.  But, it’s truly not his fault that I’m easily distracted!

I also haven’t been writing because I needed to do some major introspection.  What direction am I headed, what plan does the universe hold for me, how can I be whole again?  I still don’t have the “big” answers, but I’m a bit clearer with my path.  I’m still having issues with my fragrance sensitivity, and have expanded my reactions to include anxiety attacks.  I’m understandably anxious when I go ANYWHERE.  I mean, jeepers, I still have to carry an Epi-pen, so I’m not completely safe from anaphylactic shock.  Some scents still make my face and eyes burn, albeit no hives are showing.  This is new and disappointing–I had about three weeks where I wasn’t even getting the burn.  Oh mercy, I was hopeful.  SO hopeful.  The return of the burn means the meds aren’t protecting me 100%.  Question is what might trigger a severe reaction, how much might trigger, and how long will these meds actually work?  I feel anxious when I see someone who may not be safe for me to be around because they SMELL NICE.  When I’m in public and I smell fragrance, I mentally stop to explore if there’s a reaction happening due to that scent.  Or if there’s a burning sensation, I have to scope out where the source is.  That kinda hampers socializing.  Tough for a social butterfly.

I had a melt down a few Sundays ago because my dearest hubby mowed the yard, then sprayed his legs and arms with window cleaner he had stored in his car trunk.  This is to prevent poison ivy rash, just in case he’d been exposed.  My eyes burned pretty badly when he walked past, and I thought it was just grass “stuff” bothering me. (I can’t mow or my eyes swell.) (Yes, I’m allergic to grasses too.)  Then I smelled it.  Window cleaner.  ohmygoodness.  I wasn’t even safe in my own home.  Freak-out!!  He went and washed it off, and the reaction didn’t get any worse than badly burning eyes.  But still, that was really scary.  I’ve been working on cognitive behavior therapy, trying to retrain my brain to not go bonkers when I’m feeling threatened.  Think about this–if I’m possibly going into an allergic reaction and I stress out, the stress then exacerbates my reaction.  Not good.  Allergist suggested I go on anti-anxiety meds.  No!!  Not more medicine!  So, I’m trying to simplify my brain, unlearn my panic reactions, stay calmer, and create a more peaceful and healing environment in my head.  It’s a slow process.

I’ve started treatment using NAET.  An explanation from the NAET.com website:  “Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques, also known as NAET, are a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.”  When I looked this up to share on here, I also saw that there’s success with treating Autism disorders.  Wowza!  I have so many friends whose children are somewhere on the spectrum.  Could this be a real live solution??

I’m also working toward simplifying our home, collecting stuff for our garage sale we’re having toward the end of September.  There are still several places in the house that need purging, boxes that need emptying, stuff that needs sorting.   Sometimes I chastise myself for how little I’ve accomplished over the summer break, disappointed in myself for not getting more done.  Then I step back, realize that there are many projects I’m closer to completing, things I have finished, goals that are within reach, and growth that I’ve accomplished.  And then I recognize that I’m chugging along, like the Little Engine That Could.  (One of my favorite childhood stories.)  Maybe not as fast as others, but I’m not them.  And I’m trying to make the moments matter, because, remember, they really do.

With warm regards on your journey,

Nance  

Natural pedi

I saw this article a while back and just happened upon it today, thinking “my, how apropos!”

http://www.organicgardening.com/living/naturally-great-pedicure

This TOTALLY goes with both of my life issues right now–my injured foot and the need to avoid chemicals due to hyper sensitivity.  Both of these health issues have altered my life greatly this year.  GREATLY altered.  I’m not the same person I was.  But, that’s supposed to be ok, as I’m “working on it.”  Back in May, I stumbled on some spiky seed pods from Sweet Gum trees, breaking a tiny spur off the side of my foot, and consequently disengaging the tendon that attaches there.  Dr. said the tendon has reattached (Ohmygoodness YAY!!) but the bone chips and end of bone haven’t healed properly, causing continuing pain and swelling.  oh crudbuckets.  So, we ordered a metal insert for my shoe, preventing it from flexing at all.  I’ve got an odd gait, and it throws off my hips a bit, (hello chiropractor,) but if this prevents me from having surgery that is more likely to not fix things, I can tolerate it.  After all, it’s been 18 1/2 weeks of a clunky boot, an awkward brace, a metal insert for my shoe, pain and discomfort.  That was May 9th, by the way.  Today is September 9th.  No wonder I feel like I lost my summer!!!  (And if you want to look back at the post where I shared the picture of the original boot and a seed pod example, it was on May 17th.)  (Mercy that was along time ago.)

I’m going to the podiatrist in a couple of hours to find out the status of my left foot.  So, in honor of and hoping for good news, I’m going to give myself a lovely pedi.  You know, pamper myself a bit.  You should too–having well-groomed feet is such a nice thing to happen upon when you take your socks off or look down at something on the floor next to your naked foot.  Even my dear hubby has recently discovered this truth, after 15+ years of watching me get and give myself pedi’s.

Remember, the moments matter!  All the little things that make life incredible, important, exciting, beautiful.  I’ve fallen off that way of thinking all summer.  Time to get back on that train and enjoy my journey through life.  With pretty feet.

And here are the pedi'd feet.

And here are the pedi’d feet.

Warm wishes on your journey,

Nance