Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reflections On a Chicken

When my grandmother was a young teen in Poland, she was rounded up like an animal and thrown in a cattle car. They stopped at Auschwitz, which in Polish is known as Oświęcim, and were all commanded to disembark. There were two lines. One to the camp, one to the showers.

 For some inexplicable reason, my grandmother was told to get back on the cattle car and they went over the border into Germany.

Hannah, now known as 'Anna' was sent to a private farm which had been seized by the Third Reich for its produce to feed the troops. Grandma was assigned to be a field hand. This didn't go over well because her job was to walk a giant picnic basket for miles to a specific field for lunch and then return and repeat it for dinner.

 She spent so much time meandering through woods and on roads and then talking with the boys and men in the fields that they never got dinner and she'd return home after curfew which put the farmer and his family in jeopardy because spies, officials, and officers were always around.

They tried to put her in charge of the chicken coops.

 One day an official demanded they all line up outside and she was to count all the chickens and return to him, waiting there outside. Each chicken, you see, was also a displaced worker, of sorts. Any that didn't provide the expected number of eggs would become a meal for some soldiers or officials. Either way, work or die.

For all the chickens this farm had, the family, and none of the workers were able to enjoy eggs much because everything went to the military.

My grandmother had to learn how to do two more things at once: ride a bicycle, and go into town with it, with all the day's eggs in a basket to be relinquished to a military depot.

So Grandma began counting chickens and reported back to the official (who also served as the telegram messenger) and the farmer, who had an affection for her because she was quite young and he had only sons, both of whom were serving on the front lines.

She told them there were so many chickens and seven roosters.

The official asked her why were the roosters not counted as chickens and it was explained to him that roosters could not lay eggs, only fertilize them to make more chickens, so they served a different purpose. He was satisfied, told the farmer how many eggs were expected daily and departed.

Soon after he was out of sight, the farmer said, Anna! Why did you tell him we have seven roosters! You know we have only two! She told him since the official didn't know the difference between roosters and chickens, they could now have more eggs because five of those roosters were in fact, chickens. So they got to eat eggs, albeit clandestine, after all.

The farmer's wife grew to love Anna. The woman had a seizure disorder and was homebound. She asked her husband if  perhaps my grandmother could be like a nurse to her. He was afraid of spies, and initially and reluctantly denied her request.

Anna, meanwhile, was learning to ride a bike. And carry an open basket of around a hundred eggs in it.
The first day of her several-miles long trek, she fell into a ditch and arrived at the depot covered in dirt with nothing but eggshells and tears. They let her go, and the farmer decided they might want to rethink the nurse thing.

However, there was another snag. No one was allowed such a luxury and this family had no influence. So they came up with something else. They would make her a kitchen maid and teach her to cook (and speak) German. This worked out splendidly and she enjoyed cooking and serving their meals while tending to the wife, who she called Mother. My grandmother's own mother died in childbirth along with twins, when my grandmother was only three, and was tossed between sisters not much older than her, her father having died of tuberculosis, so she had no mother-love, except from the farmer's wife.

Grandma ate at table with them. The telegram messenger spy arrived one evening at dinnertime and he was stunned to find her sitting there. He raged and demanded to know why she wasn't eating in the barn with the other animals (commonly, barns were connected to farmhouses) and the farmer explained that she didn't even understand German, so couldn't know what was discussed, plus prepared all their meals, so it was only fair.

He was reported and had to go to town to pay a fine and receive a stern warning.

He did it again when they discovered five roosters were indeed chickens.

Eventually the war ended and my grandmother was invited to stay with them. Their son who was against the war but drafted anyway had wanted to marry her but he was and would remain MIA. Their other son who was a hardcore nazi survived and made life hell for her, whom he called an outlander. She had met my grandfather by then, a casanova from another farm, and would marry him and find their own way, so they all parted tearfully.

When the Red Cross appeared to find new homes for all the displaced workers, they discovered that all the countries required the men to go first for six months to a year and then could send for their families. My grandfather was all for it but my grandmother, now a mother of two little girls, was completely against it and she sabotaged his every attempt at going to Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Finally, a country opened up that would take entire families, even those unsponsored, and that's how they found their way to the United States.

Grandma could grow anything. Out of necessity and at times in Europe when she was starving, she would go down to the river and eat weeds to fill her stomach, so the moment they were able to, she planted a small potted garden and then after saving money, they purchased a house where she grew a larger garden. I would see her take a snipping from any plant and it would flourish with her love.

Many times when money was tight  my siblings and I would eat sandwiches made with white bread and beefsteak tomatoes grown in her garden. In the city she could not have a chicken, so she was content with dogs and two cats, both named Peter.

Many years later, she was a great grandmother, three times over, and the military base where my mother worked, closed. She was transferred to an army depot in Pennsylvania which delighted my parents and my grandmother. My parents bought a small house and hired a contractor to make half of it a studio apartment for Grandma. She had her own little place, separated from my parents by only a door, and a beautiful garden to grow and spend all spring and summer in and that's where she would be found whenever I'd visit.

She bought a poly-resin chicken and painted it yellow and sky blue with red polka dots and proudly displayed it in the garden.

My father was fined, received a stern warning about distasteful garden ornaments, and we all went to the administrator to fight for the chicken.

The chicken stayed.

Now Grandma is in a nursing home. After my dad's stroke, I was unable to take care of his needs, hers, and my own. I barely took care of physical needs like her insulin injections but was emotionally drained and she had no one to talk to all day except Wonton and my dad's cat, Schnookie. She watched a lot of crime shows and Walker Texas Ranger. I knew she was lonely. I knew I was fading away myself and was too isolated and after coming up with no help from state agencies, decided I had to leave.

My uncle got involved and he and my aunt found a nice assisted living facility and once again she flourishes. I asked her for the chicken, and she said, of course, but there was a lot of family drama and I needed to make a quick getaway with Wonton. I packed everything I could into my Outback wagon, my aunt and uncle took Schnookie and Grandma's parakeet, and Wonton and I took off for a 4000 mile roadtrip.

That was in July.

 In October I returned to another area in Pennsylvania on another lake and am unspeakably happy except making ends meet financially is a challenge. In some ways I love the challenge. And friends upon friends upon friends are helping out in so many creative ways.

 Nothing I do or have experienced hasn't been an adventure but there are days that I won't eat not because there's no food, but because I'm so afraid there won't be food in the future or my electricity will be shut off so I meditate and take deep breaths.

 I call my dad in his nursing home and we chat. I call Grandma sometimes when she isn't socializing in the lounge. I text my aunt and uncle and thank them for taking care of things. I thank God a hundred times a day and chant, I am grateful, I am grateful, I am grateful and I am.

But still, no matter how positive your outlook, or looking back you see your mistakes and vow to never make them again or give yourself a break and say, those weren't mistakes, those were lessons that needed to be learned, you sit down and weep over some colossal losses. And loneliness. And are you ever going to make good on your debts.

You hear the couple upstairs making love and you aren't jealous at all but happy that there is love in the place you dwell but you ask God to wrap His arms around you just this once as you cling to a stuffed black lamb and fall asleep with tears counting your blessings and telling yourself tomorrow is a new start. Look what Grandma survived.

Yesterday I could clearly see my little dieffenbachia is not doing so well. I talk to my plants and tell them they're alive and flourishing but this one is feeling a bit down. No matter what I do, it's fading. So I do some research and the experts weigh in: immediately re-pot in good soil.

Only problem is, I'm days away from having my electricity cut-off. I have one emergency gift card I'm saving for gas for the car, and a Starbucks card. I'm not asking my friends for another penny, they've given so much and have their own needs. I'm screwed. Think, think, think.

I drive to the area I lived with my dad for something and make a call to a friend who owns a garden center on the off-chance he can spare some potting soil and two little pots (the pothos needs re-potting too), I don't care if they're cracked, I'll take them, but I just get voice mail. And then I think, the chicken.

I'm in the area. It's time for me to go back to the house and get that chicken. I don't care who the hell thinks it's an ugly lawn ornament. It's taking a place of honor in my living room because it represents determination and endurance and GOOD that it's flamboyant and plastic! I don't care if I have to dig under six feet of snow, I'm getting that chicken and I drive through security and pull into the driveway and sitting there in the sun is the chicken. And a bag of potting soil. And two flower pots.

Picking up one of the pots, I see that it was one of the centerpieces from my wedding reception. I painted over thirty with my sister-in-law a few nights before my wedding and I took them to my grandmother and we bought flats and flats of impatiens to fill them with. On each pot I painted the words, Let Love Grow.

And I bought stones to scatter around the tables at the reception and painted words on them too. And in that one pot was one of those stones and it said, Reflect.

My eyes filled with tears and I thought of the promise of love and a new marriage and where it all went horribly wrong but I knew with all my heart I had tried my best. And now, starting over was the hardest of the hardest things I'd ever done in my life and I realized that 'reflect' wasn't just about looking back.

'Reflect' is also about looking at myself and seeing how far I've come and what is yet to come. Promise, and joy, and yes, love, real true love. 'Immediately re-pot in good soil' is excellent advice.

And the funny thing is, that my prayers were answered that I got that potting soil and two pots

And Grandma's chicken.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Guilty Pleasure Confessions

As a card-carrying second-generation Italian-American raised ten years in an old neighborhood where everyone married everyone else (my dad married the girl across the street, my aunt married the guy who lived next door to my dad, etc.) and then raised in another town with a very large Italian population, it was a very big deal who you went to for your beef, pork, sausage--oh the sausage wars, and my dad's side of the family owned a chain of butcher stores, so woe to the neighbor who shopped anywhere else---canned crushed or whole tomatoes (Tuttoroso if you knew what was good for you) and God forbid if you EVER were seen in the supermarket with jarred sauce in your cart or at the cashier. You were a BAD ITALIAN. 
I didn't know what the inside of a McDonalds was until I was 10. I didn't even know what Spaghetti-O's were until I was 15. My Irish best friend would eat it everyday for lunch where we'd eat at her grandma's a block away from school. I'd sit there with my pb&j which I guess is universal. 

My saving grace is that my mom was Polish. They never let her forget the shame of not being born Italian, but she rebelled in her own ways and with her mother's help, because her parents owned the house we lived in, across the street from Italian Nonna. So yeah, Mom learned to shop right, and cook Italian like an Italian but we got lots of Polish food too and my Polish grandma could strike fear into the heart of grown men (and did) so no one would stand up to her. Mom just was being a good wife in those days. 

Story is getting long so I'll wrap it up--I had my first can of Spaghetti-O's when I moved into my first apartment at the ripe old age of 32, swear to God. With meatballs. The first time I tasted those fake meatballs, that fake sauce, those little rings of sketti, I thought for sure I was going to hell AT 32! was delicious, delicious hell. 

Yeah, I make my own sauce. I also buy Prego. Fuck anyone who doesn't like it. Still, I use Tuttoroso tomatoes. Some habits are hard to break. 

And I keep six cans of Spaghetti-O's with meatballs in the back of a shelf on my baker's rack/pantry. It's like candy to me. Comfort food to the nth level. If you touch them, I'll break your effin' fingers. 

THAT'S Italian.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Lamb

An excerpt from a letter to a friend:

You said to pay attention to signs as they would be very strong. I think I told you that while I was neglected and abused, I had a younger brother who was weaker, so more of a target, and as he got older, he turned to drugs to feel numb. We were very very close and things had turned well for him for some time when he put distance between himself and my parents and other brother. 

He got married, a good job, and an apartment. Then, he was in an accident and very injured and lost his job, his apartment, and his wife worked many many hours and wasn't home for weeks at a time (although the love was real) and he had to return to my father's home because he had nowhere to go. 

My husband wouldn't allow him to live with us, and I told him that he would have to give up drugs or go to rehab and I would take him anyway. By that time he was too addicted but I would let him stay at my house for a couple of weeks at a time, then go back to my dad's, then return back to me to some peace again.

 He died accidentally in his sleep from the drugs. They all believe it was suicide but I don't. He was too good for this world, too sensitive in a world that devoured him.

 When I left my husband, I begged my father to take me in because I had nowhere to go. My brother was dead only a few months. I felt as if my father was a main cause of my brother's death and in anger I told him that, during a verbal attack by him.

 I slept in my brother's bed, on his pillows, under his blankets, in his room. I held his things that my other abusive brother hadn't already picked through like a ghoul. I asked his wife for something, anything, that I could have that belonged to him and she cried and said that my other brother took it all.

 When I had to escape my father's house because my other brother was trying to trap me into staying to take care of my dad after his stroke, I began packing everything I had into my Subaru Outback wagon.

 I looked under the bed and found a plate, knife, spoon, a piece of granite from the World Trade Center, a few photographs and I was so grateful. The night before I left, I reached under the bed one last time and found a stuffed black lamb. It was my brother's and it was meant to go with me. Everywhere I went, I would sleep with the lamb and hold its paw. 

And when I came to this new apartment and I would worry, I would hold the lamb and talk to Donny, my brother. We had the first snowstorm coming and I couldn't locate my shovel. It was a mystery and I had no money to buy a new one. I had only a broom but it was worse. The way my door is shaped, I would be unable to open it if there was more than a few inches of snow.

 I went to sleep with the lamb praying that everything would be okay. I got up in the morning and went to the door to see what I would be facing, but the snow was cleared away from the door, the path and down the steps. Gravel was thrown so I would be able to walk down the incline.

 I was so surprised and I went back to my bedroom to get my cellphone and the lamb was laying not where I left it, on the side, but in the space where I had been sleeping. My cat hadn't moved it because she was in the window watching the snow. I called my neighbor upstairs and asked him and he said, Yes, I did it. I knew it would be hard for you so I did it. I thanked him and started to cry in gratitude.

 Today was another snowstorm. A friend brought me a beautiful new shovel and gifts for my cat and me for Christmas and we had a lovely time, a week earlier, so I was ready but again, I thought, I need to open that door a few inches to get out to shovel. I woke up again, and I heard shoveling and my neighbor was at my door clearing the snow again. He apologized for waking me and I assured him he didn't. I thanked him again, God bless him. I pray always for him and his little family and dog.

 I went back to my bedroom and the lamb again was in the same place in the center of where I had been sleeping, again moved but not by me or the cat. I knew then that it was not a coincidence. It was Donny.

 I was reminded that he was always the one who shoveled the snow at my father's and my father had no mercy for him, that they had a long driveway and my brother had no gloves and his hands would bleed but he did it anyway out of love. And I knew this time that he had been doing it again, through someone else, out of love. Happy New Year. Keep warm, my friend. 

I see the signs.

I see the signs.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Last night I heard only one cicada singing its lonely hearts death song and actually prayed it'd find a mate. The rain finally came today and when the pups came in rolling around and delighted, I ran out the front door and down the steps and stood in it, grateful.

It stopped after a good soaking and a squirrel began barking and I realized how much I missed all that. 

And I prayed.

And now the air is filled with a hundred more cicadas; the last one was neither last, nor alone.

 Nor am I.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Sun In Our Eyes

100 Miles to Lubbock

Wonton spent the entire trip across the country hiding under bags in the back seat. If I hadn't tethered several leashes together to her harness, It would have been impossible to pull her out and sneak her in and out of economy hotels like a furry ten pound pumpernickel. It's very difficult to convince a terrified cat to act like a loaf of bread. I admit I didn't know what I was doing. I was 'chicken-winging' it. I had always wanted to roadtrip across country but never dreamed my only companion would be a cat.

I'm 46 years old and I still don't know what I'm doing. And it's not just me to fuck up my life or be like a dandelion seed blowing in the wind. I have to take care of her, think of her always, first, because she is little and she may be ferocious at times, but the world will devour both of us if we aren't guarded, and even if we are and that was a lesson I'd been learning my entire life and would come to a head over and over again like increasing larger crashing waves until it was sink or swim. No indifferent floating for me, ever.  The analogy is ironic considering how little water there actually was in the town I was in on the outskirts of Lubbock, Shallow Water.

Although I couldn't see Wonton, I spoke to her all the way. I would call out and she would answer a quick meow from the depths of the car, or if she was in need, a howl and come out and I'd have to figure out what was going on. I stopped on the shoulder somewhere on a toll road in Oklahoma because she was yelling and discovered a throw pillow in her water bowl. As far as I could see, she wasn't eating, drinking, or using her litter pan all day long, but was offended that she didn't have the choice. Thinking about it, so would I be, considering how little room she had to navigate.

I'm glad I got the air conditioning fixed because in retrospect, we would have both died in the heat. We were traveling in July and like a bad luck lottery, hitting hundred degree weather in every state we crossed. Even with it on full blast, it wasn't circulating well into the back because the car was packed to the ceiling and when I saw Wonton mouth-breathing, I was filled with guilt, I pulled in early for the night. She didn't volunteer for this shit.

I saw my first tumbleweed 99 miles in. There were three, to be truthful, and ridiculously tiny but so delightful, I pulled over to announce it on Facebook. I was so full of enthusiasm and gratitude and love. And stupidity. But that's all I want to say about that.

Things I won't forget about TX:

The kindness and hospitality and good manners of strangers

The wide open sky

Breathtaking farmland where even shacks were glorious in ruin

Super cell thunder clouds, purple skies and formations with lightening sandwiched between them while boiling on the edge of a clear starry sky 

Ungodly 'dry heat' that made me wither the moment I stepped outside

Fluorescent sunrises that lasted forever

Cap'n, the orange and white cat, an underdog which stole my heart and would have taken with me, had there been any room left in the car

Feeling more alone and isolated than I ever have been in the worst times and places in my life but at the same time, thankful I had someone to take me in for 37 days. 

We were not a good fit. I kept her in the bedroom 24/7 and she was lonely, and there were days I stayed in the bedroom or alone for long periods of time and we were lonely together. When I saw the cut on her ear, I chalked it up to cats being cats. When I saw the cut on her neck, and she ran from me, I knew it was time to go and we went.

This time, she perched on a bunch of pillows and stared out the window the whole trip. She saw the first armadillo, before I did. And the second, and tenth. She liked buzzards and eagles. Horses and cows were boring to her but I liked them, the different species, markings, colorings, sizes.

We stopped for the night in Paris, TX. The nicest motel room of the cheap chain I was favoring. We got two beds because the singles were taken and she took the one closest to the door but she spent the night sleeping on the floor between the beds next to me, and as we were leaving caught and ate the biggest roach I ever saw in my life.

Everywhere we stopped, for gas or snacks or potty breaks for me, she stood and yelled for me and when we crossed the state line in Arkansas, she stood up on my shoulder and I felt genuine relief as if a giant burden had lifted. As we came off the highway and into the city, she put her paws on the dashboard and meowed at the windshield as if to say, WE'RE HERE! WE'RE HERE! and the energy shifted again.

When we pulled into the driveway, my friend was on her way home from work so I texted her that we would wait out on the deck and I saw four giant quartz crystal clusters glowing in the sun and I sat on a rocker and felt at home and when she pulled up, we pulled Wonton out from behind a rolled up Oriental carpet and she took her in her arms and coo'd and Wonton let her love her and I knew it would take time but everything would be okay.

And I burst into tears and am still crying as I type this.

It's not easy to leave an abusive marriage. It's harder still to turn away from an abusive family. It's even harder when you're homeless and have few choices and have to leave someone who invited you to stay but you knew you were never going to belong. Everything feels like a long series of goodbyes. Everything is temporary and you don't know who your friends are anymore and you're suspicious of the ones who are generous and loving and are exhausted trying to figure out how to appease the ones who aren't. You burn bridges when you think you're building them. You burn them because you want some fucking respect to make your own decisions without their permission because they don't ask for yours. You burn them because you don't want to be enslaved. You constantly look over your shoulder wondering what's next. You pray for relief and mercy and forgiveness from God and all Creation. And you wipe the dust off your sandals of the ones who drove you away and you don't look back and you don't go back. You move forward, keep going,  brush the tears away and take care of you and if you're blessed, a little cat or dog that you know loves you when the rest of the world has cast you out.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Great Escape Pre-Takeoff Log

'When people say you've changed and they can't talk to (yell at) you anymore, it's because you no longer fit their demands of who THEY think you should be.'


Tonight I stepped outside for some cool air and saw that the big pot of purple petunias was exploding with lush blooms. My grandmother was outside and I took.advantage of the opportunity to give her insulin then and we chatted peacefully. I looked down at the petunias and noticed the most beautiful gray moth I'd ever seen. It was big and fluffy and I could see the patterns and striations in its wings and body. It stayed with us for a few minutes while I talked to it and thanked it for its very meaningful visit.
The significant visitation of a moth means transformation, new direction, finding ones way in the darkness, spiritual and psychic growth, attraction, unexpected messages and joy.
It also represents letting the scaffolding in our lives that imprison us to fully collapse for us to take flight and folliw the light and not fear the darkness.


Wonton was microchipped, inoculated and given flea and tick treatment without much fanfare.  She got lots of toys and treats. I got the bill. When we arrived at home, her top-of-the-line kitty kadillac stroller had arrived along with various accoutrements. This cat will eat better than me. In fact.....

 *I* was admonished for Wonton being ONE POUND OVERWEIGHT. I said she was genetically predisposed to being spoiled rotten. 

We protested by eating a container of Philly smoked salmon cream cheese. And by 'we', I mean, she let me lick the lid.


It's pouring outside, I'm lying in bed in the dark listening to the soft white noise of the little table fan and a lone firefly is giving me a light show just outside my window.

I've started saying goodbye to everything here just like I did to my own home for a year before I left the ex. 

Most of my stuff is in storage but I still can't fit two years of living in this little room in my car, plus I'm saying goodbye to people I may never see again, some of whom I'm very glad to be leaving and some whom I'm heartbroken about. But I have to do this for me, even though I don't quite know what 'this' is. 

I guess that's part of what I'll figure out when me and my feline co-pilot are in a safer place.


I think I'm going to bite the bullet, have faith the money will come from somewhere and get the a/c fixed. I can deal with heat but even if I make her bed in an ice cooler, I don't want to put Wonton's life in danger. We went out for a short trip which included highway and she was wilted when we came home. 

Thanks to friends donating to my Paypal account. If anyone else wants to chip in for the great escape, is my Paypal account addy.

I've called the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, Travelers Aid hotline and local domestic crisis and women's centers. None if them have any resources nor even want to hear anything. Unless you're in immediate physical danger and then they tell you to dial 911. 
I asked all of them, So if a person finds the strength to leave a bad situation and has somewhere to go but needs help getting there, there's no organization or structure within one to help them? They all said, nope and two actually laughed.


Inaugural walk on leash with Wonton: dismal failure.
Inaugural drag on leash with Wonton: FIVE STARS!!!!


 Omg omg omg I'm sitting in the back of my car, door open, one leg out, cleaning, and s black bear just walked up to me. Right up to me. I'm yelling at it to go. It's a yearling but it keeps coming back. It came up to me the moment I said, You're coming with me Donny. He always shows up as a bear. It touched me! Kept coming over even when I closed the car door and said shoo shoo!

 I've spoken with shamans and bears don't appear anywhere in my totem. Bald eagle is my main spirit animal, with ravens appearing a lot and ravens are shape-shifters....
I've been told I'm shamanistic since I seem to attract so many animals in significant ways but a bear always appears when I'm praying and thinking about my brother Donny, even when he was alive. As I prepare for this roadtrip to TX alone, I'm having dreams about my sister Lisa and Donny and others who've passed over but seem to be wanting to make the trip with me.  I'm not joking when I say this bear seemed gently persistent in getting in the car WITH ME.


As my date of departure is nearing, I'm getting more signs dreams, closure and confirmation. I am surer and surer I'm doing the right thing.


I haven't slept all night, not at all. Had 'racing thoughts', an anxiety thing. Add to that, bone-tired hypothyroid, and chronic fatigue. I just got up to give Gran insulin and I'm thisclose to hallucinating from being so fatigued and sleep-deprived that I had to beg off hopeful Gran who I'd promised to take on errands today. She took it like a trooper, thank God. An angel calls and says, So and so will be there Fri AM and they can take you and Gran everywhere and you can leave your car at the mechanic, so go get some sleep.

 I'm looking at piles of packing that needs to get done and laundry too and the clock is ticking.....but I'm taking something to knock me out cos I can't even stand. Please send lots of positive energy and prayers. I need lots of energy to make this journey. Thanks. Now going to snooze on the couch (cooler room) in my Hello Kitty panties and hope no one shows up at the door.


 Today my gran found the nursing home she'll be moving to soon. We were sitting outside talking about it, (she's optimistic) while saying goodbye to her parakeet and my dad's cat who have found sumptuous new digs. 

My horoscope said an unexpected windfall would occur, and I've been finding loose change and bills, I'd mislaid and friends are still contributing to my Psypal account, so everything is falling into place.
As we were talking, I noticed a large bug headed for me, buzzing loudly and got up snf went into the house. 

We continued talking inside and I felt something crawling on my bare back and grabbed a hairbrush to push whatever it was off. Five full minutrs later, the same giant bug buzzed past my face and landed on the window screen beside it. Wonton and I investigated. Gran asked what it was. A giant beetle! (not cicada...they've come to me as well). Soon Wonton and I lost interest and we both decided to take naps. I sat up from the couch and found the beetle headed straight for her on the floor as she regarded it with as much interest as drying paint. 

I got a cup and saucer, scooped it up and set it free outside. 

Many many big changes going on. For the most part, it's being accepted and even embraced.
The significant visit of a beetle (which was evidently the stowaway in my dress) means RESURRECTION. It signifies transformation, change, needing new sunshine and leaving the past behind.

And so, we do.


 Today I'm spending Sunday inside, kinda resting. I'm in this hot little bedroom but thankful I had a roof over my head for nearly two years. I had blankets and a little heater to keep me warm in winter, and two little portable fans and a lock on the door so I could sleep with as little (or no) clothes on as possible in the summer. The view outside my window was always breathtaking and every morning I woke up and said, Today is a beautiful day before I began my affirmations.

Sleeping in the room my baby brother died in, indeed, the bed itself, is bittersweet. I feel him with me frequently, especially during prayer, meditation and when I can't sleep at night, but at the same time, know he is happy and in a safe place where there is no pain and he is loved by all. I believe when we shed our our physical forms, we can travel at the speed of thought so when I need him and Lisa and others who have been perfected or are working it through, they communicate to me that they're around and they're helping. I know angels both human and supernatural are at work.

If not for the donations to my Paypal account, I would be unable to make this journey on the day I MUST go. If not for the encouraging emails, IMs, PMs, calls, messages, gifts and discounts, dreams, cards in the mail, prayers, positive healing energy, love, and support from human, animal and spiritual beings, I would be frightened and unsure.

I am sure.

Universe tells me every single day and proves it.

So today I was determined to retrieve things that had fallen between the headboard and the head of the bed wedged tightly against it. I couldn't physically pull it away. It was stuck by a piece of loose baseboard heater. But I found a pair of tongs and was able to maneuver things and pulled bits out piece by piece. I found papers, both mine and his, and photographs which I know his widow will appreciate. I found a plate, bowl and spoon which may have been from his last meal. I'm taking the spoon with me. I found two things I'd lost, one which I'll mention here; a piece of clear kunzite.

Kunzite is a crystal which helps adjustment and allows healthy functioning. It calms, comforts and cleanses negative energy and traumatic energy. It helps stressed out and sleepless or overstressed children and animals, so Wonton will benefit too while traveling. It also softens the mood while traveling to avoid road rage and calms difficult passengers (not that the Ninja Pirate Pimp Diva Warrior Princess will be 'difficult').
It increases intuitive powers and helps repel negativity and harmful spirits.

Another thing I found is something Donny lost. I was quite surprised to find it. It was a stuffed black lamb. As some of you might remember, Donny's favorite color was black. People often think 'occult' when they see black, but occult means hidden, which is not bad. It means the unseen and if we have faith, there is nothing to fear, even in total darkness. There's also another meaning overshadowed by the first. Black also means 'to trust' and I'm taking this as a message from Donny again, since he's sending me all these black animals, mice, a squirrel, yearling bear and now the stuffed lamb, to trust. Trust God, trust him and those guiding me, trust Universe, trust the friends who are opening their home to me, and trust myself.

Sheep often indicate timidity or followers. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm neither but I did toe the line for most of my life pleasing others who could never be pleased and always wanted more, rarely giving or with unreasonable illogical strings attached. Lifetime grudges held and conditional love or what their idea of love was and is.

Donny, on the other hand was introverted and more reserved but he had many friends who adored him. He was loyal and loving. The black lamb also has another meaning. In our family, Donny and I were treated differently. I've touched on that here and there and feel no need to repeat it, nor defend it, as I embark on a new life, but black sheep we indeed were. Unwanted, undesirable, not up to expectations.

One lesson sheep offers is that you if you are wishing to move past your poorly choose actions, you can. A sheep's coat is sheared away and it is later cleaned and spun into clothing which offers warmth to others. You too can shed away any dirtiness you are feeling and begin anew with a scrubbed clean slate. You are not worthless just because you made some mistakes or believe you made mistakes people assigned to you which you are innocent of. Sheep medicine teaches that all experiences have value. You can use your mistakes as teaching tools to assist others not to fall into the same muck you did, or to offer a helping hand to pull them up out of their personal muck.

Because this was not a sheep but a lamb, it also teaches us to quiet ourselves, listen, and reserve our energies because we are growing. And indeed, I am.

Donny is coming with me and Wonton. So is Lisa, so is my mom and my grandparents that have passed over but have contacted me. So is Chris Ranski, Scott Butler and Mr. Peaches. Everyone who felt imprisoned is hitching a ride, whether they passed on or not. Their chains are broken, were broken when they left this earthly plane, but they are my fellow spiritual travelers, partners in crime, and guides, on my karmic journey which begins very soon.

The oracle cards I keep pulling are Freedom, On Target, and Blossoming. 

I think that says it all. And I am grateful.


Independence Day

Although I sincerely wish I could be enjoying some crunchy grilled hot dogs, a cold beer and fireworks, I'm spending the day packing my belongings into trash bags, Ziplocs, boxes and luggage. My Independence Day will be a week from today so I've got to get moving. I haven't bought any food for the house since I'm leaving but a can of SpaghettiOs will do just fine.

Last big BBQ I attended was my own. Planned for months, shopped and prepared for weeks, cooked three days non-stop. As soon as over 50 guests began arriving, ex-spouse disappeared only to reemerge much later with his 'friend' beside him. It was lonely as hell. Today, in this little room by myself,.sorting stuff, somehow I feel less alone than when I was surrounded by friends, family and neighbors, but rejected by my own husband. Now I'm shedding the old. Ruin is indeed the road to transformation. Hope all this stuff fits in the car. 

Happy Independence Day, USA!