Friday, January 29, 2010

Galena...I'm coming

Tomorrow it's off to Galena...the place of my heart..the place that always calls me..the place I'm sad to leave. Haven't been there since October...can you believe time for some place so important.
I hope the deer and wild turkeys and various other wildlife are still there. Oh and the ferral kitties that my Swedish neighbor feeds...I hope they are well. My neighbor is a good elderly good soul...she has the kindest heart and way about her. How would those kitties survive without her kind heart?
This will be a fast house check...we have to be back on Sunday night. Besides I have my own wards to look after here.
In case you are wondering...Handsome is sort of making a recovery. It's been rough. I know, because he sleeps in his house all night...something he doesn't do. His foot seems to have gotten better, he can walk on it with a limp. But his poor eye is swollen shut and is oozing. He doesn't seem to be able to eat. I have been giving him warm milk and water and some warm canned cat food..which he tries to eat. Oh how I want to get him in. I swear if he makes it through this..I will trap him and take him in to at least get fixed. I will have one shot at it...if I fail..or spook him...I know He will feel betrayed and may not come back. But this winter has just been so bad for him. ..and me
Anyway, that is why I don't feel bad about coming home so soon. The house will understand.
 It will be happy to see don't believe me, do you? Well, I'm telling you..this house has a presence about it...honest.

Last weekend...Soxfest....that's a White Sox Fan was fun. I'm not really that kind of fan..but I knew my guy...Bill Melton ..would be it was fun stalking the place to get a look....and I did! and a signed ball!   He's old like me..older...I hope anyway.
and memorable song..and I sat next to a beast of a woman...but it was a fun night out with friends..and I always love the theater

But tomorrow....I go where I am called

then home again on Sunday where I am needed.
and of course...delayed art work again
and writing...delayed..
what's a girl to do? Okay...begin again

Oh...did I tell you a huge red fox ran out of my evergreens in the backyard this morning? did...
My path has taken a turn...and that's okay..I'm needed.  But I feel it all the way to my shoes..literally...I've been wearing ugly shoes!
Now, I must keep on top of this or I will wander aimlessly on this sidetracked path forever
 before I even realize I've gone nowhere..even backwards
..  lost..again.
So how do I do this...keep in my conscious mind
  the real path, the real journey
It takes being deliberate
I must
plan my meals
be still
observe things inside of me and outside
if even in small ways

I bought a garden magazine yesterday
I'm dreaming...planning
thinking of redoing a section of my garden
for meditation....with lots of stones and rocks
Layers blog has led the way for me there
to the the stones
I have them sacttered all around my garden
now I will collect them in a place of honor
That is how I stay on the path..the journey
I am making valentines..30 of them..each an expression of love
in some way...made by me..for a friend
That is howI stay on the path
I styled my hair, put on my favorite earrings,
picked out my cute shoes that go with my chosen outfit
..cleaned and moisturized my face..put on some makeup
all to watch my little grandson...
That is how I stay on the path
I read three poems this morning,
fed Handsome,the birds, the squirrels
took a walk outside to feel the fridgid
but I breathed in the air of this day
That is how I stay on the path
It is the little things of living
that keep us on our path
So off I go
with a happy heart
to serve
to love
to connect
This path is pretty good too

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I excavated my discovery journal and found this:

A picture worth a thousand words
on this cold gloomy
long dull day of winter

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Monday, January 25, 2010

weariness does not
have a head to lift
nor hands to fold
or feet to shuffle

but rather seeks

in the blue of the sky
in the stirring of water
in the bending of a branch
in the silence of a stone
a body to possess


Friday, January 22, 2010

Fun weekend... I hope

I'm off to have a fun weekend with hubby. Tonight we are headed downtown to participate in Soxfest..I think that's what it's called. We are staying in the hotel for the night and then tomorrow we'll meet some friends and head off  to the theater to see Dreamgirls. I'm not huge Supremes fan...but some of it will take me back to the days when I was young and thought I knew everything. Not a bad place to visit..since now I know  I hardly know anything. I had to run out early this morning to get my roots done...
Had to pack clothes for events...ick.....stilll not at goal weight...all right far from goal weight. But I say YES to life and snug clothes will not stop me from having a great time with HIM and FRIENDS.
Rather I'll let it be a reminder to stick to it.
Will I be able to meditate at the hotel?
probably not...but I can people watch. Why I remember one night when my old artist way group spent a night downtown to see Wicked  (LOVED IT) We peopled watched. It was the best evening I had for years. We tried to guess what the people did for a living.....then it got silly......Oh I miss them
Well anyway...back to the tight's whats inside that counts..what's inside that shines...
yes life yes one promises me tomorrow.......yes life
diet monday

kiss hug...I'll be thinking of you all

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Writing Closet

No I don't write in the closest.
I have to clean the closet. The one in my writing room.
I must.
Not because it is stuffed to the ceiling with notebooks and class handouts or books..oh, so many books.
No, I have to clean it out because I am not that person anymore.
It is the closet that holds the stages.
It is painful to look at what crap I wrote.
It is embarrasing now to read the poem that rhymed.
Oh Lordie, this is way past due.
But if I do not is there... stagnant remnant of what I was or tried to be.
the confessional poetry
the awful sonnets
the novel with 5 chapters that still won't be long....OUT!
And the handouts....I never read half of them when they were handed out!
I counted 50 notebooks.....10 word collecting book
one book for collecting found language and overheard conversation
Do you believe that?
I can't leave this for my children to go through....or my husband...he's featured in a few pieces
Not that I plan on going anywhere soon...but you NEVER know...
So let me be the decider of what they will ponder over
The notebooks...saved in the imaginary writer's would take an archeological dig to find the why of the original thoughts..the experiences..
bits and scraps of feelings
of pain
of desire
of sorrow
of grief
of heartache

I dropped my bucket down that well
because that is where the real stuff is
and I found I had it all.
...and writing..especially with a #2 pencil...
filled that bucket that I hauled up
and tried to fashion writing out of it.

Oh don't get me wrong
there's good stuff
I'll keep that
the good poems that still stir me when I read them like they were written by someone else
the funny short stories...especially Large Marge..I'll keep all her stories
Where did she come from?  A gay, motorcycling, tall, redhead that bowls...
But really
it's time

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

That which you manifest is before you

My crown is in my heart,
not on my head,
Nor decked with diamonds
and Indian stones,
Not to be seen:
My crown is caled CONTENT:
A crown it is,that seldom kings enjoy
                              -----William Shakespeare


I had lunch today with my book club,The Bookies.
We read the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein
If you haven't read it..please do
It is a story about life
It is a story about a dog named, Enzo
You will never forget Enzo

After our meeting we went to a Chinese Bistro
and had so much fun laughing and talking
about everything.
I left so content
content with my life
good friends
good book
good discussion
good food
It doesn't get much better

not even for a king

Saturday, January 16, 2010

He's coming for a visit

Little Finn is now 9lbs 4 oz. Wow, that mama's milk must be real good.
What a joy he is to me. His mama keeps him smelling so sweet and so clean. You remember that smell?
It won't be long and he'll be going to school
and off to college
getting married
buying his first house
becoming a dad himself
Praise the Lord

But today he is only coming for a visit
and I won't tell his mother about all his plans

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Friday, January 15, 2010

When Susie met Mary

How much my life has changed since I began saying yes to it.

I was happy.
But how different that is to living.

Today is one of those gloomy winter days. Blah
So I said yes..I went out to breakfast with my good friend Mary. I can tell her anything. She is a vault....a good listener.
But this was a fun meeting.  Fun...nothing like it.
We caught up on what was happening with our kids. Ended by saying we have no power there. Our husbands have been friends for over 30 years...even less power there.
We are mellowed friends.
The waitress started to put these two huge plates of pancakes heaped high with strawberries and whipped cream in front of us...then realized that they belonged to the two women behind Mary.
Poor Mary she almost got whiplash following those pancakes. We both laughed like school girls. "I'll have what she's having " I said  ( hey..almost as good as sex!)

"Camera!" I said searching through my purse.
"She's going to make you famous.. Mary said...she's got a blog and she's going to put a picture of that on her blog!" ( Mary made it sound like I had a weapon)
I forgot my  camera!
The women laughed as much as we did.
We lost count of how many cups of coffee the waitress poured us...each time sharing a laugh with us.
Finally the two pancake chics got up and came over to us and we talked for another 10 minutes about having girlfriends.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


My friend April introduced me to blogs. Her's was the first one I ever read. I learned so much about her that I never knew...who has that much time to spend together? But it was the small things about her day that were the most interesting...and how she felt about things.  Really.who shares that in person?  Then she invited me to join the online Artist Way group she was in....April knew that I had belonged to a small group that met in our homes.  Hey, there is always room to learn more about I joined in.
 From there I got to learn about the group's individual blogs...some I enjoyed..some not.  I am a devourer of life...I want feelings..passion..sharing...conversation...insight...thinkers.  But what I did find was other blogs on their blogs and so on and so on. Usually it would be a comment someone would leave that I would say "Kindred spirit?" 
It has opened a whole new world to me.
 The first Artist way group I belonged to ..we were all strangers..with very diverse backgrounds in income,education,and interests. That made all the difference for me. 
Blogging is like that
I usually leave a comment...I want the connection  or I wouldn't bother following. Something in their blog touched me. I invest.
And blessed am I if the feeling is returned.
I add and cut my blog list frequently
There are too many out there to waste time on someone's who is only into themselves and worship
Move on
Connection...So many wonderful people out there..who blog..who I think want what I seek..
connection...that personal sharing of the mundane of our lives that actually reveals so much about our lives. They get it.
I love thoughtful and thinking souls
thank God so many of them blog

I guess there is so much more at 59, that I desire to know
I want to challenge myself..learn about my own fear
live more fully
be more present
dare to think of myself in new ways

So you may find me sitting at your feet
wanting to learn from you
Thank you, fellow blogger, you know who you are.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Go where you fear

Have you ever found yourself saying "I hate this or I hate that?"
Look there
Have you met someone you have a strong reaction to?
look there
Are there things you say you will never do or try?
look there
Have you ever said "I do not like her."?
look there
Fear is a mirror to look in to
what is it that you really reflect?
what is it that you really feel?
What is it that you are vehement about that this is not for you?
Look there

Fear closes doors, erects walls
closes us up tight
from real growth

Look there

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have a notebook where I write down quotes that stop me. Words, I love words that spin and weave and bob and sail.

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.
Think how the friends that really listen to us
are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius
as though it did us good,
like ultraviolet rays."
                                                 -Brenda Ueland

 Do you have a friend or friends like this? 
I do. But I didn't always.
And from them I learned to be a listener.
Listening takes your mind off of yourself
Really listening unfolds petals of empathy
and compassion from your being

The world could use more listeners

Monday, January 11, 2010

A cat named Handsome

Will I be able to get this old rascal through another winter?
He showed up this morning unable to stand on all fours. His eyes were watery. He has the most awful meow...sound like an old cement truck. But he knows I feed him and that I have shelter for him...this winter with a heated outdoor pad.

When I got up this morning, like every morning, I open the drapes and look out to see if he is there. He hasn't been coming that regularly in this cold weather. Well this morning as soon as I opened the drapes he came out of his house.limping . He couldn't put any weight on his front paw. He's been through worse, but there is something different about him now.
He looks like he wants to give up.

I rush some hot chicken out to him and he moves away as usual. He only comes near if I go inside. He gulps down every bite. He stands and looks in the door....which mean...more,please. I oblige....he stares again....I give him some dry food and some warm water. He drinks almost the whole bowl of water...then a few bites of dry food. Back into his house for about 15 minutes. The next time I look he's sunning himself on 3 legs....fourth paw held up close to his body. As I go to open the door to try and get a look at him..he hobbles off of the deck into the snow and is gone.......

He deserves a good warm house and a warm soft chair and 3 square meals a day.....but he's afraid
If only he could talk and tell me how he happened this way.

Two night ago in the late evening I looked out to see a very large long haired orange tabby outside eating Handsome's dry food.
Oh another poor soul.
Maybe he and Handsome have met already
The orange tabby saw me and fled just like Handsome did
It's taken me years to get him not to run completely away....
I have even gotten him to come just inside the door
but he will forever be unownable
if only I can get him through this winter
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

How's a girl supposed to get any rest?

Twice yesterday something large hit a window in my house. Harry Hawk! I thought. I dragged my sick body off of the sofa to see what had hit the window so hard. One look out the window at the squirrel hiding under the snow shovel...told me all I needed to know. I stepped outside to chase what I knew I would find, probably hiding in some branches, Harry.
Well, low and behold, bells of hell, it wasn't Harry..It was a gigantic red tailed hawk. He lifted off of my roof only to return 3 times. No wonder no one is eating the birdseed. I did what I could...but by the third chase off..I think he had his eye on me!

Well..........I just heard this loud slam in my family room...and good golly miss molly!..there teetering on my skylight was the hawk..looking right in at me! I yelled very loud...Webster,Kitty,and Abigail flew for their hiding places...
CAMERA..I thought...but he flew away.   Camera in hand I went to the upstairs bedroom to see if he was out there....Oh yes he was...hiding in the photo card was I tried to delete some photos ...he flew off....that magnificent red tail fanned right in my face.
He flew up high so fast and began to flap those beautiful wings I just stood there watching as he flapped away. 
What am I saying..beautiful? He's a killer. He is trying to get one of my wards! I'm really sick.  I better go lay back down.
Oh you think he might get Handsome?
oh woe

Friday, January 8, 2010

My cat,Webster

This is Webster.
He kept me company most of the day
sharing the sofa with me.
But he doesn't know how to make tea or warm up a bowl of soup.
But he is a good foot warmer.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010


I was just sort of bragging to my daughter over Christmas that I never get sick. know what happened.  Lousy cold.
Out came the tea,oranges,lemons, and of course homemade chicken soup.
If you can call it that. Somehow I didn't have the energy to make it the right way
I just sort of boiled some chicken,threw in some onion, garlic, dill, celery, and a few noodles
for good luck. Not the same as making it for someone else.
Take it easy,Susan, I said to myself. You've been chasing all over the Chicago area for weeks
So easy to tell someone else..especially my children
but I had chores to do
and calls to make
I got so busy being busy I almost forgot that I was feeling sick
Take your vitamin C? my husband asked
No, I said, that doesn't work
Then why do you make me take it when I have a cold?
Cause it works for you..I said
A little wine I said  wouldn't hurt
my grandfather swore by Old Granddad... or Rock and Rye ...can you still get that stuff?

Cold schmold
Kleenex? Whose got the Kleenex?


This morning I awoke to wonder. It was quiet and the snow was coming down like downy feathers.

A time to sit.


"If you feel spiritually empty,visit a winter gardencloaked in barrenness.
Underfoot is hope stirring,alive,warming itself without expectation.
The fallen fruit has melded with the compassion of Earth.
In your soul, too, is a season called grace,
and therein lies the seed of a new spring,
where life has a chance to blossom
It is okay to sit on the garden bench and pray with such realization
for your emptiness has led your footsteps
to such a holy sanctuary
to such a sacred place in time."

 quoted from the book
 The Sanctuary Garden by Christopher McDowell & Tricia Clark McDowell


I do not feel empty,but full.
But, still I feel a desire to just sit
and take in the wonder of this winter snow
through my kitchen window...
become more full.

As is my practice, I awake with prayer
for another day
grateful for what I have
I whisper the names of those who
I put before Him
...heal them,
...bless them
...protect them them
...comfort them

Then I arise to start the day given me.

Coming down the stairs early this morning I was greeted by glorious quiet fluffy snow
There is a large window I can look out of as I descend
Like a child I smiled...but inward
that rose outward
I rushed to get my camera
to try and capture the wonder
But can a camera really capture joy in ones heart?


"If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things in nature have a message you understand,
for your soul is alive."

...Eleanora Duse

Sit Susan,
sit and be still.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Looking for green..


My white pines
My husband and I had a disagreement about planting them. He would have preferred a hardy sticky needle pine or Blue spruce.
Me..I wanted softness and breeze indicaters...waving branches like ballerinas.
I won. We did plant too many and three have since died. I tried everything to save them. But that is life. And so in the garden.
Green...lovely green
Last year, the end of January, three Long eared owls roosted in them for two weeks.
Can you believe my shock...owls! and three?

Posted by PicasaA wee poem from that day;

A Cold January Morning

Warm water over my hands
rushing to do the morning dishes
...only the beginning of gifts
Outside on a branch I thought I saw
ears sticking through pine needles
I flew to the patio door, from there,
I observed on the lowest branch, an owl
will believe me, I thought,
a long earred owl roosting
in my suburaban yard?
His eyes were closed,his beak tucked
A breeze stirred him and that's when I caught sight
of another pair of "ears"just above him..
a smaller version of the first owl, fast asleep
Fearful to make any movement
lest they unwrap and fly away
I, too,remained still on my perch

Looking for Green

Oregon Grape holly..the birds are crazy over them. The robins love to belly up to the bar in late summer. It is hysterical watching them fly into each other,drunk with pleasure of the grape. The holly also has a beautiful yellow cluster of flowers,at just the right time in the garden,when color is a bit missing in the garden.
This holly is a volunteer along the side of my house....lovely seeing a shot of green. These plants need protection from winter winds..this one looks far better than the ones out front. Must be the warmth and shelter of the brick.

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A wee poem

Rising Early to Make Coffee

It is a cold and clear morning
the street is empty

Pink sky pushes
the indigo of night away

I press my face
to the cold window glass

My breath,
like a ghost appears

I am six again
waking to magic ice swirled panes

Grandma says, "Jack Frost came in the night!"

I close my eyes
let it brew

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

IT'S A BLUE SHOE DAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look what came in the mail today...FINALLY

I just love it!
Uta Mooney painted it.
 It is better than on your blog, Uta! And I love that it is your painting..your precious painting that you agreed to part with!  You said  now you are "international!"
I met Uta Mooney through April'sArt blog.
The first time I saw Uta's paintings I was in love. She honors the ordinary..the everyday..elevates it to sacred on canvas.
But most of all I really really really like her. She truly has become a friend. Uta has a wonderful sense of humor...and a wise wonderful heart.
Oh,did I tell you she lives down under? Australia?
Did you know they actually celebrate Christmas in summer.
strange folk down there.

Visit her at

This wonderful painting was lost in our US Postal system for a week.
We were frantic...ooh no!
 I had to put on my bitch hat...something I reserve for emergencies
It arrived this afternoon....after being promised this morning..oh well,next time I'll put on my witch hat!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Deliberate Day

This morning it was dreary. I don't like dreary.
But I did go and take a walk outside before beginning my day.
Today was deliberate day. Everything I did was to be deliberate,down to what I went to the store for and what I would be eating for the day. How much exercise I would do and what kind. I knew exactly what I needed to do to get myself back on track.
After my walk outside I went to my "alter" and prayed. I lit a candle. I touched my rocks and feathers and my wooden carved ox. I focused. It takes great energy to begin again.
But I will.
I hung my bells back up where they belonged.  I adorned my body and headed out the door.
My intentions set, my actions deliberate.
.....the hardest part coffee.

I am happy to, deliberate!

:) Susan

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Well, today with the sun shining through the windows, hubby gone,kids home safely...I decided it was time to tackle passed.  Is it wrong to say good riddance?
Where to begin, I pondered. Just begin! I said to myself with the cats within earshot. They left. Cowards.
As usual, I put it up, and take it down. Putting it up isn't so bad...I start with a glass of wine,opening memories as I open each box of decorations. Soon I'm in the mood and I desire to hear Christmas  music to carry me through the task of making magic.
Now I know why no one is ever around. It's like making sausage isn't it? The mess made... on the way to a well decorated home. By time they, or now,he, gets home it's all finished...candles glowing...the soft scent of fir trees wafting through the air. Sometimes I even get in the mood so much I actually make a great pot of soup to welcome the season of Christmas.
But what music will help me through this task today? I thought maybe the gypsy kings...nah, I use that to clean the house
...actually I thought it best to have no music....just sunlight and silence
then I thought of the eternal OM..............yes.......that's it
So as I fussed putting everything away....the hypnotic chant of OM floated me away to a better place...and all got taken down..packed and carried back down into the dungeon (trust me,my basement is a dungeon) And when I finished with the last box...I happened to look around the room, and there, zoned out on their backs, were 3 mellow kitties.  I wonder if St. Francis knew about the eternal OM?
Christmas all packed away......I'm feeling very ZEN

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Heart ache moon frozen circle

Full moon water...only better, Blue moon energy

Blue skies make my heart ache with joy. So when I placed my water out in my blue jar,under a Blue moon,it is no surprise that my heart ached at the sight of it opened in my kitchen the next morning. I was afraid the jar may have cracked overnight...temperatures reached into the teens. But oh joy, I opened the intact jar to frozen water...and it was beautiful...almost snow like....full moon energy in a new state of being.  And just behold the circle of blue..the returning to our source,the eternal,the unbroken...and oooh so blue.This is special water to me....symbolic in a way for the coming the same but change..let your being be further transformed. I think I will put this water on my sacred (to me) table. When I pray I will dip my finger into this jar of pure blue energy and touch my heart. So let me be transformed.
Beauty, beauty, everywhere...even in a bitterly cold night under a blue moon.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I couldn't stop with just one

I have begun....:)....a new blog, focusing on my love of my garden. In case you want to get really bored, take a look. My friend April should only know what a monster she created when she invited me to her blog. Blog?..what's a blog?    Can you hear my evil laugh!!!!!

Oh, I thought you might like an update on the Pumpkin family
They're still waiting for that bus.....some can't tell 'em nothin

**** Susan
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