Friday, January 17, 2020

#3 Life Questions

3. What memories do you have of your father?

As a kid I mostly remember Dad leaving in the mornings and coming back before dinner...mowing the lawn on the weekends, shoveling snow, fiddling in the garage by his tool bench, sleeping in his chair in the living room--but if you tried to change the channel on the console TV he'd wake up and say, "I was watching that!"  He was like most of the fathers in the 50s.

I remember he was tickled by puns and silly jokes--loved HeeHaw.  He always loved word puzzles, any little hand puzzles, and sudoku when that came out.  Watched football and baseball games (Minnesota Vikings and The Twins).  Didn't like to miss Bonanza or Ed Sullivan.  Loved to travel.  We went on many vacations with the long, 2-room, canvas "caterpillar tent" on a trailer bumping along behind the car.  He'd take tons of pictures of the scenery.

He had a tall wooden short wave radio in the basement where he would find people to talk to from far away places.  Then when CB was big he had a CB radio at home and in his car.  Would be up late at night chatting on the CB.  

Dad was the one who took care of the plants around the house most of the time.  He loved his tiger lilies and the tulips.  For a few years he planted this crazy plant beside the front step that grew so huge with large, flat, many-pointed leaves that the mailman couldn't get to the box beside the front door.  We had to use the back door by late summer because you couldn't even jungle your way into the front door anymore.  I think it was a castor bean, but I'm not sure.

He'd been in the Navy in the Pacific when he was a young man.  Worked as a lithographer at a printing company all his life until he had to retire early due to glaucoma.  Had been their top lithographer because he was a detail-oriented perfectionist and could do the printing jobs that were too difficult or exacting for the others.

Dad had a younger brother, who also went into the Navy and was his mother's favorite.  After Dad retired my folks spent a lot of time in Florida and eventually they bought a mobile home in a retirement community down there.  He learned how to play golf.  At the age of 90 Dad finally found a doctor who would do a hip replacement because he didn't want to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  (His mother lived to be 104 and Dad figured he'd be around a lot longer.)  

[Note: I come from a long line of long-lived, stubborn Swedes.  My brother, sister, and I are the last 100% Swedes in the family.]   

Mom and Dad were in a car accident on their way to Denny's for breakfast over four years ago.  He died instantly.  It was a blessing in disguise because he was 94 and his heath was truly failing.  

But he was still walking. 

The end. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

1-13-2020 Monday-10am

Good Morning!
A week after that blizzard plows were still moving snow out of the way in the parking lot across from me.
It's quite amazing how much snow is pushed about or removed after a big storm so that people can get to work, see at intersections, and park to shop or get to appointments...all in a matter of days.  Those of you who don't get snow might like to watch a little silent tidying up.

After a tractor finally came through to clear the walking path, someone tossed some seed out on the snowbank.  I caught a jackrabbit nibbling away.
Maybe was someone who lives on second or third floor above me who also likes to watch the critters eat?  They wouldn't be able to see them on my patio below but they can see them coming and going all day long--LOL!  
Well, still learning new (spiritual/healing) aspects of what I am supposed to be doing in 2020.  A former blogger turned pen pal, Des, asked me if she could hear more about the energy work, so I linked her to my other blog where nine years ago I had written a six part series of blog posts because people had been asking me back then about the very same thing.  
I was shocked that it had been nine years ago.  Coincidentally, I finished the series up on New Year's Eve.  Since I hadn't read them since I wrote them I decided maybe I should read them again now in order to see what she would be reading.  They were copied and pasted off this blog so occasionally the formatting is a little off...but I sat down to re-read them all.
Some of you have been around long enough to have read these back then or have known me in real life--but I'm sure many of you do not know me that well.  If you read these you will have a better idea who I am and why the jackrabbit's death and getting the Healing angel card were such a big deal to me.
Probably won't surprise anybody that this is the short, choppy, bits & pieces version I put together in blog posts back then to explain about my background with "energy work", a little about my guardian angel (GA), and how "soulcomfort" came about.  So, if you're interested grab a cuppa and settle in.  By the time I came to part six I realized what I am supposed to try to do this year...
**** what I was supposed to work on nine years ago...
...that I tried, failed, and gave up on back then.    
Not sure I will have any more success now, but I will have to try.
Anyways, Leah came over Tuesday night.  We just talked about all of the Soul Comfort stuff.  :) :)
Wednesday I worked on the calligraphy class.
I use tracing paper so that I can reuse the original workbook pages over and over again.
Did alphabet practice for two hours and this wasn't even the end of lesson three.
I definitely forgot about how difficult it is to learn how to move your entire hand and arm but not move your wrist or fingers.  Reminds me of when I went to italic calligraphy classes and had to learn to hold the squared off nib in the exact same position while you wrote.  That was with a dip pen with a specific type of nib...and the teacher insisted we learn on an easel.  Writing more upright was a total new learning experience also.  This is something new again with the pointed dip pen.  Maybe I should try it on the easel?  LOL!  Regardless, I do know that a LOT of practice is involved. 
Leah came very late on Thursday and we just chatted and caught up.  Maybe get to working on something this week.  I'm just glad to have time to connect.  :)
Friday was questions day on the blog,.  I'm so glad some of you are enjoying those.  
Saturday was an R&R day.  I am pretty well shot doing more than usual, but hope to get accustomed to it.  
Sunday was Gramma Day.  Ian painted in a watercolor workbook while we watched CatTV.  (Annie is not the only one who likes those videos).  After we cleaned up the painting stuff we watched some Stinky and Dirty for a good hour, the new favorite show.  Daddy and Liam came to pick Ian up and stayed a short visit.  Nice!  :)
As soon as they were out the door Annie came out from under the bed for her turn at CatTV--LOL!   
Today is laundry and that will likely be all she wrote--LOL!  I have an appointment with another new doctor (you may recall my last new-to-me doctor left the clinic) to get my blood pressure checked and I'm going to ask about a different BP pill as this one does make me cough a lot.  So, another busier than 2019 week for me--LOL!  I'm keeping up so far.  ;)
Will be talking more about the six part blog posts at some point.  Would love to hear comments and questions.  Can leave them here or email me.  Positive or curious thoughts are welcome.  I am not into negatives or arguments, though, as you might assume.  I'm perfectly okay being your nutty, out-there friend...or relative, for that matter--ROFL!  ;)
Have a really good week.  I'm hoping for good sleep and some productivity.  As Roy Rogers used to sing...till we meet again.  :)
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.  What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make."
Jane Goodall

Friday, January 10, 2020

#2 Life Questions

2. When and where were you born?  Describe your home, your neighborhood, and the town you grew up in.

Born March 28, 1951.  When I was first born my folks were living in a trailer for a short time.  Not sure where but somewhere in or near Minneapolis, Minnesota.  They moved into a duplex in South Minneapolis when I was about one that I believe my mother's cousin owned.  He and his family lived upstairs.  My brother and sister were born while we lived in the duplex--the same year.  One in January and one in December.  Blaine being born was one of my first memories.  I was two, going on three.

Mommy and That Baby

When I was five we moved to Fridley, a suburb of Minneapolis, into a brand new house...a brand new suburb.  Lived in that same house until I left home after graduation in 1968.

At first our expanding neighborhood blocks were surrounded on three sides by wild prairie fields, sand dunes, and a man-made lake.  I spent a vast amount of time in the those fields and by the lake.  By the time I was ten they were digging up what was left of the fields to build the senior high school and softball fields.  Fridley wasn't like a town with a main street or any kind of central location of the city.  Fridley just sprawled aimlessly with a scattering of the new strip malls, the Twin Drive-In by the interstate, a few churches, and a police station-LOL!

I've written about that time in my life a few times.  Wandering the fields and the lake shore strip of woods was the best childhood ever!  That was my sanctuary--where my love of critters and nature blossomed.

Fridley Fields

Flower Child

The end.  :)

Monday, January 06, 2020

1-6-2020 Monday-11:15am

Good Morning!
Lots of pictures today.  Will be a longer chat, so grab a cuppa!  :)
After I blogged last Monday I took some pictures of the results of the blizzard.  Out the front door looking one way...
...and the other.  Hard to see how high these snow piles are... here's a closer shot.
This is a door in the stairwell that you couldn't get out of.
Love the shape of the drifts, though.
Out in the hallway that connects my building to the main center building I took a shot out the door that goes to the dumpster and parking lot.   
Not that you can see much of them--LOL!
Okay--the big story of the week is about the lone rabbit (on the right).  It was joined on Monday late in the afternoon by another jackrabbit...
...with darker ears and face.
That lone rabbit that has been showing up before and during the last two storms...well, on Monday it was acting really spacey.  (You may be able to tell a little by that first photo.)  Didn't care if I walked right up to the patio door.  Sat in one spot and chewed slowly on seed...staring...eyes seemed unfocused.  I even began to wonder if it had gone blind.
That night when I peeked out after dark I saw four other jackrabbits that ran off a ways when I moved the blinds, but that lone lighter one still sat on the patio not moving.
In the morning on New Year's Eve I opened the blinds and cracked open the patio door to toss out some seed.  I hadn't seen anyone out there and they all run away when I open the door, I tossed the second cup I noticed the lone jackrabbit sitting in the left hand corner of the patio near the building.  Its eyes were bugged out in fear and it was breathing heavily--had that trapped look of fear.  I closed the patio door and stepped back.
Well, the poor thing tried to run away...but it just flopped over on its side and kicked the air frantically.  It would manage to get partially upright but then flop over on the other side.  Its back feet occasionally connected with some snow and it would kind of slide forward a few inches.  The poor thing was absolutely terrified!  Vulnerable, broad daylight, sunny morning, terrified, and couldn't get away!! 
This frantic ordeal went on for close to half an hour...with me staying more out of sight when it was facing my direction as it flip-flopped, kicking wildly.  It made it off my patio and was trying to head towards the short sidewalk to the left of my patio.  As I was staring through blurry eyes next to a Puffs box I had moved over to the end table by the suddenly occurred to me ...  Energy work!  Healing Touch!  Soul Comfort!  Why had it taken me so long to even think of it!?
Well, maybe because I have barely done any energy work since I moved up here 20 years ago and have done none at all since long before I moved here over 4 years ago.  Regardless, I immediately asked GA to help the jackrabbit and to help me with the jackrabbit.  Stood tall, planted my feet, palms toward the rabbit, put myself aside, and the energy came!  Like we had just done it yesterday!
The tingling vibration came down into the top of my head and out through my hands.  I kept repeating--both aloud and in my head--"you are safe, you are safe...."  The kicking slowed down.  The panting subsided.  "It's okay.  You can go.  You will always be safe.  It's okay.  You can go.  You will always be safe...."  
In just a few minutes it passed. 
I was so relieved!  Nothing worse than dying in terror.
Now that could have been a coincidence, of course.  But the energy is very intense and physical.  When I worked on people they could actually feel my hands vibrating and some people said they could feel the energy passing into their body or feel warmth or coolness.  Even though it has been many years...when I needed it and I was there.  :)
Speaking of getting teary-eyed.
Dagan was coming that evening to dump another bag of seed in the bin for me.   They never cleared the sidewalks so nobody bothered the rabbit all day.  Its body was safe there.  It was surrounded by snow drifts and the side doors in the back here couldn't even be opened.  :)

   Critters returned after the jackrabbit died.      
Life goes on.
A couple of its buddies even came by to eat at dusk.
Dagan came, brought in a
#40 bag of bird seed from the garage and dumped it in the bin for me.  Then Dagan and I went out and got the jackrabbit into the empty seed bag and then inside another trash bag and Dagan brought it to the dumpster.  It was handled with love and care.
I could easily have taken videos of it flip flopping and kicking in terror...but every living thing deserves dignity.  
  Then...after Dagan left on New Year's Eve I did my burning bowl ceremony and picked an angel card for 2020. 
That is the card I picked for my focus/my word for 2020!!  The card is all about sending healing/loving energy and how it helps others and yourself.  Perfect!!  It felt like the lifted up I felt all day...Dagan and I taking care of the body... the angel card that came so quickly and definitely--the entire day--just all fit together like a soul puzzle.  :)
That was my New Year's Eve.
What an uplifting start to 2020!
New Year's Day...
...Annie enjoyed her favorite many squirrels in a park video...
...while I finally started my calligraphy classes!
After the intro and supplies lesson came the Faux Calligraphy lesson.

I have done faux calligraphy a little bit in the past.  You just use an ordinary ballpoint or gel pen to make the thin and thick lines.
I didn't even draw guidelines.  Just winged it.
Now I am ready for lesson three this week!
Thursday was the very first time I have ever worked on a post ahead of that I could post my very first question blog on Friday when I got up.  Felt good to get my additions to the week done this first week of 2020.  
Friday was busy.  After getting up, getting ready, taking care of critters (inside and out)...  
...Caroline came with my groceries in the morning and then Dagan picked me up about 1pm for Christmas with McFamily!
The boys got to open their presents.  Liam even smiled for me!
Ian loved all his art supplies and workbook.
Liam liked his handheld dohickey that plays music and does numbers.  (Mama guides me in the right direction for these new-fangled kids toys--LOL!)  He got a laptop that has animal sounds, etc, too--and a Mog the cat book.
Liam got markers, paints, colored pencils, paint brushes, a big workbook, and a child's first rubber stamp set (of vehicles).
I remembered to get a picture of Leah...
...and Dagan, too.
Oh, and Ian liked Liam's laptop, too--LOL!

Then on Saturday Ian came over for a Gramma Day.  He used his colored pencils to draw in his new big workbook.  We rearranged all his art supplies to put away all his new Christmas stuff in his bookcase.  I gave him another tote for all his markers.  Then he decided he needed to dust so all by himself he took everything off each shelf (except the top one), dusted thoroughly, and put everything back.
When we only had 45 minutes left before Daddy was going to come and pick him up...he settled in to watch Stinky and Dirty.
So it was a super busy week for me.  Needless to say, I collapsed on Sunday--LOL!  But was a good first week to the new year, for sure.  I am hoping to keep up with the new schedule indefinitely.  Two blog posts (M,F), calligraphy class (W), Leah is going to try to come twice a week for craft nights (T,Th) and then a Gramma day(Sat or Sun).  Plus the occasional Friday afternoon visits over to McFamily's or a visit from Dagan and Liam at my place (to get Liam more comfortable with me).  That's a huge activity jump for this old lady who's been in extra low gear since June--LOL!  But I am thinking positive, of course.
Warmed up somewhere along the line for a short time after the blizzard.  Can you see the glaze of ice on the snowdrift?
Oh, I got an unexpected New Year's present from Google/Blogger.  :(  Not all my comments from you guys have been showing up in my inbox so that I can respond to you.  I get them all and read them all, but after I post them I am unable to respond to all of them.  Hopefully this is a glitch they will fix, but I thought I'd let you know in case it doesn't get fixed.  Know that I read and cherish each and every comment.  You also know that sometimes I am very, very slow responding or have not been feeling well so occasionally haven't answer some weeks unless there was a question...but now I may not be able to in the first place.  A new little fact of Blogger life for me.  Has this been happening to anyone else?
Well, that's it for this weekly newsletter post--LOL!  Congrats if you made it all the way through!  Have a wonderful week, everybody.  Stay safe in Australia!!  Love and hugs!  :) :)
"You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing.  You don't have to do anything to earn it.  Your shortcomings, your lack of esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success--none of that matters.  No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here."
Ram Dass

Friday, January 03, 2020

#1 Life Questions

Something new for 2020.  Well, actually old in a way.  I had intentions of starting this list of questions once a couple of years ago.  Was going to try to answer them on weekly videos.  Well, I only completed one video and that was it.  I think I got sick or was in a bad flare or something.  I'm hoping for better results this year.

So...I've had this list of life questions I got somewhere online for several years and now I'm going to attempt to post the answer to one of the questions every Friday.  Had kind of planned to do this for my grandsons to read one day, you know?  May or may not be of interest to anyone else.  Some questions are kind of dumb or may not pertain to my life very well but I will do my best to stick to the list.  Some answers will be short and some might be longer.  No clue.  Feel free to skip Fridays.  I won't be offended.  :)

Oh, and confession!  I am actually writing this on Thursday!  This is the very first time I have not written a post on that very day and posted it when I was done.  I know.  I'm probably the only blogger who has never used a draft or scheduled postings ahead of time (can you do that?) in all my 13 years of blogging--LOL!  But I really wanted to post these on Fridays.  Since tomorrow morning is going to be busy with Caroline bringing groceries around 10-11am and then around 12-1pm I'll be gone all day to McFamily's for our Christmas celebration...guess there's a first time for everything.  

[Note: this is rather freeing, though.  ;)]

Okay.  Here we go.


1. What is your full name?  Explain why your parents gave you that name.

My full name is Rita Jane McGregor.  

In our family the firstborn child takes the appropriate parent's first name as their middle name.  My maternal grandmother's name was Hazel so my mother's name was Jane Hazel and I became Rita Jane Johnson.

My folks did name the second born son after Dad, though...well, kind of.  Dad's real name was Clarence but everyone called him Kelly ever since he was a kid in school.  They named my brother Blaine Kelly.

I don't know if that is an American take off on an old Swedish tradition or not.  Somewhere along the line I remember hearing that the surnames in the old country came from who your father was.  Like Johnson told that you were John's son, for example.  Peterson...Swenson...Larson...well, you get the drift.  But until right this minute I never thought to try to research that online where you can find almost anything--LOL!  Anyways, I heard that somewhere as a kid and always wondered what about the daughters?  

But that doesn't explain where Rita came from.  My dad always told me that Mom named me after Rita Hayworth--but I think he was just teasing me.  As a kid I had no idea why he thought that was so amusing...or why that it annoyed my mother.  Mom always told me, "You named yourself". 

Years later when I had my son...his name just came to me a couple of months before he was born...I couldn't tell anyone where it had come from because I had no idea...people thought it was "different" (Minnesota polite for "really weird")...I picked out a girl's name just in case...but when they laid him in my arms I said..."So, you're Dagan!"  I knew it was true.  

He named himself.

So, I believe my mother.  ;)
Apparently we both appreciated "different" names, too.
My little sister's name is Renee.  All three names were not usual in the early 50s.

Dagan has no middle name.  Dagan Jerome or Dagan Jerry just didn't work at all and nothing else seemed to fit within Dagan McGregor.  It has always sounded perfect just as it was.

The end.  :)

Monday, December 30, 2019

12-30-2019 Monday--1:30pm

Good afternoon!
First of all, before I forget...the pills did arrive after a few days and only had my address on them and nothing about being forwarded.  ??  These are the ones that were supposed to be helping with inflammation that I've been taking for two months.  I decided to not take them for now because I don't think they are doing much of anything.  I took pictures so I can compare later.  But I don't see much difference over the past several months.  See--looks about the same as it did 2-3 months ago to me.
 Still a big old hard lumpy knuckle on my right hand...
 ...vs. my left hand.
So, we'll see if it gets any worse over the next few weeks.  I don't go back to see her until late in February so that gives me time to check it out.  If it gets worse I have the prescription I can start taking again.
[I did take toe pictures, too, but I won't subject you to that--ROFL!!]
McFamily made it to the AirBNB near Henning for Christmas.  Ian got better right away.  Liam and Leah were still sick for a few days, but they still made it outside to play in the snow, Leah said.  (Flu?)  They got home before the winter storm up here started.  Perfect timing!
Whenever we get together for our little Christmas I have the presents wrapped in the paper that mostly Dagan and Ian made.  :)
We usually have our Christmas the beginning of January some time.  No rush.  Need everybody well and the streets drivable--LOL!  :)
**** dear friend, Serena, told me about cat videos.  I can't believe that I had never known about free cat videos on YouTube before this?!  So Annie Girl got her best Christmas present ever!  Calm or relax your cat videos or just plain videos for cats...have found a few channels.
She's never shown any interest in the TV and has never jumped up on the TV cabinet before!  At first she vigorously tried to catch them, but quickly found out that was a futile effort.  I took this video after about an hour of her intoxication.
Annie LOVES her genuine CatTV--LOL!
Annie was not the least bit interested in It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story when I watched those over Christmas.  She slept through them.  ;)
It was a quiet week.  I caught up online and almost caught up on letters and thank yous.  I watched a few movies that Netflix was going to discontinue soon, season three of The Crown, and a bunch of stuff on YouTube(that wasn't cat videos--LOL!). 
On Friday I believed the weathermen who said a storm was coming in that night (McFamily drove home that day) because, once again, I saw the jackrabbit twice in the daytime...and the birds were here off and on all day filling up before the bad weather.  They're always suddenly starving before the weather turns.  :)
Annie no longer cared about the old real critters--LOL!
Saturday it snowed all day but it was a beautiful, fluffy, sticky snow without much wind.  Enough to show you which side the wind was coming on the evergreen across the way, though.
The covey always gets scared when I open the door to throw seed so they stayed nearby...
...where they could watch from a safe distance.
Then they'd come running over to fill up--LOL!
Annie was more interested in the new birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and voles on TV.
She would sit like this for an hour or two at a time.
By Sunday we woke up to a blizzard.  The sticky snow had plastered my patio door and screen so I could barely see out.  But who was there digging for seed?
The jackrabbit.
I no sooner got the door cracked open (not an easy task) to toss out some more seed than the covey was right there.  They had been somewhere close by waiting.  I barely got the door closed--LOL!
The partridges know to dig down into the snow for more seed, too.  I get such a kick out of watching them dig deep holes because they know there are buried seeds down there...and the sparrows quickly gather to catch a few of the unearthed treasures they can't reach.  Thought I'd share a video.
Meanwhile...I now have an Annie problem.  She sits like this in front of the TV and cries until I turn on her CatTV for her!  She complains a bit when I want to turn on the TV but, to Annie's dismay, it is for something I want to watch--LOL!  
At this rate she is going to need her own TV--ROFL!
This morning...the storm has passed and the human digging out begins.
The plows are out building high snowbanks.
They're above the tops of the garage doors.
Really quite pretty...
...but there is ice underneath it all.  
The wind funnel in the yard by me kept me from getting a huge drift this time...
...even though my planters are buried.  
We got about a foot of snow, I guess.  I don't know if that was altogether or just during the blizzard.  Doesn't matter.  It is very white out there.  And the covey is delighted to visit Rita's Bird Cafe...
 ...several times a day.
The dryer is going.  Annie is watching her CatTV, of course.  2020 is almost upon us.  I do plan to get out my angel cards and burning bowl for New Year's Eve this year to welcome in the new year properly.  (Knock on wood--last year I got sick or felt awful or something as I recall.)  Wednesday I plan to start on the weekly calligraphy classes.  Friday I plan to start a Questions Day blog.  Wish me luck.  I hope this is a better year and I can pull this off as something I can stick with.  I'll give it my best effort.  :)
To all of you--you have added so much to my life and helped me get through 2019.  Life is good.  Think positive.  Laugh often.  Try something new.  Keep smiling.  Hug often.  May 2020 be a special year filled with good things and much love.  :) :)
"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind."
CS Lewis