Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve--3pm

As long as I was making up angels....
...I made up extras for Etsy. :)
Got them done so that Leah could take them with her and have them laminated tomorrow and get the dozen in the mail. :)

Anyways, I did it again! Forgot to get pictures last night!! Duh! Dagan, Leah, and Ariel came over and we had a most excellent Sacred Circle! But I can tell you about what we did.

First we do the "talking piece". One by one we go around the circle and whoever is holding the talking piece (we just used a rock sphere last night, but you can use anything you can hold in your hand) has the floor and no one else is supposed to speak (altho, sometimes we forget or can "allow" response). We are never rigid about rules--hehe! You talk about what's been going on since the last circle, anything you are working on or need help with...basically where you are spiritually with what is going on in your life.

Next we did the Burning Bowl Ceremony. We write down on strips of paper what we wish to send off to the heavens or The Universe--things we are grateful for or requests for assistance or guidance (for self or others)--and we always try to word them in a positive way. For example: if you want to lose weight (popular New Year's thing) you wouldn't want to ask for help to lose this many pounds (which focuses on something negative you want to release)'d ask for help in eating healthier or being motivated to exercise (which focuses on something positive you want to attract). Does that make sense?

Anyways, we don't tell anybody what we wrote down (unless you want to--but we usually keep them private). We silently take turns going around the circle one by one. First you look at what you wrote down, think about it (until it is your turn again), and focus on it as you burn the little piece of paper and drop it into the bowl. We have a copper bowl that we set on a rock coaster--obviously your bowl has to be fire-worthy. We keep going around the circle until everybody is done. This is a great thing to do on New Year's!

Finally we did the Angelic Messenger Cards (my very favorite angel deck!). We each pick a card and the next person (clockwise) reads about it. We have just left it open-ended for years--asking for guidance with whatever they thought we needed to focus on, that kind of thing. But we haven't gotten really good answers the last few times. Good, but not really right on, you know? Leah started--was okay. But then Dagan decided to be more specific about what he wanted guidance with--and voila! Great card! With answers! So we all did that and Leah did hers over again, too--and WOW! Was awesome! So we learned that it is time for us to ask for guidance in a specific area or have a more specific question. Something new for the new year. :):)

Also--I've had this "kit" with a workbook and CDs to learn about the chakras for maybe 12 years--never used it. I had the feeling we should start using this at Sacred Circle--so I asked everybody's opinion and they said that was fine. So--something else new for 2010! tada!

We're going to try to meet once a month again for Sacred Circle (a goal we've attempted for years--hehe!) and learn about the chakras--one each month. I said I would read the first chapter and listen to the CD before next Sacred Circle to double check if I thought the chakra lessons are worthwhile--but I would imagine they would be. :) And we will decide on a regular meeting day of the month--either end or beginning--and try to actually stick to this in 2010--hehe! ;) If we actually met every month that would also be something new for 2010--ROFL!

Tonight I gather all my "stuff"--dust and clean everything--and then will do some mediation. Already did the burning bowl and an angel card--so I might use the Healing Rune Stones tonight. :) I'll try to remember to take a picture, but it will look pretty similar to the last couple new year's photos--chuckle!

I was so energized by Circle that I couldn't fall asleep until almost 5am! There was sooo much good energy last night! Was awesome! That happens to me, tho. Same as when I do energy work/Healing Touch/Soul Comfort--it makes me feel so wonderful, blessed, lifted, energized, light, filled with joy to the point of bursting! It is food for my soul!!

Oh my goodness! I forgot to take pictures of the present Dagan and Leah brought me! And the gifts that they got from a special friend who has never met them. Well, more tomorrow..or maybe even later tonight..?? I get so excited over New Year's and this feels like a special one. ;)

Be back...:):)

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Aha! They were just waiting for the big guns to be free to come work on our parking lot. Nice! :)
They have been swamped with work--running round the clock for days--and this was just too much snow for our usual pickups and small plow--true! Mystery solved.
I brought garbage out to the dumpster and went to look at my garage door. Not bad!
When Dagan and Leah and Ariel come tonight I will get my garage shoveled out. :)
Looking forward to Sacred Circle tonight! I will have two very grounding, connecting nights in a row this year--tada! I do my own ceremonial thing on New Year's Eve every year, of course.
Karma--she's just enjoying her new metal treat can and her old toys.
Right now she is out like a light on "her" chair.
[She actually snores. Don't let her know I told you that.]
The excitement builds! The new year is rapidly approaching!
2010--do you believe it!?
Happy Pre-New Year's Eve! :):)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday--5:30am--Writing and Me.

Karma wondered what in the world was the matter with me! :):)
I discovered an email right after I finished blogging yesterday. I couldn't believe what I was reading! I read it again...and again. Tears. Laughter. Puffs. I've been kind of floaty ever since!
Well--here's what I read:
Dear Rita,

It gives me the greatest pleasure to inform you that your entry, "Baby Girl", has won First Prize of $2,000 in the 2009 Tom Howard Poetry Contest.

Please accept my heartiest congratulations on your splendid achievement.

From around 1,800 entries received, the judges, after much effort on their part, finally ended up with a Short List of twenty-eight entries and twenty names. (One contestant had three entries on the Final Short List).

You'll be interested to know that your entry was always listed among the top three. Some entries did not stand up to constant re-reading. At this stage, the judges are looking for even the most minor flaws. But your entry always shone with utter perfection. A beautiful poem, superbly told, with not a word out of place.
Now--the most amazing, angelic part of this is that (I think I mentioned this on the blog?) an author I met online, Barbara Carpenter (has published three books!), loved my poem Baby Girl so much that she wanted to pay to enter it for me in this contest!! I was so afraid she'd be wasting her money, of course, but she was so confident and encouraging...Dagan and Leah said I should say yes, so I agreed.
I had forgotten all about it, to be honest. When I saw this email with an unfamiliar name and the subject of "Baby Girl" I thought somebody had read it on my stories blog and was making a private comment or that possibly it was a very bad coincidence and it was some college girl with a web cam calling herself Baby Girl--hehe! No lie! I am always a little leery of opening anything with a name I don't recognize...but... about being blown away! As a writer--you couldn't hear anything better!! All those wonderful things he said. I still can't read them without pause and tearing up. WOW! Talk about humbling!!
Barbara was right!
I haven't even heard back from her yet. But--I thank you, Barbara, from the bottom of my heart!! This really is a path changing event for me. I don't even know how to ever repay you! I know--I know--you told me you didn't want a dime if I won anything...but what you and those judges have given me is much more valuable than cash or any award.
Let me explain about writing and me.
I haven't done any of what I would call "writing-writing" since I left college in 2005. My hours are so limited anymore.
Well--I should go back to the beginning. When I was about nine years old I discovered sinking into thoughts on paper and being outside of time. I don't know how many times in my life I have been shocked to hear the birds waking in the trees and had to reluctantly put down my pen..shut down my computer.
I had basically two levels of writing. How I write most of the time in this blog--basically thought to hand--or in head out mouth. And then there's what I think of as diary or journal type writing--the deeper, more personal, spiritual stuff. Soul level thoughts, you know? That diary/soul level is how I started writing when I was nine--pondering and hashing things out on paper with my angel over my shoulder. If I wrote around and around something long enough--questioning--remembering--wondering...I'd eventually find that higher perspective--answers--my right path. At first nobody ever knew my soul side. But over the decades I gradually shared more and more. (Some people would say I was more open than most to begin with--ROFL!) I have sometimes gone to this other level on the blog, but not often. But this past year I have had definite nudgings about opening up more online. I started posting the stories from college and the cogitations--hehe!
Okay--speaking of college--injury landed me in Concordia college in 1999. Required English classes altered my path. Started out thinking I'd become a social worker. My first English writing teacher almost hounded me to enter the freshman college writing contest at Concordia. I won first place and $25.00! You never forget the first time you are actually given money for something you wrote. :)
Of course I thought I only had a kind of "life advantage" because all the kids were 18-23 years old, you know? I was 48. There were so very few adults going to college at Concordia that students always assumed I was a professor--even when I was sitting in a desk opening my back pack!
Anyways, in college I learned about this new level of writing that I call "writing-writing". Real writing--for strangers! I had almost 40 years of consistent grammatical errors, dashes, and misspelling under my belt. My only saving grace was probably that I had also been a reader all those years. My advantage--I had 40 years of storytelling under by belt, too. :) Verbal and written. I am a born sharer--communicator. Or motor-mouth, some may say. Apparently I had developed my own "voice". But this was work! Writing and rewriting and rewriting until it felt truly polished. Searching out the perfect words. Cutting away what wasn't needed. More professional--finished--polished. Written so that total strangers would understand what I was trying to say.
And the scariest part--well--if I was going to write, I usually found that I wanted to write from that soul level/diary place. But that meant writing your private thoughts for the unknown public. That was a brand new, third level of writing for me. And only a few pieces I have written have felt like they came together and were truly finished to the best of my ability. Baby Girl is one of them, I must admit.
Sophomore year I was blessed with a writing mentor, Doug Carlson. I wrote Soft Breaths in his creative writing class. He encouraged me to enter the English Department's writing contest. I won in nonfiction and got $60.00! (Last time I saw any money from words--until now!) Doug told me where to look to find places to submit the story to literary magazines. With his encouragement, I did--sent it out to 30 places. Soft Breaths was published by Inkwell Magazine and a few months later by Troubadour's Lantern. And it got an honorable mention in a national contest. God On The Bus was published in Afterworks--the student lit magazine at Concordia, too. But you never forget the first time you are a published author!! I felt like I was heading in a new direction. Became an English Writing major.
But all the while my health was deteriorating badly. I had started school run down and with mono from working two jobs in Minneapolis--and I never seemed to get well. I caught everything that went around at the school. Was attending classes and working part-time with bronchitis, walking pneumonia, and a pretty constant sinus infection. I was secretly convinced I was dying of something. I hurt to the touch--anyplace on my body. Felt like I had the flu all the time--and was so tired I thought I had mono again. So, I finally went to the doctor. Spent a summer getting tested for this and that--and was diagnosed with (among other things) fibromyalgia. I had never heard of it.
I had already quit working part-time, but I was having a harder and harder time keeping up with classes. I ended up making a tough decision. Transferred over to the state college where I could go to classes part-time and still get funding. (Couldn't do that at Concordia.) Struggled along--failing health--for two years at MSUM. Even with the professors and fellow students helping me as much as they could (extensions, class notes, etc), and me being a stubborn Swede who truly believed I could push my way thru, mind over matter, and was impossible.
My body won.
Took over my life.
Soft Breaths was published a third time in MSUM's lit magazine, Red Weather. And shortly after I landed on my (sore) feet in Fargo, I Mourn My Body Past won first place in a local over 50 writers contest and was published in the Fargo Forum newspaper. I never actually saw it in print or got a copy because I don't get the paper. That was in 2005.
My "writing-writing" life came to a dead stop. Even my regular writing was curtailed. My physical life had altered drastically. I thought maybe a laptop could give me more writing time. (I have had to stop and take breaks three times--so far--writing this.) But I never seemed to find one that was user-friendly for this old dog. Ended up keeping one around just as back up for when my computer has problems. I seriously doubted that I could write anymore if I can't get lost in the process and have a dang timer cutting me off. I tried kind of half-heartedly. Gave it up.
Then, all these years later, Barbara finds me on Facebook! I had met her online back when I was in college--writing. Said she had always remembered Baby Girl. Wanted me to send her a copy so she could read it again. And...well, now you know the rest.
My life has always been guided. Even when I didn't know it or refused to believe it--hehe! And this is a path-altering event in mine. Like the Universe giving me a big old knock over the head or kick in the pants, you know? Find a way! Find a way!
So--with the winnings--I plan to re-invest it in my author side. I want to see if I can find a really nice powerful laptop that will be truly user friendly for me. So that I can hopefully stretch out some more good time out of my days--typing in my comfy chair. I have this unexpected opportunity to be able to afford to even try this at all--so how can I not, right? Scary to invest that much money in something that may or may not work out. (This prize is almost a quarter of my yearly income!) But the practical side of me says that, if all else fails, I will be able to keep up more with all my online activities, right? And they are very important to me and so positive in my life. :)
So--of course--I went back and altered my 2010 Goal List--ROFL!!
If you made it to the end of this--thanks for listening! :):)
Happy dancing in Fargo!!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Hello in the middle of the night. ;)
Just got up at 11pm. I took these pictures Sunday morning. Looks almost exactly the same right now-- except that they have done the sidewalks again and this time they have stayed clear.
A couple of people had dug out their garages.
But I can't believe the building hasn't plowed those out for them. ?? They usually try to plow up close to the garages. Not sure why they haven't this time. No where to put it all yet? Makes no sense. People have to go to work on Monday morning. Maybe they'll be out plowing again tonight?
This is why I am so amazed that these cheap mesh screens have held up winter after winter--hehe!

The snow piles up against the screen, but it hasn't torn or pooched it out permanently--well, not that it is obvious in the summer,anyways. :)
Quite a few people haven't bothered to dig their vehicles out still! They look just like this right now in the middle of the night. Nobody was up to much on Sunday I guess--hehe!

You could see this morning in places where they had cleared off the sidewalks...
...but most of it had drifted over again.
Makes me glad I can park my car in the garage!! :)
Well, the Christmas blizzard of '09 has finally tapered off today. The last of the sections of the freeways were open again today. Dagan and Leah made it back home safe and sound. Tomorrow will be mostly business as usual again, I imagine. I've been reading. Karma has been happily eating her footprints several times a day. And now I am headed back to painting angels. :)
Peace! :):)

Sunday, December 27, 2009


This was the picture by the light of day.
The small plow that started at 4:30am was joined by two pickups with plows at dawn. When I went to bed, after six hours of plowing, they had just been working on clearing the main passageway thru the parking lot.
The extent of the drifting against the garages...
...was even more impressive in the daylight.
Amazing power in the wind.
There's a sidewalk that goes between those two garages.
I guess we got over 15 inches. But I didn't hear if that was on top of the first seven or not? And we had some more today.
I bet you don't miss this, Dad! hehe!
When I woke up tonight they had cleared the sidewalks and the main drag, but still hadn't hit most of the parking spaces or by the garages. Still haven't. There are still some people who haven't gotten their cars out of the parking spots yet. I'm sure they're going to have a sign up telling people when to remove their cars so they can plow the parking space areas. I hope they don't expect people to shovel away those towers of snow in front of their garages?!
Dagan and Leah made it over to his dad's in Henning today. The roads weren't too bad, Leah said. Slippery and slow driving but plowed and not drifted over--more the usual. The storm wasn't as bad east of here, I guess, and that is where they are. They'll be on their way home tomorrow and by that time the roads should be much better.
Lots of Sunday services cancelled in the outlying areas. But I think Fargo-Moorhead is getting back on track. ;)
I've been mostly doing the lite chick mystery reading. :)
Karma says hello.
We're warm and dry in Fargo. :):)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Karma discovered her winter wonderland of snow.

Paw and lick. Paw and lick.

Plenty enough snow...
...for her to eat her footprints now--hehe!
She must have asked 4-5 times to go out during the night last night. :)
Happy girl!
About 4:30 I heard the little plow. I was afraid he might dig away the drifts so I tried to snap a picture in the dark. If you double click on it you might be able to see better how high the drifts are on the garages!
I have never seen them almost go to the top of the garage doors! Just shows you how strong the wind had been Christmas Day.
Well, you know the weather is really bad when the churches cancelled the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services! There were so many church service cancellations running across the bottom of the screen the past two days I wonder if any churches actually had any Christmas services up here? And stores are either closed or opening at 11-noon today. It was drifting so badly and such low visibility with all the wind that they pulled the plows off county roads last night. Been a white-out Christmas up here.
Dagan and Leah are still at her mom's. They weren't sure if they were going to stay there today or try to make it over to Dagan's dad's--or just try to come home. I told Leah I thought it might be better to try and come home on Sunday. It wasn't as bad where they were, she said, but it sure isn't good here. Have to wait and see how the day goes today. They are talking another 1-3 inches maybe today. If the wind dies down, that will make the difference.
I took the day off. Watched A Christmas Story and Polar Express. Been reading another one of Caroline's books she lent to me. I'm on the coffeehouse mystery series by Cleo Coyle--Latte Trouble is the one I'm reading right now. I'm still up all night and sleeping during the day. Been up since 4pm yesterday afternoon. So I'll be heading for bed soon, while most of you are waking up and just starting your day--hehe!
Hope it was a great Christmas! Was a very nice one again for me and Karma. :):)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day-5:30pm

Merry Christmas!!!
This is what it looked like by Christmas Eve night. The windshield wipers in the air crack me up--but make me wonder if that is a good idea or not? Might make it easier to scrape the windows, ya think? Not sure.
I think we'd had about 7 inches by last night.
There was just a little snow that made it into the porch. Karma knows to poke at the snow trapped by the screen to make it fall down between the gaps... she can eat it. We hadn't had much wind up till that point last night.
But there was just enough snow that Karma could track in paw prints of snow to eat. Oh the little joys in life, eh? hehe!
We were up all night again. The wind picked up and the blizzard conditions raged in the dark. Karma doesn't like the sound of the wind gusting against the building.
This is Christmas Day evening. The snow has let up for a bit, but you can see how the wind has caused much drifting. The snow is up 1/3-1/2 the way up the garage doors. My garage door faces this same direction in the row behind this one. *sigh* Can't lift with a shovel (I push with my foot). When it gets this high I either have to wait until Dagan and Leah can come and shovel me out or until it melts--hehe! (Don't worry--I am on the busline if I really had to get out for an appointment or something.) They're saying it will still keep snowing off and on tomorrow, too, and that we could get another 1-3 inches.
There is somebody in the parking lot right now rocking their car back and forth--trying to get out of their parking spot. That's what people have been doing all day by the looks of it--shoveling their cars out.
Since I was taking pictures before the sun set, I quick snapped one of the porch. Karma was still eating her canned food treat ( I give her extra for Christmas), so she hasn't been out on the porch yet. Doesn't know this wonderland is waiting for her--hehe!
The wind wasn't blowing our direction a lot of the time, I guess. But enough to get quite a bit of snow thru the screen for Miss Karma--hehe!
Interstate 94 was closed border to border across North Dakota because of this blizzard. Definitely a very white Christmas this year.
Hope you all had a safe, wonderful Christmas!! :):)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve-6am

Merry Christmas Eve! :)
This isn't going to be a good Christmas for travel in the region. We're on the very edge of the storm so they aren't sure how much snow we will get. It started last night and will continue off and on until maybe Saturday. The weathermen are saying we could get a total anywhere from 7-17 inches or more. The worst of it will be on Christmas day when the winds pick up. I am glad to be home and settled in with Miss Karma. :)
Dagan and Leah left last night for Leah's Mom's on Loon Lake (Mn) for a couple of days. They'll be there thru the worst of the storm. Then they're heading to Dagan's Dad's in Henning, Mn. They made it there just fine. And hopefully they will be able to do all their visiting, not hit the worst weather, and be home safe on Sunday. I'm happy I don't have to do all that running about anymore--hehe!
Me--I've slowly been working on the angel bookmarks during the night.
Radiant Pearls are so cool! I have had these in this porcelain palette for a couple of years--no lie! I just keep a loose piece of cardboard on top of them to keep from dropping anything in them, etc--but they don't dry up! They're a shimmery paint. Magical!
But--not quite as shimmery as the Twinkling H2O's. I ended up using one of these on the heart with the last batch I made up--painting over the Radiant Pearl paint. So this time I decided to find a Twinkling H2O color that I would like and just use that.
Got to get out a couple of my teeny, tiny brushes!

Tested out a few colors. These look different depending on how the light hits them.
See? Such fun!
So I just picked one that went the best with the background paper.
Decided on the second from the left.
Painted one angel. She is still wet here.
I'll go thru and paint all the burgundy parts. Then the next step is to go back and paint all the golden halos. I find this kind of thing so relaxing--meditative. Painting angels sounds like a good thing to do over Christmas, doesn't it? Might not be regular painting, but I still get a paintbrush in hand. Albeit an itty, bitty one--hehe! :)
Oh--BTW--Update on the Valley Cat or Miss Val (young cat who was rescued by the people at the news station). She is doing really well and has gained 1 1/2 pounds! Only thing is her ears were so frostbitten that they got hard and curled on the tips, so she needs surgery to remove the dead parts of her ears. Other than that, she's doing really well and will be going to a new home after her ear surgery, I guess. Nice to have a happy ending to the story. :)
To all of you who celebrate Christmas--travel safely, hug your loved ones if you are with them this year, smile till your face hurts, count your blessings, laugh and sing loudly!! :):)