Fine Food.....................

11/29/14 = As if all the food eaten for Thanksgiving celebrations wasn't enough,  Randy wanted to go to Schullas in Indianapolis for his birthday.  He had a coupon for a free entrée.  Meat items (everything else is ala'carte) start at $43.  We both chose the 24 oz Porterhouse which was $50.   I figured for $7 more than they were asking for the 6 oz filet, it was a good deal.  We also had sautéed mushrooms, steak fries (actually these were a little limp for my liking) and a Wedge Salad ($10).  Total bill was around $161 less his $50 coupon for a total of $111. I can understand having to pay for "fine dining", but the $30 charge for valet parking (half refunded for eating at the restaurant) was a little steep IMHO.  And, I suppose Randy tipped the valet in addition.  Oh, and don't forget the waiter's tip of  $40.  All in all an expensive evening but wonderful food and we have leftovers!  Expensive leftovers!!!!!


Food Fairy????????

11/27/14 -Somebody had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner - including me. I found a "goody bag" filled with all the traditional foods and more, hanging on my door Thursday. This is only a portion of the items. I had already eaten another plate of salads and a bowl of whippy dessert before I took this picture. Thank you Food Fairy. Yummmmmmm.

 I also had the best turkey ever at my son's on Wednesday. He prepared a spectacular meal Kudos to John M. Stinson. So many of his wonderful friends were there also. 

 For me, more great food at a friend's in Summitville on Thursday followed by the Goody Bag Thursday evening. A wonderful day. Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was great.

I suspect the Food Fairy was one of my wonderful neighbors.  I'll have to investigate a little further.


Ravens everywhere........

11/25/14 -  A quick little post honoring my totem animal - the Raven.   After Halloween I was in the Dollar Deals store.  I noticed the decorations were on sale and included these black birds.  When I went to check out the little birds were only 1 cent each.  I ended up with about a dozen of them.  I put some in the windows, one on the hutch and I have a few more to scatter throughout the house.  To the left is info on this totem. Although mine are a little small, I thing Raven when I see them.  Follow this link for my source at left:  https://morningstar.netfirms.com/crow.html
Crows and Ravens are from the same family and the only real physical difference between the two is their size. Ravens tend to be much larger and are found mainly in wilderness areas although I have seen several near my home. Ravens also carry medicine that is slightly different than that of Crows, which I will cover in another article. The following though will relate to both.

Both Ravens and Crows associate with Wolves as well so those who have these birds as Totems are also likely to have Wolf as a Totem as well.

Crows and Ravens are extremely intelligent. They can learn to use tools, develop complex communication with humans and other species. They are wonderful for psychic protection and will literally mob together to drive off negative energy from those they care for. They are also called thieves in that they will nick jewelry, coins, watches, anything shiny that catches their attention. One friend of mine living in a flat in LA said that for several months people had been complaining that someone was nicking their valuables. All kinds of jewelry, pens, coins, anything left outside on a table or near an open window was disappearing right and left. A maintenance worker was clearing off some old growth from one of the palm trees when he discovered a nest filled with everything people had been missing! Months later on someone saw a Crow making off with a gold chain, back up to the top of the palm tree.

Those who carry Crow/Raven medicine once they become attuned to it, can begin drawing what they need and value into their own lives. They also have the ability to teach others how to learn to value themselves and others, to go for the gold, the best in one's life and to be open to receive from the Universe.
Crows/Ravens are also well known for their curiosity and intense exploration of anything that catches their attention. So when Crows/Ravens or people who carry their medicine show up in your life it can indicate that now is the time to explore those things that have recently caught your eye or that something new is about to enter your life that is beneficial for you so pay attention! Crows/Ravens are always on the lookout as part of their survival mechanisms and it behooves us to also pay attention when they appear as the Universe is trying to tell us something.

Crows are very social and band together for the good of the group so this is an indication that we need to work with and cooperate with others of like mind in order to bring about blessings for all beings. Crows and Ravens look out for one another and they also warn other animals when danger is near. Frequently they drive hunters mad because they are always warning Deer and Elk that the hunters are near! When a Crow or Raven is shrieking loudly near you, check around to see if someone or something that could be "harmful" is in the area. Of course when they call like that it can mean many things yet over time once you work with them frequently you will begin to understand what their messages mean to you specifically.
Many times when I am outside I will be thinking about something to do with my work or a friend and if the Crows start calling to me, I know it's a heads up that something needs to be attended to in that area of my life. They even make comments when I am situating new plants in the garden. If I place it one area and they are quiet, I know it's not the right place so I keep moving the plant until they start shrieking at me. The plants always do well when I follow their advice!

This is some of the behavior I have noticed with my own Crows. Some of it has taken me a while to decipher and I am sure I have only scratched the surface as it is! I know that when they are speaking among themselves the conversation probably starts off something like "That silly woman! The Grandfathers keep insisting she's a shaman, yet look at all the messes we have to pull her out of! Almost got myself run over on the street today trying to get her attention!"

Many has been the time I have been walking along only to have a Crow fly down into the middle of a street, in the path of oncoming traffic, banging it's beak on the ground, with me dancing around on the pavement, waving my arms and yelling at it to get out of the street! At first I really did think that perhaps they found great amusement in making me look a fool, yet then I realized that every time it happened, there was an important message that the Universe was trying to get through to me. One instance that really sticks in my mind was when they were trying to warn me of serious physical danger. The poor Crow was almost hit by a car, barely managing to get out of the way in time. I was very shaken, especially as he then followed me down the street cawing rather frantically at me. Had I heeded the warning I could have saved myself not only a great deal of heartache but avoided a very threatening situation coming from someone I thought I could trust. I had just left a the flat of a friend I was visiting when this happened and I even heard the Crow saying "Go Back! Go Back!" Well, silly me I thought the Crow meant to go back to the flat. In a way he did, go back, grab your stuff and get the hell outta there! The Grandfathers had tried to warn me, even in dreams I had, yet I ignored the messages. Finally as a last resort a Crow literally almost gave up his life to get my attention. This speaks of the amazingly strong bond and love our Totems have for us and why we should honor them in any way that is appropriate for them and us.

What else was interesting about this was normally when they do what I call their "dance" there is another Crow perched overhead on a wire or tree branch. This time there was only the one. When there are two or more I have found for me it is a good time to take some kind of risk or action as there is support and a focus being held for me to follow through and to insure a good outcome. The more Crows in the area the more support that is being offered.

I have also found that when a Crow is cawing and then turns say to the south, then I know there is an important message coming to me from someone south of me. If they tap on the phone wires then I know it is coming via email or phone. Usually if it's by phone, they tap only once or twice. Email, it's usually a head bangers ball going on up there, LOL!

Many people have mentioned to me that they know something is wrong with me if the Crows in their area are very quiet or especially noisy! Those are the times when I start getting numerous emails or phone calls asking me "what's wrong, the Crows are acting oddly so I know something is wrong with you!" And they are right! I have some very dear friends, Ted and Annie. If the Crows get too noisy over at Ted and Annie's, Ted will ask Annie to ring me so I can tell them to be quiet!

If you hear a Crow calling at night, that is a MAJOR heads up as night time is Owl time and Owls are enemies of the Crow. Owls prey on Crows at night when they are in their nests and so Crows are especially careful to be quiet when night time falls. This is a good message for those who carry Crow/Raven medicine: if you sense a predator might be near, be silent and still and wait for the situation to pass. Taking no action at those times is the best course of action. Some people who carry Crow/Raven medicine also carry Owl medicine as well. In fact, if you have one bird as a totem in actuality you may have a whole flock of birds as totems!

Another way I work with my Crows is to ask them questions about anything and everything. I phrase it so it can be answered yes or no. If it 's yes, I get a frantic cawing even before I complete the question. If it's no, dead silence even if they had been very noisy moments before. They even help me situate new plants in the garden, if I set one down somewhere and they start cawing I know that's the right place. Silence means to try a different area. They are always right as every plant I have situated following their advice has thrived where the ones that were placed according to my judgement either died or had to be moved. Usually to where the crows thought best in the first place, very sheepish grin!

My Crows also love the rain here. It can be pouring buckets outside and they are all out there splashing in the puddles, chasing each other down the pavement and spreading their wings and feathers to catch more of the rain then shaking it off again. People who carry Crow/Raven medicine often greatly benefit from washing their hands and faces frequently as water is a wonderful cleanser of negative energy. Since often Crow/Raven people are also navigators of the darkness or the underworld, it is important that these people clear their energy fields frequently so as not to take on any energy that is not their own. It also helps if you are trying to clear issues or problems in your life to add a few drops of a Crow or Raven essence to a salt water bath or even setting some Crow feathers near the tub will also do the trick. For nightmares a Crow fetish, feathers or essence even pictures of Crows or Ravens can help drive the nightmares away. It is important though to examine why you may be having nightmares and ask for guidance as how to resolve the issue.

I also place Crow feathers around the yard and garden as we live in a rather "colorful" area of Portland. As a result Ken's car and our home has not been broken into or vandalized the way our neighbors have. I have mentioned this to neighbors I thought would be receptive to the idea of asking the Crows for help and things have settled down somewhat so perhaps they have followed through. Annie and I started what we are calling the Wayward Crow Society in honour of the Crows who look in my windows and when I catch them at it, they act very nonchalant, walking away like " oh no, we would NEVER be looking in on you!" Right mates, VBG! This is an indication that sometimes it is best to keep what you are doing under wraps until the time is right to let others see what you are up to. All of the metaphysical traditions I am aware of say that it is important to allow energy and power to build inside of you when you are in the process of manifesting something important to you. Talking about it can dissipate the energy which is why it helps to talk about one's problems! Of course talking about problems too much can actually help to recreate them over and over in your life as you are putting emphasis and awareness on them. What I have found for myself and many of the people I work with is when an issue first comes up it is helpful to allow it to "churn" in your mind over a period of time, not resisting it, but journaling or talking to someone you can trust about it until you begin to sense completion around it. Sometimes what may also happen is that the conscious mind becomes so exhausted by it that it is turned over to the subconscious mind for resolution and release. Since the subconscious is where our intuition lives, we may find answers or healing in dreams or a sudden breakthrough by following a "hunch" or inner prompting. Over time you can learn what the right balance is for you to help clear the issue without recreating it so trust what you feel is right and best for you!

Crows are also associated with magic and mysticism as Ted Andrews covers very well in his book "Animal -Speak" and the "Animal Wise Tarot".


We have a problem..........

11/24/14 - It is only 8 a.m. and already I have had 2 surprises.  First, this big limb down right outside the back door.  Second, while trying to work on the Mystery Shawl, Lilu the cat, puked on my ball of yarn!  I am not real good with this animals in the house thing.  This incident is not helping.  First animal I have had inside since about 1995. 

What am I going to do about it?  I am loading up my computer that needs UPDATES and heading out of here.  First stop in the casino for free pastry and coffee, second stop is Panera for computer updating.  Ciao!


Thanksgiving light......

11/21/14 - It has been awhile since I have taken the time  to post anything.  I just couldn't resist putting this picture on my blog.  It is a light the two little girls from next door brought over.  They wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.  The girls' names are Taylor and Summer........both as cute as can be.  Earlier this year they brought over some tomato plants for Mother's Day.  One little girl has straight dark hair while the other one is a curly-headed blonde.  The Mom and Dad are Amber and Skye ---- I like the earthy names. 

Well, not much new here but I have made two fruitful trips to Aurora to see my old dentist.  In three days and for less than $300, he took 5 X-rays, pulled the troublesome tooth, sent my partial in to have the new tooth added. It is now back in my mouth and I am getting along fine.  He has been my dentist for over 20 years and he is one of the things I miss about no longer having any connections to Aurora.

Randy took me both times.  That means I wasn't able to do any of my usual stops.  I pass 4 Goodwill stores on the way there.  Normally I love to stop at the store in Batesville and also Rushville.  Both of those stores seem to have better "junk".  We did stop at the Amish bulk food store.  I sure wish we had a place like that a little closer.  They have cheese at such good prices.  I also like to get their popcorn called Mushroom popcorn.  It pops so big I guess that is how it got its name. 

I will try to get back in the groove of updating my blog. I really miss the big desk in the apartment.  My computer room at the house has crowded space for my computer and I just do not enjoy using it here. 

Last night Randy and I went to see Gone Girl.  I am going to read comments on the internet about this show.  It sure left you with a lot to think about.


11/14/14 - It is sunny but cold today.  In fact, we had a few snowflakes yesterday.  It was not good to hear the weatherman say the temperatures we are experiencing are typical of JANUARY!  Not much we can do about the weather but make the most of it.  I have lots of inside hobbies that I can catch up on when the outside work slows down.. 

 I do need to go out and pick the loofa gourds left on the garden fence.  I hope they peel easily and I have seeds for next year.  As you can see, my crop was small.  I had a few more picked earlier but all in all probably less than a dozen gourds.  Everything got kind of a late start this year.

Another thing I've been doing the last 2 days is chopping on my hair. As soon as I take my shower I will find out how successful my dry, curly Deva-type haircut came out. I've been letting the layers grow for over a year hoping to have a smooth hairstyle similar to Kelly Rippa and all the newscaster women.  You can imagine my disappointment when I chopped off the ends to a reasonable length and ended up with the TRIANGLE HEAD!  I give up. No more attempts to do the smooth hair.  I cut and tried to shape it per  this site.  This cut is done on dry hair. You just rake your fingers though it and cut away (in the crook of the curl) any strands that are making the shape wrong.  Hopefully I can do a successful photo later.  For now here is a before pic.

I am also getting another clue today for the Mystery Shawl.  Unfortunately I had a lot of ripping out and do overs on Clue 2 and I am nowhere ready to move on.  In fact I am only on row 6 of the Brioche stitch.  I don't know if I can make it through the next 9 or so rows without a mistake or my needles falling apart.  I just cannot fix errors made during this knitting technique.  I had better get to taking care of things around here.  I have an early date this evening.  Leaving around 4 in the afternoon for dinner at the Curve Inn with friends followed by a basketball game between Purdue and Ball State in Muncie.  HA!  I just got a call that the game is not the guys team.  It is GIRLS basketball.  Oh, well, it is something to do!


Making moves........................

11/11/14 - Making moves.  The first move is the one  Lilu and I made to the house and out of the  apartment.  She has decided she much prefers being an inside cat over being an outside cat.  She promptly found a nice hidey-hole to be out of sight and safe.  This is where she currently spends most of her day.  I am sure that will change when she is more secure.  I really don't mind the cat but I live in a small house.  A small house with very little insulation and hard to heat.  To accommodate her litter box I need to leave the door to the backroom and basement open.  That lets in sooooo much cold air.  The only other litter box choices are the kitchen (NOT) the small bedroom downstairs (would put the box about 2 foot from the bed, NOT) ---- well there just are not any other places I would put a litter box.  Darn!

On to the next move.  It is time to make a call and consult with my old dentist on what to do with my teeth.  There is no good solution there.

I am putting dealing with the farmer for next year on hold until later.


Putting in a lifeline........

11/9/14 - I had a lot of trouble trying to do the Brioche stitch introduced in Clue 2.  It resulted in me ripping out several rows including several from Clue 1.  I just now got everything back in order and ready to proceed with Clue 2.  This photo shows the pink thread that will be my "lifeline" if I mess things up again.  I am pretty good at picking up straight purl and knit stitches. If you have to rip out fancy yarn overs and stitches with two yarns, that isn't something I can do.  Even my practice piece turned out badly.  Maybe I will give that a few more rows before I try it on my shawl.

I have decided not to worry about the dentist or the furnace for today.  I am staying in all day, working on my shawl and hoping my throat and cold gets better before facing another dentist.  The furnace part was supposed to be here in 3 - 5 days so that will be here before the Polar Vortex that is on the way (I hope). 

A blog I like to visit here is The Daily Divination.  She gives little readings for all the signs.  Today, my sign, Libra,  received the animal card of Rabbit:
Rabbit - Banish fear. 

Move beyond fears stagnation. Listen to your heart.

As an additional note, when I used the Animal Cards, the story accompanying Rabbit showed how the little rabbit was the fear callerHe goes out and shouts "Eagle, I am so afraid of you"   If Eagle doesn't hear him, Rabbit calls louder, "Eagle, stay away from me!"   Eagle, now hearing Rabbit comes and eats him. 

Here is the lesson.  Stop talking about horrible things happening and get rid of "what if" in your vocabulary.  This card may signal a time of  worry about the future or of trying to exercise your control over that which is not yet in form -- the future.  STOP NOW!  Write your fears down and be willing to feel them.  Breathe into them, and feel them running through your body into Mother Earth as a give-away.

Ok - click on the link to The Daily Divination and see what your animal card is for the day.


Job Incentive...............................

11/8/14 -  I think I can put the hunt for a different car on hold for a couple years :(  I had a flare up with an old crown. Unfortunately it is a tooth that holds in my lower partial.  To the left is the estimate I received from the dentist to fix the problem.  That total is $10,868.72 and could be another $3,000  if he underestimated some of the work I needed from a different specialist.  He offered another $600 solution but that was not guaranteed to last. I am on the fence about what to do.  The office call to get this bad news was $86 plus $11 for meds to calm the infection. 
 I almost walked out of this dentist's office when the first thing he did was take a full mouth Xray!  I hate that!  In fact, just thinking about it makes me determined to find another solution.  I will call my old dentist in Lawrenceburg (2 hr drive).  He does Xrays where needed for $10.  If Dr. Z says I need all the work suggested by this "Carmel" guy"**** I will make the drive and pay him!  Of course, he doesn't do the implant portion either.   So, that is how I will start Tuesday.  A call to the dentist with a 2 hour drive in my future.

**** Carmel is a rather posh neighborhood where all the well-to-do's live.  This guy is not only a Carmel wannabee, he has a practice a few days a week in that area.  I think his charges are outlandish!

So, I do see the need for a job in my future if I have time between dental appointments! Right now my furnace at the apartment is still down.  Parts haven't come in yet.  That will probably be a total cost of $200 plus.  And, I am still waiting on the bill from that lawyer.  If he is as slow sending the bill as he was doing the work, it could be another 6 months.  I don't think his secretary is any ball of fire either and will probably not bring to his attention the case is finished!  Time will tell.  He surely cannot charge me a late fee for a bill I haven't received.

The weather is cool, windy and rainy.  I have a cold in addition to a bad tooth; however, I think I will drag my sorry self to breakfast with my classmates at 9:30 am.  I was awake at 2 am and made the mistake of turning on TV.  St. Elmo's Fire was playing.  Had to watch that.  Then I dozed off for awhile, up at a little after 5 and working on my Mystery Shawl.  As of yet I have not mastered the Brioche Stitch.  Going to get back to that right now!


Passed the test.........

11/4/14 - It has been a busy couple of days.  I will start with yesterday and work back a couple of days. 

Let's see.......I woke up yesterday ( I am still at my apartment on the farm.  Too lazy to get things moved back to the house, like my printer, computer, etc)  Well, I woke up yesterday chilly yet to the constant roar of my furnace.  The air coming from the high energy furnaces always feels cold to me so it took awhile for me to finally acknowledge something was really wrong.  After all, it was warmer outside than in my place!  So, I dug out the manual, tried the furnace reset, checked the filters, etc.  Finally I took a shot and called my "ace" repairman.

Luckily he was able to come right over.  That was about noon.  He is a great guy, very thorough.  So he was here for about 2-3 hours.  He likes to let it run, see if it will start the next time, check everything else, etc etc etc.  So, he determines it is something like the rollover switch.  Says there are 2 of them.  If one goes out the other probably will sooner or later.  At the suppliers  he found today, they were $28 each. To make a long story short, he was going to check for some lower priced ones, order them.  I did get a call from him last night saying he found some in town and will be out today to fix it.  Luckily we had another warm spell.  It was in the 50's again. 

And the stove.....while he was there I had him look the old gas stove over to see if he thought it was safe.  It passed the test.  I have the gas shut off downstairs and probably will not use it.  Mainly I do not want to leave the pilot lights burning.  They kind of scare me.  But it is easy to run downstairs, turn on the gas, wait a few minutes and light her up.  I have some other old pieces in the apartment like a pie safe, dry sink and me!  I thought it would be cool to have one of those racks above this old stove and hang pots and pans above. 

I listed it on Ebay but took it down before anyone had a chance to bid on it.  I guess I wanted to keep it.  I have an electric apartment size stove stored in the garage, ready to put up here, but no!  I keep this monster.  There is more but I need to get rolling!