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Happy Halloween

This year I did not pass out candy.  It hardly seems worth it any more as there are less and less kids each year but more teens and really big kids out there.  Call me chicken but since I am now single and older it tends to make me uncomfortable.  Yeah, I know you are supposed to be scared on Halloween but I don’t want to be on the 11:00 news for punching out a twenty-something who scared the bejeebers out of me.  So this year I opted for getting my scares in controlled doses. Plenty of old black and white creepy movies on…right now I have the old classic Village of the Damned on. Then after that is an interview with Stephen King…which brings me to tonights question.  If you could spend an evening with any truly frightening person at all who would you choose?  When I ponder that question I find it hard to come up with a satisfactory answer.  Mainly because there are so many truly scary people in the world. I suppose my choice would depend on whether I wanted to learn historical secrets or journalistic tips. or just be scared witless for an evening.

So I would love to hear who you think is truly frightening and why. Meanwhile click on this link to give yourself a delicious scare.

And remember to pull the covers around you tightly tonight…..


G-Rated ?

 I am still very new to this blogging thing (hey, cut me some slack-I’m over 19!) so I recently discovered that my blog can be rated just like a tv program.  Ratings range the same way G , PG, Mature and so on.  I never thought much about it before until I started reading some of the other great blogs out there.  One in particular stands out but I won’t name her blog for now.  She is funny, irreverent, a bit of a smart-alec and she uses the F word a lot. Of course, it follows that I love her stuff.  Frequently my thoughts echo hers, and I would love to expound on it in my blog. But her subject matter and manner of delivery is definitely not G-Rated.

When I first started this venture it was with the intent of organizing my thoughts and feelings after a tremendous emotional upheaval that had taken place in my life.  At the time I knew that most of my painful thoughts should be kept in a paper journal that could be easily thrown in the fireplace should the need arise (which did eventually).  And that this on-line process would be more of a way to occupy lonely nights.  One of the things I was “told about” frequently was my penchant to be a “smart-alec” , so that censuring voice was still at work in my head shaping the tone of my posts.  Often I would have a thought that I would like to expand but rejected it not understanding why.  I am finding it harder to suppress that voice, lately.

So now I have a decision to make…stay G rated and have a wider scope or narrow my focus and speak (more of) my mind.  One thing I have learned is to not be in a hurry to implement something new, so for now it is status quo.  Perhaps as I learned to do in the real world I will simply learn to pick my battles, and when the right one comes along I will know what to do.

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Chasing The Spirit

I am energized by the bustle and noise of cities. It starts my creative muse flowing and helps me to find new ideas for my art. But as exciting as it is, I often need the quiet of the country to bring the ideas to fruition.

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day, one that had to be spent outside.  So I hopped in the car and took off for the Amish country just to the east of me. The drive was pleasant and unhurried and I soon found myself surrounded by verdant green hills, dotted with sleek black cows. Already I could feel the pace of life slowing down. Just then I spotted a sign pointing the way to Serpent Mound, and without giving it any thought turned to follow the winding road leading to the plateau.

Being such a clear day the view from the top was breath-taking. Although several families were taking advantage of the Indian summer and visiting the site it was not crowded or noisy. As I walked the path around the serpent the wind rushing through the trees was loud yet oddly soothing.  If you close your eyes you can almost feel the spirit that moves those ancient people to build this intriguing earthwork.

Stopping to chat with the volunteer guide, I found our conversation turing to other points of spirituality that have since become landmarks.  I suppose it is necessary (and inevitable) that they get taken under the wing of an agency designed to preserve them for future generations.  Without some regulation vandals would run rampant and they would soon be destroyed.  Once such occurrence had happened just a few days before. Some group trying to “invoke” the spirits dug holes in the earthen serpent to plant the spirit candles they brought with them for their ceremony.  Such foolishness sadly requires regulation.  However, I have to wonder if by doing so are we chasing away the spirit/s that have resided there for so long?  By putting boundaries and fences on it, restricting it are we also killing it?  In our quest to find something spiritual are we driving it further from us?

Many of us would, given the choice, live in the city.  Full of sights, sounds and excitement it is a thrilling place to be.  But our souls need, crave, the spirit soothing places of which there are too few left.  I would hope that in our need to preserve the place the heart is not ultimately destroyed.

As I drove home reflecting on my walk, I silently gave thanks to the early inhabitants of the area who left behind this legacy, lore and history. I also hoped that in chasing the spirit, civilization did not kill what it sought.



Let The Sun Shine In

Yes, there is no getting around it; even with its profusion of color fall does have its depressing days. You know the ones-damp, chill low hanging clouds that look like so much wet dryer lint, and no sun in sight.  It can get to even the most optimistic of persons. Pity those of us who have seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Cloudy, cold days in autumn can really put us in a funk.  If the weather stays around for more than a couple days it can really throw us for a loop.

In the past when this would happen to me all I could do is grit my teeth and get through it.  And heaven help anyone around me! I was the original Schleprock. One sunny day (these are always my creative days) I had a lightbulb moment, and I put together a kit for my gloom & doom days.  I realized that on sunny days I was drawn to certain sounds (upbeat music), smells (light and crisp-no musk or heavy florals) and tastes (usually light and crunchy).  Sunny days have more than their fair share of charm, so I decided that anything in my kit would only be used on my dark days.  And no matter how much a down day seemed to scream for vintage Bob Dylan, I wisely steered clear of him. I chose upbeat, fun music (chose what feels good for you) and saved one or two albums that I only played when I needed uplifting.  I also put in my kit lemon tea, the warmth and citrus a real boost, with the added fragrance element.  At Susan’s Natural World I found lime essential oil. Being very concentrated it goes a long way and the smell is bright and crisp.  It makes a nice additive to a warm bath or just applied to your pulse points.  A small notebook and brightly colored pen, used only for sad days, records my thoughts.  In the notebook I have a list of foods that are especially helpful to me, it includes radishes (a fave of mine, celery with ranch dip and lime, low cal, real fruit popsicles (yes even when its cold out).  Sometimes it also helps me to gain a bit of insight into these moods by journaling a bit. Lastly I put a couple pictures that are favorites of mine and always bring a smile to my heart.

The trick is to save these things for your worst days, the times that you don’t even want to get out of bed. As I said the other days will take care of themselves, so don’t squander your kit.  Once you start taking a pro-active stance with these moods it seems to make each one a bit easier to handle.  I am not sure if it’s because it is behavior modification or habit, all I know is that my kit has been a life saver to carry me through until the sun bursts out again.

Disclaimer: This is not meant as a diagnosis of any disorder. It is simply something that I found helps me get through the “blahs”.

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Giving In An Economic Slump

I am not an expert on finances of our nation, or the global community by any means. However, we all have to be experts on our own finances in order to survive todays economic weather. One of the first things to go by the wayside in times of less cash flow is philanthropic giving. We all want to feel as though we are giving something back, and yet how can we do that when our resources are low?

If you belong to a church you most likely tithe. I am not going to try to change your mind on tithing, it is a personal decision. Also if you don’t belong to a church or synagogue that isn’t an option. But often we do not have a choice about where that money goes to and it has a limited scope. With very little outlay (and in some cases none) we can still help those less fortunate (which face it, might be one of us someday).

With very little research I found two ways to give back while still on a limited income. One is this little button to the left that you see (not the one in the post but on my left sidebar)-it is linked to a site that lists several charities that can be helped just by clicking this little button. I happened to choose clean water as it is something that we here in the states take for granted, and a friend just opened my eyes to that.

Another is Kiva, a new way of helping people help themselves through loans, not hand-outs. For as little as $25 you can make a loan to a farmer in Peru to buy livestock or someone else who may be trying to bring clean water to their village. You get to choose where and to whom the money goes. Twenty-five dollars may not seem like a lot but when it is combined it can become a large amount. Take that amount and multiply it by several donors and it makes a real impact. Once the farmer has started to show a return the loan is paid back in to a Kiva account. I just got an email recently that $3.20 has been paid back on my initial $25. Now that might not seem like a lot, but if you think about it that just shows how much it is needed. By going to Kiva’s site you will get a much better explanation, plus it shows you all the good that is being done around the globe. When my loan is paid back I can choose to leave it sit (this is the painless part) to be used again or I can take it back. But really why would I? We who have so much (truly we do) could do without one Starbucks a day, or the gym membership that we really aren’t using (yes Kathy I am talking to you) and put that money to a good use.

So when you are finished reading this, look to the left sidebar and give it a click. Then check out for another way to help. Go ahead, it won’t hurt and I promise your heart will feel better for it.