Merlyn, Merlyn, Quite Contrary, how does your garden grow? :)

It was Memorial Day yesterday, and my pop, Earl Brown, used to say that your garden should all be in by that date.

And even tho' he's been gone nigh unto some 16 years, I can still hear him and feel him when I am in the garden. :)
I had a couple of hours yesterday to accomplish my task before I was to "go off and have fun with my friends."

I have long since adopted the rule of "Do the hard thing first" and then the rest of the day will be easier.

Don't get me wrong, I love to garden. Harry had preliminarily turned over the garden and Talon rototilled it for me. I weeded all the edges the day the dumpster came. But what with the dumpster taking precedence for that time being and all the rain we've had, I haven't gotten around to it till now.

And it was Memorial Day! Dad's concrete "deadline!"

I had gone on a fun shopping tour of the nursery the other day in preparation for this.
(Ok, so I made a window shopping tour previous to that, just to walk around inside the greenhouse on a dreary day to see the beautiful flower colors and soak up the smells and sights of the earthy vista :)

Already, there were containers and trays of veggie plants impatiently waiting for me on my porch to plant.
There were also brand new seedlings of Sunflowers and Morning Glories, who were getting tall in their swollen pellet pots awaiting their earthy destination.
When shopping among the myriad of choices at the nursery, I had picked 6 large Cherry tomato plants along with 6 Roma. While I love the big beefsteak tomatoes, we had a blight 2 years back, and I'm dearly hoping that these plants will be fine. There will be plenty for us if they decide not to blight!

I put in some yellow squash this year, instead of green zucchini, thinking that maybe I would see the yellow color better than green, before they turn into hidden garden monsters! The yellow color is intriguing me lately, so I also bought some yellow bell peppers for fun for cooking with.

I put in more herbs too: some fuzzy fragrant sage, 4 cilantro, 6 sweet basil, an oregano and thyme plants to go with my chives and mint that always come back.

The peonies have big buds on them for their upcoming dazzle and fragrant splash here in June. I planted my baby Sunflowers in front of them on the back line of the garden, because by the time they are the huge happy kings of the garden, the peonies should be done with grand entrance and going onto their exit.

The cone flowers always make a lovely show with their big fuchsia color. They are like my dear friends, like a huge (but purple) black eyed Susan. Showy and grand they are indeed, yet homey in some country way.

I planted a big pot of Morning Glories for my front porch and will train them onto the trellis there soon. I was warned by my good friend, Rick, (Swabby my pirate bud :) that the Trumpet vine I desired would become an enemy if I planted it. So, until I find a perennial climber who will play nicely, I will enjoy the annual Morning Glories with my coffee until they decide to sleep in the afternoon every day.

I had a visit from a turtle in the garden, telling me to go at my own pace. I did have to sit down several times and catch my breath. The sun was hot and while it felt good, I knew I would get sick if I didn't pause and refresh occasionally.

The turtle had boogied around until he had got himself stuck and wedged between two rocks. I carefully lifted him and his clawing feet and craning neck, up over the cinder block edging and placed him in the ferns. He laid there awhile, traumatized at the journey from a giants hand, and then after coming out tentatively....slowly....he was gone.

I also saw a most beautiful golden striped shell on the walkway in front of my garden shed. I picked up this little oddity and turned it over and sure enough, there was a snail within it. I put him back down and he proceeded to make a beeline path to the garden. While I like the wildlife, I didn't want to have to give him a beer drowning so early in the season. I picked him up and moved him across the lawn to the deck area by the day lilies. The snail came WAAAY out of his shell on his ride in the sky and regarded me with his inquiring eyes keeping his horns trained certainly in my direction.

I read that "The snail is a symbol meaning the protection of providence, deliberation and perseverance. The snail represents one who has steady footing and stability. The spiral of the snail's shell is a symbol of evolution, expansion, mystery and changing cycles."

The "keep at it" approach. "If it's going to be, it's up to me" sort of thing. I put the snail down and he went on his way like nothing happened and continued looking for his own garden delights.

I didn't think I could do it in time, but I got everything in......

and panting and dripping with sweat, lungs bursting,

I looked around,  proud of what I had done, smiled,

and decreed that it was good. :)

The Psychology of Rabid Followers of Cults

I wanted to speak a bit on the subject of the recent hoopla about
Harold Egbert (I kid you not) Camping, the President of "Family Radio"
and his claims about the end of the world.

A multi millionaire cuckoo with a bullhorn.

First off, let's start the discussion with a wee taste of Theology of the Christian religion:

From the Bible itself:
‎"At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." ~Mark 13 21-22

It's simply amazing to me that this fellow has followers that will sell all their belongings, quit their jobs and kill their children. 

Are you sitting down?

Yes, there was a mother that tried to kill her two children (11, 14) to save them from the apocolypse, by having them lay down on the bed and trying to slit their throats with a box cutter.  Thankfully, she did not succeed. The children LIVED. (But what a mom, you think those kids won't have issues now???)

I told you this would happen back in my blog "Judgement Day Approacheth" 
It's unfortunate, but I KNEW that there would be some who would act out like this. It's terrible that it has to come to this...but WHY?

Whenever I get a question....I dig.

So, I did a bit of research.

There was also another claim back in the 50's of a woman who said the world was going to be flooded and aliens were going to save them at a certain time. 
(Hey, you can make this shit up, but why bother when it's a true story??)
Of course, the time came and went (just like on Saturday last) and guess what?
No flood.

No aliens saved them. 
A psychologist had infiltrated this group pretending to be a follower. 

He found out many things:

One was the anticipation of the impending doom and release from persecution by Divine or Otherworldly means. They were justified and smug about how they were the "Chosen Ones".

Another was that when the time came and went, the disillusionment that followed. Silence. Depression. 
The feeling of being let down and abandoment set in.

Then the revamping of the philosophy. The "Do Over" as it were. "We got it wrong." "We miscalculated." The blame taking and the revamp. Sometimes the date was reset, but most times, it was not and followers dropped away. Others stayed true to the new and improved cause.

So what do we make of this?

It seems that people think the the world's problems are like the Cat in the Hat's mess. 

"And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all!"

So only a Divine intervention can fix it. 

They find themselves helpless and rely on faith in God and the Universe to fix it and to remove them from the situation at hand. They have no power, only the power of God and his big daddy arm to come down and spank all the rebellious and naughty other children that don't play nice.

It's nice in one way to think about. Having "Daddy fix" it. 

But it reduces us to not being in any sort of control at all.

He may or may not think we are being "good".
Have we been bad? Will he find out? What will he do?

We MUST be good!

And so they try to do right and good....but just before he comes (at the pre-appointed time) they have a big party, spend all their money, quit the jobs they hated and kill their children (to save them). 

Maybe they really wanted to quit their jobs before. Maybe they should've never had children to start with. (ya think??) They want change, and so they change their lives.

But then the rapture didn't come. 

But their lives DID change, didn't they?

They got their wish!

I love what my daughter Jesse said about it, "I think that Jesus is kinda like a Health Inspector. You don't know WHEN he's coming or else you would clean up your shit. He's like a surprise party waiting to happen." 

Whether or not you think Jesus is coming back....

A new day will dawn and you have choices!

Choose to live your life with meaning. 
Be determined to make the world a better place. 
Make it a heaven on Earth. 
Make the changes in our government and feed the children here now. 

God is within as YOU.

God is within you to protect and to be strong and loyal and provide.
Goddess is within you to nurture and love and heal.

We should remember what happened to Ulysses when he gave the Gods the finger and said, "I don't need you." 

Well, then the Gods truly fucked with him and guess what?

He found out that he DID need least to change his bull headed, single minded, callous heart. 

We also need each other and we need some faith in the future and in our lives.

How'ere, we need to pick and choose what it is so that we do not get misled.

My mother used to say, "That people who stand for nothing, fall for anything."

So, Stand for something!

Make a difference out there!

And for God's sake..

DON'T drink the Kool-Aid.

Magic Beans

So, what have I learned through my past 2 weeks of Dumpster Days?

1)   I need to commit about an hour a day to a project I hate to make it go away.

2)  Clutter magically grows, especially when you live with a Magic Bean man like Harry.
      I have decided that Harry is, indeed, most like a Magic Bean.
     He can make something grow from nothing.
     Whether it be music, or sound systems or sculptures, or jobs....

and that's really great! I mean, there's nobody I'd rather have on my Zombie Apocolypse team than Harry "Squeeks" Fuller.

You see, if you take a Magic Bean (whether you know it is Magic or not....)
and you leave it somewhere,
whether or not you ever think of it again.....
it will GROW.

And you have to decide what will live or die with a rapid growing plant.....which could turn invasive if you just let it grow without trimming the plant.
You see....
One piece of clutter....
will grow into a nightmare of a jungle ivy in a matter of a very short period of time.

3) I've learned also that a big pile of clutter....
    WILL go away....
    one bit by one piece,
   if you are dedicated and you keep at it. (See #1) .

4) I'm heavier.
Someone even said, "I like you meatier." (Meatier?! Oy. )
While I've grown muscles, I've also not bothered with counting calories nor my health routine. I have actually "bulked up" for the task, without knowing it. I don't like the extra weight, but it does move truck wheel rims and scrap metal. I've also leaned on my several glasses of wine in the evening.
The food and wine have been used medicinally, methinks.
You know, like when you get overwhelmed and cry and then drink? Or eat something? Like that....)

5) There's a lot left to do, but I'm gonna have to wait on it for a bit and just keep policing what was done, and keep circling the perimeter daily and patrol the area.
Pruning little suckers.
It's the only way.
It's those creeping magic beans.

6) If you want something done, you've got to do it yourself.

7) You are a lot stronger than you think you are.

8) By NOT stopping Wayne from cluttering, I am in fact, ALLOWING it.

9) I've also learned that 3 is a magic number.
Not bitching.
Just firm repeated simple statements.
And follow up.
Lots of personal follow up.

I'm very glad you were all here for it. I know I've been "prolific" (that's a nice way of saying that my 1 story a day has jammed your email. ) But in return, I also had lots of comments and emails back from you re: this Dumpster Day series.
One reader wanted me to make it an "annual" thing. as it also inspired them to clean.
Another reader likened Harry to be under a magical hoarding spell which turned him into Wayne the toad.

And really....both the Prince and the Toad live in every man.
It's up to us to break the spell of the evil enchantment.

Its not that either one is better or worse, it just IS..

Much like the Sinner and the Saint live in each of us.....

and the Whore and the Madonna live in every woman.

We all learn lessons along the way.

And you know what?

I've been being the being the good Saint Madonna for awhile now.

I think it's time for a change :)

Thanks for listening~

Dumpster Day 15: Rapture and Snakes :)

It's Saturday, May 21, 2011.

The day some said would be the rapture.

Well, it's a great day here at Squirrel Haven, altho, while we have not flown up to heaven nor heard Gabriel's horn....we have had our adventures of a different tumultuous experience.


LOTS of Snakes.

We found a "Nest of Vipers".


There we were, out back working with Wayne on his piles of treasures...(he was very good really, while only mildly obsessing occasionally (i.e. cutting up 15 laundry detergent bottles with tin snips and rescuing plastic triangular deli sandwich packaging from the dumpster with a determined and ticked off: "I've been saving these for a reason"  and some bouts of infrequent barking...) when I said to Shawna, "Why don't you take those tarps over there and move them to: (drum roll rrrrrrrrrrrr)

"The Tarp Pile".

Wayne said, "What is she gonna do about the snake?"

"What snake??!" I said with a leery voice.

"THAT Snake." he said firmly.

Yes, there, on the heavy black tarp....
in the sun....
in the HOT sun....

was a snake.

Only a garter snake....but still.


Euuwww. (while I appreciate snakes....I do not like them, nor do I want to look at them, and no by Jesus, do I ever want to "pet one" thank you very much...I'll pass. I choose LIFE")


And when we went to move the BIG BLACK TARP?


They were living and basking in the heat of the black tarp turned solar collector.
And toasting.
They were BAKING.
So they were warm.
Which also means that they were agile.

Can I say that the Big Black Tarp "WRITHED" with a life force not it's own?

About 12 snakes (I think) came out of that tarp in the end.

but I nearly climbed to heaven on an invisible stairway.......
and wasn't gonna wait for Gabriel's call.

After I calmed down from this exciting adventure, there were a couple of highlights....

Such as the following:

Wayne saying happy and matter of factly: "Well, we don't need to buy hose clamps, that's for sure!"

And showed me a big container full.

(Were we running low?? How did I miss this??)

Wayne jumping and saying, "STOP! I want to sift this!" as I looked at the ground and watched him pick up rusty nuts and bolts and screws in the dirt under the trees. Where he put them on a trailer full of yet more rusty nuts and bolts and screws he had to yet "sort".

I also listened with delight when I heard him say:
"HEY! Where did THIS come from? Kewl! I don't remember getting this!"
(you know...It's just like Christmas!)

And the most, heavenly, rapturous music to my ears was Wayne making this most amazing statement:

"Well, let's get this full dumpster carted off on Monday. You can get another one this fall, honey."

It's a MIRACLE and worth all the trials and tribulations.

Have a Heavenly Day. :)

Dumpster Day~ A pantry playhouse penthouse for a Ratty

I decided with all this rain, that I would work inside for a day or two and give it time to dry out a bit out there. Wayne said that he would take the day, tomorrow, to help me! (YAY!)

So, today I focused on what we call "The Mud Room". It's a wee small entrance which was originally planned to hold my craft stuff and kitchen overflow items (canner/kitchen tools/extra know...).

But Wayne had loaded it so that you couldn't walk through it to the basement and you could barely walk through it to get in or out. Not good chi or feng shui as you could imagine. Chi couldn't come in for good luck, nor could it exit.

Well, I started with my chestnut cupboard out there. I have not been able to access it easily and it hasn't been "fun" to start a project but sort of dread to get into it....So, being the logical lass, I decided to start at the top and work my way down.

At the top of my pretty cupboard were an assortment of things stuck there, in a high place, and also a "wishing well" that my dad had made for each one of his kids (6). I had previously extra decorated it with silk ivy all around the outside and had laid a fabric lining inside it's slat walls. This wee pretty little thing was now completely filled to the brim....
(wait for it).............
dry dog food.

Six feet up off the ground, the wee ratties had found a bunk bed waaaaaay up high and could see all the surrounding world....and people just passed by underneath.
A mousie heaven here at Squirrel Haven.
And shite too.

I proceeded to say things outloud like:
"Fer fuck's sake!"
"Good God"

I considered throwing out the whole thing...ivy and all.
But my dad made it. We'd used it for events before.
And there was mouse gack all over it.

I dumped it out and hosed it off. I kept it. But I did go through my supplies and swabbed down the shelves inside and made it nice and smelling all nice like Murphy's Oil Soap. Pulled out cupboard and cried while I vacuumed and washed walls. Pushed it all back to the wall, settled the shelves and moved on to the next area to my right.

It was Wayne's shelves. Carefully and artfully arranged that it looked all steady but if you moved even ONE thing a whole portion of the stuff on the shelf would crash at your feet.

We actually caught 13 mice this spring. Well, actually, Monty caught 3 and Wayne caught 10 in an "Adirondack" style trap, which I affectionately named the "Davy Jones Ratty Bucket O' Death'.
And HERE was their living room and playhouse.

Also, when all this shelf stuff fell, you became aware of the sound and sight of more dry food raining down.....
along with the odds and ends of bric a brac and what not and doo dads, and what's its' and sculputes that he'd fooled around with.

Like a wee strangeness of several used disposal men's razors all pinnioned together in an X fashion.


I was simply amazed by all the true junk mixed in with good pieces. I threw away all the plastic and paper immediately. I basically shoveled it out one piece by one item by one bit of gear at a time till I found the carpeting. Then vacuumed and shampooed wee wall to wall. It took me 4 hours to do all this.

The room is 6 'x 7'. Not big by any means.

So now I have a beautiful room and have claimed the space. I told him he can utilize one set of empty shelving unit and a couple other shelves in the room, but the floor would need to stay uncluttered.
I put everything on ....

the kitchen table or in the dumpster.

He has since gone dumpster diving and rescued a set of 3 small tubes of fabric paint that I chucked for being all dried out.
He showed me the bottles...
resurrected from a pretty full dumpster....
and he shook the bottles saying, "see? I just added water, I'm gonna give them to the Church for t-shirts."
I said, "if it hasn't changed the consistancy or effectiveness of the paint.


Thankfully, he came home and mowed and has been putting stuff away a bit.
Tomorrow we will work on it all some more.

The bottom line for today is: I now have a nice, clean, organized cute as a button, mud room entryway!

I have thought it would've been nice to show you the "before & after' pics of these areas I'm tackling.
But I don't have access to a camera, and, well, it would be too damn depressing and I just don't want to freak you out.
But I would like it to show the end result.
That's edifying.
It's also for the "I told you so" album which I'd love to have access for future reference.

I basked in the glow of my cute new mudroom,
ignored the mess of it's displacement in the kitchen (which will get dealt with)

and den?

I just casually opened the cellar door.
I have refused to go down there for quite awhile.
(I just didn't want to see it).

It hadn't gotten any better and I was shocked at the prospects of another monster job for yet another day.


I shut the door.

Currently, Wayne is acting a wee bit like Winnie the Pooh out there, happy & busy sorting all the new found things and putting them away (YAY!)

I have fabric of different colors spread out all over, sorting by solids/print/colors.

I'm humming too and having a beer.

Judgement Day Approacheth~ Reminder: "Did you bleach your whites?"

I am interrupting my currently running scheduled blog of "Dumpster Days" to bring you this important service announcement about the weekend's plans (for some) of being raptured.

I feel the need to chat here.

1) According to the Bible that I was raised on (whether I liked it or not :(
and from all the "I wish we all had been ready" scary Baptist promotional films I was dragged to....
(whether I liked it or not :(

I'd like to bring up a passage from the book of reference (you know the one...the BIBLE):
Matthew 24:36
(Go ahead, look it up)

New Living Translation (©2007)
"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows."

OH! Did you hear that?

So, the hoopla isn't even following THE plan that was set in THE book of reference that these Bible thumpers thump.

You see this Pagan knows her Bible.
Lots of Pagans know the Bible.

Obviously WAAAAY better than some "Born agains" if you ask me....)

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE Jesus.

But if folks are going to follow him.....
then they ought to FOLLOW him!.
...and his words...
....and his plan.
That means feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick and the poor and to wait on him.
Whenever that is.

And maybe it's not supposed to be "LITERAL" rapture, but have you considered, a SPIRITUAL rapture?
Much like the Aquarians and the Angel believers talk about a "current shift in cosmic energy onto a higher plane."

But surely I digress....

But wait!
There's more!

2) There are CRAZIES out there lovies.
May I just take a moment to remind you of a couple of historical names?
Jim Jones.
Halle Bop.
They thought it was the end too...but it was just THEIR end.

What I am concerned about is some of these folks are just crazy enough to MANIPULATE something to happen. Like explosives on the San Andreas fault line or something.
You know...instead of waiting for their God and the plan that they say they follow,
they take things into their own hands and they could cause mass destruction...
just to prove a POINT.
This scares me more than a just and loving God possibly calling us home.

3) Maybe I've read too much Sci-Fi. ...
But I remember a great story, (and I think it was Ray Bradbury in the "Illustrated Man" series...)

But there was this planet....
And all the adults woke up in the morning with the same bad dream.
It was a nightmare of the End of World. (sound familiar?)
So all the Council of Adults got together, and they decided that it would not be fair nor loving to have their sweet, innocent children go through such an apocolypse.
So, they lovingly gave their children their kisses and hugs at bedtime along with some painless poision and sent them to a permanent sleep.
And then?
There was a next day!
The sun dawned!
There was NO End of the World!
But ...
there were also NO CHILDREN anymore.

A sad and poignant story....yes.
But I wonder, how many tragic sweet innocent deaths will come on this Saturday for just the same reason.
I can forsee scared, indoctrinated people doing something like this, in good faith, and, like Jim Jones's escapades, it goes terribly wrong. I am concerned for children and innocent hearts who will be forced into something horrible for misguided reasons.

But my points here, are NOT to depress you, my friends.
I love you.
I want you to be AWARE.

As some of you know, I do Tarot cards.
There is a "Judgement" day card in the pack as well.
And the card has special meaning (as all the cards do)
It means, "Facing Facts. Liberation of old attitudes and ideas. Facing reality. A change of heart or mind."

Maybe, just maybe, can we look at all this silly hoopla and find a greater meaning here?

Our Mother Earth is being daily poisioned, polluted and raped.
We treat each other unkindly in this world.

Maybe we ARE being called to a higher purpose.
But maybe a change of heart and mind SHOULD come!
On a daily basis, to live right, live greener, love one another as if today is your last.

Maybe the God that is calling you to bigger things, a nobler path,.....

Do you believe in a loving God?

Or a vengeful one?

We are what we believe in.

Which are you?

So, go out there today,
Do good!
Harm None!
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

And look into the heavens with HOPE in your heart of a loving Universe
(or who ever you call your Higher Power)


Dumpster Day 12- A day to learn, sow seeds and grow :)

Taking a day off, but wanted to give you an update because some of you have been asking :)

Huge news!

Harry is PLEASED with my efforts on the clean up and the dumpster!
He's even said "Thank you" several times!
I did throw out a couple of things that he wants to save, which I figured would happen. One I didn't realize it's worth, and the other he had plans for....but overall, he is happy with the progress and said it in the nicest of ways and isn't mad at all and is glad I am doing it.
He also said that he's setting aside this Saturday to help me out back a bit.



He's been sweet and amorous and doting on me, buying dinner several nights this week and has been very loving of late.All very positive signs :)

(Probably afraid I'm throwing out some good shite ;)

Or MAYBE it's because he's appreciating the energy I've been throwing at it, and it's not as overwhelming as it was....

I don't know.
But it's a GD miracle is what I think!

So, I am taking today OFF from dumpster flinging, mud glucking and rain trudging in my gloves and work clothes. I will take a break from the outside work until Saturday and in the meantime, I will work on another problem area indoors tomorrow and Friday. It's supposed to rain until Saturday anyways.

On the schedule today (instead of dumpster work)  I met my daughter Shawna at the ARC (Association of Retarded Children) to take a tour with her and her staff of the facility's sheltered workshop. I have been trying to arrange for work for her through Unity House mentoring, but there isn't anything available. I've always had a poor vision in my mind's eye of "sheltered workshops". It's probably from a remark I heard in the 70's by someone who was then working for Monarch Industry. He said that he hated his job as a Supervisor there and all he did was to walk around and dump stacks of just counted items over, so that the consumers could "recount" them again. He said it was pitiful.

But THIS place was different! (It's also about 40 years later!)

It was truly amazing. Gone are the days of the poor work environments and "make work" jobs for people with disabilities.

No, what I saw today was impressive!

This particular workshop is fueled by independant contractors. Some are the military, some local businesses such as Tessy Plastics and Welch Allyn. There are varied jobs from sorting and boxing to wrapping product to making filters to measuring metal ballast. The folks that worked there were happy and seemed to enjoy their work and being there. We are looking into Shawna getting on the waiting list for a job here someday, but there is some wait involved. The workers had a variety of disabilities, (some even knew Shawna...she's like the Mayor, wherever she goes, she knows people! :) But no matter the disability, they had work and were active, social and worked physically and mentally and they enjoyed it!

I heard that the State would like to close down facilities of this type. While it does sound good on paper, and in "theory" to close down "sheltered workshops", it is not realistic.
There are not enough jobs to go around for those looking for work, "typical or otherwise" and to be honest, some of the folks NEED the mentoring and the supervision.
I would not like to see this kind of supervised workshop shut down. They are doing good work, and it is important for people (ANY people :) to feel good about what they do.

After this tour, Shawna and I got some late breakfast and then we went to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo!

I am, as some of you know, taking courses through "Grey School of Wizardry". Right now, I'm in a "Beast Mastery" course, which is basically "Animal Communication.' One of my essay homework pieces to turn in, is to visit a zoo and to report back on how the animals were doing there and if their behavior seemed natural.

It was very interesting. They have recently had a new batch of baby tigers born into captivity. The baby tigers are currently being cloistered with their mommy tiger (as they should be).
However, the male tiger was out in their environment and he seemed very upset and pacing. I think he was worried about being separated from his mate and cubs. I know I would be.

The penguins were the happiest! They love their environment and were swimming quite energetically all around in front of us....and then something funny happened. We stepped into an alcove where we could view the penguins both in the water and out on the rocks. They spied my black umbrella and the penguins thought it was hysterical. They came up to the glass and tried to kiss it, bite it, taste it. I twirled it and they were mesmerized by it. They were so close and so fun to play with and enjoyed us and our umbrella right well.

We are back home now, have enjoyed a movie and some ice cream for a treat after our long trip around the zoo boardwalk! We have learned lots!

So, now, for my next trick:

I am going out to broadcast a couple boxes of wildflower seed out back on an old compost mound.
I am hoping that the perennials thrive there and over take the ugly mound and transform it into a beautiful sight to see.

I will sow the seeds of loveliness..........

and let them grow where they may. :)

Thanks for your interest and your support!

Day 11 "Oh she's a lumberjack and she's ok....."

I am squeezing in about an hour a day working on this clean up project.

In the rain or sun and even on work days. Yesterday found me working in the pouring rain and I managed to uncover another pile, fight with tarps that had grown entwined with grape ivy and poison ivy, and threw a bunch of metal on the metal scrap pile. Got as far as I could before I started becoming hindered by some small trees that had grown up and around the piles.

I got called in from the rain (ok, so after an hour of playing tug of war with ratty old tarps that were disintegrating and hauling rusty metal and maggoty spongey wood, which were a part of the landscape... I was ready to go in).
Had to strip naked at the back door, sneakers and all went into the washer. Sat in a robe with wet hair and drank a cold drink and recovered.

Today I asked Wayne before he left for his work day, if he could get out the reciprocating saw for me.
He did, and I thanked him.  I had asked both Wayne and Talon (when he lived here) to cut down these little suckers before they got too unmanageable.

So now, I find myself in the backyard cutting down these small trees, vibrating my arm off, pouring with sweat and really wondering about why I am doing this, and why didn't the "men" do this before?

Oh well. It's done now. Threw a bunch of cut down limbs and brush onto the "compost pile" (which is really just a big pile....I will be working on making a real compost pile that we can turn...later. One battle at a time).

Am very glad I'm not really prone to poison ivy. I have gone barefoot and romped in the woods and even stood in the same area as others that got it and I've managed to walk away unscathed. (knock on wood, even so).

I found today several soaked old phone books, soggy manuals and falling apart old address books left in the rain, as well as a bunch of stuff I'd LOVE to toss but will ask Wayne for some input. Things with wires and cabling and dials and knobs. Not sure how they'd be good now, but I am not the one who works with this stuff. Maybe they are "parts"....(?)

Have now amassed 4, count 'em, 4, gas cans. Found yet another Chevy rim...(got rid of 2 of them out front for free :) and threw some odds & ends shite in the dumpster.

Stripped off at the backdoor again and threw everything I wore to work in,  into the washer. Was so lucky to step in a mud hole and work in a swamp! Am very tired.

Gonna have a shower and iron some fabric to work on garb for a friend...

then start MY work day.

Day 10~ Rain Rain Go Away

Well, we are now on "overtime" with the dumpster. And of course, it's raining. I have to say that while the weather was so beautiful last week, I did some great work. I'm proud of it.

I took a couple friends on a "tour" of what I've done the other day, and what is not done, and there is certainly a difference. Now, know you, this is not of my making in one way. I did not bring in, save nor pile to make the property look like this. Wayne in his infinite wisdom, has a plan for everything out there. It is just not stacked well, nor is a lot of it necessary in my humble opinion.

So, by me letting him have at it, and I trusted him to have "my greatest and highest good" intended, I have sort of "help create this mess" by giving him free rein. Well, I do like his creativity. I also admire the reuse and recycle mind set. But letting someone just create, without cleaning up, is like a big giant preschool out there.
I was hoping and "attracting" that he would be of the thought process that when you are done with something you put things away....or you have a designated spot for things. You know, sort of a grown up "take care of business" kind of thinking.

I am learning late in life, that to trust someone to do something, doesn't mean they will do it. Or if you give them enough time, that they will eventually "get around to it".

It's about priorities. And guess what I learned? Some people don't think like I do.

But we all have to pick up our toys.

I don't want to be the mean mommy here, nor the policeman. But we are over our heads, we have been warned that this day would come if we didn't comply and so mommy Merlyn has to put on her badge and get her gloves and pick up other people's things..

He is a genius. I will give him that.
And I love him awful. But I do NOT like having to pick up what doesn't need to have been lying out there forgotten and in the rain, sleet and snow for years and years.

I'm done waiting for a miracle. I'm done waiting for Wayne to have the time to help me or take it upon himself to fix it.

And now it's raining. It's gonna fucking rain all week too.

I will put on my sneakers and a baseball hat, and go out there, and brave the rain, and uncover some tarped pile of loveliness of forgotten rusty crusty goodies and try to decide if it's worth saving.

The dumpster clock is ticking.

Wayne is sleeping quite contentedly. I'd like to go back up and crawl in and snuggle with him, but instead, I will do the fucking hard thing.

I really hate this.

I want to do my own things.
I have projects of my own that I want to get to.
Sewing and new music to learn.
Wizard courses to finish.
My own desk to clean off.

But the dumpster clock is ticking.

And I really fucking hate this.

I don't know how long I can go on, but I will continue to whip up my courage, like a dead fucking horse.

And I will do it.

I will MAKE myself do this.

and den?

I will MAKE myself do this again tomorrow.

Day 8~ A Brush with Wisdom

Today makes it one week that we've had the dumpster. Saturday to Saturday. The activity has slowed down a bit, but I have made tremendous progress all in all.

I am proud of Harry. While he isn't actively participating in the trashing out, he has been putting away some of his disrupted possessions that now need a permanent home elsewhere.

And he HAS let go of some things:

3 tires, 2 1-ton Chevy rims, a couple of speaker cabinets, a Beta cassette recorder/player, 2 VCRs, a titler unit, a propane tank and a couple of larger batteries.
He's been working on putting away stuff and he's liking the progress...I think.

I know that we are getting along pretty good around here :) I am feeling more like I have some say and control on how things are managed, and he's finding that he has a happier wife....which is always good.

Today I went to county recycling event and got rid of the said electronics. I also put those 2 old van rims out by the road for "FREE". Hey, if they don't go, then I'll just put them back in the "Metal scrap" pile to make some money.

I then rewarded myself to a day of pampering that was planned with a couple of friends. We gave each other pedicures, body treatments and card readings, and washed it down with some amazing "bring a dish" offerings.

I took the ladies on a tour of what I'd been up to and they were impressed and I was proud. Of course, it's hard sometimes to look at what is still left to be done, and it gets a bit overwhelming....but I did show them around the property. Warts & all....

During our wee tour of the back yard....we were very dismayed to find a dead owl behind the barn. From the looks of it, if I were a detective, I'd say that the bird swooped down in the dark night to catch a wee ratty. How'ere the ratty must've dove into a pile of metal pipes, which is where I think the bird crashed and had a head or neck injury rendering it a fatal blow. It is a beautiful and terrible thing to see. It's talons still's feathers still soft...but not much of a face or a head to command. Stiff, lifeless....and yet...still stunning with his out stretched wings, still frozen in flight.

I looked it up in my Animal Medicine book. Owls are the medicines of sorcerers and witches. They stand for wisdom and clairvoyance. In the contrary, owls are about deception and not to be deceived. It says to "keep an eye on your property.and loved ones"

I am doing just that. I am no longer deceiving myself that things will "magically fix themselves" here at Squirrel Haven, nor can I keep believing that Harry has the time or inclination to make it so without my help.

I will take an Owl feather or two before this beautiful creature is offered up to Athena on the wood burn pile to remind me of this hard lesson learned.

The Owl always asks: "WHO?"

I am so sorry he had to die....

I will try to make a better place for another like him to hunt on our property.

If it's going to's up to me.

Dumpster Day 7

Well, I got my gumption up and went outside with Mr. Monty Joe. He sat in the sunshine, with shade close by and I went and turned on some rock ‘n roll on the radio and cranked it.

Went to get started with the major pile and rolled up my sleeves and started moving one piece by piece. My friend, Nick came by and he helped me by moving some cinder blocks and heavier pieces.

Interestingly enough, while we were working, we had the visitation of a very large bumblebee. You know, one of the BIG ones. He hovered and stayed steadily humming during the entire process. I think he was “supervising” the clean up process. I really swear that’s what he was doing. I talked to him and just let him hang out. We worked around the hovering inspector and just let him hum away, talking lowly to himself the whole time. The bee symbolizes work and community. “The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” Indeed, the bee works unceasingly for the common good of the hive,
I was glad for the edifying and affirming visitor.

And we cleared the space we needed. 
Before I knew it, it was done!

I raked,  leveled it and then mowed the area for the arrival of the big blue shelf thing. Another day this weekend …Hopefully. :)

I simply feel ESTACTIC with the new space all readied and it was a bear to do…. and it’s DONE!!

And den what did I do?

I went inside and made Sangria with fresh fruit ....

and we drank it all up….

every bit :)

Harry bought dinner for us tonight. Coincidently, my fortune cookie later on this evening said, “It’s the roving bee that gathers honey.”

I had to laugh about our “supervisor” bee today.

Day 4

Tackled the deck edges, behind the hot tub spa and under the deck and side of house.

I am using my muscles, and am toning my biceps. Had quite the adventure under the deck. Crawled in on my belly underneath on the mud floor with deck and spiders overhead by about 1 foot spare with the tune “Mission Impossible” running in my head. Found many treasures under there. Most of which will now be residing in dumpster.

Raked out side of house and chucked a maggoty rotting table and chucked broken glass and recycled 36 empty laundry detergent bottles.

Emptied the back end of the spa and swept out last years accumulation of pine needles and tools and found all kinds of odds and ends and doo-dads.  Let spa stuff stay there. Put rest of stuff in Wayne’s pile to sort. I found things I am sure he hasn’t seen in awhile. It will be like Christmas when he starts going through it. My friend Ravyn said that “things can hide in plain sight, and only when you shake things up and clean, do you even remember you had them.” It’s like, “oh THERE you are. I remember you.”
It is a pleasant thing for me to remember wanting to walk out to my deck and around my house, checking on plants and looking at it. It’s a nice feeling, even if I get discouraged in the moment and am bone tired at night, and get spiders in my hair and mud all over me.. Being outside and accomplishing one thing after another is an awesome feeling.

The one MAJOR thing I have learned is the word,  “Compartmentalization

I have a plan.

It goes like this:

1) Pick a “12 o’clock”  spot.(be it only a shelf or a small area)

2 ) Clean that spot

3) Have a designated area for certain things
            (i.e. “Wayne’s to sort/ Metal Scrap/ Wood saved/ Wood to be burned/
            Give Aways/ House stuff./Car Parts/ Trash”)
Put them there.
Sort them later.

4) Move to next spot in a clockwise rotation.

5) Repeat.  

Am looking at my newly cleaned and organized areas with a certain pride and accomplishment. I even went back to gaze on them with delight once or twice.

Will need a couple of burly men to help me move a large shelving unit back to the barn. It’s a monster and a catch all on the side of the house. It can be useful though and I’m sure Wayne will need it back there to put stuff on. Still working on emptying it for now.

~Open Mic tonight,”Cosmic Connections”. I just finished practicing what we will play….

 ~I am nearly finished with getting the liner notes done for new CD, “Heroes & Rogues”.

If this is what the world is like in the “stick to it” month of Taurus …

this Gemini can’t wait till we hit the whirlwind of the month of the many faces/ideas  of Gemini! :)

Day 3

Well, day 3 found me working out back by myself. I am trying to focus on cleaning one area at a time. I had wanted Wayne to help me, but he has his own agenda, and cleaning up while we have a dumpster’s clock ticking is not on it. He says that I should “just go ahead and return it early cuz I’m all done with it”.

I think not.

This statement that he left me with found me crying in my dirty work jeans, praying and channeling my mother. She taught me “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” I think that’s a good thought. I am trying to remain hopeful and just focusing and finishing one area at a time. It’s hard doing it all by myself, especially when the mess is really not of my making.

Today I focused on clearing the deck and hot tub area of anything that was not “spa or deck/BBQ” related. You know, like a DECK. Where you can maybe sit and put flowers on the steps and BBQ and hot tub. Like that. I put everything that was garbage in the dumpster. I put anything that is metal in the metal pile to be recycled for money. I put car parts on the trailer to give to “Pick ‘n Pull” car recycling shop. The rest, I put at the bottom of the stairs just off the patio for Wayne to go thru, if he wants it.

I cried.
I worked.
I wiped my tears.
I worked some more.
I leaned on a couple of friends for inspiration.
I am praying a lot.
I went for a long walk and went to bed early.

I hope tomorrow Wayne will get with the program and start utilizing this opportunity for organization while the dumpster is here, like we had talked about previously....
or at the very least~
that the Gods will give me the fortitude, strength and energy to keep doing this without Wayne’s help.


Dumpster Days 1 & 2

Day 1

Well, after much threatening, cajoling and reminding (occasionally) that the dumpster was to be ordered around the first of May….it finally came.
Of course it was 3 hours late, making our early morning rise of 7am sort of unnecessary.

We made the best of the waiting time with squeezing in an early morning music practice.
We are in the process of putting together a Civil War show of music and Harry has been working with his fiddle and I with my mandolin. My autoharp needs some work on the D chord. It must have worn pads or something, for no matter how hard I try, I can get only 14 of the 15 chords to sound right at the same time. It went to Speno’s Music for a check up.

I’m feeling pretty organized lately. Been trying to focus on the thing at hand and getting it DONE. Whether it be house projects, continuing the writing process, starting promised sewing projects for others, and new music under the belt…I seem to be making some progress with it all.

And now the dumpster has arrived!

It sat for about 3 hours while errands were run. I think we were just getting used to the idea it was here, I guess?
It stared at us….
with it’s empty eyes and gaping belly.

Harry, to his credit, has been working on removing his gear and treasures from my yellow garden shed. I had deemed it to be used for garden tools, with a planting bench a bit of a work area for me (Harry had many of such places on the property and I wanted a spot too) oh, and also a storage place for “car stuff”. Two years ago, it took 5 of us, 2 whole days, and him 2 more weeks, to hose it out for just this purpose.
It was a thing of beauty when done. (The yard how’ere felt the toll of the reorganization for that whole summer). Then, I don’t know when it happened, but somehow it magically filled up again with gear and boxes over the last fall and winter. When I saw it this spring, I freaked out.

Well, as I said, to Harry's credit, and with only moderate bitching from me…He cleaned out a major amount of his stuff over the last week, and again finished it, yesterday. I got in there and sorted my stuff and swept it. I have a garden shed and a workspace for me now! YAY! I don’t know where he put the things that left, but he does have a space designated for such things.I am very hopeful now!

The garden is next for me.

Harry also started turning over the garden (by the lovely newly organized garden shed :)
I proceeded to weed all the perimeter of the garden and make it ready for the rototiller…hopefully tomorrow, “Mother’s Day”, that will happen?.

Day 2

Mother’s Day

Didn’t get as much done on the dumpster project as I’d hoped. But I did enjoy my time outside with my daughter Shawna and her friend Vicki, whom I went and retrieved from their new residential housing.
Harry gave me some money for some special groceries as a gift for Mother’s Day. That was sweet!
He’s been very nice, all in all, while we are in the midst of this project. I am happy about that. I know that in the past, it hasn’t been pleasant for him to do some spring cleaning, but this time, it’s not harsh at all.
It is just slow going.

I took the girls to the store and we bought the makings for a delicious dinner (Chicken and Roasted veggies ) and decadent Ice Cream Sundaes’. Pound cake on the bottom, bananas, strawberries, 2 kinds of ice cream (Chocolate Almond and Lemon Meriange) whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top.Mmmmm!

I mowed the front and side yards….and dreamed about starting to clean off the back deck…
Harry had the girls help him move some car parts to give away to the trailer and they were delighted to be of service. The girls were cute actually…they spent some time sitting in the sun together reading the Sunday paper. This is the first time that Shawna has had “real friends” and I am encouraging it.

As far as the dumpster project goes tho….
we didn’t get that far today.
It was hot and Harry didn’t feel good (too much sun) so we went inside for dinner and dessert and watched a couple of episodes of “The Seeker” together with the girls. Talon came over with some goodies and a gift of a beautiful Primrose for me and he rototilled the garden for us. That was sweet too. Harry had to go do a stage call load out in the evening for “Beauty & The Beast” so after I dropped off the girls back at their house, Harry went to work and Talon and I went and saw “Thor” for the evening. It was a pretty good movie and we were both pleased. Harry was pleased that he had some work too and the whole day worked out very well for everybody. We were all fed, happy together and got a bit done.

While it was a fun Mother’s Day, I hope tomorrow will be more productive.
The dumpster isn’t filling liked I’d hoped.
We have a week. But whatever we can do, I am still happy it is happening.

I am VERY proud of Harry. I love him very much for dallying with the idea of cleaning out some space and getting organized. I know it is hard for him. And I also want you to know, that I, too, am a SCOT. I do keep things. It's not that I am "Felix Unger" or anything. I am not a neat freak. I do keep and recycle and reuse a lot of stuff too. I think it's all good. I just think that you have to "stack it well" if you want to keep it, and make it look palatable to the eyes and manageable. I don't want to live for taking care of my things.
My plan is to get through this trying time and whittle down and become more organized so that I can concentrate on what matters most to me: My family, Music and Writing.

Thanks for listening.

Pirates: "On Stranger Tides"

I have to tell thee, that I am indeed looking most forward to the upcoming "Pirates of the Carribbean" movie : "On Stranger Tides".

Some folks have sounded disgruntled with murmurs of: "good god, another Pirates movie? Won't they just let it die?" I say "Fie! Such words of malice! They must be black hearted devils with maggots in their unimaginative souls!"

I ADORE this story.

First off....there's Jack Sparrow.

A wonderful hero with his quirks and humor, his "issues" with his dad, his past many encounters with women (all of which he has taken slaps for) and his daring, life risking Errol Flynn moves. What is not to like?? You know, I don't have a tattoo. I am "blank" as some tattoo enthusiasts like to remind me. I have told them that I just "can't get that committed to anything for the rest of my life." But now, I'm starting to think I might get a tat. Or a brand. If I ever did, it would be the "Jack" sparrow bird or the Pirate brand. These are the only things I could ever commit too. I am a Pirate at heart. I trust no one, and yet am amiable and go with the flow most times to see where things go.

Then there is the fact that I am steeped in historical longings and adventures. The last three trips that Harry and I have made to Florida to play the faire there, we have been to St. Augustine (twice) and then to Beaufort, N.C. to the resting place of Blackbeard's ship, "The Queen Anne's Revenge."

These really aren't your typical "while in Florida" or touristy destinations.
No. No Disney World for us. Instead, we sought out the "Fountain of Youth", saw the Fort there in St. Augustine (the oldest city in the U.S.) complete with the cannons guarding the bay.
We even traveled miles and miles out of our way and went to visit our friend "Blackbeard" and learned all about him. It was BLISS.

While some folks want to be pampered, spa'd, wined and dined.....
Harry & I MUCH prefer a more rustic vacation where we dig, learn, experience history and have a few pints in a weathered, woody pub. Our pirate hat is never far away.
As some of ye know, I am a scholar.
I am always learning something new!
I've been taking courses at Grey School of Wizardry online. Am loving the learning there as well....I am currently finishing the first set of my first four courses and am looking to pick out the next four more. One of the ones I am VERY interested in is: "Merfolk". Why just yesterday, it occurred to me that this would be one of my next courses.....Mermaids have ALWAYS interested me....
So this morning....
I boot up my laptop and get some news and there is a trailer and info out for the upcoming Pirates movie: "On Stranger Tides'.
Damned if it didn't have ALL these elements in it!! HUZZAH!!!

I see there is the "Fountain of Youth", "Blackbeard" AND Mermaids all rolled into one delicious Jack Sparrow adventure.

The wonderful Geoffrey Rush (who in many of his films has built into his lines somewhere the words: "It's a Mystery"...  I look for it in all of his films)
There are also appearances from the incredible Judi Dench and the imposing Keith Richards.

I am indeed salivating for this movie!!

Check this out! A bit of trivia I found online this morning:
"While filming in London in October 2010, Johnny Depp received a letter from a local 9-year old schoolgirl, telling him her classmates needed help to 'mutiny' against her teachers. He turned up with almost no warning at the school in full Sparrow outfit in support."

Now THAT'S my boy! It totally sounds like something I would do....both as a 9 year old student...
and as a Pirate visiting a school, it's something I already HAVE done

I am off to dream, to plan and to scour the 7 Seas to seek out my new plan of adventure!

Until then I leave you with this quote from the movie:

Jack Sparrow (to his father, Captain Teague (Keith Richards)
"Have you ever been there?"

Captain Teague: "Does this face Look like I've been to the Fountain of Youth?"

Jack Sparrow (diplomatically): "Depends on the light"