Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome, add a great deal to a blog, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled insults, or links (unless pre-approved).

Saturday, July 31, 2021

insects as totems-- from 2006

Always praying mantises interest me and apparently others, as this particular blog has drawn a lot of comments from those who were curious about the insects. It's been too many years since I've seen one.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Praying Mantis

This week-end, at a renaissance faire (pictures from that will come another day) I was sitting on a dusty slope covered with dry bunch grass to wait for the jousting to begin. Someone said-- a praying mantis is on your back. I have to admit, I was pleased. Really? It chose me? Wow. Let it stay there because with all these people around, it might be stepped on if it is brushed off. I handed over my camera and asked for a photo. It was in no hurry to leave.

Then they said-- it's crawling up your back and going to get in your hair. At that point I became concerned as if it got tangled in my hair, that could have caused it to lose a feeler or leg getting it out; so I asked the man to my right if he could safely remove it and put it on a small tree almost in front of us. He did so; and as it climbed up the tree, I took another picture, then lost track of it.

I believe the events in our life are like our dreams. We can dismiss them, see them as insignificant, or when something a bit unusual happens, become interested in learning more about the potential symbol.

Biologically, I knew they are a gardener's friend. Although they are named praying mantis for their front leg position, it is actually a deadly weapon. Their benefit to the gardener is their hunting ability. Aphids beware.

I had no idea they can also kill hummingbirds. When I did some research on them, I saw a photograph online, for which I am sure anyone interested can find, that showed a praying mantis with a hummingbird it had killed, and then devoured. It was a small hummingbird, but still who would have guessed that more than small insects should be wary around them.

Generally they are green when I have seen them, but they take on the color of their background which is why on this dusty slope, this one (not sure how you tell male from female but guessing it might be female) was the color in these photos. They live about a year. I did know that the female will sometimes kill the male after mating by knocking his head off before she devours him. Not always. Sometimes he's quick enough to get out of her way.

Researching the spiritual symbols, I learned in ancient Egypt it would have been greatly honored. The Greeks attributed to it supernatural powers. To some it has been seen as the guide into the underworld. It had been inspirational in creating some of the Eastern exercises to increase chi (energy). In Africa, a praying mantis is thought to bring good luck to whomever it lands on and even restore life to the dead. The Bushmen of Africa believe the praying mantis is a divine messenger and whenever one is seen, diviners try to determine the current message.

What message did I take for myself from its choosing my back over all the others around? I felt pleased that maybe it knew I would protect it-- which I did as best I could. If it had a spiritual message for me, I will be looking.

Fascinating insects. Also if anyone knows if they will eat lady bugs, who are also garden predators, please comment with the answer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

July is almost gone

Yikes, I meant to put up something for how things are going with how it is to be living in a travel trailer for a few months. Well, it would have been better if we'd have had a trailer that didn't have so many things going wrong with it. Most appear fixable but it's been depressing where it involves the basics like heat, cooling or black water (you can guess that that is). There are other things that are hard for me but that's due to my nature and not  a fault of trailer or anything else. Think too tenderhearted

Here are a few photos of my world right now. Likely it will stay that way until early September when we finally head back to Casa Expiritu in Arizona. Yes, we will be glad to do it, but we will miss our closer contact with our son and the love we have for this land where we had lived in 1977 until recently.

On the trailer aspect, don't know how full-time RVers manage as most of the problems relate to storage for us. This RV has a good layout with the computers and all but storage... big problem. Although it has a big TV, we haven't used it even to watch the many DVDs we brought-- let alone cable. 

One thing I wanted were shelves above the computers. I like them but haven't used the lotions much either. I am removing myself from so much. Alongside my computer is a wall with photos. That's been my project to try and feel upbeat when times are tough (think sending cattle to the auction *sad times for me when it's needed*. They are all photos of places we've been, with positive energy, and where I might hope to go again. Think positive.

If you've never been around livestock where they operate as herds, you might be surprised how much joy there can be gained from watching their personalities as they interact. It's a whole different world than corporate agriculture. If you think there is value in such small herds and flocks, find someone local from whom to buy grassfed meat. It's better for the animals and the humans who need protein. In a natural herd, they live until they die. We can't always do that as it's hard to find enough buyers but it's the goal. As for dying when life is over (sooner or later)-- We do the same. What we want and hope for is a good death.




Saturday, July 24, 2021

Dreams and their powers from 2006

 As I've mentioned I am looking back over past blogs. When I wrote this, I had no idea that someday I'd do a LOT more research on the Yaqui culture with eventually a book, Forbidden Love, with a Yaqui hero. The book was written long after the dream but that's the power of dreams

Monday, September 25, 2006

Yaqui Woman

Understanding the meaning behind my dreams has been one of my spiritual goals. Last week I had one that still has me considering. I was tending sheep and cattle. A pretty common theme for me, but then it began to turn unusual. Some I don't remember except for thinking-- what was that? One incident I recall was pulling a drowning calf from a water barrel, then realizing under it was another, and I was able to save it also.

Then the dream shifted to sitting in a room with a woman across from me and a man behind. I knew there were others nearby but unseen. The woman told me they all were part of my Yaqui family. She said the man was my Yaqui father and in the other room was my Yaqui lover. I saw none of these people in the sense of being able to identify who they might be today.

I had the feeling she was saying this was a bit of a magical family that went farther back than the Yaqui time; and yet Yaqui was how she identified it to me so I would understand.

She said, when magical things happen, they are only to get our attention for the message; so we will listen to what comes next. The magic is not significant other than as an attention-getter. Magic is for the message but not the message.

This is a truth that maybe should be obvious. When Jesus did miracles, he did them to get people's attention, to show who he was, to get others to listen to what he had to say. This is true of most mystics. They are not caught up in the power of the supernatural event but see it for what it is-- a way to help ourselves and others be open to listening.

I woke with a couple of feelings about the dream. First was wondering if it applied to one of my regressions (which I wrote about last fall and reposted for anyone who would like to read it-- here) regarding a possible past life, one which I had thought was most likely Apache because of the area where I thought it took place. Perhaps the people were Yaqui instead. The Sonoran Desert is still homeland to the Yaqui as it was to the Apache during the time of that possible lifetime. It is also where I have a part-time home, a land I have long called one of my spirit homes. Maybe a past life was there. Maybe not.

If it was, it would add to my understanding of what that regression lifetime might have been like. I have felt for a long time that what I did in that time had cost me a soul family's respect. Did I lose touch with who they were, and the dream was a way to reconnect us? As is often the case with dreams, one can wonder more than prove such possibilities-- at least for now.

Second possible purpose in the dream was nudging me to finally read the Carlos Castaneda books about Yaqui mysticism and learn more about the ways of the shaman, something I have read some on through the years but only limitedly. The book I will begin with is called 'A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, The Teachings of Don Juan.'

Shamanism has appeal to me because as best I understand it, it's about those who heal, who help others into oneness with the land and spirit. Perhaps I will soon know more about it.

As most strong dreams do, there could be a third reason for this one, and that might be combining the mysticism I can learn through these books into the story I have been slowly building from dreams. Maybe.. could be.

(This kind of, maybe, could be computer portrait, Yaqui Woman, is mixing some reality from this lifetime with that regression of 1998 in a bit of a dreamlike image.)

Friday, July 23, 2021

Computer sagas

 Yesterday, I posted this at Facebook but decided to share it here also as it might be a good warning for someone.


Yesterday was not a great day for me in terms of the computer lol. Yes, most days are good with it.
We had gone into the attic and retrieved the printer that I'd used at the farm house before we went south. For many months, it had been stashed where it can get quite hot.
Surprisingly, it worked right away except for one important feature-- to me. The photo tray wasn't recognized. I am one of those people who print off our photos, often of the grandkids for the refrigerator but also for albums or collages. 
It took Ranch Boss about four hours to research what might be needed due to Microsoft updates to this older printer, and then to get his and my computers functional with the photo tray. I was thrilled that I could get the quality of printing that it did, and with cheaper ink costs than the printer we had bought (think cheapest HP) for the trailer. So that printer went into the boot as we will need it back in Arizona since we didn't have two functional printers at Casa Espiritu. That was all good but stressful until it was done-- even though I only sit and watch, maybe kibbitz a bit now and again. 
So, he was off to fix a cutting chute and I was writing and reading newspaper articles-- right up until I got the dire warning-- Microsoft Support-- do not dare to shut off your computer as you have been compromised (or words to that effect). What they did was lock down my computer totally. I could not close the screen or get to my own folders. Frozen. Because I did not believe it was Microsoft or that the phone number they wanted me to call would take me to Microsoft, I took the only option I had. I shut down my computer telling it to restart... It took a long time, but it came back. 
All looked well, until I tried to go online and got that warning back... And again--total lock-down. Without my computer techie here, I had to either wait for him (for who knows how long) or do the other thing they said not to do-- a hard stop by pushing the button long enough to turn it all black. I did it, then waited a bit, put it back on and this time no message. Everything worked fine. 
If I had gone to that number, I suspect I'd have gotten a ransomware notice as they claimed they'd walk me through what it'd take to redeem my computer from the grasp of hackers (who clearly they were). 
That is why I mention it here. The notice looks very official. It's not. I should be more careful where I go for research as not all out there is safe. Good reminder to me. All is not what it seems. 
(Update on the printer-- it now makes a squeaky sound when printing from the photo tray. Its story may not be over...)

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


 I'm curious. Since I began publishing my books as an indie author, I have never had a month with zero sales. I've had better and less good months but never with nothing. That changed with July. From the first of July, I have had no readers wanting my books, and I can't figure out why. I don't know that I did anything differently but something led to an abrupt change.

I am posting here because I am wondering if anyone knows what might've led to what feels like a total rejection (yes, that's how it feels when you create something and nobody wants it). I admit we have had less marketing time with the arrival at the farm, but it was in June and sales didn't totally disappear in June. Any ideas?
We did get one clue. When you go to put up Amazon ads, it's now suggested to get them seen that you pay $1.50 to 1.60 per click-- up considerably from what it was. Now that does not mean sales but just someone clicked on the ad, which could even be an Amazon employee. We also read that a certain multi-billionaire's recent space flight cost $550 million per minute, and he said he thanked Amazon customers for financing it. Makes one wonder not just about the books but the rest of the many things we buy there. Still, without Amazon, how would I get my books out there without going through a corporate publishing house, something I have not wanted to do without losing control over the stories.

Anyway, we did create some new covers for the Arizona historicals (now called Arizona Hearts) but the first three only came out into the month; so not their fault lol 
Below is the poster as it now stands and likely will continue unless we decide to pull all the books. Maybe it'll take a reboot like with the computer 🙂. I've seen many ups and downs but never a slide like this one.


Saturday, July 17, 2021

One of the books I'd been reading in 2006

 I used to write more about books I'd been reading. Here is one of those from 2006-- a book I still consider of value-- not just when between relationships but also when life isn't all we want it to be. Looking for reasons in ourselves can lead to changes we want.

books like In the Meantime

The last few blogs have been on books I have read and enjoyed. Another in that category is "In the Meantime" by Iyanla Vanzant. It is about finding yourself and the love you want to be in your life with good suggestions on how to get there.

The main thrust of the book is that we sometimes live on floors in our houses that will never help us live as we wish-- floors that won't let us keep a good relationship healthy if we find one. We are running around all the time cleaning up our messes-- or that of someone else. We move up floors by dealing with our problems and growing as a person with our goal being third floor living.

The meaning to the title is that sometimes we mistake permanent relationships or situations in our lives for ones that are not meant to be forever. Some relationships are meant to be in the meantime and ones that can help us grow. Maybe even one that will someday be permanent is for now in the meantime.

It's been quite awhile since I read the book but would like to think I have continued to apply what I read. To give you an idea of what the book is like, here are a few of the many passages I highlighted:

"Everyone will find out what love is not on their way to finding out what love is."

"When you hear someone or yourself say, 'I have no choice! I have to do what I have to do!' know that you are in the company of someone who is having a meantime experience in the basement of life's house."

"When you know a thing, you do it, you live it."

"You overcome self-deception on the second floor."

"We must be willing to give up old notions, incorporate new information, change the direction in which we are traveling, and most of all take the strings off love. You can never love anyone to your own detriment. That is not love, that is possession, control, fear, or a combination of them all."

As you move up the floors, you will grow as a person with more and more capability to love as well as to know who you are. One suggestion she had that I particularly liked was taking the time to ask yourself questions-- and then even more importantly, wait for the answers. Too often we don't give ourselves time to even consider the questions, let alone wait for the inner voice to reply. She suggested if you ask a question and honestly receive no answer, don't ask a second question but come back to it another day.

"In the basement, you did not know you had a problem. On the first floor, you knew you had a problem and you learned the nature of the problem. On the second floor, you knew the nature of the problem, but you did not know what to do about it. On the second floor, you learned what to do about the problem. Now, in order, to be elevated to the third floor, you must learn how to do what you know."

More exactly what that means is why you buy or borrow the book from the library and take your time as you read it. Vanzant writes entertainingly and uses her own life for examples as to how this all works, and I personally will never look at houses without thinking of my own desire to live on that third floor in all my relationships.

I am currently reading The Second Half of Life, Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by Angeles Arrien. So far so good on it. Fran from Sacred Ordinary had mentioned it awhile back, and it seemed very apropos for my own thinking at this time.

When I am finished with it-- which might be awhile, as it requires considering how it applies to my life-- the next book is waiting, God Laughs and Plays by David James Duncan-- churchless sermons in response to the preachments of the fundamentalist right. This one was recommended to me by my daughter. As you can tell, I get a lot of my books by recommendation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

July 14th and what's been going on

After being out of Arizona since June 2nd, and living in a vacation trailer since then, I've learned a few things about such a life. One I mentioned, I think, that you become far more aware of the basics of life. In a sticks and brick home, or even a campground with full hookups, water, electricity, and dealing with garbage and waste, it's dealt with by someone else. We pay the garbage man to come by. We hook up a trailer or home to a system that carries away what is called the black and gray water. But if you aren't living that way, you have to deal with it.

For garbage, we are sacking it up and after we have enough (we use more than I thought), off we go to the dump where we pay varying fees to throw it into a hole prepared for it.

For the black water, we bought an item that looks like a suitcase. When we believe the trailer's tank is getting full, it is dumped into that. Because we are living on the farm, and my mother was living for many years in a mobile home there, the suitcase was taken over there to dump into the family septic tank. More work by far but it gets it safely disposed of. 


We bought  a trailer with more space in the living area but with a tiny bathroom and bedroom. It has little space to move around (nice shower but with a step down that requires watching out). We store towels in what they call the linen closet, which is in the hall outside the bathroom. I will add that in buying a trailer, be sure you walk through it. No really big person could get between the bedroom and bathroom in this rig. 


We appreciate having the space in the living area for both our desks, but not enough shelving and that's still on a list to add. I do not know how people who make it a full-time home manage-- many smaller than our 36' rig. We'll use it for I think maybe 4 months, and the cats and we will be glad to get back to the stick and bricks, but I also have enjoyed this experience and the cats have done better than I expected.

For electricity, we tried to hook up to the ranch home plugs, but they weren't enough and with the heat we had at the time, that was a problem for a/c. Ranch Boss had some experts come out, evaluate whether what he wanted to do was a good idea. When they didn't have time to do it, he bought what was needed, got on a ladder, and connected it to the shop and barn electric line, which gave us 50 amp service, what we'd have wanted in a park. Lately, the temps have been in the 80s, for which we use the Dometic in the ceiling as well as the portable unit that Ranch Boss bought in Bakersfield. One thing to know about extreme heat and trailers, the a/c units just can't keep ahead of it-- not enough to get down to the 70s. But, we do okay in the 80s due to our time in Arizona maybe.

Living in small quarters means disposing of anything not needed, and it's amazing how little is needed of what we easily have in stick and brick housing. 

For our time here, the internet is available from the house by wi-fi; but we can't use as much as we'd use back in Arizona as it's a shared system. Still, it's more than we expected. Since we have not tried to get television, our news comes from the internet as well as emails and connecting to friends on Facebook. We go light on how much we use it.

The biggest loss is no cell phones, which is tough for business and to talk to family or friends. We knew it'd be an issue. Putting in a landline to the trailer, where we won't be here long, is not economically sensible. But I had no idea how much we benefit from cell phones for so many things.   Ranch Boss  finally got wifi-calling working on his cell -- part time, my phone is too old. We can though connect with others with emails and texting-- for those who text.

But, here's the plus. From the trailer, I can watch the cattle, sheep, and then often the wild turkeys because the windows are big. It's different than living in the house, but it's satisfying enough for the length of time we'll be here for the work needed on the farm, things we want to leave in better shape than when we first left over a year ago before the pandemic hit and travel became impossible for a while. Vacation travel is back, so finding places can be a challenge. Still, this is an experience I am enjoying even with the problems.

My writing on my books is really sad and has been since the pandemic hit. I had started a book last January ,and it's had nothing added ever since. We also have done little marketing while out and that has killed sales. I hope they can come back someday lol For now, it's been the least sales we've seen since I began putting out books and advertising them. Yikes!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

2006 Wave action and quotes

 When I post this, it'll have been a long time since I've been to the coast. The photos and words are worth remembering. All photos are ours. Maybe we'll get back there this year. Maybe...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wave Action

Pretend you are sitting above a cove along the Oregon Coast. You can hear gulls and sea birds crying in the distance. The sound of waves crashes against huge rocks. You draw the salty air deep into your nostrils and let yourself feel the surge of energy from the sea. It surrounds you with the sweetness and regeneration of life

The quotes that follow are ones I have stuck above my desk to read when I most need to remind myself what is important. They each came to me different ways, from blogs, books, friends, to my own search for inspiration.

Each of these wave images can be enlarged if you want to spend an extra moment and think on some of the words.

"What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress. Imagine that you are a masterpiece unfolding each second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath."
Thomas Crum

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Anais Nin

"Feel your feelings. Stand out in the rain naked and let the rain wash your soul."
email from a friend

"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a winged bird that cannot fly."
Langston Hughes

"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken! Take heed-- do not squander your life." Evening Gatha from the Great Mountain Zen Center

"If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it."
Annie Proulx

"Dreams are ncessary to life."
Anais Nin

"Om Namaha Shivaya"
which I got from a friend, who told me the meaning basically meant surrendering to god. I have since read that there are other possible translations but that one suits me as well as any.

"The power of God is within me, the grace of God surrounds me."
from the same friend

And then there another which I don't need to have written down. I used to carry it on a small piece of paper that became very tattered as it went everywhere with me. Now I carry the words in my heart.

"Let my love like sunlight surround you and yet give you illuminated freedom."

(These words and pictures from Whale Cove and taken on my birthday have been a bit of a break from the political which will resume next blog, but I believe we always need to keep the big picture in mind. Be alert to what is important in the world but on a personal level, live a life that is true to our souls. It fits one more quote-- Think Globally; Act Locally. And that starts inside our own hearts.)

Saturday, July 03, 2021

thinking about fear in 2006

 Friday, November 17, 2006


There are a lot of acronyms for fear but my favorite is:

Is fear ever a valid emotion? It is definitely one used by politicians, religious leaders, even in our personal relationships. If you don't do this, eat that, accept my way-- bad things will happen. It doesn't matter if the bad thing is even really possible if you believe it is.

Some would say fear is important for a culture to direct the actions of its populace. Without it, would we allow terrorists to run amok in our countries? Would we steal our neighbor's stereo if we weren't fearful of the consequences? Would we personally commit all kinds of sexually evil acts without fear that hell awaited? Would our children behave politely without fear of parental retribution?

I would ask, aren't there other emotions that help us lead a healthy life more effectively than fear? I think there have to be because to me fear is always negative.

Yes, being scared when a real danger approaches, is a survival mechanism. It increases our adrenaline flow and enables us to act-- whether that is fight or flight. But fear also releases the same adrenaline but with nowhere for it to go. What does it then accomplish? Ulcers, heart attacks, stress diseases, etc.

Recognizing when something is dangerous and reacting to avoid or avert it does not require fear at all. In fact, fear can actually stop your effectiveness in a real emergency. I remember hearing the family story of a kitchen stove fire. Everyone was trying to put it out; but one aunt, who has a good excuse in that she was heavily pregnant, panicked and ended up stuck behind the sofa. The others left her there, safely out of the way, until they got the fire out. We can become so paralyzed through fear that we simply can't react at all or let someone else determine our actions to our disadvantage.

Where it comes to outsiders trying to control us through our fears, that's bad; but it's our internal fear that does us the most damage. Some of that has been instilled by parents who thought they were protecting us from hurt. Some is from people who are scared themselves and want us to share their fears. Sometimes it's through experiences of seeing things not work out for someone else, (or maybe even ourselves), and we quit trying out of fear of worse happening.

Changing a path because something didn't work out is not wrong. It might be the wise choice, but not when it's because of fear. It should come instead from a reasonable assessment of risks and gains.

Some think we should fear God-- not the awe type of fear but actual physical fear and they believe it's the best reason people will accept a religion's rules. This also makes money for a lot of would-be spiritual mentors who sell charms or use it to talk you into taking classes that will teach you to protect yourself.

I believe fear of hell, despite the belief of some fire and brimstone preachers, isn't the best motivating force for being spiritual. I don't think worrying about every action you take having a negative karma will do anything but stick you behind the sofa, legs flailing while others take care of the work.

Sometimes in personal relationships, we fear speaking our minds. We might lose that person if we tell them what we really feel. I have found, for me personally, it's better to open the closet door and with courage (as much as I can muster) face the potential monster. If there is a monster, I can battle it or run. If there never was, I can sigh with relief. Either way I am going to be happier and healthier.

I don't know about you, but one of my bigger life tasks has been realizing when fear is making choices for me. Most of the time those fears are could bes or possibilities, and I have been treating them like the real thing.

Because of fear it won't last, there are relationships we might never take the risk to enter into. While it is true that in the flesh nothing lasts; I believe, in the spirit all the love we have ever created, all the risks we have taken for the highest good, none go away. They not only enrich those around us and our own lives, but they put energy into the world encouraging others to likewise live with love. Putting fear out of our lives makes us stronger and stops others from manipulating us-- personally or politically.

What have you done when you have realized fear was making a decision for you? Any tips you can share with others?

(The above photograph was taken six years ago in Tucson, Arizona. The summer thunderstorm was awesome and the aftermath just as satisfying. This photo was taken to share the experience with a friend, but the picture ended up being one of my favorites as it says so much. There are those imposing, dark clouds, the remnants of the storm, but beyond is the light breaking through. It is the feeling, I think, we get when we have faced a fear and overcome it, breaking its power to control us.)