Sunday, August 31, 2008

This 'n' That -The garden

Photos and pictures make a blog so much more interesting...
(I've discovered that if I click on a photo on someone else's blog, the pictures show up bigger. You can see how happy John is in his protected shelter.)

This is a photo of John in his garden, under the shade awning he invented--(right side).
The trusty shed is well used for everything, the grapes are on the vine in abundance. In fact, there is an overabundance of everything, and the neighbors are starting to avoid us now. I'm thinking of putting a sign out front that says FREE TO A GOOD HOME--ADOPT A ZUCCHINI. Since this photo was taken, we had to make modifications to prevent the new puppy from romping through the produce, for various reasons--one of which is he eats it, preferring cucumbers, and being competition to Will, Jonas and Sasha. Also, the zucchini has doubled in size, the onions have been harvested, we've had a book group tour our "organic heaven" after they read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book, and of course we had to serve them fresh tomatoes (nothing better!) and zucchini cookies (new recipe-a keeper).
So, yesterday the weather was 99 degrees, and tomorrow they're expecting snow above 8000 feet--the 1st day of September. We'll be picking the first ears of corn today for dinner, and then we'll hope the tomatoes don't freeze.
We do live in a beautiful place, even if the weather is capricious and fickle.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Random thoughts on Karma

Volumes have been written for many millenia on Karma, so this is nothing new. But this post is about a way I like to think the world is.
One short sentence about karma is that what we do (or think or feel) comes back to us. What we send out, returns to us, like ripples going out on a pond, and returning to the point of entry. In my personal experience, nothing I do is ever lost or wasted, and I don't need to keep track of it all, because Something or Someone Greater Than I Am, keeps track. Here's the fine tweaking: If I put something out there, something comes back in equal measure, but it may not come back looking like I sent it. Here is one example.
I like to quilt. It's fun and creative and I feel like I'm expressing myself in ways that feed my soul. Many quilt/fabric stores furnish fabric for Quilts4Cancer if someone will do the work. So, I've made 3 quilts now. I put in my time and effort, and my expenses, because I have to pay for the batting and the machine quilting, but it's a way I can serve and contribute in a very small way. I turned in my most recent quilt on Sunday. My reward is feeling like I'm useful. Now, here's how karma works, in my book: Thursday we went to Snowbird to go on the Alpine Slide, the Zip Line, the Bungy Trampoline, and if we had time, the Tram. It's expensive! A day pass is $32 per person, or a single ride ticket is $8, $10, $12, depending. When we got to the ticket booth, someone came up to us with a free day pass he wasn't going to use, and just plain gave it to us. When I offered to pay or tip, he said, "No, a thank you is enough." So we thanked him profusely, and had a great time with all the activities we could handle. What went out was a quilt, what came back was a day of fun. I call it a great exchange. I have hundreds of stories just like that one. I choose to believe that if I do things for the right reasons ("just because, with no strings attached") I get rewards that are unforeseen and magical. The trick is NOT to expect anything at all, but to RECOGNIZE when the magic happens and just say,
"THANK YOU!" I think there's a great quote by Meister Eckhardt that says, (paraphrased) "If the only prayer you ever say in your life is THANK YOU, that will suffice."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why is it so hard to relax?
I've been going to an aerobics class (believe it!). Of course, you don't know that it's for senior citizens and I'm the youngest one there...the oldest being 93, who comes with her 72 yr. old daughter. I'm amazed at the agility, fortitude, and aliveness of this group of 25-30 people. The instructor is my age, has been teaching aerobics there for over 25 years, probably longer, and some of the women have been going that long. Isn't that amazing?
Now, coming from a yoga background, where the most important pose is the corpse pose, or relaxation, or savasana, I look forward to the end, when we can stretch out on our mat with the cool, damp, essential oil-infused washcloth the teacher provides. I put it over my eyes and breathe deeply. After two breaths (I'm not kidding or exaggerating) I feel the air around me stir, hear everyone talking, look around the room, and everyone is packed up and leaving. With the opportunity to do nothing but stay and breathe, which is such a gift, why is it people are so uncomfortable letting go, so eager to be one their way? I'm sure these octogenarians don't have to run off to pick kids up at day care, or fix breakfast for their husbands, or even go shopping at Nordstroms. Yesterday I determined I would complete 10 breaths before I got up. The teacher was the only one left in the room, and she had her stuff all packed up.
What amazes me most about all of this, is that these aerobics classes are full, while my yoga classes were sparcely attended. Relaxation is neither valued nor wanted, but everyone needs it. Being quiet, breathing, listening inward, feeling sensations in the body, noticing the wanderings of the mind are all such gifts. May we all have a moment to just BE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One Way to Begin

I love to read the blogs of my family. It's a great way to catch up on their busy lives, plus I get to see wonderful photos of my grandchildren. I've never felt like anyone would like to read what I might have to say, but maybe one day I might say something profound. Who knows? Miracles happen every day.
I thought I'd give the blog the focus of "What's on my mind?" since most of the teachings I've been studying for the past 25 years are about the way we think (or not), and the nature of the mind. I'm also at an age where I'm not sure how to proceed in my life. Being over 60 is sometimes tough, and I need to explore that. It's an age where I feel like I have something to give, I've acquired a measure of experience in many areas, but there doesn't seem to be a venue for what I have to offer. It's the aging and saging (don't read that as "sagging", although that would also apply). (Should it be spelled ageing and sageing?) Anyway, if what I've experienced helps someone else, I'd love to offer my services. Advice is free, and you get what you pay for.
So, here's to a new adventure...exploring what's on my mind. Maybe you'd like to leave a message about what's on your mind. Be my guest. I think I'll answer any post and any question. It might be interesting and fun.