The Final Sunday Report

Last week I spent some time staring at the campfire and contemplating. Something inside me kept saying “I’m done” in a loop. I’d been feeling my age lately and this year’s Camp Sonnystone really brought it home as I cope with my grandies growing up in what seems the blink of an eye. But there’s no reason to think that I’m done, not at all; with so many good times to look forward to and our health still strong, I couldn’t justify that sort of morbid thinking. So I examined it more closely, listened more intently.

This blog means so much to me; it is the Chronicle of my Life. Including the defunct blog, for the last 16 years it has witnessed the birth of all my grandchildren and my evolution as a JoJo. Through two organist jobs, two nursing jobs, Christmases, Birthdays, Camps, and plenty of Disney Trips we’ve watched the grandies grow. But there were also lots of topics; I did interviews, reviewed every “Best Motion Picture” Oscar winner, went through my CD collection with comments, occasionally talked politics, often talked about Peace. There were some deaths, as well: Aunts Thelma, Almeda, and Shirley; Uncle Jr; my friends, NuNu, Lois, Chuck, and Beaver. I’ve taken you on lots of trips with us, kept you apprised of what’s growing in the garden, what birds are at the feeder, and sometimes just blathered.

Even though I upgraded my WP account, I have now very nearly filled up all the allotted media space for Sonnystone and for the garden blog, Growing Every Season, which I started around the same time. At first I thought I would do a whole lot of work to download and delete old posts, but I kept putting it off. The next upgrade costs quite a bit more money and is more for a monetized blog. I believe the voice that was saying “I’m done” meant that I’m done with this particular blog and the obligation that I feel to keep it going.

To give The News a proper send-off, I compiled a video of photos. In order to not make it an hour long, I concentrated on just the people, then had to pare it down more to mostly grandies growing up. The music that I chose is poignant; Over the Rainbow and Wonderful World by Iz, the wonderful Hawaiian artist. He speaks in one part, almost unintelligible, but he’s using two Hawaiian words: “kuleana” has multiple meanings, including “land divisions”, but represents your space or spirit; “pono” which means “to make correct” or “to make good”. So what he means is that kuleana pono is an “automatic plan”, that if you make your space, your spirit good, “stuff” is just waiting to come to you, waiting until you are ready.

It makes me kind of anxious to think of not blogging every week, so I remind myself that I’ll still be keeping up the ancestry blog, and our trips will still be recorded over at the travel blog. The fact is I need to let go and open my mind up to new things, especially regarding my writing. By letting go, I will open up my spirit for some of that “stuff” that has just been waiting until I’m ready.

Thank-you for following along with me. I have truly enjoyed your company. Now I’m taking one long look back, then turning out the light, closing the door behind me.

Peace

Sunday Report 8-8-2021

There is nowhere else I’d rather be than with my grandkids, so the last two weeks have been heaven. As usual, Camp Sonnystone 2021 was a rousing success. Our Word was Believe, and our Theme was Rainbows. We ate well, swam a lot, painted, made suncatchers, sang, danced, laughed and had a few tears just to keep it real. My daughter has been making regular posts to FB, but for my WP followers, here’s a few pictures.

I’m just beginning to work on a video and hope to share that with you next week.

Peace

Another week? Seems longer…

I’m such a loner.  The “isolation” of this virus hasn’t bothered me a bit.  We Garden at this time of year, starting seeds and breaking up new ground for planting, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.  Other than wearing mask and gloves when I grocery shop at 7am, not much has changed around here.  I sort-of started Spring Cleaning, kind of, which is totally normal for me.  What has bothered me is how Time is Warped right now… Every week seems like a year and the days lumber along slowly — what day is it, again?

I know that many of you are concerned about my daughter.  She and her family are doing well, thank-you.  If you are friends with her on facebook you can see for yourself.  We stay in touch and there’s not much else that can be done right now.  In order to keep a handle on my anxiety, I stop and Practice the Presence more often and that’s a Good Thing.

We had some storms fly through last night and tornadoes touched down about 10 miles from here, both sides of the river, just adding to the Stress on our First Responders.  With All my Heart and Soul, I am sending Love and Strength their way.  The clean-up efforts will only compound the hazard of spreading the virus.  Please stay safe if you are inclined to help, and Bless you for it.

This week I’m starting a series of posts about the “genealogy” of our house and grounds, aka Sonnystone Acres.  We continue to garden and I post at Growing Every Season on Thursdays.  I’ll try to be friendlier over at the facebook, but you can always call or text or email, as well.

Peace

 

 

First Post

I have had the most Wonderful Holiday Season, culminating with a surprise visit from the Jose’ Fam and my Entire Family being together right here at the Acres.  It was exquisitely peaceful and loving.

Whilst basking in the Joy of my family, I didn’t realize for a day that our country had started a war, assassinating another country’s leader, acting as if the USA has some sort of moral superiority to judge and attack any other country (or religion) it doesn’t like.  This sort of verbal aggression is to be expected from the bully that is president right now, but to Start A War…and don’t kid yourself, we are now at war…in order to distract from his corruption is pure evil.

I pray for the people in the Middle East who have been abandoned and assaulted by our country.  I pray for our own people who are going to die paying for this sick man’s ego games.  I pray for all of us as we wander around in this dangerous world.

As I have studied history and its wars, I have found that there is no winner, that in fact Everyone Loses. I would be against war even if the other side had started it.  I believe we are all the same and those who fail to see every human as their brother or sister are blinded by their own fear.   I pray that Love can pierce their blindness and wake them.

Remember: we’re All just walking each other Home…(Ram Dass)

Peace

My daughter-in-law’s surgery went fine and she is back home loopy on meds, so I’m still doing the chauffering for her.  It was about 8pm last night that Michael brought her home, so I had Samantha asleep and Olivia at least in her room — I felt like a real Mama.  Samantha gets out of pre-school at noon, so I’ll just say “hey” and get back to work…

I’m glad the election is finally over, but it won’t stop the incessant roar of anger in this country.  I continue to avoid watching cable news, facebook, and twitter, though facebook, for me, seems the mildest of the three.  Facebook just hasn’t been showing me much more than ads until recently when folks (and their cute kids) started popping up–finally a reason to hit the like button..!  Believe me, a person can stay informed without the shrill and shriek of the talking heads manipulating and triggering emotions…

Casey is out putting some cages around the rose bushes.  There are some tall canes that I fear will be destroyed by winter snows.  Our first “snowfall” is predicted for next week…the kind that melts by noon…but we’ll be ready for anything.

Getting up early and getting out of the hou-hou-house seems like such a new/old experience.  Out there in the early morning with the school buses sends me back in time when I had places to go and things to do…and stress out the wazoo.  I’m glad I can help the kids out and take a little of the stress off of them.  Soon enough I’ll be back here with plenty of time to write.

Perfunctory Picture

 

Peace

 

So long, September…

We seem to have finally crossed into Autumn around these parts and ’tis the season for pumpkins and mums. with some rudbeckia and scarecrows thrown in for good measure.

We spent Mon-Wed doing some babysitting duties, though Saman-THA is quick to let me know she’s not a baby anymore.  That’s okay, because she cuddles and plays, and fully embraces the fact that she will Always be My baby…

But babies aren’t allowed to play with play-doh, so that proves that she is a Big Girl…

We have finished up taking down the pool.  The peas look like they are struggling some, but the green beans are blooming and we should have a big mess of beans by mid-Oct.

Sevin spray on the cauliflower and broccoli has maybe  held off the worms, but I’m not sure what kind of crop we’ll get.  They still look pretty from a distance, though.

We pulled up the travel trailer from its dock in the back to our side yard and plan to keep it there through October.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a window of weather to trip in it, but there’s no definitive plan now.

I did my usual shuffling, pulled out the banquette table,  dragged out a round table I bought 30 years ago and it fits perfectly!  Now I’m going to hit up Joanne’s for fabric and re-do in Blue.  I’m super-excited to have a new sewing project..!

I’m going out to enjoy this beautiful day…walk in the woods, smile a lot, and fix up a super beet salad that I’ve had a hankering for…

I roasted beets and they are in the fridge, ready to be cut.  I’ll add some goat cheese and pecans, perhaps a little spinach, then drizzle it with a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and whatever other magic I come up with.  I’m not real good at recipes, always changing them up to suit myself, so you can bet it will get rave reviews when it’s served—from me, anyway!

Please take some time to send out thoughts of Love and Peace to the World today –and Every Day.  It really needs it.  #MeToo…

 

Peace

 

Follow the worm down the ear…

I love to take my morning coffee out on the front porch swing to Just Be in the present moment.  I brewed some french vanilla the other morning, settled into my attitude of gratitude, but had a song stuck in my head.

90% of people experience such earworms, also know as Involuntary Musical Imagery.  It bothers some people, but I usually just go with it…listening to my memory play like a stereo.

The song in question that day was Eli’s Comin’ by 3 Dog Night…girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide, girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide…hide your heart now…  As the jukebox in my head played, I thought…that Laura Nyro was such a great songwriter… what all did she write? …

the music switched to “and when I die…and when I’m dead, dead and gone” …what was the name of that group?  oh, yeah, Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  While the tinny piano and cowbell from that version played in the background, I began to sort through Nyro’s discography…soon the music became a medley of Fifth Dimension songs…come on down to the stone soul picnic… i got the wedding bell blues..ain’t that sweet-eyed blindness good to me… 

I stayed there for a while, letting those songs play in the background while I looked around at the patch of blue sky I could see through the trees, noticed the birds and squirrels were going about their morning rituals.

Suddenly, the songs were back with a nagging question…what’s that one that goes come on people… I brought full focus back to Laura Nyro’s discography… didn’t Barbra Streisand do one of her songs? Yes..going down to stoney end, I never wanted to go…cradle me, mama, cradle me again..  not the song I was looking for, but still worth remembering…  I expanded to come on people, come on children, let’s go down to the ?jordan? river… I could hear the piano…but could get no farther..The not-remembering finally got to me and I came in to the computer and looked it up.

It was covered by the Fifth Dimension and that youtube video is a wonder of 60’s bright bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and awkward dance moves.  But it was the artist herself, Laura Nyro, sitting at the piano and exuding the feeling of this powerful song that most moved me.

Step into the Wayback machine of black-and-white TV, watch this Vietnam war protest song that offers great wisdom…maybe get it stuck in your head.

It’s called Save the Country

Laura Nyro was 49 when she died in 1997.  She was so brilliant and if you don’t know her work, you’ll do yourself some good to listen to her albums.

May all of your earworms be inspiring…

Peace

 

Remembering that day…

17 years ago…what a different world it was.  I managed to get in a call to my daughter, living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as soon as I heard that a plane had hit the Twin Towers…her voice broke as she told me she was okay, that another had hit, that Eric had already left for the day and that she was determined to go to her doctors appointment… I told her to stay home, but she didn’t.  Her doctor never made it across the bridge that morning, but the doctor I worked for kept me busy, didn’t allow me to watch the TV in the waiting room, and let me close the door of my office and weep.

Whether you considered NYC a rat-infested garbage heap or the Emerald City, on That Day, we were all New Yorkers…  I wish it didn’t take Tragedy to bring our country together… but even then you could see the schism forming…When I got home and could talk to them, my mom and sister both decried Melissa’s presence in the city at all –“why is she even in that godless place?”

Melissa has lived in New York for nearly 19 years now, raising her children, pursuing her singing, and working her day-job well into the night.  I have made at least 40 or so round-trips, have walked Manhattan Island from stem to stern, have adopted the apartment up on 102nd as my home-away-from-home.  The people there are friendly, hugging and blowing those little air-kisses around both my ears when they greet me.  I wade into the fountains at Washington Square, or sit in Central Park and notice that children play just the same there as anywhere else.  I visit the museums, drink coffee at the diners, ride the bus or subway with a little help from my friends. I didn’t expect to love it so much, and still wish it was closer physically to the Acres…

That day, that day… I begged her to come home…  She refused…   I am so awed by her strength, by her conviction that The City was where she was supposed to be.  (I believe Eric would not have caught his cancer “in time” if he had been living in Eville) (I believe my grand-daughters are receiving a world-class education because she didn’t listen to my pleas)  When people ask me, and they inevitably do, how they “make it” there, I just shrug.  They make it on Faith…because God Is in that place, leading them along and making sure they always have enough.

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command…
 Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Right Now

Peace

 

 

The latest News …

My boy-child had a birthday on Monday, so he had to endure the perfunctory re-telling of his Birth from the point of view of the loins from which he sprung…  He loves it.  We met up for breakfast, then we took the girls with us to plan and execute a !Surprise! party for their Daddy.

With little effort, the days have calmed into peace. My restlessness has been replaced by restfulness. There is no list, but plenty of work gets done..  The songbirds are begging to be watched and that burly squirrel that’s been stealing my tomatoes stares me down as he walks the fence like a tightrope.  The double shepherd’s hook carries matching red feeders that have  attracted hordes of whirring hummingbirds that kamikaze in and out of the nearby magnolia.  We floated around the pool on a couple of the hottest days, snoozing in the sweltering humidity.

Then the rains came!  This was our first opportunity to sit out on the new porch and watch a storm.  From the center, you can see the tree limbs, heavy with rain, swirling and bending to the will of the winds within the wind…  The steady rains that followed the storm have made lakes in the yard and driven the deer to the higher ground…

 

Today the temperatures have plummeted to upper 60’s!!. It’s so chilly that I feel like making chili..! and it’s Perfect weather for curling up in a comfy chair and diving into a book.  Recently I picked up a couple of books that I’ve been “reading” for the last couple of months and finished them.  Now I’m going through my to-be-read list and getting back into the groove, escaping this world with characters created by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Alexander McCall Smith.

And that’s the news around here, folks, that Peace has invaded the Acres like kudzu and I’m just holding still, breathing it all in and breathing out a fog of gratitude.

Peace

 

FB shut me down…

I still don’t understand why, but “suspicious activity” had been detected, so they said.  Okay.  They wanted me to send them a picture of myself, so they could determine if, indeed, the me that was sending them the picture was the Real me.  The Actual Person me was immediately offended, then concerned, so I took the problem to google and discovered that this is not an uncommon situation and it was safe to send them the picture.  But what’s up with sending them a picture?  Don’t they already have all my pictures?  Couldn’t I just pick one of me even if I weren’t me?   How does that verify that I’m really me?  I look at recent pictures and hardly recognize myself, so where does Mr. Bigshot Facebook get off thinking he knows me so well.  Shouldn’t they ask me piercing questions:  What is the name of your first elementary school?  What was your grandmother’s maiden name?   What is the most surprising thing you can tell us about yourself?   How could I surprise them?  They — who the hell is They? — track everything I do on the internet.  How, or why, would they suspect that I am not me?  Who else could I be?  I am decidedly me.  And that old woman in the picture is not the proof you are looking for.

I checked my driver’s license.  There is a picture of me, taken 12 years ago, wearing my nurse scrubs and dark red lipstick, long hair, few wrinkles.  That’s not me, though it was me.  I turned to my brand-spankin-new Medicare card.  No picture, but the name:  Christina J Casey.  I was so bummed when I got my card and saw that I was now going to be, until I fly away from this terrestrial globe, Christina J.   (I was named after my mother (Ruby Christina), a default measure after Dad wanted to name me Ruby.  I don’t know why they never called me Christy, or Tina, or just Christina, but they didn’t.  I was The Bug to my Dad and Jo to everyone else.)  Perhaps that’s suspicious?

This all happened 4 days after I had started my hiatus from blogging, determined to retreat and reset.  I got to thinking it must be a sign that I needed to verify for myself that I am still me.

I began a a spell of study with teachers from the Sounds True Meditation and Mindfulness Reatreat:  Alice Walker, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh.  I listened to some of Oprah’s Sunday interviews with Maya Angelou.  I reviewed my Ayurveda lessons and did some Dosha and Chakra Work.   When the snow and ice came, I watched the birds at the feeders and soaked up the warm cozy.  I started 2 book challenges, one fiction, the other non and read 2 from each list so far.  I dragged out my book of 40’s standards and played Misty and Cry Me a River.

I got back on the treadmill–but only once!!!  Now That proves that I’m really me.

I did eventually send the folks at fb a picture of me, and a week after that, I was bombarded with a barrage of “come back and see what you’ve missed” emails and notifications.  I really hadn’t missed a thing.

I am returning to blogging, though, refreshed! ready!  But I still wonder who I am…

Peace