Friday, June 29, 2007

Everywhere I go, there's Buddha

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become ~ Buddha
I went looking for long curtains and a curtain rod, but found Buddha instead.

It was a moment of serendipity. I just started reading Sandy Boucher's Opening the Lotus: A Women's Guide to Buddhism. I bought it several years ago but never got around to reading it, back when I was studying "Alternative Religions" at university - I went to a Catholic Canadian University and had the opportunity to really study Catholicism (and realize just why it didn't work for me), as well as many religions aside from those that subscribe to Christianity. I was raised Catholic, but became a Pagan when I was 14 (I think my parents thought it was a phase). Growing up, very little emphasis was placed on Mary's role in Sunday school and in church, making it seem very onesided to me. I think I was searching for something that delved a little deeper into the divine feminine aspect, something that was a little more relaxed, a little more celebratory and that didn't send you on a neverending guilt trip. Now I'm in no way against Christianity - I reconciled those feelings long ago, but every now and then I have issues with believers of the the strangers who come to my door and preach at me, look shocked and appalled when I say I'm a Pagan and then rant at me for my "wrong" beliefs, telling me that I'm going to hell (and yes this seems to happen more often than I would like). This falls into my "things that really annoy me" category - if I can accept these people despite our difference in religious opinions, why can't they do the same? I've read the New Testament...I know for a fact that it teaches acceptance. Did they skip this part?

Okay, so anyway...this is was not supposed to be a rant, it was supposed to be about how I'm reading this book on Buddhism. Lately it seems that Buddhism is just jumping out at me - everywhere I go, there's Buddha (sounds like a book title). It made me realize that I really don't know as much about it as I thought and that maybe now is the time to read up on it. I actually own a few books on Buddhism, but just couldn't get into reading them (I'm a firm believer that no book will ever be read before it's time - if I can't get into the book, I set it down. Eventually, I come back to it a week, a month or 6 years...and suddenly I can't put it down. It's just the right time in my life for me to read that particular book). And though I don't forsee me becoming a Buddhist, there are many aspects of it that I can identify with. I see many links to Paganism in Buddhist teachings (and I see many links to Paganism in Christian teachings - it's in the basic principles).

But I thought it was interesting that I had just picked this book back up and suddenly, I come across Buddha sitting on a shelf at a local store. And just having him in my hallway, his little fountain bubbling, there is a feeling of calm settling into my house. I really like that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Bag and Office Art

So I know I said I needed to show off my new pants and the headband/dana that I made, but it was so cloudy this morning that the lighting at home was horrible for taking pictures...but I did make this bag last night on a whim and without a pattern. I love the fabric, but I forgot to add pockets to the inside lining (oops!). It still works and it holds a lot of stuff! I have a book, an organizer, a wallet, a camera, sunglasses case, keys and a zipper purse of things that I don't rolling around the bottom of my purse all tucked in!
Also, we have new art work in the office! Yippee, it's fabric and fiber! It's the work of a group of five artists. They are Catherine Worthington of Brunswick, Natasha Kempers-Cullen of Topsham, Katherine Harman Harding of Freeport, Stephanie Green Levy of Brunswick and Mary Allen Chaisson of Harpswell.
Some of my favs:

"Green Spirit" by Natasha Kempers-Cullen

work by Stephanie Green Levy

work by Katherine Harman Harding

"Jewels" by Mary Ellen Chaisson"Magic Moment" and "Life Energy Celebration" by Natasha Kempers-Cullen
close up of "Life Energy Celebration"
"Walk on the Moon" by Stephanie Green Levy
"Village II & III" by Catherine Worthington
(these two little ones are my definite favorites of the exhibit!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Foxy Loxy and Postcardie Goodness

View slideshow
This little friend came to visit the field next to my parents house...and hasn't left. As a matter of fact, she's building a new home. I tried to get a good look at her to see if she was pregnant, but I couldn't tell. Click on the "View Slideshow" button to see more photos of her. I was all of 15 ft from her, taking these shots. She ran away once, when I started walking back to the house, but she came back, only to run away again when I took the dog out for a walk. She's rather ratty looking (I think that's because she's shedding with the hot weather), but she's cute!

Completed this weekend were the postcards for Andrea's swap! Mine are a bit bulky to be sent as is (and they have beads glued to them that would get destroyed in the sorting machines at the post office), so into envelopes they have gone and are just awaiting postage.
The idea was to create a "summer" postcard...things that make you think of summer (I've already received 3 of the 12 from my list and they are just so funky and creative! I have them on my fridge right now). They were supposed to go out by the Solstice...but as you can see that didn't happen!
Oh so, have I mentioned just how much I love my chief of staff? He closed the office at 3:00 on Friday and told me to get out, to go start my 3 day weekend! He totally rocks!

Oh oh, I have to remember to take picts of my latest creation (the very functional headband/dana - you'll see) and the island pants I found over the weekend (the link shows you what I mean by island pants, mine are grey rayon with an embroidered, sheer black organza overtop - again I say, you'll see).

Anyhoo, I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2007


We adjourned at 10:32 last night and if I hadn't been so tired, I would have done the happy happy dance of joy! I'm still exhausted - at the end of today, this will have been a 60 hour work week. :^(

I don't like 60 hour work weeks. They remind me of when my soul was owned by a retail conglomerate and 17 hour days happened EVERYDAY!

But yesterday I did seek some respite in a lovely, sunny little spot
A place to put my feet up soak up a little sun
watch the summer sky roll about
And rest my tired eyes

It's back to work today, but now to blissful quiet. Silent halls that, not 12 hours ago, were packed with people: Senators, Representatives, lobbyists, citizens, staffers, reporters, camera crews.

Today, they will go back to their normal daily lives.

And so will I. Here. In the quiet.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Solstice Blessings!

May the Blessings of the Solstice be yours, in times of light, times of dark, and all those changing times between. For wherever you pause, may you always remember that you carry with you the seeds of hope, the seeds of joy, the seeds of change to plant in the changing light of the year.
~ Christina Aubin

1 AM

We were in session until 12:45 this morning.We're still not finished.
I'm working on 4 1/2 hours of sleep,
and I took these photos on my ride home from work.
I hope we finish everything today because by 2 PM, I'll either be giddy and silly...
or asleep.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I need a vacation

I've said it before, but I really enjoy my job. I work in the Maine Legislature (Office of the Senate President), but we're not a full-time legislature, which means every two years, we have a new legislative session and every two years there is the possibility of not having a job (a bit nerve-wracking). Our legislative session is broken up into 2 individual (regular) sessions. The first session is the longest running (normally) from January to June. Our second session runs from January to April (sometimes May). In my office, session normally starts off busy, slows down a little as committees settle into their work on bills and then speeds up like a freight train when the end of session approaches. Paperwork comes in furious piles. Tempers flare and suspicion abounds at the slightest notion of someone's bill going the wrong way. Lobbyists hover, staff members scurry and the media camps outside each chamber in hopes of a scoop. Rumors circulate and questions are asked: Will tax reform go this way or that? Will the State health plan make it or be scrapped? Will a certain Senator have a meltdown in public...again...or just in the privacy of her caucus...again? Ooooooh, the drama!

The biggest question today is about adjournment. Today is the day when they should finish their work. Will they? Many have been asking this. Everyone has a guess...a date and a time (and $5 in a pool - keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow night at 11:12 pm).

There is an air of anticipation here today. A calm before the storm. How will it all end? When will it all end?

And my question...when can I take a vacation?

I leave you with two really great Imogen Heap songs:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Garden Philosophy

After the “Trash Bag Water Balloon” fiasco, I decided to adopt a new garden philosophy. It was a really good philosophy. I even gave it a catchy title! I called it, “Suck It Up and Lug the Buckets.” Can you guess what my philosophy entailed?

Now, I have complained about my Dad’s pack ratty ways in the past, but I have to say that I am currently thanking that pack rat! I decided to “rearrange” my shed (read, “throw out all the crap I will never ever use that still belongs to my Dad but I'm not going to tell him I threw it out”) and in my “rearranging,” I found a short hose that attached beautifully to my other hose and you know what? It reaches to within 2 feet of my garden!! I can freely water all parts of my veggie garden with great ease! No wet feet! No lugging buckets! Can you tell that I’m obviously pysched? AND, I found a sprayer attachment for my hose that lets you switch between 5 different settings. It can mist, it can jet, it can gently shower! It also does cone and flat and though they are noticable different settings, I can't describe them. It totally rocks, though!

ANNNNNDDDDD…check this out…I have peas!

I have beans!

I’m doin’ the happy happy dance of joy.

And look at these peonies! I know there are only three little ones, but they're the first peonies I've ever grown.

Monday, June 18, 2007

More From Portland

My niece...loitering
View from the pier
"New Meadows Parking Only. We don't tow. We toss cars over the side!! Telephone Pole to Gate. No Parking!!
Looks like a groovy place to hang out (seriously, I'm joking).
Prayer flags in the breeze outside Mexicali Blues

Sunday, June 17, 2007

40 Years Ago

He was the 2nd of four children, born in Taunton, MA to a Canadian mother and a Bostonian father, who moved to Bath, ME not long after he was born.

She was the oldest of six. Born and raised in South Weymouth, MA, the daughter of immigrants from Newfoundland.

They met at a plane crash at the Naval Air Station, down the street from her parents’ house.

He was 20. She was 15.

They were married in 1967: a week after her graduation and almost a month before her 18th birthday. Not long after, he and his army medi-vac unit were flying to Germany, awaiting orders for Vietnam. She went shortly after, living with him in a tiny apartment, fearing when his orders came and rejoicing when they were rescinded…fearing when they came up again and were rescinded again…came up for a third time and for a third time, his unit was spared.

Within a year, she (pregnant) flew back to Boston to live with her parents, her two brothers and three sisters. On her 19th birthday, she gave birth to their first child. He was still in Germany and didn’t know he had daughter.

Finally, his tour was over and he came home to Massachusetts. Within two years, they moved to a little apartment in Bangor Maine, then to a little apartment in Gardiner Maine. It was 1970, when their son was born. Two years later, they bought a house and four years after that, their youngest daughter came into the world.

40 years was celebrated Saturday night with a trip to Portland, with tunes from 1967 playing on the cd player and dinner at Rí~Rá’s...with family, good food, good drink and rich desserts!

The family gathered outside
Jessica, Mum, Dad, Dina, Alex's nose and Derek's Head
Dad and Dina
An enthused Jessica

Alex and Derek

40 years of trials and tribulations. 40 years of fun and good times. 40 years of love, of memories, of…to quote my Dad…“putting up with a lot of shit.” Mum says, "diddo"

My sister, my brother and I are convinced that if they haven’t killed each other after 40 years, chances are they’re never going to!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I dub thee "Queen of the Bird-Brains"

I’m notorious for coming up with bird-brained schemes for making work easier; schemes that normally result in the work actually being harder.

Last night, I think that had anyone been watching me, A) they would have laughed their ass off and B) they would have officially crowned me Queen of the Bird-Brains!

Let me give you the back story – it’s short, don’t worry. My vegetable garden is in my back yard. My hose is hooked up at the front of the house, (right underneath the only window without a screen). You can also see that there is a fence (you can barely see it, it's at the very back of the lawn on the left side of the picture) that I have to drag the hose around in order to get it near the backyard…only it won’t reach the backyard. It’s about 12 feet too short.
So I have to drag it as far as I can, flip the sprayer upside down and pray that it reaches. I can normally get the front half of the two raised beds, but I miss the very back half and can't reach the gourds, zucchini, squash and pumpkins. I normally end up dragging about 10 buckets of water from the middle of the driveway out to the back yard.
Last night I got the BRILLIANT idea that if I put a trash bag into the wheelbarrow, I could wheel a ton of water out to the garden once and be done with it. Why didn't I just fill the wheelbarrow with water and sidestep the trash bag, you're asking? Well, the wheelbarrow is old and has a few holes in it.

Okay, so there I am by the side of the house, (still in my work clothes and shoes, mind you, because I'm get a little excited when I get a great idea and just go it with right away, wherever I am, however I'm dressed). I have one of those Glad Flexi-Force bags in the wheelbarrow, filling it up like a HUGE water balloon. I tie off the top, smiling and congratulating myself for my genius. I start wheeling it out back and it sloshes a bit, not bad and the sloshed water leaks out through the holes in the wheelbarrow all the way up the driveway. Then I notice little teeny tiny pinpricks of water shooting out of the bag. "It's nothing, it'll make it to the backyard!" I think...and it did, only the water is really sloshing out of the bag the closer I get and it dawns on me that I won't be able to lift this GIANT trash bag water balloon out of the wheelbarrow, nor will I be able to scoop water out of it if I open the bag because it's going to gush all over the place.

At this point, the sloshed water is leaking out the side of the wheelbarrow with force. Again, brilliance hits, I'll just cozy the wheelbarrow up to the side of the raised beds and let the leaking water spill into the bed. Of course, it's going everywhere: in the bed, around the bed, all over where I'm walking. And the wheelbarrow is bulky and I keep slipping in my little black dress shoes, in the mud that has now been created all around the beds. It's just a mess!

Finally, the water in the bag is at a manageable level and I can pick it up out of the wheelbarrow, thinking that the little pinpricks will let me water the garden a gentle rain storm. Only, there had been so much water in it and so much pressure that apparently the seams of the bag weakened, causing the bottom of the bag to burst...all over the bottom of my shirt, the front of my pants and into my shoes!

Fool that I am, the moment it bursts, I try to salvage some of the water, so I'm running with it to get it into the garden before it completely spills out!

Can you picture it? Me standing in the middle of the raised bed (the one on the right). My hair is pulled up in a twist with the ends spilling out (looking quite nice, I might add). I'm wearing a fabulous green top, wide legged black dress pants that have a thin white strip to them, slightly pointy toed flat black dress shoes. I'm completely soaked and holding a white plastic trash bag with water still leaking out of it, into the dirt at my feet, spraying mud onto my shoes and the hem of my pants.

Note to self: Change before getting involved with gardening projects.
2nd note to self: THINK before you act on one of your bird-brained ideas.
3rd note to self: Buy a longer hose, dammit!