Friday, June 28, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That

Admittedly I'm in a funk. It came upon quite suddenly. I've had distractions around to help me out for a while.... besties from the cold zone came down to visit me. I had back to back visits with friends I never see enough of. The time went so fast. As usual we had loose plans to "do this" or "do that" but also as usual never make too many plans, because the Universe has in store for us whatever it has in store. Regardless, the visits were great. But, now they're over, and I'm back to my funk.

Today I went and got a hair cut and color. Lopped off a good amount of the stuff that is typically covered in a hat anyway since I don't like hair nets, and I must keep my hair covered while cooking & baking. Also, I had purple added to my hair. I used to do all sorts of freaky things to my hair before I lived here. I think that came from my mom, she began "perming" my hair as a pre-teen (hey, it was the 70s, what can I say) and I began to try and find ways to change my looks. I became somewhat of a conformist in high school hair-wise, but afterwards, not at all. When I used to go to the salon up north, I'd always start the session with "let's try something different" which can be music to a stylists ears... something fun. I've had green hair, red hair, black hair, blue hair, purple hair, brown and blond hair. I've had long hair, short hair, curly hair and straight hair. I thought about shaving part of it off when I saw how great Rhianna looked not too long ago, but then I slapped myself back to reality since the rest of me does NOT look Rhianna. Down here, people don't seem to do those fun things with their hair. I guess it's because those of us who live here are too busy working to be bothered with hair issues, and if we're not working, we'll be out on the water, or a beach somewhere, where it just doesn't make sense to worry about hair. I kicked my funk to the curb for a little while today with my purple haze hair.  But, I'm feeling the "icks" creep back slowly but surely.

This funk came on suddenly. What can I say. Sometimes when you least expect it, "expect it." I don't know what the "it" is, if I did, I'd be better able to brace myself. But, I got thrown for a loop recently, and I'm in a quandary about how I will handle it.  Don't panic, nothing life threatening is going on. I'm sure things will all work out somehow. Usually I'd deal with a funk by running, but I was so busy with visiting friends, the running was not a priority. When someone you haven't socialized with in essentially 13 years comes to town, running is not a priority (for me at least). And, now today's hair has resulted in a "suggestion" that I not wash it for a day, so again the running is off the menu. I'm working through some angst with a little extra time in the kitchen, and a little time spent with the cats.

Speaking of cats, let me take a moment here to say how great Peri is doing. He's remarkable in his perfection. In fact, as I write this, he is about 2 feet away from me, sleeping on my pink office chair. He has claimed everything in my home as his own, and this has brought quite a period of adjustment to my own furry family. Peri has put the weight on so basically he's just as he was before the walkabout that almost ended his life, and his medication must have fairy dust inside because it truly is magic for him.  This makes me happy.

On the turtle front, let me tell you that although I don't know if the numbers are higher or lower than other years, we are having nests. Mostly I pick up trash though, which is ok, because that's a very important part of the job... making sure the sea turtles have a safe habitat to nest, and that the habitat is clear so the hatchlings can make it to sea when ready (no hatches yet... too early). And, something REALLY cool I was involved with was relocating a sea turtle nest. I will not be publishing photos, or any details about the location due to concerns I have whether this would be allowed with the FWC people, as well as the fact I don't want to disclose the location of a nest which was already jeopardized by a risky location. Basically what happened is a mother turtle laid her eggs VERY low on a dune... VERY close to the water line. The nest would have been inundated by sea water due to tide changes. So, the person in charge of sea turtles in the Keys took care of the necessary behind the scenes administrative work and the nest was evaluated for relocation. The "experts" decided it was indeed in danger of being lost, so it was decided to relocate. As a certified wildlife paraprofessional holding proper permits to do this, the other happy vegan, myself, the FWC representative, and the beach walker who actually found this nest did the relocation. It took about 1.5 hours. The first thing we did was locate a nearby safer spot for the nest, and dig a new hole. We were encouraged to actually do this pretending to be a turtle.... kind of flinging the sand, and scooping the hole as if we had flippers. We are NOT allowed to bring shovels, or any type of equipment to do this job (well, ok, we brought garbage bags to clean the beach in the area, that has nothing to do with the nest, tee hee). Once the new habitat was ready, we set about to locate the nest. Then, slowly and ever so carefully, we moved the sand gently away. When we get to the eggs, as delicately as you can imagine, and with just one finger, we swept the sand away from each egg, and placed them, one by one, in order, into what the FWC turtle person brought. The eggs can not be tilted, the eggs must be kept in order, and the eggs can not be jostled at all. This nest brought forth 139 eggs (HUGE NEST!) and 7 that were damaged by the mother during nesting (the FWC representative told us that is not uncommon, as the mother puts all her weight on that nest after the eggs are covered, and really packs down the sand). So, under the watchful eye of the authorities, we moved this nest. It's quite interesting (to say the least) to have done this, and we are all holding our breath with fingers crossed for a healthy hatch. Certainly if nothing had been done, the entire nest would have been lost. As of now, there is no reason why this nest should not hatch on time. I would like to post pictures, but as I said, I don't want to jeopardize anything with authorities in case we ever come face to face with a need to do something like this again.  I will, however, of course post pictures of nest area after it hatches, and let you know how the shell count goes after the hatch.

For now, I'm heading back into the kitchen with my purple haze hair. Maybe tomorrow I can make time for a run, and clear my purple head. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Almost Father's Day Again

I'm getting a post up a couple days early for Father's Day. Here we've both been so very busy behind the scenes, I didn't want Father's Day to slip by unmentioned.

Aside from everything else that is taking my time lately, I have found myself once again pouring through things, and ruthlessly getting rid of "stuff." I have again declared stuff as my enemy, and have gone on a tear through my closet somehow coming up with a couple more boxes of donations (admittedly my clothing choices are getting less and less, and less and less.....) and finally today, I went through my entire living space and dusted things, and got rid of things. I have packed up several boxes of questionable items that I'm in the process of determining do they stay or do they go. Some of these items were gifts from my father. I don't have very many things from my parents, and even precious fewer items from my brother who was killed in an accident long ago. As I removed every single item from my display case, I got a little misty as I dusted off a 70s vintage llama statue. It was a birthday gift from my deceased brother. I remember when he gave it to me, it was one of the first gifts he ever gave me as a teen. I know it came from money he earned himself, and he actually chose it himself. This wasn't something that mom picked out for him to give me. How am I so sure? Because it's a LLAMA for crap's sake... who gives anyone a llama? My brother, that's who. He really liked that llama when he saw it. He bought it for me, and gave it as a gift with pride. Its one of 3 things I have from him. I got sad because I was looking at that llama, and wondering how in the world did it come to be that I have 3 things from him, and 1 is an old cartoonish llama statue. From there, I ended up pouring through my china cabinet, looking at all the beautiful crystal that my father gave me. I haven't used it in years. Every Christmas (back when I celebrated), a box of cut crystal would be under the tree with a really bad wrap job. By that time, my mom was passed for a while, and my dad was always beside himself on gifts for us kids, especially my sister and I. So, it was a relief when a friend, who remains a dear friend to myself and my family, came up with the crystal idea for dad. It really is truly exquisite, but I haven't used it in years. This seems almost criminal to me.

So, about this exquisite, yet criminal crystal.... I'm having some issues over it. I took every single stem of crystal out of my cabinet, and "pinged" it with my fingers. It rang long and beautiful. And, then I pulled every single box out of the attic, wrapped each piece in tissue, and had the other happy vegan stash the boxes full of crystal in the attic. I think I am going to get rid of it.  This is a very hard decision, because every box is a memory. In fact, one of those boxes actually still had some really ugly Christmas wrapping paper attached with tape. My dad had the worst taste in wrapping paper, it was so bad I really looked forward to seeing what he chose. He hated shopping, hated wrapping, and hated lugging things around. My dad was a minimalist before minimalism was "in."

After I wrapped all the crystal, I turned my attention to one last kitchen cabinet I have of personal items that are beautiful, but unnecessary. I have fine china. And, I also have pretty nice fine holiday china. The fine china was my grandmother's. It's SO Italian looking, if you can understand what I mean. It's old-fashioned, and very um.... decorated. I call it gaudy. I don't use it much, but how will I ever part with this I have no idea. I rarely use it. I am hanging onto it because it was a source of pride for my father to give it to me while he was still alive, and also because there are simply so few things that were actually from my grandparents, I must keep them in the family. Perhaps someday my nephew will have a home and a family of his own, and they will want this "Italian" family china. So, I can justify the clutter in 1 cabinet. The holiday china is an entirely different story. I used to LOVE Christmas. I used to celebrate the holiday, and entertain. So, my dad ended up gifting me some pretty holiday china, and as the years wore on, he would give me completer pieces and serving pieces. I have a decent amount of this holiday stuff, probably enough for 12 and then some. It's stashed in quilted china protectors, in a cabinet. I don't use it. I don't celebrate Christmas, and if I could wipe the month of December off the calendar, I would do so in a flash. But, this china reminds me of my dad. Again, the silly wrapping paper, the angst I knew he had endured behind every piece that he gave me. It's really true the saying "the gift is the journey" when it came to things my father gave me, because the journey for him was the shopping and the choosing. Not easy for him. I know how hard it was, and I don't take these things for granted, even after all the years he's been gone.

Father's Day is coming. I've done tributes to dad, and maybe in a roundabout way, this is another tribute, I don't think so though. It's just so hard for me to come to grips about emotions attached to stuff. Through the years, I have really been able to lighten my load of stuff. The more I give, the easier it is to give, and I want to give more. But, some things, I just cannot do. I looked around my living room today as it was torn apart for cleaning, purging, and packing. I looked at things with a very critical eye, and thought "if I had 5 minutes to get out of my house, what would it be that I would take?" Of course, this did not include living people and animals. It was limited only to stuff. I saw that llama, and knew it would be one of the things I would grab. I saw my grandparent's marriage license (all in Italian, of course) that my living brother had pieced together bit by bit after he found it going through things after dad died. He had it framed for me and gave it as a gift. It's very important to me, and I would grab that. I saw a painted tile that my mom did as a very young girl, and the maracas and percussion sticks from Cuba that she also used as a young girl. I would grab them all. And, I saw this ridiculous bottle of cherries in alcohol from Italy that I would grab in those 5 minutes. Those cherries have a story behind it that maybe I'll tell some day, maybe not. Truth be told, it's probably not all that hilarious if you're not from my family, so why even bother. But, those decades old alcohol soaked Italian cherries are one of those things I would mourn forever if I ever lost, they are THAT important to me. These things have no monetary value, but I have great comfort with them around me. And, with the china and crystal that I'm considering as something to maybe lighten my load... well it's not about the money, it's about that journey dad took for me.

I get a little funky every year around Father's Day. It's so hard to believe he's gone, and some days it hits me right upside the head like it just happened. I expect to turn around and see him, or call him. Just sit in the swing, have a beer and not really talk too much. I miss him so much. Sometimes people say "what I would give for just one more day...." Well, I know exactly what I'd give, and it would be a 60+ year old bottle of Italian cherries in alcohol. That is exactly what I would give for just one more day.

I hope those who will be observing Father's Day have a wonderful holiday. Cherish the moments while you have them. Nothing lasts forever.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hello? Hello?

This weekend, the other happy vegan and I are both immersed in an animal communication workshop. This is in addition to working at the B&B (of course), and me having my usual food orders to fill for the week.  Animal communication is something I've grown to be much more interested in, especially since moving here.

I learned about this workshop a few months ago through another massage therapist. I was actually at an informal CEU class for craniosacral work (another huge mystery I'm attempting to unlock for my tool box). At the end of the class, I was handed a flyer that said there was going to be more continuing education held right here on Big Pine Key (how convenient!) and it was for animal communication. I knew instantly I wanted to attend, but couldn't sign up until pretty close to the deadline, simply because it's very hard to plan things when I know I have to work. After realizing I could attend the workshop despite all the other things I had going, I mentioned this event to the other happy vegan. He asked to see the flyer. He wondered to me if he could take it too (he is not a massage therapist, so neither of us wanted to assume it was open to non-therapists).  I called "M" the host for this workshop, and she enthusiastically told me of course it was open to anyone who wanted to attend.

We signed up.

Something in the last year or so has happened to me with how I perceive animals, I'm not sure why it happened, and cannot pinpoint the first time it happened. But, the "it" I refer to is this.... when I'm connecting with an animal, looking at them, thinking about them, speaking or singing to them, my energy often shifts to within the animal's perspective. It's weird, and maybe you don't even believe this, but it's true. Energy shifts from out of my body into the animal, and I can imagine being them looking back at me. And, from that moment, I do my best to really experience in the moment what they are seeing, and feeling.

I'm not really in tune with animals as far as being able to have an open flow of dialogue. Today proved that for me, in that this is a skill I will have to work on constantly. But, it's undeniable that the animals are coming to me and wanting to communicate more often with me. I'm convinced they are seeking me out because I am open to receive them, and really want to help.

We have had animal communicators here as guests in the past. Sometimes the tell me what they do, and at least once I clearly recall a communicator being here, but not saying anything until she was getting ready to leave. She told me a few things in particular about certain animals, and had questions about animals she had no idea who they were but thought maybe I'd recognize. And, then she said something that brought me great comfort.... that my airspace and home here draws many animals, living and in spirit. She said they are here all the time, some stay, and some just pass through. I told her how sometimes I do rituals for the animals, and how the special rocks & crystals I have are for them. She said she already knew that. I think the animals find this place a sanctuary because we don't eat them or exploit them. We love them, and cherish them. They can find safe haven here.

So, today we went to this animal communication class with no expectations, but a lot of curiosity. It has been a really great first day, but despite my best efforts at grounding, I find myself very tired. Doing massage therapy work, I am very accustomed to grounding as well as ways to protect myself energetically from others. I don't feel the need to protect myself from the animals' energy, but I do know I need to stay grounded. I think I was overwhelmed today, and didn't keep my focus where it needed to be. Neither of us happy vegans think we did a very good job receiving messages, but we did tap into a couple of things that has us talking even now, hours after the class ended for today.

Another thing that we did was attempt to find our spirit animal guide. For a long time, I had ideas of who may be guiding me, but today when we were doing the imagery exercise, an entirely different animal came to me, and I'll be honest with you, it was not one I would ever expect, nor particularly invite. There was some violent imagery from the animal through the exercise, and I had feelings that were not necessarily pleasant.  After, when we were given a list of animals and their meanings, some clarity was provided as to why perhaps this really may be one of my main guides. Yet, I am still unsettled by this part of today.

Today was devoted to living animals, while tomorrow will be devoted to spirits. You may think I'm crazy, but more and more I am "hallucinating" animals from my past. My "hat cat" has come to me several times in the last few months, while I've been visited a couple times by some of the others. I think the oddest story I have, which I still cannot explain, was while I was doing a massage session with one of my then regular clients long ago. At one point during the session, I looked across the table, and saw one of my beloved felines who long ago crossed the Rainbow Bridge, all tucked into my client's arm & side. The kitty looked at me, and I was stunned. I wondered why was she here, and how did she get into my room? At the time, my main feeling was shock, and I didn't ask any questions directly to the kitty.  I never asked my client if she knew she had a little kitty lying on the table with her for much of that session, but I suspect she had a general idea she was not alone.

My logical mind does it's best to dispatch these impossible appearances. My heart, however, is greatly comforted by their presence, and I continue to invite them to me anytime they want.  I miss them all so much.

So much has happened in the last few months, I have so much to tell you. But, before another day went by, and I missed another event "in the moment" I thought I'd tell you what's going on, a little glimpse of here, through all the other things.

Tomorrow is spirit day. I have no idea what to expect, but I'm going to soak in as much as possible. I'll let you know what happens!