Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lessons in Faith

This whole lesson in faith thing is quite the trial. 

After losing our shirt on the Dubuque Ren Faire, we limped back into Scott County Park. ( I will post photos of the Faire later). Yesterday, we managed to obtain a gas voucher from a generous local church—at least it was enough to put gas in the Explorer.  We arrived at the church with 4 miles left in the tank (not four gallons, four miles).  Then it was four and a half miles to the gas station.  Prayers said the whole way got us to the gas station, with literally zero miles on the readout.  Whew!

Today was Rick’s doctor’s appointment, and there were other errands to run in town.  We returned our library movies, checked out some more, visited a food pantry because we are out of both cash and food stamps and received a nice selection of a few items we needed (eggs, milk, tuna, cereal, canned chicken, spam).  We gave back most of the canned goods because we don’t have room for them, they are heavy and we don’t believe in taking more than we need.  We also got a deodorizer for the bathroom and a couple rolls of toilet paper.  Amen!

At the doctor’s we scheduled Rick’s first carpal tunnel surgery for the worst hand—the left.  The last few weeks, he has been waking up at night, crying out in pain because his hands burn and feel tingly and swollen—enough to prevent a good night’s sleep.  Even the good pain pills don’t eliminate it.  So, he goes in on June 10th.

Then back to Scott County Park to the RV.  We had to leave today, as we have used our 14 days out of a month.  Our thought was to go to West Lake or Buffalo Beach, but we didn’t have the cash to pay for a space.  A friend gave us the money, with much love, as well as some lovely cooked chicken and fresh fruit, bless her heart!  She didn’t ask for it back, only told me to pay it forward when we could.  Which she knows we will. 

So, gassed up (at least enough to get to the next park) we headed out to Buffalo Beach.  When we arrived, there were no campsites, and the RV was low again on gas.  The very nice lady who works the office at Buffalo Beach called up to West Lake to see if they had an opening.  It turned out that someone was leaving in just a few minutes—transferring from one campground to another.  Because we are handicapped, they told us we could come get it.

Up to West Lake, and a mad dash for the spot.  I arrived at the open spot about ten seconds before another couple (not handicapped)  pulled their fifth wheel in to what was supposed to be our spot.  Oh, no!  Now what?  Where would we go? 

I called the West Lake office and they said to come back there and we could straighten things out with the ranger.  After hearing our story the ranger had one thing to say—sorry, first-come, etc.  And the people who stole our spot, after hearing our story, just stood there and looked at us!  No apology, no empathy, no compassion.  Lawful?  Yes.  But not an ounce of mercy.

So, dejected, we parked the RV in the overflow parking lot and drove into Davenport to see what we could figure out.  Nobody we knew could support parking an RV.  Then I thought of a person with whom I had once had a close friendship—a friendship that experienced a serious rift over a year ago.  I didn’t even know if she would be home. 

But it must have been Divine Providence, because when we pulled up in front of her house, she was not only home, but sitting on the front porch!  Something she rarely does.

She seemed happy to see us, and we both hugged.  We agreed not to talk about the past issues and we were welcomed to park behind her house.  So I will pay forward some of that money to her for her generosity.

The Universe works in mysterious ways.  Frustrating, but mysterious, and always eventually meeting our needs.  Tomorrow is another day, with its own challenges and adventures.  Please give me the strength to not freak out over the little stuff. Rick, as always, stays calm.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Poem: The Fledgling

The Fledgling I Once Was

by Catt Foy

I might have flown sooner
I knew I was born to fly
But a fledgling, bald and wet and blind
Cannot yet fly
No matter how strong the desire
Nor how deep the talent.
Once can only mewl and cry for nourishment
And struggle and wait
For practice and growth to bring mastery.
In due time
In due time
I might have flown sooner
But I did not yet have
The feathers to fly.

Composed while thinking about how much I love what I do now--writing, art, channeling, Psycards, etc.--and why I didn't do it sooner.  Mother's Day, 2013.

Thought for the day:  Religion is for people who don't remember dying. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guardian Spirit

For the last couple of weeks at two separate campgrounds and four different bathrooms, it seems whenever I am having a spiritual discussion with myself (usually in my head), a bathroom sink comes on or a toilet flushes—in an empty stall.

I first noticed it at West Lake Park.  Now granted they are motion-detector sinks and toilets, but I was always alone in the bathroom at the time.

Yesterday, I had a little emotional meltdown over a small thing that felt like a big hurt.  We stopped at Jumer’s to use the bathroom and have a drink.  I was upset, had been crying in the car.  The bar turned out to be closed, but I used the bathroom anyway.  And while I was sitting in the stall, I heard the sink turn on for a few seconds and then turn off.  I thought again it was one of those motion detector sinks.  But when I got out and went to wash my hands, I learned that it was a manually controlled faucet.  In other words, someone had to put their hands on it to make it work.  But there was nobody there.

Tonight, I went to the bathroom here in Scott County Park to wash the dishes.  I had had the others sinks turning on during dish-washing sessions, when I was nowhere near them.  In fact to make the water turn on in those automatic sinks, you have to make a special effort to even get them to turn on!

After a good weekend of receiving great information and contact from the other side, I merely laughed this time when the water in the sink farthest away from me turned itself on for a few seconds. 

“That’s from spirit, isn’t it?” I asked aloud.

The second sink turned on, then off.

“Is that you, Dad?”  I asked.  Nothing.  “Grandma?”  Again, nothing.  I listed a litany of crossed-over family and friends and got no response.  Then I asked if it was Gabriel, or Pedro—spirits that have been identified by Wendy as my angel and a guardian spirit.

With no response, I returned to my dish-washing duties.  I glanced at myself in the mirror and noticed that my face looked leaner, prettier. 

“Well, I think I’m losing weight!”

The farthest sink turned on.  I felt like I was having a conversation.

“Who are you?  Are you a spirit that lives here?”

No response. 

“Did you follow me from West Lake?”  I had received strong impressions at West Lake of a fur trader who died there.


“Are you one of my guardian spirits?”

From the back of the building came the sound of the toilet flushing!  And it flushed for a long time—maybe 15 or 20 seconds. 

Every hair on my body stood up and I felt a brief moment of the kind of awe that almost makes you feel afraid.  I looked at myself in the mirror before me.  My eyes were wide with astonishment, my mouth agape. Must be a big spirit.

As I washed the rest of the dishes, I returned to my thoughts earlier today, my fears of this being a similar life situation to being homeless in Phoenix. 

“No,” I said to myself. “This is NOT like that.  This is a different experience.  I’m a different person now.”

And the sink came on again.

“Thank you,” I told my guardian.  “It really is different, now isn’t it?”  And the other sink came on.  I was clearly in communication with an intelligent and responsive entity. 

I thanked her for her comfort and support and while I don’t yet know her name (or even her gender, if she has one), I know she is there, here, with me, over me, with love. Amazing. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fun at the Figge

One afternoon last week, Rick suggested we check movies out of the library instead of renting—an idea that makes sense given our puny budget.  While we were at the library, I noticed that we could also check out passes to the local museums—the Figge and the Putnam. The Putnam passes were all checked out, and I’d been to the Putnam before many times.  But I had not yet been to the new Figge Art Museum. 

Last Thursday, a cold rainy windy day, we went to the Figge.  And it was wonderful.  I had been wrestling with some pretty dark internal doldrums, and this dose of art was just what I needed.  And doubly so because I got to share it with Rick. 

We visited all the galleries, except the one in transition, and I was thrilled to find works from a couple of my favorite artists, as well as some delightful surprises.  My favorite part of our afternoon was when Rick took me into the family art area and we sat and made drawings together with crayons.  A realio-trulio bit of Fun!  Fun like we have when we are children.  The kind of Fun that adults rarely get to enjoy.

My husband is such a rich, warm person, capable of childlike wonder without losing one iota of his adult masculinity.  This is a rare gift.  I think Santa Claus is the only other person capable of it. He reminds me that I can still feel that kind of youthful joy.  That the heart I had in childhood is still in here and waiting for only a small opportunity to burst happily forth.  

See how much fun he's having?  That's my man.
I loved the architecture of the building and the many opportunities for photographs.

Centennial Bridge

Woman with Polka Dots, Wall with Stripes

Some of my favorite pieces:

Blue Horse by Marc Chagall

Joan Miro.  A Drop of Dew Falling From the Wing of a Bird Awakens Rosalie Asleep in the Shade of a Cobweb. 1939.

I didn't get the artist, but here is my Lady of Guadalupe, my protectress totem since Phoenix.

A real Tiffany window.  Awesomely beautiful. 

 Rick took these photos of me.  Not too bad, I think.

If this painting is art, then I am a living canvas.

And here is Rick mugging with this grand portrait.

Today Rick learned that he has a torn rotator cuff, probably carpal tunnel syndrome and may have to have the hardware in his rebuilt should removed. 

He was telling this to his best friend on the phone.  Laughing he said, “God couldn’t have picked a better person for this.  I’ve got so much experience!”  And he really meant that—no sarcasm, just this sense of gratitude and an appreciation for the humor that he was pre-qualified for this burden.  God love him!  He teaches me so much every day. 

Photos Scott County Park Early May

These are some of the nature photos I've captured over the last few days:

The smoky burn marks on this log left in our firepit resemble dancing figurines to me.

This lonely skeleton of a tree lent itself well to black and white.

Milkweed pods

Fungi growing on a fallen tree trunk.

I called these flowers "angelwings" until I learned that they are known as Dutchman's Breeches.

Closeup of the hollow tree I call The Citadel.

The Citadel.  Can you see the face of the tree?

Glynn's Creek

I love the textures of this shedding bark.


Shredding bark in color.

Sunset from our campsite.

Scott County Park Pine Grove

I went for a walk again this morning—morelling, if you will, but no luck on those mushrooms.  I did find other fungi, though and captured a nice shot or two. 

Crow gave me a feather and cawed at me until I picked it up and put it in my visor like a headdress.  Rabbit and I had a silent conversation for several long minutes, and then a catbird sang me a lovely song and posed for a picture.  Everywhere there are robins, bluejays and cardinals.  Then when I arrived home from my walk, there was a female Baltimore oriole in the Explorer.  She had flown in through the passenger window and was trying desperately to escape out the back hatch window, which was closed of course.  We noticed it when a male oriole was flying around the Explorer, pecking at the glass, trying to free his mate.  We freed her after taking a short video of her plight.

I awoke hungry and determined to have over-easy eggs, spend the first hour building a happy little fire.  Then bacon and eggs—the best ever!

Yesterday on my walk I startled a doe and she went bounding off, her white tail flashing between the trees. 

Crow is telling me I am on the verge of manifesting something I’ve been working on for some time, and that I can expect a big change very soon.  I will receive signs and omens soon. Rabbit tells me to be creative and take advantage of opportunities.  Eat light.  There will be periods of quiet stillness (like my walks) followed by bursts of productivity.  (Perfect.)  Rabbit may also indicate a baby on the way—and we have recently learned that my oldest daughter, Mary Ellen is expecting.  Maybe there is a granddaughter for me, after all! 

Robin, as the harbinger of spring, indicates there are new beginnings, reminds me to sing my own song, and be joyful.  “Make a wish, be patient, and watch how it comes true.”  Cardinal reminds me to re-examine the religion I grew up in, and to fill my world with color.  Bluejay reminds me to be courageous, choose a path and follow it (spiritually), and finish one or two projects.

These interpretations are based on Animal Spirit Guides, by Steven D. Farmer.

Oriole connects us to the spirits of the trees and the mating pair reminds us to help each other. Oriole also helps us connect to the Little People (People Who Live In The Earth?), and reminds us to be joyful. 

Catbird I think represents me—clearly because of the name.  But I found this interpretation online:

Catbird teaches ways of communicating by listening and singing your own song in life along with care and tact in how you speak. She shows how to be carefree and open so it may be time to loosen up and not conceal your thoughts, ideas and principles. Extremely sensitive, Catbird shows how to follow through with your impressions and hunches. Be alert to what may be hidden under the surface. Pay attention to dreams. Moving with alertness and grace she teaches generosity and gentleness with a touch of ferociousness when needed. Catbird brings the feeling of Spring back into your life by rejuvenating your spirit with the beauty of the world. The time period of Catbird lessons range from about 4 to 6 weeks and cycles two to three times. Catbird's optimum time is in the morning hours so meditation and quiet time should be utilized. (Animal Totems, by Star Stuffs)          

My next posting will be a photo collection from the last couple of days.