Thursday, August 29, 2013

Life is Full of Trials

Life is always full of trials, isn’t it?  The key, I guess, is not to live a life without them, but to live a life without letting them freak you out.  This requires a willingness to choose your perspective.  Let me give you an example.

I received the financing for Psycards this week—this is the only financing I am going to receive again, ever.  My plan for this financing included advertising, hiring someone to do telephone sales, cover the costs of shows for the next year, etc, etc.  Instead, the Universe has apparently decided that this financing is going to fix the RV (so we can do the shows).  Both the brakes and the A/C! 

Plus I need to find a vehicle that we can tow flat, that is easy on gas, and comfortable for Rick and I to drive (i.e. no bucket seats, and no climbing down into the vehicle).  Something like a Ford Ranger or Chevy S10—extended cab (Rick is too tall for the regular one), ideally with a five-speed transmission (easy on gas).  Then we will have to sell off the Explorer pretty quickly—we are scheduled to leave here in 17 days!

The day before yesterday, we moved from Shady Creek to Fisherman’s Corner.  On the way, the brakes in the RV went out on Rick, and he limped it into Hampton. Then the God-awful heat swooped in and killed the compressor on our RV A/C.  Last night, we had to rush about in near 100 degree temps to pack enough gear for us and the cats to go stay with a friend.  So, we are in Silvis staying with Luke until we can get a mechanic out to look at both issues.

Last month it was the computer, this month, the vehicles. 

Now, I could be upset that I have to use some of this financing to solve these problems, but the truth is we are very lucky to have them available at all.  And Psycards USA doesn’t happen at all without me.  There is no growing this business unless we can travel to the events, and visit bookstores.  So, every penny spent may not be spent according to plan, but it still is being used to create our success.
And I feel strongly that the Divine has allowed it to unfold this way to ensure our safe travel as we move outside of our local comfort zone.

Because we have a good friend, we don’t have to spend money staying at a hotel and can use that money instead to pay for repairs.  So, gratitude to Luke who has set us up in a basement bedroom with a king-size bed, a Jacuzzi, an indoor “smoking room,” bathroom and a very cool temperature.  In exchange, I did some house cleaning yesterday, made a big breakfast, helped him clean up and organize some clothes and Rick and I both helped him fulfill one of his business orders (he makes signs) by putting together pre-cut pieces of plexiglass.

This morning, we have the mechanic coming to the campsite to look at the RV and let us know what can be done and how much it will cost.  Angels, please, be merciful as you have always been, and thank you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Two Chapters YA Novel

Here is the link to the first two chapters of "Wildwood Awakening."  I welcome input from my writer friends--workshops at Spalding's MFA program were always productive.


Pivot Points: Anniversaries, Beginnings

Monday, August 19, 2013

Today is an anniversary of sorts and feels like a small shifting point. 

It has been four months since my 56th birthday in April.  April was filled with rain, cold, fear and sorrow.  My father died of a stroke just days before, following closely on the heels of our moving into the RV. I was filled with trepidation over this leap, then suddenly assaulted with grief.  Our finances were dangerously precarious, adding to the fear factor.

Now here it is, nearly the end of summer.  Area schools have started their fall semester.  My alma maters, St. Ambrose University, Scott Community College and Western Illinois University are starting classes either today or later in the week.  Summer’s long close has begun.

In spite of everything, it has been a rich four months.  I wake in the morning with far less stress than I’ve ever had before.  I wake to quiet, birdsong, to most days sunshine, with gratitude at the freedom and the love I have in my life.

Colorado is our destination in September, and I can feel myself gearing up for the next little life shift.  This morning, I feel like cleaning the RV, preparing for whatever is next.

Our art show was less than lucrative, but I am grateful for the days of cool weather and sunshine that allowed me to spend time outdoors, with a true friend, expressing my Art Self.  I think of her as Kitty—my childhood nickname—she is the keeper of my visual creativity, the painting, drawing, artistic self that has now learned to make jewelry and begun to express herself in sculptural art.

To that end, I am posting pictures of the pieces we created.  Maybe I will take the time to post them to Etsy or Ebay.  If you’re interested in one, let me know. The prices are pretty reasonable.

Yesterday I began my first young adult novel, which I hope will evolve into a series.  It is about Toni Johnson, a fifteen-year-old girl in the 1970s who discovers her psychic abilities and her blossoming adult self.  Yes, it is semi-autobiographical, although I have taken serious fictional liberties with both the characters and the plot.  It’s fun to write—I can make things turn out the way I want them.  I can write it as a balm to my own teenage self.

I welcome a critique from my Spalding friends. Email me if you would have the time to review it.  I will find a way to post the opening chapter soon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tranquility and Trail-Walking

These last few days here at Shady Creek have been tranquil.  There is a sense of peace and restfulness here. 

Daniel has finally gotten some rest.  After the Rabbit Rigel died, he paced like a panther confined for days without sleep.  He worked himself up into an emotional shipwreck, sleepless, restless and sad.   
Yesterday he began to seem himself again.  This seems to be a place of gentle healing.

We’ve been productive, too.  Mandy and I have been working on jewelry for the upcoming fair and have 30 pieces ready for sale.  I may make some more today.  At our previous site at Clark’s Ferry, Daniel found a marvelous piece of barge rope—big, thick, black and brown towline with frazzled ends like horse tails.  Pairing it with a driftwood log found at the campsite, he fashioned a dock post and fastened the line from the RV to the post so we look like we are moored at dock.  It has gotten a number of comments, remarks and looks by passersby and rangers.  I love the look of it and would like to keep it, but both the post and the rope are very heavy and it would be unwieldy for Rick and I to continue to use it.  Instead, we will be offering it for sale at the craft fair; perhaps it can grace someone’s front yard with a nautical theme.

Notice the rainbow near the ground in front of the post.
I’ve been walking the nature trail here—it is longer than one might imagine and full of surprises.  I’m including here some of the images that I’ve captured on my walkabouts below.

There are two pictures in which I noticed some interesting features:  one is of Rocky standing guard over our camp in the evening at Clark's Ferry.  He is surrounded by orbs and little lights!  Some of the lights are the decorative lights on other neighboring RVs, but some of these lights cannot be accounted for. I’m certain they and the orbs are the sprites and fairies that have come to accompany us. The other is the picture above, with the rainbow near the ground in front of our post.

When I was in Minnesota, I had one wise woman tell me that I am surrounded by these small beings and they are eager to be helpful.  When I am making jewelry, I began asking for help in threading the needles—my eyesight has never been good and it is beginning to decay with age—and every time I ask for help, the thread goes straight into the eye even if I can’t see it!  I’m also told that fairies and sprites and other related spirits like to be busy, so if you don’t give them something to do, they will become mischievous and hide objects or move things around for their own amusement.  So, if you suspect you have any of the faer folk about, give them something to do.  I plan to keep mine busy with arts and crafts and perhaps in finding some of my lost objects!  (The lid to the coffee pot, the missing mouse, the missing cover to the batteries on the other mouse, the lid to the salt shaker, etc.)

Here are some of my nature photos from my walks.

Helianthus tuberosis:  Jerusalem artichoke

Attempting to capture the Leonid meteor showers.  All other photos were completely black.  I have no idea what this streak of light is.  Anyone?

Ohio spiderwort

Morning light on the river.

Thistle along the railroad tracks.

Unidentified mushroom.  Can anyone tell me what this is?

Black chokeberries.

Black-eyed Susans--one of my favorite flowers!

Grass swiftly returning to flood-damaged ground.