Includes book reviews and bits from writer's journal. For the professional stuff, see website link below left.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sad Days

Injury




Our cat Levi needs surgery. We took him to the vet on Saturday after noticing that he was limping.  He has a badly damaged knee with torn ligaments. The vet described it as “an athletic injury” which might have happened after jumping.  It’s a thing that sometimes befalls cats, apparently. She said it’s the sort of thing that could happen to us if we were walking on the beach and put our foot in a hole; the foot gets stuck and the body keeps going. Levi is quite athletic, although he’s a big boy and is eleven and a half years old. He had been particularly active just lately until this happened.

He’s been anaesthetized, x-rayed and put on a drip, and will probably be operated on tomorrow. He is going to have a pin in his knee for eight weeks, after which it will be removed and he should be back to normal movement. (Yes, it’s expensive, but we can pay it off.)

We went to visit him today and give him some petting.  He was ecstatic to see us! I used a Reiki II technique to explain to him what was going on and what would be happening, and that he’d be home soon to take it easy awhile and get lots more petting. He settled down calmly after that.

Death


Last night an email came to tell me and others of the sudden death of Elisabeth Frauendorfer (in Austria, where she lived). Elisabeth was the founder of an advanced healing modality known as MPRUE (Magnussa Phoenix Reiki Universal Energies, the prerequisite for which is that one is already a Reiki Master).

Although we never met in person, Elisabeth was a dear friend and teacher to me and Andrew for a number of years, and to many others.  She kept in touch with her numerous friends and students via online groups as well as personal contact, and encouraged us to share her passion for research into all aspects of healing.

She was a very giving person, and was blessed with many talents including artistic gifts. At present many of us are feeling huge grief. I'm uncontrollably tearful.

All we know is that she died in hospital on November 5th, aged only 52. Her brother sent out a very brief email, which reached one of her students and thereby the rest of us. I imagine her family is still in shock too. I’m not aware of any recent indication of illness, and can only speculate that she may have suffered an accident.

She is irreplaceable. However, those she trained plan to continue her work to the best of our abilities.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ANOTHER new computer

Last Thursday, it being not only my 70th birthday but also Pension Day, I opened my internet banking to do the usual paying of bills etc. – to see that First FosterSon and FF Daughter-in-Law had deposited a large sum of money. It was labelled “Christmas” by which I understood it to be for both of us, but I thought how clever of them to time it so perfectly to arrive on my birthday morning, not to mention just before the 16th wedding anniversary. Turned out they hadn’t had those events in mind, and didn’t know how long the money would take to arrive anyway; they just thought it was time to send us “a little something”. (Their idea of a little something is our idea of huge.)

How joyous and exciting to pay off some large debts which kind people had been letting us chip away at gradually. (Car repairs, chiropractor, phone/internet provider, pharmacy....) With childish pleasure I put petrol in the car and filled it right up, something I’ve longed to do. I stocked up on supplies for the birthday/anniversary party. And, having transferred the computer fund to Andrew for a “previous generation” MacBook, I suggested he phone his older son (my First Stepson) who was handy with likely links when I was looking for one. I had a quick look in JB Hi-Fi while I was up that way in the morning, but the laptops there were fearsomely expensive.

First Stepson said to his father, “Why do you need a laptop? Are you going somewhere?” and explained that with a laptop you pay extra for the miniaturisation and portability. “Go for an iMac,” he advised. There wasn’t much persuasion needed. He Googled Apple resellers for us and found two quite near, so off we went – to find one didn’t deal with Macs at all, despite the listing, and the other one didn’t even exist. It was getting late. We made a snap decision to go to JB HiFi, and there was a lovely NEW 21-and-a-half-inch iMac for $1589 (same price as the tiny 13-inch laptop). So we got it. Just like that. Gee it felt good! The salesman threw in surge protector, firewire cable and screen cleaner for free.

Dear people who generously made donations towards our computers, I hope you don’t feel that it constitutes false pretences if we now transfer them to the car fund. The present vehicle is starting to die, just as the antiquated computers were.

The birthday party was Saturday, and the new machines were proudly demonstrated to guests who were almost as thrilled and impressed as we are.

I had said on the invitation, “No presents”. People either brought flowers instead or ignored it altogether and gave me books and hand-made treasures (a crystal bracelet, a crochet bag for holding loose crystals).  One friend insisted that I must have $70 on my 70th birthday, $1 for each year of my life. The good cooks brought Thai curry and jasmine rice,  cupcakes with purple icing, and a luscious chocolate birthday cake. Three people contributed extra software we wanted for the new computers.

And my very best present of all came from a friend who phoned up on the actual day of my birthday and told me, in tears, how much my poetry moves her. What more could I ever ask?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Geting Rid of Other-Worldly Visitations

My friend Maryna has lately had a new "ghostie" at  her premises.  I'm not sure if she is happy to keep this being around or not, so it would be presumptuous of me to rush in with advice on removing it.  However, I do know a method, so I'm sharing it here for anyone who may have need of one.

Actually I know several, but this one is particularly good because it also removes the reasons for the entity to be in your space – therefore, once gone they are liable to stay gone. It was taught to me many years ago by my great friend and teacher Jenette Youngman, who called it Karmic Completion, and it has many applications. I love it because it involves treating all beings with respect, unlike some forms of exorcism and space clearing which are cruel. To become adept takes time and training, but the following is a simple version that works for this kind of situation.

Ground, centre and protect yourself, then go into meditation and send lots of love to your "visitor". (All beings are children of God and are worthy of unconditional love for that reason if no other.) Ask what name you may call them and if there is anything they need to communicate. If you have not been aware of this presence until recently, perhaps they're not just stuck on this plane but have some other reason for visiting. If you can get them complete on that, they may then be ready and willing to go to their future destination / destiny. If stuck, there would be a reason for that too, so the same applies

It is enough just to hear what they have to say, acknowledge each utterance with "thank you" (for the communication, regardless of what it is) and keep asking every so often, "Are you now complete on this issue and ready to take the path of love to your future evolution?" until they say they are. Don't get involved in making promises or carrying out any actions they may request; keep it on the level of dialogue. You’re in charge! You have the right to say who or what may enter your space.

If the being has something to communicate to someone other than yourself, just ask them what it is and have them say it to you until complete. Keep asking, "Is there anything more you need to say to this person in order to be complete on this issue?"

You can create a path of love with visualisation and intention. Some people see it as white light. However you see it, it's important to identify it as a path of love. When they declare themselves ready, invite them onto it, and watch them along it until they disappear in the distance. THEN DISSOLVE THE PATH! (You don't want any uninvited entities coming along it.)

If they get stuck on the path, you can ask, "Is there anything still incomplete for you?" If it's fear paralysing them, ask if they would like an angel to accompany them, then have them call for an angel and let you know when one has come. I have never known them not to agree to calling for an angel, nor an angel failing to appear and accompany them the rest of the way.

Don't dwell too much on this matter thereafter; let it be complete for you too.

Of course, if the visitor turned out to be a guide or angel, you might not want to send them away. But be on the safe side – some make claims that are untrue. You can always call guides or angels to you later in case of need and they will happily come, even if you have previously sent them away. Also, check how you feel in their presence. Clear and empowered is probably a good sign. You can send love to them and see what the response is. Anything that is aligned with love will love you right back and that should be felt unmistakeably. Any other response is grounds for sending them away.

(This process can also be used to clear any disempowering aspects of one's own psyche.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

New toy

I can haz 15 inchiz!

And a sleek and lovely thing it is, giving me the greatest pleasure. I'm referring to a brand new 15-inch MacBook Pro – more thrilling to me right now than anything else you might imagine.

Anyone who knows me even slightly knows how I have been whingeing these past 18 months or more about the poor old eMac and the frustrations of being unable to upgrade operating system or browsers. Using the computer online was a constant struggle as the browsers jumped without warning to pages I didn't want to be on, took hours to complete simple operations, and frequently froze and had to be restarted.

What is less well-known is that I do a lot of volunteer work for the local Neighbourhood Centre, a very active organisation in addressing the needs of this community. I'm Secretary of the Neighbourhood Association which operates the Centre, taking minutes of meetings, writing official letters, etc.; I'm facilitator of the very successful, long-running writers' group, WordsFlow; and I edit and proof-read sundry official documents as required – in all of which I've hitherto been considerably hampered by working sometimes on the oldish Windows laptop at the Centre, with which I'm far from comfortable (just can't get the hang of it – so many unfamiliar operations to go through before you get to do what you want) and sometimes on my increasingly dysfunctional (desktop) eMac at home.

Further, this did not bode well for the course I'm scheduled to run at a nearby Community College in a few weeks, on "Brilliant Blogging" for the non-geeky. I was going to have to use yet another oldish Windows machine. Not a good look, for the tutor to be fumbling around incompetently!

All that is past.

As most of those who know me also know, I have been unashamedly begging for donations to help me get a new machine, as well as stashing away any extra I managed to earn by my own efforts. People who love me have been looking out for likely second-hand Macs for me, "previous generation" capable of being upgraded; and a Mac engineer I know was ready to vet anything they found ... but meanwhile I still had to amass the funds. The car reggo came due and I needed to dip into the amount I myself had contributed to the savings. Wouldn't touch other people's donations, given in good faith for the specific purpose, but dipping into the rest made a big hole in the fund.

It was all getting a mite disheartening. So in a recent casting of circle and talking to the Archangels, I thought of asking for something for me, namely that I get "the right computer for my needs" and that I get it before starting the blogging course – and that my dear, deserving Spouse should soon get one too. His own desktop computer, a nice little iMac that replaced an ancient laptop which died, is beginning to falter for the same reasons as mine: the software cannot be upgraded. I was clear that all this would take a miracle, but I also have experience that they can and do happen. The very next day, the Neighbourhood Centre Manager, out of the blue, asked me what exactly I wanted in the way of a laptop.

The Centre has an amount for special purchases, tied up in such a way that it isn't available to go into general running costs. She thought part of it could be used for a new laptop, and that as I'm the person who, almost exclusively, used the old one, it had better meet my needs. Such a large sum needed authorisation by two members of the Finance Committee. Fortunately they too could see that the Centre would benefit from the increase in my efficiency.      

I said I would like a 13-inch MacBook Pro. After having a look at them, she said, "They're VERY tiny" and suggested that the 15-inch model would be more efficient, and that it would be good to get one of the just-released aluminium ones which would be stronger than the polycarbon. We were able to source one of those. This was a piece of luck; most suppliers around here are still selling off the polycarbon models before getting the aluminium ones in stock. We'd have had to decide whether to wait some weeks or settle for less than what we wanted, except that we found one shop where a customer had ordered in a 15-inch aluminium one, customised to a faster read speed than usual, and then decided not to take it after all.

So off we went and got it! With three years of Apple Care into the bargain. I feel very valued.

The Neighbourhood Centre owns it and I am the custodian user. (The fact that it's not exactly mine –only to all intents and purposes – means that I'll be taking VERY good care of it.)  I'm an enthusiastic supporter of the Centre, not planning to sever relations until I'm really decrepit – which of course will be never. If some unforeseen reason to leave should arise, I guess I'd have to try and buy "my" computer from them, but will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Oh the joy of being able to operate smoothly at last! This is in fact the very first brand new computer I have ever had to work with. I'm getting used to it, and the Centre Manger was quite right about the 15 inches. Sometimes bigger is better, lol.

Bonus – the computer fund can now  go towards a "previous generation" laptop for the beloved Spouse.