31 January 2009

If You Want To View Paradise

simply look around and view it.

Most of you, I'm sure, are familiar with the Gene Wilder version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". I love the scene when the kids first enter the factory's main room...when I was a kid, I was enamored by the giant gummy bears, lollipops, and edible cream mushrooms. I wanted to be Veruca Salt or Violet Beauregarde...I certainly would have been more appreciative.

Anyway, as you get older, and the love handles get more pronounced, you don't think so much about the candy anymore (much). Instead, you listen to Gene, singing about paradise, and chuckling as the man ever-so-nonchalantly takes a bite out of a edible daffodil/teacup.

And then, on a day like today, you think maybe you know what old Gene was talking about. Or least his songwriters.

Today is the last day in January here in Iowa. It's cold and the snow is still several inches evident. However, the skies are blue, the sun is shining brightly, and the roads are mostly clear. While yes, we are still bundled up very tightly in our coats and scarves, there is a hint of Spring in the air. The air has changed; I can feel it. Maybe the moisture has returned. I don't know meteorology, but change is coming. It is imminent.

So, while the outside environment is unfolding as it should, so is the inside. My house right now has the quiet hum that indicates everything is doing the things they should. The laundry machine, the furnace, and the children's downstairs chatter all lend to that happy household harmonic symphony. After I finish this post, I will recline on my couch and complete my reading before Universal Khaki tonight (an activity I haven't done for some time). Later this afternoon, the family and I will trek over to the Joneses' house and discuss the book, while making bread together, while learning about handguns.

Right now, I live in paradise, and I'm simply looking around to view it. I can't explain how big my heart is.

It's one of those moments when my blog title truly has meaning.

20 January 2009

Thoughts On The 44th President

Mr Barack Obama was sworn in today as our 44th President, and I think I'm not alone when I say that he carries, for me, hope for the future.

I pray that he is able to fulfill everything he intends and doesn't disappoint us.

I pray that he can lift this country out of its economic funk and create promising futures for Americans.

I pray he doesn't get lost in the undertow of shady politics and sneaky Capitol Hill dealings.

I pray he gives America faith in itself again.

I fully realize the important historical time for us in this country, and it is a very exciting thing to be here at this moment. I feel as if we are standing at the edge of an enormous precipice...one false move and we damage ourselves beyond repair. So, I will end the serious portion of my entry with a message for my fellow Americans: don't mess it up for Obama. Let him do his job. OK?

Let's all play in the sandbox nicely.

Now, for the more important bits of discussion. The Inaugural Lunch. What does one serve the first African-American President and his wife? I've included here a list of the Top Five No-no Foods.

1. Crab Legs: Tasty, yes. Elegant, no. There is no way to eat this food and look sophisticated.

2. Fried Chicken: Again, similar reasoning to #1. Fried chicken is a bone-sucking finger food. Mr. President would look idiotic trying to eat fried chicken with his fancy Mikasa cutlery.

3. Peanut Butter: Too common, and yes, we really don't want to risk salmonella poisoning the President.

4. Soup of any kind: If President and First Lady Obama are anything like my friend Molly, they won't be able to avoid soup dribblage somewhere on their nice outfit. I do suppose, however, the problem could be solved with a Tide-to-Go pen...

5. Beets. As having been recorded as a staunch dislike of the President, it would behoove the chef to not serve these vegetables. Just a thought...

Second, in between the Swearing In, the Lunch, and the Ball tonight, Mr. President had a few hours at his disposal. What do you suppose he did? Did he go arrange his desk in the Oval Office? Did he hold a staff meeting? Or, did he tell everyone to sod off and go take a nap?

Hopefully, if he's smart, he did number three. I mean, I would. He's got a big job, might as well get all the sleep he can.

17 January 2009

Date Movie Of 1991

1991 - I was a mere sophomore in high school. My dad was just letting me ride in cars with boys, and spend time with them in darkened movie theaters.

The big date movie of 1991 was "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Guys who wanted to score serious boyfriend points took their significant others to this one. And...it was a win-win situation all around. There was enough intrigue for guys and girls. Of course, girls loved the romance of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Guys gravitated to all the fighting and bow-twanging. There was something for everyone - all parties were happy. And let's not forget the song! Bryan Adams' "Everything I do, I do it for you." The theme song of proms the entire world over.

Oh, and the single most important reason to love this movie? Early 1990's Christian Slater. The hottest guy on the planet at that time. Mmmmmm...

****Excuse me...did it just get really warm in here all of a sudden?


However, I did not care for Kevin Costner in the lead role. First of all, he's not manly enough for me. Second, he's supposed to be English, so why did he not once speak with a British accent?

Fast-forward eighteen years. This movie still rocks. Why, you ask?

1. First of all, the song is still good.

2. Kevin Costner still sucks.

3. Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors, and to see him in this early piece is just freakin' awesome.

4. OK, so my Christian Slater phase has passed since 1991, but he's still precious.

5. Severus Snape plays the Sheriff of Nottingham. Sweet!

6. Maid Marian's hair is still gorgeous.

7. The battle scenes are still cool.

8. My kids liked it.

Go out and rent it right now. Or download it and watch it. Or put in your Netflix queue. Or YouTube it. Whatever it is that we didn't have back in 1991.

11 January 2009

January Full Moon

The first full moon of the year goes by many names: Winter Moon, Cold Moon, Moon of the Terrible, Quiet Moon, Wolf Moon, and Ice Moon.

Without a doubt, us four witches were feeling that last night. Especially the cold part. Like troopers, we met last night to honor the Goddess, during her time of rest and rejuvenation. In addition, last night was book club, and so Universal Khaki (plus my seven-year-old daughter) celebrated both. Handwarmers and space heaters were in abundance.

The moon was at its perigee last night, making it the biggest and brightest of the year. We certainly marveled at the luminescence she cast on the new-fallen snow, and I especially was awed by the sublime beauty of the stark, white snow and dark, bleak shapes of the bare trees.

We all agreed that this is a good month for reflection and introspection, and Her light reminds us that warmer weather is on its way. We, little by little, begin the climb out of the dark half of the year. And that is comforting. We wistfully spoke of warmer weather and the non-need for coats, gloves, boots, scarves, hats, and totally unsexy coveralls. We also reread our December goals, discussed if they had come to fruition or not (mine had), burned them, and wrote new goals for January.

Book club discussion was short and terse, having just finished Frewin Jones's "The Faerie Path." After two hours, we agreed to adjourn somewhere warmer...somewhere Kimba could demonstrate the awesomeness of her new Tarot cards (Celtic - in the shape of circles!).

The reading she did for me, which was very interesting, will be the topic of the next entry.

Tarot - The Triskele

Last night's reading was done by my friend, Kimba, who used her new Celtic cards. The seven-card spread was called a Triskele, which can be used for guidance, discovering inner desires, etc.

Position 1: You at the moment. Card: Torc - symbolizes wealth, money matters, and status. This was a fitting card since money has been on my mind so much, and we have done a lot of number crunching around here to make sure we'll survive as an one-income family next fall.

Position 2: Your Heart's Desire. Card: The Bear - symbolizes strength and hard work. Things will be tough going, but will end in success. Essentially, my heart's desire is that this change I'm making in my life will be worth it in the end. Since the Bear also represents rest and hibernation, I also desire sleep.

Position 3: First Step to Realizing the Dream. Card: Solar Wheel - which represents change and the turning of the sun, the seasons, and life itself. Change is inevitable and not to be feared. I need to forgive my own flaws, embrace change, stay positive, and be patient with the ups and downs of life.

Position 4: Possible hindrances. Card: Blodeuwedd - she is the intimate soulmate who acts as guardian of secrets. This was a tough one to decipher, but the best interpretation I came up with is that maybe the hindrance is myself, since who's more intimate with me than me? Maybe the hindrance comes from my own hangups and issues, and I need to resolve them to be successful.

Position 5: Possible Help. Card: Cuchulain - the warrior. This card acts as the old-fashioned hero to chivalrously steps to fight battles and take over. I definitely see this as my husband, who may (subconsciously) demand more "wifely" behaviors when I stay home with Elliot next fall. The card reminds me to also be the warrior and stand up to him if I feel I'm being trod upon. I figure this card will help me figure out my true calling, while allowing me to still be me.

Position 6: Future Prospects. Card: The Stag - the male deer symbolizes elusiveness, escape. He reminds me that my own safety is important and that it's OK to run away. I personally understood this to mean that it's all right to run away from jobs I don't feel called to do...if and when I return to the workforce.

Position 7: Result. Card: The Spring - symbolizing the deep reaches of the inner self, renewal, insight, reflection. This card advised me to keep track of all my ideas, insights, and impressions...contributing to a positive, inspirational life outlook. Again, this card mentions getting enough sleep.

So...yeah, an interesting read for sure. It seems to validate and encourage the decisions I'm making. Cool!

03 January 2009

Page Of Wands

OK, I believe that the universe tries to communicate with us in different ways. Some of those ways like tarot, palm reading, chakras, and divination get dismissed as too New Age and artsy-fartsy. That's too bad, because a majority of the planet is missing out on what could be some important information.

Mrs. Jones was kind enough to lend me her Rider-Waite tarot cards and her tarot interp book (a friend who lends is a friend indeed). With a little free time today, I flipped through the book. A few moments ago, I thought I'd attempt to do a "reading." So I shuffled the cards, and through my clumsy fingers, a lone card fell. Following the advice of the book, I decided to check out the significance of that card. Very interesting stuff.

Page of Wands

Person Type: Outspoken, direct, charismatic, high-strung, blunt, instinctive, easily bored, sexual, progressive, future-oriented, sportive, subject to wandering, and sometimes edgy or lackadaisical.

***OK, easily eight of those adjectives could be me.

The author then breaks the tarot's meaning down into 32 different category, like love, finances, home, travel, etc. Here was the big eye-opener!

Desire: You want things to change and to break free of oppression or stagnation in business/job or a find a solution to problems.

***Wow. Is this the topic looming at the forefront of my mind recently or what?

Other points of interest...

Papers: You will promote a new enterprise that involved papers and it should be successful because the public will readily accept or purchase your product.

Special Guidance: Change is in the air, and new approach is at hand. This could come through a friend who will help you "see the light" or attain a new perspective.

Pretty cool, huh?