. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!

The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

On this shortest day of the year, I am glad for the season and all the gifts in my life: my family, my friends, and everyone I hold dear in my heart. I've been blessed.

Now let the daylight and warmth come back!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

El Malpais National Monument

For the last leg of our weekend road trip we drove down Hwy 117 on the eastern rim of "the badlands" which make up the El Malpais lava flow where it meets the sandstone bluffs.  The largest evidence of past volcanic action in New Mexico lies in El Malpais National Monument. Most of the area can be viewed by car with some small trails. The lava extends an area of 60 by 35 miles.

The El Malpais lava beds were produced from eruptions of several volcanoes up until about 800 years ago. There are numerous cinder cones and small craters found within the monument. The lava flow consists of large, blocky flows called aa to small ripples at the edges of the lava flow called pahoehoe. The rock is very brittle and sharp. The top layer is black with the lighter reddish gray colors underneath due to longer cooling time and less exposure. There are lava tubes and caves all along the monument.

View of the sandstone bluffs with the lava flows 400 feet below
Sign at the Sandstone Bluffs Overlook

The lava is bordered on the east side by a long sandstone cliff structure up to 400 feet high. We stopped at the Sandstone Bluffs Overlook to view the lava beds below. After driving a bit farther down the road, we stopped to see the La Ventana Natural Arch, the largest in New Mexico. It formed in a bend in the sandstone cliffs. The arch was eroded from sandstone dating back to the age of dinosaurs when the area was an inland sea.
La Ventana Natural Arch
You might be wondering how our chauffer did on the drive: very well. He clocked about 10 hours of driving on this trip. He still has a lot of hours left to go before his permit expires so I guess that means we'll have to go on more road trips. This weekend was a good one. I recommend visiting this area when you can.

The Land of Fire and Ice

On our second day of our road trip, we visited sights in El Malpais National Monument, again south of Grants but in between Hwy 53 and Hwy 117. We started off in “The Land of Fire and Ice” and visited the privately owned Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano.  Our first stop there was the Old Time Trading Post, built in the 1930s along with a saloon and dance hall. At the time the Zuni Mountain Railroad was operating. They kept their beer cold using ice from the Ice Cave. Now the Post deals in jewelry, rock specimens, and other wares from local Indian Tribes.

Bandera Lava Flow
Along the gentle hike to the Ice Cave, Aa lava jutted out on both sides of the trail. The Bandera Lava Flow formed as jagged, broken lava that formed when the surface cools and hardens while the lava underneath is still flowing. There are lava tubes, sink holes, and Indian ruins along the trail. At the end of the trail is a stairway down to the Ice Cave. The temperature in the cave never gets above 31 degrees Fahrenheit. As rain water and snow melt seep into the cave, the ice floor thickens and is currently 20 feet thick. The deepest ice dates back 3,400 years. The green color of the ice is caused by an Arctic algae. It is a natural ice box: 20 feet of ice (including the back wall) in a well-insulated cave, shaped to trap the cold air. The Ice Cave was known to the Pueblo Indians as the Winter Lake.
The Ice Cave

After we walked the Ice Cave Trail, we headed back toward the Trading Post and onto the Volcano Trail, which led to the Bandera Volcano. The trail wound through the lava flow, past a spatter cone, and through the trees (Ponderosa and Pinon Pines mostly). The trees often had their tops blown off from lightning strikes. We found out that the lava flow is rich in iron content, which tends to draw lightning strikes to the trees growing in it. At the end of the trail is the great crater left when the Bandera Volcano, a cinder cone,  exploded 10,000 years ago. The crater is nearly 1,400 feet wide at the top and roughly 800 feet deep. The elevation at the look out point is 8,036 with the top being 8,367. It is a very impressive crater.
Bandera Volcanic Crater

Next stop: Sights along Hwy 117 in El Malpais National Monument.

Friday, November 11, 2011

El Morro National Monument

The trail down to the pool
My family decided to take a road trip this Veteran’s Day weekend. It started off as an idea to get driving hours for my teenager so that he can get his driver’s license. So off we went to the lovely small town of Grants, NM, which is close to two national monuments in the northwestern portion of the state.

The pool at the base of the bluff
Our first stop was El Morro National Monument, about 30 miles south of Grants along Hwy 53 and which is situated on top of a sandstone mesa whose claim to fame is the pool at the base of the cliff that provides a reliable, year-round source of drinking water. It has been a gathering point for travelers for hundreds of years. The pool is not a spring, instead being fed by run-off from rainfall and snowmelt from the mesa above. The hole is at least 10 feet deep and is protected from the sun so that it holds water all year, even during summer droughts. I loved seeing the cattails surrounding the pool and how clear the water was, reflecting the cliff behind it so that you almost could not tell that it was a pool of water at the base.

Bighorn sheep petroglyphs
Beginning on the cliffs surrounding the pool are thousands of drawings, signatures, and messages carved in to the rock. This area is known as Inscription Rock and covers three distinct time periods: Ancestral Puebloans from up to 1,000 years ago, Spanish conquistadores from around 1605-1800, and American settlers after that time. The oldest inscriptions make up the petroglyphs from the early people, such as the row of bighorn sheep. The Spanish carvings include one from the conquistadore Juan de Onate (the butcher of native peoples) in 1605. The American inscriptions include many from the initial settlement of the West to the railroad building; most stop around the year 1900.

Zuni Sandstone
Past the pool and Inscription Rock, the trail winds around to the top of the mesa and we walked on the Zuni Sandstone, a barren landscape of pure white sandstone with some red and orange rock on top. The trail leads you around a deep box canyon and to the Ancestral Puebloan ruins of Atsinna, which contained about 40 rooms and including each a round and a square kiva. The rest of the ruins are unexcavated at this time.

Atsinna Pueblo Ruins, Square Kiva
All in all, the trail was about 2 miles total and included 200 feet in elevation with switchbacks leading up and then down the mesa top. I definitely recommend you go visit this small New Mexican national monument.

Box Canyon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding the Energy to Give More

When your child is born you have such high hopes and dreams for him. You imagine him growing up healthy and happy, enjoying youth to its fullest. Then you imagine him attending a good college and studying a field they love. Of course, he'll find a wonderful job, get married to a lovely girl, and start a family. You imagine family vacations with fun and laughter. You imagine all the best things in life for him.

Then you hear the words "developmentally delayed" and "speech impediment." A little time goes by and more testing and you hear the words "autism spectrum" and "ADHD." Later, through more testing, you hear "learning disabilities." Your dreams for your child change. You begin to question whether an academic environment is right for your child or not. Maybe he'll be able to attend a trade school or community college someday. Maybe he won't have a fantastic career but he'll be a productive citizen. And finding a wife and starting a family suddenly gets taken off the table. The years go by--you hope that he'll just graduate high school and be able to live out on his own. Maybe he will get disability to help cover living expenses since he can only hold a part time job. On bad days, when all thoughts turn dark, you hope for a group home--anything besides him living at home for the rest of our lives and having a home after you die.

There is a grieving process that occurs when you learn your child is disabled. You mourn for the child that will never grow up to be what you originally dreamed he could be. You feel sorry for yourself and ask, "Why me?" and think of what you should have done differently--maybe if I ate better or exercised more when pregnant. Maybe earlier intervention and diagnosis would have helped. If only I would have pushed for more frequent therapy sessions. Maybe I should home school him and keep him protected from bullies and hardships and awkward social situations.

Today is just one of those difficult days when all these thoughts come to mind and I wonder if I'm doing everything I can to help my son. Sometimes, it really doesn't feel like enough.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Everything"--Alanis Morissette

I can be an asshole of the grandest kind 
I can withhold like it’s going out of style 
I can be the moodiest baby and you’ve never met anyone 
who is as negative as I am sometimes

I am the wisest woman you've ever met. 
I am the kindest soul with whom you've connected. 
I have the bravest heart that you've ever seen 
And you've never met anyone 
Who's as positive as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed 
There's not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

I blame everyone else, not my own partaking 
My passive-aggressiveness can be devastating 
I'm terrified and mistrusting 
And you’ve never met anyone as, 
As closed down as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed 
There's not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

What I resist, persists, and speaks louder than I know 
What I resist, you love, no matter how low or high I go 

I'm the funniest woman you've ever known. 
I am the dullest woman you've ever known. 
I'm the most gorgeous woman you've ever known 
And you've never met anyone as, as everything as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed 
There's not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

And you’re still here 
And you're still here...

Lyrics007 "Everything"


"Patience"--Guns N Roses, from 1989.
Shed a tear 'cause I'm missing you
I'm still alright to smile
Girl, I think about you every day now
Was a time when I wasn't sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt you're in my heart now
Said woman take it slow
It'll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said sugar make it slow
And we'll come together fine
All we need is just a little patience

Sit here on the stairs
'Cause I'd rather be alone
If I can't have you right now, I'll wait dear
Sometimes, I get so tense
But I can't speed up the time
But you know, love, there's one more thing to consider
Said woman take it slow
Things will be just fine
You and I'll just use a little patience
Said sugar take the time
'Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I've got what it takes to make it
We won't fake it, Oh never break it
'Cause I can't take it

...little patience, mm yeah, ooh yeah, 
Need a little patience, yeah
Just a little patience, yeah
Some more pati... (ence, yeah)
I've been walking these streets at night 
Just trying to get it right (Need some patience, yeah)
It's hard to see with so many around
You know I don't like being stuck in a crowd (Could use some patience, yeah)
And the streets don't change but maybe the name
I ain't got time for the game
'Cause I need you (Patience, yeah)
Yeah, yeah well I need you
Oh, I need you (Take some patience)
Whoa, I need you (Just a little patience is all we need)
Ooh, this ti- me.... 

"Patience" Lyrics

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What It Feels Like For a Girl

By Madonna
"Hurt that's not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows"

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like
Wouldn't you
What it feels like for a girl

Silky smooth
Lips as sweet as candy, baby
Tight blue jeans
Skin that shows in patches

Strong inside but you don't know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak

Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
For a girl

Hair that twirls on finger tips so gently, baby
Hands that rest on jutting hips repenting

Hurt that's not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows
When you're trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less

Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
What it feels like for a girl

Strong inside but you don't know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak

Do you know what it feels like for a girl
Do you know what it feels like in this world
For a girl

In this world
Do you know
Do you know
Do you know what it feels like for a girl
What it feels like in this world 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wine Tasting Day

They've won many awards at this
winery over the years.

We spent yesterday at a winery in St. Helena that has been our favorite for 20 years. When living and attending school at UC Davis we would take weekend trips to Napa and always stopped at V. Sattui Winery (Vittorio Sattui). They have such a beautiful location with a picnic area and beautiful flowers everywhere as well as a deli and wine tasting bar. The only things that have changed in 20 years is the wine has gotten even better tasting and what used to be free wine tasting now has a cost ($5 for 5 wines on a standard “menu” or $10 for 6 wines from their select menu). They still do not sell their wines outside of their winery.

A building at the winery. I love the vines
growing up the building.
Of course we had to taste from their select menu, which meant that between the two of us, we tasted 12 wines total with sharing each taste. In actuality, we tasted 14 wines because our tasting "bartender" told us we "just had to try this one too" for two extra wines.

I especially liked the Early Harvest Dry Riesling, Off-dry White Riesling, Gamay Rouge, Pinot Noir, Merlot, 35th Anniversary Zinfandel, Vittorio’s Vinyard Cabernet, and the dessert wines Muscat and Muscato (Frizzante, meaning that it was kind of like champagne with its fizz). We ended up buying a half a dozen bottles that we’re sure we’ll drink before we have to go back to New Mexico next week.

I believe these are Hydrangeas.
Water-loving flowers like these don't
grow in NM!
We were able to do a little cheese tasting too and got to sample some dipping sauces. The Garlic-Parmesan sauce was especially good with sourdough bread chunks. We bought a bottle to go with the bottle of wine we’ll take to our family reunion event at my cousin’s Saturday night: a wine and appetizer “social” gathering.

So now for the next few days we’ll be visiting with family up on the north coast of California and go to the beach as often as we can (weather permitting). It’ll be a fantastic time for sure.

Lots of beautiful rose bushes on the property at V. Sattui

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Exploring in Napa Valley, CA

So after being home for just two days, we left early this morning for our "real" summer vacation. We spent the day in Napa Valley, CA, starting off with a lunch at In N Out Burger. We do this every time we come to California: search down the nearest In N Out and go for it! I must say my cheeseburger, fries, and vanilla shake was just as good today as in the past and worth having to eat a salad for dinner tonight.

Rocks of Ages Trees, 6 ft in diameter
Anyway, we drove from one end of the valley, through all of the wineries along HWY 29, and ended up at the Petrified Forest up in Calistoga. (We'll hit some wineries for wine tasting tomorrow.) At the petrified forest we saw petrified trees all along a trail through the grounds. About 3 million years ago a volcano near Mt. St. Helena 7 miles away erupted and took out the giant redwoods with fire, ash, and molten lava. All of the petrified trees were felled in one direction, away from the volcano. Of course, they weren't petrified until silicate-rich waters from the ash seeped down into the gaps of the wood and replaced the organic material with quartz, turning it into stone.

Robert Louis Stevenson Tree, mentioned in a book of his, over 8 foot in diameter
Waiting for Old Faithful to burp
After visiting the Petrified Forest we drove down the road to see the Old Faithful Geyser (also in Calistoga). There are only 3 "old faithful" geysers in the world. This one erupts about every 30 minutes, sending steam and scalding water spraying 60 to 100 feet in the air. I learned that this geyser has been a good predictor of earthquakes. When it's regular cycle is delayed or diminished, an earthquake is likely within the next couple of weeks close by.

At first, we sat on the benches and watched as a few puffs of steam came out of the rocks surrounding the area of eruption. Then, we heard some percolating sounds that were followed by some spraying. This happened about 3 times and I couldn't help but think, "Is this it?" Thankfully, that was not it and it spewed water and hot steam for about 5-10 minutes total. It was really cool. I'm sure it was nowhere near what the one in Yellowstone does, but this was really worth the visit. We all got quite a thrill.
Thar she blows!
So what's on tomorrow's agenda? A lot of relaxing, I think. Before that happens, I believe we'll go sample some of the local wines at whatever winery offers free or low-cost tasting. Of course we plan to visit our favorite winery, V. Sattui, in St. Helena. Their wines have always been my favorite since I first came to Napa Valley back when I was in college (and that was a long time ago!). They have this fantastic deli and picnic ground so I'm sure we'll spend a good lunch time there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Evacuation, Part 2

The Los Conchas wildfire, day 1, June 26th

It’s really interesting to find out what your family considers to be their most prized possessions. When the Los Conchas wildfire threatened our town last week and the town was evacuated for the second time in 11 years, all of us packed what we thought were irreplaceable items. For the boys, I told them to pack things that couldn’t be replaced at Target.

We thought we’d only be evacuated for a few days, just until the smoke left town. But it ended up being almost a full week, the same amount of time that we had to evacuate back in 2000 during the Cerro Grande fire that started when a control burn got out of control. With relief, this time no homes were threatened in our town site (unlike the 400 homes that burned in 2000). Unfortunately, all of the nature areas and trails were wiped out this time, as well as part of our ski hill.

For me, I packed all of the quilts and quilted wall hangings that I or my sister or mom made for us, all of the kids’ photo albums, every photograph off the wall, my iPod, Kindle, and enough clothes and toiletries to last us a week.

For my husband, he too packed clothes, but also the big computer, his iPhone, the Apple TV, his laptop, the wedding photos, and tools.

My oldest son, the teenager, was a minimalist. He packed his laptop, his iPod, the Nintendo Wii, his Nintendo 3DS, and a bunch of video games.

My pre-teen seemed to pack the most. He packed his Nintendo DS and video games, iPod, baseball and soccer trophies, Lego Bionicles, lots of stuffies, his guinea pig, his favorite DVDs, and his light sabers. It was this kid that insisted on bringing the turtles even though I thought they’d be fine during the evacuation.

My youngest, also a minimalist, included all his stuffies and baby blankets, iPod, Lego Bionicles, Nintendo 3DS, and video games. He wanted to bring his favorite board games but I assured him that we could buy those again in the store if we lost them.

Of course our dog and cat came with us, as well as the guinea pig and two turtles. They survived camping for 3 nights quite well and my sister survived them moving in with her for the next 3 days.

As I write today, the mountains are still smoldering. You can tell that all of the running trails that we used to run on are now gone. Back burns have been set on the ridges, firefighters hoping the fire won’t jump them and hit the town (notice they are calling them “backburns” rather than a “controlled burn” this time around). At night, the mountain glows and you can see spot fires all over. It is eerie and depressing to see such a sight.

Los Conchas Fire, day 10, July 5

Twice in a little over a decade is too often to have to leave town and worry that you’ll lose everything. But really, if you get all of your prized possessions out, the other stuff can just be replaced.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have found that lilies symbolize many things. The more traditional lily is a long stemmed garden flower with petals curling back from a horn-shaped face. This type of lily is strongly associated with the Christian tradition and Jesus' love. In Aboriginal Australia, the lily symbolizes courage and perseverance. In both China and Japan, the lily is said to dispel personal grief. Women wear lilies to help them forget the sorrow of a loved one's departure. White lilies symbolize purity, innocence, and chastity. At the same time and in the Greek culture, the trumpet-like shape of the petals symbolize erotic love and passion. In Greek mythology, the flower came from the milk of the goddess Hera as she was nursing Hercules; it dropped to earth (an outpouring which also created the Milky Way).  Clearly, the meanings are endless.

The lily that I chose to be tattooed on my upper arm is a day lily. Apparently the day lily is associated with coquetry. Yes, I had to look up what that meant! "Coquetry" is flirtatious behavior or attitude. LOL. Anyway, I chose my day lily it not for it's symbolism, but because I thought it was pretty. I chose the colors and design and worked with a tattoo artist to design something unique. I guess if I did have to choose a symbol for mine, I'd chose the Aboriginal or Greek symbols. Of course, maybe it is a little coquettish (is that the right use of the word?) too. :-)

Note: Information found on multiple websites when Googling "lily tattoo symbol" and "day lily tattoo symbol."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Poems to Share

Every year our local high school publishes a collection of poems that students have written and submitted. My son has three of his poems published in this edition, not submitted because he wanted his name in lights, but submitted because he was offered extra credit by his teacher, who told the students that anyone published would receive extra credit. No matter his intent, I loved what he wrote and wanted to share them.

Beauty in Islands
Same environments,
Different ways,
Different tools,
Different clothes,
Different games,
But all are connected by one great common factor:
Their culture is music and dance is their art.
They have different instruments
With different sounds
And different movement to their songs.
The islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, Aotearoa, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga
Make up the Polynesian Triangle,
Where beauty is endless,
Natural resources are never useless,
And the culture has not been forgotten.

A November Dream
Do I know you?
Have we met?
No, your face I could not forget.
We haven't met, 
But I know you.
Your face is unforgettable too.
I saw you
In a dream, I think.
You rescued me from Hades' brink.
I don't remember
Who you are,
But you shine brighter than the stars.
And now I look
Into your eyes.
I see a soul that could not lie.
I look at you
And match your gaze.
Your eyes are bright as summer days.
I look at you
And I see me.
I can recall a time of glee.
Now I remember
You are me.
And you have come to set me free.

The Desert Sands
Ages of dust have covered the earth
With fear and death and flesh and birth.
I know there was a city here—
A city built on love and cheer

A peaceful people settled down.
They saw the forest all around.
They said, "We'll build a city here.
A city where we need not fear."

The houses grew up from the trees.
I look, and I can almost see
The happiness that once was here.
But here I stand and feel no cheer.

The flesh of seven hundred bore
The flesh of seven hundred more.
A nation started rising here.
A nation born of love and cheer.

The time flew by. The nation grew,
But all I see is brown and blue.
A revelation strikes me here:
The sand and sky are void of cheer.

And so I think, and then I see
In my mind's eye, a sea of trees.
A civil war is in the forest here.
The trees are burning; death is near.

The birds have ceased their rapturous song,
But no-one knows what had gone wrong.
The fields, I see, were red right here.
The earth was stained with blood and fear.

A thousand years or more have passed.
That nation, sadly, did not last.
A people was forgotten here.
A people plagued by death and fear.

What once was earth is earth again.
I close my eyes and feel their pain.
They say there was a city here.
I sit to rest...and shed a tear.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Parenting an Autistic Child

I was doing some reading last week at work (of course after all my jobs were finished). I usually don't read Reader's Digest, but it was available and sometimes the jokes are pretty funny. In this edition was an article called "My Daughter, Myself" where a woman, Sallie Tisdale, talks about how it feels to care for a disabled child. I found some of the things she wrote relatable to my own situation.

Some of what I read was disheartening, some other was a kick in the butt:

"Ambivalence is a normal state for me. It is hard to articulate what I seem to have lost, because it is something I never had. Annie was never going to go to law school--we knew that. Eventually we knew she was not even going to drive a car. What I miss is something vague and dreamy about a daughter growing up. I have fantasies of high school girls giggling in a bedroom behind a closed door, of long phone calls. I feel grief for the past, for all that there was none of, and grief for the future, for what there may be none of yet to come. Every parent loses a child, several children, as each successive child passes into the next--the chrysalis of the infant becomes the toddler, the toddler gives way to the child, and the child to the youth, and finally the adult. This is one element of being a parent, of being alive, though there is an enduring sorrow in realizing not that the child has died but that the adult anticipated will never be born.

"I feel sad and sorry for myself or pissed off, and then I feel petty because I'm sad and sorry for myself, because I'm complaining when things could be so much worse. She's not aggressive or incontinent. She can walk and make herself a sandwich and sleep through the night. And we're lucky, because as late as it was in coming and as vague as it is in explaining things, we did eventually get a diagnosis.

"Long-term studies of people with autism are not reassuring. Very few go to college, are employed, or lead independent lives. The supports of school are remove, and nothing takes their place.

"Don't ever say to her, and don't say to yourself, that there is any tragedy in who she is. She is what she is."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Dream

I posted on Facebook this morning the following:
"What does it mean that I had a dream where I was a LEGO Harry Potter video game character flying to escape dragons and death eaters on my broomstick?"

To this I got quite a few answers:
"I think it means you are going to Orlando to see Harry Potter! ;-)"
"it means I'm not the only one that dreams really kooky stuff; WHEW, what a relief! ;0)"
"You have 3 boys ;)"
"that you're a TOTAL NERD"

The last coming from a high school friend who remembers what a nerd I was back then. But I digress.

One friend posted that he thought I should go on my favorite dream interpretation website, dreammoods.com to see what it had to say. What a great idea! So here's what I found:

Regarding being chased by Death Eaters, "I'm Being Chased!":
"Chase dreams are one of several common dream themes, stemming from feelings of anxiety in your waking life. Flee and flight is an instinctive response to a physical threat in the environment. In such dreams, the scenario often features you being pursued by an attacker, an animal, a monster or an unknown figure, who wants to hurt or possibly kill you." In my case the Death Eaters and dragons. "Consequently, you run, you hide or you try to outwit your pursuer. Your actions in the dream parallel how you would respond to pressure and cope with fears, stress or various situations in your waking life. Instead of confronting the situation, your dream indicates that you have a tendency to run away and avoid the issue. Ask yourself who is chasing you, so that you can gain a better understanding and insight on the source of your fears and anxieties."

Regarding flying around on my broomstick and trying to get away, "I'm Flying!":
"Having difficulties staying in flight indicates a lack of power in controlling your own circumstances. You may be struggling to stay aloft or stay on set course. Things like power lines, trees, or mountains may be obstacles that you encounter in flight." In my dream it was LEGO bricks and sets in my way. "These obstacles symbolize something or someone who is standing in your way in your waking life. You need to identify what or who is trying to prevent you from moving forward."

Now believe it or not, this website DID have a section on LEGOs and one on blocks, and even one on Harry Potter!:
LEGOs: "To see or play with Legos in your dreams, indicates your ability to make something out of a single block. It may refer to the "building blocks" or foundation of some plan. The dream may also be a pun on "let go". Is there something in your waking life that you need to let go."
Blocks: "To see a block or blocks in your dream, represent obstacles that you need to overcome. These are things that try to hinder you from achieving your goals." 
Harry Potter: "To dream that you are Harry Potter, represents your desires to escape from reality. You are living in your own fantasy world."

I guess all this just means that I'm stressed out. I'm running away from problems and am feeling out of control of my life. Because of the stress I'm wanting to escape reality. Maybe I just need to "let go" and let life happen.

There are three weeks of school left of the year and baseball season has started. That means that things are, indeed, stressful around here. Plus, I'm working more hours over the next two weeks. But this is life and I'll get through it. I've got people looking out for me. :-)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Last Day of National Poetry Month

Here are some poems that I read today that I really liked (in honor of the last day of National Poetry Month):

When I awake...
with morning's dew,..
My thoughts are alive, these thoughts of you.
As the sun sets, my eyes a new
Open widely a life with you be true
Troubled with a past, gloomy and blue
Can only be changed from the love of two
My thoughts of old and withered past
Now new life of hope outlast
So as the evening ends
Carrying nights white moon
Is when my thoughts are strongest
That seeing you will be soon
Questioning reasons of love be true
These are a few, of why the sun set with you...

--Michael Anthony Keaulana

If I could have just one wish,
I would wish to wake up everyday
to the sound of your breath on my neck,
the warmth of your lips on my cheek,
the touch of your fingers on my skin,
and the feel of your heart beating with mine...
Knowing that I could never find that feeling
with anyone other than you.

- Courtney Kuchta

Beauty and love are all my dream;
They change not with the changing day;
Love stays forever like a stream
That flows but never flows away;

And beauty is the bright sun-bow
That blossoms on the spray that showers
Where the loud water falls below,
Making a wind among the flowers.

- Andrew Young

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

- Carl Sandburg

The wondrous moment of our meeting . . .
I well remember you appear
Before me like a vision fleeting,
A beauty's angel pure and clear.

In hopeless ennui surrounding
The worldly bustle, to my ear
For long your tender voice kept sounding,
For long in dreams came features dear.

Time passed. Unruly storms confounded
Old dreams, and I from year to year
Forgot how tender you had sounded,
Your heavenly features once so dear.

My backwoods days dragged slow and quiet —
Dull fence around, dark vault above —
Devoid of God and uninspired,
Devoid of tears, of fire, of love.

Sleep from my soul began retreating,
And here you once again appear
Before me like a vision fleeting,
A beauty's angel pure and clear.

In ecstasy the heart is beating,
Old joys for it anew revive;
Inspired and God-filled, it is greeting
The fire, and tears, and love alive.

--Alexander Pushkin

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle;--
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven,
If it disdained it's brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;--
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

--e.e. cummings

I ne'er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet.
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale, a deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked what could I ail
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away.
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start.
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter's choice
Is love's bed always snow
She seemed to hear my silent voice
Not love appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling place
And can return no more.

--John Clare

If questioning would make us wise
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
If all our tale were told in speech
No mouths would wander each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And love not bound in hearts of flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.

--Christopher Brennan

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We The Kings - Spin

I've got a feeling to stay
It beats the feeling to go
And I've got a feeling, so I
Can know
What really could have been
Much more than time well spent
I have a feeling that I can't let
This end

Let's make Champagne rain down from the sky
And let's toast to the night

It's the time of our lives
Take me for a ride
And kiss me one more time
'Cause even if we fall we'll be okay
grab hold of your heart
Let's spin the world from the light
So we stay here tonight

We stay here tonight
Spin the world from the light
Can we stay here tonight
Spin the world from the light

You've got a reason to stay
I've got the hand you can hold
I'm kind of feeling insane, so don't
Let go

And as the sun goes down
And all the dark's around
I get the feeling me can't run home
Not now

Let's make Champagne rain down from the sky
And let's toast to the night

It's the time of our lives
Take me for a ride
And kiss me one more time
'Cause even if we fall we'll be okay
grab hold of your heart
Let's spin the world from the light
So we stay here tonight

Can we stay here tonight
Spin the world from the light
Can we stay here tonight
Spin the world from the light

Don't wait
Everything's not okay
I am slipping away
Don't say goodbye
Kiss me
And let me know you love me
Underneath the moonlight
We'll look to the sky
Let's toast to the night

It's the time of our lives
Take me for a ride
And kiss me one more time
'Cause even if we fall we'll be okay
Grab hold of your heart
Let's spin the world from the light
So we stay here tonight

Can we stay here tonight
Spin the world from the light
Can we stay here tonight
Spin the world from the light