Snakes on The Blueberries!

Snakes On The Blueberries

Snakes On The Blueberries

Listen up, city dwellers!  You may need to know this someday.  Calling all country folks! You may already know this…. What do snakes and blueberries have to do with each other? Hint:  How do you keep the birds from eating all your blueberries? Ah, do you see it?  Birds love berries, but are afraid of snakes.  Put fake rubber snakes all over your blueberry bushes, and the word is that birds are generally not brave enough to come steal the berries.  That’s the theory.  We’ll let you know how abundant (i.e.  protected) the crop is as the season progresses. Right now, the new crop is just coming and it’s beautiful. We might all look blue ourselves by the end of the summer. Below is a photo of what we picked yesterday.  For now, forget a recipe.  Wash them and eat them.  Or if you’re feeling extra decadent, add raw cream and a cup of tea. By later in the summer, we will need recipes.  But for now, they are such a treat that eating them straight off the bush is good enough for me. They say there a LOTS of blackberries on this property….. Bye, gotta go hunting!
Basket of Fresh Picked Blueberries

Basket of Fresh Picked Blueberries

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Right In The Middle of Sorting and Packing…

…I went to the spa.  I stopped working.  I put down the box and the tissue paper and the scrub brush and the telephone.  I got in my car, drove to the nearest Spa, and I enjoyed the treatment called “Ancient Bathing Ritual.” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. hydro_bath I got into this very tub with alternating and rotating hydro jets galore.  A goddess poured a pitcher of milk and honey and bubbles into the bath. About ten minutes after  I settled in, another heavenly creature came in and gave me a 20 minute scalp massage. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…… And then the heavenly creature ushered me into a quiet room where everything is soft and muted, the music is beautifully transcendent and the blankets are the kind you want to take home.  She gave me a full body, full hour massage. Basically, she turned me into homemade butter. That experience has pretty much removed all vocabulary from my brain.  Can’t write all that well, can’t really think, and what’s even better, I don’t even care. On the way home (was I really driving???) Il Divo’s private concert may have sent me straight to heaven.  From all indications, I might still be there. Ok, now give me that box to fill.  I’m ready. On second thought, how about a cup of tea first? When are we getting to Asheville?  Don’t really know… we’ll get there when we do I guess. Continue Reading

What’s The Fastest Way To Get To Know Yourself?

You want to know one of the SPEEDIEST ways to get to know yourself?  The good, the bad, and the not so lovely? Decide to move across the country and go lightly.  Sell most of your things.   To accomplish this, have weekly garage sales for a month and make at least one weekend a double-doozey (two days straight)!!  This will “get er done” for sure — you’ll automatically create your own  “personal awareness” marathon. Moving is life changing.  Having garage sales is a bonus wild card if you’re paying attention — if you’re awake and listening and watching.  Pure gold! It’s like this.  You work all week to collect the stuff you’re going to sell.  Your entire home begins to look like a garage sale.  Cupboards are open, boxes are everywhere, collection piles begin.  Along the way, you get a little mad at yourself for not getting rid of all this crapola  sooner, so there’s the first gold nugget.  A self-forgiveness mantra becomes the order of the day. You have conversations with yourself about how none of this would be so much work NOW, if you had done a little bit all along the way instead of this big hurrah at the end.  And the mind goes on and on! I’m beginning to see that garage sale prep is clearly an emotional workout. In addition to an emotional workout, you’re working  hard physically.  You’re tired. throwingthingsaway You’re pulling stuff out of cupboards, out of dusty nooks and crannies where you live and work and play and eat.  Washing the clay pots that have collected in the corner by the shed so they can be sold.  Dusting off the bikes that will be sold “as is.” Going through your kitchen cupboards, kneeling, lifting, reaching.  Pulling the extra set of dishes out of the outside laundry room, and deciding to let go of them.  Emptying and cleaning out the second frig that will be sold.  Going through your clothes, letting go of whatever isn’t your favorite and hasn’t been for a long time. Tired yet? Ahhh, but there’s much more to do.  Have  a cup of coffee.  You’ll need it. Now to the mental workout. There’s the deciding thing — what to keep and what to let go of.  Mental sorting seems to go on all day and all night — what else to sell at the sale tomorrow, how to lighten the load,  start over fresh, turn over a new, clean shiny leaf. Garage sales offer a built in, 100% guaranteed emotional, physical,  mental workout!!!  But wait, there’s more! And then there are the people who come to buy your things, god bless every one of them.  There are the folks who point to the lamp (with no price tag) WAY OVER there  past the sign that says “SALE ENDS HERE” to ask “how much for the lamp?”  And those who catapault right over the barrier of over stuffed chairs, the couch AND the sign saying “SALE ENDS HERE” to dig in a box of personal items that is clearly off limits in every way.   I breathe deeply (yet again) and call them back to the fold. And there is the woman who dives with great gusto into the box of lingerie for sale contributed by a girlfriend of mine.  dogbra The shopper picks out a big ol bra.  Right there in front of God and everybody, she starts to try it on. I thought I was gonna die. She starts to fasten the big ol bra around her waist.  I can’t look.  I turn to another customer.  Oh, Lord.  Help me now. My next customer begins to ask me about the big rolls of fabric.   She has quite a rough way about her and speaks harshly. The words don’t come easy out of her mouth in a friendly way, they explode.  She spits every word. On top of that, because she doesn’t understand English and I don’t understand Spanish, we start using sign language and out of total frustration, we pause to ask anyone near if they can translate.  A beautiful Mexican woman who looks like the queen of a small country offers to help us out.  We are grateful.  We practically bow. But the Queen leaves and we are left to our sign language again.   Oh, dear.  I take a deep breath.  I can do this, I say to myself. This rough-around-the-edges woman wants to see every inch of the 22 yards of fabric I have folded up in 3 neat bundles, so she unties them and throws the beautiful fabric all over the floor, exclaiming loudly.  This process takes a while and I’m less than thrilled. It’s a dollar a yard for this fabric and she wants it all.  Price $22,  and it would be a total bargain at $50. She wants it for $20.  For anyone else in the world I would have smiled and gladly accepted the offer.  But my inner crazy woman stepped right up to the plate and said “no, $22.” She bought the darn fabric.  Whew, at least that’s over with. Next, a woman wants to buy my $10 table for five.  I’m in such a cranky mood from the fabric ordeal I tell her no, it’s ten dollars.  I feel like saying to her, “special for you, $25, and by the way, go shop somewhere else.” A deeply kind man is watching all of this from afar.  He walks into our conversation, and starts talking to the woman who wants my table.  I am quietly amazed, and instantly grateful that he has taken on this strong-armed woman.  He explains to her the value of the table.  He turns it upside down, shows her that it’s solid wood, and a great table to refinish.  He tells her $10 is more than a great value and she should buy it. I feel like kissing his feet.  He smiles at me and buys  something, and insists on paying me more than the sticker price.  He hands me the money, with the warmest smile since the sun was born, and he says, “it’s the least I can do, and I hope she buys your table.” I melted.  I relaxed.  I transformed right then and there. I had forgotten to be kind, and a perfect stranger reminded me. I was better all day after that.  And ever since. The little acts of kindness that we do for each other  — well, we probably have no idea of the impact of that kindness.  The generosity of that kind man went to me and it has rippled on out into the world a hundred ways since then. The person who receives your kindness will probably bow silently from far away, long after the beautiful moment you gave them.  Quietly, alone, in an “in between” moment, they will thank you again.  I know I did. WOW.  And all of this emotional, physical, mental AND spiritual transformation because of a garage sale!  Upward and Onward! Continue Reading

Leaving Behind the Replaceables

ashevilleforestI’m moving to the Asheville, North Carolina area — one of Mother Earth’s lovely green laps of heaven.  Hilly and lush and rolling and easy on the heart and the mind.  That’s what I’ve heard about Asheville. Have I been there?  (This part is risky, so hang on to your hat.) No.  (Whoa, really??) Really.  I sent my husband there.  I’ve felt Asheville long distance (does this count?).  I’ve been near it.  I’ve talked to an Astro-Cartographer (Rania James in London — — the best astrologer and astro-cartographer around) about my chart in this neck of the woods.  (It’s good. Way better than Saratoga, NY where I might as well jump off the Falls and get it over with!). And yes, I’ve talked to people who live in Asheville.  Some of them moved from California like me and they say it’s a little mecca, a shining spot in the Universe.  They LOVE it there.  I’ve spent hours online looking at photos and reading blogs and websites about Asheville.  My dear friend Gary has been there.  And my friends Toni and Diane. But, alas,  I have not had my actual feet in the soil.  I feel as if I have, and therein lies the beauty of Asheville.  This is how people feel about Asheville, or so I’ve heard.  I seem to be connected with this place I’ve never seen. Either I’m really lucky to have the innate connection, the intuition, the trust,  the ability to see where I’m not at the moment but will be soon —  or perhaps I’m totally delusional…  We shall see. My friends tell me that one of my enduring qualities is that I land on my feet.  Let’s hope they are right this time! As a family, we’re taking our most “cut-down-to-size” basic belongings, the meaningful things —  and leaving behind what can be replaced or upgraded. We’re essentially wiping the slate clean — emotionally, mentally, physically starting over.  We’re moving into unknown territory with next to nothing, and yet everything important is in tow and in tact. I need a garden and rain.  Weather.  More green.  Open spaces and elbow room.  Real blue skies.  More birds. Time in a hammock.  More moments of writing and singing.  Maybe I’ll even bake bread again.   I’ll still make homemade soup, no matter where I am. Meanwhile, ridding ourselves of earthly possessions and the garagesaleaccompanying unconciousness  is a bit challenging.  I opened a closet this morning and said to myself, ” Geez, what were we thinking here?”  Garage sales, good-byes to friends, and pauses to reflect — these are my days now.  The countdown has begun. I’d rather go to a coffee shop every day, loiter and write poetry over a latte.  Really, I would.  In my past, I’ve done that.  It was on the way to work, and I’d leave 45 minutes early just to be able to stop by my favorite coffee shop to sit and watch people, write and daydream.  My daughter discovered old  poetry books of mine as we packed. We sat down and talked about those poetry writing days in the Rose Cafe in Venice, CA.  We talked about my other marriages.  Especially the one with her father, whom she met once when she was 3 weeks old, and not since.  To have your child(ren) discover who you were before they came into the world is no less than a fabulous conversation! Ah, and then there are the animals I’ll be leaving. The screeching wild parrots (my personal favorite) that I hear most on Sunday mornings.  They remind me that I am a free  — and live out loud — being.  And the stray black cat that dines nightly in our laundry room after hours will have to find a new kitty restaurant.  I worry about him a little.  But he found me, so surely he can find a new way to fill his belly.birdispreyliftoff So I’m off for a bit of sleep before the big GARGAGE sale weekend.  Rest easy, everyone.  Be good to yourselves.  Fly strong and be free.  Live in a place that makes your heart sing and pass it on. Terri Continue Reading

My Brother’s Cancer Journey

iowaspring1Iowa is beautiful, even in late winter, early spring. Granted, it’s cold, and the gray days so far are quite a contrast to my usual daily dose of bright California sun. From having grown up here, I know the Iowa gray can go on all too long this time of year when everyone is ready for spring.

I’m here with my youngest brother, who is 49 years old, and has cancer according to the medical people. It has been tough going on many levels.  He is struggling to keep weight on, struggling to breathe, struggling to keep a positive attitude, struggling to accept his situation, struggling to walk, struggling to accept so much assistance, struggling to sleep, and most of all, to live.

His having cancer changed the landscape of our family quite suddenly.  There we all were, going about our days and nights as if all we had to do was “the usual” and then we found out he was not well.  We were having “lah-de-dah” conversations about the weather and “what did you do today?” which took a sharp and unexpected turn into conversations about how to live life fully, how to help someone else do the same, and what really matters in a day.iowalandscape

The mood — the frame of mind among family members on any given day here at the hospital — varies. Wondering if he will live at all is at the top of the list some days.  On other days, all things considered, he looks pretty good.  If you’re reading this, there is a good chance you know the “ebb and flow” I’m talking about.

I have a renewed appreciation for the nurses and doctors who do this service for my brother and for others every day in the oncology wing.  Being here with him and his process is my lesson in letting go.   How he is dealing with the cancer, his treatment choices – all of it is different than I would choose. That is what I think, but I don’t know, because I don’t have cancer and I have never walked in his shoes.

So here I am, hooking up his feeding tubes, learning how to disinfect the ports that carry the “nutrition” into his body, doing driving errands, transporting his children, or doing household chores.  My brother’s wife is carrying on the family business so they have an income. The tasks I’m doing seem very small, and they are, but every little bit helps.

Now he is home and having chemotherapy on a weekly basis.  He is on the least-invasive, most tolerable drug possible, because he has lost so much weight and getting him stronger is the number one goal now. Finding food he can face eating is quite a challenge.  He’s hungry, but nothing seems to sound delicious.  Truly good food, fully nutritious food, natural food — all of this seems to be a big turn off. How curious, since it seems that is what could possibly help him recover.  Again, I don’t know.  I have no idea.

Maybe the information I have about cancer can be helpful to someone else.  I will post more soon. In the meantime, listen to your heart.  Follow your heart. Imagine yourself looking back on your life.  What will you be glad you did?  Get to know your loved ones.  Have honest conversations.



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Intimacy Is Everywhere

Hello Everyone,

Today, intimacy.

Love to you all,

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Friday Love: Bam! Gate Breaking, Anyone?

Good Friday, Everyone!

Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!

Let me know if you relate…

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Enough with the Name-Calling

It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.
Much love,

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Terri Crosby

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