Thursday, November 29, 2007


I would be remiss if I did not direct the attention and interest of Namasté blog readers to the exciting news that my beloved office mate, dear friend, fellow Virgo, and kindred spirit--the one and only Ms. Mary Ann Abbott-- won the first Golden Pickle Award ever bestowed upon anyone at our hallowed place of employment. I cannot begin to describe the event and its impact upon her as well as she, so I direct you to her blog to read her first-hand account of the emotional and inspiring event that took place yesterday during our annual end of fall quarter potluck.

The Six Degrees of Separation rule now goes into effect, and all Namasté blog readers can now say they know someone who knows someone who's won a Golden Pickle. WOW !!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Tomorrow morning I don't have to get up for an 8:00 AM class... In fact, I don't have to get up for an 8:00 class until January 7th...YEAH !! Winter break is here, and I'm loving it! (I do have three more classes at Marietta College, but hey, that's a breeze knowing that I won't be returning there for Spring Semester!)

It's been a long quarter. My challenge has been to enlighten students who are surprised Castro uses "torcher" in his prisons, as well as others who are delighted that yoga helps them "relive" their stress and ease their "tention." Over the fall, some students suffered with the "flew," but few checked in to get their "assinemants." And, as one of Mary Ann's students observed, "Not many good things come out of Africa." Oh well, all of us in education know we shouldn't pressure students about correct spelling or drawing sound conclusions because doing so might bring about self-esteem issues and cause irreparable psychological damage.

But, the quarter now qualifies as "water under the bridge," and it's time to think about decorating the house for Christmas, getting a few gifts together, doing a little baking, knitting, watching some good movies, and maybe even reading a book. (What a novel thought!--No pun intended..) Walking in the woods sounds great; practicing a little yoga will keep my body from contracting in the cold; sleeping until I want to get up will satisfy my soul.

So, I officially declare the holidays have begun. May all our days be merry and bright as we approach Hannukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwaanza, and life in general.

Peace......Love.....Joy.....Magic.....And lots, lots of laughter.....

Monday, November 26, 2007


Thanksgiving vacation just isn't complete for me until I take my annual ride through the mountains near my home, so Saturday afternoon, Tom, Chintu, and I took off on some backroads and around the Grandfather Mountain Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway to savor the beauty of the land.
The picture to the right is of the back side of Grandfather Mountain. As I gazed up at the huge, outcropped rocks, the sky served as a soft background to the starkness of the leafless trees and few evergreens.
When I did a 180 degree turn, and the view below awaited directly behind me. Miles and miles of rolling, purple hills down in the valley, unobstructed by houses, roads, or anything else manmade that would interrupt the sight.
And then, to top it off, I looked directly above me and saw a huge red-tailed hawk circling in the distance. I did my best hawk call, and sure enough, the bird floated my way and circled directly above my head for a long, long time. Note: I tried to get a photo of the bird as it soared in circles so effortlessly above me, but 1) I got dizzy trying to keep it in view long enough to get the camera adjusted for a shot, and 2) I came close to falling off the trail and down the hillside.
Needless to say, everytime I am in the mountains I feel very, very humbled by the majesty of my surroundings and very, very grateful to have grown up in this beautiful area. I've always felt protected and embraced by the mountains, and it is among them where I feel most at peace and grounded.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Tomorrow morning, I leave for North Carolina to spend the holidays with my parents. Tom and Chintu are going with me, so the three of us should have a really good time in the mountains. I'll be taking lots of photos and visiting my grandmom, Ruth, who is only two months away from turning 106 years old!

If any of my blog readers have any suggestions as to what might be happening with my inability to upload photos after the installation of my new computer, please send some help my way. There were no problems until we installed the new computer, put in a router, and transferred some files from my old computer that's now in Eliza's room. I've read all the help material from, I've done all their suggestions, I've called my techie friend, Craig, and I still can't get things to work. I can upload photos from the web, but I am unable to upload photos from my photo folder. This problem did NOT exisit before the new computer arrived. Would the router have a firewall that could be the problem? If so, how does one disable it? Are there other problems about which I'm unaware that might be the problem? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, especially since I'll want to post photos from the mountains.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...The gratitude list I have going is way too long to post...I'm just grateful for anything and everything (except computer problems).


Friday, November 16, 2007


Today I left the office right at noon to meet my second year students for lunch at the local Mexican restaurant, and from there, I headed down the street to Goodwill. I had a hunch I was going to find a treasure today, but seeing nothing at Goodwill worth mentioning, I headed to Salvation Army to browse there for a few minutes. Nothing there either, so I started back to the car and decided to peek in to a little antique store on the way to the parking lot.

I poked around in the Tin Rabbit for a moment, decided to check out one more shelf before I left, and stopped when a very elegant, white porcelain hand thrown bowl caught my eye. Immediately I thought of Gwen Hefner, a potter from Kentucky who used to exhibit her pots at the Indian Summer Festival here in town many years ago. Her work was strikingly elegant, yet of simple line and form--beautiful white porcelain vessels with slightly altered rims. I always wanted one!

When I picked up the bowl, I saw the stamp on the base that Gwen used to sign her work and was absolutely ecstatic when I saw the price on the sticker had this piece marked at $8.00 --only $8.00 for this lovely piece of art that cost probably about $60 - $75 twenty years ago.!!Obviously, someone had no idea what he/she was selling. I couldn't believe my eyes or my luck!!

When I went to pay for my find, the little elderly woman in the store remarked on its beauty. She rang up the sale and only charged me $6.80. A Gwen Heffner bowl for under $7.00!! I still can't believe it! I found the Gwen Hefner bowl pictured here on the internet, and it's very similar to the one I found today. Its list value on the site I downloaded it from was $350.

I really think the bowl called me to it because I had no intention of stopping at another store as I returned to the car from the Salvation Army store. It's now cleaned up and beautifully positioned on the buffet in the dining room, and I'm feeling very, very happy, grateful, and excited.

Maybe this afternoon's stroke of luck means Mercury's out of retrograde...Halleleujah!!! It's about time!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Both my daughters are Scorpio girls...witty, bright, beautiful, funny, and very unique. A week ago, Eliza turned 16 and proudly wore a sparkly tiara and a pink sash with "Sweet Sixteen" printed on the front all day at school. Bobbi, Scorpio gal #2, turns 40 tomorrow, and I'm sure everyone within the range of her energy field will be tagged to help her celebrate. For all I know, she might play her tuba on the street corner in her own honor.

I recently read the following excerpt about Scorpio women and found it to pretty much sums up my two:

"The Scorpio woman has great charm, allure, and inner strength, and is able to overcome most any obstacle in life. She comes across as self-confident and self-possessed and men are drawn to her for that reason. There is a mysterious quality about the Scorpio woman because she is intensely private, discrete and secretive. Soon she will learn everything about you, but later you will realize that she hasn't given you many details about herself--that's Scorpio's natural reticence.

Finally, the operative word to best understand your Scorpio is "passion." One Scorpio once said to me that passion was the single most important ingredient in life, that is, to be passionate about one's loved ones, one's career, one's lifestyle, for without passion, what kind of life would we have in the end?"

Happy birthday to Eliza and Bobbi, two passionate women who live their lives to the fullest. They love each other dearly, have a great time together, and fill our family's life with joy and happiness. The photo says it all!

Friday, November 09, 2007


Yes indeed! My favorite family astrologer, Bobbi, has officially confirmed Mercury is in full-blown retrograde. So, what's up with that? Some refer to Mercury's retrograde as being Murphy's Law of the Cosmos. From the information I understand about this phenomena, it's one of those times that if something can go wrong, it will.

Historically, when I am "tagged" by the retrograde energy, things around the house go haywire, i.e., appliances stop working, unexpected expenses abound, the check engine light in the car comes on and won't go off, etc. For me, this time around, it's been all about a leak in my water line somewhere between the top of the driveway to my house (a distance of a tenth of a mile or so) that no one can tell me how to fix short of digging up the entire line. It's been about unexpected bills that have appeared from nowhere, lost checks, and computer glitches.

But the culmination of my retrograde moments happened this morning as I was walking out to the car at 6:45 in an attempt to get to the office early to complete some work. I "bulls-eyed" a huge pile of dog caca in my brand new shoes that have grated rubber soles. I couldn't have made a more perfect landing in the middle of this pile of s*&@ if I had intentionally tried. I had to take tooth picks covered with paper towels to dig out the poop from the various grooves in the soles of my shoes. How's that for starting off one's day???

To make a long story short, I arrived at work an hour later with a clean but still very smelly shoe. I've walked around school all day in my trouser sock feet.

(You might ask why I didn't just change shoes and leave the cleaning for later..??..Well, I was determined to wear these new shoes on a day when I had only a few classes to teach so I could break them in without having to wear them on a full-scheduled day. )

So, my thought at the moment is that I'll stop by the store on the way home, pick up a bottle of wine, and have a glass or two on the deck, toasting the supposed end of Mercury's crazy cycle and hoping like the dickens that the plumber who's going to call in the morning is a heck of a dowser!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


On my way to school this morning, I heard that a recently published medical investigation has concluded that having a few extra pounds on one's body is really a good thing. DUH !!!!!

According to the study, people with a moderate amount of extra body fat are actually healthier and tend to bounce back from illnesses quicker than the "skinny Minnies" of the world. DUH!!!

The moderately chubby group were also described as being happier, more upbeat people that the emaciated 0% body fat clan. DUH !!!

My mom, an RN from the Clara Barton days, and my grandmom, age 106 and the mother of 10 children who lives back in the "holler" in Pigeon Roost, NC, could have told the researchers that at a fraction of the cost spent in this clinical study.

So, here's to a little body fat and a happier, healthier life! Treat yourself to a couple of pieces of chocolate today! :0) :0)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


In the last week...

1. I had to have a repairman in to work on the furnace. Cost: $293.00
2. Car insurance came due. Cost: $300.00
3. Mortgage payment time rolls around: Cost: More than I care to divulge. (The thought that I'm paying for the farm a second time doesn't put me in a great mood.)
4. I had to get two new tires for the car before I travel in the next week. Cost: $160.00
5. The water company reported I have a leak in my water line somewhere between the house and the end of the driveway. Cost: $1,000 minimum and possibly as much as 5 times that. (I'm trying really hard not to cry about this!)
6. We had an unexpected but necessary trip to the vet. Cost: $104.00

Note: With the exception of car insurance / mortgage, the above items were not included in this month's budget and far exceed my fairly meager catastrophe savings fund.

Then there's the trip to Indianapolis next week to see Eliza in the Grand National competition with the high school band. Cost: $400.00 (minimum)

And next month, it's Christmas. Cost (including gas for travel / gifts etc.) $500.00 (minimum)
(Thank goodness I've done some shopping along the way and have found some great gifts at thrift stores.)

And, both Samuel and Eliza have birthdays here at the end of the year. Cost: $150 (mimimum)

Now, if I add up all the expenses I've mentioned,(note again: those do NOT include monthly bills), the amount of cash flowing out of my checking account, pocket, and change jars far exceeds the amount coming in from my TWO jobs.

(Advice to anyone considering a career in teaching: THINK TWICE!! MANY of my former students leave college and enter their first job at a salary that far surpasses what I make with 31 years of experience and lots of nice professional awards.)

So, I ask myself, what really is the high thought here?

1. It's yet another opportunity to trust in the Universe. (I just wish I could get to the point of not panicking when the "trust" opportunities come my way.)

2. I probably qualify for a loan.

3. It's yet another opportunity for me to take a look at my relationship with money and my fear of not having enough of it. (Oh, how I love to take a look at that one over and over!)

4. I can probably pick up a third job. I can wash dishes or wait tables if necessary.

5. It's yet another opportunity to realize that I am safe, that I will be cared for, that the Universe will look out for me.

6. I'm healthy and happy, making it possible for me to get past the momentary glitches with a smile on my face. (I really, really am trying!)

7. It's yet another opportunity for me to take a close look at those things for which I am deeply grateful. (I'm doing my exercise gratitude lists as I write this.)

8. Many people love me, and I love many people.

9. It's yet another opportunity for me to realize I'm intelligent enough to figure out how to best work this financial snafu out.

10. If I created this reality, I can recreate something better.

So, if the Creator / the Goddess / the Great Orchestrator of the Universe just happens to read my blog, please know that I'm learning whatever the lesson of the moment is and it's really very OK not to send anymore stuff my way. Let me process this for now, and I'd be really, really grateful for a break, AND I'll do my best to share all I can with others.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Namasté and Peace to all...

PS: I am totally open to receiving a winning lottery ticket.

Monday, November 05, 2007


If any of my few blog readers are interested in the ceremony held today at the White House honoring Dr. Biscet and others, check out the Coalition of Cuba-American Women's website. There you can read the text of the president's speech OR you can click a link to watch it.

In addition, the post just before the one of the ceremony is an article on Dr. Biscet by Mary Anastasia O'Grady from today's Wall Street Journal. It's worth the read.

My students and I watched the event on my office computer, and as hard as I tried, I still sniffled. I was so proud to see Winnie, Dr. Biscet's daughter, on stage to accept the award. She's a good kid, and she will follow in her father's footsteps. The young man who actually sat on stage representing the family is NOT Dr. Biscet's son. His mother is Biscet's wife, and Oscar Elías helped raise him, but he's biologically not related. Winnie is Biscet's only biological child. She's 19 and possesses her father's love for life and fiery spirit. Thanks to Laida Carro, Winnie was included in the ceremony.

Keep your fingers crossed that Biscet will not be further tortured or mistreated as a result of the honor. He's not at all "loved" by the Cuban government, and officials there could make it very hard for him.

I dream of the day I will have a shack on the beach somewhere in Cuba. All Namasté blog readers will have an open invitation to come down for a visit!