Wild And Weird, But What Happened To The Mayan Apocalypse?

Oh the best laid plans…you know the end of that quote.  I had all these plans to get so much writing done on my time off!  Blog posts queued up, WIP work, but darn reality anyway, threw me for a huge loop.

On the 19th, I woke up early to blood spattered all over the downstairs.  No kidding.  It wasn’t exactly a bloodbath, but someone had a big problem.  My 13 year-old male kitty, Jasper, had a ruptured abscess.

I know, ick!  He’d given no sign of having any issues, so it was a complete surprise to me.  I had a crisis and a meltdown.  I thought it was something way worse and I was convinced I was going to have to put him to sleep.  I cried a lot, then my brain kicked back into gear and I was able to get Jasper a little more cleaned up and a better idea of what was going on.  By the time Hub got home from work to help me get him to the vet’s, I had stopped crying hysterically calmed down, and figured out that maybe it wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought.  Note to self:  It’s better to think things through before going straight to “He’s gonna die!”

Kitty came home from the vet’s that night, and I said many grateful prayers while I watched over him.  He was pretty weak the first couple days, and it’s a good thing I did have time off.  He wouldn’t eat or drink on his own.  He would drink water if I gave it to him in sips from a syringe.  He nibbled delicately at the baby food that I presented to him on a spoon, but would turn his head away after a bare half-teaspoonful.  Which meant I was spending an awful lot of time on the floor of my bathroom to keep him hydrated and fed.

Sleeping is what he's best at.
Sleeping is what he’s best at.

Now we’re in the home stretch, and he is well on his way to a full recovery.  Yay!  Stitches come out Wednesday and my two weeks of keeping Jasper isolated from the rest of the animals can finally end.  His brother, Sage stands outside and paws at the door, missing his wrassling buddy.  Sister Magic, on the other hand, has appropriated Jasper’s favorite sleeping spot in his absence.  It will be good to finally be able to get things back to quasi-normal.

Then, it was the holidays.  Meh.  I just was not that into them this year, the commercialism seemed overdone and tacky.  I wasn’t even sure I would put up a tree, I was in such a bah humbug mood.  But Jasper on the mend seemed like the best present I could ask for, and I began to feel a bit more celebratory.  So when Hub put up the tree on the 20th, I put up the ornaments.

I did end up decorating the tree once Hub put it up.
I did end up decorating the tree once Hub put it up.  Can you find Han Solo and Gene Simmons?

Then, there was visiting with the grandkids.  Let’s just say, I never knew how much fun it was to run and scream and race through the house wielding an inflatable sword while chasing down a three year-old.  It got better when youngest grandson would abruptly slide to a halt and reverse course to dash after me, screaming just as loud.  I let him catch me and beat me up with his own inflatable weapon… a mallet with who on it?  Thor of course!  Joy!  I haven’t had so much fun since I was a kid!  Writing anything was a distant second to running and playing with small children I haven’t seen in months.

But what about that Mayan Apocalypse?  Big Nothing? Or…?

Oh Mayan Apocalypse, you were hyped and feared, but where were you?  No asteroid slammed into the Earth, no massive pole shift rearranged the continents and, to my utter disappointment, no aliens appeared in the skies above.  Worst of all, NO zombies!  So what was it all about?

It doesn’t matter what everyone else said.  In short, the Mayans said this was the end of one age and the start of another.  Sure other ages had ended in cataclysms, but this one was different.  This one was about a spiritual change.  You can read about it yourself, in this interview with a Mayan Elder.

There were lots and lots of expectations and predictions about this date.  What was I expecting to happen though?  Nothing so Earth-shattering.  But I wanted to observe the solstice and the galactic alignment as a sacred day, so I took the 21st off.  (And I wanted to be home, just in case there were zombies!)

The winter solstice is a time of rebirth, renewal and sparking the sacred fire of creativity, and I treated it as such.  I did a little something that day of everything I want to achieve in the coming year; writing, gardening, eating better and exercising, taking better care of myself and opening myself to greater spiritual growth.

It worked.  I felt the shift within, and I felt my meditations, my awareness step up to a new level.  I felt that influx of energy from the universe and knew that everything I wanted was within my reach.  More, I realized that the only one holding me back was…me.

I’m not saying I’m suddenly this perfectly aligned, spiritual being.  Ha!  The one thing about this date that got left out of all the hype:  December 21st marked the shift, the end of one age and the start of the next.  It was never about instant enlightenment or instant change, but about one cycle ending and another one beginning.  ‘Beginning’ being the operative word in that sentence.  We are at the very start of something wonderful, but all change comes with a measure of chaos and upheaval.  This next cycle is about raising our consciousness, about tapping into all those wonderful abilities that are latent or sporadic and bringing them fully to fruition.   We have a very long way to go, but I feel confident we can all get there.

I found this meme making the rounds on Facebook:

Apocalypse

I take great joy and hope from watching old, outdated systems of thought and behavior die away to be replaced gradually with ones involving more humane treatment of our ecosystems and ourselves, greater awareness of Spirit, and greater realization of just how powerful we really are.

How did it go for you?

Weird Weekend – Between Lives

This weekend, I am thrilled to have a guest post on SJ Driscoll’s blog, Come Sit By My Fire.  She’s hosting a series on life changes called Being Between.

I’ve written about one of the biggest transitions in my life, leaving the job I loved at the San Diego Zoo to move to Seattle and become a nurse, Between Lives?  Don’t Micromanage The Universe?

Make sure you check out Charis Maloy’s piece on how she juggles multiple roles and plans for future happiness.  Lena Corazon talks about learning to love the spaces between and shares her poetry, and Louise Behiel describes keeping her sanity when it feels like she’s between a rock and a hard place.  These ladies stories are all inspiring, you won’t want to miss them!

Thank you to SJ Driscoll for hosting the Being Between series.

Wild Wednesday – The Winter Gardener

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Right now the garden looks like pretty bedraggled.  Sad, right?  How about these strawberries?  They tasted so delicious, but now they look anemic and ready to die.

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Well they are about to die…back.  Their roots will stay safe and warm in the ground, ready to come back in the spring but the green tops are withering and dying.  I think that’s why I love living here, I get to see the cyclical nature of life.  All things die, but all things eventually come back.

This weekend is likely the last one we’re going to get here with any substantial sun in Seattle for a very, very long time.  Hub and I have plans to get our garden put to bed for the winter.  The perennials in containers will overwinter, but if they’re allowed to freeze it can kill the dormant root system.  The larger containers, like these strawberry barrels will be fine free-standing with a good mulching.

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See my little baby strawberry plants in the square pots?  I’ll tuck them in with their big sisters to keep them safe and warm.  A nice thick layer of straw, nighty-night and see you in the spring, you delicious things!

But the rest of my ‘kids’ are in much smaller pots, so I’ll gather them all together on the side of the garage and pile straw over them all.  I’ll huddle them together like emperor penguins, plus put some large yard furniture around them to protect them from getting blown around.  I did all this last year and it worked better than I thought it would, which was pretty cool.

My next experiment, is overwintering some edibles.  I planted more carrots, onions and beets late in the summer.

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Apparently, all I have to do is mulch them good, so this weekend we’ll be covering them with a thick layer of straw.  I’ve read mixed reviews about the beets.  Some say don’t bother, that they’ll be inedible and just bolt (go to seed), while others rave about their harvest the following year.  Same with the onions.  Carrots universally seem to do pretty well overwintering in the ground.

So while I’m busy working on WIP 2 during the rainy season, my garden will be peacefully slumbering and waiting for spring, nestled beneath a cozy bed of straw.  All things in their season.

Do you have any rituals for this time of the year?  Is there anything you bid farewell to this year, that you look forward to seeing again in the future?  Putting the garden to bed is my fall ritual.  It reminds me that there is a time to be active,  a time to rest, a time to be productive and time to die.  It reminds me that death is not the end, but part of a cycle that we all participate in.

 

 

 

Weird Weekend – Paranormal And Technology

I’m not a ghost hunter, and I confess I have a hard time watching paranormal investigative shows.  It seems like all you get is a bunch of people running around either shrieking, or saying  “Did you see/hear that?”  Conversely, I do enjoy scanning YouTube for clips put up by the multitude of paranormal investigation groups around the country.  Something entirely different, in my opinion.  These are groups devoted (for the most part) to serious study of, and recording, paranormal phenomena, and are not for-profit or ratings driven.

I have not been out with an official ‘ghost-hunting’ group; I get plenty of encounters on my own, but I have to confess to a curiosity and desire to travel with one of these groups.  They have a lot of gadgets and devices that can record, measure and otherwise detect paranormal activity.  I have no idea how these work.  Something that seems to be on the rise though is photos of ghosts where nothing is seen to the human eye.

I found this collection on YouTube:

The advent of security cameras, both motion-sensitive and continuous record, has brought us videos of objects moving, flashing lights, and unexplained shadows while establishments are closed, locked and unoccupied by the living.  Like this example of a ‘ghostly head’:

I particularly like this one, from Hampton Court Palace.  They even talk about him on their website, they’ve nicknamed him ‘Skeletor.’

Creepiness, right?  Or just a tour guide in period costume?  I think it interesting that the Palace website is vague about exactly what it is.  According to the website, however, this is a fairly active area for ghosts in general, with public and staff reporting sightings or encounters.

Sometimes they move things, as in this rather dizzying video posted by Mass Most Haunted of their investigation at the Lizzie Borden House.

Could they be faked?  Sure.  Could some of them be genuine?  I think so.  I leave it to you to determine which you find the most plausible.

I’m not much with a video camera, but something I’ve always wanted to try is EVP.  EVP stand for Electronic Voice Phenomena.  In short, you take a recording device, ask questions and then hear voices on the playback.  It used to be done with reel-to-reel and cassettes, but now digital voice recorders are used, also they are heard on playback from video recordings..

These were captured at the Chapel on the Hill in Sedona, Arizona.

Have you done any ghost hunting?  Have you ever captured something weird on video or in a picture that you didn’t see when you were recording?  What’s your scariest encounter?