I have recently been working with the Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhvantu mantra. Translated into English it means “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” There is longer translation of the mantra I’ve seen that expanded my understanding. “May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom.” Beautiful, right?
This mantra fits so well into my life. Let’s face it as humans, our relationship with the natural world can be complex. I watch the sparrows at my bird feeder and remember that my daily ritual of feeding the birds (feeders go out in the morning and come in after dinner) is much more important to me than to them. I take such delight in the precious little winged beings at my feeder that I am reminded every day to be as good a steward of my blessings as I can. To treat the Earth and all her creatures with love and respect.
It comes as no surprise to this Spoonie that there is still much ado about the “looming recession” and many a Social Security Retiree starting to sweat. Not me. After all, a recession is the ebb part of the natural ebb and flow of the U.S. Economy. There are lots of reasons not to fear the recession. My personal favorite is that it gives me permission to release my inner frugalista. So what did I do this week to save money?
1 The biggie – I applied for and received a new activity monitor (Fitbit Inspire 2) from my Medicare plan. Woohoo, I was thinking it was coming up on time to replace my Flex and voila, email from my plan provider advised me I am entitled to a new monitor every 2 years. Yeah BABY! And, I absolutely love it. It has really helped motivate me to get my steps in, water, etc. etc. 2 Food waste awareness February – I made luscious bone broth from a chicken carcass and vegetable scraps. Using it for soup this week. 3 Baked a batch of protein cookies for my diabetic. They nicely replace the outrageously priced snack bars we were buying for glycemic lows. 4 scored a great deal on the high fiber crackers we eat while returning from a Dr. appointment. 5 I made several art journal pages from repurposed ephemera and art supplies that I already have. 6 Took a free on-line class on Tarot cards and read e-books through my local library. 7 downloaded two guided meditations from Freegal (part of my library e-resources).
So that’s my week. How did yours go? Are you feeling any of the pinch of the recession? Doing anything different to save your personal resources?
A Winter storm moved in this week with all the mock ferocity of a kitten. Gentle rain that turned to ice as the temperatures dropped. In it’s wake it left a delicate crystal forest of trees and shrubs magically encased in sparkling glass. A million diamond glints on winter-bare branches. I walked among them like a tourist through a glass blower’s shop awe struck by the delicate beauty of it all. My tree encased in her glimmering ice gown became at once both exquisitely fragile and unbelievably strong. Home of the February Fairies that pirouetted, dangling from nearly bare branches, made golden and bronze by the ice and frost joined by the rollicking sparrows like so many fluttering leaves.
~May the joy of the Winter Fairies be with you ~JP
The Wolf Moon greets us on Friday, the day of Venus, while Mercury is in retrograde. It is a time when deep emotions swirl together and the unspoken needs to be heard, witnessed, and expressed. I struggle in the cold, dark times to release the words clogged in my throat. Superhubs and I had a deep conversation recently about death, afterlife and near death experiences. This is what emerged:
Life, Death and Dirges
I’m sorry I couldn’t stay time has come for me to go that’s OK, I’ll be fine I’ve just run out of time when I’m gone just remember what we had the good times and the bad now that my story’s reached the end would you smile for me now and then
I know that you’re sad I know that you’re blue but I know you’ll make it through there’s more to life than we can see you’ll be fine even without me I promise you that the sun will shine again so smile for me now and then
now that I am gone remember life goes on when you keep me in your heart we’re never far apart I promise you’ll be happy once again so smile for me now and then
From the all-seeing Jar of Inspiration today’s prompt: Ridiculous Victories
My life has been filled with magical moments and joy; heartbreak and tragedy. I have lost it all and won it back again many times. For every gut-wrenching failure when my best just wasn’t good enough there has been an effortless victory when the beauty of life just crawled into my lap with no urging, asking only that I notice it. For each and every laughable failure and ridiculous victory I am deeply, humbly grateful. For this is the twisted path that has led me to this place, this moment, here with you.
Tomorrow marks one year since we arrived at our new home. It seems so different and yet, it seems at times that I’ve never lived anywhere else. I have settled in to this new life quickly, oh so quickly. Yesterday I posted a picture of a huge Jill-o-lantern from Osaka, Japan and I began reflecting on how many different October views I’ve had over the years. I’ve spent a good many of them overseas for both business and pleasure and the balance have mostly involved significant amounts of domestic travel. It seems odd to not be moving somewhere at this time of year and yet I find I have no real desire to journey beyond my little town, my gated courtyard, or my front door for that matter. I don’t know, maybe my traveling days are done, then again, maybe not. Sometimes when the leaves turn red and the breeze is still warm, I dream of Hobbiton, of Mt. Kurama, of the Yangtze River and Shanghai Hairy Crab … shudder. That’s a tale for another day.
Til next time remember ~Fall is nature’s way of reminding us how beautiful it is to let go ~JP
Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is “under construction” and I must admit, I’m not one to take pictures of construction much. It is seldom appropriate to photograph road construction between rants and building construction is generally driven right by without stopping to investigate, so I found myself somewhat stymied, until I realized that, heck, my WHOLE LIFE is under construction, or maybe re-construction, but you get the point.
On August 27, 2021 a catastrophic hail storm hit Rapid City, SD. For 20 minutes fist sized hail stones pummeled our lives. The financial loss was significant but paled in comparison to loss of our entire way of life. It became clear that we could no longer live full-time RVing and that massive rebuilding was required. So, we repaired what we could, sold what we could, wrote off the rest and started to reconstruct our lives.
We turned the page and began a new adventure. A few years ago “adventure” meant traveling overseas to work with factories while the sporting goods lines we developed were under construction.
These days it’s all about those mundane adventures. Sitting on the deck and watching the goslings grow oh so fast.
or scoring pirate booty at our local farmer’s market, fresh, beautiful bargains.
Or reminiscing about our travels while exploring the Asian Grocery store in our new home town. Ahhh pineapple cake, how I have missed you my old friend.
Checking out the art at our local library. Here an exhibit of Fanell Scudder an 83-year-old local resident.
Of course, there are also family bonds under construction. Here one exhausted wanderer with son and two of the grandsons. For fifteen years they’ve seen me no more than twice a year and yet we take to each other like the geese to water. I do adore my boys.
I’ve been thinking about Summer quite a lot. Deep summer is a tough time for most Spoonies. Pain and fatigue run roughshod over my days, crushing the heart and soul. Summer is equal parts bitter and sweet, there are farmers markets on cooler mornings, swimming pool for exercise, and I must say I’ve never been so grateful for central air ;-). I can’t change the weather or the heat but I can change the way I react to it. I can choose to let the fatigue wash over me, let myself slow down and breathe in the essence of Summer. I can write and craft and lift my spirits rather than letting maudlin anxiety over things I cannot change control my day. Today I will listen and appreciate the
Sounds of Summer
The discordant buzz of cicadas as they begin their mating songs
the vibration of wind singing across the rim of my sun hat
the whine of a distant trimmer a quantum of electromagnetic flux on the breeze
The sounds of summer stir heavily through the sultry air
No industrious activity as the world lies in lethargic somnambulance
For this week’s Flashback, I went back to my old, pre-wordpress days. This is a collage I made in the old Polyvore app for a 30 day challenge called “What I Wore Today.”
It was a wonderful reminder of where I was in my life at that time, I was between two total knee replacements and resting a lot. My wish for your weekend: may you pause and feel a single moment of utter amazement at the beauty of life.
“My Mom can squeeze a nickel ’til the buffalo farts.” ~My son 1986 age 7
I read a little blurb this week about grocery prices. According to the article Americans have seen an increase in grocery prices of over 11% in the past 12 months with more increases on the way. I get this news in JUNE, the month when produce starts to be abundant and … yummy. OK, I don’t want to get off on a rant here but really Social Security received the highest Cost of Living Adjustment in the past 40 years in January of this year. A 5.9% increase doesn’t even begin to cover the actual rise in costs. Medicare premiums alone rose 14.5%, add another 11% to groceries and a general consumer price index for all urban consumers of 8.3% (I’m not even going to mention gas prices) and you’re starting to see some financially strapped seniors. ** OK, OK JP, calm down back away from the soapbox ** Uhumm pardon me a moment while I recollect myself and untwist my knickers … grumble grumble *&^%$#@#$!&^
OK that’s better, on the brighter side, increases in interest rates have improved our portfolio some. There is ALWAYS a bright side, just gotta dig deep sometimes. So what are y’all doing to combat inflation?
Here are a few of the things we’ve done this week to “use it up, wear it out, make it last, or do without.”
* We participated in a neighborhood cookout. Our HOA paid for the hot dogs, plates and utensils as part of our social activities fund, we all brought a side dish to share. A couple of folks brought corn hole boards and I must say a fabulous time was had by all.
* We eliminated one grocery shopping trip from our weekly routine.
* We enjoyed two vegetarian meals at home.
* I returned an item for refund that should have been an HSA item and repurchased it through said HSA, dratted scanner glitches.
* I refused to accept a prescription that I specifically told the pharmacy NOT to fill as I get it through mail order much less costly.
* I reworked our meal plan, grocery list, and grocery budget for July. Better.
So that’s my rant for this week. I think I’ll go take a nerve pill and have a bit of a lie down.
Til next time ~Keep Calm and drink decaf, like homemade, from a reusable mug ~JP