January 29, 2008
Today I walked my dog along the beach after dropping Kaidin at school. We head to the dog beach in San Remo, which is a pretty nice beach with only a little swell, but massive tidal movement. Literally, in the morning there is a beach and by the afternoon there is only dunes.
Today I took down a magazine, but I thought I would actually walk and try to find some dogs for Pepper to play with. So I walked along (I used to walk 8km along the beach every few days, but now that I actually have a dog I just walk down and up one bay, about 2 km) and as I was walking I was asking for a friend, a friend for me and a friend with a dog so Pepper could have a friend because I am just so damn lonely at the moment now that Adam is gone. A wave crashed and I looked out at teh sea and giggled a bit and thought ‘yes, even an undine* would be better than no friend at all, as long as it doesn’t try to drown me’.
Walked a bit further and there was a older couple with two red heelers. We chatted about dogs and the beach and the dogs played and Pepper even followed one of the heelers into the water. A man walked along with a shepherd cross and told us that he’d seen a seal, but there are never seals at that beach, so I kinda shrugged it off and kept walking when the old couple had to head off.
Further down the beach a lady and her gazillion kids where playing with their two Labradors*. I told them about there supposedly being a seal and we stood and chatted while the kids swam and the dogs played and Pepper even went further into the water.
Suddenly, a little along the beach a head popped up. I can see why the legends of selkies began – from a distance, the seal’s head really did look like the head of a doe eyed woman with long dark hair. It was huge. It swum along the bay towards the groyne where some surfers were catching the little swell. It must of been lost and looking for other seals, because as soon as they got out of the water it swum around the groyne and away into the open ocean.
The lady and I talked for a while and the dogs played and things were good. It wasn’t until I was walking back that I realised just how well my wish came true – a friend to talk to, a friend (two in fact) for Pepper AND an undine thrown in for free.
With luck like that maybe I should buy a lotto ticket.
*An undine is a water spirit. A selkie is an undine who spends part of their time as a woman and part as a seal. they can take off their seal coats and come onto land, without the coats they can’t return to the sea. Depending on which legend you listen to, they were either nice and saved drowning sailors or horrible sirens who lured men into the depths to drown.
*When you have two or less kids you tend to count offspring like this – none, one, two, a gazillion. I think in reality it was about 4 but they wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to count them, so maybe it was 5.
January 28, 2008
From Crystal Enlightenment by Katrina Raphaell
“Natural high quality Selenite crystals possess one of the clearest transparency qualities found in the mineral kingdom. This degree of clarity reflects a pure beam of white light into any environment that the crystal is placed in. When Selenite crystals are used as personal meditation pieces, they will bring into conscious understanding one’s own sense of inner truth. Therefore Selenite can be used to calm and clear troubled or confused states of mind. White is the colour vibration associated with the crown chakra. Selenite can be used in meditation or crystal healings to activate this highest of energy centres. A small Selenite crystal can be placed on top of the head to stimulate brain activity and expand the awareness. Selenite symbolises the clearest state of mind attainable, in which all thoughts entering the consciousness originate from the source and are direct reflections if pure spirit. Selenite is a crystal that can be used for the advancement of the mind and mental powers. It does not serve much purpose in healing the denser physical or emotional bodies.”
From Crystal Power by Ken and Joules Taylor
“Selenite’s cool white beauty is excellent as a focus for meditation. Named for the moon goddess Selene, this crystal symbolises both change and predictability, the steady, regular phases of the moon and this satellite’s effect on the earth.”
From Crystal Decoder by Berenice Watt
“Selenite is one of the best stones with which to bring about a rapid shift of energy. It can quickly disperse accumulations of negativity on the aura, and will remove blockages and stagnant energy from the body. Selenite also brings flexibility, spiritual insight and creativity. It can be relaxing and eases bodily tension.”
From the Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
“Translucent selenite has a very fine vibration and brings clarity of mind, opening the crown and higher crown charkas and accessing angelic consciousness and higher guidance. Pure selenite is a link to the light body, helping to anchor it in the earth vibration. Selenite is a calm stone that instils great peace and is excellent for meditation of spiritual work. Telepathy is enhanced through each person holding a piece of pure-vibration selenite. The purest translucent white selenite has an ethereal quality and is said to inhabit the place between light and matter. And ancient stone, it is nevertheless one of the most powerful crystals for the new vibrations on earth. Selenite can be used to form a protective grid around a house, creating a safe and quiet space that does not allow outside influences in – use internally in the corners of the house. A large piece of selenite placed in the house ensures a peaceful atmosphere. Selenite wands can be used to detach entities from the aura or preventing anything external from influencing the mind.
Carrying the imprint of all that has happened in the world, selenite reaches other lives and is very useful for checking on progress made and for accessing the plan fro the present life from the between-lives state. It pinpoints lessons and issues that are still being worked upon and shows how they can best be resolved. It can be used for scrying, to see the future or to ascertain what has happened in the past. Psychologically selenite assists judgement and insight. Mentally, it clears confusion and aids in seeing the deeper picture. It brings about a conscious understanding of what has been occurring at the subconscious level. This is a powerful disperser and stabilizer for erratic emotions.”
Added notes from me
“Selenite is a wonderful stone for clarity, meditation and concentration – the perfect stone to have by when studying or making life-changing decisions. A large piece is excellent for scrying in, as the opalescent folds within in tend to look like a veil, which can be lifted with concentration to see what needs to be seen. A more translucent piece of selenite can be used to look through and see what is real, much as a fairy stone can be used. This is particularly useful when meditating on decisions – look at photos or documents magnified by Selenite to help see the truth behind them.
I keep a large piece of Selenite in my family room to help instil a sense of peace and harmony. It does need cleaning regularly though – in sea salt or moonlight or earth – Selenite will melt away in water. It responds best under a full moon. I find it very calming to have tumbled or egg shaped pieces of Selenite to roll in my hands when meditating or when I need to calm down. It helps to clear away unnecessary thought and focus on the issues at hand. It also opens your mind to a broader picture, to see beyond yourself and also to see the truth beyond the lies we build up around ourselves.
In my crystal oracle, Selenite means clear sight – getting to the truth of things – and also to centre my thoughts and actions and clear away the dross.
It is certainly one of my most favourite stones.”
January 27, 2008
Well, what a week it has been. I went down to Albany to get an aura photo taken and bought a heap of new crystals. Adam and I separated, for good this time. I’m pretty cut up about it, even though it was me that ended it. It is for the best though – our relationship was past over and we were really hurting ourselves trying to stay together.
So now I’m going to work on learning how to use my crystals. I have a heap of crystal books that I’ve never really looked at, but now I am going to go see a qualified crystal healer and get some pointers.
As for the aura photo, apparently my base chakra, heart chakra and throat chakra are badly out of alignment. Al the rest are good though and my creativity shines out of my aura, which is always a good thing to hear.
Posting is going to be a little sporadic for a while I’m afraid, but I have plans and I’m healing and growing stronger for the experience. It’s such a cliche, but I needed to learn this lesson.
January 20, 2008
I still have a cold. I also have laryngitis, which is great for the dog and Kaidin because they can do whatever they want and I can’t yell at them. I’m not appreciating having to have warm lemon and honey drinks when it’s 34 degrees outside!
I went to an old school friend’s wedding on Saturday. It was very nice, but I had to try hard not to sniffle near the video camera. It was a perfect day for a wedding – sunny sky, shady trees, an island in the middle of a lake – but unfortunately, my camera didn’t like it and kept washing out the backgrounds.
Jess and I after the ceremony.
Living Nature is a NZ cosmetics company I just found. I use their mascara and it’s excellent. I’m slowly going to replace all my makeup with there products.
This post at The iCing Bowl made me think about what I put on my skin and in the comments there are some good suggests for natural and homemade products. All Natural beauty has some great recipes that I’m going to have to try out tonight while Adam is at work and won’t get freaked out by me running around with egg in my hair and banana on my face.
You may have noticed the button I added so people can join my e-group, A Pagan Way. It’s simply a group for Pagan people to come together and learn from the different paths we are on.
January 16, 2008
It is 34 degrees outside and I have a head cold, a sore throat and an aching chest. I hate summer colds. Despite the scientific evidence that cold and flu are caused by bugs, not by actually being cold (although being cold does lower your natural immunity to these bugs, because your body works to keep warm, not to keep nasties out of your system), there is something terribly annoying and inconvenient about summer colds.
I suffer from allergies to begin with – grass and pollen, animal hair and dust – it all makes me sneeze. The allergens are around more in summer, with no rain to clear the air and more animals moulting due to the heat; so between my allergies and this head cold, I have turned into a sniffly, snuffly whinging wreck; sleeping all day and only waking up to drink litres of orange juice and take more echinacea (Adam is such a good boy sometimes – I asked for cold and flu tablets and he got the all natural ones for me, even though they are usually hidden on a bottom shelf somewhere at our local chemist).
If you wake me up without bringing bowls of chicken soup, I will sneeze on you and give you my bugs. I’m planning to sleep until I’m better.
January 14, 2008
Yesterday, Kaidin and I took Pepper to her first dog training class. There was a bit of a scramble trying to find her immunisation record (The girls at my local vet are so lovely. Not only is their office open Sundays, but they printed me off a new record for free. My doctor charges $3 for a copy of Kaidin’s immunisation record!), but we got there not too late.
The classes are run by the RSPCA. It cost $99 and runs for 6 weeks, with a graduation ceremony in the last week. Apparently we have to teach our dogs tricks to show off on that last week.
The lady taught us doggie massage – one hand holding the dog’s chest, the other hand rubbing and stroking and massaging from the ears down while saying a calming word like ‘Calm’ or ‘Relax’. The point of this is that eventually, you can just put a hand on the dog’s chest, say the word and the dog will relax. Then you can stop putting the hand there and just use the word.
We gave our dogs (there were 5 in the class) treat while saying ‘Good’ and the the dog’s name. Pepper got bored after about a minute and would have rather sniffed the other dogs than eat treats – it’s good that she’s not greedy, but it’s really hard to make her pay attention. The ‘Look’ command is to make the dog look you in the eyes, which helps later when you want the dog to pay attention. Pepper is very used to looking people in the eyes, but she was more intent on looking at the dogs, cockatoos, boys on skateboards…
We did ‘Sit’ and ‘Down’ commands. Pepper was really good at the ‘Sit’ command, not so good at the ‘Down’. There was a chocolate lab puppy called Tully who was 4 months old and picked up the ‘Down’ command a lot quicker. he was so roly-poly-pudgy and cute too.
There was a bit where we all ran around calling our dogs and doing a ‘Play’ pose (bent over, hands on thighs) to try and get the dog to follow us. Pepper and another puppy called Minus were too busy trying to get to each other to pay any attention to what me and Minus’ owner wanted. Pepper did really well with the free lead walk around, but I feel like I cheated because she had her Halti on and she is always such a good girl when she is wearing it. By this time she was definitely sick of the treats.
After the class I let her sniff Tully a bit while Kaidin wanted to pat him. I thought some people might want to go for a walk or something, because it was a nice day and we were on the foreshore, but no everyone else jumped in their cars and drove away. So Kaidin and I walked up to the circus which is being set up. Kaidin was the official photographers for the day (hence the photos being slightly blurry) and he took a few shots of the circus before I decided that at any minute some clown was going to come out and scream at us. I’m terrified of clowns. We walked back across the bridge and went home.
Later that night when I was on the phone to Adam I was saying how I kept having to say ‘Pepper, Look’ over and over again, but when I said it, she actually looked up at my eyes every time. Maybe she is learning something! When I cooked tea, I cut up all the fat off the meat and made her ‘Sit’ and ‘Down’ for it – maybe next week I’ll just take meat scraps for treats. No dog can resist!
January 14, 2008
Best Article Ever on skin care from the NY Times – especially the last paragraph!
Paper Menagerie certainly indulges my love for all things stationery and scribbles related.
Harmony Forest makes me dream of peace and relaxation – if only we could afford a holiday sometime soon.
I recently got sent a whole heap of books from Bookmooch and have one novel to send to the USA. Bookmooch is such a great idea and it’s free – all you pay is the cost of the postage.
And finally, Thats Headley is a gorgeous jewelry site with lots of other good ‘stuff’. Go and check it out and remember that my birthday is coming up soon. I don’t have the patience for wire and beading jewelry, but these pieces are fantastic and very, very beyond the square. the Etsy site for Thats Headly is here.
January 12, 2008
I still have a huge problem with cleaning my house – it’s just not on my list of priorities, even after I decided that I would spend 15 minutes a day cleaning a few months back. Why spend that 15 minutes cleaning, when you could spend that reading or exercising (or sleeping)? I tend to clean in spurts and quite often I’ll take on something – such as cleaning out my ‘to be filed’ shoebox of paid bills and receipts – and get frustrated 3/4 of the way through. I did finally clean out that shoebox two days ago. there were bills and receipts in the bottom of it from 3 years ago. I’ve moved house four times in that period! I did get frustrated too, I want to quit about half way down the overflowing box, but for once I stuck with it.
I have been worried lately because our lawn is still a mess and we failed &our last rent inspection. The house I kept reasonably clean with Adam was away and I did manage to do some large jobs like weeding out the summer-spent annuals from the garden, cleaning up the shed (we had ditched everything from our last clean up in the shed) and cleaning the back room which was gross from the dog and cats running grass through it, plus still had several unpacked boxes left scattered around the room. Now it’s just a method of cleaning the house and keeping it clean, doing a few fix it jobs where the dog has ripped fly wire and carpet (*sob*) and hoping the lawn grows back before Feb 19th for the next inspection.
But there is still that big hurdle I have to get over – why clean when a) it’s just going to get dirty again. we have a zoo of animals and a 5 year old child, the house only stays clean if there is no one in it b) I have better things to do like blog or watch season 6 of scrubs on DVD or read my metalsmithing books and order some jewelry making equipment online c) no one else helps. Adam is too busy working and sleeping, Kaidin is too young to be of any real help, none of my friends are stupid enough to be tricked into helping me clean. It’s an overwhelming job and I have to go it alone… So I started to research online for some tips and tricks to make cleaning easier, even fun.
I use Seventh Generation cleaning products. It uses Hydrogen Peroxide instead of chlorine, which smells a little strange at first, but with the citrus oils in the kitchen cleaner and other essential oils in the bathroom cleaner it’s not unpleasant. It cleans a lot better than the chemically based products I’ve used. The only problem is it is manufactured in america and shipped here. The bottle is recyclable.
Non-chemical cleaners are really important in my quest for a cleaner home – no point in having shiny floors and scrubbed benchtops if having them is slowly giving you cancer. This site and this site tell why non-chemical cleaners are so important and give lists of suitable alternatives. I know I have an unopened packet of borax around here somewhere, maybe tomorrow I should go and purchase bulk vinegar and bicarb and a heap of spray bottles. When I read that Speed Cleaning book everyone raved on about last year it said to keep a container (bucket or otherwise) in each room, with a handful of rags and a spray bottle of whichever cleaner you perefer to use- That way when you are watching tv/waiting for a site to load/listening to your child read/waiting for the bathroom mirror to de-fog so you can do your makeup you can simply grab a rag and spray to clean up small bits of surfaces/windows etc. Then you toss the rag in the washing basket. Once a week when you do the washing, make sure there are enough rags in each bucket. When I read it I thought ‘pfft – who keeps cleaning products in every room?’ but after more thought it’s probably a good idea – if I only have to clean one surface while I’m waiting for something to load I’m much more likely to do it. And if I make my own spray bottles it’s much cheaper than replacing 6+ bottles of spray and wipe every week.
I’m pretty sure Flylady is my favourite cleaning site. It has so many tips, especially on effecient clenaing for lazy, disorganised people like me! Plus it has a lot of tips about getting kids to clean too. more boxes and baskets needed! Charts and marker pens to be found! Loud dance music to get energy up to be downloaded!
When it comes down to it, al the tips are great, all the cleaning products are great, but it won’t mean squat unless I actually do the work. So I’m trying – at least 15 minutes of cleaning every day. Last night it was all the dishes in the kitchen, the benchtops and cupboards. Tonight I cleaned all the junk off the back lawn (dog bones and such) so Adam can mow it (under duress I might add, and he’s left the choke open on the mower and will probably run out of fuel 1/4 way through, but he told me to piss off when I tried to tell him how to start the mower so I guess it’s ‘Mans Work’ and I should just keep my giggling to myself inside). Tomorrow I fully intend to clean the bathroom, including sorting through all my makeup – a lot of which seems to be under the vanity – and scrubbing the grout in the shower. Wish me luck.
…the mower just ran out of fuel.
January 11, 2008
I got my car serviced today. Adam and I share a 1999 Ford Laser called Princess Sparkle. It was the 200,000km service and it’s costing me $730. $730!!! I couldn’t believe it when the mechanic told me. And then when I said goodbye I told him that I was walking home (with Kaidin and Pepper) and he looked at me like I was crazy. I’m about to walk down to pick her up, but like all mechanics, when the man called me he said that there were several things ‘wrong’ that he just went ahead and fixed for me, so it will probably end up costing closer to a grand.
It got me thinking about how much I really need a car anyway. The only real reason I got a car when my old one died was to get to uni and to work. Now I’m working at the forum, which is a half hour walk away and we live about 500m from the new train station which goes close to my uni. The other reason I needed a car was that Kaidin attends after school care across town. It’s only a 7 minute drive, but it’s a little too far for little legs to walk and I have no way of getting his bike there everyday (well I could wheel it to him, but walking there with a small child’s bike and a hyperactive puppy is just not something I’m willing to do).
So while I’ll keep the car for picking up Kaidin (Adam also uses it for work), I’m thinking about buying a bike. My Dad bought me one for Christmas in 2006, but I stopped using it the next summer and when I moved into this house, I discovered it had been stolen from my back garage. One of the many, many items stolen from my last house.
I read in G magazine while I was waiting for the doctors about electric bikes – ones that you still pedal, but you don’t have to put as much effort into it as a regular push bike. This spiffy one retails at just over $2000 (or the same amount two car service will cost us). I like the Cruiser Nomad at $1299. According to G’s article electric bikes are the way to go – much more energy efficient, you can choose your level of workout (the article included pictures of a man who commuted to work via electric bicycle wearing a suit without breaking a sweat, or you can simply pedal as you would a normal bike and conserve the batteries) and they take a lot less materials to build and need fewer ‘extra’s’ – no $1000 service fee for an electric bike.
According to this site, “for a 250 miles/month average commute, an electric assisted vehicle is 100 times more cost efficient and emits only 3% of the CO2 of a car.” Which is some pretty good stats Ativ Solutions makes the Crystal Cannon Conversion Kit to transform existing bikes into electric ones. At US$695, this option would cost here about the same as buying a new electric bike. The equivalent in Australia of the Currie motor in the picture above retails at between $1100 and $1600 from Electric Vehicles Pty Ltd, again, much the cost of a whole bike. I’m guessing the conversion kits are more for people who want to convert their $3000+ already owned bikes.
I think it’s really an option I’d keep in mind. Adam and I talk often about buying another car as it’s quite impractical for me to drive him to work at 6pm and pick him up at 6am and my other option is to not have any transport for this time period. It’s also just annoying – I am so used to having my own vehicle that I get frustrated if he takes the car and is not back at the prearranged time. Instead of another car however, I would be content if I had an electric bike to use when he needed the car (shopping and errands etc.) and I just used the car to pick up Kaidin from afterschool care. This would not only cut our emissions, but also fuel costs and seeing as petrol is edging up to the $1.50/L mark where I live, it’ll make a big difference to our weekly budget if I can cut 60% of petrol consumption.
January 9, 2008
Recently, my parents made the heartbreaking decision to have my old dog Lucy put down. She was a 14 year old Golden Retriever that we have owned since I was 9. I remember the Christmas we got her – she did a large liquid poo under the christmas tree. Unfortunately Retrievers are prone to hip problems and dispite several operations and steroid treatments, the old girl couldn’t walk anymore, or even get to her feet, so the vet decided the best thing would be to put her down.
As a general rule I am very against animal euthanasia. When it is a very old dog like Luce-the-juice then I understand the reasoning behind it, but one issue that really gets to me around Christmas time is the amount of unwanted, abandoned pets given as gifts and then euthanised, or the lost pets whose owners don’t bother to collect them from the pound, or animals that are mistreated and have to be put down when they become aggressive.
My four cats (yes, I have four cats. I am slowly but surely turning into the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons.) were all rescue cases. Jet was at a pet shop near my house. he was the runt of the litter and black, so while all his brothers and sisters found homes, he didn’t and the owners were just going to put him down if he didn’t sell. Luckily a friend of mine who worked at the pet shop rang me to see if I wanted him. When I picked him up he was so tiny hecould fit on my hand. He would suckle at my neck and clothes, a sign he was weaned too early. Now he is an adult cat, but you can tell he was the runt – he eats a lot and is still smaller than my other cats. He has a strange habit of liking to be in boxes, so I leave a few of my grocery boxes around the house for him to sleep and play in.
Gemini is one of those cats who was born simply because his owners were too lazy or broke to sterilise his mother or father. His owners where a group of seedy guys who lived on my street, whose cats where always having litters of fluffy kittens. They simply gave them away to whoever walked past and looked twice. I never saw food left out for any cat there, but the mother and father (and a few grown up uncles) hung around and when I asked the man if I could have Gemini (the smallest and fluffiest) there was 5 kittens and 4 adult cats. Gemini was smothered in fleas – the poor thing could hardly open his eyes without fleas crawling into them. He was undernourished, dehydrated and hadn’t been handled at all. Now he is the fluffiest, most gorgeous cat who is ever so loving.
Momo and Ninja belonged to the sister of a friend of mine. Momo and Ninja’s mother were left behind when a family moved out of their rental house. The girl cat was heavily pregnant. The sister-of-my-friend kept the two and looked after the kittens, which were burmese/persian crosses, until they were ready to go to the pet shop. She then kept one kitten, sold the mother cat (a pure Persian) and asked my friend if she knew anyone that would like MoMo. So my friend bought a sad, frightened MoMo to us. It took him a while to get used to us, three families in a few months is a bit much for any cat! He ran away when we got him desexed, but now he is back and he rules the roost. He is the oldest of my cats, the vet said he is approximately two, and he is certainly the boss.
The latest addition to my furry family is Ninja, the kitten that the sister-of-my-friend originally kept, but then got sick of 6 months later. I’m pretty sure she realised that any time soon Ninja was going to start having kittens and instead of paying for her to be desexed, she just got rid of her. It’s heartbreaking the way people can simply pass on their pets when they are no longer convinient. Ninja is still very timid. If you catch and hold her she will purr and roll over for tickles, but she spends most of her time hinding under chairs and behind the tv cabinet. Adam has found if you feed her salmon at night time she will follow you around the house. We are getting her desexed next month and in the meantime trying to keep her in the house away from any horny tomcats (there are lots around here. I was walking Pepper around the block yesterday and I could swear every second house had a least one cat). It’s kinda hard to take photos of a cat that refuses to come out from under the couch though.
My dog, Pepper, I bought from K9 Dog Rescue, which is our nearest dog shelter. K9 take dogs from the pound and from people who surrender them in. They never euthanise, if a dog is not adopted it simply stays there until the right person comes along. When I used to volunteer at K9 there were dogs that stayed there up to 9 months, but in the end they always found someone who would love them and treat them right. Pepper had already been adopted out once, but the people who took her ‘found her unsuitable’ and bought her back. When I adopted her (only $225) she was small and frightened and still very very sweet natured. I can’t believe that someone would bring her back. Sure – she has dug up my lawn and has to be exercised for 1 1/2 hours a day, is a fussy eater and refuses to come back when called – but I would never give her up as she is adorable, loving and very loyal. And who could refuse those ears?
So that is the story of how I got my pets. I would never consider buying a pet from a pet store when there are so many wonderful cats and dogs waited to be adopted. Plus it’s a lot easier when you get a house trained pet rather than a baby!
There are heaps of places that save unwanted dogs. Close to where I live there is a RSPCA (for all animals, including horses and bunnies), K9 Dog Rescue, The Dog Refuge Home, Animal Protection Society and the Swan Animal Haven. There are also heaps of rescue clubs which rescue dogs of certain breeds from the pound and foster them until they are given new homes. For cat adoption there is Cat Haven and the RSPCA. During the kitten season, there are usually cats and kittens for sale that my local vet too. iPet is a good resource site that has lots of Australia-wide pet adoption agencies.