Friday, November 30, 2007

Anniversary of Sophie's death

In memory of Sophia Maria Thompson-Harman
January 1990-November 30, 2003

Thanksgiving weekend of 2003 was the worst Thanksgiving ever for me. That weekend I had to say goodbye to my first "child", Sophie. Putting her down was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I still miss her.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Nothing Needs to be Fixed

""Tolerance does not . . . do anything, embrace anyone, champion any issue. It wipes the notes off the score of life and replaces them with one long bar of rest. It does not attack error, it does not champion truth, it does not hate evil, it does not love good." -- Walter Farrell

As we understand it, the spiritual journey is not about becoming perfect. It’s about acceptance, releasing judgment, and embracing everything in wholeness.

This is a great challenge for our personality. We’ve grown up comparing ourselves to others, always judging how we’re better and worse than those around us. And many of us are very good at finding fault with ourselves.

If we release judgment, then nothing needs to be fixed -- including you. Explore inviting your soul to help you accept all that is and experience a whole new way of living.

"Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are." -- Julia Cameron "


Cartman, iPod and the Wild Wild West

Several weeks ago (over a month ago - maybe 2!) I decided to listen to my iPod by song starting with the first one and to go through the whole thing alphabetically. I just finished today!

Of course, I don't listen to it all day every day, and many of those are podcasts up to an hour long. I didn't listen to all of the podcasts, but some I did partially and some the whole thing. Whenever I synched the iPod or listened to something else in particular on it, I lost my place and had to remember where I left off. Usually I would go back to far. Those are the reasons it took me so long to get through it. Right now it shows me having 2,554 songs on it, but that includes a whole bunch of podcasts.

So anyway, when I got to the W's a few days ago I heard the old 80's song Wild Wild West and that made me think of Will Smith's Wild Wild West so I went and got it off iTunes.

I finished up the alphabetical and went to my "newest" playlist which pulls the stuff I've gotten most recently and heard the Will Smith Wild Wild West and realized I cannot listen to it now without hearing Eric Cartman sing it! That cracks me up.

Holiday Parking in Charleston

The City of Charleston is offering free parking on Saturdays for the holiday season, at meters and at city-run garages (except, of course, the ones that make money, i.e. the mall parking garage and the movie theater garage).

Don't you think this is something the city should do all year round? Downtown first lost its customers to the mall. Now the mall has lost a lot of its customers to Southridge. I would think the City would want to encourage people to shop downtown every weekend by offering free parking.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The mall is ready for Christmas


Posted by Picasa

(Town Center Mall, Charleston, West Virginia)

Art Emporium / Showcase West Virginia

Every Tuesday night is Girls Night Out with my three closest friends. Last night we were hanging out at Starbucks at the mall (sorry, that is as wild as it gets) and the owner of the Art Emporium came by (he knows one of my friends). He apparently has taken over Showcase West Virginia (the one by Blossom on Quarrier Street in Charleston) and I believe is selling some of the same things on consignment. I don't know if it's going to be just part of Art Emporium or will have another name. I don't really have any details. But I wanted to note it. It's hard to keep a business going downtown anymore. I have only been in the Art Emporium once but I love to look at the art displayed in the windows. I'm going to make a point to stop by both places for some Christmas shopping.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

The rest of our weekend was pretty uneventful. Dave had to work Friday and I stayed home all day. No way I would go NEAR a mall or any short of shopping area on Black Friday!!

I watched the Harry Potter movie (the first one) finally on Friday. I don't always enjoy a movie after reading the book but I really liked this one. It really brought the characters alive for me, and I think it will enhance my reading of the rest of the series. I will start book 3 after I finish the two library books I have out. I am about 3/4 of the way through Tales of a Female Nomad, which is so good.

Saturday we went to Morgantown to have dinner with the in-laws. It was a football Saturday, and I have never driven to Morgantown on a football Saturday. It was quite festive! The closer we got, the more cars we saw with WVU flags and decked out in gold and blue. My favorite was a "short bus" painted gold and blue. The people on it were obviously drinking and having a great time and they were yelling and waving to everyone who passed. There was so much traffic. When we stopped at the rest area outside of Clarksburg it was filled with people wearing gold and blue and I had to wait in line for the restroom! All of that almost made me want to go to a game and join in the fun. ALMOST.

You see, I have never been to a WVU game. I went to Marshall, and my family never followed college sports. My husband is from Morgantown and works in radio, and he produced the Mountaineer games for years. While we were dating and then married and still living up there, he had to work every game so I never went to them.

Today we're chilling at home. I may paint a little. Half the day is already gone.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What's draining your energy?

"Energy is equal to desire and purpose." -- Sheryl Adams

What people, events or things drain your energy? What part of you is not going with the flow? What are you resisting?

Plug your energy leaks and experience what it feels like to work on all cylinders.

For a list of energy drains and energy boosters, visit

"Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you." -- Wayne Dyer

8 Things Meme

I was tagged by Mountain Laurel to do post 8 relatively interesting things about myself.

  1. When I was in the 4th or 5th grade my Mom jokingly told me we were part gypsy. I thought that was VERY cool and told all my friends and believed it for several years.

  2. I don't eat salad dressing or condiments.

  3. I have been terrified of UFO's since I saw a news story on TV when I was about 8 years old.

  4. I don't like being told jokes or reading jokes, but I do like stand-up comedy.

  5. I met my husband on the internet.

  6. We got married on top of Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.

  7. I love learning to do new things, but I have a limited attention span. I will learn a new skill or hobby, do it for a year or so, then move onto something else. I used to feel bad because I felt like I couldn't finish anything, but now I embrace it. I think it has made me a more well rounded human. I know how to do a lot of things, but I'm not an expert at any of them.

  8. I hate being told what to do and generally don't like advice that I haven't asked for.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family by spending the day at my sister's house along with my husband, my sister Tina, her husband Mike, my niece Maddie, nephew Nick, brother Shawn, Mom, Dad and Step-Mom. We had a great time with good food, great company and lots of fun.

We alternate years with my husband's family and mine. I with they all lived in the same area but unfortunately my in-laws are in Morgantown. This is the second time we've spent the day at my sister's with both of our parents there, and last night I was thinking that 2 years ago was the first holiday we've gotten to spend at the same place with both parents since I was 11 or 12 years old. For me, that has always been the worst thing about having divorced parents. It is really special to me now to be able to do that. I am so thankful that my parents (including my step-mother) get along well enough now to be able to celebrate together that way. I just can't express how meaningful such a simple thing is to me now. My family is very important to me.

Mike deep-fried two turkeys and everyone pitched in to bring a huge amount of food that there was no possible way we could eat in one day. At least we all got to take home some delicious leftovers. Shawn was in from Greenville and it was so good to see him. He has decided to move back home. I am sorry it didn't work out for him there, but will be glad to have him home again.

We saw the coolest rainbow in the afternoon! It was the brightest, clearest rainbow I have ever seen.

We ended the day with a rousing game of Pictionary, girls vs. boys, with Tina, Maddie and I on one team and Mike, Shawn and Nick on the other. The girls were kicking ass the first half of the game but unfortunately the boys came from behind and beat us in the end.

All in all, it was a great day!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The most amazing part of this story to me is that Ohio does not require a permit for exotic animals

"African Lion on the Loose in Ohio
Reporter: WSAZ NewsChannel 3

Folks driving in the area of US 23 in Pike County Ohio must have thought they were in another country.

That’s because an African lion was chasing their vehicles. It happened Monday morning near Wakefield.

Police started getting all kinds of calls about a lion on the loose. Deputies were able to find the lion and its owner who was trying to catch the animal.

Lambert is the lion’s name. He weighs 550 pounds and is Terry Brumfield and his wife’s pet. They actually have two lions—Lambert and Laci. Terry says he keeps the lions to help him with depression. He said the lions are just like big house cats, but he does not recommend them as pets.

Somehow Lambert managed to escape his cage and went for a walk on the interstate.

“He just runs after them, like a dog chasing a car. He'd run about ten of 15 foot and come back," owner Terry Brumfield said.

Terry was able to coax Lambert to get back into his cage.

Ohio does not currently require a permit for exotic animals. The lion was contained and unharmed, but the whole ordeal is still under investigation."

For One More Day

A friend sent me a note about this: "Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day" will be on ABC on Sunday December 9
A suicidal former baseball player (Michael Imperioli) is granted one more day with his deceased mother (Ellen Burstyn).

"This film tells the story of Charley, a child of divorce who is always forced to choose between his mother and his father. he grows into a man and starts a family of his own. But one fateful weekend, he leaves his mother to secretly be with his father and she dies while he is gone. This haunts him for years. It leads him to depression and drunkenness. One night, he decides to take his life. But somewhere between this world and the next, he encounters his mother again, in their hometown, and gets to spend one last day with her--the day he missed and always wished he'd had. By the end of this magical day, Charley discovers how little he really knew about his mother, the secret of how her love saved their family, and how deeply he wants the second chance to save his own."

It's Ellen Burstyn week this week! I just got a DVD of The Fountain in the mail a few days ago from another friend and I hope to watch it this weekend. I admire her so much after reading her autobiography and yet I haven't seen very many of her movies!

City Council is the one to blame

I don't know why I have been blaming Danny Jones for the user fee increase. The City Council is who voted almost unamimously to pass it! Only 2 people voted against it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The User Tax Doubles

Sheesh. They voted to double the user tax. Call it a user fee if you want, but to me it's a tax, plain and simple. I wasn't crazy about paying $1 a week for the "privilege" of working in town but I was happy to see they used it to improve the roads. The last I heard, Danny Jones wants to put cameras all over town to "protect" me. I think this is a slippery slope. In a few years they'll be wanting $4. Cabell and Monongalia Counties also have user fees/taxes so I guess we aren't alone. But still - I would think the City would want to encourage people to work downtown. I spend my money here and contribute to the economy. The law firm I work for pays B&O taxes to contribute to the economy.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." - Frederick Keonig

Monday, November 19, 2007

Art of Wyanne

My friend Sharon commissioned a painting to represent our little group of friends formerly called the YaYas, now sometimes referred to as the Girlies. It's so beautiful!!! I can't wait to see it in person.

You can see it here:

She is such a talented artist. I have purchased some of her prints myself and adore them.

Weekend Update

Well it's deer hunting season here in West Virginia, which is a VERY BIG DEAL here. This week, lots of men will take off work the whole week, retreat to their cabins in the woods, drink a lot of beer and maybe even shoot a deer or two. It's not just a man thing either. A female attorney I used to work for used to go with her dad every year. I don't know if she still does now that she has three small children, but I wouldn't be surprised if she left them home with her husband to venture out to the woods. I've known a few other women who liked to go as well.

I could not personally kill a deer, or any animal other than bugs and snakes, unless I had to in self defense. But I don't think it's wrong. I eat meat, and the cows and chicken and pigs I eat probably didn't have as good a life as the deer who at least get to be wild and free until they are killed. I don't believe that animals should be killed for sport, but food is a valid reason, whether you eat it yourself or donate it to feed the hungry.

My father never hunted deer. He used to go squirrel hunting when I was little but that's about it as far as I know. He would frequently bring home deer meat given to him by guys at the plant though. Then we would have Bambi Stew.

Unfortunately, hunting season also stirs the deer up even more than they already are and that means more road kill as well. We had one deer running through our yard this morning and saw two dead ones on the road on the way to work.

Our weekend was pretty routine. Saturday we went to the annual Arts & Crafts Fair held at the Charleston Civic Center. I was looking to do some Christmas shopping but didn't buy anything except some cookies. I am having a hard time this year deciding on gifts. I also stopped at Michael's and picked up some stuff to experiment with painting - some clear glass ornament bulbs and some wooden plaques.

After we got home I went through a box of CD's and sold 7 of them on

Sunday we had breakfast out then spent the rest of the day at home. I made soup, did laundry and did some painting.

I'm glad I only have to work 3 days this week. Today we're having a pot luck luncheon at work and I got up early and made broccoli casserole in the crockpot.

I'm glad this is a 3 day week.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Embracing Womanhood

"There are many ways and myriad reasons for women to honor and embrace all that they are. And when any individual woman chooses to do so, all women collectively move closer to becoming what they are truly capable of being. By honoring her experience and being willing to share it with others—both male and female—she teaches as she learns. When she can trust herself and her inner voice, she teaches those around her to trust her as well. Clasping hands with family members and friends, coworkers and strangers in a shared walk through the journey of life, she allows all to see the self-respect she possesses and accepts their respect, too, that is offered through look, word, and deed.

When a woman can look back into her past, doing so without regret and instead seeing only lessons that brought her to her current strength and wisdom, she embraces the fullness of her experience. She helps those around her to build upon the past as she does. And when she chooses to create her desires, she places her power in the present and moves forward with life into the future.

Seeing her own divinity, a woman learns to recognize the divinity in all women. She then can see her body as a temple, appreciating its feminine form and function, regardless of what age or stage of life she finds herself. She can enjoy all that it brings to her experience and appreciate other women and their experiences as well. Rather than seeing other women as competition, she can look around her to see the cycle of life reflected in the beauty of her sisters, reminding her of her own radiance should she ever forget. She can then celebrate all the many aspects that make her a being worthy of praise, dancing to express the physical, speaking proudly to express her intellect, sharing her emotions, and leading the way with her spiritual guidance. Embracing her womanhood, she reveals the facets that allow her to shine with the beauty and strength of a diamond to illuminate her world."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Got the New Car

We got the new car yesterday! A silver 2007 CRV EX. I like it very much. Haven't been able to get a good picture of it yet because it's dark when we get home.

We picked it up right after work yesterday. Inspired by me, two of my close friends are also buying new CRV's! They already had old CRV's like me. Sharon picked hers up last night and Sara gets hers tomorrow! The salesman couldn't get over it. The day after we made the deal on ours they were there test driving.

If you want a new CRV, go to Lester Raines and ask for Lee Martina. And don't forget to tell him Jamie sent you. :D

So anyway, I like it a lot so far. It drives better than the old one and has more fun stuff, like the temperature gauge and mpg indicator and the audio controls in the steering wheel and the volume going up and down depending on how fast you're going. It seems a little roomier. The stereo sounds good. I like the color. I actually liked the way the old one looked on the outside better, but what are you going to do? They changed the design. C'est la vie.

My latest painting

I call it "Cozy"

Kind of a learning experience. I am not good at planning. I knew I wanted a cat in front of a fireplace. First it was going to be a brown cat but it looked ugly. And it was going to be facing toward me instead of the fire (that's why the tail is on this side) but it's hard to put eyes and stuff on a black cat. The rug is a little too dark. I didn't plan the colors - if I had, they would have all gone together a little better. After I got the fireplace and cat done, I just added other stuff to fill up the picture. I originally was going to have carpet but I couldn't decide what color to make it to go with the other colors so I made it wood. I wish I'd done the fireplace in a different color.

This is the first painting I've spent a lot of time on and didn't finish it in 1 or 2 sittings.

Couple who lost three children expecting triplets

"In an instant last May, Chris and Lori Coble lost their three young children in a horrific traffic accident not far from the family’s California home.

The couple was devastated by the sudden and profound loss of their two daughters and a son, but knew even through their grief they were meant to be parents and would be again.

If all goes well, the Cobles told TODAY anchor Meredith Vieira on Tuesday, they’ll have two new baby girls and a baby boy next spring. The couple can’t help but think that it’s all connected.
Chris Coble said he can’t help but think, from a spiritual perspective, that the children he lost somehow had a hand in his wife’s pregnancy. He believes firmly they are in a better place, and watching over their mom and dad.

“Your mind can’t even think otherwise. If you feel they’re somewhere watching over you, protecting you, and something like this happens, it’s hard to think that somehow they weren’t involved in crafting this,” he said.

The triplets Lori Coble is carrying — two girls and a boy — were conceived through in vitro fertilization. In the procedure, 10 of Lori Coble’s eggs had been fertilized and three became viable embryos. ... The doctors wanted to implant just two of the embryos, but the couple had lost two girls and a boy and asked for all three embryos to be transferred to Lori Coble’s womb."

More here:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Meditation stuff

I put this list together for a friend and thought as long as I made it, might as well share it. These are my favorite CD's and podcasts for meditating. Some I got at the library, some I purchased on iTunes or actually bought the CD's on eBay.


  • Denise Linn's Complete Relaxation - (LOVE this one)

  • Denise Linn's Journeys Into Past Lives

  • Denise Linn's Weight Loss and Cellulite Reduction (which is more about developing a healthy self image)

  • John Holland's Developing Your Psychic Awareness

  • Iyanla Vanzandt's Living from your Center

PODCASTS - on iTunes, search the Podcasts for "meditation" and "healing". These are all free:

  • Guided Meditations Video Podcast from the Meditation Society of Australia

  • Meditation Oasis

  • The Meditation Pocast (I subscribe to this but I'm not sure I've done any of them actually)

  • Natural Echo healing music podcast

  • Andrew Weil and Kimba Arem - Self Healing with Sound and Music (I have probably listened to this more than anything - absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE IT - got it from the audiobooks section of the library)

  • Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's Theta Meditation System - this is brainwave music, supposedly makes your brainwaves go to theta level. There are others for sleep (delta) and an alpha one for something else

  • Shamanic Dream by Anugama (got this on iTunes and really love it)

Birth of Bahá'u'lláh

You may remember recently I posted about a Bahá'í holiday regarding the Birth of the Báb. The Báb came to prepare the way for Bahá'u'lláh and foretold his coming.

The Birth of Bahá'u'lláh is one of 9 holy days in the Bahá'í calendar. It celebrates the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith.

Bahá'u'lláh was born Mirza Husayn-Ali on November 12, 1817 in Tehran, Iran. His father was a prominent minister of state and he grew up as a member of a wealthy family with a carefree life. However, he was extraordinarily knowledgable and became famous at the Court for this before he was 13. Ministers would come to Him to discuss their problems. He spoke at great assemblies of theologians on complicated matters. He was also extremely kind and helpful and spent time caring for the sick and the poor.

When he was 27, he was given a scroll written by Báb and upon reading it realized he was the Messenger of God. He devoted himself to spreading the teachings of the Báb. He was persecuted, tortured, imprisoned many times, banished, and even his half brother tried to have him assassinated and later tried to poison him and his family.

He taught and wrote a number of important books. At one point he revealed to his followers that he was the Universal Educator promised by the Báb and all the Prophets of former ages. He was the Return of Christ, the Lord of Hosts, the Great Announcement, the Glory of God (Baha'u'llah). Eventually he became accepted by most of the Babis as the Promised Manifestation of God and they started calling themselves followers of Baha'u'llah, or Baha'is.

More than once he wrote to world leaders calling on them to accept his message and work for world peace. His followers eventually could be found in Persia, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Russia. They were frequently persecuted and imprisoned as well.

He died in 1892 at age 75.

The Birth of Bahá'u'lláh is usually observed with community gatherings where prayers are shared and his birth celebrated.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky

"Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington will be moderating a November 12 event at the National Press Club where he will discuss the Phoenix Lights incident. He says he will be joined by 14 former high-ranking military and government officials from seven countries who will share evidence from what they call their own UFO experiences and investigations.

(CNN) -- In 1997, during my second term as governor of Arizona, I saw something that defied logic and challenged my reality.

I witnessed a massive delta-shaped, craft silently navigate over Squaw Peak, a mountain range in Phoenix, Arizona. It was truly breathtaking. I was absolutely stunned because I was turning to the west looking for the distant Phoenix Lights.

To my astonishment this apparition appeared; this dramatically large, very distinctive leading edge with some enormous lights was traveling through the Arizona sky.

As a pilot and a former Air Force Officer, I can definitively say that this craft did not resemble any man-made object I'd ever seen. And it was certainly not high-altitude flares because flares don't fly in formation.

The incident was witnessed by hundreds -- if not thousands -- of people in Arizona, and my office was besieged with phone calls from very concerned Arizonians.

The growing hysteria intensified when the story broke nationally. I decided to lighten the mood of the state by calling a press conference where my chief of staff arrived in an alien costume. We managed to lessen the sense of panic but, at the same time, upset many of my constituents.

I would now like to set the record straight. I never meant to ridicule anyone. My office did make inquiries as to the origin of the craft, but to this day they remain unanswered.

Eventually the Air Force claimed responsibility stating that they dropped flares.

This is indicative of the attitude from official channels. We get explanations that fly in the face of the facts. Explanations like weather balloons, swamp gas and military flares.

I was never happy with the Air Force's silly explanation. There might very well have been military flares in the sky that evening, but what I and hundreds of others saw had nothing to do with that.

I now know that I am not alone. There are many high-ranking military, aviation and government officials who share my concerns. While on active duty, they have either witnessed a UFO incident or have conducted an official investigation into UFO cases relevant to aviation safety and national security.

By speaking out with me, these people are putting their reputations on the line. They have fought in wars, guarded top secret weapons arsenals and protected our nation's skies.

We want the government to stop putting out stories that perpetuate the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth conventional terms. Investigations need to be re-opened, documents need to be unsealed and the idea of an open dialogue can no longer be shunned.

Incidents like these are not going away. About a year ago, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport experienced a UFO event that made national and international headlines.

What I saw in the Arizona sky goes beyond conventional explanations. When it comes to events of this nature that are still completely unsolved, we deserve more openness in government, especially our own."

Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky

Car Shopping

Before shopping we had narrowed our choices down to the Honda CRV, Nissan Rogue and Toyota Rav4.

The first vehicle we drove was the Nissan Rogue at Love Nissan. This is a brand new model Nissan brought out recently. We loved the way it drives - it actually drives better than the CRV. The continuously variable transmission adjusts to the way you're driving and there's never a lag or jump. It had very comfortable seats. The one we wanted had the premium package which included Bose stereo, bluetooth phone capability with controls on the steering wheel, audio controls on the steering wheel, and keyless entry system. On the negative side, it wasn't as roomy as the CRV and I felt a little too crowded, the back seat didn't have a center console, and the window in the back was SO TINY I would have had a hard time backing up. It also didn't have a moonroof or arm rests. But we really liked it and were seriously considering it. They only had a few on the lot but we liked the silver one we drove.

We wanted to drive the CRV (the top contender) with the Rogue fresh in our mind so we passed the Toyota dealership and went on to Lester Raines Honda. The last time we bought a CRV there, they only had THREE on the lot, all of them EX models which were "loaded". So we expected the same thing today. But today they had a BUNCH of CRV's - and not just EX's. Several LX's too, some with just front wheel drive even. We drove a light blue LX and it was about $2,000 less than the Rogue. No moonroof, no bells and whistles, just a basic CRV with all wheel drive. It was actually disappointing driving it after the Rogue, with a rougher and noiser ride (just like the old CRV). And it didn't have all the cool luxury extras on it. But we decided while driving it that economically it was the best thing to do. It was cheaper and we know it will have a good resale value. The other negative thing about the Rogue is it's brand new, hasn't even been crash test rated yet and there's no long term data on it.

So after we got back to the lot, Dave went inside with the salesman and I stayed out in the lot trying to figure out what color I wanted. When I went inside the salesman was showing him a silver CRV in the showroom, which was a 2007 model EX. The EX has a few more bells and whistles than the LX - a 6 cd changer, moonroof, audio controls in the steering wheel, cargo shelf and tinted back windows. He offered it to us for less than the 2008 LX. And since there were no changes to the 2008 models it was exactly the same as a 2008 EX, except it had a few hundred miles on it (I thought he said 800, Dave thought he said 300).

So we did our credit app and committed to buying it. We're having fog lights installed on it and should be able to pick it up on Tuesday. We got our insurance check and deposited it today but they hold it for 5 business days [Which seems ludicrous to me in this day and age - it's State Farm for goodness sake. Okay hold it for 1-2 days just to verify it isn't fraudulent or something, but 5 days?!?]. The Honda dealer is going to let us post-date the check for the down payment and go ahead and take it home so yay for him.

The night before we shopped I was thinking about the cars and wondering which one we were going to get, I tried to visualize it and the first thing that popped into my mind was a silver one. I wasn't that interested in silver but I was open to it. When we drove the silver Rogue I thought that was going to be it. But turned out to be a silver CRV! I had told Dave that earlier, that I saw us driving a silver one. After we left the dealership he said "How did you know we were going to get a silver one??" Just psycho I guess ;).

Friday, November 09, 2007

Deepavali (Diwali, Divali)

According to my calendar, today is the beginning of the Hindu holiday Deepavali (sometimes shortened as Diwali or Divali). The word deepa or dipa means "light of the dharma", and avali means "a continuous line". The more literal translation is "rows of clay lamps".

(If you watch The Office, this is the holiday that was featured on one of the episodes, where Kelly invited everyone to come to the Divali celebration.)

[This holiday is also celebrated by other Indian religions, including Jainism and Sikhism, two other religions of which I know nothing. I am focusing on the Hindu aspects. If I had the time I would post about them too but I don't, so you can read about them in Wikipedia by clicking on the links. Honestly, I guess I didn't know just how many religions there were in the world! But anyway, back to our holiday.]

Deepavali is a major Indian festival celebrated as the "Festival of Lights", generally celebrated for 5 consecutive days. It is one of the most important and most popular festivals in India. The festival celebrates the uplighting of darkness and victory of good over the evil within. The most significant esoteric meaning is "the awareness of the inner light".

Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Deepavali is the celebration of this Inner Light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, imminent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman, comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (Inner Joy or Peace).

On Deepavali, many wear new clothes, share sweets and snacks. There are festive fireworks, lights, flowers, and worship. One important practice Hindus follow is to light oil lamps in their homes on Deepavali morning. By lighting the oil lamps, the Hindus are thanking the gods for the happiness, knowledge, peace and wealth that they have received.

There are several mythological events related to or associated with Deepavali, including the the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana (when Rama and his family returned to Ayodhya after a long exile and the people lit oil lamps to light their path in the darkness); the day Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura; the day Bali went to rule the nether-world, obeying the order of Vishnu; the day Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain (also the story where the basis of the karma philosphy was set forth); and more!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dave got his first 9 point buck!

Unfortunately, it was with my CRV. :(

We were driving home from work through Pinch on a 2-lane road in traffice, in the dark, and in the rain. A big buck came from out of "nowhere". It was a pretty good hit, and tore the front of the car up and may have even knocked the engine off its mounts. The airbags deployed, the engine jammed at full throttle. Dave is an excellent driver and kept it under control and got it back in our lane once he could see. As soon as we stopped the transmission locked and the horn was stuck on.

We are both fine except I have a sore thumb (I think I had it hooked in the seatbelt). We are both very grateful that we weren't hurt and that we didn't get rear-ended or run into someone else. The deer wasn't so lucky, but a man who stopped to help took it so at least the meat will be used. I wonder if he will mount that rack. We are also grateful we were in the CRV and not the little Sentra we normally drive to and from work.

Dave's coworker Gunner was so nice, he drove all the way out there to pick us up and take us home after the car was towed. Now it's just a matter of seeing what will happen with my poor car. It's a year from being paid off and I was planning to drive it another 5 years after that. I'm not sure that will happen now.

Monday, November 05, 2007


These are excerpts from a long but excellent article - link at end if you would like to read the whole thing

"Synchronicity is the phenomenon of meaningful coincidence. ... It becomes synchronicity when it makes a meaningful connection with our life’s purposes or helps unfold our destiny to show love, see wisely, and bring healing to ourselves and our world. All coincidences are connected by meaning, but synchronicity happens when the meaningfulness is relevant to our personal evolution. ... It happens just in time.
Synchronicity is the surprise that something suddenly fits! Synchronous events are meaningful coincidences or correspondences that guide us, warn us, or confirm us on our path.
A coincidence is two unplanned events that happen simultaneously. It becomes synchronicity when it is connected by meaning. You and I love red roses. That is a coincidence. If unknown to each other, we meet as our heads bump while we are both smelling the same red rose that caught our eye at the same time and then later, we are married, that is synchronicity!
Synchronicity gives us a clue to the deep underlay of purpose and meaning in the universe and how that purpose is working itself out in our lives.

Things happen as they need to for the best purposes of the universe. Our belief that we can interfere with this is another trick of the arrogant ego. We may not know how what is happening right now really fits into our future. I can only trust that in addition to all I see, there is some other vision that will appear and make all this appear as just right.
Prayer that is answered is synchronicity since prayers that are answered are the ones that are consistent with our destiny.
Synchronicity is the special moment in which destiny summons us to move forward.
Synchronicity appears in our work on ourselves. There may be synchronicity in the fact that our knowledge of our real issues—in ourselves and in our relationships—comes simultaneously with the strength to face them! We are usually in denial for a long time before we finally recognize and acknowledge our own truth. Synchronicity is in the fact that we often only let ourselves know when we can deal with what we know.

When we are ready to learn, a teacher appears. This is synchronicity.
Synchronicity also occurs in looking back upon your life and seeing how it all prepared you or instructed you for the fullest fruition of your potential. A hidden feeling or truth waited to be awakened by just the right person or circumstance, sometimes painfully. My destiny had to have just such a beginning. My neglectful father helped me practice for the independent life I live now. My empty cupboard helped me care about starving children.
Everyone and every event in life’s drama is part of the metaphor of our journey. The issue from an old relationship may not be: "how bad he was" but: "how much I needed to learn!" Most of us keep meeting partners who show us exactly where our work is, e.g., men who abuse, women who are unfaithful. The wounds are openings into our missing life. Often, the only way a lost piece of ourselves or of our history comes back to us is through another person. The unknown is scary so people and events come along that help us go there. This is synchronicity. The only mistake we make is hanging on to some people too long or too briefly.
Finally, there is synchronicity in divination devices such as the I Ching or the Tarot: one ineluctably chooses the hexagram or card that coincides with one’s circumstance. This meaningful coincidence is based on the belief that the psyche will direct us to the exact information that we need when we need it.
Each generation presents to the universe a population of people who have just the right ingredients in them to make the world better. Each person is a crucial cell in this mystical body of humanity. There is synchronicity in the fact that here and now the world always has just the human resources that it needs to further its evolution as is fitting for this epoch. Nature participates in the same synchronicity by its drifts of species and seasons of growth and change in each era. It creates an ice age and a temperate age in accord with the over-all requirements of evolution. I am here at the right time— and just in time— for me to make my contribution and nature is supporting me by presenting just the conditions that promote this enterprise. And so are all the people in my life."

Unexpected Miracles: The Gift of Synchronicity & How to Open it, by David Richo, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2001 David Richo, Ph.D. This article is an excerpt from Unexpected Miracles: The Gift of Synchronicity & How to Open it.


This weekend we went to Dave's hometown of Morgantown to visit with his family. While there we also dropped by the Mountain Lair, the WVU student union, where Mountaineer Week activities were going on. I had never heard of Mountaineer Week before this week. They had a great craft fair at the Mountain Lair, along with food boths and other exhibits.

Just the other day I was looking up ancient German customs wondering about Halloween and at the craft fair I found a great book I didn't buy but should have, Signs, Cures, and Witchery: German Appalachian Folklore. I'm going to check it out at the library. My husband's family is of German ancestry and I have been interested lately in German history. The author was at the fair and I'm hoping he'll be at the Arts & Crafts Fair in Charleston so I can get an autographed copy.

My other favorite thing was the animal rehabilitation exhibit, which had a screech owl and a red tailed hawk on display.

Sunday we went to the Spruce Street United Methodist Church, which my sister-in-law attends, and enjoyed their service, including theri All Saints' Day recognition, very much. [Interesting that I just recently posted about not hearing much about All Saints' Day - it was the very next day that Sis-in-Law invited us to the service!]

It was the first church service I have been to in a long while and I was glad to go. Although my beliefs have changed quite a bit since I was a UM church member, I can still experience God in that familiar setting very easily. I really have come to appreciate all the different ways there are to experience God / Spirit / Creator -whatever you wish to call him/her. I would like to go to some services of other traditions to have those experiences as well. One of these days.

We also, of course, had to have some food from Wings Ole while we were there. We wanted to go to Chick-n-Bones as well but didn't make it.

Some camera phone pics from the WVU campus, and one (bottom) from Cheat Lake:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Secrets of Success

Jeanie Marshall’s Secrets to Success
(They are Not Secrets Anymore)

  1. Be in integrity. When you get out of integrity (and it’s inevitable you will sometimes), regain your balance and integrity as soon as possible.

  2. Meditate every day, as well as establishing regular practices of exercise, rest, good nutrition, leisure, laughter, and play.

  3. Build a network of people you trust and respect, some of whom have different perspectives from yours.

  4. Be exceptionally good at one or two skills you enjoy and learn other skills as they interest and benefit you.

  5. Find and share your uniqueness. Create, claim, embrace, and/or excel at something that is so uniquely yours that you feel your own creative force from within you. You expand the world by being unique, not by being the same as everyone else.

  6. Create a vision for your future in your mind’s eye and let it guide your journey. Taking side roads is enriching, but remember daily to keep the main thing the main thing.

  7. Know, without a doubt, that you are creating your own life. Dismiss blaming and guilt as quickly as possible and embrace self responsibility. Live excuse-free.

  8. Start every day with an empowering question, such as “What gift does this day offer to me?” Or, “What is most worthy of my attention today?” Or, “What is the most empowering thing I can do and say today?”

  9. Write. Write to organize your thoughts; write to draw more ideas to you; write to express the thoughts inside you; write to empower yourself and others.

  10. Follow the rules when following them creates order and enhances your relationships with others and yourself; break the rules when you know that serves, such as writing 10 success tips when the assignment is to write 8.

  11. Know when enough is enough. Not too much, not too little, enough.

  12. Strive for excellence, not perfection.

  13. Laugh at yourself when you make a mistake.

  14. Find others you can encourage, teach, and inspire along the way, keeping in mind that they need to find their own uniqueness rather than recreate you.


Kucinich & the UFO

I knew I liked this guy...

"Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has claimed he saw a UFO, according to Shirley MacLaine in her new book, "Sage-Ing While Age-Ing." Kucinich "had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there," wrote the actress, a close Kucinich friend. "Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for 10 minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."

Doesn't this make him fit right in with some of our other presidents??

Did Dennis Kucinich see a UFO? He says yes! Does that make him a crackpot? No way - are you kidding. Kucinich has a lot of wild ideas and has spouted them on occasion but the fact that he claims that he saw something in the sky that he could not identify hardly makes him crazy. the Phoenix Lights still have yet to be fully explained.

Mr. Kucininch was asked by MSNBC moderator Tim Russert, "did you see a UFO?"' "I did," he replied, before stressing that it was unidentified and reminding the audience - correctly - that former president Jimmy Carter also saw a UFO. Kucinich said: "It was an unidentified flying object, OK? It's, like, it's unidentified. I saw something."

He added, "You have to keep in mind that more - that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO and also that more people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush's presidency. Citing Jimmy Carter was not likely the best example, he could have used Ronald Reagan.

The UK Telegraph reports that President Reagan believed he had seen UFOs at least twice -- once on the coast while driving to Hollywood with his wife, Nancy, and once, as governor of California, while flying on a plane near Bakersfield. In "Landslide," their 1988 book about Reagan's second term, journalists Doyle McManus, The Times' Washington bureau chief, and Jane Mayer, now of the New Yorker, wrote that Reagan's staff worked hard to keep the UFO sighting stories under wraps.


"Love and pity and wish well to every soul in the world; dwell in love, and then you dwell in God. – William Law

Loyalty is the quintessence of love. When two people tell each other, “As long as you do what I like, I’ll stay with you, but as soon as you start doing things I don’t like, I’m packing my bags” – that is not love; that’s convenience. Loving somebody means that even when they trouble you, you don’t let yourself be shaken. Even when they are harsh to you, you don’t move away. Even when they make a mistake that hurts you, you don’t go off and make the same kind of mistake to hurt them.

All of us are so liable to human error that unless we have some capacity to bear with the errors of others, we will not be able to maintain a lasting relationship, which is the tragic situation that many people find themselves in today. We should never settle for this unhappy state of affairs."

- Eknath Easwaran [via the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation email]

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints Day and All Souls Day

I'm going to cheat and post about both of these Christian holidays today, because they are mentioned together so much.

November 1 is All Saints Day and November 2 is All Soul's Day. Now, I was raised in the Christian church, but as a Protestant (first Fundamentalist and later Methodist). I never heard anything about either of these holidays. I don't recall them even in the Methodist church, but one of my sources says the Methodist Church has All Saints Day on the first Sunday in November to remember those who have passed away from the local congregation. Anyway, for the most part I think they are more a Catholic thing in America at least.

After the Romans invaded Britain, and as the Christian religion spread, November 1 was made a church holiday by the Roman Catholic Church to honor all the saints, called All Saint's Day (or Hallowmas, or All Hallows - "hallows" meaning "saints," and "mas" meaning "Mass"). Years later, the Church also made November 2 a holy day called All Souls Day (or Day of the Dead), which was to honor the dead. It was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and people dressing up as saints, angels and devils. All Saints Day and All Souls Day were originally in May but were moved to November to downplay the Pagan holidays at that time. Religious leaders thought the holidays were too popular at the time to ban, but thought if they moved the Christian holidays the Pagan holidays would just die away.

In the early Church, Christians would celebrate the anniversary of a martyr's death (the saint's "birth day"). But eventually there were so many that a single day was designated for all of them. The first All Saints' Day occurred on May 13, 609 when Pope Boniface IV accepted the Pantheon (a Pagan temple) as a gift from the Emperor Phocas. Boniface dedicated it as the Church of Santa Maria Rotonda in honor of the Blessed Virgin and all martyrs. (May 13, was an ancient pagan observation, the culmination of the Feast of the Lemures, which involved malevolent and restless spirits of all the dead.) During Pope Gregory III's reign (731-741), the festival was expanded to include all saints and and moved to November 1. Pope Gregory IV officially designated the day in 837. Roman Catholics are required to attend Mass and to "refrain from unnecessary servile work" on this day. All saints, known and unknown (not just those that have been canonized) are honored.

Saints are ordinary people who have served God faithfully have reached a certain level of holiness, and who serve as inspiration and motivation. They are not perfect, but are relatable in that they have faults and foibles. They are considered to be close to God and able to help those on earth who are still struggling.

All Souls Day was started in 998. It is a time to pay respect to and remember the souls of all friends and loved ones who have died. In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is a time to pray for the souls who are deceased but who are in Purgatory and have not yet made it into Heaven(because they have not yet been cleansed from venial sins or have not fully atoned for mortal sins). Often, people will pray to their lost loved ones and even ask for special favors.

Customs for both of these holidays vary by region or culture. I don't believe in America they are really celebrated, except in the Catholic church, because I have never heard of anything like there are in other parts of the world. Traditions may include preparing an altar for the dead with an offering of food, flowers, candles, incense and photos of the dead; graves may be visited and decorated; candles burned for each person to be remembered; leaving food and water out for the spirits that wander on that night; in Mexico there are picnics at the cemetery and skull-shaped candy; in Germany, people try to return to their native villages and spruce up the graves of loved ones and in the4 evening have a procession to the cemetery; and in some places, it is traditional to see the play Don Juan Tenorio.