June 2008 Archives

 I have so much to blog about, I hardly know where to get started! Instead of overwhelming you (and me) with trying to catch up chronologically, I'll just start with what's most prominently on my mind and pledge to share the other stuff soon!

At the moment, I'm sitting outside using my homemade laptop shade (pictured below) and it's working perfectly--never mind that the "real" one I ordered off eBay last week arrived today--I didn't realize it till I'd already set this up. I'll try it next time. Meanwhile, though this is "ghetto" as the person who explained online how to make one said, it could hardly be cheaper and it works like a charm.

laptop shade sm.jpg

On to recent history...I picked Donna up at the airport Thurs. a.m. at 8:15 (if you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that is like the middle of the night for me!) and brought her to our house, and to the garden for tea. She was suitably impressed (important since I had wanted it to be perfect and Claire, aka "#4," and Rick and I had all worked on it to make it so!). We started feeling hungry at 10:30, so we went to Gaia Cafe, a charming little place nearby that has fabulous breakfast food and tables outside under big shade trees. Afterward, we came back here and just laid around on the living room sofas for a few hours, all the while flirting with the idea of a nap, but never quite surrendering to that. It was fun to just hang out and catch up. At 3:00 we left for her hotel room by the Merchandise Mart, (she was here for the International New Age Trade Show as an entertainer) and though we remembered to invoke Easy World, there was a LOT of slow-moving traffic. It wasn't really difficult--just not the conditions I would have preferred. After dropping her off, I decreed that I would have an easy and free-flowing trip home, and, indeed, the trip south took about a third the amount of time.

Saturday, I went to the tradeshow as Donna's "helper," though I only helped her for about 15 minutes as she was giving out CDs for a fellow musician. The rest of the time I spent wandering the show or sitting in the lounge, talking to various folks who sat at my table. Before I left home, I had thought to grab some Easy World boarding passes and posters just in case I met someone--lots of publishers there--who might be interested. And I did! Without naming names, Donna introduced me to the owner of one of the publishing houses I am interested in submitting a proposal for the Easy World book to, and he was really into the idea of EW. He told both me and Donna on separate days that Easy World was the one thing he would take away from the conference! If you knew all the ideas being exchanged at INATS, you'd be as impressed as we were!

I also connected with 2 other publishers I'm interested in on my own, and both were intrigued with Easy World and gave me information on submitting and encouraged me to do so. I think it helped that I gave them the EW boarding passes!

This has gotten me all psyched to send query letters not only to them, but to literary agents, and I've been having a really fun time (believe it or not) writing and polishing my query. Keep your fingers crossed for the Easy World book--not that EW needs much help! I am really excited about getting it out to the world in a larger way and just need to stay super-attuned in order to make the right decisions.

I met a lovely jewelry artisan named Sohana from Hawaii...and Bali (tough assignment!) and loved her creations. I wasn't in a position to buy anything, but maybe I'll commission something someday! Here she is among her gorgeous things:

Sohana jewelry INATS sm.jpg

And here are more photos from INATS:

Donna giving out Josephs CDs sm.jpg(That's Donna giving out CDs for her friend--check out the big Hay House obelisk in the background!)

Donna Julia INATS '08.jpg

I bet you can guess who is in the photo with Donna above!

And, finally...just because I love it and want to show it off, here is a photo of my new patio rug that is made from 100% recyled plastic and is fabulous because it looks good and is a breeze to clean!

New rug and view of garden June 27.jpg


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Last night, all the factors aligned for us to spontaneously have a garden party. It was an intimate affair--attended by just the 4 of us: Rick, Roly, Lilah, and me--plus the various members of the wildlife population that call our yard "home."

We gathered here, in my happy place, where you can survey much of the yard and garden(s). I took this picture leaning back in my chair, hoping to capture my view from there so as to share the party with you. I was fairly successful with the view, but of course, the view is only part of the story. The photo could not capture the wafting fragrances of the petunias and honeysuckle on the evening breeze, or the chirping of the birds on the electrical wires, discussing the day's events. It didn't depict the sounds of Roly chomping on a small, green apple, Lilah licking her marrow bone, or the subtlety of champagne bubbles popping:

crocs pots lilah smr.jpg


champagne w bubbly strawberry smr.jpg

It was one of those evenings that we could never have engineered the perfection of. The way things worked out was nothing short of magical. The weather was perfect (mid-70s) with Denver's characteristic low humidity; the neighbors were all elsewhere, so no human or dog voices were present to intrude on the peace, and we had no other plans or pressures to distract from the moment. I had thought to throw together a homemade pizza before going outside, so it was ready and waiting to bake when we finally got hungry enough to move inside around 8:00.

There is something about champagne and strawberries in the garden that just feels so right. It's probably because a dear friend of mine, whom, sadly, I've lost touch with, has a truly amazing garden back in North Carolina, and each Spring, we'd kick off garden season with a glass of bubbly in the midst of her ridiculously beautiful bulb garden. Her garden was the inspiration for creating my garden, so I drink a silent toast to her when the champagne and strawberries come out. 

Last night, as Rick toured the garden taking photos, the pups did their thing, and I sipped my 3rd glass of champagne, I was just enough buzzed to go into that weepy, sentimental place of total awe for my blessings, and I just could not imagine a place I'd rather be at that moment. The sights, the sounds, the fragrances, the energy--and, of course, being with Rick and the dogs--It was a far more holy, worshipful moment than any I've ever had in a church.

Roly behind pots smr.jpg

thru to obelisk abe sm.jpg I'll close this entry the way our party ended, with the goat's milk feta, portabello mushroom, asparagus, roasted red pepper, pesto pizza we had (here, photographed on a well-used old pizza stone). This was taken before the toasted pinenuts were added. I probably don't have to tell you that it was a fitting close to an enchanted, spirit-filled evening.

feta portabello pesto pizza best sm.jpg   Amen.

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Toward the end of my session in the pool today, I had a funny and instructive experience. I was vigorously swimming the crawl against the current (I have an Endless Pool, which is "a treadmill for swimmers"), and I realized that when I'd switched from backstroke to crawl, I had inadvertantly turned the current up so high it was a challenge for me to keep up, even though I was swimming as fast as I could. I wanted to swim faster, but my arms felt they were at their max of effort, so I contemplated stopping to turn the current down. Then I had the thought, "Instead of trying harder, I will simply intend to move forward faster."

So I projected my consciousness towards the end of the pool where the current is generated, willing myself to get there despite the powerful resistance the current created.

"Wow! This is
amazing!" I thought, as I instantly surged ahead, almost smashing into the grill of the current generator!

Then I realized that I hadn't exactly propelled myself so powerfully as to overcome the current--the current was gone! Turns out, the timer that automatically shuts the motor off after a half hour had triggered it to stop. I hadn't realized I'd been at it that long, so I never factored that in. I guess you just never know how your intention will be served! While I had been thinking it would make me swim faster, I had only strongly focused on getting to the end of the pool, and that's exactly what happened!

So, what is the lesson in this? It could be that your focused intention is always followed by success and that the Universe/your Spirit will arrange itself to create it--even ahead of your intending. Or, it could be that you must be very specific that your stated intention matches what you really desire--probably both. I may even think of more as time passes. At any rate, it was one of those incidents that was too, too well-synchronized to have been random--you know, the kind that makes you feel that your Spirit is a master teacher with a really well-honed sense of humor!

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Summer has sprung

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Argh. The first day of summer has arrived and I still have not gotten a Spring newsletter done! I can't remember if I already confided that I'd decided to make it a Spring-Summer combined issue this time. Funny--a day or so ago, I came up with exactly the right topic for my greeting letter, complete with cool insights, and it is so relevant to what I did today (supervising Stepdaughter #4 in cleaning and organizing our [now] formerly grungy, chaotic patio in summery heat), I'm kind of wanting to share it here and now. But I won't. I'll save it, because maybe the eagerness to share it will get me to get on with writing it and completing the newsletter, which has been in progress for months!

I'm thinking the least effective approach would be to force myself to finish the newsletter, just cranking out something uninspired just to get it out. I do normally love creating the newsletter, but this time, I'm just wanting to spend time completing the Easy World book instead. So why don't I just skip the newsletter then? If you look on the
newsletter page, I've put out a newsletter every quarter since Autumn of '04, and I just don't want to see Spring '08 be totally unaccounted for. We'll see...

A quick update on Dad--after spending till today in the hospital in Grand Rapids, having had surgery on Tuesday, Dad was transported by "ambucab" (a wheelchair-accessible van with a couple of paramedics to drive/attend) to a rehab facility in the small town that the cottage is just on the outskirts of. He's doing well, though my sister Linda said after the fabulous hospital experience, he was disappointed with the rehab center. He's having to share a room, and as Rick said, that may be the best motivation to get all better fast! I'm just glad he's made it this far and is healing apace. And so appreciative that Linda has been by his side through it all. I know she must be glad to be at the cottage after being in the hospital's family accommodations since Sunday night, however wonderful they were.

I keep thinking I'll have something profound to blog about...but...not so much! I guess I'm saving all that for the newsletter. Be on the lookout for it...but don't hold your breath! Oh--just a reminder of this Tuesday's free teleseminar which is "
Being of Authentic Spiritual Help to Others." If you're on my email list (you can sign up just to the left of this blog entry, or on any page of http://www.juliarogershamrick.com ) you will receive the access info the day of the call. Hope you can make it!

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Until this year, my now 87-year-old dad has driven from North Carolina to Michigan each summer when the time came to make the pilgrimage north to the family cottage on the big lake. That is a trip of just over 800 miles, but one he, I think, mostly enjoyed. When my mom was alive, of course, he had a co-pilot, but he has done it alone the last few years since she died. His doctors deemed him capable, and, indeed, he got there and back safely each time--driving up in early June and back in September. This year, however, without the urging of his daughters (which, I'm sure he probably sensed was soon to come), he voluntarily gave up the steering wheel and had me book a flight for him.

What a relief! Each time he'd set off on either leg of the trip, I had worried that something catastrophic might befall him. Pushing images of mangled cars out of my consciousness, I practically held my breath for the days he was on the road. With flying, I figured he was guaranteed to make it safely--incident free--with no harm to him or anyone else. Turns out, I was wrong!

Yesterday (Saturday), when I got up from my nap and hadn't yet heard from him to say he'd arrived, I called the cottage and no answer. So I called my sister Ann and she replied to my "Have you heard from Dad?" with "I was just getting ready to call you." He had fallen and broken his arm! He tripped and fell while going to the bathroom. He'd had wheelchair service because walking is difficult for him, but wanted to make a quick trip to the loo before boarding the plane in Detroit. He didn't think he was hurt too badly, so he went ahead and flew to Grand Rapids, where he was going to pick up a rental car and drive the 2 remaining hours to the cottage, but on the way, he realized something was really wrong with his arm.

He ended up going by ambulance to the hospital there, and after a cat scan and some other tests, it was determined he needs surgery to put in a pin, etc.--first scheduled for today, but rescheduled for tomorrow. So he spent Father's Day in the hospital--and as bleak as that sounds, he is always happy to be the center of attention, and he has been that for sure, so I don't feel it was a total bummer for him! He'll be there till Tuesday, and when he leaves, won't be able to be on his own. My sister Linda, who is not actually a saint, (but may be on the way to becoming one), dropped everything to fly up there and take care of him and stay with him till he is able to be on his own again in a few weeks. She and Ann weren't planning to arrive there till the end of the month, so she really had to scramble to get ready. I'm so glad and grateful she was available to go!

Anyway, I've written all this and still haven't said all I was planning to say. Like that I at first felt guilty for his fall because I thought he had fallen while trying to hoof it through the airport. I had ordered wheelchair service for him but had not called the airline right before departure to be sure he was all set to have wheels--yes, a little compulsive, but I had meant to do it and was already feeling a little bad that I hadn't. I got over that in a hurry once he said he'd indeed had the wheelchair. (And yes, I do remember speaking of the uselessness of guilt a couple of blog entries back!)

Also, I was meaning to mention that the area where where our family cottages are located got flooded very badly in a storm Thursday night but that our cottages are okay--just hard to get in and out of the resort, parts of which are under feet of water. The beaches are closed, among other areas, because of e. coli contamination. Yuck! It actually might not be such an inconvenience for my dad to be hung up in Grand Rapids for a couple of days--it will give time for the flood waters to recede a bit. NOT that I'd have chosen this particular delay tactic!

Here at home, nothing so dramatic, thank goodness! The Hamrick girls were all over to honor their dad today, and it was really great to spend time with all of them. #2 brought her pet hedgehog, who was very cute, but burrows and hides out most of the time, so we didn't see as much of her as I'd have liked. Rick spent most of the afternoon playing good-natured computer geek, fixing her (#2's, not the hedgehog's) virus-infected computer, so he got to be "Hero Dad" today. I guess even though there's a day that's designated for Father's Day, you're never guaranteed to be able to be free of a father's duties! Or, in my dad's case, to be where you thought you'd be!

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I woke up this morning feeling less than spectacular (inflammed, swollen joints and a sore throat), and after awhile of trying to figure out what I needed to do and feeling overwhelmed and confused and a bit stymied about how to proceed with my day, I remembered to surrender it to Spirit, and shortly thereafter, just felt drawn outdoors.

I immediately pulled one of the patio chairs out into the middle of the yard and sat there soaking in the sunshine and allowing the strong breeze to blow away whatever was in my energy field that didn't belong there (or at least, that's what I imagined was occurring). It was a blustery day of bright cobalt blue skies--about 70 degrees--and I felt the healing properties of the sun pentrating through my skin and eyelids. I felt much better within about 30 seconds. I stayed like that for probably 5 minutes, completely free of sunscreen, sunglasses or any of the things we've been taught we HAVE to have to protect us from the sun.

Something about those "rules" about sun protection just strike me as just more on the vast list of things that we're taught to believe that are totally backward and out of alignment with the truth and with our true animal natures. I felt 100% better from just sitting in the sun. How could the sun be bad for us? There is God-Consciousness in sunlight! Oh, sure--I know the supposedly scientific arguments and the stats on skin cancers, etc., and the theories about the ozone layer, and that descendents of Nordic folks didn't evolve to have a healthy response to the sun, etc. Yes-- if I'm going to be out in the sun for hours without a solid base of a tan, sure, I'll slather on some sunscreen--I know how it feels to sleep with a sunburn--or to try to! But the human mind is so highly suggestible, do you think there's a chance that a big part of our paranoia about the sun is just that? We empower what we focus on, and in the last 30 years, we've had suntan-lotion companies, pharmaceutical companies, and their trainees, the physicians, pounding it in our brains about how dangerous the sun is, so we manifest accordingly...Okay--enough of the rant.

So, after my brief sunbath, I felt called to look around the garden and see how things were growing (before, I hadn't even felt much like moving). In the first place I looked, I spotted new sprouts of purslane! My first instinct was to pluck a sprig and pop it in my mouth. So delicious! Tender, spicy, tart, and so fresh and full of life force! Then I picked and consumed another and another. I know that purslane is super healthy, though the only specific I remembered at that moment is that it is the highest plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Here is a somewhat blurry shot of purslane in my garden where the mulch needs to be replaced:

purslane.jpg After I came back in and Googled it, my memory was refreshed that there are few, if any, things better for inflammation than Omega 3s! Indeed, I felt better after the purslane. (Most folks nowadays see purslane as just a weed to be dealt with in their gardens, but purslane has been valued for centuries for it's treasure- trove of health compounds, and it's making a resurgence in upscale restaurants as a gourmet green. Before you toss it out as a weed, do some research on it and you may change your mind!)

It just thrills me to be reminded so clearly that Spirit is always ready to guide me easily, naturally and gently to exactly what I need when I remember to allow myself to be receptive and just flow.

Yes, God-Self, I trust you!

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I guess I've been delinquent again--no blog entry in more than a week! Pausing now to convince myself not to feel guilty...okay! Whew. I'm guilt-free. Guilt is not at all productive.

I'm posting photos to show you where I've been spending my spare time--at least the portion of it when I haven't been exhausted to the point of lying, catatonic, on the daybed.
I did my finish-up plant shopping this week--you know--when you have things mostly together but you just need to get a few more annuals to accent things, and replace any perennials that did not make it to perform another year.

Today, I put some of the last of the plantings in the ground and in pots--only a few more to go, including something for the urn in the area behind the cafe table and chairs. I'm feeling quite pleased with how it's shaping up (The blue obelisk, which normally belongs in the fence border to the right of the pot of yellow pansies, just to the left of the rose bush with the peachy blooms, is out of place--I bought spray paint to re-coat it but haven't gotten that done yet. It's falling apart so I can only move it judiciously, so even though it offends my aesthetic to have it in the wrong spot in the photo, I don't dare move it until I have to!):

Garden June 8 new gaura sm.jpg  

cafe table corner garden June 8 sm2.jpgThe garden was seriously tidied up Wednesday because Stepdaughter #4 finally came over and spent a few hours pulling weeds, etc., in service to retiring her debt from last summer when she borrowed money to go to Minnesota for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. It hasn't always been easy to get her over here to garden, but boy, when she gets to work, she is Miss Productive! That girl can really work. Fortunately for me, she's going to need money for this summer's trip to Minnesota...

This week also brought Stepdaughter #1's college graduation. It called for getting up waaaaaaaay too early for this night owl (we had to be there by 8:45 a.m.), but I made it--and more importantly, so did she! She's the selfsame one who had the senior recital and reception week-before-last. I'm excited to see her adult life unfold--with all she has to offer the world, I am positive it will a fabulous adventure, and certainly, never boring! Here we are after the event:

Aubrie and Julia DU graduation sm.jpg

And finally, this day, six years ago, I picked our girl dachshund, Lilah, up in Texas, where she was born. Her Auntie Barb (my friend who lives in Dallas, but who, at the time, I only knew via an online dachshund message board) was so wonderful to come to the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport to get me, and drive me 3 hours and back to get her, and then host us for the night at her home. Barb has always remembered Lilah's "Gotcha Day" with a surprise in the mail, and this year was no exception. A large package of gourmet dog cookies arrived yesterday and the poosers are loving them--they smell so good, I'm even tempted! Here is Lilah in the garden today--not really wanting to have her picture snapped, but I managed to capture her anyway. Happy Gotcha Day, Miss Lilah Jane!

Lilah gaura crop sm2.jpg

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Where To From Here?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2008 is the previous archive.

July 2008 is the next archive.

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