Ten things

Here are ten things you might not know about me.

1. I love hand drumming. I have six drums our family has made. I also dabble with the hammered dulcimer, recorder and piano and several other instruments. I play for my own personal enjoyment and do not enjoy performing in front of others.

2. I’m a very creative person and enjoy making beautiful things like quilts and pottery. I finally painted a mural in my garage with a design that has been in my head for a number of years.

3. I get easily bored doing the same thing. I thrive on learning new things and gathering new insights. I am a generalist and know a little bit about a lot of things.

4. My husband and I bicycled on our tandem bicycle from South Bend to Milwaukee in 3 days. That’s the last time I will ever sit on a tiny bike seat for an extended trip.

deer5. I love sitting by the fire on a cold, snowy day, watching the deer walk past our picture window. When the snow melts, I am frustrated with those same deer that ate all my plants in my flower bed. We are naturalizing our property with plants the deer are less likely to destroy.

6. I grew up on a dairy farm in PA and hated it. Now I wish my kids had the same experiences I did.

7. My first job was in a nursing home. It was hard work. When I was trained, I was told to care for others as if they were my grandparents. I always tried to take time to listen to their stories and give quality care. In all my other jobs, I have been told I am a good listener.

8. I do many things with my time, most of which don’t generate income. I love being a consultant and sharing resources and ideas with others. I have lost quite a few books over the years because I loaned them out and now can’t remember where they are.

9. Richard Rohr’s work is transformational. I’m slowly learning to let go and hold things lightly. That’s not easy for someone who’s been in charge and controlling most of her life.

10. I’m amazed (and alarmed) at the amount of information people willingly share in written form on Facebook and blogs, like this personal note. Is it partially our desire to be connected with each other? If so, why is it so hard to sit down and share these things face to face?

What ten things would you choose to share with the world?

Surprised by Hope

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.” Ansel Adams

11989258_10153672549613573_284230582_oI opened my patio door this last week to snap a picture of something red, for the #SeptemberSurprises photo challenge group I participate in. I planned to zoom in on the apples on the tree, but just as I raised my phone to snap a shot, this little gal flew up the feeder and paused for a moment. Her mate with the beautiful ruby throat buzzed excitedly around her, then flew away, concerned about my presence.

This is the same humming bird that got trapped in our sunroom a few months ago, when someone accidentally left the door open. As we attempted to free her, she began flying frantically around the room, banging into the windows. She eventually collapsed exhausted on the floor, after attempting multiple avenues of escape. I carefully lifted her outside onto the patio with my dustpan, then fed her some nectar with a spoon for a few minutes, until she was strong enough to fly away.

Since that day, we have had a connection with each other. She is not afraid of me when I stand by the door. She usually lets me know when the feeder is empty, by hovering at my kitchen window to get my attention, then darting back and forth between the feeder and the window. She often stops by to say hello when I am doing dishes. She makes my heart sing when I see her. I call her Hope. She often arrives at the perfect moment.

Weekend Percolations: 05September2015

Janie earth bounty
Photo: J Halteman Aug 2015

Fall is a great time to contemplate earth’s bounty. Here is a short meditation by my friend Janie, who shares a collage of pictures from her garden. What is blooming in your soul garden?

Let’s have some fun this Fall. I think I’ll head to the the Farmer’s Market and grab a pumpkin.

Fall is also a good time to let go of things. This letting go practice by the Fetzer Institute uses a great visual for letting go.

Did you know foods can heal your body? Try these self healing recipes from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective. Or consider taking an afternoon nap to recharge your body.

We are all different. We have different styles of learning and experiencing the world around us. It makes sense that we need to find spiritual practices to fit who we are. Which type of meditation is right for you?

dalai-lama-planet-needs-peacemakers-lovers-7u2aI like SimpleReminders. “What this planet needs is more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Dalai Lama

Five ways to declutter the mind and body: Stretch. Sing. Move. Remember. Gratitude.

I’ll end with a music video, The Colors of the Wind by Chief, who will plant trees for each video share. A two for one deal: inspiration that is also healing to the planet.

Reading Recommendations

I am often asked to recommend books on various subjects by friends and clients. Usually, I can go pluck a book off the shelf and loan it to the person. I’m getting to the point where I can’t remember who I’ve loaned which book to. Some come back. Others are never seen again. Sometimes I discover multiple copies on my shelf, that I have re-purchased. I like to go back to favorite books and see what I have highlighted or underlined or tabbed.

11973373_10153664285328573_861380738_oI finally came up with an Amazon list of my favorite books. When you become an Amazon Associate, you do the marketing for them by telling all your friends about your favorite books. As a reward, they pay you a (very small) commission. I’m talking pennies here. I think around the holidays last year, I made 38 cents from several purchases friends made. I’m sure Amazon made a lot more money than that from those purchases.

IMG_20150810_095331180Regardless of whether people purchase the books I recommend through Amazon, I like having a place where I have my favorite books listed by categories. People can easily click on the link and see more information about the book. They can sometimes look inside and read a few pages. They can see what others have to say about the book. Then they can decide to check it out at the library, borrow my copy, or make a purchase online through Amazon or another source. (I do like Better World Books as well.)

So for what it’s worth, here are the links to my favorite books. They are listed by topics. It’s not comprehensive. I keep adding books as I read them or as they get recommended to me by others I trust. There are books to balance your MIND, your BODY or your SPIRIT.  Whether you choose from my MUST READ list, WELLNESS resources, SPIRITUAL LIFE resources or my CREATIVE ARTS resources, there is hopefully something that will interest most readers.

Happy reading!

PS. If you want some other great book recommendations, be sure to check out Caroline’s recommendations at the book-dr: reading for what ails you, at http://book-dr.com/wp/