Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Presents and Returning Them and Values of Stuff

I am looking at the pile of Christmas presents I got this year.  It's rather disturbing.    Clothing in six different sizes that will have to be returned and exchanged if I am ever to wear any of it.  And then there's the knick knacks.  People paid money for these things, and I keep thinking about the necessity of it all.   I mean I keep wondering where is the necessity of it?   What am I going to do with eight candles that smell like fruit of one kind or another.  I don't like to smell fruit, I like to eat fruit.  Fake fruit smells don't really turn me on.  I do like spice smells and floral scents, but the fake fruit scents are yucky.  And another basket.  I got another basket.  I know!  I will place the candles in the basket and find someone who would appreciate them!

Meantime I picked up a couple more things that I should have left where they were.  One is a small table my father assembled.  I could have let it go to the charity place, but my father made it out of a marble top, and a plaster of paris candlestick that I made many years ago.  So now it sits on my front porch.  Maybe I will find a place for it.  The other is an antique croquet of an antique croquet set.  I think I will take pictures of it and see if anyone in the world can use the balls and mallets from an antique croquet set.   Oh yeah, and I brought home a couple of yards of furry material that Zach used to make a wind cover for a microphone.  Maybe I can make furry mice for cat Christmas presents for next year.   Shouldn't I be doing something more productive for my keep?   I've worked for 47 years, and have many office skills.  I've run at least one manufacturing company when the people who were supposed to be running it fell down on the job.  I kept a law office open for six months while the attorney was incapacitated.    I've written numerous business plans for others.   And I can make wind buffers for microphones...and numerous other things.  

My friend Kathy's daughter always used to make her father upset whenever anything needed to be done, or fixed, or whatever.  She'd say "Call Jana.  Jana can do anything."   I guess I can pretty much.  My father told me "nearly anything you need to know how to do is in a book, or there is someone around who can teach you how to do it.  Nothing is impossible."

I think part of my talent is that I can look at a problem from outside the box, and look for answers outside the box.  The answers I come up with may be unique, but often they are the answers needed.  

A friend of mine who is Mexican wanted me to teach her how to make a pinata.  I did.  Then I taught her how to make "Mexican gravy" for putting over burritos.  I thought it was funny that I was teaching a Mexican friend to make Mexican things.    I don't like to tell someone they can't do something.  I'd rather try to show them how to do something they think they can't do.

I think I'll go to bed and see what time I get awakened in the morning when someone thinks of me at some early hour when I'm not really ready to wake up!!   This morning it was 5:46 a.m.  I went back to sleep and slept until 8:30.  But I was up until 3:30 a.m. writing.   I wonder if I woke anyone up thinking of them at 3:30 a.m.?   This merry-go-round of wondering is wonderfully fun.

Love and kisses...Jana

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Carols and Church Hymns and Security

I remember singing in church a lot.  Mostly I remember my Grandad Bristow and his deep booming baritone drowning out my Grandmother Bristow's off-key, but heartfelt singing.  Unfortunately I think I inherited my Grandmother's singing voice.  Perhaps not, I can stay on key, it's just that my range is very limited.  But I love to sing.  The cat doesn't mind.  But when Zach was very little I would sing to him in the car.  He would say "Mom why can't we get a radio?"

My grandparents attended the Church of God in Columbia City.  In my hometown we attended the Evangelical United Brethern.  They called it the singing church.  I did sing in the children's choir.  They placed me in the alto section.  I couldn't do much damage there and I learned all the words to the songs.  I loved singing.  I even sang in the high school choir, but I didn't stand out and I made certain to sing quietly within my range.  As well Johnny Pflieger usually stood behind me, both in the school choir, and in the church choir, and he had a great strong voice.  He is now a world-reknowned opera singer.  He is very famous in Germany.  Then there is Janie Fricke who won a couple of country music awards.  She grew up in my hometown.  She can tap dance too.  Crystal Gayle grew up just a few miles away in Wabash, Indiana.  Apparently the musical talent doesn't come from drinking the water! 

Last night I was watching one of the Country Music channels on cable, and they were singing old church hymns and then Christmas carols.  I sang right along with them.  Fritzie the cat came running to make sure I was really all right.  Sometimes singing the old hymns makes me cry.

Somewhere back in my childhood I learned a phrase that has stuck with me throughout my life and gotten me through scary things and even danger.  I think my Grandmother Terman taught it to me.  Whenever I'm alone and afraid or in danger, the phrase repeats itself in my head...."God is with me all the time."  

I remember watching a scary movie and then one of my friends bringing me home to the farm house.  It was dark and empty, no one else was home yet.  I found the key to the back door and let myself in.  "God is with me all the time.  God is with me all the time."   Got me inside the house, away from the scary cellar stairs, and into the kitchen, where I began turning on all the lights until the house was blazing with light.   Knowing God is with you all the time is a great comfort.    Singing church hymns and Christmas carols is a joyous way to celebrate. 

Mother called me Friday night to tell me she'd just been caroled by her church friends.  She named off all of the people who were there singing to her.  They were all friends who sang in the same choirs.  I'm sure not all of them were perfectly on key, but they were singing joyously.  That's the point.  Even if you have to do your singing in the car with the windows rolled up so as not to frighten pedestrians, one should always keep on singing.  It fills one's heart with joy.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well, the excitement is beginning.   I am getting ready for a party tonight at my house.

Then tomorrow I get up early and have to be ready to leave the house around 11:00 a.m. to drive to Pierceton.  I don't know how big Guy's extended family is, but he's invited us to his Christmas on Sunday at his house, which is out in the country.  The house isn't all that big, so I wonder how it will go.  It should be interesting, and Mother will be there, and perhaps my brother Jan as well.  I expect I will leave around 3 or 4 and get home early.  Then I hope to get to bed early so I won't be late the next day for Christmas at my brother's in the country.

Perhaps this year my niece and her family will be coming from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  I hope so, I haven't seen her at Christmas in eight years.  They lived in Germany for awhile.

Off to make Christmas pizza from scratch.  Merry Christmas, and love and kisses.  Jana

Friday, December 22, 2006

Darfur. Let's All Help (See my tongue in my cheek?)

I've been watching various advertisements put out by celebrity types about how we ought to come to the aid of Darfur.  They want us to do this because there are people being murdered in Darfur.  People are starving in Darfur.  Bad people are hurting nice people in Darfur.  

Wow.  I wonder how we could point out to them they could go back in time about seven years, and substitute the letters IRAQ for DARFUR.  

How is this different?   Well, probably, because they want us to give them lots of money (we tried that with Iraq...remember?), and talk nice to the people in charge in Darfur (we tried that with Iraq...remember?) and talk to the people in the UN and see if they can't solve this problem diplomatically (we tried that with Iraq...remember?).

Hey this is making me tired.  I think I'll go take a walk on my treadmill. 

I've got to get into the holiday spirit.  So far for Christmas I got three bells, a Christmas CD, two candles, and a Snowman Kit.   It's not working yet.  I've had the tree up since the Friday before Zach left for California. 

I am not depressed.  I'm happy.  I am looking in the mirror and making faces at myself.   Now I'm laughing!   I've got to go shopping. 

Merry Christmas and etc.   Love and Kisses, Jana

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

White Elephants Again...Better than Pink Ones???

I went to that Xmas party last night, and I went around the house and picked up a cup I didn't pick out for myself that I've never been too fond of, stuffed one of the kitchen towels I've been crocheting into it, and wrapped it with a couple of crocheted hot pads.  I dumped a bracelet that I'll never wear into it, and wrapped it all up.   I hope it or parts of it are appreciated by the recipient.    For my White Elephant present,  I got a bag with some Christmas cheer type things, including a poem that was written for the Christmas party, three jingle bells, two candles and a star, a Christmas Music CD, and a "Snowman Building Kit".   The only problem I see is that all of that takes up more space than the stuff I put in my package.  I could burn the candles, use the star for a bird feeder, put the CD in with my Christmas music, but what to do with the Snowman Kit?   No Snow So Far this year.  And that's okay with me.  The bells are too big for the cat, but I could tie them onto a holiday wreath on my front door.

What's with the no snow do you suppose?  And don't tell me it's got anything to do with global warming!  You know Al Gore invented global warming don't you?  Who told me that?  

I love Christmas, but I am looking forward to summer at the lake again next year.  It is so calm there, and quiet. 

I would be there now, except I don't want to sit inside, and it's cold outside. 

Perhaps if I had my own place at the lake, decorated the way I'd like, then it would be more conducive to peace and quiet at the lake.   

I am not crazy about the "rustic" look some people have in their cottages.  I'd prefer the "cottagey" look, clean, neat,  pale colors, and serenity.  Nothing red!   I like pinks, but red is kind of scarey.

The above is just in case Santa is reading my blog, and is working on getting me that place at the lake I have on my list.  In that regard, Red Roses and Red Bows on presents doesn't turn me off.

See, I really am kind of silly.   But then what you see is what you get.  Love and kisses, Jana

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

White Elephant Presents

I received an invitation to a Christmas party tonight, one of the things being to bring a "white elephant" Christmas present.   I'd forgotten about White Elephant presents.  Some of my best presents have been White Elephant presents, i.e., something somebody wrapped up because they didn't want it around their house any more.   One of the nicest ones I got was a beautiful antique "dancing lady" covered dish that I got from Ms. Hamm, who was my boss at the University of Illinois, Department of Graduate and Foreign Admissions.   The covered dish was a lady wearing a beautiful blue dress.  You don't see a lot of things made out of this blue frosted glass anymore.  It was a sort of turquoise blue.  My mother has absconded with the dish, and she uses it in her bathroom to hold cotton balls.  But she acknowledges that it's really my dish.  She has lots of things at her house that are really mine.  I let her keep them because she enjoys them.

Well, back to the White Elephant gift that I have to come up with.   Supposedly a white elephant is something that you have and don't need anymore.  I've got a box of floppy disks that I don't need anymore.  I've got a huge book called Fires and Explosions: Determining Cause and Origin, by Kennedy.  It's green and would make somebody a good doorstop.  I certainly have no use for it.  It was a very expensive book purchased by a former employer for a personal injury case.  The former boss very generously gave it to my son.  My son, very generously, didn't take it with him when he moved out.    I have tons and tons of books.  I could gift a book as a white elephant.  Perhaps it would be looked upon by its recipient with some favor.   White Elephant gifting is a good way to clean house.   But the box might be too big to transport to the party.

Well, off I go to deliver a book to someone on the other side of town, and then home to get ready for the party tonight.

This is my second Christmas party so far this season.  Though I'd prefer to stay at home and write my novel, I guess I must fight the urge to be a hermit and get out and socialize.   

Merry Christmas.  Love and Kisses, Jana.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happiness Is Yours


1.    The number one key to happiness is understanding your own mind and learning to have power over it.

2.  You hold the key to happiness. It is in your brain, not in your hand.

3.   Your mental attitude will determine your mental altitude. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

4.   To be happy, you need a relaxed mind.   Relax, let go of stress!  

5.   Live in the present,  it is the only moment you have.

6.   Focus on here and now always.

7.   Don't fight things in your mind or physically.

8.   Accept all that happens to you completely.

9.   And then let it go.

10.  Happiness is an inner state of well being. Focus on your inner state.

11.  Happiness is liberty, don’t seek approval from others.  It doesn't matter what others think!

12.  Happiness is power.   Use it wisely!   Sometimes people get upset with us because we're happy!!

13.  When you get angry realize that you are giving your power away.   It's not easy, but let it go.

14.  When you want react to anything, take a moment, do nothing and look within and understand you can respond to the situation using happiness as power to work for you.

15.  Don't judge people. Don't take things personally because it separates you from your own wisdom path of being happy.

16.  Your happiness affects your health.   Being happy  adds years to your life, and life to your years.

17.  Fear is the opposite of happiness. Fear will enslave you. Happiness gives you freedom.

18.  "Things" cannot make you happy.   Other people cannot make you happy.  You must become happy. 

19.  Happiness is a decision.

20.  Make the decision to be happy and you can always choose happiness in every situation.  

21.  Happiness is a conscious choice. Only a conscious person can choose to be happy, i.e., drugs and alcohol dull your ability to choose.   You can't choose anything if your senses are dulled.

22.   Don't give energy to negativity.  You are giving energy to unhappiness.   If you have a problem, give energy to the answer of solving it.   Being happy lets us respond in the best possible way available at the time and creating the best possible outcome.

23.  Stay away from negativity and unhappiness.  Make friends and associate with people you can learn from in your life.

24.  A happy life is a meaningful life. Find meaning in your life.  Find your meaning for yourself. No matter how long it takes; it is really worth the effort.

25.  Enjoy nature.   It's God's Happiness.  You're a beautiful part of it; a sunset or waves breaking on  shore, or a mountain top will  bring you closer to God's happiness for you.

26.  You deserve happiness.  Take it.

27.  Give yourself permission to be happy! If you can't give yourself permission, I give you permission to be happy.   Zap!  You're Happy!   Now Smile!!!

28.  Being Happy is an action art.   Look in the mirror and make funny faces at yourself until you laugh.  Smile at your reflection every time you see it! 

29.  Fake it till you make it!    Act like you're happy and you will become happy.

30.  Count your blessings.  Having blessings counted multiplies them.

31.  Accept yourself, God made you perfect just the way you are.   God is happy with you, so accept yourself.  This is the key to happiness.

32.  Find three or more things you are grateful for every day. Write them down in a journal if you like. Count your blessings before you sleep every night.

33.  Laugh a lot. Laugh at yourself.   Don't take yourself so seriously.

34.  Don't worry about the past, or fret about the future.   Have faith things are just the way they should be...  If you have a worry habit, ask God or your Spirit Guide to remove the worry from you.

35.  You are God's perfect creation.   You have a special purpose in life, and you can find it.  (Ask God or your Spirit Guide for assistance in defining your special purpose.

36.  Be generous.  Be a giver. Give compliments, give smiles, give yourself.   Be real!!

37.  Learn from your dog.

38.  Be childlike.

39.  Be yourself.

40.  Be kind.

Homeland Security

You know it makes a lot of sense to me that Homeland Security and/or the Border Patrol should hire unemployed Native Americans to guard the border.  Granted they didn't do such a hot job of that back in 1492, but there are good reasons why they should be so employed.  

One, they need jobs.  Most of them are on the reservations with nothing to do.  The ones who aren't on the reservations are filling up the ranks of the unemployed all over.  

Two, there are lots of Indians who don't really look like Indians...look at me, a case in point  (I don't want to work for Border Patrol.)   

Three, they have a wonderful patriotism for this country.  It was, after all, the property of Creator when the Indians had it.  They didn't ever really own it, inasmuch as it was the Indians belief that only Creator could own the land.

Four, they are, after all, called Braves.  Let the Warriors protect this country.  They would be good at it.   Many of the Native Americans are Veterans of the Armed Services.  At every pow wow you attend you see many veterans among the dancers.  There is a special dance just for the Veterans.  The flags of the Veterans are a part of the procession.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wrapping Christmas Presents

My ancient television set finally conked out.  I bought it in 1990.  I knew it was going to go, but its a Magnavox in a nice wooden cabinet, so I wanted to keep it around.  I think I am going to have someone take the old picture tube and speakers out, and replace them with a nice shelf, and then I'm going to buy myself a new flat screen tv that will fit right inside of the cabinet.

I went to South Whitley to my Mother's house and helped her wrap all of her Christmas presents.  I expected I would be wrapping all of our family's presents from her, but it turned out she has also purchased presents for all of her friend, Guy's family, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well!   So I wrapped everything.  I left this morning about 9:30 and stopped at Comcast to drop off the cable box I've been using on the old tv, and then I drove to South Whitley.  I wrapped presents for a very long time.  We took off and went out to the restaurant that used to be "Kenny's Drive-In" and now is a Mexican restaurant.  The food was good.

I think that my Christmas schedule is going to be that on Saturday the 23rd, my friend Becky and her kids are coming over for pizza and presents.  On Sunday, I am driving to Guy's house (mother's boyfriend) in Pierceton for a Christmas Dinner.  And then I will probably come home Christmas eve, and then Christmas morning I will drive to South Whitley to have Christmas at my brother's house with all of our family...except Zach who probably won't make it.

I should probably go to my mother's to stay on Christmas eve, and then I only have to drive 3 miles to Jan's house....instead of 26 miles...and that would save me about 30 miles from Guy's house to my house, 'cause it's only 8 miles from Pierceton to mother's house....however, Fritzie kitty should not be left alone overnight.  He will eat my Christmas tree and he will be very lonely.   I left him alone today, and he was a bit put out.  He thinks I'm supposed to be here all the time.    I adopted him from the will be two years in January.  His name was Moses then, and I was going to adopt him in July or August of '04, but never got around to it.  I'd seen him on television.  Then I ended up in the hospital with the open-heart surgery in September 04, so then I had to wait to get recovered from that, so I adopted him in January when I saw him on tv again.  They said he'd been returned twice because he had behavior problems.  He does have "fear issues", but he's a nice little cat, and I changed his name to Fritz.  My old cat that died in June of 04 was named Fred, and Fritz is a nickname for Fred.  The angel in my book is named Fred...and the teddy bear in my book is named Threadbare Fred Bear.  I think my spirit guide might be my old friend Fred too.  Wonder whatever happened to George. 

I'm so sleepy I'm getting loopy, and kinda silly.   I think I'll go to bed early tonight.  Nite nite.  Love and Kisses....Jana

Who Really Makes the Life Plan?

Who really makes the Grand Plan for our Life.  Sylvia Browne's explanation makes a lot of sense, but sometimes while you're living it you might rebel against the idea.  She claims that while we are at Home on the Other Side, we get together with the major players in our lives and make a plan for our next incarnation on earth, the goal being to live a life that will teach us more things in our ever-ongoing goal toward attaining near Perfection on the Other Side.  In other words, we have planned all of the good and the bad things that confront us in this lifetime in order to acquire the skills and character-building required to attain that near perfection.

We planned to meet all of the people we met, both good and bad.  We planned all of the excitement and drama and even the boredom parts of our lives.  We planned to have confrontations between other entities (I find this one hard to buy...I've endured some pretty scarey things, but I did get through them, and I came out ahead in the long run...)   We planned the heartbreakers.  And we planned the confrontations with those we can only describe as dark evil ones as well.   Why would we do that to ourselves!!?   To foster the growth of our Souls.   I guess the most interesting fact about it is that the difference between our Human selves and our Souls is that as humans we have the earthly ego. 

When I run into people who argue that they would never choose to live the lives they are living, I try to point out to them that their souls chose these trials in order to foster the growth of the soul.  Nobody wants to buy that conception.  But if you can accept that idea, and accept that you're going to get through the trials, and accept that your Soul has written a happy ending into the Plan, it begins not to matter so much whether the happy ending occurs on this plane, or on the Other Side.

At the same time this conception also makes it easier for your human self to forgive those you believe may have wronged you.  If you can accept the idea that your Soul chose these events, then who do you have to blame?  It makes it so much easier to forgive every bad thing that ever happened to you. 

Patience is probably the lesson I'm supposed to be learning...and possibly my job is to reach and teach others they are responsible for where they found themselves.

More things to think of...isn't life grand!!

Love and kisses, Jana

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More on Sylvia Browne and what she says

Sylvia claims that everyone on the Other Side speaks Aramaic.  Does that mean I could interpret what I was hearing?  Probably not.    I don't think so...maybe on the Other Side, but not here.

She also claims that on the Other Side everyone is 30 years old.  I could handle that.  She claims that we can often cross over to the other side by Astral Projection in our sleep, and that when we have been to the Other Side and come back to awaken we are happy about the trip. 

When I awakened from my surgery I was angry to be back.  I don't remember being anywhere else, I just went to sleep and woke up with everything in between being black.  But I was very angry when I awoke.   One of my friends who is psychic says that sometimes people who have visited the other side while unconscious will come back angry because they wanted to stay.  I couldn't stay because I'd promised I'd come back.  I'm happy that I came back.  I have more to do here anyway.

I do believe in reincarnation, and Sylvia explains that and why remnants of stories about reincarnation were removed from the Bible by Pope Constantine, leaving behind references to people coming back as someone else, which can seem mysterious if you don't believe in reincarnation. 

I found the whole book very interesting and clarifying.  

I once dreamed that the person I call my Soul Mate was my father and that I was a little girl.  We were in a courtyard in the Middle East and he was standing wearing a brown suit.  I was wearing a blue robe.  We were standing around a water well with a wall that was only a few inches high.  And we spoke Aramaic or a language that sounded very much like Aramaic.

I'm open to all of these things.  I'm not denouncing them until someone proves everything to me one way or another.  Keeping my options open.

Love and kisses, Jana 

Who and What We Are and Why It Matters

I've been reading a book by Sylvia Browne, who calls herself a psychic.   The name of the book is  Life on the Other Side.   I believe we're all psychic to some degree, some people just use it more productively than others.  Unfortunately, some claim to have the ability and then make things up while they go along. 

I'm psychic to the extent that I have what I call "psychic caller ID", i.e., when the telephone rings...if it is someone I know, I know who it is before I pick it up.  If it's a stranger, I guess I know that too.  If it's somebody I've just talked to on the phone, I always think, 'now why are they calling me back?' and I'm always right.  If it's someone I haven't heard from in a long time, I think I'm just imagining things.  Often times we will think of the person we haven't heard from in a long time, and then they call.  Generally we tell them " I was just thinking of you yesterday!" It's no coincidence!

This book is very interesting, and some of the things she has to say coincides with what I have learned here and there.  I do have the unusual ability to converse with people who have crossed over, sometimes.  Sometimes they are too busy to converse.  Sometimes I only get the sound of their voices.  Sometimes there is a short but sweet message.  Most of the time, I just want to tell them something, and I don't worry about whether I get an answer back.

In my writing, I sometimes will "contact" the Other Side asking for guidance with portraying a historical character with some accuracy.  Sometimes I ask for literary guidance.  Most times I don't ask, I just say "thank you for directing me in my writing." 

Anyway Sylvia's book is very interesting and very succinctly explains things I have only vaguely understood.  For that reason I believe her answers for things make a lot of sense.  And she claims to get these answers from her guides from the Other Side.  So if you don't believe in Guides from the Other Side, you might have trouble believing in the things she says, but her explanation about some of the concepts on the Other Side are very, very interesting and make a lot of sense.  I found this book very comforting.  In particular I found her statement "there is no such thing as death" to be the most comforting thing of all.  Inasmuch as I have spoken to people who have crossed over, I know they are very near to us. 

I also have an understanding that we live a life on this plane of existence in order to learn certain lessons.  Hard to take is the understanding we have chosen the lives we live.  Well, actually, our souls chose the lives we live on earth  in order for us to grow and become more like Christ.   So in effect, the lives we live aren't really "God's Plan" for us, but the Plan that our Souls have chosen for our growth.    At this age, I can say that I have learned some lessons, and that my understanding has grown.  

I believe one of the goals of this existence on Earth for me was to learn patience!   Boy have I!!!  Another goal, I believe was to learn Tolerance.  I'm working on that one too.  I have become much more tolerant than I was in the beginning.  Although I was born an Aquarian and came with a certain degree of tolerance for others, I find I still have some prejudices that I have to deal with.  One of those I'm working on, is tolerance for those who are downright evil, and tolerance for those who are downright stupid!

(I'll write some more on this later...come back to see what I have to say....I have to get ready for a Xmas party at Bear Creek Farms.  I am going with my friend Eleanor...this should be interesting, a bunch of Realtors.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Soul Mates

Soul mates is an interesting concept.  One day about ten years ago my son had just broken up with a girlfriend.  He said, "Mom, I thought we were soul mates."   I told him, "just because you're soul mates doesn't mean you're going to spend a whole lifetime together."   Then I told him about the situation I experienced, and why I wasn't with the person I believed to be my soul mate.   Zach asked, "doesn't that make you mad?"   I said "No."   And he wanted to know why I wasn't mad.  I had to think about that for awhile.

Along with this person being the love of my life, my soul mate, and a very special person to me, he was also someone I have always considered to be a life long friend.  I felt the circumstances that separated us were things neither of us had chosen.  But it took a while for me to figure out why I wasn't angry about the circumstances. 

I thought about it for a couple of years.  One of my jobs when I left the law office temporarily was with the post office, working at the remote encoding center.  It was a night job.  Sometimes I would drive across town at 4 a.m. with silent, empty streets.  

During that time I would often think about the Soul Mate.  Particularly because we were still connected.  If I close my eyes I can see a bright white line going from me, up into the sky, and back down where he is.  That connection has always been visible to me.  I've always known where this person was.  I've often spoken to this person without the benefit of the telephone, and not being together, and they are as close to me as if we had spent our lives together.  

One night I remember in particular driving home.  I can still remember precisely where I was when the answer came to me.

I wasn't angry about the situation because I was blessed with the knowledge this person has always loved me.   How do I know this?   We haven't seen one another for many years.  But we have had occasional telephone conversations.  I could always hear the love in his voice.  Well, almost always.  I realized that there were times when it wasn't there, and I determined that when that occasion arose, it was because he wasn't alone at the time we were talking.  I think the lack of the love in his voice was when I really realized that I got a special voice when he spoke to me alone.

The Soul Mate has been in another relationship for many years.  I don't resent that relationship.   I respect that relationship, and I respect my Soul Mate for respecting that relationship.   I don't want to interfere with that relationship.  I don't need to do so.  I am happy and content with things as they are. 

Does this mean I wouldn't wish for things to be different?   No.  I do wish things were different.  But I cannot resent the children that came from that relationship.   After all, for reasons perceived by only us, those children were wishes that did come true.  I cannot resent my child.   I am blessed to have experienced such a child.   Perhaps God had a Grand Plan that worked things out this way.  Perhaps God's Plan is not finished.  Perhaps the best is yet to come. 

One evening I was reading a book.  The characters in the book had a relationship much like the one between us.  They had been separated for a very long time.  The line was "I loved you then, I love you now, and I have loved you every day in-between."    I said to myself, "I wish I could hear [my soul mate] saying that to me."    And I did.  Right that very minute, I heard his loving voice, saying that very thing.   It frightened me!   I thought he'd crossed over and I didn't know about it!    Very soon after that I confirmed that he was, indeed, still alive and kicking!

I'm happy and content with this life.  But that doesn't keep me from wishing for us to be together again somewhere down the road.   When two people make the same wish it almost always comes true.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Great Raccoon Adventure - You Can Do What You Must

Early this past Spring I awoke to hear thumping and galloping in my attic.  I couldn't figure out what it was but the cat was as spooked as I was.  I went to the pulldown stairs, and pulled on the rope and thumped the stairs a couple of times to frighten whatever was up there.  I thought perhaps it might be squirrels that had somehow climbed up under the eaves.  

When I pulled the stairs open to take a peek, whatever was up there started throwing Christmas ornaments at me!  

I thumped the stairs some more, and turned my stereo on in my bedroom and put on Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, hoping the cannons would frighten them.   I aimed it at the attic door and turned it up very loud.   Maybe it would frighten them away. Rather I think they began to march across the attic floor.

Later I put rat poison cubes on the stairs and raised them back up again.  That evening I was sitting in my office, right where I am now, at the NW corner of my house, when I heard something scurrying overhead, making a frantic effort to get out of the attic.  I ran downstairs and turned on the backyard light.  I saw three smaller than adult raccoons jumping from the old television antenna on the back of my house to the cable wire, and then across to a tree and to the yard.   Someone appeared to have built a nest on the inside of the antenna.   They jumped over the back gate and took off.  I figured they'd eaten the rat poison and were looking for water.  I figured that would be the last of them.  I didn't hear them in the attic after that.   That was about late March I think. 

About mid-April while Zach was in California visiting his father, I was awakened in the middle of the night by my cat, Fritzie.  He would run into my room, bounce off the side of my mattress and then run down the stairs.   I just yelled at him, and tried to go back to sleep.  He did it over and over again.  It was about 3:30 a.m.   So I got up and went down stairs to get a bottle of water.  I get the hiccups sometimes when I get woke up in the middle of the night.   As I was standing at the refrigerator reaching in to get a bottle of cold water, I heard noises coming from my pantry, which is off the kitchen and if you open the door it leads down to the basement. 

I looked at Fritzie to see if he'd heard what I had.  He was on full alert.  And he was bravely hiding behind me.  I turned on the overhead light, and looked through the slats of the door to the pantry.  I couldn't see anything.  But I heard some creatures bounding down the stairs.  At least two of them.   I grabbed a flashlight from the drawer and cautiously opened the pantry door. 

Everything had been pulled from the shelves and I could barely get the door open!    Stuff was all over the floor.  My supply of plastic bags which had been stuffed into a container were all pulled out all over the floor.  I began putting things back on the shelves.  I wasn't ready to go down the basement to see where the beasts had gone.   As I picked up plastic bags I pulled a wastebasket out of the corner.  At least I was gonna.   A pair of masked eyes looked back at me from the bottom of the wastebasket.  It was a smallish raccoon!   I looked at her for awhile, and then began stuffing plastic bags in on top of her.  She let me do it.  I stuffed it full, and then put some paper bags on top of that, and I picked the waste basket up and carried it out to the back porch and down the steps.  I carried it out to a tree and dumped it out.  She gave me a look, and then ran up the tree. 

I hurried back inside.  I now knew what kind of beasts I was going to find in the basement!   I ventured down the stairs turning on lights as I went.  I got to the back room of the basement and found where they'd gotten in.  They had torn out the old air-conditioning duct work, and had crawled through the holes. 

I closed the door between the front room and the back room and locked it, and went to bed.  The next day I called my handy man over to board up the hole where the beasts had broken in.  We did a half-hearted job of it, hoping the air-conditioning ducts could be salvaged because we'd heard it was going to be a very hot summer.  I didn't think it was in my budget to get a new air-conditioning just then.  I called my air-conditioner guy to come fix it.  (He never did show up all summer long!  I bought a window unit for my office, and endured the heat in the rest of the house all summer.  Hopefully I can get this remedied before the next heat wave.  If not, I'll just remember how cold I am right now!)

In the meantime, the beasts broke in the next night before I got really mad.   I boarded it up good so they couldn't get in, and I was afraid they'd go back up into the attic, so I went out and rented a raccoon trap.   

Over the next several weeks I caught a big mother raccoon, three smaller raccoons (including the little girl raccoon I'd already caught in the wastebasket), and three possums.   I stuck the cage in the trunk of Zach's car and took them one by one to the park and turned them loose.   When I took the little girl raccoon to the park, she didn't want to get out of the cage.  Zach got home from California in time to help me with the last couple of them.

The great raccoon adventure helped me to see that I'm not totally helpless, and I can conquer anything when I'm faced with a problem.   Nothing is impossible.  One can accomplish anything if one sets one's mind to it. 

So watch out.  That means dreams can come true too...even the ones viewed through rose-colored glasses in times long, long ago.    Isn't life grand!?


Friday, December 8, 2006

All Work and No Play Makes Sam a Curmudgeon?

"They say" that all work and no play makes one a dull person.  Sometimes its a good thing to work very very hard with the end goal in mind of having time to play.  When I was working very hard every day doing legal writing I was just ornery enough to put tiny little fun things into my writing.  Judges looked forward to reading the things I had written, and they liked looking for the tiny little fun things I usually "snuck" in.  Most of the times they were tiny little puns, or ironic twists I'd manage.  I worked off and on for the same lawyer for a number of years.  Whenever I'd write something that would go to Court, the Judges would say to the boss "I see you've got your paralegal back."

Sometimes men work too hard and don't take time to play, even though I'm sure they schedule times to do their own dreaming.  Lots of times men work too hard because they don't really want to go home for one reason or another.

I worked for a man like that.  I asked him one day if he thought he would ever retire, and he said something about being taken away in a long box.   I knew his wife too.  She was awful and used to work in the same office, but she also liked to go out and spend lots of money.  I know why he liked to hide out at the office.  She ran him into the ground actually, or tried to do so.  He had a stroke, but he seemed to have recovered enough to still come downtown.  Someone said they saw him at the Court house watching a hearing the other day.  His wife, once said to me, "If you can't afford to have a sit-down wedding reception for 500 people, you shouldn't get married."  She was sort of snooty, don't you know.  She works at the Hallmark card shop now because Sam had that stroke.  Don't suppose she could afford a sit-down dinner for 500 these days do you?   

The moral to the story is don't work so hard you can't have some fun from time to time.  When the notion strikes you to do something that is totally unlike yourself and unexpected, do it anyway, it's good for you.  Dream your dreams, and make some of them come true.   Be a Sam who plays from time to time.  Life is short, and fun is fun.   Keep on smiling and dreaming.   And remember, when you're dealing with the Wish Lady you get unlimited wishes come true forever.  Love and kisses from Jana.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

ESP--Thinking of Others & Others Thinking of You--Wondering

Every Wednesday before I ended up in the hospital, I would drive down a certain road to the bank at Noon, and I would drive by a certain man-made "mountain" and think of someone from my past.  I don't know what triggered that thought, but I thought of it again yesterday as I, once again, drove past that mountain (who knew there were mountains in Indiana).  You know how you will think of someone just before they call you?  Well, I wondered if when you are thinking of someone as you drive by a certain landmark, if that same person for an instant is reminded of you.   (And I also wondered if they got an image of a mountain and wondered where in the heck that came from!!) Or perhaps, you thought of that person, because at that very time of day, that person was actually thinking of you.   It can get to be a merry-go-round of wondering if you wonder too hard.

I do believe that people who are "connected" either by past lives in other times, or perhaps just a previous connection in this lifetime, or maybe both at the same time, have continuing connections with one another.  Actually I truly believe we are all connected to everyone else, and this is the reason we should always have love in our hearts for all mankind (lots of times in order to do this you also have to have tolerance, compassion, and forgiveness!!)   It goes back to my theory of "giving energy to negative things" causing them to magnify and reproduce more negativity, and in the opposite giving energy to positive things magnifies the positivity.   And thankfully, it seems that giving positive energy to positive things seems to work a whole lot more efficiently and provide a whole lot more than the negatives.

At any rate, it is a whole lot more productive to think positive thoughts, to have happy positive thoughts, and to always expect the best, and to be excited about life and what the next minute, hour, day, week or year is going to bring to you than it is to worry about anything whatsoever.  So stop worrying, and start planning for a brighter, happier future.   Love and Good Wishes from Jana.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Law and How to Make it Wiggle

I'm working on some legal research right now.  I used to read the case law pamphlets and newspapers that came into offices when I was a legal secretary and a paralegal.  It was one of my favorite things to do on coffee breaks and lunch breaks.  In the process I filed away tons of information many would consider useless.   I always loved to read an opposing attorney's side of the argument, and then take his citations and read them.  In most cases they would only read the "head notes" and not read the entire case.  I would go and read the entire case, and find that the head notes didn't really support their argument, but in many cases, it really supported the other side.  In many cases, they'd be right on point.  I loved using the other guy's "research" and turn it against him.  I guess this is caused by laziness.  In the "olden days" we had to look stuff up in books.  It was a tedious job for many, but I found it fun.  The people who merely looked at the head notes sometimes (often) trapped themselves, by not looking at the underlying layers of the case.

Now it is much easier to read tons of cases.  And the legal search engines can take you right to the on point cases you need.  Isn't technology wonderful?

I remember my grandmother getting tears in her eyes when she was watching the flight to the moon in 1969.  She said something about horse and buggy and going to the moon.  It's sort of that way with me now and looking at computers.  One of my jobs at the U of Illinois was in the Physiology and Biophysics Department and I coordinated the "new" computer admissions and courses information.  I was the liason between the department and the computer.  The computer itself was as big as a house.    And it was very hot inside and things were going "clickety'clack".  I had to tell the computer operators what the computer cards were supposed to be telling the computer.  It is rather amazing that the cpu that sits here on my desk is unbelievably more efficient, faster, and holds more information than could be printed on boxes and boxes and boxes of those cards I used to carry over there!   I love technology.

My first job as a legal secretary was in Urbana, Illinois for Finfrocke Law Offices.  We typed Wills and things.  I would spend an entire day typing one will, and if I made one mistake, I had to pull the paper out and begin again.  We were not allowed to make an error.  With my WordPerfect Merge forms, I can do a simple will in about 60 seconds.   

I love technology.  And I still love working with legal things.  It is fun and exercises the mind.  Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.  Keeps it supple, and keeps those good words coming where they ought to be!!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

BRRR! Must get on the treadmill to warm up

Well, that poor old lilac bush is sitting out there with green leaves all right.  But they appear to be frozen solid.  They haven't turned brown yet.  Things are not always as they appear to be.  They appear to be alive, but obviously they can't be with the temperature as it is.

Suddenly I am popular again, and I have lots of work to do.  Doing legal research is fun and I like it.  I have to write it up on Monday.  And then, I have "document preparation jobs", i.e., two bankruptcies to finish up for people.   I am also doing taxes for a couple of small businesses....and one bookkeeping job for a small business.  

I really love the "right brain" functioning jobs, but the "left brain" jobs though not hard, require me to concentrate.   Well, here's where the weird comes order to do the left brain jobs, I have to "move my thinking" over to the left brain through this tiny little passage-way in my brain, and once I get over there, I pretty much have to stay there until the job is done or I get frustrated and have to start over again.    See, I told you it was weird.

I am preparing Christmas presents for my family.  I am going to have to figure out how to mail Zach's presents to him. 

I hate that, I would rather someone shipped Zach to me for Christmas, but it's highly likely he is going to be spending the holiday with his father.  That's okay, but his dad's family never did know how to do Christmas.  We used to show up at my inlaws.... (there were two sets and a grandma, so rather than one mother-in-law I had the Grandma who raised him, plus the mother-in-law, plus the step-mother-in-law.  I loved Granny and I loved the step-mother-in-law, but the regular mother-in-law was apparently one of my karmic punishments.) ...and no one had even bothered to clean off the table, or wash dishes (whole counter-tops, plus boxes on the floor and in the next room full of dirty pots, pans and dishes and the floor in the living room two feet deep in old newspapers encrusted with dog hair....yikes!!!)  Needless to say I hadn't met the in-laws prior to the marriage!!  Granny, on the other hand was a very good housekeeper, and she always had a Christmas tree.  But neither his mother or his father had any concept of a "family" Christmas.  I helped start a tradition, and his one half-sister (his Dad's child) and his half-brother's wives helped to begin a family Christmas tradition.

This thing about "holiday family fights" that I keep hearing about on television is a totally foreign concept to me as well.   Our family never had any holiday fights.   Unfortunately my brother somehow turned out to be a bleeding heart liberal (I thought that with age comes wisdom...I started out with that concept, but soon outgrew it...)    My son somehow slipped over that line as well, and believes himself to be a liberal, but inasmuch as he does things the way I did them, I am confident that he will come around and see the reasonableness of remedying that viewpoint in the very near future.  I think I was about 30 when I figured out it was far better to be conservative.  At any rate, in our family we steer away from politics at family gatherings.   It's best to avoid that topic in a family gathering.  My mother bites her tongue if my brother slips up.  She will give him a look. 

No, the only family fights we ever see are usually among the very, very young.  My niece, Ally's kids (Allison) are somewhat rambunctious.  There is Nate who was born on my birthday and will be 12 in '07, and then his sisters, Savannah and Dakota, and the baby Cameron.  They tussle with one another, but you can't really call it a fight. 

We used to call my father "the curmudgeon", and when he died, I guess my brother decided it was his job to be the curmudgeon of the family.  I'd have liked to have taken on that job, but mother says I am too sweet to be curmudgeonly.   My brother thinks I am too weird, so I get to be eccentric, rather than curmudgeonly.  I'm not eccentric, I just am open to all sorts of ideas, and when I express them, sometimes people look at me strangely. 

I guess the thing to remember about me is that although I may seem to be stubborn and very set in my ways, I am actually fairly flexible if you can give me a good reason why I ought to "flex".

I believe that laziness is the mother of invention, and figuring out the most efficient and least time-consuming way of accomplishing a task is merely clever, and not in any way lacking in diligence.    But it does allow one to have more free time to play.  Playing is something everyone should do from time to time.