A Photo a Week Challenge: The Fruits of your Labor

I’m a Professional Childbirth Attendant. Almost 40 years so hundreds of births now.

But my photos are not about that kind of labor.

This is called Zen Bead Embroidery.

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I started this one with the two tiny copper giraffes

You start with a color theme, or maybe a single button or charm or bead.

Next, collect and collect and collect some more, beads, buttons, rocks, shells, charms, tiny trinkets of any kind, until you have a gathered a bowl or box or pile full of the colors you want to use.

Then, settling as much as you can into a Zen mood, you simply start sewing things onto whatever size canvas/cloth you have chosen. No plan necessary. This is a moment to moment experience. No rhyme or reason. The only patterns will be those that occur to you or that simply emerge as you labor. There is no right, no wrong, and there are no mistakes.

You will spend however many minutes or hours you wish in each stitching session…until you know you are done.

Don’t worry if you cannot muster that Zen feeling. The stitching will assist you.

Or, if you have ever sat through someone’s labor and childbirth, you will already know how.

Frame, if you wish.

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I wanted to be able to call this one Ocean so I just gathered blues and greens and whites for foam

If you figure out that you actually like doing this, you can even choose an image, and let yourself fill it in, Zen Bead Embroidery style.

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And then, you can frame it, or keep it, or give it to your son, your original, 10 pound “labor of love” and tell him it is a “once in his life time” gift!!!

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/

A Photo a Week Challenge: “Fruits of your labor “

9/11/18

A couple of years ago, on this date, I posted about 9/11. Maybe you’ll read it and let me know what you think.

It starts like this…

Song Lyric Sunday, 9-11-16

I couldn’t write this on Sunday. I couldn’t even think about it on Sunday. I do not understand why the anniversary THIS year would be any more difficult than all the other years but finally realized, for 13 of the last 15 years since it happened, I have done something on the anniversary with all that grief.

 

(I noticed, going back to find this, that the song I originally chose didn’t work so I’ll try this one here)

 

Please read my earlier post (link below) if you like and join me in remembering…..

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/09/14/song-lyric-sunday-9-11-16/

SongLyricSunday 8/19/18 Theme-Fear

It may be a stretch but I knew I was going to pick an Aretha song before Helen (from https://helenswordsoflife.com/2018/08/18/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-8-19-18/) even posted. I even knew which song and then the theme she picked was perfect because even though originally, the song sounded like it was about a relationship, it was really political.

Seems to me that it’s still perfect today.

I am definitely afraid….

 

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Not sure if these lyrics match this version of the song but here’s my choice for today.
Lyrics
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Let’s go back, let’s go back
Let’s go way on back when
I didn’t even know you
You couldn’t have been too much more than ten (just a child)
I ain’t no psychiatrist, I ain’t no doctor with degrees
It don’t take too much high IQ’s
To see what you’re doing to me
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Yeah, think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Oh, freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom)
Oh, freedom, yeah, freedom
Freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom)
Freedom, oh freedom
Hey, think about it, think about it
There ain’t nothing you could ask
I could answer you but I won’t (I won’t)
I was gonna change, but I’m not
To keep doing things I don’t
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Think (think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
People walking around everyday
Playing games, taking score
Trying to make other people lose their minds
Ah, be careful you don’t lose yours, oh
Think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me, ooh
Think (think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
You need me (need me)
And I need you (don’t you know)
Without each other there ain’t nothing people can do, oh
Think about it, baby (What are you trying to do me)
Yeah, oh baby, think about it now, yeah
(Think about, ah me, think about, ah me)
(Think about, ah me, think about, ah me)
Oh, come on, baby
Songwriters: Aretha Franklin / Ted White
Think lyrics © Springtime Music Inc

And in case you missed it this week, this is my favorite video tribute to the Queen of Soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 8/19/18

Blue Angels Time again!

My family has such a wonderful history with the Blue Angels. Just last summer I got to take my family on an Epic Roots Road Trip, which had to include the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, HOME of the Blue Angels. They have been a part of my life since I was 5 or 6 years old…before they became really famous.

My Dad took me to see them practice at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego (well, the Marines will claim it now). There was no crowd out on that field on top of that giant mesa just east of UCSD in La Jolla. Just my Dad and me, up on his shoulders.

I’ve written about this before and I put the links at the bottom.

But I have a favorite Blue Angels story. Since it was just my Dad’s birthday, I will once again share that tale in his honor. Here it is:

Agnostic Angels

This is a love letter to my Dad, and a Thank You to the amazing, brave pilots who make up the Blue Angels.

It’s Seafair in Seattle and the Blue Angels are here!!!

When I was growing up, Angels were a surprising but recurring theme with my fairly agnostic father. He was one of the leastreligious and more unconsciously spiritual people I have ever known. Angels seemed to be everywhere in the things he did, where he took us and in what he showed us.

From San Diego, where we grew up, we went on many trips north to Los Angeles, the “City of Angels”, to ride the “Angels Flight”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Flight

He told us many stories of the “Guardian Angels” he had as a kid who helped him survive his completely unsupervised childhood.

Apparently he had several bizarre accidents and adventures…like tumbling off a mountain and landing halfway down on the only possible 11 inch ledge that could break his death-fall.

Another was a bicycle accident when the bare handle bar (the uncovered metal pipe) went through his upper chest off to the side, just missing basically everything!

Even as an adult, on a solo dirt bike trip out into the Borrego desert, he crashed and broke his collar bone, but managed to walk his bike into a small town for help.

In one of his last visits to me, he took a long walk in the dead of an unusually snowy Northwest winter, slipped and broke his ankle. He walked half a mile back to my house and, tough guy that he was, did not tell me until the next day what had happened. He finally had to because he could not remove his cowboy boot (which, it turns out, is exactly what stabilized his ankle for that 24 hours).

 

He claimed help from Angels for each of these events.

When he died, it was really no surprise that we received gracious assistance from the Hell’s Angels on the day of his Memorial.

Hells Angels logo.jpg

We bungee-corded my Dad’s ashes to the back of his lifelong Dream-Harley. (He didn’t get it until he was in his eighties.) Our caravan of family cars followed my best friend, Lee, on the bike out into the mountains East of San Diego to my Dad’s favorite little town called Julian.

We celebrated his life at his favorite restaurant and when we got ready to leave, I spotted a couple of real Harley riders, mounting up. I was wearing my Dad’s favorite Harley shirt so I walked right up to them and told them my Dad’s story. I pointed out the box of ashes on the back of my Dad’s bright red, flame-painted Sportster (with matching helmet).

I asked these two guys if they would consider riding along with my Dad (on his beloved bike) as we drove out of town.

They said “Sure, but we are not alone.”

Much to my delight (and the horror of my very religious relatives) we were escorted down the mountain by the two guys I talked to AND their friends. FIFTY Hell’s Angels followed us back down that mountain, in a practiced procession for any fallen brother of theirs; lights on, in two perfect parallel lines, peeling off one pair at a time when they were done.

So see? Lots of ANGELS in my life.

The Blue Angels entered when I was very young!

My favorite of the Angel Activities as a kid was this. My little sisters were too young, so Dad would take just me to Miramar Naval Air Base early on Sunday mornings, to watch the Blue Angels practice their soon to become famous stunts. He was very proud of being able to get on the Base and to show off what he claimed to be the planes that “he had built”. (My Dad was an aeronautical engineer who moved from Kansas to San Diego to work in his industry.)

I would ride on his shoulders for the “air show” and he would duck down when they flew over, as if they were actually flying low enough to be dangerous to this lone man with a squealing little girl on his shoulders. What an absolute thrill it was and my memories to this day are so clear, they are physical!

Though I struggled sometimes with the dichotomy of a Hippie Peacenik Flower-child being in love with fighter pilot jets, I have watched The Blue Angels through so many stages of my life.

In my 20’s and 30’s, before the trees grew up around us, the huge deck off my house was the favorite viewing place of all the single Mom’s in the neighborhood. We’d put on our bikini’s and pose on the deck, debating the safety of doing that…as if the pilots were actually going to look down at us each time they flew over!

Then, there were the years I worked as a waitress in a fancy restaurant in the tallest building in Bellevue…sharing the panoramic viewing experience with my wealthy customers.

One of my favorite memories was when my small son and I watched them while we were zipping around Lake Washington on a friend’s Jet Ski right under them. What a high that was!!

Famous Move

And for almost 40 of these years, we kept the Blue Angels alive in our conversations during the rest of year. My best friend’s father, Colonel Louis Ford, was like a second Dad to me. He was a fighter pilot in 3 wars. And though he was respectful of the “Angels”, he clearly had a bias for the Thunderbirds! That made for some lively discussions, Air Force vs Navy pilots, between my two Dads!

Colonel Ford taught me about the concepts of Hangar Flying (the time spent in the hangar, processing mistakes and accidents) as well as “The Hole in the Sky” (an opening in the clouds) that a pilot sometimes had to find in order to survive. Talk about Guardian Angels….

Boys getting me autographs on my Blue Angel’s birthday t-shirt!

Now, I have 2 Grandsons, 9 and 11, and their Mom and my son have taken them to see the Blue Angels every year of their lives. This has been a great setting to share stories of my Dad, the wonderful Great Grandfather they never got to meet, a man who had a life filled with “Angels” and he passed them all onto us….

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For many years I went by myself to a tiny (and progressively less secret) park on Mercer Island shore, the Thursday and Friday prior to the big Seafair Air Show. On Thursday, from this little park on the water, you can watch the scouting the Blue Angels do each year to get the lay of the land. And on Fridays, you can watch a full rehearsal of the big show they will perform on Saturday and Sunday. You can’t be at this little park for the actual show as it becomes an emergency Aid Station on those days.

My ritual was always to go there early, get settled and then call my Dad….so I could be on the cell phone with him as the Angels arrived. That first fly over is an indescribable thrill! In that park, they fly in low and from behind you. Their approach is muted by the hillside and thick trees, almost silent until suddenly, they thunder over your head. It is kind of like walking up the path next to the massive, rolling Niagara Falls; totally quiet until you get past a certain point and then instantly it becomes a deafening roar of falling water.

Anyway, I would hold the phone up in the air and scream at the top of my lungs as my Dad’s Angels buzzed our shared location.

Blue Angels2

No matter when or where I see them, I am instantly five years old again, sitting way up high on my Daddy’s shoulders when those beautiful Blue Angels scream by.

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I really believe my Dad witnessed that generous and spontaneous Hell’s Angel Memorial procession, and that he sees us watching the Blue Angels every year, from somewhere up there, through the “hole in the sky”.

Heaven Bound

original post written here: https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/08/07/agnostic-angels/

 

 

Yesterday, in typical Seattle weather, the Angels arrived for “scouting” day, flying in directly over our house.

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Though the weather this year may be disappointing for local SeaFair fans, it is great for Blue Angels fans who get to see the “low program”…thrilling, to say the least!

 

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(this last was apparently 2 cents worth from Lucy, the cat, who stopped by the keyboard when I left the room for a bit.)

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/01/19/silence-for-wpc-1-17-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/10/11/wordlesswednesday-10-11-17/

SongLyricsSunday 7-1-18 Theme “Game”

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 7/1/18

Well, this word conjures up too many responses…songs with the word “game” in the title or lyrics but I just cannot post a song by Foreigner! It’s too easy.

I have been a Psychotherapist (that’s one word, not two or three) in private practice for 40 some years now. My original education and training was in Transactional Analysis, a pop psych theory made popular by Eric Byrne in his best selling book Games People Play

Games in this context are defined as Berne defined games as: “an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined,predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”  www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/

Given this definition, I’d wager that MOST songs are about “games”, in one way or another. In my music life, as far back as 1965, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, “The Game of Love”, (another one I just cannot post!), songs have been about one game or another.

So I picked two of my favorite songs, both about a bigger picture kind of Game.

One rings very true for my generation, not that it doesn’t apply to others, but we became so much more aware of this game. “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne.

And the other, more of a universal game currently being played by too many humans on our planet! “They’re not Here, They’re Not Coming” by Don Henley. (There is some sad irony in the timing of Henley’s song, released in July 2001….)

Both songs are great musically. Just don’t miss the message!

Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdHg4QEmBvk

with lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq25ZJwZJzU

Lyrics

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-oh-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned, into the road I’m on

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind

Songwriters: Jackson Browne

Running On Empty lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

ArtistJackson Browne

AlbumRunning on Empty

Released1977

GenreSinger-songwriter

NominationsGrammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

And

They’re Not Here, They’re Not Coming by Don Henley

https://www.lumsvids.com/vid/006-they-re-not-here-they-re-not-coming/

(Only video I could find of this song but it really plays like a trailer for X-Files…what a dark and violent TV Series….that I loved every minute of…)

https://genius.com/Don-henley-theyre-not-here-theyre-not-coming-lyrics

From the Arizona desert
To the Salisbury Plain
Lights on the horizon
Patterns on the grain
Anxious eyes turned upward
Clutching souvenirs
Carrying our highest hopes
And our darkest fears

They swear there was an accident
Back in ’47
Little man with a great big head
Splattered down from heaven
Government conspiracy
Cover-ups and lies
Hidden in the desert
Under endless skies

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No time for heroes, no place for good guys
No room for Rocky The Flying Squirrel

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
Turn your weary eyes back homeward
Stop your trembling, dry your tears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

Would they pile into the saucer
Find Orlando’s rat and hug it?
Go screaming through the universe
Just to get McNuggets?
Well, I don’t think so, I don’t think so
It’s much too dangerous, it’s much too strange
Here in a world that won’t give Oprah
No home on the range

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No authenticity, no sign of soul
The radio won’t play George and Merle

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
‘Til we put away our hatred
‘Til we lay aside our fears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my sister
They’re not here, they’re not coming

To this garden we were given
And always took for granted
It’s like my daddy told me
“You just bloom where you’re planted.”
Now you long to be delivered
From this world of pain and strife
That’s a sorry substitution
For a spiritual life

Well, it’s a cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No place for sentiment, no room for romance
Bring back the Duke of Earl

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
Turn your hopes back homeward
Hold your children, dry their tears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

They’re not here, they’re not coming
Not in a million years
‘Til we put away our hatred
And lay aside our fears
You may see the heavens flashing
You may hear the cosmos humming
But I promise you, my brother
They’re not here, they’re not coming

 

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