Dec 31, 2009

"Blewe Moon" on a New Year and Decade


Have you ever wondered where the term " once in a blue moon" came from? It indicates a rare occurrence and though a blue moon is not rare, falling on a New Year's Eve is. The next one will not occur until 2028. So tonight is a special "Blue Moon".

The most popular current definition of a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month.

Though the blue moon appears on every 2-4 years,the next blue moon to fall on a New Year's eve will not occur until 2028.

"A true blue moon is the third of four full moons that occur in one season, either spring, summer, fall or winter" according to Maine Farmers’ Almanac articles printed in the 1930s.
The definition of a true blue moon given in those articles later was misinterpreted to mean two full moons in the same month, the Lewiston publication’s Web site states. (Bangor Daily News)


A Blue Moon, or" Blewe Moon" from the olde English, were usually associated with the occurances of forest fires or volcanic eruptions... Blewe also meant "betrayal" because of it's occurance in the same month with another full moon.

Maybe our "Blewe Moon" in Maine is a herald of the Nor easter coming our way! The picture is of the Dec 2 Full moon. I am waiting for the Blue Moon to appear from behind the clouds to take some pictures. Maybe it will make an appearance at the stroke of midnight!


Have a Healthy, Peaceful and Happy New Year everyone!


Dec 28, 2009

A Great Way to Start the New Year....

A few years ago my best friend, Sr. Lura Grace, introduced me to a wonderful little book by Karen Kingston called "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui".
To say it a book only about decluttering is an understatement. It is about letting go. This little book had the most profound effect on me. It is like having a friend sit nearby and say to you..."Do you really need to have that? Do you actually like that thing? When was the last time you used that? Does it remind you of something good or bad?" What ever the question, it can be answered.

Kingston instructs you to set up a work environment and open frame of mind before you even start. In the same way anyone prepares for a job, you prepare to declutter...physically, mentally and spiritually. Room by room Kingston tackles the very problems that bog you down but explains why you experience the feelings that you do. As your understanding of what you are decluttering takes hold, you begin to branch out on your own. Kingston helps you release the guilt and sentimentality of hanging on to items that do nothing but collect dust and stagnant energy, unconsciously weighing you down.

The end result is an opening of new energy and new experiences. A discarding of the old and decaying, the past, the negative and embracing the new and inspiring, the future and the positive.

This decluttering is done by practicing Feng Shui. All the good things that you keep can be placed in a way to accelerate the flow of energy in your living space effecting your thoughts, emotions, and spirituality.
I have passed on this book to many people and the reaction is the same. They love the book and what it has done for them.


So thank you, Lura, for introducing me to one of the most wonderful books! It has truly been a life changer.


I also am including Kingston's website and blog that tells you all about her and her books. I highly recommend her book if you are looking to start the New Year in a more positive way.

Peace, Linda





Karen Kingston's blog site and the new updated version of "Clear Your Clutter".

Dec 22, 2009

"The Nutcracker" from the Royal Ballet - Introduction | Great Performances | PBS



Christmas is a lot of things to me...spending time with my family, enjoying good food, cooking and watching all the great movies of the season. Some of my favorites are "The Christmas Carol" ( the new one in 3-D is fabulous), the 1950's "The Christmas Story", The Nativity Story" about the birth of Jesus, all the Santa Claus movies, "Holiday Inn","White Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life".

But the classic is Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker". I grew up hearing the music played on cartoons that I watched as a child. The sound is just so magical.

Last night there was a showing of "The Nutcracker" on Maine PBS. I have always loved the story but this version was absolutely beautiful. The music, costumes and dancing was so elegant and visually stunning I am still thinking about it right now. If you ever have the opportunity to watch this version by the San Francisco Ballet, please do so. I promise you will not be disappointed! I plan on adding this DVD to my Christmas collection.

These are a few scenes from the production.




Clara receiving the Nutcracker


The Battle of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King

The Snow Queen



***Waltz of the snowflakes***
This scene is my absolute favorite. It is so beautiful...


Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy









Merry Christmas Everyone
and
Happy New Year!


Peace,

Linda

Dec 2, 2009

Pine Needle Baskets

My Dad made me a pine needle basket a few years ago for my birthday. As you can see it is a beautiful piece of art. This was quite a few months in the making. It is a valued gift that I deeply treasure from him. His artistic talent is many and varied. He is always looking for something new to try. He is the reason my children and I are creative.

Thanks Dad :)



I shared these pictures with my Native American Folklore class (at UMaine) after reading about the Sweetgrass baskets. My Professor thought it was "GORGEOUS"! The Sweetgrass baskets reminded me of this basket.

Dad took a class while in Florida where these baskets originate from.

So here is a little history: Seminole Indians of South Florida were the first pine needle basket makers. They used a bone or shell needle to sew bundles of pine needles together with fern roots, sisal, or swamp grass. The bundles of pine needles were then woven and tied together with thread. The technique is called coiling.



My basket hangs on the wall because it is too valuable to use. I would rather its use was aesthetic only.

Sweetgrass baskets are very interesting in their own right, being indigenous to Maine and Canada. I have made baskets in the past but I have now added making a Sweetgrass basket to my Bucket List. I will post the results later.

I have also posted a couple of websites that gives you step by step instructions for making a pine needle basket for those who are interested at trying your hand at.




Indian Summer

http://www.artsfromtheforest.com/images/navWelcome.jpg

Moonlight over Maine

Tonight was the full moon.It was so gorgeous...
I have been taking pictures of it the last couple of days.
A digital camera doesn't really capture the beauty...
I think it is time for another 35mm...
The trees, the color of the sky and the moon were so magical looking..
A very nice way to start the holiday season!!




These last two pictures are of the full moon tonight...

I can see Santa with his sleigh passing by the moon!

Nov 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day


I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.
The blessing of family and friends who love and respect you are a precious commodity that should never be taken for granted.

In a time which we are struggling to regain our foothold in this country, we should strive to support each other and to help those less fortunate.

Pray for our soldiers and their families whose sacrifices are felt across this country. They need our support during their service and especially afterwards.

In the spirit of Norman Rockwell,
let us remember what is most important in life.
The spirituality in our life, our family & friends, health and happiness....
also turkey & stuffing, mashed potaotes & gravy, cranberry sauce, peas, pumpkin pie and other goodies...YUM!
Happy Holiday all!!


Peace,
Linda

Nov 12, 2009

Favorite Things- Milagros



Milagros means miracles. These iconic votives come in the shape of body parts, animals , vegetables, fruits and animals etc. The petitioner places the icon, such as a leg, near their favorite saint and asks for healing or gives thanks for the healing or miracle. This custom originally came from Spain with the arrival of the conquistadors to Mexico. This practice assimilated well into the Native American (Aztec) customs of using amulets and talismans.

With the research of my family in Mexico, I have discovered the beauty of Mexican folk art. My favorite is the Milagros crosses. I have been collecting them over the last few years. Along with the crosses are other shapes such hearts. There are also some beautiful pieces of jewelry & collages.

These Milagros crosses represent gratitude... thankfulness...protection. In looking at them, they remind me of all the good in my life, it diminishes the negative. I place them where I will see them all during the day.

My favorite artist in Fernando Arellano of Mexico City. The crosses he designs are so beautifully done. I was able to buy a few on Ebay. They seem to go anywhere in the home. They also blend with any type of decorating style. That is the beauty of Mexican Folk Art.
The four crosses in the picture above have a prominent place in my kitchen












This was my very first Milagros Cross.





This heart shaped Milagros is one of my favorites because of the scorpion.

The crosses also can be different colors but I am partial to black with the silver. The icons also come in brass & copper.
I have posted some websites that give more information and art pieces for those of you interested.
Enjoy!









Nov 10, 2009

My Soldiers My Heros




On Veterans Day, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all the veterans of our wars who have served and sacrificed..... WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and active soldiers who have and are sacrificing every day.

Some veterans have not been given the respect that they truly deserved until recently. Some basically forgotten and others treated disrespectfully. I am happy to see that lessons were learned and attitudes have changed. I hope that everyone remembers to thank a Veteran, not just today but whenever you meet one.
Always thank them for their service.

I want to thank two soldiers in my life...my husband and my son.
Both are soldiers of the US Army.


My husband Steve is a Combat Vietnam Veteran with two Purple Hearts. He served proudly with the 1st Air Calvary Division, 1/12th Battalion from 1968-1969. He was wounded in Cambodia when hit by an RPG when his platoon was ambushed.

On October 15th of this year, Steve was awarded the Silver Star Honorable Service Medal from the State of Maine at the Sanford VFW Post. He and 30 other veterans from different wars, were presented with the medal by Major General Bill Libby, a Vietnam Veteran and 1st Calvary soldier, which I thought was very fitting for Steve. They also received certificates of award along with their medals. It was a wonderful ceremony for the veterans and their families.

Steve receiving his medal from Major General Libby.

This is Mr Peter Ogden, director of the Bureau of Maine Veteran Services, shaking Steve's hand. Mr Ogden started this program in 2006 to honor those Maine Veterans with Purple Hearts.





My son Aaron is active duty with the US Army reserves. He is currently stationed with the 716th Engineer Co, 368th Battalion

in Sommersworth, NH. He is being deployed to Afghanistan next year. He was recently promoted to Specialist 4...... four months prior to his eligibility. We are very proud of him of what he has accomplished and his courage to join the Army during wartime.


To both of you, Steve and Aaron....
I am so proud of you and love you very much.

Happy Veterans Day my two Warriors!














Oct 31, 2009

Halloween Past


My friend Lori reminded me of how it always seemed to snow on Halloween. Thinking back, I remembered always having a winter coat on....Halloween in Maine! That got me thinking about some of the other great memories of Halloween from the 60's. After getting on our costumes, we would grab our Halloween bags or pillow cases (a favorite Halloween sack) and heading out into the darkness we were ready to seek out our treasures.
The most sought after- the Candied Apple!
There were kids running everywhere. Jack-O-Lanterns lit up in the front windows signaled us to come for our treats....or maybe tricks!!! We knew all the neighbors around town so there was never any fear of anything bad happening. "Trick or Treat" we would scream as the neighbors opened the doors. They knew who you were no matter how hard you tried to fool them.

This is a picture of myself, as Casper, my friend Jon Blasidell, as an astronaut and my brother Steve, as a rabbit heading out on Halloween in 1962.
Of course you had the bullies trying to take your candy or stealing a pumpkin off a porch to smash. They always tried to take candy from the littler ones but we all rallied and chased them off. That was our "Neighborhood Watch". After filling our sacks we would run home and dump all of our spoils on the living room rug. Then we headed back out to canvas the rest of town. At that point only the older kids could go.. retuning with more delicious plunder.We would have treats, always kept in the big silver bowl, that would last for weeks.
We had so much fun that when I see the kids going to the Halloween walks for their safety, I feel saddened by it. The freedom, the trust, and safety that we were privileged to have for a time are gone forever.
But the fun can still be had!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!

Linda




Oct 27, 2009

Favorite Things

Sometimes we overlook the small things in life that can give us the greatest pleasure.
So I am going to start sharing some of my favorite things with you.




early Sunday mornings
on Alfred Mt.....




with our little ladies......




casting their early morning shadows



My husband's hard work...all cut and stacked........





A bowl of fresh picked beet greens right out of my garden.....

Oct 22, 2009

Ed Freeman

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle
in the Ia Drang Valley
on 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam.

Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1 and the enemy fire is so intense,
from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered
the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.

You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you're not getting out.
Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away and you'll never see them again.

As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then - over the machine gun noise - you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter..!!

You look up to see an un-armed Huey!! But....
it doesn't seem real because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.



Ed Freeman is coming for you...!!


He's not Medi-Vac so it's not his job,
but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fireanyway.
Even after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.


He's coming anyway.


And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire,
as they load 2 or 3 of you on board..
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the Doctors and Nurses.


And, he kept coming back..!! 13 more times..!!


He took about 30 of you and your buddies who would never have gotten out.



Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID

May God Rest His Soul

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing,
but we've sure seen story after story
about Michael Jackson, Jon & Kate and Kayne West!!!

Shame on the American Media
for not making this a headline story!!

Thanks for sending this on to me Jon!

Oct 13, 2009

More of Maine

More pictures of Maine courtesy of Jon and Sue Holmes....Thanks for sharing with us..

Webb Lake

Rangeley Lakes




Moose sighting


Coos Canyon






The peak season is now working its way to Southern Maine...Here is my back yard


Oct 8, 2009

Maine in the Fall



I wanted to share these pictures that a friend of mine, Jon Holmes, sent me yesterday. These are pictures of Weld and the Rangeley Lakes area. If you have ever been there, you know a picture cannot do it justice but these come close. I live in Southern Maine and I still got homesick. Time for a trip up north !

Lura, Mindy, Alanna and the rest of you Main"ahs" away from home...ENJOY!




Weld Pond






Of course, it would not be complete without a panoramic picture of the Rangeley Lakes Region!











Oct 4, 2009

Colo-Rectal Cancer

I have just passed my 2 Year anniversary. I am a rectal cancer survivor. The same cancer that took the life of Farrah Fawcett. I am very fortunate. God was good to me and I thank Him for His blessings. Those blessings come in the form of so many absolutely, wonderful people. Such as my friends at the Cancer Care Center of York Maine. Dr Diesler, Sue, Kim, Robyn, Coleen and Linda on the Oncology side and Dr Thurman, Amanda and Kim who oversaw my radiation treatments.

These wonderful people are miracle workers. Not only where they instrumental in my cure but they always made you feel like you were the most important person while you were there.

Along with them, are my family and friends who were there for me. My hubby Steve,my kids Melody and Aaron, my brother Steve and Aunt Pauline ( my true "Mom") and the rest of the Michaud family. My best friend, Sr. Lura Grace, who came up and spent time with me watching movies, keeping me company while I was recovering from surgery..My little dog Molly who stayed by my side from start to finish. When she moved back to her usual place towards the end of my treatments, I knew I was alright.

So on this 2nd Anniversary, from the bottom of my heart my deepest thanks for your support and love. I could never have done it without you!

Please get your friends or loved ones who are 50 or older to get their colonoscopy...It could save their life!






Sep 19, 2009

A Rose is a Rose



I am finally back. I have been busy but decided it was time to stop and smell the roses. This is a picture of the Mary Rose that grows in my back yard. I decided that before the frost got to it, I would bring it into the kitchen for a few more days of enjoyment. I wish I could post just how heavenly the scent, as well as the sight, of an English Rose is!

Jul 14, 2009

Greetings everyone!

Most of the time when you hear the word Bohemian you tend to think of a gypsy wandering the countryside, living life on their own terms, surrounding themselves with myriads of color and music. According to dictionaries and thesauruses, in order to be a true Bohemian you have to be absorbed into the arts, living a life in poverty in order to achieve that availability in which to immerse yourself. Words that describe the Bohemian are unconventional, artistic, exotic, alternative, rebel, radical, eccentric, hippy, individualist.


I have been called many of these adjectives over my life . I do tend to think of myself as having a bohemian lifestyle. Giving birth to my son in a farmhouse in Strong Maine, cooking and canning on a beautiful little Princess Atlantic wood cook stove, creating things for my home and family, not always following social protocol are some of the things I have done throughout my life. These experiences have brought me to the road I now travel.


To me, the word bohemian has evolved to a unique level. It involves a deeper spiritual and emotional level. A freeing of the soul enabling one to see artistic value in many more things……. other than say paintings, photographs and sculptures. Not just the superficial but the heart of who we are. Our family and friends are an artistic extension of who we are as people. It takes you to a more organic level. Thoreau and Emerson are great examples. They also gave very interesting insight into the conflict between the conventional and bohemian lifestyle.

Breaking free from what others expect of you and following what is best for you, spiritually, mentally, socially and physically. You become the canvas to design something having worth and beauty that goes past the surface. At the surface, it is too easily manipulated to present a false front. Whereas the core cannot stay hidden once exposed to the light. To stifle our core, our beliefs, our feelings and values stifles a natural creativity that is a benefit to the whole environment.

In the profile, it asks to lists your interests. For me that is impossible. There is so much I am interested in. Art, books, music, gardening, plants , movies, language, cultures, etc. When people oppose the teaching of new language or a culture, I cringe because there is so much to learn from others. God gave us a brain for a reason….to use it…to seek out wisdom.


Too many people live inside the box, spending most of their time trying to control the environment around them. This is what creates chaos, stress and unhappiness. If this is conventional, then I guess I am unconventional because I reject that behavior. I have tried to conform in the past to how others expect me to behave and it suffocated me to the point where my creativity had all but vanished.


Since opening myself up more, creativity flows out of me constantly changing my perception of my environment in a healthier, happier way. My hope through this blog is to share my art and my thoughts on life, spirituality, books, movies and other impressions. May you take something good and worthwhile from me that will enhance your life and then pay it forward. Please remember these are my thoughts and perceptions only. I look forward to hearing yours on them.

Peace,
Linda

Jul 13, 2009

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