What comes first?

What came first – being a member of The Wander Society or paying closer attention to things? Many of us in order to be part of this funny little club had to read Keri Smith’s book first. Then we had to be curious about the clues in the book. We had to go outside of the book to find out more.

We had to figure out that there was a request to make a stack of stones, take a photo of them, and email them to a special email address mentioned in the book. It is kind of like coming across a treasure hunt without planning to. Just reading the book was the start. But then you have to engage the message in the book to get anywhere.

Being curious, not taking things at face value, and being willing to think outside the box (not even seeing the box!) are all traits that we brought with us into this group. Perhaps the best part of being in this group is that we are now validated for our curiosity. We are in a like-minded society (albeit a virtual one) of other people who wonder and wander. When we see pictures posted by other members of beautiful mountain scenes we want to lace up our hiking boots and go. When we see macro photography from other members of tiny little things that we otherwise would not have noticed, we think “Hey, I wonder what else I am missing and I should pay closer attention to?”

So perhaps they both reinforce each other – being curious and being a Wanderer creates Wanderers who are even more curious. Perhaps it is not simply “Solved by walking”. Perhaps it is all about wandering.

Perhaps instead of being inoculated against the world, Wanderer’s hearts are even more open. Perhaps The Wander Society serves as inspiration to share our hearts – our tender beautiful tiny huge hearts – with other people who share the view that the world is an amazing and tender and wonderful place.

Open letter to health insurance companies:

My health insurance company asked me how they could do better. I answered like this –

It would be nice if it cost less. I don’t think I get $400 a month of use out of my health insurance. Make it so everybody can afford it. That way, they wouldn’t have to work so hard and stress so much about their bills – thus staying healthy. If people could afford health insurance on part-time work, they’d have time to exercise, visit with friends, and do the things that matter to them. We all know how important these things are to staying healthy. Or, if the rates need to stay the same, I’d love it if we as a society could turn “health care” into actually caring for health, instead of just managing disease. Too many folks don’t have time to take care of their health, so they get sick. “Health care” becomes “disease management” and palliative care, rather than truly helping people achieve health. It would be great if your health insurance company would pay for visits to nutritionists, personal trainers, massage therapists, and acupuncturists, for example. We live in changing times. It is time for new ways of thinking.

Things to do in a quarantine.

Virtual tours of museums –

https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

Art prompts from Keri Smith, creator of “Wreck this Journal” –

https://www.explorationoftheday.com/

Music from the Metropolitan Opera –

“In an effort to continue providing opera to its audience members, the Met Opera will host “Nightly Met Opera Streams” on its official website to audiences worldwide. These free streams will present encores of past performances from its famed Live in HD series. The encore presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. EST each night on the company’s website (see below) and and will then be available for an additional 20 hours thereafter.”

https://www.metopera.org/

Check your local library’s databases – with mine, you can learn lots of different languages and how to play a musical instrument, for example. You can learn Mandarin and Mandolin!

Make art. You know that project you’ve been putting off? Now is a great time to finish it.

Go for a walk. You aren’t supposed to stay stuck inside, just away from people.

Halloween Thoughts

#1.  You have to wear a costume.

#2.  You must say trick or treat.

If these two things happen, I will give you candy.

No picking out what you want.  No candy for your “sick brother at home” or “the baby”. Each person must be present and follow #1 and #2 to get candy.

It must be at least twilight before Trick-or-Treating begins.  Dark is better.

You are never “too old” to trick or treat, as long as you follow #1 and #2 and are polite about it.

Halloween is on October 31st. Period.  It should not be moved because the next day is a school day. Sometimes Halloween celebrations are cancelled because of bad weather.  That is part of it. I remember tromping in my neighborhood in a vampire costume, by myself, with an umbrella, in the rain.  It wasn’t that great, but it sure was a memory.  Sometimes I think bad experiences toughen kids up to being able to handle what being an adult is like. 

Churches should stop doing “trunk or treat”.  They should celebrate their own holiday – All Saints Day.  They hate it when the secular world gets involved in their religious holidays.  It follows that they should stay out of this pagan holiday. If they don’t want their members participating in Halloween, then they should say so. Trying to sanitize Halloween is an embarrassment and a waste of energy.

It is time to stop, period.

I don’t understand the necessity for products to prolong sex after it is necessary. We have prescriptions for men and women to make it possible for them to be sexually active after they are able to have children. Viagra for men, and pills and creams for women are intended to prolong something that has no need. It has turned something normal into something abnormal.

This ad keeps coming up on my home page. It is impossible to ignore. It takes up half the page.

I clicked on it to show you this –

It is “used in women after menopause to treat moderate to severe pain during sexual intercourse caused by changed in and around the vagina that happen with menopause.”

There is no need for this. Menopause isn’t a disease.

It is time to learn other ways to be intimate. Try talking. Try playing board games. Try going on vacation together. Use a different part of your body to connect with your mate – your heart.

This obsession with sex as the only way to connect is what has lead to the disturbing amount of unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and child abuse and neglect, among other avoidable tragedies. Imagine how our world would look if we focused our energy and time towards something meaningful instead.

Unusual wi-fi names

Here’s a list of names of wi-fi that I’ve come across. I’ll add to it as I find more. 

Lizard Thicket

Te$$ertam

Chinafrica Guest

Maverick

NOTYOURDADDY

Kellogg’s Serial

Unfriendly2

jimmy carter’s Network

Asstastic

Ladgraceram2.4

Ostrander

Burshki

Dwight

earnest

enlazer_huesped

GEMINIGIRL-2.4

Metalgear

NoFreeWiFiHere’

NeverSoSlow

Prevatt

Jones Airways

CoeCoe27

Go Hokies

MarsOrBust

lucyisabutt_2.4

LifesABeach

dada

TB Orbi90

OutOfService

bonster

Davecave

Ting@City of Promise_2.4G

Wahoostop

Lich

Buyer beware

I have recently learned about a day camp for children with special needs.  I am very concerned about it because the parents who might send their children to this might think that it was safe.  I think that is the furthest from the truth.

Yvonne Perry, creator of the “We are 1 in Spirit” blog and self-published author of books about being a host to “walk-in” entities, is holding a “Special Needs Children’s Day Camp” Monday July 10 through Wednesday July 12.

It is being held at a retreat center that she bought. She won’t even give out the address until you pay for the day camp.

There is no oversight or supervision to this.  There is no agency that is sponsoring this, no system of checks and balances.

Would you trust your child, especially one with special needs, to this person? Look into her eyes.  What do they tell you about her?

yvonne

She talks openly about being a host to “walk-in” entities.   She says that she has been taken over by multiple different personalities and spirits.  In the medical world, this is called “multiple personality disorder”.  In the spiritual world, this is called “possession”.

Either way, I wouldn’t think this is a person who should be left alone with children who would have a lower level of ability to communicate their needs.  Special-needs children are even more vulnerable that other children.

From the ad for it –

–“Nurturing the Special Needs Child” is a day camp for children K-5 through 4th grade, facilitated by Tiffany Holt and Yvonne Perry. Intuitive and special needs children are invited to participate in this program near Ashland City, Tennessee. This “hands-on” classroom is a 3-day workshop (Monday through Wednesday) designed for understanding the imaginative child and enhancing his or her self-esteem.”

 

So how much for all of this? For three days (8 am to 5 pm) of leaving your child alone with someone who is not trained, not licensed, not an authority in anything at all … $150.

The other host is Tiffany Holt, who according to the ad “is a certified K-8 teacher and Master level Reiki teacher. She is a Special Educational Assistant at Kenrose Elementary in Brentwood, Tennessee.”

But is this true?  All we have to go on is the words in the ad.

Wisely, the person with no real qualifications is at the end of the ad –

“Yvonne Perry is a former pre-school music teacher, a sound healing therapist, and the owner of Sweet Home Retreat Center. She is the author of many books, including “The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children”, which was inspired by her grandson (now 16 years old) who was in touch with the spirit world at an early age. She loves gardening, singing, being in nature, playing with kids, and creating beauty and harmony in everything she touches.”

as well as this …

“Yvonne Perry is a metaphysical author, light language practitioner, workshop facilitator, and shaman-ka who helps people shift into their most loving authentic selves. She does this through healing sound therapy and her books, prayers, seminars, coaching, and spiritual services.”

What is a “shaman-ka”?  She made this up.  Along with everything else.  “Sham” is more like it.

Be sure to read between the lines and notice that she charges people to “heal” them with her “light-language” (random non-language mutterings that she describes as speaking in tongues) as well as her “sound therapy” (singing random notes at people).

She is unlicensed, untrained, and unsupervised.  She has no certification in anything she does.  And yet she thinks that she can charge people for her “talents”.

Would you hire an electrician to rewire your house without making sure he was trained and licensed first?  No.

Would you allow a person to teach (or even babysit) your child if they were not certified to do so? No.

Then why would anyone pay this woman to “heal” them – or worse, leave their children alone with them?

I said nothing when she began her “healing” services over a year ago. Adults have to make their own decisions about what they do with their lives.  But I have to speak up when she starts thinking it is OK to say she is qualified to teach children – and special-needs children (who are more vulnerable).

She has written many books, and people might think that this means she has been reviewed by other experts in the field.  Most authors submit their work to a publishing company who checks out their work to see if it is accurate before they will publish it.  However, she skipped that step and self-publishes.  Therefore, she has no oversight.

Full disclosure – I wrote something for her that became part of her “light language” book.  This was before she decided to charge people for her services.  I am in agreement that people need to re-connect with the Holy Spirit in whatever way possible, but I disagree with charging money for it.

 

Peg

The “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” concept only works so far.  How do you deal with the situation when they don’t return the favor?  I feel like I’m constantly giving out 20 dollar bills, and not getting anything back – not even a thank you.

I have often felt like a square peg in a round hole. How people treat me is often at odds with how I feel they should treat me. I asked God about this and God said that perhaps it’s me. Perhaps I need to change my expectations of the world.

God says “My ways are not your ways.”

Jesus asked his disciples to stay in the world but not to be of the world.

Jesus said to forgive people without count.

Jesus said that we should treat our enemies with kindness, and in so doing we will prove that we are children of God.

God says to me that I am supposed to stay the way I am and stay in the world as it is,

and feel that hurt

feel that pain

feel that dissonance.

…in part, so that I understand and can empathize with people who are excluded and left out. But also so that in holding my ground I can teach others how to act in a Godly way.  Sometimes we are to be teachers through our actions.

Many years ago,

I had asked God to be able to spread the messages he gave without attention to me. I want to be anonymous, and live my life without fame. This way I can go to the gym or the grocery store and live like a normal person. In the meantime God uses me as a conduit. I want to be a good steward of the gifts that he gives me.

 

So why am I upset when a message I share is taken up and adopted (stolen, in my mind) by someone who acts as if it is theirs? I don’t want fame or money, so it doesn’t make sense for me to be upset.

I brought this to God this week and got a lot of peace.  That feeling I had is the human part of me, rearing its ugly head.  It is important that I felt it, and brought it to God.  That is what God wants – to heal all of our brokenness.  But we have to take it to the Healer to be healed.

Here is what it means to be a child of God: It isn’t natural, but spiritual.  We are all created by God at birth but the true children of God, once they are spiritually awake, then choose to be further formed and shaped by God. They choose to align themselves with God and then let God work through them.  It is a two-way adoption.  God wants all of us to choose to follow God’s ways, but not all of us do.  It is our choice.

I need to give my immature feelings of jealousy (because these messages are not mine, but God’s) to God, so God can transform them into selflessness.   I need to do this in order to become a pure vessel for God’s Spirit in this world.

Sometimes for healing to take place, there has to be a reconciliation – a balancing of the accounts.

It is important to let other people know how you feel.  They can’t read your mind. It is like being a bill collector who issues the bill (with interest) ten years after it is due.  It is better to issue the bill early, to get it over with and have the accounts settled as soon as possible.

Jesus says that if we have an issue against someone, to not take our offering to the Temple, but to leave it and go make peace with that person first.

So today I wrote sent this message to a lady in a head covering group I belong to:

“Hello!  I thought it would be important to write you.  At least a year ago I mentioned something on the “Cover me happy” Facebook page about how it would be a good idea to focus on the idea of covering, instead of covering with a lot of fancy wraps.  I said that too many fancy wraps would make it difficult for the beginner, or someone who is poor and can’t afford a lot of scarves.  I also pointed out that modesty is an important part of covering, so calling attention to it with fancy wraps didn’t make sense.  Not long after I said that, you posted on the Wrapunzel page this very idea, saying that you’d read it in another group but wasn’t sure who said it.  Then it became a thing, where people were posting their single scarf wraps and tagging you.  I felt very hurt by this, since I am the one who suggested it.  I said nothing at the time, but now that something like this has happened to me in a different context, I think it is important to speak up and set things right.  I don’t want fame for the idea – it was just an idea.  I don’t want to be tagged when people post when they wear one scarf.  But I also don’t want my ideas claimed by someone else.  I think it is important to make things right, so that is why I am writing, to let you know how I feel.”

I have no idea how she will respond to it.  She probably doesn’t even remember.  Because of the message system on Facebook, she might never see it.  But I needed to write it.  It is important to balance the accounts.

Yesterday I wrote to the administrator of a group I’d been submitting newsletter offerings to, saying that she could not claim that she was writing the posts.  My first several posts were given the anonymous “from a member” credit.  I wasn’t sure about this – there was nothing saying that what we submitted would be anonymous.  But now it didn’t even say that, and at the bottom I noted that she’d said the contents were copyright (to her group – not to me).

Perhaps it was good for it to be anonymous – that way one member wouldn’t stick out.  I was also still wrestling with the idea that at least my messages were getting out.  I still don’t want fame or attention.  But I also don’t want my work to be claimed by another.

It is why I say that anyone can use anything I wrote for “The Condensed Gospel” for free, but they cannot claim that they wrote it, or charge money for it.  I don’t want money for it – but I also don’t want someone else to make money on it.  I now feel that credit is a sort of money in a way.

So now I’m holding my ground and speaking up. I’m telling people that they have hurt me as soon as I realize that they have, without “charging interest”.

 

Jealousy by mail

I was super stoked about my postcard from a person who is a member of an online group I belong to.  It was a surprise – we’d not been in communication.  There is a file where group members can share their addresses if they would like to get mail, so I left mine.  (I’ve covered up our addresses here with cough drops).

I thought it was really cute and inventive. The postcard has washi tape with botanical images on it, and rubber stamp markings. There is also a tiny envelope! How creative!

mail3b

This is what was inside.

mail3e

The cleverly designed thing folds out into a strip with washi tape with constellations on it.

mail3d

…but now I feel left out because of all that this person got.  She posted it on the group page and tagged her, so I know it is from her.

mail1

…and here is a picture from another person – more stuff that she got from this member.

mail2

Both say it was a surprise – that they weren’t already friends with her.

I’m really jealous.

Which is a terrible thing to feel because it wasn’t like she promised me anything at all.  I should be grateful, but in comparison to the other people’s mail, I feel sad and jealous.  And I hate feeling like that.

They had no way of knowing that there was any inequality.  But I’m sure there are others in the group who didn’t get a letter and they are wondering “why not me?”

It is something I wrestle with on my personal page.  Do I share pictures of a party I went to where some friends weren’t invited? They will know they were left out.

I remember in school we were told to bring enough (of whatever) for the rest of the class – or don’t bring it to share at all. We had to include everyone.

I hate it when my friends invite people in a shared group to go to a new restaurant or experience, and don’t invite me.  I know they didn’t invite me because they either don’t tag me on the invite – which I can see because I am friends with them, or because they post pictures of the “good times with good friends”, and I wasn’t there.

I hate it.  And it keeps happening. It happened all the time with the SCA “household” I was a part of. It is part of why I finally left. It made no sense for the head of the household to question why I wasn’t hanging out with the others. He implied that my husband was controlling me, that there was something ugly going on. Yes, there was something ugly going on. The head – and his wife – and other members of the household – didn’t invite me to these gatherings. Over and over and over. How could I hang out with them if they didn’t let me know? I was especially hurt when they decided to take a jewelry making class together and didn’t invite me – knowing that was one of my interests. But to then think that I wasn’t social with them because I was in an abusive relationship? Insane.  

And last night I’d finally had it and cried big ugly tears and I still don’t feel better about it.

Social media isn’t social sometimes.  Sometimes it just lets you know how much you are missing out on.  It feels like bullying.

Think before you post. Think about the feelings that will get hurt. Think about who you are excluding. You don’t have to share everything.

Do I invite everyone to events? No. But I’m discrete about it. You don’t have to invite a whole group to some happening. You may not want a large group. You may like certain people in the group more. But be mindful that you don’t let the people who were left out know that they were left out.

Now, I can’t control if other people who were invited tell them inadvertently and thoughtlessly. But I try to do my part.

Blue like sci-fi

From a visual conversation I had online about blue characters in sci-fi. Can you add to this?

From The Fifth Element –

12274263_925893337459079_1452803664720828488_n

From Avatar –

12274732_926124407435972_3993866331698657159_n

From Star Wars –

12311227_10206103722690474_1746238935276500489_n

From X-men –

12313787_985598608173081_3159033521312392259_n

From Farscape –

12316626_10206103616927830_5666509752691879108_n

And then the conversation veered off Sci-Fi to popular culture. I’m not even sure who this guy is.

12301589_925886524126427_3603902793790354270_n

From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory –

12316071_10208345374052998_3668373787163542139_n

From Sesame Street.

CookieMonsterWaving

 

So is there a comparable selection of monochromatic characters in other colors?  Please share!