Category Archives: New Things

Hide Away Moon – See the Light of the Stars!


Tonight is the new moon of the last month of 2010! To me, new moons point to rebirth and intention. Often in this holiday season we get wrapped up in the busy atmosphere of holiday preparation. It becomes a focus on a single future event, and the moment of “now” gets washed out in the anticipation of what is to come. But what if we practiced living in the now – now? Each moment can be fun. A game of Chinese Checkers with a senior citizen whom I now call “friend,” and a conversation over coffee with another newfound friend that lasted so long we closed the shop at the end of day – both are examples of the gifts that come in daily packages. Intend that you pay attention to moments like these – and enjoy them!

The sky is darkened on the night of New Moon, and on a clear night one can see more stars than usual. So I want to tell you about a man who is so passionate about the stars he felt compelled to share them with others.

In 1996, Frank Kovac wanted to show the night sky to a group of Boy Scouts, but cloud cover rolled in and the view was obscured. Kovac decided to build his own planetarium – a tall order for one man. But he had a vision and a clear intent – and he trusted that it would become a reality! Bit by bit, he built it – even hand-painting approximately 5000 stars in their correct locations in the 22-foot diameter globe. Now Kovac Planetarium is open for business in Monico, Wisconsin. Frank looked to the stars – and trusted the universe!

So tonight, look up into that darkened sky, be grateful for the “now” – and intend the future!


One Ringy Dingy


Last month, I canceled my phone service to cut costs and to get ready for my winter move to Montpelier. I still had the cell phone, but soon found that I talked more than I thought I did. The monthly minutes quickly ran out and I had to recharge – and spent almost as much as I would have spent had I kept the landline. Live and learn.

As an alternative, I bought a magicJack at my local Radio Shack (not a typo – the J is the only capitalized letter) This is a little item that looks like a tiny Altoids box that plugs into the USB port of your computer and allows you to make phone calls without a service. Basically, one payment gets you the tin can and the string to use it.

I hooked it up and the software program instructed me to pick a number in the state of my choice. Vermont was not an option. Bummer. So I decided to pick a number in my birthplace of Illinois, so my mother could call me without paying long distance charges (can we say, beat the man?). I plugged my phone into the tin can and a few minutes later, I was up and running.

Rest assured, I am not being paid to give you this information, and I paid for my magicJack. So, now I can go on. There are a few quirks to this little gadget. Sometimes it works well, and no one knows I am calling through my computer. And it is a great little item to take on a trip, so you can hook up the hotel phone and call without added charges. But it seems that after it warms up a little (I wonder if it has cockles?) it gets randy. Jack likes to cut you off in the middle of an intense conversation. But the funny thing is, you can still hear the other person. They sound pathetic, calling out, “Hello? Hello, are you there?” And, thinking that you can’t hear them either, they often break into some colorful language that would be spelled with all the symbols above the numbers on the computer keyboard.

And sometimes, one or both of the people on the phone will begin to sound like Cher. Not her normal voice, which wouldn’t be that bad. More like her voice when she sings “Believe.” Pretty cool, except when it happens during a business call. Then I have to tell the caller, “excuse me, Bob Mackie’s clicking in on the other line. I’ll call you right back.”

The magicJack takes voice messages for you, too, just like a landline phone. You receive an email (from either magic or Jack – they are so hard to tell apart) that has a wav file attached, so you can hear the voicemail directly from your computer. When I open them it reminds me of Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, getting the Howler message from his mother.

So, all in all, the magicJack is worth the price. But I think there is a new phone plan in my future. Until then, I got you, babe.

Excuse Me, Sir – Your Blog is Running


Some of you may remember back in May, I had a buddy fill in for me here at TrusttheUniverse. Predictably, Sir Buffalo Sushi has grown tired of guest-hosting the blogs of others (including his mom’s great blog, Polka Dot Suitcase ) and has struck out on his own. Not STRUCK out like in a ball game – struck out like starting on a great adventure. And I am sure he has. Sir Buffalo Sushi is making his blog’s mission a good one – to protect animals. I went to his site today and viewed some of the videos he has uploaded. And I have to admit, I have no idea what a Ripstick is, but it sounds like fun. Check out his place!

Auld Lang O’Nine


By now, you are all shoving balls of torn wrapping paper into open boxes – or smoothing out those balls for use next year and breaking the boxes down for recycling. And by now, that Christmas dinner doesn’t look so appetizing, and you’re poking around the covered dishes looking for something less holiday-ish. The cookies have been picked through, and there are only jelly chocolates left in the Whitman’s sampler. Maybe you’ve stopped watering the Christmas tree. You haven’t, have you? Hmm?

The year is nearly over. Then what happens? Yeehaw! A fresh new 2010 calendar is ripped from its smooth thin plastic and the cardboard backer removed. Do you look at all the pictures before hanging? Or do you just scan the thumbnails on the back and hang it, wanting to be surprised on the first of every month? Do you sit down and write in all the family birthdays in careful block print? I can tell if you do – appointments and notes are always scribbled in sideways, hurried handwriting. But those first, most important dates are given time and consideration on the first opening of the new calendar. Penmanship counts on the ones that count.

I always clean out a cabinet or two on the first day of the year. I guess it’s my way of telling the cosmos I want to leave the cobwebs and crumbs and dead batteries behind in the old year, and start fresh, smelling like Murphy’s Oil Soap and citrus water. And by cleaning, I can see what I have accumulated and put things in order again. It’s a gesture of cleansing, of renewal and preparation for the days ahead.

I am so grateful for the many lessons that have come my way this year:

I moved to Vermont late last year and celebrated alone on New Year’s Eve, throwing imaginary confetti in instant messages to other friends who were alone in other states. The lesson: friends don’t have to be close by to offer good energy and love.

In February, I turned 50 years old and celebrated! It wasn’t a bad thing: the number 5 means change and transition. I had no idea just how true that would be: a few days later I was standing in front of a screen, looking at a mammogram of my left breast. The mass that looked back at me looked just like the face of Tina Turner, and so it was dubbed. The task began to roll her right on down the river!

I won’t get into the details, because now, it’s just a story. But I want to tell you that I am so grateful for the people I met along the path. I met incredible doctors who went to the edge, and were willing to think outside the traditional medical box for a solution we could all be comfortable with. I found a way to embrace the treatments we agreed on, and stand strong on the ones I was not able to embrace. To all the doctors, nurses, naturopaths, alternative health personnel, and other staff members, those who opened their minds and those who didn’t, I am grateful for the lessons that we were all a part of, and for the time we had together. And I am very glad to announce, Tina is gone. Thanks TT, it was real.

Friends and family helped in so many ways this year. They fed me, clothed me, entertained me, bought herbal supplements, sent coffee, movies, and totems, dog-sat, did errands for me – even paid bills. I received daily doses of healing energy, reiki, thoughts, prayers, and good wishes from those who were far away – I felt every bit of it. Silly happened along the way: funny scars, the realization that I have a not-so-perfectly shaped head, a brief time period after chemo where I could actually drink milk and not get sick (but at the same time was unable to stomach chocolate), lots of dancing, a great trip to the Smokies with an amazing and sweet soul, happy dances, shared laughter on the phone with friends all over the world, snow angels in parking lots, towel animals, and so much more. There are too many people to list here – but they all played a part in the healing. I learned to receive, and I am grateful for that lesson.

My dog, Fae, became a clown to help me laugh, a wolf to protect me, and a therapist to offer a warm head and a cold nose during the longest of long nights.

Even the mounting bills have been a lesson. Although I have always been good at cutting corners, I learned to cut even more. As a part of that snipping and clipping process , I am heading up north for a few months to a smaller place – my inner Huck Finn exploring new territory, looking for a barrel that might fit for the time being. Bennington is still home base, and my earthly possessions are staying here, but I’m off on another side road to meet new people and float down more rivers. It’s a good thing – the universe likes action, and riding the river is always better than pushing it!

To 2009 and all its players, to Mother Earth and all her gifts, thank you. You rocked! To 2010, I’m ready for my pie. Let the fun begin!

Falling back! And a call to all for art…


Hello, friends! I am back to blogging after a few months of inactivity. I hope you missed it.

I have an exciting project to share with you! This venture, by a hip and eco-friendly local artist, is at the grassroots level – and needs your participation! The project, called “Art Is” has no specific goal, except to inspire all to dig deep into their souls and share by expression.

To participate in the “Art Is” project, please:

1.Pick out a paint color sample card that
you like, either a single color chip or a tone-strip.

2.On the color side of the sample, write the words “Art is” and finish the sentence.
There are no restrictions on words, drawings, images, or any type of media
you would like to add to the paint chip. The paint chip is your canvas!

3. Mail your finished paint chips to: “Art Is”, PO Box 64, North Bennington, Vermont. 05257. No return addresses, please!

4. There is no limit to the number of chips you can send; however please make sure your art is anonymous! Men and women of all ages, interests and creative abilities, fellow artists and artisans, craftspeople of all venues and genres, collectors and seekers, the novice, the nay-sayer and the passionate. This project calls to ALL who can taste, feel, see, touch and breathe art!

5. Please feel free to copy and paste this information and pass this request along to others who might like to participate, with a request to please delete all names and e-mail addresses that came with the message before it is sent to others. This is not only to honor the anonymity of the project, but also for the privacy of those involved.

Let’s help this artist, and see how far we can fling the word of art!

To help you get into the swing of things, here’s a fun “art-relation” song:

Finding the Tiniest in Vermont


Although I have traveled to many places over the years, Vermont has always called to me. I knew it was where I belonged, and it was a happy day when I received my Vermont driver’s license and put on the “greens,” the green Vermont license plates, on my truck (the numbers and letters on my plates, after decoding, translate to “bees love honey”). I am madly in love with my new – last – homestate, and with the Green Mountains that climb along its western side.

For the last day of my Blogathon New Thing extravaganza, I found out about a tiny little city in the upper portion of the mountain range – Vergennes.

Vergennes is Vermont’s oldest city, established in 1788, and is also Vermont’s first incorporated city. And it is the state’s smallest city (third smallest in the nation). Now, I am a sucker for anything that claims to be the world’s largest or smallest, shortest or tallest, etc. I have seen the largest basket and ball of twine, New York’s smallest post office, the world’s biggest shoe….I could go on. So of course I had to read about Vergennes, and I plan to visit soon. Look out Vergennes!

And to fellow Blogathoners – it has been a wonderful ride. I tripped and fell a few times, missing some days on the way. But most of the time, there were fellow froggers to fill in the potholes. I thank you. And a big thanks to Michelle Rafter, the genius behind the Blogathon. Count me in for Blogathon 3.

Cheers Honey


I know – I missed a day. But I had a good excuse. I went to the farm yesterday and added honey supers to five of the beehives. We hope to pull some honey before opening day on the 4th of July. While I was there, I checked out the blueberry fields with owner Byron Winney. A colony of honeybees worked the middle field of blueberry flowers along with dozens of bumblebees. The plants are loaded, so Mother Earth willing, there will be a bumper crop this year.

Today, I am enjoying the beautiful weather – and a lovely drink by friend Monica Bhide, author of “Modern Spice.” I must admit, I made mine a mock drink without the rum puncher. But it was so delicious! And next time, I am planning to add some fresh blueberry juice, too:

Pomegranate Delight