Dreams of feet (!) for the New Year…

Really!!!

The Legendary Husband and I hung in there for the whole ball-dropping & fireworks bit – read that Luther’s last trip out – last night and then headed to bed.

I laughed when I noticed that my feet were splattered in paint (Ultramarine Blue, for the curious!) after an awesome impromptu painting adventure in Zoom-land. (Thank you, Natalie & Gina!!!) All in all, a great wrap-up for 2022!

Then, with a touch of Vision oil on my third eye, I tucked myself in and put Grandmother Moon in charge.

Wow, was she ready for an adventure!

And, yes, I really did dream about feet! (Go ahead and giggle, CTS buddies… there’s more!)

In fact, the first thing I remember, in my dream, is parking a borrowed car on the curved drive in front of Columbia Theological Seminary in November of 1986. It was cold and raining and I had no idea where to go once I had arrived for the prospective student weekend. I cracked the door open, reaching for an umbrella, and put my left foot on the parking lot.

I can still feel the zingy energy that buzzed through my body in that moment, all those years ago.

And then, suddenly, Scotland. 2007. More chilly and damp. And, at the bottom of the steps from the plane, that same foot on the tarmac at the Glasgow airport.

And the same zingy energy.

Then, Grandmother Moon being a rather eccentric Weaver Dreamer, was on to boots. Red leather ones.

And, yes, I’ve been shopping in my imagination.

Eventually I woke, in 2023, and went feeling around on the table for my glasses which, predictably, were perched on the book I’d been reading.

The dreams came flooding back. And it all made sense.

The dreams which were, on one level, past and future.

And the deep voice of a beloved teacher/colleague/friend, complete with a southern accent, echoing in my head…

Three words: Stick with you!

Hang in there… we’ll get back to this!

First, time out for a cuppa, and my all-time favorite dream question.

Why is this dreamer dreaming this dream at this time?

The answer came, complete with the predictable, Duh!

The parking lot/zingy foot adventures were past, assuredly.

The red boots have to do with a big dream for this summer.

And the reminder to stick with me…

Well, it feels a whole lot like a new awareness that it’s all going on now. All part of the path that is the story I am writing – if I choose to be aware of the pen in my hand – with my life.

And, frankly, telling you about this dream feels like a whole lot of showing up!

For now, it reminds me of the stack of seed catalogs in Saturday’s mail.

Reminders of things I know more about now than I did when they were first happening.

Dreams for the future.

The beginnings of a path, not to done, but to growing.

I do have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world…

And, with apologies to the garden guy, no Lantana!

Which is garden code for sticking with me, because no matter how easy it is to grow here, I’m still allergic and I get to choose!

For this moment, thank you for being on the road with me!

My gift for you, as the new year begins, will – hopefully – feel elegant in the way which also means simple.

One question…

What might sticking with you look like???

Huge blessings for 2023!!!

ps… the painting is from my #Matrica work-in-progress, which turns out to be an outstanding fit for this story!

pss… feet might not be such an odd metaphor, afterall!

Galvanized Horse Troughs & Oracle Cards & Psalms & Concrete Pigs… oh my!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been fishing through your Medicine Basket – be it actual or virtual – for coping strategies.

I spent much of the day known as Election Day in the USA as chief in charge of visioning for the garden transformation project going on in our front yard.

And, as I write these words, Wednesday morning, we’re no more done with the election than we are with the garden!

Sitting down is also a necessary coping strategy in my world. And, having promised myself no news until after the polls closed, I needed something to fiddle with yesterday.

I reached for my box of Sacred Rebels oracle cards.

This is a new adventure for me. As is any understanding at all of eclipses and planetary retrograde events. And I tell you all this, knowing that I’m making generations of ancestors and teachers pretty anxious.

I also know – because I’ve been wandering in the family tree again – that there are others who came before me whose eyebrows are raised in that uh-huh kind of way while little smiles appear on their lips.

And, yes, I am able to choose!

So… a bit of the oracle card message which jumped out for me:

…Then you will be asked to embrace the deeper journey of sacred rebellion against judgement and fear, and into passionate creativity and unconditional trust in life (Alana Fairchild).

It really is a filter thing!

There was more but, for this moment… back to the garden!

Part of what’s going to happen out there is the re-location of a 350 pound concrete pig named – yep! – Wilbur! It seems he’s tired of hiding between the porch rail and the grape vines and feels he can be more help where people can see him.

And, as pigs are often associated with positive life changes, I’m all in!

Pigs, as Spirit Animals, also symbolize the ability to stand on our own “two” feet, weather the storm, and come out even better than before. They are often a sign that now is the time to move ahead!

All of which seems like timely intentional gardening to me!

When I gave up on CNN last night, I was disappointed, but not surprised.

Grandmother Moon – bless her! – was there on the wall, whispering hope, in the form of a dream about my trip to Hungary, just before the Eastern Block fell.

One of the things that became part of my soul during that adventure was the ninetieth Psalm. Members of the Hungarian Reformed Church repeated it from memory each Sunday in worship. I hope they still do!

The part which wrote itself on my heart is this:

Interestingly, it also wrote itself on the underlayers of the painting which eventually became known as Codex, or the home of Grandmother Moon!

The rest of the quote?

…establish Thou it.

For real!

And I woke, reminded again, that it’s a really good intention for life in this moment.

So… they’ll keep counting votes in Georgia. There’s likely to be a run-off. (Don’t get me started!)

And, among the signs in my garden, Wilbur will be holding intentional space for the world we all need.

For now, my hands have painting to do. And my heart has hearth tending to do. Among work-in-progress Wednesdays, this one feels really big!

And I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world!

ps… just in case this whole journey feels familiar, and you suspect your basket could use some new medicine or you’re curious about the Filter thing, I can help! Let’s talk… 45 min. My gift. The calendar elves will hook you up!

pps… what the world needs now is FierceArtWithHeart! And we’re going to need some more tv ads in Georgia! So… 22% off nearly everything priced at $100 or more. (The elves will fix it in your cart!) Half the profits to Sen. Warnock! (Really!!!) It would be a great time to check out the divine hats & bags! (Looking for something you don’t see? Interested in a custom piece? suesvoice@gmail.com !!!)

Standing between the worlds…

Or, what happens when Grandmother Moon skips the news!

I woke as the sun rose with this blog post all hatched in my head.

During my first cup of tea, I wore out a couple of index cards with notes. Here’s a glimpse…

  • The Equinox… harvest/shorter days
  • 92 F this afternoon… but low of 55 F by Sat. am!
  • The West Wing… signs in our yard
  • Lurking germs
  • Legendary… Actual!
  • Mystical cauldrons… Soup!

I even hunted up one of my favorite recipes!

Then, I re-read my writing exercises from yesterday’s Legend videos. The Holy Wow’s are coming fast! The excitement bubbles and the tears are coming fast, too. And, as is so often the case, I am the work in progress! (Which is pretty hopeful when you get right down to it!)

Then, I checked the news.

And tossed my index cards into the recycling basket!

Then, I made some more tea and spent some time communing with my #wip painting who/which reminded me that I have some experience with the whole liminal space bit.

And fished my index cards back out!

Then, time for what MSNBC calls breaking news…

The Attorney General of the state of New York is suing an ex-President and 3 of his children in “a massive fraud lawsuit”.

And… “In a national address, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised threat of a nuclear response in the conflict in Ukraine and ordered reservists to mobilize in an escalation of the war” (The Wall Street Journal).

And… another time out for ranting and raving! And more tears. But my index cards hung in there!

So… a glimpse of my first Legend Painting, complete with her mystical cauldron.

And a reminder that there’s a Phoenix rising out of that mystical soup cauldron. Often, actual ones, too!

Thus, as you probably guessed… a recipe!

Vegan Soup Stock

Makes about 6 quarts.

Note: Wash hands well with soap and water, and avoid putting hands near eyes after handling chili pepper!

Into a 10 qt. stock pot, place:

8 quarts cold filtered water; 5 med. onions – preferably organic – quartered, peels on; and 5 heads garlic, halved, with paper; 2-4 c. frozen, chopped okra, which is very healing to the digestive system. (Or a great use for those last pods in your garden that got big and stringy!)

Bring just to a boil, over med-high heat. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Add:

1 dry, hot-ish chili pepper, whole; 6 fresh or 3 dry bay leaves; 1 med. bundle thyme sprigs -preferably garden fresh – tied with a white cotton kitchen string.

Return to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to moderate simmer. Cook, adjusting temperature as needed to maintain simmer, for about 3 hours if you want a very mild flavored stock, and not more than 6 hours if you want deeper color and flavor. Taste occasionally for heat from pepper. When it reaches the stage you want, remove and discard pepper. When you’re happy with the stock, remove from heat and cool to a little warmer than room temperature. Scoop solids out and discard. They’ve given their all!

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve 1 or 2 quarts of stock if you want soup for dinner or tomorrow and proceed with desired recipes or refrigerate.

Add your family’s fav veg (raw or roasted) to the broth and simmer as needed to serve! (I won’t tell if a bit of left over roast chicken, or even shrimp, joins the mix… it will all be great!)

Refrigerate remainder. When quite cool, package for freezing in 1 pint and 1 quart containers, depending on your needs. Leave about an inch of head space as stock will expand while freezing. Label and date! Store stock in freezer for up to 6 months.

Variations:

Place 1-2 c. freeze dried, mixed organic mushrooms into 1 qt. very hot water. Allow mushrooms to steep like tea for up to 2 hours. Strain carefully through cheesecloth lined fine mesh strainer. Or use a coffee filter in the strainer. (I keep unbleached ones just for this purpose.) Reserve mushrooms. Add liquid to simmering veg stock. Rinse mushrooms well under running water and save for soup or a rice and veg dish, etc.

If you have some, add a couple of corn cobs, corn removed, to the stock pot. I keep cobs in the summer when I cut corn off and store them in a zippee bag in the freezer. They add a subtle sweetness and a bit of texture to veg stock. Removing the corn simply is the best trick I’ve learned from Rachel Ray. Take a large bowl with a flat bottom and place it on or near your chopping board. Then take a smaller bowl, turn it upside down and place it securely in the bottom of the big bowl. (It’s worth experimenting a bit to find two bowls that make a stable pair!) Cut the flat end of the corn cob off straight and level with a sharp knife and place it on the inverted inner bowl. Hold the pointed end of the corn cob up and, using your sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob in long strips, turning the cob, or the bowl, as needed until all the kernels are removed and waiting neatly in the large bowl. Fast, neat, and you don’t need to store extra gadgets!!! (slb, We Gather Together…holiday feasts with the family you have! )

ps… need a mythical cauldron with a phoenix rising out of it, or love someone who does??? ABRACADABRA! And shop around while you’re there! From now through Thursday, September 22 – the Autumnal Equinox – I’m sending 20% of ALL FierceArtWithHeart profits to make Georgia even blue-er! Get some inspiring art… from original canvases to mugs and hats for warming the season… and make a big difference at the same time! Commissions considered. Great way to shop for the holidays, too! (Stacey, Raphael, Hank, Lucy, Nikema, Marcus, Jen, and Bee will be thrilled!) Hurry!!!

Growing!

At our house it was a kitchen door jam. The one with the penciled height marks.

From the day I started 7th grade until the day I started 8th grade, I grew 7 inches!

My sister “may have” thought I was showing off.

My mother muttered about a plot to keep her letting down hems and buying new shoes.

I thought it was hard work.

I ached. A lot.

I got teased at school. Mostly for being taller than the boys, which was a big deal back then.

And I felt even less coordinated than usual, which I never imagined was possible.

All of this along with the hormonal initiations that happen in those years.

It seemed more than a bit much!

In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about the other kind of growing.

The kind where we become conscious of our filters… of what they’re letting in and keeping out.

The kind where we realize that with consciousness comes the ability to edit. With intention.

And, as you might suspect, I’m hatching. A lot!

Tonight, though, it was time out from hatching as I visited, virtually, with 2 old friends.

Each of them facing, with differing details, a breast cancer diagnosis.

Some of the growing I’ve done along the way came in handy.

In both cases, my long acquaintance with the powerful guided imagery work of Belleruth Naparstek.

An occasion, both urgent and important, to fire up the bone broth cauldron, complete with organic herbs growing in our garden. And bay leaves.

And, gladly, a copy of a prayer I created during my Color of Woman® training. A prayer a bit outside the usual for the tribe that raised me.

Then, a new project for yet more growing.

One of my friends has requested a liturgy for saying goodbye to her breast, so I have some intentional writing to do.

These dear hearts are not, of course, the only sisters facing such journeys and so it seems time for prayer dots. Lots and lots of those, while the broth magic happens.

May growing – all of our growing – be both blessed and a blessing for those along the way.

And so it is.

ps… Click here for Belleruth’s guided imagery materials.

pps… this is “my” Prayer for Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother/elders in Difficult Days, with help from Dr. E.

National Question Day!

I am declaring a holiday. (Everybody else has!) I’m not sure it’ll get a huge following, but it should. And you’re invited!

The name is kind of catchy. National Question Day.

I know… lots of people are more into answers but many, many answers, like the right/left either/or kind, feel – well – limiting.

I’m starting with this question:

What shall I plant in my garden?

The photo is a glimpse of what it used to look like. Fabulous Oakleaf Hydrangeas happily spreading over the the bumpy area under the huge pine tree. Thrilled about the acidic soil, like the azaleas sprinkled here and there among them.

I really had no idea what I was doing when I chose them. They were gorgeous. And mowing in that part of the yard, back when we did that sort of thing, didn’t work. Bill dug holes. Done.

They’re mostly gone, now.

Maybe it was just their time. Or maybe it was a global warming thing, after 2020’s massive drought and heat. A few of them made it, but some of those are dying, now, too.

In any event, it’s time to move on. And it’s complicated by the current reality of my knees and sacroiliac joints. And Bill’s apparent lack of the gardening gene.

So, questions!

What can we manage? What are we trying to accomplish? What do we want to invest? (Feel free to add a few of your own…)

Let’s simplify!

What are we trying to accomplish? pretty much covers it all.

Oddly, the immediate answer is figs!

I adore figs and my garden wizard, Randy, delivered these this morning. Overflow from his garden. About three miles away.

Who knew?

The longer term answers include lots of bang for minimal bucks, no chemicals required, emotionally uplifting, and edible.

Recently, the list got a bit more interesting.

Pollinators. And, natives.

And, yes, I’ve been reading Facebook.

Fortunately Randy can help with the garden answers. The other ones are up to me.

Yes, I was peeved when Facebook went down Monday.

And, hell yes, I’m concerned about the whistleblower revelations. Not really surprised, which is sad. But concerned.

Which means – as you’ve guessed – more questions!

Questions I don’t have answers for yet. Questions people I care about and respect are asking, too.

Questions about relationships and information and inspiration and business.

Questions about dangerous lies and influence.

They’re not new questions. It’s just that I’ve figured – reasonably capable person that I am – that I could protect myself.

The allegations about knowingly promoting content designed to negatively – harmfully – alter the sense young women have of body image was a huge reminder, though, that protecting myself is not enough.

I have two granddaughters growing up in this world.

And, sadly, my magic wand doesn’t seem to cover this. Though, in the long run, my intentional actions as a guide and artist and writer will make an empowering difference!

So, for today, I don’t know what I will do with all the new questions I have about Facebook and its “partners”.

What I do know is that I’ll push a button in a bit and add these words to the conversation – on Facebook, among other places.

I also know that I’m making progress on the plan for the garden.

And on my painting.

But first, figs for lunch. Locally grown, chemically free food. Food that feeds the other critters and gives me huge pleasure. Food that’s actually healthy!

And, drizzled with a bit of the phenomenal, thick, sticky balsamic vinegar that followed me home from Italy three years ago, I will have accomplished quite a bit in terms of a magical moment.

The rest of the questions will still be there.

ps… magical moments like the figs help the rest of the stuff get done!

pps… there’s really only one question! If we believe what we say we believe what, then, shall we do?

Let’s talk modeling!

Nope. Not the kind that may lead to magazine covers and often includes eating disorders, orthopedic challenges, and all kinds of exploitation.

Rather, the kind that centers around opportunities to learn! The kind our littles desperately need us to get comfortable with, now more than ever!

At least that’s what the Muse whispered in my ear way early this morning!

You see, it’s a modeling kind of day in my world.

I’m Hearth Tending for Work-in-Progress Wednesday in the Red Thread Cafe Classroom which translates into offering support, encouragement, and even a tip or two, for sister artists sharing what they’re working on at the moment.

I love Hearth Tending! It feels like a Grammy kind of thing to me. And a Steve Glenn kind of thing.

Or, maybe, place is a better word than thing.

A place where there’s no such thing as failure. Only opportunities to be learned from!

A place where the process – the journey – is at least as important as the outcome.

A place where being witnessed holds huge power for creativity.

A place where we’re wondering, together, about the new things we’re trying and what we’re learning. (And I’ll be posting photos of what’s literally in progress on my canvas!)

And, while I’m Hearth Tending, I’ll also be hanging out in the Red Tent. You see, Forest of Grandmothers is officially starting today. (There’s still time to sign up… I promise!)

Welcome. More witnessing. And more modeling.

In my case, much of the modeling will have to do with believing so much in what we’re doing that I will voluntarily engage technology which doesn’t yet feel familiar to me.

Which is a lot like choosing newness on the way to what matters!

You, dear, clever reader, have no doubt realized that all of this is about things I want my girls to learn, too.

They’re not things that generally show up on standardized tests for middle school kids so they tend to get skipped, at least in any conscious sense, in the place kids think they go to learn.

And they’re hard things to measure, or read in a book.

There is a test, though. It’s called LIFE.

So, today is an intentional modeling kind of day in my world. I’d be thrilled if you’d join me, wherever you are!

Showing up is a great place to start… and barefooted works!

ps… Equinox blessings from Phoebe and Luther and Charlotte the Spider and me!

Giving Thanks!

After three days of hail storms and tornadoes in the area and trees down over wide parts of town, I am blessed to be able to say that the house didn’t fall on us and the trees didn’t fall on the house. (Read that new roof and solar panels!)

Today is grey and gloomy, with an in-between feeling about it. Like waiting for whatever is next.

The beasties are anxious.

Malicious elves somehow climbed into my laptop and made all my favorite bookmarks disappear. (This is NOT a happy event!)

What I had planted in the garden looks pretty beat up.

Bill went to the Farmers Market with 10 things on his list and came home with two. This is a statement about existential weirdness in the neighborhood, not about Bill!

Blessedly, the space in our house formerly known as the breakfast room which now most resembles an appliance showroom, has two freezers in it!

Thus, our menu for this evening… thawed stuff on a bun with real tomatoes!

My calendar is running over with tech-y things inclined to make me want to hide.

The atmospheric pressure is still out of wack because of the weather which makes the things that hurt, hurt more than usual.

Here’s the weird thing… It’s all good!

Today I got to tell the person who’s been my best friend since the first day of seventh grade, “Happy Birthday!” despite a previous adventure with a very nasty brain aneurysm.

My Soul Expression Breakthrough group is doing amazing work as we round the bend to the future.

Gloria, my Intentional Creativity/Seminary intern, has finished her last class before graduation! (Details to follow…)

My painting of John Lewis has told me what comes next!

And, odd as this may seem, I have words for what I do!

Are you ready?

(Am I?)

Here goes…

You know how we get stuck sometimes and all the stories and tips and rules we’ve learned don’t help us to see what’s next?

Well, that’s what I do! I help women, many of them grandmothers, use the creativity deep in their souls to nurture the lives they long for! ®

There will be lots of examples, and opportunities to join in, coming soon. And I’m here if you have questions.

For this moment, the beasties are hungry and there’s only one answer to that. Sardines!

ps… Oh, and blessings for you and yours… from the early days of a Legend painting.

pps… If you haven’t joined the blog mailing list yet, and are curious about what’s coming, now would be a great time! Just click that annoying thing that usually drives you nuts while you’re reading and join the family!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach