Messy House, Clean Heart

I have a lot to say. Typically it’s deep stuff, not your first-date kind of conversation. I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t like this or can’t handle it; I get it, it’s not comfortable looking at stuff that challenges your belief systems. I’m not saying this to imply that I’m better than anyone or that I’ve got it all figured out, but I’ve learned how to lean in. To lean in and look at what’s behind that discomfort.

This morning, a lot of great stuff came up during my morning exercise/meditation routine that I wanted to write about and I was going to get to that as soon as the kids were off to school. But then, I started cleaning my kitchen. “Just quickly get the dishes into the dishwasher and clear the sink,” I told myself. But that turned into washing all the dishes that couldn’t go into the dishwasher, wiping down all the countertops, stove and table and sweeping, etc. I noticed I was procrastinating. I was putting off writing about all those things that are so important to me. Why? Because looking at stuff that challenges your belief systems is uncomfortable and I’ve struggled nearly all my life to believe that I matter.

Putting my thoughts down in writing makes them more tangible and real and only people who are smart enough or qualified enough (compared to who?) deserve to have a voice. At least that’s what I’ve struggled with: believing in myself; believing that I’m enough.

What if I fail miserably? What if I’m misunderstood? What if nobody even notices? So many what if’s, but the bottom line is this: the only thing that’s going to help me overcome the fear of not being good enough is to do the very thing I’m afraid I’m not good enough to do.

Even if, as I write these posts, no one else is reading them, there will come a day when others do see it. That is, after all, why I’m doing this, teaching myself how to tell my story and how to talk about it in a way that might benefit others or save them from going through the same crap. I have learned and been impacted by other people’s stories, and so it matters––my story is important.

I was using my clean house as a way to feel as though I’d accomplished something. Instead what I noticed is that I would have a cleaner house but I would still feel unaccomplished at the end of the day because I wasn’t doing the things that really matter; what I came here to do. I’d have a cleaner house but my heart would feel cluttered and weighed down with all the dreams I’ve left there tangled amongst the weeds of everyday life. And now I’m realizing I’d rather have a messy house and a clean heart. And, as I begin to cultivate those dreams and coax them out of my heart and into reality, the rest will follow.

A Gift at My Expense

No sooner do I write a post about how much I hate hypocrisy than do I catch myself in it. Perhaps this is why I hate it so much. It is a sneaky, slippery slope, and easy to fall into.

My sister was coming to visit yesterday, which the kids always get really excited about, and I found myself making a secret phone call to her ahead of time asking her to smuggle in some Sour Patch Kids candies to replace the ones that I told the kids I’d share with them. I did share with them when we first opened the bag, but then over the course of the next week or so, I polished off the rest. (Insert *eek face*. I rarely buy sour gummies and this is why!)

The kids have probably forgotten about those candies already, but rather than face the prospect of telling them that I’d eaten the rest without them, I was trying to pull of a scam. I could hear my inner voice accusing me, pointing a finger and demanding me to remember what I had just posted about. I could feel the familiar grasp of shame starting to creep in, so I looked at that. What was I worried about? What was I trying to avoid? It was more than likely that the kids wouldn’t even ask about those candies and I wouldn’t have to face it. But more importantly, what lessons was I robbing them of if I just pulled off my scam and replaced the candies? What would I be doing to myself by bringing yet another bag of those delicious temptations into the house again?

Wouldn’t it be better to be honest with them? I know, as a kid, it didn’t help me at all to try and believe that my parents were perfect when I could clearly see they weren’t––nobody is.

I didn’t go through with the candy smuggling. And if the kids ask about the candies at some point, I will tell them they got eaten and that one day we can buy more. And it will probably be a good opportunity to talk with them about self-control, and even some strategies to help us with our self-control.; like not buying a lot of candy and keeping it in the house.

Rather than save my pride, I decided to give my kids the gift of this opportunity to learn about how not perfect their mother is, so that they too can be relieved of that incredible pressure to be perfect.

If There’s One Thing

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s hypocrisy. I don’t like being told what to do on a good day, (I know, this is a flaw of mine, I’m working on it), but I hate being told what to do or not do by someone who will or won’t do those very same things. Even worse, those who make demands of others and in their manner of doing so contradict the very demands they are making.

I remember one time, when I was finishing up my last year of high school, I had arrived slightly late after lunch to my afternoon class. I was walking down the hall toward the classroom, still had my headphones in so I didn’t hear the principal when he called me. I was the only person in the hallway and I was steps away from my classroom door when I felt a hand on my shoulder. “Excuse me, I was calling you. Why are you ignoring me?” “I’m not ignoring you, I had my headphones in and I didn’t hear you.” “Come to my office please.” So I followed him to his office. “I’d like to know why you’re late to class.” “Umm… because you stopped me from going into my classroom and brought me here to your office.” That probably would have been enough, but I wanted to make my point, so I continued, “What you need to know about me, is that I’m 18, I’m an adult. I’m a year behind because I have a baby already, so I’m not here to mess around. If I’m a few minutes late, it’s because I have things to do. I was only two minutes late before, now I’m going to be 10 minutes late because rather than letting me go to class you have me here wasting your time and my time.” What could he possibly say to that? I went to class.

That was 20 years ago but it stuck out for me because it was just so ridiculous to me––even if I told him nothing about my situation, how does he justify making me later to a class I was about to step into just to ask me why I’m late??? What did he think he was accomplishing there?

Because I had my first baby at 17, I lived with my dad for the first year. That was a frustrating year, because my dad wanted to tell me how to do everything, or rather how not to do everything. Don’t do this and don’t do that, even though those were all things that he either almost always did with me (where else did I learn them?), or rarely did with me growing up.

I had a friend who offered to help me out with my social media at a “discounted friend rate”. They never gave me a proposal nor a plan for their services but then took the liberty to criticize and critique the content I started putting out after hiring someone else. Sorry buddy, but you had your chance to contribute to my message. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind receiving some criticism, but show me that you’re in a position to do so and I’m all ears.

I don’t care who you are, if you’re going to tell me what to do, at least make sure you are doing the same things yourself otherwise I’m not interested in what you have to say about it.

I noticed this a lot about 6-7 years ago when people were speaking out against being “fat shamed”. I saw a lot of angry posts online about how no one has the right to call them fat, or “yelling” at the proverbial bullies about how they have to love them (fat people) exactly as they are. Now, that’s just one example, and I’m not advocating or condemning any body type or size here, I’m merely using this example to point out that yelling at someone else to accept you exactly as you are and to shove it with their opinion of you is basically the opposite of what you are asking for, isn’t it?

If you are truly happy with yourself and loving the skin you’re in, there is no need to force it upon anyone else. The emphasis is on the wrong party. If you want people to love you exactly as you are, you need to love you exactly as you are.

My disdain for hypocrisy a pretty big part of why I have such an issue with what’s going on right now in the world. A government can’t say it’s acting in the best interests of the people they supposedly represent if they completely ignore the plight of the majority of the citizens. If the mask is supposed to be a health measure, don’t expect me to wear it without knowing a single thing about my health and my own personal situation. If all the research for the past few decades has said the opposite of what your new “science” is telling us now, and yet the new “science” somehow doesn’t apply to the people enforcing it, yeah sorry, I’m not convinced. This quote George Orwell’s Animal Farm about sums up what’s going on these days: “But some animals are more equal than others…”

The thing about not being a hypocrite is that you actually have to live consciously. You can’t be lazy and keep your word all the time. It takes effort and paying attention to not be a hypocrite; you have to live on purpose, own your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions.

I Know What I Know

I am guided by what used to be common sense; it’s not so common anymore, but it still makes sense. I don’t need a doctor to tell me when I’m sick, or the news to tell me when there’s an actual pandemic out there––I can feel it and I can see it.

I’ve lived almost 40 years of my life, my mother and grandmother and great grandmother many years collectively before that. I’ve watched them and the wisdom that has carried our species for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Clean water and fresh air, sunshine and healthy, fresh foods, plenty of exercise, rest and laughter, and good old TLC is what has kept us going and going strong. If the fact that we are here as living proof of that isn’t enough, until 2020, it was common knowledge, backed up by decades of research, that the preceding list is what has always worked best.

When scurvy was an issue, what was the answer? Vitamin C from citrus fruit. When rickets was a problem, and also seasonal affective disorder (SAD), what was the solution? Vitamin D, through both sunshine and supplementation. Babies cared for in orphanages were shown to thrive when they were held and given affection in addition to the basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Research over the years has shown that children learn best through play and socialization, and school curricula were even adapted to account for this. I could go on. But now, suddenly in 2020-21 all the aforementioned findings seem to be moot according to the “new science”.

Do they really want us to believe that we have evolved so much from one year to the next, such to the point that now the opposite of what used to work in the past is what we really need? I wouldn’t even call that evolution, then. If we need to rely on even more crutches and “outside” solutions like masks and vaccines and curfews to keep us safe, I’d say we’ve devolved––that does not sound like a species that is getting smarter and more well adapted to its surroundings, if you ascribe to the theory of evolution.

No, I know what I know. My faith has been tested time and time again, and here is what I know: My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches, not my limited knowledge or experience, but according to the goodness and richness of His supply. I know that we are made in the image of God, little replicas, we are made to imitate and be like the Almighty God. The God who spoke and brought the Universe forth with the sheer power of His word. I know that when I read and listen to His Word, written for me full of promises from Him, my faith grows stronger and drowns out fear. I have learned that whether you want to take the Bible literally or figuratively, it works, it’s that powerful. I know that when I speak to mountains, they move––whether that mountain is called sickness, or lack, or fear or any other name you want to put on it.

I know that my body was made by the Divine Designer and therefore it is not flawed, but perfectly equipped to give and get what it needs to and from its environment. I do not need to inject toxins and extra chemicals and substances into my body in order for it to learn something. My body is a highly intelligent operating system that processes all kinds of information about my environment and surroundings. I know that my body interprets the collective wisdom from the Great Spirit and translates it in a way that is relevant to me, and that when I pay attention to what is needed at the time I will always have everything I need. And, that it comes from within.

The Gift on the Other Side

When my youngest was a baby, in her first year of life, she was dealing with severe eczema. No big deal, you might say, if you know nothing about eczema–– before this trial, I knew nothing of eczema. I heard eczema and I thought dry skin on your knees and elbows, maybe a little itchy, whatever.

I learned that there are different types of eczema, that had varying symptoms of varying degrees caused by many different things. G had weeping eczema with an insatiable itch. This meant that she could scratch herself till she bled and still, scratching the itch would be the only thing that would satisfy it, even if she was cutting through her skin and bleeding, which she did.

I rarely slept as all of my waking hours were spent caring for her, being attentive, carrying her almost non-stop and watching her like a hawk when I couldn’t so she wouldn’t start scratching, because I knew she couldn’t stop once she started. I could barely sleep even when she slept because I was listening for any little stirring that would indicate she had woken up and would start scratching. I swaddled her, tightly, for longer than you would swaddle most babies, in attempts to keep her from scratching in the night. I kept her little nails trimmed at all times. I would put little mittens on her but she quickly learned how to remove them. More than once I would awake to find her sheets bloodied and her cheeks scratched raw. Her siblings all had to be more patient and settle for less attention. Our marriage required a lot of patience. Diets and activities were restricted. Everything revolved around trying to keep her safe and give her some sort of relief. Needless to say it was a trying time for all of us.

The 3:00 am feedings were spent researching everything I possibly could. One night I came across mitten sleeves! I couldn’t seem to find any stores that carried them in my city, but thankfully that week my dad happened to be in Chicago. I found a store there that carried them and asked him to bring me some. They were exactly what they sound like, a sleeve with mittens, made of silky satin, on either end. Because it was a sleeve, she couldn’t get them off; they did have openings that could be folded back during the day for play time or eating when I could be right there with her. Hallelujah!! I could finally take a shower that lasted longer than two seconds or put her down to cook dinner without worrying if her face would survive. My dad had brought me two pairs of mitten sleeves; it was what he could find, and they got non-stop use. It didn’t take long before they began to form holes from the constant use––she would still rub her face, which would give her some relief but also save her cheeks; they had to be washed and kept clean all the time. Thankfully, one of our wonderful neighbors made her two more pairs and a friend of mine was able to repair the originals. I can still remember how it felt, the relief of getting back some semblance of “normal” life when those sleeves came on the scene. I had already forgotten what it felt like to not live on edge, concerned all the time.

It hadn’t always been like that. Her first three months were amazing. She was the happiest little smiliest baby I’d ever seen. Always laughing and giggling. A very good sleeper, at about 8 weeks or so I could get a good 5-6 hours of sleep each night, but that didn’t last long. Right around her third month she began to develop eczema––I’ll talk about the whys and hows of this in another post; including why I believe those first 2-3 months were so great. From there, it was about 9 months before we would finally be able to start unravelling our tightly wound nerves from being on constant edge and alert.

I spent so much time with her, but I feel like I missed a lot of it––measuring progress on her recovery rather than growth milestones. (Thank goodness for the first-year baby calendar I kept for her, as well as a little journal; at least we can go back and read about the life we were living as opposed to the disease we were experiencing.)

One of the things that added to the difficulty of the whole situation, was that it was so visible, you could see it all over her face. All kinds of well-meaning people would approach me telling me the things they tried when their kid or grandkid had eczema. Others, would stare, some of them probably judging me with whatever reason they needed to tell themselves for why a parent would dare to leave the house with their kid suffering like that, wondering what I was doing wrong . Others I could see the pity in their eyes, and I just felt even more pitiful, because I felt there was nothing I could do and that I had already tried a million and one things.

I remember one time, while making supper, after having obtained the mitten sleeves, looking over at G in the Exersaucer where I had placed her, and my once jolly, smiley baby looked forlorn and depressed. I had never before seen a “depressed” baby. She just looked so sad and hopeless. It broke my heart. It was such a contrast from the happy, smiley baby she was in her first three months. Now, a few years later, G has beautiful skin. And, as the baby of the family is always goofing off and doing stuff to get a laugh out of us. She is a very happy, healthy little girl. (I will talk about the natural healing side of that journey in another post.) But I wondered at that moment, if I would ever see her smile again.

That’s how it is, isn’t it? When you’re in the eye of the storm, it can be very hard to see anything beyond. While I would never, ever wish to repeat this experience, nor wish it on anybody, I am grateful for the lessons I learned. Coming through this trial, and many others, has taught me to have faith in the gift on the other side.


What does it mean to be friends with someone? Do you have to like the same things? Do stuff together? Agree on everything?

It’s hard to imagine a time more trying on friendships than 2020. Even close family members fell apart and went separate way. Friends we maybe thought we’d have for life suddenly seem so different and we find ourselves really coming to terms with which friendships are worth the effort of maintaining.

What do you do when things are otherwise amicable but one half of the friendship decides that the other half’s views are too different? The old, it’s not you, it’s me cliche formerly often used in romantic breakup comes to mind. Which, according to how things go these days, even that is a thing of the past; unfortunately “ghosting” is more common these days, and friendships can suffer breakups just like romantic relationships. But we don’t seem to talk about this much as a society, do we?

What does it look like when friends break up? When a romance breaks up one of the big questions is who keeps the friends? When friends breakup nobody does. And how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye? Often, it happens naturally and the friends drift apart. Sometimes you have a falling out, which can be very painful. Occasionally, one half decides to break it off rather abruptly with no explanation. But, how often do we ever sit down and have a conversation about where things our going with our friendships?

What would it look like if we were more intentional about our relationships? Not just the familial ones or the romantic ones, but the ones we call friendships, too? Have you ever had a conversation with a friend when it just became obvious to one or both of you that the friendship probably couldn’t last much longer without major efforts on one or both part? And, if it comes to this point, how do you decide if it’s worth it? If it’s at this point, is it worth it?

In our throw-away society, there’s a lot of potential for missed opportunities to really grow, and even shine, on the other side of difficult conversations. Too often we end the relationship because we convince ourselves that comfort is more valuable than the growth that is experienced on the other side of discomfort.

It may be that the friendship has run its course and we have received all that we were able to from that relationship. Even when this is the case, it’s still something to grieve. Something to appreciate. It is ok to mourn the loss of a friendship, even if it was dying of natural causes, and we need to give ourselves permission to do so. Grief, when taken with a healthy dose of gratitude, serves us in letting go and having appreciation for what was, and is no longer.

Making Bracelets

I made my first semi-precious gemstone bracelet while at my very first BodyTalk course almost exactly three years ago. I actually made two bracelets that weekend while at the course; the instructor had a large selection of beads.

Until then I never paid much attention to rocks. I accompanied my sister to a rock show in the spring before that course and just kind of thought to myself, “what is the big deal?” I did find myself drawn to the malachite stones, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend ten bucks on a little rock, “What’s the point? It’s just going to sit there and collect dust on my dresser. Rocks are silly.” I was telling myself whatever I needed to to not buy into this rock craze. “Some people fall for this kind of thing, but not me. Nonsense.” (I did end up leaving that rock show with one of those Himalayan salt lamps. I had a good reason though: my baby suffered from terrible eczema at the time and I was willing to try anything to make her atmosphere even a little bit better. But I don’t need rocks for myself, ridiculous!)

So when I found myself in front of that vast selection of rock beads at the BodyTalk course the next winter, I was still trying to play it cool, kind of. I wasn’t really planning to make anything, I was just going to hang around and chat on our break. The other participant in our small class, was really into it and asked if she could make a bracelet. And I found myself again drawn to the malachite, and I said so out loud. “So go ahead and make one” said the hostess; she was generous and let us go through her selection and make whatever bracelets we wanted at just the cost of the beads. What the heck, why not? After all, I was here for transformation wasn’t I? (Why was I so resistant to the rocks?)

I sat down, and before I knew it I was making a bracelet. I didn’t have anything specific in mind, I just let my intuition guide me and I made two beautiful bracelets over the course of that weekend; I also made one for my daughter, V, who at the time was 5 and would be having a birthday soon.

I love those bracelets and wore them almost exclusively for a whole year. Then a friend gifted me a beautiful bracelet almost exactly a year after that. She told me the lady she bought it from said the bracelet was called “Energia del Universo”, or energy of the universe. Wow! I wore that often too, until one day it got caught on something as I was unloading groceries and it broke, exploding all over the ugly floor of my dark garage. I managed to rescue most of the beads, I think all of the important ones that represented the planets and I have to add in a few other beads and spacers to make it complete again.

That same summer when my universe bracelet broke, I bought a beautiful Throat Chakra bracelet, with blue lace agate and crackle quartz and a dangle that said Laugh. That bracelet broke one day, too. I managed to find all the pieces and put it back together again, even though shortly after fixing it the dangle mysteriously got caught on something and catapulted somewhere in my bedroom––I still think I’ll find it again when the timing it right. That bracelet broke again not long after I fixed it. I was down in my basement beating the punching bag while wearing it and my other two first bracelets that I had made. The throat chakra bracelet was the only one that broke. I found out later that, at the time when it broke, a dear friend of mine was having a severe allergic reaction in the middle of a parking lot––she had lost her voice in more ways than one; the throat chakra is all about communication.

I have never had one of the bracelets that I’ve made fall apart or break, until today. I was wearing one that I made recently, within the last month. It was beautiful with Red Garnet and Red Tiger’s Eye, Amethyst and Rhodonite. But, earlier today I had been thinking that I should maybe remake it; it was a touch too small, I didn’t quite like the way it fit but I wasn’t really willing to take it apart because I wasn’t sure how to give it a better fit without fundamentally changing the pattern, which I liked very much. However, life was telling me it needed a change because it fell apart when I took it off. I managed to find all the pieces so tomorrow I will have to take a look at it. Red Garnet is about self-confidence and finding life’s purpose, issues that are staring me in the face these days as I am making lots of moves toward my dreams. Bold moves that I would not have dared to do before, but I’m stepping out in faith and not even my fear can stop me now.

Maybe at first I didn’t want to lend any truth or consideration that rocks could have their own properties and purposed because I didn’t know how to reconcile that with the religious teachings I’d been exposed to. But as I listen to the guidance of Holy Spirit, I am reminded of how all of creation sings God’s praises, and reminded of how very specific the instructions as to which stones should be laid into the breastplate of the High Priest in the Old Testament. As I have learned to open up to my intuition, I have developed a real joy of working with the beads and following the promptings I get to use certain stones or colours and specific combinations. Some people enjoy bracelets made of only one type of stone, that’s fine. I enjoy making a symphony of stones that are suited to the purpose they are to serve and the frequency they are to carry for the wearer.

I have made lots of bracelets now, since those first two. I have made plenty as custom orders or ones that I have premade and sold. I know that each of the stones have their own properties and always work intuitively with them. I love to do this for clients, too. When someone orders a custom bracelet for a specific purpose or person. I love to get feedback from people, like the client who was feeling a lot of anxiety and persecution, telling me that she feels so much calmer since wearing the bracelet I made for her. Or the lady from my dad’s work who wanted a bracelet to bring her good luck and good fortune for when she plays cards with her friends sending him a picture wearing the bracelet with her winnings in front of her, to name a few. I’m not a pro, I don’t have all the properties of all the stones memorized, I just follow my heart and put all my love into each of the bracelets as I make them and I truly believe the wearer of each one feels that as they wear them. I like knowing that each time they put on a bracelet I made, they are wearing a little piece of joy around their wrist.

I Don’t Get It

I just can’t reconcile it in my mind. I can’t get the logic to line up: Why do so many people seem to be okay with the incredible violations to their rights and freedoms right now?

Why do so many people seem to think it’s ok to force another person to wear a mask over their face, when just a few years ago here in Canada, they were trying to ban burkas and other religious face coverings. Now suddenly everyone is supposed to wear them and just be okay with that? Why aren’t more women questioning this? I honestly wonder. So many women here in the Western world used to be appalled at the lack of freedom and rights of women in the muslim world––having to always be covered in public and yet here they are just willingly submitting to the same thing now.

Why do so many people seem to be willing to subject themselves to a very controversial, experimental injection without even really knowing what’s in it or what are the possible long term effects?

Do people just not understand or realize what they are giving up? Are people too tired to be responsible for themselves and their decisions? Maybe being a virtual robot won’t be so bad? I mean, I don’t want to end my life, but I certainly don’t want to live in a box not being allowed to make any decisions for myself. I want to choose for myself. I want to make my own choices. Why is that even considered a selfish thing? I’m not hurting anyone. I just want to live in peace. I just want to live my life. It seems like these people who are going along with this narrative just want someone else to live their lives.

I don’t have answers this time, I mean, I do, but I don’t. I get it that many people feel too overwhelmed and hopeless and maybe they feel like making decisions for themselves it just too stressful and too much work. Maybe it feels hard because they are scared to make the wrong choice––this to me is more an issue of being out of touch with Self. And yes, I understand that looking at yourself isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

I truly believe if more people were more in touch with their Self; tuned into and listening to the internal wisdom that is innate within all of us; if we could slow down and stop blocking it out with constant distraction and entertainment, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now. I truly believe that, as more people learn who to love and forgive themselves, this world will become a better place.

Until then, I just don’t get it.

Calling Down Rain

When my oldest daughter, M, was five, my mom, sister and I decided to take a little road trip down to Missouri to visit my uncle, Stan. It’s about a 2-day drive South from where we live and we decided to stop for couple nights halfway there, in Minneapolis, so we could do a day at Valley Fair as well.

At the time, Stan lived in community living, what some might call a commune. I only visited that farm two or three times, but I always really enjoyed it there. Everything smelled so fresh and earthy. Seventy percent of what they consumed, they grew right there on the farm. Their main crops were mustard and sorghum as well as honey; Stan is a beekeeper. I remember sweetening my coffee with fresh maple syrup right from their trees. They made their own tempeh and sarsaparilla (root beer). Everything was organically grown, all the veggies tasted so good! There was no air conditioner, no tv, just real down to earth living.

It was a sweltering hot summer and shortly after arriving, Stan told us that they were having a drought, that they hadn’t had rain in almost two weeks; we could see that the ground was parched. It was then that I told M about her spirit name for the first time.

Her birth father is indigenous and when she was about three months old I went into a ceremony in a sweat lodge with her paternal grandmother where we were each given names, (I’ll save mine for another post). However, I lost all contact with him and his side of the family when she was not quite two years old so I wasn’t really able to teach her much of those cultural ways.

Nevertheless, when Stan mentioned the drought and we could see how dusty and dry the land was, I asked about the big drum in the corner of the porch and if she could use it. I let her know that she could use that drum and call down some rain because she is Lightning Thunder Girl.

The beauty of five year olds is that they still have imagination and they know how to dream and to believe. I’d had a flash of intuition and she went with it. And wouldn’t you know, within five minutes of her banging on that drum and calling, “I’m Lightning Thunder Girl, I want rain!” we got a nice little shower. Just little sprinkling to make everything green and shiny again. And to let M know the power that lies within her.

The Liver Ball

One of our favorite things to do at Grandma’s, which was more of an indoor game, something we played in the basement, was the Liver Ball game! The Liver Ball was a big, beach ball-sized rubber ball with a Mickey Mouse face on it. The game basically consisted of trying not to get touched by the Liver Ball, kind of like dodgeball but no teams, just wild chaos of desperately trying not to let the Liver Ball touch you.

Why was it called the Liver Ball? Who knows? Maybe because back then (1980s/90s) it was much more common for people to still have liver and onions for supper every now and then and everyone knows this is a kids worst dinnertime nightmare. Once we asked the aunts/uncles/older cousins, why it was called the Liver Ball and I think the story we got was because one time Grandma was in the kitchen preparing supper and a piece of raw liver fell on the ball! Told to us in the most hideous, spookiest of voices to be sure. I’m sure it was just a tall tale but it was enough to satisfy our need for a sense of adventure and disgust! The most thrilling of times to play Liverball was when my older cousin Chad would play, he was the only boy amongst us cousins; he was older, bigger and merciless. He would whip that Liverball around and you had better all run. There was no escaping and there was plenty of gleeful shrieking as we all scattered!

When Grandma moved away from the farm, (Grandpa had been sick with Parkinson’s for a while and it was just time to move into town to be closer to where he could have full time care), we had a big fire in the back yard; there was always a “burn pile” for stuff that didn’t go in the compost. All the stuff that wasn’t going with Grandma to her house in town, stuff that couldn’t be sold or given away, went to the burn pile. I suppose the most likely thing is that the Liverball went to the burn pile, but nobody remembers throwing it in there, or at least they didn’t admit to it. And since nobody knew what had happened to it, some decided to keep the legend of the Liverball alive by telling the kids it was stored in the crawl space under Grandma’s new condo… It wasn’t, though, we decided to put that rumor to rest one day by actually opening up the crawl space. For now, it’s another wonderful memory of the awesome childhood I enjoyed at Grandma’s farm, one of the best places on Earth!