Dec 30, 2003

Think big. Shrink to fit.

What do you make of a girl who has Jupiter rising? The astrology books say a lucky person, a generous, gregarious, jovial person. In Capricorn, these qualities may be toned down, and the person gains her luck by working hard. But oh, dear, Jupiter in Capricorn is in its fall! Any good fortune for this native will be difficult to come by!

Well, that's what the books may say. Jupiter, the gas giant, keyword "expansion", named after the ruler of all the gods, does confer its blessed spirit on me. It does it in a Capricornian way. It is subtle, it is revealed slowly, in time, and it stays with me, and the blessing is mostly about understanding the Capricornian (or Saturnian) side of the nature of God (or the gods): This life we lead in these bodies, limited or helped (your pick) by time and space, stuck on this Earth plane.

Except I don't feel stuck. I feel very much at home on this planet. Jupiter rising (approaching my Ascendant from the first house) literally lifts me, in its Capricornian way. I feel rewarded for all my efforts. I don't feel the rules (Saturn/Capricorn) work against me. Rather, they guide me.

Another "side-effect" of having the natural ruler of the areas of the horoscope that rule the spiritual and cosmic in such a personal place as the 1st house, is that the spiritual and cosmic become personal. They are important to me. I once spent a year as an atheist. Deliberately going about my life without once praying to God. By the end of that year, I could actually feel a physical pain from not connecting to the spiritual. I am one of those people who must believe in (a) God.

But not just any god! Neither my Sagittarius Sun, Scorpio Neptune or Capricorn Jupiter and Saturn will settle for something based on faith alone. There must be meaning and usefulness. What good is a god that makes you feel guilty? Or that seems available to you only in a church? I wanted a god-on-the-go, a deity I could pray to doing homework or at work or while driving or at a party. Not a stern father demanding Sunday behavior 7 days a week. The Christian God I was brought up with seemed too much of an accountant. I kept making mistakes and never got the feeling that God would relieve me of that debt.

While I was still in high school, I was introduced to an alternative view of God: To a Divine intelligence that was creative in all ways, whose sole expression was life and generosity, and whose highest expression of that is love. An intelligence that shares with all because all is created by It. The challenge no longer became "avoid making mistakes", it became "remember your source". Perhaps just playing with words, but words matter. All action springs from thought, and our thoughts are words.

Lately, what with my grandma in the nursing home mending a broken hip, and my own self feeling so scattered, I've come to discover another aspect of having Jupiter rising: It is a constant reminder of the spiritual. Everything in my life, every time I seek understanding, comes back to this: I am in God's hands. Seek the spiritual, focus on your own soul and its knowledge. You can't get more Jupiter-in-first-house than that.

I am truly blessed. Trusting myself and, more importantly, trusting life is always rewarded. I just need to keep remembering that. I do believe trusting life is a Jupiter thing. Trusting that the gods are not crazy, angry or vindictive, but are fun-loving and loving intelligence permeating everything and available everywhere and whenever.

In the year 2004, I hope you find this trust in life for yourself, and that that trust grows and strengthens for all of us.

Nov 29, 2003

I haven't done this in years. I awoke, in my own bed, and haven't a clue how I got there.

Yes, I've been to a party (a retirement party for a co-worker who started at our company at age 16 and now is taking early retirement at age 64). Yes, I drank and ignored Grandma's advice not to drink after midnight. Somewhere around 3 AM, I left with the other two stragglers and made my way home.

I just awoke around 8:30 AM. In my bed, in my bra and panties. I can't remember how I got there. I don't remember coming home and undressing. I remember getting into a taxi and that's it. Obviously, at the time, I remembered where I live and told the driver, but I can't remember getting out my purse and paying. And I can't remember fishing out my keys, letting myself in and getting myself to bed. At all.

I still had on my jewelry when I woke and took them off. I called for my cat. She answered. Curled up in the bed next to me, were my watch and nightshirt. I got up and got a drink of water. I found my boots and pantyhose in the guest room. I still haven't found my top and skirt. Maybe they're in the bathroom. The light was on in there and the door open when I woke up, which was my first clue something was askew.

I'm going back to bed. When I'm completely sober, I may solve the mystery of how I got here.

Nov 17, 2003

I attended a funeral today. The funeral was for a woman I befriended at work and who ended up being a wonderful travel companion and friend.

Her name was Elsa and she was born in 1929. The birth was so difficult, they didn't think she'd make it, so they ran and got the minister and had her baptized immediately. I was thinking about this, about God's child returning to Him (as today's minister said), about the fact that Elsa did survive childbirth and a world war and touched several lives.

Elsa and I never lacked for conversation. As a travel companion, she was extremely easy-going and sensible. She smoked and one could say that smoking was what killed her. I have my own theory, though (more on that in a minute). The smoking gave her a characteristic cough which helped me find her in a crowd on a few occassions. When we travelled, we always had separate rooms. That made travelling much easier on both of us. We could retreat and we could suit ourselves if we wanted to.

Separate rooms led to the habit of me going to her room in the morning, she'd make coffee, perhaps serve a little tipple (for medicinal purposes, you know, to keep the tourist's stomach in shape) and we'd plan our day in a relaxed fashion, then go to breakfast. Although we had different tastes in food and different needs in sleep, we were in agreement about most things. We enjoyed wine with our meals. We enjoyed relaxing meals. We enjoyed museums, history and window shopping. Elsa had travelled so much, that she no longer souvenier-hunted and she indirectly taught me to be discerning about purchasing vacation trinkets.

She taught me a lot, actually. She was a practical and experienced woman and I enjoy travelling much more now that I know some ways to make it easier. (For example, always keep your hands free. If you can put it on your back, do so. If you can wheel it, not carry it, do so.) Elsa always claimed she had a phlegmatic outlook, and I have to agree with her. We never fussed if the plane was late or the food was weird. We took it all in stride, telling ourselves that this situation would make a great story later.

At home, we would meet once a month at a restaurant in town, with a superb view of Bergen's harbor. Elsa was a native of Bergen. I often picked her brains about different things. Today at the funeral, I thought of her telling me that the girls would observe the "buekorps" boys rehearsing and that this was how a lot of romances started.

Elsa and I met while working together at the then in-house education department. During this time, her husband of 36 years up and left her for another man's wife. It was this man who called Elsa and informed her of the affair. She was devastated. She never stopped being in love with her husband (now ex). It wasn't long after this that she took early retirement. Then her lungs started to give out on her and she became more and more short of breath. Our summer vacations together came to an end. Eventually, so did our monthly lunches. I know that the divorce deeply shocked her system and that she never recovered. That's why I believe she actually died of a broken heart.

Elsa was not a physically attractive woman, but she had a sweetness about her and a disposition that always made you look beyond appearances. Lack of classic beauty didn't keep her from looking stylish, though. She had very good taste in both art and clothes and she was colorful. She loved to sew and knit, the more complicated the pattern, the better, and I am the proud owner of a few unique sweaters thanks to her.

There is more I could say, I know there is. There is more than 10 years of friendship with Elsa, things that mean so much, like her humor and generosity and her voracious appetite for books and foreign cultures. I'll leave you with her favorite joke: Did you hear about the dwarf? His father was a Scot.

Oct 29, 2003

Det brenner "hjemme"

Jeg følger med på brannene i Sør-California, siden det jo er der jeg er fra og har bodd.

Vil du se "hjemstedet" mitt? I brann? (Er et stort bilde, ca. 5 MB.) http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/earth/pictures/2003/1027cafires/California_Wildfires.jpg (Merk at bildet er fra tidligere i uken.)

Hvis du begynner med øverste brannområde (det med en kjede øyer utenfor), og går til høyre til neste brannområde (i en fjellkjede), så blåser altså røyken fra sistnevnte rett over Los Angeles. Du ser en bukt mellom de to brannområdene; det er Malibu og strendene i Los Angeles. En bitteliten halvøy kan skimtes gjennom røyken i sydenden av bukten, og der ligger flyplassen, ikke langt fra der min far bor. Selve havneområdet til Los Angeles (og mitt fødested, Long Beach) er helt tildekket av røyken. Den aller nederste brannen på bildet er i Mexico. Hvis du ser til høyre og opp for den brannen (på andre siden av fjellene ved innsjøen), så kan du se hvor grensen går pga. bebyggelsen på USA-siden. Colorado-elven ligger til høyre for det igjen.

Får de brannene under kontroll, og stoppet, så løser de ett problem. Men naturen har ett til å by på: Regntiden. Og når den kommer, så er det ingen vegetasjon som kan holde igjen jordsmonnet, som er hovedsaklig leire og sand. Så må kalifornierne belage seg på jordras.

I dag kan folk se litt mer blå himmel i Los Angeles, Santa Ana vinden har løyet (men vinden generelt har det ikke), og luften er ikke så tørr. Jeg håper at de veldig snart får slutt på brannene.

Oct 24, 2003

Seeking purple

Lately I've been yearning for the spiritual, for uplifting, non-material parts of life, for inspiration, enthusiasm and even magic.

Lately I've become keenly aware of my own psychic abilities. Nothing like knowing the answers to specific questions or telling someone their future. More a sort of ESP, a telepathic connection to those close to me. It happens through my body. My gut feeling is not just a feeling; it's actual received information. And lately, I've been able to communicate the other way, to my cat.

Lately, I've felt the need to fill myself up, to do something about my own, personal emotional and spiritual needs. Everything's all right in my world, health-wise, family-wise, money-wise. It's time to feed the spirit.

I'm looking for shades of purple, the color associated with the psychic, the Neptunian, the crown chakra, the spiritual. I haven't actually sought out the color itself. I'm drawn more to its baser expressions of red. All shades of red, from the oranges to the purples. I'm definitely not in a blue mood.

This new growth in my own psychic connection to others, makes me want to know more, to learn more. I think that's one reason why I have such an urge to seek out the spiritual right now.

Mitt søken, beskrevet ovenfor, gjør at jeg ønsker inspirasjon, jeg søker kilder som kan gi meg åndelig næring. Jeg hadde såvidt hørt om Ingebrigt Steen Jensen og i går, hos bokhandleren, kom jeg over boken hans "Ona Fyr". Om det er akkurat det jeg er på jakt etter, vet jeg ikke ennå, men jeg leste de første par kapitlene og følte at her var det i hvert fall en som er på bølgelengde med meg. Som ikke er så imponert over grådigheten og selvopptattheten så mange gir uttrykk for i dagens samfunn, men som vet hvor mye moro mennesker kan ha sammen ved å være mennesker – og hvor produktive slike mennesker er på jobben.

Så jeg leter etter lillafargen i mitt liv, etter undring, inspirasjon, vekst, glede. Glede som er uavhengig av situasjon eller velstand, men som bare er. Når jeg opplever at jeg faktisk kan formidle en stemning, et behov til kjæledyret mitt, får jeg en kraftig påminnelse om at verden består av mer enn det de fem sansene forteller oss om. Og dette "mer" er faktisk reell, viktig og en kilde til glede. Og derfor tror jeg at jeg slik behov for å gå dypere inn i dette.

Oct 16, 2003

Have faith!

Finally, the day had come where I just had to take my cat, Sammy, to the vet's. She didn't act like anything was wrong, really, but her breath had started to stink. I had the day off and a good friend of mine was willing to chauffeur us, so a little after 9 am, we were at the vet's.

I talked to the vet about my cat's reaction to the anasthesia. My cat reacts badly. She wakes up so slowly from it and is psychologically really ill from it as long as it's in her body. The vet gave her a new type and a wake-up shot. Sammy had a cyst at the side of her mouth; no big deal – just needs to be drained every so often. She had her teeth cleaned, and she had ear mites, quickly handled, and medication given to me to give her. So nothing unusual or serious.

When I got Sammy home and let her out of her carrier, she instantly started moving around, even though she didn't have much control over her hind legs. Every time she tried to navigate a door jamb, she'd lose her balance. But she kept pacing, back and forth, back and forth. Later in the afternoon, she was ravenous, and I let her eat. She still didn't settle down. In the evening, she seemed to lose steam. In fact, she lost so much steam, I was afraid she was actually getting ill from the anasthesia.

I didn't sleep well last night. This morning I found that she hadn't made it to her litter box, so I cleaned up wet and solid in the spare room. When I finally located her, I had to admit, she had found a place where she was camouflaged: Between her cat post, clad in tan and brown, and the tan wall and brown legs of my sofa; her own colors are tan and brown (actually, cream and blue). I left for work at 8 am, and came home during my lunch break at 11 to check up on her. She was in the exact same spot.

Through all this, hardly a sound from her. When I tried to touch her this morning, she protested very weakly. At lunch, she seemed a bit more responsive to my entering the room, but that was it. I had a hard time concentrating at work, and my stomach happily reacting instantly to all my stress (better than a laxative!). The message from the vet was not encouraging; Sammy was not having a typical reaction to that particular combination of anasthesia/wake-up drug, and that combination was chosen because she's an old cat.

Now, I have to tell you something: Neither Sammy nor I enjoy going to the vet's. What we really hate is the waking-up process. Sammy can read my mind, so earlier attempts to get her to the vet's have resulted in her instantly running to hide the moment I come home from work – me having focused on the task at hand on my way home. So Tuesday I took a walk around the pond where I live, trying to talk to her telepathically (I've read that this can be done), explaining to her what we were going to do, why it had to be done, and that I understood her reluctance. I promised I would stay with her as much as I could, and that I would ask for an alternative, if possible. I felt I got a response from her. In fact, she never acted at all like anything was up; I had also prayed to God to guide us and make this as easy as possible on both her and me. Wednesday morning, I was able to "ambush" her and get her into her carrier without any hassle at all. A first! At that very moment, my friend had arrived and was waiting for me in his car. I was feeling very blessed. At the vet's, it turned out that I should have made an appointment for visits before noon, but they had plenty of openings for me, so no problem. And there was an animal dentist there that day, too! Talk about everything going smoothly!

But I forgot God was looking after us, when I saw how ill Sammy was from the anasthesia. I just couldn't calm down, find peace of mind. Today I shuffled my angel cards, looking for peace. My angel cards are like miniature playing cards, each with a little childish drawing of angels in some situation or other and a related text (they are "Angel Power" cards, published in Switzerland). I carry them in my purse. I shuffled them, asking for information about my cat. The first said the angels were taking care of us. Nice. Later in the day, as my stomach acted up again, based on what the vet had said about having to come back with the cat if she didn't wake up more, I got a card saying that we are to learn while we live. I took that in the worst way, meaning I was to learn something because I was alive but my cat...

My friend came back to be my chauffeur again. We had dinner at the employee cafeteria at my office (I finally decided to eat first), then went to my home. There, I found that Sammy had managed to use her litter box – and she was now in the corner by the balcony door (where the warm radiator pipes run under the floor). She was lying in a "meatloaf" position* , as she had earlier, and still didn't seem able to get her eyes open. I really didn't know what to do, but I didn't feel that horsing around with her in her current condition (stuffing her into her carrier, taking her to the vet's) was a good idea.
"Meatloafing": based on a drawing by B. Kliban, showing a black cat lying at rest with head somewhat lower than back and paws tucked in under the body; the drawing was mistaken by some to be a meatloaf

I talked to my friend and then asked him if we couldn't take a walk around the pond. I needed to do something, but didn't want to let my chauffeur go right away. We had a lovely walk around the pond, seeing some oddities we couldn't figure out: Two crows with some white feathers and what was, for all intents and purposes, a female mallard but whose overall coloring was much paler that a mallard's. She too had some white feathers.

Back at my place, I checked on Sammy one more time. She was still "meatloafing" by the balcony door. I decided to take a chance. This part was somewhat familiar, after all, from earlier "wake ups" after a vet visit.

I sent my friend home, and went to visit Grandma. Not much conversation today, but I stayed a bit, reading one of her magazines. Then I bought some cat food and more magazines for myself. As I left the store, heading for home, my stomach suddenly felt completely and utterly calm. All the stress, the agitation, was gone. I didn't quite trust that calm, though, still willing to believe the worst.

I should have had faith, though. When I got home, Sammy was in the couch! In her favorite spot! She was in the meatloaf position and her eyes were more open. I came over and scritched her head. She didn't like it, but tolerated it. I know she can't stand being touched while that anasthesia is still in her, but I told her, I just had to touch her. I talked to her about the situation. I said that we were constantly learning every time she got drugged at the vets. "We live and learn," I said – and suddenly I realized what the card "we are to learn while we live" meant! It meant that Sammy and I were going to have this experience again, and that meant she was going to be all right! I was so relieved, I cried.

And now, a good half hour since I started to write this blog entry, Sammy has curled up in a normal sleeping position for a cat, like the C in "cat", nose to tail. And that is one of the most peaceful sights in the world. My stomach and I are starting to feel normal again.

Oct 12, 2003

Hands

I like to read palmistry books. I can't read a palm worth a darn, but I do like to read about hands. (My moon in Gemini, perhaps? Gemini rules hands.) I came across a book on palmistry that features features I haven't seen in other palmistry books. Like what about all those little lines in my hand that I always thought just meant I was a nervous wreck? This author says it shows someone who has had a lot of past lives and so has brought a lot of knowledge/experience into this life. This person should not try to do so much, but simplify life and contemplate on the spiritual.

Well, here I am, trying to declutter my home, give myself routines, enjoying the joy of a tidy kitchen and a place to eat breakfast in peace. Astrologically, I have the Sun in the 12th house, which shows someone not interested in the outer world, but prone to have spiritual interests and to enjoy solitude. So my hands match my chart, that way.

A friend of mine with solid square hands with clear and few lines wanted to know what they said. Hands like that show stability and creativity. I told him to keep on doing what he was doing, if it meant creating something. His hands show his Leo stellium. Leo is associated with the 5th house, the house of children, hobbies and creative endeavors. My friend has kids, keeps birds, and is constantly fixing up his house and garden, building cages for the birds and making model airplanes, as well as cooking and some other stuff. He's a plumber by trade. His hands produce and create.

Oct 8, 2003

Halloween

Da jeg bodde i USA var Halloween favorittdagen min, både som barn og som ungdom. Elsker alt det mørke, ondskapsfulle, magiske, levende døde. Som barn var jeg alltid utkledd som heks. Det skulle være noe skremmende, noe fra "det hinsidige". Jeg fant ikke igjen kostymen min på skolen et år og ble sminket til indianer. Jeg hylte av skuffelse. Dagen var så til de grader ødelagt!

Men andre Halloweener ble tilbrakt i lekre, hjemmesydde heksekostymer. Min mor var flink med nål og tråd, og jeg var veldig glad som skjønn liten heks. Likte tanken på å ha magiske krefter. Som tenåring oppdaget jeg at det var blitt mer vanlig med andre kostymer enn de skremmende. La gå at en Nixon- eller Reagan-maske (og nå Bush) kan være "ekkel", men klovner? Prinsesser? Cowboyer? Helligbrøde! (Om man kan si det om Halloween.) Nå til dags ligner feiringen mer på karneval med folk som er utkledd som engler eller James Bond. Det blir rett og slett for mye farge (og for få masker). Det skal være svart og oransje på Halloween!

Leste nå i siste nummer av Nemi om tradisjonen Halloween, en dag med røtter langt tilbake til keltisk tid og opprinnelig en blanding av høsttakkefest og forberedelse på mørketiden. Kelterne anså mørketiden for å være skummel, en tid da mennesker var sårbare overfor onde ånder og spøkelser og mørkemenn. Så de skulle lures, disse onde, ved at menneskene kledde seg ut som dem. (Mye likt den norske julebukktradisjonen, hvor man kler seg ut som Djevelen (bukk) for at han skal tro at her er ikke noen kristne å plage.)

Tradisjonen er nå innført til Norge. Av handelsstanden. Og i stedet for å være en slags høstlig karneval med skummelt fortegn, er det blitt en unnskyldning for rølp. I fjor kastet noen egg på vinduet mitt. Jeg aner ikke hvorfor; det er derfor jeg kaller det rølp. Man griper fatt i "knep" ("trick"), og forvandler en artig høytid til et påskudd for hærverk. I tillegg dukket noen unger opp 2. november i fjor med "knask eller knep" (Donald-bladets oversettelse av "trick or treat") og ble sure på meg da jeg påpekte at Halloween er 31. oktober, uansett.

Så allerede før det er begynt, har jeg avsmak for den norske utgaven. Jeg har ikke tenkt å støtte mer opp om handelsstanden i Norge. Det får holde at de dytter jul på meg allerede i oktober. Halloween er ingen tradisjon her, og jeg lurer på om den går på bekostning av den eksisterende julebukktradisjonen (den begynner jo å forsvinne). Uansett, jeg har ikke lyst å svare døren 31. oktober. Den dagen finner jeg på noe annet.

Kall meg gjerne heks, om du vil.

Sep 29, 2003

Family ties

Finally. I know I have a lot to say and yet finding the energy to say it hasn't been easy. It's because it's all so emotional for me and there's so much, I have to think about organizing my thoughts.

What follows is obviously from my point of view. Just want to make sure you keep that in mind.

The Arrival
My mother came to visit on the 19th. She came to visit her mother who's been in the hospital (see Sept 18 blog) as well as me. Grandma said to me earlier this summer, "I'm going to ask you something and I hope you don't get upset." She wanted to know if I minded her inviting Mom over from the States. I didn't. But the fact that Grandma asked in that manner should clue you in as to how things are in my so-called family.

Grandma didn't get around to calling her daughter herself. Once again, she fell and ended up in the hospital. I e-mailed my mother and relayed the request.

My feelings have been mixed: A part of me was looking forward to seeing my mother again; another part of me was wary, remembering past fights and hurts. I realized that the little girl inside of me still longed for her mommy. The adult me was far from that enthusiastic. I decided to have as few expectations as possible; the upside to that is that it usually leads to being happily surprised. :-)

So emotional, mushy me teared up on the way to the airport, and teared up again at seeing my mother. She hadn't changed. Still looked like herself. (Truth is, none of us change much in this family.) Still sounded like herself.

The Visit
We still share a sense of humor. Or rather, I remember her sense of humor and I still laugh.

She was here for 5 days and nights. Every evening we walked to the bus and rode to the hospital. Grandma didn't recognize her daughter at first (but she didn't 9 years ago, either). We talked about all sorts of things. Mostly my mother talked. She told of her life in the States, her work, her activities. We both still share an interest in the paranormal and things related, but politically, we're very wide apart now.

I notice some things about my mother, stuff that may have been there the whole time but that I see more clearly now. My conclusion is that she is afraid (of loss) and she may also feel very alone.

Our family has never been close. We've never really been emotionally demonstrative, either. As long as we aren't discussing feelings (i.e. getting personal), we seem to do all right. But the moment we get into anything that may hurt or touch a tender spot, we are on the defensive. Makes it hard to get close. For me, it makes it hard to take the chance on closeness. As I said above, I remember past fights and hurts.

There was a moment when the old pattern made its presence known. But I didn't respond to it. I stayed calm, letting the moment pass. I recognized what I now call The Game. The Game played between my mother and I seems to be Who Of Us Had The Crappier Childhood; it's an unspoken competition between us which frustrates me since she's my mother and therefore partly responsible for my crappy childhood. But recognizing The Game and listening to some things she told from her childhood also clarified a few things from my childhood. Still, I don't need any more dysfunctional parenting. If my mother and I were just friends, not relatives, it would all be so much easier. But she's my mother.

The Departure

I was once again feeling emotional and tearing up as my mother and I rode in a taxi to the airport. Once there, we said our goodbyes without one tear falling and no "I love you's". At that point, I was relieved. I was so oddly – empty.

I had decided to see her plane take off. When the screen read that her flight was "Now Boarding", I teared up. When the screen read "Gate Closed", I teared up and for one moment wished that she'd come bounding up the stairs, telling me she couldn't leave me. My little girl wish. (This is what she should have done when I was 8 years old, and going off to Norway the first time. Neither of my parents had the sense then to tell me that they were sorry to lose me and that they would miss me.)

Except for the two moments of tearing up, I felt nothing. Both baffled me, the emotion and the lack of it. When I saw the actual plane take off, I felt nothing. I just thought, "What a fat-looking plane." Kind of short and wide, y'know? But it was hard to keep in mind that Mom was inside it.

I couldn't make sense of my feelings. I sent messages to a couple of friends about the successful visit but confusing departure. One reply suggested that I would know in a few days, when everything had calmed down.

Well, I didn't want to wait a few days. When I got home, I was pretty tired. So I put on my favorite meditation/nap music and stretched out on the couch, with my cat in my lap.

The first scene from my meditation was me, standing in the midst of a churning sea, completely dry. Right where I was there was calm, but everything around me was severely agitated. I didn't like it. I felt like all my work at maturing, at getting a grip on my own childhood and my relationship with my mother was for nothing because I seemed to not love my mother!

The next scene was me in a calm garden, talking to an old crone. I told her that I didn't know what I was feeling, that I was surprised at my calm. She said, "That's what strength feels like." The one thing I never wanted to let my mother do to me again, was hurt me. And she didn't. She couldn't. And she can't. She'd have to make a huge stink to get me to react now, and it just wouldn't be worth it. It would only make her look bad.

Still, something didn't sit right with me. "Am I strong because I no longer love my mother?" That bothered me. The crone wanted to know why. If it was true, I said, then it was something I had to keep to myself. To let my mother know that her own daughter didn't love her would be to hurt her terribly; it would be cruel. "And you care whether or not she's hurt?" the crone asked. "Yes, I do. Very much." ...Oh... I do still love her. I was relieved. (My mother's not perfect, but she's mine. And I guess that's part of my growing up: Realizing I'd rather love her than hate her or cut her out.)

The Aftermath
I have since realized that I am strong in other areas. My mother has not spent the time with her mother that I have. When Grandma goes, I will miss her, but I will have many good memories to look back on. My mother doesn't and I think she realizes that (hence my comment above about her being afraid of loss). I don't know how much longer Grandma will be around. I've done and said what I've needed to say and do. My mother tried to while she was here. I have to make sure that Grandma heard that.

One thing that has always impressed me about my grandmother is that no matter what, she has never stopped loving her daughter or worrying about her. She has always wanted the best for my mother. She has always wanted to see her daughter happy.

Sep 18, 2003

Woke up this morning to the news that it is Chile's Independence Day. Which instantly took me back a year, to a nurse I spoke to outside Grandma's room at the nursing home.

What a year! Grandma hasn't been home much. She was in the nursing home for her birthday (the 22nd) last year because she'd broken her arm. That was the longest stay, ever. She's fallen three times this year, and had a couple of infections, so she's seen the inside of the ER and the hospital a lot, too. So have I. And we are back again.

I never worry once she's in the hospital. They take good care of her at Haukeland Sykehus, the region's main hospital (and when it was new in 1978, Northern Europe's largest). Not once have I met an uncooperative nurse. It's the nurses I talk to about Grandma's condition. The only doctor I've spoken was the guy who read Grandma's X-rays last year and the cheerful young doctor at the ER. I've never spoken to the doctors who actually treat my grandmother. It occurs to me that they don't treat her. They diagnose her and the nurses treat and follow up.

At any rate, as seen from the outside looking in, the hospital is a well-oiled machine. They always know where my grandma is (even if she doesn't). The whole health care system, run by the city and county, is pretty well-organized. But, it is a bureaucracy, so although basic necessities are always taken care of, getting that little bit extra often falls outside the scope of the rules. But they are perpetually understaffed, too.

I could never be a nurse or caregiver. Though I wonder if they are pleasant because they aren't emotionally involved. I lose my patience with Grandma sometimes, but that's because I remember a vivacious and independent woman. This helpless creature I now call Grandma is familiar but confusing to me. It's unknown terrain for both of us, this thing called aging.

If you think folks are old at 70, wait till they hit 85 or so. There is a difference. 70 is still youthful, believe it or not. The 70's are still a time where body and mind are still both capable and independent. Staying alert and physically fit will help you stay independent into your 80's, should you live so long. That's the one thing that bothers Grandma, and that bothers most people who have spent a lifetime looking after themselves: Being at the mercy of someone else for all your basic needs, like food and washing and going to the toilet. Being helpless.

I sometimes wonder if those struck with dementia aren't the lucky ones, if your life is reduced to wearing adult diapers and being spoon-fed and sleeping 14 hours a day. I have often wondered about whether it is better to have all your faculties or to have none, if you are institutionalized. I haven't reached a conclusion yet.

Grandma's been talking to her mother a lot this week. On Monday, she wanted to know if I'd heard from her mother. I jokingly replied that that would mean I was haunted, a reply Grandma just didn't understand. I then told her that her mother was dead and had been since 1967 or thereabouts. She couldn't fit that information in with her current reality. Grandma was clear; she knew where she was. She was just so certain her mother was still alive. I left her still baffled.

When I visited Grandma again yesterday, she still believed her mother was alive, but she also remembered that I'd said she wasn't. At one point while we were talking about my mother's coming visit (Grandma's daughter), Grandma said, "When you meet her, have her read your palm. She's really good at that!"
"You mean my mother???" I asked.
"No, mine."
"Well, that will have to be when we meet in the afterlife," I laughed.
Grandma laughed too, but couldn't figure out why she kept thinking her mother is alive.

I tried to find out if there was any specific reason why Grandma would be thinking so much about her mother now, but there didn't seem to be. Granted, great-grandmother was talking to Grandma, but she was only saying, "I'm sorry." (Long history of lousy mothering in my family, which is one reason why I haven't wanted kids of my own.) Grandma thought maybe it was because she was going to die now. I told her to at least wait until after her birthday. Her comment didn't scare me or shock me or anything. She'll be 93 on Monday, the 22nd. It's just realism.

It's draining, being the only relative who visits, who is present, who gets the phone calls, who has to take care of practical stuff. Grandma leans on me, but I have no one to lean on. I do have a good friend who is helpful and comforting, but no one in my day-to-day life. If I get busy with Grandma's needs, my life gets put on hold. There's no one at my place keeping the wheels turning. I'm not complaining. I'm trying to get the perfectionist in me to shut up.

The perfectionist in me wants to offer my visiting mother a clean home, a spotless guest room, everything neat and tidy and absolutely ready to be inspected by a guest (What? You've never opened someone's closets while staying with them?). But reality intrudes, with time limits and physical limits, and so she will be staying in my cluttered apartment, but the sheets and towels are clean and the kitchen sink is spotless. If it were me, I'd be happy with that. But if it were me, I'd be focused on the person I'm visiting. That's why I'd be there. I'm not sure what my mother is thinking (nothing new there).

Ah, insight! Of course that's what I have to offer: Me! And if that's not good enough, so what (nothing new there, either).

Sep 13, 2003

I tusjens tegn

Så har jeg gjort det. Deltatt på en tegneseriemesse, nærmere bestemt Raptus. Dette har jeg gjort, men ikke fordi jeg er spesielt tegneserieinteressert (selv om jeg kjøper flere humorblad hver måned). Jeg dro ene og alene for å treffe en tegner som jeg har korrespondert med via e-post siden han brukte meg i en av adventskalendervitsene sine. Så nå har jeg dykket inn i en verden som jeg hittil bare har hørt om: Verden av samlere, av fans av tegnere, av folk som står villig i lang, ordnet kø for å få en lite tegning av f.eks. Will Eisner eller Dan Piraro (to av årets gjestetegnere). Alle som har bidratt til bladene "Rocky" og "Gorilla" fikk lange køer av fans foran sine "tegnebord".

Etter en del SMS-er med min tegneserietegnende e-postvenn, Knut A. G. Hauge, fant jeg i hvert fall rommet. Så fant jeg stativet med alle Mille-kortene. Da spurte jeg damen ved bordet der hvor mannen bak kortene befant seg. Og han befant seg bak et annet bord bak meg. Jeg snudde meg, folkemengden delte seg (de to gikk til hver sin kant), og der var Knut. Han satt ved bordet for Trondheimstegnerne, som viste seg å være en samling mennesker like hyggelige som Knut selv. De prøvde alle å selge Slagg 2 og var fornøyd med sin ene kunde for øyeblikket (meg). Samtlige har tegnet i min utgave av Slagg 2 så den havner aldri på loppemarked. :-)

Derimot havnet den og jeg for anledningen på foredrag med Trondheimstegnerne (hvorav de fleste er ikke-trøndere) og Knuts 12" iBook (sant det er det du har, Knut?) med Bluetooth-styring (skal det være så skal det). Knuts tegning i min utgave av Slagg 2 inkluderer nettopp en iBook, så jeg har nok en grunn for å beholde bladet i all evighet.

Omsider ble det anledning til å ta en kopp kaffe med Knut og hans ungdomskamerat, Sverre. Kaffen ble ledsaget av bergenske skillingsboller og en god del erting av Knut. Etterpå havnet vi atter ved stativet med alle Mille-kortene og elefantkortene og stavkirkekortene (man kan ikke påstå at Knut er ensporet) og jeg fikk litt av historien bak kortene; bl.a. har Sverre fotografert elefanten på Ulrikens topp. Her lærte jeg også flere måter å erte Knut på. (Nei, jeg forteller ikke deg.)

Det er alltid morsomt og litt nervepirrende å omsider skulle møte noen ansikt-til-ansikt som man kun har korrespondert med. Hittil har det alltid blitt over all forventning for meg.

Men kan du skjønne hvordan jeg klarte å dra fra Raptus uten å snope Nemi, Pondus, Modesty Blaise, Jason, Asterix, Rocky, Sandman, Katrine Haaland......

Sep 12, 2003

It's worrisome, having an elderly and sick relative. I'm my grandmother's only relative here in Norway, and I speak the language (she never learned to), so the nurses talk to me. And I have to be the sensible one.

Wednesday evening, a nurse called from the hospital, wanting to talk to me about Grandma's condition. By now, Grandma's been in and out of the hospital and the nursing home enough for both her and I to know what's what. It's not all great. I also didn't like discussing my grandmother's condition without her present. Not an issue like placing her in a nursing home. So I asked if I couldn't talk to someone at the hospital during my visit the following evening (yesterday). Reluctantly, the woman agreed.

So, while waiting for the bus yesterday, my mind was racing, trying to figure out what decision exactly I should make on my grandmother's behalf. She wants to stay in her own home, however infirm she gets. ("Infirm", what a great word; firmness in bones, memory, mind and will is just melting away from my grandmother. Spirit's still solid, though.) I wished I had someone to talk to. So I started to talk to my spirit guide, Katherine. I seem to treat her like an irritating kid sister, a reminder of some more attitude adjustments I need to make. But I digress.

Katherine reminded me that it wasn't really up to me to make any decision. That I actually didn't know my own grandmother's true medical condition (I doubt anyone does). So it's not up to me to contribute in that manner; I don't know my grandma as a patient. My expertise is in knowing Grandma as a person, knowing her psyche.

This little talk with my spirit guide calmed me down. As I got off the bus at the hospital, I affirmed that all discussions and decisions would be for the best of all concerned.

Grandma looked a lot better than she had two days earlier, when I visited her last. She was happy to get a newspaper and her reading glasses. I told her about a discussion on alt.astrology, involving the surprising insights one can get superimposing someone's art onto their birth chart. I mentioned Picasso, as one example. Then I decided that I'd better tell the nurses I was there, so we could have that talk. As I left Grandma's room, I saw a reproduction of two Picasso drawings hanging on the wall.

The nurse that came to speak with me, was about a head taller than me (I'm 163 cm tall), and younger than me, and a very pleasant woman, easy to talk to. It turned out that the home nurses themselves had said they didn't feel they could give Grandma proper care at home. There is the matter of getting Grandma to eat enough, and the home nurses just don't have the time to sit and help her eat. And Grandma now needs round the clock help since she can no longer stand and walk on her own.

So the decision to be made was where to next after Grandma is discharged from the hospital. The nurse handed me the application form for a bed in a nursing home. She explained that filling out the application now is just to get the paperwork moving and that Grandma can refuse to go at any time.

Well, the nurse had convinced me that Grandma needed extra help. Now to convince Grandma, which really wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted her to convince herself.

I went back to Grandma's room. I explained what the nurse had said. Grandma protested against going to the nursing home. She wanted to go home! I filled out the form, requesting a short-term stay at the nursing home, including a paragraph describing Grandma's condition and what the nurse had told me, closing with, "her strongest desire is to remain in her own home." I then asked her to read it through, and tell me what she thought. The application wasn't valid until Grandma signed it. She read it through, set it aside and again said she didn't want to go to any nursing home. She wanted to know what I thought. I answered honestly that I understood the medical reasons and they were good, but I also knew that Grandma really wanted to be at home. I urged her to read it again and think about what I'd written.

Then I focused my mind on an affirmation or prayer or whatever this little sentence I kept repeating to myself is: I ask that the Universe guide Grandma to make the right decision for herself. I kept saying it, focusing on Grandma's IV-bottle and how it was hooked up and looked like, anything to keep my mind from dwelling on my preferred answer in the matter. No matter what, it was best that Grandma herself make the decision.

She finally finished reading, and said she'd go to the nursing home. I thanked the Universe for helping out. She asked if I was happy with that decision and I said I was, that it was what I thought was best, too. She signed the application.

I loitered in the hospital lobby since I had about 20 minutes until my bus. I read September's issue of "Creative Mind Magazine", published by Religious Science International (the organization I belonged to 20+ years ago, when I lived in California). This month's letter from the president included this passage:

Calling upon the Presence [of God] really means becoming aware of God as a present Reality, immediately available to us, because God is immediately available in us. Calling upoing God does not mean we are somehow going to cause God to pay attention to us, whereas before we were being ignored. It means we become aware of an inner God that has never left us, even for a fraction of a second.

Why would we call God to our awareness? To remember who we are. To remember that whether we are aware of it or not, God is the Source of our very existence; It is the Power we use to meet the demands of everyday living."

Boy, did this hit home! Right down to that very last sentence, the part about the demands of everyday living. Wasn't that what I had just done, using only a few sentences? In talking to my spirit guide, in praying/affirming on my way to visit and while Grandma was thinking? And didn't it all turn out better than I imagined? Didn't these demands of everyday living all go smoothly? Yes and yes!

I told myself last night that I must remember to call on God in regards to a lot of other stuff in my life right now that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by. After all, calling does work. I know this and I've always claimed that that is the one thing I do know: That my prayers are answered.

I wanted to share this with you. I want you to see that this can be done. I would love to see others discover this immediately available power we all have inside of us. If you happen to be someone looking for answers, for some way to cope (better) with life, then learning about affirmations and the power of the Universal Mind that is a part of each and all of us, may help you as much as it has helped me.

Sep 5, 2003

It may very well be that Mercury Rx in Virgo may very well have something to do wiht general energy levels. But I'm wondering that only because both a friend of mine and I have been feeling tired earlier in the evening this week.

To any clutterbugs out there, FlyLady works! But she's not kidding about the baby steps. I finally gave up and started doing exactly what FlyLady herself did: Nothing but shining the kitchen sink. Basically, not so much shining as doing the dishes every evening. I have been able to that, with only a couple of missed evenings, since August 18th. No more piles of dishes in the sink. And I've noticed the same effect that FlyLady noticed: It made me want to clean off the counter next to the sink. I've wiped down the stove a bit more often than before. I felt like wiping down the cupboard doors. I finally pitched a lot of plastic containers, washed and stacked on my counter for months, in the recycling bin. Other benefits: I remember to take my vitamins. I take them in the evening, after I've done the dishes. Haven't missed any now.

FlyLady says it takes a month to get a new habit. So I'm focusing only on the kitchen sink. Baby step. Hopefully, by September 18th, doing the dishes every night and wiping down my sink, will be automatic. It certainly no longer feels like a chore. Yes, you read correctly: It's not a chore.

Exactly what will be my next daily chore, I'm not sure. Probably the bathroom sinks.

Sep 4, 2003

Sometimes I wonder if I suffer from ADD/ADHD or something. I am amazed at how easily I can be distracted. I never could work slow and steady. I always look forward to the break or variety. One symptom (of many) of ADD is an inability to start (and complete) a project on time – like housework. Or constantly showing up late for work (I've been doing that since I started working.)

And I do have to get my guest room in order since my mother is coming to visit later this month. After years of being where the clean laundry and miscellaneous stuff I don't know where to put is dumped, it's time to put everything away and uncover the bed and turn the room back into its original charming self.

And this'll take time and effort, so trying to get my blog archives, etc., together just isn't a priority right now. Hope you don't mind.

Aug 31, 2003

More experimenting

What can I say? Now that I can publish my blog again via Blogger.com, and its brand new interface, I have to explore further.

Astrology: Mercury has gone retrograde. The planet of communications and agreements and contracts now appears to be moving backwards from our point of view. The astrological interpretation of this REtrograde motion is one of REdo, REthink, REwrite, REassess. So I find myself REexploring Blogger and REstarting my blog at this site. So Mercury Retrograde (or Rx, for short) is not necessarily a bad thing, but do REcheck information and agreements, just to be sure.

Another try

Once again, trying Blogger. This time I thought I'd let my blog be hosted by Blog*Spot but discovered that astroblog.blogspot.com is already taken. So, I'll host my blog myself.

Jul 2, 2003

I had set a timer for 15 minutes. I just felt like writing. Grabbed my iBook and sat out on my balcony for a bit.

It's been a Douglas Adamsy week for me. Saturday, I bought his post-humous book, "The Salmon of Doubt", and have been reading it since. He was not only intelligent and witty, but also enthusiastic and philosophical. And he's making me want to read Richard Dawkins now. Adams became awestruck by Dawkins' take on evolution; I'm curious about what impressed Adams so.

Some other Adamsy things: Watched the movie "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (MST3K) and laughed myself silly. Really want to get the TV-series (yeah, all 11 seasons of it). An astrologer friend of mine calls it Sagittarian humor. No wonder I enjoyed it!

Both Adams and MST3K are giving me some philosophical and even spiritual experiences. About how the universe is put together and about laughing about your experiences. About laughing at the absurd and stupid, instead of being irritated by it. Much healthier to have a running dialog in your head à la MST3K than getting all huffy and self-righteous about others failings. Or even your own. No, especially your own.

Reading Adams really makes me want to write again. Editing my Web site (finally found a CSS design I like; you will eventually get to see it) also makes me want to write again. I'm editing some of the actual writing in my pages as I go.

Some other shit lately: I'm lonely. I'm really feeling it this time. I need more friends, a bigger network. One e-mail friend thinks I would better off in the States. I don't know at this time. Anyway, the Adams book is a pleasant distraction. Some thoughts shouldn't occupy the mind too much. That just brings you down.

I want to write again, I said, and I'd love to write good science fiction or a murder mystery, but I just feel so stupid. I don't have any plot. I have no body to hide, and no one who needs to hide it. Oh, well, there's a story: Go out and kill somebody, pin it on someone you know, and write what they tell you over a café au lait. Heh.

I have every second Wednesday off from work. Last night I stayed up too late, watching JAWS, or rather, the making of it and interviews with Spielberg et al – anniversary DVD. Today I watched the movie again. It's a classic. No two ways about it. I remember when it first came out, summer of 1975. I was living here in Bergen then, too. I didn't see it, but movie goers here got a good scare because someone had left a 3 foot shark by the exit. At the time I thought the small panic that caused to be silly. Three years later, I saw JAWS myself and could appreciate the paranoia the movie leaves you with.

The two best scenes in the movie for me, are the opening sequence with the first victim. She is so believable, right down to the sounds she makes. I remember that the sounds she makes always impressed me, like having her scream cut off by a gargle as water enters her mouth when she's pulled under again. The other scene that gets me is when the shark attacks the little boy on the inflatable raft: The moment when everyone's come ashore and his mother is looking around for him. She's the only one not reunited ñ and then they show the torn yellow raft with red-stained tide lapping over it. The first time I saw that mother, she irritated me. As I get older (and wiser), her situation grabs me more and more. She's too old to have such a young kid, but I understand. This is her change-of-life child, perhaps her only child ever, and she lost him and there's no way she can have another kid. She doesn't seem to be married, either. The shark leaves her all alone. Her offer of a bounty to get the shark killed becomes very understandable. The other scene that still irritates me, is when she's chewing out Chief Brody, but I understand that, too, now.

I had set the timer for 15 minutes and now it rang. The 15 minutes flew by. That's what I want! To lose track of time!

Jun 17, 2003

(Another one of those 3 week absences. I think it may be a pattern.)

In one sense, I have a bit to blog about, but I'm not happy with Blogger's handling of archives and I really want to change the layout on my website but just haven't settled on anything yet, so nothing's happening and I'm a bit uninspired, but here it is:

I've had a week of ups and downs. Mostly downs. Didn't do me any good to see my aging grandmother not get out of bed, nor to read on Usenet about the death of another poster's cat. A friend has told me that a lot of people she's talked to have felt stymied this past week. Maybe something to do with Saturn entering Cancer on June 4 and applying to a trine to Uranus now in Pisces. Don't know why, unless it's the fact that Saturn is now in a sign at odds with its own expression. Touchy, feely vs. logical, practical. Uranus in Pisces is also at odds in the same way: Intellectual, sudden vs. emotional, dreamy.

I partied hearty Friday night and came to the conclusion Saturday that I should give up drinking. Nobody said anything to me about my behavior, neither then nor later (when we were all sobered up again), but I still felt embarrassed. Same feeling last year. Maybe it's a Cancer thing. Jupiter was in Cancer last year and I kept waking up the morning after, feeling like I'd made a fool of myself. I'm a Sagittarian! We don't know the meaning of the word "embarrassment". So this is all very unlike me. But since the feeling of having stepped over some invisible line resurfaced again this past weekend, I've decided that it must simply be time to no longer indulge in drunkenness.

There are other itches demanding scratching these days, too, so it may be the/my "Zeitgeist". I want to start wearing nicer clothes to work and get away from the perpetual jeans-and-T-shirt. Slacks and a blouse or something. That's all. Haven't quite found the motivation for that, but the desire is stronger than before. Another "itch" is to forgive "everyone" and release a lot of hurt and anger from the past. You know how you get an idea and then you start seeing it everywhere? It's like that with the forgiving thing: I see comments on Usenet, in a magazine, from other people, and it's all saying, "It's time. Give up your ghosts and pet peeves."

Funny. When I look back on what I've written here, about drinking, and dressing, and forgiving, it looks like I'm trying to – grow up.

May 25, 2003

Some random thoughts:

  • Eurovision Song Contest: Less gala, more outrageous. The Norwegian participants looked rumpled in comparison, but (as usual) get compliments from other Norwegians that they look "folksy". Well... ESC is an interesting peak at what the other nationalities look like and what they think is good entertainment. The Baltic and Balkan countries impress me.
  • Saw a documentary on Discovery about the private person Adolf Hitler. He definitely suffered from some sort of personality disorder. I'm waiting for history to reveal the same about George W. Bush.
  • Blogger has updated its software. Maybe now my archives will stay in place.
  • Michael Moore is my hero. I have just finished reading his book "Stupid White Men" and it lived up to the blurb on the cover: "Furious and funny."

May 16, 2003

Course completed! My friend Hope says she gets goosebumps when she is saying something that is completely accurate. That happened to me last night while reading the cards for another classmate: I got goosebumps. However, when I got home and laid out a spread, I couldn't remember one thing about any of the cards. Anyway, the interest is there. Since I don't have a deck of cards on me, I have rediscovered free online Tarot readings, like www.facade.com/tarot/.

May 14, 2003

Another frustrating day at the café. Nothing to do, not feeling "at home" or appreciated. A customer came in and wanted to a reading. The woman on duty at the café kept telling her all the psychics were booked and none were "in today". Drily I said, "Except the astrologer." That woke her up and she remembered why I was there. (!) So I got one paying customer, a very nice woman, though I wasn't happy with myself after the reading. I felt rusty again. And that makes me wonder and think.

I feel frustrated at the café. I was shocked to see how little effort they make at marketing their own "psychic café". My friend Hope, who reads the Tarot there, told me she suggested all the "marketing" they "do" for her there (sign in the window, a binder with information about the Tarot and Hope). She also told me that she thought the new locale they want to move into would be much more suited to us who give readings, and that the café owners were very positive. I was encouraged by this. I told her I was toughing it out for the rest of this month (have one more Saturday in May) but wasn't sure about June. She told me I could quit any time. I had that freedom. Then I could come back after the summer vacation when the café had settled into its new digs.

In the meantime, I've been wondering – again – about this choice I've made and whether or not astrology – being an astrologer – is what I want/should be doing. I've been affirming "Divine Right Action in my life right now" and getting messages from the Universe to reconnect to my spiritual source (in plain English, pray to God). So yesterday I had lunch with Hope and towards the end she asked me to be in her Tarot class. Three nights of three hours each this week. She had only three students and didn't want to cancel, so she wanted a fourth so there would be more feedback. And I could get pointers from her in case I want to teach astrology. (That's a scary thought. Not a foreign thought, but definitely scary. Butterflies and the world's biggest roller-coaster, all at once. For now.) I told her I had considered taking her class but couldn't afford it. "This is free," she told me. She just wanted me there.

I wonder at why this gift now. Eventually, it will all be revealed, I'm sure. In the meantime, I really enjoyed myself at our first class last night and am looking forward to our next classes tonight and tomorrow. That's a Venus thing – pure enjoyment. How does Venus enter into this? Here:

Astrologically, the offer for the class came as the Moon was applying to a conjunction of my Midheaven (the point that has to with vocation, goals in life) and the Sun (sustainance) was exactly trine my natal Midheaven ruler (my Venus). Transitting Venus herself is applying to a trine to my Ascendant (presentation of Self – it's a good week). Venus is a sweet gal, often bestowing pleasantness in many forms upon us. Mercury, the planet of communication, intellect and students, is still retrograde (going the wrong way). It is currently in Taurus as is the Sun, and my Midheaven and the Moon are in Libra. All of these are therefore ruled by Venus. Mercury retrograde also means redoing something. And I kept saying to my friend Hope that now maybe, finally, I'll learn to read the Tarot, after trying so many times.

May 9, 2003

I came across this site, pagannews.com. I'm not into witchcraft or paganism, really, but the front page has some interesting stuff and changes every day. Scroll down for things like Tarot card or Rune of the day and the current moon phase. The reason I mention the site today is because I just tried the Craftname generator. I don't know what a craft name is, but I sure like the result I got: Silver-Leaf Fox.

May 5, 2003

I feel much better and I did get some housework done this weekend. That was actually thanks to you, my invisible reader. I felt like I couldn't make a "promise" like I had Friday and then not follow through. It was odd being motivated by an unseen person's opinion. However, it did the trick. I got off my ass and followed FlyLady's crisis cleaning routine. That kept me on track.

I have to laugh at myself, and at the same time stand in awe of my own process of self-discovery. I never thought of myself as unable to organize or follow through on a project, and yet, in my wake are many abandoned projects. I just thought I didn't have the talent or something. Turns out, I am too easily bored and I also need concrete rewards/milestones. So it actually helps me to set a timer for 15 minutes. I won't have time to get bored before that timer goes off. And the other thing is, that timer makes me compete against myself. I go real fast with my little kitchen timer ticking. It becomes a game. A race between me and my little green apple (which is what my timer looks like). The nice thing about housework, is that you can see the difference. Nice reward. But just the timer going off is a milestone in itself, and encouraging to me.

So, what to pay myself? I wonder if NOK 10 a minute is too ambitious. (NOK 10 is about USD 1 in spending power.) I'll have to do some calculations and see what seems reasonable. In the meantime, I have to remember I have a goal – and that this all should be fun.

May 2, 2003

My mood has definitely improved.

Firstly, I found out that Grandma just got a cut, and needed a few stitches and would be coming home today. I was there to meet her and we had a pleasant afternoon together.

Secondly, I had a nice "chat" via SMS with a good friend who is also interested in astrology, and he gave me more food for thought. I started brainstorming on how to get Norwegians interested in more than what seem to be straight yes-or-no questions. If I reach any conclusion, I'll let you know.

Thirdly, my home has been badly neglected – and that means I'm neglecting myself. I want to be able to invite friends over on impulse and I don't want to constantly be looking for things. I've decided to turn the stereo on loud this weekend and get some housework done, and then start maintaining. I hope to follow FlyLady's routines.

Focusing on my home, my immediate environment, is also an attempt on my part to nurture myself. I've discovered that I'm very good at indulging myself, but not at nurturing. Also, I'm not good at enouraging, or rather, rewarding myself. Y'know, actually letting my inner voice tell me I done good. So, I'm thinking about paying myself to, well, clean my room. You see, I really want an iPod. So, paying myself to clean house would be a way to save towards the iPod. This is inspired by something I saw on a Dr. Phil episode, about setting managable goals and being able to tell if you've achieved them.

Now all I have to do is decide what I'm worth as a live-in maid.

I have not been in a good mood this week. I blame PMS because it started with that, but I think it's more than that. Doesn't help that today started off badly, with a phone call from the home nursing staff, telling me that my grandma fell last night and cut her head. She's been admitted for observation at the hospital.

My first reaction was utter irritation, then panic. Then I told myself that Grandma had not lost consciousness, she herself had asked the nurses to notify me, and she's still a tough old bird, though "old" is getting more weight than "tough".

But I just don't feel up to it.

I haven't felt down in a long while. Depressed. Now I can feel it sneaking up on me, and I don't think it's just the PMS. Little stuff is starting to overwhelm me. I'm feeling lost – and lonely again.

More later.

Apr 29, 2003

Bergen (hvor jeg jo bor) var velsignet med mye flott vær i april – og tørke – og gressbranner. Derfor ble jeg så glad lørdag da regnet kom. Og det regnet enda mer i dag, derfor dette, eh, diktet:

Det regner.
Regn som du kan høre, der det treffer vinduet.
Regn som renner og plasker.
Regn som samler seg i hundrevis av dråper på gesimser og trær.
Regn som gjør alt vått.
Regn som nærer vårblomstene og løvspretten.
Regn til å være innendørs i.
Regn til å tenke i.

Apr 28, 2003

I take comfort in that Blogger doesn't seem to blog any more often than I do. I am so impressed by those who have something to say every day. Well, I do, but nothing that I consider important or worth sharing at least. It's not enough that it tickles my mind; I like to think it should tickle yours, too.

This post is just thinking out loud. And about how things work out.

I give astrology readings every second Saturday at a café in town. Twice now I've had no customers. This past Saturday, when I woke up, I really didn't want to go in. I asked Myself why not, and Myself answered, "I'm not an astrologer." I got no where in attempting to find out what Myself thought she is, if not an astrologer. It was all an intellectual exercise; I wasn't able to get at my feelings.

So, I went to "work", not able to really focus and not interested in saying an affirmation for paying customers (as my good friend who reads the Tarot said I should). Instead, I repeated over and over to myself, "Divine Right Action in my life right now", which is an affirmation to let the Universe guide you.

Funny how things work out. Another astrologer was very social and talkative Saturday. We've never exchanged more than a "hello" before, but Saturday she talked about all sorts of stuff, mostly astrological and so it was a very enjoyable conversation for me. But there were some things she said: That there was no acceptance for astrology in Norway; that she couldn't make a living off of astrology alone, but also gave massages and healing treatments; that she never cared to advertise.

Over lunch later with my good friend who reads the Tarot, we discussed that last part – about advertising. You have to advertise, she said, and I know she's right. She has the spirit of a salesperson, anyway, which I don't. Still, some form of advertising, of putting myself out there, has to be done if I am to continue with this. That "if" is a bit more weighted than it may appear. I have to rethink where I am heading with this. I can sense that astrology is not my end goal; it is a tool for my process as well as for psychological insight, but I want something more/else (what I have to get back to talking to Myself about).

So Divine Right Action first let me listen to another astrologer's experience with customers or lack of (she has no repeats except for a couple of diehards who come back once a year for a Solar Return reading) and then to the experience of my "mentor". And I have a decision to make. I will continue to affirm "Divine Right Action in my life right now."

Apr 25, 2003

A co-worker was walking down the hall past my office this afternoon. She was hunting a scent, a pleasant scent. Somewhere in my vicinity she had smelled something she liked.

It turned out to be my office.

I had no explanation. I don't wear a lot of perfume and when I do, it's nothing heavy. Today I wasn't wearing any perfume at all. That lead to trying to sort out what possibly could be the source. I have no items in my office that smell.

It was almost like filling out a questionaire. Do you know the exact name and scent of your deodorant? Or shampoo? I read the label the first time I buy a product and use it and note the name only if shopping for a replacement. My brain operates on a need-to-know basis only. I impressed myself by actually knowing what products are on my body. They were more than I realized. I started with shampoo and shower gel, but then remembered the deodorant and hairspray.

Just please don't ask me what brand of toothpaste is currently in my bathroom. All I can remember is that it's in a longer than usual tube.

Apr 20, 2003

Et sikkert vårtegn for meg er linerla. Jeg synes den vesle trekkfuglen med sin grafiske fjærdrakt og konstant vipping på stjerten er så morsom å se på. Det er overtro forbundet med første gang man ser linerla om våren: Får du øye på linerla på bakken, blir det et rikt år. Står fuglen på steingrunn, blir det et magert år. Er fuglen på vingene når du ser den, møter du kjærligheten.

Apr 11, 2003

Been a while. Again.

Well, since last I wrote, I had a night out on the town. Sometimes you just have to immerse yourself in something else besides the usual and it had been a while since I had gone dancing or drunk anything stronger than coffee. So, some friends and I went to an 80's show, and got all nostalgic for the era of mullet hairdo's (hockeysveis, på norsk), hot pink and black clothes, pointy shoes and drum machines. The bartender was a jolly Black man from St. Louis, Missouri, and he was as magical with his hands as Tom Cruise in "Cocktail". I get so fascinated I end up drinking too much. Well, on the dance floor, we were rocking to old favorites and "head-banging". I gave myself a slight whiplash! And before we even made it to the nightclub, we were playing 80's tunes and drinking wine and dancing on the living room floor at my friend Lise's. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I had a great evening. Good friends and good music makes me happy.

I've been pretty happy the whole time, since last I wrote. I had lots of energy last week. Even felt like cooking dinner from scratch for me and my friend Torleif. A relaxing Friday evening with rockfish "burgers" and oven-cooked fresh vegetables, including three types of mushrooms. We parked ourselves in front of the DVD and saw "Under Suspicion".

I keep wondering where all my energy is coming from. I've been feeling so good both physically and emotionally. I wondered if it was because my department has moved to our building's new, added-on 5th floor and we've been walking up five flights of stairs for three weeks. Then I noticed that Mars has been transitting my 1st house. If it's Mars, I'm going to miss it. :-)

I've missed giving astrology readings, but will be back at the café tomorrow. I hope I get customers!

On another note, I've noticed that the war in Iraq has crept under my skin, after all. I have not bothered to read about it, and the only news I get is on the radio in the morning. I haven't been watching the TV news because it always starts with what seems like a quarter of an hour of war, and I want the news. How did I notice it got me, after all? Casual comments suggesting that Americans think with their Bibles, not their brains, has brought back my painful past. When I was a kid in Norway, the Vietnam war was raging. We as Americans were treated negatively by a lot of Norwegians, who were against the war. I was bullied at school, and many adults refused to speak to my grandparents. They never actually asked what we thought. They just assumed that being Americans, we were for the war. It looks to me like the same thing is happening again, some 30+ years later.

It helps to remember that the people of a country do not necessarily think or act like their government, as odd as that may sound. Certainly, not every single citizen agrees with their government!

Mar 24, 2003

Det er blitt den årstiden som det er vanskeligst å kle seg for. Man går i vinterklær fordi det fortsatt er kaldt – men plutselig bryter solen igjennom og den varmer forbausende godt, og man går ettermiddagen i møte med altfor mye klær. Jeg håper jeg klarer å finne en løsning i år på dette.

Mar 19, 2003

I woke up thinking about two stupid men today. Two men who are willing to risk the lives of hundreds or thousands of their citizens – because they're, well, stupid.

My view as I type is of two still-naked birch trees. No. 1 is closest to my living room window, No. 2 is behind it. In No. 2, two magpies are building a nest for the first time. Magpie nests are made out of longish twigs and have a couple of entries/exits and a roof. Quite elaborate and can withstand storms, though it just looks like a mess to human eyes. I watch the busy couple constantly gather twigs, and put them in place according to some blueprint only they know. One magpie had also found a large piece of bread, and just managed to escape to the safety of the tree only a couple of tail-lengths ahead of a seagull. Seagulls can't sit in trees. The magpie got to keep its prize.

I enjoy watching this little drama (and promise) of life, rather than thinking about two stupid men.

That nest is starting to look big. In a couple of months, there will be eggs hatching in it.

Mar 17, 2003

My thoughts on my New Age Fair experience (March 7–9) are now up, on their own pages, both in English and på norsk.

Mar 15, 2003

I just love this. I'm supposed to blog in order to say what's on my mind. Sometimes my mind has nothing at all on it that can translate into print. These past couple of days, everything I do is to the theme from the TV-series "L.A. Law".

I have not been lazy, just not blogging. Today I gave a couple of astrology readings at a café in town, Molino Kaffebar. I will be doing that every 2nd Saturday. I feel a bit knocked out now (like I need a nap) and I wonder if that's from doing the readings. This week I've been enjoying the start of spring and lovely weather. I made a web page of some pictures I took.

I'm also in the process of writing about my New Age Fair experiences, in both Norwegian and English, and will post a web page about that soon.

Mar 13, 2003

What greeted me this morning around 9 am, when I went to shut my bedroom window. I just love the way the sun shines through the trees, leaving long shadows.

I'm done with the New Age fair and I had more fun than not. I will be writing about my experiences, but for now, there is a photo album at www.geocities.com/astrolog_fox/ (my Norwegian astrology site – new, so there's not much there yet.)

Mar 6, 2003

Since I last checked in:

  • The trees have begun to bud (pics next week).
  • The weather is decidedly milder.
  • The New Age Fair starts tomorrow. Have to set up our stands tonight.
  • I've been offered to give astrology readings for pay at a local café (did I mention that already?).
  • I've had my bangs trimmed.
  • My grandma is doing better.
  • I fiddled with CSS and made an astrology page for my "professional self" in Norwegian. Astrologi- (og messe-) interesserte kan kikke her: www.geocities.com/astrolog_fox.
  • I will get around til CSS-ing the rest of my pages and especially my blog page. :-)
  • Have the week off work next week. Nice!
  • My health is good.
  • My friends are even better.
  • I've panicked, fretted, regretted, loved, enjoyed, been tickled by my decision to do the astrology.
  • Most importantly: The Universe has been backing me all the way. I have asked for help and opportunities and have gotten everything I asked for and more. I feel blessed.

Feb 27, 2003

I got busy. Work got demanding (got busy), I am trying to get together a couple of websites: One for the Bergen Insurance Club and one for my own astrology work. I'm also trying to learn CSS and come up with some design ideas. Today I dozed while the CEO talked about last year's figures and this year's figures. No, he wasn't boring, but we were treated to a large and delicious meal just before the meeting and I had dessert, too, and I got drowsy. So I stared at my tan shoes and when I closed my eyes, I could see this deep turquoise and I thought, "Oh, that's a pretty color scheme!" and right now you're thinking, "After two weeks' absent this is what she comes up with?" Sorry, my head is focused on a lot of Real Life stuff right now (which includes tan shoes) and my writing energy and creativity has been targeted towards the New Age Fair next weekend.

Be grateful I have a friend who nags me when I've been silent too long. ;-)

Anyway, here's one way I keep up with current events in the US: I read PolitcalCartoons.com once a week, all 12 pages. Anything I don't understand or haven't heard about (like this week's SUV roll-over reference) I put into Google's news service (news.google.com/) and up pops an online newspaper article or a website that clues me in. I did this today and learned that SUVs have a high senter of gravity, that Utah allows people to take guns to school if they have a permit, that a young baseball player has died from a Chinese herb (contained ephedra) and that the most popular gag is variations on Sadam meeting Dubya for a debate.

What have you learned lately?

Feb 14, 2003

Another yahoo: I finally figured out what went awry with the automatic archives for my blog and I've finally acted on it. (Yeah, I'm waaay slow sometimes. ;-) )

Big yahoo!!! Wednesday I was asked to give astrology readings at a local café! Paid readings! On my day off from work. Yes, I accepted!

I read on the newsgroup alt.astrology.moderated that the Magi society's brand of astrology claims that Chiron transitting Saturn comes in years when something the native does "breaks up the relationship or marriage of another". Now, Saturn represents things that are the most permanent in nature. Saturn rules bones, rocks and time. Where Saturn is in your chart is where you have the most permanency, where things are long-term. This is why a good astrologer will look for Saturn contacts to see if a relationship will last.

The longest relationship in my life so far has been with my current employer; I have Saturn conjunct the ruler of my midheaven (MC), which means career. I will have been with the company for 20 years come April. That sort of permanency is very unusual for me, and has been totally unplanned for.

So what happens when Chiron now transits my natal Saturn? I get a chance to try an entirely different sort of job. How this will all turn out, I don't know.

But it's exciting, that's for sure!

A co-worker mentioned today that daytime now is 3 hours longer than it was at the winter solstice. I have my own little marker: When the sun climbs high enough in the sky to still be above the horizon by the time it clears the building in front of mine. I then get the Return of Sunset. I get rays of sun again on my living room wall. I took a picture of them, too, to show you. With a flash. I didn't realize the flash would drown out the soft sunlight. Duh! But I have a picture of the sunset. :-) Enjoy!

Feb 8, 2003

I feel good lately. Could just be transitting Venus crossing over my ascendant. Could be due to having something fun and self-fulfilling to look forward to and focus my energy on: The New Age fair in Bergen in March. I also have Chiron (keyword: Wounded healer) going through my first house, and it will be conjunct my Saturn exactly just a couple of days before the New Age fair.

I haven't studied Chiron much. The Wounded Healer is based on the mythology of the immortal centaur Chiron. He was a healer and assisted the gods. When he was mortally wounded, he couldn't die, because he was immortal. Instead, he had to keep living in pain, but continued to be a healer and teacher. Supposedly, where Chiron is in our chart, is where we are deeply wounded, but also where we have great resources. So I'm curious about having Chiron transitting my Saturn. Saturn rules career choices and karma. It's in my 1st house, so my karma is really about my personality, just simply who I am. Wounded Healer/Great Resources meets Karma/Career Choice.

In the meantime, I have some webpages to make and a brochure and the butterflies are taking speed and acting accordingly in my stomach.

Feb 4, 2003

A friend sent me this link to a page at innerself.com that compares the chakras to astrology. What got my attention is that the second chakra, the spleen chakra (right below the belly button) is associated with Jupiter, which is my ruling planet (seeing as how I'm a Sagittarian Sun and ascendant) and also is the planet closest to my ascendant. That got my attention, because I have a large, heavy ceramic "plate" showing the six-petalled symbol for the second chakra, Svadisthana.

I once heard a story about a woman who had seen a landscape painting for sale. She loved everything about it except for a little millhouse. After some deliberating, she did decide to buy it, only to find that someone else had beaten her to it. The seller told her that he had another one just like it, but, he apologized, it was without the millhouse (!). She got her painting exactly as she wanted it!

That story has been with me for some 20 years. It was told to me as a lesson that if you really want something, you'd love to have it, you will get it. I sometimes wondered how true that was.

About 8 years ago, a friend of mine had an acquaintance, Suzanne Lasher, who made pottery and had developed her own glazing techniques. Three of us went to see an exhibit she was having. Most of her stuff was pleasing to my eye, and I was thinking I'd like to buy something. Then I saw what I wanted: Off in a corner hung a large, round disc, with a funny symbol that looked like a lower-case A surrounded by six flower petals. "It's the spleen chakra," I was told. It was a very simple design, in colors I liked. There was just one thing wrong with it: An iron pocket in the clay had burst during heating and created a huge blister on the surface. That ruined the disc for me.

I thought about buying something else, but really wanted that chakra disc. My friend said maybe I'd find something else I'd like at Lasher's studio; it would also probably be cheaper since there wouldn't be a gallery charge. We visited Lasher and got a tour of her studio. One of the first things I saw casually lying on a counter was the chakra disc! Without the huge iron blister! It became mine, just as I wanted it. I was also amazed that the millhouse-in-the-painting story had come true for me.

Some things are just meant to be. Why this disc? The spleen chakra has to do with joy and creativity. Now I have found out it is also associated with Jupiter, the planet of expansion and optimism. My chakra disc still makes me happy; I feel balanced, at ease when I look at it.

About the disc: It's about 36 cm in diameter, 1 cm thick. In the flower petal at the 3 o'clock position, you can see a small iron blister. I find this one charming; it adds to the organic feel.

Hva jeg gjør akkurat nå? Ser på naturprogram om mår sammen med katten min. Måren beveger seg jo som katter, og det samt alle fuglene og fuglelydene gjr at programmet som går akkurat nå på NRK er ypperlig familieunderholdning for både tobeinte og firbeinte. Pus følger veldig godt med. Hun har ypperlig utsikt til TV-en fra toppen av salongbordet. :-)

Feb 1, 2003

I got a correction about my Mercury retrograde post from my good friend Julie. Here's what she had to say:

"Just a note about ME Rx in your blog – planets are closer to Earth when they are retrograde. The outers (Mars [on] out) need to be 120 degrees or more ahead/[after] the sun to be retrograde, otherwise they are direct. Makes oppositions more interesting, I suppose – any planet has to be retrograde to be at opposition. (Which leaves out Mercury and Venus, funny thing!)

"Mercury and Venus are, of course, the exceptions. But I take exception (!) to your assertion that Venus is retrograde 3 [times] a year, I don't think that's the case. I can remember only one Venus Rx in the past 3 years, and from a cursory look at my planetarium software, it isn't Rx for this whole calendar year..."

She's right. Venus was retrograde (Rx) only once last year (October/November) and not at all this year.

Since what Julie says may be difficult to visualize, I found another web page that illustrates the retrograde motion.

I'm crying over the news of the space shuttle Columbia breaking up and disappearing in midair. I surprised myself by crying so much. And I realize it hurts because everything is so wrong and difficult these days for America. I've always been a big fan of the space program, the one huge expenditure of the government that brought the people together and let us dream together, instead of huddling in fear together.

Damn.

Another thing that makes it sad is that Columbia was the first space shuttle. NASA's page about Columbia.

Jan 28, 2003

One of these days I'm going to have to see if there's an astrological reason why I sometimes go days without blogging. I know Mercury was retrograde for a while and it seemed to effect me by making me lethargic. The moment the planet went direct, it felt like I got new energy. What's retrograde, you ask? Or maybe you're asking, where'd I leave my beer? (Where were you doing just before you sat down to read my blog? That's where your beer is.) For those of you who are able to focus and remember the retrograde question (and where you put the beer), NASA has an explanation here.

Basically, retrograde means a planet appears to be moving backwards relative to our vantage point, just because of the way orbits and distances from the Sun and stuff is. Astrologically, it means the planet's expression takes a more indirect route than usual; it also means going over old ground. That means a Mercury Retrograde period is great for getting rid of paper clutter (I did do that), but planning for or acting on the future needs some extra caution. Many astrologers believe that retrograde planets in a birth chart show issues from a past life that need re-working in this lifetime.

Any planet can be retrograde at some point but the Sun and Moon can't. They never appear to be moving backwards. Mercury is retrograde about 3 times a year, and so is Venus, since both orbit the Sun very closely.

Anyway, I'm feeling energized these days. Tomorrow I'm going to give two strangers astrological readings; it's a "practice run" for my participation as an astrologer at Bergen's New Age Fair in March. I've never done this sort of thing before, so I'm very excited and a bit scared. I wonder if the butterflies in my stomach like beer? I hope so. They're getting some.

Jan 17, 2003

Did you know the Sun is green sometimes? Apparantly, it can flash green at sunrise and sunset. A search on Google for "green flash" will turn up a lot of information about it. This site explains the phenomenon and has pretty pictures. I myself have never heard of this before and have never seen it.

Jan 16, 2003

Some stuff rattling around in my head:

Chinese medicine groups the body's various parts differently than does Western medicine. We group according to type of tissue – bone, nerve, muscle, etc. – whereas the Chinese group according to function. In their system, the gut, lungs and brain are all grouped together because they all are similar in function (i.e. nutrition in – waste out in the same movement).

In Western astrology, Mercury, the planet that rules intellect, also rules lungs and intestines.

I have also always trusted my gut instincts. They rarely steer me wrong.

These rattlings come together in this article about the body's second brain: The gut.

Jan 13, 2003

I asked a friend: "What did you have for dinner?" Then he sent me these pictures. It's anyone's guess...

Jan 12, 2003

There is a fact of life, that applies to all of us (women, too) and that is farting (or passing gas or flatulence). I was directed to this educational and funny webpage answering all kinds of questions about the gas we pass. By the way, it's good to fart, though you may still not want to do it in public. :-)

Jan 8, 2003

Some things about living in Norway:Norwegians don't decorate their houses with Christmas lights American-style – yet. They do do lights that mark Advent and that are kept up until the 13th day of Christmas (Jan 7) or sometimes 20th day. The picture of the snowman who appeared on New Year's Day this year, shows two types of lights commonly displayed for Advent: An eight-pointed star and a seven-armed mock candelabra. (This is the view from my living room window. My apartment building is similar-looking.)

I went to do a little bit of shopping this evening. A large number of grocery stores stay open until 9 pm (21:00) now. But in Norway, the sale of alcohol (which means beer) has to stop at 8 pm. Like that makes any sense. There are still powers in Norway that want to hang on the old way of thinking, which means Alcohol Is Bad. (Curiously, one of the senators in the US who suggested Prohibition, was apparantly of Norwegian descent.)

I'll bet you're thinking all Norwegians get in the way of booze is beer. Not so. But beer is the only thing allowed sold in regular grocery stores. Ales and other spirits that have an alcohol content higher than 4.5 % have to be sold through the state monopoly Vinmonopolet (literally, "the wine monopoly"). This leads to another tradition: The interminably long lines before major holidays and weekends to buy booze, even an ordinary table wine. However, the personell are specially trained, and so are as much consultants as clerks. I haven't been steered wrong yet. The Vinmonopolet is a good place to people-watch, too, because it's the one store where all walks of life shop.

Jan 3, 2003

Magic!
This new moon has been full of good news for me. On my way home tonight, I looked up at the light-polluted skies above what I call home, and found Orion, looking much paler than I remembered from the darker nights of my childhood. And then I saw it: A shooting star – streaking very fast north to south right above me.

I was so happy to see it. I had no wish to make. My wishes seem to be coming true, anyway. I thought the shooting star was a confirmation of that. It made the evening – in fact, the whole start to 2003 – feel magical.

Jan 2, 2003

My spider's back! Not dead! Probably just temporarily relocated – for whatever reason spiders relocate. My little spider is back on my bathroom ceiling, hanging over my shower. (I have arachnephobia – a fear of spiders; as long as the spider is small, not black, and doesn't go moving all over the place, I'm OK.)

Jan 1, 2003

Happy New Year, everyone! It's officially Januar 1 2003 in all of Europe. And it's snowing in this part of the continent. It's been snowing and blowing all day. Large flakes are coming down and currently it looks like we've got 4 or 5 inches of snow and not much visibility for the fireworks.

In Norway, small fireworks are sold for New Year's Eve and folks set them off themselves. I've been watching my neighbors tonight. Sparks have literally flown through the air, most upwards and high, some directly at buildings and bushes. I took my picture of fireworks through my living room window.

I watched some kids mess around with what I assume were some of the cheaper types of firecrackers.

  1. Light a firecracker in your hand
  2. Toss it a good 20 meters
  3. Watch nothing happen
  4. Light a firecracker in your hand
  5. Hold it a bit longer, make a friend yell "Throw it" at you
  6. Throw it
  7. See a red dot light up in the snow (kinda cool)
  8. Make a small mound of snow
  9. Light a firecracker in your hand
  10. Place it in the mound of snow
  11. Watch it explode into zooming green lights [Oh, so that's what it does]
  12. Place firecracker in mound of snow
  13. Light firecracker
  14. Watch it try to escape as it goes off with some zooming green lights
  15. Place a firecracker deeper in mound of snow
  16. Light firecracker
  17. Watch mound light up bright red from inside and then blow out a side with a FWOOMP.
That last one was pure comedy and gave me a big laugh. The first of 2003! What promise for the new year!