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Dreaming about making a deposit into my checking account when the earthquake hit. Barely made it out of the bank. Ran up a staircase into the streets of a metropolitan area as the bank roof crumbled behind me. After crossing the street, it started to rain. It was a lovely rain. Abundant with delicate droplets. Like a blessing. 

Woke up around 11:30 pm with a headache. Took two Excedrin to knock it out and went back to sleep.  Woke again at 2 am with caffeine from the Excedrin zinging through my system. There was no chance of sleep or recapturing the dream as my mind turned to Bush.  George W. Bush.  “Shrub” as Molly Ivins liked to call him. God bless Molly Ivins! I miss her.

So here I am [this is Kiki]  up at 2 friggin’ 15 in the morning. My virus scanner is humming away doing its middle of the night thing, keeping me company.

This man Bush really has a hold on me. An eight-year Vulcan nerve pinch.   It started when he stole the election in 2000 by rigging the election in my home state of Florida. God, was I pissed and hurt and confused. The deeper we got into his residency at 1600, the more pissed, hurt and confused I was.

I wrote a letter to Bush just before he sent us to war in Afghanistan. I felt he was opportunistically jumping on 911 as a way of marshalling support for his daddy’s war in the Middle East. I’m pretty sure I left that part out of the letter.

Very politely and diplomatically I explained why I thought going to war was a bad idea and suggested we find another way to handle the crisis. A few weeks later, a lovely embossed card from the White House arrived. Looked like an invitation to dinner.  The delicate font explained why the war was necessary. It’s around here somewhere with a big muddy footprint on it.

By 2002 I was seriously depressed. My doctor Lisa thought it was Seasonal Affective Disorder. In hindsight I think it was Bush Administration Disorder.  I felt isolated. Like I was the only person on the planet who felt this way. Whenever I voiced my opinion folks would clam up – maybe because they disagreed, maybe because they agreed and were fearful of expressing themselves. Don’t really know. Greg was a patient listener.

Somewhere around 2002, there came a two hour window of sunlight. John Gorka was playing at the Grassroots Concert Series down in Nisswa. There I was, in a room full of kindred spirits, actually laughing at the insanity!

Gorka was the aloe on my burn. First eruption of laughter from my soul since the non-election of 2000. I’m pretty sure my face started cracking. After the concert a song came through while I was sitting at home in my bedroom. It’s called Gorka.

The first part goes like this:

I’ve been a melancholy girl

since the coup d’etat

ready to run

ready to hide

protect my firstborn son

I’ve been belly up and pale

since they seized my home

tossing papers to the wind

Then you came along

with a feather in your song

you made me laugh

you made me laugh

the same point of view

with a different attitude

you made me laugh

you made me laugh

Forgiveness is a big part of my spiritual work. I’ve forgiven the woman who used to refer to me as “The Pig” in front of her children. I’ve forgiven my ex-husband for the $45,000 back child support that we did without. Mostly I’ve forgiven myself for my participation in all of my relationships where there was a need for forgiveness.

All except Bush.

Maybe Brian Tracy’s forgiveness process from Maximum Achievement will do the trick for me. I’m digging through his book now at 2:52 am. Here it is, page 228. “The Law of Forgiveness.”

“The Law of Forgiveness states that you are mentally healthy to the exact degree to which you can freely forgive and forget offenses against you, ” and “To fulfill your potential, to develop your full mental capacities and to liberate your emotional and spiritual energies, you absolutely must forgive everyone who has ever hurt you in any way.”  

Still scanning for the end of that sentence, there may be a typo. Shouldn’t it read …except, of course, for George W. Bush?   Hmm … not finding it.

On to pages 229-30.  Tracy says there are three people in our lives that we must forgive if we want to liberate ourselves from negative feelings of guilt, inferiority, inadequacy, undeservingness, resentment and anger.

Who are these three people?

1. Your parents

2. Everyone else

3. Yourself

 

I’m trying to keep up with the math here. 

At 3:08am  ibiblio  estimates there are 6,863,076,079 people on the planet.  Maybe I can give myself points for feeling good about 6,863,076,078 people.

So for our own peace of mind, we have to forgive everyone everything.

Forgive Bush for EVERYTHING?!

Huh.

Huh?

The little red devil with the pitchfork  ]:(   and golden haloed feathery-winged angel  0:-)  come a runnin’. They assume their positions on opposing shoulders as I write. 

]:(    Forgive Bush for robbing me of my sanity?

0:-)   We choose to let our sanity be robbed. Our response is our choice.

]:(   Forgive him for stealing our money and giving it to his buddies? 

0:-)  We live in an abundant universe and there is enough for all!  We’ll work it out.

]:(    Forgive him for ignoring my letter and going to war anyway?

0:-)   (angelic smile)

]:(   Forgive him for destroying our country’s reputation?

0:-)  We can rebirth bonds of trust with the rest of the world.

]:(   Forgive him for spying on us? For torturing people? For paper-shredding the Constitution? For manipulating us?

0:-)  Yes, forgive him for ALL of it.

Tracy says there is a technique you can use if someone is really stuck in your craw. It’s on page 231 and it’s called “The Letter.” It’s usually reserved for bad relationships and bad marriages.

 The letter consists of three parts:

1. In the first part you say, “I accept complete responsibility for our relationship. I got myself into it and I have no excuses to offer.”

 

Hold on a sec – my buddies are back.

]:(  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! What do you mean I got myself into it? He’s the bad guy. What kind of responsibility should I have to take for Bush’s actions?

0:-) Maybe you could start by taking responsibility for the angry way you respond.

Hmmm. 

 

2. Part two of the letter says, “I forgive you for everything you ever did that hurt me in any way.”

Tracy says, “Sometimes it’s good to spell out the things that you forgive the other person for.” A woman Tracy knows wrote 8 pages of things she forgave her ex-husband for.

 

3. Part three of the letter ends by writing the phrase, “I wish you well.” and dropping the letter into a mailbox, or perhaps in my case, saying my piece peace and hitting the Publish button in wordpress at 7:44 am.

And so, Mr. George W. Bush, with a full heart and responsibility for my part of this relationship, I forgive you for everything you ever did that hurt me in any way. And wherever you are on this fine morning … I wish you well.

This morning’s sunrise is rocking my world! -kiki 

 

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smudgy morning
smudgy morning

The snow softly falls outside my window. The garden thermometer is on a picnic bench, lying on its side. Looks like a compass pointing the way to Canada. Maybe I should just leave the thermometer where it is and let the snow cover it up. Then I won’t have to know when it’s forty below.

 
The day is dawning grey, smudging the horizon between lake and sky. Over breakfast tortilla wraps, Basht says that Hogwarts lunches are no doubt superior to those in his school cafeteria.  
 

seven steps

seven steps

 
Greg’s acoustic guitar part to This Light Becomes You merges with the gentle snowfall. Would be an idyllic snowglobe moment if not for the obnoxious wood-blocky metronome cracking its way through the morning vibe.

 
 Leonard Cohen says there’s a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.  Something like that. 

 
I believe him.

 

 
Greg hits the stop button on the Roland. There is moment of profound silence.
 
 
Greg sees me breathe a sigh of relief. He laughs. He asks if he should put the click track into the headphones. OH GOD YES!

 

The sun is making an entrance.

 

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Snow still gently falling, now to solo acoustic guitar. Nice.  Drifting thoughts greet Eckhart Tolle.

 
 Greg and I spent 10 weeks in front of this very computer experiencing Oprah and Eckhart’s world wide web “event,” I think she called it.  A New Earth.
 

 

Manitoba is that-a-way

Manitoba is that-a-way

The first night of class was fraught with the fits and starts of a sputtering feed. At that point we were wondering if it was all going to work. The technology was so new. But Oprah being Oprah had it solved by week two.

 

Greg gives his thumb a rest. Tells me about a metronome that you clip to your waistband so you can feel the pulse in your body. Hmmm. 

 
Could be cool to mic your own heartbeat and send the sound to the monitors.  Use as a drumbeat. Can two people beat their hearts in synch?  Two Ninja mystics? Two Minnesotans? 

 
Back in college I used to practice euphonium for hours with a metronome. I was pretty sure it was slowing down and speeding up just to mess with my head.

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Greg expounding on holomovement
 

Greg’s off in to David Bohm. Quantum physics. Smashing atoms to release the energy/intention with which they were formed which is the energy of love and compassion. He’s expounding on the holodeck, no … holomovement. Reminds me of something from Brian Tracy’s Maximum Achievement.
 


That must seem like quite a leap. From Bohm to Tracy.  Look at the cover of Maximum Achievement and it appears to be pretty straightforward, personal growth stuff.  Dig around inside and off you go into metaphysical concepts.  To my way of thinking, metaphysics and quantum physics are sister studies. One sister is a scientist, the other a mystic. There’s a little sibling rivalry from time to time, but they’re both looking at the same landscape. They just like to wear different glasses.

Someone’s calling from the yard.  Back in a sec.

 

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November 21

Kiki and Greg, when manifesting their musical selves, are the cosmic acoustic duo, dancing Light

 

 

Trader's Bay lakeshore on Nov. 20th

Trader's Bay facing east (11/20/08)

November in Northern Minnesota

  The sun cracked the frozen sky this morning. 17 degrees is frosty for a Florida girl.

The windows in the room where I blog face north.  In northern Minnesota, winter comes early and settles in until the April sun starts shining in earnest. Today, the northern wind blasts across the partially frozen lake. There is only a double pane of glass protecting my face from the wind.

Back in the day, AC consisted of a fan blowing over a block of ice. From where I sit, the wind races across 8 miles of ice to reach my home office.

A heavy coat covered my pajamas as I took a three minute run out to the shore and back. Snagged these two photos for you. Probably the extent of my exercise for the day. 

dock and slipper

dock and slipper

In the first photo, the lake has just started to ice over. 

 
Snapped this other photo while running across the one remaining dock section at the shore.  You can see kitty pawprints in the snow. The toasty slippers were last year’s birthday gift from Mom.

 

 

Spinach & Mushroom Muffin Melt with Warm Harvarti and Tarragon Cream

Greg is blending four cups of soaked soybeans and a gallon of water to make tofu for my birthday dinner tomorrow.   Back in the previous millenium, circa 1995, Greg created a tofu dish that has become an annual event. 

Greg’s culinary creation is not on my pH diet, but then neither was the cabernet that accompanied the ahi tuna at yesterday’s birthday lunch. Two girlfriends and I were at the newly remodeled Chase hotel restaurant overlooking Walker Bay of Leech. 

"Just Chocolate" from Chase on the Lake

tofu? spinach? I think not.

Our trio shared a complimentary also not-on-my-diet birthday dessert. The Chase calls it “Just Chocolate.” It consists of chocolate layer cake, chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse and chocolate sauce. The three of us made it halfway through before running up the white flag. 

 

So back to Greg and his culinary genius …  Greg sautees slabs of fresh tofu in unsalted butter and tamari and sets them aside. Sliced meadow or crimini mushrooms are sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic and onion. After the mushrooms are soft and ready to eat, Greg puts a bunch of fresh spinach on top of the mushroom mixture in the pan. The heat from the mushrooms and the cast iron skillet wilts the spinach. Toasted whole wheat english muffins are buttered with earth balance spread. The 1995 original used unsalted butter. Either is great by me. Both ways are yummy.

  
Greg plates the dish. Doesn’t that sound snobby? Food Network/Iron Chef overload, no doubt.

 

In true Yookish fashion, Greg puts two muffin halves on a plate, butter side up. He lays the tofu on a muffin, then covers the tofu with the spinach-mushroom mixture. That get’s covered with a slice of creamy havarti on top.

 

Now you’d think that would be decadent enough, but Greg really knows how to push the envelope. For the finale, Greg covers the whole shebang with a tarragon cream sauce. The hot cream sauce and warm spinach mushroom mixture melt the soft havarti.  It is the most sensual blend of textures and flavors, and I am a grateful and lucky girl!

 

Tomorrow I will share a photo with you … if I can restrain myself long enough to point and shoot. mmmmmmmmmmm – Kiki
 
 
How Greg makes fresh tofu

 

use multiples of these proportions
(Greg makes 4 times this much)

 

  • 1 cup of soybeans, soaked overnight
  • 1 quart of good water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Epsom salt
Blend water and soybeans in a blender for about three or four minutes
Do this in batches according to your blender’s capacity
Strain through a piece of fabric – like a cotton flour-sack towel
Heat the liquid in a double boiler over boiling water for 20 minutes
Off the heat, add Epsom salt while the soy milk is hot
Let hot soymilk coagulate for about 20 minutes
Line your tofu mold (Greg uses flat bottomed colander) with cotton fabric
Put the curds on the fabric
Press with a 20 pound weight (Greg uses 2 1/2 gallons of water in a container)
Leave under weights for two to four hours depending on how firm you want the tofu
the longer you press, the firmer the tofu
use the same way you’d use tofu from the store