Monday, February 25, 2013

Mercury Retrograde

Photo by Ivan Prole

Short month, that’s not it.
This headache brought to you by
Mercury Retrograde.


If you are familiar with Mercury Retrograde, you know that it's not about thermometers, although it did seem to make my temperature rise today.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, "Mercury's retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry." 

Well, that's putting it mildly!

Hold on and enjoy the ride until March 17. Yee-Haw!!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Back-Seat Driving Allowed - Learning to Let Go

The other day, I went rock-hunting with my husband and son when we wound up driving along a skinny, steep road through the mountains. I had childhood flashbacks of looking over the edge from the backseat, afraid our car was going to tumble over the side.

I admit, I felt a bit of fear the other day, too, though I didn’t vocalize it. I knew I was being silly. What was interesting was that I had been in that same area with a friend about a week before, when I was doing the driving and I felt much more comfortable.

The event inspired me to start thinking about life and control, and all sorts of things.

While our car traveled down one road, this is the one my mind went down:

Think about the things you are afraid of doing in your life and ponder why they bring out fear. Is the anxiety about control or something else?

In many cases, the issue of letting go of control is the problem. But in all reality, that fear of losing control is only controlling you.

Take for instance, riding as a passenger in a car.

We give up most of our control when riding in a car, though it may be nerve-wracking to watch the other driver make moves you would never do, for instance tailgating or swerving in and out of traffic. (Please note that this is not a reference to my husband's driving.)

Or perhaps the driver speeds up to make it through yellow lights when you would stop and wait for the red instead.

Apprehension grips your enjoyment, interfering with your ability to enjoy the scenery outside, as well as the freedom of sitting back and letting someone else temporarily guide you.

Imagine now, that the driver has taken a skinny road up the side of a mountain. Beside you are unfenced cliffs and the driver is going faster than you would travel if you were in charge. Your panic grows. The threat of injury has increased and you feel more out of control than ever.

All the while, you have become too entranced by your fright to enjoy the beauty you are driving through.

These feelings of powerlessness can extend into many areas of life. Your child does something without asking you or your spouse is not there when you need him. You have not been able to control the path you’ve taken or outside circumstances; life hasn’t turned out as you imagined it would.

The first step to giving up this fear is to realize that the control is actually controlling you. Though it might feel like it is keeping you in charge in every situation you encounter (ie. “Don’t drive so close to the edge!”), it has taken away your ability to live in the moment and to enjoy the unexpected.

Photo by Linda G Hatton

Next time you are in a situation that makes you feel out of control, take a deep breath and shift your focus to the positives around you; the mountain hillsides, the beauty of having a free day to explore with someone you love, or the opportunity to face your fears and grow as a person.

Release the fear of being out of control. Release its hold on your life.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Kiss - Flash Fiction

Photo by Taylor Hunt

Her kiss quenched him with Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker. Suddenly he felt sixteen again.

[Thanks to De Jackson's prompt at Flashy Fiction that inspired this story.]


Monday, February 11, 2013

The Clean-Up Crew - Random Acts of Kindness

My daughter was invited to join the Honor Society and to join, she is required to do ten hours of community service. The two places I thought would best suit her personality only take volunteers 14-years and older (she's 13), so my husband and I gathered the troops and our equipment (work gloves and garbage bags), and took them down to the Santa Clara river bed where we spent two hours wandering around, gathering trash.

Photo by Linda G Hatton

While we were working, my son made a comment about how so many people don’t care about the world. We had a talk about random acts of kindness; I explained that when you do something nice for someone, it will make them feel good and hopefully inspire them to do something nice for someone else. And in that small way, he can make a difference.

The Clean-Up Crew
Photo by David Hatton
The kids did great! (I didn't get permission to have my daughter's friend in the photo, so I cut her out.)

The best moment was when a man and his son rode by on their bikes; they stopped to thank us for our service. Definitely a feel-good moment and it made it even more worth it, reinforcing to my kids that helping the community matters.

She still has hours to fulfill. Tutoring a friend in History, running a Sock Doll Surprise auction to benefit The Gentle Barn, or mucking stalls have all come up. We’ll see what she winds up doing.

Do you ever take your kids to do community service? Do you have unique ideas to share?

Happy Monday and thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Messages From Dreams and Animals

Life has been weird lately.

When isn’t it, right?


After meditating the other night, I had this long involved dream, full of symbolism that spoke to me. I have been struggling with figuring out which path to follow in my writing. A while back, I finally gave in to my love of writing poetry, fighting against that voice inside that tells me I can never make a living off poetry.

My life has never been about money though.

And when I decided that practicing the mechanics of writing poetic details would help me in other areas of my writing, I was finally able to allow myself to write it without worrying how I will ever survive in the world. Hey, I’ve made it this far.

Anyway, my dream had some good details for a story. But hey, I’m not going to tell you that now. You’ll have to wait until I get it written. It’s on my to-do list.


Another "area" where I get messages is from random animals popping up in my life. Interestingly, I wrote the following last year:

This year has been a time of shedding; the daily dilemmas are reminders that it’s not over yet. It’s a painful process, letting go of things that are “no longer serving.” Even though material items have fallen under this umbrella, it is not about them. It is about letting go of old habits, parts of the spirit that need to move on, and grow.

Crows have gathered in the hills above my yard for two days now. A friend of mine told me the group is called a “murder.” I can see why. Some people might want to murder them. But I was home writing and welcomed the meditative sound.

When “unusual” animals appear in my life (or appear in my life in a way that they don’t normally), I look up the meaning in my Animal Speak book by Ted Andrews. Too busy to bother hunting down my book, I found this site on the internet instead.

The interpretation of CROW was interesting:

“CROW signifies that you’re on the verge of manifesting something you’ve been working toward for awhile. Be very careful over the next couple of days for any clear omens or signs that will guide you and teach you. Expect a big change soon. You’ve noticed something that is out of balance or an injustice that hasn’t been addressed and it’s important to speak up about it. You’re about to get a glimpse into some future event that affects you directly. Wherever crows are there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength.”

Flash forward to present time, now the animal that appears all over in my life is the owl. Being the mascot at my son’s school, they have been in my life for a number of years, but this is different. Friends on Facebook are posting and “liking” them, pictures of owls are everywhere I go.

Yeah, yeah, I guess owls are “in” right now.

Owl at Placerita Nature Center
Photo by Linda G Hatton

I looked them up anyway and this is part of what I found:

“Those with Owl Medicine will be able see and hear what others may try to hide; they see what is not visible in the shadows, hear what is not said aloud, and read between the lines to see the truth of a situation. They will be able to pinpoint subtleties and discrepancies. This may make others uncomfortable when they are no longer able to deceive, and their hidden agendas are seen through.”

Interesting and it definitely applies to my life.


I wrote this next part yesterday and didn’t want to put you all to sleep, so I decided against posting it, but if you’re with me this far, this is what I’ve been up to . . .

With the start of the new year, I resisted making new years' resolutions. Instead I filed away in my head things I wanted to do this year.

  • Guest Blog - As my son was getting better from the flu, I put together a blog post for Going Veggie (I believe it will go up on February 7) and have another one in progress (both celebrating the Month of Veggie Love). 
  • Research Magazines to Query - Today I’m researching magazines and thinking about what other kinds of articles I’d like to write.
  • Learn Book Binding - I’m itching to work on this book-in-progress. It has six signatures that I need to hand-sew in and I need to add some artwork.

  • Redesign Websites - I redesigned the Mouse Tales Press blog, though I have more work to do there. (I also have submissions piling up in my in-box for Mouse Tales Press, though I would be happy to receive more poetry and short story submissions!)
So far, so good with the new year.

How about you? Get any weird messages lately? Are you busy working on new goals for the year?


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Photography - Shooting Details

The most recent prompt, contributed by Veronica Roth for Wordsmith Studio, asked, "Do you love detailed things? So do we. Feed our desire for details and show us your shots."

I played around with a few shots and kept going back to this one of the horse, Gidget, my daughter rode today.

The colors and texture melt me. And I love the way those bits of her mane were hanging down over her neck. Lovely!

Thanks for reading. 

[Side Note: Check out Veronica's wonderful artsy blog; you'll be glad you did!]