Virtual Green Healing

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I’ll get to explaining the title of this post in a minute, but first, a little preamble is called for.

While I’ve been laying low in the background for a few months, I’ve been silently enjoying reading my favorite blogs (Dogkisses) and Green Healing Notes, along with a ton of books. If you’re a regular reader here at IconDoIt, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned Dogkisses several times and that the author of those two blogs is also a frequent commenter here. So what’s that all about, you might ask?

One of the greatest serendipities of writing a blog and commenting on blogs other than your own, is that you have the opportunity to come to know people from around the globe with whom you already have something in common (an interest in the subject of a particular post commented on). Now, the odds are pretty dang slim of that happening as you go about your daily routine and encounter previously unknown people at work, at the grocery store, etc. even if you are one of the rare folks who actually speaks to strangers! And when you find yourself commenting and/or receiving comments on more than one posting from the same person, you start to get to know them a bit and after a while, may find yourself communicating with them “off blog” and developing a deep friendship. For someone like myself, who has extremely limited face-to-face contact with anyone in the world beyond my front door, such opportunities and friendships are valuable beyond compare. This is how I first met and became friends with “Lady Dogkisses” (whom I’ll refer to as LDK for the sake of brevity).

From the outside looking in, it might appear that LDK and I have very little in common. I’m close to 20 years older, live in an upscale suburb of a large city on the north coast of Ohio while she lives in the mountains of North Carolina and struggles just to get by. Our ethnic backgrounds and religious upbringing couldn’t be more different and we have entirely different work backgrounds, skills and hobbies. But what we DO have in common is how we have reacted to the tragedies, outrages, and challenges in our lives; the basic principles that guide our decisions and actions; a strong spiritual connection with the earth and sky; and a tendency to want (and make our best attempts to) bring comfort to everyone who hurts and cure the world’s ills. Of course, this latter trait – which is an impossible task to ever fully accomplish, thus we are always feeling badly for our “failures” – often gets played out at the expense of our own personal best interests. And that’s why we need each other to remind us to give ourselves permission every once in a while to escape from our self-appointed burdens to pamper ourselves with some free time to “play” or do nothing at all, get some uninterrupted sleep, and have a few relaxed good meals with enjoyable company. Now THAT’s my definition of a “real” friend!

So now back to the title of this post, “Virtual Green Healing”. For several months now, Dogkisses has been writing a series of posts centered around the concept of “Green Healing” which is a way of cleansing oneself from all of the chaos of the man-made world and getting back to the core of our spirit through working with the earth, planting and growing, and taking the time to breathe in and breathe out along with the land and the creatures who inhabit it and make it work. LDK has embarked on a project to facilitate this Green Healing through volunteering, along with her adult son, in a horticulture program for folks with special needs. Now, I love a beautiful flower garden and eating fruits and vegetables fresh picked each day but its’ been over a dozen years since I’ve been physically been able to participate in that process and more than 20 years since I actually had the time, and even then, I never did have much of a green thumb. But my lack of gardening skills and infirmities have never gotten in the way of my love of nature and, in fact, one of the strongest images in my mind when I engage in guided imagery exercises to deal with chemotherapy and pain, is of walking in the woods along the Skyline Drive in Virginia on a clear, cool autumn day. I can just smell that clean air and hear the crunching of dried leaves beneath my feet and the honking of flocks of geese and ducks soaring way above the trees. And it is with this same imagination that I am taken into the garden alongside my friend and her son, whenever I read the latest posts on her blog and I feel myself healing right along with them. (Thanks LDK for sharing your experiences and letting me tag along for the ride!)


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Merry Christmas!

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To all of my loyal readers and those of you who just stumbled upon my blog (and hopefully will return, again and again):

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Organizize!

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A very short post tonight to deliver up a 2nd serving of my “Organizize!” Icon Series. Tonight I present for your pleasure, four well-used oak file drawer images for your Accounts, Medical Records, Shopping Lists and Receipts, and Desktop or Scrapbook Wallpapers. Hope you enjoy them! I’ve got more coming over the next several days, but if you have any special requests, just leave a comment to this post and I’ll give it a whirl.

Sometimes I get asked where do my ideas for clip art, icons, or paintings come from. This particular series was created originally for my cousin, Flora Spector, who developed and maintains a few different websites (including several of her own) geared to fans of Sherlock Holmes. A couple of years ago, when she was looking to update one of the sites, I designed a few different concepts that I thought would be perfect. Alas, Flo didn’t feel any of my artwork fit what she had in mind. Normally, I would simply try to get a better understanding of what a “client” is looking for and try again, but this happened just at the time when I was undergoing a particularly grueling round of chemo and was having a hard time even sitting up or focusing my eyes. So – I put that artwork on the back-burner and forgot about it, while Flo went ahead and either created the artwork she wanted herself or hired another graphic artist. The site came out quite nice – but very different from what I had in mind, so I see why she didn’t find my designs suitable. A couple of weeks ago, when I was cleaning up my digital archives, I came across that artwork again. Seemed a shame to let all that work go to waste, and so, hopefully, now it won’t!

By the way, if you’re a “Sherlockian” or know someone who is, you might want to check out my cousin’s two related websites (or any of the other Sherlockian Web Ring sites that link to hers). One of Flo’s websites is a blog she maintains for her alter-ego “Mrs. Hudson” (yes, THAT Mrs. Hudson!) at: The Musings of Mrs. Hudson. Another of her websites is for one of the Sherlockian groups she belongs to, The White Rose Irregulars, which holds their meetings in and around Reading, Pa.

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The Difference Between “You” and “I”

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In total darkness and bubbled water I sat, crying my eyes out uncontrollably, my chest heaving with hysterical cries. Rushing in like a madman to save his damsel in distress, my hubby got down on his knees, praying I hadn’t fallen, praying our baby hadn’t decided that would be the day he arrived. Still unable to calm down enough to speak, I nodded my head to show that my distress was not physical. After a minute or two in watchful silence, accompanied by a lot of head scratching, followed by his hand thrust into the water, Don looked at me even more perplexed. “I don’t get it. This water is pretty warm so it can’t be that.” He was of course referring to the day before, which was the first time he had to rush into the bathroom to rescue his delirious bride, mother of his soon-to-be son, whose eyes and decibel level appeared to be seriously trying to compete with Victoria Falls, for no reason other than the lack of hot water. This time, my anguish was over something far more solemn and deserving.

Sensing that our first (and only) child would be showing his face in a matter of days, I had finally permitted myself to look beyond my pregnancy and imagine all the possible kinds of fun we’d soon share with our child, when I was rudely interrupted by the ever so practical, pragmatic side of me that had to speak up and remind me that with fun also comes responsibility. (What a Party Popper!)

# # #

I was already well prepared for that without any serious trepidations, but what had managed to get me in such a panic was the sudden realization, Don and I bore the primary responsibility for teaching our child to SPEAK! and I had absolutely no clue how to do it. Okay. Breathe.

I tried to work it out in my head while lying in my (usually) calming bubble bath with Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” wafting in from a stereo in the adjacent room. I managed to come up with a plan for words like ”Cat”,”Dog”,”Apple“, and ”Daddy”. That was good. Then, I came up with similar solutions for a nice size rudimentary vocabulary that I figured would get him through his first year. Whew! That’s when the ground began to shake and give way and the dark clouds suddenly overcame me, when the terrifying thought entered my brain screaming out “How on earth are you going to teach your infant – a virtual alien to this planet born without any conception of words or their purpose – the difference between “You” and “I”?

That day, in the throes of the lunacy commonly shared by many women in the 48-72 hours before giving birth, this dilemma seemed not only rational but absolutely crucial to our child’s entire future. Perhaps I had seen Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine one too many times or spent too many hours reading Sartre and Kierkegaard. As it turned out, my pregnant panic was all for nought. The truth is, I never had to consciously teach Robert how to distinguish between that particular pair of words or the meaning behind them, as one day, somewhere between the ages of 18 months and 2 years, Don and I realized that Rob was way ahead of us and had figured out this linguistic dilemma all on his own! Just like a million other toddlers before and after him, likewise accomplished.

# # #

The memory of that day, which was close to 30 years ago, popped into my consciousness last week-end while my oldest, dearest friend and I were enjoying the intellectual challenge of trying to apply various philosophical, scientific, psychological, and spiritual theories to the very concrete reality of each of our lives, trying to find the sense in what has no sense. While the specific facts and circumstances of my friend‘s life has little in common with mine – at least to the naked eye – we have shared the same frustration, hurt, and complete bewilderment over how can there be (and why?) people, chronologically adults, who somehow managed to miss out on that “Aha!” moment, when most toddlers learned that there IS a difference between “You” and “I”.

Subtle as the concept may be about where “You” end and another person begins, it just seems so fundamental to the ability to get beyond the proverbial sandbox, that I find it even more incomprehensible as to why it seems to be such an impossible hurdle for some folks to handle, despite the fact that for most other intents and purposes, they seem to have above-average intelligence and potential.

”When we feel our emotional boundaries, we can discriminate between our feelings & another’s feelings. We can hear another’s feelings & not have to fix them. We can discern what issues are ours & what issues belong to the other person. We can protect ourselves from being dumped on when someone else can’t handle his feelings. We can refuse to take responsibility when it rightly belongs to the other guy.” Boundaries – Where You End and I Begin by Anne Katherine

I simply don’t get it and so these remain questions I still have no answers for.

And that’s my rant for the day and utterly biased opinion. 🙂 What’s yours?

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Never Too Old To Party!

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Just a simple post today to wish my hubby HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And more important yet, I want to thank God for making it possible for Don and I to be both still be here and able to share one more kiss, one more sunrise, one more sunset, and one more year. Cherish each moment, my love!

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Doris Sigal (neé Charkow) – R.I.P.

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If you’re an old-timer like me, you probably remember the old Morton Salt trademark phrase “When it rains, it pours”. Sometimes those Madmen accidentally told the truth. And so, it is with a heavy heart that I write this post to honor the memory of my step-mother, Doris Charkow Sigal. Married to my father, Dr. Roland Lee Sigal for what would have been 50 years next month, Doris passed away peacefully in her sleep at home, yesterday. (Thursday May 19, 2011)

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My most favorite memory of Doris is of Thanksgiving of 2005 when she and my Dad came to visit us from their home in Allentown, Pa. After gorging ourselves on a wonderful meal prepared by my hubby, Don and son, Robert, we sat around the table listening aptly to my parents reminisce about their various adventures traveling around the world. Mostly, it was my Dad who did the talking. But as he spoke, Doris cuddled up to him and look rapturously into his eyes the entire time. I don’t know that I have ever seen a woman in her 70’s so obviously still in love with her husband. That was the one and only time that I was permitted a glimpse into their private relationship and it had a profound affect on me – and on my husband and son.

In her 20’s, Doris dabbled in painting and I’ve heard she had promising talent, but have never seen any of her works. That’s at least in part because she chose instead to make a career of cheering her husband (and daughter, Marcie Friedman, from a prior marriage) on, as they went on to fulfill their personal dreams, shared dreams, and far exceed what any spouse or parent dares to expect. Doris was my father’s enthusiastic partner in sharing the fruits of their hard work and good fortune with others through numerous generous donations to hospitals, The Sigal Center (a top-notch primary health care center to serve the poor), colleges, art museums, and the symphony (among others) – all within their local community.

Doris left her stamp on many lives and her spirit shall live on forever through the lives and accomplishments of those she helped or inspired.

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Scrapbook - Epiphany binder
Scrapbook – Epiphany binder
Scrapbookers Alert!! This customizable 1.5″ 3-ring Scrapbooker’s binder is IconDoIt’s latest original digital artwork. In luscious melon, violet & cerise colors, it emulates the look of stained glass on embossed leather with Art Nouveau flavoring. Holds up to 275 pages. You can change any or all of the text as you please to make it your own. Makes a great gift along with a selection of IconDoIt’s unique scrapbook papers.
Scrapbook Paper - A Peachy Photo
Scrapbook Paper – A Peachy Photo
Upload Your photo to have it placed in the frame Scrapbookers Alert!! You can upload your picture & change the caption to make this peaches & cream hued original paper design your own. Part of IconDoIt’s fabulous new line of unique, fun & inspiring heavy-weight paper for all your scrapbooking projects! All papers in this series are 8.5″x11″ & printed on 100 lb felt or 110 lb linen. Be sure to check out IconDoIt’s original Scrapbook Binders, too!

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Book It, Pops!

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I’m taking a few days off of the computer to enjoy my family and a few good books. I’ll get back to posting next Wednesday (June 23). In the meantime, I wish all you fathers out there (including my own plus me Hubby) a Very Happy Father’s Day! And I’ll leave y’all with this morning’s freebies – two original images sized to print out at 2” x 7” each, at 300 dpi (high resolution). Enjoy!

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Proust Groucho

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