Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Snow

We've had a week of it now. Almost a week. It'll be a week tomorrow. And there are no underachievers here. According to weather reports, this series of snowfalls is angling to add up to the most accumulated snowfall in November in Spokane. We are at 20 inches. The record is about 24 inches. And there are three days left in the month.

It isn't two years ago - when we had crazy snowfall in 36 hours. But it's steady.

Somehow though, I don't mind it. It's actually kind of nice. Maybe I like it because it happened to accumulate on a Thanksgiving weekend when I had no travel plans. So all the world's quiet fits neatly in with a weekend intended for peace. That must be it. Also, the snow isn't too heavy to shovel. (Having lived here too many years now, I have finally learned the difference between wet and dry snow.) I even bought some insta-logs for the fireplace earlier in the week, and have had a couple fires to warm up the house while snow has fallen outside. Very Norman Rockwell of me. Or Crazy Cat Lady. You pick.

On Wednesday (or was that Tuesday?), it was so cold that it was miserable. It hardly reached the single digits. But that lasted only a day. Perhaps that's another reason I'm enjoying the weather now. It's a balmy 20 degrees outside right now.

Or maybe I've enjoyed the snow because I've been hosting archangels. Suffice to say they are fun to have around. And without going into details, the dreams this time around have been a sort of "This Is Your Life" review. So it's been interesting.

Thanksgiving was very sweet. I went with friends to their parents' home. It was great turkey, and lots of cheer. I made a carrot raisin salad - had to borrow my friend's salad shooter after learning that using my chopper/grinder would not be wise... yes, I had not known that until my sister told me ... (in amongst her laughter, ha ha ha ha ha). At the dinner, we debated whether a cold salad was "cooking." The cooks in the room said no. I, on the other hand, said that it was. It certainly was a lot more cooking than I normally do!

After dinner, we went back to my friends' home to hang out a bit. Finally it was time for me to go home. I said my good nights, and walked down the driveway to my car, parked at the side of the road. I must have been watching my step, because I was almost to my car before I looked up and saw him - a young buck, antlers shining in the moonlight. He was standing in the middle of their snowy road, watching me walk towards my car, and towards him. I gasped. He took my breath away. And then he nodded - didn't he? - as he casually loped to the woods there, on the other side of the road. I heard a rustling and realized he wasn't alone. I never did see who was there with him. I guess it was Thanksgiving Day for us all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Angel Invitation

Well, I decided to host the archangels a third time. Seemed like a nice, balanced number. Three visits from five archangels when, after each visit, I "send" them to three friends. Three time's a charm. Something like that.

And when I say "host," that means host them in a fairly ethereal sense. It isn't as though they eat a lot. Or make a mess. Or knock things over. There's no statue that gets mailed to symbolize that they've arrived. It all plays out in the mind's eye - simply, but powerfully.

I do think this is the final formal visit for me. (Of course, they're always welcomed at any time!)

So far, it's been really great - again. It all will evolve as the days progress.

With the past two visits, I've written about them after it's over (here and here). This time, however, I'm writing about it while in progress. This is because I'm including in this entry an invitation to anyone who has wanted to host the angels but either didn't, or couldn't, for whatever reason, ask me if I would include them in the next round.

So here's the invitation: if you are interested in hosting the archangels from December 1 to December 6, you can. You don't even have to email me to let me know (though you can, if you want).

All you need to do is think it (or say it aloud) no later than this coming Friday by 10:30 p.m., that you want to host the archangels, and they will appear on your doorstep at 10:30 p.m. on December 1.

Normally what has happened is that, when they leave my house after five days (always at 10:30 p.m.), I have given them the names and addresses of three people who have agreed to host them next. And I could do the exact same thing this time. But it feels like there is something more that can be done here.

So this time, when I give them the names and addresses of three people, the third "person" will be all the people who have said (aloud, or in their minds) that they want to host the angels after me on December 1 - with the address known by the angels themselves.

I figure - hey, angels know. Don't they know? They don't really need a zip code, do they? Also, I figure that if my third "person" is a multitude - well, that doesn't matter either. Really, a big part of this archangel hosting is that we ask. We invite. Angels can be everywhere, always - if they are invited.

So that's my experiment. And my invitation. That you agree to host these five archangels for five days. Tell me, or don't tell me. But be sure and tell them between now and Friday at 10:30 p.m., so they know that you are one of the households included in my "everyone who's said they want you to come visit on December 1" statement on this coming Friday night.

This is how it works. There are five archangels - Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and Metatron (who apparently was first mentioned in early Jewish writings, as well as the Talmud - protector of children, is what I've gathered). They arrive at 10:30 at night on the designated day. They stay for five days, which are counted according to 24-hour periods (five overnights total). You get three wishes - one for the world, one for your family, and one for yourself. Write them down. Get a candle that stays lit while the angels visit. (I've used a battery-operated candle for when I'm out of the house, so that there is no danger of fire while I'm gone.) Also, get a white flower and an apple. (You'll eat the apple after the visit's over.) Put the written-down wishes under the apple. Right before the angels arrive (at 10:30 p.m. - time zone unimportant - on December 1), light the candle and then open your front door at 10:30 p.m. and let them in - they've arrived!

Thank them for coming - thank them (in advance) for granting your wishes - and then, the next five days... see what develops. You may want to sit with them and talk. You may want to invite them along for your daily events. You may want to journal, perhaps in a free association way, and see what comes up. They seem to get most active at night - when all else is quiet - so anticipate interesting dreams and/or waking up in the middle of the night, restless.

Expect little miracles - or big ones, I suppose. Mostly, expect the unexpected. Be aware of things beyond the daily routine. By staying alert, you will see more, I believe.

If you want, you can line up additional people to host the archangels after you're done. The angels "rest" for five days between visits (again counted as 24-hour periods), so that the next hosting period is December 11-16 (and so on). But it isn't mandatory to line up additional hosts. It's just nice. (Imagine all the households hosting angels around the country, and the world, because of this additional piece.)

Actually, I imagine that all parts of the process are optional - the candle, the apple, even the wishes... I think all the concrete gestures are to solidify for us the process of hosting angels. We have free will - if we want something, we can ask for it - or we can refuse it - up to us each individually... I did have one friend who never wrote down her wishes, used a lamp as the candle, and ate the apple halfway through the angel visit because she was hungry! So - totally up to the individual, how to interact with these heavenly hosts. (Oh, how interesting - we are "hosting" these heavenly "hosts". I never noticed that until just now.)

At the end: At 10:30 p.m. on the fifth full day (in your case, December 6), open your front door. It is time for the angels to depart. Be sure to give them any names and addresses you have for them, for the next hosting location(s). After they're gone (for me, it's been the next day), burn the paper with the wishes on it and put the ashes in a stream of water - it's a whole "return to the Earth" sort of thing. You can wash them down your sink if you want - that's a stream of water (though I've been taking the ashes down to the Spokane River). Also, put the flower somewhere that it can biodegrade (I've taken the flowers down to the river as well, and placed them in the bushes there). And eat the apple! It's got nutrients of all sorts, by this point.

One piece (optional, I suppose) is to put the wishes in an envelope. While I've done that, I haven't known what to do with the envelope. Do I burn it with the wishes? I ended up feeding the envelope to our mechanical goat at the river. He is like a vacuum - you push a button off to the side, and he sucks in whatever trash you "feed" him via that vacuum. Here's a photo of our goat:

So, hope you take up the invitation. If you do invite the angels for December 1 - have fun!

AND - for anyone reading this later than December 2010 - I do think you can create your own invitation cycle - the idea is that we are opening our doors to them by asking them to visit - not necessarily that they are coming from someone else - so why not issue the invitation spontaneously, even if there is no friend currently hosting to send them on to you? It's like inviting an old friend to come visit again. I know friends who have done that very thing. Well, and the angels are always there - as I say above, this is about creating our own consciousness and deliberately inviting them to visit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I've just returned from Eau Claire, Wisconsin - and more particularly, a town just south of there called Mondovi. Mondovi is where my grandmother lived for her adult life. It is where she passed away last week. We gathered there for her funeral.

At 94, she was my last surviving grandparent - my father's mother, the matriarch of the Bollinger clan. And a clan it is - while my mom's family has just a handful of people, my father's family is expansive. I suppose it didn't hurt that his father was one of 16 children - and that my father and his two brothers had a total of 12 children between them. So going to Eau Claire on Wednesday (where many of my family still live - uncles, aunts, my brother, his wife, kids galore...) was like going to a family reunion. With one caveat. We were missing Grandma.

It was a truly wonderful service at Grandma's church - one of the local Lutheran churches there in Mondovi (yes, there is more than one Lutheran church in this town of just-over 2500). The pastor had named his sermon "A Class Act," and then, as he began, got choked up as he remembered what a special lady Grandma was. Which she was. Always helping where she could - and then, when she really couldn't anymore, living in peace, day to day, allowing life to fade away.

My grandmother always had a kind word about, and for, everyone. She kept track of every family development. Every photograph of every child was on her refrigerator and all around the house. She did not expect divorce, but learned to accept it when one of her children and some of her grandchildren - good people, she knew them to be - had to go through it. She didn't balk when some of her great-grandchildren were Jewish due to her granddaughters' marriage to Jewish men - she just wanted to learn how to pronounce "batmitzvah" when the great-grandkids turned 13. Perhaps that was a shining glory of hers - to accept people as they were, and work from there.

My last visit with her was just in October. I was in Chicago helping my sis and her husband with their two boys, and I took a day to drive up to Mondovi and hang out with her. She had been living in a group home - had moved from that lovely home on the hill where she had lived ever since I could remember - and in recent months had moved into a room that allowed for more caretaking. It still wasn't a nursing home - but she was getting close to that.

I guess that day that I visited was one of her last "good days." She couldn't really say a lot. But still she had comments to make. When I told her I was having hot flashes, she said, "Get used to it." (Thanks, Grandma. I was looking for a little sympathy!) When I told her how much my sister's new baby - her most recent great-grandchild - weighed, she said, "At birth? Big baby." That was Grandma. Even with her fading memory, she was interested in knowing those kinds of details. As the day went along, she was able to say less, so I just kept her company and said things as I thought of them. When I told her how much I liked that photograph of her and my grandfather together (he passed away in 1987), and what a great person he had been, she seemed quite moved. I didn't want to make her cry - but look at all they had built - the foundation for entire generations. So I told her that too. And thanked her for it.

There was no rush to death for my grandmother. It was a gentle passing, over time. At the church service, the song verses that choked me up the most were the ones that talked about being in heaven. For that is where my grandmother would be. Instantaneously, or so I feel. The minister based his sermon on Revelation 2:10: "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." That was my grandmother. She will rest in peace, I know.

We had a dinner later, after the funeral. We told stories - about her wonderful cooking, and graham cracker pie (need I say more?) , about the featherbed in the basement and the comic books there - about how she always stuck up for people, gently but firmly. I thought about how, when the pastor spoke of her myriad children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, he did not know that, early that morning of the funeral, her great-great-grandchild had been born (to my nephew and his fiancee). One more member to add to the clan.

So life will go on, even as Grandma departs from this world. She leaves behind a wake of tears, a never-ending supply of beautiful memories, and a lasting legacy of goodness.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Angel Central Station

Well, I just had the angels for a second time. I'm really enjoying these visits.

As I described a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine had asked if I wanted to host five archangels and I had said yes. It was a phenomenal experience (not using that term lightly), and I was sad to see them go. Well, sad but also a little happy. It had been an intense time and I needed rest!

Here's the story: if you want, you host five angels for five days, and then you send them on to three friends. They rest for five days in between. They "arrive" and "depart" at 10:30 p.m. (via the mind's eye). You get three wishes - one for the world, one for your family, and one for yourself - and you hang out with them, however you choose to do that. Often you wake up in the middle of the night with dreams. Or you can choose to journal about the experience. Or - whatever. And then the possibility of miracles surround you. And because you've asked... well, you know that saying. "Ask and ye shall receive." I think the whole visit is structured around that principle. That we need to learn to ask.

There's something tangible for me in having the experience right now - as though they can help facilitate my life's current transitions. So I decided to bring the angels back for a second round, and had one of my friends (who had received them from me) send them back to me.

The first visit - wow. This second visit... a little more unsettling. It is as though the first visit was for fun and laughs, and the second visit was for building strong foundation. Also, in the first visit, my "wishes" had been a little open-ended. Generalized. This second time - and at the suggestion of a friend - I was more specific. So I think the wishes up-ended systems a little more than the first set of wishes did. Well, and my wish for my family this time - it was that they each have the courage to take the next step(s), whatever the step(s) may be. And I decided that my "family" included not just my blood relatives but anyone who is part of my larger clan - those people who are family to me, even if we don't share DNA. So if you see me that way, or if you think that I see you in that light... sorry. I probably should have warned you! That feeling you've had, all last week, like there's a pebble in your shoe that refuses to leave you alone? It may have been my wish for you that generated that feeling. Again - sorry! If it makes you feel any better, the wish for my family boomeranged back to me. So I had that pebble feeling, too. All week long. Oh, and - because they are archangels, the wishes are always taken in the brightest and best light. So it's all good. Even if you felt the pebble.

The other part of this experience that is extraordinary is the process of finding others to host the angels in their homes. While optional, it is a nice part of the ritual. The first time, I needed only to find three hosts. And I did. One of my three hesitated, as she didn't think she would be able to find three people to host them after her. I told her not to worry about that - my gosh, she should host the angels anyway! - and that I would help her locate hosts. Then my other two friends called me. They couldn't find hosts either! They both were shocked. I told them both I'd help them locate people.

Nine hosts later....

And then this past week - I've helped locate another 10 or so, either for now or in the near future. It's been interesting, to see when people say yes and when they say no. I support whatever choice. Though I don't fully understand why anyone wouldn't want them at their home. And then some people have decided not to send them on. Which is fine, too.

It's been interesting to watch the choices that people make, and hear about the experiences they are having. Several of my friends have spoken about the perfect timing of getting them when they did. Others have felt a nice warmth and calmness without a lot of fanfare. One friend lost five pounds, inexplicably (and it had been part of her wish too). One friend told the angels not to wake her up in the middle of the night, and they didn't. As she put it, they were excellent guests. One of my friends forgot what night they were coming - so he thinks they "sat" in his car from the point of arrival (10:30 p.m.) until he got up in the morning, realized what day it was, apologized. and confirmed that they were indeed invited to his house for the week. And then they drove around town all day with him! He was thrilled. And then one friend who agreed to take the angels had forgotten to tell her husband that they were coming. Apparently he felt that he should have been consulted first. I mean, don't we always tell others in the household when we are having house guests? This is how I imagine the scene: it's 10 p.m. or so, this past Monday night. My friend is fussing around the kitchen table with a candle, an apple and a white flower (all part of the process), and is humming a little. As she sits down to write out her wishes, her husband says, "What are you doing?" Oh, she says. We're having archangels visit this week. Didn't I mention it? ...

And while this week was a little back and forth for me personally, I did have some cool dreams. And then yesterday, I went to a fashion show (a fundraiser for the domestic violence prevention center in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho), bought a raffle ticket for the big prize (a weekend getaway at a house on a lake, plus all kinds of alcohol and $100 mad money) - just one ticket, mind you - for five dollars - and won. I won the whole thing! I lamented to the organizers, "but I don't have a boyfriend!" and they offered to auction one off for me... ha ha. And then they pointed out that there's so much room in the house that it could be an all-women's weekend getaway anyway. So I'll have to figure out how to use this gift, and when. It's a house on Lake Roosevelt - here's the link to the information -

I figure I have some angels to thank for it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sanity Signs

I watched the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday, sponsored by Comedy Central, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. It was great. There is a wonderful article in Salon Magazine that captured the essence of the event: And the magazine article had it right - it was goofy at times, odd at times, but overall, quite an event. The Peace Crazy Love Train was especially fun. And Jon Stewart's speech at the end - worth watching. I appreciated this line: "If we amplify everything, we hear nothing." And I loved his reference to traffic that is narrowing to get ready for a tunnel - "you go, then I go, you go, then I go..." and the occasional jerk who drives along the shoulder to take cuts - well, we know he is the exception to the rule - and we certainly don't give him a cable show. Here's the entire speech at the end:

The signs, too, were fun. I saw one: "I believe in Sanity Claus." There was another that had a smiley face with a Hitler mustache. And then here is a list of others that I like, gathered from various sources:

"Patriotism is using your inside voice."

"Hyperbole is the greatest threat of all time!!!"

"Less rhetoric, more cowbell."

"I want my country back or a pony. One of the two."

"Compromise is sexy."

"It appears we disagree. Would you like some pie?"

"Take a deeeeeeep breath."

"I have a sign."

"I respectfully disagree with your opinions but I still value you as a person."

"I'm mad as hell but I'll probably be fine tomorrow."

"Anyone for Scrabble later?" (apparently this sign generated one of the world's largest scrabble games later that day!)

"Somewhat irritated by extreme outrage"

"Is this the line for Justin Bieber tickets?!?"

"No head stomping"

"OMG! Snakes!" on a "Don’t Tread On Me" flag

Well, I think that's enough. The whole event was a lot of fun. Now, let's get sane.