Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

"He directed, 
'Let the children come to me, don't stop them,
 for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Honors the Children and Adults of Newtown, CT

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To Remind You That You're Special

Sometimes, you just wonder what you're doing here.  What's it all for?!  Why do I have to go through all this stuff?  Is it worth it?  Why does it have to be so hard?  Is this all there is?!

And, I don't have the answers to any of those questions.  But today, TODAY, sit in the understanding that you are, indeed, special.  Why?  Because while you may be only one of millions of others on this day, still... the entire Universe, you are alive on this date.  A date of synchronicity that won't be repeated in millenia.  You get to live this date, write this date, Be on this date.  So be aware of how special you are on this date.

It's been said that all of us who are alive at this time have agreed to be here during this significant point.  We have agreed to be part of the change coming in our Humanity, our consciousness, our collective intelligence.  You are part of the change and a happy warrior of the shift in Being!

And, while 12-12-12 a great date to be aware of the beauty of you and the unique gift you are, the fact is any date should be an opportunity to feel this.

When you need to be reminded of how wonderful and necessary you are, contact me.  I'm happy to remind you of the glorious gift of you on any date!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Feels The Shift

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Difference Between a Breath and a Sigh

I try not to dwell on the things that trouble me.  I don't like to spend much time being Pitiful Polly in the Mud Puddle.  Sometimes I do better than others to shake of the niggling things that tweak my nerves.  This is not one of those times.

I just said to friend last night, "What is it about the holidays?  They are supposed to be joyful or at the very least, peaceful.  It would appear that for many of us right now, such is not the case.  There is very little merry and bright.  And, I know it's all a question of perspective and the willingness to see the bright in any dark time, but honestly, all I seem to be able to do is join old Charlie Brown and, *SIGH*

Right now, I'm not sure I care if the Mayans are correct.  If the world is ending on the 21st of this month?  Well...

The weather here in The Laurel Highlands is beyond nasty.  It has been gray and dull for days!  Lights on in the house all day with the brightest light being cast by my a computer screen while I spend time catching up on email which is rather thin these days, and Face Book where I snoop at the slivers of info friends and family might post.  Wait, I had to stop for a sip of coffee and a huge *SIGH*

Let's see...there's Fiona who is sick and we don't know why.  More tests start today to see if we can determine what it is; it's leaning towards Cushing's Disease, but that's vague.  Anyone who has animals or children understands how a situation like this can suck the life out of you while your brain runs like a gerbil in a wheel.  You bounce all over the place.  You want to have an answer, but you're fairly certain you may not like the answer.  You bounce between be frustrated, jittery, and you *SIGH* a lot.  The cost of determining what is the issue really mounts up quickly.  You don't want it to be about money because this is a small body you love, but you can't help but be concerned.  So Christmas this year will be spent on a vet bill; that's all right, I didn't see anything I wanted anyway.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  *SIGH*

I love you, Fiona; you're only seven.  There's something about your self contained, bossy way that makes me love you even when I can't always like you because you're not all lovey and smooshie.  You're you and well, *SIGH* I'm not ready to consider not having you in my life and...

I am lucky to have a very pragmatic and joyful vet who views me as a partner in the process of caring for my dogs.  I trust him very much.  So, I'll work along with him to see where this latest path of owning and loving a pet leads me.  It's not an unknown road to me, but each time, with each animal, the journey is different.

Last night, while we were watching a movie, we let the dogs out.  Instead of doing their business, they decided that something needed to be ferreted out of a hole and began digging.  Did I tell you that it's been gray and raining for days here?  Yeah?  Well, trust me, it wasn't pretty.  They were, in fact, such a mess that we had to pause the movie and take them up to have baths.  Bathing them means, I get in the tub with them because it's easier that way.  I'm not certain, but I may have mud in my girly parts now.  *SIGH*

I suppose it's nice to have clean dogs who smell of Baby Dog, but really?

Now this morning, Rory is having trouble pooping and looks totally uncomfortable.  He wouldn't eat his breakfast.  He went out three times and circled and circled and circled, only to come inside and have to hunker up.  What comes out of him looks like musket balls.  *SIGH*  That was him; he hates to do bad-boys in the house.  *SIGH* that was me; I can only worry about one dog at a time!

At least Michael is home with me for a few days to be my emotional support.  It's so much easier to be dealing with sick animals or children when you have a partner with you.  I send a prayer up for any single parent who deals with this; *SIGH*

We heard from Evan; he has landed safely in Afghanistan where he will be for the next six months.  It makes me *SIGH* a lot.  He absolutely can't say much to us about what's going on and what he's involved in and with.  We understand that, but it does make for weak conversation.  And, while I do *SIGH* when I think of what he's doing, I also feel the immense pride I have when I consider his absolute willingness to do what needs to be done in the far flung corners of the world our military finds itself.

I have to go now.  It's time for me to drop off a pee sample to the vet.  Oh yeah, standing outside in the rain to catch a urine sample from Fiona?  *SSSSSSSIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHH*

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Sighs A Lot

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

All shall be well.
And, all shall be well.
And, all manner of things shall be well.
~ Julian of Norwich

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Fiona's Hopeful Mommer

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

Stand tall and serene
understanding that
You are divine ~
You are worthy ~
You are loved ~
Because you were created by Source.
You need do nothing more than, be your Self.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Image captured & shared by friend, Colette L.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

Divine Source who walks with us each day, 
Walk with our son as he, once again, does a warrior's work
In the forbidding, harsh places that call for our nation's children
to do what must be done.
Let him feel your presence in his days.
Keep him aware, open, and attentive.
Let his time in the austere parts of our world
work to deepen his spirit and expand his humanity.
And, help us live as fearlessly while we wait for his return.
~ Amen

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Airman Frock's Other Mother

Monday, November 5, 2012

If You Just Smile

It's been a long while since I've shared an image of my beloved here she is looking all grown up.  She'll be four in a couple of months.  FOUR!  How does the time seep by and go so fast?!

One small toy at a time.  One Barbie outfit missing shoes.  One stuffed animal loved until the fur is off.  One princess costume worn until the sequins are all gone. 

One accomplishment at a time.  Going to 'school' for the first time.  Learning to say the Pledge of "Alleebance" all on your own with just the smallest bit of coaching.  One hug of your baby sister, Ava.  One more stern warning to your boxer, Georgie, "NO, Georgie!"

And, a visit to the hair salon with Mommy.  Where you get treated like the rock star that you are!  As Laura said in her message to me, "...she just looks so grown up and pretty in this picture that I had to share."  You're right Lar, she does.  And I am so tickled that you thought of me and sent it! 

It's hard not being close by to see these small changes and accomplishments.  I'll always wish we lived closer.  One day, if I keep smiling....I'm sure it will happen.

Didn't she just make your day a wee bit brighter when you saw her?  I'm smiling now while I write this.  I hope your smile carries you through your day.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Great Aunt Holly

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

When we turn inward and spend time in the Sacred Silence,
we are reminded that we are never alone.
Smile, breathe, you are in good company.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

...when you are expansive,
no matter what the weather,
you are in an open, windy field
with friends.
~  Rumi

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Praying for all in Hurricane Sandy's path
Image from my deck 2011

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Entire Year

 It's amazing how much can happen in the passing of 365 days.  Some of it good, some you wish you could avoid.  But on average, if we're really lucky, the passing of a year evens out into more good moments than not.

And, so here I am showing you that from that... this is how Argyle has changed in his first 365.

He is happy all the time.  Greets each day as if it is the best thing ever.  He's complicated and smart.  He's a challenge.  But mostly, he's just my dog.  More than the other two are mine.  Rory & Fiona belong to themselves, but this dog is more in relationship with me.

Argyle, well, he's in a class by himself.  Happy 1st birthday you crazy Scot.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Mommer

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Let's Call It What It Truly Is

Last night, viewing the "debate" left me disliking both of these men completely.  This morning I woke up realizing that I shouldn't be simply disliking these two, but instead really direct my mail to the correct address.  I should have the chance to bitch-slap the organization, The Commission on Presidential Debates.  They are morons...not that these two are off the hook for not refusing to participate in last night's forum the way it was set up.

What something is called matters!  Don't hand me a pig's ear and call it a purse!  I know the difference.  So should most people.  Let me be clear:

As defined by Webster's:

debate n a contention by word or arguments as the formal discussion of a motion...  b : a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides.

discussion n a consideration of a question in open and usually informal debate.

town hall meeting :  from Wikipedia : an American English term given to an informal public meeting derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Everybody in a town community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials about shared subjects of interest. Attendees rarely vote on an issue or propose an alternative to a situation. It is not used outside of this secular context.

Okay, now that we're clear, let's get back to the ridiculousness that was presented last night.  The second Presidential DEBATE was presented as using a TOWN HALL MEETING  format, where about 80 undecided registered voters were randomly chosen to be on the stage with Governor Romney and President Obama.  The intention was to have these voters ask questions that they wished answered; the questions were chosen in advance by the moderator.   With me so far?

It was supposed to lead to DISCUSSION between these two and the questioners who represent us, in terms of things we feel are important and would like to hear their ideas and notions.  It would give these two candidates the opportunity to more clearly define the differences between their view of the issues.

But, what we got was throw away moments of an American citizen honestly, and with commitment, asking their question only to have these two boobs use them as a springboard to go at each other.  There was no true better understanding of the people who were there, either of the people who asked the questions or these two who totally missed the point of the evening.

Shame on the Commission for setting this thing up for big failure in the eyes of any who watched this train wreck.  And, rather than thinking either one of the sparring partners came out the winner, as far as I'm concerned, they both lost.  And I lost an hour and a half of my life I'll never get back.

To my mind, the one who would have come out the winner, would have been the man who was smart enough to give a real rat's ass about, not only the question, but the questioner.  The winner would have been the one who momentarily connected to the man or woman standing there with major nerves jangling at the notion of asking a powerful person a question on national television.  The candidate who would have carried the night would have made that questioner feel important rather than a toss off.

The one who could have truly won the debate last night would have been the man who decided to stop fighting the guy standing next to him and concentrated, instead, on being in true COMMUNICATION with the individual who had asked the question.  The winning candidate would have stayed on the question instead of using it as a weasel hole to launch off into what else they wanted to say instead of answering what was courageously asked of them.

The winner would have demonstrated true care and commitment to being the leader of the free world by giving a damn about the citizens sitting in the circle around them instead of using them as fodder to spew their agenda.

But neither of them was smart enough to forgo their need to beat the other guy senseless and care more about the people.  Which, sadly, is the way most people running for political office at that level behave more times than not.  Especially in a public forum.  Does an individual give up their Human capacity to genuinely LISTEN, and thereby demonstrate the ability to truly care when they go into politics?!  Sadly, it seems they do.

Do I blame President Obama and Govenor Romney?  Not really.  After all, they are being constantly prepped for a DEBATE and this one was called The Second Presidential DEBATE.  No, I blame the Commission for calling it one thing, yet setting up as another thing by staging  it as a TOWN HALL MEETING.  Setting up the citizens on the stage as well as us in the viewing audience to hope against hope that these two men would rise to the occassion of being able to decern and give a damn about the difference.

Stop using the town hall format as a platform in a nation debate!  They are mutually exclusive concepts; set up this way they do not foster better understanding of the candidates.

Today, spokespeople of both parties will be on the news shows and talking head moments crowing about how their guy won last night.  They're all spinning it today.  I should know, I was part of the Spin Doctors as my career.

But the truth?  The real truth?  Both Romney and Obama failed because they were too determined to hammer their ideas and what they thought you should know rather than listen and connect to even one of the citizens who were part of the process with them.  They were too concerned about the smack-down between each other instead of taking the opportunity to show how they could and would genuinely care about the citizens they say they wish to serve.

Simply saying the questioner's name and thanking them for their 'important' question before you launch off on what you want to say instead of answering the question and connecting with them as a Human Being does not constitute truly caring!!!  Don't pander!  We know when you're doing it and we don't like it!!

So, shame on both of them.  Shame on the Commission on Presidential Debates, and shame on the moderator who allowed her bias to slip out too much.  I am, once again, totally disgusted with the political process.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Home Cooking

 Our recent family vacation to Florida to visit with Evan has ended up costing us a great deal more than we had budgeted.  It's left us expendable cash strapped until the end of the year.  That's all right; we needed to have some family time together before Evan is deployed again...probably at the end of November.  We had a wonderful time.

In order to stay within our means, Michael has asked that I really watch the household budget and one of the major chunks of cash out-flow is eating out.  So, I committed to making meals at home.  Not that it's a problem; I actually enjoy cooking.  What I don't enjoy is thinking up what to cook.  And, the notion of planning ahead still alludes me.  If someone came in each week with planned menus and had done all the ingredient securing, I'd be in hog heaven.  (I've never really understood that phrase....what exactly would hog heaven look like?!)

We ate dinner every day between 4:30 and 5:00 at Nanny's house.  She'd start cooking as soon as her afternoon 'stories' were over.  Around 4, Dad would make the walk across Howard Street from the restaurant where he'd spent the day, first in the office taking care of the bills, then in the print room running off the menus, and followed that by his turn at the register in the packaged goods part.  We ate this early to give Dad a chance to eat, relax, watch the evening news, change into a suit and go back to the restaurant to close up at night.  When I was a kid, I thought everyone ate dinner that early.

I was expected to be present at dinner each night; no excuses.  Occasionally, I was given permission to eat at a friend's house.  As I got older, high school events would be considered.  But, mostly, I was expected to work my social life around the constant of the kitchen table and time with my family. 

The tradition of family meals every night and Sunday Supper with even more family gathered around is part of my Mediterranean heritage.  It's a significant part of how I view myself.  But, over time of living alone for many years, a hectic life full of work demands and struggles, the ritual of the evening meal became less and less practiced.  Let's face it, it's so much less complicated to go out to eat.  And, I never have to clean up afterward, although I will admit that Michael is very good about that...most nights he does the clean up. 

This is my kitchen.  I try very hard to keep it looking like this, but I'd be lying if I said it always looks this way.  If we ate out all the time, it would be so much easier to keep it this clean!  Our meals are always at the kitchen table.  I have a very nice, intimate dining room but for some reason, even when we have company, meals are eaten here.  Especially if our company is Italian as we all seem more comfortable eating in the kitchen.

The 30 minutes or so that it generally takes Michael and me to eat our supper is time for the two of us to sit in each other's space and simply be with each other.  Many nights, the television is on while we dine.  I don't mind as it helps Michael to decompress.  We talk with each other about current events and small chat.  Dogs at our feet hoping that tonight might be the night they score food from the table.  It never happens but they always hope.  There's absolutely no magic to the time.  Or, maybe there is and it simply goes unnoticed.  Maybe we should be more aware of the what it really means.

I came across a quote by Chef Mario Batali about the topic of family meals. It stuck with me when I think about the dying art of the kitchen table supper and why it concerns me:  "For family meals, the schedule is as important as the discussion.  It's the little things like rhythm and ritual that bring the family around the table and trigger a shift in mentality away from the guarded thought processes developed during long and stressful days. and toward the relaxed state of mind found in the safety and comfort of the family supper." 

It confirms what we all know: what we eat isn't anywhere near as important as when and with whom we eat.  And, I suppose we could add, 'where' to the list of important ingredients.  Now days, a great deal more stressful things like figuring out the bills, or dealing with difficult  topics of  conversation, or work projects happen around our kitchen table rather than meals.  And, that seems a shame to me.

Eating in, being with our most important people in the relaxed and familiar atmosphere of our kitchens and homes is probably one of the best things we can do for ourselves.  It gives us a touch-stone of safe in a chaotic world.  Trust me, I understand that it's not easy or convenient what with working full time and multiple, often conflicting, family member schedules.  Combine that with the multiple choices available for carry-out and eating out.  But, it seems to me that most good things in life aren't easy or convenient.

In an odd way, I'm glad our vacation has caused me to have to get creative and consistent once again.  It means that I have to opportunity to invest in the magick of the every day for Michael and me.  Even if that magick comes in a Spam can occasionally.  There is nothing wrong with mac' and cheese coming from a box with your embellishments!  Not all meals need to be the caliber of the Cordon Bleu or worthy of a magazine spread.  They simply need to bring you all into a quiet moment of conversation and being at the table.

If your table is buried under everything and anything but food, including projects, papers, beading, knitting, laptops, glue, pens, unidentified about clearing it off and using it for what it was intended?  A flat surface, an alter if you will, where you have the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the gift of the close another day and the company of those who mean the most to You.

Mangia Bene,
Holly aka Louisa Dituri's Granddaughter
At The Kitchen Table artwork by Michael DeBrito courtesy of the Internet

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Can Do This

I am sitting here in front of this screen and key board.  Sitting.  Looking out the window at a day that refuses to come gray that lights should really be on in the room so I can see.  I won't put the lights on.  It's day for heaven's sake.  Or should be.

I look at the screen which presents me a blank page waiting.  Full of possibility.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

Instead of fingers drumming on the computer keys, typing out big ideas, my fingers sit and drum the desk...while the paper screen simply waits.

I can do this.  I said I was going to do this.  I always do what I say...or attempt it at a bare minimum.  I.  Can.  Do.  This.

I take a drink from my bright red mug now half full of rich brown coffee.  It's getting cold.  I don't mind.  If I'll drink iced coffee, what diff does it make if it's no longer piping hot?  Waste not, want not.

I rub my hands together, like a piano player warming up for the playing of the first few notes.  I sigh.   I stop.  Okay, I'm letting my fingers drum rapidly on the keys just to hear the plastic sound they make as if it might kick start my typing actual thoughts worth reading.

I look over at Fiona laying sprawled out on the floor and am struck once again that dogs do not allow angst into their lives.  Well, maybe if a chipmunk is outside the door taunting them and they can't get out fast enough to attempt its death.  Otherwise, no angst.

And I think that's how I'm feeling while I'm staring at this blank page, like it's a post chipmunk just taunting me.  Because I. Got. Nothing.

The grandfather clock ticks...when it's the sound I can hear the loudest, it's truly empty in my head.  More rapid drumming on the keys...  now Rory is here stretched out quietly.  Argyle goes sprinting by at a sound somewhere else in the house.  In constant motion and exploration, this dog not yet a year old, finds every thing to do with nothing. 

But I can't find one good thing to do with a blank piece of  paper today.  The phone rings; a momentary reprieve!!!

Damn, short conversation means I'm back at it again.  More drumming on the keys.  I spell-check a word, it comes up nothing....what?  Sigh...get out the Webster's.  I'm struck yet again at how many words are not in spell check and so don't get exercised.  I worry we'll lose our rich and deep language as we go.  Okay, now you're just chasing your tail; get back on point.

Laundry waits; the bed needs to be made; powder room needs a wipe-down.  Dinner needs to be decided.  Meatloaf or chicken?  What are you going to post today?!

Come on, is it going to rain or not?!  Do I have everything I need to make meatloaf?  Meatloaf it is, then.

Obviously, I can do this...maybe tomorrow.

Namaste' Till Next,
Holly aka The Non-Blogger

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

May you feel showered with blessings.
Namaste' Till Next Time,

Friday, October 12, 2012

No, I Don't Believe I Will

Not too long ago, My Lion had occasion to say to me, "Be the bigger person."  It was a situation where he sympathized with me completely and knew that I was really struggling.  Out of my deep love for him, I accepted his advise.  Because, there was so much I could have said, and done; up to and including cutting the other person's head off and handing it to them before they fell to the ground.

The natural warrior instinct in me was raging to be let loose!  And, the part of me who is the peace keeper just wanted to throw up her hands and say, "Let the pieces fall where they may."  But, for the sake of all of the others who were in the situation with us, I couldn't. So I shut my pie-hole and ate all the things I wanted to say.

But here's the thing, unlike usual, the passage of time hasn't cooled my temper.  I'm still angry. I don't want to be the bigger person any longer.  Not as it relates to this individual.  I'm not able to do it any more.  I'm tired of doing it.  There's no pay-off; nothing in it for me to keep doing it.

No, I don't believe I will be the bigger person any longer.  I don't think anyone should constantly be asked to take the high road in a relationship.  It's not equitable or reasonable.  It's not even a relationship; it's a time bomb.

So, I wonder, does it make me a bad person?  Have you ever come to the point when there was nothing left to say except, "I'm done.  I can't be the bigger person all the time.  I don't want to do it anymore with you.  You'll just have to go find other people who are willing to tolerate you and always be the bigger person when it comes to the way you treat people.  I'm out."

Is it all right for me to admit I'm a failure when it comes to being the bigger person?

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Think I Get It

This problem I'm having with my blog?  The bit about having nothing to say?  Having told all the deep thoughts I've ever had?  Being uninspired to continue to try?  I think I get it now.

I'm one of those people who stays stuck in the notion that my life was better 'then' than 'now'.  I'm constantly having to resist the urge to spend all my time looking backward.  Like I've said before, thinking like this is as deadly as attempting to drive a car by looking constantly at the rear view mirror.  It can't be done.

So as it relates to my blog, I possibly have exhausted most of my great stories or memories in the four years I've been at this.  Now comes the hard part of finding the fodder de jour.  Finding the interesting in the here and now.  Finding the courage to be creative in the mundane.

If I really think I'm such a good writer, well, it's time to step up.  It's harder to be a writer when you're not on assignment; when you don't have an editor giving you the big idea.

If I'm really such a crack reporter, I'll find the nugget of worthwhile to commit to the written word.

Most importantly though, I'll continue to invest the energy in mySelf.  I'll take this process on as a form of prayer; an active acknowledgement of a gift given to me by Spirit.  A use of that skill simply for me as if there is no one else in the world who might listen or care.

Because the fact is, when I pray, I don't pray for anyone else to acknowledge, or comment, or even know.  The only One who matters is me and Spirit.  Ego has not a thing to do with it.  Go sit down in the corner and keep quiet, Ego.  This is not your time.  It's mySelf's.

If I pray every day, and I do, then clearly I can or could blog every day.  It's not necessary, though. (The writing bit; the prayer?  Most definitely a daily need.) But, when I sit down to pray out loud which is how I will now think of this blog, it has to be pure.  It has to be real.  It has to be simply by me, for me.  Not for an audience; not for approval.  Prayer is not whiny or needy.  Well, I suppose it can be, but I'd prefer that mine isn't.  So, this blog needs to reflect the same.

And, should another soul hear the prayer or find they can respond or relate to my public prayer, well, that's superlative!  But, it's also simply a by-product and not the thrust of my endeavor.

If someone ventures here, they should do so with the understanding that they've walked into a practice session.  They're hearing my efforts to acknowledge the gift that has been given. They'll witness me doing the harder job of being in the now instead of venerating my past.

I think I get it's not about you reading or not reading.  It's about me writing.  Or not writing.  It's about me looking at the now and dreaming about the future; not just recounting my stories and feeling my best days are somehow behind me.  It's not about writing for you so much as it is the polishing of me.

It's about me making the effort to invest in my creative voice.  It's not a perfect voice, it can sound off-key, but it surely won't get better unless I use it and invest.  So, for today, this is the investment.  And, for today, that is enough.

I Think I Get It; Amen.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is A Writer

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Wonder

worry n, 1 a : mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually something impending or anticipated.

Do you suppose it is simply Human nature to worry?  No way to really avoid it, but simply to control it at times better than others?

Do you think that it is our nature and that we are here to learn to first control it, and then to shed it?  Do you think we are alive to learn to let go of it and then learn to be who we truly are?

Or is it just the way it is and just suck it up and deal?

Interestingly enough, when you look up the word in Webster's, (yes, I still use a paper dictionary; I'm old school like that,) that definition isn't the first one.  Nope, the first one is this:

worry vb, 1 a :   CHOKE, STRANGLE to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat.

I've seen that behavior when my three terriers are going after a vole.  It isn't pretty.

Know what's even less pretty?  The notion that I, we, do this to ourselves, freely.  All the time.

I need to rethink this whole thing.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Really Needs To Stop Worrying

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blogging Sucked My Brain Dry

It's happened.  Blogging has sucked my brain dry.  It's the only answer there can be.  It's blogging that did it.  I don't have any thoughts left in my brain.  None.

Well, that's not really true.  I have thoughts...about changing the next load of clothes from the washer to the drier.  About the need to clean the stove top.  Wash the kitchen floor....sit and doter through Pinterest.  Look at my Facebook page, yet again.

Do I really need to make the bed again today?  I just did that yesterday.  Who's here to see it if I don't make it?  Who even cares if I do or don't.  I wonder what that stupid dog of mine is barking at now; I don't see a thing.

When I vacuum, do the marks made in the rug have to be even?  When was the last time I had the Orek in for service?  Is there gas in my car?

Should I just break down and put the heat on?  It's only early October for heaven's sake!  Maybe just put on another sweater or something...quit being a wimp.

The clock needs winding. Crap, the dust bunnies are back big time.  So are the Stink Bugs.  I hate these stink bugs!  Wonder why I'm not interested in music lately?

I wonder why I have nothing new or in-depth to write about?  I wonder when I lost my enthusiasm for blogging?  Did I lose it or did I just run out of things to say?  How the hell can someone like me run out of things to say?

How do you avoid running out of things to say?  Was anyone listening anyway?  Did it serve a purpose?  If I stopped, would anyone care?

I wonder what Laura did with that box of all my formal journals I left for her to keep?  They represent hours of my life as I wrote them and I suppose I was hopeful that some of my journey may assist her with hers.  I hope it does.  If she even reads them.

Why do we journal any way?  It's actually the same with blogging.  Why do we blog?  It starts out as a need to connect; it starts out as a portal and conduit for the creative energy built up in all of us.  It starts as a need to share.  To be seen.  To be heard.  To be recognized.

I look back on some of my earlier postings and have to admit that I'm proud of the breadth and depth of the topics I covered.  I'm proud of the writing; it's good and solid.  My writing is directed and sometimes rich and deep.  Now?

Not so much.  And, because I took my eyes off the creative horizon, the travel to my page has dropped off and few new readers find their way to the site.  If I did it for myself, does it really matter if anyone ever comes to read it?  Was that the real reason I started the blog?  However and whatever, it's my fault if readership has dropped off.  Wait.  No it's's Blogger's fault; it has sucked my brain dry.

I intended to blog regularly.  To use it as a creative exercise and a way to keep my skills sharp.  But, days have gone by and I haven't written anything.  NOTHING!  Where did my enthusiasm go?  Where did my ideas go?  I still go to various blogs to see what's being posted there and to check in with writers that I've grown to love and I very rarely even write a comment.  Oh crap...I've become a lurker instead of a participant!!  What the hell has happened to me?!

And then, I stop thinking a fleeting thought of blogging when the next snippet of stupid pops into my brain...

The price of food!  Sweet Jumpin' Baby Jesus!!  The cost of food?!  INCREDIBLE!  Trust me, I'm like most Americans...I'm price sensitive and not price conscious.  And, if I can SEE the cost of food increasing, it's not just a small increase!  It's an increase that is enough to be noticed and it's not just occasionally, it's pretty much all the time!

What the hell are we supposed to do?  How are we supposed to make ends meet?  What can I do better to be more fiscally responsible to my household budget?!  How do I become a better domestic engineer?

Because I may as well embrace that role since my professional life has come to a stand still.  I may as well establish myself as proficient in that capacity as I worked so hard to establish it in my professional life.

Is this the way most people feel?  Does it all seem as momentarily chaotic and fruitless as my thoughts would suggest?  Niggling.  Small.  Inconsequential.  Meaningless to the wide audience.  Tiny.  Silly.  Gnats...thought gnats.  I used to have big thoughts and ideas and now in the space that has been vacated, I've only a swarm of tiny thought gnats. 

I used to have giant thoughts...deep thoughts and ideas worth writing about.  But, maybe we have only a finite amount of those big ideas and notions.  And, maybe, thanks to blogging, I've shot my wad and there's nothing else to consider or share.

Yep...blogging has sucked my brain dry, it seems.  And now the biggest question...

What now?

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Wonders If This Is Sustainable

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

May your week to come feel like
the supportive embrace
of a loving mother.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
My image dedicated to Miss Robyn of Apple Tree & Avalon fame!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Talking To Be Heard

Just because you've decided that now is the best time to talk, doesn't mean that now is the best time for the other to listen.

If you really want to be heard, you need to fight the impulse to spew and pick your moment carefully. 

That is, if your goal is to be heard.  Otherwise, if you just want to give into your every impulse, say what you want to say regardless of whether it has any meaning to another, well go ahead and let fly.

You might think you feel better because you got that off your chest but, don't be angry if you don't get anything meaningful back.  And, please, don't whine, "No one ever listens to me!"

Running off at the mouth is not the same as communicating.  And, timing is everything.

'Nuff said.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Always Wishes To Communicate

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

When the world seems too much to handle,
Stop. Settle, and simply breathe.
In and out, in and out like the waves kissing the sand.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Loves The Water
Destin Beach, FL

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lesson From Alabama

 On the first leg of our return from our visit to Florida to spend a few days with Evan, we spent the day traveling through rural areas of Alabama.  Sad to say, a great many of the 'homes' we passed resembled the one in the photo above.  We flew by many trailer homes and not all of them looked like urban decay.

This got me to thinking:  What you live in does not matter.  How you live in it does matter.
Nanny, The World's Meanest Woman always said, "It costs nothing or next to nothing to be clean!"  All it takes is a desire to respect your Self and respect the space you occupy.

Tomorrow will find us riding the roads of Kentucky.  More later.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka The B***h on the Back 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

It is just as much an act of love to end something,
as it is to begin something.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Farewell Of A Different Sort

The phone jarred around 7AM, never a good thing.  A short while later Michael says, "It's Jodi, Melissa has him back at the emergency vet.  They're saying he needs surgery; it will cost about $4000.  She doesn't have that money; we don't have that much money to lend her.  It's either surgery or she will have to put him down.  He can't move his back legs.  She says she can't do it alone and wants to know if we'll come.  They'll wait 'til we get there."

"Of course we'll be there."  Out the door, into the car, neighbor called to make sure they can cover our dogs since it will most likely be hours until we get back home.  We set off to drive the 50+ miles to be with Melissa and Jodi.  How does one woman, our girl, handle having to make a decision like that again?  And again.  First with Dash, then with Connor and now Jodi.  Jodi is only two years old.  Her funny Frenchie....4000...who has that sort of money for a surgery?  And how does one deal with the sense of failure that you just can't do everything that can be done?  Of course we'll be there.

It took longer than we would have hoped; traffic around Pittsburgh, well never mind.  We got there and were directed to a room, opened the door to find Melissa laying on a blanket next to Jodi, her face swollen from hours of sobbing over her dog.

And then we sat while she tormented and we hugged her.  I Reiki'd Jodi.  He seemed so vital and yet along his back I could feel his tension and the discomfort.  They had examined him when first arriving, given him pain meds through a cath in his front leg.  And, so we waited while she finally came to the terrible decision that he would have to be put down.  We stayed with Jodi, while she walked out to tell the front desk she needed the release forms and they said they would send someone straight back to her.

We waited a long while again.  She texted her boyfriend, Pete, who is the one person Melissa would have wanted there with her, but sadly Pete started his new job today.  Awful timing.  Sad.  Frequent messages flying between fingers was the best he could do to support her when he couldn't be there.  And we waited some more.  Jodi becoming more sore and a bit confused as to what was going on as his meds wore off.

Melissa went out to the desk a second time.  We waited again.  When we had been with her for an hour and a half, Michael asked if she wanted him to go out to chat with the people.  Melissa declined the offer.  I asked her a short while later if she would like me to go out to talk with them.  She agreed.

I have found that in really tense, difficult situations, that the more quiet I am when I am discussing the situation with people who are failing to care to help me, that the more lethal I must sound.  I find that it gets much more quick action than standing there and blasting them with anger or shrieking at the top of my voice.  That sort of behavior gives them false permission to ignore me because of bad behavior on my part.  So, that's how I handled them.  They stared at me with wide eyes and swore the vet would be back to us in a few minutes.

Almost immediately, a tech appeared and said she needed to take Jodi back to be examined again.  And, then the vet appeared.  She was the sort who spends all her time in an emergency situation.  Not very warm, terse, specific in her communication and exact in delivering her message.  "Here's the situation.  He needs surgery.  You have the estimate for it.  If you don't have the money which is a very large amount, we can offer care credit which would allow you to pay it back over six months."  We all confirmed that it wouldn't be possible to meet the obligation.  And then the bombshell:

"There is another option.  We can do the surgery today.  He will be healthy and able to get around.  You would relinquish him to us."  What is going on?!

Melissa sobs, "I was a vet tech, I know how this works, who wants my dog?!"  The vet stood still.  She said, "You know I can't tell you that.  It's confidential.  But Jodi is a very viable two year old French Bulldog.  He can have an MRI today and we will know exactly which disc needs to be repaired.  He will be healthy and have a good life.  Of course, if it is your desire to put him down, we will agree with your wishes."  What went unsaid, but could clearly be heard from her body language was, "and I hope you'll do the right thing and give this dog a chance!"  What she said when Melissa stared to sob is, "I'll step out and give you some time to think it over."

I asked, "Doctor, can I talk with you a few minutes and give my husband and Melissa some time together?"  She agreed immediately.  While she and I talked in the hall, I could hear the muffled sobs and angry sounds coming from Melissa and the quiet but specific sounds coming from Michael.

"I'm confused about this relinquishment option," I said to the vet, "What Melissa said she was told was that Jodi needed surgery which would cost, X, and that you all couldn't guarantee the outcome.  Now she's being told that someone here will absorb the cost and take over the dog.  Why would anyone want to pay that amount of money for a dog whose outcome can't be guaranteed?"

She replied, "I don't know how she has come away with the idea of the surgery couldn't be guaranteed, he's an excellent candidate.  Jodi has feeling to his back legs.  This is a congenital issue that happens a lot with French Bulldogs, it's correctable.  It wasn't caused by a trauma.  When it happens due to trauma, it completely changes the case, so we can't always know how things will turn out.  In a case like this, we use the MRI to show exactly which disc needs to be repaired.  When we alleviate the pressure, the spine can function normally.  With correct after care, Jodi will be fine. We can help him today."

To think that Jodi could live and have a good quality of life?!  This is happy news I never thought I'd hear.  But the horrible part is that Melissa had to sign him away never to see him again.  She continued, "I've worked here seven years.  I can tell you that relinquishment is not an option we offer many times; I think in my time here I've only offered it three times.  No one here is attempting to steal a person's loved pet from them.  But there are times when it can be offered for an animal who has a great chance at a good life.  Still, I know how hard it is for the owner to consider it."

I asked, "What will you tell me about the person who wants to absorb this cost on Jodi's behalf?"  She responded, "She is a very good person.  She likes small dogs.  She has met Jodi and simply says she'll pay his bill so she can give him a good life.  We have to be very careful about these situations.  It's highly emotionally charged. So Melissa can't meet her."  I understood that.

I went back in, Michael had stepped out to return a work call.  Melissa was on the phone with Pete.  Clearly this choice was filling her with tons of emotions, not the least of which was anger feeling as though people were attempting to steal her dog from her.  When Michael came back in, he simply and specifically said, "You have to make a decision. You are being offered the chance to save Jodi's life.  I hope you will take it.  Especially since relinquishment is how you got Dublin, your cat, when her original owner couldn't afford it. But, he's your dog and your decision.  I'll wait outside."  He walked out, quietly closing the door.

The emotionally charged silence was deafening. I asked if I could do anything or get her anything.  She told me she wanted us to go.  There was nothing more I could add, so I told her I loved her. "Melissa, one way or the other, you would be leaving this place without Jodi today.  But now, he's being given a chance at continuing to live and live well."  And with a last look at Jodi, I left as she requested.  We didn't hear any more from her for the rest of the day. But, with the weird way we get information in this age of FB and instant messaging, we later read on her page that a friend had gone to the hospital to collect Melissa who had signed over Jodi to have the surgery and continue life with his new owner.

I am so happy for Jodi, and simultaneously so miserable for Melissa.  I've never felt anything so emotionally conflicting.  I know how awfully I would be handling a situation like this.  I know the gamut of emotions I would be feeling.  I know how angry I would be; how cheated I would feel.  How wronged.  How absolutely assaulted.  And, somewhere, I hope I would be feeling the small kernel of comfort that I had loved my pet enough to give it shot at a life even if it meant without me as part of it.  But, it would be small comfort.

I know that Melissa is angry but more than that she's just overwhelmingly sad over the idea of having to make a decision like that.  I know she wanted to do what was best for her but even more, do what was best for Jodi and knowing these two wishes couldn't be reconciled.  Real love can be difficult.  It sometimes asks everything of us.  Ask more than we think we're capable of giving.  And it can seem harsh, unforgiving, and simply more than we can bear, at times. 

Our daughter is really wounded over this and we had no way of making it better.  But, for that little dog's sake, the Frenchie who made us laugh we, most particularly Melissa, had to do all we could to give him a fighting chance to have a life.  And she did it.

I do know that while I'll never get to see Jodi again, we did the right thing by championing him.  And we are very grateful that someone who was able came forward to pay his expenses and give him a new life in a new home.

We will miss you Jodi and that will fade with time.  But, we love you, Melissa and that will never fade.  For facing the decision, for loving Jodi so much, you've proved once again how you are a champion for every animal with whom you have shared your life or come into contact.  For you faced a farewell of a different sort and for that Jodi will always be grateful.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Jodi's Nonni and Melissa's WSM

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

When times seem hard, remember to always look up!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Photo taken by My Lion from our back deck! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Beatus Patres 'Dies

Just as Latin is the root of all languages, so are fathers the root of our experiences for most of us.  They deserve a day to be recognized for all they do; all they accomplish; all they mean to us.  Some of us are lucky enough to still have them here, while some spend this day reviewing happy memories of past father's days.

A father is one who takes care of his children.  That's about as succinct a definition as I've ever heard.  I'd agree with this.  My father was an incredible provider, most particularly because he refused to allow his physical inabilities to impede his ability and desire to be my sole parent, mentor and guide.

I live with one of the best fathers I've ever met.  His children are never far from his thoughts.  He is lucky to be developing a different chapter of his parenting story with his children who are adults now.  The three of them are moving to that sacred place where you become friends with your kids, but you are always first and foremost, Dad.

Men learn to be fathers from their fathers.  It's an acquired skill.  And some are more lucky than others to have a parent they would emulate completely.

Such is the case with Michael and his father, Carroll.  To be blessed to still have him in his life is something for which My Lion is very grateful.  He is now more than just Carroll's oldest son, he has become friends with Dad and respects and cares for him completely.  He still looks to his advice.  He still looks forward to his weekly conversations with him.  For Michael, Father's Day is another opportunity to thank him for being such a major influence and part of a happy life.

In our family, we have so many great men who embrace their role as a father.  Men, whose core Self-definition contains the word, "Dad'.  Eric is learning his role with Livy and Ava.  Michael has his role with Melissa and Evan.  My brother, Glenn defines himself as Sean and Laura's Dad.

Fathers are the first ones who teach us things about the world outside our homes.  They show us things.  Build our memories.  Teach us what it feels like to be safe, cared for, protected.  They teach us loyalty.  Fidelity.  Family.  Fun.  But, most of all, Love.

And just as Latin is the root of all languages, hence this post's title today:

The best father in the world, the one who I always miss and think of so much on a day like this, is the root of my existence and understanding of the world;  James, Jimmy Dietor.

I love you, Daddy.  Happy Father's Day to you and all the glorious men who understand the meaning of the word, "Father".

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Jimmy Dietor's Daughter

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

When the storms of life are raging around you, remember that
 a rainbow 
greets those who endure.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Those Eyes

Here's our Livy.  I haven't posted about her in awhile.  Laura took this pic on the fly.  Like a lot of great images, the ones you catch without thinking turn out to be the ones that reveal the most.

Michael commented, "Those are some deep eyes; old soul eyes."  I had been thinking the very same thing when he said it.  I sometimes think Livy is a very complex spirit and then there are other times when she is making Ava squee with delight or dancing around in her princess dress with her plastic shoes that I realize she's no different than any other three year old.  No different than any other Human Being.

I think all of us are more complex or more simple one minute to the next.  But one thing we remain always, is a unique thread of Spirit.

On a whim, Laura submitted this photo to a contest at an area children's boutique and Livy is one of the 12 children selected to be part of their upcoming catalog and advertising campaign.  They took part in a photo shoot at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.  It sounds like it was a very interesting adventure for Mom and Daughter.

I can't wait to see Livy in prime time.  But one thing I matter how famous, or not, our Olivia is in her life she, just as Ava is also, a family star.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly  aka Great Aunt Holly

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

May the view of your world from your garden gate be as kind.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Rory's Mommer

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ava, My Ava

Well, this could be the tale of a prison break by the looks of all the sturdy bars, but honestly, what prisoner ever smiled at the warden with such love?  Nope.  Not a prison break.

That's just our Ava being another month more wonderful...another month of more gummy smiles.  And another month of reminding all of us who loved and adored Laura at that age how much genes will tell.

Because while she is truly her own unique Self, our Ava has given us the gift of bringing memories back to life as she looks so very much like her mother did at this age.

And, Littlest Girl, your Great Aunt Holly thanks you so very much for this gift!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Great

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ghostly Visits

There are many issues to confirm that I'm growing older.  One came in the mail the other day.  Tucked inside with the renewal form for my driver's license was a very 'helpful' pamphlet entitled, "Tips for The Mature Driver."  Kill me now.

Another also replays many nights; I hate it.  This inability to collapse into sleep without tossing and turning.  The worst is-- I fall asleep very quickly only to have my eyes flap open like a window shade snaps up without warning.

Last night was one of those.  It seemed it would go peacefully, seemed being the operative world.  I ran through the Distance Reiki list of all those animals and Humans who have requested Reiki to assist with their needs.  It's how I start and end my days.  At night, doing this work makes me relax and drift off.  Morpheus is waiting with arms extended, but some nights he plays me false and just as I enter his embrace, he closes his arms and evaporates.  Men...

But last night, tossing in bed as I watched the clock creep to 2AM, it felt different and a bit unsettling,  because I was visited by another circumstance that proves I've been alive for awhile now.  Last night I was visited by a chorus of faces that I have loved and who have died.  Unbidden they came.  Some I had not actively thought of in a long time; others are those few who I never not think on.

At first, I found all of them gathered in my consciousness more than a bit disconcerting.  I fretted about why they were all there of a sudden.  Did it mean something?  Was there a purpose?  What are you trying to tell me?!

Not my Dad, nor my Aunt Kat, nor any of my immediate family were there.  Instead, these were all dear friends.  People who had played a pivotal role, either in terms of my growth as a Real Human Being, or had died at points in my life to help me understand what it means to suffer loss.  Died and helped me experience what it means to lose someone I cared about and what life feels like after.

I slowly began to relax, realizing that they simply wished to visit to confirm that death doesn't change the truth of things.  Connections are still there.  Attachment still remains.  I sent Reiki blessings to each of them and thanked them for coming.  I confirmed that they are always with me and what a joy it is to see them again. They returned the same sentiments.

And, with spiritual hugs completed, I fell asleep. 

This morning, I still ponder why I would have had a party with Ghosts from my answers yet.  I wonder how the brain works that it would conjure them unbidden like that.  Can a brain actually do that?  Or, is it that love is bigger than our brains and it can manifest all on its own, in images that we can recognize and understand?  No answers for these questions...

But, in the light of day, I'm able to realize that it is a blessing to have been reminded of all those who I have lived long enough to have loved and lost.  I suppose along with confirmation that I am aging, I am also slowly becoming a Real Human Being.  There is always a silver lining.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Loves Them, Still

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

I'll Have Another

This is the horse who has, against the odds,
Won the Kentucky Derby, 
Took the Preakness,
And is now heading to The Belmont Stakes.
If he wins, he will be the first Triple Crown Winner
Since 1978.
He was purchased for a mere 35T,
Because most didn't see his qualities, he was completely over-looked.
But one man recognized them.
One person saw.
It only takes one person to recognize potential.

This week, may someone reconfirm your gifts and qualities
So that you can continue to run your race,
And show the world your outstanding abilities. 

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Recognizes Your Potential

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fiona & Argyle

Argyle has come home from the vet's office in fine shape after surgery.  Slow, a bit groggy and sore, but fine.  I've given him the love and quiet that I can.  Reiki has been flowing to him to help with the discomfort.  He's going to be fine.  I feel that neutering a pet dog is the best thing to do.  Research shows that from a health perspective it's absolutely the best thing.  And, from a personality point of view, it also helps.  After all, who needs a dog that feels, all the time, an itch it can't scratch?!  It has to have a negative effect!

Fiona checked him out closely when we brought him back home.  Inspection complete, she wagged her tail just the slightest bit to say, "Welcome home."  Rory seemed very concerned, in the morning, when we packed Argyle up solo.  It may have been that he knew he was going "riding in the truck," and he wasn't being invited to go along, but I sense it may have been more than that.  He definitely didn't like that we were taking the puppy away.  So, it seems that Argyle really and truly is one of the Frock Pack now.

The change happened in small increments.  Episode by episode.  In barely noticeable ways.  Every now and again, you'd see something to confirm that Rory & Fiona were beginning to accept the puppy, but then there were other moments when I was sure they were plotting his murder.

The thing I absolutely didn't predict was how Fiona would find her mothering nature thanks to Argyle.  Being 10 days older than Rory, she has always asserted her power over him; he has never argued her thinking and tolerates her bossy behavior.   She has always directed Rory, but never mothered him per se.  

I just didn't think she had it in her to be motherly.  I was wrong;  when it comes to this puppy, she has been very matronly in a stern and imperious way, for sure, but that's her nature as the Alpha.  But motherly, none the less.  She's actually been nicer to him than Rory has been, especially the first few weeks.  Rory was very snappy and rough with him.

When Argyle needs quiet time, or wants to know all is right with the world, you'll find him close to Fiona.  And, that's how I found him on the steps with her, patting her softly on the back.  People who do not live with animals, will tell you they have no deliberate thoughts or intentions as we understand Humans to have...

Those of us who live with animals understand what a load of crapola that thinking is...  I watched that puppy softly touch her on the back and stay that way for a few quiet moments before he put his head down and rested knowing she was close.

So I'm writing this one to acknowledge Fiona for being so uncharacteristically good to the puppy.  And, to say she surprised me in a good way by her ability to let another dimension of her true nature blossom.  It reminds me that the same is true for us when we rise to the occasion of sharing our virtues and growing parts that are resting dormant.

I have to go now and sit with my puppy patient who is still sore and wondering where parts of him have disappeared...Fiona is sitting next to him.  She's a good nurse.  I'm impressed.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Mommer

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