Saturday, December 16, 2006


On this Ides of December (Although I do not believe the Roman calendar had an Ides in this month, we can!) our Indian Summer - or early spring, take your pick - weather continued, with temperatures in the 60s all day and a glorious sun. We have some daffodils in the yard whose stems are up about four inches! With true winter yet to come here, I give thanks for the flowers’ hardiness. They will last through all the cold of frozen winter days and bless us next spring with their blooms.

After Morning Offering, Jim gave our own yard the Jim’s Lawn Service treatment, clearing all the debris and blowing out the remaining downed leaves from their hiding places and then crunching them back into the soil. By lunch time, our yard was just sparkling.

Meanwhile, Gary and I spent a profitable morning ganging up on Christmas food planning. While Gary worked on the grocery list for the house for the next week, I generated four meals’ worth of recipes for our coming guests. Jim and I had decided that if we provided a sit-down meal for four of the days my clan is here – we do not know exactly when the last person will leave us, but they all arrive on December 26th and plan to stay through New Years’ Day – with all the side dishes of a genuine meal, perhaps on the other days we can have burger patties, Wimmer’s Wieners, pizza or other sorts of take-out, or go out to eat together.

By lunchtime Gary and I had generated the grocery list for that extra cooking, which Jim will undertake starting next Monday, working on the dishes and then freezing them each morning next week. My recipe database never worked harder! One day, that recipe collection in itself could be an L/L book project, for I have developed hundreds of recipes based on healthy ingredients and substitutes for the usual suspects of sugar, dairy and so forth, and worked extensively with herbs.

Gary and I also talked through the breakfast and lunch choices we intend to provide the Rueckert clan. Most of the ingredients for that will be better bought just before the troops arrive, as we want the fresh things to be newly bought and truly fresh, but now we have a plan so we can grab our list and go-go-go next week at this time during final preparations. It is a blessing to have those plans in hand early.

After lunch together with Jim and stretching, Jim went back into the gladsome afternoon sun to transplant our entire row of arbor vitae trees. This is another episode in the mini-saga of our neighbor to the south, whose behavior defines the term “bad neighbor” for us. In L’s latest hassle, he explained to Jim that some of the limbs of our living hedge – the arbor vitae which we had to plant because he physically cut down our previous living hedge of forsythia bushes, saying that they were on his property – were shading his property. It is so silly that we can laugh about it. But how to respond? Jim has, all along, said that the only way we can survive L is to clear away any and all objections he has concerning his property line, about which he is amazingly obsessive. Once he has absolutely nothing more about which to complain on that issue, we can ignore him.

So Mick spent the entire afternoon digging up over a dozen big trees and replanting them well on our side of the property line. We believe this is the last thing about which he can gripe. One can always hope!

L has in the recent past raised all sorts of Cain about the small satellite dish we have in the front yard, insisting that we have it moved because, again, although the dish array is solidly planted on our property, the dish itself is shading his property.

We moved it without comment a couple of weeks ago. However, Jim made the array into a Christmas tree, and a very pretty one it looks when the Christmas lights are turned on at dusk. I laughed to see this “tree” just blinking away, as Mick had gotten one of those special sorts of holiday lighting which blinks and runs and makes all sorts of other jazzy patterns. Jim set it to run through all of its variations ad infinitum. See, L, it seems to say, I am pretty!

Jim and I are not weaklings. If there were any way whatsoever to alter L’s behavior short of replanting trees, we would. However I checked carefully and the laws of property here are such that people can do what they like on their own property as long as it does not constitute a danger or breed vermin. We knew L would continue to harass us in this goofy way endlessly, as that is one of his hobbies, and has been for a lifetime of meanness and bullying. Most of the people living on this street were L’s neighbors growing up, back during World War II and thereafter, and I have heard a jillion stories that indicate his nature. And so we removed the source of enhasslement and stopped the noise! I praise St. James for refraining from offering the first harsh word to L. We have never kicked L out of our hearts just because his surface personality is a mess. We focus on his soul, which is beautiful. And of course we allow ourselves the satellite Christmas tree, with its unusual angel at the top. Balance in all things is good, and laughter is especially important!

I spent part of the afternoon talking with Ian about various bits of various projects – the Book of Days in its pre-publishing stages and Don Elkins’ unfinished book with my introduction. It was a good talk. Ian’s work has resulted in everything that you see on our site. In addition we have published A Wanderer’s Handbook together and in so many ways we have collaborated to serve those who might find our material useful. It was very good to hear his voice and catch up in person.

I started on Steve M’s comments on Chapter Two in late afternoon. It is a very big chapter, as I felt it had to be in order decently to explore the concept of polarity as set forth by the Ra group and other Confederation sources channeled through our group. I probably chewed my way through a third of Steve’s comments. As always I find Steve’s suggestions very useful. He teaches technical subjects, often to foreigners. If there is a way to say something more simply and directly, he can suggest it. and he checks my scientific facts, watching my back there.

It was good to achieve bath time! I was marginal in health all day, and working against a load, as it were, and was I tired! Jim also was weary after so much heavy work in the yard, so we luxuriated in a long, slow whirlpool together, laughing together about the satellite tree, before bathing. As we age, we find water tremendously healing, especially the “swirling waters”, as the Ra group used to say.

Romi was over for the evening, to visit and to continue his seasonal maintenance on the L/L computers, bringing a bottle of Liebfraumilch, a mild and delicious white wine which we enjoyed together. Jim and Romi shared a pizza for supper while I enjoyed homemade soup, which seems to go down better than more ambitious food at my night meal sometimes. Romi offered the ending prayer at the Gaia Meditation and we watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica together before the party broke up. Jim and I finished the evening snuggling with the cats, saying good night around midnight.