July 31, 2010

* 5:00 AM and a Cup of Tea

Early morning.  Dark.  The air wafting gently through the windows is cool and light.  Early morning is a delicate time of day.  Nothing is quite awake yet, and yet consciousness is just around the corner. Habibi is stretched out at the foot of my bed, and a cup of strong tea with milk and sugar sits beside me.  I sip.  It's very satisfying.   I'm comfortably propped up and sunken into the six down pillows I brought with me.  The entire scene is quite delicious.  A couple of blocks away, the first rooster is crowing.

The jardin is nearing completion.  Soon I will be able to go to the nursery and purchase my Valencia orange tree.  I'm excited about that.  I've been looking at them.  For about $50.00 I can get a tree approximately 6 feet tall already bearing fruit.  The rest of the Jardin will have to wait, however, I want to get my morning orange juice under way immediately.

Both conches are very beautifully executed.  I'm thrilled.

The stairs await their railing.  A shelf on the right hand side will hold a plant.

The bodega doors are installed.  They await black shiny paint.

This week I think they will be doing the mosaics on the floor.  El Sol, la Luna and una poco estrella.  I'm excited about that.  They will be done in pebbles.  If they would let me get my hands on them, I'd love to do they myself.  

On the news front, I have made the decision to build a studio on the second floor.  It was money I had put aside before I was robbed, so now it will come from savings.  A difficult decision to make, however, I think I will get so much joy out of having a place to work and spread out, every penny will be well worth it.  As soon as the jardin is complete, the men will begin upstairs.  A couple months of pounding, and living 'under construction' literally and mi casa will be achabado (finished).

Fountains indicate and signal well-being to all.  Not only that, they
share their Karmic energy with all who see, hear, smell, taste and
touch them.  They are, and always have been, necessary for
permanent settlements.  We use them when ever we turn on a tap.
Fountains have come to symbolize the generosity of a god, an
institution or a person.  They indicate abundance and ingenuity.

In every culture they play a part in the mythology of life.
-  Bryan R. Hirst, 

July 30, 2010

* Inside de Luz and Mi Corazon ....

Rocks which are in the shape of a heart are not all that easy to find.  Every time I look down, I don't find piles of them.  From time to time, however, I do stumble over one.  Can't help it.  I pick it up, bring it home and put it in my heart basket.  Needless to say, when choosing items to bring with me to Mexico rocks didn't make the cut.  The other day, it occurred to me my heart stone collection was something I missed.  Half teasingly, I said to the Universe, "Well, you will just have to help me find some more.  We will begin again."  In the last couple of days, in the sand pile from which they mix cement, I found these.  My collection has begun.  Now I need a new 'heart basket'.  I'm in the right country for baskets.

I promised another couple of photographs of inside the casa.  Here goes.

This little desk is very elegant I think.  It's going to be the place where I journal and write.  Painting it the same colour as the chairs will be my next project.

Just behind the living room chairs is my little "media centre" (HA!).  This is where my computer is kept when it's not in my lap.  The small side table will be for a printer when I get one.  As you can see, all the electronics and wires are below this desk.  I had Moise put a curtain rod underneath the desk so I could disguise the shelf full of equipment.  Above the desk on the wall is where the cable outlet for a TV (if I ever get one) is located.  In the meantime, I think a big piece of art will hang over it.

The two other chairs may arrive today .... or not.  Keep your fingers crossed.

"Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need."
Sarah Ban Breathnach

July 29, 2010

* Poco a Poco

The inside of Quinta de Luz is coming together little by little.  Furniture is beginning to enter my space.  I was driven.  Out every day searching, hunting, gathering what I could.  Following every lead, every antique shop, every consignment store, every junque shop, fabric shop, gallery sale, and garage sale.  I suddenly realized I was exhausted.  DUH!  But oh ... I was so excited.  How I love to decorate.  How I adore visualizing a look in my head.  It's a challenge to see if I can get it together in real life.  Not having tons of money does make a difference.  If my resources were unlimited, I would be ordering from the Althorp Collection.  What I have to work with is fun though.  The hunting and gathering - never knowing when or where you might find something which may work, is, I must say more than half the fun.  The thrill of the hunt and all that.  I've decided to give myself a break now and just 'chill' for a bit.  It will eventually all be as I wish and then what?  I will need a new project .. lol.  I will share a little of what I have purchased.  It's not all together yet, so bear with me.

Remember the 5 chairs I got for $60.00?  They looked pretty sad.  Well, that stage of their lives is over.  New paint and they are feeling quite elegant.  Now they need their seats upholstered.  One of the textiles I purchased is going to be perfect.
Two of my new chairs arrived.  Actually 4 of them arrived, two had the incorrect upholstery.  They had to return to their original home.  Don't have a clue when I might meet the correct ones.  In the meantime, I have an armchair to enjoy, Habibi has his own.  He's taken possession already.  I now have a bookcase which you can see in the background.  One of the textiles has become a table cover under the lamp.  The french looking part of a desk which you can see sits under the window and looks very pretty.  More to come on another post.

The jardin is coming along nicely.  I will take more photos today and post in the near future.  In the meantime, I'm going out to catch some rays and bring in the washing.

"What we can do and want to do is projected in our imagination, quite outside ourselves, and into the future. We are attracted to what is already ours in secret. Thus passionate anticipation transforms what is indeed possible into dreamt-for reality.  ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

July 27, 2010

* Quinta de Luz today ...

It's been raining off and on for a few days.  Today the workers made a roof so they could stay dry.  I thought it was brilliant.

Curved staircase has begun.  

Today, I am having curtain tie-backs installed.  The curtains should be ready soon.

It's like mixing and sifting flower to make bread.  They are actually mixing a sort of special plaster which will cover the fountain.  It will hopefully make it look like canterra stone.  Nice!

Cesar is busy building the new staircase.

Canceled my encaustic class completely.  I've been having severe anxiety attacks.  A good sign I need to stop and look after myself.  That's what I'm doing.

"Anxiety is the rust of life, destroying its brightness and weakening its power.  A childlike and abiding trust in Providence is its best preventive remedy."

July 25, 2010

* The Dancer and Friends

Had a great art class!  Oh so good to get back to it.  It was pouring rain, flooding in the streets, all the water spouts on the roofs were emptying themselves with great aplomb into the streets.  The noise, while painting, and in the 'zone' was very comforting.  Thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

The Dancer has acquired many spirit guides who are supporting her, holding her together.  They have even 'gotten into her dancing shoes' to be sure she keeps moving.  It's not quite finished yet.  I will finish it this week at home.  The intuitive approach to painting seems to suit me.  I go with 'first thought'.  Never know what is coming.  None of it is planned.  It simply comes through my hand into the brush and onto the paper.  Very cool.

"Intuitive artists are messengers. Their symbolic vocabulary originates from the infinite wisdom of higher spheres, in a non-referential time/space continuum...  ~ Elle Nicolai 

July 24, 2010

* A Cool Gray Morning - Pondering the Agreements

It's still early.  The sun could burn all this gray away.  There is high cloud, the birds are twittering in the trees, roosters are crowing in the neighbourhood and of course, dogs are barking.  The air is cool and soft.  It holds some humidity from yesterdays rain.  Standing on the terrace, the soft air around me, the birds singing their different songs ... it's a delicious morning.

I've been pondering again.  Thinking over what I have learned on the path.  Thinking over if I indeed am being true to myself.  About ten years ago I read The Four Agreements,  Don Miguel Ruiz's four simple rules that were to change my life forever.  It all seemed so doable.  They were written in a very clear, simple manner.  All I had to do was put them into practice.  HA!  As I went through some of my old journals the other day, I happened upon a list I had written in 1998.  They were parts of me I was hell bent on changing.  The list included the four agreements.  It was a wonderful reminder.  Reading the list brought me back to centre; to what's really important to my soul.  To what my life is all about, what my values are and what my moral fiber contains.  I will share the agreements with you.  I thought about each one and how they had affected my life over the last twelve years.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

I can honestly say I am consciously speaking with integrity.  There are no more little white lies in my life, or the occasional big one either.  It's a challenging agreement to master.  Seems so simple, all the agreements do .... they are not.  Practicing them, however has changed my life.  I am what I like to call 'clear' now.  I consider it gentle honesty.  I would say I am very conscious of what comes out of my mouth and expresses into words.  I do strive to speak my truth.  I find I am no longer able to 'keep' issues inside of me.  I tend to speak regardless of the consequences.  It is a need I have in order to stay healthy.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

This agreement was not so difficult for me.  I never did take much personally.  My parents were my biggest challenge because I was always striving to please.  That took work.  I'm not sure Mamma and I ever worked it out.  Before Papa passed away we had worked it out.  We were on equal ground.  Huge in my life and a gift for me.  Consciously now, I am able to step back and observe.  In most cases It is not my stuff, so why would I take it personally.  If it is 'my stuff' I try using communication to solve the issues.  

3. Don’t Make Assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

I must say I did assume a lot in my life time.  I learned I was usually wrong.  I learned to speak up and clear the air before it got black with mold, and people could no longer breath.  I learned to communicate quickly to make sure I understoodI learned to speak my truth so others would not assume.  This is a challenge, because not everyone wants to hear my truth ... lol.

4. Always Do Your Best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to when you are sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

This was another difficult one for me.  I was so used to berating myself, judging myself, calling myself terrible names.  I was never good enough, kind enough, happy enough, perfect enough .... you name it, I was never enough.  The self-judgment, self-verbal abuse, guilt and regret I carried in my heart nearly killed me.  I survived.  I've moved forward.  I'm doing 'the work'.  The self-judgment has lessened, my critic is pretty quiet now, verbal abuse has stopped, and I carry absolutely no guilt or regret.  When those last two heavy heavy emotions left my body I thought I was going to fly.  I could not have let those things go without therapy.  You have no idea how grateful I am.

I read not long ago, Don Miguel Ruiz had written a fifth agreement.  I was curious and looked it up.  It is as follows: 

5. Be Skeptical, But Learn to Listen – Don’t believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind the words, and you will understand the real message.

This is huge for me.  An awakening and something I do have to work on and am working on.  I have been trying to listen to my 'higher self', my 'gut', for years.  It comes naturally to me.  I think this is what he is speaking about.  I am beginning to pay closer attention.  Lately I have fallen off a couple of pretty high cliffs which have caused permanent damage to my bank account.  I ask myself, "What did I miss?"  "Were there red flags?"  "Did I not want to see them?"   Overall, I know if I pay attention to my intuition it is always right - so why didn't I see it this time?  Why didn't I feel it?  Or .... did I?  Did I just ignore it?  Still big questions for me.  

I like this Fifth Agreement.  It's about awareness.  It's about being awake, totally present and conscious.  There are times I take things literally,  however 99% of the time I am a sensate.  I am still learning so much about myself.  Still learning to tweek the fine details.  Interesting work.

Don Miguel Ruiz: For nearly three decades, Don Miguel Ruiz has shared his unique blend of ancient wisdom and modern-day awareness through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world. Sales of his books have soared to more than seven million copies in the United States alone, and have been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide. Visit www.miguelruiz.com

"The only real valuable thing is intuition."  ~ Albert Einstein

I find Albert such an interesting guy.  A scientist to believed in so many things which could never be proven.

July 23, 2010

* Who knows what this is?

This was on my terrace that evening.  It was about two inches long and one inch wide.  I don't know if it flies - it just sat there.  It's still sitting there this morning.  Any ideas?

Strides were made on the fountain yesterday.  All my little suns, moons and stars and in place.  Still needs to be grouted and the conches are not complete.  It's raining this morning, enough to stop the work.  The men are sitting up on my covered terrace chatting, drinking the coffee I took them and eating left over cake from yesterday.

In the fountain, I have scattered nine special tiles all relating to de Luz, 'the Light'.  If you count all the small tiles making up the big ones, there are twenty seven which still adds up for nine.  I like the number nine.  

On the spiritual side, the number nine has the following meaning.  This is why I chose it.  I need all the good influences I can have around me.  Every little bit helps if I am conscious of it, which I am.

Nine: The spiritual meaning of number Nine bring us to the very height of vibrational frequencies in this number sequence. Nine represents attainment, satisfaction, accomplishment, and our success to achieve an influence in our circumstances. The spiritual meaning of number Nine deals with intellectual power, inventiveness, influence over situations and things. Nine beseeches us to recognize our own internal attributes, and extend these abilities out into the world to make a positive, influential difference.  So there you have it, now you understand a little more about me and my fountain.


Poor Habibi.  As the terrace itself becomes finished, Habibi's potty territory disappears.  He's at a loss and runs around the yard like a mad man looking for some suitable dirt.  Last night it was the sand pile.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  I'll have to teach him to go in a certain spot I think.  Poor Baby.  Even the ruins where the stairs had been looked good to him last night.

"Don't wait until everything is just right.  It will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what.  Get started now.  With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful."  ~ Mark Victor Hansen

July 21, 2010

* It rained today

The rain today filled this pot to the brim.  It's awesome to observe how fast and hard the water can come down.  That took less than one hour.

The drainage system which was installed in the jardin seems to be working beautifully.  There was not residue from the rain ... all down the drain.  : o )

I have been hunting for fabric for cushions and something to upholster the seats of the chairs I bought to 'do up'.  Today I hit the jackpot.  Three coverlets.  I would say two are Indian (eastern) or from Morocco.  The third, I suspect is American.  A very interesting piece, men (soldiers perhaps) riding horses as well as elephants.  I want to do some research on it before I hack it to pieces.  They are all gorgeous.  I fell in love as I do with old textiles, made an offer on them, and brought them home.

Progress on the jardin continues.  It rained most of the afternoon, making it difficult for the men to work.  Most of the time was spent huddled in the bodega and under the balconies.

The tiling on the fountain began.  I put big 'X's' where I wanted my sun, moon and star tiles to go.  They will be put in last.  Bricks are still being laid.  They are almost complete.  After that, the stairs will be adjusted, the walls sealed and painted and the mosaics of the sun, moon and star done.  Then, voila, it will be finished.  Some photos.

My new Mistro, Jose, beginning the conches or vessels which will spill the water into the fountain.  (I still miss Lupe, although I know Jose is very skilled.  Just miss Lupes' quiet energy)

My tree, even though they warmed me it might die, seems to be flourishing.  It's growth is now just above the wall.  I am thrilled.  I trimmed off all the suckers at the bottom, which made a nice trunk.  I love it.
This is the piece I think is East Indian.  They usually use a lot of mirror in their creations.  It's old and has some damage.  I adore it.

I think perhaps this piece could be Moroccan - some of the fabric seems more moorish.  Who knows, I want to research.

Interesting piece.  I thought at first this could be American.  However, now I think these riders might have turbans on their heads - riding both horses and elephants. 

Is there anyone tuned into this blog who knows about textiles, old quilts and coverlets?  I'd love to hear from you.  Meantime, I will do some poking around on the web myself to see what I can find out. 

"Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is.  The only way to approach it is to make yourself some pop corn and enjoy the show."

July 19, 2010

* An Odd day ....

Things are just a little off.  Not only with me, but with many people I know in different parts of the world.  I do wonder sometimes exactly what affects us all in these strange ways.  I seem to have lost Lupe today.  My very favorite Mistro.  I really don't want anyone else to finish my house.  Lupe is an artisan.  The fountain he is building is beautiful.  I don't want it to change hands in the middle of everything.  Do I have any control over all of this?  No, of course not.  So I simply have to let it be.  It is what it is.  No use me getting myself in a flap when there really is nothing I can do.  Perhaps tomorrow Lupe will return.  I can only hope.

Also had a very perplexing e-mail from a very old and dear friend today.  That threw me for about 62 loops.  Don't know what to do about that either.  It is what it is as well.  I can only let it be.

It's during these times I realize just how much control over anything I do not have.  Control is such an illusion.  Why do we really want to control anyway?  Can't change people.  Don't want to.  It's their lives and their choices.  Why isn't it easier to just let it be.  BECAUSE, it's about attachment, it's about love, it's about not wanting things to change.  Change is a given.  It's the one constant thing in our lives.  If we don't deal with change well, we don't deal with life well.  Surrender and Accept.  If Lupe doesn't come back tomorrow, there will be a new Mistro who will do a wonderful job in his own way.  It will simply be different. 

So, we have settled that.  I took some photos from the roof terrace tonight.  I will share.  Every night it is different from the roof.  Every night it is beautiful

One evening, six very different photos.  In moments, the wind changes, the clouds change, the sun changes.  The photo changes.  Like life.  Constant change.

"You've changed so much.  I guess that's what happens.  I wish you knew how much you changed me.  I
wonder if I changed you, if your life is different because of me.  Mine is different because of you.  My God, you taught me so much, and now we don't even talk to each other.  I guess that's what happens."

July 18, 2010

Dear Al and Doris,

How lovely of you to call.  Your voices made me a little homesick - just for the 'good old days' when we were all one big happy family.  We had weekend trips to Jasper in the trailer, you, Al, married Doris (thank goodness), you had beautiful children who ate gum out of the ashtrays in the car, and as we grew up we all sat in each others kitchen drinking irish coffee and enjoying each others company.  Many happy memories.  I do not have many photographs left.  Most of them were destroyed when I had a flood in the basement in Duncan.  All my treasures were in one trunk, and it was completely ruined.  These survived.  I'm sure they will bring fond memories back for both of you.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a photo of Doris or myself --- so just put us in there somewhere.

Do you remember how truly silly Papa was?  And the trailer?  How could you forget.

This was our trip to Jasper.  Believe it or not, that's you, Al, at the window buying us ice cream!

I think this was the Jasper weekend.  Remember simply sprawling out in the open air and relaxing?

Jasper for sure.  Getting some sun, Al!

Ah yes, a good old wash up first thing in the morning.  Nothing like it!

And ... Dot and Rog looked like this.  Ah Yes, these were the good old days!  Miss them tonight.

"The years teach much which the days never know. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Night, night you two.  Sweet dreams.  I love you both dearly.  Love, Donna xx 

July 17, 2010

* Trip to Delores and an Update

Spent a lovely evening last with Miss Sylvia at a small dinner party.  Sylvia and I cooked dinner together.  We do enjoy being in the kitchen and whipping a little something up.  Sylvia cooked a beautiful creamy rice and vegetables, and mango salad.  I cannot tell you how delicious mango salads are.  Tasty treats!  I cooked a shrimp stir fry of sorts with lots of onion and garlic, throw in fresh carrots, squash, pablano peppers, raisins, and roasted peanuts.  Add curry powder, hot pepper power, this and that ... and voila - a great din din.  Serve with cold rose for a light summer wine and enjoy.  To top the evening off, Sylvia made a mango pudding!  I hated to eat it because it was served so beautifully, right down to the flower on top.  It was delicious.  Must get the recipe.

Just a taste, perhaps?

The fountain took another leap forward today.

Bricks are laid to the other side of the yard.  Not finished cementing them in yet.

Here's the table lamp I purchased in Delores the other day.  I love it.  I'm hoping it will look good with the chairs when they arrive.

 I have not planted anything in this as yet.  It will go on the uncovered terrace.

This photo is especially for Carolyn.  It's the 'happy' rooster you could see a peek of in my fireplace.  I have moved him outside to the covered terrace.  He is very happy.

My new 'spice' jars.  They match, yet not of them are the same.  I love it!

Shades for the chandelier.  Makes a world of difference.

I've been searching for chairs which I could afford.  I found these.  They were $60.00 for five.  I will have to paint them and cover the seats.  I can do both of those things.  I only really need three - so I may do them all up and sell two of them.

I purchased some paint today to try for the courtyard walls.  We will see if it is what I want.  Also purchased some paint for the chairs.  I will be experimenting after the Jardin is complete.  It is simply too dusty at the moment.  Had fun outside today potting some plants.  I now have a jade transplanted, a spider plant which does very well here, a couple of cactus which is inherited with the property.  Had dirt delivered yesterday, so perhaps in the next couple of days I will transplant the bamboo Sylvia gave me.  It will make a nice hardy border for the roof.

Did I tell you I have purchased most of the furniture for the inside of the house?  I won't be taking photos until it looks half decent.  Wait for it.  I'm excited.  I've been power shopping looking everywhere at everything.  It is coming together, however it will take a little while to get it all here.  This is actually a blessing, since there is still so much dust from construction in the Jardin.  I'm impatient though -- it's called excitement.  

"I am learning that the richness of life is found in adventure ... It develops self-reliance and independence.  Life then teems with excitement.  There is stagnation only in security"  ~ William Orville Douglas

I am learning this slowly and surely.  Security is such an illusion.