Tag Archives: beauty

ET is helping me water my seeds… part 2

My fantasy this morning was the idea of my adulting room and bathroom in the main home of Atira. Not just for the obvious reasons.

This morning I thought about how nice it would be to have a bathroom where everyone actually kept their stuff orderly and clean, where teenagers didn’t get my Q-tips soggy with their face scrubby, and where each other’s toiletries and accessories were respected. Then I thought of how nice it would be to get to chill out time on one of those giant love sack cushions, just the simplicity of an hour of silence away from children in comfort. An hour of alone time relaxation: adult serenity. That would be so wonderful. I very much look forward to one day having my dome with the 3rd floor child-free room and bathroom. That will be nice, to access those things regularly.

Though wonderful thoughts they were, I’m not sure that my ET had anything to do with them. However, that divine masculine did suggest the trip to Unity Village on my day off.

I’ve been aware of Unity Village for several years now, ever since a friend stayed at their hotel to regroup and avoid divorce. She needed the alone time I’m always seeking, and retreat to Unity for several days provided that for her.

So this last Sunday, we took the kids to a giant playground in Lee’s Summit and while there I thought of it and asked Nathan to check it out. He said that is great idea, and since he’d actually gone before he was happy to take me.

We wandered their campus gardens and fountains for a while and Nathan showed us things by car, both on the way in and out.

Their flowers were beautiful and the fountains gorgeous and I took lots of pictures in between attempting to keep my children out of the water.

What I was most interested in was the peaceful nature their grounds carry, I absolutely loved that. They have definitely found a way to allow the serenity of the chapel to flow everywhere. I really appreciated that this week.

I also enjoyed noting how much of Unity Village overlaps with my idea of Atira. This is a third intentional community with many of the elements of what I desire in Atira. Really if I could take Unity Village, Lily Dale, and Camp Gaea and relocate them to the same physical place, using mostly monolithic dome construction, you’d have my Atira.

  • I love that Unity Village had its own power plant and water tower.
  • I also love that their water tower doubled as office space, that was a really cool element that you don’t often see.
  • I loved that they had a school, as I’ve always wanted that for Atira, at least in the long-range plans.
  • I loved that they had work-out facilities.
  • I loved that they had a bookstore and coffee shop… that’s similar to a portion of the shops I have wanted at Atira.
  • I loved the hotel being a solution for temporary housing.
  • I loved that their village was all people that worked or somehow supported Unity Village. Permanent resident caretakers. That’s what I’ve always wanted for Atira.
  • I loved the connection to the divine and the many ways they found to incorporate that into the overall environment.
  • I loved that much of the structures were built with conservation and reusable materials in mind – recycled concrete made several of their archways.

I loved noting all the beautiful elements and things that Unity shares with my concept of Atira, it was a much needed serene detour of experience and thought. Yet another validation that my idea is entirely reachable and sustainable. One day.

So I give gratitude for my spirit making the suggestion. I give gratitude for the time on a day off to experience the village. I give gratitude for diversity of thought and those that have come before. I give gratitude for the serenity and validation. I give gratitude for the desire for more. I give gratitude to the divine helping to water my seeds of Atira.

May you all have expansive moments of validation that you are on the right path. May you all find the things you seek in your present moments, and may you all feel your connection guiding you to greater awareness and appreciation.

Be well. Siva Hir Su.

Some of my images from the experience:

Do I have to?

That was the view from the Thuya bluff in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island.

This is the view out the passenger window as I ride the last couple of hours home.

I find myself in a strange dichotomy. Wishing I were back in Maine, but acknowledging that returning to existing work in KC is easier for now. I know I would very much dislike Maine Winters and regardless of destination, a big move like that would require starting over rebuilding the trust I have earned with companies in KC. Though not impossible, it’s not something I wish to tackle as a sole provider (familialy speaking) again. So for now, easing back into flat boringness is the path of least resistance.

The last day of my vacation I toured Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor with my mom, sister in law, and niece. It was very beautiful. I was able to capture the beauty in dozens of pictures, but I’ve narrowed it to some of my favorites here.

After the gardens I was treated to a carriage ride through Acadia with the girls. It was also a very beautiful experience that gave me an even deeper appreciation of the beauty on the island. It was also very informative as to how Acadia came into being and some of the history of the area and the island. Again I took many pictures, but here’s a smaller sampling. To me it is simply breathtaking beauty.

Here are some of the last few moments in the beautiful Great Pond military campground. I enjoyed the peaceful solitude so much I sincerely hope I can go back at some point before my brother retires. I could spend hours just sitting on that screened porch, and I never did get to do my kyaking excursion.

Finally, I’ll close with our stop in Boston. I had been there as a kid, but Anya wanted to go back. We toured the USS Constitution and then went and found China Town so that Anya could get the experience of a well rounded China Town district… Of course along with the experience of a more authentic meal experience.

Grandma and I were a bit overwhelmed with the China Town bit, but overall it was a wonderful trip and vacation as a whole.

I can’t help but compare my experience of KC the last decade, to my experience traveling through 11 states in two timezones, with all our stops and experiences. Layer that with a new knowledge that as long as you aren’t taking about waterfront properties, there’s only a slight increase in cost of living from KC. Now I wish even more there was a way to find the land and build my Atira in my dreams.

Perhaps the journey to that realization isn’t as long as I think. I know I experienced things on this trip that gave me hope, other things that solidified the possibility of Atira for me, and others yet that fine tunned some of my asking. I also had a few experiences on the spiritual side of things that leave me a mixed bag of emotions. Regardless, I keep reminding myself that in the grander scheme of things the journey is the destination. My journey continues on as I return to Kansas City for another leg to play out here.

May you all have wonderful journeys of expansion and many things to look forward to. May you all find your breathtaking beauty in this world.

Be well and cling to your hope. Siva Hir Su.


We woke this morning to still not having power. I cancelled my massage appointments, none of which were surprised, and 1 of which had no services themselves.

84,000+ KCP&L customers are without power, and that’s the largest, but not the only provider in the metro.

Our house was gradually losing temp, and even wearing snuggly PJs and a sweatshirt and gloves I was cold. So we’re opting to venture out and find warmth somewhere hoping our power will resume by bedtime.

Here’s some of the damage around our house, in our yard, and me all bundled up. The lack of power and damaged trees is unfortunate, but I’m still enjoying the beautiful snow cover.

Our neighbor’s tree (above) made our road entertainment last night.

The branch in the view above fell right after I had walked through that stretch of our yard. Said a big thank you for that moment of perfect timing.

Last night held beautiful moments too…

May you all find some beautiful and warm moments this winter’s day.

New love grows, yet old love remains…

I’m not a poet, but sometimes standard prose doesn’t fit my feelings. This is one such occasion….

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you, go on

-Celine Dion

Poseidon’s trident pierced my heart, and somehow I-

humanly, perfectly, imperfectly-

emerged as Aphrodite’s visage.

Life moves on, and new phases emerge.

I know not why,

not how,

only that it is as it should be,

everything will indeed be alright.

Family grows,

and new love flows,

Wonderful, radiant, feminine.

Time flies,

and I merely try

to simply keep up.

Not only for new love found,

but the new life growing within.

Family’s needs are great,

and I’m just one.

One to do my best,

Strive and persevere,

help and support,

with all my love,

For all of those that I love.

Even those

that this

time and space

hold out of reach.

Time moves on.

Memories, dreams,

hopes, goals, and desires,

never forgotten.

The brain remembers all-

Where matters

of heart

be concerned,

Fills time




The inner fires

still burn bright

Even when daylight dwindles

And time escapes.

Solace found

In inner voice

In knowing

In that special connection.

If I never find solution

In this

Time and space

I will hold tight

My connection from afar.

I cherish it-




Invisible embrace.

I wish that for everyone.

I do feel,

Do see,

Every night,

Desires and longing

Mine and not mine.

And support them.

All is as it should be.

Answers will come.

If we allow.

Regardless, there is love,

Always love.

‘Tis human to err

And our humanity is our greatest asset

Love your flaws,

They are uniquely you.

I am learning


Just that.

Even my faults

Make me who I am

Ultimately creating a better self.

So I love me,

and you,

and all of my family.

Chosen and given.

Even those who choose


Or difference

Or separation.

Love is the only thing I have to give.

And give I will.

As much as possible,

And every moment

that my brain remembers

That my brain fills.

All day,


Until death do I part.

Love with all my heart.

So close…. but no touchy, touchy!

So today was a fairly normal work day, at least until 2pm. 

Our special entertainment then was a presentation by a rare-bird rescuer. She’s from near Kansas City, but rural. Her and her husband have been caring for birds reascued from smuggling situations over the last several decades. 

She had lots of beautiful birds that made me go “squeee”. There were parrots and parrotlets, cocatiles, a toucan, AND an Eurasian Eagle Owl. OMG’s he was sooo beautiful!

OK, so can you tell my day perked up at that point? 

Aside: It was much needed considering I’m still battling round 2 of full body hives from my food allergies. The downside was it took very little of said food to cause it. The upside: it validated that Thai food is too much for my system to handle anymore. I ordered Thai Rama Chicken (chicken, broccoli, and red curry sauce), and only ate a third of the dish. Why I can eat bucket-fulls of mild seasoned Saag Paneer, but a tiny smidgen of Thai Rama Chicken sets my body afire is beyond me. I suppose it just is what it is. 

Anyway, back to the birds. I was doing my job and bringing in residents when I noticed the lovely owl. Then I was privileged to be the photographer for most of the presentation, enabling me to snap some pictures with my phone. I’ll show those in a bit. It was wonderful, she was well spoken, entertaining, great interacting with the audience, and her birds did many wonderful tricks. Several of the birds spoke quite a lot, enough to converse like a child. Then there was the parrot that whistled Dixie- I loved it!

In fact I love all big birds.

The owl was saved for last. She explained that it’s the largest owl species in the world and is related to the Great Horned Owl (my favorite of the U.S. big birds). She then explained that females are larger than males, and her male Eagle Owl was nearly double the size of a female Great Horned.

THEN she asked if there was a volunteer to help demonstrate his flying. I nearly yelled “Yes! I’ll do it!” I was so very excited.

Her instructions, hold his perch up and when she asked if I was ready to simply call his name “swoop”.  She stood at the far end of the room (about 50 feet away) and asked if ready, with her back still turned to me. I called his name and she turned around & let go. He flew straight to me with 3 wing beats. Landing on his perch right in front of my face.

My fingers were 3 inches from his razor sharp talons. He was so very big, yet lighter than my old lady kitty Priss. I looked in his beautiful eyes and was in awe. We weren’t afraid of each other, but I definitely understood his stern look of “don’t break the rules”. I could look but not touch. I told him he was very beautiful several times and felt my heart swell.

He was just amazing. I was so very close to such a large beautiful raptor. I wanted to reach out and pet him so badly.

 Alas, it wasn’t a good idea, I knew breaking the rules would result in consequences. So, I relished being so close and spent the rest of my day remembering every detail of him, with permagrin. 

I’m still enjoying the moment 5 hours later!

So now for the pictures:

Mmmm that was a wonderful day!
AND I just realized my blog post from January 10th was about finishing drawing a picture of this lovely Owl. (cue Twilight Zone theme song here) Mmmm, I wonder if my drawing helped manifest today. Perhaps I need to do many more drawings of things I love and want.

Oscillating again.

I’m having a devil of a time attempting to stay buoyant these days. Between the discouraging lack of affordable decent housing, and being unable to let go of and move on from the boy, I keep finding myself in the hole. It doesn’t help that my depression puzzle pieces keep falling out of place, not all at the same time, but it seems I struggle to keep 3 or 4 of the six together at any given moment. It definitely contributes to my down-ness.

Anyway, this post is intended to get my mind on happy thoughts for as long as I can, so it might end up being long (apologies in advance).

 My goal is to show what I would love for the inside of my home to look like. Right now I’m really, really far from my desired look, and no one picture or item conveys the complexity of what I want. So I’m going to show as many elements as I can and describe what I like about them or why. 

My examples are pulled from online(google), and there’s a bunch of pictures, so I didn’t cite their sources. However, most of them, the screen shots caught the descriptions, so you’re welcome to get to them that way. I just want to clarify that these are all found images that I happen to appreciate, I take no credit for their existence.

So to start, I wanted to show furniture styles that I have always liked. I love furniture that looks clean and simple, but also is very functional. These pics are things that represent styles I’ve always liked. The qualifier here is I also like color, so even though these are muted colors, I’d rather have beautiful shades of reds and greens and blues. 

The sofa I love because it’s not only a guest sleeper, but it has a huge storage compartment under the chaise, and it’s affordable.

Chairs: I still like clean lines and simple designs, but I much prefer high back chairs for good back and neck support.

Chaise: I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted just one of these. Perhaps it’s because several of my favorite novels from years back had one in their story lines.

Bedroom happiness: more clean lines, more organization. Color, in the bedroom, for me, falls in linens, curtains, and wall colors, so I’m OK with neutral colored furniture. I usually prefer lighter neutral furniture, but I do think I’d like to try having the dark woods in my own bedroom for a change. The more easy storage the better, it helps reduce and eliminate clutter.

I’d love to have a huge closet with built in customized shelves and drawers, but the more realistic, regular life solution is the very affordable Ikea beauties I like below. Mmmm that  would be nice.

Finally the environment: I do love color. I have always loved color like you find in Mexico, Greece, India, and China. At one point I thought it would be amazing to have a room decorated with each feel in mind. I also thought it would be great to have color themed bedrooms like castles in England… ” you’ll be staying in the blue (or green, etc.) room, just down the hall, first door on the left”. I’m not sure I’d actually go that far, but it’s a nice idea. So, with that in mind, here are some color schemes I found that I like.

The first three images, I also love the open spaciousness and simplicity. I love that they look clean, and homey, but not filled with clutter. Just enough artwork to be  interesting, but not too much for the eyes to take in.

More themed color and great storage.

These last 3 I really love the colors, but they are a bit more busy and cluttered looking than I’d like.

So now, you have a good idea of what I’d love for my home to look like. I’m sure there’s more I could elaborate on, but this is definitely a good start, and spending the time looking for pics and writing about the results definitely got my mind in a better place. That much was a great success. Here’s to more up moments, and hopefully to a great birthday soon as well.

Attempting to find words for my awe

Last night I had a beautiful experience. I chose to believe it was divine influence on this illusion that I’m living,  because it feels  extremely good to believe that. That is what I’m reaching for through the law of attraction, correct?  The amazing feel good,  joy bringing positive emotions, to encourage positive attraction (be it divinely caused or simply quantum physics in action).

Now logically,  what I’m about to describe on the surface seems ubsurd. Taken one step further,  science has some explanations of what might be going on. 

 Quantum physics talks about the observer and the observed. As a scientific approach it acknowledges that for some reason,  the topic or object at hand can’t be fully understood unless the viewpoint of the observer is addressed. There are actually lab studies that show bi-location of matter,  until an observer causes that particle to singularly locate. (See documentary:  What the Bleep Do We Know). It’s  akin to the old adage, if a tree falls and there’s no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound. I’ve taken part in discussions where Schroedinger’s cat was being referenced in this line of logic as an example. So my experience last night could simply be because I’m the observer looking for evidence of life being an illusion and looking for positive feelings,  and the 2 combined influenced my experience.

Behind door number 2: is the scientific theory of matrixing. Essentially your brain takes 2 or more elements (sights, smells, sounds,  etc.) And blends them together because the complexity being experienced is too much data.  The matrixing or blending of the data allows your brain to manage the data more easily,  but can influence how the data is interpreted by your brain and thus the reaction you have to the experience. So my experience last night could have been caused by matrixing,  and then because of what I have been thinking about previously my reaction was intensified.

So, logically it’s all in my head and nothing out  of the ordinary actually happened. I overreacted and that’s just life…..

But that view feels like (pardon my curse) -shit.

So, my chosen feel good interpretation is that my experience was the way that the divine chose to communicate with me.

So, WTF am I talking about? 

Last night was a beautiful, awe inspiring,  end to a fairly glorious day.

On my way home,  to the North and East a storm was brewing.  To the West the sky was completely clear and stars were shining and the quarter moon was visible. I had turned on music as I got in the car,  and though I was in a good mood,  I was a bit fatigued from my long day. So, I opted to put on the EDM Pandora station for some upbeat grooving to get me through the long drive home.

I was enjoying the music when I rounded the curve putting me in direct line of sight of the storm brewing.  At first I could barely see the lightning it was so far North and near the  horizon.  As I broke the most intense parts of the metro the beauty of the storm smacked me in the face.

I saw lightening all over the sky.  Intense little bursts of beautiful white light. I was watching the lightning as a new song started,  one I knew and liked.  As I began bouncing to the music,  I realized that the lightening was keeping time with the music.  The rhythm of the lightning matched the music so closely I immediately thought of the Windows Media Player graphics equalizers that pulsed with the rhythm of music.  It also brought to mind the lights that are used to convey music to the deaf. There were sections of the sky that followed the bass, sections that followed the high-hat/cymbals, and sections that followed the mellody.

Being that I am so into music to begin with,  I was just utterly astonished.  At points I stopped to just watch the lightening play with the music. I drove home with more attention on  the lightning than the road,  but without even drifting in my lane.

When I finally got home, I called Nathan and Anya over to the car and cranked the volume up. I said “Look at the sky & listen  to the music!”

After a few moments they both said “that’s cool”.  Nathan followed it up with “I think that’s for you honey.” I cried tears of joy the emotions were so intense. 

I thought about an image I drew in highschool where I bridged drawings of plants and animals with lightning bolts. Back  then I was trying to convey a personal belief in an energy that permeates everything and connects everything.

I realized that was the message I needed to validate.  My beliefs are accurate for  me and the divine is validating me and supporting me. I stood and watched until I was so tired I began to lose my balance.

I literally drifted off to sleep listening to mantras with a perma-grin on my face repeating “I love you Gods: Lord Shiva, Ganesh, Kali Ma and Brighid, thank you!”

I know some of my friends would be turned off by my particular religious interpretation.  Some would say the logical explanations are accurate regardless of my emotional feelings on the subject.

 But regardless,  I  feel the need to point out:  what does it matter?  If I was that kind of happy,  and no-one got hurt, what does it matter that I choose to believe the divine was “talking” to me? It’s my perspective on this big crazy chaotic world we live in,  and if it helps me get through,  then that’s what matters. 

Knock on Wood

Unlike the sentiment from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get”,  I have and do continue to Knock on Wood quite frequently. When you’re down the last thing you want is more down, and I’m way more familiar with Murphy’s Law than I’d like to admit. So I knock on wood Every Time I say something that leans positive, something I want, as to avoid jinxing myself out of that thing. Seems I’ve been a knockin’ a lot lately! This is no different, 1 more knock, because I’m going to write about my desired future. This will be installment 1, of who knows how many (I have more ideas of what to write than time to write about them right now). In this Installment I describe Atira (pronounced Uh-tier-uh) Community: my and Nathan’s baby, our dream, of a perpetual giving machine. May the Divine read this, and hear me, and grant me the ability to do this soon.


A Script:

Imagine if you will watching the following on your TV at home, and if so inclined leave a comment as to whether you would invest in, purchase products from, or visit Atira Community for a vacation.


*Camera pans left to right.*

You see tall trimmed hedge rows with red buds, cherry blossoms, and magnolias behind them. As the camera pans to the right you begin to see domes in the near distance, some concrete, some geodesic. The camera continues to move and reveals a directional signpost with a peace pole in front of it, and a very large beautiful dome with stained glass windows to the rear, in the far distance you can see mountains. Further to the right you see what appears to be a whole village of small structures. The camera pans a little further right and reveals a large and long structure that looks like several domes chained together, in front of it you see a large parking area.

The camera pulls back and seems to go aerial to show a vast and complex layout of fields, ponds, and a whole variety of structures nestled near mountains. The view includes beautifully manicured gardens and hedges, a wide variety of beautiful trees, orchards, small crops, stables and pasture land. You note wind turbines and solar arrays strategically placed to minimize impact upon the beautiful picturesque landscape. You notice there’s an area that appears to be like a typical campground, and you see an outdoor theater. There is much to take in.

Narrator begins to describe what you are seeing as the camera hovers over different areas:

“Here at Atira Community we aim to create a wonderful beautiful environment that you can partake in products and services and even possibly festivals, as your getaway from the world, knowing that your money is literally giving people the tools and the education to better their lives.We strive to assist in reorienting previously homeless people to modern life to be able to support and sustain themselves again.  Atira is designed as a perpetual giving machine, granted by the grace of God and sustained by your generous purchases.”

*viewing the theater*

“Atira’s outdoor amphitheater is home to a whole host of musical and theatrical performances throughout the year, as well as 3 All-Ages General Admission Film Festivals spread throughout the warm months.”

*viewing the  hedgerows*

“You will notice that the amphitheater, festival, and camping facilities are separated from the rest of the property by a  thickly packed natural barrier of hedges, flowering plants, and trees. This is because some of the festivals hosted here at Atira Community are clothing optional and out of respect for others we have ensured that the view of the campground and festival grounds, is restricted just for such festivals. This is so that the general public can continue to access the rest of Atira Community regardless of their views and personal opinions or beliefs regarding clothing optional lifestyles. To ensure this level of respect we schedule the dates for those festivals during the periods where the plants are at their fullest and most lush, creating the densest yet most beautiful visual barrier. Please be sure to check the festival calendar when planning your visit if this is a concern or an option for you.”

*viewing geodesic dome greenhouses- inter-spliced with interior views*

“You will see that we have several geodesic dome greenhouses. Our greenhouses combined with our moderate crop land and orchards, are able to produce enough fruits and vegetables to support our organic grocery  store and restaurant located in the business park just to the right of the main entrance to the community. Additionally, all of the resident families and especially the people receiving charitable assistance from Atira Community are able to partake from the foods produced in these greenhouses and crops.”

*inter-spliced shots of people working and counseling sessions*

“It is our mission to encourage optimal health. We teach each and every person that resides here at Atira how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and we willingly provide coaching support to those citizens that are being given their second chance at a prosperous life. In return, those people give of their time as properly paid employees, which we train for one of the many jobs available within Atira Community, enabling them to rebuild a financial platform which they will one day take out into society. We even provide financial counselors to tech these people how to maximize their second chance to meet goals that they had otherwise given up on. We encourage everyone in Atira Community to volunteer a few hours a week, but it is by no means a requirement. One of our greater goals in Atira Community is to put people to work doing something that they can acknowledge betters their life, but that also brings them some level of joy- it is one of the most effective techniques for rehabilitating the homeless population, leading to lasting change for them, it literally gives them a reason to keep going.”

*aerial pan to tiny homes- with pictures of people purchasing clothes and  holding certificates/DL*

“When developing the concept for Atira Community the creative team acknowledged that if providing a second chance to homeless populations was the primary initiative, then Atira Community would need to provide the homes as well. To that end we have a tiny house village. The village is comprised of fiberglass dome homes, shipping container homes, and conventional built tiny homes. Each of these homes has been constructed, and fully furnished and accessorized for less than $50,000 each, and can house 4 to 8 people per structure in a basic bunking set-up. We even include a system for clothing the individuals in work appropriate attire. They are literally given back every basic necessity that they had previously lost. We also have a team member that works diligently to ensure that everyone is able to obtain copies of their birth certificate, social security cards, a current drivers license, and a new bank account- all of the items necessary to take their new skills out into society so that we can continue to help a new generation of individuals approximately every 2 years.”

*aerial views of solar arrays and wind turbines, followed by ground video of well and septic installation, followed by video of the variety of electric vehicles*

“Atira Community leaders felt strongly about being energy efficient and having a fully sustainable system. To that end we use wind and solar power to provide electricity to all of the structures. Every structure has well and septic tank connections for indefinite supply of water  and sewage treatment. The Tiny Home community has a shared laundromat facility using the same utility system, so laundry services are maintained at a minimum cost to the community. Community mandates for the structures, combined with incentives for electric vehicles, has created an environment where there is almost no need for natural gas or fossil fuels. With basic maintenance and occasional equipment replacement the community could remain in this sustainable energy efficient state indefinitely.”

* aerial views of business park, inter-spliced with interior videos of each business segment*

“At the Atira Business Park patrons will find a variety of products and services.

We have an Arts Gallery with attached Hi-Tech Fully Equipped All Arts Studio space that fine artist and crafts persons from the region are welcome to rent space by the day, hour, or week.

We have a Healing Center with doctors working along side,  Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Nature-Paths, Massage Therapists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nutritionists, and Reiki practitioners. The goal of the Healing center is
Whole Health, and to that end we have a variety of payment programs to encourage utilizing the facility to its fullest, even in low income situations.

We have an Organic Grocery and Bakery that serves mostly foods grown and made here at Atira, supplementing with other sustainable  goods from socially responsible companies. Again the focus being whole health not just of the consumer, but of society as well. The grocery store has an attached Toddy shop and a modern day General Store Co-Op with home goods and clothing.

Finally, the icing on the cake, so to speak, is a restaurant serving a wide selection of vegan, vegetarian, and paleo foods accommodating for all dietary restrictions. This allows for even the strictest regime to be able to enjoy an evening of social levity through another cook’s touch.”

*aerial view of temple, followed by interior video tour, shot of peace pole at end*

“At this point we leave you with the focal point of Atira Community. The Temple of Atira: a non-denominational, multi-faith center for worship and community service. Located directly behind the main entrance and community Peace Pole to reinforce attitudes of Peace, Openness, Oneness, and Service; the Temple is designed by Monolithic Domes in cooperation with the Founders, this beautiful Temple serves as a worship facility for all who enter. The centerpiece of the main chapel is a 10 foot wide oculus window  with a monumental stained glass lamp configuration below it. The piece designed by Treasa Cailleach incorporates color and elemental energy theories into a circular pattern to mimic the shape of the oculus window, it serves as a modern throw-back to the Ancient Roman Temple- The Pantheon. It is designed to allow natural daylight to be the predominate light for the space when it is available, only necessitating electrical lighting during dark hours. The massive oculus floods the space with a beautiful rainbow of light, definitely putting the visitor in a spiritual frame of mind. The dome of the Temple is also painted in a style reminiscent of that found in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, though of much different imagery. Around the exterior of the main chapel are smaller individual chapels to represent all of the major religions of the world. Each chapel is adorned and blessed by  their respective faith leaders, the same as any official worship center for that faith.

Attached to the Temple is a wing for Atira Offices. These offices are the seat of all of the clerical functions of the temple and community as a whole. However, they are also the home for all of the charity services that Temple of Atira provides. This includes but is not limited to: food bank/meals on wheels, counseling and psychiatric services, rent/utility assistance programs, community helping hands, and transportation assistance. The services provided by Atira aim to at least mimic those of Catholic Charities or the United Methodist Church Services, though one day Atira hopes to outshine even the best of those types of charities. To accomplish this Atira merely asks patrons to donate or volunteer what/where they are able and as they feel called to provide for such divine endeavors, then follow up their visit to the temple with a wonderful stay in Atira and a good helping of That Great American Consumerism in the business park.

If you find yourself drawn to Atira, we believe you will find exactly what you came for, and every dollar you spend will not only fulfill your desires, but will contribute to this wonderful perpetual giving machine. You would be giving from your heart simply by enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation on your vacation from your own busy life.”

*Fade out from the shot of the Peace Pole*


Music fills my soul.

As much as my hands are a manifestation of God’s providence,  music is a manifestation of God’s grace filling my soul. 

I love music, all music.  I always have. I remember being 4 or 5 years old with a tiny keyboard picking out a musical run I’d heard in my head,  perhaps from a commercial or something. I played that handful of notes over and over again asking my mom if she recognized it. She never did,  but I loved those notes.  To this day I don’t know what they’re from,  but I could probably recall them with enough focus. 

When I was in 5th grade I begged to be in band.  My options as tested by the instructor were flute or trombone.  My parents decided of the 2, flute was ok. They rented me one with a disclaimer.  I could earn the ability to remain in band,  and possibly a new flute of my own, if I could play 3 songs well by Christmas. I could play about 6 songs well and a few others ok by Christmas. Their reward was a beginner’s level flute. 

2 years later I began piano lessons. A year after that,  earning my own upright Baldwin spinnet piano.

I had discovered that not only was music an excellent escape from bullying,  it was also a feel good use of my time. I spent hours and hours practicing because I could be alone, and every song I perfected made me feel really good about myself.

I also began to feel the music.  It didn’t matter if I was playing it or hearing it, the music would resonate with my being in a way I have trouble explaining. I love to feel the rhythm of a piece,  it resonates with my heart strongly. When I really get into music my body literally moves to the music, sometimes very subtly and gently,  and sometimes very big and excitedly.  Usually depending on where I’m at or what I’m doing.

Music is something I don’t have to think about.  By the time I was in high-school, I was learning whatever instrument Mr. Franz, my band teacher, needed filled.  Regularly competing and receiving high marks for my performances. I learned Piccolo, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone (tenor was preferred, but I could play alto too), Clarinet, and Bells. I later learned on my own for  fun to play Djembe drum and harp.

I played solos and in duets, trios, and quintets. I loved music,  all music,  and even with hours and hours of practicing,  I couldn’t get enough and would listen to a wide variety of music when not playing.

This continued on into college,  first year I majored in music with Flute as my focus. I played bassoon for the orchestra and piano as an extra studio instrument. 

Then Aural Skills took it’s  toll. One dreaded class, that was essentially learning to sing without accompaniment. I devoted ALL of my practice time (8 to 10 hours a day, several days a week)  to trying to pass that class. Apparently all of my musical skills, and none applied to my voice.  I barely squeaked by (pun intended), and that was with a very generous professor that did his best to help me every way possible. Unfortunately, it was required to pass 2 years worth to graduate with a BA in Music. So that’s when my music career ended and my art career began. 

Yet, to this day I still love music. I listen to music more hours of my days than not.  I even sleep to music. Nathan and I have a combined music collection of approximately  67 gigs, of  which I’ve listened to most of it many times over. I have an additional few dozen CD’ s that have yet to be converted to digital files. We literally could listen to music non-stop for over a month.  My spa friendly collection alone  is nearly 3 days worth of music- I know because I used to have it on repeat in my office, and it took about 3 days to cycle back through. 

If that’s not enough,  I’ve paid for ad free listening on Pandora & I’ve downloaded several new albums through my Google play account.  I own a small fortune in music because it’s that important and influential to me.

I sleep usually to my spa friendly music or mantras.  If I were to note the most preferred it would include:  Enya, Lorenna Mckennitt, Enigma, David Lanz, James Galway, Zamphier, Richard Clayderman, Liquid Mind, Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur, Bethoven, Bach, Brahms, and the Pure Moods compilations, just to name a few.

During waking hours my music preferences are so diverse that I tend to choose based on my mood. This is mainly due to my ability to feel the music,  but also because there’s just so darn much to choose from. 

There are 2 exceptions to my liking of  all music:  really old country music like Patsy Cline, & traditional Gospel like the Gaither family.  I will tolerate those if someone else is playing them,  but my father ruined enjoyment of them.

So then mood based listening. What does that look like?

Well if I’m down I reach up, but can usually only reach so far. So depression leads to angry music. My favorite “angry” music bands are:  Hypnogaja, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Apollo 440, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphey, Black Flag & Black 47, and similar artists. 

If I’m looking for upbeat, fast music (I use for exercising)  some of those same bands apply (I really like Devil’s Dance Floor by Flogging Molly as part of my workout),  but I can also add in: Kongos, Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mighty Boss Tones, Less Than Jake, Sublime, Imagine Dragons, No Doubt, the Skatallites, and a whole slew of 80’s one hit wonders, or current pop hits.

If I’m looking for mellow-jazzy-love music: Norah Jones (my go to girl), Adelle, Dido, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Alice Coltrane usually make the list. 

If I’m wanting to groove (dance) I usually then have to ask myself: new or old or traditional? 

If the answer is old, we’re talking: Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Parker, or similar. 

If the answer is new, I’m usually referencing EDM. Though I’ve never been to a rave or an EDM event of any kind,  I love to move to electronic music.  My all time favorite is Moby, with Apollo 440 close second. I like BT,  David Guetta, Rob Dougan “Rob D”, Eiffel 65, Robert Miles, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, and Lindsey Stirling to name a few.

My ultimate favorite subset of EDM though is Fusion, the electronic music that blends old world ethnic sounds with current beats and electric influences. The artist(s) I’ve know the longest, which Nathan and I used for our wedding music 7 years ago,  is Afro Celt Sound System.  I absolutely adore their music, and highly recommend all their albums.   Along those lines though is music from Beats Antique, Delhi 2 Dublin, Amethystium, Omar Faruk, Punjabi MC, Bally Sagoo, PBN, & many others. I often dance to music in this category in our livingroom,  bumping my confidence and mood up significantly,  while traumatizing Anya to no end. Insert maniacal laughter here! 

So then, if my answer is traditional,  I generally mean Irish Celtic music.  I love dancing to that genre. For music like that,  I love to see live performances.  I’ve been to performances by Wylde Nept, Flannigan’s Right Hook, and The Elders, which I’ve walked away with albums from most of those performances.  I also really like The Chieftains, Celtic Women, Clannad, The Dubliners, The Pogues, and as I mentioned earlier Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s, and Black 47.
Finally there’s all my other music that sometimes will take me 20 minutes to decide what I actually want to listen to. Some of my all-time favorites are: 

U2, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Green Day, Dido, Eurythmics/Annie Lennox, Nirvana, Dixie Chicks, Fleetwood Mac, America, Billy Joel, Nine Inch Nails, Sound Garden, Savage Garden, the Piano Guys, Kaleao, Daniel Ratliff & the Night Sweats, and many, many others.

As you can see, I love lots of music. I can honestly say I don’t think I’d survive life without it. It fills my soul with a many varied beautiful sound. I am grateful for the experience of being able to make music occasionally,  but even more studio to be able to honor other musician’s skills and worldly contributions. 

 God(s) grant me the strength to keep going in this life, and keep my ears good to listen to the many varied beautiful musicians gracing our planet  with their amazing music. 

Moved, still working.

Progress is slow at times, but any forward motion is still progress. I have to remind myself of that sometimes, because if things are not going as planned I stress because I have forgotten that sentiment.

We’ve moved into the not ready mobile home. It was a solution for wasting both time and money, however, it has pushed all of my buttons to the max. We’ve had excessive heat on top of the other stresses, so I’m having to distract myself as much as possible.

We have a friend in Smithville that has a pool, and she’s been kind enough to let us go swimming a couple of times, and follow swimming with a nice refreshing shower. I can’t tell you how much that alone has helped this week.

Work on home itself has nearly crawled to a halt. I have supplies for the next step, but it’s a matter of either working while it’s exhaustingly hot, or trying to save enough energy for when it’s not so ridiculously hot= neither of which we’ve managed to do successfully.

What we have gotten done though:

  1. The trash pile is shrinking. We’ve taken bags to local dumpsters that we got permission to use limitedly- as in a bag or 2 a day, not everything we have. We also took a load to the nearest Landfill, which happens to be in Saint Joseph. If it weren’t so far away, we’d have had more than one load hauled by now. Being it is a 50 min drive, I have to allow 5 hours to load, drive, unload, and drive back. Fortunately, it only costs $20 per load, so a few more of those and all the trash will be gone. That equals happiness!
  2. I have been able to get the garden decorated nicely. Now there are a multiplicity of bird feeders, both store bought and home-made. Momma bird, I’ve been told is a Carolina Wren, and she didn’t like me being so close to her house, but she’s enjoyed the feed once I was done!



  3. We got a new to us swing and trampoline and hauled them out. We haven’t set the trampoline up yet, because we want to put it where the trash pile currently is. The goal is to have that spot cleared out and cleaned up within the next couple of weeks, then the trampoline only takes about 30 min to set-up. Anyway, this is the swing, pardon the tote and towel. I snapped the picture after Ian had been playing in water in the tote like a kiddy pool. You’d think I would have just bought a little pool for him, but it’s been on the bottom of my priority list.20160611_180648
  4. I’ve harvested from the garden a couple of times. We’ve gotten lettuce greens of 2 varieties, kale of 3 varieties, Brussel-sprout greens, Beet greens, and raddish greens, beans/snap peas,  raddishes, spinach, and pok choy. The raddishes and beets went to flower, so I had to cut all of them way back, but I think they’re doing great otherwise. We have a small green caterpillar that has really enjoyed eating our spinach and pok choy, but I don’t mind sharing a little of our plentiful garden. I tried pulling one of the carrots, and it was too small to even count as a baby carrot yet, but growing heartily. We watered the garden several times, but I think it’s about time to provide some fertilizer to encourage growth. The herbs are slowly catching up with the rest of the garden, so the fertilizer would help that along nicely.


  5. Flowers are blooming too! I’ve got wild flowers, marigolds (calendula), fuscia, and poppies all in bloom. And I found out the blue flowers I referenced a couple of weeks ago is called spiderwort and is a medicinal wild flower!


  6. We’ve got wildlife galore. I put out feeders that are oriole and wren friendly. I’ve got some for finches, and wood peckers, and a general wild bird food. Mrs. Wren has built a home in the one bird house, and I’ve seen some other birds examining the 2nd bird house. I’ve seen cardinals, blue jays, vultures, Blue Herons, Owls, and Hawks. Something ate some of the lettuce, and we’ve seen King Snakes and lots of Deer. We even had several Luna Moths grace our presence during their week of mating! I love the nature here!


  7.  We went to haul water, and the tank didn’t quite fit on the utility trailer because of the dimensions of the 2 x 4 sides I built, so I threw together a frame out of 2 x  12’s for the tank to rest on. It worked perfectly and we’ve been able to haul water for the animals and Jennifer twice now.
  8. The ticks are horrendously bad this year, every time I went to work outside I found myself picking them off my legs left and right, and still ended up finding a couple later on. It was bad enough that when I told my friend Becky, she said chickens and guinea hens eat ticks. I was so sick of the ticks at that point, I said done, getting chickens ASAP! Jennifer knows someone that can get her 50 of them for almost nothing by next week. So today was building the coop day. I’m almost half done, and again using free scrap wood and bits that came from the house. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll function like every other chicken coop ever built. I wish there was  an award for ingenuity in using trash to build functional structures. Between the wood hutch and chicken coop, I think I’d win! I’ll post pics of the coop when it’s done (hopefully tomorrow evening= if it stops raining to finish it).
  9. Beyond that we’ve done laundry, I’ve worked at my contract buildings, I replaced the battery on my scooter, put the storage compartment back on the scooter, taken the van in for a tune up, and done all the regular tid=bits of everyday life that have always existed. I think that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

So, NOT the major home remodeling accomplishments that I’d hoped I’d be reporting by now, BUT we have done stuff. It’s still that forward motion I referenced earlier. I’ll just keep chugging away, and one day, it’ll be a great comfy cozy home. Just have to maintain my sanity for now.