Monday, November 30, 2015

Doodle Jewels


There was a perfect storm this long Thanksgiving weekend; a bunch of tangle artists with extra time on their hands discovered several  'Jewel' tutorials that started popping up in Facebook Groups last week...Voila! There was a 'jewel storm' on the boards all weekend long, and the results were amazing! I had such a good time looking at everyone else's work, that you know I had to try it myself! I suspect this is exactly what caused the storm!

While I love color, I'm not very good with it... but I gave it the old college try. I drew a bunch of circles and just started trying the different techniques and color combinations. I'm still not satisfied. I have wicked 'jewel envy' from looking at other's work, but it was fun. 

Practice Sheet (tone on tones)

 Practice Sheet Two:Sakura shadow technique (Note-paper was two thin and it totally warped)

Practice Sheet Three:Trying to throw an odd color in every now and then. 

Purples

Have you tried Jewels yet? It's a great way to add a pop of color to black and white tangle work.  If you can't find the tutorials let me know and I can help you out! Happy Tangling!

Guys On Ice



As a present to myself, in celebration of my 50th successful mission completely around the sun, I bought myself a ticket to see the play Guys On Ice in the Stackner Cabaret at The Rep in Milwaukee.
I saw this play about a year ago in Madison at the Barrymore and fell instantly in love. It's a sweet, simple story about two guys who go ice fishing, but it has a deep current of philosophy and life lessons running underneath.  I can't really fully explain my fascination with this play, but I feel a deep connection. It makes me happy and homesick all at the same time. It evokes happy memories of snowy, Northern Maine afternoons spent in the smelt shack with Daddy and Poppie and makes me long for those days where we were all together and times seemed so much simpler. I had never been to The Rep before and won't drive in Milwaukee for just any old reason so you know it has to be pretty special!

I found the theater with no problem and even bumbled into the right parking place completely by accident. [Note to self: next time, make a note of what floor you parked on so you don't get to take the grand tour of the parking structure afterwards.] I was early so I spent a bit of time looking over the Milwaukee Center building and surrounding area. What a beautiful part of the city, They are all decorated for Christmas, and the weather was great, so it was pretty and festive. This is the tree in the Rotunda.


It finally came time to go to the theater and when the usher showed me to my seat, I thought there was some mistake.  My seat was practically on the ice with The Guys! The Cabaret is a small space; it was like having the play in your living room! You are seated at big round tables with other patrons. I got a group of 6 women who claimed they were all family but they were pretty toasted by the time they got there so I'm not sure how much of what they said was the cocktails talking. They were a nice group though and funny as heck.

The play itself was amazing. I knew it would be since Doug Mancheski and Steve Koehler were playing the main 'guys', Marvin and Lloyd. They were in the Barrymore production and on the DVD of the play that was taped up in Peninsula State Park at Northern Sky Theater last summer. Lore has it that the role of Marvin was written with Doug in mind and he has performed it thousands of times since it's inception in the late 90's. You would think that it would become rote and stale but it's so totally not- it's amazingly fresh. He IS Marvin. How does he DO those things with his face?!?! His expressions are priceless!

The play is a musical and the actors both have beautiful singing voices but Steve Koehler's solo of 'Everything Is New', which took place directly behind our table, was particularly good. He has a wonderful, rich, tenor voice which brought a tear to my eye during each of his sad, solo songs. Doug's two solos 'The Guy From TV' and 'The King' are two of my favorites of the whole play. And the songs they sing together are perfection-especially the Snowmobile Suit song! Rooty-Toot-Toot!


 For an hour and a half, I forgot everything around me and was that little girl curled up in the corner of the smelt shack just like the old days. What a wonderful gift! And afterward I got another special treat. I had sent an email to the theater to see if I could get my copy of the DVD signed and they said that I could, so after the show, Doug, Steve and Bo Johnson, who played Ernie The Moocher in this production, all signed my DVD and CD! They couldn't have been sweeter, more accommodating or adorable. It was a perfect birthday gift! [ And after I toured the parking garage, I made it back through the road construction and traffic to Madison unscathed.  I like to think Daddy and Poppie were watching over me from that big smelt shack in the sky!]

So if you haven't seen it, GO! GO! GO! It runs through now through January 17. The information can be found here- Guys on Ice at The Rep! You won't be sorry!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Diva's Challenge: Hollibaugh


Thanksgiving for The Turkeys 2015

I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer at this year's 'Heartland Thanksgiving For The Turkeys' on Sunday. It snowed on Saturday and when I got to the farm it was a balmy 15° but gorgeous at the farm!



These three little pigs were not interested in leaving their snuggly bed!




The goats were in coats.



But the turkeys were all excited about their Thanksgiving feast. 



They even invited some of their chicken friends. I wish I had gotten a picture of Reggie (the larger chicken in this pic) when he was standing dead center in that 'pie' looking all proud of himself!


After Thanksgiving was over and the mess cleaned up, I fixed a Thanksgiving feast of cranberries, stuffing and sweet potatoes for the new mini pig, Percy. He is the dearest, furriest little thing. He tucked into his dinner like it was his job; making the cutest little grunting and chomping sounds!


Since it was so cold, I dug out my box of woolies for the first time this season and rooted through it for appropriate barn wear. Of course I had help.




 Seriously, he doesn't LOOK like the essence of pure evil does he?


So it was a wonderful morning. The visitors were super generous and everyone had a great time. I froze my nose, fingers, and toes, but the Heartland Farm gang always leaves me with a warm and happy heart! 





Monday, November 16, 2015

Diva Challenge #244: "Tripoli Triptastic"

Two weeks in a row! Now that summer and autumn are winding down, I have a little more tangle time on my hands. This week's Diva Challenge was to use the tangle pattern : Tripoli.  This isn't one of my fav tangles. I want to make it way more perfect than I have the ability to draw it. It's a simple concept-a grid of triangles, but I lose control of it very quickly-especially if I draw it small, so I thought I'd make it big for this one, Didn't make a difference-still got wonkey triangles.  But I had fun anyway-doing something different with it that using it as a filler.


Thanks for another great challenge, Diva!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hornet's Nest


I've been watching this beautiful wasp's next all summer. It was in a tree outside my office window,


As soon as we had had a few cold nights, I checked to make sure it was empty.  Yup! Nobody home.
[As a side note, I KNEW it was empty, but when I was cutting it down, the tree showered down all these little leaves and when the first one hit me, I admit I did the light fantastic, flailing and slapping, for a minute.]


So I went out with my pruning shears, a trash bag, and an elastic, I put the bag over the nest, clipped the branch , and wrapped the elastic around the top...just as added insurance that there weren't a few sleepy stragglers in there.  Oddly enough, when I unwrapped it later, there were no hornets, but there were numerous Asian Ladybugs. Kinda felt bad about commandeering their winter lodge. 


I find nests like these miraculous. Hornets and wasps just have an overall bad attitude, and yet they create this delicate paper structure, in beautiful blues and browns. And I love that this leaf fell onto the nest in a rainstorm and was absorbed into the paper. 


I never thought about it before but obviously the nests must eventually dissolve in the rain with no one around to repair them. That's why you don't see billions of them around everywhere I guess. Although this year, I've spotted three in my immediate vicinity. I can't remember ever seeing that before. Is Waspmageddon upon us?

Anyway, I thought I would share some of  Mother Nature's art since she is far superior to anything I could do.  What has she created around where YOU are?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Northern California

I was fortunate to be able to visit with family in Northern California recently. I've been to central and southern parts of the state, but the northern part was an a wonderful adventure in new flora and scenery

You know you're not in Wisconsin any more when the palm trees start showing up...

 

And the prickly pear cacti are more than a foot high and bear huge fruit...

This looks like desert, and it is I suppose. Because of the drought, this part of the American River Parkway biking and walking  system, which is usually under water, is dry.  The river's levy is more than a mile away from the river's edge right now. 


And the next two photos are of Folsom Lake. This is usually a huge thriving lake with boaters and swimmers.  Now it looks like a big puddle. The water normally comes up to where you can see the earth tone change in the bottom third of the photo.

If we had had more time, I would have loved to go stomping around on the lake bed. The DNR out there has posted signs not to pick up artifacts from the old towns that were flooded when the dam was put in. The water is so low they are showing up again.


And this is a pic from the Oroville Dam about 1.5 hours north of Sacramento. It normally processes megatons of water and has a huge deep lake on one side. Not today it doesn't. Californians are praying for El Nino to make good on his wet winter promise to them. It's been a 5 year drought! 


This is North of Sacramento as well. It was taken from a moving car, but if you look closely on the left half of the photo you can see some awesome mountains called 'The Buttes'.

This is my quintessential Northern California photo...Sunshine   through the branches of a walnut tree along the parkway.


A a great visit and saw so much more but decided to live it instead of photograph it. We also went to Folsom Prison (where my family slowed the car down really slow and looked at me ominously), Old Sacramento, (the original old west frontier buildings from when the city was formed), the Sierra Mountains to the apple orchards, and through miles and miles of every fruit and nut tree you can imagine-even Kiwi which blew my mind.  It was beautiful as it was but hard to see so much splendor struggling for water just to survive. I'm keeping my eye on you, El Nino. You better keep your end of the deal!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Diva Challenge: Just a Tiny Taste

I haven't done a Diva Challenge in a gazillion years. Life has been moving pretty fast around here this autumn, but now, as winter approaches, maybe I'll have more time to sit a spell.

This week's challenge really intregued me. It's called Just a Tiny Taste because the goal is to leave the majority of the tile blank. This is a real challenge for me as I tend to fill up every available millimeter of space available to me. But I gave it a shot; a couple of times really. I like the concept but they just feel unfinished. Baby steps.

The first one doesn't leave enough of the tile blank and it still looks 'naked to me.

This second one is more in keeping with 'the rules' and it's killing me to not add more pizzaz somewhere! LOL!


It was a good challenge because I need to leave more space in my work for the eye to rest.  Here are some of the latest doodles from my sketchbook.  See?!?!? Every inch of space.  Way too busy!









There has to be a happy medium somewhere, no?  Back to the drawing board!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Butterflies Are Free

Always on the lookout for new experiences (and ways with potential for getting lost, hurt, looking foolish, ending up on 'Cops' or any combination of those things) I saw an ad on Facebook for 'Monarch Butterfly Taggers'. The Madison Audubon group was asking for volunteers to go to the Goose Pond Sanctuary in Arlington to capture, tag and release Monarchs for the folks at Monarchwatch.org who track their migration to Mexico each year.

Goose Pond is gorgeous and the fields were blooming with goldenrod and fall asters. It was a little breezy, but warmed up quickly. Couldn't have picked a better day for capturing the Wee Beasties.


After a short how-to on how to capture, tag and release we were off!

That's 'Capture' (see the net??)...


'Tag' (that little sticker on the wing)

And 'Release'
You'd think for sure they would just fly in circles with that sticker on their wings but they don't. Experiment complete. You're welcome.

There was also the part about recording the number from the sticker, whether is was a male or female and what flower you found them on. 
                 

The little buggers are a lot feistier and more difficult to catch than you'd think. It's almost impossible to catch them out of the air-they have to be on something and even then, if you don't get them on the first swoosh, they fly straight up out of reach.  And with the strong breeze they're a half a mile closer to Mexico before you realized they aren't in the net. And don't get me starting on the fact that they clutch the net with their little sticky fingers so you have to disentangle them leg by leg, and usually discover as you're unsticking the last little leggie that they have started reattaching the first ones you just untangled back onto the net. They have six total! Told you! Tricky! 

Once you got a proper hold of their wings, (that 'don't touch them or they can't fly thing' is an old wives's tale, by the way)  and get them out of the net, they do an alligator death roll/ toddler-throwing-a-tantrum thing that would be off putting to say the least were they a bit bigger....  and not a,...well... butterfly!

Once we were in the groove, people were tagging and releasing like crazy, I was a little slower because I had to name each one of mine, give them pep talk and a tiny kiss before I let them go. Mexico is a long ways away you know! I like to think they appreciated the encouragement!

My team adamantly refused to tag the orange and brown leaf I captured, although, in the end they  agreed that it did (somewhat) resemble a monarch. They MAY have been placating me. We can't be sure.  I lost a bit of time there because I spent 5 minutes sneaking up on the dang thing to catch it. 

We only caught one that we had tagged already which is pretty good. Last year the folks down south of the border found three that had been tagged at Goose Pond. The three were all in the same patch of trees in the same small sanctuary in central Mexico. Pretty amazing.  I will be doing this again next year, but on my own. You can order the kits and do it yourself and I have a prairie at the end of my street with lots of milkweed in it. How cool would it be to get a note from Mexico for a butterfly you tagged yourself! And own your own butterfly net! not to mention that now I can add 'Butter Fly Tagging Technician' next to 'Marsupial Relocation Technician' and 'Salamander Transportation Specialist' to my lengthy resume! Score! 

So if you're looking for fun and adventure, and you love insects, I highly recommend helping Madison Audubon and Monarch Watch out next fall. Too! Much! Fun! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

I Saw This Thing on Pinterest: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts


I saw the same ads you all did a while back; the ones for the baked donut pans and accompanying paraphernalia for making a 'healthy' alternative to the fat-laden breakfast treats. I thought it looked cool but wasn't willing to pay $19.99 for them because nothing EVER works like it does in those infomercials. My Momma's so proud she din't raise up no fool!  But then I found the whole kit and caboodle, still in the box, a couple of summers ago for $1 at a yard sale. Well now. I won't ruin $20 worth of ingredients on a $19.99 pan but for a $1..... Maybe my Momma should reconsider,

They've just been sitting in my pan cupboard since then. I KNEW they would be awful so why bother! (I know, don't try to figure out the wonky thought process. I've long since given up.) But then I poked around Pinterest. Dog help me, but some of my greatest successes AND failures have started with the phrase 'I saw this thing on Pinterest'; a phrase that's the female equivalent to 'Here, hold my beer and watch this!' Anyway, there was a recipe for 'Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Sea Salt Caramel Glaze'. And since nothing screams 'Healthy Alternative' like a baked doughnut slathered in a cream, butter and sugar sauce, I knew I had to try it.

The batter was a basic pumpkin muffin one. It had copious amounts of sugar and veg oil, Trying to get the fairly thick batter around the rings in the pan was a little futzy and challenging, but not so bad. 


They smelled heavenly baking. Below is a scratch and sniff photo. (If you fell for that my Momma isn't the only one raisin' up fools!)
Even though these were for others, I just couldn't see covering them in that caramel glaze, as scrumptious as it sounds, so I just waited until the were a little warm still and shook them in a little sugar mixed with a little pumpkin pie spice.


They were delish! Were they a Krispy Kreme or a Dunkin'? No. Were they just a round muffin with a hole in the middle. No, surprisingly, not really. They were some magical combination of both. I had one and my company and neighbors scarfed the rest. I am of the opinion that they would be best served fresh but there were no leftovers on which to test that theory.  

I'm anxious to try one or two more of the 8 gigabillion recipes for different flavors on Pinterest. If they are as successful as these, I will start scouring garage sales and Goodwill for more pans. I only have the one regular sized pan so it took a couple of hours to bake the entire batch off- 6 at a time. But they would be great for brunch or to take in to work.  So bottom line, if you've wanted to try them and haven't because you think they won't be good, you're wrong!  Give them a try.  If you try the gooey sauce, let me know how they are!



Molly Bee and The Really Really Big Mushroom

While out and about last Friday, I saw this peeking out of the tall grass under a big tree over by Farm and  Fleet. I suspected it was a giant puffball.  I had seen several from afar and lots on-line, but never gotten up and personal with one, so of course I trudged across the field and picked it.  Here it is in the trunk of the car.


As I approached it in the field, I thought I had been mistaken. This is the top and it looked like a giant blog of that liquid insulation stuff...we were by Farm and Fleet, a giant hardware and farming equipment store,after all.

But the minute I touched it (and smelled it) I knew it was the real deal.  It grows on the ground so it took me a few minutes to evict the myriad of creepy-crawlies that lived on the mushroom's underside. 

I brought it home and set it on our patio table, It was significantly larger than a basketball, and a solid, fleshy 5.7#!  I knew that the scuttlebutt on my Nature group on-line has said that they were edible but I wasn't that crazy so I went on the group site and advertised it-first come first serve.  There were two folks interested but they were way Up North and I wasn't willing to drive up there or even meet them half way, so that was out. They sent me recipes and encouraged me to try it but with my luck, uh-uh.

I showed it to Neighbor Mike, who was standing in his yard with the rest of the neighborhood guys. They gather there after work to shoot the breeze and most cool evenings find them all out there in their lawn chairs around the fire pit. They were all enthused, passing it from person to person and prodding at it like a bunch of monkeys with a coconut. They badgered Mike to fire up the grill and test it out. I told them that I was only 97.4 percent sure they wouldn't die, so before they set out, they should find a more qualified person to go over their plans with.  They scattered. One went for the phone to call his sister ('She'll know what to do!), while others went for matches and knives,  When I left to go to knitting, they had an enormous slice of it on the grill and were all poking it with sticks.

Driving down the street after Knit Night I tried to prepare myself for the ambulance traffic that was sure to surround Mike's house when I got home; sure that I'd killed them all by gifting them a giant poisonous mushroom, but all was quiet, This was a good and a bad sign. Most other nights when I come home, they are around the fire pit. Tonight, Mike's house was dark and deserted.  But at least there was no Emergency Personnel. Hmmm.

The next morning, I was walking Ben and intended to ask Mike, who is ALWAYS in his yard on Saturday morning tinkering on his truck or what not, how the mushroom was,  but the house was closed up tight. Nary a sign of him or any of his friends. Uh oh.  The next several hours were tense and I cased the neighborhood, looking for any signs of life.  Finally, I saw Mike in his yard! I think he was a little surprised when I rushed up to him and yelled, 'YOU'RE ALIVE!'  

He said that they had tried it, but it was pretty anticlimactic. The boys tucked in with gusto but it didn't taste like mushroom or anything else really. Kind of rubbery and bland, like tofu. So they didn't eat that much of it. But they had fun taking pictures of it, poking, prodding and cutting it up, so there was that. And, of course, the adrenaline rush that comes with surviving eating something you're pretty certain will kill you. (Not to mention the adrenaline rush that comes with being fairly certain that you killed half the men in the neighborhood and you can't be sure that it could be ruled 'accidental' since you foisted it on them and then told them it was probably edible.)

So several things were learned. Giant puffballs, while non-poisonous and technically  'edible' are not all that yummy. They ARE wicked fun to find and to have around for a conversation piece. And last but not least Farm and Fleet really does have EVERYTHING!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Diva Challenge 253 Stripes

This week's Diva Challenge was to just draw stripes across the tile as a string. Never one to follow directions, mine are curvy instead of straight but there you go. This was definitely a therapeutic tangle for me! Thanks for the challenge, Laura!



Molly Bee and the Very Very Scary Thing

I got my safe, secure, little world rocked to its core this week. I stopped at a local gas station to get an iced tea and a bag of peanuts on my way to work. I had been working at home all morning while a handyman installed our new storm door and had rushed out afterward forgetting lunch.

As I entered the store, I heard a loud gentleman, with a pronounced Southern accent, talking to some people on the other side of the store. The only reason I noticed was because of the strong accent, not that they were yelling or fighting or anything. I got my iced tea and nuts and proceeded to the front of the store. The man with the accent was now alone. He grabbed my arm and asked me if there were any restaurants around here within walking distance. I pointed out a few, while trying to gently extricate my arm. He tightened his grip and said that they were too far away for him to walk, and that he wasn't from around here, and that I would be driving him. Still trying to be reasonable and half thinking that this must be some kind of a practical joke, I asked him to please let go of me and tried to tug my arm away.

At this point his face turned red and he let go of my arm  only to put HIS arm all the way around my shoulders like a cage. Whenever I have envisioned being grabbed, I always saw myself kicking, screaming, biting and yelling my way to freedom. I had grand visions of not letting the perpetrator go without lodging  a size-six Adidas firmly into his nethers.   This guys was 6'7"+ tall and weighted 300+ pounds.  I totally froze. All scenario rehearsals in my head and in the defense classes I'd taken over the years were nowhere to be found.  As he's talking loudly and hauling me toward the door saying that I'm taking him to a restaurant, I finally found my voice and loudly told him to LET GO OF ME.  

The two clerks working were (thankfully) good-sized guys and they came right over and hauled the guy off of me.  All the while he's yelling that I said I'd drive him to a restaurant.  The clerks are trying to talk him down and asking me if I wanted to call the police. I said, 'No, I'm fine' and even kind of laughed as I launched myself out the door and into my car.

I started the car and my first thought was 'That was weird'  and chuckled.  The closer I got to work, the more upset I got and by the time I parked I was shaking like a leaf and on the verge of tears. I went to get out of the car and realized that I had driven the entire way with the peanuts clenched in a death grip in my right hand and that I hadn't paid for them or the iced tea! Grand theft snack food on top of the mayhem!

As soon as I got to the safety of the building, I kind of lost it. My coworker took me in the back room and we talked it out. I felt so stupid because I was fine, nothing 'happened' to me aside from a few fingertip-sized bruises on my arm. My mind was going a thousand miles a minute though. How could this happen at noon in a well-lit, busy gas station? What if I had been somewhere more secluded? What if the clerks had been woman and not able to tackle the man? What if? What if? What if?

I shut down the what-ifs pretty quickly because that can drive you nuts (and I already had the nuts which I'd pilfered from the gas station).  I pulled it together and worked the rest of the day. I thought I was fine until I tried to go to bed. Awake does not begin to describe my state. The what-ifs were back in full force and they'd brought their friends, the 'I'm never going anywhere alone again-s'  and 'the world is never going to be safe again-s' with them. I read and Zentangled all night long.

 Blearily, I went to work the next day and purposely stopped at the same gas station to pay for my ill-gotten gains from the day before, and learned that the man was a trailer truck driver from down south with an extensive record for assault and battery-I got very, Very,VERY lucky. The clerks asked if I wanted to contact the police and I said no. I didn't want this man to know my name or where I live or ANY information about me. They already know he's bad news, they can deal with him without my input.

I know it doesn't seem like much of an' incident', but in terms of shattering my security, it did the trick quite nicely, thank you. I had been in a safe place in the middle of the day and something had still 'happened'.  Given an couple of day's distance, I am actually glad it happened. I wasn't hurt and I realized that I had grown complacent and had been taking chances by nonchalantly putting myself in harms way when walking and hiking in more isolated places; simply not thinking about the potential dangers, not being 'afraid' of anything, and 'knowing' I could handle any incident that might arise. I had stopped being vigilant. On the one hand, that's a sad state to have to live in-looking for evil everywhere, but today, it's a survival skill and a necessity and I won't be caught unawares again.

I hope if you are reading this, that it reminds you to be aware too. The majority of people are good, but there are bad people out there too, and things can happen in the blink of an eye-especially if you're overly self-confident and oblivious to the world around you. Put down your cell phones and burst out of that bubble of self-absorption and pay attention to your environment. You don't have to be scared of the world, just be vigilant! I do these experiments so you don't have to!



Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Meditating on Meditation


I took an Intro to Meditation class at the local library tonight. I've meditated a bit in the past but wanted to get an overview of some of the different methods available. The class started at 7PM.  The room was so heavy with patcholi incense that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stay.  My nose plugged up and my eyes watered, but I finally lost my sense of smell and then it was somewhat OK. But by 7:15 I had failed the course completely. My mellow was so thoroughly harshed that it's lucky I didn't hurt someone.

In what universe do you sign up for a 7PM MEDITATION course, show up 10-15 late and then enter the room, gabbing loudly on your cell phone,  asking people to move so you and your equally tardy and talkative friend can sit together, and asking what you missed?  And it wasn't just one or two people. It was about ten, one or two at a time, spaced in intervals that exactly matched when we'd just got calmed down from the last idiots that crashed the calm. 

OK-So by 20 after we're all there. We start the first meditation which just requires quiet breathing and a check of your body from toes to the top of your head. This was all explained before we started. The teacher quietly and gently led the exercise starting at the toes....moving up the ankle...and the shins....only to be interrupted loudly by an old lady who screeched that she was deaf and couldn't hear the teacher. The teacher explained that it wasn't necessary to hear her.  Just breathe and check in with your body starting with your toes and ending at the top of your head.  We started again.  All went smoothly for about 3 minutes until the old lady bellowed, 'Are you guys at your hips yet?!' Sigh.

We started the second exercise that the teacher explained to the class (and then more loudly to the elderly lady), that this one involved breathing and chanting 'ROM' in unison. Apparently there is a lot of confusion as to what 'in unison' meant which led to a cacophony of discordant 
'Rama-lama-ding-dongs' all over the room. Real calming.

The final exercise was to do a weird-a** fingernails-on-chalkboard noise three times (which over half of us refused to do-I must admit I was proud of us.) and then chant ROM three times each from the body center, our heart center, and our head center and then finish up in the body center again.. Of course over half of the group had no idea what that meant (oddly enough, the old lady caught right on the first time) so it was a 10 minute diatribe descibing the locations of the centers, then  giggling at where the 'body center' is (below your belly button and between your hip bones.  Hilarious.What are we 5 years old?) Then another 5 minutes to explain that these were really IMAGINARY spots and you couldn't identify them in an x-ray and no, the glowing orb of light that you were supposed to imagine there wouldn't show up either,

The fertilizer really hit the fan though when the teacher stated, "Make sure the last one you do is in the body center....because that's where you want to end up....you don't want to leave anything behind." Holy Carp! Pandemonium.  That can happen?!?!?!?

 I just looked at the lady beside me and said 'Glad I don't have to clean up after this tonight.'
'Yeah,' She said drolly, 'No ectoplasmic containment system.' Then we both said 'Who ya gonna call.' and laughed, The teacher gave us a pointed look. Yeah, Like, WE'RE your biggest problem! *Eye roll*

Based on tonight's experience, maybe meditation isn't for me.  When the library has a MEDICATION seminar, I'll be the first to sign up...if I can beat the teacher to the front of the line.