Gifts From the Backyard

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I’ve been working out in the yard for the past few days, spending most of the day outside from right after breakfast till past the time when I would usually eat supper.
This is one of the patterns of spring for me; I am so happy and feel so restored by being out in the beautiful, budding and blossoming world that I don’t want to stop to eat or tend to indoor tasks ~ it is only the darkness that sends me back in the house; when there is no longer enough light for me to plant or dig or trim. Part of what I love about this time of year in Minnesota are the colors ~ the lush and soft green grass, the vivid pinks of the redbud blossoms and clean white petals of the plum tree blossoms, especially when set against a slate gray May sky.
 
This year, along with the gift of inner peace and a deep sense of gratitude for our beautiful planet, my backyard surprised me with an abundance of cheery and hardy violets (one of my favorite flowers) that popped up in last year’s tiny buckwheat field. We’re planning to put raised garden beds in this sunny former buckwheat patch, so I’ve been transplanting violets all over and they now brighten up many corners of our yard.
 
Violets are rumored to be one of the favorite flowers of faeries as well, so I planted one in front of the faerie tree. (In the pictures, the glowing glass ball is actually a doorknob that we are going to put on the door to the faerie tree.)

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My friends, dowser Curt Hansen and psychic Vonne Jonsson, stopped by Monday with a faerie house for me. Curt and Vonne have started a business called FaeryBlossoms, and these metaphysically talented and knowledgeable friends sell faerie houses that they make themselves. They also offer faerie events, faerie message readings, and tours of places where faeries can be found. To find out more, visit Curt and Vonne’s website: Faeryblossoms.com.
 
#faeries

 

Meeting Prince on the Set of Purple Rain, 1983

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Me and my sister “Maggie” on our first day as extras in Purple Rain, 1983. My car was filmed too, right in front of First Ave, because most of the extras did not own cars.

There were only a few extras on the set that day and it was really exciting! It was cold out and they let the girls wear coats but the guys couldn’t (I think it was supposed to be summer in the scene). They gave everyone cigarettes to smoke to provide a plausible reason for the “smoke” that was visible whenever anyone exhaled in the frigid air.

Prince’s bodyguard came up to Maggie and me at the end of filming and said Prince wanted us to come to a party at his house. Which was awesome. We declined because I thought John (my first husband) would not be on board with it.

Was very sad to hear that Prince, musical genius and bright spirit who generously shared his talent with the world, is gone so soon. May he shine brightly forever.

‪#‎Prince‬ ‪#‎PurpleRain‬

What Makes a Haunted House Happy?

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What makes a haunted house (or at least it’s physical world steward) happy? A brand new, sparkling clean checkerboard floor, that’s what! Doing the happy dance now that we have a charming and fittingly vintage-looking floor in the summer kitchen, back hall, and back bath. The pretty antique stove can return from its backyard exile, the clothes dryer can be brought in from the porch, and I have already gotten the pie table and Christmas cactus set up by the window.

Apparently, Leon kept an eye on the remodeling work. When I arrived home yesterday, the floor polishers were just finishing up. One of the guys said, “Did you know your house is haunted?”
 
I said “Yes,” and asked him what Leon had done to let them know he was around. He told me that the dryer vent kept flapping loudly while they worked and the smoke detector went off several times. Now Leon has “spoken” to me before with the smoke detector ~ in that instance (which was years ago), I sensed Leon’s presence in the back hall and asked if he was there. The smoke detector responded with a few quiet beeps. I told Leon hello, thanked him for his help with the house, and waited to see if the detector would keep beeping. It didn’t and the battery did not need to be replaced for months after that.
 
The other funny thing is that the fellow who actually installed the new floor ~ a man of very few words ~ must have had the same experience that the floor polishers did, because when I arrived home after his first day working here, the smoke detector cover was sitting on the summer kitchen counter and the battery was pulled out enough so that it wouldn’t work. Neither Dudley nor I have heard the smoke detector alarm go off or even chirp for years. We even tested the battery last week to make sure it worked before putting the smoke detector back together.
 
It made me happy to know that Leon was watching over the work and the house and letting the guys know, in a friendly way, that he was here.

 

 

 

Crystal Ball Divination Report

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In CRYSTAL BALL NEWS, I had an interesting and very enjoyable crystal ball divination session in my parlor on Monday night.

The reader was psychic intuitive Eric Moen, whom I met at the Intrigue Theaters ‘s old-timey illusionist/mentalist show at the Triune Masonic Temple in St. Paul in January. I wanted to have a reading with Eric to see if this venerable yet rarely practiced form of divination might be a good fit for my Spirited Schoolhouse. (It was. Details at the end of this post.)

We set up a small table in the parlor and Eric placed the crystal ball on it and lit two candles. First surprise: the ball has a name! Eric introduced the ball to me ~ since I’m not sure of the etiquette of me sharing the name, I’ll refrain from doing so ~ but I will say that the name seemed to suit the ball, which was large, dignified, and a bit aloof. Eric also shared the story of how it took for him to get the ball to work with him ~ three months ~ and yes, there was an initiatory experience of sorts.

The first image to appear was two owls, which is cool, because the owl is one of my totem animals. Then Eric said something to the effect that two male spirits were standing behind him in the parlor, to check him out and see what his business in the house was. I knew from the language used and the purpose of the visit that one of the spirits was Leon. (Which made me happy, as it always does when Leon looks after things.) Not sure who the other spirit was, though, and would like to find out.

Other spirits showed up, too: a riverboat captain, a Frenchman associated with the property, an old-fashioned young woman, who I believe may have been one of the spirit sisters, some elementals (or earth spirits) but the only spirit who showed Eric her face was Cherry, our sweet dog that we had to say goodbye to a few years ago.

Eric noted some things about the earth spirits on the property that resonated with me and fits into some of the topics/experiences I’ll be exploring more in my new book. (My new book on which I am ~ slowly ~ making progress.) One tidbit: Eric described an elemental being that I have seen here and even sketched a picture of.

One of the coolest things was that, when the reading started, Eric said, “Everything coming through is about your house and its energy, not you!” I told him that was perfect; I wanted to know what the crystal ball had to say about my house because I could use it all in my book. Another cool moment was when Eric started to talk about a chair that had been in my house, I not only clearly “saw” the chair in my mind ~ it was an ornate wooden ceremonial chair ~ but I also saw where it had been in my parlor.

The session ended when Eric saw two eyes looking out at him from the crystal ball (!) which told him that the session was done. His exact words were, “Okay, (name of ball) is looking back at me.” Stopping when the crystal ball starts gazing back at you made sense to me. (Along with totally capturing my imagination ~ wow!)

If you’d like to be part of a crystal ball reading event, please join Eric Moen and me on  Thursday, June 30 from 7:00 ~ 9:00 PM. More details, including how to sign up, can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal Ball Divination

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Oh, it’s fun to live in a spirit-filled house!

I’m meeting tonight with a cystal ball reader to see if a group crystal ball divination session might work well as a Spirited Schoolhouse event. I have never done this kind of divination before; I’m curious and optimistic.

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Will post a report within the next few days.

Crystal ball image courtesy of www.crystalcompany.com.

Getting Ready for the Haunted Tea Party Season

 

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Having fun and busy, busy, busy, preparing for the 2016 Haunted Tea Party and Spirited Schoolhouse Season! Had a little help from the house spirits yesterday ~ more on that in a moment.

In addition to getting events scheduled, updating my calendar and website, and adding one or two new spirited events this year ~ including a group past-life regression event ~ my house needed a few repairs, fresh paint, and some restoration work. This is  part of the feng shui work that we started a year or so ago ~ in late 2014 and 2015, our yard and house exterior received the most attention. We got a good start on front porch repairs and exterior painting, including scraping and repainting the bay window, a focal pint of our side yard on the east.

In 2014 – 2015, we also did some much-needed trimming of the 150-year-old boulevard elms, and said goodbye to five trees ~ the two dying crabapple trees in front and the backyard pines, which had grown so tall they were tangled in the power lines. (We already had the power lines raised once.) I was very reluctant to cut down any trees ~ and it took me a a few years to be able to do so ~ but I am very happy with the yard’s new energy and the vitality of the remaining trees. Sometimes being a good steward means recognizing when it’s time to say farewell.

This winter, we turned our attention to inside projects ~ polishing floors, restoring floors (more on that in a future post) painting, and de-cluttering. The house energy has been somewhat chaotic and I was just asked this morning what effect, if any, the commotion has had on the spirit activity.

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Yesterday, I was doing touch-up painting in six different rooms, and the house vibe was especially topsy-turvy. We have the summer kitchen and back hall closed off because we have torn up the old linoleum floor (yay!!) and I was trying to do (the not-really-very-efficient) several things at once. I walked into the kitchen to get … something … and found myself standing by the microwave cupboard. Dudley was at the table and chuckled when I said to myself, “Why am I standing here?”

Now, usually if I forget the reason I came into a room, I will remember in a minute or two, and most of the time, I am standing right where I need to be. Nothing came to mind, though ~ until a bowl that was sitting in the dish drainer tumbled and rolled, clattering as it fell. Dudley and I looked over and laughed and I said, “Hey! I came in here to get felt strips for the bookshelf.” Which are in the drawer under the dish drainer. I am guessing that it was Leon who helped, since I have asked for his assistance several times during this repair and restoration project.

Hope to see many of you this spirited event season!

 

 

Things That Go Bump MN ~ Haunted Palmer House Event, April 15 ~ 17

I have been absent from this blog for awhile ~ my apologies to friends both old and new. Welcome to those new to my blog or website ~ I appreciate your support.

What has been taking my time is (mostly) my own writing, my literary agenting work ~ will be making an announcement early next week about the latest book I sold ~ and some repairs and remodeling at our house, in preparation for the 2016 Haunted Tea Party and Spirited Schoolhouse season that opens in April. We are adding one or two new spirited events this year, details coming soon!

Today, I want to invite everyone to join my friends from the paranormal investigation group, Things That Go Bump, MN, for their Palmer House Investigation April 15 ~ 17. This is a great group, knowledgeable, respectful, and a lot of fun. My friend, the amazing energy worker Suzanne Worthley will be there teaching and I will also be there on April 15 and 16, talking about my house and the spirits.

More information at the link below.

I’ll be posting more often now as I wrap up my creative cocooning time and enter another haunted tea party season. Feels good to be back!

http://www.thingsthatgobumpmn.com/events

Lake Superior Writing Retreats ~ January 2016

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Spent last weekend and am spending this weekend in the beautiful Duluth (Minnesota) area, working on my next two books.

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The first, a picture book for young children, is now finished and ready to be shopped around. It’s the story of a young girl whose wish is granted in a whimsical and wacky way when she spends the night at her aunt’s magical old house.

The second book is my follow-up to “House of Spirits and Whispers.” This book, aka “the ghost book that did not want to be written,” is coming along nicely. Don’t want to say too much more, due to its capricious nature and history. Would love to have a proposal in the hands of my agent by May 1 ~ that’s my goal.

I have always thought that Lake Superior and this part of Minnesota were gorgeous and inspiring, and in the last few years, this feeling has intensified. I think it has to do with the area’s wide open expansiveness, powerful water and air elements, and beautiful, calming shades of blue ~ all these factors provide a perfect, soul-restoring counterbalance when my life feels over-busy and compartmentalized.

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The photos in this post were taken by my friend and fellow writer Kelly (pictured).

Spirit Visitors at the Massage

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Love going into the parlor to meditate and seeing my meditation partners ~ aka Fluffy and Simon ~ already there and waiting to get started.

This is Fluffy, at nineteen years old, who made it to the red chair first (which means Simon will sit on the sofa or prowl around the room till Fluffy decides it’s time to be queen of all she surveys elsewhere in the house, making a spot available for Simon on my lap or the back of the red chair).

My (online) Rosicrucian studies are going well, and I really look forward to meditating and studying in the parlor a few times each week around twilight. It’s peaceful and restorative. Last night, I meditated on the massage I had yesterday. It was the first time I ever had a massage (first time because I am uptight!) and during it, Lisa (the masseuse), who is highly intuitive, saw not only my spirit helpers but also ~ ME. 

Lisa asked me after the massage if I have noticed that I’m becoming more psychic and I said yes. She said she believed it, because both an eagle and a hawk spirit helper showed up. She also asked if I had any relatives in spirit that looked just like me. I said no. She said, “Well, someone showed up who looked exactly like you.” After discussing it for a bit, we decided it probably was an aspect of my spirit.

So, why, you may ask, would part of my spirit leave my body just before an awesome massage? : ) Lisa said it may have been my higher self. Another possibility that occurs to me: I was intimidated by the thought of a massage, and have read about (and experienced firsthand) the feeling of “ditching” one’s physical body when feeling threatened.

I am going to take two mini-sabbaticals this month to work on my latest book (a follow-up to House of Spirits and Whispers) and am going to see if I can explore this phenomenon further in the new book.

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has had similar experiences. (You may email me at the address on my “Contact” page.)

 

Unexpected Gift ~ A Message from the Natural World

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Anyone who knows me or has read my books knows that one of my favorite gifts is a message from the natural or spirit world. I noticed this seemingly magic feather, pictured above and elsewhere in this post, during my birthday week in the back hall of my house.

When it first caught my eye, I was startled, thinking it was a centipede on the wall. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a feather, which has been one of the best and most clear signs I get from the universe. Although it appeared to be suspended in the air, the feather was actually caught on a near-invisible cobweb. (The feather had been on display on a shelf in the back hall.)

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In my life, feathers represent opportunities, especially writing opportunities. I interpreted this as a very positive sign, especially since earlier this year, I woke up with a hawk feather standing straight up in my hair (!) which I only noticed when I saw my reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror. The hawk feather had fallen out of a dreamcatcher made for me by my friend Ximena, who is a skilled energy worker. I felt that the October birthday feather message was that my usual late fall and winter  “creative cocooning” time of writing and editing would be productive and surprising and magical. And it has ~ I now represent some very talented and well-known clients through my literary agency, have sold my first book as an agent (with two more proposals being considered), and am doing developmental editing  for a very interesting metaphysical book as well as a spooky true paranormal book. (Will post about these books when their publication status is “official.”)

Last, but definitely not least: I am making progress on ~ and having fun with ~ my own next book, a follow-up to House of Spirits and Whispers. This is perhaps the real magic of this writing season, as I have referred to this sequel as “the book that did not want to be written.” It seems that, finally, the house spirits and my guides agree that the time has come for these stories to be told.