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. . . I am Hawaii

We all love Hawaii. The imagery of ocean coves and tropical breezes. Sipping Piña Coladas on an outdoor lanai . . .

Some of us are fortunate to live, have lived, or have visited there. Others, can only dream.

People ask me, when they learn I’ve lived there, birthed my baby there, regularly flown back and forth from California, working with horses there:  “Do you miss Hawaii?”

“Do I miss Hawaii? No, I don’t miss Hawaii. I am Hawaii.”    DawnSeeker

Lani Kai Cloud

all photos Copyright 2019 DawnSeeker

You see, Hawaii isn’t just a place.

Hawaii is a lifestyle. A way of living and interacting. With your surroundings — with the people, the Nature, the land.

We all associate the word “Aloha” with Hawaii. Let’s look further into that word.

Hawaiian Horse -- Patrick Ching

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Aloha:

The literal meaning of aloha is “the presence of breath” or “the breath of life.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “ha,” meaning breath. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others.

According to the old kahunas (priests), being able to live the Spirit of Aloha was a way of reaching self-perfection and realization for our own body and soul. Aloha is sending and receiving a positive energy. Aloha is living in harmony. When you live the Spirit of Aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which are never gone. They exist in space, multiply and spread over to others. (source)

Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain — it is my pain. When there is joy — it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect. This is Hawaiian — this is Aloha! (source)

Alternative Motherhood

Mother and child — Halawa Valley, Molokai

Aloha is the Hawaiian word for love, affection, peace, compassion and mercy, that is commonly used as a simple greeting[1][2] but has a deeper cultural and spiritual significance to native Hawaiians . . .

Mary Kawena Pukui wrote that the “first expression” of aloha was between a parent and child.[3] (source: Wikipedia)

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Cloud Ball Bogenvillia

Recently I got uptight about something. A bit anxious. And I decided that I didn’t like where my mind took me.

So I decided to shift my thinking from the thing that was upsetting me, to somewhere peaceful and calm.

I decided to send my consciousness back to Hawaii. To Molokai. To Oahu. My previous home.

East End Molokai

I teleport seaward . . .

I feel trade winds. Sunshine. I hear palm fronds clapping.

I wade into my favorite cove. Slide into the water — warm on top, cool beneath. Listen to the sounds of mollusks bubbling under the sea. Fluttering sunlight dances on the lids of my closed eyes.

Time stops. And I float . . .

Molokai Palms

Emotionally, I’m there :)) There again, on my peaceful island.

All the sights and sounds of Aloha — the breath of Life.

Feeling the slick Hawaiian sand — the type made from countless sea shells, broken into smooth bits by the ocean’s waves. My skin absorbing the penetrating heat of tropical sun.

Waving to rusted-out cars carrying local fisherman, surfers, neighbors — meandering along the one-lane “highway”.

Maui Sunset from Moloikai

And when sun sets, onlookers gather to view the grand display, pink or gold, hovering over the horizon. Then comes the food — and the laughter of good friends around a table.

A beach walk reveals stars at night GLISTENING SO BRIGHT!  Magnified by the salt-rich atmosphere. And, if lucky, a faint, but real, night moon rainbow.

Aloha. For real.

Hawaiian Moon Clouds

And I stayed there, in my magical island mode, all day . . . and the next.

And I think I’ll choose to stay there, in Hawaii. To LIVE ALOHA, as the locals say.

To feel the Spirit and the peace of the place, no matter that I now reside here in California.

Aloha Slippas

And I’ll choose to live Hawaii, live the Spirit of Aloha here, and feed the hungry souls here on the Mainland. (So many seem SO EMPTY!)

And I’ll take my spiritual shoes off and display my emotional bare feet . . .

Barefoot Service

After all, where can you go to a family gathering, a church service, a business meeting — and see everyone’s gnarly unshod feet, and have that be considered completely normal?

Hawaii, of course. Hallelujah!

Hawaiian Rainbow

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So where do you go, when you find yourself getting uptight? Where is your place of peace and calm?

May your spirit swiftly soar to that place, and bring its Spirit back to where you live, to nourish those hungry souls around you :))

May your emotional feet stay bare and exposed.

May you live your life with much Aloha!

And, as we say on Molokai, A hui ho — until we meet again :))

DawnSeeker

Barefoot Pastor

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Molokai rope "Corral"

Local Molokai horse, living tied out by the side of the road

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Copyright 2019 Dawn Jenkins All Rights Reserved

Mother and child photo: DawnSeeker family archive

Double Image

— Double Image — Double Vision —

“Sometimes — You’ll Surprise Yourself”

My Mom had a wonderful insight. She shared it with me once, and it’s come back to me many times in the twenty years since she’s passed from this physical realm.

“Honey, you think you know yourself. You think you know how you’ll react in a certain situation.”

“But sometimes — you’ll surprise yourself!” (with how you react)

Random Rainbow off of California en route Hawaii

I thought of Mom recently, when, again, I found my reaction to a certain situation unsettling!

“I’m losing it right now!!! What’s wrong with me?????”

Yet when I find myself “surprising myself”, miffed at my own reactions — I think of Mom, and marvel at her wisdom.

I look up, and say, “Well Mom, you’re right. I certainly am surprising myself right now!”

And somehow, just the act of making that statement, taking that pause, that self-reflection — helps!

Just knowing that she warned me. That she left me with her sage reflections.

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Hawaiian Skies

Steps to Stop the Downfall . . .

So here are my Strategies that seem to help curtail the downfall of my emotions:

1.) Rather than judge and self-condemn — adding to my anxiety or fear . . .

2.) Stop! Step outside of my emotional response, and (again) recognize my human foibles. (See my Runaway (Emotional) Emergency Escape Ramp.)

3.) Accept my human faults and frailties — even laugh!!! :)) Crazy-drama me :)) (See my previous post, Crazy-Drama Syndrome.)

4.) Do my best to re-focus, and move on.

5.) Take a deep breath, and let it all go . . .

Kissing Cousins

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Thank you, Mom, for leaving me with your words of wisdom.

Thank you for preparing me for the moments I feel out of control.

May I look to what I’ve learned in dealing with my foibles — lessons honed from a Life filled with HORSES! (See my post, Ride Life! The Reins . . . )

May I strive to be the best version of Dawn I can possibly be.

And, hopefully, Mom, you’ll look out from where you are now — and see me — and smile :))

DawnSeeker

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Happy Baby :))

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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White Horse in Green

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Copyright 2019

Photos: by DawnSeeker

Vintage Photo: Grandfather’s archive (courtesy of Cousin Andy :))

 

 

Juvenile Condor in flight

Condors Soaring & Prophetic Dreams

Oftentimes things in our Lives stress us, and make us feel out of control.

Big things — or small — they can throw us for an emotional loop.

I was experiencing one of these stressed-out pockets, several years back, when I received my clear, peaceful, answer in the form of two dreams.

As I recall them now, they still ring true.

And they still help me overcome the temptation to live my life in anger or fear, which ruins so many aspects of my much preferred, much appreciated, Peaceful Life.

Sliver Lining

But what does this have to do with Condors?

I’m pairing this Post with photos I shot of soaring Juvenile California Condors. (Info about Condors at bottom of Post.) 

I know you’ll enjoy :)) :))  DawnSeeker

Condor in flight

The Easy Solution and the Pilot Dream

The following two dreams arrived together, side by side, one night.

At the time I was struggling with some pressing issues. I went to bed, asking the Divine for an answer to come in my dreams.

After awaking in the wee hours, I prayed again, and fell back asleep.

Here is what I recall —

From my Journal:

I asked for dreams, and I got them.

These were very vivid, lucid dreams, the prophetic types, not the every-night ordinary.

In recent days I had been praying to be shown God’s EASY SOLUTION to my troubles, rather than struggle on in difficulty, like I had been.

Pond Reflections

The Easy Solution Dream

There was a waterway channel. I was walking in the water. It lead me inside a large industrial-type multi-level room, also filled with water. I knew I had to get out.

I saw a window and struggled to open it — impossible. A lady tried to help. But no matter what I did, it appeared I was stuck there in the building.

Looking around, I figured I could trudge down and across another deep, watery area, but I knew it would be very difficult. And it probably wouldn’t work.

Then, I saw a little button, off to the side. It contained the answer!

It turned out to be easily pushed. I did, and a door opened to a girl in a room (like an elevator operator) — and somehow, from there, I was able to just walk out.

Signs!

My Interpretation

God ALWAYS has an Easy Solution to our problems. (A type of button, nearby, that we can push — rather than continue fretting and struggling on our own).

He is a very present help in our times of need.

Rest in Him. Don’t wear myself out trying to solve everything by my own energies.

Look to the Easy Solution God provides.

Light vs. dark

Putting the Easy Solution to work

And I was able to put this to work, again, just the other day.

On my precious weekend-day-off, I had offered a favor to a family, with a visit to my horses. It meant days of planning and prep work, which I did. Getting horses out and ready. Nailing on shoes. Driving my horse in his cart . . .

All was set and confirmed. At the appointed time, I was booted up and ready to go.

Yet, right then, I found out — they were running late. Our time would be delayed by two hours. Maybe more.

I was upset. It threw off all my plans for the day.

But, I couldn’t change it.

So I decided to look for the Easy Solution :))

Love

The Easy Solution

First, I got out my handwritten journal and wrote a good rant. All about flakes (it seemed to be the theme of the week — people who made appointments with me and just disappeared, with no further mention!)

Then, I laid down on the couch with some uplifting reading material — and drifted off into a beautiful, out-of-this-world, time-traveling, supernatural nap.

It worked!

  • It stopped the anger cycle
  • I woke up calm, refreshed
  • The later time frame actually worked out really well — probably better than earlier would have
  • We created a special day with meaningful memories and insights
  • And Magic occurred between horses, humans :))

Pretty cool results, really. Pretty easy button to push.

Rather than get mad. Chill out — take a nap!

And enjoy :))

Cloudburst

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The Pilot Dream

Then came the airplane. We were on a boardwalk. Lots of people were there. I had joined up with some people I didn’t really know. There were people giving out cups of juice because something that was scheduled didn’t happen.

I walked up and asked them what was going on. There were a couple of military guys, one in pilot headgear. He was in a small booth, like a ticket booth, with his flight helmet on.

I asked if he was a pilot. He said, “Yes.”

Grandfather -- Army Air Service

Grandfather Conway Ulyate, U.S. Army Air Service, Fort Sill, Oklahoma (@1918) — wearing  similar leather flight helmet to the one in my dream.

Then I asked him if he prayed?

Young Condor in flight

Suddenly, as if in response to my question, I was up on his plane with him. It was like the dragon in the movie, Eregon — a blow-up type vinyl airplane. And we rode astride, on its back, he in front, me behind — like you would on a horse or a motorcycle.

He directed the craft into all kinds of high-tech flying maneuvers. Loop-the-loops. Stalls. Showing off for me. For the crowd. I wondered how it was possible that we even stayed on?

Condor Loop-the-Loop

Then, in response to my question of whether he prayed, he put the thing into a DIRECT NOSEDIVE.

I was terrified.

It became apparent that he wasn’t pulling out. We were headed straight down.

Juvenile Condor on the wing

I literally clung to the flapping tail, hanging on for dear life. I wondered what the people on the ground would think – we were going to crash and die, right in front of them.

Then I heard a voice inside my head say: “Look what God can do!”

Suddenly I became absolutely calm. Crashing, dying, didn’t matter.

And right when we should have hit, right when we would have perished — in the gentlest of manners, he landed his plane PERFECTLY, flaring at the very last moment, touching down softly on the grassy ground!

We were not hurt!

I was so grateful, and praised and thanked God, repeatedly, for saving us!

Red Acrobatic Pland

My Interpretation

No matter how bad it looks, The Divine is in control — and there are NO WORRIES. (Even though I must constantly remind myself of this!)

For, even in the nosedive, God sorted it — gentled it, and saved it.

With this dream, He lead me to a higher level of understanding. A deep inner knowing. “With God, ALL things do work together for good.”

Prayer is the key. And calm trust.

In the Woods

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How these dreams have helped me

Over the years, these two dreams have profoundly influenced my day-to-day Life.

When frightening things happen, when it seems all chaos is breaking out — I look for the Easy Solution God has for me. And no matter how bad it appears, I know that He is in control.

Calm down. Chill out. Rather than fight and fume — Enjoy the Ride of Life.

Ride the airplane. Ride the dragon.

Trust. Breathe.

And be Grateful :))

A girl and her shadow

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Copyright 2019

Photos:  Dawn Jenkins — Juvenile Condors flying near Bitter Sweet National Wildlife Refuge Hudson Ranch Road, west of Bakersfield, California, Spring 2019

On California Condors

Condors are so rare, I’ve seen them only once before, about fifteen years ago, soaring high overhead — and I’ve lived here in Condor territory for 25 years, and spent countless  hours, out and about, on foot and on horse. I photographed these on 4/22/19, Earth Day, on my way driving home from horse hoof work :))

Where Condors Soar

Condor Habitat — near Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, and Pine Mountain Club

They were young, happy, on the wing — soaring as if just for fun, in the end of day light, over a great expanse. An amazing bird sighting — especially since fewer than 500 birds exist in the world. What a day!!!

I was most amazed by the long, dangling feet. Maybe the young ones just don’t know how to retract their landing gear yet :))

Landing Gear Down -- Condor style

Juvenile Condor in flight, feet down :))

I watched four birds, soaring over an area of about a quarter mile. Some going up, others dipping down. Very difficult to focus my camera. Stunning. Breath-taking. Inspiring!

Flight of the Condor

One flew right overhead to check me out — making me think that they must have had some positive interaction with humans from the release program at Bitter Creek.

Juvenile Condor with red wing tag

Note dark head, indicating Juvenile Condor, and red marker tag on wing

Enjoy this Traditional folk music from Peru — El Condor Pasa

 

 

Interesting California Condor Facts

Cornell Lab of Ornithology — Condor Life History:

  • Condors glide and soar when foraging, so they depend on reliable air movements and terrain that enables extended soaring flight. They are so heavy that they can have trouble taking off, so they often use open, windy areas where they can run downhill or launch themselves from a cliff edge or exposed branch to get airborne.
  • California Condors can cover hundreds of miles in one flight as they soar for hours at a time, looking for carrion. Pairs are monogamous. Because their crop (an enlarged part of the esophagus) can hold 3 pounds of food, they may only have to eat every 2–3 days.
  • California Condors have been reintroduced to mountains of southern and central California, Arizona, Utah, and Baja California. Nesting habitats range from scrubby chaparral to forested mountain regions up to about 6,000 feet elevation. Foraging areas are in open grasslands and can be far from primary nesting sites, requiring substantial daily commutes.

Condor on the wing

  • All of the more than 400 condors now alive are descended from 27 birds that were brought into captivity in 1987, in a controversial but successful captive breeding program. As of 2013, there were more than 230 individuals in the wild in California, Arizona, and Baja California. According to Partners in Flight, about 95% live in the U.S., and 5% in Mexico. The number has been rising steadily each year, as captive-bred birds are released and wild pairs fledge young from their own nests.
  • Condor recovery has been slow because of their slow reproductive rate: they produce only 1 egg every 1–2 years and do not achieve sexual maturity until age 6-8 years.

Red-tagged Condor Juvenile

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife:

  • Condors can soar and glide for hours without beating their wings.
  • After rising thousands of feet overhead on air currents, California condors will glide long distances, sometimes at more than 55 miles per hour.
Engineered to fly

Looks like an airplane with gear down, and winglets (also known as a wingtip device)

Wikipedia:

  • California condors have the largest wingspan of any North American bird — from 2.49 to 3 m (8.2 to 9.8 ft). Their weight can range from 7 to 14.1 kg (15 to 31 lbs) [Weight of a toddler]
  • Condors are so large that they can be mistaken for a small, distant airplane, which possibly occurs more often than they are mistaken for other species of bird.
  • It is one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 60 years.
  • Individual birds have a huge range and have been known to travel up to 250 km (160 mi) in search of carrion.
  • The middle toe of the California condor’s foot is greatly elongated, and the hind one is only slightly developed. The talons of all the toes are straight and blunt, and are thus more adapted to walking than gripping.

High-fling Condor

Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

  • Immatures (juveniles) have dark heads, grayer necks, and mottled grayish instead of clear white patches under the wings.
  • Adults are black with striking white patches under the wings. The naked head and neck are yellowish orange.
  • Adult coloration is reached at 6-8 years of age.

Soaring Condor

More Condor

  • More info on Condors from Bitter Creek here.
  • For Condor population stats:  California Condor Recovery Program
  • This post, The Sacred Condor, will give further food for thought about the vast, strange world we live in.
  • This blog, by Andrew J. Parks, is from a California Condor field worker, and explains how the color-coded tagging system works, as well as inside the scene photos and cool observations :))

Young Condor in flightPlease comment, and let me know about your Condor or wildlife encounters :))

Condor habitat

 ~~ Leaving Condor Habitat now. Thanks for visiting ~~

DawnSeeker

The road to Condor habitat

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog:  Soul Horse Ride

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Laddie on the Trail

Join Dawn for a Soul Horse Ride! Experience the thrill of becoming one with your horse. Join Dawn and her homegrown herd for a Soul Horse Ride in the Frazier Park Outback!

Call to book your Life-Changing Adventure today:  (661) 703-6283

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Bubbles with Whale

Will it All Work Out???

One of the BIG questions we have in our journey in Life:  “Will it ALL work out???”

Will I be able to:

  • Pay the rent?
  • Buy gas?
  • EAT?
  • Engage in a meaningful career?
  • Find a mate?
  • Raise the kids?
  • _____________________ ?
  • (and so on . . . )

The questions change as Life goes on. But the questions still persist.

And it’s up to each one of us to find the answers.

Not so much from the outside, as we are tempted. But rather from the inside — from deep inside our souls.

Giant Coreopsis at the Pacific

Symptoms vs. Cause

It’s easy to think, “If only I had more money . . . If only I had a mate . . . If only I could loose weight . . . ”

But these are merely symptoms, not the cause.

These are modern-day Sirens luring us out to sea, beguiling us off our steady course. Making us think that if we just had this one extra element, Life would be Bliss.

Yet, the Purpose of Life seems to be found in learning how to take control of our thoughts — our fears, our needs — and turning those very obstacles into the generators of solutions.

Flipping them into opportunity:  For growth. Wisdom. Depth of character.

Rather than excuses for anxiety, worry, depression, doubt.

Malibu Springtime Paradise :))

Test Run . . .

I remember, years ago, sitting with my brother and his wife. I was losing my rental; they were losing theirs. Neither of us knew where we would move, or what would happen next.

I had two small girls, four horses and a milk goat. They had a household of belongings, as well as a recording studio full of specialized sound equipment. Not easy rentals to find.

As much as I was tempted to freak out, I knew from previous demonstrations, that fear and panic wouldn’t work. Not only wouldn’t it help me find my next rental, it would likely assure my homelessness.

So in that moment, twentysomething years ago, I remember receiving a fresh inspiration. With the three of us, sitting on the floor — I spoke these words:

“Looking back on our Lives, everything has worked out perfectly, bringing us right here, to where we’re at right now. (We’ve made it though other times of uncertainty!)

And right now, we’re fine.

“So, I’m going to trust that the same energy that has brought us this far will continue. I’m going to throw that energy that’s carried me here, out in front of me.

“I’m going to say ‘Thank you!’, rather than worry.

“And I’m going to know that ALL things will work out, just as they have, up until now.

“Let’s each of us make this an experiment, and see how that works!”

Heart Whale Bubbles

Results:

All three of us put that philosophy to the test that day, and beyond. And I’m happy to report:  It’s worked — and still working :))

As I look back on my Life from my current vantage point, things have worked out. For all of us.

Why? Because there’s always a solution :))

Always a way to bring us through Life’s challenges.

It seems to come when:

  • I take control of my thoughts.
  • Shift from fear to gratitude.
  • And listen to, and follow, my intuition.

From when I look up, and align with the Divine.

Malibu Overlook

Crossroads

So if you’re at a crossroads, if you’re struggling — know that your solutions are at hand. (May I remind myself, as well.)

Know that you have the ability shift your attention from worry and doubt — into calm and peace.

Like an athlete, controlling the temptation to fumble.

Like a pilot, knowing her ability to land that plane!

Like a surfer, melding with the ocean, and riding that swift, tumbling wave.

Throwing that same energy out in front of you that’s carried you here, today.

Skyhopping Whale -- Pt Dume, Malibu

On-Going

And the demonstrations don’t stop.

As long as we’re here on this Earthly plane, we battle the tug-a-war:  Our inner demons vs. our outer needs.

So take your deep breath.

Shine bright in living your skills.

Trust in that energy that guides you.

And know — It really will ALL work out :))

Big Blow

For more evidence of this philosophy see:  My Yoda Story.

Other Related Posts:

Action ~ Inaction

Intuition . . . Speaks

Self-Talk

Gratitude Is . . .

My Miracle Book :))

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog:  Soul Horse Ride

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Laddy 2015

Join Dawn for a Soul Horse Ride! Experience the thrill of becoming one with your horse. Join Dawn and her homegrown herd for a Soul Horse Ride in the Frazier Park Outback!

Call to book your Life-Changing Adventure today:  (661) 703-6283

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Copyright 2019

Photos:  Dawn Jenkins (Malibu, Point Dume — Whale migration and Superbloom)

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Lightning off the wing over Honolulu

Splinter — A Stitch in Time . . . Travel

Lessons in Life abound.

The smallest experiences stitch us back in Time.

I found myself recently returning — from the tiniest splinter, stuck in my finger — back to my Malibu beachfront childhood. Gone, but not lost.

To Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties — so many years ago. Preserved in my memories. Preserved in my Soul . . .  DawnSeeker

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Signs!

The Splinter

I somehow got a slender splinter embedded in the outside edge of my index finger. Right hand. Near the joint.

It must have come from feeding my horses’ their hay (sometimes prickly weeds find their way into the bales).

When it first happened, I  tried to remove it with tweezers, but it seemed to go straight in, and the tweezers just made it worse.

So just leave it alone. Surely it will work its way out.

Wrong.

Over a couple days, a knobby, hard, painful welt appeared. It hurt every time my hand touched anything. Which is, basically, all day long.

Hand in gloves to do my horseshoeing work. OUCH.

Hold the reins to drive my horse and carriage. YIKES!

Something has to be done!

So I put on some wet clay and a Bandaid, as a poultice to draw it out.

Nope.

Still hard. Still hurt.

Darn! I gotta dig it out. I gotta get out the sewing needle . . .

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I go to my sewing kit. Open the folded tan-colored linen needle holder my Aunt Dorothea, now in her 90’s, made for me, decades ago.

Painted on the outer fabric:  Small red hearts, seven in total, surrounded by the words, “A stitch in time saves nine . . .  Dorothea”.

And now the Time Travel begins . . .

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Malibu Winter Foliage!

Malibu Childhood

I remember, growing up, it was Dad who had the hand with the needle for splinter removal.

(Perhaps Mom just didn’t have the stomach for it. “We’ll have Dad get it out. He has such a steady hand when it comes to these things . . . “ )

Yes. Dad had a steady hand and a sturdy stomach for whatever needed to get done.

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Disneyland Dad

His steady hands knit together the fabric of our family, until his heart attach one night, when I was 16, leaving us to proceed on in Life without him . . .

My Dad, Bill Ulyate (Disneyland show name: Bill Elliott), top studio musician. His steady hand fingered his saxophones, his clarinets — Fox Orchestra — on the leading Hollywood TV shows and movies of the day.

(Dad played on the original TV show, Batman! South Pacific, The King and I, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and countless more.)

But not only that. After he got done with his day job at Fox, he booked gigs with his own Big Band, The Elliott Brothers Orchestra, with his brother, my Uncle — famous life-long studio trombonist, Lloyd Ulyate.

After the Park opened, Walt Disney searched for a hometown band to play at end of Main Street, at the then Carnation Plaza Gardens, in sight of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle :)) Walt hired The Elliott Brothers Orchestra, also known as the Date Niters, as the signature band at Disneyland!

So Dad’s steady hands entertained nightly, live at the Magic Kingdom, for more than a decade, until after Walt died.

Dad also fulfilled his love of flying and became a private pilot. His steady hands flew his own small airplane between those two jobs, escaping the torturous L.A. traffic below.

Bill Elliott - 1963 News Article

Dad lived at the top. Top of his field. Top of the world!

Dad’s famous line: “Just be the BEST at what you do and you can’t help but make good. There’s always room at the top.”

On one of those special days Dad was home — he worked constantly, and we rarely saw him — he’d pat me on the back and say:  “That a girl, honey, you can do anything!”

How great and wonderful is that!!!

Listen to Dad’ music here – Date Night At Disneyland, The Elliott Brothers Orchestra

(Read more about Dad, Disneyland in my following posts: You Can Do ANYTHING!, and It’s OK to Scream!. Read more about our family’s history of flying here: Family of Flying.)

Dad Disney Musical Pianos

Dad next to Walt Disney, and Uncle Lloyd, also in white coat.

Childhood Memories of my Bigger-than-Life Dad:

Mom, shushing:  “Dad’s sleeping. Quiet!”

Dad eating breakfast, always late, after sleeping in.

Dad’s awesome way of asking a favor: “Honey,” (Dad called everyone honey) “I sure would like something to eat. What have we got in there? Do you think you could make your old Dad a sandwich?”

(Which always involved mayonnaise. I hate it, to this day. Dad LOVED it!)

Dad with his boat. With his friends.

Laughing!!!

Holiday at Grandma's

With Grandma and Grandfather and my Uncles, his brothers. All the Aunties and cousins. Big extended family gatherings . . . musical instruments and flashlights and parading down the street Christmas caroling at the holidays.

Sisters and Cousins

Dad’s make-believe “Frankenstein” with us kids in the Garden Room at the beach house, a coat hanger turned upside down, making his shoulders square . . . arms outstretched, moaning . . . big stiff footsteps . . . all us kids screeching and hiding and running — afraid of the “monster”, yet coming back into its range . . .

Dad taking me to the Bike shop in Malibu for my my new, shinny Schwinn Bicycle,  silver and white.

. . . the only time he ever spanked me when I “got lost” and wandered off. It hurt more to have let him down, than the actual spank . . . and I never did that again . . .

Dad’s music room, filled with saxophones of all sizes. Boxes of reeds. His banged up red bongo drum. The framed picture on the wall of Dad playing his Sax, with Elvis on drums, at a studio wrap party.

Dad and Elvis

Dad on Sax, Elvis on Drums!!!

Dad taking me with him to pick up his Band coat at Disneyland’s Wardrobe . . . all the costumes, endless rows of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and every kind of character heads.

The time he enthusiastically introduced me to the original Tinker Bell, Tiny Cline, a circus performer and the first one to “fly” from the Matterhorn during the firework event.

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Yet before Dad died, Disneyland was done. Studio work at Fox had shifted to more solo groups than big orchestras. And Dad, picking me up at Junior Achievement in Culver City one night, said these prophetic words:  “Honey, things are always changing. The sooner you get used to that, the better off you’ll be.” (See my post: Ch-Ch-Changes!)

Waking to the sounds of Mom sobbing, 3 am, to the phone call from the hospital:  “We lost him.” And the shocking changes that event threw us all into . . .

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Splinter Removal Ritual

Now, back to the problem at hand — my little annoying painful splinter had to be removed!

And I flashed back to how it would go when Dad, and his steady hand, was called to remove my childhood splinters . . .

Location was always important:  We have to be somewhere in the light, where Dad could see:  Near a window. By a lamp.

Dad puts on his reading glasses, takes my hand, and inspects the job.

Mom goes off to find her sewing kit and brings a sharp needle.

For some reason, the needle always has a thread attached.

I remember wondering about this as a kid. We’re taking out a little splinter from a foot, from a finger. Why the thread? We’re not really sewing things, are we????

Then comes the match.

To sanitize the tip of the needle, Dad lights a match, holds the tip into the flame, turning  it a bit, tarnishing it from silver to black.

He then waits a few seconds for the needle to cool.

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I remember it all now as if watching a movie . . .

In the living room at the beach house. On the little table under the lamp.

My arm extended. My hand in Dad’s.

The warmth, the feel of his huge hands. Holding me gently, but firmly, with that calm “I’ve got a job to do” look.

Like a doctor. Like a pilot. Like a bandleader, setting the beat.

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My job:  Acceptance. No resistance.

This has to be done.

The anticipation of pain — This is going to hurt!

But I must not move. Must not squirm.

I can’t let Dad down.

After all, I am the one in trouble, and Dad is helping me out.

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Prick. Prick.

Ouch!!!!

The initial pokes, the needle going across the top to break the skin.

Slowly. Methodically. Skillfully.

Dad’s steady hand.

Mom’s confidence in him.

MY confidence in him.

I try not to watch the operation, turning my head. Closing my eyes.

Doing my best to not pull away.

Yelp!

Twitch!

Sharp twinges of pain now as Dad deftly digs under the offending matter, gently,  carefully coercing it up, out of my flesh.

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“Got it!”

“Got it?”

Phew!

It’s out!

Thank you, Dad!

A quick wash, a Bandaid, and I run back out to play . . .

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Today’s Splinter

So when I extracted my own splinter today, I got to re-live all this.

And since I was home alone, I got to play all the roles:  Mom. Dad. Little-kid-Dawn.

Location:  By the kitchen sink, lots of light, near the window.

Reading glasses, check.

(Times have changed since the 1950s and 60s . No thread on my needle. No match — just soap and water, then rubbing alcohol to sanitize my needle tip :))

Extend my arm.

My job:  Acceptance. No resistance.

This has to be done.

I watch the steady hand of Dad’s daughter, Dawn, with that calm pilot’s “I’ve got a job to do” look.

~~~~

Prick. Prick.

Take off the top skin. Not too bad. Doesn’t really hurt.

Dig. Gently. Under.

Not bad — no real stabs of pain . . .

Get it! Go under. Try again . . .

There it is! Tiny, reddish-brown.

Amazing something so small can cause so much trouble!

Yes!!! I got it!

It’s out!

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Dad at the foundation of our beach house

Dad, construction site of our Trancas Beach house, Malibu 1950s

Inheritance :))

And I realize, once again, my gratitude to Dad.

I may have only had 16 years with him, but Dad still flows through my blood. My being.

Thank you, Dad!

Thank you for the confidence you instilled in me.

Thank you for the example you lived.

Even though I lost you young, I HAVE you. In my attitude. In my thought process. In my very DNA.

You shine through me. Through my daughters — and now my grand-daughters.

You instilled confidence in all of us. The ability to pony up and get a tough job done.

You gave us a work ethic. A sense of humor. A love for Life!

Beyond just the ordinary. Beyond just getting by.

You found your Passion — for music, airplanes, entertainment, the family you loved . . .

You got me my first horse, and made sure I fulfilled mine.

You left us all with so much.

It’s like you’re patting me on the back again, laughing and saying:  “That a girl, honey, you can do anything!”

Yes!

Perhaps I truly can :))

And just think — all of this Life re-lived, on the count of a dumb little splinter!

img_6967-e1502045896116

~ Childhood Dreaming ~

EllaHarp

Here’s the next musical generation in Dad’s lineage — my daughter, EllaHarp, and one of her musical compositions.

Dad, you must be so proud!!!!

Yes — I hear your laughter now :))

“That a girl, honey!”

Mark Twain at Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For insights into the lives of horses, please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Starboy in Sunlight

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Copyright 2019

Tiki

Crazy-Drama Syndrome

Ah, the Crazies in our lives . . . are there Strategies that can help us deal with them?

I’m sure you know who I’m talking about here. The people who blow up over little things, and turn them into really dramatic BIG things.

Those who like to fan the fire of tiny angst-filled emotional sparks — into all-consuming conflagration!

How do we protect ourselves from being sucked in and devoured by their ever-recurring dramas?

(And they seem to abound in the greater horse/human work-related community! :))

My Hawaii horse-trainer-daughter, Angela, and I, set out to conquer this one evening: Poster board in hand. Colorful marker pens. Mind-Map begun . . .

After working our solutions for the past five years, our Strategies remain sound, and really do seem to help:))

Mind Map

              Example of a Mind Map

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Drama Queen/Control Freaks

Here’s what we came up with — and here’s how we did it.

We started by writing an ever-growing list of the people we know who seem to always be caught in the midst of drama — losing it, causing chaos, blowing stuff up and out of proportion.

Then we looked at their individual traits, habits and behaviors, and began listing some of what they would regularly indulge in:

  • Flip flop — constant change and unnecessary upheaval. When things work, they STOP doing what works.
  • Ask random EVERYBODY for advice. Get confused. Believe the most random/far-fetched answer/person (the internet contributes to this).
  • They make the mistake — but blame others for it (projection).
  • Lack accountability. They seem to have no consequences — yet hold you accountable (even though they are not :))
  • Manipulative. Come with their own agendas.
  • They cause (concoct) the problem/disaster . . . in order to “solve” the problem (to make themselves look/feel good?).
  • Appear as rescuers.
  • No memory/distorted memory of timelines, facts, reality.
  • Lie. Exaggerate. Delusional. Twist. Facade.
  • Bossy/bully, yet insecure.
  • Defensive. Ultra protective of “turf”.

You get the picture . . .

Malibu Lightning 2008

  • Ever stirring the pot. Creating turmoil.
  • Always trying to “prove” themselves
  • Incessant talkers. Gossip. Critical. Yet can appear overly “sugary sweet” . . .
  • Words and actions quite the opposite.
  • Obsessive/Compulsive.
  • Non-problem solvers — they are the problem.
  • Weasel. Downers. Unpredictable.
  • Know-it-all. Accusatory.
  • Make bad decisions.
  • Spoiled — used to getting their way.
  • Not respectful.
  • Volatile. Explosive.

Rearing Stallion

Possible Horse Solutions

Next, as horse trainers, we looked to the one topic we knew the best: Horses.

We made a list of the horses we’d known through the years with similar traits. (Difficult horses. The ones you can count on to blow up, spook, dump their riders and cause problems.)

Then, we listed how we would deal with those horses to better manage them, hoping to find a correlation between the ill-tempered horse, and the human . . .

(After all, we work with our horses to “desensitize” them. Can we do this with people???)

And we came up with a list of Horse Strategies:

  • WORK! Putting a hot/spooky/high-energy horse to consistent work is better than having them stand around idle. (Keep them busy, directed. No extra time.)
  • Cut the feed/carbs. Managing the diet of volatile horses helps curb the problems.
  • Dominance. Horses work off of a pecking order. Who ever moves the other guy wins. Establishing dominance with these horses is essential. I need to be the one who moves the horse in order to gain his/her respect.
  • Exposure. Exposing them to different situations. Habituate them to new and changing environments . . .
  • Apply boundaries — no holes in the fence. If a horse pushes against a fence, a gate, and it moves, he will keep pushing, keep moving the boundary. My job is to reinforce the boundaries . . . keep it solid!
  • Shake up the mix. Change the set-up, the routine. Keep it interesting (Don’t do everything exactly the same every day.)
  • Bribes!! Food. Cookies. Rewards. Cooing. Scratches :))
  • Cool them out. Spray them off. Turn them out. And let them roll . . .

Bath Time!

Dependable Horses and Humans

In contrast, we listed the good horses, and the reliable people we know — and listed out some of their positive traits.

  • Logical.
  • Grounded.
  • Problem solvers.
  • Pleasant.
  • Predictable.
  • Good instincts.
  • Uplifting.

And we wondered, comparing these calming folks to those on our Crazy-Drama list, would it be possible to “train” the others to be more positive, to embrace more of these reliable traits?

Susan Smiling

Human/Horse Comparisons

So we looked at possible Strategies for desensitizing, managing the energy, and coping with our overly dramatic, Crazy-Drama humans.

How do we protect ourselves from them? Prepare for them? Train them?

Can we learn to see these people coming before they get here, before they explode? What can we do to ward off their tirades and keep them from upsetting us???

And we realized, communication is at the core of the issue.

For them, dramatic outbursts and behaviors are their pattern of communication . . .

Rooster“Don’t Show Up for the Pain”

Years ago I worked for a gal, trained in psychology, and I remember her poignant statement to me one day: “We have a saying in the mental health field: ‘Don’t show up for the pain.’ “

As in: If someone is abusive to you, don’t keep going back for more. Cut the cycle.                STOP participating. Go away. Don’t show!

And in looking for our solutions, Angela and I wondered: By reducing communications with our Crazy-Drama people, by not showing up for their pain, can we protect ourselves         from them?

PeaceLimit Communications

Rather than answer their calls, can we let them leave a message?

Rather than get angry, upset at their behaviors or tirades, can we train ourselves to put on emotional earplugs?

Train ourselves to stop repeating their annoying behaviors and hurtful words in our own minds, and to others?

Stand Up — Enforce Boundaries

Can we learn to diffuse their energy?

Deal with what needs dealing with, but not dwell on it. Stand up to them, as needed.      Stand our ground. Then let them go!

Ignore their actions, their tirades. Pray for them. Love them. But enforce our                boundaries with them.

Love

Putting our Theory into Action

I got to test the theory out one day, when a certain woman confronted me while I was working, shoeing a horse in a barn — for someone else. (Yes, turns out this woman was on our original Crazy-Drama Mind-Map list!)

This lady barged up to me, invading my space, and began talking at me about a close-to-home, emotionally charged topic of her gossip-driven obsession.

~~~~

My immediate thoughts:

Are you kidding??? I don’t want to hear what she has to say. I cannot let this person interrupt my concentration — emotionally, she’ll ruin me!

If I take my mind off of my work right now, I can really mess up what I’m doing on this other lady’s horse.

I can’t afford to hear what she has to say. Not here — not now!

So I decided to stand my ground. To put our theory on limiting communications into action.

Barn Silhouette

Standing Ground

Bent over and holding the rear hoof of the lovely mare I was working on, I looked up and told her:

I cannot talk now. Please, go away.

This is my workplace, my office . . . 

Right now, I need all my concentration to work on this horse.

Call me on the phone later, if you want.

This is not the time or the place to talk.

~~~~

With that, she walked away.

Ruffled, I began calming my nervous system (with deep breaths), and focused on one thing:  Working on the hooves of that lovely mare.

DawnHoof Working

Success!

I would never have known how successful this approach would turn out to be.

She never called. She never confronted me again.

Every time I saw her after that, she politely said hello.

That was it — end of drama!

Nipped in the bud.

Cut off at the beginning of the gossip cycle.

Crystal CatLessons from the Animal World

It seems we can learn from the animal world around us.

Stand our ground, and set our boundaries.

Become more aloof, like a cat . . .

Apply some of the same strategies with difficult humans as we do with our spooky, difficult horses.

We don’t have to show up for the pain.

In many instances, we can walk away — and surround ourselves in a more pleasant circumstance . . .

Molokai Hybiscus

More Ease, Less Tension

Since Angela and I have been working these strategies, we’ve seen some refreshing results.

We seem to be managing our work and life with more ease, less tension.

We seem to be surrounding ourselves with more reliable, grounded individuals.

And that makes our work, and our Lives, happier :))

We have learned to: 

Reward good behavior.

Nip bad behavior in the bud.

Work on calming our own nervous systems.

Look for joy and dependability in ourselves, and in those we work with.

Focus on the positive.

And be ever on the lookout for, and protecting against, the Crazy Drama symptoms — not only in those around us, but within ourselves — being aware of and reining in, our own personal flaws and weaknesses :))

(Turns out our Strategy even helps with our own behaviors — see my Post, Ride Life :))

Dawn

North Shore Dragon Head

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Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s horse blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Shadow Dawn &amp; Angel

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Copyright 2018

Photo credits: Dawn Jenkins, Dawnhoof working: T. Turner

 

 

 

Dove and Moon

Lonely . . .

It seems an epidemic:  Loneliness!

For in a world with so much connectivity, we find ourselves living in our own little islands. Isolated. Alone.

The once-loved sound of a telephone ring, who could it be? Now replaced with dread — a telemarketer.

The warm timbre of a loved one’s voice, now replaced (if at all!) by texts and emails, icons and hashtags.

It’s like within so much humanity . . . we’ve lost our humanity.

We’ve become test-tube humans. Sterile. Cold.

Remember the poor little experimental monkeys researchers deprived of a mother, instead feeding through cold tubes. And the life-long psychological damage this lack of touch and love inflict.

It’s like we have become the monkeys. Untouched. Unloved.

Fed with our cold plug-in gadgets, but deprived of the warm hands-on interactions that our human spirits and souls so deeply crave.

Tree Face

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So what can fill that emptiness?

What’s the remedy?

How do we heal a society that’s grown so cold to human interaction?

It must begin with each one of us. In baby steps.

Who can I visit today? Who can I call?

Who can I banter with, here at Starbucks, at the store . . . that stranger there, in line next to me. That member of my big, human, planet-sharing-family, here in the same space/time as me. Breathing the same air . . .

What can I say in attempt to connect?

(See my post, Deep Philosophical Three Minute Conversations)

Some will accept. Smile. Even hug.

Some will shun. Saunter off, unphased.

And yet, I feel, it’s worth the try.

Worth feeling awkward.

Because, sometimes, I manage to get through. To connect.

Sometimes a tender nerve is touched. Kind words are exchanged. Tears flow between our eyes.

Sometimes I make a new friend — some lasting.

And sometimes I seem to shatter the loneliness each one of us silently hides.

And break through to feeling warm.

Human. Again.

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North Shore Surfers

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Copyright 2018

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Dawn’s a Life-long Horse Girl — Please visit Dawn’s Horse Blog: Soul Horse Ride :))

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El Rancho Viejo

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