Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Animal Totems and Spirit Guides

I’ve always been interested in animal totems and animal spirit guides. Many years ago, I was told by a Native American shaman that while I will have many animal guides in my life, my main animal guide is the manatee.

Since I’ve held a fondness and an affinity for that particular animal since I was a child, I found the shaman’s words very powerful. Of all of Mother Nature’s children, he named the one I’d loved since I first learned of them when I was three.

I collect manatee figurines and other manatee related items. They can be quite hard to find, since it’s not every day you can go into a gift shop and find manatees.

So I was happily surprised and thrilled when I received a box in the mail from good friend and fellow writer T. Sue VerSteeg, and it contained the most lovely carved stone agate manatee.

Being technically-challenged, I can’t get the picture I took of the stone manatee to upload for some reason, but hopefully I’ll plead with hubby, and see if he’ll take pity on me and help me out. LOL.

Anyway, I love manatees and if you love them too, you should know that manatees are still endangered and need our help.

If you want to learn more about manatees and what is being done to help them, and find out how you can help, please click on the link listed HERE.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...Missing My Dad

While people immediately acknowledge the importance of the father-son relationship, many forget that the father-daughter relationship is equally important.

Daddy is the very first man in our lives, and whether you realize it or not, you will secretly judge and compare every other man in your life to him.

Recently, my sister mentioned how strange it is for us to understand how some men absent themselves from their daughter’s lives, or because their child is a girl, they don’t teach them the same things they would a son.

Our Dad never once thought, “I won’t teach them ‘this or that’ because they are girls. Instead, he encouraged us to try out for “male-dominated” sports as well as the usual ones for girls. He also taught us to think for ourselves, to stand up for what we believe in, speak our minds, and to not take crap from anybody.

My sisters and I learned how to play golf, tennis, baseball, and basketball from my dad. We also learned how to prepare and paint drywall, hammer a nail, fix a clogged sink, catch, gut, and fillet our own fish.

He was this larger than life figure to me. Colorful stories about him running moonshine as a teenager in the back hills of Kentucky were spun at family reunions, which he'd deny, then wink at us and grin.

Dad was part of the greatest generation, having fought in WWII as a ball turret gunner. He raced NASCAR in the 50′s, owned thoroughbred racehorses, played poker (before it became a TV spectator sport) and dressed like a member of the original rat pack. He also sang off-key and liked to hold hands with mum in the moonlight.

Hard for any man to match up after all that. Poor Bear. Dad always called him “Meathead.” ::grins:: I still can recall my guy sitting in Dad’s favorite chair soon after they met the first time, and the house going very silent. LOL.

Sadly, Dad passed away almost a decade ago. And although we all miss him still, we know that the things he taught us helped us to become strong and independent women. To not be afraid to say what is on our minds or in our hearts.

To those who still have your fathers, give them a call today and tell them how much they meant to you. I promise it’s a much better present that a tie.

To those who, like me, have memories of their dad, spend a minute or two today and pick up an old photo album and smile. Because I know this to be true: whatsoever, and whomsoever we loved in life, lives forever.

If you are a father, cherish your daughters as well as your sons and let them know you care. Be their protector, but also show them how to protect themselves, pass on your knowledge and wisdom learned through trial and error, teach them what is important, but let them make their own decisions. Catch them when they fall, because they will from time to time, and most of all, tell them how much you love them, because we never know how long we have to live in this life and most of us don't get second chances.