Category Archives: Izzy & Sophie

How to prevent neck pain while working at a computer.

this is a very short blog post by one of my teachers of how to prevent neck pain while working at a computer

Thank you Cindy Black at Big Tree School of Natural Healing for writing this!

And to my brilliant sister for the suggestion to share it!

Here are gratuitous pictures of Sophie & Izzy.

Thank you Jenny for sharing them along

Good morning from Sheffield.

Sophie watches the world from a high perch while the sun rises

And Izzy is Izzy



Good morning from Sheffield.

Pipes still frozen
So a grateful night with my two favorite Shoofins



Guest photos of cats due to illness & Ithaca Falls.


I’ve been sick for a string of days with the flu


But… It could be worse.

Fortunately for me, Izzy & Sophie’s Mommy has been sending me photos and videos of the Shoofins

Sisters by the wood stove


If not by the wood stove, Izzy can usually be found lounging upon her Daddy

Bliss kitty

The sun was shining today
Holy wowie what a joy

And the fever broke this morning, so I thought I’d get some fresh air

So bundled up for a walk

Definitely gonna scare the children…

But I’ve been coughing out my eyeballs and want to try to contain this nonsense.

I was hoping to lay down on the stones by the falls (where those brambles are in the center of the photo) but the water is REALLY high

I’ll be patient until another day comes

It’s really nice, to be like a stone, to relax on the stones all bundled up, feeling the surface of the earth & listening to the rushing water

It was about 23 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about -5 Celsius

On the stones, a super thin film of ice had formed in some places

Like the skin on the palm of a hand

Or a rhinoceros, perhaps

What do you see?

I came home to find that there has been vacuuming going on at the Shoofin’s house

Which means that cats will be found under the covers, hidden & safe in beds


I’ve been doing steams with Ravintsara & Eucalyptus Radiata

And while forced-air heating in my book is the most inefficient way to heat & I can’t stand it

It has allowed me to dry out my pajamas that get soaked every three hours in the night

Bright side: I will be ready for hot flashes if they happen to come

Here are some photos from Daniel & Sebastian’s Daddy – friends who have three lovely kitties…


And the lovely, yet reclusive Lillian

Be well, all.
And a big thank you to the guest photographers!!!

Yesterday’s cats.

There were cats.

A Much Cats day.

With an evening Genuine visit

Who is my favorite ancient
& teacup kitty

She had been curled up just so next to the radiator
But for as long as I’ve known her, she’s up and moving when there are friendly hands around


There was a major napfest occurring

With Sophie at her usual post

And Izzy by the wood stove



Good morning from Sheffield.

Fortunate me
Hanging out with my favorite Shoofins


And Sophie

A beautiful, snowing day

Buddha remains unfazed.


Good morning from Sheffield.

Fortunate me
I get to house sit with my favorite embodied Shoofins
Sophie & Izzy


The familiar scent of hay in the air outside this morning is both refreshing & soothing

May all beings be happy

Reminding myself, reflecting on change, & that word “forever”.

everything changes.


Winter gives way to Spring


Spring gives way to Summer


Summer eases into Fall


and so on.

every thing changes.


simple, right?

obvious, right?



but but but

there is still in me this *thing*

like an assumption

of forever


which is a curious word

in and of itself.




(RIP Artemis)

this day has come

and it will go

each breath comes in, then goes

the people i love, this body i’m inhabiting, even the beliefs i hold about those i do not love…

everything changes.


i watch how i live my life – and i see how i try to hold on to things

at times, so often, so graspy.

at times, now and again, with grace.


and just like that

things change.


don’t get me wrong – i appreciate things that are built to last

older buildings being my favorite examples of such things…

or the telephone which sat on the table and was heavy and had the long curly cord attached to it…

people who are courageous, who vow to walk their lives together till death comes for one… signing up for that depth of future-grief.


i guess it’s simply unsettling, still,

this sort of being-ness

like walking a fine line

which always feels like some being-in-between

and the dance of acceptance & effort is a delicate one


i watch the longing – and then i try to practice settling in, or settling down – somewhere in the heart region.

the image that comes is leaning back, into a sort of low & very comfortable chair.

then my eyes, which are often quite alert & tense, relax.


20 years ago this month, (a baffling thing to write) i moved to New York City to begin my formal studies of Shiatsu.

and for a while, i practiced… mostly part-time, and a stretch of years full-time after getting my NY state license to practice massage.

now i only practice every now and again

and find that i mostly enjoy offering it in a casual way – as needed.

“spot work” – and it has taken a long time to drop the judgement of not doing bodywork in that full-on professional way any longer.


when i was 23 i thought i’d be practicing bodywork forever.

and at 34 at the farm i thought i’d be there forever.


so as i look around now at my life

in this present day – there is the feeling of “forever”, and there is the awareness that this too will change.

Blessings on the day.



moving, revisiting, & wisdom from the organs.


13 years ago this month

i moved


from Brooklyn to Ithaca

driven in a truck by my then-boyfriend, loaded with nearly everything i owned, and tucked in the back seat were my two kitties.

Birdy & Oni.

and now

this month i’m moving again to the very same apartment that i moved to 13 years ago this month.

(that would be the apartment that i moved to in Ithaca)

there’s a fancy new toilet

(a germaphobe’s nightmare)

the walls have been painted all lovely like

and there’s a mixed bag of feelings around the move.


i really shouldn’t be doing anything besides packing and bringing things down to the apartment

(and kissing Izzy & Sophie)


and certainly not writing a blog post

i should be focusing only on the move

(and kissing Izzy & Sophie)







aaaaand the apartment.

which is currently in a state of disarray

(i kinda had this hope that i’d move things in just-so & it wouldn’t be so chaotic, but that’s sorta gone out the window…)

13 years later, i have WAY more stuff than can fit in a pick-up truck.


it feels like everything is happening at once.


i remind myself of something i heard in a Pema Chodron talk –

a reply her teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, said to her in response to her telling him about her life & all the changes going on in it at the time:

“we are ALL always in transition”



i seem to forget this – transitions are usually slower, benign.

these days, they seem to be more sharply focused.

not saying bad or good

just what it feels like.

i’m going to miss where i’ve been living & who i’ve been living with.


but there are many positive aspects about this move

and things i cannot even know.

i often try to know.

but the thing is

i don’t know

and that’s a damn good thing

because this rabbit-mind is quick to tell a scary story.

i don’t know how things will unfold


i will try as best i can to be present with the unfolding.

this in and of itself is challenge enough.

and speaking of challenge,

despite all the Cancer in my natal chart, i suck at arranging furniture.


i can move into a place that’s existing as is, like when i house sit, and make myself at home just fine.

but this sort of arranging furniture in a pleasing, homey way?

just awful.

instead of making myself feel badly for this lack of domestic wizardry, i’m going to ask friends for help in this regard.

someone recently said to me “some people actually enjoy that sort of thing”


which is great

because it only seems to make me feel like a prize failure.

the Heart does what the Heart does.


the Liver does what the Liver does.

the Spleen does what the Spleen does.

no need to ask any one thing to do it all

*sigh of relief*


dinner, then more packing.

and a new Good morning view coming soon.


habit patterns, talking with a friend, & attempting a zone of peace.


it feels like an odd, funny thing to blog

and i need to remind myself that it’s a process of unfolding

shared out into the world.

imperfect & changing.


a reaction blew through, to today’s post.

o yes.

more rice.

so. much. rice.

there’s this habit

ancient habit of feeling like i need to control things

and after re-reading the blog post i found myself going into reaction along the lines of

omigosh i sound so arrogant


so uncomfortable.

thing is

the habits come again and again

relentless record player

t.v. never turns off

so many channels…

and it took talking with a dear friend to settle, to remember, that i don’t have to have it all figured out

it doesn’t have to be all tidy and just so


for the record

(not that there’s a record)

the stories in my mind can go on & on for minutes before i even notice they are “running”…

and although i have an opportunity to drop the story-lines, it often takes great effort.

i was running this story (t.v. channel – tragedy edition) about the person i have feelings for…  and how this other person & he would be such a great couple… and these are the reasons… and i can be happy for them… & & &… on & on…



talking this through with my friend, i could see that i was again trying to control the feelings…

this old habit pattern that if i know something in advance, then maybe then it won’t hurt so much.

proud of this, i am not.

but there it is.

seeing this very ancient pattern, i started to feel bad… shame…

my friend reminded me that berating myself for being caught up in the old-habit patterns isn’t going to be of any benefit…

she’s right.

and then, the feelings came

the uncomfortable feelings i try and try to keep at bay

(without even realizing it most of the time)



i read this wonderful blog earlier today – a beautiful, bold, inspired invitation to cultivate peace…

i imagined myself as Switzerland, as Costa Rica… laying down my weapons, any and all torture devices… becoming a zone of peace…

i can see this is going to be an imperfect practice

something to renew my commitment to day after day

perhaps even moment to moment at times

given the momentum of habit…

i have this picture up at home of two porcupines together…  and looking at it i hear the words:  easy, easy, gentle, gentle…


may i remember the beauty & gift of Mystery, of the unknown, and unknowable… to the unfolding of things.


wishing myself and everyone some ease & some gentle, with all the steps taken to cultivate the proverbial peace gardens from within.

that’s quite enough words for today.