Tuesday, November 26, 2013


 Heirloom Lace with Rainbow Light

Skipping through the TV someone talked about having a Thanksgiving Tree, small potted tree that could later be transplanted outside, a living gift giving back to the Earth. 

Notes of thanks from family members can be crayoned or penned and tied to the tree with colorful ribbons.  The family can talk about things they are grateful for this year.  A gathering of memories is present as generations connect and communicate.

You are helping build and enhance your own memory bank by consciously anticipating, fully present experiencing, and then recollecting about the event.  This helps index your memories with clarity for later stories or family history you may want to write, tell, or record.

Acquisition, storage, and retrieval of your memory index is unique for all of us, just like our customized computers, photos, and phones!

A short (or long) gratitude log is helpful, keeping you positive and recording your memories for future reflection.  It will be different everyday!  I tried it!

The Thanksgiving Tree can morph into Christmas by displaying colorful lights, small knit items, cards, photos of family and pets, heirloom articles and more

"Three Deep Breaths and a Smile," Rudi Tanzi, Ph.D.

"Trust the Growing Tree~"

"I have just shared your blog with my family members and invited them to do this practice on Christmas Day instead of the usual gift giving where we often have no idea whether what we're buying will be of value to the other.  With this little sharing of what we have to be grateful for with each other, I can see Christmas Day filled with greater connection, love, gratitude, and harmony." 
*  Michelle Graham, Professional Training and Coaching

Related Posts:
Giving Thanks Opens the Heavens (Nov 2010), Thanks-Giving (Nov 2011), and Thanks~Beyond Expectations (Nov 2012)

* Michelle Graham, Inspirational Coach for Professionals with a Passion, Brisbane area, Australia. 

Marilu Henner, actress, author, book Total Memory Makeover, improve your memory 

Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Rudi Tanzi, Ph.D, Super Brain, develop your strengths.

Seated Meditation 21 Day Challenges, with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra.  Various Topics, online or purchase.  Current series, Desire and Destiny, includes online journal with reflection questions and gratitude section.

Tai Chi
Physical meditation exercise, enhances health and memory by improving range of motion, better balance, strength, stamina, and mood.

Paul Lam, M.D., Tai Chi for Health

Yang Jwing-Ming, Ph.D, Yang Style expert

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Heirloom lace with Rainbow Light photo by Dahlis
Oak Seedling, photo by Paul

Saturday, November 23, 2013


*  Eye on the Sky

What is weather?

What isn't

Sun and Flowers or Grey and Chilly, how does this effect our energy and mood?

Our refrigerator is sensitive to heat and humidity, just like us!  

I write random notes in a blog draft and fill in the blanks later....

And then there was Nov 17 when midwest storm pictures on TV, FaceBook, and online news stunned the daylights out of me.

You see, years ago we lived near today's hardest hit areas of Peoria and Pekin.  Most of Washington, Illinois~flattened.  We knew the streets, the trees, and friends near and far.  In nearby Bloomington, central Illinois, I learned Tai Chi and later was promoted to teaching....

Early and often warning helped us and others be watchful.  We knew storms were brewing on Saturday and prepared for Sunday in advance.  I bailed out on cooking and freezing extra food. On Sunday morning, a grey sky took a turn to yellow-green.  The grass lit up with a bright neon hue.  Unusual colors can be a signal to watch the skies.  A quick small storm crackled by with a few sharp lightning bolts.  Drum beats of thunder brought our cats to the door and into their safe warm home.

Sunday I also thought back through the years to Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.  I remembered huddling in the hall of our Iowa house.  Our tri-level had no basement.  We gathered our three young children plus Zar the cat and Sky the Collie.  We nervously waited as we listened to the battery operated radio to keep us posted.  

I remembered Illinois, when Paul and I sat on the old wooded steps to our basement while Chessie, the cat, wandered about on the cement.  "It's just south of us..." the radio crackled.

Another time in Illinois, we dropped off Chessie for boarding.   A quick tornadic storm blew in.  * "Suddenly the sky was a mix of turquoise and mud.  Horizontal sheets of rain beat down.  Sirens blared."  We made it home safely only to find the power out and would be all night and longer.  "We packed suitcases by flashlight and sweltered in the searing heat and humidity" before heading south.

"The next day dawned clear and bright." Our trip was momentous, I would meet and work with Jou, Tsung Hwa, Dr. Yang, Jwing-ming, and the Yang Family, Tai Chi experts, in seminars held in Winchester, Virginia at A Taste of China.  Connecting with others helped me be more inspired and be a better teacher. 

When I was a child, my parents in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh cautioned to me "put sturdy shoes on and get a coat ready" no matter what the season.  The coat or blanket can be used as head protection. "Gather a few items in case we have to leave the house (or can leave the house.)"  Tornadoes were not the usual weather for our area, but we listened and watched when the storms were very strong with high damaging winds and large hail.

Then I took breathing space, a few hours off to eat lunch and watch Mark Nepo, a poet, interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.

"We are all students of the long silence," Mark Nepo

As the line of storms coming across Lake Michigan approached us thickened glared red on the radar, I packed a few (very few) items in a small purse in case we had to go to a shelter later if need be.  I put on my shoes and gathered the coats.  One time our radar indicated a direct hit for us.  I remember thinking that as the warm air from the Grand Mere sand dunes rises, it may disperse the full storm hit and push storm cells north or south.  Without hurrying, I put glassware in safer places clearing counter and dresser tops.  I felt calm, centered, and as prepared as possible

White Rain
The winds picked up.  As we looked out our back patio window, sheets (some horizontal) of white rain slashed the Earth.  The green grass became a muted mint hue with white lace design.  There was no hail or ice.  It was 68+ degrees today in November near Lake Michigan.  Visibility was practically zero. 

"Nature plays no favorites" 

"It's not often you have a blizzard (12-17" snow Nov 12) and a tornado warning in the same week!" Rob added.

The storm, traveling at 60-70 mph whooshed by in minutes.  Gone!  It skipped over us, but thousands were without power and housing.

We saw black clouds re-forming to our East.  Over Cassopolis, Michigan I saw a mushroom cloud hovering near a band of cream colored clouds on the horizon.  I didn't see it touch down, but later found out thousands lost power and a possible tornado had struck Cassopolis.

Surprise!  Then bright sun came out for a sunset show of lights and colors shimmering over my paintings and igniting my personal copy of Claude Monet's Autumn on the Seine.  In studying and copying this painting, following Monet's techniques, I learned how his play of vibrating light and color patches really work!  As the setting sun filtered over the painting, tree branches dancing in the wind created a play of movment, like shimmering water and colorful leaves, nature in action.  The layer of sunlight was like a transparency placed over the painting itself, somewhat like Walt Disney's multiplane camera for his classic cartoons.  The sunlit effect created depth and movement united, living art!

I practiced Tai Chi while watching the cosmic dance of sun and shadows on paint!  I am grateful for these moments~every moment.   

"Every Life Has Value," Rob

Related Posts:
Unplugged~Letting Go Again (Jan 2012), Lavender Blue, (June 2012), Off the Grid (Oct 2012), and Aftermath Nov 2012

Mark Nepo, author and poet, book 7,000 Ways to Listen, interview with Oprah Winfrey on OWN TV and Online, Nov 17, 2013

*  Quotes from Silver Butterfly Create A Vision, a Tai Chi Journey with a Mystic Twist, free E-book by Dahlis

Eric Satie, composer, pianist from Normandy provided a quiet calm.

Cat's Purr by Chet Day Cd, purring cat and nature sounds are relaxing.

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Eye on the Sky, crayon sketch from memory of Internet news photo, view from I-55 Gardner Road, northern Illinois, south of Chicago.  How many times have I looked out the passenger window to my right and seen this same stark view minus the tornado?  Electric power lines dot the left.  You can feel the vast expanse of "Midwest" here.

Tiger Lily Bloom in Crystal Vase, photo

Photo Collage of Monet's Original of Autumn on the Seine.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013



Knitting~joy and memories

Needles and Yarn~I hear the familiar click like a hand-held metronome of yarn slipping effortlessly through needles.  The moving sound is comforting and  brings familiarity and calming, a seated meditation.

Recently a friend Mary Anne invited me to go with her to a free Beginning Knitting Group at the local library.  I was eager to attend since I had not touched yarn and needles for the past 20 years at least.  Would I even remember how to cast on and enjoy the quiet rhythm of the stitches? 

To prepare, I bought a ball of 100% cotton Suger and Cream Yarn in denim blue figuring the cotton might have less chemical reactions on sensitive skin than a worsted or wool blend.  I pulled out a bright gold pair of #9 needles, a large size, for easy access and tucked them into my to go bag.  I resisted looking up "how to" instructions in my knitting books or glancing at You Tube's knitting tutorials. 

I will enter the group with a clean slate.  I will remain quiet, listen to others, and joyfully absorb the fully present Now.

The evening of the meeting, we got there on time but there were 30 people already there knitting away!  Were we late?  No!  Knitters came early!  There were four teachers to help us if needed.  There were some empty seats with yarn balls and needles already at the places.  We chose our seatsI took the needles out of their Sugar and Cream skein and guess what?  The cast on was already done! 

I eagerly picked up my yarn and began to knit right away, carefully throwing the yarn with the right hand over the needle "American Style" my Mom had taught me.  Mary Anne knit in the European Continental Style her Grandma from Germany had taught her!  Both hands are more closely centered in Continental Knitting, and the yarn is not thrown so far.  Some say the Continental Style, unlike the American Style, actually helps to relieve extra pressure on the right hand and shoulder created by repetitive motions.

As I sat in silence, I "re-lived" learning to knit:
That was a slow process!  What a snail I was juggling the two bright pink needles and figuring out how to knit loosely enough to let the yarn slip easily through my fingers.  My uneven unruly stitches were forged as tough as cast iron!  My Mom helped by "loosening up" my tightly woven stitches.  She picked up the many dropped stitches and replaced them on the needles.  Then she knit a couple of relaxed even rows rows so I could "begin again."  

I was angry and flustered by the tedious event of learning to knit when painting and drawing were so effortless.  Why did I persist?  I am not sure.  Now I can feel the benefits of left and right brain connections forming by knitting.  Gradually the stitches came easier and I learned cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.  I still have these bright pink metal needles in my collection!  I love picking them up and "remembering."

 My Mom added, "With these four techniques, you can knit anything you want!"

Take Home Gift
At the end of the evening, we received the yarn and needles we had used in Knitting Group to take with us!  What a great unexpected treat!

Someone added, "I have a spinning wheel, and I spin at bedtime.  It is so relaxing after my day at work."  

Knitting is relaxing and creative at the same time, a blend of harmony (Yin: color and yarn type in right brain) and ececuted design (Yang:  mathematical structure and precision in left brain).

*  "Make Time for Yarn Everyday."

What would you like to revisit from your past activities that you might like to "try again."  Or, try something new!


Related Posts
Knitting Stories: A Stitch in Time (Feb 2012), Call to Colors and Find A Voice (Mar 2012) 

Fully Present (May 2012), Already Done (June 2012) and Time and Pace (0ct 2013). 

* Knitting Daily TV and online, "Make Time for Yarn Everyday."

Begin Again music and lyrics by Taylor Swift from the Red album.

Lincoln Township Public Library in Stevensville, Michigan USA provides a variety of activities for learning and enjoyment online and in person.

Marilu Henner, actress and author, book Total Memory Makeover.  Help for acquiring, storing, and retrieving your memories.  Picking up yarn and needles unleashed fresh inspiration as well as a treasure of stored memories.

Featured Yarn and Needles  
Sugar 'N Cream by Lily, Worsted 4-ply, 100% USA grown Cotton

Takumi Velvet Knitting Needles 
"Go Green!  Knit Green!  The Takumi Velvet Knitting Needles are eco friendly with no petrochemicals to harm the environment [or sensitive skin].  Knit faster with the velvety smooth finish...."
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Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Photo by Dahlis:
Begin Again, Yarn and Needles

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Roy's Law:
"All flat surfaces will soon fill up with stuff which expands to fill the space available."

"This law is a result of Newton's Law of Gravity and the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that disorder in the universe is always increasing so that all flat surfaces will have things landing on them."

"Roy's second law is that one person alone cannot pill a cat." 

Dahlis' Law:
"All flat surfaces will soon fill up with cats."

Science and Humor Are One~


 Sancat Meditates, Stillness and Purring

Brian Cox Particle Physicist

Cats Purr Cd by Chet Day
Lucy, Chet's Cat, contributes purring plus musical sounds and nature tones.  Binaural beats promote relaxation and healing.  Cat's purr at 50 Hz promotes bone growth, and at 120 Hz stimulates tendon repair.  Domestic Cats purr in a range of 40-135 Hz.

Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Sancat Meditating by Dahlis
"The Cat is a Tai Chi Master," Jou Tsing Hwa, mathematician, author, and Tai Chi master.
This one is resting!