SNOOTY™ — Ministerial Muses 8.6.17

Posted August 6th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, Snooty™
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The following is reprinted from Goddess Talking™ in the July 2003 issue of Let the Spirit Guide You!


Snooty™ deferred parenting until later in life. It wasn’t his choice. He was born into an alien world and separated from his own kind from the age of one. His friend Sally tells me he displays all the necessary signs of virility, but by the time his subjects were able to build him an environment large enough for a pool-mate, it was illegal to breed manatees in captivity. Those close to him mourn the loss of his genes to the species.

No one knew his mother was pregnant when she was captured and brought to the old Miami Aquarium. On July 21, 1948 (yes, a Cancer), his was the first officially recorded birth of a manatee in captivity. Soon afterwards, in 1949, he came to Bradenton to help the city with its DeSoto Celebration. Known as “Baby Snoots” then, he quickly won hearts and was invited to stay (fortunately with a name change). It is a love affair that continues. I’ve always told friends from out of town, that when Snooty dies the people of Bradenton will burn the city charter, board up the windows, and move on. Truthfully, I suspect that, when the time comes, he will find a way to help us through his death as successfully as he has welcomed us into his life.

Surrounded by admirers, his every need met by a loving staff, he could have lived a life of wealthy indulgence. He hasn’t. Nobody accepts their responsibilities as conscientiously as Snooty. Over the course of his 55 years in public service, 24 of them as the official Manatee County mascot, he has personally greeted more than a million people. Always a teacher, he is now a recognized part of the Manatee County School System. With the help of his staff, he answers letters from school children all over the country. Concerned about his own kind in the wild (there are less than 3000 manatees left in Florida), he volunteered for hearing tests at Mote Marine Laboratory. He has even managed to turn his annual Birthday Bash into a Wildlife Awareness Festival.

It was February 1998 when Snooty received his first young, pool-mate, Newton. Newton had been injured in the wild and suffered ongoing health problems. In August of 1998 Newton lost his battle to recover. The people
of Bradenton grieved openly, huddled together in supermarket aisles, parking lots and gas stations. But Snooty had proven himself as a foster dad.

His next protégé was Mo, a healthy, but orphaned, youngster. When he was old enough, Mo was successfully released into the wild. (He has since been struck twice by boaters and is currently recovering at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.)

Not long after Mo’s release, Palma Sola arrived at The Parker Manatee Aquarium to receive the benefits of Snooty’s expertise and helping flipper. Palma Sola was successfully released into the wild on February 13th of this year. At last report, he was doing well. (You can track his progress at www. WILDTRACKS.org.)

As I write this, Snooty and his staff are looking after DeSoto Park, a year-old manatee who was injured by the boater who killed his mother. Snooty is effortlessly helping DeSoto Park learn what he needs to know to survive in a world which Snooty has never known.

Snooty’s gifts to his human populace still, however, surpass his gifts to his own species. His mere presence is healing to us. People often come to discuss their problems with him. Some just watch him twist and loop through the water as a meditation to relieve stress.

Okay! It’s possible I’ve been projecting a little. But don’t dismiss me until you go and look into Snooty’s eyes for yourself. If you’ve ever known sadness, your will see it there. If you’ve ever known compassion, you will see it there. If you’ve ever aspired to learn the Wisdom of the Ages, you will wish that he could speak to you. And then, you’ll see him grin.

Snooty Sensei — Ministerial Muses 7.25.2017

Posted July 25th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, Snooty™
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I first met Snooty after my father died in 1985. I started spending 5-10 days every few months in Bradenton, in what had been my grandparents’ retirement home, helping my mother with its maintenance. I sought out things to do in the community and quickly discovered Snooty and his entourage. I began telling friends that when Snooty died, Bradenton would roll up the sidewalks and burn the city charter. There would be no reason to go on. It rolled easily off my tongue because there was something immortal about Snooty. It didn’t seem possible that he would ever be gone. Yet here we are. (I wrote about Snooty and his special ministry awhile back in Let the Spirit Guide You!™ I’ll hunt for that and try and get it posted here soon.)

Sensei is a title (my Japanese friends tell me) that honors teachers. For me, Snooty was first and foremost a teacher. The fact that he never communicated in human language makes his teachings all the more powerful. Florida has made an art form out of tourist attractions. Snooty helped spawned a plethora of bigger and better Manatee exhibits across the state, but still Snooty kept attracting more and more people to his humble home. Being in his presence could be transcendent if you were paying attention. Let those who have ears to hear, understand. I am just beginning to understand what Snooty was trying to teach me.

When I started reading about Kabbalah back in the 90’s, I was stumped by the common interpretation of Moses and the journey to the Promised Land. He told God he would lead his tribe through the desert to their new home. Despite legendary challenges he accomplished that, but because he lost his temper once, and struck a rock with his walking stick out of anger at God, he was not allowed to enter the new land with the people. He died just outside of it. I struggled with the apparent injustice of that for a long time. Eventually I came to my own interpretation of the story (no disrespect for Jewish heritage intended). I now believe … that after dragging his people through the desert, listening to their complaints, being told he was useless, being told that a bargain with the devil would be better, the Land of Milk and Honey finally came into view. He pointed to it and said, “You see. You see. There it is.” As they rushed off to their new home, he sat down on a rock, looked up to the heavens, and said quietly, “I did what I promised. Can I come home now?”

I believe … even if it involved human error, mechanical failure, or sabotage … that after hosting the most spectacular birthday party of his spectacular life, Snooty let the angels take him home. He passed the torch. Each one of us, whose life was touched by Snooty, now carries a spark from that torch out into the world. May we honor him by remembering compassion and a gentle touch.

God speed Snooty Sensei.
As my friend Miho would say … We appreciate you.

Garden e-Diary—2.19.17

Posted February 19th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Garden e-Diary, Manatee County, FL, Mid-Town Manatee?
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It’s been a long time since I updated you about the Goddess Garden and its surrounding plant beds. My life has been complicated for awhile  and the Garden e-Diary is one of the things that fell by the wayside. I’m in the process of reorganizing now and trying to get back on track with some of the things I have neglected.

The bougainvillea I planted in the center of the front bed is thriving and blooming happily. The oleander that I divided and replanted in the hexagonal beds on either side of the bougainvillea is doing well also.

In addition to being winter, we’ve had mostly dry conditions in Bradenton for the past few months. Some of my plants are struggling BUT, of course, the weeds are proliferating. The Mango Bed at the west end of the front bed is a good example. I weeded it throughly before I left town on Thanksgiving. It was overgrown again when I returned.

I managed to make time to weed it again before I left town, carefully pulling weeds around the ornamental peanut vines that are meant to be ground cover. The peanut vine has thinned considerable with the drought conditions, but is spreading at the same time. I’m hoping for it to really take over this next growing season. I also trimmed the tips off the little mango tree to encourage it to bush rather than sprawl. I added additional mulch in between the plants I’m trying to encourage (after I took the photo below).

I got the weeds back under basic control before I left town. I will be spending more time at the Florida center this spring and hope to really get things shaped up. I will keep you posted!

Ministerial Muses—2.12.17

Posted February 12th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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Yesterday’s fundraising sale at Herbie Rose’s studio in the Village of the Arts was a HUGE success!

Volunteers helped water colorist Graciela Giles, Herbie’s wife, get an incredible amount of Herbie’s paintings hung. Local restaurants provided food — and people turned out in droves all day to help support this Manatee mentor in his later years.

Herbie laid the foundation for the growth of creativity here in Bradentnon. We see the manifestation of his vision in the Village of the Arts and the soon-to-begin playful expansion of the South Florida Museum.

I attended the event with Jo Ellen Gorris, owner of one of the original 13 Village studios (Clay in the Garden). She told me that she watched Herbie’s painting show on PBS years ago.

As Bradenton works to put itself on the map as a city of the future, it’s nice to know that we aren’t forgetting the people who have brought us this far.

Ministerial Muses—2.5.17

Posted February 5th, 2017 by anna and filed in "Real. Authentic. Florida.", Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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My friend Jo Ellen and I went to a lecture at The Ringling Museum last Tuesday. Anne Patterson was talking about installing Pathless Woods, her fun and inventive room-sized work of art.

If you haven’t experienced this wonder of ribbon and light, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s touchable art that seduces, entertains, and surprises. Bring your inner child if you really want to experience it completely. This is not an intellectual enterprise, despite the fact that Patterson’s credentials are stellar.

I first discovered this special art piece two months ago when my friend Bernie Popovich and I visited the museum to see the new Asian Wing. A security guard told us not to miss Pathless Woods and we didn’t. We were both enchanted.

Hearing about how Patterson, originally schooled as a set designer, stumbled upon this vision, and then figured out how to implement it, only added to my appreciation of the piece. The fact that local volunteers and USF students were involved in the installation made it even more special.

Patterson is working on an installation for Cincinnati next, different but equally exciting. If you enjoy creative experiences, I suggest you keep an eye on her. For me she is not only a compelling artist but someone who has turned her creative skills into a modern-day ministry. (Children lie on the floor and look up at the ribbons floating over head. Adults are now following their example. Enough said.)

Many thanks to The Ringling for bringing this artist to our attention and for giving us the opportunity to engage her one-on-one!

Ministerial Muses—Altars in the Village of the Arts

Posted November 13th, 2016 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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The creative altars throughout the Village last weekend inspired James Lotus of 11th Street Gallery to create a special altar project. He began making small wooden altars on posts and distributing them through the Village. So far he’s got twelve of them up. If you stop by the gallery he’ll give you a map that shows where they are located.

The Village of the Arts is getting more exciting everyday!

MESSAGE FROM THE GUIDES: This week’s super full moon is sending lots of creative, mysterious energy to the earth. Soak up the creative, mysterious vibrations when they are at their peak Sunday night and Monday.

Ministerial Muses—Rest in peace … Happily!

Posted November 6th, 2016 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses
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This weekend’s Day of the Skeleton celebration in the Village of the Arts was a huge success. The annual homage to those on the other side has been increasing in popularity every year. Word seems to still be spreading because the turnout was super terrific this year!

Parade-sized puppets were better than ever.

The altars to the dead — some inside, some outside — get more creative each year.

Baobab Tree’s altar for Gordon, who crossed just last month, was particularly poignant. He is missed, but so present in every corner of the gallery.

The common Village altar paid tribute to David Bowie this year, an electrifying choice and perfect finale!

THE GUIDES SAY: It’s a new year and a new start. Make the most of it. Begin now. Claim your right to the power which is now emerging and use it wisely.

Garden e-Diary–5.8.16

I planted a small Blue Daze at the front of Goddess Garden about a year ago. When I got back to town this time, it was almost a goner. I started watering it every morning and slowly it began producing new leaves. This morning it surprised me with SIX little blue flowers!

Six is the number of serenity. Blue flowers are said to be miraculous. I’ve been feeling a lot of stress since I’ve been back because it seems like there is more that needs done can I can manage, and I’ve been telling the guides and the faeries that I need a miracle. It looks like one is on the way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Garden e-Diary–Cinco de Mayo

The birds in the cage attached to my back fence seem to have survived the horrific deluge that we had last night.

Someone suggested that they are fighting cocks being raised for that awful, illegal enterprise. Meanwhile, it looked like whoever had added wood to the top of the cage to shelter them from the rain.

But a closer look suggests that they were just dumping more waste. Did I mention that this is the utility easement?

Garden e-Diary—5.1.16

When I got back to Florida, I was greeted by the faeries and Mr. Beyer’s bright pink lilies. It was a nice welcome home.

There were also lots of the little bushes of white flowers that the butterflies and honey bees love. I call them  wildflowers. Most Floridians refer to them as weeds. I’ve been pulling them out of the flower beds and yard since I got here, leaving a few clusters here and there for the bees.

I planted five little palm tree sprouts when I was here last time and they seemed to be off to a good start. Only two of them survived the dry spell without me, however. Fortunately, there are plenty of new sprouts around the yard thanks to our industrious squirrel population. I’ve transplanted three new ones so far.

I also divided the old oleander in the front bed and planted half of it in the spot where the newer one used to be. That one was killed by the drug dealers with transmission fluid, you remember. We’ll hope they leave this one alone.

The original oleander is thirty years old, but I trimmed it up and we’ll see if it has a few more years left in it. It’s an original old Florida version, the kind that makes seed pods, not a newer hybrid. I’m hoping I can salvage both chunks of it.

On Friday, I realized that the dead foliage on the Sabal Palm at the back of the property was a fire hazard with everything so dry. I headed back to clean it up and discovered that someone had attached a chicken coop to my back fence.

And they bent the fence rail to do it.

I knew the faeries were a bit out of sorts when I arrived but I was too tired and busy to think about why. Now I know what they are upset about. Aside from the vandalism to my fence, and the obvious health hazards, these poor birds are out in that cage in 90° heat!!! I cleared the tinder from my palm tree and went back to pulling weeds in the front bed. Gardening is supposed to be relaxing, isn’t it?