To See or not to See: Is that the Question?

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There are the “haves” and the “have-nots” in the world of seeing angels, demons, and talking to dead relatives, friends, or strangers. There – I said it. Many of us have had our own encounters, but we are too afraid to share them with others for fear of seeming, well – crazy or a religious freak.

I have had the fortunate experience of my own angel lift. I was at a camp for troubled kids in San Francisco years ago. As a counselor, I had to be present with the junior high girls at all times to protect them from anything. I even had to escort them from the cabin to the restroom down one flight of stairs and stand outside their stall door. After a week of not getting more than a few hours of sleep and experiencing physical fatigue by walking up and down the hills and a few flights of stairs several times a day, it finally happened. We were all down the hill eating breakfast when someone asked me to go up the hill to get a girl’s sleeping bag that she had used the bathroom in and bring it back down in seven minutes to wash it. At first, I envisioned climbing Mt. Everest and then responded that I would do my best before they were dismissed to go back to their cabins.

On the way up Mt. Everest, my legs grew extremely tired. I could barely move and pulled my jeans up by the legs to take a step. I reminded myself to pray for help to get up there so that poor girl wouldn’t be humiliated. Before I finished my prayer, I felt a lift off the road, and I was suddenly speeding up the hill. Trees were flying by me – sort of in a flash forward movement. Seconds later, I was retrieving the sleeping bag and went rushing down the hill. I had made the trip in five minutes! I was absolutely dazed because of the speed of the incident. The woman who had asked me to go looked shocked that I had returned so fast, so I told her, “I think I just had some help from some friends.” I hadn’t processed it all yet, and it wasn’t until later that I rationally attempted its meaning.

I have been saved from endless near accidents all of my life and have many more to share, but this one stunned me once I relived I, I can still remember the feeling of being lifted off the ground and propelled forward. That’s why I call it my “Angel Lift.” I must have some very buff angels. 🙂

Since then, I have heard endless stories of my students’ visits from dead relatives who tell them to make sure they study in school and behave. Many had appearances when they were nine years old. Interesting fact, huh? Some say that their grandmothers appear to them and encourage them, strangers (adults and children) “appear” in their houses to walk around or to scare them, shadows fly around the walls and go into their TV’s before they turn off, faces appear in pictures or mirrors, children appear in their bedrooms to talk to them, but others tell me about demonic appearances with bloody faces.

The demonic appearances are terrifying to my students, but they are counterparts to the more positive appearances. One boy shared with me how he looked outside his kitchen window one night and saw a demon. He walked outside the back door to get a better look and the demon threatened him. Another student’s bad-seed cousin who had died violently appeared at their house. He was dressed in black, had a black hood and red eyes; he said some unkind things to them before he left. Still others have mentioned how they have had their priests come to their house and cleanse it.

And yes, I have even had my own demonic presence a few feet from my front door one night. It was about 10 feet tall, hairy, and had red eyes. My daughter and I were about to enter our front door when something magnetized both our heads at the same time and caused our heads to turn its way. I saw it, but my daughter didn’t.  I confronted it and said, “Oh, no! Not in this house. We have angels all around our house!” I wanted to say more, but I opened the door and got my daughter in quickly. I know that I have the force with me, and I would have dealt with it more, but it left. Hint to the demons – I am a Christian Texan, so don’t mess with me! I have the force with me!

So, the questions for many people are simply, “Did you really see them or not? Was it just a projected memory? Was it because you have seen too many scary movies? Did you just WANT to see them and thought you did?” Having read the Bible, I do know that Satan and his angels are roaming the earth to try to get as many followers as he can to drag them into eternity with him, but there are also many angelic experiences and loving incidents with relatives who have passed and send touching messages or make themselves known in some form or fashion. I have more where that comment came from, but those will be saved for another day.

While I wanted this blog to be about writing, there are some days when experiences I share with my students cross another path because of a topic or theme we are discussing at school. I am trained to teach the Common Core Curriculum from bell to bell, but there are moments when my students are bubbling over and need to share a slice of life.  Living relatives tell them that they are crazy, but 1/3 of my students have had at least one experience with angelic, demonic, or relatives’ presences. To see or not to see: Is that the question of the day? No, I believe we need to share and let share because these moments terrify or comfort many who pass us by on a daily basis. While middle school students are struggling to find their own identity, many adults refuse to face theirs and lock memories inside until the pressure cooker explodes to relieve it.

God bless us all as we strive to survive being human aliens on this planet. I know this is not our home, but I do believe we need to make the best of it as we live our daily lives. Love to all!

~Manelli Bochelli~

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LIfe’s Changes, Obligations, and Faith

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Life is full of changes, and I have certainly seen my share over the years. While fulfilling obligations I have at work, I also have obligations to my family, relatives, friends, dog, and myself.  It gets embarrassingly difficult sometimes to prioritize as the seconds of my life tick by one by one. Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.  Can you hear the song?

I have been pondering on things I have been changing within the last six months and am looking forward to more. What have I changed?  I have changed where I worship to a new family, gotten off sugar since Jan. 1, survived plantar fasciitis in my right heel (being on my feet all day as a teacher made that one more difficult, but the shot is helping to heal it), and have worked so hard to be disciplined enough to lower by blood sugar. Even though my doctor jokingly told me how sweet I was, it’s really no laughing matter. I miss being “normal” where people can eat in moderation but enjoy what they want. I won’t list my plethora of longings, but I will tell you that faith makes things possible, not easy. It has been possible to deny my cravings while I stay busy, but I’m wondering what the next step will be like.

I understand why we only get 24 hours in a day, but there are days when I just need a few more. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that this human didn’t need to accomplish more in a day.  There is so much to squeeze in after work. No wonder we Americans are exhausted from work, marriages, children, obesity, high blood sugars, stressing over things that are beyond our control, food preparation, appointments, parties, guests, attending work/church/school functions, eating out with friends, going to an occasional movie, tending to sick children and being a Stepford Wife, etc.

What I’m lacking in right now is to prioritize my time between my faith (Bible study, praying for others and myself), reading a self-help book called Calming your Anxious Mind and surviving my daily obligations with more joy. The book just arrived in the mail, but I have so many miles to go before I get to it.  I have to wear the teacher hat that allows me to grade and record papers for endless hours, try to be a Putzfrau and clean a bit, and fix dinner.  All of this has to be mixed with a little time to write in my blog and another fairy tale or two. lol

I’m a hot mess of so many things going on in my life right now. What have I learned from it all? I MUST get regular and extra sleep to function as a calm human so that I can make wise choices without the influences or indulgences in wine, chocolate, and other sugars.

Here’s to life!

~Manelli Bochelli~

Tranquility Found at Pismo Beach

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So there I was..we had arrived at the Sandcastle Inn in Room Tranquility on the second floor with an ocean view and only a few feet away from the sand. I could hardly get through the door before the ocean’s magnet sucked me out the screen door and to the edge of the balcony. Deep breath…ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. A smile wrapped around my face.  The sounds of the crashing ocean’s waves flooded my ears. Waves greeted me as they rolled from the left to the right and splashed the pier. Sunshine covered me with its warmth. I had finally arrived and new that those three days would not be wasted. As I absorbed the atmosphere of where God must go on vacation, I heard a message in my heart. It told me to breathe, relax, and let go of the stress that cripples my dreams, and as the tide came in and out, so did that stress. A second message tapped on my heart. It revealed that something big was going to happen in my life. I took an extra breath and wondered what it was going to be. There are several possibilities, so I’m going to go with happiness and success in several areas of my life – better health, an end to Lyme disease and its aftermath for our daughter, to get her book published, a great year at school with fresh ideas in my poetry class, my husband’s happiness and success at touching hearts at his school, maintained better health for my sister, and to get my fairy tale published. Those desires swirled around and solidified themselves as goals and deeper prayer requests. I need to move beyond the survival part and gain strength to realize these goals; therefore, this warrior took time to be still, rest, relax, and refocus.

My husband and I had to force ourselves to go inside to sleep that first night, but we let the sounds of the waves lure us to sleep with only the screen door between us and the ocean.

I waited until 6:15 the next morning to go down to the water’s edge. That is a magical time when the high tide has receded and left shells everywhere to gather. Only a few surfers, kayakers, and joggers, and dogs were there, so I wasP1210386 joyfully deafened by the awakening of the morning sounds. I closed my eyes and was enveloped by one of my favorite things – the ocean. No, I didn’t fall in, but the birds and I had to remain aware of just how much intensity we could withstand before being grasped by the ocean’s fingers in the tide. I opened my eyes to see dolphins playing near the surfers, whales in the distance, and sea lions swimming close to the shore. And it was good. I quickly made a happy heart sign and took a picture before it was washed away in seconds. Minutes turned into 1 1/2 hours of walking up and down the beach to enjoy it at different angles. And my heart smiled. I hope you enjoy the moments I captured.

Here I am with my Honey taking pictures.

~Manelli Bochelli~

Pismo Beach

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I’m listening to the ocean’s waves as I write, but I won’t be truly happy until it’s reality. I’m going with my husband on an anniversary trip to the Pismo Beach area. Ahhhhhhh….I can hear the ocean calling my name tonight. I hear it on Dreamsurf: Ocean Waves, The Reflections, Nature, 2001 tonight, but tomorrow night, I’ll hear it live. And I say, “Ahhhhh…” again. I can hardly wait to feel cooler temperatures in the upper 60’s by day and lower 50’s by night. Tomorrow night, I’ll sit out on the balcony with my honey and a small blanket to watch the beauty of forceful waves spilling over each other to rush and greet us. We’ll use the binoculars to bring the stars, moon, and surf a little closer and enjoy the nice fire in the fire pit that dares to be put out. The next morning, I’ll gather sea shells and create something fun while my mind is lost to its tranquil surroundings. Then, we’ll chill with the fresh smells of the sea and the sounds of shrieking birds that float by while making “M’s” in the sky. This process of relaxation will be repeated over a few days and nights until we are mush.

More than likely, we’ll have company though. There will be classes on lifeguard training and surfing 101, volleyball tournaments, and children building castles and running around screaming at their kites.

I found a poem by Gussie Osborne that spoke to my adventure in relaxation.

I sat on the beach and a beautiful wave,
Came tumbling right up to me.

It threw some pink shells on the sand at my feet,
Then hurried straight back out to the sea.

It ran away swiftly and leaped up in a foam,
It bumped other waves in its glee.

I think it was hurrying to gather more shells,
To bring as a present for me.

I’ll take a few pictures as the waves take my stress, add it to the ocean, and return with relaxing sounds that make my body dissolve into the lounge chair. As I leave, the ocean will wave good-bye to me until we meet again next summer.

~Manelli Bochelli~

Cleaning and Dirt

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Today’s focus is on cleaning. We all have to do it so that we will be separate from the beasts in the jungle who get to lie around on tree branches and slither around in the dirt, or the fishes in the sea who jump up and down, slide around, and sleep while motionless. As humans, we have to rely on vacuums, a huge Bissell, cleaning cloths, Windex or Pledge, and elbow grease.

We have company coming tomorrow, so today is being spent in cleaning mode. Do I love it? Absolutely not! When I’m done, I usually feel like the Bissell Queen, but sometimes I have to wonder what is wrong with me that makes me feel like I don’t have a clean house unless the floors have been thoroughly cleaned. This sickness reminds me of a poem I read years ago. The woman in it mentioned how you work so hard to clean up the dirt that covers your house just to be buried under it someday. Maybe the less you clean, the smaller amount of dirt will be thrown on you? Ok. I think I have dirt in my brain, and more is calling my name, so I will be sufficiently covered someday. Now, I’m off to get my pearls and heels.

~Manelli Bochelli~

Exclusive vs. Simultaneous Submission to Agents

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Along my journey of publishing, I’ve been reading about simultaneously submitting to agents, or sending queries to more than one agent at a time. I’m almost ready to submit my subversive fairy tale, but I’ve only seen one agent who specifically mentioned that she wanted that specific genre in an email query. Has anyone else had luck with their first bite? Do I have naïve dreams? I’m feeling a little alone as I dangle in the shark-infested waters of finding an agent and getting my first book published. All of you with experience, am I on the right track and just need to be patient, or is it wiser to submit my query in a batch to several agencies?

Have some of you had great success with your first attempt, or did it take months of submissions in batches?

~Manelli Bochelli~

Fairy Tales vs. Life

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I was thinking today how fairy tales weave their magical way into our lives as children and adults to teach us right vs. wrong and good vs. evil. While fairy tales transport us to another place and time, they also allow us to learn from others’ mistakes and courage.

Fairy tales affect and imitate our lives, but do we learn we can live happily ever from sentences at the end of a story? Children are mirror images of adults, older siblings, relatives, and neighbors. They become our teachers in life. They teach us how to step up to a fear of something that really isn’t the fear that is feared the most. The primary fear thrusts us into courage to face a secondary fear or simply to run from it. That is why we are able to face our daily fears or give in to failures. How do we then remove the beast within that hinders our complete success and fulfillment? How many past achievements are required to do it? Timing is everything. Do we need a cheering section, rely on a fairy godmother, wait on God and expect Him to do everything for us, or put others down to be able to step up to the plate? That’s when time is our friend, and we learn more and more all the time how to exist in life.

I believe that we become somebody’s hero or heroine even when we are oblivious to eager eyes that observe every move we make, or ears that listen to every word we speak. We live in a tale that is being written every minute of our lives. The choices we make provide ultimate happiness or make us face the dragon. What do we choose to influence us as adults?

Every day is a gift. Let’s open our hearts and be kind to each other; we can help each other face fears and realize dreams.
The End

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”  –  Albert Einstein

 

~Manelli Bochelli~

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

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The age old question: Can old dogs really learn new tricks? Well, this old dog has been thrust into a world of technology through the years. I remember one night in a college class when the teacher asked everyone to tell their experience level with computers. Horrified and humiliated, I had to tell them that I didn’t know how to turn it on yet. Yes, that is when everyone in the room turned to the back to look at me in “Muppet Baby” surprise and shock. I went from being the one asking how to turn on a computer to a video conference pioneer and speaking in conferences about a themed unit on the Iditarod that I tied in to the novel The Call of the Wild.

Over the past few years, I learned how to use my cell phone – sort of. My daughter would laugh at that statement. The five controls for the television that is hooked up to everything on this planet and in the sky – well, let’s just say that I had to use her handwritten notes.

Presently, I am learning how to blog (special shout out to my daughter Tiffany who became my mentor through this) because I have just written a subversive fairy tale and am hopefully on the path to being published. I would love to have other authors offer advice, encouragement, or just follow along with me on my journey. I am just one person in this world who wants to make a difference and leave something behind that will educate, inspire, and possibly change lives for the better.

Maybe old dogs CAN learn new tricks, after all.

~Manelli Bochelli~