Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Dad


My Dad, Iopu Taesali · October 26, 1926- 2001

'Ua alu atu le afi - passing the fire. A Samoan chant for important social events.
My Dad was born in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the youngest of fourteen children. I once asked my Dad many years later why he would leave paradise and he said; "Daughter, what can you know about the world from an Island only 7 miles wide and 14 miles long?" He used to go back and forth from here to the island. I later found that he had become disillusioned with Samoa. He believed the American dollar had destroyed his island and after awhile he had no desire to go back home again.
But how did he get to America? My father was a brand new immigrant from Samoa, just 18 years old when he got to America. The story goes that in 1945 he stowed away on a cargo ship from Pago Pago harbour, the heart of American Samoa, with 8 others boys. When they finally got caught on board ship it was too late to turn back so they were all put into the brig and on their way to America. But my Dad had a secret. A stolen bottle of Tabasco Sauce from the galley which he kept hidden the whole trip. On the morning of their arrival to America my Dad drank the little bottle of contraband in it's entirety. He thought he would get hot and appear to have a fever, which he had learned would put him in quarantine for at least 21 days, buying enough time for a relative to come and claim him. It worked, but he paid a greater price than expected.
Actually all the boys that stowed away on that cargo ship became American citizens. They were scattered throughout the United States. All the boys kept in touch with each other and learned about their families, marriages, deaths and divorces. They even had a few reunions and teased my Dad incessantly about the Tabasco sauce every chance they got. They knew when he enlisted to the U.S. Army, because they did too. They knew when he got married, because they did too. The "boys" knew of my birth and the births of my brothers and sisters, Dad's divorces and all of his trials and tribulations just as Dad knew of theirs.
My dad died of a massive stroke at 75 years old.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Correction

So sorry! I forgot to add my source for Thrivecraft. The source for Marianne Williamson was Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An Epiphany

I was reading an interesting blog this morning called Thrivecraft, written by a former Buddist Monk, turned life coach. I was reading her article about how wonderful it would be to have help available all the time.

I had an epiphany! As I was reading, it dawned on me that I have been helping myself my whole life! Here's what I read.

Find Your Answers September 8, 2009 The Easy Way to Create Your Personal Help Hotline.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to feel that you could have help whenever you need it? The astonishing fact is that superb help is right there inside you, waiting to be tapped, every single day. Whether you are in the supermarket wondering what to buy for dinner, or finalising a major life decision on a deadline, inner answers and deep personal guidance are only a few breaths away.

The wisdom of the universe is ever present – a great sky full of answers to your everyday questions and a vast ocean of understanding that makes sense of your deepest problems. In days gone by we knew how to commune with this cosmic guidance system, but our modern lifestyle is such that we’ve by and large forgotten all about it. We scurry about getting more and more confused, taking wrong turns and running in circles. No wonder we don’t feel so good these days, that something is missing in our lives.

This is what I thought:

I have been looking to the universe my whole life, I just forgot that's where I draw my strength. My whole life everyone that has known the real me was amazed at my strength, and commented on it all the time. Since I was a child I have known that I had to rely on myself and I just knew instinctually to go within. It was only when I allowed outer influences, like people, such as my mother, father, schoolmates and others to convince me that I was worthless and not enough.

I see now that living with those kinds of influences has created a low self esteem, how could it not? Convinced by my elders and others, my damaged self esteem has actually joined the attack. I believe now that my low self esteem has alway been the part that battled my inner strength, fighting, sabotaging and making biting remarks that played and re-played in my brain about strength. Minimizing, always minimizing!

Well that is going to change starting today! I will look into what is available out there and most importantly, I will look within and rekindle that relationship with my self.

That reminds me of the quote from Marianne Williamson; "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jill Bolte Taylor's Message of Peace

I have long been a fan of T.E.D.. TED is all about "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world". TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year's TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.
Great thinkers gathered together for great talks to change the world. One such talk, filmed in Febuary of 2008, deals with Jill Bolte Taylor, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html a brain scientist. She has written a book entitled; "My Stroke of Insight" ,about her having a stroke. Click on Jill's name to view the video, if you are the least bit emotional make sure you have a box of tissues, I cry every time. It is one of the greatest messages of Peace for the world I have ever heard. To view her book, click on the title.
If you are at all moved by Jill Bolte Taylor's incredible message please let me know.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Little Bit of Ugly

Funny thing Synchronicity! I wonder about it all the time, my life is so full of little synchronicties.

For instance; I've been doing an online workshop, Vision Journaling, with True North Arts led by Kathryn Antyr the Collage Diva. There have been many synchronistic miracles for me since delving into that workshop on envisioning your dreams. Here's just one. It's week five and Kathryn sent us the Wayne Dyer's, Excuses Begone affirmations from his site. She put them on ATC sized cards and posted them on the workshop website. So, I accidentally came across that deck of cards that I have been working on. I only saved the unattractive little things because somewhere along my rambling travels on the Internet, I found a lady talking about how you should make something ugly everyday. So, anyway as I worked with these cards trying new techniques and working with new materials I managed to make lots of ugly things. I would love to give that lady credit because as I made my little displeasing cards I thought of her and kept forging ahead. She has been a wonderful taskmaster for me and has made me think keenly about my art. She's made me see art as an expression not just something pretty and these little cards certainly are not. But it just so happens there are exactly the right amount of cards for Wayne Dyer's affirmations........funny how that works. I went to work gluing down each affirmation on to the little uglies and now, the affirmations really do feel like they are mine!

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Dominion" and "The Stories I Tell Myself"

I just did my morning Tarot reading and was thinking as I shuffled.

But first I have to tell you this;

In the back of my mind I've been formulating a theme for writing about myself on this journey. Something to go with the life timeline I'm creating to add details of different times and thoughts. I was thinking about calling it “The Stories I Tell Myself”. It's from something I read on the internet, got from one of my online groups or someone's blog or a website I'd been looking at. Or it could even be from something I've been reading recently. It's about what we tell ourselves so we don't have to accomplish the goal or succeed. Possibility from Wayne Dyer's Excuses Begone. Anyway, I thought that it would be fun to start a separate journal entry about “The Stories I Tell Myself”.

Well, back to the tarot reading........while shuffling I was thinking about a commitment I had made to one of my spark teams, possibly, Inner Journey, about meaningful eating, just the night before, I'm talking hours here. That night I wrote to my team about how I would concentrate on meaningful eating of my meals by lighting candles, using special dishes and playing soft music.

Within an hour of making that commitment I took my bowl of soup to the TV room and sat down and ate that entire bowl of soup in a semi-trance.

OK! Back to Tarot.....Shuffling. Here's the “story” I was telling myself when I realized that I had completely forgotten about my team promise..............

If I had my own house I could do all that.

If I didn't have a room mate I could do that, because it would be an inconvenience to her for me to do all that.

If I was home every night (I'm a caregiver for the elderly and work 72 hour shifts) I could do all that.

Then as I started listening to the stories, I realized, I need to find a way of making my meals meaningful no matter where I am, and that I need to listen to these stories I tell myself because there's a real message there......very interesting!

OK! Now, the reading!

The Dominion card in the soul position, reversed. That's the 2 of wands, and reversed means there's a block or resistance to the idea of the card.

This is the dictionary's meaning for dominion:

1. Control or the exercise of control; sovereignty: "The devil . . . has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion" (Jonathan Edwards).

2. A territory or sphere of influence or control; a realm.

3. often Dominion Abbr. Dom. One of the self-governing nations within the British Commonwealth.

4. dominions Christianity See domination

That's exactly what I meant when I was going over all the stories I tell myself, thinking about having my “OWN” house and “room mate”, not being in control to choose whatever I want.

This is what the tarot handbook said about my card, Dominion; “Spiritual Sovereignty, Power” - This is a state of integration and optimum balance. This is Mars in Aries; Mars shows dynamic forcefulness, energy, charge and direction, but only from a place of full power, dominion and balance (the two wands that are unified). When a person is drawn toward this card it is an indication of powerful spiritual force and drive to begin something new, to be a pioneer. There are gifts of dynamic energy and leadership ability to be expressed.

Now I took that to mean; I have the power! I can do it the way I want. After all I'm not really asking for that much. May be I won't light candles or listen to soft music and I'll just use the plates and dishes that are available at the moment. I can certainly eat with silent meaningfulness, no matter what.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Releasing Past Decision Guilt

I'm trying something new. I'm sending my thoughts out into the universe. I'm releasing old useless stuff from my energy field, and sending it to the universe to be transformed into good, positive and empowering energy. From this day forward I am not going to feel guilty for having lived my life the way I did. There were good and bad reasons for the decisions that were made and I may or may not get to the bottom of all those reasons, it's enough I have thought of them.

I do hereby release all the guilt feelings entangled in those decisions and promise to stop and mindfully make new decisions while in a conscious mindset. I do hereby relinquish all anger and hurt feelings to their rightful owners. I am no longer willing to carry that burden. I forgive everyone involved, especially myself.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Now What?

I hope that what I'm about to write will make sense to all of you. But even if it doesn't, I'm writing it anyway. I've been thinking so much, lately, about my future. Mainly because my kids are grown, I'm single, soon to be out of debt and feeling unsettled. So I have some decisions to make. I felt kinda unstable during the second Saturn return so didn't want to make any big decisions and now that's all done.
Now though, I feel it's time. I started art journaling recently. Something my therapist of old would have been so happy about because for years she tried to get me to write down my feelings. I guess I just wasn't ready..I am now. All this journaling is making me wonder what my purpose is. I've done a lot of reading and feel comfortable that this wondering, is part of, what I choose to call, crone hood, which by the way I am enjoying. Getting a little respect, bout time!
Anyway, from where I'm sitting, down the path at about 60, give or take. You know, you can really see a lot from here! I decided to make, write down, draw, paint, whatever, a life timeline to help me remember first but also to honor and affirm some of the landmarks of my life, because right now it's just a blur. I think I deserve that.
So I got a couple of ideas from some of my friends, also from some good people online and in groups and from my favorite authors. I love SoulCollage and some of the ladies who belong to the SoulCollage Playground have made "Decade Cards". A way of honoring each decade through collage. I also read an excerpt from Joan Anderson's book, A Weekend to Change Your Life: Find Your Authentic Self After A Lifetime of Being All Things to All People. Now, I know a lot of you ladies out there, who are sitting close to me, out there on that path, are thinking that book title sounds uncomfortably familiar. But hear me out, Anderson brings up the same idea of, "honoring each ten year period so we aren't just aging but rather honoring and affirming life's progress". And of course, reading anything by Angeles Arrien will make you think long and hard about what has heart and meaning in your life. Last, but not least a couple of dear friendships I've developed on Facebook with people that I very much admire have helped me see things from new and fresh perspectives. Oh! Yes! All of the above AND... doing my affirmations everyday, like clockwork!
So, as you can see, I have all these ideas and all these images floating around in my head. I need to capture all of it and make sense of it all. That is why I have decided to make a timeline of my life....... I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Online Workshop!

I am so excited because I just started my very first online workshop with True North Arts! It's a six week online course on Vision Journaling with Kathryn Antyr. Kathryn mentioned heart and soul, positive intentions, obstacles and strategies, vision journal and cards, which are all phrases that are definitely on my current radar. Blip! Blip! Blip!
Then I saw Shakti Gawain's name was mentioned and her book Creative Visualization, which took me back 20 years. After reading and practicing Shakti's Creative Visualization, I enrolled myself in the HCH Hypnotherapy Certification Program and became a Certified Hypnotherapist.
Ok! I was sold. But there's more. The open-ended format of an online workshop and the short list of materials needed made this absolutely irresistible to me.
Each Monday we receive a prompt by way of email to a blog, where there are instructions. I was very please to find an easy to follow set of instructions that were so much more that what I had expected. Thought and guidance in abundance. Lesson 1 was on Relaxation. There was an introduction and overview and a personal story to help us along. There are tons of photos worth a thousand words and it was really fun! I think I'm going to enjoy the next six weeks. There's still time to sign up, the deadline isn't till August sometime. Just go to True North Arts or Collage Diva Ok, now here's a kicker you weren't expecting, it's only $20.00. Yes, $20.00.
Join up and have fun.
I've loaded my collage and affirmations on to Flickr

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Don't Come Here!

If you want to forget all your woes come to the Pacific North Coast. Hide out in the woods next to the salt air. Oh no! I don't really mean that. It's so average and boring, really you won't have any fun at all! You'll just hate it and wish you'd never left home. Well, that's what you need to tell my friends when you get here. Don't tell them I said anything resembling good about our little corner of the planet. I do understand them wanting to protect this coastal beauty. But, really it's a wonderful place to let go. It's wild, wonderfully fresh and wide open. I had the most synchronitic opportunity to share a great beach house with some old friends this past week-end. The beach house is hopelessly comfy cozy comfortable, like being a little kid back home without a care in the world. The vast Pacific Ocean a stones throw away. And, the company of old friends was comforting beyond words.

Healthy Foods?

I received an email from a close friend who was wondering about healthy foods and carbon footprints. This woman is a very twenty second century type of woman, highly intelligent and exceptionally knowledgeable in many fields. A woman that believes she can accomplish whatever she decides. I was very honored that she asked me to clarify processed foods and healthy foods. I've also included some of the websites that have very good information regarding several issues mentioned here. First her email with the questions then my email with some answers which are my own opinions. I have been wondering how one goes about eliminating processed foods from our diet. Foods like cheeses have some processing involved don't they?? Can you just not buy anything that comes in a can or is frozen? Here's the thing I've been wondering about, too: I have recently stopped buying those plastic bags to line the garbage can and instead use the paper sacks from the grocery store to put our garbage in. Because of this, I have to separate the "dry" garbage, like boxes, paper, cans, etc., from the "wet" garbage, like egg shells, coffee grounds, etc., so the wet stuff doesn't go through the paper sack and making it impossible to take it to the can outside without dumping it all over the floor - know what I mean? Anyway, I've noticed that I have a LOT more wet garbage than dry. My dry garbage bag has to be taken to the can outside about twice a week, whereas the wet stuff I take out almost daily. This all started because, #1, I want to reduce my "carbon footprint" with regard to landfills, etc., and #2 those plastic bags are so expensive. Now I am thinking maybe I could compost some of the wet stuff. Question: Does this mean I am eating a lot of non-processed foods? I guess I'm not sure what exactly is non-processed. Because we live so far from shopping, I go about once a month to stock up on mostly non-perishables and some perishables (I've discovered you can freeze milk - just remember to remove about 1 cup of it before you put it in the freezer). I know this is pretty long and involved - sorry - I probably should have waited until we get together but I'm curious - I do want to eat healthy.
I'm so happy that you are concerned with the carbon footprint that you leave on earth, so many people don't even know what that means! I'll save carbon footprints for another day. But I'm so glad you asked about healthy food! This is one of my favorite subjects.
I do think that you're on your way to making a difference in regard to carbon footprints and healthy living when you notice that your garbage has changed! When you have less cans, bottles and boxes to throw away it's tangible proof you're doing something right. Most processed foods come in that sort of packaging. Keep up the good work! Another thing you can do to cut down on landfill, carbon footprints and protect wildlife all at the same time is use cloth bags (sustainable)instead of plastic or paper. The thrift stores are chock full of them and you can get them very cheap. Personally, I like the washable ones the best, they're soft and can be folded/stuffed in to another bag or your purse. Speaking of landfill, as you move ahead with a healthier lifestyle your dry garbage will reduce even more and you will find that recycling and reuse of what you do end up with will be easier and easier to deal with. I'm following a lady's blog who uses the paper bags to do art on, and quite good art to boot!
Oops! Ran off on a tangent. Back to the issue. It is true that cheeses and some other foods such as tofu are highly processed, and what is most important about these foods it that they be organic whenever possible. If you eat no other organic foods milk, cheese and tofu should be organic. Unprocessed foods are foods that are direct from or closest to nature. Fruits and vegetables are whole foods direct from nature, whole grains and beans have been processed but in a very natural and simple way, mostly just separated and dried. Highly processed foods are foods that generally come in cans, bottles, boxes, and plastic wrapping or bags, they are shipped thousands of miles to the centralized processing plants along with all the other ingredients needed to produce the product creating untold amounts of carbon. Potato vs Potato chip, the potato is simply a vegetable straight out of the ground, whereas the potato chip, starting out simply as a potato, has been put through a rigorous process of many steps and finally dumped into a bags and shipped thousands of miles adding to our carbon footprints. The same story goes for whole grain breads vs white bread, though, even whole grain bread has quite a few steps to its process before we eat it. I often think that is where the average person gets confused about processed foods. I would say there is a significant difference between the highly processed foods like white bread and the nominally processed such as whole grain breads.
I would love to think that all grown foods were good for you. The problem is that produce which has been commercially grown is heavily treated with chemicals and pesticides both on the plants and in the soil. It's known as Agribusiness because they make big money growing hundreds and hundreds of acres of one particular type of food. The problem with this technique is that the single food has to fend for itself all alone with no companion plants to help protect or feed the predator. Organic farming on the other hand is all about building up and fortifying the soil and companion planting. When you plant a variety of plants/foods each plant has aspects that augment the other plants/foods. An example would be, tomatoes grown with peppers and onions have protection from certain caterpillars because peppers and onions attract the beneficial bugs that attack that certain caterpillar that would normally devastate the tomato plant. Also companion planting provides ways for each plant to attract or repel certain beneficial bugs or pests to the garden, they are working symbiotically. There are tons of books on the subject of companion planting and is viewed as the best way to control pests in a garden. One of the best ways to build up and fortify your soil is to compost your wet garbage and start a worm box, there are a ton of websites that offer great advice on composting and how to build and maintain a worm box, see below.
I would like to suggest several books that I found helpful in my striving to be/eat healthy. One is Nicolas Perricone's The Wrinkle Cure and the Perricone Promise and I do need to warn you however that he can be quite steadfast in his beliefs, but has a great foundation for eating well. Another favorite of mine is Andrew Weil's Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, I did his program and felt so wonderful! He has a more comfortable and easy going attitude.
I know how hard it is to maintain a healthy diet while not spend too much money or throwing out spoiled food. One of the things that I do to save money is to eat only fresh foods that are in season. Sometimes this means eating the same old thing over and over, but it provides a wonderful opportunity to build your own new and exciting repertoire of tasty recipes. Don't even get me started on herbs and spices for changing up a meal! So the next time you walk into the produce department think of a rainbow. Try to purchase the most colorful foods. All those colors show you that they are full of antioxidants and vitamins. They should be vibrant and full of life. There are some links here for you to start your adventure into healthy foods. There is a list of foods crops that are grown commercially but still safe and also a list of the crops most heavily sprayed and to be avoided. The Monterrey Bay Aquarium has a great list of seafoods that is concerned with many issues including both mercury and environmentally safe caught practices, called the Seafood Watch Program.
It does take time and effort to find your way to a healthy lifestyle. I admit our quest for healthy foods and living it is not quite mainstream. There are a lot of unscrupulous people and companies out there taking advantage of our naivety making it that much more difficult. But if you look around you'll find there are a lot of good people fighting the good fight to bring this information to the forefront. Here are some of the websites I feel safe in passing on to you. They are full of good information and advice.
This was the article that started my friend wondering....and an excellent one at that!
Nutritionadata.com is one of my favorite sites to find nutritional values for foods and just researching. http://www.nutritiondata.com/
A Composting Guide for the Home Gardener http://www.composting101.com/
A great article from Wikihow, How to make your own Worm Compost System http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Worm-Compost-System
The George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests, is a new force for change to help make a healthier you and a healthier world.
This is a website that will keep you on the cutting edge of sustainablity and how to use it in your everyday life. http://www.sustainablelifemedia.com/
Here's Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program page, I think they are an awesome
organization doing very important work in helping us understand the oceans of the world. http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cafe Gratitude

I love the whole idea!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Fool

After taking the "Your Tarot Reading" quiz on Facebook and "pulling" The Fool, I wanted to clear up some unfounded ideas about the fool as a personality card for some folks.
I'm going to type in a excerpt from Angeles Arrien's book, The Tarot Handbook; Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols which I have owned since forever. Angeles Arrien is an anthropologist who specializes in cross-cultural myths, symbols and ritual, and with this book allows you self-discovery through the cards. The book was published in 1987 and is still a comprehensive guide to the much debated Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck.
".........the Fool as your life-time personality symbol reflects a person who is seen as highly creative and in need of of variety. Fool people are not foolish or fool-hardy. They are courageous and risk-taking. They come across fearless even though they might feel fear gnawing within them. They are drawn toward and tend to explore the mystical, transcendent, and trans personal realms of consciousness. They inspire the sense of adventure and courage within others. Their sense of wonder and anticipation is contagious.
The Fool is an excellent symbol to use as a visual affirmation to enhance courage, risk-taking and the creative expression that is needed to give birth to new parts of one's life. The Fool represents the energetic essence of who we are, the essence of ourselves which is always whole, healthy. and without fear. This symbol reveals the spirit of who we are, that spirit so often expressed and experienced in those states of wonder, awe, curiosity, and anticipation. This is an excellent card to meditate upon if one is experiencing a lot of fear."
Arrien also lists a few sample affirmations to use while focusing on the Fool.
1. I am a radiant Being.
2. I am a living treasure.
3. I deeply honor and value the unlimited resource of courage that is within me.
4. I respect the nature of who I am.
5. There is nothing to fear.
Arrien also gives us a special reminder about the fool in this book; "The Fool is the state of ecstasy and wonder experienced by all humankind. It is an inherent resource we all have that is waiting to be remembered and utilized".
So, as you can see, the Fool is a wonderful card to have as representative of your personality. So be proud and use this powerful card to your advantage!
For those of you interested in reading more from Angeles Arrien, please follow the link below. Angeles Arrien has written other wonderful books such as, The Second Half of Life; Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, The Four Fold Way; Walking the Paths of the, Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary, and Signs of Life. There are a multitude of other books both on her own and in collaboration with other great authors. Here's her page on Amazon; http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_2_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=angeles+arrien&sprefix=Angeles

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Polyvore

This is so much fun! You gotta try it! Just go! Have fun! Get your creative juices flowing! It's so easy!
Create! Here are a few images I've created using the easy to use tools at Polyvore. In no time at all you'll be publishing your creations to your page or to one of the many groups. If you have to stop in the middle you can save your creation as a draft and go back later. The "editor" is a very simple workspace where you can test out different images to see how they add to your picture. The images are easy to add and easy to remove and you never have to settle for less than you wanted. The available images for you to choose from are practically limitless. You can create your own list of images from the Polyvore pool or use images straight from the Polyvore's pool. Or even use your own images; however if you do use your own images they are up for grabs for everyone else in Polyvore so a little thought before adding your own is a good idea.
Shop! Explore! Blog! There are other things to do at Polyvore. Fun is just a click away! Send me some of your creations.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Onions

I'm cheating! I haven't posted for a long time. I'm taking a shortcut!
I've been visiting with my daughter, Kristi and my grandchildren, Vanessa and Joe who all came to see me from Phoenix Arizona. So of course I took a few days off. We were all living together when I wrote this story. I guess I was trying to be funny in a sarcastic sort of way. This photo is from Flikr's Creative Commons, taken by Bahman Farzad, entitled "onion-sha". For more information on Bahman Farzad click on the title "Onions"

12/27/05
Onions
Life is a bitch! Full of hurt feelings, the kind that make your eyes bright red and well up with big old alligator tears. Your throat feels like it’s locking up. Your chest hurts cause you heart is breaking in half and you feel like you can’t breathe. So while all this is going on, you’re acting like none of it is happening, to save face. It’s killing you but you manage. You wait until you’re alone, like in the shower and then you sob. But this is a hollow cry, a counterfeit cry, because it’s lost it’s wallop, its truth, it’s time in reality. Then you wonder why you react to hurt feelings like this. Haven’t you done the work? Haven’t you read numerous books? Watched PBS.
So, just when you think that you’ve solved some of the major problems of the past, an old crisis rears its ugly unrecognizable head. Most likely, a huge and brutal ordeal endured in childhood. Which has, unbeknownst to you, affected your entire life, but you thought you worked it out, you know, dealt with it. By dealt with it, I mean that you’ve taken time, like years. Given the problem a ton of energy, meaning your ongoing life is now unrecognizable so you could roll your sleeves up and really give this wickedness all you’ve got. To keep at it until you know you found a thick layer of deep-rooted pain and peeled it back to reveal feelings you have kept hidden for years (very painful) and then came to some healthy resolution. That would be in a perfect world.
But no! There are many, many layers to these spastic evils and it seems that the troubles are never really solved. They just recede into another level. Another deeper, thinner, more transparent level, that is further and further away from every day life, as a matter of fact, it is just out of your conscience reach. True, its not as painful as the really profound, well hidden ordeals, but never the less, its THERE, a little black mark on your soul, and no matter how tiny it gets, it’s still there. Forever! It’s the place that eternally shows the wounds of living. It’s a special little scar, which can perpetually be reopened, time and time again, by some kind of trigger in your life.
A trigger would be an unknown or unremembered set of events that somehow resemble a deep trauma earlier in life. The really tricky part is while your conscious mind keeps the tempo of your life intact and promotes your existence, thinking every thing is just sunny, your subconscious mind is in anguish re-living the same old upset again. And you don’t really know why you feel like shit, you just do. It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day”, where the guy lives the same day over and over again until he finally gets it right. But of course that is Hollywood so eventually there’s a happy ending. Real life on the other hand is ongoing and never ending until of course you die. So you get to re-live all those horrid disturbances from your early childhood. For your entire life. The other really fucked up part about all this is that you emotionally spiral downward into a terrible depression that you can not let anybody else know you’re experiencing. You can never let them know because they are compelled to fix you, but no matter what they try to do for you, they can never fix it. Besides that, being depressed is not the politically correct thing to do. We are supposed to be able to heal ourselves and deal with the issue at hand promptly and neatly. So you look at how you are dealing with things in your life because that’s the beginning of trying to heal yourself.
What do you see? Your life’s a mammoth muddle and every little thing that happens is bothering you but you definitely don’t have any idea why. You’re basically emotionally unavailable in your own life. It’s just kind of a sketchy vague feeling. Like a dark cloud hanging over you. You can’t see it you just recognize its there, casting a murky shadow on your life. You can’t seem to do or think anything right. That’s when you realize that you’re not dealing with it in a prompt and neat way. The more you think about it the more you realize that you’re a failure, and will forever more be a failure because of some childhood setback that you can’t ever seem to “heal”. So there goes the spiral. Down. Down. Down. And as sad as all that seems, the really sad thing is that people like me raise people like me. It’s a circle. It goes round and round.
Ok! That’s where I am right now. Hopefully, it will change soon. It always does.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review

I just did a book review for Amazon.com. The review is for Monica Reinagel's Inflammation Free Diet Plan. I orginally borrowed this book from the local library and got hooked. I thought I could get by without having the actual book to refer to but I was wrong!
I have been diagnosed with Arthritis and I have had a lot of pain. I changed my diet using the ideas from Monica's book. I actually developed a eating plan based on Monica's inflammation free foods. So, for 30 days, which was so much easier than I thought it would be, I ate nothing but inflammation free foods. My pain disappeared! I slowly started adding back some of the foods I really missed, like yogurt and eggs. I still was not experiencing any pain. Over the next few months I fell back into my old eating habits and gained all the weight I had lost and also was having to deal with all the annoying aches and pains again. Damn It! I did it again! Well, I tried to remember how I got to the inflammation free diet and just couldn't remember all the details, so I bought the book. I'm so glad to have it at my fingertips and feel secure that I can start the diet again. The full book review is below or you can click on this posts title and read the short version on Amazon.

The Inflammation Free Diet Plan

This book was written by Monica Reinagel, forward by consulting editor Juius Torelli, MD. It is a Lynn Sonberg Book, published by McGraw-Hill in 2006. For your easy reference, IBSN 0-07-146471-9

Monica Reinagel has a comfortable writing style an excellent bibliographical reference and index, so everything is simple to find. The book is sectioned into 4 chapters and has a List of Tables and Figures at the front before the foreword.

The first chapter helps us determine our own risk for inflammation and why inflammation is near epidemic. Reinagel maps out exactly what you can do to keep tabs on your own health and how to weave your way through the medical tides. Most important though is that Monica Reinagel reveals a path that you can easily take to a healthier and longer life.

The chapter that was most interesting for me was chapter two because she very clearly shows how the IF ratings were calculated. Reinagel never says exactly what IF stands for but I assume its Inflammation Free. The rating takes into consideration over twenty nutritional factors that affect inflammation. The calculations come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is the basis of the National Nutritional Database for Standard Reference and the most recent update of the database was published in 2004. The formula also incorporates the glycemic index which was sourced from the Glycemic Index Research Institute at Sydney University in Australia. The IF Rating chart also includes for each food the grams of fat and carbohydrate. Reinagel has used the latest information available so we are very up to date.

In chapter three outlines a flexible and easy-to-follow eating plan. You are able to easily modify an eating plan for yourself, so that you can achieve weight loss, reduce pain and allergies, prevent disease and slow the ageing process; all great reasons to watch what you eat. There are a few quizzes so to speak that also help you find the level/plan you need to start with, and some target values to help you stay on track. There is lots of information on meal planning. Then there are some great recipes and even a recipe worksheet (page 60) so that you can work out the IF Rating for your own recipes. She even has tips for calculation of recipes. Using a recipe worksheet Monica shows how you can modify a recipe to realize a higher IF Rating.

The last chapter is the IF Ratings Charts. Monica Reinagel has divided the charts in two ways to make it even easier to find and calculate your ingredients/foods. The first chart is IF Ratings: A to Z, and then the ratings are organized by category to which she has included a Category Guide in the front.

Over all I found the book easy to read and understand. I found the information relevant and learned a few things that surprised me. My only negative issue with the book is that the IF Ratings only include 1600 foods. That is a lot of different foods but while looking through the ratings I found some items that I use frequently missing, like tofu.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Stay-cation"

I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning. Just as I was driving out of reach of my local NPR radio station they were talking about the "new" vacation Americans are and will be taking instead of the usual fare, calling them "Stay-cations". What a fabulous idea! As an American who hasn't taken many "Vacations" I think it will be very good for the American people. First of all, it will prove that we, as Americans can have fun without spending obscene amounts of money. Secondly, and much more importantly, American families might finally find that sacred space of quiet and stillness to actually re-connect on a deeper level to their own families.
It's a very good practice to do with less in an era where conspicuous consumption has been the highlight in our lives to the point of global warming and mass extinctions, where bigger is better and nothing is sacred. Think of it as building character. This is a good time to stay home and stoke the home fires. Get your house in order, make your connections and be prepare for whatever comes at us next with a united front. People are suffering all over the world, including in our own neighborhoods, it would be nice if we stayed home and took care of our local communities, finding a way to hold them up and making them solid again. It can only be good for us to spend more time at home with our families and really get to know our local communities. Really, how many people know their neighbors now days? I was raised in San Francisco, just south of Market, in the early '50's. We knew all of our neighbors up and down the street, no one never locked their doors, we walked to our schools through downtown traffic without adult supervision and we played in the streets all the time. The world was a different place, a slower, closer to home place. I do understand that. As a matter of fact, I am scared to death when I think about the life my grand kids might have to live. We have so many options, to make things right, get back on track and save face, and the world too! So, speaking of staying home, I want to share with you a weblog that has wonderful ideas and is working for a better world. http://www.inhabitat.com/ is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Please visit, be inspired and enjoy this website by clicking on the title of this post.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Drawing Day

Today is Drawing Day! It's a world wide event. This event wants to create a million drawings to share today. Here's what they are saying:
One day a year, the world stops to remember that joy we had when we first picked up a pencil and created our first piece of art - that's what Drawing Day is all about. The goal for Drawing Day is simple - to create enough drawings to make some noise worldwide for the sake of art. 2008 was the first year of this initiative. Our goal is definitely a long-shot, but we continue to aim for 1 million drawings worldwide. We have no precise measure to know if we reach this goal. If we come close we will all definitely know. Even if we reach 10% of our goal in the first year of this initiative, it will be a great achievement but we will continue aiming for the magic million.
I think this it is one of the really fun and creative online events that is all enclusive. It will bring together lots of people in the spirit of fun and art. Go have fun and visit them by clicking on the title, Drawing Day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Affirmations

I saw Louise Hay on PBS last night. I was lucky enough to catch the last part of Wayne Dryer's show, "Excuses Begone" when Wayne announced that Louise was in the audience. Of course when the cameras focused on Louise Hay she was emitting a wholly healthly and profoundly alive glow. I would say that makes her 82 years on earth affirm that affirmations do work! The universe works in strange ways and was again to my rescue, at just the right time for me to see what I need. So I decided to link bmindful.com to my blog to remind me to focus on affirmations as a tool to make necessary changes, painlessly I might add, and stay on course. Hope this is a help to you as well. I also added a wiget from "Quote of the Day" just to keep us close to great minds. Enjoy your day - I'm going to!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oceans Day June 8, 2009

I love this place! Go! Enjoy! This guy was in hiding last time I was at the Academy but should be back at center stage by now. Earlier this year, the United Nations issued an official resolution designating June 8, 2009 as the first annual World Oceans Day. Now that's exciting!
Speaking of exciting, I learned how to link a title! If you click the title above it will take you directly to the "Celebrate World Oceans Day" page at the Califorina Academy of Sciences, which has planned lots of events to celebrate Oceans Day.
And now for the best part, the most awesome shot of the roof taken by my friend Sherry Brown

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A whole new universe

This blogging thing is very new to me. It's like a whole new universe for me to explore. I was thinking that I would post at least once a week in the begining. I'm not sure if that's good timing or not but I think it's a good place to start. So, as it goes, I have to fill out a bunch of stuff for this blog. I will leave you with this link. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2009/May/Astronauts-Ready-for-Last-Hubble-Repair/
The Hubble Space Telescope will never again be touched by human hands.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Beginings

Day One Hi folks! I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. But as fearful as I am at this moment I still want to have community more. I think this is the way to go, the fourth screen so to speak. I have so much to learn. I just hope the learning curve is not to steep and wild for this old gal!