Charming, lovely, melodic. take a minute to smell the flowers.
When I regret something I’ve done (or haven’t done) it’s a signal that I’ve not learned from my choice. I believe that making mistakes, taking wrong turns is ultimately about learning and growing and not repeating what didn’t work.
Photographer Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi took pictures of people from all over the world sharing their greatest regrets. She captured a range of emotions—humor, heartbreak, and guilt. It would be fascinating to talk to these same people in 10 years to see if they’ve learned from what they now regret.
Anyone can contribute to the ongoing project by taking a photo to share. Participants can send the image to the artist via a Facebook message. Dragoi references an anonymous quote as inspiration to those who wish to take part:
“If we spend our time with regrets over yesterday, and worries over what might happen tomorrow, we have no today in which to live.”
To see Alecsandra Dragoi’s site and many more photos click here.
Dear Miss Ruby, Canine Dog Therapist,
As an experienced CDT here’s some basic guidelines for your new career.
- Always have kleenex ready. It’s tax-deductible.
- Do not take insurance. Make sure that your clients understand you take only “out-of-pocket” doggie-cookies, no deferred insurance payment. Insurance takes too long to reimburse and will discount the amount of cookies you are entitled to.
- When your clients are angry or unduly upset get under a table until the storm blows over. In extreme cases you might have to jump on your human-being’s lap to protect her because she doesn’t have enough instinct to duck ‘n cover.
- Show, don’t tell. Most therapist spend all their time talking – blah, blah, blah. After awhile clients just tune them out. You must demonstrate these time-tested psychotherapeutic techniques to help humans develop healthy behavioral coping skills:
- Shake it off. Not everything needs examining or even understanding.
- Roll over. “Turn the other cheek” in human-lingo.
- Play dead when others are threatening, demanding or unreasonable.
- Beg for forgiveness if you’ve done something hurtful.
- Stare to get attention. Don’t make a fuss as it takes too much energy.
- Sleep a lot in order to think clearly and make healthy choices.
- Play. Don’t take life seriously as that takes MUCH too much energy.
Should you need further guidance send a check payable to Freddie Parker Westerfield and then call me.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET
P.S. I don’t take insurance and no longer take payment in dog-cookies as I prefer to buy my own.
It’s been a rough several months. I suspect that in order to flee all the snow in the Eastern United States my “Fibro-Fiend” needed a bit of sunshine so dropped in for a visit. It’s been sunny and warm here and she just won’t leave.
She’s a demanding house-guest and almost all my energy is spent focusing on her needs. She doesn’t have a very good sense of humor either and I have to find ways to amuse myself. I’ve not had the energy to participate in Year of the Spark so I revisited some old, EASY Carla Sonheim exercises looking for some spark.
Click here – Irritated Birds - to see how I made the birdies.
Blob Critters (they don’t have names yet)
- Made a blob of color using water-color
- Found critters in the blobs
- Drew a bit
That’s all folks. Gotta go feed Fibro-Fiend.
“Weep”, sing it out now
like a song bird with a lisp
thweep, thweep, thweep, thweep, thweep
Say it five times fast
Very weird word weep
*One who is especially gifted in the perception and expression of the beautiful or lyrical
When I was young (just a few years ago . . . ) I thought it wasn’t a poem unless it rhymed. Shakespeare, Pound, Chaucer were agonizing for me to read in college, much less understand. I’ve grown to appreciate poetry and how it paints pictures, feelings, sentiments, hopes & dreams with words . . . much like visual journals.
It’s haiku prompt day today but as a favor to all my friends who don’t like haiku . . . Joyce . . . READ THIS!
POSSIBILITIES by Wislawa Szymborska
I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.
“Polish poet and translator Wislawa Szymborska (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012). In 1996, Szymborska was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.” Upon announcing the prize, the Nobel commission noted her reputation as “the Mozart of poetry” but added that there is also “something of the fury of Beethoven in her creative work.”
Warning! Do NOT read the story of Little Red Riding hood that has been circulating. It’s filled with violence and death.
The Real (& Untold Story) of Little Red Riding Hood
Dedicated to all adoptees, whether two or four-legged.
by Freddie Parker Westerfield
Once upon a time in a land far away lived a little orphan wolf. How he became an orphan is not known, the records being lost long ago in the archives of the forest.
The tale simply begins: Abandoned and never having been around others of his own kind the little orphan wolf didn’t know what sharp teeth he had. He didn’t know what big eyes he had. He didn’t know what a bushy tail he had. He didn’t know how hairy he was. He didn’t know how scary he was. All he knew was that he was alone in a big forest filled with creatures and critters that ran away from him as soon as he approached.
So the little orphan wolf covered himself with branches and leaves to listen to the birds sing to each other in the trees.
He laid in tall grass to watch the squirrels play so they wouldn’t leap out of his sight.
He hid behind bushes to sneak peaks at the deer eating their meals.
But every day, all day, he was alone: every morning he ate by himself; every evening he played by himself; every night he settled down to sleep, alone.
One day the little orphan wolf decided to set out from his forest home to find someone, somewhere, to be his friend.
Along the way he came upon a little girl. She had a yellow curl and wore a red cape and hood. Why she wore a red cape and hood is not known, the records being lost long ago in the archives of the forest.
Because she was young, and bigger than the little orphan wolf she wasn’t scared, she didn’t run away, she stopped and asked: “Where are you going Mr. Wolf?”
“I’m off to find a friend so that I am not alone. I’m off to find a friend to share my meals with. I am off to find a friend to play with and most of all I off to find a friend to talk with. I am very lonely.”
The little girl with the yellow curl wearing the red cape and hood, feeling sorry for the little orphan wolf, said, “Come with me to Grandma’s house. She makes delicious muffins with the berries I pick in the forest. She sits at the table while I eat the muffins and listens to me talk. Grandma loves all of God’s creatures. She can’t be your grandma, but maybe she can be your friend.”
“I don’t know what a Grandma is,” replied the little orphan wolf, “but she sounds exactly like the friend I’m looking for.”
And so the little orphan wolf set off with the little girl with a curl who wore a red cape and hood to Grandma’s house.
They passed by a giant berry bush. “Stop here to pick berries for the delicious muffins Grandma makes,” said the little girl. They picked only the very ripest berries and carefully carried them in the pockets of the red cape.
They passed by a field of flowers. “Stop here to pick flowers for Grandma to put on the table where we sit and she listens to me talk,” explained the little girl. They picked a bouquet of blue and pink flowers and carefully wrapped them in the red hood.
They passed a bubbling brook where cool waters ran. “Let’s stop here for a drink to refresh ourselves after all our work picking berries and flowers,” suggested the little girl. They drank from the bubbling brook and carefully rested on the red cape so as not to crush the berries or smash the flowers.
As they walked over the crest of a hill the little girl pointed and exclaimed, “Look! There’s Grandma’s house. Let’s see if she will be your friend.”
The little orphan wolf peeked out from behind the red cape not sure what a grandma was. His eyes grew bigger and bigger as he watched Grandma greet the little girl with a big hug and the biggest, most wonderful smile, neither of which he had ever seen before.
The little girl announced, “Grandma, I’ve brought you berries so you can make me delicious muffins. I’ve brought you flowers to put on the table where we sit and you listen to me talk. I’ve brought you a little orphan wolf who is lonely and looking for a friend”
Never having met a grandma before and not knowing how to greet one the little orphan wolf opened his mouth, showed his sharp teeth and wagged his bushy tail.
“My! What sharp white teeth you have”, gasped grandma. “The better to protect you with” replied the little orphan wolf.
“My! What big brown eyes you have,” marveled Grandma. “The better to lovingly look up at you with”, replied the little orphan wolf. “
“My! What a bushy tail you have,” exclaimed Grandma. “The better to wag at you with happiness,” replied the little orphan wolf.
“My! How fluffy your hair is,” declared Grandma. “The better to cuddle with and keep you warm,” said the little orphan wolf.
“Oh my goodness”, sighed Grandma. “I will be your friend and feed you delicious berry treats, while you sit and listen to me.”
“And because you are one of God’s creatures I will call you FREDDIE.”
Where upon the little orphan wolf looked up at Grandma with big eyes, wagged his bushy tail, stuck out his wet tongue and gave Grandma an appreciative lick.
He had found his friend.
And so ends my tail
Watch and listen to this incredible technology! AND there’s a Videoscope site where you can do it yourself
“Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage.”
“Watch him re-create a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The wow-inspiring and sinister applications of this tech you have to see to believe.”
Videoscope is an online tool designed to reveal signals in recorded video that are normally invisible to the naked eye. This tool is based on methods and algorithms originally developed by researchers at MIT CSAIL and Quanta Research Institute. For more details about the algorithm, please visit the MIT project website.
Things were sooooo much easier before I knew identity was a crisis: so much easier when I was a child and the word identity was something I had to look up in the dictionary; so much easier when I was a young adult and knew everything there was to know; so much easier when I was in mid-life and knew everything I needed to know.
I’d better find my identity before it becomes a full-blown crisis.
Maybe life is about stumbling, figuring things out . . . redoing, undoing and redoing again. Maybe who we are is meant to be the ultimate mystery and our curiosity is simply to keep us from stagnating while experiencing life, one crisis at time. Maybe?
My last attempt to figure me out: Who am I anyway? Identity Crisis Coming to a Computer Near You.
You’ve seen some of my one-line drawings. Now you can make your own SCRIBBLE drawing on your computer screen. Fast, Fun, EASY!
Amuse yourself! Click here!
Skimming my surface
tell-tale signs of suffering
The pain buried deep
My haiku was inspired by Carolyn Thomas’ Post-Traumatic Growth: how a crisis makes life better – or not. Carolyn had a myocardial infarction – the “widowmaker” heart attack. Since that life altering experience she has been overwhelmingly affected by the ongoing pain of coronary microvascular disease.
Until I read Carolyn’s excellent post I had never heard of Post Traumatic GROWTH:
“Post-Traumatic Growth is the experience of positive change that occurs as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life crises.
“Although the term is new, the idea that great good can come from great suffering is ancient.”
“Reports of Post-Traumatic Growth have been found in people who have experienced bereavement, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV infection, cancer, bone marrow transplantation, heart attacks, coping with the medical problems of children, transportation accidents, house fires, sexual assault and sexual abuse, combat, refugee experiences, and being taken hostage.”
Read this informative and thought-provoking post and Carolyn’s concern for patients & people regarding this concept. Click HERE
Most of you read my blog for cultural awareness and fast breaking scientific events such as Pi Day on March 14 . This year it’s even more special because it’s 3/14/15!!!!!
The Greek letter “π” (pronounced pi) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. That’s why Pi Day is an annual international celebration.
Now pay attention. To celebrate you eat pie on 3/14/15 at exactly 9:26 am and again at 9:26 pm because “a sequential time occurs on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53.58979… following the sequence of pi to all digits.” Now THAT is something to celebrate.
Since pi is a Greek letter if you are cutting down on sugar you could eat Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) instead.
*”Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.” SEE!!! Culture and science can be fun!
Oh baby, it’s cold outside!
so step on my feet we’ll go for a ride
Open your bill for a swill of krill
Mommy will make sure you get your fill
My Human-being always had very thoughtful clients (the others fired her when they figured out she doesn’t do well with people who aren’t nice).
Margo, who is very nice and extremely wise, hand-made this retirement present for my Human-being.
You’ll see why Margo is so wise when you read what she put on the back cover.
I make my human-being read it everyday and take her own advice.
You should read it too, particularly about how to handle stress.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET
Canine Dog Therapist, Retired
I don’t know about you but I secretly harbor “anticipations” when there is a first in my life – a hope that I will miraculously be a different person when I wake up the day after.
Because two big firsts – my 70th birthday and retirement – occurred almost simultaneously just MAYBE, I think, maybe this time I’ll have a genuine epiphany – spectacular insight into who I REALLY am at the core of my being . . . or at least a surge of renewed energy.
I was trying to describe to a friend what it felt like the first day after I turned 70, saw my last client and was officially retired. “. . . kinda like right after my first sexual “experience” – I was disappointed that I didn’t feel like a different person, more mature, sophisticated, enlightened, intelligent, alive, but I did wonder if other people could tell.”
Same experience all over again: Don’t feel any different; Don’t feel more mature, sophisticated, enlightened, intelligent, alive . . . but perhaps other people can tell something big just happened to me by how I walk or talk or act?
So far no one seems to notice anything . . . maybe that’s because I’m trying not to walk funny.
(inspired by and with apology to Helen Reddy)
I resist the urge to yell at you
Perhaps instead a well placed pout
or conjure up a tear or two
It never helps to ream you out.
I’ve learned it takes less energy
to always smile, no need to taunt
to get exactly what I want
Pain Remedy Pome
Little Miss Muffett
sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider
Injected inside her
medicating pain away
“I don’t hurt inside”
she happily cried
and threw her curds away
“No more aches and pains
or all manner of strains
the spider has made my day”
(to read the whole article the title above)
by KATE KELLAND
(Reuters) – “Scientists who analyzed countless chemicals in spider venom say they have identified seven compounds that block a key step in the body’s ability to pass pain signals to the brain.”
“In research they said could one day lead to a new class of potent painkillers, the scientists focused on 206 species of spider and searched for molecules in the venom that block nerve activity, particular via so-called “Nav1.7 channels”.”
“Experts estimate that as many as one in five people worldwide suffer from chronic pain and existing pain treatments often fail to give sufficient or long-term relief. Pain’s economic burden is also huge, with chronic pain estimated to cost $600 billion a year in the United States alone.”
“People sense pain in a part of their body when nerves from the affected area send signals to the brain through what is called the pain pathway, and it is this pathway scientists seek to disrupt when searching for potential new pain medicines.”
Click here to read my other “tribute” to the Muffett Miss:
No Rhyme nor Reason, Muffett & the Spider Pome
Living in Southern California where it’s a few hours drive to see snow does not give me the credentials to write about winter. So here’s a lovely piece written by Barbara J. King and a meditative-monkey glimpse for all you living with winter-white:
“We are about 15 days away now from the spring equinox — but winter is not yet done with us.”
“By measures of temperature and precipitation, winter 2015 has brought ongoing hardship to many in the U.S., perhaps especially in and around Boston, where epic blizzards continue their toll.”
“At this point, those of us in snowy, icy locales may need some inspiration to make it through March. I have found mine in this three-minute film, produced by Art Gimbel, of Japanese snow monkeys in Jigokudani Monkey Park. The film is also featured online at National Geographic.”
“As primates, like us, these monkeys delight me: Look at the intelligence in their eyes, the delicate fingers as one monkey — clutching close a juvenile, perhaps her child — plays with a bubble in the water.”
“We see in the film the monkeys’ profound relationships made real by grooming rituals, and the animals’ calm as they seek, in warm spring waters, a respite from the snow and ice.”
“So, sure, who can resist red pandas cavorting in the snow? But if it’s winter Zen we need, it’s the Japanese snow monkeys from whom we may take our cue.”
“Barbara J. King, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary, often writes about human evolution, primate behavior, and the cognition and emotion of animals. Barbara’s most recent book on animals was released in paperback in April. You can keep up with what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape.”
Going to a sit-down movie in the 1950’s was a big treat. Before the feature film there were cartoons and a black and white newsreel which often showed men testing jetpacks. It was fascinating watching them suit up and then “blasting off”. It was also scary. I was sure that by the time I was an adult everyone would use jet-packs for transportation and I was terrified of heights.
I’m relieved jetpacks never came into vogue. Where I live all the electrical lines are underground and I would be flying blind.
* * *
I wonder if these pilots are old enough to remember newsreels and men flying with jetpacks?
“The costs of the shoot are unknown, but each jet has a list price of $300 million, so it’s safe to assume that well over $1.5 billion of machinery was on the line.”
“Airbus recently took this remarkable skill [flying in formation] to a whole new level in a promo video designed to show off its new A350 XWB passenger jet. The beautifully choreographed stunt involved five of the brand-new A350-900 jets, as well as two chase planes and a helicopter.”
Here’s the article: Watch Airbus risk 15 billion in a wild airplane stunt
Thanks Lyn for sending this spectacular ride.
Received this birthday “reminder” from my friend Sharon, who, yes even after receiving this, I still call my friend.
Questions and Answers from CARP Forum
Q: Where can single men over the age of 70 find younger women who are interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore, under Fiction.
Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?
A: Keep busy. If you’re handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you’re done, you will have a place to live.
Q: Someone has told me that menopause is mentioned in the bible… Is that true?
Where can it be found?
A: Yes. Matthew 14:92:
“And Mary rode Joseph’s ass all the way to Egypt…”
Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your over-70 year-old husband?
A: Tell him you’re pregnant.
Q: How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly wrinkles?
A: Take off your glasses.
Q: Seriously! What can I do for these crow’s feet and all those wrinkles on my face?
A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out..
Q: Why should 70-plus year old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don’t forget where they park your car.
Q: Is it common for 70-plus year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem, Retrieving it is the problem.
Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.
Q: Where should 70-plus year olds look for eye glasses?
A: On their foreheads.
Q: What is the most common remark made by 70-plus year olds when they enter antique stores?
A: “Gosh, I remember these!”
I am sustained by my Baha’i belief that pain, suffering – any type of crisis – is an opportunity for learning, changing and growing. My professionally and personal experience backs my belief as I know, without a doubt, that pleasure, ease and happiness do not promote growth.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t seek out pain and suffering but when it happens to me or in the world I do look for the good that can evolve.
When I read this interview with the Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Ebola Revitalized her Downtrodden Country it was an example of what I believe is possible in the world.
Here’s an excerpt – The entire interview is worth a quick read:
“Do you think the image of Liberia has changed through this [Ebola crisis]?
“Yes, I think it has. We were the poster child of everything that could go wrong: disaster, death, destruction all over the place. We too, as a result of Ebola, had a re-energizing of ourselves. We saw a new opportunity to turn this crisis into something that will be good for the country. And it’s not just the leadership, It’s also the people in the communities. They were the victims but they became the victors because they were the ones who took responsibility. They all had a role to play. And because of that, we see this as a new resurgence. Our success, we think, has been heralded. If you look at the predictions that we faced in October, I mean, by the end of January there will be 1.4 million people dead. That was a wake-up call for us, a call to action. Our people rose to that.”
Tiny sweaters for penguins!!! “. . . knit by a group of volunteers that includes Alfred “Alfie” Date, who at 109 years of age is Australia’s oldest man.”
“When disaster strikes, the wildlife clinic at the Phillip Island Nature Park will be ready, equipped to deploy hundreds of tiny wool sweaters at a moment’s notice.”
“Date told Australia’s Ninemsn he started knitting the “easy single-rib and double-rib” sweaters shortly after moving to a retirement home in southwest Australia. After learning he could knit, two nurses who knew of the “Knits for Nature” program approached him to gauge his interest, Date said, adding, “I’m a sucker. I can’t say no.”‘
“In the event of an oil spill near Phillip Island’s 32,000 little penguins, wildlife clinic workers put oil-covered birds in sweaters to minimize the amount of oil they ingest while preening themselves. According to the Philip Island Penguin Foundation, the substance also matts the penguin’s feathers, which both prevents it from regulating its temperature and reduces the animal’s buoyancy in water.”
“Following a spill near Phillip Island in 2001, 483 little penguins ended up at the rehabilitation center, with 96 percent ultimately being released back into the wild.”
Long after the original dagger has been wiped clean of blood, wounds of failure, loneliness and rejection often never heal. We learn to cover them up with smiles and long sleeves to keep them hidden from view.
Emotional wounds lie on the surface. They get bumped, scrapped and ripped opened over and over throughout our lives. We habituate to our emotional pain and don’t look for help until our body starts talking to us through physical symptoms.
Many of you who know me well know I often speak in “hyperbole”. All of you know I’m not now exaggerating. Watch this excellent TedTalk.
“We’ll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don’t we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.”
I have no words, which is rare. Just watch.
Thanks Sharon for sending this.
I eat all the leftovers in the refrigerator. I make a batch of brownies from a mix and eat the batter slowly, very slowly, breathing in the chocolately aroma, feeling the slightly gritty grains of batter between my tongue and roof of my mouth. Spoonful by spoonful the intense sweetness permeates every sense of my being. I eat all the batter because turning on the oven is too complicated and not understanding what temperature or how long they need to bake too dangerous.
I search all the kitchen cupboards. The only thing left that is edible is a box of Saltine crackers and ketchup, necessities of life when you are a student and working your way through college. Intently focused, I carefully break the crackers apart into their neat little squares and slowly, carefully arrange them on a plate. It takes time to decorate them with swirls and globs of ketchup before I carefully spread the red with the tines of a fork marveling at the artistic lines I’m creating in the ketchup.
“Taste this – they’re delicious, like the best pizza ever.” I walk slowly, carefully balancing the plate, into the living room toward my roommate Shelly who’s sitting on our Salvation Army couch, her feet propped up on the wooden spool coffee table that once held wire cable for telephone repair and abandoned on a Berkeley street corner.
“Taste these – just like pizza, they are delicious,” I repeat, shoving the plate into Shelley’s line of vision as she blankly stares in the direction of the orange paper-mache flower in the milk carton that decorates the wooden spool. Mechanically, and without the enthusiasm I think warranted, she chews slowly, very slowly, silently, reflectively. Not waiting for her response I eat the rest of the pizza crackers while carrying the plate back to the kitchen to make more.
by Angus Chen
“Shortly after toking up, a lot of marijuana users find that there’s one burning question on their minds: “Why am I so hungry?” Researchers have been probing different parts of the brain looking for the root cause of the marijuana munchies for years. Now, a team of neuroscientists [led by Tamas Horvath at the Yale School of Medicine] report that they have stumbled onto a major clue buried in a cluster of neurons they thought was responsible for making you feel full.”
“An effect when cannibus is introduced in the brain . . . “creates a kind of runaway hungry effect. “Even if you just had dinner and you smoke the pot, all of a sudden these neurons that told you to stop eating become the drivers of hunger,” Horvath says. It’s a bit like slamming down on the brakes and finding weed has turned it into another gas pedal.
” . . . Last year, researchers foundthat cannabinoids lit up the brain’s olfactory center, making mice more sensitive to smells. Before that, other researchers discovered cannabinoids were increasing levels of dopamine in the brain; that’s the swoon that comes with eating tasty things.”
“For anyone who’s experienced it — you realize that’s exactly what’s happening,” he [Horvath] chuckles. “You just can’t stop, no matter how much you put in your mouth.”
. . . and I might add . . .
You just can’t stop no matter
WHAT you put in your mouth.
To read the entire article click here
I’ve been 70 for 4 days and I still feel like I’m 69 . . . maybe I’ll feel my age in a few more days.
My long-time “Fibro-friend” came to celebrate my birthday with me. She wasn’t invited but she came anyway. She said that’s what friends are for. But I showed her and didn’t have a celebration. Here’s my birthday pome to me (in blue) with an intro by “Mac”:
Happy Birthday from “Mac” and Me
(with apologies to Fleetwood Mac)
“If you wake up and don’t want to smile
If it takes just a little while
Open your eyes and look at the day
You’ll see things in a different way”
“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop. It’ll soon be here”
So don’t fret my dear
A new year to cheer
there’s nothing to fear
You may be old
but you’re still here!
A live performance of Fleetwood Mac’s classic hit, ‘Don’t Stop’ with help from the University of Southern California’s Trojans Marching Band
How can you not admire people who are clear about what their priorities are . . . Ya gotta watch this to the end of the video! (I hope “green guy” has a sense of humor)
Thanks Sharon for the laugh!
Here’s hoping it’s not a “too-good-to-be-true” hype because it sounds promising. Electrical brain stimulation has long been used clinically for conditions like Parkinson’s and depression.
“Thync, a wearable startup that uses brain stimulation to affect a user’s mood, claims a new study proves that its device is capable of causing wearers to “instantly relax when they want'”.
“The study, published by bioRxiv, revealed a 14-minute session using Thync’s electrical waveforms caused a significant stress reduction in 97% of the participants.”
“Following several years of research and development the company found a way to target the noradrenergic systems and locus coeruleus – the parts of the brain responsible for regulating the ‘fight or flight’ response.”‘
“Until now artificial regulation of this response has been achieved using drugs, chemicals or invasive procedures.”
‘”Our results show that electrical neurosignalling can significantly reduce sympathetic nervous system activity in the face of stressful conditions,” said Jamie Tyler, chief scientific officer at Thync.”
“Our brains already have the power to combat stress and achieve a calm state. We found a way to invoke these mechanisms on demand using approaches described in our recent report. For neuroscience, and for us, this is a big deal.”
“The study showed that Thync’s electrical neurosignalling saw subjects experience reduced heart-rate variability, a galvanic skin response and significantly greater levels of relaxation.”
“Participants in the study described the effects of the technology as similar to meditating or the feeling experienced after drinking modest amounts of alcohol.”
“The potential impact of our findings becomes rather evident when we study how the ability to decrease stress on demand affects people in more natural contexts – in their everyday life at home or work,” said Sumon Pal, a PhD neuroscientist and executive director at Thync.”
‘”We find that people just felt better when they can instantly relax when they want. The program only takes about 10 minutes to run, but the acute effects last from 20 minutes to an hour.”‘
“We feel this can be a game-changing approach to managing the daily stress we all experience day in and day out.”
I’m a bit upset with all of you who have e-mailed me or commented on my retirement with such incredibly loving, affirming messages and gifts. I’m upset because it’s now too late to use all of you for testimonials to promote my services. Where were you when I could have taken advantage of you? I could be retiring a millionaire.
There are so many people who have touched my life I can’t begin to list them all. These are just a few in recent time: Sherry, Lisa, Linda, Margo, Susan, Joyce, Bryan, Adele, Liz, Peggy, Cathy, Doug, Chris, Ramesh, Paula, Ron, Kathy, Denise, Ann, Rich, Nan, Kate, Erin, Alma, Kathe, Ruta, Lyn, Abbie, Jackie, Jan, Ida, Jan, Alma, Rosemary, Denise, Fariba, Margi, Diane, Vivian, Christine, Theresa, Mike, Becca, Carolyn, Vandi, Kim, Daru, Bernice, Deborah, Laura, Tessa, Hank, Jamey, Carol, Theresa, Mary, Blair, Barry, Sandyha, Marc, Cindy, Sam, Laurie, Sally (if I’ve left anyone out please be forgiving as there are literally hundreds and hundreds).
I have met the most wonderful people in my life and career – people who dedicate themselves to helping others, giving to others, people who have gone through painful, frightening, confusing times only to come out stronger and wiser and more loving on the other end. You all have been an inspiration to me and I say that from the bottom of my tired, irregularly beating heart.
I’ve been a psychotherapist for 30+ years and needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) it’s been a huge part of my identity. I painted this canvas a few decades ago when I was in another “identity” shift –
struggling with who I was as a person with a chronic medical condition. The picture was done in about 15 minutes, spontaneously, without planning or forethought. It surprised me. It is symbolic to me of emergence and hung in my office.
It’s probably time to paint another and see if I’m growing a third head.
With love and gratitude to each and every one of you who have touched my life,
P.S. I suggest you consider announcing your pending retirement or your demise (which ever you think may come first) as soon as possible so you can enjoy the nice things people say . . . . and find out who is keeping mum . . .
In case you missed my announcement: Are the rumors true I’m retiring?
Seventy years ago I emerged from the womb – my mother’s to be precise. If that isn’t lucky I don’t know what is.
As you know, I had decided to celebrate my Birthday Season for 70 days in advance this year. However, it didn’t work out as I had planned because no one followed rule #3. So I am giving you another chance. Starting today I will continue to celebrate for another 70 days.
Please review the rules so you understand what your part is.
Here are The Birthday Season* Official Rules that start again today:
- Beginning on the day of your birth your season lasts the number of days you are old. You may start your Birthday Season before the day of your birth. But you cannot exceed the number of days you are old. Consequently, every year your Birthday Season is one day longer. With me so far?
- You are to celebrate your birth the entire season by choosing whatever you wish to do, or NOT do, each day. So far so good!
- People give you presents the entire season. SO GOOD, so far!
- You must be over 50 to qualify for Birthday Season status. (Over 50 you need more time to celebrate because it takes you longer.)
- Those who are under the age of 50 can celebrate a Birthday Season as long as they don’t tell anyone or demand presents. (Gargle thoroughly after breakfast to eliminate tell-tale “Birthday Season Breath”.
- You must eat doughnuts everyday for breakfast during your season. (If you don’t like doughnuts you can choose anything you want as long as it isn’t healthy).
- Every day of your season you must be grateful for being born and still being alive. (After your Birthday Season is over you can revert to moaning about your age).
*For those of you who don’t know how “The Birthday Season” came into being here’s the link My Birthday Season or you can have your donut and eat it too.
Good news! I was neither eaten nor chloroformed to live another day and tell about Part II of the:
PASTURE-IZING THE ELDERLY
“It was the world-renowned physician William Osler who laid the scientific foundations that, when combined with a compelling economic rationale, would eventually make retirement acceptable. In his 1905 valedictory address at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he had been physician-in-chief, Osler said it was a matter of fact that the years between 25 and 40 in a worker’s career are the ”15 golden years of plenty.” He called that span ”the anabolic or constructive period.” Workers between ages 40 and 60 were merely uncreative and therefore tolerable. He hated to say it, because he was getting on, but after age 60 the average worker was ”useless” and should be put out to pasture.” (I’m 70, that means put out to pasture . . . and . . . plowed under . . . for the next crop)
THE BIG PAYOFF
By 1935, it became evident that the only way to get old people to stop working for pay was to pay them enough to stop working. A Californian, (Of course California . . . where else . . . ) Francis Townsend, initiated a popular movement by proposing mandatory retirement at age 60. In exchange, the Government would pay pensions of up to $200 a month, an amount equivalent at the time to a full salary for a middle-income worker. Horrified at the prospect of Townsend’s radical generosity, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Social Security Act of 1935, which made workers pay (and pay and pay and pay) for their own old-age insurance.
“What used to mean going to bed suddenly meant banishment to an empty stage of life called ”retirement.” If people were not going to work, what were they going to do? Sit in a rocking chair? Eleanor Roosevelt thought so. ”Old people love their own things even more than young people do. It means so much to sit in the same chair you sat in for a great many years,” she said in 1934. But she was wrong. (Yes, she was wrong. I sit because it’s too hard to get up) Most retired people wished they could work. (That’s because we are scared of being eaten or plowed under) The problem was still acute in 1951, when the Corning company convened a round table to figure out how to make retirement more popular. At that conference, Santha Rama Rau, an author and student of Eastern and Western cultures, complained that Americans did not have the capacity to enjoy doing nothing.” (the verdict is still out, I’ll let you know)
SENIORS ARE BORN
“The publication in 1955 of Senior Citizen magazine was the first widespread use of the euphemism (If Senior Citizen is an euphemism – “OLD-WOMAN” is a swear word) that, while intending to reconfer respect, instead made a senior citizen sound like an over-decorated captain in ”The Pirates of Penzance.” Its merely partial success may also be linked to the fact that there is something inherently suspicious about an age group that has to offer its potential members discounts to induce them to join.”
THE R WORD
In 1999, The American Association of Retired Persons, once the Welcome Wagon of retirement, dropped the word ”retired” from its name and became The American Association of R****** Persons. This change was effected in recognition of a basic reality — many of its members are not retired — and in anticipation of the baby boomers’ threat never to stop wearing Lycra, turn gray, stop carrying around bottled water or retire. (I have the Lycra, grey hair and bottled water . . . now to find me a job)
(Since this is the first time I’ve ever retired it’s important to understand what lies ahead . . . and behind. I hope history doesn’t keep repeating itself even when I do.)
“In the beginning, there was no retirement. There were no old people. (Very true – in the beginning I was much younger) In the Stone Age, everyone was fully employed until age 20, by which time nearly everyone was dead, usually of unnatural causes. Any early man who lived long enough to develop crow’s-feet was either worshiped or eaten as a sign of respect.” (I’ll take the worship and pass on being respected)
“Even in Biblical times, when a fair number of people made it into old age, retirement still had not been invented and respect for old people remained high. In those days, it was customary to carry on until you dropped, regardless of your age group — no shuffleboard, no Airstream trailer. When a patriarch could no longer farm, herd cattle or pitch a tent, he opted for more specialized, less labor-intensive work, like prophesying and handing down commandments Or he moved in with his kids.” (I have no kids to hand down my commandments to so I’ll concentration on prophesying)
“As the centuries passed, the elderly population increased. (Very true – as time has passed I’ve increasingly gotten more elderly) By early medieval times, their numbers had reached critical mass. It was no longer just a matter of respecting the occasional white-bearded patriarch. Old people were everywhere, giving advice, repeating themselves (I’ve always repeated myself, my occupation has been giving advice that is worth repeating), complaining about rheumatism, trying to help, getting in the way and making younger people feel guilty.”
“Plus they tended to hang on to their wealth (I hang on to the fantasy of being wealthy) and property. This made them very unpopular with their middle-aged sons, who were driven to earn their inheritances the old-fashioned way, by committing patricide. (. . . a few benefits to having no wealth) Even as late as the mid-18th century, there was a spate of such killings in France. In 1882, Anthony Trollope wrote a futuristic novel, ”The Fixed Period,” in which he foresaw retiring large numbers of old men to a place where they would be encouraged to enjoy a year of contemplation, followed by a peaceful chloroforming. (ANYTHING peaceful at my age is appealing) But this was hardly an acceptable long-term strategy.”
When I was a shrinkling listening was not automatic. Thirty years later I’m on auto-pilot listening simultaneously on multiple levels: What clients are saying, what they are not saying, how they are experiencing it, what their body is saying, how what I’m hearing is connected to feelings in the last few days, years, lifetimes; Listening for patterns, connections, disconnections . . .
Logic would have me think it was more stressful being a psychotherapist in the beginning of my career. So why, after just sitting and listening, I’m a zombie for days afterwards?
This explanation about chronic stress might explain some of it (I agree with everything, except for the conclusion):
‘”A young lady confidently walked around the room with a raised glass of water while leading a seminar and explaining stress management to her audience. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘Half empty or half full?’ She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.”
The “stuff” of science-fiction is no longer fiction.
“You may remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. What’s he working on now? Building ways for two minds to send messages brain to brain. Watch to the end for an experiment that, as he says, will go to “the limit of your imagination.”‘
“Make your own recovery the first priority in your life.” (Robin Norwood).
That was the journal class free-writing (stream of consciousness – no thought to spelling punctuation or even if it makes sense) prompt this week.
Here’s what I wrote (but you must promise not to tell anyone because it’s my private journal):
Recover from what recover from life recover from love recover from being me recover from being covered by life what covers can smother what covers can warm what covers can hide what covers can protect so recovering from what I’m not sure it’s more about just living life and learning not recovering from anything that just about covers it.
Don’t ask why I pasted that particular picture on the page – I just did. It felt right. But . . . now . . . that I consciously think about my unconscious choice . . . perhaps that picture is about how it feels to struggle to recover when there is nothing truly to recover from . . . not sure . . . what do you think?
P.S. Feel free to use the prompt for your own free-writing . . . it’s free.
Not feeling very inspired cuz Fibromyalgia has been competing for my attention but here’s a sample of what I’ve journaled for the journaling class:
Fishy Fishy in a brook
Papa catch ‘em with a hook
Mama fry ‘em in a pan
Baby eat ‘em like a man
(You can read MY version Fishy Fishy Walk on Land – here)
* * *
Journal Prompt: “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.” C.S. Lewis
I cut out Dolly (and some other images) days ago and stuck her in the journal book. Unconsciously she wove her way into my journal free-writing during MaryAnn Easley’s journal class so I pasted her (Dolly, not MaryAnn) on the page. I think she’s comfortable there even though I cut away the chair she was sitting in.
The sentiments therein are mine even if the energy exhibited isn’t.
Older Ladies by Donnalou Stevens
“What happens if you need to catch your own dinner, but you’re just not fast enough? (send out for pizza delivery . . . ) If you’re a slow-moving cone snail with a yen for sushi, you drug a bunch of fish.”
“The tropical sluggard kills by overdosing fish with a toxic cloud containing insulin, (the last toxic cloud of insulin I overdosed on was Ben & Jerry’s Totally Toxic Delight – a blend of the finest refined sugar and high fat cream) . . . Plummeting blood sugar levels throw the victims into a stupor.” (I know that feeling)
“Cone snails are notorious for stinging scuba divers tempted to pick up their beautiful shells. But the geographic cone snail —the most venomous cone snail of all, with several human deaths under its belt (which is a variation of Ben & Jerry’s taking credit for expanding belts)—takes its practice of poisoning to a whole new level.”
“Once the fish are in a sugar coma, the cone snail reaches out with what’s called a false mouth—it looks like it’s throwing a cape over its prey—and drags a stupefied animal into its mouth. The snail then stings the fish with another set of toxins, just to make sure its victim is completely paralyzed.”
Want to watch? Click her for a sped-up video: Toxic Snail Puts Fish in a Sugar Coma, Then Eats Them.
(I do not currently have a sped-up video of me eating Ben & Jerry’s)
“Other compounds in cone snail venom produce similar results, says Helen Safavi-Hemami, who studies the toxins at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Victims become dazed and confused, leading researchers to call this group of toxins, including the insulin, the nirvana cabal.” (Ahhhhh, sugar NIRVANA, I know it well)
“But no other animal that researchers know of—except perhaps people (Jane J. Lee’s words, not mine)—uses insulin to kill like this, lead study author Safavi-Hemami says. A sensational case in the early 1980s involved a husband accused of trying to kill his very rich wife using insulin injections.” (It would have been less suspicious if he had taken her to an all-you-can-eat ice cream parlor)
“How brilliant is this,” says Meyer, who has observed a close cousin of the geographic cone snail—named Conus tulipa—hunting and killing fish in the same way in Guam. The fish almost look like they’re passed out drunk, he says, and now we know why.” Article by Jane J. Lee, National Geographic
You may know it as stream-of-consciousness, non-stop writing, free writing – all the same names for what amounts to writing with no thought to spelling punctuation, whether it makes sense or not. Just write. I call it brain-dump.
It’s a writing technique used for warm-up, breaking into writer’s block or uncovering unconscious process. In the journal class today we were given the prompt “We do not write in order to be understood, we write in order to understand” (C.Day Lewis).
I typed out my journal page (I hope you appreciate the lengths I go to for you my readers!) to show you an unedited glimpse into what a sample of free-writing looks like.
But first!!! here’s the ditty that came out of my free-write:
My tiny trains of thought
Hopefully if I run out of steam
I will stay on track
I think I can I think I can I think I can.
“Who on earth really understands us we are understood by others only in reference to how the other perceives their own world thru their own lens which always clouded just like the mist that clouds the sky this morning I’m obscured obscured and I obscure how I see what I see through a clouded lens of my feelings and perceiving the cloud it’s hard to know what is real and what not obscured vision filter it thru a mist as if I see with the brightness I don’t know my reference my experience no one can ever know They think they know I think I know yet my senses are bound up in my brain scattering thoughts confused thinking between the past and present in the obscurity of the future I meant to write obscurity of the present, interesting slip of the pen in the scattering of thinking on paper no one knows what this means I don’t know what this means how am I suppose to know how am I suppose to understand what can’t be understood it’s safe to say no matter what I write no one will understand NOT EVEN ME how can we pretend to know much less pretend to understand always curious wanting to understand wanting to know it’s as if a long train pulled by a locomotive is coming can’t see the end if I’m at the beginning can’t see the beginning if I’m at the end and in the middle of it all are cars filled with the unknown going up a hill like the Little Engine that Could try to reach the top of the knowing to see other to the other side where it’s just a glide, just a downhill run where the brakes need to be applied not the foot on the throttle if a train has a throttle I think I can I think I can I think I can”.
I have little self-control. When I like the taste of something – usually something sweet . . . or salty . . . or savory – I go back for more until it’s all gone. I look for quick, one-serving ways to indulge. Been making single serving brownies for years so when I see this “lighter” version I have to try it.
Directions for 1-2-3 (or 3-2-1) Single Serve Cake
Take a box of any flavored cake mix and a box of angel food cake mix – shake ‘em both up, all together, in a freezer bag and store.
When you want a quick single-serving of cake:
- Put into a mug 3 TBSP of mix
- Stir in 2 TBSP H2O
- Microwave for 1 minute, let cool
- Add any topping, or not
Lo and behold there’s a lemon cake mix in the cupboard. I run (actually I drive) to the grocery store, buy a box of Angel Food.
I don’t want to mix them together. What if I don’t like it? No need spoiling 2 boxes of mix.
Having passed middle school math I take 1 1/2 TBSPs of each mix, stir in the water, zap it and put it in refrigerator to cool. I garnish with frozen fruit to make it look gourmet, give Freddie the frozen fruit, and eat the cake. It has the taste and consistency of sponge cake. Ok, but not my favorite. However, Freddie thoroughly enjoys the fruit.
Being ever curious I try my old stand-by for single serving sweets – No-Fat Trader Joe’s Brownie mix – garnish with chocolate chips. MUCH better than the lemon flavor . . . could be the chips.
I still have an unmixed box (minus 3 TBSP) of Angel Food so I’ll try another flavor when I run out of lemon and chocolate cake mix.
Remember the story of the boy who found $20 and gave it to a soldier? This is the follow-up.
Watch to the end of the video report and see how loving-kindness multiplies.
It is all too easy to sink nowadays into abyss of despair when witnessing the cruelties and atrocities happening in so many parts of the world. I absolutely believe that love and compassion will win out . . . when we extinguish our fear and ego.
Thank you Linda!
I’m never sure if I just have trouble following “rules”, have attention deficit disorder, or get easily bored. I’ve decided it’s all three . . . and I’m not joking.
I decided to embrace “my tendencies” for the journal writing class. Instead of just journal WRITING I’m combining it with doodling, collage, free writing (aka stream of consciousness) and what ever else might amuse me.
- I do not like starting on blank white pages so I smeared paint on the pages.
- I do not like doing anything in sequence. I am just writing, doodling, collaging at random throughout the journal
Cover of old journal I’m using – already covered with acrylic paint
A free-write with one-line doodles
In class – randomly pick a word cut out from newspaper. Free associate a list of words (The last word written might have significance). I free associated all over the page and lost track of the last word (which, as you know, is rare for me as I like to get in the last word).
Maybe it unconsciously prompted this next collage?
I might use this collage as a writing prompt to see what my unconscious is saying . . . or not
It’s suggested to journal 3 pages every day. Instead of 3 pages I did 3 sections: Free writing, things-to-do-list and one-line bird doodles
P.S. Since this is my PRIVATE journal don’t tell anyone else.
That was the writing prompt today in the journal class. I don’t like to be reminded I should be happy, grateful . . . I blame it on college – being surrounded by barefoot “flower children”, wearing tie-dye, flowers stuck in flowing hair, singing about love (not to mention “practicing” it) while I was working 30 hours a week to pay for my education. Did I mention I went to The University of California at Berkeley . . . ?
Berkeley was a foreign country across the world from the Arizona high school I had attended: Girls were allowed to wear pants to school one day a year – rodeo day; The only drug I knew about was aspirin; Acid was hydrochloric; If you went barefoot the bottom of your feet would be seared from the 124 degree summer heat and; “Love” was “necking” at the drive-in theatre. (It was aptly called “necking” as all the action took place from the neck up).
I was out of my element in college. I watched, listened, standing on the outside looking in and had no clue I was observing a cultural phenomena. All my time and energy went to financial and academic survival.
Decades later hearing positive sayings, aphorisms, slogans my brain reels itself emotionally back to college when I was in survival mode – working, studying, envious of those who untied their ribbons and freely, spontaneously savored the gifts of each day of their lives.
Today I drive a VW Beetle with a peace sign on the side . . . go figure