Several months ago my good friend Peggy Arndt, who is also a retired psychotherapist, suggested we collaborate on blogging the tips, tools and techniques for health, happiness and well-being we have accumulated over our combined 60+ years of experience.
As that was my original intent when I started this CURIOUS blog I agreed . . . on the condition that CATNIPblog also amused me.
By now, you know that I post when the mood moves me. Collaborating with Peggy, who is much more organized than I am, has made me accountable to a regular blogging schedule on Catnipblog. So I’ve been typing my little fingers to the bone and posting on CATNIP so Peggy will think I’m not as flaky as I actually am.
I’m not abandoning this blog as I started Curious to the Max over 7 years ago and have over 1,500 post (yes, you read that right . . . OVER one-thousand, five-hundred posts!). I’m just still in the process of figuring out how to do both blogs.
On CATNIPblog most of the posts emphasize current research and the neuroscience of health and happiness (with a bit of our personal experience thrown in). Once a week we post something inspirational, weird and/or whimsical on Pawsitively Tuesdays.
I’d LOVE it if you would check out CATNIPblog, see the proof that I can be disciplined . . . and subscribe.
CATNIPblog take a look !
Ai yi yiii – ever look up a word in the on-line “Urban Dictionary”?
I looked up “hatch” and was “blown away” by the uses . . . many of which I can not put in print on a G-rated blog . . . most of which I had never heard of nor heard spoken.
Why look up “hatch”, you wonder (or not)? In art class the focus was on hatching – an art technique where lines are drawn in various forms & intensities to create shapes & shadow.
These two quick sketches were done prior to Easter. Eureka! I thought: Hatching and eggs were perfect for an Easter blog post.
Then I got “hatched” – another fibromyalgia flare-up and I missed a week’s worth of art classes.
I’m still not feeling good and not pleased health issues keep hatching . . . but this chick got off her fibro-inflated rear and went to class this week.
I’ve been hatching . . .
P.S. Thanks Peggy A. for doing all the scheduled posting on CATNIPblog!
How can we find balance in the chaos that surrounds us? This was the question at the recent HeART of Spirituality workshops held at Tapestry Unitarian.
“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance—this is the balance—this is the balance.” – Baha’i World Religion
The participants picked images that represented spiritual balance and spiritual imbalance and made collaged Contemplation Cards. Similar to tarot cards or vision boards these cards can be used in many ways.
Can you tell which cards represent BALANCE and which represent IMBALANCE? See all the cards on CATNIPblog.
To see all the Contemplation Cards, a picture of the participants and directions how to make the cards click HERE.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:1-8
- 1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
- 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
- 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
- 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
- 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
- 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
- 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
- 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I’m baaaaaaack . . . sorta . . . missed all my art classes, missed church . . . cancelled The HeART of Spirituality workshop cuz I’ve been feeling puny. (And when I am feeling puny I eat, watch the cooking channel, download recipes and read all I can about what not to eat in the hopes that I will follow that advice.)
The only constructive thing I’ve done is work on the NEW BLOG Catnip with my good friend and colleague Peggy Arndt.
(Peggy is a retired psychotherapist too AND an artist and author. I’ve never caught Peggy feeling puny and eating since she’s within a pound or two of the same weight she was when we were in high school together. If I didn’t like her so much I’d hate her.)
Between the two of us we have amassed decades of information on neuroscience and behavior and relationships . . . and eating . . . and addictions. We’re going to share all that on a new blog called CATNIP (but I digress . . .)
While I was researching for CATNIP this article caught my eye . . . here are some excerpts:
By Barbara J. King*
“The average American eats more than 33 pounds of cheese a year.” (Thirty-three pounds is about the amount of weight I’d like to lose. I need to stop eating my American share of cheese.)
“This is according to Neal Barnard, physician and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. And that’s a problem, he says, because it’s helping to make us overweight and sick.”
“Loaded with calories, high in sodium, packing more cholesterol than steak, and sprinkled with hormones — if cheese were any worse, it would be Vaseline …”
Some foods are fattening. Others are addictive. Cheese is both — fattening and addictive.”
“Barnard explains that dairy protein — specifically a protein called casein — has opiate molecules built in. When babies nurse, he notes, they’re getting dosed with a mild drug: “Milk contains opiates that reward the baby for nursing.”‘
“It’s no different with the cow’s milk — or other mammalian milk — from which cheese is made. In fact, Barnard says, the process of cheese-making concentrates the casein”
“Call it dairy crack.”
“. . . Barnard notes that vitamin D may play an important role in protecting us against some types of cancers. Citing prostate-cancer data, he suggests that because dairy products are high in calcium and calcium intake can slow down activation of vitamin D, cancer risks may increase with cheese-eating.”
“The National Dairy Council (or cows who would rather be milked than molded into meat patties) does not endorse Barnard’s descriptions of cheese . . . and points to research from Harvard School of Public Health that shows no association between cheese and long-term weight gain.”
“However, if one’s goal is to lose weight, there is something to be said for not teasing yourself with occasional doses of the very food that caused the problem in the first place. (I might add sugar and refined carbs to the list . . . might?) Better to end that bad love affair. If a person is concerned about asthma, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, or other sensitivities, one soon loses all desire for the food product that caused the problem.” (So far THAT argument hasn’t worked with me.)
(Maybe every time I feel puny I should picture myself eating 33 pounds of VASELINE . . . )
Read the entire article and click HERE.
*Barbara J. King is an anthropology professor emerita at the College of William and Mary. Barbara’s most recent book on animals is titled How Animals Grieve, and her forthcoming book, Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat,
The Cheese Trap, How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy by Neal D., M.d. Barnard, Dreena Burton and Marilu Henner
Had a hard time concentrating and my arms were hurting when I tried to draw. I’m blaming it on the rain . . . a convenient fall-guy (pun intended). When my drawings don’t turn out as well as I would like I usually blame it on the model.
You can see some of the structure lines & corrections in these 2 minute sketches.
The model held onto a rope in the poses. We were suppose to concentrate on the angles.
These below were 20 minute poses but I could only draw for about 10 minutes.
Usually, I use large drawing paper and stand at an easel. This session I drew on a smaller sketch pad and sat down. I figured if the model could sit
so could I . . .
Papa’s Instructions Pome
Children of ours, it’s your time to play
So listen closely to what I say
To your DNA you must stay true
Here’s exactly what you are to do:
Dump buckets of muck
up judy’s nose
Make sure you duck
before she blows
Bang on her brain
whistle in her ears
like a choo choo train
til she bursts into tears.
Pound on her head
jump on her chest
all night long in bed
so she gets no rest
Children, it’s now up to you
judy is yours to do
Cuz Mama is weary
with no app or Siri.
And your papa is tiring
of non-stop siring
It’s Mom & me off to find a new home
Hallelujah! you’re on your own
Practice what we’ve taught
drive judy crazy, make her lazy
don’t give it an afterthought
Spend all your time
making her go outa her mind
It’s the Year of the Rooster – I was born under the Chinese sign of the Rooster. Always thought it to be a curse I was born under a sign that wasn’t fertile enough to lay an egg or two.
According to my friend Sharon Bonin-Pratt (whose last post inspired this post) People born under the sign of the Rooster are hardworking, funny, trustworthy and talented.
I’m not hardworking, at times am funny, almost always trustworthy, and have latent talents that get laid but never hatched.
This Rooster year started off with a cold virus that delights roaming the cozy recesses of my sinus passages. It’s day 11 (but who’s counting). I’ve been a total slug – no energy, no resolve which gives me a perfect excuse for not making New Years’ resolutions.
(The truth be told, I never make resolutions for the New Year – learned long ago that when I inevitably fail to keep a resolution it leads to feeling badly.)
What energy I have has been directed toward resolving to be more creative this year.
In preparation I’ve been obsessively reading everything I can find on how to break my creative block and stop procrastinating.
Most everything I read about procrastination indicates that we procrastinate when we don’t want to do something that is not enjoyable. Being a master procrastinator I also procrastinate with things that bring me enjoyment.
For inspiration, I read blogs of people who write, read or draw daily – all things which bring me enjoyment. I feel badly I’m not like them which leads me to read articles on procrastination and meeting goals (I know how to set them, just not meet them).
Finally the article below has liberated me! I know what to blame:
My dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is lazy . . . not me.
“What is it exactly that helps us be creative? What fuels us when we get into an especially productive work flow? What makes the hours disappear when our brains focus on a task?”
“What, in other words, is happening in our brains when we’re being creative?”
“Cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says we know a little bit about what’s going on. Berlin studies the neuroscience of imagination, creativity and improvisation. And for those people who might be facing writer’s block? “There’s really no prescribed medication,” Berlin says. “There is no real magic pill.”’
Instead, she says, creativity depends on which part of the brain you might be using.
“When [people] are improvising, there tends to be a pattern of activation where they have decreased activation in a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” Berlin says. “And that part of the brain has to do with your sense of self, your sort of inner critic, making sure that your behavior conforms to social norms.”
“Translation? When you’re at your most creative, “basically you lose your sense of self,” Berlin says. “You kind of release your inhibition. The second you become too self-aware that comes back online and you lose that flow state.”’
“In addition to losing inhibitions, people who are in a creative state have increased activation in a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex, which has to do with the internal generation of ideas. In other words, the ideas are coming from within.”
“Some people, when they’re in the flow state … a lot of people say ‘It feels like it’s flowing through me. It’s coming from someplace else,’ you know, ‘It’s coming so naturally I don’t even have to think about it,’” Berlin says. “It’s called liberation without attention. You can only keep a certain number of variables in mind when you’re thinking about something consciously. But if you let it go, you actually can come to a greater understanding because the unconscious can do much more complex processing.”
“For those suffering from creative block, Berlin has some practical advice:”
“You have to take in all the information and then go for a walk,” Berlin says. “Go out, do something else. Because those people who sit there and just obsess over thinking about it too much, using your prefrontal cortex you’re actually limiting yourself. So letting it go can actually help you get over, let’s say a writer’s block or a creative block.”
I’d go for a walk but I have a cold. Maybe some other time . . .
I admit I’m obsessive about steering clear of people who are sick. I’ve been “known” to remove my groceries off the counter and go to another check-out if I see a clerk sniffing or coughing. With fibromyalgia everything lasts longer and is more severe so I go to great lengths to avoid people who even appear to be sick.
My husband caught a cold 2 weeks ago and I’ve assiduously washed everything down – counters, door knobs, light switches and my husband – with disinfectant.
Turns out I was disinfecting the wrong person.
I woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat, a headache and feeling even less chipper than I usually feel in the morning.
The Queen gave me a cold
How do I know, how am I told?
This cold is a dignified one
no snorting, sniffling nor dripping a ton
My makeups impeccable, not a hair undone
Despite a sore throat and my throbbing head
staying all day, aching in bed
I shan’t complain
For how often does one contract
a ROYAL pain.
“But at 90 . . . she is exercising caution as she recovers from a heavy cold which she’s had for at least 12 days, (12 DAYS!!!! ) and which is bound to have left her feeling pretty miserable. (tell me about it).”
“She hasn’t yet had an opportunity to go outside and explore her 20,000 acre private Norfolk estate. (So true, so true)”
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN . . . and me too!
P.S. Wash your hands after reading this post – I’m contagious . . .
I admit it. I’m a bit paranoid about catching a cold or the flu.
When I get sick insult is added to injury as my fibromyalgia symptoms flare for weeks after I’ve recovered from the cold.
I avoid anyone who sneezes, eyes are watery or is coughing. I’ve moved my groceries from one counter to another to avoid check-out clerks who looked like they are sick and on occasion come home and taken a shower if I THINK I might have been exposed.
Now I learn it’s possible I’m avoiding people who aren’t sick, just afraid, sad or incredibly empathetic!
Sneezing is “catching,” like a yawn.
“It is true that emotions can affect your nasal membranes. Fear makes them shrink (which can make you sneeze), and sadness makes them swell (which can also make you sneeze.) Though there is conflicting evidence, yawning has been linkedto empathy, and one study showed that psychopaths — people who lack empathy — may even be immune to contagious yawning.”
“If sneezing fits are like yawning fits, does that mean that if we are tuned into others’ emotions, we might sneeze out of sympathy? Though hard evidence is murky, there is some reason to believe that both yawning and sneezing fits may be powered by the mind.”
The article Here’s Looking achoo – debunking the sneeze covers even more:
- Sneezing is good for the soul
- Sneezing is bad for the soul
- If you say “God Bless You,” God might spare you. Or not.
- Tweezing your eyebrows can make you sneeze.
- Sneezing always comes in threes.
- Bright light can make you sneeze.
Read the entire article click HERE.
Friday: Spent all day and evening in the ER. I was EXTREMELY light-heading, threw up, missed my art class and spent 24 hours in bed thinking I’d feel fine in the morning . . . WRONG.
Saturday: In the morning the room was moving and I wasn’t. Every time I moved I threw up and there was nothing to throw-up since I hadn’t eaten anything (You have probably created a nasty picture in your mind . . . just make it even nastier).
The ER was even more fun. Throwing up, drawing blood, 2 CT scans (to make sure it wasn’t a stroke . . . it wasn’t) and finally, after 4 different anti-nausea medications and drips, I stopped throwing up.
Sunday: I’m still dizzy and have to hold on to things to walk (it’s a bit wonky to type) but the good news, the GREAT news, is I’ve not thrown up. The bad news is I’m still dizzy . . . and grey-haired.
To my friends and acquaintances who suffer with Ménière’s disease. . . I have new compassion for you!
P.S. For those of you I confused . . I don’t have Menieres just plain Ditzy.
The weather is changing
my body rearranging
Help! I’m in a fibro flare
including my hair.
Sharon Bonin Pratt is a writer, an artist and a dear friend. I think she also is psychic. I’ve been not feeling great and the subject of her last post was just what I needed. AND it’s dedicated to ME!!!! What an honor!
Shari inspired me to look for a smile (SEE THE VIDEO).
Here’s a sample from Sharon Bonin Pratt’s Ink Flare:
“Who can laugh without relaxing? Isn’t that why some of us (not me of course, and certainly not you, but other unnamed folks) pee their pants when laughing raucously? Losing all control is not a bad thing, even if you must change your whitie-dities, because when you’re having that much fun – who cares about all the rest? Oh, and it’s contagious! In a good way, not like the flu, but like having enough cup cakes for everyone in the world. So now I not only feel good inside my own world weary bod – I feel good because everyone around me also feels good. Motto for today: Spread cheer – laugh out loud.”
Read her entire post – Sharon Bonin Pratt’s Ink Flare
At Judy Formato’s Painting on the Patio (POP) art group the topic of marijuana came up.
Several of the woman, who shall remain anonymous, (we are all well over the age of 50 or 60 or 70) admitted to inhaling in their youth. It was a pertinent topic (for those of us well over the age of 50 or 60 or 70) relating to pain medication for maladies that come with maturity.
Is this a coincidence, or what? . . . I came home to read this new medical marijuana “MIND” study:
Researcher Staci Gruber is “. . . trying to determine the long and short-term impact of medical marijuana on cognition, brain structure and function, quality of life, sleep, and other clinical measures.
“People drive two to three hours sometimes to get [here for] the study,” Gruber said. “They’re really committed. They really want to know what effect this will have on them.”
“As they wait for long-term results, MIND researchers have made a few interim discoveries. They have found, for example, that marijuana could possibly ease symptoms for people with bipolar disorder and that a medication for strokes and Alzheimer’s disease may reverse the cognitive effects of chronic recreational marijuana use.”
Perhaps our POP group could volunteer – we can drive and are VERY committed women.
I think we qualify.
Oh, by the way, here’s what I painted at POP.
I wonder why they don’t use rats for this study – they use them for all the others?
A lovely reminder of what our souls know but our minds forget.
Gabrielle Garcia Marquez
Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in theSpanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
I woke this morning feeling like a truck hit me, threw me onto the train tracks where I was run over by a locomotive.
AND lo and behold . . .
. . . today is National Fibromyalgia Day. I’m in no mood to celebrate but the Fibro-Fiends that dwell inside me are having a ball!
I’m too tired to write an entirely new post to post on this post so I’ll just post part of a post of a post that I posted sometime ago. . . . .
“I look normal, I act normal (relatively normal). However, I feel exhausted much of the time, my body aches from head to toe and my brain sometimes has trouble remembering or concentrating. Please don’t tell me to exercise more, eat better, try acupuncture or go to a new doctor. After 20 years I’ve tried just about everything there is to try that I can afford, swallow or legally do.”
“I don’t even care anymore what you call it: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, malingering . . . it’s just tiring being tired much of the time. I push through it otherwise I’d have no life. But the price for pushing can be days of crashing so I pick and choose my commitments.”
There’s a free on-line Fibromyalgia Summit. If you’re interested in hearing the presentations click here: http://www.healthrising.org/blog/2016/05/11/three-days-may-fibromyalgia-summit-almost/
Confidential: Send me your prayers because tomorrow I’m leaving for an Unitarian Woman’s Retreat where I’m facilitating 2 workshops. (I am not planning on taking my Fibro-Fiends with me. Please don’t tell anyone because if the Fiends get wind I want to leave them home they will be angry . . . very angrrrrrrrrry . . .)
Attended a painting workshop today at Art & Creativity for Healing a wonderful non-profit for which I helped facilitate workshops many years ago.
Laurie Zagon the founder and creator of the Art4Healing® method has created a wonderful vehicle to express feelings using color. It’s not about making “art” but about processing thoughts, feelings and experiences using paint. Today’s workshop was “Painting Hope”.
The paintings are done very rapidly so that intuition rather than artistic skill is the focus. And it’s hard to be skillful when make-up sponges and q-tips are used instead of brushes!
Please check out Art 4 Healing.org. Their mission is to support emotional healing through art & creative expression for those living in pain, grief, fear or stress.
There are on-line video workshops available to everyone, anywhere. Proceeds go towards providing free workshops to organizations such as wounded veterans, Children’s Hospital and woman’s shelters.
If you want to see my explanation of Prayer of Hope click here The HeART of Spirituality!
SoulPancake and Puppy Chow teamed up to share the #PowerofPuppies at a preschool, retirement home, and gym to transform an otherwise ordinary day. Share http://bit.ly/pwrofppys with someone who needs the power of puppies in their lives! For every video view, Puppy Chow will donate one pound of Puppy Chow Natural to Rescue Bank® (up to 500,000 pounds or until April 23, 2016).
Now back to washing the dishes and the soapy water that reminded me to water the flowers in the garden which reminded me about this video . . .
Thanks Sharon M.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is it a good thing . . . or a sign . . . I can no longer remember when my attention deficit was activated . . .?
I tend toward the depressive end of the “depression vs anxiety” scale. There are very few things, besides snakes, heights and being suspended in the air in gondolas, that make me anxious. I rarely worry about them . . . unless I’m on a hike in the mountains, it’s rattlesnake season and the only way I can get down is a gondola ride.
After watching this video . . . I’m worried that I don’t worry enough . . .
In case you’ve not gotten a valentine card for your sweetie it’s not too late to get something that’s personal, permanent and not just from your heart but from other parts of you too.
Baby Boo, You are the lounge chair of my life. (Eames,no less)
Sweetie Pie, I could just eat you up!
My Love, Count on me to always watch your back.
Sweet Pea, I love you to the tips of my toes.
Baby, Take ALL of ME!
My dear Curious to the Max followers,
I imagine there are millions of you (I have a big imagination) who wait with bated breath and quickening heart beats for my posts – I shall call you Group Numero UNO. You are keenly aware (due to your breath and heart rhythm) I’ve been bloggingly absent. The rest of you (group 2, small “g”) are scratching your heads (or other parts) and wondering what I’m talking about because your lives, breath and hearts have gone on nicely without my posting.
For Numero UNO: I just have lost my mojo, my energy, my focus – not interested in writing, reading, gardening, e-mailing, blog posts started and abandoned . . . I’m giving credit to a fibromyalgia flare-up because fibromyalgia should be good for something.
For the second group: I am LOST, DEPLETED, SUFFERING and you probably don’t care . . .
On a serious note (not that I wasn’t serious before) fibromyalgia along with many other chronic conditions has a mind of it’s own and takes over at unexpected and unpropitious times. After over 20 years of living with this condition I’ve still not got the hang of it. When I feel decent I go, do, get overly involved and then crash for days, sometimes weeks (or months, but who’s counting).
To better manage what energy I have I’ve decided to do half of the ten things I currently need or want to do:
- Complete half the alphabet for the on-line daily blogging alphabet posting challenge. (I’ve half a mind not to even do the challenge this year and repost what I wrote LAST year).
- Brush half my teeth each day (I’ll alternate halves – half in the morning and half before bed)
- Clean and dust the half of the house I can’t reach.
- Stop watching the Super Bowl at half-time.
- Eat half the pan of brownies I’m making (half today and half tomorrow).
That’s half of my plans so I’m not going to write the other five.
My New Motto (you can borrow it):
Live half my life with gusto, let the other half rest.
Don’t remember how I found Susan Wojtkowski’s blog I only remember the title of her blog irreversibly moi made me laugh, her love of rescue dogs made me smile and her online classes kept calling to me.
So I signed up for Art Journaling Through Proverbs. The price made me happy and the novelty of journaling inspired by proverbs (with which I’m not very familiar) made me interested.
My first journal page
I’ll share what we do and the Proverb we are focusing on. So stay tuned for some more of my heART!
P.S. There’s still time to join the online class. Here’s Susan’s description:
“Our first class/group course of 2016 is a journey through the Book of Proverbs! If you enjoy art journaling (or would like to start) and want to spend time in the Bible this year, this group is a great way to go. We will enjoy artsy fellowship in a private, fun and comfortable Facebook group while learning new art journaling techniques and discussing how to apply Proverbs in our daily lives. Read on below for more details about this great group class that kicks off on February 1st!”
My brother Rick told me about The Greater Good. Everyday I click on 6 of the sites. With every click I remind myself to feel grateful to be living in a free country where I have access to things much of the world does not have.
It’s free and every click counts toward making this a better world.
(plus there are some cool free-trade things to buy that help people around the world)
Click on Greater Good and subscribe to get a daily e-mail reminder to be grateful. Here are a list of the giving sites.
Research shows that feeling grateful doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps – literally helps – the heart.
“A positive mental attitude is good for your heart. It fends off depression, stress and anxiety, which can increase the risk of heart disease, says Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Mills specializes in disease processes and has been researching behavior and heart health for decades. He wondered if the very specific feeling of gratitude made a difference, too.”
“He recruited 186 men and women, average age 66, who already had some damage to their heart, either through years of sustained high blood pressure or as a result of heart attack or even an infection of the heart itself. They each filled out a standard questionnaire to rate how grateful they felt for the people, places or things in their lives.”
“It turned out the more grateful people were, the healthier they were. “They had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy,” says Mills.”
“And when Mills did blood tests to measure inflammation, the body’s natural response to injury or plaque buildup in the arteries, he found lower levels among those who were grateful — an indication of better heart health.”
“So Mills did a small followup study to look even more closely at gratitude. He tested 40 patients for heart disease and noted biological indications of heart disease such as inflammation and heart rhythm. Then he asked half of the patients to keep a journal most days of the week, and write about two or three things they were grateful for. People wrote about everything, from appreciating children to being grateful for spouses, friends, pets, travel, jobs and even good food.”
“After two months, Mills retested all 40 patients and found health benefits for the patients who wrote in their journals. Inflammation levels were reduced and heart rhythm improved. And when he compared their heart disease risk before and after journal writing, there was a decrease in risk after two months of writing in their journals.”
“Mills isn’t sure exactly how gratitude helps the heart, but he thinks it’s because it reduces stress, a huge factor in heart disease.”
“Taking the time to focus on what you are thankful for,” he says, “letting that sense of gratitude wash over you — this helps us manage and cope.”
“And helps keep our hearts healthy.”
Much is required from those to whom much is given. –Luke 12:48
He that give should never remember, he that receives should never forget. –The Talmud
Too pooped to pop! It was worth it! I facilitated a HeART of Spirituality workshop at the Tapestry Unitarian church. It’s my first post-retirement creative expression workshop. Not sure if it’s the last . . .
After so many years of having the luxury of giving workshops in my own office – with the set-up in place and all the materials on hand – I’d forgotten how much prep there is in doing a workshop off-site. (I’ve also forgotten lots of other things . . . like what I had for breakfast).
Here’s a small sample of what we did and a few of the INCREDIBLE prayer/contemplation cards created by the participants (Unfortunately not all the photos I took “took”.)
Take a look at a few of the Prayer/Meditation/Contemplation Cards!
After making the cards Reverend Kent Doss led participants in a Wisdom Circle discussion of what spirituality means, how we define it and experience it in everyday life.
“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.” Pope John Paul II
“If a man engages with all his power in the acquisition of a science or the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshiping God in the churches and temples.” Abdu’l-Baha
“Art exists for its role of permitting men to escape their human condition, not by fleeing it, but by possessing it. All art is a means of taking hold of human destiny.” Andre Malraux
A special thank you to Judy Clemmer for her help cutting out HUNDREDS of pictures and providing supplies.
Did you know you can train your brain not to wake you up at night to go to the bathroom? When you get the “full bladder” signal in the middle of the night ignore it. Trust me you won’t wet the bed. In about 2 nights your brain will stop signaling you that your bladder is full.
If you don’t trust what I’m saying, try painting your floor!
Thanks Linda B.!!!!!!!!
My Dear Human Beings and other critters,
My human has been too tired to go on walks. All she wants to do is sit around and I’m getting bored keeping her distracted by petting me. She blames Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue but I’ve long suspected that she just needs a new career that is exciting. I found the perfect cure – FOR EVERYTHING THAT AILS HER .
There’s a woman in England who (instead of moping around like my human being) got a pair of feathered fans to do a routine in a bar that was holding a cabaret night.
She said: “It was nerve-wracking but exciting . . . I felt alive. . . . Even though she’s not completely cured, her chronic fatigue only flares up every two or three months – lasting at most for a couple of days. “
She’s got big plans for the future . . . She said: “I have signed up with the alternative model agency Ugly, in London and hope to start appearing in magazines and adverts.” (I didn’t tell my human being about “Ugly” because I’m not sure what kind of magazines and adverts want “ugly” . . . )
My human thinks all this is just a ploy to get her to take me on walks. I told her if she didn’t believe me to read this:
A hair-raising video worth watching!
“This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?”
“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
Every year the U.N. and its member nations observe October 24th as United Nations Day around the world. This year, as the U.N. marks its seventh decade,
“Consider the creation of the infinite universe. This globe of ours is one of the smallest planets. Those stupendous bodies revolving in yonder immeasurable space, the infinite blue canopy of God, are many times greater than our small earth. To our eyes this globe appears spacious; yet when we look upon it with divine eyes, it is reduced to the tiniest atom. This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?” – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy
Have you missed me? Have you EVEN noticed I’ve not been blogging? Well, I’ve been mishuga, fermisht and verklempt.
In my never-ending quest to feel better . . .
The short version: Went to an endocrinologist because I thought some of my exhaustion might be due to an adrenal problem. They took a quart of my hard-earned blood and I peed in an “orange juice container” for 24 hours to be told my adrenals are fine but I have Hashimoto’s disease.
Whaaaaaaaat??? I’ve never been to Japan and don’t even speak Japanese. Seems my immune system is eating my thyroid all up. Put me on thyroid medication and said I should have about 20% more energy. With my continual state of exhaustion 20% sounded good.
Three months later . . . maybe 10% more energy. So endo doc suggested I take Topomax, a tried and true medication, that will put my brain into deep sleep (my brain stays in REM sleep and I don’t get restorative sleep – that’s the main reason I’m so exhausted all the time). I researched it and checked it out with my fibro doctor who said it was worth a try.
NOT ONLY DIDN’T THE MEDICATION PUT ME INTO deep sleep it didn’t even put me into REM sleep!!!!! I was up for 3 nights and 3 days. Couldn’t even nap. My brain thought it was a stimulant. I couldn’t think straight, walk straight or talk straight. I’m just barely beginning to feel normally exhausted.
I told my fibro doc what happened on the medication. She gave me a new diagnosis: WEIRD.
is the NUMBER ONE killer of women.
Excerpt from HEART SISTERS Most Common Heart Attack Signs:
“These cardiac symptoms often come and go – sometimes over a surprisingly long period of time. They’re not always severe. We may believe that heart attack chest pain must be described as “crushing”, but it’s often frequently described by women with words like pressure, heavy, burning, full or tight – not “crushing”.”
“Almost 40% of women experience NO CHEST PAIN at all during a heart attack.”
Read the full post here: http://myheartsisters.org/2015/09/20/most-common-heart-attack-signs/
Thanks to Carolyn Thomas and her excellent blog Heart Sisters I recognized a heart attack in progress.
In my writing class this morning the woman next to me got up unexpectedly and left. On return she said threw up in the bathroom. A few minutes later she said she didn’t feel good, hot and sweaty, and thought she should go home. Something told me to ask her if she had chest pain.
I interrupted the teacher and privately told him she had heart attack symptoms. He immediately had the facility call 911.
The woman kept repeating she was ok, in great health, played tennis 4 times a week, no history of heart disease in the family, ate well and would be fine. Even after the paramedics came she kept questioning whether she needed to go to the hospital.
Because I’ve followed Carolyn’s blog I know common symptoms for women having a heart attack:
“Women often have different symptoms of a heart attack than men and may report serious symptoms even before having a heart attack, although the signs are not ‘typical’ heart attack symptoms. These include:”
- neck, throat, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
- shortness of breath
- nausea or vomiting
- anxiety or “a sense of impending doom”
- light-headedness or dizziness
- unusual fatigue for several days
This woman had three symptoms PLUS, by the time the paramedics arrived, pain radiated to her jaw.
I insisted she go to the hospital and she could blame me if everything was ok.
Everything was not ok.
Click & Read this: Words matter when we describe our heart attack symptoms
I have no question that some day humans will be able to be CURED from disease and illness. It probably won’t happen in my life time but research is taking huge leaps forward in replacing function, eradicating disease, recreating organs. It will happen.
I have two very dear friends – one who had a kidney transplant and the other whose husband had a transplant. The process of getting donors, having to do dialysis and the operation itself was formidable. This stem-cell research is exciting.
Stem cell research is incredibly exciting and now here’s the latest application.
Excerpt from full article:
by ROB STEIN
“For the first time, primitive human kidneys have been created in a laboratory dish, by using stem cells.”
“Although the kidneys cannot perform the functions of a fully formed adult kidney, the researchers hope the achievement will someday lead to new ways to treat people suffering from kidney failure.”
‘“It’s really exciting,” says Melissa Little, who heads the Kidney Research Laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia. She led the research, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. “I think this is a really big advance.”
“They are only able to do some of the functions that a kidney performs, such as filtering toxins from blood, Little says. The organoid is not advanced enough to do all the very complicated balancing that a completely formed kidney does.”‘
“Little’s group is hoping the organoids may eventually continue developing into more fully functioning kidneys.”
“In the meantime, the primitive organs could possibly be used to help save failing kidneys by transplanting parts of them into patients, she says. Whether that will work remains to be seen.”
“Another use may be in pharmaceutical research. Companies could use the tissues to test new drugs.”
Click on the title to read the entire article
“Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment”
~ in a very wise fortune cookie
WireTap farewell video, from CBC Radio One.
One of my favorite childhood poems:
Fishy fishy in a brook
Papa catch ’em with a hook
Mama fry ’em in a pan
Baby eat ’em like a man
Here’s my updated version based on new medical technology:
Fishy fishy in your bod
cleaning out all your sod
from top of head to little toe
Sushi, sushi on the go
Read this excerpt from the article that inspired me to wax poetic:
“Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed 3D printing technology called “microscale continuous optical printing” that can print hundreds of microrobots within seconds, each one smaller than the width of a single hair.“
“Wei Zhu, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student who co-authored the report, wrote that “the microfish can doubly serve as detoxification systems and as toxin sensors.” When the researchers incorporated toxin-neutralizing nanoparticles into the microfish bodies, they found that their powerful swimming ability allowed them to efficiently clean out toxins from the solution. When the particles interacted with toxins, they emitted a red glow; the greater the presence of toxins, the greater the intensity of the glow.”
“The researchers are exploring the possibility of using this as a medical tool. They want to incorporate medicine into the microfish so that they can be injected into someone’s system in order to distribute drugs.”
Click on the title if you don’t believe me!
Since I spend a lot of time (off and on) writing this blog and attending a writing critique group I figured it’s time to learn the tools of the trade. I signed up for a free Emeritus writing class from the local junior college. (“emeritus” is a sophisticated word for anyone who qualifies for Social Security.)
The first assignment was to write a two page SHORT story about being unfairly treated or treating someone else unfairly.
(Names have been omitted to protect my image)
Unfair Treatment – Body, Mind & Me
By Judy Westerfield
“More! More!” my mind screams at me. Her desire reverberates throughout my body. Once again, I’m caught in the middle between body and mind, between hedonism and health.
The three of us — body, mind and me — have been together a very long time. Over the years the mind has grown bolder, louder. To keep the peace I usually do what she says, even though it’s often based on want rather than need. Today is no exception.
For the second time in less than an hour I retrieve the half-gallon carton from the freezer.
“More! More!” She is unrelenting.
“Calm down. “I’m scooping as fast as I can.”
I ladle from the carton to the soup bowl – 1/3 less fat, 120 calories, $2.99 on sale — spoonfuls of vanilla, chock full of chocolate chunks and ripples of golden caramel. Hard, too hard. I like it soft, just this side of starting-to-melt. Ten seconds in the microwave will do it. I’ve perfected the timing.
“You will just have to wait 10 seconds.” I can be firm.
It’s creamy, cold, sweet and glides deliciously from the lips all the way down to the stomach.
“Ahhhh. Mmmm,” she purrs and declares it to be an invention ranking right up there with the discovery of fire, the wheel and Tampax.
The bowl is empty. She points out that there’s more in the carton, purposely left out on the counter, which is now just the right soft consistency.
“120 calories per serving . . . 12 servings per carton . . .1,440 calories,“ she calculates. “We’ll just skip dinner.”
* * *
“Why? Why?” My distended stomach cries out, pushing painfully against the waistband of my pants. Hips expand, thighs grate together, intestines grumble while impolitely relieving themselves of gas as I walk to the trash to throw away the empty carton.
The body unfairly treated, yet again, by me. And the mind . . . she’s still screaming . . .
I should go out in the garden and eat worms. I’m exhausted. I hurt all over. It’s hard not to have self-pity. I TRY to limit my public and private kvetching because I know it doesn’t help . . . me or you. There’s scientific basis for the harm we do to ourselves when we talk about trauma – any kind of trauma.
If you or anyone you know has a “story of pain” (physical, psychological, social, economic etc) read Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters excellent post. Here’s a teeny taste:
Rehashing a traumatic story/event does some of the following:
- puts our system on high alert
- triggers inflammation
- triggers the fight/flight response
- triggers shutdown mode
On the flip side Carolyn talks about the benefits of sharing with close friends:
“Dr. Laura Cousin Klein and her team found that the credit for women’s unique stress reactions may belong to the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “lovehormone”). It’s the body’s own wonder drug – released when we nurse our babies, for example, as well as during a woman’s stress response. It’s instinctual, it buffers the fight-or-flight response and it encourages us to tend children and gather with other women instead – what’s called our tend-and-befriend response to stress. This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.”
Read the entire post “I don’t want to talk about it“- a Judy’s-Must-Read-Blog-Post.
Although it’s officially National Dog Day I am celebrating National Human Day. (Have to toss humans a “bone” every so often)
Human-beings are weird critters but we canines love you anyway. We try to take good care of you but, as you know, humans can be stubborn, arbitrary and difficult to train. That’s why most of us prefer to adopt those of you who are already toilet trained, like to walk and can open the refrigerator. But humans who drool, roll around the ground and babble can be fun playmates even when they are as old as my human-being.
Do me a favor and click on The Greater Good – Animal Rescue Site. It’s free and every click helps all my buddies. (There are also some Greater Good Sites that help Human Beings.)
And since It’s Freddie’s National Human Being Day treat yourself to a walk, a nap and something to chew on.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, RET
As my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms go unabated I have asked my doctor Patricia Ahearn repeatedly to get her lobotomy certificate. I’m sure there is week-end or on-line training for doctors. She’s a very caring person so it’s been hard to understand why she’s been stalling.
Maybe she’s been waiting for this new research?!!!!!!
“An almost complete version of a tiny human brain has been grown in a U.S. lab in a move that could bring major strides to the treatment of neurological diseases, a scientist says.
Rene Anand, a professor at Ohio State University, has grown in a dish a brain equal in maturity to that of a five-week-old fetus, his university reported.”
“It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain,” Anand said.”
“Around the size of a pea, the brain in a lab dish includes multiple cell types, all major regions of the brain and a spinal cord, but lacks a vascular system, the university said.”
“It was grown from human skin cells and is claimed to be the most complete brain of its type grown yet.”
With the new 3D printing technology I might be able to make me new brain, each morning, right at home.
Those of you who are regular readers know I’m a fragile flower. I blame it on the fibromyalgia (at least fibro is good for something). My system goes on overload if I watch, read, see, hear ANYTHING that is violent, sad or frightening. I went to the Minion’s movie and it was too violent . . .
So when I watch TV it’s either HouseHunter’s International (lookie-loo travel), The Hallmark Channel (always a happy ending) or the Golden Girls. Sophia is my new role model. She is wise beyond my years . . . and we have similar taste in food:
“I hate Jello. If God wanted peaches to be suspended in mid-air He would have filled them with helium.” Sophia Petrillo
Draw a stick man or . . . woman or . . . animal or . . . tree or . . . !
Thanks Linda B. for the “Art” therapy – I drew a stick man giving the finger . . . I feel so much better.
“This black teacup poodle named Nala is making everyone smile at a nursing home in Minnesota. She scurries from room to room, even riding the elevator by herself, to see her friends.”
Thanks Linda B.!!!!!!
I’m so smart. I’ve been employing this strategy for years! The only problem is when I remember what I forgot, I forget why I needed to remember what I forgot to remember.
Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Getty Images
by CHRIS BENDEREV
“A new scientific model of forgetting is taking shape, which suggests keeping multiple memories or tasks in mind simultaneously can actually erode them.”
“Neuroscientists already knew that memories can interfere with and weaken each other while they are locked away in the recesses of long-term memory. But this new model speaks to what happens when multiple memories are coexisting front and center in our minds, in a place called “working memory.”‘
“It argues that when we let multiple memories come to mind simultaneously, those memories immediately lock into a fierce competition with each other.” When these memories are tightly competing for our attention the brain steps in and actually modifies those memories,” says Jarrod Lewis-Peacock, a neuroscientist at UT Austin.”
“The brain crowns winners and losers. If you ended up remembering the milk and forgetting the phone call, your brain strengthens your memory for getting milk and weakens the one for phoning your friend back, so it will be easier to choose next time you’re faced with that dilemma.”
It’s a strain on my brain
whether it’s June, July or December
lots of tasks
my brain crowns the winner
which I reward with dinner
Eats I never forget
Food being a permanent mind set
P.S. I forgot to tell you that you can read the entire article by clicking on the title above.
Haven’t blogged in a while. The last few weeks have been rough – the fibro-fatigue-fiends frolicking fearlessly. I’m looking for my mop.
mad, sad, fatigue, fear
sweeping away sanity
the broom of my brain
dust storm of feelings
tiny particles of dirt
blowing through my mind
wring out the debris
clean clear water, bucket brain
gratitude mop up
I am fascinated by our newfound ability to study the brain in real-time. For most of my life the only way the brain was studied was by autopsy.
For decades, I’ve explained to clients that “feelings” are not psychological constructs but a neurochemical phenomena. I had no proof – just trickles of brain research I read. Now that I’m retired the evidence is mounting. I’d love to be able to say “I told you so!”
In psychological “terms” the proportion of outward behavior is a measure of internal feelings. Examples: Do you know some one who is a “control freak”? Of course you do.
The more someone tries to exert control over everyone and everything it is usually (read “always” – I’m trying to be “politically correct, ahem . . .) a direct measure they internally/unconsciously feel out of control. People who “feel” in control don’t have to prove they are in control – they can collaborate, give others credit etc.
Know someone who is a narcissist – the earth revolves around them, not the sun? Of course you do.
The more a person needs to boast about themselves, point the finger of blame at others etc. . . . the more insecure they are. Read about some interesting brain research that substantiates this that on a neurological level.
I TOLD YOU SO!
” But to blessed animals the utmost kindness must be shown, the more the better. Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind.” Baha’i World Faith
A 400 lb. black bear wandered into a residential neighborhood in Florida. Black bears half this size have attacked and killed humans across the nation recently … twice in Florida. Wildlife officers sedated the bear to safely relocate him, and that’s when things began to go horribly wrong.”
I never answer my phone. I call people back when I have energy or e-mail because two-way phone conversations are physically tiring. Crazy! . . . sounds crazy, even to me. So I assume it sounds crazy to you.
Not wanting to be labeled as “nuts” I usually explain that after 30 years as a psychotherapist, answering my phone knowing that someone is probably calling in crisis, I’ve become phone-phobic.
You understand phobia’s and their hallmark of being irrational. You don’t understand neuroimmune-central nervous system-out-of-wack. Can’t fault you. I don’t understand it. Medical science doesn’t understand it.
Normal stimuli overload my brain circuits and the brains of others who live with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Lyme disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, brain trauma etc. There are a lot of theories but no one really knows why or what to do about it.
Even though I’m a social person by nature all socializing tires me. One or two “events” a week is my limit. Social Events? You are undoubtedly picturing me out-on-the-town, wearing a Dior gown and sipping wine at the opera ( . . . those who know me are picturing me wearing a t-shirt, Levi’s, Crocs and sipping coffee at Starbucks).
Activities that once were pleasurable now create fatigue:
- Going to the movies or lunch with a friend (afterwards I nap for 3 hours)
- Participating in any group activity (afterwards I go to bed early)
- Walking Freddie in the park. (I go the opposite direction when I see others walking their dogs. Walking is taxing enough without interacting with dogs’ humans.)
- Shopping in stores crowded with merchandise. (My brain goes on visual overload)
- Talking on the phone to someone I love. (Yup, two-way conversations take focus and thus energy.)
Since retiring I’ve done phone sessions with clients. The pleasure of hearing their voices, catching up on their lives and the honor of hopefully helping them get back on track far outweigh any fatigue that comes later. I’ve long ago figured out that some things are well worth the consequences of a nap or a few days of inactivity.
Please continue to reach out. I will be honest with you about my options and energy. I don’t want to live as a social recluse. So E-mail me when you want to catch up, share, or get together because I won’t answer the phone . . .
This article prompted me to write this post: Cort Johnson, Social Exhaustion The comments are perhaps even more telling than the article itself.
U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons (2013)*
*Council on Foreign Relations: The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.
32 killed – April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A gunman, 23-year-old student Seung-Hui Cho, goes on a shooting spree killing 32 people in two locations and wounds an undetermined number of others on campus. The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho then commits suicide.
27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff and faculty, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound. The final count is 28 dead, including the shooter.
23 killed – October 16, 1991 – In Killeen, Texas, 35-year-old George Hennard crashes his pickup truck through the wall of a Lubys Cafeteria. After exiting the truck, Hennard shoots and kills 23 people. He then commits suicide.
21 killed – July 18, 1984 – In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Huberty, armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun shoots and kills 21 adults and children at a local McDonalds. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty one hour after the rampage begins.
18 killed – August 1, 1966 – In Austin, Texas, Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.
14 killed – August 20, 1986 – Edmond, Oklahoma, part-time mail carrier, Patrick Henry Sherrill, armed with three handguns kills 14 postal workers in 10 minutes and then takes his own life with a bullet to the head.
13 killed – November 5, 2009 – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people and injures 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, during a shooting rampage. He is convicted and sentenced to death.
13 killed – April 3, 2009 – In Binghamton, New York, Jiverly Wong kills 13 people and injures four during a shooting at an immigrant community center. He then kills himself.
13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – Littleton, Colorado. 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library.
13 killed – September 25, 1982 – In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 40-year-old George Banks, a prison guard, kills 13 people including five of his own children. In September 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his death sentence stating that Banks is mentally incompetent.
13 killed – September 5, 1949 – In Camden, New Jersey, 28-year-old Howard Unruh, a veteran of World War II, shoots and kills 13 people as he walks down Camden’s 32nd Street. His weapon of choice is a German-crafted Luger pistol. He is found insane and is committed to a state mental institution. He dies at the age of 88.
12 killed – September 16, 2013 – Shots are fired inside the Washington Navy Yard killing 12. The shooter, identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, is also killed.
12 killed – July 20, 2012 – Twelve people are killed and 58 are wounded in a shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater screening of the new Batman film. James E. Holmes, 24, is taken into custody outside of the movie theater. The gunman, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear, set off two devices of some kind before spraying the theater with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns police recovered at the scene.
12 killed – July 29, 1999 – In Atlanta, 44-year-old Mark Barton kills his wife and two children at his home. He then opens fire in two different brokerage houses killing nine people and wounding 12. He later kills himself.
10 killed – March 10, 2009 – In Alabama, Michael McLendon of Kinston, kills 10 and himself. The dead include his mother, grandparents, aunt and uncle.
9 killed – March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. 16-year-old Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another adult, five students, a teacher and a security officer. He then kills himself.
9 killed – June 18, 1990 – In Jacksonville, Florida, 42-year-old James Pough, angry about his car being repossessed, opens fire at a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office, killing nine people. Pough takes his own life.
8 killed – October 12, 2011 – Eight people are killed during a shooting at the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California. The suspect, Scott Evans Dekraai, 41, of Huntington Beach, is arrested without incident as he is trying to leave the scene. The eight dead include Dekraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48. He was armed with three guns — a 9 mm Springfield, a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, and a Heckler & Koch .45 — and was wearing body armor during the shooting rampage.
8 killed – August 3, 2010 – Manchester, Connecticut – Omar Thornton kills eight co-workers at Hartford Distributors before turning the gun on himself. Thornton had been asked to resign for stealing and selling alcoholic beverages.
8 killed – January 19, 2010 – Christopher Speight, 39, kills eight people at a house in Appomattox, Virginia. He surrenders to police at the scene the next morning. February 2013, he is sentenced to five life terms plus 18 years.
8 killed – March 29, 2009 – In Carthage, North Carolina, 45-year-old Robert Stewart kills a nurse and seven elderly patients at a nursing home. In May, the Moore County district attorney announces she will seek the death penalty. On September 3, 2011, a jury finds Stewart guilty of second-degree murder. Stewart is sentenced to 141 to 179 years in prison.
8 killed – December 5, 2007 – In Omaha, Nebraska, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins goes to an area mall and kills eight shoppers before killing himself.
8 killed – July 1, 1993 – In San Francisco, 55-year-old Gian Luigi Ferri kills eight people in a law office and then kills himself.
8 killed – September 14, 1989 – In Louisville, Kentucky, 47-year-old Joseph Wesbecker armed with a AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, two MAC-11 semiautomatic pistols, a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol and a bayonet kills eight co-workers at Standard Gravure Corporation and then kills himself. He had been placed on disability leave from his job due to mental problems.
8 killed – August 20, 1982 – In Miami, 51-year-old history teacher Carl Robert Brown, angry about a repair bill and armed with a shotgun, kills eight people at a machine shop. He flees by bicycle, but is shot in the back by a witness who pursued him. He was on leave from school for psychological treatment.
Portraits in Faith is a fascinating project which celebrates diversity of belief. For nine years, 27 countries and 400 personal spiritual journeys Daniel Epstein interviewed and documented spiritual experiences and the role of faith in people’s lives. Take a look at the introductory video:
“The main objective was to save my life by helping me understand that there was reason to believe in a Higher Power. That sounds very self-serving, but I needed out of my old way of thinking and my old way of feeling about myself and the world.”
“Now I have a much bigger aim for the project — to help heal the world by bringing people together in humanity’s greater, common spiritual journey. The journey is all we undoubtedly share no matter how much we try to make each other out as different. I have a real love-hate relationship with religion. It really can give people the smallest view of the world when really we are beyond understanding.” Daniel Epstein
Read the Daniel Epstein interview on the Baha’i Blog
P.S. The Bardo Group/Beguine Again is a blog I’ve followed for several years. Their theme for June is diversity ” . . . in all its manifestations: sexual/gender orientation, race, religion, culture, national origin … even nature. . . . celebrating respect – as inclusion – as a big step toward peace, understanding, justice … even environmental stewardship.”
Take a look at the June issue of The BeZine
Scientists have grown the entire forelimb of a rat in a lab . . . and it moves!
Hidden in plain sight
God’s miraculous secrets*
Waiting to be found
Dr. Harold Ott, head of the Ott Laboratory for Organ Engineering and Regeneration, and his team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston were able to “engineer rat forelimbs with functioning vascular and muscle tissue,” . . .
“This may be an important first step leading to the eventual creation of functional, bioartificial limbs that could be used in transplants.”
Ott says this work “finally proved that we can regenerate functional muscle.” (They know because they ran an electrical current through the muscle tissue — and the little rat limb began to twitch).”
“They’ve since applied the first part of this technology — stripping cells from the framework — to the arms of primates, showing the process might work on the human scale.”
Read the article: In Massachusetts Lab Scientists Grow an Artificial Rat Limb