A 45 Second Gift

“Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind. Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful and your heart enlightened”.  The Baha’i Faith

Can you take 45 seconds a day to contribute to

and support causes in which you may have an interest? 

P1010944My brother Rick sent me this reminder about the Hunger Site. The first thing he does when he turns on his computer is to click on

http://www.thehungersite.com/

The site includes links to donations per FREE click to causes for:

  • Breast cancer
  • Veterans
  • Animal shelters
  • Autism
  • Rain forest preservation
  • Diabetes
  • Literacy
  • and more . . .

“The sites show results (About Us) for donations and clicks on a daily basis. Every “drop”/click helps fill the pool! This could be a part of your daily routine when you turn on your computer or log on to the internet.  Sponsors provide additional support via purchases on the site (some have very cool, interesting gift ideas!.”

In 10 years Rick has  clicked on the links enough times to provide:

  • 2500 cups of food to those in need
  • 1500 bowls of food to animals in shelters
  • preservation of a half-acre of rain forest
  • a half hour of therapy for children with autism
  • 20+ meals to homeless Veterans
  • and more

One click gifting time

love and pride for all mankind

The power is yours

Freddie’s Gift – How to Release Hurt & Pain

Dear Human Beings, whoever you are,

I was helping one of my clients (I can’t reveal the name because I keep everything confidential  . . . but you know who you are . . .)  learn how to move past hurt and pain so they can have a clean start in the New Year.

My client is very emotional.  To get proper attention I have to demonstrate what they must do. Here are my instructions. (what I communicate isn’t confidential).

YOU should think about what YOU need to let go of as you follow my directions.

1.  Chew on “it”

Chew on it

Chew on it

2.  Surrender

Surrender

Surrender

3.  Release it.

(Indoor instruction is Shake it off.  Outdoor instruction is Release)

Release it (and/or Shake it Off)

Release it and/or Shake it Off (depending on location)

4.  Sleep it off 

(optional)

DSCN4267

The new Year is almost here. If YOU want to start fresh you have to stop procrastinating and do what I say NOW. Please send my fee in the form of something chewable (for future chew-on-it demonstrations).

My Gift Haiku, by Freddie

Knowing what to do

it’s simply instinctual

I just have the gift

Therapeutically yours,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT

Canine Dog Therapist

Thanks for the memory – hooked on haiku & Bob Hope

Adieu Haiku-Heights*

Thanks for friends and memories

inspiration too!

I’ll continue on

writing my “silly” haiku

It’s now tradition

Haiku-Heights Prompt - THANKS

*” . . . Now how do I say thanks to all of you? It has been a wonderful experience and journey hosting this meme for the past three and a half years. I have loved every moment of it. But I have been contemplating this for the past week, and I think it is time to shut up shop. This is the last prompt at Haiku Heights. I’m glad to have been your muse, but the interest in blogging has waned, and I want to focus on my own blog more, get back to writing . . . So adieu, au revoir, sayonara and alvida to all the friends that I’ve made through here. It’s been a blast! “

 

Seven Deadly Sins – Hooked on Haiku

The eighth deadly sin:

Committing all the seven

in your own lifetime

A good friend, who shall remain nameless - this picture of her is definitely a sin.

A good friend, who shall remain nameless – this picture of her is definitely a sin.

Seven DEADLY sins?
it only takes one to die
you can take your pick

Many forms of Grass

th-1

Green Haiku

Attended Berkeley
education up in smoke
Few sat on the grass*

*ALL reference to personal experience is unequivocally denied except for the fact I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, 1967

Haiku-Heights Prompt - GRASS
Haiku-Heights
Prompt – GRASS

Things that go thump in the night of your brain

Spooky Haiku

Grey matter matters

Do we act before we think?

I think I think not . . .

A Seance scene in the classic German silent film Dr Mabuse (1922), directed by Fritz Lang. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

A Seance scene in the classic German silent film Dr Mabuse (1922), directed by Fritz Lang. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

“As the evenings get darker and the first hint of winter hangs in the air, the western world enters the season of the dead.”  Scared? 

If you want to read about ouija boards, seances and automatic writing click this link: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/20/seances-and-science.

If you want to read what is REALLY spooky, read this excerpt from the article:

In the 1960s, neurophysiologist William Grey Walter got volunteers to operate a slide projector while their brain was monitored with electrodes. The participants were told to press a button to change slides. But the button was a fake – the projector was controlled by electrical activity in the brain. The startled volunteers found that the slide machine was predicting their decisions. A fraction of a second before they decided to press the button, the part of the brain responsible for hand movement burst into activity and – through the electrodes – moved the slide on.

Grey Walter showed that there was a fraction of a second delay between the brain making a decision and someone being aware that they were making a decision.

In the 1980s, Benjamin Libert of the University of California , San Francisco, made a similar discovery after attaching volunteers to electrical monitors and sitting them in front of a screen displaying a dot in a circle. The participants were told to flex their wrists whenever they liked, and report the position of the dots at the moment they made the decision to flex. Again, there was a surge in brain activity a fraction of a second before the volunteers were aware they were making a decision.

Wegner’s solution was that our deliberate, thinking brain – the inner me that makes decisions – is an ILLUSION. Instead, the brain does two things when it makes a decision to raise an arm.

  • First it passes a message to the part in charge of creating the conscious inner you.
  • Second, it delays the signal going to the arm by a fraction of a second.
  • This delay generates the illusion that the conscious mind has made a decision.”

Now if that doesn’t scare the daylights

out of you,

I don’t know what does!

Clouds & Consciousness

http-inlinethumb28.webshots.com-41819-2031749600103830173S600x600Q85Two cyberspace worlds just collided for me:  I am following the Linkedin discussion What would a spiritual, conscious world look like?,  then saw the Haiku Heights prompt “Cloud”.   Both coalesced in my own clouded mind:

when clouded minds clear

blowing away ego storms

Love will flood the earth

Haiku-Heights prompt - SWING

Haiku-Heights
prompt – CLOUD

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith

 

There’ll be a change in the weather, a change in the sea

California Dream’n

Seasons never change

The finest monotony

Every day the same

Haiku-Heights prompt is “Change” AND got this comment from my post The Magic of Imagery. Talk about synchronicity!

“Really in Oregon? bring anti-depressants. the address is in califiornia so once again i don’t know if you are KIDDING ME. if it was in california I’d be tempted to go. Oregon, no way, anytime of the year. let me know. was in oregon for a week in their “sunny” period. it rained the entire time, most depressing vacation, ever.” PK JR.

 Dear PK JR.

Yup, Oregon. Nice change from all this unremitting sunshine and all the horror that goes with it:

  • Always slathering my body with ooey gooey sunscreen
  • Watching hundreds of women at the beach wearing bikinis with bodies like Jennifer Anniston. (excruciating)
  • Green Christmases
  • Yearning to feel the way Gene Kelly did when he danced around light poles in <em>Singing in the Rain</em>.
  • Getting my coif totally messed up from riding in convertibles
  • The energy it takes to wash off sand and grit after a day at the beach (No one understands the true grit one has to have to live here)
  • The monotony of one day after the other, after the other, after the other with the same weather.
  • The hours it takes dead-heading flowers that bloom all year long.
  • The expense of watering lawns that never go dormant.

And the very worst – not being a “morning” person and always waking up to sunshine.  Now THAT’S agony.

“Why, there’s a change in the weather, there’s a change in the sea,

So from now on there’ll be a change in me,

Why, my walk will be be different, and my talk, and my name,
Nothing about me gonna be the same;
I’m gonna change my way of living, and that ain’t no shock,
Why, I’m thinking of changin’ the way I gotta set my clock,
Because nobody wants you when you’re old and gray.
There’s gonna be some changes made today,
There’ll be some changes made.”

This post is dedicated to Laurie Fessler who never ceases to inspire me.  

Check out her blog HibernationNow and you’ll see why . . .

The Aftermath of a Health Crisis

Health Crisis

Mind Body And Soul

None unscathed

P1020309

In the aftermath of all health issues imilar situations, feelings, responses occur for all people trying to find the NEW NORMAL after all chronic physical impairments, illnesses and conditions.

I URGE you to read the rest of this excellent post at My Heart Sisters to have a first person account. 

Dr Keddy goes into detail about the impact of her unexpected heart attack once back home.  Here’s how she begins:

Dr. Barbara Keddy: “It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me and my life has been changed forever. I now have the label of a ‘cardiac patient’. I am a new member of a club I did not want to join and worse, I don’t know the ins and outs of this organization. There is so much to learn and I am dragging my feet as I learn, wishing there was some way to resign from the membership.”

My First Art Class

Baha’i teaches: “We must not only be patient with others, infinitely patient, but also with our own poor selves.” – Abdu’l-Baha

The first art class I ever take is first semester, freshman year in college 1983. I think it will be a fun way to get units.

Placing object in a scene

MOVING object in a scene

Rabbit pitcher with cigarette in pour-hole.  (parents smoked, it was 1963)

Rabbit pitcher with cigarette in pour-hole. (parents smoked, HEY! it was 1963)

We work on easels, drawing huge pictures on large sheets of paper.  The first class I discover that during breaks students walk around the room looking at each others drawings. I walk around too.  Their drawings are REALLY good, so good that I dread going to the second class and the first class is only half-way over.

Second class I get there early to claim my spot.  I position my easel at the very back of the room, in a corner, making it very difficult for anyone, including the teacher, to see my drawings.

Anatomy study - my own foot with a plastic rose

Anatomy study – my own foot holding a plastic rose (better than a cigarette)

The teacher walks around the room commenting on the students’ drawings.  He scrunches himself in the corner to see my drawings, says nothing and walks on.  The third class he pulls me aside and instructs me to get a large sketchbook and draw 50 pictures outside the class. (Turns out this is the ONLY instruction he ever gives me the entire semester)

The fourth class I discover I am the only student enrolled who isn’t an art major and has never taken an art class in their life.  Being straight out of high school and extremely conscientious it never crosses my mind to withdraw.  It probably crosses the art teacher’s mind.  To my relief the other students stop trying to see what I’m drawing.

DSCN4397

Mom’s kitchen, staged – slightly askew

P.S. I kept the sketch book.   I commuted to the University from home so all my drawings were things in or around my parent’s house.  I was always desperate trying to find things that were easy to draw. The 4 drawings on this page are some of my first 50 sketches.   That was the last drawing class I ever took at that University.

Drawing class

painful,  humbling

Sketch book – priceless

and now drawing with words, my “Health” haiku:

creating from heart

pure emotion of being

soul singing out loud

Betrayal? You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think . . .

Variations on a Theme

Our minds betray us

into thinking we are more

. . . or less, more or less

*

Two haiku inspired by

You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think

Dove’s viral video gets it wrong

By  Ozgun Atasoy

Here’s a tiny preview.  Click on the title for the entire fascinating article (well, at least I find it fascinating):

Let's Face It

Let’s Face It

In a Dove soap video “. . . a small group of women are asked to describe their faces to a person whom they cannot see. The person is a forensic artist who draws pictures of the women based on their verbal descriptions. A curtain separates the artist and the women, and they never see each other.”

“Before all this, each woman is asked to socialize with a stranger, who later separately describes the woman to the forensic artist. In the end, the women are shown the two drawings, one based on their own description, the other based on the stranger’s description.”

“Much to their amazement and delight, the women realize that the drawings based on strangers’ descriptions depict much more beautiful women. The video ends: “You are more beautiful than you think.”’

“The evidence from psychological research suggests otherwise!  Instead, we tend to think of our appearance in ways that are more flattering than are warranted. This seems to be part of a broader human tendency to see ourselves through rose-colored glasses. Most of us think that we are better than we actually are — not just physically, but in every way.”

“Dove’s premise is wrong. But thinking we are more beautiful than we really are may not be such a bad thing.”

Perception stymies

Does it matter more . . .  or less?

Perhaps not at all?

 

 

Bridging my Haiku

Thanks to all of you that PRIVATELY sent me e-mails asking if I’m ok after my last Haiku post.  (For those who just want a follow-up haiku, you’ll have to scroll down to the end . . .)

When I write or paint I  just plunk it down – whether it be words or paint.  I plunk rather quickly and only sometimes go back and tweak.  If it takes more than tweaking a word or two, a painted area or so I just delete, or discard. I call it the creative process.  It’s possibly ADD!

When I wrote the Bridge haiku, as per my usual, I just wrote – counting on my figures not to exceed the 17 syllables – of course!

I was too tired to take the time to sit back and reflect because I had been at my office all day, and evening, sitting and back reflecting on what all my clients were feeling!

Haiku #1 for me is just a fact:  Hey!  We are all just in the NOW, even if we keep trying to get here by meditating, reminding and unwinding it’s all in the now.

Silently waiting
straddling my future and past
knowing only now

Our human orientation of “waiting for something in the future – a trip, a cure, an event, a different feeling . . . or dwelling on past hurts, loves, hopes . . ..  Our thoughts rush ahead or dredge up “past nows” while we remain in the present nanosecond.

We can’t be anywhere else except in the now.space-243-flame-nebula_67015_600x450

Haiku #2:  This one’s a bit tougher.  I have had – have  – relationships in my life that are very important, very close and are no more – relatives, friends, colleagues, clients, pets, through death, separation and time.  All reside only  in my memory .  Memory is only “human bridge” I’m conscious of while on this earth.

Connections broken

Don’t talk to me of bridges

know I am alone

My belief is that being human is a striving for connection that comes from an inner longing for connection to pure, “unconditional” love.  A yearning so deep that it drives us to behaviours and choices that can create pain which then creates more yearning (and fear of loss).  Not sure if I’m making sense?

It’s deeper for me than an intellectual understanding.  It generates from My Baha’i belief is that our human journey is about loss and detachment.  Detachment, disconnection, from earthly “things”, people, places, labels, longings and experience connection to God’s unconditional love.

autism-cause-1Un-Haiku #3:

Connections broken

Don’t talk to me of bridges

know I am alone

with God.

Nothing more or less

Not for me to understand

just believe

It’s called faith

Haiku #4: Can’t say that my faith is so deep it totally sustains me.  It doesn’t.

I question, I cry

longing for the elusive,

a bridge to somewhere.

5908938-amazing-rainbow

 

Mother’s Day is Every Day

Striving to love us

The story of mothering

Each in their own way

Scan 2

My Mother

When I was about 10 I remember thinking:

My mother has a flat rear end.  (Mine wasn’t flat . . . yet.)

When I was about 15 I remember thinking:

My mother is really old.

When I was about 20 I remember thinking:

I don’t REALLY need my Mother anymore.

When I was about 30 I remember thinking:

I wonder what Mom would do?

When I was about 40 I remember thinking:

I’m becoming my Mother.

When I was about 50 I remember thinking:

I never told her I loved her enough.

When I was about 60 I remember thinking:

I miss her.

“For mothers are the first educators, the first mentors; and truly it is the mothers who determine the happiness, the future greatness, the courteous ways and learning and judgement, the understanding and the faith of their little ones.”  Baha’i

There is No Single Sexy Chin or Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin

I notice that as I age the hair on top of my head starts growing out my chin so . . . . . . I was very pleased to read about a new study that shows a least the SHAPE of my chin doesn’t indicate I’ve lost my sex appeal, even if the hair does.  Here’s an excerpt and the findings (To read the original article click on my haiku)

Let’s FACE it right now

There’s no single sexy chin????

I beg to differ

“Research has shown that chiseled jaws and strong chins appear more masculine and are considered

Freddie figuring out which chin he has

Freddie figuring out which chin he has

universally attractive. But a new study challenges the idea of universally attractive features — and finds that there is no one chin that is sexier than others.”

“For years, Seth Dobson, an assistant professor in the anthropology department at Dartmouth College (who probably has a lot of time on his hands) ” . . . has speculated about why only humans have chins and what purpose they serve. While he hasn’t come to any concrete conclusions, he wondered if chins impact how we select mates. Some experts believe that we pick partners based on universal facial attractiveness—a set of traits, such as symmetrical facial features, that are overwhelmingly deemed hot (and biologically superior). Dobson thought that if women mated with men who had strong chins and men bred with women with smaller, weaker chins that skeletons would show this.”
(. . apparently Not the case.)
“Dobson looked at 180 male and female skeletons that originated from nine different Old-World

Contour Tracings

Judy’s Contour Tracings

geographic locations including, Australia, Eastern and Southern Africa, Southeastern, Central, and Eastern Asia, and Northern, Eastern, and Western Europe. After creating contour tracings of the chins,  a computer analyzed their shapes. (used pencil, no computer,  for my contour tracings) Dobson found there isn’t one dominant preferred chin shape for men or women in any region.
“The preferences aren’t actually universal,” he says, but adds a caveat: “I don’t think that our result undermine that there is strong preference [for certain chins].” (Victoria’s Secret models, movie stars etc.  . . .  agree)

“These results might mean that people don’t pick partners based only on universally attractive traits, he explains  Sure, a strong chin might seem sexier, but the man who owns the chin might not have a great personality.” (need a research study to figure that out . . . ?)

“One thing is possible, this is speculation, it is possible that the preferences that look to be universal cross culturally today maybe weren’t important in the past,” Dobson says. “But they may be important in the future.” By Meghan Holohan

(Get out the tweezers)

 

Faint of Heart Need Not Apply

Human Condition

Faint of heart need not apply 

Varied positions

Picture, emerging head, DCP_8561Been a hard couple of weeks, maybe months, but who’s counting  . . .  won’t go into the gory details . . .  When I complained about aches and pains, my loss of energy and motivation to my Baha’i “guide”, Jim, his response was:

“Being human and/or getting old is not for the faint of heart…….”

It made me think (There she goes again . . . “thinking”): Very few of us get out of this condition called human without pain, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional;  I have to accept (perhaps not like) that my life, all life, is ultimately about loss.

Starting from birth and losing the comfort of our mother’s womb, we are on a continual, unremitting passage of loss.  Some of the loss is welcome and some not.

Perhaps what is important is less about the actual loss and more about how we “work”  it.  

(But right now I’m too exhausted to work anything . . .)

 

Freddie High Q

We love open prompts

doors are left ajar, gates too

No fencing us in

* * *

This dog owns the streets

Freddie is as Freddie does

Makes territory

Freddie Parker Westerfield

Freddie Parker Westerfield

* * *

He’s fuzzy Freddie

pure white as the driven snow

with patches of beige

* * *

We are a matched pair

tails wagging in unison

with neurotic love         

Have You Made YOUR Mark?

Me, exhausted

Me, exhausted

To prove I was there

Fortitude and stamina

 with a spritz of pee

Dear Human Beings,

I went to a park.  I met some very nice Human Beings who petted me.  There were some other Canine Dogs there too.  I sniffed a lot of them but I didn’t have time to play.  I had to concentrate on marking my territory and it was a very big park.

I marked all the way around on the fence.  I marked some of the chairs where the Human Beings were sitting.  I marked the trees.  I marked the bushes.  I tried to mark a big Canine Dog that came to see me but he was on the other side of the fence.   I marked two people.

It was exhausting.

Yours truly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Canine Dog

Brain on Over-Drive

The "Hag"

Anxiety is the brain’s way of trying to keep us alive.  It wants us to be safe and so it looks for anything and everything that may not work, could be a problem, might be dangerous.

For most people who have anxiety “disorders” their minds are always working, scanning their physical, mental and emotional environments: A non-stop cacophony of thoughts , trying to avoid difficulty, figuring out something that doesn’t make sense . . . day and night; An adaptive mechanism in overdrive.

Faster and faster 

can’t stop a run away train

going nowhere fast

 

Racing rumbling thoughts

can’t stop a run away brain

A one way ticket

I’m Overwhelmed by Convenience.

Haiku-Heights, Prompt BREEZE

If I read enough I will FINALLY understand how to relax, organize, optimize my health, wealth, knowledge and time.   So I spend hours googling, oogling the glut of information on the internet. There is an overwhelming world of seemingly infinite information, suggestions, apps and opinions.

In my paperless office I print out an overwhelming number of copies of the

“important” information I NEED to keep.

11286915-old-rusty-isolated-typewriter-vintage-office-equipment

The ubiquitous availability of E-mail, text messaging is a miraculous, mind-numbing, overwhelming demand for instant response.

Facebook and Twitter’s constant reminders to keep checking lest I miss out on something “crucial”. . . smart phones sing,  computers beep to let me know.

Being blown away

 technology tornado 

an absolute breeze

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

ART with a capital “A” “R” “T”

Shimmer simmer glow

liberate and celebrate

Embellish your life

Welcome to Sue Kreitzman’s Wild and Wonderfully Colorful World(VIDEO)

Red Alert: from the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Acrylic, judy

Acrylic, judy

The ultimate trip

Red-eye flight into the light

Only God  knows where

Tasty morsel me

Microbes lick their little lips

Flaming red sore throat

DSCN3913

Microbe licking his lips by judy

Pride

judy's journal

judy’s journal

Five-Parts Pride

Too proud to admit

loneliness; just me, my soul

neither here nor there.

* * *

Too proud to complain.

How to relinquish the pain

I am and am not

* * *

Humility bared

ere I go before the fall

haughty spirit stilled

* * *

What was, now is 

 pile of dead bones

and my soul

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”. Proverbs 16:18

Deepest depths

laughter and pain

 all I am

Haiku-Heightsprompt, Pain

Haiku-Heights
prompt, PRIDE

Can’t you see that I’m . . . Reversed Engineered?

David http://wordcoaster.wordpress.com* has enhanced the traditional haiku form. These 3 haiku are dedicated to him. (Well, the first one isn’t a haiku, it’s a plea, the second & third ones are Reversed-Engineered.

Come on baby

Rescue me

from myself

What are REVERSED-ENGINEERED Haiku?

Here’s David’s REVERSED-ENGINEERED “haiku” directions.   I quote:

 “I think perhaps a “reverse-engineered haiku” (if it really WAS a form) would perhaps be three lines of 7-5-7 syllables? Or maybe would be written backwards? Hmm…might have to try one of those out.” David

David, here’s an attempt at the two forms of Reverse-Engineered Haiku YOU inspired:

Rewind, re-verse my per-verse

broken haiku form.

Rescue me creatively

*   *   *

All fault David for

haiku engineered reverse.

For it’s David’s fault*

P.S. David is obviously “prone” to cheating . . . . or as he says, enhancing . . . as EVIDENCED by his bio on his very own blog:

*My name is David.  I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD.  I have three wonderful sisters and two amazing parents.   Currently I am studying Community Development at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA.  I love to read poetry and I also love to write poetry, though like most people I’ve never been formally trained.  I also like the tone a photograph can set for an entire poem–the emphasis it can add or the spin it can give.  Some would say it’s cheating–I say it’s enhancing.

“Out, damn’d snot! out, I say!”

Good sign.  I’m starting to amuse myself again.  Whether this amuses you or not I’m still too sick to care . . . (Good News-Bad News)

Haiku-Heightsprompt, DEATH

Haiku-Heights
prompt, DEATH

Rhinoviruses

If I could, I’d beat ’em up

Till they were all DEAD

* * *

Lovely yellow-green

They’re deader than a doornail

A very good sign!

* * *

S’not fun to be sick

Good riddance to bad rubbish

Better them than me.

My new personal pediatrician says:

“Over 200 viruses (I think I have 198 of them) can cause the common cold,
k9844010The rhinovirus (In addition to the rhinovirus, I have an elephantovirus, and a gigantosaurisvirus) is the most common type of virus that causes colds.”
“When germs that cause colds first infect the nose and sinuses, the nose makes clear mucus. This helps wash the germs from the nose and sinuses. After two or three days, (how about 2 weeks?) the body’s immune cells fight back, changing the mucus to a white or yellow color. As the bacteria that live in the nose grow back, (GROW BACK?!)  they may also be found in the mucus, which changes the mucus to a greenish color. This is normal and does not mean you or your child needs antibiotics.”

“Mucus also contains disease-fighting antibodies and chemicals that can tear apart infectious particles. Not only does it help prevent and treat infections, but it also keeps the nasal linings happy (that is the only part of me that’s happy) and moist, and humidifies inhaled air. Its sticky surface traps pollens, infectious particles, and airborne pollutants, sort of like built-in fly paper. (euwww) Under ordinary circumstances, (this is NOT an ordinary circumstance) a person makes—and swallows– about a quart of it a day.” (that would account for the fact I’m not losing weight)

 (Good news, some of my cold virus are “deader than a doornail”*)  “Towards the end of a cold, snot will get thick and dark and lovely yellow-green (especially the stuff in that first morning tissue.) By then, the mucus isn’t infectious anymore. Rather than being loaded with virus, it’s filled with dead and dying infection-fighting cells and sloughed debris from your nose. (Good riddance to bad rubbish) It’s a misconception (unfortunately perpetuated by many doctors, I know) that green snot at the end of a cold means that there’s some kind of infection that needs antibiotics. ‘Taint true, though if thick persistent all-day mucus lasts longer than 10-14 days at the end of a cold, you might have a sinus infection brewing. It’s the duration of symptoms that helps distinguish a cold from sinusitis, not the color of the boogers. And no, you don’t need to bring in a sample for your pediatrician to examine. Really. Thanks.”  http://pediatricinsider.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/373/doornails

*”But William and Mary Morris, in The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, quote a correspondent who points out that it could come from a standard term in carpentry. If you hammer a nail through a piece of timber and then flatten the end over on the inside so it can’t be removed again (a technique called clinching), the nail is said to be dead, because you can’t use it again. Doornails would very probably have been subjected to this treatment to give extra strength in the years before screws were available. So they were dead because they’d been clinched. It sounds plausible, but whether it’s right or not we will probably never know.” http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/58788/what-does-deader-than-a-doornail-mean

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow cream

Haiku-Recipe for Snow Cream

Freshly fallen snow

Mix cream, sugar, vanilla

Stir until it’s soft

* * *

Alas, no CLEAN snow?

 Alas, No snow just sun shine?

 Eat Ben & Jerry’s 

HaikuBadge_Final-1

haiku-heights
prompt, SNOW

Chloe Tuttle has a bed and breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina.  Cloe says, snow cream  ” . . . . tastes like homemade ice cream, but very special because you can only get it once a year.”  The trick, She says, is to use soft, freshly fallen snow. (TRICK!  Seems essential, but then I’ve never lived where it snows.)

Snow Cream Recipe

Directions: “Stir until it’s soft,” Chloe Tuttle says.

    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cream
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 egg (optional)
    • 1 bowl of light, clean snow (6-8 cups)

Guns, Mental Health, Collective Grief

Wishes are empty

Only action will suffice

United in love

Peace begins within

Behaving with compassion

Wishing is futile

Here’s a repost from Dr. John M‘s Blog.  I follow it.  He’s a cardiologist who writes a wonderful blog.  I’m reposting. Can’t say it any better:

John Mandrolo, M.D.

John Mandrolo, M.D.

“I grew up in Connecticut. It was in a town just like Newtown. It was safe and it was quiet.

I am a father and a grandfather. My life is surrounded with children.

This weekend has been tough. You try to read or write something, but the mind wanders. Then you feel sadness. The more you think about the specifics, the sadder it gets. Your heart aches.

Our nation feels it. I recently read the words ‘collective grief.’ That about sums it up. And this too: we are collectively sorry for those poor souls.

Now I might make you mad. But it needs to be said, now more than ever.

On Guns:

My mom had only two unbreakable rules for us four kids: No guns and no motorcycles.

Guns scare me. I don’t like seeing them or being near them.

I only shot a gun once. It was during my short stint in the Boy Scouts. (I didn’t make it long in the Scouts.) I also learned to shoot a bow, but after killing a squirrel once, I felt awful, and stopped that too. Though I personally don’t like hunting, I understand its draw. Okay, many use guns to hunt.

But handguns and assault rifles? It seems senseless, farcical even, that weapons of human destruction can be acquired so easily. What are we thinking? I’m all for freedom, and understand well the Bill of Rights, but come on? Surely we can be true to our founding fathers and still maintain common sense. This must change.

On Mental Health:

It’s not fair, nor right, that those with disorders of the brain are shunned. We should fund and study mental health disorders with the same vigor that we do breast cancer and heart disease. Surely we can all agree on this. How well we care for the poor–who so often are afflicted with mental illness–says a lot about our nation’s soul.

On Society:

The word that comes to mind is ‘amplified’. Everything is so amplified. At work, the rules and regulations are amplified. Always more rules—more signs, more emails, more meetings, more lights and more alarms. More.

Then there is our constant connectedness. This too amplifies. Social media amplifies. So does cable news around the clock. Living so close together in urban centers amplifies. The noise is deafening—in the car, on the roads, in the train or airplane, in the grocery and even at home. No peace. Everywhere there is distraction and noise. These are the facts. Though the young would have trouble imagining life without smartphones and Apple products, us olders can vouch that it was equally happy. Life is just so dang amplified. Always full gas. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

No, I don’t think society is more violent now; in fact, it’s probably less so. And I don’t blame technology for this spate of madness.

As a contributing factor though, how we humans have come to live is hard to ignore.

I wonder about the mental effects of all this amplified noise.

HaikuBadge_Final-1

Feel the Pain, mathematically speaking

k5750663With nerves of iron

the crackling pain, hissing pain

Haiku-Heightsprompt, PAIN
Haiku-Heights
prompt, PAIN

seers its brand on brain

FINALLY! the reason I did not become an engineer, CPA or nuclear physicist and had to take graduate level statistic three (count ’em, 3) times – I have an avoidant personality.  Here’s proof:

Written by Kelly Fitzgerald “Worry about math can trigger regions of the brain associated with the experience of physical pain and instinctive risk detection, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and published in PLOS ONE.”

“Ian Lyons and his team of researchers discovered that in people who experience high levels of anxiety when anticipating math tasks, encountering math increases activity in regions of the brain connected with the feeling of physical pain. The more elevated a person’s math anxiety, the greater the appearance of neural activity is.”

“The fMRI scans showed the worry of upcoming math events triggered a response in the brain similar to physical pain. (What about WORRY of any kind? Now I’m worried that the researchers have missed the broader picture)The higher the anxiety about math, the more math anticipation activated the posterior insula, a piece of tissue deep in the brain located above the ear, and is connected to acknowledging threats to the body as well as physical pain.”4171259-western-branding-iron-brand-of-a-lazy-tilted-alphabetic-letter

“Earlier studies have indicated that other forms of psychological stress, like a traumatic break-up, or social rejection, can also cause feelings of physical pain. However, this particular study analyzes the pain response connected with anticipating an anxiety-inducing event, instead of the pain connected to the stressful event itself.” (How about anticipating an anxiety-inducing event, like ANTICIPATING EXPERIENCING PAIN!)*

The authors conclude that their findings suggest that it is not the act of performing a mathematical task that prompts this response, but rather the anticipation of math.” (They didn’t need to do all that research.  I could have told them when I was in grade school) 

“These results give a possible neural platform for the observation that people with high math anxiety are more likely to avoid math-related situations, (balancing my check book)  like math classes and math-related careers. Therefore, avoidance comes from experiencing this painful anxiety.”

To read the entire article of which I have CALCULATINGLY taken the parts that interests me, click here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252363.php

*P.S.  Research does show that when we anticipate feeling pain all pain does become heightened.

Fire Storm Feeling

P1030121

Fury storms my mind

 bolted by hits of lightening

charred by emotion

Flames spreading uphill

hot winds driving all reason

till I blow my top

Re: the last line,  I just can’t seem to take the “psycho” out of the “therapist”  . . .

Spirituality According to Max – Prologue & Epilogue and a haiku

Max stormed into life!

Then silently passing on

leaf drifting in air

 *     *     *

To all my haiku friends who may not know of Max’s passing

at the bottom are the posts of Max’s story.

*   *   *

Max, Prologue & Epilogue

” . . . it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. “ Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 

Max, 1968 – 2012

I mourn the passing from my life of this incredible lively, quirky and wonderful spirit.  Max was a love – stubborn, incredibly stubborn, but a love.

This December 2012,  he would have been 14 years old.  He was about 10 months old when he adopted us 1998. In his last week in both appearance and behaviour he wasn’t “Max”.

Before our eyes Max lost his hair, his pep, energy, stubbornness and his bearings.  He stopped greeting us at the door, giving hundreds of loving licks, he became completely disoriented, standing in space, staring at some unknowable sight, unable to move forward, backward or lie down.  Max’s body was here, his spirit was lost.

We knew without question it was time,  on November 26, 2012,  to release him

I have turned even more to the Baha’i spiritual teachings and prayer to stay as graceful and loving as possible through my tears  and  rely on Max’s loving, quirky spirit to help me keep perspective.

I began writing a series of remembrances days before we euthanized him, unconsciously knowing he had not many days to live here on earth.   I want to share a bit of Max and my journey  together.  If you choose to accompany us on this spiritual path Max & I will be honored.

Here are the links to the chapters I have posted to date.  They are a bit wacky,  just like Max!  Stay tuned for more . . .

Links (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 

 

 

A Dessert . . . er . . . Desert, to die for

Just Desserts

Death by chocolate

all reason leaves the being

breath taken away

Death by chocolate

quickening pulse overtakes

heart stops with desire

Stay with vanilla

languishing longings subside

live a longer life

Whoops!!  Sorry, wrong prompt!!

Here’s the correct prompt . . .

Just Deserts

Death in the desert

All moisture leaves the body

breath taken away

Death in the desert
slow pulse life slipping away
heart stops with the heat

Stay in the suburbs

cozy, comfortable, cool

Die by chocolate

_____________________________________________________

NOW!  Click on Rosemary Lee’s post to see what chocolate LITERALLY does to YOU!

Seeking Equilibrium THE BLISS MOLECULE

1., 2., Tree Haiku

1. Haiku

Tree Tree by Judy

“I am two or tree”
tiny child wants me to know
years of life on earth
 

2. Haiku

Gnarly Grounded roots
swaying limbs and breezy leaves
stuck in place in space

3.  Haiku, by Max

I love a good tree
a watering hole for me
the best place to pee
 
 

Secrets and Silence

Silent heroes gone.
Too proud to tell their stories.
Remember them now.

By Rick Yerman

My brother Rick and I share the DNA, memories and legacy of  family.  

Rick captured both the “silent” prompt and the post Secrets of my Father in just 17 syllables.

 

Am I Neurotic or Psychotic?

Nature or nurture?

Psychosis or neurosis?

Best to never know

Creatively weird

Crazy is as crazy does

Just comes naturally

Dopamine System in Highly Creative People

Similar to That Seen in Schizophrenics

 “New research shows a possible explanation for the link between mental health and creativity. By studying receptors in the brain, researchers at Karolinska Institute have managed to show that the dopamine system in healthy, highly creative people is similar in some respects to that seen in people with schizophrenia.”

Humph! Is she neurotic or psychotic . . .
too close to call . . .

“High creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family. Creativity is also linked to a slightly higher risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“Certain psychological traits, such as the ability to make unusual  bizarre associations are also shared by schizophrenics and healthy, highly creative people. And now the correlation between creativity and mental health has scientific backing.”

“We have studied the brain and the dopamine D2 receptors, and have shown that the dopamine system of healthy, highly creative people is similar to that found in people with schizophrenia,” says associate professor Fredrik Ullén from Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, co-author of the study that appears in the journal PLoS ONE.”
“Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box,” says Dr Ullén about his new findings.”

Read the entire article in Science Daily, click here

CONSCIOUSLY yours, Max

Maxaiku by Max

Unconscious humans

a bit flaky and uptight

all bark and no bite

* * *

(The following haiku are by my Human who is rarely conscious.)

Consciously conscious?
Unconsciously unconscious?
Very hard to “know”

* * *

Wake me when I’m dead

You’ll unconsciously know when

Just set an alarm

 * * *

Perhaps just a dream

or  a puppet pulled by strings

choices that I make

* * *

Everybody’s got a dream

Lives shrouded in doubt

Everybody’s got a dream

Secretly buried

Dreams like floating clouds

not impossible to grab

Shroud them in sunlight

You are the first in the whole wide world to hear this new song!

The Debut of

Each One’s Dream

written, composed and sung by Rich Wordes.

PLEASE Click, listen (you gotta listen and tell me if this doesn’t sound like a Peter, Paul & Mary song!) and give Rich your feedback.

Each One’s Dream
Words and Music by Rich Wordes
 
Everybody’s got a dream
Never even dare to try
Knowin’ what they have to do
Scared to give up that old lie
So they sigh,
but don’t ask why
 
And they resign theirselves to their fate
Half a dollar in the collection plate
And they think that that makes it all right
Never knowin’ what they might ever do
If they try
and so they sigh 
 
A shelf of books that go unread
“Cause the kid ain’t got the mind
To remember what they said
All he wants is peace of mind
So he reads between the lines
 
And they resign theirselves to their fate
Half a dollar in the collection plate
And they think that that makes it all right
Never knowin’ what they might ever do
If they try
and so they cry.
 
Dream of things that might have been
Tho’ ya know they’ll never be
‘Cause the cage that you’re locked in
Strangles creativity
And your mind’s the only key
 
And they resign theirselves to their fate
Half a dollar in the collection plate
And they think that that makes it all right
Never knowin’ what they might ever do
If they try
they wonder why.

Dreams like floating clouds

not impossible to grab

Shroud them in sunlight

It’s Time to be Free

FREE at last, It’s TIME.
Need to shout I’m haiku’d out!
FINALLY time to rhyme

(with apologies to all my Haiku friends for being so “free” with the form this month!  I just can’t help myself . . not that I’ve tried . . .)

I’ve enjoyed immensely reading your creations . . .  Thank you for the inspirations. Haiku-on!)

Humph. I TOLD you she’s melodramatic . . .

Waltzing Matilda

When the billy boils

All Aussie ghosts do appear

Waltzing Matilda

 

Australia

Waltzing Matilda

“Unofficial Australian National Anthem” , Lyrics by A.B. Paterson

“Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,

Under the shade of a Coolibah tree,

And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.
………………..
Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.
…………………
Up rode the squatter mounted on his thorough-bred
Down came the troopers One Two Three
Whose that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda Waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me
Whose that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker-bag
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.
………………….
Up jumped the swagman sprang in to the billabong
You’ll never catch me alive said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda Waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

We’re all in the same boat.

Origami boats

look good before sinking fast.

Water-proof your life

How to make an Origami boat Icosahedron

How to Make an Origami Canoe

Footprint on my Heart

Footprint on mon coeur.

                 dis-ease of broken heart or

                                 evidence d’ amour?

I’ve “borrowed” again from Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters:

“This year, heart disease will kill six times more women than breast cancer will.  In fact, heart disease kills more women each year than all forms of cancer combined.”

Watch this 3-minute film called “Just a Little Heart Attack” from the American Heart Association. It was originally brought to my attention by Carolyn Thomas.  Please share with others.

And READ THIS from Carolyn

“When other researchers reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at more than 10,000 patients (48% women) who had gone to their hospital Emergency Departments with chest pain or other heart attack symptoms, they found that women under the age of 55 are SEVEN TIMES more likely to be misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack than their male counterparts are.”

“And it gets worse! In 2005, the American Heart Association surveyed physicians in the U.S. to see how many were aware that more women than men die of heart disease each year (a statistic that’s been true since they started keeping track in 1984).

Only 8% of family doctors knew this fact, and (much worse!!) only 17% of CARDIOLOGISTS were aware of it. CARDIOLOGISTS! This is their business. This is all they do!! Shocking, really!”

Do check out Carolyn’s blog.  She does an amazing job keeping up with the latest news and research and information.  Here’s a sample of a funny post that may not be so funny:

Is My Bra Too Tight?

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis

God gets our full attention

Someday you’ll know why

“Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes.”  WebMD

Sleep Paralysis AKA
“The Old Hag”

Throughout history, demons, devils, and other beasties of the night have been blamed for these nocturnal ‘attacks’.  In some parts “The Old Hag” was blamed

“The main details remain constant across cultures: A man or woman is “attacked” during the night, usually lying on their back, when an evil entity sits upon their body, causes paralysis, and even sometimes chokes or smothers its victim. Though their motivation may differ, (possession, revenge, or just wanting to upset the living) the attack remains similar. 

  • In Thailand people refer to being Phi um (ghost covered) and phi kau (ghost possessed), which include a feeling of pressure, paralysis, and something black covering the body.
  • In Japan, kanashibara (“to tie with an iron rope”) is a common known and accepted experience.
  • In the Far North one speaks of agumangia (Inupik) or ukomiarik (Yupik) in which “a soul” tries to take possession of the paralyzed victim.
  • In Laos, da chor is described as follows: “You want to listen, you can’t hear; you want to speak, you are dumb; you want to call out, you cannot; you feel you are dying, dying; you want to run away. You piss with fear in your sleep””

 excerpts from The Shadowlands

My belief is that nothing we experience is accidental and everything we experience is for our protection, survival or enhancement of our soul.  

When we don’t understand it we try to avoid it, kill it and/or explain it away through ignorance or superstition.  

Pain is a #1 example.

What’s your belief?

. . . and the Steady Beat Goes on, Irregularly

Heart finger painting
stage 1

Spent 5 hours in the ER.  Chest pain, light headedness, fatigue, muddled thinking.  I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack since these symptoms have been going on for sometime.  In the past, by the time they got me on a halter-monitor my symptoms were gone.  This time I was told to go to the ER where they had the equipment to “catch” what was happening.  

Yes!  I’ve got rhythm

steadily  ir reg ula r

                                      JaZzy marching band

Heart of the matter:
Help me be independent
of unhealthy health

 

Drove myself to the ER (remember, I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack). Said I was having chest pain so I got preferred parking and was triaged in immediately.  If you are bleeding profusely (depending on what part of the body is bleeding) or have chest pains you go to the head of the line.  

OF COURSE the 2-second EKG  was fine and I was sent to the waiting room till they had a “bed” for me.  

Heart finger painting
Stage 2

Three hours later, having read every magazine in the waiting room (except for Popular Mechanics which my heart wasn’t into), I was disrobed, had blood drawn, chest x-rayed and  hooked up to a heart monitor with a comfy warm blanket around my legs.

Seems the culprit is bradycardia – my heart rate goes too low with any kind of exertion (including laughing exuberantly) and not enough blood is getting to my organs including my brain, which it turns out is an organ, (thus the muddled thinking –  a relief to know it’s not old age just heart disease).

Now I can add bradycardia to the PVC’s, atrial fibrillation, AV node block, high blood pressure, crabbiness and gray hair.

What to do?  I’ll see the Doctor November 8th.  

He’s not triaging me in first cuz my heart is still beating, albeit irregularly.