Soul Massage

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Spring in Her Slouch

Our relationships and reality are being shaped by television. I saw this commercial after watching less than ten minutes. I had been wondering how parents buy their sixteen year old a car and have him be rude, belligerent and generally unkind on a daily basis. How do children get fancy upscale electronics, on par with their parents, yet have no requirements? How do we expect to have to have children who are responsible, dependable or reliable if they can get any and everything they want with little or no reciprocity?

Both the mom in the commercial above and the parents I know personally accept sullen attitudes from their children after the purchase of non-essential items as normal. How? And what kind of guidance and example are they setting? Of course, it's on TV so it must be true and okay, right?

This is not about parenting styles, but a pervasive attitude of entitlement that begins very young and progresses to adulthood.

Even though there is another point to this commercial, I applaud the dad's relaxed attitude.

Children like sweeties, toys, mermaids, trucks, to throw rocks and play in the street. It is the role of the parent or guardian to teach children delayed gratification, polite manners, and kindness.

On the other hand, we can't model behaviors we don't have.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Thousand Words ...

Two hats for the babe (JP) and one for DA's doll

DA and JP, who DA treats like a doll

Forever stamps. They print while you wait.

A caterpillar I removed from the fennel. So busy I forgot about these.
DA spent the day practicing to be a mermaid.

Then we baked cookies. They are healthy. And chocolate. And the flat ones have chia seeds.

DA's new hat. Her braids are shaping the first pic, but it smooths out with assistance.
I find I am incredibly exhausted these days. The injury to my foot has taken it toll and even as I am healing, I move so slowly that I feel constantly behind. Then there's the fact that I have been used to all the time in the world to fill with and at my leisure.

Sitting at work I made a list of the events of the last thirty days. I have been busy, busy. I get to feel tired and exhausted. I'm good at giving myself a break even as I am pushing to get things done. I woke up feeling like I could roll back into another eight hours, but after I collected DA so her mom and sister could hang out together we just rocked the world.

DA was not impressed with the caterpillar. They like to eat the "leaves" from the fennel plant. I broke off the stem and put it in a jar for her. She freaked! Good grief. I took it back out to the yard. We were going to visit snakes at the pet store. Another screech. We need more time playing in the earth together. Cooler temperatures will help.

I love taking pictures and DA is a wonderful subject. We cooked and shared sweet potatoes and spinach for dinner, then baked those cookies. They look better than they taste. But they are good for us. We watched a video while I crocheted her new hat. Next she wants a tail. She is a mermaid after all.

Working is kicking my ass. I'm stepping up though. I keep a list of the reasons I show up before me at all times. I even called a repairman to do some work around the house. I was going to write something like you can't buy love, then I remembered I still have to post about my new thingamabob. Oh yeah, I love it!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Salt Pig!

I found this Celtic Light Grey Sea Salt and Salt Pig for $3 this morning. Whenever I go to the dentist, which is across town, I stop at the grocery store nearby. It is too expensive to shop there, except sales, but they have unique and upscale gifts, and great clearance. Gourmet salts can cost $6/pound on the low end, so this was a great deal. I'm not sure about storing it in the pig. The idea is that the salt sits near the stove and can be pinched during cooking.

Every week I like to get a little something for myself. Something more than yogurt or chips. Last week I bought a pair of socks. They are fab! If you haven't already, check out Sock Dreams. I got a pair of comfy soft over the knee O Basics in plum. $6 Free shipping and made in the USA. I wanted a new head band but discovered I can make head wraps from the sleeves of t-shirts. Just cut off the arms and pull overhead into a twist.

The rest of the t-shirt I cut into strips for a rag rug, but DA decided she wanted a jump rope. It was a fun weekend of braiding, twisting and tying. DA had a ball with all the fabric.

And we made new ferments. See. I've started adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the cucumbers. It adds that familiar pickled taste. Yum!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Advocating Choice

The word that allows yes, the word that makes no possible.
The word that puts free in freedom and takes the obligation out of love.
The word that throws open a window after the final door is closed.
The word upon which all adventure, all exhilaration, all meaning, all honor depends.
The word that fires evolution’s motor of mud.
The word that the cocoon whispers to the caterpillar.
The word that molecules recite before bonding.
The word that separates that which is dead from that which is living.
The word no mirror can turn around.
In the beginning was the word and the word was CHOICE.
– Tom Robbins
Time has passed. Things have changed. Some things are easier. Others just look like they have changed, but if you pay attention you will see they are still the same. Then, it might depend on who's looking back.

Thirty years ago I met a group of incredible women who chose to birth at home. We were part of a religious community with a firm health message and lots of physicians in the congregation. These women maintained their religious connections even as they decided for themselves when and how they would bring their children into the world (and educate them). It was my first introduction to midwives - lay midwives. That means they were trained through apprenticeship and worked in partnership with one another.

While pregnant with my first child I read every book I could find. It was an intense experience. I threw up everyday, even as I delivered. I read about women so sick they couldn't bare to go on. I understood. When I voiced my consideration to home birth I was met with disgust, sarcasm and criticism. Then there were those other women.

I joined Le Leche League - the breastfeeding support group. There I met different women who birthed at home. It was there that I found a doula. A doula devotes her time and energy to supporting another woman through pregnancy, birth, and transition into motherhood. She serves separate from the midwife offering physical support, emotional assistance, and advocacy. A doula supports a family. My doula recommended Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskins. And then there's The Farm. They have an "organic" approach to birth.

While listening to the radio I heard Dr. Robert Mendelsohn speaking about childbirth in hospitals. If I wasn't apprehensive before I was then. I bought his book, Male Practice. It made an incredible difference. I had worked in the medical records department filing notes and protocol forms. I had seen the documentation for the "events" described in his book. I also bare the scares of a forceps delivery after my mother was anesthetized. Dr. Mendelsohn speaks about the mistreatment of women because they are women. The procedures we endure that men are not even offered for the same or similar symptoms.

My physician and I could not come to a workable understanding so she dismissed me with the recommendation that I was obstinate and strong willed. Thankfully, I took that referral to a doctor who was impressed with it. I was thirty-eight weeks when I joined the new family practice run by an MD and EMT/Midwife. The hospital where he had privileges knew to expect his "assistants" and honored our birthing plan without question. (Midwives were free to practice in 1984. Just five years later and I had to hide my home birth plans from the hospital. And by 1992 midwives were being harassed and arrested regularly.)

Women have lost more choice regarding their bodies and health care over the years. We consider birthing rooms as an upgrade when actually they are competing with birthing centers and home births. I repeatedly watched nurses prepare for their induced labors at thirty-seven weeks as that is long enough. Do I care too much? No. If our medical personnel are looking for shortcuts and control for their births, how can they be present for a natural process.

The issue is choice - the freedom to birth at home without legal/social interference goaded on by the fear of loss of control by the medical community. Women deserve to birth in hospitals with knowledgeable support - not of medical procedure, but the natural process of giving birth. Women deserve advocates to inform, encourage, support, defend, and stand as allies when needed. But where will they come from?

Just thirty years ago I belonged to a community which educated and prepared advocates. With the loss of lay midwives we sought to be experts amongst ourselves. We studied and attended each other. When it was time, we went to the hospital and birthed those babies in minutes. We hung out together until the uterus clamped down and as soon as possible we returned to our homes and lived together for those first days/weeks. We cooked, cleaned, cared for older children.

Where are the women who know? Have we abdicated our power and responsibility for our bodies and our selves to medical management? How will we find connection without the benefit of modern technology? We need the keepers of the old ways. They are our freedom. They are choice.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A New Love

JP and Woman
Tuesday morning at 4 am my phone beeped. I returned the call to my daughter who thought she had hung up before the call rang through. I'm a very light sleeper. She reported her contractions at six minutes a part. I showered, dressed and drove across town.

We watched a bit of TV while the contractions increased. When they reached two minutes and 45 seconds duration, and she could hardly find peace, I suggested we head to the hospital. Just after 7:45 we hit labor and delivery. At 8:05 JP was born. It really was that easy. Woman thought it was effort. It was both.

let's fall
in love
let's turn
all the dirt
in this world
to shiny gold

let's be
a new spring
a love reborn

find our aroma
from the essence
of all who
emit heavenly fragrance

like a fresh tree
bloom and spread
all the blessings
right from inside


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Angst and Ows!

Before we begin, I have another confession. By now you know I have everything I need and in most cases way more than necessary. For a while I had no job, then I had three offers and today I am training for one and working one. I have re-discovered that when I work, I have a tendency to want stuff. The thingy I want now is a techy spiffy. No, I do not need it, but I want is so bad I could almost pee.

However, I have that huge car repair debt to pay off and my current position is temporary, which is why I am training for another - besides the money. While at work I calculate my earning toward the both the pay-off and new purchase. I have counted my chicken before the eggs have even been lain. My right mind has serious discussions with me. I do listen but am an expert of justification and rationalization.

It is at this point that I find myself on my weekly shopping trip. I only need yogurt and eggs, cheese if on sale. Otherwise, I have enough until it is. As a good shopper I always stop by the clearance aisle first. OH Heavens! It is the end of summer and "stuff" is 75% off. "Stuff" we need/want like shovels and bubbles and mermaids. Oh my! Now these prices are near garage sale rate and my grand-daughter will be happy for hours and we don't have any of the items I select. Then I move on to the food section. There are incredible bargains on snack bars and breakfast packs. I'm working some days from 8:30 am - 9 pm, so I am thankful for easy to tote foods. Working has squelched my preparation time. See, justification. The issue is how many I decided to buy. A lot! My rationalization was that I left some behind. It was the best I could do, in the store. When I got home and unpacked them to storage I realized that I had fallen back into my shopping for the long haul patterns.

On the other hand, here's what I found on that same trip. Piss me off!!!!!
Chia seed pricing fiasco!
Since the TV advertising doctor touted chia seeds the prices have skyrocketed. I usually buy my chia seeds on line, but was excited to find them in town for even less. And, when I shared information with people around me there was a resource for them to go to. I even bought small amounts to share with others and get them started. But look up there. Chia seeds went from $5.89/pound (in bulk) to $18.99/pound (fancy package). WTF! Just before this post I checked my online source and they are out of stock. Am I sad...? Thankfully, I have supplies for a while and will wait the fad out.

Finally, after first aid class, walking to my next job, I tripped, flipped, twisted my ankle, and plowed into the concrete drive across the way. Apparently, I was moving too quickly and distracted. I thought I was on task and busting a move. Now I'm busted up, dragging my left leg along behind. Ow!

As always, we are looking on the bright side. Injured means I will delay part of the training for my other job, giving me more time to adjust to working 36 hours before bumping it to 80 a week. Yeah, that was the plan. And soon. Zero to eighty in one month. I am prone to extremes.

Today I am resting in moderation.

Update - 08.20.12

I've been searching for chia seeds. I eat them daily and am reaching my edge. Currently I am at $8.99/pound but shipping is almost $10. Yes, I can buy other items to spread the cost out, but remember, I don't need that much stuff. So, I checked back at the grocer to see if they restocked. They did, but just look!!!
My current plan is to wait for a few more days. If I don't get a notice that my preferred brand is back in stock, I will go ahead with the above mentioned purchase. While I was there raw walnuts were up two dollars a pound as well. I am thankful there are a few choices left.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the old days...

When I was young my mother was de-lighted with Tide. She thought it was a dream come true compared with the lye bar at the river and rocks or even the washboard. We packed our laundry around the corner to the laundromat and spent the entire Saturday washing, drying and folding. The best part was going to the dairy after for ice cream. Yes, I lived in a town with a dairy, bakery, fish market, grocer, pharmacy, and five-and-dime. It was the old days.

This came up as I was washing my hair. I stopped using shampoo more than six years ago. I get my hair plenty wet and use conditioner to wash and a tablespoon of honey in a quart of water for a final rinse. I have long thick locks and avoid repeating this process as long as possible. In the old days, the really old days people didn't wash their hair according to the advertising industry. We washed our hair every two weeks, on Saturday morning and got it "done" Saturday evening for church on Sunday. In between washings, we "oiled" it with some commercial preparation and if it needed "cleaning" we used a dry towel to rub out whatever accumulations needed removing. For oily hair, corn starch or baby powder worked wonders.

I think shampoo was some new fangled consideration. Sometimes we had it and other times not. It could have been about money or oversight, but things were very particular (peculiar) and running out of shampoo happened. My mom would mix powdered Tide with water and use the paste to wash our hair. More than once I bend over the side of the tub having the hot formula rubbed into my scalp. Tide and water gets hot as paste. Back in the day, all soaps left hair dry and brittle. We countered that with some petroleum based concoction and scalp massage. It worked out, most of the time.

When I grew up and could buy my own products I made different choices. One day I permed my hair. Previously, heat processing was preferred. When I left home I cut all my hair off and was called bald-headed while sporting my TWA (teeny weeny afro). My hair journey follows my increase in knowledge and shift in understanding around nutrition and health. Once I gave up petroleum products the door opened to all manner of natural oils, that have been around always, but hidden from the very people who rely on them. Petroleum products are cheap and accessible.

We used Pompey Virgin Olive Oil for religious purposes. It was applied to our foreheads and blessed clothes, in prayer and healing. We drank it for internally healing. And applied it to our skin for chicken pox. (I think that virgin made it special. Could that be?) I couldn't stand the smell of olives for the longest time. I was pregnant with my first child before I knew the benefits of olive oil for general skin care and made the leap to not apply any commercial products to my baby's body. Not even soap. Her fresh body anointed with olive oil, massaged and wiped clean was sufficient.

This has gotten rather long-winded. The point was that we are so influenced by mainstream advertising that we have forgotten there are many ways to manage that are far superior to the chemical crap being hawked. We are happily, knowingly buying snake oil. Then one day that TV doctor says, hey go in your kitchen (or grocer shelf) and get this everyday product. You can use it to condition your hair, shave your legs. moisturize you skin, even mix with sugar, salt, or honey for an exfolliant. Then low and effing behold, every body is talking about what TV doctor said and racing to the store. But wait, next week he will promote some commercial products that will fix you better than ever. Why do we buy in?

If what we need is in the kitchen or at the grocer, why do we insist on having tiny pots and bottles of ingredients we need to google to understand?

Back in the old days we knew what we were eating and what we smeared on our bodies. And before that we didn't put anything on our bodies that we couldn't eat. The health and beauty industry address that idea as well by adding aloe, olive oil, vitamins, and food essences to our hair and body products. With greater understanding and a bit of commitment, be can easily have more for less. But perhaps its it the ease we are being markets and my suggestion is the effort...

Tell me about the good ole days?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Secret

Here it is. I obsessively keep this to myself (or my journal) and only allow seconds of the experience. I am "gently" FREAKING OUT! Yes, I am positive, uplifting, trusting and overflowing with faith. I have been living for nine months on a six month financial plan. Things have been, for the most part, smooth and easy - except for the numerous job rejections. Even those didn't get me down, for long. There are so many jobs to apply for; I am holding for my right and perfect work situation.

However, one week ago my car just stopped. I collected it today from the service station and now have $1750 in debt. It is the beginning of the month and bills are due again. I looked at my bank accounts. Hmm...Rapid heart rate. Flush. Long slow exhale...

I'm just putting it out there, honestly. Sometimes I, ever so slightly, have a moment of panic. It doesn't hang around long. My right mind knows the truth - everything is as it is. Free of shoulds, woulds, and coulds, we can step into the moment and make decisions that are fresh and new.

In a few minutes I will leave for my temp job that started yesterday. I got a call back for a job offer, but they want me to have Saturday evening availability and to come in Tuesday at 1:30 to discuss the offer. I need to work Tuesday at 1 PM. I have an unpaid orientation Wednesday and Thursday that will pay more than either of these jobs and give me more convenient hours (for all those who make demands on my time, energy and effort). It is possible I could work two of these jobs, with more ease than effort.

That's how my panic resolves. These are the choices for today. The only one I have to act on today is going to work. That's it. I've paid the mortgage. I have shelter. There is plenty of food. Air is still free.

A year ago, I committed to letting go of the illusion of security. I made a plan. Plans are a form of security. We all build foundations that hold our lives in place. When they are shaken, we panic. Now, do we repair, rebuilt, or allow life to lead us to the next great adventure?

When your world is trembling, who do you turn to?

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I'm amazed at the number of calls I get from collection agencies looking for people I know. Amazed. They are generally polite and explain that they have been unsuccessful in contacting the debtor (lendee) and would like me to pass along a message. Hmm.

Okay. I used to explain that I hadn't seen the person lately and was not likely to do so in the near future. Ever persistent, the caller continues to press for me to send a message, make a call, reach out and re-establish connection. Fine. Okay. Sure. Bye.

After enough of these calls, I just agreed, took the information and went on about my day. This morning I asked, "How long ago was my name and number left for reference?"

"About a year ago."

"That's how long it's been since I heard from her."

"You haven't spoken since?"

"Not once."

"Thank you."

Maybe this company won't call back. I have a contact in my phone labeled "Stupid Fuckers." When I get calls I have no intention of answering I assign them to that contact and the calls go directly to voice mail.

What in the world possesses people to list their friends as references and then default on their obligations AND not worry about their friends getting multiple calls? Do they think I don't mind extraneous calls day and evening? Do they somehow believe that I will remain relaxed during the hounding? Wait, maybe they don't care. And why don't companies check out references before they extend credit? Isn't that the point of references/contacts?

On another track, I sat through two interviews in which the interviewers explained that the current employees are immature, have a tendency to not show up and are generally off task during the course of a shift. Why exactly so they get to keep their jobs? Me, I'm still waiting for a call back.

Is it unethical to post a message on a social networking site to get a professional call back?