Archive for February, 2008

Self Promotion

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Not something I’m good at.

But I have two classes coming up quickly and they need a bit more nudge for students!

First, another of the FREE herb classes sponsored by The People’s Food Co-op – tomorrow night (Thursday) at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, 7-8:30 on Herbal Allies for Menopause. Pre-registration is preferred, but last minute walk ins are welcome!

On Monday, I start an Infant Massage Class at Indigo Forest. This four week class is on a sliding scale of $60-90. Instruction manual and oil provided. What fun! Suggested ages for infants is 1 month to 6 months, but I’m flexible.
The four week class is followed by a class on Cranialsacral Therapy for infants, and then Polarity Therapy.

Please help me spread the word, I need to update the schedule on my web site but haven’t done it yet.

It has been about 20 years since I’ve taught the massage class for infants. I look forward to it.

Wish I had said that….

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

A lovely TV moment calling into question the hypocrisy of the claim that the bible condemns homosexuality.

For the full story, it is worth reading this link concerning a new movie “For the Bible Tells me So”. Personal and real.

Well done.

Someone who likes Monsanto even less than I do…

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

This open letter linking both Hillary and Bill Clinton to Monsanto’s wrong doings is certainly a condemnation of their corporate ties and disregard for the health of our country.

Perhaps a little long and overdone, the Monica Lewinsky reference really detracts from the message, but it points out that we should be afraid, very afraid, of Hillary gaining the White House with her links to big corporations and business as usual. I hope we don’t have to pick her over McCain.

learning new skills at 49

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Frankly, the family message I’ve heard all my life is age quickly and die.
It isn’t working out like that for my father, he is alive far longer than he planned and sometimes he sys far longer than he wanted to. It certainly did come about for my mother. Her heart disease manifested at 46, she was ill on and off for 13 years and dead a few days after turning 60. My dad is about to turn 76, and as a former trombone player that means a lot to him. But I do digress….

I do hope for a healthy happy long life, and have to look outside of my family of origin for the inspiration and the realization of that goal. I am certain that being active is the critical component to embrace. I’m glad to have a new friend who embodies that. And embody is the very right word for that idea.

My brother’s severe life threatening illness certainly resets the picture for me yet again – frankly it is terrifying to consider life drawing to a tighter and tighter close at such a young age. And it is devastating to watch him decline daily. I feel ever more strongly, I want to live, I want to be alive, I want to be strong and vibrant and explore more and experience much and last a very long time in a state of health and happiness.

49 is so very young. Really. Sure, some things slow down, but so much is better – less worry, more confidence, clearer decision making, just more joy and pleasure and love.

So today I was skiing. A skill I last took a turn with when I was dating Kerry in 1982 or 1983. I didn’t fal down as much then, but I also laugh a lot more when I do it now. We went skiing in what is now Mary Beth Doyle Park, yet another reason to embrace activity and joy – the park is named after Mary Beth who I knew but not well, killed in an accident her work yet to be finished and her contributions to local and state environmental issues very large.

Skiing! In the woods on a weekday! With my dog and my friend. How great is that? Really really great. I’m not good, but sometimes I really got it. And Nala is happy and tired, and my legs hurt in ways that aren’t usual and life is just plain good. And it was – and is – only about 12 degrees outside today and I love it.

Time to go upstairs and plant the seeds for spring, which is really about renewal and hope the future, and all sorts of warm fuzzy stuff and I’m happy and tired. Skiing!

invisible viral marketing?

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

I just got my fourth book order from Amazon.com this week — for a total of 90 books. Which makes this week the best selling week for Spinach and Beyond — ever.
I sure didn’t do anything from this end.
Writing (and selling) a book is a most intimate intense experience, having the gumption to commit words to paper, and then PUBLISH it for keeps – and then to have to encourage people to BUY them. It is just a bundle of emotions all at once. And when people really do start buying it and reading and commenting and then more people buy it —

(pant pant pant – no breathe deeply… go for a walk …. it’s going to be all right…)

I can hardly contain myself with washes of happiness and dread and fear and enthusiasm and pride and shame and on and on and on.

So with all else going on that feels intense, lets add these most basic mixed up deeply personal conflicted emotions at a huge upsurge in book sales. Wheeee!

35th anniversary

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The actual day managed to slip by, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week.
35 years ago on Feb 17th I gave my first massage. I was 14 at the time.

A lot has happened in 35 years.
But here I am, still with my hands on people, still enjoying it as much if not more as I did all those many years ago.

I gave a friend a full body massage a few weeks ago, which I actually rarely do with clients. I was happy at how much I enjoyed it. It wasn’t work, it was a gift, it was natural and enjoyable and it was good.

I know it is a rare thing to discover things that you love early in life, and still appreciate them so many years later. I’m grateful, and I don’t take it for granted.

My first massage experience was with my brother. He had been reading “The Art of Sensuous Massage” and bragging about how great it was. So when he came home from school with a headache and asked me to get him aspirin I said if massage is so good why don’t you massage your headache. He said he couldn’t do it himself, so I read the part in the book about how to cure headaches, did it on him, and his headache was gone.

Wow.

So I read the rest of the book, and immediately began to recruit people to practice on. I got “The Massage Book” which had a more relaxation focus, and did lots of massages in the hallways of Community High. Until the Dean asked me to move it into the classroom as it didn’t look good to visitors to have that going on in the hallways. I took a class in massage, although some of the nudity freaked me out, but still learned a lot. I kept doing it, people started offering me money, and here I am today.

I’ve certainly added some amazing and powerful techniques in the last 35 years, (cranialsacral therapy and polarity therapy being the primary techniques I use in my work) but there is massage still in use, and still valuable. Simple, elegant, wonderful and an important part of my life and work. The knowledge my hands have, and the chance to explore the body through massage has indeed made all the difference.

It is a good anniversary to contemplate and celebrate.

I suppose I’ll go and work on my brother later today, try and help him regain the use of his hands, and there is certainly something poetic about that coming full circle.

hands.jpg

Ow ow ow ow

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Tripped at the post office carrying 24 copies of “Spinach and Beyond: Loving Life and Dark Green Leafy Vegetables” to mail to Amazon. Suddenly I had five book orders, totaling 27 cook books and one massage book with DVD! Something happened this week… that is a lot for my small publishing company, Moon Field Press.

Fell face first, but my knees took most of the hurt. Right knee especially. It is badly skinned. I also have a mild cut on my left hand. The books went flying of course….

Some people write that a blow to the knee is a call for more humility. I was excited about selling a lot of books, but I don’t think it had gone to my head. I still have many unsold in the basement…

But the more interesting piece to send off into the ethers is what treatment do I suggest for such an injury? I was on my way to my brother’s house, and apparently I had not recently gifted him with any arnica. Homeopathic Arnica 30C would be my first choice, with Traumeel for the topical application. No Arnica Gel for the open wound, as it is best not to use it on an open wound.

I should have used some ice, he did have that probably, but I always forget about that simple remedy. I love to eat it, but forget it is healing.

I was working on my brother’s hand, which has sort of stopped working as a side effect of his many strange health problems. I can put bones back in place and have it be OK for a bit but it isn’t holding. He is losing too much muscle and tendon strength. For a computer programmer/video game player this is not acceptable. So I’ll keep going back and doing what I can, but also suggest bromalein and probably manganese to help some, we also talked about diet improvement that may help.

But back to my injury – I was due at a faculty meeting, after working on my brother, and the first aid kit at school includes homeopathic remedies although the arnica was only 6C. Combined with Waleeda wound healing gel, I did that and continued to take Arnica during the meeting when the pain returned. Coming home I have a large bump on the knee, but not too bad. The pain has returned significantly in the last half hour so I’m about to take another dose of Arnica, and also spread some yellow dock root oil (Rumex crispus) onto the injuries. This is an oil I discovered the last time I really did in my knees – falling on a piece of slate rock in the dark in the Catskill mountains carrying firewood (hmmm – come to think of it the loads are very similar, feet can’t be seen, tripping and going down… I think cement might be harder than slate though…).

I cried that time, but was also surrounded by healers and herbalists as it was a gathering for Susun Weed. A fellow herbalist shared her yellow dock oil, and I used it all night. I was concerned that I might have trouble driving home the next day – to my amazement the bruising was minimal, I could easily bend my knee, and I felt better in the AM than I had soon after the accident.

I’ve made it myself and used it ever since, fabulous for bone deep bruising, black and blue bruising, injuries from car crashes, I even had a lot of healing with a broken bone. The yellow dock grows in my front yard, and is also great in the spring for making pesto from the leaves.

So I will do that, try not to stain my new sheets, but hope I’ll be OK for long walks starting tomorrow. Meanwhile it is ice covered everywhere, especially my own street, and it makes me even more scared to just walk out my front door! I put down a couple pounds of ice melter, but will need to use the rest tomorrow. That’s more than 100 pounds this season – a big year for ice. Perhaps this is the last time?

Now for the Arnica, some hot Chocolate (I don’t see a problem combining them 15 minutes apart) and the yellow dock oil, and in bed to read.

Lunar Eclipse tomorrow

Monday, February 18th, 2008

The moon will be in virgo, full at 10:30 PM EST but the eclipse happens around that moment. Says the National Geographic News:

perhaps the best prime-time show this Wednesday night is in the sky: a total lunar eclipse.

The moon will be completely submerged in Earth’s shadow from 10:01 to 10:51 p.m. ET.

“It’s very well placed for the U.S.,” said Fred Espenak, an astrophysicist and eclipse expert at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The celestial spectacle is visible throughout the Americas as well as during the wee hours of Thursday morning in Europe, most of Africa, and western Asia.

All told, well over a billion people will have the opportunity to view the show, according to Espenak.

It may be cloudy (and cold!!!), but it is still a major astronomical event!

glad to be a vegetarian

Monday, February 18th, 2008

This is a clear and thoughtful post about the largest beef recall ever – over 142 million pounds. Spanning two years. The reason for the recall? Forcing “downer” cattle into the food chain. A practice that increases the danger of mad cow syndrome, as well as other possible diseased meat. A lesser concern is the cruelty that was documented.

I’m not enthused or attracted to the idea of eating an meat, but envisioning the vast compilation of thousands of cows that are contained in ground meat including cows that are too sick to even walk – it is a pretty gruesome concept. If I were to eat meat I would so much rather be eating known friendly cows. And that is what I suggest for my carnivorous friends and students and clients.

All I can add to this well done article is our food supply is sure messed up. And the priorities are positively bizarre. I am of course coming back to the raw milk concerns of so many regulatory agencies. Spending resources on this tiny fraction of the population voluntarily seeking out raw milk that could not enter the conventional food markets. And compared to the grotesque and inhumane conditions of our factory farms, which we know breed disease and ill health for the animals involved, raw milk should rightly be of miniscule concern. The disproportionate panic of raw milk concerns compared to a recall affecting millions of pounds of meat (or any of the recent recalls which seem more and more common) is just confounding.

Some things are just to bizarre and convoluted to understand. And just so clearly wrong.

Happy Healthy Dogs

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

I’ve been to the dog park two days in a row. Yesterday with a friend and Nala, today just the two of us. Yesterday was sparse dog company (just a couple of dogs) and lots of cold wind. But Nala loved it and was a tired puppy the rest of the day, as the romp was followed by a walk in the woods as well.

Today was dog festival, as I suspected for a Saturday afternoon. About 24 dogs were there at any time, dogs coming and going, small packs forming and reforming, dogs in coats, big dogs and small, two other rhodesian ridgebacks who were huge, a malamute, a couple of small dogs that captivated Nala, dogs with balls and dogs laying in the snow.

It was just so totally wonderful to see all those happy healthy wonderful dogs with not a fight or disagreement or trouble of any sort. Happy dogs and cold happy owners.

Nala just ran and ran from one group to another, in total joy of being able to be free and fast and social. It is a complete thrill to watch her run full speed faster than I could ever imagine. Pure joy in being a dog. And now she is sleeping on the couch in the sun, with a few occasional twitches and lots of deep breathing.

The dog park is a wonderful thing. I’m sure we had more people out today than for any other park in Ann Arbor, except maybe Gallup. But certainly we had more people and animals with smiles and happy hearts than in any other public place in Ann Arbor on a cold winer afternoon!