Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thank You!

Maggie and I want to thank you all for your support. Ya know, Maggie is the very first dog that I ever had to have teeth work done on and she's probably one of my healthiest dogs. It's that home cooked eating she does without anything hard to chew on that caused the problem. If they just wouldn't have had that dang dog food scare. And it was all so they could make the cheapest product they could make.

Having to stick a tube down a little dog's throat to clean her teeth is not a good thing. It's too traumatic for her and for me.

You know all this greed and globalization has really screwed up our world. Have you noticed? Seems like so many are just looking for a way to make an easy, fast buck and they don't care who or what has to suffer or die for them to get it. We didn't used to have these problems. I think people used to care about their work.

The world has gotten to be a nasty place. Politicians don't even care what they do anymore. I think John Edwards kind of pointed that out to us. I can just see him smiling in his cunilingus video, that he allowed to be made while running for President of the US. If that didn't point it out to you folks, what else will?

I think I heard something on NPR yesterday about the North Korean counterpart to Greenspan going in front of the firing squad. Don't quote me on that, I was a little distracted when I was listening to that program. That might have been a tad harsh, if it did happen, but we all have been a bit too tolerant of what has been and is being done to us.

I still shake my head at what has been going on with these banks and that bailout. Our government just keeps handing them our money to gamble with and we haven't been rioting in the streets because of it.

So far I have two heroes, one is Elizabeth Warren and Dylan Ratigan is getting there. Everyone needs to tune into his program so we can tell him we appreciate his exposing all this BS. We do need some kind of Tea Party movement in this country and not one that any political party gets involved with. That has and will corrupt the process.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Passover

At sundown tonight Jewish people all over begin the celebration of Passover, a commemoration of the Israelites being freed from their enslavement by the Egyptians under the rule of Pharaoh Ramses II, as chronicled in the Book of Exodus.
The story of the Exodus is told on Passover.
Moses, instructed by God, went to pharaoh and requested the freedom of his people, 'let my people go'. However, Ramses ignored Moses' plea and was warned by Moses that God would punish the people of Egypt if the Israelites were not freed. When pharaoh continued to refuse to let the Israelites leave Egypt, he was again warned by Moses that God would punish the people of Egypt with plagues. (The ten plagues). Despite the occurence of these plagues, Pharaoh still refused to let the Israelites go, until the tenth and final plague.... the killing of the first-born of all the people and even the animals.
To protect the Israelites,God told Moses to have the Israelites mark their dwellings with lamb's blood so that the Angel of Death could identify and 'pass over' their homes.

As the pharaoh's first-born child lay dying, he reluctantly permitted the Israelites to leave and in their haste to leave Egypt, they left so quickly that they did not have time to bake their breads. They packed raw dough to take with them on their journey. As they fled into the desert, they would bake the dough in the hot sun into hard crackers called matza (the unleavened bread).

Today, to commemorate this event, Jews eat matza in place of bread during the celebration of Passover.
As the Israelites were fleeing Egypt, the Pharaoh had second thoughts about letting them go, and decided to pursue them through the desert towards the Red Sea. When the Jews reached the Red Sea they were trapped, with the Sea before them and Ramses' army rapidly descending upon them.

It was then that the miracle of the Red Sea occurred. God instructed Moses to raise his rod, stretch out his hand over the sea & divide it & the waves of the Red Sea parted, allowing the Israelites to cross safely to the other side. As soon as they all reached the other side the sea closed trapping the pharaoh's army as the waves closed upon them.

Thus, God liberated the children of Israel from the slavery of the Egyptians. The story of Passover recounts the birth of the Jewish people as a nation.

To all our Jewish friends getting ready to celebrate tonight, and especially to you and yours Ivy, a most Happy Passover.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Springtime, from babbling brook to rapids

It's just the first week of spring here, the forsythia is just starting to pop and just about a week ago we had a classic Nor'easter.....
I pass a stream daily & after the storm, I stopped & took these pictures, the stream had become a rapidly moving river...What I could not capture for you was the sounds, the rushing water sounded like a waterfall....when usually it is just a meandering quiet stream...

Still waiting for spring to really pop, no crocus, hyacinth, or daffodils yet.....And the weeping cherries are still just buds.... But not much longer and Spring should really be here....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now that we have a health care reform bill passed, will it work??

Like Solar always asks, why can’t we love each other and work together? Everyone seems to have their own agenda. What do you think we could accomplish if we could just all work together?

That’s why this health care reform scares me. They couldn’t get everyone to work together. The Dems were trying to hurry up and show that they could accomplish something, anything. The Repubs wanted to make sure nothing good was accomplished. It was a recipe for disaster. I’m pretty sure that there were good things in the health care reform bill but in this environment, it would be a miracle if the final outcome turns out to be good.

We have all played a role in screwing up health care and we all need to acknowledge that and each make changes if we want health care to be better.

We the patient, need to be more responsible in taking care of ourselves. We need to keep up with our health maintenance. We need to seek appropriate care, at the appropriate place and the appropriate time. We need to realize that we are the ones ultimately paying for health care so keeping the costs down helps us all.

Health practitioners need to help provide for health maintenance, recommend or provide appropriate resources for the patient to maintain or obtain good health, be frugal when prescribing procedures, surgical intervention and medications. Really look for the most efficacious and cost effective treatment. Measure and record outcomes and have reimbursement dependent somewhat on outcomes.

Then there are those businesses that provide what is needed to provide for good health. Now that’s another story. They are in it for the money. Not sure they could ever work with the rest of us.

Doc Dean mentioned on the Ratigan program that health care providers need to have a fixed amount of money to provide for a fixed number of patients. They need to find the best way to utilize that money to provide the best outcomes. I’m paraphrasing here, but he has hit the nail on the head.

Maybe there needs to be the threat of random audits for health care providers. As with anything, if no one is watching, people aren’t likely to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Sad but true.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spirit, Heart, Mind, Body

My thoughts are mostly scattered this morning, and the target at the top of this thread pretty much tells you how I feel. Ha! Thought I'd put it up,

in case anyone else needs a target.

........... or, a little more positive (and productive) thinking:
"When all of our intentions and actions in daily life originate from the intuitive wisdom of our hearts, when we feel and act with sincere
appreciation caring and kindness for others – all qualities of the heart – and when we can observe the world around us without the preset judgments of the mind, but rather with the compassion in our hearts, then we will truly be living life from the heart. "

Friday, March 19, 2010

Miracle of the Swallows

These days, mid-March is known for "ides," "green stuff" and "madness." But growing up in the hinterlands near Philly, March 19, was St. Joseph's Day. Bigger, in fact, than St. Patrick's Day. Our teaching nuns were the Sisters of St. Joseph, so March 19 was their collective "feast day." We always got the day off school, no matter how many snow days we'd already racked up.
These days, St. Joseph's Day resonates with me because not only is it "Spring Eve," but it's the day the fabled swallows return to the Mission in San Juan Capistrano. Just like my calendar-marking hummingbirds, the swallows follow some implanted bio-rhythm that signals them the precise day of return. A famous song was written (before I was born, lol) to commemorate the annual event.
"The miracle of the "Swallows" of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph's Day."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick Must Have Had a Dog?

The Celts believed that dogs are healers of the soul and body. They symbolize loyalty. They are also considered a symbol of luck. The companionship of dogs is renowned throughout the world. They are known as man's best friend. As our friend, they are great healers. They give us a silent partner we can talk to... and when we need a friend that just cares... they are right there for us, ready to be petted.
The Domesticated Canine has played various roles in the Celtic imagination and lifestyle for over 30 centuries. Dogs can be found on many Celtic artifacts. On the Gundestrup cauldron there is a mythological scene where a dog, and other animals surround the god Cernunnos. Another example is the Gaulish deity Sirona, (a healing goddess) is sometimes depicted with a dog in her lap. Another example still is that the early British deity Nodons are associated with dogs. Finally bones of dogs have been found in holy wells.
With the Gaul, the aspects of healing, hunting, and death were brought into Celtic beliefs. Healing is one of the aspects, because man has long been amazed from times of old at the ability dogs have to heal themselves with their saliva. Nehalennia (the Gaulish mother-deity) is almost always portrayed as being accompanied by a dog... which in this instance is suggestive of healing. As for hunting, the association exists in England, but it is more specifically named with the word "hound".

In Celtic languages, the Celtic dog is a word that has a heroic meaning. Cúchulainn (Cú meaning “hound”, so “hound of Chulainn), is such a heroic figure in Irish mythology. Also, Cunobelinus (a pre-Claudian leader in Britain) translates, literally to “hound of Belinus”. Although there are many references and associations to the dog in Celtic mythology, I don't believe that there has ever been mention of a “dog” deity.

The dog’s natural ability to smell (and survive off of) carrion has given him an association with death. A notable example is the black dog of England. Dogs also seem to be one of two favorite domestic animals of the fairies.

Monday, March 15, 2010

This is not a dress rehearsal. This is It.

Biker Bar in Florida
Jan sent funny image to us. How things have changed!

"Making the most of today is the only way to change tomorrow.
One today is worth two tomorrows. - Benjamin Franklin"

I've been thinking about the importance (or practicality) of living in the moment, being present and aware of the now (actually, Carol got me thinking about it when she brought it up this morning). The first thing that came to my mind was that right now, this very second, we 'are' creating the future. We've already learned what we need to learn from the past (I'm sure our brains sort out each days happenings in our dreams each night), and since we're 'creating' the future, then I think it's important to keep our mind on the present, this very moment, the task at hand.

An important benefit of living in the present, is that when you do, then you don't have time to feel guilty about the past (or) to worry about the future - how can you, when you're completely focused on right now. It may be really difficult to change the way we think, but certainly worth the effort. I know I have way too many 'wasted' moments in my life, and would like to learn to get the most out of each and every one of them - to think more about what's happening now and less time thinking about what's over and done with, and about something that may never come to be.

... looked on line for techniques: "We live in the age of distraction. Yet one of life's sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present.

Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what's past. "We're living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence... "

We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present

Everyone agrees it's important to live in the moment, but the problem is how.... When people are not in the moment, they're not there to know that they're not there. Overriding the distraction reflex and awakening to the present takes intentionality and practice." The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment: ... a few tricks

(Vipassanā : Buddhist tradition means insight into the nature of reality.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Setting Personal Boundaries - protecting self

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an Hour -- William Blake

"The purpose of having boundaries is to protect and take care of ourselves. We need to be able to tell other people when they are acting in ways that are not acceptable to us. A first step is starting to know that we have a right to protect and defend ourselves. That we have not only the right, but the duty to take responsibility for how we allow others to treat us."

"It is important to state our feelings out loud, and to precede the feeling with "I feel." (When we say "I am angry, I'm hurt, etc." we are stating that the feeling is who we are. Emotions do not define us, they are a form of internal communication that help us to understand ourselves. They are a vital part of our being - as a component of the whole.) This is owning the feeling. It is important to do for ourselves. By stating the feeling out loud we are affirming that we have a right to feelings. We are affirming it to ourselves - and taking responsibility for owning ourselves and our reality. Rather the other person can hear us and understand is not as important as hearing ourselves and understanding that we have a right to our feelings. It is vitally important to own our own voice. To own our right to speak up for ourselves."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Academy Awards

I loved the Academy Awards Sunday night. I loved the glamour and the excitement. I just can't help it. Politics is almost unbearable any more. So what else is left. Although I don't care to wear any of them, I loved all the beautiful dresses. I loved that Jeff Bridges won for best actor, and has been married to the same woman over 30 years. I loved that a woman, for the first time in Academy history, won best picture and best director. The real twist is that her ex-husband was nominated for the same awards. Barbra Streisand presented Katherine Bigelow with the first award and you could see the two of them put their heads together and giggle about this lovely twist of events. It was obvious that Barbra was excited to present the award to the first woman to win. I loved that a young black girl who had skipped school to audition for the part of Precious won the part, and was nominated for an Oscar. I loved the way she giggled when she talked about her experience. Although I have always loved Steve Martin as a comedian and actor, I did not love his performance Sunday night. It seemed he was trying too hard. I did love Steve Martin's line to Alec Baldwin, when introducing Miley Cyrus and another very young girl, "they have no idea who we are." All in all, it was a fun night. I am looking forward to seeing some good movies.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nothing is happening except to the extent that we give it meaning (Carol's quote)

This is not about ESP, but it is about using our intuition. And the only mind control involved is controlling our own mind - Ha! ... for a change! Up until now, everyone else has been trying to control it for us. Time to get into the drivers seat, and make some changes.

"Almost all of our suffering comes from defending our story, which we mistake for our selves."

... so says Russell Targ. He also says: "... 99 percent of the value of psychic abilities resides in the opportunity they offer for self-inquiry and self-realization". Keeping that in mind, in order to benefit from his suggestions, we must stop the outgoing chatter that's constantly going through our minds - it's limiting our awareness and ability to tune in to the important things that we need to be able to tune into (according to Mr. Targ).

Here's what I found describing mental chatter on line: "We human beings are the only species on earth that are capable of thinking ([sic]...huh?) . But when thinking is coupled with past memories and emotional attachments it becomes what is known as mental chatter or mind chatter. This is not healthy for our mind and body. Thinking is useful and creative when used in the present moment to handle a situation or problem at hand. But it is harmful when used to think about past memories and re enact the negative emotions of the past.

Mental Chatter is mostly about the past and not the present. The conscious mind fears quietness or silence and will always try to keep on chattering about the past. This mostly happens without even your awareness. When this mind chatter is stopped altogether, you are totally in the present moment and you access your intuition and inner guidance easily and effortlessly. This is the ultimate goal of anybody who wants to stop the mental chatter."

The following is a partial quote from the preface of one of Targ's books: 'Limitless Mind' (love that title).

"The teachings of expanded awareness and the the experience of spaciousness are not about self-improvement or gaining power; they are about self-realizations: discovering who we really are. Such teaching predates by more than eight centuries my own efforts in the last decade to show people how to develop their psychic abilities. To my mind, the self or ego is not who we are..... we are the flow of loving awareness that is available to us whenever we are quitet and peaceful.

I believe in this plane of illusion, we give life all the meaning it has for us. We give meaning to everything we experience based on our lifelong conditioning. As iit is articulated in 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead': As a thing is viewed, so it appears.' In a meditative state of mind, we can become aware that we are not a body, but rather a 'limitless, nonlocal awareness' animating or residing as a body. Resting in the spacious flow of of loving awareness -- we discover that we already have, right now within us, everything we could possibly look for. This is what the Hindus call 'ananda'. Our needs and wants are the illusions.

.... our mind is limitless and our awareness both fills and transcends our ordinary understanding of space and time. Psychic abilities point to the possibility of four residing in -- and as -- this state of expanded, timeless, fearless, spacious awareness. Psychic abilities are neither sacred nor secular; they are just natural human abilities. We can use them to find lost car keys or elusive parking spaces, to forecast changes in the stock market, or to discover who we really are. I believe that 99 percent of the value of psychic abilities resides in the opportunity they offer for self-inquiry and self-realization.

Let's see if we can accomplish this together

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Movie Misquotes

You have probably heard these movie lines many times, but did you know that they are likely to be
misquotes of what was really said...

Two of the most famous are from the same movie, Casablanca. (my all time #1 favorite movie)

'Play it again Sam', that many think Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine said was really not said by him at all, in fact, the actual lines were delivered by Ingrid Bergman's character Ilsa Lund, and they were, 'Play it once, Sam, for old time's sake'. Then she said 'Play it Sam, play 'As Time Goes By'.... Later in the movie, Rick says, 'You played it for her, you can play it for me...if she can stand to listen to it, I can. Play it'....The confusion is
sometimes attributed to Woody Allen's movie 'Play it again Sam'.....

And the last line of Casablanca is often misquoted as well. When Rick & Louis (Claude Raines) are walking off into the fog, Rick says, 'Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship'...but is usually remembered as, "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship'.....

From 'Gone With the Wind', Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) is often misquoted in one of the most popular movie lines of all time. He never says
'Scarlett" in that famous put down line of all time..."Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn'...

Can't forget Dirty Harry, when Clint Eastwood delivers those unforgettable words, while pointing that 44 Magnum at the perp, 'You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?'....but it is now simply, 'Do you feel
lucky, punk?'....

In Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner's character, Ray Kinsella, keeps hearing a voice telling him,
'If you build it, he will come' referring to Shoeless Joe Jackson & later his dad, John Kinsella, but it is now remembered as, 'If you build it, they will come'....

Another not quite what was really said, is Mae
West's infamous come hither line, 'Why don't you come up and see me sometime?'....

As Lady Lou in the film 'She Done Him Wrong', she really said, 'Why don't you come up some time and see me. I'm home every evening.'...

Then there is that titan of Wall Street, Michael Douglas'
character Gordon Geko, who said 'The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed---for lack of a better word---is good'...but now it is simply, 'Greed is good'....

Another famous movie line, was delivered by Bette Davis, as Margo Channing in All Aboout Eve, the line was "Fasten your seat belts, its going to be a bumpy night' but usually it is repeated as 'fasten your seat belt, its going to be a bumpy ride'....

From one of my favorite old TV series, you probably think that Captain James T. Kirk, was always saying, 'Beam me up, Scotty', well though many similar phrases were spoken by various crew members, not until the movie 'Star Trek
IV', did Captain Kirk say anything close, when he said, 'Scotty, beam me up'.....

And if you thought Johnny Weissmuller said, 'Me Tarzan, you Jane', well, you would be wrong...In the movie, 'Tarzan the Ape Man', he says 'Tarzan, Jane', while tapping his chest as he says Tarzan and tapping Maureen O'Sullivan as he says Jane...

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the evil queen consults her mirror on the wall, however, instead of the famous quote we remember, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall,
who is the fairest of them all?', she really said, 'Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?'......

So listen closely, things are not always as they seem....

Monday, March 1, 2010