~Saint John of the Cross
Friday, November 30, 2007
~Saint John of the Cross
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Christmas cards, or postcards, or tea boxes (I used Celestial Seasonings--so pretty!)
Cereal box to use as template (or card stock--something heavy & stiff)
glue (stick, dots, or white glue)
darning or embroidery needle
yarn or ribbon to hange the ornament
Determine how big you want the ornaments to be. The green ones I did are 3 inches in diameter when completed. The circles I drew for those are 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Essentially, you're just putting together a bunch of circles. You don't have to use a compass, but here are the geometry directions:
So this is the back of one of the Christmas cards. I made a template of a circle (with cereal box, but you could also make the circles with the compass). I also made a template out of the triangle. After I drew them all in, I scored the triangles with the compass tip because you'll be folding them.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
We walked down to the river and collected rocks and then we heated them up in the oven (150-ish degrees) and melted crayons on them. My youngest nephew has a v. artistic eye, and likes to play with my camera. He took this photo of the rocks:
My almost-3-year-old niece had a lot of fun with my heart rock collection. I'm still finding them around the house. At dinner, she v. politely asked, May I have some marijuana, please? I looked to her big brother for translation. "She wants more water." OH. Yes, of course that's what she said. For dessert we had chocolate dirt. (Leftover truffle mix from the freezer). Yum. It was a whirlwind of activity and I so LOVE being an auntie! :-)
P.S. Thanks, Mum for driiiiiving all the way here!
P.P.S. If I had children of my own, this blog would be nothing but insufferably cute-things-kids-say.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
There seems to be a lack of faith from my family when it comes to my spending time with my sibs's kids. Can I handle all 3 at once??? So let's review in order, shall we? I worked as a teacher's aide to a preschool & kindergarten for 2 years before going off to college the first time where I became a college dropout. Then I was a nanny. Then I worked at a Montessori school for 4 years and headed up the summer day camp program with 10-15 kids. Then I got an education degree K-8. I substitute taught for 2 years in classrooms that, incidentally, had more than 3 students. I taught first grade for a year before I went on to certify in brain-based learning.
I think I'm qualified for the afternoon.
Today I've sharpened the knives and we're going to learn to juggle. haha Perhaps it's because I'm not SERIOUS and I don't get upset about some kinds of parenty things. Usually I get my camera. Like the time at my sister's wedding when my nephew peed on a bush outside the church. Why didn't you stop him? my other sister growled at me. Stop him? Midstream? Really, what else could I do?
I draw the line at safety. But everything else? Childhood is a magical time and it's FUN. Or it should be. The backyard is an adventure waiting for exploration. All children are artists, visionaries, scientists. Ask any kindergartener who's the best artist and they will all raise their hands. Ask a fifth-grader that (or an adult) and you'll hear the limitations. There's so much more I could write on this--my whole philosophy of teaching and parenting, but I must heat up rocks in the oven for a special craft activity.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more....It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie
There have been many influences in creating a sense of gratitude in my life. However, my bible is Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of comfort and Joy. What a gift she is to the world! When you ask yourself What am I most grateful for in my life? it opens the heart, brings you into the present moment, and dispels the worries and stresses of the day. Gratitude fills your spirit so that there is room for nothing else. In all things give thanks.
OK, so how to transition into this?
What is that in the middle of the labyrinth? you may be asking. Well. Let me tell you. Except I don't know. I've been eating lots of pumpkin. It all started when my GSF Bess said that she spent hours in the kitchen preparing this elaborate pumpkin recipe and in the end, it tasted like sweet potato. I LOVE sweet potatoes, so I went to a local produce stand. [Side note, here: It's operated on an honour system. There's a coffee can where you leave your payment. How cool is that in the 21st century?!]
So I got some pumpkins. I've baked and I've steamed them. Steaming is best for a uniform consistency. A hand blender makes it smooth & creamy. You can go savory or sweet with it. I've made cream-of-pumkin soup, and curried pumpkin soup (my fave), and just mixed in honey & cinnamon for a sweet. Bess said it's really great in pancakes, so I will try that next.
Back to the labyrinth: when I was at my brother's, they had hundreds of pumpkins at the horse farm for decoration and let me take some home. I took a coupla these and they are AMAZING! I think it might be a blue hubbard. They are by far the BEST! Smooth, subtle, light, creamy. Whatever it is, my mother had to go to an "International" potluck gathering & bring a traditional dish (because the English are known for their culinary skills--haha). In the past she's taken Shepherd's pie, & trifle. So she put the blue hubbard in a blender with some milk and then chilled it. No sweetener, and she said it was better than custard and everyone loved it.
So that's my Martha post for the day. Have a WONDERFUL day of thanks & giving! :-) H.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Lucy...all the music you listened to when MTV just showed music videos all the way to when MTV taught your teenage daughter how to be a slut. The deep-voiced radio announcer that XM Radio Guy uses on Lucy was whisked away by Oprah and now he's exclusively the voice on her channel.
I've never heard him say normal things.
Anyway, so I'm yackity-yacking away about all this and John says, "Woah-woah-woah! Drum circle?"
I forget until I remember that what I take for granted as normal-everyone-knows-about-this is often not. But it's quite normal. Really. Mum goes with me. And it's led by this wonderful gal Wendi who is like an orchestra leader, so it doesn't matter what your level of experience is. There's nothing like beating on a drum, it's so...tribal. You can't drum and not *smile*.
But tomorrow I'm going out. Really, it's all-day event if I leave the house. And I coordinate it with my groceries--altho, Mum calls my pantry the Mormon Pantry. It's v. well-stocked. I could not go anywhere for months. Anyway, I'll be delivering a b-day gift to my nephew & attending some Bonfire Event at Mum's.
And if it's not too chilly, perhaps we'll even have an old fashioned firewalk.
Another day, another post. ;-) H.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I'll wait until it's a bit more ready before I say the title or what it's about--except to say it's v. relaxing. I just recorded it and John is going to do all the post-production for me. I knew he'd ask me what kind of microphone we used and other techno-babble I know nothing about, so I took a picture.
At the end of the session, I said to Engineer Will, "I forgot to call on the tree spirits before we started." He had said when I booked the studio that a lot of hypno-meditation-newagers come in to record and say prayers to Nature, etc. I did walk my labyrinth before I went to the studio. Does that count?
I listened to the recording last night, but fell asleeeep. Woke up at 6 a.m. and listened to it again and fell asleeeeep again. If I didn't write it, I wouldn't know how it ends! Oh, that is a wicked joke that no one will get except the people I've given the test runs, to. Stay tuned....
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Imagine for just a moment that you want something from someone whom you absolutely loathe. Additionally, imagine that you have made no secret about this person. You've told them to their face and you've told everyone willing to listen to you that you despise this person. How cooperative do you think that person would be with your request? My guess is not very. This is how most people treat their body.
Yesterday Bruce was talking about the unconscious programming we have. So we can consciously want to change our behaviour, but our conscious mind is not really running the show. We need to work with our programming. Bruce sounds v. Dobsonian here! Anyway, John says the same thing on this CD and walks you through a process--v. relaxing, soothing. I melted. It goes deeper than weight-loss, beyond self-acceptance into self-love. It's for the anoerexic as well as the weight-loss candidate. It's for anyone who has body image issues--and really, who doesn't? The CD isn't ready yet, but I'll include a link when it's official. Stay tuned...
And speaking of CD's, I'm going to go record my next one today. I'm SO EXCITED! I'm not going to give away any details--except to say, no it's not labyrinth-related. Yes...v. hypnotic and relaxing...and melty....I've done some live test runs with it, John has been a willing guinea pig and has coached me through it and given me some v. valuable suggestions that have taken it from really good to GREAT. I did a final one last night with XM Radio Guy and he said, "Amazing." High praise! So stay tuned....
View from my labyrinth. Have a BEAUTIFUL day. :-) H.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
This was one of the key phrases that shifted my para-dig-m of how I chose to live my own life. I was sitting in Bruce's Biology of Belief seminar learning about cell biology. Cell biology! Who knew it could be so exciting? It was one of those life-changing, Oprah Lightbulb Moment, Ah-ha experiences where you realize that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm.
A cell in a petri-dish will do one of two things: it will move toward things that are life-enhancing, in this case food. OR, it will move away from things that are life-threatening, e.g. a toxin. The first is a state of GROWTH. The second is PROTECTION. A cell can do either/or, it can't do both at the same time. You may be thinking, Yeah, OK. Why do I care?
Well. Let me tell you. A single cell in your body has all the same functions as your whole body. It takes in nutrition, oxygen, excretes waste, etc. Your body is a community of trillions of cells. It's not random. Think about a community: working together, each person contributing, communicating, relating. It's an organized network. And who's in charge? YOU, the leader. You're the director, the Queen-of-the-castle, Master-of-your-domain. The question is: are you a benevolent leader? Or not? What determines that? The environment you create by your beliefs and thoughts. Do you love your body? Do you love your life? Or are you stewing in a soup of toxic emotions? How long would you continue to work with someone who worked against you? How long would you expect your body to before it rebels? As Dr. David Lee (who gave Bruce his first cold-laser treatment) says, Your body. Your health. Your choice.
So, you give a cell some food, it moves forward, it grows. You threaten it, it retreats. You give a person nurturing and s/he grows. You threaten a person and s/he retreats into a state of protection. What's the difference? THE ENVIRONMENT. Change your environment, and you change your biology--YOU. In a state of growth, you have different chemical reactions happening in your body vs. when you're in a fearful state of protection. Bruce says that we're living our lives like we're in a race. We're at the starting line and we hear, Get ready. Get set. But we never get to GO. So our bodies are in a chronic state of stress. Stress is a protective state, not a state of growth.
This is your body's response to the stress Fight or Flight Response: your body prioritizes blood flow to the back of your brain, the survival part, to the back of your legs to run, and to the arms for fighting. It is the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex that has higher functioning skills of thought, logic, and reasoning. This is why it's hard to reason with someone who's fearful.
How much blood goes to other areas? The bare minimum. What about your immune system? That takes way too much energy. If your body is in survival mode, it's priority is not against some outside microbe. How much blood goes to digestion in this state? Not much.
And here's the thing about fear: new things are scary and avoided. Think about that. And then think about how when you're in a state of fear, you're much more likely to give up your freedom for security and personal safety. Which means you're easier to control. And now think about the media that shows scary-threatening-violence on TV, and drug companies that sponsor these "news" programs and tell you to take their pharma-zerka-toxin-el for your anxiety, your stress, your illness.
We weren't biologically designed to live in chronic stress. And yet, some people are so used to it, they think it's normal. Just because something is common, doesn't make it normal. We have a choice. So for me, I choose growth. I choose life. I choose JOY.
And if you ever get a chance, go to a Bruce Lipton seminar. Or read his ground-breaking book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. OR tune into Dr. Mehmet Oz's show on XM Radio today and listen to his interview with Bruce.
P.S. You can get a month of free XM Radio here.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Being sensitive like this is helpful in the healing world. It makes it a bit more challenging when I'm just out in the real world because I'm tuned to all the little nuances and details of an experience. My chiro-friend Catherine gave me a book a few years ago called The Highly Sensitive Person. Before I read it, I thought it was about someone who overpersonalizes things. But it's not about that, it's about the sensory experience: sights, sounds, smells, touch, etc. When I walk into a room, I sense temperature, lighting, clutter, cleanliness, textures. If people are in the room, I'm reading the mood and energy of the room. John has pointed out that I go right from seeing something to having a feeling. This may be why I won't watch violence on TV. It doesn't matter if it's real or not, I feel it. And it is not a pleasant sensation. On the other hand, when I watch my favourite You Tube video Hugs in Tel Aviv, I SMILE everytime. Watch the baby in the stroller offer his cookie to Hugging Guy. So sweet.
I say this all as a preface to an observation. When I'm massaging a client, I tell her to say "stop" if there's anything I do that's uncomfortable. It doesn't matter if I think she needs me to work a particular muscle in a certain way. It's not about me, it's about her. She knows her body better than anyone. And she needs to know that she can trust me that if she says stop, that I will. Immediately. That trust allows her to relax fully and allow for some deep healing to take place.
So perhaps I am sensitive to that word. STOP.
Stop means stop, no matter who's saying it. And just because someone is laughing, doesn't mean they are enjoying the experience. So pay attention all you well-meaning uncles & aunties, moms & dads & other adults in a child's world:
Tickling is FUNny, until it's NOT.
Pinning them down to the ground with your ginormous-to-a-child body is threatening and overbearing. Forced touch of any kind is a violation.
Oftentimes adults are quick to discount a child's feelings just because s/he is a child. STOP. A child's feelings are no less real than yours. Ridiculing, cajoling, or discounting a child's feelings can get interpreted so many different ways and set up patterns for a lifetime. Patterns like:
"What I think doesn't matter."
"People don't listen to me."
"Other people's feelings are more important than mine."
"Other people are more important than me."
As for the tickling:
"I don't like being touched."
"I can't trust others to touch me in ways that I would like."
"Touch is not pleasant."
"I am powerless."
I used to be a nanny half my lifetime ago. And I used to tickle little Gabe's feet and he would giggle which would make me giggle. And even then, before an education degree or hypno-training or massage school, I would stop when he asked. And he would say it like this: STOP...do it again! And I would. His body, his choice.
We are such a touch-deprived nation. And worse, not only have people not had positive experiences with touch, they've had negative experiences. Let's make an effort to create positive touch in the lives of the people we come into contact with. And while we're at it, here's another hug from Juan Mann, the guy who started the whole Hug Campaign. Have a LOVEly day.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
See, at this point, I was just going for the laugh, because pointage was futile. And this comes from a convo between my brother and his daughter at breakfast when she was 4.
A: Daddy, may I have some milk for my cereal?
D: No, sweetie. We don’t have any milk. We only have malk. Would you like some malk?
A: What's malk?
D: Rat milk. It has vitamin R. Mmmmm….
My brother is a member of Mensa, and in the magazine in his bathroom is a song written to the tune of "Born to Be Wild." With lines like:
Get your IQ runnin'! Head out on the highway!
Lookin' for a pop quiz, or whatever comes our way!
I like chess and scrabble--intellectual thunder!
Grapplin' with ideas, and things to make us wonder.
Born to be Mensans!
Today we're going to sit in a field in the rain and watch horses. Woo-hoo!
P.S. Listen to XM Radio channel 54 tonight at 9 p.m. EST The Bill Hutton Show
P.P.S. Bruce Lipton on the XM Oprah Channel on Tuesday!!!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Do you love it?
Do you need it?
Does it make you money?
So this is my mantra as I'm slagging through the gazillion boxes I packed on my big move.: Love-need-money, love-need-money.... Do you ever ask youself: What was I saving THIS for??? Exactly.
This is my living room. The painting is an original by Rolf Owen, an artist friend of my parents. I've always LOVED this painting and I'm thrilled to have it now. I love retro Lane furniture (coffee table, end tables, & chair/ottoman). If you were sitting in the movie theatre when I was watching Down with Love, you would have heard me say, "Hey! Those are my Lane end tables!" as you see the swinging bachelor pad for the first time. I also saw them in a Doris Day movie, recently. The lamp on the left is a v. cool retro lamp, and the one on the right is an original from another friend of the family, Salahudine Hussein. I'll have to show a close-up of that sometime, it's v. clever. Anyway, all of which I love and need. For now.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
This takes my breath away.
I can't watch it all the way through without boo-hooing.
And I'm not even a fan of opera.
But. This. WOW. Go see Paul Potts audition for Britain's Got Talent. Watch Simon's jaw drop.
Paul says in the interview bit, "By day, I sell mobile phones. My dream is to spend my life doing what I feel I was born to do." We all have talents and gifts to share with the world. Something that makes you lose track of time and brightens your day. Something that puts a spring in your step and a SMILE in your heart. What's your gift? Is it in the back of the closet or are you still working on it? Did you have well-meaning people tell you to be practical or grow up? Did you give up? Is it on the Someday Shelf?
If you have a passion for something, it's there for a reason. Socrates said Know thyself. This is part of the knowing. When you have a sense of a Divine Purpose, it helps you to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Look for the gift. Listen to your inner voice. Feel that peace that comes with knowing without a doubt: THIS. THIS is why I'm here on the planet.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
but Mum says, "To-Mah-to." When I moved into my little river house, my youngest brother had planted a tomato in the front of the house for me. He grew it from a seed. He is a fantastic gardener and will be helping me when I venture into Gardening World next spring.
He doesn't know that yet.
Anyway, he gave plants to Mum & my other sibs and we've all had various degrees of success with our plants. Mine was off to a slow start, but lookit! Here's Mum showing off one of my
I should have had her held it out like fishermen do when they're showing off their fish. ;-)
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
There's been a buzz around the office as we've gotten closer to launch-time. Let me just say that here at XM Radio, we are just super-jazzed around here with this new initiative. We've
been Rambo-ing this thing to the next level and we're really expecting to see a huge jump in this last quarter with the launch of the *new* Bill Hutton Show . And let me just tell you, with this new show, we're not chewing on yesterday's breakfast. This is the NEXT BIG THING. So if you can just go ahead and do me the courtesy of Cc-ing your department to bring them into the loop on this thing. We'll be all set to go by EOB. Gotta circle the wagons, keep our powder dry.
This stuff just writes itself. Friends & fam have heard me talk about my XM Radio friend for years. He used to have a radio show at WKMZ in Martinsburg, WV before he moved on to a little-known start-up satellite radio company called XM. He wrote his resume on the back of a "Footprints in the Sand" plaque. His boss still has it in his office.
One year I gave him a "Buddy Jesus" statue. It's on his desk. Along with Buddha & Ganesh. "Hey, if I'm going down, I want in with all the major deities." haha There are more stories I could tell, but I will save them for another time.
In the meantime, tune in tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern: The Bill Hutton Show on The Lucy Channel (XM 54) If you have Direct TV, it's Channel 838 and I think if you have AOL you can listen on line.
Friday, November 2, 2007
I’m sorry BUT here’s how I’m going to justify my crappy behaviour and/ or my mean words. AND I will further insult your intelligence by pointing out how you are wrong and silly for feeling the way you do.
The advantage for the But Apologizers is that they get to be right and fault-free. The disadvantage is that they chip away at the relationship. It's rarely just one event that will destroy a relationship, but an adding up of events that starts an avalanche.
And it would be so easy to remedy. An apology is the balm that sooths a hurt spirit. And like a THANK YOU, it’s never too late to offer an apology. It just might facilitate the healing that needs to take place.
Some people don't even offer the But Apology, they just whistle right into the Wrong & Silly. Years ago I had a friend staying over and she left half a bag of Hershey's Kisses out. At 11 p.m. there was nothing but a shredded, spitty bag on the floor. I didn't know which of my 2 dogs had eaten them. I was freaking out--OMG! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs! At my discovery, she told me I was wrong to be so worried. They would be OK because she knew of another, much smaller, dog that ate chocolate and he was OK, so I shouldn't worry. This happened before??? The advantage of Non-Apologizers is they get to be right. The disadvantage is that by never admitting a mistake, they don’t learn. And they chip away at the relationship…and at some point you ask yourself, "Why do I choose to have this person in my life?" And then you choose not to.
What if someone is expecting an apology and you don't feel like you've done anything wrong? How important is this person to you? If you don't care, then WTH. But if you do: say it anyway. I'm sorry. [Say to self the rest of that sentence: you feel that way]. Really.
And on the flipside: I would be remiss if I didn’t address the super-sensitive-type. You know them: you unknowingly offend and upset. A lot. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s just another way to make someone wrong, like crowding someone on the sidewalk. I am not making this up! You would think this is a story from the fifth grade. Sadly, no. Years ago in my summerstock theatre days, I had an actress-friend who stopped talking to me for taking up too much space. And I apologized. I did. And then I did something else…and something else equally innocuous…there was always the next thing. It wasn’t just with me, she kind of worked her way through the whole company. She was on a quasi-popular sitcom in the 90’s and I just felt sorry for anyone who had to tiptoe around her. But then, maybe she grew up. And I forgive her--that's another blog post for another day!
So, I'm going to apologize right now if I've offended anyone. Really. Not my intention. Someone once said that we judge others by their behaviours but we judge ourselves by our intentions. So here's my Apology Coupon. That little phrase "I'm sorry. I love you...." yada yada is from Joe Vitale. He's written a book called Zero Limits about the work of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who worked in a psych ward and healed patients by repeating that phrase to himself. That's a simplistic way of explaining it, but you can find out more about him from Joe's website.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
This came to my mind as I was washing dishes this a.m., listening to my dish-washing music, The Best of James Taylor. And since I am "Labyrinth Gal," here are some labyrinth photos! This is my dog Remington Steele. This gives you an idea of scale--sort of. He's 140 lbs.