Hurry

When I walk my daughter to daycare, we cross a busy 4-way residential intersection that is controlled by stop signs.  I’m amazed that some people can’t wait seven seconds (yes, you know me, I timed it!) for us to cross and yet others are so respectful they’ll stop a car’s length away. Some smile while others just look inconvenienced.  A few others keep their faces averted as if saying, “If I can’t see you, you’re not there” and roll through the stop sign.

But I’m not judging. GOD no, because I’ve done all of this, too.

Last year, I was approaching this busy intersection and I noticed a wee lil’ guy walking to the end of his driveway and then back up to his garage.  As we passed I said, “Hi!” and he ran to the garage, looked back and said to me, “I’m waiting for my daddy.”  I scanned the area and didn’t see anyone, not even a guardian. I kept walking but something didn’t feel right.  My ‘spidey sense’ was tingling.  I looked over my shoulder. No adult in sight and the sweet little guy (maybe 3?) was at the end of the driveway again.  I kept walking; after all, I had to get my daughter to daycare.  But something stopped me and I turned around and crossed that dang busy intersection again.

As I approached, he ran to his garage and looked at me with a side long glance. I said, “Honey. Is your daddy coming?” And he said yes. Then I asked where his mommy was and he shrugged his shoulders.  Ok, in for a penny in for a pound.  I, with my new born in her stroller, began walking up his driveway. I asked him if we should go look for his mommy together.  His face split into a huge, relieved smile and he said yes.  At that point he was no longer leery of me but giddily ran ahead of me while excitedly asking me about my baby.

We reached his front door and I noticed that it was open a bit as if this precocious pre-schooler had let himself out.  I rang the bell and soon mommy came to the door. She was trying to take the situation in when I said, “I found this little guy at the end of the driveway. He said he was waiting for his daddy.”

She blinked and instinctively looked towards the busy road. I could tell by her wide eyes that she was calculating what could have happened. She instantly dropped to her knees, embraced her son, cradling him and saying his name over and over and over again.  She looked up at me with eyes that were so full of thankfulness that the memory brings tears to my eyes two years later. She thanked me and I reddened and sputtered, “Oh, you’re welcome. I have a wee one, too and I would want someone to do the same thing if she pulled a Houdini.”

As I was leaving the drive way, I heard her call out, ‘THANK YOU’ once more.

Now, this whole intervening thingy was very out of character for me. I have been trained to keep my nose out of other people’s business. I most often assume that someone is taking care of the situation and everything will be fine without me being a budinsky.

Another ‘budinsky’ incident happened on an unusually warm January day. Trinity, our 2 month old and I were out for a walk and we noticed two little girls (2 and 4 maybe?) were knocking on a home’s door.  The youngest was naked from waist down and was carrying her dolly. The older one was clothed, wearing a light jacket but no shoes. Trinity and I were confused by this but assumed they were at their own home and the parent’s had this under control. We continued walking as I wanted to get home (read: in a rush). But bless Trinity’s not-in-a-rush intuitive heart, he sensed something was wrong and stopped dead in his tracks. I remember him saying, “This is not right. I have to do something.”

A long story short, this wasn’t their home. The oldest child told us their mommy was napping and she thought she knew how to get back to her house. She was a beautiful child who didn’t show any fear and already had a lot of maturity.

After wrapping the half-naked little girl in my coat and an extra blanket of our daughters, I picked her up and we started walking. She was as beautiful as her sister and so innocently sweet. I remember that she smelled of Vaseline and fit nicely in my arms.

When the oldest little girl said, “This is my house!” we rang the doorbell twice and a disheveled and bleary-eyed young mom came to the door. She, too, was trying to assess the situation when Trinity asked, “Are these your girls? We found them 5 houses down.”  I watched the emotions cross her face. First there was confusion, followed by acknowledgement and then understanding of what may have happened.  Then, her understanding turned to anger, not at us but at her two little innocent girls.  She started to chastise them when my husband stepped in and calmly said, “No. No. Please don’t be angry with them or yell at them. This isn’t their fault. Maybe just install a lock on the door?”

We left feeling proud of ourselves for stepping in and helping those two little girls. But I kept wondering, WHAT IF?! What if I/we didn’t stop? What if we minded our own business and assumed everything was fine?? The whole thing bothered me so much that I talked with Susie about it.

Susie, being Susie, said, “People react differently when they are in a hurry versus when they aren’t. It’s human nature. If you perceive you are not rushed, you will feel as if you have the time to help. If you are rushing, you will feel you don’t have time to deal with it.”

Yes. Yes.  That makes sense, right?

So now I think of those drivers who are in a rush to get to their destination and feel frustration with the mere seven second delay I’m causing by using the cross-walk. What are THEY missing? What am I missing when I’m in a rush?

Then I think about the ones who aren’t in a rush. Those who can wait the seven seconds. Those that stop and help a child. Those people, like me, may be rewarded by glimpsing a little chubby hand waving to them, a wide, brilliant smile on an innocent face or perhaps, a direct, big blue-eyed gaze that could melt hearts.

Eyes

A new acquaintance recently asked me, “What personal quality of yours do you hope your child will adopt?”  Surprisingly, with all the great qualities I possess (cough), it didn’t take long to come up with the (as in the royal “the”, not the American “the”) answer.  As a side note, what was surprising was being able to condense my response into one SMALL paragraph!

My first thought was that of kindness. Then I thought about my uh, ummmm, let’s just call it, ‘superior multi-tasking and attention to detail’ skills. (You can read anal-retentiveness but I’m not writing it.) Then it hit me; I’d like for my daughter to adopt the gift of understanding why a person, including herself, reacts the way they do.

How did I arrive at choosing this particular personal quality over so many others? Let me weave a story that spans a decade.

I’m going to take you back to my Fate part I and Fate part II blogs. These are the blogs chronicling how my forever husband and I met, how he dumped me and how Susie saw, with her spiritual eyes, what was going on spiritually.  Even back then, when I was in such intense emotional pain, Susie was teaching me new ways of adapting and looking at things.

These conversations showed me that often a different set of eyes is needed in order to see what’s going on behind the scenes. What I mean by this is seeing why a person lashes out at you or why you lash out at them. And it doesn’t have to be lashing out (anger) either; it may be avoidance, sorrow or animosity.

A few years after Susie guided me through that emotional abyss and several instances later, I began noticing I often had a knowing or an intuitive ‘hit’ as to how a situation was different from what we saw with our physical eyes.

For instance, a client recently told me she was angry with a friend who had distanced herself without any explanation. I ‘looked’ into this and saw that the friend was trying to be supportive of my client’s busy life.  She wanted to give my client some space in order for her to accomplish all that she wanted to do. I also saw that this friend would be there for my client when my client was ready to reconnect. This took the hot air right out of my client’s anger balloon.

In another instance, my client was confused when a romantic relationship ended prematurely. She didn’t know what happened as everything appeared to be going well.  I ‘saw’ that this guy was very afraid of his intense feelings for her and bailed. This allowed her to understand she didn’t do anything wrong, she didn’t cause this and it helped her figure out what she wanted to do next. Hummm, this scenario sounds familiar, right Fate I and Fate II blog readers???!

One more example would be a client who was having extreme anxiety over how a coworker was treating her. I saw that this coworker was trying to help my client grow spiritually by putting some fuel on the proverbial low self-worth fire.  This person was trying to give my client opportunities to say no and to stand up for herself.   After hearing this, my client told me this was a life-long issue for her and something she wanted to work on. She emailed me a week later stating she had set some boundaries for herself, her friends, coworkers and others.

Developing this gift has allowed me to step into another person’s emotional shoes and better understand why a particularly painful or reactive response was triggered. It has helped me calm nerves and soothe anger. It has also helped me deal with my own emotional pain. But you don’t need to be an Intuitive to do this, you just need to be perceptive and open to looking at things in a different light.

What if we all practiced seeing each other’s pain with compassion and empathy instead of with anger and hostility? What if we all calmly said, ‘Wow, it looks like you’re having a strong reaction to what I said. Can you tell me why?”  Or, what if you internally said, “Wow, I am having a strong reaction to that. What do I need to look at and work on in order to try and heal the pain inside of me so this doesn’t happen again?”

By holding off on reacting to what we think is true and looking at things from a slightly different angle, it may help all of us to heal old wounds. And that, for me, is why I chose this particular trait or gift for my daughter to adopt. I believe it can literally change the world into a better place.

Channeled Message 6.20.14

Melissa’s Note: I’ve seen so much discord and physical injuries with my clients lately that I asked my Guys for a channeled message. I asked them if all this upheaval was due to Mercury being in retrograde or the upcoming Summer Solstice.  This is their response….

“You humans put too much emphasis on a certain day (i.e. Summer Solstice) when the reality is, the energy exchange has started weeks prior.  Have you not all felt it? Maybe it translates into unease for some of you. Maybe it shows itself as unrest or even fear. Maybe you are struggling with relationships or letting go of that which you know is no longer for your highest good. Whatever it is, the majority of you are feeling out of sorts or distended, if you will.

We offer you this: This energy blast will not last.  This One rolls her eyes as she transcribes this and perhaps she is wise to do so. She is no stranger to how we work and she knows that when we say something will not last, it could become worse before it becomes better. She is a veteran in the trenches and has seen her fair share of triage as well as bruises and bumps.

We wish to let you all know that YOU are making this more difficult than it really needs to be.  You are given options and sometimes you choose the easy route and sometimes you do not.

What is the ‘easy route’ you ask? It is simple.  Let go of all that is no longer serving a purpose (for your highest good). Time to declutter? Then do so. Time to weed out the weeds in your life? Then do so.  Time to cut dead weight? Then do so.  See? We tell you it is simple and yet you humans sometimes make mountains out of mole hills.

We do not understand why you languish at some of these changes. Have they not served you better in the long run? Have you not thanked the Powers That Be for allowing you to move forward and find greener pastures?  Have you not rewarded yourself for getting through the emotions and energies that seem to plague you?  Yes, YES! We see that you do! Time and time again, we see that you do.

And still some of you struggle to retain the Old. Yes, yes, we know it is ‘comfortable’ as this One is telling us. We see that patterns are hard to break but we offer you this; why did you choose to reincarnate? Why did you willingly and lovingly choose to return to a planet where there is so much dysfunction and abuse? We will tell you. It is because you CHOSE to do so. You CHOSE to return in order to work out issues, amend judgments and right wrongs that you were not able to do in past lives.

Everything, EVERYTHING that you are struggling with can be made easier if you will allow it to be so. We do not wish to sound trite, we wish to sound knowledgeable as that is our role in your lives. We are here to guide you and help you but ultimately, you make your own decisions. Right or wrong, you will live out the consequences of your actions.

Sometimes you will need to sit with your decisions and other times it will come naturally to you.  It is as it should be. You are guided by an inner compass, if you will, that you humans call “intuition.” For some of you, you have forgotten this innate gift, while others embrace it and hear its call.  Intuition is there to help you, to guide you, to show you and to help you heal. Ignore it at your own peril.

We offer you this; do not fear what you cannot see for it often turns out to be exactly what you need. We deal with your spiritual growth and we never steer you wrong. Ever. It is not in our DNA as you humans like to say.  It is our job and we take it very seriously. We are here to guide you and help you grow. How you perceive our help is up to you.

You are being asked to let go of all that does not serve you. That may mean ending relationships that are tired and worn, moving beyond taxing emotional burdens or embracing something new.  Whatever it means for you, do not fear it for it is not to be feared. It is to be embraced, rejoiced and enjoyed.

Are we speaking directly to you? You might think so, but this is something that is meant for the masses.  Globally.  There is no “right or wrong” as it is all just energy. How you deal with that energy is soulely (did you catch our play on words?) up to you.

We leave you now with gratitude.  You are strong and have an amazing sense of character.  Keep honing and refining and you will see the load lightening or shifting. Or you can choose to stay just as you are and feel battered and broken. The choice is yours.”

Tanning

“Oh, you got some sun!  You look SO good!”  Or, said with an enviable voice, “You’re soooooo tan.” I have overheard these and similar comments being said and I’m finding I’m having a very strong reaction to them…so….a blog is born.

A tan is NOT healthy, it is NOT good for you and it is NOT to be envied. Do you know what a tan is? It’s your body’s innate reaction of trying to protect you…your skin… from further damage. So let’s tweak the above statements.  “Oh, you got some sun DAMAGE! Your poor skin!” or “You’re soooo tan. I’m so sorry!”

Yeah, I’m having a little fun with this but I do speak from experience.  You see, when I was a teenager and a young adult, I remember racing home from work so I could lay in the sun, even for a half hour.  I would bake in my early to mid-twenties by applying baby oil or Hawaiian Tropic Tan Accelerator.  Then something changed and I started applying sunSCREEN.  That was also about the same I started washing the make up off of my face at night, but that’s another story.

As a child, I was lucky enough to be at several lakes throughout ND, MN and SD. I used sunscreen, but I don’t remember reapplying.  I loved being in the water, and my pale Norwegian/Austrian/Mutt skin had many, many severe sunburns. I remember one, in particular, that caused me to throw up several times.

In my mid to late twenties, I visited my parents while they wintered in Arizona.  It was a cloudy day but I was in Arizona and I wanted to get a suntan, dang it!  Oh my LORD! I’d been warned that the Arizona sun was much different than the North Dakota sun but I didn’t listen. Sans sunscreen, my face became so badly burned that my eyelids swelled shut.

When I was in my late thirties, I worked at a skin and laser clinic.  I learned much about our skin and how to take better care of mine. I also learned that the cosmetic industry was capitalizing on the fact that women were willing to pay big bucks in order to reverse the damaging effects of their days of fun in the sun.

My oldest niece (she was 38 at the time) was diagnosed with Melanoma. For those of you who don’t know, Melanoma is the mack daddy of skin cancers. It is scary stuff and it takes lives. Based on my childhood/early adult sun life, I’m a prime candidate for melanoma, as well.

So how did we get our love for tanning?  Here’s a little tanning history; back in the olden days, you were considered ‘lower class’ if you had a tan because that meant you had to work outdoors.  Conversely, those without a tan were considered ‘upper class’ because they didn’t have to work in the sun.

Then, in the 1920’s the designer, Coco Channel, became sunburned while on vacation and well, that was the start of our sun tanning love affair1.

It doesn’t matter if you choose to get your tan on from a tanning bed or the sun; both give off UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) radiation. In fact, tanning beds emit concentrated doses. I can usually spot a tanning bed user as they tend to give off a weird glow, kind of like a neon bulb.

And don’t think you can’t get burned on a cloudy day. I asked my 14 year old bonus son to apply sunscreen the other day and he looked at me like I was spouting a second head (he IS a teenager, after all!). He said, ‘It’s cloudy outside! You can’t get burned when it’s cloudy!!”  Ohhhhh…chil’….I have the same argument with your dad.  YES, yes you can. The sun’s rays penetrate through the clouds.

When I was younger, I didn’t take aging very seriously. Who does?! Back then my attitude was ‘get a bronzing tan today, feel/look good and don’t worry about tomorrow.’  As a teenager/young adult, you never think about your own mortality because you are invincible. Plus you know more than your parents, right?

Now that I am older, I am trying to reverse the damage. I’m fighting the odds of skin cancer and aging. I am proud to be pale. You’ll not hear me apologizing for being un-tanned either, as that would be like me apologizing for trying to stay healthy. “I hope my white legs don’t blind you. I’m trying to remain cancer-free.”

So here I am, years later and much wiser, a self-proclaimed ‘sun-safety girl.’  I wear sunscreen almost all of the time (I’m not perfect!) and I wear hats. I seek shade whenever possible, I wear UVA/UVB protective sun glasses and I am rarely out during the hottest part of the day. I watch my moles and have my doctor check them once a year.

I hope this blog causes you to rethink, even for a moment, how we aggrandize a tan. It is nothing more than our body trying to protect ourselves from harm. The rays, whether they are from the sun or a UV lamp, are NOT healthy; they CAUSE CANCER.

Vermin

Many, MANY years ago in a what seems like a different lifetime, I lived in a home that was located within a budding new development (read: open lots/fields). I was trying to be domestic by planting flowers (ewwww…shutter!) and I was truly the ultimate Attila the Mom with my new plantings.

That’s where God’s little creatures and I butted heads for the first time. Let’s just say I had to do a tango with some chipmunks who were nesting under our front porch. They were eating my ’ittle baby budding flowers, for pity sake! You can mess with me, but when you eat my precious flowers (again, I HATE planting flowers!) then you’re gonna get the horns, my friend.

I seem to vividly remember chasing these little chipmunks from their hidey hole with my teeth bared and a broom (or was it a shovel?) over my head while producing a feral scream in the back of my throat. And yes, I performed this little dog and pony show in broad daylight. 

I cornered a couple of them in downspouts and thought I was so smart. Then, when I’d try to raise the downspout and capture them inside, they’d move, scratch their little claws on the metal and I’d let out a little girl scream and drop the downspout.  Some warrior, huh?

And let’s not leave out the time I tried to ‘drown’ them when they were nesting under our front step. That was before I realized it was all sand underneath the steps and the tons of water I was pumping into it was just being soaked up and spit out by our sump pump.

I was consumed by these little machines of mass (flower) destruction. I don’t remember quite how I did it, but I got them all into a 5 gallon bucket and they were either too cute to kill or I didn’t have the chops, so I took them to an empty field about ¾ of a mile away and released them.  They didn’t come back and we didn’t have any more ‘renters’ under our front porch step, either.

I wish I could tell you my flowers survived, but they didn’t. Alas, to add insult to injury, my well-meaning (ex)husband thought my flowers were weeds and he pulled them. ALL of them. I kid you not.

Fast forward 17 years. New husband, new house and critters again, this time voles.  The first year I was all like, “Oooh, they’re so cute! We can’t kill them!”  Wait, that was like the first week or maybe the first day.  Then, the little shits started eating our house, literally, and our window screens AND to top it off, our new landscaping!! 

Well, that’s the proverbial kiss of death right there.  Landscaping is expensive and now you’re eating our HOUSE?! Something changed inside of me and I hardened, if you will. It’s primal. It’s like, “Me or you, buddy and it ain’t gonna be me. This is MY turf and you are not welcome here.”  Picture me beating on my chest with closed fists, because that’s the energy I was exuding.

Trinity was on it. In fact, he was waiting for me to give him the approval. He was much more effective and efficient in dispatching the ravenous rodents in our window wells. Granted, he didn’t try to use a two iron or a basketball as my starter husband tried to do, but he got the job done in a humane way.  

By the way, interesting fact about voles (who look like mice but are smaller), they can have 100 babies a year.  Yes, ONE vole can have 100 babies. They have a three week gestation period and can start breeding at one month. 

In 2013, Trinity started, evidently, evolving into the bird whisperer and built two bird houses. One was for a wren and one was for a robin. We got our wren who is really a fabulously polite renter and instead of the robin, we got a black bird that is so damn high strung she flies out of her nest when I sneeze INSIDE the house with the windows CLOSED.  Oy! We call her Nelly, as in Nervous Nelly.

So now I’ve noticed barn swallows around our home. I don’t recall seeing them around here before and today one of them flew into our garage. I investigate and the bird flies out. Ok, that’s weird, but whatever. 

Then, THEN! I walk to the end of the garage and about 6 of the little aerialists dive at me. Oh hell no. HELL NO! I see what is going on here and I won’t have it. I look for nests inside the garage and I don’t see any. I shut the garage door (I really wanted to type ‘down’ after that but refrained myself!) and immediately hear a racket of excited chirping. Then I see the posse land by our front door and on the eaves above it.  Nope. Not going to have it.

I grab a broom. I have visions of my Grandma Jessie doing this at the lake and have an instant flashback to the chipmunks. I pray nobody is outside when I open the door.  There is (of course!). I start shouting (as if the birds can understand the lunatic woman), “Get out! Get the hell out of here!” and wave a broom around.  My neighbor looks up and I justifyingly and righteously stammer, “They’re trying to build a nest in MY garage!”  He smiles and says, “Oh.” And I’m thinking, with one eyebrow raised, your garage door is open too, buddy, I’d be on my guard if I were you.

After repeated failed attempts  (doi!) to use the broom as a baseball bat and the birds as the baseball, I slunk back inside with my head low. Then, my friends, sadly I quietly shut the garage door. For now.

You may have won the battle, barn swallows, but I WILL win the war. 

Giving

My girl, Karla Winandy of Bell State Bank, asked my husband and me if we would like to give away $1000 of Bell State Bank’s Pay It Forward money.  For those of you who know us, we often do random acts of kindnesses. They range from leaving a generous tip, to buying someone else’s coffee/meal to reducing the price or not charging for our professional services.  We aren’t looking for thanks. We’re looking for the feeling…the high we get by doing these little, seemingly insignificant random acts of kindnesses.

Karla remembered the “Mother’s Day” story the Fargo Forum ran last year about Trinity and our daughter handing out flowers to moms who were unluckily/luckily grocery shopping on Mother’s Day. She thought Trinity and I “would be the perfect recipients” and that we’d “do something truly heartfelt.”

I was overjoyed to be given this honor.  And of course, I really wanted to find a good cause for this money.  I didn’t want it to go to a well known or large non-profit or charity, I wanted something smaller, something local, something within our community.

My first selection came easily and was somewhat a no-brainer. I chose the NOW Project which is a charity that has a chapter right here in Fargo.  My girl, Mariah Prussia, told me The NOW Project is a world-wide non-profit organization that is designed to prevent, empower, protect and restore the health and well-being of all women and children. 

This organization teaches women/children how to fight an attacker by teaching them warning signals (verbal and non-verbal), how to engage in combat that may save their lives (several scenarios are taught) and how to deal with verbal/emotional abuse.   Mariah said she is working with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, NDSU and local schools to bring this curriculum to them.

I’ve had female clients who have been sexually harassed in the workplace and they didn’t have any idea how to deal with it. I am a survivor of emotional/verbal abuse and a large part of my Work is to empower others, soooooo you can see why this one was an easy choice for me.

The second selection had me scouring the internet for local non-profits/charities that dealt with infants/children’s needs (diapers, blankets, books, clothing, milk).  Nothing fit. Nothing was clicking. I’d let it rest and then search some more.  Nothing. 

Then, as I was leaving a local grocery store earlier this week, it ‘hit’ me like a ton of bricks who the rest of the money should go to. I literally rolled my eyes and said, “DOI!” It was right there all along, I just couldn’t see it.

The second recipient is a mom and grandmother whom, over the span of several months, took good, watchful care of our newborn daughter. She allowed this new momma to feel confident we made the right decision to entrust our precious cargo to a local daycare. Even after Ceta had transitioned to another room, and then another, DeeAnn would check in on Ceta and visit with us.

DeeAnn’s husband was in a car accident around Christmas 2013 where he sustained a debilitating brain injury.  Surgeons removed a portion of his brain dealing with memory and because of this he needs 24-hour care. DeeAnn took a leave of absence from her beloved newborns and became a full-time care taker for her husband.  I can only guess at the emotional and financial strain this has placed on her and her family. Because of the kindness she showed to this exhausted first-time momma and the devotion she shows to her ‘babies’ and her family, we chose DeeAnn as our second recipient.

A huge THANK YOU to Bell State Bank for offering this program, to the Fargo Forum for running the story about Trinity giving away flowers, to Karla for remembering the story and thinking of us to Mariah for overcoming her own emotional obstacles to bring The Now Project to Fargo to DeeAnn for being DeeAnn.  I could go on, but I’m hoping you get the picture of how interconnected we REALLY are (insert sly smile here).

A fortune cookie saying.

 

Channeled Message 3.21.14

PREFACE:  I just can’t seem to get to a place where I can write a blog. The Guys asked me if I would document a message from them and well, saying no isn’t really an option. :-)

“Dear Ones, we hear your screams. We know we have left you in agony. It is incomprehensible and we sincerely and most whole-heartedly apologize for the delay in your dreams manifesting. Some of you wish to give up and in truth, some of you have.  We have accepted more of you back into our loving arms than any of you will truly know. It is just the lay of the land.  People tire and when they tire, they can no longer climb or go forward.  These people do not wish to continue their learning and request a ticket to the Promised Land.  No. We do not make light of what you humans call heaven for to do so would be a sacrilege against what you believe. We would never do that, it is not our way.

This One (me) is tired, too.  She has been in the trenches with the rest of you triaging those that find their way to her.  She is tireless and is a proud warrior but we see the new lines beginning on her face, as well.

We wish we had better answers for you but this is all uncharted territory for us as well. Some of you think we are omnipotent and should be able to solve all the earthly dilemmas, but we tell you we are far from it. We are from a meld that contains vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom about your spiritual growth, but some of the questions you are asking or demanding answers to are literally above our pay grade. We borrowed that expression from our little One as we feel it fits.

We urge you to not give up the fight. There is dawn right around the corner. This One wants to punch us and maybe she is right to want that.  It is horrible what this latest energy burst has done to some of you. Others have weathered the storm fairly well and well, still others have opted to return home. It is a cycle; it will continue for as long as there are human inhabitants on planet Earth.

We do wish to bring to you a ray of hope, a spark of sunshine, if you will.  This can’t last forever. We promise you it WON’T last forever.  Even now there are streaks of brilliant orange, yellow and red on the horizon. The end of this phase is near. The question you all should be asking yourselves is what will be your first step when you feel unencumbered again.  Plan for that, look TO that.  That will be your salvation and redemption, all in one.

Some of you still have some dust to shake out of the rugs you call life. Others fair better as they have already done their spring cleaning and rug shaking.  It is in everyone’s best interest to realize that no one is an island; you are ALL inter-connected.  If that makes sense, wouldn’t it benefit you all to help those who are in supreme pain? Wouldn’t it feel right and good to do so?  In essence, you are really helping yourself by helping others. Ahhhh….now some of you see where we are going with this. Good!  If you are ALL energy, then helping or healing one of your masses has a residual, positive effect on the greater good.

We urge you to focus your bright eyes on the everlasting dawn that is coming. Focus your thoughts and desires on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Once this energy blast has cleared, you will feel unfettered and free to move about the country. It is as it shall be.

We remind you; you are NOT alone, not now, not ever. There is always someone watching over you whether that person be incarnate or ascended.  We will help where we can, of course, but this journey is yours.  What will you do today to make it better?

We leave you now knowing we hear your pleas. We hear your turmoil and watch you struggle with the unknown. We rejoice that so many of you are already aiding others for to do so will save the world as you know it.”   

(Melissa’s Note: Holy Schamolly! That last line packed a wallop!)

Bow Tie Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes – A Vegetarian Meal

Bow Tie Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

(Adapted from: The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook; Farfalle with Fresh Tomato Sauce)

This recipe has become an easy favorite in our family as there is minimal prep and lots of flavor. You can add mozzarella pearls to increase the protein/fat content if you want, but really, it’s a perfect dish without it.

  • 4 tomatoes (about 2 lbs total weight), diced and seeded  (Note: you can also use halved cherry/grape tomatoes, unseeded, of course)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 3 T chopped red onion
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly round pepper
  • 1/2 lb bow tie (farfalle) pasta

To make the sauce, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, julienned basil, onion, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss gently to mix.   (Melissa’s Note: Make this ahead of time and let it marinate, mixing occasionally, on your counter for at least an hour. It really enhances the flavor.)

Boil the pasta in a large pot according to al dente directions or 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta thoroughly and return to the pot.  Add the sauce mixture and stir.  Serve as is (luke warm) or continue to heat until warmed through.

SQUIRREL!

“Oh, dear GOD, I am a lunatic!” I wasn’t belittling or abasing myself. No, this was more of an acknowledgement. Dear God, I am a LUNATIC.

I caught myself saying this while doing what so many kazillion of us do; multi-tasking. Although for me, ‘multi’ doesn’t cut it anymore. I came up with a new phrase (feel free to copy it!); MEGA-tasking.

Sometime after having a baby, I morphed into Dr. Bruce Banner’s version of a bad gamma radiation accident; I became a (dum dee dum dum DUM) MEGA-tasker. Unfortunately, I’m so busy starting and stopping these tasks that I’m not sure what I’m actually getting done.

Here’s a typical 10 minutes in my morning: Oooh coffee, yes please (turn on the previously prepared coffee pot and open the fridge to get the dark chocolate almond milk.) Hey, who put the salsa on that shelf? Trinity! Better move that or I won’t be able to concentrate. Oh, we’re almost of out of eggs, I need to write that on the grocery list (shut the fridge door leaving the almond milk in it).

(Open drawer behind the fridge, rifling through the millions of pens/pencils) Geez, why can’t I find ‘my’ pen when I want it? Where is it? Well damn it, did Trinity take it? Should I text him? That’s a bit extreme, Melissa. Just use another pen and make a mental note to ask the pen stealer later. You’ve wasted enough time looking for this one.

(As I’m grabbing a pencil, I look at the spot where our daughter eats) Ewww, gross. I forgot to wipe up the counter after dolly’s breakfast. Well, better get that done (put the pencil on the counter and turn towards the kitchen sink) but first I’ll put these dirty dishes in the dishwasher and WHAT is that smell? Egads! Is that ME?! No, it has to be Ceta. “Ceta, honey. Did you go potty?” “No poop momma.”  ‘No poop momma’ my ass. I NEED to stop what I’m doing and change her diapers (I leave the dishwasher door wide open).

Three steps outside the kitchen, with child in arms, I see a puzzle in the middle of the hallway and know I need to put it away or I’ll be doing mach 2, step on it and pull a groiny. As I squat to put it away, I notice the recycling bin is overflowing. I put the child down, leave the puzzle and take the recycling outside.   

On my way back into the house I stop to turn off the bathroom light and I see I didn’t put away the puzzle. I start towards it but then I glance into Ceta’s room where I see her clean laundry. I zip into her room, put away her clothes, pick up the multitude of blankets on the floor, refill her diapers and then remember to grab some clothes hangers.

As I’m leaving her room, I see the chaos that remains; the puzzle, the open dishwasher, the crumbs, yogurt and pencil on the counter. I realize I haven’t had my coffee and I haven’t changed my daughter’s diapers. I’ve also completely forgotten to write ‘eggs’ on the grocery list and chances are I won’t remember to do that. Instead, I’ll look at the pencil like it’s an alien and then blame Trinity for not putting it away.

Ok. Where was I? Oh yes, I have to corral my daughter again. Just follow the smell, Melissa. Stay on task. Don’t stop to pick up the socks or move the ‘beep beep’ toy out of the way. I may pay for that decision later when I’m not looking where I’m going, but for now, I leave it.

That, my friends, is literally about 10 minutes in my life. On a good day.

I’ve always been an efficient worker but lately it seems as if I get bright-shiny-objected (BSO) way too much.  I always think it won’t take me long to pick up this or put away that but inevitably, it leads to something else that I feel needs my immediate attention NOW.

I’m also realizing that if I have five or ten minutes to myself, I don’t do something FOR myself. Nope. I opt to do menial chores or prep items for the following day. I’ve tried to sit for 3 minutes without pulling a Jack-In-The-Box and it doesn’t work. I think the longest I was able to sit still was about 90 seconds.  Curses! It’s like an addiction!   I try to see how long I CAN sit still, especially while I’m helping my daughter eat, but inevitably, I can’t sit still. Something needs my immediate attention (or so my brain thinks).

One of the very last things I want my daughter to inherit is my OCD. I don’t want her to think she has to fly around the house like a madwoman picking up this and putting away that. I want her to know that it’s perfectly fine to rest and do NOTHING. I want her to know the dust bunny by her feet will still be there when she’s done with her down time. I’m trying. I really, really am but this is a tough nut (pun intended!) to crack. 

(What do you do to stop BSO’ing? I’d love to know and I’m sure other readers would be interested, too. Please post what works for you in the comment section.)

Coconut Oil

I’m a relative newcomer to the coconut oil bandwagon.  A few years ago, Charmaine told me how I could evenly substitute coconut oil for butter when making cookies or while cooking.  It took me a while to warm up to the idea but once I did, it was bub-bye butter.

Shannon has told me she uses organic, unrefined coconut oil for almost everything. She takes tablespoons of it each day to help with her Fibromyalgia, reduce her sugar cravings and allow her to feel satisfyingly full. She uses it as a facial/body moisturizer and mixes essential oils with it for a deodorant. She tells me it’s the MacGyver of oils. If she can’t use coconut oil with or for something, it’s not worth doing. Connie, who has a strong background in cosmetology, tells me she uses coconut oil as a deep conditioner for her hair and a moisturizer for her lips and cuticles.

Ahhhhh, the humble coconut; so unassuming and yet so multi-dimensional. According to Mercola.com, these two gals are spot on with their uses. In fact, here’s a few more:

·         Shaving lotion: Just apply a thin layer and shave as usual. The lauric acid in the coconut oil will also act as an antiseptic for shaving nicks and cuts. Good to know for people like me who, um, like to get the most out of their disposable razor.

·         Insect Repellant: Mixing coconut oil with a high-quality essential oil(s) such as peppermint, lemon, rosemary, tea tree, citronella or catnip oil can help repel those little buggers. Wait. Catnip oil? Really? Yep. According to one study, catnip oil is 10 times more effective than DEET. Well, shizzle my dizzle! I wonder if you’ll have all the kitties in the neighborhood after your milkshake?? I also wonder if this study was done on ND/MN mosquitos! 

·         Head Lice: LICE?! Yep. Combine coconut oil and anise to create a treatment that is nearly twice as effective as the prescription Permethrin.

It can also be used alone, or in some cases, in combination with a high quality essential oil for cold sores, ear infections, bug bites/stings, athlete’s foot, chicken pox and eczema.  I can attest to the eczema part as my daughter is prone to bouts of eczema during the winter months. This year I am using organic, unrefined coconut oil on her and her eczema is almost non-existent. In contrast, last winter we went through a tube of (sparingly used) hydrocortisone.

It’s also said that coconut oil destroys free radicals and can help your skin look more youthful by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.  If looks aren’t your thing, how about your health? Coconut oil contains 50% of a ‘miracle’ ingredient called lauric acid. This acid can actually destroy viruses such as measles, HIV/herpes, influenza, pneumonia, UTI’s and vaginitis.

What are some of the physical benefits to using coconut oil over others? Well, a HUGE one is organic coconut oil isn’t genetically modified, however over 90% of soy, corn and canola oils are. Zoinkies Scoob!  Organic coconut oil promotes weight loss, metabolism, immune system and heart health as well as providing immediate energy.  Yes, you read right: immediate energy. That’s because coconut oil is immediately converted to energy, via your liver, instead of being stored as fat. No kidding.

I was curious about the difference between refined and unrefined (virgin) coconut oil. Refined is good for baking and cooking as it can withstand higher temperatures (450 degrees). It also doesn’t have any coconut smell.  The reason for this is because unrefined coconut meat is often dried in open air and, because of this drying method, can result in salmonella poisoning. To ensure this doesn’t happen, the coconut meat needs to be purified and is put through a bleach filtration system. Once that’s done, it’s heat treated to remove any odor.1

Unrefined (virgin) coconut oil uses fresh, not dried, coconut meat. This ensures the oil is sanitary and doesn’t need additional purification, however it can only withstand 350 degree heat. To produce unrefined coconut oil, there are two methods used and while I’m not going to go into detail (you’re welcome), I will say that both methods result in a coconut oil that wasn’t purified by bleach. Because of this, it does maintain some (mild) coconut odor. 

Through personal experience, I find the unrefined coconut oil to be a better choice for lotion as it melts like buttahhh when rubbed between your palms. The refined is more difficult to melt and now that I know bleach is used to purify it…well….. (gulp).

And what coconut oil blog would be complete without dispelling what you think you know about the saturated fats in coconut oil? Pishaw, my faithful readers! Not this blog!  It’s not the enemy you may believe it to be. The saturated fats in coconut oil are naturally occurring. Ding ding! The key words here, in the saturated fat fight are, ‘naturally occurring.’ You see, again according to Dr. Mercola,2  there are  other fats which are “artificially manipulated into a saturated state through the man-made process called hydrogenation.”  If this is the case, it will result in trans-fats which actually contribute to heart disease.  Fair warning! Some of the coconut oils on the market contain hydrogenated oils and trans-fats.  Blasphemy!

I guess the long and the short of it is coconut oil is a dynamo. It has healing, healthful properties and is safe to use both internally and externally. Be sure to read labels (check for trans-fat, hydrogenated oil and even ‘animal byproducts’ – euwwwww) and buy a good quality organic coconut oil; don’t just go for the cheapest.

Maybe make the switch in cooking first and then baking. Then, maybe think about switching your expensive facial moisturizer or maybe even your methyl paraben’d body lotion for plain old coconut oil. Why stop there?  Toothpaste? Sure! Polish furniture? Yes! Oil rusty door hinges? You bet!  Moisturize leather, including the interior of your car? Yes, Yes, YES!  Coconut oil could quite possibly become your MacGyver, too.