Friday, June 26, 2009

Death the common element

A common thread of course that runs between the news of Michael Jackson and the Iranian Conflict is death. So as much as we think 'oh those poor people' or 'that guy had-a-great-career/was-terrible' the real difference between yesterday's culture focus and today's is Death came calling. I know I am going to tire of TV, before the news shows wring every last drop of post mortem publicity out of Anna Nicole, ooops intentional error, Michael Jackson.

But it really does make me wonder, and start me thinking. Have you ever seen a dead body? It's just astounding, because there is no life in the body. Life animates 150 pounds of otherwise inanimate lifelessness. I cannot lift 150 lbs. But 'something' does. And it resides in me. And animates me. For those people that I've lost through death, as I looked at the remaining body, I mourned. Because they were gone. They were not in the body.

The body was of no comfort and more accurately, no use. Life after death? I believe so.

I have always been connected to things unseen, even before I put a Name and a Belief to things of the spirit. An hour after I got the news of my father's unexpected death, and I was making plans to travel to my mother, I felt my father's spirit as I was standing by the kitchen table that my husband made. And my dad said, 'nice table Cookie'. So yes, you feel things of the spirit, and hear things of the spirit, but not with your body, with your spirit.

Thankfully, I don't hear of feel things like that too often. That would be unnerving.

But I do watch carefully the things that I am spiritual about. The spirit governs the body like a bridle leads a horse and makes it obey. There are a lot of spiritual bridles, horoscopes, tarot cards lots of other stuff that I don't even know about, angels and demons and a world in between. Try as he might, as much as he wishes, the horse cannot remove that bridle. He relies on his master to free him.

I have a few things that bridle me. One problem that reoccurs frequently; I get angry. It is not the outward expression of a slammed door, although I've slammed my fair share. But it is the inward festering when I am slighted, disrespected, tread upon. Especially if I have trusted someone and been betrayed. My anger will not go away. The Bible calls it a strong hold.

The dictionary defines stronghold: a strongly fortified defensive structure. A fortress; A place of refuge, survival or domination by a particular group or idea.

A Biblical stronghold is a major spiritual flaw, if left to fester, it will poison the body. My first hand experience is, I need help losing that festering lingering kind of anger. My anger is tied to a lot of things and if I may be honest, it takes up so much time to go through the whys. I am created a complex individual and I can outsmart my own self. Finally, after I have jumped through those hoops I get mad that I've wasted so much time being angry. Actually, desperate is a better word, I get desperate. Because, you guessed it, I am still mad. (shakes head, sad smile)

At that point I give it up to the Lord. I am so stubborn, I hang on to it for the longest.

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." [1 Peter 5:8-9]

I don't make God happy when I am mad, but I do make the Devils from Hell dance with glee. When I fester in my own self righteousness pity or blame, the Devil is chewing on me like a bone. It takes me a while, days sometimes. Prayer after prayer, days sometimes. Like I say, sometimes I just see red. In the middle of nothing, 'pop' the thought strikes.

And that's a stronghold. When it just won't go away. Those feelings, those thoughts. And through prayer my Master removes that bridle.

Here's a great website from someone who deals with this stuff. Strongholds

Very informative.

My attention is still with the Iranian revolt. I am still seeking news of Iran and their desperate search for freedom. We've all seen it, the conditions in a land where they have no freedom and the people want to be free, its heartwrenching. I don't get the politics of it all but it sure makes me more and more thankful for my own freedom.

This song is perfect, and Cheryl Crow had her beginnings with of all people, Michael Jackson. Peculiarly, I come full circle. See what I mean, God is woven through everything.

“Redemption Day,” by Sheryl Crow

I’ve wept for those who suffer long
But how I weep for those who’ve gone
Into rooms of grief and questioned wrong
But keep on killing
It’s in the soul to feel such things
But weak to watch without speaking
Oh what mercy sadness brings
If God be willing

There is a train that’s heading straight
To heaven’s gate, to heaven’s gate
And on the way, child and man,
And woman wait, watch and wait
For redemption day

Fire rages in the streets
And swallows everything it meets
It’s just an image often seen
On television
Come leaders, come you men of great
Let us hear you pontificate
Your many virtues laid to waste
And we aren’t listening

What do you have for us today
Throw us a bone but save the plate
On why we waited til so late
Was there no oil to excavate
No riches in trade for the fate
Of every person who died in hate
Throw us a bone, you men of great

There is a train that’s heading straight
To heaven’s gate, to heaven’s gate
And on the way, child and man,
And woman wait, watch and wait
For redemption day

It’s buried in the countryside
It’s exploding in the shells at night
It’s everywhere a baby cries

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Well here's a word I toss around a lot.


For example... chocolate is therapy, a good book is therapy, that intimate moment with the Lord, when His word comes alive, yes, truly (...verily) therapy. As in balm to the soul.

Let's towering roses against the gray sky, yup, therapy. The voice of my grandson chattering to his Elmo and Big Bird friends? Sooo therapeutic.

And one more,a weird one, my humble backyard chicken clan, making their sweet musical chicken-cluck conversation as they intently scratch for bugs. PURE therapy.

But as I said, I toss that word around a lot.

ther a py [ther-uh-pee] –noun, plural -pies.

1. the treatment of disease or disorders, as by some remedial, rehabilitating, or curative process: speech therapy.
2. a curative power or quality.
3. psychotherapy.
4. any act, hobby, task, program, etc., that relieves tension.

Ha. I am right on by definition #4. And man oh man, do I need the relief.

So much goes on and not much gets by me! I do twitter after all.

I'm currently reading E-How...How to Exfoliate. "When you exfoliate, you gently abrade the skin and remove the top layer of dead cells. Exfoliating helps to hide fine wrinkles and gives your skin a rosy glow."

Now that sounds therapeutic. They give instructions,

1. Wet your body in the tub or shower.
OK. Good start.

2. Use a synthetic scrubbing sponge, exfoliating gloves or a body loofah.
While wearing your scuba mask and flippers...

3. Apply an exfoliating cleanser to your skin or sprinkle it onto your sponge. Some exfoliating cleansers contain as much as 25-percent ground volcanic rock; these are good for oily skin. However, cleansers that dry out oily skin too much can have a rebound effect, causing glands to overproduce oil.
Ground volcanic rock? WILMA! (in my best Fred voice)
Here's the rebound effect: glands screaming 'red alert'.

4. Scrub the exfoliating cleanser over your skin using your sponge or loofah; make circular motions.
They must have it on good authority that oval motions are counter productive.

5. Be gentle over sensitive parts of the body, like delicate neck and thigh tissue.
I am screaming in my brain now...'you think?'

6. Rinse skin thoroughly.
Again, muttering, 'drr'.

7. Be sure to follow up with a good moisturizer. Exfoliating dries out your skin.
Hmm, me thinks it's the volcanic rock that dries out most peoples skin.

8. Choose a lotion that is light in petroleum, lanolin and mineral oils. Non-comedogenic lotions - those designed specifically to prevent the formation of pimples - are best.
Please. We are not using petroleum unless we are behind the wheel of our cars.

-On second thought that doesn't sound therapeutic at all, that sounds somewhat tortuous.

I will stick to my body polish bar, the perfect exfoliator. No rubber mask or flippers, made with pure sea salt and minerals -not the volcano itself. Enriched with shea butter -moisturizer optional. may keep your volcanic rock.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flower power

I have been pretty lucky and have met a lot of wonderful people on the Internet, as a matter of fact, absolutely blessed! Included in that number is Juls from Jul's Fantasy Flowers. We have so much in common, and it is such a treat to hear from her when she has a spare moment to post or write a quick note.

On her blog she writes: "I love working with color. I design my happy little flowers as stylized versions of real flowers, they have elements of reality but are really just intended to be fun cheerful little posies. I strive for detail in my work and am committed to providing a unique product to my customers. Each brooch is hand sculpted one petal at a time, so each flower is one of a kind."

She is a green thumbed gardener. Not only for her own use, but contributes regularly to the food bank in her town to help those in need. I've seen pic's of her garden, and this is no rookie's green acres! See what I mean? Oh and by the way the beautiful display photo at the very begining of this post comes from her garden as well! (Wouldn't I LOVE to say that those were mine...)

We've shared in a couple of groups on the web and here's a snippet of part of her profile on Artisans for God: "I am an avid gardener and I grow a huge garden every year. Mostly veggies which I can, freeze and dehydrate and I make a killer Salsa! I grow sunflowers every year in my garden along with a few other select favorites. I recently began making sunflower brooches. I tend to make flowers that represent memories for me of things I hold dear."

Now the flowers that she is talking about are these lovely little brooches that she makes from scratch. I mean scratch. She calls it cold porcelain, and she makes the clay herself. I do not know the process, I'm thinking it is a family secret that has been passed down for generations, because these don't look anything like femo or anything I've seen.

Here's what she says in her shop greeting: "Made of homemade clay, based on a "COLD PORCELAIN" technique. Colors and effects are achieved by working the color into the clay.Sprayed with a protective gloss finish and they are WATER RESISTANT.Carefully Crafted in My Smoke Free Studio!"

Well I'm absolutely amazed at the detailed delicateness of them. They look just like Bakelite to me, they don't look like anything that you would whip up in your studio, or kitchen, or home. This clay is so refined and smooth, it resembles plastic or glass.

She also has this written in her shop header on Etsy:

GIVE YOURSELF SOME “VITAMIN F” -Harvard University study findings reveal that placing small bouquets of flowers around your house increases feelings of compassion and tend to decrease anxiety and worry. So a flower a day helps keep the anti-depressants away.Gardeners have always known this, now scientists are endorsing and praising the “Power of Flowers,” they are natural mood lifters!

Vitamin F! That is so cute! And more than a grain of truth I'll bet.

Well I will have to agree, first because I am a fellow gardener, and second I feel great just being in the company of all these amazing brooches that she creates! And yes, if you're wondering, I am the proud owner of two of them. I just want to frame mine however, they are just that pretty!

Feeling worried or anxious, or need a little flower power? Here's a couple of links that you will find to be medicine to your soul:

And the link to her beautiful blog:

Juls has a link on her website to a very inspirational video. I don't think she'll mind if I repost it here, I hope you will view it. You'll be encouraged.

And I was so encouraged when I saw it, I wanted to get the words to it to journal with. The words are found here in this post:,4945,285-1-54-31,00.html in case you too feel encouraged.

Thanks Juls for letting us spend some time with you, I am so pleased to know you!

All pictures in this blog post copyright: Using without permission is theft.


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