Category Archives: If We Came with a Manual

What I’m learning from yoga, massage, injuries, illness, maximal healing/health, interest and others that would be nice to have included if we were born with a manual attached.

A Terminally ill 6-Year Old Boy Decides to Do Something Very Special With His Make-A-Wish Gift

gifts

Kindness Blog

One Terminally ill 6-Year Old Boy and his Make-A-Wish GiftThis heart-breaking story is an example of extraordinary kindness between two children, it is also a grand lesson in how we all might attempt to act in life.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a well-known charity that aims to help terminally ill children realize their hopes and dreams, under otherwise terrible personal circumstances.

Whether it be a trip to Disneyland, or a meeting with a famous hero the Foundation has assisted in bringing a moment of happiness into the lives of countless children over the years.

However, this story among such hardship does stand out.

One Terminally ill 6-Year Old Boy and his Make-A-Wish Gift

In 2014, Make-A-Wish approached 6-year-old Levi Mayhew and gave him the opportunity to have his wish granted. Instead, he asked for his wish to be given to someone else – a 10-year-old girl from his school named Emma Broyer.

One Terminally ill 6-Year Old Boy and his Make-A-Wish GiftLevi has found a supportive and caring friend in Emma at school where she walks him to…

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“My Dad Teaches Kindergarten, His Students Came up With Some Guidelines for Healthy Living.”

the basics:

Kindness Blog

These clever little people offered some simple, solid advice here.

My Dad Teaches Kindergarten, His Students Came up With Some Guidelines for Healthy Living

Less Head-Banging! Milk! Dream! Make peace!  Kids really are smarter than adults sometimes.

Bless them!

Source ‘bnrshrnkr’ – Reddit.


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Communion

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Dividing an elementary class into

boys on one side

girls on the other

invites each to imagine one group’s got

            cooties! cooties! cooties!

and vulnerable to those who thrive on power

yet united, we eliminate disease, produce

thriving meccas of cultural exchange,

launch ourselves through the universe…

 

so if you’re invulnerable to ads and rhetoric,

think about a lemon–

thrust your teeth through thick

yellow skin to release zest’s

zinging scent and swallow

tart

puckering

juice.

That saliva now beading your gums…

(more, pg 30, Tishman Review)

 

Thank you to the editors of The Tishman Review for first publishing this poem.

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Release and Embrace

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Re: the past year, past

decade, all the past, the

hurt, disappointment, confusion,

sadness, loss,

e.e. cummings said it best:

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love

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so begins the brilliance of this moment

with its vibrant shadows and color…

may each day bring peace, kindness, joy

 

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Ceres Community Project of Marin

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On Feb 13, my friend’s first meal was delivered from Ceres Project, which delivers free weekly meals for people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses for three months. This profound kindness is only one of the important ways Ceres Project is improving the world and individual’s lives. They also take recipient’s dietary requirements into account (gluten-free, for example); and use whole, health-promoting, organic, seasonal food, sourced from local farms, farmer’s markets and Whole Foods Market. Ceres chefs also teach teens, who prepare the food, how to cook delicious nutritious meals.

Even kindergarteners are involved by making inspiring cards for clients. This is from Max and my friend says, Thank you, Max!

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Cancer and it’s treatment is challenging for anyone as well as a person’s family/caretaker so the primary cook gets a much needed break from the daily grind of doing all the shopping, meal prep and normal clean up, with restaurant-quality meals prepared not only for the client but also for the immediate family/caretaker.

I’m told every bite was delicious! So their health was nourished, spirits raised and their minds and bodies could relax for the night.

Valentine’s Day inspired my friend’s first Ceres meal and proved one of the most loving valentines ever created. In addition to the pureed beet soup they received:

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and as a special Valentine’s Day treat

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I hope people will consider supporting the Ceres Project since they make an enormous effort to benefit more lives than one can imagine. If you know someone in Sonoma or Marin who is being treated for cancer, please let them know about Ceres Project. And hopefully people in other areas will be inspired to create similar services in their communities.

For more information or to volunteer or provide a tax-deductible donation to this remarkable organization:

Ceres Community Project of Marin
P.O. Box 151049
San Rafael, CA 94915-1049

Wishing you all health and support when needed.

This Edge of Sea

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  And it is a dream at sea such as was never dreamt, and it is the Sea in us that will dream it:

The Sea, woven in us, to the last weaving of its tangled night, the Sea, in us, weaving its great

hours of light and its great trials of darkness.

— Saint-John Perse, Seamarks

I’ve touched death twice and come back. I feel like a cat, though I’m not counting on nine. I was told as a child that I would not live even thirty years due to severe asthma. In my early twenties, I wheezed ceaselessly for two years, even with intravenous steroids during monthly hospitalizations. At this time I was told I’d be dead by twenty-five due to a rare form of asthma that afflicts fewer than two percent of asthmatics, most of whom are seventy or older. Now in my forties, I know that no one can predict another’s fate.

The first time I touched death, I was seventeen. After spending several days trying to stabilize a particularly bad attack, during which I could only walk with assistance, could barely eat, and couldn’t lie down, I called my physician, Doctor K, who wanted to meet me in the emergency room.

Driving proved slow and difficult with such labored breathing, but after I parked near the hospital’s entrance, I inched toward the automatic doors by leaning against cars, poles, the rough white wall for support, and paused to catch my breath after each step as if climbing at twenty-six thousand feet.  (More)

Thank you to the editors of Cezanne’s Carrot for first publishing this piece.

(This is a semi-repost from 10.10.09)

Chi-licious!

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I’d heard of chia seeds (and joked that someone’s found a new marketing angle now that chia pets are no longer the craze). I didn’t take chia seriously until I attended a raw live food cooking demo at Whole Food’s satellite program in Los Angeles early in 2013.

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Chia seeds are high in fibre (“the stealth nutrient” according to Dr. Lustig) as well as high in omega 3, and are delicious in combination with fruits.

Though the cook demonstrated this with measurements, I cook by approximation. She also added agave or maple syrup, which is overkill given the fruits’ sweetness. And no one needs more sugar despite it’s syrupy whispers to our DNA that it’s safe, while fattening the liver and body and nurturing disease.

Summer’s the perfect time for berries, so here’s the recipe…in approximate measurements…and once you’ve got a sense of it, make it your own!

2 baskets of raspberries. Wash in water. (I sometimes soak berries in warm or cool water and a splash of apple cider vinegar as a disinfectant, for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.)

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2 ripe bananas

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(I show the image because U.S. consumers often buy and eat bananas before they’re ripe.)

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5 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Add about 1 cup of water and soak for 10 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water, or coconut water*, so the seeds continue to have liquid to absorb. (They can absorb nine times their volume in water…so don’t eat unsoaked chia or you’ll get stomach cramps.)

After soaking for 10 minutes, add at least 1.5 cups of water, or coconut water, till the mixture holds its shape while while still flowing from a tilted spoon.

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*Coconut water is often clear but sometimes pink. The best is directly from young fresh coconuts, but bottled/canned coconut water is easy if you don’t have time hack through the husk and you like the taste, or want extra potassium.

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Now that you have the rinsed raspberries, ripe bananas and soaking chia

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mash the bananas with your fingers, a potato masher or

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a fork

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till they look like this:

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And do the same with the raspberries, which is easiest with fingers, though I’ll often do the bananas and raspberries together with a potato masher,

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till they look like this:

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Then add flavors you like…this medley in decreasing order of amount includes vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove:

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Add the soaked chia to the fruit and mix till you have a uniform semi-liquidy glop that can be more or less watery depending on your taste, but this is how I like it:

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For more texture, you can mix in whole blueberries, or another fruit of your choice.

Cover your chi-licious and refrigerate at least two hours, then enjoy!

(For more crunch, eat it with toasted nuts or seeds like pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds.)

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It will be good up to three days, refrigerated, though it’s doubtful it will last that long. Delicious and good for you…what a combo!

Bon Appetit!

Since It Takes a Village

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A few years ago my local grocery had a tree with cards for Christmas gift requests from people who were homeless or nearly so.

For many good reasons, I’ve struggled financially in my life but when I read the individual requests it shifted my perspective: winter gloves; a man’s razor for shaving; socks; barrettes or a hair tie for a girl; a scarf and hat.

I have or can easily buy these things. It doesn’t matter if they’re old, or from a thrift store, or unstylish. I can still use or buy them. I don’t need to hope that someone will read my request and give me a pair of socks.

These few examples shifted my perspective on my own financial situation. I no longer accept bag credit when I fill my cloth bags with produce, but instead ask that it’s donated because my “need” diminished to slightly more than zero that day.

Some of my favorite parts of the season are the lights, spending time with those I love, and going to the local toy store to buy toys (well, usually art supplies and a stuffed animal) for children I’ll never recognize though I apply the care I use for my loved ones.

I then drop them off at Toys for Tots to be distributed to children who get little material support and fewer gifts that may provide comfort or allow them to express themselves.

When I was little I was inseparable from my stuffed grey squirrel…Grayee was my Linus blanket. When I was seven we moved and Grayee disappeared. Sobbing, I begged my mom to call the police because “the moving men stole Grayee.”

It was more than ten years before I could laugh at the idea that these grown men would have stolen my battered squirrel, but Grayee had been my comfort and companion. I hope my gifts provide the comfort I got from Grayee…and they’re never lost.

Wish I’d Known Before My Car Was Stolen

My car was stolen from our driveway during a storm earlier this week.
I’ve lived most of my life in dense urban areas. Now that I live in a “safe” neighborhood my car is gone, no public transportation yet this gutting sense of foreignness that happens with violation or when some core belief is irrefutably changed. Everything that was in the car is gone as well: my best rain gear for stormy beach walks, my grandmother’s ring that my recently deceased mom wore to her final breath, a life-time of postage stamps so I could avoid lines when sending my writing to disinterested editors.
I hope what I’ve learned from police, an insurance rep who specializes in stolen vehicles, and others can help you avoid this loss.
~  The incidence of car thefts is highest in a storm (which we had that night) because the storm masks the sounds of breaking glass and car alarms, which are quickly disconnected.
~  Some cars are specifically targeted. When I heard this I thought it was because they’re popular; instead, it’s because they’re easy to steal (for example, a master key can be used for several years of cars that were my make and model, no breakage necessary.) Unfortunately, my car is worth more as parts than as a vehicle, which is disturbing on many levels. While the above link re: specific cars states that car theft is down, that’s not my insurance company’s experience.
~  Car theft, arson and burglary claims have so increased  in 2012 for my long-established insurance company that that division has almost tripled the workforce to handle the load, and they still don’t have enough reps.
~  The Club and similar devices hardly delay (moments at best) a professional thief. The officer who took my report said they don’t help.
The insurance representative who took my claim has changed his personal habits due to working in the car theft division. In addition to what I’ve already suggested, he adds:
~  Don’t keep anything in the car including rain coats and other clothes since you’ll lose them when the car is stolen.
~ NEVER leave the keys in the car, especially in the ignition, and most especially with the engine running, not even if you’re standing next to the car. Take your keys whenever you step out of your vehicle. (One of his clients left his key in his ignition while he filled his car with gas. Someone jumped in and drove off. The client not only lost his car, but had terrible injuries since the gas hose whipped him against the payment station when it jerked out from the speeding vehicle.)
~  Keep your car doors locked, even if you’re pumping gas or talking beside the car . A friend’s purse was on the passenger seat as she filled her tank. Someone opened the door, grabbed the purse and ran.
~  Don’t leave a spare key, especially a house key, in the car.
~  Keep registration and insurance papers with you rather than in the car. If the car is stolen, at least they don’t have your address, name, et. al. Home burglary and identity theft often follow after a vehicle is stolen.
~ Never leave a garage opener in the car. Not only is the vehicle in the garage at risk, but also one’s home if the garage is attached. An acquaintance mentioned that her car was stolen from her driveway, and that may have been the total theft if she didn’t keep the garage opener in her car. The thief used the genie to open the garage and Poof! both vehicles were gone when she woke.
~  If you have a tracking device in the vehicle, use the locator ASAP since the tracker can be disabled quickly or tossed.
~  If your car is stolen, call the police and then your insurance company to report it. Then let additional vehicle related services know such as companies who provide paid toll service, the DMV for disability plates/placards and the like so you are not responsible if your vehicle is involved in further crime, and also because these services may be able to help you track the vehicle.
Be safe and please pass this link or information on to everyone you know. Thanks.