Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds

Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds.
"In this world, apart from our spiritual practice, there is no other place or power that we can rely on." Supreme Master Ching Hai

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I just can't shake my Native American Boyfriend....


Yes, it's true, I have a magnetic personality, but really? Apparently I am the object of his affection, that wily, wizened Indian friend of mine from 15 years ago.

When we first built this house, it took about three days in residence before I saw him the first time. Always at night, and always right up in my personal space. He used to scare the crap out of me. When I finally pulled myself together and tried to accept the fact that A) I'm highly empathic, something I've known my whole life, and B) that I was graduating from hearing spirits to freaking SEEING them, I decided the best way to get rid of him was to ask him what he wanted. Problem is, the SOB would never tell me.

I shared this creepy-ness with Laurel, my best friend at the time, and she told me that, as always, I was giving her goosebumps.  (That's why she was my best friend; no judgement.) My relationship with this Indian spirit person went on for years, until, unexpectedly, Laurel was killed in a car accident. From the day she died, I never saw my Indian friend again.

Fast forward to January, 2012, when I met the Reverend Ed Conklin, for the first time when I visited Cassadega Spiritualist camp. (Read about my first visit with Ed here: What the medium said.)

Ed was channeling Laurel, when all of a sudden, in pops this Indian fellow. Ed was having a hard time controlling his boisterous attitude, and you can read about the situation in the above link. I was totally confused as to why he was manifesting himself at that moment, because I hadn't seen him since Laurel died in July of 2000. I just listened to everything Ed said, and filed it away for future reference.

About two weeks after I came home from Florida, I was visiting with my next door neighbor, who also happens to be an empath. I shared my coolie-cool experience from Cassadaga with her, and she started to weep and shake. She told me that my Indian friend had been haunting her house for 12 years, and that she and her family were so sick of seeing him in their house, that they were considering calling their pastor for an exorcism! He was scaring the bejesus out of her two children, and had a nasty habit of sitting on the chair in her bedroom, watching her and her husband in the most intimate of situations. She was sick and tired of him, just like I had been.

Of course, I had to call Ed and consult about what to do with this guy! Diane and I followed Ed's instructions to do a meditation and blessing on him with the intent to send him to his final destination. We finished up that meditation with a smudging of her home. Voila! Neither one of us have seen him since.

SOOOOO, I had to visit Cassadaga again last week, and follow up on a phone reading I had done in April of 2013 with Ed, which was very helpful to me during that particularly bad period of my life. I had nothing in mind; no agenda, nothing specific I wanted to know, other than wondering if my grandpa Nels was mad at me for initiating the surgery that ended up hastening his demise in May 2013.

The reading was going well, and I had heard from both my grandmother Esther, who proclaimed from the first (she's ALWAYS first!!) that there would be "no bastard at this reading!" (This is in reference to my great-grandfather AJ, who came through in the April 2013 phone reading, and was a jerk to me, just like he was a jerk in real life.) I also heard from my grandpa Nels.

First off, I really appreciate my grandmother Esther, who was always protective of me in life, and continues to be so now that she's gone. Secondly, grandpa Nels validated the fact that I had something to do with his death, but told me that he was ready to go, and that that he had missed grandma. He then showed Ed something that happened in the middle of the night at the hospital, two days before he died. No one was there but grandpa and me, and he knew that would cement for me that it was definitely him coming through. He and grandma are happy, and watching over us.

I also heard from my grandpa Tyler, who admonished me to lose weight and work on my certification for NP this year. He is always practical, and pretty much a product of "the bastard" AJ, who was his own father. Direct and to the point; thanks grandpa T.

I then asked Ed if Laurel was there, as she has come through every other time I've worked with him, and I haven't had an validations from her in quite some time on my own. He said she was coming forth, but IMMEDIATELY, as soon as she came up, he said:

Ed: "Wait, this guy is shoving his way around Laurel! Um.... is there an American Indian?"

Me: "Oh. My. God. Not again! What the hell?"

Ed: "Oh, so this guy has come through before in our sessions?" (At this point I cannot believe he doesn't remember this guy, because my little friend always seems to make an impression on Ed.)

Me: "Um, yes! What the hell does he want now? We got rid of him two years ago by following your directions!"

Ed: "Well, okay, this is embarrassing."

Me: "What? What is going on?"

Ed: "Well....hmmm... he is showing me YOU."

Me: "Me? Doing what?"

Ed: "Dancing a native dance around a large fire." (He indicates the size of the fire with his hands.)

Me: "Me? Dancing around a fire? That's weird. What could that mean?"

Ed: "Um, you are naked."

Me: "Well, I apologize for that, sir! What an image. Wait! How does he know what I look like naked?"

Ed: (laughing) "He's very enamored of you."

Me: "'Enamored'? Like this guy has a crush on me or something?"

Ed: "Oh, he's more than infatuated. He's completely in love with you."

Me: "Ew!"

Ed: "Well, he's serious about never leaving your property."

Me: "Oh my God. Fabulous! So how do I get rid of him? He hasn't presented himself to me at all. Ask him where he's been?"

Ed: "Okay." (Shuts his eyes and concentrates, puckering up his brow.) "He was very appreciative of your blessing (I never told him today that this is what we did, even though he told us to do it two years ago.) But he was also hurt that you wanted him to leave. He has been roaming about, but is using this reading as an opportunity to come back to you. I think you need to quit fighting this guy and use him as one of your guides."

Me: (reluctantly) "Hmmm. Just what I need as a guide: A horny indian!" (Ed peeps through his closed eyelids, smirking at me.) Sorry. Go on?"

Ed: "He is showing me a shield. In fact, Laurel is behind the shield. He's fiercely protective of her, and of you. I think it would be great to have this guy on your side."

Me: (It's now obvious to me by this guy's behavior that not only did Laurel get rid of him for me, as I suspected, but she has also befriended him in a big way.) 
"If you say so! I'll try to include him in my meditations, and will try not to be creeped out that he's stalking me from the other side. Sheesh."

Ed: (laughing) "Well, he's stepping aside so Laurel can come back up front."

Me: "Great! Tell her I love her and that I am so happy that I've reconnected to her kids and grandchildren. Tell her that I'm looking out for them."

Ed: (In concentration mode again.) "Did Laurel have dandruff?"

Me: "NO! Not that I remember! That's weird, why?"

Ed: "I see her with a little dust broom, brushing dandruff off the shoulders of someone wearing black. She is muttering: 'Worst goddamn case of dandruff I've ever seen!' Would she have talked that way?"

Me: "Occasionally, but not usually! Weird. She was a cleaner, though. Always picking up or cleaning something. She had a day care center."

Ed: "She's in an immaculate house now. Everything is very organized."

Me: "Well, that's certainly not the way it was when she was alive! She could never get caught up."

Ed: "Well, she's caught up now, and she's very proud of it. She says to tell you that you might be watching her children and grandchildren, but she's watching over all of YOU. I feel immense love here (points to the center of his chest) so she must really have been a loving, caring person."

Me: "The most."

So at this point we hashed over some of the other things we had talked about, and I came out of there shaking my head over this silly Indian man who died on my property, and who is all hot to trot for me.

2013 was just a horrible year for me, all the way around. I'm beyond glad it's over, but I just have to say, I predict 2014 is going to be very interesting!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The "real food" movement is spreading. Like wildfire. And I couldn't be happier! Our foreign exchange student brought home a classmate yesterday while I was preparing dinner, and she said: "Oh, I see you're into organics too. My mom calls anything else FAKE FOOD!" I couldn't agree more. 

When I think of all of the things I've tried to do over the years for my family, including canning hundreds of quarts of fruit every year, growing a garden, and baking our bread daily from scratch, I realize it wasn't enough. I did these things because I had five children, and we lived on one income. I did them because I am of German descent, and wasting food or anything else for that matter, is genetically abhorrent to me. But had I had just a little more information about the meat and diary products I was buying on sale and in bulk, our family might have been better off.

My mom is still active in the Mormon church, and if you are familiar with this organization, you know they push their members to obtain and use food storage and become more self-reliant. However, if you don't have a damn clue how to cook with whole foods, then how in the hell do you survive on them? My mom repeatedly gets asked to come and teach the younger women in her church how to make staple items from scratch, using food storage items. Every time she does it, which is about once a year, she feels like her demonstrations fall on deaf ears. Women work, and no one wants to be spending a whole day making chicken stock, like I did today, because they can buy it for $.89 a can at Walmart. They can also buy a myriad of convenience items on the cheap, that are, in my opinion, no better than eating at McDonalds every single meal, every single day.

My friend Jackie, a survivor of breast cancer, is a huge proponent of whole, clean eating. She has taught me so much, that even though I was already doing some of the things I mentioned above, I feel like I've begun my culinary conquest anew just in the last five years of our friendship. Her idea of preventative medicine begins with what goes on your dinner plate, and she's right. This is the argument that I use when people tell me that eating organic costs too much. As Jackie says: "Pay now, or pay later." With the number of young people out there who are uninsured, this bears some consideration.

It warms my heart that some of my younger friends ask me advice about cooking, and making things from scratch. It makes me feel like I might have done something right after all. My kids are all serious about their diets, especially my oldest son Renn. He and his girlfriend are constantly experimenting with growing new foods, and turning their yard into an edible landscape. Being vegetarian, they don't need to worry about running afoul of our horrendous poultry production industry (yes, pun intended) here in the US. If it comes in a bag and is shaped like a nugget or a perfectly formed breast, it's not for human consumption. I have two vegetarians, one vegan, and two carnivores, but they all are pretty cognizant of what they eat. My sister, who recently moved to a beautiful piece of property, started her son raising chickens, free range. Not only does my nephew have a great 4-H project going, but they have learned really quickly that bartering for fresh eggs gets them some pretty cool stuff, like honey, firewood and organic grass fed beef. How fun! And good for you.

I'm so proud of all the people who are coming around to the idea that food is what really is at the heart of all of the health problems I see in our population, on a daily basis. When anyone asks me: "Why do you do surgery on so many babies with cancer? Why are there so many brain tumors?" My answer is always: "It's in the food supply."
Anyone who has read my blog, or is friends with me on Facebook, knows that I buy all my chickens from Inspiration Plantation. Matt and Jen are my farmers. They send out weekly newsletters, conduct questionnaires, and pretty much let us decide what we will buy. They listen to their clients, and they are doing fabulously. I wouldn't get my poultry or eggs anywhere else. I buy my beef from a free range ranch in Idaho, and my farmer, Pat Robertson, calls me with updates on my beef cow, and then delivers my meat to me in the back of his pickup. Yep, that's personalized service and food you can feel good about. Expensive? Not in my opinion.

People need to really take into consideration what is being put into our food supply and sold as "food." If it's in a box or comes out of the frozen section, then you probably shouldn't eat it. Explore places like New Seasons, Chucks, and Trader Joe's. I think you'll find that you aren't spending that much more. Make three of the seven nights a week vegetarian nights, or even vegan nights. Invest in some good cookbooks, and subscribe to a good cooking magazine. What a great idea to ask for from relatives for Christmas! Here are a few of my favorites:

The one without a cover is Vickie Tate's "Cooking with Home Storage." It is still available on Amazon, and I give one to everyone I care about. It's a bible of goodness. Order here: Cookin' with Home Storage, and get yours today.

If you are interested in Alice Water's method of making stock, then read my STOCK! blog here.

So, think about your food, know your farmer, invest in your body and your health, and take your daily medicine: ORGANICS!

May you "Live long, and prosper!"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

An open letter to my mother: Carole Anne Anderson

Thank you Mom.  Thank you for being the most self-sacrificing human being I’ve ever encountered. Thank you for raising four girls by yourself when your husband left you with an old car and not much else. Thank you for the work you did, and for all the activities you tried desperately to attend, even when you’d already worked 12 hours that day. Thank you for saving money in a mason jar (money saved while making less than $10 an hour) so that we could take the train to California to go to Disneyland.
Thank you for taking a decent man as your second husband, and for once in your life, having a partner with which to share your life’s burdens. Thank you for supporting an 18-year-old girl who insisted she’d found the love of her life, and for helping with my wedding even though you must have been horrified to watch me walk down that aisle at such a young age.
Thank you for the joy with which you received the addition of each of my children into your life, and for the grandparents you and Dennis were to them. Thank you for making the 850 mile trek to Utah each summer, hauling a trailer, to make sure those boys got to go camping. You didn’t have to do that, but you did.
Thank you for teaching me the meaning of being a loving daughter. You gave up your retirement to care for your parents, never leaving for more than a few days at a time because you knew how badly you were needed. Thank you for choosing to make your home in Dallas, and for all the times you jumped up and ran over to Glen Street as soon as your presence was requested. Thank you for being the one who was there, so that the rest of us could enjoy the freedom of not having to worry. No one will ever know the toll that being a caregiver took on both you and Dennis.
Thank you for quietly doing all of these things without complaint. Thank you for never asking for a single thing in return. Thank you for everything that you did for our family. I know there are deep places in your heart where you hold memories of your service dear, and those secrets will never be told because they are sacred to you.
Thank you for being a silent rock, always standing firm as the waves of life crashed over you, through good times and bad, and for weathering those storms without complaint. Thank you for being strong, while the rest of us crumpled as Grandma and Grandpa died, because you knew you’d done more than your fair share and then some. You knew you had done your very best to give them what they needed on a daily basis.

And most of all, thank you for the love that you have shown your entire family, unconditionally, even when that love was not returned. You are a hero.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The one where I "Just Say NO!" to the Red-Pot Ringers

Saw this bumper sticker today, on the back of what I lovingly, and probably inappropriately, call a "lez wagon." For the uninitiated, any hatchback Subaru is a "lez wagon." There are a ton of Subaru hatchbacks in the Pacific Northwest. A lot of them are driven by LGBT type of people, hence the nickname. One of them is driven by my very married girlfriend, who thinks it's hilarious that people think she's a lesbian because of her vehicle of choice. She has dared Mike to make good on his threat to put a rainbow sticker on the back when she's not looking.

Anyway, I have a great love for this group of people; I seem to be drawn to them for some reason. Mike is always saying: "If there is a gay person within a 100 mile radius, you will find them and make friends with them!" Not that it bothers him. I think he finds it amusing somehow. I just think that LGBT's are not only some of the most interesting people to talk to, but they have a love and tolerance developed by years of suffering that I haven't found in others. 

I think it's interesting that most every gay person I've met is such an awesome person. If I had been denied the right of marriage, ridiculed from a young age about  my sexuality, personality, stance, demeanor and/or mannerisms, I'd be a pretty pissed off cookie. Yet these people just exude love, tolerance and freedom. I think it's very cool.

The fact that this bumper sticker parrots an Obama for President sticker did not escape my notice. Same color, same general appearance. The President did two good things in his first term; 1: He repealed the "don't ask, don't tell" law that prohibited openly gay men and women from serving in our nation's military. Yay for that, because that was just a shitty, discriminatory law to begin with. Who wrote that anyway?? 2: He disavowed a federal law defining marriage as between "one man and one woman." That was HUGE for the LGBT community. But until May this year, he never came out and vocalized his endorsement for gay marriage. When he finally did, he was very careful, but succinct about his feelings on the matter. In an article from the New York Times, dated May 12, 2012, our President says the following:
"At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married." He goes on to explain: "I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient. I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes a very powerful traditions and religious beliefs." President Obama also invoked his Christian faith in explaining his decision. "The thing at the root that we think about is, no only Chris sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's the golden rule- you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated," he said. "And I think that's what we try to impart to our kids, and that's what motivates me as President."

Amen Mr. President. That's what it's all about. Tolerance, acceptance, and love. It is alright to hold beliefs because you are of a certain faith. But to force those beliefs on non-believers because you are in the position to do so is wrong, no matter which side of the fence you sit on. I am so happy that gay people can now legally commit themselves to one another. To legally say "I do!" with all of the benefits, commitments, and meaning that marriage holds. To legally have a say-so in all aspects of life. It's huge.

"So what does all of this have to do with the Salvation Army?" you're all thinking??! Where is she going with this? Well, let me tell you.

Those volunteers who stand outside grocery and department stores, ringing a bell during the Holidays to get you to drop your change in a bucket for the Salvation Army, probably do so because they believe it is a great community service opportunity. I do not disagree with that. What I do not condone, however, is the openly anti-gay stance that the Salvation Army takes in their doctrine. Like any other Bible-based religion, they believe homosexuality is wrong. They have had some overly zealous quack-a-doodles from their church, most recently this idiot, whose remarks, of course, were called "extremely regrettable" in an apology statement from the Salvation Army. 

Yeah, sure. It's only extremely regrettable when you bigots get caught and that's what has happened here. The dogma and ideology remain, and only when something goes viral on YouTube do you bother to apologize for your behaviour. 

So don't give these guys any of your spare change. In the name of the LGBT community, have some true Holiday compassion, and give to a more deserving charity, like The Point Foundation, who gives scholarships to at-risk LGBT youth. Or The Victory Institute, who support openly gay candidates for government office. 

Learn some love and tolerance, and remember, what you give comes back to you. Eventually. It's called Karma. I believe it, and I also believe that our whole purpose here on this planet is to learn to love. Unconditionally. Give it a try!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Sign on our Door

Doggie Rules

1.  Please ring doorbell or text/call to ascertain if dog is on-leash or being forcibly restrained BEFORE ENTERING!!
2.  DO NOT open door or screen door unless one of us is there and the dog is secured.
3.  If we are not home, enter through garage. Be prepared to chase dog in case teenagers left the inner door open.
4.  If dog escapes because you ignored rules #1, 2 and 3, you are responsible to catch said dog and return her safely to us. Enjoy your five-mile sprint and obstacle course.
5.  If dog escapes and you are running, know that no one will help you catch her because she looks like a fox in pursuit of prey. Be prepared for the possibility of buckshot or gunfire aimed at you or “fox” in flight.
6.  If, by some miracle, you gain entry to our home without any of the aforementioned mishaps, please do not respond to our darling Shiba Inu, who will be jumping up on you by way of greeting. Please ignore dog until she is calm or until one of us gives you leave to worship her highness properly.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's been a while...

Well, I knew 2012 was going to fly by in a blur, but it is pathetic that I haven't posted since Valentine's day. Ironically, I started clinicals for the year shortly after that post, and have been at it ever since, hence the lack of entries.

I've accomplished hundreds of hours of clinical this year, and have covered family practice, gynecology, pediatrics, geriatrics, and have a specialty ENT internship coming up. It's been fascinating, scary and wonderful, all at the same time. There have also been moments (more than a few) when I've questioned my sanity. I am very good at being a surgical nurse. I know my shit. So WHY?? Why am I putting myself through this? To feel like a total fraud/amateur? Because it's not fun to go back to being a learner, and they warned us all about this when we started. Apparently I didn't listen or didn't believe. Now I do; a little too late to save myself from the anguish of not being the best at something. I like being good at what I do, and it terrifies me that I will leave this Master's program knowing only 10% of what I need to know to take care of patients. TEN PERCENT!! I wouldn't want to be one of the patients that I'm figuring out the other 90% on. No way! But that's how they send us out; to figure out the rest of it. It's called "practicing medicine."

This is where faith comes in. And you all know I'm not a believer in God/Buddah/Jesus/Allah, what-EVER!  So how am I going to make it through this new life I've created for myself? I have no idea. I'm still figuring it out. I have to have faith in myself, meditation, good Karma and positive energy, and see where it takes me. I have the basics; now I just need to figure out how to make my dreams come true.