Just a Blog Post

Well, things have been what they usually are for the most part. Today was one of those days that made me want to pull my hair out, (not a good idea, seeing as how I’m going through post partum hair loss right now).

We buried Ziggy under our Heavenly Bamboo. We received little Goku back. (we gave him away because Ziggy wouldn’t stop bullying him). All is calm in the animal category of my life.

Dante has been sick and wow… miserable as heck. And clingy. That does not work well with 16 week old Demetrio whom also wants to be held all the time. The past few days, everything has been a challenge… cleaning, meal prep, dressing myself. One of the two babies is always crying. Making dinner consisted of Dante screaming and throwing toys around in the living room , and me pushing Demetrio back and forth in the stroller, with my foot, in the kitchen, trying to cook, while he screamed desperately. Demetrio gets sooooo upset when Dante has temper tantrums. I didnt make it out of my track pants and t shirt today (umm, also my sleepwear) but I did get showered and teeth brushed.

My 16 year old is sick too. It’s hard to tell with her because she suffers from allergies, so her sinuses are always bothering her, and she has a chronic cough. My 14 year old did his sister’s share of kitchen duty tonight, (he’s buttering me up for money to go to the movies tomorrow). My oldest turned 20 last Friday. And for the second birthday in a row now, no call from his dad. We haven’t heard from him since before his 19th birthday… mid March last year I believe.  It bothers me a lot. He should be proud of his boy for going to University, and staying out of trouble. He was a dream for a teenager.

Now, for me.

Well, other than the pulling hair out thing, I have been journeying down a new path. Technically new for me.

Witchcraft and Gnosticism has crossed paths multiple times for me. Researching ritual history, and elementals, reading Blavatsky and others. I actually was looking into Gnosticism a bit more deeply of late . Not just to learn more about ceremonial magick or occult history, but looking into the spiritual aspects of it. The beliefs. (which are varied).

Much of it holds a truth for me that runs alongside my beliefs of the Divine. (Ive mused the Divine in previous blog entries)

I have often gone off on tangents with people about how it seemed to me that the god in the bible did not seem to be the god that Jesus was referring to… that rather God, or the All, should not be a jealous, vengeful god… and that God is not some bearded man in the sky like Zeus… God is Love. The overwhelming emotion that grabs hold of me when I see something beautiful in the simplicity of nature, or in my baby’s smile… when the trees dance in the breeze… those things that happen of their own accord, like the colours shed by the setting sun on an autumn evening….. THAT is God. Like a nightlight in a room that is dark and frightening. Those things are the reminders that the Divine is out there, and in us…

Ok, well anyhow… I realized that my beliefs lie in the general area of many Gnostic paths, and I have decided to embrace this. It just feels so right to me.

The Demiurge – I had always thought that although the bible held a truth, that the God portrayed was a false God. And although I felt Jesus was a pretty incredible guy, I did not see him as God incarnate, though he undoubtedly contained the essence of the Divine. His message was important, but I always wondered what he was REALLY saying had it not all been misconstrued.

So… that’s where I’m at right now.There is no physical Church close enough for me to attend, but I am hoping to be able to be received into the Apostolic Johannite Church. It is the closest to me, one of them being in Victoria.

I feel that in my Craft, acknowledging Lord and Lady as male and female energies of the divine are compatible. And while I had never been able to tap into a Goddess energy before, when learning about Sophia, or Wisdom, I finally felt a connection. I never was able to feel as though any particular diety felt right… I can’t believe I did not hear of the Myth of Sophia before.

Alot of it gels with what Eckhart Tolle (I read him many months before he got popular on Oprah… no one I knew had ever heard of him when I read ‘A New Earth’) says about how you are not your thoughts (ego)… that you are the one that is AWARE of those thoughts….’You’ are  actually connected to the fullness, the Divine, and that that is you. Separating your self from all the outside noise. Ego seemingly part of the imperfect creation of the Demiurge.

Anyhow. I have a lot to learn obviously. I’m looking forward to it.

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How to Look Good Naked with Gok Wan

I have to say, I love this show.

In How to Look Gook Naked, the woman’s body is celebrated. The aim of the show is to help the lumpy, bumpy, saggy, soft, dimpled, stretchmarked (enter your own personal complaint here), woman feel beautiful.

It involves lots of nudity. Real nudity, in the harsh light of day. Gok Wan does such a great job at making these women realize THEY are the norm, and they are beautiful.

He generally works with one specific woman, shows her how to show off her curves, without talking about diet or plastic surgery. But it isn’t just about squeezing in, and pushing out with awesome bras , corsetts etc…. nooooo. In the process, the woman bares all, publicly. (usually with some nice heels and a new hair do, hehe)….

I always end up shedding a tear. Yeah, I know its aimed to pull on the emotions. But it’s something almost everyone can relate to and Gok Wan is such a sweetie, he builds up some needed self esteem and love in women that dislike, or even hate their bodies.

I know it’s a cliche, but we really do need to love ourselves more, and we need to love this sack that holds our soul.

When we hate our bodies, we are continually sending negative energy to ourselves. How many women, or men for that matter  have stood in front of a mirror and said ‘ Ugh! I look so fat/bald/old/skinny/geeky/’ etc.

Some people do it every time they see their reflection. Poisoning themselves.Constantly boombarding themself with verbal and emotional abuse. It’s such a vicious cycle, because the more negative energy we direct at ourselves, the worse we feel and then it does eventually actually affect our appearance.

YOU are the most important person in the world. Because without you, your world will not exist.Love yourself. Care as much for yourself as a parent should for a child. Nurture, support, patience and forgiveness.

Finally

The store is done. I am still uploading more items to it, but now it is online, running and all is working. Ive made three batches of massage oil, two different batches of soaps, two different salves (foot massage salve with lavender, mint and rosemary as well as all purpose healing salve with calendula, chickweed and comfrey) .. there are some BEAUTIFUL hand dipped tapers from Kootenay Candles, and incense, and more is being added all the time. http://www.terraspiritessentials.ca

Earthy Delights Soap
Earthy Delights Soap
All Natural Healing Salve
All Natural Healing Salve

Busy in a non-busy way…

Well, I have been busy shopping for all the merchandise I need to make Terra Spirit Essentials a reality.

soooo just hoping I can get it together and uploaded to the webstore. 😀 (www.terraspiritessentials.com)

Also, I cancelled my Webs. site for Pagans of the Upper Fraser Valley and instead re-directed my terraspirit.org domain to point at the Fraser Valley Pagan Fellowship site. I was not satisfied with Webs. for that sort of service. The pages can look quite nice, yes… but it’s just not necessary.

WordPress has everything we need, and combined with yahoo egroups, it is very functional.

Well, the finger poking is going quite well. Though I notice my sugars are much better in the earlier part of the day. Probably because I’m more active then. I go for a walk daily.

Hubby will be back in the studio soon, when his work schedule allows it.

Well, some musings as a pregnant mother…..

So, yesterday I got the fantastic news that I have gestational diabetes again. I only did the one hour test, but it came back at 10.3, grounds for diagnosis and skipping the 3 hr, which is good because drinking that glucose and sitting for three hours makes me feel horrible, and so I am glad I could skip that part of it. I will begin non-stress hospital tests weekly for this.

29 weeks, 4 days, blood pressure 118/65 a bit higher than a month ago, however, this was also after she told me I would be going to a dietician at the diabetes center and given a meter, and strips and would be poking myself six times a day for two weeks to check my sugars.

Im ok with eating as a diabetic, because as long as I kept my carb intake to ONLY good unrefined carbs and non starchy, not only did I keep my weight healthy, but also kept my blood sugars regulated. I am insulin resistant and processed or white carbs make me crave them unbelievably.AFter consuming them I get tired and sometimes my fingers swell, so I do try to avoid them at all costs.

I eat whole grains, sprouted grains and vegetables in place of pastas etc… how people can say that by eating a lower carb diet you are missing out on ESSENTIAL vitamins?

Do these people honestly think that a low carb lifestyle means eating only fats and meat? My goodness, when you replace your amounts of pasta for example with an equal amount of vegetables or sprouted grains, HOW can they say you are lacking vitamins and fibre?

After one year of altering my eating habits, I was re-evaluated by my previous family physician from where I recently moved from and my bad cholesterol had gone down, good cholesterol was up, blood sugars were perfect, (even my throid seemed to be more within normal limits?), my blood pressure was down to a ‘perfect’ level and I had also dropped about 50 pounds.

The BIGGEST gift to me from that experience was that I no longer craved carbs, sugars or unhealthy things. Food stopped being an addiciton. I had taken control of it and felt FANTASTIC. My energy levels were GREAT, something that never occurred for me when I ate a low calorie low fat diet.

WE NEED fats ,but NOT when we overload with carbs. Our bodies are designed to be able to utilize calories from fats and proteins as energy, but when we feed it carbs instead, our body eagerly uses that form, as it is easiest and our bodies have been mis-trained to do this. As a result, the fats are not used as energy and sit in our blood stream, and they make us fat.

BUT if we used fat as our source of energy and not carbs , we would not have this build up in our body. The more strict, ketonogenic diets have been very productive in dealing with epilepsy and even schitzophrenia,  ( http://www.neuro.jhmi.edu/epilepsy/keto.html . Accessed February 2002.

Lefevre F, Aronson N. Ketogenic diet for the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children: a systematic review of efficacy. Pediatrics 2000; 105: e46.

Sirven J, Whedon B, Caplan D, et al. The ketogenic diet for intractable epilepsy in adults: preliminary results. Epilepsia 1999; 40: 1721-6.

Qin P, et al. Risk for schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychosis among patients with epilepsy: population based cohort study. BMJ 2005;331:23)

Whereas the basic lower carb diet helps with the nation’s big time pharmaceutical pocket stuffer of diabetes, as well as certain allergies etc.

If pregnant, you can still watch your carbohydrate intake BUT you must not go into ketosis, the jury is out as to whether or not this is a risk for the fetus, but until then, err on the side of caution and add some fruits, (very high in carbohydrates) a few starchy veggies here and there. Keeping a carb intake of about 150 is what I plan on doing.

So what does this have to do with my intro today? Well mainly I am dreading my visit to the nutritionist because I already know from past experience how dead set against this they are.

The recommend an amount equivalent to two handfulls of vegetables in a meal- ok, thats fine…. a FIST sized amount of starchy carb, and a PALM sized amount of protein.

Ugh.. My last family doctor a young Japanese man who was VERY against the carb pushing done out here, always talked about how we would like to see the food pyramid revised. Talked about how the Diabetic Associations of North America needed revisioning as well.

A relatively recent statement from the spokesman for the ADA (American Diabetic Association) says:

“Low carb diets are helpful for managing diabetes, but they aren’t recommended because the ADA thinks that low carb is too difficult for people to “live with long term.”

And as stated by Laura Dolson from about.com

“In other words, instead of trying to help people follow the diet that is best for them, this prominent organization admits to recommending a diet that is less healthy for diabetics –- a diet that could cause a type 2 diabetic to take more medication, progress to becoming dependent on insulin, or even suffer from any of a number of health problems caused by poor blood glucose control.

One result of this policy is that people who find that low-carb diets work for them in managing their blood glucose end up ignoring the advice of their doctors and nutritionists and striking out on their own in their quest to find a healthier diet. We see these people in our low carb forum. They come looking for help in managing their diabetes — help they are not getting from the medical community. Many people report that the diet they were advised to follow is not effective in keeping their blood sugar controlled.

This stance of the ADA is equally important for those who are insulin resistant (pre-diabetic, metabolic syndrome). In fact, it is probably a misnomer to call people in this group PREdiabetic — it is more accurate to say that they are in the early stages of diabetes. In order not to progress to “diagnosable” diabetes, taking care of their health is vital, and reducing carbohydrate intake is arguably the most important thing they can do to prevent progression of the condition. (Exercise also plays a vital part.)

How do you know if you are insulin resistant? The article Is Low Carb For You? lists many of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors for prediabetes. Anyone with diabetes in the family or a woman who has had gestational diabetes is also potentially in this group.

The ADA should be helping diabetics to find ways to make carbohydrate reduction work, instead of insisting that it can’t be done.” –

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/news/a/adalowcarbdiabe.htm

Laura Dolson is About.com’s Guide to Low Carb Diets, is a health and food writer, and develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.For her complete profile see Here

So, I am hoping that I am not told how important it is to eat potatoes and pasta, etc and that through my poking and keeping a journal of my foods, she can see that I am not harming myself and am able to control my blood sugars for the next 8 weeks until my c-section without insulin. I will keep the blog updated with my sugar/diet results lol… there is of course the cahnge that I might TOTALLY blow the whole sugar thing, but I am pretty confident, with my previous diet experience, that it will be fine.

Making Salves

From http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Herbal_Salve_Recipes

The basic salve will be a carrier for the herbs that you add to it. The herbs will do the medicinal work, not necessarily the salve base. The basic salve can be made a number of ways.

Base One

* 1 part oil
* 5 parts beeswax

Base Two

* 1 part beeswax
* 4 parts lard or lanolin
* 1 part oil

Base Three

* 4 parts cocoa butter, shea butter, or a combination
* 1 part beeswax
* 1 part oil

To make a salve of any of these, melt over low heat, and stir until blended.

Herb Infused Oil

1 part dried herbs 2 parts oil

Mix in a container and leave in a warm place for two to three weeks to infuse. When herbs have infused into the oil, strain the oil and store, covered, in a cool, dark place. The longer the herbs stand in the oil, the more potent it will be.

Good oils to use are:

* Sweet almond oil
* Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
* Extra virgin coconut oil
* Sunflower oil
* Apricot kernel oil (for facial salves)
* Grapeseed oil (for facial salves)
* Avocado oil

Always use cold pressed, organic oils for best results.

Healing Properties of Specific Ingredients

* Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is very good for the skin and is particularly good in diaper rash salve, salves for burns, hemorrhoids and the face.
* Olive oil makes a very greasy oil, which smells of olive oil. It is a superior moisture barrier that is best used in combination with other oils.
* Sweet almond oil helps relieve irritation, inflammation, muscular aches and pains and itching. It is a superior emollient.
* Avocado oil is a good base for salves that are used in treating cuts, acne, skin problems and burns. It is great for use with sensitive skin.
* Macadamia nut oil is good for burns, very fragile skin, bedsores and extremely dry, chapped skin.
* Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties and is helpful for dry skin.
* Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps with healing. It also is a natural preservative.
* Lanolin helps heal dry, cracked skin and keep it soft and supple.

Remember that essential oil is not the same thing as oil or herbally infused oil. It is a very concentrated form of the herb essence. Generally only a few drops of essential oil are needed in any recipe.

Specific Herbal Salve Recipes

Now that you know how to infuse the oil, and to make the base for your salve, it is time to add the proper herbs for specific use. Many of the herbs, like lavender, are used not only for their healing properties but also because they are fragrant herbs.

When using any herb for the first time, always rub a bit of the salve, or infusion of the herb, on the inside of your forearm to test for sensitivity. Some people who are sensitive to ragweed have an uncomfortable reaction to goldenseal. Doing this simple test can help to avoid such discomfort. Whenever possible, running a skin patch test is a good idea.

First Aid Salve

* 1 part goldenseal oil
* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 drop essential oil of lavender
* 1/8 tsp. tea tree essential oil
* 800IU vitamin E

Use as the oil in any of the basic herbal salve recipes. This is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and promotes quick healing. It is good for use on cuts, scrapes, infections, or just about anything.

Lip Salve

* 1 part lavender oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 part rose oil (be sure to use unsprayed petals)
* 800IU vitamin E

Use with the lanolin salve recipe. Coconut oil is a good oil to use with this.

Diaper Rash Salve

* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part lavender oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 800 IU vitamin E

Use with the lanolin salve recipe.

Chest Rub

* 1 part rosemary oil
* 1 part thyme oil
* 1 part peppermint oil (not essential oil, homemade oil infusion)
* ½ Tsp. camphor essential oil
* ½ Tsp. eucalyptus essential oil

Use with any salve base recipe

Hemorrhoid Salve

* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 part nettle leaf oil
* ½ part marshmallow root oil
* 2 tsp. powdered myrrh
* 1 part lavender oil
* 800 IU vitamin E

Use with any salve base.