Thursday, July 31, 2008

Buying Handmade

Do you love handmade items? I do! I just found a great site online for buying and selling handmade items -- clothing, fine artwork, photography, jewelry, bath and beauty items, just about anything you can think of -- even homemade cookies and cake!

It's called and I just put a Mama Love Perfume shop there. It's free to join and just $0.20 to list an item and a 3% fee if anything sells. My shop is at but don't just check my shop out. Look around. It's a lot of fun!

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's a 3 Cat Night

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hug Lions!

A old friend sent this video to me and Paul. It made me sob!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hug Nation

I like this. I think of this guy as an Internet minister and he's currently bringing his "ministry" coast to coast in a 24 foot RV painted pink with wings. I visited his website at and listened to most of the video blog he posted for today July 8th about how he came to this invention of his after interning as a counselor for extremely emotionally disturbed boys. He has a lot of videos of various sorts on youtube. Check him out.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Adolescent Goats

Ever try taking pictures of frisky young goats? They do NOT hold still.

And if they happen to notice your camera...

They jump in your face!

Whoa! What's that? Can I eat it?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Spirituality and Health —Would You Talk to Your Doctor About God?

According to a report published in a journal by the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are mounting studies that show a positive association between commitment to a spiritual or religious path and health. There are some dissenting opinions on this, but 84% of the studies done at the time of this report showed that religious commitment is helpful in preventing illness, coping with a current condition, and in recovery from an illness. There have also been studies done about the effect of prayer. One review of 131 controlled trials found that 58% of those trials showed that prayer had a statistically significant beneficial effect on specific health outcomes.

Not surprisingly only 10 to 20 percent of physicians actually include the topic of spirituality in discussions with their patients; yet, up to 77 percent of patients would like to be able to talk about spirituality as part of their medical care. The journal was trying to convince doctors to do so. They even included a list of 6-20 questions doctors should include in a "spiritual assessment" as part of a patient's medical care.

I looked at the questions on this list and realized, very few doctors I've ever met have taken the time to ask me 20 questions of any kind. Depending on what source you believe, the average length of time a doctor typically spends with a patient is between 10-18 minutes. I'm sure most people would rather their doctor spent more time talking with them than the time they waste sitting in the waiting room but does it really make sense to make them include a list of spiritually-oriented questions in order to provide adequate care? I mean, while I might talk to a minister or spiritual adviser about various issues in regards to health, I wouldn't expect them to give me a medical diagnosis. Does it really make sense to see a medical professional about matters related to God?

Just playing Devil's Advocate here, actually. I think issues of spirituality ARE significant in regards to health care and it's about time the medical profession was taught to take it seriously. But speaking as a spiritual counseling professional here, I wish they'd hire people like me and Paul to work with patients in regards to spirituality instead of adding yet another thing to a busy family physician's plate.

Still Lifes From A Beach Wedding


Portraits at a Beach Wedding

One thing introverted people don't feel like they have permission to do much is take pictures of people. Being photographers at a wedding not only gives you "permission," it's your job. Luckily, it was a fun shooting environment. People don't always like having a picture taken of them but we got quite a few surreptitiously and as the day went on people loosened up and taking their photographs was just plain fun.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The "Relaxation Response"

Why is it that people in the medical profession need to create new jargon for perfectly acceptable techniques? I'm talking about Dr. Herbert Benson and what he calls "The Relaxation Response." Benson conducted a study showing that teaching his patients this technique resulted in decreased metabolism, rate of breathing, blood pressure, muscle tension and heart rate. It was effective in the treatment of a wide variety of disorders including hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic pain, insomnia, mild to moderate depression, infertility, PMS, migraine and cluster headaches, even dealing with symptoms associated with cancer and AIDS.

What is this miraculous technique? Meditation. Mantra-based meditation to be specific. Benson teaches his patients to repeat any word, sound or phrase that has meaning for them. "Peace", "Om" or something longer like "The Lord is my shepherd." He tells them to passively disregard any intrusive thoughts that come to mind and return to the mantra instead.

That's it. Meditation. I remember when he announced this amazing new "Relaxation Response" technique. I was at a seminar on Spirituality and Health put on by Harvard University several years ago and he did a highly-touted presentation on his findings at that event. I remember wanting to shout from my seat "Where were all you people in the 60's and 70's when Transcendental Meditation was shown to have the exact same effect? Why the hell did it take a doctor giving it a socially-acceptable name to make it alright to come out of the closet and say 'yes' to something millions of people have trusted and used effectively for hundreds of years?"

I better go practice my "relaxation response." The inanity of this situation makes me want to gnash my teeth.

Om mani padme hum, Om mani padme hum, Om mani padme hum...

Ah.... much better.