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Archive for April, 2009

Sound/sleep machines

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

An alternative to music - white noise or nature sounds (or in the case of my personal machine, even city/traffic noise). Some of these rely on the sound, others claim more benefits (such as brainwave technology).

I own two, one for travel. I found that after flying or driving for long distances, or when staying in a hotel, there is too much vivid, restless dreaming. A sleep machine works better than background TV or music.

I was surprised at my preferences, I thought I knew what kind of noise I liked or didn’t. There are 20 options on my system. Bubbling brook, rainforest, aviary, wind chines, heartbeat, and crickets are annoying rather than restful. Thunderstorm is perfect. Ebb tide is better than ocean waves.

My machine is no longer available, but there are many options (and many discussions out there about their various merits):

Sleep Sound Machine from Brookstone - Tranquil Moments - Clinically Proven Acoustic Technology

MARPAC SleepMate 980A Dual Speed Electro-Mechanical White Noise Machine / Sound Machine For Sleeping at Home & Travel + Sleep Mask

Sound Oasis Natural Sounds Therapy System and Alarm Clock With FREE Spa Retreat Sound Card and FREE SHIPPING

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Dogs don’t know about beginnings, and they don’t speculate on matters that occurred before their time. Dogs also don’t know — or at least don’t accept — the concept of death. With no concept of beginnings or endings dogs probably don’t know that for people having a dog as a life companion provides a streak of light between two eternities of darkness.

Stanley Coren, What Do Dogs Know?

The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions

How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do

How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication

Friday, April 24th, 2009


I am walking on the bridge,
I am over the water,
And I’m scared as hell
But I know there’s something better.

-Paula Cole, Me

Greatest Hits: Postcards from East Oceanside

Canine Kidney Problems Begin

Friday, April 17th, 2009

A year ago, we noticed Jazz drinking excessively. His blood work revealed minor kidney problems, an ultrasound showed nothing. He began a renal diet dog food which was very hard on his digestion. After 3 months, his bloodwork returned to normal and we were told we could stop the diet. It took another 4 months for his digestion to return to normal.

A few months later, we noticed that the duration of his urination was approaching a minute - back to the vet. His numbers were elevated again, they recommended other renal diet dog food and subcutaneous fluids every week. However, he wouldn’t eat the food, and the time spent waiting at the vet to get the fluids was exhausting for him and us.

The vet suggested a home cooked diet - white rice, hamburger, egg, and white bread (it’s widely available on the internet). Jazz reacted better to this food, but it didn’t seem healthy to me.

Finally, I called a holistic vet/acupuncturist recommended by the animal hospital. We’ve had one conversation after she looked at Jazz’s records, during which she recommended a more balanced diet for him, with more whole grains and vegetables. We are testing what he will eat until his first appointment in a few weeks. She comes to the house, I am waiting eagerly to see how he’ll react to acupuncture.

Brown rice is a go, so is multigrain pasta. Spinach and carrots, surprisingly yes. No to yams.

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Nor is the earth the less, or loseth ought,
For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto another brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

-Spenser

Dog heaven

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Enough said.

Will I See My Dog In Heaven


Four Paws from Heaven: Devotions for Dog Lovers

No Dogs in Heaven? Scenes from the Life of a Country Veterinarian

Spirit Dogs: Heroes In Heaven

Angel Dog Austin: A Love Story About a Heavenly Dog

Internet radio for the soul

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Good for background at work, keeps your life bigger, beyond your inbox.

Hay House Radio

Healing with Crystals & Chakra Energies

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Incorporating crystals into your meditation is a creative (and intuitive) process. You can hold them, of course, or wear them as jewelry. There are resources that explain how to place them at certain points on or around your body for particular purposes (see the entries on chakras for more detail). I like to contemplate mine by candlelight, turning it in my hands.

Healing with Crystals and Chakra Energies by Sue and Simon Lilly offers a number of crystal-, color-, and chakra-based meditations for all levels. For example, one method promotes the flow of energy: you hold a clear quartz crystal in your non-dominant hand with the tip pointed toward you, while holding another clear quartz in your dominant hand with the tip pointing away from you.

Healing With Crystals and Chakra Energies

It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is.

-Feynman

Dog stress - energy & communication

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Probably because he’s blind, Jazz gets a little nervous when there’s a lot of activity in the house. He’s generally laid back, and he’s happy when he’s out in the world with action around him - the park, street fair, beach. But he prefers the home environment calm.

Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer,” talks a lot about the energy that you project. I suspect that Jazz is picking up our energy in the home as stressed - cleaning, packing, rushing out to work. The counselor suggested that I sit down with him and whisper to him, explain what was going on around him, what was going to happen. I found a variation worked better for us: sitting next to him, closing my eyes, and imagining from his blind perspective. For example, if we’re getting ready for a road trip, I imagine bounding out the front door, my paws on the driveway, then being lifted into the car and buckled into a harness, settling down with a treat. I imagine the hum of the engine and the motion of riding along. I think about the smells, the textures and the tastes - not the sights. And not with words.

This seems to work, but not because I think I’m “communicating” with him. Instead, I think it quickly changes my energy and he picks up on that. It’s hard to stay stressed when you’re pretending to be a dog.

We also, as I mentioned before, use Rescue Remedy for him, as a supplemental treatment. It’s still up to us to adjust our energy.

Bach Flower Essences Rescue Remedy Pet

Bach Rescue Remedy Pet (0.35fl oz)

Crystal Source

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Another misconception about meditation is the need to “transcend” your body or the physical plane. Meditation, for some of us, is about the now. And now, well, we’re here. We’re breathing. We’re tactile. In some meditation practices, the purpose is to get back inside your body, focusing on your breath, centering yourself in your head (imagine looking out your eyes as though they were windows), and grounding yourself.

You can use tangible objects to enhance your concentration: if crystals appeal to you, they’re an excellent place to start. There are dozens to choose from. For some people, the serendipity option is appealing. Stand in front of a display of crystals and buy what catches your eye (or feels good in your hand). That will be the one that you need. However, some of us like to do a little more research and know what we’re getting (after all, once we decide on an azurite, there’s the gamble of which azurite stone will become ours).

A resource we’ve used, both online and at Mind Body Spirit shows http://www.mindbodyspiritexpo.com/ is Rosley’s Rocks & Gems. Their website has a very informative list of available crystals and their uses. For those of us who like to select the stone, and the specific reason for that particular meditation, this site is invaluable http://www.crystalmaster.com/.

To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.

-Whitman