Ha-Ri-Ku-Yo (aka Mass for Broken Needles, day of rest for needles; Japan)
Kite Flying Day (Korea)
Boy Scout Day
Narvik Sun Pageant Day (Norway)
Eidul Fitr (Breakfast Festival)
St. Jerome Emilani’s Day (patron of orphans)
Iraq’s February Revolution Day
Snow Festival begins (Sapparo, Japan)
National Molasses Bar Day
St. Meingold’s Day (patron of bakers, bankers, millers, miners)
Hold Onto Your Head Day
St. Theodore’s Day (Greek)
Crufts Dog Show begins (London @) Smile Day
Laugh and Get Rich Day
Jules Verne’s Birthday Kate Chopin, Author of “The Awakening”, 19th-century American classic feminist novel.
GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast
||Age:||Eleven years old
|Home:||Shell Beach, California, USA
Popoki (Hawaiian for cat) was adopted at two years old (estimated by vet) and has been with us for almost five years. He’s “mostly” a flamepoint Siamese, who loves sightseeing from the window!
Popoki hid from every one for the first four to five weeks after we adopted him. He slowly began moving closer and closer to our common space until he made himself at home. He meows only when hungry or if a neighbor cat comes to his window. He also has an attitude when you aren’t feeding or playing with him on his terms. He turns his back on you, makes short meow sounds, and flicks his tail.
He likes to be in the same room as we are, but not too close (unless it’s his idea) Since our cats are always kept indoors, we have a pet stroller for an occasional outdoor stroll. Poki (as I call him) complains when you put him in the stroller, but seems to really enjoy all the sights and sounds around him. He often does somersaults when playing and literally melts when he gets his (hopefully) daily back massage. He is still afraid of new voices, the doorbell, and the sound of plastic bags, but boy is he friendly and loving when he smells a tuna can being opened!
For the past few weeks, he has decided that sleeping in our bedroom at night is a given, and I honestly think he knows the sound of the clock when it chimes twelve times (which is when he gets tidbit from my husband’s lunch). With age, he is becoming more affectionate as well (yay), and more of a people cat!
||Age:||Thirteen years old
|Gender:||Female||Breed:||Wire Fox Terrier
|Home:||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA|
Maddie, is short for Madeline, but also comes to Maddles, Mad Dog, and Super Maddie. Maddie was rescued from a pet store where she had spent her youth in a wire cage stuffed with other dogs.
Full grown and unsold the store owner had her up for quick sale as he was going to take her back to the “breeder” a.k.a. puppy mill in Lancaster county to a fate unknown if she was not unloaded that week. Wild and aggressive from being in a cage her whole life, I wasn’t sure if I was up for dealing with her, but I knew that with her “quick sale price”, she would surely end up in the pound or somewhere worse.
Against all my beliefs about pet stores and puppy mills I bought her freedom at the price he’d get back from the “breeder”. He wasn’t gonna take a loss and let her go for free. I wrapped her in my arms and brought her home to Alex my beloved Irish setter as his new little sister. He was quite upset at first, and left the room when ever she entered, but soon fell in love with her, even if she did push him around like only a terrier can.
After Alex passed, she was there for me and now goes everywhere I go, we are practically inseparable!
She is my best friend and my co-pilot in life. Since I take her everywhere she gets lots of attention for her good manners and I think she may be the unspoken ambassador for “Good Dogs!!!!” Maddie is also the genesis for a book I co-authored with Kit Feldman called “The Culinary Canine … Great chefs that cook for their dogs.”
I was sitting out at an outdoor cafe with a bit for her and a bite for me when I came up with the idea of wouldn’t it be great if there were restaurants with dog menus? Then talking to a chef he said he cooks for his dogs and it wound up as a book! All because of Maddie!
11 Tools to Detox Your Home
- Annie B. Bond
Being a longtime chemically sensitive person means that I have a lot of tools up my sleeve for detoxing environmental problems. This list doesn’t include DIY fixes, such as using washing soda to peel petroleum-based wax off a floor, but it focuses mostly on products that you can buy that help reduce your exposure, day-to-day. Most of all, I recommend you use your head. Remember your common sense, pay attention to where chemicals are in your home, and think through some solutions.
Cotton Barrier Cloths–440 Thread Count
Make jackets to block chemicals from car seats, crib and other mattresses, and anything coverable that is offgassing fumes. Although hard it would be ideal to cover couches and stuffed chairs made before 2005, with barrier cloth, or anything else that could be impregnated with fire retardants and stain repellents. The chemicals, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, called PBDEs, are endocrine disrupters, neurotoxins, and more, and are found most frequently in polyurethane foam cushions and electronics.
HEPA Vacuums and Microfiber Cloths
A study of house dust in regular homes across the U.S. found that all was contaminated with these six chemical classes: phthalates (plasticizer), pesticides, alkylphenols (hormone disrupting surfactants), brominated flame retardants, organotins (powerful fungicides, pesticides and bacteriacides, rigid-food packaging PVC, silicon curing), and perfluorinated compounds (Teflon and stain-resistant chemicals). One of your very best ways of detoxing your house is by using the best filtering vacuum cleaner available, the HEPA vacuum. In the 1940s, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters were invented to filter out radioactive dust particulate contaminants in bomb shelters during the atomic bomb tests. These filters were designed to capture particles down to 0.3 microns in size at efficiency ratings of 99.97 percent.
The fibers in these cleaning cloths are densely packed and designed with “hooks” to pull up dirt. They will help remove a significant amount of dust and without the additional use of a cleaning agent.
Seal Out Toxics
If you have cabinets, subflooring, or general furniture made of particle board, seal in the formaldehyde with SafeCoat Safety Seal.
Leave your shoes at the door? This subject seems to inspire very strong feelings in people, both pro and con. No matter what your opinion about it is, at least go with a door mat. Studies prove that we track lead, pesticides, and a whole lot more, into our homes on our shoes. An effective door mat, if people scrape the bottom of their shoes well before entering, will help reduce the amount of chemicals being tracked inside.
How does something smell? Like chemicals? Like an unhealthy natural material? Allow your nose to teach you about your surroundings. One good test is to pay attention to the first thing you smell on your re-entry into your home. When you have entered and been there for a few hours it is likely you won’t be aware of the smell any longer. Often the first thing you smell will alert you to an allergen or unhealthy chemical.
Especially when buying a house, it is important to have a series of tests done, including for radon, your water, pesticides (long-lasting pesticides such as chlordane), arsenic, and lead. There is some controversy about the effectiveness of lead swab tests, so heads up to have professional assessment of the lead in your home, and educate yourself about sources of lead in the home.
I suggest people join up with some friends and buy a communal gauss meter, a gadget that costs about $170 and reads electromagnetic fields (EMFs). I used a gauss meter for my house and learned some very reassuring things about where the high levels of EMFs were found in my home (and that they fall off very quickly, within three to six feet from the appliance).
I can’t tell you how many times I have used aluminum foil to seal in something that was outgassing toxic fumes. It is particularly handy if you are just moving into a home and a wall smells of spackle, or there is a lot of formaldehyde-based materials in the kitchen. Taping aluminum foil securely to cover the areas is a great temporary solution.
Acid and Base Awareness
I have found that the majority of odors are either alkaline or acidic. For example, if you are sensitive to perfume and someone spilled some in a guestroom of your house, what to do? I’ve found that much perfume is alkaline, so I suggest neutralizing it by spraying the area with white distilled vinegar, let it set for a few hours, and in my experience, the smell goes away. Acidic odors, meanwhile, can be neutralized by using baking soda. For example, soak clothes in 1 cup of baking soda to a load of laundry water, agitate every few hours, and then wash after a day’s soak. Or, famously, put an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator.
Buy water filters suited to your water situation, but filter your water. If you are on municipal water make sure you find a filter that remove chlorine, if you have well water, make sure you find a filter that removes bacteria.
Stay away from ozone filters (the EPA doesn’t recommend them) but consider an air filter, especially if a family member has allergies. Also make certain that you have a good air exchange in your home; consult with an expert about this issue if you are unsure.
- Annie B. Bond
If you feel as if you have no time to meditate but have a long commute, try this Driving Meditation, by former Zen monk and teacher in the Soto Zen who has worked directly with the Dalai Lama.
To practice Moving Meditation you must fully accept where you now find yourself, here in your car. Divest yourself of all expectations, standards of comparison and technique, take that clear, observing, unobserving, unobstructed state of being, and keep on driving!
Now, instead of sitting erect and attentive in a quiet stationary place like a zendo or meditation hall, you are now sitting erect and attentive in your moving vehicle. You are now meditation as you move along. Do not be ruled by anything inside or outside you.
See and experience without intrusion, but when an intrusion does rear its ugly head in the form of anger, an opinion, some driver cutting you off, simply acknowledge the stray image and return your focus to being aware of everything around you. Now, driving along, be intimately involved in the action and be aware that everything around you is happening for the first time.
Everything is constantly changing, each traffic situation requiring its own set of responses. Nothing is left to rote. Keep your mind, body and senses wide awake, and as you drive along know that all that you see is as new as a baby’s smile, no matter how many times you think you have seen it before.
Try this. Spend an afternoon-walking, driving, eating-all experienced as if for the first time. Fresh, new, open.
Adapted from The Tao of Now, by Josh Baran (Hampton Roads, 2008).
Unlocking Your Intuitive Power
Annie B. Bond
We all have the gift of intuition, it is just different for each of us. No matter which type of intuition we are innately strongest in (visual cues? gut feelings? etc.) we can work to recognize it more readily, and to strengthen it by following specific exercises. To this end, Laura Alden Kamm’s six CD set Unlocking Your Intuitive Power about how to read the energy of anything, is a huge help. Here is how she introduces the CDs:
What is Intuition?
Intuition is a sudden insight without any reasoning or analysis. It is quick, fleeting, rhythmic, and displays non-emotional, non-judgmental qualities. Intuition does not always present information in a way similar to a Hollywood movie; in clear words and pictures. It can work this way, but typically, intuition is subtle and sublime.
Everyone has intuition. Yours comes through you in a way that is unique to you. Your intuition may present information in the form of visual imagery, auditory information, or simply strong feelings and insights. Everyone has their own path, so comparing skill levels and intuitive styles is not an effective use of your time or energy.
Your life’s calling is unique to you. Everyone shines in their life at some point in time, and it may not be witnessed by others. To be happy in life you must be willing to honor the skills, gifts, and talents within your heart. We must travel toward the destination to which we are called. Go where you are inspired and anointed. Trying to do what is not your anointing will simply cause more suffering.
Above all, you must learn to trust your insight. Trust your intuition–always. It will eventually relieve suffering from your life.
Everyone’s intuition is different, just as everyone’s path is different. However, in my 25 years of experience working as an intuitive, I’ve discovered that there are key techniques and ideas helpful for everyone.
1. As you learn and practice your intuitive skills, focus reading the energy of emotions first. They are the simplest to discern. The ability to read other types of energy will develop in time. Emotions are the easiest energy to intuitively assess, not only within a human, but within an animal or even a plant. Start your practice here. If you have a gifted skill in medical intuition, you will naturally be led into the inner depth of the body’s tissues, cells, and other bio-mechanical structures. Trust your personal path and process. Not everyone is cut out to delve into people’s pain or disease structures day in and day out, which is the case when working as a medical intuitive.
2. Always incorporate some form of grounding and centering prior to, during, and after an intuitive reading. You can never go wrong with deep breathing.
3. At some point in your practice, it’s likely that you’ll get discouraged or question your own abilities. You may hear an inner voice offering judgment, criticism, and disempowerment. Realize that this voice is only the mind–it isn’t your intuition speaking to you. Understand the qualities of this inner voice, which sabotages your happiness and self-esteem. There is always emotion attached to this voice. When your intuition is speaking, the information it offers will be free of emotion. You can always trust your intuition, because energy never lies.
4. Seek intentional spiritual growth. Know the motives behind your desires for a spiritual path. If your quest is toward anything other than the sacred self, God, and the empowerment to exist in the light of one’s soul-filled mission, seek deeply within for hidden agendas. One must ask, “Why develop the spiritual self and its attributes, such as the higher intuitive mind?”
5. Stay centered in your purpose and do not dress up your intuitive skills to be anything other than what they are. You are important simply because you exist.
6. Always take the necessary action based on the intuition you receive. Your intuition and connection to it will become stronger each time you respond with action, which demonstrates that you trust your path. You will continue forward with your life’s purpose-one step at a time.
7. Try to meditate at least ten minutes everyday. Twenty to 60 minutes is preferred. If you don’t have time to sit, then walk, empty the dishwasher, garden, work, speak, or move mindfully. Remember, mindfulness meditation is the context–the foundation–of your intuitive development skill.
Adapted from Unlocking Your Intuitive Power, a six-CD set by Lauren Alden Kamm, from Sounds True (2007).
New Moon Report
By Jeff Jawer
Venus in Aries
Tuesday, February 7, 10:01 pm PST, Wednesday, February 8, 1:01 am EST
Spontaneous attractions and restless relationships are likely with the love planet in impatient Aries until March 5. The urge for immediate gratification could be downright reckless when Venus joins rebellious Uranus on February 9. However, experiencing breakthroughs in alliances, appearance and self-worth make experimentation desirable during this revelatory period.
New Moon Report
By Jeff Jawer
Full Moon in Leo
Tuesday, February 7, 1:54 pm PST, 4:54 pm EST
The fiery and fiercely personal Leo Full Moon opposes the chilly Sun in objective Aquarius as egos need attention and hearts are eager for dramatic expression. Allow some room for childlike behavior; some of it may be overbearing, but the freedom to show feelings without restraint may be worth the trouble. Exaggeration can encourage creativity and also bring buried emotions to the surface where they can be addressed openly.
New Moon Report
By Jeff Jawer
Tuesday, February 7
The planet of order’s backward period (lasting until June 25) is a time to cultivate discipline, patience and self-restraint. Making up for unmet obligations comes from hard work instead of guilt and shame. Balance in relationships is restored when individuals take responsibility for themselves instead of casting blame on others. Finding peace within is the first key to harmonious partnerships.