Thursday, February 21, 2008

Deep Thoughts by Sierra

Do you ever come across a question that you think you know the answer to, and then it just creates more of the same kind of question? I've been reading A New Earth by Eckhert Tolle and one of the questions that came to my mind was this:

If everyone could see things for what they really are... just things... would things cease to exist all together? Could we as a species really evolve enough not to need things?

I think maybe that can only come after we die. Technically we are a thing and need things to survive. I don't think things aren't bad, they just become destracting or even dangerous when we use them to identify who we are. Things like food, housing, transportation are all necessary parts of survival in our modern world, but they are also status symbols or identifiers of personality or preference.

So, how do we NOT identify with things that we need to survive? Or deeper yet, is it wise NOT identify with the things that symbolize or embody what really matters ie. our children? Hummm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Some Fun Tests

Smile, Play, Dream posted some fun test results and I couldn't help but take them just for fun. Actually, it was a fun way to post a blog without having to think to hard.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a firestorm - full of intensity and drama.
Your thoughts may seem scattered to you most of the time...
But they often seem strong and passionate to those around you.
You are a natural influencer. The thoughts you share are very powerful and persuading.

I don't know how influential I am, but I do have a firestorm of thought that are very scattered... I don't know if that is a good thing. I never figured myself for a drama fiend, but I guess I do have a flare for it.

You Are An Exclamation Point

You are a bundle of... well, something.
You're often a bundle of joy, passion, or drama.
You're loud, brash, and outgoing. If you think it, you say it.
Definitely not the quiet type, you really don't keep a lot to yourself.
You're lively and inspiring. People love to be around your energy.
(But they do secretly worry that you'll spill their secrets without even realizing it.)
You excel in: Public speaking
You get along best with: the Dash

Humm, no surprises here.

You Are a Realist

You don't see the glass as half empty or half full. You see what's exactly in the glass.
You never try to make a bad situation seem better than it is...
But you also never sabotage any good things you have going on.
You are brutally honest in your assessments of situations - and this always seems to help you cope.

This was interesting. I don't know how "real" my perspective is, but I do call it like I see it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A New (to us) JEEP!

OK, so we weren't really looking for another jeep, but we are a jeep family and there is just no getting around that. We have been looking for a subaru or a Rav4 for about 3 months now so that we could reduce the wear and tear on our big-expensive toy (in the back) and save on gas money, but everytime we found something that might work, it had sold faster than we could even go look at it. Besides, to get something reliable in our price range, we were going to have to take out a loan.

Finally, last night I get a call from hubby and he talked me into "settling" for a jeep that gets less miles to the gallon, but costs us less in insurance, maintenance and interest. He had found one that was just posted on craigslist for a price we could pay cash for and it had all the bells and whistles and it wasn't green (huge bonus for me). So I called the guy and he said he had 3 people going to look at it, so I jumped on the band wagon and was the first one out there to take it for a drive. It was fantastic! I offered him the full asking price which was about $1200 below low book value, and gave him a deposit. This morning we arranged to pay the rest and get it here to the house.

So, we are now the official owners of another jeep... Technically, I think I own it as Ben's name isn't on it anywhere and he hasn't even seen it yet. I think it will meet our needs and will work out great for us. I am especially excited about the auto start (unless you live in very cold climates, this makes no big difference. But let me tell you, it is really nice to push a button and have the car start up without having to go out into -20 weather with a 2-year old and a puppy just to come back in for 10 minutes while it warms up enough to go back out for real.)

Honestly, I think it is kind of fun that we are so Jeep identified. Now everyone in the family has a jeep (exept for the pets, but they prefer to ride along anyway.) I guess it isn't quite as environmentally friendly as a subaru, but I don't know that I can pull off the subaru attitude. A part of me can... but probably not with Ben in the car. I guess the rough and tumble jeep thing is more my kind of driving... even if I'm bumpin' along with heated leather seats. :) Really rough, I know. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Conspiracy Theory or Fact?

I was forwarded this article, and think there is quite a bit of truth to it. I always get headaches after drinking Diet Coke, and usually feel quite anxious and lethargic if I have had more than one in a week. Even if this article isn't completely true, it would be worth it to me to give up the guilt-free indulgence. I do have a bit of an addiction, but I guess if I'm gonna indulge, it will be full-octane for me from now on.

Of course, it's gotta be in moderation, 'cause I can't afford all those calories! :) Anyway, this article is worth the read, and I would be curious to know if yall think there is any truth to it.


In October of 2001, my sister started getting very sick. She had stomach spasms and she was having a hard time getting around. Walking was a major chore. It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much pain.

By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and was on 24 various prescription medications. The doctors could not determine what was wrong with her. She was in so much pain, and so sick she just knew she was dying. She put her house, bank accounts, life insurance, etc., in her oldest daughter’s name, and made sure that her younger children were to be taken care of.

She also wanted her last hooray, so she planned a trip to Florida (basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.

On March 19 I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and she said they didn’t find anything on the test, but they believe she had MS. I recalled an article a friend of mine e-mailed to me and I asked my sister if she drank diet soda? She told me that she did. As a matter of fact, she was getting ready to crack one open that moment.

I told her not to open it, and to stop drinking the diet soda! I e-mailed her article my friend, a lawyer, had sent.

My sister called me within 32 hours and told me she had stopped drinking the diet soda AND she could walk! The muscle spasms went away. She said she didn’t feel 100% but she sure felt a lot better. She told me she was going to her doctor with this article and would call me when she got home.

Well, she called me, and said her doctor was amazed! He is going to call all of his MS patients to find out if they consumed artificial sweeteners of any kind. In a nutshell, she was being poisoned by the Aspartame in the diet soda...and literally dying a slow and miserable death.

When she got to Florida March 22, all she had to take was one pill, and that was a pill for the Aspartame poisoning! She is well on her way to a complete recovery. And she is walking! No wheelchair! This article saved her life..

If it says ‘SUGAR FREE’ on the label; DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! I have spent several days lecturing at the WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE on “ASPARTAME,” marketed as ‘Nutra Sweet,’ ‘Equal,’ and ‘Spoonful.’

In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United States in 2001 there is an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to be rampant. I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.

I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous: When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants. The methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. Many people were being diagnosed in error. Although multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, Methanol toxicity is!

Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers. The victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. He or she continues its use; irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening condition.

We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken off diet sodas. In cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, most of the symptoms disappear. We’ve seen many cases where vision loss returned and hearing loss improved markedly.

This also applies to cases of tinnitus and fibromyalgia.

During a lecture, I said, “If you are using ASPARTAME (Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting, pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, unexplainable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss you probably have ASPARTAME poisoning!” People were jumping up during the lecture saying, “I have some of these symptoms. Is it reversible?”

Yes! Yes! Yes! STOP drinking diet sodas and be alert for Aspartame on food labels! Many products are fortified with it! This is a serious problem. Dr. Espart (one of my speakers) remarked that so many people seem to be symptomatic for MS and during his recent visit to a hospice; a nurse stated that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence!

Diet soda is NOT a diet product! It is a chemically altered, multiple SODIUM (salt) and ASPARTAME containing product that actually makes you crave carbohydrates. It is far more likely to make you GAIN weight!

These products also contain formaldehyde, which stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs. Formaldehyde is an absolute toxin and is used primarily to preserve “tissue specimens.” Many products we use every day contain this chemical but we SHOULD NOT store it IN our body!

Dr. H. J. Roberts stated in his lectures that once free of the “diet products” and with no significant increase in exercise; his patients lost an average of 19 pounds over a trial period.

Aspartame is especially dangerous for diabetics. We found that some physicians, who believed that they had a patient with retinopathy, in fact, had symptoms caused by Aspartame. The Aspartame drives the blood sugar out of control. Thus diabetics may suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are NEUROTOXIC when taken without the other amino acids necessary for a good balance.

Treating diabetes is all about BALANCE. Especially with diabetics, the Aspartame passes the blood/brain barrier and it then deteriorates the neurons of the brain; causing various levels of brain damage, seizures, depression, manic depression, panic attacks, uncontrollable anger and rage.

Consumption of Aspartame causes these same symptoms in non-diabetics as well. Documentation and observation also reveal that thousands of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have had complete turnarounds in their behavior when these chemicals have been removed from their diet. So called “behavior modification prescription drugs” (Ritalin and others) are no longer needed. Truth be told, they were never NEEDED in the first place! Most of these children were being “poisoned” on a daily basis with the very foods that were “better for them than sugar.”

It is also suspected that the Aspartame in thousands of pallets of diet Coke and diet Pepsi consumed by men and women fighting in the Gulf War, may be partially to blame for the well-known Gulf War Syndrome.

Dr. Roberts warns that it can cause birth defects, i.e. mental retardation, if taken at the time of conception and during early pregnancy. Children are especially at risk for neurological disorders and should NEVER be given artificial sweeteners. There are many different case histories to relate of children suffering grand mal seizures and other neurological disturbances talking about a plague of neurological diseases directly caused by the use of this deadly poison.”

Herein lies the problem: There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products and strong objection was made concerning its use. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, and still nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets.

Sadly, MONSANTO’S patent on Aspartame has EXPIRED! There are now over 5,000 products on the market that contain this deadly chemical and there will be thousands more introduced Everybody wants a “piece of the Aspartame pie.” I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of Aspartame, knows how deadly it is.

And isn’t it ironic that MONSANTO funds, among others, the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association and the Conference of the American College of Physicians? This has been recently exposed in the New York Times. These [organizations] cannot criticize any additives or convey their link to MONSANTO because they take money from the food industry and are required to endorse their products.

Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote and presented a bill that would require label warnings on products containing Aspartame, especially regarding pregnant women, children and infants The bill would also institute independent studies on the known dangers and the problems existing in the general population regarding seizures, changes in brain chemistry, neurological changes and behavioral symptoms.

The bill was killed.

It is known that the powerful drug and chemical lobbies are responsible for this, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting and uninformed public. Well, you’re informed now! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Say What You REALLY Mean

I should really just get over it, but I'm hoping that maybe I can if I write about it. It's been really difficult for me to be completely honest about my religion because many of my friends and family are devout Mormon, and I no longer share those same beliefs. I have found that there are only 2 responses to that, either I am judged as "unworthy" for having the questions and concerns I have, or I am held at arms length and handled delicately.

I won't pretend to know why, for some, it may be that they have the same questions and concerns and don't want to come to the same conclusion. For others, it's flat out denial, and for some, I just think that the church was the only thing we really had in common in the first place and we kind of drifted apart.

The truth is that I value my experiences in the church and still have a great love and respect for those who still believe and practice it. I just can't continue to believe and practice it knowing what I found in my quest for a better understanding of the doctrine and practices. The answers create a huge contradiction for me, and to pretend that they don't would betray the most precious relationship I have, my relationship with deity.

I wish I could just go on pretending that I still believe everything, but I can't, and I have felt a lot of rejection for it. Deep down I know it isn't intentional. I know that the awkward feelings and conversations are a direct result of not knowing how to respond (on my part too). I think in most cases, it is easier for my Mormon friends and family to pretend I don't feel the way that I do... especially my poor hubs. He's the one my heart breaks for because I know the implications my feelings have on his beliefs about salvation and eternal families. :(

Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair. But that is a little deeper than I wanted to go with this post. The point I wanted to make was about the little barbs I have been getting from my Mormon friends and fam. Again, I know they aren't intended and stem directly from not knowing how to respond. But it still hurts in kind of a comical way.

Recently, the Mormon Prophet passed away. He was an amazing man who dedicated his life to serving God and others. He has been the prophet my entire adult life and even sent me on my mission. He was 97 years old and lost his wife of 60 years a few years back. So really, it was in God's hands and it was time for him to go. Despite all this, he will be missed.

Anyway, we received notice from several Mormon friends and family prefaced by "I don't know if you care or not..." What the hell is that? They wouldn't say that to their Mormon friends, or even their non-Mormon friends who have never been Mormon. I haven't changed so much in the last few years that I wouldn't care if someone died. In one case, it was almost said with the passive-aggressive tone... like what they really meant to say was "You know the prophet you rejected, well, he's dead now, and I bet you don't even care."

I guess my connection to the prophet is a little more detached than blind obedience, but not so much that I wouldn't care that he passed away. Truthfully, if people don't know how I feel about the church or church officials, then it would be an awkward conversation to start and nothing ever comes out right under stress. So, I'm sure that it wasn't intended to hurt. It's just kind of funny how assumptions are made.

I guess we all have assumptions of how things must be when we don't understand them. I have decided not to assume to know why people do or say the things they do. I'm not even going to take offense to things I don't understand. I just wanted to clarify my feelings in attempt to avoid sending out little barbs myself. I'm just hoping that being honest about my feelings doesn't come across like little barbs. I don't want to hurt anyone, I just want to be real.