Category Archives: Stories

Taking The Cure

44In 1993 I went to a product seminar about detoxing. Specifically about our need to eliminate waste or poop. It was quite enlightening about the amount of the crap that we tote around. Someone told the old story about John Wayne’s 10 lbs of accumulated waste in his colon at the time of his death. I still shudder to this day imagining that autopsy. Eeeeeewww! Anyway…the speaker went on to talk about the wisdom of children spending adequate time on the potty for a good ‘moving’ experience. Actually I witnessed this at the dentist office a couple of months ago. An 8 year old boy was happily singing to himself in the bathroom which was about 10 feet away from my seat in the waiting area, ignoring calls from his Mom that it was time to see his friend the dentist. The boy kept yelling, “I’m not finished!” His Mom smiled and said, “He likes to take his time.” Good for him! Who wants to hurry to see the dentist anyway. Smart little guy was multi-tasking.

After the seminar I arrived back home with several containers of…I don’t remember…with the belief that when I drank the substance, I would literally poop out and off several pounds of weight. Losing weight is most women’s detox dream, but I now know the real skivvy on the subject. Our bodies continually detox. It’s not a one time event, but part of the body’s highly developed system of balance. A kind of housekeeping that involves all of our parts: body, mind and spirit.

Dr. Deanna Minich’s book, Whole Detox, clearly explains the multi-faceted subject and gives the reader a road map to make changes that will promote better health in cleansing your whole self. Changing how you think about yourself and others, how you talk to yourself and how you approach food will greatly enhance your life instead of creating the stress of sticking to a restrictive diet, or drinking some awful tasting concoction hoping for a one-time detox experience that will forever rid yourself of…whatever. Health isn’t sustained by a single event. Every day your body and mind will perform it’s tasks if fed properly with good food, good thoughts, and specific ways to nourish your spirit.

Many years ago I became convinced that I needed to rid myself of every nasty parasite, known and unknown, to be healthy. I read those ads that told me for a mere $75 (payments were available, or maybe I could get 2 for the price of one!), my detox dreams would come true. But when I finally ordered the kit, I was terrified by the lengthy list of potential harm that the product could cause, and the description of what could be expelled. My utter fear stopped that effort, thank goodness, as well as the absolutely gruesome stories from a couple of people I knew who actually went this route, so I guess it was a $75 learning experience. This episode reminded me that I knew the mystery of what lurks in our gut already. And I learned from the master.

As a child, I listened intently as my Grandma Rose told dark healing stories that truly frightened me about the critters she extracted from her children and close relatives, and I believed every one. I would beg her to tell me these stories over and over, knowing that I wouldn’t sleep after hearing them. One involved a push mower and the result of straining too hard. You get the picture. But make no mistake, Grandma loved the telling as if the knowledge was ancient, only available to a few, and always embellished with such memorable pictures that they became imprinted in my mind in a way that I would almost swear I witnessed each one in all it’s glorious gore.

Alice Rose was steeped in East Tennessee hill lore, and was a survival story herself having birthed and raised 9 babies with no running water or electricity in her house. Oscar, my granddad, was sort of on the periphery of my childhood. Grandma was the central figure to her family, and when she painted those vivid scenes of extricating varmints from folks, I listened and believed!

33My absolute trust in Grandma’s mojo was cemented at 5 years old on one steamy, East Tennessee summer evening . It was a Sunday event that only happened to the chosen few, and I was a witness to this miracle during a “come to Jesus” call in the wide, deep part of the creek that meandered in front of her house. There were a few folks walking into, not on the water, which didn’t jibe with my Presbyterian understanding of miracles. Vacation Bible School was very specific concerning miracles. So not understanding the whole baptism theology of submersion (we Presbys were not even sprinkled until 12 or 13), they looked very serious and a tad crazy rather than having received any kind of blessing, but Grandma said it was a miracle, therefore it was. No one looked “delivered.” They were all just standing around watching the converts slowly being dipped in the creek, then shouting “Hal-lay-lew-yuh!” when the soaked folks emerged. I guess I thought the miracle was that they weren’t drowned, but lived to tell the tale. This scene was replayed in the movie, “O Brother, Where Art Thou” as the congregation slowly moved to the river to save the sinners, singing:

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way!

O sisters let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

After the indoctrination of the wet conversions, I was totally convinced that Grandma Rose knew some big secrets when she told me if I had a persistent tickle in my throat, it might be a w##m (nasty squiggly thing!), and that I should immediately eat some salt to stop it’s possible exit. Boys Hattie! (I know that phrase doesn’t make any sense, but it’s necessary. lol) I ate salt! Even in the middle of the night! I’m pretty sure I consumed enough sodium chloride for my entire family’s lifetimes, but there certainly were never any traveling squigglies either!

In order to detox without eating copious amounts of salt, I suggest reading Whole Detox by Dr. Deanna Minich, to understand how all parts of your body work together to continually detox and balance. Anthony William who has identified many foods, supplements and much more to rid yourself of all sorts of health devouring viruses and other harmful substances in his book, Medical Medium, also included a cleanse for boosting your body’s immune system to move your healing forward.

Although there are people who have serious parasites, especially in third world countries, we may have co-evolved with a few creatures into a mutually beneficial relationship. Not every one of the little buggers is an enemy. We humans just don’t want to believe that there may be uninvited friends that are smarter than us, and  have purer intentions.

 

 

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My neighbor Mildred and the Banana Diet

Food, glorious food! I…LOVE…food. These days it’s almost all organic fruit and veggies, but there was a time when I never met a cake, a chocolate covered vanilla creme confection, or a dripping ice cream cone I didn’t love. My favorite Sunday evenin’ dinner growing up was a big ‘ol pot roast sandwich on white bread, slathered with heaps of mayo and lots of sweet pickles and fresh onion. Turns out that only the onion was actually nutritious, but what a taste treat memory it is! Years later I developed a fear of food and thought that any food except for plain iceberg lettuce would make me blimp up. A professional musician/performer can’t just blimp up. I had a tendency toward about ten pounds of extra ‘more to love’ that would leap on me if I wasn’t vigilant. It seemed that all tasty food was somehow inherently bad. And much of it was. These days, my ‘more to love’ curves are curvier than a few decades ago, but I’m much healthier than I’ve been in a very long while. I’ll take healthy over skinny any day of the week.

Margaret Lillian Rose King, my mother, was the eighth of nine children growing up in the hills of East Margaret Lillian RoseTennessee and tried to give her children the comforts that she didn’t have as a child. She grew up without the convenience of turning on a faucet for water, or flushing a toilet, or running to the grocery store for that last minute dinner idea. Self-sufficiency was necessary, but made for a hard life. Grandma and Grandad Rose had chickens and a smoke house for meat from the hogs they raised. Grandad also somehow managed to plow a hill full of rocks for a garden. I remember that hill. It was daunting. So when Mother married Daddy in the prosperity of the post WWII boom, her life changed from hardship to a brand new Cadillac!

Mother was a nurturing cook. As the oldest of 4 rambunctious children, I was on the front end of her early 1950’s efforts to provide us with nourishing delicious meals which morphed into more convenient food preparation in later years as we absolutely wore her to a frazzle. I remember her meals looking just like those in the advertising of that era. Lots of beautiful, bountiful food with the family giving thanks with bowed heads. There were no bowed heads at our table however. We behaved like we hadn’t eaten for days. Throw in the bickering between the younger brothers, and Mother preferred not to sit down and eat with us. She just hovered until we were finished, waiting for enough peace to slowly eat and digest her food. Pretty sure she had less stomach issues than the rest of us.

Breakfast was juiced fresh oranges with cooked to order eggs and bacon and oven buttered toast, or brown sugar laden, steaming oatmeal with a bit of butter nestled in the middle. Mother also made absolutely delicious homemade biscuits, piping hot from the oven and ladled with gravy. If we begged, she would make homemade syrup for the biscuits as well (gosh…my curves are expanding just typing the words). Lunch was at school or a quick sandwich on white ‘enriched’ bread, gulping it down as we ran out the door to play baseball or throw rocks at each other or build a snowman. For dinner, our East Tennessee hills roots called for lots of meat or pinto beans and occasional little mounds of canned salmon called croquettes, coleslaw, fried okra, cornbread, sweet tea, and fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and melons from various relatives’ gardens. However some veggies, green beans in particular, were treated as though they had to die by over cooking.

Remember Coca-colas in small glass bottles? We weren’t supposed to drink those, but eventually we would risk a switchin’ with a keen tiny limb off of a small tree beside the driveway and suck one down anyway. Daddy liked slightly under ripe bananas with his vanilla ice cream, so Mother stocked those, but I thought he ate the ice cream to help those bananas taste better. And…Hershey’s chocolate bars. Mother finally resorted to hiding the chocolate bars in her lingerie drawer, but I tracked ’em down and lived to regret it. I couldn’t find the candy hiding places after that episode.

cropReading cookbooks has been a hobby since I first discovered Mother’s big red Betty Crocker Cookbook as a child. The three-ring binder with the removable pages is showing almost sixty-five years of wear, and those vivid, colorful pictures of categorized recipes are one of the most cherished reminiscences of my childhood. I desperately wanted to make that exotic Baked Alaska! So delicate with it’s lightly browned tips of meringue-sculpted waves over frozen ice cream domed in a scooped out layer of buttery cake! But alas, it was out of my experience range, so I opted to help Mother make Lemon Meringue Pies, none of which ever made the transition into a real pie. Yes…we dipped into those pies with great big spoons and filled our bowls with crunchy warm lemon heaven.

In years past on my quest for ‘skinny’, I tried every diet known to man or woman. Except the banana diet. I actually knew a woman who lost weight on nothing but bananas. She lived across the street. I was a constant visitor there because, unlike our house, it was nice and quiet. And ohhhhh lordy! The smells that came from her kitchen!

Mildred was a marvelous baker and decorator of cakes with big red roses with deep green leaves. Not the kind you squirt out of a tube. These delicate flowers were formed with pains-taking care out of that luscious sugary almond paste, marzipan. Marzipan called to Mildred like clay to a sculptor. I would watch with fascination as she constructed those roses petal by petal, tucking in each exquisite leaf with much care. Of course I knew that most of her cakes would be happily given away for a special event like Mother’s Day or a birthday party. But I also knew that if I lingered long enough, I would be offered a couple of damaged petals or even a special rose of my own. These were coveted because Mildred was an artiste. Her confections made me feel special.

Then there was the bubbling strawberry jam, not jelly…jaaaammm. Mildred would call my name, and I would run across the street to her house. There at her dining room table we ate fresh jam, still warm from the big pot, on some kind of delicious bread with lots of butter. It was my incredible luck that she had one skinny boy my age, who didn’t care one thing about the wondrous sweets his mom made in her beautiful turquoise green 1950’s kitchen. I was Mildred’s surrogate daughter in that kitchen. She wanted to share her experience, and I was the lucky, very willing recipient of all that lusciousness. My mother was a great cook, but I alone reaped the benefits of Mildred’s finesse. Neither of my brothers or my little sister were ever invited. By the way…Mildred, who only temporarily lost weight on the banana diet, unfortunately loved her own cooking too. Soon all those bananas went back into warm breads fresh out of her beautiful 1950’s turquoise green oven. And Mildred herself quickly regained those hard fought 100 pounds.

Housewife harriedOur moms and grandmas and neighbors like Mildred were good people who couldn’t have known at the time that we were beginning in earnest to kill our environment and food and bodies with synthetic pesticides the use of which accelerated in the 1940’s. And the 1950’s brought conveniences to moms like mine who helped her husband in his business while trying to still be a great mother to four kids. So frozen dinners, vegetable oil, and grocery stores teeming with pertly packaged products along with savvy advertising played right into the prosperity of the time, sending us down that slippery slope, “baa-baaaa-ing” and turning into the sheeple of today that the crap food industry loves.

The moral of the story? Anyone can lose weight short term on just about any ‘diet’ ever invented. For lasting change in your health (and weight loss will follow), eat tons of fresh organic, colorful vegetables and 4 to 6 different kinds of organic fruit daily. Choose healthy fats like avocados and nuts, as well as carefully researched untainted olive oil, or maybe a bit of walnut oil on a heaping pile of greens. Throw in no more than a 4oz portion of grass fed, pastured animal protein 1 or 2 times a week if you’re so inclined. Getting gluten, sugar, dairy, corn and corn products, canola oil, as well as most packaged items and fast food off your radar will scoot you way on down the road toward feeling really good. There is lots of info as to why these foods aren’t good for us, but my favorite source is Anthony William’s book, Medical Medium. Can’t beat this ground-breaking, dynamic read!

So here’s to Mildred! I still have the mem’ries, but not the sugar!

banana

 

 

“Homeland Security? You’ve GOT to be kidding!”

 

wowWords are powerful. Once you spit them out, you can’t suck them back in. The especially harsh ones hang in the air, then drop like stones, shattering the target and diminishing the speaker. Often we use words like missiles, carefully aimed so as to inflict the most stinging injury. Then like children, we beg for forgiveness for our carelessness. Or all too often, don’t  beg for forgiveness. One thing’s for sure. We need to be very mindful of what we spew.

Details are a bit blurry because of all the ever-changing psych drugs I was prescribed, but somewhere in 2005, I was strongly urged to attend intensive group therapy sessions after a suicide attempt, or be placed in-patient for treatment. My psychologist was unrelenting. Okay then. Intensive therapy it is! I ended up attending longer than almost any other person there, probably because of my husband’s excellent insurance. We were separated by then, and I was not feeling warm and fuzzy toward him, but I was thankful for the ‘cadillac’ insurance policy, and his hard work at the job that provided it.

Attending group therapy was not my gig. I didn’t care for spilling my guts to people I didn’t know or want to know. At social events, I usually reverted back to my career as a musician/entertainer. It was a nifty way to participate in a group without revealing too much. It was safe. I could protect myself. I was an introvert who had learned very early in life to survive emotionally by pretending to be an extrovert, then quickly retreating behind my invisible shield. But that’s tough to do when you’re sitting in a tight circle looking at other wounded people.

pills

Each round of revolving door psych meds really heightened my emotions, so after a few weeks of being mute, I went into performance overdrive. Myself and another participant entertained the group every evening with non-stop chatter. We pretty much knew every gory detail of each others’ lives, so after a particularly prickly day of ‘ex’communicating…well, he technically wasn’t an ex yet. You see, this was our 2nd divorce. Okay, that part actually gives me a headache. Anyhoo, when I was asked by a concerned fellow nutcase about divorce negotiations with the hubs, my smart-mouth answer was, “I’d like to shoot him and watch him die!” Well…now…of course it was just a wisecrack, and in the context of ‘group’, was my norm and mostly harmless. Stupid, but harmless. However, I did make an egregious faux-pas during a phone call to the Social Security Administration. My mouth ran-eth over as I repeated the ‘shoot him’ joke to the customer service person. It was again in the context of ” OMG! Aren’t men a pain?”and she did  laugh, so I thought nothing of it until a couple of days later. But let’s pause here for a bit of a back story.

My life went straight down the crapper after my emergency heart bypass surgery in December 2002. I could hardly work because of the PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety disorder, brain fog and depression resulting from the intervention into my heart. There’s a well known connection between the heart and brain, also involving the chakras or energy centers of the same. Ih fact, it’s said that the heart is the second brain, but I have to wonder if the heart is not only the seat of our soul, but uses the brain as a peripheral fact/sensory-vessel and actually runs the show in our bodies. My intuitive healing work in clearing the body of trapped emotions certainly supports that theory. You can’t think your way out of or clear stuck trauma with your brain, but once removed, your heart is more free to give and receive love, and live in gratitude rather than in the anger and resentment all of us tend to latch onto that keep the wounds open and festering.

I didn’t understand any of this at the time, however. The terror of waking up hearing the clinking of steel surgical instruments hitting the tray, thinking that I was still in surgery, not able to open my eyes or move to alert anyone that I was awake stalked me. It drove an overwhelming anxiety and doubt that I wouldn’t be able to care for myself and my daughter, a high school senior who was planning her freshman year at Indiana University. Add to that the many years of anti-depressants and bi-polar meds that accompanied the progressive unrelenting exhaustion that was part of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis from 1994, and I was in a complete strangle hold of fear, hardly recognizable even to myself. I simply didn’t know this post-heart surgery person.

But before December 2002, I was doing so well in condominium sales that I decided to finally exit my longtime unhappy marriage. Since the condos were very nice, and my husband refused to move out of our family home, I bought an especially beautifully situated one with gorgeous views out back and the perfect spot for my 6′ 5″ black mirror finish grand piano. My daughter Ashley and I and our furry companion chihuahuas, Prissy and Brewster, settled in along with my big ol’ piano. It was no small feat to move it into the 2nd story condo. It involved a forklift and 2 crews of piano movers, but that’s a story for another time.

After only one year in the condo, I bought the house back from the hubby who couldn’t afford the it on his own, which is what I had tried to convince him of the year before. Ashley and I, the dogs and the grand piano moved back into the house I loved just 3 months before a tragic cascade of events, including losing the lucrative sales job, sent me to the ER, afraid I was having a massive heart attack. I was admitted into the hospital and scared into emergency surgery by a cardiologist who told me that I could die before I ever saw Ashley walk down the aisle. That woman had a very effective sales pitch which she also used on other surgical candidates. A friend’s husband, who had the same doctor, experienced that pitch in order to get his surgery scheduled post haste. I will always prefer to believe the doctor’s motives were pure, but I also suspect that in my case, there could have been cardiac interventions employed to prevent having a double bypass. That decision took 10 years of my life away. And a year later when my health was still speeding downward, the good doc had no compassion for my personal situation hell, and instead browbeat me for not being a good enough patient. Her words were “let this news be a two-by-four to your head!” I was stunned at her lack of compassion and unwillingness to even listen to me. So much for bedside manner. But let’s get back to some humor. I need a laugh. How about you?

Between 2003 and 2005, I moved 5 times. There were so many because I was trying to re-group from the unfortunate rabbit trail into the abyss of a 2nd marriage with Ashley’s dad, also my 2nd hubs. My search for an an abode had to include one that I could afford for my daughter, myself, the dogs, and my big ol’ piano. The piano was necessary so that I could teach lessons here and there, as well as practice for the service at the church that employed me as a musician. And because my entire life had been based on music, my instrument was part of my identity. My other instrument was my voice which was much more easily transported, although it was showing strain and an undependability that I had never experienced before.

I became the queen of packing and very efficient at relocating, but each move took more of my non-existent energy. The trauma from the heart surgery on top of all the prescription drugs, migraines, profound fatigue, and fear that the rest of my life was lost was overwhelming and unrelenting. How I lived through this is still a mystery to me, and I certainly must have been delusional to sign up for it in the first place! I have heard it said that the earth is a schoolroom where we can learn the necessary lessons needed in our soul’s progession. But honestly, it felt like I crammed too many lessons into a way too small slice of my life.

To continue the saga, because of a lack of funds, I moved from my lovely family home a 2nd time to another condo with Ashley, the dogs, the piano and the ex, in order to provide my daughter (and me) some kind of support system as she began college. The stress of 2003 was too much for her as well, so she sadly left school before Christmas, but thankfully had a job waiting for her at the vet clinic that she had worked at part-time in high school which provided her a bit of continuity from our previous life. After I gave my Mercedes SUV back to the dealership (an event of extreme embarrassment), Ashley and I shared her car for a short time. Both of us had jobs across town, so juggling one car was difficult until I was able to buy an interim jalopy from a friend’s son. That car was the bain of my existence. It literally rained on me inside the car from a sunroof that sneakily collected water until I stepped on the brake just right, then it released it’s fury on my head and business suit…several times! This provided occasional comic relief, but mostly we were all suffering, including the dogs.

After a trip to the heart hospital again for irregular heart rhythm, I knew that I could no longer stay in the emotionally impossible situation with the ex who had magically turned into my 3rd husband, so on to an apartment large enough for Ashley, the dogs and the big ol’ piano. This 2nd exit from the hubby the afternoon of his Mom’s funeral was unfortunate timing that couldn’t be prevented. I was working part-time as a real estate agent selling condos again, living with a friend temporarily until the apartment was ready, and needed to be out of her home before she and her husband returned from vacation. Navigating through all of this, the funeral, and the in-laws, was daunting and sent me to the ER again after the movers left that evening. I had no way of knowing that the mother-in-law that I had been very close to would pass unexpectedly. Everything that could possibly have happened…did. What a nightmare! Where’s that humor? I’m gettin’ there.

When Ashley moved to her own place with her dog, Brewster, I sold my beloved piano for living expenses and moved to a smaller apartment with my little Prissy. That was move number three. Unbelievably, that apartment had a leaky ceiling which caved in (the complex really was great, but my luck wasn’t), so management moved me to a temporary place, then into ANOTHER really tiny apartment. Whew! After relocating to the really tiny place, I didn’t even try to unpack. There were boxes stacked high all over the itsy bitsy living room with just enough space for me and my doggie’s bed.

Knock, knock.

barney fifeI often didn’t bother to answer the door unless it was the UPS guy. I peered through the tiny peephole. There was a cop standing there. I opened the door.

“Are you Mrs. King?” (I kept my maiden name after divorcing the 2nd husband the 1st time. I was very busy moving and divorcing).

“Yes. Can I help you?”

“I’m with the Fishers Police Department. I’m here on behalf of Homeland Security.” Who’s homeland??! “May I come in?” I stepped aside.

“We received an alert from Social Security of a possible threatening situation.”

I started smiling, trying desperately not to. He looked for all the world like Barney Fife! Small man, full uniform, holster and gun at the ready!

“Ma’am, did say you wanted to shoot your husband?” I absolutely spewed laughter.

“Does your husband have a gun?”

“I don’t think so.” (I’m valiantly struggling to compose myself). “You’ll have to ask him.”

“Do you have a gun ma’am?”

“Good lord, NO!”

“Can I look around?”

“Sure.”

The officer began to survey the piles of boxes covering most of the tiny living room, the look of dismay plainly on his face. If there was a gun, he was beginning to surmise he would never find it anyway without a search warrant.

“Well…are you positive you don’t have a gun?”

“Nooooo! I don’t! And I don’t really want to shoot my husband. It was a joke! Really.”

“Well, Social Security has to report every threat. I’d be more careful about what you say from now on.”

“Oh yes, officer. That was a very stupid joke. Never again.”

And I never did.

Walkin’ the Talk

askholeYA-da yada yada yada…everybody talks, talks, talks…constantly…griping about the topic of the day, rarely genuinely listening to another person’s point of view and rattling their brain until it explodes about how unfair life is, or that the elections are rigged, or the weather’s changing, or they’re getting sicker and sicker as though disease simply falls out of the sky and lands on them. I’m getting worn out with just moving my lips, but I’m especially exasperated watching other yayhoos move theirs. Talk is not only cheap, it can be extremely annoying. grrrrrrr…

To continue this little rant, we 21st century humans tend to believe and trust way too much in our media, and social media in particular. Many folks get their news from Facebook alone believing that any juicy story must be fact. And it often does become fact in our collective consciousness because of the sheer repetition through post sharing and endless cable news. This is not to say that credible information and articles don’t exist, but both network and cable news often ignore messaging that clashes with the big money connected to the CDC, the pharmaceutical companies or anything to do with GMO’s. So the key to increasing your ‘smarts’ quotient is to plug into well established online sources of information where you can use your time wisely to inform yourself. Mercola.com was established in 1997 and is a rich source of very thorough articles on a variety of health subjects. Green Med Info has powerful researched-based content that is on the edge of cutting-edge. If you’re a bit of an inside story warrior, check out Natural News.

Words have tremendous power to heal, elevate or devastate. Words bring knowledge, and knowledge brings with it responsibility. One of my lifelong guiding principles is: I do not want to know how to fix a toilet. It just takes up brain power better used elsewhere. Well that’s silly. Truth is, if I learned how to repair any of those thingamabobs in the tank, I would then have to ‘own’ that knowledge and feel forever guilty for spending needless money on a plumber to fix a problem that I can repair myself. ‘Repair myself’ is an operative phrase for later use. Unfortunately, this weighty burden of knowledge transfers easily to all kinds of other stuff as well.

Have you ever wondered why a cheap hamburger is cheap? Google factory farms. You will search for grass-fed, pastured beef or veganism faster than you thought possible. Ever consider why people in the know eat organic produce? Read about why conventionally grown strawberries are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list at the Environmental Working Group. What about learning that eating clean fruits and veggies, and if you choose, humanely raised animals, as well as supplementing with high quality vitamins, minerals and herbs and changing how your mind perceives the world, can prevent cancer, reverse diabetes, conquer chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, heal thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, severe anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. What if I told you there is an easy way to release blocked energy in order to accelerate and super-charge your healing? This information is a click away. Check out these folks: The Truth About Cancer, Medical Medium, Dr. Kelly Brogan and The Energy Healing Site.

I am not suggesting doing anything that I haven’t done myself. Several of those before mentioned sherry 09diseases and disorders were mine until I began arming myself with directional information and study. If you refuse to explore this information when it is offered to you, it says something about your willingness to shoulder the responsibility of knowledge. You then have to say, “I do not want to know how to be well and free of illness because it doesn’t sound like fun. I’ll have to make an effort. I really don’t have the time to learn about how to handle stress. I’ll have to give up my ice cream, Twinkies, cigarettes, alcohol, medications, griping and whining. And there will be no one to blame but myself. BINGO!

Learn the talk and walk that talk!  Here are a few tips to get you started. Instead of using your energy in useless negative chatter, spend a bit of it writing down ways to actually make a difference in your life. All of these steps are very simple and doable.  Keep a household budget, or for starters, a food budget. Not being an accounting type person, I use a simple online program, Budget Worksheets. It will set you free! Suddenly, organic food doesn’t seem so expensive when compared to the amount of money you may spend on crappy frozen food with unknown ingredients. Join Thrive Market right here on this website for excellent prices on healthy food and other products, and when you purchase a membership, one is donated to a less fortunate family. A big win-win both for your pocketbook and perhaps expanding your sense of abundance in giving back. Ferret out the hidden costs (those that you hide from yourself) of eating out, the monthly credit card interest you pay, or dollars spent on cheap “God only knows how or where they were manufactured” supplements which are mostly synthetics with fillers, and are adding toxins to your already over-burdened body.  Oh geez. I forgot about the snazzy new outfits for your dog. (Okay…I buy those too).

Sherry 04Speaking of pets…feed them excellent food. Do your research. Don’t buy advertising copy. I was in advertising. Believe me when I say, do not buy from ads alone. If you feed your animals cheap, nutritionally inadequate food, they will get fatter and sicker. Then seemingly out of the blue, Fluffy and Brutus will become ill and old before their time, and you will start spending hundreds of dollars on vet bills, and thousands on emergency life saving care for your beloved furry companions. We are the guardians of these animals who love us unconditionally and are depending on us to properly feed them. Check out this link for preventative care for pets, and don’t forget supplements and energy healing for them as well. Holistic vet Dr. Karen Becker is a valuable and comprehensive resource for all your furry friends.

In 1980, I left the world of secular music and dipped into God music. All kinds of God music, but particularly contemporary Christian. I promptly wrote Walkin’ the Walk, a song that describes the “I have to do what?” feeling of all new born-agains. Anyhoo, here’s the chorus:

Walkin’ the walk…how far do I have to go?
Walkin’ the walk…Lord, I know You know.
I guess my walk won’t be measured by the steps I save.
I’ll be walkin’ to Zion day by day.

I was dead wrong using “won’t.” It should read, “I guess my walk will be measured by the steps I take.” Right on, right on, right on sister!

One last tidbit for a little chuckle. My brother Dale who is 5 years younger than me, learned the power of words while still in his crib. Evidently I sang before going to sleep, so he would yell, “Kwee quite Shuhshee!” (translation: Be quiet Sherry!) He gained much knowledge about his gift as he grew older, but he especially learned the power of one word in particular. It has 4 letters, starts with an ‘s’, and means poop. Dale wielded that word like a sword, honing his ability to know exactly the right time to land a blow.

My Mother was a 50’s mom who was absolutely enthralled with the convenience of frozen T.V. dinners, and diners that served what was that era’s fast food. She had scoped out a sort of circuit of these diners that we would eat at occasionally. Mother loved to laugh and talk to the people around her in these small foodie communities, and it seemed we were always choosing new favorites.

One fine day, Mother loaded me, my brothers and my sister who was a baby, into the car and headed out to dine at the Blue Circle near downtown Knoxville. We all excitedly clamored into the u-shaped booth to sample a new tasty hamburger. By the way, it was no small feat getting everyone settled in. Suddenly, 3 year old Dale stood up on the seat and wielded his word sword. “You ol’ ____!” You have never seen a young woman with 4 small children move so fast! Mother loaded us up and sped away. Not sure if we ever went back to the Blue Circle. We stayed closer to home and frequented the Tutti Frutti after that. Although little Dale went on to set a few more records for clearing a booth, his first victory was somehow his most glorious. I’m pretty sure my little bro’ continues to this day in that tradition. 🙂

Vernon Dale King

Vernon Dale King

 

 

 

Daddy and the B-17

Vernon King - Staff Seargant 1942

Vernon King – Staff Sergeant 1942

My Daddy was a risk-taker, and so am I. Vernon King was a card-counting poker player and was also known to bet on a golf game or two. He was a waist gunner in a B-17 over Nazi Germany in WWII who parlayed his share of the King family farm into a construction business in the boom that followed the war. In 1949, I became a part of that boom…the baby boom. I grew up in an area in South Knoxville that Daddy developed and built homes on roads which he named after people on his side of the family. There was King Road of course, Thomas Road, Virgil Drive named for a great-uncle I never knew. We lived on Lindy Road, named after a Great-aunt Lindy. Never knew her either. Actually, I did know more about the Thomas. He was a King cousin who oddly enough was the second husband of Mother’s oldest sister, Dot Tarwater, the Tarwater being her third husband. The Thomas cousin was Aunt Dot’s second husband…I think his name was Huce (I know…lol)…they had a daughter Linda, who was a ‘double’ cousin since she sprang from both sides of the family. It was…after all…the South.

Daddy instructed me in the important art of bluffing. It’s every little girl’s dream, right? His attempt at making me a golfer was a failure, but I did learn a few useful techniques from poker. In closing a deal, know when to shut up, how to effectively use a ‘poker face’, when to walk away (good grief…sounds like Kenny Rogers), and how to recognize opportunity when it happens by. Because he was a community developer and new home builder, I have an inherited love of that process, and the smell of new wood, drywall and paint still draws me as a moth to the flame. Vernon’s poker lessons also paid off later in life when I decided to go into business for myself. If you can’t close the deal, you don’t eat.

I was the first-born of four children and definitely Daddy’s little girl. And in keeping with my special status, I occasionally accompanied him on various adventures in his truck. We went fishing with his friend Ivan who was very patient and helped me hold my rod and position my line to catch a fish. Daddy was nervous and had little patience, so I had a good ‘ol time with Ivan and later took my little fish home to fry. One summer evening, off we went to a minor league baseball game. We had hot dogs and cokes, sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and in the cooler evening, Daddy wrapped me in a blanket with my head poking through a big hole in it. I thought he was very clever to bring such a cozy wrap, but truthfully it was probably the only blanket Mother would let us use. Too much mustard and ketchup goin’ on. I can still remember the smells of the ballpark, see the lights as they flooded the field at dusk, taste the Cracker Jack, and Daddy laughing at my constant,”When’s it gonna’ be over?” Baseball is a sloooowww game for a four year old.

knoxville_smokies_1

One of my favorite adventures was an early morning trip to pick up Daddy’s crew. We stopped on the way at Holloway’s tiny neighborhood store and picked up a bag of peanuts and an RC Cola. I never mastered the technique of putting the peanuts in the bottle and eating them while taking a swig of cola. I tried once and choked. Daddy laughed and we were off to pick up the men. There was Mr. Ogle who sat on the front seat with me, and Newton who would hop in the back of the truck. It could have been that I took Newton’s spot on the seat, but it seemed to me at the time that there was definitely a pecking order. After all, Daddy called Mr. Ogle “Mister.” I think just plain ‘Newton’ must have indicated that he was a bit of a shady character not deserving of a “Mister” before his name.

At the building site, we all piled out of Daddy’s 1949 green Ford truck, and I proudly carried my little mint green tool box to a spot where I happily pounded away on a piece of two-by-four with my rubber hammer, or collected those “nickels” punched out of the electrical boxes. Then I watched Mr. Ogle mix the ‘mud’ (concrete) in a wheelbarrow, carefully adding the best ratio of water to make a thick paste for laying brick. Then he and Daddy would skillfully lay row after row of perfectly aligned and finished brick. About thirty-five years later, I moved back to Knoxville for a short time and was thinking about possibly buying a home that Vernon had built in 1952. I remarked about how much I admired his brickwork. He laughed and said, “If lightening struck this house, there are enough empty beer cans between these walls to blow this house to kingdom come!” Reality also struck. I didn’t know that in those years he drank on the job. That brickwork was awfully darn perfect for all that. Oddly enough, that very same house was the cause of a childhood reoccurring nightmare.

One evening I escaped Mother’s attention and took off toward the aforementioned house in search of my Daddy. There was another house between our home and the new one he was finishing up. When I arrived, there was a deafening noise and around the corner of the house came a giant bulldozer! It was ten times as big to a three year old. I took off up the driveway and ran all the way from the beginning of the newly troweled concrete sidewalk, up the wet steps and onto the perfectly finished porch. Daddy jumped off the bulldozer and was right behind me…but too late to prevent all those little footprints in his finished concrete. He just scooped me up and held me. I dreamed a bulldozer was chasing me for years after that scare, but Daddy wasn’t there to save me. Some years later I watched him finish a full basement floor. I can still hear the rhythmic “swishhh…swishhh…swishhh” of the trowel as he moved from the far corner of the floor smoothing the concrete, then moving the board he was kneeling on until the entire surface was perfect and glistening. After that I had a new appreciation of the havoc I wreaked all those years ago escaping that bulldozer.

Alcohol was my father’s drug of choice to calm the horrors of WWII. As children we played with hisflying cross 2 Distinguished Flying Cross without giving a thought to the reasons why he received it. I remember the feel of the metal and ribbons in my hand and smell of the box that it came in. None of us could ever even imagine how much that war affected him. We can never know how he managed to build a life for us and Mother while desperately holding it together with alcohol and later, Valium. But he did. There were times of no drinking at all, then stretches of family turmoil and much upheaval. Mother suffered from her own version of PTSD, and had little ability to sift through his experiences as well as her own and also handle four rambunctious children. Music was our special glue, but even my parents love of singing together and creating those beautiful harmonies eventually wore thin.

Years later on a trip to visit my parents during the 1982 World’s Fair in my hometown, Daddy decided that I should play golf with him and his older brother Reps (another great name!). In order to not waste a game, he made me practice at the driving range until I was able to consistently hit a golf ball off the tee. Then the next day just after daybreak, we were off to the country club with Uncle Reps in tow. Daddy had long since stopped drinking, so he was very impatient and jittery. The first nine holes were exhausting, mostly because I was running all over the course hunting my balls that went in every possible direction but toward the hole. On the second nine it began sprinkling rain, and I wanted to fall on my knees and thank God for it when Vernon said, “It doesn’t rain on the golf course.” Me and my uncle looked at one another, our hopes of a reprieve squelched, as Daddy jumped in the golf cart speeding to the next tee, leaving me and my near-seventy year old uncle running after him. That was vintage Vernon.

I now know that a deficiency of stored glucose was the cause of Daddy’s drinking. In his book Medical Medium, Anthony William explains PTSD thoroughly and with much understanding and compassion. My father was instinctively trying to send sugar or glucose to his brain in order to rectify the chemical imbalance resulting from the trauma he endured in the war. Alcohol provided the quickest route and was therefore speedy relief. I also had that deficiency which caused in me the same craving for alcohol that plagued my Dad. I too was diagnosed with PTSD after my heart bypass surgery and the sorrow of two unsuccessful marriages. But please know that trauma can affect us in seemingly insignificant as well as obviously impactful life events. It’s real and can be devastating. One of the most healing quick tips from Anthony William is to eat fresh fruit, organic as much as possible, and lots and lots of it, instead of the processed sugars we all crave. Abundant fruit in your life will replenish your much needed glucose stores as well as providing nutrients crucial to creating health and a sense of well being. I have found this to be true for myself and people very close to me who have consumed four or more pieces of fresh fruit a day and have literally broken through crippling fear and anxiety that kept them from fully experiencing their life. That is fruit…powwwer! (Big booming voice. lol)

I wish I had that old wrinkled picture of me and my Dad sitting in the front yard in lawn chairs, mine a miniature of his, with our arms and legs folded exactly the same. My 3 year old life was just beginning and I loved my Daddy! I miss just knowing he’s in the world.

And now for your listening pleasure (best with headphones), my brother Barry’s story in song about our Dad, Vernon King and the B-17.

Barry King – “B-17” from the album, almost acceptable. (Purple Garage Records ©2009)
Words, music, vocals and all instruments by Barry King.

b-17

 

 

The Scurrilous Watermelon Adventure

Thinking capChildren are ripe for every kind of indoctrination growing up in this world. Out of the womb we begin to soak up what we see and hear in our homes, from our friends, what our teachers present to us, and what we’re permitted to see on TV or movies or the rest of virtual reality. Some is necessary training we need to navigate the world, but too much of this brainwashing is because of the hogwash we’re fed in a media driven society gone wild. The amount of trash on TV alone is overwhelming. It is very difficult to understand that any purposeful physical abuse against another human being or a defenseless animal or the planet for that matter, could be a justifiable belief. But as we constantly see in the media, abuses of all kinds are running rampant. Sometimes we as individuals believe we are powerless to right the ship. Add in the burden of emotional energies of anger, fear, injustices or broken trust that humans carry through the generations, and children and adults are left with a murky brew of confusion as to what we should or want to believe. Doesn’t matter whether or not we consciously ruminate on past hurts and injustices, they are ingrained in the deep recesses of our subconscious and are a part of who we are until we can get rid of them, which is no easy task.

Growing up in East Tennessee, I was surrounded by prejudice or fear-based beliefs. There were the usual targets of black people, Jews, poor white trash, sissies and people from the North. My high school was all white kids and was further segregated into three levels of educational goals which translated to the students as smart, average and not so average. I’m pretty sure there were plenty of deadbeats in the smart group, and several geniuses in the other two. Education doesn’t always translate to success, so those unfair and untrue labels skewed our belief in self at that critical period just before leaving the nest. I’ve found as I navigate life, that we surely can change our inherited life view. Can’t blame someone else forever. We can re-shape our belief system into a positive and uplifting life for ourselves and in doing so, greatly influence those around us.

When I was 10 years old, my Grandma Rose decided that she would install me and my cousin Robert Watermelon for saleon the side of the road in front of her house with a watermelon stand. Grandma’s mojo (established in my 5-28-16 post) also included growing perfectly round, black-green and spectacularly sweet, red flesh watermelon. Relatives would gather in her front yard, set up saw horses with plywood and newspaper on top, and cut several melons in thick wedges which we would eat, dripping juice in the grass, while we sharpened our seed spitting skills. That summer as usual, I hung with Grandma and learned useful things like embroidery (I still have the pillowcase with the little roses, and you can definitely distinguish my poor little flower from Grandma’s handiwork), the best time of day to sit on the porch and break green beans, how to wring a chicken’s neck, slop the hogs…the normal stuff (lol). Anyway, this particular lesson in commerce included Robert who was 13 and lived across the street. We were summer compatriots in the rolling hills behind his house. Our adventures were glorious, exhausting, noon to dusk days full of exploration and just plain fun.

Grandma’s house was not situated on a busy street. It was more like a country road with a history. Old Sevierville Pike, it’s original name, had at one time connected South Knoxville to Sevierville, TN, the birth place of Dolly Parton. My family lived in what was considered a suburban neighborhood, but no one told Grandma who lived maybe a mile or so from us, that hogs and chickens weren’t very suburban. So I always felt like her house was somehow in a different universe. She and Grandad had moved closer to town from the ‘old homestead’ where Grandma had birthed their 9 children, but had managed to bring along most of the familiar smells such as the hogs. Seemed perfectly okay at the time, although I don’t recall anyone else around there generating those same smells. Could not take the country out of Alice Rose!

My Grandma was very industrious. Pretty sure she had to be to feed all those children in the poverty of the area in the early 1900’s. She figured selling watermelon (sorry…watermelonis just not right) for 50 cents a pop was a good profit, and myself and Robert were the handy and willing sales people for the job. I vividly remember standing in the shaded spot on the opposite side of the pike from her house and believing that we were going to be very successful in our effort. Grandma smiled and waved as she sat on her porch breaking even more green beans, and we waved back as we waited for our customers to come hungrily down the road.

Just as I was thinking that we should cut some samples to lure people in, all my hopes came to a crashing halt.  The first car that came down the road had a passenger who yelled an epithet at Robert that started with an ‘N’. My cousin was part Cherokee Indian and tanned a deep bronze-brown in the summer. That horror of a person had assumed he was of a different heritage and yelled out that word because Robert was standing with a young white girl. He spat out that filth because of his own inherent and  learned anger and fear that he didn’t measure up in some way. In order to elevate himself, he had to place other people below him in importance. Whole generations carry that through life after life, spreading and adding to what is an untrue and unnatural belief. I see their souls cluttered with pockets of dark energy, growing like a cancer. Ugly, but also very sad because too many are convinced of it’s truth. I’m not immune to this cancer. No one is.

As a young girl, I didn’t see color. Robert could have been green for all I cared. But I will admit to having to come against prejudice later in life that still seeps into my thoughts like the slime that it is. To this day I remember my utter dismay when Grandma walked across the street to usher us back to safety, deciding that our venture had to end almost before it began. But I also felt shame, as though we were somehow to blame. I think that’s when I started to wake up to words peppered in the everyday language of people that I really loved. People who saw no harm in using racial slurs as descriptions or in jokes. And the biggest irony? Robert’s parents, my aunt and uncle, named their black cocker spaniel…yep…the “N” word.

Be careful when you spew crap. It might just be flung right back atcha’!

And another thing…eat the watermelon seeds. Don’t spit them out as we were taught as youngsters. They won’t grow a watermelon in your tummy, and they’re very nutritious. 🙂

transform

 

 

 

 

Mommy’s Day…oh, the guilt!

mother's dayI just love holidays. Doesn’t matter which one. There’s a warm and fuzzy feeling of anticipation…and usually food. But Mother’s Day seems to drag along with it no small amount of guilt. My goodness, I feel guilty that I didn’t feed my daughter enough veggies, that we ate out way too much, didn’t spend enough time having fun, didn’t teach her to how cook or hem pants. Once on that road, it can be an all day trip.

 

Then there’s my Mother. I thought I knew her. But after I had to place her in a nursing home with dementia, where she lived for over 20 years, I continually came up with questions that I knew I could never get answers for. How did she cope everyday with growing up among 9 siblings in poverty? What did she think the first time she saw Daddy? How much guilt did she have when her mother was placed in a nursing home? Mother was still in ‘there’ somewhere in the last years of her life, but not accessible to me or anyone else. She’s been gone for 10 years now, but the guilt on many, many levels often still clouds my days. So how can we move on to a deeper understanding and forgiveness concerning both our parents and children? And how can we become vessels of unconditional love for ourselves and others?

I recently listened to Anthony William, author of Medical Medium, in a live webinar during Dr. Deanna Minich’s Whole Detox Program. The subject was compassion, but he took it to a level I had never considered. Anthony describes compassion as having no expiration date, as opposed to empathy which comes with a date, and sympathy which is very short term. We offer sympathy for a friend’s parent’s death. We empathize with a child’s struggle to become an adult until said child moves on to her own pastures. But developing compassion lifts our efforts of loving to the heady realm of unconditional. And consider that compassion is hope’s soul. Right there is a whole other blog. I’ll leave that for later.

Love doesn’t automatically have compassion attached. Wow. That certainly accounts for so many hurting people who are told that they are loved with no real understanding from the ‘teller’ what love is. Only with compassion comes the understanding required to love unconditionally. That’s why God/higher source is such a mystery. God loves us with gobs of compassion, unconditionally. No strings attached.

great healingAccording to the audible voice that speaks to him just outside his right ear, Anthony William’s Spirit is an energy source, a living word, instilled with the breath of life. The living essence of the word Compassion who sits closest to God. There are other living words such as Faith, Hope, Joy, Peace and others, but Compassion is the above them. About now I’m wishing for my own audible voice of understanding. On the other hand, a stream of 24/7 wisdom in my ear is more than I can live with presently. My own mind chatter will have to be sufficient.

Okay then. We can see why compassion may be the ticket to greater understanding and love of one another. But what difference would that have made in past years? Well, I love my daughter more than life, as we say. But it occurs to me that a good dose of compassion would have lifted me above the unknowing demands I placed on her growing up. Perhaps the independence I felt she needed for living in this world really needed more simple Mommy nurturing than I was able to provide. More hugs, more understanding, more forgiveness, more compassion. That last sentence certainly applies to my Mother as well. Mother is no longer here, so a big dose of self-love, self-forgiveness and self-compassion may relieve some of my guilt. My daughter is thankfully close by, so much more love with tons of compassion and hugs thrown in is called for. With diligence and understanding, I can do that.

One last thought from Anthony William:

Women have more compassion than men. (Well…duhhh.) Because of our greater compassion reserves, men’s suffering makes it harder for us (uh-huhhhh) because we take on the added suffering of men. Well…most of us know this, but thank you Anthony for saying it out loud. 🙂

The very last word is from my brother Barry. Tongue-in-cheek funky fun!

Words and music, vocals, instrumental tracks, Barry King. Bill Miles on Drums. ©2009 Purple Garage Records.

 

barry king

Barry King – “Cryin’ Hood” from the album, “almost acceptable”