Power of Touch

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I’ve been going through my word docx looking for more works that I could share with you. I came across this one that was actually an oral presentation, but a good read and a solid reminder of how important touch really is. I hope you enjoy it.

~SLD~

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There is no Santa

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It really is the little things that make Christmas special. With the ever increasing commercialism of the holiday season we tend to forget that- until necessity forces us to remember.

Caring for my father has left us all financially strapped. I worried about Christmas for months. More specifically, I was worried that my daughter, who is Autistic, wouldn’t understand the lack of holiday cheer and the absence of multiple presents under the tree.

That thought bothered me so much that I decided not to put a tree up. To be fair, that wasn’t the only deciding factor; my father is having increasing difficulty getting around and I envisioned a decorated tree with cherished ornaments older than my father crashing down as he reached for something to stabilize himself.

But mostly, I was hoping my daughter wouldn’t notice if Christmas just passed us by quietly.

That thought is almost laughable when you consider that Christmas music starts playing on the radio as everyone carves their Thanksgiving turkey and commercials bombard us with chubby red-clad jolly old men flashing beautifully wrapped presents.

I’d earlier purchased a STUFFIE by mail that I knew she wanted. That was hidden, still in the box, in plain sight. That was her one big gift.

The closer it got to Christmas, the more I could see her anxiety and confusion mount. I had no choice. I had to tell her that Santa didn’t exist. If I didn’t, she’d go on believing that the jolly ol’ man existed and for some reason, I wasn’t doing what I should to ensure he’d stop here. Was she a bad girl?

That thought tore me up. However, so did the thought of taking that one time of year that was magical away from her.

“Heather, Mommy has to tell you something.” She was lying in her bed pretending to be asleep for the last few hours, occasionally sneaking peaks at the lavishly decorated lawn catty-corner from us.

She squeezed her eyes shut as I continued.

“Heather…There is no Santa Claus.”

Her eyes opened wide and she looked at me.

“It’s not you. You haven’t been naughty, and you’re not being punished. Mommy and Daddy have always bought you presents and stuck them under the tree. There is no Santa Claus.”

Silence.

“But, Mommy has no money this year to buy presents. I’m so sorry. I’ll make it up to you soon. Do you understand?”

She looked at me with her big wide eyes and blinked a few times, squishing her nose like she does when she’s thinking, and then nodded her head once. She even got excited and sat up to tell me she wanted ‘that new big bike so she wouldn’t fall’.There was also relief at the mention that it wasn’t anything she had done.

And now I was relieved. For the first time in about a week, she smiled. I sat on the edge of the bed and I hugged her as hard as she would allow me to, and I kissed her puffy cheeks and squeezed her some more; all as my heart ached.

I got up to make her a snack and a few moments later I returned to her room, but instead of carrying the snack I held the box that was hidden in plain sight.

“Heather, I have something for you.”

{Gasp}”What is it?!” She sat up again in the bed.

“Mommy did get you something. It’s not Christmas, but I want you to have it now. You’ve been such a good girl.”

She reached for the box and gingerly opened the flaps to reveal the vibrant red of a stuffed dragon named “Blaze” that was jammed into a box 1/3 its size. I watched her eyes grow bigger as she tugged until all of the Stuffie finally succumbed to her pulls and slid out from the confines of the cardboard.

Another large gasp and then a wave of unbridled excitement; It’s just what she wanted. She hugged the large Stuffie to her body and rocked it side to side. I watched holding back tears.

I didn’t want the moment to end. It was so good to see her smiling again. I had one more gift to give her. Earlier that month, I’d taken another of her favorite toys-a stuffed Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon- and I photographed it. Then, I opened it in PowerPoint and added some items to personalize it.

I saved it as a picture and then uploaded it online to be put on a mug. Her favorite beverage is hot tea.

It wasn’t much…

When it came delivered to my door, I immediately opened it and was pleasantly surprised. It turned out beautifully. My intent was to add packets of hot chocolate and microwave popcorn…maybe I could find a cheap movie to add and make it a bigger gift.

It didn’t matter now. I walked out of her room and returned a moment later with the Styrofoam that held my tiny hope of redemption.

“Heather, I have one more gift to give you. I hope you like it.”

She took the package and turned it over a couple of times before finally pulling the two pieces of white foam apart. I watched quietly as she slowly pulled the cup out and examined it; turning it round and round.

She looked bewildered. There was her toy sitting on the side of a cup. How did it get there?

She squinted and turned her head to the side and pursed her lips…and then she suddenly giggled.

God, how I love that giggle.

“Mom! It’s Toothless– On my cup!” She shouted. “Look! Look!” She pointed.

“I know, I know.” I said. “I took a picture and then had the people at the store put it on this cup. Do you like it?

“Is it my cup? This is my cup?” She asked over and over.

“Yes…Yes. It’s all yours!”

“I want tea. Can you make me tea Mommy?”

“Absolutely.”

I reached over as if to grab the cup, but instead I hugged her again. She didn’t notice. She was too busy looking at her mug.

The simplest thing…love_Heather

Merry Christmas everyone.

~SLD~

Hyrdro-Aromatherapy; Hypothyroidism

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It’s been awhile since my last post. As mentioned in previous posts, I’m caring for my father who suffers from Alzheimer’s and things have been a little busy. But the joys of writing and photography are never far from the front of my mind.

I’ve been keeping busy in other ways that keep me closer and more available to the needs of my father by trying my hand at cookie decorating and also I’ve been working on organizing and categorizing my many photos and developing a series of photographic greeting cards that will soon be ready on Etsy for sale. (More information to come)

Additionally, I’ve just been updating my LinkedIn account and actually getting around to filling out more of the personal profile. I did not know that there was a section titled “Projects” that provided you space to share any projects by way of images, videos and  websites; even more of a reason for me to post more of my massage projects here…:-)

I do hope that some of these projects can be used by anyone who finds them useful, especially in this most recent post. Anyone who suffers from Hypothyroidism may find this aromatherapy blend helpful with dealing with some of their symptoms.

When researching the different essential oils, I found quite a few that blended well together and when I use the blend, it always leaves me feeling a bit more energized and focused.

If you can find even just a couple of the oils and mix them with a carrier oil, you can pour a little on a handkerchief or small piece of cloth and carry it with you.

Wave it slightly in front of you face for immediate results or take the blend with you to your next massage and ask the therapist to use it during your massage with him/her.

For the true benefits, make sure what you get are 100% essential oils. Essential oils are natural, and anything else is synthetic and will not give you the same benefits.

Here is a link to the PDF file. Let me know if you try it and how it works for you!

Hydrotherapy and Aromatherapy

~SLD~

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Basket of Tricks

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This is a photo-shopped photo of a basket I have full of what used to be useful items to me for expressing myself. It’s filled with all kinds of glue and X-acto blades, buckets full of charcoal pencils and scissors, tape, sand paper for the woodworking projects, staples and staplers, little drill bits, ribbons…

All of which I haven’t touched in ages, well, except for the tape. I use that every time I have to wrap a gift. But as far as the other stuff is concerned, most of it has been replaced by programs on the computer.

I’m a little sad about that. I miss working with my hands and feeling the glue as it dries and then peels from the cracks in my hands; unless we’re talking about the oozing hot lava that drips from the angry glue gun and leaves blisters the size of quarters  on finger tips the size of dimes. That was never fun.

But then again…I love experimenting with the programs and apps that allow you to take a quick snap of anything and turn it into a work of art (even if it is in your own mind).

My favorite has got to be Power Point. That program is so versatile. I’m always discovering new things about it, whether from an online tutorial or just by hitting something new on the ribbon. A lot of the time, I’ll have labored over something I’m working on for hours and after being so proud of myself, I’ll discover online a much easier way of doing it.

The point is, I discover and sometimes even find a new use for it.

I do so miss the smell of my charcoal pencils and the sound they make as their points drag along the heavy-grade paper, I miss the smell of the wood and the sound of the scroll saw blade and how my hands felt numb afterwards…but the new stuff is a lot of fun too.

What about you?

Do you find reasons other than work related to use the different programs available to you?

Reflect Peace

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(In light of the recent shooting in D.C.) There seems to be a time for words and another time for none.

This feels like a time for none.

Sometimes it seems that it feels like *more* just to be present than to find words to console or to provoke laughter for a moment of levity.

In silence, we find peace and in finding peace, we project it.

Let’s all project it.

Peaceful Co-habitation

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While looking for another photo, I came across this one of two of our four-legged loved ones.

Pictured are Lucky the iguana, and Lynard (Len-Len) our melon- headed cat enjoying a spring morning in the sun room.

All of our animals used to love that room in the warmer months and even on cold winter days, the 2 cats used to curl up in the shelving, on a wall not shown, to soak up the sun’s rays.

One animal would take the more coveted position on the wicker table; each liking the feel of digging nails into the coarse threads of it.  (Something I was absolutely not happy with.) Sometimes we saw them both, or all of them, on one piece of furniture.

For a while we used to worry that when we weren’t looking, the cats would use Lucky as their play thing. Even though the tail of an iguana can be quite dangerous and is used to whip-snap at any threat to its safety, his claws, which would have been even more of a threat, were missing.

He’d suffered from mites when he was just an itty-biddy thing and lost most of his spikes and claws because of it. However, those fears were unfounded, as each animal was content enough with sharing the space and sometimes even seemed to enjoy the diversity as a welcome thing.

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The cats would spend hours hearing-then looking for- the various birds that dared to perch in sight. Tails would begin to twitch and backs would arch, ready to bounce on the glass in an attempt to catch the scarlet-red cardinals that flew from one branch to the other just outside the windows.

Lucky would try to scale the curtains, clawless, and then fall helplessly onto the backs of the cats, roll over, and try again. There was never any hissing or whipping of tails by either species; just a natural appreciation of the space they all wanted to share.

It was a peaceful co-habitation albeit an unnatural one, and it was one that grew stronger with time.

Sweet Treat

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My last post was about the stressful times of a student who resides in the right side of her brain, and if you didn’t read it but still guessed that student was me, well, you’d be correct! (give yourself a gold star :-))

In the post, I mentioned the only thing that kept me going during some of the hardest times were the opportunities to stretch the creative side of myself. In some of the posts that will follow, I’d like to share some of those with you. You may find some of them useful and some informative, or maybe just boring or tedious. I hope that’s not the case.

Anyways…these posts, for the time being, will be in a category under All Things Massage. 

I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, but one thing is certain, I’m gonna have fun and keep both sides of my brain happy and if that doesn’t work, I’ll get a massage.

Maybe you deserve one as well?–>sunday_brunch

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Right Brain Left Brain-What’s in the Middle

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I spent two years in an institution of higher learning that was intense, and pretty grueling in subjects way out of my comfort zone.

At first, I thought it would be easy-peasy-pumpkin-pie. After all, I’d be learning about a subject that I was passionate about; The art of Massage Therapy. All I can say is “People, read the syllabus!!”  LOL

But seriously, Read More