Category Archives: Lifestyle

Modern Mourning

I have a love hate relationship with the days that my husband is laid off of work, and unfortunately the work flow at Worzalla Publishing has been rather hit and miss of late. I love that he is around more, but I really hate that the money is not the same and that I end up wasting a ton of time to distractions that are not part of the normal day around here.

That being said, we were watching this show called Oddities on the Science Channel today, which is fascinating and disturbing at the same time. This “reality” TV show follows Mike and Evan, who own Obscura Antiques and Oddities in New York City. These people have the truly bazaar and macabre in their store and run out to find more. They have done searches for embalming equipment for the lead singer of Korn and purchased deformed pigs in jars.

Anyway, the episode we watched today (it was a rerun, but we hadn’t watched it) had a woman come into the store wearing Victorian mourning clothes, complete with the lachrymatory or tear catcher. A tear catcher is a small bottle that mourners would wear to catch their tears in and then pour them on the grave of the deceased on the one year anniversary of their death. There are some beautiful models available for sale on line at several different stores, if you are interested. During this woman’s visit to the store, Evan brings out another Victorian death ritual, hair art. This piece was amazing: willow trees over the person’s grave with fencing. The details were great.

Of course all this ritual and obsession with death, gives it a more romantic appeal, but it also got me thinking that modern funerals are really a non reactive, glossed over version of mourning. We have essentially two days, one for a viewing and one for a church or in the funeral home ritual that speaks of the person’s life. Everyone shows up, cries a little, eats too much, and goes home. The bereaved is then left alone to deal with their feelings at time that they feel alone anyway. That thought of course lead to what other cultures do to recognize that death has visited and the loss left behind when someone you care about is gone.

There are different mourning periods and rules around the world and they can vary from a few months long to a year to even longer in some belief systems. While I am a typical American and would find saving my tears to be poured on the grave of my dead loved one or working their hair into some sort of art a bit odd, I do recognize that most cultures embrace death and its uncomfortable presence in our lives much better than the majority of us do. And even though I do not desire to make the hair of my friends and family into art or jewelry after their death, I also can see how this may bring comfort to someone in mourning. You are creating something to be treasured for the rest of your life from a piece of them, thus keeping them close to you when they are so far away.

I hope that I have not disgusted you, nor made you depressed, but maybe we should think about what is important to us and create our own rituals that will honor those who enter the great beyond before us. What rituals honor those lives? What feels meaningful to you?

Spring Cleaning: Lighten the Load



Wake up Central Wisconsin, it’s Spring! Time to clean out that house and get it ready for everything you want to do this year!  Get rid of the clutter and the winter doldrums and help a few other people at the same time.

You can clean your house and do a lot of good by donating the things you no longer use. I mean, c’mon; how much stuff do you really need? We’ve all heard about those sad people who hoard things until they can’t move in their own homes. The houses are tightly packed, claustrophobic and impossible to truly live in. Release your excess items and let yourself breathe again. Somebody else may be utterly happy to get that pile of ‘classic’ beer shirts your wife hates.

So what do we do? Where to start?

I recommend Sara Aguirre’s cleaning blog on About.com, http://housekeeping.about.com/bio/Sarah-Aguirre-10718.htm as a reference. Her tips are amazing and ruthlessly practical. If you need more information, just Google ‘Spring Cleaning’ and hundreds of great sites will pop up. Pick one and go with it. You’ll be glad you did.

Empty cupboards and closets; look in boxes and totes to see what’s there. Remove everything, then sort into three piles: keep, donate, trash. If you haven’t touched it in a year, there’s no reason to keep it. This is a spiritual cleaning as well. Too much ‘stuff’ hanging around weighs you down both mentally and physically.

Once you clear out the sheer weight of things you no longer need, the cleaning begins. Start at the top: Sweep the ceilings with a broom wrapped in an old T-shirt to remove dust and smoke. Do the same to the walls. They may need to actually be washed, so be sure to use a cleanser gentle on painted surfaces.

Scrub the kitchen counters and remember that this is where your food is prepared, cleanliness is important. Organize the cupboards by how you work; place the most often used items in front, lesser-used farther back. Have designated places for everything and keep putting them back where they belong. I like it when I can find what I need without a long, drawn-out search effort.

Go through the family closets and make everyone try things on. Donate clothes in good shape that no longer fit anyone in your family. Always remember that someone will be glad to get some use out of it if you don’t need it. Donate books and magazines you no longer read or take them to the recycling center. Swap out your seasonal clothes, storing the ones not needed at the moment for next winter. As a side note, this is a good time to evaluate your personal and professional style; perhaps you can make a few changes to give yourself a lift?

Clean out the basement or your garage and storage areas. Barring things like holiday decorations and antiques or family heirlooms and mementos, what can you get rid of? Old furniture, appliances, failed craft projects, boxes full of things you ‘might’ get around to fixing. These can all go to the appropriate venue such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, a local shelter, a nursing home, children’s home or a shelter for battered women.

Cleaning is a chore, make no mistake about it. The end result makes all the hard work worth it, however: a clean house, a clean spirit, and a sense of accomplishment when you live inside the final result. Enjoy your home the way it was meant to be. Happy Spring!

Find your peace, friends!

Rev. Zita.

Indigo and Crystal Children: An overview

Today seems to be my day for finding blog topics, since the past few days I have been just lost and not coming up with a proper conversation piece. Earlier I got a call from a wedding planner and had a topic for our Not Your Mom’s Wedding Blog and tonight I decided to listen to Cathie’s Distant Echoes Blogtalk Radio show and found one for here.

Cathie features different psychics, spiritual leaders, and speakers on her show and sometimes they do readings and other times they speak on a topic that they are experts in or is something that they have experience with. Today Cathie featured Brenda Tenerelli who brought up the topic of Indigo and Crystal children. Of course this topic is near and dear to me, since my oldest son may fit in to this grouping of different kids.

I have read the book on Indigo children years ago, but most of what I read I seem to have forgotten. I guess it is time to bring it out again and reread that too.

o   Act like royalty or they deserve to be here and are surprised when others do not share the same feeling

o   They know who they are and their worth

o   They do not like authority without a reason

o   Some tasks of daily life are hard for them, such as waiting in line or concentrating when told to

o   Rigid ritual frustrates them and they often want to be creative

o   Tend to think “outside the box” and find it hard to conform to any system

o   Anti social except with their own kind; find social organizations like school difficult

o   Do not respond to guilt easily

o   Will voice their needs openly and loudly if necessary.

o   May be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD

o   Usually born after 1995

o   May have large eyes, but always an intense stare

o   Have a magnetic personality and highly affectionate

o   Musically inclined and usually talk late in life, may sing before speaking

o   Very spiritually inclined and may speak openly of angles, spirit guides, and the like

o   Are usually fearless  and climb everything with an unusual sense of balance

o   Highly sensitive to the energies around them and may use telepathy or sign language they invent to interact with those around them.

o   May be diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome

Of course there is so much more to these children and as I learn more about them I will share it with you. In the mean time, please join Cathie on her Blogtalk Radio show and enjoy her interesting topics and speakers.

Are You a Wayseer?

Wayseer is a term coined by Garret John LoPorto and he uses it to group together freethinkers, thrill seekers and other people that have non-conformist tendencies. A friend posted a video that LoPorto did that is an interesting rap/song about how the Wayseer is the leader of the future, as long as they embrace their different way of looking at the world and expressing themselves.

Originally I was interested because it seemed to describe my youngest son, who is always looking to do things his way and is stubborn as heck about it too. So, I thought that maybe I would get insight into how his little brain works and maybe figure out a way to deal with his unique thought process. I bought the book and have started reading the e-version. I have only made it through the first chapter.

Normally I do not promote products and say that one should purchase them, and I am not saying that you should purchase this book either. I have just found the premise very interesting that a gene that only 10% of the population has can make a person think and act differently enough to change the other 90% of society.

LoPorto appears to be encouraging free, independent thought; for one to look at something and see what others seem to miss or accept on faith alone. Gee, that sounds like what we do. We like to bring you interesting ideas, thoughts, or just things that we find and share them and hope that you see what we see or if you see it differently that you speak up and tell us.

As I read this book and see what it offers, I will share. If you decide that you want to purchase this book yourself, please share your thoughts on it with us. We would love to know what you think about it.

Proofs of Love

Over the past few months and still now, I have been in the middle of my own health crisis. I have seen lots of doctors from the ones in the ER, my own family doc, and then the surgeon too. That also means that I have spent time in a lot of waiting rooms with a ton of magazines. I never really expected to find a basis for a blog while waiting to be seen by a doctor, but this month this article came back to me and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner and the theme of love in air, it seemed right to share it.

I picked up the waiting room copy of Good Housekeeping and found an article by Gretchen Rubin about her year long project on making herself and her life happier. The article is about how through giving love she found that she felt more loved. The idea that she had for one month was based on the saying that “There is no love. There are only proofs of love.” by the French poet Pierre Reverdy.  During this month of her Happiness Project she worked on making sure that the people in her life were shown proofs of love.

How many of us give proofs of love to those that really matter in our lives daily? I know that I am guilty of not always showing how much those around me matter. There always seems to be one more article that needs to be written, some one’s wedding to work on, cleaning to be done, a resume to fill out, a project for class, etc., etc., etc. To be honest, the excuses take longer to list than the time it would take to give all of those someones that proof of love that we all crave in our lives; those little things we want the people in our lives to do for us.

Giving someone you love a proof of how you feel is not expensive or time consuming. It can be a simple gesture: a hug, a phone call, a free e card that says “thinking of you.” You can always follow Rubin’s example and make silly phone calls to your loved ones as you go about your day. The truth about this is that we are considered the most connected society in the history of the world with our cell phones, laptops, netbooks, etc. but most of us still feel lonely and unloved. Let’s work to change that one person and one proof at a time. Spread those proofs of love in little, surprising ways.

If you have an idea how to show a proof of love that is inexpensive, or better yet free, please leave a comment and share your ideas. We love to see how varied and fun our readers are.

Loving Wastefully

Coming up with ideas to share here is sometimes hard and sometimes easy, as you can see by how often we actually post. We tend to look all over for inspiration, anything from the news, to other blogs, and even our friends. I have to thank my friend Rev Jeri Murphy for sharing the phrase “love wastefully.” The interpretation is that loving wastefully is without limits.

How many of us actually love wastefully? Unfortunately, I have to admit that I don’t always give my love away, but rather place limits on it. I know that many of you will say that is human nature, and maybe you are right. Yet again, what else do we have to give away that can be truly free in this life? As far as I can see nothing, but yet most of us, if not all of us, place limits on how we love one another.

This seems like the perfect topic considering that Valentine’s Day, the day we all think of love, is just around the corner. I challenge you to find 5 ways to love someone “wastefully” in your life each day. You don’t have to use your 5 ways on the same person all day, so feel free to spread it around. The point here is to try to create stronger connections to those that you love in your life in a world that sometimes seems bent on making us forget what is really important.

The one thought that I have is: can spreading love really ever be wasteful? It seems to me that the more love we spread the more we’ll get back, be it through a smile, laugh, hug, or some other way of showing that we matter and what we do for each other matters.

Autism Awareness

This is  topic that is near and dear to my heart and kind of goes with the post earlier this week with the moment of silence in schools. The issue with Autism Awareness is that we have more people who know what Autism is, but the stigma associated with it is not removed.

If you have a child or know a child who has Autism, let’s raise the awareness of the local community. Wear a tshirt , put on a bumper sticker, post your support of Autism research on your social network page, etc. Please help bring this disease out of the closet and into the public eye like it should be.

These statistics may have changed, but these are the last ones that I have read. 1 out of every 250 babies born will have autism. That baby is more likely to be a boy than a girl. Autism is currently incurable and has no medical treatment at all. The cause of Autism is unknown, although many blame immunizations for the disease. Research is ongoing, but does not have the same awareness as breast cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Please help us gain awareness so that Autism is no longer taboo, but rather talked about openly.

Many children in the school system with Autism are picked on and bullied relentlessly. If you have children, please discuss this with them. Autistic children want friends just like all children do.

A Special Suggestion for this Holiday Season

A special suggestion for this Holiday Season

 

Greetings, friends! It’s that time of year again—shopping, carols, good will to man. We all know it and willingly deal with the stress of finding just that perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives. In the midst of all this crazed activity, there is also the underlying knowledge that for many of us, this year is likely to be a bit on the lean side.

We all know that the economy is still shaky and many people have not yet regained their jobs. This means that their families may be looking at a Christmas that is less than stellar, at best or downright grim, at worst. For that reason, I’d like to bring up something I posted a few weeks back: the Aphorisms for Heretics, specifically Aphorism # 33 “Help where you can.”

Americans are notorious for riding to the rescue, but shy about admitting or accepting help when we need it. It’s both a great strength and a flaw in our national character, part of what makes us what we are, really. That’s a good thing, and we need to take advantage of it, now more than ever. Many charities are feeling the bite of the bad economy with a severe drop in donations at a time when more people than ever are in need of their services.  Many people are feeling alone and abandoned, in dire straights because of a sudden loss of jobs or security and having a hard time recovering their feet.

We here at Heartfelt would like to send out an appeal to our readers: “Help where you can.”

That’s it in a nutshell. Here are some ideas you could use:

If you are able, send a donation to your favorite charity in the name of a person you know who can’t.

Give canned goods and personal toiletries to the local food drive, food bank, or shelter in your area.

 If your town has a ‘coats for kids’ drive, donate any unused or outgrown coats, hats, gloves and mittens to keep kids warm this winter. Or you may donate them to a shelter in your area that could use them.

Some areas have programs to assist with heating costs for families in need, donate if you are able, or suggest the name of someone you know who may be in danger of freezing to death this winter. They may not be aware these programs even exist.

If you can’t spare the funds, maybe you can give some time? Spend an hour a week helping out at your local food bank, blood drive, family shelter, animal shelter, toys for tots program, or any other charitable program in your area that you feel is worthy of your time and effort. Many of these groups are working hard, but just don’t have enough hands to get things done effectively. They could use yours and would be grateful.

Shovel a sidewalk clear of snow for an elderly person in your neighborhood. Not only will it keep our elders safer, but many cities will fine them if the walk isn’t cleared within a certain amount of time, and a person on a fixed income just can’t afford that. You can help someone out and stick it to your city council at the same time, isn’t that great?

I’ll close now, but I will include some links that can help you get started. You can also check your city and county websites for further ideas on where you can help. Your local Red Cross and the Salvation Army are always good places to start. As Americans, we’ve dashed across oceans to lend a hand when needed; now it’s time cross the street with the same intention. Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita

www.redcross.org

www.unitedway.org

www.aspca.org

www.salvationarmy.org

Greetings, friends! It’s that time of year again—shopping, carols, good will to man. We all know it and willingly deal with the stress of finding just that perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives. In the midst of all this crazed activity, there is also the underlying knowledge that for many of us, this year is likely to be a bit on the lean side.

We all know that the economy is still shaky and many people have not yet regained their jobs. This means that their families may be looking at a Christmas that is less than stellar, at best or downright grim, at worst. For that reason, I’d like to bring up something I posted a few weeks back: the Aphorisms for Heretics, specifically Aphorism # 33 “Help where you can.”

Americans are notorious for riding to the rescue, but shy about admitting or accepting help when we need it. It’s both a great strength and a flaw in our national character, part of what makes us what we are, really. That’s a good thing, and we need to take advantage of it, now more than ever. Many charities are feeling the bite of the bad economy with a severe drop in donations at a time when more people than ever are in need of their services.  Many people are feeling alone and abandoned, in dire straights because of a sudden loss of jobs or security and having a hard time recovering their feet.

We here at Heartfelt would like to send out an appeal to our readers: “Help where you can.”

That’s it in a nutshell. Here are some ideas you could use:

If you are able, send a donation to your favorite charity in the name of a person you know who can’t.

Give canned goods and personal toiletries to the local food drive, food bank, or shelter in your area.

 If your town has a ‘coats for kids’ drive, donate any unused or outgrown coats, hats, gloves and mittens to keep kids warm this winter. Or you may donate them to a shelter in your area that could use them.

Some areas have programs to assist with heating costs for families in need, donate if you are able, or suggest the name of someone you know who may be in danger of freezing to death this winter. They may not be aware these programs even exist.

If you can’t spare the funds, maybe you can give some time? Spend an hour a week helping out at your local food bank, blood drive, family shelter, animal shelter, toys for tots program, or any other charitable program in your area that you feel is worthy of your time and effort. Many of these groups are working hard, but just don’t have enough hands to get things done effectively. They could use yours and would be grateful.

Shovel a sidewalk clear of snow for an elderly person in your neighborhood. Not only will it keep our elders safer, but many cities will fine them if the walk isn’t cleared within a certain amount of time, and a person on a fixed income just can’t afford that. You can help someone out and stick it to your city council at the same time, isn’t that great?

I’ll close now, but I will include some links that can help you get started. You can also check your city and county websites for further ideas on where you can help. Your local Red Cross and the Salvation Army are always good places to start. As Americans, we’ve dashed across oceans to lend a hand when needed; now it’s time cross the street with the same intention. Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita

www.redcross.org

www.unitedway.org

www.aspca.org

www.salvationarmy.org

What we are thankful for….

Thanksgiving is less than a week from now, and it is that time of year that we all starting thinking about what we are thankful for. Of course we have the easy things, like friends, family, health, and so on… but what about those really difficult things to admit that we are thankful for them; you know those things that make us sound selfish and self centered….

Wait! Selfish and self-centered? Can we really be selfish and self-centered if we are being thankful? And why do we feel ashamed for being thankful for anything in our lives that is good?

My personal thankful list (starting with the easy ones):

  1. My husband who always seems to get the short end of the stick
  2. My kids who drive me nuts at times, but enrich my life so much
  3. My parents and step parents who taught me to at least be self sufficient.
  4. My friends who are always there, usually with a joke
  5. This blog, where I get to air my various opinions and thoughts
  6. Heartfelt Ministries as a whole because making money while helping someone is great
  7. Facebook for many entertaining hours of mindless dribble.
  8. Creativity, new ideas are always great.
  9. Romantic comedies, again entertainment
  10. Quiet time, keeps me sane.

What are you thankful for? Feel free to share your ideas too.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving my friends.

Rev. Kelly

Why I think gay and lesbian people should be able to get legally married

I know that this is a topic that seems to come up frequently, and maybe it is a bit over done, but I have to get this off my chest. That is especially after hearing a friend say it was “unChristian” to be gay. No matter how you feel about gay people, the simple truth is that they are Americans and they deserve the same freedoms that we all do. Keeping them from marrying each other is not going to stop the fact that gay and lesbian people exist.

Frankly, I do not believe that being gay is a “choice.” That God, Goddess, Allah, Deity, Mother Nature, or whatever you believe in made gay people gay and straight people straight and that it was on purpose. Gays are not an abomination, are not sinners, are not evil, or any of the other Biblical BS that is floating around out there. As far as that goes, there are more rules to how straight couples should behave in the Bible than there are for gay couples, so I think that says that God trusts gay couples more than straight couples.

Anyway, back on topic here. First of all, over the years, marriage has evolved. First, if a man could buy a woman, she was his wife. Then it was if a father had a dowry to get rid of his daughter, she could become a wife. There were and are arranged marriages, and forced marriages, and marriages of obligation. Most marriages in the US now are voluntary and for love, which is where I am going. The concept of marriage has evolved over the years, and it should evolve again.

Then there is the fact that for no other reason than the most popular religions in America claim that gay marriage is wrong are there laws against it. The Constitution does not allow government to make laws against religion, so why should it allow laws based solely on religious rhetoric? And for those of you who think, “yeah, we have separation of church and state” someone needs to show me that, because I haven’t seen it yet for all the times that I have read the Constitution.

Finally, there is the fact that marriage in the US really has nothing to do with religion. The state that you get married in validates the marriage. A ceremony can take place in a church, but without that piece of paper from the state, the marriage is not legal and the couple doesn’t get any of the benefits of marriage. Therefore, religion should have no ruling on who should get married and who shouldn’t.