Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

My Photo
Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nebulaan (Theatrical)

we are very small

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Um, yeah, my "piano" needs tuned! ;)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Carcinogenic Diagnosis

I found this on medscape today, it is from The Hastings Center Report. I am going to put the article here because those without a Medscape account may not be able to access it and I think people need to see this!

"Carcinogenic Diagnosis
Adriane Fugh-Berman

If a diagnostic procedure increases cancer risk, should patients be informed of that risk? Apparently not, at least for one procedure performed more than 150,000 times a day in the United States.[1] CT scans use multiple x-rays to create three-dimensional images that are diagnostically useful but expose people to far more radiation than conventional x-rays. In fact, one CT scan exposes a patient to the lower range of radiation received by some Nagasaki bombing survivors. Up to one in a thousand patients will develop cancer from this exposure.[2] Sixty million CT scans a year will thus cause cancer in thousands of people. Yet most consent forms are silent about this.

The cancer-causing effects of CT scans are routinely discussed in the medical literature, and some researchers have worried about the long-term effects, especially in children, who have more dividing cells to disrupt and more time to develop cancer. Others trivialize the risk, arguing that the benefits are worth it. Yet patients undergoing CT scans are informed of the much rarer risks of serious complications and deaths (one in 400,000) caused by injection of iodinated contrast material. Serious allergic reactions are dramatic and almost immediate, but most people will survive even severe allergic reactions, especially when they take place in a health care facility. Cancers may take decades to manifest, but can be devastating. And that an effect is delayed is hardly justification for not mentioning it; informed consent for cancer treatment includes discussion of the long-term risks of inducing new cancers.

Some researchers have also suggested that since the background risk of getting a fatal cancer is one in five, what's the harm in a little topping off? Iatrogenic risks are different from the background risks of daily living, however. Besides, the concern is not just that the incidence of cancer will be increased, but that it will occur earlier. One of five people eventually may die of cancer but dying of cancer at age fifty instead of ninety surely makes a difference.

The literature notwithstanding, the silence on medical radiation risks is not due to a conspiracy of doctors: they are largely unaware of the problem. One survey found that less than half of radiologists, and less than a tenth of emergency room doctors, realized that CT scans increased the lifetime risk of cancer.[3] Few of either group could accurately compare radiation doses between CT scans and x-rays. Also, physicians may not realize that balancing risks against benefits works better when weighing diseases against treatment than when assessing diagnostics. A cancer treatment may cause heart damage, but the chance of cure may be worth the risk. There are many more variables when assessing diagnostics, including the availability and equivalency of other diagnostic techniques, the fact that all tests are fallible, and the realization that imaging is only part of making a diagnosis, which is only the first step towards considering treatments.

Surely these risks should be mentioned to patients. Often they can also just be avoided or reduced. CT scans are sometimes superior to other imaging techniques, but in other cases, CT scans can be replaced with magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound, which do not expose patients to damaging ionizing radiation. Sometimes just a good medical history suffices. One reason for the proliferation of CT scans is the proliferation of CT scanners; once purchased, they bring in more money the more often they are used. Necessary CT scans can be made safer by reducing the dose of radiation and by protecting non-target areas of the body. Protective garments and shields that reduce radiation exposure of the most sensitive tissues (breasts, eyes, and thyroid glands) are commercially available but little used."



Originally uploaded by T Glow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monster Garage - Kid Style

Having some fun with the kids this weekend.

Friday, October 20, 2006

An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
--Carl Jung

Friday, October 13, 2006

Never toss a Joel

This is a short (low quality) clip I got with my phone at class last night. Joel and the instructor were showing the children how to roll when someone tosses you. Joel bounces! :) Everytime he got tossed, he just rolled and got right back up like it was nothing. The children were wide-eyed with their mouths standing open. :)
(That's David laughing in the background--he tries his best to get the upperhand on Joel but doesn't stand a chance, he had fun watching someone else flip Joel! LOL)

Joe takes a beating

This is a little clip of video I took with my phone. It isn't very good quality but it shows Joe taking a beating from his instructor as he tries to cross a balance beam.

Joe at Shindenkan Budo

Joe has been working very hard practicing the skills he is learning at Shindenkan Budo. He has learned much about focus, balance and agility, and how to defend himself. He has a wonderful instructor who instills in the children that sometimes they must use force to defend themselves but they are never the agressor.
Also, Joe's cousin Joel joined them for this class session which made it extra exciting. The children were able to work with Joel for a few minutes until the other instructor was ready. Joel is currently working to progress to the rank of brown belt. He is very good at the art and helps instruct. He and also goes through some of the moves with the instructor of the childre's class to show the children what they need to do and what the results are.
This week, after going through exercises for some time, the instructor chose two of the children from class to test for the rank of orange belt--the first rank in jujitsu. Joe along with another child Joe is friends with, Daniel, were chosen to be given the testing. At the end of class, the other children all seated themselves against the wall and Joe and Daniel proceeded to be tested. The instructor had them show certain moves that are required as well as questioned them on various aspects of stragety and motivation to see how their mental focus was and if they understood what they were doing.
After the test was over the instructor brought everyone back out on the mat and had them sit in a medatative state for a moment, focusing on their breathing. As they did this, the instructor went to the back of the class then came back to the front with two orange belts. First he had Daniel come up and sit before him then presented him with his orange belt. The class all bowed to Daniel. Then the instuctor had Joe come and sit before him and presented him with his orange belt. The class all bowed to Joe.
Joe is so excited and so proud of himself. I am very proud of him. He has worked hard and practiced to better himself in the skills he is learning both mental and physical.
Orange belt rank means he will stay in the beginning class but will be positioned at the front of the class with the other children behind him so that he will be an example for the other students in the class.
It was especially special that Joe had Joel there at class when he received his first rank. Joel and Sensi Ward helped Joe to take off his white belt and then put his orange belt on. It was a special evening.
Now Joe is working hard at bettering his balance and skills so that he may start his journey towards yellow belt. This morning before school, Joe had a few extra minutes so he asked me to let him know when I was ready to leave, he was going to meditate for a few minutes and proceeded to sit down in his little kneeling position and close his eyes and work at meditating and getting ready for his school tests today. :)

David and the Horses

Well, this week David did not ride Lucky. Lucky has some sore muscles and needs to rest. Also, David is ready to move on to a horse with a little more spunk. So now David is riding a horse named Bjorg. He is a beautiful horse (personally my favorite of all the horses). Bjorg is a type of horse called a Norwegian Fjord. They are beautiful horses, light in color with a black "dorsal stripe" that runs through the main, down the back and down the tail. I call Bjorg a "punk rock" horse because they crop his main so you can see the two different colors in it--thus producing a mowhawk. ;) His mane is a pale cream color on the outside with a thick black stripe in the middle of it. Likewise, his tail is pale cream with black running through it. He is pale in color down to the base of his legs, which have the black "socks". Very beautiful horses.
Bjorg is quite a bit younger than Lucky and is loaded with personality. He sticks his head out and moves his lips and shows his teeth--his way of "laughing". It looks much like the way Mr. Ed used to "talk" on the TV show. He also loves candy. One of the leader had eaten some candy prior to class. Bjorg could smell it and was too busy sniffing and inspecting the leader (in hopes of finding more candy that he might get a taste of) to pay attention to the instructions he was being given. Bjorg loves candy!
David had a new experience riding Bjorg because he's a bit more rotund than Lucky. David had to really stretch his legs to ride atop Bjorg. After a bit of adjusting, though, David was right at home of Bjorg's back and doing all of his exercises very well.
It was great fun to watch David and Bjorg work together. They seem to have matching personalities, a bit bold and daring with a spirited sense of humor...and feisty! Oh boy those two are quite the feisty team!
David still gets to go over and say hi to Lucky and visit for a couple of minutes since they are such good friends. David is doing so wonderful with these lessons. I am continually amazed at how fearless David is. He does one exercise, "around the world" where he swings his little leg over the horse's neck so that he's sitting sideways. Then he swings his leg over again so that he is seated backwards on the horse. Swinging his leg again he now sits sidesaddle facing the other way and then one more swing on the leg and he is seated correctly in the saddle. David does this so quickly he barely puts his legs down before he's swinging his next leg and spinning around in the saddle. Even with my years of riding I don't think I could do this with have the balance and grace that David does this manuver with! If a horse doesn't do what he asks of it, he has no problem putting his little hand on the horse's nose and making it obey his command. It is so impressive to watch this little guy command these big animals around. He is so fearless. That's our David!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga poses are often overlooked. These poses are not physically challenging in the same way as many "difficult" poses are, but they do require something hard to achieve- total relaxation. These poses often make use of props to support the body. The props do some of the work while you relax and let yourself open. Often the poses are held for 10 minutes or longer.

Goddess Pose--Supta Baddha Konasana
1. From Cobbler's Pose - Baddha Konasana, lean backwards, bringing your elbows to the floor.
2. Lower the back all the way to the floor.
3. Stay here several minutes. To come out, roll over to your side and sit up using your hands to support you.
Beginners: If you are not comfortable reclining on the floor, you may use a bolster or several folded blankets to support the spine. You may also want to take a block under each knee for support.

Legs Up the Wall - Viparita Karani
1. Come to sit next to a wall with the side of your body on the wall and your knees bent into the chest.
2. Bring the lower back onto the floor while bringing the legs up the wall. Keep the upper body supported with the elbows on the floor.
3. Slowly release the elbows and lower the whole back down to the floor.
4. Stay here several minutes if you are comfortable.
5. To come out, bring the knees into your chest and roll to your side.
You may wish to support the low back with a bolster or several folded blankets placed right at the wall and parallel to the wall. This also increases the angle of inversion.
You may try different position with your legs, such as with knees bent and the soles of the feet touching (as in Cobbler's Pose - Baddha Konasana, taking the legs in a wide straddle), or even Lotus Pose.

Supported Bridge
1. Come to lie on your back with the knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Have a yoga block handy.
2. You should be able to barely touch the backs of your heels with your fingertips when the arms are lying on the floor.
3. The feet should be parallel and stay that way through the duration of the pose.
4. Press down into the soles of the feet as you lift the hips off the floor.
5. Slide your yoga block under your back directly under the sacrum. Let your sacrum rest on the block. Let the arms rest alongside the body.
6. This should be a comfortable resting position. You may wish to stay here several minutes.
7. To come out, press down into your feet and lift the hips again. Remove the block and gently lower your back to the floor.
Beginners: It is a good idea to start with the block on the lowest level. If this feels comfortable, you can try turning it to a higher level. Since this is a restorative pose, choose the level that gives you the most ease. If you feel any pain, come out.

Ocean Breath – Ujjayi Pranayama

Benefits: Concentrates and directs the breath, giving asana practice extra power and focus.
This pranayama is most often used in association with the practice of yoga poses, especially in the vinyasa style. Vinyasa yoga is breath-synchronized movement, and the breath used is Ujjayi breath. Learn this breath while seated in a comfortable cross-legged position. Once you feel confident, begin to use it during asana practice.
1. Inhale and exhale deeply through the mouth.
2. On the exhales, begin to tone the back of the throat, slightly constricting the passage of air. Imagine that you are fogging up a pair of glasses.
3. Once you are comfortable with the exhale, begin to apply the same toning of the throat to the inhales. This is where the name of the breath comes from: it sounds like the ocean. It also sounds like Darth Vadar.
4. When you are able to control the throat on both the inhale and the exhale, close the mouth and begin breathing through the nose. Continue applying the same toning to the throat that you did when the mouth was open. The breath will still make a loud noise coming in and out of the nose. This is Ujjayi breath.
5. Now start to use this breath during your practice. If the teacher tells you to move on an inhale, make it an Ujjayi inhale. If you need a little something extra while holding a pose, remember this breath.
Another way to think about Ujjayi Breath is to visualize your throat as a garden hose, with the breath passing through like a trickle of water. If you put your thumb partially over the opening of the hose, you increase the power of the water that is coming through. This is the same thing you are doing with your throat during Ujjayi breathing. The air that comes in through your constricted throat is a powerful, directed breath that you can send into the parts of your body that need it during yoga.

Favorite pose lately

Paschimottanasana and other forward bends really benefit from working with the breath. Rather than rushing into your forward bend, come forward over the legs slowly. On each inhale, lengthen the spine, and on each exhale bend more deeply. Slowly but surely you will come into your maximum pose.

Question for today

Halloween is fast approaching and my children are scrambling around trying to decide which costume they want to use this year. We so often see costumes of "superheros" each year. Last year I had a glut of knee-high Supermen and Batmen on my front porch begging candy. When these children don their costumes, they often feel that they ARE that superhero. I saw many little fists lifted up to the sky in triumph as the phrase "Trick or Treat" was shouted in superhero voices.
Then as time passes we grow older and we lose our ability to stretch our imagination and feel like a superhero for a time.
So take a minute to revert back to your childhood and think...
If YOU were a superhero for a day, what would your superpower be?

Today's Daily Affirmation

"If you cannot help, at least don't harm"
Quote from HH Dalai Lama

Monday, October 09, 2006

1 in 10 Kids May Have Fatty Livers

"Oct. 5, 2006 -- More than 6 million children in the U.S. may have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, especially those who are overweight or obese, new research shows.
That figure is an estimate based on findings from a San Diego study published in Pediatrics.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is fat in the liver without liver inflammation and liver damage.
It can worsen into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is fatty liver with liver inflammation and liver damage.
NASH can eventually cause permanent liver scarring (cirrhosis) and may even require a liver transplant.
In short, fat in the liver can be a slippery slope toward serious liver problems."

Team Hoyt

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars — all in the same day.
Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much — except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."
But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain."
"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 — only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."
So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.
"The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Codename: Patricia

O.k., so some of my girls along with Sis H and myself had a little fun this weekend...



Inspiring Story! Free Hugs Campaign (music by sick puppies)

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.

In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.

As this symbol of human hope spread accross the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Roadrocket's Anniversary

This is a "YouTube Friend" that I have. He has been racing motorcycles and hunting with his hunting dogs for a long time. He's lucky enough to live in the beautiful country of Ireland. :) I'm posting this video because yesterday he celebrated his 9th year anniversary of his liver transplant. He's really great and I'm so glad he has shared his story with the world to help people realize what transplantation does for people and how important it is that we all sign up to be organ donors. Major congrats to you Roadrocket on achieving this milestone! :)