Sunday, November 21, 2010

Curly AKA The Little Seed That Could

Who is Curly you ask? Curly is our family avocado plant. He's also our family symbol of overcoming adversity. I had planned on exporting the initial story I had written about him along with the updates I'd posted over the years he's been with us. Unfortunately, they were apparently deleted.

So I'll try to give you a brief synopsis of his short but challenging life. No, actually I won't even try to make it short because there's just no way to do that and tell his story effectively. So if you have a desire to learn about Curly either settle in or bookmark this page so you can break it into installments.

I think it was almost 4 years ago that curly came into my life. He was nothing but an avocado seed back then - the leftovers from some raw dish I had made - I think it was probably chocolate mousse. On a whim I decided to see if I could grow him into an avocado tree.

I did some reasearch and discovered that you're supposed to use toothpicks to hold the avocado out of the water. I didn't have any toothpicks on hand. Being the roll with the punches kind-o-gal I am I tossed him a small glass which I fill halfway with water and sat on the kitchen window-sill.

Against all odds and despite the cold New England window environment and being tossed in cup that I sometimes remembered to add water to and sometimes didn't - he began to sprout! I remember proudly showing off his sprout to my family who rolled their eyes and dismissed him as one of "mom's weird experiments."

By that time it was Christmas and we were doing tons of cooking and my family was in and out of the kitchen and at some point someone must have knocked over Curly's cup without realizing it. I found him tucked into the corner when I was mopping the floor. Poor guy's sprout was totally dried up.

Most people would have tossed him in the trash and thought not another thing about it BUT not me! I washed his glass, tossed him back in and put in the amount of water he had grown used to. Nothing happened for ages but for some reason I kept watering him. Then believe it or not I noticed he was again sending out what looked like a sprout. I kid you not that this "sprout" emerged during that holiday season almost a year after he had been sadly rolled onto the floor.

His sprout grew to about an inch long but he never sent out any roots. I keep waiting for the roots and watering him but the roots never came! Then one day I entered the kitchen and noticed that curly was looking different. His sprout looked shorter and well... just odd. My sheepish husband admitted that he had knocked over the cup and partially broken Curly's sprout off.

This time I wasn't going to mess up. I bought a pot, pulled out the little bag of potting soil I keep for topping off my houseplants and planted him. And again........nothing.......more........happened for a very long time.

Not being a patient person I did what any obsessed avocado seed owner would do. I partially dug him up..
and discovered...
that I had planted the poor guy upside down! Would this poor plant never get a break??

That was the bad news the good news was that Curly - in his infinite desire to make something of himself - had sent out a root. That root had begun pointing up but then turned downward and was reaching toward the bottom of the pot. So upside down he had to remain.

Where there were roots there was life and so I kept watering Curly and he  FINALLY once again sent out another sprout and actually began to thrive and grew into the plant you see in the picture, taken this past summer.

Enter Hutchinson - our Connemara (aka Jack Russell) Terrier. I'm sad to say that a couple of months ago while tossing his chew rope around Hutch wacked Curly and bent his trunk in half. There wasn't a way to save it as it was partially broken through so I cut off the top half of Curly.

Being the resiliant little plant that he is he has since sent out a new sprout and has leaves again and so the saga of "The little seed that could" continues.

If you've made it this far I applaud you. That was one long involved story. But it's a story with a message.

Curly has become our family symbol for not giving up in the face of adversity. No matter what is thrown his way or how many times we mow him down he just keeps coming back. When I'm feeling like life has dished out more than I can handle I think about Curly and it never fails to make me smile. And smiling always makes me feel better no matter what I'm facing.

Never, Never, Never Give up! - Winston Churchill

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Body Sense Magazine - Autumn - Winter

As part of my member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals I receive a link to Body Sense, their online client magazine. There are a variety of informational and, I believe interesting articles on Massage, Wellness and Self-Care topics.

Please feel free to ask questions about any of the articles you read. Likewise if you attempt to access the publication and can't please post a comment so I'm aware of it. Accessing it should be as simple as clicking on the words "Body Sense."

I think education is power. I think that being able to communicate with people is power. One of my main goals on the planet is to encourage people to empower themselves. - Oprah Winfrey

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Identifying and celebrating the Radiance in my life is something I've been doing for several years. Doing so has pulled me through some very difficult times when I would have rather curled into a little ball and spent a year or two in bed with the lights off and the blinds pulled.

Using the term, Radiance to describe the moments of joy in each day is a relatively new thing for me. I borrowed it from Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons after reading her book Potatoes not Prozac. More on that at some point in the future. For now I'll just say that I can't recommend her books highly enough!

Identifying and celebrating the Radiance each day brings helps keep me grounded in the positive and in the present. When life smacks you with less than positive happenstance it's easy to get hung up on the negative aspects of life. Doing so has never once helped me turn around a situation. If anything it just puts my attention on my ill luck and makes me feel all the worse.

It's only when I've kept my eyes open and alert for Radiance that my mood lightens and I begin to feel more positive. Feeling more positive puts me in a better place to deal with the less than great stuff that life tosses my way.

I'm pretty sure that there are more than a few people who will read this and immediately think, "Pollyanna!" Maybe, but believe it for not there is a very good reason why concentrating on Radiance can actually help you overcome obstacles in your life.

It turns out that Radiance helps your body raise your Beta Endorphin levels. High Beta Endorphin leaves you more hopeful, positive, ready to take responsibility and more solution oriented. Low Beta Endorphin levels leaves you feeling isolated, reactive, overwhelmed, and feeling "done to" by others. HMMMMM which would you rather experience?

It can take practice to recognize Radiance if you're used to putting more effort into recognizing what is wrong with your life than recognizing that which is right. One hint is that Radiant happenings make you want to smile or would if you weren't so miserable. Smiley

Some of my stand out Radiant moments from the past week were as follows.
It was raining and miserable all day. It began to pour rain right before it was time for me to leave for the day and I figured I'd either have to wait around for the rain to stop or get totally soaked on my way to my car. Instead of getting annoyed I mentally thought, "Oh Well!" which is something I do to avoid being annoyed since being annoyed never helps anything. Well, I got to the door and the rain had stopped and as I stepped outside I witnessed the most beautiful double rainbeau!
Smiley It left me feeling so happy and light.

I purchased three, other than color, identical pet beds to put in front of our woodstove so that our cats and puppy can all enjoy the warmth from the fire. They were quite well received especially by our puppy Hutchinson. Our cat Starsky was sleeping on one and Hutch was on the other and they looked so adorable. I went into the kitchen to get dinner started and when I returned to the livingroom Hutch was sleeping on what appeared to be one bed and the other two were no where to be seen. Turns out that when Starsky vacated the bed he was sleeping on Hutch pulled it and the third bed on top of the bed he had been sleeping on, climbed aboard and went back to sleep. All three beds were simply nested underneath him. Smiley

This morning when I woke up Hutch was lying to my left, half on his back and half curled up looking so cute and puppy-like while sound asleep. Smiley

There were tons of other Radiant moments to my week but you get the idea. What Radiant Moments have you experienced lately? Smiley

One joy scatters a hundred grieves. - Chinese Proverb