Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Serendipity of Life

After a four hour visit to see mum in the nursing home, I tried to leave but was stopped by the sound of a fire alarm going off. 
I was shooed back into her room by a nurse and stayed until we got the all clear. Then as I head out to get in my vehicle and leave, I notice the person in the spot next to me left no room for me to squeeze in and open my door. 
I had to walk back in the the nursing home and wait another 35 minutes until the person in the white van was located and came to move it. I swear, it was almost like something didn't want me to leave the nursing home, at least not during that time.

I finally manage to leave, sighing with relief, and pull onto the on-ramp for the highway and hit bumper to bumper traffic. What fun. I turn on the radio, and that's when the serendipity is revealed.

A horrible wreck ahead some 4 miles, had traffic backed up all the way to the main road where I'd come from. If I had left when I'd planned to, I would have been very likely in the same area where the accident occurred and at about the same time.

Can I just say that I love my guardian angels and I think they should get time and a half for covering me. You just know they probably draw straws and are like, "Oh shit, I got the short straw! Anybody wanna trade?" lol

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Getting very psyched for Samhain and Halloween. I'm seriously thinking about dressing up as a zombie. I think I've got the walk down pat. :P These last few weeks have been crazy, trying to be at the hospital or nursing home every day, then coming home late in the afternoon and flopping into the recliner the minute my feet hit the living room floor. It's not that I'm doing that much. But there is something about just sitting at the hospital or the nursing home. After about two hours, my butt is numb, and my brain isn't far behind. *pun intended*

Mum always gives me a list of things to bring. Today, my list consists of phone calls to make on her behalf, and paperwork snaffu to resolve.

Tomorrow, I'll fix salmon croquettes and take them up for her and the nursing and aide staff. Yes, the nursing and aide staff. You see, mum likes to promise things on other people's behalf. That way you can't really back out or back down when she hits you between the eyes with her latest gambit. lol. But it's okay. I have about eight cans of salmon sitting in my pantry, waiting for me to figure out what to do with them, so it's all good. :)

Plus, if she feels well enough to play her usual games, then she's getting at least a little better. :P

I can just picture it, me carrying in this large serving platter of warm salmon patties, and like 200 cats following me as I walk toward the entrance to the nursing home, taking turns under my feet, trying to trip me up, so they get a free meal. lol

If I don't make it back, you'll know I was catnapped and taken to their secret lair, forced to become their chef. :P

Bon Appetite

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last Night's NDE Event

Cassandra Sharktooth Curtis at NDE discussion, Oct. 22, 2010.

I think last night's event in SL went rather well, judging by the turnout and by some of the interesting questions asked by audience members. I love holding these discussions about the paranormal and getting honest feedback.

I found that a couple of participants had also experienced OBE or 'out of body experiences' as well. Although similar, the characteristics of the OBE are different in many respects—namely that one has to die and come back for an NDE to be clinically valid, and this is not necessarily so for the OBE.

Practitioners of eastern mysticism have long experienced the sensation of floating or hovering above their body without anything other than deep meditation, that elevates an altered state of awareness. The OBE can also occur during certain cycles of sleep. Now, one might say that a sleeping OBE is nothing more than a very vivid dream. The difference can be quantified and documented, however, by an experiment using remote viewing.

For those who are unfamiliar with remote viewing, it is the ability to learn information about a distant or unseen target using a form of ESP. Research conducted has yielded some interesting albeit mixed results. The remote viewer is expected to give information about an object that is hidden from physical view and located some distance from them.

Using this method, an experiment can be set up so that the person preparing for an OBE can be told there is a location marked on a map, and that map is in an envelope that will be used to judge the results of the OBE. The subject's goal is then to induce an OBE and astral travel to that location—and then once out of the 'dream,' to identify the location. The area is to be described in detail, along with diagrams of landmarks and any other helpful identifiers.

If the landmarks and subject's description of the area match the secret location on the map, then it can be said the OBE may hold some validity. Many remote viewers 'see' without having an OBE, using another form of ESP not triggered during the dream state.

Either way, I find both NDEs and OBEs highly fascinating.  The ability to remote view as well is intriguing and warrants further exploration.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Near Death Experience Discussion Tonight!

I will be holding my NDE discussion tonight!

NDE Discussion
7pm east, 6pm central, and 4pm pacific time*
*which is also Second Life time

Fruit Islands welcomes the return of Cassandra Sharktooth to its shores. Cassandra has spoken to us in the past about her experiences as a Paranormal Investigator and encounters with Ghosts.

In this workshop, Cassandra will discuss the Near Death Experience and look at the nine common factors all NDEs have. She will also talk about her own NDE, and how some researchers link NDE and psychic awakening.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reflecting On School Daze: Bullying

In between running to and from the hospital (to see mum), I had a chance to drop in over at Stars Will Cry, my bff Cora Zane's blog and weighed in on her post:

Seeing some of the news stories these past few weeks have brought back memories. I hurt inside for those kids and their families. School shouldn't be a war zone. It should be a place for learning as it was intended. A happy place where kids can make friends and work toward their goals and dreams for the future.

Reflecting on my own school years brings back both happy and sad memories. You see, I was one of those kids who got bullied. Always the new kid in school because my parents loved traveling and dad's job required it. Of course, dad could have left us kids at the homestead and came back after each job was done, but he loved mum and loved us kids and for him, there was no other decision but to drag all of us along on all of his assignments.

The problem is, dad would sometimes have two and three job assignments a year, so that meant I often went to two or three different schools in the same year. The cycle repeated every year. In all, I probably attended something like 20-25 different schools in 12 years. That's hard on a kid. Especially a kid who was chubby, had red hair, and whose momma dressed them funny. I kid you not! lol

I was pushed against gym lockers, tripped down two flights of stairs, called names, poked, given a black eye, kicked and more. The thing I hated about always being the new kid actually turned out to be the thing that saved me from depression and possible suicide. See, I could count on one thing—that before long, my family would move again and I would escape the harassment for a short while, as we traveled to our newest home. I would wave bye to the bullies and stick my tongue out. :P

Of course, there were times when a job took longer than the others, and I had to endure. But not alone. Oh no. This is where having a fierce Virgo mom is the best thing in the world. I recall one time she caught me hiding my face when I got off the bus from school, and made me lift my head—exposing a black eye and purple cheekbone. I thought she would be upset but I didn't count on the glorious, righteous anger of a pissed off Virgo with Capricorn rising and a Scorpio moon. OMG!

I remember that day so very clearly. She took me back to school and walked in on the principal without an appointment. Wowsers! And when the principal got all smart-mouth with her, she got in his face, set him down, and called his bluff! Oh yes, she gave him a wicked tongue lashing and put him in his place! I was never more proud of my mum than in that moment.

The kids who hurt me got suspended, and I knew they would come after me big time once they were back in school. Luckily dad (who never came to the school before) picked me up early that day and told me we were moving again. Whew. Only later did I learn that dad asked for a new assignment in order to get me out of that place and away from those asshats. I loved dad for doing that. :)

Of course, we didn't have cyber-bullying back then. Hell, we didn't have personal computers, let alone the internet. Things are so much worse now for kids because of the internet. But it's not the internet that's bad. It's how some people choose to use it. Like anything, it's just a tool. But a tool in the wrong hands can be devastating.

I agree that something needs to be done, but what will stop bullies? They were around in my day, and they were around in my parents and grandparents day too. Probably were around since the beginning of time.

What do you think? Is there a solution to this growing problem?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running On Empty

Those of you who follow me on Facebook probably already know I've been 'running on empty' for a while. My mother, (who always prefers me to refer to her as mum), has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for months. She's now back in the hospital again. I want her well and healed this time, before they discharge her.

The thing is, she's weak, frail, and plumb tired—and anybody would be after almost three months of this shit. But at her age (in her 80's), tired and weak—well, it takes on a new meaning.  The problem is once they discharge her from the hospital, the drs. always discharge her to a rehab/nursing home for physical therapy and/or occupational therapy.

So, after vomiting for eight straight days, is it any wonder she doesn't feel like doing any exercise? Hell, she could barely walk before she fell back in August and got sick. And when I say walk, I mean with an assist walker. Her main way to get around used to be her motorized scooter. Yet now she is expected to walk like a 40 year old in good health, lift weights and pulleys and fuck knows what else.

Yes, I know she needs to build her strength, but can't we get her well first? I am so tired of all these places explaining to me that she has to help herself and move. Well, no fucking duh. But it's hard when you are *going both ways*, to put it delicately,  80+ years old, running a low grade temp off and on, and couldn't walk for beans before all this started.

My analogy of never playing the piano, but suddenly after really working with them in therapy, I can—just sailed over their heads I think.

The nursing home/rehab place before this last one complained of the same thing. She wouldn't cooperate and hold her head up. In the meanwhile, she ran a fever and was sick, wouldn't eat her meals, and didn't cooperate in therapy. Hmm...then they finally got a brainstorm and the nursing home dr. finally sent her to the hospital, where her real doctors could see her, and immediately said, "OMG—this woman has an inflamed and diseased gallbladder! We gotta remove it STAT! Why didn't they send her to the hospital sooner?"  Yeah, why the fuck didn't they?

After a week and a half at the hospital, they released her once more to a nursing home/ get stronger. Instead, she got sicker and weaker and the entire cycle started again, with her sick and *uncooperative* in therapy. They even mentioned it being partially behavioral. Over a week passed this last time before the exact same nursing home dr. (but at a different nursing home) finally figured something else might be wrong and sent her back to the hospital (different hospital too).

I stayed with her in ER for nine hours the other day and come to find out, she was running a low-grade temp and that after a CT scan, her diverticulitis had majorly flared up. OMG.

Today, the hospital nurses are talking to her about discharging her once more to a nursing home/rehab center for additional care—to strengthen her.

Now, I am not dissing the nursing care staff at any of these rehab/home places. I know they do the best they can with limited resources, but damn, this is getting old, ya know.  I want to break the pattern for mum and see her really improve. I can't stand watching this horrible decline.

And I gotta say if I were her, I'd be damn depressed too and not want to lift my head.

Oh—I gotta love the threat they all use on the family. "If she won't participate, we'll have to discharge her."

Okay, discharge her to where? Her home? Hmm, if she gets well, you'll discharge her home, and if she doesn't cooperate you'll discharge her home...see any difference? I say cut her the fuck loose and I'll give her the care she needs. Geezeus.

Of course, the problem there is that I am battling my own numerous health issues and my writing would have to go on a back burner indefinitely.  I'd miss my writing since that is my only real outlet for creativity, and it takes away some of the chronic pain I'm in, putting my mind in a better, healthier place. Hmm... I could share some of that natural pain-reducer (writing) and do what my mum has always wanted—write her memoirs. I bet that would get her mind off her own pain. I doubt it would ever get published, especially in this economy when the only real non-fiction sellers are autobiographies of the rich and famous—neither which can be said of my mum. Infamous possibly. At least in certain circles. :P

Ah well... I'm heading up to the hospital today to check on her. ::fingers crossed:: she is hopefully feeling better.

Until next time...
~ Cass

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Discussing The Near Death Experience

Quite some time ago I began to explore the phenomena known as the Near Death Experience or NDE. My own interest was sparked when I died on an operating table back in 1987 and was revived. Did I get a glimpse of the afterlife? I wasn't certain. I know what I felt and saw seemed very real—but was it? Could it be all hallucinations caused by the chemicals released as part of the process of the dying brain? I had to find answers and my research (before the popularity and growth of the internet) consisted of hunting through the stacks at libraries, reading books and medical journals.

This Friday, October 22, at 4pm SLT, I'll take participants on a journey through the experience and discuss the nine commonalities many NDE's have, and I'll open the discussion to all participants willing to talk about their own journey or that of a loved one.

The discussion will take place in Second Life:

Friday, October 22, at 4pm SLT

I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Fun

Image courtesy Glitter-Graphics.
I love carving pumpkins, but the best part is scooping out the guts. Yes, I know I'm weird. lol. Every year I get those Pumpkin Masters kits and buy two pumpkins—one for the man to carve and one for me. Mine are usually silly-goofy and fun ones, but he likes to bring the scary, so he carves the frightening ones. :P

For those of you who might want to start your own tradition, here are some links to sites where you can download some free stencils to get you started.


Better Homes & Gardens Pumpkin Carving

HP Halloween Pumpkin Carving Templates

History Channel Pumpkin Carving Templates

Enjoy! Oh, and if you like, save the pumpkin guts for me! Mwahahahaa!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What's in a name...?

Standing in the books section at my local grocery store, reading the blurbs (my favorite thing to do) and I come across the name of one of my best online friends, Jax Cassidy. I did a double take and then I had to take a picture. I forget the name of the author or the title of the story. Should have written it down. But I love it when stuff like this happens. :)

Just as a curiosity, has anyone ever seen a book with a character named Cassandra Curtis? If you have, I'd love to know about it. I think it's very cool and neat.

What would you think if you saw your name in a book blurb? Would it cause you to buy the book?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Purse Lust

Something you may not know about Aquarians is that we have this tendency to crave things. Not just anything. But one specific thing. Until we get that 'thing' we are insatiable and dissatisfied with everything. I speak true.

I have craved peanut butter filled pretzels and driven my family nuts while I when from store to store for my current 'must have.'

I drank four gallons of inferior soda to quench a thirst for Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max and yet remained parched, waiting for my real fix.

My latest craving was for a black leather purse. Ahh, but not any black leather purse would do. It had to have dual shoulder straps, have lots of zippered pockets and a nice wide space for my cell phone that would make it easy to access. I obsessed for weeks, driving my sister crazy. After so long, the odds were against me finding my perfect purse, especially at a quasi-outlet mall né country square tourist trap in Alabama, yet that is exactly what happened.

As I rummaged the walls of ye-hoe-down, I spotted a purple purse to die for. Studded and sparkley, ribboned and bowed, the purse made my little heart sing...except for one thing. It was purple. Wah!!! I want, need, desire a black purse. I checked the price tag. $69.99. Too much to pay for an imperfect purple bag. Imperfect because it wasn't black. Dare I risk buying it and dyeing it?

Turning toward sis for advice, I spotted the same purse only in black, half hidden behind a hideous white purse with rhinestones and patent leather prom night ruffles. The price was even better—$39.99! I snatched it up and felt this immense relief and satisfaction only another Aquarian could possibly understand.

I love my new purse. But ya know, lately I've been eyeing my old beat up checkbook wallet and it soo doesn't match the new purse...
Until next time ~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weak Kitten Blues

Achy, tired, sore, bruised, and exhausted from battling a kidney infection, kidney stones—and a UTI from Hell. OMFG, which deity did I piss off?

I managed to pass two stones, but that elusive third one still resides in my kidney, tucked away and sleeping like a dragon. Not to mention—although I am—the supposed summer cold I got while down in Florida. The sucker punched my lungs and I am coughing approximately every two point five minutes, with a hacking cough duration of approx. three minutes each time.

You'd think I'd learn that when my family says "oh, it's just a summer cold" or "it's nothing, just a little under the weather," that I should run very very fast in the opposite direction, grabbing vitamin C and facial tissues as I go. Whewee.

Night view from my hospital room.

I will say one thing, the care at my hospital is beyond par and they put up with my demands and whiny sick self better than most. Ya'll done good. Now if only I can pass that last damn stone...on second though, maybe I better tip-toe and let that sleeping dragon simply stay right where it is.

Until next time...