Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘Women’

Natural Childbirth: Hypnobirthing (Mom 2.0)

At the tail end of middle age,

here I am.

My eldest child, just now expecting her first child.

I am a grandmom twice.

This child having her own will complete a circle that I have waited for quite sometime.

My girl China, who made me into a mother.

Seeing her now take the place as mother to her own,

now that’s something special.

I will attend her at birth as I have with the other daugher and daughter-in-law,

and have done with hundreds of other babies over the past 18 years or so as a doula.

I have attended hypnobirths, Bradley births, c-sections, stillbirths and of course medicated births.

In hospital, at home and at birthing centers.

I have given birth 6 times myself plus one stillbaby born too soon.

All unmedicated births.

The last 3 using hypnotherapy.

I won’t claim to be an authority but I have a bit of experience under my belt,

so to speak.

China, invited me to her hypnobirth class.

I agreed.

A few couples sat in a semi darkened room with a candle lit.

The instructor sat cross-legged on a footstool with a pashmina across her shoulders like a prayer shawl,

and her hair hanging loose to her mid back,

a good look when you are 30.

Not so much at 55.

She proceeded to speak on birth without pain of any kind.

The contractions as “surges” and pushing as “so yesterday”.

Now as I mentioned I am all for Hypnobirthing.

I think it’s extremely helpful in attaining a natural childbirth if that’s the woman’s wish.

I held my tongue as she led the women through the “full dilation” (or pushing stage of labor) breathing.

“Ladies”, she quietly sang, “You gently breathe in, and breathe out,there is no drama of pushing ,or people coaching you to push your baby out, your baby comes out all on its own with no more effort than your gentle breath.”

Okay, I was done holding my tongue.

I can tolerate varying opinions and means to an end in getting babies born, but telling a group of first time expectant mothers that they won’t have to push their babies out, and that the experience will be pain-free is just plain horsepee.

It will be a sad day for these women when their babies descend low into their pelvis towards birth.

The time when the tendons stretch, and tissues, (it doesn’t matter if you massage in a gallon of evening primrose oil) stretch and often tear with the scope of the coming skull.

I’m not talking perineum here I mean the vaginal canal.

Never mind the “Ring of fire” (straight from a hypnobirth training manual to describe when the head emerges from mom’s body).

“Ring of Fire”


It’s not called that for nothing!

Hypnobirthing can absolutely get a woman through labor and delivery with much “less pain” then just muscling through the contractions.

But pain-free it ain’t.

“Madam”, I said,”I have attended hundreds of births of all kinds and the disservice you are doing to this group of women appalls me.
Never in all my experience has even the most calm,the most ‘in control’ woman who has used hypnobirth didn’t say post-birth that it was the hardest thing she had ever done.”

I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

I was embarrassing her in front of her teacher and classmates.

“With all due respect”,I finished.

We left the class into the cold of the Silver Spring night.

I apologized to China who walked arm-in-arm with her husband.

“I couldn’t abide seeing you lied to,” I said,” Having a baby is going to be the greatest day of your life, a day you never forget, I won’t have someone build you up ridiculous expectations that may leave you feeling afterward like your body failed you.
That if you do end up choosing to take an epidural you will have failed at childbirth.
You are going to have 18 years to raise this child.
This is only one day in your life. Whether she comes natural, by epidural or section she is going to be the same baby. ”

“The truth is giving birth hurts.”

There I said it.

Of Mice And Men, Women And Children

Don’t let this video scare you the mouse wins!

I have been trying to help Rose with one of her college courses.

Psycho-analytical BS I think it’s called.

She has to read this book, Geo-political Architechture.

Just reading it is a challenge.

Understanding it a puzzle.

Some pompous, ESL meshuganeh definitely wrote it.

Translating English to English pain in the …

So there we are.

Cuddled up in bed, me reading, her looking somewhat dazed,

doodling on a notesheet.

Then we heard it.

Skittering little rodent feet across the ceiling.

OMG, I hate mice.

Nervy fellow kept running back and forth.

Rose said, “Don’t worry Ma it’s just one, we’ll get ’em.”

But you know the old saying, “If you see one there are ten.”

I hope they are mice and not rats…

Next day I’m off to Home Depot and perusing the kill section of the warehouse…nice.

Do I want to go guillotine and snap they little brains out or glue their little mouse feet to a board and watch them slowly die of starvation.

The little houses with poison inside, reminiscent of some Grimm’s Fairytale looks interesting.

“I was trapped in the witch’s house with no escape and nought to eat but a bit of funky smelling peanut butter.

Oh God I hate mice.

I went with a dozen snap traps.

But mice are smart.
Smarter then we humans realize.

I set the traps in groups of 4 along the walls where the small fur devils have been hanging out and although there are new sh#t bits the traps are not sprung.

So you want to play rough huh?

I devise a home-made trap with a bucket of water laced with bait and a dowel for easy access up the side for them to climb and take the fatal dive into the bucket.

Hopefully this will fool the ones who have been around for a while and are well acquainted with aforementioned old-fashioned snap traps.

I can hear them in their homes telling their young, “..and never ever go near those dumb-ass wooden squares you see around… But there is a bucket with food in it that looks like fun kids!”

I hate mice.

So it’s day four of the mouse kill.

No catches yet.

I get up early to start breakfast for the troops.

Let Cujo out to do his business.

Drink a quiet cup of coffee listening to Hoo start to stir in his crib.

Perhaps we and the mice can co-exist peacefully.

They are just mice for goodness sake.

Just wanting a warm place for the winter and some spilled dog food to eat.

As a child I even had a few as pets.

As I sip my coffee before the day officially starts memories of Michael Jackson singing “Ben” come to mind.

“Flowers For Algernon.”

And I realize with a start,

I can’t kill these mice…

Then I hear 2 traps snap shut in quick succession behind the breakfront.

The last swallow of coffee goes down hard.

You Don’t Have To Be A Pastry Chef To Make Linzer Cookies!(5 Ingredients!)

Linzer cookies are a classic holiday dessert cookie.

They are delicate, crisp, buttery cookies with a jelly filling.

Enjoy this simple version of a European treat and your family will be

wowed and thanking you.

It’s the bakery cookie you love to look at and can’t stop eating with it’s tempting not too sweet, melt in your mouth crumb, to the sticky chew of the filling.

This cookie begs for a cup of Earl Grey.

When our babes were little, Hubby and I would hide the Linzers until the kids were asleep and eat them slowly by ourselves. They were too good to be stuffed into little mouths.

When the kids got older they learned to help make them with me and earned the privilege of eating the fruits of their labor.

But old habits die hard.

Little Hoo gets a tea biscuit while I savor a Linzer.

Someday Hoo-bear….

The elegant and delicious Linzer cookie

Tayna’s Linzer Cookies

1 cup of butter or margarine

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup confectionary sugar

2 cups flour

Jam or jelly flavor of your choice


Put room temperature butter, vanilla, sugar and flour in a food processor.

Pulse until all ingredients are combined.

Mixture will form a sticky ball in bowl of food processor.

Put this dough into the refrigerator for one hour or until you are ready to make the cookies.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.

You will need to flour the top of the dough as well as the rolling pin.

This is a delicate cookie dough and sticks easily so don’t hesitate to toss the flour at it to keep it from sticking and tearing.

Using a cookie cutter or shot glass cut out cookie shapes.

Make a small hole in half of the cookies.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before transferring to your work surface.

Put one scant teaspoon of jam or jelly on each of the whole cookie rounds.

(The ones without the center cutouts.)

Take a cookie with a center hole and put it on top of the jelly pressing gently.

You can finish your cookie with a dusting of confectionary sugar.

…and there you have it!

Your beautiful Linzer cookies ready for a holiday table or any occasion.

This is gmom and Cujo, and Hoo- dee- doo, wishing all the WPer’s out there
a happy Thanksgiving.

May God bless you all and keep you safe.

4 Ingredients! New York Times Artisan Bread Recipe. AWESOME!!!!

So here is how I found this recipe.

I have been teaching massage to a group of women in my community for several


We hold the class in one of their homes early every Monday morning.

Every time we come in there is an awesome smell of herbs and bread.

The kind of scent most of us only imagine our homes could smell like.

Today I finally asked what that incredible smell was.

Artisan Bread! She said.

It takes 10 minutes to mix up.

She said every day she mixes up a loaf in the morning and bakes the dough

from the previous day.

Yes you read that right!

It sits and rises for 24 hours!

That is what gives this bread it’s amazing chewy texture.

I especially love this recipe because there is no kneading!

Anyone following my blog knows I had hand surgery a few weeks ago and I am still

resting my hand when I am not working.

A no-knead bread recipe??? Super dee-duper!

Cujo, Hoo and I mixed up a double recipe for the family and are happy to share the

results with you.

Next cold wintry day do try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Artisan Bread

Ingredients: (for one loaf)

1. 3 cups of flour

2. 2 teaspoons of salt

3. 2 teaspoons of dry yeast

4. 1 and 2/3 cups of warm water (110 F)

Can you believe it 4 ingredients??????


1. 1 teaspoon sage

2. 1 teaspoon thyme

3. 1 teaspoon rosemary


Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

The dough will be “shaggy” and cake like.

It does not come together like other bread doughs.

Don’t worry.

This is correct for this recipe.

Once the ingredients are mixed cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and

set aside.

Leave dough to rise 24-30 hours or more...

you will leave it to rise for 24 – 30 hours.

This recipe is very forgiving.

So if you cut the time shorter by a couple of hours or let it go a bit longer it won’t make

any difference in the finished product.

Now go to work.

Watch a movie,

or play with your kids and dog.

playing with Hoo


So it’s about 22 hours later…

8 a.m….

Hoo is up and eating a piece of whole wheat toast with cream cheese.

Cujo is out chasing squirrels in the rain.

I am drinking my coffee and noshing on chocolate-caramel popcorn I made last night

when a fit of chocolate craving hit me.

The bread dough is ready for the next step.

2 hours before baking uncover your dough.

It will look all bubbly and soft.


Stir it for a minute with a large spoon.

stir risen dough with 1/2 cup of flour pulling dough away from sides of bowl.

Now add a generous sprinkling (maybe 1/2 cup) of flour over the top of the dough and

with your spoon pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl so it forms a loose ball.

Don’t worry it won’t hold its shape.

This is just to get the second rising going.

caption id=”attachment_1110″ align=”aligncenter” width=”500″ caption=”Dough ready for second rising”][/caption]

Now cover the dough with the plastic wrap and dish towel.

Leave it to rise for 2 hours.

Hoo and I are going to watch one of those placid morning shows and get dressed and ready for work.

Somebody needs a diaper change!


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Put a cast iron dutch oven or an oven safe casserole dish with a cover in the oven to heat.

You need to have the lid!

Preheat the cookware for a full 30 minutes.

Be careful at this point because the cookware is very hot!.

Hoo is taking his nap now so the time is perfect for me!

Carefully pour the dough into the ungreased pot or casserole dish. and replace cover.

Cook dough for 30 minute.

Remove lid after the 30 minutes and continue baking for 15-20 minutes until the top is

nicely brown.

The bread will fall right out of the pot.

It has a great rustic look and an amazing texture and crust!


Enjoy WP kids out there!

This is gmom, Hoo and Cujo coming to you from a rainy cold day in B’more!

Be safe out there!

View from our back door


25 Things You Didn’t Want To Know About Me.

1. I am still shocked when I see my mother in the bathroom mirror every morning.

2. I’m scary when I am mad.

3. I’m a Republican.

4. I always vote for Ralph Nadar.

5. I have no important possessions.

6. I have a gut understanding that everything is temporary.

7. I can’t remember my password for Facebook and can’t be bothered to retrieve it.

8. I’m not sure but I think Canada is just an extension of America.

9. I have a fear of crowds.

10. I teach.

11. I prepared for the ’72 Olympics in gymnastics.

12. I choked in the preliminary qualifying rounds for the ’72 Olympic team in gymnastics.

13. I love Eminem’s music.

14. I love the movie ‘Hair’ and watch it 2-3 times a year.

15. I know the score to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” by heart.

16. My dog Cujo has a twitter page.

17. I think the only thing dumber then Facebook is twitter.

18. I hate talking on the phone but I am okay with texting.

19. I razz telemarketers with, “You want to speak to the Lady of the house, (then call my dog loudly enough for them to hear,”Here Lady, here Lady.) Then pant into the phone.

20. I believe that if God can’t get my attention with a feather He will throw a brick at my head.

21. Television is my Valium.

22. I hate to travel.

23. I am an insomniac. You can call me day or night and I’ll be up, but I won’t answer.
Meet me in the backyard at 2 a.m.

24. Writing to me is like vomiting the trap grease out of my body. I feel better.

25. I collect great lines from classic films.

And with that I say, “Have fun storming the castle!”

There,.. I feel better…

I think.

Your turn.

What ‘dat??? What ‘dat???

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We are driven to distraction with,

Her endless toddling question,

“What ‘dat???,what ‘dat???”

“What ‘dat??? What ‘dat???”

It’s a ball.
It’s your bike.
It’s the garbage.
It’s your hairbrush….

“What ‘dat??? What ‘dat???”

Oh Starlite, little sweet girl,
I can hear Rose teaching you to say,
“What the hell ‘dat???”

I have to agree,
the question in any other format
would be welcome at this point.

“What ‘dat??? What ‘dat???”

It’s your boppy.
It’s Daddy.
It’s your carseat.
It’s Cujo.

“What ‘dat??? What ‘dat???”

It’s your shoes.
It’s a kitty.
It’s the sky.

Does it matter???

“What ‘dat??? What ‘dat???”

It’s a mirror.

There is Starlite!

That’s you!
In the mirror,
that’s Star!

Holy cow!

The girl is quiet for one blessed second.

She turns and twists,
tilts her pretty head,
and smiles at herself,
never taking her eyes off of the mirror.

She sighs.

We turn on music,
and Starlite dances,
captivated by her

It’s a universal truth come to two year old Starlite.

We find the answers when we find ourselves.

She need not ask anything,
It’s all there in the mirror,

We gather behind her,
and whisper,

“That’s you Star,
there you are.”

Carpal Tunnel and Trigger Finger Surgery:Not Bad at All!

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After a year of waking up with my right hand numb I finally went ahead and had a hand surgeon correct the carpal tunnel syndrome I have been living with for years.

So what is carpal tunnel syndrome?

It is a compression of a nerve in the carpal space of the wrist charactorized by pain, tingling, weakness or numbness.

Quite the catch-all of fun.

Often it arises as a result of repetitive motion, ie:typing, wrist work of some sort, hand work.
(I am a massage therapist,practicing now more then 20 years)

I had my left hand done last summer with good results so went ahead with the right.

It’s quite a simple procedure not taking more then 20 minutes.
Intravenous sedation is given and once you are asleep the doctor numbs the area and does the work.
I looked at a clock as I was being covered by a friendly nurse in the o.r. and it was 9:15.
Next thing I knew ,and remember I also had a trigger finger release done, I checked another clock and it was 9:50.
Pretty cool.

The precedure itself is as follows.
A tiny incision is made in the wrist and a flexible tube is inserted to cross up into the palm area a tiny scissor emerges and excises the transverse carpal ligament,thus the palm bruising.

The procedure (along with the recovery) is not bad depending on how you do with pain.

The post surgical pain is negligable really but the doctor did send me off with a script for hydrocodone.

It’s the nerve pain across the heel of the hand which can take a few months to completely dissipate that is a little more challenging.
It’s not horrible pain just persistent and uncomfortable.
If I weren’t a massage therapist and needing to lean on my palm it would not be a problem at all.

Last surgery the palm pain was quite intense at this time 5 days post-operative.

Today the pain is really okay so I am hoping this surgery and recovery will go much faster!

At the same time the doctor did the carpal tunnel he also corrected a “trigger finger”.

My middle finger was continually getting stuck to my palm. I was unable to straighten it out.

Trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the myelin sheath that surrounds the tendon that flexes a finger.
The doctor makes a palm incision and cuts the sheath that the tendon slides through thus freeing it. Voila! Finger now works.

If anyone is considering either of these procedures I would be happy to answer any questions.

If you are in Maryland I have a great doctor to send you to.

Take care WP friends.

Here’s to good health and

Happy New Year and Labor Day!

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