Friday, October 30, 2015

Wipe Your Paws

I practice wiping my dogs’ paws and private areas every time they come back from outside. Time consuming I know. 

There are two sides to every coin. Dog germs are good for you. Dog germs are bad for you. On one hand, dogs bring in particles of grass, mud, allergens, feces, and goodness knows what else. These can strengthen our immune system and that of any young children, but they can also make us sick.

Either way, everything is good moderation. I wipe them down because it lessens some of the bacteria coming in, and because it can help deter fleas or allergens from sticking to their fur or paws. Less dirt between their toes means less dirt they are licking up and then licking onto me (if you have a dog you know they lick, lick, lick, and lick…).

You can use baby wipes, but since baby wipes are made with their own set of icky preservatives or potentially irritating fragrances - I make my own. You can tear up paper towel pieces (I’ve seen some people sawing in half a roll of paper towel too) or use reusable cloth. You can store the pieces in an old container (perhaps one that held baby wipes) with the liquid to keep them wet, or simply spray the liquid onto the material when ready to use.

There are many recipes online, but what I find that I like is:
1 cup distilled water, 1 cup aloe vera gel or liquid, and a few drops (4-5 of each) of safe essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender. I also added a few drops of wild orange essential oil for a pleasant citrus scent.

The aloe acts as a moisturizer for their paws and the essential oils are the disinfectants and also flea and tick deterrents. You can also add in some vinegar, but while that would add more germ fighting power, it may burn private areas or the corner of their eyes.

My one dog likes the smell of this so much he tried to lick it up! Weirdo. 

The Witching...Months?

This is a great backdrop for a novel, or a seance. There seems to be a pervasive idea across various cultures about the months between September to November to be a time when the veil between the living world and the spiritual world is at its thinnest. I feel there must be something to this because of the various cultures that did believe this without having a connection to one another. Any thoughts?

Samhain - November 1st but celebrations start at sunset on October 31st, on Samhain Eve. Dates back to the ancient Celts who lived 2,000 years ago. On October 31st, the fires within the home are extinguished, families do a good "fall" cleaning to clear out the old and make way for the new.

Villages would begin the formal ceremonies of Samhain by lighting a giant bonfire. The people would gather around the fire to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, and danced around the bonfire. These costumes were adorned for three primary reasons.

1.    Honor the dead who were allowed to rise from the Otherworld. The Celts believed that souls were set free from the land of the dead during the eve of Samhain.
2.    Some souls were feared as they would return to the physical world and destroy crops, hide livestock or 'haunt' the living who may have done them wrong. The second reason for these traditional costumes was to hide from these malevolent spirits to escape their trickery.
3.    Honor the Celtic Gods and Goddesses of the harvest, fields and flocks.

Day of the dead November 1st. Aztec tradition from 3,000 years ago. During the days of the Dead (October 31st to November 1st/2nd), some believe that the souls of the departed return to earth to visit with and to provide council or give advice to family and loved ones.  There is a belief that this is true every day, but that November 2nd is the day set aside to remember and honor those who have past.

Chuseok - late September or early Octobercelebrated to give thanks to dead ancestors for an abundant harvest.

Pitru Paksha (Fortnight of the Ancestors) - Usually between September and October. This Hindu tradition is a fifteen-day period during the Hindu month of Ashwin where a person remembers their ancestors, particularly through offerings of food. The Hindu month of Ashwin is the seventh month of the lunisolar Hindu calendar

Life Analogies

Life can be simple to explain despite its complexities in actually experiencing it. 

There are many analogies to life. Life is like a wheel – there are ups and downs. Life is like the ocean – calms and storms. Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get. Analogies that make sense and make you exclaim “Yes! This is how I FEEL.” 

Describing life then is more about finding a way to convey perfectly all of the EMOTIONS life brings, rather than a scientific description. 

The other day I saw a photograph that maybe suited my feelings about life. I was sitting in a lazy boy chair at a community acupuncture center and on the wall was a large photograph of a rickety bridge made of rope and wooden steps from a first person point of view. The bridge seemed suspended in fog, and in the distance the viewer could make out further steps and the faint outline of a beautiful, peaceful, leafy tree – one you might imagine Buddha to have sat under to meditate. 

So life is like an old, rope bridge – some steps are sure and some are broken or missing. The bridge leads to nirvana, and people may walk alongside you or behind or in front of you, but in the end the journey is your own. You might make it to the end, and other times the step cracks and you go hurtling through the fog. This can tie into sayings like “she was holding onto life by a thin thread.” 
Taking this one step further maybe you take the analogy to envision that if you are an evil person you fall short and get snapped up by hungry crocodiles. If you are a good person you can continue floating downwards until you end up at the peaceful tree - magically.

"Magic isn't an exact science. If it'd be science." -Jenkins (The Librarians, TV Show)