long gone…the wild, wild west…

Repeated several times on CNN news this morning were the compelling stories of American hostages being held by the government in North Korea, as well as by ISIS terrorists in Syria. Anyone listening to their pleas for release must feel compassion for them and for their loved ones back home. No one would want to trade places with either the captives or their families.

I must confess that while my immediate reaction is one of sympathy, there’s also a niggling feeling that Americans tend to take risks without sufficient thought as to the consequences. Yes, I’m sure they reflect upon the matter, but not enough to dissuade them from their course it seems. 

For better or worse, we Americans tend to think we can go anywhere, do anything. We rationalize our thinking by either following our God-given right to do so, or our sense of morality. Meanwhile, we don’t take into account that other cultures might feel the same way about their rights and moral obligations.

That I can understand the other side’s viewpoint is perhaps owing to the fact that the Hawaiian Islands, my birthplace, were annexed by the United States against the will of the reigning Monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, and the majority of natives. 

Of course the transaction was not a simple one. It never is. There was enough finger-pointing to go around. However, the Western businessmen who prodded the U.S. Congress and President Cleveland into making Hawaii a Republic had railed against the natives as being ignorant heathens unable to rule themselves. 

Of the 150,000 Hawaiian residents, fewer than 800 were allowed to vote for the ratification of the Republic of Hawaii.

“Why is that?” you ask.

King Kalakaua, the queen’s predecessor, was unable to secure the intervention of other foreign powers to help thwart the efforts of his opponents. He was forced to sign into law a constitution which required voters to own property. It became known as the Bayonet Constitution. According to the well-written book Princess Kaiulani, Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People by Sharon Linnea…

This effectively took the vote away from most native Hawaiians and gave it to virtually every Western businessman, even those who weren’t citizens. Why did so few Hawaiians own land? For centuries, Hawaiian land had been overseen by the alii and his people–the concept of owning land was completely foreign to Hawaiians. When Western businessmen had begun to want to own Hawaiian property (and reap Hawaiian sugar profits), land formerly governed by alii had been parceled out to the Hawaiian people. Native Hawaiians, often unable to read English, had had no understanding of how a piece of paper could mean that they “owned” mountains or lakes or coastland, and they had been happy to sell the deeds to Westerners for cash in hand. In this way, many Hawaiians had ended up homeless in their own country. Now, according to the new constitution, the Westerners had bought up votes along with the land. The running of the country would now be in their hands.

Yes. I have empathy for fellow Americans who find themselves in life or death situations. However my eyes are also open to those who might feel we are trespassing upon their territory, their religion, their culture. So the fact that our government must tread lightly when our citizens find themselves on hostile turf is not altogether unexpected. 

…the days of the wild, wild west…are no more.

………hugmamma.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

 

The Next Generation of Care Providers

hugmamma:

Bless medical providers like Dr. Washington who are helping provide us with the next generation of physicians. Fortunate we are when they are not only taught the necessary skills, but also the compassion and concern to help their patients through the medical process.

Hugs, Dr. Washington…for all you do.

………hugmamma.

Originally posted on A Family Doctor's Reflection:

Every month that I post the latest update from “The Ladder” I smile at the amount of fun the kids are having. They are being introduced to physical exam and radiological tests I did not see until  I went to medical school.  They are smiling and I was terrified. I can only hope that some of the kids go on to become health care professionals. They are the future doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant or radiology technician. Medical schools are expensive in the United States. So a physician’s assistant (PA) or a nurse practitioner can be a rewarding career with less long-term student loan debt. The first hurdle is to stay in school. They need the encouragement to struggle through math and science and not get discouraged.
Recently I had an opportunity to refer one of my patients to a former resident. He has a sports medicine practice. I remember the first and last day…

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unique is…as unique lives…

( Move your mouse over each photo, to read its caption.) 

To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour

-SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL -

I would like to credit the assembling of this post to another blogger from whom I borrowed SWC’s words. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to relocate the blog from whence it came. If you recognize this quote, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. Without it, I would not have thought to post this homage to my UNIQUE AND BELOVED…DAUGHTER.

………HUGMAMMA.

“mahalo”…to my followers…

Hawaiian for…Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

It always amazes me when another “follower” hops aboard hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. 

No kidding! 

There are millions of awesome writers and photographers on WordPress. Capturing even a fraction of them with a post or two is mind-boggling. To have them sign up for more than that is beyond comprehension. Truly…beyond hugmamma’s comprehension.

I’m not sure how others with as many as a thousands followers…or more…even begin to repay all the visitors to their blogs. That alone could be a full-time job. When do they have time to live? 

I tip my hat in homage to those who can keep one hand permanently affixed to their keyboard, while fulfilling all their other obligations with the other hand. I’m not one of them. Never will be.

Taking time out every now and then to thank those who consider my writing worth reading is what I can manage without totally upsetting mine and my family’s pineapple cart. That and including as many as WordPress will allow in my community of photos in the left-hand margin of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. BTW…if you click on a photo, you’ll be magically transported to that blog site…for more personal stories.

One other thing I try to do faithfully is repay visits to those who click “like” on my posts and/or leave comments. I figure if they take the time…so should I. It may take me a while, but I try very hard to keep this promise to myself. Even as family and pets call my name…”Mama! Mama!”

In further appreciation, I’ll remember all of you in a collective prayer. 

…for you…hope, joy, and peace…always!croppedphoto

………hugmamma.

 

nurturing thursdays: get ready, get set…get moving

I’ve done my fair share of packing up households because of a new job. Never my own. Always my husband’s…and now my daughter’s.

Let’s see, a change in jobs in 1976 landed my husband and me in The Big Apple. We were in our mid-20s then. That was fun, especially since we’d left one island, Oahu, for another, Manhattan. Worlds apart, though, if you’ve had the good fortune to visit both. Lucky us, having resided where tourists love to vacation.

Four years later, we moved again. This time, Redding, Connecticut, to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. As different from NYC as one can get. Only 11,000 inhabitants at the time. Probably not many more now. Great place to raise our newborn. Lots of wide open spaces. Exploding fall foliage colors that knocked our socks off! Small town parades. Country fairs. An idyllic setting where everybody knew everybody.

When our daughter was 11, we moved again, much to her chagrin. We trekked cross country to Seattle where hubby got a promotion. And here we’ll probably remain, unless Hawaii, land of our birth, beckons us home.IMG_0809

Just because hubby and I were settled, however, didn’t mean our daughter was. At age 16, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she trained for 5 years, hoping to become a professional ballet dancer. Because she was young and didn’t yet drive, I moved with her. For 2 1/2 years we managed on our own, while my husband remained in Seattle earning a living.

Dancers go where the jobs are. And so our daughter moved once again, to Nashville. I flew back to Atlanta to help with the packing while she was at work. She lived and worked in The Music City for 6 years. Midway through, she downsized to a smaller, cheaper rental which meant another move. Of course, I was there to help our daughter whose broken hand was in a cast. Discovering a bed bug larvae didn’t help the situation any. Neither did the reappearance of the cicadas who rose from where they’d been sleeping for 13 years, in the ground beneath the trees in and around Tennessee. 

A year ago our daughter decided to pursue a different dance path. She moved home with my husband and me while she auditioned hither and yon, and danced a couple of gigs in Houston, Texas. Storing her belongings meant moving stuff around in our house. Throw in a couple of remodels, and we had to move things around again.

One year later, we’re packing up our daughter’s furnishings once again to move her back to Nashville. She’ll be dancing with a newly formed, contemporary dance company this time.

At this stage, I could probably get a job with a professional mover. I’ve packed enough boxes in 43 years of marriage, I could probably do it in my sleep. Which reminds me, preparing to move leaves little time for rest. A couple of catnaps here and there suffices.

Because moving also involves selling and buying houses, or renting apartments, I’ve become a pro at that too. Because both my husband and my daughter have had to get on with their jobs, I’ve been the one to handle the transitions.

Then, of course, there’s the decorating. Imported Photos 00176

Everyone who knows me, especially those who have visited any of our homes or rentals will attest to my being able to whip a place into shape in no time. In fact, I can do it as often as the spirit moves me, which of late hasn’t been as often as it use to be. The spirit’s a little more settled these days, owing to wisdom…and because my “get-up-and-go”…got up and left.

Something my daughter said yesterday in the midst of packing up several boxes, ensuring they wouldn’t break the mover’s back when he lifted them, made all my years of moving worthwhile. Stopping dead in her tracks as she was heading down the hallway, my daughter returned to where I was bent over fitting wrapped items strategically into a box. As I stood up and faced her, she placed her hand firmly on my shoulder and with eyes wide and grinning from ear to ear, she said…“You’re amazing!”

………hugmamma.

 Please check out other inspirational posts at…
http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/nurturing-thurs-rebuilding/

 

 

cruisin’ for a bruisin’…in the not-so-friendly skies

Nowadays, airline passengers are fighting mad at being sandwiched into their seats like rows of sardines.

What can a passenger do, short of punching out an annoying fellow passenger?

My suggestion?

Zone out!!!

“Zoning out” during a 5 hour or more flight isn’t for novices.

I try to sleep…or pretend to sleep. Makes the flight go faster if I’m not awake to count the seconds, minutes, hours.

Helps me assume…rigor mortis! Or an approximation thereof.

I see nothing. I hear nothing. I speak nothing. I’m wholly intent on getting from Point A to Point B.

No fuss. No muss. No stress.

How the airlines are messing with me is not what I want to ponder in these my Golden Years.

I’ve got enough on my plate to consider…bloating, constipation, overweight, hair loss, arthritis, fibromyalgia. Then there are the HIGHS…high cholesterol…and the LOWS…low metabolism, low thyroid and, of course, low libido. And let’s not forget the INs…indigestion, incontinence, insomnia.

Enough. Don’t you think?

Recent news stories about passengers duking it out with fellow passengers and/or flight attendants, foretells of heart attacks waiting to happen or psychos in the making.

As with anything else we choose to buy, like it or not, we know what we’re getting ourselves into. And if not, who’s kidding whom?

Yes, I could spend all my days and nights writing irate letters to Presidents and CEOs of air carriers with whom I might have a beef. I did do just that recently…  http://hugmamma.com/2014/06/08/a-complaint-letter-works-hawaiian-airlines/
Once-in-awhile is okay, but I wouldn’t make it a habit. Life’s getting too short for that cat-and-mouse game.

In older age…I’m more suited to a swan’s life…serene…”with an edge”…tucked securely beneath my feathers. So don’t ruffle them…

…if you know what’s good for you…
………hugmamma.

(Looks like designer A. Yaghoubi might have the right idea with his AIRGO design. Each passenger has his own “bubble.” No need for physical interaction whatsoever. Isn’t that what life is all about these days?)
http://www.gizmag.com/airgo-economy-seat-concept/26339/picturesairgo-airline-seat-design

 

friday fictioneers: dribble and drool

WILD LIFE

“Delicious! Best I’ve ever tasted.” proclaimed my host, the Emperor of Japan.

I almost puked just looking at those frothy, deep-fried, tempura caterpillars and their egg sacks. Yet the media would have had a ball with the diplomatic backlash.

My brain went into overdrive trying to concoct some way of getting out of the pickle in which I found myself. I’d even trade these delicacies for a bottle of those nasty dills  my mother-in-law bottled and sent us every month.

And then, all eyes were on my cleavage where insects and dribble had settled.

“Tantalizingly delicious!!!” exclaimed the Emperor, drooling.

 

Photo courtesy of Madison Woods…for Friday Fictioneers. 

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/29-august-2014/

 

 

 

Medical Complications: A Doctor Finds Herself On The Other Side

hugmamma:

A dear girlfriend recently experienced what Dr. Rubin writes in her post. What would I do were the unthinkable to happen to my husband, or my daughter as a result of a mishap at the hands of a medical provider? Remaining calm under life-threatening situations is incomprehensible. Nonetheless, what Dr. Rubin suggests makes a lot of sense. I can only hope I’ll remember her advice should I ever need it.

………hugmamma.

Originally posted on The Write Transition:

Nothing in medicine is without risk. As a physician, I’ve always known this. As a layperson, I’ve just experienced it.

surgical instruments

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Last week my mother suffered a severe complication during routine surgery. As a result, what she went in for was not at all what she came out with. A long road to recovery lies ahead, one with the unfortunate road block of another surgery along the way.

As a medical doctor, I understand complications happen. Nothing is one-hundred percent, and believe me, no healthcare provider wants a patient to have a bad outcome. But as a daughter, I also understand the anger and frustration that result from a medical mishap.

Out of respect for my mother and her medical team, I won’t share specifics about the incident, but I thought a general post on the topic might help others in a similar situation. Who knows…

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the writing process blog hop

A big ALOHA to all who dabble in the written word…writers and readers alike.

A movement is afoot…The Writing Process Blog Hop! 

From what I gather it’s an effort to encourage more interaction among those who plug into the Internet. Writers like me hope our stories resonate with folks who seek inspiration, compassion, information, relaxation or just want a good laugh.

Claudia Anderson at http://humoringthegoddess.com/ provides all of the above in her blog, a perspective of life through the lens of middle-aged eyes. There’s a little something for everyone…soulful words…kindness and generosity…practical tidbits…bouts when she kicks back… and best of all…humor, both upright and downright. Let’s just say if you enjoy my writing, you’ll go crazy for Claudia’s. It was this goddess who  invited me to join others in stirring the pot, so to speak.

So let me get right to it…

What am I working on? 

At the moment? Nothing.

I’ve dabbled.

There’s a rather melodramatic memoir of life with my mother written before I began hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul, back in 2010. I mistakenly submitted it to an artsy magazine in North Carolina. Or was it South Carolina? Either way, I got my manuscript back with a nice note suggesting I send it to a more appropriate publication. A nice rejection, but still…a rejection.

A short article I wrote for an online magazine never got a response. I was incensed when my wittily crafted tale about financing my hairdresser’s retirement to Belize did not garner the editor’s immediate attention. “Her loss!” I thought to myself, and moved on.

Even a joke I sent along to that old tried and true, Reader’s Digest, drew a blank.

Throwing my hands in the air, I turned to blogging…first on Google, then Oprah, finally landing on WordPress where I’ve happily remained until now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ll take a stab at this one, not having compared myself to other writers in my…genre.

I prefer reading and, therefore, writing…nonfiction stories. My best work comes from what I experience personally. Whether I’m reading or writing, I draw from my own perceptions and personal experiences. Much of it has to do with my upbringing and how it influenced my life as a child, and as an adult.

I’m pretty sure most nonfiction writers subscribe to my methods. Only a few, however, probably write with tongue-in-cheek humor like me. Claudia Anderson being one of them. No small wonder then that we’re ga-ga over each other.

Why do I write what I do?

Why do most writers write what they write? Because of their passion for it! That’s why.

When I began blogging it was as though the thoughts in my head were constantly on the march, warring to be free. Unable to contain them any longer, I finally gave in and allowed them access to the outside world. From the dawning of one day to that of the next, I felt gagged and hog-tied to my computer. Most of the 1,000+ posts I have written on WordPress were published in the early years of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. Only recently have I been able to return to the land of the living.

Just a few days ago, one of my sister-in-laws, a faithful follower of my blog commented…”You’ve not been writing much lately.” A sure sign that I’ve finally said most everything that’s been bottled up inside my head these many, many years.

How does my writing process work?

Simple. I sit down at my laptop whenever I can spare a minute and just…write!

I’ve no magic formula, no set schedule, no hard and fast deadlines.

Writing for me is…sheer pleasure! Whenever I can spare a minute or two…or 30 or 60…I sit and type. Words clamoring to escape confinement spill forth…like children let out at recess.

One day, however, I will set about to publish an e-book or two. Something that’s near and dear to my heart…my daughter’s foray into the professional world of dance…what it means to grow up Hawaiian in America…the ups-and-downs and downs-and-ups of growing old. 

My hope is that you’ll want to...keep reading what I write!

Jennifer Soames, a Kinesis Myofascial Integration specialist, has graciously agreed to join in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Having published an E-book on her specialty, I am certain you will find a lot of good information which she’s more than happy to share. Whatever the focus of our writing, we all have a story to tell. Jennifer’s is that of helping folks live healthier lives. A topic which affects all of us. See my previous post where I write of Jennifer’s having done wonders for me. http://hugmamma.com/2014/08/26/happy-fascia-happy-me/

Jennifer Soames Bodywork Maple ValleyJennifer Soames, LMP, KMI/BCSI Is a Board Certified Structural Integrator, Licensed Massage Practitioner and author who has helped hundreds of people with chronic pain and limitations in their bodies. She is passionate about educating and empowering her clients to be an active participant in their own healing and transformation. (Photo/bio from her website.) http://instridebodywork.com/about-jennifer/

happy fascia…happy me…

A friend in need…that’s me. A friend indeed…that’s Jennifer.

Jennifer Soames of Instride Body Work has been my body’s friend for many years. She was referred to me by another friend. A good thing. Word of mouth referrals are always the best.

As a massage therapist, Jennifer brought relief to my aching muscles. Between her magic fingers and those of my chiropractor, Carrie Babcox of Issaquah Family Chiropractic, I was able to keep on…keeping on. A good thing in older age.

A few years ago Jennifer upgraded her skills to those of a Kinesis Myofascial Integration specialist. According to Wikipedia…

Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI) is a form of Structural Integration (a form of alternative medicine). It involves fascial manipulation combined with movement education. KMI Structural Integration is designed to restore structural balance, ease of movement, and a feeling of ‘fitting in your skin’.

For those unfamiliar with the fascia, physical therapist John F. Barnes offers a concise description…

Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.) A high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but are not diagnosed.

Today I had another appointment with Jennifer. I’ve started scheduling monthly sessions with her. Sometimes I’ve gone longer than that between visits.

Throughout the hour long session, she intermittently asked me, as she usually does, to assess how my body feels. As is usually the case, I express feelings of lengthening from head to toe, and rib cage to rib cage.

As the appointment was nearing its end, I imagined my fascia smiling. A happy face on a white, ghostly me. Floating. Carefree. Light. Airy.

Jennifer chuckled at my description. 

It’s as though my fascia has finally arrived. It’s come into its own.

No more low man on the totem pole.

No more bearing the brunt of the daily burden without so much as a nod of acknowledgment.

No more just a humble servant.

My outer shell had been peeled away to reveal the mastermind behind the human machine.

My fascia.

I was floating like a ghost…anchored for the first time…to the real me.

The good news is now that my fascia has begun to resume its original form…the one with which I was born…the bad postural habits I’ve acquired over 65 years are beginning to dissipate. My body prefers the improved me, as now afforded by my newly elasticized fascia.

…freed fascia!…free me!

………hugmamma.organ-of-form-with-150x300Photo credit – http://rolfingmidlands.co.uk/

Visit http://instridebodywork.com/ to learn more about Jennifer Soames and her healing powers. The information she offers on her website can help free your fascia…and you.

 

 

…a dream come true…???

I had been here before, a long time ago. 

Exactly where here was, I couldn’t say.

I only knew that I had been very happy. I had belonged. It had been home.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Was it a memory…or just a dream?

Perhaps I was playing at make-believe.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Others were with me. I was not alone.

They were fussing and fawning, bowing and curtsying.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Momentary lightness quickly turned to thundering darkness.

Lightning bolts ripped my cloud apart.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Torrential rains shut out the sun.

Blackness. 

I had been here before, a long time ago.

I grew in light and beauty…the darkness retreated.

My life…the sun.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

My island paradise. My people. My Maui.

At last…I am home.

(Photo courtesy of Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post.)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/build-your-own/