All Saints Town

Recently the town of Todos Santos was visited. A wonderful historical town on the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula. Its architectural history is that of a sugar cane production town of the 1800s. Many of the buildings are constructed of low fire adobe brick with quaint courtyards that serve today as a respite away from the hustle and bustle of a vibrant town. In the 1980s, Todos Santos began its evolution into an artists’ retreat and spiritual center. Like nowhere else in Baja, Todos Santos has culture and a soul. How apt therefore that its name means “All Saints.”

While there we stayed at the very lovely Todos Santos Inn – a beautifully restored 19th century hacienda originally owned by one of the town’s sugar barons. Upon arriving, it was discovered that only one other couple was staying at the Inn. An inn where reservations are usually necessary.

The Todos Santos Inn

A delicious dinner was sought at Cafe Santa Fe, an Italian restaurant that lives up to its reputation as one of the best eateries in the state. However on this evening, it is a restaurant devoid of any patrons. Many tables, but no one at them. And it may have been my imagination, but I think the scent of desperation hung in the air. A feeling set in that we were the last people left on Earth, aside from the very nice and helpful wait staff.

The following day a tour of the downtown area was planned. With visits to the many galleries full of art by local and visiting artists. But there is a problem with the plan. None of the galleries are open. Door after door is closed, locked tight. Even the wonderful El Tecolote Bookstore is not open at 10am.

The feeling of being the last people on Earth deepens. There hasn’t been a single case of Swine Flu reported in the state. Where has everyone gone? What if we are the only people, aside from the staff at the Inn and the restaurant, left on the planet? Perhaps Todos Santos should be renamed Pueblo Fantasmo (Ghost Town).

And then we see them.

They have been petrified and put on display throughout the town as some kind of warning. No wonder there is no one in this town!




Lunatic Love

Certain things are universally true. At the beginning and end of every day humans are all looking for love and would all like for that love to be unconditional. A true love that accepts us exactly “as is”, blemishes (physical or otherwise) and all. We may look in different places, objects and people for this perfect love, but the fact that we are, all of us, looking for love of one kind or another would be difficult to dispute.

Ultimately, we are all residents of the bargain bin of love.

So many people spend so long looking for it that when it finally appears shock and wonder take hold and they’re not quite sure what to do now that they’ve realized their dream. Doubt sets in almost immediately. Is this really it? Or am I imagining “it”?

Once the initial honeymoon period “life is so completely unbelievable grand” subsides, contentment and doubt do a back and forth dance of messing with the mind. The mind, mind you, not the heart. If the love was true to begin with the heart always knows it and the mind just gets in there and tries to make a mess of things. Even before this period though, when things are still relatively new and intense, there is a sense, gained from prior experience, that maybe this too could all fall apart into discontentment, resentment and finally revulsion. Fear plays its game with your mind.

Fear resides in the mind. Love lives in the heart.

New love has inspired songwriters as long as they’ve been singing them. David Bowie’s Heroes, is a favorite. Failed, crumbled and destroyed love has probably informed many more. Achy Brakey Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus would be one of the least favorites. But few songs address with such alacrity as the group Cake what goes on in the minds of many as their love matures, solidifies. As we become more comfortable with one another we let it all hang out, risking that the romance will be lost. Romance is not love, but can the loss of one mean the death of the other? As the song suggests, to love madly, to love without reserve and without the interference of the mind may just be the ticket.

Love You Madly

I don’t want to wonder
If this is a blunder
I don’t want to worry whether
We’re gonna stay together
‘Till we die

I don’t want to jump in
Unless this music’s thumping
All the dishes rattle in the cupboards
When the elephants arrive

I want to love you madly
I want to love you now
I want to love you madly, way
I want to love you, love you
Love you madly

I don’t want to fake it
I just want to make it
The ornaments look pretty
But they’re pulling down the branches
Of the Tree

I don’t want to think about it
I don’t want to talk about it
When I kiss your lips
I want to sink down to the bottom
Of the sea

I want to love you madly
I want to love you now, yeah
I want to love you madly, way
I want to love you, love you
Love you madly

I don’t want to hold back
I don’t want to slip down
I don’t want to think back to the one thing that I know I
Should have done

I don’t want to doubt you
Know everything about you
I don’t want to sit across the table from you
Wishing I could run

I want to love you madly
I want to love you now
I want to love you madly, way
I want to love you, love you
Love you madly

Quack Attack

The dental fillings have been in place since some time in the 70s. When Dr. Koostra put them there. Dr. Koostra, who based on deportment and appearance presumably escaped an eastern block country some time in the 50s. Dr. Koostra, who’s poorly lit office smelled of strange chemicals and with odd cartoons of naked little alien creatures on the walls. Dr. Koostra who’s haunting voice raised images of Bella Lagosi. “I vant to suck your blood.”
Lying on the back, mouth wide open, vague memories are of pain, discomfort and the droning voice “open…now a leetle pain…vider please.”

With the following results:

Silver in color, the fillings the doctor placed in the mouth contain less silver than mercury. Of course dentists recognized early on that calling them “mercury fillings” would not go over so well. Mad Hatter Disease anyone? So they came up with the name “dental amalgam.” No need to deceive with a name that avoids the issue altogether.

At issue is whether these fillings, containing as much as 50% mercury, are toxic. After the cleaning of the colon, the liver and the gall bladder, shouldn’t the contents of the upper end of the nutritional subway be considered for potential sources of ill health, death even?

The mercury is added to the filling material because it makes it more malleable and binds the other metals.

But anyone who’s broken a thermometer in chemistry class to play with the silvery beads inside, knows that mercury is a liquid at room temperature. How about at mouth temperature? What do you think happens in there? And what about when coffee or tea are consumed, or Mom’s chicken noodle soup, Dawn’s beet borscht?

The problem with mercury is its toxicity to human cells, especially neurons (yep, that includes yer brain), the gut cells, the liver and kidneys. By itself, mercury is classified as a hazardous substance by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and is considered a powerful poison, 5000 times more toxic than lead.

So how the heck did we end up with mercury in our fillings?

In the 1830s dentists in America fractured into two groups: those favoring mercury fillings and those opposed to them. The American Society of Dental Surgeons disliked mercury amalgam’s tendency to fracture teeth as it expanded in fillings. They were a little concerned about mercury’s side effects too, like insanity and loss of motor function from nerve damage.

Members of the ASDS pledged never to use amalgam for fillings. And they referred to dentists who used mercury as quacks, because this is short for quackenslaver – the German word for mercury. Who were these dentists who favored using mercury-filled amalgams? They became the American Dental Association.

In time, addition of tin to the mixture solved the problem of expansion of the amalgams. So, despite the risk to their patients, over the years more and more dentists turned to using them because they are cheaper and easier to use than other filling materials.

Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, the ADA avoids conducting human safety studies of mercury amalgams. They contend that they’ve been doing it this way for 150 years so it must be safe. Huh?

Independent researchers have done the studies though and found that mercury is released from dental fillings to a significant degree. Released to travel about the body, it impairs kidney function, causes autoimmune diseases, impairs fetal development and may cause infertility. In essence mercury effects the entire body because it attacks at the level of the nervous system.

So with optimum health as a goal, it was decided Dr. Koostra’s fillings had to go. Despite the 30 odd years relationship.

Enter: Dr. Rosa Pena. Mexican dentist extraordinaire.

Two and a half hours later, six fillings had been expertly replaced with a white “composite” material. And the results speak for themselves.


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For a detailed description of the history and politics surrounding the use of dental amalgams click HERE.

Cathartic Purgation

Cathartic Purgation. This term was first seen in a botanical book describing the effect on a person of eating a specific plant. Curious as to it’s exact meaning, the glossary was sought.

Purgation: The act or process of discharging bodily wastes or foreign substances.
Cathartic: A substance that purifies.

A more literal definition: The act of clearing the bowels and small intestines of all solid matter in an explosive fashion.

With this, it is understood to be an exhausting and invigorating process. It is not until today that the right energy is attained to write about the colon/liver/gallbladder cleanse.

The cleansing period began on Monday. The vegetarian diet was followed as always, but now apple juice was made from Red Delicious apples and about 36 ounces were drunk each day. Along with the Super Colon Cleanse pills mentioned in the previous post. And the usual regimen of good quality USANA vitamins. An attempt was made to eat less overall, eliminate white flour and other refined foods, caffeinated beverages and all dairy.

The attempt was semi successful. The first two days the overall feeling was of tiredness. And sleep was very deep. The Super Colon Cleanse pills meant the bathroom was the most popular room. A sensation that maybe toxins in the system were being released by the special diet and the bentonite clay in the pills.

On the third and fourth day, the feeling changed. There was energy to burn! Clean energy, not like the energy from coffee. A clean, powerful energy and increased flexibility. Yoga was fun and full of grace. Meditation clearer, calm found more quickly.

On the fifth day, it was noticed that the body was tired of the apple juice. Some was forced down anyway. A very light breakfast of one green apple and a fist-sized bowl of whole grain oatmeal. No pills of any type.

The house was cleaned furiously and this kept the mind off the stomach. The metaphor of the clean house for the body was not overlooked.

At 2pm no more food was taken by mouth. And no more drink.

At 6pm the first in a series of four epsom salts drinks was consumed. This is a mixture of epsom salts and apple juice. It tastes quite unpleasant even with the help of the juice. And again at 8pm this nasty concoction was consumed. At 10pm, standing next to the bed, a mixture of olive oil and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice was shaken vigorously before being swallowed quickly. The grapefruit juice does an amazing job of emulsifying the oil and the whole mixture was actually very palatable. Two melatonin tablets were taken to help attain the state of sleep.

Instructions said to lie down in bed flat on the back immediately. That was done. And then the wait. For sleep. Which did not come for well over an hour. And when it did come, it left very quickly. A rude awakening accompanied by a sensation of nausea…and of a stomach very full. Laying on the back is not the natural way to sleep. Tossing and turning began, making the nausea worse.

Somehow real sleep is attained.

Awake and aware of sensations in the intestines. Still nauseated. Wondering if a significant mistake has been made. Many trips to the loo began. Cathartic purgation ensued.

Results. Large balls of hard bile, many small balls and hard yellow gravelly looking pieces of what was said in the literature to be cholesterol. They are presented here for your entertainment.

The large balls were cut in half and at the center of some resided a strange flat white thing. What are these? They could be a parasite from the liver. A liver fluke perhaps. It is decided that a parasite cleanse is necessary and some Paragon is ordered. Paragon = natural herbal parasitide.

Throughout the day more interesting things are observed. More parasites. And much cholesterol that looks like wheat chaff. A feeling of exhaustion from the purgation begins to take hold. Some time is spent resting in the sun. Vitamin D!

Midday some juice is consumed and very slowly over the course of the afternoon food is reintroduced. Only fruits and vegetables and some coconut oil to keep the bile moving. Very small quantities of food. A strange feeling of fullness in the area of the liver starts.

That night, as sleep was attempted, the fullness in the liver turned to slight pain. The next day the source of the pain is realized. More stones have passed! Large ones! Telling us more cleansing is required. We understand now how well the epsom salts have worked to open up and relax ducts so the first stones could pass without pain.

The end result, two days later, is a feeling of overall increased health. Greater understanding of the body and what it needs. A desire to eat healthier and not to consume alcohol.

Taking responsibility for our individual health instead of waiting for disease to take hold is not the typical approach to health taken. Instead of being irresponsible with this one body and then expecting the medical institution to produce a magic bullet and cure. Realizing that the North American diet is killing friends, family and strangers alike. Reducing the quality of life for even more. Processed foods have no life in them. To the contrary they KILL. We are the product of millennia of eating roots, nuts & berries and, on occasion, animal protein. What makes us think we can get away with eating two pounds of animal protein, three pounds of sugar and processed flour every day?

The next step in the series of bodily spring cleaning will be the removal of mercury-containing tooth fillings. Check back here for details!

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A wonderful source of information on the politics of food and healthcare and how you can take responsibility for your health is Dr. Tim O’Shea’s web site The Doctor Within.

Just Desserts

A reward can take many forms. But at the end of a long day of hard work, it is the reward that makes it all worth it. We’re talking about the reward beyond that of a job well done, a clean house, weeded garden or report completed. The reward of a good meal and maybe a nice glass of red wine.

Most things are done for a reward. Whether its exercise, eating right, getting up in the morning, most of us wouldn’t do these things if it wasn’t for the rewards realized.

Today however is different. There will be no happy ending of a good meal and glass of red. In fact there will be no dinner at all. And there’s been no red for almost a week. In fact, it’s starting to feel rather impoverished around here.

The red has been replaced with copious amounts of freshly pressed apple juice. Red Delicious apples washed and cut and put through the juicer. Apples and more apples. At least 55 of them. The juice pours forth, pink at first but quickly turning a disturbing color of brown as it oxidizes. It’s so sweet that it is necessary to combine it with water to reduce the sugar rush and taxation on the system. [Maybe it should be called Barry juice!]

Normal eating has been replaced by meals of freshly juiced vegetables or brown rice and steamed vegetables. All in modest quantities. It is amazing how filling vegetable juice can be. Bokchoy, beets, celery, carrots and a bit more apple for taste.

Special Super Colon Cleansing pills are popped. Too many at first and lessons are learned the hard way. Whoa! Back off those puppies. From four three times a day, like it says on the label, it is necessary to cut back to one and then two pills three times a day. Much better. Less urgency.

For five days a vegan diet and a lot of apple juice. A lot of a lot of apple juice. The malic acid in the apples, which is absent in pasteurized apple juice bought in the store, works its magic. Things start to soften and dissolve.

Stones, Gall Stones.

There has been no diagnosis, however experience and research indicates that we are all a little bit full of stones (among other things). 90% of people have a significant number of gallstones choking up their livers. Making them less than 100% healthy.

It is the job of the liver to make bile, as much as 1.5 liters per day. The liver is full of tubes that deliver the bile to a larger tube known as the common bile duct. The gallbladder is attached to the common bile duct and acts as a storage reservoir. Eating fat or protein triggers the gallbladder to squeeze itself empty after about twenty minutes, and the stored bile finishes its trip down the common bile duct to the intestine.

It is not clear why we get gall stones. The stones, which are actually pretty soft to start out, congest the liver and the gallbladder and make them unable to do their job properly. The result is disease.

Indigestion. Allergies, back pain, arthritis, bowel inflammatory diseases and dreaded cancers.

Possibly heart disease. The word cholesterol originates from the Greek words chole, meaning bile, and stereos meaning solid. So cholesterol is in actuality “solid bile”. Maybe the millions of people taking statin drugs for their elevated cholesterol just need a good liver flushing!

Avoidance of these unpleasant symptoms and disease drives the current activities. Fasting, drinking epsom salts, spending copious amounts of time in the bathroom. The reward will be, it is hoped, good health. And likely more material for this blog. With pictures perhaps. Ah ha! You’re curiosity is stoked, isn’t it?

Now a glass of apple juice & epsom salts for dinner. Yum!

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For more information, the details on how to do a liver/gallbladder cleanse and some vivid graphics, go HERE.
For the best directions on how to do the liver flush and some more vivid photos go HERE.

The Knight and the Princess

She lay there unable to move. Her puppies took most of what she had left as they grew. She had little shade and some days the angle of the sun was such that it burned her pink skin, exposed by the mange that ate away at her.

The dirt around her was full of her feces and urine and she was made to lay in it day in, day out, without respite. It irritated her swollen raw skin and her eyes, leaving them sore and infected much of the time.

The pups at least were free to wander about the yard, but not her. She was tethered. Tethered on a short piece of wire that was put there when she herself was still a pup. The wire was wrapped around her neck and twisted at the back. It took her only a few attempts at pulling free to realize that this wire could and did tighten when she pulled at it. And no one came to loosen it. So it was tight almost as soon as it was placed around her neck, making it difficult to swallow, to drink and eat on the rare occasions when food or water was offered.

Unlike the wire, she grew. Despite the cruel circumstances of her life, she managed to grow.

A young boy would come regularly, but not often enough, and throw her scraps. At first he was too frightened to get close, but in time he would bring water as well. He looked around furtively every time, she guessed, to see if her captors were there and watching. Afraid maybe, that he would be treated similarly if caught in the act of kindness.

Gradually, the mange ate away at the rest of her coat and her skin was a mosaic of open infected sores. Her eyes could not open some days and she lay there alone in the dark. The puppies were all gone, she hoped to somewhere far far away and very different from this place.

In time, she grew into a medium-sized dog and the wire did not grow with her. It remained taut around her neck creating a deep impression there. Sometimes the wire would cut and wounds were created. Her voice became more plaintiff as it squeezed her larynx. She would call and call, begging to be released, but if anyone came, they only yelled and left again.

She imagined that she must have done something terrible and that this was her punishment, her hell. And she almost submitted, gave up and moved on.

One day, when he came he was more nervous than usual and his movements were quick and deliberate. He did not bring food or water, but something else was in his hands. She knew he was a friend and her bodied wiggled at the sight of him, but she was confused by his new movements. She heard a strange sound and felt him raise her up off the putrid ground. Then they were moving, quickly, and away!

She saw things she had never seen before; a large tree in the yard next door where they passed and the boy said something to a woman there. She sensed that they were co-conspirators in this thing that was happening.

He laid her upon a soft uneven surface and spoke to the woman who had followed them. A metal door closed next to her and then another and another. A strange noise began and the container began to vibrate and then move. But she wasn’t afraid because he was there and she was no longer lying in the dirt without hope.

A tall man with dark hair and a kind voice was speaking to the lady now, and she was carried into a strange building. They laid her on a shiny metal table and the man began to run his hands over her body and to look closely at the place where the wire remained around her neck. She sensed their shared sadness, but they touched her with such tenderness that she felt safe.

She awoke from what seemed like a very long and deep sleep. She did not know where she was but there were other dogs nearby. Curled up on a soft surface, she sensed right away that something was different. The tension around her neck seemed to have been released. In its place a sensation of cool moisture. Still tired, exhausted, she slept.

Upon waking again, she saw there was water. Clean water. In a bowl within easy reach. She lifted her head and drank. Water had never tasted so sweet. And swallowing seemed easier.

Over the next several weeks, this sweet dog was treated for her mange and given antibiotics and ointments to cure the open wounds on her body. The wound made by the wire that had been cutting into her neck her entire life was almost an inch and a half deep and at least an inch wide in places. It was a great challenge for the veterinarian to remove it without causing serious damage to life-sustaining arteries and veins.

Evidence of the cruel wire, so carelessly wrapped around her young neck would always be. But she could wear a harness and the kind lady and her young male savior would teach her to walk on a leash.

On the way home, her new home, with shade trees that were tall and full of flowers this spring, he whispered to her his promise that she would be forever free in her fenced yard with all the food and clean water she wanted. That she would NEVER again be tied or tortured. She didn’t know what he was saying, but liked the way it sounded. She wiggled her entire body and licked his face.

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Please do what YOU can to help prevent animal cruelty and to rescue mistreated animals like this one. Click HERE to help.