Wednesday, October 20, 2010

National Adoption Month Blanket Drive

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In celebration and to raise awareness of National Adoption Month and to provide a service for the children and families involved in Foster and Adoption programs, Abundance Massage is holding a Blanket Drive from Monday, October 18 through Friday, November 19, 2010.  All blankets will then be donated the week of Thanksgiving.

There are two different types of new, clean blankets Abundance Massage will be accepting: newborn receiving blankets for infants, and security blankets for children up to five years old.  Two agencies have been selected for these donations: newborn blankets will go to LDS Family Services in Concord, and security blankets will go to TLC Child & Family Services here in Sebastopol.

As gratitude for participating in the Drive, donors will receive a voucher for a $10 discount for every blanket donated (up to $40) toward the cost of a one hour massage.  Bring in more than four blankets to start the next voucher.  If you donate during Walk-in Wednesdays, receive an extra five minutes per blanket (up to two) free of charge.

Fostering and adoption are wonderful services steeped in possibilities, changes, hopes and fears.  Your donation will help children and families across Northern California make the transition a little more easy, a little more comfortable, and a little more warm.  Thank you.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Breastfeeding Oppression": My comments

My thanks to my friends Jenni and Gen for passing along "Breastfeeding Oppression" on Facebook. It's a well-written look at the real intent and the real priorities behind those who insist that women not nurse in public where they can see it.  I haven't talked much about breastfeeding in a while, so newer readers may not know how much this issue gets my goat.  Very quickly, though, I'd like to comment on the very first part of the article,

Before the advent of baby formula and bottle-feeding, public breastfeeding was commonplace. No one expected anyone to cover up or go to a private room. Women were free to breastfeed where and how they needed to. This included public buildings, churches, all outdoor areas, and people’s homes. Essentially anywhere and everywhere. And why shouldn’t they have? It is the natural work of a mother, occurring intermittently throughout the day.
It occurs to me that formula is one of the few technologies (and boy, is it ever a technology) that has made this jump so pervasively and completely in our culture.  The concerted efforts of formula advertisement over the past several decades has taken a mammalian biological and social norm for nourishing offspring that occasionally needed supplementation in a relatively few extreme, medical cases and turned it into a moral atrocity of public lewdness for much of society here in the States.

Books haven't been covered up since the invention of eReaders.  Pen and paper haven't been relegated to the nearest bathroom for taking notes since the rise of computers, PDAs, and smart phones.  Mental math skills may have plummeted (my own included) since the widespread use of calculators, but that's mostly a function of laziness and convenience rather than segregation.  Not to mention that walking in public is not considered improper since the invention of trains, bicycles, cars, or airplanes, (in spite of it using a body part many find attractive! :O le gasp).  In fact,we are less healthy for doing it less.  We are less healthy, less graceful, less strong and more susceptible to disease and infirmity because we are a culture of sitters and drivers rather than standers and walkers.  But we have automobiles!  Great, expensive automobiles that we must constantly feed (with pollutants) to keep them running!  And yet, there isn't a pervasive, antagonistic moral "authority" in having a car so you don't have to use your legs for their proper function in public for the comfort and convenience of other people.

I do believe that we've been had.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Monday, October 18, 2010

Green drinks continued

I've been good, I've made a green smoothie almost every day since the first, and I've done a lot of experimentation with the ingredients. Here's what I've found thus far.
  • I have a flush in my cheeks again so I'm not just a walking ball of pale.  This happened within a day or two.
  • It's a good way to get my seaweed without overly tasting seaweed.
  • However, it is not successful at masking the flavor of my herb supplements if I open the capsules and dump in the contents.  Fail.
  • I do feel much more energetic and I stay full almost as long as eating eggs. (I'm considering adding hardboiled eggs to the mix.  Frankensmoothie!)
  • About a quarter cup of kefir seriously upgrades the smoothness and texture of a smoothie
  • Soaking quinoa for 12+ hours in the kefir will not change the taste of the quinoa and leaves a little grain-grit in the smoothie.  As I've just tried this today, I may repeat it tomorrow and try blending the kef-noa first before adding the fruit.  Chia is the next seed/grian on my list to try.
  • Chlorophyll comes out a similar shade it went in (just FYI)
So all in all, I'm enjoying it except for the medicine fail.  It's a tasty way to get what I need, and it doesn't take very long to make.  It's fairly economical, even on an organic budget.  I can get about 3-5 smoothies out of a few bags of IQF fruit, and a gallon of OJ and a container of kefir last for more batches than that.  I'm considering getting a reusable bottle with a straw for drinking on the go.  Those are my thoughts for the moment!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Friday, October 15, 2010

Light a candle: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Click to go to
Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  In memory of babies who died in infancy or died before their parents could hold them, we light a candle every year.
Today is also the first full day of The Amethyst Network's opening. If you don't recall,The Amethyst Network is a new non-profit to connect specially trained professional and peer doulas (and, in time, counselors) with families going through or who have recently gone through pregnancy loss.  (Peer doulas are mothers who have experienced miscarriage themselves and have gone through the training to become doulas.)

Our goal is to have at least one doula in every state in six months, and at least one in every metro area in a year.  It's a worthy cause whose time has come, and we look forward to supporting families and educating the care providers and the public about this tender subject that has touched so many lives.

If you or someone you know has lost a baby, within or without the womb, please consider joining the Wave of Light in whatever time zone you live.

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Temporary Home of Abundance Massage

(Technically speaking, this is always *a* home of Abundance Massage.)

Due to massive glitches on the part of my web designer's computer, this is temporarily the destination of, my business domain.  I should have everything ironed out by this weekend (fingers crossed!) but if you're here looking for information on my massage services, please refer to the links along the bar above this post.

 Thank you, and check back next week (hopefully!) for the revamp of Abundance Massage's web presence!  Huzzah!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Green Drink Riff

Why is it a riff? I don't know. I'm certainly not making fun, just... taking off the idea. Anyway!

So, my lovely friend Rachel is doing what she has dubbed "365 Project Green Drink" where she'll concoct and post the recipe to a green drink every day for the next year.  That got the brain cogs turning.  Then last night as I was deciding what to take to read during, I ran across a very thin pamphlet I bought years ago and never read, called "Midwifery & Herbs".  I poked through it curiously and ran across a section titled "Anemia and Chlorophyll".  This piqued my interest since I've been prescribed chlorophyll before for the treatment of anemia.  From the anecdotes shared in the section, I realized how quickly it works in building blood and decided to give it another go, knowing I had a bottle in the fridge.

The only problem with chlorophyll (for me) is the intensity of its "green" flavor.  So, vague inspired by Rachel, I decided to raid the fridge for frozen fruit and orange juice.  So here's my "recipe"

2 "bunch"es of frozen strawberries
1 "bunch" of frozen peaches
6-8 chunks of fresh watermelon
1 1/2 small bottles of OJ
2-3 pours of chlorophyll until the mixture turned a nice dark-medium green

I know, so precise.  That's how I roll.  Either way, the fruitiness was sufficient to mask the chlorophyll flavor, and I'm now considering an experiment with dried seaweed in a similar application for the iodine content.  Yum!  Thanks, Rachel!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back into the swing

A Utah stream

Wow! My trip to Utah was fantastic. I had a great time staying with my friend and helping her plug through a nasty head cold without medications; it really stretched my healing knowledge. It felt good. I also seem to have escaped unscathed, thank the Lord. I'm not sure what I did for myself, but I plan to figure it out and keep it up this flu season!

Baby belly
What a lot of dirty hippies we are!

My trip was full of all manner of birth geekery, from long talks about my dear hostess' hopes, fears, and plans for her own pregnancy (including a consult with a midwifery practice that left us both feeling very optimistic) to a meet-up with a bunch of my crunchy Forum folk to a day trip down to see/meet one of my birth-lovin' Tweeps, Kayce (aka @heartsandhandss), which included a viewing of "Babies".  I got to do almost everything I went to do, and a few things I didn't plan on, so all-in-all, it was a very enjoyable journey.  (Side note: Taking the train rocks.  Except for sleeping, but even then, it's ten times better than an airplane.)

The changes descend from above
So now it's October.  It is very officially Autumn, my FAVORITE time of year, a time of harvest, abundance, family, friends, good health, comfort, and beauty.  We are about a quarter of the way through the month already (what the heck?!?) so it's time to get crackin'.  Today is Walk-In Wednesday, I've got banners, I've got ads, I've got time, and a prayer in my heart for success.  Life is good.

A riot of color
I also had a major epiphany on the last leg of my journey home Saturday night, about how very, very different my life would be without the health challenges I've battled and cursed for about half of my life.  I can confidently say that without my personal fertility-centric struggles, it is almost 100% certain that I would not be a massage therapist, doula, or budding (haha yes, I am hilarious) herbalist.  I could have accepted the help of allopathic medicine as a teenager and been "healed" of my "infirmity" years ago... or at least be on pills forever to manage it.  By largely rejecting those methods, I've been led on a much more interesting and colorful journey down a winding path of increasing complexity and scope and grandeur, one with no set destination, but merely a direction toward perpetual learning.  I've had so much growth as a result of my "weakness" that it truly has become my strength.  (I will likely post more about this later.)

What's not to love about that?
I love it.  It's great and it's further testimony to me of just how well God knows me and accommodates for my mortal weakness in order to continually bless me as long as I strive to be faithful and obedient.  It's just beautiful.

I'm glad to be back.  Now off to work!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage