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mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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Banishing Bullying on the Internet

October 22, 2014 9 Comments

Bully

Bully

Our cyber world includes unhealthy relationships of all kinds. I am pleased to be free of bullying and the kind of scary stalking that happens on-line. I have many public profiles and none has been hacked or used to attack me. I have, however, been witness to some questionable bullying in public which I remember and avoid forever after. October is Anti Bullying Month, and as people come forward to discuss this subject more openly in public it is obvious we need more than just a month to remedy this crisis.  The relative anonymity, and/or authenticity of on-line relationships is bringing out the very worst in some people’s personalities.  I don’t believe many of these wimpy cyber bullies and stalkers who insult and badger others would have the nerve to be so bold in person.  Still, the offensive transactions often take place in public streams.  What can those of us who are observers of this behavior do to stop it in our on-line relationships?

  • Speak up in support of the victim when appropriate
  • Shun, ban, block and ignore bullies who spread vitriol
  • Check your own on-line statements for possible offensive mistakes in communication
  • Report real harassment and threats to law enforcement

I think it would be so fine if we had an internet Officer White, who would take the bullies to internet detention to school them.  His advise is as good for the trolls and the stalkers of profiles and blogs as it is for elementary students.  Officer White breaks it down so we all see that we have a responsibility:

The fact that education is so widely affected by this horrible trend is a national disgrace.  The tolerance for the acts or threats that terrorize individuals and groups at school must end.  Education has little chance to flourish in such a toxic environment.  Adults need to set good examples in our own behavior and commitments as well as guide young people to treat each other in our institutions of learning with civil respect.  Power should not be handed over to bullies in society.  There can be no happy results to that strategy.  The victim, however, is an archetype all of us will play at some time during our lives.  All of us have the experience of abuse of power on both ends, even if it was only in childhood with siblings.  We take advantage of others, and also allow others to take advantage of us.  It is part of learning how to survive to adulthood.  Those of us who have made it to adulthood owe it to the young people to set a safe and sane example on the internet.  How do you stay safe, Gentle Reader?  Have you experienced bullying as a result of your on-line presence?

Why are some Japanese preschools banning awesome, adorable character bento?

October 22, 2014 1 Comment

Pamela Morse:

Too much pressure on Japanese parents results in banned char-ben lunches

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

CB 3

Considering how much Japan loves food and cute things, it’s no surprise that the country is in the middle of a chara-ben boom. Chara-ben, bento boxed lunches with their contents arranged like popular characters such as Hello Kitty and Doraemon, are a hit with adults and children alike, as parents seem to be having as much fun making them as their kids are eating them.

But not everyone loves this trend of culinary creativity, though, as some preschools and day care centers have started banning chara-ben.

View original 910 more words

Food for Ascension, Tucson

October 21, 2014 3 Comments

On 7th Street near 4th Avenue in Tucson stands a Moorish style building complex that has housed a dance/movement/or yoga studio as long as I can remember. Today the space is serving as a gallery, coffee shop, and farm to table restaurant as well as providing space for movement classes and other events. Today I tried Food for Ascension for the first time and I am very happy I did. This place has several qualities that set it apart from other restaurants in the area. The fact that all the food comes from no more than 150 miles away is notable. The pure plant based recipes sometimes include eggs, but substitutions can be made for vegans and the gluten free people. The menu is short but several daily specials as well as a good selection of small plates provide more than enough variety. I could not choose, so I ordered two entrees knowing I would bring some home with me. Servings were generous. My server suggested the half order of biscuits and gravy because she could tell I was going to have plenty of food.  She was right about that.

biscuits and gravy

biscuits and gravy

She brought a bottle of water, which I always appreciate, and I enjoyed the wonderful view while a waited for my root and seed burger.  At this intersection it is possible to see a least a little of three different mountain ranges that surround out city.  Being upstairs to dine is truly a pleasure, especially when the weather is perfect like it was for lunch today.  The domes and the downtown skyline view, along with 4th Avenue bustle make ascension to the upper deck a super treat.  Perched above the noise of the street with plants and servers who make you feel very well attended is like finding a secret hide away in downtown.  I plan to go often to try everything on the menu.

root and seed burger

root and seed burger

I can report that the innovation and care is obvious in the food preparation.  Both burger and biscuits arrived hot and beautifully presented.  I made my way through about half of each of them, and was super satisfied as well as stuffed.  The root and seed burger had great texture, unlike the mushy veggie burger that can sometimes happen. This flavorful version had a nice char and crust on the outside which is a big plus.  The fresh greens on the plate had a lemon vinaigrette dressing that made it work as a salad, but also was tasty when applied to the sandwich as extra stuffing.  The oyster mushroom gravy on the sage biscuits was delightful. The sage flavor is strong in the biscuit, but it is complimented perfectly by the rich gravy.  It is highly evocative of Thanksgiving, with no turkey involved.  I loved both the dishes, and may have trouble choosing between them the next time I order.   I packed the rest..well, the gravy was kind of gone…to take home for Bob to taste.  I am excited to return with him next time because I know he will like it, and they do have some very rich desserts on the menu that will make him happy.  I was way too full to try any of that today.  I have found a new favorite spot, and am a little surprised it took me so long.  Food for Ascension has been open for about a year.  If you have a chance to try the food, as well as the fabulous ascension, I recommend it.  Take the upgrade, Tucson!

Sarah LaVina Sweet, 2nd Great-Grandmother

October 20, 2014 2 Comments

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

My paternal 2nd great-grandmother was born in upstate New York in 1840.  She married Daniel Rowland Morse, also from New York, in Illinois in November, 1858.  She and her parents had moved to Polo, Illinois, which was a stop on the underground railroad.  It seems that Daniel joined them on the journey.  The couple’s first son was born in Illinois.  The young family returned to New York to live from 1860 until 1875. My great grandfather Jason was born during that time.  By 1879 they had moved to Kansas to homestead near the Oklahoma Territory border outside of Coffeyville.  She remained in her home until after her husband died, then she moved next door to her daughter’s home.  She and Daniel are buried in a private cemetery ( her daughter’s family land) near her Kansas home.  I visited the courthouse and read all the probate papers that applied to her estate.  I have some copies of letters and court findings that indicate what many had implied, that my great-grandfather Jason was not very well liked or trusted.  She brought her son down from New York to settle her affairs after she died.  My ancestor was conspicuously absent from the business proceedings of her estate.   It turned out that court judgements against him amounted to more than his share of the inheritance.  Moving to the wild wild west as a teen was perhaps not the best environment for Jason’s upbringing.  My grandfather Ernest ran away from home as a very young man because he and his brother did not like their stepmother or her daughters.  In 1900 Ernest was living on the Cherokee Nation with his new stepmother.   In 1910 Ernest is found living with Sarah and Daniel at their house, working as a farm worker.  Later Ernest became a milkman with a horse drawn delivery cart.  I am sure Sarah had a big part in raising her grandsons.  It was an amazing time in history.  It was not so easy to survive wild west adventures in those days.  I am very lucky that my pioneer ancestors made it.  I did not see the grave when I was in Kansas, but I know where it is for the next visit.  Someone has taken very good care of them.

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

Sarah LaVina Sweet and Daniel R Morse

Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
is my 2nd great grandmother
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Ray Villafane, Pumpkin Professional

October 17, 2014 5 Comments


Professional pumpkin carving has reached a high level of skill and art. I admire food art of all kinds, and am used to seeing intricate melons and fruits carved by Asians into extremely detailed shapes. Now we can boast of our own home grown American food carver who creates extreme masterpiece pumpkin carvings. While others are hoisting and throwing them Ray is turning the autumn symbols into amazing sculptures. Like a sand mandala, a pumpkin sculpture is born to die. The ephemeral nature of the craft makes it all the more special. Ray shares his technique with kids in school in hopes of nurturing the next pumpkin Da Vinci. If you have considered carving a jack o lantern this year, why not attempt a bust of your mail carrier, or of your child’s teacher? Good luck! Happy Halloween, Gentle Readers.

Hedonism Unplugged

October 15, 2014 7 Comments

Cheers!

Cheers!

I am a hedonist. This archetype is a prominent part of my persona. I don’t mind being considered to be a Sybarite.  I think I might inspire some people to experiment with allowing a little bit more pleasure into life when they see it does not seem to do me any harm.  Art, taste, harmony of elements are all of great importance to me.  Often it is much better for me to go to a museum alone because I normally want to stay at least twice as long as most others.  I also adore very long, lingering dining experiences that are memorable because of the good company and good cheer.  My good friend and fellow hedonist Eric Ellenberg and I once went to the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center for lunch (long before 9-11).  The food and the view were grand.  We stayed for hours and I remember it vividly.  I have always been happy we went because now we could not if we tried.  Most full on pleasurable experiences can’t be repeated.  The synchronicity of the moment and all its glory comprise the ecstasy we feel, but that does not mean we should not plan and create pleasurable times.  Authenticity is the main ingredient of truly memorable fun times.  Holiday excess and obligation often conflict with inner peace and joy.  Here are some ways to be festive without breaking the bank or cramming the schedule full of stressful events:

  • Decide to spend less money and more thought on gifting
  • Decorate meaningfully, perhaps by editing more than adding
  • Use synesthesia for parties, combining sensory elements
  • Create individual festivities for those you want to recognize and honor
  • Stay within a comfortable budget for both calories and money
  • Schedule time to meditate and restore peace and quiet
  • Consolidate “shopping” to save time

This season many Americans go into deeper debt.  From now until next year we will be bombarded with advertising designed to drive the economy.  This year you can avoid buyer’s remorse and debt by lighting your own way through the cold winter’s night.  Be particular instead of excessive.  Use discernment to create gifts and experiences that show how much you appreciate individual taste. I wish all the Gentle Readers good health and financial freedom this winter.  Stay solvent, my friends.  It is much more festive in the long run.

Inventing Retirement, Less is More

October 14, 2014 7 Comments

the long and winding road

the long and winding road

antique alley

antique alley

facade

facade

Many people plan for retirement, but I did not.  I just fell into it without intending to do so.  I spent a lot of time taking care of my parents in their last years which taught me that planning and execution of retirement are two different things entirely.  Saving and structuring investments is one way to plan, but there is another, perhaps more important issue, that retirement brings, which is identity of self.  All of our professional and family lives we identify ourselves with the role we play at work, at home, or in our social groups.  As we grow out of our careers or positions a crisis of knowing one’s self can be the biggest obstacle to happiness.  Investments in markets pay dividends.  Investing our energy into a persona that is a passing phase of our character can block the path to our understanding and fulfillment.  When we are free of the pressure of maintaining the personas, or the facades, that people expect from us we are free to express ourselves artfully and generously.

I recently decided that designing new business cards gave me an opportunity to decide what I want to do next in my life.  I pondered the idea of offering a service to spa owners to help them spy (private espionage) on their own operations.  With so many different establishments calling themselves spas these days it seemed like a good way to start a new idea and make good use of my background.  I took the idea with me on a short trip to consider the ups and downs of the plan.  My weekend trip was busy, so I did not spend much time thinking about my new card or concept.  I enjoyed the freedom of doing just as I pleased for a few days since I left the dog and my partner at home.  On the drive home I listened to the audio book Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr.  There was an obvious synchronicity between the material in the book and my idea to become a professional spa spy which became more clear as I considered what Mr. Rohr was teaching. He discusses the difference between getting old and becoming an elder.  He uses the term elder in the sense of leadership, tribal or otherwise.  An elder is in possession of wisdom which is shared with the tribe.  An old person who has not released his life’s earlier personas and roles does not enter a state of wisdom of peace.  Old people with anger and personal greed issues never pass into the realm of the elder, but remain in the building and striving part of life.   I saw that making an attempt at retuning to spa businesses for any reason was really a trip in a backward direction.  There are many good reasons I no longer work at spas, and it was smart to remember some of them before I decided to return to the same culture with expectations that I could improve the situation with my very important opinions.  I was pulled back from the brink of a big mistake.  There is no need to travel that road again.

I like to have business cards when I want to give people a way to contact me.  I decided to print cards that have none of my former logos, as a way to break free from any past issues that might entangle me.  I am not including my physical address on the new cards because I don’t need the world to know where I live.  I included my twitter handle, @spafloating, my home phone number (my cell number is a secret from everyone), and the address of this blog, http://pamelamorse.com.  I thought for a while about the title, since I printed a large batch and want it to last for a very long time.  I used simply inventor as my title. The most exciting thing about being an inventor is not the fact that you have invented something.  The coolest thing about being an inventor is that you can do it again if you so desire.  I plan to invent the most artful and soulful retirement a person could ever imagine.  I have been doing it already for years, so now that it is official I should flourish.  What is your retirement plan, Gentle Reader?  Have you thought of your retirement in terms other than financial investments?

Three

October 13, 2014 2 Comments

Pamela Morse:

The vibrant colors of nature captured by Kamal Bennani.

Originally posted on Social Media / SEO / Mobile / Digital Marketing News:

Credit: Kamal Bennani
Parisian ballad

View original

October Rituals

October 12, 2014 1 Comment

October brings ancient celebrations and rituals to life. Samhain, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Day,as well as Divali, fall at the end of October and beginning of November. They have in common ritual use of fire as part of the celebrations. As we enter the darkest part of the year in the northern hemisphere we honor the dead and invite them to partake in their former earthly pleasures. Day of the Dead is only one of the cultural holidays designed around remembering. The season is the right time to let go, to clean, clear, and remember. This is possible without any formal outward practice. You don’t have to dress up or build an altar to honor this change of season.

We all go through dark times in life. Lighting up the sky with fires and fireworks reminds us of energy shared, passed on, and finally no longer needed. You don’t need to be religious to understand the sacred nature of the inheritance of our human life. To be able to walk on the earth is not a small gift. Without the generations that survived before us we would not exist. We may notice a feeling of guidance from the ancestors, or simply a reverence for those who created our existence out of their own. I sometimes feel a deep sense of regret when I consider the lives of my ancestors. Who knows if that comes from me or from them. What can be known is that our connection to our ancestors is permanent. What we can learn from knowing about them and from imagining the way they lived gives us some insight into our own strengths and weaknesses. The ancestors know about those strengths and follies because they had them before we did, under different circumstances. I believe they would like for us to learn from their experiences.

Obizzo Visconti, 22nd Great-grandfather

October 9, 2014 1 Comment

 Visconti Coat of Arms

Visconti Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms of the Visconti of Milan depicting the biscione, a serpent who appears to be swallowing a human.

The effectual founder of the Visconti of Milan, Ottone, wrested control of the city from the rival Della Torre family in 1277.
The family, once risen to power, loved to claim legendary versions about its origins. Fancy genealogies were en vogue at the time, while established facts reflect quite sober and almost humble beginnings in the lesser nobility. The branch of the Visconti family that came to rule Milan was originally entrusted with the lordship of Massino (nowadays Massino Visconti), a hamlet in lovely position over Lago Maggiore, where they were in charge since the twelfth century as archiepiscopal vassals.
It is thought that the Milanese Visconti had their origins in a family of capitanei (cfr. the modern surname Cattaneo) whom archbishop Landulf of Milan (978-998) had granted certain feudal holdings known as caput plebis (at the head, likely in geographical and not hierarchical sense, of the pieve, an ecclesiastical lesser subdivision). A document from the year 1157 says the Visconti were holders of the captaincy of Marliano (today Mariano Comense); late chronicler Galvano Fiamma confirms this version. Decades before that, surely before 1070, they had gained the public office of viscount, to be later inherited down the male line (Biscaro, ASL, “I maggiori dei Visconti di Milano”). Soon the family dispersed into several branches, some of which were entrusted fiefs far off from the Lombard metropolis; the one which gave the Medieval lords of Milan is said to be descended from Umberto (d. in the first half of the 12th century).
The Visconti ruled Milan until the early Renaissance, first as Lords, then, from 1395, with the mighty Gian Galeazzo who almost managed to unify Northern Italy and Tuscany, as Dukes. Visconti rule in Milan ended with the death of Filippo Maria Visconti in 1447. He was succeeded, after a short-lived republic, by his son-in-law Francesco I Sforza, who established the reign of the House of Sforza.

Visconti rulers of Milan
Ottone Visconti, Archbishop of Milan (1277 – 1294)
Matteo I Visconti (1294 – 1302; 1311 – 1322)
Galeazzo I Visconti (1322 – 1327)
Azzone Visconti (1329 – 1339)
Luchino I Visconti (1339 – 1349)
Bernabò Visconti (1349 – 1385)
Galeazzo II Visconti (1349 – 1378)
Matteo II Visconti (1349 – 1355)
Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1378 – 1402) {1st Duke of Milan & nephew of Bernabò Visconti}
Giovanni Maria Visconti (1402 – 1412)
Giacomo Visconti (1412 – 1447)

Obizzo Visconti

Obizzo Visconti

Obizzo Visconti (1198 – 1266)
is my 22nd great grandfather
Theobald Visconti (1220 – 1276)
son of Obizzo Visconti
Matteo I Visconti (1250 – 1322)
son of Theobald Visconti
Stefan Visconti (1289 – 1327)
son of Matteo I Visconti
Bernabo Lord Milan di Visconti (1319 – 1385)
son of Stefan Visconti
Veridis Duchess Austria Visconti (1352 – 1414)
daughter of Bernabo Lord Milan di Visconti
Ernst I “Ironside” Archduke of Austria Habsburg (1377 – 1424)
son of Veridis Duchess Austria Visconti
Katharina Archduchess Austria Von Habsburg (1420 – 1493)
daughter of Ernst I “Ironside” Archduke of Austria Habsburg
Christof I VanBaden (1453 – 1527)
son of Katharina Archduchess Austria Von Habsburg
Beatrix Zahringen (1492 – 1535)
daughter of Christof I VanBaden
Sabine Grafin VonSimmern (1528 – 1578)
daughter of Beatrix Zahringen
Marie L Egmond (1564 – 1584)
daughter of Sabine Grafin VonSimmern
Richard Sears (1590 – 1676)
son of Marie L Egmond
Silas Sears (1638 – 1697)
son of Richard Sears
Silas Sears (1661 – 1732)
son of Silas Sears
Sarah Sears (1697 – 1785)
daughter of Silas Sears
Sarah Hamblin (1721 – 1814)
daughter of Sarah Sears
Mercy Hazen (1747 – 1819)
daughter of Sarah Hamblin
Martha Mead (1784 – 1860)
daughter of Mercy Hazen
Abner Morse (1808 – 1838)
son of Martha Mead
Daniel Rowland Morse (1838 – 1910)
son of Abner Morse
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Daniel Rowland Morse
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

OBIZZO Visconti (-after 1258). m FIORINA Mandelli, daughter of RUFFINO Mandelli & his wife Aldesia Pietrasanta.  Obizzo & his wife had two children:
a) TIBALDO Visconti (-beheaded Gallarate 1276). The Annales Mediolanenses record that “Archiepiscopum Ottonem…Tibaldi nepotis sui” was beheaded “in Galerate” in 1276 . m ANASTASIA Pirovano, niece of Cardinal Uberto Pirovano Archbishop of Milan, daughter of — (-1276, bur [Milan San Eustorgio]). The primary source which confirms her parentage and marriage has not yet been identified. Tibaldo & his wife had [four] children:
i) MATTEO [I] Visconti (Invorio 15 Jul 1250-Crescenzago 28 Jun 1322). Giovanni di Musso´s Chronicon Placentinum records that “Dominus Mafæus Vicecomes nepos Domini Ottonis Vicecomitis Archiepiscopi Mediolani” was installed as “Populi Mediolani Capitaneus” in 1287 and shortly after as “Dominus Generalis civitatis Mediolani” . Lord of Milan.
– see below.
ii) UBERTO Visconti (-22 Apr 1315, bur Milan Dominican Church). The Annales Mediolanenses record the death in 1315 of “Nobilis Miles Ubertus Vicecomes frater magni Matthæi Vicecomitis” and his burial “in conventu Fratrum Prædicatorum”.
iii) [STEFANO Visconti (-1327, bur Milan San Eustorgio). The Annales Mediolanenses record the death in 1327 of “nobilis Miles Stephanus Vicecomes” and his burial “apud Sanctum Eustorgium cum matre sua” . The source does not specify Stefano´s parentage but it is possible that he was another otherwise unrecorded brother of Matteo [I] Visconti Lord of Milan.]
iv) [OTTORINO Visconti ([12/14] Oct 1336, bur Milan San Eustorgio). The Annales Mediolanenses record the death in 1336 of “nobilis Miles Ottorinus Vicecomes” and his burial “in ecclesia Sancti Eustorgii” 15 Oct. His place of burial suggests that Ottorino may have been the brother of Stefano Visconti.]
b) PIETRO Visconti (-after 1301). The Annales Mediolanenses record that “Petrus Vicecomes Dominus Seprii et frater patris Matthæi” rebelled against “Matthæum Vicecomitem Dominum civitatis Mediolani” in 1301 but was captured and held “in castro de Serezano” . m —. The name of Pietro´s wife is not known. Pietro & his wife had one child:
i) daughter . Her parentage and marriage are confirmed by the Annales Mediolanenses which record that “Petrus Vicecomes Dominus Seprii et frater patris Matthæi” incited “Ruscam Dominum civitatis Cumanæ generum suum” to rebel against Matteo [I] Visconti Lord of Milan in 1301, the succeeding passage recording “Conradus Rusca Dominus civitatis Cumanæ” among the rebels . m CORRADO “Rusca” Signore di Cuma, son of — (-after 1301).

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