Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dia de los Muertos 2017



So The Man and I made a Pilgrimage to the Public Community Altar at The Desert Botanical Gardens Today in Celebration of Dia de los Muertos.   The Mercado and All Souls Procession will be this Weekend and I plan to attend that also.




Of coarse right now the only way I can easily get my Images to auto size and load onto my Blog is to overshare on Facebook first and import them from there.  *Le Sigh*  But so be it, there are numerous Images I won't be using only because it's just so convoluted still to transfer high resolution Images to where they won't reject here!  But I ain't gonna lie, I LOVE these new improved high resolution Images I'm taking with new camera!




I would have liked to have spent more time at The Gardens in quiet reflection of my Dearly Departed Loved Ones, but The Man had his first Civilian Acupuncture in another City, so it was a very brief visit here, much too rushed.   But his first session went very well and he came out smelling like Wonderful Peppermint Oils and feeling very relaxed and pain free.




The VA will cover a total of eight sessions and we Hope that the Positive non-intrusive results will relieve him of much of the suffering he's been enduring for a very long time.  We had decided, after his catastrophic accident, to forego the complications of Western Medical Opiates, because the addictive qualities of those drugs is so damaging that it outweighs any benefits.  We insisted upon a more Holistic and Natural approach to Pain Management and Healing.




The Young Prince had remained Home from School since he's having Kidney problems again, results of the damage caused by the years of his Western Med Treatments for SMI, which we weaned him off of also, since it was shutting his organs down.   He made Sugar Skull Pizzas for the Family Tonight in Honor of Dia de los Muertos and to Celebrate being among the Living by discontinuing dangerous prescription drugs for his Treatments!




With both he and Grandpa now completely weaned off of dangerous Western Pharmaceutical Treatments I Celebrate a more Natural Healing Regimen for them both as well.   If you've never made these easy Skully Pizza Treats there is a Tutorial Video I Shared on Facebook and is all over the Web.  You can use Pillsbury Pizza Dough in the Tube and any ingredients you want to stuff them with, very simple and tasty, it will become our New Day Of The Dead Tradition!




The Sugar Skull Mold Tins can be had at places such as Michael's Craft Stores, Target and Wal-Mart, they are non-stick but we spray some Pam Cooking Oil to ensure the easy sliding out of your Creations.   The Beauty is that Kiddos can easily make them with minimal supervision and they Love the Fun Creative Process, so you can have Dinner Served to you by them.  *Winks*




They are mess free since they're similar to Hot Pockets and so they'd also be a great On-The-Go Meal during the hectic Holiday Season.  Plus, what Kid doesn't Enjoy the 'Brains' oozing out of their Skully Pizza when they break them open to eat or take that first bite?!?   Creepy Cool!  *Smiles*  I found that the Mini Pepperoni work best to get Pepperoni in every bite.




Our Skully Mold Tin Creates six Pocket Skull Pizzas at a time which is just right for our Family.  Since I had done so much running around Today I had taken a late Afternoon Nap so it was Nice to wake up to the Aroma of Fresh Pocket Pizzas wafting thru the house.  He'd been able to Create them with no Supervision, but Younger Children would require some.




This October had been the First Anniversary of my Mom Crossing Over so the Celebration was particularly poignant and meaningful for me this year.  Last year the Loss was so New and Raw that it was much harder, but no less Memorable and meaningful.  Sometimes it's hard to believe she's been gone a whole year now... and even harder to believe for Dad it's been over a Decade since he Crossed Over!  I still Miss them terribly every day, but Celebrate their long Lives and all the Happy Cherished Memories.




I also choose to Celebrate the incredible Odds of those Loved Ones that have defied and cheated Death and managed not to Cross Over in spite of Grim prognosis and life threatening illness or accidents.   To have them still here on this side of Time and Eternity is a Daily Gift I am incredibly Blessed and Appreciative of!




I'm a bit disheveled here since The Man didn't tidy me up before snapping the Photos!   So excuse that my brastrap was showing, my Dreads were all crazy on one side and my shirt was askew!  HONEY!@!!!!*%@!!  The irony being I was walking around like that and didn't know!  *LMAO*  I will be adding Notes and Offerings to the Public Community Altar this Weekend and the Private Altar at Home.   This year's Theme at The Gardens pays Homage and is Dedicated to the people who passed away related to a water-caused Death such as Flooding.  It follows the Theme of this year's Altar Exhibit, Chalchitlicue or Lady Of The Waters according to Mesoamerican Tradition.




The Artist, Oliverio Balcells, Statement wanted to include the flags of the Countries that were affected this year by rains, floods, mudslides and hurricanes.  This way we can remember the people that are not with us anymore and be aware of Global Warming and it's consequences on our climate.   In Mesoamerican Tradition Chalchitlicue is a Deity in charge of everything related to water including rain, hurricanes, storms and more.




The Dia de los Muertos Celebration continues at the Gardens November 4th and 5th to include La Procesion at 5-6 pm daily.   From 10 am there will be Music, Dance, Storytelling, Live Entertainment, Ofrenda Exhibition in Webster Auditorium, Public Community Altar at the front of the Gardens near the entrance, El Mercado with International Artists and Vendors at Dorrance Hall and Boppart Courtyard. 




The weather has been glorious and is Cooling down, by Arizona standards anyway *Winks*, so dining alfresco at Gertrude's Restaurant there is always a Treat as well.   I know I'm looking forward to spending a Saturday there leisurely Enjoying the entire Celebration.   So I didn't mind that Today the visit was so brief, at least it got The Man into the Fresh Air and walking a bit more.  He complains about having to do walks but I know it's Good for him and Challenges his Motor Skills to improve.




As they say a Body in Motion remains in Motion, he risks atrophy if I don't make him do the more difficult tasks of exercising painful and uncooperative limbs.  Lately he's had some setbacks so we have to get back to prompting him to do more, even tho' he typically doesn't really want to and does it under protest.  His complaints about doing it fall upon deaf ears, I don't wanna hear it!  *Smiles*




Usually, when I insist and make the trio get out and do things, even under protest, they typically Enjoy it in spite of themselves.   Motivating those prone to sedentary habits, mood disorder, disabilities hindering their lifestyle and quality of life, is no easy task and is a constant Caregiver daily Challenge.  When it's easy to self-motivate you often fail to have a point of reference to understand why it's all so difficult for them to self-motivate without help, so it does develop and exercise your own Patience.




I do think I'm getting better at it and more Patient with Time and Experience tho', I used to get a lot more irritated and impatient when Caregiving became overwhelming.   I think that during the Holidays it can be a particular challenge for those you're Caring for who are easily overwhelmed by Sensory Overload and Anxieties or Depression.  The Holidays have a ton of Sensory Overload and Merriment so it can become one of the most difficult times for them to Cope Well.




One would assume that having Fun and participating in Merriment would just be effortless, but for those with Social Anxieties, Clinical Depression, Mental Illness or Brain Damage it can be a lot of effort and trigger unpleasant episodes.  Tho' I would certainly Enjoy having the time of my Life during the Holidays I have to be considerate of the fact that for my Loved Ones I'm Caring for, it can be one of the most difficult and challenging times of their year.




With our typical Gallows Humor we often do like to banter jokingly about some of it, but getting over the hurdles is a Team Effort and sometimes you do have to take one for the Team.    Since enjoyment of the Holiday Season can be fleeting, I try to cram as much as I can manage into the days I can participate fully and Share the experience with others who can easily Celebrate along with me, even if only Virtually here in The Land Of Blog.




And quiet solitary reflections and Joys are also much Appreciated by those of us who are Full Time Caregivers, just getting out by ourselves and not having to stifle meeting ourselves at our own point of Need.   I think that if you too are a Caregiver, you have to somehow find and make the Time to self-minister, even tho' it's much easier said than done to obtain even brief respites.  Especially if they are not provided as a Service or covered by any Programs or Benefits you might qualify for... or NOT qualify for as is often the case.




I am particularly Fortunate that I have FINALLY gotten all three of mine to the place where they can do without me for brief periods of time and no longer require the 24-7 and 365 Routine that can be grueling and contribute to extreme Caregiver burnout!   Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt and all that... so Glad that Season of Caregiving has given me a reprieve if you will!  In most cases tho', Caregiving just becomes more extreme over Time, so for those whose Loved Ones deteriorate rather than improve, they will Need reinforcements or risk hitting the wall and deterioration of their own Well Being!




As Thanksgiving is quickly coming upon us I have a lot to be Thankful for and contemplating that really is a Mood Booster.   I no longer have to Deal with a slew of Caseworkers and Agencies, Dealing with the VA lately has been a more Positive than Negative experience due to their improvements.  *Whew* The Man is qualifying for more as a Disabled Veteran now than before, thanks to some Positive Changes in The System that are addressing past abuses and neglect of our Disabled Veterans and their Families.




That said, some New proposed Policies are threatening the remaining Earned Benefits of our Military and their Families, both Active Duty, Retired and Disabled Vets.  I'm currently signing some Petitions so that our Earned Benefits won't be further eroded or completely taken away to balance Budgets.  Our Military and their Families shouldn't be required to make further Sacrifices in being denied EARNED Benefits because Politicians haven't been doing their job properly to ensure Good Stewardship of funds and funding!  It is shameful and quite frankly a National disgrace to expect them to be forced to!!!

  


However, for now at least, some Earned Benefits remain and The System seems to finally be seeing some improvements to distribute them equitably, I'm Thankful for that.  It certainly makes my task easier to get what The Man desperately Needs in the way of Medical Services and Rehabilitation without waiting years to receive them or die waiting for them.   He was so Happy Today after his Acupuncture Session, finally he's eligible to receive some Positive Services that do no further harm and are promoting noticeable Healing!




With all of the Natural Disasters that have played out this year... and the terrible atrocities that Terrorism has wrought across the Globe and right here at Home in our Nation, I am Mindful of those who have suffered much or lost lives.  My Heart aches for each affected by any and all of those tragedies, I think in so many ways we all have somewhat been affected by them even if they haven't touched us personally.   I Hope that in Unity we are able to come together with Humanity and resolve to Right the Wrongs and reach out to those who still suffer and are personally impacted.




I have Friends and Family in some of the areas that were hit hard by the Natural Disasters, I also have Family that were Touched by some of the atrocities committed against Innocent People recently.   I am at a loss for Words that would offer sufficient Comfort or provide Solutions.   I do know that the Human Spirit is Powerful and Resilient, in Unity we have more strength and are less vulnerable than when we are at odds with one another or set ourselves apart with distorted ideology and separatist values.




I count myself among part of the Resistance to the Negativity that is threatening to prevail, choosing instead to Love and remain Positive and Hopeful.  It is not at all Helpful to dwell upon Negativity and be enticed to engage in it with those who prefer it as a way of Being or even a way of Life.   I quit trying to understand Why that even would be a preferred way of Being or a Lifestyle since I cannot wrap my Mind around it as preferable by any stretch of the Imagination!??!??




And on this Day of Remembrance it is my Hope that the Departed Spirits recognize their place of Honor in our Hearts, in our Thoughts and in our Traditions of paying Homage to them, infused with our Eternal Love for them all.  And even those who we did not have the privilege of knowing, of Loving, may they be at Peace on the other side of the Veil, rendered thinnest at this time of the year, where we may Commune with them and Celebrate their Lives lived while on this side of Time and Eternity!  God Bless.




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Dia de los Muertos Blessings coming to you from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian and Family

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful Dia de los Muertos photos! They reminded me of my old neighbourhood's celebrations. They were small but vibrant and there was always such a nice sense of community about it.
    It's good to hear that the VA has improved, we will all have to vigilant (and keep our fingers crossed) that it stays that way. It just seems like it shouldn't be difficult for veterans and their families to get help when they need it, ever!
    As always, I am totally in awe of your fantastic dedication to your loved ones. It's rarely easy but out's always worth it. Cheers, Sarah

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    1. I've been enjoying your Posts too Sarah... we still have trouble with VA Transport when I can't take him and need them to provide the Transportation, we're working on that problem, meaning I'm being a pain in their arse. *winks*

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  2. thanks for this great post. I love Fall holidays also - they really speak to me. In a nutshell (and nuts are a great Fall fruit! ;-), I think they resonate because they about impermanence/gratitude. Understanding the truth of impermanence is a gateway to gratitude. Yes, some folks get lost in fear - we see that in Fall holidays, too, right? But ultimately, understanding that change is only thing we can safely predict... that while spirit is for ever, the forms it takes are always in flux... allows to realize all the good we have now and have had in the past... and that attitude of gratitude allows us to better live with all the difficulty which we also invariably experience in life!! Like you, I have reminders of this around me year round... because they strengthen my spirit and my resolve to "be here now" and "be with" who and what I'm with - as best I'm able. This is sort of a change of subject... but also not... I think caregiving also teaches us a lot about impermanence... caregiving the young... where the journey is usually toward independence... teaches about impermanence in a way that is more or less "easier" to be with and support... caregiving the aged... where the journey is to leaving this world... also teaches us about impermanence... but at a more advanced level... where it's the spirit that is moving toward "independence" of the body... that one is harder to embrace. they are the same lesson - but delivered in different ways, with different aspects, tests, challenges, etc. Both come with a lot of reward. Both show us our strengths and our weaknesses. Can you tell I'm a member of the sandwich club? (Support for both teen and elders.) There is a lot to learn and grow from - and also a lot for which to need strength and support. Thus the need for holy-day rituals and celebrations!

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A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl