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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween history- Secular holiday with a psychotherapists spin

In many American households, halloween is seen as a family bonding opportunity.  Kids and parents carve pumpkins that turn into jackolanterns that light up the Halloween sky.  Some kids trick or treat, while others attend halloween parties.  Halloween is now one of the most popular secular holidays in american culture.  Recent research suggests that most families spend $60 or more for this holiday.

As a psychotherapist by trade, I must put on my therapy hat for just a moment.  As an admirer of Carl Jung, the swiss psychologist, he has an intriguing philosophy on the subject of dressing up for Halloween.  He believes that we all have a hidden part of us that lay in our unconscious dying to be noticed.  What we show people on the outside and what lay hidden on the inside can be quite a contrast. It is fun to dress up into a character that you may find intriguing.

 Jung describes this unknown part of us as the shadow.  On halloween night in my Jungian class, we were given the opportunity to dress up as one aspect of our shadow.  Now  that is a fun party theme and a fun interesting  concept to think about.  What about you is so hidden to others that you may want to show others?  I encourage you to think about this and just for fun, think of what you would dress up as to show this piece of you or your shadow.   Analytical psychology uncovers that piece or pieces of our psyche, so that we can become more aware of what lay hidden.  That is the fun of halloween.  It is also quite healthy for our mental state.

My  family sees halloween as a opportunity to stay with tradition.  Every year we carve our pumpkins on halloweeen eve or day and cook the pumpkin seeds.   These baked pumpkin seeds are a fun  way to hold tradition and are quite  delicious.  We also trick or treat each year. 

Recipe for Pumpkin Seeds
  • Rinse pumpkin seeds in strainer in sink
  • Add salt to water with pumpkin seeds atleast four hours
  • Take out of water and rinse
  • Place pumpkin seeds on olive oil greased pan
  • Bake pumpkin seeds till golden brown
  • Bake at 400 degrees
  • Salt to Taste
I would like to close  with a childhood memory.  In my catholic school they taught us this  Halloween song.  My kids have loved this song since they were quite small. ........

Witches, pumpkin heads, and black cats, scary spooks and black bats, oh its Halloween. 
Witches, pumpkin heads, and black cats, scary spooks and black bats, oh it's Halloween
Halloween night is the night where fearful things are seen


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mark - The Cousin I Loved and Hopes Journey

 Hopes Journey nonprofit agency is an amazing haven of love and healing.  I welcome you to peruse the website on the link I have left here.  So the story goes.......Our Story

Hopes Journey began as one man’s dream to build a home filled with love, laughter, family

and friends. Kerry Lund was a Christian man comitted to helping those in need. Before

Kerry passed away in the summer of 2008, he built his dream, however it is still a work in

progress. Since then, a small group of friends, all touched by cancer in some form or

fashion, decided to join forces to ensure Kerry’s dream would live on.

The dream blossomed into what is ‘Hopes Journey,’ a retreat catering to those who have
survived or are currently fighting a life-threatening disease. The grand opening is to be in June 2011, however they need desperately funds to finish all the dreams they have for this haven of love and healing.  They need to finish a
lower level massage therapy room, library, multi-purpose room, craft room, third
bedroom, and sauna, as well as landscape the outdoor area and construct a serenity
garden and pathway.
Hopes Journey will be open to everyone, yet its main purpose will be to provide a respite
for the special women in our lives who may be finding life even more challenging after
becoming afflicted with a life-threatening illness. The struggle to maintain enough
energy to fight cancer and juggle regular routines and responsibilities can be
Hopes Journey is a place where they can put reality on hold-even if just for a few days-to
be pampered and surrounded by the peace and serenity of nature.
It is our hope that the fear, anxiety, and pain cancer patients are forced to bear, will be
replaced with a renewed spirit, inspired to persevere on life’s journey. With your help
and support, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

This haven is my cousin Marks' wifes vision ,that she is making a reality. Read on......

I love my cousin Mark. He is one of those people in my lifetime, that taught me so much about love of family and life. He is my older cousin.  My family of origin, spent a lot of time with Mark and his whole family as young kids. Our cousins had eight kids in their family. A good old catholic family.  They lived out in Minneapolis in a modest  home with an alley in back.  Us lake kids from Lake Minnetonka, thought these alleys were really neat.  We would play fun alley games with both families. Oh, the good times us Rogers' and Sandwiggies had.   Our familes had eight and five kids respectively.   Lets see if I can count them here:  Joe, Tom, Ann, Mary, Mark, John, Dick,  and Eddy.  For my family:  Dan, Shelly, David, Linda and Laura.  Can you imagine this whole group getting together. What a blast.  A child's dream.  We loved to go to our cousins house for visits. 

One Christmas, we spent the entire holiday at our cousins home.  It was the most memorable holiday I can ever remember as a kid.  My mother had just passed away and my dad had us go to our Aunt Philly and Uncle Dicks loving home for a long visit.  We were nurtured and loved over that painful  holiday vacation.  This, I will never forget. 

My cousin Mark was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He was so young and we all hoped, believed he would make it and kick that cancers' xxx.  He passed away and a huge void was left in my families hearts.

When Mark passed away, he left a beautiful wife Lori and fantastic kids.  They had a cabin up north that was a slice of heaven.  This is where Marks death resurrected and Lori his wife began a non-profit for cancer stricken families to heal and find serenity.  Marks' memory lives on in this special place. 

They will be having an event in November.  Please let others know about this place, that will give so many families respite from the ills of cancer.  Perhaps you can tell others to go check this place out. Perhaps you may want to volunteer or give financially to this great cause.

 This picture is the trip my family took to Mark and Lori's cabin shortly before he passed away.   Left to right: Laura,Linda, Mark, Aric, My kids Jacob& Ellie and Missy the Dog

 This article was written in honor of my beautiful cousin Mark

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Teen Years Parent Tips

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dine for Hope at Burger Jones is Today- Help a Great Cause- 10/19/2010

Davis Weinmann, four years old is big in heart. This great young boy helps fight hunger. How you ask? Davis  is our front cover young man on our professional blog. Great job Davis for letting Perspectives Inc highlight your good deeds today.  Davis helps feed homeless at risk youth and families by eating a burger, fries and dessert. See the link.

Davis is also lucky since his mom is a guest chef for our at-risk youth, right here in St. Louis Park in our Kids cafe.  To see more on our mission check out

Tami Cabrera owns Muddy Paws Cheesecake also in St. Louis Park, MN. Check her out online. She also has a great big heart that cares for kids.  Tami is a guest chef that donates her time to teach our at-risk youth how to cook cheesecake. You must try the Pumpkin Cheesecake. My fave. You can find her at Muddy Paws in St. Louis Park, MN.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oreo Extravaganza Recipe for Families

Ellie& Moms Oreo Extravaganza

Eight scoops of vanilla Bean Ice Cream

4 Oreo cookies (double stuff is our fave)

1/4 Cup milk

Light Whipped Cream

Blend all ingredients except the whipped cream until creamy to your liking. Add whipped cream in malt cup. Sit back and enjoy. Tell em Ellie and mom sent you.


A Walk in the Park With Family

 I want you to experience family time on this blog article. Please go down to the bottom and play the video from Ziggy Marley called " Family Time".  Read the blog article first and at the end, treat yourself to the happy sounds of Marley.

 I love nature. God has created such a master piece in nature during autumn. It almost looks fake. The paint brush splashes on so much color and atmosphere in the fall. My family and I love the fall weather. 

Here it is, October 12th in Minnesota, and it is 78 degrees. My family took advantage of the weather and took a walk in the park. The colors were so spectacular. We had to stop at the ice cream shop, better known as Ben and Jerry's in Wayzata.  I would love you to view my pictures from today.

We sat on the benches overlooking Wayzata Bay. The water glistened as we took in God's canvas. The reflection of the trees over the lake was moving.

I took pictures of my family and we had fun feeding our dogs ice cream.  This is rare that we feed our dogs people food. 

We left feeling happy and filled up by the autumn beauty.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Dear Lord, Why?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010