Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 61 Juice Feast -- Jumbled Thoughts

It's been an unusual day and I'm not sure what to make of it; I'm not having clear thoughts. Everything is fine but I can't seem to get a hold of my thoughts. For the moment, I'm going to leave it at that.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 60 Juice Feast -- Parasite Cleanse

Today is the first day of the parasite cleanse using HealthForce Scram. During the last JF it was the same brand but I think it was called something different; I'm not sure if it's the same formula either. But it's still the same protocol. Day 1: One VeganCap™; Day 2: Three VeganCaps™; Day 3: Six VeganCaps™; Days 4-18: Ten VeganCaps™.

On the first JF, it was the first parasite cleanse I had done. I found out right quickly the power of this cleanse. Thankfully I'm very comfortable sitting Japanese-style because it was an absolute necessity for one day. It proved a worthwhile experience and I've repeated it since the first JF. This time, although I don't mind sitting Japanese-style I'm hoping it's not required.

Seiza (Source)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 59 Juice Feast -- Comfortable

One of my coworkers came in my office and said: "It is so comfortable in here." Often times my life feels anything but comfortable so it's nice to know even if I am driving myself crazy trying to do this and be that, I'm providing a comfortable space for those around me. Maybe I should try and provide that space for myself, too.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 58 Juice Feast -- A Second Look at Cantaloupe

I am a little amazed how much I liked cantaloupe on the first JF since I don't particularly like it in general and then how I quickly disliked the taste of it this JF. I had several juices with it in the beginning then set it aside completely--for reasons of taste alone. Last weekend I picked one up and drank that juice today after work on the way to the store to pick up fresh produce. The cantaloupe, in turn, picked up my stomach contents and left them on the grocery store blacktop parking lot. I rarely throw up (this is one of those things I can count on just a few fingers) so this was rather surprising. I came home and slept. I feel better now but still feel a need for more sleep.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 57 Juice Feast -- Breaking Structure

This morning I was at a loss. I've come across this before--I realize I am where I am supposed to be but I am not sure what to do with myself. Although there are always busy things to do--distractions as it were, nothing I really wanted to do or felt right came to mind. I was present, I was not unhappy and I was engaged in questioning.

At lunch I left the office and all I knew I wanted to do was get some sun.  I was listening to my MP3 player and walking when almost immediately I found a tiny area off the beaten path with sun blasting it and a long concrete ledge attached to a grassy area surrounding a huge metal sculpture. I sat down and went to set my MP3 player to a book I'd started a few days earlier when I stopped in my tracks and selected something new. Of course it held exactly the information I was looking for.

The delightful Natalie Goldberg is one of those few authors I would rather listen to than read. In her recording of The Art of Writing the Memoir I was given a definition of memoir I've never heard before. "It's the study of the mind and the way the mind moves." More relevant to my current situation yet equally applicable to her style of writing memoir, she said: "We have to crack open structure to let go of energy." I'm disciplined enough to continue to JF even if it's sometimes done by rote--but another part of me asks why do something just for the sake of discipline (I'm pretty well versed in this and extra training isn't often necessary). As I was breaking a lunch structure I lived her words "Structures get old if they're not revitalized, seeing things the same way--it's never going to be fresh. We've got to keep breaking it open and refreshing." What happened when the energy leaked out?

A new practice. Slowing down. "We're always running after things, we're always going toward the world. This is a chance to let the world come home to us." This ought to be interesting.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 56 Juice Feast -- An Early Night

I am feeling fairly tired today and decided on caving to an early night; sometimes a mindless night is vastly rewarding.  On another note I am super excited to see David Wolfe's Longevity Now free webcast this weekend--which I'm sure will be anything but mindless.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 55 Juice Feast -- That Which is Indestructible

Shortly after I arrived at my previous organization in one assignment one of my project teammates was someone I spent a lot of time with talking about the work. In the process we started to become friends and talk about our personal and eventually, our spiritual lives. As it turned out I was in the presence of a bodhisattva; a brilliant scholar who in fact, would later be appointed as a lama.

I was grateful for our conversations--he helped me see another perspective on life. As time went on he asked me if I wanted to be a bodhisattva and began giving me teachings on Buddhism. I was always honest that the path of a bodhisattva was not mine (he regularly applauded my internal compass). Still I listened with curiosity to his teachings--although fascinating and useful I honestly figured he could accumulate more merit through his diligent encounters with an attentive heathen. Despite the discomforts that were to come one thing I got out of it both literally and as reinforced by our Contract was the concept of seeking that something inside me which is indestructible.

 However that was not what he needed to learn. We had very little time together before the energy started to become uncomfortable. In Sacred Contracts Caroline Myss tells us how to identify who we have a Contract with: "Think, feel, respond to animation [intuition]. Anytime you feel your system buzzing, you're near something that means something to your spirit. Even if it means nothing to your mind and even less to your heart it does to your spirit." I could feel when he walked in the building in the morning, where he had been in the hallway and when he walked behind me into the break room. I experienced other energetic communications outside the workplace. It was an onslaught of energy.

I held the space for him to play out his lesson. During this time it caused quite a spectacle at work--and I became such a source of gossip that I actually heard about it. He left the organization shortly thereafter and his goodbye included a sheepish indirect communication that his actions were based on delusion.  

Myss tells us we will find our contracts because we are confused, we are questioning, we seek to fill our belly with the unknown. "You know a contract is complete because your belly feels full. That's when you know you've made the right choice."

Although I was initially irritated by the notion of having to play out these difficulties I came here to learn (denial truly is the first step!)--there is little more satisfying than a closed contract and for me, it is ridiculous to try and avoid the unknown, animation and Contracts.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 54 Juice Feast -- "Sacred Contracts" (Caroline Myss)

Recently I've been enraptured by Caroline Myss' work on Sacred Contracts. Her website describes Sacred Contracts as:
 I believe that each of us is guided by a Sacred Contract that our soul made before we were born. That Contract contains a wide range of agreements regarding all that we are intended to learn in this life. It comprises not merely what kind of work we do but also our key relationships with the people who are to help us learn the lessons we have agreed to work on. Each of those relationships represents an individual Contract that is part of your overall Sacred Contract, and may require you to be in a certain place at a certain time to be with that person.

When I listened to Sacred Contracts I have to admit I was rather irritated when she mentioned these Contracts could be thought of as pre-incarnated spiritual agreements I am carrying around in a backpack filled with fragments of others' spirits (and mine in theirs). The jerk that I am selfishly thought--my pack is already heavy, now I have to pack others stuff too? I realized what a selfish thought this was but still not wanting this responsibility I thought well I'll just throw out an all-call, up end the contents of my pack on the ground and tell everyone to come get their stuff. However I quickly realized this is likely an equally dangerous idea and highly disrespectful of the trust others have placed in me. So I stopped being a jerk and acknowledged somewhere in me I have to find a way to be much more open to those who enter my life--they may just be looking for something I was entrusted to keep safe.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 53 Juice Feast -- In Preparation

All week I have been trying to squeeze in the things I usually do on the weekends after work so I could try and have one free day this weekend. Why? In the last few weeks during my early morning juice making I've been deeply engrossed in two Caroline Myss audio programs: The Language of Archetypes: Discover the Forces that Shape Your Destiny and Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.  This week things started to click for me and I've been resisting the pull to go into contemplation. It's not that I don't want to face my thoughts but that I wanted to set aside enough time without distraction and responsibilities that I could give it my full attention.

Contemplation (John William Godward)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 52 Juice Feast -- It's Here: Summer

If I am partial to any season it would have to be any other season but summer. Still, there is something magical about summer that I can't resist.  Usually it's something like summer-by-association (and except for a faint liking of Richard III this is the only way I can enjoy Shakespeare too), or that the people around me love summer so much I can't help but love it too.

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May (John William Waterhouse)
In other news...a few blocks from the train station every Friday from here until the end of summer is a Farmer's Market. I stopped by today and checked on what was sprayed and what wasn't. Cucumbers were 50 cents each! That is one fine thing about summer.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 51 Juice Feast -- Getting Called Out

I'm going to have to start being a lot more careful about what I say (and think). Yesterday I mentioned not clearly remembering what a work out felt like and this morning my friend told me we were running a Marine Corps 10K this fall. She didn't ask. She said I needed to get in shape! It's true--still it's pretty funny. I am not planning on running while on this JF but I do figure it will be a fabulous task post JF to keep me on the straight and narrow. Things like this happened on the first JF too. At some points I would think things and almost instantaneously--they happened.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 50 Juice Feast -- A Wednesday Night Colonic

Yep, it's pretty exciting around here. Because of this cold which made me produce a lot of stuff from my lungs and nose I thought it would be a good idea to have my fourth colonic on this JF.  I'm even a couple of days before the Summer Solstice--a great time for me to focus on deeper cleaning. Tonight's colonic felt like a work out...or at least what I remember a work out feels like (it's been awhile) and afterwards my whole body felt warm. I'm hoping I'll be less congested soon.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 49 Juice Feast -- A Small Bouquet

African Violet Flower (Source)
This morning I was tending my work plants and as I was pinching some spent African Violet flowers I unintentionally took some healthy ones with it. I wondered if I could save the two healthy flowers for a offering. I rummaged through my things and found a tiny glass bottle, no more than two inches high which I re-purposed as a vase, filled with water and gently set the two healthy violets still on one stem in the bottle and set it next to my computer for the rest of the morning.  It was the tiniest bouquet I've ever seen. At lunch I walked to the WWII Memorial and placed the vase on the column of my home state as a small token to thank my grandpas.

When I got back to work I felt so light. I wondered at this feeling and couldn't help explore a little. I found an interesting article by Doreen Virtue. In it she says:

Healing Description: African violets are wonderful for healers and psychics because they are excellent cleansers of old, heavy energies. They’re great at cleaning spaces, such as homes and offices, as well as your own physical body.
 Message from African Violet: “I’ll cleanse away the old and give life to the new. This is a long-overdue process. I can transmute the lower forms of energy within your body and home and return them to their positive state of peace and love.
 Sometimes the tiniest of things have a tidal wave of an impact.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 48 Juice Feast -- Lunch with Elvis

I was born (perhaps pre-conception even) an Elvis fan. Today was really the first day I could get away from the office during lunch and go to one of my favorite places--the National Gallery of Art. I've worked in this area a time or two and whenever I was stressed or my brain was overused I would speed walk down to the gallery and take my time to view a section of the gallery. Today I walked to the gallery but instead of needing to be revived by art I sat in an oversize cushioned chair in the indoor plant room ( I don't know what else to call it and my computer isn't reading my camera's picture today) listening to Elvis.

Elvis is my go-to, rarely fails to make me feel better music. Today I had no need for that--it was nice to be happy and enjoy powerful music with no other motivation. I relaxed completely in the chair and when I had to walk back to work it almost felt like I was coming out of a meditation. I walked back slower than I normally would--still holding that peaceful feeling.

Do I think Elvis is still alive? No. But I can understand why a fan would want him to be. He is an inimitable artist whose genius is profoundly moving.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 47 Juice Feast -- The Wound and the Gift (Michael Meade)

On day 11 I attended a workshop given by Michael Meade on Finding Genius in Your Life. On day 40 I reflected on a big part of why many of us are not in touch with our inner genius. In this post I want to share my reflections on Meade's wisdom on finding our inner genius.

Meade too believes everyone is a genius; that genius is the spirit that is already in you. It's a unique way of perceiving life. He also believes each soul has never been formed as it is now nor will it ever occur again.

What is your genius? Meade says it can be retroactively found by taking a jaunt back in history: around the ages 9-11 our genius first rises, the genius then rests until it resurfaces around the ages 14-16. It's usually not what your family wants for you and it is often what you got in trouble for as a child. Yet your genius insists on presenting itself.

On the other side of this coin is the wound. Deep within the wound is the genius and the genius will keep you alive during times of hardship. This is another way to approach your inner genius--through the wound. What have you done to get yourself out of tough situations? Be advised the more you give of your gift the more wounds you invite unto yourself. You must learn to heal yourself, heal some more and heal again. However in cases of genius we really have no other choice. As Meade says--if you don't get your talent out, it will weigh you down.

How do you sustain your genius and get closer to your gifts in a troubled, negative world? Meade recommends regular creative and spiritual practices to hold and broaden your genius space. This will give your genius some breathing room. This workshop was fantastic but above all I am fascinated by Meade's definition of a meaningful life: "You see things so differently you can't help but help others."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 46 Juice Feast -- Another Raw Juice Bar

I am feeling better today. This head cold seems to be clearing up quickly.

As I was out and about today I saw a MOMs I haven't been in yet--and what good fortune I found Naked Lunch (not the banned book--but the corner deli based upon the freedom of speech inherent in removing the ban)

I ordered a green juice with apple--my first apple on this JF. It was one easy juice to get down.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 45 Juice Feast -- Avoiding Bronchitis

Fortunately excessive perfume person was not in attendance today for the last day of class. Still I went in early and negotiated the doors remain open and an alternate seating position should I need it. As it stands last night this infection was in my lungs and sinuses but now its hold is primarily on my sinuses. My lungs don't feel too spectacular but I'm fairly certain I've avoided bronchitis. Although I still have a little extra weight to play around with--I can't really afford bronchitis. Obviously it sucks but I've had it so many times I've lost count and every time I lose at least 5 pounds. The weather is so nice I wanted to come home and go out in the sun but I sat down for a minute and I woke up several hours later. It's probably best I get some more sleep.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 44 Juice Feast -- Extra Sensitivities

Although everything is going fine with juicing--it's even nice to have extra time to myself while everyone else is eating I am developing further sensitivities to smells. It starts in the morning on the train but this week, confined in a closed classroom, it is lasting all day. I think of it as too close encounters with perfume and cologne. Yikes! My eyes burn, my throat is raw and swollen (every time I breath feels like that blister on your foot) and my lungs are cramping.

I hoped it was a temporary reaction but I feel worse each day and better on breaks from class and when I get off the train. I ordered a personal air purifier for the train and I always keep a mini air purifier and plants in my work space which is usually enough. Typically I request the door stay open when I'm in a room with anyone with scents but I don't have that luxury this week. I've had to drink a lot more water to try and flush this out.

Due to a potential storm we were let out of class a bit early--I will try the sauna tonight and hope to sweat this out of my body. Fortunately only half of work tomorrow is in class. Still, there is always something good in every situation and I like to use situations like these as self-reminders to not infringe upon the rights of others.  Sometimes I may not be aware that I am doing something with the same effect to others--so this helps heighten my awareness to how others respond to me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 43 Juice Feast -- An Interesting Turn of Events

Last night I was so tired I crashed hard and woke up 45 minutes later. Luckily I promptly fell back asleep and slept through the night. I suspect one day this will all make sense to me.

For much of this work week I've been in professional development training.  I'm not sure what my employers were thinking when they hired me but I know the hiring official has been stunned by my knowledge base.  During the break out exercises the groups I've been in have been wrong in their assessment each time. I am a recovering know-it-all (so please forgive this next statement) and I was right--with the exact reasons given for support and explanation by the instructor. This is nothing new for me; people often underestimate me. I don't concern myself with this until they realize they have underestimated me. Oddly enough if I'm not delicate and very humble with the situation it can unfortunately create hard feelings towards me. This has happened much of my life and I usually handle it well. Today something different happened.

On break the my coworkers who are in class with me and were privy to my answers immediately asked me what my glass mug filled with Vitamineral Earth was. How do you describe this to people who eat take out everyday? I said it was a warmed herbal broth that helps me balance out all the green drinks. (By now the whole story is out with this group--they keep asking me all sorts of questions about the JF.) One of my co-workers showed some interest in a green cleanse and I said oh wait a minute you don't want to do what I'm doing! Instead I promised to bring them all green smoothies tomorrow. I had already told them when I'm back on solids I would bring in lunch for everyone. Now they are unbelievably enthusiastic about trying a green smoothie in the morning.

I'm touched and honored by the interest, support and kindness I've received on this Juice Feast both near and far --

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 42 Juice Feast -- Even Less Sleep

Seriously this isn't funny. I fell asleep quickly last night and woke up about two hours later and stayed awake mostly until I had to get up and make juices. I was not in a good mood this morning. By the time I was standing on the platform waiting for the train I began to approach this problem from a different perspective. I began to ask myself: am I supposed to be awake for something? Is this strangeness just a moment of change--transition to something new?  Am I releasing old energy? Old patterns? I felt a lot better when I adapted this gentle approach. Still, most answers seem far off.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 41 Juice Feast -- Light Sleep

I'm not sure if I've made it clear how much I enjoy sleeping but good sleep isn't something I give up lightly. I don't know if it's the new job or new energy from the JF but I have not been sleeping deeply lately--even on the weekends. It stinks. I feel great all day but I'm not sleeping deeply at night. I wake up regularly to go to the bathroom (to this I've adjusted with no more grumblings) but I also just wake up. 

I'm not sure if I like this. I feel refreshed when I wake up. It just feels so foreign. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 40 Juice Feast -- When You Are Lost (Michael Meade)

I've spent some time thinking about the workshop lessons from day 11 on Finding Genius in Your Life as defined by Michael Meade. 
The original idea of genius refers to the natural spirit and inner qualities of a person; this includes their god-given talents as well as the way they are aimed at life. In that sense, everyone has a genius nature and something essential to give to the world. However, when neglected or rejected our natural genius can incite our worst inner demons.
Meade has a fascinating outlook on life. He borrows from the Jungian camp that the wound and the gift are two sides of the same coin and genius hides behind the wound. Ok. But his knowledge base had me glued to my chair when he said: "I study all people and all cultures."  My grandpa used to say he learned something from every person he encountered. Sometimes I think I am lost and when I go a-questioning (or on a quest) I find the answers. I know they are the right answers because they are external reinforcements of my intuition.  Meade reminds us: sometimes you have to get lost to get found.

In modern times where old systems and institutions are crumbling and no longer an anchor to maintain the status quo of society, the individual must learn to rely on his or her own inner genius. "Finding your own way in life is the only way." What if you are stuck in this spinning vortex of the modern mesocosm and unable to see who you really are? Meade suggests discarding the notion of fixing the mesocosm and doing two things to reclaim your sense of orientation to claim your inner genius:

1.) Study the macrocosm or basic cosmology.
2.) Go inside and study your soul (microcosm)--it's oriented to the Universe.

The Hidden Universe (NASA)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 39 Juice Feast -- Offerings

I collected more spring water today. For the first time I remembered to make a physical offering. Many years ago I learned the value of making an offering to the source when I am harvesting from nature. For me this represents a moment to focus on gratitude, ask for permission and make sure I am only taking what I need and can use. First Nations have traditionally used tobacco leaves, corn and in a pinch saliva as offerings. Today I took a few leaves from my potted neem tree. The weather has warmed up enough for me to keep it outside (my trigger to remember) and new growth is pushing out. So I figured a few of the old leaves may appreciate the journey.

Neem Leaves

As I was hunkered down and collecting water a woman came up behind me with a plastic water bottle and filled it up from the tube closest to her. We exchanged greetings. Her bottle took very little time to fill and as she capped it she walked in the forested area adjacent and said: "I hope you don't mind but I really need to go." I don't particularly know what would've happened if I did mind because the elastic band was already around her hips at the end of her sentence (peripheral vision is sometimes rough). Of course in my current position I am probably one of the most understanding pee-in-public people you'll run across. Heck, this may even be another form of offering.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 38 Juice Feast -- The Return of a Childhood Nemesis

My showdown? The hiccups.

I've had them sporadically on this JF--and they try my patience to the limit. Today they returned all afternoon and early evening. As an adult they have come and gone but mostly gone from my life. As an adult I have completely stopped trying to suppress them or find a solution to stop them--I just let the hiccups run its course. As I drove home from work I took several deep breaths, this by no means stopped the hiccups but it did bring my awareness back to practicing acceptance and lessened my growing irritation.

When facing my former nemesis if I choose to not draw but practice steely-eyed acceptance the loss doesn't seem so severe. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 37 Juice Feast -- Slow but Steady

The last few days have been a fairly smooth transition. I'm learning new ways to adapt to external changes. For the most part I feel calm and balanced. It's hard to say right now if it's more because of mental discipline or the differences a JF brings to my life are shining brightly. Either way life is progressing happily along.

Tonight I was a little tired so I whipped up a quart of warmed water with a helping of Vitamineral Earth because it has satisfied something in me during this JF. I haven't had even a mug since Friday and the differences in my energy are quite interesting. 

The effects of Vitamineral Earth

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 36 Juice Feast -- Busy, busy

With the new job I am not able to shop at lunch or run other errands so I have to do them after work. Today, this has left me with the challenge of keeping up. Otherwise all is well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 35 Juice Feast -- I'm not Sure How to Handle This

My new job and schedule are taking my focus to build a go-with-the-flow adaptability. Still, today I found out my co-workers scheduled a welcome lunch for me. My heart swelled with the kindness and my rational mind played pinball trying to find a way to gracefully pass on solids while not offending anyone.

The oblong conference table was half spread with a yellow table cloth and set nearby were matching sunny yellow plates and plastic cutlery. The table was spread with pizza, sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, Hawaiian punch, ice cream and cupcakes--wow, right?  The plates were passed around and one guy declined mentioning his body was not cooperating with him so he wasn't going to eat. The group tried to cajole him to eat but he didn't--he moved away from the food. By the time everyone else had taken a plate and offered me one I mentioned how kind their offer was but I was in the middle of a fast and I was touched by their thoughtfulness. Luckily the other guy took the brunt because I was let off easy--and I had brought a juice.

Luckily the conversation picked up and I had so much fun--these guys are wonderful. I am grateful to have such thoughtful and kind coworkers!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 34 Juice Feast -- Newness

Today I started a new job and with it new surroundings, a new commute and new people. I was not stressed or worried about juicing in a new environment--merely that the thermos tote would crease my suit. However that I fit in my suit was enough to start my day with a huge sigh of relief.  Because my day is so different I've had to rearrange a lot to make things work--and I may continue to for a spell.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 33 Juice Feast -- Sunday Morning

I rearranged my weekend a bit and since I was going to stay local I called in Friday for a colonic appointment only to find all of Saturday was booked. Although I could live with that, Kathy kindly offered to let me come in Sunday morning (even though she isn't open) while she was doing some cleaning. This was my third colonic on this JF.  I feel incredibly clean.

On the way home I did produce shopping in three stores. I don't stop in Whole Foods as often as I used to but when I saw this sign today I may be showing up there more than before. There are so few places in the area that actually make juice fresh that I am super excited!

I also picked up a case of coconuts at the international market and then plenty of celery and lemons at Trader Joe's.  Outside of the coconuts and very few items I just can't get otherwise--everything is organic.

Last night I saw one of my lemons was starting to mold on the tip so I decided to cut that part off and squeeze the rest into enough organic sugar (from the kombucha days--I still love this stuff but I've taken a break with it) to make a scrub. After a trip to the sauna I quickly rinsed in the shower, made the scrub then got back in the shower and applied a full body scrub. I left it on for a couple of minutes (I felt like a sticky caramel apple!) then rinsed it off. My skin has never been softer.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 32 Juice Feast -- (Un)neglecting My Family

Although my family is understanding and supportive in most of the things I do (I can overlook that they collectively ignored my choice to be vegetarian for the first 5 years) I often find myself playing catch up. I intended to go to NYC this weekend to be with visiting family but something else came up. I wanted to go to the Pacific Northwest next weekend to celebrate a birthday but something else came up. The situation is what it is but in the midst I think I may have committed myself (gulp) to a trip to Vegas this fall. Las Vegas really isn't my city...but if I can make it I won't be going to see the city. I will be going to spend time with my family.

Today I talked to my grandma for nearly 2 hours. I can at least say I'm caught up on all the news! Tomorrow I have to buy those June birthday cards--and hope I'm not too late. 

The juicing is coming along great--minus the sometimes stained fingernails from turmeric (yellow--almost like nicotine stains but luckily the turmeric goes away) and the greens which makes it look like my fingernails were mowing a lawn.