Twenty Years Later from Near-Death Part 1

Things I used enjoyed when I was in the ’30s to ’40s were driving, traveling, adventure, yoga, scooter, sobriety (AA volunteer), events/concerts, macrobiotic teaching, meeting people, animal family, going to beaches, hiking, gardening, photography, writing, and a little meditation and art.

These are some of the things I did:

I loved driving so much that sometimes when I could not sleep, I drove to San Deigo at 3 am, saw the beautiful sunrise there, had a great breakfast, and came back home to Santa Monica.

34th birthday, first sky diving.

I did many scuba diving in Caribean (Cayman Island, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic) and 40th birthday, travel to Tahiti for shark scuba diving. 

Went to Alaska, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Bali, and, of course many different places in my country, Japan. 

I usually liked to travel solo.

The last extensive traveling I did on my own was six weeks in Europe (seven different countries; France, Italy, Swiss, Netherland,  Germany, Belgium, and the UK), cooking, assists cooking classes, and massaging people at macrobiotic communities. 

Two different cross-country drives with my dogs and cat in America. 

My plan for the future was to go to many countries, including the Maldives, for scuba diving and do movie “Roman Holidays” like Audrey Hepburn.

Visit South America,  Rio, Pelu, and practice meditation and yoga in India and many more.

But God had a different plan for me.

I lost mobility to walk on September 8th, 2001, because of a near-death car accident in a small village, Hope, Arizona, when I was cross-country drive with my three dogs and one cat, and I was supposed to come home Santa Monica that day. 

It is still very emotional to remember. 

I could not write much about it, but it is twenty years today.

I want to write a little by little as a tribute to my recovery.

As you see this photo, I am walking and grateful for my healing path.

.

I was airlifted by a helicopter to The Trauma Center hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

I was in a coma for three days.

I did not even know the September 11 attacks (the 9/11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance, honoring the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks).

I had an out-of-body experience.

I saw my father, who died in 1989 and my first dog in America Sakura in 1998. My father wanted to have tea with me, but I said to him I am in a hurry so next time. Sakura was happy to see me, but I had to tell her that I love her and am glad to see her, but I have to go. I was trying to come back from the heaven’s gate to this world.

My heart stopped many times and one time was 12 minutes. 

Regular cardio electric resuscitation did not work and there were two pastors at my ICU room and told Eric to pray when he arrived.

One of the doctors, Dr. Toby Hamilton, used (an adrenaline) needle into my heart to restart my heart.

Miraculously I came back to live again.

An American movie “Pope Fiction” scene of Uma Thurman came back to revive after she overdosed was used the same  resuscitation.

I want to say that out of the body and revive to come back again experiences were spiritual for me, but it was not. 

I felt that it was an energy boost into the body I left, and I came back into the body as an almost extreme shock.  

When I watched the computer animation movie, “Iced Age,” squirrel of Scrat every time he looked like he died, but he came back, that energy was the similar feelings that I felt, and I cried.

In reality, when I came back, I could not speak since I was connected with a tube from my lungs to my throat.

My lungs and heart were crushed by the car accident. 

But I was demanded to move my bed closer to a window in ICU so I get to see and feel the sunlight to get better as soon as I could write.

I also wrote Eric to go to a natural food store to buy Bach Rescue Remedy/Cream and Laver essential oil and what to do in writing as soon as I was able to write.

I applied them and also massage whatever area I did not feel too much pain. 

The surgent doctor who proceeded with my legs surgery said to me, “I never walk,”  and did not recommend me to massage my legs or anywhere because I had nerve damage.

I should have been shocked to hear what the doctor said, but I did not feel what he said was correct, although I respected his opinion because I am very polite Japanese, and I did not ask him many questions.

I simply do not believe that I will be a disabled person or not walk forever. I was thinking of something else already to plan my life.

Of course, I did not think how hard my recovery would be, and I did not know how long it would take me to walk that time.

I already thought when I walk what I can do.

I was massaging as much as I could.

Dr. Hamilton from ER came by to see me. 

He said I looked much better every day and encouraged me to do whatever I was doing. 

At this point, he never told me how he saved me.

Now I think of where I was at that time, I do not think I could deal with all the things I had to go through.

I was getting ready to be a start line of my recovery journey. 

I was not even started yet.

I had to go through hard things in my life, but this was one of the hardest things I experienced in my life.

I lost my vision, screamed and cried so hard when I heard my two dogs, Lolo and Gumu died in the car accident. A nurse came to my room to check if something happened to me.

I said, why didn’t I dye with them? 

I killed them!!!!!!

I am sorry!!!!!

I repeated the same things over and over.

I calmed down when I hard, Lolo and Gumu’s mother Kin survived with my cat, Mai and they were at a shelter waiting to be home. I set my mind optimistic and decided to live for them.

I also heard my wallet was stolen when I was airlifted, and someone was using my credit card. All my earrings, necklace, and bracelet that my father gave me were also stolen.

Every day and night at The Trauma Center hospital was chaotic.

They came to dress gaze over my surgery legs in the middle of the night and left me unfinished because of an emergency. One time, they left my leg open-wound for 3 hours.

 I requested to wash my hair after I was there for two weeks. Yes, they came to wash my hair at 3 am. 

They told me I had to leave the hospital because I did not have insurance. To come home to Santa Monica, they said to me that I had to be airlifted. Do you know how much money you have to spend to do something like that? They said it is not safe for me to transfer by car. 

Did I have a choice? NO! 

Eric rented a van to make a bed, put my body with many cushions, and drive carefully and slowly to Santa Monica. Friends were waiting for me and use a door as a tanker to move me into the house.

There was no FaceBook, Instagram and Youtube yet.  If I had then, I probably had a million hits, hahaha!

 

When I came back home to Santa Monica, I smelled my trees, plants and flowers. They all said, “Welcome back! Thank you for coming back home! “

When I saw Kin and Mai, who also survived for the same car accident and came back from Arizona, I was speechless with my emotions. We hug each other.

I did not know yet about Kin, Mai, and my PTSD starting from here.

 

To be continued….

Healing Balance in Season – Late Summer

The common season we usually know is four seasons.
I have been practicing “The Five Element” theory of five seasons since 1993.

Spring – Wood 

Summer – Fire

Late summer – Earth/Soil 

Autumn – Metal

Winter – Water 

as the principal elements of the material world. 

 

Each season has a different balance of our health with foods, ways of cooking, and lifestyles.

Quick examples: 

Summer is a hot season, and you eat cooling food with quick-cooking.

Lifestyle is active. Wear light material clothes and open the window. Use fun or AC to cool down. 

Winter is a cold season, and you eat warm food with longer cooking, presser cooking, stewing and baking. 

Lifestyle is time to slow down, wear warmer and thicker material clothes, close the window. Use a fireplace or heater to heat our house.

 

I live in Santa Monica, California  – the northern temperate zone is in late summer season right now. Late Summer begins around the third week of August and runs through the Fall Equinox, which is late September.

Do you know what to eat for late summer?

According to the five elements, it is Earth/Soil season.

Late summer is around 3 pm of the day when we take a little rest to have tea and something naturally sweet.

For whole grains, sweet rice, millet is supporting us in late summer – earth/soil energy organs of spleen/pancreas and stomach.  And round vegetables (cabbage, kabocha squash, cauliflower, etc.) are recommended to eat.

One of my self-published cookbooks, “Love, Sanae” has more details on what foods support each season, not just grains and vegetables, page 88~91. I hope you check them up!

 

I want to share late summer season balanced whole grain millet recipes today.

Millet is rich in plant-based protein, whole grain and fiber, nutritious, non-glutinous (non-sticky), and not acid-forming foods, thus making them very easy to digest when you learn how to cook.

Millet supports pancreas and spleen organs which need to focus in late summer.

I showed how to cook millet in my cooking classes every late summer:

Millet and Kabocha Squash with Roasted Pumpkin Seed 

MAKES 4 SERVINGS 

1cup millet

4 cups purified water

1 cup kabocha squash, cut into about 1” dice

1 “ kombu kelp

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1. Wash millet: 

1) Place a strainer into a larger bowl and fill it with purified water. Wash millet gently, stirring with your hand in a counter-clockwise direction when you want to be more energetic or in a clockwise direction when you want to be more relaxed. 

2) Drain the water (reserving it to water your plant later) and repeat the washing step three times or until the water is almost clear. 

3) Strain the millet and cook as it is or soak or roast, depending on your health condition. 

2. Place 4 cups water in the large pan and bring to boil. Add millet and Kombu kelp. Reduce heat to low and add Kabocha squash and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, rinse the pumpkins seeds and strain them, and roast on a skillet.

4. When millet and kabocha are done, remove from the flame and allow to sit another 5~10 minutes.

5. Take the cover of millet and kabocha. Use wood rice paddle or spoon that has moistened in water to prevent sticking, stir gentle from outside.

6. Serve with the roasted pampering seeds.

7. Itadakimasu (bonappetit)!

 

Creamy Millet with Fresh Parsley Sauce

MAKES 4 SERVINGS 

1 cup millet

5 cups purified water

pinch sea salt

Fresh Parsley Sauce

To make the millet:

1. Wash millet: 

1) Place a strainer into a larger bowl and fill it with purified water. Wash millet gently, stirring with your hand in a counter-clockwise direction when you want to be more energetic or in a clockwise direction when you want to be more relaxed. 

2) Drain the water (reserving it to water your plant later) and repeat the washing step 3 times or until the water is almost clear. 

3) Strain the millet and cook as it is or soak or roast, depending on your health condition. 

2.In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add millet and sea salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from the flame and all pan to site undisturbed for another 5 to 10 minutes before you remove the cover.

4. Serve with Fresh Parsley Sauce.

5. Itadakimasu (bonappetit)!

 

For the parsley sauce:

2 table spoons kuzu*

1 cup purified water

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped and squeezed of excess water

sea salt

To make the parsley sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the kuzu and water/ Stir well until kuzu is completely dissolved.
  2. Place the saucepan over a medium flame, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped parsley and cook for another minute. 
  4. Serve over the Creamy Millet. 

*Kuzu (kudzu)-A white starchlike extract made from the wild root of kuzu vine; used for thickening soups, beverages, desserts and sauce. Also used for medicinal purposes.

 

One of my self-published cookbooks, “Love, Sanae” has more millet recipes and also shows what kind of whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, cooking style and many more for each season. 

If you want to purchase my book from me directly, please email me at sanaehealing@gmail.com

 

After surviving two different cancers and a near-death car accident, healing balance is vital to know. 

Knowing what foods support us each season takes time to learn. 

I also realized our health has seasons.  Finding out which season your health is in is critical—and understanding what and how to apply your health seasons is the key to heal yourself.

I hope to share what I have learned from my experiences with you when the time is right.

Love, 

Sanae ❤️

Bach Flower Remedy for People and Animal Grieving

It has been two weeks since Bubu, our beloved dog, departed. I wrote Bubu’s last words and how he departed on my previous blog. https://sanaesuzuki.com/2021/06/02/animal-communication-bubus-last-words/

I have had many dogs and cats as my family this lifetime. It is harrowing when they depart and I grieve.

As I wrote about Bubu’s aunt, Kula’s life on my blogs many times (https://sanaesuzuki.com/category/kulas-healing-journey/), I want to write about Bubu as much as I can. I feel that Bubu is giving me this as an opportunity to share.

Today, I feel so so. Probably better than two weeks ago.

I miss Bubu and feel an emptiness in my heart not seeing him or touching him physically. 

I feel his existence in my heart when I go deeper in my heart so I need to be dive into my heart. 

For the first ten days, I got up in the morning and cared for his dog and cat family. It was mechanical action as I had to do it.

I was feeling too sad. I decided not to attend zoom art classes.  I am not in the mood to seeing people and hearing their voices, even online.

All I wanted to do was two things.

One – taking a walk with Bubu’s dog family where I used to walk with Bubu and talked to them every morning, and sometimes I cried while I was walking.

Two- gardening. Stay in my garden, watch the sky, sun, moon, birds, butterflies, ants, and how flowers and leaves swing by the wing. 

Smell the flowers and listening bird sounds and wind chime.  Dig the soil and desperate to connect earth or something.

A few days ago, I injured my hand carelessly.  I shot the front door as I was going out to the front garden as usual, but I forgot my left hand inside the house and closed the door over my left hand. Ouch!!!

What was I thinking? No, I was not thinking anything.

I realized I was not functioning. I was feeling too much pain of losing Bubu so I avoid thinking.

Bubu departed the next day after he was diagnosed with cancer, I was not ready.  Well, was I ready if he lived a longer? Was I ready when any of my animal family departed? …

My husband, Eric, cried when Bubu was diagnosed and when he was leaving. He goes foil surfing and dealing with his pain his way.

I am not expecting anybody to understand.  I meditate and acknowledge Bub’s love for us and my love for him to move forward.

Then, I noticed his sister, Lumi and his daughter Happy were grieving a lot. Lumi did not want to move much and did not lift her face. Happy was ricking, pulling her fur and chewing her skin. 

I felt I need to take care of them more than ever.

Photo: Lumi and Happy are laying down a lot with no energy.

One of the holistic modalities that I have been using for emotional support since 1993 is Bach Flower Remedy. 

I first time used Bach Flower Remedy for me when I had ovarian cancer in 1993. An acupuncture doctor recommended it. I did not know that I had stress till I used Bach Flower Remedy. I learned how to release tension and ease my stress using Bach Flower Remedy. I decided to study more Bach Flower Remedy in 1995 and became Register Practitioner. 

Animals have feelings and emotions too. I have been helping dog and cat rescue groups using Bach Flower Remedy, Animal Communication and Animal Reiki. Many cases there are great benefits for them. 

They are 38 Bach Flower Remedy discovered by Dr. Bach. Each remedy is directed at a particular characteristic or emotional state.

Lumi and Happy have different personality; 

Lumi is excitable and Happy is shy.

 

 

I chose and mixed different Bach Flower Remedies to help their grieving when Lumi lost her mom, Oro, Happy’s grandmother. It helped them and they got more energy and played together.

Lumi:

Beech, Honeysuckle,  and Walnut

Happy:

Aspen, Chicory, Honeysuckle and Walnut

I also decided to mix Bach Flower remedies for me too. These grief remedies have helped me not feel stuck and accept reality to move forward.

Honeysuckle, Pine, Star of Bethlehem, Walnut and Water Violet

Description for Remedies that I choose for grieving for Lumi, Happy and me are: 

  • Aspen – Useful for animals that display signs of anxiety following the death of an animal companion. It also helps humans that may have generalized fears for the safety or health of other pets in the household
  • Beech – For animlas or people who are grumpy, irritable or ‘snappy’ during the stressful grieving period. Increases tolerance of others and allows for the processing of genuine emotions in stressful situations.
  • Chicory -For animals that suffer extreme anxiety, hair chewing, etc.

 

  • Honeysuckle – For humans and animals that are longing for their lost companions.

 

  • Pine – Releases guilt surrounding the death of a pet and those lamentations that you ‘could have helped them’, ‘should have known’ or ‘should have loved them more. Releases self-blame and self-doubts over the situation.
  • Star of Bethlehem – The remedy for shock and particularly useful when the death of a pet has been sudden or without warning. Comforts and soothes the individual after a shocking incident when there is emotional pain and suffering.
  • Water Violet – The ‘grief’ flower essence helps you process all the feelings associated with grief (sadness, anger, denial) to prevent you from creating unhealthy blockages. Allows you to experience and process the emotions of grief fully and may bring about teariness to help you release emotions over the death of a pet.
  • Walnut – Helps in times of transition like the loss of a pet and allows humans and animals to ‘break the links, release the pet who has passed on and be able to move on with life more easily.

Photo: Walnut flowers

Flower Remedy Dosage:

Take each Bach Flower Remedy 2 drops at least 4 times daily. You can mix all together in 1 oz mixing bottle with spring water and 4 drops from the bottle is works too. You can add in water and food and use them as a room spray. 

Make 1 oz mixing bottle with water with chosen Bach Flower Remedy will last two weeks, then reassess for suitability and make any alterations to the mix as necessary to take for another two weeks. The length of time it takes for the grieving process is different for every person (and animal).

Internal Use:

  • Bach Flower Remedies – Take 4 drops under the tongue, at least 4 times daily.

Topical Use: A few drops can be rubbed into the skin (or fur or paws for animals) or can be added to moisturizing creams, lotions or baths.

Room Spray: Add several drops to a small spray/atomizer bottle filled with  spring water. Spray throughout the house, over human and animal bedding, and any areas the deceased animal used to frequent.

I hope this helps others who are going through grieving. 

Besides Bach Flower Remedy, Animal Communication helps your animal family who is going through grieving. I hope to write about it also soon.

If you have any questions, please post on this blog and I will answer for you.

Love,

Sanae 💖

Animal Communication: Bubu’s Last Words

One week ago today (May 25th, 2021), one of our beloved dog kids, Bubu left to heaven.
He was 11 and a half years old.
He never got sick all his life (except minor his toothache) and he was doing well till one week before. We are shocked and so sad here.

I hope writing this blog helps me grieve smoothly and tribute to Bubu’s life.

First, about ten days ago, what I noticed was Bubu got picky eating his food. We always make homemade food for our animal family. He enjoyed his food every day so I thought that he was going through changes because of his age. Sometimes as our dogs or cats get older, they want to eat different foods. But he puked when he ate some food.
I checked his body and gave him Reiki.
I felt something over his tummy, which he did not have last month when I checked him while cutting his nails. I usually check all my animal family’s bodies once a month when I cut their nails.
When I gave him a massage, Reiki and also moxibustion, he felt better.

Photo: Bubu with his dog family and me on my birthday in April at North Fork. Bubu is third one from left.

I made phone calls to make an appointment for him to get a check-up, but we are still in the Pandemic so none of the veterinarian’s offices had availability for 2~3 weeks. Our holistic veterinarian doctor Lane was able to come to see him a week later so we asked her to come.

Meantime, Bubu was still enjoying his walk and eating most of his food.
I wanted to make him comfortable so I communicated with him:
Bubu said, “I am not sure what is going on with me, but I can’t eat all the food I used to enjoy.” He also said, “I feel lonely since nobody comes to visit for a while.” so I explained him about Pandemic, and told him that I feel lonely too. He told me that he understood and he was happy that Eric and I were with him and his dogs and cats family were with him too.
But I contacted his favorite friends.
Two friends were able to come to see him right away.
He was delighted and enjoyed seeing them so much.

Bubu was born in our house, Santa Monica, California.

Photo: Bubu is the second from right – light blue yarn puppy and next to left to him is his sister Lumi.

Photo: Bubu right and Lumi left.

 

Photo: Bubu front left with Lumi front right/ Their mother Oro all the way right. Back on the left is Bubu’s step father Leo, Eric and Kula, Bubu’s aunt.


His mother was Oro, my first Golden Retriever Kin’s daughter and his father was a champion dog; Preston from Shadalane Golden Retriever. He never gave us trouble growing up with potty training or manner or anything, but he was sensitive, so he was scared and shy when he was a puppy.
I encouraged him to go to agility class with Eric when he was young. Agility class helped him to build his confidence. I think having agility training grounded his personality also.
He was a very caring and kind dog.

He was quiet and did not express his feelings much usually, but when Eric came home from his work every day and his favorite friends visited us, he showed so much happiness by picking up his favorite toy and with his voice…woooo, woooo, woooo!!!!

Photo: Bubu’s favorite toy and Eric.

 


He was our original shower and ofuro (bath) boy.
When we took a shower or ofuro (bath), he came to the bathroom and stayed there and sometimes felt asleep against the bathtub. He showed Kai and Lani to be shower and ofuro (bath) boys.

Photo: Bubu with his shower and Ofuro (bath) new assistants, Kai and Lani

Bubu did not like other dogs much so he enjoyed his family here at home a lot. Later in his life, our dog trainer friend, Cecilia, showed him how to trust other dogs and he went mountain hiking every week with ten other dogs until she had to move to Colorado because of the Pandemic last year.


He loved diving from the rock at Manzanita lake, which he learned from his aunt, Kula.

I wanted to make his daily routine a little more enjoyable so I asked him what else he wants to do, he said, “Park!” so I decided to take him to a park early evening to walk without a leash. He really loved it and walked all around the baseball ground at Clover Park until three days before he passed.

Photo: Bubu at Clover Park

 

 

When doctor Lane came, she confirmed that Bubu had something over his tummy.  

Photo: Bubu was relaxed with Doctor Lane’s examination.

She recommended taking him for an ultrasound examination. Still, there was no veterinarian place available to offer the ultrasound examination for Bubu except for bringing him to an emergency because of Pandemic. Bubu received his acupuncture treatment and relaxed so doctor Lane and we thought taking him to an emergency will stress him out. Doctor Lane decided to contacted her associate doctor Hadar (who I know from Kula – Bubu’s aunt, who was sick in 2016) for the next day appointment.
When we took Bubu to doctor Hadar’s office, he did not want to go inside with an animal technician. He looked at me and said, “Please go inside with me, mommy.”
I had to tell him that “Bubu, I am sorry, but it is Pandemic and we can’t go inside with you, but Daddy and I are here outside waiting for you so please go and take a test. You will be fine. The test results show us what we can help you.”
He looked sad, but he said, “Ok, I understand.” and he went inside.
I was so proud of him and told him that too.
It took about two and a half hours when he came back he was a little weak. I took this photo with him.

Photo: Bubu after doctor Hadar’s ultrasound examination

Doctor Hadar told us by phone that Bubu has cancers and less than one month to live. We were shocked and very sad, but I told him I am ready to help taking care of him as I took care of his aunt, Kula for two months, his mom Oro for three months, and his stepfather Leo for 16 months after they got sick. I was ready to take care of Bubu no matter what.
I even made a point to him that you got the same diagnosis like I got, which is less than one month to live.
He said quietly, “I do not want to be your burden and jeopardize your health.” I replied, “You are not a burden to me, and I am not going to jeopardize my health taking care of you.” He smiled and did not say anything.

That night, Eric was talking to Bubu after dinner.
He was massaging and talking to Bubu about how much they had a good time doing agility together. Eric was asking me to gather photos of their agility training so I had to look for these photos. I could hear Eric was crying and saw Bubu had tears in his eyes.

Photo: Bubu with Eric at agility training

Photo: Bubu learned to wait at agility training

 

Photo: Bubu was learning to jump by his instructor Annica

 

I felt that Bubu was not staying with us for too long that night. Bubu was a gentleman, so even he was getting weak he walked his own and went outside and did his toilet matter and went to his bed next to my side.

The following day, he was sleeping with Lumi, his sister. I also noticed he was lying down on Lani’s bed that he never used. I think he just wanted to try it before he left and saying goodbye to everyone already.

Photo: Bubu tired Lani’s bed

 

I did not have a good feeling so I stayed with him all morning and gave him Reiki, moxibustion and loquat warm water gentle body scrub.
He enjoyed everything, but he did not want to eat much so I gave him liquid food. He ate, but when I gave him apples and broccoli organic baby food that Eric bought, he threw up everything. I felt terrible that I gave him something that I did not make and I think apple was too acidic for his condition so I made Kuzu ume cream which he ate.

I could tell he was tired so I let him sleep and took other dogs for a walk. He was sleeping, but I think he wanted to get up and go outside so he did, but he could not get up anymore. He weight about 40 lbs, but I somehow got strength to pick him up and put him on a dog bed on the deck.
I had to call Eric to come home.
Eric came home and felt the same feeling I had that Bubu would not stay long with us.
Doctor Hadar called around 6:45 pm and gave us the blood test results and said that his liver is failing according to the blood test, so he might just have a few days to live. I told her that I think it will not be a few days. It might be tonight.

Around 7 pm, Eric and I felt that Bubu was starting to get ready to leave. We had no time to take him or any veterinarian doctor to come to euthanize him.
I kept talking to him that “Bubu, it is time to go; I am here to help you no matter what. You don’t have to worry about anything. As I told you always, I will see you here or there wherever you want to see me again. I love you so much. I thank you for everything you did and the time we had. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I kept talking to him.

Eric and I could see Bubu was trying hard to transition to heaven, but he was still resisting.
I told Eric, “Please tell Bubu that you are going to see him again!”
Eric looked at me quickly and told him right away with his tears, “Bubu, I will to see you again….” Eric did not finish his whole sentence…Bubu said, “yes, thank you, daddy and mommy I will see you again!!!!” and he let go and left in a half-second. These were his last words as he was departed.
His eyes were shining, his face was smiling and his arms were reaching toward heaven.
The beautiful light surrounded him and he left peacefully.
It was an incredible experience!

Photo: Bubu’s dog family – Left to right, Happy, Kai, Nalu, Lani and Lumi.

 

Photo: Cats family – Tin Tin and Mai Mai came to say good bye!

Sadly, we do not have Bubu with us physically anymore.
I know he taught us so much even as he was leaving here.
I thought he got sick, so I will take care of him for a while, but he decided to leave so soon.
Eric and I were not ready to send him off; we are grieving hard.
I took a photo of him with his dog family, but I did not even think to put a candle until a few days after he left. I was not able to accept his departure. As I put a candle and burned the incense, I felt my sadness and miss Bubu deeply, but at the same time, I am all right because I feel Bubu’s love continuously and I am here to take care of his family to respect his wish.


I was writing ‘How to Make Umeboshi Plums’ recipe on my blog, but I could not finish writing. Bubu said to me, “Mommy, you can finish writing Umeboshi plums blog first, then please write about me.” so I finished writing Umeboshi plums blog with my tears last Friday, May 28th.
I am glad that I did it because Bubu was watching me making Umeboshi plums this year too and the last thing he was able to eat was ume kuzu.

Over this weekend, we went to North Fork where Bubu loved running, swimming, and diving into lakes—celebrating Bubu’s life.


The last few times when we went to Manzanita lake in North Fork, there was not enough water for him to jump from his favorite rock so he did not do it. But there was snow and he had a good time. Also, he had fun at creek.

Photo: Bubu on the left, and Happy and Lumi had fun with snow in March

 

Photo: Having fun in a creek in April.

Photo: Three Golden family with me.

 

 

There was not much water again this time, but we took his photo with his sibling Lumi and Happy.

Photo: At Manzanita lake with Bubu’s sister Lumi and his daughter Happy

We also went to Bass lake, where he was swimming. Some people were fishing there so we just took photos with his dog family and his picture.

Photo: By Bass lake


We found a new location by the Bass lake dam and everyone was enjoying running, swimming, chasing a duck and catch the sticks.
I could feel that Bubu’s existence and his daughter Happy were checking his picture as she also felt Bubu was there.

Photo: By the Bass lake dam.

Today, I woke up and said to Bubu I am ready to write about you, what do you think?
He said, “That’s a good idea, mommy. You will help many people who love their animal family to share how to communicate with their animal family and heal when they are going through grieving. I love you so much and thank you for all my life. Till next time I see you, mommy!”

I love you, Bubu, for your birth to your departure to heaven.
Yes, till I see you again!

Tribute to Bubu Oro Suzuki
Beloved Our Original Shower Boy
01-19-2010 ~ 05-25-2021

Love,
Sanae 💖

P.S. If any of you are interest in learning animal communication, here is info from my website:
 https://sanaesuzuki.com/animal-communication/

 

Santa Monica Homemade Umeboshi Plums

Japanese Ume Plum season in California is usually in May. 

I am fortunate to appreciate and continue to practice the Japanese origin culture even I left at 19 Japan, where I was born.

 One of my favorites is making Japanese-style pickles. 

I wouldn’t say I liked eating pickles growing up, and I also did not pay attention much when my grandmother and mother were making pickles. 

It tasted salty and smell funny to me at that time. I always favor eating something sweet taste when I was younger.

Umeboshi plums are the only pickles I ate when I was a child because they were usually inside rice balls (onigiri) that my grandmother and my mother made. Their saltness blended well with rice, and I love nori seaweed wrapped outside of balls. I also like it over the rice in an obento box. The color of reddish-pink in white rice (I was growing up mostly eating white rice as the primary grain) was also attractive to me and did not have the weird smell that most of the pickles had.

There are many memories of eating rice balls with umeboshi plums. 

I want to share one of them. 

When I was three years old, my mother made a rice ball (onigiri) before going to a public bath (銭湯sento) because I was hungry. My parents were young, and they did not have good incomes so they did not have money to buy enough food on those days and I got hungry a lot. When I get too hungry, my mother made a small rice ball with an umeboshi plum. One small rice balls(onigiri) was not enough to satisfy my tummy sometimes so my mother said, “Suck the umeboshi pit if you are still hungry. “

I sacked for 2~3 hours; the pit got a little softened and I was able to break it. There was a seed inside the pit, which had the skin and when I took the skin out to find a tiny seed, I called Kamisama (God). I had no idea why I called it Kamisama (God). My mother told me that you are a strange child. And asked me, why do you call inside umeboshi pit is Kamisama (God)? I just said, “because it is so precious, I feel Kamisama (god) is inside of Umeboshi pit. “

Photo: Umeboshi plums’ seeds – Left, umeboshi plum’s seed with skin separated shell after suck for 2~3 hours and dry for a few days on the kitchen counter. Center, over 20 years aged umeboshi plum’s seed and separated skin and shell. Right, three years aged umeboshi plum’s seed and separated skin and shell. The front umeboshi plum seed with shell.

When I grew up, I found out the legend that Tenjinsama (god in heaven at Tenjin shrine; a shrine dedicated to the memory of Sugawara no Michizane, who is deified as a symbol of learning.) is inside Umeboshi plum pit.

I could not believe it when I found out that Yenjinsama is inside the umeboshi plum pit, but then I confirmed what I felt every time I suck the umeboshi plum pit and got the seed inside there was Tenjinsama (god in heaven). Inside the umeboshi plum pit’s tiny whitish seed has a slightly bitter taste. It has plenty of vitamin B17 and helps to reduce fever. 

I was connected to Umeplums since I was a young age. I was fortunate to go and help Kazuko and Jyunsei Yogi’s Ume orchard (they had over 400 ume plums trees and have made the first American grow organic Umeboshi plums 1983~2007) in Oroville, California, a few years later when I started to practice macrobiotics with my friend Nanayo. Kazuko and Jyunsei taught me how to work hard and appreciate the nature of Ume trees with their fruits heavest to make umeboshi plums and grow red shiso leaves. After Junsei passed in 2000, Kazuko kept working, but she retired in 2008. Now the orchard is owned by Kyoko and Nobu (since 2010) as Mume Farm https://mume.farm/. They make traditional Umeboshi plums, vinegar, syrup, and ekisu.

I have been supporting selling Kazuko’s 20 years aged California Organic Umeboshi plums which have medicinal benefits. The site to purchase Kazuko’s 20 years aged California Organic Umeboshi plums is here. https://sanaesuzuki.com/product/california-organic-umeboshi-plums/

I make my Umeboshi plums (pickles) also every year and below is from last year umeboshi I made.

 

 

 

I also make Ume vinegar, Ume syrup, Ume enzyme juice, Ume wine, Ume jam, Ume sauce, Ume oil spread, Ume ginger, etc.

It is not easy to find good quality fresh ume plums to make my own pickles and other ume products.  

I could not get fresh ume plums after Kazuko-san sold her Ume orchard; I did not know where to get fresh Ume plums. I tried Japanese market store-bought fresh Ume plums, but they did not come out good at all. I thought I had to give up making my own Umeboshi plums etc.

I had no idea that I was lead to finding Nankou Ume (南高梅)which is a very well-known Ume tree in Minabe, Wakayama, Japan. I have been supporting a woman who is growing Nankou Ume (南高梅)for 40 years and help to sell her fresh Nanko Ume plums every season for the last three years. And this year, I got some Kazuko and Jyunsei’s Ume offspring tree’s fresh Ume from Fresno, California. 

My healing room was full of fresh Ume plums two weeks ago. I wish I could share the aroma of Ume plums. It is not just a sweet aroma like other plums. It has a distinctive pungent sweet smell. The smell of something brings me back to my childhood.

These are this year’s fresh Ume fruits that I got for making Umeboshi Plums (Ume plums fruits for making Umeboshi Plums are more rape than green hard ones).

I am also growing red shiso leaves (Red shiso leaves are also good to make Red shiso juice; here is the recipe from my blog https://sanaesuzuki.com/2019/07/22/red-shiso-juice-delicious-summer-remedy-drink-for-health/). 

Here is the recipe I make homemade Umeboshi plums here in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Homemade Umeboshi Plums 

Ingredients

1 lb/about 450 g fresh ripe Ume plum fruit (if you get green firm ume plums, leave them in a cool room temperature room in a bamboo try if you have till the color turns yellowish) 

120 g sea salt – 15% of ume plum fruit (traditionally 15~20 % sea salt has been using in Japan) I use Si sea salt, which you can purchase from us.

 1/2 tbsp Japanese Gin or Shochu (This is for sterilizing; Gin’s alcohol content over 40%. Shochu’s alcohol content is less than 40%, commonly between 25% and 40%. You can use alcohol higher than 35% ABV like vodka too.)

Fresh Red Shiso for color

45 g red Shiso leaves (10% of Ume plums)

2 tsp sea salt for red shiso leaves

Equipment

  • A large mouse container (glass, ceramic, or enamel: avoid plastic and metal because of acidic sensitivity. I love #1 crock from Ohio Stoneware.
  • Bamboo toothpicks
  • Weight (Recommending 1.5 to 2 times of Ume plums. If it is too light, then it will be a cause of molding. I use stones as weight, but you can put baking beads, water, or other things in plastic bags to make as weight) 
  • A bamboo tray (to dry the pickled Ume plum to make Umeboshi)

Instructions 

1. First, sterilize the container by boiling it in a large pot or pour hot water. Take out and let it dry to set aside. 

2. Wash Ume Plum fruits.  

3. Pat dry the ume plum fruits with kitchen towels or cloths. 

4. Using a bamboo toothpick, remove the woody bits (calyx) where the fruits are attached to their stems. It’s tedious work, but please do not skip it, so it prevents not get mold. Gently dry the ume entirely with a clean kitchen towel.

5. Put ume plums in a large bowl and pour over the Gin or Shochu to disinfect and sprinkle 1~2 tablespoons of sea salt to mix with hands. Make sure your hands are clean.

6. Pour Gin or Shochu on a clean kitchen towel and clean the inside of the container with the alcohol. 

7. Sprinkle salt to cover the bottom of the crock. Then add two layers of ume. Sprinkle salt on top, followed by two layers of ume again.

8. Repeat this to make layers of umeboshi and salt until the umeboshi is all used. 

9. Place a weight on top of the last layer. I used stones, but you can use baking beads inside a ziplock bag as a weight.

10. Recommend to write down the date and quantity of ume and sea salt used on a tape and put it over the crock. 

11. Store a cool dark area out of sunlight. After a few days, the ume will start releasing moisture and you should see a layer of ume plum vinegar (梅酢, umesu) on top. If the ume plum vinegar does not come up in a few days, increase the weight so that the ume will sink in the vinegar quickly (this will protect from going bad/growing mold). 

12.  After one week, open the crock lid for the first time. Use clean hands and equipment to check.

13. If the ume plum vinegar is 1 inch (2.6 cm) above the plums, decrease the weight (roughly equal weight as the plums). If the plums are smashed/torn, also reduce the amount of weight. Store in a cool and dark place for at least one month, making sure the ume are soaked in plum vinegar.

Wait Until Red Shiso is Available

Patiently wait until red shiso is in season, usually mid to late June. You can leave your ume in the container as long as they are soaked in the pickling solution (ume plum vinegar).  My case, my shiso leaves in my garden are ready to pick mid to late June so I usually check the weather report around that time and find three consecutive sunny days to dry sea salt pickled ume. I learned this method when I went to Kazuko-san and Jyunsei-san’s place. Fresh Ume in Japan is ready to pickle in June, but the season is a little early here and red shiso is not growing big enough to pick so I keep sea salt pickled ume for more than one month some years and dry ume first and add red shiso after I finish dry ume three days and nights. 

How to dry sea salt pickled ume:

  • On day one, remove the sea salt ume from the conteiner and place it onto a bamboo tray to dry. Make sure to leave a space for each ume so they are not touching. I turn each ume in the morning and in the afternoon one time each. Leave them overnight.
  • On day two, repeat the same as day one to turn and leave them on the tray at night too.
  • On day three, repeat the same as day two. 
  • This is a way to get Yin and Yang energy. Sunlight gives strength and moonlight provides softness. 

Harvest red shiso leaves from my garden or when I see them in the Japanese grocery store.  If you can’t get red shiso, you can skip red shiso leaves and just sun dry to make white umeboshi plums.

  • Pick shiso leaves from the stems and put them in a large bowl.
  • Prepare the red shiso leaves: Wash the shiso leaves and drain the water as much as you can.
  • Sprinkle half of the salt amount on top of the leaves.
  • Mix the salt and shiso leaves with your hands and then massage them.
  • Squeeze and discard the dark purple liquid that comes out.
  • Sprinkle the remaining half of the salt over the shiso leaves and massage again.
  • Squeeze out the dark purple liquid from the leaves again.
  • Place the shiso leaves into a small mixing bowl.
  • Add 1 tbsp of umesu (plum vinegar) from the jar of plums. 
  • Add the leaves to the container of umeboshi plums.
  • If you want to make red shiso condiment then you can dry red shiso as you dry the umeboshi plums.

From my experience that umeboshi plums are best to start eating at least one year from pickling. Some people eat sooner than in one year, but they will be much saltier. If you want to have much milder umeboshi plums, wait for three years. More umeboshi plums aged they become medicinal.

I will update to edit this section to add more photos later.

If you have any questions, please send me email at sanaehealing@gmail.

Love, 

Sanae💖

30 Years Ago Today

Once in a while, there is no significant reason, but I feel not up in a lifting mood. I am sure I am not the only one to have these kinds of days.

I have been unable to get up in the morning as usual.
I could hear my husband Eric in the kitchen.
I smelled he was making my morning remedy tea, breakfast, and feeding cats and dogs family.

I was figuring out why I have not been able to get up.
Is it because I am affected by May Gray (darkens the coastal skies of sunny southern California with a marine stratus layer)?
Am I just tired because of aging? – I turned 66 last month.
Am I feeling scared that stage IV lymphoma that I had four years ago might come back?
Am I doing more than my limit, and I did not rest enough?
I think all these reasons are correct.
Eric came to bed and kissed me before he left for his work.

The house was quiet after Eric left, and all my dogs and cats’ family was around me. I talked to them a little bit, and they encouraged me.
I focused on getting up, making my morning routine, drunk remedy drink, body scrubbed with loquat leaves, meditation, and ate breakfast.

I went out my morning walk with my dogs.
I noticed the cool air and smelled jasmines blooming neighbors’ sidewalks.
I could hear a car stopped behind me quietly.
I looked back and saw Eric’s smile.

I was not expecting him to be home this morning, so I was surprised, and the dogs were excited to see him.
I decided to ride back home in his car because Kai, one of the dogs, was ready to jump in.
I asked him, “where are you going?” he said, “home.”

When we got home, he asked me,
“Do you know what today is? May 13th? “
I did not know what to say because his birthday is May 15th and May 17th was the day I received a diagnosis, only weeks to live four years ago.
My focus was on these two dates recently.

He told me that his mom called him this morning and remind him what today is for us.
He gave me blight sunflowers and said to me,
“30 years ago today, we met!”
That’s right.
How can I forget about it?

We met two days before Eric’s birthday in 1991 in Mexico, where he worked at a resort hotel as an executive chef, and I was a guest.
I usually remember this date, but this year, I looked at May Gray every morning and forgot about it.
I am very grateful to have Eric’s mother reminded him, and for him to got cheerful sunflowers for me and took time to come home to tell me 30 years ago today, we met!

I am happy to have met Eric 30 years ago today, which changed my whole life.
His existence in my life has been helping me to live and want to live more.

I wrote today as gratitude to Eric’s kindness and Eric’s mother, Louise’s love.

Note: The photo is the day we met on the first day with the sunflowers that Eric brought for me this morning.

Love,
Sanae 💖