'THE HOUSTON POST' :(two most popular articles)

" What is in a name?..A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -William Shakespear
(But would your perception of the rose be different if it were called another name?)

by  Gloria Alkozer Halford

During the time your parents planned for your birth, they gave careful consideration to your name.  While considering your name,  they thought of all the wonderful possibilities of who you would be or aspire to become.
A lawyer, nurse, cook, house-wife, husband, father...the  possibilities were endless.
But many times the name chosen by your parents is not always the name you would have  preferred...or the profession.
A name is an introduction to who you are.
It's the preliminary "how do you do."
I'm sure there was a moment that you read a person's name or title and visualized their physical appearance solely on his or her name? And upon meeting that person you found that it was the complete opposite of what you had imagined, leaving you a little off guard.
This column will explain why the misperception of names.  And how you can better address and understand the carrier.  


The alphabet is a written form of symbols of sounds. The romans, wanting  to emphasise and show the fluidity of their speech,  incorporated the Semitic alphabet; a e, i o u, into their alphabet.  They felt each letter and vowel contained a quantitative value and meaning .
Inadvertently, we respond to symbols and sounds-And as stated earlier,  names are symbols of sounds that carry individual meanings, that we unconsciously respond to.
By assessing the values to each letter in your name, you can understand why you've never felt comfortable with your name or why you've always liked the ring to it. You can also understand your partner, boss and co-workers better.
What makes them tick?
What motivates them?
Why you get along with one co-worker and not the other?
Why do you like or dislike the town you are living in?
And, more importantly, why "misunderstandings" occur. 
It's all in a name!

by Gloria Alkozer-Halford

There are many cultural beliefs that according to western society's standards,  are considered as superstitious or just myths.  But, how many have a solid foundation to reality or truth?
Twenty years ago to opt for an herbal  remedy to treat a cold or indigestion was  considered superstitious or giving in to old wives tale remedies.
But today, they have become recognised as alternative medicines that need to be taken with a certain amount of caution and moderation-As you would do  with any prescription drug.
This column will explore the practices and beliefs of other cultures.  How it relates to their spiritual beliefs and why the use of:  Shamans, fortune-tellers, healers and mediums are "advantageous" to keeping their lives in harmony,
We will also explore why these beliefs have become to many, outside of their culture, an alternative lifestyle.

Within the Mexican culture the practice and use of a 'curandera' is widely used by the indigenous people, as well as the professional.

The 'curandera' is seen as a:  doctor, healer, marriage counsellor, and sometimes fortune teller. The more popular practice or recourse of the 'curandera' in Mexico, is for the removal of the 'evil eye'- And, the persons most commonly afflicted by this malady are usually... children. 

The child is generally brought in with a high fever or discomfort.
The curandera uses several methods but the most commonly used is the egg.
While firmly holding the egg (a fresh egg is the most popular) in her hand, the curandera blesses herself by making the sign of the cross.  She thus proceeds to bless the child, praying and  rubbing  the egg along the child's  body.  This method is called, 'cleansing' - The  negative energies and evil are being pulled outside of the child and forced into the egg!
The curandera then cracks the egg into a cold glass of water, which she has blessed prior to the cleansing and hands  the glass of water to the parent.  She then  instructs the parent to place the glass under the bed of the child.  The glass will stay under the bed overnight collecting any additional negative energies or evil. 
The following morning, in most cases, the families will find the child's fever lowered or the discomfort gone...AND the egg has mysteriously cooked overnight while in the water! The parent will then dispose of the egg as it had been instructed the previous day by the curandera.

The healing of the child's malady can be considered as 'psychosomatic' but there is no clear or logical explanation to why the egg had cooked overnight  in a cold glass of water!
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I've also written for:  The Chicago Sun-Times (LaRaza)- Elle Magazine-Television and radio networks in the US and Spain. 
'my husband Chris and myselt'             (we are currently living in Southampton, England)