Sunday, August 2, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair. Because the human hair was gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe, etc.”
In response, the Chinese government banned production of soy sauces made from hair. Other carcinogens remain, see 3-MCPD.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The flowers were in full color.
They fluttered in packs. Tumbling around like puppies, they flitted through the flowers and tasted until it almost seemed they wouldn’t be able to fly. Fortunately they were so sated they were still enough to allow me lots of camera time.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I love my Grandma.
Grandma Mert is 84 today. I can tell everyone that because Grandma would. She has bragging rights. She is proud of her years and happy to have gotten his far.
At 47 not many people I know can say they have a grandma. I have two and a grandpa as well. It is one of my greatest blessings.
I make it a point to ask them as many questions about the past as often as I can. Really, I have living WWII memories I can access and family history at the other end of my cell phone. I try not to take it for granted.
I have learned a lot about myself in learning about my Grandmothers. Both are strong independent ladies who had their own lives and businesses when most women did not, but still maintained a happy household for their families and extended families. There were many dinners at Grandparents houses. More at Grandma Mert’s because she was a lot closer. At the time I didn’t realize that it was probably in part because we needed family help to get fed. I just thought grandma needed someone to pawn the “Teriyaki Cutlets” (Otherwise known as LIVER) and the over abundance of what I called “pepper salad” off on.
In the last few years I figured out where I got my strange sense of humor, quiet strength and tendency to take in strays (people and pets) from as well. We lived in a little town that was very white middle class but never was a prejudice word uttered and I know there was a gentleman who was adored by the family who now that I look back I am sure everyone knew was gay. We were respectful of people or we were in danger of a wholloping. Yep. Kids got spanked in our family and we came out just fine.
Both of my parents worked. My brother didn’t come along until I was almost 8 so I spent a fair amount of time at Grandma’s. She had a big yard you could summersault on, a little fish pond that had tadpoles in it, one a BIG one, that I could fish for with a saucepan and a tea strainer as long as everyone was returned to their habitat at the end; and an avocado tree out front that had AVOCADOS (They made the pepper salad tolerable).....
Grandma had a dog, two in my lifetime, both beagles and both lived to be well over 100 in dog years. There were cats too. I only remember Flip and Flop. Both gray and I think related, possibly brothers. Grandpa loved birds and later in life they had several. One at a time.
We went hiking and camping. Grandma taught me to be tough. Never admit you need a ride if you broke your ankle on the mountain trail. Tough it out and hike the 7 miles. Grandpa didn’t agree. Neither did Uncle Mike. We collected watercress and I learned the wonder of hot bacon dressing. My grandparents practiced good environmentalism long before it was popular. Then it was called respecting property and doing the right thing.
One of the other great things I learned from my grandparents was a healthy view of sex among loving married adults. (Married to each other). Everyone in our family knew that they had a healthy sex life way into their later years. (Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t SEE it or anything.) We just knew it was part of their love for each other.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
There is was……
Bright colors, French scenes and the words “Take me to Paris” on the front. My need for clothes quickly dropped to one shirt. THAT ONE.
I would love to spend part of today sitting on the steps of Sacre Coeur listening to random people play music and looking over the pastel city. Spend some time wandering through Montmartre looking at all the artwork of the locals, have an espresso or two and make some art of my own with some snaps of my shutter.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Pangur Ban also known as "The Monk and his Cat", is one of my all time favorite poems. I first saw it at the Book Of Kells Exhibit while visiting Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. http://www.tcd.ie/Library/ It is a 9th century poem written by an Irish monk in St. Gallen, Switzerland or possibly in Austria, that is up for debate. No one knows his name but every poet knows his cat!
I have always been able to imagine the Monk who wrote it sitting by candle light writing with a feather quill while a little cat playing at his feet. In the exhibit it is written on a huge panel in a spiral which makes for fun reading.
I and Pangur Ban, my cat,
‘Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will;
He, too, plies his simple skill.
‘Tis a merry thing to see
At our task how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
Into the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.
When a mouse darts from its den.
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!
So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine, and he has his.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade ;
I get wisdom day and night,
Turning Darkness into light.’
In the course of researching I also found this version or possibly a different poem all together..
Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we areAlone together,
Scholar and cat.
Each has his own work to do daily;
For you it is hunting, for me study.
Your shining eye watches the wall;
my feeble eye is fixed on a book.
You rejoice when your claws entrap a mouse;
I rejoice when my mind fathoms a problem.
Pleased with his own art
Neither hinders the other;
Thus we live everwithout tedium and envy.
Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we areAlone together,
Scholar and cat.
anonymous Irish text, tr. W.H. Auden
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Last weekend I was in Dallas for the AFI Film Festival and saw “Houston We Have A Problem”, produced by Nicole Torre. First, I will say it was an excellent documentary about the oil industry and the new wildcatters of renewable energy and that left me asking a lot of questions which I am sure was the point.
I took a lot away from it but right now I want to focus on one thing that it brought up. I am not quoting and am adding my own processing to what I heard.
If the Middle East and Venezuela (who are buddies so this is not too far fetched) got together and decided to cut off the oil supply to the U.S. what would happen would be that we would shortly run out of gas. Which equals we would run out of diesel and then there would be a 5-10 day window before we ran out of food. OH BOY…. I get it. No diesel… no truck delivering to Costco, Safeway, Walmart etc.
That brings up the question……What Happens When The Food Runs Out? Are any of us prepared for that? Well.. OK besides the Mormon church? (Which I don't happen to be a member of so I'm on my own...)
Mentally checking our resources…..
We have… flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, herbs, chickens, goats & donkeys. Oh and an apple, pear & cherry trees (as long as nothing happens until next year as the fruit trees are not bearing yet.)
The donkeys “horse power for planting…with some training and flowers for bribes…the goats could provide milk, meat & cheese but there would some collaboration work to be done there as my male is wethered (fixed)……I know how to make soap including the lye itself from scratch and funny enough I know how to make glass from scratch. (I suppose that would come in handy somehow later..) and we have enough firepower to protect the above. Now to the flora….
I started growing stuff this year for fun and because I am obsessive about one thing at a time and now it’s flowers and tomatoes. How would that really help me? I think even the flowers I am growing other than the Johnny Jump Ups are not edible flowers. (Really there are a lot of edible flowers like Pansies & stuff.. They look great in a salad.) and we don’t want to live on tomatoes. What can I do that requires only a little change on my part to make sure we have food if it really comes to it?
I think I’d start by planting potatoes in tires. I have tires. This can be done in a suburban back yard. Here is a great article (scroll down to it) on growing potatoes in tires and well, they’re potatoes. I can live on potatoes and tomatoes and the other stuff listed above.
The other thing I would add to my plant inventory would be sunflowers. BIG sunflowers. The ones that have lots of seeds. They are pretty, easy to grow, grow FAST and provide food. Nuts! Nuts are a great source of food with oil. With nuts you can also lure squirrels....and make ...pie? Not sure on that one but I'm sure I could find out.
And I just figured out the use for all these pretty flowers. They attract deer! Then you don't have to worry about that squirrel pie recipe.
So this is my personal inventory of what our family could do on short notice with a very small amount of change.
The real solution of course would be to make more and more changes in our energy usage to not exactly quote Nicole Torre because I am not sure of the exactness, just the point well taken….“Conservation is the biggest drilling field we have”.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
My thoughts came down like wind through my hands.
How good it’d be to see you again.
How good it’d be to feel that way again ”
My daughter and I arrived there in the story weather, the last days of October. We saw a the sun just poking it’s firey sunset out under the gray clouds on the horizon as we rose up out of the Metro the night we arrived and saw bit of blue sky for a few minutes one day out to sea. Other than that it was a dark and stormy time full of adventure and mystery.
Marseille is a hill town where everything eventually migrates down to the water. There are these cool little tourist trains that go all around town and hit the highlights. They also give you a great idea of what you want to go back and see. One goes uphill to Notre Dame Du Guard, the cathedral on the hill with the giant golden Mary on top (Every major city in France has one. Some holding the baby and some not.) and a spectacular 360 degree view of the city below.
By the time we got to Marseille we were well versed in all forms of public transportation so we walked where we wanted to and got on and off trams, city buses, tourist trains and even took a boat.
“When I left the coast of Marseille.
I hadn’t done what I’d come to do.
Spent all the money I saved.
And I still did not get over you.
No I still did not get over you.”
Thanks Jimmy. I get it now. I haven’t gotten over Marseille either. I wish I could close my eyes and when this plane landed I would be in France. I’m afraid though, it will be Portland.