Monday, May 31, 2010


(last night's sunset)

Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it!
-- letter to Abigail Adams, April 26, 1777

~ John Adams ~


Second U.S. President

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

this is not hawaii

By the time you see this, my drink will have an umbrella in it rather than one behind it. This? Just practice for the real thing.

Friday, May 28, 2010


(not only that, but he was snoring!)

If you haven't seen the movie, do.

It. Is. Incredible.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

love thursday 05.27.10 ~ practice

It is not enough simply to wish that love and compassion should increase in us. We need to make a sustained effort, again and again, to cultivate the positive aspects within us – and the key here is constant familiarity. The nature of human thoughts and emotions is such that the more you engage in them, the more you consciously develop them, the more powerful they become.

~ HH Dalai Lama ~
And so I continue to commit to the practice of Love. Even when I don't feel like it. Even when I am not good at it. I come back to wanting to practice Love.

Join me?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

community service

Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.

~ Dorothy Height ~
a founding matriarch of the American civil rights movement

Let me put it this way. If it is my community, I am affected by everyone in it and they are by me. If we take care of each other--and serve one another--what else do we need?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

nourishing traditions

Man, I'm gone a few days, and I miss fabulous posts! Fascinating information. I googled "Older adults cannot digest grains and get the minerals that they need from them," in hopes of finding out more about this, but found nothing helpful on first glance.

Do you have a couple of sources from which to start? I love fresh, whole (then cooked) grains and can't imagine my diet without them. It would be like giving up fresh fruit or crunchy veggies!

We buy sprouted corn and wheat tortillas. I understand that whole foods and freshly sprouted seeds may carry the enzymes we need for digestive ease. Have you heard that too?


Dear KG,

We were given so many sources at the training that I am not sure where to direct you. I would encourage you to do a more general search: "nutrition and aging" or "digesting grains." You know...some variations on the theme.

You are right about sprouted grains. They do have more of the enzymes we need to be able to digest them.

Fermenting is also of great benefit. In order to ferment a grain before cooking, you add a bit of apple cider vinegar and let the grains soak over night. This is a method of "pre-digestion," as well as adding enzymes.

I don't think you have to give up grains. If you are eating sprouted or fermented grains and/or adding digestive enzymes or more acid to your supplements, chances are you are getting a lot more from them than if you eat processed grains from the supermarket.

The point the presenter made is that in the food pyramid, the largest portion is grains. If people who cannot digest grains make that the largest portion of their diet, they are set up for malnourishment.

One of the books we use around here is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. If you are not familiar with that book, you might want to check it out. It is a cookbook, as well as a good source of information about making food nutritious.

Let me know if you try any of the methods or recipes.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I am becoming more radical with age. I have noticed that writers, when they are old, become milder. But for me it is the opposite. Age makes me more angry.

~ Nawal El Saadawi ~

79-year-old Egyptian writer, activist, and one of the leading feminists of her generation. She is trained as a doctor, worked as a psychiatrist and university lecturer, and has published almost 50 novels, plays, and collections of short stories

I think I am having what she is having. It's not that I am more angry. I have less tolerance for that which is not right and true. Fortunately, I haven't completely lost my social skills. Yet, I am much less willing to keep my mouth shut when something needs fixin'.

I am beginning to shift from seeing "problems" to seeing potential, possibility, and opportunity. After all, if something isn't working any more, isn't that an opportunity to find new potential in the situation?

That's what I'm thinking.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

two questions

(my how things have changed...)

Us Baby Boomers have driven so much change throughout our lives. It makes sense that we'd be changing how old age is done as well.

Is there an answer out there yet for how an older person might get the proper nutrition?



I've been dealing with my digestion issues and see signs of it in lots of people I know, especially my parents who are both in their 70's. I also can't help but wonder how much of my being overweight is due to the cells being starved of real nutrition and so they're screaming at me to EAT!


Dear Deb and Susan,

Your questions are related enough that I will address both of them here.



...Just kidding. Not about the "yes," though.

Two major factors come into play regarding getting proper nutrition:

1) Source of food.

2) Digestion and the ability to use it.

About #1:

Regarding choice of food, it is important to eat food that is as fresh and pure as possible. The highest level of nutrition comes from the freshest (most alive) food and if it is organic, it is less likely to contain toxins. The more processed our food is, the less nutritious. Even if the labels tell us that all kinds of things have been added for nutritional benefit, it doesn't mean the additions are in a form that our bodies can use. Often the added nutrients are a cheap imitation of the real thing. (See below.)

I am of the opinion that it is not possible to get all of the nutrition we need from our food these days. The quality is not there and most of us are playing catch up in the nutritional arena. Therefore, taking quality supplements is very important.

If you take supplements, consider getting good food based vitamins and minerals that are pharmaceutical grade. ("Pharmaceutical grade" refers to the potency and purity--not to being manufactured by pharmaceutical companies.) If they are not food based, they are a chemical version. Quite frankly, our bodies just can't use them as well and some of them contain things that are not good for us.

About #2:

Digestion is a complex issue; however, there are a couple of things that will help most of us--stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

Because our food isn't always fresh, the enzymes that are contained within the food that helps us digest and use it are not present. We can supplement these at our meals.

So many products on the market today are about reducing stomach acid. In reality, many of us don't have enough stomach acid to properly breakdown food and absorb the nutrients into our blood stream and tissues. Acid is important. This, too, can be supplemented.

Of course, there is also the possibility that something more serious is preventing one's digestion from doing its job. I won't try to address those. It is important to get appropriate care from your professional resources.

Susan, I absolutely agree with you that it is likely your body is saying "EAT" because it isn't getting enough of what it needs.

The other thing that is important to be aware of is that many of the artificial sweeteners that people use in an effort to lose weight actually cause weight gain. Aspartame is one of the worst. Look at labels. It is hidden in many things. It has been shown to be a neurotoxin and I have known more than one person who has started to lose weight when they stopped using it.

All of that being said, please read this disclaimer:

The information in this post is presented for educational purposes only and for the free exchange of ideas. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any physical or mental condition, or to prescribe or promote any particular means of care. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice and treatment provided by your own physician or other medical professionals. In the event that you choose to use this information for your own health, you are prescribing for yourself and you assume all responsibility therefrom.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

responding to questions in comments on yesterday's post

I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom ... I want to be remembered as one who tried.

~ Dorothy Height~

considered a founding matriarch of the American civil rights movement

Carrie, CEUs = continuing education units.

Susan, yes. That sounds like a fun idea. We'd need to have enough people and I'd have to think about how to proceed. Shall we talk more?

Deb, the coolest thing I learned is not really "cool" at all--what is cool is that I learned it:

Many of the issues facing older people today are due to malnutrition. That's right. Right here in the land of plenty, people are dying of malnutrition--not due (in some cases) to quantity, but quality and also to the ability to use the nutrition available.

Digestion is one of the biggest issues for older folks and I am coming to understand that the inability to digest food leading to malnutrition of the elderly starts in middle age--where I am right now. [sigh]

And! Get this...

"Using Canada's Food Guide or the United States Food Pyramid results in malnutrition in older adults."

Why? Because the largest proportion of the pyramid is grains. Older adults cannot digest grains and get the minerals that they need from them.

I wonder when mainstream medicine and those who care for the aging are going to learn this. Our presenter thinks that the baby boomers will drive that movement. I hope so.

Wanna join me?

Friday, May 21, 2010


The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the human frame, diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.

~ Thomas A Edison ~

Yesterday I attended yet another CEU seminar. This one was on nutrition, mental health, and aging. And it was good.

Good presenter. Good material. Yes!

I learned some new things and also received affirmation that I already know a few things. That's always welcome.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

love thursday 05.20.10 ~ faith

The day before yesterday, I posted this quote by Richard Rohr:

Faith is not for overcoming obstacles; it is for experiencing them.

You asked what it means to me.

Faith is one of those intangibles that is difficult to discuss. At least, it is for me. So the best way I can approach the topic is to put it in context.

I consider the topic of yesterday's blog post an obstacle. After sitting with the decision and finding that place inside of me that is at peace, I think I know what I am going to do. However, underneath that I know that everything will be okay.

That knowing comes from faith. I don't know how it will turn out. I don't know how my needs will be met. I do know that it may not look the way I want it to in the final analysis and that there are no guarantees.

In the midst of all that knowing and not knowing, the sense of peace along with the inner assurance that whatever happens I will be okay constitutes faith for me. For me, faith resides in my relationship with the Divine and knowing that God loves me no matter how it turns out.

So it is faith that allows me to experience obstacles--without falling into the depths of despair. Do I worry? Yes. Do I struggle? Yes. Do I hope things will go the way I want them to? Yes.

Faith allows me peace in the middle of it all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


(which path would you take?)

Not to decide is to decide.

~ Harvey Cox ~

I have a decision to make. A very expensive decision. You see, it is not just that I have to decide whether or not to spend a lot of money. That's only one angle on the issue.

The issue is this: No matter what I do, it is going to be expensive.

Does that change your perspective at all?

Here are the options so far in order of least to greatest monetary cost:

1) Do nothing. I realize that doesn't sound expensive. However, what it does is delay the inevitable. The probability that I will have to do something expensive eventually is very high. The probability that the problem will go away is...about as good as my chances of winning the lottery. Also, in the short term, there is the price to be paid in intangibles--not money.

2) Pay something now to get more information that may increase the odds of a making a better decision--or not. This doesn't solve the problem. Just informs the decision making process.

3) If I opt to do #2, then I might be able to decide at that time to take the next step. On one hand that sounds wise--like a "no duh" kind of decision. However, even if I get the information that says the next step is feasible, there is a 50-50 chance that it will work and I might have to go for the most expensive anyway. However, "the next step" could buy me some time before making that decision. It could work.

4) Or I can opt for the whole enchilada up front and save the expense of #2 and/or #3. This is a more drastic choice whose inevitability will occur eventually if I choose #1 and maybe if sooner if I choose #2 or maybe later if #3 is even an option.

You see...whatever I do is a gamble. I just don't know which is the greatest gamble or which is the most expensive when human and monetary costs are tallied up.


I know you don't know what I am talking about and you really can't even give me any advice. I accept that.

But tell me anyway...what would you do?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Faith is not for overcoming obstacles; it is for experiencing them.

~ Richard Rohr ~

Monday, May 17, 2010

trust and respect

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

~ Dwight Eisenhower ~

Sunday, May 16, 2010

'nuff said...

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

~ Robert A. Heinlein ~

Saturday, May 15, 2010

things i've been taking for granted

Bending over and straightening up again.

Sitting for long periods of time without pain.

Getting up in the morning and walking without a hitch in my gitalong.

Sleeping in any position I want.

Using ice only for my drinks.

Lifting the toilet lid first thing in the morning...not having to use my foot.

Picking up a dish from the table and standing up--not the other way around.

Not needing to ask someone else to do simple tasks for me.

Being able to mow the lawn.

Sitting on the couch with my feet up to watch a movie.

Crossing my legs.

Unconsciously putting on my shoes...

...and getting dressed.

And if you take any of these things for granted, may you continue to be so blessed.

Friday, May 14, 2010


(strawberry baby)

A Facebook friend introduced me to this mashup. It seems perfect for a Friday going into the weekend.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

love thursday 05.13.10 ~ altruism

True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Through universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems.

~ HH Dalai Lama ~

If we had true "universal altruism" we would need fewer rules and regulations. If we all practiced reasoned compassion, what a civilized world we would live in.

Happy Love Thursday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I walked out the front door this evening and saw four of these creatures. Raccoons are nocturnal, so seeing them out and about in the daylight is unusual.

Apparently, spring has sprung and when raccoon hormones are running high--it doesn't matter what time of day or night.

(I took these pictures at dusk with a point-and-shoot without a tripod. Sorry for the blur.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

random thoughts tuesday

Just looked out the window and across the street and thought, "I haven't seen those dogs before." Then I realized they were raccoons...ambling their way across the street, through my yard, and across my deck. In the middle of the afternoon!

Pain is an interesting phenomenon. It levels the playing well as the players.

Talked to my friend today after her surgery yesterday. She is doing as well as one can do after surgery. Thanks for all your prayers.

We have LOTS of new bamboo shoots.

Two and a half weeks until vacation. Ahh....

I thought I heard my phone ring. The set ring tone for general calls is an unobtrusive little beep and sometimes it is hard to hear. I looked at my phone. It was 2:22. No call. Just 2:22. Guess I need to give Jesus his own ring tone.

Monday, May 10, 2010

two things

Today, my very dear friend is undergoing surgery for breast cancer. Please join me in praying for her (in whatever form that takes for you). Thank you.

Also today...

Se'lah has posted our interview at Necessary Room. Grab a cuppa and come listen in to the conversation. We'll wait for you....

Sunday, May 09, 2010

things i love about my mom

You are always willing to play--with your kids, grandkids, and now the great-grandkids.

You are funny. You make me laugh.

After 62 years, you still love Dad.

You are always there for us. Always.

Thanks for being my mom.

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Hospitality does not seek power over others. Cruelty does. Cruelty deliberately causes harm, especially by crushing a person's self-respect ... The opposite of cruelty is hospitality, a sharing of power.

~ Richard M. Gula ~

from his book
To Walk Together Again

I'd say the orange boys do a pretty good job of sharing power with me...most of the time. We all live together quite hospitably.

Friday, May 07, 2010

i always liked this one

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone.

~ Audrey Hepburn ~

(1929-1993) British Actress

Thursday, May 06, 2010

love thursday 05.06.10 ~ miracles

There are two ways to live your life:

One as though nothing is a miracle, the other as though everything is.

~ Albert Einstein ~

The way HoneyBoy and Mijo arrived was miraculous. I wanted an orange Manx. I put in a search with local shelters. Mijo poppped up one Saturday morning. I emailed about him. The woman in charge of the shelter said, "The only thing cuter than he is his brother."

"He has a brother?"

And the rest is history.

Miracles happen all the time. Answers to prayer are miracles in my book. Miracles are things that happen that we can't explain. It is not necessarily that they are outside of the natural order--just that we have a limited perspective on what the natural order truly is.

And Love...sometimes Love is a miracle, too. Because sometimes we love and are loved and there is just no explaining it.

Happy Love Thursday!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


The lure of quantity is the most dangerous of all.

~ Simone Weil ~

Quantity for quantity's sake is dangerous...yes. That becomes greed and there's plenty of that going around these days.

However, there is a certain quantity that is enough for each of us. Finding that--in the true spirit of simplicity--brings peace. Inner and outer peace. Ahh....

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

hey there, georgy girl

I loved that movie when it came out. I related to Georgy Girl. We both envied everyone around us who were coupling up. Lynn Redgrave brought her to life--and gave me hope. I have loved her for that ever since.

1943 - 2010

Rest well, dear Lynn. I will miss you.

*pictures from the web

Monday, May 03, 2010

no guarantees

If I had to name my disability, I would call it an unwillingness to fall ... This reluctance signals the mistrust of the central truth of the Christian gospel: life springs from death, not only at the last but also in the many little deaths along the way. When everything you count on for protection has failed, the Divine Presence does not fail. The hands are still there -- not promising to rescue, not promising to intervene -- promising only to hold you no matter how far you fall.

~ Barbara Brown Taylor ~

from her book
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

Today, I experienced a divine gift through a friend--an answer to prayer, even. I am grateful. Immensely grateful. Yesterday I said, "I hope tomorrow is a better day." It was.

I sometimes hesitate to speak about what I need--for a lot of reasons. Partly out of privacy. Partly because I don't want to sound like I am whining or complaining. Partly because I am self-protective. And more. Those are the big ones.

Here's one of the lessons I learned today: If I don't speak up (at least occasionally) so that the people around me know what is going on, it makes it harder for God to use them to answer my prayers. It's easier to collaborate than to create from thin air.

I still have no guarantee of what is coming down the road. However, today looks a little brighter and I am glad of it.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Saturday, May 01, 2010

kliban's model

Faint with hunger, he lay by his dish hoping someone would notice before he faded away into nothingness.