Monday, August 30, 2010

I Love A Parade According to Marilyn

Time for another "According to Marilyn." For those who are unfamiliar with the "Marilyn" series, I occasionally write about Marilyn, who has been my best friend for over 50 years.
Marilyn has the spirit of a gypsy. It's difficult for her to remain in one place very long. I blame it on her being a Virgo with Sagittarius rising, as it is well known that Sagges are born vagabonds.

Whenever the restless urge calls, Marilyn throws her Flamenco guitar in her gypsy wagon and heads for the open road. She's now looking-up old haunts of our childhood in Minnesota. The marvelous invention of the telephone, keeps us in constant touch, she wearing her blue-tooth and me with my phone on speaker. That way, she can safely drive and I can play domestic. We can carry on an endless chatter for, perhaps weeks. You'd think we would have said it all in 50 years, but I guess not.

Saturday, she was driving in Northern Minnesota, giving me a live-at-the-moment description of the scenery that I haven't seem in ten years. She had just approached a small town. Have you ever had someone trying to tell you a story but were laughing so hard at their anticipated tale, that you couldn't understand one word they're saying?

So it was with Marilyn. She suddenly broke into a laughter with little screams and muffled words followed by more laughter and little screams.

I said, "I can't understand a word you're saying. What's so funny?"

All I got was, " (Laughter) muffle, muffle, (laughter) parade, muffle, muffle."

"What are you talking about? Are you OK? Did you have an accident? What's so damn funny?
What's that music I hear?"

"Parade, parade. I'm driving in the middle of a parade. People think I'm part of the parade," she finally managed to get the words out.

Then I started laughing. I could picture her driving her van with the California plates in the center of a small town parade in Minnesota.

I said, "Open your window and wave to the people. Too bad you don't have candy to throw to them."

This started another round of laughter. Apparently she had taken a wrong turn and got wedged inbetween a marching band and a briskly waving politician sitting in the back of a convertible.

We laughed for several minutes before we could speak. "What's the parade for?"

"Lobster day or something," she said.

"They don't have lobsters in Minnesota," I reminded her, "Perhaps walleyes or corn."

By that time, the parade had ended and Marilyn was leaving the town that began with a W. Some of the town folk watched the gypsy wagon fading into a tiny speck as she was describing the floats of the parade to me. "And then there was a flat bed with a jazz band that ..................."

Adios Amigo

Friday, August 27, 2010

Zip-pate Do Dah. I Sat In On A Recording

I'll let you in on a big change. They don't "sing into the can" anymore like George Cloony did in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou." My Granddaughter, Ashly, is making her 2nd CD and I sat in on a little of it. The recording companies want the performer to be relaxed so they make the recording room personal by bringing in some of their items from home. Here is Ashly with her lamps and pictures and a big "I'm Gonna Ace This One" smile.

Ashly writes all the songs for her band, "Little Jane and the Pistol Whips." She lives and breaths Loretta Lynn, not that her voice is especially like hers, but she idolizes Loretta for her songs, lifestyle and the person that she is.

I had never set foot in a recording studio before. In the old movies (not the "can" one), the performers were always behind a big window and people could sit outside and watch. No. Not today. The performers are in this closed recording room, where all the personal stuff is set up with their instruments and techie stuff and you can watch what's happening on a big screen. (Of course, dummy Manzanita. Techie Time again.)

Below is Ashly with Doc, the head honcho recording guy, who has been awarded the coveted award of Grammy for outstanding achievement in his field. Doc is a charismatic artist who runs a relaxed but totally efficient ship. I sat behind him during a recording and watched him manipulate the big scary board with all the knobs, buttons and lights.

Below is a short vid that I made of part of a song being recorded. Nothing is more annoying to me than uninvited music on a blog, so I always give you a button and a choice.

Besos you little country gal.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Real Man

A Real Man


A real man is a woman's best friend. He will
never stand her up and never let her down.
He will reassure her when
she feels insecure
and comfort her after a bad day.


He will inspire her to do things she never
thought she could do; to live without fear
and forget regret. He will enable her to
express her deepest emotions and give in to
her most intimate desires. He will make sure she always feels as though she's the most
woman in the room and will enable
her to be the most confident, sexy,
seductive, and invincible.


I'm thinking of wine.
It’s wine that does all that.

Never mind.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's The Word?

For some time now, I've been trying to find the word that means adulation or the feeling of love you would feel for a person who is accomplished in your field of passion.

I have run across the word a couple of times but dismissed it from my mind and poof, it was gone. It's so gone, that I wouldn't even recognize it if you said it. I'd have to look it up.

The word refers to having this extreme admiration for someone of the opposite sex which would account for the feeling of love.

And I'm not referring to the groupie gals who wait outside a rock star's dressing room to offer him sexual favors. The kind of love feeling I'm referring to is almost on an etherial plane. It's as if you want to touch them but wouldn't dare because their talent is so far above you, so all you could ever do is worship them from afar.

The Greeks had names for four kinds of love: agape, philia, eros, storge. What I'm talking about is kind of a mixture of agape, philia and eros. I think of the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo and her life-time attraction and love for Diego Rivera. With them I've always felt it was mutual.

Does this sound crazy, or have others experienced this?

Marilyn has played flamenco guitar for as long as I've danced and she has experienced this with guitarists. Especially one. I'm in awe of Juan Serrano, greatest living guitarist. We had a Flamenco Juerga and had one of his students and a student of his student. I was in that strange mixture of love and awe over them because they got to actually sit with him and watch him play. Then I could watch the student's fingers move on the guitar just as Juan had taught them.

OK, you've probably guessed it. I have that love feeling for Robert Doisneau, the photographer whose black/white photos I use for headers. He is pictured above in his self-portrait. Of course, he's dead but it doesn't matter. I've had this feeling for years. It's like Heathcliff yearned for Cathy until he could join her in death.

During my last posts when we were talking about photography, Kj of 12 Paws and Frogs, looked up Robert Doisneau and wrote that she's in love. See, Kj.... you know what I mean.

Come on, all you astute people with brilliant minds. What's the word I'm looking for???? I'm going cukoo trying to find it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Robert Doisneau It Is Not

A Robert Doisneau this is not. But it is a humorous bit of realism that just happened to pop in front of my new little Flip Camcorder. If you've visited my blog before, you know I'm on a quest to find a digital camera that takes photos like my old "crying in the closet, Leica."

The black/white photos I use for headings in my blog were shot by my beloved Robert Doisneau. I use that term of endearment out of a cherished respect for a photographer who captured a timeless essence of human wistful foibles.

Many of Doisneau's shots were staged from the original circumstance. Mine wasn't. Just trying out a new cami. Here's the deal.

As I walked down the camera aisle in Costco, a little Flip comcorder just jumped right into my cart and said, "Buy me, buy me." My reasoning was, "It's probably an orphan and needs a home," as it went through the checkout with me.

I unboxed it in the parking lot, became acquainted with the minimal buttons (much to my liking), put it in my purse and drove off to the health food store. As I waited in the checkout line with my groceries, I took the Flip out of my purse to give it a try. You'll find the results below.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some Days Do You Ever Just Want To Run Off To Spain And Be A Flamenco Dancer?

I did that once. Sixty years ago to be exact. I'll let you in on a little secret. Once Flamenco music gets into your soul, it never leaves. Flamenco dancers wait for the Duende. It's that special emotion that happens at a moment that spellbinds listeners. Duende isn't a constant. It can happen one day and not the next.

Lately, I've been getting rid of the "stuff" in my life. It bogs me down. I have to return to that feeling of freedom. Perhaps I won't be a street dancer in Seville but I will be free to chose my existence. I fulfilled my responsibility as wife, mother, grandmother ...... and now it's finally my turn. Oh Glorious Feeling.

Below is a street dancer from Seville. Welcome it into your soul and perhaps you'll join me.
Adios Amigos and Ole

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Any Photographers? I Need Help

Help. Here's the deal. Photography used to be one of my passions. (I'm easily addicted to many passions :) ) I had the neatest darkroom. It had the correct ventilation, the big photo sink, shelves galore, drying lines, and all the tools.

Then along came digital. da da da da ta dum. Drumroll. I scarcely know the basics on a computer. Then add learning all the buttons on a digital camera and putting that into the computer is beyond my scope or most times, even my caring. But I love blogging and there are just certain things you absolutely have to know.

In the dinosaur days of photography, I had 2 Leicas. My black and white's would give Robert Doisneau a run for his money. No, that's an exaggeration but they were so clear and crisp that you could melt into a photo. Now, I'm reduced to a a smudgy little Sony cybershot ........ because it was easy to learn. Look at the photos I posted yesterday. They're lousy.

My question to you...... any suggestions for a good digital photo camera (that's fairly easy or I'm afraid it will go to dust with the Leicas) that will be compatible with a Mac computer. Everyone's photos always look so exqusite. It appears like you are all professionals. I was learning videos and movies, too. I bought a Canon camcorder that sits on the shelf with the Leicas. Help. I'm tearing my hair out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spa Day Montana Way

You've all most likely seen a sterotype movie about Montana people. The brother-in-law drives his jalopy Volkswagon van into the driveway of a swank suburban neighborhood and lives in it until the health authorities boot him out.

Mostly true.

Follow me on a trip through a spa, Montana style. You won't get your toenails painted or an avocado facial, but you'll get much more.

Lezz g0.

I was feeling a little stressed and realized I hadn't visited the radon mines this year. I tossed a winter jacket and Cody in the car and drove 35 miles to a little town of Basin that boasts four radon mines. Radon is a tasteless, odorless gas created by decaying uranium in the granite rocks. The radon stimulates the immune system, which in turn allows the body to heal itself. My choice of mine today is the "Merry Widow."

I stopped at the office, paid my five bucks fee and asked the girl who works there if she had any good miracle stories. She happily related one she heard last week. A guy scheduled for prostate surgery told the doctor he wanted to try the mine for a month before the knife. He did. End of month and return to doctor, no cancer.

One time in the mine, I happened to be sitting next to a lady who had owned the mine many years ago. What a stroke of luck. She was full of good miracle stories.

Here's the door of the mine. Maybe you've never been in a mine before.

Now we're in the mine. It's just a long tunnel that's been carved into the granite mountain. Of course, there has been electricity for lights and some piping of the stream that flows through it but it's primitive just the way the miners left it. The temp is around 50 -60 deg. all year. It's a moist cold so I put on my winter jacket. Cody has her own. The moment I step in, I can feel that moist air filling my lungs. Feels good.

If you walk deeper back into the tunnel you'll find the spot where most of the people sit on benches lined along the walls. They soak their feet in the icy (and I do mean icy) water- pit, read, play cards, meditate or visit with the group.

But Cody has her own little room and today were are all alone. Usually it's filled with people and their dogs and Cody has lots of friends.

People who discover the mine come back every summer. They stay in the lodge or in their campers. They stay at least 2 weeks, sit in the mine 3 times a day until they get 32 hours in all.

The foot-soaking pit in the Doggie Den is fairly small. It's behind me in the picture and I had just finished soaking my feet in the icy water for a half hour. WOW That gave the old pores a wake up. I also soak my hands to keep my fingers nimble for Flamenco. Often I bring an eye glass and give my eyes a few shots.

Time to go out in the 85 deg sunshine and head back to Helena. I have Flamenco classes at 5. Sign of "Fountain of Youth" is above the water pipe that comes out of the mine.

This water from the mine is the most heavenly, cold water I've ever tasted. I filled a couple bottles to take with me. This hose is right outside the entrance and anyone is welcome to stop and collect the healing water.

Scene as we are driving away from the mine. We'll stop in the quaint little mountain town of Basin for a few minutes.

Gold and silver was first mined in the area in 1860. Although Basin was the town that sprang from the mining, it remained small and today is mostly a quiet retirement community.

Montana has the only radon mines in the US. There are mines in Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania. Most of the European mines have been turned into fancy-schmancy full service health spas because the other governments and insurance companies recognize the merits of radon's health benefits.

Another one of the mines, Sunshine Health Mine, is advertised on a building. Mostly, radon is a real estate broker's deal-breaker ever since our government stepped in. Not a problem but a valuable tool to people like me, who keep well by tweaking their bodies with natural health remedies.

Basin's community hall and general store. I smiled at the sign above the store that said, "Gerneral Merchandise and Fresh Meats" and then there is a picture of horses." Hummm?

And no Montana town is complete without it's "watering hole." No thank you. Not for this Cookie. I'm drinking my mine water.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lazy Hazy Days of Acupuncture

I was at my acupuncturist today and he pushed at a certain spot beside my knee and asked if it hurt. No. All I felt was pressure, no pain. He said if he had pushed in that spot on 9 out of 10 people they would be screaming in pain. Then I said what must have been a really dumb thing. I said, "Well, you can push harder."

He looked puzzled for a second and then started laughing. I figured out pretty fast that he had pushed with exactly the right amount of pressure. I started laughing with him and we just laughed for around a full minute.

He said to me, "You're funny." But I wasn't trying to be funny. It made perfect sense to me that if it was supposed to hurt, just push till it does.

He was testing my lymph and the fact that it didn't hurt meant my lymph was working. (I guess)

All my adult life I've used acupuncturists. They were always Chinese until now. Jean-Louis is French and extremely knowledgeable about healing. Today he was working on my liver..... the general of the whole army. Three herbs good for liver are stinging nettle, milk thistle and dandelion. I found a remote patch of unsprayed nettles this summer and dried some for tea.

I have an appointment every two weeks for a little tweaking and tune up. My liver loves it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Henry According To Marilyn

Here's another "according to Marilyn." To you new readers, Marilyn has been my best friend for over 50 years. We share a brain. Marilyn is a gypsy. As I write, she's driving to Minneapolis in her gypsy-wagon and is smack in the middle of Nebraska with her flamenco guitar. Woo those corn-huskers with a little Alegrias. (Or is is Iowa corn-huskers? I've been away from the mid-West so long, I can't remember.) Help me out.

Henry's Story~~~~~~~According to Marilyn.

Henry is a talented, retired musician who for 25 years, has played a Saturday night piano bar in San Francisco just for the love of music.
It wasn't for salary he played but for socialization.

He connects with old friends, and reaches out to new ones, as he plays requests with his drink sitting on top of the piano. Kinda reminiscent of Hoagy in Casablanca. On this particular night, a new pompous young executive introduced himself, with .....

''I'm your new manager. You can't leave that drink on the piano."

Henry answered with, "I've put my drink there for 25 years."

"Yes, yes, new rules. Take it down immediately," the young exec ordered as he turned his back to walk away.

Henry had enough. His answer was, "You're just a corporate pussy."

With that, the young executive whipped around and zinged out at Henry, "You can't talk to me like that. That's going to be one mark against you. Three more and you're finished."

"How many more did you say?" asked Henry.

"Three. You get three more and your're outta here."

Henry stood up, closed his piano and said, "Corporate pussy, corporate pussy, corporate pussy." Picked up his drink and walked out.

What do you think? Should Henry have moved his drink and kept playing or do you think he did the right thing?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Who Are The Word Police?

I finally came out of my mushroom cave only to find they did it again. They changed the language on me. I just want to know who is the "they" who has such power.

I was feeling pretty good about my language progress. I lost my Nort Dakota brogue and my Fargoism's "squarsh and warsh."

Thirty years ago I learned to say "I dig it" if I really liked something. (no actual labor involved). I learned that "cool" could be anything that was pleasing BUT then in a few years, the things that were once "cool" became "hot". If that wasn't confusing enough, now everything "rocks." Holy Crap. What does that mean? Hard as stone? It bends back and forth as a rocking horse??? You like it? You don't like it?

A couple years ago "melt-down" threw me.

Someone said, "She had a melt-down. "

I'm thinking, I'm not getting tripped up by that. It means all her candles burned. But I asked anyway, "What's melt-down?"

You know, "went crazy."


On Bill O'Reilly's news he was talking to the blond who looks and sounds like Megen Kelly. (They all look alike and I don't know her name.). As she was talking to Bill, she called him Jack. He bristled and said, "You're talking to Bill."

She replied, "All the kids call everyone Jack, now."

Bill at first looked nonplussed, then down right annoyed. It kinda became a thing between them. He ended that segment of the program with "This is Jack." It was not in a complying ending but more as mocking someone too old to stoop to kid's lingo.

Gotta run. The evening rocks. (Whatever that means?)

Friday, August 6, 2010

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

How Corny Can I Get? Plenty. Keep Reading.

My day had been inhumanly impossibly busy. Plus it rained all day. Kody kept dropping hints at my feet: frizbee, balls, leash. Finally at 9 PM, as twilight gathered from a moist day, I grabbed Kody and the car keys and off to the fair grounds to toss the frizbee.

The fair grounds is a spacious adventure in the daylight with it’s camp grounds, patches of forests, lakes, paths, etc. But, holy moly, I didn’t even recognize it in the heavy twilight. Dark suspicious shadows crowded the roads and heavy roiling clouds suggested more rain.

I was begnning to get spooked. Not one single car did I see. No late night picnickers or last minute dog runs. Zip. I was totally alone. I parked in our usual spot and Kody leaped out of the car with her frizbee. I just wanted to get this over with, but then, a sudden deja vu hit me.

This creepy feeling that I was experiencing was the same mystifying excitement I used to feel when I was reading Nancy Drew stories, as a child. I'd save my pennies and nickles until I had 35 cents and then off to the Ben Franklin store for the latest Nancy Drew book. My hands would tremble with excitement as I cracked the cover on the new book. I welcomed the anticipation of knowing I was going to be scared.

There was never any violence or murder …. just objects or people missing or wrongs to make right. All the little girls who read the books could transport themselves into Nancy’s body and experience the breath-taking thrill of near discovery when hiding in a closet or behind a curtain. It was thrilling enchantment.

That creepy, spooky night at the fair grounds brought back the anticipation that something ominous was about to happen. In spite of the fact I was creeped out to the core, I revelled in it.

Even so, I was happy when Kody caught her 20th frizbee and I could get outta there. Adios


Speaking of reading, writing and things that fall off the table in the night, hop on over to 12 paws and frogs

(What a punster I am). Kj's got a great fun post going that as writers, we can all sink our teeth into and get some good comments going. It's entitled, "Why Writers Write."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Are You A Survivor?

These English roses are survivors. Left to grow behind a shed among weeds (notice the weed behind it) with very little water, they come out every year smelling like a rose. Pardon my corny pun. It's my slap-happy morning personality.

I'm a survivor. Like the raggedy rose, I don't sweat the small stuff...... and much of the time I live in the past. You'll catch me saying phrases like, "They don't make things like they used to." I'm a bore-ass about that, for sure.

Take hair combs, for instance. The kind that you leave in your hair to keep hair in place. HAIR COMBS..... you'll say..... I thought you didn't sweat the small stuff.
A hair comb is no small stuff when you have a front forward hair growth. Who can see with hair in your face??? Anyway, I just ordered some combs made in France. They look like the old-fashioned ones.

Toasters. That's another one of my bore-ass complaints. In Helena I use a flippy-down-door toaster from the 30's. Great toast from that little jobbie. But in Bozeman, I just replaced a 4-holer with a new 2-holer. (We are talking toasters, aren't we?). So tell me why the 30's toaster is still working and the new ones go kaput?

Car's ..... don't get me started on that one. Of course they have to break down with all the new gadgets on them.

How about potato peelers? By the way, I'll interject that my wedding gifts have become antiques. Having said that, I still use a trusty potato peeler that I got with a bunch of kitchen tools as a wedding shower gift in 1948. OMG .... it really gets the job done. I wanted one like it at the ranch ...... no dice. I went into a fancy, expensive gourmet kitchen shop and bought five lousy potato peelers. Not one could hold a candle to my antique. Am I sweating? Not really.

Am I surviving? You betcha.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

hippocrates Soup

Hippocrates Soup, as it is known today, is the same soup that
Hippocrates used 2500 years ago for healing patients.
It is used in the Gerson Therapy as part of the treatment for
curing degenerative diseases. Other doctors and practitioners
have also used the soup for healing.
Ann Wigmore relied on the soup, but in a raw form. LaDean Griffin also used a form of the
soup and called it "simple foods."

It is never a stand-alone cure-all but used along with other foods and supplements.

Here's the basic recipe.
1 medium celery knob (or 3-4 stalks of celery
1 medium parsley root
garlic to your taste
2 small leeks
2 medium onions
1 1/2 lb tomatoes
l lb potatoes
small amount parsley

Wash vegetables but do not peel. Cut up coarsely and put in a large stainless pot. Barely cover with spring water. Cook about 3 hours. Puree.

If you are seriously ill, puree with a foley food press. I use a blender. Also very ill patients would not be eating salt so they eat the soup as is. For healthy people who are used to the taste of salt, they would much prefer it with sea or Himalayan salt. For instance, yesterday when my Granddaughter, Ashly and I ate the soup after working in the garden, I don't use salt and enjoyed the taste as it is. Ashly added Himalayan salt. I never use salt but try to get my sodium from food. If you ever stayed off salt for a couple weeks, you'd be absolutely amazed at the true, natural flavor of food. I also eliminate salt in my diet because I've had so many more years to accumulate toxins in my body.

The soup will keep in the refrigerator two days.

Below is a video from YouTube. Their soup is a little thin. They also say so but you can use this soup in a thin form as a stock for other soups.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rocks Water Soup and Diamonds

Do you flower garden? I like my flowers outside, not in the house.

When God created this part of the world he was thinking stones and rock and said, "Oh this doesn't need water." So try to have a garden in solid rock without moisture.

Give me an A for trying. I planted pickup loads of flowers some years back and a few tenacious roses and struggling dasies is all I have left.

Try again. Sunday, my Granddaughter and I pulled weeds (ahem..... they grow well) and planted more flowers.
Spend an afternoon digging holes in rock. You press your foot down on your shovel and every time you hear screeeech. It's wearisome. But we pursevered, got everything planted, hoping the drip system would find the new plants, and called it a day.

I had a pot of Hippocrates Soup cooking on the stove. Yummm. Soup and toast with organic blackberries for a movie snack. We both like old movies. Our choice was "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds" with Marilyn Monroe. Below is a clip of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" with that vixen bomshell Marilyn.