Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Good Find Deserves A Home

Lately I've been annoyed with clutter. I sorted through drawers, closets and furniture, dragging out items I haven't used in a while. If I thought about it too long, I might put it back, so into the throw-away pile it all went. My grand intention was to have a garage sale. This replica of an old phonograph was on the pile. It plays old phonograph records, Cd's and the little tapes. Why am I hanging onto this white elephant? Who listens to records, although I had a stack of old dance records, too.

Then I went into the shed and began tossing out with a vengeance. Whoa.... look-eee here. An old wooden phonograph stand. Perfect fit for the phonograph because that's what they were made for. Duh...Manzanita. It had dividers on the bottom where you can stack records and a shelf above that. It's been stored in the shed just about forever and it was something I recall dragging home from an estate sale long ago. You know those items you can't live without!

I dusted up the phono stand and put it in the corner of my study. As I removed the phonograph from the throw-away pile, I kept saying, "Don't do this," but I never listened. Then I salvaged the stack of records and put it all together. WOW....... What a neat find and I didn't even have to leave the house. And here's the best part. I called a church that was having a garage sale and they came with a big truck and took my whole pile.

Here is a very short clip if you would like to hear what it sounds like. It's "Desafinado" by Antonio Carlos Jobim. I like it and dopey me, it was within an eyelash of being on the church truck.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Farm Party

Since I rarely come out of my mushroom cave, I suppose everyone in the world has heard of a Farm Party. Ho Hum, I'm always the last to know.

It's Saturday again and my weekly conversation with my Granddaughter. Today she is working on the national program where people turn in their old prescription drugs.

She mentioned that kids have Farm parties. I thought. "Oh that's a nice rural thing to do."

But then she said, "That's spelled "Pharm" not "Farm"..... you know, from pharmaceutical. Each kid has to bring a bottle of prescription drugs and dump them into a big bowl to share with everyone."

Were my antiquated body cells shocked over this? No. I guess if kids are taught at home it's OK to take drugs, that's what they'll do. But what I am wondering is, at what point did kids begin to lose respect for their bodies.

I have a joking type personality. I worked my way through serious, found my soul and now I can laugh and concentrate on the humor in life. BUT I'm going to turn serious for the moment. Your soul, this beautiful nebulous thing that is your passkey for eternal life (or whatever spiritual belief you follow) lives inside of the skeletal mass of bones you call a body. When, in the past 50 years, have parents shed their responsibility of teaching their offspring the importance of keeping this temple pure? Instead, it appears that kids have been taught to give it no more respect than they would for a city dump.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the delicate tick tick of all your body organs when they are in sync with one another. If a little book of instructions (like the laundry care tag that comes inside of sweaters) came with each baby, it would say, "Caution, chemicals are harmful to this body." Kids have to be told they shouldn't take drugs. I remember a friend's little boy was a bed wetter. He stayed with another little kid one night and the mother told the boys good night and they shouldn't wet the bed. In the morning, the bed wetter hadn't wet the bed. The mother of the bed wetter was shocked and asked her son why he didn't wet the bed. He answered that no one had ever told him not to. In her permissive child rearing, she had forgotten to tell him that bed wetting wasn't the thing to do. This is a true story.

Some of you have kids, some of you don't, but they are the future of this country, of the world in fact and how do you feel about this drug problem that young kids have?

P.S. The old drawing above is the "Farm" where I grew up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Saturday morning the phone rang. It was my Granddaughter's weekend call.

"Do you want to go shopping today?"

I really didn't want to. I'd rather have a go at climbing Mt. Everest than go shopping but because Grandmother's never say no, I answered, "Sure."

Why have I become such a "I hate shopping freak?" Is it because I've seen it all? What can they do to hemlines? Raise them, lower them. Bell-bottoms or skinny leg pants? Just don't bring back corsets. Well that may have been a little before my time, but I got in on the girdles. What a pain in the butt they were and certainly there is a pun intended. My idea of shopping, now, is rummaging through my daughter's Goodwill bags. She buys expensive clothes and they fit. Shopping finished. (And they're free)

Unfortunately, our feet are not the same size so when Ashly asked me what I would shop for today, I said, "Boots."

Our first stop was at a store where college kids shop. I took out my camera and Ashly asked, "Are you blogging?" Oh Oh, busted. She's extremely photogenic but also very camera shy so I didn't want to push it, but I did manage to catch her reflection in a mirror.

"Do you have your pile ready to try on?"

"I don't have a pile. You go ahead to the changing room and I'll look at the boots and shoes."

I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think do.

Now here's a good hiking boot.

Shopping's hard work and burns the calories so we stopped at the Community Co-op (or Health Food Store) for lunch. Ashly gets to pick the stores for shopping but I choose where we eat. It's the only place that has organic food. We managed to hit a couple more stores after lunch.

I did find some boots in Costco. Two pair in fact. The white boots have a warm fuzzy lining and I also got a pair of rubber boots for mucking around in the slush. We ended up our shopping trip in a store called "The Barn." There I found the above puffy down-filled jacket. I already have a closet full of down jackets but what the heck, it's Montana and you can always use another jacket and I won't have to think about shopping for another year.
Adios Amigo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Mundane into Creativity

Don't we all have our little morning routine? Cody begins pacing at 5 AM and I'm ready to get up anyway. The moment she sees me slip my feet into my slippers, she does her little happy dance in circles and softly growls. Oh boy, food's coming!

When I think about it, I hate to be so predictable, but I am. There's nothing more boring than lord-knows, predictability.

Go in the kitchen, turn on Fox TV news, start to prepare Cody's food while her eyes follow my every move. Zap out my OJ on the Citrus Mate,
let Cody outside with a raw bone, prepare my oatmeal and the green drink. Should I put some zing in my routine and make the green drink first? Nawww, that would make my OJ taste funny. So much for zing. OK leave my routine as is.

I half listen to the news, Christine O'Donnell hung around witches in high school.... big deal!

BUT THEN ...... this thing with Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan appears as if it's some big news flash. They both did time in prison and again they're caught with hard drugs. Why are they news worthy? Shrug. I have a lot of theories but too boring to go into right now.

I'm thinking of adding kids Flamenco classes. That's now occupying my mind and I can't waste time on how other children repeatedly waste their lives, especially when they have been given so many gifts.

I'm completely purging my life of dead-wood. Half my living room went to a church garage sale. The room now echos. Needs a few rugs. Yesterday I took another carload to a thrift store and one more load to the dump. The oriental philosophy of less being more is freeing.

I flipped off the TV and turned on a Tangos de Malaga CD. As I settled into my Flamenco passion, the concerns of the mundane evaporated. Free house, free mind and free body. What an amazing change, going from Vanilla Pudding to Creativity. Try it. You'll be surprised.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ya Know Leadbelly, Bill Bloonsey

How about a trip down Boogie Woogie's Memory Lane. (That's Half Past Old and parallel to Outta Shape) Don't worry. I'm not going to be dancing. Found a couple of kids on You Tube, shown at the bottom of the post.
It was around 1943. The war was going on, hot and heavy. My Father was in the Navy, stationed out of Norfolk, Va. It seemed as if every ship in the Navy was stationed at Norfolk and the town was jam packed with wives and kids. Housing was an impossible situation.

Mrs. Powell, a wizened little woman who wore her long cotton stockings rolled at her ankles, supported herself by giving music lessons and renting out rooms of her old Victorian mansion. We thought we had hit on a stroke of luck because she not only rented us 2 big rooms but let us use her kitchen. I was in the 7th grade and she said I needed proper nourishment. That meant grits every morning. Oh well. But there were some great perks. Eventually we became like one family and she and my mother went into business together stretching lace curtains. That's right, lace curtains were the vogue and most housewives were afraid to wash them. So my Mother and Mrs. Powell took in curtains, you might say. It was good for my Mother because my Father was on his ship fighting the war much of the time.

Mrs. Powell's piano students hung around the big old dining room with the grand piano even when they didn't have lessons. Her favorite student was David, a skinny eighteen year old with a crooked spine, unpopular with the girls, but in demand for his piano talent. David became a part of the Madison Street family of sailors and wives. OMG we danced Boogie Woogie on that old wood floor with poodle skirts flying and saddle shoes hitting the floor. I could hardly wait until school was over so I could rush home where there was always music and dancing going on.

It wasn't all happy happy because we were smack dab in the middle of a war, but that's a downer right now and I'd rather you take a peek at the Boogie Woogie dancers. It was so much fun..... still is, only I puff now when I dance it.

Anybody else old enough to remember Boogie Woogie?

Monday, September 13, 2010

What is a Feedlot?

What is a "feedlot?" It is pretty much as the word implies. It's a confinement area where cattle are fattened up for market. Those eye-catching red steaks with the white marbled veins of fat, attractive in plastic wrap in the supermarket are from the premium feedlot cattle.

Montana cattle operations are either grazing or feedlot with feedlot production giving the rancher more bang to the buck. Those of you who are drawn to a pastoral setting of greenery with cattle grazing would be sickened by the inhumane crowded dusty dung-filled areas called feedlots.

Packed in such a small area without being able to turn around, you can hear the distress and fear of the cattle by their constant bellowing. As soon as new cattle are bought at auction, they are de-horned, vaccinated, branded, and castrated. Since the rancher can't vaccinate against all diseases, antibiotics are added to all the food. These antibiotics lose their effectiveness with the overcrowding so stronger drugs are added each month, many of which are dangerous to human health.

What do you get in a cattle pen with each animal producing 25 pounds of manure a day? Flies. Lots of flies. Is there a cure for flies? Sure, large clouds of insecticide sprayed over everything, meaning the cattle's feed and water and in turn drifting to the trees and adjoining crops. The deadly chemical lays on the backs of the cattle and passes through the skin into the tissues that eventually land on your dinner plate.

For faster growth, hormones are either injected or added to the feed. One hormone was DES that was eventually banned by the government as being carcinogenic to humans. But, ranchers stockpile their chemicals and drugs so they are using them years after they may be banned.

Are there laws to protect the consumer against the deadly crimes of putting chemically-laced meat on your table. Of course, there are laws but who is to stand over ranchers and enforce them when the dollar-incentive is their guiding light.

Next time you see that red steak in the meat department, think about this. And by the way, steaks are not naturally "that" red either. Just another cheap carny trick.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is Your Life A Song?

Is your life a song? Is it a scintillating, soul grabbing, emotion retching, gut crying story? Would I dance it, wallow in it, and slurp it up like a smoothie? I just realized my own life is pathetic. How do I know? Here's what happened Saturday morning.

My Granddaughter and I were having our usual little week end chat on the phone with me learning more than I need to know about the loves and flirtations of the young single life.

Especially when she started out with, "Do you know where I spent last night?"

Big alert for the Nana. "No and I don't think I want to."

"It was with Sam."

Sam was the guy the whole family approved of. (Do you think that could trigger a rebellious break-up?) We covered the details but it wasn't at all the shocking scandal you might expect.

We finished our conversation, hung up and I started my morning green drink. I gulped down the drink (shouldn't do that, bad for digestion) and quickly washed the parts of the juicer. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen when my Granddaughter's phone-ring sounded again. I picked up the phone, thinking she had forgotten to tell me more of the Sam story.

She was breathless. "I just wrote a song about you."

"Aaaaaah." I didn't know what to say. It had been fifteen minutes (at the very most) since we talked and no song. Fifteen minutes later, how could she have a song? But, I swear she did. She put the speaker phone down and sang (with guitar) three verses, plus chorus, a song about her Grandmaw. Holy Moly, I was shocked. Songs come to her as a vision, in a flash. The song had a foot-stomp'n, old-tymey waltzey melody with words that would tweak your heart strings into a quivering mass of emotional tears.

OMG..... that's me. That's my pathetic life. I'm a loser. I blew it. I wasted what little talent I had. The chorus was a real dancey beat, repeating"Twirl on, twirl on." The verses told of my Grandpaw who played the fiddle as I danced and my yearning to be a dancer, go to NY and be a star but instead, the babies came and by this time, I'm sobbing for the girl in the song and what a dumb jerk she was.

But I liked it. I more than liked it. It had that hit tune quality that stuck in my head long after we got off the phone. She said her song inspiration had been looking at the old fiddle of my Grandfather's that I had recently passed onto her. I told her I remembered going out in the barn with him and grabbing some hair from the horses tail for his fiddle bow. Oh, that was in the song too. My life in three verses!

But would I change it? Nawww. Not a teeny bit of it, pathetic as it sounds in song. I still danced, though never a star. The picture above was Flamenco in my early 20's. I'm in the middle.

Imagine your life in song. It's actually fun.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's Ended. Bring on Autumn.

Another Labor Day came and left with an abandoned picnic table of a few fat-solidified burgers on a plate, remains of potato salad and beans with sloppy serving spoons buried in the bowls,and cold pasta salads, now floating in the shiny salad dressing. Did I eat this? Nope. I insult hostesses and bring my own food. I also share, of course, but no one’s interested in healthy food. So be it.

On Friday I attended Karen's virtual BBQ and had a great time. The food was great and I could pick and choose from everything imaginable!

Now we can all go home and plant our gardens, (or harvest our fruit this time of the year) as Voltaire says. I guess very few people literally plant gardens anymore so let’s leave it in the abstract intention.

I haven’t thought of Voltaire in years. One of my favorites is his story about the widow whose husband left instructions that she couldn’t remarry until the Ganges changed it’s course. For 6 months, the widow mourned and remained faithful but the next morning found her out in the middle of the Ganges River with a shovel. (So much for the “I’ll be faithful to you Honey for the rest of my life ).

As I wheeled the trash bin to the street this morning, I could already smell autumn in the crisp pre-dawn air. Low clouds had settled over the mountains as a foreboding warning of what's to come. A double edged sword in my book, as it means adios to serious lawn mowing but hello to snow shoveling.

Do I care? Uh uh. I'll just plug in my light therapy bulbs, work on my "Moroccan Days" and kiss the winter blas goodby.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sprouted Rye Bread ..... It Rocks

I don't really use that expression (rocks), it's just to get your attention.

Lately I've had a yen for sprouted rye bread. It's a lot of steps and a bother to make so
I usually end up buying it and eating empty calories. What the heck, my taste buds got their
way and I started soaking the rye. After 2 days, I transfer the soaked grain to sprouting jars
with screen covers. If you look closely, you an see the little white sprouts starting.

When the sprouts are about 1/2 inches long, it's time to put them through the juicer using the blank screen. When I make breads, I often use various herbs, onion, garlic, various veggies, or black olives but today, I didn't want anything that will detract from the strong rye flavor I've been dreaming about.

Below, I'm running the rye mixture through the juicer twice. There are two well known names
of juicers on the market, the Champion, probably the better known juicer because it was
around first, and the Twin Gear Green Star, the one I have. I love mine because it also does
a beautiful job on wheat grass . Usually, you need a separate juicer for that.

I use the dehydrator for baking because I want to preserve all the enzymes so that means I can't have the heat above 105 degrees. I often use the Essene method and bake it out in the sun but the weather has to cooperate for that. I made the loaves fairly flat so there will be a nice crust and the center will be moist. Yummm ..... can hardly wait. Total baking time was about 25 hours
and I flipped them once in between.

Finished product. I broke one open so you could see the inside. As I said, moist and slightly

chewy inside with a firm crust, having all the enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins. What do

you think Millie will say? Ha

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Mountain

Are all these stones yours I said to the mountain.

Pleased but reluctant to admit my praise could move it much,

Shook a little and rained a windrow ring of stones to prove it was so.

Stone felled I got up, addled with dust

And shook myself without much consequence.

Obviously, I said, it doesn't pay to get up too close to greatness.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blogs And Posts You're The Most

Fickle Finger of Fate here again. I think blogging is the kitty's meow. A year ago, Face Book was an accomplishment so I thought I'd give this a whirl. I started with Word Press. Too much for someone who had their coming of age in 1944. I was excited to find Blogger to be more friendly. I had no idea what I was doing, just pushing buttons, and I'm not much beyond that today. I'm a terrible speller and usually forget to use spell check. I'm sure you've noticed. Ha

I received three awards but don't know how to get them on my blog so I just said thanks. My first friend was/is Modern Military Mother. We've also become friends on FB and I'm friends with her British Air Force hubby, Hagar. He's a fly boy who fly's into the war zone and my good thoughts constantly go out to him, dear Milly and the kidlets. Millie is also a damn good writer. "Your book is crying in my kindle. I plead busy." I have so many neat, new friends but I won't begin to mention you for fear I'd forget someone and that would sadden me. ( I sound like I'm accepting an Emmy Award)

Just about everything is pleasing about blogging. I like a good debate. I love it when I write a post and you disagree with me and tell me (in so many words or dang, use the words) that I'm full of crap. My friends are pretty good about that. Once I put on a picture of some chocolate pudding I was touting and Milly said, "It looks like poo!" I could almost hear her say that in her British accent. I nearly choked laughing as I'd just taken a sip of tea. We get some pretty good discussions going and it's wonderful.

I notice some other people's posts where it looks like Narcissist's Life in Silicone Valley. Everyone always "loves" it. Be honest. Squeak up, are you man or mouse? Reminds me of the "yes" men who hung around my husband. He said that was one of the reasons he married me, I was the only person who was honest with him.

I have a passion for most music. It's been my whole life. But, I have a real dominate streak for having control over the button that turns it on/off on my blog. I often post videos but you'll always have a button and a choice. It's very annoying to open a blog and have uninvited strains of "who knows what" burst out at me.

Thank you, all you illustrious bloggers, for the comments and I graciously accept all help with the techie stuff of the computer. :) You're a wonderful lot, you are. I revel in your versatility and your intelligence and wisdom.