Friday, December 28, 2012

Brush-a Brush-a Brush-a

Brush-a    Brush-a    Brush-a  New Ipana 
A jingle from a commercial during the 50's. Ipana was a leading toothpaste. It's still being made but mostly sold in other countries. I've rarely used toothpaste in my life. Don't withdraw in shock and give me that look.  I still have all my teeth.  Do you?

If I feel the need to use toothpaste with a regular brush, I use Vicco, made in India. It's rather brackish looking and lacks the added incentive of a sweet taste, in other words it tastes like crap, but it does the job. 

But mostly I just use a Peelu Miswak, a twig from a Salvadora Persica tree.  It's a natural toothbrush in Middle Eastern countries. The ones I use come from Pakistan.  When you get it,  it's a moist twig and comes in that long plastic in the photo. One tears away a short portion of the bark and you can moisten in your mouth and kind of form the bristles with your teeth. Very effective for removing plaque.

Here's some boring info.... the salvadora persica extract is comparable to oral disinfectants and anti-plaque agents..... as in triclosan and chlorhexidine. The twig gives a mild protection to your teeth.
(I'm not connected with the above products in any way nor am I trying to sell them.... just trying to think of something interesting to post on.  Ha ha ha ha)
Below is a short funny commercial video of Bucky Beaver and Ipana during the 50's. Listen, they are really touting that poison fluoride back then. The same dumb-down toxic waste Hitler used in drinking water in camps for control and the same ....(I was going to use a-not-so-nice word but since I'm a Lady, I won't)  ah er stuff they put in all our drinking water now.  Adios Amigos


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Somebody Is Taking Over My House

After restoring the barn loft from pack rats, I knew I needed cats.  I got 2 from the shelter.  The big orange guy was friendly to the point of being a nuisance.  The Puddy above wouldn't let me near her but I was in a hurry so I just said, "I'll take that one too." Being chums didn't seem to be a requirement for an 8 year old barn cat.

It wasn't until I got her home that I realized how pathetic she was with her thin, stubbly hair over a bag of bones. Her eyes were squinty all the time and her head sort of wobbled. She made sure there was at least 15 feet between us.

There have been no cats in my house since the kids were little so I set out to research cat nutrition.  Here's what I found out.  Because cats are carnivores, they do the best on a raw meat diet.  Cats need a lot of water and Taurine with each meal.  Wet food is better for them than dry. I already make Cody's (dog) raw food so I have the grinder, a Tasin 108. Just one hitch, Puddy didn't like wet food. She must have always been fed dry food and it's probably the reason she's so sick.

All summer I was "tearing-out-my-hair" busy and I didn't have time to make animal food so I mixed up dry and canned food with water and sprinkled a little taurine,  N-Zymes and salmon oil on top. Gradually she started eating some of the wet food. Actually she had to because it was stuck all over her dry food :)  The best dry food I found was a brand called Origen.  It's 80% animal, 20% veggies/fruits and NO GRAIN.  Yay....... that was good enough for the summer.

Come winter, I moved back to town. Someone took the big orange cat and Puddy had to come with Cody and me.  Getting the cat and dog to socialize is another story, for another time. Puddy was warming up to me but still held her distance.  Getting her into the moving carrier left me with scratched arms and frustration.  Now my life started running at a slower pace and I would have time to make the raw cat food.
I follow Dr. Lisa Pierson's raw cat diet. For meat, I use poultry and rabbit (when I can get it), liver and other organ meats.  I grind the meat and add a slurry of water, supplements and sometimes eggs.  For supplements I use taurine, vitamins E and B, salmon oil and a little kelp.  It's so easy. As Lisa Pierson says, "It takes less time than watching a lousy sitcom." Put it in small jars and pop it into the freezer.

She eats 3 small meals a day.  I give her a heaping tsp. of the raw food mixed with a little water. On top I sprinkle taurine, salmon oil, N-Zymes, Solid Gold Sealmeal and Forti-flora.  A few times a week I also sprinkle a little diatomacous earth to discourage parasites and bugs.  The Solid Gold Sealmeal is all vitamins and minerals. It's like a miracle in a jar. Someone said, it will grow hair on a bucket.  Probably so, because Puddy's scrawny hair is becoming thick and lustrous.

I am absolutely amazed at her progress. She is not only getting more beautiful each day, her personality has completely changed. She became a normal, friendly cat, who now sits very still when I brush her or clean her ears.  The pictures are all recent. I wish I had taken pictures of the before but I was far to busy and "who'd a thunk" there would be this much improvement. She almost looks like a kitten again.
I saw Les Miserables Christmas Day. It has always been one of my favorite classics and I was curious how it would work as a musical.  It definitely works and I was enthralled. I had no idea Hugh Jackman could sing.  I'd like to see it again.
Dr. Lisa Pierson's link is HERE.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Few Silly Thoughts

No, Cody didn't really go missing but it's suddenly tough to share when you've been TOP DOG. Cody has a huge laundry basket full of toys and all Puddy wants is a broken elastic band and a twistie. Go figure. 

Well Happy Dec 22. I see we're all still here. Is Nibiru just hanging out there like a big bat, winding up for the fly-by? So rumor has it, but I have other things to think about.

I really like my life as it is. No change, please. I get annoyed when a fella extra likes me. Ok, OK, you got it out of me. It's the knife sharpening man. He goes out of his way to talk to me and twice he won't let me pay for my knives. That's embarrassing. Making the dog and cat food requires chopping whole chickens and bones and even the best cleaver is only sharp for 3 or 4 batches. The outcome, I visit the knife sharpener's mobile often.  He's kinda cute, intelligent and makes me laugh. Knife sharpening is just his post retirement old age hobby.  But I'm finished trying to impress a fella. The last guy I dated, I'd put a paper bag over MY HEAD.  I'd be so embarrassed for dating outside my species. Well, close to it. The knife sharpener guy is probably an 8.

My youngest son had a winter solstice, end of world and birthday party last night. He turned 50. The way time zips past, I could turn that number around.  Since I now live in Helena, I didn't want to drive the hundred miles on icy roads. He's always been such a sweetie and invites me to his parties. I drop in for only a short stay when I can, because I appreciate that he asks me but I doubt if they need a mother hanging out at their parties. Last July 4th,  when his wife was out of town, he insisted I accompany him to a friend's party. He assured me there would be a lot of parents there and indeed it was so. We all had a good time and his friends are neat to include their parents.

Well I  think most of you are taking a bloggy snooze until after Christmas.  May your Christmas star be bright and shiny and you go out and spread peace and good will. Oh deck them halls  :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Kitchen Smells Like My Grandmothers

I just ate the best-tasting shitaki mushroom of any I've ever tasted.
I'm growing them from a kit. Absolutely fantastic.

Below you see jars of fermenting veggies. Some kimchi and some assorted veggies. I use different  herbs for different flavors. A little bit with each meal keeps the good bacteria in the gut.

This is a jar of Irish Moss gel. It was fresh Irish Moss that has been thoroughly washed and then blended with water into the gel below. It acts as a thickening agent with various recipes. My favorite is using it in raw cacao pudding.

This is a shelf in my fridge freezer. The little jars contain frozen cat food. I follow Dr. Lisa Pierson's  cat food recipe. I have a Tasin 108 electric grinder that pulverizes whole chicken and rabbits, bones et al. I add a lot of supplements and here is the raw cat food. I took a pathetic-looking scroungy cat from the shelter and started feeding her a raw diet with added supplements. At first she wouldn't come within 20 feet of humans. Now she's gorgeous, silky fur and friendly with everyone. Blame it on the food.

Below is a 4 gallon crock that is half filled with sauerkraut. There's a plate on top of the kraut and a rock on top of the plate to put pressure on the kraut. Kraut is also wonderful for the digestion. If you've never eaten home-made sauerkraut, you ain't eaten kraut at all.  I grew up on it.

And last is a tonic in the making. It's been fermenting 6 weeks and I could strain it now (you just use the liquid) but I haven't had the time.  It can ferment longer and I think I'll let it go a couple more months.  This tonic will cure most everything. NO KIDDING. This summer I had a lung congestion and I was hacking around for a month. My daughter had made this tonic and forgot about it.  She remembered it when she saw how miserable I was and brought me some. I took a little of it twice a day for 3 days and like magic, my lungs felt normal again. No more coughing. There's a video of a man making it on YouTube. It's called the Master Tonic if you are interested in making your own.

These are a few of my health secrets. I also just came off of a 2 week water fast. That, my Bloggy Friends, is 14 days without food.  I've done periodic water fasts all of my adult life.  I laugh when younger people gasp and tell me that fasting isn't good for me. I tell them I'll listen to them when they are 83.  Adios Bloggy friends.  My love and good health to you.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Some Things I Did This Summer

My Granddaughter's band played at an outdoor concert. While they were packing up instruments I noticed 5 Hunky young cowboys hanging around the stage. I said to Ashly, "I think you have some fans waiting." She's a very gracious young lady and always makes time for her fans.

Ashly (Granddaughter) Visits With Her Fans After a Concert
L. Granddaughter Ashly, Center, Me, R. Daughter Lisa, Front Little Girl Sat in for a song with band
A new propane wok cooker. The maiden voyage and I was scared of the thing so my son
showed me how it works. I later got a new wok with a long handle. Those little handles
were ouchy burny. The flame is terrific and it's fast. Love it.

On Saturdays I usually dropped in at the Farmers Market. This is a Mother and her 2 little girls, giving the shoppers some "down home country music." It was amusing the way they started out on a slower tempo for the first tune but the one little girl wanted it faster and added speed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Fine Mess You Got Us In, Ollie

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were comic film stars way, way, way back. Whenever they got into one of their antics, Laurel would say, "Another fine mess you got us in, Ollie."


Marilyn (my friend of 50 plus years) was staying with me this summer. We wanted to gather stone fossils embedded with plant designs that we use for soap holders. I knew of a deserted canyon very near the ranch where the mountains were oozing with fossil shale. We were excited to be on this fossil hunt as we grabbed our baskets and hurried from my little pickup. I've never seen another car in this remote canyon and the feeling of being the only two people in the world, hung heavy over us. We walked along the roadside and found gorgeous specimens as we chatted and ooow'd and aaa'd over each fantastic rock.

Suddenly I heard a rustling sound from behind a nearby bush. It wasn't Cody (the dog) for I could see her up ahead with Marilyn. Panic set in as I looked back at the truck, never realizing how far we had walked. OMG, I suddenly remembered we were intruding on the home territory of bears and mountain lions. I called to Marilyn, "Run back to the pickup. We could be in danger. "

You all know how old I am, so I'm not going to say it but we turned tail and ran like 2 twenty year olds. As we were running and huffing, Marilyn managed to get out the words, "Another fine mess you got us in, Ollie."

Did she have to say that because who can run when they're laughing so hard. That phrase took precedent over fear for the moment. We were still laughing as we reached the safety of the ranch.

This stone is a good soap holder that I've been using by the kitchen sink.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Update

Household-'purging is finally near it's end. I began this quest right after the A-Z and fought with myself all summer over " sentiment don't mean a thing, if you ain't got the room...... do wop, do wop, do wop. " (Only you oldies will know the song I'm punning with.) "The Good Samaritan Thrift Store is definitely better off with my discards. Everyone knows the stress of moving from one house...... consider moving out of two. At times I wanted to pull my hair out, but thankfully, no wigs needed..

It has been a summer of discovery. For one thing, I discovered cats again..... not really by choice but rather by necessity. After years of being a rental and falling into neglect, the barn became an attraction to pack-rats. That's something you don't want to see every day. After the clean-up by Bob and Geno, I needed a strong rat-deterrent and what better than a cat.

I chose 2 eight-year old felines from the shelter. They were socialized and old enough to stick around but they looked pathetic with their distended bellies and thin dull fur.  Oh, oh, here I go again. As if I don't have enough to do, I studied cat nutrition and began making my own cat food (along with Cody's dog food). It payed off big. A way to go yet, but they slimmed down, coats began to shine and get thicker and they now follow me around whenever I'm outside.

Names?.... I just call one "Puddy Tat" and the other "Puss Kitty."  The names seem to agree with them because they come when called.

Below is a short video I put together of them hanging out in front of their barn and playing on the woodpile.  I think tiny critters must hang out there.  The background music is written and played by Flamenco Guitarist, Paul Renslow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back to the Country

Dear Bloggy Friends, 
My life has become an old movie. A chick flick, at that. Did you see "Under the Tuscan Sun?" My life, sort of. The female lead takes a trip to Italy to recover from a divorce and on impulse buys a charming but dilapidated villa. She hires a family group of Polish men to remodel the house. It is an inviting little flick as she becomes involved in each of their lives and YES, finds happiness for herself.

I'm moving back to the country, where the buildings have become stagnant and fences have drooped. Bob and Geno are the whiz kids who supply me with laughs, as I watch them take on a multitude of jobs. Each job is their masterpiece. They're building a greenhouse and often add little surprises for me. Today they ordered the dirt for the raised beds. I made a little video showing a big fancy truck shooting the dirt from a conveyor belt onto just the correct spot.

As in "Tuscan Sun," their family has become my adopted family and I share in the problems. The next big project is taking apart the studio floating dance floor and making a dance floor in the red barn that you will see in the video. Both men are talented; Geno an accomplished artist and Bob, an agronomist and jazz musician. We've become a collage of weird but meaningful projects.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Z for Zenith

During April I'll be posting daily in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is Hunzas.
Today is Z for Zenith.

People constantly search for the Zenith lifestyle that produces the greatest benefits to health and happiness. Most of the world has been tossed rhinestone studded glamor as the ultimate possession for happiness.

In America's quest for prestige, money and power, we have polluted our land and water and brought diseases from eating chemically grown food.

Hunza people, with their simple, organic life style rate historically among the happiest/healthy people of the world. They serve as a model for achieving zenith joys in life.

I'll raise my glass of apricot juice to these simple, sincere people, in hopes and prayers that the warring countries of the world leave them in peace and learn to follow their beautiful way of life.
Thank you dear bloggy friends, for taking this journey with me and catching a glimpse of how Hunza land compares to our own country of a few hundred years ago.
Adios Amigo

Friday, April 27, 2012

Y for Yak

During April I'll be posting daily in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My these is the Hunzas.
Today is Y...... for Yak.

The Yak is a long-hair domesticated bovine animal that is used for various mountain treks in Hunza and throughout Pakistan. Yaks are sturdy and can carry the weight of a whole family. A popular sport is Yak racing. I bet that is a trick as most bovine animals don't look very swift to me. But the Hunzas love it and I imagine a little Yak betting goes on too. Perhaps many an apricot tree was lost on Yak bets. :)

Since the Karakaram Highway opened, glacier climbing has been the popular sport for tourists. Yaks are the perfect pack animal for getting the climbers and their gear to the mountain. I think that is neat. There's gotta be a Yak joke in here somewhere, but I can't think of one. :)
Maybe rhyming Pat or Al can think of one.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

X for Xanthous

During April I'll be posting daily in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is X .......for Xanthous.

Hunza people are fair-skinned with blue or brown eyes. They are descendants of soldiers from Alexander's army when he invaded India. The isolation provided by the rocky peaks of the Himalayas made a natural protection from early invaders. Their small valley provided life sustenance for survival.

Hunzas are strong, good-looking people. Dr. Jensen said all Hunza children are happy, robust kids. He volunteered he rarely heard one cry and never heard whining or demanding. At the time he visited them, there was no dentist in the valley and he remarked on the strong, white beautiful teeth of everyone.


P.S. I really did a number on myself. I still feel like a truck ran over me and it hurts to breath. I must have thought I was 20 and I'll tell you what I did. I took up a fairly large patio with those big orange Mexican-looking bricks, loaded them in the pickup and made 4 trips to the ranch and unloaded them. I know, stupid, but I didn't have any adverse feeling when I was doing it. Boy, I sure do now. But, the exciting part is, I'm using those stones for the aisles between the raised beds of my new greenhouse.  :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

W for Water

During April I'll be posting daily in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My these is the Hunzas
Today is W..... for Water

Hunza water comes from glacial streams that rush down the rocky mountains from an elevation of 25,000 ft. in the Himalayas.

Glacial water is invigorating, life enhancing and contains a high alkaline PH with an extraordinary amount of active hydrogen.

The above picture is a water wheel that gives them access to the ice cold glacial water.

Here we find the true "fountain of youth" that adds longevity and health to a group of people who have lived in isolation for over a thousand years.

Along with an all organic diet, the living glacial water has attracted health seekers from around the world to study the Hunza lifestyle in all it's simplicity.

P.S. Dear Bloggy friends, Thank goodness I have the rest of my posts ready. I've been working very hard at the ranch and did something, or pulled something in my neck. I can barely move and can't turn my head. I'll try to do comments and read your blogs but if I can't, you'll know why. Thank you for being so patient with me. Love from Manzanita

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

V is Vegetarian

During April, I'll be posting on the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is Hunzas.
Today is V.... for Vegetarian

Hunzas are not vegetarians, although they are often identified as such. Meat is a rare pleasure because livestock is not abundant. Neither do they raise chickens because they peck at seeds and seeds are more valuable than money in Hunza.

The climate is favorable for apricot trees and they grow in abundance. Apricots are eaten raw in the summer and dried for the winter. The seeds provide the all-important oil that is used for cooking, salads, medicine and a cosmetic for skin and hair.

All food is organic and they want it to remain organic. After an insect infestation, the Queen (or Rani) refused to let the Pakistani government spray chemicals on the trees. They got rid of the bugs by putting ashes in the water.

Later, the Rani was visiting relatives in a neighboring area and she discovered they had allowed the government to spray for the bugs. She was horrified and refused to eat for the remainder of her stay.

(Sound a bit familiar) :)

P.S. Dear Bloggy friends, Thank goodness I have the rest of my posts ready. I've been working very hard at the ranch and did something, or pulled something in my neck. I can barely move and can't turn my head. I'll try to do comments and read your blogs but if I can't, you'll know why. Thank you for being so patient with me. Love from Manzanita


Monday, April 23, 2012

U For Ultar

During April, I'll be posting in the A-Z Blogging Challenge
My theme is Hunzas.
Today is U..... for Ultar

The Karakoram Mountain range in Pakistan boasts of 8.000 peaks. If you travel the Karakoram Highway through Hunza , you will pass by Ultar Peak, a sub-range.

While not being one of the highest peaks of the Karakoram, Ulta Sar is immediately noticed because of it's dramatic rise above the surrounding terrain at 17,388 ft.

Ultar Sar is distinguished as being unclimbed. During the 80's and 90's over 15 expeditions made unsuccessful attempts to conquer Ultar but as yet, the majestic mountain remains unchallenged.

Ultar sends out severe signals that says she wants to be left alone. A few expeditions made the climb to the first summit, but falling rock, bits of glacier, horrendous snow storms with high winds are no match for even the most determined climber. So she stands in solitude, ever waiting for that victorious challenge.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

T for Terrace

During April I'll be posting in the A-Z Blogging Challenge
My theme is Hunzas.
Today is T..... for Terraces

I had to throw in another T for Telephone. The picture below is a Hunza man climbing the pole to use the telephone. That reminded me of the old TV show "Green Acres." Anyone remember that? Oliver always had to climb a pole to use the phone.

How do you produce a garden out of rock? It is a true art form that has been practiced from ancients to the present by those who live in the Himalayas. This staircase effect is made by layering soil over coarse stones and clay. It is continually refreshed by adding silt that is brought down the mountain by the irrigating water from the glaciers.
Fields rise up the mountain, tier by tier, often reaching over 50 tiers. Hunzas have devised an irrigation system from the mountain streams cascading down from the demanding glaciers.

An epic feat of simple engineering is performed by rock walls that slope up the mountainside. The huge rocks are expertly fitted together to keep the precious soil from escaping down the mountain.

Here are the structures that have produced organic food for centuries. You have only to look at the beautiful people to understand this staircase soil is producing nourishing, nutritiously-balanced food.

Friday, April 20, 2012

S for Silk Route

During April I'll be posting on the A-Z Blogging Challenge,
My these is the Hunzas.
Today is S ...... for Silk Route.

Silk Road is an ancient Chinese trade road that connected East South, and Western Asia. For 2,000 years the route was the main highway used by merchants but as dangers increased, free market goods were sent by water.

Silk from China was the major trade item but other luxuries were traded, for example, medicines, jewels, glassware, musk, spices, ivory, carpets and tea.

The name conjures up one continuous road, but it was a series of roads and agents who traveled various routes.

Hunza was an important stop on the Silk Road. It was the last resting place and also the highest point on the Southern route from Iran.

The caravans carrying precious goods were as anxiously awaited, as was the pony express in the early settlement days of America.
Scenes from the old musical, "Music Man" comes to mind as the kids waited daily for the Pony Express to bring their band instruments. As out of the loop, as the Hunza people were, I can imagine the excitement when the caravans arrived on the Silk Route.

R for Rakaposhi

During April I'll be posting on the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is R..... for Rakopshi.

Rakaposhi is a moutain in the Karakoram Mountain range to the South of Hunza in Northern Pakistan. The name means snow covered and indeed it is. It's beauty is breath-taking and that would take precedent over it's rank in elevation with competing peaks. (25,551 ft)

Between the valley and the snow are huge barren precipices, except where the slopes allow terraced vegetation. The terraces are brilliant in summer with green and touched with yellow from the corn tassels. The glacier rivers add the touch of blue.

To complete the color palate, in autumn the forest green of the fruit trees turn into scarlet, gold, vermillion and bright pink, all against the back-drop of the majestic Rakaposhi. Here is a canvas painted by nature, the most astonishing artist.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q for Queen Rani

During April I'll be posting daily on the A-Z Blogging Challenge
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is Q ...... for Queen Rani

The male leader of Hunza was called Mir, meaning leader of a tribal group. Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan was the last official Mir of Hunza when it became a part of North Pakistan in 1974. Below is a picture of Queen Rani and her husband, Mir Khan.

Dr. Bernard Jensen had spent time with the Hunzas and stayed at the palace of the Mir and Queen. I plied him with questions about the Queen...... what she looked like, how she dressed, all the usual questions one woman asks about another.

Although they are Muslim, the women enjoy freedom. They seldom cover their face in public and the marriage is more equal, as in a Western marriage. The little "Jackie Kennedy" pillbox hat is traditional for women, although Queen Rani isn't wearing one in the above picture. Evidently some of the younger women prefer the Western style of dress.

The women are beautiful and dare I say, suffer from radiant health. Dr. Jensen lavished praise on Queen Rani's charismatic personality and the beautiful gifts she sent home with them.

Everyone in the palace spoke excellent English and their children had English tutors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P for Pakistan

During April, I will be posting daily in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is P ..... for Pakistan

Pakistan is a country about twice the size of California. The form of government is a Parliamentary Democracy that has been in existence since 1947.

Pakistan is neither an ally or enemy of the US and I'm not writing about the politics between the two countries but I'm only interested in Pakistan as a whole, since the Hunza's country has become a part of Pakistan.

As I mentioned in other posts, the land shortage of the Hunza geography will not support any new families. When Hunza children leave home, they go to the larger cities of Pakistan or join the Pakistani army.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O for Opportunity

During April, I'll be posting daily on A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is O..... for Opportunity.

Opportunity in Hunza? There is no opportunity in Hunza. The only export they have is people. The valley will not support a growing population. Most young adults leave the valley for other areas in Pakistan where they seek jobs and send money and goods back to their parents. The country has no exports; therefore they have no money to purchase imports.

The Hunza educational system is more advanced than the schools of the neighboring villages, so the young people are well prepared to seek work when they leave home.

Hunza people are happy and grateful for what they have. This separation of family is the way it has always been and will continue but now, the modern Karakaram Highway brings families together more often.

Since the completion of the Karakaram, tourists arrive for some of the festivals and stay in the hotel for a few days. Groups of climbers are welcome to spend a few days as they travel to the glaciers. Even though Hunza is now part of Pakistan, their isolation pretty much remains as it has always been for over a thousand years.

Monday, April 16, 2012

N for Nowruz Festival

During April I'll be posting daily on the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas
Today is N....... for Nowruz Festival

Persian New Year .... 21'st of March, is a cultural festival that welcomes Spring. It's a time to offer up prayers for a good harvest season. It is not only the 1st day of spring, but the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar.

People gather in their respective villages for prayers, dancing and merriment. Most of the activities are held outdoors with the Himalayas as a dominating background.

After the Arab-Muslim conquest of Persia, the Nowruz Festival became the symbol of cultural resistance against Arab imperialism with alliance of the Sunni and others. The ultimate result was the development of mysticism and Shia Islam.

It was in this environment that Nowruz, the ancient festival of Persia was re-invented by Shia and Sufi as a symbol of the resistance.

Well, it looks like a good time, too.


Friday, April 13, 2012

M for Music

During the month of April I'll be posting daily in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme will be the Hunzas.
Today is M ...... for Music.

Have you ever noticed that happy people sing, dance and make music.

Hunza people are especially musical and their songs fill the valley as both men and women work side by side in the terraced gardens.

From my reading and conversations with Dr. Jensen, there seems to be a more liberal understanding between men and women than with most people of the Muslim religion. The women wear bright, vivid colors and do not normally cover their faces. The women dance and perform dances that resembles Flamenco.

"The Aga Khan Silver Jubilee Band" is their band of some renown. It was established during the 1990's and has become popular entertainment at the Hunza festivals and programs.

This is a group dance of the Hunzas performed during the "Apricot Blossom" festival.


L for "Land of Just Enough"

During April, I'll be posting on the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme will be the Hunzas
Today is L......for "Land of just Enough."

"Land of Just Enough" is the Hunza slogan. There is no plethora of any One thing, but there seems to be an ample balance of food, water, socialization , religion and strong and healthy bodies. Schooling, high on their agenda is responsible for their literacy rate to be the highest as compared to other similar districts of Pakistan

The Hunza people have an odd method of counting age. It's not based on longevity but certain events that have occured in a person's lifetime. When their isolation was first uncovered in the 1930's. It was thought they lived into the hundreds and even age 130 was not unusual. But that was a myth and they age like everyone else.

Hollywood had produced 2 movies based on the Hunza life, "Lost Horizons" and "Shangra La." The movies are a beautiful myth of the people living hundreds of years but only as long as they remain in their valley. During a blinding snowstorm, lost explorers stumbled, half-dead, upon the valley of eternal bliss and happiness. There's a romance story, secrets, intrigue and I won't tell you more in case you've never seen the movie and you sometime want to.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K for Karakaram

During April, I'll be posting every day for A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is K.......for Karakaram.

Karakaram is the name of the mountain range in the Himalayas where Hunza is situated. The Karakaram Highway (also the KKH) has cut a road through the perilous mountains and now opens up Hunza with easy access to the world.

Hunza was securely protected for thousands of years due to the natural geography of the mountains. The trail that lead to their kingdom was passable only by humans, not even pack animals. In some places the path was less than 20 in. wide, flanked by a rock wall on one side and an 8,ooo ft. death-plunge on the opposite. At other spots, logs crossed bare chunks of missing path. Nimble of foot, the Hunza porters were able to travel this treacherous path with very few mishaps.

China and Pakistan jointly took on the construction of KKH. The huge undertaking started in 1966 and completed in 1986. It connects China to the Arabian Sea through a brilliant feat of engineering and a marvel of human endurance, ingenuity and determination at an altitude of 4,693 ft.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J for Jensen

During April, I'll be posting on the A-Z Blogging Challenge.
My theme is the Hunzas.
Today is J ....... for Jensen.

Doctor Bernard Jensen

Dr. Jensen, an advocate of whole foods, is one of my heroes. I began reading his books and following his health advice when I was quite young.

For years, Dr Jensen tried to get permission from the Hunza King so he might enter their valley and study the food and health. His letters were never answered and he was about to give up when he was invited to accompany a British climbing group who were headed for the Hunza valley.

Upon arrival in Hunza, Dr. Jensen and his wife were invited by the King (Mir) to spend time in the palace while the others climbed glaciers.

The above picture is Dr. Jensen with the Mir.

To go round robin, I too, had waited years to actually attend a workshop with Dr. Jensen. When he was in his 90's, he gave a 2 week workshop high in the Rocky Mountains, outside of Helena, Montana. My granddaughter, who was 14 at the time, and I, eagerly attended the workshop for 2 of the most illuminating weeks of our lives.

Along with sharing his lifetime of natural health advice, he also recounted his precious moments spent with the Hunzas.

Two magical gifts were bestowed upon me; two weeks with my hero and first hand information about my life-long love affair of a vicarious adventure into Hunza land. How lucky can one "gal" get?????