Tuesday, February 26, 2019

H is for...

happiness is the obvious choice, but why go for the obvious choice?  I do want to talk about my health, though, so I'll do:   Health & Happiness!  less obvious, and more ambiguous...

literally my 8th post on this blog, all the way back in 2009, was about my weight!  I'm not going to search through 10 years worth of posts, though...wait.  I can just search them by labels, if I labelled them in such a way as to be able to find them...

under the label 'diet':  there are only post from 2018, when I did the Whole30 challenge this past summer.

under the label 'food journal':  the same

and under 'healthy lifestyle':  starting in May, just before I started the Whole30.

I know, I'm not being very body positive, but it's My journey, and I get to talk about it how I like!

I'm sure I've talked about my health & happiness on this blog before, I'm just not searching in a way that's yielding results.  in any case, I weighed in at 245.2 yesterday!  the teen and I discussed what wrestling weight class that would put me in, and if we thought I could beat the guy who wrestles at that weight class in their school.  I've been drinking lemon water in the mornings, taking 10 minutes to be grateful, and doing as many sun salutations as I can - which has literally - pathetically - been one, but I think I'm going to try and push it to two soon.  I'm behind schedule because the full moon and other facts are simultaneously lighting a fire under me/holding me back, and I wanted to get to the page.  I also hadn't checked my blood in ages, so I did that, too, and it was 130 yesterday, and this morning was at 195!  so even though I don't Feel sick, or in any way affected by diabetes, it would behoove me to go back to paying more attention.  this journey on/to/through/about 50 is more than just a birthday, or 'lose 50 before 50' (which I obviously failed miserably), it's about Here I Am.  This Is Where I Find Myself - and not in the *waves hands around* like some animated hippie talking about 'finding himself, man...' way - like my physical location, in a human body, on this timeline.  I've lived by the seat of my pants; the skin of my teeth; flying by night; where the day took me; by my wit, will, and wiles.  time to...do what?  fix it?  I don't know...

I feel really positive right now - it's probably the vitamin D from the sun.  but I have been, once again, taking steps to merge the immensity of my knowledge with the smallness of my mind, and remember to take care of the simple things that can be ever so beneficial to my aging body.  my newest thing is I've been drinking hot lemon water in the morning along with taking the time to be grateful and set my intentions, doing a few (okay, one) sun salutations, taking better care of my teeth, and eating breakfast.

on one recent 'lemon water morning', I was feeling good, so I spontaneously threw in a small shot of apple cider vinegar, and a dropper-full of iodine (supports healthy thyroid function), which I assumed wouldn't taste all that grand, so I added a teaspoon of honey as well.  but Wow, it sure was a kick in the tonic!

so here's the recipe for my newly invented 'morning tonic' gleaned by searching 'best morning tonics', cross-referencing 10 different recipes, and making up one for my own.  they all included lemon and ginger, most had turmeric, some called for honey, less for syrup, some for cayenne or black pepper.  one included apple cider vinegar, one a pinch of cinnamon.  while using coconut water does sound appealing, the addition of parsley does not:

  • coconut water (optional)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated turmeric
  • spoonful of honey (or maple syrup)
  • pinch of cayenne or black pepper
  • 1Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • dropper of iodine (optional)

put all the ingredients in a mug, and pour almost-boiling water over it to halfway full, then add room temperature filtered water to fill the cup.  it makes a great juice with the addition of a beet, a cucumber, and a pear:  https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-brain-boosting-tonic-this-neurologist-drinks-every-morning

I just got my teeth cleaned, too, which is great because I'm starting to take my periodontal health more seriously, now that it's so irreversibly advanced.  so I spend about 20 minutes 'pulling' coconut oil (which is sloshing it around my mouth) before brushing and flossing regularly.  that's approximately 30 minutes to take care of my teeth each day.  I hope it helps!

I don't know what that Periodontitis tooth is so happy about...

cooking Friday dinner kicked my back out this week, so I skipped everything on Saturday (it was the teen's birthday, and we had plans that weren't going to wait for me to do my full 2 hour routine) but got right back to it the next day.  I did 2 sun salutations, even though my back is still all messed up...whatever.  I weigh a lot.  it makes me unhappy, and I believe it makes me hurt.  like my hips, after a whole day of cooking.  and then I have to be easy until I feel better so I can do it again.  I've got to get this weight off.  the yoga - I run out of breath.  I pushed myself to do the two sun salutations today because I felt it was time.  two weeks of doing one, and then my back and hips were hurting, but I pushed it, because I really didn't want to do it at all, but I didn't want to push it, but I also did want to push it, so I just did it, and that's the important part.  I've been at it for three weeks, now, and I can remember a time in the recent past when I did three, so it's time to step it up.  I proved I could drop 30 pounds in a month by simply changing my diet - if I can get my big butt moving, and on a regular basis, I can do so much more.

we did celebrate the teen's birthday - nothing elaborate, just a friend, some favorite snacks, and video games.  a moment in time.  this is happiness, to me - joy in simple pleasures.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

G is for...

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

there's so much to be thankful for, and one of them - for me - is gardens and gardening.  I haven't had much success with fruits or veggies at my current residence, as there isn't enough sunlight that hits my porch for long enough periods of time to grow anything edible, but that doesn't mean I haven't tried, or that I don't continue to try, every spring.  posted below is an image of one of my porch gardens from several years back - it was my first try with cucumbers, and they did so well, we had wonderful homegrown cucumbers all season long.  that garden also yielded radishes, lettuce, broccoli, and one tiny green pepper.  there was tomato blight that year, so I didn't get any, though I do think I tried anyway.  that porch got great light, so it was a pretty successful garden, overall.

cucumbers growing in my porch garden

seed starts from another garden

I grew up with an appreciation for glassblowing because it was something my mother was into, and when I was in my 30's, I worked at several different glassblowing studios and galleries as a 'tour guide', sales person, and packer and shipper, though I did have opportunities to help out in the studio (stretching cane and mixing frit, mostly), and try my hand at blowing, which is much harder than it looks.

three different artists represented by some of my collection

I'm thankful for my dad - for having known someone with such a diverse and interesting history, and being related by blood to his experiences in this world.  I'm thankful for his love and guidance, his discipline and kindness, his largesse and generosity of spirit that are so much a part of who I am.  he could be a hard man, and terrifying at times, but understanding where those reactions came from helped temper his anger, and in the end, we had deep, meaningful conversations around his recognition of what he considered his failings as a parent, which came about as he watched those patterns begin to repeat in the lives of his grandchildren.  while he never met my son outside of my own dreams, or what one might consider to be psychic experiences, I use those later conversations as a way to inform my own parenting so as not to perpetuate cycles of violence in my own family.  sometimes I get it right - sometimes, I have to ask for forgiveness.  I always forgave my dad, and my teen always forgives me, too.  I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to build on that legacy.

my father's gravestone, in the Lower Galilee of Israel

for good measure, I'm throwing in these grapes that are growing at the Israeli archeological site called Tzippori, in what had been the garden area of what is known as the Dionysus House, because they've been growing there for hundreds of years, and I have a special connection to the mythology of Dionysus, Ariadne, the Minotaur, and the Labyrinth.  I really wanted to eat one, but I was reluctant to violate the barriers of an archaeological site to satisfy my own greedy desire, so this image will have to do.  I'm simply grateful to know they are growing there, and that I not only got to see them, but share them.

grapes from a foregone era

link to the ABC Wednesday website, link to participating blogs

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

F is for...

freeze frame, Fernando Poo, Ferdinand, furby's, fungi, fur, fresh hell, figures, faithlessness, Fargo fascist, forlorn, figuratively, father, Frodo, feathers, fig, flenser, fruit, fandom, furniture, frappe, fling, feisty, familiar, flowers, falafel, frabjous, flipping flapjacks, far and away, fathom, feminine, fez, fentanyl, Fandango, fix, finish, first, fib, fire, finger, frigid, fish, for/fore/four, fop, fob, fashion, foot, forget, forge, Fosse, fumble, frisk, freestyle, footloose & fancy-free...

so I've just been brainstorming and throwing out words to play with, and I found a few images I could use for several of them, but...meh.  so I think I'm going to have to go with:


defined as "the state of being untrue".  fully fitting, given two of the comments I received on my last ABC post that I found problematic, which one participant chose to take further, and leave a hateful comment on another post I wrote, that speaks directly and specifically to the struggles people who share my ethnicity continue to face daily (while I don't think the commenter meant to be hateful, their comment was certainly uninformed, and rude).  maybe that's why I never finished a round?  I was already finding it a bit annoying that I make the time to go around and not only read, but comment on, All the links posted - because I thought that was the point of the group share...to build community, and forge connections.  but isn't that just the story of my life?  giving my energy away for free to those who don't return it?  the nature of those comments supposes a rather narrow world-view coupled with prejudice...the misinformation, and the smugness with which they get shared makes doing the work exhausting, but proves the necessity of continuing to tell The Truth.

in any case, not that's it's my job to educate people who don't seem to take the time to educate themselves, I thought I'd use this space to respond to those comments.

  1. not knowing G*psy is a racial slur - IT IS.  period.  google "G*psy is a racial slur".  I've written about this on here before, and I suspect I will write about it again.  I have posted multiple links, multiple times.  there is no further excuse for Anyone to come on this blog and comment otherwise.  and now you know.
  2. most Romani people are settled, and have been for generations.  the hurtful/hateful negatively stereotypical myth of 'the wandering, nomadic G*psy' is a romanticized version of an entire group of people being forced to flee for their lives, over and over again, to avoid slavery, persecution, and genocide.  this falsehood also negatively affects those known as Travellers (a different ethnic group entirely, though we are frequently lumped together), who do tend to lead a nomadic lifestyle due to the nature of their work, and who suffer from laws that criminalize their traditions.
  3. claiming 'color-blindness' or an aversion to 'labels' does not relieve one of the social responsibility to recognize systemic racism, or privilege, within one's world/country/state/town/community/home/personal thoughts and practices.  we have come a long way with women's rights, civil rights, equal rights, human rights, LGBTQ and Trans rights, immigrants' rights, and the rights of those I've unintentionally left out...too far to go backwards, now.  such statements reinforce the fact that one group enjoys a certain privilege over many others - it's time for all good people to rectify that situation in every way, and that work starts at home.
  4. no one gets brownie points for pointing out how 'nice' they are - that should be the baseline across the board, not something to wave as a flag of token ally-ship.  sure, 'treat others as you would like to be treated', but in today's day and age, that means acting to tear down the systems that hold millions in a cycle of poverty and oppression.  pretending otherwise is tantamount to being complicit in these practices.
  5. insisting that there will always be prejudice in the world, and that there's no way to change it simply means, "I enjoy the benefits of a racist system, and I'm not going to do a thing to change that because my life is suitably comfortable."  humans are fully capable of making change, as we have proven time and again, and we will continue to do so, even in the face of violent attacks, and in many cases, death.  history speaks for itself.
  6. 'Classical music' is defined as a European musical tradition lasting from approximately 1750-1830.  a broader definition can reach as far back as the 1400's, but still completely negates the ancient musical traditions of Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Egypt, China, Greece, Rome, and all 54 (+2) countries on the African Continent.  to assert that classical music is the root of ALL music is an incredibly narrow view through which to be seeing, and suggests a deep lack of historical knowledge of more subjects than just music. 

I hope I've managed to let a few nuggets of information into a dark room, here, though experience teaches me it's more likely to have made some people very angry.  good.  the dominant paradigm needs to get used to both being challenged on their outdated presumptions, and feeling somewhat uncomfortable as their positions of privilege in a decaying system begin to crumble and fall.  it wasn't all fun and games for me, either, when I realized how much I benefitted from those same systems that held my friends down, but I've learned a lot, and will continue to learn more as we come together and move forward as an extended global family.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

E is for...


well, he IS 'the King', after all!  my mom, like many American women her age, was/is Mad for Elvis, so I grew up listening to his music, and have seen several of his movies.  I even remember having a poster of him in my room when I was little, because my mom put it up on my wall (I guess my dad wouldn't have wanted it in their bedroom?) but I don't remember the particular image that was on it, or I'd find it to share.  once again, pulling images from my recent trip to Israel, here are the free Elvis mugs we got while enjoying lunch at the Elvis Inn in Jerusalem, the bag one of them came in, and the paper placemat that I have no idea why I saved, but I guess it was so that I could share it here for ABC Wednesday!

one side of the mugs...
...and the other!

there are some people who say that Elvis was Romani (G*psy [this word is a racial slur, but that's a different post]) - one of them is a facebook friend of mine who claims family ties - but since he's not around to confirm or deny, I don't get involved in that discussion.  there's a Whole Bunch of source material, though, in case You want to...I'll post them below.  please note that some of these articles are filled with misinformation, insensitive slurs, and outright lies.  if you're interested in learning fact from fiction, this is a good place to start.

English detail of placemat - 15 Things You Should Know About Elvis Presley

my mother and my teen hangin' with the King!

search results for 'was Elvis Romani'?





links to wikipedia entries with reliable source material:




click here to go to the link!