Praying For...Samantha my dear six-year-old granddaughter, who is having a great time learning to speak Chinese. We've lately been talking on the phone; she's turned into quite a conversationalist. I also pray for mothers and fathers around the world that they have the resources, time, kindness, and love to care properly for their children. I watched a documentary about a disease called Noma, caused by malnutrition and unhygienic practices. It is a horrible usually fatal gum infection, which develops into gangrene of the face. If the child lives, the gangrenous parts fall off leaving them horribly disfigured and outcast. A hundred years ago, it was common all around the world, but now is only found in Africa and Asia.
Dr. Ginger, Medicine Woman...I developed a new formula for intestinal health that also fights insomnia. It makes a delicious cup of evening herbal infusion of which my tester has given rave reviews so far. I'm going back on the incurables for another 30 days, since I feel awesome on but not so great off. I added a new blood building juice to my line-up, beet w/greens, carrots w/greens, fennel, ginger, and apple. Beets, carrots, and fennel apparently work in harmony to alleviate anemia and excessive menstruation. There are other benefits of these ingredients to be sure, but anemia has been one of my biggest problems since age 12. I thought fennel would be horribly strong in juice, but it is mellow and satisfying. I understand the controversy about carrot tops but have not had trouble with them.
Bibliophile...after last week's entry, I was surprised to learn of our weekend plans. We stayed in a wonderful 100-year-old beach house on Vashon. There was a little bookshelf that I of course scoured in the four days we were there. I knew of Betty McDonald, the Vashon resident of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle fame, but didn't know she had written books for adults. While at the beach house, I found and read Onions in the Stew about living on Vashon in the 40s. It seems the island has grown since then but not a lot. It was a delightful read, since I was staying in a home very much as she described. Sent Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to Samantha, since she is grandchild of the week. Gotta love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
Cucina Fresca...I used a Le Creuset dutch oven for the first time on Vashon. Although I eat a primarily raw vegan diet, I made a batch of roasted root vegetables. Why? We didn't bring our juicer or blender on our trip. We had to eat something. Oh, my....roasted vegetables are ever so much tastier than those cooked in a 9X13 glass baking pan, my usual mode. So...even though I don't often eat cooked foods, I'll be saving up for one of these lovely dutch ovens to make this fantastic favorite dish.
Duds...I love denim jackets. My old one was so worn out that I gave it a nice burial. But I missed it. We were at Costco buying new work shirts for tax season, when I saw a table of Levi women's jackets at a terrific price. I snatched one up. At home I pinned my MIL's cameo broach over the pocket. I love wearing this with a blouse, skirt, and boots.
Sound of Music...living in a condo has advantages, true, but one disadvantage is the noise problem. My neighbors are rarely heard, and I want to return the favor. I know sound travels because of the two dogs in our building. So...I only play my violin on weekdays after 9 am. It's cramping my playing style, but I'm getting used to it. I sure wish I could have my piano here. Every time I start playing again, it seems we leave again. Maybe someday I'll get to make that part of my life.
Walk with God...enjoying scripture studies using Come Follow Me and Doctrine and Covenants Sunday School Studies this year. Also listening to the Bible audio, Tabernacle Choir music, and Conference Talks during my chores.
Brush and Pen...for some years, I've pursued learning to draw with graphite and colored pencils with a small amount of success. I love it. Now I'm learning to watercolor. Apparently, scientific research shows art positively affects mental and physical health, reducing stress, and stimulating the creative brain as reading and such stimulate cognitive function. It seems, creativity increases life expectancy, wellness, and sociability. Nevertheless, for me watercolor painting has been so satisfying, because it requires me to be more spontaneous and accepting. Although I plan and draw the intended article, little serendipitous happenings add their own touches to my paintings. I must be more accepting of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it. I must let go of perfectionism and learn that photos are for exactness; painting is for suggestion. Now when I write to family and friends, I paint a watercolor card, so combining two of my favorite activities. This week Sammy will get an alpaca and Grandma will get mushrooms.
Viewing Pleasure...watched Enchanted April, a visually compelling film about four women on vacation in Italy. It was rather odd, but there was one scene I especially liked. The oldest women of this foursome did a watercolor of bouganvilla on the varanda for her nature journal. Plus, I love the dresses and long hair of the early 1920s.
Garden Gate...although I live in a 3rd floor, walk-up, -600 ft2 condo, I still want to have a garden. Why? We blend, juice, and salad 4ish lbs. of organic greens per day at $3.00 per pound. If I can grow my own, which I've done for years in another much, much larger place, I know I can save bundles of money and have fresher produce. Thinking of carrying bags of dirt up all those stairs, I had visions of sprained knees and sore backs. So I began to explore and found this method. I started my first tray and hope to do more if all goes well. I can't grow my old favorites of sunflowers and buckwheat without dirt, but there are lots and lots of other choices to keep me happy. I also started some jars of sprouts this week. Gotta love sprouts.