Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Devil: HP Ad


I dunno about you, but I think every woman in America would want to look THAT trim and fit when 7 months pregnant.

I think I smell a liar.

I think Michael Palin would be a better choice...

Barbie Values

Sarah Palin : "As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?

I can tell you this, aside from that little incident with a shotgun and a certain face, the vice president does not go out Moose or Bear hunting often. And, shucks, no seal clubbing, either.

This is "wrong". On so many levels.

So, um, yeah...against gun control. Against abortion. For the death penalty. Non believer in evolution. Critter killer. Homophobic. Not clear on the job description.

I think that McCain offering up this as a VP choice after only spending less than 3 hours with this woman in person is sorta like asking someone to move in with us without ever going on a real date. And staying for at least four years. And putting all their shotguns in our closet. (or worse on a gun rack in our Big Ol' Truck). (A truck full with that Oil from the pipeline they lined up through the wilderness don'tcha know?)

Nice decor! Maybe she hangs tinsel from the bear's teeth during the Christmas Season, sorta like, ah, Holiday Floss. (btw, how DO you dust a bear like that? Vacuum?)

Oh, yeah, and you can say "Goodbye" to stem cell research if "they" win, too. I don't get's is okay to blow away a beautiful animal like a Grizzly, but not okay to abort a seriously deformed fetus which could kill the mother if brought to term?

But I hear she bakes *wonderful* cookies for the press corps.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon...

When I saw the banner ad for career builder on top of this article I almost choked on my oatmeal.

Thank you John McCain. Thank you so very much. You just made it abundantly clear why all those loose Hillary votes will be storming over to our side.

Good job, fido.

Now, go take a nap.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Morning

These are phone cam images from this morning. Top is the view to my right, bottom is view to my left. Lux and I had the most amazing hike this morning. As of yesterday I feel she is able to do some woods walks, so we went to our local woods yesterday and today we headed to the woods in a town nearby. This is the area where Lux and I played the Pine Cone game this Spring. We investigated all the nooks and crannies. She also swam quite a bit!

This particular part of the pond has a fairly deep drop off, allowing me to keep her on lead while still being deep enough for her to tread water. This is one of the very best rehabilitative activities for her at this point. She is re-learning her gait now, and the brain stops the chatter and the animal just goes directly into right,left, fore, aft, correctly in order to stay afloat. Plus, it is aerobic activity with no stress on her joints. One of the downsides to having a cast on and having limited mobility for 2 months has been that I have not been able to reinforce her Recall. She has not been having off-leash walks since her accident very often to have more control over her speed and her agility, so she does not re-injure her paw. She does not come back 100% of the time right now, and I am not willing to take any more risks with her off leash in the woods for a while. We will be doing some field training in a fenced in area soon, though. Then we can build up from there. I will say that being out in the woods at early morning with my dog has show me how very happy it makes me. I have dearly missed this. I mean really, look at all that beauty!

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

One of the down sides to eating mostly organic is the occasional Flour Moth infestation. Yesterday my local hardware store had a sale on canning jars of all sizes. I invested in two cases of them, and went through my cabinets, slaying and cleaning, recycling the boxes of things and putting everything in jars. I decided to fancy-up my jars with some froggy labels. Keen!

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

I seriously doubt I could come up with anything more inspiring than this for today. What a hell of a speech! Now THAT is charisma.

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Blueberry Muffins

makes 18:pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

2 cups AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
2 cups wild bloobs
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 to 1 and 1/2 cups rice milk
(muffin cup liners optional)

Gently beat the eggs. Combine the dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate fully. Add eggs to dry mixture and then add the oil and the rice milk, the agave nectar and stir until well mixed but not overly so. Fold in the bloobs. Use an ice cream scoop for measuring out portions. It will likely fill 18 muffin cups. Bake approximately 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean upon removing. Not too sweet, these muffins make a great snack!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stuff and Such

This Summer has been a season of crisis. First, Lux cut herself, then I got six stitches, then Lux broke her wrist, then Emily got into a car accident and I have had some unpleasant dealings with people. Sigh. The weather is clearly changing over now, with morning temps in the low 50's and the days not often reaching over 78 degrees. I am hoping the Fall will bring some Bounty.

I guess that all this dark weather this month really threw me for a spin. I have reasonably strong Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I NEED sunlight. I made the mistake of not using my full spectrum light box to supplement the gray, dim light we actually did get. The past few days have been glorious, though, and I have been out and about walking Lux many times a day, soaking in the rays, smelling the sunflowers, and seeing the beginnings of leaves turning colors already.

Now that the Olympics is over I am following the DNC in Denver. I can't watch a lot of it, because it grates on my nerves after a while, but there are some true gems in the speeches ("The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits" fer example), and I love the mental gymnastics that the news anchors go through after, trying to dissect every little thing. (Thus my cartoon of earlier this morning). I wonder if Hillary actually PLANNED way in advance for Bill to say what she felt she could not, or if they decided after hearing what the media said about her speech. Either way, it surely helps to have a partner in the Game sometimes (though I do believe he was a bit of a hindrance during the Primaries). And, for the record, Chelsea turned out okay, don'tcha think? She no longer looks like a braces-clad potato. And she clearly did not inherit her mothers gigantic calves. Thank the Lord.

I wonder how much booze is being sold in Denver right about now. Frankly, I think a few Mojitos would lube the gears right nicely at that altitude. I know when I was there, after hiking in the Rockies, my then husband and I went to a Mexican place in Estes Park for dinner and split a pitcher of Margaritas and we stumbled back to the Stanley Hotel (yes, THAT Stanley Hotel. He spent a few summers as manager there so they comped us a room for a week!). I was not prepared for the altitude enhanced alcohol buzz. Man! You could probably get high just sucking on a breath mint up there.

But, oh, the flickering golden aspens are so Totally Keen...

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Click Here for another interesting article on this subject

Basically the low-down is this: nano (teeny tiny) antennas are capable of collecting the residual infared heat waves from the heating of the earth by the Sun. The cool thing is that unlike voltaic collectors which, at best, can only harvest about 20% of the energy (and only when the sun is out), nano antennas can collect up to 80 percent!! (even in the dark) The issue is in transferring the energy into usable wavelengths. This process is currently taking up way to much of the out-put energy. But they are working on it.

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here for more about these Yummy chairs from Scandanavian Modern

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." - Rachel Carson

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Saucy Burger

Simple. Tasty. Easy to Do!

Just add 1 teaspoon of Oyster Sauce to your burger before shaping into a patty!

Hillary: Yeah. What HE said.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My room is too small for this to go on the wall...

Seen on I-94 greeting motorists arriving from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, home to the 2008 Republican National Convention:

Is this the 700 Club?

Okay. I have been a fan of this man for a while, for his policies, (more here, too...) but...really now...all he needs is a little bottle of Holy Oil so he can rub a cross on your temple, and then youz gonna fall right over into the loving hands of the Deacons who will lower you gently to the floor so you can writhe and speak in Ancient Democratic Tongues.

I believe we *do* need to WAKE UP. I do not, however, think this is the best manner in which to rouse up the un-committed masses. Love the message. Hate the oration style. Just sayin'.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Julia:1 Wasps:0

Larry, Moe, Curly and Schemp

I don't like killing living things, in general. But, when it comes to wasps or hornets, and insects that bite or sting, I have little problem with annihilation. It all started with a broken window pane in my front window. Before glazing the new pane I had to remove the old one, and I found 4 wasp nests built between the storm pane and the screen. I am loathe to use chemicals, but I went at those buggers like I was napalming a village. Then I had to clean the windowsills and glass to get rid of the death fumes from the pesticide. The nests were then scraped from the sills and window frame, and I glazed the new pane. Very Keen. Lots of work, but still, Very Keen.

Much of the rest of the weekend was spent walking and napping. My (Achoo!) allergies were acting up much of the weekend. Many (Achoo!!) homes in the area reek of mildew, and the sump pumps are dumping basement water into the streets, laden with mold and icky smells. Add onto that the fact that a guy came and cleared my gutters of all sorts of detritus, including moss and saplings. So, (Achoo!!!)I have been downing the Zyrtec daily. And taking naps. Naps fall into the category of Totally Keen.

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Click Here for Mibo Tile Tattoos

Also Very Cool: My friend, Kevin, in Illinois, and his fine woodworking skills will be featured in an article in Better Homes and Gardens in October! Congratulations!!

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here for Potters for Peace Ceramic Water Filtrators

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Apple Upside-Down Pancake

pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

3 granny smith apples (I got mine from a tree down the street)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter/spread
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
pinch of salt

Peel and slice the apples and cook them in a cast iron skillet in the butter until barely soft. Add the cinnamon and sugar and continue to cook for a minute or two. Mix the ingredients for the batter and pour over the apples. Place skillet in the over and cook until the pancake puffs up, about 10 minutes. Flip the pancake over onto a plate. Very tasty with syrup or jam!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just Biden My Time...

From the NY Times on Joe Biden:

He has a long history of making statements that get him in trouble. He was forced to apologize to Mr. Obama almost the moment he entered the race for president after he was quoted as describing Mr. Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” a remark that drew criticism for being racially insensitive. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Mr. Biden said that “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Um...Yeah...about *that*...

Okay, I think this guy has some of what it takes to deal with Foreign Policy. This is *good*. However, I think that statements like those up above make him just about the Whitest Man Running. (Even Whiter than The White Rabbit, MCain, and his princess bride from Stepford) My primal brain is screaming WTF???

From CNN:

In a debate during the Democratic primary contest, Biden raised questions about Obama's foreign policy experience.

"Who among us is going to be able on day one to step in an end the war? Who among us understands what to do about Pakistan? Who among us is going to pick up the phone and immediately interface with Putin and tell him to lay off Georgia because Saakashvili is in real trouble. Who among us knows what they're doing? I have 35 years of experience," Biden said

Um...Yeah...about that...Ah, excuse me, sir, but NO ONE in the running is currently able to do any of those things. Even you. So There. You may have been playing the War Game longer than that "Black Guy" and that will be mighty helpful, but, sir, the past few administrations have proven to ME that experience has gotten us nowhere but somewhere up Shits Creek without a paddle, so, um, like, back off.

I am NOT a happy camper this morning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I got a letter!

A letter from Ben

I received a letter from my daughter's friend, Ben, who is in boot camp at Fort Bragg. It made my whole day, and it is only 9 am:

"I love you! It is so good to be able to talk with you again even via letter. I miss you three (me and my daughters) so much. I miss your yummy food and can't wait to eat it again. I don't have time to write a lot, otherwise I would write you 1000 million letters. You are the best second Mom ever..." Totally Keen.

It was his birthday the day after he wrote this, and for his birthday he got to sit in the gas chamber for a military drill. Totally Not Keen.

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Click Here for The Smoke Portraits of Diane Victor

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Keen floor coverings by Sandy Chilewich: Click Here

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

I had this yummy wine last night while I was watching a show on Martial Arts on PBS. I love Washington state wines, in general. The cool temperatures and the fresh air lead to really well balanced wines, and this is no exception. Smooth, lightly oaky and bright flavors linger through the entire glass. Unlike some ten dollar chards which fall apart after a while in the glass, this holds true to the last drop. A very good choice for late summer dining. I made Japanese Udon noodles with clams and shrimp and this was a perfect pairing with it. Go get a bottle!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bits and pieces...




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Tut-tut! It looks like RAIN!"


I took this shot during one of our rare afternoons without rain. As I type, the gutters overflow, the cat begs to come in, and the puddles grow larger, almost as big as the street in some cases. Yes, my friends, it is raining, still, again, whatever.

Yesterday was rain free until around 9PM at which time a most magnificent thunderstorm came through, with fancy bolts of lightening and hail. I was driving home from the western part of the state after spending a day at Earthstory with a ton of friends ending in a bonfire and stories. Several of the tribe are off soon on Big Adventures, most notably Keith Harmon Snow,( who is off to Mongolia with his bicycle to do some investigative journalism around the issue of abandoned children in China. He will be staying at an orphanage with 150 rescued kids, who will be showing him the tunnels underground where more than 1,000 other orphans eek out an existence.

I partook of three workshops under the Big Tent yesterday, one on Non-violent Communication, also called Compassionate Communication, one on "The Work" by Byron Katie, which is a method of examining some of your own thought constructs, and one Intentional Breathwork workshop which lasted several hours. All of it was greatly balancing and healing and I thoroughly enjoyed being with my favorite people doing Deep Works. Truly KEEN STUFF!

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Feel like smiling? Click Here (special thanks to Kevin for sending me this clip!)

Say Wha???? Click Here for Meat in a Bottle. Ew.

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Click Here for more about Propellor Design

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

"It's OKAY to Let It Out!" - My buddy Lila (subverting the dominant paradigm since 2004)

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Healthy For You Vegan Reese's Cup Knock-Offs

1/2 cup creamy cashew butter
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 oz raw agave nectar
8 oz cocoa nibs

Combine the first three ingredients and stir well. Form into balls and roll in the nibs until lightly coated. Chill in fridge over night for best results. Yummo!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

I have been *very* busy of late, dealing with the dross of life, the incessant rain (though we had sun today!!!!) and the feral children of late summer. Much of the past week has been spent dealing with the police. Yep. I said Police. Or, "Po-Po", as my older teen calls them.

My older daughter was in a very serious car accident last week. She is fine, as are all the occupants. The car they were driving? Mmmmmmmnotsoverymuch. The fence they hit? Mmmmmmnotsoverymuch. The trees they creamed? Crunch! The fire hydrant they sheared off? Mmmmmmnotsoverymuch? How about the driver, who left the scene? Mmmmmmmnope. How about her leaving the scene of an accident and then lying about who was driving? Mmmmmmmmbadnewsbears!

My kid is fine. She did the right things. Actually, most of them did. The owner of the vehicle appeared to be intoxicated so another passenger drove. All this rain, dark stormy night, winding road, unfamiliar car, oncoming car coming too get the idea. Nonetheless, lots of talks, much Po-Po action, and one scared, and *very* sore teen. A teen who is rightfully questioning her choices in friends. Tough Stuff.

The other incident involving the police is something I will not discuss here much except to say that some bad history has come back again like a pernicious yeast infection. And that is being KIND. So, since I know *you* read this, I will say this once and only once. DO NOT EVER CONTACT ME AGAIN, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

The police are increasing their presence in my neighborhood, there are two reports at the station, one from 2006 one from yesterday, and I am fully in my rights to ask that this person leaves me alone. Oh, and my dog **hates** angry people. 'Nuff said.

I have spent much of this rainy season in solitude with the exceptions of my Friday nights at my friend's house for dinner (she has MS and I go over and give her the injections she needs). And as many days as I can manage, I see Lisa and we walk in various woods with her dogs. Yesterday I went to the movies with her, and it was sheer joy to be submerged in another world for a few hours.

On Thursday I crawled out of my relative solitude and headed out to Earthlands ( in Petersham Mass to help set up for Earthstory ( It was great fun with just a few (6) of us setting up the huge tent. I had a blast using the sledgehammer and smacking the four foot spikes into the ground. I hung out on the porch and read for a while, and chatted with my friends there. Due to scheduling, and this recent issue which leaves me feeling vulnerable about my home, I am not able to attend the week long gathering, but I wanted to contribute to this great experience and these wonderful people.

The tent, flat on the ground

Yay! We got them both up just fine! And I learned some fancy knot work, too!

Part of the Permaculture gardens at Earthlands (and solar panels)

A very KEEN frog I met while I was picking flowers for the table

Check out that cumulus cloud!!!! That is the Lodge in the distance.

On my way out I met up with Larry Buhl, who owns the land here. I gave him a ride home, since he was planning on walking the many mile hike back to his farmhouse. We talked about the land, about his farmhouse and his family land along the drive. Luckily, his brother sold most of his portion to the Trustees of Land Preservation, so it will not be built upon. I firmly believe in what Earthlands is doing, and also the University of the Wild ( I am a hyooooooge fan of sustainable living, and these people are doing Really Good Things. I have met the most kind and open-hearted people through this place, and I consider them extended family. If you ever get to this end of my world, check them out. You may camp on these sacred lands for Very Little Money, or stay in the Lodge for about $30. Tell them Julia sent you, and you will probably get a huge smile and a big cup of tea.

Lux is doing marvelously!!! She is currently using her injured paw about 50 percent of the time, and each day we gain more reliance on that limb. I have been continuing with the Raw Diet with great success.

Here is a picture of her containers of food. People are curious so I will let you know what is IN them:

6 oz Raw Ground chicken meat, necks and backs
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vitamin powder (from Halo)
a few berries (here they are black berries)
1 oz organ meats (liver, hearts, kidneys)
1 teaspoon flax oil
1 tablespoon quinoa (sometimes I use rice, but that often comes out the same way it went in)

I TRIED adding a small portion of kibble of Really Good Quality: A venison and sweet potato blend from Natural Balance brand, but after eating that she went right back to her old whiny, anxious, hyperactive and annoying behaviors. After going back to the raw diet, within one day she was her New Mellow Self again. I often wonder how many dogs are out there who are hyper by nature (Jack Russel Terriers, for example) who might be so much better if they were given the diet a dog really thrives on. Dogs are carnivores. NOT omnivores. My dog is half border collie and those dogs are WIRED to be hyper vigilant and very active (herding sheep all day long). I learned to acknowledge her heritage and am now feeding her what she *should* eat and I have an entirely different dog than the one I came home with.

Okay, enough update. I will be back mid-week for a Truly Keen Post.