Sunday, June 29, 2008

a thoroughly enjoyable & peaceful day

I awoke earlier than normal this morning and set about making pie filling with the black raspberries gathered yesterday. Personally I find it senseless to make just enough pie dough for one pie, so my basic recipe is for three two-crust pies or 6 crusts. I just happened to have some apple pie filling on hand, so I made 2 raspberry pies, 1 apple and the empty shell was turned into a chocolate cream pie by afternoon.


Once all the routine chores were caught up I took some time for me. Coop was out looking for more raspberries and things were quiet, so I ran a tub of warm water, adding some pink Himalayan salt for a soothing soak. I'm normally a shower person, so this was out of the ordinary.

When I finished, I took a walk out to what I call "the gully" beyond the old barn bank...one of, if not my most favorite sacred place. This place is where I go to commune with the earth. I sat down on the cool, slightly damp earth and closed my eyes, allowing myself the a more acute sense of hearing and feeling. It was sublime, the breeze caressing me, the trees whispering their secrets and the birds calling to one another across the woods and sky. I was being watched I'm sure, as I listened to twigs snap some distance to my right. Most likely a deer nibbling apples and keeping an eye on the human. I love listening to nature, closing my eyes and eliminating the visual to connect more deeply to the sounds. Lovely.

After this time of renewal I ventured back to the house and made a salad for dinner from the freshly picked spinach.

To the greens were added fresh green onions from the garden, grape tomatoes, ripe olives, pepperoncini and feta cheese with black pepper. Nothing better than a fresh Greek salad. We ate light knowing pie was waiting for dessert.

With pies baked, myself renewed and dinner prepared, a call went out to the neighbors to join us for pies later in the evening. Actually it was more like a pie fest as I sliced all three kinds and we sampled more than one after we had enjoyed a hysterical Jeff Dunham DVD. Compliments abounded and even I must admit, the pies were perfect. I sent the spare raspberry pie home with our company much to their delight.

A most enjoyable Sunday.

creating the next society


I couldn't agree more with the predictions and sentiments in this article, particularly when it comes to rethinking the foundations of capitalism.

Creating the Next Society: Your Revolutionary Ideas Needed Now
by Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) It's fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that the American Empire, as currently configured and operated, is simply not sustainable. Financial collapse is inevitable (and accelerating, it seems), and even mainstream America can no longer deny the obvious signs that things have gone terribly wrong: Skyrocketing fuel prices, unprecedented inflation in food prices, rampant epidemics of preventable degenerative disease, plummeting real estate prices, an increasingly-worthless national currency, disastrous war failures, rampant dishonesty in Washington, and accelerating climate changes that are causing flooding, crop failures, droughts and worse. It is becoming increasingly difficult for even the Pollyannas of the world to argue that the United States of America has a bright future.

However, there's good news in all this. Really. What's the good news? Following the collapse of the American Empire, there will be a rare window of opportunity for radical reform where progressive, pioneering people like NaturalNews readers can play a significant role in creating what I call The Next Society.

What is The Next Society? It's the one that replaces the United States of America after the failure of this current system. It happens all the time through world history, of course: Failed attempts at living in community are replaced by new attempts. Democracy was one such attempt, and I still think Democracy could work. Too bad we don't one operating in the United States today. Instead, we only have the illusion of Democracy that's controlled by hacked voting machines, a corrupt media, and a corporate-controlled government agenda that, at every step, works against the interests of the People.

The USA experiment was a fun ride, no doubt. Especially the last couple of decades, filled with cheap money, cheap blow, cheap politicians and expensive medicine. We've drugged, snorted and consumed our way through trillions of dollars borrowed from other countries! The rest of the world, it turns out, has subsidized America's addiction to excess in every form: Excessive food, excessive pharmaceuticals and excessively large vehicles designed to dominate excessively crowded highways that ultimately lead to nowhere.

Just remember this: The rest of the world is tired of funding America's consumer culture. And the free money from China, Japan, the Middle East and other regions that have subsidized America's consumption habit by purchasing worthless U.S. Treasury IOU notes are about to put an end to their practice of following good money with bad. The inevitable result of all this, of course, is that the U.S. dollar will soon be abandoned by the world (and its oil trade exchanges), and mainstream America is going to wake up one morning and find that all their bank savings deposits (which are unwisely held in U.S. currency, by the way) are utterly worthless.

Following all that, however, what should we do to create a new society that can offer substantial improvements over the one that just collapsed?

(If you smell something burning, by the way, don't panic. It's just Rome.)

Creating The Next Society
When the United States of America collapses like the Roman Empire under the weight of its debt, disease and disastrously devolving dollar, there will be an opportunity to create a new society governed by new rules. I believe that evil corporations, corrupt government regulators and the U.S. Patent Office should be among the first to be placed on the chopping block.

Under an economic reboot scenario, Big Pharma's control over the media, the FDA and the medical profession will collapse, and the People, having witnessed their life savings lost in the economic collapse, and finally realizing their health was stolen by a fraudulent industry working in collusion with their own corrupt government (which lied to them the whole time), will not be amused. Armed with video cameras, duct tape and a healthy dose of outrage, they will storm the offices of drug companies and the Food and Drug Administration. They'll drag the CEOs into the streets, wrap them in cocoons of duct tape and pummel them with rotten fruit. (Or, if all this goes down in an airport, they'll stab them with TSA-approved plastic forks...)

Cultural revolutions are not always a pretty thing, but they are often part of a Cathartic process through which a society to vents its anger at an institution that has committed horrible atrocities against the human race (watch some of the post-Nazi films from WWII if you want to see what this social "venting" really looks like).

In time, I have every confidence that the reign of censorship and intimidation we've seen conducted by the FDA will abruptly end, and the campaign of chemical intoxication of the world population by Big Pharma will be brought to a sudden end. In its place, we will have the opportunity to build a new society based on free speech, respect for nature, and a philosophy of creating abundance through health rather than generating profit from disease. We can engineer a new society that rewards disease prevention, encourages healthy consumer choices, and informs consumers about the true benefits of herbs, vitamins, nutritional supplements and naturopathic modalities.

A list of things to outlaw in The Next Society
I have a long list of laws to recommend be implemented in that new society. They include the banning of all advertising of processed foods, cigarettes, and pharmaceuticals, the ending of all subsidies on sugar and corn, the outlawing of factory farming practices, the establishment of true Free Speech for nutritional supplement manufacturers, and the building of a Big Pharma Holocaust Museum that documents the terrible chemical atrocities that have been committed against the human race by the drug companies throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

I would also work to outlaw the poisoning of land, water and air through the outlawing of all chemical pesticides, for example. Genetically-engineered crops, of course, would also be banned outright. (Goodbye, Monsanto, DuPont, ADM and all the other chemical-pushing num-nuts of our modern world...)

In that future society, conventional medicine will be virtually irrelevant. Sure, we'll need a few surgeons on staff at the hospitals to handle the emergency room visits from all the corporate CEOs being dropped off tall buildings by angry mobs, but more than 95% of the doctors pushing pills today will find themselves irrelevant, unneeded and out of work.

This will be a day to celebrate our new health freedom, and it will be a day that the death rate will begin to plummet. Longevity will be improved, quality of life will take a leap forward, and our nation can once again begin to experience real progress that leads to abundance and happiness. Good health, of course, is the key to all this. And good health is simply incompatible with today's system of monopoly medicine and corporate greed, where profits take precedence over human health.

Why we cannot change medicine by appealing to the tyrants
Some people, of course, believe that the way to change medicine and win back a few freedoms is to appeal to the FDA by filing petitions and posting comments on the FDA's website. If you wish to file a comment with the FDA, that's fine with me, but please note that I'm increasingly seeing that as a useless exercise in forcing FDA criminals to simply hit the delete button a few more times as they trash all the comments they don't want to read.

We are not going to solve the FDA's criminal behavior problem by appealing to the FDA, folks. Filing a bunch of public comments to the very criminal organization that's the root of this problem is not a productive way of solving the problem. It's like begging Hitler to stop killing the Jews. Tyrants don't listen to reason. They're too busy following all the disturbing voices in their own heads to listen to anyone else.

The more immediate way to solve this problem (and many others) is to get the Dept. of Justice to simply march into the FDA offices and start making arrests. Slap a pair of handcuffs on the top FDA decision makers, charge them with crimes against humanity, hold a public trial and toss them into federal prison for the rest of their lives. Topple the FDA / Big Pharma conspiracy, and you end the reign of censorship and tyranny that has been orchestrated by these people to prevent you from having access to nutritional supplements that make pharmaceuticals obsolete!

Should the Dept. of Justice fail to actually pursue justice in this context (which it has so far ignored, so I'm not holding my breath), then all we have to do is wait for the coming economic collapse to strike Washington, then insert ourselves into the dialog when it comes time to rebuild a new society that might actually be sustainable.

The American Empire, let's face it, is teetering on the edge, like it can't wait to leap into the gorge and become another chapter in the history books of the world. What chapter is that? History 101: The American Empire: 1776 - 2012 (or whatever the year happens to be).

Keep in mind that this whole fraudulent system of fake money, fake medicine and fake Democracy is a house of cards rattling on top of a shaky table. And when it comes tumbling down, that will be a crucial time for all of us in the natural health community to join together and help create a new society that values human life, Mother Nature and freedom of speech over corporate profits.

Which reminds me of this: Perhaps the most important improvement we need to make in our future society is to deny corporations the rights of individuals.

Reign in the domination of corporations
In other words, we need to take away from the corporations those rights that should be reserved for individuals. Corporations, for example, should have no right to Free Speech, nor to contribute to political campaigns, nor to own radio and television broadcast channels. These rights should be reserved solely for individuals or benign non-profit organizations that seek no profits.

It is time to seriously rethink the foundations of capitalism, because if there's anything we've learned in the last few years, it's that a greed-focused economy ultimately does more harm than good to the People. This is reflected quite accurately in the fact that the more the drug companies can keep people sick and diseased, the more profits they generate. Thus, sickness = profits.

This is what modern capitalism has given us. Sickness = profits.

Capitalism without ethics is nothing more than a con, and far too much evil has taken place today behind the curtain of the corporation. It's time to hold individual people responsible for their actions and stop giving people the legal right to hide behind a fictitious legal construct while their actions destroy the lives of billions of people.

This is one area, by the way, where I disagree with Libertarian philosophy: The free market cannot solve everything, folks. Greed is not a good motivation upon which to base the entire economy of a nation. It's time we started to bring in ethics and compassion for all living things. Entrepreneurism combined with ethics is powerful and positive. Wouldn't it be cool if top CEOs were paid salaries based on the number of people they helped instead of the number of people they swindled? Extracting money from consumers by selling them useless, toxic products should not be considered "success." (And I'll single out Merck, Proctor & Gamble, Monsanto and other similar corporations as ones that I consider to be profiting from poison...) We need to start measuring success in more ways than one-dimensional dollars. Raping the planet and calling it "productivity" is a philosophy doomed to collapse.

Be part of the revolution of ideas
America today is a nation of amnesiacs. We have collectively surrendered our power to corporations and governments, and then we express disgust when we discover that our individual liberties have been overwritten by the very institutions we put into power.

I pray that someday we will have the courage to realize that it is we who have fabricated these institutional illusions, and they only exist as fictitious projections of society's rules that we've come to think of as real, like the white lines painted on roadways designed to keep you in your lane. But in reality, there are no lanes, there are no corporations, and there are no governments. These only exist as agreements on paper, and as widely-shared hallucinations that define the constructs of modern society. They can be gone in an instant, and replaced in the next instant, if the whole nation simply comes to its senses and achieves a new level of collective consciousness.

It is time that we stopped appealing to corporations and governments for bits and pieces of freedom and, instead, stood in our own power as free citizens, organized, empowered and informed. It is time we started asking, "Is there a better way to organize a society? Is there a societal construct based on individual liberties that can provide freedom, health, abundance and sustainability without the centralization of power that inevitably leads to corruption?"

I think there is. And I think it's time we started talking openly about how to put that system into place when the opportunity comes.

Be part of the revolution. Start thinking, and then talking, about The Next Society and how it might be organized. Start with the principles of individual liberty, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and respect for nature, then build from there. Soon, you may very well get the opportunity to see some of your ideas become reality.

I personally believe it is time to base our society on the power of the People, as in a true Direct Democracy where there are no Congresspeople or Senators. The People should vote directly on laws, ending corporate influence and lobbyists. Let's end the IRS, the failed War on Drugs, the secret military prisons, the private Federal Reserve, the era of monopoly medicine and global military imperialism. Let's end secretive government and Presidential executive orders. Let's end patent protection for genes, seeds and medicines, declaring all such patents to be public property. Let's give birth to a new society founded on individual liberties, sustainable living and progress focused on the greater good rather than obscene individual wealth.

Let's take back our nation from the corporate and government criminals who are currently running it!

Now, those are just my ideas. You may not agree with them all, and in fact I hope you don't! What we need are YOUR ideas (and other people's ideas) to be part of the conversation in creating The Next Society. It will soon be time to put the new ideas on the table, throw out the old ideas, and create a new society. Consider: What hasn't worked? What has worked? What makes sense today that didn't make sense in 1776? (Like internet voting, for example, which eliminates the entire need for the U.S. Congress, since the whole idea of "representatives" was based on the need for remote representation of people living in far-off places without connectivity...)

Does our tax system currently work? Do you like the IRS? If not, what would work better? (The Flat Tax, perhaps?) Does voting work? Not very well. Instant Runoff Voting works much better. Why not implement that in the Next Society? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-ru...

You get the point. This is a time to voice your ideas. Refuse to remain silent. Do not be timid in these times, or you shall certainly find yourself living under a new tyranny with a different name.

The Next Society will soon arrive, and it is up to us to decide what to make of it. (And get ready for a wild ride as we witness the historical collapse of the American Empire...)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

a nice surprise

Over the winter I worked on a blanket project for charity. Vivi over at tricotducoeur had encouraged some of her readers to participate in the blanket project for the kids at Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Victory Junction is a year-round camp that serves children, ages 7 to 15, with a variety of health issues. The camp enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment. The camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty, in honor of their son Adam and opened its doors 2004.


I made this blanket and sent it in. Others did the same. (Say hi to my girl Molly who was hoping the blankie was for her.)

A couple of weeks ago I got such an unexpected and nice surprise. I didn't realize that by submitting a blanket by the deadline I would be eligible for a prize...but I was! I received a lovely hand made aromatherapy necklace from Wisdom of the Moon in my color choice. I chose green as you can see...

Be sure to check out Wendy's Wisdom of the Moon etsy store and also be sure to take a few minutes to enjoy her blog. Thanks again Wendy! I love my necklace!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

as the sun sets




unenhanced photos taken Monday evening.

done jammin’, now sharin’


The strawberries were cleaned (all 30 quart) and jam was made last week between Thursday and Saturday…at least what I was willing to make. I ended up with all three kinds; strawberry, strawberry-banana and banana and a total of 7 full pints and 22 half pints. The remaining berries were frozen for later use. The leftover bananas, well, I made a couple of loaves of banana bread as well as drying a dehydrator full, and then froze those remaining.

I considered a few different recipes and as is somewhat customary for me came up with my own version for the banana jam. I liked the idea of adding a little rum to this jam, but the only thing I had in the house was a little Bacardi 151 and a little Malibu Rum. Needless to say I thought the 151 might be a little too much, so I opted for the tropical flavor and lower alcohol content of the Malibu. So here’s the recipe I came up with…

Cabana Banana Jam

8-9 ripe, but still firm bananas

½ cup lemon juice

4 ½ cups sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar)

¼ c. Malibu rum (optional)

¼ cup water if necessary

Pour lemon juice into large pan. Slice bananas into pan, then mash up well with fork or pastry blender. Heat, adding 4 ½ cups sugar. If needed, add ¼ cup water to help liquefy. Cook over medium heat, bubbling until thick and gloppy, (you know, jam consistency), stirring occasionally as needed. (I should have timed this, but didn’t so my apologies. I’m thinking it cooked 40 - 60 minutes, possibly a bit longer)

When thick enough to call jam, you can remove from heat and can or do as I did and add ¼ cup Malibu rum and cook down again to let the alcohol cook off. Then remove from heat and fill hot, sterile jars. Cap with hot lids and rings, wiping jar rims to ensure a seal. Process 15 minutes in hot water bath. With or without the rum it is yummy stuff!

***

As I was making jam I realized I hadn’t done so in a number of years. Actually I think the last time was when we lived here prior and we had our own strawberry patch. And I realized that most jam recipes call for added fruit pectin which I have never used until this week. I only used it in my strawberry banana jam. The only difference is when using the pectin your jam sets up quicker. The longer you cook the jam I noticed the darker it becomes. My old fashioned strawberry jam turned out much darker because I cooked it a long, long time as opposed to adding pectin. You can see the jars on the right are way darker. The strawberry-banana jam is in center of photo and the banana jam on the left.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I be jammin'

After boo-hooing about the high cost of strawberries this year, dear hubby Coop took a spin around the Amish neighborhood here yesterday and brought home a couple of quarts. :) Seriously he did, this bunch you see below came later. My husband is such a deal maker...he paid $2 a quart for the first ones, all the while trying to deal the nice lady down. She finally told him to come back about 7 PM and she would deal with him on what she had left. He got all these you see below for $1.65 each and everybody was happy!

With all these berries as well as the 15 pounds of bananas, I'll be jammin' for a couple of days...strawberry jam, banana jam, strawberry & banana jam.... Not to mention freezing and/or drying some of the fruit. I'll be up to my elbows today and it's all good!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

touching base & glad to be back

It's been two weeks but now I'm back and happy to be so! My computer monitor went haywire limiting my online access. That has now been replaced with a good, used one.

In the past two weeks the garden has grown rapidly. I am so proud of the work we (mostly Coop) have accomplished. Everything looks good. I hope to post pics soon. We've lost one tomato from breakage and one pepper didn't make it. Oh yeah, and the green beans were compromised by our friendly deer who helped themselves to the middle of a row. So up went the fence posts with line and dangles to try and deter them. If Shadow were still here his mere presence would keep them at bay. If you remember he came back after a short absence. Unfortunately he disappeared again and has never returned. He was a very old dog and I wonder if he just knew his time was up. I have had cats who did that, just wandering off to die. I don't know and I have accepted it now, but we sure miss him.

We've been enjoying the green onions and red romaine which is at its peak right now.


I have been sending romaine home with everyone I see. I finally purchased some bacon yesterday so tonight we'll be enjoying wilted lettuce instead of a crisp salad.

Eli, the Amish fellow who promised me strawberries stopped by to say he couldn't provide them. I see now they are going for $2.50 and up a quart at roadside places. At the supermarket last night I saw homegrown Ohio strawberries for almost $4 a quart!! Last year I paid $1.25. I'm not sure I'll be making an strawberry jam at all with the price so high and that is truly disappointing. I guess it's time to consider a strawberry patch of our own again.

Today I will be busy with bananas. We purchased fifteen pounds last night for under $5 so I will be dehydrating a bunch. In another day or two as they ripen further, I'll be making a batch of banana bread for the freezer. What I don't use up will go into the freezer for use at a later date. I always buy bananas when I can find a deal on over ripe ones, which are seldom truly over ripe. They freeze so easily by just tossing them whole and unpeeled into a bag.

Have a wonder-full day friends, I am off to the kitchen.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Daughter’s Story – It Might Save a Life

Please visit my other blog, Earth Apothecary where you can read this article about my daughter's battle with c. diff (a life threatening and often fatal bacterial infection) and her return to wellness by natural means. Yes, it could possibly save a life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

afternoon thoughts

Spider spins and weaves a web across the front porch from post to a hanging mobile. So intent with just this one mission, I don’t have the heart to tell him to take his business elsewhere. I watch the intricacy of his work, tiny limbs move with lightening speed in nimble perfection. Voila! He shoots through the air then stops to resume spinning his transportive web. I watch, in awe of this tiny miraculous creature of the earth.

A mamma bluebird perches atop the electrical line, keeping an ever watchful eye on the box that houses her young ones below. She and Papa never travel far from their young. Every so often Papa returns to the nest and peers in through the hole in the box to check in on the youngsters.

Redwing Blackbirds chirp loudly as they dart back and forth across the summer sky. They now own the south field where in late winter and early, early spring the Red Tail, Kestral and various other hawks ruled and hunted. Now seldom is a hawk seen as the Redwing sentries perch atop grass and weed. And if a hawk dare traverse their territory he is met with quick aggression, chased off by a flurry of redwings.

A faithful couple, the cardinals fly to and fro from Maple to Spirea, melodiously calling out to one another as they flutter and dart from tree limb to bush. There is much activity today in the green of the Maple tree.

We planted that tree in 88 or 89 during our first residence here, having dug it from my sister’s property. Just a small, young thing, it survived being bumped and broken more than once by the lawnmower. Not only did it survive, it thrived. When we returned here in 06 it was a wonderful sight to behold…our tree stood tall and mature, providing perfect afternoon shade for the front lawn and the south window.

When we first returned here in May of 06 to begin clean up as a favor to our friends, I would take a few minutes to myself on occasion to go out, sit on the ground and face the woods. I would find myself speaking with the trees and sometimes I would cry, yearning to come back. Oh how I had missed the beauty of their presence.

What is it that connects us so strongly to a place, making us feel so sure of where we belong? I do not know, but I do know beyond a doubt that it exists. And so, for a moment or two each day, I find myself being consciously thankful for my return.

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