Having written about how we need to reduce our consumption of meat and dairy recently, it’s worth asking what we should be eating more of. Besides the five a day of fruit and vegetables of course, which everyone hopefully knows about by now. Diets vary around the world and according to taste, custom and income […]

via Less meat, less dairy… and eat more nuts — Make Wealth History

(Relax note: I’ve passed along Jeremy’s blogsite before in these past couple of years; he’s got his eye on the greener more sustainably healthy-for-all options and has doable suggestions!)




Less meat, less dairy… and eat more nuts — Make Wealth History


Fun, and a question

Well, it’s the big day! I’m going to attempt to re-treadle-belt the old Singer sewing machine!

Apart from that riveting bit, I have a question for you.

Daughter and I have noticed many a time when some of the ads on her iPhone (I’d better check — she may have an Android, now) or tablet, and those on my tablet’s homepage (I can’t recall about my phone) seem too incredibly coincidental to be coincidental for a household that has opted to not have any listening devices (unless/until we opt for the “Okay, Google” moment — something I have never used, expressly to avoid any listening function!).

Last night was really a little ooky. DH and I had just spoken about the size of their (pre-planned) supper — tortilla chips and taco sauce, cheese and vegetables — and how he said it was only about a pound of ground beef he’d added for the two large pans’ worth.

Not long after, when I opened my tablet’s homepage in my room, what was there but a suggestion for “tonight’s supper”: a pan very similar to the two that had been on our table that evening — tortilla chips and taco sauce, cheese and vegetables — and it mentioned that this recipe and others needed only “about a pound of ground beef.”


I carried the little tablet upstairs and showed daughter. “Something IS listening!” I said. She said she’s suspected it for quite some time and that it’s all interconnected is her guess, though at first, we both had put it down to being coincidence, over and over..  I said, “But no one had their phones at the table..” She said grandson may’ve had his in his pocket. He may have it set to listening mode? We’ll have a look later.

Both of them have Gmail and maybe Chrome or other Google functions and I have Google search as my homepage on the tablet, and two of us may have the “Okay, Google” thing on our phones.. we’ll see! (By the way, DH has a flip-phone in a duct-taped case from the early 2000s, I believe, and I’ll tell you what — my trusty backup, a smartish TracFone, has not only a built-in Facebook app [free unlimited access with WiFi!] for keeping in touch with kids on social media, but has no listening function… and I’m happy enough with that tiny screen, eh?) I can’t do much about Big Brother, but neither electronics nor marketing is ever allowed to monitor/shape my life without my express permission.  And maybe I’m just too naïve anymore.

Anyway: has this happened/been happening to anyone (/everyone) else out there?





Push comes to shove..

There are some serious down sides to every human life, no matter how good it is (or appears) otherwise to onlookers. Heart-rending, heart-breaking, heart-thundering. I could all but be hired to write a Christmas letter for folks, but no matter how glowingly I or another may relate something, you can be sure of one thing: I or another is keeping the bad at bay. That’s how we do! Not hidden — at bay.

The bad is not going to overwhelm me, although I let it do so once. Once was once, period. I thought about laying my life down in the worst way, and it would’ve benefitted absolutely no one. We don’t see that at the time, though, and things can indeed feel overwhelming and — worst of all — unchangeable, so we have to learn to keep the bad at bay.

If possible, we also need to trust in a higher intelligence that cares about each and every one of us, trust in a higher love to pull the good from the bad and make it pay off for us — right here, right now in this life. If we can’t believe, or can’t yet, then we need to trust in the love of others to haul us through the fire — and we need to somehow trust that our love is JUST as crucial to someone else. “God is love,” says John, but “Love is God” is something we can all say immediately understandably.

One way or another, though, we have to choose to keep the bad at bay. It doesn’t just happen. The best way to do that is to think of the good or to at least remember it — or to actively look for it. One example: An agnostic friend with whom we were simply having dinner suddenly demanded to know what kind of God would take his beloved father away like that, so early in life (years before). I said with far more trepidation than is obvious (and there’s precious little time to pray for a wise answer when someone’s eyes are boring into yours, waiting..), “Maybe the same God Who gave you this lovely woman and these lovely children for your family.”

I expected a horrible argument for such a seemingly lame response. There was silence (most thankfully) — and a considering nod (praise God! No one wants to prove the existence of God as much as one wants to wish another to consider the existence of God’s LOVE. Only His love is more powerful than ours. Ours is limited, finite. His is not.. and He sees around corners!)

Above all, though, however we do it, we must keep the bad at bay by forefronting the good in our lives, which is almost always immeasurably bigger than the bad, and far more concrete. We must focus on the good. The blessings (of prosperity or health). The peace. The love. No matter how small or fleeting it presently seems. The laughter. The sharing. The kind words. The pleased look in someone’s eye. The lilacs, the birds, the sun on the water, the sand, the wharf, the us-victorious alleyways, the sports non-fumble that gained a moment of glory, the musical note that came out perfectly, the recent “Good morning!” The hope someone has for us. The patience, too.

In a word, “life” (if not yet, in a word, “love”). We must let life of every kind keep death of every kind at bay. Make it do so. We must focus on the good — hold it so close that nothing from the evil one comes between for long — and live. Truly live.














As the snow melts..

I’m taking a break here in my UTTERLY FREE TIME (*giggles with delight*) from all this sorting and organizing I’ve been waiting umpteen months to get to. Until now, it’s all just been moved around a number of times to make room for summer, fall, winter, birthday, and Christmas things.


HI!! How YOU doin’?

I am (and have been for some time, now) longing for something pretty. I can be nailed to the floor by a floral side-body purse (and, uh, matching flats!), but my visage’s window for that is closed. However, my eyes want something art-deco-vased-single-perfect-white-orchid-on-a-bare-wooden-table, you know? Mm, mm, MM!

My enormous bare wooden dining room table has sparkle glue (blue) and gouges, scrapes, and I could pretty much nickname it Hulk Hogan. My bare wooden piano top has carved birds and lovely little greenhouse plants on it, but it’s in the cave-room. Dark, cool, clockface-squinty. Well, the single orchid is just out, so I’ll have to green-tablecloth the kid-attractor, Hulk, and go get us a single deep purple hyacinth.

I might also seek out one of those beautiful non-real roses that look like they’re in a clear vase of water. I don’t have anywhere to put that, either — I’ll just carry it around. 😀

Well, time to get back to it all. I hope you’re having a wonderful Monday. If not, I hope God is so near, He looks like a white orchid.. or a deep purple hyacinth.






Spring ahead?

I wouldn’t mind our leaving the clocks alone. Does an hour make much difference? It wouldn’t do to try to follow one’s own clock — “when in Rome..” (one doesn’t want Romans ticked off at one) — but the time-change yea-ers and nay-ers could compromise: We might fall back or spring ahead by a half-hour. That way, some of us would only be a half hour late or early for Mass, school, work..

The emotional fruit of archaic daylight savings time has always been disproportionate; it seems delicious to gain an hour’s sleep, but it’s quite outrageous to lose one! I’m a mom of two sets of two 12 years apart; my Circadian rhythm is fairly non-existent, but we should respect others’!

That brings me to anti-vaxxers. And, most unfortunately, to the rabid pro-vaxxers. I lean on the side of caution/wisdom/experience/intuition. There were new inoculations to consider back when my second two children came along; I refused those simply because they were too new, too untried, and not as necessary to our lifestyle as perhaps to those of others.

As a mom, making that decision (or the other) is not just my option, it’s my duty. To have one’s parental duty excoriated either way is truly unfair. I understand the pro-vaxxers. They don’t want measles outbreaks, etc. However, I and most parents want the best for our kids FAR more than does the (often childless) pro-vaxxer. If science can explain 1 in 50 children being diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum OTHERWISE, have at it. Until then, caution/wisdom/experience/intuition rules. Parents think, too, and no doubt for far longer into the night.

There are no compromises to be made, here. Far more information and far less insult is needed. I myself can’t believe the “utterly safe” vaccine findings are definitive, medicine is a huge and lucrative business here (thus, new drugs are peddled to doctors’ offices every week or so), and who of us wouldn’t say that we have messed with nature and gone head over heels for synthetic additions to everything? All 4 of my children, to my knowledge, have not been adversely affected by childhood inoculations.. but what ELSE explains rampant autism now, if not something common to most children? That “something common” surely seems it could only be metals (or worse) in vaccines, OR something devastating in Mom’s system now from years of artificial birth control (also drugs, most likely synthetic). No one wants to think that.

I don’t know what color ribbon we might have for autism’s cause(s), but I would definitely throw some $ toward that research. The anti-vaxxers’ fears are not going to go away and it only hurts humanity for people to flare up about something so incredibly personal. My daughter has taken some impatient flak at her (already highly-inoculated children’s) pediatrician office simply for requesting paperwork on the drug(s) to read FIRST.  That is her duty.  She takes it seriously. To her — and to me — there are scarier things than measles outbreaks.






Semi-retirement. Ish.

“2.5 hours to go!!” I’d texted far-daughter on my last bout of paid labor last night.

“Are you going to celebrate in 2.75 hours with a glass of wine?” I cannot replicate the smiley, the heart, or the wine glass emoticons that followed her question. “Well, I hadn’t thought about it, but……….YES!”

I didn’t, actually — coffee. Coffeecoffeecoffee. If you cut me, I bleed a blend — usually a blend of almost/store-brand morning ground (“guaranteed to start 6 or 7 organs, but do remember coffee is made of BEANS, lady..”) mixed with rich dark (“WooHOO, look at me kicking up a dust storm –don’t wear off, my lovely caffeine friend, don’t wear off…”) name-brand. I hit upon something magical, recently — I think it was New England Breakfast Blend mixed with something I’ve found to be incredibly tasty, Woodshed Roasting Company Signature Blend.  3 scoops of WRC to 1 NE. Ish.

Am I the only one who does that?

As I said to daughter safely from my home-chair, “THAT was the longest 1/20th of a century I’ve ever spent.” Most sincerely, I was counting the hours all week.

I got to say goodbye/please take care to a number of people in my fairly mutual admiration society, God bless them, and my co-workers themselves graced my exit with a bouquet of fresh flowers, a chocolate cake, an equally lovely greeting card, and an electric fish-scrolling aquarium. (The foreman used to tease me about being MisterRogers, simply because I changed out my shoes for sneakers every day, and also my hoodie for a lighter weight Nike zip-cardigan. After our Neighborhood song duets, I told him once that I really needed an aquarium — I’d like to feed fish, TOO, every evening. 🙂  Ha! He got me one, and I don’t have to feed the fish anything but electricity! Awesome.)

So, that’s that. I’ll be looking for something else, but not today. Nor tomorrow.

I’m looking so greatly forward to rebuilding a life worthy of that title and the gift of breath.






The times, they are a-same-ing, too

When you live in a too-small house with a 2.5 years old boy (ALL boy, ALL Terrifying Two, ALL the time), his 7 (going on 25) years old sister who loves girl STUFF, their 9 years old soccer brother (ALL middle brother ALL the time), and their teenaged brother (“So you think you can cook!  Uh, turn off the burner after, dude!”) — AND with their very creative artistic mom who all but hovers over the washing machine when not arting or doing someone’s hair and backpacks for tomorrow and homework — you not only re-think your own overly-sphincter’d life which you imposed on so many, you learn patience — almost by default. (“Lighten up, lady — or die!”)

See there? I complained POSITIVELY. That’s huge! Or, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me (more than they did last year)!” It’s very hard to keep the chaos contained, to keep disorganization to a minimum, here.  Very, very hard — but we’re making progress. (The crumb-and-clutter mice are starting to frown.)

Until we are magical indeed, though, there are moments upon moments when nothing could surpass 3 generations living together.

The littlest one sent his mom downstairs one day for a new spoon. She was roaring behind her covered mouth as she said low, “He said, ‘Dis ‘poon not workin!’ — but he’s just low on cereal in his bowl!”

And.. when some uncensored peer tries to put more than the fear of God into one of the middle kids about the ‘Momo’-type things, there are two generations who can and will nay-nay it. Adequately!

The teen grandson is hilarious. Heading out to work before he arrived one day, I signed a snack-note to him, “Love, G-ma.” He first read it as “Love, 6-mix” and really thought I was going for a cool rap name. Now, when it’s time for him to bring his phone downstairs for the night, 6-mix texts him: “Shanie B-zone, it’s TIME!” He is very gracious with such a weirdo grandma — possibly not simply because it nets him a hot grilled cheese sandwich just moments after exiting the school bus every day.

We are a nuts household. Just nuts. DH is the hold-out. He gets frustrated and starts moving papers, toys, clothes (all but living things) on the floor with his feet. Fortunately, though, he’s an old Boy Scout/Civil Engineer soul and gets lost dreaming of badges to earn and culverts to create (in a manner of speaking) and soon finds things to do that please/challenge-please him greatly.

OR he goes to bed. Like I do. 😀 When the (evening) going gets tough — loud, louder, loudest — the (ancient) tough go for the pillow!






Enquiring minds… wait… n/m

~ But what would we call the new-old duo, should every e-whisper be true.. “JenniPitt”? “Bradfer?” “Braniston”? (Where’s that “Vote” widget.. hmm…)

~ Sher, why not. Why not a “President Hickenlooper”? The name is all I know of him, but none of the more known names are sending my heart pitter-pattering, eh? Go for it, Hickey!  (Oooh.. that went sideways, didn’t it? My bad!)

~ Really? Michael Jackson? Is that the Michael Jackson pop entertainer who is DEAD, but whose children are NOT? (Shut up, already! Life isn’t about you, documentary-maker, nor even about you, Oprah. There is nothing to be done or gained by this interview. The man is DEAD. His children are NOT. The love of money is indeed the root of all evil. The love of fame/power — even 10 minutes of it — is the root below that one.)

~ Unfortunately, there was some real news, and real journalism.  Poor Alabama (especially). I’m so sorry for everyone’s tornado losses.  You’re in our thoughts and prayers. And the border women/teens/children? Yes, let the media put its attention THERE. It’s long overdue. (The beloved *emergency* wall isn’t going to fix undocumented kidnapping, rape, torture, oppression… Nothing but criminal prosecution and incarceration whenever trackable/possible will fix that– and that’s only on the outside. Nice try, though, Sir Orange. That sudden veryimportant-veryimportant *reason* for your bigboy-wall will make such sense to your ever-shrinking “Make Murica Something to Name My Gun After Again” base.)

~ “Chicago is sinking — here’s what that means” (Huh. Doesn’t it mean Chicago is sinking? We can probably figure out the rest.)

~ “8 foods to avoid if you are not a ruminant” (I made up that last part. Why not, everyone else does. Trust me, you just want to avoid them. Send now for my free report.. )

The news-peruse. It’s like eating sauerkraut for breakfast. Cold. Out of an open can in the ‘fridge, which then adds the nuance of metal. Not the best way to start a day. Though, surprisingly, cold metallic sauerkraut is not one of the 8 foods to avoid..







Really — not the best look for lilac branches.  (It all looks so minimal in amateur photos, lol. It’s, um, not.)  It’s one of those pretty snows, at least — though I would gladly export even the prettiest snow to anywhere that needs moisture. I’m sure many of us who get snow say that. It doesn’t work that way, and we here have not been bogged down with weather this winter, so I must stop complaining.

Except that this is no way to start one’s last evening-work week (I will soon encounter even more dirt than snow), or to start others’ return to school from “vacation” week NOT today after all. Grrr..  TGIC (coffee)! I’ve GOT this. Plus, I heard little bird-tweetings out there — it smells like Spring-Soon to them.. I’ll take their tweet for it.

How’s life in your neck of the March Monday woods? Wondrously good, I hope.








(which, by the way, reminds me of “Rudy’s Ruminations” ‘blogposts which are MIA. C’mon, Rudy! I’m not getting any younger!)

Anyway, there is fake news — I see it all the time (“President Trump” — insert Muttley laugh here as if the fact was an innocuous one); there are or were and may always be fake Facebook accounts; HOWEVER: just as misleading if not as dangerous (the “if” matters), there is fake weather forecasting — at least here in New England. Ncht.

Or, maybe it’s a CYA matter (but why??), because once again, we’re expecting accumulations of anywhere from less than an inch of snow to 3-5″ OR 6-10″ — in the same e-breath!

It seems the more technologically-advanced that meteorology gets, the less we can bank on any one forecast playing out. My family and I have four or more weather venue go-to’s; they all say something different for the same general area, and the snow-plowers who track weather maps, etc., say something different, TOO!

Granted, it’s March, here — it’s  always a crap shoot, but I’ve noticed more and more that Bill M. over in Peacocktown has been polled, as has Lizzie R. from the coast, who adds only a little more/less potential drama. The official weather station is up in New Mongolia. We don’t live there… Bill and Lizzie it is!

However, it’s Saturday, so it has already been sleep-in weather, sneak a cup of coffee from the busily-brewing $6. Goodwill-find (albeit forgetting for the second time, now, that the sneak-er is broken) weather; bottom line, it’s an all over weatherless NO WORK day — let it snow, rain, frog or what have you out there. The weather is most secondary for now!

What are you doing with your Saturday (if it’s Saturday where you are)? I’m looking incredibly forward to someone installing this new Singer sewing machine treadle belt (arrived yesterday) on my mom’s trusty old rig. WHY they converted it to electric, I’ll never know, but that whole system died years ago, and I not only miss having an option to sew by machine, but I LOVED the treadle part! One gets it down to a fine (foot-hand-eye) art! And I’m used to it — that’s fairly important! I don’t need the computer operated can-almost-fly models (of anything). Just the nuts and bolts thing, please.

Apart from that, there’s an upcoming store visit.. did you just yawn?

😉 So did I. I’ll try to say something mature/relevant/riveting tomorrow.

Or Monday, after it does or does not Snowpocalypse. Either way, drive carefully!