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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Urban Farming, I Hate Cold and Love Sofia Jannok

You'll be so surprised to hear that I picked up a copy of a magazine that I never knew existed before called "Urban Farm".  Here's their website: Urban Farm Online

Oh to see the shock on your face, eh?


Well, anyway, I was reading an article on chickens and the author was talking about how the egg production slows as the days get shorter (darker) and she lets them just take their rest and do their thang.  (Apparently there are other people who are so intense with their egg production that they force their chickens to keep on laying by introducing artificial light or something.  I do not know.  I do not have chickens.  Yet.)

But even though this is awesome and great, that is not the thing I loved most about this article.

This woman, I'm pretty sure, is 100% (maybe even more than that!) awesome.  Her name is Kelly Wood (from Portland, Oregon) and the name of the article is called "Egg-laying in Winter". (Urban Farm, p. 52-55)

She starts off her article describing how she loves the summer.  She loves waking up to the sunshine, it makes her feel productive and energized.  She gets in her garden and works it and often doesn't come in until the mosquitoes have bitten her up in the evening.  She says she even LOVES THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY.  Sigh!  (I was nearly jumping and screaming with joy at that sentence.)  Then she contrasts it with the disgusting cold and (okay, I may have added the "disgusting" part) the short days.  She says it makes her want to sit on the couch with a blanket and knit and read books.  

And probably just cry and wish it were summer again.

(Okay, fine.  I may have added that last bit, too.)

So I read it to my husband aloud and he remarked that she sounded just like me.  Maybe I have a twin out there somewhere.  Probs.  Except she already HAS chickens.  So jealous.

I love being warm.  When I have the somewhat rare opportunity to be in a car by myself, I turn the heat up all the way as hot as it can get and then turn the fan blasters on at the highest level to replicate a sauna (shout out to all my suomis out there!).  In fact - when I drive home from my morning post-pool workout, I often dry my hair with my car.  This is very effective when you want to look like Medusa.  So pretty, oh, so pretty!  I'm pretty sure if I do it often enough, it will eventually become a very popular style and everyone will try to emulate me and then I'll be in Vogue magazine in an interview and tell everyone my secret to great hair is to saturate it for an hour with chlorine and dry it with a car. 

It is dreadful to be cold.  And all those layers!  Ugh!  Your seatbelt has to stretch farther, you get all squooshed in your clothes and on your neck, you can't do cartwheels as easily (or other super important things!) - I could go on and on! 

Do you know in the summer when it is 100 degrees F or so, what one of the most fun and amazing things to do at 3:00 in the afternoon is?  Why, sit/lay on cement and absorb heat and sunshine, of course!  It is like your own personal outdoor sauna (If you just said "sana" in your head, you pronounced it wrong.  It's "sow-na".  It's Finnish.  Get it right or we'll come after you.  That's like saying "tortiLLa" with an "L" sound.  Ick!  Or pronouncing the "S" on the end of Illinois.  Epic failures all around.)  And that, my dears, is delicious.

Why on EARTH are you looking at me like that?  Pish posh.  Have you tried it before?  See.  There ya go.

Okay, so you're one of those people who likes that gross thing called "cold weather".  Okay, I get it.  I must admit, I do have some things I like about winter too.

One of those things is (OBVIOUSLY) snow skiing.  It is pretty much the funnest (yes, I am a word inventor) thing you can do in the snow.  Another fun activity is putting on your Yaktrax and going out for a run in the softly falling snow (even though you can't feel your legs or face for like eight days afterwards).  Probably worth it.  Frostbite what?

And then there is the landscape of winter in it's clean delight.  One video makes me appreciate this very much.  You can see it here with Sofia Jannok singing "Irene".  It's in Sami and she sings joiks (Swedish yodeling).  And it's probably the cutest thing you'll ever see on earth.  She is adorable.  She flops around in the snow and can really crank out the sound with a passionate flourish.  She is so one of my flavorites.  Oh please, go watch that. 

Did you do it?  Why not!?  You'll totally love it.  I promise I'll wait for you.  Please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease????

Thank you!

That's all that I can think of at the moment on the positive side of frigid death. 

Well, gotta go out to the sauna car now.  Stay warm and cozy, my dearies! 

Peace, love, chickens, summer and joiks,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fenugreek and Your Mapley Armpits

Hello and welcome to another edition of Crazyland, I’m Ms. Daisy, and I’ll be your host.

So. I love sprouty sprouts on my sandwiches. Don’t you? Say you do. They’re so yum. Well, I got this great sprout mix from the local health food store in seed form so I could just sprout them on my windowsill to my heart’s delight. Which, of course, I did.

Picture is thanks to

This lovely mix has 3 types of sprouting seeds in it: clover, fenugreek and radish.  Check it out!  It’s zingy and tasty. A delicious combination for any sandwich in need of some sprouts to cheer it up! Obviously, as you know by now, I have somewhat of a tendency to go slightly (shall we say?) overboard (tomato eating and whatnot).

And this is exactly what I did on the sprouts.

Shock and awe, right?

I know.

So let’s just say I thought they were so delicious and wonderful that I started eating them every day until they were all gone. Yum. I ate them on crackers, in sandwiches and just plain by the handful.

Then something strange happened.

There was this smell. This mapley-syrup smell. 

Coming from where, say you? Ah, yes. It was only just coming out of my armpits. Naturally!

This was slightly alarming, but it was the exact same smell I smelled last year when I took this herbal concoction of Fennu-Thyme. Fennu-Thyme? Wait a minute - it was the FENUGREEK! Eee-gads!

I mean, it went away last year after a while so I wasn’t too worried. But still.

So I called my dear friend, because she cooks food with flavor and yummy-ness and I knew she probably used fenugreek at times. I happen to get her on speaker with her hubby and I asked them if perchance, maybe, when they ate fenugreek, did they have it sweating out of their armpits later?

Their answer was laughter and a resounding “no”. She said that she doesn’t usually eat it in raw sprouty form, and just usually cooks up the seeds or uses the ground up powder, so maybe it was different.

Uh-oh. Great. Well.

So I go back to my health food store (because I love it) and I happen to be talking with the manager about plenty of things (because that’s what I do) and I ask her if she’s ever sprouted the zingy trio – and I’m in luck, she has. I then ask (in a tone trying to sound as nonchalant as I possibly can), “Have you ever…um…had the smell of fenugreek coming out of your armpits later? Like when you’re sweating?”

Response, “Um, you better look that up online or something.”

Fan-freakin’-tastic. Even the manager of the health food store – a person, I’m sure, who has heard the most insane problems ever known to humanity - thinks I’m a freak! She suggests maybe I’m one of those people who has a special gene that I can smell things that other people can’t. Yeah, I’m special all right. Like an Ohioan. Great.

So I think to myself, great, I have some disease. I have Maple Syrup Fenugreek Armpit Disease or something. That must be it. I’ll look it up online. I look up “sweating fenugreek”.

There is really not much out there on this. Either most people are not sprouting fenugreek (possible) or most people don’t smell like a Vermont forest in March after its consumption (also possible).

And then I find it.

It’s this site, titled something like “the largest raw food site on the net” and they have a forum. Within this forum, they have a post about sweating out fenugreek. Glory! Jackpot. Apparently it is an herb that is used often to boost volumes of human lactation (Eeks, don’t need that! Not now, anyway, thankyouverymuch.).

A woman asks if anyone has ever experienced a maple syrup smell sweating out of them after eating fenugreek. The responses are varied, but they mostly seem to rejoice in this (sigh of relief/eyebrow of perplexity) and one person says, “Who needs patchouli when you have fenugreek?”

Oh. Yes. Obviously.

I am pretty sure I am going to get my Certified Organic Granola Crunchy Hippie status certificate in the mail any day now.

Peace, love and pancakes, anyone?

Ms. Daisy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Can Do EEEET!

Do you know?  Do you have ANY idea of how capable you are?

I am not telling you this in some pretend "achieve your dreams" cheddar cheesy way.  

I am here, today, right in front of your monitor/screen/whatsit telling YOU - you can be more self-sufficient.  If I could produce my smiling face through your device, reach my two arms through the screen and grab you by your shoulders and shake you (lightly, I am not here to abuse you), I would say, "You can do EEET!" (Well, I would say it in a weird accent, first of all, because it's more humorous, second of all because if I am so weird that I'm acting akin to PeeWee's Play House genie head all up in a box, well, I guess that talking weirdly would just be expected.  Thirdly, BECAUSE YOU CAN.)

And that's really the main point.

You can make your own things.

There's no rocket science thing going on here.

Or at least in my kitchen.  I guess if you want to do rocket science in yours, go ahead.  You can!  Because golly gee whiz, you're smart enough.

(If I seem a little distracted, sorry, it's because the soundtrack in the background while I write this is my husband singing along to every single 70s/80's song he's ever known in a falsetto voice.  And yes, he knows EVERY word.  Goodie.)

Okay, think about it.  What about bread?  Check this recipe out!  If you haven't made your own delicious homemade bread, go there, try it.  It's so easy, you just might be tempted to strut around in awesomeness.

There are so many things you can do on your own that you probably never thought of!    What about making your own laundry detergent?  Automatic dishwasher detergent?  Blankets?  Soap?  Curtains?  Pasta?  Ice cream?  Perfume/cologne?  Mustard?  Granola? Eye makeup remover?  Carpet stain remover?  Kombucha?  Lotion bars?  Crackers?  Skirts?  Marshmallows?  Face powder made of eggshells.?

What do you want to learn how to make?  There are so many resources out there that you can go to to get some good info.
One of them is one of my absolute flavorites - Crunchy Betty.  She is the bomb, baby.  You can look up how to make your own booty butters (yes, for real, in coffee bean flavor), lip stuffs, glass cleaners, eye makeup remover, and about twelveteen hundred other things. 

One of the easiest concoctions I learned from Ms. Betty* is the aforementioned eye makeup remover.  Have you ever read the ingredients of an eye makeup remover potion?  It's like twelve ingredients and the all start with poison and petrol.  Please slather more of that directly into my eyeball, thank you.  Great idea.  Why don't we just go out to the gas station and wipe that on our eyes when we need a good cleaner?  Right.  Exactly.  Because that's insane.  Let me implore you to take a look at your ingredients and ask yourself if you may have a bottle of insanity in your precious hands. 

Crunchy Betty has a two ingredient magic potion (TWO!  Much better than twelveteen.  Or whatever yours might have.) for eye makeup removal.  And guess what?  They're totally normal things.  And it costs like 41 cents to make it.  No, for real.  Actually, probably less.

Ready?  This is your first assignment, should you choose to accept it.  (Homeboys, I think you could make this for your wifies and surprise them with your creativity, thoughtfulness and kindness.  Or buy flowers.  But this is way cheaper.)  Are you sure?  Okay, this is gonna be really hard.  Go get the following ingredients:

- olive oil
- witch hazel

Wow.  That was a long list.

Now for the difficult part.  Mix them in equal proportions in a whatever type of bottle you want to.  I usually do put an eetsy bit more of the witch hazel because I tend to zitify more than dry out.  Close the top.  Shake.  Squirt on a cotton ball/round/rectangle/panda-bear-shape, etc. and use to wipe off your eye makeup.  Then, with a triumphant voice, shout, "I CAN DO EEEEET!!!!!"

Holy cannoli, you did it.  You really did.  And it was so hard.  And you just saved yourself like a year of your life with the anti-petrol and $6.99 in your wallet. 

So super easy - you could even make it as a little gift for the holidays coming up!  You could label it as Petrol-Free Eye Makeup Remover.  Everyone would wonder at you in amazement. 

So, that's one thing you can do on your own.  What are some things you have dreamed of making but have never quite done yet?  Any good "recipes" for homemade stuffs out there that you've found?

I'd love to hear 'em!

Have a blessed day, m'dearies!

Peace, love and please for the love of all that is good and decent stop putting gasoline in your eyeballs,
Ms. Daisy

*Totally not her real name, her name is actually Leslie.

Monday, October 22, 2012

This Means War

No, I am not talking about Petra.  Not today, anyway.

I am talking about an all out, full-blown, weapons of mass destructions-type war.  No, not war on Monsanto.  Yet.  I am thinking with the whole up for vote thing going on in California, that might be coming down the tube.  

No, not war on Big Sugar, King Corn or Big Pharma.  

This war is all physical, and a blood-sweat-and-tears kind of thing.

This is the war on the leaves.

Some person, long ago (I'm assuming) made up this nice word: "autumn".  Um no.  That person probably lived in Miami and thought it was cold and wintery at the oh-so-brisk temperature of 65 F.  I prefer the shorter, uglier, and more descriptive "fall".  That would be because everywhere I look, I see hunks of crunchy, crusty, disgusting, browned-up leaves crapping from the sky onto my lawn.  

Fall in the mountains is lovely, I'm sure.  You can see it from a distance!  Look at those lovely colors!  Or perhaps down a country lane, just like in a commercial and the swirls of leaves fall in behind you like a sprinkling of fairy dust.  Or you can conjure up images of a lovely Amish town, buggies speaking to us in the time of yesteryear, reminding us of scents like pumpkin pie, spiced cider, and lovely candles in each window.

But in my crib, this AIN'T that.

Yes, I said ain't.  That is how distressed I am.  This is upsetting enough to get me standing in front of my window with my neck "oh-no-you-didn't-ing" all over the place while my hands and fingers are whipping this way and that as snaps fly left and right as the outrageously uninvited piles of deciduous blarg slop down on my grass.  

(And yes, thank you for asking, the grass is doing just great.  It's actually turning back to that phenomenal color called green.  And those little sprouts!  They're popping up everywhere.  My insanity is paying off.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should take a look at this: It's the concrete evidence of insanity, essentially.)

I wake up.  I open the shades.  I look at my lawn.  It's trying to obey.  It's trying to raise itself up by it's bootstraps and get out of it's ghetto ways.  It's doing a nice job.  I mean, hey.  No more Ratty McCatskins over here, and it's turning back to the normal shade it's supposed to be.  And then what happens?  The demon-possessed maple tree decides it's done, it's had it, it's gettin' jiggy wit it and off come the leaves.  Excuse me?  Where do you think YOU are going?  It doesn't care, it doesn't listen.  It's like it needs to get on Nanny 911 asap.  If I could put it on a naughty step, I would.  If I could chop it down and not have it fall on fifteen houses because it's so big, I would also go for that.  If it didn't cost like two million bazillion hundred squillion dollars to pay someone else to do it, I would lynch that sucker in ten seconds flat.  But, alas, here I am, all qualmed up.  Kill neighbors homes vs. two million bazillion hundred squillion dollars vs. me picking up so many leaves that you could fill a barn with them.

Bring it.  

Oh it's ON, BABY.  LIKE DONKEY KONG, BABY. (if you didn't read that in a sassy voice with your eyeballs bulging out of your head, you need to restart and try again.  Don't forget the head wagging.)

So yeah, I cranked out like 4 hours of yard work today and yes, my lawn is like 23 square feet or something.  Whatever.  I rounded up.  Don't hate.  And now, what have we got?  Green.  Open the window, mira!  It's grass.  

Today's score - Ms. Daisy: 1, Demon-possessed maple tree: 0

As you know, fall isn't over.  We've got another round to fight.  I'll be ready.  I've got a leaf-blower, a rake, my lawnmower, a broom, and all the compost bags I'll need to cram those uglies in.  

And for now, I will go off to dreaming of ways to hang gigantic tarps from the sky above my grass so that they can just slide off, like in a tent-ish fashion away from my lawn forrrreeevvverrrr.  

I'll get you my pretties, and your little dog, too!  

Wait, what was I saying about insanity before?  Oh, nothing.  Never mind.  Probably doesn't apply here.  Right.

Anyway - peace, love and a two-speed leaf blower,
Ms. Daisy

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Random Nancy Perkins vol. 2 or Deep Thoughts

1.  On a computer, why isn't the opposite of "shut down", shut up?

2.  Why is it that you can make it rain by washing your car, windy by clearing away all of the leaves from your lawn, and cause the price of gas to fall $0.10/gallon six hours after you've filled your whole tank?

And, somewhat related-ly:

3.  Why does dirty clothing appear instantly in the wrong places (a child's dresser drawer) the moment after you've just washed all of the laundry?

If you know the answers to these (and many more) questions, please feel free to comment.

I would love to know.  In fact, if you have some ideas for the prevention of such madness, please share it with the rest of the class.


Peace, love and serenity now,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, October 19, 2012

Don't Talk to Strangers

Yesterday I asked myself the question, “Is this really my life right now?”

And so begins every story: What you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

It was a dark and stormy night…

No. Wrong story. I got into prefab story mode for a second with all that schpiel at the beginning.

Okay, the real story is as follows. My friend who moved away (they all do, it seems) had a baby girl. Her name is Anna*. I have been thinking about her a lot as she had a c-section and has a pile of boys running around her at home. Recovering from a major abdominal surgery is a good reason to put your whole life on pause, except for when you can’t since you have a pile of boys running around you. So I was thinking of her quite often, praying for a full and quick recovery.

I sent her a text that said something along those lines – “Congrats on your baby girl! I am thinking of you and praying you recover well soon! Hugs!”

I got a text back – “This isn’t Anna*, but if you let me know who this is, I can get her the message.”

Uh…oops. So I look at my contacts and yes, it is under her name, and yes, she has moved, but I knew she had the same number. I figured out that I had saved her cell under the house icon and I must have texted her husband (who I must have assigned the cell phone icon).

So I replied, “Oh, hopefully this is Jacob* and not some random person. Sorry about that! Congrats to you, too! This is Daisy.”

Response – “This isn’t Jacob*, but randomly I have a daughter who is named Anna* who also happens to be pregnant.”

Whaa? Oh no. Weirdsauce fail.

I reply, “Ha ha! Oops. Sorry. Congrats anyway!”

Person responds with a text that says, “[Sent by voice: thanks text anytime anyway] to listen, go to*”

At first, I think to myself – I am so not going to listen to that because it’s probably a weirdo. Why would any stranger send their voice back unless they were extra weird? Or is it because they’re driving? Um, I dunno.

Curiosity got the better of me and an hour or two later, I check the link.

It’s totally a weird old man.

Hello, my life. Hello, blocked numbers list.

I love my life.

Until next time – peace, love and here’s to NOT talking to strangers,
Ms. Daisy

* totally not the real name

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ratman Returns

Hello, my dearies.  Today I shall tell you another story in the long and winding saga of Ratlandia.  Our story begins here: My story of rats and a perpetual fire.  

Let's move on now to chapter twelveteenhundred.  

As our story opens, the Jefferson's ratpartment building has been torn down and burned up.  We begin with an ignored (or really an unheard) knock upon the door by Mr. Ratman himself at the house of Ms. Daisy Princess.  Since he was not heard, he meanders along the perimeter of the castle in the ever-pressing effort toward rooting out and exterminating the evil rat population.  Ratman is looking over fences, squinting and doing is best to use his eagle-eye peering skills to spy out any trace of rat harbor.

Ms. Princess exits her castle to greet Mr. Ratman.  Ratman asks permission to spy out the outer gardens (a.k.a. the backyard in other vernacular) and she grants permission to do so.  Ratman tells her that she must excavate her properties outbuilding (= prefabbed shed).  She assures him that the rat population is not being harbored in her grounds and isn't there something we might be able to work out?  She loves her dear properties outbuilding (shed) because it keeps the stinky gasoline powered equipment out of her carriage house (a.k.a. garage).  Ratman flinches in a moment of pity and admits that perhaps her properties outbuilding (shed) may just quite actually fall under a certain clause wherein, due to it's size (smallishness), it may escape total and utter destruction.  It may, if Princess could twinkle nice enough-ly, even have a chance that it would neither be required to move out of it's current location nor be annihilated.  But in order for this to occur, it must be moved for an inspection to verify that there aren't any ratty ratsicles building ratpartments beneath the twinkling, sparkly, lovely properties outbuilding.

Glory!  Princess smiles thankfully and promises to keep an eye out for ratness and says that she will indeed move her properties outbuilding (shed) for him to come back and inspect with all of his eagle-eye might. 

Prince Charming, however, is the one to do the moving.  Princess would not be the one to tip a properties outbuilding (prefab shed) upon her sparkly self (even though she is obviously so tough she could handle it, yet she prefers not to, strictly out of principle).  Thus, Prince Charming moves the properties outbuilding (shed) and tips it on its side (after it was emptied, of course.  We're not that daff.). 

Princess was a little disturbed when the properties outbuilding was tipped as she found a white, flattened, disintegrating (approaching skeleton-ism), gigantic rat beneath her outbuilding.  It was quite the size of a cat.  Or an opposum.  Or Michael Jordan's shoe.  Whatever.  Gigantic.  Not normal.  Like it had eaten a quarter of a cow when it was on sale.  In one sitting.

Because these things are disgusting and disturbing, Princess decided the very best thing to do with Rat Cat was to obviously get Prince Charming to dispose of it and pretend it never happened.  Tut, tut!  And with a dusting off of the hands, *poof*, Rat Cat was gone.

I'm pretty sure that thing could have been a source of food for an entire rat army.

So let's not tell Mr. Ratman and pretend we didn't notice it.  Announcement: this didn't happen!  No rats here!  Excellent.  Well, no live ones and neither are there any rat tunnels.  (I bet that thing got in there and was so huge it couldn't find a way out.  Ten years ago.  Maybe I should have sold the rat skeleton on ebay.  Oh well.)

Where were we?

Ah yes, nothing to be concerned about.  So sparkly Princess and Mr. Ratman must meet again.  Mr. Ratman comes out, inspects the lovely area where the castle's outbuilding sat (and is now at this point quite sideways on the ground), puffs triumphantly, waves his magic wand and violá - issues the magic ticket!  "Approved". 

Team Sparkle and the Outbuildings: 1,   Ratsicles: 0

Unfortunately, the moving of the building has created an uneven ground wherein now there are gaps in areas abutting the shed, er, properties outbuilding.  They're just right for a rat family to move right in and make themselves at home.  Thanks, Ratman.

I'm glad we had this enlightening experience. 

Please join us next time for another exciting adventure (cue theme song) in the life of...(bum ba da bum!) Ms. Daisy Princess!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Natural" = nothing

Do you ever just say, "What the crap!"

No?  Well you should start.

"Pray tell, why?" Thou sayeth to me.  

"Becauseth", say I.  "The word 'natural' now means absolutely, positively, completely and wholly nothing."

"Natural" is a word that the conglomeration of industries slap on to their bottles, boxes, bags, and other packaging materials in a marketing strategy effort to deceive the masses into thinking that what they're buying is totally awesome.  And healthy.  And great.

I am here to tell you that, no, my dearies, do not fall in with that fold.  Do not go astray.  It would be baaaaaaaaaaad (that's a sheep noise). reports that many BABY shampoos and washes contain the extremely toxic ingredients of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.  See the list right-o here-o: .  

Part of it is that the FDA (and other oh-so-very-special-agencies-with-acronyms) does not regulate the word "natural", so you can put it on anything.  You could legally put "natural" on pretty much everything.  So, great and awesome and lovely companies do just that.  That's mainly because most people are complete morons.  (If you are reading my blog, you are clearly NOT a moron.)

This spans food, health products, hair and body glops, the whole nine.  The thing is filled with preservatives, chemicals and poison and they're all like, "New Poisonberry Crunch BHT!  Totally natural!"  Riiiiiiight.  Awesome.  I'm so buying it.

Do you know why they get away with this?  (Cry out with me, "WHY, WHY, WHYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!???")

Because, me lovies, most people don't read the ingredients label.  Seriously.  I know.  You're like, what?  How could people not read the ingredients label!?  

Wait, what?  

Did you just say that YOU don't read the ingredients label?  Well, girlfriend/homeboy, you betta start!

Seriously, they are cramming crap in there at flamboyant rates.  If it has an abbreviation/acronym, there's a reason.  They are trying to keep it a secret.  I guarantee you can look that puppy up and it will have its own MSDS sheet and give you hazmat info.  

One time I looked up some ingredients in the cosmetics I had.  I looked it up on MSDS and it said to keep away from mucus membranes.  MUCUS MEMBRANES!  It was something like lipstick or mascara.  Good thing those don't get near any openings in your face.  That would be dangerous.  Yeah.  Um what?!  Good plan.  

What the crap!  Exactly.

See, told you.

If you have any shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, cosmetics, hair styling product, etc., let me encourage you to test it into the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website.  You will thank me later.  After you die of horror initially, that is.  It really should be a crime for them to market total poison so you can slather it  all over your largest organ, but, alas, it is not.  Maybe that's because those companies are besties with the governmental agencies that are supposed to regulate them.  (It's like an ironic sick joke!  Ha ha ha.  <-- That's a very un-hearty laugh there.)

Here, check it out:

You will be so unpleasantly surprised.  I'm sorry, I know.  You're like, YEAH THANKS, AWESOME, could you please come and rain on my sunshiney day some more please!? Yeay, I come here, wanting to be entertained and you're  just telling me I'm being poisoned.  Great.  HA HA HA.  I LOVE YOU.  THIS IS SO FUNNY I CAN'T STAND IT.

I know.  But think about it this way - if I didn't tell you, I wouldn't really be a very nice friend, would I?  I'd just let you go about your sunshiney day with sodium laurel/laureth sulfates on your head and in your mouth from your shampoo and toothpaste and you'd just die a slow, evil, cancerous death and then where would your sunshine be?  

What the crap!

See?  It's really a very useful phrase.  You'll get used to it.

(Apparently especially if you keep reading this blog.)

So, I dare you.  Do it.  Go grab a shampoo bottle and plug it in to the EWG.  Then have a party and grab some cleaning products.  Then grab your lipstick (no, not you, homeboys.) and your mascara and your foundation and your...whatever else you use...and check it out.  I told my mama-in-law to try hers and she thought she would be set because she uses expensive stuff.  But, NO!  They even poison you if you like to spend a lot of money.  And you know for sure if you're using Wet N'Wild, you're pretty much going to die in ten minutes.  Not to be dramatic.  Or anything.

What the crap!

Hee hee!

Okay, okay, okay.  Let me know.  How did your stuff measure up?

Until next time - peace, love and a whole lotta what the crap,
Ms. Daisy

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Friends and the river of life

The good Lord has given me many blessings, the best of them eternal and some pink glittery extras just for fun.  (I have totally always wanted to start off a sentence with "The good Lord has given me many blessings".  And now I did!  Thanks for being here for it.  It sounds like I need to be in a rocking chair with an afghan - that's lowercase, as in blanket, not uppercase, as in a human.)

One of those blessings that spans both the pink glittery now time and the eternal are my friends.  I have awesometastic friends.  The crap part is that they always move away!  (What!  Is it my deodorant??  Was it something I said?  I'm barely opinionated, so it couldn't be that...)

I keep a 3x5 card of a list of my homegirls who I have been close to over the years who have moved far away from me.  It's a good reminder that this world is not static.  We're passing through and going on our journey.  

Some of my lovelies grew up with me and we went to school together.  I have one dear friend who I have shared an entire life with.  We had childhood together, we went through school together,  were on swim teams together, ate midnight peanuts together, made up pretend commercials together, we even went to university together (and even got to be roommates one year).  She's a few time zones away now, but time and space can't squish a friendship that has been woven throughout a lifetime.  If you knew either one of us, you might be really surprised that we are friends because on the issues that define many people, we aren't even close.  But that doesn't matter in a friendship and it has taught me that a lot of people are missing out on wonderful people because they could never imagine being friends with someone so far outside of their usual accepted circle.  

So, moral of the story is - stop being an idiot.  That guy with the bumper sticker you hate that makes your blood boil might actually be a really cool person.  But you never took the time to figure that out because you're too busy running him off of the road.  So try it.  You might like it.  It's called being loving.

I have the loveliest of besties, too.  These people are more like sisters (and HECK, one of them IS my sister) than just friends.  Special people who were made to share things that are quite unthinkable to even barely vocalize in front of your own mirror, they work it out, laugh with you, and accept you for the 100% crazy person that you are.  They are an example of this life of Christ in the flesh - loving you, serving you, carrying your burdens with you, and praying for you.  They are those with whom you could spend entire years of your life just straight talking with and never run out of things to say.  They make you tea, encourage your eclectic ideas (and self), go shopping with you, get loud and excited with you, and even feed you.  You know who you are and I love you and I could write novels about the ways in which you are totally awesomesauce to me.

I also have divas!  My divas are an eclectic collection of extremely different and fascinating people who love each other and love to have fun.  Divas can get real, get crazy, wear wigs, cry (for joy and for weeping in restaurants over a glass of wine), get fitted for undergarments, get glittered, get sassy, make you pee your pants with laughter, and can't get past 8:30 p.m. without breaking out into hysterical uproarious conversaional topics.  If you've had a bad week, it gets cured STAT with these ladies on it.  They are those who figure on a good weekend getaway and one of the criteria is that it be far away from other people so we don't wake them up and get kicked out.  Whether you're getting kicked out of a hotel room, shopping in Chicago, going for sushi and martinis, having Christmas/lake parties or spending hours in a parking lot in the back of a minivan because you closed out Starbucks, divas are a refreshing fountain of joy in the humdrum of the everyday patterns of life.  (And for the record, just in case ya'll think I'm overboard, I couldn't drink a martini if my life depended on it, in case you were wondering what kind of a wild child I really was.)

I have had sunshiney people that walked with me through post-grad stuff, those that have trudged with me in the depths of the days of babies offering their support, their stories and their camraderie of understanding (like what it means to them right now when you explain about how in that stage of life, while you were at the mall, your offspring thought it would be a good time to take the world's biggest dump, which climbed out of the diaper, up the back, and was nary bathing the back of their little head with poo).  

There are people you found out you loved and had so much in common with too late - they moved as you were getting to know each other.  (Now who are you going to talk about triathlons and saunas with?)

There are special, lovely and generous people who come from half a world away, step into your life, brighten it up, make it lovelier (even bring you tea, teach you about foot paths, boots, and whirlies) and are whisked away, as fast as they came in.  As they do, a little piece of your life and heart flies away with them.  You're back to where you were before they arrived, but both happier and sadder for the whole thing.  

There are even cute people who send you mittens.   Homemade ones.  GLITTERY PINK ONES!!  Of course THEY are going to move away.  :(  (Now who are you going to ask your dental questions to?!)

Some go away and come back.  And you're very glad they did.  I have one friend who pops in and out of places.  (She's busy with Zumba, you know.)  

They never leave your life.  Even if they're really gone, they gave you something of themselves and you are different because of it.

Some leave because their time is up here on this earth.  It really makes me recognize that the good Lord did mean for this place to be eternal (until we screwed it up, way to go Adam - no, not the HFCS Adam, the first Adam) because saying goodbye really  just stinks. In the last few years, I've had two cousins pass on from this world at very young ages.  You never know when you'll be getting on that bus for your last trip.  I hope you've made your time and your priorities match up.

Whoever you are and wherever you fit, I'm glad you've impacted my life.  And that's enough mushy crap because you guys know I really don't have a heart anyway, it's made of rocks and ice and devoid of feelings, straight up like a drill sargent Geico commercial.


Peace, love, mushy stuff and here's to good friends!
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Fostering of Self-Absorption

What's up, my peeps!?  

Today let's chat about the shrinking world view of many, specifically those born and raised in the U.S. of A.  Now I'm not saying that people in other countries aren't self-centered, I'm sure they are.  But there's this proliferation and pride that comes with it in the United States that I believe may not be comparable anywhere else.

First - let's talk about language and domination.  Anywhere in the history of the world where there was successful takeover and invasion, the language changed to the group of power in order to foster a growth of the new culture.  The deep desire for power and for acceptance drove the rest of the masses toward adopting that dominating language and culture, making those who stick with their original language fall toward becoming obsolete.  (This is not in every historical instance, but there is a pattern that can't be ignored.)  This unites a larger group, making the original takeover power able to consolidate their power and continue to spread.

What percent of natural-born Americans (when I say "Americans", I mean "United Statesians".  America is a huge place that encompasses North, Central and South America, but I am using the term loosely to make it easier.) speak more than one language?  More than two languages?  As far as a second language in general (meaning anyone born here or elsewhere: a.k.a. more likely to learn English as a second language), we're up to around 18-20%.  In Europe, the statistics look more like 52-56%.  Now I totally get it - in Europe, you've got a smaller land area per country and each country (for the most part) speaks a different language, so just to get around and get along, you've got to figure something out.  And if you're in India, you've got to be trilingual at minimum to make it work, it seems.  

What happens in America?  People figure, "Aww, if peeps wanna talk to me, they gotta speak English."  And you can forget about having an accent.  People are going to strain their eyes, crinkle their brows, and get their undies all up in a bunch about it if they can't catch you clearly.  Then they're gonna be all, "Aww MAAAAN!  Why can't people just freakin' speak English!?"  Ahem.  Way to go.

Great jeaorb.  (-Coach Z)

Second - the traditional approach to history and social studies in the education system within the United States proliferates a small-minded, self-centered view. When kidlets start off in preschool as little 3 and 4 and 5 year olds, their well-meaning teachers instruct them about their communities and social studies topics are things like "community helpers" (a.k.a. let's talk about what a fireman and a librarian are).  

I know that most people think that little kids are dumbo heads, but if you think twice about it, you know that they actually are little sponges.  Teach them good stuff!  Teach them about the beginning of this story of our world and how we're just the latest chapter in a very long novel.   In the education system of the United States, once students get past their own small community, they learn about their area, then by the time they hit 3rd or 4th grade, they learn about their state.  After that, it's a free for all in repeating the history of the United States from about 1775 and a half to present.  

Thus, according to our education system, the world pretty much did not exist before 1770.  And not only that, but there aren't any other countries out there except for those that deal with us in a major way.  This is so utterly absurd and hideous that for the most part, most students barf when they think of history and don't want to go further and think about the rest of the world.  They lack in geography skills (think of Jay Leno asking Americans to point things out on a world map and they can't do it) because all they need to know about anything related to a map is the directions to a mall and they've got an app for that on their iphone.

As seen in Martha Stewart's Everyday Living this month: kinda funny,
except for the part that there are some people out there who
might not actually know this is a joke. 

  What is the remedy?  I submit that a cure might just be classical education.  

Students learn Latin starting at 3rd grade (for the most part), and from 1st grade they begin learning about the start of our world in a chronological order, weaving histories together into a beautiful and logical tapestry.  They are given tools they need to break up and make sense of classical books and literature through learning grammar (including diagramming of sentences, yay!).  Grammar is the base of learning other languages by facilitating the development of necessary foundational building blocks and the understanding of those foreign languages.  Classical texts are chosen for review and thought, exposing students to beautiful and thoughtful works instead of fluffy puffy brain crack (stuff along the lines of Goosebumps, Sweet Valley Twins, and other high fructose corn syrup for the mind).  

And p.s., I'm all for reading for fun, but let's not have everything be akin to fluffy puff marshmallows (which I'm sure Homestar totally loves).  

Anyway, my whole point is that I think there's something lacking and fostering a child's already self-centered mentality is probably going to end up somehow to their (or another's) detriment.  Breeding an entire generation and nation of such thinkers might just flush us straight down the toilet.  Good thing that's not at all where we're headed.

What do you think?  Have you ever explored classical education?  How many languages do you speak fluently and how many have you studied somewhat?  Are you able to label a map of Europe, the states within the United States, the continents and most countries around the globe?  

It's not too late to learn.  Go on, get out there, expand your mind.  (Not in an LSD kind of way.)

And while you're at it, have a sip of kombucha.  You'll feel so awesomesauce you might  almost want to explode.  

Peace, love, and here's to using our brains,
Ms. Daisy  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I love tomatoes!

Well, it's true.  I do.  

Let me show you the crazy ways.

A couple years ago I got all excited because they were coming into season, so I went to a farmers market and got an exorbitant amount of them.  What did I do next?  Ah yes, now I remember.  I ate them like my life, your life and the fate of the world depended on it.

Then I got mouth ulcers and I couldn't stand up straight because the acid in my stomach was burning holes on the insides of my body.  I called a chiropractor who instructed me to eat beets (now I know some of you say "yum" when you hear the word beets.  I say "dirt" and "barf" and "bleeeeeeaaaachhh".), and not only eat beets, but to eat them with...get this, apple cider vinegar.  As if the beets and the stomach aliens weren't enough, now I'm going to have to bottoms-up-drink-er-down with some ACV.  Fan-freakin'-tastic.  So, I did.  I love torture.

After a few days, I was able to stand back up again.  It was great.  That whole being upright thing is actually really handy.

Then came the next episode in the saga of my life and tomatoes.  Canning!!!  My dear friend Jen taught me how to can.  This girl can can!  (Isn't that a great sentence?)  Jen can actually do anything.  She knows how to knit, quilt, garden, can food, deal with boys (she has only 5 of them - six if you count her hubby) AND chickens, and she is a patient and calm teacher.  So I went over to her house for a hands-on tutorial.  Yay!  (Thank you, Jen.  You are awesomesauce!)

After I learned, I figured I could try it myself in the privacy of my own stingray-laden kitchen.  So, I did it.  It took like four hours.  Then I read about botulism and I dumped all of the jars I did myself into ziploc bags and put them all in the freezer instead.  Great experience.

Today I decided to climb back up onto the horse.  I was inspired by my other friend (hej bastis, hur ar laget!), Tess.  We went to her house and had the best spaghetti in the whole world.  She brought me to a beautiful row of canned tomatoes and showed me that that was her starter.  I knew that I must do it, too.  

Now I am not afraid of canning preserves of fruit, that is a rip-roarin' good time.  But the tomatoes!  OH!  They scare me.  The day I read about botulism is burned on my brain!  Maybe it's burned there with tomato acid.  Anyway.  

Today was my day.

So, since I like to be completely over the top at all times, I purchased some tomatoes to can today.  How much?  

Thirty-five pounds.  

Yes, f'real.

I got this huge box from a lovely farmer who told me he doesn't spray anything on his little beauties and that was good enough for me.  He carried it to the car for me (I let him.).  Then I was off, speeding on my way towards home with a box that was the size of a small dog's cage filled to the top with tomatoes of all sizes.  I got home, took out the canning supplies and then went out to get the box.  This is when I realized that thirty-five pounds is a lot of tomatoes.  

Then I opened the box.  What I saw before me was a vast sea of unending tomatoes.  Botulism flashed in my mind.  No.  I'm going to do this.  I will be just fine.  

Holy smokes, that is a lot of tomato!  Yes, yes, yes, I will get lots of practice.  It will be great.  Hubby came home.  He says, "When you said 35 pounds of tomatoes, I thought you were kidding.  You were not kidding."

Psh, I can do this.  Okay.  What was it again that I'm supposed to do?  Just what everyone does - look up stuff on the internet.  Then call Jen in case of an emergency.

Got it.  

So I make a mess and make it look like I slaughtered something in my kitchen - there's red tomato madness up the side of my fridge, every countertop is covered in tomato and canning accessories and my hair is curling from the amount of humidity I am putting into the air in the form of billowing steam.  

Let me just make something clear here.  I hate messes.  Hate.  They can be in other people's places, I don't mind them there.  But when it crawls over into my area, we've got a problema.

Oh we had a problema, all right.  I made the local dump look like a professional garden  with a complete butterfly house in it!  Okay, I say, self - get it together.  We can clean this up later.  Focus.  Tomatoes.

Yeah, I think I can focus on the tomatoes.  They're on every surface.

So in go the first batch of jars.  Pop!  Pop!  Pop!

Wait, wait, wait!  What is that?  Is that supposed to happen?  What is that popping?  I don't remember that happening when I was with Jen.  

Open lid.

Awesome.  The bottoms of the jars busted off.  So now I have a sea of squishing tomatoes in glass-infested waters.  Time to go fishing!  Boiling water + broken glass = a pretty good time.  I only broke 5 jars total.  Only.

After about 6 hours, I wondered if I was absorbing the acid through my skin.  My lips were chapped beyond recognition, my fingernails were turning slightly orange.

But, yes, oh yes.  I did it.  I had to scrounge up every jar in the house to get them all in, but off they went.

I conquered the tomatoes.  

And now, even though I won't want to look at a tomato until January, they'll be there.  Waiting patiently for me.

Sans botulism.

I hope.

Long live spaghetti!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Knock down, drag out, remember the Alamo, it's an election year!

If you've heard in the news lately, you may have noticed that in the good ol' U.S. of A. here we've got what you'd call a big ol' full on political fight.  Yes, my dearies, it's an election year.  The time in our country where people dig out their bumper stickers, get into loud shouting matches and check their brains at the door (and forget the pick up ticket) so they, too, can jump on their favorite 100%-always-right-political-party boat while it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.  

Good plan.

We have these two main parties that fight for the spotlight and point out how the other party is totally el wrong-o.  One party gets blamed for being in love with rich people, another party is blamed for being in love with murdering babies, both of them promise you (cross their heart and hope to die) that they'll never in their entire life ever even think about raising taxes on you (pinkie swear, stick a needle in my eye).  How's that working out for yas?

It's also the time that you can play everyone's favorite game: The Reagan Tally!  Whoever says "Ronald Reagan" the most, wins.  Bonus points are given for whoever makes a better smirk at their opponent.  Smirking must always be done as you look away and downward, half an extra bonus point if you shake your head (pretending you're meaning, "Oh-you-are-so-el-wrongo" to the public, but on the inside thinking, "I gotta think up a really great whopper to get out of this one.  Maybe I can talk about...taxes and healthcare, that will steer 'em off of this sticky stink!").

You can usually pick your political party based on your race or religion or sexual orientation.  Those all carry some weight.  If you're a teacher or any other type of union worker, you've got yours picked for you also.  Are you pro-life?  Well, get into your category.  Nobody anymore really actually thinks about those pesky little whiners in the back of their own head, namely their own thoughts.

People on the radio and the nightly news are making those decisions for you and you can just smile, clap and get on board with them, because that (quite frankly) takes a lot less effort than having to go through all that hard thinking garbage.  Thinking!  It's for the birds.  

(Put a bird on it! - Portlandia ...sorry.)

I love also how the main political candidates pretend that they are regular, normal, Joe Schmoes.  This is actually my favorite part of the whole thing.  "My grandmammy always used to tell me, 'Sonny! You gotta eat yer grits and grow big and strong or yehs won't be able to work up at the factory like Uncle Bob!'"  Lookie here, me smarties, get real - they couldn't tell you the amount it took to fill up their Hummer/private limo/Aston Martin/private jet airplane for the literal life of them.  They wouldn't be able to tell you the price of a gallon of milk (neither hormone-laden nor organic), a stick of butter, a loaf of bread (Aunt Millies OR Ezekiel), or what regular human people pay for their Payless shoes.  (They don't even know what Payless Shoes IS.)  It's pretty much like Andy Bernard asking Darryl if he should pretend he grew up in an apartment.  Or if that's too harsh.

I wonder how long it will take for people to see that maybe, just MAAAAAYBE, the candidates and the parties with which they are involved are only putting the questions out there that they want you to think about.  I know that many of you think of the Dems and the Repubs (new word, yes, thank you) as polar opposites.  That might be because they're opposite on the topics they present to you and would like you to talk amongst yourselves about (I'm feeling verklempt!).  

It's like being a parent.  You give your kid two options, neither of which you care that much about and either one is just dandy cakes.  "Johnny boy, do you want to scrub the floor or wash the toilet?"  Great.  That's kind of different from, "Johnny boy, do you want to eat ice cream for dinner or would you like some yummy vegetables?"  Now we're on a different planet and one isn't really where you want to go.  

I wonder if they'll get into it about audting the Fed or why corn is subsidized, why they think it's a good idea Monsanto is the FDA, or why it's best that the government is making out with McDonalds in the back room while they stand on the front porch and yell at the masses for being such a bunch of Fatty McGhees.  Perhaps they'll talk about the gold standard.  Or maybe they'll talk about the freedom to drink your favorite kind of milk.

I know that seems  But my point is this - if they can get all up in your business between your glass and your lips, who knows where they'll try to go.

But most people don't care about any of that.  They've got an iphone, satellite tv, a car that talks to them and pretends it's their friend, and every type of entertainment and distraction you can think of.  They don't need to think of weighty matters because such nonsense would interfere with the next season of the Bachelorette and Dancing With The Stars and every teenage vampire tv show on the CW.

You see, my dearies, our sad little country is (mostly) filled with people who think only about how the government is going to help them and fill up their pockets with leprechaun gold nuggets and rain down blueberry surprise Kool-Aid from the sky for them.  My peeps, I know that we will be affected by a myriad of decisions and we want to protect our families and help them in the best way possible, but perhaps, JUST PERHAPS - we should think about how everything is going to pan out for the good of the country and our future - based on our actual, oh, I dunno, Constitution.  No?  You don't care about that?  Okay, cool.  Good idea.

Whatever you do, I beg you to think.  I beg you to research candidates.  I implore you to think about what you believe FIRST before being convinced by MSNBC/Fox/Rush Limbaugh/CNN/Rachel Maddow, et al.  You can do it.  God made you different, he made you special and he gave you your own brain.  

And please remember - above all - those peeps out there care about one thing more than anything else in the whole wide universe: getting to live in a special white house over in the D.C. area and get to fly around in a special plane named Air Force One.  They will do and say anything to you, for you, with you so that they can make their dream come true.  This, my darlings, is something you mustn't forget.  As they speak to you, filter it through their numero uno goal.

Think.  You never know what could happen when you do.  You might even change the world.