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Friday, November 30, 2012

A trip to the compost bin

I have a compost bin.  Oh, how I love the compost bin.  I toss my leaves, kitchen scraps, the whole lovely deal in there.  I was glad to have it when I was ripping out my dead veggie stalks, no giant bag to wrestle it into needed whatsoever - just open the lid, toss it in.  

It was a dark and stormy cold night! 
A couple of nights ago beneath the full moon, I did not love my compost bin.

It was a night like any other around here, the depressing effect of Daylight Savings Time being wrought from my grip, creating black darkness akin to an Antarctic winter at the blessed time of 5:00 p.m.  I was making dinner and creating enough scraps to fertilize my upcoming spring garden for weeks: carrots, brussel sprout bottoms, parsnip shreddlings, green onion bits - it was as if I were trying to overflow my bin with the amount of things I was scraping and whittliing away at in the kitchen.

As the mountain grew inside of my flower pot I utilize for such a purpose as this, I decided it was about time to take it out and toss it in the bin.  The eggshells from breakfast were crushed to bits and yet scraps were still billowing over the top of the designated flower pot.

This task, although it may seem menial and simple to you, actually contains a bit of danger and risk.  You see, I have a dog.  If I were being nice, I would say that my dog has "special needs".  She is basically a diseased (she has EPI = her pancreas doesn't produce enzymes so I crush pig enzymes onto her food, wet it, digest the $50 dog food in the bowl and then give it to her so she can deposit twice as much as what I gave her onto my grass) German Shepherd who loves to squirt piles of doo in every possible direction at every possible chance.  In fact, my parent's dog was over last week for two days.  I picked up two piles of poo from their dog.  In that same time frame, I picked up about 24 piles of poo from my dog.  Actually, when I say "pick up", I mean a combination of "squirt with a high powered jet stream hose" and "scrape across the grass into a receptacle" as it is as solid as a preservative/high fructose corn syrup-laden chocolate Snack Pack. 

And even though I pick up such piles of sludge on an every-other-day basis and fill a paper Trader Joe's bag while muttering about how I'm sure she has the bowels of a bovine or perhaps equine animal and stretching my quaking fingers to the sky like an evil Sith lord while lamenting the day we chose to bring her home, they keep coming back at an insane pace.

It was with these thoughts that I crept outside to the bin.

My backyard seemed to me a possible minefield.

The full moon helped a little as I stared at the ground, inching, carefully, taking large steps to diminish my chances of stepping in a poo puddle bomb.  

I focused with Karate Kid-like intensity, as if I were Ralph Macchio balancing on that beam, staring into the sunset over the ocean's tide.  I must overcome!  For a brief moment, I was sure of what Frogger was going through in all his trials.

But alas!  I made it!  Rejoice!  I had reached the goal - the bin - unscathed!

I lifted the left side lid and held it open.  With my right hand, I showered down pumpkin seeds, crushed eggshells, carrot and parsnip shreds, bits of brussel sprouts, everything.  

And then I heard a death scream.

And it was coming out of my mouth.

As the cascading waterfall of veggie scraps fell to the pile and I looked down upon it, to my shock and horror, a ratty rodent leapt miraculously high out of the bin at me (clearly must have been mixed with kangaroo DNA - have you ever seen the leaping power of the rabbit on Monty Python's Holy Grail?  I feared for my very life.), then scampered down the edge of the bin and away to safety, a.k.a. my neighbor's garbage can.

This is what my life felt like at that moment.
I dropped the bin lid like it was hot.  There was no thought of carefully wading across the lawn now - only a 100 yard dash sprint a la Usain Bolt.  Surprisingly, I did not get any poo on my shoes on the way back either, but I am pretty sure that is because I was flying over the backyard.

I leapt into the house, slamming the door behind me, crashing against it and trying to tell myself to calm down lest I cause a heart explosion and have to clean up the walls.  That would totally be worse than poo!  Plus, I'd be dead, so it would also be difficult.

Since people in the house were all absorbed in doing loud things, they did not hear me.  I did, however, worry for quite some time that the police would show up at my door due to a call from the neighbors checking to see if I heard anyone being murdered lately in the area.

Luckily, that did not happen.

I reported the story to my hubby, who said, "Don't you always prepare yourself for that?  I always think that a rat is going to jump out at me!"  SERIOUSLY?!  What?!  So you can imagine the buckets of sympathy I received upon the admission of my predicament.  That would be negative zero, in case you were wondering.  (And I totally just said "negative zero" for all the engineers and mathematicians so that they could have something to gag about.  You're welcome!)

Needless to say, I only go out to the bin in daylight now (those 3 hours a day over, it just feels like it) and have delegated any night trips to my dear loving husband.  And the bin lid is permanently open.  No more surprises, suckas.

This is Ms. Daisy reporting, reminding you to keep your eyes open and your shoes clean!

Peace, love and I hate everything about winter (apparently I needed yet another reason),
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zombies in the Mist

No, okay, not literally. Well, maybe. Halfway, anyway. I'm talking about zombies. Not the kind that have their arms out in front of them and come out at night under a full moon on Scooby Doo to chase Shaggy, but the permanently drugged-up kind we are fostering in our world through our upsidedown society.

The problem starts out because people aren't living how they should. They eat improper foods and quasi-foodlike substances and experience the detrimental results in their bodies. We avoid real food in favor of quick and pretend food, laden with chemicals and preservatives and develop a taste for them. (Let me encourage you to explore the wonderful world of making it yourself - from tortillas to bread, from salad dressing to cereal, and even fruit preserves, juices, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, the whole nine yards. You can do this. Promise. I may be so bold to say that I think you might actually like it even better - for the experience of knowing how to do something yourself to the very taste of fresh, real food.) The majority of our society doesn't do the natural exercise we were designed to do through farming and other physical labor so we get all sloggy, sloppy and blobby. Combine this with a disconnect from figuring things out on your own and you get the recipe for a nation ready for a perfect zombie storm.

The big pharmaceutical companies jump in on this gleefully because the opportunity for making big money is easy peasy. You've got a whole world of people who go to their pharmaceutical-company-trained primary care physician. Instead of a physician trying to get down to the bottom of the problem and actually diagnosing a source (p.s. I don't believe that eating natural cholesterol causes high cholesterol - and if you haven't seen and read case studies of societies who consume enormous amounts of the said stuff, you might be surprised what you find.), they're trained to open their Giant Book of Pills and pick from their favorite colors to pass out to the pathetic and pained masses.

I have a problem with this. Seriously, why don't doctors get down to the bottom of it? Is it just too much work? Why aren't they doing blood work and urine testing to find out where you're imbalanced or what you lack or have an excess of in your systems? Why don't they ask you what you're eating or how much exercise you've been getting? Why don't they ask you what kind and how much work you're doing - are you stressed out? Do you have an outlet? Why don't they ask how much time you spend on your duff watching reality TV or with your face submerged into your iphone or on facebook? Why do they say they don't know where it came from and just give you a pill to mask your symptoms? Do you really realize how utterly idiotic this is? There's no fix anymore! It's all about finding a good drug for you.

Instead of something like: You have a desperate lack of potassium and Vitamin D in your blood makeup and far too high of a level of xyz. What foods have you been eating? Let's find what God made in nature (speaking of Vitamin D - is anyone else a little wide-eyed at the increasing lack of Vitamin D in our society as people hide in the shade 24/7 and wear sunscreen every day of the year? I'm sure there's no connection.) to increase your potassium and avoid such and such foods because they contain high levels of xyz.

If you've ever watched tv in your life, you've likely seen a drug commercial. If you've ever seen a drug commercial, you've seen something like this:

Part 1: Black and white film, sad, aching people with grimaces on their Lazyboy recliner.

Part 2: Sad person nodding at a doctor. Actor portrayal doctor wears a white coat while writing things down and then gives Sadface a prescription.

Part 3: Color film, Sadface is now briskly walking their dog down a sunshiney sidewalk, waving to their neighbors, high-fiving their spouse and climbing mountains.

Voiceover: Do not use Drugox if you are nursing, pregnant, ever want to become pregnant, ever want to father a child, or ever want to use your limbs again. Side effects include blindness, deafness, loss of limb, paralysis, kidney failure, suicidal thoughts, yellowing of the skin and eyeballs, fingernails turning into liquid, and death. In most cases, these problems will not clear up on their own and you should talk to your doctor so he can give you more prescription drugs so you can have more side effects and then take some more drugs that we made to combat the side effects you'll have from taking our chemically-based drugs. Do not take Drugox if you are already taking other drugs because you will slowly die. Unless you want to. We have a drug to help you use those drugs together. Ask your doctor about it. I bet he can solve your problems stat.

Yes. Well. Close enough, anyway.

I'm sure a giant mass of weak, flabby, drugged-up dumbheads who sit around on their squooshy tushies with their face glued to the screen of their tv, iphone and computer absorbed into their tiny lives must be good for something. Hmm, I wonder what that might be. Well, let's not try to guess or learn from history.

Hurry!  Back to America's Got Talent!

Don't forget your 5:00 pill. 

Peace, love, and zombies,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, November 26, 2012

Consumerism on Crack

We've just finished Thanksgiving week here in the good ol' U.S. of A.  If you don't live here, you might not know that this is the time of year when children dress up like pilgrims and Native Americans, people stuff themselves with exorbitant amounts of turkey (or tofurky) and pie, and it is the beginning of complete and utter spaztastic consumerism overdose.

Thanksgiving was (and probably still is) my favorite holiday because it wasn't surrounded by consumerism.

Until now.

Now it could be called Black Friday Eve.

Now my sweet thankfulness holiday is the doorway to a debt-mountain of plastic and made-to-break stuff that nobody needs (or really wants) for the next four-ish weeks until people pass it out on Consumerism Eve, or Christmas (which is supposed to be Jesus' birthday and is now a celebration wherein people put hideous blow-up thingies of Santa and reindeer on their front lawns and eat ham).  

It used to be that people went shopping when stores opened on Friday (you know, at a normal time).  Someone got a great idea that they could maybe be all exciting and get some sales boost by opening up earlier.  They could put the day on the books and it would just be a longer day, which would mean more time for more people to come and spend even more money.  People thought it was a great and fun novelty to wake up early from their turkey-induced-comas and go spend all of their money at 6 a.m.  The next year, other people in the marketing departments of every other company and store decided they wanted to do it too.  Well, the first company was all "oh no they didn't!"-ing and head-wagging and finger-snapping and Butter Battle Booking it back to the drawing board.  

So they came up with shopping at 4:00 a.m.

Everyone else thought that was a great idea the next year and followed suit.

Then we saw the era of the news people interviewing people who decided they would like to spend their Thanksgiving away from their family and instead sleeping in a tent in a parking lot of Best Buy so that they could be first in line to buy a laptop (that I am so sure they are still using, good thing they traded it in for time and memories with their loved ones, eh?).  Or maybe a PS2 or something totally worth missing Thanksgiving for.

I joked that soon they would be opening stores at midnight and on Thanksgiving day.

Guess what?  Stores opened at midnight and 9 p.m. this year on Thanksgiving.

Oh joy.

What if you just said, "Forget THAT!" and instead of heading out to your local plastic junk dealer for their sale of the century, you decided to keep it simple?  What if you made something for your loved ones with your own two hands?  What if you used your time and talents to give to others in the form of something that will last and mean something to them?  What if you went on Etsy instead and/or supported your local economy?  What if you decided not to even do gift exchanging and gave your time to somewhere that needed your help?  And you wouldn't even have to promise that you will always and forever do it until you die, you could just try it.  Once.  Maybe just for kicks.

What if you taught your kids that they could bless others?  What if they gave of themselves and instead of being little Gimmie Machines they became productive members of society?  


Nah.  I'm sure it's way better to sleep in a parking lot or hey - not even sleep at all!  Maybe you can be so tired you're that person who buys a Christmas sweater vest with Santa and a Christmas tree on it, because I am kind of sure that must be the only way someone would ever buy one of those things.  Okay, or drunk or high.  Or certifiably insane.  Unless you made one of those things - I'd give you one point for making something yourself and then take away a point because you are clearly demented and want to torture your loved ones.

Something to ponder (ponderous man, really ponderous).

Peace, love and if you ever buy me a Christmas sweater I will hide it in your couch pillows and leave it at your house,
Ms. Daisy

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mary Jane's Farm

As you have heard, Martha Stewart dumped me.  I am now in the quest for exploring new magazines, and oooh la la, I've found a doozy!

It's called Mary Jane's Farm and my aunt passes it along to me when she is finished with it.  They've got a lot of interesting articles, one of them included the idea of "Glamping" - glamorous camping.  These ladies go out with lace pillows, prom dresses, the whole 9 and get those totally adorable and awesome looking 50's tin trailer bubble RV's and glam them up.  If it didn't get my prom dress dirty, I would be all over it.  As long as it had extreme heat capabilities also.  Cold = yuck.

A new book by Mary Jane - Glamping!  The cover says it all.

They also feature organic gardening, doing-it-yourself stuff, health news, how to be non-toxic, etc.
I read an article in there that I enjoyed so much, I wanted to share a piece of it with you.  The author, Mary Jane, was bitten by a cat when she was in her twenties and actually got "cat scratch fever".  The real deal.  Ow.  A doctor she visited suggested the right way to go was to have her lymph nodes removed.  She knew better than to do that.
But that's the whole deal with the modern thought in medicine.  It's most invasive first, then down to least invasive.  It's surgery first before lifestyle change.  I think that's messed up.

In her article, she quotes from a man named Dr. Lundell (a heart surgeon).  Here is a quick quote:

"Dr. Lundell's argument is that chronic inflammation, not cholesterol, is the bad guy when it comes to heart disease.  In a recent article on, he even goes so far as to say that the current treatment of cholesterol-lowering medications and a strict low-fat diet 'are no longer scientifically or morally defensible."'

Hey.  Do you have high cholesterol?  Have you been taking meds and avoiding fat like the plague?  Well... maybe you don't need to do that anymore.  Actually, I would go so far to say as that might not even be the right thing to do at all.

Dr. Lundell has operated on over 5,000 patients, all of whom had inflammation in their arteries.  He says, "Without inflammation in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the walls of the blood vessels and cause heart disease."  Did you hear what he just said?  Read it again!  Inflammation, not cholesterol, is the real problem.  Cholesterol is produced by our bodies to help us.  It helps fight stress and is a natural substance.  When we get things out of whack by eating improperly (and I don't mean you ought to eat a low-fat diet; I mean you ought to be avoiding quasi-foodlike substances as if your life depended on it.  Oh wait, it does.), you irritate your insides!


Mary Jane's article states, "Our bodies work to protect us.  Cholesterol is something your body produces to help fight inflammation. So, the more inflammation you have, the higher your cholesterol will be - as it should.  Inhibiting the cholesterol without easing the inflammation creates a cycle that may be doing more harm than good.  Inflammation is not always bad.  Like with my swollen lymph nodes. It's one way your body defends itself.  Dr. Lundell believes the problem is chronic inflammation caused by the typical American diet, notorious for highly-processed foods with an excess of sugar and vegetable oils.  He says, 'The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.'" (Health & Wellness News section, Mary Jane's Farm - August/September 2012 issue, p.37)

I've read articles about Big Sugar that show that the sugar industry has actually pointed its crack-laden finger at cholesterol in an effort to remove the reputation for clear and obvious danger from itself.  The research is out there.  Dig.  F'real.  You just might save your life if you get it right.

And if you just need some straight up entertainment on that sugary subject, go check out this youtube video from 60 Minutes.  The video itself is not entertaining per se, the entertainment comes when the interviewer is speaking with the Big Sugar dude who is probably a zillion-jillion-ga-billionaire.  The dude dresses up and pretends to be a FARMER and makes sure to interview in a barn with a tractor behind him so he can look exceptionally wholesome.  The very best part of all is when Mr. Sugarfakerbillionaire looks perplexingly, nay - seemingly dumbfounded! - at the suggestion that sugar could perhaps not be good for people and stares off into space as if he is pondering something he has never ever heard before.  It is especially entertaining as he is not really a good liar/actor and he pulls a slimy politician thing and avoids the question completely with nonsensical answers.  Raise your hand if you're shocked!  Oh.  Yeah.

Anyway, if you want some more infotainment, go get yourself a subscription to that cool magazine!
Peace, love and don't hate on your cholesterol,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Martha broke up with me!

Martha Stewart broke up with me.

It is as horrible a day as the day I found out that Petite Sophisticate was going out of business.

Disturbing.  Doesn't she know I don't like change?  The audacity of her!  And after all these years.  

She never even told me she was having problems, I just got this letter.  

A letter!  Who DOES THAT!  

Martha, I guess.

So I was all excited because I had a little box in the mail (yaay!), then I open the mailbox and inside is (yaay!) my Everday Food magazine.  Oh how I love this magazine.  I have every single issue, well, except for the first one.  I was a month slow.  So now I have like one billion issues.  And I recommend them to everyone, I talk about them when I do organizational consultations and speaking engagements and say that if they want to be awesome, step one is to get Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.  Duh.


No, no, not anymore at all.  You see, my sweet little bundle of joy magazine came wrapped in a sweet little plastic wrap with a precious little note on the outside of it.  I took a look at it.  

Hooray!  Martha has something wonderful to say, I bet.  Maybe she'll thank me for my years of having her mini-magazine!  Probs.  Now, let's see here..., excuse me, what?  You're "changing formats"?  What the?  Okaaaay, well that has nothing to do with, what?  You're DISCONTINUING it?  You're "absorbing it" into the regular magazine and featuring it only five times a year?  

This can't be.  This isn't right.  Martha, don't you know I have nearly every issue?  Don't you know I love it?  

Unbreak my  heaaaaaart, say you love me agaaaaain, undo this hurt that you caused when you walked out the door and walked outta my life, uncry these teeeeeeeeeeeears, I cried so many nights...

Or I just called customer service.  

Mark:  "Everyday Food, this is Mark, how can I help you?"
Me:  "Hi. Mark.  I am calling today because, well, because I am sad.  I am so sad you are discontinuing Everyday Food.  This is a bit tragic."
Mark: "I'm very sorry about that, Daisy."
Me: "It's not your fault.  But I am still sad.  And so, I am calling to express my extreme displeasure.  I want you to add my name to the pile of people who are lamenting the loss of this good magazine.  Do you know, Mark, that I have every single issue (well, except for one - the first one)?  I love this magazine."
Mark: "Well, we are going to be absorbing it into Martha Stewart Living, and based on your subscription, we can transfer over the balance to that magazine."
Me:  "I already get that one too."
Mark:  "Ah, yes, so you do.  We will add your subscription on to the other one."
Me:  "Thank you.  Well, I must go.  On Thanksgiving, I will have a drink in your honor, well, not yours, but to Everyday Food."
Mark:  "And light a candle."
Me: "Of course."

(p.s. I just read this to my hubby and he said, "That is not a real conversation, is it?"  Oh honey, oh yes of course it so very much was.)

And so ends the long relationship I have treasured with Martha's Everyday Food.  I stood with her during her hard times and now she is totally ditching me.  I stood with her, supporting her when she had to be on house arrest and have her company taken over by someone else because she was accused of evil insider trading thingies.  I saw her on the news, shackles on her feet, but I stood by, cheering her on, telling her I'd be her for her on the flip side.  I said, "You just sit in your fancy little, er, giant, house and  organize and do crafts and clean it until you can see your face in every reflection!  You're strong!  You can do this!  Everything's gonna be all right!"

And for what.

Oh, yeah, and right before Thanksgiving.  Well THANKS a lot, Martha.  Let's just go through the holidays and try not to think about how you won't come around anymore in January.  Let's not talk about how December will be your last time popping over for a visit in the same way you always used to do.  I'll pretend your glitter glue at Michael's is just as sparkly as it ever was and you just go on your merry way.

Well you know what?  When Petite Sophisticate jumped ship, you know  - it was hard.  For a while I didn't know where to shop.  But not now, Martha.  You better believe it.  I am much happier with the glittery, sparkly Forever XXI anyway.   

I guess it's time to pick up that subscription card I've had on my fridge for the last few weeks to Urban Farm magazine and give them a call.  

Sniff.  The night is sad but joy comes in the morning.

Peace, love and GOODBYE MARTHA,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Best Music Everrrr

So, there I was, cleaning my momentary child-free house (probs my favorite thing to do when nobody else is home since that's the only way it stays clean for more than five or six minutes).  I was listening to a fantastic radio station that plays classical music during the day and jazz at night when ALL OF A SUDDEN the sound that came to my ears made my jaw drop, my eyes widen and my entire body start flipping and dancing around with joy.

You see, I have a bit of odd taste preferences in music.  Well, okay, no.  Not odd tastes. Just probably an odd combination of favorites.  For example, all day long (most days) I listen to classical music (and jazz at night).  

Strangely enough, that is right up there on the top of the list, but then, so is Lecrae - my flavorite gospel hip-hopper.  Or Tedashii, or Flame, or Trip Lee.  Anyone of the 116 Clique (and if you don't know, you betta ask somebody!).  Lecrae and the 116ers are reserved for exercise and car driving.  Unless I'm in the mood to listen to country music, of course.  (Did you just totally barf!?  I know.  I didn't like - correction - I hated - country music until like 6 months ago.  And then one day I bought cowboy boots and decided that I bet my garden would grow better if I did so, and thus, listening to country music was born.  Even though I only know like five songs.  Whatever.)  And then, of course, there are the lovely things like the music of Sofia Jannok (the Swedish joik singer) and Gypsy Kings (from Spain) or Juan Luis Guerra (del caribe).  

Project Trio's Brooklyn CD cover.  Awesomesauce, I think OBVIOUSLY.

This is somewhat out of the way from pop, rock, classic rock, Top 40, Gangnam Style (although I must admit, I am somewhat entertained by that song) and whatever else I don't listen to.

So anyway, all this to say: I've found something so lovely, so intricately amazing and both beautifully bumpy and fancy at the same time that I couldn't believe it.  

This is the addictive music of Project Trio - a classical trio out of Brooklyn, New York.

Let me freak you out right here - the flutist beatboxes his FLUTE on Beethoven's 5th Symphony AND IT IS THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. 

Check out their music! Prepare to be amazed.  Seriously.

Go quickly and buy some stock in these guys itunes because I'm about to buy the whole 9 yards. 

Peace, love and put it on repeat,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, November 16, 2012

Success in Secession?

Last week I had a blog about politics and religion.  You know, the light fodder for chats over some homemade chips and salsa.

In it, I parenthetically said something like "may I suggest secession, kind sirs" or something of that nature.

DUDE.  People are really seceding from the United States!  Or, okay, no, they're signing petitions to do so.  Those petitions, once they reach 25,000, are "owed" a response from the federal government.  I am kind of thinking the federal government might say no...but uh, yeah.


The worst of it all is that when some people are being interviewed or talking into their phones on their dashboards while driving (who does that?!) that they can't pronounce the word "secession".  They're calling it succession.  These seem the type to have trouble between saying "Pacific" and "specific" or call spaghetti, "p'sketti".  But I digress... 

Texas is super mad and so is the traditional south.  Raise your hand if you are surprised.  Nobody?  Kay.  

I am glad for our rights to be able to say, "I quit!", but I wonder how this is going to pan out.  I visited one of the sites to see what it said.  On it, if you wanted to sign, you  had to sign up for a government account.  Like they think they're hotmail or something.  I bet they won't probably compile a list of all the people who signed the petitions and put them on the first page of the list for who gets to go to Siberia.

Probs not.  I bet.  I bet it's just 'cuz everyone is making people sign up to do stuff.  Yeah, they never sell our information or track down our I.P. or anything like that.  Good thing.  I mean especially the government.  I totally trust THEM.  

Now if you went to the library or something to use their computers and said your name was Daffy Duck...but then I guess they might not count that one.

Sorry, out of ideas.

But it is an interesting one, don't you think?  I watched a quick video of this guy who was promoting it.  He said that everyone would get a heck of a lot more done in their own country if the other half weren't there.  This is likely true.  There would be some massive shifting around, though.

At any rate, if Texas makes it (again) and becomes a country, I know about one billion zillion people who would move there.

Just think of how cute you'd look in those cool cowboy boots and hats!  

(Maybe you shouldn't base such things on fashion, but it would be a bonus - not to mention the sauna [sow-na, get it right] type heat, glory hallelujah!)

In the meantime, I remain (forever freezing),
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Butter - the complicated recipe

Hey!  Did you ever make butter in your public school assembly when you lived growing up in the city and some farmer came to visit you to show you how easy it was?

Or that was just me.

Since I told you all about it, I want to tell you how to make your own.  It's like a science experiment and your kids will be all over it.

You need:
a jar with a lid
heavy whipping cream

1.  Pour heavy whipping cream into a jar (until it's about halfway full).
2.  Put the lid on.
3.  Shake, shake it, c'mon, c'mon, shake, shake it.  For like 15 minutes.  You'll know when you're done because you'll first make whipped cream and then after a few minutes of seemingly nothing, you'll feel a huge thunk and it will be butter - separated from buttermilk.
4.  Remove arms from body because they are tired.
5.  Pour out buttermilk.  Save it!  Use it in your pancakes!
6.  Dump out the lump of butter.  Some people rinse it with cold water to get it all perfect and buttermilk-free.
7.  Shape it into whatever you want (a rectangular prism or a lamb, whatever seems best.).
8.  Put it in the fridge for extra hardening.
9.  Eat it on everything you see.

Simple.  Refreshing.  Butter.

Butter is your friend

Have I told you lately that I  Not in a piggish, gluttonous way, but in a way that I am just totally amazed at what God has created to help us to function in the best way possible.

Side note: if you haven't read Nourishing Traditions (Sally Fallon) or Food Is Your Best Medicine (Dr. Henry Bieler), you better get your hands on a copy of those things.  Seriously, mind = blown. (insert blow up noise)

Now then.  Today, for your infotainment, I will be bringing up the delicious and controversial subject of (bum ba da daaa!!) BUTTER!  Isn't butter delicious?  Isn't it wonderful?  Isn't it the stuff dreams are made of?  (Okay, yes, I may have slightly gone a little be overboard on that one, but you get the gist.  My dream was something about cleaning out an outdoor pool that had a bunch of gross leaves in it.  Dreaming about butter would have been way better.)  

But oh!  The sad days butter has had!  Remember when (for like 20 years) poor old simple, sweet butter was demonized as a murderer?  A killing machine, ready to suck your heart out, stomp on it, do an evil laugh and drown your face in cholesterol?  Poor butter.  

It's making a comeback as people do more research on the horrors of partially hydrogenated poisons oils.  I was reading a bit on the history of margarine.  Some French dude in the late 1800's came up with a way to make a "poor man's butter".  You'll be delighted to know that Napoleon III was personally involved with making sure this came about - with the decline of means through the Franco-Prussian war, it was necessary to find a cheap way around it.  Originally, margarine/oleo was made of tallow and was composed of animal and vegetable fats.  Today, we're just straight up making some hideous chemical concoction that is sure to cost less than butter initially and just make up for it later when you're dying and you have to pay horrendous medical bills.   Excellent.

I remember the time when my parents switched our family from butter to margarine in the era of evil cholesterol.  I used to stick my finger in the butter dish and eat it plain.  When my sweet butter dish was sadly filled with this new margarine, I took a lick at it once - and never did that again.  Ew.  Sick.  If you're totally disagreeing with me right now, do me a favor: lift your right hand and slap it on your forehead.  Repeatedly.  Then look in the mirror and ask yourself what kind of morbid torture you must have endured to believe such painful lies. Then go buy yourself a pound or twelve of butter and eat a stick.

Do you know that your body needs fats (good yummy fats) to absorb the goodness out of things like veggies?  A smart chef indeed it is who does such things for the palate and the body of their mouth-watering eaters.  

We would be remiss if we were to abandon some histories of butter, so if you don't mind, I shall share some with you.

In A Diet of Tripe, Terence McLaughlin says this (quoting William Harvey's writings):
  "Old Par, [an English peasant] who lived to the age of 152 years and 9 months, existed and even thrived on a diet of 'subrancid cheese and milk in every form, coarse and hard bread and small drink, generally sour whey, on this sorry fare, but living in his home, free from care, did this poor man attain to such length of days.'"

What.  Aren't you eating enough subrancid cheese?  Apparently you shouldn't knock it until you've tried it?

S. J. Connoly in The Oxford Companion to Irish History states: 
     "Butter also formed an essential part of the daily diet.  People ate fistfuls of rancid butter rolled in oats, spread butter on oatcakes and even ate butter on its own.  The importance of butter is indicated by the practice of burying stores for future consumption in cool, damp bogs."

HECK YEAH!  I wish I had a damp bog!  Oh, yeah, I just use a fridge.  I still like their fistful  idea, though.

One more.  For now, anyway.

Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, in The Cholesterol Myths says this interesting little ditty:
   "On average, Finnish peole have the highest cholesterol in the world.  According to the diet-heart idea's proponents, this is due to the fat-rich Finnish food.  The answer is not that simple, however.  This was demonstrated by Dr. Rolf Kroneld who compared inhabitants of the village of Inio near Turku with those of North Karelia and in southwest Finland.  
  "Apparently a health campaign had struck Inio.  There the consumption of margarine was twice as great and the consumption of butter only half as what it was in the other places.  Also, the people of Inio preferred skimmed over more fat milk; the residents in the other places did not.  But the highest cholesterol values were found in Inio.  The average value for male Inio inhabitants was 283, in the two other places it was 239 and 243 mg/dl.  Regarding women, the difference was still greater."

Two things: Finnish Suomi people are awesome.  If you don't believe me, ask one of them and I/they will plainly tell you.

Secondly, and this may totally freak you out because of the high level of brainwash that has been poured out gallon upon gallon in this regard, but LIKE OH MUH GAWSH, newslflash: eating cholesterol does not cause you to have high (bad) cholesterol.  I know, you're all repeating back to me what you've heard - well, when diet and exercise aren't enough...  What are you, a freakin Lipitor commercial?  If you were, you'd need to go on for about forty-five seconds spewing side-effects like liver damage, yellowing of the eyes, loss of limbs and death.  Or other such fun things.

I am just suggesting that perhaps you might want to consider and question what you have heard.  What if it helps you to do your own research?  Yes, people think you're crazy, but HEY, take it from me, it's not all that bad.  You can still be awesome (almost as awesome as a Finnish person  - see 2:33 - warning: sassy bad language just prior to 2:33).

Okay, totally lied.  One more.  It's quick.

William Campbell Douglass, MD, in The Milk Book tells us what he thinks, "Man has been eating meat and fat for thousands of years, but hardening of the arteries is a new disease.  My father, practicing medicine in Georgia fifty years ago, rarely saw a heart attack.  Heart attacks have only become common since the advent of homogenized pasteurized milk, oleo-margarine, and the increase consumption of polyunsaturated vegetable oils."

Butter was given to people during their childbearing years because in wise old societies; they believed it significantly promoted fertility.  

All I'm saying is - look it up.  It's yummy, it might even be GOOD FOR YOU.  

Now go on, go imitate Kristen Wiig in her Paula Deen SNL skit with Seth Myers where she rubs butter on her hair and licks it like a lolly.  Well, or, no.  But you could.  It wouldn't be bad for you.  

I'll say it loud and say it proud: I LOVE BUTTER!!!

Peace, love and buttery goodness,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Struck Again

Hello there, me lovies!

Okay, I'm going to come out and just say it.  No beating around the bush.  I mean, I don't know why I would hold back from saying it.  I should really just tell you straight out.  Right?  I mean, after posting about politics, religion, Crackoween and maple syrup armpits, if you're still here, you're either  just straight up baffled that such a person truly exists and you're here to see what else kind of thing would be next out of my mouth/blog or you are actually my friend (if so, HI!!  And I love you.  Not if you're a boy, though, ew!  I only like you, like - "friend like".  Unless you're my hubby, then hey, hotsauce, what's the haps!)  

That seems to clear everything right up.

Now where were we?  Ah, yes.  I was about to make a confession.

Oh man, okay.  I'll say it.  I know that I sort of may have said I might not do this again, but I did.  I can't help it.  I did it!  I...cut my own hair!  Again!  And all of the people trained in the art of cutting hair wince, sadly shake their perfectly cut tresses and sigh.    Then they say, "See you in the salon soon!"  I know, I know.  I had to hide my hair from my sweet friend and ex-hair cutter (she moved away, shock) when she came for a visit because LIKE OH MY GOSH, I totally know she is going to inspect it.  But she is one of those people who are so super kind and would never even think a rude thought, much less say it.  And then there's me.  Not quite exactly like that.  Plus I cut my own hair.  So, yeah, kinda different.

So it started like this - my sweet friend moved.  ARGH!  That was like the twelveteenth-hundred person to move away from me, but the first hair-cutter friend.  So this was doubly sad. It was time for me to get something done with my hair, namely, cut off the two inches of chlorine that was Medusa-ing my head in such a lovely fashion.  Being "frugal" (that's the word that people use when they are kind but really mean "too cheap to care about haircuts"), I decided to do what any person usually does when they don't exactly know how to do something but figure they might want to look it up and try:  I went on youtube.

Now, let me just say this.  I watched this video and this girl did an AMAZING job.  She got a ponytail, pulled it down in the back of her head and then straight in the middle of her back on her spine (so she knew it was centered).  Then she simply measured how much she wanted to cut off, and SNIP!  Off it went.  She took out her ponytail and her hair was great!  It was totally straight and good!  Wow, I thought.  That totally looked SO EASY.  I mean, HOW COULD YOU MESS THAT UP?

Let me tell you how.  

Let's see here.  Well, let's start with the fact that the woman/girl in the video was African-American.  Her hair was oh, just a teensy bit different than mine.  Her ponytail at the end was like a pinkie-finger in diameter.  It came off in ONE snip.  My ponytail at the end is like...eight pinkie-fingers.  Or four. (Even though eight totally sounds better.)  So, can you imagine the amount of sawing cuts I had to make to get through Medusa's maze?  Try 10.  Ish.  

Then, I took it out.  Remember how hers was all perfect?  Yeah.  Mine resulted in screaming in a mirror, slight crumpling to the floor and I had to make a split decision whether to cry or hysterically laugh.  I chose laugh.  Second, I chose the ever clever "Phone A Friend".

Me: Whassup, girlfriend!  OHMYGOSHDOYOUKNOWWHATIJUSTDID?  You are not going to believe it and by the way are you doing anything right now because I may have a diva-mergency and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!
Friend: What did you do?
Me:  I. cut. my. own. hair....I learned it from watching a youtube video...aaaah!  Help!  
Friend: I will help you.  What possessed you to do that?
Me:  I do not know.  

She spared me the going out of the house even.  My friend came over, stood in the bathroom with me and fixed my jagged little haircut.  Then I was pretty sure that I owed her like two bazillion dollars or at least some kind of trophy.  Or if I sang, I'd sing the theme song to Golden Girls to her (except with my idea of singing, it would be more like another punishment or sick torture), but I just resorted to hugging her as one desperately hugs land after being adrift at the shark-ridden sea for weeks.  

Then it was over and I was fixed.

Until I struck again the second time.  This time, I got a little better and I let my hubby fix up my straggling ends.  I decided to put my hair into about 4 equal ponytails to cut them so they were smaller and easier to saw through.  It worked.  Mostly.  Except for my bangs, which were about 2 inches shorter than the rest of my hair.  Cool, I'll pretend I did it on purpose.  And that's how I roll.

This third and most recent time, I modified what I learned.  I put two ponytails pulled backwards over the spine (less to cut through, and will prevent the shortening of the bangs).  I carefully measured and cut, and VIOLA!  I took it out and it looked halfway normal!!  

I must be a genius.

So this is totally hilarious (and timely!).  Another friend came over to borrow some jewelry for a fancy schmancy benefit she was going to on Saturday (and the dress she had - you guys, oh my gosh, seriously, it was so gorgeous.  It was a sea of purple sparkling gorge-osity.) and she says to me, "So I cut my hair..." and then she did it a wee bit at an angle and she got in to her hair lady for a fix.  She TOLD her hair lady that she cut her own hair (and that I do it) and of course, the hair lady nearly stabbed her eyes out with her scissors (of course, it's what they're trained to do - her own eyes, of course, not the eyes of my friend) and made her promise never to do that again (or to be friends with me anymore).  But IIIII told her, no, it will be just fine, I've done it three whole times and lookie me' harr!  So, anyway, I showed her my newfandangled way of doing it and I'm sure it will be just fabulous.

Hopefully.  (We're going to have to keep secrets from those hair people, though.)

But you know what?  It's just hair.  And I feel great about paying zero dollars and knowing how to do it myself so I say, hey - it's worth it.  Even if it is a little addictive.  Okay, no, I can set the scissors down. 

Step away from the scissors!

Okay, I'm good now.

Well, I should go.  I think I saw a split end I need to tend, I mean, I need to go practice Latin...or read

Peace, love, and make sure you get sharp scissors,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, November 9, 2012

Politics and Religion

It's about to get all political up in here, so if you're one to have your blood boiled over such things, perhaps you should skip this post and flip through the new Martha Stewart Living magazine and get some Christmas/Hanukkah ideas instead.  

Now, don’t worry and don’t get defensive. If you’re mostly a democrat, you’re going to disagree with me on what I’m about to say. Hey - great news – if you’re mostly a republican, you’re going to disagree with me, too. I provide equal opportunities across the board for everyone to disagree with me as I am neither a republicrat nor a democan.

Now that’s what I call fair and balanced!

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock (or really just don’t care about American politics) during the last few days, you’ve heard that this dear country has decided to re-elect our current president. This has caused a certain level turmoil within the country. I read an article about a man who owns a company (and was interviewed on the radio) of around 114 (maybe it was 116?) people and as a direct result of the re-election of our current president, he decided he had to lay off 22 people (a.k.a. 20% of his company). His reasoning was that because of the high taxes and Obama-nation health care costs that are coming his way, he believes he would not be able to survive unless he cut costs and that was how he chose to do it.

Have you gotten gas/petrol in the last couple days? I don’t know where you are, but around here it went up $0.20 in two days. That’s not a good sign.

Have you heard about the markets (the Dow, the NASDAQ, etc.)? They’ve been plummeting each day since the re-election was announced.

The president is scheduled to make a speech this afternoon regarding the economy and (hopefully? Or maybe not so hopefully...!?) his solutions for the “cliff” we are hanging over (and, p.s. - if they say “economic cliff” one more time, I’m going to barf.).

A man in Virginia closed his shop the day after the election to mourn the loss of our America, the last nail in the coffin of the country that boasted such greatness to him.

On the other side, firms and companies in major cities were prepared to close on Wednesday also – but due of the thought of likely chaos and mass rioting should the current president not be re-elected, instead.

Video of people in Kenya shows celebrations in the streets. Are they happy for us because a purported Kenyan won (and twice, how ‘bout that!) or are they rejoicing in our foreboding destruction and demise? I don’t have a way of knowing or asking, so I’ll just quietly wonder instead.

If you’ve spoken with people who were pro-republican (or just anti-democratic) after the results of this election, the sentiments like the Virginian shopkeeper and the interviewed businessman are not uncommon. In fact, I’ve found most of the anti-democratic people I’ve spoken with are quite literally feeling utterly and lethargically devastated, filled with a sinking and sick feeling in the pits of their stomachs. This is not the common “my team didn’t win, bummer” sentiment this time around. There is a deep despair that people plunged into after the shattered hope of change delicately hung on its last thread – precariously and barely balancing - when it was seemingly utterly and permanently destroyed. I spoke with people who reported not being able to sleep after finding out the results of the election because of the enormous dread it carried with it. Many people feel that we have come to a point that will everlastingly and drastically change the country into something horrifying and previously unrecognizable to its citizens. I have heard – more than once and with great gravity and mourning – that this is the most tragic and horrible thing that could have possibly happened to the United States.

If you are a democrat or a supporter of the current administration, perhaps you are thinking that the expressions of the last paragraph are a bit dramatic. I agree, dramatic might even be an understatement for such feelings as these. But those feelings are real, raw and currently prevailing whether it seems over the top or not.

Republicans are left asking, “Why? What went wrong?” Many are simply answering, “The entire United States is filled with a bunch of idiotic, uneducated, illiterate, Hollywood media-obsessed, welfare-lovin’ immigrant toddlers who don’t know what’s good for them!” (Hey look! It’s a sentiment with which the rest of the world might just wholeheartedly agree!)

Instead of that easy blanketing answer, let’s take a look at what the GOP offered the country by way of a candidate: a man who seems (via CNN, ABC, NBC, etc., anyway - and yes, I am not a dumb head, I am aware that the media machine has its sticky fingers twisted up all inside of the political mash and has a terribly sad amount of influence on the robot zombie masses) to be a socially-disconnected Mormon billionaire who had conveniently changed his political beliefs (flippity-flop!) the moment he got to jump on the bandwagon that was driving its way toward the White House. Probs not the strongest way to connect with the peeps. The whole ultra-liberal Massachusetts root may not have helped him any, either (if you come from the land of Ted Kennedy, you’re just going to get that whole guilt-by-association-thing going on.). Most believe the republican candidate to have been truly a moderate pretending to be rather conservative. Dude, he should’ve totally listened to his mother and just tried to be himself – see where pretending you’re something you’re not gets you right into a mess? Now lookie what happened (not that that would have helped him any in my eyes, but still…)!

This election has spurred murmuring that perhaps we should go back to the time before 1920 and revoke women’s right to vote. (I’m sure that the thought of allowing only white, land-owning men being allowed to vote follows closely behind.)

The clear fact is that there is a lot of grumbling, uncertainty and despair as a result of Tuesday’s election results. (Might I suggest secession, kind sirs?)

If you feel devastated and you are a follower of Christ, you ought to examine yourself to see where your hope lies. This world is filled with trouble – that’s a promise.  (Speaking of which – I heard someone on election day speaking of the “non-negotiables” in the political realm if you call yourself a Christian – it spells “CEASE” and stands for: cloning, euthanasia, abortion, same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell use. Have you heard that before? I hadn’t until that time.) At any rate, a republican-controlled government should not be the adorable woven basket wherein your hope lies, nor in anything else that is inherently branded to this world. As a follower of Christ, our freedom and our hope is in His completed work that was accomplished for us on that fateful day at the cross.

If you feel devastated and you are not a follower of Christ, perhaps you can find a temporary consolation in the fact that many, many masses of people and generations have lived beneath oppressive democidal dictatorships and the show somehow, and in some way, goes on. Unfortunately, that is only a temporary and a very pathetically weak consolation. Might I suggest to you to put your hope in something unchanging and eternal instead? Just a thought. (I mean it’s TOTALLY better, but you can do whatever you want, right? Just like the whole crack thing…)

Anyway, Martha has some really cute table decorations I’ve got to go take a gander at and if the world ends in December as a result of the Mayan calendar or as a result of half of the country disturbed about the election results, I want to make sure I have all of my holiday shopping and gift-creating done ahead of time. It’s always important to be prepared!

Yes, well. Um…ahem.


Peace, love and here’s to not talking about religion and/or politics at the dinner table (Oops! But I just so knew you could handle it!),
Ms. Daisy