Search it!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Top o' the mornin' to yas, me lovies.  As you may or may not know, today is what is known as Good Friday throughout Christendom.  If you don't know what that is or where it came from, well, you shan't have to wait any longer - here comes a quick tutorial.

Although Good Friday is a Christian holiday, it's actual roots stem out of Judiasm.  Moses, one of the patriarchs of Judiasm, was set apart by God (YHWH or Yahweh - but the name of the Lord God is so sacred that within Judiasm, it is too holy to write it, so it is usually written as G-d or YHWH - the "I Am") and was told face to face some things about how God wanted people to live.  God gave Moses the Law - both the 10 Commandments (have you heard of them?  Those are the ones like - you shall have no other gods before me, you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, honor your father and mother, don't lie, steal, covet, have an affair, murder, etc.) as well as the laws for what the priests (the Levites - men from the tribe of Levi) should do and what should be done if someone messes up and breaks one of God's laws.

The way that God instructed them to "fix" it was based on what He deemed as an appropriate and acceptable offering.  Because offending and breaking God's law was so serious, (and is - present tense) the only way to cover over these breaches in the law was to have life poured out in the form of blood.  Many people recoil at the thought of blood, but it is suggested that the beastliness of shedding blood (this is animal blood, by the way) is only seen as such from the point of view of a person because we are so commonly involved in sin (or the breaking of God's law) that we do not have a proper perspective of the actual atrocity and horror of the nature of sin.  So, back in the day, animal sacrifices were constantly being made because people mess up and break God's law pretty much every other second.  Or more.  Sometimes the sacrifices would be bulls, sometimes birds, sometimes lambs and other animals.

Now fast forward to the year 1 A.D.  All of this is still going on throughout Judiasm.  Now within Judiasm, God had promised someone to come and rescue them.  There were many signs that would point to knowing that such a person would be the right person.   This person was God's son, Jesus.  God had a plan.  All those animal sacrifices were bandaids - they only covered over the problems, but God was about to send a true fix: a perfect sacrifice.  Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem and his daddy was God himself.  Jesus never broke one of God's laws - he was God - and lived a perfect life.  He grew up and when he was about 30, he began telling people more and more about God and what He wanted.  He healed people of sickness and disease and for a few - even death itself.  He was showing that he had authority over the constraints of this physical world: illness and even death.  

Well, after about 3 years of this, the leaders of the day decided they had had it.  They heard that this dude was calling himself God's son - basically the equivalent to God himself - and that was the horrible sin of blasphemy.  The punishment for this was death.  Now in this time, the Roman empire was going strong and the Romans thought up some pretty sick and torturous ways of putting people to death.  They would kill people by nailing them to a T-shaped cross on their hands (at the wrist) and into their feet.  I won't go too much into the gruesome details, but basically the gist of it is that the person dies of suffocation via drowning in their lungs of blood.  They brought Jesus up to the leaders and asked him if he was the son of God.  He didn't deny it so they totally freaked out and brought him over to the governmental group of the day so that they could execute judgement (since they did not have authority to carry out putting people to death, only the government could).  So, they got the green light to kill him, even though he didn't do anything wrong ever once in his whole life.  They put him to death, but God had a plan.  This death was to be a once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice that would be able to be applied to the accounts of those who believed.  This is why faith is talked about so very much - because it is by faith that you receive this free gift of God.

The death of Jesus was to satisfy the wrath that God has against sin, the breaking of his law.  See, there's two ways to pay: you can pay it yourself for eternity or you can take the gift that has been freely bestowed to any who will take it - the sacrifice of God's son's blood on your behalf.

Now the story doesn't stop at his death.  God raised Jesus to life three days later showing he was yet again above the parameters of this physical life.  He hung around for 40ish days, testifying to what God had done.  His friends told everyone what happened.  After that time that Jesus was with them after he was raised back to life, he ascended to heaven in front of his friends.  Obviously, his friends were totally excited and were amazed at what God had done and told anyone and everyone the story.  

They wrote accounts of it and those very accounts can even be read today in what is known as "the gospels" (gospel means "good news" - you can see why they called it that, since it was the freedom from the wrath that was due to them).  The "gospels" are the books of the Bible named after their authors - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Read them if you want to know more and/or see for yourself.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that today, Good Friday, is the day that we remember that Jesus went to the Roman cross, willingly accepting what was laid before him by his Father in order to give glory to God and to make a way for those who would be able to accept his sacrifice.  Today is the day that we remember that Jesus died and what that means.

May you find peace today with God through his perfect sacrifice, Jesus.

Peace, love and I am thankful for it,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sambar, Raita and Naan

If you looked at the title of the post and said, "Huh?!" I must tell you that without even knowing it, your life is lacking and incomplete.  That's right, not to be too dramatic or to put too fine a point on it, you've been missing out COMPLETELY.

Here's the scoop.  Lately I've been feeling a bit under the weather - nothing worth writing home about, but still a bit of unpleasant-ness.  I have been blessed (as I've posted before) with the type of friends that oodles upon oodles of books ought to be written because they are loving, selfless and intensely caring.

One such friend has recently displayed her love and concern for me by bringing me pretty much the best meal you could ever even begin to imagine or dream of.  This beautiful person has roots from the land of flavor: India.  And she brought me a meal of such drastic amazing-ness, contrast and satisfying texture that without proper restraint, it would be possible to eat an entire bathtub full.  In fact, it is a meal that exhibits such wonders of flavor that it is entirely possible for me to imagine having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (although that may be a bit un-traditional to say the least) for weeks at a time.

Sambar is a soup - it is filled with vegetables like carrots, potatoes, green beans, and I don't even know what else.  It's like a mountain of variety.  Then there are the spices used to make it - they are nothing short of an utter PLETHORA.  I've watched her make sambar once - I kid you not - it is like watching van Gogh paint.  It is a fascinating and wonderous show that will enrapture your entire self - the scents, the sights, the sounds.  You get to the point where you can not wait for it to be done because the smell of it is torturous to behold and not to sample.

Then you get to taste it.  It is flavorful with a little kick, warm for your belly and fills your mouth with so many satisfying textures that you have to near audibly warn yourself to please stop sucking it down like you are a wild warthog (for crying out loud, self, people are WATCHING you!).  Oh, but wait - because I haven't told you about the contrast.  This is nothing short of complete and utter culinary genius.  The raita is a cold, cool calmer of your palate - made of whole yogurt and cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and peppers - it holds two complimentary but opposite tastes and textures and temperatures and flavors in your mouth at the same time - it makes you wonder how it is even possible for your mouth to be so entertained and delighted all at the same time.  It is seriously some kind of wild frat party going on in your mouth and you are so entranced by it, you are pretty much crowd surfing.

Naan is a flatbread made of delicious and amazing butter (well, flour, too, but seriously I don't even care about flour if we can talk about butter).  If you have a tendency to be a carb-o-holic, let me suggest to you for your own good that you never try naan.  You will eat maybe fifty pounds of it before you stop and realize what on earth you have just done.   This wonderous naan is dipped into the raita (and the sambar, if you want) for more taste sensation and sheer hedonistic mouth joy.

This was my text to my friend this morning: "Can I get your raita recipe?  I want to make it so I can eat it in a bingeworthy passion lamenting its absence from the bulk of my life."

At one point I imagined myself bathing in raita.  I guess I may have some issues.

All this to say - I don't know what you've got to do to get your hands on some sambar, raita and naan, but until you have, your life is lacking drastic culinary enrichment and I'm pretty sure that even your soul secretly cries out for such delicacies.

Go.  Run.  Then come back and thank me later.

Peace, love and I looooooooooove you, girlfriend!
Ms. Daisy

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'll have a placentaberry, por favor.

Do you even know what I said to my friend today?  Can you even imagine the question I asked her?  I am pretty sure it may be a question you have (1) never even THOUGHT of and (2) would never actually come out and say if you were to think it up.

Okay, let me preface this a bit.

This friend is totally awesome crunchy granola.  She makes her own deodorant, laundry detergent, shampoo, kefir, the whole nine.  She was a model. She lived off of the land in Mexico.  She totally just used her scarf today to wrap her new baby up in and make a sling while she was at church.  She is just TOTALLY COOL.  She has studied nutrition and could hang with Sally Fallon.  Like, F'REALIES.  So you get me, right?

I walked up to her and it was the first time I had seen her since she had her new baby - I came over to see how she was doing and to check her little bundle out.  Then, I did it.  I said it.

I said...well...I said, "Did you eat your placenta?"

She looked at me with wide eyes and looked around quickly left and right and said, "Yeah, why?  Did someone tell you I did?  How did you know?"

I didn't.  But since you're pretty much supposed to (and with her nutritional and granola background), I figured she would be someone I could ask who wouldn't ask me  if perhaps I just lit up a doobie in the ladies bathroom before the 11:00 service.

I then asked her if she cooked it or dried it and had it put into pills and she just said that no, she just ate it raw.

This girl just got like 500,000 street cred points.  SHE ATE HER PLACENTA RAW.  She is a freakin' BOSS.

Okay, before you barf, scream and pass out - she didn't just bite it and rip off pieces like a savage beast - she did it the civilized way: she put teensy bits of it into a berry smoothie.

Yes, I am serious and YES, I think she is exponentially awesome.

Are you saying to yourself, "WHY ON EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARTTTH would anyone do that?!  Oh my gawwwwwshhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Bleargggggg!!!"?  Well, don't.  I am here to tell you why someone would.

First of all, have you any children that you labored out through your body?  If you have gone through that oh-so-totally-lovely experience, you know that afterwards you feel as if you'd like to sleep for maybe four years to catch up on some energy.  But alas, that is where the hilarious irony of life begins: now you have a newborn and you will be awake every two hours for the next month and a half whether you beg, plead or temporarily go insane.  

It's like having the biggest workout of your life and your body going freakish alien on you and then not being allowed to sleep or rest until your child is 8 and a half years old.  It's great.  

The placenta is filled to the top with vitamins, minerals and vital repair.  It is high in B vitamins (B6, I think) and has specially designed chemicals that are even made to prevent post-partum depression.  It is reported that the other benefits are that women who consume their placenta have a faster recovery time (they stop bleeding sooner) and some proclaim the benefits of increased or earlier milk production.  Some people get all crazy energized when they consume it.  I don't know.  Unfortunately, I never knew I was supposed to do this in the era when I was having the littles so I cannot speak from experience. 

I did, however, read a story about someone who turned hers into pills and then ate like 8 of them in one day and thought she might be able to jitter her way through a veritable marathon.  I think you're supposed to eat like 2 of them per day.  

Anyway, if you're pregnant, what do you think?  Would you ever consider it?  Is it too weird for you?  

But either way, if you would or wouldn't - wouldn't it be SO GREAT for you to see the faces of people after you told them you did such a thing?!  Now THAT right there would give me enough courage to at least try it once.

Peace, love and have you tried it with strawberries?
Ms. Daisy

Friday, March 22, 2013

They're Lying: Cholesterol Edition

Hey, what are you doing tonight?  Do you want to watch a movie?  I have one for you.  I will tell you right now that not everyone will want to step up to watch this movie because it does not contain flashing lights, explosions, colorful wonders, a cast of varied and hilarious characters nor wild amusements beyond compare.

This video is basically a shocking presentation debunking the myth of the lipid hypothesis and its role in our society and the "problem of cholesterol".  

It is presented by Sally Fallon - author of Nourishing Traditions.  She starts off with a joke (that she uses as a point later on) that her philosophy of cholesterol problems must be lettuce consumption.  The absurdity of that statement is weaved around the absurdity of what we have come to believe and accept as fact.

What you likely know about cholesterol is spoon-fed lies, purposely done not for your good, but to protect big business and lobbyists.  You are intentionally being deceived - not by your medical doctor - they've been indoctrinated in the hogwash and are in the same boat as you.  It's bigger and uglier than that.  I am not trying to go all conspiracy on you, but I am putting it out there because it is that whacked out.  

She takes a historical look at heart disease and the point in the United States where we had the first recorded heart attack, and brings it up to today.  She has inside documents (obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and researchers who were on the forefront and on the inside of the scoop) that will shock the socks off of yas.  

If you or someone you know and love is on cholesterol-lowering medication, I BEG you to watch this.  I seriously think if we got this out, we could save the lives of a lot of people.  I know it sounds dramatic, but I am completely serious.

This puppy is two hours long and will not bring you waves of excitement, but I can guarantee that if you watch this, you will be shocked, baffled and enlightened.

I know it is a lot to ask of someone to dedicate two hours, but if you think you might be up for an education on the subject, please watch this video.

You will be changed.

Here's the link, it's called "The Oiling of America".

Peace, love and go find out how they've been lying to you,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Flushing Your Health Down The Toilet: What happened to the wheat?

A while ago, I wrote a post about grain mills.  For Valentine's Day, my hubby bought me the long sought after object of kitchen desire: the Komo medium mill.  I had been staring, drooling and dreaming of a grain mill for a few years, and finally the day came when I heard the blessed words, "Honey, you may order your grain mill now."

I think I waited eleven whole seconds to call up the company and place my order.

I am a woman of action.  And words.  But I like action better.

So anyway.

You may be thinking I'm quite the weirdo to have a grain mill - what on earth would I want one of those things for?  Isn't it just easier to go to the store and buy a bag of flour?

Rays of sunshine + angels singing = KoMo
Well, I suppose - yes.  BUT.  (Don't you know by now that I really can't do things conventionally, anyway?  But that wasn't exactly why I was interested in doing so.)

There were three main reasons for me wanting to get a grain mill.  Drumroll, please!

Reason #1:  Food Deliciousness
I have spoken with a couple people who have their own grain mills and they've all told  me the same thing: the flour you buy at the store is rancid (we're just used to it and think that's normal flour) and when you use actually fresh flour, you will become a bread and food snob and be so totally in love with the taste of fresh flour bread that your whole life will be better and you will essentially ascend to heaven with one taste.

I'm in!  I've always wanted to add to my food-snobbery and who wouldn't be interested in heavenly ascent!

Reason #2:  Saving Money
I don't know how it is around where you live, but around here, I buy a bag of (usually King Arthur) flour that costs about an average of $1/pound.  Organic flour costs more, of course.  If you buy bulk wheat berries to grind, even when it's organic, you can get your price to at least 1/3 of what you might buy (conventionally) in the store.  That means I can get at least 3 pounds of organic flour for about a dollar.  I am so on that.  The other good thing is that wheat berries are good indefinitely if you keep them dry and free of rodents.  This means you really can buy 50 pounds of it and not worry about it going bad before you have the chance to use it up.

Sign. Me. Up.

Reason #3:  After I saw this picture, I kind of FREAKED OUT
Picture courtesy of Pleasant Hill Grain's website.

I know, it's not a super high quality picture, BUT OH MY GOODNESS.  Okay.  Here's what we do here.  Do you see the vial on the left?  Do you know what it is?  Does your neighbor or co-worker know what it is?  Most people have NO IDEA.  If you would have asked that question 100 years ago, people would have thought you were kidding. Everyone knew what that was.  It's a wheat berry in its natural state.  Look all the way to the right.  Do you know what that is?  Yep, it's flour.  Or what we call flour, anyway.

So what on earth are the four vials in between?   Oh, those silly things?  Those are all the things that are taken out of the original wheat berry.  They're called the nutritious parts.  If you can't clearly read the labels, it says, "Whole Grain...Bran...Middlings...Wheat Germ...Wheat Germ Oil...White Flour - End Result".

Why would they take those out?!  Oh.  Because if you leave them in, you get a rancid stench and no shelf life if you take longer than 10 days to use it from being originally ground to flour.  Do you know that wheat germ is so lacking  from our modern diet that Standard Process (a supplement company that I totally recommend) makes capsules of wheat germ for people to take?!  This is how pathetic we've become.  I mean, I'm thankful they have it, but seriously - that is where we are as a society.  So weird.  SO backward.

When you cook with flour, unless you can get your hands on some crushed  wheat berries, you are missing just about everything good for you and necessary for your body.  I saw this and it was so disturbing  to think I was feeding my family dust that I couldn't get it out of my head.  And some companies go so far as to even pour BLEACH on their dust  flour to make it even worse than it already is.  Bleached flour?!  FOR REAL?!  Okay, yeah.  Messed up to the extreme.

The reason I got a Komo mill (I'm not advertising for them nor have I been asked to review for them, but oh my goodness, they so should like give me a million dollars because I am going to say such favorable things about them right now) was because they are the bomb, baby.  I was looking for a mill that did not have plastic.  I was looking for a mill that did not use metal burrs to grind their berries to flour.  I really don't want to eat aluminum flour - the old bleached stuff is bad enough and I'm trying to go toward health instead of back around the other way.  I found a milling company that uses fantastic German engineers and is backed by decades of experience.  These dudes use actual milling stones (STONES!) and their housing is all beech wood.  It's so beautiful I am happy to keep it on my counter.  (And I am a minimalist so this is kind of a big deal.)  Yes, it's something you ought to save up for, but it is so worth it.  They have a 13 (I think?) year warranty on their mills.  This is something I will be using for my whole life.

Anyway, if you can't get a mill, do you know anyone who has one?  Maybe you could see if they might grind some flour for you to try.  I think you will be totally amazed.

Peace, love and go grind some berries!
Ms. Daisy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Water, pH, and Otto Warburg

Remember back in the day when bottled water didn't "exist"?  You know, back in the days when your only choice on the shelf was a bottle or can of your favorite poison pop (or "soda" - for those of you who say that)?  Now if you walk into your local grocery store, gas station or otherwise, you see plethoras of water bottle packs - bundled up ones, refrigerated ones, tall ones, small ones, it's a wonder.

We can figure that this came out of someone figuring out a good way to make money via marketing and bottling convienent ways for people to take water on the go (the people who find it much more difficult to fill up their own personal reusable water bottle, I suppose).  The old phrase "drink 8 glasses of water a day" birthed to us this new water revolution and gave us plethoras of Ice Mountains, Aquafina, Ethos, etc.

Now.  As you know, I am very glad that people are being made aware that they should drink water - especially instead of poison, er, pop.  


Are all waters created equally?

Some say they are spring water.  Some say they are purified through reverse osmosis.  Still others are ionized and have a higher pH than what you can get out of your tap.  Is this all crazysauce or does it actually matter?

Let's work through this one, eh?

Okay.  So, I took a fantastic trip to Virginia last fall and I went into a gas station to get a gallon of water to fill up my water bottle as I traveled (I usually drink about 2L of water a day so I figured this was the easy way to go).  I had a couple minutes as I was waiting for someone in my family to get out of the bathroom so I decided to try to figure out the difference between why one bottled water cost $0.43 and the other was like $1.99.  

What I saw was disturbing and hilarious.

I picked up one and started to read the label.  I am guessing they have to tell you their source, because if they weren't required to do so, I am pretty sure they would not have broadcast this.  I scanned my eyes down to read this: Source - Town X, New Jersey municipal water department.


It's a dude bottling city tap water!  What on hilarious earth!

I can just see the commerical now: "Mmm, delicious, refreshing, cold water - and I get it from Vince's kitchen sink in New Jersey!"  Awesome.

Then there's spring water, right?  Supposed to be from a spring.  I guess we just have to take their word for it, whatever their definition of a spring is and whatever cleanliness level it might be, I really have no idea.  So that could be good.  Or not.  I have no idea.  Do they boil it?  Are there like little bits of fish parts in it?  I am guessing it can't be straight from a spring, right?  That might be problematic?  Dirt?  Although - I must say - those things aren't bad for you inherently, so don't get me wrong.

Next up: reverse osmosis.  Now I can tell you right here, reverse osmosis has the reputation for being the cleanest water possible.  It goes through several filters - carbon filters, precarbon filters, etc, etc, etc, you can get filters that remove flourine, chlorine, the whole periodic table minus the two hydrogens and an oxygen. It can be pristine.


(Oh why must there be a "but"?!)

The water is deadsicles.  Like meh.  Like it is merely the definition of "wet".  Which, at first, you think, oh, good.  Clean water.  Happy!



There are people out there who say that reverse osmosis water is devoid of minerals and actually strips the inside of your body of those that are there.  That's scary and not really what we're looking for.  (These same people say that anything is better than chlorinated, flouridated, municipal tap water, though.)  So companies make reverse osmosis mineral drops to add to your pristine water in hopes that everything will be returned to your body in perfect form.

I like that idea.



There are people who swear up and down and sideways that any of the above are straight up horrid for you and you may as well sign yourself up to be first in line for cancer and the entire host of degenerative diseases (not to be too dramatic).

At this point, are you feeling lost in a sea of desperation, not knowing what on earth it's even worth and you're about to say "Forget this!" and go back to drinking pop?  Hang with me for two seconds here - I have something good to say in a minute.  Don't despair.  And don't touch the poison.

So I go to this naturopath and chiropractor.  She is def not conventional, but the crazy stuff she does works somehow.  Seriously.  She was the first person who told me about this other type of water - the higher pH water - alkaline water.

Now, I have to filter it through my brain here.  She sells these machines so you have to realize that she is making money off of them (and thus wants people to buy them), but she genuinely believes in it.  You know how some people are just pulling a sales pitch on you and you're sure they're just saying the whole gammut because dollar signs are dancing joyfully, prancefully, wildly in the back of their eyeballs?  This is not her.  This lady LOVES this water.  Like, I am pretty sure if you said you would take it away from her and not let her use it anymore, she would  have a life crisis and punch you in the face and key your car.  As in, if it were a man, it would be her husband.  She is in LOVE with this stuff.  Like, she gives it away free to everyone who will come in her office and take it.  And people do.  This one dude folded down all of his minivan seats and was loading up about 50 gallons of it and putting it in his vehicle.  This is a common sight there.

At first, I was wondering what on earth this was all about and why are all these weirdos picking up water.  I talked to her about it, and then pursued my own research.

Have you heard of Otto Heinrich Warburg?  (You'll be surprised to hear that he is German.  I know, you couldn't tell.)  This dude was probably the most brilliant scientist in the 20th century.  He won a Nobel Prize in 1931.  He was a physiologist, medical doctor and a Nobel laureate, served in an elite regiment in World War I, won the Iron Cross for bravery, was nominated THREE different times for three different things for a Nobel Prize (totally unprecedented) and was the premier biochemist of the last century.  His dad was homies with Einstein and the highest prize in science in Germany now bears his name.  Total failure, eh?

(What on earth does he have to do with water, Daisy?)  Glad you asked.

He figured out what causes cancer.  (Why do more people not know this or talk about it, I'll leave to you to think over, but may I just suggest it is a lucrative industry? *cough* pharmaceutical companies *cough*)  He experimented and found that every cancer cell "breathes" out fermentation, whereas healthy cells have aerobic respiration (they breathe out oxygen).  Beyond this, he found that cancer cells only survived (and were "born") in an acidic environment (with pH levels less than neutral - usually around 6.0) and alkaline environments bred healthy cells.

(Finally, it's coming together.)

Think: what is necessary to ferment something?  The presence of sugar (and a yeast - a simple bacteria).  Ponder that one for a moment.

The pH of water can be changed a couple ways - if it is run over minerals or if it is electrically split to do crazy stuff with the oxygen molecules.  (No, I am not a scientist.  If you want to find out more about how that works, do read it.  I have, but I am not solid enough in it to be able to explain it all to you.)

If you constantly bathe your body in a bath of alkaline substances, by this discovery, you stand a good chance of health and wellness.  If you bathe your body in a bath of acidic substances, you stand a good chance of cancer and other sickness.

Do you remember the pH scale from chemistry?  Low numbers mean acid, high numbers mean alkaline.  Too far on either spectrum, your body is going to have a serious problem.  Each number on the pH scale doesn't mean you went up "one".  It means you just multiplied by ten.

So a pH of 6 is TEN TIMES more acidic than something with a pH of 7.  Even though it looks like one.  Seems like not a big deal.  But it is a giganto deal.

Got it?  That's all the chemistry I'm going to explain for today.

So, here's what I want to show you.

7.0 is considered neutral.  Smaller than that, you're in acid territory.  Higher than that, you're in alkaline territory.  If you get close to 0 or 14, you're going to die and whatever it is is pretty much going to peel your skin off.

Want to hear the pH of some things?  You so do.  

Stomach acid (the stuff that would burn holes in your eyes if it were let out) is a 1.0.  Mineral water is about 8.5 (so it's alkaline).  "Good" coffee is between a 4.9 and 5.2 (hello, acid, how are you doing today?  You're about 100 times more acidic than tap water!)  Coca Cola Classic has a pH of 2.5.  TWO POINT FIVE.   TWO POINT FIVE!!!!  That's only about 100,000 times more acidic than tap water.

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND.  I know, I'm being a bit dramatic, but I am in total shock.  Okay, not total shock because I've known pop was hideous for you, but this is crazy nutso off the charts hideosity.

(Told you to step away from the poison!)  Just say it again, one hundred thousand times more acidic.  Cancer lives in acid.  Cancer breathes out sugar fermentation.  Word 'em up, if it ever were time to swear off pop, I think you better do it now!

Anyway, sorry.  Had to show you.

All of this to say, I guess I can see the benefits of having a slightly higher pH for your water (not a 13 or something, but an 8.5 might do ya just right).

Something to ponder, anyway, right?  (And if you've got a good source of well water, you're the luckiest of all.)

Peace, love and drink up?
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rant: Volume 1

The following is a rant.  Should you wish not to participate in listening to such blabbering, bid this post adieu and go polish your silver collection, play Spider Solitaire or make elaborate plans how you should save your money and pay off your debts.

And now, for those of you left, without further ado comes: Ranting - Volume 1.

Okay.  As you know, I do things (let's say) a little (lot) differently than most (pretty much anyone I know).  I love grinding my wheat berries into fresh flour.  I make facial cleansers, eye makeup removers, pasta, bread, kombucha, yogurt and crocheted hats.  I like hanging my laundry out on the line in the spring and summer on my whirly.  I love gardening, teaching my kids Latin and the fact that my first grader is doing long division.  I don't eat food from a box (well, okay, except for Trader Joe's organic mac and cheese - I haven't broken that habit yet).  I quit facebook.  I think food is your best medicine.  I think it's fun to learn foreign languages and read books about English monarchs.

Since I am an individual, I understand and expect other people to be their own individuals also.  I do not think that they should necesarily have to make kombucha (even though it is really good for you - you can make up your own mind), I don't force my friends to sign a contract promising they will serve me foods from freshly ground organic winter white berries.  I do not look down on people if their 4 year-old could not write in cursive or ask me "Quid agis?" (satis bene!).  I do not think they're dummy heads if they cannot tell you what caused the fall of the Roman empire or memorize chapters of the Bible.  

But for crying out loud, why are you gonna hate on me for doing it?  Really.  What is the problem?  Why is my life offensive to you?  Do you feel that I am insulting you by hanging my clothes outside to dry?  It's not meant for anyone else's approval checks so I really don't care whether or not you agree with what I'm doing it, but why on EARTH do you care?

I have several friends who have five children or more.  They are great parents.  Every single one of them has lamented the fact that people they know (and complete strangers) come up to them and offer their opinion on whether or not they should have a large family.  Excuse me?  The last time I checked, they were not expecting other people to raise their children, buy their clothes, pay for their food or teach them to read.  They do not accept assistance from the government.  They live within their means and do what they've got to do.  Can you imagine the amount of sacrifice you must endure to have seven children under 9 years old?  You can't even pee, breathe or sleep without someone talking to you, touching you or needing something from you.  TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY FOR TWENTY YEARS.

It seems a bit pathetic for some stranger to speak flippantly about matters they've considered nothing about in their own lives (as they drive a BMW and go to the gym five times a week) while the person they are speaking to is living hourly under the life-commitment they've made, dedicating themselves wholly to their passion for doing what they believe is right.

Let the silly comments cease ("Don't you know what causes that?", "Are you done having children?", "Are those all yours?").  It broadcasts your ignorance with a megaphone and your selfishness makes you look like a beast.

(Bonus - two rants for the price of one.)

Okay, I feel a little better.  If someone else has a way of life that is different than yours,  it is OKAY.  You don't have to do it that way.  You can do your own thing.  But for the love of all that is good and decent, get a life and don't be wigged out when they aren't conforming to your standards of normal.  If you research and find something out and want to change, guess what?  That's permitted too.  (That's called learning and growth.)

Two snaps up in a circle, you betta check yo-self before you wreck yo-self.

Peace, love and heave a sigh of relief - the rant's over,
Ms. Daisy

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Silver Polish

I love silver things and dislike very much how they get all oxidized and blackish when you don't pay attention to them.  I also do not like how the stuff that is made to re-shine up the silver is probably something similar to uranium for being carcinogenic.  I can't say for sure, but the stench of such stuff does make me wonder.

So for the last while, I've decided it was much easier to just ignore my little silver tea set (that I totally scored at a garage sale but love quite a lot).  In the cabinet it sat.  Sad and oxidizing.  Dang oxygen, what is it good for anyway?  Oh.  Yeah.  That.

I was looking through the pages of that totally vintage book, The Compendium of Cookery and Reliable Recipes (written in 1890).  The recipes in it are (from what I've seen) just splendid.  In the back of this book is a giant pile of interesting-ness.  They have everything from "how to raise your child" to "how to tan leather"  to "how to fix a hole in your wood stove" and "how to make your eyelashes grow longer" (their idea is to rub mercury on your pass on that one).

One thing that did stand out to me was their home recipe to make a silver polish.   (It did not include mercury so I read further.)  It was a simple mix and I was interested to see how well it would work.  Here's the recipe:

Silver Polish
Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in a cup of vinegar.  Add flour to make a paste.  Rub on silver, wait fifteen minutes, wash off using hot soapy water.

Dude.  It totally works.

I was blobbing up the goo, slapping it on all the nooks and crannies and using a toothbrush for fun.  I saw the dark oxidation disappearing!  Maybe there is some horrible chemical reaction that I don't know about that goes on with that, but so far I am still living.

I am so glad it worked.  Now I have shiny, beautiful silver without the death stench.

Onward and upward, my friends!

Peace, love and would you take a look at that shine?!
Ms. Daisy

Friday, March 8, 2013

More coffee??

My hubby looooves coffee.  Loves.  He and his Starbucks blend are homies.  He opens the cupboard with the freshly ground beans and says (often), "Mmm!  That smells SO GOOD!"  As you've heard from last week, I am a non-coffee person.  I do agree it smells good.  But it tastes like dirt.  So.  I'm good with tea.


We have had those 1-cup thingies (like Keurig-esque machines) because the hubby, although he has a mad love for coffee, will only drink one cup per day - and that only after breakfast.  It's very specific.  Every once in a long while, you can get him to have a cup with a dessert after dinner if he's at a friend's house, but otherwise prefers to cherish his one cup per diem.  This has worked just fine.

Until one broke.  I don't know what happened.  One day, the water just would not flow.    It would spit at us in sort of a lame and half defiant way, kind of lazy, kind of bored with doing it's job.  So we took it back to the store.  At this good store with a good return policy, they told us to go ahead and pick out a new one.

So we did.

Then after about four months, it broke too.

More spitting, more lameness.  I mean, SERIOUSLY, how hard is it, thing, to just heat some water up and spit it through the hole?  Remember those plug-in hot water things back in college?  It's like that, really.  All it needs to do is heat water and suck it down into a tube so it can flow over the itty bitty coffee holder.  But nooooo, it's too tired after working so hard at making one cup per day for four months, so it just quit.

What EVER!

So we've had it with these lame and lazy appliances.

He mentioned that he wanted one of those ones that go on the stove and sort of percolates your coffee.  So online we went and found...bum ba da baaaa!  (Imagine doorways of blaringly bright light shining out at you in a golden array.)  The Bodum Vacuum Coffee Maker.

This should have been read in as dramatic a way as possible.  You may want to try that sentence again with a little more "oomf", a little more passion.  Use the mysterious eyebrows, the flailing arms, go all out.

Good.  Now you've got it.

So we go online and youtube how it works - basically you put coffee in the top glass urn, pour water in the bottom one, put it on a heat source, when the pressure builds up, it will force the water upward to the coffee section, squirt wildly like a Mt. St. Helens type of thing and slowly fill the bottom level with perfect coffee.

The youtube had a monkey winking at  you at the end so we were very confident that this was clearly the right thing to order with our store credit.

And order we did!

Oh the joy!  Oh the anticipation!

It came in the mail.  Glory!

We opened the box with excited hands, just so happy to get our little mitts on the fantastic scientific contraption - when - wait.  What the crap?

It's broken.

The top bulb of glass was punctured.  Poops!

Wretched elusive coffee makers!  Foiled again!

Meanwhile, the 14 year-old Mr. Coffee 12-cupper is chugging along just fine (as it's back out on our counter after a short hiatus.).

Raise your hand if you're surprised.  Bueler?  Exactly.

Ah well.  I'll let you know how it goes when it gets here (again).

Peace, love and thank the Lord I drink tea,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let all the chemistry teachers rejoice!

So did you ever just...have to tell someone something?  Not a secret that you're blabbing, just something you just will wilt and die over if you don't?  Because you're so shocked, or proud, or whatever it is.

And then you realize that you should probably not ever tell anyone else it?  Ever again? (Because anyone else who doesn't love you oh-so-very-muchly would think you're just being a sassy old bragger and put their fingers down their throats to gag themselves on purpose at your hideosity.)

Well. Good thing I can tell my super popular Swedish bastis, because she really does love me in spite of myself.

So let's just say I may have admitted that my first grader may have perhaps accidentally memorized the periodic table of elements in order and can recite them from memory starting with good ol' hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium...etc.  And YES, accidentally.  This was the freakish thing I had to hash out and ponder.  We were going through the  abbreviations (in order) and seeing how fast we might accomplish saying them (because this is something we think is fun in our house).  I must repeat, yes, I am freakish in many respects, but NO, I do not find it imperative that a youth of this young age memorize the periodic table enough to recite it blindly.  Anyway, one day I was pulling out the cards and said child begins blabbering on the whole list, perfectly in order without seeing the cards at all (as they were still in a stack in my fist).

Well that's rather something else, I say to myself.  Yes, this child is a smarty, but really,  any child could do it - they're all a bunch of sponges anyway and it is the adults who have all of these preconceived notions about what a child is capable of or not.

In truth, when you ponder it a bit, the origin of my shock should have been directed toward myself that I would not expect it to be done.  There is so very much learning in those young ages that it is more of pity that we do not think of this more often.  Children are so capable of learning anything you want to put in front of them, whether that is the recognition of various styles of art, Latin, sentence diagramming, Shakespeare, classical music, long division, world history or pop music, Angry Birds, TV theme songs, Bad Piggies and Mario Kart on the Wii.

Just as parents are responsible for what they put on the table for children to gobble up at dinner, so they are responsible for what they put on the table for children to gobble into their brains.  

Might I suggest a delicious meal of the periodic table and some Latin on the side?  It's delicious.  (Do you think they've made "Angry Birds - Periodic Table" yet?  Hmmm...)

Peace, love and its really nunc aut numquam,
Ms. Daisy

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cathartic purging

Have you ever all of a sudden looked around at your home and decided something like , "Who are you and how did you get so disgusting and horrid and I hate you and what is all this stuff and how on earth did it get here?!"

Perhaps you are much saner than I and do not talk to your house as if it were a person.  Perhaps you have never had this experience.  If you haven't, let me tell you, it is utterly consuming as it happens and the only remedy for it is to wildly, madly, immediately start throwing everything you see into the garbage.

This was my afternoon yesterday, which is why this post is a day late.  I was busy throwing my house in the garbage.

I have a lot of friends who have garage sales.  I personally have never had one because I much prefer the instant freedom of complete and crazy purging and if you were to have a garage sale, you'd have to actually save things you want to get rid of.  I cannot do this.  Once I have decided I no longer want it, I cannot have it burning its devilish eyes into me or the back of my head as I wait to send it to its new loving home.  I much prefer the ruthless attack method of plunking it down in the garbage as if I were Shaq nearly bodyslamming a dunk in a game-winning style and crying out in resolute victory.  

This tornado was born late this weekend.  On Sunday I had gone to visit a friend's house and it was so lovely and perfect and wonderful that when I arrived home to my own house, I thought I might like to fix it up by perhaps burning it to the ground and starting over. Since my husband would not let me do this (he is like, so totally bogue!), I instead began in the kitchen - looking at it if I were seeing it for the first time and looking for things that were visually cluttering my space.  I believe I may be somewhere along the lines of a minimalist at heart and think it is better to live simply - or as simply as possible.  

I am a bit forced into a more minimalistic way because of the size of my house, which was even slightly under the average house size for when it was built around 1950 (it's a whopping 950 square feet).  If you have one thing out in any room, it looks like you have a complete and total disaster going on.  If you have a book on your kitchen table, it looks like you're in shambles.  If you have a cup on a counter in the kitchen, the whole place is a giant mess.  Small spaces have to be fairly clean or you can become easily overwhelmed.  Rather, I can become easily overwhelmed.

Which is what I totally was yesterday.

Thus, the pitching began.  My husband came home and said that the kitchen was naked.  I said thanks.  It feels better that way.  The rest of the house is in line for my tornado path and I'm going to likely boost my overall average of 1/2 a bag of garbage per week to somewhere near 800 bags after I am finished.

Part of it is that when we first moved in, it was just us.  A happy couple.  No kids.  No ratty, gross, shedding, dirty dog.  No handprints on EVERY SURFACE.  No dirt on the wall (how is it POSSIBLE to even GET dirt on the walls?  Who does that?  My kids, that's who.).  No scratched up, destroyed wood floors.  Oh the floors!  They were beautiful!  They shone in the morning sunlight as if they were heavenly messengers sent from above!  Now any light shining onto them exposes dog hair and gouged out horrors.

Now at this point, some sentimental person would reflect and say the dirt was a sign of joy and life in the house.  They would fondly smile as if memories were being created in each apparent knifed-out wooden board.  They would say they would never trade all the cleanness in the world for the bewildering swirls of joy that go on in their humble abode.  

To this person, I say, "You are a mental patient who has sunk to the levels of George Costanza wearing sweat pants in public."

Duh, I wouldn't trade my kids in for anything.  I'm not saying that.  (I did, however, start making plans to get rid of my dog.)  But COME ON!  It's not peaceful in the brains if you've got a slothy, slodgy, barf house!  

Your house is a relfection of the inside of your brain and mine needs to be organized every once in a while.

Ahh.  Cathartic rants.  I feel so much better now!

Peace, love and bienvenidos, casa nueva!
Ms. Daisy

Friday, March 1, 2013

Coffee with...

Have you heard?  I'm like one of the eleven people in the United States who don't drink coffee.

Well, yesterday we had our super nice, rather serious and thoughtfully practical pastor over to our house for some coffee and a muffin.  We have never had him over yet, so of course it began with a frenzy of cleaning (where OF COURSE the vacuum broke - and you do know I have a dog who sheds her weight in fur per day all over the ground like a flower girl strewing petals left and right in utter abandon.  Pure classic.  Had to happen, really.  Visualize a pink-clad me broom-sweeping every carpet and floor in a fury enough to have a bit of sweat lining my head.  Now turn up the spaz-notch like four levels and you have a good picture of what the early evening looked like.)

So, in he comes, we are pleased to have such an honored guest in our home, won't you please sit down?

Oh!  Yes.  Do you prefer the tea list (categorized by tea type, of course - and level of caffeine) or are you more of a coffee person?  Ah, coffee.  Let me get that started for you.


We have no cream.  We have...milk.  You know - real milk.  From a cow.  Like on a farm.  Some people freak out at this.  Um...

So we cross our fingers and hope he'll say he'll take it black.  Or maybe we'll get lucky and he'll say something like "organic cane sugar if you've got any".  Maybe.  Please.

How do you take your coffee, pastor?

Oh. My. Goodness.  Do you know what he said?  (If you guessed "black", you are way wrong-o.)

My poor pastor asked for...he asked for...oh, I can't even SAY it!

Okay, I will.  He asked for...powdered creamer and Splenda!

Now, yes, inwardly, I am this person whose eyes are wide open and I'm freaking out and yelling at myself inwardly - DO NOT WARN HIM HE IS ASKING FOR POISON, DO NOT DO IT.  HE DOES NOT KNOW YOU WELL ENOUGH.  STOP YOURSELF.  REMAIN CALM.  SAY SOMETHING APOLOGETICALLY ABOUT NOT HAVING EITHER.  GO!

"Um, oh man, I'm really sorry.  We don't have any of either of those."

Do you even KNOW what my husband starts doing?  This is pretty much turning into some kind of weird comedy in my head at this point.  My husband OPENS THE TEA CUPBOARD and starts pretending to LOOK FOR powdered creamer.  I say, "Honey, we don't have any."  He is straining his neck to check every place - I'm just looking to make sure, dear, says my darling husband.  Yeah.  Okay.  It's probably right there next to the Doritos, spray cheese and the Jif.  If he could have seen my face (which I am rather sure he avoided at the time on super purpose), he would have seen me giving him a what-the-crap-are-you-thinking look and you-know-that-stuff-is-like-feeding-someone-rat-poison, but he continued to pretend to look for it.  Yes, really.  POWDERED CREAMER.  Which is made of what - crack and GMO corn or something?  With powdered high fructose corn syrup and TBHQ?  Yeah, I'm pretty sure I have a whole stinkin' VAT of that laying around in the back of the cupboard behind the organic lemongrass green tea - maybe you'll get lucky and you'll get into Narnia or something honey and you'll find some there and bring it back without any of us noticing you were gone.

So after what seems like an eternity (maybe he was hoping Peter and Lucy would hand some out to him), he stands up and confesses that he can't find any.

"Well, I'll just take some milk."

Okay.  We have to explain now that we are people who have a cow and get milk from it.  This is going just smashingly.

Okay, um, yes.  About the milk.  We do have that, but I think it right to tell you (as some people feel strongly about this) that our milk comes straight from a cow.  On a farm. hasn't been boiled or strained, so, uh...

"Oh.  Yes, that's just fine.  We used to live near a farm and we used to have that all the time."

Finally - an itsy splinter of relief in what I was pretty sure may have been the Twilight Zone.

Besides that, the evening went along just fine without a hitch and it was all lovely and sunshine.  And if you see Aslan, Peter or Susan, just let them know that my hubby was looking for them.

Peace, love and just imagine if I would have served the kombucha instead,
Ms. Daisy