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An attitude of grattitude

  I came upon an article on being thankful. Even though the site is selling stuff… I found the article so worthwhile it is worth directing people to. The article gives permission to re post it as long as an advert blurb is included at the bottom.


Why Gratitude Makes You Happy and Wealthy
by Christine Kane

Gratitude is more than being thankful one day a year. Gratitude is a practice. For some, it’s a way of life.

Why do some people swear by the practice of gratitude? Why do these people have joy-filled and abundant lives?

In other words, why does gratitude make you happy and wealthy?

• Because gratitude is about presence.

It’s about waking up in this moment and being here – really being here – and noticing what’s around you. Most people are so busy thinking about the next thing, or about their horrid past, that they don’t wake up and look around at their present moment – the only moment there is.

• Because gratitude is about honoring YOUR precious life.

Do you ever compare your life with someone else’s? Do you ever wish your life were better and more like [insert famous person's name here]? Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we “measure up” to some standard set by our families or by the media. Comparison is the mind killer. The antidote is gratitude.

Gratitude requires that you validate your own life. (And you really don’t have any other life, do
you?) It forces you to say YES to the gift that is you. The choices you’ve made and the changes you’ve gone through – they have brought you here. Even if here is a place that needs a little adjustment, that’s okay. There are always gifts in any present moment.

• Because gratitude is about attracting.

It’s difficult to attract abundance and joy if you are constantly saying “no” to what IS. You say “no” each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment.

Attraction is about saying Yes. When you say Yes, you shift.

Gratitude says, “Yes, I love this!” And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you’re focusing on.

• Because gratitude is about choice.

How you translate any situation is the situation. What you choose to see is the truth (for you).

This isn’t proposing that you live in denial or phoniness. It’s reminding you that your translation of any life situation is your choice. We’ve all heard stories of people who have ignored others’ translations of their talent, their projects, their art, their looks, their lives. These people chose their own translations and succeeded. You always have a choice when it comes to how you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude.

• Because gratitude is about wisdom.

I think people believe they’re being smart if they criticize, complain, and focus on the problems of the world around them.

Smart? Maybe.

Clever? Sure.

But not wise.

It is wise to look for and find the knowing place in your heart. It is wise to choose joy. It is wise to honor your riches. It is wise to focus on and grow the blessings of your life.

• Because gratitude is about recognition.

Use your power of focus to hone in on beauty and on what makes your heart sing. Recognize the spirit in your life. It’s all around you waiting to be noticed. In the words of Franz Kafka, “It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

• Because gratitude is about receptivity.

Gratitude makes you receptive. It makes you a vessel, waiting to be filled.

I carry an article on how being thankful for your life and things can help your  tiny notebook with me everywhere I go. In it, I write down song ideas. I write down quotes I hear. I write down ideas for stage stories. As I do that, I become more receptive, and more ideas and songs come to me. It’s a tool that says to my subconscious, “Send more my way!” And the subconscious always responds.

Gratitude is the same way. It says, “I am receptive! Send more!” And more arrives.

• Because gratitude is about creativity.

Creativity is really all about attention. (So is genius.)

When I write a song, I build a relationship with that song. I spend time with it. I get to know it. I pay attention to it. Artists do the same thing with drawings. They spend time in rapt attention, and the drawing is born.

Gratitude is how we Live Creative. It is a creative act to notice and pay attention to the moments of your life. Some days it’s an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful.

Start today.

And have a Thanksgiving of presence, creativity, and gratitude!




Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 8,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at www.christinekane.com.

See Christine’s blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at ChristineKane.com/blog.

A chasing after the wind

   Life is so odd… we all move through our own lives, and it continues one generation after another…. pretty much things are the same regardless of the age. Sure there’s societal and technological developments, but still people are people.


  History should be told through the lives of people… to see the life of someone long ago, and to see the generalities that we share and at the same time to see the differences in life makes history come alive.

  I was reading old stuff from the Forrest City Times Arkansas Newspaper of 1905,  and came upon someone in my family getting married.  This is not a direct ancestor of mine… but it was funny reading the public statement.. and you know if it’s this open in public, it must have been a huge fight in real that you have to read between-the-lines.

11-10-1905 – DICUS – CLARENCE – - – - NA – FCTIMES – DICUS-FRAZIER=Mr. Clarence
Dicus, night operator of the Rock Island depot here, and Miss Mary Frazier, of
Little Rock, were married on Thursday of last week at Lonoke. It was a ‘Gretna
Green’ affair, the parents of the bride being opposed, so they went to Lonoke
where he has relatives.

  Well heck, reading that made me wonder what the term ‘Gretna Green Affair’ meant…. so I searched the term and came up with this little tidbit from Flyawayweddings

Gretna Green is a popular place to get married, there is something very romantic about saying that you have ‘run away’ to Gretna Green for your wedding.

The village became synonymous with weddings after 1754, when a law was passed in England which meant that only marriages solemnised in a church and between those aged over 21 were recognised. However the law didn’t apply in Scotland and to make things even simpler, all that Scottish law required was that there were two witnesses to the marriage, no religious or other official celebrant was reuired.

Young English lovers dashed to the first town over the border – Gretna Green – where marriages were usually performed by the local blacksmith, in his forge with the anvil acting as the ‘alter’ – hence the expression “marrying over the anvil”.


   Yeah… the more things change, the more they stay the same.


(Eccl 1:3-18 NIV)

{1} The words of the Preacher,  the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
{2} Vanity  of vanities, says the Preacher,
 vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
{3}What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
{4} Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
{5} The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
{6} The wind blows to the south and turns to the north;
round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
{7} All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
{8} All things are wearisome, more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
{9} What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
{10} Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
{11} There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.
{12} I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
{13} I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven.
What a heavy burden God has laid on men!
{14} I have seen all the things that are done under the sun;
all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
{15} What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
{16} I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom
more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me;
I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.”
{17} Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom,
and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
{18} For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.



Tao Teh Ching
Chapter 20

Discard relentless learning, and put an end to the anxiety in your harried mind.
What is the difference between yes and no?
What is the distinction between success and failure?
Must the quester fear what all others fear?
How preposterous, these questions can be asked for as long as one seeks knowledge.
It is to the sage’s advantage that he need not fear what others fear.
But it is to the advantage of most that they can enjoy the feast,
and celebrate in the terraced parks in the springtime.
I alone seem tranquil and still amidst the smiling revelers.
I am as expressionless as an infant before it learns to smile.
I do not know the minds of other people,
My mind is that of a fool, muddied and cloudy.
I am alone, with no true home.
Other people have enough and to spare,
I alone seem to have lost everything.
Other people enjoy all they need and more,
I alone have left everything behind.
Other people appear bright;
I alone seem wrapped in darkness.
Other people seem razor-sharp;
I alone am dull.
Other people are lucid,
I alone am obscure.
Everyone seems to know everything,
I alone have no knowledge.
I am like a wave on the ocean;
blowing as aimlessly as the wind, with no place to rest.
Others have purpose, taste and a sphere of action:
I alone am purposeless, unrefined and uncentered.
I do not share the fears of the people,
For creation nourishes me.


  On and on it goes.


Missing animals in the Neighborhood

  We live pretty remote… most folks here have dogs for property protection as well as companion animals, we also mostly have cats running around eating mice and gophers.   A couple of months ago a massive fire raged out of control and destroyed tens of thousands of acres of oak woodland and chaparral environment.  This drove a pack of coyotes into our canyon.  With the rains, the burned-over areas of the La Brea Fire will green up again…. the prey species will return and the coyotes will be able to return to their own areas and have plenty of food again. Until then they have been wrecking destruction upon the dozens of small households in this canyon.

   We have several neighbors who’ve had their animals carried off by coyotes. I saw our lead chihuahua ‘Whitey’ toe-to-toe with a coyote who was more intent on a deer in the brush than he was with Whitey.  I chased the coyote away and then noticed another one forty yards away. They like to ‘tag-team’ deer. Deer tend to run in big circles, so a pack of coyote will team up and run the deer in big circles, each animal able to take a break when he’s chased the deer to another coyote. Around and around the poor deer will run, always with a refreshed coyote nipping at his heels. When the coyotes finally get the deer tired enough, they will jump on it en-mass ripping and tearing, biting, holding the nose and throat, slowly over a good long time the animal will die.

   I’ve not seen a single deer now for a few weeks. There have been times I’ve seen a dozen or more on our hillside. But anytime a mountain lion moves in, the herd goes down in number.  But now they are totally absent. Which is fine as far as the things we grow. I don’t have to worry as much about the deer getting into the fenced edible cactus area.

   I’ve been seeing these sad little signs up and down the road… put up by people who’ve had dogs missing. I suppose the main blame can be put on the coyotes.  In town it’s not considered to be good form to have your animals run loose. But here in the rural areas, most houses will have a few angry snarling vicious dogs. I kind of like it that way. 

   The dogs that are missing are mostly smaller dogs. Good prey for coyotes. Any predator animal is choosy about what it hunts and selects to kill. They have to reduce injury to themselves, an injured predator will likely die. Generally, any predator you see is in good health, when they are not they die.


Lost Dog Sign

Lost Dog Sign

    Sometimes the rate of pet loss will rise in the months leading to a huge earthquake. Perhaps the ground makes some noises or produces energy that upsets animals, causing them to become lost or making them flee. But I think in this case the cause can be placed on the coyotes having to temporarily leave their wilderness area after being chased out by the La Brea Fire. Soon they will return home where there are fewer people angry at them.

Good as Cold Water Can Get Them

   A City Kid went to visit his uncle living in a cabin in the mountains.

   On the first supper they had together, the  kid remarked on how greasy the dinnerware (plates) was. The Uncle’s reply was simple, “That’s as good as Cold Water can get them”.

   They ate, and the uncle then told the kid he’d show him some of the local trails on the mountain, as they were leaving the cabin the uncle’s old Blue-Tick Hound was laying across the doorway. The uncle stabbed at him with his cane to get him to move, and hollered “Out of the way Cold Water’.


    The story above was told to me by a friend who grew up in a cabin in Kentucky. He lives very remote in a treehouse/groundhouse built into a series of trees in California, far from the power lines of civilization.

    Again the dichotomy of civilization comes to mind, how different we all can be while concurrently ‘the same’.


    My father grew up on a  small farm in the Ozarks in Missouri, he went to Europe after W.W.II with the military where he met my mother.   The first time she invited him to her home for a home cooked meal, she cooked chicken soup. He stepped into the door smelling that delicious familiar smell of home cooked chicken soup (a welcome reprieve from the Mess Hall), but when she went to the pot and pulled the chicken out with it’s feet and head still on, he thought that was kinda odd. But in Europe in the old days, people ate the entire animal, head and feet too.

   Then years later Dad took Mom to visit his uncle living on a lake in the Ozarks. She’d imagined a large house, rich Americans, maybe a speedboat and bridge. But instead my Dad drove his car up a long rutted dirt road, they pulled up to a small dock, honked the horn a few times, and flashed the lights in a certain sequence. A few minutes later they could hear the ‘swish-swish’ of oars slipping into the water, and out of the misty darkness came the apparition of an older man bending his back to the oars. Stepping into the small boat, she had difficulty on the rounded boat bottom walking with her heels which she had worn to impress the Americans (she was conscious of her post-war peasant upbringing, and still imagined all Americans lived lives of luxury and high fashion).  Dad’s uncle and aunt lived in a cabin all alone on this little island with no power, it sounds very primitive.  But they had the delicious smell of cooking wafting from the dirt-poor cabin. Dad’s aunt was eager to show off her cooking, but when she opened the wood-burner stove to show my mom the meal, my mom screamed, she thought it was a rat, but it turned out to be a Possum.

    We are all very different, but we are all the same in some ways. The trick  I guess is to find your own niche where you can move along in comfort and ease with your surroundings. I suppose some people have different tolerances for change or different circumstances. To be able to change with the times and situations is a very advantageous trait. If any animal remains static, it will die out, either on an individual or a species basis. This is true whether it be a species, a people, or a business. ‘Change and adapt or die’ is the watchword of evolution. It has been said many times, ‘The only thing that stays the same is change’. Be resilient, be aware, observe what happens; compare it to history to determine what the future might bring. Don’t be rigid and unchanging, it is the rigid tree that breaks in the storm.


Chapter 76

At birth a person is soft and supple; at their deaths they are firm and strong.
All creatures, plants and trees are born tender and flexible,
when they are dead they become brittle and dried.
Thus it is that people who are stiff and hard are companions of death.
The soft and yielding are the followers of life.
It can be seen that a great inflexible army will fall under it’s own weight,
just as a stiff unyielding tree will break in the wind.
Dwelling in an inflexible unyielding manner will bring downfall.
The pliant and supple will survive.

Customer Comments

  We like getting e-mails from customers letting us know how much they like the cactus we send them.

  Some of our customers not only eat the cactus, they also share it with some of their pets, such as tortoises, iguanas and parrots.   Since cactus is so good for humans, I suppose herbivorous and omnivorous animals would be helped by it also.  One thing I’ve heard over and over is how much animals are unrestrained in their appreciation for cactus.  Here’s a few recent comments from customers…..


“Our cactus order arrived and it is beautiful. Cactus is Shelldin’s favorite food. We’ll keep in touch.”
T. ‘On an Island’


 ”I just recently ordered 5lb box of your cactus and it just arrived today.
 You have very fast service and I will be buying my cactus from you in the future.”

And then later…

“Sure you can use my comment, Also i did purchase the Grade D, and like
your website said it doesn’t look that bad at all.  Already gave some to
the tortoise and he loves it.

I read up on how to store it, Thanks.

Look forward to ordering with you in the future.”



“You have excellent cactus AND customer service!  I hope I live up to the scale you set!

We really LOVE everything you sent us!  I just made ‘Gulasch’ yesterday

I always have put leaves in the salad and serve the fruits as
dessert and we love all of them raw too!  What’s not to love about cacti?
(Thanks for removing the spines :-) )

I am also trying to dehydrate the leaves, it takes quite a while at the
temperatures raw people prefer.  The fruits almost dry faster and must be a
treat to everybody on this world even dehydrated (nothing beats fresh – how
I envy you!)..  Did you ever try to freeze fresh leaves?


I will be back with an order soon.


Thank you so much for sharing your amazing food with us!

 H. in Calif


(Note from John, the leaves can be chopped, laid on a cookie sheet and frozen, then put into a bag to store. But they reconstitute mushy and unattractive…. but if they are put into a burrito anyway no one will know… or if fed to tortoises, they will still eat them with gusto, but they do prefer fresh)


“I actually only order the half pound because I feed it to my baby tortoise, Bodhi. It the perfect size for him because he’s so tiny that if I give it to him every day as part of his meal he finishes off the half pound just before it starts to go bad.  Any larger quantity would go to waste. In the future I’d like to get some more tortoises though, and when I do I will order the larger quantities.

   Your cactus is by far Bodhi’s favorite thing to eat – I have to chop it up really small so that the grasses and weeds that I feed him in a salad stick to it, otherwise he actually digs through the dish to pick out only the cactus!  
Thanks again!”

May Flower in November

Mayflower in November
Wir sind alle….Ein
We are all… One


    The descendents list of Mayflower website has a listing of some famous people who have ancestors that came over here on the Mayflower. On my dad’s side we’ve got our family traced back to arriving in Massachusetts in the 1650′s, which means that probability is high that some ancestors of mine married into the Mayflower people also. In fact, the stats say that some twelve percent of Americans have some ancestor who was on that small ship so long ago.
    On the Mayflower website I see that Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Marilyn Monroe, Orson Welles, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Cullen Bryant, all had a common Mayflower ancestor; one John Alden.
    That is what is so interesting about geneology, we see that we are all related at some time, near or distant. We are all one.
    USA Weekend Magazine has another fine article on this phenomenon. I do consider it a phenomenon because never in history has such an amalgam of diverse cultures existed in one spot with a high degree of blending and ease. When two dissimilar metals are fused, the blending can often be a stronger metal, and I do believe it is this blending of many cultures and blood-strains that makes this country the strong energetic beast it is and has been since before it’s inception.

100 Foods every Vegan Should Try

   The article below is a paste from the webpage ’100 Foods every Vegan Should Try’.

   Even if, like me you are not a vegan, you should really read vegan recipes and try to reduce your consumption of animal products to a  minimum for health reasons, if not out of understanding of the barbaric conditions many food animals have to live their short little lives under. Modern farming is not the farming methods of my grandparents wherein the animals are kept in open outdoors conditions, eating fresh green grasses and forbes…. they are instead stuffed into large barns by the  thousands, heel to toe in cramped conditions…. every time you decide NOT to eat a piece of such an animal, it reduces the demand jsut a bit. Year by year, perhaps the demand for such animals will reduce, and we’ll be left with only the old-style farmyard with animals given a large amount of space and room… before we kill them.



A while back, Andrew of the foodie blog Very Good Taste, posted an article called the Omnivore’s Hundred. The “Omnivore’s 100″is a list of Andrew’s interpretation of the 100 foods every omnivore needs to try. The list gathered a loyal following as bloggers and foodies everywhere began following Andrew’s instructions to re-post the list and join in the challenge. He instructs everyone to cross out things they’d never eat and bold the foods they have already conquered. Fun right? Well as much as I loved the idea, as I began to read the food list I knew I couldn’t participate. Venison, snake, goat’s milk and haggis. Definitely NOT vegan-friendly.

Vegan Hundred.I love the idea of challenging foodies to try as many new, classicly delicious and unusual foods as they can. So I give to you: the vegan’s 100. One-hundred foods that every vegan (or any curious foodie) must try at least once. Check out the list and details on how you can participate in this foodie adventure…

The Challenge: Just as the omnivore list does, I challenge you to re-post this list and participate in the challenge! Cross out or italicize all the foods you would never eat, bold foods you have tried and update your list as you participate in trying all the foods on my Vegan’s 100 list. Then if you’d like, post a link to your list in my comments section so others can see how you are doing. I tried to stay true to the original omnivore 100 by leaving on a few of the vegan food items on Andrew’s list. However, since most of the foods were not vegan, there was a lot of space to fill! My criteria for food items were that they had to be either a unique whole food(like a lychee) or a notably stand-out-delicious way to prepare a common food (like scrambled tofu).

The Vegan’s Hundred

Here’s what I want you to do:

Copy this list into your blog or social networking site profile, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.

I hope you will join this vegan foodie tasting adventure.
Post the link to your list in the comments-if you have any questions, leave them in the comments as well!

…lets show the omnivores that the question “what do vegans eat?” definitely has over 100 amazing answers…!

The HHL Vegan Hundred:

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales (we grow this, it’s all we sell)
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish ………(used to grow some, great for our own horseradish)
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa …………(I’ll have to look this one up, never heard of it)
8. Vegan Cole Slaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic………. (Again, we grow this in our garden and I like to roast in foil w olive oil)
12. Umeboshi ………(again, something I’ve never heard of) 
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera ..(well, we grow this and use it for burns, I’ve drank it prepared, but never processed it myself)
15. H and H Bagel NYC …… too far to go for a bagel, but not gonna cross it out, cause if I’m in NY, I’d try it
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash……… yep….. Mmm good! 
17. White truffle  ……..(I’d try it, but not if I have to pay for it)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes  Does strawberry wine count?
19. Freshly ground wasabi  (I’ve made paste from the powder, but not fresh, would love it though, I know)
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream (not store bought) (umm, no)
21. Heirloom tomatoes (heck, Calif has more cool produce than anywhere!)
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider  (my uncle used to make the best, I remember you Onkle Martin)
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only) (yeah, hard to beat)
24. Quinoa (sister’s family spent some time in Peru and got addicted.. in a good way)
25. Papaya Smoothie (no, but sounds good to me)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet (habanero) pepper (just a bite!…hot! (Yeah, guys here grow the hottest they can to be more Macho)
27. Goji Berry Tea (no, but I’d give it a try)
28. Fennel (It’s a common herb, I’m sure I’ve eaten it in Europe….)
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie (Yeah, my sis is vegetarian, her daughter vegan, they temp me with vegan goodies)
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread  (gee, I just heard today of vegan butery spreads….I’m so in the Stone Age)
31. Starfruit (yes, it is good, but the price is too high… too rare)
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread (used to have our own Sour Dough starter in the fridge!)
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices (yes, at the town of Avila in Spain)
34. Sauerkraut (Doh, we used to ferment our own)
35. Acai Smoothie (no, I’ve only seen Acai in photographs)
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms (No, never heard of them, but I saw ‘Blue-Footed Boobies on TV (they’re birds, really!))
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes nyc  (again, I flew over NYC once, but never touched down)
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo (no, but each with other stuff, will try it one day)
39. Falafel (yep, we even have a local chain called ‘King Falafel’)
40. Spelt Crust Pizza (no, is spelt like smelt?)
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms (No, we have oyster mushrooms grow on trees here in winter.. but I don’t eat mushrooms I find)
42. Jicama Slaw ( jicama is pretty good…never ate it as slaw before though)
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings  (I know what pumpkins, Ginger and Dumplims are…. put those 4 words together, I’m clueless)
44. Hemp Milk  (um, with my looks, if I bought that DEA would be raiding us fast!)
45. Rose Champagne  (I’m not a champagne fan, but I’d raise a glass if given to me) 
46. Fuyu  (the persimmon?… if so, yes, I’ve had it, but prefer my soft persimmons more)
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup   (Never had it, but I love avocados, and coconuts are OK also)
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich  (I’ve only had tofu a few times that I know of…. but I LOVE pesto, so I’d try it and like it I am sure)
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice…with Extra Ginger  (never had it, won’t make it, but if I’m at your house and you offer it, I’d probably like it… would cure a fever I bet too)
50. Grilled Seitan  (seems I’ve heard of Seitan…. but have no idea what it is)
51. Prickly pear  (again, cactus, that we grow… eat it often)
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk  (never had it, but seen it prepared on YouTube, so I’m game… I love almonds, a can a week :-)
53. Concord Grapes off the vine  (yep, have helped pick grapes before)
54. Ramps (only used them for drining onto freeways (ausfahrt, einfahrt in German))
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut  (no, it’s all old and milky by the time it gets here)
56. Organic Arugula  (LOL, we grew this in hte garden and tried to sell at Farmers Market, no one knew what it was! We’re Provincial here)
57. Vidalia Onion (Yep, they are good)
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics  (No, but would try it if offered…. I’m kinda frugal with food money)
59. Honeycrisp Apple  (particular variety, don’t think I’ve tried it)
60. Poi  (never been to Hawaii)
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores  (had Smores, but conventional)
62. Grape seed Oil  (yep, we use a dash of it on occasion… but so very pricey)
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach  (been there, grown that :-)
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus  (no, but one day perhaps)
65. Chestnut Snack Packs  (I’m so lost)
66. Fresh Guava  (yep, some folks here have good guava bushes in their landscape, pretty and edible)
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC  (again, I have no idea what this is!)
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache  (salad greens, we have grown mache blends for market, again, doesn’t sell well here)
71. Golden Beets  (we’ve grown them, they have a more tender taste, and don’t stain as much)
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles (crunchy, dill…. love em)
73. Liquid Smoke  (we used this in the restaurant in High School, haven’t used it for 30 years)
74. Meyer Lemon (we have a meyer lemon tree on our farm)
75. Veggie Paella (I Love Paella, a Spanich classic… I prefer the seafood one at Gibralter)
76. Vegan Lasagna (raw optional)  (I like Lasagna, meat is not necessary for it to be tasty)
77. Kombucha  (I’ve heard of this fungus thing that ppl grow under their beds, never tried it though)
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong  (lost again)
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread  Does the breads from that LA bakery Ecclesiastes count?
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean  (yes, added it to other stuff a few times)
85. Watercress (I just adore watercress sandwishes)
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers  (yep, some here and there)
89. Corn Chowder (corn-anything, and chowder-anything are on my lists)
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate (no, but nything dark chocolate is on my list)
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi (we’ve had the fuzzy green ones plenty, never saw a yeller one)
92. White Flesh Grapefruit (eh, the yellow ones are sour, and I have to add suger to eat them, where’s the health in that?)
93. harissa  (sounds like the name of a girl I met in Morocco once….)
94. Coconut Oil (It’s on my list of butter replacements I will try)
95. Jackfruit  (I’ve heard of this…. but don’t form a mental image)
96. Homemade Risotto (I’ve heard of Risotto, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had it… )
97. Spirulina (Again, I’ve heard of Spirulina, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had it… )
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine  (Never heard of the variety… but I do like tangerines, one of the largest citrus nurseries is in our town)
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought  (No, we don’t really eat out much.. too far to drive, too pricy, and I don’t know how to act in among fine dining places)
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas  (I’ve never been to England, but I kind of like the music. They say the women are insane there, and they sure know how to use it…. they don’t abuse it, never gonna lose it, I can’t refuse it)

*Want more info? Foodista links and HHL links are shown in a double list below*

The HHL Vegan Hundred:

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales Nopales on Foodista
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps Portobello Mushrooms on Foodista
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish Horseradish on Foodista
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa
8. Vegan Cole Slaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic Elephant Garlic on Foodista
12. Umeboshi Umeboshi on Foodista
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera Aloe Vera on Foodista
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash Butternut Squash on Foodista
17. White truffle White Truffle on Foodista
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes Fruit Wine on Foodista
19. Freshly ground wasabi Wasabi on Foodista
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream (not store bought)
21. Heirloom tomatoes Heirloom Tomato on Foodista
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple ciderApple Cider on Foodista
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet (habanero) pepper (just a bite!…hot!
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. Starfruit Starfruit on Foodista
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread Sourdough Bread on Foodista
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut Sauerkraut on Foodista
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes nyc
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel Falafel on Foodista
40. Spelt Crust Pizza Spelt on Foodista
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms Oyster Mushrooms on Foodista
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings (Kitchen Club NYC)
44. Hemp Milk Hemp Milk on Foodista
45. Rose Champagne Champagne on Foodista
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu or Chik’n Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice…with Extra Ginger
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear Cactus Pear on Foodista
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk Almond Milk on Foodista
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula Arugula on Foodista
57. Vidalia Onion Vidalia Onion on Foodista
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi Poi on Foodista
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grapeseed Oil Grape Seed Oil on Foodista
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach Peach on Foodista
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus Grilled Pita on Foodista
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava Guava on Foodista
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Mallomarfrom One Lucky Duck, nyc
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets Golden Beet on Foodista
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles Pickles on Foodista
73. Liquid Smoke Liquid Smoke on Foodista
74. Meyer Lemon Meyer Lemon on Foodista
75. Veggie Paella Vegetarian Paella on Foodista
76. Vegan Lasagna (raw optional)
77. Kombucha Kombucha on Foodista
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong Lapsang Souchong Black Tea on Foodista
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean Vanilla Bean on Foodista
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself Carrot on Foodista
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi Golden Kiwi  on Foodista
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. harissa Harissa on Foodista
94. Coconut Oil Coconut Oil on Foodista
95. Jackfruit Jackfruit on Foodista
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

Gift From a Flint Knapper

A hand knapped glass arrowhead

A hand knapped glass arrowhead

    Two views of a hand knapped arrowhead.
    I spent a few days working with a fellow from Utah. It turned out he is an expert flintknapper. We had many talks of ancient weapons technologies. On our last day at work, at lunchtime he sat for fifteen minutes and knapped this arrowhead out of a piece of broken glass and gave it to me as a parting gift.
    It is a treasured piece of art that I hang on the living room wall. Knapping is an interesting art, and was a genuine technology a thousand years ago. And to watch a piece of rock turn into a practical knife or point in the hands of a master is like watching a gifted artist paint.


A hand knapped glass arrowhead

A hand knapped glass arrowhead

A Gift of Chocolate-A Glimpse of Freedom


Happy Veteran’s Day
kudos to so many in my family who served….
thanks Dad, without you, none of it would be possible


A gift of chocolate, a glimpse of freedom, and an introduction to America

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some….
Who knows, maybe you were kidnapped, tied up and taken away for ransom….
It don’t really matter to me,
Everybody’s got to fight to be free,
You don’t have to live like a refugee,
You know…you don’t have to live like a refugee
Tom Petty


    My mother’s first encounter with an American was in war-ravaged Europe in 1946. Here she was; a thin, hungry kid in Germany as a refugee, a Displaced Person (DP) from Eastern Europe. She was hungry and malnourished; she had known nothing but war all her life.

    She lived in a small village in Germany that was spared the heavy bombing of the industrial cities. Her family was living in rooms given up by the resentful Native German families. One day a small squad of American soldiers came by that small village. She and many of the children of the town came running to the town square to see the strangers in their green uniforms. One of them was carefully giving a square of chocolate to each child, breaking it from one of several bars of chocolate he had in his hands.

    He broke a square off and held it out to her, smiling as he did so. She hungrily and happily took it from his hand, and smiled back, speaking in a proper manner “Dankeshon”, thanking him for the gift of the rare chocolate. He continued breaking off pieces of chocolate, making sure each child got only one square, so there would be enough for all.

  Then the soldiers finished their break, and headed off in their jeeps and trucks to parts unknown.

   This first meeting with an American seems to me an emblem of our national character. The peace loving, generous and thoughtful Americans, who sometimes are forced to fight when really they would rather not have to. We as a nation are not unfamiliar with war, but we do not look forward to it in a general way. And we would rather enter a battle firmly, decisively and with proper timing and sufficient strength so as to finish the hostilities quickly and avoid a protracted war. Yet when the shells stop ejecting, and the lead is no longer flying we are so happy to spread our largess around, to help the poor afflicted ones left in the wake of the battles. The innocent ones, the young, the non-combatants are generally treated by Americans with compassion, and largess. We feel sorry for the poor people taken along by despotic or maniacal leaders, the ones who’s countries economies and National Character were lead astray by evil ones. So our country as a whole generally helps out to one degree or another. And the people of the USA are usually quick to send aid through individual charities.

    This faceless American, the nameless soldier who dropped that piece of chocolate into my mothers hand that day gave her a lot more than chocolate, he gave her a glimpse of another land. A land where people got to eat chocolate, indeed they had so much that they could even give some to people they did not even know. He opened the curtain displaying for her a place, indeed an idea of freedom and plenty. A concept unknown in the world centuries before, and a new concept to her from the years of war and poverty. This concept grew in her through the years. The education, the opening of the Fortress Europe to American concepts and ideas matured the concept, and later when an adult the marriage to my father, an American soldier himself brought her to these balmy shores. The land that enshrines the concept of immigration in one of the best-known statues in the world. “Give me your poor, your huddled, your teeming masses ready to break free.” She was one of the poor teeming huddled masses, and she made it to this country and became an American, and she helped raise some American children. 

John's Mom and Grandmother, Germany, 1946

John’s Mom and Grandmother, Germany, 1946

The song lyrics below are from an Elton John song,
they speak to me because of my time on the Iron Curtain in the 70′s.
I worked the border areas of West Germany…..I’d look across that wide ‘No-Man’s Land’
watching the Eastern soldiers smoke their cigarettes in their towers 
and looking back at me through their scopes…
Often we’d wave to one another….
soldiers, away from home…
each defending from the other….
yet each of us realizing we are people….
those waves are something I’ll never forget

Hey Nikita is it cold
In your little corner of the world
You could roll around the globe
And never find a warmer soul to know

Oh I saw you by the wall
Ten of your tin soldiers in a row
With eyes that looked like ice on fire
The human heart a captive in the snow

Oh Nikita You will never know anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Do you ever dream of me
Do you ever see the letters that I write
When you look up through the wire
Nikita do you count the stars at night

And if there comes a time
Guns and gates no longer hold you in
And if you’re free to make a choice
Just look towards the west and find a friend

   We are all people, failed, fallen. We have not risen to the heights we can…. perhaps someday we will.  

If you want to change the world… start with yourself

   Chica is the Chihuahua who raised up the two tiny orphaned kitties we found. We bottle-fed them, but she slept with them, cuddled and comforted them.  Even now that they are six months old and larger than her, they cuddle and play together. She licks them and searches their fur for fleas. It’s really a sweet sight to see them together… it makes me happy and reminds me that life is so very mysterious……

Chica and Tony

Chica and Tony

Everyone wants to change the world… to make it better.
but the world is like  a person, you cannot enforce real inward change.
what a person believes you cannot change by force.

If you really want to change the world, all you can do is change yourself,
when your own harmony and tranquility is seen by your family,
you can slowly change them by serving as an example to them.


the stillness and tranquility of your family might cause your neighborhood to change ever so slightly,
,the harmony in your neighborhood might spread to neighboring areas.

your local areas might bring change to the state and then to the nation.

If you want to change the world… start with yourself

Lord… let it begin with me