Sunday, April 29, 2007


If you haven't read it yet, you must read Dune, by Frank Herbert. You must. Really. The movies either suck or SUCK, but the books are beyond good. Like I quote from them all the time and the page corners are turned down on my favorite places and it's changed how I look at the world.

From now on, I'll try to post a new Dune quote at least every time I post, if not every day (like I said, not good at daily stuff).

Today's Dune quote:

The Litany Against Fear (Dune, p. 8)
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."


Yeah, so I'm going to try to blog regularly again. I suck at "journaling," and this blog can't be about ideas because those are in my notebook, so I'll try to make this about information, useful and trivial.

Like, the Colorado Springs projected high tomorrow is 80. That's insane! We live in Colorado, for goodness' sake! But this part is so Colorado: On April 7th, the official high was 25. We may get one last snow storm even next month. But dear God I hope Al Gore gets his way and that it makes a difference, because if it gets much hotter this summer, like over 100, I'm moving to Leadville, elevation 10,152 (almost two miles; we're at over one mile here), average summer high: 70. Nice. Cool.

Trivial info? Useful? Just depends on your perspective.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm a real hippy now!

Yes, I've begun to sprout. Not me, well, not literally anyway. But I impulse-bought this at my local health food store this week, visions of my food-allergic son hooked on sprouts and getting more nutrition than now.

And it works! At this very moment, I'm eating a mixture of sunflower sprouts, chopped radish, chopped apple, a little brown rice, Carlson's Lemon-flavored Cod Liver Oil, my own version of "hot salt" (2/3 sea salt, 1/3 cayenne pepper and ground chilies), and Vegennaise. It's delicious!

The last time I tried to sprout seeds, it ended in a stinky, moldy mess. But the Easy Sprouter works. Good luck and bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

forever since........

...I've been here. Speaking of soul-baring, I'm crashing and burning with NaNoMo. (shocked, anyone?) Solomon, our nine-month-old, seems to have heard my ambitions and decided to start a growth spurt dependent upon eating at least three times between 10pm and 6am. If you've noticed my bloodshot eyes, therein is the cause.

However, two weeks remain, and my goal is 10K words by the end. To repeat something I shared with a stellar group of writers recently, I have begun to consider myself a long-distance runner, not a sprinter in the "sport" of writing. I'm in it for the long haul.

So, write on!! Slower, maybe, than your planned sprint, but continuing to put down the words. I'm with you all. :-)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Yerba Mate

Just wanted to share one of my favorite drinks: yerba maté. I've been drinking the loose leaves in a French press for a couple of years.

For writers, you can't beat this drink. Here's why, according to the New York Times:

"Yerba maté gets its pep from caffeine. But it also contains theobromine, the stimulant in dark chocolate, and theophylline, tea’s pick-me-up. “Because caffeine isn’t the sole stimulant,' said Timothy Ferriss, a neuroscientist who has studied the effects of natural stimulants on athletic performance, 'maté drinkers don’t experience the rapid upward trajectory and then the quick crash of coffee.'"
from an article by Sarah Bowen Shea found at

Mate got me through a very long all-nighter editing a nonfiction project I unwisely took on. I was alert but didn't have the coffee jitters and was able to sleep the next day.

To augment its health benefits, drink it with xylitol as a sweetner. Then you get only the mate slow stimulant without the quick uptake and crash of refined sugars.

My mom (and husband) thinks it tastes a bit "grassy." To take care of that, Guayaki has several kinds of loose tea, as well as a myriad of other products. I just buy the plain mate and add lemon juice and xylitol. Good iced or hot.

Here are the instructions for loose yerba mate from Guayaki's site:

"Loose Mate

French Press: Place 3-4 tablespoons of loose yerba mate or Java Mate in the French press (use more or less depending on desired strength). Add enough cool water to moisten the mate. Then add hot water. Steep for 3-10 minutes. The longer, the stronger.

Coffee Maker: Place loose yerba mate in filter basket. Add enough cool water to moisten the mate. Then run the machine as usual.

Espresso Maker: Yerba mate brews well in most espresso makers. Place yerba mate in a double espresso portafilter. Pull a long shot for a total of 4 oz. Great for making mate lattés. Some baristas choose to grind the mate before using in portafilter.

Tea Pot or Tea Ball: Add loose mate or Java Mate to tea pot and moisten with cool water before adding hot water. The mate will sink to the bottom in a few minutes. Pour through a fine metal mesh strainer if one is not built into the tea pot. (When using a tea ball, a fine-mesh filter is most effective.) This method also works great with a reusable tea sack."

Great stuff!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mel and the Dark Side

I grew up in "the church." My father was a pastor, my mother a pastor's wife. Each and every decision had the potential to affect how each church viewed my father and his ministry and thus his effectiveness. In this light, there were a few cardinal rules: (I recognize that other pastors handled these rules better, overcoming them, even. But the political structure of the local church and the simplification and twisting of what "sanctification" means in everyday life naturally leads to not overcoming, to kowtowing, towing the line, doing whatever one must to survive to the next paycheck. And I have been told by countless other pastors and families of these same problems.)

1. Show no weakness, unless it's easily remedied. My parents had serious marital difficulties. But they could not work through these publicly without serious and longlasting repercussions to my father's career. Thus, they never got worked out and they divorced just before their 30 year anniversary, after my father had been out of the ministry for a couple of years. If you admit to having any problems with any recurrent sins, you lose your leadership effectiveness. (Why, I ask. Because people must believe that they follow their betters, not flawed humans, in order to simply do as they're told.)

2. Confront no one. Confrontation leads to real conflict which leads to problems.

3. Couch any disagreement in spiritual language. "In my prayer time this morning, I felt led to...." I have seen so many conflicts spring from this attitude, so much dishonesty, so much judgement, it's astounding.

4. Be nice. The truth is so unspiritual, so mean-sounding. You may not sound mean or angry or frustrated or cocky...or real.

Regarding "nice." I met a fellow writer at a conference recently who talked to me about her attempt to find honest feedback. She's writing a Christian book and had tried a couple of Christian critique groups. She said that she never got any honest critiques and when she critiqued honestly, told working writers exactly what she thought about their writing (gold, to my feedback-starved mind), they got angry and defensive. So she came to the "secular world" to find some honest feedback. Shouldn't that be a clue as to something being wrong?

I have been told my entire life to "be nice." But it's not always honest. It often gets in the way of truth and growth, mine and that of others. But "be nice" is the mantra of the modern evangelical church. (The two exceptions are to "entrenched, unrepentant sinners" and your family; you can be mean to them without much, if any, spiritual reprimand.)

I think it's what happened to Mel Gibson. Perhaps he's never been instructed or encouraged to look at those ugly, dark, complex parts of himself, to drag them to the light. I certainly never was. It's only in the last few years that I've recognized (after going on a long church-fast) the need to constantly do so.

One seminal book for me in this journey was Susan Howatch's Glittering Images.
It's about an Anglican pastor who goes through his journey of dragging his dark side to the light. I didn't like her second book quite as much, but this one was brilliant. It's not a typically evangelical book, definitely not something Focus on the Family would publish (thank God).

So is there any conclusion to all this? Any words of wisdom or learning we can all take away from Mel's experience?

Perhaps this: Though I would never wish alcoholism on anyone, I would wish the often unbridled honesty, looseness of tongue, and uninhibited personality that drink brings to most people on the evangelical church. Perhaps if all those placard-carrying, fire-and-brimstone-preaching (usually) men were to lose control every now and then, they'd face up to their dark sides instead of denying them and judging everyone else for having one.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

so call me a tree hugger

Check out for a very interesting alternative news site. The article on the front page today is about body odor (

I was referred to the site by the folks at Ruth's Hemp Foods, products I'm checking out, especially for our very food allergic three-year-old. I'm going to try their hemp protein with sprouted flax and maca root:

Also check out's new grocery section. Many products qualify for free shipping and they have an extensive natural/organic section. Bon appetit!

Monday, July 17, 2006

iced tonic

When I was pregnant with our son, we used a midwife, Dottie Kirkpatrick ( as our main care provider. At around 25 weeks, my whole body swelled up. I was retaining water and after consulting with Dottie, realized that I was overstressed, eating too little, too little protein, and resting too little. I increased my protein, salt, and water intake, drank nettles tea, put my feet up and rested. After a day and a half, I could see the bones in my feet again and was back to normal in tests.

Stinging nettle has a long, varied history as a tonic. (For an unorganized but fascinating account, see I drank an infusion of a couple of teaspoons of dried nettle leaves in 8 oz. of boiling water every morning of my pregnancy after that episode, and continued drinking it after Solomon was born (five months ago!).

I've just started walking again, working toward getting my pre-pregnancy (at least) body back. And it's HOT, so I needed a cool tonic instead of the hot tea. Here's what I came up with. It's surprisingly refreshing, tastes a bit sweet, almost like lemonade, and is delicious.

Iced Tonic

Nettles infusion: Take two strainers (or one very large one) and fill halfway with dried nettles. Pour four cups of boiling water over them. Let it steep at least one hour. Refrigerate until cool.
In a large pitcher, put the juice of one lemon (or more if you like stronger lemonade) and about 1/4 cup xylitol (or raw sugar). Add a few capfuls of apple cider vinegar. Add the nettles infusion. Mix well. Add water to the top of the pitcher and mix well again. Refrigerate and enjoy iced!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]