Tag Archives: postaday

The Stars Within

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The tech who drew my blood inspired this sculpture.

Lab techs ensure that needed biological matter is obtained to aid in a diagnosis or that a person is well. Techs usually do this with as little pain and stress to each person as possible.

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Yet, most often they hear things like I hate needles as they collect blood, feces, urine, sputum, with kindness and compassion despite too little appreciation for how critical their work is, or their skill.

This piece is a thank you for lab techs and other medical personnel.

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It started with the disposable tourniquet that I rolled for the arms. The turquoise tourniquet doesn’t show since it’s covered with the purple bandage used to keep gauze in place after my last blood draw. The red heart is bandage from a previous draw.

The yellow dress is the webbing from a bag of lemons while the face and hair are foil that protected a cork.

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Since the yellow webbing wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of the head, I used leftover starred gold wire, which led to the title.

The light varies since it came from shafts of sunlight through the trees.

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As an avid garage sale seeker once said to me, one person’s garbage is another’s treasure!

This Edge of Sea

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  And it is a dream at sea such as was never dreamt, and it is the Sea in us that will dream it:

The Sea, woven in us, to the last weaving of its tangled night, the Sea, in us, weaving its great

hours of light and its great trials of darkness.

— Saint-John Perse, Seamarks

I’ve touched death twice and come back. I feel like a cat, though I’m not counting on nine. I was told as a child that I would not live even thirty years due to severe asthma. In my early twenties, I wheezed ceaselessly for two years, even with intravenous steroids during monthly hospitalizations. At this time I was told I’d be dead by twenty-five due to a rare form of asthma that afflicts fewer than two percent of asthmatics, most of whom are seventy or older. Now in my forties, I know that no one can predict another’s fate.

The first time I touched death, I was seventeen. After spending several days trying to stabilize a particularly bad attack, during which I could only walk with assistance, could barely eat, and couldn’t lie down, I called my physician, Doctor K, who wanted to meet me in the emergency room.

Driving proved slow and difficult with such labored breathing, but after I parked near the hospital’s entrance, I inched toward the automatic doors by leaning against cars, poles, the rough white wall for support, and paused to catch my breath after each step as if climbing at twenty-six thousand feet.  (More)

Thank you to the editors of Cezanne’s Carrot for first publishing this piece.

(This is a semi-repost from 10.10.09)

Chi-licious!

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I’d heard of chia seeds (and joked that someone’s found a new marketing angle now that chia pets are no longer the craze). I didn’t take chia seriously until I attended a raw live food cooking demo at Whole Food’s satellite program in Los Angeles early in 2013.

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Chia seeds are high in fibre (“the stealth nutrient” according to Dr. Lustig) as well as high in omega 3, and are delicious in combination with fruits.

Though the cook demonstrated this with measurements, I cook by approximation. She also added agave or maple syrup, which is overkill given the fruits’ sweetness. And no one needs more sugar despite it’s syrupy whispers to our DNA that it’s safe, while fattening the liver and body and nurturing disease.

Summer’s the perfect time for berries, so here’s the recipe…in approximate measurements…and once you’ve got a sense of it, make it your own!

2 baskets of raspberries. Wash in water. (I sometimes soak berries in warm or cool water and a splash of apple cider vinegar as a disinfectant, for at least 10 minutes, then rinse.)

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2 ripe bananas

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(I show the image because U.S. consumers often buy and eat bananas before they’re ripe.)

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5 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Add about 1 cup of water and soak for 10 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water, or coconut water*, so the seeds continue to have liquid to absorb. (They can absorb nine times their volume in water…so don’t eat unsoaked chia or you’ll get stomach cramps.)

After soaking for 10 minutes, add at least 1.5 cups of water, or coconut water, till the mixture holds its shape while while still flowing from a tilted spoon.

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*Coconut water is often clear but sometimes pink. The best is directly from young fresh coconuts, but bottled/canned coconut water is easy if you don’t have time hack through the husk and you like the taste, or want extra potassium.

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Now that you have the rinsed raspberries, ripe bananas and soaking chia

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mash the bananas with your fingers, a potato masher or

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a fork

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till they look like this:

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And do the same with the raspberries, which is easiest with fingers, though I’ll often do the bananas and raspberries together with a potato masher,

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till they look like this:

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Then add flavors you like…this medley in decreasing order of amount includes vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove:

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Add the soaked chia to the fruit and mix till you have a uniform semi-liquidy glop that can be more or less watery depending on your taste, but this is how I like it:

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For more texture, you can mix in whole blueberries, or another fruit of your choice.

Cover your chi-licious and refrigerate at least two hours, then enjoy!

(For more crunch, eat it with toasted nuts or seeds like pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds.)

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It will be good up to three days, refrigerated, though it’s doubtful it will last that long. Delicious and good for you…what a combo!

Bon Appetit!

Bee is Mantis

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Oooh, pretty!

Praying mantis! And so well camouflaged in salvia!

Those were my first thoughts.

The WP photo prompt this week is fleeting…like beauty…life…thoughts…experience…

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and though I chose not to publish these photos previously because they disturb me and I didn’t want to disturb you,

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they perfectly illustrate fleeting as they catch the ephemeral beauty of nature

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and how living requires eating so these photos also illustrate how fleeting life is.

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The honey bee is caught,

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savored,

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beheaded

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and further savored…

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and I had to walk away from breathtaking wonder that shifted in a moment to revulsion though I recognize that the bee is the mantis and we are each both bee and mantis, and our moments as fleeting.

wearable to fine art

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At twenty-five, Sumi Foley saved her grandma’s silk kimonos from the trash since her grandma had tired of them. An artist, Foley deconstructs these kimonos to recreate them as hand sewn fine art.

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When one paints without sketching, it’s termed boneless, which is how Sumi embroiders the roses and hands on her hand-stitched patchwork in her “For My Love” series, made of silk kimono and silk organza.

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Here’s a short interview with Foley, and inspiration for the timeless continuity of reconstruction and change.

My 2012 in Pictures

The Losses:

My 84-year-old mom holding her 9-year-old self

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and two weeks before she passed, my father-in-law also did along with his pocketful of index cards and pens so he’d never lose an important thought

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The Blessings:

A week at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers

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and the crescent shadows during the solar eclipse

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The Joyous Victories:

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The Discoveries:

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Toni Littlejohn’s art

and Rain Fingerhut’s voice

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Peace to all of you throughout the New Year!

Elizabeth

The Screaming Beet

Emily’s mom left a month after Rose’s birth, two weeks after Rose started crying, not with the half-formed gaspy cries of an infant but with a determination reserved for two and three year olds. Emily woke several…

Thank you to the editors of Halfway Down the Stairs for first publishing this story.

Wish I’d Known Before My Car Was Stolen

My car was stolen from our driveway during a storm earlier this week.
I’ve lived most of my life in dense urban areas. Now that I live in a “safe” neighborhood my car is gone, no public transportation yet this gutting sense of foreignness that happens with violation or when some core belief is irrefutably changed. Everything that was in the car is gone as well: my best rain gear for stormy beach walks, my grandmother’s ring that my recently deceased mom wore to her final breath, a life-time of postage stamps so I could avoid lines when sending my writing to disinterested editors.
I hope what I’ve learned from police, an insurance rep who specializes in stolen vehicles, and others can help you avoid this loss.
~  The incidence of car thefts is highest in a storm (which we had that night) because the storm masks the sounds of breaking glass and car alarms, which are quickly disconnected.
~  Some cars are specifically targeted. When I heard this I thought it was because they’re popular; instead, it’s because they’re easy to steal (for example, a master key can be used for several years of cars that were my make and model, no breakage necessary.) Unfortunately, my car is worth more as parts than as a vehicle, which is disturbing on many levels. While the above link re: specific cars states that car theft is down, that’s not my insurance company’s experience.
~  Car theft, arson and burglary claims have so increased  in 2012 for my long-established insurance company that that division has almost tripled the workforce to handle the load, and they still don’t have enough reps.
~  The Club and similar devices hardly delay (moments at best) a professional thief. The officer who took my report said they don’t help.
The insurance representative who took my claim has changed his personal habits due to working in the car theft division. In addition to what I’ve already suggested, he adds:
~  Don’t keep anything in the car including rain coats and other clothes since you’ll lose them when the car is stolen.
~ NEVER leave the keys in the car, especially in the ignition, and most especially with the engine running, not even if you’re standing next to the car. Take your keys whenever you step out of your vehicle. (One of his clients left his key in his ignition while he filled his car with gas. Someone jumped in and drove off. The client not only lost his car, but had terrible injuries since the gas hose whipped him against the payment station when it jerked out from the speeding vehicle.)
~  Keep your car doors locked, even if you’re pumping gas or talking beside the car . A friend’s purse was on the passenger seat as she filled her tank. Someone opened the door, grabbed the purse and ran.
~  Don’t leave a spare key, especially a house key, in the car.
~  Keep registration and insurance papers with you rather than in the car. If the car is stolen, at least they don’t have your address, name, et. al. Home burglary and identity theft often follow after a vehicle is stolen.
~ Never leave a garage opener in the car. Not only is the vehicle in the garage at risk, but also one’s home if the garage is attached. An acquaintance mentioned that her car was stolen from her driveway, and that may have been the total theft if she didn’t keep the garage opener in her car. The thief used the genie to open the garage and Poof! both vehicles were gone when she woke.
~  If you have a tracking device in the vehicle, use the locator ASAP since the tracker can be disabled quickly or tossed.
~  If your car is stolen, call the police and then your insurance company to report it. Then let additional vehicle related services know such as companies who provide paid toll service, the DMV for disability plates/placards and the like so you are not responsible if your vehicle is involved in further crime, and also because these services may be able to help you track the vehicle.
Be safe and please pass this link or information on to everyone you know. Thanks.