The More I Read, the Less I Know

I’ve been researching a lot lately – my version of researching, which means Google and I spend a lot of time together. I’ve been checking into the healthiest foods for my dogs, which leads into the debate between commercial and homemade dog foods. The more I read, the more confused I am. A, B, and C say spinach and kale are good for my dog. D, E, and F say it’s not. Then we get into grains – good or not? Uh huh. Same kind of split. Then there’s the raw vs not raw feeding groups. No need to read too much about that, raw just wouldn’t work for me. What have I learned? I’m no better informed now than I was before I started, so I think I’ll just follow my own instincts.

One more month in this year has gone by. Today is the last day of September. How did that happen? I sure can’t answer that one. The earliest of the foliage that turned color is now falling to the ground – bare bushes and trees will soon follow. I’m not going to venture into reading about seasons and why and how – but I might see what kind of winter is predicted. And then, if it says a nice winter, hope it’s true. But if it says a not nice winter, hope it’s wrong.

Politics. OMG! It’s permeating everything, coloring everything. I didn’t particularly care for Kavanaugh in the beginning, but after his rant Thursday, I’m quite sure I don’t want to see him on the Supreme Court. There’s already too much partisanship happening, we don’t need more of it on the highest court of the land. And no matter what the investigation (which I was and am all for) finds, he is forever tainted. In large part, for me, because of his ranting and raving

I actually completed a list of things to do that I had written on my white board. So now I’m sitting here, going “what should I do?” Not that there’s a shortage of things to be done, by any means, just that what remains are all things I don’t like – dusting, vacuuming. Housework. Ugh. Even with that – read about the best way to do household chores. Not everyone agrees there either.

I started a painting a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I’ll work on it today. Yeah, I know. Dark But I promise when it’s all done, it’ll have some brights in it. This is just the basecoat. Kind of reflects my world view these days.

Then there’s the Donald, who declares he loves Kim Jong-un. Does it strike anyone else that he seems to pick odd people to love – the Supreme Leader of North Korea and then there’s Russia’s leader, Putin? His good buddies. I’m scared. See, reading things just leads to confusion. So maybe I should stop reading. Nah, tried that, doesn’t work. I need to know, even if it sends my system into a uproar.

But hey! At least we know we’re alive when we still get confused and angry and frustrated, don’t we? If’s fine, because I still have enough and I hope you do too. And, there are those bright spots in our world.

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I Am So Ashamed

I made a huge mistake yesterday. I doubt I will ever do that again. I turned the TV on early in the morning (I’m in the west), and spent my day listening, watching, ultimately weeping.

You all know what I’m talking about. The Judiciary Committee “hearing” – the one that turned into a partisan madhouse. Yes, that one.

In the beginning, I felt Christine Blasey-Ford presented her case calmly – or as calm as one could be in the circumstances, knowing full well you would be condemned later – as well as she could given the passage of time. I’ll interrupt myself here – for those of you who criticize because she didn’t come forward years ago – give that some thought. Men rule the world – still – and men will stick together for the most part – so obviously if a woman was “assaulted” it wasn’t the man’s fault. She was “asking for it”. The way she dressed, the way she walked, the fact that she existed. To a very large degree, women existed to satisfy men, women were property.

Who of us can remember the details of our teen years, when our teen years were a quarter of a century ago. Some episodes, yes – like an attempted rape – but clear details about location, precise date and time? I doubt it.  In any case, I believed Dr. Blasey-Ford, based on her testimony.

Then Kavanaugh had his turn. His belligerent, partisan opening speech gave me pause – was this a man who feared being found out, or a man angry at an undeserved accusation? He could be either – but his demeanor, particularly his partisanship, dismayed me and made me wonder about his being a judge on the Supreme Court, a position I would think required, or at least deserved, neutrality. Is he that? I don’t think so.

And then there were the members of the committee who showed themselves to care only for their party. Grassley’s pat on the head and “you’ve been a good girl” closing comment to Dr Blasey-Ford as he closed the segment of the session involving her testimony. Lindsey Graham’s ignoring some of what she said then bursting into a most unprofessional, partisan condemnation of those who opposed his position during Kavanaugh’s time before the committee. Kavanaugh’s absolute refusal to just answer some questions instead of reiterating his rant of his life being destroyed and refuting the need for a real investigation because he was there, now, to answer questions.

And he was. But where were the others? Where was Mark Judge, Deborah Ramirzez, the others who had things to say about his man? I know the Committee asked questions of some, but not all. I know that in theory lying to the Committee is a felony. But the Committee is not made up of professional neutral investigators. So why not call in the FBI to investigate this specific topic? That would at least provide a chance of gaining more knowledge, more facts, a better opportunity to make an educated, reasonable decision.

We will never know the real truth. Our government in action. I’m very very sad.

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Share Your World – 8-24-18 And More

I’ve been sitting here debating about posting – specifically, what kind of post – whether it would be sharing my world, or rambling on. I’ve finally decided that I can do both. Right? I mean, I’m a citizen of the U.S. I have freedom of choice. At least for now.

I have spent many recent days on my new “thing” to do. Hopefully my solution to managing fewer shopping trips to the bigger town down the road, because I hate shopping. I like being home. Fresh produce has been the problem – so now I’ve taken up dehydrating fresh produce to reduce waste and shopping. We’ll see how that goes.

Last week I asked a question about favorite beverages and the overwhelming favorite was coffee.   If you drink coffee, how do you like it best?  Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black? I like my coffee black. That is, the coffee I make (in fairness, my Keurig makes my coffee) at home. At a coffee shop, I really like a good blended mocha with a double shot. In the summer only. Winter is not for cold drinks.

As usual, the political climate iin our country is causing me great distress. Currently, of course, is the Kavanaugh thing. What I’m finding most distressful is that the parties are making up their minds before learning the truth – I don’t understand the need to rush, given the court has been short one judge for much of the past nearly two years – why can’t the time be taken to investigate, really investigate, to come as close to the truth as possible? Personally, I don’t liike what I see as Kavanaugh’s policies, so I’d vote no, acccusations or not.

In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?     There are so many great inventions in our age, it’s very hard to choose. After considerable thought, I’m going to say the internet. Although it has some not-so-good parts (but what doesn’t?) it facilitates communication and information. It’s so much easier to search when I want information than to look through an encyclopedia, which is never really up to date anyway.

This is my favorite time of year. Of course, after winter when spring arrives, I might say the same thing. The colors seem so much more vivid this year – but that could just be because I’m seeing them differently. Who knows?

Global warming?  Reality or myth? Reality. The sadness is that there are so many that deny this reality, and I fear we are rapidly on our way to being past the time we can change it.

Alexa and I are becoming friends. She just told me it’s Mark Hamill’s birthday – you remember Mark – of Star Wars fame? Yesterday I learned that I can tell Alexa to add things to my grocery list! Wonder of wonders. That list is available on my iPhone. This has one bad note – I decided that meant I didn’t need the app I’d been using, so I deleted it. Uh oh. That’s where I had the list of things I was to take to my daughter on my next trip.

Are you an explorer or more a home body? I don’t know how much of an explorer I am. I love to travel, to experience new places and cultures, and I prefer going places that are not necessarily high on most people’s vacation lists. For example, Hawaii holds very little interest for me. And Florence or Paris would be nice, but I’d rather rent a car and travel in a leisurely manner through parts of Europe. When all is said and done though coming home after traveling is always wonderful. Because I love being home.

Another (short) political rant: I just got another notification of a news item. Trump is attacking Kavanaugh’s second accuser. Well, of course he is. What else would one expect from a man with a history with women like his?

What were you grateful for this week? I am grateful for a life with enough. I am grateful for the people I love and the beauty around me.

I wish for all of you, a life with enough.

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Healthy Dog Treats

I have recently taken up dehydrating foods and I’ll be posting more about that another time, but right now I want to share some healthy dog treat recipes because I told Laura of Riddle from the Middle that I would share a few of them.

In addition to the fact that dehydrated foods take up a lot less space than an equivalent amount of rehydrated foods would, I like that I can make healthy dog treats without preservatives and other unknown ingredients for my furry girl. I have done sweet potato treats for her, at a cost far lower than buying. I estimate that I can get about 12 ounces of sweet potato treats (dried weight) for less than $5.00. It costs about three times that to buy them. You could also make pumpkin treats using the same method.

 

Slice sweet potato about 1/4” thick (crosswise or lengthwise), dehydrate at the highest temperature (145-155 F) for 8-10 hours for chewy treats. I dried miine for about 12 hours because I wanted them crisper, using the 250 watt unit. A higher wattage unit will take less time.

I did a batch of chicken jerky but I preboiled the chicken tenders first and I was not happy with them. I’ve bought more tenders to do when I finish the sweet potatoes, and I wll use a meat mallet to get them down to 1/4” to 3/8” thickness, then dehydrate at the highest temperature your dehydrator allows, preferably 165 F. For safety’s sake, when they are done, bake at 350 F in your oven for ten minutes. Doing this reduces the posssibility of bacterial issues.

I have a couple of other dog treat recipes I will share that could probably also be done in your oven. I’ll indicate whether I’ve tried them yet or not.

HEALTHY PUMPKIN DOG TREATS

  • 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, softened
  • 4 tablespoons of water, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F.
  • Mix the pumpkin, softened coconut oil, and water together in a large bowl.
  • Then mix in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder
  • Mix it a bit and then stir in the egg.
  • Continue to stir until it’s ALL combined. This might take a good minutes and feel free to add a touch more water in order to get all of the mixture into one solid, slightly sticky ball.
  • Once done, roll the dough out on a floured surface to ~1/4 inch thick.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out treats. These can be as small or as large as you want them (depending on the size of your dogs. I realize not everyone has giant dogs like me)
  • Place prepared dough treats on a lined/ greased baking sheet and bake for ~30 minutes (depending on size) or until dough has hardened.
  • Let cool and enjoy your pups excitement!

I made these and Shasta says they’re good. Although Shasta is a food hound, and isn’t hard to please.

SUNFLOWER DOG TREATS

  • Sunflower seeds, unsalted, ¼ cup
  • Flour, two cups
  • Chopped apples, ½ cup
  • ¼ cup peas, carrots, or any other vegetable your dog prefer
  • powdered oats, ¼ cup
  • Peanut butter, one cup
  • rolled oats, one cup
  • Molasses, one cup (you can substitute dark corn syrup or maple syrup)

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the molasses. Then, when you have mixed it well, add the molasses and blend well. Make sure to add some additional oats if the dough is not stiff enough. On a cutting board, roll it out and cut into squares and shapes. Or you can use a cookie cutter.

Place on the tray and put it in the dehydrator. Set the temperature at one hundred and forty – five to one hundred and fifty – five degrees F. Dry the meal for about four hours or more if necessary. Make sure that there is no moisture left and they are very dry.

I haven’t tried this one yet, but will as soon as I can.

The caveat to all of this is that yes, it takes some time. I have the benefit of having lots of time as well as living alone so I don’t have to be concerned about taking care of a family. I worry about commercial dog treats because of too many incidents of them being contaminated and causing illness, or worse, death. I also have to be concerned about costs. All of these are best stored in a cool, dark place. I will store excess in vacuum sealed bags in my refrigerator, but I like having them readily available on the counter too, so I found some 1/2 gallon amber colored mason jars to store the “in-use” batches.

*I wish I could give credit to those who published these recipes initially, but I did so much wandering around on the internet, I fail to remember where I found them, and I did not make notes because I did not think about sharing at that time.

 

 

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We’ve Been Talking

We have – myself and I – been having quite a conversation this morning. Myself can be quite a nag, she really can. I try to resist her. I try to ignore her. She doesn’t give up easily.


So, I’m sitting here playing solitaire. Because. Because I feel like it. Because in the nearly 4 hours I’ve been up today, I have done some things. Myself says, “yeah, like what?” I respond that I have had my coffee. Myself is not impressed. I have put away the sweet potatoes I dehydrated as treats for my Shasta. Myself is still not impressed. I have gotten dressed, albeit only a few minutes ago, but don’t let’s get picky, I say. Myself just snickers. I have put more green beans in the dehydrator, and it is industriously dehydrating behind me. At the end of the day, I can show you what has been accomplished.


Myself is persistent, and not particularly kind about all of this. Myself says “Big deal! Look how much more needs to be done. This window you’re sitting next to needs to be washed, floors need to be vacuumed”. I say, well, yes, but when I checked the air quality earlier it was unhealthy for sensitiive groups. I am a sensitive group, all by myself. Myself was still not impressed. Fine, I said! Oh look, the air has cleared. Why don’t I just go wash a couple of windows. 


And I did. I washed the indow next to me, and just to prove I can be constructive and productive, and all those uctive things, I also washed the windows in the door in here. But now I must wait for my magic window drying cloth that absolutely does dry windows streak free to dry out before I can do more.


Myself likes to snicker, almost as much as she likes to nag. If I could get her to go into a closet, I’d close her up in there. But that would only work if I had a closet door that locked. Note to self: consider getting a lock for a closet door. 


Finally I told myself that I will go out this afternoon and pick up some pine cones, okay? Myself said, fine – as long as you do that, I’ll go back to my corner and let you enjoy your lunch in peace.


I am enjoying the quiet. I am going to play more solitaire. Proof there are some victories in life. Temporary though they may be.


My crabapple trees out front have been very productive this year. They are both loaded and waiting for the birds. I would love to show you a photo, but WordPress has gone and changed things again, so while I got the photo uploaded to my library I have not been able to figure out how to add it to this post. Maybe next time.

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Why I’m Not a Teacher #humor #teaching #ThrowbackThursday

I’m dedicating this to my two kids, both of whom are teachers. And to all of those who support Betsy DeVos and the lack of funding and interest in the schools. Read and learn.

Barb Taub

NOTE: I’m visiting my sister the teacher, and remembered this post I wrote several years back.


“Good news. You get to teach my students about getting a job,” said my sister.

She had just picked me up at LAX after a flight from England on which I was trapped next to an extremely enthusiastic sleep-farter. As far as I could tell, the flight had entered another dimension where my perceived flight time expanded to about 3 ½ days of inhaling my seatmate’s contributions to global warming, giving me time to watch every movie including those involving animated rodents. The combination of jet lag, Disney show tunes, and oxygen deprivation (they wouldn’t let me use the oxygen mask, so I had to spend the flight with a TicTac up each nostril) is the only explanation for why I didn’t get back on that plane immediately. That, and I’m scared of my sister. I…

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Remembering

I was going to share my world with Embeecee this morning, but that was before I remembered that this was a day for remembering. September 11. An historic day. Will our children learn about this in school? Will our children learn about so many of our historic days, good and bad? I hope so, because we must learn from our history (although I doubt our government has).

So – I remember. I remember when JFK was shot. I had just entered the post office in my small town. The radio was on and there was a heavy sense of doom and gloom in the air. I rushed home, and spent the next several days in front of my TV. Disbelieving, not understanding. How can people do these things to people?

I remember when Martin Luther King was shot. I remember when Bobby Kennedy was shot. It seems that it is those who work hard to protect our freedoms, to try to teach tolerance and understanding, are those who are under attack. How can people do these things to people?

I remember Sandy Hook. I remember Newtown. I remember Parkland. I remember weapons of death falling into the wrong hands, because in our society we have a mania for protecting our right to have those guns – those weapons of death. We truly have no need for the kinds of weapons used in so many of these killings – we do not need high capacity, high velocity weapons of death and destruction. Hunting rifles, hand guns, certainly – provided strict regulations have been met. Mental health, stability, lack of violent history – not unreasonable things to require.

I remember (via my history books) that when the amendment protecting our right to bear arms was written, it was a time when we had no organized military. When any man might be expected to grab his gun and join others to protect our country, our people, our freedoms. That no longer applies, so why not re-evaluate, rewrite, use some common sense. Why do we have to be so blindly defensive about this right?

Of course, 9/11 did not involve guns. It involved extremism, lack of awareness or alertness on our part – and the actions and the men who committed this horror should be condemned. But that does not mean all people of their race should be condemned. All people of any race should never be condemned, or rejected, or villified. Each race has its rotten fruit, sadly. 

On this day of remembering, of wondering how people can do these things to people, I wish that our society would relearn common sense, tolerance, compromise, kindness, honesty, integrity, honor – all things our government officials fail to demonstrate. Those who should be role models, model for the bad, not the good. Our government foments the anger and hatred and injustice these acts that we remember create.

How can people do these things to people?

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