Our Tiny House

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

5 Good Reasons to Drink Coffee

I began drinking coffee when I was 18 years old out of desperation.


I was then a dental assistant, and we worked from 8 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. our lunch break.


 I was starving.


So I began drinking coffee mid-morning.


We used Cremora in those days.


I tried it with the creamer, didn’t particularly like it. Tried sugar, liked it less, but gradually found it palatable with the creamer without the sugar.


One day, the second dentist I worked for piled a heap of dental plaster (same color as Cremora) into my cup of coffee and stuck a sign in it, “Cream gone bad.”


I tried to get back at him later by partially blowing up a weather balloon he had bought, and stuffed it in the closet so when he opened the door to get his smock, he would be met with a floppy pile of escaping rubber.


It partially backfired on me, for when I came back from lunch, he was working on a patient in his dress shirt. He asked me to get the pen out of his pocket, and, chuckling under his breath, sent me to face the balloon.


However, I knew it was there and squeezed past the rubber, found the pen and took it to him.


Well, you know he had encountered the balloon earlier.


I wish I had seen it.


Okay, I was talking about coffee.


I have gone through thinking the caffeine wasn’t good for me, so I drank it decaffeinated.  When I read that the chemical used to decaffeinate was worse than the caffeine, so I tried steam-decaffeinated. Thinking that dairy wasn’t that good for me, I tried soy lattes.


I stopped drinking coffee when I was pregnant, which is probably a good idea, and if the mother is breastfeeding, the baby has to process the caffeine.


If a breast feeding mother isn’t careful about spacing her caffeine intake and her breastfeeding sessions it can lead to a caffeine build up in the baby's system. To give you an idea of how long it takes, the half-life of caffeine for a newborn baby is about 3-4 days, compared to 2.5 hours for a six-month-old. For an adult, it's about an hour and a half.


Now, not pregnant, not breastfeeding, and knowing that fat is a necessary ingredient to any diet,  I can pour on the cream, and chug down the coffee. 


I love it with half and half, hot or iced, especially iced.


And when I heard that coffee is good for us, I began drinking it in earnest.


Got my computer, got my coffee. I’m set.


And now not only can I drink it guilt free, but I find it is healthy.


1.     Studies say drinking coffee will make you live longer.
More than 35 studies have been done covering more than 2 million people that indicate coffee directly influences what Public Health Nutrition calls “all-cause mortality.”

Those in the study that drank 3 to 5 cups a day saw more benefits than those that drank 1 cup a day.


Brace yourself.


2.     Current studies on coffee have deemed it a “health elixir” that not only protects the heart but also lowers the risk of several cancers as well as the risk of Parkinson’s disease.


Coffee lipids act as a safeguard against some malignant cells by modulating the detoxifying enzymes. According to #About.com, men who drank six cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of developing type-2 diabetes by half, and women who drank the same amount cut their risk by 30 percent.


3.     Coffee is super-concentrated with flavonoids, an antioxidant compound well-known for its antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor benefits.


4.     Drinking coffee may be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The study found that caffeine treatments in mice led to a lowering of the levels of Abeta, an abnormal protein believed to be responsible for #Alzheimer’s. Not only did this treat Alzheimer’s, but it also seemed to lower the chances of developing it at all. Additional studies have continued this line of research into how coffee might influence Alzheimer’s in humans and, while the jury is still out, positive evidence is accumulating.


5.     Because it enhances blood flow to the brain, coffee is a rapid mood enhancer. It helps us think, keeps us alert and promotes a sense of wellbeing.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Totality

What Are The Chances?

When you live about 40 miles south of the path of the Solar Eclipse’s Totality, it makes sense to drive a little north.

And so, that’s what we did.

On Saturday husband and I scouted parking places for the upcoming event on Monday. $100.00 parking places? Nope. Crowds of 10,000, no again.

We found numerous places close by the Corvallis Municipal Airport, and in the path of almost 2 minutes of totality.

On Monday as we were in route up highway 99—it was between 8 and 9 in the morning and not crowded-- my daughter, son-in-law and grandson ahead of us called to say they found a place within close range of the airport, a beautiful spot by trees, on grass, and with shade. Perfect--except for one thing.

It was on private land.

The owner gave permission though, and it was there we met our family all prepared with an ice chest of food. Other people, to the owner's dismay, joined us, and all were respectful and left not a scrap.

Below is a picture of the sun through a hole in a paper place projected on a white board. This is the concept of a pin-hole camera.



The pilot of a light plane, his trail like chalk on a board, outlined the sun. 





Husband dear was intrigued at finding a Mylar balloon floating high above our heads, and apparently three vultures did too, for three were circling.

Dum de dum dum.

My naked eye couldn’t see the balloon, guess his vision is better. I could see the vultures though, I wonder if they thought they were coming to a barbeque.

The dark moon—invisible to us until it began its sojourn across the sun’s face began as a bite, a crescent, a half, a three-quarters.



Husband dear set up a small telescope and this is a picture taken with my phone/camera peeking through the lens.



The dogs didn’t want anything to do with this event, and hid out in the vehicles. I wish they could tell us what they were seeing or feeling.


















I, too, felt off-kilter, a bit dizzy, but I thought perhaps it was because I was looking up so much. Don’t know. Sometimes we doubt our feelings. One reason people have so few other-worldly experiences.


Eerie dim-darkness enveloped the countryside.We watched as the moon crept across the face of Ra, and then El Whamo.

We ripped off our glasses. And there it was, the corona.




Glorious.



Awesome.

The temperature dropped 20 degrees. It was unsettling to feel how vulnerable we are, drop a shade over the sun, and the result is immediate—darkness and cold.  A star, thinking it was night, blinked. Whoops it wasn’t night. A minute and 50 some seconds later a crescent of Ra appeared. Put on glasses!

We toasted good old Ra’s  return with a glass of champagne.

Later on that day at a garden shop, I read “Our sun is the only one known to grow vegetables.”

In the town of Corvallis a woman came up to us and asked how the dogs fared. She and her family drove up from Oakland California. She said it was probably her only opportunity to witness such an event. Her husband said maybe it would make him a better man, but he wasn’t noticing that happening. I said it was accumulative, and would happen over time.


I feel that the eclipse was a pause for the earth. Maybe we gave her a breather.  Just think, mother earth had a moment to collect her wits while some estimated 7 million people stopped whatever racket they were doing, driving, yammering, computer punching, and looked up.


What are the chances of seeing a total eclipse? 

This was the first total eclipse to occur completely bisecting the U.S. since our founding fathers declared us a country.

The moon’s orbit takes it directly in between the earth and the sun every 18 months or so, however, this one was unique for it darkened populated areas, and not in the middle of the ocean or a desert or some ice encrusted continent.

What are the chances that from our perspective the sun and the moon are exactly the same size?

The moon is 1/400th the size of the sun and it is 400 times closer to us. 

Eventually total eclipses will be no more, for the moon is moving away from us at the rate of 1 ½ inches per year. Rats. I don't like that idea. The last total eclipse will be about 620 million years from now. 

The corona, the gas jacket around the sun, is millions of degrees hotter than the surface of the sun, which is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Scientists don't fully understand why. One explanation offered by NASA  is that the gas collects “heat bombs” that fly off the sun into that gaseous layer where they explode giving off heat.  The corona extends far into space, and affects solar winds. Eclipses give scientists an opportunity to see, and thus to study, the corona.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Story Has a Will to Survive

Ah ha! I got my .com back. So Wish on White Horses is now
www.wishonwhitehorses.com



I picked up a used book the other day. The book was published 27 years ago and within the pages of that book I found a slip of paper, a note from a friend to the person to whom she was gifting the book. 

“I simply couldn’t let the 75th of a friend of 40 years slip by without letting you know that I am wishing you the best of health, wealth and happiness for at least another 75!”

I felt touched upon by a piece of antiquity.

Tell me, have you written a story? Did you write a quick journal entry? Did you write down a secret?

Here's something fun: Take out that scrap of paper, tuck it away somewhere, behind a wall board, in the shed, under a stepping stone in the walkway. (Better wrap it in something durable.) Put it in a jar to exist among the nails and screws in the shop.

Maybe it will be found, maybe it won’t.  

Think of Anne Frank’s diary kicked aside by a Gestapo’s boot?

I’m not saying our addition will be as illustrious as Anne Frank’s—who wants that experience—but we have a song to sing.

Doesn't it give you a thrill to find a recipe written in your grandmother’s own hand?

Our ancestors lived and loved had lives like ours, or not like ours, we want to hear about that.

Did they stand on a hillside, eyes cast skyward and ask some of the same questions we are asking? Did they rail at God?

It was a secret railing, but grand kids, great grand kids, and great great grand kids ought to know about it.

Except it has blown away…

You might find that the people who inhabited your old house, or that dilapidated farm in the country, a foundation now of crumbling concrete, with vines encrusted, once belonged to your grandparents. And each spring daffodils, those planted when the house was young, come up trying to tell the story of those who lived in that house.

Were those daffodils fertilized by the dust of human experience?

Maybe some of that dust came to you, it sat on your bureau, you wiped it up with a damp cloth, you threw it in the washing machine. It went into the sewer, into the water purification plant, whoa, maybe you drank it. Perhaps, instead, it went into the ocean.


In the ocean it dissolved among all the many other droplets. As mist it flew off the crest of a wave blown by the wind. It collected in the sky, joined by a million other droplets, and the cloud that they made, when its belly was full, rained, and watered the daffodils.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hyperbaric


First a trip through the garden…

And the sunflower that came up, planted by some unknown critter.




Green tomatoes among the marigolds, planted by a known critter.  Weeding, well, that's another story.
































Zucchini flowers on the left, cucumber flowers on the right.


The egg-a-day ladies of the farm. 



And the temptation of the meal worm bag. 









 Ah ha! I did it. El Yumo--and now I figure all red bags ought to contain meal worms.






Then a hop into a #hyperbaric chamber to get pumped up with Oxygen.

Thus beginneth the day.

I was a tad bit apprehensive about being enclosed in a cylinder for an hour, but decided to do it anyway.

Long ago I participated in a consciousness raising process where I crawled through tubes large enough for two people to squeeze through with each going opposite directions.

That wouldn’t have been so bad except that there were a few hundred people participating in that process, and more than there ought to be in the tubes.

If someone in front of you didn’t move you could either wait or crawl past them, that is if one or two of you didn’t have too much body fat. (There was a goal, of course, but first you had to get through the tubes.)

I learned a lot about crowds in that experience though, that people are mushable. You can slip past them in tight spaces. However, in the tubes if there was someone in front of you, someone behind, and if there was someone trying squeeze past you from the other direction, well, let’s say the trapped panic I felt I never want to experience again.

So you can see that I might be somewhat apprehensive about entering another tube.

Except, this tube was a cylinder. It was roomy. I was alone, and it was like being in a quiet comfortable pup tent.

I laid on a memory foam mattress, had a pillow beneath my head, wedges under my knees and a blanket over my body.

I breathed pure oxygen through a nasal cannula, had a window beside my head, a call button, and someone outside looking out for me.

The cylinder was a hyperbaric chamber in which you crawl into, they zip you up, and pressurize the cylinder. At first you feel as though you have gone to the deep end of a swimming pool.  You clear your ears, then it is smooth sailing into bliss for a comfortable hour.

Later when the pressure returns to normal, your ears crackle like popcorn on a hot stove, you return to normal, and it’s over. Easy.

Drink 64 Ounces of water said the attendant for you would be detoxing.

 I scheduled another appointment, it’s good to do a follow-up, they said, and I was on my way to the rest of the day.

This treatment came to my attention when my husband researched it for a friend with a traumatic head injury. Hyperbaric treatment is purported to be beneficial in head injuries as well as many other life challenges. Burns, soft tissue infections, radiation tissue damage, skin grafts-- are often covered with insurance, under a doctors prescription.

Autism, cerebral palsy, Lyme disease multiple sclerosis, near drowning, sports injuries, and  stroke, are not covered under insurance, but believed to be helped by the treatment. 

You may know of a hyperbaric chamber from the use for SCUBA divers. If they ascend from the deep too fast they can  get bubbles in their blood. The chamber allows them to pressurize again, and with a slow return to sea level, their blood normalizes.

I found there are three places that house hyperbaric chambers in Eugene, two in hospitals, and one—where I went, that anyone can simply make an appointment.

Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With Hyperbaric treatment, oxygen is dissolved into all the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone. It can thus reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can then support its own healing process.


Why did I go into a hyperbaric chamber?

Well, first you don’t have to have a reason, for it is claimed to help a number of body situations, inflammation, wounds,  infection, and promote general well-being.

I did have a focus, though, I was hoping it would help the circulation in my legs.  I had sat too long at the computer and thus had restricted the circulation in my legs.

I was hoping it would assist my recovery, as well as well as a  thumb injury. It had become infected—I had taken an antibiotic, something I hadn’t done for more than 30 years, the infection cleared up, but I will still probably lose my nail.

I wanted to accelerate the healing process.

I drank my water, and that night I went to bed at 9:30 (that’s early) and slept like the cat that decided to crawl in beside my husband and me.

Morning found me zipping around ready  to begin another day.




P.S. www.livewild747.blogspot.com is getting more hits than wish on white horses, and I haven't advertised it. Who doesn't want to life wild? Remember the 747, though, livewild is someone else's blog.




Ta Da!


Monday, August 7, 2017

A Smoke Signal



A publisher said, “Utterly delightful.”

“Utterly, utterly.” I love that word. Stephen King says not to use adverbs, that is ly words. Nope, nope, nope. Use them.  I find “utterly delightful,” lovely, beautifully delicious, stupendously satisfying.

I signed a contract with a publisher yesterday, August 6, for The Frog’s Song.

I said when I got a book published I would send smoke signals. This is a preliminary Puff, for the book, more than likely, will not be out for 24 months.

I told daughter number one that I thought it took 9 months to publish a book, like having a baby.  “This one will take 24 months.”

 She said, “That’s having an elephant.”

Ms. lovely publisher said we might pare the time down to 12 months depends on the editing and such.

While the editors and I hash out the content, the Publishing House will decide the title and the cover art—can’t wait to see what they come up with.

However it turns out, it is our Island experience, our One Year on The Island.

That 24-month time frame with the publisher will include six months in which the completed work will be in the hands of advance reviewing agencies such as Booklist, Foreword, Publisher's Weekly etc. Those agencies require six months before official release.

Whatever, I’m going with it.

I will try to stay alive to see the end result.

Will people be buying books in two years?

This morning I bought a used book for 50 cents. That amount wouldn’t cover the cost of the ink. Self-publishing a paper-bound book costs around $8.00. Perhaps a publisher can beat that. It’s a numbers game.

As you know, a digital version doesn't cost much to release, or to buy. The wave of the NOW.

The Frog’s Song, now referred to as, “The Work,” will come out as a printed book and as digital.

In two years I will build a bonfire, use a huge blanket, and send signals that rival clouds.


The Photographer's Note for the statue titled “Smoke Signal.”

"It is one of the most widely known landmarks of Pioneers Park in Lincoln, NE by Ellis Burman. Smoke Signal" was created by Burman with funding from President Franklin Roosevelts’ Works Progress Administration Program.
"This program helped provide jobs and stimulate the economy during the years of the Great Depression. When Burman applied and was found eligible for WPA funding, he suggested that a huge statue of a Native American be placed in Pioneers Park.
"He formed a 15 ft tall clay model working in an unheated vacant building at the fairgrounds.
"The winter weather of 1934/35 combined with an unheated studio caused Burman a few delays because the clay kept freezing.
"When completed, a mold was made and reassembled at the park site. Cement was poured into the mold and was colored with red oxide to give it a bronze color.

"Smoke Signal" weighs a whopping 5 tons. The entire bill for materials to the City was only $50. "Smoke Signal" is a memorial to Nebraska Tribes and depicts a Native American pulling a blanket away from a fire to produce a smoke signal - a signal devised to communicate across the vast expanses of the plains. 
"When the dedication took place in 1935, it drew a huge crowd, with over 100 native Americans attending. In full dress, Chiefs from the Omaha, Winnebago, Sioux, and Ponca Tribes atop their horses lined the hillside to face the sun as it set. It is reported that the celebration and gathering of Native Americans lasted several days beyond the dedication, and that those who remained feasted on buffalo meat from the park herd."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why are we moved to tears by a work of art?


Why do we glory at a sunrise or sunset?

Why do we stand in wonder as we watch a mother doe with her fawn?

We laugh at the antics of toddlers and puppies and appreciate their wonder and beauty.

What is it in the human being that causes them to stand in awe?

We are a glorious lot that doesn’t know we are.

“The problem with the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi, “is that humanity is not in its right mind.”

Do you hear the wonders mostly? Or do you hear the thunder of the marketplace?

Once I had a conversation with a lady that worked at Nikon Inc. She told me that she had watched conception in a petre dish, and at the moment the sperm entered the egg it emitted a glow.

Isn’t that awesome?

What is life?

I put forth a similar question in the last blog and received an answer. “Go to Curiositystream, find Jason Silva and “The Road To The Singularity”
“All will be made abundantly clear.”

I love feedback.

“Abundantly clear?!” That’s a huge claim.

I soon found that the road to singularity was that moment when Artificial Intelligence takes over.

Well, hey, I saw the movie 2001.

But he had a point."Have Artificial intelligence in you instead of controlling you.

However, I am going the organic route.

(Not entirely. I have a computer and a cell phone. I use electric and gas appliances. I love having ice made in my house—remember the Hawaiian experience of no refrigerator? Not fun.)

I want to look into a leaf, that that glistens with morning dew, and see that cell factory with its ability to photosynthesize its own food from minuscule nutrients, sometimes called fertilizer, water, and sunlight, and wonder at a majesty that far exceeds anything humans have done.

And so we chop down the tree, a powerhouse made strong out of those three ingredients, and use its lumber to build our homes. We burn its wood to keep warm, and from those simple ingredients, it has amassed enormous energy that we can use while we play our video games and dream that technology will save us.

Yes, it is easier for humans to manipulate things.

Humans are smart enough to build structures that our delicate little hands cannot possibly lift. We can create atom busters, map the Geone, and build robots that can make our lives easier, including replacing limbs and hearts.

What about the soul?

Could that be the spark we wonder about when we see life burst forth?

We can look inside ourselves and wonder why we have such awesome ability to create and to appreciate while also having the ability to destroy.

While some are standing in awe, others are torturing and killing.

Why is that?

It's tough work acknowledging the shadow and taming it.

It is much easier to build a machine we believe is smarter than us and can solve our problems.

Instead, we might wonder how we built fertile ground for the shadow to flourish.

Why would students if given a choice to be jailers or prisoners, choose to be prisoners, and then those chosen as the jailors, soon became cruel to their classmates?


Why would a psychological experiment, go awry and need to be stopped because people would obey orders to the extent of shocking an innocent party because they gave an incorrect answer. The ones giving the shock followed orders. They didn’t want to upset the power structure.

The upside of that experiment was that 35% of the subjects refused to do it.

That gives us hope.

One could say that we don’t know any better. We could say we are victims of our evolution or perhaps even of genetic tampering.

Marianne Williamson proposes that we are traumatized at such a deep level that we don’t even know we are in trauma.

Williamson writes: “At times, a person—sometimes even whole nations—can become so sucked into the black hole of lovelessness as to be at the effect of its most extreme, even heinous intentions, for this thing, which is actually a no-thing, is not inert.

“Human consciousness is like a pilot light that never goes off. 

"The problem is it is used to create either a life-producing heat or a life-destroying configurations.

“Where there is no love, there is fear. And fear, once it had gripped the mind, is like a vice that threatens to crush the soul.”


I am wondering if this force some call the shadow can be tamed.

“Remember how my daughter says, “It’s all about horse training.”

A horse can be beaten into submission, and I suspect so can the mind, but both would be unreliable.

What we want is a trustable partner.

A horse, if left alone in a corral with a human (And is run a bit, so it is tired and thus turns its attention to the human) will eventually figure out that the safest place to go is beside the human. He will “Join up,”to use Monty Robert’s term, and walk dossel out of the corral behind the human.

Perhaps the shadow can be that way as well, instead of trying to overpower it, allow it to go to the safest place, with you in love, like a child holding your hand.