Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Funny, Sometimes You Read a Story and Exclaim: “What?!” And You End It With an Embarrassed, “Oh.”


I’ve eaten my words more than once.



“Donkey cheese at $600.00 per kilogram, about $500.00 a pound.”


When I read about Donkey cheese, I couldn’t believe people would pay $500.00 for a pound of cheese, but after watching the video about the only farm in Europe that makes Donkey cheese, I said to the farmer, “You go, man.”


Donkey cheese is made using the milk of an endangered donkey species - fewer than 1,000 are alive. (I hope they aren’t stealing from their babies. However, since they are milking them three times a day, that will up their milk production, so maybe they can feed both.)


It all started in 1997 when Slobodan Simic’, a former member of Parliament, saw the Balkan donkeys being mistreated. He was so mad he bought all 1,000 of them and created The Zasavica Nature Reserve. The farm has 300 acres now.


Simic’ decided to milk the donkeys and make soap as it is good for the skin. At least Cleopatra thought so, she bathed in it. Simic’ found he had more milk than he needed for soap, so he decided to make cheese. 


The donkeys are well cared for, and they wait for three months after the baby is born for it to have its fill of mother’s milk. Simic’ is the only man, plus one other, who knows how to make cheese from Donkey milk. (Somebody in American said they made cheese from Donkey milk, but hey, this is my story, and it’s what the interviewer told regarding Simic’s cheese.) Making donkey milk cheese is a complicated process. It is low in fat, so they add 40% goat’s milk, plus Casen and bacteria to help the milk coagulate, which is necessary for cheese making. Watch the video. it’s fun. (At the bottom of the page.)


It costs Simic about $100,000 a year to keep and feed the donkeys, but he only makes about $30,000.


He deserves the price. 


The trouble is you must buy it from the farm—a ticket to Serbia in the Balkans would really up the price. It isn’t sold outside the farm because it is illegal in Europe to sell unpasteurized products. The catch is, it needs to be unpasteurized to make the cheese.



I'm Eating my own words—again:


I have screamed and yelled, saying I would not be a Real Estate Agent. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t like the bureaucracy involved. I didn’t like the expense of getting started. I didn’t like that the agency—you must be assigned to one--took the lion’s share of the profits if you made a sale, and they expected you to be a bird dog to find clients. And people resent paying a broker a commission when their job is by commission only.


So, what am I doing now? 


I’ve committed myself to 150 hours of study (Yipes) to be a Real Estate Agent. 


Haha. The state told me I needed to begin again after letting my license lapse. (After the first hour of study, I had a headache.)


I do need a refresher course, for laws go through my head and out the other side. They don’t follow Einstein’s proclamation of “Don’t memorize anything you can look up.”) And, they say, “Trust me, somewhere on the test, you will need to know how many feet are in a mile and how many square feet are in an acre. (5, 680, and 43,560). Do you really think a client would ask me that?



 “Can you keep your cool when others have lost theirs?” 


This question was posed by one school in their intro, “Is Real Estate for You?”


I knew that they had a handle on what it took to be a broker. (The term in Oregon is Broker. It’s Agent in many other states.) 


Buying a house is often one of the biggest investments a person will make. It is stressful and often frustrating—That’s when the broker must keep their cool


Why did I change my mind?


Glad you asked.


My daughter has kept her license active for more than three years. After three years, a Broker can become a Principal Broker and have their own agency.


Thus, I can work for her. We would be a team, and she would be responsible (as the Principal Broker) if I made any mistakes.


See, people would get two for the price of one.


And isn’t it fun to move into a new house? Think of all the clutter you have an excuse to dump.


Back to the donkeys:


Pule cheese, aka Donkey Cheese:




Rerouted—the Balkans


Eva Zu Beck, a young woman interviewer, visits The Zasavica Nature Reserve. There you can see the acreage and the friendliness of the donkeys and her trying to milk one: 




I think I ought to sell the cheese. You can try to save people money, or you can just go for the top. Hum. I wonder what the postage would be.




Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Calling All Renaissance People

Which is it?


"Are we hopelessly fragile victims of events beyond our control, or are we powerful creators harboring dormant abilities that we are only beginning to understand?"

 "Both questions have the same answer.

 "Yes."—Greg Braden


On the one hand, we are told that we are frail beings who live in a world where things just happen. On the other hand, ancient and cherished spiritual traditions tell us there is a force that lives in every one of us that assists at the darkest moments.

 No wonder we are confused.

 Sometimes we think we make no impact on the world, and what we do doesn't make any difference.

Yet, think of it this way, leading-edge people do make a difference. 

Let's say that one person buying an electric car doesn't change the carbon imprint of the planet much. But carmakers look at what people are buying.


One person putting solar panels on their roof only impacts the world a smidgen. Still, solar panel makers listen and change their way of making solar cells and selling them.


Hospitals must have listened when women demanded to be awake and aware when they delivered their babies, and they proved that husbands wouldn't faint in the delivery room. While I was hauled off to a delivery room that looked like a surgical theater, my daughter gave birth in a bed with a drop-down foot and was never moved on a gurney when she was doubled over with contractions. 


Used to be only hippies were into organic foods—now look at the grocery stores.


Used to be, we thought in terms of this table is hard, solid. This glass of water is just that, a physical object. Now we look at things a little differently, like everything is made up of molecules and atoms and magical DNA strands. And that between it all is space.


Recently, I picked up Greg Braden's book, The Spontaneous Healing of Belief.


 Two assumptions that have been basic to science for the last 300 years have been:


1.     The space between "things" is empty. New discoveries now tell us that this is simply not true."

2.     "Our inner experiences of feeling and belief have no effect on the world beyond our bodies. This has been proven absolutely wrong as well."


"Paradigm-shattering experiments published in leading-edge, peer-reviewed journals ( ? ) (question mark mine) reveal that we're bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space."


The thought is that this field responds to us and thus rearranges itself in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.


"In the instant of our first breath, we are infused with the single greatest force in the universe—the power to translate the possibilities of our minds into the reality of the world"—Greg Braden.

Could this be true?

 I knew that scientists now put forth the idea that space isn't nothing. It has something in it. When I read Braden's statement that that something is where our thoughts, feelings, our very consciousness works, I was astounded.

 I am wondering if this time is a time of renaissance. (Rebirth) Remember how Florence, Italy pulled the world out of the dark ages and into a Humanitarian era?

 A competition to sculpt bronze doors for the Florence Baptistery did it. Lorenzo Ghiberti won the competition and became the arch-enemy of Brunelleschi, the architect of the Duomo, the Dome of Florence's The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.

 Brunelleschi won the Duomo competition with an egg trick. He asked the commission if they could make an egg stand on the table. They couldn't. He smashed the egg into two pieces, placed one piece on top of the other, and the egg stood.

 He used that principle to build the dome, a dome on a dome. And the builders began. At that time, there was no technology for constructing such a thing, so it was left unfinished until someone came up with a solution.

 It took 142 years to build.

And Brunelleschi had to endure Ghiberti as his co-superintendent. (With many fights, I might add.)


Ghiberti's bronze doors are an exercise in perspective, with items close, middle and far, including vanishing points, all in exquisite Frescoes. 

 I did not know there were three Davids in Florence, Italy. The oldest was sculpted by Donatello in 1400. It is of a prepubescent nude male and cast in bronze. It was a classical nude that a generation before would have thought to be shameful. 

Now it is considered art.

 Florence had moved art out of the churches and into rich people's courtyards.

 A celebration of life occurred. Art for art's sake. 

 What does it take to push people into a new paradigm?

 Could it be that is what's happening now? The trouble is, since we are in the thick of it, we can't see it?

 In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, "We will send a man to the moon and bring him home safely by the end of the decade."

 "We choose to go to the moon," he said, "not because it's easy, but because it is hard."

Sure, we were in competition with the Russians, but Kennedy also invoked the pioneer spirit of Americans, emphasizing that we choose our destiny rather than have it chosen for us.

 The engineers, scientists, and mathematicians didn't know how to do what Kennedy requested. But they set out to do it.

 And they did.

 So, dear ones, if there is a space within objects that looks empty but is not, let's fill it with good stuff. That we heal this pandemic, that the world's people see that we are stewards of the planet, not takers from it, and that "Swirled Peas" do exist.

 Here’s what Obi thinks of my blog.







Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Once it Was Dangerous to Be a Child, and The Heroes Who Saved Them

  Leonhard Seppala and his team with Togo as lead dog.

In January 1925, a deadly diphtheria epidemic threatened the children of Nome, Alaska. Medicine to stop the outbreak was in Anchorage, nearly 700 miles away. Twenty sled dog teams relayed the serum from Nenana to Nome, by way of the Iditarod Trail, in just over five days. They endured blinding snow and temperatures reaching 50 degrees below zero. 


Balto, a hardy Siberian husky, led the trip's final leg with his musher, Gunnar Kaasen, and their team of dogs They entered Nome just before daybreak on February 2, 1925. He was considered the hero, however, he was only the last relay. The true unsung hero was a once sickly pup named Togo--see below.


Many people living today do not know the scourge of Diphtheria. They don't know that young children choked to death. They don't know that many families lost 3 or 4 children, sometimes all of them.  They don't know how the medical people worked diligently to  create a vaccine to prevent the deadly disease,along with a serum to heal the already ill.  Neither do they know of the valiant dogs that carried the serum 700 miles across Alaska to heal a village ravaged by by Diphtheria. 


The scourge of Diphtheria happened before my time, but I remember an impactful black and white film that featured Diphtheria and its horrible ravages, and how Science turned it around. So, I tried to find the movie and found instead, Togo, the hero dog that delivered 300,000 units of antitoxin to Nome, Alaska. (With William Dafoe as Leonhard Seppala, Togo's musher.)


Diphtheria is highly contagious, lethal, and mysterious. When medical experts developed treatments and vaccines, the affliction virtually disappeared—but not entirely.


See Science,| October 2021


How Science Conquered Diphtheria, the Plague Among Children

By Perri Klass 


Klass, a pediatrician, is the author of A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future.


She writes, "Even Noah Webster, that master of words, did not have a name for the terrible sickness. "In May 1735," he wrote in A Brief History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases, "in a wet, cold season, appeared at Kingston, an inland town in New-Hampshire, situated in a low plain, a disease among children, commonly called the 'throat distemper,' of a most malignant kind, and by far the most fatal ever known in this country." Webster noted the symptoms, including general weakness and a swollen neck. The disease moved through the colonies, he wrote, "and gradually traveled southward, almost stripping the country of children....It was literally the plague among children. Many families lost three and four children—many lost all." And children who survived generally went on to die young, he wrote from his vantage point of more than half a century later. The "throat distemper" had somehow weakened their bodies."


In a Canadian journal article from 1927, a doctor recalled the years before the antitoxin was available when he'd had to watch a "beautiful girl of five or six years" choke to death. Later, the doctor's own daughter came down with Diphtheria, but a decade had passed, and now the antitoxin was available. "To watch the choking dreadful membrane melt away and disappear in a few hours with complete restoration to health within a few days," he wrote, "was one of the most dramatic and thrilling experiences of my professional career."


The waters are muddy these days. There is a political war, a distrust in information, false information, propaganda, and greed on the part of those who can benefit from our present pandemic.


I ran across this article about Diphtheria from Science and am mentioning it because I believe there are many people alive today who do not know what a dangerous disease it was and how people (and dogs) worked to curb its tide. (And horses, by the way, for they would inject horses with the virus, wait for them to make antibodies, and then extract the serum.) 


There have been horrible diseases in the past. We are not unique. And I wanted to remind people that there are scientists at work trying to ease human beings' suffering. 


I, too, was worried about the ramifications of this current vaccine. It truly isn't a vaccine, for it has neither an alive or dead virus, but instead a genetic messenger that tells our cells to seek out and destroy the Coronavirus.  


People were leery because it is so new, involves genetics, and was developed quickly, without FDA approval (which it now has). More than leery, they were scared and outraged.


The hype told us we would be made magnetic. We would be connected to the Cell towers. We would be filled with nano-particles. It would affect our reproduction. It would affect our DNA. (It doesn't. It is RNA, the messenger of DNA.) One reason the vaccination came out quickly was that some scientists were already working at the genetic level. So, they had some idea of where to go. (It still took a year.) Yes, it is all new and fearsome, and it's true we don't know what we don't know. 


But to say all vaccinations are harmful is "Throwing the baby out with the wash water." I remember a pediatrician speaking to a group of preschooler's moms. (When I was a preschooler mom) "You have two children," he said, "And we'll keep them alive."


They are poisoning us yell some. They are injecting us with nano-particles. They will make us magnetic and hook us up to cell towers. They are killing us. 


Now really. If the promoters of vaccines wanted to kill us, why not just let the virus do it? (Oh, but that's too random.)


Dystopian novels such as 1984, have become popular of late (Dangers of totalitarianism, government surveillance, censorship), which shows how fearful people are.


I used Diphtheria as an example of how babies have been saved. The Diphtheria Vaccine has been  given to babies since 1928. We give it to our babies and go on our merry way without knowing the horrors from which we have saved them.



I remember Polio, too, and how happy we were to have the Salk vaccine. When I was a child, our mothers wouldn't let us go to the public swimming pools during the hot months of summer for fear of contracting Polio. I knew several people who had it. When I was a very young child, a little girl next door, wore the leg braces you might have seen in the movie Forest Grump.


If you don't worry about people, read about Jane Goodall's chimpanzees who contracted Polio, and dragged their hindquarters, and couldn't clean their beds at night. Usually, chimps build a new clean bed every night. You could see how that would keep them clean and help keep fleas at bay. Ravished by Polio, they couldn't build a new bed. Some of Jane's workers would climb up into the trees and clean the beds for the chimps.


You see how mixed this is, how muddy the waters are, and what a shame we are fractured and polarized. And one of the cheap medicines, Ivermectin, that can help prevent or assist in the healing of this virus has been withheld from us. The medical community says it does no good. However it has assisted the healing of many, and had caused no harm. Not one person has died using Ivermectin. Yes, and many have resorted to the use of the Horse wormer Ivermectin, because human-grade cannot be obtained, or if found, is exorbitantly priced.  (Not one person has been harmed using the horse paste. Yellow journalism tells us it is toxic to human beings.) We will cry horrors at the use of horse paste, yet we use horse's serum to heal Diphtheria.  (And millions of women use Premarin,  a hormone replacement therapy, that is made from mare's urine, with disastrous results for the mare I might add.) Ivermectin has been proven to be safe. And it has been used for over 40 years with no deaths from its use. If you can manage to get hold of it, the price will be sky-high. While it was once cheap


Now isn't that a crime?! 


If a person with Covid19 goes to Urgent Care asking for a medicine that can help, they are turned away, saying they aren't sick enough. If they get sick enough, they can go into the hospital and be placed on a ventilator where their breathing is done for them. Maybe they will recover, maybe not.


I don't know where we are going with all this. At first, I was Pro-choice on vaccines. Take them or don't take them. It's your choice. But I'm tired of the fight. I'm tired of the polarization. I'm tired of the I'm right, you're wrong mentality. The truth is we are all muddling along. But for us to fight each other is ridiculous. To get one's blood boiling over disagreements is a big time and energy suck. Plus, a crying shame when we ought to be pulling together.


Diphtheria is still a killer; the mortality rate usually cited is 5 to 10 percent, but fatalities can be incredibly high in areas where medical care is unavailable. A 2011 outbreak in Nigeria had a case fatality rate of almost 43 percent in children 4 and younger.


The Sled Dog Story:


A statue exists in Central Park New York of a Siberian Husky named Balto who was the lead dog that brought in the diphtheria serum to Nome Alaska, and he mistakenly became the hero. Although all the dogs who made that run were heroes.)

However, the true unsung hero was a Husky named Togo.

Those in the know finally acknowledged that it was the Siberian Husky Togo who was the unsung hero in the delivery of Diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925. Togo as the lead dog, and Leonhard Seppala, as his musher, with The temperature was estimated at −30 °F (−34 °C), and the gale force winds causing a wind chill of −85 °F (−65 °C).[11]

made incredible time in their mad dash east, covering over 170 miles in just three days. The longest of any team. (Balto covered only 55 miles.)


Togo was twelve years old.


Some insisted the run would kill Togo, but Seppala wouldn't go without him--thinking he needed him to survive, for the dog had on other occasions saved him and his team.  (The dog probably would have escaped to go with them anyway, for as a pup he would escape the kennel to run with the sleds. )

Togo was made of the stuff that makes movies. He was a runt, sickly, and obstinate.  (He was tenderly nursed by Mrs. Seppala.) Due to his size, Seppala, the breeder, decided he would never make a good sled dog so he gave him away to be a pet. Togo ran through a plate glass window to get back home. At that point, Seppala decided he would do what he was skilled to do, train sled dogs, so he harnessed the scrawny pup to the sled line. The harness calmed him, for then it must have gotten what he was meant to do.


Togo ran 75 miles that day--unheard of for such a young dog.


Soon Togo was out of harness, and on the lead line.

On the return trip from Nome Alaska, the team was stranded on an ice floe. Seppala tied a rope on Togo, anchored the other end to the floe, and threw Togo five feet across water to the shore. He thought Togo could pull the floe across the divide. To his horror the line snapped. Amazingly, the once-in-a-lifetime lead dog had the wherewithal to snatch the line from the water, roll it around his shoulders like a harness, and eventually pull his team to safety. 



Togo lead dog
Togo at peace

“Afterwards, I thought of the ice and the darkness and the terrible wind and the irony that men could build planes and ships. But when Nome needed life in little packages of serum, it took the dogs to bring it through.”--Leonhard Seppala

The National Park Service notes that in 1960, Seppala said, "I never had a better dog than Togo. His stamina, loyalty and intelligence could not be improved upon. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail."[10][8]





P.S. The Husky who played Togo in the movie Togo was a direct descendant of the original Togo going back 14 generations. Seppala Siberian Huskies are famous, and Seppala was given the Humanitarian award for the best care of his dogs. 

In 2001, Togo eventually got his own statue. It is in Seward Park N. Y.