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daninamoon9 [userpic]

Two years later...

December 1st, 2009 (10:43 pm)

...and I mostly just write in my horsey journal these days.

Oh, I still *do* good things, I'm just not into writing about them much anymore. In fact, my steak for dinner was locally grown, grass-fed. And my sweet potatoes were local too actually. Oh, and the apple I had for dessert...


Anyways, I hem and haw about this journal sometimes. I'm too lazy to post in 2 different journals most of the time, and end up just stuffing things into my horse journal whether they belong there or not. Things about being a woman in tech, and what that's like, things about school and fiances and horseshorseshorses.

I think I'm less *obsessed* with this stuff than I used to be...less in tune with that stressed out trauma we're-all-gonna-die kind of energy that true eco-mentalists get. I used to worry about it *all the time*. It wasn't balanced...

Now, happily some things (like buying local food, compostable puppy poo bags, etc) have become second nature and I don't think about them. Things like shutting off the lights, turning down the thermostat when I leave...ditto, second nature. But I think about it less. And that's nice. Leaves me happier.

Joseph Campbell said "We cannot cure the world of it's sorrows but we can choose to live in joy." And I like that...I'm thankful for fiances that remind me of that quote.

In short, two years later I think I'm better at not tilting at windmills so much.

Anyways, just logged in here because I *cannot* find the herbalism community that I remember once avidly reading...and I know it's on my friends page over here.

Meanwhile, back to mulling whether or not to just maintain one blog. Given how powerful friends groups are, and how they are sooo customizable...I probably should focus on just the one blog.

I do like my userpic here, though.

Hmm.

ETA::: found it! bloodmoonherbs Right.

P.S. I moved out of the water district and am now returning to health. Chloramine was really bad news for me. I'm not involved in an activist group that's trying to get it out of the water. Wish us luck.

daninamoon9 [userpic]

Local Food Paper

November 27th, 2007 (01:33 pm)

I finished the rough draft of my paper on local food a few weeks ago. And today I did my powerpoint presentation of it. Certainly I can't share everything from my presentation, because that would be a monster post, but I would like to share a few things:



Yep, those are potatoes! Heirloom potatoes to be exact. A pastel painting pf heirloom potatoes when it comes right down to it. Click on the picture to go to the artist's website.

One thing I learned doing research for my presentation, was that there used to be roughly 4,000 species of potatoes in Peru. Four THOUSAND. Now, thanks to a global / industrialized food market, there's only a few dozen. So we went from 4,000 different kinds of potatoes - small potatoes, big potatoes, purple, blue, red, potatoes, thin skinned potatoes, storage potatoes, potato pancake potatoes...down to...36?

Oi.

Apparently the same thing is happening to apples in Europe, squash in North America, and corn in Mexico. Having read about the campesinos (native corn farmers) in Mexico, I really cringe when I think about all the species lost.

So we've got every vegetable imaginable available to us 24 / 7 at our local convenient grocery store. If we want pineapple at 3am, we can have it. If we get a craving for pomegranates or suddenly want eggplant parmesan we can have it. But in exchange for this superficial abundance of exotic crops, we've lost the diversity of those foods that do grow close to home; we no longer have those 4000 varieties of beautifully adapted peruvian potatoes - that were perfect for Peru. We don't have the squashes that our grandmothers grew in their own gardens that did so well in our northern climates, stored well, or kept their flavor the best.

We've also sacrificed taste. As has been said in so many books on local food already, tomatoes from the grocery store are famous for not tasting as good as their homegrown counterparts. But is any other fruit or vegetable really all that different? My garden carrots taste better than store-bought. The difference between homegrown cucumbers and store-bought is amazing! (Even my happily oblivious fiance is hooked on garden cukes.) Store-bought peppers vs. garden-fresh? The garden wins, even when I harvest the peppers in November...

So is it just that we don't think about these things? that we have habits and we're used to them so we don't question them? What other reason would we have for choosing convenience over taste? Is our busy lifestyle really worth replacing a summer of garden salads (that you grew yourself) with trips to McDonald's or weekly meals of "It's not delivery: It's DiGiorno!"??

As I think about it more, and write my paper, and put together the facts on local food vs. industrialized food, I am most decidedly thinking it's not...

(facts found in Barbara Kingsolver's new book Animal Vegetable Miracle which is a very GOOD read by the way...I would definitely recommend it!)

daninamoon9 [userpic]

OO! OO! GARDENING!!!!

March 12th, 2007 (02:27 am)

Ok, so its time to start planning my imaginary garden...

What I want to grow this year, that I can eat with my ulcer:

onions
red-skin or blue-skin potatoes
sweet potatoes
carrots
cabbage (to make saurkraut with)
broccoli?
magic beans! (the purple ones!)
regular green beans
spinach?
zucchini
summer squash
acorn squash!!!
spaghetti squash?

Ok, I'm done now.

Flowers to grow:

morning glories
trailing nasturtiums
pansies
petunias
sunflowers!!
cosmos?
snapdragons?


I can't wait for my casa blanca lily to bloom! It smells so wonderful!!!

Pictures:
AMAZING CARROT MIX!



FLORIDOR SQUASH!
this squash is so good and flavorful and amazing that I remember buying it and stir-frying it last summer. I even remembered the name even though I never wrote it down. (Now that's a good squash!)





The standard acorn squash that I ate so much of this winter...



Ok, time for bed. I will edit this during normal daytime hours, and NOT during my ulcer induced insomnia!
:-)

daninamoon9 [userpic]

Christmas Values & Parents

December 29th, 2006 (06:13 pm)
pensive

current mood: pensive

Obviously I write about Sage in my other journal a lot more often than I come here & write about life in general. That's mostly because horsepeople get obsessed...in a good way...I hope. ;-)

But I definitely had some 'deep thoughts' going on as we celebrated Christmas...and those go in here...the horsefree zone. ;-)

One thing I'm thinking about is different socio-economic classes, and how their values are different. I think about this stuff every year at Christmas, mostly because I am in such a different socioeconomic class from my parents. Every year my upper middle class and upper class parents get me these amazing gifts, and every year I'm lucky if I can scrape together $100 to spend on all 4 parental units, my brother AND my fiance. If I want to spend a little on my friends or 'nieces' it ends up being about $10 a person.


The other thing swirling around my brain is the amount of effort involved in Christmas. And the amount of waste. I stayed up until 4:30 this year wrapping. My fiance has had some health problems lately...I never did write in here about his gallbladder coming out in an emergency procedure, did I? Anyways, he had a toxic reaction to the sulfa antibiotics prescribed to him (we think). In excruciating pain from head to toe with muscle spasms, a rash, and a low grade fever. Spent most of a day at the local hospital's ER...then he needed some rest. So it was me myself and I wrapping this year late on Christmas Eve. It was hard doing Christmas more or less by myself. And the next day, my 'nieces' each had about 6 gifts, my mom had 4, and everyone else had one, plus brownies I baked. It wasn't much to show for what felt like a fair amount of effort...between all the shopping, budgeting, earning the money in the first place, buying all the stuff to wrap the presents, the time spent wrapping them, and then more time spent cleaning up all the mess.

And when I think about how much effort that was, and then think about all the gifts my mom and step-dad got me, I am truly astounded at how much effort it must have taken. My mom and step-dad got me a bunch of stocking stuffers, a glass Tupperware container (so I won't be attacked by the xenoestrogens in plastic that get released in a microwave (lol, thanks mom)), paid for my saddle!!!!, got me long underwear, a day planner, a case of oil for my car, socks, a Christmas ornament, special gluten free bagels and cookies that my mom had to order ahead of time online, and an amaryllis bulb for forcing. My mom also cooked an amazing meal with roast vegetables, roast beef, roasted brussel sprouts, and chocolate mouse for dessert.

Wow.

This is where I start thinking my deep thoughts...which run along the lies of being totally in awe of what my mother can accomplish. And also leads me to wonder if I will ever be grown up enough to accomplish those same things.

The amount of planning, and energy, and money that goes into that kind of event amazes me. I don't plan THAT well, and haven't ever had the money or cooking expertise to do a dinner like that. guess I better attempt one at our house...just as soon as we have a bit of spare cash.



It also leads to me thinking about STUFF. Because that's JUST what my mom and step-dad got for me. Then there's all the presents from my dad and his wife, and then even more presents from my dad's side of the family; his sisters and my grandmother. I got ski passes and a wool / cashmere blend sweater, a gorgeous scarf, jewelry, a book on website design, a shirt made 40% out of hemp, more socks...

Then there's the presents from my fiance's mom. Our house has been magically filled with junk. Some of its really nice junk, but we were living just fine without it last week so why do we need it all now?

I wonder how old you have to get, as someone's niece, before they stop giving you presents...before YOU become the central generation. The "Adults" always get fewer presents. My step-dad hardly gets any, and neither does my dad. My mom gets a few more. Do you have to have your own kids for that to happen? I mean, I'm 27 years old and I still get a gazillion presents as if I was NINE, and meanwhile my parents get less than half as much crap I mean presents as I get. And they work soooo hard giving me so much stuff. Its not that I mind or dislike it...I'm just searching for a way to be a grownup too.

daninamoon9 [userpic]

update

August 20th, 2006 (09:45 pm)

The garden has gotten weedwhacked, my buttercup squash plant rotted from the inside out, & I am still afflicted with some sort of intestinal problem. :-( (They now think its gastritis & not ulcers.)

But I am all signed up for classes, & excited to be taking a class that teaches you a little about website design.

I'm also comforted by the fact that my mom helped me salvage my onions, some cabbage, & the rest of my beets. It has not been a total loss this year, even with me being sick.

I got a lot worse about a week ago, almost passed out because my iron count was so low, & then had an inflamed stomach lining that made me feel full because it was swollen...even when I was ravenously hungry. That was a little scary. So I decided to take a week solid off of work completely & REALLY REST. I am happy to report that after 3 days of resting & following my newly prescribed diet, I AM feeling better. Which encourages more resting so that I will be ready to go to school in a few weeks...but more importantly it encourages a feeling of hope! That this will pass if I take care of myself for a bit & stop running around like an idiot, or like a chicken with her head cut off. :-)

AND...I just ate a nice meal that my boyf cooked me...I am FULL in a good & normal way for the first time in almost a week. Having a swollen inflamed stomach lining is scary business, & I'm glad its getting better now. Yum yum, aloe juice! MM MM good!

daninamoon9 [userpic]

(no subject)

August 3rd, 2006 (11:09 pm)

My boyfriend finally got his new personal gaming console...a.k.a the GP2X. This little machine will allow you to view picture albums, play emulated videogames, listen to mp3's & also view movies that have been converted to the proper format.

My boyfriend is in love...with looking up information & reading more & more about his beloved GP2X. As a result, I haven't been on the computer very much. Can't say its a bad thing...I've loved the sunny days lately & really, who NEEDS to check their email anyways?

Ok, so moving on, I have decided to go to college this fall...but I am just going to take some classes at the local community college. Getting allmy transcripts in & completing all the finacial aid paperwork has been a um, journey. 8-] But last night I went to the local student assistance place & completed my lovely FAFSA, as well as my grant application. I also spent about 3 hours yesterdy creatively inventing my universe so that it materialized the $500 I needed to pay off my former college in order for them to release my transcript. Fun.

But the universe did indeed step up & materialize the money...pretty cool...and I survived the 2 hours spent realizing anew how POOR I am, and how little that matters to the U.S. government, which still states my estimated family contribution to be thousands of dollars. Lovely.

But its all done now & next week when I have my SAR back from my FAFSA, I can go sign up for classes (after paying my obligatory $50).

Meanwhile, my garden has been saved from the evil weedwhacker for now...so I am doing my own version of weedwhacking since my ulcers prevent me from actually PULLING UP the weeds. My onions are getting big...my radishes went out of control & became monsters, and my broccoli is producing great. My roommate has taken over the task of eating my cherry tomatoes since I can't with my ulcers. My buttercup squash plant is going crazy & taking over the lawn here at the house.

Tonight I made a stir-fry with garden veggies involved. I sauted onions & carrots not from the garden...added hamburger...then FRESH BASIL from my garden bed out front...AND ROSEMARY...cinnamon...and sugar snap peas that grew right out front, along with a few of my monster radishes. It was fairly yummy, but I overcooked the burger a little bit...

Ulcers suck...especially when they give you swollen glands too. I need some herbs!!

daninamoon9 [userpic]

Rewards of working with Elders

May 19th, 2006 (12:04 am)

In Native American culture, The Elders is a term of respect and appreciation. In my field of work, (nonmedical companionship for the elderly), the word elder is code for 'infirm, cuckoo for cocoa puffs, a liability.' There's even the connotation of being a do-gooder just by virtue of having a caregiving job with the elderly. You get brownie points automatically. But it shouldn't be that way.

I've been working with elders for almost a year now, and they have enriched my life greatly. Their wisdom & patience are always an inspiration. They are tolerant of my mistakes, have high codes of ethics, know that morals are not paintings on walls, and understand what is truly important. It is such a nourishing job, and even while I nurture them, it nurtures me too.

(Any chance that motherhood is the same way?)

Tonight I had a shift with a woman who's husband died a long time ago. She was feeling sad today & wordlessly took me into her room, rummaged around in her bookcase, & finally handed me a book.

I opened it up.

Inside, the first page was a foreword written by her. It explained how thankful she was to a certain professor for helping her publish her husband's poems after he died. The rest of the book was his poems.

A lot of the poems were about her, I suspect. They were not about stars shining in her eyes, or her golden tresses...mostly he just noted small things about her that he loved, from how she smiled when she was unsure of something...to how she had long loping strides when she was running late to class...

It was so nurturing to see that some people are in love with each other their whole lives, and not because they are each perfect, not because they are the smartest or prettiest, but because they are exactly who they are.

(Smile.)

daninamoon9 [userpic]

Notes To Me

April 26th, 2006 (10:57 pm)

...because I'm too lazy to write it down in PEN twice, and I haven't bought a Gardening Journal yet. But it appears that every seasoned gardener has a garden journal. So I shall have one too. :-)

So...I planted High Mowing Detroit Dark Red Beets & also some High Mowing Mesclun Mix on Friday...which was...uhm...April 21st! I'm not sure I've ever planted anything so early. AND I got some compost onto my community plot BEFORE the compost pile was just crumbs...AND I now have paths around my plot all but carved in stone, thanks to my wonderful darling honey who was amusing himself by stomping around & singing. I swear, he keeps me young, but I can't take him anywhere, heehee.

Today I noticed that the thyme in my garden has green leaves on it again. Before today I didn't realize that the old brown stuff turns green all over again; I thought it started from scratch & grew a whole new plant. Hmm.

Hmm. What else? I think that's it. Oh yeah, my plot is 11.5 ft by 33 ft. Now I don't have to remember...

daninamoon9 [userpic]

The Power of NATURE

April 18th, 2006 (11:13 pm)

I work in a vitamin store part-time. Its great because I learn new stuff everyday, but it can also be...well, sometimes the phrase ignorance is bliss makes me yearn for less knowledge. People in a vitamin store are, in general, extremely AWARE of all the awful ways we're going to die as a species. Global warming, global dimming, nuclear war, antibiotic resistance, pesticides on the veggies, oil wars, etc.

They are either very fussy or full of common sense depending on how you look at it. I mean, how dare they insist on chemical free food as well as clean air??? They won't even drink water that's been filtered out of a sewage plant (thank yu Dasani!).

Between the customers & the stuff I've been reading on the net...did you know teflon pans are toxic??? God, is nothing sacred anymore? nothing safe??? And did you know shampoo contains mineral oil which coats your scalp in mineral oily goodness and preserves your hair indefinitely in a slick & slimey coating???

Anyways.

I went through a 2 week period of feeling overwhelmed. I call this state of mind the militant environmentalist when I see it in other people, & salad head when I see it in myself.

I had a bad case of salad head. First I became overly concerned about my shampoo. I was trying out a baking soda alternative, which actually made my hair feel cleaner than its ever felt. Trying stuff is fine. It can be fun. But I became militant about it. If I bought another bottle of REGULAR shampoo, it was going to be THE END OF THE WORLD!!!! I was sure.

I worried about how many ice cubes I was using because everytime I use them, the automatic thingy in our freezer spits out more, & that sucks up energy.

I became a raving snarling beastess with my fiance when he left the TV on & walked out of the room for the umpteenth time. And thank god he'd gone to bed when I discovered he had left the back porch light on for 3 full days for no apparent reason.

Conserving energy is a good thing. Using a more eco-friendly shampoo is great. But I get carried away. I become militant. I drive myself & everyone around me, nuts.

Have you ever had a fight w/ someone over whether or not to recycle one measly orange juice container?

Have you ever preached to someone else about how terrible it is to eat meat w/ antibiotics in it?

Have you ever panicked at the sight of energy being wasted in your own home?

Have you ever felt superior to someone else because you were more eco-conscious than they were?

Guilty.

I have good reasons for being militant about my environment & so does everyone else when you think about it. Our planet IS being threatened by all these huge scary issues & almost no one is thinking about the next seven generations & even if we stopped all our terrible earth ruining behaviors today completely 100% it still might be too late. So its easy to see why people don't want to be slow & gradual & easygoing about this stuff.

But I also have good reasons for hating militant environmentalists.

#1 They are seriously bad news for my mental health. Ignorance is bliss & I do poorly when I miss my dose.

#2 People are annoyed by militant anything & stop listening altogether.

#3 You catch more flies w/ honey...etc. i.e. yelling or preaching at people isn't going to help.

#4 They have absolutely completely lost their sense of humor. Its like it fell off somewhere in the middle of the road & got run over. As Ben & Jerry said before they sold off to Unilever; "If its not fun, why do it?"


Anyhow. So. I was feeling overwhelmed. Hard not to be when the end of the human race in your lifetime is an actual possibility. And its all your race's fault in the first place. And they're totally guilty of wrecking the rest of the planet (except for cockroaches) on their way out.

But you know what made it better? (snugglin'...no, jk)

Learning more about herbalism.

I learned today that bitter melon is so effective at treating diabetes that they have to warn people to reduce their insulin if they decide to use it.

Last week I talked to an herbalist who used to have even more food allergies than I do & he grinned & told me he had donuts for breakfast.

Last night I learned that one of my favorite plants, bee balm (monarda) as well as one of my other favorites, ballon flower (platycodon) are both very very helpful in reducing asthma attacks and eventually 'curing' asthma...

In the last week I successfully used goldenseal tincture & a homeopathic remedy to turn a full on sinus infection into a few days of sniffling. I am 98% better.

In the last week I ate something w/ wheat in it accidentally & did not get majorly, mind bendingly sick like I used to!

If nature has the power to help me reverse my illness, then surely she has the power to reverse the sicknesses of our planet? It seems like everytime I listen even 10% to what the plants have to say, the rewards are 100 fold...

So there is hope. My faith is restored. Anything is possible. All is right in the world, once again.

At least until I watch the next episode of Democracy Now, or sit through that NOVA documentary on global dimming...;-)

daninamoon9 [userpic]

Herbalism

April 18th, 2006 (12:11 am)

Too tired to write anything truly mind-blowing, but I leanred some really interesting stuff at an herbal workshop tonight about treating asthma. These workshops are only $10, but often teach me more than an hour w/ my naturopath, which runs $65. I have now learned that there are categories of herbs; diaphoretics 'increase the ability to perspire' while vulneraries are used to treat wounds. Cholagogues have the 'specific quality of evacuating bile' which is important if you've had your gall bladder removed.

Lots of big words!!! First time in a long time that I've learned something interesting enough that I had to read it with a dictionary in hand!

Here's an interesting website on herbalism:

http://www.grianherbs.com

The forums are very interesting too;
http://www.grianherbs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=65

One of the ideas floating around in this workshop is that our immune systems don't respond to one thing all by itself; its like a huge kettle that gets more & more full until finally it boils over. I had already heard that idea in Dr. Bock's book "The Road To Immunity; How to Survive & thrive In a Toxic World." But I hadn't really thought about it in terms of my asthma. (I know, I'm slow sometimes.) One of the best things to do to get rid of asthma, or reduce its severity? Cure your food allergies.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671545078/sr=8-1/qid=1145334839/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0768147-9352807?%5Fencoding=UTF8

HMMMM>>>>well, I guess that makes sense. If your immune system is already manifesting inflammation in one place...I can see where it would carry over into another sometimes too.

Some other cool herbal links:

http://www.sagemountain.com/

http://www.zackwoodsherbs.com/index.htm

http://www.homestead.com/peaceandcarrots/
(this one is more about organic gardening)

http://www.purpleconeflowerherbals.com/index.html

Ok...time for bed...

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