Archive for April, 2008

birthdays

Monday, April 28th, 2008

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I made this canoe cake for G. And yes those are carrot paddles. So it is a Carrot canoe cake with carrot paddles and maples syrup cream cheese frosting.

Tasted good too. But why didn’t I put it on my blue platter? Those details, often escape me.

Etch-a-sketch ™

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Ran across this lovely commentary on modern life

I’ll quote it here (it was also quoted in the NYT humor section

Tech Support for Etch-A-Sketch(tm)
Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has a distorted display. What should I do?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it. Set it down.

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has lines that prevent me from doing my art project.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document from my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What’s the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I keep from losing my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A: Stop shaking it.

in the news

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I was interviewed for this article in the Ann Arbor Business Review paper. It is a simple intro kind of article, but well done if you don’t count for depth or insight.

The fun part is that I was in a class with the UM Faculty Scholars when I got the link over e-mail, sitting next to Andrew who also was part of the article. And I don’t see him but once a year or less. I was able to share it with him right then and there.

non-compatible hobbies

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Cranialsacral Therapy has changed my life. Providing this work sends me to a deep meditative place, more extraordinary than any other form of bodywork I provide. The very gentle attention has been great training in perception and subtlety.

It has also resulted in my developing a strong fascination with skulls. Long ago I met a guy at a party who worked at the Natural History Museum, and his work was with bones and skulls. I got an invite to go and visit him in the back room. It was thrilling. I especially recall whale and dolphin skulls. And I could move them and touch them and be in awe as I studied sutures and delicate internal structures.

In 1982 I obtained my first skull, a human skull form an unknown place. It cost about $40 and came via UPS. I was so excited that when the UPS guy showed up I shouted out in excitement “My skull is here!” and thankfully he didn’t drop the box.

We named it “Guy” and I left speculation as to who and when he was to other people. He presided in my office which at that time was the outer room to my bedroom. hundreds of students and clients ahve learned from him, as I’ve been able to point out the miraculous features of the human skull.

A year or so before that time a then boyfriend at the time gave me perhaps the most thoughtful and wonderful present I heve ever received. He is long gone, having suddenly ended our relationship fro another woman, but I still love the turkey neck he put together for me. From his own thanksgiving turkey he preserved the bones, cleaned and bleached and baked the, and then wired them back together in three sets. We spent a few hours carefully examining them and considering the wear and tear that they showed.

Next was two skulls I found at a Pow Wow – muskrat and beaver. A few manufactured skulls, including a large life sized mythological creature with three horns. People ask about it, and it is a fun tease to say it is the skull of an imaginary creature. You have to think twice about that answer….

I have skull mugs that a few friends hate and find morbid. When my gear shift lever was lost I bought a skull as a replacement. I subscribe to a peculiar and fun blog that features an art project every day – of a skull. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I’ve collected other small representations, and enjoyed them all.

At the last Pow Wow I was hoping to add to the collection, and I found one exhibitor with a skull collection. I bought a lovely coyote skull for $25. The last month has been super busy, so it wasn’t until a few days ago that I unwrapped it and set it out next to the human skull in my waiting room. Last night I hear some activity downstairs and a crash. I went to investigate and found dog, broken vase where my wooden tulip from Amsterdam had been, and the skull was moved form where I had placed it.

I took the skull and placed it at the top of my built in shelves, where I had placed the turkey bones and other skulls when she had expressed interest.

This morning after her breakfast and quick walk, Nala was downstairs barking at the coyote.

I guess this is a hobby that is doomed to failure with a smart dedicated skull destroyer in the house. I may have to stick to fake skulls for the next few years.

And the contradiction of being a vegetarian who won’t even allow meat into the house but is collecting bones and skulls with enthusiasm? The dog food of course contains meat. And I won’t let her have bones, I keep them for myself. I’m not saying I make sense all the time, going with the gut can cause some great contradictions.

Meanwhile, our hobbies – my collecting and her hunting – just can’t coexist well. She will win every time.

things to see

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Last night I was kayaking and watched the red winf blackbirds settling onto the reeds for th night. They were swooping in over my head, dozens at a time, and settling then sometimes lifting up again only to resettle. The noise and the vision of it was lovely.

I saw the silhouette of a sand hill crane and heard the pre-historic wonderful cry but it didn’t lift in to the dusk so I didn’t get to see it clearly. The Great blue heron flew over my head as I sat on the pontoon boat and talked on the phone, the two mute swans also flew over as I kayaked to the end of the lake…

This mornign was windy and there were lovely ripples on the lake. The surface just changes so much hour to hour, day to day, season to season. It was only a few weeks ago we were kayaking and crashing into the mushy old ice, watching the ripples of the ice as the tremor spread from the kayak’s impact. then the water is smooth as glass with the moon’s reflection, and wild and rippled and even foamy on the shore with the wind.

When I got home Nala and I took the long walk downtown. The first amazing thing to see was the old YMCA building coming down. It was so dusty it was hard to stand and watch, but there was only a story left – and I suppose I mean that in a number of ways. The canopy was still there over the entrance, I suppose it is gone by now.

We walked to the Diag where the commencement had been this AM. Along the way there wer plenty of wandering grads and parents and SUVs driving slowly and people taking photos of people and places. The diag was an amazing sight to see. The grass was almost entirely covered with a white fit together plastic floor, laid so that it was even sloping up the trunks of trees. On this odd surface was thousands and thousands of chairs. I had read that they set up 30,000 chairs. Not I believe it. The chairs were EVERYWHERE in neat solemn rows, all tied together with plastic ties. Many of them had already been taken down, but there was still a sea of them remaining to be disconnected and folded.

Nala looked for dropped food while I wandered around and just took int he magnitude of the set up and the strangeness of it all. I’m not sure why someone would choose to be part of such a huge impersonal experience. But I am a college drop out after all – having found other ways to pursue my education.

We came back via Borders and Downtown home and Garden. The flowering trees were in full spectacular fullness, and the shades of green are always startling this time of year no matter how many springs I go through. I’m so happy to see al the familiar plants up and thriving. Time to put some into the ground on my own as well.

Now I have a sleepy dog and I’m taking a break before washing my kitchen floor. I have a dog who drools while I prepare her dinner, and it is getting pretty bad.

What a lovely wonderful spring. I hope to be back on the water again very soon.

nettles

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

They’re here. This morning an early walk with G. resulted in a bag full of tender early stinging nettles that were quickly steamed and eaten.

One of the best wild foods that there is.

G. also found some nascent garlic mustard and wiped out the whole patch – it was small and early enough to be able to stop it short.

It is waiting to be eaten or frozen. Oh, it is so great to have the greens back. I have a few hundred seedlings on my porch enjoying the sun, ready to be in the ground in a week.

oh the drama of it all…

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

I woke up this morning thinking about raw (fresh) milk. Over at Dave Gumpert’s blog there are dozens of comments on a story that gets stranger and stranger – defending the right to have raw milk.

That right it in jeopardy all across the nation. Which is just so bizarre, once you step back and consider it. People writing pages and pages about law and safety and health and dangers — all about milk.

There are a lot of dangerous things in the world and milk is just not at the top of my list. War, poverty, people in cars, McDonalds, George Bush, there are some truly dangerous things out there. I take my milk for granted now.

I’ll try not to, today. I have fresh home made butter made from the cream at its peak – the first taste of green grass in the spring and the butter explodes with nutrition and color. The cream is thick and white. The yogurt is different each time because I only heat it to 118 degrees (most recipes say heat to 180 then cool to 125 or lower.) And just drinking a glass of pure milk is bliss. Although with chocolate it is even better…. but isn’t everything?

I just love my raw milk, I love being able to drink milk (have never been able to before without getting sick) and I plan to have home made ice cream with fresh fruit this summer and find other uses for cream and milk and more. And to visit the cows at least a couple of times. They are so big! Their eyes really are huge! Do a little foraging on their turf and see what valuable weeds I might find.

I’m grateful for the knowledge about cows and milk. I suppose I’m glad I understand more about the dark side of food through the raw milk politics. But oh my, the drama of it all. It’s just milk people. It’s what so many of the females do if they are mammals. Let’s celebrate that wonderful nourishment that comes just from the female of the species!

Photos from the Technology Center Fire

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I’ve been wanting to post these for a while, and found a venue.

Find more photos like this on Ann Arbor

This slide show is of photos taken the day after the first that destroyed the Tech Center – the YMCA stands there now.
I taught classes there, I built out the kitchen on Washington street, I had friends who lived and worked there, but thousands of people used that building for more than a thousand purposes.

It was a long ago event now, but I believe in the importance of not forgetting our history.

anemia

Monday, April 21st, 2008

It has been a few years, but here I am again.
Not nearly as bad as before, the symptoms are mild and the number is not too low.

But – it sucks. At least this time I get it, have already started the remedies. But I was having trouble bicycling, runnin gout of breath on hills, feeling tiredness in my legs way too soon on walks. And of course the ultimate sign – I was craving lots of ice.

So in the interest of teaching, what are the remedies? Nettle (urtica) infusion. Dried fruits, especially raisins. Corn tortillas made with lime, black strap molasses, and I do feel that wheat grass juice helps. Yellow dock leaves, esecially as pesto. Yellow dock root tincture 20 drops twice a day.

That will be a good start – I’ll check back in a few days. i have my own home hemoglobinometer, as when i was so badly anemic years ago it was far cheaper to buy it than to pay for even 2 blood test. So I’m looking forward to how I will feel in a few weeks. Because this sucks.

I love the brain…

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

… and anything I can learn about it.
This video showed up in a couple of blogs, and I finally had a chance to watch it. A Neuroanatomist has a stroke, and decribes the experience as a scientist but ends up as scientist turned mystic as she experiences what she calls Nirvana in the process.

It is a great talk, one of the TED talks, and worth the 20 for the inspiration and wonderful story of our brain and choice of realities. Set aside 20 minutes for the experience.