Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have always enjoyed washing dishes. I especially enjoy doing them by hand even though I usually use the dishwasher. Even though I use the dishwasher I wash every dish by hand because that's the way we did it when I was growing up. Dishwashers were new then and didn't clean the way they do now. I also love the smell of the soap I use Lemongrass & Clementine Zest by Seventh Generation. I would wear it as a perfume if they made it.
Years ago when I was attending a Unitarian Church, the minister read something by Thich Nhat Hanh about doing dishes that I could really relate to:
To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only
when you aren't doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink
with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really
quite pleasant. I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware
of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that
if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes
will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity,
for each minute, each second of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves
and that fact that I am here washing them are miracles!

My Old House

I went back to see my old house on Wednesday. The new owner emailed me let me know he was about finished and invited me over. I've been driving by once a week or so and knew that the outside looked about the same. The inside of the house was beautiful and is exactly what I would have done if I had had money and vision. He reconfigured the layout and turned a 2 bedroom 1 bath house into a 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath house with walk in closets in both bedrooms. Most of the upgrades I had made like the shutters and the granite in the kitchen were kept. He bleached the hardwoods and painted the kitchen cabinets white so the house appeared bigger. Seeing how wonderful the house looked made me really happy even though I had expected to be sad. The house next door is another story.
I also visited my neighbors across the street and got to see my favorite little boy Andrew. I really do miss the kids on the street.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

When a group of students at IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University) tried to place an order for rainbow cupcakes to celebrate National Coming Out Day they were told by co-owner of Just Cookies, David Stockton that "we're a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that." The students were able to place the order with another bakery. National Coming out day is October 11th.

Here is a recipe for rainbow cupcakes from bakingbites in case you want to make your own
(making them and/or eating them won't turn you gay)

Rainbow Cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
red, yellow, green and blue food colorings
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 10 cups from a 12 cup muffin tin (or line with paper cups).
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Pour in dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Divide batter evenly into 5 small bowls; each should have a little more than 1/3 cup batter (approx 6 tbsp or so for each).
Add about 1/2 tsp food coloring to each bowl to make red, orange, yellow, green and blue batters. Stir well, so no streaks of plain batter remain. Add additional food coloring if necessary.
Starting with the blue batter, add a small spoonful to each of the 10 grease muffin cups (just over 1/2 tbsp in each). Repeat with all remaining colors, working from green to yellow to orange to red, adding each subsequent spoonful on top of the previous color. Do not attempt to spread the layers of color out (as it can cause layers to combined), but allow them to spread on their own.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack before frosting.
Makes 10

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peace Day

A song for International Day of Peace

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding

I copied this straight from

The biggest contribution we can make to fight global warming is to eat less meat and dairy products.

Here are some facts from a 2006 United Nations Report:

The U.S. population is about 300 million but 10 billion land animals are slaughtered every year.
U.S. farms produce 5 million tons of manure every day.
Resources are wasted all along the way; pollution affects the soil, air, water, us.
Livestock are responsible for a fifth of global warming emissions—more than the entire world’s transportation combined.
35 percent of the grain grown in America goes for livestock.
When the Amazon rain forests are cut down, 70 percent of the land is used for pasture and grain production.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I decided to try to be vegan for the month of September. I've been a vegetarian since 1989 but have never been able to give up dairy completely. So far it's been working out pretty well. The only non vegan thing I've had was 1 ginger cookie that The Decider brought in. Normally I would eat a dozen, so having just 1 doesn't seem too bad. I tried soy yogurt but just didn't like it so I decided to try So Delicious coconut milk yogurt which lives up to it's name (So Delicious). I'm not all that excited about yogurt but am trying to have breakfast every morning so I have yogurt with granola and ground up flax seeds. Another product I've discovered is NuGo Bars. They are made with chocolate but are dairy free and vegan. The Mocha Chocolate is really yummy. I've also switched from soy to almond milk because I think I get way too much soy in my diet. It has a really nice flavor.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
Dr. Wayne Dyer

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Michael Moore's Blog Post 9/11/10

Here is what MM wrote on his blog post today and I couldn't agree more:

I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There's been so much that's been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don't want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that's been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:

1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I've gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a "mosque," it's going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that's already there. But to even have to assure people that "it's not going to be mosque" is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven't been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn't the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.

2. Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan! Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It's been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York's "founder," tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that's a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular -- no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:

"The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy -- a policy worthy of imitation. ...

"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens ...

"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

3. The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. Read about his past here.

4. Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.

5. I've never read a sadder headline in the New York Times than the one on the front page this past Monday: "American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?" That should make all of us so ashamed that even a single one of our fellow citizens should ever have to worry about if they "belong" here.

6. There is a McDonald's two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists.

7. During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame "the other" for their troubles. Lincoln's enemies told poor Southern whites that he was "a Catholic." FDR's opponents said he was Jewish and called him "Jewsevelt." One in five Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don't believe he was born here.

8. Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up?

9. Let's face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O'Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic). Protestants have Pat Robertson and too many to list here. The Mormons have Glenn Beck. Jews have Crazy Eddie. But we don't judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they're Methodists.

10. If I should ever, God forbid, perish in a terrorist incident, and you or some nutty group uses my death as your justification to attack or discriminate against anyone in my name, I will come back and haunt you worse than Linda Blair marrying Freddy Krueger and moving into your bedroom to spawn Chucky. John Lennon was right when he asked us to imagine a world with "nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too." I heard Deepak Chopra this week say that "God gave humans the truth, and the devil came and he said, 'Let's give it a name and call it religion.' " But John Adams said it best when he wrote a sort of letter to the future (which he called "Posterity"): "Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it." I'm guessing ol' John Adams is up there repenting nonstop right now.

Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the "mosque" moved. Enormous pressure has been put on the Imam to stop his project. We have to turn this thing around. Are we going to let the bullies and thugs win another one? Aren't you fed up by now? When would be a good time to take our country back from the haters?

I say right now. Let's each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It's a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and you can donate a dollar or ten dollars (or more) right now through a secure pay pal account by clicking here. I will personally match the first $10,000 raised (forward your PayPal receipt to If each one of you reading this blog/email donated just a couple of dollars, that would give the center over $6 million, more than what Donald Trump has offered to buy the Imam out. C'mon everyone, let's pitch in and help those who are being debased for simply wanting to do something good. We could all make a huge statement of love on this solemn day.

I lost a co-worker on 9/11. I write this today in his memory.

"The man who speaks of the enemy / Is the enemy himself."
-- Bertolt Brecht
Why are people like Terry Jones given so much publicity? He should have gotten a little blurb in the Gainsville news if anything at all but now he's become a national celebrity. What next...a sex scandal, and then a stint on Dancing with the Stars? Same thing with all the Palin spawn, Joe the Plumber...

All you have to do nowdays is say or do something outrageous or stupid and you get a national/international following of equally stupid people. I've quit watching the news because I'm so sick of all this shit. Sigh.