Julie in Michigan

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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Mystic Cookbook

Mother Daughter authors, Denise & Meadow Linn, did a beautiful job of painting the background for the text of their new work. The introduction is uplifting and encouraging. It encourages us to think in terms of “energy, frequency and vibration” with our food and to make use of the energy we all hold within us. The introduction promises to share “techniques for infusing food with spirit”. They alert us that they will be making suggestions on table coverings, plate colors and prayerful meditation with meals. Food is described as being more than just nutrients, also “swirling with life energy and consciousness”, inviting “the wind that blew through the wheat field and ingest the sunshine that brought life to the seed”. Pretty heady stuff and I was excited to obtain a free copy of this book in exchange for the simple task of publishing the review in my blog.

That being said, I do take exception to the title. I really liked the book, but by the end I was left wondering why they called it a cookbook. With 45 recipes in 287 pages, I might say some recipes are included, but it’s not a cookbook. The bigger issue is that the recipes just do not resonate with the text.  Based on the title, I had wrongly assumed there would be recipes that I would want to try, learning about some new spices and blendings. I wrongly assumed that the recipes would be vegetarian and hopefully, vegan. They were not. Many recipes called for multiple eggs and even chickens!

There is much meaningful discussion in this book with regard to tracing the roots of the soil from which your fruits, vegetables and grains come, the winds, the effect of music on plants. You are admonished to include the mood of the shipping and handling personnel. To be aware of how these all come together in the energy with which we will sustain our bodies in a healthy way or not. Next, we are given a recipe which calls for eggs and/or chickens?!  How do you manage to simply drop poultry into a recipe, surrounded by all this higher thought form and not mention until nearly the very end of the book, it’s a good idea to check where the eggs and chickens come from?

You can’t just look up eggs in the index because they aren't there. However, if you manage to make it to the end of the book, past all they Mayan meanings in your food and conducting past life regressions, dining with Gods and Goddess, you will find instructions to read the ingredients on containers in the grocery store, watching out for processed food and the reasoning for using whole grains. Finally, the authors give one sentence to the state of poultry in this country, “It can be overwhelming to figure out whether you want organic, free range, cage-free, pastured or some combination of these”. No recommendations are given. My mouth was left hanging open.

The authors do comment positively on the local food movement, but the biggest insult to the conscious eater is the sentence, “Animal  rights issues and the environmental impact of the large-scale farming of crops and food animals are important issues to think about when making your food choices; however, they’re beyond the scope of this book.” Really? Then don’t simply include eggs and chickens in your recipes because these are very important issues if we’re talking about the energy of foods. The authors have us holding a bottle of wine in our hands to bless it, thanking the “farmers, pickers, transporters, vintners, and merchants who brought it to your table and to those who made the bottle and label”, while we are led to believe we can simply cast a glance or ignore the traumatized energy of the chickens and the eggs before they got on the plate.

Knowledge of your past lives, the energy of the farm the asparagus grew in, the mood of the delivery driver and the winds that day are inconsequential in comparison to the energy of chickens in the United States in 2012! What’s really beyond the scope of this book is past life experiences and pretending to dine with Greek Gods or fictional characters like Romeo and Juliet. The most entertaining faux pas in this lovely little book is the recipe for a romantic dinner for two at home and it calls for two cans of beans. Good luck on that one.

It’s too bad that what promised to be a great book in the introduction failed so miserably in delivery and the promise in the title, of mystical recipes, was a total flop as far as I'm concerned. There was a huge disconnect between the text, recipes and the index (although most authors do rely on a professional to prepare the index). I think the person who titled and wrote the recipes is the same person as the one who wrote the index without consideration to anything that might be referenced in a cookbook. The authors should minimally get with Mollie Katzen to see what a cookbook index should look like and where it should be placed, although with ambiguous recipe titles being the only items included, the index is almost as useless as the table of contents, if it had one.

However critical my comments appear to be regarding the recipes, index and inclusion of chicken and eggs, Mystic Cookbook permeated my senses. Last night I reached in the freezer for my container of peppers, blanched and frozen last summer. As I re-blanched them for addition to my recipe, I took a moment to enjoy the vibrant colors and savor the scents, following the Linns' suggestions. It returned me to the warm summer afternoon of harvest. Last night I had a mystical summer dinner experience in the middle of a Michigan winter. 
Purchase a copy for yourself

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It’s almost Christmas 2012, but before that it will be December 21, 2012. While I don’t believe that aircraft will begin falling from the sky or tall buildings will topple over due to extreme weather, I do think that some changes are on the immediate horizon.
Start with a small one, I’m going to be reviewing some books for Hay House and using this blog to post the reviews. I’ll also post to a commercial site and either Hay House or Amazon are available, probably others, but those are most familiar to me.
Tensions in the world are rising daily and I think everyone feels it. If the damn bursts in one place, it will probably serve as a catalyst for many others and while this doesn't surprise me, I’m hopeful that the peaceniks will win out and violence will be minimal.
I see many standing ‘truths’ being challenged and I think that the Internet has facilitated the mounting of a significant hurdle in spreading that awareness. One excellent example is the number of people who would still call marijuana a ‘drug’ rather than a plant, who are beginning to wake up, asking themselves ”What was I thinking?” Drugs are the little white pills made by pharmaceutical companies. The bottom line is more people are recognizing the truth of the situation.
Additionally, the truth is coming out that known facts about marijuana’s healing powers were strongly discouraged from being made public. Studies now are proving that marijuana heals cancer and many other diseases. If this gets out, which thanks to the Internet, it will, Big Pharma is going to be weakened with no prospective great increase in their earnings. They can’t patent a plant so they wish you didn't know marijuana is one.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lava Hot Springs, ID

Well, I thought I was going to Thermopolis (Thermop to the locals) but I guess not. That twelve hour, practically non-stop drive up here kicked my butt, my sciatic nerve to be exact. I now solemnly swear to myself that I will never do that again. I will stop every hour and a half to two hours at a rest stop to walk around, do some stretches and feel the sunshine (not in NV). This morning I went into town and signed up for a deep-tissue massage. I don’t know where this woman trained but I have never in my life had anyone work so deep and make me cry in pleasurable pain as I know that this is going to fix the problem. Then I got a manicure and had lunch at the Main Street Artisian cafĂ© and gallery. Everyone in this town has been so friendly – quite a contrast to the anonymity of life in Vegas. I could fall in love with this town. There will be a bluegrass festival in about 2 weeks and the following week is the hundred year anniversary of the railroad station. I hate to miss it. Saturday apparently broke all records for low temps. I nearly froze to death while I saw teenagers walking around sleeveless with shorts and flip-flops. Ah, youth is wasted on the young, I remember those cold, cold nights that we walked around the Shores, half bare, indifferent to the cold, our minds on other things. But, today is beautiful and this town is Americana at its best. Now, the point of this blog post is to tell you that popular opinion in this town is that Lava Hot Springs, although 3 hours west of here, in Idaho, is the better attraction. I looked at google maps, topographical view and as I see this three hour drive, curving around waterways and mountains, I know I’m in for a spectacular drive. I think I’ll leave early in the morning and treat myself to a night at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn . My Boost phone does not work in Wyoming anywhere. No pay by the month plans available. I can buy a prepaid at Walmart, sign up for a contract with Verizon, connect my Magic Jack and find the headphones or pay for service with Skype and find my headphones or maybe have better luck in Idaho. I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Evanston, WY

Left Vegas about 4am on Friday, stopped to sit down and relax for the first time on this trip, as soon as I crossed the Wyoming state line. That’s about 12 hours of stops for gas, water and restroom – 2 coffees, 2 donuts and a bag of veggie chips sustained me. It wasn’t planned that way – just happened. I finally chose to stop and rest for a bit at a day-use State Park in Wyoming. There was a picnic table where I made myself a cup of tea. Then I had a nice walk along a path with a rushing stream running parallel. I chatted with a fellow about my age regarding his Harley. He told me there was a Bike Rally in town this weekend. I didn’t even know there was a town. So he gave me directions and recommended an RV park. I had a good time listening to live music, looking at bikes, talking to the tat and piercing people, bought a hand-carved leather case for my phone and watched the antics. Saturday I explored further into the town of Evanston and fell in love with a little quilt shop. I bought stuff for two projects and promised to come back and hang out with the girls in the sewing room, from ten til closing most days. I experienced the best service and customer interface with a Pharmacist ever at City Drug. Excellent barbeque brisket and slaw from a street vendor and entered into a contest where a brand new Harley is the Prize. Winner will be notified October 6, 2012. I’m also entered into a drawing back in Vegas for a 1977 Firebird. Either one will make me happy. The trip up here was unbelievable. The images were parallel in beauty only to Alaska. Utah was spectacular. I had difficulty driving because I was so distracted by the beauty of the mountains, water and vegetation. The abundance of water was totally invigorating after having spent the past 2 months in the desert. From Provo, UT northward, the distractions were doubled as the landscape continued to expand and grow phenomenally more beautiful and construction was going on and those silly obstacle course posts were all along the roadway. Not one placed called for me to stop, just admire as I went through. So now it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m still in the little RV Park in Evanston. It’s owned by Grandpa and Grandma, grandkids run the place, but it’s a very pleasant little roadside stopover with Wi-Fi, cable and electricity provided. I just paid for another two days so that will give me time to take my knitting project to the quilting shop and learn what all those terms mean AND 5 needles for a pair of socks??? I noticed there is a therapeutic massage spa in town and my legs are in dire need of some deep tissue massage while I just relax for a couple more days. I thinking I’m, heading north when I leave here, to Thermopolis where the Fountain of Youth is open to the public for hot tubbing. I’ve already had to break out my hoodies, hats, jackets and gloves. My blood is pretty thinned out due to the triple digit weather in Vegas when I left.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I found in Vegas

I’m still in Vegas. I thought, as a non-gambler, Vegas would be a waste of time and energy for me. I thought I had no real interest in visiting the Entertainment Capital of the World, but I do. I arrived about six weeks ago and have been overwhelmingly pleased with the sheer number of people in my age group who are living an active lifestyle here.

I’ve never been a couch potato, always busy and love to travel, enjoy shows and new experiences. For me, Las Vegas tops the list of best places to live and I didn’t even know it until I arrived and worked myself into some gatherings and meet-ups. Then, there were more opportunities at church and additional local social networking groups.
I’ve attended shows, visited galleries, bookstores, herbal markets, dined and bowled! Bowling alleys it seems are frequently built into Casinos. So, I walk past the slot machines, obtain my ball and shoes from my storage locker ($44 annual fee at Santa Fe) and get into my exercise routine, for $1 a game, daily until 3pm for seniors. Hard to believe, but I do qualify.
I’ve received discounts for haircuts and shows. I’m thinking that if I stay long enough I will find more, easily done if you are a gambler. A card is issued by the Casinos, much like your supermarket discount card, and records the money you spend at the slot machines. This enables the Casino to focus on the members who visit regularly and receive gifts in the form of discounts for food and lodging at the hotel/casino. Unfortunately, for me to start gambling would amount to working at new job and pulling a lever doesn’t do a thing for me, sorry, just the way it is.
Las Vegas is not just for gamblers, so I’ve found. I love the new friends I have met, women my age who are not interested in becoming a rocking-chair-grandma nor a couch potato. But, Michigan beckons and I will be on my way soon. I’ve delayed long enough and everyone is understanding – they say, “We’ll see you when you get here”, but I know my presence is desired, especially at Ma N Pa’s in Watervliet. My son and grandchildren are awaiting my visit in Chicago (right around the corner in Illinois) and a sister who is 17 years older than me who is finally a friend. I’ve got nieces and nephews and friends from Clarkston to Ann Arbor.
I’ll be leaving soon. I think I'll be heading north to Cody, Wyoming and then east to the Fountain of Youth in Thermopolis, WY, where there appears to be more than a few natural hot springs. I need the healing waters. Cody was the destination for my Great Aunt Ada, who in the late 1800's traveled west, from Michigan, to visit her brother, Asa, a photographer there. These two individuals are featured on the labels of my Avalon Herbaly hand-made soaps. I'll get that home-based-business up again soon. I haven't made soap in awhile, but while I'm in Michigan I just may do it.
I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

the Fountain of Youth is in Wyoming?

... at least the RV park is.
A friend told me a few years ago that she had taken the hot springs trail across the US and finally the time has arrived to embark upon one myself! I've purchased two books, Hot Springs Hot Pools of the Northwest (Aqua Thermal Access) and Touring Washington and Oregon Hot Springs (A Falcon Guide).

I've traveled extensively in many regions of the US but have never set foot in the Pacific Northwest, but this year, I plan to. If Marc doesn't manage to meet me somewhere along the trail, I guess I'll end up in Vegas on my way back.

The Aqua Thermal Access book mentions several springs with Thermopolis, WY as their address. I had included it in my list of 'must explore' locations. It says the well looks like a small volcano with over one million gallons of water being pumped out per day. No chemical treatments to the water is a BIG plus for me! Two hours from Yellowstone.

I'll take some pics when I get there.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Rig

I love it!!! Just got the plates on it today and I love to drive it. It's smoooth.
Wanna see more pics? Here they are.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Healing Waters?

Soap Lake, in Washington State, according to their website, “At the turn of the last century, Soap Lake was one of the most well known mineral spas in the country. Before the development of sulfa drugs and penicillin, Soap Lake and spas at Saratoga Springs, New York, White Sulfur, West Virginia and Hot Springs, Arkansas were Meccas for the treatment of disease, illness and injury.”
I’ll let you know how it works on carpel tunnel~
Soap Lake

Will this be the endless summer?

I'm serious. I'm wasting too much time on Facebook. I need to spend more time planning for summer and camping in Montana and Wyoming. I've never been to the Pacific Northwest and I think this is the year. I've got two books with exact locations for all the natural hot springs in Montana, Washington and Oregon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Am I really THAT busy?

I wish my secretary would post my thoughts to this every few days but, oh yeah, I don’t have a secretary! I promise to write this afternoon.

When I looked for a busy image on google, these 5 were so funny I decided to post them all.