Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why is Everyone so Terrified?

I walk all over the city and into the suburbs every day, twice a day and I am amazed at the level of fear people speak about. People must be staying inside watching TV. That's the only explanation.

Woonsocket Police Department, Best in Rhode island

Chief of Police
Thomas S. Carey

Welcome to the Woonsocket Police Department web site. We use this site to enhance our communication with the community. Our programs and initiatives are listed here as well as information on recruitment and department contacts.

Our primary responsibility is to provide professional and quality service to the community efficiently and effectively. Our police force incorporates technology and training to enhance our overall effectiveness while continually striving to meet the challenges of the future. Through progressive community involvement, the Woonsocket Police Department strives to make Woonsocket a safer place to live, work and visit. We fulfill this through the philosophy of community policing, utilizing problem solving strategies in partnership with the citizens we serve.

We have a responsibility to the governing body of Woonsocket including the Mayor, the Public Safety Director, and the City Council. This responsibility is accomplished through communication, accessibility and responsiveness.

As Chief, I have a responsibility to my workforce. In order for them to achieve their goals, I will work on establishing opportunities and career paths for them. I will maintain the practice of participatory management and will continue to lead others to lead others.

Finally, I have a responsibility to the law enforcement profession. In addition to identifying and mentoring new leadership, I will raise the professional standards of the Woonsocket Police Department through accreditation and maintaining a high level of integrity.

On behalf of the men and women of the Woonsocket Police Department, thank you for visiting our web site.

Chief Thomas S. Carey


Mission Statement

The Woonsocket Police Department is committed to the service of the citizens of this city. We shall devote our resources in partnership with the community to foster a safe and secure environment, which is free from the threat of crime.

Our goal is to enhance the quality of life through proactive policing while offering dignified and courteous assistance to the public. We will continue to respect the cultural diversity of the citizens in our effort to nurture public trust.

We will enforce all laws and ordinances in a fair, ethical and impartial manner while upholding the principles of The Constitution of the United States.

Our mission will only be fulfilled in an atmosphere that is responsive to our members and seeks their involvement in problem solving. As we strive to develop each officer through training, we will hold ourselves accountable for our actions and take pride in providing a professional level of service.

This web site was created for the residents and visitors of the City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island and was designed to inform, educate, and provide the community an additional means to communicate with the Woonsocket Police Department.

The Woonsocket Police Department is a full-service municipal police department with 101 sworn police personnel when at full strength. It serves the City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island with a population of over 43,000 and a total area of over 7 square miles. The police department handles approximately 36,000 calls for service each year.

City of Woonsocket Web Site
Woonsocket Police Department
242 Clinton Street
Woonsocket, RI 02895
Non Emergency (401) 766-1212

Woonsocket Police Tip Line
(401) 769-4444

Chief of Police
Thomas S. Carey

Roof Repair or Friends in High Places

Our friend drummer Steve Wennerberg contacted us yesterday that he was coming to town to host the jam at Chan's and had a bucket of tar and a steel plate to fix our ice-torpedo hole in the roof. Steve and Bill performed the roof surgery and it was a great success. We can officially put away the towels and buckets, and thank Steve with sourdough.

The Best Saxophone Repair Man Around

Bob Drinkwater is my saxophone repair man. His shop is located in lovely Stoneham Massachusetts. I am so grateful to find him thanks to a tip from "Sax" Gordon Beadle and Doug "Mr. Low" James.

Robert Drinkwater Woodwind Repair
38 Montvale Ave Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 481-9141
Musical Instrument Repair Shop
(cash or check only)

Nick Loeb

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a parent. I was only a year old when my parents divorced. My father gained custody, and my mother virtually disappeared from my life. I did not see her again until I was 9, and she died when I was 20. This made me yearn for the type of family based on the images one might see in a Norman Rockwell painting.

My father, whom l love, worked as a financier, philanthropist and diplomat. He was not around much, as work and travel left little time for parenting. It fell to my Irish Catholic nanny, Renee, to raise me. Although my father is Jewish and I was baptized Episcopalian, in my mother’s faith, I spent more time going to Catholic Mass with Renee as a child than being influenced by any other religion.

When I was in my 20s, I had a girlfriend who had an abortion, and the decision was entirely out of my hands. Ever since, I have dreamed about a boy at the age he would be now. Later, I was married for four years to a woman with whom I tried to have children, with help from a fertility specialist. The difficulties we had made me feel, more than ever, that the ability to create life was special. When she left me, as I was running for a seat in the Florida State Senate, my dreams of a family were shattered.


I Know Men who are Way More Sensitive than a lot of the Women I Know.

I know men who are way more sensitive than a lot of the women I know.

The Medical Tyranny of my Upbringing

I grew up in an Italian-American Jewish household. Sunday meals were all day affairs at the dining room table and if you didn't eat something my mother took offense and let it be known in front of everyone. When I became a vegetarian at age 13 my mother said "You don't love me!" The family was photographed incessantly and the framed family portraits were on display in the house. The family critiqued us relentlessly. "You look fat in this picture!" My sister would say. "You have jowls" my mother would say, another reason to not love me. If I ate too much or not enough I was damned and she called the doctor (the police!). The gastro battle was fought at the table and in doctors offices. Gastroenterologist visits with GI series were annual at the very least, starting at age 4, and psychiatrists were twice a week. Who paid for all of this? My father who worked in the MADMEN advertising world of big money and glitzy images.

Drug Education Forum

Last night I went to the marijuana education forum at Saint Ann's Cultural Center and it was amazing. There were 8 speakers and each one was terrific. Woonsocket's psychiatrist and addictions specialist Dr. Stuart Gitlow, Chief Brian Sullivan of Lincoln, Dr. Joanna Brown family medicine and adolescent medicine specialist, Christine Bandoni LICSW at Cumberland HS, Chief Thomas Carey of Woonsocket, Jim Ruthkowski retired Captian of Central Falls police dept now protective services at Pawtucket Housing, Dr, Anthony Thomas assistant professor of medicine at Brown Medical School, Thomas F. Joyce LCDP,CPRS, director of recovery support services at the Providence Center.

Annie Dillard: Appealing Workplaces are to be Avoided

Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.
-Annie Dillard

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kevin Bubriski Portfolio


Happy Birthday Willie Nelson

Willie Hugh Nelson (/wɪli nɛlsən/; born April 29, 1933) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.

Born during the Great Depression, and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school, in 1950, he joined the Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years but dropped out because he was succeeding in music. During this time, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas radio stations and a singer in honky tonks. Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington, where he wrote "Family Bible" and recorded the song "Lumberjack" in 1956. In 1958, he moved to Houston, Texas after signing a contract with D Records. He sang at the Esquire Ballroom weekly and he worked as a disk jockey. During that time, he wrote songs that would become country standards, including "Funny How Time Slips Away", "Hello Walls", "Pretty Paper", and "Crazy". In 1960 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and later signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music which allowed him to join Ray Price's band as a bassist. In 1962, he recorded his first album, ...And Then I Wrote. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After mid-chart hits in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Nelson retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. The rise of the popularity of hippie music in Austin motivated Nelson to return from retirement, performing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Childhood Abuse

Anyone who is comfortable with the lie will be made uncomfortable with the truth, and people who are uncomfortable with lies will be liberated by truth.


Damage on Repeat

The teenager who thinks life will get better when she gets pregnant is an at-risk child who just wants something to have. There is no thought as to what this will mean for the child growing up to teen parents with no place to live and no job prospects on the horizon. You can't support a child braiding hair, and crashing at other people's houses, I want to tell her. But it won't do any good. She's been lied to and abused her whole life thus far, and so the generational flaws repeat.

More about Personal Boundaries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits.[1] They are built out of a mix of conclusions, beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.[2][3][unreliable source?]

According to some in the counseling profession, personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes, and setting the distances one allows others to approach.[4] They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, involving beliefs, emotions, intuitions and self-esteem.[5] Jacques Lacan considered them to be layered in a hierarchy, reflecting “all the successive envelopes of the biological and social status of the person”[6] from the most primitive to the most advanced.

Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people.[7] These are sometimes referred to as the 'protection' and 'containment' functions.[8]


1 Types
2 Narcissism
3 Loss of boundaries
3.1 In psychosis
4 Rebuilding boundaries
5 Criticism
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links


According to Nina Brown's self-help book, there are four main types of psychological boundary:[9]

Soft - A person with soft boundaries merges with other people's boundaries. Someone with a soft boundary is easily a victim of psychological manipulation.

Spongy - A person with spongy boundaries is like a combination of having soft and rigid boundaries. They permit less emotional contagion than soft boundaries but more than those with rigid. People with spongy boundaries are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out.

Rigid - A person with rigid boundaries is closed or walled off so nobody can get close to him/her either physically or emotionally. This is often the case if someone has been the victim of physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, or sexual abuse. Rigid boundaries can be selective which depend on time, place or circumstances and are usually based on a bad previous experience in a similar situation.

Flexible - Similar to selective rigid boundaries but the person has more control. The person decides what to let in and what to keep out, is resistant to emotional contagion and psychological manipulation, and is difficult to exploit.

Gestalt therapy uses the parameters confluence/withdrawal to denote personal boundaries, the ideal of being able to move between connection and separation at will being jeopardized by either weak boundaries (and enforced confluence) or over-rigid boundaries (enforced withdrawal).[10]

According to Hotchkiss, narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.[11]
Loss of boundaries

Freud, following Gustave Le Bon, described the loss of conscious boundaries that could occur when an individual was caught up in a unified, fast-moving crowd.[12]

Almost a century later, Steven Pinker took up the theme of the loss of personal boundaries in a communal experience, noting that such occurrences could be triggered by intense shared ordeals like hunger, fear or pain, and that such methods were traditionally used to create liminal conditions in initiation rites.[13] Jung had described this as the absorption of identity into the collective unconscious.[14]

Rave culture has also been said to involve a dissolution of personal boundaries, and a merger into a binding sense of communality.[15]
In psychosis

The loss of personal boundaries, and the absorption of the self into a quasi-public world, is one of the key features associated with psychosis.[16]

Such boundary loss can move from the patient to the therapist in turn, to produce a temporary kind of countertransference psychosis: Carl Rogers has movingly described how in one such instance he “literally lost my "self", lost the boundaries of myself...and I became convinced (and I think with some reason) that I was going insane”.[17]

Even on a lesser scale, without boundaries our identities become diffused – controlled by the definitions offered by others.[18]
Rebuilding boundaries

While a healthy relationship depends on the emotional space provided by personal boundaries,[19] co-dependent personalities have difficulties in setting such limits, so that defining and protecting boundaries efficiently may be for them a vital part of regaining mental health.[20]

Family therapists can help family members to develop clearer boundaries, by behaving in a well-defined way when treating them, drawing lines, and treating different generations in different compartments[21] – something especially pertinent in families where unhealthy enmeshment overrides normal personal boundaries.[22]

However, the establishment of personal boundaries in such instances may produce a negative fall-out,[23] if the pathological state of interdependence had been a central facet of the relationship.[24] This is especially true if the establishment of healthy boundaries results in limit setting which did not occur previously. It is important to distinguish between limits and boundaries in considering these situations. [25]


What Are Personal Boundaries? How Do I Get Some?
By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

What Are Personal Boundaries? How Do I Get Some?Love can’t exist without boundaries, even with your children. It’s easy to understand external boundaries as your bottom line. Think of rules and principles you live by when you say what you will or won’t do or allow.

If you have difficulty saying no, override your needs to please others, or are bothered by someone who is demanding, controlling, criticizing, pushy, abusive, invasive, pleading, or even smothering you with kindness, it’s your responsibility to speak up.
Types of Boundaries

There are several areas where boundaries apply:

Material boundaries determine whether you give or lend things, such as your money, car, clothes, books, food, or toothbrush.
Physical boundaries pertain to your personal space, privacy, and body. Do you give a handshake or a hug – to whom and when? How do you feel about loud music, nudity, and locked doors?
Mental boundaries apply to your thoughts, values, and opinions. Are you easily suggestible? Do you know what you believe, and can you hold onto your opinions? Can you listen with an open mind to someone else’s opinion without becoming rigid? If you become highly emotional, argumentative, or defensive, you may have weak emotional boundaries.
Emotional boundaries distinguish separating your emotions and responsibility for them from someone else’s. It’s like an imaginary line or force field that separates you and others. Healthy boundaries prevent you from giving advice, blaming or accepting blame. They protect you from feeling guilty for someone else’s negative feelings or problems and taking others’ comments personally. High reactivity suggests weak emotional boundaries. Healthy emotional boundaries require clear internal boundaries – knowing your feelings and your responsibilities to yourself and others.
Sexual boundaries protect your comfort level with sexual touch and activity – what, where, when, and with whom.
Spiritual boundaries relate to your beliefs and experiences in connection with God or a higher power.

Why It’s Hard

It’s hard for codependents to set boundaries because:

They put others’ needs and feelings first;
They don’t know themselves;
They don’t feel they have rights;
They believe setting boundaries jeopardizes the relationship; and
They never learned to have healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are learned. If yours weren’t valued as a child, you didn’t learn you had them. Any kind of abuse violates personal boundaries, including teasing. For example, my brother ignored my pleas for him to stop tickling me until I could barely breathe. This made me feel powerless and that I didn’t have a right to say “stop” when I was uncomfortable. In recovery, I gained the capacity to tell a masseuse to stop and use less pressure. In some cases, boundary violations affect a child’s ability to mature into an independent, responsible adult.
You Have Rights

You may not believe you have any rights if yours weren’t respected growing up. For example, you have a right to privacy, to say “no,” to be addressed with courtesy and respect, to change your mind or cancel commitments, to ask people you hire to work the way you want, to ask for help, to be left alone, to conserve your energy, and not to answer a question, the phone, or an email.

Think about all the situations where these rights apply. Write how you feel and how you currently handle them. How often do you say “yes” when you’d like to say “no?”

Write what you want to happen. List your personal bill of rights. What prevents you from asserting them? Write statements expressing your bottom line. Be kind. For example, “Please don’t criticize (or call) me (or borrow my . . .),” and “Thank you for thinking of me, but I regret I won’t be joining (or able to help) you . . .”
Internal Boundaries

Internal boundaries involve regulating your relationship with yourself. Think of them as self-discipline and healthy management of time, thoughts, emotions, behavior and impulses. If you’re procrastinating, doing things you neither have to nor want to do, or overdoing and not getting enough rest, recreation, or balanced meals, you may be neglecting internal physical boundaries. Learning to manage negative thoughts and feelings empowers you, as does the ability to follow through on goals and commitments to yourself.

Healthy emotional and mental internal boundaries help you not to assume responsibility for, or obsess about, other people’s feelings and problems – something codependents commonly do. Strong internal boundaries curb suggestibility. You think about yourself, rather than automatically agreeing with others’ criticism or advice. You’re then empowered to set external emotional boundaries if you choose. Similarly, since you’re accountable for your feelings and actions, you don’t blame others. When you’re blamed, if you don’t feel responsible, instead of defending yourself or apologizing, you can say, “I don’t take responsibility for that.”
Guilt and Resentment

Anger often is a signal that action is required. If you feel resentful or victimized and are blaming someone or something, it might mean that you haven’t been setting boundaries. If you feel anxious or guilty about setting boundaries, remember, your relationship suffers when you’re unhappy. Once you get practice setting boundaries, you feel empowered and suffer less anxiety, resentment, and guilt. Generally, you receive more respect from others and your relationships improve.
Setting Effective Boundaries

People often say they set a boundary, but it didn’t help. There’s an art to setting boundaries. If it’s done in anger or by nagging, you won’t be heard. Boundaries are not meant to punish, but are for your well-being and protection. They’re more effective when you’re assertive, calm, firm, and courteous. If that doesn’t work, you may need to communicate consequences to encourage compliance. It’s essential, however, that you never threaten a consequence you’re not fully prepared to carry out.

It takes time, support, and relearning to be able to set effective boundaries. Self-awareness and learning to be assertive are the first steps. Setting boundaries isn’t selfish. It’s self-love – you say “yes” to yourself each time you say “no.” It builds self-esteem. But it usually takes encouragement to make yourself a priority and to persist, especially when you receive pushback. Read more on setting boundaries in Codependency for Dummies and my e-book, How to Speak Your Mind and Set Limits.

Plein Air Writing

Plein Air Writing:
"Plein Air," French for "open air," was a popular art movement in the early nineteenth century. Between portable easels and the invention of pre-mixed oil paints, artists, for the first time, could easily work outside. So they did, capturing the light, air and beauty of the natural world to create a new way of seeing and a new art movement. Taking a cue from the Plein Air artists of both Europe and the U.S., this creative writing class finds inspiration in Riverside-area parks and gardens. Immersed in the natural world, writers will observe the landscape, focus their senses and capture the experience with deft prose pen strokes that can later be edited. The challenge, just as for the Plein Air painters, is to quickly capture a moment in time in an ever-changing world. Writers will share their work aloud in story circles and are invited to edit their workshop material to share or submit for critique. You will meet for classes at local parks for this outdoors-inspired workshop, which includes moderate hikes or walks (3 miles or less).

En Plein Air

En plein air
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

En plein air (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ plɛn ɛʁ]) is a French expression which means "in the open air" and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, which is also called peinture sur le motif ("painting of the object(s) or what the eye actually sees") in French. In painting, "sur le motif" reproduces the actual visual conditions seen at the time of the painting. This contrasts with painting according to studio or academic rules, which creates a per-determined look. "En plein air" can also be used to describe other activities where a person partakes in an outdoor environment.

Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school, the Hudson River School and Impressionism. The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1840s with the introduction of paints in tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes). Previously, painters made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. The Newlyn School in England is considered another major proponent of the technique in the latter 19th century.[1]

It was during this period that the "Box Easel", typically known as the French Box Easel or field easel, was invented. It is uncertain who developed it first, but these highly portable easels, with telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette, made treks into the forest and up the hillsides less onerous. Still made today, they remain a popular choice even for home use since they fold up to the size of a brief case and thus are easy to store.[2]

French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated en plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors, in the diffuse light provided by a large white umbrella. In the second half of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century in Russia, painters such as Vasily Polenov, Isaac Levitan, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin and I. E. Grabar were known for painting en plein air. American Impressionists, too, such as those of the Old Lyme school, were avid painters en plein air. American Impressionist painters noted for this style during this era included, Guy Rose, Robert William Wood, Mary DeNeale Morgan, John Gamble, and Arthur Hill Gilbert. The Canadian Group of Seven and Tom Thomson are examples of en plein air advocates.

The popularity of outdoor painting has endured throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century.[3][4]

Grandma Moses began at 78

Grandma Moses
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), better known by her nickname of "Grandma Moses," was a renowned American folk artist. Having begun painting in earnest at the age of 78, she is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age. Her works have been shown and sold in the United States and abroad and have been marketed on greeting cards and other merchandise. Moses' paintings are among the collections of many museums. The Sugaring Off was sold for US$1.2 million in 2006.

Moses has appeared on magazine covers, television, and in a documentary of her life. She wrote an autobiography of her life, won numerous awards and was awarded two honorary doctoral degrees.

The New York Times said of her: "The simple realism, nostalgic atmosphere and luminous color with which Grandma Moses portrayed homely farm life and rural countryside won her a wide following. She was able to capture the excitement of winter's first snow, Thanksgiving preparations and the new, young green of oncoming spring... In person, Grandma Moses charmed wherever she went. A tiny, lively woman with mischievous gray eyes and a quick wit, she could be sharp-tongued with a sycophant and stern with an errant grandchild. "[1]

Starting at 12 years of age and for a total of 15 years, she was a live-in housekeeper. One of the families that she worked for, who noticed her appreciation for their prints made by Currier and Ives, supplied her with art materials to create drawings. Moses and her husband began their married life in Virginia, where they worked on farms. In 1905 they returned to the Northeastern United States and settled in Eagle Bridge, New York. The couple had five children who survived infancy. Her interest in art was expressed throughout her life, including embroidery of pictures with yarn, until arthritis made this pursuit too painful.

Diana Nyad on Loneliness

In swimming, especially training out in the ocean and open water, you got fogged-over goggles, you're stuck with your own thoughts - there's great benefits to that, deep thinking like that after many hours, but there's also tremendous loneliness. You burn out. You want to run, jump, ski, do anything. So at age 30, I was finished.
-Diana Nyad

I think 60 is when many people hit their prime. We elect many of our presidents in their 60s. At that age, people are full of ideas and their best self. I wanted to dig into my potential and bring out my best self.
-Diana Nyad

A.A. Milne

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.
-A.A. Milne

Parking Lot Picnic

We hope to have a parking lot picnic to celebrate summer. Munroe Dairy's Rob A plans to come with a truck and give out free ice cream. It will be great. Maybe we'll play music: accordion and saxophone and banjo. Live acoustic music in the 'hood.

Empathy and Monsters

Friedrich Nietzsche said more than a century ago, “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.”

"...On the Internet we forget that people are dimensional.”

The main obstacle is the lack of empathy. Psychologists say that empathy is learned two ways. The first is by seeing, hearing or even smelling how your action has hurt someone else — something that is not available to those behind a screen and keyboard. The second is to experience something painful yourself.


Woonsocket is Switzerland

A huge Walgreen's plastic bag blew towards me and I decided it was an omen. I took it and filled it with scraps of trash walking the downtown loop. The city looks so clean lately, like Switzerland! I enjoy gathering the few stray bits of cans, straws, and cups to keep my street and Social and Clinton Streets gleaming.

I took Lily swimming yesterday afternoon at Harris Pond. She jumped into the ice cold water to cool off and then fetched the stick a few times. She pulled me up the steep hill. We ran into all of the kids getting off the bus together and then we ran into the corn niblet kids from Valley Street. Lily spotted a black racer at the mill pond. It was sunning on the leaves.

A perfect day.

Philip Shultz

What I Like and Don’t Like

by Philip Schultz

I like to say hello and goodbye.
I like to hug but not shake hands.
I prefer to wave or nod. I enjoy
the company of strangers pushed
together in elevators or subways.
I like talking to cab drivers
but not receptionists. I like
not knowing what to say.
I like talking to people I know
but care nothing about. I like
inviting anyone anywhere.
I like hearing my opinions
tumble out of my mouth
like toddlers tied together
while crossing the street,
trusting they won’t be squashed
by fate. I like greeting-card clichés
but not dressing up or down.
I like being appropriate
but not all the time.
I could continue with more examples
but I’d rather give too few
than too many. The thought
of no one listening anymore—
I like that least of all.

"What I Like and Don’t Like” by Philip Schultz from Failure. © Harcourt, 2007.

Duke Ellington

from Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of the man who once said, "Jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with": bandleader, pianist, and composer Edward Kennedy - better known as Duke - Ellington, born in Washington, D.C., in 1899. He composed more than 3,000 songs in his lifetime, enduring jazz classics like "Mood Indigo" (1930), "It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got That Swing)" (1932), and "Sophisticated Lady" (1933), and he led his big band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His nickname came from his dapper demeanor and easy grace: His mother, Daisy, had worked hard to teach him elegant manners, and he'd learned the lessons well, so his childhood friends took to calling him "Duke."

He took piano lessons as a boy, but skipped more of these than he attended, and it wasn't until he started hanging around a poolroom and hearing ragtime and stride piano, played by the likes of Turner Layton and Eubie Blake, that his passion was kindled. For what it's worth, he also credited the kindling to more earthy causes, saying, "I never had much interest in the piano until I realized that every time I played, a girl would appear on the piano bench to my left and another to my right."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Purple Puppy Dream

I dreamed my friend Juditta had a purple puppy. It was a beagle and she had dyed his fur. He smelled like a puppy and his eyes were purple too!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hippocampal Neurogenesis

Aside from the metaphysical benefits of swimming, research has shown that it can actually change the brain for the better through a process known as hippocampal neurogenesis, in which the brain replaces cells lost through stress.

Parade Season Has Begun!

We opened for the Rumford Little League Saturday and it was a perfect day. We played our tunes around the neighborhood with all the leagues following us. Then we played Take me out to the Ball Game and the National Anthem. We played bloops and blips in between announcements. Yes, Rumford RI is famous for Rumford baking powder which I devotedly use. Afterwards we continued playing under a fur tree. I looked up and noticed a triangular and patterned piece of bread, resting on a branch 10 feet above my head. It was a slice of pizza in the tree!


...if you engage in your work or your practice with enthusiasm, mindfulness, and spaciousness, not only will you become more efficient, but you will enjoy it much more. That is its own reward.

Dr. Jenny Cho Opera Lover

Dr. Jenny Cho, one of the doctors on call at the Metropolitan Opera, visits the soprano Diana Damrau during intermission to check on her sore throat.ttp://

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Asthmatic Bronchitis

Symptoms and treatment here.

Asthma in Adults


Blowing Your Horn

Could Blowing Your Horn Cut Your Odds for Sleep Apnea?
FRIDAY, April 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Playing a wind instrument may reduce your risk of sleep apnea, a new study suggests.
Researchers in India tested the lung function of 64 people who played a wind instrument and 65 others who didn't.
Even though there was no difference in the two groups' lung function tests, the people who played a wind instrument had a lower risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
This is likely because playing a wind instrument results in stronger muscles in the upper airways, the researchers said. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder involving disrupted breathing.
"The findings of our small study present an interesting theory on preventative measures or treatment in sleep apnea," study author Silas Daniel Raj, from the Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital in Tamil Nadu, India, said in a European Lung Foundation news release.
"If the findings are confirmed in larger groups, wind instrument playing could become a cheap and non-invasive method of preventing sleep apnea in those at risk of developing the condition," Raj added.
The study was presented April 17 at the Sleep and Breathing Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Findings presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
More information
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about sleep apnea.
SOURCE: European Lung Foundation, news release, April 16, 2015
-- Robert Preidt

High Pollen: Juniper, Maple, Birch

Pollen Allergy Forecast for Woonsocket, RI (02895)
Today's Pollen Level
Today's Predominant Pollens


Allergy Forecast Discussion
Concentration of pollen grains in the air for Monday will be falling but will remain in the high range. This lowering of pollen concentrations is a result of rising humidity, weak winds and expected precipitation in the afternoon and evening which tends to wash pollen out of the air.

Heroin Epidemic, Talk to your Kids!

Heroin's toll: 'We have people dying' in Burrillville
Burrillville has a heroin problem. Six people have died of drug overdoses, four involving heroin, since Dec. 31, the police say, most of them young men in their 20s and 30s. February was the cruelest month: four fatal overdoses.

Small towns also can feel like a fishbowl for those who fear the stigma of addiction, making it especially hard to reach out for help. “Nobody wants to talk about it,’’ said the Rev. Darin R. Collins, of the Berean Baptist Church in the village of Harrisville, where a parishioner in 2014 died of a heroin overdose. “Everybody’s feeling all of this shame.’’

Yet, the spike in overdose deaths in Burrillville is not so different from what’s happening in a lot of small towns and suburbs, said Traci C. Green, a professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at Brown University and deputy director of the injury-prevention center at Boston Medical Center. “The appearance of patterns like in Burrillville is not unusual,’’ Green said. “In fact, I think it’s what’s evolving to be our current norm.”

Green likens the spike in fatal overdoses to an outbreak of an infectious disease. Both spread among people in close proximity; both ignore geographic and socioeconomic boundaries.

New England Bonsai

Best in North America. Local to us!

Betsy Kolbert

Thank you Eve [Sicular] for sending this to me.

Letter from Berlin February 16, 2015 New Yorker Issue

The Last Trial

A great-grandmother, Auschwitz, and the arc of justice.

By Elizabeth Kolbert

Her new book The Sixth Extinction Unnatural History Here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Impostor Nabbed


Brave Heart

“The one real true story in the family was the one I was hiding, and nobody knew about it,” he said. “The one thing that could really make a difference in people’s lives was right here in my soul, and I could not tell that story.”

Jenner is willing to be a role model and help educate the world on transgender issues.

Radar Online quoted his mother, Esther Jenner, as confirming the news and saying she was prouder of him now than when he won his gold medal.


Friday, April 24, 2015

True Giving

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
― Francis of Assisi

Brené Brown

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
― Brené Brown

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.
― Brené Brown

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
― Brené Brown

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
― Brené Brown

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.
― Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame

Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we're all in this together.
― Brené Brown

Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.
― Brené Brown

To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

What we know matters but who we are matters more.
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Nostalgia is also a dangerous form of comparison. Think about how often we compare our lives to a memory that nostalgia has so completely edited that it never really existed.
― Brené Brown

If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.
― Brené Brown

If you want to make a difference, the next time you see someone being cruel to another human being, take it personally. Take it personally because it is personal!
― Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame

Healthy striving is self-focused: "How can I improve?" Perfectionism is other-focused: "What will they think?”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Fear of Groups

Did you ever see this documentary? I am still afraid of groups of people.


I remember when it was unfolding...

The Hidden Message of Parenting


Dorothy Walters


Intelligence + Worry

Are Worrying and Intelligence Linked?
By Rick Nauert PhD

Are Worrying and Intelligence Linked?A new study suggest worrying is a beneficial trait that evolved in association with intelligence.
Jeremy Coplan, MD, and colleagues came to this conclusion by matching brain activity with depletion of the nutrient choline in the subcortical white matter of the brain.
According to the researchers, this suggests that intelligence may have co-evolved with worry in humans.
“While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be,” said Dr. Coplan.
“In essence, worry may make people ‘take no chances,’ and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species.”
In current study, researchers were interested in learning the relationship between anxiety and intelligence in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Study participants were compared with healthy volunteers to assess the relationship among intelligence quotient (IQ), worry, and subcortical white matter metabolism of choline.
Investigators studied 18 healthy volunteers (eight males and 10 females) and 26 patients with GAD (12 males and 14 females) served as subjects.
In a control group of normal volunteers, high IQ was associated with a lower degree of worry, but in those diagnosed with GAD, high IQ was associated with a greater degree of worry.
Previous studies have indicated that excessive worry tends to exist both in people with higher intelligence and lower intelligence, and less so in people of moderate intelligence. It has been hypothesized that people with lower intelligence suffer more anxiety because they achieve less success in life.
The results of their study has been published in a recent edition of Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience.

We had a TV Studio in my Gradeschool


Lit Up

Last night I went out to talk to Sebastian the teen next door. It was dark out and the parking lot was pitch black. He was standing at the corner of the building. Wow, your eyelashes are making cool shadows lit up by your cellphone, I said. As we chatted and the police drove by. I told you, they're everywhere, I said. Please call on us if you need anything. We don't have kids but we are not afraid of teens. My husband is a high school teacher and I have been one too. I ran away from home! I know it is not easy growing up. It took me 40 years before I was happy. Don't worry we will not have the drugs discussion with your mom. I appreciate that, he said. Does my 4:am classical music bother you? I asked. No, he said. You can tell me shut it off. My kitchen sink is at his bedroom window. No, it doesn't bother me, I sleep through everything, he said. I promise I won't vacuum at that hour. He smiled. I usually see his light go off at 3:30 AM as mine comes on. He looks just like the boy I had a crush on when I was 15, and in High School, Mike Aboudi was his name, I told my husband. He had black curly hair. Mike was Armenian. Sebastian is Lebanese and Portuguese.

4:AM Dream

A disfigured woman came to the back door of our kitchen begging like a stray cat. We let her in and started finding her food. We were cooking at the time and two things were on the stove. The woman took off a rubber mask and wig and shook out her suburban blonde hair. She looked familiar, from some scary real life unsolved murder TV show. I tried to get out through a porch door to call 911. I couldn't because doors were locked from the outside. I panicked. I told Bill I had to get something and found a way out and ran into a friend who was standing on the bed of a green truck downtown. Justin, Do you have a phone on you? Please call 911 send them to my house. I was terrified Bill was going to get caught off guard by this woman. I woke up.

S was in our care and was listening Bob Dylan songs. You love Bob Dylan, Me too I said. I love them! S wanted to show his girlfriend my poems. I gave S a stack of bolos levedos (Portuguese sweet muffins) they were my "poems" in the dream. Go in the other room to phone her, but come back in a half hour I said. On his way into the other room he helped himself to a liquor cabinet. I forgot we even had one. Did you tell him it's homemade wine? I asked my husband. No, he replied. We made S pizza with grated carrots in the crust.

I was in a car with Jon F and his mother Marge, we drove downtown and cows were lying down. I thought they were rugs I said, until they moved! They were magenta, green, blue. They lifted their heads as we drove by. I said to Marge You knew how to give your kids boundaries, something we never had.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Preventing Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Properly drying and storing farm products can help prevent hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The fungus spores that cause farmer's lung grow only in moist conditions. Proper ventilation and using respiratory masks can also help prevent the condition.

If you begin to have symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis from work exposure, the disease can be stopped if it is identified early enough. You can prevent permanent lung damage by stopping exposure to the dust. If control measures do not work or are not possible, you may have to change jobs.

In-Depth Resources for Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Sun Hill Press

Letterpress Printing High Street North Brookfield Massachusetts run by lovely Darryll & Elizabeth Hyder.
Darrell Hyder
Sun Hill Press


23 High St.
N. Brookfield, MA USA 01535
Tel (508) 867-7274

“What we do is printing, of course. But quite as much, we also design most of the work that goes out our door… our letterpress printing looks, feels, and is different: comfortable, legible, and humane. What do we produce, and for whom? Our work includes brochures, broadsides, announcements, notices, letterheads, certificates, cards, envelopes, booklets, labels, posters, folders, memorial publications, and books. Among our customers are clubs, individuals, publishers, other designers and printers, libraries, museums, societies, and corporations.”

Osho + Kundalini

Many people start their journey towards God, truth, samadhi, because they have had a certain glimpse somewhere. Maybe through drugs, maybe through sexual orgasm, maybe through music, or sometimes accidentally. Sometimes a person falls from a train, is hit on the head and he has a glimpse. I'm not saying make a method of that! But I know this has happened. A certain centre in the head is hit by accident and the person has a glimpse, an explosion of light. Never again will he be the same; now he will start searching for it. This is possible. The probable is no longer probable, it has become possible. Now he has some inkling, some contact. He cannot rest now.


My story is a little different. Religion didn't bore me, it confused me because as far back as I could remember I always had an inner sense of something I knew wasn't Wonder Bread and I became increasingly troubled by religion asking me to be something I was not. To violate that undeveloped but strong sense of the connection to God. By the time I was 16 I was old enough to have the courage of my convictions and quit the church. I got a fair amount of opposition but I knew my own mind and wouldn't budge. In university I minored in comparative religion and experimented with drugs in a group of students in NY that were pretty much on the same track as Leary and Alpert at Harvard. We all had discovered Huxley's Doors of Perception and were trying to take exactly the kind of short cut that Osho is talking about in the passage quoted above. We obtained peyote and later the more technically inclined in our group cooked up LSD. I realize now that my young ego was mostly scared of losing control or getting hooked. I had absolutely no understanding of spiritual practice. The first time I took LSD it was with a guy who was published poet but who was a shadow of his former self through taking speed. What I did learn from my early encounter with drugs was that the perceptions we have when sober are not the only way to experience the world. By my 30s my interest in drugs had lessened and I came to despise the sense of having something in my system driving my experience. In my early 40s I had a spontaneous satori experience lasting about half an hour after a session with a Jungian therapist that undeniably confirmed for me that such experiences were possible without drugs - they could just arise. Much later in my 40s I did Grof's holotropic breathing which is in a way similar to drugs like LSD because it uses a non drug technique to overwhelm the everyday mind. I had much more powerful experiences than I ever had on any drug. But it wasn't a satori experience - more being plunged directly into the world of dreams. Naturally, I kept searching for a way to make the experience of satori obtainable at will or permanent. I worked with my dreams, I tried all sorts of meditation, studied and practiced bodywork. In my 50s my eldest son died of an overdose of heroin. Spiritual practice was suddenly a more serious matter. Some years later I developed heart arrhythmia and began to take better care of my health. I walked daily and worked with saying malas as I walked through the bush with a friend's dog. I didn't know it but I was developing self discipline for the first time in my life. Something quite different than taking a pill and expecting enlightenment. My son's death created a certain inner ruthlessness that made self discipline possible. All these things changed me incrementally - but I got only glimpses of the 'mini satori' experience I had had years earlier. Then in early 2009 I got interested in rereading Wilhelm's The Secret of the Golden Flower. I noticed the reviews of JJ Semple's GFM books on Amazon and ordered both of JJ's books and the original. I began to do GFM and after about 6 months I went on a long plane journey. I got dehydrated and was sitting in a transit lounge in a daze sipping liquid when I noticed that my consciousness had changed. Creativity was flowing steadily up through the diaphragm area. I was functioning in a new way. This time it lasted. It isn't the same as that mini satori, but it is similar and more reliable. I recently encountered some old meditation friends who have pretty will stopped meditating but are still using drugs and - as far as I can tell from the outside - haven't changed a lot. When they offer me wine or smoke I just decline but it made me realize that I will occasionally drink wine with food and friends I feel comfortable relaxing with. What I do every day is a series of Tia Chi exercises, and Tai Chi itself followed by GFM. I don't know where it is leading but I can say this. It is getting easier and easier to make myself do it every morning because of the way it makes me feel inside. A bit like an addiction but with an important difference. It keeps me changing and developing. I can work through painful personal problems more easily than I could in the past. Even solutions to simple physical problems like how to organize my kitchen come to me more easily. And the frequency with which I can breathe into my lower abdomen as I go about the day is increasing. Right now as I sit at the computer I can connect my breath right down to my lower abdomen more easily and fully than I could a month ago. That's good enough for me!

-Lorenz Gude

For more on this topic, visit the Kundalini & Drugs thread on the Golden Flower Forum.

Pamela Druckerman: Food Flow

It turns out that the best part of going with the food flow isn’t the health benefits or the cuisine, it’s the conversation. You can finally talk about something else.
Great Article

Goethe's Daring Ideas

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I have possessed that heart, that noble soul, in whose presence I seemed to be more than I really was, because I was all that I could be.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Performing Artist Lara Herscovitch sent me this today. A perfect quote.

'Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!'
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So Proud

My amazing beautiful wide open talented heart felt nephew Wes Markusfeld is graduating from college UNC Asheville, in a few days. Saturday May 9th. I am so proud of him. He visited in January and it was magical.

John Mensinger


I wrote this email to a friend this morning when I arrived at the office, and would like to share it with you. West Warwick and Woonsocket have much in common:

"I have a route to work in the morning that takes me through the hard-scrabble mill village of Crompton in West Warwick. I choose this route over the "strip-mauled" highway because it gives me a view of the real world. Like in most of West Warwick, the population here struggles just to survive. The housing stock is faded, the lots are small. Nothing has changed since the days when the now closed mills were thriving with textile manufacturing. Life remains hard for people on the low end of the ladder.

I often get behind a school bus that stops in front of a small nondescript house that sits high above the street, behind an ancient granite retaining wall. It's 10 past 7 AM. I stop as the red lights flash, and I put my car in "park" to observe the scene as it unfolds over the next five minutes. Today I was lucky to be right behind the bus, and I immediately suspended all thoughts of what awaited me at the office today.

The bus attendant goes to the rear of the vehicle to lower the handicap lift at the rear. A woman appears at the front door of the house, about 35, with a determined, competent air about her. She's been awake for a while, and I can tell she has a long day ahead of her. Most of the time she's dressed smartly for her job, obviously an office position, professional environment; other days, like today, she's in her bathrobe and slippers, hair flying. She pulls the wheelchair over the threshold of the door backwards onto the covered porch, and her severely disabled son appears, about 12, arms twisted and agitated, head back and tilted, mouth open, mumbling distractedly; she then moves the chair to the small elevator at the end of the porch adjoining the driveway (big enough for just the one car, an older Nissan sedan). After strapping the chair down, she presses the button and then walks quickly back to the front door, down the steps and jumps over the wall into the driveway to get there before the elevator touches down.

This is when her face comes alive! She greets the bus attendant with glee - the world couldn't be a better place! She speaks animatedly to her son, with joy and confidence that his day will be happy. There is no burden here. She stokes his cheek, smiles, talks to him and wishes him well. She stands there, today in the rain, as the attendant straps the chair to the bus lift and begins to load the boy for his journey. She reaches up to brush his forehead as he ascends, offering him one last smile, all her love and affection, without the slightest hint of having endured any hardship. And finally, as the door closes, she modestly folds her arms across her chest and purposefully but contentedly strides back to the house to begin the next part of her "work-day"

This happens every day; and every time that I am privileged to watch this compassionate, loving scene unfold, I cry. I'm crying now. People are SO good. I am so fortunate to spend time in their company. Let me be like them."



Computer Hellscape

On the northwest side of Agbogbloshie, boys built a bridge with old monitors. There are so many monitors in Agbogbloshie that it was turned into a raw material for construction. Towers are built from keyboards and refrigerators are used as walls for houses.

Amazing Photgrapher Joseph O. Holmes


Nutrition and Physical Degenration

Chapter one here.

Birch, Juniper Maple!

Juniper, Birch, and Maple tree pollen is out. The wind carries it. It is so severe look at this map. We are at 10.4, tomorrow 10.7 Monday it will be off the charts.

Vladimir Nabokov

It's the birthday of Vladimir Nabokov, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1899. He was the first of five children; his father was a lawyer and politician, and the family were well-to-do members of the minor nobility. He grew up with access to a lavish library, and was trilingual, fluent in English and French, as well as his native Russian, from an early age. When he was 17, he inherited an estate from his uncle, but he lost it the following year in the Bolshevik Revolution, and he was never to own a house again. The family fled St. Petersburg during the revolution, and in 1919 they settled in Western Europe: first England, where Nabokov attended Cambridge, and then Berlin, where his father was shot and killed at a political rally in 1922.

Nabokov left Berlin in 1936 with his wife, Vera, who was Jewish, and their son; they moved to Paris but left again in 1940 to escape the Nazi advance. They settled in the United States, where he wrote and pursued the life of the academic nomad, moving from rented house to rented house and teaching at a series of colleges. In 1961, the success of his famously controversial novel Lolita (1953), and its subsequent film adaptation, enabled him to retire and write full time, and the Nabokovs moved to a hotel in Switzerland, where they lived until his death in 1977.

He wrote his first nine novels in Russian and then began writing in English, although he mourned the loss of his native language. He wrote in the afterword to Lolita, "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English."

from Writer's Almanac today

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cooks Valley Farm

Season of greens and parsnips...

Lao Cuisine

Ever since New Years day celebrations in the Lao community, we have been dreaming of Lao food.

Lao cuisine
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Lao meal in Luang Prabang, Laos
This article contains Lao text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Lao script.

Lao cuisine is the cuisine of Laos, which is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines.

The staple food of the Lao is steamed sticky rice, which is eaten by hand. In fact, the Lao eat more sticky rice than any other people in the world.[1] Sticky rice is considered the essence of what it means to be Lao. Often the Lao will refer to themselves as "luk khao niaow", which can be translated as "children or descendants of sticky rice". Galangal, lemongrass, and padaek (fermented fish sauce) are important ingredients.

The most famous Lao dish is larb (Lao: ລາບ; sometimes also spelled laap), a spicy mixture of marinated meat and/or fish that is sometimes raw (prepared like ceviche) with a variable combination of herbs, greens, and spices. Another Lao delectable invention is a spicy green papaya salad dish known as tam mak hoong (Lao: ຕໍາໝາກຫຸ່ງ) or more famously known to the West as som tam.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Lao cuisine has many regional variations, corresponding in part to the fresh foods local to each region. A French legacy is still evident in the capital city, Vientiane, where baguettes are sold on the street and French restaurants are common and popular, which were first introduced when Laos was a part of French Indochina.


1 Lao cuisine origins
2 Ingredients
2.1 Rice and noodles
2.2 Vegetables, herbs and spices
2.3 Pastes and sauces
2.4 Meat
2.5 Fruits
3 Kitchen utensils
4 Cooking methods
5 Eating customs
6 Dishes
6.1 Dips
6.2 Appetizers
6.3 Salads
6.4 Soups and stews
6.5 Grilled dishes
6.6 Steamed dishes
6.7 Rice dishes
6.8 Noodles
6.9 Desserts
7 Drinks
7.1 Non-alcoholic
7.2 Alcoholic
8 See also
9 Further reading
10 References
11 External links

Lao cuisine origins

The Lao originally came from a northern region that is now part of China. As they moved southward, they brought their traditions with them.[9] Due to historical Lao migrations from Laos into neighboring regions, Lao cuisine has influenced the mainly Lao-populated region of Northeastern Thailand (Isan),[10][11][5][12][13][14] and Lao foods were also introduced to Cambodia[15][16] and Northern Thailand (Lanna)[17][11] where the Lao have migrated. In his book, Culture and Customs of Laos, Arne Kislenko noted the following about Lao cuisine:

Any discussion about Lao cuisine cannot be limited to Laos. There are approximately six times more ethnic Lao in the Isan region of northeastern Thailand than in Laos itself, which makes it necessary to go beyond national boundaries in search of definitively Lao food. In fact, with the recent droves of migrants from Isan further south to Bangkok, the Thai capital has in many respects become the epicenter of Lao cuisine. Some estimate that more Lao are there than in any other city in the world, including Vientiane. There are also sizable expatriate communities in places like the United States and France that make for numerous culinary variations abroad.[18]

Despite there being more ethnic Lao living in Thailand than in Laos and Lao cuisine playing a pivotal role in making Thai food an international phenomenon,[19] very little to no mention of the word "Lao" are found. This phenomenon are most likely the direct consequences of forced Thaification (1942–present), an official attempts to promote national unity and "Thainess", where any mention of "Lao" and other non-Thai descriptors were removed[20] and replaced with northeastern Thai or Isan.

Consequently, Thaification has led to social discrimination against northeasterners and the word "Lao" became a derogatory term.[21] Being "Lao" was stigmatized as being uneducated and backward,[22] thus causing many northeasterners to be ashamed to be known as being Lao.[23] More recently, as Lao identity loses its stigma, there is now a real sense of resurgence and pride in Lao identity, particularly among the Isan youth.[24]

In the West, even with a sizable expatriate communities, Lao cuisine is still virtually unknown even though much of what is served in Thai restaurants is likely to be Lao[19] or Lao-owned. In fact, unbeknownst to most people when they eat their favourite som tam, larb, and sticky rice at their favourite Thai or northeastern Thai (Isan) restaurants they are actually eating the Thai versions of traditional Lao food.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31] This accidental reinforcement of Thaification by the expatriate Lao communities and Lao restaurateurs is well observed by Malaphone Phommasa and Celestine Detvongsa in their article, Lao American Ethnic Economy:

Unlike […] ethnic specific stores, Lao-owned restaurants are doing better in reaching out to the general public. Although there are some restaurants that advertised as singularly "Laotian", many Lao restaurants are established under the guise of Thai restaurants and Thai/Lao restaurants to entice mainstream customers. Because most Americans are unfamiliar with Laotian food, Lao entrepreneurs have aimed to acquire more business by advertising themselves as Thai restaurants: the latter have successfully achieved popularity with the mainstream population. These restaurateurs would then incorporate Lao dishes onto the menu. Although, there are many similarities between Lao and northern Thai cuisine, certain foods will distinguish a true Thai restaurant from a Lao-owned restaurant would be the inclusion of "sticky rice" on the menu...[32]

There is now a growing movement to promote Lao cuisine led by Chef Seng[33] and executive chef Phet Schwader,[34] to name a few.
Rice and noodles

Rice (Lao: ເຂົ້າ; Lao pronunciation: [kʰa᷆w])
Glutinous rice - (Lao: ເຂົ້າໜຽວ; Lao pronunciation: [kʰa᷆w.nǐaw]) a type of rice grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia, which has opaque grains, very low amylose content, and is especially sticky when cooked.
Cellophane noodles - (Lao: ເສັ້ນລ້ອນ; Lao pronunciation: [se᷆n.lɔ̂ːn]) transparent noodles made from mung bean starch and water.
Khao poon - (Lao: ເສັ້ນເຂົ້າປຸ້ນ; Lao pronunciation: [se᷆n.kʰa᷆w.pûn]) are fresh rice noodles which are made from rice which has first been fermented for three days, boiled, and then made into noodles by pressing the resulting dough through a sieve into boiling water.
Rice noodles - (Lao: ເສັ້ນເຝີ; Lao pronunciation: [se᷆n.fɤ̌ː]) noodles that are made from rice. This should not be confused with Vietnamese pho. Though the word has Vietnamese origin, the dish it refers to in Laos might not be the same as Vietnamese pho.

Vegetables, herbs and spices

Asian basil - (Lao: ບົວລະພາ, Isan: บัวระพา, Lao pronunciation: [bùʰáː]) eaten raw with feu.
Bamboo shoots - (Lao: ໜໍ່ໄມ່, Isan: หน่อไม้, Lao pronunciation: [nɔ̄ː.mâj]), used in stews or boiled as a side dish.
Banana flower - (Lao: ໝາກປີ, Isan: หมากปี, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.pìː]), a raw accompaniment to noodle soup or cooked in others.
Chili pepper - (Lao: ໝາກເຜັດ; Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.pʰét], Isan: พริก, Lao pronunciation: [pʰīk]), seven popular types.
Climbing wattle (acacia) - (Lao: ຜັກຂາ, Isan: ผักขา, Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.kʰǎː]) used in soups, curries, omelettes, and stir-fries.
Coriander (cilantro) - (Lao: ຜັກຫອມປ້ອມ; Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.hɔ̌ːm.pɔ̂ːm], Isan: ผักซี, Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.sīː]), both leaves and seeds added to dips, marinades, and a wide variety of dishes.
Cucumber - (Lao: ໝາກແຕງ, Isan: หมากแตง, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.tɛ̀ːŋ]), eaten as a garnish or as a substitute for green papaya in salad.
Galangal - (Lao: ຂ່າ, Isan: ข่า, pronounced [kʰāː]), typically used in soups, mixed dishes, and marinades.
Garlic - (Lao: ກະທຽມ, Isan: กระเทียม, Lao pronunciation: [ka.tʰíam])
Ginger flower
Ginger root - (Lao: ຂີງ, Isan: ขิง, Lao pronunciation: [kʰǐŋ])
Kaffir lime - (Lao: ໝາກຂີ້ຫູດ; pronounced [ma᷆ːk.kʰi᷆ː.hu᷆ːt], Isan: มะกรูด maak-khii-huut), typically used in soups and stews.
Kaipen - (Lao: ໄຄແຜ່ນ, Isan: ไกแผ่น, Lao pronunciation: [kʰáj.pʰɛ̄ːn]), dried sheets of edible Mekong River algae, similar to nori.
Lao basil - (Lao: ຜັກອີ່ຕູ່; Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.ʔīː.tūː]) Isan: แมงลัก used in soups and stews.
Lao coriander - ("Lao dill"), used in stews and eaten raw.
Lao eggplant - (Lao: ໝາກເຂືອ, Isan: หมากเขือ; Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.kʰɯ̌a]), small and round Kermit eggplant, used in stews or eaten raw.
Lemon grass - (Lao: ຫົວສິງໄຄ, Isan: หัวสิงไค;; pronounced [hǔa.sǐŋ.kʰáj], hua sing-khai), used in soups, stews and marinades.
Lime - (Lao: ໝາກນາວ, Isan: หมากนาว, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.náːw]), common ingredient to many dishes.
Mint - (Lao: ໃບຫອມລາບ; Lao pronunciation: [bàj.hɔ̌ːm.lâːp], Isan: ใบสะระแหน่, Lao pronunciation: [bàɛ̄ː]), used in goy/laap, and eaten raw.
Midnight horror - (Lao: ໝາກລີ້ນໄມ້, Isan: หมากลิ้นไม้,; Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.lîːn.mâj]) a bitter green, eaten raw.
Mushrooms - (Lao: ເຫັດ, Isan: เห็ด, Lao pronunciation: [hét]), used in soups and stir-fries.
Neem (kadao) - (Lao: ຜັກກະເດົາ, Isan: ผักกะเดา, Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.ka.dàw]), Azadirachta indica or neem, a bitter vegetable often eaten raw.
Papaya (green) - (Lao: ໝາກຫຸ່ງ, Isan: มักหุ่ง, pronounced [ma᷆ːk.hūŋ]), shredded and used in spicy papaya salad.
Rattan shoots - typically used in stews (bitter).
Scarlet wisteria - (Lao: ດອກແຄ, Isan: ดอกแค, Lao pronunciation: [dɔ᷆ːk.kʰɛ́ː]) Sesbania grandiflora, blossom eaten as vegetable in soups and curries.
Sa khan - (Lao: ສະຄ້ານ, Isan: สะค้าน; Lao pronunciation: [sa.kʰâːn]) stem of Piper ribesioides, used in stews.
Shallot - (Lao: ບົ່ວແດງ, Isan: บั่วแดง; Lao pronunciation: [būa.dɛ̀ːŋ])
Tamarind - (Lao: ໝາກຂາມ, Isan: หมากขาม, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.kʰǎːm]), sour fruit used in soups or as a snack.
Tamarind leaf - (Lao: ໃບໝາກຂາມ), Isan: ใบหมากขาม, Lao pronunciation: [bà᷆ːk.kʰǎːm]) used in soups.
Tomato - (Lao: ໝາກເລັ່ນ, Isan: หมากเล่น, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.lēn]), eaten as a garnish item or in papaya salad.
Turkey berry - (Lao: ໝາກແຄ້ງ, Isan: หมากแค้ง, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.kʰɛ̂ːŋ]), Solanum torvum, typically used in stews and curries.
Water spinach - (Lao: ຜັກບົ້ງ, Isan: ผักบุ้ง, Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.bûŋ]), Ipomoea aquatica, stir-fried, steamed, or eaten as raw vegetable accompaniment.
Wild betel leaves - (Lao: ຜັກອີ່ເລີດ, Isan: ผักอีเลิด, Lao pronunciation: [pʰák.ʔīː.lɤ̂ːt]), Piper sarmentosum, a green, eaten raw.
Yanang leaf - (Lao: ໃບຢານາງ, Isan: ใบย่านาง, Lao pronunciation: [bàj.jāː.náːŋ]), used as a green colouring agent and as a seasoning or thickener for soups and stews.
Yard long beans - (Lao: ໝາກຖົ່ວ, Isan: หมากถั่ว, Lao pronunciation: [ma᷆ːk.tʰūa]), eaten raw, in stews, and can be made into a spicy bean salad (tam mak thoua).

Pastes and sauces

Fish sauce (nam pa) - clear fish sauce (Lao: ນ້ຳປາ, Isan: น้ำปลา, Lao pronunciation: [nâm.pàː]), used as a general condiment.
Padaek - (Lao: ປາແດກ, Isan: ปลาแดก, Lao pronunciation: [pàː.dɛ᷆ːk]), Lao-style fish paste.
Soy sauce


Century egg (khai niaow ma; lit. 'horse urine egg') - (Lao: ໄຂ່ຢ່ຽວມ້າ; Lao pronunciation: [kʰāj jāw mâː])
Pig blood curd
Pork belly "three-layer pork" - (Lao: ຊີ້ນໝູສາມຊັ້ນ, Isan: ซี้นหมูสามซั้น; Lao pronunciation: [sîːn.mǔː.sǎːm.sân])
Dried water buffalo skin - (Lao: ໜັງເຄັມ; Lao pronunciation: [nǎŋ.kʰém]) used in jaew bong and stews.


Fruits in Laos may consist of water melon, pineapple, sugar apple, (custard apple or sweetsop), longan, litchi, Asian pear, mango, rose apple (water apple), banana, jackfruit, rambutan, young coconut, orange, sweet tamarind, papaya, durian, sugarcane, pomelo, sapodilla, guava, star apple, mangosteen, melon, santol, langsat, grapes, corossolier (soursop), mak yom, and mak num nom.

Melon carving is also a popular tradition in Laos, where artists may carve beautiful flowers and other designs into fruits such as watermelon. Fruit arrangements are also common, and these are done during special occasions such as weddings and other ceremonies.
Kitchen utensils
A Lao-style mortar and pestle.

The typical Lao stove, or brazier, is called a tao-lo and is fueled by charcoal. It is shaped like a bucket, with room for a single pot or pan to sit on top. The wok, maw khang in Lao, is used for frying and stir frying. Sticky rice is steamed inside of a bamboo basket, a huad, which sits on top of a pot, which is called the maw nung.

A large, deep mortar called a khok is used for pounding tam mak hoong and other foods. It is indispensable in the Lao kitchen.
Cooking methods

Grilling, boiling, stewing, steaming, searing and mixing (as in salads) are all traditional cooking methods. Stir-frying is now common, but considered to be a Chinese influence. Stews are often green in color, because of the large proportion of vegetables used as well as ya nang leaf. Soups/stews are categorized as follows, tom, tom jeud, kaeng, and kaeng soua.

Ping means grilled. It is a favorite cooking method. Ping gai is grilled chicken, ping sin is grilled meat, and ping pa is grilled fish. Before grilling, the meat is typically seasoned with minced garlic, minced coriander root, minced galangal, salt, soy sauce, and fish sauce, each in varying quantities, if at all, according to preference. The Lao seem to prefer a longer grilling at lower heat.

The result is grilled meat that is typically drier than what Westerners are accustomed to. The Lao probably prefer their food this way, because they wish to keep their hands dry and clean for handling sticky rice. They also typically eat the grilled food with a hot sauce (chaew) of some sort, which takes away the dryness.

Lao food differs from neighboring cuisines in multiple respects. One is that the Lao meal almost always includes a large quantity of fresh raw greens, vegetables and herbs served undressed on the side. Another is that savory dishes are never sweet. "Sweet and sour" is generally considered bizarre and foreign in Laos. Yet another is that some dishes are bitter. There is a saying in Lao cuisine, "van pen lom; khom pen ya," which can be translated as, "sweet makes you dizzy; bitter makes you healthy."

A couple of the green herbs favored in Lao cuisine but generally ignored by their neighbors are mint and dill, both of paramount importance. Galangal is a cooking herb that is heavily favored in Laos, unlike in neighboring countries. It appears in probably the majority of Lao dishes, along with the conventional herbs: garlic, shallots, lemongrass, etc. Another distinctive characteristic of Lao food or more properly, Lao eating habits, is that food is frequently eaten at room temperature. This may be attributable to the fact that Lao food served with sticky rice is traditionally handled by hand.
Eating customs
A ka toke, a platform for arranging and presenting a Lao meal.

The traditional manner of eating was communal, with diners sitting on a reed mat on the wooden floor around a raised platform woven out of rattan called a ka toke. Dishes are arranged on the ka toke, which is of a standard size. Where there are many diners, multiple ka tokes will be prepared. Each ka toke will have one or more baskets of sticky rice, which is shared by all the diners at the ka toke.

In recent times, eating at a ka toke is the exception rather than the rule. The custom is maintained, however, at temples, where each monk is served his meal on a ka toke. Once food is placed on the ka toke it becomes a pha kao. In modern homes, the term for preparing the table for a meal is still taeng pha kao, or prepare the phah kao.

Traditionally, spoons were used only for soups and white rice, and chopsticks (ໄມ້ທູ່,mai thu) were used only for noodles. Most food was handled by hand. The reason this custom evolved is probably due to the fact that sticky rice can only be easily handled by hand.

Lao meals typically consist of a soup dish, a grilled dish, a sauce, greens, and a stew or mixed dish (koy or laap). The greens are usually fresh raw greens, herbs and other vegetables, though depending on the dish they accompany, they could also be steamed or more typically, parboiled. Dishes are not eaten in sequence; the soup is sipped throughout the meal. Beverages, including water, are not typically a part of the meal. When guests are present, the meal is always a feast, with food made in quantities sufficient for twice the number of diners. For a host, not having enough food for guests would be humiliating.

The custom is to close the rice basket,[35] when one is finished eating.

Jaew (Lao: ແຈ່ວ), a popular type of dipping sauce in Laos.

Jaew mak khua - made from roasted eggplant.
Jaew mak len - made from roasted sweet tomatoes.
Jaew bong - sweet and spicy paste made with roasted chilies, pork skin, galangal and other ingredients.
Jaew padaek - made from fried padaek, fish, roast garlic, chilies, lemon grass, and other ingredients.


Kap kaem (Lao: ກັບແກ້ມ), are dishes served as snacks, before the main dish, or with beer.

Kaipen - fried snack made of fresh water algae, usually served with jaew bong.
Khai khuam - stuffed eggs "upside down".
Khai nug - steamed, boiled egg made by making a hole in the egg to remove the contents and pouring it back in after mixing the yolk with other ingredients.
Khua pak bong - stir fried water spinach.
Look seen - Laotian beef meatballs.
Mekong river moss - fried moss from the Mekong River.
Sai kok - chunky pork sausage.
Sai oua - grilled pork sausage.
Seen hang - Laotian beef jerky that is flash-fried beef.
Seen savanh - thinly sliced beef jerky with sweeter taste and covered with sesame seeds.
Seen tork
Som khai pa - pickled fish roe.
Som moo - pickled pork with pork skin (summer sausages).
Som pa - pickled fish.
Som phak kad - pickled greens.
Som phak kai lum who moo - pickled cabbage with pickled pork ears.
Yaw - Laotian pork roll. Known as giò lụa in Vietnam.
Yaw dip - a type of spring roll made with rice paper, vermicelli, lettuce, and various fillings including shrimp. It's usually eaten with peanut sauce or Laotian sweet sauce. Known as Gỏi cuốn in Vietnam.
Yaw jeun - fried spring roll.


Sarad (Lao: ສະຫຼັດ), is a general name to describe a dish with mixed vegetables, herbs, and spices. Meat salads in Laos are known as larb or laap.

Larb - a spicy Lao minced meat salad made with fermented fish and herbs. Various meats include fish, duck, chicken, pork, and beef, as well as mushrooms.
Nam tok - a meat-based salad similar to larb. It can also be made into a stew.
Pon - spicy puree of cooked fish.
Tam som - is the following salads made with Lao chili peppers, lime juice, tomatoes, fish sauce/paste, and sugar. Crab paste and shrimp paste are optional.
Tam khao poon - spicy vermicelli noodles salad.
Tam mak guh - spicy plantain salad.
Tam mak hoong - spicy green papaya salad.
Tum mak khua - spicy eggplant salad.
Tam mak taeng - spicy cucumber salad.
Tam mak thou - spicy green long/yard beans salad.

Soups and stews

Kaeng (Lao: ແກງ; lit. "soup")

Kaeng jeut - vegetable and pork soup.
Kaeng galee - Lao curry.
Kaeng naw mai or soup naw mai - a green stew made with bamboo shoots.
Or - green vegetable stew.
Or lam - Luang Prabang style green vegetable stew.
Tom jeaw pa - spicy fish soup.
Tom kha gai - a spicy and sour soup made with coconut milk, mushrooms, and chicken.
Tom padaek - fish stewed in padaek.
Tom yum - a spicy and sour soup made with lemongrass, and various meats such as beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp or other seafood.

Grilled dishes

Ahan ping (Lao: ອາຫານປີ້ງ; lit. "grilled food")

Ping gai - grilled, marinated chicken.
Ping hua ped - grilled, marinated duck head. It can be considered as an appetizer.
Ping moo - grilled, marinated pork.
Ping pa - grilled fish mixed with spices and herbs.
Ping ped - grilled, marinated duck.
Ping seen - grilled, marinated beef.
Ping theen gai - grilled, marinated chicken feet.
Seen dat - Laotian-styled barbecue. Traditional meats and vegetables are seared on a dome-shaped griddle.

Steamed dishes

Ahan neung (Lao: ອາຫານຫນື້ງ; lit. "steamed food")

Mok pa - fish steamed in banana leaf.
Mok gai - chicken steamed in banana leaf.
Mok khai
Mok kai pa
Ua dok kae
Titi gai - steak in a banana leaf wrap.

Rice dishes

Ahan kap khao (Lao: ອາຫານກັບເຂົ້າ; lit. "food with rice"), are dishes made with rice as the main ingredient. In most Lao meals, glutinous rice known as khao niao, is a staple to the Laotian diet.

Khao khua or khao phat - Laotian-styled fried rice.
Khao niao - steamed glutinous rice. Popularly known as "sticky rice". This type of rice is usually kept in a bamboo basket and is shared among all diners. Different ingredients such as coconut milk and red beans can be added to make the rice into a sweet dessert.
Khao piak khao (lit. 'rice wet rice') - rice porridge. Toppings may contain blood curds, century eggs, fried onions or garlic, and scallions.
Khao ping or khao chee - baked sticky rice seasoned with eggs. Khao chee is also another name for bread.
Khao jao or khao neung - steamed white rice. Jasmine rice is generally used. This type of rice is also used as an ingredient for many stir-fried dishes.
Nam khao - crispy rice salad made with deep-fried rice balls, chunks of fermented pork sausage called som moo, chopped peanuts, grated coconut, sliced scallions or shallots, mint, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, and other ingredients.


Feu (Lao: ເຝີ) or Mee (Lao: ໝີ່). Noodles are popular dishes in northern and central Laos. These can vary from "wet noodles", served with broth, or "dry noodles" which are typically stir-fried.

Feu - Laotian-styled Pho, or rice noodle soup.
Kaeng sen lon - soup made with glass noodles and meatballs.
Khao piak sen - rice flour noodles in chicken broth. Similar to the Vietnamese dish, bánh canh, and the Japanese dish, udon.
Khao poon - rice vermicelli soup, also known as "Lao laksa".
Khua mee - pan-fried rice noodles topped with thinly sliced egg omelette.
Lard na - stir-fried noodles covered in gravy.
Mee haeng - wheat noodles with vegetables and meat.
Mee kati - rice vermicelli made in coconut milk.
Mee nam - wheat noodles in a broth of vegetables and meat.
Pad Lao - stir-fried noodles mixed with lightly scrambled egg. Similar to Pad Thai.
Pad ki mao - stir-fried broad rice noodles.
Pad see ew - stir-fried noodle dish made with Chinese broccoli, and beef, chicken, or seafood.
Pad sen lon - stir-fried glass noodles.
Suki - Laotian-styled Sukiyaki.
Yum sen lon - tangy salad made with glass noodles.


Khong van (Lao: ຂອງຫວານ; lit. "sweet things"). Lao desserts are generally made with the combination of tropical fruits and glutinous rice products. These can vary from types of cakes, to jelly, to drinks, and custards.

Khao lam - a sweet sticky rice dish made with red beans, coconut, coconut milk, and sugar prepared in bamboo.
Khao niao mak muang - sticky rice with coconut and mango.
Khao pard - jelly-like rice cake, unique for its layers. It's usually green from the use of pandan leaves as an ingredient.
Khao tom - steamed rice wrapped in banana leaf. Various fillings include pork, bananas, and taro.
Khanom kok - coconut dumpling made on a griddle. It may be topped with green onions.
Khanom maw kaeng - coconut custard cake.
Lod xong - a green, worm-like dessert made with rice jelly, coconut milk, and liquefied palm sugar.
Nam van - a general name for a dessert which can contain tapioca and various fruits including durian, jack fruit, and water chestnuts.
Sangkaya - custard made with Kabocha, a type of Asian squash.
Voon - jelly made with coconut milk.


Lao coffee is often called Pakxong coffee (cafe pakxong in Lao), which is grown on the Bolovens Plateau around the town of Pakxong. This area is sometimes said to be the best place in Southeast Asia for coffee cultivation. Both Robusta and Arabica are grown in Laos, and if you ask for Arabica, there is a very good chance the proprietor will know what you are talking about. Most of the Arabica in Laos is consumed locally and most of the Robusta is exported to Thailand, where it goes into Nescafé. The custom in Laos is to drink coffee in glasses, with condensed milk in the bottom, followed by a chaser of green tea. The highly regarded tea is also grown on the Bolovens Plateau.

There are two general types of traditional alcoholic beverages, both produced from rice: lao hai and lao lao. Lao hai means jar alcohol and is served from an earthen jar.[36] It is communally and competitively drunk through straws at festive occasions. It can be likened to sake in appearance and flavor. Lao lao or Lao alcohol is more like a whiskey. It is also called lao khao or, in English, white alcohol. However, there is also a popular variant of lao lao made from purple rice, which has a pinkish hue.

In more recent times, the Lao state-owned brewery's Beerlao has become ubiquitous in Laos and is highly regarded by expatriates and residents alike. The Bangkok Post has described it as the Dom Perignon of Asian beers. In 2004, Time magazine described it as Asia's best beer. In June 2005, it beat 40 other brews to take the silver prize at Russia's Osiris Beer Festival, which it had entered for the first time.

Ca fay - Laotian coffee.
Nam oi - sugarcane juice.
Nam pun
Nam mak pow - coconut juice; with or without coconut meat.
Oliang - iced coffee; black or with condensed milk.
Saa - Laotian tea.


Lau-khao - Laotian rice wine.
Lau-lao - Laotian whiskey.
Lau-hai - Laotian rice wine made with glutinous rice.

See also
Portal icon Laos portal
Portal icon Food portal

Cambodian cuisine
Hmong cuisine
Thai cuisine
Vietnamese cuisine
Phia Sing

Further reading

Davidson, Alan (1975). Fish and Fish Dishes of Laos. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Co. ISBN 0-907325-95-5.
Du Pont De Bie, Natacha (2004). Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos. London: Sceptre. ISBN 0-340-82567-7.
Sing, Phia. Alan Davidson and Jennifer Davidson, eds. (1981) Traditional Recipes of Laos: Being the Manuscript Recipe Books of the Late Phia Sing, from the Royal Palace at Luang Prabang, Reproduced in Facsimile and Furnished With an English Translation. London: Prospect Books. ISBN 0-907325-02-5.
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