Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Body Language: Abuse Shows


Mean Little Thoughts

People ask, and it’s a reasonable question, why everyone’s so angry, why they’re voting against their own-self-interest, even electing hucksters like Donald Trump who never really had anything but mean little thoughts and now says he’ll clean the swamp as he replenishes it daily.

And by not showing up? Well, that makes a statement, too.


David Litt, a former White House speechwriter, is the head writer and producer for Funny or Die DC. He is the author of the forthcoming memoir “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years.”

How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion

by Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, Self-Compassion Topic Expert Contributor

“I’m such a loser.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

“I’m ugly.”

Too often, people brutally judge and attack themselves. If everyone treated others as poorly as they treat themselves, the old biblical adage, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” could be a recipe for war.

Incessant negative beliefs about oneself may be called self-judgment, self-attack, or low self-esteem, but it all boils down to one menacing problem: self-hatred. At its most extreme, self-hatred can lead people to retreat into substance use, suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors, or violence toward others.
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If you beat up on yourself, are disgusted with yourself, or in any other way experience the effects of self-hatred, there are two important things to know: why the self-hatred exists, and what you can do about it.
Why Self-Hatred?

Self-hatred almost always stems from childhood. Trauma experienced after childhood also can fuel negative feelings about oneself.

Children believe what they hear from others. If a parent tells a child that she is good for nothing or can’t do anything right, then that becomes the truth in the child’s mind. It takes a very mature and insightful child to say to herself, “Something is wrong with Mom/Dad for telling me this. An adult shouldn’t say such mean things to me. I’m just a child.”

Instead of saying, “Something is wrong with Mom/Dad,” the child usually thinks, “Something is wrong with me.” That simply is how a child’s mind works. Children need safety and stability. It is much less chaotic for a child to think something is wrong with himself than to think he cannot rely on the people upon whom he depends for food, shelter, and survival.

Sometimes, a child never hears harsh judgment from a parent or other caregiver, yet self-hatred manages to fester. This happens when, for whatever reason (genetics, environment, plain bad luck, etc.), a child experiences anxiety, perfectionism, or other traits that conjure feelings of self-blame in the face of fear, imperfection, or other perceived flaws.

Trauma, too, can inspire self-hatred. It can feel safer to attack oneself over what happened than to accept that bad things happen randomly in the world—and can happen again, at any time. As a result, many people who have endured sexual assault, combat, or other trauma blame themselves for what they endured, and self-hatred grows.

Self-hatred and shame are related but not synonymous. Shame can be healthy, the mind’s tool for helping people understand when they have done something that must not be repeated. However, the majority of shame that people experience is not a healthy tool for learning right from wrong. Instead, it is a manifestation of self-hatred, a message that when they do things wrong (or, at least, differently than they wish they had) then they are wrong, a judgment of the person and not the act.

Many people who feel shame cannot assign it to any particular action. Shame is a feeling of essential badness that they simply cannot shed. Often, people experiencing unhealthy shame feel that if others saw their real self, then nobody could possibly love them.

It is helpful to understand how your own self-hatred formed. This can help you to develop compassion for yourself. No matter what you did or did not do as a child, no matter what trauma you endured, the hurt part of you deserves love, compassion, and nurturing. No matter what, you possess a fundamental goodness that is not touched by external events, in the same way the clouds can cover the sun but never really touch it.
The Antidote: Self-Compassion

A seminal work on self-hatred and self-compassion is titled, appropriately enough, Compassion and Self Hate (by Theodore Isaac Rubin). More recently, mental health professionals have published quite a few more books on self-compassion, including The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion (by Christopher Germer), Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (by Kristin Neff), and The Power of Self-Compassion (by Mary Wellford).

There are websites devoted to self-compassion. There also is an evidence-based psychotherapy that cultivates self-compassion. Called compassion-focused therapy, it extends cognitive behavioral concepts to foster in clients the ability to soothe, accept, and understand oneself.

The common theme underlying all these works is that self-compassion is the antidote to self-hate. So how do you create more compassion for yourself? Over time, I will write about many different ways to grow the seeds of self-compassion. For now, here are a few tips to get you started:

Talk to yourself the way you talk to someone you care about: In Compassion and Self Hate, Dr. Rubin advises readers to tell themselves, “I treat myself as I treat a child I love.” Cognitive behavioral therapists employ a similar technique, often invoking the question, “What would you say to a good friend who was going through the same thing you are going through?” These are important questions. If you hate yourself, you likely say things to yourself that you would not dare say to another person. What would you say to somebody else who has the exact same traits as you? What could you say to yourself?

Recognize that beliefs do not equal truths: Often, people believe what they tell themselves. If you think you are a loser, you may believe it is absolute truth. Try this cognitive behavioral technique called “the three C’s”: catch, check, change. Catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself. Check whether your distressing thought is true. Change it, if not. You can talk back to your negative thoughts. Challenge them. Serve as a defense attorney to the prosecutor in your head.

Embrace the concept of “good enough”: Many people feel they should be perfect—never angry, always generous, never critical, always right, and so on. These expectations deny that imperfection is the human condition. If you are one of these people with too-high expectations for yourself, ask yourself what is good enough?

Consider turning to spirituality or religion: Many spiritual or religious traditions center on the belief that people are flawed but inherently good, not only lovable but also inherently loved. These beliefs can serve as a huge balm for the hurting soul. The practices of meditation and mindfulness, too, can foster feelings of self-compassion as well as loving kindness toward others.

If you hate yourself for mistakes you made, make amends: You may be reading this and thinking, “This does not apply to me. I did something so awful that I can never be forgiven.” First, as much as you condemn yourself, ask if you would equally condemn—to their face—someone else who did the same thing. If not, then you are being unfair to yourself. Perhaps you really did do something awful. If you cannot make amends to the person or people you harmed, do something good for somebody else. Beating up on yourself serves nobody. Doing good for others or taking part in a larger movement not only helps others, it helps you—and it can lead to self-forgiveness.

My Questions for You

Do you ever hate yourself? If so, what helps you to deal with this brutal judge who lives inside your head? What tips do you have for others in the same situation?

GoodTherapy.org. Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, therapist in Denver, Colorado

Walk the Beat in Woonsocket

I always joke that I would love to be a walking police officer in my city as long as I could bring my dog and not carry a gun.

The Stories People Tell Me

I met a man at the library yesterday and he told me his son was a teacher who worked with troubled kids. There was one kid that did not belong. "'What's up with you?' his son asked the kid
'My mother lied and said I beat her up and I was put in foster care and my dog was given to the shelter. Then she ran off with her boyfriend.' The teacher told the boy, "hang on I will get your dog." He rescued the dog from the Warwick shelter and brought it home. The boy's dog didn't get along with the teachers dog so he asked his father to "watch him until I get this kid out of the system," Then he contacted the boy's dad in Minnesota, and his father came east to get him. Unfortunately they were not able to take the dog back to MN. Meanwhile the father had already fallen in love with the dog and happily had him for 16 years. He passed away 3 weeks ago.


I am new to the planet and I am constantly reminded. I rarely drive if I don't have to but I had to get my mammogram in Providence, 17 miles away. I knew where I was going but I got distracted when I saw the RiteAid where I am supposed to turn left, gone! It looked like a BOMB had hit the shopping mall. I missed the turn and then panicked because I was back on the highway headed in the wrong direction. I screamed and pulled at my short hair. I tried to find the classical station to calm me down. I don't know how to work the radio. I pushed it on and then off. The radio was not off, it was scanning and found a French radio station. That made me happy. I found the next exit and went back. I was even miraculously on time.

Communal versus Tribal

I am communal but not tribal. Tribalism makes me very scared.

William Evans Boston Police Commissioner

I'm listening to William Evans Boston police Commissioner on my radio. He is great. BPDNews.com


U-47700 (Pink)
Medically reviewed on Nov 28, 2016 by L. Anderson, PharmD

Common or street names: Pink, Pinky, U4
What is U-47700 or Pink?

U-47700, also known as “Pink”, "Pinky", or “U4” on the streets, is a synthetic opioid pain medication developed as a dangerous designer drug. Since 2015, reports have surfaced of multiple deaths due to street use of U-47700 or "Pink". Importation into the U.S. is primarily from clandestine chemical labs in China.

U-47700 has been seized by law officials on the street in powder form and as tablets. Typically it appears as a white or light pinkish, chalky powder. It may be sold in glassine bags stamped with logos imitating heroin, in envelopes and inside knotted corners of plastic bags. In Ohio, authorities seized 500 pills resembling a manufacturer’s oxycodone immediate-release tablets, but they were confirmed by chemical analysis to contain “Pink”. U-47700 has also been identified and sold on the Internet misleadingly as a “research chemical” at roughly $30 per gram.

Even small doses can be very toxic or even deadly. Labels on the products may state “not for human consumption” or “for research purposes only”, probably in an effort to avoid legal detection. Fatalities due to U-47700 in the United States join the growing incidence of drug overdose deaths due to prescription opioids and other synthetic designer drugs like “spice” and “bath salts.” The public using these street or Internet products can never know exactly what is in them, how much, or the degree of toxicity with use.
Extent of Pink (U-47700) Use and Health Hazards?

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported at least 46 deaths linked to use of U-47700 that occurred in 2015 and 2016. According to DEA, no other reports of U-47700 use in the U.S. were found prior to 2015.

Populations who abuse U-47700 seem to be similar to those who abuse heroin, prescription pain opioids, designer opioids, and other narcotic-type drugs. Use of this substance may also occur unknown to the user as it may be found in combination with other drugs of abuse bought on the streets, such as heroin or fentanyl. It has also been confiscated as a separate product, as well. Some illicit "Pink" products have been sold to mimic bags of heroin or prescription opioid tablets.

Those who abuse U-47700 may be at risk of addiction and substance abuse disorder, overdose and death, similar to abuse of other narcotic substances. Fatalities have been reported in New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin, North Carolina, with multiple reports from state and local forensics laboratories.

These illicit substances originate from overseas and the identity, purity, and quantity of substances in any one product purchased from the street may be unknown. A user may be told the product contains one substance, while in reality it could contain any dangerous chemical.

In July 2016, a toxicology case report was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that detailed events in which fentanyl and U-47700 were being sold misleadingly as the prescription opioid pain medication Norco (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) on the streets of Northern and Central California. In one patient who presented to the emergency room, naloxone (Narcan) was administered which reversed respiratory depression and pinpoint pupils. After additional chemical analysis, it was found the “Norco” contained hydrocodone, fentanyl, and U-47700.

Reports indicated that Pink and prescription opioid fentanyl may have been contained in the drug “cocktail” that led to the death of pop star legend Prince in April 2016. In Utah, two 13-year old boys died in September 2016 reportedly due to use of U-47700 purchased from the Internet.
What is the Pharmacology of Pink (U-47700)?

U-47700 (“Pink”) is a novel synthetic opioid agonist with selective action at the mu-opioid receptor. The chemical designation is 3,4-dichloro-N-[2-dimethylamino)cyclohenyl]-N-methylbenzamide, and it was originally developed by chemists at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals in the 1970’s as a potent pain reliever for use in surgery, cancer, or painful injuries. Although it was never commercially made available, the patent and chemical details remained available.

U-47700 has a similar chemical profile as morphine and other mu-opioid receptor agonists; however, it has been reported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) that Pink is “far more potent than morphine” -- possibly seven to eight times more potent. However, the strength of the product can never be assured, and may be much stronger, as it is a designer drug made in illegal labs.
What is the Legal Status of Pink (U-47700) in the United States?

On November 14, 2016, the DEA placed U-47700, as well as its related isomers, esters, ethers, and salts into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act due to an imminent hazard to public safety and health. Substances in schedule I have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Temporary emergency scheduling of dangerous illicit drugs is one tool the DEA uses to help restrict potentially fatal and new street drugs. Scheduling will last at least 24 months, with a possible 12-month extension if the DEA needs more time to determine if the chemical should remain permanently in schedule I. According to the Federal Register, there are no current investigational or approved new drug applications for U-47700 which might hinder its placement in Schedule I. DEA’s Final Order is available in the Federal Register with details on threats to public safety.

Prior to DEA’s scheduling, several states had already outlawed the drug under emergency orders, including Florida, Ohio, Wyoming and Georgia.
What Are Pink (U-47700) Effects and Toxicity?

U-47700 or “Pink” is abused for its opioid and narcotic-like effects, and is swallowed, snorted or injected. It is one of many synthetic designer drugs. Effects as reported by users are similar to the effects of opioids, which might include:

Euphoria and other psychoactive effects
Sedation, relaxation, numbness
Potent analgesia
Severe, possibly fatal respiration depression
Pinpoint pupils
Drug tolerance, addiction
Fatal overdose

Do Drug Tests Identify U-47700 Use?

Currently, U-47700 is not included in standard workplace drug screens in the U.S.; however, forensics or medical laboratory testing may identify U-47700 through analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry.
Bottom Line

U-47700, known on the streets as "Pink" or "U4", is a dangerous designer drug exported from illegal labs in China to the U.S. Its effects are of a strong opioid analgesic, and have been reported to be 7 to 8 times more potent than morphine. Authorities in many U.S. cities have reported that Pink is sold on the streets or over the Internet, often promoted as a prescription opioid like Norco, or as heroin. In fact, many of these products have contained the potent designer drug Pink, as well as fentanyl. U-47700 is now illegal in all forms, and the DEA has temporarily placed the substance into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, pending further review, due to an imminent hazard to public safety and health.

Clusters of overdoses and deaths in U.S. cities were reported in 2015 and 2016 with Pink; some in children. According to one case report, the use of naloxone (Narcan) in an emergency setting reversed the effects of U-47700. Emergency physicians should contact their local poison control center, medical toxicologist or public health department in cases where there is a reasonable suspicion of ingestion of designer drugs to help protect the surrounding community. Special lab analysis may be needed to identify drugs like "Pink".

The public should be aware that drugs obtained on the street, even though they look like an authentic prescription medication, may be fake and deadly. Don't take any prescription drug - legal or otherwise - unless it is written for you by a doctor and is dispensed by a reliable pharmacy.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dog Laws Around the World

Weird dog laws on planet earth.

And I thought I had a Blunt Mother


Mike Rubin

Rhiannon Giddens Celebrates ‘Freedom Highway’ in the Big House

By MIKE RUBIN FEB. 26, 2017

Being a Conduit

Something's in the air, besides Juniper pollen. Two people on my walk stopped and told me about grieving the loss of their dogs. I listened. And they cried.

I picked up a copy of A STRONG WEST WIND by Gail Caldwell and I am already hooked. She is my new favorite writer. I couldn't return her other book LET'S TAKE the LONG WAY HOME because I LOVE IT and need to pull quotes from it. I am CLINGY with books that I love. The truth is I always fear that I have found the last good book on earth. I have felt that way for 50 years. My fear is there's a shortage of the books I like; memoirs written by writers who are in love with language. I have read May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude over fifty times. I own three copies of it, scattered around the house for easy reach. It is my bible.
February sun is on my torso and abdomen. I am sharing the sun spot with Sammy and Lily. Classical music on the radio. I have a dear old friend coming over on Wednesday and a new friend coming over on Friday. I must think about how much dust I am willing to share. "Just be yourself! And remember that is enough!"

A friend of mine is selling a cluster of historic buildings and another friend is looking to buy property. I have introduced them. I am excited to see if something happens. I love being a conduit.

Running With Spoons

Amanda's bio

Severe Juniper Allergy


The Gift of Love

Last I had a phone message from Sylvia asking me to call her. She sounded weak and far away. I called her right back. "How are you?"
"Terrible. I'm angry and depressed and don't know why."
"You don't need to know. Come over," I said
"I'm not very good company."
"That's okay, I am not afraid, you can bring Lucy and even if you only stay for ten minutes."
"I'm depressed."
"I know, I understand, I am depressed half the year. I won't be offended."
"Okay, I'll be right there."
She sat on a tall kitchen stool keeping her pink Winter coat on. I made yogi tea and waffles and we told stories. She stayed for a few hours.
"I'll check on you tomorrow," I said walking her to her car.
Bill treats me this well when I'm blue, and this was my chance to share the love.
I crawled into bed and red my book to the end.

Philippines Drug War

photo documentary

John Steinbeck

It's the birthday of novelist John Steinbeck (books by this author) born in Salinas, California (1902). In the 1930s, his most productive decade, he wrote several novels about his native California, including Tortilla Flat (1935), set in Monterey; In Dubious Battle (1936), about fruit-pickers on strike in a California valley; and Of Mice and Men (1937), set on a ranch in Soledad, southeast of Steinbeck's birth town.

Of Mice and Men, the story of farmworker Lenny and his friend George, was a big commercial success, and it was also a highly banned book. In fact, it was among the American Library Association's "most challenged books of the 20th century." In support of the ban, people accused Steinbeck of having an "antibusiness attitude" and said that his "patriotism" was "questionable." One person — in the 1990s — wrote that the book should be banned because Steinbeck took "God's name in vain 15 times" and "[used] Jesus' name lightly."

In the 1940s, Steinbeck worked as a journalist — as a war correspondent. He sent dispatches from all around the Mediterranean and from North Africa during World War II. After the war was over, he started taking trips to the Soviet Union, going to Moscow, Kiev, Stalingrad, and also many out-of-the-way places in the Soviet republic where Western reporters had not traveled. He tried learning Russian but never really attained fluency. He once wrote home about how he proudly tried to order a breakfast of omelet, toast, and coffee, and was served in response a "tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon, and two bottles of cream soda."

In 1940, after the publication of The Grapes of Wrath, he won the Pulitzer Prize. He always professed to be leery and afraid of literary awards and their effect on writers. He said that after Faulkner won the Nobel Prize, hearing him talk so loftily about "writing" and "the Artist" made him (Steinbeck) want to "leave the profession."

And then, in 1962, a decade after East of Eden (1952) and shortly after the publication of Travels with Charley (1962), Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in literature for his "realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception." When a reporter at a press conference asked if he thought he deserved it, he said, "Frankly, no."

But he accepted the prize and gave a lofty acceptance speech, in which he said, "A writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature."

Afterward, he was worried about the prize's effect upon his future writing. He thought about other major prizewinners and confided to a friend: "For one thing I don't remember anyone doing any work getting it save maybe Shaw. This last book of Faulkner's was written long ago. Hemingway went into a kind of hysterical haze. Red Lewis just collapsed into alcoholism and angers. It has in effect amounted to an epitaph. Maybe I'm being over-optimistic but I wouldn't have accepted it if I hadn't thought I could beat the rap."

As it happens, he was doomed just as he feared — he died six years later, not having published a single novel since winning the prize. The Grapes of Wrath is generally considered his masterpiece. In it, he wrote: "The cars of the migrant people crawled out of the side roads onto the great cross-country highway, and they took the migrant way to the West. ... And because they were lonely and perplexed, because they had all come from a place of sadness and worry and defeat, and because they were all going to a mysterious new place ... a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream."

John Steinbeck said: "The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true."


I have always felt like an outsider visiting this planet.I am endlessly puzzled. My husband translates, "You're from Saturn, this is how Earthlings behave."

Last night I finished the book, Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell. I LOVED IT SOOOOO MUCH! I am grieving that the book is over. Luckily she has written more books and one of them is awaiting me at the library.

I washed and tried on the thin short periwinkle bathrobe I found on my walk on Saturday. It's just what I've wanted for wearing at the pool. I walked by it and then heard my friend Peter M's voice in my head,"The best clothes find you," I turned around and picked it up and stuffed it into a plastic bag.
After it dried on the clothesline I noticed it was monogrammed with initials RLL.

This morning the clothesline exhibit is particularly colorful with magenta kids clothes. I have always LOVED clotheslines.

When I was a child my mother refused to acknowledge our next door neighbors because "They hang out their laundry". After she left the ghetto she didn't want to see any signs of it in the affluent suburbs.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

T-care vs. Obamacare Americans don’t want to lose the benefits they have gained, and Republicans are hearing about it. By Atul Gawande


Sara Beltran-Hernandez

Federal agents move woman awaiting emergency surgery at Texas hospital to detention site
Barbara Demick Los Angeles Times

A critically ill woman from El Salvador who was awaiting emergency surgery for a brain tumor was forcibly moved from a Texas hospital to a detention center by federal agents, raising concerns about President Trump’s directive to more aggressively pursue people living in the country illegally.

Sara Beltran-Hernandez, 26, a mother of two young children, was bound by her hands and feet and removed by wheelchair from Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth late Wednesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who brought her to a detention facility in Alvarado, Texas.

“It is heartbreaking and inhumane,’’ said Chris Hamilton, a Texas lawyer who tried to visit the woman Wednesday night at the detention center, where he was threatened with arrest for trespassing.

“This is unacceptable under our Constitution, and unacceptable from a standpoint of basic human rights,” Hamilton said. “This woman is critically ill and in severe pain.”

ioan grillo


Comedy or Die

Give money to the comedians!

Roosevelt Rocked!

Study history.

Okra Chinese and Southern and Cajun Style with Rice

Pussy Hat RUNWAY Fashion Milan


Proclaiming Humanities Goodness


Teen Challenge Needs

I was at the store yesterday and a lady in the parking lot handed me a piece of paper. On it was printed Teen challenge needs. Under that phrase was the word coffee, copy paper, granola bars, tissues, bottled water, air freshener. The two women were asking for these items for the battered teen girls homeless shelter.

Mac and Sal

Eat with baby spinach salad

8 ounces uncooked wholegrain elbow macaroni
2 cups extra sharp Cheddar cheese grated by hand (allergic to preservative in pre-grated cheese)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups 2 percent milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter or SMART margarine

2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 pinch paprika
Add all ingredients to list

Cook small macaroni in Pressure cooker, according to HALF the TIME on the package directions (3-4 minutes). Drain.
In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni in large buttered casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.
Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. Sprinkle with a little paprika.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Serve.

Baking Rice

I love to bake a pot of BROWN rice in my iron pot while I am at my desk. Since I am ALWAYS hungry in transmit. I like to make sure there will be some good food awaiting me.

The Exhibit

Every morning I see a new exhibit of colors and shapes hanging on the clothesline of the tenement across the street.

Defensive Maneuvers

You can't get past the lobby with many people. They have armed guards protecting their view of the world.

Trigger Happy Transmit Mode

When I am in transmit-mode everything is a trigger for a memory or a vignette.

Gallows Humor

I was six years old when my mother gave me HOW BABIES ARE MADE and tried to explain sex to me. This was before she took me to a psychologist for ADULTS at age seven and then sent me to a nude co-ed summer camp at age 15. In between she had me in the ADULT WARD for three unnecessary surgeries over Christmas and during Summer vacation. I can laugh about it now, I have developed gallows humor.

Pink Shorts

Winter is back but I am wearing my summer shocking pink denim shorts because I want to go running with my dog. They are 80's-style long shorts, I wear over black tights. My neighbor Lil the clothes hound gave them to me in 1995 along with 500 other pieces of clothing which my husband and I still have. We use an indoor and an outdoor clothesline so our clothes last forever.

Hive Mentality

Facebook is HIVE mentality. For introverts it's the strangest thing. I have the sensation that I am opening a door in my dollhouse and everyone I know is inside having a party.

Hilton Als

Hilton Als became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1994 and a theatre critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for The Talk of the Town.

Before coming to The New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe. Als edited the catalogue for the 1994-95 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art.” His first book, “The Women,” was published in 1996. His most recent book, “White Girls,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2014, discusses various narratives of race and gender. In 2016, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism.

In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for creative writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03.

In 2009, Als worked with the performer Justin Bond on “Cold Water,” an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and videos by performers, at La MaMa Gallery. In 2010, he co-curated “Self-Consciousness,” at the VeneKlasen/Werner gallery, in Berlin, and published “Justin Bond/Jackie Curtis.” In 2015, he collaborated with the artist Celia Paul to create “Desdemona for Celia by Hilton,” an exhibition for the Metropolitan Opera’s Gallery Met.

Als is an associate professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.

Small Doses

“I can handle reality in small doses, but as a lifestyle, it's much too confining.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Growing up in Michigan was fine...until I realized where I was.”
― Lily Tomlin

“We’re all in this together alone.”
― Lily Tomlin

“I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Reality is the leading cause of stress.”
― Lily Tomlin

“All my life I always wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.”
― Lily Tomlin

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. ~Lily Tomlin as "Edith Ann”
― Lily Tomlin

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”
― Lily Tomlin

“So if you've had a good time tonight, or if you've had a good time any night, for gosh sake's why not drop a dollar in the mail to me?”
― Lily Tomlin

“Even when you win the rat race , you're still a rat .”
― Lily Tomlin

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”
― Lily Tomlin

“I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. And then I realized I was somebody.”
― Lily Tomlin

“We're all in this together – by ourselves.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.”
― Lily Tomlin

“For fast-acting relief from stress, try slowing down.”
― Lily Tomlin

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework”
― Lily Tomlin

“The best mind-altering drug is the truth.”
― Lily Tomlin

“The best mind altering drug is the truth.”

“The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.”
― Lily Tomlin

“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.”
― Lily Tomlin

“We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.”
― Lily Tomlin

“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”
― Lily Tomlin

“The road to success is always under construction”
― Lily Tomlin

“Why is it that when we talk to God we’re said to be praying, but when God talks to us we’re schizophrenic?”
― Lily Tomlin

“Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.”
― Lily Tomlin

“If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?”
― Lily Tomlin, Many Moons

“No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.”
― Lily Tomlin

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them. ”
― Lily Tomlin

“The best mind altering drug is the truth.”
― Lily Tomlin

“If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?”
― Lily Tomlin

“I always wanted to be something, but now I see I should have been more specific.”
― Lily Tomlin

“We're all in this alone.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Don't be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.”
― Lily Tomlin

“After all, in private, we're all misfits”
― Lily Tomlin

“Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Exercise is for people who can't handle drugs or alcohol.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Does your mind feel more and more like teflon? Nothing sticks to it?”
― Lily Tomlin

“Lady, I do not make up things. That is lies. Lies are not true. But the truth could be made up if yo know how. And that's the truth.”
― Lily Tomlin

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”
― Lily Tomlin

“If you read a lot of books, you're considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you're not considered well-viewed!”
― Lily Tomlin

“Instead of working for the survival of the fittest, we should be working for the survival of the wittiest - then we can all die laughing.”
― Lily Tomlin

“Sometimes i worry about being a success in a mediocre world.”
― Lily Tomlin, Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female

“Just remember, we're all in this alone.”
― Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin


No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.

Lighting the Lots

We have been on a campaign to light the lots. Landlords never want to spend a cent but we have strong-armed them into protecting their property. We've had a few vehicles torched back here not to mention the crack house, the chop shop and the pit bull factory. Luckily things have improved with the new landlord. Now we just have a basketball hoop where kids play.

Speak Up! Tell Your Story!

Story is everything.

This is All We Need

Last night I walked in the rain. I was angry and I needed to run my stallion-self and Lily-dog. My energy was out of bounds and turned to rage,as it does if I don't expend it.

Most houses I passed were illuminated by flickering televisions, shades open, front lights off.

I have walked here for 22 years. These are my neighbors. I feel safe in the dark. These folks are the trees in my forest. I know that if I needed help I could knock on any door and they would know who I am.

This is all we need in this world.

Pope Frances

“I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on ‘bad news,’ ” the pope said in a Jan. 24 message. “This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil.”

Nevertheless, the pope warned against a media industry that believes good news won’t sell and uses human tragedy and evil as mere entertainment. Back in December the Pope was even more blunt when he said those who focus on muckraking or who spread fake news risked becoming like those who have a fascination with excrement!

I’m with the pope on this issue. News outlets busy themselves in a ring-around-the-rosy with the outrage du jour, while neglecting positive and constructive news.

Marilyn Nelson Krista Tippett

"Give me a message I can give the world!"

Fats Domino

It’s the birthday of Fats Domino (1928), the American R&B singer and pianist whose mellow baritone helped him sell millions of records in the 1950s. Only Elvis Presley sold more. Domino is best known for his hits “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blueberry Hill,” with its famously exuberant opening line, “I found my thrill / on Blueberry Hill.”


It's windy. We are back to winter. My beach umbrella is open, stuck in the picnic table. School resumes tomorrow.

Poem Hunter or Diamonds in Dialect

I walk downtown every day to listen. In Woonsocket poems fall out of peoples mouths, they are the rocks that get pushed out of the soil, I go out there to catch them.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sam Shepard

Book review

Saturday Night WICN

Macaroni and cheese and fresh spinach. We're listening to Norm Rosen's SATURDAY NITE FISH FRY on WICN FM radio. I had a 4 mile walk in the dark mist with Lily in my thrift store Beatle boots!

Mother in Denver Fears Deportation

She was due for a regular check-in at the local office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday, and as the day crept closer, Ms. Vizguerra realized the possibility that she could be whisked onto a plane and separated from her three American-born children: Zury, 6, Roberto, 10, and Luna, 12.

Dog Droppings on the BBC

Making a killing off of dog shit. BBC article

There are people making millions from your pet’s poo

By Eric Barton

23 June 2016

Every time Kathleen Corridon’s kids blew out a birthday candle, it was the same wish.

Costs of the tests are passed along, Retinger explained, in the form of fines to the 'poo-pertrators'

“All they ever wanted was a puppy,” said Corridon, a 60-year-old retired bookkeeper. “The problem is that my husband spent 40 years as a mailman (postman). He had been chased countless times and bitten a couple times. He had no love for dogs, you can be sure of that.”

The Corridon family from Port Monmouth, New Jersey, finally gave in when their children reached 10 and 12. But in exchange for the pup, Corridon said she made her kids promise to pick up anything the dog left behind in the garden.

Picking up the poo isn’t an extra, it really has to be done.

That deal lasted a month. So Corridon repurposed the children’s weekly allowance, or pocket money, and hired a company called When Doody Calls, for $9 a week. “Picking up the poo isn’t an extra, it really has to be done,” Corridon said.

(Credit: Alamy)

New industries are emerging in the unlikeliest place. (Credit: Alamy)

Founded in 2001 covering northern New Jersey, When Doody Calls (which reported revenue of $4.5m in 2011) now has 450 clients, said owner, Mary Ellen Levy. It’s part of a growing industry. Nobody tracks just how much the industry is worth globally, but Levy serves on the board of the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists, which now has 90 member companies picking up pet waste across North America.

And it’s far from the only poo-related company. If there’s one thing that’s clear about this dirty business, it’s that it’s making a serious profit. It’s an industry that has seen dramatic growth in the past decade, from pet poop pick-up to turning human waste into medicine and energy.

Barking mad

It wasn’t science that got Meg Retinger into the business of poo but a misplaced shoe.

(Credit: Alamy)

If there’s one thing that’s clear about this dirty business, it’s that it’s making a serious profit. (Credit: Alamy)

Back in 2008, one of her company’s scientists came to work complaining that he had stepped in dog poo before work that morning. At the time, BioPet Vet Lab Inc in Knoxville, Tennessee, sold DNA testing kits that detect the breeds of a mutt.

We like to say that we’re No. 1 in the No. 2 business

But then the company had a ground-breaking idea. In 2010 the firm started selling kits that could test the DNA of dog droppings. PooPrints is now in all 50 states in the US, Canada, and expanding internationally. The system is marketed mostly to owners and managers of apartment buildings, which require owners to register the DNA of their pets before they sign the lease. Any misplaced surprise is then tested, and the owner is sent a fine.

The tests, called PooPrints, are now the company’s primary business. Nearly 3,000 apartments, mostly in North America, have signed up for the service, which costs $50 for the initial DNA test and $75 per sample. Costs of the tests are passed along, Retinger explained, in the form of fines to the “poo-petrators.”

According to Debbie Violette, the property manager at Timberwood Commons, a 252-apartment complex, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, that has been using PooPrints since 2011, about three quarters of the tests come back conclusive, while the other quarter was likely left behind by a neighbourhood dog.

(Credit: Alamy)

Are you a “poo-petrator”? (Credit: Alamy)

Dog-owners at Timberwood are given a $50 fine the first time, $100 for the second, and $200 for the third. After that, the complex will ask the offending mutt and owner to move out — something Violette has had to do only once.

The Greater London borough of Barking and Dagenham — no joke — has begun a pilot program with the PooPrints service.

“After three strikes, it’s like, it’s not working, and we really don’t want you to stay if you can’t pick up after your dog,” Violette said. “Most people get it, but there is usually one or two people who just can’t seem to figure out we mean business.”

The Greater London borough of Barking and Dagenham — no joke — has begun a pilot program with the PooPrints service. Retinger said the trial has gone so well that local authorities plan to make it permanent.

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Nearly 3,000 apartments, mostly in North America, have signed up to the Poo Prints service, which runs DNA tests of dog droppings. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“We like to say that we’re No. 1 in the No. 2 business,” Retinger said. And if there’s one truth about the business of dog poo, she said, is that it’s always picking up.

Reducing the carbon footprint

Forget solar, human waste also has the potential to become an efficient renewable energy source. Bus operator, First West of England, began running a 40-seat Bio-Bus that runs on biomethane gas generated from sewage and food waste. Now, First West has proposed adding another 110 waste-powered double-deckers. The “poo bus”, which is fuelled by the Bristol sewage treatment works, has become so popular that rival Wessex Bus has also applied for a government grant to run 20 bio-buses by 2019.

According to First West, a single passenger's annual food and sewage waste would fuel the Bio-Bus for 37 miles (60km). Its green credentials are good too: the Bio-Bus emits 30% less carbon dioxide than conventional diesel vehicles.

Medical breakthroughs. Yes really.

Poo also has a growing value for doctors. Increasingly, human faeces is being turned into medicine, injected or ingested by patients fighting infections.

The idea that human faeces could be used in this way was little known in 2005 when Catherine Duff, now 60 and living in Indiana, developed an infection after taking an antibiotic. The infection led to nausea, diarrhoea and other health problems so severe she couldn’t leave the house. Seven years after her problems began, her doctor recommended removing her colon. But even with surgery, the doctor told her that her chances of survival were slim.

Instead of a colon transplant, Duff decided to try something different altogether : a faecal microbiota transplant, after which her health improved almost immediately. Donated poo meant she could lead a normal life again.

A lot of people tend to think it’s really gross, but when you explain it, they’re often really fascinated.

To help those suffering with similar stomach problems, Duff created the nonprofit Fecal Transplant Foundation. Since Duff’s life-changing procedure four years ago, an entire industry has sprung up around faecal transplants. Companies are now selling kits and Duff said big pharmaceuticals companies have begun testing their own versions.

One of these is OpenBiome. The nonprofit has shipped more than 12,000 stool samples to doctors and clinics performing transplants, at a cost of $385 to $535 each. They’re collected from 32 donors who are paid $40 for daily donations that must be delivered within 45 minutes of passage.

It’s serious work benefitting the medical community, and it’s often met with lots of snickers, said Sasha Liberman, with the stool bank. “You get a really long line of responses when you tell people what you do,” she said. “A lot of people tend to think it’s really gross, but when you explain it, they’re often really fascinated.”

Led by Pastor Gene Giguere

Harvest Community Church undergoes remodeling thanks to generous donor

By RUSS OLIVO rolivo@woonsocketcall.com 18 hrs ago 0

WOONSOCKET – The folks who run Harvest Community Church are what you might call givers.

They give homeless men a mat and a warm place to sleep when it’s cold outside.

The give spiritual guidance to at-risk kids who live in the projects.

And once a year they give the whole city a chance to enjoy Christian music and art at the annual Sunsplash festival.

“We’ve always been the kind of church that invests in the community,” says Associate Pastor Steve Bacon. “We’ve been doing that for 15 years.”

Located in a refurbished, red-brick furniture warehouse on North Main Street, the evangelical Christian flock has generally forsaken its own needs to focus on those of others, but that is about to change.

Thanks to an anonymous donation, Harvest Community Church will invest the lion’s share – about $30,000 – into remodeling the hall where church members worship

To accommodate the growing flock, the hall has been enlarged and will be reconfigured with a new pulpit overlooking a half-round amphitheater. There will be room enough to seat about 135 worshippers in the hall, which has gained about 200 square feet after contractors blew out one of the existing walls.

Smelling of freshly cut wood and chalky drywall, the project is currently a work in progress, with power tools, lumber and staging scattered around the church’s traditional worship area like so many children’s toys. But Bacon says it’s just a matter of weeks before the new hall is finished.

Ultimately, the goal is to provide worshippers with a quiet space that allows them to put some distance between themselves and the hubbub of everyday life, a place for reflection and prayer.

“It should sanctified, a place that’s conducive to worship,” said Bacon.

Led by Pastor Gene Giguere, a Blackstone native, the church has hired Steve Brassard as a general contractor for the project, but Bacon is sharing much of the labor. Some of the overnight guests from the church’s well-known Sanctuary Ministry – aka the overnight shelter for men – are also providing some of the elbow grease.

Established 17 years ago, Harvest Community Church is perhaps best known for the Sanctuary Ministry, which operates the only overnight shelter for single men in northern Rhode Island. Open from Nov. 1 to roughly mid-April every year, the church currently provides shelter to about 30 homeless men.

The shelter provides guests with a mat to sleep on, a portable compartment in which to store their belongings, facilities for laundering their clothes and for taking a shower. It’s strictly an overnight facility, however – guests have to check out in the morning and return before they lock up the doors in the early evening.

The word on the street is that the place is a regular Hilton compared to some of the other homeless shelters for men elsewhere in the state – which are few and far between.

“There’s no stealing, there’s no fighting,” says a guy named Joe who’s helping out with the remodeling project. “It’s really mellow.”

Bacon says the need for homeless beds is as acute as ever.

“We get at least two or three calls a week,” he says. “I had a waiting list two pages long.”

As an evangelical Christian community, Bacon says, the church’s guiding principal is missionary in nature, which means it’s dedicated to spreading the word of God to places where it might not be quite so audible. Though the church seldom seeks publicity for doing so, Giguere leads a missionary delegation from the church to Haiti twice a year.

But the church’s primary focus is overwhelmingly closer to home – reaching out through the Sanctuary Ministry and other community based programs. Among other things, the church runs the “J-Rock” at Morin Heights Family Housing Development, a faith-based outreach program for pre-teens who live in the subsidized housing project.

Every September, the church sponsors “Sunsplash” at River Island Park, a Christian arts and music festival that is open to the public.

Though its roots are firmly planted at 60 North Main St. – a mill-era brick warehouse – the church grew from humble beginnings in the late 1990s – before it even had a place to call home.

At the time, Giguere was the associate pastor of an evangelical church in the Fall River area. A small group of followers used to hold a regular “praise night” in the basement of Precious Blood Parish.

As the weekly gathering gained more and more followers, Giguere decided to launch his own church in the city – setting up shop in a shack-like building on Arnold Street that had previously operated as a nightclub.

When the growing congregation had the opportunity to relocate two years later, they took it, purchasing the former Parenteau Furniture Store – its current location. The store had operated in the city for many years, but like so many other furniture stores in the city, it couldn’t compete with the big box vendors and decided to close its doors.

As he stood amid the lumber and power tools in the church hall, Bacon seemed to sense how odd it was to be there, for the Parenteau Furniture Store was an institution he knew quite well.

“I bought a refrigerator in this place,” he said. “When I first moved out of my parents’ house. I was probably 18 or 19 year old.”

Follow Russ Olivo on Twitter @russolivo

Drones or Doorstep Dairy Band?

UPS is using drones! Will they deliver eggs bread and milk like MUNROE DAIRY? We're going to ask the Doorstep Dairy if they need a dairy band too.

India to Fine Airlines for Dropping SHIT


Sew More Vests!

Sew more vests and long shirts...

Agent Orange is Destorying America

The orange man is ruining America. I have never wished ill on a President as I do with agent orange. The problem is I loathe his whole cabinet. Maybe they could fly off to a distant planet and never return. That is my wish.

Renoir on Brighton Beach

My grandmother Sophie has two Renoir reproductions printed on embossed with brush strokes cardboard in her den on Brighton Beach. I was always fascinated with this as a child. This was the room I had to nap in when I visited my grandparents. Since then I have always HATED Renoir paintings. In college there was a class trip to the Renoir Show. I backed out at the last minute. "You hate renoir, why go?" I told myself.
Today is the birthday of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), born in Limoges, France, and one of the leading figures of the artistic movement known as Impressionism. The convention of the time was to paint only inside a studio, even if you were painting landscapes. But Renoir and his contemporaries moved outside, to take advantage of the natural light, and painted “en plein air,” or “in the open air.” About painting en plein air, Renoir sighed: “Out-of-doors there is a greater variety of light than in the studio, where the light is always the same. But that is just the trouble; one is carried away by the light, and besides, one can’t see what one is doing.”

Two of Renoir’s most famous paintings are Bal du Moulin de la Galette (1876), in which a crowd of people enjoy the festive dance garden in Butte Montmarte in Paris, and Girl With a Watering Can (1876), in which a tiny girl in a pretty blue dress holds her watering can. Renoir once said, “Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art.”

One of Renoir’s most famous paintings, which many consider his masterpiece, is Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880–1881), in which a group of spectacularly beautiful people lounge around with drinks and food. The woman at the left, holding a dog, would later become Renoir’s wife. (The dog was an Affenpinscher.) One critic called the painting “fresh and free without being too bawdy.” Most of the people in the painting are Renoir’s friends. He liked to populate his work with people he knew.

Later, he developed rheumatoid arthritis and suffered progressive deformities in his hands and shoulders and had to figure out a new way to paint. Sometimes he had an assistant bandage a brush to his hand. Sometimes he preferred sculpture. At the end of his life, he could no longer work, but still asked to be wheeled into his studio, where he would slowly wash his brushes and arrange his paints.

Woonsocket Pet de Soeurs Writer's Conference

Woonsocket needs a Pet de Soeurs Writer's Conference.
It’s the birthday of publisher John C. Farrar, born in Burlington, Vermont (1896). He got into publishing in 1927 as an editor at Doubleday. Later he founded the firm of Farrar and Rinehart, which later became Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. He also founded the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Pet de Soeurs, which literally mean "sister's, or nun's, farts," are cinnamon roll-resembling pastries that were originally created in French Canada. It's basically just flaky pie crust rolled up with a gooey paste of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.Nov 30, 2009
Pet de Soeur Pastries, AKA Nun's Farts | Serious Eats

Nuclear Borders


Nuclear waste community

Vitamin D

"My doctor said me and my sister both need more vitamin D."
"Yeah you get it from walking outside with your dog."
"My sister has 2 dogs."
"What kind?"
"I dunno."
"Big or small?"
"Small. The kind that's small and won't grow any bigger. And one of them has one less leg."

Allergic to Uppermiddle Class

As a runaway from the affluent suburbs I built my life from SCRATCH starting at age 15. Now whenever I encounter an upper middle class person I have a bit of an allergic reaction. I notice the places where I have strayed from their values. I notice the questions I have asked myself about money, safety, and security. In short, I have chosen a completely different life and I wouldn't trade it for all of the things they have chosen. What this means is I am allergic to everyone I grew up with and my siblings and cousins and on and on. But this has always been true, that's part of why I had to run away. The system that ABUSED and USED me is not my system for living. NO WAY NEVER AGAIN.

Anger Management on Saturn or the F Word

As a person with a tough of the bipolar, CYCLOTHYMIA, manic depressive "lite" a friend asked me if I had untamed sexual desire? No, I said, I bake biscotti and vacuum and dust when I am HAPPY. And how about fits of anger. Do I have rage? YES. I know not to drive a car when angry. I used to go to my studio and scream long tones. The neighbors though I was being murdered. Then I got a baritone sax. My lungs got strong from swimming and running and I could channel my rage into music. I formed a small MARCHING BAND. This is our 14th year!

So now when RAGE STRIKES ME I take a hot and cold shower to cool off my nerves then I run five miles, and swim a mile and a half as fast as I can. That usually does it. Repeat daily. LOL

Last night I had a fit because one of my numerous UNRELIABLE ARTIST friends promised to visit and broke the date postponing, promising three times. Then went AWOL. These are the people I grew up with and have as family members. My husband says "you shouldn't believe people." I say, really? I am authentic and I expect others to be. "I shouldn't have them as friends," I say.

Let them go. You deserve reliable people in your life. This is true! Goodbye UNRELIABLES!

I know how to have fun.

It feels like April vacation. Spring Cleaning! This would mean Passover is right around the corner. But it is not. I love matzoh balls and I have never made them.

Tuesday is Mardi Gras and Wednesday is the beginning of Lent.

I am in transmit-mode so I am cleaning and baking and feeding and running too fast. I am impatient happy and short tempered all at once. Don't cross me! I spent part of my week at the doctors office and in the dentists chair. But I am still alive and cheerful.

I have waffles in my freezer and my dog is awaiting a run.

I am enthusiastic about baking lemon biscotti and do more vacuuming under the couch. Vacuuming is a delicious pleasure when the MOOD strikes. I washed my dog and swept the front porch. It needs another coat of gray paint but it looks happy cleared of sand.

Today I will resume washing the chairs and bench with Murphy's Oil Soap. I rescued them from the trash on Champlain Ave. They still smell like cigarettes and stale air. I have a dog nose. The WPD should hire me to be their sniffer dog. My payment would be a day-glow zipper sweatshirt, sneakers, and smoked-turkey sandwiches. Such a deal!

I am dancing around in my tights to the bubble gum radio.
I know how to have fun.

Gail Caldwell Books

I am so in love with this book The Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell. I want to write her a fan letter. I am thrilled that she has another memoir. These are must own books, which means I will reread them a gain and again. Good writing is good music. LOVE IT!

Fog and Running

I love fog! We slept with windows open and fan blowing in the fresh air. What a luxury. I wore out my sneakers again. I put 500 miles on them. Lily is a trooper. She is going to be ten and she is always up for a run walk 4-5 miles a day is her fitness requirement. Me too!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Facts Don't Change Minds


Walking to the Pond

We walked to the pond and pushed ice away so Lily could get a drink. It was 75 degrees hot and sunny.

When Children Raise Children

When children raise children the cycle of emotional bankruptcy continues.


There's Fun and Fitness in the Pool for Asthmatic Kids

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Safe, healthy fun for kids with asthma may be as near as the neighborhood pool, one respiratory specialist says.

Staying active can be a challenge for the more than 6 million children with asthma in the United States, noted Dr. Tod Olin. He's a pediatric pulmonary specialist at National Jewish Health in Denver.

"It can be a dilemma for many families. All it takes is one asthma attack, and suddenly patients can become very tentative about overdoing it," he said in a hospital news release.

"When it comes to cardio activities that are well-tolerated, swimming, specifically, is highly recommended, particularly in indoor swimming pools," Olin said.

The high humidity in indoor swimming pools protects against asthma attacks by keeping airways open, he said.

"We think that the way asthma attacks happen is that the airways dry out, and that sets off a cascade of reactions that ultimately squeezes down the airway," Olin explained. "If we can prevent that initial airway-drying step by staying in a humid environment, we prevent the asthma attack all together."

Children with asthma have often been told to limit exercise, he noted. "More recently, we've changed our approach," he said. "We now encourage kids to exercise, especially as the obesity epidemic has become more and more problematic."

Starting with swimming and letting kids with asthma choose the sports they enjoy make it more likely they will stay active, he said.

"I generally recommend that they use their albuterol inhaler about 15 minutes before exercise, but if their asthma is well-controlled, there is no reason to limit any activity," Olin said. "If their heart is taking them toward a certain sport, they should be encouraged to pursue that."

More information

The American Lung Association has more on asthma in children.

SOURCE: National Jewish Health, news release, Feb. 8, 2017

Swimming in the Pond in February

Edgewater drive Blackstone MA.75 degrees. Feels like 77 due to the snow.


Placing U.S. national security in the hands of people who think America’s diversity is a “weakness” is dangerous.

Caitlyn Jenner

I have a message for the trans kids of America. You are winning. I know it doesn’t feel that way today or every day, but you _ are _ winning. You are going to keep on winning so much you’re going to get sick of winning. Very soon, we'll win full freedom nationwide, and it’s going to happen with bipartisan support. For all our friends out there, If you want to be part of this winning side, you can help by checking out the National Center for Trans Equality and letting Washington hear how you feel loud and clear. (Link in bio!) Now…I also have a message for the bullies. You suck. You’re losers and you’re going to keep on losing. Because you’re weak, you pick on kids or you pick on women or anyone you think is vulnerable. Apparently even becoming the Attorney General isn’t enough to cure some of you of your insecurity. As proof that you can’t stop our progress, the Supreme Court will soon hear an important Title Nine case thanks to the courage of a brave young man named Gavin Grimm. See you in court!

Artist Gives Lumberjack a Nose Job

Beauchemin Lumber Company has repainted their lumberjack, the wooden larger than life-sized man holding an axe while protruding from the building. "Nice job, on the lumberjack I said to the guy driving a forklift of lumber.
We had him repainted.
Looks good. The funny thing is his nostrils are huge!
Yeah I know.
He looks like a pig, I said. If you set up the lift I'd be happy to bring my paints up there and fix his nose.

When Hate Haunts a Graveyard by Ariana Tobin



The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist
Death and Tax Cuts

Paul Krugman FEB. 24, 2017

Constituents listening to Senator Bill Cassidy on Tuesday at a town hall meeting in Denham Springs, La. Credit Emily Kask for The New York Times

Across the country, Republicans have been facing crowds demanding to know how they will protect the 20 million Americans who gained health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and will lose it if the act is repealed. And after all that inveighing against the evils of Obamacare, it turns out that they’ve got nothing.

Instead, they’re talking about freedom — which these days is the real refuge of scoundrels.

Actually, many prominent Republicans haven’t even gotten to the point of trying to respond to criticism; they’re just whining about how mean their constituents are being, and invoking conspiracy theories. Talk about snowflakes who can dish it out but can’t take it!

Thus, Representative Jason Chaffetz insisted that the public outcry is just “a paid attempt to bully and intimidate”; Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, calls all anti-Trump demonstrations a “very paid, AstroTurf-type movement.” And the tweeter in chief angrily declared that protests have been “planned out by liberal activists” — because what could be worse than political action by the politically active?

SPICER: Protesting has become a profession now. This has become a very paid AstroTurf-type movement pic.twitter.com/Spa2qh3FFe
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) Feb. 6, 2017

The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Feb. 21, 2017

But perhaps the saddest spectacle is that of Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, whom the media have for years portrayed as a serious, honest conservative, a deep thinker about how to reform America’s safety net. That reputation was never justified; still, even those of us who long ago recognized him as a flimflammer have been struck by his utter failure to rise to this occasion.

After years to prepare, Mr. Ryan finally unveiled what was supposedly the outline of a health care plan. It was basically a sick joke: flat tax credits, unrelated to income, that could be applied to the purchase of insurance.

These credits would be obviously inadequate for the lower- and even middle-income families that gained coverage under Obamacare, so it would cause a huge surge in the number of uninsured. Meanwhile, the affluent would receive a nice windfall. Funny how that seems to happen in every plan Mr. Ryan proposes.
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That was last week. This week, perhaps realizing how flat his effort fell, he began tweeting about freedom, which he defined as “the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need.” Give me consumer sovereignty or give me death! And Obamacare, he declared, is bad because it deprives Americans of that freedom by doing things like establishing minimum standards for insurance policies.

Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need. Obamacare is Washington telling you what to buy regardless of your needs.
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) Feb. 21, 2017

I very much doubt that this is going to fly, now that ordinary Americans are starting to realize just how devastating loss of coverage would be. But for the record, let me remind everyone what we’ve been saying for years: Any plan that makes essential care available to everyone has to involve some restriction of choice.

Suppose you want to make insurance available to people with pre-existing conditions. You can’t just forbid insurance companies to discriminate based on medical history; if you do that, healthy people won’t sign up until they get sick. So you have to mandate the purchase of insurance; and you have to provide subsidies to lower-income families so that they can afford the policies. The end result of this logic is … Obamacare.

And one more thing: Insurance policies must meet a minimum standard. Otherwise, healthy people will buy cheap policies with paper-thin coverage and huge deductibles, which is basically the same as not buying insurance at all.

So yes, Obamacare somewhat restricts choice — not because meddling bureaucrats want to run your life, but because some restrictions are necessary as part of a package that in many ways sets Americans free.

For health reform has been a hugely liberating experience for millions. It means that workers don’t have to fear that quitting a job with a large company will mean loss of health coverage, and that entrepreneurs don’t have to fear striking out on their own. It means that those 20 million people who gained coverage don’t have to fear financial ruin if they get sick — or unnecessary death if they can’t afford treatment. For there is no real question that Obamacare is saving tens of thousands of lives every year.

So why do Republicans hate Obamacare so much? It’s not because they have better ideas; as we’ve seen over the past few weeks, they’re coming up empty-handed on the “replace” part of “repeal and replace.” It’s not, I’m sorry to say, because they are deeply committed to Americans’ right to buy the insurance policy of their choice.

No, mainly they hate Obamacare for two reasons: It demonstrates that the government can make people’s lives better, and it’s paid for in large part with taxes on the wealthy. Their overriding goal is to make those taxes go away. And if getting those taxes cut means that quite a few people end up dying, remember: freedom!

Self Competition

Fostering self-competition is not the only way to make women as competitive as men.

I Can't Believe He's Still President!

Breaking Promises: Narcissism 101


Billionaires often feel isolated, Mr. Klontz said, and find it difficult to trust people or have authentic relationships that are not about money.

“Although they know money is not the key to happiness, they can’t stop counting it,” Mr. Klontz said. It’s especially challenging for those who are self-made, as opposed to those who inherit a fortune. For self-made billionaires, he said, “Their entire self-image and all their self-esteem is wrapped up in the pursuit of money.”

Billionaires often feel isolated, Mr. Klontz said, and find it difficult to trust people or have authentic relationships that are not about money. On top of that, they have a hard time finding a sympathetic ear. “There is a sense they can’t really tell anyone what they are dealing with, because no one wants to hear about their struggles,” he said. “As a society, we don’t have the head space to entertain the notion of a billionaire having a bad day.”

Becoming a counselor for the ultrarich was a long journey for Mr. Klontz, who grew up outside Detroit. His parents divorced when he was 2, and his mother, a part-time kindergarten teacher pregnant with his sister at the time, was granted full custody. Although she remarried a few years later to a high school teacher, their economic situation barely improved. Mr. Klontz said they went from being under “tremendous financial strain” to straddling the lower- to middle-class line during the rest of his childhood.

Despite earning a doctorate in psychology, he remained financially strapped, graduating with $100,000 in accumulated student loan debt and a lot of anxiety about it.

But it was 1999, and many of his friends were making lots of money trading stocks. “I thought: This is what rich people do, so I’ll do this, too,” he said. Mr. Klontz sold his truck for about $7,000, bought a $450 car and threw everything that was left into tech stocks. “In three months the bubble burst and I lost everything I invested.”

Rather than blame the market, Mr. Klontz decided to figure out what had caused his behavior. “I went home and interviewed several of my family members about their relationship with money,” he said. “I found stories that blew my mind. But the one that is most salient, is that my grandfather lost all the family’s money in the Great Depression and after that, never put a dollar in a bank again, not for the rest of his life. He died in his 90s, living in a trailer park.”

Mr. Klontz became interested in learning more about his family’s enormous anxiety around money. His mother, for example, had so much anxiety around it that she put every cent she saved into low-interest-bearing certificates of deposit, rather than the stock market. “I saw these patterns around money in families that I call dysfunctional pendulum swing: You either do exactly what your parents did or the exact opposite,” he said. “And that’s what I did: I did the riskiest thing you could do.”

After his stock market gamble, it took him three years of living extremely close to the bone to pull himself out of debt. The desire to understand the financial beliefs and behaviors of his own, lower-income family led him to dissect the behaviors and beliefs of high-net-worth individuals. And now he works with some of the wealthiest people in the world, many of whom came to him after reading his books or being referred by other clients.

“They [Billionaire's] often have a distorted feedback loop. People are drawn to them for their status and perceived power, so they tend to be surrounded by people who endorse their worldview and don’t challenge their way of thinking. Very few people are honest with them.”

Gavin Grimm: On the National Stage

“No one was in a rush to bring this case to the Supreme Court,” said Joshua Block, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Mr. Grimm. “Gavin didn’t choose this fight; this fight happened to Gavin. But now that we are here, lives are at stake, and they are at stake in a way that is even more acute because you don’t have a federal government anymore to protect us.”

But asking him about his career plans brings a Gavin-like answer — wry and pointed.

“I want to be,” he said, “someone who doesn’t have to talk about where he is going to use the bathroom.”


Orange Devil Inciting Violence


57 North Main Street

A vintage collection of buildings historically significant. I walked by there today. They are being sold as residential and commercial properties.

Knowing How to Live

That's what it comes down to. Knowing how to live. It's not about money or any of the baubles it's about appreciation and laughter, good books, canine friends and being an authentic human being. Life is short, be kind.

Baking Brown Rice

My favorite way to make brown rice when I am using the dining room table as my office, is to bake brown rice using a heavy iron pot with a tight fitting lid. I add salt and olive oil to the rice-water and Adobo. It bakes for an hour.

Prevention Pays Off!

State awards $1.4 million to new groups dealing with substance abuse prevention needs
Posted Feb 22, 2017 at 6:56 PM Updated Feb 22, 2017 at 6:56 PM

By Lynn Arditi
Journal staff writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The state has awarded $1.4 million in federal block grant funding to five new regional task forces to assess substance abuse prevention needs and promote behavioral health.

The five-year block grant awards from the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals (BHDDH) will help the task forces develop plans to address gaps in resources and community needs, as well as develop a local strategic plan, BHDDH said in a statement. The work will be based on evidence-based and "best practice" interventions, the statement said, and the task forces will continually evaluate the impact of their efforts.

The funds were awarded to the following groups:

• Woonsocket Prevention Coalition Corporation – serving Burrillville, Woonsocket, Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket, North Smithfield and Central Falls;

• Providence Healthy Communities Office – serving the City of Providence;

• BAY Team, Town of Barrington -- serving East Providence, Barrington, Warren and Bristol;

• Newport County Prevention Coalition, Town of Tiverton – serving Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton, Jamestown, Middletown and Newport;

How to be a Human

If there was a rule book on how to be a human there are a few things I would want to include. First off I'd say when a parent dies, make sure to let the children know.
Don't lie about your ethnic background to your children or spouse.
Tell the truth to your children about their biological parents, marriages adoptions and divorces.

Baked Almonds

Bake raw almonds for 25 minutes at 250 degrees f.

Internal Society


What is genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)?

When a woman goes through menopause, her estrogen levels decrease along with the levels of other steroid hormones. These decreases can lead to changes in certain areas of her body, like the vagina, vulva, and bladder.

For example, estrogen helps keep the vagina moist and flexible. But when estrogen levels decline, the vagina can become dry and tight.

These hormonal drops can lead to a group of genital and urinary symptoms that are called genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).

GSM is thought to affect about half of postmenopausal women. Symptoms include:

• Dryness, burning sensations, and irritation in the genital area

• Poor vaginal lubrication during sex, discomfort or pain with intercourse, and impaired sexual function

• An urgent need to urinate, painful urination, or recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Women do not need to have all of the symptoms to be diagnosed with GSM.
But the symptoms are bothersome and are not caused by another medical condition, such as an infection or allergy.

GSM is chronic and progressive. It does not get better over time. However, symptoms can be managed with treatment.

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause is a fairly new term. It was developed in 2014 by experts from the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). They felt that the term encompassed the genital, sexual, and urinary symptoms related to estrogen decline in ways that previous terms did not.
- See more at: http://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-genitourinary-syndrome-of-menopause-sgm/#sthash.1igAg0Vv.dpuf

Just Say NO to Plastic Speculums!

Most women don't like plastic speculums because they are larger than necessary and open wider than metal ones. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For women who are not sexually active or who have genitourinary syndrome of menopause, a vaginal exam can be particularly uncomfortable. There are speculums designed for just this purpose - smaller than the ones typically used. For a few of my patients, I use a smaller pediatric speculum. The shape of the speculum matters too. Graves speculums are wider and Pederson speculums are narrower and more comfortable, even for women who don't have genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Warming the speculums ahead of time also adds to their comfort. Your health-care provider can run warm (not hot) water over the speculum before an exam if he or she doesn't have a warmer for them. The water can often serve as the lubricant to avoid the messiness of a gel. Most women don't like plastic speculums because they are larger than necessary and open wider than metal ones. If you have any choice in the matter, say no to plastic speculums.

from The Estrogen Window by Mache Seibel

(p. 191, published by Rodale 2016)


No poppy seed cakes for the post office

The Claim: Eating Poppy Seeds Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

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THE CLAIM -- Eating poppy seeds can make you fail a drug test.

THE FACTS -- Heroin, a highly addictive drug, and poppy seeds, a pleasant and widely used cooking ingredient, derive from the same source, the opium poppy. This has led to a widespread belief that eating poppy seeds before a drug test is not a great idea.

But do poppy seeds really register in urine tests as opiates?

Absolutely, experts say.

Eating a couple of bagels heavily coated with poppy seeds can result in morphine in a person's system for hours, leading a routine drug test to come back positive. A subsequent test can rule out heroin, though not other opiates, by looking for a specific metabolite, 6-acetylmorphine.

But someone who has a poppy-seed bagel for breakfast and is tested later that day would still have far lower levels of morphine than a person who, for example, abuses painkillers. For that reason, the federal government recently raised the threshold for opiates in workplace testing, to 2,000 nanograms a milliliter from 300. Dr. Timothy P. Rohrig of the Regional Forensic Science Center in Kansas said eating three large bagels covered in poppy seeds could push a person over the old opiate threshold, though probably not the new one.

If someone tests well above the 2,000 limit and "tries to explain it by saying she ate 15 bagels for lunch, it would sound absurd," Dr. Rohrig said. But a person with a cold who claimed to use cough syrup with an opiate like codeine might be more believable, he said.

THE BOTTOM LINE -- Poppy seeds can affect the outcome of a drug test. ANAHAD O'CONNOR

I LOVE People

On my walk this morning I ran into my pals walking downtown. Greg Marcoux told me that his grandmother and her three sisters used to row across Spring Lake when they were girls, to get ice for the ice box. Their father died when they were 12 and this was how they helped their mother.
"That's a story for the museum," I said.

Henry walks for miles I see him each morning. He loves Lily. He told me Donat is not doing well. "He's limping and taking small steps. He's my age, he turned 89 in December and I turned 89 in February 1st," said Henry. "Really, I thought you were in your 60's. Do you ever see Eugene and Rita? They 're brother and sister in their upper 80's 8 years ago. They used to walk from Manville to Woonsocket each day. I haven't seen them in a few years," I said. "There's a guy who works at Chelos for 35 years who carries weights, he walks from Manville each day," said Henry. "Yes, I know him! The city is full of great people. If people got out of their cars and walked they would see how great most people are," I said. "I agree," said Henry. I saw Dave picking up garbage on Clinton Street in his Highway Dept lime glow green zipper sweatshirt. "I'll volunteer, I have a bucket and a grabber, I want the zipper sweatshirt!"
"Ask the Mayor," Dave said. "She'll give you one."
"I'll work for it!" I said smiling.

Mystery of Weldon Keyes

It is the birthday of Weldon Kees (books by this author), born in Beatrice, Nebraska, in 1914. Kees first poetry collection was published in 1943, the first of three collections to be released in his lifetime. He wrote a handful of poems about a character named Robinson. Robinson, “in a Glen plaid jacket, Scotch-grain shoes … his sad and usual heart, dry as a winter leaf.” He moved to New York City and began attending parties with literary critics like Edmund Wilson and Lionel Trilling. But he never felt comfortable in that society.

To supplement his poetry income he became a film critic. At some point Kees took up painting and did well. His name was listed beside the greats of his time, his work hanging beside that of Picasso, Mondrian, and de Kooning. He also collaborated with musicians on the San Francisco jazz scene for a number of years.

In 1955, Kees made a phone call to a friend. At the end of their conversation he asked her, “What keeps you going?” Later that day, Kees packed a sleeping bag and his savings account book and disappeared. His car was discovered abandoned on the Golden Gate Bridge, and to this day no one knows for certain whether he killed himself or went to Mexico.
New Yorker Article about Weldon Kees Mystery


“Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.”
—John Edgar Wideman

Wilhelm Karl Grimm

It’s the birthday of Wilhelm Karl Grimm, (books by this author), born in Hanau, Germany (1786). He and Jacob, his older brother, published Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812), the first collection of folklore in modern publishing history. Wilhelm was more romantic and literary, and Jacob was more intellectual. For the most part, Wilhelm found the stories, and Jacob theorized about them.

Spiral-bound mornings:Jane Hirschfield

Today is the birthday of Jane Hirshfield (books by this author), born in New York City (1953). She started writing poems as soon as she could write, and she bought her first book of poetry — a one-dollar book of Japanese haiku — when she was eight. “I don’t know what drew me so strongly to those poems,” she said, “or what I could have seen in them at that age, but I recognized something that I absolutely knew I had to have in my life.” At Princeton, where she was a member of the first graduating class to include women, she began studying classical-era Japanese and Chinese literature. She published her first poem in 1973, and her first book of poems, Alaya, in 1982. Her other poetry collections include The Beauty (2015); After (2006); and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001).

She was born to Jewish parents who weren’t particularly observant; she received no religious education, but they did hold a Passover Seder each year. She enjoyed customs like the bitter herbs and the salted hard-boiled egg, but never really felt that the Jewish tradition belonged to her and vice versa. At one point, when she was very small, she wished her family were Catholic so that she could be a nun when she grew up. Now she is an ordained lay practitioner of Zen Buddhism. “I came to California in 1974,” she said, “in a red Dodge van with yellow tied-dyed curtains, looking for a place to live and for what I thought might be a waitressing job that could support me while I wrote. But on the way, I took a detour. I was curious about Zen and knew there was a monastery, Tassajara, in the Ventana Wilderness inland from Big Sur. Because it was the summer guest season rather than the stricter winter practice period time, I was able to drive in over the rather perilous 14-mile dirt road and stay for a week as a ‘guest student.’ […] I decided to stay a few months, until I understood what Buddhism was all about. After a few months, what you understand is that you know nothing about what Buddhism is all about. […] I think of this time as the diamond at the center of my life. Whoever I now am came out of that experience.” She practiced Zen Buddhism full time for eight years, and wrote only one haiku during that period. When she left the monastery, she returned to poetry. “The ability to stay in the moment, to investigate it through my own body and mind, was what I most needed to learn at that point in my life,” she says. “To stay within my own experience more fearlessly. I think that’s why I needed to practice Zen, rather than go to graduate school. You cannot write until you know how to inhabit your own experience.”

In addition to her eight books of poetry, Hirshfield has also published two collections of essays. Her first was Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997). She wrote the essays over a span of 10 years. Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World came out in 2015. She’s translated a volume of Japanese poetry (The Ink Dark Moon, 1990), and has assembled an anthology of women’s spiritual writing (Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, 1994).

Mary Ellen Chase

She said: “Most readers think that a novel is, first of all, a story. Well, it really isn’t … A novel is an evolution of life. Its story is merely a means to an end.”

George Agustus Moore

He wrote, “A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Losing and Reinventing

Today, Ms. Stroh is a successful businesswoman. Now 50, she lives in San Francisco, and took a relatively modest inheritance of about $200,000 in stocks from her mother and made savvy investments in tech companies and real estate. As a small-time developer and landlord, she is able to live independently in one of the nation’s most expensive cities.

She is doing well enough that she is investing back in Detroit, but in a way that will pay a different type of dividend. She donated half of the advance and 10 percent of the book sale proceeds from “Beer Money” to 826michigan, a nonprofit organization that tutors school-age children in writing.

“One of my goals with the book was to use it as a way to re-engage with Detroit in a meaningful way,” Ms. Stroh said.

Smoked Turkey

Who needs a komado when it's 65 degrees out in February, you can smoke a turkey on the weber grill or make pizza over hardwood charcoal.

Maybe this year I can plant an herb garden and tomatoes, and make sun dried tomatoes.

Urban homesteading rocks!

A Pony for Woony

Worcester is getting a team of mounted police this summer and I am jealous. I want a pony for Woony. Maybe someday if we are really good we can do it. My friend Bart Massucco is opening a vet clinic on Social Street CTYSIDE VET CLINIC He also trains and breeds horses. Maybe this is closer than we think.

65 Degrees and Snow

It's February vacation week. I'm sitting at my picnic table wearing a summer dress and flip-flops. The neighborhood kids are playing basketball. There is snow on the ground from the last storm. Dogs are out barking and the sun is burning my neck. I have friends vacationing in Florida for vacation. But Florida weather came here.

Grilled Pumpkin


Shampoo Bar Recipe

Shampoo bar recipe
I have to tell you guys something. I've been keeping it a secret, more or less, for about six weeks now. Okay, admittedly, it's not very exciting, but I wanted to let you know that I stopped using shampoo and switched over to using shampoo bars instead.

I switched out my shampoo mostly in an effort to reduce my plastic consumption, but also to avoid some of the toxic chemicals in the salon shampoos I've been using. Even the Aveda stuff I have has a few nasty things in them and want to avoid.

I ran across a new shampoo bar in my local grocery store, sold by Camamu out of Portland. I later saw that it was sold at my local co-op in a number of different kinds. I've tried both the Rosemary and Laranja bars and liked them a lot. The Laranja works better for my hair since it's blondish. My husband has been using the Rosemary (he has black hair) and has been totally loving it as well.

It took about a week after using it for my hair to feel decent, mostly because I think it was adjusting to not being stripped and having all those silicones getting deposited as with the standard shampoo. My hair looked fine, not greasy or anything, it just kind of felt a little weird. But, I was also trying to switch out a few things at once so I'm sure that had something to do with it as well.

Anyway, now I just use a shampoo bar, a little Aveda conditioner (without any creepy parabens and whatnot) and that's it. One thing I've noticed is that my hair is super shiny. Like fake, hair commercial shiny. My hair has never been shiny, probably because of the shampoo film that's been coating it all these years.

About two weeks into my shampoo bar adventure I was in love and decided that I wanted to try to make my own. So, after extensive research and going through my soap making stock, I settled on my own recipe. Below is the basic recipe, I'll tell you how to customize it for your hair color at the end.

Oh, and one more thing, this is a cold process soap. Please follow all the basics for making this type of soap. In other words, be careful with the lye - I'm not responsible for soap making calamities by posting this recipe online. If you don't have the right fats, feel free to switch them out (use an online lye calculator to adjust the lye!), just make sure to leave in the castor and jojoba oils. That's what makes this a shampoo bar and not a body soap.

Basic Shampoo Bar Recipe
4 ounces castor oil
2 ounces jojoba oil
4 ounces sunflower oil

3 ounces palm oil
1 ounce cocoa butter
8 ounces coconut oil

8 ounces distilled water
3 ounces lye

1/2 to 1 ounce essential oils at trace

Cut into bars when solid. When I made it, this took about 4 days, but check frequently.

Let the bars cure, covered by a towel, for 4 weeks.

Lemon Chamomile Shampoo Bar
(for blonde hair)

I like to call this one, California Sunshine Shampoo Bar. Follow the above recipe except, instead of the distilled water, steep a half cup or so of chamomile tea herbs in 12 ounces of boiling distilled water and strain well. Measure out 8 ounces and use this for your water.

At trace, add in 1 ounce of lemon essential oil or use a mix of citrus essential oils. I used a combination of lemon, orange, lemongrass and bergamot.

Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar
(for dark hair)

Follow the above recipe except, instead of the distilled water, steep a half cup or so of chopped rosemary in 12 ounces of boiling distilled water and strain well. Measure out 8 ounces and use this for your water.

At trace, add in rosemary and mint essential oils.