Sunday, July 15, 2018


In college and before college I was a dishwasher at Alforno and then a prep-cook at Leo's and Amara's. I LOVED the pre-pcook job at Leo's MORE than college. I learned how to make everything; soups, desserts, marinades, puddings pies, chili, casseroles, and most of all how to have fun doing my job. I was surrounded by good teachers. We were like a dance troupe relying on each-other supporting each-other's leaps and twirls.

Today I am being a prep-cook in my own home. I'm baking sourdough breads, bow-tie pasta, hard-cooked eggs, homemade blueberry-raspberry sorbet, kale greens and orange yams salad with my homemade oil and vinegar mustard garlic dressing, and grilled marinated pork loin.

Dough-Decagon Brick Bakery

Could be so cool!

For the past 3 nights I have dreamed of this building, imagining turning it into my bakery.

John Lee on Despair


Running Should be Fun


Maeve Higgins

A dog in New York City is a portal to a different, fuzzier city. On our very first walk, a man in a white van rolled down his window to shout something at me. I braced myself, pretending I couldn’t hear him, as every woman has learned to do. But he just yelled, “Not to be weird but she’s so cute, I’m dying!”

In the overheated city park that is life today, within the grown-up playground of mental health, you’ll find me teetering on the anxiety seesaw. I can’t explain how, but this big furry dog helps me stay steady. I have a million worries, but after throwing a ball and waiting for her to bring it back 10 times, I feel better. I rest more.

My unscientific theory is that sleeping is contagious, and Shadow’s main hobby is naps. I’m from a big Catholic family where everyone feels terrible about relaxing, so this is new for me. When my sister calls from Ireland, I frantically do-re-mi before I answer but it’s not enough to hide the fact that my voice is still thick with sleep.


Murray Bruce Monk

As a child, Murray Bruce Monk lived on a farm in rural Nova Scotia, where he cared for farm animals, fished, and helped with chores. At age six he moved to town so he could start school, returning to the country on weekends. As he grew older, he joined the Boy Scouts, then the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, learning first aid and training on weapons. He became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was ordained into the priesthood. The author enlisted in the United States Army and lived in East Rochester, New York, with his wife. After three and a half years living in the US, his daughter was born with heart problems. His anxiety over this was so severe that he was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. This was the beginning of the author’s struggles with mental illness. He was treated with electroshock and medication. He moved several times, shuttling back and forth between Ontario and Nova Scotia, and held a number of different jobs to support his family. At the time his wife filed for divorce, the couple had three children. He remarried and had a son with his second wife, all the while dealing with mental instability and alcohol addiction, which he finally overcame. This memoir draws readers into the world of a man who struggled all his life with bipolar disorder yet through faith and tenacity overcame challenges that had threatened to steal his life.

The Road to Hell

the road to hell is paved with good intentions
phrase of hell

promises and plans must be put into action, or else they are useless.

The Pressure Cooker's Hissing, Still I Need Your Kissing

(adapted from STEAM HEAT)
"Steam Heat" lyrics
Doris Day

(from "The Pajama Game" soundtrack)

I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
But I need your love to keep away the cold,

I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
But I can't get warm without your hand to hold,

The radiator's hissin', still I need your kissin'...
To keep me from freezin' each night,
I got a hot water bottle, but nothin' I got'll...
Take the place of you holding me tight,

I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
But I need your love to keep away the cold,

They told me to shovel more coal in the boiler,
They told me to shovel more coal in the boiler,
They told me to shovel more coal in the boiler,
But that don't do no good,

They told me to pour some more oil in the burner,
They told me to pour some more oil in the burner,
They told me to pour some more oil in the burner,
But that don't do no good,

The radiator's hissin', still I need your kissin'...
To keep me from freezin' each night,
I got a hot water bottle, but nothin' I got'll...
Take the place of you holding me tight,

I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
I got (clang) (clang) s-s-s-steam heat,
But I need your love to keep away the cold,

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The New Midlife Crisis Cure


High Voltage Wire Act

Lindsey Fitzharris



and your very flesh shall be a great poem

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."

- Walt Whitman

The Hudson Swimmer

He envisions a day when the water quality has so improved that Manhattan becomes a swimming destination, where fish farms and other aquaculture thrives.

“Years ago, a lot of New Yorkers used to swim in the Hudson, and so did their parents, back when it was even filthier,” he said. “But now we have this obsession with cleanliness.”


Name Ira Gershenhorn

Age 66

What He Does A clean water advocate and a regular swimmer of the Hudson River

Where He’s From Upper West Side

Telling Detail “I come home after swimming and I have to remember to take a shower because I don’t feel dirty,” Mr. Gershenhorn said.

Cheese is a Living Thing!

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Cheese, According to a Cheesemonger Plastic wrap is not your friend.
Maria Yagoda July 10, 2018

If you, like us, spend a lot of time thinking about cheese, you should also spend some time thinking about how you store it.

Carol Johnson, of Monger’s Palate in Brooklyn, devotes much of her day towards educating consumers how to properly care for, serve, and eat the fine cheeses that she sells. That's right—like all loved ones, cheese deserves to be cared for.

We chatted with Johnson, who was a finalist at this year's Cheesemonger Invitational (one of the most prestigious cheese events in the world), about all things cheese care.

If you're splurging on a nice cheese, you want it to maintain its integrity of taste and texture for as long as possible. Below, Johnson shares the three biggest mistakes that people make when storing their cheeses. (Avoid these missteps and enjoy your cheese for longer—unless you eat it right away, which is also fine.)
1. Avoid: Wrapping your cheese in plastic or non-porous material.

While cheesemongers usually wrap the cheeses they display in plastic, avoid doing this at home—the professionals do it so they can showcase the cheese they're selling, and they go through the cheeses quickly enough that the plastic rarely imparts flavor on the product.

"What works best is to wrap it in some kind of porous material," says Johnson. "Cheese is a living thing, so you have to wrap it in something that is breathable." Plus, plastic wrap can give the cheese a plastic-y flavor. "That's the problem with a lot of pre-cut cheese wrapped in plastic: it takes on the plastic flavors, and the bacteria starts to die," she says.

Johnson recommends using cheese paper, butcher paper, or even wax paper.
2. Avoid: Storing your cheese in the coldest part of the fridge.

Since not everyone has a "cheese fridge" (we just learned what this is, and now we desperately need one), it's important to learn the safest place to store cheese in your home refrigerator: your produce drawer.

"Cold slows down the ripening of the cheese, and then the airflow can dry it out pretty quickly. Cheese likes a certain amount of humidity and it likes to be warmer," says Johnson. "I put my cheese in the produce drawer, or whatever part of my fridge is the warmest."

Of course, you can store hard cheeses, like Parmigiano Reggiano, outside of the fridge "for a really long time."
3. Avoid: Not using an extra layer of protection.

Johnson recommends putting the cheese you've wrapped in paper (not plastic!) in another container for extra protection—either Tupperware with holes poked in it, or a plastic bag with holes poked in it. The holes are key, as cheese is a living thing.

Rosemary Semolina Bread


Pickle Brine Chicken

Recipe by: Chef John
"There aren't a lot of great uses for leftover pickle juice. I did hear recently that some people like to drink this stuff after jogging, which I found to be quite shocking, since I had no idea people still jogged. Like most brined recipes, the payoff is in the texture and moisture content and not necessarily in the taste. Having said that, these did have a nice little twang. So the next time you have nothing left in the pickle jar but the juice, you now know what to do."

Seasonal Variation


Cafe Gratitude

Recently I ordered a bowl of lentils in a Paris brasserie. They arrived with what looked like a giant femur sticking out of them.

“Er, je suis végétarienne,” I said to the waiter.

The waiter removed the bone.

“Voilà, c’est végétarien,” he replied. And really, who could blame him?



The 5 Things Your Kids Will Remember About You

Community Outreach Home Run

July 13, 2018
Community Outreach Home Run

Sports Memorabilia Fraud Case Yields Unexpected Benefit for Chicago Youth Baseball Leagues

At a July 10, 2018 event organized by the FBI and the Chicago White Sox, hundreds of baseballs and bats seized during a sports memorabilia fraud case were donated to inner-city youth baseball leagues.

John Rogers was a prolific forger of sports memorabilia who fleeced banks and individual investors out of millions of dollars. And although his victims are unlikely to be repaid, Rogers’ fraud has provided an unexpected benefit for a group of inner-city teen baseball players in Chicago.

Earlier this week on the city’s South Side—an area known for gang violence and homicides—Special Agent Brian Brusokas and nearly 20 other FBI employees from the Bureau’s Chicago Division delivered 125 Louisville Slugger bats and dozens of baseballs to young players whose leagues are sponsored by the Chicago White Sox organization.

The equipment was seized during the Rogers fraud case, and after the forged signatures of Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols, and other famous players were chemically removed or blacked out, the bats and balls found a new home among youngsters who have embraced baseball as a way to stay out of trouble and to possibly earn a college scholarship.

“These kids are doing the right thing and trying to live the right path in life,” said Brusokas, who led the Rogers investigation as part of the FBI’s Art Crime Team. “We wanted to give them something that they needed.”

“If we took one of these bats and put it in the hands of one of these kids,” said Jeffrey Sallet, special agent in charge of the Chicago Division, “could that bat make a difference for that kid?”

Sallet, who was on hand for the equipment donation and spoke to the players and coaches, explained that engaging with the community is fundamental to the FBI’s mission and to its success as an organization.

“These kids are doing the right thing and trying to live the right path in life. We wanted to give them something that they needed.”
Brian Brusokas, special agent, FBI Chicago

“We as the FBI earn the American people’s trust every single day,” he said. “The best way for us to keep that trust is to be out there showing everybody that we are human beings, that we are part of the community.”

Woonsocket is the Cleanest City

Picking up trash on my dog walks is a thing I do when I am super happy. That's how you know I'm feeling it, I tell my husband.

The impact on the neighborhood kids is priceless. They join in!

Whenever you give up hope reach out to first graders. That's what Pete Seeger said and he was right.

Teach them a song or make ice cream with them or make pizzelles. Once I brought my dog and we drew pictures of her posing. These are the projects I've done with the local first graders and they still wave hello when I see them. Now they are in middle school!

The city has been as clean as Switzerland, I said to the landscape guy.
It takes a woman Mayor, he said.
Yes, last time we had a beautiful City was when we had Mayor Susan Menard. She too hung flowers and cleaned the streets to the level of sparkling.

Jennifer Egan

Be willing and unafraid to write badly, because often the bad stuff clears the way for good, or forms a base on which to build something better.
-Jennifer Egan

Brad Hoefs

One of the emotional issues that I had to work through was not to hate myself. I did not like myself at all. I had a very critical parent tape playing over and over in my head. I had to erase that tape. And create a new healthy adult tape. It took time. It was a process. And even yet today, some 20 years later that critical parent tape plays just a bit here and there, but I stop listening to it rather quickly.

These things helped me to forgive myself. I hope that some of them might be helpful to you. It is a day by day process, but you can do it. Remember, if you tell yourself, “I can’t forgive myself for that.” Then you won’t forgive yourself, and you will stay stuck at that point. If you choose not to forgive yourself, then you will not move forward in living well. Without forgiving one another where we would all be? We live in a broken world that necessitates forgiving one another and forgiving ourselves.

How about you? Do you need to forgive yourself? Have you forgiven yourself? If so, how did you go about it?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Iranian Sailor Who Became a Candy Store Poet

“Ray is a monk,” Mr. Ghavamian said. “And the candy store is his monastery. He is a romantic hero.”

Time is Short

Time is short especially when you hear about the death of a friend.

Pasta Bow-Ties, Tuna Olive Pickle Red Onion

We made a salad using 1 pound of pasta bow-ties, 3 cans of tuna, green olives, chopped pickles, chopped red onion, fresh basil, parsley Deborah gave us. It was delicious. I added mustard mayo wine vinegar and red chili, salt and fresh black pepper to combine flavors.

By David Filipov March 23, 2017

Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways

Michiko Kakutani

History is repeating itself. This time without even the pretext of war, and with added heartbreaking cruelty. Under Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” border enforcement policy, nearly 3,000 children were separated from their parents, and while the administration later halted these separations, it neglected to keep proper records and is now struggling to find and reunite families.

Once again, national safety is invoked to justify the roundup of whole groups of people. Once again, racist stereotypes are being used by politicians to ramp up fear and hatred. And once again, lies are being used to justify actions that violate the most fundamental American ideals of freedom, equality and tolerance.


President Trump not only lies with astonishing temerity and abandon, but those lies connect into equally false narratives that gin up the worst fears and prejudices of his base.

Michiko Kakutani (@michikokakutani), the former chief book critic for The New York Times, is the author of the forthcoming book “The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump.”

Paul Krugman

Mr. Art of the Deal doesn’t want any deals. He just wants to tear things down.

The institutions Trump is trying to destroy were all created under U.S. leadership in the aftermath of World War II. Those were years of epic statesmanship — the years of the Berlin airlift and the Marshall Plan, in which America showed its true greatness. For having won the war, we chose not to behave like a conqueror, but instead to build the foundations of lasting peace.


And what Trump is trying to do is undermine that system, making bullying great again.

What’s his motivation? Part of the answer is that anything that weakens the Western alliance helps Vladimir Putin; if Trump isn’t literally a Russian agent, he certainly behaves like one on every possible occasion.

Watermelon Beet Juice

Try watermelon beet juice this summer! It’s refreshing and full of nutrients. Naturally sweet and hydrating this ruby colored homemade juice is perfect for hot summer days!
Course: Drinks
Servings: 4 Cups (1 Liter)
Calories: 99 kcal

2.5 lb Watermelon (1.2kg)
2 Medium Beets
Lemon (optional)


Mint + Thin Watermelon Wedges (optional)


Wash watermelon and beets. Peel the beets and remove the hard watermelon skin before juicing them.
Taste and add some freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional). Garnish with mint and watermelon wedge (optional).
Drink right away or store in a sealed jar in your fridge.

Orange Basil Infused Water

This orange basil infused water is the perfect drink for hot summer days. It’s refreshing, tasty and easy to make. Subtle basil and citrus flavor with a hint of turmeric.
Course: Drinks
Servings: 4 Cups
Calories: 17 kcal

1 Large Orange
4 Basil Sprigs
2 Turmeric Roots (3cm long)
4 cups Water (1L)


Wash and slice orange. Peel and slice turmeric roots. Fill a large jar with 4 cups of water, add orange slices, turmeric and basil. Cover with lid and chill in the fridge overnight.
Keep in the fridge before serving!

Dodecagon 12 Sided Brick Building



Raspberries are proof that there is a God.

Basil, Parsley, Summer Squash

Last night we walked the pond and Deb gave us parsley, basil and yellow summer squash. We sliced the squash and sauteed it in hot olive oil with fresh garlic, soy sauce and chopped basil and parsley to top it off. Delicious supper.

Sentimental and Nostalgic

Intelligence Test: What's the Difference Between Nostalgia and ...

Jun 26, 2011 - Sentimentality relishes the pure recollection of good times, whereas nostalgia is tainted by a belief that everything would be better if the person could just go back to those good times. Nostalgia is the act of recollection; sentimentality is the character trait of one who often engages in nostalgia.

The Professors

At the School of Authentic Journalism

Community Giving

At Seven Stars Bakery we strive to be a valuable, responsible member of our community. Since the day we opened our doors, we have donated all of our leftover products at the end of each day to local food pantries and shelters. We donate oodles of gift cards each year to local charity auctions and raffles, and we make cash donations to organizations that enrich our community.
Supporting Our Community

Each year on our anniversary, January 2, we donate 100% of our sales from our three retail locations to a local charity. Since we began that tradition in 2006, we have raised over $60,000 for the Rhode Island Food Bank. In 2015, we supported We Share Hope and raised $16,600 in one day for them! We are also big supporters of our neighbors, Festival Ballet. Over the years, we have made financial donations to such organizations as Farm Fresh RI, Girls on the Run of Rhode Island, Providence Children’s Film Festival, New Urban Arts and Groundwork Providence. We have no formal application process for cash donations and sponsorships, these are all originated from our relationships with these local organizations.

Migraine INFO

Water: Drink While You Drench

12 – Drink While You Drench – Take a bottle of water into the bath or shower. Hot tub too. Ironically, you’d be surprised how much hot immersive water can actually dehydrate you.
13 Practical, Clever Ways to Stay Hydrated

Here are 13 tips that will help boost your water and fluid intake on a daily basis:

Infused Water

Reverse Brain Changes

Oliver Sacks

Russ Federman

Russ Federman Ph.D., A.B.P.P.
The Relationship Between Narcissism and Bipolar Disorder

Russ Federman, Ph.D., ABPP is in private practice in Charlottesville, VA ( He is co-author of Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder (New Harbinger Publications).

Russ Federman, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., formerly with East Carolina University and the University of Virginia, specializes in bipolar disorder. He is the coauthor of Facing Bipolar.
In Print:
Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult's Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Canvassing in the Park

An older lady wearing an Easter hat with a turquoise scarf wrapped around the brim and matching turquoise jewelry was canvassing in the park. She was with a younger magenta-haired woman. They both had clip boards with light blue paper. "I love your hair," I said. "Did you use Kool-Aid?" I asked.
"Thanks, I used hair dye," she said.
"You can do that?" The older lady said. "My niece wants to dye her hair but her dad won't let her. Maybe the Kool Aid method would work since it washes out."
"Your dog is so handsome," the pink haired girl said.
"That's why we named him Romeo," I said.
The neighbor kids tell me he looks like Brad Pitt, as a pitbull, I said.
"He does!, he totally does!" she said.
"Are you coming with me so I don't get raped?" The Easter hat lady said to the pink hair gal.
"This is a very safe park. See that guy in the glow-green T-shirt? That's Dave, he manages the park. He can help you if you are worried. A few minutes ago the police were here," I said.
"You're safe, you have a dog," Easter hat lady quipped.
"This is my neighborhood I walk here all the time, the park is fine. The police are good in Woonsocket, and if you need them, they can be here in seconds. That's what I tell all of my neighbors. We have excellent police."
"I know the police are good, my son's a policeman here," Easter hat said. "He works the night shift, he sees all the bad stuff, the worst of the worst. This is why he doesn't want me canvassing in the park. My next stop is doing census work on Pond Street."
"You'll be fine I said," walking way.

Lucy Maddox + Gretchen Rubin

More Joy Less Stress

"Meaning comes from what you believe, value and understand about yourself and the world around you. By finding meaning and purpose in your life, you can have more joy and less stress each day."
— Kristin S. Vickers, Ph.D., L.P.

Daniel Gritzer

There's a saying I've heard from photographers that goes, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Zucchini Lasagna


Healthy Chocolate Coconut Balls

Ram Dass

How do we optimize our connections to ourselves and to the world?

I’ve been asked many times whether this is the aquarian age and it’s all just beginning, or if this is armageddon and this is the end, and I have to admit I don’t know.

The way I’ve usually copped out in dealing with it is saying, “Whichever way it goes, my work is the same. My work is to quiet my mind and open my heart and relieve suffering wherever I find it.” That seems to be what my life is about, and it doesn’t matter which it is- it’s the beginning of everything or the end of everything – regardless, that’s still what I gotta do.

I prepare for death… and so from a spiritual point of view, from the point of view of our spiritual evolution, and depending on which way the karma is going to go for the humanity on earth – it’s grist for the mill.

The more I do inner work, the more my awareness breaks down the boundaries between myself and other people, and the more that happens, the more there’s only “us” instead of “them.” And then the more there’s only “us,” the more the suffering of everyone, and the joy of everyone, becomes my suffering and my joy.

So that my compassionate response to it all is not “me” responding to “them.” It’s an internal matter, it’s It responding to Itself, if you will, so that my compassion is very impersonal compassion. It’s not, “I’m doing something for you,” it’s, “It is doing something for Itself.” I mean, if this hand is in the fire, then this hand pulls it out. This hand doesn’t go on to say “Thank you!” because they’re both part of the same organism, and that’s more and more as one’s consciousness comes into being and becomes part of that collective consciousness… and that makes all the difference.

That’s dealing with the connections between me as an individual and the world. And I go in and out of that. I mean, there are moments when one is in an interpersonal relationship with somebody and one is working with for some reason or another, and there are other times where there is a transcendence and one is just really being with one’s self through the different forms, through the play. It’s like God in drag, playing, sort of.

If I stretch my consciousness just on the physical plane into the galaxies and the immensity of the game, like the universe being to the earth as the earth is to an atom, or to an electron within an atom, I get a sense of the magnitude of the game.

When the Dalai Lama was asked how he felt about the big bang theory, he asked, “Which one?” Which was the implication of that kind of massive continuity of the game.

-Ram Dass

Tearing Down the House

On my morning walk bulldozers were demolishing the three family house on East School Street next to Saint Germain. There was a fireman hosing the building to keep the toxic dust down.

Nuns on Tractors


Shire Bookshop, Franklin MA


The Big Apple

Favorite Berry Farm

Tikkanen Berry Farm in Sterling, CT

Pick Your Own

Currants, Gooseberries
Daily: 8am- 5pm
* Call ahead just to be sure.
Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
Daily: 8am- 5pm
* Call ahead just to be sure.

Founded in 1946, Tikkanen Berry Farm is a 15 acre farm run by Reino Tikkanen.
218 Calvin French Road
Sterling, CT

the story behind our farm
18 miles from Providence, RI 02909
(860) 774-0177 preferred

47 Kennedy Road
Foster, RI 02825
A little about Tikkanen Berry Farm
Pre-picked blueberries often available at roadside stand

Blueberries pyo • Currants pyo • Gooseberries pyo • Raspberries pyo • Strawberries pyo

Local Food Guide regularly updates the Local Food Guide. Let Local Food Guide know if something is inaccurate. Or if you're the farmer, create an account to update your farm's information.
Farm Profile: Tikkanen Berry Farm by Juliette Rogers
Published: August 16, 2006

Sterling, CT - Tucked away on a country road that snakes and curves back and forth across the Connecticut/Rhode Island state line, Ray Tikkanen’s berry farm lies in a little valley crossed by a trickling brook. He’s been farming here since 1946, when he returned from the Pacific and his uncle offered to help set him up raising laying hens on his farm. Ray stayed in egg production until 1970, when he “saw the writing on on wall” in US farm policy and how the poultry business was driving egg producers to go into cage plants in order to survive. The industry was consolidating, and producers were dependant on middlemen who bought their eggs at a price of his choosing, and resold them for a profit. Since he didn’t see much of a future in eggs, he reckoned he had two choices: leave farming to work at Pratt and Whitney, or convert the farm to something else.

And convert he did. Beginning with a few dozen berry bushes he saw advertised in the newspaper, he replaced hen houses with greenery on the farm he had since inherited from his uncle. He laughs now at the recollection of trying to plow those first swathes destined to become rows of blueberry bushes. He started his tractor our from one point, aiming for where his daughter stood with a tall pole, marking his destination. That was supposed to make a straight row, but somehow they all ended up bowed in the middle… a quirk he now jokingly blames on earthquakes.

On a steamy summer day around noontime, a steady trickle of customers pass through the farm, stopping in at the weathered white way-station in the first field to get their containers weighed in before picking by one of the neighbor’s children working there as a summer job. They do have pails with shoulder straps to pick into, but you should bring a tray, box, bowl, or cookpot to transport your treats home. Retired men and young mothers and children pluck berries off the bushes by the handfull, filling up their baskets in minutes before meandering back to the shack to weigh in, pay up, and perhaps catch up with Ray a little bit. Ray says he gets lots of families with kids – nodding in the direction of a family piling out of a minivan beside us, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the mother came her herself as a kid.
Far fewer people seem interested in the profusion of red currants he grows, so his daughter made up a recipe sheet to entice customers into trying them out. They are a recent addition, along with the black currant; he and his late wife, who was Estonian, thought they’d add some more variety to the farm, but it’s slow going to get people to try them out. A friend who keeps bees on the property also chipped in to help – his wife is English, and she gave the Tikkanens a collection family black currant recipes that will soon be free for the taking as well.

Blueberries are clearly his specialty – he has about a dozen varieties, to keep the farm in supply from July into the fall, once even into mid-October! The year of 2006 is a very good year for his crop, and he is seeing some serious pruning he did last year really pay off in abundant fruit production. Ray has done a lot of replanting in the strawberry fields, which also contain several varieties to stretch the season and provide both the jumbo berries most people prefer and the tiny, intensely sweet and flavorful berries best suited for jam (or eating fresh for the patient berry-picker who’s in the know!) Ray is particularly aware of the flavor differences in his chosen varieties, and it’s worth asking him for his recommendation if he’s around during your visit. Luckily for me, I mentioned I already had some berries from a particualr patch back home, but wanted to renew my supply. “You should try the Spartans, over by that cone,” he pointed off to a hidden corner of the field. “There aren’t many bushes, but they are enormous, and sweet.” They pretty much jumped into my boxes by themselves. Those that didn’t go into my mouth, that is – though I tried to restrain myself until I got them to the car before I let myself really tuck in.

Dreaming of a Jersey Cow

I spent the summer of my 15th year in Vermont milking a Jersey cow at dawn every morning and feeding the chickens and goats.

Hand milking is the way that people have milked animals for centuries. To do this, you simply need a high quality, stainless steel bucket. It is much less expensive to start milking if you plan to milk by hand. Many hand milkers love the peaceful rhythm of milking each day. The cow learns to think of her milker as one of her babies, and the relationship is often an affectionate, close one.

Milking on Your Schedule – Cows are Flexible

Up at 5 AM. winter and summer, to let the cows into the milking parlor, clean the equipment and wash the building down, then repeat again in the evening — such is the life of the dairy farmer. Stop the madness! A new breed of dairy farmer, however, is challenging long-held assumptions about milking frequency. Called Once A Day or OAD milking, this method has benefits to both the farmer and the animals.

One of our Jersey cows enjoys the pasture in the afternoon, as she fills up her milk reserves in her udder before the nightly milking.

Cows produce milk for their calves; humans got involved in the process when someone figured out that milk could supply us with important nutrients, and be turned into other foods such as butter, cheese and yogurt. The traditional system relies on removing the calf from the cow and bottle-feeding it with milk or milk replacer, while the rest of the cow’s production is reserved for humans. Many farmers operate on rigid schedules, milking 12 hours apart throughout a cow’s lactation period. Traditional wisdom also says that if cows weren’t milked twice a day on a regular schedule, mastitis and other problems would result. It turns out, however, that cows are very flexible about the process, and can adapt to a wide variety of milking schedules. The key is to keep the cow producing milk throughout her lactation period, whether through hand milking, machine milking, by allowing one or more calves to nurse, or combining the methods.

When a farmer wants to raise a calf and have milk for family use, or to sell, the calf is allowed to nurse for the first five to seven days. This allows the calf to receive colostrum, the first product of the lactation. Colostrum provides antibodies and other vital nutrients to populate the calf’s digestive system and provide immunity to disease. Cows will adapt their production to demand — within reason — so about a week after birth, the farmer begins to milk the cow by hand or machine. A well-nourished cow will produce enough for both her calf and the milking. She needs plenty of grass or hay and a good source of water, as well as minerals and salt. As the calf grows older, the farmer might pen it away from the cow for a few hours to increase the milk supply for the house or to sell. Once the calf is weaned, the cow’s entire production goes to the house or is sold. This system readily lends itself to OAD milking, and since the calf helps keep the cow’s udder from becoming over full, the farmer can milk not only OAD butat irregular intervals.

If the farmer sells the calf or chooses to bottle feed the calf, OAD milking is still an option. In early lactation, some cows that are heavy producers might need to be milked twice a day for a while. The cow will adjust to the demands placed on her, however, so if the farmer milks once a day, she will drop her production to meet that demand. In this situation, the farmer has some flexibility in terms of the milking schedule and might milk one day at 5 AM and the next at 9 AM. However, some cows are creatures of habit, and prefer a fairly regular schedule. Highly irregular milking schedules — eight-hour intervals one day, 12 the next and 10 the next, for example — may result in loss of production in some cows.

Cows on OAD milking often eat less — a savings in feed — and are better able to maintain their condition than cows on a traditional milking schedule. Although OAD milking can result in lower total volume of milk, the milk solids, protein and fat in the milk actually increase. Most of the extra production in traditional milking is actually water.

The point of OAD milking is quality. Cows on OAD milking can stick to grass or hay — the natural diet of a ruminant. Cows remain healthier when they don’t eat corn, other grains and soy typically fed to increase production in traditional commercial herds. They can more easily maintain body condition on forage alone. We feel the calves are also healthier when raised in a more humane, natural situation, and the farmer isn’t tied down to a bottle-feeding schedule. Commercial farmers are paid for the quantity of milk they produce rather than the quality. Twice-a-day milking means more money, but it also means more labor expense, and cows in a high production system often have more health problems and shorter lives. Small farmers with one or two cows don’t need to produce to commercial standards and the flexibility of OAD milking is a great benefit on a diversified small farm. Milk in the morning, milk at night, or just turn the calf in with the cow when you need to go out of town for a weekend, and the farmer can actually have a life outside the milking parlor!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Definition of Deadline

1 : a line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot
2 a : a date or time before which something must be done
b : the time after which copy is not accepted for a particular issue of a publication
- Merriam Webster

Former Apprentices

Jeremy Rourke, 2004
Public school teacher, Mentor of At-Risk Youth, San Francisco

“I found out a lot about myself at Zen Center….On the farm time slows down….You see the lifecycle of plants; it’s going at its own speed. Giving up my time expectations of life helps with patience in working with the kids.”

Jeremy works with elementary school children teaching computer science and chess and mentors high school students who are at risk.

Puppeteer's Wish List

Bread and Puppet is a non-profit, self-sustaining, organization and your tax-deductible contributions are greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate a specific item on our wish list or contribute directly towards one, please contact Thanks!


a smaller than full size, 4 wheel drive pick-up, such as a Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma
a chest or upright freezer
clothing hangers, especially pants hangers
medium to large plastic storage bins with lids
giant cast-iron pans
pressure cooker
hand bellows (for starting fires)
water catchment/ irrigation
small cymbals
slide projector
Washing Machine
A small up-right piano

About Cheap Art

“Our glorious civilization glorifies itself with what it calls high art. Puppeteers have no soul-searching trouble in that respect. What we produce has no ambition to be high art. Low art is what we make and what we want. Not the Fine Arts–the Coarse Arts are what we use.”
-Peter Schumann, lecture to art students at SUNY Purchase, 1987

Bread and Puppet’s Cheap Art Philosophy and production was born in 1979 when Peter Schumann and his company and friends filled their old schoolbus with hundreds of small pictures painted on scraps of masonite, cardboard and newspaper, painted slogans and statements about art and Cheap Art, and hung them on the outside of the bus. Then they drove it to neighboring towns and sold the stuff for 10 cents to 10 dollars. Today Cheap Art is practiced by all kinds of artists and puppeteers all over, and continues to cry out: Art is Not Business! Art Is Food! Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers! Art Is Cheap! Hurrah! For more on Cheap Art, read the manifestos and essays online via the links below, or order them from the Bread and Puppet Press (cheap!)

How to Become Bread

Downtown Walk: Mr Roger's Neighborhood

I also saw 4 middle school boys hanging out on the stairs next door in the shade--they were looking for Nicholas and Nicholi the kids next door who are moving to Fall River and New Bedford.

I just saw Edwin and Colin --they are the cutest kids.

I found a box of dark chocolate truffles in the park!

A man washing his motor boat in front of the RAYZ sunparlor filled my water bottle.
Anytime! he said.

I saw Jungee and his buddy on the PO lawn and they admired Romeo.

I saw the lady who swam with me last night. "See you tonight!" she said.

I came home and made a sandwich and sampled a truffle.

Low Humidity Holiday

We opened all of the windows to let in the cooler air!

The Greater The Sinner, The Greater The Saint

It is reported that one Hassid, a rabbi, Baal Shem, was visited by a woman. She was about seventy, her husband was eighty, and now, by and by, was becoming a virtuous man. His whole life he had been a sinner so she had come to give her thanks that he had finally converted her husband — which was impossible as he had been a sinner his whole life. But now he was turning so she was very thankful to Baal Shem. She had always been a pious lady, never wavered, never went wrong, always had been on the right track and always thinking that heaven was just waiting to welcome her, and always knowing well that this husband of hers was going to hell. So she said to Baal Shem, “There can be hope now- even my husband may reach heaven.”Baal Shem laughed and said, “The greater the sinner, the greater the saint.”

The woman became sad and said, “Then why didn’t you tell me before? You should have told me forty years before.”

The greater the sinner, the greater the saint. This woman will be in such hell if she finds her husband in heaven. These so-called virtuous people have created hell; otherwise, out of divine abundance, hell cannot exist. Saints will receive for they come in the morning; sinners will receive and they may have come in the evening. Everyone is going to receive. It is a gift.

I am here, not as a business but as a gift. But you are so afraid and fearful. You can understand business; you know the terms; you cannot understand a gift, you don’t know the terms. You can understand if you have to fulfill some condition. If nothing is required of you, you are simply at a loss.

All expectations belong to the mind, all disciplines belong to the mind, all so-called saintliness and so-called sin belong to the mind. When there is no mind, there is no sinner and no saint, and the gift simply showers on you.

Osho – “A Bird on the Wing”


The Novice Attains Long Life

A long time ago, an arhat received a novice. One day while meditating, the arhat foresaw that the novice had only seven days left to live. In compassion, the arhat told the novice to go home, see his parents and return in seven days.

The novice thereupon bade his master farewell, prepared some simple luggage and went down the mountain. On the way home, the novice saw a large number of ants floating on the surface of the roadside brook, in imminent danger of drowning. Out of kindness, the novice took off his robe and used it to carry mud in order to block the water. He also moved the ants to higher grounds, where it was dry. In this way, all of the ants were saved.

Seven days later, the novice returned to the monastery in good spirits. When the master saw him he was surprised, saying to himself, “It was clear the novice only had seven days to live, but now he has returned, safe and sound! I wonder what happened?”

The master again entered deep meditation. He saw with clairvoyance that because of his kindness in helping the ants, the novice had increased his blessing and gained long life.


The Greatest Trick Of The Mind

The greatest trick of the mind is to give you the idea of that which you are not, and to help you feel that you are already that.

Gurdjieff used to tell a parable…. There was a magician who was also a shepherd. He had thousands of sheep to look after and he was a very miserly man so he didn’t want many servants and he didn’t want many watchmen. He did not want to pay anybody and he did not want his sheep to be lost or taken by the wolves. But it was very difficult for him to take care of all the sheep alone. He was very rich and he had many sheep.
So he played a trick on the sheep. He hypnotised them — he was a magician. He hypnotised them and told every sheep, ‘You are not a sheep. Don’t be afraid.’ To some he said, ‘You are a lion.’ To some he said, ‘You are tigers.’ To some he even said, ‘You are men. Nobody is going to kill you. Don’t be afraid and don’t try to escape from here.’
The sheep started believing in his hypnosis. Every day he would butcher a few sheep but the others would think, ‘We are not sheep. He is butchering only sheep. We are lions, we are tigers, we are wolves, we are this and that…’ even that they were men. Some were even told that they were magicians — and they believed it. It was always some sheep which was to be butchered. They remained aloof, distant. They were not worried. And by and by they were all butchered.

As told by Osho in “Sufis the people of the path”

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel: “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him”, she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it.”

“Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.”


Neediness and...


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A young woman police officer in Broummana, Lebanon.

Mayor hopes ‘sexy’ police force made up of young women wearing short shorts will improve tourism.

Oregano Basil Parsley Rosemary Sage Thyme Mint

I'm no gardener but I love fresh herbs.

Rosemary Semolina Bread

I gravitate towards lighter breads in summer. Sometimes I add coarse cornmeal and steel cut oats and rye to the sourdough.



At least nine people have drowned in Massachusetts in less than two weeks.

Handmade Getaway

Kiddie Pool Weather

Cold Spring Park

We were recycling our garden wire at the transfer station and decided to take Romeo for a walk in the shady park on the way home. We walked the trails in the shade and wondered how people could be playing tennis in the 94 degree heat.

Hungry Ghost Bread Festival
Hungry Ghost Bread

Bakery. 14th Annual Bread Festival will be on Sunday, September 17, 2017.

Balance, Be a Fulcrum

The Gift


Indoor Air Quality

INDOOR AIR QUALITY: Scented Products Emit a Bouquet of VOCs

Air Quality Alert!!!


The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has issued
an Air Quality Action Day for Ground Level Ozone, in effect from
11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening.

An Air Quality Action day means that Ground Level Ozone
concentrations within the region may approach or exceed unhealthy
standards. For additional information, please visit the Rhode
Island Department of Environmental Management website at:

swimming at the YMCA

At the pool last night a woman said. I'm Chantelle, remember me? I was your neighbor 20 years ago! She has 4 gorgeous sons and they are all swimming at the YMCA.


Grilled Pizza Season!

If you grill pizza be sure to use hardwood charcoal because it burns hotter and the dough won't fall in between the cracks.

Instant Pot Yogurt

5 Ways to Manage ANGER

Keeping your cool can be incredibly difficult; here are a few simple tips to help.
By Judy Eron, LCSW

Anger is a strong emotion. Sometimes we go overboard with it, and yet, sometimes we don’t express it enough. Anger can be trickier for a person with bipolar. Having a diagnosis of any chronic illness usually carries some anger with it—anger that you have a label to deal with, anger at having to take medicine, anger at the stigma caused by misconceptions of society. What’s important is to not let angry feelings dictate your responses.

Here are five ways to stay in charge of your anger:

1) Slow down

The old strategy of counting to 10 has endured because it works. Anger is full of energy, gets your adrenaline going, and raises your heart rate and blood pressure. There is a strong urge to act immediately. But putting time in between whatever roused your anger and your response is a good thing. Counting to 10 (or 50 or 100) works well for some, but here’s another version of this: Think of a song or verse now that you will always use when you are angry in the moment. It could be a soothing refrain such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” or “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” Or you might prefer a more driving song, such as “I Will Survive” or the CSI theme song “Who Are You?” The important thing is to think of this now and have it ready for when you need to put space between your feeling and response.

2) Get physical

Therapists have often urged their clients to “pound your pillow.” It’s another technique that sounds too simple, yet actually often works. Releasing the physiological part of your anger can free you from anger’s grip and allow you to figure out what you want to do. If your body is revved up with the fire of anger, you’re not likely to make good decisions about how to handle the situation. Pounding a pillow may be exactly what you need, perhaps adding words that you wish you could say to the source of your anger. Some other exertion —a run or a brisk walk—could provide a similar release

3) Write a letter to the person or situation you’re angry at

This is a letter you will never send. Its purpose is to cool your feelings so that you can problem-solve what to do with your anger. In this letter, you can blame, you can accuse, you can write whatever you want. But this is not a letter you send. Of course, this letter might turn out to be the prelude to writing a more controlled and strategic letter that you actually would send.

4) Write a letter to yourself

You can be your best coach and supporter. It’s important that you recognize your anger and give it credibility. In this letter, be understanding of yourself and about what is making you angry. “I have a right to feel angry. My feelings matter. However, what do I want to do with this anger?”

5) Light a candle as a signal

Sometimes anger, specifically at a partner, can make you feel ridiculous and shameful. These secondary feelings can interfere severely with bringing up what you’re angry about. Lighting a candle, a special candle used only for this purpose, can be a message to your partner (mother, child, etc.) that you are angry about something but not quite ready to talk about it. Communicating this can avert an escalation, where the other person keeps saying, “What’s wrong?” which only serves to make you angrier. This candle can buy you some time.

I’m not suggesting that it’s easy to manage anger. But it is possible. Anger does not have to be a runaway horse you’re on.

Summer 2011


Today thinking about the word submit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Etymology and meaning
The Kaaba in Mecca is the direction of prayer and Muslim destination of pilgrimage

Islam (Arabic: إسلام‎, IPA: [alʔɪsˈlaːm] (About this sound listen)) is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words mostly relating to concepts of wholeness, submission, safeness, and peace.[43] In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God".[44][45] Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, and means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, and means "submitter" or "one who surrenders". The word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam."[46] Other verses connect Islam and religion (dīn) together: "Today, I have perfected your religion (dīn) for you; I have completed My blessing upon you; I have approved Islam for your religion."[47] Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith.[48] In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that also includes imān (faith), and ihsān (excellence).[49][50]

Islam was historically called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies. This term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Jesus Christ in Christianity. Some authors, however, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system.[51]

Black Currants are Illegal in the USA

Blackcurrants were once popular in the United States as well, but became less common in the 20th century after currant farming was banned in the early 1900s, when blackcurrants, as a vector of white pine blister rust, were considered a threat to the U.S. logging industry.
Blackcurrant - Wikipedia

Kito Fujio

Japanese Playgrounds At Night By Japanese Photographer Kito Fujio

Paul Krugman

Trump, Tariffs, Tofu and Tax Cuts
Paul Krugman

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

July 9, 2018

According to early indications, recent U.S. economic growth was full of beans.

No, seriously. More than half of America’s soybean exports typically go to China, but Chinese tariffs will shift much of that demand to Brazil, and countries that normally get their soybeans from Brazil have raced to replace them with U.S. beans. The perverse result is that the prospect of tariffs has temporarily led to a remarkably large surge in U.S. exports, which independent estimates suggest will add around 0.6 percentage points to the U.S. economy’s growth rate in the second quarter.

Unfortunately, we’ll give all that growth back and more in the months ahead. Thanks to the looming trade war, U.S. soybean prices have plummeted, and the farmers of Iowa are facing a rude awakening.

Bake Bread

Bake before the dawn during a heat wave. Lately I am using steel cut oats, rye flour and coarse cornmeal in my sourdough breads. Fabulous!


“Today is 10 July 2018. It will be longer than previous ones,” said a post on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page. “We will celebrate together finally. Hooyah!”

Deaths of Despair

Is the US facing an epidemic of 'deaths of despair'? These researchers say yes

Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s findings on mortality rates have made waves. A new paper looks deeper at a divided America – and its crisis of suicide, overdoses, and drug- and alcohol-fueled diseases

Michael Bible

‘There appear to be two Americas: one for people who got a four-year college degree, and one for people who didn’t.’

In 2015, the Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s groundbreaking paper in the National Academy of Science’s magazine reported that mortality rates among a section of Americans were suddenly surging – something unheard of in previous decades. Mortality was only rising in a certain group: middle-aged non-Hispanic whites without a college degree.
Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans could exceed Aids toll in US
Read more

Case and Deaton have returned with a new paper published last week by the Brookings Institute. It paints a grim picture of two Americas, in which one has recovered from the 2008 economic crisis and the other hasn’t. The latter, once called “blue-collar aristocrats”, consists of families who were previously able to get by with jobs not requiring college degrees. The disappearance of those jobs has been accompanied by an alarming rate of suicides, overdoses, and diseases caused by drugs and alcohol.

Case and Deaton call these “deaths of despair” – and argue they have recently reached disturbing levels. While opioids account for many of the deaths, drug abuse may only be a symptom of a larger, unseen epidemic of despair.

Dr Anne Case answered questions over email.

Could you briefly describe your original research and what this new follow-up paper adds to it?

Our 2015 paper documented a set of facts: that after a century of almost uninterrupted progress on mortality, US white non-Hispanics (WNH) in midlife were experiencing a sustained period in which mortality rates stopped falling and rose instead. This stands in contrast to the continued declines in midlife mortality in other rich countries, and to progress being made in the US by black non-Hispanics, and Hispanics, who are on average poorer than whites.

Our 2015 paper highlighted the role played by suicide, alcohol-related liver mortality, and accidental drug overdoses in pushing mortality rates higher for WNH Americans. Our latest paper allowed us to take a deeper dive, looking at mortality and morbidity in much broader perspective. We found the mortality increases are in sync with the distress midlife WNHs face in many dimensions: poorer health and mental health, social isolation, obesity, marriage (or lack of marriage), poorer labor market opportunities, and weaker attachment to the labor market.
Sign up for Guardian Today US edition: the day's must-reads sent directly to you
Read more

Two additional findings stand out: using these outcomes as measures of wellbeing, there appear to be two Americas: one for people who got a four-year college degree, and one for people who didn’t. In addition, these poorer outcomes for those without a college degree become more and more pronounced the later in the 20th century.

You use the term “deaths of despair”. I’m wondering how you would define “despair” in this context?

We think of drug, alcohol and suicide deaths. In a sense, they are all suicide – either carried out quickly (for example, with a gun) or slowly, with drugs and alcohol.

How do you see religion and marriage as factors in the rise of mortality rates among WNH Americans?

There hasn’t been a decline in religion, but it appears there has been a change in the type of churches to which people report an affiliation. “Legacy” churches (eg Catholic, mainline Protestant) have given way to “seeking” churches, in which there is less structure.

I’m not sure traditional ideas of marriage have changed, but later-born birth cohorts of WNH without a college degree are substantially less likely to get married, or stay married. To be concrete, almost three-quarters of WNH men and women with less than a BA born in 1950 were married when observed at age 30; that fell to two-thirds for the cohort born in 1960 seen at age 30; and to half for the cohort born in 1980.

Scholars in sociology tell us this is closely connected to the fact that men in later-born cohorts can’t marry if they don’t have “a good job”. Those jobs – jobs with on-the-job training, jobs with benefits, jobs where, if you work hard, you can expect to move up – are harder and harder to come by now. While marriage rates fell, rates of cohabitation rose. However, unlike what one sees in many European countries, these cohabitations are fragile in the US. Taken together, this leaves less structure (in religion, in jobs, in marriage). If things go well, this is fine, but if things go poorly, this can lead to suicide.

You write that the recent decline in incomes does not completely explain the rise in “deaths of despair” among white non-Hispanics without a college degree; they also face a “cumulative disadvantage” over the course of their lives. How do you explain this?

Current household income per person doesn’t explain why those without a BA have rising mortality rates. For both those with and without a college degree, incomes rose in the 1990s and fell with the great recession. But those with a BA saw mortality rates fall throughout this period, while those without a BA saw mortality rates rise throughout.

We are working with a model of “cumulative disadvantage” to help us make sense of the rise in despair. You can think of everyone born in a given year (say, 1960 or 1970) as being handed a weight that they have to carry with them. The heavier the weight, the harder it is to carry, and the longer you carry it, the worse things become. That weight may be the kinds of jobs a person can get with a high school degree (measured in wages and opportunities for advancement), and it appears that weight is heavier for each successive birth cohort. The quality of the labor market may affect whether a person marries, and the stability of their personal lives, and whether they risk their health at work.
Financial despair, addiction and the rise of suicide in white America
Read more

What current policies, if enacted, could prolong or deepen or halt the epidemic?

Addiction and mental health programs are essential. Working to stop the over-prescription of opioids is essential. Policies that make available educational opportunities for people who don’t want a college degree – that allow people to develop the skills that will be rewarded in the 21st-century economy – would make a big difference.

You suggest that Europeans don’t see the same rise in death rates due in part to a stronger social safety net. Could you see an argument for such a social safety net in America?

This might be more difficult than it sounds. Americans like to think of themselves as individuals who can look after themselves and their families, and expect the same of their neighbors. A stronger safety net may not be politically feasible. The difference between a “helping hand” and a “handout” may be in the eye of the beholder.

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.




Jun 15, 2018 @ 06:58 AM 3,087
Suicide Isn't A U.S. Problem. It's A Global Health Epidemic

Nicole Fisher , Contributor

Especially among the world’s young people.
Researchers concluded that the suicide rate among U.K. students rose by 56% between 2007 and 2016.

In recent weeks suicide has been written about extensively in the United States, with high profile individuals giving a renewed focus to the tragic loss of life, taken by one’s own hands. And while advocates and educators of mental health care are doing their best to use these tragedies to save countless other lives, the conversation appears to get continually lost in the sordid details of celebrity and scandal.

But with new data released in the U.K. and global efforts garnering traction in the most wide-ranging geographies in the world, it is time to take a step back and refocus on the global epidemic that is suicide. Especially among the world’s young people.

Here are some key takeaways for better understanding how large of a global health problem suicide really is:

- According to the CDC, the link between suicide and mental disorders—in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders—is well established in high-income countries like the U.S. However, “many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness,” in all countries in the world, and are on the rise.

- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death globally for 15-29 year-olds, and at record breaking levels for students in high-income countries. Researchers concluded that the suicide rate among U.K. students rose by 56% between 2007 and 2016. Although it is important to remember that the number of students has also changed in that period, making it difficult to accurately know the increase.

- An alarming 78% of suicides occur in low- and middle- income countries. Moreover, it is estimated that around 30% of suicides in low- and middle-income countries are via self-poisoning via pesticides. Most of which occur in the world's rural, agricultural areas.

- The Japanese, despite being a very high income country and having a population less than half the size of the United States ( 126 million compared to the United States' 275 million ), has the same number of suicides annually as the U.S.

- In 2017, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy asserted that loneliness was a growing health epidemic related to loss of life. He cited a study that contends social isolation is associated with a “reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” and/or long-term illness.

- The U.K. just appointed the world’s 1st Minister for Loneliness. The country leadership was stunned when reports came out last year from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, stating more than 9 million people in Britain alone (about 14% of the population) admitted they often or always feel lonely. And, that the impact costs U.K. employers up to $3.5 billion (USD) annually, in addition to high levels of suicide across age groups.

Although any and all efforts to curb mental and physical health problems associated with suicide are important, it is clear that around the world, efforts are collectively falling short. The taking of one’s life is not a rich or poor problem, nor is it a cultural phenomenon. It is pervasive across every society and region of the world, and only getting worse. It’s time we stop thinking about suicide as individual acts, and begin thinking about the health of the human race.


Vera Cruz Church Segovia Spain is a dodecagon.
There's a building near my neighborhood that is brick gasometer with 12 sides. It's for sale. It could be a fabulous bakery/ice cream cafe! It's right on the park.

Basil l'Herbe Royale

Cultural aspects

There are many rituals and beliefs associated with basil. The French sometimes call basil "l'herbe royale" ("royal herb"),[27] while in Welsh it has the synonymous name "brenhinllys".[28][29] Jewish folklore suggests it adds strength while fasting.[30] In Portugal, dwarf bush basil is traditionally presented in a pot, together with a poem and a paper carnation, to a sweetheart, on the religious holidays of Saint John and Saint Anthony. However, basil represented hatred in ancient Greece, and European lore sometimes claims that basil is a symbol of Satan.[31] African legend claims that basil protects against scorpions, while the English botanist Culpeper cites one "Hilarius, a French physician" as affirming it as common knowledge that smelling basil too much would breed scorpions in the brain.

Holy basil, also called tulsi, is highly revered in Hinduism.

Basil has religious significance in the Greek Orthodox Church, where it is used to sprinkle holy water.[32] The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Macedonian Orthodox Church and Romanian Orthodox Church use basil (Bulgarian and Macedonian: босилек; Romanian: busuioc, Serbian: босиљак) to prepare holy water and pots of basil are often placed below church altars.[33]

In Europe, basil is placed in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey.[34] In India, they place it in the mouth of the dying to ensure they reach God.[35] The ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks believed it would open the gates of heaven for a person passing on.[36]

In Boccaccio's Decameron a memorably morbid tale (novella V) tells of Lisabetta, whose brothers slay her lover. He appears to her in a dream and shows her where he is buried. She secretly disinters the head, and sets it in a pot of basil, which she waters with her daily tears. Shortly after the pot is taken from her by her brothers, she dies of grief. Boccaccio's tale is the source of John Keats' poem Isabella or The Pot of Basil – which in turn inspired the paintings Isabella (Millais painting) and Isabella and the Pot of Basil. A similar story is told of the Longobard queen, Rosalind.

In certain central regions of Mexico, basil is used to draw fortune by hanging a bunch of the plant in the door or window of the shop. The plant's growth reflects the wealth of the business, showing how dutifully the owner cares for his shop and the herb.

Skeeter Syndrome

Mosquito bites are the itchy bumps that appear after mosquitoes use their mouthparts to puncture your skin and feed on your blood. The bump usually clears up on its own in a few days. Occasionally a mosquito bite causes a large area of swelling, soreness and redness. This type of reaction, most common in children, is sometimes referred to as skeeter syndrome.
-Mayo Clinic

Monday, July 09, 2018

Christmas in July Iced Coffee

Yesterday we added homemade eggnog ice cream to our iced coffee. A little taste of Christmas.

Golden Raspberries

There are golden raspberries on my walk. I might have to ask the neighbors if I can pick them...

Blackstone ACO

Contact: Blackstone Police Department
Animal Control Officer Kevin Sullivan
*Call and leave a message or email for animal control.*

Artist Upcycles Vintage Teeth, Prosthetic Eyes Into Macabre Accessories


Mending Library

Michael Swaine's Free "Mending Library" Repairs Clothes, Community ... › › Featured

Mar 14, 2013 - His current ambition is the construction of a free "mending library," a place for "fixing the holes in our borrow thread and sewing ...
San Francisco artist mends clothes and builds community — just by ...

Bugs: Flying Hypodermic Needles


The Best Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites

Groat Bread

Culinary uses

Groats are nutritious but hard to chew, so they are often soaked before cooking. Groats are used in soups and porridges: steel-cut oats are simply sliced oat groats.

Groats of many cereals are the basis of kasha, a porridge-like staple meal of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. In North America kasha or kashi usually refers to roasted buckwheat groats in particular.

In North India, wheat groats are known as dalia and are commonly prepared with milk into a sweet porridge or with vegetables and spices into salty preparations.

Parboiled and cut durum wheat groats, known as bulgur, are an essential ingredient of many Middle Eastern dishes such as mansaf and tabbouleh.

Groats are also used in some sausages such as black puddings. A traditional dish from the Black Country in England is groaty pudding (not to be confused with groats pudding). Groaty pudding is made from soaked groats, leeks, onions, beef, and beef stock, and baked up to 16 hours; it is a traditional meal on Guy Fawkes Night.[citation needed]

Coarse barley flour is made by milling barley groats.[1]

Types of groats

Oat groats: these are a good source of avenanthramide.
Millet groats
Wheat groats, e.g. durum wheat groats like bulgur
Buckwheat groats (though buckwheat is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal.)

Power of the Pause

Using the autolyse method: unleashing the power of the pause

Itchy Swollen Bug Bite

I have a bug bite on my knee and it is soooooo itchy. The patch of red inflammation is huge. I just cut a piece off my aloe plant and put the goo on my swollen knee bite and the relief was instantaneous.

That's what makes it a good natural remedy for mosquito bites. The vitamins and minerals found in aloe vera will help to reduce the pain, swelling and itching. On top of that it will also help the bite heal faster. Either fresh aloe vera or aloe vera gel works perfectly for this home remedy.Aug 18, 2015
How to treat mosquito bites | deBugged - Rentokil

Blackstone Cape

I hope a wonderful person moves into this neighborhood on Edgewater Drive. We walk our dog here all the time and know everyone on both sides of the street. I am telling all of the people who are looking for a house....
Helena's old house on 35 Edgewater Drive is for sale.

I am sharing this with all of the good friends who are house hunting...

Last Night

Last night we took Romeo swimming again. He loves to swim! I found a fish hook stuck in a rubber worm right where we stand. I put it in an empty plastic water bottle so nobody will step on it. Then we walked the loop with him and ran into Celeste, Deb, Steve, Peter, Josh, Sandy, Carl. You'd think we lived on Edgewater Drive.

Cleaning the Streets of Woonsocket

Romeo and I walked downtown at 6AM picking up trash. The city is so clean I HAVE TO grab stray bits of garbage when I see it. I noticed someone weeded the Elks Club island (under the electronic sign) so I joined in grabbing the remaining milkweed plants. Perhaps the person thought milkweed was not a weed. When I got home I was hungry and hot. I made toast and a banana blueberry raspberry smoothie with orange juice, ice and yogurt.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Jay Leno

What do you say when you talk to a young comedian who’s coming up and reaching for the kind of career you’ve had?

My advice is just take the job. Don’t worry about how much it pays. I’m always astounded when I meet comedians who go, “I’m not going there for that kind of money,” and I go, “Who are you? You haven’t done anything. No one knows who you are.” If you’re any good, the money will come. Pay attention to your product. If you’re not making enough money, it’s ‘cause you’re not good enough.

I spent almost a year at the Comedy Store asking to go on after Richard Pryor. No one wanted to follow Pryor because he just blew the room out. He was really the best. After that, I realized I didn’t have an hour of material. I had about 18 minutes of really funny material. I just kept throwing out everything that wasn’t funny.


Food and Mood

Food and mood.

Roy Blount, Jr: Song to Grits

Song to Grits

When my mind's unsettled,
When I don't feel spruce,
When my nerves get frazzled,
When my flesh gets loose -

What knits
Me back together's grits.

Grits with gravy,
Grits with cheese.
Grits with bacon,
Grits with peas.
Grits with minimum
Of two over-medium eggs mixed in 'em: um!

Grits, grits, it's
Grits, I sing -

Grits fits
In with anything.

Rich and poor, black and white,
Lutheran and Campbellite,
Jews and Southern Jesuits
All acknowledge buttered grits.

Give me two hands, give me my wits,
Give me forty pounds of grits.

Grits at taps, grits at reveille.
I am into grits real heavily.

True grits,
More grits,
Fish, grits and collards.
Life is good where grits are swallered.


-Roy Blount, Jr.

Heat Disaster: Mass Casualty Incident

How many people have to be carted off or die before they change the time slot for the Bristol parade.

Crews in Bristol 'overwhelmed' with heat exhaustion calls at parade

Updated: Jul 04, 2018 06:16 PM EDT

The oppressive heat and humidity didn't stop thousands from attending the 233rd Annual Fourth of July Parade, but officials said they've been inundated with calls of people needing to be treated for heat exhaustion.

Juice: Gateway Beverage?

You must be kidding.

YoYo Ma's Philosophy: Turn Fear into Joy

“You can turn fear into joy when you receive something that's living, that goes inside you—because it becomes your own.” @YoYo_Ma's philosophy of living. Performance as hospitality & communal witnessing. Sound as visual. How music makes us better. Listen:

Vintage Rustic Metal Bread Bucket with Dough Hook

I was given one of these by a neighbor and I will use it with the 8 year olds when teaching bread baking!
We'll make pizza (Epicurious)


3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil


Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. KNEAD dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. PUNCH down dough. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. ROLL out dough according to recipe instructions. (Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.)

Yard Work

Bill and Mark cleared out the brush pile. It took 4 hours and three truck loads. It's amazing!
A friend asked us why we didn't just burn the brush. We explained...

No open fire of any type shall be permitted at anytime in the City of Woonsocket. This includes domestic yard trash fires and leaf burning. Open fire is defined as any fire within which the products of combustion are emitted into the open air and are not directed through a stack or chimney. Barbecue pits shall be used only for the cooking of food and not as an incinerator. Charcoals, or similar type cooking fuel, shall be the only fuel permitted in barbecue pits.

Dog Speak: Nat'l Geographic


Jessica, Sharon, Brenda

I ran into Brenda last night and we had a visit. She's in love! This morning I stepped out with Romeo at 6 AM and ran into Sharon and her Papillon Bella wheeling through the park. On my way home I met a woman named Jessica, who was very weepy and wanted to meet Romeo. "My cousin, she's a published author in the chicken soup book of dogs." She started crying, "She wrote a story about a pit-bull who wouldn't fight and the owner set him on fire. My brother is a corrections officer in the navy stationed in Okinawa. I talk to him every day and my other brother works for electric boat. My other brother just got out of prison after 3 years. I'm going to meet him in Providence today to tell him we all make mistakes. I'm hoping he can come live with me here. I grew up in Pawtucket and ran away at age 15 because my mother abused me. I came here for a new start. Nobody knows my past here. The bummer is, my mother has custody of my kids.
Do you know about Community Care Alliance?
Yes, I start tomorrow 9AM.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Fashion and Disability

The conversation about fashion and disability is growing but far from over.
“I can’t say yet that I love fashion, because fashion doesn’t yet acknowledge people like me,” she said.

Sweatshirt Morning

New England summer is back again this morning sans heat wave. Amen Romeo and I walked downtown at 5AM.
5:18 AM
Sunday, July 8, 2018 (EDT)
Sunrise in Woonsocket, RI

Carol Borrelli

If I Ever Meet ‘Mr. Bipolar’—Why I Would Thank Him
If I could meet my bipolar disorder, I would ask him why he chose to accompany me in life—and I would also thank him.

By Carol Borrelli

Archetypes. They are everywhere. They are a part of our unconscious psyche, our more universal consciousness, and a part of our self-concept. So what of the archetype for bipolar disorder? I shall call him Mr. Bipolar; and I would really, really like to speak with him.

If I ever meet Mr. Bipolar, we will have a sincere heart to heart. In my mind’s eye, from a distance, I see him as tall, charismatic, charming, and dressed deceivingly well in a black-and-white tuxedo. Upon closer inspection, however, he looks a bit pale and haggard, a bit worn out. He will be seated across from me, and I will look him in the eye.

First I will ask him, “Why?” I will ask him why, at my tender age of 12, he started coming to visit me. I will remind him that I was a sweet, kind, talented child, if I may say so myself, full of hopes and dreams.

I will remind him that he had no business messing with my mind and causing me the pain that he did.

I will ask him why he chose me, why he came to call. I will remind him that I had a “normal” childhood, a loving family, a good upbringing, and a firm belief in a Higher Power. I will share with him that while many persons with bipolar disorder have other family members affected by the condition, I was the only one that I knew of with it in our family, causing me to feel like I didn’t belong. I will tell him how very alone I felt, in my pre-teen world, where no one else seemed to be affected by a mental health condition (or at least they didn’t acknowledge it). I will share how I felt I had few immediate examples of persons in my life living with bipolar disorder, few role models. Yes, Mr. Bipolar, you made me feel so very lost and alone. Like I was confused on a hike and without a compass.

I will ask him why he was not content to visit just once and then leave well enough alone. Why he made me feel so dead inside that I would literally pinch myself to make sure I was still alive. I would ask him about the time in the hallway in high school when friends had to hold me up because I was about to swoon from sorrow. I will ask him about the embarrassing crying spells that I could not control in the middle of the day at school. How at times he was like an incessant, pestering guest, constantly coming to visit when no one had called for him. Yes, what about that, Mr. Bipolar?

Then I will ask him about the euphoria. That exhilarating, deceiving euphoria. So high on life, so happy. Yes, Mr. Bipolar, you were sooooo pleasant. So wonderful. You had me shooting through the stars. But you were not content to let me sail among them. Instead you would be followed by a depressive crash the likes of which I was lucky to survive.

And what of your name, Mr. Bipolar? I have never felt it truly reflected reality. At times I did not want to be identified with it. I had always felt it made me sound confused. Like I couldn’t decide between only two equal yet opposite moods. Don’t you see you are a spectrum, Mr. Bipolar? Don’t you see there are many points when traveling along life’s path with you, Mr. Bipolar, and various descriptors with which to categorize them? I have always felt that where I was located along that path was no one’s business and quite irrelevant. All one needs to know, if anything, is that I have issues with my mood. Mood Disorder. Affective Disorder. Any of these will do. But okay, they call you Mr. Bipolar; I will accept this.

And Mr. Bipolar, for far too long, you have not been a friend. I suppose you expect me to tear into you for this and all the reasons above, and that we shall part with bad blood. I suppose you think that I hate you, that I am ashamed of you, and that I will resent you.

But before leaving, Mr. Bipolar, I will do the unexpected: I will thank you.

I will thank you for teaching me patience, kindness, and strength.

I will thank you for teaching me courage and wisdom. I will thank you for teaching me compassion, and not to judge others, if I can help it. For you taught me that there is so much more to a person than meets the eye.

I will thank you for the creativity and the unique perspective that experiencing strong emotion contributes to my art. I will thank you for helping me to think outside the box in my problem–solving. Having a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, and ADD is a lot to contend with. You forced me to be creative in dealing with these issues, so that I may function well. And now I can try to use those techniques to help others.

As we depart, I will remind you of one more thing: that I am not you, and you are not me. I will remind you that I have a host of family members, a treatment team, a lifetime of coping skills to rely on. Though I know that Mr. Bipolar may come to visit, I will remind him that any of his destructive antics that may come along are not welcome in my world. That he will be managed. That he may be himself, but ever and always, I will be me. I will tell him that I will take the good with the bad, and make the best of my circumstances.

For like the spectrum of a rainbow, the spectrum of bipolar also consists of light.

Let it shine.
Tagged with: acceptance, Bipolar, coping skills, creativity, treatment
About the author: Carol Borrelli
Has 7 Articles
Carol Borrelli Carol Borrelli is an RN, makeup artist, writer, musician, and published poet, who has Bipolar Disorder. She was diagnosed with the condition at the age of fifteen, and has 32 years of wisdom to share regarding coping and thriving with the condition. She has twenty-five years experience working in the psychiatric field. Carol is the author of the Sweet Minerals cosmetic company Beauty Blog (, as well as Girlfriend’s Guide to Good Mental Health (, a blog dedicated to mental health, beauty, and poetry. Her work has been featured in the Gift of Second, a website dedicated to suicide loss survivors, and The Mighty. Carol is herself a survivor of suicide loss, having lost her brother. She is a Field Advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Everything she does for mental health promotion and suicide prevention is dedicated to and inspired by the memory of her brother, Jefferson Joseph Blanton-Harris.