Compassion and Hypocrisy

compassionchalkboardtextI needed a few things at the crafts shop; glue sticks, jute, ModPodge, stuff like that.

Let’s clarify right from the beginning —  I live in what could be described as a sorta snooty beach town — home prices in the $700,000 to million dollar plus — a fair amount of discretionary spending — lots of ladies who go to the gym, spa, lunch, shop.

The crafts store I went to is in a smaller strip mall. I parked my car between a Lexus and a Mercedes (see?), grabbed a reusable bag from the trunk, and headed into the store.

It was a busy Sunday; by the way a lot of the (mostly) ladies were attired, it’s obvious they had come directly from church — this is SoCal so nobody doesn’t wear flipflops unless they have to, and there were more flowery frocks than Lululemons.

As I’m walking toward the store, DIRECTLY to the left of the automatic double glass doors  —  in plain sight — was a man sprawled out on the sidewalk. You couldn’t tell if he was sleeping. Or if he was dead. He had no blanket, no pillow, nothing except a well-worn paper bag near his feet.

JUST LYING ON THE SIDEWALK.

I looked around and there were no less than three other women walking toward the crafts mecca along with me.

NO ONE even glanced in his direction, but it’s not like you could avoid seeing him.

He was RIGHT there.

They had to make a CONSCIOUS decision to ignore him.

I made eye contact with one woman who looked away, uncomfortably.

It was obvious that she did NOT want to engage in a conversation.

I went in the store, walked over the first employee I saw, and asked if he knew anything about the man that was either dead or alive outside his store.

He said, “Oh yeah, someone mentioned him.”

I said, “Well, has anyone checked to see if he’s OK, if he needs help, IF HE HAS A PULSE??”

He said, “Would you like me to call the manager”?

I said, “Yes, you do that.”

As I’m tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for the manager to appear and deal with ME, it was hard NOT to feel all the other women awkwardly look away from the SITUATION.

When the manager arrived, she said, “Are you the one who wants to know about that man?”

I said, “Yes, I’m the one. If you knew there was a human lying on the ground – he could be sick, he could be dead, he could be homeless — why did you not call someone to help him?”

(Watching out of the corner of my eye as other women avoided the aisle where we were standing.)

“Well, do you want me to call someone?”

I don’t f***ing believe this.

My blood pressure was rising — as was my voice.

“YES, PLEASE CALL SOMEONE TO SEE IF HE NEEDS HELP — OR I WILL, DO WE NOT LIVE IN A SUPPOSEDLY CIVILIZED COUNTRY? HOW CAN YOU ALL (as I point to the group of women who are listening) SIMPLY WALK BY AND NOT CARE?”

“YOU ARE ALL DISGUSTING.”

“He’s someone’s son or brother or father. What if he were YOUR son or brother or father?”

Yes, I said that.

If you want to know why I didn’t go up to him myself, its because I actually thought he was dead, and didn’t want to disturb a potential crime scene, and if he was sick, well, it’s not my job to offer medical assistance.

The manager called the police who arrived immediately, and it appeared that the man was indeed homeless, but was having some sort of medical condition and needed to be transported to a hospital — not life threatening, but he definitely didn’t need to suffer on the sidewalk.

As I stood in line waiting to purchase my glue sticks and other non-essentials, a woman thanked me for “doing something” and said she was planning to say something if I had not.

Well, people, I can’t be everywhere, so don’t wait for me.

SPEAK UP.

Whether it’s a sick and dirty homeless man or a mistreated animal or an abused child.

Be civilized. Be compassionate.

SAY SOMETHING.

DO SOMETHING.

Don’t just talk about it.

Don’t be a hypocrite.

DO SOMETHING, OK?

SEEDS: Lots of Nutrition in a Tiny Package

Puritan's Pride SeedsI LOVE pepitas (and it’s fun to say.)

Mostly we eat raw nuts and seeds around here, but once in a while, roasted pepitas are SO good.

When my son and DIL recently visited, I arranged a healthy snack platter that included a little bowl of pepitas.

It was emptied in SECONDS, and I had to refill the bowl at least three times. My son couldn’t stop eating them — and that always makes me happy.

What ARE pepitas?

Pepitas are the green kernels from pumpkin seeds. The seeds are removed from the pumpkin and then dried.

They’re a good source of zinc and protein and they also provide iron, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, some B-complex vitamins, and dietary fiber.

Pepitas can be eaten as they are, sprinkled on top of cereal, added to salads, savory dishes, and roasted vegetables.

Seeds are often the forgotten sisters of nuts, but seeds have many amazing health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked, according to Kristin Schierenbeck, Director of Nutrition at Puritan’s Pride.

The good people at Puritan’s Pride sent me an amazing and delicious array of samples from their collection of wholesome foods.

See that one picture? I had to be quick as a bunny to snap it because my son packed EVERY SINGLE item to take home with him. That’s how much he loved them.

So much for me cooking and baking, but it’s even better knowing that he’ll have great sources of good nutrition.

Seeds contain protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and trace minerals.   Some other favorites:

Hemp Seeds:

  • Hemp seeds are one of the few vegetarian sources of a complete protein.
  • Hemp is one of the earliest known cultivated plants with a history dating back thousands of years.

 Chia Seeds:

  • Chia seeds are a good source of fiber.
  • Fiber helps to lower the glycemic index of meals and helps maintain blood sugar levels already within normal range.
  • Fiber also helps maintain healthy functioning of the GI tract and can support colon health.
  • Fiber promotes heart health and helps maintain cholesterol levels already within normal range.
  • Chia seeds provide Omega-3 in the form of Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) and Omega-6 as Linoleic Acid (LA) – vegetarian sources of these essential nutrients.
  • Essential fatty acids provide support for heart and skin health.

Sunflower Seeds:

  • Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E. One of tugboat man’s FAVORITE ways to eat sunflower seeds is sprinkled on salad. I’ll have to remember that before he returns, which better be soon!

Flax Seeds:

  • Flax seeds provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 – 2 essential fatty acids that can’t be produced in the body and must be obtained from diet.
  • The Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to heart health and provide an energy source for the body.
  • Flax seeds provide Oleic Acid, which contributes to nerve health.

My son throws the chia, flax, and hemp seeds in his daily protein smoothies and combines the pepitas and sunflower seeds with nuts and dried fruits for his surf trips to Santa Cruz.

I’ll be heading up to visit him in a couple of weeks and will finally be able to bake cookies and protein bars using all the seeds as ingredients.

I was provided product and no monetary compensation; the reviews are my own.

Thinking About Going VEGAN?

vegancookingOr if you already are, you still need to read this book.

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking by Annie and Dan Shannon contains more than TWO HUNDRED delicious recipes, tips to save you $$$, and how to stock your pantry.

It’s one of those books you’ll turn to on a daily basis. I thought I knew it ALL, but I learned much more valuable info.

From the Shannons:

“In our new book, we strive to show readers how to cook creatively and thriftily with recipes, sidebars, and tips on stocking a pantry and using ingredients creatively. Most recipes result in leftover ingredients and servings that can be reused in multiple ways, reducing waste in your kitchen while keeping your meals fresh and flavorful. Inspired by the recipes and cost-saving techniques used during the Depression and World War II and paying a vegan homage to Julia Child, we’ve worked to create a system that’ll help vegans and not-yet-vegans alike get the most out of what kitchen goods you’ve already invested in so that you can spend less and get more.”

The photos are AMAZING, the recipes are easy to follow, and the tips are great!

Some of the recipes I can’t wait to try: Tofu Spring Rolls with Agave Chili Sauce, Pumpkin Pie Muffins, Slow-Cooker Tempeh Jumbalaya, and Sesame Miso Kale Chips.

Don’t they sound DELICIOUS?

Annie and Dan have appeared on the Today Show, Oprah.com, the Kitchn, in BUST magazine and numerous other media outlets, publications, and food festivals promoting compassionate living. Their first book, Betty Goes Vegan, won VegNews magazine’s Cookbook of the Year award in 2013.

P.S. If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, you can meet the authors at a book signing.

PORTLAND
Saturday, July 18
Herbivore Clothing Company Store
1211 Southeast Stark Street

Website: http://www.meettheshannons.com/

Easy Peasy Refrigerator Pickles #MeatlessMonday

picklestextI spent the day harvesting cucumbers and trying to figure out a way to preserve them until hub FINALLY comes home.

Freezing definitely doesn’t work for cucumbers, but hub loves my homemade pickles, so that’s what I’ll do.

There’s a real sense of satisfaction in seeing the jars lined up on the shelf — a connection to the simpler times of harvest and preservation — no stores needed, just garden bounty and the proper ingredients.

pickles3

I pickled the cucumbers, dug up some carrots, and thought I’d get super creative and TRY pickling kale because there’s just so much of it.

Use the same brine for the carrots and kale; the only change is the addition of a lot more garlic to the kale.pickles4

Easy Peasy Refrigerator Pickles 
5 medium cucumbers
1 tablespoon pickling salt, sea salt, or kosher salt (but not iodized table salt)
1 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 cup water
1 head dill or small bunch dill leaves
2 cloves garlic (optional)
3 black peppercorns (optional)
or one tablespoon pickling spices

Prepare the jar(s) by running through the dishwasher or washing it in very hot soapy water and letting it air dry. Any glass jar with a lid will do; the wider the opening, the easier.

For the crunchiest pickles, select firm, dark-green pickling cucumbers that have not started to ripen to white or yellow. Cut them into spears, slices, or chunks (left whole, they will take a long time to pickle in the fridge).

I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that the ends need to be cut off or it’ll create a mushy pickle.

Place the dill in the bottom of your jar, peel and crush the garlic cloves (if using), and drop that in along with the peppercorns (if using), then put in the cut cucumber.

Mix the salt, vinegar, and water in a separate container, stirring until the salt is dissolved, then pour it over the cucumbers, filling the jar right to the top.

If you’re in a hurry to enjoy your delicious pickles, heat the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil before pouring it over the cucumbers. Pop on the lid and put the jar in the fridge.

For kale, make sure it’s super clean with no dirt or sand lurking anywhere, ‘cos no one wants to eat gritty greens!

Shred as you would cabbage for slaw.

I actually mixed collard greens with the kale.

Place a few garlic cloves in the bottom of the jar(s) along with the pickling spices and dill.

Pack tightly into the jar(s) and pour vinegar mixture all the way to the top.pickles1Pickled Kale

pickles2I’ll let you know how the kale tastes after a few days of relaxing in the brine spa.

Do you pickle or can? How do you preserve your garden’s harvest?

The Good Karma Diet: Book Review

41NE50FNxPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“Eat gently, Feel amazing, age in slow motion.”

It seems to me that 4th of July — Independence Day — is the perfect time to review The Good Karma Diet since so many of us (well, not ME exactly, more like some of YOU) will be grilling and barbecuing thousands of pounds of dead flesh, an orgy of pig and cow and chicken and who knows what else.

Don’t get me wrong —  we love to barbecue too, but nothing that used to live and breathe — and it’s still an altogether happy and pleasant and fulfilling experience for tugboat man to get his grill on — with corn on the cob (non GMO of course), potatoes, veggie burgers, tempeh, tofu, garden veggies — and we are causing no harm and eating ethically.

Think of how beautiful our world could be if Independence Day meant Independence for ALL creatures from factory farm hell to enslaved circus animals to SlaveWorld to the horrors of puppy mills.

Freedom for ALL.

Many popular diets call for avoiding some foods or eating others exclusively. But as The Good Karma Diet reveals, the secret to looking and feeling great is actually quite simple: Treat our planet and all its inhabitants well. In this revolutionary book, bestselling author Victoria Moran reveals that by doing what’s best for all creatures and the planet, you align your eating with your ethics—a powerful health and wellness tool if there ever was one!

The Good Karma Diet shows readers how favoring foods that are karmically good for you will help you:

– Sustain energy
– Extend youthfulness
– Take off those stubborn extra pounds
– Reflect an enlightened outlook

This book also includes the inspiring stories of men and women across the country who have made this simple mealtime shift and reaped “good karma” in every aspect of their lives. Follow this wise diet and lifestyle program and you will find yourself waking up in a good mood more often and having a luminous look that bespeaks health and clean living.

Hopefully, you’ll read this wonderfully sweet book and shift your eating habits and quite possibly your KARMA.

The Good Karma Diet shows you why it’s in your self-interest to care about animals and the future of this planet. You feel better and avoid the ills plaguing American society, like heart disease and obesity. We all win a better world. And, good karma is delicious.”
—Jane Velez-Mitchell, creator of JaneUnchained.com, journalist, and author of Addict Nation 

I was provided this book to read and review.

Happy 4th of July!

Of Circuses and Condoms: The Slave Trade is Alive and Well in 2015

Circus TextThis might come as a shock to you.

I don’t spend ALL of my time shopping. Seriously, is that what you thought?

It’s true that I devote a great deal of my waking hours in a search for treasures old and new, but once in a while, I aspire to a higher calling.

circus5On Sunday and Monday, I hung out with an amazing and dedicated group who were protesting Ramos Brothers Circus in San Marcos, California.

Shame on San Marcos for supporting the mistreatment of animals.


What’s my story?
 I’ve never been to a circus because my mom felt strongly that animals should not do tricks and that there is something so very wrong in forcing animals to become entertainment for human profit.

If you were wondering where all my animal activist genes came from, I’d have to thank my mom. (Also thanks to her for the fashionista gene.)

I stopped eating meat in 1970 when I was a senior in high school. My surfer boyfriend (yes, I have a type haha) at the time wanted to try to eat healthier so I went along with his experiment. We eventually broke up but I never did eat meat again.

circus1Thank you to everyone who drove by, honked, and gave a thumbs up in support of our efforts.circus4

I have a request to make of you…the next time you see a group of people protesting animal abuse, STOP. Get out of your car. JOIN US. Take an hour out of your busy day just like we did to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Bring your children. Show them that you don’t just talk about caring for animals…you are agents of change. circus2

Then, hopefully, we CAN make the world a better place.

No matter what you think about PETA, they’re right about this:

“Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives.”

Animals have RIGHTS.

Did you grow up eating meat, wearing leather, going to circuses, zoos, and the bathtub that is SeaWorld?

Do you wear wool and silk?

Are you now considering the impact of your actions on the animals?

If you haven’t, maybe you SHOULD.

Animals are NOT a requirement for a circus-type entertainment to be prosperous.

The overwhelming success of Cirque du Soleil is proof that you don’t need to have animals of any kind to have a circus.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, said people have turned against animal acts as they learn more about the animals and how they are treated. “These are complex, intelligent animals, and this is a lousy, lousy, dirty, cruel business, and people see that,” she said. “This was purely a business decision.”

Isn’t it wrong that these animals don’t get to see this glorious sky, bask in the breeze, and feel rain on their fur? Their lives are dismal, traveling from one city to another in dark, smelly, cramped trailers.
circus8

I’m not going to share the sad, tragic, horrific, heartbreaking pictures and videos of abused animals. If you need proof, you are more than welcome to Google and compile your own documentation.

I KNOW all I need to know.

A couple years ago, I spoke (along with PETA) against elephant rides at the San Diego County Fair and almost got into an altercation with one of the few supporters of this barbaric form of entertainment. I don’t understand how seemingly intelligent and civilized humans could allow this kind of abuse in 2015 when we’ve seen the videos, when we know what hell an animal endures to become “entertainment”.

Aren’t we better than this?

Haven’t we evolved at all in the last one hundred years?

Do you really need all that bacon-wrapped crap when you know what hellish existence pigs endure in factory farms?

Really?

Compassion
Let’s teach our children, the next generation, that not only do animals have feelings, animals have the right not to be exploited, mistreated, abused, and enslaved.

For more information, visit circusprotest.com
I hope to see you in San Diego at the next protest!

As we walked our way over to the sidewalk with our signs, look what we had to step over.

Gross, huh?circus11

However, in some way, it’s a perfect albeit disgusting metaphor for the way too many people think about animals; that their lives have as much value as a discarded condom. Or something like that.

How about a little inspiration from Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young?

Teach Your Children

Cloud’s Illusion

Pretty clouds but no rain.JuneClouds1 I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at allJuneClouds2 Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere,
I’ve looked at clouds that way.JuneClouds3 Subtropical moisture in the air.JuneClouds4 Maybe…

It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life
I really don’t know life at allJuneClouds5Just an illusion…circus8Thanks to Joni Mitchell, lyrics from Both Sides, Now

I Have Little Desire To Be On WordPress

Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife:

This was food for thought. I know I’ve been frustrated by so many WP changes as well as some of the what I believe to be elitism and “friend fueled” Freshly Pressed. What do you think? Are you happy? Looking for a change?

Originally posted on Renard Moreau Presents:

wordpress.jpgMost bloggers are aware of the fact, that WordPress is, the number one blog site in the blogosphere (And, I genuinely believe that they are going to remain in the number one position for a very long time to come).

WordPress is, the ideal place for a blogger to get his or her blog noticed (And, bloggers like being noticed).

However, WordPress is, always doing upgrades; the kind that is famous for stressing out bloggers.

While upgrades are necessary, I believe that Automattic (the creators of WordPress) took things a bit too far by messing with the Editor feature (I hate the new Editor with a heated passion; which is why I am still using the old one).

And, the User Interface is, becoming stranger looking with every upgrade.

Do you still feel the same way about WordPress as when you first joined it?

I can tell you without…

View original 936 more words

Plant Motherly Milkweed for Monarch Butterfly LOVE

The motherly milkweed provides sustenance to the Monarch butterfly and is crucial to sustain the species.

milkweed1

Everyone who loves butterflies should plant milkweed and since NObody doesn’t love butterflies, there should be enough milkweed planted to sustain the entire cosmos.milkweed7To clarify, I’m not referring to the plural of one my fave cocktails, but the cosmos of our universe.milkweed2

According to Monarch Joint Venture…

Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.), and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape.

Please plant milkweed to support monarch populations, and their incredible migration!

Planting milkweed is a great way to help other pollinators too, as they provide valuable nectar resources to a diverse suite of bees and butterflies.

For a brief how-to flyer on planting and gardening, download MJV’s Gardening for Monarchs or the Wild Ones “Wild for Monarchs” brochure.

As soon as I put the plant in the ground, it became inundated with all the Monarchs in my little part of the world.milkweed6

I planted it FAR away from the vegetable garden so the hungry little caterpillars wouldn’t decide to vary their diet and eat all my veggies.

Reminder! Don’t use pesticides or herbicides. milkweed3Click here for free butterfly garden and milkweed seeds:
https://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm
milkweed5

More information at Bring Back the Monarchs
http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/milkweed6

Californians can help save the monarch butterfly by restoring habitats where they can thrive. Take action now: Tell lawmakers to vote “YES” on AB 559 to restore monarch butterfly habitats. http://ecovote.org/SaveTheMonarch >>