Ambivalence


Hours of work got in to the making of these three jars yesterday. Opening one jar does become a festive occasion with so much sweat equity. It reminds me of times past when jars filled with food were not commonly available on store shelves. A time I never experienced but only heard of.

In truth I cherished avoiding more pressing matters by placing my focus on the fruit bowl on hand, still filled mostly with loot off common grounds, here depicted with the occasional store bought Mango.

A Sunday afternoon seemed like a perfectly good time to attend to a pile of Apples and Crabapples and to mix another jar of Salsa Verde of my liking, which includes bits of Apples and Crabapples with one whole cluster of Garlic and one whole bunch of Cilantro and then some.

By the end of the afternoon I am left with mixed feelings. All this work for 3 jars only, while other important matters are left unattended? Yes, even these jars filled with goodness can leave me feeling ambivalent, not to talk about life in general.

More Loot

Under a rising, milky, almost full moon, with still plenty of daylight, I got to the big tree with the big apples and discovered that I was not the only one interested in loot. A few rough and tough looking, probably Mexican guys were hanging out, aiming funky apples from the ground up at the good ones hanging out of reach. I had no hesitation joining them in my hunt for good enough apples for sauce for tomorrows addition to free meals offered at the nearby shelter. Once the guys understood that I wanted to bring the apples processed in to applesauce to the shelter, one stranger, Ramon, with his front teeth missing, took it upon himself to reach those ripe and juicy looking apples way above us by climbing up that old gnarly tree. We made a great team as he started to throw me apples one by one and I was able to catch each, except for one. In that way I was able to fill my whole backpack with freshly picked, ripe and juicy, beautifully intact apples.

The kindness of strangers tends to show up in the most surprising places with the most interesting faces. Ramon, with his missing front teeth, no doubt would have scared many a middle aged woman.

While some older, maybe wiser women proclaim to be nobody's mom and may decry those that support another's habit of begging by giving out of sentimentality rather then good judgment, some such woman may still get joy out of giving that which she prepared with love and attention and ingenuity and last but not in the least, with the most important, if unexpected helpful kindness of strangers.

Loot


The pears are ripe for the picking. I boiled them down with a few cloves, a bit of sugar and added arrowroot for thickening at the end. A whole pile made for 1 quart jar and a whole lot of work, but so worth it. Tastes not bad on plain frozen yogurt.


These Crabapples are finally ripe without a doubt. I picked them this morning and they came off easy. They are huge and taste especially good boiled down with 2 apples, the juice of 2 lemons, some raisins, and a bit of brown sugar. Delicious,  I can attest, still warm on top of frozen plain yogurt or piled on hot pancakes.


I hope to find some more at the nearby public park as I want to experiment with some sort of relish. Crabapples are great added to my kind of Salsa Verde, and also  ads taste to my vegetable soup, so I discovered.


Really I am not in the habit of picking up fruit from public spaces, even though it is legal. I never had a garden of my own and live an urban life style downtown.

Maybe sometime last year the absurdity occurred to me of buying fruit when the streets and parks were littered with the rotten kind. I really hate waste but love getting a great deal.

According to my sources the city has not sprayed pesticides in years, only occasionally some soap. And according to one city worker these apples, from the very same tree, are not dumped and discarded as expected, but are fed to his sow! Knowing that there is one thinking, self directed city worker makes me very happy.

Well, I gathered my share of the tree's free fall. While the apples taste not the best, cooked with a few added crabapples, the juice of 2 lemons, a bit of applecider for good measure, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some vanilla, they make for a great topping on pancakes or wholesome flavor to plain yogurt.


Truth be told, I am not terribly domestic. But creating these jars of goodies feels very satisfying and kinda exciting. It's a lot of work that reminds of times past and makes me kinda feel rich.


My fridge now holds applesauce in bits and pieces with added vanilla,  applesauce blended with a dash of ginger, crabapple sauce, pear bits, salsa verde and in the mood I also made a huge pot of vegetable soup. The sprouting jar below holds wheat kernels for wheat grass which my furry friends adore and the big jar holds water infused with fresh peppermint tea - sun tea. How much greener can we get! Hooray for living a more and more sustainable, holistic life style!

Save the Chimps!

Save the Chimps!
Until just now I had been unaware of Chimpanzees living in New Mexico. Since 1950 about 200 monkeys have been kept and used, first for in space research and later it seems for medical research in affiliation with an Air force base. Now they might be transferred to another facility where they might get used again for medical research. Thankfully Governor Richardson has stepped in and it is now on the news. Please do sign the petition and do your part to stop unnecessary animal cruelty!

Summer Time

 

Changes to this blog

Please note that I made a few changes. Since I have been obsessed with looking at the world through a lens, either on my Nikon D40 or Olympus Stylus, I have taken thousands of photos over the last few years. My cameras have really given me a new lease on live, a new way of seeing and foremost discovering beauty.  And as I slowly discovered how to post process my photos to images to my liking, of course I have been feeling more and more a desire to share them in hopes of growing as a photographer.

On your right you can see a link to my flickr site with my most recently posted image on display. Below I placed a slide show, but have not yet figured how to enter the images I prefer to display. So I added a page, my first, that offers you a link to 100 of my personal favorite images in a randomly arranged full screen slide show, a set on flickr created for this purpose. I like the result so much, I am sure more slide shows on varied subjects will follow. Click on the page and then click on the link (in purple) and voila. Sure wish I would know a more direct way, but this is the best I seem to be able to do for now. I hope you like what you see. And I sure would love your constructive, honest feedback.

You may also notice that further below on your right there are now two questionnaires, because inquiring minds like to know. Seriously I do wonder what keeps YOU, one of thousands of viewers from responding and interacting. And I wonder who you might be, so there you got my inquiry in to your set of mind. One gives you multiple choice answers of my imagination to why you may not have  responded and the other is in regard to President Barack Obama. The questions are simple you are always welcome to answer in more detail somehow, - or not at all.

I am working too on correcting my tags, so you can use them to explore according to your interests. Still need to figure out how to change that font to a readable size, without taking over the individual posts.

I am hungry for civilized intercourse (communication between groups and individuals.) This is my invitation to YOU, the mysterious reader, to come out from hiding and interact, if only by pressing the button of like/dislike. That might be a beginning. Thank you for reading this, thank you for visiting and thank you for taking an interest.

Sex - Abuse - Massage

Once again massage therapy is linked to sex, this time in an article of our local New Mexican, where it says that massage led to sexual assault. 39 year old Marcial Zapata looks rather scary, certainly scruffy and not exactly trust worthy in his mug shot. Another male accused of the abuse of a female. Inappropriate touch is never excusable, yet sadly still rampant. My sympathies always lie with the victim.

Still, what gets me is that "the woman said she began feeling uncomfortable when Zapata's hands began sliding up the baggy shorts she wore." I say, if you are not comfortable getting a professional massage in the nude, covered only by a sheet or towel, get seated bodywork, or get the services of an Acupuncturist or Chiropractor, neither requires a state of undress. The fact that the woman wore shorts, and baggy ones on top, speaks volumes. Would we all learn to listen to our intuitions and take actions accordingly.

There are very legitimate reasons to therapeutically work on and all around the butt. For people to take offense because a professional bodyworker pulls their pantie below the sacrum is ludicrous and really hampers effective therapy. It speaks of a society steeped still in feeling prudish, unbecoming in this day and age. The times when a glance at a ladies wrist or ankle set a male in to ecstatic musings are long gone. Professional, therapeutic bodywork has constantly to contend with prudish, moral, religious and culturally based taboos. Any bodyworker worth his salt, or your money, knows how patterns of stress repeat themselves and knows of the importance of maybe touching the feet to relief a headache, maybe working the Glutes to address tight shoulders and neck. For God-dess sake, if you are uncomfortable speak up, if you don't understand, ask!

As a professional bodyworker for almost 3 decades I have had to contend with inconvenient underwear often. While current ethic laws suggest, maybe demand that we do not slide our hands under the coverings of a client's choosing, I have done so many times. Nobody ever stormed out of my practice because of pulling a pantie down so I can address the oh so very important sacral tip, the coccyx at the very end of a spin. Often though I had to explain my intent which always I was more then happy to do.

While real abuse happens and may have happened in this reported case, the details were not forth coming, some abuse may be a figment of the victim's imagination. Everything hinges on trust which is maintained only in an on-going effort at communication. We can give trust in an instant and lose it just as fast. Misunderstandings might be just as rampant as actual abuse I would venture to say!

The woman here had come back to this unregistered, unlicensed supposed 'healer' for the third time. He must have done her some good for her to have returned to him twice. License is no guarantee for quality of treatment. Neither is price, but $40 is very low for a massage, unless given by a student. 

So how do we know if any given practitioner is legit, able, capable and professional? Offering his diagnosis clearly put him outside legal parameters. Massage Therapists are not allowed to diagnose, period. I have offered my professional, educated estimation of what might help in addressing any one symptom and often was rewarded in being right on the money, or right about 'the issues in the tissues.' There are very few bodyworkers though that actually know how to palpate and rearrange organs. I have never been one of them. So I would know nothing of a diagnosis of "a dropped uterus." Correcting the positions of organs can be legitimate and possible, but should be offered only by a highly trained professional. We can always go for a second opinion, we can check the registries, but ultimately we have to rely on our intuition and ability to take matters in our own hands. We have to learn to know when anyone crosses our boundaries and then respond appropriately. We have to learn to not give our power to another, even while we are down and they are towering over us.

This guy, Marcial Zapata, may be a creep, may have taken blatant advantage of a woman in a vulnerable physical and psychological position, which would be reprehensible. Please remember though, no stoning of those not yet proven guilty, neither of those found guilty and certainly not of the innocent. Those times have passed. (At least they are long gone in our western world, while sadly in some places like Iran they still are alive and well.) We no longer throw the victims to the lions, but one would not know reading the comments in the blogosphere.

What irks me are those Puritans that cry foul play when they understand nothing about the art of bodywork or massage therapy, the wonders that can unfold, the depth of experiences that can be had and the freedom that can be felt after having shed a life time's worth of armoring and hiding behind social dos and don'ts.

Schtrieler

Schtrieler, one that stays out all night and then sleeps in all day, or most. Yes, that is my Pretty Kitty, en Schlaumeier, an escape artist, now a tired one.

He may not have been wanting to listen to the wretched retching sounds of what must be I hope not a permanent guest of my new neighbor.

Women @ Work in the 40th







"Photographers working for the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) created the images between 1939 and 1944."

"The original images are color transparencies ranging in size from 35 mm. to 4x5 inches. They complement the better-known black-and-white FSA/OWI photographs, made during the same
period."

Check my flickr galleries for more on my selection of Women @ Work and Folks, more may be in the making. All of my selections so far stem from the set 1930 - 40 In Color

"For more information about the collection and to see the approximately 171,000 black-and-white photos, visit: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/f sac/"

Taking Stock

Last Sunday August 1., two years ago I created my first blog SUENOSDEUOMI  and one year ago I switched to UOMIS, this venue because of tech problems. So now I am one week in to my 3. year of my blogging adventure. A good time to pause and take stock.

My older blog garnered 1648 visitors from 68 countries to date, if I trust that flag counter. This site counts 1045 visitors from 47 countries with 3855 page views.

What does it all mean? That I am not quiet as invisible as I feel? A few told me in person that they enjoy reading my blog. But feedback, much less a discussion is rare, almost non existent. My post on the tragic demise of Chris Rose was an exception and garnered views and comments as I had linked it to our local paper's article and my flickr account. I still think of Chris Rose, every time I pass the roses outside the church of Our Lady Guadalupe. I vividly remember watching Chris stealing a rose and me reprehending him and the exchange that ensued and then later on the plaza how he presented the flower to the lady of his choice.

So are my posts simply too boring to warrant a response? One anonymous feedback said something to this effect. Why bother to write or read a blog?

For me I like for one the challenge of formulating a thought or more often an experience. I liked that even as a kid in school having to write essays. I was a vorascious  reader and would bring stacks of books home from the libraries. I would read while walking to school, or under the bed covers when I was supposed to be sleeping. For a while I resented everybody that attempted to bring my focus back to  the mundane world. No, don't ask me to leave my book and go on errands!

Because I grew up speaking Swiss German, (proper) High German was the language used to read and write, the English/American language, my fifth, has challenges all of it's own for me. I have extensive training in German and French, but only several semesters in the English language. Most I picked up by listening to foreigners and pop songs at first, and later by needing to communicate with  a host of internationals while living in Amsterdam. The very first book written in English that I attempted to read was Fritz Perl's In and Out of the Garbage Pail. A presentation of a then new form of psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, by the creator himself. I believe I intuited a lot of the ideas rather correctly, after all Perls was born in Berlin, was germanic. It was the early seventies, centers for the Human Potential Movement like Esalen held a lot of fascination, certainly for me.

Gestalt "Prayer" (may have become my credo)
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

That sums up my feelings about my blogging pretty well
- for now.

May be continued ...

You may notice that I added a section that lists the blogs I follow. I am on the look out for blogs of interest to me. I find it rather odd how difficult they seem to find. Your suggestions will be welcome.

Delicious Medicinal Meal

I discovered that steamed Dandelion greens over a heavily spiced tuna steak smothered in green Chile Verde of my own making (lots of Cilantro, few tomatoes) is quiet edible, in fact delicious. I was afraid I would not be able to stomach the bitter Dandelion since all my fibers long for sweets. The very reason my body is in such dire need of the blood and liver cleansing properties of bitters such as Dandelion. Do you know you can make coffee from the roasted roots of Dandelion that is considered in the Macrobiotic system of healing through diet as extremely Yang and beneficial?

Advise for Women Who Run With Wolves

The advise from Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. out of her book Women Who Run With the Wolves reads as follow:
1.  Eat
2.  Rest
3.  Rove in between
4.  Render loyalty
5.  Love the children
6.  Cavil in moonlight
7.  Tune your ears
8.  Attend to the bones
9.  Make love
10. Howl often

Cat and Dog Hanging

Sumo-boy and Saemi-boy, cat and dog,
 hanging out with no need for mediation.

Fresh Breeze

Ah, fresh breeze on my cheeks 
while riding my bike 
with two pups on lead, ah!


I made it out on bike with the pups by 7 this morning. No big deal? Well, for our sleepy town, little happens this early, the streets are still mostly empty, the air can be cool, even cold as autumn seems to have announced it's approach already. For me it is a big deal to beat the temptation of the net and head out, rather then on the computer, before the heat of the day.

My pups did great, stayed focus and did never once threaten my life with  erratic, spontaneous impulses of their own. I marveled inside the coffee shop, where we stopped on our way home, how easy life has become with more mature (going on 5 years, both) dogs. No longer did I have to feel anxious about their behavior outside while I was placing my order inside. No longer did I feel a need to crash the waiting lines to get back out to prevent mayhem. They are really good doggies, but canines they are. It is always better to not approach an unknown tethered dog. Today one girl somehow got scared off. I really do not know what happened, did not hear any klamauk. I felt bad, wished the girl would have wanted to try again, rather then slink away from my pups. I surely do not want to imprint fear of dogs on any girl through my pups. Wish someone had introduced me gently to dogs when I was young and scared and certain those German shepherds  were out to bite my hand off. 

Isabella-girl, who often now lags behind (having discovered that my eyes are not on my back) today, with a glimmer in her eyes, got to running ahead and gave Sumo this mischievous look back. I love that glee filled spirit of hers that exudes out of those big brown eyes.

Passing a tree full of apples many of them on the ground, I learned that some city workers do think and make sensible decisions of their own. The fallen apples will not be wasted in a land fill, but will feed a sow. Hooray for not wasting food! Hooray for one man's initiative and hooray again for the city no longer fertilizing all public parks as it used to be done. No thanks to toxins and yes to green managements. In our community it is the law that fruit hanging and dropping on/over public spaces is common goods. My eyes were open for loot!
That is how I stopped at a neighbor's plum tree where the side walk was littered with gooey, gunky, messy, squooshy plums. Hoping for some whole fruits, I stopped and stared, as two girls, I learned 9 and 3 years old, approached me. Ah, so cute, the bigger girl pushing the wagon holding her younger sister. I learned that she has a day off from Summer school because she has a mean teacher. Her paper did not get a star like most others, so she decided to give herself a star! And for good measure she added a second star on her sisters sheet. Oh well, the girl conceded that she misses her best friend, a boy, and she will go back to school tomorrow. I was surprised to find two very cute girls unsupervised on the streets. Hope they will get their expected new puppy tomorrow and that I will see them again at the dog park, under supervision.

All in all a most delightful morning today.

Unsolicited Advise #7

One can be only as honest with others as one is with self.
When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.
Mark Twain 
When she cannot deceive herself 
the chances are against her being deceived by others.
Deception of self and others is rampant. Many a woman has tales to share. In the news only today one woman claims to have discovered, on facebook, the marriage of her husband to another woman! Lies can pass through lips of the most sincere and sweet looking faces. A sociopath perfects suggesting to you what he thinks you want to hear. Of course such disturbed individuals could be male or female, but here I am concerned with the woman that gets taken by her man, her lover, her husband, and sometimes a total stranger.

Gullibility because of feeling needy, chasing a dream, or seeking a way out from an impossible situation is not helpful, but neither does it condemn the victim of a ruse.

I remember my Dad's warning to me, then a teen. I hated his trying to impress on me that the world is not a safe place and people can not be trusted. I hate to give this same impression now. The antidote is to learn to trust your instincts, go through the world with eyes wide open and to not wear blinders and rose colored glasses. 
The truth shall set us free!

Wet

Unsolicited Advise #6

Learn the difference between a response and a reaction!
Dr. Kaushik
I must credit Dr. Kaushik with alerting me to the difference of a response versus a reaction.
 
It was the seventies, I was still in my teens, Dr. Kaushik had just started to travel the world teaching his insights to those that would listen. I had just moved in to a farm house with a huge attic out in the Swiss, very pretty countryside. Dr. Kaushik came to hold his seminar in our attic. It was all very exciting. An international group of young attractive world travellers came to camp out with this guru, or master from India. My mentor Dwuno placed Dr. Kaushik's teaching to a similar level of enlightenment as Krishnamurti's, a very high endorsement. So happily I sat at this man's feet along with everyone else and listened. I was young and in serious trouble with my parents. Eventually I got up the courage to ask about my situation at home. His answer: "Don't react!"

An automatic reaction is a far cry from a measured response. Mature, responsible human beings nurture the ability to respond, rather then react! I will always feel gratitude for Dr. Kaushik's teachings.




Unsolicited Advise #5

Learn the difference between feeling your feelings and acting them out. A sure sign of acting out is being overly concerned with the other rather then yourself. Manage your experience rather then another's! Make I-statements rather then blame as in: "You did", "-made me feel ...."

Releasing pent-up energy through acting out is very tempting and seems so real when in truth it is a means of avoiding your feelings and manipulating another's. Remember to bring it all back to yourself, your experience and your choices, rather then reactions.

Unsolicited Advise #4

My unsolicited advise from one, 
maybe a bit more experienced woman to another:

Feel Your Feelings!

Expression is negotiable - Repression is not.

Point of View

A different point of view
may reveal the extraordinary in the mundane.

Happy Birthday President Barack Obama!

Despite all the disappointments in policies stemming from this current administration, I personally still feel enough good will and affection for (and from) President Barack Obama to wish him a very happy birthday with many returns yet to come. 

Well wishes do not make for a personality cult, it is o.k. to join Michelle Obama in wishing President Barack Obama well. Doing so does not denote blind following of a leader, it does not stamp the presidency with our total approval, it only offers a return of good intentions we so clearly can feel and believe in coming from the president we elected.

Sweet and Refreshing

Downtown Oasis in our High Desert



Reflections are not too common with our high desert climate, but the monsoon rains, really severe storms, have started up again. Better late then never as in years prior. So for us these water reflections are a feast for the eyes and are not at all taken for granted.

Potential

Given the chance, and here the likelihood of such by far outweighs the lack, this green bulb will soon mature in to a big, bright, beautiful, tall yellow Sunflower. While there is great potential for the realization of these genes, beauty and value are found in all stages.

Is it chance or providence that makes us reach, or not, our (human) potential? 

I would say it is part chance, part nurture, part luck, as in not attracting unwanted predatory attention, and a good part the ability to persevere. I have no reason to believe in providence or fate, do you?

Swiss Independence Day August 1.

The Swiss celebrated today August 1. the birth of their nation which dates back to August 1. 1291!

The common CH symbol, oddly seen on back of American cars in the States, stands for the latin Confederatio Helvetica (CH) translated in to German to Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft and  in to American, Swiss Confederation. 

Switzerland is no young Spring Chicken, the Swiss have been around the block a few times or more. These days their wisdom not to join the EU (European Union) seems a lot more sensible and prudent.

I have to resort to Wikipedia to learn that the area that makes up Switzerland covers only a ridiculous 15,940 square miles. The population counts less then 8 million.
In 2005 the median household income in Switzerland was an estimated $90,000! For much of the 20th century, Switzerland was the wealthiest country in Europe by a considerable margin. The Swiss franc remains one of the world's strongest currencies with the lowest inflation rate.

The Swiss Confederation has a long history of neutrality—it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815. Gosh, do I appreciate such a record!

1971 was the year women were granted the right to vote. My mom never chose to exercise her right, while I had left Switzerland before the age that would have qualified me to place my votes.

Switzerland has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world; It was one of the countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2003. The country is heavily active in recycling and anti-littering regulations and is one of the top recyclers in the world, with 66% to 96% of recyclable materials being recycled.

Zürich, home to 1.5 million inhabitants and 150,000 companies, has taken top position in recent quality of life surveys. Life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Universal health insurance is compulsory.

The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of chocolate and looking at myself, I believe it. Finally though chocolate was discovered to hold those beneficial health qualities that encourage us to indulge guilt free.

Albert Einstein, physicist, might be the most famous Swiss personality but contemporary Tennis player Roger Federer, born August 8. 1981 may haven even more name recognition. C. G. Jung, Psychiatrist, has gained a surprising popularity here in my community in Santa Fe. Jean Piaget's name I encountered only the other day when I researched a pre-school in my neighborhood. Giacometti's work was recently auctioned for top price, I have no idea why, I do not understand his art, but sought after it is. On the other hand Andreas Vollenweider is well known in New Age circles for his trance inducing, soothing sounds.

Still Pretty