Everything Has a Purpose

Right now in the beginning of spring I am so impatient sometimes to get things in may garden and to get them growing.  There is a problem it seems, every time the dirt gets about dry enough to plant it rains again or it turns cold again or both.  In my heart of hearts I know that it is this way for a reason; whether I can decipher the reason or not.  We humans though, think that we are in charge or at least that we should be; for after all we are the center of the universe, aren’t we not?  How many times do we have plans for our day off and the weather changes; like going to the beach and then it rains or worse turns cold.  Most of us really have little tolerance for things that do not go our way.  We all know that we are not really the center of the universe and that we are not owed a life free of interruptions but when it happens we still get upset.

Like my early example; when you plant a garden too early it may be killed by a late frost or at the very least it will not grow properly until the temperature reaches a certain point.  If it doesn’t rain regularly then later in the season there may not be enough moisture to keep your plants alive.  Even though we want to control things; they happen for a reason, and are governed by natural laws.  Even if we were to some how be able to override these laws and have our way; it would come back an bite us in the rear.  Just because you want it to; you can not make a ball fall upward, gravity works the absolute same way absolutely every time.

We already know that things are not going to go the way we want them to every time; so why not just accept it and be okay with it.  The day you wanted to go to the beach may instead be a trip to the library and you meet your soul mate.  The day you were to go to the outdoor concert; you call a friend and meet then for coffee and find out they know someone who is needing to hire someone with your exact skills.

So lighten up and be grateful for the life you have and look for ways to use  the surprises of life to find new and better opportunities.  Just because it didn’t go our way doesn’t mean it is not good for us.  We don’t always know what is best for us.  That person you were head over heels in love with when you were seventeen might have made your life a living hell or maybe they did.  Some loses are for the good; it is just hard to see it at the time.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

Can’t Let Go

Hopefully the frost here last night was the last frost for this season.  I know this happens every year but it seems like winter just has a hard time letting go.  I actually saw some frost on the edge of the mulch I put around my newly set blueberry bushes.  I will admit that there wasn’t much; nor would I have even expected that much at 40 degrees.   It could have warmed up some before I arose though; my feet didn’t hit the floor until about 7:15.  I have several tomatoes and some peppers out but I had them covered with some nursery pots, no apparent damage, nor did I expect any.

We like old man winter ( or is it old lady winter ) are prone to hold onto things when we would be better served to just let them go. How many times have we held onto past hurts, slights, bruised feelings, or emotions  that hold us back from enjoying the present. When we don’t just forgive and forget about it; who are we hurting? Certainly not the one who hurt us.  They have already forgot about it, or they may not even know that what they said or did hurt you.

When I say forgive and forget about it; I mean forgive yourself, them or both, and let it go.  If it is bothering you; it is in the past and you are in the present, you can’t go back and change it, nor can you change it from here.  Today, the present is the only time you can control and you are the only person you have any hope of changing and that is sometimes hard to do.

Nine times out of ten the person who hurt you did not intend to; nor even in a lot of cases even realize that they did.  They said something and you heard something entirely different; what they meant was not what you thought they meant. The next time someone does or says something that hurts your feelings; if they are important to you and you want them in your life, ask them if that was what they meant.  I will bet that you will be surprised in how many times you misread their intentions.  By simply clarifying, you prevent the misunderstanding before it happens.

Now go out there and be happy.  Have great relationships, be kind and loving to all.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

 

Soup Time Again

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This is my butter bean, butternut squash and kale soup.  You can also see some of my sourdough bread.

A cold front came through here last night and the temperature is about twenty degrees less than it was yesterday and it got me thinking about soup.  When it is cooler I usually make a big pot of soup at least once a week but it has been a month or so since I made any.  I guess I was too busy with the start of spring, trying to get my garden going, setting out four new blueberry plants and getting them mulched, mowing the grass for the first time.   I have a lot to mow so I mowed it over two different days; usually do it all in one day but not this time.  The yard around the house which I mowed first is ready for another trim around the ears; on my schedule for Monday, maybe.  I also found some asparagus plants at Lowe’s and there must be at least 50 to 75 plants and I am Working on a bed for them.  I had some asparagus about thirty years ago and ate so much of it that I didn’t want any for years; maybe I can restrain myself this time so that doesn’t happen again.  My daughters and some of the grandkids like it so I guess it wouldn’t go to waste.

The soup I am going to talk about is one of the last ones I made before it started warming up.  I do not go through all the steps with photos of each step as some food bloggers do but instead give you a general idea of how I did it and the ingredients I used.  Cooking is individual and personal;  we use what we like and season it as we like it.  Suggestions help but in the end it is your baby and it certainly won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t do it exactly like I did it.

I have my own garden and I usually raise what I call butter peas or small lima beans and sometimes there will be beans that are a little to dry to use as fresh beans so I keep them to use as dry beans.  These were what I started with; soaked them overnight in water, drained and covered with chicken broth added half a medium onion, a couple pressed garlic cloves and cooked at a very slow boil until almost done.  I took a medium sized butternut squash, peeled, removed seed, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces and added to beans.  Then I chopped some kale up and added to the pot.  In both cases I added until it looked like about the right proportion  to the other ingredients.  I added salt and black pepper and sriracha sauce to my taste and then simmered until the butternut and kale were done. If you want the kale just wilted wait a while before you put it in.  I personally like mine cooked a little more.  Over time you will get the feel of when to put the various ingredients in.  Feel free to use whatever seasoning combo that works for you.  Italian seasoning would work, maybe cajun or try turmeric.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

 

Renewal

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Taken in my front yard, morning after the storm.

Sometimes when something is happening that we do not want to happen; it seems like things will never be right again and sometimes that is true.  Some things do lead to permanent loss and permanent change.  When someone dear to us dies, that is permanent, nothing will ever bring them back.  Unlike the previous example; most change, even if permanent, does not have that kind of impact but it gives us a chance to move on.  That is good; when we are forced to move on, it gets us out of our comfort zone and allows us a chance to learn new things and to bloom.  Like a plant, sometimes we feel rooted to one spot and only by being moved by change can we reach our potential.  When we have to change there is an equal chance that the change will be an improvement and if we can see the positive in everything and be open to what is to come, the odds get much better.

Last night I was sitting here watching TV when this very unexpected electrical storm descended upon me, the lightening was flashing and the thunder rolling.  After a couple of minutes the lights flickered a few times and were gone.  The power was only out a couple of minutes but I had to wait ten to fifteen minutes for my Directv to reboot.  While that was happening I went out on my front porch to check on things and it hadn’t even rained.  It did rain right after that and managed almost a half inch but the rain was not the main event.  The main thing was the sudden and possibly damaging electrical storm, was I really concerned, no and if I had been aware that it was coming, would probably have not given it much thought.

Like spring after winter; the time after a storm seems like renewal.  Many times after something we think is bad has happened in our lives; it turns out to be a renewal too. The saying ” when a door closes, another will be opened ” is saying that life is continually renewed; whether we think we want it or not.  When things change we probably will not be able to go back; so we have to be open to the possibilities the change has presented to us and use the change to our own best interest.  We all know from experience that many things we initially think are devastating tend to work out over time.  What looks like gloom now may and probably will lead to an opportunity down the road.  We just have to be open to see it.  So the next time something like this happens in your life, don’t panic, give yourself some time to work it out and see how you can turn it into an opportunity rather than settle for what is initially seen as a tragedy.

I must admit that I don’t like change much unless I am in control of it but it is going to happen anyway so let’s go with the flow and use it to our advantage.  Besides, life would get very boring without it.

To Change!  Toast!

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

 

How Can We Be Living Longer But Not Better?

DSCN0027Dogwood in my front yard

Today we on average live longer than people did fifty years ago but the death rate from some diseases have not changed much.   Modern medicine does some things rather well and others very poorly.   If we are in a tragic horrible accident they can bring us back from the brink of death in ways that could have not even be dreamed of fifty years ago.  They have surgical skills that border on the miraculous and they can do wonderful things with it. They have modern diagnostic equipment that can help them determine what ails us.  This country spends more on health care than any other comparable country but in the end; they fail miserably in helping us to be and remain healthy.   Our quality of health care is lower than most of the developed countries.

Except for the above mentioned examples the health care industry is in the business of treating symptoms; not curing disease.  Heart disease, diabetes and other diseases can be cured or reversed by changes in diet and / or physical activity.  How many doctors will even admit that and even fewer will tell their patients that.  The medical schools do not teach nutrition as it relates to our health and most of the published data put out by our government is flawed or simply not true.

The approach is usually if they can’t cut it out or install some device to make it work; they write you one or usually more prescriptions for the symptoms and send you home.  Most don’t know anything else to do.  There are some that are open minded and will go out of their way to find an approach that will benefit their patients but others are even hostile to the idea that something besides what they have been taught could work.

If we get cancer they may be able to successfully treat it, put it into remission or reduce it to the point that it is not life threatening but if we keep living in the same way as before it will most likely return.  We all have cancer cells in our bodies and it can remain inactive or non threatening for years; then something allows it to start growing.  We could be unhappy in some area of our life, job, home life, or be under constant stress and feel overwhelmed and that the situation we are in is hopeless.  If that trigger that caused the cancer to start growing still exists; it can also be the trigger to allow it to return.  When people who have been told they have very little time left to live; make a dramatic change, it can add years to their lives and enjoyable, meaningful years too.

We will live a healthier, longer life when we take charge of our own health.  We can certainly use the medical profession when we have a need in an area where they excel but when it is an area we can better control; it is our responsibility.   You wouldn’t ask your maid  to fix your car, so why ask a doctor to do something most doctors are not good at. You can dig through all the conflicting information about what to eat and how and how long you need to exercise to achieve the quality of health you desire.  It may take some trail and error but you can figure out what works for you.  It is much cheaper and much safer than popping pills.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

 

 

 

Another Reason to Lose Fat

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Field in front of my house.

As if we didn’t already know enough about the dangers of fat; I am going to give you another one.  I guarantee that this is something you probably have never heard about but it could be one of the more important reasons.  It has already been proven that people who are overweight; in addition to the normal effects such heart disease and diabetes, fat also increases our chances of getting cancer.  Personally I am not absolutely sure how this works other than that there is a general deterioration in our quality of health when we are carrying too much fat.  Being overweight just does not seem to promote good health in general.

What I am talking about today is how our bodies handle toxins. These can be anything from the normal by products of our cell functions, toxins we get from our foods either from remnants of pesticides or other chemicals used in the growing process or things in the foods our bodies can not process.  Add to that all the additives, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors that are added to most processed foods and you have a real chemical cocktail in our bodies.  If our bodies can; they process these toxins and flush them out of our bodies either through our kidneys or colon. When our bodies are not able to remove them, they store them in areas of our bodies where they will cause less harm and prevent them from entering our cells and causing damage to them.

I have been reading about how to use food in our fight with cancer; either to prevent it or to get rid of it and prevent it from returning. Devra Lee Davis of the University of Pittsburgh refers to excess fat as the ” toxic waste site ” of the human body.  According to her, any form of physical activity capable of reducing fat, taking with it its stockpile of contaminants, is a prime method for ” detoxing ” the body.  Dr. Bouillet the medical director of the Institute of Radiotherapy at the Avicenne Medical Center of the University of Paris says adipose tissue (fat) is the principle storage site for carcinogenic toxins in humans.  This information I obtained from the book  Anti Cancer;  A New Way of Life  by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD.  He is himself a cancer survivor.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

I am an Amazon Associate and may get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.

 

Allergies; What Can We Do?

I don’t know anyone who does not have an allergy to something and most  of us have many but we are still able to function relatively well.  We manage to go to work, take care of our families, homes, pets and find things in life to enjoy.  What do we do if the allergies are overwhelming or debilitating?  We all know people that suffer greatly from either allergies to pollen, pet dander, household chemicals and even worse, food allergies. While any allergy can make our lives a living hell if bad enough; food allergies can kill us. They can be slow as in the case of gluten intolerance to very quickly in the case of a severe nut allergy.

Today I am focused on food allergies for they are the most dangerous. The idea to write this was sparked by an article I read this morning and the fact that my best friend had really bad allergy symptoms this week.  She felt really bad on Thursday and Friday but it was better yesterday and today; maybe because of the cold front that came through Friday morning and cleaned the air. The article was written by Ann Marie Michaels who at the age of 25 was very sick from her various allergies.  She talks about her struggle to eliminate her allergies by changing what she ate; she did do that but it took her over two years.  When she did it; she had no help or guidelines to follow and had to use the trail and error method, but she succeeded.  She now has an online course that is available to others that gives them the information they can use to do the same thing.  She has a step by step plan plus recipes to help you fix healthy nutritious meals to heal the damages to your body from allergies.  It is not just a case of a little sneezing or watery eyes, there can be serious problems caused by certain allergies.

I am giving you the link to the article  Reversing Food Allergies and hope if you have these types of allergies this will be a big help to you. If you purchase the on line course I will not be compensated in any way. I am strictly sharing this information.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

One of the Dangers of Modern Life

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Another view from my back yard.

We read or hear every day of things in our environment that may make us sick, give us cancer, change our sexuality; and otherwise fill our bodies with dangerous chemicals.  We are told of possible consequences of ingesting this chemical cocktail but we really have no way of knowing what our particular mix of these substances will manifest sometime in our future.  It is not like each of us has the same mix; it is also not like we are each effected in the same way, even if we did.  We all know someone who smoked and died from it at a young age and others who lived into their nineties or later while smoking.

One of the dangers I am talking about is the use of plastics.  First off I am aware that we are probably not going to eliminate plastic from our lives; at least not in our lifetimes, maybe in a perfect future.  I see this like using organic foods or not, we are not going to eliminate our exposure but we can reduce it.  If you can afford it; I think buying organic is good but it more important to eat healthy foods whether organic or not than to buy organic junk or highly processed foods.

I want to give you a link to a article that explains all the different kinds of plastic and explains which are the healthiest and which to avoid.  The article is called  20 Ways to Avoid the Toxins in Plastics by Dawn Gifford and is found on the blog Small Footprint Family.  We as individuals can only do what we can do but this information can help those of us who desire to lower our exposure to do that.  Any progress we make; could make a huge difference in our lives and those of our families.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

Change For Good or Change For Change

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The above is an early morning shot of what I see looking out of my kitchen window.

I feel very close to my roots; not to say that I haven’t changed or that there will not be further change but why do we change.  Is it because we dislike the way things are and we think an about face will make it better.  There is an old saying that says do not throw out the baby with the bathwater.  Well you may think that is stupid but how often do we abandon the tried and true methods for doing something and then jump on a new idea that is  in vogue but totally unproven.  Those of you; like me, who have been around for awhile can probably remember Dr Spock’s book about child rearing called Baby and Child Care  . It was published in 1946 the year of my birth.  Although I doubt that it had any affect on my upbringing it did for millions of others. For the first 52 years after it was published it was the second best selling book, next to the Bible.

Dr.Spock had studied psychoanalysis in his search to determine a child’s needs and the relationship with their parents and he was the first pediatrician to do so. How did someone relatively inexperienced in child care and rearing children amass the millions of followers that he did?  He changed the landscape of rearing children; some say for the worse, and it was based not from years of experience but something he put together in his head.  Some ideas for change may be like Dr. Spock’s and change the world but not necessarily for the good.  We have to be careful about jumping on any bandwagon of change even if we are unhappy where we are. The change is sometimes not a change for the better; it is just different. The old saying look before you leap, I think is good advice. 

This article was prompted by something I read called  What You Can Do by Joel Salatin on the Wanderlust Journal.  It shows how a simple change in thinking can lead to great changes and sometimes unintended consequences down the road.  I suggest you read it.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson

I am an Amazon Associate and may get a few cents from them if you use the link to them to buy anything. This helps me to keep this blog going and I appreciate it.

 

I Did Get Some Gardening Done

I had been planning to do a herb garden this year; not only because I would like to use more herbs in my cooking for the flavor they give but also because of the health benefits of eating herbs.  You can research almost any kind of herb and you will find that they have medicinal or other benefits.  Some of them have been used for thousands of years to get these benefits.

I have had a problem in the past with  something I was growing, mint, spreading and becoming a nuisance. Some things need to be planted in pots so they can not  spread uncontrollably and mint is one of those.  This being the case; I took some large nursery pots and put them in the ground with the tops level with the surface and I planted my herbs in those.  There should be no danger of anything going beyond the confines of the pot. I planted some basil, two kinds of parsley, thyme, marjoram, dill, 2 pots of cilantro, set out some mint, the stevia my friend bought Sunday and re-potted some rosemary I have had a couple of years.  I intend to plant some sage but didn’t have the seed.  I have three other pots I can use but don’t know what to put in them.  I am open to suggestions.

DSCN0023I got my blueberries in the ground and they are looking good.  I also used my tiller to dig up another portion of my garden so I can start setting out my tomato and pepper plants.  I will wait until the storm comes through; my plants are somewhat delicate and might not fair well if there is real hard rain or high winds.

I intended to load a photo of my new blueberries but it just was not to be. I am new to adding photos and it just didn’t want to do what I wanted it to do.  What are you going to do?  I will get the hang of it though and I will be having more photos on the blog, just be patient with me, okay.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David Johnson