My month off is nearing its end

I start back teaching in June and will also be getting back to production in the studio but I have really had a ball working in the yard. Click Here for some recent photos of my yard.


Kombucha Tea and the kombucha mushroom

I have many stories on my previous experiences with Kombucha -- particularly the one the prolific cultures that got left behind. Initially my experience was to be expected -- brew the tea, strain the tea and after seperating the babies from the mommy, start a new batch.

There were mother's to throw away and the compost pile seemed like a good spot. I soon found out that once they have been outside in the weather for a few days, at least in Northern BC, that they toughen up -- like leather, and soon become indestructible.
We had a pot bellied pig at the time that seemed fond of chewing on almost anything (the beaded manure is another story) but even he turned his nose up at the leathery mushrooms. One of the articles I had mentioned that rubbing a small amount on the face was healthy for the skin but I soon discovered that rubbing a large amount was similar to an acid peel.

The other discovery was that I did not need to be quite so careful and fear killing a batch by starvation, improper heat or ventilation and the other little instructions. When the kids and I moved out of the studio we had several jars of tea in the fridge. I also had several jars and a new batch that had already been moved so we took the jars out of the fridge and sent them on the counter. Several months later we went back into the apartment at the back of the studio only to find the colonies had kept growing and growing... and growing. The original jars of tea had formed a mushroom, that had babies, that had babies -- and the towers of these babies raised above the jars several inches and were spread out. They had eventually dies off when the mother ran out of tea in the bottom of the jar but not before multiply many many times.

There are numerous claims to what the tea will fix and its often called the miracle drink. I know I was in great health while taking it and it was only a move and an inability to get the tea restarted (and a frozen culture does not work) that stopped me. I still cannot remember where it initially came from, only that it was a gift. Part of the power behind the miracle is that the culture has to be given -- not bought and sold. In light of that belief, while I was at the health food store today and bought a little booklet with recipes and information in it and they 'gave' me the culture. I'll overlook the fact that the price tag was actually on the kombucha.

But I have started a batch once more -- good health here I come.

What is Kombucha Tea and the kombucha mushroom:

"Kombucha tea
Kombucha is a pleasant tasting, powerfully effective health
drink / food supplement which you can make at home for next to nothing.

The taste can vary depending on how you make it but the basic recipe,
which most people use, will produce a slightly sparkling drink that tastes like
an apple cider or dry white wine.

Though there is alcohol in it, it is
normally so low that commercial producers can sell Kombucha as 'non-alcoholic'.
You can expect less than 1% by volume alcohol content.

Sugar is used as
part of the recipe but it is not used as a sweetener. The sugar is broken down
and converted into different components of the finished drink.

It has
been drunk for many generations. In fact, it has been around so long that we are
unable to tell where it was originally discovered or when.

Kombucha is a
fermented drink made from sweet tea and a Kombucha mushroom or Kombucha culture
as it should more properly be called. "



Update with pictures

Mom in Deland

Last weekend was Mother's Day and I spent it with my mom in Florida. While I was there I made a trip to Daytona Beach to Sam's Club but did manage to get down to the docks without trying.

Me in Daytona

While I was at my mom's I got Mother's Day greetings from all kids and grandkids. Trevor phoned on my cell from BC, Tammy and the girls left a message on my wall at Facebook and Dallas somehow managed to have a cactus bowl delivered to the house, but I doubt it came from Baghdad.

The days went by really fast (too fast) and it wasn't long before I had landed back in Albuquerque where things slowed down fast -- and traffic on I-25 north came to a crawl.

And if the hour it took me to get out of the city wasn't enough, I drove into a storm between Cuba and Bloomfield.

But all this rain has been super good for my yard and I got home to find my garden flourishing -- including the volunteer poppies all over the yard.

For the past 2 days I've been confined to the house by near freezing outdoor temperatures and rain but everything in the garden is doing good -- and I have a cool weather garden loving it. More pictures can be found in my webshots album. Go to the end of the album for the most recent photos.


Hooked on trivia

"By Victor Davis Hanson
Friday, May 4, 2007

Americans for weeks woke up and went to bed to news updates about Anna Nicole Smith's death and the fate of her daughter.
Then, we seemed to go into near national paralysis over Don Imus' 'hos' slur - yes, including this writer, who wrote half a column on his arrogance.

But then actor Alec Baldwin came to the rescue screaming, 'Pig!,' at his poor 11-year-old daughter - and, of course, accepting Dr. Phil's televised offer of intervention.
The media run with this trivia because they know it will hook viewers. But why do we care about this transient fluff? After all, it's not as if there hasn't been real news this spring. "

To recap just some of what's been going on while we waste our time following spats between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump:

We are reaching the 11th hour in Iraq, as Gen. David Petraeus surges troops to secure Baghdad and stabilize a fragile democracy before the Democrats cut off funds for the war effort. Al-Qaida in Iraq tries to pull off as many spectacular attacks as possible to demoralize Americans. The future of much of the Middle East hangs in the balance.

Last week, jihadists who were planning to blow up an oil field in Saudi Arabia were arrested. And according to a leaked memo from British intelligence, others plot new major attacks.

Our erstwhile ally Europe is experiencing the best and worst of times. A strong Euro cannot hide static economic growth, high unemployment, unassimilated minorities and little defense capability. Europeans have little confidence in either their spiritual or material defenses to protect against an unpredictable Russia, a nuclear Iran or al-Qaida's next-generation plans for mass destruction.

Speaking of Russia, it is suddenly rich beyond belief. It may soon pump 10 million barrels of oil per day - much of it sold on the world market at sky-high prices. Russia already supplies Europe with half of its daily natural gas needs.

And as the Russian government becomes more repressive at home, it showcases its new energy clout abroad. A bullying Vladimir Putin threatens former Soviet republics with gas cut-offs and Estonia with diplomatic isolation. He warns NATO countries not to participate in American led-missile defense. Russian dissidents mysteriously are murdered at home and abroad. Why reform its politics or the economy when Mother Russia can grow rich hawking oil?

Iran is even more dangerous, vowing both to become a nuclear power and wipe out Israel. Until then, it is busy supplying Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, kidnapping sailors, and fabricating bombs to kill Americans in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the United States keeps borrowing to meet its enormous consumer and oil appetites. The Japanese and Chinese have, combined, stockpiled over a trillion dollars from indebted Americans. One or both nations will inevitably adopt an assertive foreign policy to reflect their financial leverage over the U.S.

Despite politicians' rhetoric about energy independence, Americans have made no progress in curbing our enormous oil appetite, which accounts for 25 percent of the world's daily consumption.
We incur debt to pay for imported petroleum, while ensuring astronomical world oil prices. That hurts poor nations and translates into billions of dollars pouring into the most unstable and hostile governments of the Middle East - and eventually to terrorists themselves.

There are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Thousands took to the streets on May Day to demand new rights. While we squabble over border defense, increased security, guest workers, verifiable IDs, amnesty and earned citizenship, hundreds of thousands more aliens come illegally into the United States every year.

The public and its leaders know these problems cannot continue unaddressed - and yet we fear the bitter medicine to come far more than suffering with the present chronic illness.
But what if al-Qaida lets off a dirty bomb or blows up an oil field, or if Americans flee Iraq, or if Russia decides to cut off natural gas to Europe or reabsorbs one of its bothersome former republics? We try to hear and see no evil, but it's not far-fetched to suggest that future world events could quickly change the lives of millions.

So why then fixate on Anna Nicole, Rosie, Imus and Alec?

Simple - they are the modern equivalents of grotesque carnival freak shows that used to provide a perverse sense of escapism from what people dare not face. Yet as our dependency on such tabloid distraction grows, so, too, do the real dangers that we ignore.

The ghost of Anna Nicole, foul-mouthed Rosie and trash-talking Imus turn out to be the best friends Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Vladimir Putin have."


Webshots Album

Flower Garden

Our Generation

My Generation -- (The Who)

And the video below explains the project

View the Zimmers website and blog


Recipes by Mom

Recipesbymom.net is your one-stop, online source for quick and easy recipes. Each recipe has been submitted by a mom, and has been tested and approved by the greatest of food critics — their families. Each recipe contains a list of ingredients, a list of the cooking utensils you'll need, and an easy-to-follow set of preparation and cooking instructions. These recipes are designed to turn out well and do not require any special cooking skills.
Recipesbymom.net features home cooking recipes ranging from Best-Ever Chili to Unique Chicken Wings. If you like baking, recipesbymom.net has many sure-fire recipes for Zucchini Bread, Cakes and Cookies. So if you're looking for quick and easy recipes that are sure to please, you've come to the right place.

More...Food to Nourish Your Soul: "Recipes by Mom"

Stop Looking At Your Belly Button Now...Just STOP It!

By haystack

Dear Republican Congresscritter:
We have been yelling and screaming at you people for the last 6 plus years, and our voices are getting raspy and hoarse. I, personally, am sick and tired of it. I'm considering writing about Texas sunsets and our hummingbird migration patterns just to recapture some inner peace given you respond to us about as well as what I get when I tell my rooster to stop crowing so darned early in the morning.
He keeps running his head to an audience of no one, and you guys are accomplishing about as much - those of you actually SAYING anything at least."
Where you have put me now is NOT where I want to be, so get back up on the horse, and get to ridin'. That's what you expect of US, and so it shall be with you guys-get to work, and fix this mess before we ALL look down at our belly buttons and mumble to ourselves like you seem to be doing just now.

More... Stop Looking At Your Belly Button Now...Just STOP It! Redstate: