Consumed By All I Consumed

I apologize for the late post.  Hopefully most of you caught my Facebook message and were able to do today’s project if you wanted to, but I spent most of the day just exhausted and sick to my stomach (I think lunch didn’t agree with me) and I just couldn’t make it happen till after I had a decent nap, which was hard to get when I was fighting my stomach.  But anyway, today’s project is/was to try a drink you’ve never had before. Bonus points for being something old or obscure.  You know all those glass bottles everyone walks past in the soda aisle? Those are a good place to start.

As far as I’m concerned if you’ve never seen any form of advertisement for it, it counts as obscure.  I decided to go with one I’ve never seen any brand of before and have only ever heard of in westerns and had no idea what it would even taste like, and bought myself that bottle of Sarsaparilla.  Which I never would have even spelled properly, there’s a whole lot going on in that word that I didn’t know was there.

Earp’s Original Sarsaparilla, the one I ended up with, uses cane sugar rather than corn syrup like most sodas, so it’s a way healthier option and also safe for the big portion of the population with corn allergies.  Despite its association with westerns I’m surprised to see it marketed as Earp’s since it’s the drink that would get you beaten up in a saloon if you ordered it instead of whiskey.  But their website informs me that “a beverage this fierce is enough to rival even the meanest, darndest bandits in the seedy saloons of the great yonder.”  They also let us in on the secret that the fight at the O.K. Corral was really about keeping the Earp’s Sarsaparilla recipe “out of the hands of the bad guys.”

In the 19th century Sarsaparilla was sold as a medicine for skin and blood problems.  I have both, so I guess we’ll see if I’m miraculously cured tomorrow.  I have a breakout trying to start on my forehead today, so it’ll be easy enough to see if it clears up any differently than normal.  I’m guessing not, apparently if you take enough of it it makes you sweat, and I only intend to drink the one bottle and don’t tend to have much luck with sweat clearing up my skin anyhow.  Wikipedia advises me sarsaparilla was also used to prevent venereal disease.  I can’t help you out with whether that one works or not, I’m all good in that department.

I also found that Sarsaparilla is still widely available in some other countries, and that some of them, notably Australia, have a much different tasting sarsaparilla than we do here in the states.  I know we have some Australian members and would be interested in hearing more about that.  Ours tastes a great deal like Root Beer.  Evidently US sarsaparilla isn’t made from the actual sarsaparilla plant but was originally made from birch oil and dried root bark from the sassafras tree.  Now it might have original components or it might be entirely artificially flavored.  The bottle I have says only “natural and artificial flavors.”

So while I’m probably not getting the real old-west experience, and doubt I’ll be getting any medicinal benefits, I’m enjoying the soda.  It’s snowing here today (finally) but I can see where this stuff would be AMAZING served super cold on a really hot day.  And I like to try new things. Hopefully you do too cause we’re gonna do lots of that when we can 🙂  Life is after all all about the experiences. Let us know what you decide to try and how it fairs!

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Sarsaparilla
Album: Sold for a Smile


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Monkeys That Didn’t Like the Land

I had a very vivid dream years ago about finding UFO wreckage with a dolphin-humanoid pilot.  Which doesn’t really have anything to do with anything except that I’m weird, and so are dolphins. Did you know they have hands?  Sort of.  They actually have hand bones. Inside their flippers.  No joke.

Image Courtesy of dragoart.com

 

Dolphins are supposed to have evolved from hoofed, land mammals, similar to dogs, called Mesonyx.  The closest modern land dwelling animal to the dolphin is thought to be the pig, though they’re also close relatives to cows, antelopes, and giraffes, and according to some sources hippos.  It always boggles my mind that an animal with flippers that evolved from an animal with hooves somehow managed to acquire hand-bones.  Also, while commonly known to be the only animal whose intelligence is comparable to or even rivals mankind’s, dolphins have been in modern dolphin form for 10-15 million years, while humans have been around for about 100,000.  Does that say more about us or about dolphins?

Dr. David Busbee of Texas A&M University is researching dolphin genetics and has discovered that dolphins and humans are very similar chromosomally.  “Every chromosome in the dolphin has a comparative chromosome in the human.”  So if the dolphins made a choice to go back to the sea, either for food or for changes in environment or because they just damn well wanted to, and managed to breed themselves from a four legged furry land animal into a sleek no legged happy as a clam water mammal, and we are so similar in most regards… is there any possibility that humans will someday do the same?  Our climate is changing and as icecaps melt we’re going to end up with a lot more water in an already overcrowded world that’s only 30% land to begin with.  On the evolutionary scale we have been around a very short time and could potentially turn into anything.  But will we let ourselves?

Humans have this idea, wherever it came from, of being made in the image of their creator and therefore superior to all other beings… will we ever allow ourselves to evolve different features, or are we too set on being already perfect and preoccupied with looking normal that we will be what we are until such a time that we die out?

If we were given a choice to go back to the oceans would you want to?  Does our long held fascination with things like the lost city of Atlantis or mermaids point to some embedded knowledge that that will be our eventual destination? And if we make it back to the water will the dolphins have us?  If we’re both the height of intelligence that the earth has to offer, can we teach each other things and have great underwater civilizations, or do we really need to do more learning from the dolphins about how to have a peaceful, happy existence without worrying about all of the civilization nonsense?

Today I have no answers and won’t propose any.  I just wanted to share some thoughts to ponder about our place in the universe and in our own world, and how much it might someday change.

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Dolphins Were Monkeys
Album: Golden Greats


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Chick Chickpea Boom

Today’s little project, barring any allergies, is to eat some chickpeas (garbanzo beans)!   Even if you think you don’t like them.  I didn’t either for years cause the texture made me unhappy, but I was only exposed to them infrequently. The more I ate them the more normal they became, and if texture is a big barrier for you there’s still always the wonder that is hummus.  But you can also eat chickpeas on salad or in soup or I’m sure a million ways I’ve never tried, like mashing them and using them in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches.  I’m pretty sure Wendy’s has a Mediterranean Power Salad or some such thing that has chickpeas in it if you really need the fast food convenience. If you need to treat yourself to dinner out take a look at Indian or Greek options, lots of them love the garbanzo bean.

There are endless health benefits to the chickpea, which can lower your risk of heart disease by virtue of their high fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B-6. All that fiber lowers how much cholesterol is in your blood. Additionally the fiber, which keeps your colon healthy and also helps control your blood sugar levels, is great for diabetics and for getting rid of constipation. They’re also a great source of manganese which is important to bone development (chickpeas also contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K to keep those bones strong) and aids in healing, and are even a big source of folate (B-9) which helps with new cell growth, DNA synthesis and repair, and brain cell communication and even helps to prevent cancer by preventing mutations in the DNA. Also on the cancer fighting front, chickpeas contain Selenium, a mineral that isn’t in most produce but aids liver function and helps detoxify cancer-causing compounds, while preventing inflammation and decreasing tumor growth rates. But we’re not done yet, garbanzo beans also have Saponins, which prevent cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. That vitamin C content mentioned earlier is also a strong antioxidant, which protects cells from free radical damage. Chickpeas are also shown to aid with blood pressure as they’re low-sodium and high potassium. Annnnd, they’re a huge vegetarian source of protein! It CAN be done!

If you need one more reason… The fiber in chickpeas will help you lose weight! They make you feel more full for longer periods and reduce your appetite, thereby decreasing your calorie intake and fighting obesity! If you’re not used to consuming a lot of fiber start slow on just how many chickpeas you start eating, hummus is addictive and it’s easy to eat the whole container if you don’t watch yourself, but going from low fiber to high without gradual increase can set you up for some major discomfort in the belly and digestive tract, so don’t feel like you have to eat ALL of the chickpeas today 🙂 Today they’re assigned, tomorrow you can just eat them cause you want to!

Okay so the song has nothing to do with chickpeas, but I didn’t want to search for a novelty chickpea song and for some reason all day when I was thinking about writing about chickpeas my brain was going chick-chicky-boom, so who am I to argue?

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Cuban Pete
Album: Best of Desi Arnaz


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Occasional Reasons To Live


Bleh.  My sincere apologies that I have not been blogging, and sincere gratitude to those of you still hanging on on our Facebook page to answer the Question of the Day.  I don’t even know if I ever updated here as to what was going on but while reading The Zookeeper’s Wife I got a very swollen lymph node on the back of my head which made wearing glasses an impossibility and therefore made seeing impossible.  Besides that I just felt miserable and alternated between mind blinding pain and excess sleep. It also meant taking antibiotics I was allergic to because I was afraid the Z-pack route wouldn’t take care of things since it cropped up after my sinus infection and I needed to make sure I got rid of it so I took pills I was allergic to 3 times a day for ten days, thereby poisoning myself at regular intervals and spending a good portion of the month throwing up with extremely deep body aches as a result.  Once I thought I shook it and was just sleeping a lot to recover I went to a pre-scheduled cardiologist appointment and they informed me I was running a fever. So. Managed to get in with my regular doctor’s office that day to find I now had an ear infection and did another z-pack.  My ear is still bothering me, and I’m wondering if I didn’t rupture an eardrum because of the way it hurts, won’t pop, and if I plug my nose and blow I can feel the other eardrum catch, but not the one that was infected.  Wouldn’t be my first time and not really anything they can do about it, but sucks.  But I’ve been gone too long and genuinely care about this project, so I’m going to try to ease myself back in to dedicated entries, I just might not be as good about pre-planning in the calendar right now. That seems to be the kiss of death when I actually manage to get everything organized out in advance.

For today, I’m going to ask everyone to write a poem again.  Last time I assigned a topic, but this time just write whatever’s on your mind or in your heart or feels like coming out, you choose the topic.  Again, all poetry or writings shared here or in the comments are entirely the property of their authors and all rights are reserved accordingly.  None is to be shared or re-printed in whole or in part without the express written permission of its writer and appropriate credit given.

I’m still trying to get back into the poetry writing habit myself (which is probably why I’m choosing to revisit it on my first day back at the project) and just going to go with what comes, but for the sake of inspiration and getting me started out on a theme I’m borrowing a title from someone who shared a poem with me yesterday.  Otherwise the poems bear no resemblance, just the shared name.

Epitaph

A life of love, of joy, of friendship
A life of pain, of illness, of worry
A life of beauty, kisses, wonder
A life of sadness, tears, heartbreak

Such a life of laughter and brilliance
Chopped down to one small phrase
How can the world know all that you meant
With only an engraving to remember

If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane…
What we keep in memory is ours forever
Until we meet again

There are no words
There is no phrase
No symbol or rune
No picture or verse

Nothing conveys the life that once was
Nothing expresses the love that’s still felt
Nothing does justice to feelings or memories
Nothing explains what I live without

You are my world
My sunshine, my smile
My rainbows and songbirds
My quiet, gentle night

Your memory lives in my heart and my dreams
The creak of the stairs and the soft summer breeze
The pattering rainfalls that drop on the roof
The flowers, toys, and figures mark how I love you

No stone is written
For it’s never enough
The place between dreams
Is our purest love

And that’s what came for me.  Obviously just freeform scribbling, but it’s what my heart had to say about the inspiration I found to go with.  So that’s your project for today. Write a poem about anything at all.  We’d love to see them shared in the comments, but if you’re on the shy side just write it out in that journal you should still be writing in every night 🙂  Here’s hoping April decides to cooperate with us better than February or March did, we’re going to plan on it, pain or no pain.

As for what you’ll need that I’m going to go ahead and say in advance despite my record of jinxing myself, we’re going to read another book.  So.  If you want to start reading now to be able to converse about it on the day the entry will be made about it, we’ll be reading Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and writing about it on Wednesday the 5th.  335 pages, so, know your own reading speed in how quickly you care to acquire it.  It’s been a movie for quite a long time and is a classic so hopefully libraries will be more helpful this time to go the free route, but of course book stores and eBooks are always handy choices too.  Otherwise for other entries I’ll just try to have them posted before you’re awake so if you need anything to participate that day you can pick it up since they’ll be less time consuming than reading books.


A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Sometimes Isn’t Always
Album: Songs From The Neighborhood:The Music Of Mister Rogers

 


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