Time To Plant

10/22/14: Update. Things are coming along. Tomorrow I will usse the greens produced from wheat berries. They must be grinded in a juicer or, as I had done months ago, placed in the Bullet Juicer and processed, then added frozen fruit, diced celery, almond milk then processed again. These are just a few things that can be added to the nutritious greens. I was telling a friend that after cuting the “grass,” within hours they shoot up and I will have more for juicing in days. I have done this harvesting three times for one planting in the past.

Buckwheat is coming along nicely. Will add the greens to salad. Tonight, I planted kale for the same purpose. I had put peas on the growing media, but so far only have a few leaves showing. Lots of root, though.

A possible failure is the thinner white media. It was either this or the fact that I planted clover that has been sitting in jars in my kitchen cabinet for too long. Keeping the media moist brought on mold. Will try again with seed I acquired last week. I washed the pans and media with liquid dish soap and added water and vinegar (about half and half) to soak for several hours, rinsed and  laid them out to dry.

Another planting  a few days ago was fenugreek. Great aroma. Will add to salads. I usually just sprout these seeds and they are a delicious addition to lettuce and such.

Off to the kitchen tomorrow. Sweet dreams.

10/08/14:  Spicy foliage can be seen along the roads. Beautiful coloring on deciduous trees lend to one of the best times of the year, before the organs of photosynthesis and transpiration complete their life’s work and descend to the ground. Before the leaves pile up on lawns and walks and drive us nuts.

It is time for fall planting. Planting, you say? Yes, I am a little late. Should have done this weeks ago. Are you still confused? In the cold weather, I grow several edibles indoors here in Massachusetts. With the help of a grow light, I am able to pick kale and lettuce and a few herbs in fall and winter. I try to eat all the organic and unfooled-with food I can. My backyard and the indoor crops have kept me on a straight path. Well, almost. Lunching out at least three times a week is a must. I save enough on wholesome food to be able-walleted.

Several years ago, I tried micro greens. At the time, I used potting soil. Messy. I tried clay pellets. I had so-so success with these. The seeds for micro greens are small and tend to lodge between the pellets.

I will attempt something new this season. I searched around the web and found what looked like a good deal. Of course, I could gather some of the items at a local branch of a gardening supply company. In the spring, they throw out things like 10 x 20 plastic trays, large sturdy pots, you name it. Now, I have little choice.

I have already planted seed for items I will be needing for salads and some cooking, kale, romaine lettuce, parsley and basil. I am trying Swiss chard. Some nutritious and tasty additions will be the micro greens. I ordered trays to hold smaller perforated trays and will follow instructions shown on You Tube, Growing Microgreens – Hydroponic Method – Parts 1 and 2. The mini gardens can be grown with the light from a window. Once they sprout, the plants need only about ten days of upgrowth.

The word hydroponic may be misleading. A complicated irrigation system is not needed. Small mats about one eighth inch thick hold the seed as they sit in the inner tray. Adding a squeeze of lemon to about two cups of water in the 10 x 20” tray wets the mat and creates the pH greens like. These mats are made of tree bark and come in easily cut pieces and several textures. I ordered two types and trays to start about four or five varieties. I ordered liquid kelp fertilizer and a few seeds. I have some on hand, as I have done sprouting in jars in the past.

The assortment of materials with free shipping for a $60 purchase was from Sproutpeople.com. I expect delivery by the end of this week. I will let you know how things turn out. Wish me luck and don’t slip on the wet leaves.

Spam It

Sorry to say, with this new program on Godaddy, I have been swamped with weird. Where there are supposed to be comments coming in, gobbledegook reigns. Out of the hundreds of spammy looking messages I have received, one appeared normal. I hung onto it for a while, but inadverdently pitched it.

Sorry to say, I will probably have to get the comments section turned off. Too bad. I suspect this junk is sent by a few people. The style of multiple messages is the same, with misspelled and nonsensical stuff usually coming from someone selling T shirts, “Uggs,” “Jordan Jeans” or some other piece of junk Cheap. Some come in Oriental symbols I do not understand. Nothing in Klingon, yet.

I will continue to bitch, blast or sometimes talk cuddly (this pattern of writing is usually reserved for puppies and other adorables). I go on Facebook under Jeanne Savage. I rarely get feedback there, but comment anyway. If you see my page there, I do not bother putting much on it, as on occassion, someone rearranges things and/or limits the way I can answer. I will continue to visit Facebook. Though I am not a very active activist, mainly because age limits my walking, I like to visit others to see what they are up to. Good people. They have the guts to get out there and try to better the planet.

 

Give ‘Em a Raise

  9/18/14:  See  Getting It All – Nutrition  for related post.

For you Dunkin’ers:  Do you hang out there? Often, I see people working on their computers at the fast food hangout. Some, particularly in my neighborhood, play host to regulars who get together after their softball workouts (senior guys) or chat in improptu groups. You can buy a beverage, a sandwich, muffin . . . they do not throw you out if you linger.

I  was not aware that going online would bring you something other than a donut . . . watching my diet to some degree. On the receipt, there is a note at the bottom of the paper that you can get a dollar off your next purchase.

The folks that work there are pleasant and helpful. They manage to survive on their wages with a litle help from the tip cup. Here is my thought on how to give them a raise. Go online at telldunkin.com and answer  the questions. If you do this often enough, you will whiz through the process within minutes. Take the receipt with validation code to the Dunkin’ for your next purchase. Ask for $1.00 discount and leave a dollar in the cup. Even if you buy a cup of coffee this way, you will save (whatever your tipping habit is) and you will help the crew pay some expenses.

Flash Boys, the book

8/24/14:  Flash Boys is a terrific read. Of course, my reading is by ear, while I drive from one town to another. Perhaps it is better to hear this one. The actor reading emphasises at the right points for those of you that are put to sleep by things like math. This one should be made into a movie. Characterization is already written in by the author. Amazing.

To say the book was inspirational to me may sound peculiar. Please see Bitching Corner on the sidebar of this blog. It illustrates how quirky the mind can work. For instance, when you greet someone you haven’t seen for some time and get the angsts because you can’t remember her name. You leave the scene and on the way home, the name comes to you in a flash.

8/16/14:  Just a note:

Trying to straighten out what I moved from my files. Crazy spaces are added and some removed when they are copied and pasted. Will try to get this site in order but hope I don’t have to start all over again. Still don’t know why categories don’t wind up on the sidebar and things like  Bitching Time appear in subcategories. If Only is my motto.  If only they kept it simple.                                                                                                                                                                             Good night.

Everyday Miscellanea

8/15/14: A brief update. Not that it has anything to do with computer stuff, or does it? I sometimes think people are being replaced. At least using the noodle is.

When I changed banks, I was not told that in order to get the $10 per month perk for banking online had to be banking on line with Bill Pay. I called my HMO to have them discontinue pulling monthly payments direcly from my checking account. I paid early this month on Bill Pay and informed the rep. I watched my account. On a subsequent call, I was told to call on August 15th to make sure things were going as planned.

I was charged via my checking a/c on August 13. I called the HMO on the 14th, saying that the rep reassured me that things would be taken care of. This new rep told me it takes two months to remove payment arrangements. When I expressed my displeasure with this, that standard remark, “He should have told you” was thrown at me. I will file it under The Dumbing Down of America is Working. This file contains the Iron Lady of Phonedom’s remarks, such as “I didn’t get that.”

They’re Doing It Again

8/17/14: Methinks I found the problem. Seems Akismet is connected with WordPress.com          Wonder who is sending me all those Japanese comments. There are other gobledegook comments as well. You would think Godaddy would provide a block option. This keeps some of the crap down. With all the bells and whistles,  the basics have been forgotten . . . or is it that I have to throw more money at it?

Trying to get an upgrade to Akismet. I can’t create a new user name and/or password. They suggest using my Word Press user name and password. Ha! That is why I left another web hosting company. Every time I tried to use the codes to get in, they didn’t like it. Who the “they” are I have no idea, but some entity out there doesn’t like me. At the other company, a money-grabbing little monster kept throwing me out.

As for Akismet, I read the l-o-n-g terms of agreement, tried to sign up to get still another code or “key” and they did not like my newly created password, even though I followed the instructions – – – letters, numbers and the symbols they specified. It was then they said I could use my Word Press user name and password. After this umpteenth rejection, I clicked on “forget your password?” and the suggestion was to make up a new one. Huh? No! Why? Go back to square one? Throw another letter/numbe/symbol out there to add to the confusion?

I will try to handle the spam without the upgrade’s help. At least once a day, I have to throw out some Japanese gobbledegook, three or more per day. When I had my old blog, I received a lont of Klingon junk. YOu would think Godaddy could do something about that. Too bad there isn’t a block option in the Comments section.

If you want to learn the latest with my banking fun, see Bitching Corner, 8/7/14.

Hear Ye

Good morning, folks. Overnight, have received several questions on the comments page. The people are asking advice regarding computer problems. Sorry, can’t help you. My blog is not set up as a forum for such technical problems. I do not even know who the people are that are giving me advice. I certainly can’t  encourage exchanges on the comments page.

Posted August 2, 2012: Thank you. Thank you. To the folks who have made comments. They come from people knowledgeable in the computer field, with all the initial combinations known to man and woman, it seems. I haven’t the slightest idea where to go with it. Not yet and maybe not ever.

This blogging thing will take time. I now have a book on my Kindle that has what I think I need. The guy explains most of the strange language that comes in short bursts of letters. Perhaps I will find out how tags work, for one. I never knew anything about them when I used Quick Blogcast. You could send a short quote  from your writing. Send it where, I did not know. But it worked. Had pretty good hits. Not incidentally, visits are building on this new entity. Perhaps Crazy’s following has caught up with me. Please let me know what you think of the content. If you don’t want to join others with comments, my email is  jeanne@driveucrazy.com

Word Press gets some getting used to. My time is limited. I belong to several writing groups. I do not have enough half-hours in my bank of reading time. Can’t enjoy everything they send me. When we meet, we must keep it short. I fit in with that habit, generally, packing in as much content as I can into one or two pages. Not a bad idea in this crazy new world*. I will not allow myself to be caught up acronymiously in text language. A simple @:) occasionally will do.

*Everyone’s “Gotta go somewhere else.” Today, people seem to be dancing on a sugar          load. Must be the corn fructose. Better Living Through Chemistry and all that bull.

Jeanne

Categorical Evildoing

I attended a pleasant session at a local Dennis restaurant yesterday. Coffee And. This consisted of the brew plus reading of short essays or vignettes written by a group of about ten women that attend the local college in th colder months.  We take classes at the college for fun as seniors.

The short pieces that these ladies produce are delightful. Yesterday our assignment was to write about one or all of the Seven Deadly Sins. I tried my best to do a little research, but came up short in finding present day beliefs of a particular church. If I discover more, I will correct the info. I am fuzzy about dogma changes that occured in the 20th Century.

Categorical Evildoing

They were seniors. Dressed in upscale summer clothing, they entered my local Dunkin’ Donuts. She sat at the tall table near the window. Soon, he sauntered over to her with two iced Lattes. She talked in normal conversational tones, until she came to her main point, announcing as if on stage,

“I have more money than you ever thought of having.” He said nothing. What is there to say?

It is no wonder that pride is at the top of the No No LIst, the Seven Deadly Sins. Not that this woman necessarily qualifies. Who was she referring to? I have no idea, but it made me think of why the ancients, first the Greeks, then thc Catholic clan thought high-mindedness should be at the top of the list.

Could it be they thought pride led to just about every other transgression? What are the Seven Deadly Sins? They had evolved over the centuries. At one time, eight were listed, including one called sadness. Wonder what they had in mind with that one. I will refer to a list I found on the internet, so I get it right. When someone asks me to name the seven, the Seven Dwarfs come to mind. I can’t remember all their names either.

Pride. Envy. Gluttony. Lust. Anger. Greed. Sloth. In the middle ages, these were the baddies. Behavior far worse was left out. Did the powerful of the day create the list to keep people in line? And which people? As religion reared its ugly political head, clergy, being aligned with the royals, were known to glom onto higher education. The serfs were taught little else than how to do their chores and what not to do. By the time the Catholics became ultra powerful, peasants received a bonus, lessons in how to perform the stations of the cross.

By the middle of the Twentieth Century, the Seven Deadly Sins were taught as little more than a curiosity. Parents did not think of pride as a negative. Children were told to be proud of their appearance, accomplishments, the friends they kept, kindness to others and other good stuff.

At least one of the religions categorize the negatives of mortal and venial sins. Into the 1950s or was it the ’60s, teachings were that perpetrators of the former were sent straight to Hell, the latter placed in a holding area named Purgatory. How long the wait for heavenly residence depended on the degree of sinfulness. Gradually, clarification came into the mix, church higher ups explaining that purgatory was not a place, but a state of being. What the Hades, at least they straightened out some of the mumbo jumbo.

Heaven is up there, Hell down. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed. In the lower entity, one will burn forever. In the old days, ranking clergy threw in something extra. Punishment for each particular deadly sin could range from being thrown into a snake pit or eating the slitherers, along with rats and toads. Those guys were really creative.

 

Note: Often, you will see changes in my posts. Recently, some retired teachers helped me with facts regarding ancient history. Thanks to them, a few holes in my quicky research have been filled in.

What’s in a Name?

Griselda Worgerserk Piffle. I have no idea who she was. This moniker was found in a phone book by an author so many years ago, I can’t remember his name. Funny what sticks to your brain. Another writer (I think he was a ’50s news commentator) had a habit of collecting name combos like Winston Smyth Henry that can be switched around to read Smyth Henry Winston, and on, and on. As a young man, he discovered that there are plenty of such names in university officials lists. He drove his family crazy shuffling and reading them aloud.

Creating names for fiction was a challenge for me until I received the alumni directory from my college. It contains wonderful ethnicity and name combos from boring to intriquing. It is better than the phone book. For era authenticity, there are lists of popular given names for particular years. They also come in favorites via country, all yours for the Googling.

What got me started on these thoughts today was being given the name of a representative  at the power company. She did not offer this at first blush after I finally got past the Iron Lady on the phone. You know, the recorded one that greets you and often replies, “I didn’t get that,” when you want to talk to a real person. Normally, when I ask for a name, I will state that I need one “in case someone asks me ‘who said that?’.” If I don’t get a laugh with that one, I smell trouble.

I talked with a Sharon next. After I told her how the health insurance company’s recorded phone rep makes me repeat my ID over and over, I go dead-silent. This signals  that I may be in big senior trouble and I get through to a real person. She sounded like a good audience, so when she asked me what time I would like my appointment next Tuesday, I said, “Not before 10:00 AM. I’m up early every morning, but I have to get used to the world.” The response from this rep was a good one. We exchanged a few niceties and chuckles. I love talking to the Sharons of the universe. They must get tired of the same old, same old every day, so why not?

FYI

8/12/14:   “Colgate Total tooth paste triclosan linked to cancer cell growth and disruptive development in animals.” In the News MSN quote. Colgate has made statements debunking scientific findings.

Reminded me of my quest for fluoride and sls free tooth paste.The hunt brought me to health food stores, drug store chains (forget it) and finally to Whole Foods that carry a brand called Kiss My Face, so far so good and reasonably priced.

Why did I go to so much trouble just for a tooth paste? Number one, I do as much as I can to keep chemical garbage out of my body, one that is sensitive to too many things. Two years ago, my mouth was in terrible shape. I followed the flossing habit, had checkups and cleaning as per needed. I was developing white areas and irritation plus inflamation of the gums. I was sent off to a dental surgeon who administered laser surgery to my gums. This was followed up by frequent follow-up visits. The surgeon was beginning to get frustrated. It cost my insurance company over $1000 for nothing.

I had my primary send me to an allergist, thinking the metal plate in my mouth was causing havoc. After my skin being tested, the verdict was not a clear one, the M.D. stating that many have a mild allergic reaction to the metal. He put me on a regimen of a small amount of bleach in water for mouthwash and sinus flushing preferably three times a day. I made two a day for a while.

As time passed, the condition worsened. Ugly was bad enough, but eating became painful. I was off to another dental surgeon, where I feared a biopsy was in order. My new surgeon stated at the outset, “This is not cancer. You have lichen planus.” After a sigh of relief, I realized I knew this disorder. I had had lichen planus in my thirties when my mother was very ill. It was on my legs and looked entirely different, presenting with tiny raise areas with purple striations. The treatment this doctor prescribed was with a prescription topical, used very sparingly twice a day to two of the worst areas in my mouth.

I did have a side effect. Apparent dryness in my throat occured. I had enough trouble with my breathing, so went to the pharmacist. Normally, the medication was not used in the mouth and he hadn’t a clue. I informed the surgeon but kept up the treatment. Success followed.

In the latter part of last year, my body was wracked with several infections, including pneumonias and a virus in the upper respiratory. Over those months, I was tested and given four courses of antibiotics. I was so shot, I believe my body was in rebellion. The lichen planus reared its ugliness again. I used the topical, successfully.

The internet is a wonderful place to do research. I found out about coconut oil pull by Googling. This is a rinse for the mouth which I do not often enough. It takes twenty minutes in the morning. Prior to that I take two glasses of water with lemon wedges squeezed into them. (I rinse my mouth afterwards, as citrus damages the coating on teeth. Another helpful addition to my fight against bacteria and fungus is raw Manuka honey. I buy everything possible in glass. Presently, I take a heaping teaspoonful in my breakfast cereal.  I had been doing two a day before I recouped a better level of health. It is not sugary, but  don’t want to overdo.

Please, read labels and take the time to learn what is being sold to us in food, your toiletries, the weed killer that is killing our bees, antibiotics in chickens polluting our streams, our bodies. The only way to stop the poison is to stop buying it.

This September, I will be returning to senior classes at the college. I missed the folks there and the challenge of writing several new pieces a week. Gotta use the noodle.

7/18/14:  How’s This for Bad Parenting, Folks?

I live on the Cape and it is summertime. There is a stretch from an exit on Route 6 to where I turn toward my house. It takes about a minute to go this distance on a good day. I stay in the left lane to make the turn. There is no point to race up to the corner and a red light. The guy behind me snuggled my rear end all the way. As I pulled into the turn lane, he passed me. A boy about fifteen years of age pulled his body out of the back window clear down to his waistline to wave as Dad raced on. If this makes little sense to you, try a rainy day.

I decided to visit my local Dunkin’. Parking is limited, especially in summer months, but with patience, someone moves out. I got lucky and had lunch.  As I left the restaurant, there was a strong downpour. I expect a few antsy drivers at these times, so used my right-hand turn signal and calmly moved out into the lane in front of the restaurant. There was barely enough space to pass, but don’t you think some idiot sped in front of me? So what, I thought. As I peered at the car, my “so-what” became “It’s a damn shame.” There was a young boy in the back seat learning something that could get him killed in the future. If you drivers must get it off behind the wheel, at least save that disgusting behavior for when your kid isn’t there to see it.

7/16/14:  Ongoing Income Saga

Yes! Finally, I received answers regarding fees, what funds are a waste and where I should invest at my age. Within a half hour, I learned more than I had in years dealing with bank reps. I am so glad I called my friend. I hesitated doing this, following the old advice that you do not put investments in the hands of the guy you play golf with because he seems like a nice guy. He is also quite young, but works with a team of seasoned advisers. One, he pointed out, is a woman who takes no nonsense if things do not move smoothly. At times, we need bulldogs. I expect we will have a quick transfer of accounts thanks to his associate.

This morning, I am off to a writers’ group at the library.  Good friends are needed at this point in time and more than I probably realize.

7/15/14:  Playing with this blog will have to wait. Are you aware of how emotional upheavals can wear you out physiclly? I had planned to hear a presentation by a writer acquantance of mine last night. We need all the support we can get.

What got in the way was money. Not that I had to give anything but a small voluntary donation to the library. It is the banks that are getting in my way. I had transferred from one that had held thousands of dollars hostage in order for me to carry a “free” checking account. It took several months, even though I followed each set of directions for the retiree incomes and the bill-paying outlays. These things should not take so much time to materialize. Several of these institutions seem to have thrown the info up on a cloud somewhere. I had help from a rep at the new bank and we both kept on them. Three months later…

Flash forward to the new financial manager. I met him and decided to move several accounts, including an IRA that will stop paying 5% in August. He started the processing over a month ago. I called Friday, left a message. I called Monday, left a message. No answer. Very ungood. After a relaxing light lunch at the Dunkin’, where i go to write or chat with customers, I went to the manager of the new bank. I wanted to know what happened to Alan, who appeared to be a go-getter. He went and got all right. Suddenly he had quit. Seems he received a better offer. Trouble is, no one told me!

I made an appointment to see a new adviser Thursday. Hmmm, I thought. I called a fellow who works for a prestigious firm. He is coming to my house this evening. Not that I have that much money to go bananas over. When he worked at the local bank, he used to kid me about my “big bucks.” The fact that I took out an IRA way back when helps. The main reason I am not falling through the cracks is that I paid off all debt years ago. The house I lived in was paid off in the 70s. A woman I worked with at the time said the car I was interested in was sub-admirable. I should take out a loan and get one with pizazz.

“When you’re dead and buried, someoneelse can pay off your debts,” she said.

Nah. That never helped anyone breathe into their sails.

7/11/14: When I can figure out how to place  info on the footer of the blog, I will. Seems folks do not want to use “comment,”  so I have a new email address: jeanne@driveucrazy.com

When I had mistakenly allowed users in, the email addresses contained fkdklrku or zufooglz or numbers thrown in. What does that tell you? Anybody get this junk?  Dump ‘em.

I gave the new address to two young ladies today that work at the Chat House. I would love to hear from them and other real people, not scam artists. Meanwhile, I will see what I can learn about Word Press on Youtube tutorials.

Jeanne Savage

For Your Information

Just got of the phone with Beltone. I have been using their products for a few years, now. I am going for my third set of hearing aids. I had been grandmothered in for free batteries and checkups for life, having been a faithful customer. So how come I can’t get a direct answer from them. They will not give a list pricel on the internet. That is why I called. I hae talked to a rep. locally, so why must I go back to him for the answer? I get “this discount,” “that special,” “and with the “Tufts payment, muddle something, something payment, we’re talking over $5,000 with 3 years free batteries and checkups.” Wait a minute. Suppose I want to hang in with this premium model for the rest of my life? (They charge enough for free lifetime batteries, at least.)

The model with 9 channels is over $4,000 less the insurance payment and you get 2 years of free batteries and checkups. I would really like to know what the basic charge is. In their ads, they suggest that prices are different depending on which office you go to. That does not sound Kosher. When I think of past experiences, there is always a sale on or the proprieter can get you a discount or even bend a little. I have worked one of those before. Wonder if the grandfather rule can be kept in place. ???

Some Other Info

4/22/14: The Fight Is On. Don’t ask me where I found this. Facebook to somewhere to another sight. Wherever and whoever, I thank you. I have added a mouthwash, or as they put it, a push in my fight against Pseudomonas. The buggers that are in my body are from a very resistant strain. God only knows how long I have had this. The medical practice of testing sputum is no longer routine. I have finally convinced several of my physicians to find out some specifics this way. If one must use antibiotics, I still think what they did eons ago was more effective. It was called a culture and sensitivity. The test took time, but at least you were not thrown pure guesswork from the pharmacy. There are diet changes I have been trying to make environmental me less comfortable for bastardly germs less comfortable. But to get back to the mouthwash—when you rise in the AM, your digestive system has been put on hold, so it is a good time to help flush out your insides. Drink 2 liters of lemon water. I can’t quite hack liters, so have gradually gotten up to about 25 ounces. Meanwhile, place 2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil in a small glass. Nuke a small bowl of H2O and place the glass of solidified oil in saucer and let liquify. Let the oil sit in your mouth for twenty minutes, occasionally swishing it. Do not spit out into drain, but be prepared to use a trash basket lined with a plastic bag and a paper towel in the bottom. Do not swallow, as reportedly, the liquid carries germs from your mouth. It is also supposed to help eliminate plaque. We shall see. I am willing to try anything. After four courses of antibiotics to treat pneumonia and this Pseudo crap, I have also put diet into the arsenal. Not only do I believe it helps, the doctors I deal with agree. However, I visited my pulmonary specialist yesterday. The infection? The doctor said I would never get rid of it. He said he had it and that if you work in hospitals, this is not unusual. Well, I will keep on doing what I am doing with diet and check with my primary. You learn by your mistakes. I was treating tap water with a small amount of baking soda, testing with a dip stick to see if I brought the pH factor up a bit. My big mistake was not reading labels. I wound up reading my ankles instead. After a while, they blew up. Damned if the baking soda isn’t loaded with salt. Currently, I am eating organic greens. Salads are on the menu nearly every day with lots of spinach. I grow Swiss chard and kale and steam in a double boiler. The veggies I mentioned here have an added bonus. Iron. Drinking plenty of water is helpful. I have to beat myself up to do this, though.

7/20/13: Cherry Tomatoes The strawberries have been finished for over two weeks. I looked out early yesterday and spotted a bigger-than-a-golf-ball sized red tomato. Hooray. It is not that I haven’t had a few cherry variety treats over the winter, The two plants that I started indoors last fall produced, if sparingly, pleasant edibles. I left the plants out to die near the back door. Not much sun hits there, but the sons-of-guns kept going, throwing out blossoms. I fed and watered them and enjoyed a few early munchies, those the neighborhood scavengers didn’t grab before I did.

I visited a naturopath doctor early this summer. She approved of my mostly natural food diet, as had a nutritionist I saw last year. Four years ago, after tiring of tasteless engineered food, I had zeroed in on the good stuff, particularly foods that would help my body do battle against the baddies. The internet has information about properties that fight, for instance, cancer. A believer in preventive medicine, I knew that within attractive whole foods, were chemicals. Yes, chemistry can help. I like to call it better living through less medication and CAT scans. The ND is not anti-medical doctor, explaining that she studied what her counterpart physicians did, with the exception of drugs. I am following her suggestion that I try cutting out gluten, for one thing. So much for my visits to the Dunkin’ for sandwiches. There is a deli down the block that will make anything you want on a gluten-free bun. I visit there once in a while. During this heat wave, the supermarket delis gets my business. It features good German potato salad and seafood salad. I suspect the big chunks in that mayo is crabmeat. I see no other unidentified swimming objects. This is only one meal a day a few times a week for now. I break up the fishy protein with their best sliced turkey. No chicken, though. They do not sell no-antibiotic, no-nonsense varieties at this counter. We agreed to try adding more protein via whey. I found a variety that is lactose-free and sweetened with stevia. I mix 20 or so grams into almond milk and pur it over cereal in the AM. I opted for vanilla flavor. Vanilla and chocolate are addictions I allow myself to follow. I make up for this with healthy musts in the morning. Before I went off milk generally, I added several types of ground nuts, chia seeds, sprouted kale, a handful of blueberries, and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to organic yogurt. The organic part is questionable. Who knows what they feed cows these days. Anxious to try making almond milk yogurt. This milk has been scarce, as has almond butter. I don’t feel like getting dressed early to run down to the store and beat out other customers who want the brand of nut milk that does not contain carrageenan. The other brands have that thickener in them. They say it is seaweed. Question that one. After they get through playing around processing and chemically fooling with it, do they add MSG? I am not taking a chance. I understand this is added to processed food to make you hungry and frequently added to carrageenan. Go figure. Translation: There goes your figure. And so it goes. I will soon be planting seeds for the lettuce, kale, tomato, etcetera crops to keep salads going during the fall and winter. The porch needs neating up, but what the hell. If I have time. Recently bought a program for my ebook device and have been playing Scrabble with Al. Al is a computerized pal I can’t hope to beat. Who’d have thunk he would come up with an eight letter word toward the end of the game. Yes, I know. Only seven tiles, but he latched onto an “h” at the botom of the outside left column. When I get tired of him, I play my alter ego. One of us has to win. Footnote: Maybe I should have titled this piece, Oh Shit, Another Addiction.

7/25/12: Want to save money? To begin, my old clunker of a TV in the bedroom suddenly croaked. I called some local stores. A name brand was available, a 24″led with built-in DVD for $300. I checked with another store and they had it for a little less but i would have to wait for delivery. Okay, I checked Best Buy*. They had their own brand side by side with the big-name brand. It has the exact-same features, but. The big but. Can I trust the unknown brand? Then I thought of the warranties that used to be in force for years on good products. They do not exist any more. I get the feeling that everything is made overseas no matter whose name is on the label and generally, they are backed up for only one year. Nuts, I thought. I picked up the store brand for $200 dollars, added a four-year extended plan for $30, figuring I’d saved on that, too. I brought it home, plugged it in and easily followed directions to get up and running. Now, if I can only find some decent programs. That is the big problem. Most broadcasts are hardly worth the monthly fee.

*The store is mentioned because it sells a multitude of electronic merchandise in the Hyannis area, has a 30-day return policy and many choices. I receive no monetary or other consideration for putting this on my blog. The store has it’s pluses and minuses. If I need a fix on the TV, I must pack it up and leave it at the store for at least three weeks. I have had this experience in the past with their products. Will let you know if anything ugly happens.