Tag Archives: humor

Kombucha: taste and perspective

If you asked me, here is what I’d tell you about the tastes of kombucha.

Pomegranate white tea brings out a burst of hope from each pomegranate seed involved. It’s a mix of blissed and blessed; straightforward and non-complex. A great one for the card-carrying kombucha naysayers out there. It is sweet and light and uncomplicated as well as non-threatening. It’s humble and doesn’t need to shout out its worth to you or anyone else. It knows its value and doesn’t beg for approval. This is an honest drink ready to make anyone’s glass half full.

Toss in pomegranate seeds for festive fiber and color

Assam has a great depth, a history to it. It’s the finely earned sweat from the sides of a muscled quarter horse pressed against your clenched legs. It then becomes the steam off that same horse. There is a kiln-dried, slight hickory flavor, as soft and soothing as a vapor from your higher self. The lighter side offers a sweetness- akin to an heirloom apple from 1905 Washington state. Lastly, what follows is a reminder of a root cellar somewhere in the Oregon coastal hills, maybe Chitwood- with a dark and fruity taste that comes from the underground and bugs.

A blend of pomegranate and white peony met, due to low tea supplies in the house. The main body of this drink is mystic over intellectual. It is a meeting of bold cheerfulness and wise sage. Combined, the elements of the liquids blend toward a field trip through honesty and freshness. You miss it once it easily slides down the esophagus. It absorbs into the tongue, triggering a sense of mature vision with a hint of playful mischief. It doesn’t incite trouble, it emboldens creative thinking. You just can’t get enough.

Not bad, but a bit much, Lapsang souchung tastes like smoked stable chips washed down with a coastal slew at low tide. It includes a backsplash of fossilized golden soil with a million ancient comments echoing past centuries. It finishes with horse hoof trimmings brushed with a light glaze of organic sugar.

Bad kombucha tastes like:

  • Bubbly brackish pond water
  • Foul fermented moss mold with a fizz
  • Carbonated sour plums that finish with a dirty thud punch
  • Sparkling swirling dervish sledge
  • Barrels of babbling bellicose berries battling good taste
  • Surly swill of swirly saturated sourness
  • Moist mushroom moonshine musty with regrets of the past burping forth from a murky muddy spring.

Set up your own station and make a brew that tastes like the smell of the tender paws of a spaniel that just ran through an heirloom tea shrub field. Or a swig that reminds you of a hot air balloon ride over a sweet and salty ocean on a planet yet to be discovered.

The possibilities are endless.

 

Adopt. Cats. Meditate.

Taken moments after the Oprah and Deepak 21-day meditation series, day 15. The theme: Being in the flow is effortless. Sanskrit: Sat Chit Ananda-Life is absolute bliss consciousness

I went out and got two cats the other day. I looked online at the local shelter and though the goal was one, I chose two. They did not know each other.

One radiated sweet, the other appeared cute and playful. After we got home, one was naughty, one was nice. The cute and playful one became moody and distant.

I saw her walking away a lot. At home, she was an emotional mystery prone to getting upset quickly. As in, don’t touch me, don’t pick me up. DON’T!

Neither cat actually behaved badly. I just had to get to know them.

She was a mystery, her personality and story taking form each day

I AM cute, yes, and thank you for noticing!

The sweet cat is the orange boy cat.

Lord Byron

After a couple days of being scared of a new place, he set his loving gaze upon me.

He approves of me. It’s a done deal.

How do you suddenly have two grown cats? Who don’t know each other? You follow the directions. The shelter offers tips and instructions on how to gradually introduce. The cats did great and I was committed. It took my attention. It’s not a “let ’em work it out” thing I remember hearing people say years ago. As the tribe leader, the human in the house needs to keep things respectfully organized and safe so the kitties can feel cared for in their new surroundings.

I learned to meet the cats where they were. I’m still doing that, about a month later. All this is a lot like getting to know anyone, even people. Time, space, place, boundaries, bonding, habits, preferences- these have meaning for all creatures.

Meditation turned out to be the best bonding activity, even equal to play. Spice Girl, named for personality and her hues of cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili, and ginger, likes meditation. She isn’t moody, she just needs stillness. She would rather sit in peace with you than bite and scratch, given the option. Really.

She wanted to connect but didn’t know how.

So, we learned.

The other arrived with peace and love, this was his truest nature.

Lordy

If their nature is not peace and love, that is o.k. This invites close attention! Observation.

Lesson #1, don’t do what they don’t like. When cat says no; not that; not here; not there; not this; oh hell no!….. listen. Because next they will tell you what they do like.

Yes, I like that toy! Yes! Yes! I like that touch! There, under my chin! By my ears! Yes! I like sweet talk directed at ME! Yes, I love the food you offer! Yes, I love the meditation when I sit with you and you don’t pet me but we are touching! Yes! Thank you! Yes, that purr is for YOU! O.k., I have to go now!

Cats have a great ability to relax if they think everything is basically o.k. It’s a good enough reason to keep a habit of creating a basically o.k. environment.

Big thanks to my loyal dog, Lily. She is an unlikely zen master with cats. Seriously, she diffused all feelings of worry and angst when introduced. It’s not that she particularly likes cats. It’s just a non-issue for her. She adapts to adoption. She was once adopted herself.

Lily likes leaves.

We are at one month now, and everyone is getting along well. There is still an occasional hiss, but it’s more of a warning than an aggressive act. More often I hear chripy recognition hello meows with a purr follow-up. Our daily meditation brings a contented silence, which naturally spills into regular non-meditation time. It’s great to share peace with all creatures!

 

The editorial board

New territory: The Colonoscopy

“Think of it as a cleanse,” a friend advised.
I had already thought of this. But, I liked hearing it from an outside source. The colon is the exit, the place to discharge things from the body. It’s the solid waste disposal. What else could be disposed of?

Is there a holistic angle to a colonoscopy?

I decided to use this as a cleanse and purge, additionally, for internal things like emotional/spiritual beliefs that I don’t need to keep within. The top of the list: discharge disempowering perceptions. Out, bye-bye, be gone!

I also decided to restart my eating habits, get back on track to a more mindful diet.

Part 1: The Consult
It’s unsettling to me to take a drug so that my awareness is off wandering the lawn of my unconsciousness. I am not really “there,” yet not all the way gone. Instinctively, this feels not good in my gut. But, that’s what they suggest before you belly up to the colonoscopy bar.

I asked the PA who was arranging this thing if she could explain a little more about this state and why I should be in it. She said matter-of-factly, “it’s conscious sedation.” New phrase for me, I had not heard those two words put together before.

Does this make me like a fish on ice at the market, frozen, eyes wide open, but nobody’s home?

I agree to a light sedation with a shot of something to reduce nausea, because most drugs make me nauseous.

I’ve asked several people about their colonoscopy experience. They often say, “I dunno, I don’t really remember,” with a slightly askew grin and a far-off expression of fish on ice eyes.

The fast begins
It started out boring. Drinks are limited, reduced options as they say no red, orange, purple, or blue. No pulps. I have ginger ale and some correctly colored Gatorade.

I rest, listen to podcasts. I go into my slow moving frog Zen state. I feel as if immersed in a still pond, just my eyes and top of head peak out of the surface. This is how I chill when I’m scared.

Photo credit: Tim McMahon. Thanks!

The purge
About 30 minutes after starting the drink… I feel the promise of the first movement. It feels hopeful. A slight stirring at first, a low vibration of change from deep within.

I am a little impatient for things to begin.

Not impatient for long: first discharge occurs and is swiftly successful! I can now feel and hear my bowels singing the song of Suprep bowel prep.

The gates have opened! The purge has begun!

Near a path on Ashland’s Lithia Park

Part 2
They are all really nice at the Colonoscopy Station.

The IV insertion was what I dreaded most. The nurse was expert, got it on the first try. I felt fine, it wasn’t bad at all and yet within moments I started to feel weak, not good. Suddenly, I was like a stunned sparrow just bounced off a window. I had to lean the recliner chair all the way back and have the light off and breathe and concentrate on not fainting. I guess I am a frail bird in these situations. Things going into or pulling out of my veins bug me.

I felt a little sorry for myself. I then asked myself how often am I in a hospital gown, sitting on a recliner, hooked up to a bag of fluids while staring at geometric print fabric curtains? Very rarely. It was simply my turn. I’d be free and out zipping around on my bike again soon enough.

Poster from Rena Fitness

Part 3
I am asked to walk a short distance while carrying my bag of IV fluids along to the next place. This place has the scoping gear, TV screen, and a poster of the colon near the foot of the treatment table. The doctor is friendly, perky, and gives a brief description of what we are doing. He remarks on my tan, saying he would like one too, and I told him to just get out on the water a lot.

The procedure suite looks efficient, tight, though not crowded. Sort of like an Oil Can Henry shop, but in a medical way.

I don’t remember anything after I am told to turn on my side.

Part 4
My parts show no wear or tear; no signs of anything happening. Yet, the film shows the journey from start to finish! All the way to the terminal ileum! That’s the start of the small intestine. What a funny thing to look at- your colon. I didn’t feel any relation to it, which is sad as it works hard for me.

At the initial consult, they had three names to choose from for the procedure. I didn’t know any of them. I asked, who is the kindest one, the sweetheart from this list? Without hesitation, she pointed to one.

“Put me on his schedule.”

He was excellent. I’ve been hearing that kindness matters in the ways of healthcare. Once these people learn the insertion and driving the gadget, which looks a lot like a fancy video game set-up, it’s on. I figure they can all do this, so I want the kind one.

Humor is important always, and this nails it:

For a great and more serious illustration of What Happens, this is helpful:

Always good to have this on board

Meditation provokes potato calm

Today’s group meditation was like a smooth slalom through warm, mashed potatoes. Visualize effortlessly carving left and right down a gentle tater slope. An occasional splatter sprays your cheek. You lick at this flavor of experience.

There is only a slight drag on the bottom of your skis, not in an obstructive way, but in a comfort food kind of way. Speed is relatively slow over mashed potatoes. This plant-based base has a subtle granular quality. Butter slows you down more than you would think. It adds a certain weight and fluidity to the glide through starchy spud drifts.

This meditative space is welcoming and open. It allows vulnerability. It offers a new phrase I just learned: emotional exposure. In a totally safe way. The air and the people sharing it do not put out a vibe of defense. Collectively, there is no bristling in response to another. No guts are tightening in preparation to fire off a counterpoint.

I enjoy this rhythm of being. There is no top or bottom, only moving through.