Thursday, March 25, 2021

Animations by MyHeritage / I was named after my father's mother

My grandmother in the late 1900s.

Me in the 1980s.

Me in the past few years.

Hmmm ... This appears to me to be an extremely enhanced photo-shopped version of me but I can see for the first time a slight resemblance to my mostly Norwegian grandmother whose grandfather didn't marry her grandmother and remains a mystery except that he may have had a German father and an English mother.  The animated me from the 1980s does not appear to me to be the same person as the animated me in recent years.  

According to 23andMe, I am:

69.3% Scandinavian

15.9% British and Irish

6.7% French and German

0.4% Central Asian, North Indian and Pakistani

23andMe has determined that my only nephew is:

35.4% Scandinavian

15.2% French and German

7.5% British and Irish

30.8% East Asian and Native American 

0.2% Central Asian, Northern Indian, and Pakistani

Although I no longer subscribe to MyHeritage, I received an email from them recently giving me this brief opportunity to try out their animation function.  I was able to animate about 10 photos before the MyHeritage website no longer allowed me to continue animating photos and began asking me to subscribe.

Genealogy fascinates me.  I continue to search for clues about my great great grandfather on my father's side and my great grandfather on my mother's side, both of whom disappeared mysteriously, leaving two of my female ancestors to raise their children without fathers.

Here is one of the two times that my grandmother saw me in person.  My grandfather had died during the previous winter.  She saw me again when I was 3 years old.  She died when I was 7 years old.  Both of my mother's parents died before I was born.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"... cracked open ..."


"... In the last year I have become more aware of the underlying forces that have continued to oppress Black, Brown, Asian, Hispanic and indigenous people in our country. In the wake of the recent surge in anti-Asian violence, with the devastating shootings in Atlanta, I was further cracked open ..."  (Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl)

Standing Our Ground

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Gratitude for our public library / Library books are dear to us / The Book of Love

¡Sí se puede!


"The House passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the Dream and Promise Act is a testament that we are on the march to victory to winning legalization for millions of undocumented people. Passing these bills in the first 100 days shows the commitment of the House to support Dreamers, TPS recipients and farm workers," said UFW President Teresa Romero.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A non-dominant hand mandala (-:

With Gratitude 2021 / George Harrison and Bob Dylan 1970

(0:47 "you ready george?")


If not for you
Babe, I couldn’t find the door
Couldn’t even see the floor
I’d be sad and blue
If not for you

If not for you
Babe, I’d lay awake all night
Wait for the mornin’ light
To shine in through
But it would not be new
If not for you

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost if not for you
And you know it’s true

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
Oh! what would I do
If not for you

If not for you
Winter would have no spring
Couldn’t hear the robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue
Anyway it wouldn’t ring true
If not for you

Copyright © 1970 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1998 by Big Sky Music

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

"... He just loved food ..."

Many of you have seen this crayon drawing before.  I remember making it when I was 5 years old.  One of my favorite foods when I was 5 years old was zwieback. Yesterday I started Mandala #58, holding a red-violet Faber-Castell Polychromos pencil in my non-dominant hand, borrowing the palette of colors I used at 5 years old -- light orange, dark purple, dark blue, and red violet.  Later in the day I came across a story written for school when I was 7 years old in 1957.  We had been given a list of words and assigned to write a story using all the words on the list.

The Lazy Horse

Once there was a lazy horse.  He just sat in a field and thought.  He loved to sleep.  He was asleep all day.  And he lived most of his life in a barn.  There was one time he was awake.  That was when he had food.  He just loved to roll round and round his stall.  One thing he did was to try to nip flies.  When his master came in the barn to feed him he jumped and jumped.  So he could have his food faster.  He usually did get his food first too.  He just loved food.  If he didn't get it, he kicked and bucked in his stall.  One day the man sat in a seat and thought.  Just then he got a good idea.  He jumped up and ran to the telephone and called a man who wanted horses.  The lazy horse was thinking.  Was he going to be sold to someone?  The next day a man came to look at him.  The lazy horse heard him say, “I might pay a good price for him.”  This made him sad.  Was he really going to be sold?  The man came in his stall and made him take a step.  Out he came.  He was taken to where the man lived and left there.  He just sat and sat for eight hours.

The next afternoon he made so much noise that the man sold him back.  Now the owner was happy.  He had missed the Lazy Horse.

The End

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

With Gratitude for the Joy of Good Food and the Gift of Peace with Food / The Foods We Eat / A Long Story with an Auspicious Ending for Today

After it was discovered last summer that my kidney function is minimally compromised, I requested a  referral from my primary care provider to a registered dietician.  The dietician helped me to create the following basic list of delicious foods that are felt to support good kidney function, when eaten in moderation.  There were numerous other foods that she suggested which I am unable to eat due to intolerances that involving itching, headaches, and upper respiratory symptoms.  My complicated relationship with food has been a long story with an auspicious ending in each telling.  Every so often I feel compelled to tell this story with updates.  Today is the day.  We all have our stories.  What works for one person doesn't work for another.  We are all free to find what works best for our unique body chemistry.

I love the good food that I am able to eat.  I loved reading what Sabine (see the comments that accompany that link) has found that she can eat freely with thorough enjoyment of the gift of food.  So much of what she and R eat sounds incredibly delicious and satisfying.  As I thought about writing this post, I recalled an article in The Guardian some years ago that had photographs of what people around the world were eating on a weekly basis. Although, my weekly menu is much greater in quantity, in its simplicity it most resembles that of the Aboubakar family from Darfur, Sudan, in the Breidjing refugee camp in Chad.

How did this come to be? 

Brown rice:


Green cabbage:


Romaine lettuce (I don't enjoy eating salads.  I stir-fry a head of Romaine at a time in olive oil and add salt):

Unsweetened rice milk:

Ground turkey:

Wild pink salmon:

Olive oil:

Kosher salt (unlike many table salts this brand contains no sugar):

and 8-9 cups of cool clear water throughout the day (-:


Beginning in early childhood, there were foods that I was occasionally forced to eat despite the fact that they made me gag.  I was not forced to eat those foods at home but was forced to eat them on the rare occasions when my family ate at other people's homes.  When I was 3 years old, I was shamed by my grandmother when I refused to eat the lightly cooked white of an egg, eating only the yolk because it alone tasted delicious to me while runny egg whites made me gag.  I remember hearing my grandmother tell my mother that I was spoiled.  That was one of the two times I remember seeing my grandmother in person because she lived far away in Minnesota, while my family lived in California.  

I remember being a young child and having a strong natural aversion to the taste of black olives, cheese, honey, black licorice, fresh tomatoes, and to the texture of okra.  In my early childhood, much of what my mother served came out of cans or was frozen ("fish sticks").  We ate a variety of boxed cereals for breakfast with a glass of orange juice.  On Sundays we might have pancakes or waffles or French toast or scrambled eggs and bacon with a half-grapefruit with white sugar on it.  We had Campbell's soup and a variety of sandwiches with white bread for lunch -- often peanut butter and jelly (my favorite sandwich -- sometimes I would secretly make my own version with the addition of chocolate syrup and spoonfuls of white sugar).  For dinner, our plates contained a small portion of baked chicken (which I loved) on Sunday and during the rest of the week we had small portions of pork chops, lamb chops, steak, hot dogs, occasional fresh fish or spaghetti out of a can, meatloaf or tuna casserole.  On special occasions, we had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.  On a daily basis, our plates also contained potatoes, peas or green beans, with a small salad with iceberg lettuce and Thousand Island dressing in a bowl to the side of our plate (I was allowed to decline the sliced fresh tomatoes). We drank a glass of milk with most meals.  

In the later years of my childhood, I loved when my mother would buy the fresh seasonal artichokes which grew locally and cook them in her pressure cooker.  We ate those artichokes with generous amounts of Best Foods Real Mayonnaise.  I loved San Francisco style sourdough bread which we ate with fresh locally caught crab when it was in season.  Our meal portions were small, leaving room for high-calorie desserts and the cookies and ice cream and chocolate that were available between meals.  We also always had a bowl of seasonal mostly local fresh fruit for eating in between meals -- apples, oranges, tangerines, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, Thomson seedless grapes, apricots, and occasional pomegranates.

The only foods that I couldn't get enough of were those that contained generous amounts of sugar.  There weren't enough cookies, ice cream, or donuts in the world to satisfy my cravings.  As long as I can remember, I craved those foods the way an alcoholic craves alcohol.  I semi-consciously used sugar to numb myself from the anxiety that was ever present in my life.  I didn't feel safe in the world.  Food containing large amounts of sugar was one of my few comforts, acting as a sedative.

Our home was well-stocked with those foods.  Both of my parents turned to sugar, as well as moderate amounts of alcohol, for comfort.  Both of my parents, concerned with their weight, began dieting in 1960 when I was 10 years old. My youngest sister spent all of her allowance at the candy counter of what we used to call a "variety store."  As I recall, the "variety store" was a small store next to the small locally owned suburban supermarket where my mother shopped for groceries.  The "variety store" featured all kinds of candy and gum and inexpensive toys.  Curiously, my middle sister refused to eat sugar or much of anything, to the point that she was given a diagnosis of failure to thrive.  She insisted that she wasn't hungry.  It was a point of pride and identity for her.  Our family doctor suggested to my mother that she give my middle sister Jersey milk for its high fat and calorie content.  My mother would make milkshakes with Jersey milk for my middle sister to drink after school.  My sister grudgingly drank them but remained underweight for her age.  Although I was only 18 months older than my middle sister, she remained smaller in size than my youngest sister who was 5 years younger than I was.  In photos when I began dieting at age 10, I appear to be a giant next to my sisters, although I was at a normal weight and height.  I felt acute shame about my size.  I began to hate everything about myself.

Throughout my childhood and for much of my life until I was almost 40 years old, I suffered from frequent itching, a constantly runny nose, frequent sinus infections, frequent headaches, depression, and an undiagnosed eating disorder.  I went on my first calorie-restricting diet when I was 10 years old (not overweight but tall for my age, weighing more than anyone else in my grade school class) and unsuccessfully attempted to severely restrict my calorie intake until I was 37 years old.  From age 17 to age 37, I suffered from bulimia and bouts of anorexia.  Whenever my anxiety became unbearable, which was a regular occurrence, I would binge on massive amounts of foods containing sugar.   It was a nightmare from which I thought I would never awaken.

Miraculously, just before my 38th birthday in 1987, some ideas were introduced to me that helped me to make a decision to stop drinking alcohol and to stop eating sugar, except for that sugar which occurs naturally in whole food, and to eat as much as I wanted of all foods that I enjoyed eating.  No one forced this decision on me.  I didn't know anyone else who had made the decision I made.  All I know is that once I made that decision and took the action, my bulimia disappeared and my belief that I needed to severely restrict calories disappeared.  The craving for more and more food that had been a daily companion throughout my life was gone.  For the first time in my life, I experienced the feeling of satiety.

My lifelong anxiety, itching, headaches, respiratory symptoms, however, did not disappear.  I found that there were foods that seemed to help keep my anxiety in check -- nuts, potato chips, popcorn, tortilla chips, and whole wheat bread smothered in olive oil.  I continued to eat large amounts of these foods when under stress and continued to experience bouts of itching, headaches, and respiratory symptoms.  I would refrain from eating those foods for extended periods of time but when I couldn't tolerate stressful situations,  I would turn to those foods for relief, unable to give them up, willing to accept the negative physical consequences.

It is only since last summer when I saw the dietician and made a decision to let go of nuts, potato chips, popcorn, and tortilla chips, that I have experienced peace with food on a daily basis.  I stopped eating whole wheat bread years ago because I lack a tolerance for yeast.  When I was tested for food allergies in my 20s, yeast was first identified as something I was allergic to.  Foods containing yeast, as well as the delicious fermented foods that I used to love to eat give me headaches and nasal congestion.

For someone who loves good food as much as I do, one might think that I feel deprived. Nothing could be further from the truth.   Of course, I wish that I could enjoy the foods other people freely enjoy but that wish is balanced with the unequivocal experience of peace with food.   One might feel moved to pity me for what I can't eat.  Please don't  (-:


O my goodness.  When I looked up from my laptop, I saw that the first Abutilon flower of the season has opened this morning!  When I looked out the window, I saw a pair of Canada Geese at the far end of the cattail marsh -- too far away for a photo but close enough to hear!


Celebration for this partly sunny, partly grey nearly spring day in Northwest Washington State:

Monday, March 8, 2021

Grateful to be alive and listening to one of our young people carry the song forward / Confident as the ocean and stardust / Beloved Community

Crepuscular rays at dawn.

Spring in this northwestern corner of Washington State is more often an experience of greening and flowering and birdsong under sublime grey skies, and there is still snow in the hills.

The cattail marsh fills with the song of birds all day long.  Soon the Canada Geese flock will return to this cattail marsh, announcing their arrival with loud honking.

Carmel Point 

Robinson Jeffers, 1887 – 1962 

The extraordinary patience of things! 
This beautiful place defaced with a crop of suburban houses— 
How beautiful when we first beheld it, 
Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs; 
No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing, 
Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rockheads— 
Now the spoiler has come: does it care? 
Not faintly. It has all time. It knows the people are a tide 
That swells and in time will ebb, and all 
Their works dissolve. Meanwhile the image of the pristine beauty 
Lives in the very grain of the granite, 
Safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff.—As for us: 
We must uncenter our minds from ourselves; 
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident 
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.


Side by side is:

"... There is an old African proverb:  "When you pray, move your feet." As a nation, if we care for the Beloved Community, we must move our feet, our hands, our hearts, our resources to build and not to tear down, to reconcile and not to divide, to love and not to hate, to heal and not to kill ..."

(John Lewis, Walking with the Wind:  A Memoir of the Movement, published 1998)

Friday, March 5, 2021

Upon learning that today is World Book Day

1952 when I was age 2?

World Book Day was brought to my attention this morning.  Thank you to Beth Adams.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris / Adverse Childhood Experiences / UOCO

"... From 2010 to 2012, Burke Harris co-founded the Adverse Childhood Experiences project in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco, with colleagues Daniel Lurie from Tipping Point Foundation, Kamala Harris (am's italics), Victor G. Carrion, Lenore Anderson, Lisa Pritzker, and Katie Albright ..." (excerpted from Wiki)

This TED talk came to my attention in connection with an NGO called UOCO that a local friend told me about.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Dance of joy

 Thank to Zhoen for posting this on her blog and inspiring me to do the same here.

(When you click on it, it may say that the video is unavailable.  You can still click on "Watch on YouTube)

Monday, March 1, 2021

"Mississippi" (en español y ingles) / Derek Mahon revisited

Still working on learning to speak Spanish.  Delighted to have found J.M. Baule's YouTube channel.

En ingles:

Thank you to beth coyote for inspiring me to find this: