Sunday, March 25, 2012

Random Ramblings

Scene in a local park March 24, 2012
Here we are at the start of a new week and one wonders where the month of March has gone. The furnace is humming for the first time in ten days as we approach more seasonal temperatures for this time of year. Spring is firmly established even though we may see a little more snow around here. I bought a pair of Bogs rain boots and hope to have a chance to walk some muddy spring trails. Their colours and designs are bright and youthful, but my orthotics fit inside so I figured they were appropriate for middle-aged people too.

Bogs are not as cheap as my old black rubber boots which had no support at all. But then nothing is as cheap as it was. It seems that food has taken a big jump in price this month. Peanut butter is a staple at our house but a 1 kg jar is now priced at $6.77. That is nearly double what I paid a few weeks ago. Someone donated several cases of peanut butter to the food bank yesterday and young volunteers handed a jar to each person who came in for lunch. I read that the peanut harvest somewhere was poor and that some food banks cannot afford this staple right now. Meat is also much more expensive recently. Some sad little 1 kg chickens wrapped in styrofoam and plastic sold for $12 at a national chain grocery store this week. Since when are whole chickens over $5 a pound?

Peanut butter donation
So I shopped yesterday at the market and our local Indian and Chinese grocery stores. Vegetables are so fresh, varied and inexpensive at these places. A friend from work forwarded me a YouTube link about Dr. Terry Wahls, a TEDx presenter who reversed her MS symptoms by changing her diet. You can take 15 minutes and watch it here, but I will summarize her plan. Dr. Wahls recommends 9 cups of fruit and vegetables a day;- 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of high sulphur and cruciferous vegetables, and 3 cups of brightly coloured fruits and vegetable including berries. Make sure you eat a little seaweed weekly too. If you have any room left over for more food, choose organic, unprocessed items. I watched a little, old Chinese lady in front of me pay for six big bags of baby bok choy. I doubt she eats the SAD (Standard American diet). Her traditional way of eating is what this doctor has now discovered is sound and healthy.

Talking about the SAD...We eat too many processed foods. Period. We discover a supernutrient and think if some is good, then more is better. Recent studies show that high doses of many vitamins and minerals (Vitamin E and calcium are two examples) are not beneficial and can be harmful. People are confused by conflicting media reports. Soy products have been eaten for centuries. Today highly processed, GMO soy products are added to so many foods, including protein drinks and energy bars, that some people now believe soy is evil. Eating edamame, miso, tofu and tempeh in moderation is how eastern cultures have used these traditional staples in their diet with good health effect.

Lots of greens to choose from at the Chinese supermarket
You can look all this up on the internet. In fact, you can look anything up on the internet but please double and triple check your sources. Raven, who passed her first birthday this month, has always been a “pukey puppy”. She started throwing up every time she drank from her water dish which was generally after she ate. We changed her food and I started making rice and chicken for her. She still threw up but seemed healthy and happy. So I asked Google why my dog threw up like this and discovered it is a common problem with larger dogs. Several sites recommended raising the food and water up from the floor and using a smaller water dish. So we put her dishes on a small wood step the girls used to reach the sink when they were small, and put a small dish inside her big water bowl. She hasn’t thrown up since. Dakota used to stretch out on the floor when he ate which was intuitive on his part.
xkcd web comic
I wonder how I would have found this information 20 years ago? Encyclopedias were useful if you needed to know the history of industrial Europe but practical day to day tips were not at your fingertips.

Technology is not a replacement for everything. We have a new chaplain at the hospital. She is a beautiful, serene African lady and I hope to get to know her better. She spent time with one of our more challenging patients this week and then charted that she provided the ministry of listening and presence.

I wrote that down...ministry of listening and presence. Beautiful.

Sometimes there is no counsel or action which can remove what has happened in the past or change the present situation. We prefer to talk and offer solutions but listening requires discipline, control of a wandering mind and the biting of a quick tongue. Good listeners are a rare and precious find.

 Is life a series of random events? It depends who you listen to. Here are two sides of a random coin.

So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness.
Sidney Poitier

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23


  1. You're right of course but you know well um.

  2. The internet is a wonderful resource. Of course, since anyone can post, one does have to check and double check. Looks like you're having a pretty spring.

  3. Ministry of "listening and presence". I like that. I've been talking about presence myself just the last couple of days. Sometimes it is nice to know that someone is there and they care. Being a childless widow with little family of my own ... presence is huge.


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