Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Blog!

Visit my new blog, Tipsy Yogi, at this Wordpress link


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sober September

A crazy idea should never be voiced, particularly when it’s 2:00 in the morning. Furthermore, crazy ideas shouldn’t even be whispered when they sound something like “what if we didn’t drink any alcohol during the month of September?” And when you’re talking to a person who will be on a silent meditation retreat for ten days of the month anyway, you might as well not even open your mouth because the answer will no doubt be "let's do it!"

In honor of the 46th anniversary of Star Trek, “Captain’s Log: Stardate 13 days sober”. Believe it or not, we are now boozeless for almost two weeks. What on Earth, Mars and Venus was I thinking? This was the burning question as I sat on the screened porch this past weekend, bathed and relaxed after a hard day of working in the yard. The moment when I’d normally be breaking the blow-dried seal on a frosty growler of some hoppy brew or, more likely, asking Doc. B. when we could open the bottle of white (that, by the way, has now been chilling in the fridge for 14 days, since of course we didn’t know we’d be doing this sober gig 14 days ago!).

Contrary to popular belief, there are only two times I drink: weekends and holidays. By weekends, I mean Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And by holidays, I of course mean it in the British sense of the word which includes vacations. So let me spell it out - by “holiday” I mean:

1. Anytime Doc B and I vacation,

2. Anytime I visit my family or Doc B’s family,

3. Anytime my family or Doc B’s family visits us,

4. Anytime I take trips with my family (and I don’t mean the acid type),

5. All Christian, Jewish and Pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, and Solstices, Equinoxes and moon day eves,

6. All government holidays including Confederate Memorial Holiday and Robert E. Lee’s birthday, (don’t scoff, when in the south, do as the southerners!), and finally

7. Any obscure, but socially, culturally or spiritually important holidays such as Groundhog’s day, Multiple Personality Day, National Tortilla Chip day and the Dragon-Con parade.

So you’re probably wondering how I’m doing since in the last 13 days, there have been several desert-parched weekends and multiple dryer-than-Sauvignon Blanc holidays including Labor day, Newspaper Carrier day, Cheese Pizza day, and Read a Book day, to name just a few? Well, the house is pretty much spotless. The cats have been combed once a day and the boxes have been scooped twice a day. I’ve finished three books. Work seems less stressful despite the number of times I’ve heard the statement “end of the ‘physical’ year”. And most importantly, I’ve decided I don’t care what J. Crew shoes Michelle is wearing or what Oscar de la Renta dress Ann is sporting, I’m still voting for Obama. Okay, true, that last one had nothing to do with being sober. But on a side note, I might just get my toenails painted gray (very nicely done Michelle!).

What else have I noticed? References to alcohol are everywhere. TV shows and commercials all seem to mention booze and of course PBS just had to be running a three part series on Prohibition this month. Speak easy? Easier said than done. The books I’ve read focus on an alcoholic father (the Glass Castle), wine trees and wine canals (The Martian Chronicles) and a cat whisperer who used to be a druggie (Cat Daddy).

What hasn’t happened? I’ve not lost any weight. Yoga feels the same. I still like Billy Joel. I don’t and never did understand where lupini beans come from. And finally, I’m not sleeping any better. Yeah, yeah, that last one might have something to do with the two 17 pound cats that joined our family a month ago and were given free range of the whole house, including the queen-sized bed, three weeks ago.

So, let’s just see if I can make it to my birthday. At least as I’m driving down DeKalb Avenue, swerving like I’ve had two too many as I dodge potholes, sink holes and drunks, they won’t be able to prove I’m one of the latter.

Cheers to me making it at least to my birthday! 24 sober September days would be a true accomplishment, no?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Pour Some Sugar on Me

I always smile big at the sight or sound of the first hummingbirds that return to our clematis vines each season. I can never think of the word clematis so, like a good student of Ms. Magnus’ Latin class, I’ve chosen to call it by another, easier to remember noun – Chlamydia. I can never remember the word camellia either, so it too is often referred to as Chlamydia. As usual, Doc B. puts up with this. Why? I have no idea but I do appreciate it because this type of humor is hereditary and cannot be altered in my DNA genetic instructions or by way of electroconvulsive shock therapy.

This morning I caught that first hummingbird glimpse and immediately knew I had to set up the bird candy feeders. So as not to scare the little guys off, I made a sweaty, tip-toed dash for the shed, grabbed the two feeders and brought them to the kitchen sink to remove the winter’s grime.

As the feeders dried on the cool counter tops, I pulled a pot off of the rack, found my grandmother’s measuring cups and poured in the water to heat. Next step: just add sugar to make a simple syrup. Turns out this is simpler said than done.

Where were the Dixie Crystals? I pushed aside the Kombucha fermentation container in order to get to the spice cabinet. Then I rummaged around past the homemade ghee, aromatic asafoetida, Turkish sumac, Vietnamese fish sauce, Indian methi seed and two year old expired nori flakes (do they really expire?). No such luck; no Dixie, no Domino. Here were my choices:

1. Evaporated cane juice: USDA stamped organic, Kosher, fair trade certified, not filtered through animal by-products, straight from Paraguay by way of Sugar Land, TX,

2. Jaggery: made from dried sugarcane juice and salt but made in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, wheat and sesame, or

3. Sustainably grown and harvested organic coconut sugar made from granulated coconut nectar, produced from the flower buds of the coconut tree in Indonesia and certified organic by the Colorado department of agriculture.

How on earth would I choose?  What would the little birdies prefer?  Kosher?  Nut-free processing?  Sustainably grown?  I went with number one...and I have yet to see a hummingbird land on either feeder. Publix, here I come.  Move the Splenda, Stevia and other sugar substitutes out of my way and let me at the Dixie dang Crystals!

Oh, by the way, did you know that our DNA is made of sugars (and a few other things of course). I’m sure Doc B. would say “duh, of course there are 2-deoxyribose pentose/five-carbon sugars joined by phosphates.”

And I’d say “whatever.”