Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shopping - A Sacred Feminine Practice

Last week four of us from my women's group (see - women's culture) went on an outing. As we drove up the coast we marveled at the fact that we had been meeting most weeks for over four years, had laughed, cried, danced, meditated and shared our deepest hearts with one another - but we had never indulged in the quintessential feminine spiritual practice of shopping!

It was time to turn that one around!

Just the presence of four women dedicated to shopping seemed to make people happy. 'Are you girls all shopping together?' asked the angel at the checkout of the first store delightedly, and with very little prompting proceeded to give us fabulous advice on the best places to visit next.

Her suggestions were spot on. If there is one thing that makes women happier than great new clothes - it's great new clothes at bargain prices. When we hit the factory outlet stores unkind observers might have described it as a feeding frenzy. But the astute on-looker would have been able to see that they were witnessing a religious experience. Great joy was all around.

The best part about shopping with girlfriends is that the sisterhood is greater than the sum of the parts. We all returned with at least one item we would never have found or tried on, let alone bought if it hadn't been for the others. My enduring memory will be the expression on my friend's faces as I put on a particular cream lace jacket. Before I turned to look in the mirror I new I would have to buy this item.

Mirrors can distort, my own perception can be very critical ..... but the eyes of my sisters don't lie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Aging gracefully?

I think humour is the answer - especially the ability to laugh at yourself!

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.
-Cora Harvey Armstrong
The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
-Helen Hayes (at 73)
I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows.
-Janette Barber
Old age ain't no place for sissies.
-Bette Davis
Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
-Caryn Leschen
I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited

Monday, July 18, 2005

Holiday fun with a young scientist

It has been school holidays here in australia and I have been enjoying some quality time with my son. One of our favorite holiday activities has been carrying out experiments from a science experiment booklet that I downloaded from the net.
Our best experiment so far was one in which we used a piece of ordinary paper to seal the top of a full bottle of water and then were able to turn the bottle upside down without spilling a drop! The mileage we gained impressing friends and family from that experiment alone was easily worth the $9.95 and there are 99 other experiments in the book.

More information for budding scientists.

A self portrait of my young scientist!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Cooking by osmosis

Do you ever come out of a movie and still feel as if you are in the story? Yesterday I went to see Mr & Mrs for a bit of eye candy and some light relief and found myself wondering if the car would blow up when I put the key in the lock to go home! I even get it with good books.

Actually it can happen whenever I immerse myself in something. Recently I have been working on a web site for vegetarian chef and recipe book author, Nadine Abensur. I have been so absorbed in Nadine's world, and in particular her recipes and lifestyle, that I swear my cooking has improved. I whizz around the kitchen being a gourmet vegetarian chef with delectable results. Maybe it all comes down to attitude.

I am also totally in love with the way Nadine writes. She lent me a copy of one of her books "The Cranks Bible" and I keep "forgetting" to give it back. How can you resist someone who talks about onions with this sort of passion ...

"White onions have an almost unbelievable sweetness to them and so are not as sharp as regular onions, though still unmistakably, tear-jerkingly pure onion."

White onion tart with parmesan

or confesses ...

"I have an unending passion for fennel. Even here, where it is covered in cream, I feel sure that its digestive properties shine through. "

Braised Fennel Gratin

and lays it on the line ...

"There is a mantra that those of us who ever did home economics (was there ever a more alienating name for the art of cooking?) at school were taught - pastry equals half fat to flour. Mediocre pastry perhaps. Good pastry equals at least 60 per cent fat to flour. Now that's worth getting your fingers sticky for."

Nadine's Pecan Pie

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Different views on menopause

I adore this article - Black Women's Views on Menopause Different
by Daniel J. DeNoon.

In a study of 43 black women in two cities experiencing menopause symptoms most of them said their best sources of information about menopause didn't come from doctors or nurses.
They put great stock in how their mothers or other older women in their communities had managed menopause symptoms.
It's not that the women didn't trust doctors. The doctors, it seems, simply weren't on the same page.

Is it a page or a paradigm baby?
What a blessing that these women have still got (some) women's culture.

The researchers go on to talk about a symptom of menopause that the women in the study described as a 'rage'
"The women said they had taken enough and had earned the right to be respected and treated well and not have to take 'crap' from others anymore," Alexander and Ruff note. "But frequently rude or irreverent treatment by others was experienced, and this produced a 'rage' in the women."

Go Grumpy Old Women!

The black women in the study were very reluctant to treat their menopause symptoms with hormone therapy. Instead, the women seemed to prefer nondrug menopause treatments such as changes in clothing, diet, and exercise; alternative/complementary therapies; and prayer and spirituality.

Why now sista's - them's some darn sensible ideas!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Herbal commentary from wise woman Susan Weed

In view of the threat posed by Codex Alimentarius on our access to natural healing resources I believe it is wise to inform ourselves as much as possible about herbal lore and wisdom. Susun Weed is an excellent authority in this area. Here are some tips from her newsletter. If you live nearby you could even drop in.

"With summer solstice in the past, the days grow shorter, though the heat increases. I enjoyed some purslane -- one of my favorite wild greens -- this morning with my eggs. Which made me remember my daughter's delight in
growing and eating purslane when she was young. Lots of you eat your purslane, but have you ever used it to soothe bee stings, bug bites, and sunburned skin. It works great.

The cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris) is getting out of hand in my garden, just like she does every year, that wild old woman. Join me on Saturday July 23 for Amazing Artemisias, a class devoted to her and her amazing sisters: wormwood, tarragon, sagebrush, sweet annie, and southernwood. I'll even send you home with your choice of some dried cronewort (to use as smudge or in a dreampillow), or a cronewort root to take home and plant in your garden.

Our moonlodge this month is on July 22, the day after the full moon. How special that will be. Come sing and dance and share women's power with me and the apprentices. We'll be the ones on our knees harvesting purslane and smiling."

Check out more in the July edition of Susan's ezine Weed Wanderings

Contents include
Healing Wise: Plantain: First Aid in Your Backyard by Corinna Wood
Mother & Child: Shamanic Midwifery part 2 by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Your Intuitive Dreams: The Color Orange by sHEALy
Empower Yourself: Traditional Diets part 2 by Sally Fallon
Wise Woman Wisdom: An Herbalist’s Notebook part 1 by Robin Rose Bennett
Anti-Cancer Lifestyle: Splenda (Sucralose) by Dr. Carolyn Dean
Goddess Speaks: What is Sacred by Waynonaha

Friday, July 01, 2005

Lost in translation

Just for a bit of light relief (which I need it after wading through thigh high water yesterday!!) check out Lost in translation which uses the Altavista translation software to translate your phrase back and forth between five languages.

I tried it with "I love you" and it returned me "Master to him"!?