Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What I Learned at the Raw Foods Weekend

Steve and I hosted a Raw Food gathering at ClearPoint. Our friends, Glen Colello and Lisa Storch organized it. Through them we met Gina and Stephen Law (raw chocolate makers supreme), Del Orloske (botanist and wild foods forager) and Daniel Vitalis (wild elixir and spring water specialist). This morning as the new information was swirling about in my head I thought to myself- I should tell my friends! They would want to know this stuff too! Hence this write-up. On with it, then…


For the past four days I have been eating as much raw cacao chocolates as I am capable of eating. And I’m telling you what- Holy cow! I feel good! Raw cacao is the bean that chocolate bars are made of. At the Hershey’s factory, cacao beans are heated until the cacao butter runs out of the bean and the coco powder is dried into a powder cake. Then milk powder, white sugar, oil, and preservatives are added into it. Unfortunately, the heat involved in this process leaches out antioxidants and burns up enzymes that would be there in the fresh state. Fortunately, raw cacao contains everything that Montezuma loved hundreds of years ago. The Mayans and Aztecs called chocolate yollotl extli or heart blood. Raw cacao is exceptionally high in magnesium, which is required for the electrical processes in our body, like the heartbeat. Raw cacao is available in health food stores. It improves mood, suppresses appetite, and has the highest antioxidant content of any food on the planet. I just really like it- I like the way I feel and I like eating food that Montezuma ate. I know he had excellent taste- I've seen his headdress.


It’s estimated that our bodies are made of somewhere between 100 and 300 trillion human cells. We are composed of four times as many non-human organisms. Some of those organisms are bacteria. I just learned that bathing with antibacterial soap eliminates the thin layer of slightly acidic oils our body produces to house some of its helpful bacteria.

When I was studying the classics, one hygienic practice of the Athenian Olympic athletes struck me. They bathed themselves in oil. Literally. They slathered themselves in olive oil, which bound to their own skin oils. Taking a small scraper to their entire skin surface, they skimmed off excess skin cells. I tried this once in the bathtub, but I couldn’t get all the oil off and felt pretty greasy afterward. I forgot oil doesn’t mix with water! This morning’s technique was more effective. I went into the outdoor shower stall, and using a skin brush on my dry skin, brushed all my skin in little circles toward my heart. Dry exfoliation works well I find. So then I turned on the water, soaped up only in the few pertinent places, and rinsed off in cool water. Then I dried off in the sun and rubbed a thin layer of coconut oil all over myself, and toweled off again to remove any excess oil. My skin feels awesome right now, so I’ll repeat this bathing approach.

A while back I was complaining to my college housemate Steve that my face kept breaking out. At the time he worked at a dermatologist’s office and he said, “Well, yeah. You keep washing it.” I looked at him puzzled… But- isn’t washing my face what will keep it clean? He said, “Man, I can’t even tell you how many girls come into the office with horrible skin because they keep washing all the oils off of their face.” That fascinated me. Again this weekend Daniel Vitalis emphasized how important our natural skin oils are for housing helpful acid-loving bacteria that keep less beneficial bacteria in check. A good way to clean oil is with oil, not chemical solvents that dissolve oil, and especially not with an antibacterial solution.


Isn’t amazing that information in our computers is stored on silicon chips? And isn’t it amazing that water is full of silica? What kind of information has been downloaded into water and its silicon structures? The spring waters that bubble to the surface from aquifers have been underground for an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 years. That water is fully alive in the sense that if a jar of fresh spring water is brought into bright sunlight, tiny plants will grow in it. Stuff will not grow in it if it filtered through a UV light. Stuff will also not grow in it if it is treated with chlorine, which is a kind of antibiotic that a lot of people drink in their city water and affects human brain function. There’s chlorine filters for sale at Home Depot for around $50. Steve and I are now on the trail of finding the spring that is bubbling up somewhere around us. If you want to find a spring near you perhaps check out


Thankfully plants have been cultivated so that there’s such a thing as agriculture and foods we can eat like lettuce, tomatoes, pineapple, rice, ect. When a plant is bred for food sustenance it generally evolves to be higher in water content and sweetness than its original wild beginning. Within the hybridization process, bitterness is lost. That bitterness signals the presence of alkaloids, or the medicinal properties of the plant. Pharmaceutical are highly processed doses of naturally occurring alkaloids. The food we grow on farms is full of nutritive calories, vitamins, and great water content, but does not contain the medicinal properties of wild plants with intact alkaloids. That's why I'm learning about wild plants and their medicine.
This weekend I also learned about dear Suzette! She came up from Florida to be with us this weekend. She's the same Suzette that comments on this blog! 'Twas a treat!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prince Valiant! Sort of like.

When Sarah and I were in the used bookstore in Rhode Island we got to looking at this book series with phenomenal paintings and illustrations. I bought one of the books! Here it is:
This is the first illustration in there by Yvonne Gilbert Nice dogs, huh? He's got nice dogs. Irish wolfhounds. I knew a gigantic Irish Wolfhound named Huey who, at the time, stood higher than I did. And he never held it over me, which I liked about him.

On Saturday I started a white peacock. Here he is Peacocks are the first of the Four Alchemical Birds. The last one is the Pelican, who apparently pierces her own heart to let her children drink from the blood. I think have that right. So, hey, if you're into alchemy, look forward to that one!

Zucchini Lemon Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Here's the recipe!

I served the muffins with a flower salad. Eating flowers is such a good thing to do! David Wolfe says they are the missing part of our diet and I agree. Every time I eat flowers I love life. If I were going to pick up a sign and stand out on a corner with a message, it would say...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Angel is a Centerfold

Here's my 2010 Centerfold! The right side of it, that is. In progress. There's going to be blank pages this year with illustrations and this is one of them.

Since this is Irish-looking art, I want to clear up a misconception about the Celts. The Celts are no such people. As in, Celtic is such a broad term that it is useless. It is like saying, "The people of Germanic tribes and maybe Portuguese butter sellers, though also Roman with the possibility of Persian matrilineage, but more generally Northern Africa who also have intermarried with the people of the British Isles and settled in what is now Ireland. Who fought wars with each other within the last 4,000 years." I mean.... *whatever*.

The people who really deserve recognition, in my most humble (kidding:) opinion are the Tuatha Dé Danann. They arrived on earth many thousands of years ago- a graceful and loving people. They are historically regarded as mythological, but they're only mythological because their physical creations are mostly gone and all their skills have been attributed to violent red-heads that killed them in the Emerald Isles. The intimidation they experienced forced them to turn themselves into faeries and live underground in the hills. They still interact with humans but usually only when they have the advantage of magic. They were more likely to become human long ago. Storytellers speak of faery people as if they are a moot point. You can recognize them by their long slender bodies and dancing ways. They've a tendency to rhyme, speak in riddles, and be persnickity with their speech. (As an aside, Van Morrison is clearly straight out of the underground. Like- fresh off the gnome boat.) Anyway, from what I see, one can have fairy race characteristics as a result of faeries intermarrying with humans. The Tuathe De Danaan are not gone, and one can speak with them. They have a part in the land of gold. The gold working seen today in Ireland came from them, as did all the exceptional arts of music, poetry, writing, and illustration.

Sarah and I took a trip together this Sunday. In one part of the adventure we opened a book in an old used bookstore of Spirits of the Darkness. We both got chills, Sarah shivered said no no no, I cried, and we shut the book. And that began a discussion of what it is that brings demons to oneself, and how one keeps them away. We both decided generally it's best not go there too often, it only seems to cause trouble. So that's all I have to say about that. Here's Sarah and me at the ocean!
Here's Sarah on the water during our picnic lunch Speaking of Irish people and picnics, I got to see my Dad yesterday! Here he is telling a story.

Monday, July 20, 2009

John Lennon

Last night I thought He must have been so scared. Right before he was shot.

This morning Instant Karma came on and I realized- this is not a serious song. It made me smile, "Laughing at fools like me." And I thought maybe he was laughing.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Nobody wants to know the population of the Beauty country.

We want to make love to the populace.

Desire in the heart is the same beauty being sought.

Desire's been on my mind these days- I've been practicing wanting... more elegantly. I want to touch, I want to kiss, I want to eat, I want to smell, I want to feel, I want to see. Yet none of it is kept. After reading this phenomenal piece by Michael on longing... well, as I told Steve, it's like really good bad news. Oscar Wilde leveled, "It is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?"

Simone Weil wrote that Beauty promises but never delivers.
Have you ever wanted to eat the air near an intoxicating flower? Perfumery is like the fine art of the ephemeral- in one breath the beauty is evaporated. And one must breathe again to bring it in.

Like picking little sweet berries. A slow and deliberate movement sets in, and each handful takes care, finger by finger. There's space. And with the necessary nibbling, at no point is the container full. Completion is simply the point where the picker resigns with berry-stained lips.

Truth exists for the wise, beauty for the feeling heart.

If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty has its own excuse for being.

"A Navajo often counts his wealth in the songs he knows and especially in the songs he has created. A poor Navajo is one who has no songs, for songs enrich one's experiences and beautify one's activities."

"When one flower blooms, spring awakens everywhere."


Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Recipe and other Random Bits

Cabbage: it's not just for stinking up your house. Check out the new raw-ish recipe here!

My good friend and college housemate Tammy used to make cabbage once a week. We'd all come home one by one with the same question. "Hey! You guys! What's that... smell?" And then you'd hear Tammy yell from the kitchen, "Sorry! It's the cabbage! It'll be done soon!" The house we lived in was an old Victorian painted purple. The upstairs bathtub sagged into the downstairs ceiling, and we would often philosophize on whether or not, when the bathtub finally fell into the living room, we'd be able to fall down with it unscathed. I mean, since the drain backed up as you showered you knew your weight pared with the water weight was only asking for further sagging trouble. Do you think you could hang on to the shower curtain rod? What? Naw, then you'd be naked and soapy holding onto a metal pole over a gaping hole in the floor! Better chances for surfing the bathub down. Maybe you'd have time to leap out and hold onto the toilet as it all collapsed? Anyway! Cabbage and such. I've recently gotten fired up about eating cabbage raw. Do you know that it is the only vegetable that doesn't house parasites of any kind? Good vegetable. Aja taught me to slice it really thin and just eat it with lettuce in salads. Yum!

Today I've been collecting raw food recipes. Right now I don't want to eat cookified food. I'm sure it was pass though and I'll ask if you'd please pass the baked potato. In the meantime, if I discover some real winning recipes that are easy, I'll share them with you. Tomorrow I'm trying some kind of mint chocolate chia seed thing! What? Yes!

These days I am working on the 2010 calendar. But I'm not gonna show you all I've got because I want your 2010 calendar to be a luscious surprise! So that when you open it you're like ooooh and ahhhh. Just like that! Today Roger and I talked up some tweeks on the DVD of the Her Good Heart show. We're getting close! So soon I'll have a video to share with you. Now I gotta make like a tree and leaf!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Dear Diary,

Efforts to elude toothy predator remain effective. Said being appears amorously infatuated with eating white clover, which grows in abundance around our dirt fort. Our steadfastness in growing continues. Also, must mention- predator is very cute.

Signing Off,

Romaine. Lettuce.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Scape Kale Pizza and Videos

Hey look! An easy tasty pizza. Please click on the pizza dough to see my step-by-step recipe.Here's Sharon Rondeau, my new friend in Stafford. She played her harp for me. What a treat!

And... kittens. I didn't do a very good job filming them, but their cuteness still comes through-

And... the peacock at the farm. He cracks me up!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weekly Calendar, Stardate 2010.

I'm working now on the 2010 Weekly Calendar. It's a handwritten book with quotes and illustrations, and my plan is to have it printed and ready to send come September. Here's one of the color plates- just finished it today. This is so much fun! I like getting out my pens and markers. I dress myself up like I'm living in 1910 and sit down with a vase of flowers, picture books, an open window, and some hot tea. Or coffee. Or chocolate. My favorite!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Little Thread

Last night was the Little Thread opening. The harpist, Sharon Roundeu, was just phenomenal. Here's her website with a collection of songs you can listen to online.

Christine Reed of Shayna B's and the Pickle donated amazing vegan treats! One of the treats she made was a miniature chocolate cake covered in chocolate with raspberry filling. Wowee!

I felt so supported by my friends and family last night! Good pals came from the farm, Uncle Jim came all the way from Hawaii, and Uncle Dave and Madelyn from here in Connecticut. Uncle Jim is a professional storyteller and musician- here he is singing his song Pride of the Island after the show. We all went back to the house and listened to him play and tell stories.

I liked our Uncle Dave's face as he was watching him:This weekend we had a great Independence Weekend. My friends visited! There's Aja in yellow, then me, Roger Edward, Ryan, Steve, and Misha in the backyard.
On the fourth we went berry picking. Aja says we celebrated Independence Day by freeing the berries from their branches! On Sunday I made lemon almond waffles with raspberry sauce, avocado cream, and basil. The avocado cream was a big hit. Here's the recipe:
1 avocado
3 bananas
juice of a lemon wedge
Big splash of almond milk
...blend all together in blender and serve over waffles like whipped cream.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Thread

I didn't want to lose you in the infinite span of a thousand perfect rainbows
No I wanted find you- a fly in my teacup!
It wouldn't have worked if you were the hay in the haystack
I wanted to see you- the owl in a tree!
I didn't want to whisper in wandering across another snowfall covering it all in white
NO I wanted forever in you like the one sun in the sky
I wanted to feel you like the mosquito in the middle of my back
that's you! I know it's you!

And now, my thoughts...

I want a cookie.
I could eat cookies for dinner.
There'll be no cookies for dinner. We don't do that.
Like, a wafer dipped in chocolate.
Remember that chocolate chip cookie at the DoubleTree?
Crispy and gooey! That's my favorite!
Stop it.
Remember the summer we ate cookies for breakfast and lunch?
Yeah! Cookies!
Didn't I get tired of cookies?
Not... want... cookies?
Woah. A koan.