Monday, March 22, 2010

Sweet and Sad
Thanks to the Vermont National Guard and 
Be Well
Wherever you are
You have Friends

I am not confused. I hate war but I love the soldiers.  A “friend” welcomes a soldier home — friends build resilience and sometimes the best kind of healing friend is an animal. Amazing but I thought the dog was wearing camouflage too until I looked more carefully.  May each of them be greeted so unconditionally and enthusiastically. 

 This photo is by Michael Jermyn, if you want to see more of his work he is our  featured artist with his own gallery just click on this link and check it out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

 See image in website

Cairn- Built by Gay McDonnell Bumgarner and Patrick C. McDonnell

This was one of two cairns built by this energetic (fidgety) artistic duo.  They were also responsible for numerous wooden arbors, garden benches, and brush piles.  

Based on my quick review of the definition, cultural, and historical information about cairns it seems they are built by almost everyone and for purposes ranging from the trivial to the supremely important. If you see a Cairn, depending on the place, the time, and a myriad of other cues it might be saying to you.

-- "There are too many rocks here so I will pile them all up in this one place"
--"Go here"
--"Don't go here"
--"I bet I can make a bigger more amazing pile than you can"
--"Buffalo (or Reindeer) run this way (toward cliff)"
--"Someone is buried here"
--"This is the top (summit) of the mountain"
--"I am (or wish I was) Andy Goldsworthy"
-- "There was a very important battle here that defines our national pride, or, a cart carrying fruit tipped over around here last week.

As we all know few forces are more compelling than the urge to pile rocks one on top of the other.

Fortunately, as an act of reverence the cairns built by Gay and Pat were collected and now adorn the gardens of good friends.  Cairns make great garden art, we would love to see yours too.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If you want to read a very useful overview of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture I recommend this link to the "healthy skeptic".  This series on Chinese medicines comes in segments that are brief and clear.

Chinese Medicine Demystified (Part I): A Case of Mistaken Identity

Posted using ShareThis

 Photo: Chinese foxglove - Gay Bumgarner Images
Foxglove picture
For a traveling Friend -- a poem, a picture, some wordplay

Words to live by -  By Louise Erdrich

"I would be converted to a religion of grass.
Sleep the winter away and rise headlong each spring.
Sink deep roots.
Conserve water.
Respect and nourish your neighbors and never let trees gain the upper hand.
Such are the tenets and dogmas.
As for the practice-- Grow lush in order to be devoured or
caressed, stiffen in sweet elegance, invent startling seeds-- these
also make sense.
Bow beneath the arm of fire.
Connect underground.
Be lovely and do no harm."

For Professor Meg Harper PhD, a wonderful friend and a star on her way to Limerick Ireland.  She is a poet, a scholar, a woman with a high heart that laughs easily.  Here is a poem and a picture connected to some scientific wordplay, great names and a durable metaphor.

Picture: Foxtail species of grass, a type of diaspore, showing the inflorescence (flower head) arranged as two florets made of lemmas, flumes & altogether called a spikelet.  Florets may be arranged on the rachilla (axis) and protected by a second set of scales called glumes.  If the horiztontal stems go underground they are called rhizomes.  As Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says Rhizome is a metaphor that endures.

Good luck, we love you.

Sharon, Gib, Morgan, Natalya, Lacy, Tigger, Jasmine, Maine, Vermont and Friends

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finally!!! Science and nutrition news to believe in

Chocolate Linked to Lower Stroke and Stroke Mortality Risk

Medcape by Susan Jeffrey

 February 12, 2010 — Just in time for Valentine's Day, a new systematic review from Canadian researchers suggests higher chocolate consumption may be associated with a lower risk for incident stroke and stroke-related mortality.
Results of 2 prospective cohort studies showed, respectively, a 22% reduction in stroke risk for those who had 1 serving of chocolate per week and a 46% reduction in stroke mortality from weekly consumption of flavonoids in 50 g of chocolate vs no consumption. A third study showed no association between chocolate intake and stroke or death.
However, the number of studies looking at this relationship was small, senior author Gustavo Saposnik, MD, from St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada, told Medscape Neurology. "We need more prospective studies that specifically identify the type of chocolate and the amount, including the amount of flavonoids included in the composition of the chocolate, to make more valid conclusions," he said.
The results were released February 11 in advance of their planned presentation at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology 62nd Annual Meeting in April. The abstract will post to on February 17.

Note as an epidemiologist I must say that an enormous amount of data related to cardiovascular disease and diet, exercise, and almost everything else is being debunked daily. So, I would stick with Michael Pollen and "Food Rules" for the best approach to health and eating. But, he does make room for chocolate too.  Remember they are assuming its the favinoids, maybe its the anticipation or just the sheer pleasure of eating chocolate that sets off a biochemical cascade that our hearts love.

My chicken is more beautiful than your chicken 
and when it dies I shall make a jacket of its feathers 
and be a Queen.


This picture doesn't do it (the rooster actually) justice, jump over to the (large bird) gallery and see how nice those feathers really are.

The red cap and surprising silver shoes make a daring fashion statement.

In this new world of urban refugees and dyspeptic consumers, we are voting with our conscience and our forks for local, homemade and non-industrial food.  My sense is that many more people are keeping chickens these days. 
Towns are struggling with zoning and we talk about chickens a lot and, of course, there is a lot to say.

Note: there is an article in Slate
claiming the movement isn't real but a media-myth. 
Whereas the Guardian in UK presents a more convincing argument and a friendly tone using data from breeders, chicken rescue calls, and equipment sales 

Meanwhile, not to make too much out of the patterns of my cohort, but when friends in Boston, LA, San Fran, and of course, Vermont, are all comparing chickens  chicken accoutrement, and cute chicken stories then it's a trend.

Seriously now, eggs aside, wouldn't that make a gorgeous jacket? I am planning an eccentric and eye-catching wardrobe with accessories for my older years and this caught my fancy.

Fashion advice or chicken stories welcome here.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Candian heath care humor
In response to the US Men's Hockey Team's historic win over the Canadian team Sunday night.  They will always have the last laugh on health care. Anyone else like to trade universal health care for a win by mens hocky team?