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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holidaze holydaze, holly dazelled

in the midst of winter, I found within my own self, an invincible summer (Albert Camus)
Holy Holly Dazzled, I collage you a blog:
The Holly plant study by Ralph Raphael Grosse-Kleimann:
MEDICINAL USES
The leaves are used for colds with fever. They are soaked over night, then briefly boiled, with a threefold effect: the fever goes down, the cough is soothed and mucus is released.

I know nothing specific about the nature of the poison in the fruit except that eating a number of the red berries will cause stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea.
Affirmation for Holly
The ultimate conquest of all will be through love and gentleness, and when we have sufficiently developed these two qualities nothing will be able to assail us, since we shall ever have compassion and not offer resistance.

Indication for HollyFlower
Remedy
For those who are sometimes attacked by thoughts of such kind as jealousy, envy, revenge, suspicion.
For the different forms of vexation.
Within themselves they may suffer much, often when there is no real cause for their unhappiness.
—Dr. Edward Bach (maker of Bach Flower Remedies)
The Santa Clause Solution  by Lorna Culling (me) as told to Louise Aldrich (above)

The problem had gotten completely out of control and Santa was at his wits end.  The North Pole was melting and it was no longer safe to live there: All the reindeer but two, Donner and Blitzen, had fallen through the cracks in the ice, broken knees and legs, and two reindeer were just not enough to pull the sleigh full of toys!  Even worse, the elves were disappearing, getting lost on floating icebergs, and now all the elves were scared to leave the house.  But the house was cracked in three different places, the toy workshop had four huge gaping holes, and the wind was whistling through the eaves keeping everyone awake.  Toy production had nearly ground to a halt because everyone was too exhausted from lack of sleep, sluggish from lack of exercise, and no one was out gathering Alpine moss for supper- for Santa this was the worst: his elves were getting to the end of the food stores that he and Mrs Santa had been gathering for hundreds of years!  He had to do something.

So Santa wrote a letter to all the children of the world and told them that he was very very sorry but there was to be no Christmas this year.  He told them that he and Mrs. Claus and the elves would need to move to a new home in Greenland, somehow, because the North Pole was melting, and melting very fast indeed.  He did not have enough money to buy the new home, let alone the workshop, and no one would buy the North Pole house because of its damaged condition, and the impending further glacial melt.   He asked the children of the world if they would prevail upon their parents’  good wishes for future xmas’ ever to occur, to forego all presents this xmas, and send all their money to Santa to move the North Pole crowd all to a Greenland Santa property.

The word went out to all the kids who visited Santa at the shopping centre, at the mall, and in the department stores.  The department stores were particularly worried about this year, as business had not been good and everyone was counting on a good xmas buying season to break even.  The letter was published in the New Yourk Times, in the Loandan Daily, and all the languages of the world in their own newspapers worldwide, the Tibetian Chronicles, the China Cup, the Afripan Sizzler...

At first the parents thought it was some kind of joke.  People gathering at the water coolers would snicker and laugh that Santa could just out and cancel Christmas!  “Just what will they think of next, “ someone said, “The Easter Bunny revoking Easter???”  “Hahaha” they laughed, “Impossible!”

But very shortly the scientists across the world published the research and showed the pictures to prove that Santa’s story was in fact actually true: The North Pole had been melting for a long time, but suddenly it had started melting much much faster, and penguins, polar bears, and pandas were all threatened as well. 

It was a very wise child named Genevieve who put it most succinctly: “We have to stop Christmas until we can save Santa and if we don’t do it NOW, we may lose Christmas forever and ever, amen!”   It became a rallying cry, and children of all ages all over the world, all each and every one, decided to forego Christmas and ask nothing of their parents or Santa, except to help Santa as much as they possibly could.

Money poured into the North Pole post office, and Santa was able to buy a huge compound in Greenland, charter twelve airplanes, and move the entire North Pole operation and all its inhabitants, to the new Greenland Clause Village.  Because of the great generosity of a few billionaires, Guesthouses were able to be built, and Schools for the Elves so that they could make better more sturdy and clever toys.

 And it was Genevieve’s sister Avalon who made Christmas 2012 even more fun than before, when she suggested that the kids fix, clean and wrap their old toys, and each find a younger child who they could give them to.  Avalon knew how nice it felt to give to others, so with the children doing the giving this year, the children were happier than ever before.  This was a change in Christmas that the children of the world were happy to keep, even after Santa was restored to his old toy delivery station.  So the toys in the future were fewer from Santa, but more from other children, and the toys from Santa were finer and sturdier, because they needed to last much longer to be handed on to other children in the future.

The scientists wrote long letters to the grown-ups in the newspapers, on the internet, in Facebook and Twitter.  They said that it might be possible to stop the melting, which was also flooding the oceans with too much water, submerging several island nations, and ruining most of the worlds beaches.  They said that the earth needed to cool from the inside, and we needed to stop covering it with roads and parking lots paved with cement and asphalt.  A very smart scientist named Sean Cullen, from Taos, New Mexico, had discovered a compound which could be hard, but allow the earth underneath to breathe, like a cotton t-shirt allows the skin to breathe better than polyester.  As it was made without petroleum, but with hemp, a plant that’s easily grown in farms, basements, and under grow lights, a new industry was developed which replaced all the worlds roads and parking lots with Heavyhemp.

In addition, a very smart scientist named Stephanie Barberra, created a kind of hovercraft that had never been seen before, which was powered from magnetic cables under the road, and controlled by electromagnetic  connections to a master computer, which the driver would dial into with their mobile Jphone, the next generation of iphone.  People had a lot less stress because they didn’t need to drive, only dial in their destination and the craft would be safely computer driven, electro-magnetically repelling other vehicles from crashes. 

All the cement and asphalt that had been pulled up from the roads and parking lots was piled and used like building blocks to build parking structures and housing skyscrapers, cheaply and very sound-proof.  All the homeless people who liked to make noise in the street were moved into their own compartments, and every building had a huge community room with weekly lunches, dances and music classes.   The Earth was able to breathe and cool down, and eventually the North Pole froze over again.

Even department stores and malls started to prosper as never before because they became whole villages, complete with solar farms on the roofs, and hemp and food farms in the basements, and crime was dissolved as everyone had more jobs, more money, and more fun than ever before.

Santa Clause stayed on in Greenland, however.

©2011 Loanda Lesser Cullen

 Thanks for reading this blog to the end, I hope it has been as good a gift to you as it was to me writing and posting it for you. 
Recipes that I've been making lately: wheat-free bread with cranberries and hemp seed meal,  pomegranite and avocado salad with roasted pumpkin seeds, dried pumpkin chips, dried apple chips, mustard leaf stir-fry with fried rice and pomegranite, Sunflower seed brandy butter, and for dry winter skin: vanilla shea butter-coconut salve.
For a wonderful infusion of the ancient celtic magic of The Holly King, The Heart Healer, read this by Patricia Kaminski
http://www.flowersociety.org/heart_healer.htm 

I am counting my many blessings as this year rolls to an end, my sweet little family grows up, and life brings many new friends and gifts. 
I find it hard to write, with so much to do- do you?
new years cards for me, hooray for the postal service!

hooray for blogger.com!






Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dream work Sleep Herbs Lambsquarters


Woke this morning several times, and went back to sleep to strange dreams.  My mother was in my dream again, and this time we were moving with loads of stuff, stuff she’d handpicked but which didn’t seem to matter anymore: blond shelves, and chairs...  We were moving to two different places, and she had been planning hers with me for a long time, gathering all the stuff she would need in her new place.  Something had happened, some plan fallen through, and she no longer knew where she was going.  I was surprised and asked her, “Where was it you had planned to go?”, but she just looked at me, and then I woke up. My mother, Tammy Narena Ressman, passed away five years ago, and I am just now figuring out how to make the film about her and her amazing work.  Mom, where was it you had planned to go?  I’m going to just list and present her work, in a new soon-to-be up website: She will be alive again, virtually.  I wonder if she would approve or disapprove of my plans to disseminate her stuff everywhere I possibly can...

 It was four thirty in the morning, and so I got up, opened the window for the cats, and went back to bed, back to sleep, with more strange dreams. 

When it was morning, I was finally able to make the phone calls to London, finish arranging the storage of my things (and a lot of her things), and talk to my new tenant about the plumbing issue in the flat, apparently a minor fix, which they had postponed electively.  Then I got onto the DMV site, and apparently it had been hijacked, so I wasn’t able to log in and get my driving record for the new job I had an interview for at 11.  No worries.  They didn’t ask for my driving record, I just thought might be nice... 

And then, I’m sitting in the waiting room and reading the paper, and an article catches my eye:  3 expert tries at fixing a 3 year olds sleep disorder,  and the 4th just diy, and none of them really worked.  And I’m reading this article and thinking: I could do that much better.  They missed a few things...  I have a few tricks up my sleeve with sleep.  I want to become the Sleep Coach, or even better: The Dream Coach.   For children, teens, and adults with sleep disorders...  This just might be the topic for my new book.  Is it now book number 5?


Lemony Lambsquarters Sprouted Tofu Salad

Ingredients:
The main ingredient here is 5 cups tender Lambsquarter greens and 4 oz crumbled tofu (the sprouted tofu variety is easier to digest raw...)
. Other ingredients are:
1 clove garlic, minced and crushed
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
1/4 Tsp. of salt
Pinch of pepper
 
To prepare:
1.) Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large salad bowl.
2.) Mix in crumbled tofu, which can marinate for a half hour or more.
3.) Add Lambsquarters just before serving.
Enjoy a wild foraged salad!  You will sleep well tonight, sweet dreams!


 Leaves on footpath, autumn
London House, front door-



And the last jar of blackberry jam I made a month ago is coming to an end, delicious on top of my home baked gluten free toast, and just in time as the fig tree outside my front door starts to burst with peach sized juicy soft fruit.  The tree on the other side of the porch, with the smaller figs, will ripen later.  I am ready with my newly found stainless steel drying racks to make a year’s worth of dried figs... 



Saturday, September 3, 2011

California Anise-Cabbage Cole Slaw Recipe




So, I went for a walk to get some fresh anise which grows wild all around here, and I discovered blackberries! omg so many luscious gorgeous blackberries.
The anise was for my California cole slaw recipe, which has gotten rave reviews from even the hard to please... I believe that "The Herb Shall Be Thy Mete", is the correct translation, meaning that herbs are amazing, healthgiving, and delightful, and how much we use them in our cooking is the measure of our cookery to be amazing, healthgiving and delightful! So, herbs rock, and so do you, especially if you try out my recipe!
Anise Coleslaw:
Shred 1/2 a cabbage, removing the center stalk.
Pour on 2 T.s of apple cider vinegar,
3-4 T.s of Spectrum Vegan Canola Mayo, low fat
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 T.s of minced fresh anise plant, leaving out the tough stalks.
Mix well, let sit overnight, and voila!

Well, maybe it is "The Herb Shall Be Thy Meat." That would be nice... Herbs do make it easy to be a vegetarian.

The blackberries, totally amazing, also an herb, mind you. So good for you. Now, I know lots of people who won't eat blackberries because the little seedlets in them get stuck in their teeth. Probably the little seedlets are really really good for us if we chew them up, but they are not a requirement of blackberry eating really (unless you're throwing handfuls down like I was a few minutes ago, out in the wild!) Well, I'm going to make some blackberry apple jam, and seed the blackberries as I squeeze them through a sieve with a spatula. The apple peels get thrown in too, to give the jelly some extra pectin, and they'll come out in the sieve too. A couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and 3/4 cup granulated fructose sugar, and we're off! I'll let you know how it turns out.

So, while I'm picking the blackberries, I'm going into this whole meditation on blackberries: Navigating the thorns to get the juicy fruit; The millions of red pretty unripe ones that need to grow older to be black and sweet; The droopy faded old ones that hang on the bush too long and just taste strange; The ones that are so ripe that they plummet to the ground when I shake the branch, disappearing through the leaves, a treat for the mice and squirrels I hear rustling in the underbrush... it's all good, all an adventure, as the berries get eaten, go through the animals system, and get dumped somewhere new and exciting, ready to germinate more luscious beautiful blackberries. And the blackberries in the high bushes save themselves for the tall animals, with delicate careful fingers carefully picking through thorns... I'm remembering getting 5 gallons of blackberries for a wedding present, making blackberry (bramble-berry)pies as a child from the berries at the back of our garden, making blackberry sauce over ice cream for all the friends and family having supper at our house after the wedding, summer barbeques, going fishing...
Oh, yeah, that's not my memory, that's some other cultural icon, I have actually never done... just watched. I can leave that one out! I'll let someone else catch the fresh caught salmon or trout...

As summer comes to an end, I'm thinking about what I'll miss about this California summer, and what I haven't yet done- what should I do for myself so I'm sated, before the autumn is upon us, and I leave to go to London. It's sounding like an end of summer Labor Day Picnic! Which I'm going to on Monday...

I am leaving for London very soon, with an offer on my house there, and loads of sorting through family memorabilia, artwork, stuff... Yes, there will be thorns, and some beauties will no doubt be dropped. My hands will look red and stained from the picking, no doubt, but it's not blood, just blackberries! And I'm going to enjoy the sweetness and the tartness, and then I'm going to come home and make jam!

Five years after my mother's passing, I've finally decided on a campaign to get my mother's works out in the world, and discovered my own work process as a professional consultant and facilitator, focus, intention, and passion.

I look to nature for my roadmaps, but create from intention a way through the thorns, carefully and delicately picking just the ripest fruits. Leaving the ones not ready or unable to contribute, grow, letting the soft plump ones fall into my hand, and not regretting that I cannot have every single one. Filling my cup almost to the brim, and bringing most of my pickings home. The resources and tools I need to cook this brew down, are here, at home, and I must return here to complete the jam I will gift to the world soon enough... The sunshine and the breeze, aroma of crushed blackberries on my fingers, it seduces me to stay, but returning home is where my roadmap takes me.

And to making jam!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Picking Up My Pieces

Wow, it's been a long long time since posting in this blog. It is nearly two years ago that I announced my launch, and the road has been spinning before me, with wonderful turns and twists, two new grandbabies, so many many lessons...

Now I sit perched in my own tiny cabin, on the edge of San Rafael, overlooking downtown, and beyond, the Bay glinting like a knife of promise...

I find myself needing to write about the journey of an empty-nester single parent, the journeys of so many other single parents, all of us waiting with baited breath at the verdict on our lives' work: our children.

We sit in this dissembling culture, holding on to the illusion which all the visual cues corroborate: that we are now on our own, that our children are on their own, that they are self-sufficient unto themselves, as the edicts of adulthood require. We are all self-sufficient, independent, differentiated humans, going off on separate, unrelated paths. That is as it should be, no?

Truth be told, I feel myself spread out over hundreds of miles, across oceans, separated painfully, on some basic psychic level, split in pieces. The Facebooks, the Skypes, the Text Messages, the phone calls: All contribute to a sense of sound-bite, shard, mosaic pieces with great big gaping gaps. My family is all over the planet, my sisters are spread over half, my children (my son) is 600 miles away and always struggling putting his projects together, my grandchildren are nearby to him, and safe and well taken care of, but they are not yet living together. This is a source of pain for all involved, and hopefully this new transition for him will rectify that...

To survive, I shut out that painful bit that I cannot change or control, and I see my single parent colleagues do the same: the noise in the back of our heads, the listening to our children's well being that we honed so well as we raised them by ourselves, now has to be quelled. We stop our listening, we pray, we take a pill, we chill, we meditate, we let go. On one level.

And this is the level of my spiritual trust: He will be OK. They will be OK. They are always OK. He is strong, kind, honest, hardworking, focussed, smart, creative, and full of good karma. The spring of his life is tightly wound still, he will unfold to the vast umbrella that wind will carry through the skies, us all holding eagerly to his ankles... to safety and security, at last.

I guess his is the impermeable balloon of trust, rolling with whatever happens, always safe, always secure, because his safety and security does not depend on any material or permanent thing.

This Trust, this innoculation against the anxiety that modern culture propagates, is what holds me, as well.

The world is full of everything I need to live: lovely homes, magnificent jobs to do, people who will work with me well and brilliantly, loads of money, cars and transport galore! I have lots to contribute to this world, and, on top of that, I believe I can cure our basic existential anxiety.

That will be my life's work, and all of our lives' work, for this is The Age of Anxiety, and it's eating us up.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beginning the Begean

Things always seem to occur in threes. Body, mind, spirit; life itself seems to occur in threes, and not in that order!

Yesterday I spent forty-five minutes meditating at a new friend's beautiful shrine-space, fed and nurtured in her glowing creativity and the love of her friends and family, with twenty-eight Buddhas and twelve Quan-yen's staring back at me, and ocean glinting through her sunlit window. Downstairs, she quietly washed the dishes, and wrapped the left-overs for our other friend, my house-mate, who lay sprawled on the couch, relaxing and breathing out. Our three, in perfect repose.

Today, three things occurred: a wonderful email, a wonderful phone call from overseas, and a wonderful phone call from around the corner, each answering my deep prayers for resolution in a particular area of my life, and completing the process I've been working through for the last month.

No, things aren't fully resolved, as yet, but the cup is being held to my lips. It is for me now if I will do the drinking. The process of the last few months has been like being inside a hard leathered egg;
it's been comfortable and warm, a mass of gloopy things, starting to congeal. Today, the crack has occurred- I can see the light outside my warm gloopy world, I can see myself as separate and yet a part of the egg, and I am willing to leave behind this comfort, to emerge as a wildwoman, gag order removed!

My home, my work, and my passion are being fed today: the shell is breaking away and I must let it go, crashing to pieces my old ideas of what the world was. My small comforts and door plaques will give way to a new way of working, without couches or stuffed animals, with the imaginary world and the real world both infinitely available in telespace. I am becoming a telephone life coach, a family coach by phone and home visit, and a special occasion caterer.