What will happen in Syria? everyone is wondering. I can't imagine much will happen because we really don't want to get involved. When we heard that Iran seemed to be building nurclear weapons, did we take action? Oh, let's see. Well, there were speeches about sanctions. There were warnings to Israel not to attack Iran, but that seemed to be what we hoped would happen. Let them deal with it. Now we hear that there is a civil war in Syria and that chemical weapons are being used. Our leaders have said in the past that this would be crossing that invisible line and wouldn't be tolerated. So I'd say now our leaders are mostly trying to figure out how to appear to have not tolerated that, while effectively ignoring it. We'll send a message. Many, many firecrackers will be exploded. Stay tuned.
I could see this going south for us in all kinds of ways, mostly amounting to terrorists retaliating against us for whatever we did. What did happen to those nuclear weapons? I think I heard that the Israelis used an electronic attack against them. We don't really know. I suppose the Iranians are still sitting in underground bunkers complaining about being hacked. Another thing I've heard is that Iranian nuclear physicists keep being killed mysteriously.
Meanwhile, the stock market is perplexed. Well, are we going to stop eating donuts now? Why is Krispy Kreme taking a hit on this news? But wait, Chevron is up. Why? I guess there is speculation that our domestic supply of oil will help us if we behave badly enough in the eyes of the Saudis that they cut off our oil. Other purveyors of domestic oil are also up. But then why is Union Pacific down? Wouldn't all the need for increased use of transportation benefit them?
A friend once told me that every time they had ever seen economic turmoil in this country, there had soon been a war. They felt that the purpose of the war was 100% to buoy the economy. Is this so? I don't know.
There is one thing about the idea of an attack on Damacus that really bothers me. Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and shall be a ruinous heap.
This prophesy has never been fulfilled. If I lived in Damascus, I'd move.
Voices of dissent have called me on the carpet about my thoughts on dangerous, dangerous fracking. Naturally this causes me to drink the wine of astonishment.
The first sip of this wine is that I don't have any involvement in fracking to start with. Well, you might argue, I have received "national attention" on my views on the Permian basin. True. Several people from all over read that blog.
Earthlings, it's not all bad! Our nation desperately needs oil and natural gas. It's a survival issue. And we need to have our own, not a supply coming from potential or actual enemies. "Arsenic in the water!!" is cried. "No groceries in the grocery store!" I counter. There is already arsenic in the water! How much more did fracking add, if any? A molecule? We have wheels that absolutely must spin. Windmills aren't going to make that happen.
But read and weep. I control no aspect of fracking. OK, a billionth of the Chevron corporation maybe.
It is possible to corral horses by putting up sheets of fabic that do nothing more than block their view. They don't challenge the sheet but stay within the confines of the corral of sheets. It's something I saw on TV once. They said it was less likely to injure the horses also.
The Alpha Dog doesn't think like this. I have a door that doesn't latch. I thought I could just close it and convince him he couldn't get in. Before long he flung the door open, as if to say, "What's the meaning of this?!"
Overwhelming interest in the plight of sprouts has motivated me to impart my wisdom on the subject.
GOING FROM SEED TO SEEDLING;
1. The whole miracle happens when a seed comes in contact with water.
2. You must decide how many sprouts you will want and when.
3. You must determine what sort of sprouts you want.
4. Be prepared for heartache, especially at first. Crop failures happen.
EXPOUNDING ON THE SPROUT NURSERY
There are several popular ways to make a little sprout nursery. Most people start off with a large mouthed one or two quart GLASS jar. I think it's important that it be glass, because sprouts take in everything, and plastic just shouldn't be one of them.
The jar needs a ventilated lid. A lot of people use cheesecloth and hold it on with a rubberband or something. Also, there are lids that are sold for this purpose that you can find at a health food store, or on the internet. Let me just say, I like "The Sprout People." BTW there are beginner kits that have a container and seeds varieties. One other point about the lid. There are sizes of the holes of the lids. The thing is to keep the seeds in the container, so if you have tiny seeds (like broccoli) or the seeds are just starting, use the smaller "day one" holes. As the sprouts grows, you progress to larger holes.
One really good method is called "The Easy Sprouter." This is a little one quart terrarium that sells for about $5. Yes, it's plastic. I'd say it would be the best way to go, except there's only one way I know of to get them, which is to go online. Google "The Sprout People" or else "Easy Sprouter." Glass jars can also be purchased from The Sprout People, and lids.
OK, so you have prepared your sprout nursery. Now you put in some seeds. Most people start with mung or alfafa. Also, they're the easiest to find at places like health food stores. Put in about two tablespoons per quart into your container. Fill the container with water, and let the dear little seeds soak for a few hours, like overnight. Then pour off the water through the lid, so all the seeds don't fall out.
Your sprouts have now been watered once.
DAY ONE OF THE NEW BUDDING PLANT
It's a great day for the little seed. Imagine it's excitement! Where will it go? What will it be?
You are captain of its destiny now. If it's a mung, it needs to go into a dark place all the days of its nurturing, until it winds up eaten or in the regrigerator. This is a larger seed in the great scope of things, and if it gets too much light it becomes woody. No, keep it in the dark and it will be tender and juicy. If it's alfalfa, just put it on the counter. Sprouts need shade from full sunlight. They're too fragile for that. But after day one they can go live on the windowsill. (Except for mung.
It is very important that a jar be tilted at an angle resting on its lid, so that the water can slowly drain off betweens rinsings. I just find a bowl and prop it up in that.
BTW this isn't necessary with the Easy Sprouter. It drains from holes in the bottom that collect in its outer shell.
At the end of its long, busy first day, the sprout need to be rinsed a second time. Just fill the container with water and pour it off, and put the jar back in its bowl in a tilted position.
And the evening and the morning were the first day.
By now, you should see budding on the sprouts. Hurray! Prospects look good!
The sprouts need to be rinsed twice a day.
ABOUT DAY FOUR OR FIVE
By now the sprouts should have taken wings. They are just about ready to fly away to their destiny.
But one important step remain. They need to be dehulled. You could just put them in a large bowl, fill it with water, swish the sprouts around, and let the hulls rise to the surface and brush them off. You might like to use a salad cleaner - those things with the cord you pull on top to clean lettuce. The important thing is, after you've rinsed off the hulls, drain the sprouts by putting them back in their jar in a tilted position for a couple of hours
Your crop is now ready for harvest. Yay! You have successfully gardened. Now for the reward.
Well, you can either eat them right away, or put them in the refrigerator. You can store them in the container you grew them in, with the ventilated lid. You can put them in a plastic baggie.
If you eat them right away, what can you do with them other than eat raw sprouts? Well, some sprouts, like alfafa, are good prepared like salads. Broccoli is another one that's good this way. I have a blue cheese dressing I like to make for broccoli sprouts, but if I do this every day, I'll gain weight. Or put oil and vinegar on them and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
The mung is also OK for salad. I like to sautee onion and garlic and then stir fry the mung. Not too long! About three minutes. I use about a half teaspoon of salt per quart. They're good like this or you could beat two or three eggs and mix them in that and fry them like pancakes for five minutes on each side. Then you have egg foo yung. YUM!
That's the basics. Sprouts respond to being blessed, just like people.
One Saturday a couple of years ago, it occurred to me that it was the Sabbath. Nice. A thought entered my mind, "Do you remember the Sabbath and keep it holy?" Uh oh, God. "Yes..." "How?" "Uhhh...well, I just remembered that this is the Sabbath... I haven't murdered anyone or held up any convenient stores." I was bargaining already. "What have you done to remember the Sabbath?" "Done? What should be done?" "Did you work today? It's supposed to be a day of rest." "Oh."
So, I started to think it over. First of all, which day of the week are we talking about? Does it matter if it's Saturday or Sunday? I don't know. I decided on Saturday, because with all the church, and visiting, and dinners on Sunday, it just gets unrestful. Plus, if you start the Sabbath on Friday evening, and end it Saturday evening, you've still got Saturday night. So, Saturday it was.
First, I made it a day of rest. I tried to let myself really, truly get bored. No TV, no phone, no travel, no computer. Maybe some reading. Sometimes I would lie in the bedroom with the lights off, especially if there was a thunderstorm, because then I could listen to the rain on the roof. I would pray that God would speak to me, and then just wait. Sometimes it was a long wait. Sometimes it would thunder right after I prayed that. I assumed it was God. When I did hear from God, it would be music, beautiful music, or a walk down a favorite memory lane.
I saw that I needed to prepare ahead for the Sabbath - chores done, everything fresh, meals prepared ahead. Special meals.
The whole day became special and every week I had a holiday that I looked forward to. I was surprised to notice that I got more done during the week. Why? Probably because I was rested.
Sitting on the deck is nice. Lemonade, the breeze of the fan wafting over me. The real attraction is the carry on at the birdfeeder.
I neglected the birdfeeder until a few weeks ago. Obviously there had been some drama there. Somehow a bird seemed to have nearly pulled it down. OK. I ignored the problem and got some birdseed and put it in.
There were some birds. I expected squirrels to make some attempts on it, but I didn't see any. Yet every morning, no matter how much birdseed I put out, the birdfeeder was empty! I imagined sneaky little birds filling themselves up until they were stuffed.
So I put in more feed, and then one day I saw the sneaky little bird. It was a doe, and it got very brave and came right up while I was watching, and started eating seed from the birdfeeder.
After she left, I did a better job of putting up the birdfeeder out of her reach, but I did put some seed on the ground for her. Soon, there were two deer. Then three, one of them a buck with an impressive rack, and then five, including a fawn with spots.
Besides the deer, there were several predators that showed up. One evening around sunset, I heard a screaming sound and the bushes quaked. Then I saw a big owl flapping through the woods, swooping down on something I had lured in with the birdfeeder.
There were hawks. I saw a little tiny brown bird dash by chased by a hawk. It darted into the limbs of a tree and escaped.
Every evening a calico cat shows up. A couple of days ago it sprang into the air and grabbed the birdfeeder while a bird was there. The next day I saw it prowling up to the area and I chased it away with a flyswatter.
Several rabbits have started coming by. They fight with each other. Have you ever seen a bunny fight? The birds do that, too. Blue jays scare off cardinals. Then the cardinals pick on sparrows.
Finally the birdfeeder had taken all it could take and the cord that holds it up broke. I went shopping for a new birdfeeder. As I considered new birdfeeders, I also decided to buy some birdseed with extra goodies like nuts in it. I thought about eating some of it, it looked so yummy. There were pistacchios in it!
You've heard the British called limeys. Most people know it's because they carried limes on their voyages to prevent scurvy. Most people don't know that before that, up to half the crew died on long voyages from scurvy. Or that Captain Cook, who sailed the seas before the British were called limeys, had no deaths at all from scurvy. Why? Because his crew ate their sprouts. Sprouts contain more vitamin C than limes.
I became interested in sprouts because it was just a nuisance to try to keep enough fresh produce around to fill the my needs. My gardening efforts didn't go well, and the produce at the store was not that good. Frozen food was limited to freezer space I wanted to sacrifice. Canned? That was about the only solution, except that so much of the nutrition is destroyed by canning. And the produce spoils so fast. What to do? I started sprouting for convenient fresh produce. Plus, I don't have to worry about mishandling of my sprouts. I can buy all the seeds I like, and they're good just about indefinitely. And those seeds don't take a whole lot of room to store.
Two tablespoons of mung seed will yield about a quart of sprouts. The actual food value of the sprouted seed is higher than the seed itself, because the sprouts absord minerals from the water they are rinsed in and make chloraphyl from the sunshine, or other source of light. Chloraphyl is nearly the same molecule as our hemoglobin, differing mainly by having magnesium as its base rather than iron. People with anemia have benefitted from eating sprouts, most likely because the body converts the chloraphyl into hemoglobin with the substitution of magnesium with iron.
During World War II there was an effort by our government to educate the population on sprouts to avert famine in the event of disruption of the food supply. It's not impossible for that to happen now. Look at Chinese food. Most of the dishes are a variation on the sprout theme. Why? Probably because the Chinese needed to avert famine quite a few times in their history and they did it with sprouts.
But I'm not worried about famine! you say. Well, consider nutrition. When a seed sprouts, it releases digestive enzymes that cause it to digest itself, enabling the nurishment of the sprout to sustain the new plant as it grows. If you eat that sprout, you don't even have to digest it. It digests itself.
Consider broccoli sprouts. Recents studies done at Johns Hopkins show that about half a cup of broccoli sprouts a day can prevent digestive systemcancers. How? Well, the fact that cabbage has a chemical in it that prevents digestive system cancers is true for the broccoli sprout, a member of the cabbage family. Except that the sprout contains fifty times more of the chemical than the mature plant.
Some claim amazing health benefits from eating sprouts, like seeing their gray hair go back to its original color. Or improvement in fingernails. That was the thing I noticed when I ate sprouts. I had almost no moons in my fingernails before. I have them now. This is a measure of adequate mineralization of the body.
Well, I could say more, but I hope I've alerted you to your need for sprouts.
The Alpha Dog doesn't care much for common dog food. He likes KFC pretty well. He turned up his nose at his dog food, which I feel is quality. Kibbles and Bits, sometimes Little Caesar or other canned goodies that looked good. NO! You expect me to eat that?
But the Alpha Dog had severe rashes. The vet gave him a shampoo and the groomer agreed to bath him twice a week. But really, it didn't completely heal.
I heard an ad for vitamins that would cure everything, and ordered it. Well, it was OK, I guess. They recommended dietary changes. I read the ideas. Hmmm...
I tried the raw hamburger diet. He doesn't prefer raw meat. He likes it cooked. Plus, really, it seemed like he should have some fiber.
So he's now getting egg foo yung made from home grown sprouts, hamburgers with grilled onions mixed in, or roasted chicken. Truth be told, it actually doesn't cost a lot more than the dog food did. But the preparation is more involved. Once a week is "make the dog food" evening. Then I warm it in the microwave later.
BTW The egg foo yung is probably the most nutritious and the cost is less than dog food. It surprised me that he likes sprouts. Oh, and in the evening, one Oscar Mayer weiner. These are a good buy compared to treats in the doggie ailse.
The amazing thing is that his rashes are completely gone. His coat is gorgeous and glossy. He loves his diet.
For months I've been hearing about fracking, basins, Brend crude, all sorts of oil and gas news. I just truly didn't believe it. No, the environmentalists were totally against fracking. That would go the way of the pipeline. NO SIR!!! No don't want no black gold!!! Also, what if we had all the oil in the world? Sitting right here in mid America? It would lie there and die there. It has to get out! How? And natural gas especially. How can you ship natural gas? Great big tanks like many people have in the backyard?
So, I could not be convinced about the boom in oil and gas. But never say never. It not only could happen, it has happened. Fracking has made it possible for the US to extract the best quality oil in the world out of the ground. And a whole lot of it. We rival, if not exceed the Middle East in oil reserves. Yay! This is a gift from God.
But what about shipping? you ask. The pipeline isn't happening. Well, the railroads saw the potential and have started hauling the oil to the coast, making our superior quality oil price competitive with Brent crude oil. Still, you ask, how do you ship natural gas? Well, you just squeeze it up real tiny, like Santa Claus does to get down the chimney, into a liquid state, and pour it into tanker cars, and haul it on the railroads. Too, this technology can be used to power the engine of the train itself. In fact, Ford has introduced F150 trucks that run on natural gas.
So, the next hurdle is liquid natural gas pumps at the filling station. Not unheard of, but not available everywhere. It's an especially good idea for the huge semis, because natural gas is much less polluting than diesel. What about planes? you ask. Excellent question. I know only that the country of Qatar, which does have the world's largest known supply of natural gas, has built an airport that fuels the planes of Qatar Air by natural gas. However, the EU doesn't like the carbon footprint.
I find all this to be thrilling news in its implications. And it has finally come to my attention. Just last night, Pioneer struck oil in the Permian basin in Texas. More oil has been found than anyone knew existed.
Where is all this oil and gas? Well, the traditional place for oil has been Texas/Oklahoma/New Mexico in the Permian Basin. Now there's the Bakken oil field in North Dakota, which is like the gold rush of 1849. And the Marcellus field in Pennsylvania is the primo place for natural gas.
Well, how could all this be turned into dollars? Union Pacific railroad the largest transporter of oil, Chevron, with a presence in the Marcellus gas field, EOG Resources, who is the main driller in the Bakken oil formation, Concho Resources, who drills in the Permian basin.
What can money buy? Well, fine food is one. But do you have to go to a restaurant to get fine food? No, in fact, fine food is within the reach of most people. A lot of it is just putting TLC into life.Wonderful food makes life better, and doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to be carefully selected and prepared. So much space at the grocery is devoted to prepared foods, like canned spaghetti. But where can fabulous marinara sauce be found? Chicken broth that will cure your ills?
There is an expression, 'young at heart.' But I think there is a such thing as rich at heart. To live rich is to spend your time making everything shine. When what you have gleams, what you eat is fabulous, because it was prepared with TLC, what you wear is fresh, you're living rich at heart. A lot of this can be had just by being willing to put in some effort.
He's been very upset. He's come to understand that he routinely gets tossed out of the bedroom sometime after dark. All well and good. But to sleep late when we had an agreement that he was supposed to have full privileges after around 7:00am?? That's going too far! He sat at the bedroom door and howled when I slept longer than usual.
I signed up for a website to meet nice, successful men. My family is horrified and say I will only find dangerous predators.
Dear Funny Bunny,
Well, maybe you should stick to finding nice guys by hitchhiking with strangers...maybe the mall. However, it is important to consider which family member you have alarmed. Here's my rule of thumb: If my father is alarmed, there may be a good reason that needs to be sorted through. If my mother is NOT alarmed, I have probably done something unwise. If my sister makes a suggestion, take it with a grain of salt. If my brother makes a suggestion, I figure out the exact opposite of anything he said and do that. I hope this helps.
Sometimes I wonder about the space program. What do I wonder? Well, terraforming Mars for example. A few years ago there was a biosphere experiement intended to show that one could put a dome over an area, and within the confines of this dome manage to have all the food and water you need to stay alive. And then....then we go to Mars and have a dome there!
I'm pulling the plug on that idea! The dome didn't work, although I feel it was a useful experiment and has served other purposes. Here's my idea.
Why don't we claim all the land under the ocean as belonging to the US, and go there? Most of the earth is covered with water. There's lots of land there. Terraform that. There's water right there, just waiting to be desalinated. There's food all over the place. You could even put your crazy solar panels there and have electricity. Or harvest energy from the motion of the waves. What if someone got sick and tired of bubble life? Well, it would be a lot easier to get home than if you were on Mars. OK, air is a problem. I bet not as much as on Mars though.
Can you imagine the minerals and wealth down there unexplored? Well, I'm going to rope off some of the ocean floor for myself if no one else does.
Besides all the other problems with the Mars idea, the biggest problem is that before long, our people on Mars would start killing each other, probably before they even reached Mars.