Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vegan Clint Eastwood

If it's good enough for Clint, it's good enough for me.

"I take vitamins daily, but just the bare essentials not what you'd call supplements. I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruit, vegetables, tofu, and other soy products." -Clint Eastwood

Airport Security

I've been following the new airport security rules with interest, after the first few days of the new rules when they weren't allowing lipstick on planes. I just have to have my lip balm! Finally, they have allowed lipstick again...but a look at the rules on shows how nonsensical rules can be, in my opinion.

BANNED AS CARRY ON (things I previously took):
drinking water
hand lotion
hand soap and antibacterial gel (interesting to me because airplane soap ALWAYS gives me a contact allergy rash and makes my skin peel off, no kidding. Previously I would bring my own hand soap or antibacterial gel.)

cigar cutters
you can't have soap, but you CAN have KY jelly! Is this to encourage the Mile High Club?
safety razors
scissors with pointed tips, 4 inches or less
wrenches and pliers, 7 inches or less
and 7 inch SCREWDRIVERS! Whaaaaat?

Somehow this acceptable list seems rather male, doesn't it?

Chocolate Decadence Scrub

I read about a spa package involving chocolate macadamia nut body scrub. After looking at the price of the treatment, I went on a hunt to devise my own chocolate body scrub. Here is the recipe I came up with after scoping other people's recipes, combining all my favorite elements. I tried it, and it's like wrapping yourself in a mocha brownie without any calorie effects. Will leave your skin smooth and soft.

Celeste's Chocolate Decadence Body Scrub
(Vegan and Cruelty Free!)

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (did you know that white sugar is often bleached with animal bones?)
1 1/2 Tablespoons dutch cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon ground coffee (I used organic, Fair Trade)
1 Tablespoon Dr. Bronner's almond liquid soap
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
olive oil

Mix all ingredients with enough olive oil to make a paste. That's it! Store in a jar. Luxuriate.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


If I were to get reincarnated, I hope it's as a house cat. This is Tate'. You see what a difficult life she has.

Crochet lei

DH and I are returning to Oahu this year, where we will renew our vows in a beachside ceremony. I crocheted DH this yarn lei for his Aloha shirt.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Big Bird

Promised a picture of Big Bird, here he is. It was difficult to get a photo of him because he becomes excited by the camera and starts moving fast, resulting in weird blur shots.

Dehydrating My Food

With the help of a book called "Heal Your Headache", I have been able to lessen the severity of my migraine condition (even though it hasn't been completely cured). I learned that many food additives in commercial, packaged foods are migraine triggers, so I've been home cooking pretty much every meal from scratch. This has made a huge difference in my pain level.

The hard part comes when it's time to travel, especially as a vegan. I get worried about finding protein sources, since everyone seems to want to feed vegans and vegetarians nothing but salad. And I've noticed that drops in my blood sugar also worsen my migraines.

I've been traveling a lot this year, participating in yoga teacher training. And I have some vacations coming up, and the holidays on the horizon. I investigated freeze dried foods for traveling, but those seem to have additives. One brand of "vegetarian soup" even had chicken broth!

Investigating books for backpacker meals, I stumbled across a few for home dehydrating. The new, modern food dehydrators have their own heat source and a fan to circulate the air. I decided to try it.

My first forays have been a success! The first photo is homemade hummus, straight out of the food processor and then in the dehydrated form. The second photo is homemade seitan (gluten) jerky. The jerky is TERRIFIC! I only had one piece to photograph because after it was made, DH and I promptly started eating it. I made the seitan myself from scratch, cooking it in a "sausage" flavored broth. Dehydrating concentrated the flavors of the pepper and liquid smoke, just like meat jerky.

Now that's traveling food!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

McD's Hummer Toys

My Husband, the Prince

My husband is doing an extensive remodel on our house. Right now he is creating a new kitchen in a new location. Here he is building a cabinet to house the new wall microwave and oven combo. He is a prince, because he came with a tape measure to find out where my eye level is, so he can place the microwave at *my* eye level! How thoughtful and wonderful!

Microwave and regular oven combo...will be on the wall together.

Odd Traffic Sign

I saw this traffic sign the other day. Have you ever?! What does it mean?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Vegan Ironman triathlete

And here is vegan Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier. Nice interview on Organic Athlete's site. In the interview, he says he is vegan and eats 80% raw foods.

Vegan Ultramarathoner

Vegan runner Scott Jurek won the July 2006 Badwater Ultra, 135 miles. Finish time 25:41:18. That's 25 HOURS, people! It takes most runners three days to complete the Badwater.

Scott competes in 10-12 ultramarathons per year (an ultra is any distance beyond the 26.2 mile marathon), and has bagged seven consecutive wins at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Kinda puts to rest the myth that vegans can't be strong and healthy, eh?

Scott also practices yoga.

Badwater course description from their site:

A true "challenge of the champions," this legendary foot race pits approximately up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes – runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers – against one another and the elements. Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA in temperatures up to 130F (55C), it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.

The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at the Mt. Whitney Portals at 8360' (2533m). The Badwater course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent. The Portals are the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

More YTT!

Still more yoga teacher training this past weekend. Here is a photo of me with teacher trainer Jenny Baldwin. Jenny is the first teacher I had as a teacher trainee, and I took another class with her this past weekend. I cannot say enough about how well she emphasizes creating classes that are safe and enjoyable for everyone, at all fitness levels, ages and body types.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

American Haiku Master

For me at least, this comes under the heading of "the family is the last to know". Of course, I knew my paternal grandfather wrote and published haiku, but I did not know how far his fame spread in the haiku world until he died. At his funeral, there was a crowd of haiku people (strangers to me) who had correspondence relationships with my grandfather that I knew nothing about. I guess it's like the cyber relationships we have today.

My first encounter with haiku was in grade school in Canada, where it was taught in a writing class. But I never saw it taught anywhere in the U.S. public schools or universities I attended.

My grandmother received an email (see below)...I had no idea my grandfather was an "American Haiku Master". You can see photos of him and some of his haiku HERE. It's odd to me to see photos that I assume family took of him on a stranger's (stranger to me) website. The bottom photo on that site was taken near Highlands, NC outside the old Lodge at The Mountain, a retreat center and summer camp where I pretty much grew up and later became year-long staff. That building is long gone, it burned in a fire.
Dear Virginia Dickson,

I represent Red Moon Press in a new project that plans to bring to
better light some of the early American Haiku Masters. It is important
that as the American haiku movement moves forward we don't forget
those who were instrumental in defining it. The purpose Red Moon
Press's upcoming American Haiku Masters Series is to both honor and
reintroduce major haiku poets to a new and future audience. I believe
Billie Wilson has mentioned to you that something of the sort was in
the planning stages. I have recently been given the green light to
proceed with a book on Charles B. Dickson. I hope you don't mind that
Billie has given me your email address to write to you.

The volume I plan to edit will cover the whole of Charles Dickson's
haiku career. It will be hard cover, around 120 pages, and come out
sometime in the fall of 2007. All production costs will of course be
covered by Red Moon press and we will of course give you a few copies
as thanks.

In order for this to come about, I am hoping that I can persuade you
to allow us the authority to reprint Charles B. Dickson's poems
without a fee. Your husband was a wonderfully fearless poet that
brought a sense of western poetic and local diction to his work. He
more than deserves to be a part of the American Haiku Masters Series.

Please let me know if this is agreeable to you. I look forward to
hearing from you.


Paul Miller

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fur Children

This is what happens when two animal lovers get married. A menagerie! We also have a cockatiel, will post a photo of him later.

This is Stevie, a boycat. I rescued him at a retreat center where I used to work, staff members rather routinely left their animals behind when they quit.

This is Tate (TAH-tay), a girlcat...Mitch got her and her runt sister from a box of kittens being given away at a grocery store.

And this is her litter sister, Peta (PET-ah)...

Peta caught in the act of bathing...

And here is Dakota, a girldog, who likes to hide under the table...I got her from the dog pound.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Happiness & the Musk Deer

Antique lithograph of mule deer from the children's natural history book, "The Instructive Picture Book", dated 1878.

From Swami Satchidananda's translation of the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. Here, he is discussing Book 2, Sutra 8:

"Everyone wants to be happy. Is there anything we can think of that doesn't? Even a small worm put in the sun will immediately roll towards the shade...Happiness seems the basic need of everything in the world, yet rarely does anybody find it.Why? Because happiness is like the musk deer. The ancient scriptures have a fable about this animal, which has a scented spot above its forehead that gives off the musk fragrance. This deer runs here and there in search of the scent, not knowing the scent comes from its own forehead."

In real life, poachers are also chasing after the musk deer. National Geographic's story covers poaching of the musk deer for its scent glands.

"Gram for gram, musk is one of the most valuable products in the natural kingdom and can be worth three times more than its weight on gold," said Stuart Chapman, with WWF-UK in Godalming, England.

Do we also try and poach the fragrance of happiness from others? Swami Satchidananada:
"...happiness is already in us. Wherever we go we reflect our happiness onto people and things. When we see a smiling face and feel happy, it is because the smiling face reflects our happiness. Just as a pure, clean mirror reflects our face beautifully, certain pure, clean faces reflect our happiness. Then we say, 'She gives me happiness'. In other faces, our happiness reflects in a distorted way and we say, 'I don't like that person'. It's absolute nonsense. No one can ever give us happiness or unhappiness but can only reflect or distort oour own inner happiness."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Check Beach Water Quality
Interesting website that shows beach water quality by state, with maps. Georgians will be glad to know that I checked Tybee, and it's all green flags! (Photo above is one I took in Hawaii - Sandy Beach, Oahu.)