My Happiness Jar

Today patterns brought me a moment of happiness.

The smell of the woods here in Oregon, earthy with a hint of cinnamon, the cold watery light of winter. The texture of frost covered deer netting, manmade designs covered by natures cold indifference. Just a momentary whisper of happiness, impossible to catch and hold even for a moment.


▶ Ursula Le Guin’s Viral Video: “We Will Need Writers Who Can Remember Freedom”

One of my favorite Authors as a child and adult, I watched her lecture on this subject.

Rise Up Times

Bill Moyers interview with Ursula K. LeGuin about “Lathe of Heaven”

In accepting the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at this year’s National Book Awards, eminent sci-fi writer Ursula Le Guin made a knock-out speech about the power of capitalism, literature and imagination that, as she put it afterwards, “went sort-of viral on YouTube.”

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My Happiness Jar

Today I had a headache, I am used to headaches. I knew I would get one eating a salad at our local burger joint yesterday and doing detox. Even though I had a headache I found happiness sorting beans I grew this year. I grew Appaloosa, Mayflower, and Tender bean. I find it soothing to sit and shell beans while I listening to an audio book. Right now I am listening to an audio book I read when I was a teenager by Michael Moorcock, The Chronicles of Castle Brass. It’s all about adventures with time travel.

Beans for this years garden
Beans from last years garden

for next years garden.

Detox Month – Dinner

I had a horrible headache today, mostly likely from the salad I ate at the restaurant we dinned at yesterday. Most of the time restaurants unless stated do not serve organic food. I ate a bunch of kimchi  for lunch today with my soup and rice and the headache is finally gone. That is the price one pays when eating clean for so long. Industrial food kicks one’s ass very quickly. I have had absolutely no cravings today. I wonder how long that will last?

For breakfast I made buckwheat and kelp biscuits, I am reluctant to post this recipe because these biscuits are an acquired taste. I’ve drunk sage, oregano, and lemon balm tea all day, yummy!

I first rinsed and soaked brown rice for a couple of hours. Liquid used to cook rice was from this years canned tomatoes I added tomato juice and cooked rice until tender. One cup of rice to two cups of liquid, 1/2 tsp of salt, add lid to cover cooking rice, cook at medium low until liquid is gone, remove from heat, stir rice and let sit. You can freeze or refrigerate and use this rice for what ever meal you wish.

I buy my organic rice in 20lb bags from our local organic cooperative. As I stated in previous blogs buying in bulk saves me 30 to 50% on my food bill.

I added some of my gardens canned hot peppers and the rice I cooked up to the soup I cooked last night. This meal hardly took any effort and is very inexpensive. Soup Recipe

Detox soup

Detox Month – Dinner

Tonight I made soup for dinner, which will also be my lunch tomorrow. I also make a nice tea from herbs I grew this summer made from Lemon Balm, Sage, and Oregano.

Organic Ingredients

One Celery root, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes. Two stalks of celery, diced, 1-cup of steamed Hubbard squash, one onion diced, inch of ginger diced, five cloves of garlic diced, two carrots diced, one Leek thinly sliced, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 2 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of salt.

Once everything is diced or cubed, melt oil in a stew pot and cook everything till tender, add the salt at this time.  Let some of the veggies brown to give your stock a nice warm taste. Add enough water to what ever consistency you want, add spices at this time. I never measure and you know what you like. Cook on low for another 15 minutes and serve. This soup keeps me warm. I remember we had to put mineral licks out for our livestock. An old timer told me without proper minerals our cattle and horses would freeze. Isn’t that amazing?  With the proper nutrition we can stay warm and save energy too. No need to turn our house heat up high.

I wanted to add mushrooms and some of my canned hot peppers. I will add them tomorrow for lunch!


Today my Husband and I had to go shopping and take our car in for an oil change. I didn’t want to go out, I loathe shopping, really, really loathe it. But once I get out and about I’m okay but not very happy.

We always go out for lunch when we go shopping and I can’t eat much on the menu because I am on detox. It’s a nice little burger-joint type drive-in, nostalgic 50ish establishment. We sat in a bright red and white booth near huge windows and the sun was out in the happy blue sky. I was feeling pretty gloomy and I felt the suns warmth on my face. I sat in that warmth, closed my eyes and relaxed. I found that moment of happiness and sat in it, I was it and relaxed.

The next moment my husband started teasing me with his lame jokes and I could laugh, I mean really laugh, not the polite laugh one makes to not hurt someone’s feelings.

Backyard Vine Maple

Detox Diets Don’t Work

A friend pointed this out to me and I have read several articles regarding detox diets don’t work. Maybe the fad stuff you see for sale, detox in a pill or bottle, convenient and fast detox. But cutting out known toxins like sugar, processed foods and drinks is detoxing. They act just like drugs read,” Salt Sugar Fat.” I read this book and it is backed up with scientific facts and citations for further research. Our modern diet has been fashioned to addict us and is empty of nutrition and full off toxic chemicals. That is why we are getting fat, sick, and depressed.

Detox diets are really detoxing us from addictive processed foods just like detoxing from hardcore drugs. The best way to detox is go whole foods and organic.…/detox-myth-health-diet-science…

My Happiness Jar

My Scratch Living blog will be my happiness jar. I will post a little note at the end of every day about what made me happy. I tend to notice things that don’t make me happy and I would like to change my view. I am going to start paying attention to those little happy events I run into all the time. They are there, just more subtle compared to things that don’t make me happy.

Today several things made me happy. I woke up and hugged my husband. I do that daily, so I won’t mention that one again. My foot didn’t hurt today, it’s been aching since this last summer, I hurt it and I think it’s finally healed. The grass sparkled like it had diamonds strewn about as the sun shone on the frozen dew-drops.   I bent over and cleaned out the chickens feeding trough and no pain in my leg or back and it was freezing cold all day. I was pretty much pain-free today. I made tofu today and it turned out perfect! This photo makes me really happy. This years Cuckoo Marans chicks we hatched in our incubators. We hatched around a 100 this year. The chicks have grown and are laying eggs or in someone’s freezer. Yummy, a plate full of fuzzy cute chicks!

Chicks on a plate
Chicks on a plate

Detox and Green Smoothies

Link and info about detox and green smoothies.

Scratch Living

Detox with Green Smoothies

One week of detox and hard part is over, the next 3 weeks are going to be easy. Another savory green smoothie with garden fresh leeks, collards, tomatoes, carrots, home-grown-canned tomatoes, and kelp powder. I found a surprise in my garden! I forgot I planted some Kohlrabi. I thought they were purple Russian Kale lol

Quart of water and a cup of greens, leek, carrots, tablespoon of kelp powder, mix greens with a little water until finely pureed. Add 1/2 cup more water and tablespoon of kelp powder mix. Pour in enough water to the mix so you can pour into a container with lid, add the additional water and shake. Drinks for the day. The mix does not sit well over night. I try and make enough for one day.

I found out you do not want to strain the fiber out of your green smoothie. I have a…

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Scratch Cooking Tofu

I thought I had blogged my homemade tofu recipe. I was wrong, here is a link to a great recipe. I’ve developed my own recipes now. La Fuji Mama’s website is fun and her recipes are very easy to follow. If I can learn how to make organic homemade tofu, anyone can!

Scratch Living

Scratch Cooking Tofu

Soaked my soybean overnight. Ready to grind raw bean up into a pulp, cook it, press out liquid, save pulp for drying. Okara from dried soybean pulp makes a great flour. Cook up liquid to just boiling, add trigger for coagulation (nori). I will save some liquid, soy milk before second cooking, I add it to my green smoothies. Some of the beans I’m saving to sprout, add the sprouts to my seaweed soup. Sea Veggies are from the Atlantic because of Fukashima radiation problems here on the Northern West Coast of America.

Before I healed my gut, through eating organic foods and growing my own veggies, I couldn’t eat any beans or wheat. My stomach and lower gut didn’t have the proper flora, fauna, “blood pH” balance was way too acidic, killing off much of my gut bugs and plants, which broke down food so my gut could easily…

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January Detox Month

I’ve had several friends request my detox program. I don’t do just one kind of detox program, I’ve tried many, researched and built my own program based on what I have in my house, my budget, and my bodies needs. Everyones circumstances are different, think about that if you decide to do a detox. I will post links to some of my favorite authors on detox. You have to know your health, what you can afford and your ability to follow through. If you decide to do a detox you will get to know who you are and all your habits. Habits need to be fed and when you don’t feed them with your attention they usually throw a fit, so get ready for that!

Doing a detox, dropping your well established eating routines will shake-up your daily routines. This will make it easier for you to establish new, healthier daily living and eating routines. All you need to do is pull one little rock out of the wall that’s been blocking your way to better health. That big wall will crumble like a cracker and you can walk on to establishing healthier living habits if you want too. Many folk don’t want to walk into the unknown, this time trust yourself and approach this project with strong determination.  Most of my diet is related to giving my gut flora and fauna a healthy place to live. Science is finding when you have healthy gut flora and fauna everything about your physical and mental health will improve and start healing if you have chronic ill health.

I’ve never written my whole detox program down because it changes every time I do a detox. I do three, one month long detoxes every year. A constant with each detox, no caffeine, no meat, no sugar, no processed foods or drinks, no alcohol, and no grains. I try and avoid eating, drinking and doing stressful stuff that will harm my gut flora and fauna. I do eat organic buckwheat, rice, and potatoes for my starches. I will eat my chickens eggs and yogurt with lots of naturally fermented foods. I will eat tons of greens and drink lots of water and herb teas. I avoid most fruits as well. I will post information about why I avoid fruit in a later blog.

Today I am making tofu from organic soybeans I buy in bulk 20lb bags. Still very expensive, however I save about 40% buying bulk. I will post an old blog that goes through the steps of making homemade tofu and soy milk. I have absolutely no problems digesting organic soy as long as I eat some naturally fermented foods with it like kimchee. Just a reminder, people have been eating soybeans for thousands upon thousands of years with no health problems. My guess the problem people are having with soybean now is soybean farming practices, factory production, and genetic manipulation causing huge amounts of toxins that we ingest along with the soybean, which destroys our guts ability to digest and upsets our endocrine system.

I will be posting my food recipes and exercise routine every day. This is for you Birdie xox

Grinds anything oily or wet, including coffee beans.
Grinds anything oily or wet, including coffee beans.
Soaked in water for 12 hours.
Soaked in water for 12 hours.

Codeine could increase users’ sensitivity to pain

For me it’s all pain medication.


21 SEP 2013

Using large and frequent doses of the pain-killer codeine may actually produce heightened sensitivity to pain, without the same level of relief offered by morphine, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Researchers in the Discipline of Pharmacology have conducted what is believed to be the world’s first experimental study comparing the pain relieving and pain worsening effects of both codeine and morphine.

The University’s Professor Paul Rolan, who is also a headache specialist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, says codeine has been widely used as pain relief for more than 100 years but its effectiveness has not been tested in this way before.

“In the clinical setting, patients have complained that their headaches became worse after using regular codeine, not better,” Professor Rolan says.

“Codeine use is not controlled in the same way as morphine, and as it is the most widely used strong…

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Obese stomachs tell us diets are doomed to fail

Oh this is a good one!


21 SEP 2013

The way the stomach detects and tells our brains how full we are becomes damaged in obese people but does not return to normal once they lose weight, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Researchers believe this could be a key reason why most people who lose weight on a diet eventually put that weight back on.

In laboratory studies, University of Adelaide PhD student Stephen Kentish investigated the impact of a high-fat diet on the gut’s ability to signal fullness, and whether those changes revert back to normal by losing weight.

The results, published in the International Journal of Obesity, show that the nerves in the stomach that signal fullness to the brain appear to be desensitized after long-term consumption of a high-fat diet.

“The stomach’s nerve response does not return to normal upon return to a normal diet. This means you would…

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Sugar is toxic to mice in ‘safe’ doses

There is also a lot of hidden sugar in processed foods, fruit drinks and alcoholic drinks.


New test hints 3 sodas daily hurt lifespan, reproduction

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 13, 2013 – When mice ate a diet of 25 percent extra sugar – the mouse equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of soda daily – females died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce, according to a toxicity test developed at the University of Utah.

“Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian health,” the researchers say in a study set for online publication Tuesday, Aug. 13 in the journal Nature Communications.

“This demonstrates the adverse effects of added sugars at human-relevant levels,” says University of Utah biology professor Wayne Potts, the study’s senior author. He says previous studies using other tests fed mice large doses of sugar disproportionate to the amount…

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Black Throated Bushtit


Red Dust Art

Finished, on to finish François and the Flower Girl.

Prismacolored Pencil Prismacolored Pencil

Aegithalos concinnus – It ranges from the foothills of the Himalayas, stretching across northern India through Nepal, Bhutan, northern Burma, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Disjunct populations also occur in southern Vietnam and the island of Hainan. It lives in open broadleaf forest as well as pine forest, generally occurring in middle altitudes. (Wiki)

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Flower of Life

Christmas vacation is over, back to work!

Red Dust Art

After several days of holiday craziness and cooking insanity it is time to get back into the drawing saddle. I did a little drawing using some Prismacolor markers. The pens have a really nice hard nub, I like them. I think I will outline the design with some skulls. Three on the top and three on the bottom, probably use a Tibetan skull design. I love Tibetan iconographic art, they have some of the coolest skulls around.  I really suck at drawing nice even lines, my hand shakes a little. How do artist get that nice clean line?  Practice me thinks…

Flower of Life

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