Today’s Quote

Quote of the day:

Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.


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Help Save the Northern Rockies Music Festival

The Northern Rockies Music Festival is all about bringing great music to the Wood River Valley. For the past 38 years, this festival has thrived on the hard work of a small board that works year around to find exceptional regional and national musicians, intermix them with local artists and vendors in order to create a community event.

Photo by Carol Waller

This event has continually given local artists a chance to share the stage with bands they admire while providing the entire community with a loved and timeless event in the quintessential small town of Hailey, Idaho.

Though the event continues to be a roaring success, the costs of continuing the festival is currently unapproachable.  Without further financial support we will reluctantly have to say goodbye to the festival for the foreseeable future. But we won’t give up without a fight!

If you love music, Idaho or just have some cash to burn, please, please, please make a donation and help us keep the music alive.

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Tokhes Delight

There was a time my tush was well regarded. Construction workers whistled on the streets in New York when I sashayed by. Never mind that construction workers, who always seemed on break rather than at work, whistled at anything that sashayed. I knew, and others confirmed this notion, that what went on behind me – the bass, as it were – was choice, or as Spencer Tracy said about Katherine Hepburn in the classic flick, Pat and Mike, “cherce.” That was then. This is, as they say annoyingly, now.

They also say, ‘Aging is not for sissies.” I’ll say. To be a sissy is to have no definition, muscular or otherwise. To be a sissy is to be a wuss, I word I really dislike being called, and one I naturally overuse, BTW.

But aging is not what I want to chat about here in these hallowed pages. No. I am deep into depression regarding my formerly respected tokhes.

And what brought on this funk? Did I just get a new mirror that could reflect behind as well as in front? Was I unable to raise myself from the floor after doing sit-ups? No, it was a comment my Crossfit trainer, a darling man, uttered rather abruptly one day. While I was sweating bullets trying to do grabs, lifts, weighted squats, and knee-raises he informed me that I had a dysfunctional butt, especially the left side. Apparently my derriere has amnesia and has forgotten how to charge, enact or converse. Nevermind that I walk, run, sit, ski, squat and ride a bike perfectly well, using said rear-end. Or at least I thought I did. What I’ve been doing instead was over-using my lower back muscles for everything. Uh-oh, bring on the anti-inflammatory meds!

My nice/cross-fit trainer also told me I walked badly. He then showed me how to do it with strength and power but no sex appeal. I screwed up my face, thought about my aforesaid sashaying, and looked askance. No wiggle in my walk? No giggle in my talk? Apparently my days as a big-eyed girl are really over. Humiliation, thy name is an honest Crossfit trainer.

One leg drags, the other is stiff looking, my shoulders are rounded and I lead with my noggin. I practice walking with intention now. Saying to myself – sometimes aloud – ‘Come on, lefty’ while punching myself there. I walk with an invisible string attached to head, my chin tucked down a bit and a fork between my blades, while trying not to push out my breasts (Shut up, that’s another story).

As for my fanny, I’m determined to reconnect my neuromuscular system to the bum thing. I have let it down, and it has gone down as a result. Before it starts sliding along the floor somewhere near my heels I have work to do. So, if you see me walking around town, my cheeks clenched to within an inch of their lives – fear not –I’m not having a digestive moment but seeking to engage lefty. You can yell, ‘Go Lefty’ at me, but please don’t point at the nearest Blue Room.


First published in the Blatant County News, a section of The Weekly Sun, Hailey, Idaho


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Liste de Seau 2015

Ten for 2015: Hopes, Dreams and Practicalities

(All completely subjective. Sorry Universe)

(Why do I hate the term bucket list? I think because it feels too Hollywood and inauthentic. No one ever said that until that movie with the dying Jack Nicholson and the always-wise Morgan Freeman, unless you count him romancing his step-granddaughter. Then, not so much)

1. Get an agent and/or editor who likes my novel enough to work with me.

2. Ensure that the festival I help run be a huge success.

3. See my father in Italy, and BFF and her family who lives in country, too. Though not together.

Rolle, Italia

4. Start second in mystery series (see #2)

5.  See my daughters continue happily on the incredibly wonderful, wise, giving paths they are already on.

Le mie figlie in Italia


6. Move to New Orleans (This is a long range plan, but I must say it every year. Are you listening universe?)

7. Sell more articles to a wider range of outlets; Broaden work horizons.

8. Go to Cuba (This is brand new today 12/17/14 for obvious reasons)

9. Get my French and Italian language skills into better working order.

10. Be Happy. Relax, for real.




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Food labeling: from organic to industrial

When I go to the market I am continually bothered by something that seems misplaced. No, not the mustard in the baking aisle, but the word conventional. There is the organic produce, and there is conventional.

The word conventional means “based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed.”

Wait. What’s wrong here? Have we come so far from how our great-grandparents cooked and ate that we now consider processed food conventional and normal?

It seems to me, in this case, conventional would be how our fore-bearers farmed. They put the seeds they’d saved in the ground, fed the hogs slop from the table, grew the hay in the back forty for the cows and sent vegetable scraps out to the chickens. It was generally done this way, accepted as how we fed ourselves from our own land, and was considered conventional.

But today that kind of simple, unadulterated farming is a far cry from how the produce and meats in supermarkets and big box stores is created.  A better word is industrial. That word implies all that is being done on the big mono-farmed, GMO-sourced, corporate operations where much of supermarket and fast food is produced. Before industrial agriculture and CAFOs, before processed foods, and fast food people consumed homegrown and made real food.

While organic is a label that we often seek out now, a better, fairer way is that real food be considered conventional and traditional (and not in need of a label) and the industrial food be properly labeled as such.

GMO foods, it should go without saying, should ALWAYS be labeled. We have a right to know what is in our foods.

Knowing this, how can we ever think of processed, genetically-modified or additive-laden foods as anything but INDUSTRIAL?

Industrial foods are processed in food plants. Unlike real food, these have been treated or amended in some way after being harvested or butchered. Almost all of these processed foods contain additives that change the food in some way before it is sold to consumers:

Antibiotics are used to prevent illness in animals but that is passed on to the consumer. This is now creating what is known as the super bug.

Pesticides control agricultural pests that can damage crops and livestock and reduce farm productivity. Today, over 1 billion tons of pesticides are used in the United States every year. The most common is glysofate, or RoundUp Ready, a pesticide that is created to blow up the stomach of the pest that consumes it. Now imagine eating that produce yourself. Glysofate has been linked to cancers of all kinds, leaky gut syndrome,

Genetic engineered organisms (GMOs) are created by transferring specific traits, or genes, from one organism into a different plant or animal. At least 70 percent of processed foods in U.S. supermarkets now contain genetically modified ingredients.

Hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH, and rBST) are injected into dairy cows despite opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers. This Monsanto genetically-engineered hormone forces cows to artificially increase milk production. It also shortens their life considerably. As well pasteurization sterilizes raw milk, thus killing its good bacteria and enzymes.  Raw milk in and of itself is never unhealthy – quite the opposite. It’s unsafe conditions that can make any food unhealthy. More people have been sickened by E.coli found in industrial raised meats, eggs, spinach and melons than raw milk in the modern era.

In a 2007 Center for Disease Control survey, the rate of illness from raw milk was calculated at .00046 percent. At the same time there were about 48,000,000 confirmed cases of foodborne infections per year in the U.S. The CDC stated “It is clear from the data that there is no basis for singling out raw milk as inherently dangerous.”

By buying and drinking raw milk from your local farm, you will not only protect, but increase your health, and those of the farm animals, the workers and the environment.

Consider how the Weston A. Price Foundation spells it out: Traditional diets maximize nutrients while modern diets minimize nutrients.

TRADITIONAL DIETS                                            MODERN DIETS

Foods from fertile soil                                                Foods from depleted soil

Organ meats over muscle meats                     Muscle meats, few organ meats

Animal fats                                                                        Vegetable oils

Animals on pasture                                                       Animals in confinement

Dairy products raw and/or fermented                   Dairy products pasteurized

Grains/legumes soaked/fermented               Grains refined and/or extruded

Bone broths                                                                MSG, artificial flavorings

Unrefined sweeteners (honey, maple syrup)         Refined sweeteners

Lacto-fermented vegetables                                       Canned vegetables

Lacto-fermented beverages                                         Modern soft drinks

Unrefined salt                                                                Refined salt

Natural vitamins in foods                                         Synthetic vitamins added

Traditional cooking                                                    Microwave, irradiation

Traditional seeds/open pollination                        Hybrid seeds, GMO seeds


Knowledge is power, and food matters.

For another POV: Sustainable Table.



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