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Ack! . . . Flax Attack! May 3, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.
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Wikipedia ~ Flax (in Public Domain)

A long time ago, in a moment of health-consciousness, I bought a package of flax seed, planning to boost our daily intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.

At home, I opened the bag, took a whiff, and went . . . ACK!

It smelled nothing like seeds, nuts, or grains ~ all of which we adore.

Instead, it smelled of rancid fish, wet dog, and odor-prone feet.


That bag of flax sat unutilized and ignored in our fridge for months, until we moved south and I pitched it amid great fanfare and celebration.

As I tossed it, I am certain I heard the Munchkins of Munchkinland singing:  Ding Dong . . . the Flax is gone.  The Smelly Flax.  The Smelly Flax.

Fast forward 3 years.

At the Brain Symposium on Tuesday, Dr. Kevin O’Neil heartily and mindfully recommended flax seed for brain (and heart) health.

No . . . not the flax! 

Can’t I just put a vase of Flax Flowers out and admire them? 

Yesterday, full of good intentions, I bought a bag of Organic Milled Flax Seed (thinking that somehow in the grinding and milling process some of the nasty smell would have been dispatched into the ether).

Nope.  Still there.

With false bravado, I stirred one measly tablespoon of the foul weed into an enormous brown rice and spinach casserole, added a can of red beans, a chopped tomato, and copious amounts of curry powder (for the beneficial turmeric . . . and to mask the odoriferous flax).

Let’s just say the curry powder was no match for the odious flax.

If  you want my recipe for Gnarly Flax Attack Casserole, let me know.  Better still, let me know if you want me to send you the leftovers. 

So . . . are any of you flax fans?

Do you have a magic ingredient you use to mask the flax, over-riding its inherent unpalatability quotient?

Or should we swallow it like Cod Liver Oil, with a spoon in one hand while holding our nose with the other?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Stepping Stones from Here to There May 3, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Magick & Mystery.
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I just finished reading A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron, the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.

Written in “first person” . . . it’s a dog’s eye view of the world.

In his first life, Toby, a mutt, first learns to scrounge for food and then learns to open kennel doors from his mother:

Unbidden, the sadness I’d felt from Senora washed through me, and I wanted to squirm up to her and lick her palms and make her happy again.  Of all the things I’d ever done, making Senora laugh seemed the most important.

In his second life, as a pure-bred golden retriever, our intrepid pup opens a kennel door and walks away from a puppy mill:

An opportunity was in front of me that was irresistible, a whole new world to be explored with long, if somewhat clumsy, legs. 

Rescued and named Bailey, our canine hero lives, loves, laughs, and learns with Ethan . . . rescuing him, repeatedly, from pretend-drownings in the pond.  With Ethan, Bailey lives a long and happy life.

In her third life, Ellie becomes a rescue dog . . . with the opportunity to Find and Save people, including a kindergarten boy who wandered away from the playground and got swept away in raging currents:

Ethan.  I could remember how he never did anything without taking me with him, except school.  I loved the sense of purpose I got from work, but there were certainly days, like this one, when I thought of Ethan and missed being a doodle dog, more than anything.

In his fourth life, Buddy, as a black labrador, uses all skills accrued from previous lifetimes to Find and Save his beloved Ethan from ending his life alone:

All I could do now was offer him comfort, the assurance that as he left this life he was not alone but rather was tended by the dog who loved him more than anything in the whole world. … At that moment, I felt peace, secure in the knowledge that, by living my life the way I had, everything had come down to this moment.  I had fulfilled my purpose.

Be prepared to part with a few tears as you share adventures with Toby, Bailey, Ellie, Buddy . . . and Ethan. 

* * * * *

When you look back on YOUR life (or lives, if you can see back that far), are you able to connect the dots from one stepping stone to the next?

Do our struggles today provide us with the lessons we need for tomorrow?