Music: 'String Quartet in Four Parts: Nearly Stationary' by John Cage
Yesterday was full of extremes, mostly emotional.
The morning featured its regulation dose of austere training; the almost standard hodge-podge of line drills, forms, kicks, stretches and chi-qong like breathing exercises. What makes the particular instructor that I train with so unique is how he weaves the disparate elements into a greater realization, which then becomes the lesson for that class.
In today's class we used the most basic form* taught to all white belts, then removed all the 'hardness' from it. Blocks and punches became open-handed, almost Tai-Chi like apparitions; stiff forward movements and stances became sinuous, each flowing from the hip and into the next.
One of the newer white belts is my friend and patient Michael, AKA 'Gerard' in ER4YT. 'Gerard' was the fellow headed for the liver transplant who never actually went down that path. 'Mikey' continues to do phenomenally well, so well in fact that here he is, grunting and sweating with the rest of us.
My time in the office went well. One returning patient was a gentleman with throat cancer who is almost ready to get his trach tube removed, as they no longer see any signs of disease. Another new patient was a young women with strange skin rashes that nobody can figure out the cause of. Not too surprisingly a type O who eats a lot of wheat and dairy.
Then had to bolt down a bowl of lentil soup and head over to my daughter's school for their choral performance. Both of our children have gone through the local Montessori school to the 6th grade, and if nothing else, these kids can sing! Cute little songs about 'painting with the wind' and other similiarly happy motifs.
Being around an event full of Montessori parents (at least in Connecticut) is sort of like discovering that the Soviet Politburo has suddenly moved to Esalen. In the old days, nobody wanted to be the first person to stop clapping after one of Stalin's speeches, so they installed a bell and rang it so everyone could stop at once.
We needed a bell --Not that the kids didn't deserve it.
The event was actually a part of the school's 40th aniversary celebrations, which takes place all this week, so the songs were interweaved with little speeches by past and present luminaries, one of who gestured backwards with her hand and used the phrase: 'look at your beautiful children, these children are the society of the future.'
I found this statement rather depressing, considering the screwed up world these children are destined to inherit. Some society. Can we possibly mess it up any further for them? At some point in time, in their new society, when the grown-up version of these kids write their history, how will it read?
Here is my guess:
The Second Thirty Years War, variously referred to by some authors as the 'SUV War,' 'The Well-Poisoners War,' 'The Land For Dead War' or 'Liberty/Terrorist Victim War', was waged by ideologic extremists of all varieties and cultures, in a vacuum created by inequitable wealth distribution, lack of individual expression and environmental deterioration.
But hey, I'm just an aging hippie.
* A form [or 'hyung' in Korean, 'kata' in Japanese] is a series of programmed moves along a pattern. It's goal is to develop one's technique and refine their nomindedness, i.e. relying on the innate rather than the conscious.
Good for martial artists, bad for political leaders.
My daughter and I made a quick two day trip to visit my parents. We had a wonderful time, with lots of good conversation.
As far as the BTD, I did more than an hour of 5-minute isometrics in the car both going and coming. That was a good all body workout. Friday night I went for a walk after dinner with my Dad. I hope that when I'm 86 I will still be walking more than a mile at a nice pace.
My parents are both Type Os. They like meat, and my Mom fixed a delicious roast. They have always eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables. They are curious about the Blood Type Diet. They read the "Food, Beverage, and Supplement List" I gave them last summer, and have made a few changes. They now use soy milk instead of cow's milk for example. But I wouldn't say either of them really follows the diet.
I ate four avoids. One was the breading on a chicken entree. The other three were family favorites. I could have declined, but to tell the truth I enjoyed them. They rolled back the clock and made me feel like a girl again.
Does the title of this blog refer to the home I grew up in or my home with my husband and children? The answer is both.
My son took a course last spring called Introduction to Fiction. He studied some of my all time favorite novels like "The Moonstone" and "Wuthering Heights." The only book on his course list that I hadn't read was "Dracula". I'm reading it this week.
I finally put the book down a few minutes ago to clean up the kitchen and to do 20 minutes of weight work. While I was cleaning and exercising, I tried to think about a blog. But Dracula is on my mind.
It is an incredibly suspenseful book - both for the characters and for the reader. It's interesting how many times one of the characters urges another to eat something to keep up his strength. One of the things that makes the BTD easy for me to follow is that I don't skip meals or measure out servings. I eat often, and I eat until I'm satisfied. Skipping a meal never saves me time, because it adds to my stress and that makes me less efficient.
I got so involved in the plot, that I found myself as tense as the characters. So I snacked more today than usual. But it was all good Type O snacks: figs, prunes, apricots, watermelon, and homemade sweet potato chips.
My son just came in to give me a hug and say good night. When he saw what I was writing, he started laughing. "Hmmm," he said, "I wonder what type Dracula was."
My daughter thinks she might want to major in interior design, so she asked if we could go to Half Price Books and see if they had a computer program that lets you design houses. It sounded like a good idea to me, so off we went. She found just what she wanted for $4.95. Then I asked if I could look through the cookbooks. There like a piece of gold in a muddy stream was a treasure - "The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread". It is more than 200 wheat free recipes, with bread machine instructions. Surely among that many recipes I can find a sandwich bread that is beneficial for my husband and daughter and neutral for my son.
Last night I seasoned the left over buckwheat with a little onion, a little garlic, a little olive oil, and a lot of celery seed. It was very good, and went well with smoked turkey. Tonight with the leftover turkey we had kohl slaw (that's what we're calling Paul's shredded kohlrabi with lemon juice and olive oil), butternut squash, and watermelon.
Because of orchestra practice I knew I would miss lap swim tonight, so I ran two miles in the neighborhood. I feel so good after I run. On the way home from orchestra I had the radio on, and I heard a man say, "The disciples didn't say, â€˜Lord teach us to heal.' They said, â€˜Lord, teach us to pray.'" I got to thinking about that. I believe that in the Blood Type Diet there is a tool that God can use to bring about healing using the foods that he created. But I want to make sure that always in all things I have my priorities in line.
When I first started blogging I was in the middle of a project to try all of the Type O beneficial foods. There are foods in every category that I had never tasted before, but that now are favorites: lamb, adzuki beans, artichokes, parsnips, beet greens, and mangos, just to name a few. I have not found guava, chicory, and some of the beneficial fish in my local stores but I'm still looking.
Now I'm going to try the foods that are beneficial to my Type A husband and daughter, and neutral to me. Neither my husband nor my daughter like trying new foods, so they are not enthused about my idea. They would rather stick with their old favorites. Is this a Type A characteristic? My son and I will take a taste of something new, just to see what it's like. I remember as a child going to unusual restaurants (Indian or German for example) and watching my Type O parents order different items from the menu just so they could try more new foods.
I digress - back to the subject. This week I cooked buckwheat. I followed the cooking procedure in "Joy of Cooking" which is slightly different from RECIbase. I browned 1 cup of buckwheat in 2 Tbsp. of oil. I added 2Â½ cups of very hot water, brought it to a boil, then covered it and simmered it for 30 minutes. My husband really liked it. It reminded him of hominy, but I thought it was more like rice. The kids ate it but were not overjoyed. I think the key may be to find the right seasoning. I'm smoking a turkey this afternoon, and will see if I can make the leftover buckwheat a more exciting side dish for tonight.
New foods that are Type A beneficial, but Type O avoid may forever remain a mystery. I probably won't cook something that I would have to throw out if neither of the As would eat it.