Saturday, July 24, 2010

Porridge in the morning, M-M- Good!

Oatmeal in the morning isn’t just for athletes. We can get all the same benefits weight lifters and other exercise fanatics get from their morning bowl of porridge. Health benefits include a leveling of metabolism, lower blood cholesterol and a stabilizing of blood glucose levels.

Oats grow on an Oat plant, also called Avena sativa. The top three producers of Oat are Russia (5.1 metric tons), Canada (3.3 metric tons) and the US (1.7 metric tons). Oats grow in temperate climates and require less heat and thrive with more rain.
Oats grow inside the hull of the plant. The plant is processed and the oats are rolled or ground for human consumption, while horses and cattle will eat the entire plant. Truly oats are an eco-friendly life cycle with every part of the plant being useful.

Health Benefits

The beta-glucan in oats is responsible for reducing the risk of heart disease, especially if combined with a low-fat diet. The fiber of rolled oat keeps digestion moving while providing maximum energy from the complex carbohydrates. Oatmeal is also high in B vitamins which are important for energy and overall good health and especially important for non-meat eaters.

Traditional Cooking Methods

Scotland: Oats have been a staple in the Scottish diet for centuries. Often cooks will soak the oats with some salt overnight then in the morning cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens.

Switzerland: Oats are soaked in milk, honey & cinnamon overnight then in the morning, add fruit & nuts, serve cold.

Vermont: An American version via Scottish settlers of the 19th Century, oatmeal is soaked overnight with a pinch of salt and maple syrup. In the morning, the mixture is cooked with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. This must be the best recipe because Vermont leads the US per capita for oatmeal consumption.

Clearly, oatmeal is a breakfast food of champions!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Handsome Hades

Hades is the son of Kronos, brother of Zeus & Poseidon, and husband to Persephone. If that isn't enough, he’s also the CEO of a very busy place, the underworld.

Not to be confused with the Grim Reaper, Hades is the Head of the afterlife, managing three main regions: Elysium, the Asphodel Meadows and Tartarus as well as the transportation system that runs off five 5 main waterways: Acheron (the river of sorrow), Cocytus (the river of lamentation), Phlegethon (the river of fire), Lethe (the river of oblivion), and Styx (the river of hate). The River Styx, of course, is the most famous of the rivers due to its proximity to our realm, actually serving as the boundary between the two.

Depicted in this marble statue, currently on display at the Getty Villa in Malibu, Hades is a robust figure with handsome features and a reputation as a fierce warrior, an ancient bad boy whose reputation not only endures but continues to evolve to greater heights, or depths as the case may be.

Hades, a evenhanded ruler judged the dead and their destination with a reasonable, rational determination. His rules were simple and not to be broken. Woe to those who sought to cheat death for their time to face Hades became a moment to fear. However, for a good soul, Hades offered the promise a good and peaceful life in the afterworld as reward for the hardships and sorrows of this one.

Sunday, July 11, 2010



Author: Alice Duncan

Author's website:

Genre: Historical cozy mystery set in Rosedale (a thinly disguised Roswell), New Mexico in 1923.

Publisher: Five Star/Cengage

Publisher's website:

ISBN 978-1-59414-926-9

Pages: 250

Price: $25.99 (hardback)

Publication date: January 2011

A really fun read! Alice Duncan has written a charming story of a fictitious 1920s town called Rosedale, New Mexico in which a young woman Annabelle finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery not unlike the novels she often checks out of the library.

The town seems like a regular small town on the edge of the Wild West with the addition of a cattle drive through the middle of town which brings cowboys to town twice a year. The cattle drive brings the cowboys who stay for the rodeo. The whole town comes out to the rodeo. It’s the biggest thing happening in Rosedale until next year. But this year is special because a fabulous preacher came to town at the same time preaching the gospel in the tent revival fashion.

Annabelle and her friend Myrtle are the center of Rosedale. Myrtle is smitten with the new preacher man and wants her friend Annabelle to come to the tent revival. Annabelle is too sensible for that, then her beau Phil goes the revival, she thinks she might consider it. But when the preacher’s sister, the gorgeous angelic looking young woman catches Phil’s eye… well, Annabelle gets to the revival meeting. That’s when the whole town comes apart…

Pecos Valley Revival grabbed me. I could not put it down. I had to know what happened next… Are Richard & Josephine having an affair? What about Hannah? Kenny’s kind of a jerk, who will he fight with next? Will Phil break up with Annabelle? Will Jack get what he deserves? If Esther is so perfect, why does Annabelle find her irritating? How is it that Hazel knows everything?

Set for release in January 2011, this is a delightful read. It left me hoping that there will be other stories from Rosedale, New Mexico.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Review: Thumbing Through Thoreau

Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau
Compiled by Kenny Luck / Illustrated by Jay Luke and Ran Adams
2010: Tribute Books: $24.95
ISBN 978-0-9822565-4-1

Henry David Thoreau profoundly moved me, when in high school, I first read Walden. Pleased not only to find a philosopher I could admire, but a writer who made beautiful statements within his argument that outlined a design for a better world. Thoreau believed in the value of humanity, the value of the Earth and that humanity need not injure the Earth to survive. His naturalist principles are as true today as they were in the mid-19th century.

Thumbing through Thoreau is a compilation of the points one might highlight or underline within the writings. The selections are choice, creating items for contemplation. Thoreau’s inspirational writings are reorganized and divided into three sections: Society & Government, Spirituality & Nature and Love. Thumbing Through Thoreau could easily be used as a reference or daily meditation book. Each page has one quote and one nature drawing.

If you enjoy Thoreau, you'll like the following excerpts from Thumbing through Thoreau:

Section I Society & Government

While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who inhabit them.

To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.

I have found thus that I had been a rich man without any damage to my poverty.

There is not one kind of food for all men.

Section II Spirituality & Nature

Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify!

I have a great deal of company in my house, especially in the morning, when nobody calls.

Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth. Sky water.

Go in search f the springs of life.

Section III Love

Love is the profoundest of secrets.

All romance is grounded in friendship.

Veneration is the measure of Love.

Love is a mutual confidence whose foundations no one knows.

For more:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Egyptian gods on the wall

Powerful deities of the Egyptian pantheon are found on mural walls around the world.

Horus seen in his bird form or a man with a falcon head represents hunting and offers protection to devotees. The eye of Horus symbolizes the power of the pharaohs as they receive the power of the gods to rule the country. Horus is the god of Sky & Protection as well as War & Vengeance. During periods of Egyptian history, Horus served as the patron god of the nation.

Sobek, a fearful creator god, represented by a man with crocodile head protects Egyptians’ from Nile crocodiles. As a creator god, Sobek was so closely associated with Ra, he became Sobek-Ra. At the height to popularity, Sobek’s cult provided pools for sacred crocodiles and mummified their favorites for a blessed afterlife.

The stylized representation of Egyptian gods provide great subject matter for conversation while waiting for the show at the Egyptian Theater. It's always good to know tidbits of Jeopardy-esque trivia.