These guys will be happily strutting around in my pasture today. I don’t think they realize just how lucky they are. Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!
How many times in our lives do we think we deserve more than we were given? We are settling for Joe, when Johan is out there waiting for us. You see, Joe and Johan are not the same.
What happened to all the fun? Youthful smoke mellowed days of partying with friends and letting the sun bake your skin to a deep golden bronze while blasting Zeppelin at ear-piercing decibels. Reckless and carefree without the slightest thought of future skin cancer, potential liver damage or permanent hearing loss. Living with no rules, no regard and no regrets. Thinking only of yourself.
And by the way, what happen to my fairy tale? The one where I find the perfect Mr. Right, we make our fortune, live in a beautiful home and have the perfect life. Where is my piece of the pie? Are the times to Carpe Diem really over? Is this all I get?
I struggled with publishing this post, feeling apprehensive about showing this negative side of myself. Then I realized feeling discontented with life is no new thing. From the Bible to Shakespeare to Steinbeck to the Hollywood big screen, many have lamented over the cards they have been dealt. In the movie The Family Man, Nicolas Cage plays Jack Campbell, a successful Wall Street Executive bachelor who gets to see what his life might have been like had he given up his perfect life and stayed with his old sweetheart. Much like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, Jack encounters an angel on Christmas Eve who offers him the opportunity to see life from another path. After a shocking wake up call on Christmas morning in middle class suburbia, wearing Walmart sweat pants and surrounded by all the other mediocre trappings of normal family life, Jack flees back to the city only to discover his former perfect life is nonexistent.
Upon returning to his bland middle class life, he encounters his now wife Kate who rips into him for leaving his family on Christmas day, letting him know how frantic she has searched for him. Jack replies “Look, you don’t understand. I woke up this morning here. And this is very strange because… this isn’t my house… And those aren’t my kids… I’m not Dad… You’re not my wife.”
Sometimes I look at my own life and think what happened to me? As I am surrounded by the cracking plaster on the 80 year old walls of our country home. The badly patched hole in the ceiling, the unfinished crown molding and the wood floor that still lacks a threshold. The leftover casualties of the countless DIY projects my husband eagerly starts, but never seems to finish. I look at the lines on my 50 year old face, the gray in my hair and I do not recognize my own reflection in the mirror. Who is that person looking back at me? I look at my daughters, now in their twenties, and think that’s who I am. I should be out living it up! I’m not this older woman looking back at me. Frazzled and twenty pounds overweight, trying to manage my household while working and caring for my own elderly parents.
As I am dealing with my parent’s multiple medical issues, doctor’s appointments, bills that need to be paid and trying to determine how to handle the next ball I’ve been given to juggle; I see my family go about their daily lives and I want to scream “I need to be taken care of!” “I’m hanging on by a thread here!” “Dear God, please give me another life!”
Then a somber reality hits me like a ton of bricks and just like George Bailey and Jack Campbell, I realize I would be nothing without them. An empty shell. A dried husk. A tumbleweed blowing in the wind. They are my roots. My anchor in the storm and my nourishment after the rain. They are my Zuzu’s petals. My reality and my reason for being. They are my destiny.
So I shamefully fall to my knees and ask forgiveness for being so selfish. Then say a prayer of thanksgiving for all that I have. I get up, wash my face, then wash the 8,968th load of laundry and smile as I ask “What are you hungry for tonight?” Because the simple fact is I am blessed beyond measure and cherish the life I’ve been given. When it’s all said and done, I still choose us and it is a wonderful life…
One of the new trends among the health food hippie crowd is drinking Kombucha Tea. I tried Kombucha about a year ago and I have become somewhat obsessed with it. I have no idea why, because it smells and tastes like something you would never voluntarily drink. Kind of like highly carbonated spoiled beer with a shot of vinegar, but for some reason I find myself craving it. Kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years and it was worshiped as a remedy for immortality. The ancient Chinese called it the Immortal Health Elixir. According to lore, the tea was introduced to Japan by a Korean physician named Dr. Kombu who gave the bacteria-laden liquid to a Japanese emperor as a healing tonic. Kombucha is available commercially at health food stores or can be made at home. It is started by using a solid culture of yeast and bacteria, often referred to as the mother, mushroom, fungus or scoby.
The Kombucha culture looks like a white rubbery pancake. The culture is placed in black or green tea with sugar and is allowed to ferment. The culture floats above the tea and sugar mixture, and through the natural process of fermentation converts the sugar into organic acids and carbon dioxide. At the same time it produces a variety of other compounds that are detoxifying and nutritious to the human body, including Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), glucuronic, lactic, gluconic and folic acids. The mixture is also high in B-vitamins as well as an assortment of probiotics (beneficial bacteria including lactobacillus acidophilus and s.Boulardii). The fermentation process of Kombucha leaves it virtually sugar-free and naturally low in carbohydrates.
Some of the alleged health benefits of drinking Kombucha:
Improved metabolic rate
Reduction of cellulite
Facial toner and topical application for skin disorders.
Regulation of the digestive system
Restores Internal pH balance
Strengthens ligaments and tendons
Reduces grey hair production
Improves allergy like symptoms such as phlegm and mucus production
Improves Thyroid function
Detoxifies the liver
Rebuilds connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
Reduces blood pressure
Relieves headaches & migraines
Reduces kidney stones
High in antioxidants
High in polyphenols
Speeds healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
Improves candida & yeast infections
Aids healthy cell regeneration
Lowers glucose levels
There have also been reports of adverse effects such as infections, high levels of lactic acid and allergic reactions in Kombucha Tea drinkers. Kombucha Tea is often brewed in homes under non-sterile conditions, making contamination likely. If ceramic pots are used for brewing, lead poisoning might be a concern; the acids in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze. Some medical literature reports adverse reactions including nausea, vomiting and headaches among those who drink more than four ounces of Kombucha Tea daily. Experts recommend drinking it in moderation. It also contains trace amounts of alcohol. Since the potential health risks of Kombucha Tea are unknown, anyone with an immune deficiency or any other medical condition should consult a physician before drinking the tea. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use this tea.
I only drink Kombucha made by reputable brewers, therefore I am not overly concerned about health risks or contamination. I usually get GT’s Kombucha or High Country Kombucha available in a variety of flavors. The flavor comes from adding various organic fruit purees and ginger. I don’t know if there are any true health benefits from drinking Kombucha, but I do feel an increase in energy and an overall sense of well-being after drinking it, and for some reason my body craves it.
Whether it’s a cure-all tonic or toxic elixir, I will continue to drink my Kombucha.
I would love to hear about your experience (if any) in drinking Kombucha Tea.
May you always have…
The sun to warm you,
The moon to charm you,
And a guardian angel, so nothing can harm you.
Peace, Love and Blessings!