Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve--Starting Anew

Paris Photo Stories


STARTING ANEW
December 31, 2012



Although I am not really into New Years' resolutions, I like the idea of "starting fresh" and finding ways to start anew.

I was watching the morning news and saw someone talking about what to look for in the 2013. One thing to look for, the commentator noted, is www.medium.com. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the "smartest" stories and posts tend to "organically" rise the top by their popularity.

To me, it seems that "Medium" allows the cream to rise to the top, and you are not left wading about in the the muck, just to find a nugget somewhere/somehow.

The nice this about living with an open heart and head, is that often, the best comes to me. Listening with a spirit of being open to starting fresh pointed me in the direction of Medium and all the creativity it can conjur!

This kitty may look like he is just being lazy, but perhaps he is just being open to ideas for starting anew.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

~~Paupers' Cemetery~~

I read an article in the local paper recently that stirred me to my core. The focus of the article was the "White Tanks Cemetery." Cemeteries have always fascinated me; I'm even a grave site photographer. 

This cemetery, The White Tanks Cemetery, in Phoenix, AZ, is different than any cemetery I've ever visited. It's a cemetery in which those that are unknown or have no one to take care of them when they die, are buried by the county. 




The rock and dirt cemetery sits at the very south end of Luke's Air Force Base. Visitors park on the outside and must walk in. 




Markers are just tiny brass discs with the name of the person (if known) and the date of death.  That is it.

This is the disc for Macy Cady, a baby. A toy car rests with him.




The backdrop of the cemetery can be quite beautiful.




And yet, you turn and see much barren sadness...overwhelmingly barren sadness, knowing that these are PEOPLE that had lives and souls and families and hopes and dreams and....now this....





"Baby Row"...way too long....





A woman from Ohio finally found her mother...here.




Sometimes, the local chain gangs--men and women--bury the dead (as punishment for not behaving in jail, by the way). Today, there were just a few people attending the "funerals."




As terribly disturbing as all this is, I found solace for the rested in that they have frequent flyovers that are simply magnificent from Luke's Air Force Base. 




And the roses outside their gate.................



Sunday, December 9, 2012

~~Biosphere 2~~

Located on a 3.14-acre compound just outside of the remote town of Oracle, AZ, Biosphere 2 was a born of an idea to create a self-sustaining eco-system that would also sustain humans.

Eight people, including a physician, engineers and scientists lived inside the structure from September, 1991 to September, 1993. They grew crops, chickens and a few goats. During the first year, they could not grow enough to maintain healthy weight, but the following year, they did.

Biosphere 2 created a lot of conflict in the scientific community. In fact, federal marshals invaded the compound at one time because it was believed its own were sabotaging the structure.

In 2011, the University of Arizona bought Biosphere 2 in hopes of revitalizing the buildings and grounds.

I found the IDEA to be interesting...and certainly the structure is. But the REALITY is truly wanting. It is run down, seems quite haphazardly put together and is just kinda...well...sad.

In November, 2012, U of A commissioned a 7.5 million project for a "New Life for Biosphere 2."



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

~~Turkey Tortilla Soup~~

Wasting food makes no sense, so I try to make multiple meals out of an initial meal. The other day I made a simple meal of a turkey breast, a yam and that crazy good cranberry salad. The next day I boiled the carcass and put the broth in the refrigerator over night. The reason is that any fat will float and congeal, making it easy to remove. Luckily, there was no fat on the broth.

Ingredients~~

- Leftover turkey or chicken, pulled into bite-sized pieces
- Broth, from the night before
- 1 can each--corn, black beans (rinsed), and Italian style stewed tomatoes
- 1 cup salsa--you choose
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon or more chili powder
- salt to taste

For some spicy heat...to taste~~
- sliced or chopped fresh (from your garden) or jarred jalapeƱo

Combine all ingredients in a pot or crockpot and heat...the longer, the better!

Garnish with fresh cilantro (from you garden) and a dollop of sour cream, and serve with gourmet tortilla chips.

COMFORT!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

~~The BEST Cranberry Salad...ever!~~

Trust me on two things: 1) that this is the best cranberry salad ever, and 2) the directions!

STEP ONE. Ingredients.

- 1 can whole cranberry sauce
- 3 oz package of JELL-O--cranberry, strawberry or cherry (I used cranberry.)
- 3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained--keep the juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice (I like the full pulp kind)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup finely chopped celery


STEP TWO. Prepare all the ingredients first. (Chop celery. Put all measured ingredients in containers, ready to mix.)


STEP THREE. The magic!

Put the JELL-O into a bowl. Then, boil...yes...boil the orange juice and the pineapple juice (should be about a cup of liquid). I boil in a pyrex measuring glass in the microwave.

Pour the boiling juice into the bowl. Mix until the JELL-O dissolves. When the mixture starts setting up, add all the other ingredients. Stir and refrigerate.

Be amazed and delighted!