Mar 19 2012

Let us use the moment of the Equinox to join together to send Peace, Love, and Light to Mother Earth and to Humanity.

Peace Love, and Light,
Barbara Wolf

What a beautiful place it would be if we could give each other the world.

A world of peace…

Giving each other peace and the world.

From the Global Meditations web site,  Posted March 18, 2012:

The Equinox is March 20, at 1:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, which is 5:14 a.m. UTC, Greenwich time.

Will you observe the moment of the Equinox by sending Peace, Love, and Light to humanity and our earth? Your brothers and sisters will be observing.

World Clock will convert your time.

Can you conceive of the positive energy that is created when so many are thinking the same thing at the same time?  Peace, Love, and Light — this world needs a boost of this energy.

Yearly, at the moment of the March Equinox, the Japanese Peace Bell is rung in the Rose Garden at the United Nations in New York City.

Masahiro Kataoka Nakagawa placed the Japanese Peace Bell at the UN in New York in 1954.

Singer Pete Seeger rings the United Nations Peace Bell
in New York City on Earth Day 2009.

In 1969, John McConnell pointed out the need for humanity to respect and preserve the beauty and ecological balance of Mother Earth, and he proposed that Earth Day should be yearly celebrated. This proposal was supported by United Nations Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead and many others, and soon the concept spread world wide. A tradition began of ringing the United Nations Peace Bell at the moment of the March Equinox.

In 1998, John McConnell invited me to the ringing of the peace bell Equinox ceremony and I have attended nearly every year since. Today his age prevents him from attending, and so I take a birthday card to the ceremony for all to sign. His birthday is March 22, and he was born in 1915.

Let us use the moment of the Equinox to join together to send Peace, Love, and Light to Mother Earth and to Humanity.

Peace Love, and Light,
Barbara Wolf

NaBloPoMo March 2012



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Mar 01 2012

Nothing bettern than Chocolate Ganche Cake

Once upon a time, in upstate New York, there lived a fairy princess named Laine or Lainey, as the people of BlogHer Castle sometimes liked to say. Lainey was very beautiful, was married to a handsome prince and had children that were known to drive her nuts over a cabin feverish long winter as only upstate New Yorkers can have.

And many happy returns!

As Laine can tell you, even fairy princesses have dreams. Laine dreamed of being a big, bad roller derby Queen and turning in her sparkling pink fairy dusted ball gown for a roller derby persona named Crazy Eyeris. As Crazy Eyeris, Laine didn’t have problems with anything, least of all the weather, so she and her husband and kids lived happily ever after. THE END.



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Jan 18 2012

Visiting “The Future” at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-1965,
while in 1960’s clothes.

When I was a kid, we looked to the future through a TV cartoon time warp called “The Jetsons.” Then, while we watched futuristic “programming” on TV, our parents were also being instructed by mass media that the future would bring better living to us all. We were told daily that the progress to take us blindly into the future would be better, much better than anything in the present. It was inferred that we should just trust whomever was bringing this to pass. And so, when the biggest international event of the decade occurred, the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City, we knew we were on the cusp of a wave that would carry us aloft to glorious destinies. We didn’t know where we were heading, but we knew we were getting there fast, and that it was going to be better, right?

Bell Telephone Pavillion: New York World’s Fair 1964-1965.
“Peace through Understanding” Moving chairs carry the Fairgoer
past animated exhibits tracing the history of communications.
Anyone may try out “picture phones” -phones equipped with TV
devices showing the person on the other end.

Bigger was better. Faster was better. More, stronger, cheaper was better. New and improved? Well, of course THAT was better. The words new and improved must mean something was really NEW and IMPROVED. It therefore must be better. The box said so, just as the TV had. Who could argue that the product wasn’t actually new and improved? And since the new and improved product was now and the old has-been product was then, this product in the present HAD to be better…but nothing compared to what it would be in the future!

The New York World’s Fair 1964-1965

And so, whirling in this vortex of progress, spiraling upwards, or so we thought, we became very impressionable to the idea that new was better and old served no purpose. Like modern lemmings, we followed the promises of the TV box that guided us through every day to “improve” our otherwise primitive lives. And so, our societal common sense undermined, we believed like children that modern was good and old fashioned was not only outdated, but bad. For example, I can remember visiting my mother’s family home where her cousin had “modernized” and replaced “all of those silly old, dark, heavy walnut doors and matching woodwork” hoping to bring a Federal Period house into the 20th century.

And here are people in 1965, trying their best to be
“Futuristic” with a lamp pole, sunburst wall clock and
“modern art” man-made fiber curtains.

And as fast was better, convenience overcame tried and true. I can remember my mother laughing, as she opened a loaf of spongy white Wonderbread, that Mrs. So-and-so made bread for her family every week. Nobody we knew had ever made bread. And then we went through all of elementary school, junior and senior high school with the same group of kids year, in and year out. We knew everything about everybody. Trust me, no one baked bread, no one, except Mrs. So-and-so. Buying convenience foods, opening cans, heating up frozen food, using cake mixes: no one we knew had mothers that did anything much more than that. On occasion, cookies might be made from scratch, but NEVER a cake.

Convenience and taste, not nutrition, were the selling points.
H-m-m-m. Wonder what chemicals were used to replicate the eggs?

According to the Joy of Baking:  “Eggs play a major role in cake
baking. Eggs add aeration to the batter, provide structure to
the cake, help bind the ingredients together, keep the cake moist
and add flavor and tenderness.”

Eggs sound important to a cake! What did they use instead?

The modern housewife was told by mass media advertising that convenience was the way of the future and the less done the better. It was the futuristic way to do things for those in the know. The whole concept of eating to nurture the body while promoting wellness was not considered. Nutritional content was not considered. The only things that seemed important were taste and convenience. And if that taste were stimulated by a chemical cocktail, no one seemed to mind or notice.

This hash commercial is odd for a number of reasons. You’ll see
that as long as women were invisible and could open a can of
hash, things were fine.

But, how did the woman and the hash feel about it?
And how nutritious was that dinner of canned hash and eggs?

Little by little, convenience foods became fast foods. It wasn’t that long before men, women and families began eating out more and more. In addition, as people ate out more often, cost became a concern and restaurants offering good “home cooking” were expensive compared to McDonald’s “four course meal with change from a dollar.” We were detached from the concept that what we ate physically became our bodies and minds. In fact, I can’t remember chemical additives or preservatives ever being commonly discussed. Maybe there was mention of nitrates and nitrites in hot dogs once in a while, but overall we ate without self awareness.

Now I understand that nutrient dense food is not only medicine, but provides the foundations for living. That’s why “The Jetson’s” putting a pill in a wall unit that looks prognostic of microwave ovens, closing the door and pushing a button to conveniently produce a plate full of food seems out of date. The concept is old fashioned, from when that was considered “modern” and is comically passe. People now know wholesome, unadulterated slow foodstuffs are truly the building blocks of life. Therefore, any quaint desire for convenience, at the expense of nutrition and wellness, has thankfully gone the way of the TV dinner.

 

Where do great meals begin?

Come to the Table brings you straight to the source of wonderful flavors, beauty, abundance, and pride of place—the small farms of California and the people who tend them season after season.
Alice Waters, the celebrated chef and food activist, introduces a remarkable group of resilient fresh-food artisans who are committed to keeping our food supply delicious, diverse, and safe—for humans and the planet. Meet the folks down on the farm and learn firsthand about the back-to-the-future small-farm economy that’s gaining strength across America. Discover new tastes and memorable traditions. Explore local flavors, wit, and wisdom along with the universal values of a food system that is “good, clean, and fair.” Recreate a range of sumptuous yet simple meals with the farmers’ own family recipes—including breakfast crostata and fresh-fruit jams, stuffed artichokes and black-eyed peas, chile relleno casseroles, pulled pork, and cheesecake.Sustainable food is real food.
Come to the table, and help yourself!
 

If you have an interest in this book, hover your mouse over:

Slow Food Nation’s Come to the Table: The Slow Food Way of Living

NaBloPoMo January 2012



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Aug 31 2011

Life as it was in Upstate New York circa 1845.

When I think of fall, I think of the Harvest Festival at The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The Farmer’s Museum is a living history museum, much like Williamsburg, Virginia or Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In living history museums, the culture of another time period is faithfully represented by period interpreters who interact with visitors as they wander through period surroundings.

The Farmer’s Museum showcases our national agricultural
heritage, specifically that common to upstate New York.

The Farmer’s Museum is a part of the New York State Historical Association, NYSHA, complex located just north of Cooperstown, NY. This well appointed history of agriculture museum sits across the road from the Fenimore Art Museum, the NYSHA Library and the Cooperstown Graduate Programs. All of the visiting options at NYSHA are well worth the time and money for the delightful experiences, both intellectual and aesthetic. And, did I say, “FUN!?!” While the NYSHA library houses rich reference materials and the Fenimore Art Museum is renown for its American Folk Art and Native American Collections, the Farmer’s Museum is a hands-on experience in the farming “way back machine.”

Distinctive architecture from all over New York State
has been moved and reassembled at the Farmer’s Museum.

Agricultural technology from all aspects of a working farm in the 1840s is displayed and explained by costumed interpreters. Hard work inside and outside the home are depicted as well as the hard play of games and diversions. Merchant life, tavern life and the interweaving thread of religious devotion are readily experienced by every visitor to create a vivid image of rural living when our country was young.

Go to The Farmer’s Museum and celebrate the bounty
of the harvest on September 17 & 18th, 2011.

My two favorite visits to The Farmer’s Museum are the Harvest Festival in September and Candlelight Evening during the Christmas holidays. Look for a Sunbonnet Smart post on the Candlelight evening in December, but  focus on the Harvest Festival now, because it’s just around the corner! Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th, 2011, should find you in Cooperstown, ready to ride on a buckboard wagon, spin a hoop across the village green, enjoy old time refreshments or shop at a well stocked general store. If you like penny candy, want to play a game of checkers on a barrel or ride a carousel, then The Farmer’s Museum is for you and the Harvest Festival is a great time to enjoy it. For more information go here.

This family enjoyed their visit to The Farmer’s Museum’s
2010 Harvest Festival so much, they shared it on YouTube.

If you have ever been to Cooperstown, NY, you will remember it as a small village with one traffic light. Cooperstown is located at the base of Lake Otsego, the spring-fed mouth of the Susquehanna River. If you haven’t been to Cooperstown, then try watching the following video to take a tour of a most beautiful and engaging vacation destination:

Cooperstown was named after the family
of James Fenimore Cooper.



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Oct 26 2010

Washington Irving was born the year the Revolutionary War ended, in 1783. Because the new country had a new President named George Washington, many children born around the time the Revolutionary War ended were named after the President. So, Washington Irving grew up in New York City and was the kind of child that searched for adventure. He was fascinated with life and everything that happened in it. Eventually, he went to study in Europe as many young people did, and when he returned, he was considered America’s first great literary figure. He wrote the collection of stories called, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gentleman. Both of Washington Irving’s famous stories of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” are found in this collection.

But we at Sunbonnet Smart have another reason to consider this successful author, acclaimed on two continents. Washington Irving, at one time in his life, went bankrupt! It is interesting the bankruptcy had to be declared in the Irving family for the same reason many people declared bankruptcy today, not for spending foolishly, but because of medical emergencies that deplete personal assets, the income of which is also severely limited by the ill person’s loss of salary.

In 1815 his brother Peter, who was in charge of the Liverpool office of the family import business, had fallen ill and the family company was not doing well. As Washington Irving was in England on a non-business trip at the time, it was natural that he stay and help Peter out by trying to run the family business. Although he worked hard for two years, he could not pull the company out of it’s decline and had to declare bankruptcy.

It is noteworthy that because of hardship, because of a negative life incident like bankruptcy, Washington Irving turned to seriously publishing his writing to bring in extra income. And what a wonderful thing for all of us that he did. It is just amazing how many downturns are actually just a shift in our options. Because of hardship, we end up trying things we never would have otherwise. Trust me when I say this, as I am now a web master. Who would have known?

It is interesting that Washington Irving’s hardships in managing a declining business and suffering through two years of worry over finances encouraged his flexible temperament. This positive attitude will be recognized as an asset to a productive future by all Sunbonnet Smart readers. It is noted that he once wrote in a letter to his brother William, Jr., “I endeavor to take things as they come with cheerfulness and when I cannot get a dinner to suit my taste, I endeavor to get a taste to suit my dinner”.

This Disney version of Washington Irving’s
Legend of Sleepy Hollow was first televised
on October 26, 1955, exactly 55 years ago TODAY!

If you are interested in a nice version of the classic
“Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle, hover
your mouse over this link:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Rip Van Winkle (Treasury of Illustrated Classics – Series UPC 39360)



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