Great Grandmother’s Journal Entry, 1952, Her Brother’s Death

I have a series of journals my great-grandmother kept in the decade of the 50s.

In addition to her handwritten notes about her days, my great-grandmother included in her journal cards, newspaper clippings, and receipts she thought might be of interest.  Today I’m sharing the contents of a newspaper clipping, the obituary of her brother, as well as a few pictures and historical tidbits I found via our friend Google.

Her only entry for the day of his death is to note that she had been very sick, and his son John had called to tell her that Adam (the name he went by) had died, but she couldn’t go because she had been too sick.

The text of the clipping:

John Fleischer, Early Auto Enthusiast, Dies

“John Adam Fleischer, one of Canton’s earliest automobile enthusiasts who was said to have owned the fourth automobile in Canton, died Friday afternoon in his home at 212 Harrison Ave, SW at the age of 72.”

Fleischer house perhaps

This house came up when I googled the address, and it was built in 1907.

“His first automobile was an Orient Buckboard. From this first car he developed an interest in small racing cars and by 1903 became well known as an auto racer.”

orient buckboard sketch

Sketch of an Orient Buckboard from an advertisement in the early 1900s

“By trade he was a railroader and was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad 48 years, retiring in 1948. He held membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.”

pennsylvania rr uniform ad penn rr ad

Surviving family included his daughter Katherine, in Arkansas, his son, John H. in Canton, his other son David in Louisville, and his sister Mary, my great-grandmother who kept this clipping in her journal for 1952. The family members lived in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Arkansas.

The service was performed by a Lutheran pastor. I didn’t know we had Lutherans in the family tree, although that shouldn’t be surprising since most of them were German.

Orient buckboard

I’m  not sure the newspaper got the trade organization’s title correct. I can find
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. I’m guessing it was the first, but I didn’t spend a lot of time on it.

Also included in her diary are two little ‘in Remembrance’ cards from the funeral.

J. Adam Fleischer was born April 11, 1880, and he died August 29, 1952 (his sister, my great-grandmother would outlive him by about 15 years).

A few things that happened the year he was born:
The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana.
William Ewart Gladstone defeats Benjamin Disraeli in the United Kingdom general election to become Prime Minister for the second time
In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.
Second Anglo-Afghan War: General Frederick Roberts, commanding British forces, defeats the Afghan troops of Mohammad Ayub Khan in the Battle of Kandahar, bringing an end to the war
The University of Southern California opens its doors to 53 students and 10 faculty.
Garfield won the November election for American President.

Here are a few things that happened the year he died:
West Germany had 8 million refugees
The University of Tennessee admits its first black student.
Truman was the American president, Churchill was Prime Minister in the UK
United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that the United Kingdom has an atomic bomb.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer: The U.S. Supreme Court limits the power of the President to seize private business, after President Harry S. Truman nationalizes all steel mills in the United States, just before the 1952 steel strike begins. (I mention this because my great-grandmother mentions it in her journal, she was appalled).
The U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan
Korean War: U.S. President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfills a political campaign promise, by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.
The New York Daily News carries a front page story announcing that Christine Jorgensen, a transsexual woman in Denmark, has become the recipient of the first successful sexual reassignment operation.
The word smog was coined
Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya begins
A coup in Egypt

The back of the clipping is interesting as well, although it’s incomplete, of course, since the focus was on the obituary. The back has an ad for a Burlesque show featuring Glo…- I am guessing Gloria, and the last name begins with Mar, but there the clipping is cut).

“We have enlarged our circuit and plan to give you all the big stars in burlesque.”

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K-Drama Review: When It’s At Night

When-Its-At-Night-Poster3From Dramafever: When It’s At Night (밤이면 밤마다)
Starring Kim Sun Ah (I Do, I Do; Scent of a Woman; City Hall; My Name is Kim Sam-Soon) and Lee Dong Gun (Sweet 18; Marry Him If You Dare)
“After her treasure-hunter father is branded a thief by Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration and disappears, Heo Cho Hwi decides to follow in his footsteps, but on the side of the law. Seven years later, she is an art hunter who is committed to protecting the nation’s artifacts. Investigating art crime all over the country, she hopes that one of them will lead her to her father.

Kim Bum Sang, an expert specializing in detecting forgeries and restoring original art pieces, is only in it for the fame and money. When the two must pair up to track down stolen cultural heritage pieces, they immediately clash. With the dedicated preservationist and the hotshot playboy working together as a team, all sorts of sparks begin to fly, and they just might prove the rule that “opposites attract” ”


There are two dramas with the same name, so pay attention to the actors listed.  I spent a long time ignoring this one whenever it came up because the description I kept reading made it sound very questionable as a good match for my tastes.  But as is often the case with K-dramas, the synopsis in English may not be that much like the drama itself.

This wasn’t earth-shattering or amazing, but it was a cute show, and not the least because the little brother is played by Park Ki Woong (Good Doctor, Full House Take 2, Bridal Mask/Gaksital).

I wouldn’t say that Kim Bum Sang is only in it for money- he does like the money, but he also really loves the old cultural treasures for their own sake. He just doesn’t really care about a proper chain of ownership or the cultural heritage aspect.

It’s Cho Hwi’s goal to track down all the cultural heritage artifacts her father has stolen to return them to their rightful place. Unfortunately, somebody else wants to track them down and steal them. The producer/writer/directors gave this drama a delightful classic jewel thief caper feel that I enjoyed.

I feel like there were a couple caveats for family viewing mainly in the first episode, but regrettably, I didn’t make a note of them when I watched it.

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Free Kindle Books, Get ‘Em While They’re Hot

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Banana Splits for Breakfast: 55 Ways to Spiritually Guide Your Preschooler

Blurb: Are you a Christian parent of a preschooler? Would you like some ideas on how to spiritually parent on purpose? If so, this book will help you to make the most of the time you have leading your child!

Dr. Susan Harrison shares personal stories and insights she has gathered from life with her own preschooler and over 10 years experience with families with preschoolers. Some examples include how to watch TV the right way, unique ways to read the Bible with your child and how to teach your child to share about Jesus Christ.

Reader review: Dr. Harrison has done a terrific job of compiling a list of purposeful and fun ways to draw children closer to God. This is a must-read for parents, grandparents, godparents, favorite aunts and uncles, teachers, or anyone who wants to be a positive spiritual influence on the children in their lives. Although it is targeted at preschoolers, many of the ideas may also be applied to older children. This is a book I will continue to reference for years to come. Bravo!
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No-Knead Pizza Dough & More: From the Kitchen of Artisan Bread with Steve

Blurb: You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to make pizza dough. Just mix… wait… and poof, you have pizza dough. And, once you have the pizza dough you can make pizza, calzone, breadsticks, and garlic knots.

Hi… I’m Steve. My YouTube channel is “Artisan Bread with Steve” on which I have a series of educational videos demonstrating how to make a variety of no-knead breads and these cookbooks support the videos giving me the ability to go into greater detail regarding the dynamics of making no-knead bread—a level of detail I couldn’t fit in a video—while they give my readers and subscribers a convenient vehicle for reading and using recipes. Even if you aren’t thinking about making bread you will find this and interesting book to read.

This cookbook includes… the detail and abbreviated recipe for country white (the most common no-knead bread), Basic No-Knead Pizza Dough, Thin Crust Pizza, Breadsticks & Bits, Pan Grilled Flatbread, and Yogurt Flatbread. Even if you aren’t thinking about making bread you will find this and interesting book to read.

Thanks – Steve
Reader Review: This book was excellent to learn from and Steve’s videos are so helpful to understand and follow. I will refer back to this book, and the videos to assist me in being better educated and feeling that I DON’T need to buy the canned dough as often (oops !). This book makes me feel more able and confident to make homemade without all the chemicals. Thank you.

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Grandpa, Tell Us About Phi, the Golden Number: Explore the amazing connection between nature and math!

Blurb: This is a book for people from 9 to 90 who like surprises. And beauty. My intention is to show the beauty in both nature and mathematics, with some surprising connections that will make you stop and think. With this and future books, I want to foster curiosity, particularly in young people who might now see beyond boring or dull school subjects into a new world of science, physics, engineering, and math.
In this book, Grandpa and his grandchildren embark on an adventure into the fascinating connection between nature and a number called phi (ϕ). Phi is also called the Golden Number, the Golden Ratio, the Golden Section, and the Divine Proportion. It is an irrational number, like pi (π), and its value is approximately 1.618.
One of the interesting facts about phi is its relationship to the famous Fibonacci series and to the beautiful logarithmic spiral, one of the most beautiful shapes in nature. Grandpa and the children find Fibonacci numbers in the numbers of flower petals, the number of spirals on pine cones and pineapples, the shape of seashells, the genealogy of bees, how falcons attack their prey, the shape of soccer balls, and more. From the structure of a carbon crystal, to the spiral one sees in distant galaxies, phi is pervasive throughout nature. And over recorded history, it has had an effect on science, religion, astronomy, mathematics, art, and architecture.
I hope that this book results in a few young people realizing that the wonders of nature and mathematics are worth more exploration and that because of that, our society gains a few good engineers, physicists, and natural scientists.

8 5-star reviews, here’s one: My seven year old daughter and I read John Choisser’s “Grandpa, Tell is About Phi, the golden number” together. It’s a book you can take you time with and it’s broken down into easy to start, easy to finish short sections. It was so much fun to go out in the garden and actually see some of the things we learned in the book. It’s fun, easy to follow and a great introduction to science and math without even knowing it’s an introduction to science and math. Be sure to get this book for your kids or grand kids, you’ll be glad you did.
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CLOCKWISE (The Clockwise series)

Blurb:A teenage time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 29th century! And now this –she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.

Reader Review: Adorable. Adventurous. Awesome. These are the words that came to my mind after finishing Clockwise. It was a book that had me rolling with laughter, catching my breath in suspense or anticipation, and reaching for a tissue as tears filled my eyes. It started off as a cute tale about the odd complications of the main character’s time-traveling habits, but it quickly turned into an adventure about growing up, being true to yourself, and making the best out of any situation. Plus it has time-traveling in it!

1) Characters: Casey is a realistic, loveable, and spirited heroine. She has to deal with her family, friends, school, and her unique ability to time-travel. She only wants to blend in and survive, but as the story unravels she learns important lessons about herself and growing up. I found it very easy to relate to her despite the unusual situations she found herself in. Her best friend Lucinda was hilarious and acted as a voice of reason (as a good friend should be). Casey’s love/hate interest Nate was also realistic and charming. He and Casey’s interactions are a important part of the story, but it’s more about their growing friendship and possible other feelings that an actual “romance” (which is some ways made it more realistic to me). And the Watson family that take in Casey and Nate in 1860 are so heart-warming. Though the story is not without its “villains”!

2) Plot: The basic plot of the book is a simple one: girl meets boy, girl can time travel, girl accidentally time travels with boy (several times), and then complications arise! But I felt the book was more about the characters’ journey and discoveries than a typical “adventure” tale. There were several unexpected twists arose that gave me goosebumps and made it giddy with anticipation.

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Christian Mystery: Until Death Do Us Part

Blurb: When Reggie vowed until death do us part, she had no idea how close she’d come.

Newlywed Reggie Monroe struggles to find her happily ever after. As much as she loves her husband, she finds life to be overwhelming as she attempts to be the perfect farmer’s wife in rural Ohio.

When Dylan receives a mysterious message from his best friend, he knows trouble is brewing. To keep Reggie safe, he encourages her to visit friends, but keeping secrets from Reggie is never a good idea. It only makes her more curious—and everyone knows that curiosity killed the cat!

Until Death Do Us Part becomes more than words as Reggie struggles to stay alive and reunite with her husband.

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Delaney’s Peace (McKenna’s Haven Book 6)
Blurb: The long-awaited sixth book in Lisa Crane’s McKenna’s Haven series!

All she wants is to be left in peace.

Delaney Miller’s mother was brutally murdered when Delaney was only 10 years old. Now, years later, the man who was convicted of killing her has returned to town, only to meet the same fate. Delaney is the prime suspect in the case.

At the request of the sheriff, his brother-in-law, a Fort Worth homicide detective, comes to help investigate the murder. But the closer he gets to Delaney, with her haunting gray eyes and her loving heart, the less certain he is that she’s guilty.

Everything about L’Amour James, from his bad-boy muscle car, to his bright green eyes, is another little disturbance in the peace Delaney so craves. How can he convince her that peace isn’t about places and things … while keeping her safe when the murderer comes after her next?
Reader Review:I’ve been a fan of this author for a few years now and can’t but be excited when a new book is released. I normally finish them in one sitting but something about this one beckoned me to take it slow. I am so glad I did! Lisa’s gift of storytelling has reached a new level. This story of Delaney and L’Amour has the same Christian romance element you love about Lisa’s stories. This one does not disappoint and does not lack in chemistry and delivers the right amount of heat. I absolutely loved the murder mystery element in this story. I can’t tell you which was more suspenseful – trying to determine the killer’s identify in time or if L’Amour could break through the walls around Delaney before it was too late. If you love the McKenna’s Haven series you won’t be disappointed. All your favorites are back plus a few surprises! Highly recommend this book! Take my advice… Take it slow, you will want to savor this one!!
Reader Review:Okay. I finished the series last night and I’m ready for #7. The series did not disappoint in any way. Terrific build of characters and different, not done before plots. This book specifically takes a turn toward murder mystery with your favorite people from the other books. Highly recommended but I would definitely start and read in order though they all would stand alone. Because I had a hard time figuring out the order since they are not on the covers, I’ll list them here. McKenna’s Prayer, Jace’s Healing, Jesse’s Heart, Colt’s Hope, Win’s Joy and Delaney’s Peace. Enjoy!

Billed as Christian, romance, mystery, suspense

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Good Hater: George Henry Hoyt’s War on Slavery

Blurb: Massachusetts abolitionist George Henry Hoyt treated the Civil War as a John Brown raid on an epic scale. A young Boston lawyer who briefly represented Old Brown following the Harper’s Ferry Affair, Hoyt followed John Brown’s son back to Kansas, where he joined the Kansas Seventh Volunteer Cavalry, known contemptuously in Missouri as Jennison’s Jayhawkers. While rising from Second Lieutenant at the war’s beginning to Brevet Brigadier General at its end, Hoyt consistently treated the Union army as a mere tool for pursuing abolition through direct action. As the chief of the Red Legs – Kansas’ most feared and hated irregular outfit – Hoyt used the power of the Union to punish regular Missourians for the evils of slavery.

Reader Review: Good Hater is a fascinating look at an individual who seemed to be in the right place at the right time for a neglected history that few speak of; but then again, I went to public school.

I say right place at the right time, but the individual profiled, George Hoyt, was an accomplished and intelligent man who placed himself where he wanted to be through sheer strength of will. He was a lawyer who went to war despite his physical ailments which surely made his journey that much more difficult and impressive.

It’s also a fascinating look at how a country could become divided so quickly, and how good men seeking to accomplish good goals ultimately have to pick a side. Humans, when push comes to shove, are unable to maintain cognitive dissonance. Free speech, which George Hoyt once championed, went out the window when he gained the upper hand and led men out to kill. George Hoyt was rightly motivated by his righteous hate of slavery, but that seems to have also infected his soul. In the later part of his life, this lawyer-commander committed what we would today call war crimes. The book also reminds us, that in all these years, humans have not changed. Our partisan politics, although rancorous, are quite tame in comparison.

This book explores the fascinating pre and civil war environment, from John Brown’s trial to Bleeding Kansas to behind Union lines from the perspective of this interesting man.

The writing is of comprehensive professional quality, The writers’ style lends itself to a refreshingly neutral point of view that is quite rare in this day and age.

It’s a quick read, and well worth your time and money. For me, it certainly kickstarted an interest in the civil war’s less known battlefield. Not the front lines, but what was going on behind it.

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Beyond the Clouds: Why I Became a Military Writer

Blurb: Mark Berent is a well-known author of many Vietnam airwar books and articles. In this article he recounts the people and events that motivated him to write. As he says:
“They’re out there now, somewhere beyond our eyes, beyond the clouds, rolling and soaring in towering cathedrals flying beautiful airplanes that need only the fuel of their love. These are the men I honor…

Reader review: This book is short and to the point.

For those of you who intent to read his “Wings of War” series please read this first. If you served, especially if you served back in the 60s or 70s, and even if you did not serve in that area of the world you will understand his feelings. Feeling about real life and real events.

I didn’t read this short book first but in his “Wings” series I knew exactly what he meant when he referred to arrogant civilian authorities having lunch in DC to pick not only targets but bomb loads and routes. Also understood his scorn for members of the media who trivialized the efforts and high price paid by those serving in our military, just as I felt then and still do. And today I feel that way towards the media with their treatment of those currently serving our Country. I am sure you will recognize the sections of his series relating to the movie female who made broadcasts from Hanoi calling our tortured POWs liars. And those bumper stickers are still in use.

In reading his “Wings of War” series I felt I understood exactly what LTC Berent was feeling. This short book was confirmation.

Other titles by this author (if not free, the price is listed):

ROLLING THUNDER: An Historical Novel of War and Politics (Wings of War Book 1)

Let’s Kill the Dai Uy (Short Story)

To War in Style (Short Story)

Rho Magna, the Laotian War Dragon (Short Story)

$3.99: STEEL TIGER (Wings of War Book 2)

$3.99: EAGLE STATION (Wings of War Book 4)

$3.99; PHANTOM LEADER (Wings of War Book 3)

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Don’t Worry About The Mule Going Blind: Hazel’s Daughter

Blurb: Betty Tucker came of age in Belle Glade, Florida, infamous for its poverty and violence (e.g., see the Wikipedia entry and the 2006 documentary One Percent). Her childhood was one of debilitating poverty, borne of racism: exploitive migrant labor, multiple rapes and other abuse, chronic illness among her family and acquaintances … the list is long and bitter. Betty survived not only by sheer hard work but also by nurturing a nascent belief that she deserved better. She moved to California, earned her college degree, and raised a family. Then, in 1997, she began a long and eventually successful search for the twin girls she had given up for adoption thirty years earlier.

Fear, insecurity, sexual abuse, want, neglect: This memoir will look beyond the description of these difficulties in the author’s life to examine how they stifled her ability to shape her own life, how she acquired the tools she needed to take more control of her life, and what impact her choices, both intentional and unintentional, had on her life and those of her children.

Reader Review:Betty Tucker’s escape from a life of poverty and bigotry in the cane fields of south Florida has taken many detours. Leaving an unhappy childhood at the hands of an abusive mother, she found herself in a less than loving marriage.
No doubt the lowest point of her life was the unscrupulous taking of her twin girls at birth by the state of New York.
Some might have given up at this point. That was not the case with Betty. Stalwart and with undying determination, she searched for her children. After years of disappointing leads and false information, she succeeded in finding them.
Only by Betty’s perseverance was she and her offspring finally reunited.
Betty’s life has had many other stumbling blocks as well. The major obstacles along the way in addition to some of the lesser make up the intriguing story she has to tell.
Unlike some born to a life of hardship, Betty chose a path less traveled. With undying fortitude, she went on to receive her degree.
In later years, she chose to write. Thankfully for us, the readers, she chose to do so. Otherwise, we may never have heard this amazing story.

Jeff Breland, author of Some Other Time

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Cross Cultural Doctoring. On and Off the Beaten Path.

Blurb: You will read why I decided at age 55 to leave my position, jump into the unknown and get off the beaten path. I will relate how my wife Anne and I accomplished this and how I kept working for various lengths of time in a number of different cultural settings around the world and how we travel extensively between assignments.

The book is written as a series of loosely connected anecdotes, some medical, some non-medical. Some are funny and some are not so funny. When appropriate I have added some reflections about our experiences.

I try to convey to the reader the excitement we have felt about our adventure. I hope that the book will inspire readers, medical and non-medical, to consider at some point of their careers to take the step to get off the beaten path. Anne and I certainly have never regretted our choices and have never looked back. Reading this book may also inspire readers to write their own story.

I hope that you will enjoy reading the book as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

I am not interested in making money from this book. I wanted to make the book available for free, but Amazon does not allow that. Thus the book is priced at the minimum of 99 cents. May I suggest that the reader make a charitable contribution to Hospital San Carlos in Chiapas, Mexico, in lieu of the usually accepted fee for a book of this nature. Their website is given on the first page of the book.

Reader Review: Doctor and his wife has travelled EVERYWHERE with aplomb. Even as a very young couple they made a hasty and difficult trip to the United States from Belgium for school quite brave couple. And they surely cope. After practicing and teaching for quite awhile, he retired and took up practicing medicine in needy places. Very needy, very isolate places with little in the way of help, instruments, medications, hospitals. They both took on the jobs with a winning, easy charm to great good effect for the locals who soon came to love them.

He practices in my town occasionally and is beloved, not only by patients but by nurses and physicians.

If you will read this, you will say “this is a good man”.

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All My Georgias: Paris-New York-Tbilisi

About the Author
Son of the President of the first democratic Georgian Republic (1918-1921), Redjeb Jordania was born in Paris after his parents were forced into exile by the invasion of Georgia by the Red Army and its incorporation in the Soviet Empire. Redjeb studied international relations at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques and music at the Ecole Cesar Franck in Paris, and the Hochschule Fur Musik in Munich. He later came to the States, where he obtained graduate degrees from Yale and Rutgers universities. At various periods of his life Redjeb has been a professional pianist/composer, a professor of Maritime History, a boat builder/designer, a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute. For the past 25 years he is a resident of East Hampton and Manhattan, and frequently travels to Paris and Georgia where he retains many ties.

blurb: All my Georgias is a book of memoirs structured as a compilation of real life stories that paint a vivid picture of the author’s lifelong journey through the hectic 20th century .
Redjeb Jordania is the son of the first president of Georgia, Noé Jordania, who along with his entire government, was forced to immigrate to France after the Soviet occupation of Georgia in 1921. Redjeb was born in Paris, where he grew up among the Georgian émigré colony. He later moved to the United States where he eventually settled in New York and East Hampton.
His very first occasion to visit the country of his ancestors came about in 1990. That fall and the following year he had the privilege of witnessing some of the tumultuous events that led to Georgia’s independence, the election of President Gamsakhurdia, and a few months later his ouster by an armed rebellion.
These stories are told in a masterful manner, fascinating, sometimes comical, with historical and cultural insights as background, including: life in the Georgian émigré colony in Paris, a delirious music lesson under the bombs during WWII, living without citizenship, a New York encounter with the KGB, Georgia’s road to independence, and much more.
Anyone interested in how people adjust to history – or just a good story – will find this book hard to put down
Sandro Kvitashvili. Rector,
Tbilisi State University

Reader Review:Well, it’s his story (and history), and Redjeb Jordania tells it his way: the narrative switches back & forth, and was clearly assembled over the course of many years; but it’s an absorbing account of a long life indelibly marked by his family’s exile from the Republic of Georgia (of which his father was President) in the wake of the Russian Revolution. He has a fund of anecdotes going all the way back to early childhood in Paris, and a distinctive & engaging way of telling them. He finally set foot in Georgia in late 1990, just as the Soviet Union was preparing to fall apart, and his eye-witness account of the events in Tbilisi in October-November of that year is especially fascinating.

This book radiates charm & insight.

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PALEO SLOW COOKER: 65 Delicious Gluten and Dairy Free Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes

Blurb (partial, this author has a really long blurb): Cooking food for your family day in and day out can get tiresome and time consuming. That’s why Paleolithic Slow Cooker: 65 Gluten and Dairy Free Paleo Slow Cooker recipes gives you slow cooker recipes to help you minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, while creating tasty, savory, just plain delicious meals. Just put all the ingredients in (usually in the morning), switch the slow cooker and get on with your day! It’s great during the summer, too, as you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to cook.

Reader Review: I am just getting interested in Paleo so I thought I would give the cookbook a shot since I am a slow cooker junkie.

Don’t know why but I never thought to make spaghetti sauce in the Crockpot. It was easy and delicious as was the whole roast chicken. Glad to know I can always learn a new recipe that my family will love. I’m looking forward to trying the Fish Chowder because I never really thought of fish in a slow cooker but the recipe looks mouth watering. I will not be trying the venison stew but that’s just a personal preference.

I think that if you are just starting out on the whole Paleo thing, this is a gentle, easy start. I know I don’t feel deprived at all with these recipes.
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Paleo for Chocolate Lovers: Delicious, Decadent Chocolate-Filled Recipes

blurb: When you make the switch to the Paleo diet, you are bound to go through a transitional period. During that time you may start to think that the Paleo diet is too restrictive or that it means giving up all of your favorite foods. In reading this book, however, you will find that you can still enjoy all of your favorite tasty treats while still sticking to the Paleo diet.

This book is loaded with Paleo-friendly recipes designed with chocolate lovers like you in mind. So, what are you waiting for – get cooking!

Reader Review: This nifty little book is well worth the purchase price. It’s full of simple and delicious chocolate recipes with clear and concise directions.

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NutriBullet Recipe Book Bible: 100+ Delicious Smoothies for Life Long Health (Easy to Make Under 3 Minutes)

Blurb:NutriBullet Recipe Book Bible is a recipe book with 100 different recipes for anyone to make with their NutriBullet or Smoothie Blender. All recipes are easy to make in 3 minutes or less! Learn the benefits of drinking smoothies! Included:

Protein Packed Recipes
Low Fat and Low Calorie Recipes
Dessert (Healthy) Recipes
Pre and Post Workout Recipes
All Green Recipes….

And MORE! Enjoy!
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Gluten Free Diet for Beginners: The Ultimate Gluten Free Diet You Must Know About To Look Amazing

Reader Review: Well yeah, there are a lot of Gluten-Free Diet books out in the market but the question is whether or not all of these books contain the kind of information you need to get started or to get going. This book had given me the best and simplest explanation of gluten and what it does to the body. The foods to eat and not eat are explained well, not just the typical list we usually encounter. The benefits of this diet are outlined well. I like that this book doesn’t assume readers will find everything they want in this book and goes on encouraging them to read more about the Gluten-Free Diet as they get started. This book makes a perfect read for the before and during stages of the diet. Must read!

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Mexican Cooking Dude Cookbook — Authentic Mexican Recipes from Mexico and the American Southwest

Blurb: This book contains real Mexican recipes, complete with photos and instructions. Recipes include pinto beans, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, refried beans, arrachera steak, fish tacos, and more. Many of the Mexican recipes include interesting stories about their origination and history. This is a perfect cookbook for beginners, those learning to cook, and experts who are looking for special dishes.

Reader Review:
I love that the author sat down.. typed up some of the recipes that he is probably hounded for at every dinner party he gives.. right down to the quick breakfast he tosses together. I love that he was able to get “secret” recipes from various favorite local restaurants all over the Southwest region. OMG.. So , many recipes and variations to try.. It could take a very long time. Fantastic quick read.. A must for anyone who loves ordering Mexican.. but, doesn’t feel they could ever make a dish taste “restaurant” professionally made. With this unique cookbook.. you’ll be able to do just that!

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Across China on Foot (Tales of Old China)
About the author: Edwin Dingle was born in 1881 and in the early 1900s was working in Singapore as a journalist. Looking for adventure, he traveled up the Yangtze River from Shanghai and then by foot southwest from Chongqing across some of China’s most wild and woolly territory to Burma. This book was published in 1911. Dingle was in Shanghai in the early 1920s, and was the proprietor of China and Far East Finance and Commerce, the predecessor publication of the Far Eastern Economic Review. In the mid-1920s, he headed to the United States, where he founded his own health and sex cult in 1927 around the concept of Mental physics, which kept him occupied until the ripe old age of 91.

Reader Reviews: Unique book on foot travel in China in those days when it was really uncivilized. Mr. Dingle has also done research
on the places where he is traveling and shares it with us, but the best part is when he simply describes both the
treacherous terrain as well as the treacherous people. He doesn’t try to come across as a saint but describes his
own anger at certain people who look down at him for being an obviously poor foreigner. The terrain gets tedious
after a while, but this book gives a pretty good picture of China before they built highways.

~This book is an incredible chronicle of a time past, when much of China was populated by primitive peoples on the edge of survival. Dingle’s descriptions of the backward provinces are detailed and fascinating. What is most interesting are the 100 years of progress and change since this account was written.

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Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.  Deals were reduced prices at time of listing, but these prices generally don’t last more than the day they were listed.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.  Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week. Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full. You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.

Excerpts above all come from Gutenberg editions.

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American Slavery and its Victims

I was looking up something else, and that led to something else which led to something else which led to this short collection of excerpts that seemed to me to be connected:

In 1784 Thomas Jefferson attempted to work out a plan whereby to free the slaves, even though he was himself a slave-owner. He was not unaware of the injustice of slavery and he was particularly concerned about the deleterious affect it had upon slave-owners. He wrote:

There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriae of the other.

He continued:

With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labour. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.

He believed he saw signs even then that would lead to the natural emancipation of all slaves in America, and I believe that at the time of the above writing, he expected this to happen in his lifetime. What a different world this might be if he had been as astute a prophet as he was a statesman!

Frederick_Douglass_as_a_younger_manFrederick Douglass experienced firsthand the insiduous results of nearly unrestricted power over another human being which Jefferson observed.  He writes of being sold to a new family when he was still a young child, perhaps seven or so, and being amazed by Mrs. Auld, his new owner, who had previously had to get her bread by her own labour and had never owned a slave and was thus;

preserved from the blighting and dehumanizing effects of slavery. I was utterly astonished at her goodness. I scarcely knew how to behave towards her. …She did not deem it impudent or unmannerly for a slave to look her in the face. The meanest slave was put fully at ease in her presence, and none left without feeling better for having seen her. Her face was made of heavenly smiles, and her voice of tranquil music.
But, alas! this kind heart had but a short time to remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.[...] Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness.

In 1856 Robert E. Lee wrote in a letter to President Pierce:

There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race.

Lee was, like Jefferson, too optimistic. In 1837, just 19 years previously John C. Calhoun (previously serving as vice-president under the staunchly anti-slavery John Q. Adams) stood up on the floor of the Senate and insisted that slavery was a ‘positive good’ and that the race relations in the South of slave and master

“forms the most solid and durable foundation on which to rear free and stable political institutions…”


George FitzhughAnd just two years prior to Lee’s optimistic statement, the southern apologist and lawyer George Fitzhugh would write in his book Sociology for the South that white owners acted the part of parents and guardians towards their inferior, childish back charges, and that slavery protected blacks from themselves as well as other dangers:

slavery here relieves him from a far more cruel slavery in Africa, or from idolatry and cannibalism, and every brutal vice and crime that can disgrace humanity; and that it christianizes, protects, supports and civilizes him; that it governs him far better than free laborers at the North are governed.

henry adamsConsidering Jefferson’s description of what slavery did to the owners, it is perhaps not surprising that Henry Adams was so unfavorably impressed by the Southerners when he arrived in Washington, D.C. in 1860 as a private secretary, a young man eager to learn form the country’s greatest statesmen. He expected to learn from the politicians of the day, as a descendant of some great men himself. He was surprised by what he found- Southern statesmen had the reputation of being the foremost of statesmen, but to this young Northerner:

Adams found himself seeking education in a world that seemed to him both unwise and ignorant. The Southern secessionists were certainly unbalanced in mind — fit for medical treatment, like other victims of hallucination — haunted by suspicion, by idees fixes, by violent morbid excitement; but this was not all. They were stupendously ignorant of the world. As a class, the cotton-planters were mentally one-sided, ill-balanced, and provincial to a degree rarely known. They were a close society on whom the new fountains of power had poured a stream of wealth and slaves that acted like oil on flame. They showed a young student his first object-lesson of the way in which excess of power worked when held by inadequate hands.

mary chesnut

Mary Boykin Chesnut, a staunch Southerner and a spy for the confederacy wrote of the vile reality of slavery in her private diary in 1861:

“I wonder if it be a sin to think slavery a curse to any land. Sumner said not one word of this hated institution which is not true. Men & women are punished when their masters & mistresses are brutes & not when they do wrong-… God forgive us, but ours is a monstrous system & wrong & iniquity. Perhaps the rest of the world is as bad. This is only what I see: like the patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives & their concubines, & the Mulattos one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children-& every lady tells you who is the father of all the Mulatto children in everybody’s household, but those in her own, she seems to think drop from the clouds or pretends so to think-.

emancipated slaves

Good women we have, … Mr. Harris said it was so patriarchal. So it is-flocks & herds & slaves-& wife Leah does not suffice. Rachel must be added, if not married & all the time they seem to think themselves patterns-models of husbands & fathers.”

I am sure that right now you are thinking of some of the same homeschool leaders that I am thinking of. It’s not wonder they lauded the Confederacy and revise its history, is it?

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Yet another example of the difference between how left and right view economics: Jerry Brown  in 1995:

The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I’m talking about welfare for all.


Two years ago 45.8 million people were on food stamps, more than ever before. The numbers have gone steadily up.
Make of that what you will.
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What to say when friends are suffering

Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to come. Romans 8:18

Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to come. Romans 8:18

These are my thoughts prompted in a discussion elsewhere about what to say in painful circumstances.  The specifics that prompted that discussion are irrelevant- we can be talking about anything, miscarriage, cancer, job loss, housefire, accident, divorce, whatever.

Probably most of us have been on the receiving and the giving end of really dumb things that caused more pain rather than actually helped.  Let’s accept it as a given that when you are on the receiving end of those painful, insensitive remarks, that people mean well, and we just  just take their good intentions and discard the painful words.  But let us also recognize that the wisest, most mature response is not always the easiest to accomplish.

When we adopted two of our girls, they came to us the same month the baby I had miscarried at 16 weeks would have been born.  This prompted even my best friend to say that hey, I lost one baby and God gave me two, wasn’t that wonderful, as though my children were interchangeable parts and the baby I lost didn’t matter, or our girls were merely consolation prizes. That was incredibly painful. I wanted my dead child and I wanted my new daughters. I thought it was outrageous to suggest that God had to kill one child so I could have two totally different children.  I didn’t resent my friend.  She was my best friend and had never been through a miscarriage, so I knew she didn’t know what she was saying. That did not make me feel less pain about it, though.  It reinforced to me how very much alone I was in my grief over my loss.

rose centifoliaBy the same token, I once said something even more incredibly dumb and insensitive to a neighbor who was in the hospital delivering her stillborn baby the same week I was birthing my healthy child. I realized how awful it was as it came out of my mouth and would give anything to take it back. I just was not thinking, and I know my neighbor knew that, but my lack of intent does not make my words less painful.  It was so insensitive and thoughtless that I still can’t believe I said and I am not going to tell you what it was, and that was 25 years ago.

And et’s be honest, sometimes the advice that we want to be believe is well intentioned is coming from a place of impatience.  Our timetable of grief, pain, or recovery doesn’t match up with what somebody else thinks is the right timetable. Our issues are burdensome or uncomfortable. Or the person has an inflated sense of their own place as a mouthpiece of God sent to tell you what you are doing wrong.

Sometimes, well meaning people can just add so much to the pain that what you have to do is cut them off at the pass for a while, whether that means totally avoiding them, blocking them on FB, or always being on the alert to change the subject when you are around them.  Sometimes you cannot and should not have to bear the burden of filtering their well meaning but nevertheless misguided remarks.

I also think it’s expecting a lot for the person who is hurting the most to have to do the most work in filtering communication. Yes, it’s wisest not to assume the worst, but in the midst of great pain, that wisdom is not always accessible, and sometimes even when you know somebody means well, that doesn’t make it not hurt. Sometimes we really  can make things much much worse, no matter how willing the other person is to believe that we didn’t mean to be hurtful.

People are clumsy and awkward and human and we all say dumb, hurtful things when we do not mean to.   I’ve done it. You’ve done it.  I’ve been on the receiving end, so have you.  Let’s use that as an an opportunity to learn to express our hearts in more constructive, less damaging ways.
Why is it that some things are more hurtful than others, even when we agree on the same well meaning intent for both helpful and hurtful words?  If we can understand this, maybe that will help us filter our own words of compassion better so they are actually compassionate words that act as balm rather than burns.

In thinking about it, I reached the conclusion that often the most hurtful things tend to be when somebody tries to offer advice to a grieving person on how they should feel, how they should be looking at the situation. Just don’t. It’s not your place to tell somebody else how they should feel. That’s arrogant and it often comes across as trite, and it’s nearly always insensitive and dismissive of how they actually do feel.


Words that direct attention form the sufferer to you or somebody else generally aren’t that helpful, either.  They tend to backfire.

Words blurted out without thinking carefully about the other person’s situation also often backfire.  Believe me, I know how hard it is to think before you speak, but careful thinking about the other person’s experience and background first would have prevented the majority of the dumbest things I have ever said to somebody in pain.

So what can we say?

“I’m sorry. I wish I had the right words to say. I love you. I hate this pain for you. I wish I could make it better. I am so sorry for what you are going through.”- these words are not you giving advice, they are you giving genuine compassion and sympathy.
Offers of help: Sometimes when you say “Is there anything I can do” and the person says no, it’s not just because they don’t want to be a burden, but because grieving people can’t think straight. It’s helpful to think of one or two small things you can offer to do- “I’m going to the grocery store, is there something I can get for you? Frozen meals, a toothbrush, deodorant, toilet paper? Is there anything else I can do? What about laundry? Can I take some home or come over and do a couple loads for you?”

Making the offer this way does several things- it makes it clear you mean it. It can help break the logjam of ‘stuck’ the grieving person is in and jumpstart their thinking about what they *do* need somebody to do.

When the Cherub was in the hospital one of the nurses on her floor also goes to church with us. She dropped by and asked if there was anything she could do. I said no, because I really could not think of a thing. Then she said, “I’m going by the post office and the grocery store- do you need anything mailed, or anything from the store?”

As it happened, I had a bill in my purse that I’d intended to take to the post office the day Cherub was hospitalized, but I totally forgot about it. My nurse friend’s offer to run to the post office reminded me- otherwise I don’t think I would have thought of it until the next time I cleaned out my purse.

rosehand black and whiteIt’s these little things that make the difference.

We all want to have the magic words that will fix the grieving, that will make the other person feel better.  But we can almost never be that hero, because that process takes time. It cannot be fixed by words, and never quickly. We need to have the patience to be there, alongside our suffering friends, not shoving them precipitously toward the resolution we think they should already have reached. We need to be willing not to have magic words that fix everything, but instead to be helpless in their grief with them, to share their pain, and to make it clear that we love them.

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A Few Of My Favorite Things

Carnegie Libraries

Minatures.  This is a miniature of the town where the Sugar Creek Gang Books  are actually set- in the library in that town.  We visited it a couple times a few years ago.  The library has an awesome fireplace, too.


This weird necklace I found on the floor of the Rattery a few years back.  The beads are glass and metal, and I suspect may be something my grandmother made at scout camp back in the day (I don’t really know, that’s just the feel they have).  I wear it a lot.

My great grandmother’s hat pins.

This is my favorite hat.  It also came from the rattery.  I love it.  Regrettably, it’s a little too small for me.  I would buy six other hats in the same style (it’s the style I love, not just the pattern of the fabic), but I haven’t been able to find any quite like it. My kids call it the carpet bag hat and they do not love it.  I also love the Mary Englebreit figurine next to it.

This garish tray in all its garishness.

Strawberries- this is an index card box with old recipes in it, and I also love old recipes.




Old quilts.  We are using this one right now. It’s light, and soft with decades of washing.

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Thought for the Day: How Many Foods Do You Eat?

“The average person eats no more than about 30 foods on a regular basis.”

from the University of Washington Center for Obesity Research,

Quoted in Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach

Shared with me by a friend.

Now I understand why, back when I was doing Monday menus and posting them, and reading other people’s menus, I was so shocked by how boring I thought most other people’s menus are (sorry, that may not be an attractive confession, but it is certainly a transparent one). And when my husband first worked at the grocery store he kept telling me that other people do not eat like we do (although we’ve been eating more like other people lately, relying far too often on frozen pizza, fish sticks, and frozen breaded shrimp- oh, look, more transparency, make it stop before I shame myself irretrievably).

Of course, it’s hard to know what exactly that means, ’30 foods.’  Does rice count as one food, or does it make a difference whether you have it in sushi, fried rice, plain rice as a side dish, spanish rice, rice pudding, rice as part of lentil rice tacos, rice as a quiche crust, or a salad?

Is spaghetti spaghetti whether you’ve had it as noodle fritters, fried with vegetables as a sustitute for yaki soba noodles, or tossed with day lilies, green onions and Asian seasonings for a cold salad on the Fourth of July?

If I eat almonds by the handful, in almond coconut pancakes, and as a salad topping, is that one food, or three?

And my smoothie- is that one food, or the sum of all its ingredients (yogurt, two greens, two fruits, tea, stevia, and lime juice, sometimes with chia seeds, sometimes with an 3rd fruit as well)

Sometimes I think scientists make these vague statements just to plague me. And then I remember the humbling thought that they neither know nor care who I am, which makes them only generally rather than personally annoying.

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Therapy Stream of Consciousness

Part of my homework from the therapist I am seeing for PTSD is to keep a journal of ideas and observations over the ten days or so between last appointment and the next.  The observations are about what triggers symptoms (more things do than don’t), is there a trend- a time of day that’s harder than another, what typical PTSD symptoms do I notice and when.

Sometimes this makes me angry.

Sigh.  delete delete delete delete delete

I looked up PTSD symptoms and was surprised to learn about some of them- which I have, I just hadn’t made the connection (intense sweating at certain times, not connected with activity levels- there are a couple of totally innocent, innocuous things I cannot do without breaking into a horrible sweat so strong it actually drenches my hair, and unfortunately, they are things I really need to be able to do.  So maybe I should apply for disability.)

Problem is, I can only read stuff about it for about 15 minutes or so and then I have to stop and turn up some K-Pop, write a blog post instead, or crochet a row or two in a dishcloth that will never be used, and those are the good moments.  If I don’t think of something in my patchkit fast enough, soon enough, I’m too lost in the maelstrom to be able to think of it later. I have four websites I want to read that I’ve left up for days because I cannot muster up the… something, gumption? Courage? Mental stability? Emotional loin girding? – to read them.

The ideas part of the journal is generally about what I am finding works to redirect my brain from those all too worn out pathways of pain to something a little less insane.   She didn’t mean what I can do to fix all of them, now, she just wants me to come up with a couple ideas for one or two things.  I’m thinking I’ll just sort of revise this post and print it out and bring it along to my next session.

I already told her some of it- the few times anybody can get me into a car for more than about ten or fifteen minutes I wear dark glasses, pull my hat down, put my iPod on the K-Pop playlist, plug in the headphones and turn it up, baby, turn it up loud.  I wish a little Enya, some nice harp music, even some Psalm chant did it for me, but you know, it just doesn’t drown the demons out.  I can listen to the harps and Psalms and fully sense the monstrous fear bearing down on me like a high speed subway train simultaneously, and I need to not  hear the fright train at all. I can even sing or chant along, but it doesn’t stop the fright train (that’s not a typo).   For some reason, K-pop does it (it doesn’t have to be only K-Pop, I have Sam and the Womp and some TW-pop on the same playlist), the louder the better.

Writing helps a lot, but writing while listening to K-Pop is better still.

Once I thought I’d left my iPod at home and it was all I could do not to demand the car stop and let me out so I could walk home.  Fortunately, it turned up in a different purse pocket than I usually use, or I really do not know what I would have done.  Panic was rising like sea level in a typhoon.

I shared this- my coping mechanism, not the panic attack-  with the therapist in the nature of a confession.

delete delete delete delete

My therapist was excited. She thought it was brilliant that I’d figured this out on my own and doesn’t see any reason to try to change it. In fact, she was planning on suggesting almost precisely that course of action over the next few weeks.   Of course, therapists are by nature supposed to play cheerleader and biggest supporter, so I view all her compliments with extreme skepticism, which is another one of the symptoms of the reason I am seeing a therapist.

delete delete delete delete delete

I haven’t kept any actual journal entries yet, and it’s been a week.  I have written some rough drafts in my head.  I have gotten so far as to think about getting out paper and pen, with a plan in my head for what I am going to write.

And then I turn up the K-Pop.




P.S. This list of PTSD jokes is hilarious.  Especially 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,11, and 12.

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Kombucha, Continued

Because a friend’s son works for a great tea company, we get all the Choice Organic tea we like, we just pay for shipping.  We love Choice teas.  We love our friends even more.

I asked for Russian Caravan tea because it sounded cool and exotic.  I think it tastes like smoked camel dung. But I had a lot of it.  So I made kombucha with it.

More about the history and current standing of Russian Caravan Tea here. Wikipedia has a ‘stub’ about it as well.

Choice Russian Caravan Tea is made of Yunnan tea combined with smoked Lapsang Souchong.

“Lapsang Souchong, which is available for us now (under the trade marks of Twinings, Newby and Master Team), is rather heavily smoked. For want of habit, one can easily catch notes of turpentine, ski grease, and smoked fish. More sophisticated people find notes of fire smoke and prunes. In short — it is a matter of taste and habits.

By the way, cigarette smokers usually like Lapsang Souchong. It also has a ‘mega version’ — Tarry Lapsang Souchong. This one is smoked so much that when brewed it makes an ash-grey froth. Naturally, any variant of this tea is drunk without sugar — unless you are a lover of sweet turpentine.”
(from this article on this delightful Russian website (in English) about tea. I love their writing).

I am not a lover of the notes of turpentine, or ski grease, and I like to chew my smoked fish rather than have it in my tea.   And apparently I am just not sophisticated enough to detect the prune flavor, although the smoked (or cold ashes) flavor is pronounced.   For me, that flavor was somewhat reduced by the Kombucha process, but regrettably, not eliminated.

According to this site, “Strongly smokey teas such as Lapsang Souchong – while they won’t technically damage the Kombucha, the flavor is considered a poor match by most brewers.”

I agree with that. 

However, I made a gallon of it, and then gave it to the Equuschick. her family loves it, and they love Russian Caravan tea as well.  There was a Fourth of July get together at their house and the EC brought out my Russian Caravan Tea for sampling.  I think it was mainly the moms interested in kombucha making who tried it.  In fact, everybody but me loved it.

I had a working batch at home made from a base of Darjeeling and Masala Chai, so I brought that over for sampling.  People liked it as well, but were surprised I liked it, but not the other. It seems most of them didn’t really differentiate the strong differences between the two teas, confirming my longstanding and snobbish belief that the typical American tea drinker is fine with the sweepings of tea leaf bits off the tea-room floor.

My current Kombucha blend is a combination of White Peony, Darjeeling, and Rooibos Chai.   I have two gallons going.I also have a batch of finished Kombucha made from Darjeeling and Masala Chai further steeping on the counter. I added ginger and cranberries to the finished kombucha and put it in jars with lids to ferment another day or two to add extra fizz.  What I’m told works best is flip top bottles.

bottle with lidI don’t have any, although I am kicking myself because there were about half a dozen of them at the Rattery when we inherited it. We sold them at an auction or something. I mostly use canning jars with lids, but I had a brainstorm I think will work well.  I have one of those glass jars for salad dressing
with a plastic lid with a flip top- they used to come with the salad dressing.

I don’t think it’s as good as the special bottles made for beverages (linked above), but it’s better than the mason jars.



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