I blog gluten-free

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homemade Play Dough, Corrections Made


The colorful childhood modelling substance, originally created by a pre-school teacher using a putty wall-paper cleaner, is a marvelous toy.
How many toddlers try a few putty-y and icky bites? Show of hands? I did. The things you learn as someone with Celiac Disease--Play-Doh contains gluten. (It's in a lot of things, kind of scary, really!)

Plus, making your own, and dying it whichever color you like is a lot more fun. So, pull out the ingredients, grab the bowls, and let's make a mess!

(I'll probably be doing this, the peanut butter one is fun, and I have 7 pounds of the crap to use up! But alas, a lot of peanut allergies.)

2 cups flour
• 2 Tbsp cream of tartar
• ½ cup salt
• 1 to 2 Tbsp cooking oil
• 1 cup water
• food coloring
Mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt in a pan. Mix desired coloring with water, add with oil to dry mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick. Mix in coloring later if preferred.
Kool-Aid and Crystal Lite iced tea also make awesome dyes.

For those who can have peanut butter, an edible Play-Doh. Who doesn't like to play with their food? I used to bury small plastic Army men in my mashed potatoes. I was a weird kid. Anyway...
Peanut Butter Play-Do With Milk (Edible)
 1 jar (18 oz. ) peanut butter
• 6 tsp honey

2/3-1 cup of flour (thanks for the correction!)
• non-fat dry milk or milk plus flour to make desired consistency
Mix all together. Can decorate with raisins,chocolate chips, coconut, etc.

Peanut Butter Play-Doh minus milk (Edible)
• ½ cup peanut butter
• 2 Tbsp honey
• ½ cup flour
Mix all together.

ENJOY! :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Burning...the Amazing Quixotic Quest, II

Early in Don Quixote, our hero's niece and other alarmed members of society set about to burn books that they believe caused his "insanity". Whether Don Quixote is actually the insane one is a question I don't set about answering just yet.

Book burning is something I never can agree with. After all, is it music and books that lead our ideas and our actions, or are these simply forms of speech? (And free speech is protected.) It is the personal choice to act in some manner, and the responsibility falls upon the doer, not upon pieces of paper and musical arrangements.
You can't kill an idea... The burning of the books of knights of old, of chivalry, of adventure, of holy nonsense, will not change Don Quixote's character or or his heartfelt, inherent beliefs.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Amazing Quixotic Quest, Part I

I am currently wading through Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote again, with these particular questions in mind, and scratched onto a legal pad at varying moments:
Not only am I using the book (Which I first read at 13) but bits and pieces of the musical, the Man of LaMancha:

1)A sane man in a world gone insane, or, simply a dreamy, but damaged man searching for the "Impossible Dream" in a world of modernity, where the knights of old had rightfully, according to nature, gone to their graves?
2)Is this a sweet, but odd quest, even if insane, that perhaps we would do well to emulate?
3)Should we, even if it is insane, go in search of our utopia, or should we work to make the present better? Live for today, or make the future happen come hell or high water? What if we fail?
4)This brings me back to: A sane man in an insane world, that lacks honor and chivalry, born in the wrong time? Or a sweet old man simply falling into his dotage?
5)Which is insane: The world, or our hero, Don Quixote?
5A: To Dulcinea: "Be just to all men, and courteous to all women."-- great advice, why not do both irrespective of gender?
6)Is good demanded of us, as humans? Do we deliver?
7)Quixotic love is agape--- strong, powerful, romantic and beautiful, and free from sexual bindings.
8)"Hear me now, oh thou bleak and unbearable world, thou art based and debauched as can be"--- this happens to all of us. How do we make the world right for us? Can we?
9) The biggest question, and one I want to answer for myself is: What does it mean to be out of place in time? And do we just simply try to meld into society, or do we make society work for us?

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Black Stork

Sometimes, in an effort to learn, I play a sort of ping pong, going between articles on various sites, looking in Google Books, and heading into archives held by SUNY, among others. Of late, I keep finding myself interested in eugenics- the same way I'm interested in learning about serial killers--- how do people tick when their minds are blackened by ignorance, ill intent, or a love only for themselves?

First I got my hands on Eugenics and Sex Harmony-Must Read of 1938! and found myself digging more, particularly after a question asked by my brother: "Now reading that, tell me, do eugenics experiments STILL go on?"
Then, amusing myself for a bit with vintage ads---both funny, sweet, and absolutely horrifying (radium enemas, anyone?) I came across for an ad for the 1917 movie, The Black Stork, starring Dr. Harry Haiselden as himself.
Here's the interesting bit. Haiseldon was in hot water for allowing disabled newborns to die, judging them unfit to live, and criticized doctors who wanted to help them. This isn't the end.

I quote:  "In the film, Haiselden actually plays himself, a wise doctor who attends the birth of a child born with congenital syphilis -- incurable at the time and a major cause of congenital disabilities. Two other doctors interfere, out of personal pride and misplaced benevolence, and try to convince the woman to save the child's life. The woman is forced to choose.
"She dreams a tormented dream of her child's probable future: He grows up physically, mentally, and morally deformed. He becomes a criminal, and fathers a brood of disabled children. He isn't allowed to enlist in the Army ("Uncle Sam won't take anybody who's not perfect"). Aware that he is entirely different from others, despised and angry, he returns to kill the doctors who performed the operation that saved his life."After this vision the woman decides to accept the doctor's advice and lets the infant die."End quote.

News articles of the time are not nearly as infatuated with him as the films' distributors, or one of the  supporters, the one and only Clarence Darrow (They mentioned Helen Keller as support---yes, THE Helen Keller, but did not supply a quote.) 

A rather alarming quote smacks of something my former mother in law liked to say:
(NOT from Darrow.)
 "It is the will of God that this baby be born a defective, and without the meddling of surgery, it is the will of God that the child die. "

Idiot. Imbecile. Defective. Parasite.
I'll repeat that... PARASITE.
"Put them down like you would any sick animal"- wait, sorry, that is said somewhat, but that's a direct quote I've gotten. I can't let myself put too much hectic color into this.

Here is a list of stills, all terrifying, from the Black Stork, and I am amazed people could watch this without vomiting.
The Black Stork, Movie Stills

Ad for the 1917 "eugenic photoplay", the Black Stork
Just know: Many so-called "parasites" actually try to make the world a better place. And look around you-- you may actually know someone who fights daily. 

The last scene of The Black Stork, seeing the baby letting go and  its' soul jumping into Jesus's arms: a nice touch. Almost comforting. Except: in the still, it looks more malevolent. All life is precious, and we all have something. Jesus said "Suffer the little children"- don't hold them back- not "If there's something wrong, kill it." 

Edit: 7:28PM 9/9/2011:
Numerous opposing comments were edited and used out of context by Black Stork supporters. Helen Keller was not a supporter, her quote would have not gone unused. Rather a dissenter mentioned Ms. Keller and songwriter, Fanny Crosby--- "If we allow this, we would have lost people like Helen Keller and gospel songwriter, Fanny Crosby". Like all propaganda, comments that disagreed could easily be edited to show support.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

News You Pray Is Just a Joke In Poor Taste

There are times when I read the news and think, "Please tell me this is a horrid joke," --

So a special-ed student goes to school officials with charges that a student has hurt, harassed and raped her. They don't believe her, make her write an apology letter, to her attacker and throw her out of school.
"It's all your fault, you failed to take precautions". WHAT?!
When she comes back to school, she is harassed more and yes, raped again. This time, there's proof. The now-in deep-hot water school officials? "We are very sorry"--- wait, what am I saying? They respond to her lawsuit with "This is frivolous."
Actual quoted text:
The girl failed and neglected to use reasonable means to protect her self, the response says. Any damages the girl may have sustained, “were as a result of the negligence, carelessness, or conduct of third parties over whom the District Defendants had neither control nor the right to control,” according to the school district response.

The district is asking that she pay their attorney's fees for the privilege of suing them for NOT PROTECTING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WHO HAD THE CAPABILITY TO PROTECT HERSELF TAKEN AWAY FROM HER. 

A special needs child with this in her file: the suit alleges that when school officials interviewed the girl in 2008-09, they failed to even look at her own school file, which included a psychological report “which clearly indicated that [the girl] was conflict adverse, behaviorally passive and ‘would forego her own needs and wishes to satisfy the request of others around so she can be accepted.’”

This is a child who had a huge people-pleasing tendency---often in detriment to herself, and should have had people protecting her.

I keep wanting this to be some bizarre joke. What do they teach in health class? "Now, remember girls, douching in Lysol is the best way to remove odor and avoid being a pariah."? I'm too mad--- check this out:
Lawsuit filed Republic School District

Hey, kid, your school failed you big time. FIGHT!

From the Vatican to Tenessee

-Veronica's Veil is major relic in the Roman Catholic Church. It is supposedly a cloth used to wipe Jesus's face as he went toward his crucifixion.
-Astute readers will note: This is not canonical. Also, Veronica comes from the Latin for "True Icon" as in "This is the model of the Christian woman, she offers compassion

I love reading weird news and occasionally find tidbits examining vintage ads (At this moment, I found a "must read" book on eugenics from the 30s... and learned too much already, including that an octaroon is not a cookie. Said a friend, "No, Beth, that's a macaroon."

In my reading, via Chuck Shepherd at News of the Weird, I stumbled across this little stub:
Holy Relic found in closet (No sarcastic comment- this time.)

So an elderly man has a gift of a stolen painting that is 150 years old. It was stolen and the thief attempted to sell it to a church. He was arrested. Said the home's owner (A motor home at that) ""Haha, I've lived here for 17 years. It's been in there... or in my bedroom ever since."

Now, I can say, no sarcasm included: If it had been the Sacred Heart, I doubt he'd have been so blithe. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I've Noticed Something...

Loud, aggressive people have a habit of frightening me. People have always talked over me, and told me, "Sorry, you're just kind of mousy, and we had no idea". Or they ask me what's wrong when, if I'm honest, I have no idea, I've just decided to focus for a while so I can quickly answer if they take a breath while asking me questions.  (People, I'M the one who needs a phone, on speaker, pressed to my head---soooo...Hey! Can you hear me NOW?!) I love my family, but occasionally dread meetings with them, particularly if I know there will be massive background noise.
And each and every time, I get myself into a frenzy of dread, becoming a complete pain in my own rearend. And then... it happens... the headaches first, then... I manage the horrid GLUTENING.
Because of this past accidental glutening, which I blame on either salad dressing with malt flavoring or cross contamination with three regular pasta dishes...although the place I went to DID get high marks for help, knowledge and willingness to learn the GF lifestyle, there is still a chance for anything to go wrong. Because it always happens when I've stressed myself out, I want to know if it's just a coincidence. I swear, it has to be.

Still, other than a night with the shakes, sweats, and pouring Gatorade back down my throat, I did---no sarcasm- enjoy myself. Will have to do an elimination test... first things first...no salad. (Although, when I automatically began "no croutons" please, the waitress grinned and finished my sentence.) If I handle the next round without a spell ending in dehydration I might be able to offer a better review than "Great prices. Nice friendly atmosphere."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

If You Look For The Bad In Mankind, You're Sure To Find It...

There are those things that I hold dear... and then there are those little itty bitty things that irk me.

Things I can't stand:
1) People who act like Mrs. Kravitz. She was adorable and often got her comeuppance on Bewitched, but she is nothing short of annoying in life.
2)Slamming doors. Really? No one ever taught people to avoid that bloody echoing sound that goes through when people feel they absolutely must try to rip the door off its' hinges at all costs?
3)People who toss their trash where ever they please... (This comes from someone who tends to have at least one room in the house that looks like it has been struck by an awful windstorm but is actually organized in a way)--- if there is a dumpster or a place to deposit your cigarette butt in plain sight, USE IT! Why should we be greeted by your popsicle wrappers, or your stomped on butts? If you can put it your mouth, you can touch it long enough to toss it and then wash your hands
4)People who just leave a bathroom after using it, generally, as casually as you please. Wash your damn hands. And use Purell after touching the knob on a public restroom door. It's not rocket science!
5)People who act like they fart little daisies. You, like everyone else, is imperfect, get your nose out of the air.
6)Grown ups who throw tanties and hit others to make a point
7)People who get mad if they've attempted a conversation from behind and you've "ignored" them. Really, tap my arm, if you know me, reorient me to face you. I do not hear from behind...which means, for example, at night, I rely on the feeling beneath my feet or car headlights to know to dodge. See, I have moderate conductive loss... and the ability to pick up the vibrations at the back of my ears is gone. (To explain this: Sound travels via air, and also via vibrations to the bone behind the ear. I don't pick up the last well. But if you feel you absolutely must discuss world affairs with the back of my pony-tail, who am I to tell you no?
8)People who must be right even when wrong--- guess what...you...can...be...WRONG! And if you don't like being disagreed with, well, it happens. Check all facts and be willing to learn.

Ah, and now, a few of my favorite things
1)My family and friends---& the little family that kind of just came together over the years, full of wackos and assorted silly people. Love you all. From the heart of my bottom.
2)Sunsets... I love to watch the sun sink from the sky, in all its' glorious color
3)Rainbows- not often seen naturally, and so gorgeous when you can!
4)The sea... that beautiful, icy cold, salty sea. It's home to me
5)FOOD! It's not easy, but I love shaking things up a bit there. And it helps me learn.
6)Books--- if I find a book I don't like, it's a particularly sad experience for me.
7)Movies---Mostly the old classics!
8)Animals... I adore them. You see, I do think they really ARE nicer than people. Granted, I'm not naive enough to try to hug a grizzly bear
9)The sweet and simple things, whether it be a good hike or playing in the snow.

 you know something? In spite of the intolerant, nasty people in the world, I know they're rare. (They only seem to be a multitude)... And if you are looking for the good, you're sure to find it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Truth, Lies, and Video Tape (Silly, Silly, Silly)

Things are crazy. So, I've decided to have a little fun. Guess which of these are absolutely true, and which, I am actually lying about. I will try to make it difficult, and this is no easy task. I usually hate lying, so these are not so easy for me.

1)I didn't say my first words until age 4, but was reading at age 2.
2)One food I miss the most is black caviar on Wasa crisp bread (It's a large cracker with seeds, basically).
3)I got my first kiss at 16 and it scared me!
4)My middle name is Mildred.
5)I once ate 10 goldfish on a dare, and still haven't collected on the $20 bet.
6)I once led a protest and a walk out on a substitute teacher who was obscenely nasty and very prejudiced. And got thanked for it later when she was caught and fired.
7)My very first pet and one of my dearest friends was a Siamese cat named Rainbow who was very old and left me when I was 18 months old, but who had become a comfort to me from the time I came home, and snuggled the sick baby that I was.
8)I actually met Roy Clark from Hee Haw when I was 20.
9) When I was in the Army, they called me Alphabet because of my very long, and hard to pronunce/ spell last name
10)I had to prove to a certain idiot that I was not, nor will I ever be, one of the girls in a hot tub during a 3AM Girls Gone Wild infomercial.
11)When I was in 6th grade, I read at a college reading level.
12)It took me a very long time to learn to tie my shoes.
13)I don't like wearing glasses, so if I'm seen in them, it's like finding the Holy Grail. (I dare anyone to find pics, lol. After all, pics, or it didn't happen.)
14)I'm not actually picky with my food, I just look like I am
15)Sometimes, I am extremely suggestible and just being told about spiders makes me itchy.
16)One of my dearest and oldest friends occasionally calls me "Snookums" to get my attention or just to annoy me.
17)In my rebellious years, I was the leader of a death-metal group called Titanium Spiders.
18)I sing soprano.
19)I was the smallest baby in the hospital nursery with the biggest, loudest cry and it sounded like I was being murdered- at least according to my very proud parents.
20) One of my legs is significantly shorter than the other, and I often find heavy boots or shoes help, but give those a rest in the summer.
21)Until I was 6 months old, I had a cast to straighten one of my legs, and orthopedic shoes and boots thereafter.
22)Above all things, I believe in love.
So, can you figure out where I attempted to lead you astray?
Remember: Yes, everyone lies. But it is wrong. Be kind and honest to each other. Or, as Jerry Garcia said, "You guys be nice to each other, OK?"