Monday, August 01, 2005


There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the body and mind. Discover that current and stay with it. -- Nisargadatta Maharaj

For a number of years, one of my missions in life was caring for diabetic cats. First came my own Timmy, a big, loving orange tabby who became a brittle diabetic at age nine. After I lost him 3-1/2 years later, I realized how much caring for him had benefitted me. The bond one forms with a chronically ill animal is especially deep, as one is constantly monitoring him and sensing how he is feeling. I resolved to keep diabetic kitties in my life and adopted Bobby and Milo within the next few months (as well as my healthy Jenny).

Today I was especially remembering an incident in the early weeks with Bobby, another marvelous orange tabby. He came to me quite frail, down to 8 pounds from his prior 17, listless and dull-eyed. He perked up markedly after just a few days of getting insulin shots.

About ten days later, he started shedding copiously, big gobs of fur seeming just to gush from his skin. Worried, I took him to my good veterinarian. She brushed him down thoroughly, filling a gallon-size plastic bag to the brim with his fur.

We were talking as she brushed, and she explained to me what was occurring. Bobby's body had needed to put every bit of energy it had into coping with the diabetes. His coat was neglected and became coarse and dull. Now that the insulin was "kicking in", his body had the energy to develop a new coat of fur. When the brushing was all done, his new fur was soft and silky-smooth!

I am hoping for a similar outcome in my own life. Once the "disease" of my unworkable living environment is changed, I am hoping for the return of the "smooth" life of observing and paying attention, allowing my mind to continue freely on my journey.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Searching for Noodles

Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life. - Eckhart Tolle

Despite my rather circumscribed life, I relish adding rich new experiences and small skills. An interest in Japanese cooking has long been lurking in the background of my cooking-mind. With the help of the local library and the Internet, I chose three simple recipes, all using the Japanese broth dashi. Miso Soup with Tofu, Cold Soba Noodles and Japanese Egg-Drop Soup would soon be a part of my repertory.

I consulted with a friend knowledgeable about Japanese food for the best local Asian Market. She immediately mentioned United Noodle in South Minneapolis. I was born and raised in South Minneapolis and, over-confident, did not research driving directions. I started out with my recipes and the happy anticipation of purchasing the unknowns of bunho (sheets of dried kelp), mirin (sweetened rice wine), dried bonita flakes, soba, (buckwheat noodles) and miso paste, as well as the more familiar tofu, snow peas and gingerroot.

I could not find United Noodle. It's in a semi-industrial area, crisscrossed by illogical main streets and a major highway. I felt confused and stressed, which I have learned is a signal to me that my endeavor will not succeed, and I need to just give it up for now.

Feeling very hungry, I came upon the Seward Cafe, one of the hangouts of my bohemian life of the 1970's. I was delighted to see the same organic/vegetarian menu and the same type of clientele, exuding the "question authority" attitude. It was a delight to see anti-war graffiti on the walls, yet with a core of sadness that the world hasn't learned its lessons yet.

I lunched marvelously on a falafel- and tabbouleh-filled warm pita, accented by hummus and some wonderful sauces for dipping, all to be scooped up with pita chips.

Tired, I headed for home and my sofa. I paused first to check online where exactly United Noodle is located. I never would have come across it without this explicit map and driving directions. Next time, I will be able to drive right to the "Noodle". Then, I believe I'll check out Seward Cafe's long-remembered Huevos Rancheros!

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