The Boy Who Never Had Ice Cream

Correct, he’s never had it. Even here, it’s pseudo cream – really just cold, sweetened coconut milk. But I can live with his record broken at six years, four months. Tennyson has never been given candy, chocolate, jelly beans. You get the picture. Sugar weakens the immune system and feeds pathogens. Food so cold not only shocks the stomach but dampens the body, making it a lovely greenhouse for microbes.

Here is something you don’t come across everyday. From Food is Your Best Medicine by Henry Bieler, M.D. who practiced in California and treated patients only with food:

“One of the common sources of the diffusible toxin is ice cream – which is a highly putrefactive protein mixture, whether it be the best “homemade” or the crude commercial type, rich in emulsifiers….The freezing process gives to the cream its last and finishing touch of physiological corruption. Quickly fermenting substances like milk, cream, fruit, etc. break down structurally at the first touch of frost. And, as the arrest of bacterial activities caused by the frost is only temporary while the molecular derangement of the frozen substance remains a permanent menace, it follows that a renewal and increase of the destructive work of the invading microbes immediately takes place when the ice cream reaches its melting point in the stomach….the ice cream, melting in the body, sets free the carcasses of the ice cream and milk cells, to lay them open to the resistless attacks of swarming and festering bacteria – though the evidence of the ghostly carnival of putrefaction escapes the taste by being masked into unrecognizability by the great deceiver – sugar….the putrefactive acids from ice cream indigestion when not eliminated entirely by the liver and kidneys, emerge vicariously through the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses….the polio virus feeds upon this excretion.”

He goes on to explain a connection between the polio epidemic of the 50s in the U.S. and excess ice cream consumption. He is not the first health care practitioner to name the study where a doctor in Virginia had kids abstain from such sweets. There was practically no outbreak of polio in the VA town. The point was not to conclude that ice cream causes polio per se but that restricting the former predisposes the body to defenses even against something as frightful as polio.

So Tennyson mentioned around his sixth birthday that it would be nice to try some ice cream. Mom had planned on holding out until he was eight or nine. But even she couldn’t say no this time, when the little guy’s been so good about eating differently from other kids. Am not preaching. This is just the path I’ve chosen for my boy until he can exercise discretion. Not to mention that it’s been 100 degrees all summer. This was the coldest food he’s had. Yes, I would warm it in the oven if I could. As it is, I left it out to melt a little.

He asked for it on a cone – next time.

CoconutBliss

INGREDIENTS: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut,
Water, Organic Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair
Trade Cocoa (processed with alkali), Organic Vanilla Extract

Star Wars Campside

After I’d resigned to returning from the mountains with no poem in hand, this emerged over evening dishes. Originally Ode to the Adventurers, it was my contribution to the digital post-camp chorus of What a blast! It was wonderfuls from the families. In the spirit of roughing it, I’ve resisted the temptation to refine it more than I did.

===================================

The dirtiest – and so happiest,
Mom discovered – our boy’s ever been

Wading by the lakeside, painting by lantern:
blue nails and purple rocks

Star Wars duel amid dirt kicked up by kids
undying like their dreams, finger-laced
head bands knit by friendship
A boy’s first campfire:
“Mom, can we stay here ten nights?”

Faces glazed with sleep and S’mores
Night’s smoke murmur of
moms and dads glad in company
California fire circle a shadow of fellowship
in an immortal place

Inside their tents, little ones burrow into fresh
memories of blowing bubbles under star sky,
and the smell of charcoal

We came home
baptized with dirt and love, to
the burden and relief of laundry;
small irredeemable socks, a far cry from white
the most purpose-driven shower of my life
(Notice Mom’s preoccupation with dirt?)

We breathed Earth, Sky, Water
Enchanted Trail indeed.

P1040662a

Autumn Leaves in May, A Piano Tribute to My Mother

I shared this story with some friends last year, just before Mother’s Day:

I was in third grade. I awoke one morning in our New York one-bedroom to the sound of piano keys going. Mom’s surprise. She had saved I don’t know how long waitressing, for her dream. She’d never gotten to learn herself and had chased the vision of her daughter’s playing. Korean Mom of course had to get the best. I don’t know how in the world she managed to tuck away enough for a new Yamaha, a beautiful rich brown. Thankfully I picked it up easily, performed solos in elementary and junior high, went on to teach and compose. Mom said the apartment came alive whenever I’d play on visits from Pennsylvania during college and the working years. But when I relocated to California 11 yrs ago, the piano sat with no more songs; to Mom and Dad, the keyboard was a tangible part of their girl on the other side of the country, and to me always the testament of varicose veins a mother had earned waiting tables and walking in 11 at night.

With no other recourse, my parents sold the piano and were so thankful to be able to give me something when I got married. It was a bittersweet parting, for them and for me, but the practicality of it quieted my regrets. Though I was able to play on campus and at church during college, it’s been more than 20 years since I had a piano of my own. It so happens I married another dreamer. It hurt Peter for my parents to have had to sell the sacred memento of Mom’s love for me and, in his words, for my “talent to have gone unwatered” all these years. The piano that my husband has been saving for, prospecting, rolled in through the door yesterday morning. Shiny black, she slipped right into the console recess as if the space in the wall had been cut for her. The Yamaha looked made for our home. Tennyson was so excited watching Mom on the keyboard and Peter said I played as he’d waited for in his head.

Dance and Marriage: Metaphors

Dance. Marriage. They serve each other as metaphors.

The Story in the Dance
Part of the charm swing dancing held for me in my early California days was its expression of manhood and womanhood. I noticed right away that it anchored men in their responsibility
1) to initiate the relationship (from the sweet, genteel May I have this dance? still extant in ballrooms) 2) to lead his partner gently through to the end.

I could slide out to the floor knowing virtually nothing of the steps the song calls for, but ended up looking like a queen when I allowed myself to lean into the cues of my skillful partner. When I relaxed under his control, the dance turned out smooth, fun, elegant. He turned my wrist, knowing where he wanted to take me in the next part of the song, and my feet somehow followed. In strong, watchful arms, I even did aerials. I flew. When he was insensitive, busy enjoying himself; or plain clumsy, I got injured. On my part, I could usually attempt only moves my partner knew. No matter that I had just learned some cool steps in a class if he didn’t allow me to showcase them. The night I met my husband, he made room in the dance for me to spin and sashay hips in a way not usually done in Swing, blending my elaboration into his choreography. The times I tensed with other men, especially in the exasperated judgment that they didn’t know what they were doing, we went out of sync and lost cadence and harmony. Which meant that oddly, yes, when I swallowed the impatience and went along with the artless motions of a dud of a dancer, we actually ended up looking pretty okay as a couple. He could take lessons, and come back new and improved. But as long as he was a botch-up all I could do to salvage us in that dance was to go along.

The Story in the Marriage
The longer you stay married, the more you experience the ways you can keep in step with one another and enjoy the music or slip into a dysfunctional waltz where you keep tripping your partner: pull or push too hard, lead without seeing the other, or refuse to follow in trust. It really is a holistic journey, so simple we miss it. All a dance is, is a pattern. The Lindy, 123 and 4, 567 and 8. Repeat. It is math in music. A healthy relationship builds on a pattern of ingenuous courtesy. You keep in tune to each other’s wishes.

The video was taken at our wedding reception which we held at the ballroom where we had met. We couldn’t run for you the original music from the reception for copyright issues, nor could we shorten it readily so if you don’t have two minutes, please don’t bother seeing it through.

I’m clearly no dancer. Peter is a different story. It was his impromptu idea at the wedding celebration that we enact how he’d approached me that fateful night we danced as strangers. So I stood again on the very spot where he’d first asked me

to dance.

Postscript
I just realized it was today in May, nine years ago, that we met.  Happy Anniversary, Honey. Sorry I kept talking about dancing with other guys.

Youth MMA Belt Promotion [Wrestling]

Last Saturday, Tennyson (in the orange) aka T Dog, moved up to a Sr. Yellow Belt in Mixed Martial Arts. After mastering the techniques required for the next belt the last several months, the students had to take down three opponents in the ceremony. In the video, T Dog is helping each child earn his/her next belt. Mine’s the loudest voice you’re hearing: “GOooo T Dog! Push!!” My throat hurt the next four days. You can hear Gavin’s mom and me cheeryelling our boys side by side. Our husbands should’ve filmed US. T Dog didn’t do so great when it came time to wrestle for his own promotion. I think he’d burned off his breakfast by then and got low on blood sugar. After refueling, he did better in class than he’d done in the ring.

Props to the coaches at the UFC Gym of Corona.  We love the self-defense T Dog’s learned, to handle attacks from bullies and kidnappers. And when learning to ride sans training wheels last year, he applied the breakfalls and didn’t get hurt falling. We are the biggest fans of the UFC kids’ program!