Dandelions

I was eating some dandelions the other day. It wasn’t quite a whim. It’d begun with yard work.

We have lawns. We don’t pesticides or fertilizers on them, except some fertilizer from our compost barrels. We compost a lot of kitchen waste.

I used to pull the weeds from my lawn. We stopped doing that as we read about the bee decline and witnessed how the bees enjoyed our dandelions. Butterflies, too. But, for fire reasons, we cut the grass back to four inches high. That height also protects the roots so watering the lawn isn’t required often. In the even of drought or water shortages, of course, the first thing I do to save water is to stop watering the grass.

While I was doing the back yard cutting the other day, I was taking stock of all the dandelions we had. I knew that people used to eat dandelions as part of a basic diet and wondered about dandelions’ health impact and their taste. To the Google! Sites claim that dandelions are tremendously healthy. Here’s an excerpt from Nutrition-and-You.com:

  • Certain chemical compounds in fresh dandelion greens, flower tops, and roots are known to have antioxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
  • Fresh dandelion leaves carry 10,161 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g (about 338% of daily recommended intake), one of the highest source of vitamin-A among culinary herbs. Vitamin-A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant, required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin.
  • Its leaves packed with numerous health benefiting flavonoids such as carotene-ß, carotene-α, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) help the human body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Zeaxanthin supposed to possess photo-filtering functions and therefore, may help protect the retina from harmful UV rays.
  • The herb is an ideal source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production.The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin-E and vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Dandelion greens provide 58% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C.
  • Dandelion is probably the richest herbal sources of vitamin-K; provides about 650% of DRI. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone strengthening by promoting osteoblastic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Sounds impressive. Curious about how they taste, I went out in the morning, harvested some fresh dandelions from the yard, and chowed down on the raw leaves and flowers.

Turns out that they taste like mildly-bitter Romaine lettuce to me. Super, I thought. I liked being able to eat it because. It’s a great added bonus to helping the bees, and it helps reduce our yard waste. I guess I have a new pastime this year, harvesting dandelions and trying new recipes. Bet they’d be pretty tasty on a grilled pizza.

I’ll let you know.

Don’t Anger the Muses

I love it when I get in here to write, and I seem to know exactly where to begin and what to type. Little thinking is demanded; it’s just go, go, go. 

I know it’s not from ‘nowhere’ or some mysterious regions of my brain, or a gift from the muses. Truthfully, I’m agnostic. I’m not going to be categorical and say that it isn’t the muses. Maybe it is. Don’t want to outrage them by denigrating their contribution, you know. If it is due to the muses and they cut me off, I’d be bereft.

In my defense, I know that I stopped in the middle of a scene yesterday. I was following a trend. Once I’d shut down and was walking, thoughts arrived about what to do. Walking frequently acts as a laxative on my thinking, out there, going somewhere that only requires me to think, left, right, left, right — which out for the bus — permits to me to think.

I’d not been planning my thoughts and wasn’t actively thinking about the novel in specific ways. It was more a part of multi-streaming that I often do, especially while walking, surfing a little of one before jumping to another. This idea popped up, found its roots, and grew. More grew, developing new angles, as I showered and shaved this morning.

I guess it’s probable that I was thinking, but the muses were directing the streams and deciding what came to what. How’s that for a compromise?

Got my hot coffee. I’m in my chair. Time to write again, at least one more time.

 

The Silent Dream

I dreamed I was walking on a sidewalk by a city street. It seemed familiar. Across the street was a cemetery. Heavy, old trees protect the graves and mossy, tilted head stones. Squirrels, jays, and robins dash around the cemetery lawn. The grass is high and rich with tiny, white flowers. I can see that the wind is blowing.

As I notice the waving grass and tree branches, I realize that I don’t hear anything. That disturbs me. It’s unnerving. I’m walking, and cars are passing, but it’s all a silent movie. I see birds but I don’t hear them. A jet flying overhead leaves chemtrails but not sound.

Turning a corner, I come up on an intersection and watch others walking and talking. They seem to be hearing. Cars and trucks pass without a sound. Red, amber, and blue lights flashing, a firetruck silently passes.

The wind grows stronger, and it’s more difficult to walk or even stand. I can feel the sun’s warmth on me. In fact, I feel too hot, and sweat sheathes my back. Ah, so not all of my senses are affected. I can feel heat and the wind, and I see everything going on.

Turning into the wind, I test my sense of smell. Rich odors of burning marijuana, baked goods, cut grass, exhaust gases, and wet earth reach me. I smile as I smell them. Relief creeps in. I can smell things. I’m only not hearing. Why can’t I hear?

A weird epiphany that the wind of change is blowing strikes me. As I stand and think about that, I suddenly hear everything going on. It was like the world had been muted, and now it was un-muted. Listening, I walk back toward the intersection.

So the dream ends, with me standing at the intersection, listening and watching everything around me, and thinking. When I awaken, I stay in bed, thinking and listening, going through a memory of the dream.

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