Soap and Salve

soap 002For the box of creosote leaves that I sent my cousins1, they sent me back two aromatic bars of soap – atai tea and honeysuckle – which she makes, and a small jar of Green ‘Heal All’ Salve, which he, a naturopathic doctor, makes.  Its fourth ingredient was larrea tridentata, which I had to look up:

Larrea tridentata is known as creosote bush and greasewood as a plant, chaparral as a medicinal herb.

Used the salve on my hand right away – had been out trimming, for the Brush & Bulky Collection, mesquite and grey thorn bushes which have volunteered in the drainage, next to my house, from the cul-de-sac and guess I got stuck through my gloves because a right hand knuckle was swollen; the next day it had gone down but some swelling had spread to the neighboring knuckles.  At least it doesn’t hurt any more.


Finished I Am Malala (read by Archie Panjabi with that lovely Indian/British accent) and am into a series which is rather less serious, Outlander, a bodice-ripper spiced up with time travel and real historic events and people in 18th century Europe.  I asked friend M if she was the one who had recommended the series (of eight novels):

Yes…. I am sure it was me.  She  owes me royalties! 😉 Working at a book shop I was intrigued by the number of women asking for Outlander…especially since I saw that it was categorized under scifi, romance, historical fiction AND plain fiction. ???
I had religiously managed avoided shelving in the romance aisle, but got a copy and my interest was piqued by a description that included Scotland, medicine, plants and a very fascinating resume of the author Scottsdale authoress Diana Gabaldon.  I googled her and she started as a scientist whose father was a famous Arizonan politician… and she wrote a 900 page book kind of as a lark.  Plus the covers were cool.  Hooked, I am.  Can you imagine a grown woman hiding in the woman’s room to read just a little more?  
Lots of recent activity… because STARZ is presenting a 13 episode series in August.  I just read she just released 8th? 9th? in the series and I admit, there are moments of ridiculousness, but I don’t care, I just love that series, which is pretty bizarre because I came to fiction late… most definitely a non-fiction gal most of my life.  
She manages suspension of disbelief really well (hampered by what turned out to be an increasing need for another another another book in the series, but I don’t begrudge Diana’s crazy reaches… I just love Claire and Jaime).  I love all the detail of historical political Scotland around 1735, the plants, the medicine (Claire also was a nurse in WWII France) and the great and varied character development. She even has a sub series spin off of a character from the original series.
Her fan base is crazy sick large.   I have always wondered why it wasn’t picked up for visual media, but it finally has been filmed.  I am torn because I think  it will be hard to capture all the historical fiction detail and viewers will just be left with mawkish bodice ripping with a somewhat shallow appearance, but I am hopeful.  The sets in the trailers look very promising… and who can resist a man is a kilt.  There are trailers for the series online… and the huge fan base seems pleased.  There is even a musical that Diana G. approves of (in Scotland).  
I have read all the books  AND listened them on tape.  When I don’t think I can sleep I put my CD player under my pillow and if my husband sees that he jokingly and accusingly says “Is that Jaime?”  When I worked at the bookstore my love of costume and history of having lived briefly in Scotland had me dressing the part and speaking with a brogue for fun… and my whole family jokes about my addiction.  
I have sold SO many copies and even buy copies of Outlander now when in Bookman’s, so I have them on hand to dispense when I get somebody else interested. Bookman’s says they don’t have copies in very frequently.  People either LOVE them or HATE them.  Detail is the byword.  Lots of men show up at her lectures at the book festival.  So… I will sign up for Starz in August and keep my fingers crossed that the screenplay doesn’t make me seem an idiot.


Only in the NY Times could you find quotidian in two articles in the same section (one in a review by Salman Rushdie of the oeuvre of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who recently rose up to Heaven as myriads watched – sorry, that’s from One Hundred Years of Solitude, the other in a mini-review by Jeanine Basinger), and antediluvian, a word which just that morning I had said was no longer in use!

two cowsTwo Cows

You’ve heard this joke before, but check out VENTURE CAPITALISM and AN IRAQI CORPORATION:

TWO COWS – Matthias Varga

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbor.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away.

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You borrow lots of euros to build barns, milking sheds, hay stores, feed sheds, dairies, cold stores, abattoir, cheese unit and packing sheds.
You still only have two cows.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called a Cowkimona and market it worldwide.

You have two cows,
but you don’t know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No one believes you, so they bomb the ** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least you are now a Democracy.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

their website: and her note on Facebook:

I can’t seem to get over these summer nights… Phoenix, it’s COOL at night and cooler in the morning.  And there’s this other thing that might be difficult for me to explain, but I’ll try… there is MOISTURE in the air. But maybe that is related to this other odd event that happened tonight called RAIN. Yes, we do still miss a great many things about the desert, but there were a few things we missed about Appalachia first, crickets, frogs, lightning bugs… the night air has a different look, feel and sound to it out here, so FULL.

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3 Responses to “Soap and Salve”

  1. Jim Says:

    Which nation, in end comes out ahead, with a new breed which produces the most milk for least feed?

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      This says the Japanese Corporation, but then the Two Cows joke has been around forever. (Jokes of this type attracted the attention of a scholar in the USA as early as 1944!!) Here are two more:
      AN AMERICAN REPUBLICAN: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So what?
      AN AMERICAN DEMOCRAT: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office who tax your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money and buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous.

  2. Jim Says:

    An Amerian Libertarian: You have two cow; your neighbor has none. Your neighbor needs to try harder or be content with role of dice.

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