Thursday, March 31, 2005

Last Words? About Terri Schiavo

Apparently lost in the hubbub over the late Terri Schiavo and the need for a living will and the naming of a patient advocate, is the fact that courts consider using a feeding tube to be equivalent to using a respirator, that they are both considered life support measures. Thus, if you do not agree that they are the same and want to obtain a living will, you should specify which measures you consider to be life supporting, or too extreme, and also speak with your advocate about such measures.

A unique perspective on the feeding tube issue was recently featured on
David Schuster's blog ran much of the content of an editorial letter written by Steve Eidelman, the leader of the disability advocacy group, The Arc of the United States.

Here's hoping that inflamed, unfettered ignorance on these right-to-life and right-to-die issues is laid to rest, as Terri Schiavo rests in peace.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Springing into Palm Sunday

(Anticipation of) Restoration and liberation mark the beginning of spring, the aptly named season, when the blossoms, blades of grass, and other wonders spring forth from the ground, the trees, and bushes.

Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, anticipates, celebrates the coming of God to man (Emanuel, "with-us-God") as man, with encounters that were (at the beginning of the week) a joy for all involved. Jesus' triumphant journey to Jerusalem, en route to commemorate the Passover [one type of liberation celebration], and, ironically, his death and resurrection began another (see Luke 9:30-31, "Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem.").

Keep up the celebration with family and friends. In this vein, consider new angles on traditional Easter brunch and dinner favorites. If, say, vegetarian ham is unavailable from the nearest Chinese grocery, and have it, and vegan Easter candy is available from (aka Pangea, a Rockville, MD business whose retail store is open weekends only) and In the meantime, have a wonderful Palm Sunday.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

On this day, a traditional harbinger of spring, the courageous McCartney sisters are in town, being welcomed by President Bush and others, taking a stand against the violence of the IRA in Northern Ireland. May others have that same courage, to take a stand against violence in neighborhoods, schools, streets, highways, and all manner of places.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Coming of the Green...

In less than a week, it will officially be spring. (Yeah!) Naturally, there is a preview, a getting in gear for the season, and for many, that preview is St. Patrick's Day, just a few days hence.

Just as there are multiple ways to celebrate the breaking out of the green (and more than one kind of green), for those of you who want to celebrate in a family-oriented, environmentally friendly way, here are links that have vegan/vegetarian recipes and suggestions for St. Patrick's. One organization is so bold as to announce a
St. Patrick's Challenge, while wishing a Happy Vegan St. Patrick's Day. Not to be outdone is the magazine Vegetarian Times, which published greener versions of traditional Irish delights a few years ago. Lastly, cookbook author Bryanna Clark Grogan often publishes vegan versions of holiday treats, so be sure to give her web site a look.

Hope this helps you get an early leg up on your St. Patrick's Day...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Love Thy Neighbor (and everyone's your neighbor)

Having been injured recently means I've had to (and still must) rely on the kindness of family, friends, and strangers, more than in the past. You find out who are truly your friends, and who are mere talkers. Moreover, such help can be the difference between being able to get back up, physically and financially, and falling further. One of the Proverbs says that a close neighbor is better than a distant brother; fortunately, both siblings and friends are relatively close by.

A recent Washington Post column by John Kelly,
"Stepping Up for Those Who Fall Down," [free registration required] told of the interaction between a man who fell down, an indifferent security guard, and a caring stranger--just a reminder that you never know who may be a source of aid.

Another way to be of help to your neighbors is a small organization,
Village Harvest, that uses a great (ancient, in fact) idea, of gleaning to provide food for others. The basic idea is that people who have fruit trees that supply more fruit that their families can use donate the surplus. The concept is a win-win situation: excess fruit is not left to rot in the garden, and needy families receive fresh fruit. What a great way to be a neighbor! (Blurb about Village Harvest comes via Rebecca Blood's blog,

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Yesterday being the first day of meteorological spring (whatever that means) means that spring is not far behind, and good eats and good times are on the heels.

I previously opined that it is not difficult to eat well. This can be true even if you are on a budget. Just because you may watch the dollars and cents closely doesn't mean that you can only do food shopping at Walmart, Costco, or Sam's. The fact is, bargains can be found in many food stores, in certain categories, if you know how to look.

Take independent health food stores, for instance. If nothing else, you can head for the bulk section, where you can find both culinary and medicinal herbs. Huge savings potential, for herbs and spices, much of the cost for these items is in the packaging. Once you start scouring this section, there is no good reason not to save money by spicing up your cooking. If these stores have produce sections, peek at them, for you may find bargains on in-season produce.

The other potential giant savings in this area is that you can buy medicinal herbs in bulk, buy the [often vegetarian] capsules in bulk, and make your own herbal supplements! I often do this with turmeric, making my own capsules, and saving tremendously over buying, say, a bottle of turmeric supplements (as turmeric is believed to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties).

This same type of savings applies if you happen to stop in a higher-priced food store. Whole Foods has an extensive bulk food section, and watch to see which produce items are on sale (it is a health food store that has a sales flyer, as do some other health food stores, which may not have the money to widely advertise their specials). Would I shock you to say that you can find bargains even at Dean & Deluca? Yes, it's true. The bargains are in (you guessed it) the herb and spice section, where the items are carried in relatively large metal containers, for reasonable prices (more reasonable than McCormicks, and of comparable quality). Rodman's, the two-store original discount gourmet merchant of the Washington area, has better deals than the newcomer Trader Joe's (as well as a weekly special ad in the Washington Post). Finding good food bargains is often a matter of keeping your eyes open and your preconceptions at bay.