When I was growing up, when my father was alive, we could count on at least one thing (other than that my parents would be drunk). All of the leftovers from the week’s dinners would go into a pot, be heated to boiling and called Saturday Soup. Because my folks were not particularly creative about what they made for dinner, the soup usually amounted to the same basic ingredients, in varying proportions depending on our appetites for particular meals. The main ingredient was spaghetti and meatballs. This was a meal my dad made that was always made in such quantity that there were leftovers, without fail, even on Saturday (quite a thing really- my brother and I generally ate the leftover spaghetti for breakfast and snacks). Another common ingredient was stew. This was made in smaller amounts because it involved buying “real meat”. Another weekly staple was navy bean soup (cheap to make and my dad was in the navy for 23 years). Some items that made it into the soup less dependably but maybe alternating week-to-week included corned beef and cabbage, pork chops, meatloaf, sloppy joes and sometimes things that my folks brought home in “doggie bags” when they went out to dinner (this could be anything from chop suey to steak.
I always like Saturday Soup.
So, today is kind of a Saturday Soup- odds and ends from the past week. Working my way back through time…
Tadpole/ frog habitat reconnaissance
Yesterday I walked quite a bit along the Springwater Corridor and on Powell Butte (near my home) to check on the status of the annual spawning in marginal habitat. Summary:
- Many wetland/ swampy areas I had identified a few weeks back on the south side of Powell Butte along the Springwater Corridor were already dry, including some spots where I had previously seen plenty of frogs eggs. So much for these guys- there’s always quite a bit of this going on. The frogs don’t seem to have any idea of whether or not the place they spawn will be viable for tadpole maturation. On the other hand, I found several places where the new habitat restoration project in the Johnson/ Kelly Creek watershed had created what look like great spawning places. Some of which has heavy foliage cover for shade and protection from birds. I even saw some baby fish (I was surprised- I thought that it would take many more years for fish to return to this mangled area). For more info on the wetlands restoration project, see my archives or just go to: https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/?s=Kelly+Creek&submit=Search or to
- On Powell Butte I concentrated on the primary northside drainage system (there is also a pond on the southside that is always healthy and I don’t worry about it). Somebody, I’m thinking the park caretaker or maybe volunteers or just some frog nut like me, had earlier in the spring placed debris and rocks at intervals in the (leaky) concrete lined ditch. A really good idea and I wondered why I hadn’t though of it before. I have been worried about the ditch especially this year because of a less rainy spring and unseasonably hot weather. Even though some of the ditch inflow has dried up, there is still a thriving community of tadpoles, more eggs and algae (for food- before they morph, the babies eat the algae).
We are still, today, having very hot weather for this time of year. I am hoping that we get some rain soon because the ditch will dry up sooner than usual if this keeps up.
- There are always a large percentage of the frog babies that don’t make it. Typically, the ditch dries completely by the end of Portland Rose Festival (around the second week of August). At that time I will find almost a solid layer of dried/ dead tadpoles at the bottom of the ditch. My annual effort is to save as many of these as possible before they “croak”. I gather generally a hundred or more at the last possible moment, take them home and grow them in an outdoor tank until they’re mature enough to climb out of the tank and go out into the world. Our current location is close to other wetlands and good basic tree-frog habitat.
- The trick will be knowing when to gather them. I don’t want to do it too soon because it’s best for them to grow up in the place where they were born. If I’m too late, though, the little guys won’t make it.
- If you are up at Powell Butte and you see some guy capturing tadpoles (against park regulations), don’t report me or throw rocks. I’m a friend to amphibians.
Mad Liberation Radio
Last night was supposed to be the monthly Mad Liberation by Moonlight show on KBOO but I opted towait 2 more weeks because I had forgotten to publicize it. So, the show will be the last friday night in May, 1 a.m. I will post more info at some later date. I hope to have a dynamite show with several guests.
I’m still looking for work
Enough said. Let me know if you have any leads.
We did a presentation this past Tuesday at the First Unitarian Church Downtown and it went well. This Spring’s production is mental Health, Family and Work and is called “A Day at the Office”. There are some more performances but I don’t have a flyer handy so I’ll post them at another time. I believe the next one is June 1st at PSU but I could be wrong.
If you are unfamiliar with Interactive Theater/ Theater of the Oppressed, it is based on the work of Augusto Boal who developed the concept in Brazil as a way of getting urban dwellers and peasants to work together to solve social problems. The way it works is that we present a short play that consists of a series of conflicts that have increasingly bad outcomes. After one performance where we just follow the script, in the second time through the audience is invited to stop the play at any point and take the place of one of the actors to see if they can change the outcome. They are encouraged to avoid taking the place of the “oppressor” in the scene (because in real life you don’t just have that person suddenly have a change of heart and solve the issue as if by magic). They are encouraged to take the place of potential allies (who are present in each scene but who don’t act in a way that helps). We let them take any part they wish, though, because there are always things to learn. The challenge to the actors is to ad lib based on their understanding of their character. (We spend a lot of time in the rehearsal phase doing things to develop the underlying aspects of each character, to understand their thinking and their unspoken reactions to events.
It’s loads of fun for the actors and the audience. And it really does help educate the public and generate creative responses to situations of oppression. Our little group is called From the Inside Out and we are running on a shoestring with individual donations. The actors/ director etc. are all people with a mental health diagnosis and are volunteers. (We’d love to get some money for our expenses, travel and time but we don’t have enough financial support yet.)
Short article: Self-help and recovery by Joann Lutz
My experience with spiritual emergency and recovery has taught me the need to grow beyond cultural conditioning, beyond other’s expectations, to discover what ideas and behaviors are truly life-affirming and growthful for me. My recovery was based around the practice of yoga. It gave me validation for the profound changes which I experienced which were pathologized in the mental health system, such as early morning awakening, fasting, and vegetarianism, which lowered my anxiety level; self-esteem which I cultivated through the slow mastery of the yoga postures; peace of mind from the calming effects of the breathing practices; and an expanded view of who I really am, separate from my personality and its constant ups and downs.
I also experienced the healing power of dance; re-experiencing myself moving through the developmental stages as an infant, toddler, playful child; accelerating my feelings of aliveness; feeling energy moving through my body which was more compelling than the thought patterns which I had falsely identified as myself.
I learned about the value of regular exercise, of a daily spiritual practice, wholesome eating, positive relationships, solid emotional support, inspiring thoughts, connection to the natural world, awareness of body sensations and deep relaxation, in building health.
What I was doing, essentially, was creating my own world, keeping what was positive and staying away from what was not. My yoga teacher, Swami Satchidananda, talks about thinking of our body and mind as a country protected by border guards which will not let anything harmful in. For me, that meant staying away from violent movies, from watching TV. indiscriminately, from overeating, from cigarette smoke, and from negative-thinking people. As time went on, it became easier and easier to build this positive world. I began to see my spiritual emergency as an opportunity for transforming my life rather than as a disability and my feelings of inferiority dropped away.
Joann Lutz, L.I.C.S.W., is a psychiatric survivor currently working as a licensed, holistically-trained psychotherapist and stress-reduction teacher in Northampton, MA and Brattleboro Vt. She can be reached at 413-586-6384.
This is great! Olberman rant on MSNBC re Bush: “Shut up!”
I love it. You can almost feel the spit hit you from the monitor listening to this.
Miscellaneous items for your amusement
Pictures, animation, whatever.
This is me above…
Below, some songs I recorded, wrote many years ago:
I didn’t write this. Yoko Ono. Suprisingly melodic, enjoyable. Don’t be afraid, just listen-
First in a series: The Great Love- Listen to the rest at http://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/talks/details?num=OM690&c=p
That’s enough for now.
Have a great weekend.