Monthly Archives November 2015

Nov 28, 2015

Counting the Cost

photo-1428196457394-f0c4aec5f574I am a Scot -I’m expected to be somewhat thrifty but we have a good saying…

“Thrift taken to the extreme is…meanness

I do not want to be mean…ever!

So, today I want to discuss what I hope is some very basic math and how to spend just a little time getting to know how to upgrade every single meal you will ever eat from now on.

Well, that may be an exaggeration but it worked for me.

It is true that I went from tenderloin steaks flamed in good brandy, drowned in double cream –all set up on a slice of bread sautéed in butter and spread thickly with goose liver pate and chopped truffles.

I left this kind of food behind and plunged into the wild and wonderful world of great plant foods plucked from the earth and delivered swiftly to the pan. Ah! What a change!

Now, of course, this is an over-dramatic example but it does serve to illustrate my purpose, which is to reduce (but not exclude entirely) some foods that may do harm if consumed in larger portions over long periods and partially replace them with a wide variety of mostly fresh plant foods.

I once called this “MiniMax” for minimal risk, maximum flavor. For me, it’s a definite UPGRADE that I obviously love to share!  

Because of my Scottish background I was fascinated that we were saving money and so I decided to find out how much that might be.

The past was gone in real numbers but I spent an hour in our local market pricing what we used to spend and then kept every single market receipt as we made our changes.

From these I was able to work out a monthly budget that I confirmed over two months.

These numbers were then compared with my estimated past and BINGO…I had a rough estimate.

For our family of four, during an October/November period (not hot but not cold) we had “saved” just on $80 a month or just under $1,000 for the year.

That was the moment we decided to use half of those savings to upgrade our meal with the most nourishing (and less risky) foods possible and then give the other half to those much less fortunate than ourselves.

Amazingly, those dollars and cents added up over time and our food budget has cost us just about $105,000 LESS!

This has allowed over $50,000 to be sent in support of those in much greater need.

For this, of course I am hugely thankful both my beloved’s better health for her last 28 years and for those we have helped. It has truly been a Double Benefit.

Such is Thanksgiving?

Nov 27, 2015

Wrinkle in Time


[sc_embed_player fileurl=”″]  Click here to listen to Wrinkle in Time

Wrinkle in Time

At thirty years, one appears.
Discretely and silently
But not quiet – invisibly.


At forty, moisturizers, creams,
Lotions, facial aids embrace
This age announcing face.

At fifty, thoughts of face lifts,
Exercise and facials,
Sunscreens, sun hats and bifocals.

At sixty, THE wrinkle,
Has now multiplied it seems,
Taking wrinkles to extremes.

Crinkled lips, once were soft,
Inviting, plump and moist.
We can not in all truth rejoice.

Furrowed alabaster brows,
Crows feet frame sparkling eyes.
The dimples? They are no surprise.

Beloveds, each and every crinkle,
Give character, in every wrinkle
But…those brown spots?

Nov 14, 2015

Flying Solo

fishQuestions concerning travel and separation from loved ones, click here for the complete questions.

Travel in our modern times has become darkened sometimes with thoughts of personal security in our increasingly ‘hostile’ world.

We are encouraged to be aware of what is going on around us and to steer clear of the ‘suspicious’.

That has always been good advice, especially when it comes to the possibility of offending people whose customs may differ from ours.

This is especially important during times that there may be a ‘push back’ against what can be discerned as ‘ugly Americans’ acting in a brash, even critical manner when frustrated by some apparent lack of service to which they have become accustomed back home.

Better, by far, is to be on the look out for the kindnesses that are often extended by really lovely people who are eager to share time with someone from a far distant land.

This takes time but it is so important in our impatient, fast moving world. We need to know that all major religions for example, can in fact, practice tolerance toward one another’s faith where the commandment to “…love our neighbor as our self” is so common to so many differing codes of conduct.

I have had the great good fortune to travel widely and in doing so to have spent real time with what I might have seen as ‘foreigners’ and yet, in a short time, many have become dear friends.

To expect an olive-skinned person to be a potential suicide bomber and, as a result, to draw back from a close encounter, could become, over time, a form of paranoia that could keep good, well meaning, tolerant people….like you?….at home!

Let’s get out there, meet people, learn their customs and enjoy our diverse world.

It can be a better place if we convert paranoia into positive, enjoyable conversations.

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Israel Restoration & Wine Tour

I just received this from my dear friend Bill Sharman.  He had read my blog ‘Flying Solo’ and wanted to offer a very practical way of putting my idea into practice. I cannot go myself but have been at many of the sites he proposes and knowing his 20-year track record of loving, careful, warm and welcoming fellowship, I did want to pass it on to you. What an excellent way to live our ‘lightened’ lives in darkened times?


The inspiration for this trip comes from Amos 9:13-15, where we read,
          “The days are coming,” announces the Lord.

“At that time those who plow the land
    will catch up with those who harvest the crops.
Those who stomp on grapes
    will catch up with those who plant the vines.
Fresh wine will drip from the mountains.
    It will flow down from all the hills.

I will bring my people Israel back home.
    I will bless them with great success again.
    They will rebuild the destroyed cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink the wine they produce.
    They will make gardens and eat their fruit.

I will plant Israel in their own land.
    They will never again be removed
    from the land I have given them…”

Here’s what is in place for the trip…
Israel Restoration & Wine Tour
12-23 Feb 2016
Hosted by Bill Sharman

Touring officially begins the morning of 14 Feb 2016 –Airfare NOT included– Each traveler will make their own flight arrangements to & from Tel Aviv, Israel.

It’s recommended to arrive from overseas NO LATER than 5:30p on 13 Feb 2016

Earliest departure for leaving Israel is recommended NO EARLIER than 11:30p on 22 Feb 2016

Credit card deposit of $500 will hold your reservation (email your intent to make deposit to — I will respond with directions for the traveler to follow)

SITES (partial list)

Caesarea, Mt Carmel, Megiddo, Mt. Arbel, Magdala, Kfar, Haruv,Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Golan Heights, Beit Shean, Kaser El Yahud, Mt of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Western Wall, City of David, Siloam Pool, Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Garden Tomb, Temple Mount, Yad Vashem.

WINERIES (partial list)

Chateau Golan, Pelter Boutique, Psagot, Sea Horse, Ella Valley.


FEB 13-14, 2016 Leonardo Plaza Hotel
Netanya 1 night

FEB 14-17, 2016 Nof Ginosar Hotel
Tiberias 3 nights

FEB 17-22, 2016 Dan Boutique Hotel
Jerusalem 5 nights

$2590.00 per person sharing double room for 20-24 passengers
(price will drop if we gain more members in the group) $800.00 per person for the single supplement

Airport assistance arrival & departure. Accommodation at the above hotels (or similar) for 9 nights. Breakfast & dinner daily at hotels. All entrance fees to sites & wine tastings. Guide & bus. Tips for hotels, guide & driver. Hotel porters.

Itinerary & hotels subject to change


Bill Sharman
General Manager
5099 Royal Oaks Dr
Oroville, California  95966

Nov 14, 2015

Wrapping Caring with Pleasure

2702993092_ac28a66423_bI have decided to hang up my “spurtle” and stop doing public food demonstrations.

I shall continue to pursue my passionate interest in beneficial lifestyle change and do my best to explain myself to whoever will listen.

My first public demonstration was a crepe suzette for a young couple at my father’s hotel in Sussex, England. I had a story to tell as I cooked tableside and a dish for them to taste. I even got a good tip!

At fifteen year of age I had my appetite whetted for more!

Today my rough assessment allows me to say, with confidence, that I have done at lease two thousand public demonstrations, including one thousand episodes on television.

I have loved every moment and am amazed about how good it feels to have a story to tell and a dish for someone to taste…and enjoy.

The in-between times have not always been easy or fun but the moments during which the meal takes shape has been magical (at least for me!)


Nov 07, 2015

Vanity in Vacuum

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Click here to listen to Vanity in Vacuum


Vanity in Vacuum

people, people, people,
people everywhere.
people talking circles,
sometimes in a square.
chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter,
chatter causing crime.
chatter people, people chatter,
tongues in overtime.
minds seem blank with idle chatter,
eyelids rarely blink.
people, people, chatter, chatter,
too engrossed to think!
people chatter, chatter people
chattering life away;
futile chatter, barren people,
wasting every day.
Nov 07, 2015


16th_Floor_Waiting_RoomI have now waited in hospitals on four occasions to know whether the love of my life, my wife Treena, was going to live or die.

It has never been without the stress that must accompany watching a loved one in physical distress. However, on three occasions it has got me searching for creative ways to help her avoid the harm that causes such pain.

Frankly, I don’t know how I would ever had had the depth of devotion needed to keep on searching for new solutions had it not been for these traumatic experiences.

I want you to know about these events because then you may understand me when I talk about going beyond immediate self-interest.

I am sure that my self-interest is pretty normal. Without it we simply could not survive in this quite dangerous daily environment. Just looking left and right before crossing a road is being immediately self interested but caring for someone else often means putting that self on the back burner.

Several years ago I stumbled over yet another acronym – this one for the word care that became C.A.R.E and spelled out (at least for me) the words…Concern, Altruism, Restoration and Enthusiasm.

Just for the record I can give you the dictionary definition for each of these words and then link them into one paragraph that has helped me enormously in my pursuit for answers to many needs…

CONCERN: To have ones mind filled with…
ALTRUISM: A selfless devotion for another person (other than oneself)
RESTORATION: To return something (or someone) to their original design intention.
ENTHUSIASM: The Greek word ‘en theos’ meaning ‘in God’.

So here it is:

To care is to have ones mind filled with a selfless devotion for another person (so that they can be) returned to their original design intention…in God.

My take on this is that the original design intention of everything has, at its core, the word resilient and even though all matter degrades over time (entropy) there is overwhelming evidence of natural ‘bounce back’ or what we may see as healing.

This is why I am so committed to replace harm with healing, especially since I have been a witness to that creative process under extremely trying circumstances.

I do hope that my small CARE contribution may help you in your search for a more creative lifestyle for yourself and those you love.

It was on the forth hospital event that circumstances moved rapidly beyond our lifestyle control.

Treena had gone in for a simple day surgery of less than half an hour. She came home and about six hours later began to experience a severe infection that eventually took her life.

My devotion to her was matched by her love for me. Whatever we did we achieved together…for each other’s sake.

We had a very full and rewarding life and the last twenty eight years (from her 53rd year to 81) was gained by simply seeking to do less harm to each other and to link our savings to other people’s severe distress.

Treena did not lose the battle, her multiple acts of self-discipline and self-sacrifice have made her an amazing “Flash of Silver” to be admired right up until the end. My work is now to pass on what we achieved as partners in purpose.