Asian Magic

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Appropriation vs Appreciation*

“Appreciation is when someone seeks to understand and learn about another culture in an effort to broaden their perspective and connect with others cross-culturally.”

“Cultural appropriation takes place when members of a majority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical way.

“Cultural appropriation is the social equivalent of plagiarism with an added dose of denigration. It’s something to be avoided at all costs, and something to educate yourself about.”

I have a lot of interests, and due to genealogy, I love to learn about the history of other cultures. My family includes people of a variety of different cultures such as Native American, Japanese, Korean, and African American. My own ancestry is mostly English, Scottish, Swedish, Danish, German, Irish, and French. The family history research I do, the most curious I am about those cultures. The same can be said of the family members with who I share a bloodline and those who marry into my family lines.

Asian cultures have fascinated me since I was in Junior High and I have spent years learning about the different Asian countries. I find it sad that many people assume that everyone who is Asian shares the same history, language, cuisine, and more when it’s not that at all. China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Cambodia, and more are all considered Asian Countries, including India and the Philippines. Even middle eastern countries are considered “Asian”. Each country has its own history, language, culture, cuisine, fashion and decoration styles, naming styles, and holidays and special occasions.

In studying these countries and cultures, I hope that I am striving to appreciate them and not appropriate. I will share what I’ve learned and continue to learn here on my blog.

I think the more we learn about Asian countries and their cultures, perhaps that can help to eliminate Asian hate. Hatred and discrimination against any culture other than your own needs to stop.

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*See more at,for%20your%20own%20personal%20interest.

Chinese New Year Dinner Menu for the Lunar New Year

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About forty years ago, I took a Chinese cooking class at the University District store, The House Of Rice, in Seattle. I made these recipes so often that I ended up teaching classes using them.

These recipes make a great menu to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese Dinner for Company

Chinese BBQ Pork
Fried Rice
Asian-Style Vegetable Stir-Fry
Chinese Fried WonTons
Pineapple Tidbits and Mandarin Oranges
Mini Cheesecakes
Chinese Green Tea

Chinese Barbecued Pork From The House of Rice in Seattle

1 pound pork tenderloin or boneless pork roast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/4 white pepper
1 tsp Sherry (optional, I’ve never really added this)
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp Hoisin sauce (store remainder in a glass container in the fridge)
1 tbsp Red Wet Bean Curd (comes in a can, store remainder in a glass container in the refrigerator)
1/2 tsp red food coloring

Cut pork into strips 5-6 inches long and about 1 inch thick.
Mix sugar and salt and rub on all sides of the pork strips.
Set aside for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, pour off juice.
Combine remaining ingredients and rub this mixture onto the pork strips and marinate for at least 2 hours (you can marinate overnight too, covered in the fridge)
Place pork strips on a roasting pan with a rack and roast at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn pork strips and roast for another 25 minutes.
Remove from pan, slice each strip into slices, and serve hot, warm, or cold with toasted sesame seeds, hot mustard, and soy sauce. We also mix soy sauce with ketchup and use that as a dip.

Over time I simplified the recipe since Red Wet Bean Curd isn’t always easy to find. I modified the recipe to this one:

Chinese Barbecued Pork

One 3-pound pork roast, boneless
1/2 teaspoon salt
One tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (check spice or Oriental sections at a grocery store)
One teaspoon cooking sherry* (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Two tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/2 jar of Hoisin sauce (Oriental section at a grocery store)
1/2 jar of Chinese BBQ sauce (Oriental section of a grocery store)

Cut pork roast into 6-inch pieces. Mix salt and sugar and rub into meat. Set aside for 30 minutes. Combine the rest of the ingredients and rub them into the pork. Marinade overnight (or at least 2 hours). Roast on the rack of a roasting pan in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Turn pork and roast for 25 minutes more. Slice thinly and serve hot or cold with sesame seeds, hot Chinese mustard, ketchup mixed with soy sauce, and garlic powder.

Fried Rice

4 cups cold cooked white rice
1/2 onion, chopped
mushrooms, chopped
bean sprouts
Two eggs
soy sauce
peanut oil

Sauté chopped onion and mushrooms in hot peanut oil. Break the eggs into a small dish, and beat slightly. Add to onions and oil, and stir until scrambled. Add cold rice, and stir as it cooks. Add soy sauce and bean sprouts, and cook until rice is heated through and slightly “fried”.

Asian-Style Vegetable Stir-Fry

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared stir-fry sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Four teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups small mushrooms
One small onion, cut into wedges and separated into
1-inch strips
One medium carrot cut diagonally into thin slices.

Combine honey, stir-fry sauce, and pepper flakes in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add honey mixture; cook and stir about 1 minute or until vegetables are glazed, and sauce is bubbly.

Chinese Fried WonTons

1 pound package of WonTon Skins (usually found in the produce
department of a grocery store)
1 pound ground pork (not sausage)
One egg
One tablespoon soy sauce
One small can water chestnuts
One teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 onion
1/2 teaspoon MSG* (optional)
Beat egg and chop an onion. Drain and mince (finely chop) the water
chestnuts. Mix all ingredients except the wonton skins. Place one teaspoon of pork mixture on each skin. Roll wonton style and seal with a dab of water. Fry in hot peanut oil until brown and crisp. Drain and serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Cream cheese wontons
Originally from

12 ounce cream cheese (at room temperature)
50 wonton wrappers
1 cup imitation crab (chopped)
Two green onions (minced)
1 (8 ounces) can water chestnuts (drained and minced)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon soy sauce
One egg (beaten)
oil (for frying)

Cream the cream cheese together with crab, green onions, water chestnuts, garlic powder, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat one egg. Lay out a wonton wrapper in the shape of a diamond. Place one teaspoon of the filling into the center of each wrapper. Brush the opposite corners of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Fold the edges over to form and triangle and seal. Heat oil in the deep fryer to 375 degrees. Deep fry in bathes (turning once if needed) until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/3 cup of cold water
Two tablespoons of cornstarch
2/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of Rice vinegar (found in the Chinese food section of the
grocery store)
Two tablespoons of bottled Sweet and Sour Sauce
Two tablespoons of soy sauce

Pour 1/3 cup water into a small saucepan. Add cornstarch and stir
until dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir over medium heat until thickened and the color turns darker.

My Favorite Asian YouTube topics and channels.

Japanese Sushi Ramen Restaurant DIY Miniature Dollhouse

ASMR Facial Treatment | Scalp Tansan SPA | Deep Cleansing | Peeling| Calming Down (Soft Spoken) with Twix


Ball Jointed Dolls

The doll used in this video is purchased from the Chinese doll maker “MYOU DOLL” ️ The names of the dolls are “Delia” and “Zuzana”

Sailor Moon ChibiUsa & Hotaru Saturn Dress Up BJD DOLL

BJD Angell Studio [MSD] Jade Rabbit [Moon Rabbit] Unboxing

Learn Japanese Language on Duolingo

Appreciation and Appropriation

In the 1960s, the TV show “Here Come the Brides” showed the Native Americans at the beginning of the city of Seattle as Plains Indians complete with teepees and feather headdresses. The tribe closest to the Seattle settlement at that time was the Duwamish. It’s too bad that the show’s writers didn’t bother to do the research, or perhaps they thought the viewers were not smart enough to know the difference. In this episode, they even call the tribe shown the Shoshone, which didn’t live close to the Seattle area.

In the past, it was very common for white actors to play Native and Asian characters instead of hiring Native and Asian actors. In an episode of the first version of Hawaii 5-0, Ricardo Montalban, who was Mexican-American, played a Japanese-American character. Michael Ansara often played Native American characters, although he was of Lebanese descent. Even Katherine Hepburn played a Japanese woman in a movie.

In the 1800s, minstrel shows were very popular, depicting black people, all played by white people in blackface makeup. They were an extreme form of racist cultural appropriation, and it still is.

But we should know better by now. We should, but sadly, we don’t. White people still appropriate looks and attitudes from other cultures and races. Some don’t know any better and remain ignorant. But others know and still decide to cash in on someone else’s traditions.

There is a thin line between appreciation and appropriation. When you have your children dress up as Pocahontas or Ghengis Khan for Halloween, you might consider this cute or funny if you even think of it all. But cultures are not Halloween costumes. It’s never appropriate to use other people’s cultures as a joke.

And for another viewpoint:

“Ethnic hairstyles. Sports mascots. Runway fashion. We’ve all seen examples of cultural appropriation. Yet, the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation is not always clear.”

I also feel it’s appropriation not to know the difference between the different cultures and countries of Asia, Africa, or tribes of Native Americans. For example, the countries of China, Japan, or Korea, are not the same. They each have their own languages, cuisine, and even traditional dress. While American Indians fall under the umbrella term of Native Americans, each tribe has its own culture. Do you know the difference? Do you take the time to learn? And you do know that Africa is a continent and not a country, right?

Look at these three pictures of native dress. Do you know what each one is called and what country they come from? Do you think all three are Japanese kimonos?

The one on top IS a Japanese Kimono, the one in the center is a Korean Hanbok, and the bottom one is a Chinese Hanfu. While there are similarities, there also are distinct differences. All three can have wide sleeves, Hanfu and Hanbok tend to have wide flowing skirts, and Hanfu and Kimonos often have a wrap and tie front. Because most Asian cultures have a common origin, it’s not unusual for them to have parasols and fans as part of their ceremonial dress.

Can non-Asians wear the traditional dress of Asian countries? It depends on who you ask and the context of when and where you will be wearing it.

In many cases, people of other cultures enjoy sharing theirs: how they dress, what they cook, the furniture and decorations in their homes, language, and history. They don’t want people using these things to belittle them and make fun of their lives.

“Social media, print media, and television programs can inspire us to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of people from different backgrounds. Appreciating different cultures and traditions is encouraged with some caution—culture is not a hobby or a collectible item, it is a meaningful part of life, identity, and community. To start appreciating a culture different from your own, begin with good intentions and learn about the culture. This involves avoiding the temptation to assign new meaning to “cultural markers (such as food, clothing, or physical appearance).”

What makes it appropriation is the dominant society using their majority to take advantage of the minority: white over non-whites; Christians over non-Christians; straight over LGBTQ; young over old; thin over fat; rich over poor; able-bodied over disabled. They have come to believe that “accepted” means “acceptable.”

Is wearing a bindi and/or getting Mehendi designs on your hands appropriation or appreciation? I use to think it was appreciation. Now I know it’s not.

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Photo by Gokul Barman on

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo while wearing a sombrero and drinking Corona beer and Margaritas without knowing the history before the holiday is both racist and cultural appropriation.

Wearing feather Indian headdresses as a fashion statement is appropriation.

 “Indigenous patterns have exploded in popularity elsewhere: major companies like Zara, Anthropologie, Carolina Herrera, and Mango have incorporated similar designs into their clothing under the pretext of inspiration. Fashion houses have profited without acknowledging the origin of the designs or compensating communities.”

“Mexico’s Indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities are being sold a solution — or, at least, something that looks like one. To fight back against the plagiarism and dispossession of Indigenous art, Mexico has approved a law meant to protect and safeguard the cultural heritage of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples and communities. It recognizes the collective right to intellectual property of these communities, calls for the creation of a National Registry of Cultural Heritage, and allows the government to prosecute theft of a cultural work. On the surface, it’s a bold step toward dealing with cultural appropriation and remedying some of the ways these communities continue to be marginalized.”

“Appreciation is when someone seeks to understand and learn about another culture in an effort to broaden their perspective and connect with others cross-culturally. Appropriation on the other hand, is simply taking one aspect of a culture that is not your own and using it for your own personal interest.”


Defined as the use of a culture’s symbols, artifacts, genres, rituals, or technologies by members of another culture, cultural appropriation can be placed into 4 categories: exchange, dominance, exploitation, and transculturation.

“Look for obvious context clues. Were you invited to a cultural event and asked to wear traditional clothing? Or did you notice that a culturally inspired style is trending and decide to wear that trendy outfit on your next night out? Appreciating culture often involves community, connection, and learning, whereas appropriation is typically an individual choice influenced by popular media.

So, what are some ways to celebrate a culture without exploiting it? Start with these basic tips:

  1. Examine your own culture and beliefs. Knowing your own culture is one of the best ways to understand and appreciate other cultures.5
  2. Recognize and embrace cultural differences.6 Allow these differences to spark healthy dialogue.
  3. Refrain from using sacred artifacts or symbols from another culture as an accessory.7
  4. Ask yourself why. Ensure your intentions are sincere and genuine.
  5. Be an ally! Engage in important conversations and help others learn about cultural appropriation.”

“What steps can you take to appreciate rather than appropriate?

If you’re concerned you might have mistakenly appropriated cultural elements in the past, these tips can help you do better in the future:

  • Choose books, music, art, and food that originate from and accurately represent specific cultures, instead of “culturally inspired” experiences.
  • To amplify cultural voices, look for books, essays, or other creative works written by members of the culture, instead of works by outsiders looking in.
  • Purchase art and other cultural items from the creator.
  • When studying other cultures, take the time to learn how to correctly pronounce the names of people and places.
  • Skip terms taken from other cultures, such as calling your friends your “tribe” or saying you have a “spirit animal.”
  • Avoid adopting false accents.”

TMI Tuesday: July 5, 2022: RISK

1. What is the most ambitious work you’ve done in the past five years?

If you said “thing” I would say moving across the state. But “work”? I haven’t worked in 20 years. I could say writing several books that are still unfinished, writing my blog, or researching my family history, but all of those are a labor of love, not “work”. I guess I’m just not very ambitious.

2. What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life?

Probably getting married. After my parents got divorced and I had a bad experience of being engaged, I was not high on marriage. I’m still not. But I did it anyway.

3. What do you do when no one is watching?


4. How do you get attention?

Masturbate? No, that’s not right. I guess smile a lot, laugh a little and take interest in others. And give out candy.

5. Who do you stalk on the internet?

Everyone on WordPress and Medium

Bonus: What did you watch last night?

I am addicted to Japanese spa ASMR videos on YouTube. They are so relaxing and I am obsessed. Twix is my favorite.


How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

Recipe of the Day: Cold Noodle Salad

I couldn’t get enough of this salad. I made it a lot.

The beauty of this dish is that it’s so versatile.

Any kind of pasta… the last two times I’ve made this I used macaroni, fettuccini, and spaghetti. Cook them up according to package directions, drain, rinse in cold water and let cool.

Mix up a dressing… Mine kind of varies but tends to include; balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, and soy sauce (I use liquid aminos because it has less sodium). Sometimes I throw in a bit of BBQ sauce and Yoshida’s Teriyaki sauce, but both of those are high in sodium too, so I just use a bit. And then some red wine vinegar. Mix it up and add the noodles and mix to coat.

After that just add whatever you have and want… chopped onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green olives, black olives, broccoli, celery, or other veggies, shrimp, chicken or whatever.

Let chill for an hour or two and it’s ready to go.

It can be served cold, room temp, or pan-fried and hot. It’s fantastic no matter what. 

What Women Hear

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

I couldn’t resist re-posting this. I’ve heard all of these my entire life. I hope that my granddaughters don’t have to.

“Be a lady they said. Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go.

Be a lady they said. Remove your body hair. Shave your legs. Shave your armpits. Shave your bikini line. Wax your face. Wax your arms. Wax your eyebrows. Get rid of your mustache. Bleach this. Bleach that. Lighten your skin. Tan your skin. Eradicate your scars. Cover your stretch marks. Tighten your abs. Plump your lips. Botox your wrinkles. Lift your face. Tuck your tummy. Thin your thighs. Tone your calves. Look natural. Be yourself. Be genuine. Be confident. You’re trying too hard. You look overdone. Men don’t like girls who try too hard.

Be a lady they said. Wear makeup. Prime your face. Conceal your blemishes. Contour your nose. Highlight your cheekbones. Line your lids. Fill in your brows. Lengthen your lashes. Color your lips. Powder, blush, bronze, highlight. Your hair is too short. Your hair is too long. Your ends are split. Highlight your hair. Your roots are showing. Dye your hair. Not blue, that looks unnatural. You’re going gray. You look so old. Look young. Look youthful. Look ageless. Don’t get old. Women don’t get old. Old is ugly. Men don’t like ugly.

Be a lady they said. Save yourself. Be pure. Be virginal. Don’t talk about sex. Don’t flirt. Don’t be a whore. Don’t sleep around. Don’t lose your dignity. Don’t have sex with too many men. Don’t give yourself away. Men don’t like sluts. Don’t be a prude. Don’t be so uptight. Have a little fun. Smile more. Pleasure men. Be experienced. Be sexual. Be innocent. Be dirty. Be virginal. Be sexy. Be the cool girl. Don’t be like the other girls.

Be a lady they said. Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Don’t be too large. Don’t be too small. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat carbs. Skip dessert. You need to lose weight. Fit into that dress. Go on a diet. Watch what you eat. Eat celery. Chew gum. Drink lots of water. You have to fit into those jeans. God, you look like a skeleton. Why don’t you just eat? You look emaciated. You look sick. Eat a burger. Men like women with some meat on their bones. Be small. Be light. Be little. Be petite. Be feminine. Be a size zero. Be a double zero. Be nothing. Be less than nothing.

Be a lady they said. Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t take up space. Don’t sit like that. Don’t stand like that. Don’t be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be assertive. Don’t overact. Don’t be so emotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Be passive. Be obedient. Endure the pain. Be pleasing. Don’t complain. Women are less than men. Let him down easy. Boost his ego. Make him fall for you. Men want what they can’t have. Don’t give yourself away. Make him work for it. Men love the chase. Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife someday. Take his last name. You hyphenated your name? Crazy feminist. Give him children. You don’t want children? You will someday. You’ll change your mind.

Be a lady they said. Don’t get raped. Protect yourself. Don’t drink too much. Don’t walk alone. Don’t go out too late. Don’t dress like that. Don’t show too much. Don’t get drunk. Don’t leave your drink. Have a buddy. Walk where it is well lit. Stay in the safe neighborhoods. Tell someone where you’re going. Bring pepper spray. Buy a rape whistle. Hold your keys like a weapon. Take a self-defense course. Check your trunk. Lock your doors. Don’t go out alone. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t bat your eyelashes. Don’t look easy. Don’t attract attention. Don’t work late. Don’t crack dirty jokes. Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no.

Just ‘be a lady’ they said.”

(“Girls Girls Girls and the Women”-Camille Rainville)

Questions from Quora: Advice

What advice would you give to a 14 year old?

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Learn as much about everything as you can, even if it’s not taught at school, church, and at home.

Read. Read. Read. Read books on all topics. Read newspapers, magazines, webpages, blogs. Try to keep an open mind about everything you read. Reflect on what you read and try to find at least one positive thing about each one.

Talk to people. Smile. Look them in the eye. Shake hands. Remember their name. Ask them questions and really listen to their answers. You don’t have to agree with them but try to be respectful of their viewpoint.

Try new things. Go to new places. Listen to new ideas.

Be a leader, rather than a follower. Don’t feel you have to do everything just because your friends do them. You don’t need to lecture them, just say no thanks when they pressure you to do things you don’t want to do.

Decide what problem or problems you’d like to solve and use that as a guide as to what you might do with your life later one. But it’s okay to change your mind on those when the time comes.

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Other answers from other people:

Avoid drugs. Trust me on that.

Dont sell drugs, I didn’t like prison; I don’t think you would.

Smoking cigarettes isn’t cool, it’s expensive & stinks.

Dont waste your life wishing it away or wishing you were older, enjoy your youth.

Make as many friends as possible, but don’t trust everyone.

don’t have sex to seem cool, I respect women more if I have to wait. Once dated a girl al three years before we had sex.

Dont have a bf/gf. Mingle & wait to you’re older for a relationship.

Pay attention in school.

Do your homework

STUDY! Christ, I wish someone forced me to

Drinking isn’t worth it the next day, youll enjoy it better if you wait to you’re older.

Listen to your parents. You only get one of each, some don’t have that luxury unfortunately.

Stay away from crime, it’s not worth the time.

Dont waste your time watching TV & playing games, get outside & play! Fish, camp, hunt, fix your bike, fix your lawn mower…it all counts.

Youre 14, although you don’t have you work; understand that your parents have worked very hard to provide you with what you have. Respect that.

Avoid those that seem cool. Everyone wants to be cool, but eventually everyone realises that those cool people are just assholes! Trust me.

Avoid those who treat you like you’re cool, when you have something they like or want.

Don’t bully anyone.

Treat others how you want to be treated, but don’t be too soft.

Do some charty work. It builds character & you learn to value things you’d take for granted.

Save! Always get ready for something. You’re going to buy a car someday, a holiday, your first place. It’s all the same, but having savings leaves you prepared.

There’s a lot of seriously bad shit going on in the world today. You don’t have to worry about it, yet. Enjoy that.

Be nice to old people, smile, say hello, help them if you can. Someday you’ll be old too.

If you’ve younger siblings, teach them. Take care of them, tell & show them things they’ll like or should avoid.

Don’t eat too much junk food, they pump so much crap & chemicals into food these days as it is.

Live somewhere peaceful for awhile, it’ll help you view the world differently. also, live somewhere like New York City for awhile too, but leave before it makes you too hard.

Try growing a plant, a small shrub. Nothing fancy, all it needs is light & water. It’ll help you in terms of a routine for life. If you can keep that alive, you’ll do alright in life.

If you decide to join the military at some point, let me tell you this; there’s a time to stand & fight, but there’s also a time to run. There’s no shame in living to fight another day.

Become an organ & blood doner, your blood will save lives & someday, even in death you may save a life.

Get a dog. I’ve a better connection with my dogs than most people, the reason being; the more time you spend around various types of people, the less you’ll like them. There’s no hidden depth in animals.

Take care of your mental health, it’s alright to ask for help. It takes a strong person to reach out.

Play some sports, when you finish school the medals & trophies are absolutely priceless as a keepsake

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The friends you have now, probably won’t be the same ones you have when you’re older, and that’s not a bad thing. Accept that.

Know that despite what the adults say, you are in fact capable feeling love for someone else, but don’t confuse sex with love. They’re not the same thing.

Don’t do drugs. For real. There are so many other ways to experience “high’s” (conquering a mountain, giving a speech in front of a huge crowd, scoring the winning basket). Drugs do nothing but alter who you are, in the worst way, not to mention put your life at risk. Life only gets tougher along the way and trust me, you’re going to need every single brain cell to thrive.

Either get off of social media completely or limit yourself. At 14, all it’s going to is encourage you to compare yourself to those who may seem like they have it all when they don’t. It’s not real. You are real. Stay real.

This is an extension of 4. DO NOT PUT YOUR WHOLE LIFE ONLINE!! You will absolutely be judged by every single move you make in life. It’s perfectly okay to make mistakes and do dumb things (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else). Don’t give future employers or important people in your life reasons to hold you back from your dreams.

Learn to be selfless. It’s tough not to be self-centered when you’re only 14 and trying to figure yourself out, but do for others when there’s no benefit to you (other than feeling good about who you are).

If you have good parents, love them. Cherish them. Honour them and all of the hard work they put into raising you by stepping out into the world and being the best human you can be.

Love. Hard. But don’t let it ruin or change who you are, unless it’s for the better.

Study. Don’t cheat. And make your teachers your allies. You would be amazed at how much they can help you in the future.

Explore your sexuality…with yourself. Before you share your body with someone else, learn to be a lover. Don’t sell sexuality, exploit it or take it for granted. Stay away from hardcore porn. It teaches you nothing and it’s all fake anyway. Know that consent is very black and white. NO ONE is permitted to put their hands on your body unless you say so. And if it’s against your say so, scream it from the mountain tops. It’s not okay. Ever.

Don’t follow the herd. Dare to go in the other direction, and start now. The world is going to throw a whole lot of BS your way and you need to be strong enough to stand up to it.

Know that family comes in all walks of life and doesn’t necessarily share DNA. Embrace those who want to raise you up, and stay in their corner when they need the same from you.

Travel if you can. And if you need ideas on how you can do that at 14, ask me. I’ll help.

If and when depression hits, don’t give into the darkness. We need you here. You’re 14, you’ve got an incredible opportunity to create the most amazing life for yourself. Don’t give up. Again, we need you here so we can witness your greatness.

Eat well. I don’t care if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, whatever. Put good things into your body and it will pay you back 10 fold.

Learn to be humble, when to show confidence, when to be vulnerable and when to take initiative. You first have to listen and be observant, but these are states of being that will fling doors open.

Learn to be grateful.

Don’t be tolerant, be accepting. Just because we don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean we can’t love them, or like them. Don’t let differences divide unless the differences are harmful.

Be kind to animals

Laugh. Be silly. Cry. You’re 14. Your entire life is ahead of you so enjoy this moment

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Recipe of the Day: Sugar Body Scrub with Lavender

Photo by Elina Fairytale on
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender flowers

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and sea salt. Add remaining ingredients and stir to blend well. Spoon scrub into a pretty glass jar, available at craft or kitchen stores. Makes 1 gift

Recipe of the Day: Lavender Tea Bread

Photo by Mareefe on

3/4 cup milk
2 T. dried lavender flowers, finely chopped, or 3 T. fresh
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat milk with lavender almost to a boil, then let steep until cool. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl. Cream butter, gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with lavender milk, in 3 different batches. Mix until batter is just blended, do not overbeat. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 min., then remove to a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, ice with a powdered sugar glaze made with 3 T. milk and enough powdered sugar to make a thick but still runny paste if desired. Garnish with sprigs of fresh lavender around cake, or sprinkle additional finely chopped lavender on glaze before it hardens.

To me, lavender has a peppery taste. To some, it’s cilantro and takes soapy. But that could be due to using the wrong kind of lavender. You want to make sure you are using a culinary lavender which is commonly  Lavandula angustifolia and there are varieties of those.

According to Sage Creations:

“Popular culinary lavender cultivars include:

  • L. angustifolia ‘Folgate’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Melissa’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Croxton’s Wild’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Wykoff’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Royal Velvet’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Buena Vista’

Notice anything about these cultivars? They’re all L. angustifolias – commonly known as True Lavenders.

Each cultivar has a distinct taste. ‘Melissa’ is slightly peppery. ‘Croxton’s Wild’ has an earthy, cinnamony taste. ‘Miss Katherine’ is sweet and floral. A great go-to culinary lavender cultivar is ‘Buena Vista’ and ‘Folgate’.

There are many, many types of culinary lavender cultivars, but most of them are types of True Lavender, vs. Lavandin, for example.

Lavandins (L. x. intermedia) is edible, as is all lavender, but its flavor can be resinous and pungent. A Lavandin type will make a dish taste bitter.”

Every Damn Day in June

10 Reasons I Like this time of year

Photo by Nitin Dhumal on

Last fall, I moved from one side of the state to other. Eastern Washington is known for its cold winters and hot summers. The weather was more temperate year-round in the Seattle area and the Olympic Peninsula.

I was a bit apprehensive about what Spokane summers would be like, only to experience what felt like a Seattle summer; lots of rain and cloudy days until the day after the 4th of July, only in this case, the spring weather broke in time for the summer solstice. 

  1. It doesn’t get dark until late, and the sun comes up early.
  2. It’s warm. Okay, maybe a little too warm on some days. Monday it was 95, today it was 75
  3. Ice cream. But I eat ice cream all year round.
  4. Picnic food: cold fried chicken, hot dogs in buns, macaroni salad, fruit salad, sweet watermelon, root beer floats
  5. Going barefoot, but I do that all year too.
  6. Ditto for being naked
  7. Long sundresses
  8. Painting my toenails peachy apricot
  9. Brand-new sunglasses
  10. Sitting out on the patio reading
Every Damn Day in June
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