More Water Fasting Ramblings: Keep it fresh and push that reset button.

Today was rainy a Pacific Northwestern dream. I happen to be a girl who lives for 90 degrees and hotter, but the weather today was a perfect reminder of why it is so lovely here. The natural irrigation makes agriculture possible in areas previously unsuitable for intensive crop production. Irrigation transports water to crops to increase yield, keeps crops cool under excessive heat conditions and prevents freezing. Portland is a perfect example of a city with sustainable gardens and edible lawns. Today we canned twenty pounds of tomatoes   What an undertaking, but very well worth it. Canning garden vegetables reduces carbon emissions, is environmentally friendly, and reduces trash from your household. At Cornerstone Funeral Services, we are very proud of our large community garden and all that its yield is able to feed year round.

thLMDYF20YDe-pudge and de-sludge. Easy peasey, really. With fasting there is no action just intention. Fasting has been used from the beginning of time as the most effective, natural and basic form of tidiness for the body and mind. In our society we understand the concept of cleaning the car, the house and our clothes; but it is not commonplace to think of cleaning the inside of the body because we take it for granted that this happens automatically. But we do need to scrub it all the way down sometimes.   People are learning to cure their colds, headaches, nervous spells and other acute troubles by missing a few meals or taking a short fast. It is the simplest and the most efficient way of relieving our overloaded and “food-poisoned” systems. You would be surprised to know how little food is actually required to keep the individual healthy. Fasting as a remedy is fully in harmony with the “nature-cure” philosophy diseases. If the disease is created by an abnormal accumulation of toxins in the system, it stands to reason that fasting will help their elimination from the system. The membranous linings of the stomach and intestine, which act as a sponge to absorb food materials, are effectively “squeezed” to throw out the waste matter from the system. Keep it fresh and push that reset button.


So what happened today in the world of a small-town undertaker? A funeral, a burial and then a cremation arrangement with a family at their home. Next for me was a stop at the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm I am a member of to pick up some spinach, lettuce, melons and lemons. Each season the harvest shareholders provide the money (and other resources) needed for the farm to operate. We purchase   a “harvest share” of the season’s harvest. I finally made it back to my kitchen at 7 pm to unload my box and begin a meal. I love cooking for my family, neighbors, friends and for families who come into the funeral home. Women are just innate nurturers—we take care of our families and show our love through cooking and preparing meals. . We make a lot of the household decisions and have a huge impact on what items move off the shelves at the grocery stores. As decision makers and as food providers, we have changed the commerce of food and have told the food industry that we want more organic food on the shelves.thGU64UO2Q

Our family recycles; we collect aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles until the cows come home. Usually, my husband and daughter take the multiple bags to the recycling center and my daughter has the time of her life sorting through all the colorful scrap. Today, I loaded up the dirty heavy bags into the back of my car and hauled them to the recycling center near the Glad Tav bar. Forty years ago, people would recycle one bottle at a time. Today, recycling is a core community value effort and value, practiced by residents and businesses. Our green state of Oregon was also the first state to pass a bill for curbside recycling and 5-cent bottle returns. Yes, Oregon!   Beverage containers comprise 40-60% of litter. Deposit laws significantly reduce container litter and other types of litter. Combined curbside and deposit systems more effective than curbside recycling programs alone, the materials collected through deposit programs are of a much higher quality than materials collected through curbside recycling programs.


Hmmm. My blog post from yesterday disappeared because I disappeared. My day sucked! Have horrid breath, in a bad mood and hungrier than a hostage. But it’s ultimately all good. Out with the old and in with the new. Today I speak with the X Family who plan to bury their loved one on their property. They want a natural burial out in rural Clackamas County on a gorgeous October day. In a green burial, graves are dug by hand and concrete vaults or grave liners are not used. We have an oft-used quote in the green burial world: “Every year Americans bury enough metal coffins and concrete vaults to rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge. Our cemeteries have become landfills full of toxic waste with formaldehyde, the chemical chiefly used in embalming, leaching into the earth.” I do the opposite! I am so proud to be the owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services, the first green funeral home in the Portland Metropolitan area. Today we not only assisted a family with a beautiful, personal ritual, but we made sure no degradation of the existing areas took place. No native plants that could provide habitat for nesting birds, or food sources for birds and other animals would be harmed. It’s is time-consuming to make this happen but so worth it to know that we are loving the Earth.


Today started early and ended late. I chugged water like a banshee. We think about and do things that are important for sustaining the water on our property. We installed a walking path designed so that water can easily percolate into the soil rather than run off the property. We   constructed an aggregate base (crushed stone with no fine particles) to create permeable paving which will easily let the rain soak into the ground. To create the general outline of the walkway, we tossed the garden hose out into a wide arc and then pulled it into place. We used a shovel to remove grass and six inches of soil. The excess soil will be used as filler for our gardens, and the grass was added to our compost -.   reducing waste as we go along! After the grass and the upper layer of soil was removed, we dumped the crushed bits, raked the path, and tamped it all into place. It rained later that night, so I am happy to report the path did its job of leaving the mud out and keeping the rain in short order!


Day I don’t remember and feeling fresh, cleansed, and extremely hydrated. So let’s see: I’ve saved valuable resources on food, and I’ve saved valuable time on preparation. I am down weight, up energy, inspired and fabulous!

Interesting part of that day I would like to share: a last-minute eco send-off for a not-so-very eco guy. “Bruce” was in his 60’s and died peacefully at his home. His family wanted to you honor him in a way they felt suited him. He had a traditional metal casket, he was embalmed and he even wore leather shoes in his casket. His favorite Elvis songs played, his favorite Virginia ham and sourdough rolls were provided for the family repast. The room was decorated with lots of fresh, florist flowers in dark hued bouquets. Pretty traditional.   The family lived about a quarter mile down the country lane from the little country cemetery. I had my vehicle ready for transportation to the burial place, but then a thought struck me. “Bruce” had two college-age sons who wanted to participate in their father’s farewell, but weren’t sure what to do with themselves. One of the boys had a large trailer that he had hitched behind his mountain bike. We only had a short distance to go and it was very smooth road so I suggested that we load his father’s casket into the cart, and   use pedal power to bring him to the cemetery. The son’s eyes lit up and I knew he loved the idea. Not only was he doing something at the last minute for his father, but the son was able to do something which really reflected the way he chose to live his young life. It was truly a wonderful moment and a wonderful day.


thOMDO0TU0Fasting day 17? 18? Who loves water? Feeling fresh, feeling alive and feeling mighty fine! !


I learned a new word today: Eco-intelligent. Intriguing! It was used in the following context by a local guy who wanted to sell me the urns he recently crafted: “I use eco-intelligent materials, such as reclaimed woods, sustainable-yield lumber and other materials that would have otherwise been tossed aside as refuse. I like to be eco-intelligent.” Stump me linguistically while being eco-friendly and I am intrigued and sold. He is a like-minded soul who is being energy efficient and reducing trash waste by what he does, so I support him. He also strives to reduce environmental impact by using recyclable packaging and keeping waste to a minimum.


Fresh as a flower, feeling fabulous. Keep on keepin’ on! Just be sure to keep adequately hydrated during your fast. Even the slightest hint of dehydration can easily be misinterpreted as hunger, and that will just make things more difficult for you. Above all else, listen to your body and pay attention to its cues. If you honestly feel the need to end the fast early, by all means end the fast.


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