Stripping away the rose colored glasses of denial concerning my reality. Getting in touch with truth. Reaching out to others in empathy concerning their reality and their walk to truth.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Rare Find

The most precious and most expensive spice in the world is saffron. The filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, "Crocus Sativus Linnaeus". Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of saffron filaments, making it the world’s most precious spice. Because of saffron's strong coloring power and intense flavor, it can be used sparingly. Saffron is used both for its bright orange-yellow color and for its strong, intense flavor and aroma.

I love cooking with saffron, a wonderful taste indeed; I use it on special occasions. There’s nothing like making rice from scratch and pouring the saffron flavoring over it when I’ve finished steaming the rice. Served with a Persian dish called Ghormeh Saabsi, it’s quite the treat. I have a passion for Persian food as well. I once lived near three women from Iran and saffron was almost a daily item for them to use. I really miss their cooking!

Along with sharing cooking in a small community, I found that our differences in culture did not have to divide us. One of their sayings became a favorite of mine: “Gorbana shomah,” which translates to “G-d be with you or bless you.” More and more I learned their language, Farsi”. One day I was visiting their apartment when a visitor from Iran showed up. The visitor heard me speaking downstairs and asked who I was? The three women told her that I was an American. She ran downstairs to see, because she did not believe I wasn’t Iranian. Seems in Farsi I have a southern accent; well that figures!

My point is that having friends that you cross cultural, religious, and civilian divides is just as rare and precious as those saffron filaments. Think about that a moment. Saffron was our initial connection, as we talked about recipes one spring day in the parking lot.

It was a wonderful moment in time in the late seventies right before the hostage situation in Tehran. After that life became a blur as one by one they disappeared from this country. I felt so sorry that there was something for them to fear in the United States. But today I understand more as I see our own citizens battling the same issues of privacy and safety. There is neither.
Today when I purchase saffron I remember those women and their wanting to have a better life. I hope they’ve had much success. “Gorbana shomah”.

Refined as pure silver

A friend of mine sent me this story in my email and she wishes to remain anonymous. I thought it to be very interesting and worth sharing.

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jabba Talk

Hello, Jabba here, taking over while dcrelief is out with health issues. So let's do "Jabba Talk" and discuss: why do people insist on going to work when they are sick?

I sat back and watched as dcrelief struggled to post to Saffron Sights; she couldn't see clearly, the pain medication was keeping her groggy, so why push the button that's broken? She needed to rest.

Often I go to the pond and find a neighbor with the sniffles and wiping their nose constantly and I want to yell: "Go home and take that cold with you."

Did you know that a single sneeze can travel 25 feet? A lot of people can be infected through that vehicle. Look, take you tail home, get into bed and stay there until you're over it. It is our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves the best way we know how; then courteously extend that care toward others.

Give work it's place in your life, but not your whole life. Choose something bigger than work to center your life around. If you are a believer of a higher power let him choose a path that includes some kind of charity; not necessarily money, but a choice of giving of your time. Like me giving my time to help out dcrelief. May she be well soon and return to Saffron Sights.

written by Jabba

the waiting stage

I'm a bit lost because of changes in my life and developing an illness. I can tell you about the changes, but the illness still awaits diagnosis.

Right now I'm taking a pain medication that practically knocks me out. This makes it difficult to blog, as I'm groggy, sometimes not even seeing the typing in front of me. Without the pain med. I would not be able to sit up.

Earlier I tried to type but fell asleep in the middle of it. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

My family has a history of kidney failures, and cancer of the stomach, gal bladder, and pancreas; I'm a little scared. I wish I had more to write about but that's it for now. I'm in the "waiting" stage.

Changes: through a zimbio portal I met a man whom I shared interests with. He had another site of his own and I became a guest author. This carries a lot of responsibility... blogging on someone else site. I thought I did okay.

Next thing you know he gives me my own blog, and it proves to be a bit intimidating. Not to insult blogger, but this blog site is just more than I could imgine; yet here I am typing out my stuff on blogger because I feel safer. Does that make any sense to anyone? Can anyone explain why I feel this way? Alas with the change I'm in the "waiting" stage to see what I'll do.

It's as if only the "perfect" blogging stories or articles should go in the new site; meanwhile the lesser items can remain in blogger. Maybe this is all about having confidence in order to proceed. I'm waiting.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Perfect End

The perfect end to every day
is watching children sleep
and though they hate to go away
the morning brings relief
Each child loves the silly games
and special gifts are given
the time will come we'll all complain
with children all's forgiven
So we should hold their light in close
and help them when they doubt
The lesson that each day will bring
Is: was it lit or out?

Waiting on One

This is the luckiest man when it comes to fly fishing! He invites us down to his place once in a while and gloats when nobody has caught anything. Gloats! That's definitely the word.

I stood out in that water and it was cool... I mean temperature cool, for two hours. I had to stay a little closer to the shore because I don't swim. Finally I could not take it anymore so I stumbled over to the bank and sat down.

Meanwhile he's a bit miffed because he only has nine fish and there's no limit on how many he can take. Score-wise I'm the closet to him, with an "almost turtle snatch" and two tangled branches. "Here," he says and places some fish in my basket, "hang on to these. I need more room."

In the next hour and a half he landed 16 more, to which he says, "Okay I think we have enough for the grill." It was like watching a spider throw webbing as he whip, whip, whipped, the line above our heads.

Maybe I could have sketched the fishes, painted them on canvas, written a poem about a wayward fish, but the best I could was sit there: waiting on one.