Sunday, August 21, 2016

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

Tomatoes are evil. That's actually the name of a website that gave me a chuckle when I discovered it years ago. If I eat too many tomatoes or too often I experience excruciating pain from the very core of my bones. Because so many autoimmune patients are sensitive to nightshades, I always wondered if my reactions were because it was a nightshade. Hmmm...but I don't react to peppers or potatoes so it didn't quite ring true.

A friend of mine recently told me she has trouble with MSG. I remember thinking, Doesn't everyone? Since the 1970s the health industry has been warning consumers of its toxicity. Monosodium glutamate was created by a Japanese chemist to be used as a flavor enhancer. It is one of those pervasive additives that is found in nearly every processed food, but most often used in Chinese restaurant foods. Years ago one could buy a shake container of MCS called "Accent" to use like salt or pepper on your meats. Do they still sell Accent?

The reactions people get from eating MSG-laced food range from headaches, asthma, facial burning, nausea, heart palpitations, chest pain, drowsiness, and weakness. My friend's personal reactions include restless leg syndrome (or what I like to call a sleepless night in hell), jello brain, dizziness, depression, exhaustion, crying episodes, headaches, and electrical shocks. These are symptoms common to chemical poisoning.

This is called Chinese Restaurant Syndrome due to the association of symptoms after eating Chinese food. Conventional medicine information found online makes it sound psychosomatic and a few articles blame these negative reactions on anti-Asian racism! Wow. The incompetence and ignorance of the medical industry never cease to shock me. The FDA has deemed MSG as GRAS or generally recognized as safe. Of course. I wonder which chemical company is paying the FDA to sweep it all under the rug. Probably whoever produced Accent.

Then there are the ingredients with hidden MSG such as gelatin, whey protein, seasonings, corn syrup, yeast foods, soy proteins, natural flavors, vinegar, rice syrup, enzymes, citric acid, carrageenan, broth, and guar gum to name just a few. The full list may be found HERE.

What I did not know is glutamic acid is naturally found in whole, non-processed foods and could produce the same symptoms if those foods are eaten in quantity or if the person is sensitive. The foods highest in natural glutamate are: cheese, soy sauce, walnuts, TOMATOES, meats, milk and milk products, peas, broccoli, mushrooms, and bone broth.


Wow. I have been repulsed by cheese, soy, and walnuts all my life so I have rarely eaten these things. Does my body know something I don't? It usually does. I ate tomatoes not because I loved them, but because they were supposed to be good for a body. When I finally connected the pain to tomatoes, I stopped immediately.

And then there is bone broth...well, if you've read my posts on the war with bone broth when I was doing everything possible to suck it up and drink it down, you already know how I feel about it. It seems the longer one simmers the bone broth, the more glutamate it produces. Who would have known?

For anyone who accidentally overdoses on MSG, my friend's quick remedy is to mix 1/2 to one teaspoon of cream of tartar in 8 ounces of water and drink it down. It's supposed to work, but I read you can clean metals with cream of tartar so I would be hesitant.

My suggestion for anyone with MCS...stay far away from MSG. If you are eating clean, wholesome, non-processed foods or following the Paleo diet, this will be easy. If you have food or chemical sensitivities, avoid naturally high-glutamate foods in quantity and be aware of your reactions.

**Yeah, someone gave me some tomato plants for my garden. I sure love the smell. I've been giving the beautiful fruits away to neighbors.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Mystery Plant

Does anyone know what this plant is?

I planted what I thought was "Sweet Basil" in this pallet garden and when these odd plants came up I thought they were weeds. They sort of look like lilies. It's NOT basil. Initially I wondered if the soil packages I filled the pallet garden with had some rogue seeds mixed in, but the plants are coming up in pretty little rows! Then I thought it was a variation of basil as sometimes the Thai Basil has pointy leaves, but the leaves don't smell. After much deliberation I decided to eat a leaf. I know that's a little dangerous, but I didn't swallow, only chewed. It's definitely not basil, but it started to burn. So I'm at a loss, but I stopped weeding them out because I'm curious.

They were planted around May and they are only three inches tall so slow growing. This makes me think they are perennials of some kind.

Most of the plants have two stems. The plant below is mixed in with my prize lettuce. When the basil didn't come up I planted lettuce in it's place. This plant is a little larger than the others with three stems. I'm guessing it likes shade? Hmmm...

I love a good mystery. Gardening is always so rewarding.

Any ideas?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Twelve Foods a Human Should Never Eat

I just discovered Peter Glidden a naturopath who hates conventional, allopathic doctors. I love listening to his videos. He's very validating. I like knowing there are people out there who think just like me and detest the games of orange cones. He says things like, "The health care is in place to promote the sale of pharmaceuticals" and "If you are suffering, you don't have a bad gene, you have a bad doctor." His website is filled with vlogs on every subject imaginable and he's not shy about giving his opinion. His frankness provides many LOL moments. Under the tab "Learn" he talks about the Twelve Bad Foods. In summary here they are:

1.   Wheat (gluten)
2.   Barley (gluten)
3.   Rye (gluten)
4.   Oats (gluten)
5.   Oil in a Bottle
6.   Fried Food 
7.   Red Meat Cooked Well Done
8.   Potato Skins Baked/Cooked Well Done
9.   Carbonated Beverages with Meals
10. Soy
11. Corn

Most of his warnings have to do with carcinogens and he goes into great detail on how these individual items cause cancer. He has another video on the lunacy of conventional cancer treatments with some interesting facts on their lack of effectiveness along with the commission doctors get for prescribing them.

Love this guy!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Lotsa Lettuce

When I started this lettuce last spring nothing happened. I waited. Nothing. So I kept re-planting seeds about once a month in various parts of my yard. I have three pallet gardens, one ground bed and one planter. I now have lettuce coming out my ears! And it's beautiful. Feast your eyes...

I think I'll enter it in the county fair.

I also planted the basil about four times before it came up. See it to the left in the photo below? It's hardly an inch high. Usually by this time it's been cultivated three or four times. We've had a cool summer so I'm blaming all this on the weather.

So glad I love salad!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bouncin' and Behavin'

It would take too long to list all the toxic ingredients found in hair gel or mousse besides the stink one must suffer all day until one shampoos out all the chemicals would be intolerable. I've always read egg whites are good for this and I once heard punk rockers used egg whites when they wanted their long tresses to stand straight up.

I've been growing my hair out for something new, but it's not always easy to manage. Yes, short hair is so much easier! I bought some rollers...remember those? Big, spikey rollers in hopes of smoothing the frizz and taming the wave. It took some getting use to as doing a "set" is definitely a learned skill. It worked great once I got the hang of it, but the body and bounce would go flat by the second day. In the "old days" one would use hairspray and that's not going to happen. So I decided to try egg whites. Here's what I did:

Take an egg and separate the yolk, placing the white in a bowl. Whip it up until it forms stiff peaks like meringue (think lemon meringue pie, OH!)

Wash your hair. Towel dry it. Using a blow dryer, dry it more but not completely. One at a time comb pieces of your hair into manageable parts, dip your fingers in the meringue, coat the strands, roll the rollers.

Let it dry. It takes a couple hours if you use a blow dryer every now and then to help it along.

Bouncin' and behavin'. Without hairspray it only lasts about three days, but the fullness is much better. It does make it a little hard to brush as it tangles easily. The meringue lasts about two weeks in the refridgerator.

The things I do for entertainment!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Menu Samples for the Paleo/Hashimoto's Diet

Every now and then someone asks me what I eat and since this changes from time to time depending on what I've added or restricted in my diet, I thought I'd update.

Below are lists of meals. All food items are organic, healthy, and natural with meats grass-fed or wild-caught. There is no such thing as a specific breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish. I eat whatever I eat whenever it feels right. These meals are in order of most often eaten, followed by snacks, treats/cheats, and drinks.


Mixed Salad with Lettuce, Avocado, Carrots, Zucchini, Sweet Peas, Basil, Red Peppers, and Orange/Lemon Juice Dressing.

Hamburger Patty with Jalapeno Peppers
Original Sauerkraut
Spicy Garlic Sauerkraut
Olives (sometimes)

Baked Cod or Salmon *
Broccoli or Carrots or Peas or Mixed Vegetables

Baked Chicken with Tarragon and Olive Oil
Delicate Squash or Olive Oil-Fried Zucchini

Baked Chicken with Beans, Potatoes (sometimes), Garlic, Olive Oil, Lemons

Chicken with Broccoli, Beans, Red Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Basil, Coconut Milk, Chile Flakes *

Pot Roast with Carrots, Onions, Garlic, and Celery
Delicata Squash

Chicken Soup with Carrots, Celery, Garlic, and Onions

Sauteed Prawns with Onions, Red Peppers, Basil, Garlic and Coconut Milk *

Hamburger with Red Peppers, Onions, Jalapeno Peppers, Garlic, Zucchini, Cilantro, Oregano, Cumin, Chili Flakes, and Cayenne Pepper

Salmon Salad with Olives, Basil, Garlic, Canola Mayonnaise, Green Onions, Avocados and Lettuce

Chicken Salad with Chicken, Celery, Onions, and Canola Mayonnaise on Lettuce

* About once a month I eat rice with one of these meals.


Almond Butter
Blackberries (in season only)
Raspberries (in season only)
Plums (rarely, in season only)
Apricots (rarely, in season only)
Oranges (rarely)
Fresh Figs (rarely, in season only)


Apple Crisp (Apples, Lemon Zest, Almonds, Coconut, Coconut Flour, Butter, Vanilla)
Blueberry Crisp (Blueberries, Lemon Zest, Almonds, Coconut, Coconut Flour, Butter, Vanilla)
Unsweetened Carob Chips (trying desperately to break this habit)
Yogurt (currently trying to replace carob with yogurt)
Corn Tortilla Chips (rarely)
Popcorn (rarely)
Watermelon (rarely)


Peppermint Tea
Fresh Lemonade

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Movie Reviews

***** Excellent
****   Great
***     OK
**       So So
*         Blah

American Sniper is about Chris Kyle, Navy Seal Sniper. I've avoided this movie for a while due to the violence. There is no way I could ever be in a war. Granted, the people he had to shoot were trying to kill American soldiers, but I know I'd be a basket case in such a situation. So sad he survived four tours to be killed by a veteran right on American soil. The injustice is mind boggling. Excellent story, excellent performances. Initially I gave it four stars until I had nightmares all night. ***

Concussion is based on a true story about the medical studies on the effects of repeated head trauma from playing football. I've never liked football. It's violent and mindless. Schools spend mega amounts of money and energy on what is no longer an extra-curricular activity. It takes priority over learning and people wonder why our education system has gone downhill. It's less a game or past time as it is an obsession. With these new medical understandings and publicity on the very real health risks of the game, why there hasn't been a mass exodus? Other than the mass exodus of football players killing themselves. The NFL corporate sleazes have known about the risks and have covered it up for years.  After reading about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the movie looked interesting and I added it to my list. Then Jada Pinkett Smith threw a tantrum about how husband Will deserved to be Oscar nominated for his performance just because he's black.  I crossed the movie off my list. The DVD was sitting all alone on the library shelf looking neglected waiting patiently to be checked out. I wonder how many people were turned away from the movie because of Jada's rant of entitlement. Will did a great job. Great accent. Without the accent I don't think his performance was special in anyway, but it was good. Valuable story. Too bad no one cares as they are all too busy watching football. ***

Diana When I first saw this on the shelf, I thought it was a general biographical documentary. Instead it was a Hollywood movie about the last three years of Princess Diana's life and her love affair with a Pakistani heart surgeon. It stars Naomi Watts. Was she really the best they could get to play the part? Not that she's a bad actress and I think she really tried, but I couldn't quite associate her with Diana at all. I'm racking my brain trying to think of an actress who would be better but I'm at a loss so maybe she was the best choice? Her dried, fried, over bleach blonde hair with black roots drove me nuts. It was more like Marilyn Monroe than Diana and Diana had a shyness that Naomi failed at capturing. Not to say she didn't try. I can't imagine having that lifestyle though...zipping around in convertibles, lounging on yachts, living in castles, and never worrying about money. Kind of hard to feel sorry for her. It made her complaints about loneliness seem immature. **

Divine Access is about a man (Billy Burke) who after his father left, his mother became religiously experimental dragging her son along with her from commune to commune. His friend runs a cable network with a religious show that airs at 2am called Divine Access. He asks him to be a part of a panel, then host his own show, then go on the road for a lecture tour. He ends up with a following camped out on his front lawn. I love Billy Burke. The soundtrack is great and the religious perspective is excellent. ****

Eye in the Sky was about the British target of a Somalian-Kenyan terrorist group that had alluded the military for six years. They are found using all kinds of really cool spy gadgets, their identities confirmed, and they are watched as they are placing suicide vests on two of their recruits. Just as the order is given to alienate them with a bomb from the above drone, a little girl brings a basket of bread to sell at the corner of the building. Do they accept the collateral damage of one sweet, innocent little girl (they show her throughout the movie so we become very attached to her sweetness) in payment for the estimated 80 or so men, women and children they will save from the suicide bomb? It takes about 30 minutes of checking with every politician in Britain and the USA to find out if it legally complies, how it affects propaganda, and military/political protocols, all the while everyone is hoping she'll sell all her bread and leave before the missile is engaged. Shit it was nerve wracking. ****

5 to 7 is about a young writer in New York who meets an older, married French woman and they began an affair. Extra marital affairs are an expectation in French culture. However, there are rules to the game. It was interesting and the ending very bittersweet and touching. ***

Footloose (2011) with Julianne Hough is the updated version. Same script with just a few story modifications. Same soundtrack except they countrified the songs and added some country-western dancing along with contemporary dance. It was good. I don't know if it had the original excitement of the first one with Kevin Bacon since it was a remake, but it was good. ***

Fourth Man Out is about four macho, bearded friends who have known each other all their lives. One comes out as gay while the other three guys try to figure out how to deal with it. For instance, after years of forcing their friend to go to strip clubs, they decide to take him to a gay dance club. It was contrived and often immature, but at times cute and sweet with some funny moments. ***

Goodbye World is a post-cyber-apocalyptic movie about a computer virus that wipes out technology via cell phones. There is a survivalist-type, 20-something family living up in the mountains of Northern California, off-grid and self-sustaining. All their friends come stay with them while motorcycle gangs and army thugs are terrorizing the countryside. The human relations aspect was somewhat entertaining when all their licentious secrets are revealed and the performances were good, but I kept waiting for them to actually do something to protect themselves and they never did. Their implied compliance was irritating. "Sure, take all our supplies! We don't like it but there is nothing we can do about it." That bothered me. Maybe I was expecting a typical Hollywood plot, but it just felt flat and left me with a feeling of incompletion. ***

The Heart of the Sea  Why didn't they just call it Moby Dick?? Excellent sets and special effects, great performances, loved the whale. Very scary. Whaling is not for the weak at heart.  Yet there was something very sad about those heartless men killing mommy whales with their babies swimming by their sides. I doubt if the 19th century book had any kind of an ecological theme, but it was obvious here. Or maybe that's just my modern day environmental leanings? And perhaps that's why they didn't call it Moby Dick. Yep, the title makes perfect sense now.  Such magnificent creatures. It made one want to root for the whale. ****

Hugo was a charming, whimsical, artsy, surreal, beautiful film about a little boy who's clock-maker father dies and he goes to live in the clock at the train station in Paris. This takes place after WWI. The sets, costumes, music and cast of characters are delightful. Asa Butterfield with the beautiful blue eyes plays the kid. It was sweet and magical, although it felt a little slow and I wanted more of a heart-felt connection between the characters. I realize that would have been the typical expectation, but the real reason behind the weirdness was really boring and unrealistic. It didn't make for much of a climax. Poor choice for a title. You'd think someone would have thought of something more clever and fitting which might have helped ticket sales. ***

The Judge was about a city-slicker attorney (Robert Downey, Jr.) who goes home for his mother's funeral which requires facing a ill-tempered, ex-alcoholic father he has never really liked and hasn't seen in twenty years.  His father (Robert Duvall), is the town judge, and after the funeral runs over and kills one of the white trailer trash ex-cons he helped put away. Excellent human relations and plot entanglements. Billy Bob Thornton plays the prosecuting attorney. I've seen him in a number of movies lately and with each movie he gets better and better. And Robert Downey, Jr was superb....he used to be such a loser. So glad he pulled himself out of the gutter and is doing so well. Excellent movie. ****

Just Peck is coming-of-age story about a sophomore boy who's exceptionally geeky and awkward. He is kicked out of band and is forced, by his MIT employed, contract-signing, parenting theory-driven parents, to join the science club and become a "science fairy" much to his horror. He has a crush on a tall, beautiful blonde girl and she inspires his science project. The anticipation of the science project presentation is delightful. Unusually smart for a coming-of-age type plot with serious themes that were surprising. Great cast and great performances. ****

A Little Bit of Heaven I saw this on the movie list starring Kate Hudson and it looked like a typical mushy love story with a cliché plot. Blah.  I whizzed past it on the list for a while before I decided to read the plot. Nope. It was an awesome film about life and relationships and, my favorite, death. Girl who has everything finds out she's dying from colon cancer. I loved her visits with God and the very end was excellent leaving one uplifted. It was perfect when she asked the doctor what causes colon cancer and he says no one knows - she replies with, "Of course you don't. Why would you figure it out and put yourself out of a job?" LOL !!!!! All star cast of great actors. It was everything that other best friend movie I watched a couple months ago was not...****

Match is about a ballet teacher who is visited by a couple on the pretext the woman is writing her dissertation on the history of dance. It's all bogus and later during the interview he finds out why they are really there. I bet this was a play at one time. With only three characters the simplicity was refreshing and the plot beautifully developed. It would do well on a stage. Patrick Stewart was exceptional and the ending was delightful emotional in an unexpected way. ****

Mockingjay, Part 2 is the second part of the third part of the Hunger Games trilogy with our hero Katniss Everdeen taking down the Capitol dictatorship. If you haven't read the books, I highly recommend them. It took so long to get this last movie I nearly forgot every detail of the story. Great ending. Excellent everything. ****

Moneyball is with Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jonah Hill. It's about baseball which is a game I tolerate a little more than football, and about bringing computer analysis into the selection of players using statistics and numbers. It was good. For people who are baseball fans, especially Oakland Athletics fans, they would LOVE it. ***

Newland is a story about a very strange, damaged little Jewish girl and her brother in a refugee camp in Israel after World War II. It has an interesting cast of characters and addresses the horrors of various wartime experiences including the corruption and sleaze of the refugee camp. It's a bit strange and a little lacking in emotion considering the subject matter, but that could be due to the performances. **

One More Time is a story about a has-been crooner (Christopher Walken) feeling old, poor, and washed up. He is constantly planning his comeback, although claims he never left. It's very sad. In the meantime he's having an extra marital affair behind the back of his sixth (?) wife. His dysfunctional family rallies around him as his support, but it all seems to focus on his youngest daughter (Amber Heard) who is directionless, but not screwed up enough to be interesting. I kept waiting for the story to get past the background and take a twist so the plot would begin, but nothing ever transpired. His singing was cringe-worthy. So was her's, although everyone kept saying how much talent she had and if she'd just apply herself she'd be as famous. I wasn't seeing it.  I kept asking myself Who is Amber Heard??? I didn't recognize her, but yet her name sounded familiar. Ah ha! She's the soon-to-be-ex of Johnny Depp currently headlining the tabloids. So weird to make your mark on the film industry as someone's ex-wife. **

Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington about a lawyer who is wrongfully fired because he has AIDS. What an outstanding film. Is it any wonder why Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor? *****

Pitch Perfect 2 was really horrible with stupid humor fit for prepubescent teenagers and unrealistic characters with dialogue that was written for children. I didn't even like the music.  I lasted 15 minutes. *

Race is the story of Jesse Owens and his Olympic Game wins that slapped the Nazis in the face. Great story, great acting, excellent everything. ****

The Rapture was horrible. Bad acting, bad script, , bad cheap sets, really, really bad religion shoved down the viewer's throat. We are all going to hell in a hand basket and it's too late to convert! <zero stars>

Risen is about the Resurrection of Christ as seen through the eyes of a Roman centurion (Joseph Fiennes). Jesus is crucified, he rises, and the centurion is sent to find the body as the powers-that-be (Jewish priests and Roman magistrates) are sure it was stolen so Jesus' followers could fabricate a miracle and create another social disturbance.  The problem is the centurion finds the body very much alive. This is another aspect of the Jesus tale that is rarely used as a movie or book theme. (See also below The Young Messiah...It's a Jesus-themed movie month!) It was very well done, great sets, great costumes, great performances, good script and an interesting take on a well-known biblical story. Loved the apostles especially Bartholomew. ****

St. Vincent is about a mean, alcoholic man (Bill Murray) who babysits the new kid next door after school. He takes him to the race track where he can learn commerce, to the local bar to learn social studies and teaches him how to defend himself against bullies. It has some great LOL moments and Naomi Watts is a superb pregnant Russian stripper-prostitute. ****

Summer Magic the 1960s Disney movie with Hayley Mills about a family who loses money and moves to the country to live in a big yellow house. Dorothy McGuire plays the mother. She must have been a smoker with those yellow teeth and sallow looking skin. Hayley Mills is adorable. The costumes are beautiful. Good ole fashioned Disney. I used to LOVE these movies as a kid. ****

This is Where I Leave You is about a man who has done everything possible in his life to avoid mistakes so he can live a perfect, predictable, rational life. Then he catches his wife sleeping with his boss, loses the wife and his job, his father dies and his world unravels. The whole family gets together with all their strange dysfunction. All-star cast of characters, great performances, interesting relationships. Jane Fonda looks great. I'm envious. Crappy title.***

The 33 is a true story about the thirty-three miners who were trapped in a Chilean mine for 69 days. It stars Antonio Banderas and Lou Diamond Phillips. Very good, suspenseful, human interest drama with outstanding performances. ****

Twice Born is a very complex story about two young lovers, one Italian and one American who meet in Bosnia and fall in love. She can't have children and they devise an elaborate surrogate plan but the Bosnia War intervenes. Twenty years later the woman brings her son back to Bosnia to show him where she met his father. By the end we find out it's not as it seems...***

Valley of the Dolls I can't believe I have never seen this movie. I've always heard a lot about it. I think it must have been scandalous back in the sixties when it came out with all that subversive behavior. OUTSTANDING theme song. I've always loved the song. It's so haunting. And to have Dionne Warwick sing it throughout the movie was awesome. I used to have my mother's old Dionne Warwick album with this song on it. The whole album was superb. I miss it, but long gone are the days of turn tables. The clothes were fantastic - matching coats, hats, purses and shoes. I loved it. Sharon Tate's clothes especially. In one scene she wears this hot pink pant suit ensemble with white shoes. Nothing special (except the color) until she removes the coat (she's out by the pool) and the hot pink hip hugger bell bottoms have a wide white belt and she's wearing a lime green bikini top. WOW. I've never known Sharon Tate other than as the woman the Manson Family murdered. She was really beautiful. Many have wondered throughout the years how far she would have gone in the entertainment industry and now I see why. And the HAIR STYLES! Long tresses ratted up high and sprayed with a whole can of toxic lacquer to hold it all in place. Of course, the story is a melodramatic Hollywood-themed soap opera - everyone is drinking, popping pills, and having premarital sex. Scandalous! They called people "fags" and "queers" a lot just to enhance the subversion theme. The acting was not so good although Susan Hayward and Patty Duke weren't too bad. Well, OK, they were better than the others, but still bad by today's standards. It was fun. And long. Very long. A wonderful example of classic 1960s culture. I can't stop humming the theme song. ***

The Walk is the Hollywood version of the true story of Philippe Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the wire walker who walked a tight rope (wire) between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. It's hard to believe someone actually did it or even wanted to do that. The theme is not only "follow your dreams" but emphasizes the people it takes to make dreams come true as individual feats are rarely individual. It was a beautiful memorial to the Twin Towers. ***

Whiplash is the Academy Award winner I tried watching months ago and couldn't stomach the abuse. I tried watching it again and powered through the disrespectful screaming of the instructor, temper tantrums, throwing cymbals at his students and still hated it. I'm not sure if it's more about the student's obsession at perfection or the teacher's idea that abuse makes musical genius. Great performances, but I still didn't care for it. Too much confrontation. ***

The Young Messiah is the story of Jesus as a seven year old who is raising the dead, curing the sick, and healing the blind, but he doesn't quite understand what it all means. I found this idiotic. He might have been only seven years old, but HE IS GOD. There is very little about Jesus as a child in the Bible and I can't think of any movie that features this time period. Christopher Moore's hilarious book Lamb does, but this is a rare portrayal. I get the impression the writers had to decide how to handle it: historical realism or supernatural surrealism. They picked realism with a touch of oddness just to remind us the kid is GOD. Hmmm...not a good choice, I think. There is a weakness of plot, dialogue and performance (well, everything except the sets) that makes the movie boring. I would have liked to have seen a little more emotion and conflict. For instance when he brought the dead bird back to life instead of his cousins just looking at the bird as if that was perfectly natural, I would have liked some facial expression and dialogue of surprise and awe...or fear..or what the hell?? Maybe his mother could have swooped down, grabbed him by the arm, drug him to the wood shed and whooped his ass. When he is being questioned by the rabbi on his knowledge of the scriptures, instead of mindless recitation, little Jesus should have recited and then added his I AM GOD special knowledge in some way that made them all take a step back as if to say, "Holy shit, HE IS GOD.". There are some scenes of divine cloud formation (Girl Alive would have liked this...) and holy sun rays, but their usage was inappropriately melodramatic and didn't fit with the story as if they just stuck the scenic photographs in as a post-production afterthought. It was like looking at illustrations on a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet. I think every time little Jesus prayed is when they should have shot sun rays down on him and every time he cured someone is when the clouds should have opened up. Granted, the bonus features do admit it's was low budget film, but little inexpensive additions would have added some pizzazz and interest. The little boy they found to play Jesus is stunning, the perfect choice, but if he had acting skills, they didn't show. I would have liked the character to show more divine wisdom and understanding of the world. After all, HE IS GOD. I would have liked him to have had blue, sparkling eyes to beat in the idea he was holier than thou, too. It was OK, but it could have been great.***

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"The [Smelliest] Place on Earth"

Recently there was an article featured on Disney World written by an ex-employee entitled, "Fired Disney Employee Reveals What It's Really Like To Work In "The Happiest Place on Earth". Read HERE. Check out number eleven:

11. The Secret Of Smells

There’s a reason why Disney parks smell so God damn good (toilets aside). This is because the parks pump pleasant smells around them using things known by Cast Members as “SMELLITIZERS“. Not only do they help mask they smell of the all the trash, but they also pump out certain smells to fit in with the atmosphere of each “land” – such as a salty sea breeze near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Poisons are so NOT Disney-like, but there is so much in the news lately that is Disney, but shouldn't be, so are we really surprised? No matter what they claim, it's all about MONEY not people. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Open Letter to the Snowflakers, or How to Avoid Looking Crazy

Last week there was a website article called "Allergic to Life" posted for The Guardian about the MCS/EMF community in Snowflake, Arizona. As you may recall, I visited this community a few years ago and although I enjoyed the company of the people, the area was a little barren, too depressing  and filled with too many car-eating rats for me to want to uproot my pet bunny and subject him to the horrors of giant snakes and roaming packs of dogs. The bunny is gone. Lately I have been revisiting this idea. How nice it would be to live in a community of like-minded people. Too bad they live in hell.

The more I thought about the article, watched the video, and perused the comments, the angrier I became. Unfortunately due to the overwhelming response, the comment section closed only a week after publication. Half the comments were from individuals with first hand MCS/EMF experience either because they are sufferers themselves or have direct contact with family or friends who are chemically sensitive. The other half were who I like to call "The Unenlightened" - people who have no experience nor have any knowledge on the subject yet due to their ignorance and inability to empathize feel the need to berate and blame the victim. For lack of cognitive understanding because of their incredibly low functioning brains, they blame it all on mental illness. They just can't wrap their heads around the fact someone might be different. I think even if I had left a comment it would have been deleted for being inappropriate for all the hollering, name calling and swearing I would have done.

This post is my response to the article.

The article and short video present a very interesting glimpse into the lives of these societal exiles including health history, illness remediation, architectural design requirements and various lifestyle allowances and restrictions. I found the suicide rate to be the most enlightening if not disturbing. The video has some very nice photographic elements, although the interview techniques and editing are substandard.

My main critique is the author is mentally ill and off her medication. Now, you probably think I'm being sarcastic, but she says as much in the article. Why? This is an article about MCS/EMF lifestyles so why is she front and center? She has even included two photos of herself. I surmise they appear only for posterity. She loves her mentally-ill self and she needs a self-esteem boost. Her mental illness has influenced her outlook greatly and perhaps she has sought out this community to validate her own illness.  Clearly she arrived in Snowflake with an agenda. Who farts in front of their interviewees and celebrates it in their own article? Bodily functions have been perceived as subversive entertainment since the beginning of time. It's too tempting. Only the crazy lack social skills. But she's on a mission.

The article and video fail miserably at qualified research. There is little medical research history cited and even it points to mental illness. There is nothing on the government agencies that recognize MCS as a disease and disability. There are no interviews from medical professionals, whether supportive or not. The author was invited into the community on the condition she would not contact psychiatrists who would debunk MCS/EMF diagnoses. I know these verbal agreements were an attempt by the interviewees to focus the article as a vehicle for public education rather than spreading narrow-minded untruths about the condition. Unfortunately, what is left is an expose on mental illness.

The message is clear: MCS/EMF as a psychological condition rather than a physiological health problem.  The author complied with their requests as she didn't call in the so-called medical naysayers, but worse, she states in the article that the interviewees tried to make her promise to not to even write about it implying they are paranoid and unnaturally fearful. She highlights behaviors that are strange which calls into question the rationality of her hostesses. She talks at length about her mental illness and makes comparisons while allowing the kind and empathetic MCS/EMF community members to offer advice and assistance. After all, they know the signs. The author also writes with the flare of insanity: disorganized, off-point, babbling without cognitive control. The whole article, including the writing style, screams mental illness. This strikes me as a back-stabbing. A betrayal twisted just so to appear as if they complied with requests and respected their subjects. Kathleen should be ashamed of yourself for taking advantage of these people.

So who's at fault here? A mentally ill journalist with an agenda? I think not. Reckless, thoughtless, self-serving journalists always have agendas. That's the point of their job. It doesn't make it right. It just is what it is. The Snowflake community members are experienced with journalists and filmmakers as they seem to get their fair share of them visiting. So why aren't they better prepared? Perhaps they need some constructive criticism...

Dear Snowflake Community Members:

I have met many of you and I didn't get an impression of mental illness. I also know chemical and radiation poisoning does affect cognitive function, energy levels, and overall well-being making us less likely able to defend ourselves. Forced exile and isolation beg for company. This puts you at a disadvantage when dealing with celebrity-seeking journalists with agendas. Still, your current method of presentation is less than helpful to the MCS community at large. Here are some tips for handling journalists:

First, journalists are not your friends. You shouldn't be inviting them into your house for personal experience. Some are honestly searching for truth and knowledge, but most have an agenda that inspires them to desperately seek subversion and/or entertainment. Twenty-four/seven access invites too much scrutiny. Keep them at a distance. They are usually not trustworthy. Besides, if you can't offer basic hospitality, don't offer them bare bed springs and no blankets. Don't add dirty mats as if that rectifies the situation and provides comfort. Forcing people to walk naked from your car to your house over gravel is anything but typical. (If they were so toxic, why were they allowed in the car?) Expecting them to wear your underwear and feeding them cabbage soup is not socially acceptable. This style of hospitality screams MENTAL INSTITUTION complete with a violation of human dignity. If the author has ever been committed, I'm sure she was feeling right at home. Regardless, such an adventure will make for a really, really good story.

You can't impose censorship on a journalist. It defies the notion of our American patriotic freedom of speech. This freedom is the blood which runs through a journalist's veins. By attempting to control what they write and how they think, you challenge them do exactly the opposite. The more sleazy and underhanded they can play, the more satisfaction they will feel. They are constantly looking for a publishing edge. That's how they make their living. If you can't be honest with information and accept whatever they may write, don't extend invitations. Trying to control them with conditions and promises only makes you look paranoid [mentally ill].

Interview the journalist before he/she/they arrive. Have them send sample writings or online links to their publications. Research their positions on health care, politics, etc. Do they know anything about MCS/EMF and what are their current opinions? Ask for references. Find out if they have stabbed anyone in the back before. Can they actually write well without babbling incoherently? Find out if they have health issues. Find out if they are mentally ill. Any indication or instinct that feels wrong, decline their request. Be on the alert for sociopathic liars.

Assume journalists will seek and find the opposition. That is their job. Instead of attempting to control what they will write which only tempts them with the forbidden, guide them in their endeavors. Offer it to them on a platter. Give them information you want them to have including facts on how and why incompetent medical professionals view MCS/EMF negatively including prepared rebuttals. Give them names of doctors to interview. Heck, set up the appointment for them and point them in the right direction. Make their jobs easier. If you wear them out with information, the lazy journalists might stop there. I find being open and honest about the opposition is more helpful than trying to subvert it.

Be prepared. Instead of trying to control the journalist, control yourselves. You are the expert on your condition. You've heard all the questions and know all the answers. Present your facts with precision and clarity. When the journalist asks, "What would you say to the people who say you are mentally ill?" have a response ready that is clear and concise rather than, "Get your head out of your ass." Now I totally understand this response and the video editing that made it a sound bite, but to the general public aggression can be perceived as a symptom of mental illness. Don't talk about wrapping shit in tin foil, or putting a gun to your head, or implied child abuse. Do not let your guard down or babble thoughtlessly.

Practice good thespian skills. In addition to being prepared, be aware of how you present yourself. Be an actor. Control and plan your responses. Maintain a professional stance in order to relay quality information and purposeful education. For instance, if someone asks you what you do in your free time, don't say "...including things I don't want to go into." What does that mean? Are you a masturbation addict? It is not advantageous to sound like a psycho, a pedophile or a unabomber. Instead, respond with, "Oh, I do all kinds of things. I read, write, listen to music, go for walks." Don't give them sound bites that prove to the public you are strangely subversive. Assume anything you say and do will be held against you, or presented for public consumption permanently online...forever. Prepare your lines and present them like a sane person starring in your own movie.

Avoid contradictions. Anytime one challenges the status quo and tries to educate the public by telling them their everyday habits are toxic and health threatening, the Unenlightened will search for contradictions to discredit your information in order to legitimize their own lifestyle. Don't give them ammunition that supports their notion it's all in your head. If you tell them you are sensitive to plastics, don't pull out the plastic containers for photographic opportunities. If you tell them car exhaust makes you deathly ill, don't discuss driving or living in cars. If the journalist persists in her use of the word "allergy" and even plans to use it in the article's title, don't feature your barking dog in photos. Being "ALLERGIC to life" would imply pets are a problem as well. It's bad enough you have a barking dog around people who have hearing sensitivities. Contradictions discredit your information. You become unbelievable adding to the myth we are all just confused [psychologically impaired] or lying in order to get disability. Granted, a journalist with discrediting agendas will be looking for the contradictions. Again, don't invite them into your home.

Create your own articles and videos for public education. If you truly want to control what is written and seen, then produce your own public relations materials. Yes, I realize this takes energy and capital, but it's the only true method of control. Even so, what you write will be met with criticism and scrutiny.

Again, inviting journalists into your homes is risky as well as exhausting to anyone who is chronically ill. If you don't have the energy to maintain a controlled, professional demeanor, I highly suggest to avoid extending invitations. Think of them as vampires - once invited, the terror begins. I hope this list of suggestions is helpful the next time someone wants to invade your space and share their experiences with the world. It's advantageous to not promote the notion it's all in our heads.

Thank you,
Multiple Chemical Survivor

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Kind of Exercise...

This is brilliant and hilarious:

I love it when he steps "off stage" and all the women crane their necks as if there really was a stage. LOL!

Laughter is good.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Movie Reviews

*****   Outstanding
****     Great
***       OK
**         So-so
*           Blah

Amazing Grace was about abolition in Britain and how one politician single-handedly made slavery illegal. It stars Ioan Gruffudd from the television show Forever who I think is so adorable. It was a very good movie, perhaps a little slow due to the historical theme. ***

Brooklyn is a story about the immigration of an Irish girl in the 1950s to New York (Brooklyn). A very sweet and beautiful movie. The lead actress is stunning and the 1950s costumes and sets were excellent. Plot was uneventful and expected, like a Hollywood film from the 1950s. ***

Every Little Step is about the Broadway show A Chorus Line featuring the casting auditions for the 2006 revival show and lots of history about the play. The auditions for a play about auditions. Brilliant. I absolutely LOVE documentary films on the inner workings of the entertainment industry!  It was fascinating. *****

The Goonies is a kid's movie from the 1980s about a group who set off to discover pirate treasure in order to avoid foreclosure on their houses which are being sold to a developer. Why would this interest me? It was filmed in Astoria, Oregon, and every year in June they hold a Goonies Festival in commemoration. Anytime I've gone to Astoria I've seen posters celebrating this claim to fame so I decided I should see the movie. Views of the town are great especially with all the rain. Naturally, the movie is totally unrealistic on so many levels - there are no turquoise lagoons on the Oregon coast. One is more likely to see ice cold, gray water. I'm not sure where these kids rode their bikes down a road directly out of town and miraculously ended up at the ocean. That was convenient, but unrealistic, however, the scenery is magnificent. The movie is extremely LOUD with all those kids screaming and flaying about usually all at once. This also made the dialogue really difficult to understand. Kids would love it. ***

Inkheart was about a man who has the special talent of being a "silver tongue" -  when he reads aloud the characters come to life. This sounded like a great story and began with a snowy Alpine setting that showed promise. Then the bad guys showed up and destroy a library filled with collector books. They were like a gang of thugs from 1930s gangster movies with substandard acting skills. I stayed with it until the bad guys compelled another silver tongue to read. Unfortunately, this one had a stutter which caused all kinds of problems. I absolutely HATED the message that people with stutters are to be humiliated and laughed at and their disability was the cause of so much misery. Obviously whoever wrote the story wasn't thinking clearly. Someone could have done something spectacular with the basic idea, but failed miserably. I absolutely hated the movie which surprised me since Helen Mirren is in it and I love her. *

Jenny's Wedding is about a young woman (Katherine Heigl) with a very close family. Her brother and sister are married with kids, living the perfect American dream, and everyone harasses her about finding a man and getting married. She seems really miserable in the first scenes. Her younger sister has a chip on her shoulder and makes comments about how Jenny is just jealous because she has what she wants, [the American dream], for instance, a cheating husband. HA! Come to find out Jenny is a lesbian with a partner of five years and the movie is basically about her coming out to her family and getting married so they can finally live like a true American because if you don't get married and have kids you fail miserably at patriotism. (Can you tell this narrow-minded expectation irritates me?) We watch how the family processes it step by tedious step. I kept wanting to scream, "Oh, get over yourself people!" The script is not so good and the acting is stilted even though there are some very well-known actors so I think it's just the dialogue that is poor. I know there are families out there who are so stubborn and ignorant they would turn their children away for being gay, but I'll never understand it. If I had kids I'd want them to be happy regardless. These people are afraid of what their friends will think. Good god, it's pathetic and just seems so outdated. Maybe that was the message? I didn't appreciate the comments about how Jenny has never been married so we should have known  but that's part of the narrow mindset of stupid people. I question how the parents have to be told and it comes as a shock. Do they not know their kids at all? Of course, for someone who has never been married nor has kids and doesn't see that as the American dream, it was offensive but I do understand the right of gay people to attain that dream. I feel the same way about the concept of marriage - why would anyone want to get married? But I get why they want same-sex marriage rights. **

The Lady in the Van I love Maggie Smith and she was brilliant as a homeless woman living in her van. She's very much like the cartoon Maxine...she says what she wants and has little tolerance for anything, but because she's old we just laugh. I hope to be just like her when I am elderly.  Except I'd rather not be homeless. I would prefer to have a place to bath and defecate so I don't feel the need to relieve myself in someone's driveway. The movie, however, was weird and not in a good way. The narrator has an invisible twin who argues with him. I'm not sure what that was all about. The supporting cast of neighbors aren't very interesting just quirky enough to be irritating and I had a difficult time understanding what Maggie Smith was saying most of the time. A little disappointing. **

MASH is about an Army surgical unit near the front lines during the Korean War. Out of this movie came the Emmy winning television series. It was made in 1969 so most of the cast are well-known actors that are barely recognizable in their youthful bodies: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, and Robert Duvall. I find most movies from the 70s intolerably outdated and although I had high hopes for this classic, unfortunately,  this one was disappointing as well. They kept talking over each other or mumbling incoherently so I either couldn't hear or couldn't understand what was being said. It didn't seem to have a focus or a plot, just random scenes, goofy characters, and really bad acting. A bit like a Laurel and Hardy movie. My breaking point was when one of the patients died, the doctor yells at a kid, and the kid starts crying...sort of. The pretend crying was pathetic. I wasn't really fond of the constant sexual harassment of nurses either. It only brought to mind the movie I saw on rape in the military. I guess it was funny back in the 1970s. Not so much now. Heck, I have always hated the theme song and I never watched the TV show. I lasted about 20 minutes. *

Memoria is about a messed up fatherless boy who spends his days smoking pot, drinking, going to parties and flunking his classes. I clearly missed the point and I have a hard time connecting with teenage boys and the strange things they do. **

The Miracle Worker , the classic from 1962 with Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft. Black and white, incredibly melodramatic with every emotion heightened for effect. I would have thought the movie was made back in the 1940s. Didn't they have color in the 1960s??? Even with the overacting, Patty Duke was incredible and not surprising that she won an Academy Award even at such a young age. I'm pretty sure I saw the remake, but I don't think I've ever seen this version. ****

Mississippi Burning is about the FBI investigation of the missing/murdered three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964. It stars Willem DeFoe and Gene Hackman. Very well done and very sad story. One of those kids was buried alive...they don't mention that in the movie. ****

Miss Potter is about Beatrix Potter, the author/artist known for whimsical animal watercolors and rabbit stories. I love Beatrix Potter. Adorable movie with breathtaking landscape views of the Lakes District in England. I want that farm!! I don't know why I've never known about this movie. ****

Northanger Abbey is based on the Jane Austen book of the same title. Typical Austen, great dialogue, simple romantic novel plot. Our heroine reads too many romance novels and tends to fantasize normal life into adventure. After some missteps, girl gets boy and everyone is happy. ***

Our Brand is Crisis is about a Bolivian presidential election and Sandra Bullock is hired as an adviser. Great commentary on all the propaganda, dishonesty, backstabbing, media manipulation, and dirty games that are played in order to get someone elected. It's a bad, bad business. A very good movie to watch this year as our presidential candidates started their mud slinging. What is so frightening is stupid people brainlessly buy into the propaganda. Anyone can say anything about a candidate and the stupid will jump all over it. They believe the lies and they spread the lies. My neighbor ladies during the last campaign started watching FOX news and kept coming to me with outlandish rumors about Obama. They voted for him in the first election but then, "Did you hear about..."  I wanted so badly to scream ARE YOU THAT BRAINLESS?? IT'S FOX NEWS!! It amazes me how compliant people are and then the nerve they have to vocalize their ignorance or spread the gossip because they honestly believe it's true. I'm embarrassed for them. I hate negative campaigning and I tend to be swayed in the opposite direction to not be associated with the ignorant populace. Of course, the current presidential choices are so horrible, I'm at a loss for who to vote for. I think this is how Hitler came to power. I love Sandra Bullock especially in dramatic roles although there are some really great comic scenes in this film. ****

Pan is the prequel to Peter Pan. Lots of noise, action, killing, and adventure music. The boy who plays Peter is absolutely adorable and I really loved the first half when he's in an orphanage. Kind of like Dickens's Oliver. Cute movie. Outstanding sets. Kids would love it, but there was something really, really disturbing about the scene with the crocodile grabbing the little boy and dragging him under the water. I felt a little sick to my stomach. ***

Selma, Lord, Selma is a Disney production about the civil rights movement in Selma, Alabama, featuring the story of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s youngest freedom fighter, Sheyann Webb who was ten years old at the time. It was good. I was does one make one of the most violent moments in civil rights history sappy and sweet for children? They included just enough violence to impact young viewers, but not enough to give them nightmares. Loved the freedom songs. I just read a book about the civil rights movement and they used a lot of quotes straight from history. ****

The Stanford Prison Experiment was based on a true story about a university experiment on abuse in the prison system. I've read about this experiment over the years as it turned into a theory about authority and response to authority. Watching this movie, it was more like an experiment on torture. It does make me wonder how one would act in such a situation. If I were a prisoner would I take it and become obedient and compliant? If I were a guard would the power go to my head? It was quite frightening. I kept hoping one of the prisoners would attack the guard and pummel him into a catatonic state. I don't think I'd be a good prisoner and I know I wouldn't be an abusive guard. Ezra Miller, who I really like as an actor, was awesome. ****

Trumbo is about McCarthyism of the 1950s and subsequent the Hollywood blacklist focusing on screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. It features an all-star cast: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, John Goodman, Elle Fanning and a number of other familiar faces. Well-done. Cranston is wonderful. ****

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life is a Bowl of Cherries!

My first bowl of cherries off my cherry tree!

Close up:

As I mentioned before, the rest of the tree is packed.

I'm not sure how to get to the ones on the very top branches.

I guess they'll have to feed the birds. Oddly enough, the birds haven't noticed them.

It's the little things that make life sweet!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Hobbits Live Here...

Cob houses are dwellings made from dirt/clay, sand and straw molded like pottery. Unlike wood this material doesn't attract insects, doesn't mold, doesn't burn, and doesn't cost so much. This form of construction has been used worldwide for centuries and many structures hundreds of years old are still standing. The only problem is our modern building codes don't allow them. I guess the powers-that-be want us to deplete resources and more than ever necessary on housing. It's not necessary. I wish government would start thinking out of the box.

I recently had an opportunity to tour a 30-acre property where cob construction is being practice and taught. The Cob Cottage Company is located in southern Oregon and hosts tours and workshops year round. It was fascinating. Granted, the village is mostly off-grid, outhouses for toilets, the nearby creek for running water, outdoor showers and washing areas, fireplaces or wood burning devices for heating and cooking. They do have phone service and electricity, but no internet and no cell phone service. No cell phones? Hooray! Oh, and they don't like dogs!!! I think I found my people! There are about six people currently living in the village. Enjoy the photos...

The cob village was at the end of a very primitive dirt road followed by a hike through the woods. (Zippy was not amused....) With no signs, I constantly questioned if I was on the right road, the right path, and nearly gave up and turned around several times. When I reached this little wooden bridge with the arch made from branches and decorated with handmade pottery, I nearly cried with anticipation. After a few more trails to negotiate and forks to ascertain, I finally made it.

The first set of little cob buildings were clustered together and attached with cob walls. Each wall had an archway opening and handmade wooden gate with various styles of handles and latches. I love rickety wooden gates.

Some of the walls were decorated with various sculpted imagery, built-in tables, or built-in windows:

Roofing materials were cedar wood planks supported by tree branch beams.

However, many if not most had swimming pool plastic over which collected tree leaves in the fall, composted, and subsequently hosted a number of woodland plants. Lots of recycled materials were used as well, for instance, old carpeting and plastic tubing and water bottles for gutter drainage.

As the tour progressed we were taken up into the hills to see little cottages freestanding under trees. This was surprising to me since I always thought one needed to dig a deep foundation on level ground.

One of the cottages was built over a large rock. The stairs you see in the photo below climb up over the boulder in the middle of the room to the bed on top of it!

Lots of whimsical interior designs:

Most of the built-in sitting benches (like in the photo above) are part of the heating system that funnels the heat from the wood burning stoves or fireplaces under the seats. See the large, metal barrel in the photo below. 

It heats the seats to the left of it all the way around the room:

Floor tiles made from pottery scraps or recycled tile bits:

Outdoor ovens:

Outdoor bathing area:

Refrigerators built right into the walls using outside air for refrigeration:

We saw about seven different cottages ranging from about 50 square feet to 300 square feet. The most spectacular was the cob cottage I've seen featured in several books and websites. This cob house cost $10,000 not including labor:

The largest building was a community center of sorts with a meeting/dining area, kitchen and Rumsford fireplace:

Most of the kitchen was outside...

Next to the gardens...

It's like a secret garden with cob walls!

Awesome and inspiring tour. I have always worried about perfection and questioned if I was capable of building something that worked and fit right. I was relieved to see imperfection. Nothing was symmetrical, there were cracks here and there, doors and windows didn't fit perfectly. Heck, one house had plastic over the window. This gave me confidence that whatever I build, whether it be tiny or cob, doesn't necessarily have to be perfect. If you are going to illegally build a house that doesn't comply with building codes, who cares!!??

Now I just need some land.