Poetry-Animal Themes, A Few Of My Favorites…


“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Dr. Albert Schweitzer
1875 – 1965

This is my favorite by Schweitzer; it’s not a “poem,” but a story, a true story. No surprise it’s got birds at the center of it 😉 :

“”This was a horrible proposal [that the eight year-old Albert join a friend in killing birds with a sling] . . . but 1 dared not refuse for fear he would laugh at me. So we came to a tree which was still bare, and on which the birds were singing out gaily in the morning, without any fear of us. Then stooping over like an Indian on the hunt, my companion placed a pebble in the leather of his sling and stretched it. Obeying his peremptory glance I did the same, with frightful twinges of conscience, vowing firmly that I would shoot when he did. At that very moment the church bells began to sound, mingling with the song of the birds in the sunshine. It was the warning bell that came a half-hour before the main bell. For me it was a voice from heaven. I threw the sling down, scaring the birds away, so that they were safe from my companion’s sling, and fled home. And ever afterwards when the bells of Holy Week ring out amidst the leafless trees in the sunshine I remember with moving gratitude how they rang into my heart at that time the commandment: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ “



And, one of my all-time, if not favorite children’s poems, which has stayed with me always…I read it over and over as a child, and, as then, I wept as I just read this again:

The Nightengale and the Rose, Oscar Wilde



Another favorite — I first read this as a teen in an antique book…darn if I can’t find that book now! I think of it every year around this holiday season. Was older then, but cried just the same:

The Fir Tree, 1845, Hans Christian Andersen


And speaking of crying, if you ever need a good purging – don’t we all sometimes? — read this and it will stick with you, I can almost guarantee it. My dad even cried when he read this:

They Called Him Rags

They called him Rags, he was just a cur
But twice on the Western Line,
That little old bunch of faithful fur
Had offered his life for mine.
And all he got was bones and bread
And the leaving of soldiers’ grub,
But he’d give his heart for a pat on the head,
A friendly tickle or rub.
And Rags got home with the regiment,
And then, in the breaking away–,
Well, whether they stole him, or whether he went,
I am not prepared to say.
But we mustered out, some to beer and gruel,
And some to sherry and shad,
And I went back to the Sawbones School,
Where I was an undergrad.
One day they took us budding M.D.’s
To one of those institutes
Where they demonstrate every new disease
By means of bisected brutes.
They had one animal tacked and tied
And slit like a full-dressed fish,
With his vitals pumping away inside
As pleasant as one might wish.
I stopped to look like the rest, of course,
And the beast’s eyes leveled mine;
His short tail thumped with a feeble force,
And he uttered a tender whine.
It was Rags, yes, Rags! who was martyred there,
Who was quartered and crucified,
And he whined that whine which is doggish prayer
And he licked my hand–and died.
And I was no better in part nor whole
Than the gang I was found among,
And his innocent blood was on the soul
Which he blessed with his dying tongue.
Well! I’ve seen men go to courageous death
In the air, on sea, on land!
But only a dog would spend his breath
In a kiss for his murderer’s hand.
And if there’s no heaven for love like that,
For such four-legged fealtly–well!
If I have any choice, I tell you flat,
I’ll take my chance in hell.

By Edmund Vance Cooke



I began with and will end with Albert Schweitzer — “Prayer For The Animals

Hear our humble prayer, O God,
For our friends the animals,
Especially for animals who are suffering;
For animals that are over worked,
Underfed, cruelly treated;
For all wistful creatures in captivity
That beat their wings against bars;
For any that are hunted or lost or
Deserted or frightened or hungry;
For all that must be put to death.
We entreat for them all the mercy
And pity, and for those who deal with
Them we ask a heart of compassion
And gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves, to be true
Friends to animals and so to share
The blessings of the merciful.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer

I have a childhood favorite story that I cannot recall and it’s been killing me for YEARS trying! It was a small, paper book, actually. The theme was “cleanliness,” I believe…involved a lion and a “messy” girl…something about hosing down the lion/girl, lol. Anyway, I’d LOVE to find that story again. If it rings a bell to anyone, please send me a clue!

Any favorite animal-themed or children’s poems to share?

Or, whenever you need a good ol’ cry…what do you do/think/read?

sm row smiles


My Mighty, Mighty Juicer!

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I’ve been meaning to do product reviews — I’ve so, so many products about to post! So far, only the Aquasana has bore the brunt of my wrath ;D; and the Soap Nuts, a thumbs up. But I’ll start again with this: I bought a new juicer — I don’t know, in March or April? I think. Sometime like that.

I had researched and researched and decided on a GREEN STAR, which is a FABulous juicer (I know because I’ve used one); however, at the last minute, I came across THE SUPER ANGEL JUICER. (They have another site here.)

Looked great, but I was taken aback at the price! Still…I decided to do what I normally wouldn’t, and just go for it. Reason I was hesitant was because I was told I’d lose 50% of what I paid if I returned it. Not really sure on the legality of that (like I said, I did what I normally wouldn’t — meaning, I didn’t look it up to be sure!), but decided to give it a go. What sold me was the all-stainless construction! Wow, that’s impressive.

Here is a top shot of the front with the gears covered with the “Angel” piece (I don’t even use it; the juicer does not splash or anything, so it’s just a show piece anyway 🙂 ).Shown are the cleaning items that come with it — a brush, a scraper — a wooden (nice) tamper, and two containers, one for catching the pulp; one for the juice ….

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It cannot take a big handful of greens in at one time without a bit of struggle. However, it goes very fast, as it really just pulls those leafies in — it’s a greens eating machine! It can handle the harder-textured greens in larger amounts, interestingly, and it prefers the stems go first. So, if you put in baby spinach, which is very soft, or mache, it will do better in smaller amounts. This, I think, because the gears are so close and it’s so tight and fine a strainer, it really needs the smaller amounts to get every last bit.  So, again, all this is good stuff: You put in smaller amounts and get MAXIMUM juice. Seriously, I’ve never seen or FELT such dry pulp!


Touch that pulp and it’s DRY, dry as a bone. When I was using my older (now discontinued) Omega Juicer(that’s the newer version of the one I have; same juicer/function as mine), I was going through tons of greens, having to filter the juice 3 times to remove pulp, and still had very — VERY — wet pulp, and lots of it. I’m already saving LOADS — loads, I tell you! — on greens. I don’t have to buy so much now in order to get the same amount of juice I get from the Angel. With organic kales, for example, at $2.59 a bunch (and they’re not big like they used to be) I’m saving a lot. It’s really amazing how much juice this thing squeezes out!

To test it, I strained it through a fine, jersey-knit tea strainer! Not a speck of pulp was left.

It was really difficult to get a clear shot of just HOW tight the screen is! But this is why not even little speckles of pulp get through:

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See what I mean?!shock_oh_no_animated

So there are a mere 3 items to deal with, basically — the two gears and the extractor screen.

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The Screen is FABULOUSLY all in ONE with the chute! It is one piece which attaches over the gears, then you simply pull down the latch to lock it securely in place — boom. Done. You are ready to juice! How convenient is that? Love it. The gears are heavy-duty pieces of equipment — literally. They are heavy, solid steel. Beautiful.
You put together and clean only these three items. No other juicer can boast so easy and FAST a clean up; seriously, it takes like a minute! If in a super hurry, you could easily just rinse and wash later; but, of course, only on occasion. Even stainless steel can garner buildup! But you don’t have to: with the brush provided, it’s really all  you need.

So here is a shot of the front. The gears go here:

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Then you slide the strainer/screen/chute attachment right over them:

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Now all this quickness, beauty, and design ingenuity is whooey if it doesn’t juice extremely well (it better for the price!), right?
Honestly, I was almost willing it to not work, lol. I honestly didn’t think it would; I was expecting to be disappointed. But it is definitely the best home-juicer I’ve ever tried. Green Star is still Excellent, mind you, and I’d not discourage anyone from it; but for the ease, the perfect, CLEAR juice; and the stainless steel construction — if you have the money —  I gotta give it to the Super Angel. I do believe it could be less expensive :). I cannot attest to its longevity, of course. If it lasts a lifetime (which it better), then I’ll say it’s worth every penny 😉

One thing I would change would be the making the chute bigger. It’s very small; but it’s no smaller than the Green Star, and, in fact, it may even be bigger. I think most people feel chutes are too small, though, anyway, right? 🙂

I love that the juice is so clear with no pulp at all. It has nothing to adjust for various tasks, no attachments to deal with (or lose!) and it looks great, to boot. SUPER fast and efficient as all get out. It’s a single functioning machine: whatever the task, it’s the same procedure — convenient, yesss!
So, yea…very pleased, indeed 😀

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I’ll be reviewing more products too!


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FINALLY! This is what I’ve been saying FOR_EVER…

reading many books


All about how the “new atheists” are *just* as bad as the right-wingNUT religious fanatics who hijacked the Bible, and faith. I felt like no one else saw this in their absolutely disgusting raging against not only religion, but also against individual people of Faith. It was (and still is) fashionable to bash God and any Faith or Religion, and Spirituality in general with rabid hatefulness so ugly it was and is still shocking to me. Some atheists are just as ‘fundamental’ in their “belief in the religion of ‘Science’ as I used to say.

Anyway…I’m glad it’s been written. However, that’s not to say I agree with all of what Hedges says in the book; but the equating of the two, he’s spot_ON.
Chris Hedges Wiki entry

Hate is hate.

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