|Whatcom Falls after three days of rain|
I am beginning to pack for my trip to Turkey. I have both suitcases in the living room, and as I think of things I don't want to forget, I put them on top and will at some point begin to put stuff inside them. Every day when I wake, I think of how long I have left before the big day. At this time in two weeks, I'll be finishing the third leg of the journey on my way to Antalya. Three airplanes, a full day of travel. The good part is that I'll have one day to recover before I will need to function in the conference environment. I hope it will be enough.
On Friday I went to see the naturopath I mentioned last week. He is a very inspiring guy, around my age, very fit and listened to me and my concerns carefully. We talked about supplements and vitamins that I already take, and he gave me a prescription that I will begin today. He has increased the amount of Vitamins A and D that I take to what seems to me to be large amounts and has suggested increasing the amount of lysine to what seems to be a huge amount starting in another week. I'm to take a probiotic beginning three days before the trip and continuing for a week after my return. It is a soil-based probiotic and doesn't need to be refrigerated. He didn't sell any of these items to me but told me they are cheaper at the the local co-op where I shop.
Yesterday I checked and there was the probiotic he suggested, Saccharomyces boulardii. In fact, I was surprised to see an entire shelf of different probiotics of every description. I only once took any probiotics, after a series of antibiotics that killed off all the good bacteria in my system as well as the bad ones. All of this is to boost my immune system and help me to fight off the effects of air travel as well as lack of sleep. We'll see if it works.
The bottom line is that he did indeed make me feel as though I can manage to get through all this without illness, and he inspired me with a sense of optimism. As I said last week, I know that my state of mind is essential, and now I feel that I am armed with what I need to have a good chance of staying healthy. I know that I often brag about how healthy I am, but I know my limits, and they will be tested during this upcoming period.
With all that said, I have also been getting a little bit excited about the adventure ahead. The entire country of Turkey has an amazing history, which I've found is readily available on the internet. As usual, I first headed to Wikipedia for the History of Turkey. What a wealth of information!
Interestingly enough, I was able to get my visa for entry into Turkey off the internet. I've printed it out and hope that it's all I will need, along with my passport. When I traveled during my working days, my passport was filled with stamps for different countries on almost every page. In 2012 I received a new one, and it's never been used. This trip will be its maiden voyage, and probably its only one, too. Frankly, I will be glad when I'm back home after all this travel, with plenty of pictures and memories of a hopefully wonderful and memorable time.
What else is going on in my life? Well, Judy and I have been making our way through the Oscar-nominated pictures, and today we'll go see the final one on my list: American Sniper. Frankly, this is not one I am looking forward to. That link goes to an article on Salon about the controversy generated by this movie. Apparently (I haven't seen it yet) it glorifies war and disparages Muslims. Not the kind of movie that I want to support, but I'll give Clint Eastwood the benefit of the doubt until I've actually seen it myself.
This brings me to a topic that I find hard to write about: the increasing militarism of my country. When I was a young woman, during the days of Eisenhower and after World War II, it seems that we were the good guys in the world, and now I'm not so sure. The world changed, the entire world, after 9/11. It was a horrible, horrific event, and it seemed to bolster the warmongers among us to take revenge, which is still going on today, many years later. I would never have believed that my country would take hundreds of men and lock them up without trial as we have done in Guantanamo, for more than a decade now. I can hardly bear to think about it. How has this led to a safer, more stable world? It gives the jihadis plenty of reason to hate us.
One thing I have tried very hard to do is to keep politics off my blogs. There are so many people who are looking for someone to target, to hate, and I don't want to put myself in the line of fire. By simply writing the previous paragraph, I may be forced to monitor the comments and possibly even have to shut down the entire operation. I've seen it happen to other bloggers who express their opinion openly, but I'm going to see what happens now. Maybe nothing, as I hope. My small readership may be enough to protect me from serious repercussions.
It's always easy to read between the lines of my blogging friends and intuit the political leanings of each, and you probably already knew more about me than I have told you in words. I am a pacifist. There, I said it out loud. I believe that war is unjust, and that if we could all just get along we would be better for it. And I know that as long as there have been people, there have been wars. That doesn't mean that sometime in the future we might not find a better way. It won't happen in my lifetime but I am hopeful that the spirit of humanity can accomplish anything.
I am sitting here in the dark, again, tea finished, and partner already stirring. It's almost 7:00am on a Sunday morning and this blog went in a direction I never anticipated, but it's done now, and I can begin my day. Hopefully I'll see the sun, so I can raise my face to the warming rays and give thanks for all that is good and beautiful and true. Blessings from my house to yours.