SEARCH: Trees, Sir!

Trees, Sir!
by Tim Reynolds

HUMOR TREESI loves me my trees. Not in a “that young fella needs some serious therapy” kinda love. More like adoration, appreciation, affection, and a few other A-words from the thesaurus.

Sadly, I have another A-word, allergies. Specifically, dust, mold, mildew, ragweed, grass, and trees. In other words I’m allergic to the entire world. Over the decades my allergies have tapered off, but when I was a young goat exploring the world I was always trying different places in which to hide from my two younger sisters.

The crawlspace under my parents’ bedroom was perfect. It had just enough hanging spider egg sacks to keep my sisters at bay. It also had enough dust, mold, and mildew to give me a serious respiratory infection for a month.

Next I thought of hiding in the grass in the backyard, but Mom had some bizarre fixation about having a nicely groomed short lawn around our suburban brick castle, so I would have looked like… continue reading in Spring 2018 issue.

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SEARCH: Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous Loss
by Emerian Rich

AMBIGIOUSLOSSAUTIS,

When you have a baby, your whole world changes. Everyone tells you this will happen when you’re pregnant and it’s one of life’s solid truths along with death and taxes. Still, no matter how you prepare for it, or think you’re ready, it always seems to catch you off guard.

My son was born happy and healthy, if a bit early, twelve years ago. Despite complications during and after pregnancy, we were pretty happy for about a year. We reveled in the new baby smell. We giggled at his baby bandito burrito shape. We even smiled when he pooed. Every parent on the planet can recount these cute stories, whether you want them to or not.

At about a year old we realized we needed to get our son checked out. Even though he was a happy, energy-filled cutie, with the exception of…continue reading the Spring 2018 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Attracting Birds

Attracting Birds
by Kay Tracy

ATTRACKING BIRDSWhen you think of spring, what jumps into your head? For me, in addition to new plants and flowers, it’s the birds.

Even in the smallest patio garden one can find avian visitors. All you have to do is invite them. Food and water will do the trick. For some birds that is as simple as having plants that bloom. For others, try an invitation to dine with you.

Hummingbirds, unless you live near the Arctic Circle, will join you for an offering of sugar water. Colorful finches abound when seeds are on the menu. Do avoid bread. Look to quality mixed seeds for wild birds. You can use some of the resources listed at the end to help you determine what your goal with birds might be.

Add a source of water, like a glazed planting pot base or even an old clean dented frying pan, and you will delight them not only with a drink of water, but a spot for bathing. With the urbanization of the world, our small creatures have… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Brewing Kombucha

Brewing Kombucha
by Dianna Kersey

DIY KOMBUCHAI’m sure by now you have read the myriad of articles regarding the health benefits of consuming kombucha tea. You’re hooked, you love the flavors and varieties, but hate the cost of $4 bucks a bottle. Right?

Would you believe you can make this amazing healthy probiotic tea yumminess for pennies a glass? Do I have your attention?

First, you’ll need to gather a few items to hold your kombucha as it’s brewing and then you’ll need bottles if you want to add fruit or flavors for the second ferment. A quart-sized jar, wooden spoon, coffee filter cover or cheese cloth, and a rubber band or canning jar ring.

To start you’ll need an active scoby. A what? A scoby is the tea culture. Think of it as your grandma’s buttermilk culture that she uses for her amazing biscuits, but this is a culture specifically for… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

 

SEARCH: Farm to Table

Farm to Table: Angel Hair with Garlic, Ricotta, and Fava Beans
by Brian and Patricia Dake

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Farm-to-table, getting back to our roots and consuming food grown in our own communities is the current trend and considered healthier for both us and the environment. Keeping that is mind, what could be better than garden-to-table? If we want to get down to earth, how about enjoying produce grown in our own backyards?

Several years ago I attended an early-season farmer’s market where I chatted with a local grower and discovered the wonder of fresh fava beans. She explained to me how fava beans make an ideal winter crop. Simply plant the starter beans – easily found at a local garden store – in a patch of earth November to December. In colder regions, you will wish to plant in autumn before the ground freezes. Once the beans are planted, winter rains will do the work for you, and I have found the stalks to be remarkably pest resistant. In drought years, you will want to make sure to water every couple of weeks, but with cooler weather and… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue

 

EXCLUSIVE! Inside The Queen Mary

In our Summer issue, SEARCH will be highlighting The Queen Mary in our #OceanLife Faceoff as one of the best ocean-themed places to visit. As a teaser, we were offered a chance to tour The Queen Mary and it’s newly-opened “most haunted” room, B340. Below, our correspondent, Linda Whitaker, shares her experience on the ship.

 The Queen Mary
by Linda Whitaker

I was led down a steel walkway suspended over deep darkness, lit only by the faint glimmer of a flashlight and the occasional glow of a cell phone, into the musty depths of the Queen Mary’s boiler room. Our guide, paranormal explorer Matthew Schulz, narrated the experiences of previous adventurers in this hotspot of paranormal activity; tugs on clothing, touches on skin, with no apparent source for these sensations.  Hearing the stories is chilling and a series of goosebumps ran down my arms.  At length, Matthew paused our walk at the ironically signposted “Safe Room”.  Inside, an arcane array of electrical equipment to record communications from the other world was arranged on the table.  Our group entered the darkened room, the door was closed and the spirits were called.  Matthew’s invitation to those spirits, and their responses, was recorded.   Listening to the playback left me uncertain, but it just might have been “Mary” I heard in response to his posed question, “Can you tell me what ship we are on?  What Queen are we on?”  We pelted our guide with questions: “Is this real?  Are those spirits talking?”  With a shrug of the shoulders, Matthew ended our tour with a philosophical, “we’ll never really know” and handed our group off to the Commodore, a thirty-seven-year veteran of the ship.

A brisk walk along B Deck led us to the infamous Room B340 where the stage was set, complete with crystal ball, tarot deck, and Ouija board.  The Commodore’s tales of B340 were eerie and its reputation was such that the room, until recently, has been unoccupied and out of use for years.   But new guests are in luck!  The newly renovated space is now available to the public and you can book your own stay in the haunted B340.  During its earlier years of occupancy, sleeping guests awakened to find the covers flown back and figures of people standing alongside the bed.  Housekeeping reports include making up the room, only to return moments later to tousled spreads and sheets and everything in disarray.   Our group, while exploring the dimly lit room, complained of vertigo and headaches and the stalwart Commodore confessed his own extreme discomfort. “I would never spend a night in this cabin,” he added.

Our last adventure that evening led us to a glimpse of the gorgeous art deco 1st class passenger swimming pool, where wet footprints abruptly ending have been reported, in spite of the pool having been drained for decades. A few steps away, we stopped in front of polished elevator doors where the reflection of an elegant “Woman In White” has been seen by some.   Strolling down a long walkway resplendent in bird’s-eye maple paneling and carpet reminiscent of a more elegant era, we are told of an image, seen by many, of a 7-8 year old girl nicknamed “Jackie”, her arms outstretched, reaching up as if asking to be lifted and comforted.  As our tour concluded, I believe we were all looking for a bit of comfort!

The history of this ship is fascinating.  Walking up to the Queen Mary one is immediately struck by the immensity, its dominance in the harbor.  It is so PRESENT!  How does something like that even float – let alone remain seaworthy after 82 years?  Although I can’t begin to understand the engineering feat, I did, after stepping into its beautifully preserved entry and touring her decks, understand her allure.  The ship beckons you to explore. Yes, you can feel her.

 Commissioned in 1936, the Queen Mary was a state-of-the-art luxury cruising vessel, one of the grandest ocean liners ever built.  During World War II, with resources being scarce, she was retrofitted as a troop ship, nicknamed the “Grey Ghost”, and began service to the allied forces.  After her return to civilian life, in the late 1940’s, she again spent a number of years in the luxury liner industry, but travel was a changing landscape and more and more people took to the air.  The Queen Mary was tired, weathered, and no longer in demand.  In 1967, finding a resting place in Long Beach, California, she’s become an iconic landmark that everyone should attempt to see.

Fortunately, not only is the Queen Mary still with us, and perhaps still hosting a number of passengers from the past, but she also offers a myriad of experiences for Los Angeles visitors and locals alike.  There are so many ways to experience the Queen Mary.  You must give one a try!  Oh, and if you see the little girl in the hallway?  Give her a hug from me.

The Queen Mary offers:

  • Historical Tours – For the history buffs.
  • Haunted Encounter Tours – This tour highlights stories of famous hauntings.
  • Ghosts & Legends Tours – Special effect enhance this tour experience.
  • 4-D Special Effects Theater – Sight, sound, aroma and wind to enhance your experience.
  • Paranormal Ship Walk – Be prepared, I’m told if the activity is hot, you may spend hours at this experience.
  • Dining with the Spirits – Dining, followed by the Paranormal Ship Walk.
  • Dark Harbor – Annual Halloween Event where spooky mazes of horror are staged onboard and in areas immediately adjacent to the ship. The event runs from late September through the end of October.  A sneak peek at the “Kitchen of Horror” maze leads me to believe a return visit is in order.
  • More information on events here: http://www.queenmary.com

SEARCH: Harp in the Garden

Harp in the Garden
by Michele Roger

MUSICHARPIt’s a beautiful, spring night. I’m out listening to the peepers, young frogs, newly awakened after a long, hard Detroit winter and ready to sing. A small bonfire crackles at the edge of the deck. I hold a glass of Pinot Noir in my hand, and as I look over at my Kiwi partner in crime, I pick up the phone to set the wireless sound system to play.

It’s the first opportunity we’ve had to play music outside, and it’s kind of a big deal. For the outdoor speakers, it’s a maiden spring voyage. I’m a harpist and hence, I often enjoy listening to the work of fellow harpists crazy enough to fall in love, like I did, with an instrument that requires time, talent, and patience to handle an instrument twice my size. The sound system is primed, and the garden is under a blanket of stars.

Perhaps your garden is unpredictable and flourishes with colors and new shoots that are both beautiful and surprising. Then, you and your garden may love some jazz harp. I suggest streaming some tunes by harpist, Carolyn Sykes. While her list of music is vast, her most popular album… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue

SEARCH: Hand Fan Museum

Hand Fan Museum
by Emerian Rich

In Healdsburg, California, about an hour and a half northwest from Contra CoFAN MUSEUMsta County, is America’s only Hand Fan Museum. Opened by Pam Sher in 2002, the collection started with about one thousand fans, but now is about four thousand.

Pam was a history teacher in Oakland when she became fascinated with fans. As she collected more, she wanted to share them with the public.

Most of the fans on display are from the 1700s of French or Japanese origin. Their oldest fan is from the 1600s. Every fall they invite an American collector to show their fans in their museum for a special event.

The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 4pm, except on rainy days, when they close to protect the fans. Director Liz Keeley is on hand to answer questions and give more information about the fans, and they have a few fan related items you can purchase so you can take… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Benefits of Culinary Herbs

Benefits of Culinary Herbs
by Suzanne Madron

COOKING WITH HERBSDuring the winter months more often than not two things have happened. We’ll have been huddled over a bowl of steaming soup or a steaming cup of tea. When the winter chill gives way to the spring, some things change. Others stay the same, such as our love of herbs, be it in those soups or teas.

Not only do herbs enhance the flavor of our food, but they provide health benefits as well. For example, that calming chamomile tea not only soothes nerves and helps you relax, but it also can be used as a hair rinse, skin toner, (let it cool before applying) and to calm a stomach upset. Fennel is also an excellent stomach soother, but may not be appealing to those who are not fans of the taste of black licorice.

Some other ingredients for herbal teas include mint and lemon balm, which are both mints and both helpful for stomach upset and calming the nerves. Lemon balm can also be used dried in a sleep pillow (a sachet of herbs) with lavender and hops to help you catch… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue

SEARCH: Top Five Music Apps

Top Five Music Apps

by Elliot Thorpe

The way we listen to recorded music has evolved over the last few years and is miles away from what our grandparents or even parents had.

TECHThe first half of the twentieth century saw the advent of the 78rpm 10 inch records which give way in 1949 to the smaller 7 inch vinyl singles, pioneered by RCA Victor and playing at a less-nippy 45rpm. The first LP record played at a more sedate 33rpm on 12 inches in diameter preceded the 7 inch single by under a year in 1949. As the century thundered along and adapted to the quickly-changing world, so did the formats of how we could take our favorite recording artists home. In addition to the 7 inch and 12 inch vinyls, we had 8-track cartridges, reel-to-reels, compact tape cassettes, and mini-discs, all eventually phased out to be superseded by the mighty compact disc. This shiny, 5 inch circle remains as the world’s most popular physical format. (The current resurgence of vinyl and, to some extent, compact tape cassettes are bringing back the halcyon days of music collecting.)

The new kid on the block, the digital download, arrived with the 21st century technology explosion. Following in its wake came software application that can be added to a cellphone, tablet, or…continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue