Archive for the ‘Journal Entry’ Category


I recently visited Utah’s newest distillery Dented Brick. They opened March 25 in Salt Lake City. Their master distiller Ethan Miller is a longtime friend and it was wonderful to see him again, he is all grown up!

Named after one of Utah’s most famous landmarks, Dented Brick mashes, ferments, and distills onsite using only the highest quality ingredients – organic sugar cane, non-GMO molasses, aromatic yeast, and chemical free water from an artesian well, drilled by the original property owners. The distillery’s location, in an industrial area of South Salt Lake, was selected because there was a natural artesian well on the property. The fresh spring water “is something that sets us apart,” said Miller, who grew up in West Valley City. He worked at High West Distillery in Park City and New Deal Distillery in Portland, Ore., before local investors Marc Christensen and Celeste Royal lured him back to Utah to launch Dented Brick.

The company’s state-of-the-art facility is one of the few in the country built specifically for distilling. With a 28-foot-tall Vendome copper still from Kentucky, Dented Brick will be able to increase its capacity in the future, eventually reaching 3,000 cases a month. “We can make any spirit we want: vodka, gin or whiskey,” Miller said. Not everything about the 14,000-square-foot facility is new, though. Old bricks — even dented ones — were pulled from the site’s original structure and incorporated into the building, giving inspiration for the distillery’s name.

The business is expanding internationally and I am looking forward to seeing its success.

Dented Brick gives tours which end up in a tasting of the Antelope Island rum.  That’s never a bad thing, particularly with a rum of this caliber.










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before I die

I just returned from a day at the Santa Clara Convention Center (February 24, 2015) at the Lead on Watermark Conference for Women https://www.leadonca.org/

EMC was a sponsor and it was wonderful to attend and network amongst SAM peers, Field and Support management and team personnel as we drank in a star-studded lineup of women pioneers and leaders.

Keynote Speakers

Diane von Furstenburg, Fashion leader
Jill Abramson, first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor and executive editor of The New York Times.
Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella & Dot
Rosalind Hudnell, VP HR and Chief Diversity Officer for Intel Corporation
Candy Chang, Creator of Before I Die Project
Dr. Brené Brown, Research professor at University of Houston Graduate College of Social work and author of two #1 New York Times best sellers, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, and The Gifts of Imperfections
Kara Swisher, co-CEO and co-owner of Revere Digital

And, of course, Former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Not only were the keynote speakers enriching but the breakout sessions were diverse and filled with powerful messages on Leadership, Career Advancement, Personal Development as well as networking/mentoring opportunities.

My top favorite speakers: Candy Chang, who I found inspiring at the most primal human connection level, Brene Brown who suggested we cannot affect change in either or lives or the lives of others if we do not step into the arena. “We cannot know our strength until we fall and learn how to pick ourselves up with the support of others. The most powerful woman in the world is the one who has fallen and learned how to get back up.” And Hillary Clinton, whose stage/room presence was unbelievable. She spoke with eloquence, quick wit, with a macroscopic viewpoint reflecting her experience and vision, and the power to lead on towards change at our societal level. Interviewed by Kara Swisher, she answered questions about terrorism and ISIS, STEM and emerging research from the work the Clintons have been doing with the Gates Foundation, the necessity of women around the world to engage for a better world, the needs of both women and men in our society to address childcare and equal pay for improved lifestyle, microfinance, etc.

But this blog entry is not about the conference. Is it about a connection made with a fellow traveler of life. I’d like to focus on Connie Chang for a moment, creator of http://candychang.com/before-i-die-in-nola/

Her presentation was simple, a simplicity I’m sure was designed to touch every human heart. She certainly touched mine. As she spoke of the anonymous dreams come to life on the sides of abandoned structures I was reminded of my own Bucket List.

I don’t have a lot left on it. I don’t intend to live longer than 50, I don’t see the utility in it and feel that for me, personally, living longer is fulfilling a law of diminishing returns. I’ve traveled, I’ve had a lucrative career, I’ve raised a family, I have created blogs and journaled. I’ve written books and done art, and bonded with friends. I feel very strongly that being a storyteller is the best thing I can do to imprint myself into the future and have tried my best to live a life worthy of being a good story.

But as I spoke to Candy after her speech, talking about how we as humans feel a primal need to connect in order to feel like WE matter, that WE make a difference in our very short time of our existence, she said I should goal the things that matter the most. So I mentally swept through my list. What do I want the most before I die?

It is simple. I want to make sure I have left enough of the good things of me with my children.

That’s it. That’s all that is left on my bucket list.

I hope I have made a difference. Being a mother has been the most challenging role of my life and I have spent many nights awake and many nights with tears…feeling like I have not done enough to prepare my children for a life that is full of love and value. It is the one role that I cannot consider myself a success because I have struggled so much to adapt to the skills necessary to find mothering fulfilling.

So to my children: Jessica, Chance, Kayla and Justin. I love you. You make me crazy but I love you. I hope that somehow during the times when you were sitting as a toddler on the counter with me as I taught you how to crack eggs for cookies or to knead bread, or to take a good photo, or to be sensitive to the pain of others or to work hard for the things you want in life.  I hope I have taught you loyalty.  I hope I have taught you to love.  I hope I have taught you to be aware and active in alleviating the suffering of those around you.  I hope I have taught you to love music because it is a healing art.  I hope I have taught you that giving is better than getting.  I hope I have taught you the beauty of growing plants and flowers.

I hope all these things stay with you as a good memory of me when I’m gone.

This is the Thing that matters most to me.  This is all I want before I die.

Candy Chang

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The Bubble Prince.

If you’d like a signed copy please email me at biggreenhugs@gmail.com and we will work it out!

Big green hugs, Froggie

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Messages in a Bottle.  Picked up by Port Orchard Newspaper and will be printed tomorrow.

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Goonies Beach on a Stormy Day


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The name pomegranate derives from medieval Latin pōmum “apple” and grānātum “seeded”. This has influenced the common name for pomegranate in many languages (e.g. granada in Spanish, Granatapfel or Grenadine in German, grenade in French, granatäpple in Swedish, pomogranà in Venetian). Mālum grānātus, using the classical Latin word for apple, gives rise to the Italian name melograno, or less commonly melagrana.

Health Benefits

Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of Persia. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life.The pomegranate is a nutrient dense food source rich in phytochemical compounds. Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.

Compounds found only in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagins are the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. They not only lower cholesterol, but also lower blood pressure and increase the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.

In other studies, potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.

Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.  Several in vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect. Additional studies and clinical trials currently taking place are hopeful to reveal this fascinating effect on humans.

Also of note, pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.

Features of the Pomegranate

  • Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
  • Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
  • Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
  • May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
  • Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can’t afford to exclude from your diet!


Religious Implications
“People use whatever is at hand to express their religious beliefs,” says Frank A. Salamone, an authority on religious symbols and a professor at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. Centuries ago, in the Fertile Crescent, where so many religions arose, the pomegranate was at hand. By its very nature, it lent itself to religious symbolism.

“The pomegranate is red, and so is blood,” Salamone says. “It has a lot of seeds and is an obvious symbol of fertility.” It’s beautiful, strong and delicate, and its juice has healing properties, he says. “It says a lot of different things all at once. People bring meaning to it.”

Ancient Persians painted pomegranates on their shields for protection in battle. In Greek and Roman myths, it was the pomegranate that seduced Persephone, the goddess of fertility, into marrying her kidnapper, Hades, god of the underworld.





The Vedas, some of the oldest religious texts in Hinduism, consider the pomegranate, with its inner treasure of edible seeds, a symbol for fertility and prosperity. It is revered for its healthful qualities. (Modern research suggests, for example, that the pomegranate has antioxidant and antiviral properties and might play a role in some cancer treatments.) The pomegranate often found its way into the hands of Hindu gods. It was seen as an appeal to the gods and is one of nine plants traditionally offered to Durga, the 10-armed goddess of retribution and justice.


Pomegranate Tree



During his life on Earth, the Buddha received his share of valuable gifts from wealthy disciples. But it was, tradition says, a poor old woman’s gift of a small pomegranate that delighted him. It is said that he once offered a pomegranate to the demon Hariti, which cured her of her alarming habit of eating children. Buddhism considers the pomegranate to be one of the three blessed fruits. Others are the citrus and the peach.


Pomegranate China


In Genesis, the first book of the Torah, the fruit that prompted Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden may have been the pomegranate, some scholars say. It’s not likely, they argue, that apples flourished in that first garden. Later, the Hebrews searched for the Promised Land, looking for a list of clues to prove they had arrived. The list? Wheat and barley, vines and figs, olives and honey and pomegranates. The round red fruit with its own crown, or calyx, decorated the robes of Jewish priests and some of the pillars in the temple in Jerusalem. Tradition says that each pomegranate holds 613 seeds, or arils, one for each commandment in the Torah. Today, pomegranates are often part of Rosh Hashana celebrations, their seeds embodying the hope that the new year will be fruitful.


Hand Painted Yemenite Kudu Shofar with Pomegranate and Gold Motif



Pomegranates figure in many religious paintings by the likes of Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, often in the hands of Mary or the infant Jesus. The fruit, broken or bursting open, is a symbol of the fullness of his suffering and resurrection. In the famous “Unicorn Tapestries,” which date from about 1500 and reside now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters, pomegranates may represent Christ and the need to look inside for the blood that redeems believers. What seems to be the blood of the unicorn is red pomegranate seeds, perhaps an illustration of the belief that from the blood of martyrs flow the seeds of faith. In Christianity, pomegranate seeds were often compared to individual believers, gathered into one community of faith.


Madonna of the pomegranate



According to the Quran, the gardens of paradise include pomegranates. It is important, tradition says, to eat every seed of a pomegranate because one can’t be sure which aril came from paradise. The prophet Mohammed is said to have encouraged his followers to eat pomegranates to ward off envy and hatred.

Additional sources: “The Anchor Bible Dictionary,” edited by David Noel Freedman; “Church Symbolism” by F.R. Webber; “The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols” by Ellen Frankel and Betsy Platkin Teutsch; “A Dictionary of Life in Bible Times” by W. Corswant; “Pomegranates” by Ann Kleinberg; and “Pom,” a promotional book created by Pom Wonderful.




Related Froggie Recipes:





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JK 2009-2013

JK 2009-2013.

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