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Saturday, May 31, 2014


Tonight I'm making pesto...from mouth is salivating...but I am not without apprehension.

Over pesto?
Let me explain......

several years ago after a delish meal of homemade pesto, I slipped into my PJ's, squeezed some toothpaste onto my brush and had the oddest experience.
The toothpaste didn't taste like toothpaste at all, instead, there was an overwhelming taste of bitterness
I came downstairs and asked Marco and the girls to try the toothpaste..
does it taste weird to you?
nope, all fine....
so strange, I thought and took myself off to bed...
Over the next week things got worse
EVERY single thing I ate had the same taste..bitter, bitter, bitter!
apples, yoghurt, salad. chocolate, chicken, everything bitter!
No differentiation whatsoever between foods....
It was like all of the different areas of my taste buds had been switched off
 and turned to bitter sensors, sweetness, salty, sour, umami, all gone
bitterness the only one left, crazy right? 
Can you imagine?

I'm not really a sugar fiend but oh how I wanted to taste it again!
Obviously it started to freak me out!

How could a donut taste bitter?
A spoon of honey bitter?
It was the strangest thing...

So I looked it up and found it had a name
Pine mouth ( of course my coworkers at the time had  lot of fun with that!)

I found that there were lots of people experiencing this strange phenomenon after eating pine nuts
and that thankfully it would resolve in a week or's a little research update in case it ever happens to you.....

The New South Wales Food Authority recently completed a study on Pine Mouth as far as the causes of it and any concerns linked to it. This condition goes by a couple of names, including Pine Mouth and Pine Nut Syndrome. It is the condition when someone who eats pine nuts regularly starts to taste something metallic and bitter all of the time. The problem can last for up to two weeks, but generally goes away within a few days.
The New Study
The new study focused on the number of cases reported of the syndrome and some interesting findings were noted.
  • The number of Pine Mouth cases have increased since 2009.
  • Pine Mouth seems to be caused by a particular type of pine nut.
  • The species that is a problem is called Pinus Armandii and it is exported from China.
Response to the Study
Because of this new study, changes have been made by the Chinese government. Now, this particular type of pine nut is no longer exported to other countries from China. This is a method used to avoid other people suffering from Pine Mouth.
Another change that has been made was by the Codex Alimentarius Commission which added the particular species called Pinus Armandii to its inedible foods list. Additionally, Pinus Massoniana has been removed by the commission for the safety of consumers. Although, this second species has not yet been linked to the problem of Pine Mouth
Two things I have taken from this experience
the experience of sweetness is so much more potently appreciated after the bitterness passes
i love pesto too much to be put off for life!

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” 
― Joanne HarrisChocolat
wishing you all happy, shiny, sweetness this week ♥
love Tracy xox

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Deep Listening

In my Sacred Marks workshops I love to share the Aboriginal concept of Dadirri

~Deep Listening.

Aboriginal writer Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann describes deep listening as follows:
“NGANGIKURUNGKURR means ‘Deep Water Sounds’. Ngangikurungkurr is the name of my tribe. The word can be broken up into three parts: Ngangi means word or sound, Kuri means water, and kurr means deep. So the name of my people means ‘the Deep Water Sounds’ or ‘Sounds of the Deep’.
Miriam-Rose speaks of: “a special quality of my people. I believe it is the most important. It is our most unique gift. It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to our fellow Australians. In our language this quality is called dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call ‘contemplation’.
When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again. I can sit on the riverbank or walk through the trees; even if someone close to me has passed away, I can find my peace in this silent awareness. There is no need of words. A big part of dadirri is listening”.
 I find my moments of deep listening by the sea....

 in the feel of the fine white sand between my toes...

 In the expanse of the sky and the ever changing cloud formations reflected below

 in the silent, playful companions that sometimes join me in a morning walk...

In the mysterious hieroglyphic messages left by the pippies at low tide

 in the rivulets left behind where the water caresses the sand...
in ancient eroded stone
 in peeling bark

decorated with moth larvae scribbles

I find small moments of deep stillness and then

I try
to describe it
through my artmaking

experimenting with small works on paper
with colour and mark....
then working large and free, finding flow in contemplation, intention, control and surrender...

all in readiness for my upcoming exhibition
"Deep Listening"
here at our casa in Huskisson
as part of the See Change Arts Festival
Drop on in May 22nd 5-7pm for a glass of vino at the official opening if you are nearby ♥

Wishing you deep listening, calm stillness and playful exploring today

lots of love Tracy ♥♥♥

ps that little rock was gifted to me by one of the most gorgeous women I know. 
You'll find all kinds of love at Kelli May-Krenz' blog here
Go say hello and give her a hug from me while you're there xx