Great adventures.


Photo courtesy of


The open road.

Even a crowded road is more fun in a Jeep Wrangler. 

I’m a life-long Ford Mustang owner… until the last few years when I realized I was tired of shoveling snow away from my tires just to get out of the driveway in the winter, tired of having to carry around a bag of kitty litter or salt, etc., and still, I was ALWAYS getting stuck.

I switched to a 4 wheel drive and don’t think I can go back. Sure, I still love Mustangs, and would love to have another one but it would have to be a summer car only or I’d need to move to a more temperate climate.

My first 4 wheel drive was an older Ford Explorer. I felt so empowered… to suddenly just push a button and it was in 4 wheel drive. I no longer got stuck, and no longer had to carry a shovel in my trunk, it was such a great feeling. But, my poor old Explorer blew a gasket and since it cost too much to fix it… I got another older car and even though it’s primitive compared to the Explorer (no fancy temperature gauge to tell me it’s 68 degrees outside, no air conditioning—but rarely used it anyway, since I rarely hot enough), I love it. It does what it is supposed to and actually wants to go somewhere! 

I’m not kidding. If it could talk it would say, “Come on! Let’s go!”

I’ve never had a car say that before.

And I’d say, “Where do you want to go?”

And it would probably say, “Anywhere.”

And, I would be like in a surprised O, “Ohhhh.”

It couldn’t have happened at a better time. I’m finding myself getting severely sick and tired of computers, so to drive a car that just does what a car should do—goes somewhere and doesn’t argue about it or tell me anything—is such a stress-reliever for me. I love the bouncy ride and the wind that takes my breath away when I open the window. It is similar to galloping a horse. 

I’ve noticed something while driving the Jeep, too, that has never happened before with any other car I’ve driven. Other Jeep Wrangler drivers wave at me. I think I now belong to a club, like the Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders have. It makes me feel special. I am. I belong.

To me, it is freedom, and that makes me happy.


Quest for the sesame seed.

I’ve found myself thrown into a mystery lately.

I was eating a small bag of Gardetto’s at work, in which I hadn’t had in years. A co-worker mentioned something about the sudden lack of sesame seeds on the little breadstick thingys in the Gardetto’s snack mix package. I realized instantly she was right.

Where had the sesame seeds gone?

Why do they still claim to be using the “original recipe” in the packaging? Clearly, it is not. They have two little breadstick thingys, and squattier (yes, I make up words all the time), didn’t have the sesame seeds. They have a disclaimer which says “Product formulations, packaging and promotions may change.” Huh.

After another simple search, I couldn’t find the reason for Gardetto’s lack of sesame seeds. There are others who feel the same way: We want our sesame seeds back! (sources found on Facebook pages, and forums. Google told me this).

So, this little comment of hers spurred a little research, of course. I can’t help myself. I like knowledge! In a simple search on sesame seeds, I’ve realized they are from a flowering plant cultivated in tropical regions (although it’s supposedly draught-resistant and this confuses me a bit) in mostly Africa and India. The seeds are one of the oldest, having been domesticated over 3000 years ago (all facts, courtesy of Wikipedia).

A little history reveals that the sesame was mentioned and cultivated and traded in Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, Turkey, and Mesopotamia among other places. 3000-4000 years ago.

Sesame seeds are claimed to have the highest antioxidant “FRAP” (Ferric reducing ability of plasma FRAP) which means herbs and additives are “better preserved in sesame oil” as opposed to other oils. I would have thought the winner in that category would have been olive oil instead. Huh.

I’ve learned the seeds themselves come in all sorts of colors, which I never knew or gave much attention to before: tan, gold, brown, reddish, gray, black, off-white. The sesame seeds that should be on top of the Gardetto’s are those without their seed coats, and can also be found on top of hamburger buns.

So again, why had Gardetto’s left out the sesame seeds? There isn’t a sesame shortage as far as I’m aware. If a plant is so drought-resistant and can live natively in the tropics there shouldn’t be a shortage — although it is also rather sensitive to water-logged soil and wind. And on the other hand, it does fine during monsoons and then at the edges of deserts. Go figure.

Another goal to add to my list is to try to grow one of these plants. It’s a weird obsession I have: to try to get the most unusual plants (unusual to me) to grow from seed. The plant doesn’t appear to be very large, would probably fit into a flower pot nicely at a total height of 1 and a half to 3 feet tall. Even the flowers are interesting, coming in colors ranging from white, blue, yellow, or purple. My quest is to find seeds that can germinate and try to sprout a plant, not to grow as a crop but as a houseplant, just to see if I can. This means another search to find the seeds. 🙂 I think this sort of plant, one that can tolerate monsoons and droughts will thrive nicely in my house.

Photo pictured below was taken from Wikipedia. It is sesamum indicum, or in English — a sesame plant.