The MOREL of the story…Know thy mushrooms!

Over on Instographic, they had THIS to say about mushrooms:

I dedicate today’s infographic to my Great-Aunt Marsha, a mushroom extraordinaire. She can identify any and every type of mushroom she comes across, and is famous in my family for taking us on long mushroom hunting expeditions. We hiked through beautiful green forests in Upstate New York, where Aunt Marsha poked and prodded every friendly fungi she could find. She would scoop them up, insist they were good to eat, and pass them around like an alternative bag of trail mix. She even showed us a particular species that doubled as an artist’s canvas. Marsha picked up a twig and demonstrated that we could etch drawings and words into the caps of these white mushrooms. I think it goes without saying that there is never a dull moment with a mushroom guide around!

Mushroom foraging is a common past time in many parts of the world, but if you’re planning on picking up this hobby, make sure you study your mushrooms. Some can cause permanent organ damage and even death.

And if wild mushroom picking isn’t really your style, head to your local grocery store’s organic food section, or better yet–farmer’s market, and pick up a few of the fungi featured in this lovely infographic. Not only are they delicious, but many varieties have been linked to improved immune systems, healthy weight management, and increased levels of the oh-so-important Vitamin D! [Via]

Okay, that being said, I have a confession about mushrooms…And a bit of warning here…what I am about to tell will shock a few of my readers…especially if they are family, because I have kept this a secret for almost 10 years, but I was poisoned by a mushroom once!

It was the 4th of July weekend, 2004.  I was waiting for some friends to come by and pick me up for the 4th of July celebrations…I was sitting in the front yard, waiting for them, when out of my eye, I spotted what i THOUGHT was a portobello mushroom.  Well, as I woudl find out in the next several hours, it was not.  My friends Ray and Mary and I went to a park with their two cats, Sox and Paulette, and their black Lab, Lucky.  All was going fine until I started eating, and at first, we thought it was a reaction to the hot dogs….but then it was obvious that it was not…I threw up…and threw up several times.  Well, long story short, I got sicker and sicker, and after explaining to Ray and Mary what I did right before they pulled up to the house, it became apparent that I needed further examination, so they rushed me to Broadlawns Hospital, where it was confirmed that I had eaten a white poisonous mushroom that was NOT portobello.  I will never forget how I lie on that bed, vomiting over and over, and at one point, it looked like a scene from “The Exorcist”, complete with projectile vomiting!

So, I spent the next two days at Broadlawns Hospital with a tube stuck up my nose, and crappy bedside nurses!  When it came time for me to go home, the nurse wrote boldly across my dismissal papers….”NO MORE MUSHROOMS!”

Well, a bit overkill, but I have sworn to always double check my mushroom charts before eating anything that I see out in my back yard!


Why I can’t BEAR (Surprise) birthdays!

So, there i was—recently graduated from UNI, and my friends from Campus Bible Fellowship were sticking around for one last bru-haha.  My room mate Chuck came down to the basement of our house and handed me a cake mix box, and asked me if I could bake a cake for our mutual friend, Joy, because Joy was going away in a week.  I said sure, and gave it no thought….

Well, later that night…the cake was baked, and Chuck and whomever else decorated it, and we all gathered at the CBF Greenhouse before heading off to “Joy’s going away party”

Well, everyone got into their cars, and Chuck and I got into Chuck’s car, and we took off for a house that our mutual friend, Pam Olson was house sitting.   Chuck drove every street in Cedar Falls, and some of them, twice, or so it felt!  Well, 45 minutes later, chuck sudenly “remembered” where we were supposed to go, and we ended up at the house.  We entered the house, and I, thinking that the party was for Joy, went up to Joy and started to wish her a fond farewell, when all of a sudden, a group emerged from the kitchen with the cake that I had baked for Joy, and it was all lit up up with the words, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAR!”

Pam walks forward with the cake in her outstretched arms, and as she walks forward, the group follow her, and Pam announces, “Hey, Bear—remember that cake that Chuck had you bake for Joy?”

Well, what was supposed to be a surprise party for Joy was just a ruse to get me to bake the cake—a birthday cake for me! The next thing I knew, the room was filled with a chorus of Happy Birthday!

Oh the little rascals!

Well, the evening ended with Pam and Rachel on the steps with me….I need to explain something here—my nick name for Pam and Rachel was Laverne and Shirley because they were room mates all four years of college, and so here we were—wrapping things up, and saying our good ngihts and good byes, and I had Pam in one arm, and Rachel in the other, and I told them, “Now, when I count to three, you two follow my lead, okay?”

I started it off with…One, two, three, four….