Editor’s Notebook, Regulars and Shorts

Editor’s Notebook: February 2013

By Greta Belanger deJong

Goodbye to Emily; the Xenon probiotic challenge; growing kale in the snow; and a party that made (and triggered) memories.
by Greta Belanger deJong


Pax and I met Emily Millheim while playing kickball some years ago; she was a mere 19 or 20 at the time, and as lively as a pup. We camped together that year at her first Burning Man. She moved to New York City for a while, then made her way back to Salt Lake where I have since watched her blossom into a compassionate, wise and skilled young woman.

Over New Year’s Eve celebrations three years ago, on the deck of the Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch, I was struck with the brilliant idea of asking her to come work for CATALYST. Who would not want to purchase an advertisement from Emily Millheim? There is not a more personable person on the planet. It took some months of plotting, but soon she was “ours.”

We enjoyed and benefited from her presence on so many levels over the next three years. Along the way she also discovered her talent as a glass-blower. A devoted student, she has paid her dues. And so it’s with a mixture of loss and enthusiasm that we see her launch into the next phase of her life—taking her artful craft to another level by tending to it fulltime.

We will miss her vivaciousness, and expect those who have worked with her will also do so. We have the advantage of being friends, though; we will see her often and gladly.

Xenon, the gorgeous blue-eyed lynx-point Siamese cat who came into our lives about five years ago, has been… failing. Well, he’s passed the tests that our beloved Dr. Nan administers to him—all , that is, except the one for his white blood cell count, which is sky high. He has become finicky about food (preferring ice cream to anything, if he must eat), and vomits with abandon. His weight has dropped from over eight pounds to five.

The only possible diagnosis left was cancer. I was not in favor of a biopsy. Instead, with Dr. Nan’s blessing, I called pet psychic Julie Morgan. Julie studied a photo of Xenon and called me back.

The long story short of it is that Julie sees a severe lack of probiotics in his stomach, so that he derives very little nutrition from the food he does manage to hold down. She shared other deficiencies she noticed, caused by his inability to derive nutrition from his food.

CATALYST contributor Margaret Ruth, the psychic, had also gotten “stomach.” But, as she says, when it comes to cats, “I can diagnose but I can’t prescribe.” (This is unfortunate as she has three or four of her own.) I tease her about this.

Julie, who knows animals, was full of recommendations. The obvious one was to feed him probiotics—via eye dropper, if necessary. We immediately headed to the health foods store.

We’re talking about one extremely compromised kitty here; but we all hope for the best. I will let you know how he progresses.

Speaking of progress: I have three kale patches in my garden. One is a circle of mature dinosaur kale in the front yard (accessorized with toy dinosaurs to make the half-harvested stalks look less ridiculous); another is a patch of starts planted in the fall alongside the house; and then more, at the same time, in two hoop houses in the back yard. I also planted some in a pot, which I keep indoors.

I would show you the images, but they all look the same: just big level mountains. Starting in March I will give monthly up­dates so you can see how they’ve fared. It is hard to imagine anything staying green, to say nothing of growing, under all that white, but apparently that’s what’s happening.

On June 16, CATALYST staff gathered with the “CATALYST 100” honorees featured in the January edition, along with their (and our) friends. I will say that this event, while special for so many reasons, put me in the party-hosting mood again. A few years back when our office was located downtown, we could easily accommodate 150 visitors. In more modest digs sizewise, over the past few years, our party mojo has toned down quite a bit.

This gathering, however, renewed my taste for celebrating my friends (especially if I get to wear a sparkly dress.).

Do note our monthly dance parties at Zest (see ad this issue). This month, the $5 cover charge goes toward a collaborative art project.

Back to the Leonardo—the structure formerly known as the Salt Lake City Main Library. Don’t you still enjoy the giant Doug Snow painting as you ride the escalator, think of the children’s department as you step off at the second floor, and imagine all the intent listeners as you enter the third floor party hall—once home to the library’s  large music collection?

The thing that made this party special is that most of the honorees showed up. And then I realized—that’s what they do: They show up. They make things happen. They connect, like the mycelium that holds the planet together.  But oh, that is another topic, for another day. Let’s just say it was great to feel how we all connect. “We are all one” is not just a platitude when you get to experience it; it is real, and it feels good.

This article was originally published on February 1, 2013.