Shock and Awe Hair Style

A few months ago, my hair was getting too long and needed cutting. My Daughter, Catherine who has very thick hair also wanted a hair cut. With summer well on it’s way, we thought short hair might be cooler.

Capture01We didn’t think either one of us would miraculously become glamorous, just more comfortable.

We remembered that  Catherine’s older sister had donated hair to help kids. She told us just to go to the website for instructions.


I went to their website. We decided to measure each of our lengths to see if it either of our hair lengths met the criteria for “Wigs for Kids”.  Well, neither of us used chemicals to treat our hair or colored our hair. We didn’t weave our hair into “dreadlocks”. Seemed like we were ok if we each had 12 inches to cut.

So I looked for a nearby hair salon that was recommended by “Wigs for Kids.” We live in  South-central Texas and the nearest one is listed in North Texas. Texas is a BIG state. We printed out the information from the site and went to Great Clips in Bastrop TX and asked if the hair stylists know how to do this. They said yes and measured both Catherine and my hair. We both qualified with 12 inches to share!!!! Here is my starting length.


Catherine’s hair  was fuller and longer than mine.


We each had a different hair dresser. Mine said she would leave enough hair, she would cut mine in a “pixie”. I did not know what that meant (I am 74 and rarely go to have a hair cut). I certainly did not know there was a thing called a SHORT PIXIE.


When I left the hair salon I looked like this:


Most of the time now I look like a candidate for a spiked hair style. I do not think I looked younger as promised. I look like an old gal  trying to relate to my younger relatives.

OR I looked like those women who collaborated with the enemy in WWII.


Either way I am SHORN.

Catherine had longer hair so she did not get the short pixie look.



from Catherine to me (her hair was longer to start with so she did not have the shock and awe I felt)

The bright side is:

It is out of your face.

It is wash and wear.

When it grows out it will look really nice with the layering that it has.

It will take a long time to get into your eyes as it grows out.

And the best part is — It Helps Kids!!!

Our hair donations are in the mail.


If you are interested or know someone who would like to know how to help:

Wigs for Kids  |  Address: 24231 Center Ridge Rd. | Westlake OH, 44145

Phone: 440.333.4433


Posted in Aging, Observations, Something me, Surprise, The constant is change | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Shock and Awe Hair Style

Tlingit Culture Revival


I was born in 1942 in the Territory of Alaska. (Alaska did not gain statehood until 1959)

When I was 10 years old, I asked my Tlingit Grandmother to teach me her language. She said,

“Why? Who will you talk to? When I die, when your Mom dies, there will be no one to talk to. No one else is learning.” I could not make her believe I was serious.

It seemed she was right.  Among many kids I knew in Juneau that did not live in the Douglas or Juneau Indian Villages few were learning any Tlingit language except a few words.

My family lived among white people and only spoke English. We heard our Mother, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles speak Tlingit with each other and with Tlingit friends, but they did not want me to learn Tlingit because English would help me in life.

So I grew up without much culture. I learned about Tlingit culture from  other Tlingit children I was friends with at school. Then later when my Mother took my brothers and I to Hawk Inlet, a salmon cannery for the summer I spent more time with Tlingit children and adults.

We only had electricity for 3 hours in the evening, so around 9 PM if the older people didn’t want to go to bed yet, they gathered around a large campfire and sometimes told old traditional stories. Here I was captivated. While other children ran around the circle of adults around the fire, I stayed close to my Mom because I knew the old stories might be told. So in this way I picked up pieces of Tlingit culture.

I married a soldier stationed in Alaska whose home was in Texas. I joined him when he was discharged from the Air Force.  I was a young teenager. So I spend the next decades going to school, raising children and working I began to think our Tlingit culture was disappearing just as my Grandmother predicted the language would disappear with the death of the older generation.

My husband was an student archeologist and we spent 8 summers working on various sites around Texas. I met and mingled with many people who were interested and valued Indian cultures. I read everything I could find about the Tlingit culture which was very little until the land settlement that created the Sealaska Corporation and Heritage Foundation. A lot of cultural material has been created since 1979 and I absorbed it all.

My respect for my Tlingit heritage grew as I learned what a beautiful, complex and vital the traditional culture was and I was excited to continue to learn about the revitalization of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian language and culture. Sealaska Heritage Foundation and other groups began publishing studies and preservation efforts of the culture. Tlingit language, traditions, celebration and dances were preserved and taught to the young generation!



With a growing family and work commitment, I only got to visit Alaska a few short times. It was expensive to travel from Texas to Alaska. In the 1980’s. I got publications that informed me of the wonderful energy that was blooming in the Tlingit culture.



Among the memorable Sealaska Heritage publications was:

Dauenhauer, Nora and Dauenhauer, Richard. “Because We Cherish You…” Juneau: Sealaska Heritage Foundation Press, 1981.
17735 words (both in Tlingit and English translations)

This document is priceless to me. It records the Elders conference in Sitka.

I treasure this document as it has given me a depth of appreciation for those Tlingits who preserved so much for so long during the time of suppression of our culture. Here are some of the things I love. If this seems fragmented remember this is a translation of the original Tlingit. At first there was sorrow, then hope…

George Davis
    Because this time
the cover has fallen away
from our culture, our Tlingit people
how they used to do things…

Even now our grip
is weary from holding on to it
those of us who are Tlingit.
It is deep to where most of it has sunk from our grip.
We are still clutching only the tip…

our grip has wearied
on our Tlingit culture that we anchored with a pole.

when it began to fade
from sight
we heard faintly
what our ancestors used to say
It is as if
beneath a pole
behind a pole
we were looking for its resting place…
Charlie Joseph

“People of honor they strand off in many directions
their lifeline…Their lives point
in many directions.

I will now Paraphrase words of many who spoke and the way the stories were woven and recalled. This is a small sampling to give you an idea of the contents of this publication:

…Those that left me behind, now it’s as if I will lead them out, this is how it seems to me.  …These fathers of mine who were enchanted by the coho spirit.  I don’t want to have it lie unattended.  There are too many people’s life lines leading into it, this Sitka.
…it was my grandfather who was enchanted, enchanted into the wolf spirit.  Even as he fasted and was chanting to prepare for them, they ran out on a ridge.  When the she wolf began to separate from her pup, he would begin howling after them the small one.  …We have gathered here for this wolf spirit dance is so it will not turn bad for them,  be are cautious when the shaman spirits are used….when they use this wolf spirit song to dance, the wolf spirit is lapping it up form among them.  He is lapping up their trouble from among them
…People would stand at the back of the house when the spirit songs were sung…That’s a spirit song.  They would stand up and hold their hands up to ward the shaman spirit off with the heel of their hand.

As if it is my anchor is how I think of it
my maternal uncles
that they left these behind in my care.
The Shark Tunic
is in my hand
Their ermine headdress is also in my hands.
All of you who came out here
I am bracing you
that it not turn bad
that your words
not float aimless in the air.

The Tlingit culture is revitalized and can be seen today as a important element in Tlingit lives.


Posted in Alaska, Memories, Observations, Personal | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Want to be Green? How?


I searched for answers and get all these possibilities. I am solution oriented and want to know how to GO GREEN.


How do I sort information from all these sources? As you begin to study these topics you begin to see basic things are contained in all of them. So, relax and enjoy reading about any or all of these methods.









Restoration Agriculture








Organic gardening has been around for a long time and no matter what you call your system, they all have versions of the following methods:

Double Digging to loosen soil deeply under the planting area

Adding compost to clay or sandy soils as this balances either type in different ways.

Recommends soil testing to learn what amendments will maximize your plants growth and health.

Site selection with drainage, sun hours and healthy soil.

Selection of plants likely do well in your location.

Spacing of planting to insure the required sunlight hours required for fruit or vegetable flowers to form.

After you read or study any or all of these topics, pick the one or even parts of one that seems to suit you and GO GREEN.




Posted in Biodiversity, How-to, Observations, Sustainable living, Urban Farming | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Simply Making Sauerkraut at Home

Catherine and I love Rueben sandwiches.

Reuben Sandwich

MMMM…rye bread, sauce (we use Thousand Island Dressing), slices of melted Swiss cheese and a pile of thin-sliced corned beef-topped with a generous mass of sauerkraut. 

We also knew the sauerkraut had beneficial microbes if the sauerkraut was raw. We found some raw at the grocery store, but the flavor was weak. We decided to find out how to make it.

We reviewed a lot of videos and began to think we did not want to spend a lot of money on airlocks, special containers and cultures. Surely there was a simpler, more direct way with mason jars we already had. We kept looking and found just what we were looking for. It required the following:

a  Simple recipe
a Head of cabbage
sea salt
wide mouth mason jar
plastic baggy

We include the video url at the end of this commentary so you can see how we did this and try it yourself. Let us know how it comes out for you.

We went to the grocery store and looked for cabbage in the fresh veggie section. It is June, but I thought there would be no problem finding a head of cabbage. There were only very small green heads that looked like they were distressed.

Looking around more, we found some larger healthier looking purple cabbage heads. We wondered if they would do the job and since our selection was limited (maybe into the autumn) and we were ready to try our hand at this new kitchen adventure— So we bought two heads.

2 small purple cabbages


At home we began cutting one of the heads of  cabbage in preparation for slicing them very thin with a knife. Purple cabbages are beautiful! I had to pause and admire the slices as we continued.

MHM CabbageCollage

The simple, direct directions were to

 shred 2 pounds of cabbage (we did this with a knife because we like the way it looked instead of using a food processor) Two small heads made 3 quart mason jars full.

sliced purple cabbage

Mix in 1-1/2 tablespoon of sea salt

Massage for approximately  10 minutes  (it was amazing how much water was produced with so little salt)

Pack it in the mason jars and press down to remove as much air as you can.  We pressed down with a small drinking glass.

Leave about 1 inch from the top of the jar, then place a plastic bag with water on top of the cabbage.

mason jar and water bag seal

This picture from the video shows how to place the plastic water bag. This setup is a good air lock. It pushes the cabbage down with its water weight and keeps air out while letting gases escape.  Place this on the counter for 3-10 days.

We had some sauerkraut left from the grocery store and wondered if we added a Tablespoon  or so to one of our jars full of cabbage–  would it add a good culture?

Heck, we were experimenting weren’t we?


After about a 7 days we lifted the plastic bags in the jar with the added culture and the one without any addition and checked for any problems.  They both smelled good and had no signs of mold of spoilage.

We tasted both. SURPRISE! they were good.  A little sharp but maybe that would age out. The jar with the aged culture from the grocery store was milder and we thought it must be because it had caraway seeds in it. Our jar with just salt was sharper tasting.

We checked, added water and pressed out any air and replaced the plastic water bags. We intend to leave them with the plastic water bags until we plan to use the sauerkraut. The plastic water bags seem to seal them from the air and let the gas out.

Place them in the frig and they will be useable up to 3-10 months (depending on who you believe.)

Here is the video we followed to make our experiment:

Small Batch DIY Home Made Sauerkraut

Posted in Cooking Notes, Fermented Veggies, Something me | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Which Medicinal Plant?

How do we know we are all talking about the same plant? Early records of observers of Native American use of plants for healing and other practices was done by people who were not steeped in technical learning. They appreciated what they observed and wanted to preserve anything they thought important or interesting. They recorded what the Indians hunted with, what they ate and how they observed them using plants in various ways. These early observers used everyday language inspired from nature and left reflections on the things they were learning about.  We love to read these records because they tell interesting things in a way that can be understood.



Nature lovers, the first casual observers still exist and are enjoyed by other nature lovers.


Early records often pointed another class of nature students in directions to investigate.  These people invented instruments to measure and test new methods of study. They looked at things through microscopes and invented new language words to describe more specifically construction, relationships and how things worked.


These studies of nature were dry and tedious with attention to minute detail. The writings created began to record all the observation in the precise languages of botany and chemistry.


It is not the work that attracts a lot of interest by the general public. These tests and experiments were devised to help us grasp the fundamental principles of life.

However when something goes wrong and our bodies are attacked by disease, the laboratory scientist is sought for solutions. Laboratory students have learned that the methods of study about cause and effect in nature is complex, so subjects have to be broken down into smaller parts and studied individually. Medicinal Botany is an example.


It was observed that plant products can be made to support and heal us, our plants began to be studied for medicinal qualities observed by early nature writers. A problem arises when we realize names we use to designate what we are studying are not always the same words used in different countries or even in different parts of the countries. Languages and the time things were observed also make it difficult to identify the specific plant we are attempting to discuss.


Plants have Latin names due to the genus and species system of naming plants developed by famed Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus. His system is used and expanded upon to this day. Now it is possible for people speaking different languages or studying text written at different times to know they are talking or writing about the same plant.

Continue reading nature lovers who write observations but when wanting explicit information about particular medical plants, learn Latin names to be sure.

Posted in Herb Medicine, Herbal History, Observations | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


,April 29, 2017
I have a lot of things I am curious about. I have read a lot about Chinese medical practices including their Barefoot Doctors programs. I have never actually explored the acupuncture practice Until NOW. I have made an appointment to visit an acupuncture Dr. I am excited. Will report after my first experience.

Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. It is one of the practices used in traditional Chinese medicine.


May 3, 2017  First Appointment

I prepared forms that described my conditions and other info.
I am 74 years old. I have multiple health issues but the pressing one is the swelling and discoloration in my right toes and foot .

The doctor asked a few questions, examined my tongue top and bottom, Examined my foot. Asked if I had seen a medical doctor about it. I told him I was treated with antibiotics for 30 days (no results). Now the medical doctor was exploring rheumatoid arthritis and other possible causes. He told me I did not have an infection or arthritis. He said I should get a blood test for kidney problems. He was very adamant about getting a medical doctor to test for kidney problems, repeating this several times.

He asked me to get on the table and take my dress off replacing it with the (fabled) hospital gown, open in the back. He said I should lay on my back. He left the room and returned shortly.

I could not see what he was doing when he put needles into my belly, hands and arms. It seemed to take no time at all. I only felt occasional small, pin-pricks. My daughter, Catherine was watching and when the doctor left again, she told me what she could see. She said he put needles in a hollow tube and just tapped the needles into my skin very fast. Then he removed the hollow tube and wiggled the needles again several times.

Catherine tried to photograph the needles in various places so I could see them, but the needles disappeared in the picture. She took several and we couldn’t see any needles!
When he returned in 10 minutes he asked if I was uncomfortable. I wasn’t so he said he would return in 10 more minutes. I did not feel anything the whole time. When he returned, he removed the needles, throwing them in the garbage. This part of the session took 20 minutes. He had me turnover so he could add needles to my back.

Again I did not feel anything at first. He moved the needles in my right leg a little and it flashed a hurt (the kind of hurt of a mild toothache.) He seemed pleased. When he left again for 10 minutes, I felt real pain in my right calf right away. It hurt enough that I asked Catherine to call the doctor. She went into the hall and couldn’t find him. By that time the hurt stopped and I figured it happened because I flexed that muscle. So I concentrated on not moving muscles. This session with my back lasted 20 minutes total as well. He removed the needles.

Next he did cupping.

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.


I could not see but Catherine told me he heated little glass globes for a small second with a grill lighter and put them on my back. I flinched because they felt really cold. He seemed to put them on and remove them quickly. Catherine saw red circles on my skin. He said I could dress and left the room, and he strongly recommended another session in a week.

After a short time we decided we must be finished. We went to check out without seeing  him again. I felt like I wished we could see him again to discuss or review what happened. We paid, made another appointment for one week later and left.

We discussed the appointment. It all had gone well, and quickly. We both were surprised he left us so abruptly. We decided to get lunch. As I got out of the car to go into the restaurant, I noticed the discoloration in my right foot was nearly gone. It had been very dark and bruised looking and now it almost was the same color as my left foot. I had a little swelling in my left foot before the acupuncture session and now my shoe was falling off the left foot.

For the rest of the day, I felt more positive then I had for some time. My right foot did not hurt and I walked around in several stores as Catherine and I made the best of our trip to Austin by exploring the stores in the area. Maybe I overdid things as I was really fatigued when we got home.

The next day I did not see any appreciable change as I rested a lot. Catherine and I smoked some vegetables and hamburgers with a new little smoker box I bought for our propane grill, I wanted to try it out. Spectacular results! We will do this again soon.
I did notice I felt reduced pain in my right foot when I walked around and the swelling was down. I called my medical doctor because she told us she supported acupuncture and I thought she would be interested in the results. I needed to ask if there was a blood test for kidney problems.

When she returned my call, she said, “your kidneys are fine. We already did the test for this and other things when I had them take blood in March.”

But by the second day after the acupuncture session, I was able to sweep floors, do laundry, sort and file a backlog of paperwork and clean house. I feel certain that I was able to do these things that had seemed too hard for the recent past because of the acupuncture and cupping.
Second session with Acupuncture.
I did not feel relaxed, I think because I was planning on not coming back and I hoped I would not have to explain. I had begun to feel that I was focusing on myself too much in an expensive way. I had reviewed literature on the subject of acupuncture and most of it focused on pain relief. I did not think pain was my problem, It was focused swelling and pain in my right foot.

My daughter observed that I was very tense when the Acupuncturist entered the room. He asked how I felt, I said, “OK”. He said how things were with me and I assumed he meant my swollen foot so I said, “It is much better”. He said, “Yes, that is good”.

He put a towel across my shoulders and began a very vigorous massage. He asked at a few seconds into this massage, “Does this hurt?” I said, “Some of it, yes”. He said, “Good”. Then continued.

Then he indicated he wanted me to remove my dress, put on the well known hospital, glamorous shirt with an open back and climb up on the table. As he left the room, he said over his shoulder, “Lay on your back. I will return shortly”

Lying on my back I reviewed my reasons for not coming back after today. Although I benefitted from the previous session in reduced swelling and pain in my foot and a general positive feeling overall I had more energy. I knew I could not afford many sessions. Since there was a language barrier, he is Chinese, I could not discuss in any depth what I felt.

When the acupuncturist returned, everything was as it was the first day. He put needles in my legs, arms and head, went out for 20 minutes, removed them, asked me to turn over so he could treat my back.


More needles were applied to my back, the calves of my legs and the areas of swollen ankles on each leg. After 20 minutes he did cupping and at first he rubbed a cup up and down my back then applied several cups, removing them almost right away.

I asked him, how many sessions did I need to come? He said, “Three, this is number 2 and one more, then we will make plans for 2 a month, 1 a month or even longer.” He finished the cupping and left the room. As I dressed I thought, “well, one more session is OK, I just couldn’t justify 8-10 sessions. I guess I will come back next week”

I did not know what to expect. Last week the swelling and pain reduction was quick and lasted all week. The swelling and pain seemed less again in my feet but also in my finger joints that had been sore. I felt really tired. This tired feeling lasted for 3 days, everything seemed difficult and I wanted to sleep a lot.

Third session. May 17, 2017

I sent and email .pdf file to the Acupuncturist showing him my blog posts about the last two sessions and my response to it.

I thought he never gets “feedback” about how his patients feel about acupuncture sessions, and how much they understand the sessions. I had some anxiety about how he would feel about my comments. I hoped the blog would open conversation and that we both understood my concerns. When we arrived for my appointment, the Acupuncturist said he did not get the email! Darn. So I outlined what was in it to open conversation about my sessions.

This did open the conversation, the Acupuncturist seemed very glad that I had made the communications effort. I told him of the difference between the last two sessions He described what the acupuncture was addressing in my problems. He also told me that the reason there was differences in the two other sessions was due to how I felt and the weather that was rainy and dark, so the biometric pressure may have influenced how I felt and responded to my second session.

(Apparently I am very sensitive to what is going on in the environment, during full moon nights, I don’t sleep for instance. Bears are know to get edgy due to changes in the barometric pressure, we may not notice these things but they are very real)

Also what I called “massage” on my shoulders in the last two sessions was actually “acupressure”. So the first two sessions had acupressure, acupuncture and cupping.

Based on what we discussed, the Acupuncturist said he would not do acupressure this time. So the session was acupuncture and cupping. He said he would adjust the session to help with my fatigue last week.

As we were leaving I felt he was glad for the communications I sent in email, I assured him I would send it again. Since he did not get my first email and I sent it again. He got it and commented on it:.

From the Acupuncturist

Hi, Mary,

Thanks for your email and the attachment. I got chance to read the words you wrote on your blog. You have a great observation about the acupuncture and detailed information about your feeling and so on.

So to summarize this third sessions results:

After this third session I felt good. I got work done around the house and my head seemed clearer when I had to review a pile of mail that had accumulated when the post office mistakenly put a hold on our mail for two weeks. With the junk mail, many bills and things I need to pay attention to were in that darn pile. (I had been putting off facing this sorting of files). I barely notice the pain in my feet, the pain in my hands is also un-noticeably less, swelling is down and I have more positive feelings.

I set another appointment in one week


Posted in Acupuncture, Personal | Tagged | 10 Comments

Disappearing Chicken Mystery at The Purple Gate Herb Farm

Catherine L. Mills

I have a few backyard chickens for egg production. I have learned a lot with the 5-6 chickens for the past few years. I researched, planned, and built a portable chicken coop with the ideas of moving it around the yard so the birds would get fresh greens (weeds)and insects while fouling (I mean, fertilizing) and weeding the grounds.


The “portable chicken coop” wheels proved to be very unstable and difficult to move easily.


In the summer sun, the chickens were roasting alive so I moved the portable chicken coop under a “Hoop house fence” (see- ).


The vines that covered the hoop structure  gave good shade. This worked OK, but this portable chicken coop now had a permanent home. The chickens ranged freely around our property and came home to roost every night in the new home. We could also cage them in the run when necessary (until I got some smarter chickens and they got out). They laid eggs there that were easy to gather.

One day, one of the chickens disappeared. I searched everywhere for several weeks and could not find her. I didn’t find feathers that usually told me a chicken had been killed by some predator. Once I thought I saw her, but couldn’t be sure. I couldn’t imagine where she was for almost two weeks. One day I noticed the lost chicken under a bush beside our porch. I carefully approached the area and found her with about a dozen eggs. Mystery solved, she had been laying and sitting on her eggs under that bush. I removed the eggs when she left to get some food and water. She came back immediately after her pit stop and saw that her eggs were gone. She looked around and the only culprit she could find was Pepper, our dog. She pestered our poor falsely accused dog for a week after. She gave up her nesting spot eventually and followed the other chickens into the chicken coop that night.


After some pretty hefty hen pecking she disappeared again. She did not return to the bush beside the porch. I was unable to find her again. One day I noticed something moving in a decorative pottery pot on the front porch. We had fake plants in the pots after the seasonal summer plants had died. I was sure I saw something move, either the fake plant or . . . (do you see her? She’s a barred rock chicken)

Hoping it was not a snake or other varmint…I carefully looked in and impossible as it seemed . . . there was my missing chicken. I thought . . . No way she could fit in that pot. But there she was.

I looked into the pot and found 19 eggs!

We now have full growing plants in those pots. She cannot get in them now. We are hoping we have convinced her that the chicken coop is where she should be. We hope we have solved our case of the repeatedly “Disappearing Chicken.”

Click here to see our mystery solved!!!

Posted in Chickens, Observations, Surprise | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Memories reoccur…

Love, Grief, Understanding
For fifty two years of marriage
I did not see so many things
As they were— lost in our busy lives.

Late at night I remember.
A new understanding seeps through the dark.

I see.
His smiling face peering around a corner
He seemed to start each new day with that smile.

He did not express his thoughts
He seemed to need me to express mine.
His happiness was Seeing me happy.
His distress was mine also.
We shared. Often without words.

I thought the lack of words
Meant he lacked feeling.
I now know he felt so deeply
And could not find words.

He internalized his pain but his
Body revealed his thoughts
He showed how deeply he felt sorrow or pain.
When his insides distressed him.
He thought he had an ulcer!
His body revealed what he could not express.

I sometimes tried to provoke him
To tell me what he thought or felt.
I got angry when he could not-would not

I simply did not understand his way
Of dealing with things that hurt him.
All he wanted was to be free of stress.
He fled to the garage, and projects.
To distract his mind from distress.

I felt alone when he seemed to shut me out.
I wish I could tell him-that now I understand.

The only way he could express love
Was the loving way he looked at me.
The way he held my hand as we walked.
The way he held me in bed as we slept.
The way he did things to please me.
I love him so. I miss him.

At night he comes to me in dreams
Now we talk the way I needed
For all the years we shared without
The words I craved.

Posted in Personal, The Purple Gate Herb Farm | Comments Off on Memories reoccur…

Back to the future is in progress at Home.

A friend and her husband got behind on payments due to unforeseen events and their home was foreclosed on. They found themselves without a home.  The bank  took their home and all their 18 years of equity. The bank could sell the home again and create a new mortgage, banks really cleaned up on these foreclosure deals.


My friend thought she was lucky to have a son and daughter-in-law invite her and her husband to live with them until they could figure out what to do.


Stunned, my friend and her husband tried to understand what happened to them. They just went through the days. Days stretched into months. They could not think of a way out of this horrible event. They could not think, and just tried to help out with the young family they landed with.

It did not take long for strife to arise. (I heard that the Chinese sign of trouble is 2 women under one roof).



My friend and her husband thought that no effort was made by my friend and her husband to do something since the offer for shelter was not permanent. Hurt feeling and frustration developed in both family members. Finally, a run down house was found that could be afforded and my friend and her husband moved out. My friend could not understand the strife. She told me “lots of family generations live together, I don’t understand what happened.”

I think when family generations live together there has to be an agreed upon elder or person who can settle disputes and keep the peace. This person has the final word on the social interactions of the family. Apparently this is vital for the success of multi-generations living in close quarters.

I thought about the circumstance that created foreclosures. I decided that our families have been conditioned to live “independently or you are a failure.” A whole generation was “programmed” to believe that “More and Bigger” meant success. They bought larger and larger homes and home furnishings. They bought newer, better, more impressive cars.



Then, for many the dream evaporated. Now the bank owned their home.



This was a horrible event in many lives across the United States.

I think that the events happening to create foreclosures made people realize the false security of the “more is better” ideas. Many people are redesigning their living spaces and life styles, both personally and publicly.


They are learning what their ancestors knew and they are reviving self-sufficient living with smaller homes and food producing gardens.


People are learning about old and new ways to live simpler with solar and wind systems and rain water collection.



Using old techniques combined with newer technologies to preserve food by canning vegetables produced in gardens and drying food to store seasonal food. These techniques are now being practiced by another generation.



Back to the future is in progress.

Posted in Hard Lessons, loss, Observations, Sustainable living, The constant is change | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Back to the future is in progress at Home.

A Dream Come True

Years ago I read an article about how sunflowers track the sun. Until then I did not know this wonderful information. I had gone through life unaware that sunflowers followed the sun all day, recording the path in the fibers of it’s stem. Then when the sun went down, the stem slowly released the tension in the twisted fibers allowing the flower to face east, awaiting the sunrise the next day. image

How wonderful, I thought. I watched for some time and observed this revelation to be true.

At that time, the art world was producing “kinetic art.” Art that responded to the presence of viewers. Many kinetic art installations had spires of metal that moved slowly as the air you displaced reached the installation.


I had a wonderful thought. I lacked the knowledge to make this happen, but I talked to several engineers and my husband about how a sculpture could be made to track the sun like a sunflower does.

Today there are a lot of solar tracker designs as sun tracking has many applications that have a practical applications and a variety of solutions.


Engineers are very practical men and could not see how they could apply solar tracking to the art sculptures I had in mind at that time. I could not get them to help me with the technical aspects and I am not able to do the project by myself so it was put on my “back burner”. Maybe someday, I thought.

However, today I found something on the internet that makes me smile. Here is the “kinetic art” I so wanted to design, someone did it!!!!. And it is beautiful with a practical function as well.image

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