Our Tiny House

Thursday, November 14, 2019


The Sahara desert is bigger than China and the US combined. 

That massave desert covers about one third of Africa. Seven million years ago, it was an ancient sea,

Holy Cow.

The Sahara is predicted to green up eventually, as it oscillates between being a dry inhospitable desert to a lush green oasis-- every 20,000 years.

I guess we’ll have to come back to earth to catch that act. 
 (A slight tilt in the earth’s axis drives these oscillations and it also drives the monsoons.) 

Why am I talking about the Sahara? 

Well, writing made me to it. I commented—with my tendency to exaggerate--that getting mail across Africa takes about as long as walking across the Sahara.

I didn’t know how big the Sahara was.

But I found it would be a long walk.

That led me to those ships that travel across the sands—camels. You know how investigating one thing leads to another, and so on.  At one time, so say the records, caravans of 12,000 camels traveled across the Sahara.

Now that would be a sight to see.

An impressive desert, that was once an impressive ocean, to impressive camels that can drink 40 gallons of water at a time and then go so long (3 months) without water that their pee turns to syrup. 

And if you want to know where camels came from, go to this fabulously informative and funny YouTube: “You have No Idea Where Camels Came From,” by Latif Nasser.

I wanted this post to be a little closer to home and about seasons, you know Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, but I got carried away with LONG oscillations in the earth’s cycles.

 Beautiful watercolor from magnolia magazine. Kudos to the artist, not named.

Maxi cycles or Mini cycles. I’ve been grieving the end of summer, being a warm-blooded mammal who likes basking in the sun and looking at silky green leaves.

I’m trying to embrace the falling leaves and naked branches. Many people say they like Fall, but for me, it means winter is fast upon us. 

It’s not that I don’t like luxuriating by a warm fire, and cuddling up with a hot drink, or snuggling with my honey, but it’s dreary outside.

My Naturopath commented that our bodies have seasons, too, and you might notice how we like warm heavier foods in the winter and cool lighter fruits and veggies in the summer. 

I hadn’t thought of the biology of it, other than cases of flu come in winter, and we hope to slip by unscathed. I thought of it psychologically that dreary moods come with dreary weather, and that (Yeah!) spring comes at the end of it. 

I get so excited to see the flowers come on, and the deciduous trees push those buds from what would appear to be dead sticks. With fall, I realize how much energy and nutrition those plants have put into their summer clothes. And so I remind the trees that they will get new leaves come spring, and to have a nice winter sleep.

The first year we moved from California to Oregon—many years ago—I had such fun with the leaves, raking them, stacking them, jumping on them—but I don’t think we had as many at that house as we do now. The following year, I said, “Are you guys back again?”

Now I find, through the magic of the internet, that our brain activity changes with the seasons.

 “The National Academy of Sciences reports that the brain utilizes its resources differently to perform the same cognitive tasks depending on what season it is.”
Scientists have found that the brain is more active in the summer on tasks that require attention. 
On memory tasks, brain activity peaks in autumn and hits a low in the spring. 
In winter, the brain is less efficient, and it will be more difficult to do tasks.
Tis the season for chickens to molt that is losing a good many feathers, not all, but enough to make them look like a panther has attacked them. Their egg laying will stop to reserving their protein for making new feathers.
The neighborhood peacock has lost his tail. I’m looking forward to seeing him with a new one come spring, and I’m so grateful that he dropped a half dozen tail feathers at our place. They are gifts of Spirituality, Awakening, Guidance, Protection, & Watchfulness. In Greco-Roman mythology, the Peacock tail has the "eyes" of the stars. ... For this reason, the Peacock feather represents immortality and can absorb negative energies, protecting those who wear them.
Never steal a feather from the bird; he must give them freely.
Here’s one for you.
It will protect you from winter blahs, and so gather your nuts, store them in a dry place, and spend your winter at base camp.
I’m rooting for ya,

Monday, November 11, 2019

When do THEY decide you are a throw-away person?

Before the recent (yesterday’s) medication, the patient could stand up, walk around, take herself to the bathroom, have dinner, look out the window, and on occasion, visit with somebody.

Daughter dear is caring for an Alzheimer patient, who pops in and out of lucidity. Now the patient had been placed on hospice care, has been given mood-altering medication, and is whacked-out on morphine.

From managing (with help) one day to unconscious the next. 

I’ve had high regard for hospice people for I had heard such good comments from family members. And I knew they could prescribe morphine that could be a god-send for people in pain.

But this person was not complaining of pain. And, I’m shocked that morphine is prescribed as a matter of course.

Is that a good idea?
Did the patient ask for it?

Well, at least our culture sedates an old person before setting them on an ice flow. (Oh, oh, I’m slipping into sarcasm.)

I once read a story about a young man who lived in the cold North who decided it was time for his father to die. However, in a moment of compassion the son gave the father a blanket, but the father cut the blanket in two and only took half. 

“Father, why are you taking only half a blanket when I gave you a whole one?” asked the son.

“Because I’m saving the other half for you.”

The old man lived out his days in the warmth of the igloo.

I don’t know the Alzheimer patient’s history. I know she is elderly, lives still with her husband who is uncommonly kind to her given he has a temper. When he shows his temper, she ships out. (That tells you something, doesn’t it? When did she learn that shipping-out behavior?)

We must not wait until Hospice comes sweeping in the door to lose control of our bodies, our minds, our environment, and our peace of mind. You know what they say, “If you don’t choose for yourself, somebody will choose for you.”

Before I had my babies, I read a book called “Awake and Aware,” that followed Dr. Fernand Lamaze’s principals of natural childbirth. 

Lamaze was encouraging women to be awake and present during the birth of their child. He was giving them tools to manage what can be a frightful and painful event. There in the hallowed halls of a hospital, you could follow protocol, use your techniques, and experience pain, joy, whatever. (But, don’t embarrass the personnel.)

How about the outside world? Are we sedated?

A sedated person is easy to manage. Many a shut-in who watches television all day is sedated without chemicals, and probably angry to boot. No wonder the old man husband wanders around complaining about the state of the world, about blacks, about women. He’s angry. And he needs someone to blame. 

Not good for our society.

I once read that in an extremely crowded Oriental country where the streets are crowded, the shops are crowded, and families live together in a small space, that finding one moment of privacy is almost impossible.
However, there is still one place you can go where you are free. 

That is your mind.

Perhaps that is the reason the use of meditation is so prevalent in the East. Go to a quiet place where your mind can become still. Go where you can experience the silence. “Prayer,” so I’ve heard, “is talking to God. Meditation is God talking to you.”

I think one’s awareness should be the last thing to go.

But then, that’s only my idea.

Any input?

P.S. Thursday I’ll talk about something more pleasant—that is, if it presents itself.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Always Remember

 Art by Charlie Mackesy

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to paint a rosy picture, then someone threw gloom all over your pretty watercolor?

Not into watercolors? Well, I’m not talking about them anyway, I’m talking about how people get beaten down by the complexity of life.

And there is that person standing in front of you venting, complaining about how bad it is, and you stand there wondering how to maintain a happy medium—listen to them, calm their fears, yet save your own sanity.

You can walk away, but if the voice you hear is coming from the earth--it’s coughing, from the marketplace--its yammering, from the military--its booming, from the deranged people that are doing bad things, or from people who have given up hope, you can’t walk away.

James Fenimore Cooper said,“To find the medium takes some share of wit, so tis a mark fools seldom hit.”

But we’re not fools, and we are making a momentous try to follow the Hippocratic oath, “First do no harm.”

Second, we’re searching for answers on how to clean up the messes we’re already made. 

It astounds me when I look into technology. My14-year-old grandson knows more about scientific concepts I don’t even know the meaning of, like nanotechology, quarks, blending, fractals, see, what in the heck? 

Look at the wiring of the space capsule and you wonder how in the world they can ever untangle that spaghetti of wiring, and now instead of wires, it's done with Micro chips soldered into little boards. Those microchips have so much information packed into them it reminds me of the old argument, “How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?” Now they would say, “How many bits of information can you stack onto a microchip?”

If we have people within our culture who understand such technology, then we have people who can understand at an earth level, how to address global warming, how to grow healthy food, how to teach people to be kind, and there are those who will teach us that we came here for a reason, that we have a gift to give, and that the world needs that gift.  

Look-it there at all that talent going to waste. 

We're so into comparing ourselves to others, believing the dribble that many are called few are chosen, meaning try as you might, you probably won’t make it (artists, writers, painters, musicians). Get a job. (Contribute to another’s dream instead of having your own.) 

Don’t listen to them.

Give your gift.

You are what the world needs.

I so love Charlie Mackesy's artistry that I had to buy his book, The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse. What wit, wisdom.

"The world that I am required to inhabit is this one, but the world that I long to inhabit is the one that Charlie Mackesy has created."
--Elizbeth Glbert