Our Tiny House

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Find a Cornfield


I saw something adorable yesterday. 

As I was pulling out of a parking place at my Chiropractor’s office, a teen-aged girl was getting into her car carrying what looked like a baby lamb.

I couldn’t resist, I drove over as the mother was spraying her daughter’s shoes with disinfectant as she lifted one foot then the other. I commented on how cute they were, and the girl stepped back out and showed me her baby goat. 

It made my day.

The baby was 8 weeks old, and the girl said her name was Shadow because she followed her everywhere.

The mother said, with no school, now the girl has a goat. How creative. She has time to take care of a baby, bond, have fun.

If you have never experienced a goat, you have missed tremendous fun. A goat is somewhat like a dog in that goats will follow you, go on walks with you, like being around you, and, unlike a dog, they will mow down the brush for you. They are not messy, as they poop pellets like deer. They do like to climb, though.

Baby Darling on Wilbur with Orville looking on, Oregon


Baby Darling and Ra, Hawaii

One might say that little goat was the girl’s cornfield.

What am I talking about?

“Blame it on my high school teacher,” wrote Martha Beck. Her high school teacher, Mrs. Jensen she called her, was married at 17, bore her first child at 19 and was a farmwife and mother of four by age 22. When she felt overwhelmed, she’d retreat to a field of corn and hide, listening to her children search for her. When she heard a genuine cry for help or felt ready to reconnect, she would go back. 
Everybody needs their cornfield.

Perhaps that doesn’t apply to you if you live alone. Now with this quarantine, you feel isolated and in need of some diversion and socialization, but if you are cramped into a house with a large family, you might need a cornfield. That girl needed a baby goat.

You need someplace to hide where you can recharge your batteries. As I have mentioned, my truck (my office on wheels) is my cornfield, although I didn’t call it that until I read of Mrs. Jensen. Sometimes, I need to get out, but I still want to work, so I take my materials, my dog, and I drive and park someplace green and beautiful, and while the dog sleeps, I center myself.

I feel that we, as an earth-people, have just experienced a factory reset.

Things will never be the same, but I hope we will emerge more enlightened people. I hope we take some stock while in that cornfield to evaluate what’s important. Perhaps work will change. Companies might decide that much of their work-- via computer-- can be done outside the cubicle. Maybe we will touch the beauty that is our own soul, and become happier. Perhaps we will see that this factory reset allowed nature to take a breath.

I’m impressed with the restaurants in town offering take-out and grocery stores providing delivery. The Olive Garden has it down to a science, with a tent outside for clerks to take orders, send you in your car to a parking place, and wait for your food to be delivered. Someone came up with the glass or plastic shields in front of cash registers. Human ingenuity, I love it. These are the ones that drive evolution in a positive direction.

I’m ready to get back to interaction, however, and please folks let’s not develop a fear of each other.

We, at-home workers, haven’t experienced much change. I work at home, but don’t make a living at it. (In my dreams, and bless Husband Dear.) I have, however, spent the past week on my upcoming novel. I am suffering the “Holy cow, what it, nobody likes it, reads it, and I make a fool out of myself,” syndrome. My shitty first draft should be long gone, but now comes the finishing touches.
Some people like to read about work-in-progress, some don’t. I do. I love to see houses before they are finished, artists painting of sculpting or whatever their medium is, and here I’m talking about a book in process.

One woman explained with self-publishing that she had carefully formatted everything, She had it ready for the press, then discovered she had left out the page numbers. Luckily she found it before press.

What I’m afraid of is that I will find my errors after it is printed. I’ll look like a fool and fall flat on my face. But as Robinhood said, “Faint hearts never won fair ladies.” so I am plunging ahead.

I spent an entire day on the cover. I had a front cover laid out, but then I realized that if I have a print book—my daughter wants at least one hard copy—that I need a back cover, a description, and a barcode. I wanted the background to wrap around from front to back, but where would the book bend, and how large would the spine be (that area where the title is listed vertically)? And the background I choose is limited in size, perhaps it won’t be long enough to cover edge to edge with the front cover laid out the way I want it. I know the book will be cut, and they have what’s called a bleed where the color extends past the cut edges. So, I dinked and experimented and wanted the bird on the front to be in a particular spot.

The Frog’s Song Publishing LLC. is official.

I have two ISBN’s, one for softcover, one for an ebook.

My nom d’ plume will be jewell d.

And I’m waiting for the Library of Congress to give me an official number.

And that’s not even talking about what’s inside. That’s the fun part.

You see, I’m hoping to have Where The Bird’s of Eden Sing out soon. The ebook will be reasonably priced, $2.99, and available while people have time to read, are perhaps tired of Netflix, and can take my book to their cornfield.
 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Positive Steps We Can Take Regarding Covid-19


While we humans settle into a quiet quarantine, the birds are heralding in spring.
Last week Daughter Dear saw a Bald Eagle by the pond that’s on highway 99 close to the Eugene International Airport. Someone (the fish-stocking people) regularly add fish to that pond, and people often fish there. Now they have a competitor.
A man who lives in the Caribbean (lucky man) went out on his deck and a yellow bird came to visit, followed by a hummingbird, and he said the butterflies are swarming. He wondered if there were more of them, or if he was noticing more.
Did you hear that during the first week of semi-quarantine, air pollution dropped 60%?
No wonder the birds are happy, they can breathe easier.
Don’t forget to breathe folks, a good slow deep inhale can calm the nervous system.
Now breathe out.
I don’t know how people are managing with businesses closed and people out of work. It is trying times. I don’t mean to minimize the fear and danger of Covid-19, I do, however, want to address the fear, for I know that fear is the greatest obstacle in healing or in facing challenges.
 I want to place a calming blanket over our quivering bodies.
The first week of the virus scare, I noticed and commented on how nice people were.
Now I notice that with the clamp-down on the quarantine, that people are even afraid of eye contact. You know, it doesn’t hurt, or spread the virus to smile and greet people. Keeping distance doesn’t mean we can’t look at each other, and acknowledge their presence. Daughter Dear said at the grocery she smiled at a man in a motorized cart grocery store.
Angrily he said, "Why are you smiling?"
“To be friendly,” she said.
Perhaps the distancing is wearing on people.
Come here. Sit a spell, have some coffee and sympathy. I’d serve it, but hey, you know how it is, you’re there, I’m here. But isn’t it great that we have this tool—the home computer? Something unheard of 50 years ago.
Yesterday I looked at some old blog archives and found one posted on November 3, 2018 that seemed worth repeating. I called that one “Ow Brains and Wow Brains.”
I’ve heard that letting a positive experience settle for 20 seconds changes the brain to be more receptive to good.

We often brush away a compliment, saying “Thank you,” and it slides off.
Three seconds—it’s gone.

Have you noticed how we remember the bad stuff, but forget the good?
I can hear you, "Oh, I remember the good stuff.”

Of course, you do, especially those moments wrought with emotion.


It’s the way our brain works. 

Sitting in a Vet's office one day an elderly man asked me if I would like to see his cats.

"Sure," I said.

He showed me a picture of two dead cats.

 I almost fell off my chair.

He had no malice.  He genuinely needed to show me. I could see he loved those cats. Those emotionally packed hurts were emblazoned in his brain.

That’s Negativity bias.
Too bad those kitties will be remembered as dead when they had what 10-15-20 years of playful antics that entertained that man.

What is negativity bias anyway? 

Dwelling on negativity is a function of the brain. 
Our beautiful brain is hardwired to put more weight on the negatives. As we evolved and faced danger, our hair-trigger reaction was to scream, “Tiger,” and run.

If we survived the event, we needed to remember it so we would never be in that situation again.  And we needed to go home and tell our fellows about it.

Dr. Rick Henson, a neuropsychologist, stated in his book, Happiness: the New Brain:

“The brain is like Velcro for the negative, Teflon for the positive.” 

And I keep emphasizing that the media LOVES the negative for it gets more eyeballs.
The problem is that those negative experiences—here in our “modern” age is not usually from tigers, but from financial worries, relationship problems, work-related issues, early abuse, you get the picture. Now we are traumatized by a virus.

All that can create a bottle-neck in the brain.

When our cells are stressed, a brain chemical called cortisol pours into our cells.
Our body gets used to the cortisol, our cells thrive on it, and want more.  The trouble is continual doses of cortisol wear down the body, leaving it prone to disease and pain. 

You see, folks, that is the reason I’m trying to promote a positive attitude—not to negate that people are suffering, but to say a positive attitude cannot help but make you healthier, up your immune system, and help you cope.When we try to put aside old patterns of negativity, it makes our cells feel ill, and they want to go back to the old way. That’s the reason that people who talk -trouble, often keep talking it over and over.
However, our brains can change from Ow to Wow. 

A Wow brain tends to look at life as an exciting, adventurous experience instead of a dangerous one.

Creating new thought patterns is neurolinguistic programming.

Dr. Hanson said he was a geeky kid and not well liked, but when he got to college, he made a discovery. Positive experiences create more positive experiences. If he held onto that encouragement, that compliment, that smile, wink, whatever, he began to feel better.

Thus he promotes the 20-second rule—savor that positive experience for 20 seconds and see what happens. 

I noticed, however, as I was doing his process of thinking of a happy event—I choose the day I got my horse—you know I am cuckoo over horses—well at least a couple of them. As I tried to hold my happy thought about getting Boots, thoughts crept in of the day I lost him. 
Just like the man with the kitties.
That was Negativity bias.
Name it and let it go.
Tame the old lizard brain.
Not an easy task.
I was impacted by something teacher Abraham said, “People normally react to what is, instead of focusing on what they want.
What if we all meditated on seeing the world thriving again.
“You can call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”—John Lennon
The positive steps below may help take some of the dander out of the old lizard brain.
Do your own research, don’t do anything stupid before checking out if any treatments are harmful.
When I first heard scientists were considering a malaria treatment for the corona virus, I remembered in old times people used quinine to treat malaria. (Quinine side effects can be serious, even deadly, so don’t rush out and begin using it.)  However, that led me to wonder if quinine, a known anti-malarial treatment could be a treatment for the Covid-19 virus, and I found that indeed, quinine is an ingredient in hydroxychloroquine, the medication scientists are now testing.
Malaria is caused by a parasite, Covid-19 is a virus, but scientists think that the anti-malaria medication hydroxychloroquine could possibly stop the virus from invading the cells. and yes, it is quinine based.
A study in France published on March 20 in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents described the treatment of 42 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 26 of whom received a version of chloroquine called hydroxychloroquine and 16 of whom received routine care. Of the 20 patients who took the antimalarial and 16 of whom received routine care. Of the 20 patients who took the antimalarial and completed the study, six also received azithromycin, an antibiotic. All six of these patients were free of SARS-CoV-2 by the fifth day post-treatment, while seven of 14 patients who took hydroxychloroquine alone were negative for the virus, and two of 16 control patients were no longer infected.
Keep the faith. There is HOPE for the future.
If you are someone who believes live people can talk to dead people, here is one such person’s conversation with Jonas Salk, the Doctor who developed the Polio vaccine. He asked Salk what sort of treatments could be used for the coronavirus. Salk said, “Acai berry, elderberry and aloe vera.” (These do not have the side effects of quinine, and probably they would help the strengthen the immune system.)
Could Thieves essential oil mixture help?
I happen to have a little bottle of Thieves essential oil, so I moistened a cotton ball with the oil and put it in the car.  We have a very fragrant car.
So the story goes…a long time ago (1413) during the Black-death plague, four thieves were charged with stealing from the dead and dying, however, they never contracted the disease. A judge said he would spare them (he lied) if they told their secret.
Their secret was that they wore a particular mixture of oils that they applied it to their hats, hands, temple, and a mask they wore over their nose and mouth. No claim here folks, just relaying information. (A few drops in your face mask might be a good idea.
I put some on my temple and it stung, until I rubbed a smidgen of olive oil on it and the sting went away. So, remember if you use it on your skin, dilute it with a tiny amount of other oil.
Here is a list of ingredients in Thieves from Young Living Essential Oils: Thieves® essential oil blend is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils
Hand Sanitizers:
As you know, the shelves are bare where hand sanitizers used to be. Here are two recipes you can make at home provided you have the ingredients or can find them. Washing our hands with soap and water is the best, but if you’re out and want a quick sanitizing, use the hand sanitizers. Scrub hands together for 30 seconds and let air dry. Remember to sterilize all equipment when making the sanitizers.
The Quick (Gel) Recipe
Mix 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1-part aloe vera gel. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to give it a pleasant scent.
The Better (Spray) Recipe
Remember, the alcohol content must be at least 3/4 of the ingredients.
Daughter Dear provides Home Care for invalids, and the company she works for sent the agents a thank you and suggestions:
1.    Limit your time watching the news.
2.    Journal or keep a gratitude journal. (Gratitude? I didn’t know they were into that sort of thing.)
3.    Have a support system—I wonder about this. You either have one or you don’t. Sitting around and saying “ain’t it awful,” isn’t support.

Let’s say we will get through this waving the flag of victory.
 



A Buddhist saying:
Do not think lightly of good—saying it will not come to me.
Drop by drop does the water pot fill.
Likewise, the wise one gathering little by little fills themselves with good.

Be happy. Think good thoughts. I love you,
Joyce