Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Blind Runner Runs Marathon Without Guide People or Dogs


                                                         Oregon Grape, snip from video*


Imagine this—One morning, you and your colleges are called into the conference room and presented with this question.: “Can we give a blind runner the freedom to run without a guide dog or a guide runner?”


Wow. What a challenge.


This morning I searched for “Happy stories” because I felt what is being thrown at us is fear, conflict, and horror.


Yesterday I mentioned to a friend that I wanted a happy story. She said, like kitties and puppies.


Yes, I love kitties and puppies. So many happy or at least tender-hearted stories are about animals--a dog sleeping with a deer, an Alaskan Husky romping with a polar bear, an elephant reaching his trunk to a kitty stranding on a rock in the middle of a stream. (You know the kitty was rescued, someone took the picture.)


This morning I found one about humans.


Blind Thomas Panek believed he was born to run and had raced with the aid of a guide runner, but he felt he was always following someone. For a marathon, he used a three-dog relay. But he dreamed of running independently.


The designers came up with an app, phone, headphones, and a stripe painted on the road. The device could tell the runner when he veered right or left. 


On a run through a forested road, Thomas broke down and cried for before, he said, he was always dependent upon someone. 


This gave him freedom.


Human ingenuity. 


Project guidelines.


Do you have a happy story to tell?


Tell me. 


And if you would help me get 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, I can change the URL to custom. 


That way, I can remove my actual name and give it a simple name to share and to find. (I must also include a picture and have a banner. I’ve done that. Now I need subscribers.) So far, I have 87 views. Perhaps you don’t want to listen to me for 9 minutes—but the forest is pretty. The latest video is of a trail in the Cascade Range of Oregon. It’s a short walk down to the McKenzie River. And I am happy I got my audio aligned with the video and a roar of the river at the end. 


You know how rushing water can be calming and exciting all at the same time. I wish that for you.


Carry on,



“In the fall of 2019, I asked that question to a group of designers and technologists at a Google hackathon. I wasn’t anticipating much more than an interesting conversation, but by the end of the day, they’d built a rough demo that allowed a phone to recognize a line taped to the ground and give audio cues to me while I walked with Blaze. We were excited and hopeful to see if we could develop it into something more.” --Thomas Panek



July 27. 2021

Jewell's Happy Trails #3                                                       Jewell's Happy Trails #2

 McKenzie River Trail                                                          Marcola Hills, Oregon









Jewell's happy Trails #1


This video is in my channel.  I left 

it raw and uncensored  because 

I liked it being off the cuff. 

Perhaps it needs shortened a bit.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Believe in Miracles

In searching for quotes for my notebooks/journals, I found this one—one of my favorites, although I did not include it in any of the books:


"Changing the toilet paper spindle does not cause brain damage."


I told my husband this morning that I didn't have a blog this week. I had nothing to say. He said, “Well, I guess that's it."


I said, "That's not an excuse—you begin and see what happens." 


That's the writer in me, and that's what I tell creatives. Just do your work, and see what happens. Sometimes we hit, sometimes we miss. Sometimes the wastepaper basket gets all the info, but we keep on keeping on.


So here I am…beginning.


Perhaps I've gotten caught up in the at-homeness, the covid19-ness, the debate, the confusion. I want to say something positive yet feel helpless to do that.


I hear that people are suffering. One couple said that locked up at home, they yell at each other all the time, and that's not good for the kids. Another friend said that this Covid19 has sucked all the joy out of her life. Now she doesn't want to host any gatherings at her house while she used to have many during a year.


What should we do with this information?


It appears that the power structure is trying—they have come up with a vaccine and now are encouraging, virtually forcing people to take it. Some believe it's a savior; others think it's the devil incarnate.


It could be that sinister forces are at work, for when profit is forthcoming, people become suspicious. We encourage profit. We admire people who get rich—but not too rich. Without profit, companies would not exist, but outrageously high profit really is greed.


It could be that the power structure—let's start with the doctors, they were at a loss on how to treat this disease. Some wanted to try methods outside the Hospital’s protocol and were stymied.


The medicine (I-word) has been shown to heal Covid19 better than any other treatments, yet it wasn’t allowed to be administered in hospitals, even at doctor’s orders. If it is mentioned on YouTube that channel soon goes Bye bye.  The I-word has also been shown to be a preventative, is cheap to produce, and has been FDA approved for 40 years


 Research scientists are scrambling to find answers. Politicians were trying, some with an agenda, some with an honest desire to help. The populace was depending on those in the know to have answers. 


This scenario was like Hawaii trying to solve their rat problem. Scientists brought in mongoose to eradicate the rats. The problem was, the rats were nocturnal. The mongoose is diurnal, so one sleeps during the day, the other at night, and they both exist happily together.


We have science to help us, but mother nature is complex, and we are babies in our efforts. 


In 1859 Thomas Austin, a wealthy settler who lived in Victoria, Australia, had 13 European wild rabbits sent to him from across the world (So he could hunt them, wow.) He let the bunnies roam free on his estate. 


From this one backyard sanctuary, it took only around 50 years for these imported rabbits to spread across the entire continent.

Australia was fertile ground for bunnies; literally, its ground is excellent for burrowing. The climate is warm, grasses were available for food, and rabbits had no natural predators. If times get tough food-wise, rabbits will eat about anything—and everything. Soon they invaded crops and land, leading to soil erosion and the loss of native plants and animals. Farmers were leaving their decimated land.


Fencing, killing, poisoning. gassing their warrens (where a group of rabbits live, and raise their young.) didn't do the job. Birth control would only affect one rabbit at a time. Once, the government offered 3 million dollars to someone who could come up with an effective bio-control. None worked efficiently enough. Rabbits soon developed immunity. 

Scientists created a rabbit-specific virus, and that works somewhat.

However, in January 2020, it was estimated that approximately 200 million feral rabbits inhabit Australia.


This is what we are dealing with now with the virus. Evolutionists Heather and Brett Weinstein have a podcast where they have been talking about Covid19. (Yes, Evolutionists, that dreaded word that simply means biologists who study how organisms change) offered a description of how variants appear. 

 Let's say, Heather said, that we want to kill jaguars. We create a device that finds spots. Soon, we have detected and killed all the spotted jaguars. However, a few have non-issued spots, and they slipped past the detection device. With the regularly spotted jaguars gone, what is left is the irregularly spotted jaguars, and they take over.


Mother Nature knows how to balance, but we, the people, do not want to be casualties, so we try to intervene.


So where does that leave us? 

I want to add something positive, so here are some ideas:


  • That we weigh consequences. That we do not rush to a conclusion without trying in every way we can conjure to consider the consequences. Scientists aren't gods, and sometime they hit, sometimes they they miss. (Ever see a rocket go up in flames?)  In our desperation to have answers, we should not give companies Carte Blanche with no consequences.
  •  When we stopped driving so much during the lock down, we found the air got better. A few of us wondered if our past two glorious springs was nature having a breather. What if we did that regularly without being forced?
  •  We found that pure water was precious, and we ought to make sure it stays that way. 
  •  We found that if we up our immune system with supplements and healthy food and take care during flu season—like washing our hands, not touching our faces when we are out, and avoiding crowds, we have fewer colds. 
  • We found that we don't need to consume as much, for it wasn't fun to shop during the pandemic. We discovered that we can get by with less. 
  •  As we are getting fatter while perceiving that we are eating about the same, we wonder if something besides calories is at work, perhaps interfering with our chemistry.


We know stress interferes with biochemistry. We know that chemicals in our houses ought to be replaced with natural substances. We figure that genetically altered foods is suspect. What about the excessive use of plastic?


Grandma's food tasted great, and nothing was genetically modified. The organic farmers have a point. They can produce beautiful, healthy fruits and vegetables without chemicals. (The marijuana growers have perfected this craft.)


What about chemicals to make the cows produce more milk? Come on, stop it with the cows. Stop throwing chemicals on the ground and into animals. Now people injured with the herbicide, Round-up-- that has been used extensively in Oregon, are getting compensation. What does that say about its use? 


  • We want a cell phone that works great, but we don't need a new one every year because it's a fun toy.
  •  We found that working 9 to 5 in  crowded buildings isn't the most efficient way to accomplish business. 
  •  We found that we value our friends and miss them when it becomes impossible to see them.
  •  We found that being outside is not only healthy but healing and safer as far as contracting diseases.


Nature takes her time. We don't have the time. I guess that's the battle.


We love our Momma (earth). So, let's not make it hard for her.


Here I am talking about world conditions, while on the other had I’m walking in the forest and talking about creating our own reality. Perhaps they will mesh eventually.



"Why should we use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold, and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting, and the accumulation of objects and money."

--Brenda Ueland 

(This did make its way into "Breathe.")


And I thought I didn't have anything to say.

A virtual hug,


P.S. the I-word is I-ver-mect-in.

My notebooks, or journals, by jewell d are for your exquisite thoughts, or stuff you can't remember but need to. They have lined pages, and quotes scattered throughout for fun and inspiration.

Chirp is live, Believe is alive, Breathe is in review.

On the back cover of Believe:

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. " --Audrey Hepburn


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Have You Ever Gotten Caught in "Click Bait?"

 I got caught this morning wanting to know why I should put my potatoes in the dishwasher. 

Well, after clicking through about 50 other Kitchen hacks—pretty good ones, I finally found the one I wanted. You can wash your vegetables in the dishwasher. 

I knew that. Yeah, I’ve heard you can cook a turkey in the dishwasher too, but I’ve never tried that. 

I thought I would find some esoteric reason that the dishwasher would remove harmful substances from my potatoes. 

Nope. Just wash them. That’s a waste of hot water and electricity.

You see, I have a history with potatoes. 

Long-time readers may have read that I killed my two darling hens a few years ago by feeding them potato skins. (A potato peeling will never pass my current chicken’s lips.) 

It broke my heart to see my two hens, both dead, the morning after I prepared a Thanksgiving dinner, and thought I was giving them a treat to offer potato peelings. 

I’m saying this to tell people, “NEVER GIVE YOUR CHICKENS POTATO SKINS.”

I have not purchased a Russet potato since—although I probably have in a restaurant. And I do love potatoes, and I don’t want to malign them, for you know they have saved many a society. (And The Martian.). After my chicken trauma, though, I purchase only red-skinned ones. 

First, I heard that red potatoes are not sprayed, and I seek out organic. Besides, red ones taste better, and I’ve found they work well with everything I want to prepare, including mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and turkey gravy is my once-a-year indulgence.

It could have been a spray that killed my hens, for I just bought a prepared bag of commercial potatoes, and I don’t know their origin.  I suspect, though, that the Solanine tuberosum, a glycoalkaloid poison found in some species of the nightshade family, esp. abundant in potato skins, was the culprit.

Potato skins contain the same substance that poisoned Chris McCandless, the young man who went into the wilderness to live off the land and died there. (His diary stated he had eaten a poisonous plant.)

I know we have all eaten potatoes, and stuffed potato skins are delicious. If we suffered any side effects, we don’t know about them. People can tolerate larger amounts than can chickens/birds, and our potatoes are normally cooked which largely renders the poison harmless.  

Ronald Hamilton posted a paper on the Internet that brings new facts to Chris’s demise. Hamilton, it turns out, discovered evidence that closed the book on McCandless’s death.

To appreciate the brilliance of Hamilton’s investigative work, some backstory is helpful. 

McCandless’s diary indicated that beginning on June 24, 1992, the roots of the Hedysarum alpinum plant became a staple of his daily diet. On July 14, he started harvesting and eating Hedysarum alpinum seeds as well. One of his photos depicts a one-gallon Ziploc bag stuffed with these seeds. When Hamilton visited the McCandless’s home, an old school bus, in July 1993, he wrote that wild potato plants were growing everywhere. He filled a one-gallon bag with more than a pound of seeds in less than thirty minutes.

The movie, Into the Wild tells Chris’s story.

To end on a happy note: I never thought when I was growing up on a farm that chickens could be such fun. 

My dear son-in-law and grandson moved my little chicken house into the backyard. Hubby and I replaced the roof and shingled it with leftover shingles I found at Habitat for Humanity’s sales outlet. I stained the siding Cedar red and painted the trim green. Now it looks cute, and I can see it from the kitchen window. No more leaving chickens in the Wayback as fodder for the raccoon. All four chickens love being freed into the backyard. They talk to me and let me touch them. Blackie has shown them the pleasure of the shade under the lilac bush and the dust baths she has prepared. 



The first episode of my novel Song of Africa, is available on Kindle Vella#. The first three episodes are FREE. After than tokens are required for further reading.this was Kindle’s brilliant idea, for people like to read segments, and this gives a feeling for the book, and gives the reader the opportunity to keep reading or not.

Be the first to click  RAVE, or read, and please follow. I'd love it. My mom would love it, my cat would love it--the chickens would be so so.

I better get crackin’ onto Episode 2. 



Friday, July 9, 2021

Pulling Together

First a few quotes I'm contemplating:


“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”—Carlos Castaneda.


“You never hear about truly self-actualized people, like Buddha or Christ telling people they’re stupid losers. It goes against the nature of enlightenment.”

 –Martha Beck


“Republicans and Democrats are today far more likely to view those members of the other party not as competitors, but as enemies, holding overwhelmingly unfavorable views of each other”—Online report.


“The vaccine fight, rather than an outgrowth of Trump’s divisive presidency, is just another example of how polarization is not just transforming American society — it’s literally killing people.”


(How? They are also voting down such systems as Medicaid, thus limiting health care. And because of mistrust of each other, they end up paralyzing Congress and the federal government.)


The first two quotes came from an old blog post of mine. Some dear soul/ reader commented:


“Completely, u got this 1 down correct, man. Keeped me entertained for ages.” 



I decided to see what he was commenting from. The post was “Going with the Flow,” September 13, 2019-- my oh my, almost two years ago. So, I reread it and found I need to follow my own advice.



Don’t forget to read the True Story at the bottom of the page.



Presently, it appears that people, instead of hanging together--unified as we have done in times past, are divided. For example, during WWII, little children pushed their wagons around the neighborhood, collecting whatever pots and pans the neighbors felt they could spare. (The military needed metal for war machines.) Citizens bought war bonds to support the war. They graciously accepted the rationing of food and shoes even. Have we forgotten that? 


Have we forgotten that once we pulled together?


Have we forgotten that blacks and Native Americans fought alongside white Anglo-Saxon boys? Have we forgotten that 29 Navajo Code Talkers created an unbreakable code that helped win World War II? Although the Japanese were breaking every code the Americans were throwing at them, they never broke the Navajo code.


Now we are divided over Vaccinations.


Vaccinations, for heaven’s sake. It has become a religious fervor.


I’m mystified. 


I had hoped we would learn to stick together from this pandemic…




I will repeat: “You never hear about truly self-actualized people, like Buddha or Christ telling people they’re stupid losers. It goes against the nature of enlightenment.” Martha Beck



How are we doing?


Do we want to see the people of the earth survive and thrive?


Biology says that we don’t need post-menopausal women because they don’t reproduce. However, psychology says we need them to keep our DNA alive and assist the next generation. 


Same with men.


Oldsters still have a job. 


I have quoted Richard Bach from his book Illusions many times. And I am again: “If you think your mission in life is over if you’re alive, it isn’t.”


We didn’t lose our hearts and minds somewhere over the years or get beaten down by the endless rabble that pounds us on every turn. 


We still believe in our country, except a mist has covered our eyes, and we believe the ultra-rich and the famous somehow have more smarts than we do. 


Yes, those who made it to the top of their game have done their hard work and had determination and a mindset that assisted the process. Success was important to them. However, it doesn’t mean they are wise.


Others focused on keeping the cogs working at home and with family—that was important to them. 


And the unsung heroes at home had dreams but felt stymied to reach them. Some of their stymied conditions were intended to keep them down. We built schools to make workers who could sit for long periods and do mindless repetitive jobs. And because of finances, we would even take PE, art, and music out of our schools. (Body, mind, and spirit fell to technological advances.) Keep those noses to the grindstone, build more gismos. Help make life easier for the populace. Slowly we were conditioned. We needed workers and consumers, so we hit the people with clever commercials. Earlier on, we had an excellent new attention device for the public—television. 


Early television was such fun, and we loved entertainment, and the dog-style instincts in us loved watching moving objects. And in our hearts, we believed that the ones talking were giving us the truth.


The people still believed in the American dream. To prove it, they were those few who popped out and achieved their dream—the exceptions proved the rule. People believed in the spirit of the country and in the pureness of people. 


Some remembered how Rosie the Riveter proved women could step into men’s shoes and get the job done. They remembered how the men sacrificed, missed their children’s childhood, were maimed and killed in their effort to fight evil. 


We forgot because it was too painful to remember.


Once GI Joe was considered a hero. He was a hero. In WWII, the military was filled with every man, not just career-minded ones. Or ones who liked kicking people’s butts.


A True Story:


A few years ago, we had a friend—he only left us to go to the happy hunting grounds. His name was Jack Carol.


He visited us often, and as he passed my kitchen window on the way to the front door, I would call out, “Hi Jack!”


“Don’t ever say that to a pilot,” he would answer.


He was a navigator during the Second World War.


The navigator sits behind the pilot, and according to Jack, it was the safest place on the plane.


That proved to be true for Jack, for he was shot down three times and twice was the only survivor.


The third time he was captured by a German soldier.


There was a lot of noise going on around the crash site, with shells going off and shots being fired, and the German soldier was leading Jack away from the turmoil. Jack felt he was going to be shot.


As they walked through the forest, Jack tripped, and as he did, he pulled the gun from his boot, slid it up his body, and laid it on his shoulder, and fired. He didn’t know if his bullet connected with the man behind him or not, but he ran and escaped.


He hid during the day and traveled at night, and he said he witnessed an aerial dog fight at times. Meaning planes, you know, as in Curse you Red Baron. 


Jack caught cold and developed pneumonia but ended up at a French woman’s farm. (Yeah, I know this sounds like a movie. She was not a young gorgeous French woman, but an older French woman with a heart of gold.) She was alone and living off her land, which wasn’t much. He said she wore a dress that was woven together out of cellophane. She hid Jack from the Germans and shared her meager fare with him. One day the US Military front advanced to her door. 


Jack came out of hiding, gave his credentials, and told the group of GIs how this woman had saved him. 


The following morning a US jeep appeared at her door laden with goodies—food and clothing.


And Jack was taken into their care.


He lived many years In San Diego. He didn’t fly anymore when we knew him, but he was still fascinated by flying objects.