Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome, add a great deal to a blog, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled insults, or links (unless pre-approved).

Saturday, August 28, 2021

a book and thoughts from November 2010

 Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Sit Listening to the Wind

In my bookcase for some years, I have no idea how many, has been a thin little book called 'I Sit Listening to the Wind' about Woman's Encounter Within Herself by Judith Duerk. Sometimes I am drawn to buy such books and then they seem to sit for a long time until I see them, open them, and find they are just what I need right then and might not have been so meaningful to me another time.

The book is poetic, a sharing of women's thoughts and aimed mostly at women although the ideas could apply to men as well. It is about our human need to find balance between our masculine and feminine sides which according to Jungian thinking, we all have.

The chapters are quite short and aimed at reading one and then thinking about how it applies. It would be a wonderful book to do in a circle of women which is perhaps how it is intended. It would also be a good book for a woman to think about as her daughter was coming into maturity or her niece or a girl to whom she was close. It is really about being there on an intimate level for each other.

It is mostly aimed at old women with the emphasis that as we come to old age which can be a time for balancing our male and female energy, it is a time where we can open ourselves to the things a busy life before never permitted.

Now when I start throwing around terms like animus and anima, or yin and yang, assume I am no Jungian nor am I an expert in Chinese philosophy. I internalize what they mean more than finding myself able to accurately describe them to someone else. We all have both female and masculine characteristics. The female has the internal animus. The male the internal anima. That isn't always expressed but Jungian teaching would say it should be if we want to live most fully.

What this book is about is how in our culture the animus is rewarded in male or female, and it is what is needed to get through school, to attain and succeed at jobs. It is the focused energy of the yang, hard, analytical, tough, the ambitious side of humans. While the anima is the soft part, the dark, the yielding, the intuitive, the yin.

So (this is for the women here) we are born into the world as females, and we must learn to operate in a masculine realm. We toughen. We become more analytical. We compete. We may work too hard at developing our animus because we must. If we didn't find success ourselves, we might drive our daughters to find it and try to grow their masculine side instead of their feminine.

Then we come to old age and things have changed but have we?

When we are old, we do not have to do what we once did; but for some women, there is still this need to compete, to succeed, to justify, which drowns out the softer, intuitive, female side which has been buried for so long that it must be resurrected if we want to life fully for who we can be now. Some block it all out by being a perpetual Peter Pan, not admitting where they are but using the animus to direct their goals possibly haphazardly while there is no time for the intuitive anima. Busy busy busy and at what? That's the question of the book as well as how might our lives have been different if we had internalized all this years before?

It might seem this is all about women but the same would be true for men who now are freer, in old age, to release their softer sides, less compelled to be competitive-- or will they ever let that go in a culture that places the emphasis on the animus and the yang.

We can change it by opening ourselves up to the fullness of who we are. Or we can stay caught in the trappings of what we have been told we need to be.

"I feel as if I am becoming who I was meant to be. After all the years of outer-directed energy, I am coming home to the Feminine... coming home to myself. I am allowing myself to become a mature woman in the truest and deepest sense."
quote from 'I Sit Listening To The Wind'

The book ends with this thought--

Photo is mine. Words are from 'I Sit Listening to the Wind' by Judith Duerk

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Eastern Oregon 2009

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Walking Through Time

100,000,000 years ago Oregon was-- under the Pacific Ocean. A visitor from another planet, as there were no humans yet, would have seen ocean waves lapping the shore near McCall, Idaho. Things happened-- as they tend to do where it comes to the earth. Volcanic eruptions, uplifts, weather and eventually Oregon rose to take its place as the left wing capitol of the country-- well not really.

Places like John Day Fossil Beds National Monument's three units (Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno) give us a sense of timelessness and time. It cannot help but make anybody think that climate change is both inevitable and something we better plan for-- over say a few million years, give or take a few.

Where I walked through beautiful stone canyons, once there were lush forests with 100" of rain a year, where predators and prey lived together. Some of the species living then didn't evolve into anything else. They disappeared. Others can be recognized (with DNA) still today. None of them had any idea that things might change because their concerns were strictly about from where their next meal might come.

The earth did change though due to more volcanic action, more earthquakes and uplifts and a steady change of the climate that left behind a fossil record from what they call The Age of the Mammals that is fascinating and really does stir the soul. My guess is most who visit this Monument, not that well publicized nor known, have already felt stirred by the history of earth.

To help a person equilibrate themselves to the vast sense of time and change, the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is a great spot to start. There you find fossil exhibits, a working laboratory where you can spy on the work through a glass window, paintings and exhibits to help you see what animals would have been out there say 20 million years ago. It also directs you to the various units.

This is a glimpse into that time after the extinction of the dinosaurs until the Ice Age. Some of the fossils of animals I saw as familiar but others were new to me. What made some survive and others disappear? Fascinating story with no definitive answer-- yet anyway.

Here we get a view of earth's physical reality where sometimes we have had absolutely nothing to do with what happens-- like the recent string of earthquakes in Indonesia and Samoa. Not to say we cannot sometimes have an impact with our human finger in every pie attitude.

Spending some time in the center is helpful, but the real experience is walking the many hiking trails to look at the layers of rock and earth. It's beautiful but more than that, it feels spiritual and to a pagan like me-- sacred. Earth is more awe inspiring than the most beautiful temple ever made by man and some of these formations seem very much like cathedrals.

When we reached the end of one trail (signs clearly mark where visitors can go) we heard a tapping farther up the canyon. A gentle, steady tapping. Back at the center we asked to be sure but were relatively positive that it was a crew from there. The careful work goes on in the laboratory as the matrix is further removed from the fossils.

There were others visiting the monument but not many. It was easy to find quiet places to just sit and think, to let it all soak in.

Mankind has only been here a few million years and in his present form only about 90,000 years. Some of the animals that once walked the ground where I walked, they don't exist today. Someday if mankind is foolish or maybe even if not, our species may not.

To better understand this land and the influences that made it what it is, at the museum, we asked what they recommended. We bought the book In Search of Ancient Oregon by Eileen Morris Bishop. It has many photographs and well-written texts to help put the story of Oregon's beginning, the stages through which it went, that got us from 100 million years ago (when dinosaurs roamed Montana) through the processes that bring us to today-- which is clearly not the end of Oregon's story even if we humans might like to think so.

Going somewhere like John Day Fossil Beds puts our own time on earth into perspective. I don't know what its energy is, but it's strong. Is it those animals wanting their stories to be told? They didn't die leaving no sign behind. Their stories are being told. It's a blessing that others saw these places and worked to preserve them for future generations to have the chance to walk back through time.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021



From 1972 at Montezuma's Castle, Arizona. What do you know about it?

Because I dream a lot, I try to remember them for possible interest later. Sometimes that works and often it doesn’t. Either way, I enjoy dreaming vivid stories and images.

Last week, I dreamed my husband and I were at a convention of some sort. It was held in an interesting area, but I was staying with the trailer and the cats (typical of my life).

The part that seemed important was he and I were driving around and I began to think I needed to share with him some ideas I had about education. Although I was an education major in college, I didn’t complete my degree (one term shy). I had though gotten all the major courses-- missing only student teaching for one quarter (babies and life got in the way—my choice).

So, in the dream, I found a piece of paper to write what I thought was important in education.What is its greatest purpose?

First to give students the tools to continue educating themselves when they leave traditional school. Back then, among other things, that meant learning to use libraries, card catalogs, how to write a thesis and stick to the subject. Today, it might mean the internet. It’s about knowing how to learn after the school is behind us.

Second is to provide inspiration for why do you want to learn more. And not just about things that you can use to make money. For things that fascinate and intrigue you. When schools inspire, education does not end with graduation.

Third was to provide a reason to learn more. That means for jobs, careers, hobbies, relationships, really all the things that we use to improve our life situation.


I was left with more thinking about a school system and what it teaches. Of course, there are facts, dates, events, rules, etc.; but in the end, do they matter after graduation? They matter if they can be used in some way and then inspire the student to keep learning. It might seem when we memorized (something I did with cards back in grade school) that 8 x 8 = 64 that it doesn’t matter; but it’s brain development and someday we might need it. Even if it’s to fall asleep at night.

 I am concerned, as an old lady, how the schools have come at odds with the parents over schools wanting to teach attitudes, reconfigure society and rewrite what had been taught in the past with things like CRT, 1619 Project, intersectionality, woke, and on it goes, where many of us elders don't even know what the words mean (even after looking them up). What actually is being taught???

You know, when I was in school (eons ago), I didn't have any idea what political party my teachers belonged to or if they did nor what religion. If a school wants to teach attitudes that suit the teacher, and a student graduates, maybe with no basic skills, as apparently Oregon now wants to decree, where do they go next especially if they never got a love of learning. Learning is not a means to an end but rather a beginning… or so said my dream.

What do you think the purpose of education is?


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Thinking too much from 2009

 Saturday, November 28, 2009

Complexities of Modern Life

Modern culture offers some complexities that weren't faced in the past. These questions of right and wrong aren't always answered by religion-- even if we follow a religion. They can form ethical conundrums if we stop to puzzle through them. Following are some examples of what I am thinking about.

Today we have people with enough money to travel wherever they wish, finding fascinating places to view, and then leaving supposedly without a trace of themselves left behind-- except some money. We also have people who live in those places, often very primitively. Those people are often part of the appeal for what today is referred to as adventure travelers.

So instead of taking a place over and changing it, the goal is keeping it as it was to make it interesting to see even if some live in poverty or worse to offer those views.

This is one such example: [Elephants or villagers]. To have something adventuring tourists will pay to see, the elephant population is allowed to grow and sometimes rampage. Although the country receives financial benefits from the tourists, the villagers receive only death and destruction. Complexities of modern life.

We do still have the problem of the old-fashioned taking over of a country and what does the rest of the world do about it? Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion is about Tibet with China doing the old-fashioned occupying and conquering after Mao became the ruler of China. They justified their actions as liberating the Tibetan people who had asked for no such liberation and often had to be killed to be forced to accept it along with accepting the occupying army and Chinese settlers.

I knew the story but always thought Tibet still existed even though the world had been ignoring what happened there. Then we got our newest National Geographic map where there is no Tibet. There is instead China and the Tibetan Plateau-- in short a recognition that Tibet has been officially swallowed.

Who would fight to protect the Tibetans? Certainly not the United States who is in debt up to its neck and above. Although the Dalai Lama said he understood and thinks Obama has other ways to move forward on things, our president didn't meet with the exiled leader of the Tibetan people when he came to Washington D.C recently which was a first. That happened likely because Obama planned a trip to China to whom we owe so much money that we cannot afford to offend their leadership. Taiwan, watch out!

Is the taking over of another country okay when it's one big enough doing it? The argument goes that it's okay because China originally had Tibet as part of its domain. Really? What else did China have besides that? We have seen the same argument with North and South Korea as well as Vietnam. The countries were once one-- pretty much everything was; so now it's okay to conquer it? Complexities of modern life.

On a smaller scale, we were recently at Finley Wildlife Refuge. It is a wonderful place set aside for birds and wildlife. It is a mostly safe place for them to live and breed... But all around it are grass seed fields where the geese love to graze. These are fields planted for families to make a living but so many geese can decimate the grasses. As a compromise there is hunting allowed sometimes to reduce the numbers of certain of the geese and ducks.

So it's beautiful to watch these swans, to listen to their calls to each other which were so melodic as to be almost like songs, and a very contradictory emotion to once in awhile hear the boom of nearby shotguns.

We had the experience recently at the farm when we walked up our road, saw a lot of geese in our pasture, grazing alongside the cattle; then watched them fly off thinking how beautiful-- only to within moments hear the boom of shotguns in the next valley about the time the birds would have flown over.

Farm Boss reassured me that it was skeet shooting. Maybe or maybe some of those beautiful birds were shot right after leaving the safety of our pasture. And how long and how many of them could we provide refuge in our pasture. The cattle and sheep also depend on that grass. Provide refuge. Don't provide refuge? Complexities of modern life.

Finally (well not really but one more of these examples of complexity) we watched on HBO the recent remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves as part of an alien population who have decided humans are so abusing earth that they must be eliminated if the planet it to survive with habitability.

There wasn't a lot of story, but lots of special effects and one dominant question: Are humans worthy of having such a wonderful planet upon which to live? We say we own it but then argue over what that means, abuse it and each other, and can't agree on what quality of living means for ourselves or the earth. It was easy to make the alien's case for eliminating us as a species.

Of course, the thing is there are those among us who are worthy (most of us would start by naming our families, friends, and selves). In the film that was the case the humans made. We can change. We can do what is right. Give us another chance. But it was only at a point of disaster that humans were willing to do that. Would it change anything even if that happened?

How do we resolve these questions that it seems money decides everything. Want to visit a people at the price of elephants rampaging over them? No problem if you can afford it. With the complex lives some humans have, the appeal of viewing the simple life is very appealing-- so long as it's just as a voyeur.

Is there another way to figure out what is right to do? How about starting with the recognition that being able to afford something does not make it the right choice. Another good one is just because someone else says it's okay does not mean it is.

Photos from Finley Wildlife Refuge other than one from our pasture.

And don't bother telling me I think too much. I already know it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Starting over or not...

Something came up recently about reincarnation. I've used it as a theme in several books as an explanation for how we are drawn to certain people. I've read a LOT about it, done regressions to see if I could find past lives of my own, but in the end, I am down to mystery as to what happens after we or our animals die.

I thought of something else though, in one of those nighttime between sleep times. First where it comes to beloved animals-- if they come back, do they get good lives or are they among the unfortunate who find themselves at the mercy of the cruel? Is it really better to come back if there is no control over how or where-- and that's up for debate according to my research. Some do believe there are those who track it all, make sure it's fair. I've used that in some of my fantasy/paranormal books, and it's come to me in dreams. Is it so?
For myself, would I want to come back? Currently, not so much if I had the choice. I was very fortunate with this lifetime. I've had plenty of angst and tears; but overall, it's been a blessed life without riches but good relationships and experiences that make me grateful for when I was born and what family and friends came into that life. The idea though of starting over has no appeal for me. I am tired and not sure that the future of this world will be one I'd like to begin again in. I imagine starting again as a baby, and think good grief, would I want do all of that again??? Do I have a choice when on the other side? Is my gratitude for what I've experienced this time a plus or minus?

When you read how some have been so abused and it's the fault of those who did have a good life, even if it was hand me-down clothes and little money, was this life unfair to someone else, who I don't even know?
When I did my regressions, none of those lifetimes were as sanguine as this one has been. I saw tragedies, mistaken goals, and often a shorter than expected lifetime. No queens or wealth as some claim all remember. Mine were ordinary people living ordinary lives and often ruining things by poor values. I still remember the things I saw in those meditations, with a few spilling into this lifetime, but seriously would I like to begin again... Not yet anyway. And I did get a full lifetime, which was not the case for some I have loved, where there might be more desire to get another chance.
Reincarnation make for a good plot for a book like Echoes from the Past where the heroine was seeking answers for her dreams. Maybe it explains some of my current life's mistakes 🙂. To have had though a good life doesn't mean I'd get the next one the same-- not based on my research and own meditations.
My granddaughter talked of some such memories when she was a toddler. After a while, she didn't remember them but have they impacted her life decisions anyway? Mystery to me.
The books with strong links to reincarnation begin with Diablo Canyon. I had that one begin from a dream when I asked for a dream that explained reincarnation to me as I'd just lost a beloved cat. The dream didn't exactly explain but it was about reincarnation. 

And then was another book, historical where the idea of a woman trying to understand her dreams led to her exploring the area in which the dreams had come. 


Sunday, August 08, 2021

Hiking washes from 2009

 I can't leave out our times in Tucson and the years of hiking washes were most special. The older I get, the less I can do it without just memories-- like these two blogs

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hiking the washes

Wherever I go, I am always interested in rock art (petroglyphs, pictographs) and usually ask those who might know if they can give directions to such sites. Many in the Tucson area are in washes (normally dry river or creek beds).

The washes serve important ecological benefits to the desert as roads for the wildlife and a carrier of water when the heavy rains come-- and they do come. They are somewhat protected, and it might be why they were so often chosen for the rock art. Although, in Tucson, one of the easiest to reach and well preserved sites, Signal Hill, is on the top of a small hill.

Washes are important as a source of water even in dry seasons as you can often dig down in their sand to find water even if the surface is bone dry. Dry washes go from nothing to brim full sometimes very fast (not a good place to live). Flash floods actually drown quite a few people as the water comes from great distances with little advance warning as the deluge doesn't have to be where you even know it's happening. Here, a lot of roadways don't have culverts and instead dip with signs warning don't enter when water is present. More than a few motorists have ignored that to the damage (at the least) of their vehicles.

This particular wash is out in the Tucson Mountains.

At one time this was a mining area with quite a few small shafts. Today it's about a mile hike to a petroglyph site. Although I had expected just a sandy wash, we were warned by someone coming out of it that our walking sticks would come in handy. There were rock formations that we had to scramble up. Not rock climbing but they did make the stick a handy tool.

These deteriorating petroglyphs were likely left by the Hohokam peoples who lived here and then left abruptly as did the Sinagua and Anasazi more to the north around the same time. The Hohokam left behind not only their rock art but also an extensive system of canals whose forms can still be found. The assumption is a major drought drove most of the peoples from their way of life, a few to remain, but most to seemingly disappear into an unwritten history unless you can translate their drawings into their story.

Hiking up a wash Part II

Can you feel what it is like to hike up a wash, scramble over some rocks and finally come to a place like this one, within about six miles from what is, at least for awhile, your home down here, where the rocks have left behind a story to tell of a people who lived here long ago? They had dreams and goals, walked these same places, sought shelter, food, and sometimes left behind their stories pecked or painted on the rocks. The places always feel sacred to me as they appeal on emotional and physical levels. Sometimes the symbols appear to represent a story of how they saw life, like the spirals which are seen most often in the Hohokam sites.

To stand where I know people did hundreds of years ago and look at their rock art is always a very special experience for me. The Hohokam people occupied central Arizona from around 200 B.C. until about 1450 A.D. when they, like most of the cliff dwellers to the north (Sinagua and Anasazi), left at least their established villages and disappeared into history.

As you start to hike up this particular wash, in the foothills of the Catalinas, there are owls that nest under an overpass. From the drawings, it appears that they have always been here.

Do enlarge the photos, especially the one of me because it was one of those lucky shots. We didn't know when it was taken that the waning moon was also in the shot. You couldn't plan a shot like that if you wanted and yet here it was with three elements come together-- the symbols of a people long ago, a person from today, and the moon representing the cycles of life.

Friday, August 06, 2021

marketing from the land

The big deal for us this week-end will be a Craigslist ad for selling a portion of our cattle herd. We are doing this for the grass but mostly because our son, Ranch Foreman, is managing the livestock and he wants less animals as he feels his way into all that means. Although he grew up with these herds, as a kid, he hadn't the responsibility that he now feels when he's the man and Ranch Boss is in Arizona. So, reluctantly especially me) the farm has to face the reality of either finding direct buyers (my hope) or sending these animals to the auction, which I hate but has sometimes been the only way.

The ad has so far produced a fair amount of interest but not enough for the bull, Estevan, who I especially want to find a herd where he can do the job he was born to do-- be herd bull. He is easy to work around, not using his bulk to bully the other cows (as much as the cows do each other). He has been depressed, being away from the main herd (and the old herd bull, who he has connected with). An intelligent animal, he knows more than some. He is, however, horned and some are afraid of that even in an animal that is not mean. Accidents happen and that can be true with any of them with that kind of bulk and muscle.


So, I hope this week-end we have some visitors here to look at the eleven available animals (cow/calf pairs; heifers; young bulls; and the 2 year old bull). We have had good luck in the past with selling to the right buyers through these ads. My fingers are crossed that the right ones will come across it and the Benevolent Universe (wording in a dream I had recently) will bring a life for these animals, such as they have had with our land here where they both have shelter and the ability to wander in more rugged terrain with the leased land behind us. They live both wild and domestic. The work Ranch Foreman has done among them for the last nearly two years has made them very human oriented-- ideal for small operations.


As for me, I never like times of sales. I feel my personality is wrong for this work-- not hard-hearted enough to be realistic.  Too many tears fall during such times, and always have. I see these animals as personalities and some of that is due to living close to them and watching their interactions. I watch them lick each other, call out when separated from the herd or their offspring. I do not see them as a product but as beings worthy of respect where some must die for others to live. When we can butcher from the land, it's perfect for me-- born here, live here, and die here. 

I wasn't born here but I might well die here someday. It's the process of life whether living beings or what we consider the plant world, which might be more living beings than we think.


If anyone lives close enough to have an interest in these animals for their own land, email is  [] or you can use mine here at the blog []. I know some don't believe in eating animals; but if it's done with respect and not using more than needed, I see it as a healthy part of life. Done like this, it's not corporate ranching; but as it always was-- small and interactive to the community. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

The other side of the story


One of the things we have learned with vacation trailers is what is pretty and looks nice isn't any more important than structure-- which is often hard to see or evaluate. Our current travel trailer has great design features but structure-- not so much.

For instance, there are not enough good 120 volt outlets. No plugs for remote devices like Kindles or phones. Since it's a 2018 model, not sure what the reason for that could be. They sure knew how important they are to most people, who might use a trailer for vacations. There are only two three pronged (20 amp) outlets that allow for the higher power of a coffeemaker or extra air conditioner. Worse, they are not in useful locations. Like who designs these things? Not the users for sure.

I also do not like that the lights in this travel trailer are all 12 Volt-- even when you are plugged into electricity. Even worse, the thermostats, for refrigerator, heater and A/C also need that 12 Volt connection. When it doesn't work, they don't... The solution for us has been temporarily a charger for the batteries, but the permanent solution (we hope) was for Ranch Boss to replace the power center (which we already bought but cows come first).

They call this trailer (or did as they no longer use the name) an Elite. It's not. Oh, it's pretty but when your lights dim and you realize it doesn't matter that you have electricity, there is no compensation.

If Ranch Boss was not handy with repairs, it'd be worse for us; but he is. Even with that, it's a nuisance and some cost at the least. The ads brag that it's lightweight, and it is, but the weight it reduced makes it also less strong. Our other trailer has heavier weight, with less length, but a lot of wood, steel frame and insulation This one is aluminum structured, which unfortunately flexes more easily. 

The black water tank has proven another nuisance, at the least, with valves that crack too easily. What does that smell like? Don't ask. If you can repair it yourself, it means much research, buying parts, and then time under the trailer-- or days in repair shops and where do you stay in the meantime? From what I've heard of repair shops for RVs, the time there can run into months.

This roof was tan with the original design. That meant when it was 100 F outside and no shade, the heat came right in until Ranch Boss painted it white (made a big difference-)- so much for integrated design.

The outside door swings open by an air piston to hold it square to the trailer. That tool broke, which means buying something to replace it or have the door swinging to and fro. Because of the setting of the awning, there is no easy way to hold the door open. Guess it never dawned on the makers that a plastic hook wasn't going to last when it opens regularly with pressure... Not expensive to replace but why not have it sturdier? I know the answer-- because you don't see that it's plastic when you buy it.

Yes, the layout of this trailer is good, wonderful for those who work a lot at desks, but what you don't see is what will matter a lot in the end. 

One big plus is it pulls great with its lighter weight, but strong structures are important and that's what you don't see in the ads. I used to like a cable show on people buying RVs, when I still watched TV. I wondered then why not more emphasis on insulation, etc. It's all about what's pretty, which is nice but really annoying when the structure fails on little or big things.

Otherwise, we are reworking ads for the books as their recent poor sales have made us question what went wrong there. The ads must be 150 characters + spaces or less and somehow make a reader curious to learn more. If they click on the presentation, that costs money, which isn't  a big deal if there is a sale. When there is not, only the company profits. We are hopeful that the changed ads will bring in more sales for books that I believe in but  may not suit the buying public today. I think that's the problem with the trailer too-- suiting the buying public.