27 April 2017 The “Honorable Harvest”: Lessons from an Indigenous Tradition of Giving Thanks (Robin Wall Kimmerer, Yes Magazine, Daily Good feature article)

The good man is the friend of all living things. —Gandhi-


The “Honorable Harvest”: Lessons From an Indigenous Tradition of Giving Thanks

–by Robin Wall Kimmerer, syndicated from Yes Magazine, Apr 27, 2017

What if this holiday season we fill our shopping baskets with only that which is needed and give something back in return?


In this season of harvest, our baskets are full, rounded with fragrant apples and heaped with winter squash. So too are the steel shopping carts that clatter across the parking lot, plastic bags whipping in the wind. How do we even name such abundance? Are these commodities? Natural resources? Ecosystem services? In the indigenous worldview, we call them gifts.

We are showered every day with the gifts of the Earth: air to breathe, fresh water, the companionship of geese and maples—and food. Since we lack the gift of photosynthesis, we animals are destined by biology to be utterly dependent upon the lives of others, the inherently generous, more-than-human persons with whom we share the planet.

If we understand the Earth as just a collection of objects, then apples and the land that offers them fall outside our circle of moral consideration. We tell ourselves that we can use them however we please, because their lives don’t matter. But in a worldview that understands them as persons, their lives matter very much. Recognition of personhood does not mean that we don’t consume, but that we are accountable for the lives that we take. When we speak of the living world as kin, we also are called to act in new ways, so that when we take those lives, we must do it in such a way that brings honor to the life that is taken and honor to the ones receiving it.

The canon of indigenous principles that govern the exchange of life for life is known as the Honorable Harvest. They are “rules” of sorts that govern our taking, so that the world is as rich for the seventh generation as it is for us.

The Honorable Harvest, a practice both ancient and urgent, applies to every exchange between people and the Earth. Its protocol is not written down, but if it were, it would look something like this:

Ask permission of the ones whose lives you seek. Abide by the answer.

Never take the first. Never take the last.

Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. 

Take only what you need and leave some for others.

Use everything that you take. 

Take only that which is given to you. 

Share it, as the Earth has shared with you. 

Be grateful. 

Reciprocate the gift.

Sustain the ones who sustain you, and the Earth will last forever.

Though we live in a world made of gifts, we find ourselves harnessed to institutions and an economy that relentlessly ask, “What more can we take from the Earth?” In order for balance to occur, we cannot keep taking without replenishing. Don’t we need to ask, “What can we give?”

The Honorable Harvest is a covenant of reciprocity between humans and the land. This simple list may seem like a quaint prescription for how to pick berries, but it is the root of a sophisticated ethical protocol that could guide us in a time when unbridled exploitation threatens the life that surrounds us. Western economies and institutions enmesh us all in a profoundly dishonorable harvest. Collectively, by assent or by inaction, we have chosen the policies we live by. We can choose again.

What if the Honorable Harvest were the law of the land? And humans—not just plants and animals—fulfilled the purpose of supporting the lives of others? What would the world look like if a developer poised to convert a meadow to a shopping mall had first to ask permission of the meadowlarks and the goldenrod? And abide by their answer? What if we fill our shopping baskets with only that which is needed and give something back in return?

How can we reciprocate the gifts of the Earth? In gratitude, in ceremony, through acts of practical reverence and land stewardship, in fierce defense of the places we love, in art, in science, in song, in gardens, in children, in ballots, in stories of renewal, in creative resistance, in how we spend our money and our precious lives, by refusing to be complicit with the forces of ecological destruction. Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and dance for the renewal of the world.

This article is syndicated from YES! magazine. YES! Magazine reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, we outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world. Author Robin Wall Kimmerer is the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.    

This article really resonated with me because it’s what I believe and try to practice in my day to day living.  Ideally I would like to grow my own food,  develop a diet where I don’t require animal protein aside from eggs may be and get away from the plethora of “packaging” that is commercial food.   I have a LONG way to go yet!  The first step to change is consciousness that I can do better, that I can be better.  I have that consciousness.  Next is educating myself and learning the “how” of what I want to achieve.  I have been gradually working on that part.  Then comes the effort and patience part!  The latter two departments are definitely where I am lacking!  It’s so much “easier” and “convenient” to let others do all these things for me but I am finding a great distrust within myself and the commercial food industry.  It is unpleasant and laborious to shop for food actually safe to eat in a traditional small town grocery store.  The produce is usually very limited and I don’t trust any of it anymore.  This means “taking a chance” with frozen fruits and vegetables that say they are organic.  If you want organic and or non-GMO you are going to pay a hefty price for any of it and we do.  For what we pay, we often don’t get very much food.  The food we do buy is what we feel relatively comfortable eating but still get sick sometimes from it or get a bad batch of food that missed quality control.  The other day I had to throw out an entire container of Full Circle organic applesauce because there was mold and who knows what in it!  After I found that we just didn’t feel safe eating it!
We could drive to neighboring towns where there are more options and better selection but it’s one of those trade-offs we make.  Either spend more money on gas and wear and tear to the car and us in search of nutritious and or “organic” food (I’m beginning to wonder if there is really such a thing as truly “organic” anything unless they are growing things in completely quarantined from the outside conditions) or just go through the effort it takes to shop locally and hope someday we start to get better options.   Alvarado TX is kind of a food desert for the average consumer.
We aren’t sure yet, even after 7 years, if we want to stay in this house and make it home.  A lot depends on Kyle’s career future.  If he gets a full time job where he wants to, we will want to move closer to his work so there isn’t much point in doing but the minimum it would take to sell this place.  The other issues are for me, the person stuck at home the most.  From the way our house and neighborhood has started vibrating again (The Hum) which is making living in and outside of  this house very unpleasant.  Our house just pops in different places all day and night like it is being shaken off of the foundation.  Nothing that is happening to our home that needs to be fixed as a result of this vibrating is covered by Homeowners Insurance….no surprises there. As this town grows, it’s getting so noisy in other ways.  The traffic behind our house has always been bad, but because of poor city growth planning it’s the only main entrance and exodus point for multiple neighborhoods and the traffic has gotten much worse with no signs of relief.   We’ve tried in the past to get our City Council to do something and all they do is keep approving more projects that put more traffic on the same road.   I just don’t know what to do right now and have been trying to “let God” on it, that takes time and patience…much like Gardening your own food!
Thanks for letting me vent a bit – may be you can relate to our situation?  Do you live in a food desert? Where do you shop for food?  Do you garden?  Are you experiencing what we are with the constant vibrations?

https://hummap.wordpress.com/World Hum Map and Database Project

Research and World Hum News from http://www.thehum.info


26 April 2017 Ode to John Muir in chalk and rising from the ashes of our former selves (unfucking yourself)

Hello, good evening to you wherever and whenever this finds you visiting.  Thank you for coming by whether intentionally or not!  It’s cool this evening as I write to you at 7:26 pm in my time and place here in North Texas.  The house and the earth around our home is blissfully still this evening and I am grateful for that!

So I deactivated my Facebook account again today.  Even though I enjoy it most of the time, I have been allowing myself to be lead to some really toxic shit that I allow to piss me off.  With Kyle working shifts and us both being tired like we are, it’s just no good to add fuel to that fire.  I can be pretty thin-skinned about certain things.  I know I could choose to not have any news sites or stuff like that but it’s really hard to avoid all of it!  As part of “unfucking myself” from the tizzy I got into tonight  (my favorite meme lately) I went outside and shut up and did some coloring!  I did something I intend to do more often as I was outside, listen to relaxing music on my old fashioned CD player without headphones.  It was nice to revisit some of the New Age music collections I put together many years ago and still enjoy.  There was also a feeling of nostalgia…a lack of traceability about it unlike most modern devices we use today.  When I use my more modern devices I get kind of paranoid sometimes – the feeling of being watched.

Source Internet: My favorite meme lately to describe what I have to actively do to get back to a balanced state of being after reading or hearing toxic news etc.

The first chalk drawing I did started out angry but gradually as the face emerged and I realized who it was, I calmed way down.  It was John Muir!  I know it probably doesn’t look much like the actual man, but in this image that came forth I felt his calming presence.  I wish he was still here so he could talk some sense to the folks in Washington about  nature because nobody else seems to be making much headway.  We sign petitions, we march, we make phone calls, we write letters and still this tirade goes on against us and the natural world.  I’m starting to think they need to add Greed as an official mental illness in the next version of the DSMV (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders).  It’s so hard not to have hate in my heart for these people but I’m trying my best not to.  Hating anyone or anything hurts me more than it hurts the object lacking my affections!  I will just keep praying for these folks and keep doing whatever is within my power to do in my small portion of life.  Even if it’s just a little patch of earth in my backyard…it’s something!

Leading by our example is all we can really do which includes how we spend and to whom we give our money….DIVESTING comes to mind!  When we buy goods and services we are voting for or against their continued existence.

“These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.”
John Muir

The next drawing was along the lines of the one I shared the other day, but what I was feeling and thinking as I drew it was about rising out of the ashes of our former selves.   We are all fragments of the one sun….the light.  This light is in each of us.  We can always rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of whatever we used to be that may be we would like to leave behind us.  Each day is a new beginning!


26 April 2017 “Shining is always costly” (todays Streams in the Desert Daily Devotional Reading)

Good morning to you. We are getting some thunder, lightning and rain this morning as I start to write to you. I’d rather hear that than what made it difficult to sleep last night – yep more vibrations and my bed shaking. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t shake me on the inside of my body too. It feels like my brain and heart shake in this ol’ container! The dogs have been more edgy too which doesn’t help me. They have a tendency to be more prone to bark about random things they normally would ignore when this is going on. It was strong from about 4:35 pm and into the night. I guess I just get so tired I eventually fall asleep but don’t wake up feeling rested.

Anyhew…..the reading out of Streams in the Desert today resonated with me in it’s opening message in regards to “shining.” This is a phrase I use a lot to try and encourage people either when they are already being a light in the world or if it seems their light has dimmed and they need a “spark.” For my friends and those who work in the Holistic Community in the realms of energy healing work, keeping your “shine on” can be challenging at times. It’s hard to be “on” all the time for others. What I’ve learned from my own experience with down times when it’s hard to shine, is that those are the learning times. When I am sick, experiencing low energy levels or am going through a personal trial or sorrow of some kind, I find these are times when I grow the most as a person.  I often realize just how much I have yet to learn, how much more I have to grow and expand in my consciousness. I am incomplete…unfinished…a work in progress. It is in these times I find humility and realize I don’t have all the answers!

It has always been frustrating to me that it seems to be part of human nature to not be happy and productive all the time!  I console myself with history.  Even the finest examples of our species through all of history have had their ups and downs!  They’ve either become the better or the much worse for those times.  It is always a choice we must make of what we will do with our troubles…the refining process we seem to go through our entire lives.

“Will I let my troubles crush and destroy me or will I rise up out of the ash like the Phoenix?

It’s kind of like when I was looking at our trees in the backyard the other day and noticed that intermingled in the shade they cast were gaps for light to come through. In our dark and down times, if we look and are paying attention…remain open in our hearts and our minds….light will find a way into that darkness.

I would say to those of you who are put off by religion or dogma, there still might be a message here for you. I do not go to church or subscribe to traditional religion anymore, but I believe in every positive walk of spirit there are personal truths to be found. This book my Grandma, one of my most cherished Elders, left me is a treasure and a vital tool to help me navigate these uncertain times.  For some reason I it only feels right to share this gift she left for me with those who may not have it.  There are many keys to the one door of this home we all share.

2002 Jackie drawing

April 26

“I even reckon all things as pure loss because of the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Phil. 3:8) (Weymouth.)

Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We cannot be of great use to others without cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain.

We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service.

When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick; when we are consumed with pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything.

But, if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our tome of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing the most of our work. We are burning now, and shining because we are burning. – Evening Thoughts

“The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the drudgery of today.”

Many want the glory without the cross, the shining without the burning, but crucifixion comes before coronation. (I will add, there are no short-cuts!)

Have you heard the tale of the aloe plant,

Away in the sunny clime?

By humble growth of a hundred years

It preaches its blooming time;

And then a wondrous bud at its crown

Breaks into a thousand flowers

This floral queen, in its blooming seen,

Is the pride of the tropical bowers,

But the plant to the flower is sacrifice,

For its blooms but once, and it dies.

Have you further heard of the aloe plant,

That grows in the sunny clime;

How every one of its thousand flowers,

As they drop in the blooming time,

Is an infant plant that fastens its roots

In the place where it falls on the ground,

And as fast as they drop from the dying stem,

Grow lively and lovely around?

By dying, it liveth a thousand-fold

In the young that spring from the death of the old.

Have you heard the tale of the pelican,

The Arabas’ Gimel el Bahr,

That lives in the African solitudes,

Where the birds that live lonely are?

Have you heard how it loves its tender young,

And cares and toils for their good,

It brings them water from mountain far,

And fishes the seas for their food.

In famine it feeds them- what love can devise!

The blood of its bosom -and, feeding them, dies.

Have you heard this tale-the best of them all-

The tale of the Holy and True,

He dies, but His life, in untold souls

Lives on in the world anew;

His seed prevails, and is filling the earth,

As the stars fill the sky above.

He taught us to yield up the love of life,

For the sake of the life of love.

His death is our life, His loss is our gain;

The joy for the tear, the peace for the pain. – Selected


25 April 2017 Drawings and “Crazywise” (Daily Good feature article interview with Phil Borges and his documentary exploring the heart of mental illness)

Hello to you – just sharing a couple of my chalk drawings for today and adding my personal input to the Daily Good feature article/topic of mental illness.


Home > Generosity > Crazywise: A Filmmaker Explores the Heart of Mental Illness

I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. Brene Brown

Crazywise: A Filmmaker Explores the Heart of Mental Illness

Apr 25, 2017— Phil Borges is a dentist-turned-photographer, author, filmmaker and social change storyteller. For more than 25 years, he has been documenting indigenous and tribal cultures in some of the world’s most remote, inaccessible areas. His recent film Crazywise reveals a paradigm shift that’s challenging the way Western culture defines and treats “mental illness” and highlights a survivor-led movement demanding more choices from a mental health care system in crisis. The film explores cultural differences with respect to consciousness, mental health and the relevance of Shamanic traditional practices and beliefs to those of us living in the modern world. More on Phil’s journey in this in-depth interview. (3966 reads)

This Daily Good feature article resonated with me, especially this part.

Pavi: Kind of sets the tone for diving in deeper. Maybe you could talk a little bit about how Crazywise started and what you see as the core messages of the film. What would you like to see people take away? Phil: It started with my work with the indigenous world when I began to meet individuals who entered trance-like states to serve as healers or clairvoyants–they call them seers or predictors–of their community. I started interviewing these people and found that most were selected in their youth by having a crisis of some sort. Once in a while it was a physical crisis or sickness, but typically it was a mental, emotional crisis. Many talked of seeing visions, having intense dreams, hearing voices, feeling very frightened. Some felt like they were dying. Typically the ones I talked to who became healers and seers were taken aside by an elder, usually a shaman, and told that their condition was a sign they had special sensitivities that could be very valuable to their community. They could not ignore what was happening to them. They could look at it as a calling, and they had to answer this calling. And if they didn’t answer it, they would continue to be sick and could eventually die from it. So they would enter an initiation period where they would be guided and mentored by this elder who, at one time, had gone through the same thing. This was handed down. That way of framing mental illness was really interesting because it our culture we believe that such an experience is a disease of the brain. And the biomedical narrative we now hold is that we don’t have a cure for it. We have these medications that can stabilize the person mainly by tranquilizing them. But there’s no cure and it’s sort of a lifelong sentence. So during the process of doing Crazywise, I’ve met a lot of people who label themselves as people with lived experiences, people who have lived through one of these crises and are now leading very functional lives. When asked what helped them and what didn’t, they’ll say number one is the way my condition was framed or when I finally realized that this was an experience I could learn from. When I had somebody that was supporting me while I was going through this dark night of the soul, which made all the difference. When the experience is framed properly, you don’t get this self-fulfilling narrative that condemns the person to a lifetime of illness. They were helped to find the meaning of what they were going through. They were able to find out what their symptoms were telling them rather than just suppressing the symptoms. Then, they were given them a purpose for their life. You can be a very valuable person for this community. And if you start talking to the people who go through these experiences, they are very, very creative, exceptionally bright individuals. They think outside the box. Many of them, including the main character in our film, have what looks like a spiritual experience. The definition I used earlier where Adam said the first time I felt at one with the universe, where I was it, it was me; Many sages refer to this as an “aha” moment. Many of these people going through these breaks have that experience and then, if they’re not supported correctly, told it’s an illness. You can imagine you’re 20 years old, you’re vulnerable, maybe you’re away at school, maybe you’ve had a love relationship go bad, things aren’t going well, you’re away from home for the first time and your brain goes off into another reality to protect your psyche. Then you’re told by an expert wearing a white coat that your brain is broken and diseased and your whole identity changes. Just like the teacher who came up to me in the hallway, he changed my identity around my belief in myself as being a good student. Deven: If the person having the break is not open to guidance, then guidance from community is impossible. Could trained guides help? I would be open to learning other approaches and views from indigenous cultures. Phil: From indigenous communities I have learned the importance of connection and community, not only the community of people but of the environment and the world of our ancestors. Being connected to that whole flow of life is a healthy state for the human psyche. Our current biomedical treatment narrative or paradigm unfortunately labels the individual in a very stigmatizing way as the “other.” There are the mentally ill over there and there’s us normals over here. One in five people will have a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s a very normal reaction to circumstance. It’s the “othering” that we have to learn to avoid. I think the most important thing is to listen with an ear to understand, not to judge. The person in this state – their psyche has chosen to protect itself by going into another reality. So the person, if they’ve been put into a deep fear–could be claiming to be Jesus, or to be from Mars, or that the CIA is after them. One of the most important things is to listen to them and try to understand what these voices, or what these beliefs, are indicating. And, of course, if the person has been frightened enough, typically what happens, especially with young people away at school, they are taken in a cop car or an ambulance to an emergency room, strapped down in the back room until the psychiatrist can get there to inject them with a mind-altering drug. If you can get to the person before they’re put into another state of fear, that’s ideal. But if you can’t and they are just really acting out, maybe they haven’t slept in a week, then, of course, some of these medications can get them to a place where they can start to be supported in other ways, which is very valuable. So medications do have a place. What’s troubling is the belief that they have to be on these medications for the rest of their life, as well as the over prescription of these medications. We are now pathologizing the normal human experience. If you look at the list of disorders in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders written by the American Psychiatric Association, the list of disorders has grown by 300 percent since it was first published in 1952. So you’re getting a medication for something like sibling rivalry disorder, or for disruptive mood disorder. All these young kids are being put on medications to handle what used to be “boys will be boys” or normal grieving. If you lose your spouse after 40 years of marriage and go into grief that lasts longer than a couple weeks, you can be diagnosed with severe depression disorder.


When I’ve had my “breaks” they have often been spiritual (to me) in nature and afterwards so much is gradually revealed to me. I wonder after reading/watching this, had I been turned over to a shaman vs people in white coats at a hospital, would my experiences been more useful and or meaningful? Would what I was experiencing and going through have made more sense to such a person versus traditional medicine? Could they have helped me navigate my way out without drugs? I wonder.

When I’ve had my breaks I have been in an altered state, felt like a time traveler, someone between dimensions , seeing through the layers of people…. feeling like “smoke”, seeing the world and how it operates in a way most people do not. Each time it has been slightly different but a lot remains the same about what happens to me. What’s hard is that I remember most of what goes on after it’s over, some things I do not. Some things in reflection will make a lot of sense to me, and some things are embarrassing to recall and make no sense at all as to why I was thinking or acting a certain way while in the altered state.

A regular person, a psychiatrist or psychologist of traditional Western medicine on the periphery of my experience would understandably be confused, anxious/alarmed for me and want to help in the most expedient ways they know how. The answer each time for me, has been admittance to a hospital with medication and therapy aftercare. There isn’t a way for people who aren’t privy to the spiritual nature of these experiences to do much else!

In the traditional system that exists, there isn’t really time to do much more than tranquillize a person in such a condition, keep them under observation for a short period of time and then turn them loose hoping the break doesn’t recur. I can say at Mesa Springs they at least attempted a more Holistic approach – yoga, aromatherapy, art and music therapy, group therapy sessions, exercise and dancing exercises and spiritual groups. The problem is it’s expensive to be in such a facility and there is limited bed space. They don’t get to keep patients as long as it takes to make the kind of break-throughs they might be able to if they had more time.

Having a strong support system is so important to someone like me! I am grateful to have my husband, my family and friends who have been there for me these many years but I know my breaks have taken a toll on all my close relationships. Loving and caring for someone prone to mania can create an understandable distance after such breaks occur. My first husband and I didn’t stay together beyond the first time it happened. Kyle (and his family) have been through this with me three times since we moved here to Texas!

The states people like me can get into are very confusing, awkward and frightening. The witnesses are essentially powerless to do much to help or as in my case, they may try to play along (which they now know wasn’t helpful!) During the first one I had here, my mother-in-law and I did an almost 30 minute poem between the two of us! Yeah, she’s pretty amazing to have been able to go through that! There is the unpredictability factor that most people just can’t get around. What will this person do or say next? What can I say or do around this person and not set them off on another break?! It’s tough on both sides of this equation!

What I am saying here is the “elephant in the room” when it comes to being in relationship with and or related to someone with a mental health condition…”labels.” I have asked people to be honest with me about their feelings towards me on this issue but most times it’s a threshold they are not comfortable to cross or they are vague at best. The quickest course is complete avoidance and that has been hurtful to me, but I understand it. Rather than lie to me or tell me the truth and risk hurting my feelings, they just avoid me and or the subject all together.

This perspective Phil Borges provides, provokes many questions in me but also is validating in a way. Those who live with someone who has labels and or have had to deal with their loved one during a manic episode or an altered state of consciousness might find some insight on the subject here.

(The reason I share about what I’ve been through is to try and help those I love and care about may be understand me a little better and also to help anyone else who might be in similar circumstances as caretaker or patient. We don’t get solutions or progress for subjects like this unless we talk about them openly and honestly. Avoidance and denial helps no one! I hope something here will help and or resonate! )


24 April 2017 Pain, Symbol message and Streams in the Desert reading for today about Faith

Good evening to you. I have had kind of a surreal day. I just mostly wanted to sleep and did so for most of it! Kyle assures me they are almost done with this outage and for his sake I hope so. We had an ice pack on his neck tonight because it was hurting him so bad. He said it felt like someone had hit him on the neck with a baseball bat! The pain in his next went from the inside to the outside! Between me, Peppermint oil and an ice pack we got him some mobility back but he’s still in a lot of pain. He knows about how pain is usually a physical manifestation of something emotional and or spiritual. I told him I think what’s been going on in his throat and neck is a physical manifestation of his having been so anxious and worried about being perfect for this outage. The night shift aspect I’m sure hasn’t been helping his immune system either. We can do any number of external things to assuage the physical pain but to truly negate it, the inside aspect of why the pain exists must be dealt with too. That I can’t help him with!

The past couple days I’ve drawn a symbol on my hand and then this morning it became a chalk drawing. Not sure what it can mean but the 1-2-3-4 “Dance” part does mean something to me. Sometimes when I’m really into my music and movement that I do outside or the “zone”, I’ll notice an effortless pattern, like a dance going on all around me. It’s like you count to 4 and a bird will appear and again a car will go by and again a plane will fly overhead and again an insect will buzz by and so on. It’s pretty cool!

I typed up the Streams in the Desert reading for today because it’s about one of my favorite subjects – Faith!

Over the years I’ve had to let go of how I used to pray about things. In the past I was so specific and put way too much “mind” into things and then I wondered why my prayers seemed to go unheard! When you attach expectations to something like a prayer and your expectations aren’t met….well it feels like what’s the point of praying! You can develop a resentment towards the God of your understanding. Well God isn’t a lotto machine or a wishing well! I had to learn that one too! The way I pray now about anything is very simple, “I pray for the greatest, most loving good for (person, place or thing). Not as I would have it, but as you would.” Then I just let go! More prayers I’ve said with no strings attached have been answered then ever with me still holding on. It’s takes time for God to answer prayers too….God is not a Genie in a bottle either where things just instantly change or get taken care of! Along with Faith you must find Patience….letting God be God and getting out of the way of the spiritual work that needs to happen for our prayers to be answered.

Remember: Spiritual forces cannot work while earthly forces are active (18 April msg)

April 24 – Streams in the Desert, Cowman Publications, Inc.

“Faith is…..the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

True faith drops its letter in the post office box, and lets it go. Distrust holds on to a corn of it, and wonders that the answer never comes. I have some letters in my desk that have been written for weeks, but there was some slight uncertainty about the address or the contents, so they are yet unmailed. They have not done either me or anybody else any good yet. They will never accomplish anything until I let them go out of my hands and trust them to the postman and the mail.

This the way with true faith. It hands its case over to God, and then He works. That is a fine verse in the Thirty seventh Psalm: “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He worketh.” But He never worketh till we commit. Faith is a receiving or better still, a taking of God’s proffered gifts. We may not believe, and come and commit, and rest; but we will not full realize all our blessings until we begin to receive and come int the attitude of abiding and taking. -Days of Heaven upon Earth.

Dr. Payson, when a young man, wrote as follows, to an aged mother, burdened with intense anxiety on account of the condition of her son; “You give yourself too much trouble about him. After you have prayed for him, as you have done, and committed him to God, should you not cease to feel anxious respecting him? The command, “Be careful for nothing,” is unlimited; and so is the expression “Casting all your care on him.” If we cast our burdens upon another, can they continue to press upon us? If we bring them away with us from the Throne of Grace, is it evident we do not leave them there. With respect to myself, I have made this one test of my prayers: if after committing anything to God, I can, like Hannah, come away and have my mind no more sad, my heart no more pained or anxious, I look upon it as one proof that I have prayed in faith; if I bring away my burden, I conclude that faith was not in exercise.”

*As I write at 9:25 pm the Hum vibration in the house is really strong – so frustrating!

24 April 2017 The Hidden Brown Crayon (Dream and The Brown Crayon Project) and Designing for the Circular Economy (Daily Good Feature article)

Good morning to you. I hope this finds you well. It’s looking like it will be another cool and clear day here. As I write to you at 7:52 a.m. there is no Hum. I’ve started writing down when I notice a change or increase in intensity. If anything it will help me and my therapist! It seems to be the strongest in the mid afternoon and evening. I wonder if this has to do with gas usage? May be that’s when people are using it the most and more pressure gets put on the lines.


Source Internet: Box of brown Crayola crayons

I had a funny little dream last night, this morning. In dream time there is no time like our concept of it. I dreamt about the discovery of a hidden brown crayon and what happened after this crayon was liberated was quite miraculous! Apparently this brown crayon had been hidden or stored in a closet. When it was found, it was like liberating a person versus a crayon. Everyone that came into contact with it all the sudden was completely restored to their ideal selves. I noticed the skin on my arms was smooth and soft again without blotches…shiny in the sunshine. Another person, as we watched, lost all their huge bulging blemishes, got their hair back and could walk. A funny part was when I noticed my boobs weren’t sagging and another woman noticed the same, “look our boobs are perky again!” This transformation wasn’t limited to people but to things and places too. Like a room that was once ugly and falling apart was completely restored.

For me, the brown crayon could represent what it’s like for me when I draw and create things with crayons and try to use all of the colors. I forget all that’s bothering me and stuff that doesn’t matter for just a little while….it makes me young again. Drawing them outside gives me time with the sun and all of creation and it restores me. Lately when I’ve been drawing the faces, I find I do not limit myself to what “color” of face that comes forth. If anything I wish I had more darker skin tones and when I buy my next box of chalks, I will be looking for that. To me, all of our skins, our “energy clothes”, are beautiful!

(I was looking on the internet for a picture of a brown crayon just now and I found this website!  I am sharing it as I feel certain I was meant to find and share it!  When I see a product is safe for children like this, I often buy it and use it myself.  It’s important to read the ingredients listings.  If I can’t pronounce  something on a label or don’t know what it is, I usually won’t buy it.


THE BROWN CRAYON PROJECT™ is the first certified-organic, all natural line of skin & hair care products intentionally designed for babies, toddlers and children of color.

We provide parents and caregivers with a superior line of soulful, effective, safe, certified-organic solutions formulated to heal, protect, nurture & nourish the skin, scalp, hair & egos of our babies, toddlers & children.

Our focus is on health and enhancing the natural beauty of our children. We work with the smartest scientists to develop proven formulas, using the safest and highest-quality ingredients, following the strictest standards and prove it with our own kids and the children of our extensive and diverse network of families throughout the diaspora.

All of our products are GMO-Free and Pregnancy and Breast-feeding safe. We use ABSOLUTELY NO Sulfates. NO Parabens. NO Phthalates. NO Paraffin. NO Animal Ingredients. NO Artificial Colors. NO Artificial Fragrances.

We hold all our ingredients, products and partners to the highest quality standards. Our children insist on it.

I am a Sudanese-American mother of two and creator of the product line determined to include children of the diaspora in the global conversations around physical and emotional health.

I had no idea that there were no certified-organic product lines for children of color when I started. I was just trying to make luxurious products for my little boys that didn’t have GMOs, pesticides and harmful chemicals in them.

I wanted to give my kids a fresh start that didn’t compromise beauty or safety.

My mother, who was with me for the birth of both of my sons, and I started making what we needed using old North & East African family beauty recipes at home. But our ingredients were limited and I wanted the process and ingredients to be clean, safe and the results to be consistent. With aisles of organic products across America, I couldn’t help but notice that the organic revolution was happening and my boys were not being considered.

With a creative background in brand identity and new product development that spans from pharmaceutical & cosmeceutical, music, film and the arts, I started the journey towards products love. With the help and inspiration of a brilliant community of contributors from pediatricians, agriculturalists, coaches and chemists, I began researching and developing quality products for my children, my family, our friends, our community and our people.

I aim to establish a baby care brand that provides parents and caregivers with safe, effective, quality solutions that promote the health and well-being of our children with an inspirational message that let’s them know they are included, seen and loved.

Our message is inspired by trips to the bookstore searching for my boys, searching for soul-nourishment from works like #changingchanging and #firebird. Nights spent gathering literature from #ellison to #achebe, music from #motown to #marley, quotes, images, history, current events, anything I could find to help in nurturing my children’s confidence so they know there is a place out there for them amongst the stars. And I am not unique. I travel a community of beautiful parents in all the shades and colors of the universe that think and do the same.

This is for us.


Founder + CEO

Anyhew – just wanted to share that with you and my inner voice wouldn’t let me get on with my day before I did LOL! Much love and hugs to you today.

The Daily Good Feature article today:


We have to act now. Twenty-five years of research offers us the insight we need in order to start the transition towards the circular economy. We are at the tipping point of an immense system change. –Dr. Annemieke Roobeek

Designing for the Circular Economy

–by Knowledge@Wharton North America, syndicated from knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu, Apr 24, 2017

What do you do with a toaster when you no longer want it? Until recently, no one thought about that question until the toaster was ready for the scrap heap. Today, advocates of the circular economy suggest that the best time to address end-of-life issues is when a product is first being designed. It’s at that point that it has the greatest potential for circularity. If the designers of your toaster had thought about it not as a disposable appliance but as a product with value worth preserving, your options would be considerably enhanced.

That, in fact, is what the designers at the London-based Agency of Design (AoD) did. As part of a project that “looked at the end of life of electrical products and designed alternative ways to make the most of the material that they embody,” the AoD design team took on the challenge of rethinking the humble toaster. They came up with three different approaches, each of which, says the company, “embodies a different strategy to designing circularity from the outset.”

Designing for Longevity

AoD began by attacking the planned obsolescence that has dominated product design for so long. Knowing that aluminum recycles “with no loss of its material properties” and that the material is likely to remain valuable to recyclers for the foreseeable future, the design team worked to make every part of the first toaster, known as the Optimist, out of aluminum, “starting off with 100% recycled content and knowing that it can be infinitely recycled into other products at the end of its life.”

To maximize the product’s longevity, AoD designers looked for a design “so simple that there was nothing to break.” The Optimist ended up with very few moving parts and with heating elements — the shortest-lived components in a toaster — that were simple to remove and replace.

The design team also considered the perceived value of the toaster to owners who would relish its longevity. The toaster was given a “rough surface texture, allowing it to grow old gracefully” and its birth date was cast into the aluminum so owners could enjoy celebrating its service year after year. The Optimist even included a simple toast counter so that, “When you hand the toaster down through the generations, your children will know you’ve enjoyed 55,613 rounds of toast!”

The greatest challenge to making such a long-lived product is coming up with a workable business plan. Ever since the term “planned obsolescence” was coined during the Great Depression, the U.S. and much of the world’s economies have relied on the disposal and replacement of products with defined lifespans. As author Giles Slade notes in Made to Break, planned obsolescence has become “a touchstone of the American consciousness.”

The lighting industry has been grappling with this question since the long-lived L.E.D. bulb was first introduced into the residential market in 2008. According to J.B. MacKinnon in his New Yorker article, “The L.E.D. Quandary: Why There’s No Such Thing as ‘Built to Last’,” the answers so far have been less than inspiring. Some companies are returning to planned obsolescence by creating ever-cheaper lightbulbs with ever-shorter lifespans, while others got out of the residential lighting business. In October of 2015, for example, MacKinnon notes that General Electric “broke up G.E. Lighting to leave behind a rump firm — the light-bulb division, essentially — that would be easy to sell off.”

While there are still some markets left for lighting with built-in obsolescence — most notably the automotive sector — the industry is actively pursuing other ways to make longevity pay. A shift is already underway, at Phillips for instance, from selling lights as a product to selling lighting as a service. It’s a growing trend, according to the recent Navigant Consulting “Third-Party Management of Lighting Systems in Commercial Buildings: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts” report.

Companies are also looking to build in smart technology that distinguishes their L.E.D. product from others and offers opportunities for continuing updates. In the commercial realm, G.E., for example, is developing streetlights that alert authorities whenever a built-in sensor detects gunshots in the area. As for the residential market, MacKinnon quotes Philip Smallwood, the director of L.E.D. and lighting research for Silicon Valley-based Strategies Unlimited: “Lighting is the perfect medium for you to insert the other connectivity products to fill the house, because you use light everywhere.”

Regulation may also help pave the way for business models based on long-lived products. Tim Cooper, a design professor at Nottingham Trent University and editor of the book Longer-Lasting Products, sees possible solutions in government regulations that penalize obsolescence or reward longevity. But as Cooper recognizes, regulations follow culture, and the throw-away culture has been notoriously slow to change.

Modular Design: Replacing Parts, not Products

Another way of extending product life is to use a modular approach that allows owners to replace parts without having to replace the entire unit. This was the second strategy AoD took to rethinking the toaster. The Pragmatist model was designed with modular toasting slots that could be joined together to make any sized toaster a customer wanted. The modular design also made it possible to unclip a faulty toasting slot so it could be exchanged without interrupting the owner’s ability to keep making toast. And AoD designed these modules to be “thin enough to fit through a letterbox, making the return process as easy as possible for the consumer.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights another example of modular design where performance is far more critical. Noting that ambulances were being sold at auction after just a few years, DLL, a global provider of asset-based financial solutions, investigated and found that it was the high cost of maintaining chassis components, such as the engine and gearbox, that led owners to return the vehicles.

The most valuable part of the ambulance, the large box that housed all the medical equipment and carried the patient, was generally in fine condition. DLL reduced customer costs by 20% and doubled the useful life of the vehicles by designing a patient-care module that could be easily removed and remounted on a new chassis.

Design for Disassembly

Modular construction allows for disassembly by the individual, but is of little use to a company looking to extract value from products in volume. For their third toaster design, the AoD designers set out to create an inexpensive toaster that could be quickly and easily disassembled without degrading the component parts or mixing their materials. The solution was a toaster put together with snap-fit joints that contained small pellets. Placed in a vacuum chamber (“a cheap piece of capital equipment,” says AoD), the pellets expand, pop open all the joints, and leave a disassembled product.

The AoD strategy is similar to a concept known as Active Disassembly using Smart Materials (ADSM), pioneered by Joseph Chiodo of Active Disassembly Research. Using “memory materials,” which hold a shape until they reach a trigger temperature (either hotter or colder than normally encountered), Chiodo created screws and other kinds of connectors.

Once the product is heated or cooled to the trigger temperature, all of the screws lose their threads and the product falls apart without any damage to the component parts. Temperature is not the only means of triggering the change. As with the toaster, a change in pressure can work, or disassembly can be triggered by “microwave, infrared, sound, computer and robotic control, electric current or magnetic fields,” according to the Active Disassembly website.

Plastics for a Circular Economy

Plastic poses one of the biggest challenges to the circular economy. It is ubiquitous, made from petroleum and takes hundreds of years to decompose. According to a 2016 report by the World Economic Forum, “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics,” plastic packaging is of particular concern. “After a short first-use cycle, 95% of plastic packaging material value, or $80 billion to $120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. A staggering 32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems, generating significant economic costs.” In fact, says the report, “The cost of such after-use externalities for plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, is conservatively estimated at $40 billion annually — exceeding the plastic packaging industry’s total profits.”

One of the reasons plastic recycling rates are so low is because two or more incompatible types of material are often combined together to achieve the qualities needed for specific packages. According to Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director at Dow, the plastic pouches used for everything from frozen food to laundry detergent pods, offer a good example.

They are traditionally made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), laminated to a film made of polyethylene. Using these two different plastics gives the pouches both “a nice glossy look, and stiffness that lets it stand up on the shelf,” says Wooster, and “the ability to run at high speeds on packaging machines.” It also makes the pouches impossible to recycle.

To solve this problem, Dow scientists came up with a new packaging structure that meets all the product design specifications but is made not of PET but of two types of polyethylene instead. “By combining different types of polyethylene that are compatible with each other,” explains Wooster, Dow created a stand-up pouch that can be recycled in supermarket bins along with plastic shopping bags. One of the first applications of the innovative material was as the pouch for Seventh Generation dishwasher pods. The primary uses for the recycled polyethylene are new shopping bags, which retain much of the product’s original value, and wood-plastic composite lumber, which effectively puts the plastic back to good use for at least 50 years.

The stand-up pouch is far from Dow’s only contribution to the circular economy. Another innovation announced in the fall of 2016 is a product made of polypropylene-based olefin block copolymers. In the past, post-consumer streams that included polypropylene and polyethylene were difficult to recycle. Dow’s innovation makes it possible to combine these two commonly used resins into a host of products — including rigid containers and drums, household containers, industrial tanks, kayaks, and flexible packaging — all of which “offer upcycling opportunities for recyclers and brand owners,” according to the company.

Products That Track Themselves

A surprisingly simple idea is driving still more innovation that supports the circular economy: keeping track of what you own. Digital technology, including the “internet of things,” is making it possible for companies to design “intelligent assets” that can report back their location, availability and condition. The ability to channel, accumulate, and process this information as “big data” is enabling companies to maximize the value of these assets over time.

Caterpillar, for instance, is using on-board sensors that monitor its equipment in the field, combined with predictive diagnostics, to extend the life of its products. The technology allows the company to move from repair-after-failure to repair-before-failure and to improve maintenance based on how a machine is being used — all of which saves customers downtime and expense.

IBM has used similar technology to develop a comprehensive analytics asset called the Reuse Selection Tool, to help product managers choose the next optimal use for a product. Now in prototype, the tool ingests a vast range of granular data — including information about the equipment’s modularity and reuse potential, regulations, market price, cost of remanufacturing, and supply and demand — enabling the product manager to decide on a per-unit basis whether to remanufacture, recycle, or scrap. It is also exploring the possibility of using cognitive computing, pioneered by the Watson system, to help interpret the data.

A new business-to-business sharing platform, FLOOW2, takes a simpler approach. Instead of relying on intelligent assets that keep track of themselves, it has created a Craigslist-type marketplace where companies can advertise equipment, facilities, and make them available for rent rather than purchase. Such collaborative consumption is already powering the sharing economy at the consumer level. FLOOW2’s innovation is to extend the idea to the business world.

Designing Products that Use CO²

One of the primary goals of the circular economy is to prevent the average global temperature from rising 2°C above preindustrial levels. According to the International Energy Agency, achieving this goal will require an investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency of $1 trillion a year for the next 34 years, a three-fold increase in the current level of investment. “It’s not happening,” says Bernard David, senior fellow at IGEL and chairman of CO² Sciences, Inc. Even with all the activities on the horizon, the amount of carbon dioxide staying in the atmosphere will mean an unacceptable increase in global warming.

One potential solution to this problem is carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), which buries the greenhouse gas underground. But the strategy is not yet technically feasible. “Most current CCS techniques are uneconomic because they consume too much energy to sequester the carbon, so they have yet to be deployed at scale,” reports a recent GreenBiz article, “Seven Companies to Watch in Carbon Capture and Storage.”

The Global CO² Initiative, also a brainchild of Bernard David, takes a different approach. Instead of simply burying the gas as a destructive waste product, the initiative aims to transform the global economy through new inventions and investments to use as much as 10% of global CO² to make useful, profitable products at scale. A market assessment by McKinsey & Co. identified 25 potential products, representing a market that could reach $1 trillion by 2030. Each of these products is at a different level of readiness, which the initiative grades on a nine-point scale. “In order to have a meaningful impact,” says David, “you have to get all these things to a level 9.”

Cement is the lowest hanging fruit. One process, already in use, promises to reduce the industry’s CO² emissions by 70%, both by capturing the gas in the cement and by dramatically reducing emissions during curing. Since cement manufacturing accounts for 7% of CO², David says, “Potentially, with that one industry, we can reduce CO² emissions by 5% annually.”

The initiative, which was launched in January 2016, is working to build “a whole ecosystem to create at scale CO²-based products,” David explains. It’s a monumental task, but in October 2017, less than a year after it began, the initiative released a draft “Roadmap of the Global Commercialization Potential of Carbon Capture and Utilization Technologies through 2030.” A full roadmap was released in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November 2016 at the Conference of Parties meeting held to advance the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

As the initiative roadmap suggests, the way forward is paved with possibilities. There will undoubtedly be potholes and detours as companies rethink product design with circularity in mind. But thanks to the design strategies mentioned above, and others not yet imagined, the journey towards a circular economy is off to a strong start.

Syndicated from Knowledge@Wharton. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is committed to sharing its intellectual capital through knowledge@Wharton, the school’s online business analysis journal. Offers free access to analysis of current business trends, interviews with industry leaders and Wharton faculty, articles based on the most recent business research, conference overviews, book reviews and links to relevant content and searchable database of more than 6,300 articles and research abstracts.



23 April 2017 Making a connection (outside time, chalk and pen and ink drawing)

Just a quick hello and sharing of my chalk drawing and the pen and ink I drew after I was finished because I really loved the image.  As I was drawing it, I was thinking about how it feels for me when I truly connect with nature when I’m outside.  Just becoming one with the God of my understanding — energy made of multi-colored light.  The Hum is still going on today.  This morning it was peaceful and relatively still and felt so great!  Around 11:48 am it started picking up stronger and I tried to spend most of the day outside to avoid the shaking in the house.  Our back bedroom wall is separating again.  I was laying in there resting so I wouldn’t disturb Kyle, and could just hear popping and cracking.  Freaks me out!  I know some of it is the soil settling like it does here after it rains and then dries out (expansive clay soil really isn’t meant to have regular slab foundation homes built on it!) but being shaken like a flour sifter doesn’t help either!   Anyhew – much love to you today – hope you had a restful Sunday!

Some quotes from the Daily Good that resonated:

A mind in peace is heaven; a mind in pieces is hell.
K. Bhujang Shetty

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.
Roger Ebert

If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.
Vicki Robin

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
Audrey Hepburn

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
Mother Teresa

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
Kahlil Gibran

22 April 2017 Finally getting information on what may be the source of the constant low level rumbling in my house (The “Hum” and natural gas drilling in North Texas)

I may have at last got some lead on what is going on at my house right now.  It happened back in February 2013 when they fracked a natural gas well about 1700 ft from our house and it’s happening again for the past week or so.  It feels like the entire house is vibrating and there is a constant low level rumbling noise.  It feels like my entire house is being shaken apart.  It’s like living on a cruise ship with a really loud engine and feels like the earth is shifting constantly.  It makes my head ache and I get very anxious.  I have been having trouble especially at night trying to sleep because when I’m laying in bed it is vibrating like a low level earthquake is happening or something.  When it happened back in 2013, I thought I was going to lose it and have to move it got so bad.  Now it’s back again.  Well apparently there has been some study and research done on this phenomenon and it’s referred to as “The Hum.”  With the “game on” atmosphere here in Texas (the US) for digging more holes for gas and oil, it would not surprise me if this increased activity is the source of what is happening at our house.  There isn’t much I can do about it besides move somewhere that doesn’t frack for natural gas I guess.  Just passing this info along – hopefully it will help anyone else experiencing what I am.

20 Aug 2012 Jackie Wygant drawing from when they started fracking a natural gas well up the street from our house.


A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What’s Causing It

A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What's Causing It
Source: Tri Vo for Mic

Dr. Glen MacPherson doesn’t remember the first time he heard the sound. It may have started at the beginning of 2012, a dull, steady droning like that of a diesel engine idling down the street from his house in the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A lecturer at the University of British Columbia and high school teacher of physics, mathematics and biology, months passed before MacPherson realized that the noise, which he’d previously dismissed as some background nuisance like car traffic or an airplane passing overhead, was something abnormal.

“Once I realized that this wasn’t simply the ambient noise of living in my little corner of the world, I went through the typical stages and steps to try to isolate the sources,” MacPherson told Mic. “I assumed it may be an electrical problem, so I shut off the mains to the entire house. It got louder. I went driving around my neighborhood looking for the source, and I noticed it was louder at night.”Exasperated, MacPherson turned his focus to scientific literature and pored over reports of the mysterious noise before coming across an article by University of Oklahoma geophysicist David Deming in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to exploring topics outside of mainstream science. “I almost dropped my laptop,” says MacPherson. “I was sure that I was hearing the Hum.”

“The Hum” refers to a mysterious sound heard in places around the world by a small fraction of a local population. It’s characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations. While reports of “unidentified humming sounds” pop up in scientific literature dating back to the 1830s, modern manifestations of the contemporary hum have been widely reported by national media in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia since the early 1970s.

Regional experiences of the phenomenon vary, and the Hum is often prefixed with the region where the problem centers, like the “Windsor Hum” in Ontario, Canada, the “Taos Hum” in New Mexico, or the “Auckland Hum” for Auckland, New Zealand. Somewhere between 2 and 10% of people can hear the Hum, and inside isolation is no escape. Most sufferers find the noise to be more disturbing indoors and at night. Much to their dismay, the source of the mysterious humming is virtually untraceable.

 While the uneven experience of the Hum in local populations has led some researchers to dismiss it as a “mass delusion,” the nuisance and pain associated with the phenomenon make delusion a dissatisfying hypothesis. Intrigued by the mysterious noise, MacPherson launched The World Hum Map and Database in December 2012 to collect testimonies of other Hum sufferers and track its global impact (he now also moderates a decade-old Yahoo forum along with Deming).

MacPherson quickly discovered that what to him was a strange rumbling was actually having pernicious effects on hundreds of people, from headaches to irritability to sleep deprivation. There are reports that weeks of insomnia caused by the Bristol Hum drove at least three U.K. residents to suicide. “It completely drains energy, causing stress and loss of sleep,” a sufferer told a British newspaper in 1992. “I have been on tranquilizers and have lost count of the number of nights I have spent holding my head in my hands, crying and crying.” Thousands of people around the world have shared similar experiences of the Hum; some, like MacPherson, are devoting their time to finally uncovering its source.

Above: Self-reported experiences of the Hum, recorded as part of The World Hum Map and Database by Glen MacPhearson, British Columbia.

Tom Moir, a professor at the Auckland University of Technology and Hum investigator, first started looking into the Hum after an Auckland resident called Moir’s office at Massey University in 2002. Moir, a professor of control engineering, placed an ad in the local paper after receiving a visit from a Hum sufferer who desperately wanted to find the source of the racket. He received dozens of responses within days, all describing a mysterious droning noise matching the one described in Deming’s landmark paper. Residents of Auckland’s northern shore claimed that the Hum was so intense that it was preventing them from sleeping or concentrating. “When it’s loud, it’s like there’s vibrations between your ears, that your brain is vibrating,” one resident told local TV in 2011. Another Auckland resident said that the noise had been so disruptive to his life that he’d deafened himself in one ear with a chainsaw so he could sleep through the night. Many had lived a life of vibroacoustic agony, unsure if what they were hearing was real or not.

“For my entire life, I was a perfect sleeper,” says Steve Kohlhase, 60, who first started to experience the Hum at night in his Brookfield, Connecticut home in September 2009. A mechanical engineer in the chemical industry, Kohlhase, like so many other Hum sufferers, has devoted his free time to searching for the source of the noise. “I immediately felt the effects in my head: It feels like your fingers are in your ears. Other people have different experiences: Sometimes the floorboards in the house have a distinct vibration to them, or they they feel it in their feet in their bedsprings. Many people find their ears ringing.”

Above: “The Torment of the Hum” by Rosemarie Mann (2004).

So what’s behind the Hum? After nearly four decades, Hum investigators may finally have some idea. The general consensus among sufferers is that the Hum is comprised of very low frequency (or ‘VLF’, in the range of 3 kHz to 30 kHz and wavelengths from 10 to 100 kilometers) or extremely low frequency (or ‘ELF’, in the range of 3 to 30 Hz, and corresponding wavelengths from 100,000 to 10,000 kilometers) radio waves, which can penetrate buildings and travel over tremendous distances.

 Both ELF and VLF waves have been shown to have potentially adverse affects on the human body. While the common refrain about ELF radiation in popular culture normally involves your cell phone giving you cancer, research by the World Health Organization and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers has shown that external ELF magnetic fields can induce currents in the body which, at very high field strengths, cause nerve and muscle stimulation and changes in nerve cell excitability in the central nervous system. And VLF waves, like other low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, have also been shown to have a direct impact on biological functions

Finally, there’s a body of empirical evidence that makes this theory more appealing. A study funded by the Canadian government and led by University of Windsor mechanical engineering professor Dr. Colin Novak spent the last year listening to the “Windsor Hum” that’s been torturing residents in the Windsor area of Ontario since 2011. A previous study had confirmed the existence of the low frequency noise in the vicinity of Zug Island, a highly industrialized island located on Michigan side of the Detroit River. The researchers used specialized equipment to capture and develop a sonic “fingerprint” of the mysterious sound. The study concluded that not only does the Windsor Hum actually exist, but its likely source was a blast furnace at the U.S. Steel plant on Zug Island, which reportedly generates a high volume of VLF waves during its hours of operation. “It sounds like a large truck or a train locomotive is parked outside your house, buzzing away, causing the windows to shake,” Novak, himself a Hum sufferer, told Canada’s CTV News. “It can be quite uncomfortable at times.”

“I have been on tranquilizers and have lost count of the number of nights I have spent holding my head in my hands, crying and crying.”

Dr. Novak’s study caps off decades of Hum theories, but given the inconsistent experience of the phenomenon around the world, cataloguers of the Hum still aren’t quite sure if it has a single, definitive source. While ELF and VLF waves may cause people to experience the incessant droning, not every local Hum appears to have an easily traceable source. What about the Aukland and Taos Hums? And why does the Hum seem to appear and disappear for months at a time?

Some Hum investigators suspect that there’s a global source responsible for the Hum worldwide. Deming’s research, considered close to authoritative in the Hum community, suggests that evidence of the Hum corresponds with an accidental, biological consequence of the “Take Charge and Move Out” (TACAMO) system adopted by the US Navy in the 1960s as a way for military leaders to maintain communications with the nation’s ballistic missile submarines, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers during a nuclear war. As part of TACAMO, military aircraft use VLF radio waves to send instructions to submarines: Because of their large wavelengths, VLF can diffract around large obstacles like mountains and buildings, propagate around the globe using the Earth’s ionosphere and penetrate seawater to a depth of almost 40 meters, making them ideal for one-way communication with subs. And VLF, like other low-frequency electromagnetic waves, have been shown to have a direct impact on biological functions. (Strategic Communications Wing One at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, which is responsible for the manning, training and equipping of aircraft utilized as part of the TACAMO system, did not respond to requests for comment.)

And there are other theories. While Moir agrees with MacPherson that the disturbance is occurring at a very low frequency, he’s convinced that the source of the Auckland Hum is primarily acoustic rather than electromagnetic, partially because he claims his research team has managed to capture a recording of the Hum.

Listen: An alleged recording of the Auckland Hum by Prof. Tom Moir. Plug in your headphones or increase the volume of your speaker system to maximum to hear.

Listen: A simulation of the Auckland Hum created by a research team lead by Prof. Tom Moir.

“It’s a very, very low wavelength noise, perhaps between 50 or 56 Hz,” Moir told Mic. “And it’s extremely difficult to stop infrasound because it can have a wavelength of up to 10 meters, and you’d need around 2.5 meter thick walls, built with normal materials, to keep it out. It gets into our wooden houses very easily. And part of the reason people have so much trouble identifying the source of it is because of how low frequency the Hum is: It literally moves right through your head before you can figure out which ear picked it up first.”

This isn’t to say that an electromagnetic explanation is impossible: There could be both electromagnetic or acoustic sources that complement each other. The real difficulty is separating the two hypotheses through testing. “There haven’t been tests done were you subject people to these frequencies and put them in an anechoic chamber,” says Moir, referring to rooms designed to completely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. “But until you can actually prove that by doing tests, there’s no way to firmly come to that conclusion.”

These tests can’t come soon enough for Steve Kohlhase, the mechanical engineer hunting for the Hum in Connecticut. Kohlhase, like Dr. Novak and the researchers who traced the Windsor Hum to Zug Island, hypothesizes that the source of the Connecticut Hum is industrial rather than military, generated by a network of nearby high volume gas pipelines. The arrival of the Hum, Kohlhase argues, coincided with increased development of natural gas pipelines in northern Fairfield County, and the increased hydraulic pressure used by the Iroquois and Algonquin interstate pipelines that run through his corner of Connecticut could result in the non-directional, extremely low frequency (ELF) humming noise previously unheard in the region.

 This a pressing public health issue. It is not just some casual annoyance, claims Kohlhase. The resulting infrasonic sounds blanketing the region could result in widespread vibroacoustic disease — an occupational disease occurring from long-term exposure to large pressure amplitude and low frequency noise — the symptoms of which include those often described by Hum suffers: depression, mood swings, insomnia and other stress-induced pathologies.

The Hum may transition from unexplained mystery to unfortunate byproduct of modernity, a fixture of human geography like light pollution.

State and local governments may finally be paying attention. Worried about the potential behavioral effects of the Connecticut Hum, Kohlhase dispatched concerned emails to state and local health officials laying out his research. Kohlhase was so persistent that he contacted Connecticut State Police investigators almost six weeks after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, insisting that the Hum allegedly produced by nearby gas pipelines could have had something to do with Adam Lanza’s behavior leading up to the shooting. While law enforcement officials field a flood of calls from conspiracy theorists and pranksters following any major incident, investigators deemed the information Kohlhase provided “appropriate” for inclusion in the 7,000 images, audio files, videos and documents released to the public.

“The reason that it could’ve affected Lanza is that sound and vibrations can have extremely subtle, detrimental affects on someone who’s fragile minded,” explains Kohlhase. “Imagine if you’re mentally ill or have a brain tumor or are just, well, fragile of mind. I am absolutely not an expert, but if sound sensitivity is such a serious issue to those on the autism spectrum, perhaps extremely low frequency sounds can result in a pernicious effect.” Kohlhase points to Aaron Alexis, the defense subcontractor who battled mental health issues and scrawled “My ELF Weapon” into the stock of his shotgun before killing 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013. “He told his psychiatrist he’d been chased by vibrations. Look at a map of instances like this, in Washington, or the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona, and I bet you’ll see that each place coincides with a Hum cluster.”

Here is the fundamental problem facing Hum sufferers around the world: believability. Scientific data and anecdotal experiences of the Hum vary so much from region the world that it’s still unclear whether VLF and ELF waves are the source of it, let alone a catalyst for mass murder. The idea of a mysterious noise driving people to suicide has given birth to all kinds of pseudoscientific conjecture, making the phenomenon a favorite for conspiracy junkies who suspect foul play by some malicious government scheme (or UFOs, obviously). The World Hum, a site devoted to exploring the “mysterious phenomenon being heard by thousands around the world,” is riddled with byzantine entries about UFOs crashing in Siberia.

MacPherson knows how insane it sounds. “There’s a terrible irony to the vision of a conspiracy nut in a tinfoil hat, trying to keep the government from beaming thoughts into their heads,” laughs MacPhearson, “since aluminum does protect against some electromagnetic radiation. This is why you don’t put that stuff in the microwave.”

The federally funded investigation into the Windsor Hum and the serious examination of Kohlhase’s research by Connecticut authorities may serve as a beacon of hope for Hum investigators like MacPherson, Moir, Novak and Kohlhase. State-funded tests on Hum-affected regions may yield data that could lead to a real-world solution, rather than conspiracy theories. Until then, developing a unified picture of the Hum is exactly what MacPherson wants to accomplish in British Columbia. By providing one destination for Hum data and testimony, he’s hoping that professional and independent researchers will use the collected data to help develop and execute experiments that could help identify the source of their local Hum.

But until someone funds and conducts rigorous tests in an affected region, says Moir, people will continue to use the Hum as an excuse to blame modern technology, from mobile phones to telecom towers to the digital radio bands used by law enforcement. And that aura of pseudoscientific insanity surrounding the Hum has made the job of independent researchers more challenging. “In the past, I’ve contacted my representatives, I’ve contacted my governor,” says Kohlhase. “There’s willful ignorance going on about this problem and the real consequences it has.”

But should researchers like MacPherson and Moir finally pinpoint the local sources of the pain-inducing phenomenon, the Hum may transition from unexplained mystery to unfortunate byproduct of modernity, a fixture of human geography like light pollution. In the meantime, many just want to identify some relief.

“A lot of serious researchers don’t want to have their name attached to that, but I’m not a formal academic researcher, and I’m quite willing to lend some credibility to this idea if I can,” says MacPherson. “This phenomenon is real and many people are suffering: I’m just trying to do the best I can to help.”

Jared Keller

Jared Keller is the former director of news at Mic.

22 April 2017 The Little Things We Can Do (How I celebrated Earth Day and March For Science)

Hello to you, I hope this finds you well.  It’s a cold and gray day here in North Texas but I didn’t let it stop me from trying to do my small part on this Earth and March For Science Day.  I decided to go to our town square where they were having Antique Alley.  Instead of driving there, I walked. There wasn’t much going on as it was early but I did have a couple special opportunities arise while I was there.  The first was that I had the chance to talk to a woman named Roz who was selling popcorn she makes at her new shop in Keene called OOH WA WA Gourmet Popcorn. I asked if her popcorn was organic and she said it wasn’t but she was using organic coconut oil to pop it and the coatings for the candy corns were home-made recipes.  She was half-way there!  She said she had considered organic corn but it was just so expensive and she wasn’t sure she would be able to make a profit if she tried to sell it.  She said she would have to charge more and she just wasn’t sure if there would be a customer base for her.  She pulled up some prices for organic corn on Amazon for me, and indeed, it is expensive but I told her so is a doctor’s visit, so is a pill.  Food can be our medicine.  I suggested may be she could start small….give it a try.  She said she would seriously consider it.  I liked her shop on Facebook so when she does try this, Kyle and I can go buy!  We don’t eat regular popcorn anymore – we just know too much about what GMO corn is and what growing it does to people, animals and the environment.

http://oohwawagourmetpopcorn.com/ – website, would you buy organic popcorn if she sold it?  If you live in the area, let her know!

https://www.facebook.com/OOH-WA-WA-Gourmet-Popcorn-692518654217025/ – Facebook

The Health Dangers of Roundup (glyphosate) Herbicide. Jeffrey Smith & Stephanie Seneff

The other opportunity was talking to some of the vendors gathered for the Antique Alley the folks who own a large resale shop on the square called Indians and Outlaws (https://www.facebook.com/Indiansandoutlaws/).  I thanked them for what they are doing for the earth with their reselling things that could still be of use and or repurposed to be used for other things.  Every item they sell is one less thing in our landfill!  What’s so cool is their commitment to their business.  If something isn’t selling, sometimes they will bring it home and spruce it up with new fabric or paint for example and take it back to the shop and actually sell it afterwards!  We all agreed that everything we use on this Earth  should be completely recyclable, reusable or be able to be repurposed without harm to the environment.  I mentioned to one vendor something I have been hearing more about, Community Lending Closets and Community Repair Organizations.  Here are a couple examples:

Published on Apr 17, 2017

Fairborn’s Tool Lending Closet, TLC, is a program for income eligible residents in need of tools or equipment to complete home projects.

A Visit with Janet Gunter of the Restart Project (A UK based Community Repair Organization)

Published on Jan 15, 2016

Janet Gunter from The Restart Project flew all the way to California to have a chat with us about the awesome things they are doing in the UK. The Restart Project is a London-based social enterprise that helps people fix their broken electronics to give them another life, and to keep waste out of landfills. They have community events where they gather people who are repair savvy, and offer free help to anyone who shows up with a broken device.

So what I did wasn’t grand but I did something I could do!  Remember it’s not what you can’t do, it’s what you can!  I used my legs instead of getting behind the wheel of our car and I talked with people and shared ideas about things I care about.  I gave people who are trying to help this Earth in their way my encouragement.  It’s the little things!


21 April 2017 How Little I really know, The Stand (poem), swollen uvula info (mrdoctor.org), Earth Day and March for Science – 22 April 2017

“Everything I thought I knew, shows me I know nothing.”

(A thought that has come to me a lot lately! The more I think I know, the more I realize I don’t!)

Hello to you. It’s Friday evening as I write to you. I am feeling anxious tonight for some reason and can’t seem to completely shake it. It seems the more I try to walk into matters of the “light”, the more shadows seem to try to creep in around me. Little things here and there like phantom breezes that make a candle’s light flicker. I know a lot of it has to do with the life Kyle and I are leading at the moment – night shifts. Thankfully that will be over soon! Part of it is just what I’m seeing transpire across our planet from so many different directions all at once. It makes me think of this poem I wrote back in the 1980’s called The Stand.

The Stand

The morning shadows twist and slither

From out of a darkening pit

They crawl from here to hither

Gaping holes form into flesh

Innocent blood spattered between gnashing teeth;

It is still fresh.

The naivte of dawn is banished to sin

As the creatures crawl from hell

The terror is about to begin.

Heard calling from the burning sun

Is the Mighty One who bellows

“The Battles only just begun.”

To the burning soil he sends flashing white.

The serpents and the angels prepare for battle

High into the atmosphere, they take flight.

Beneath the shadows sit those high in command

As the serpents and the Angels

Make their stand.

The battle is never ended, never won.

The serpent’s still in deepest hell

The Angel’s still within the burning sun.


This came to me about my poem as I reread it tonight and think on current events in our world:

Perpetual war under the guise of making peace is still going on in the world of the seen and unseen. War will never amount to peace. War only amounts to more war and lots of pieces. Pieces of bodies, pieces of the earth, pieces of souls shattered and scattered into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. This is how it all passes on from one generation to another. With every bite of food, with every drink, with every breath, we literally ingest these Wars into our bodies.

There is no peace to come from War….only lots of pieces. Depending on what we are using for War will depend on the amount of pieces and how far and for how long they will scatter. Even after the visible pieces have settled, the invisible shrapnel, tears to the soul, will travel through one generation after the next like it always does. Even with all we think we know, we still know nothing! Fear, Arrogance, Pride, Resentment, Revenge, Greed, Lust, Envy still leading the ancient march that leads the human race further back into the dark ages from which we had nearly escaped.

I wonder will it be this generation that finally stops the “cycle” or will it just knowingly and willingly perpetuate it still further generations on. Will we continue to waste ourselves and this planet on this same destructive cycles or will we at last explore a new possibilities? Choose the course less often taken…the pathway of lasting Peace!

I haven’t lost all hope in us just yet! I am seeing in myself that the harder the darkness pushes, the more lights arise with me to meet it!

VNV NATION “Nova” (lyrics) 2011


Kyle is feeling a little better tonight. Thank you from both of us to all who have been sending prayers and or positive intentions his way! It helps! We did the warm water and salt gargle tonight and that helped somewhat. We found out there can be many reasons for the uvula to swell up. I’m sharing this link we used in case you might need it now or for future reference:


Home » Diseases and Conditions » Swollen Uvula

Swollen Uvula


Swollen Uvula

Swollen Uvula Causes

Swollen uvula Symptoms

Swollen Uvula Remedies

Swollen Uvula Treatment

Swollen Uvula

Having a swollen uvula can be a difficult but it serves as an important factor when screening bacteria and other microorganism that is about to enter the digestive and respiratory tract. Anatomically, the uvula is located at the back of the tongue. When a person opens their mouth, there appears to be a hanging grape in the at the back of the tongue. Many people may think of this as tonsils but it’s not. It acts like a filter that screens the microorganism that enters the mouth.

The term uvula means “large grape”. This is derived from the Latin word “uvu” which means grape. Aside from filtering bacteria and other organisms, this is also an important part of the sound articulation when a person speaks. And most singers would associate their vibrato or the wavy up and down sound to the uvula. Medically, a swollen uvula is also called as uvulitis. The suffix “-itis” is usually associated with inflammation or swelling in medical terms.

Swollen Uvula Causes

Uvulitis is not a life-threatening disease and it should go away in a few days. Usually, doctors would point out that the case of a swollen uvula can be one of the many things:


Viral or bacterial infection. This is the most common cause of swollen uvula. This is an indicative that a harmful microorganism was about to enter either in the lungs of digestive tract.

Excessive smoking can also be a factor as well as excessive alcohol consumption

Frequent snoring

Common colds and exposure to extremely hot or cold environment.

Apthous ulcer or canker sores. This can also be called as the mouth sore and when the area of the sore is near the uvula, uvulitis can happen.

Swollen uvula Symptoms

There are various swollen uvula symptoms but these are usually subjective ones. The patient is the one who mostly feels the uneasiness or some pain.

Having a dry mouth. Even though the affected persons drinks a lot of water, there is still a feeling or dryness in the mouth because of the inflammation

Sore throat. The pain may seem similar when the person experiences tonsillitis

Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing

Tonsils may also be swollen


Hoarseness of voice. There are voice changes since the uvula is also used for sound articulation


Discharges from the throat usually pus

Patient will also feel like vomiting. This is because the gag reflex is stimulated.

Desire to cough even if there is no sputum or phlegm

Throat irritation. The patient may feel that there are feathers in their throat. Thus, they want to scratch if off.

Swollen Uvula Remedies

There are effective home remedies that can be done with swollen uvula. This is not a life-threatening condition and within 24 hours it can be remedied at home.

Home remedies include:

Drinking lots of water is one of the best remedies to treat uvulitis. Since the swollen uvula can be due to dehydration then it’s best to hydrate. An amount of 10-12 glasses per day will help reduce the inflammation.

Turmeric can come in handy. By mixing ½ teaspoon of turmeric into a glass with water and put some ice. Wait for about 5 minutes and patients can drink it. This is also a good solution to treat common colds.

Honeys are very helpful in the recovery. According to studies, consuming honey every day can be a good thing for faster uvula recovery.

Chewing about 2-3 garlic cloves per day can greatly reduce the swelling of the uvula. And when the patient also has hypertension. Garlic cloves are useful to help decrease blood pressure.

Adding a pinch of salt into the lukewarm water is also another typical remedy for sore throat.

Doctors would also suggest trying a tea made with basil leaves.

Ice creams and cold water can also be taken but the patient should not have colds when taking these.

Swollen Uvula Treatment

Although a swollen uvula can be treated at home, there are instances wherein the need for seeking professional help should be done. Especially in severe swelling and the condition lasts for more than 24-48 hours, the patient should see a doctor. But it is not just a general practitioner that they should see. They should make an appointment with Otolaryngology specialists. These are doctors who treats ears, nose and throat problems. They would typically be given treatments like throat sprays and pain killers. Sometimes, antibiotics would also be prescribed when there is infection.

But in cases of recurrent and frequent swollen uvula, the physicians will require Adrenalin shots. The patient will have to inject themselves whenever uvulitis happens. A medical device called the EpiPen is usually prescribed.

Earth Day – 22 April 2017

Earth Day

Earth Day
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated glob…

March for Science – 22 April 2017

March for Science

March for Science
The March for Science is a series of rallies and marches set to be held in Washington, D.C. and over 600 cities across the world on April 22, 2017. According to organizers, the march is a non-partisan movement to celebrate science and the role it plays in everyday lives. The main goals of the march and rally are to call for science that upholds the common good and to call for evidence-based policy in the public’s best interest.

The March for Science is a series of rallies and marches set to be held in Washington, D.C. and over 600 cities across the world on April 22, 2017. According to organizers, the march is a non-partisan movement to celebrate science and …

  • Date: Apr 22, 2017