Posts Tagged With: Peace


We have Christians in the United States that terrorize people who believe differently than they do.

The Koran says-kill the infidel.

Is there any difference?

Check it out:


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My long time friend, Paul Moeller, and I had lunch yesterday at a place we like in Murphys. He is soon headed for Thousand Oaks to be with his girl friend for twelve days,  and I’m just arriving home after two months. So, we seized the day and put aside my mail and his project of carpeting his deck and zapped to town.

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Certainly, it is about sharing food, but more about sharing time. Being on the road has changed my lifestyle, so I always try to get together with old friends as much as I can when I’m home, even if it means dropping everything and obeying the rule, “people first”…

The world is a mess globally, but in your own small community you can find peace and sanity through family and friends.

My friend Jan came by and offered to teach me a rain dance, but I declined. Been there done that. I am thankful for the rain but I don’t like dancing in the mud.

Traveling can make you dizzy in a way. We drove from Hoh rain forest where the average rainfall is over 200 inches per year to California where we are in a deep drought. Earth, if we treat it right, is a grand place to live but carries death and destruction without intent, and surprises.  In Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile, records show, that it has never rained. Can you believe it?

Today, I will drive Jim to Palo Alto to have his pre-op exam on his eye, and a yearly check-up. Then back to Murphys. Much to do in the first week home.


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Norma, Jose and the kids missed the family & friends reunion, but we both were able to squeeze in an afternoon for a bit of berry picking and barbeque Sunday last.

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Jose was scheduled to work, but decided he needed the day off more than the work. He commented on how quiet and peaceful it is here, especially when we walked up the canyon and got into the berry patch. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Six year old Abbie got something picky caught in her sandals. Help dad!


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The berries were fat and plentiful and early this year.

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Doug and Jose did most of the picking and we put a quart of berries in my freezer, and another in Jose’s ice chest.

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Anthony agreed that berries and ice cream is delicious.

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Little miss Abbie had a  good time with some hair ornaments that were headed to the Good Will. She has the most beautiful, lush hair you’ve ever seen. Of course, I’m jealous since I inherited my father’s thin strands instead of my mother’s beautiful tresses.

It was nice to take an afternoon away from a far too busy schedule.  I’m still fielding work progress on the Oregon property. Yesterday, I did a final program on the Quyle Kiln’s 60th Anniversary for Public Access Television. Today, I’ll finish a written piece for Ceramics Magazine. I finished my inventory for insurance, a massive photo project, that took five days to complete between refining the watering system to withstand the water reduction requirements of the drought. (I always take on projects instead of saying no.) And, finally, I can think about what I’m going to pack to return to the Motor Home. I’m looking forward to being back on the road.

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My sister, Dawn, died yesterday after struggling with cancer. This is her high school graduation picture. img005Dawn%27s%20first%20Communion%20at%20Hardwood. (Copy)

Her first communion. Families mostly took pictures on special occasions.

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Dawn, the oldest, Bill, the first son, and myself, the baby.

img526Dawn%2CMaryRuth%2CBill%2CDan%20inside%20car. (Copy)Then, another brother, Dan, peeking out of the car.

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In her Air Force Uniform.  I idolized my sister when we were growing up.

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We didn’t have a family picture taken until Dawn was married and had four children of her own.  In front is Norman, Mark, on Dad’s lap, Clark on Mom’s lap, and Dan.

Mark died at age 50 in 2005. Dan died at age 59 in 2002. It is hard to lose siblings. But, I’ve discovered that those we lose are never gone. They stay with us always. I am thankful for remembrance of the times we shared.


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Meet Maura Grant, a certified massage technician. She does reiki, as well. She and her partner, Cammy, whose last name I didn’t get, work on Tom Bell Road in Murphys. The name of their business is Elements, and elements define the Asian basis for peace, happiness, health and balance in everything they do be it healing or gardening or meal planning.

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In her treatment room are the sacred elements of earth, fire, water, and air. Plants represent earth, fire comes from lit candles, thankfully, for me, anyway, without perfume. Just pure soft light.

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Water cascades from a fountain, and air is all around. I’ve had massage and acupuncture before my accident.  I know it to be healing, and soothing and a transmitter of peace and tranquility. Reiki sort of astounds me. How does the heat just emmanate into their hands?  When Maura pressed my chest I could feel the heat in my heart and penetrate to my  back muscles. Margaret Hornick, from Arnold also has that unique talent. Heat just flows from her hands into your body.  

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Even Maura’s bathroom has earth represented by the stones, water is obvious and the candles on the tank are fire.

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The two women have a meditation room where they hold meetings, discussions and teach. In each room, all of the elements are present.

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They also have a sauna. The blue lights have some significance for healing. I’ve had many massages since my accident. Residual pain in my neck and shoulders still plague me. Some practitioners call it “memory pain.”  Debbie Selleck from Angels Camp has really helped me, as well as Margaret and now Maura. Each time, I think, ahh, I’m so close to well, this will be the last massage I will need.

It never seems to completely take away pain, but I’m getting well in small increments.  My weak arm is a bit stronger, the pain is lessened. Stress makes it worse.   Every massage I’ve had, the premises have those same elements, I must add. It isn’t unique to Maura. But they carry it out in a beautiful, complete way.

A day earlier, I stopped in to visit my former doctor,  Dr. Ralph Retherford in Tuolumne County.  He is a holistic doctor and also encourages his patients to perform tai chi on a regular basis. He gave me a tape and I found an improvement in my weakened arm with just one evening of practice. I believe by the time I return home from the Motorhome, I will be completely well with esoteric healing.




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Some days are fast-moving and adventurous. My daughter, Kris and Son Ken share a family plan for their phones since they live in the same city. While driving to work, Kris got a phone call meant for her brother’s family. The caller was asking her if she could take on an exchange student from Italy. She stopped the car and said, Yes!  Her brother had done it the year before. Why not? The woman asking explained that she had to place two boys in 24 hours or they would lose their right to exchange. Zoom, Kris had a mountain of paperwork to fill out, proof of employment. She had to take pictures of her house and family and the dogs. Fax it to Italy. They approved her and asked if she knew anyone who would take the other boy.

“My brother and his wife,” of course.   Ken said yes before he could consult with Laurie. And, just as fast, they were approved.

For Kris, as it turned out, it was her son’s birthday and they would be celebrating his birthday that day and picking up their student that night at midnight. When I get pictures, I’ll give an update.

We had an exchange student from Indonesia in 1986, that turned into a wonderful learning and exciting experience for all of us. We still keep in touch with Linda and her family. I visited them for the first time in 2004.

This is Linda with her daughter and son.

My youngest daughter was an exchange student to France in 1987. The son of one of her French sisters visited us last year.  Now she is hosting a graduate student from Brazil. I will get to meet him at Thanksgiving.

Hosting students from all over the world is such an enriching experience. Understanding other cultures is an advance toward peace between nations, which is what got the initial public exchange program going after WWII. It was named AFS, which stands for American Field Service,  an idea from soldiers who, like today, find people wonderful and endearing in  an “enemy” country. I’m sorry to say, it hasn’t stopped wars. But, I’m pleased to say, there are many, many student exchange organizations still making inroads to peace.

I’m glad my kids are spreading the tradition to their families. If you ever feel you have time to have a temporary addition to your family, having an exchange student is a wonderfully rewarding experience. In fact students report that their exchanges have been life changing events when they learn how others live.

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