Milkweed Meditation

10. Monarch Cindy Dyerby Anne Taylor

Standing together, stems hardened by the summer's sunbathing.
The Milkweed Cluster Support Group comes to order
As the members, all seeds released a year ago,
Begin their fall meditation:

        Reflecting on the cycle of their lives
        Feather-borne seeds riding on the whims of the wind
        The breath of Nature bearing the myriad of snow-seeds thither and yon
        Some to an end and others to a beginning.

        Those chosen seeds,
        After surviving taunts of “nuisance plant” and “advantage weed”
        Settling safely into untended ground.

        Spring thaw and rain wake the seed
        To process the fallow earth
        And begin its upright striving for the sun.

        The maligned wild flower
        Produces the sweetest smelling flower of June
        Attracting bees and butterflies
        To rest on its milk-nourished blossoms.

        This milk-blood circulates with the message
        To turn blossoms into pods
        Tough incubators of fluff and seed
        These pods allow for the warming
        And maturity of the plant progeny.

        The new generation burst forth on a warm October day
        To fly with the Monarch Butterflies who cocooned in their shadow
        And begin the cycle anew.

Photo: Monarch Butterfly on Common Milkweed copyright Cindy Dyer

        Winter Mantras:  harvest celebration – beginnings and endings – myriads         of deeds/seeds with fruition unknown – integrity of purpose – cooperation       with nature – stamina – longevity – life circle

Celebrating Anya LaFlamme

beautiful bridge daylight environment

Photo by Snapwire on

Anya LaFlamme attended the pollinator classes I taught at Gateway Park, Fitchburg, MA, a few years ago, She has continued on to pursue the Massachusetts Master Gardener Classes and is a graduate of the Horticulture Program at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens Horticulture College, in Boylston, MA.

I am very proud of Anya. She is also a beekeeper and landscaper. The graduation is on November 2, 2018 at 6 PM. The event will be held at the British American Club, 1 Simon Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420.

Send Anya your congratulations. She deserves our applause. Bravo Anya.

Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer Cargill



grandmothertonyawhitedeercargill  June 6, 2018 – Goodbye dear sister

Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer Cargill walked on in May 2018. I was traveling in May. I felt that a transition had taken place, and I knew intrinsically that it was Grandmother Whitedeer. I could feel her absence. Yesterday, I telephoned California and spoke with her husband. Grandmother Whitedeer did not suffer at the end of life, according to her spouse, and I am relieved that she walked on to the other side without pain.

Grandmother started the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites at Some of the sisters helped Grandmother with the website because she was a teacher and not a computer techie. I was honored to be a councilwoman. I remember when Grandmother called me up and told me that it was important that I join and why.

In 2014, I moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, the home of my ancestors since 1856. I am focusing on Herbal Keepers as a Mission: We teach about the importance of pollinators for a secure local food supply. I am a protector of the Green Nation at

water Hans free domain

We need to safeguard water and the green nation for the future, not for ourselves, but for the next generation, and generations to come. Dedicating daily Ceremony is the center of our Being, and we are honored to be called the Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites. Water, plant and pollinator advocacy continues at

Even though our spiritual teacher has walked on, I feel it is important to remember what she taught us about The Net of Light and the Grandmothers Teachings. I am blessed Grandmother trusted the Sisterhood with her life’s lessons and the book of her life’s work entitled Messages from the Ancient Ones. I asked Grandmother if she wanted to publish the book a few months ago and she said no. The book was a gift.

Miigwetch Grandmother. I will always remember you until our paths cross again. Aho.

Dandelion Greets the Spring

Hobomok moth.jpgPhoto: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Hobomok skipper (Poanes habomok)

The flower is a sunny composite with bright yellow bloom, which is made up of many petals in a tight cluster. The bumblebee is one of the first insects to seek out its sweet nectar. Photo is of a tiny skipper butterfly sipping dandelion nectar.  The early plant of spring is a delight in salads. When dandelions grow in a field, I trust no weedkiller has poisoned the earth. Otherwise, only grass grows. The cold and wet days of April are long this year. It was the last week of April before I could venture out into the woods in search of a spring tonic such as dandelion.

Wild foraging always keeps me connected to the earth beneath my feet. I am communing when I am outside and scouting wild edibles. Before I take anything, I make a little ceremony of honoring the plant and ask permission to gather something to use for myself. I put down an offering of a sacred plant which is ground up, and smudge with white sage. Both are healing, and I feel a sense of peacefulness in making an offering. Nature is a gift, and I need to honor and remember the sacrifice on the part of a plant’s life. Who am I to grab something without asking? The flowers and leaves are nourishment to wild creatures or pollinators.

There among the woodlands, clumps of dandelion grew. I picked leaves and brought them back, washed them, and put in a salad. Dandelion is rich in iron, potassium, and magnesium. Iron promotes the healthy production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. I feel sluggish after the long hard winter. After eating several leaves in a salad, I feel a slight surge of energy. Potassium is good for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work properly. I try to aim to eat a banana or a potato a day to ensure that I am getting enough potassium. Magnesium is necessary to transport calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. The process is imperative to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. The three of these minerals seem to go hand and hand, and all for the asking are readily available in dandelion.

I could go to the health food store and purchase dandelion leaves as a tea or dried herb, but the plant parts would be dead to me, and I am not confident that a plant in a store has the same value as the fresh herb itself. As an herbalist, I feel this is true, at least for me.


The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants

The Void is Always Filled

by Mary Ellen Ryall

Lepidoptera Tithorea butterfly chrysalis copyright Alex Wild Copyright Alex Wild

I received a birthday card for my 28th birthday, on April 30, 1970, from my beloved Aunt Ellen. I have always loved the words.

What shall we wish thee,
what can be said
Bringing the sunshine
all the year round?
Where is the treasure lasting and dear
That shall ensure thee
all through the year?

Faith that increaseth
walking in the light
Hope that aboundeth
happy and bright.

Love that is perfect
casting out fear
These shall ensure thee
a happy year.

As Patrick Tayor, the Irish storyteller would say, and this is what it was. When I was a child, I used to pick Lily-of-the-Valley and give posies to my grandmother. I remember, in junior high, gram worked as a live-in domestic for Miss Margaret and Josephine Sullivan, retired school teachers. A previous essay titled Memories Submerged in a Poem, about that time, is available at

In 1964, a year after graduating from St. Peter’s Academy, I was stranded at the family farm in Rock City Falls with no opportunities whatsoever, when providence stepped in. I saw an article in Seventeen Magazine recruiting youth of America to come and work at the World’s Fair, in New York City, for the summer, and I applied. A businesswoman Barbara James had an apartment to share for the World’s Fair season. I wrote about the experience in Born Under a Lucky Star. Learn more at

Photo: World’s Fair Post CardNew_York_Worlds_Fair_1964-1965_Postcards copyright Joschik

After working at the World’s Fair for the summer, I knew the season would end, and I was desperate to stay in the City, and not return to the farm and a nothingness existence. Barbara had a literary career working with an editor, at Time and Life Magazine. What a beautiful office she had on Fifth Avenue, on an upper floor overlooked the Hudson River. My roommate arranged an interview for a position at Time and Life, under the pseudo name of Betty Brown, in the subscription department. Thanks to Barbara, my adult life could begin in earnest. It was my first real break into the world of publishing. It was unwittingly because I never dreamed I would become an author. Everyone else thought I was a writer, but I was a late bloomer as gram would say. To celebrate, I bought my grandmother, Ann O’Grady Sullivan Cunningham (July 7, 1892 – November 25, 1979) a china teacup and saucer set, by Royal Albert, Bone China England, decorated with the beloved Lily-of-the-Valley.

lily of the valley tea cup

PHOTO: teacup

Recently, I have been thinking about Aunt Ellen’s and Gram’s heirlooms. The question begged, who will carry the memories forward after I am gone?

A butterfly cup has its story. I was 33 in 1978 when I moved to Venezuela for six months. I assisted Dr. Jorge Armand with cataloging books for the Archeological Museum, at the University of the Andes, in Merida, an Andean Town at 7,000 feet altitude.

Merida Veneuela copyright venzolannosPhoto: Merida Venezuela

History of Dr. Armand’s work follows: “In the year of 1972, the anthropologist Jorge Armand founded the Archaeological Museum assigned to the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the School of History of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, with headquarters in the same Department. Due to the growth that the Museum had, it was achieved in the year 75, although without receiving official recognition from the University Council. At this stage, the museum consisted of two research areas: Archeology, coordinated by Professor Armand and Ethnology coordinated by Professor Jacqueline Clarac de Briceño.” Source: When Dr. Armand returned to India to complete a Ph.D. in Anthropology, I returned to the United States.

Back home again between assignments, I was just in time to take a position at Skidmore College, Alumni and Publications Department. I lived at the Annandale Mansion, 245 Clinton Street, Saratoga Springs, New York. My great uncle Owen James Reynolds (June 5, 1852 – September 23, 1920) was an Irish immigrant and stonemason. He and a team of craftsmen built the Annandale Mansion.


Photo: The Annandale 1880’s

I never entertained visitors at my resident. I was surprised one evening when I heard a knock on the door, and it was Aunt Ellen. I invited her in, and being Irish; we settled down to a nice cup of tea. While delicately arranging dried petals on paper, my Aunt Ellen silently watched and asked about the blossoms, especially Venezuelan orchids that grow wild in the Andes Mountains. I learned about native plants and butterflies while stationed in Peru, Venezuela, and later Colombia, and Ecuador, between 1974 to 1980. Sometime after this encounter, the butterfly cup came to me. Aunt Ellen knew about synchronic moments.

butterfly cup

Photo Butterfly Cup

After Gram passed away (July 7, 1892 – November 25, 1979), Aunt Ellen returned the tea set. I am grateful that the china will go to Kara. Who else would keep the ancestry stories alive, but Aunt Ellen’s beloved granddaughter?


Photo: Misahualli – Number 88 butterflies and Chrysalis

I was out of the country, in Misahualli, Ecuador, at the time of Gram’s passing, (November 25, 1979) and without contact with the outside world because I was in the Jungle along the Napo and Misahualli Rivers. Note: Douglas Clark was a personal friend of mine in the 1970s, a famous butterfly collector and jungle tour guide in Misahualli. Following butterflies became a passion in South America, and Misahualli was my first exposure in the world of Lepidoptera, the study of butterflies.

San Agustin copyright Lonely Planet

Photo: Archeology site

I didn’t receive a telegram about Gram’s death until I returned to San Agustin, Colombia, in January 1980. There was a telegram office in the Andean village with a famous archeology site, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Preserve in 1995. Learn more at  At the time, my friend Ann Fry and I rented a house in San Agustin. It was a great adventure.

My beloved Aunt Ellen walked on February 27, 1982. To attend the funeral, I flew in from San Francisco, California, where I worked for the St. Mark’s Historic Lutheran Church, which survived the Fires of San Francisco in 1906. Learn more at

St. Mark's Luthern Church

Photo: St. Mark’s Church

At the funeral home in Ballston Spa and while standing in front of the casket, I noticed a card with a poem and dried pressed flowers. I was touched that my cousin Kathy thought about what the blossoms and writing meant to her mother. Kathy wrote, on April 3, 1982, “Thanks so much for being here and for your lovely note and kind thoughts.” She continued, “Hope you’ll call or drop in when you’re in Saratoga – Mom always loved your surprise visits from the far corners of the globe – our many happy memories sustain us. She dearly loved you – carry her thoughts with you always.”

southwest-waterfront-00 Madison Marquette

Photo: DC

In the early 1990s, Kathy occasionally visited me in Washington, DC. We enjoyed time in the penthouse overlooking the SW waterfront, with views of the Tidal Basin, Lincoln’s Memorial, and The War College in south-west DC. Kathy loved culture and art as much as I did. Both of us were artistic, creative, and a bit eccentric. We could spend the whole day at the Smithsonian Museums, which were within walking distance from the penthouse. Then the season passed as they always do, and we went our separate ways. In 1994, my husband Will DeJong and I moved to Southern Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, and Kathy settled into life in Upstate New York. We didn’t keep up with each other during her married years because I traveled and worked afar.

After retiring, Kathy lived with her daughter because she needed extra help. Cousin Ellie told me that Kathy had developed Alzheimer’s Disease. I felt a loss knowing that this is one disease that can’t be put back together again. Kara was doing family research on the Internet, she looked for connections to her past, and discovered the essay, “Born Under a Lucky Star,” about Aunt Ellen, her grandmother, and she sent a message. Learn more at

Again, it was as if Aunt Ellen had a hand in this serendipitous moment. Now I realize the butterfly cup and a few other small pieces of China are intended for Kara. Kara’s Great-Grandmother handed down an antique English serving platter decorated with roses made by L. Straus & Sons, in Carlsbad, Austria. Now, this is an heirloom for Kara.

Straus and Sons platter

Photo: Straus Platter

NOTE: In 1865 Lazarus and Isidor Straus formed the whole importing firm of L. Straus & Sons. They were importers of Crockery, China, and Glassware. The three sons of Lazarus and Sara Straus were Nathan, Oscar, and Isidor. Courtesy of the Straus Historical Society Source: Historical Society at

There are always stories, and today I remember I just flutter by, after all my name is Memengwaaikwe, in Ojibwe, which means Butterfly woman. I am grateful to have these stories and treasures to pass into the future. God Bless You, Aunt Ellen. Thank you for bringing Kara into my life. She is helping to ease my heart with the loss of Kathy to a devastating disease, and hopefully, I can bring some comfort also.


I especially think of Aunt Sarah and Mary Reynolds in winter when it is storytelling time. Photo: Aunt Mary, Mother and Father, Aunt Sarah.

familyWinters were chilly in the old white, wooden, two-story home, at 69 Oak Street, in Saratoga Springs, New York. In the 1830’s, Irish immigrants lived on the west side of Saratoga Springs, NY, and called it Dublin. The Irish were stone cutters or masons, and bricklayers. According to Hoofing It, the style of the house bears a resemblance to those built in 1870. The home had a white picket fence and trimmed shrubs across the front, which privatized the property. Photo: My grandmother, Isabelle Reynolds-Ryall with her children on the front porch at 69 Oak Street.


The kitchen was a favorite room in winter because it was warm. The windows steamed up when the old stove was on. Thin cotton curtains hung from the sunny windows. Yellow painted wooden chairs surrounded the table, and we  plopped ourselves in, around a rickety old table. Our aunts served us warm tea and Freihofer’s toast that scented the air with honey, melted butter, cinnamon, and homemade grape jelly. We always took evaporated milk and sugar in tea. Most of the cousins remember this fondly.


Our aunts did not change with the seasons, nor did they participate in modern fashion. They were elder established seamstresses and proudly made their clothes. In their younger years, their careers consisted of working in the garment industry in New York City. In later life, Aunt Sarah had a seamstress office at the Grand Union Hotel. In later life, dresses they wore were always dark and long. Aunt Sarah snuffed the modern world. The aunts took pride in their unique culture. They wore heeled dress shoes. Aunt Mary’s hair was abundant, and I loved the look of her wavy, tousled, and bouncy grey hair. Aunt Sarah’s straight hair was the color of brown tea, and I suspected she colored it.

Photo: Aunt Sarah and Mary most likely outside of the textile company where they worked in New York City.

Aunt Sarah was formal and strict. I loved her, but she didn’t smile much outside of her dry humor. Aunt Mary was happy and childlike in her wonderment. She found joy in just about everything. Aunt Mary would exuberantly say when we sisters rang the front door, “Oh my, the girls are here!” I remember one night I was sleeping with Aunt Mary in a small bedroom on a single bed. She was making animal faces on the wall, and I became scared. Aunt Sarah cautioned her to stop teasing me. I was so frightened that I ran into Aunt Sarah’s front bedroom and hopped into her double bed and spent the night. The bed was placed in the middle of the room, which enabled her to make the bed.

Our aunts thought that young girls should sit quietly in a chair and learn to knit, crochet, and sew. My sister could sit contentedly for hours, with yarn or thread, working on a project. I was miserable and hated every moment of the torture. After a while, my aunts would give up, and set me free to wander into the back shed to explore the tools, hats, and garden baskets. After my fill, I went outside into the gardens. I just had to be outdoors; I was restless as a child.

I remember seeing broken egg shells in the vegetable garden and learned early on about composting and organic gardening. There was a lovely grape arbor in the backyard, near the clothesline. Our aunts were proud of the grapes they grew, and the grape jelly they made was the best I ever tasted.

Photo: My grandmother Isabelle Reynolds-Ryall in the garden at 69 Oak Street, Saratoga Springs, New York.


One day, Aunt Sarah showed me a plant with heart-shaped pink flowers and a white tip, which held a bead of water. She asked, “Do you know the name of this flower?” I answered, “No.” As I recall, my aunt said, The plant is called Sweet William and named after your father, sweet William. I have always loved the tale.

Photo: Bleeding Heart.


On rainy days, one of my aunts would hand me a missionary magazine, and I would go into the formal parlor and spread out on the floor to enjoy looking at the people from Africa and reading about them and the missionaries. I don’t think it odd that I chose to volunteer for a Catholic Mission in Latin America when I was young. I think the suggestion came long, long, ago.

A green bus went by the house and used to stop for my aunt Mary and I. We went shopping at the A & P because they had special offers. One time they were giving plate sets away if you bought evaporated milk. Aunt Mary would pick up a dish or table setting such as a creamer every week. Now I have the last of the set. A plate, bowl, and creamer are the last pieces. I remember the memories every time I pick one up and use it.

plate Aunt Mary (1)

Photo: Last of Aunt Sarah and Mary’s everyday plates.

One evening, the telephone rang at my family’s home, at 40 Madison Street. Aunt Sarah had suffered a stroke. It happened late in the evening, and Aunt Mary didn’t want to call anyone in the middle of the night. The didn’t have a telephone at the time. The next morning, Aunt Mary went next door to call a doctor. That evening, I learned about the stroke and slept with a photo of my Aunt Sarah under my pillow. I kissed the photograph and prayed that she would get better. In the meantime, I had a difficult time falling asleep. I was troubled by what happened to my Aunt Sarah and didn’t know what it meant, except something awful had happened, and life would never be the same again.

A few days went by before the next thing happened. I remember following my father and Aunt Mary down into the cellar at 69 Oak Street. It was surprising to find a Grotto to our Blessed Mother down in the basement. The cellar walls were stone like the Grotto. There was a root cellar stocked with colorful glass jars of canned vegetables, fruit, and jelly from the abundant gardens. A few days later, my dad and his brothers Owen and Ralph put in a gas stove in the back living room, near the dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. They were getting the house ready for Aunt Sarah to come home from the hospital.

Before the warmth of the gas stove in the middle room, I used to sleep on a horsehair couch in the formal front parlor in winter. Heavy drapes separated the hall and the formal front room. The furniture was firm and itchy. It was hard to settle down as a child with something irritating my skin. A framed print called The Whistling Boy hung from the wall. Rudolph Eickemeyer was the photographic artist. Campbell Art Company, Fifth Avenue, New York City sold the painting in 1901. A coated plate of saved stamps decorated a plate on the piano, odd that no-one played the piano? A colorful blooming red, waxy leaf, begonia cheered up the room. A small stand held a photo of a young man. Once I asked Aunt Sarah who he was? The best I can remember, she mentioned, he was my uncle and died long ago. Only recently, I learned from the family tombstone that our aunts had a brother, Owen Joseph Reynolds. He was born on January 19, 1881, and passed away on January 31, 1898. The place of death and attending doctor were not listed. I question, how did he die?

After Aunt Sarah came home from the hospital, I went to the house to visit. She was always busy now taking care of her sister in the back living room. I sat on the couch near Aunt Sarah’s bed. She didn’t speak now. She was pretty crippled up, and her hand was listless. She would pick up her hand, and kiss it. I know she was telling her body that she loved it even if her hand was purposeless now. After all, she was a seamstress and once depended on her hands. Little by little, I didn’t go over to the house as frequently. I tried, but it became sad for me. After Aunt Sarah died, on March 27, 1961, something changed in Aunt Mary. I still went over to stay with her because she was alone. Aunt Mary kept to herself now and would go up and down the stairs in search of something. As a child, I believed she went upstairs to visit Aunt Sarah. A child’s imagination can run wild.

In closing, I want to share one last tale about a 5-pound glass jar of honey. It was on sale one week at the A & P. Before Aunt Sarah became ill, Aunt Mary, and I lugged it home on the bus. Aunt Sarah said, “What are we going to do with 5 pounds of honey?” She always thought Aunt Mary was extravagant and teased her. In her gay manner, Aunt Mary said something like, “Oh it will be used up one way or another.” I loved Aunt Mary and her generous heart. She was a lot of fun. Mary Reynolds died May 17, 1969. I will always remember my aunts with love. They were the cornerstone of my childhood.

Source:  (Burke’s Funeral Notices: ID 1976 – James Owen Ryall, Jan 31, 1898, 17 years, 17 days old, page 239.)

Family tombstone was designed by Owen James Reynolds and his daughters Sarah and Mary.

copyright text and photographs Mary Ellen Ryall


There are over 1,000 North American species of solitary hunting wasps. All of them prey on arthropods, which the female stings and paralyzes (but doesn’t kill so that they don’t begin to decompose immediately). Most solitary wasps specialize on a single type of prey, and many build highly characteristic burrow nests. Once the prey is […]

via Thread-waisted Wasps Provisioning Nests — Naturally Curious with Mary Holland

Happy Tonics a Nonprofit for Pollinators


23rain - Copy

Our Monarch Butterfly Habitat is now part of a larger Pollinator Habitat at Lac Courte Agriculture Research Station in Hayward, WI.

Photo copyright Mary Ellen Ryall


Joe Bonamassa and Other Company

joe bonamassa

August 15, 2017 – I attended the Joe Bonamassa concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. The ticket cost was $166 and was worth every penny. It was a balcony seat. There was a fat man that would have been next to me, but I concentrated on having space around me, and I took my place one seat away. I didn’t have to sit next to the fat man. No one sat on my left or right. Rejoice, Sacred Space.

stevie-ray-vaughan-for-radio-bdc-1050x700  Reese Wynans was the keyboard player.  Wynans joined Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble in 1985, playing keyboards on Soul to Soul and In Step and played with the band until Stevie Ray Vaughn’s tragic death in 1990. Vaughn was my all time favorite guitar blues player and his voice was something. I still miss him. Back in 1993, a black bus driver introduced me to Vaughn’s music. One day I got on the local bus in Lusby, Maryland, and the bus driver handed me a CD saying, “He’s the only white boy that can play the blues.” He was right. I thought of the bus driver tonight even though I don’t remember his name. He wasn’t the only person I thought of.

According to Joe Bonamassa’s Website, Anton Fig is one of New York’s most in-demand session drummers and has spent the last 29 years as the drummer for David Letterman’s house band on the NBC and CBS networks. Fig is one of America’s most widely-heard musicians and has racked up an impressive session resume playing on albums by Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Rosanne Cash, Joe Cocker, and Ronnie Spector. During his Letterman years, Fig recorded or performed live with such legends as James Brown, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, and B.B. King. As a freelance drummer, he has played with Paul Simon and also in the house band for Bob Dylan’s historic 30th Anniversary concert celebration.

I wish you could have heard him play tonight. I have never heard anyone play drums like him. Believe me; I have known the best such as Chico Hamilton. It was thrilling to hear Anton’s versatility and power. The rhythms were extraordinary and carried me away.

Michael Rhodes is a bassist. Some of the musicians he’s played with include Mark Knopfler, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Stevie Nicks, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill, and even the hottest star in the entire music industry, Taylor Swift. Rhodes is a fantastic bassist and played like a jam session with Bonamassa.

Lee Thornburg is a trumpeter. You can hear Thornburg’s past work with Bonamassa on four of his #1 Billboard releases, including Live at the Royal Albert Hall, the Grammy-Nominated album Seesaw with Beth Hart, Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, and Live at Radio City Music Hall.

Paulie Cerra is a versatile and dynamic Saxophone player. He has played with Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Lucky Peterson, Luther Allison, Little Milton, Bobby Bland, Billy Preston and Jimmy Johnson. Cerra joined Joe’s band earlier this year and you can hear him on the #1 Billboard Blues release Live at Radio City Music Hall.

These musicians are the world’s best. The music lifted me up and beyond an earthly experience. I felt like I ascended to the cosmos. I thought of old friends who had already walked on and those who I used to play with in my twenties, and the gay times we had when we were young and reckless.

I remembered Michael R., and it felt like I was dancing with him again at Michael’s. Back then, we were in our 20s. Michael was a system design engineer, and I was a clerical training instructor for Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard, MA. Sadly, Michael, at 61 years old, died Friday, April 24, 2009, at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.

I am so glad there is life beyond this planet, and we can still dance in the stars for time immortal. Energy never dies. It changes and that is OK. Our minds are a wonderful thing and if we hang on to great memories, we are blessed.

In this natural high state, I felt like I was among friends around a campfire and we danced. I remember having a shawl on. Mind you; I lost my shawl tonight. I must have got distracted when I came out of the Gideon Putnam and saw all the fire trucks. The door man, asked me if I was looking for a cab? I said yes, and he escorted me to the waiting cab. I must have lost my shawl in the confusion in front of the historical hotel.

The driver Fred was such a gentleman. He is a gambler and likes the horses and cards. I told him about my time with Henry who knew the horses because he worked with them for 30 years. In 2014, Henry and I bet on American Pharoah and we won the Triple Crown. After the race in Saratoga Springs, when American Pharoah lost, Henry passed away. I went down to the garden where the waterfall is and cried like a baby. I liked Henry and he gave me a thrill by teaching me about racing. Then I lost my thrill. I had to find something else that gave me a high so I started learning about the Stock Market with Jim Cramer. I study it daily with Mad Money. So far I am doing OK. I know it could change in a blink. That is why I study it daily.

At the concert, while I was in a natural high, In my imagination, I saw my friend Sandy S. She is precious to me, and it made me tear up realizing how much I miss her. I miss the ceremonies we used to perform. We used to dance around in a circle and chant the Water Ceremony song Nibi Wabo. These times were sacred and oh how I miss them. Time is moving so fast. I feel like a space traveler.

Listen to Joe at
You Better Watch Yourself. Love this blues. Blow me away! I am wild about the keyboarder Arlan Oscar Schierbaum, although he didn’t play tonight. This piece Dislocated Boy reminds me of Michael more than any other.

I miss my blazing fire pit at my former home in Minong, WI. How I loved those times. Seeing the lightning bugs and listening to the night critters and the tree frogs. The wolves used to yap and yell, and I loved it. I miss my wild country. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t make her a total city girl. My wild side still calls, and Joe called it up again tonight.

I normally don’t write about events like this, but this was such an alive moment for me. Just as a final note. I grieved for Michael for several days and felt his presence close, and He has walked on now.

Cannabis sativa

Hemp  The following hopefully will clear up any confusion about Cannabis sativa from Hemp and its medical uses. I am an herbalist and not a medically trained person. I am speaking from my own experience and truth.

Cannabis sativa from Hemp is not to be confused with Cannabis sativa from Marijuana. The Cannabis sativa from the hemp plant contains cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis sativa from Marijuana also has the same molecular compounds. CBD from Hemp is a natural pain reliever and legal to use. In February 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill which has a special amendment to legalize the production of Industrial Hemp in the United States. Learn more at

The US Government rushed to patent Hemp (Patent # 6,630,507).
According to the Patent Office at

Marijuana proponents allege that the U.S. government is exhibiting hypocrisy by owning a cannabis-related patent while also denying marijuana’s rescheduling. (Denver Post file)

Abstract: Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties [and neuroprotectants], unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1##

Other sources such as Edens Garden state that Cannabis sativa helps relieve fibromyalgia, joint pain, and other ailments.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce a drug-like effect, specifically in the nervous and immune systems. Although more research is needed to conclude the effects of CBD, it may relieve pain, lower inflammation and decrease anxiety without the psychotropic effects of THC, as reported by the National Cancer Institute.

Currently, the institute is studying the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids for the relief of nausea, pain, anxiety, and loss of appetite. Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by blocking cell growth. Other possible effects of cannabinoids include antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity, and relieving muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. But despite promising results, more research is needed to verify the possibilities.


Cannabis Essential Oil: To be diluted into a carrier oil, Cannabis Essential Oil is produced by the steam distillation of the cannabis flower. The active components are myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, which are packed with anti-inflammatory properties.

CBD: Extracted from the Hemp Plant, Cannabidiol is a potent phytocannabinoid that is non-psychoactive.

Hemp Seed Carrier Oil: Rich in vitamins and antioxidant properties, Hemp Seed Oil is produced through a cold pressed method. The oil is pale to golden yellow at

Benefits+of+Hemp I mixed a bottle of Edens Garden Cannabis sativa essential oil (5 ml) at with a bottle of Hemp Carrier Oil (100 ml) and used topically. This enriched oil is rubbed on sore hips, knees, and pain centered locations. It takes the edge off and at least helps me to sleep without pain. I hope this will help you too.

  The Creator put all the plants on the planet. Each has their own use.
Natural medicine is better than side-effecting prescription drugs, and I believe that the plants were put on this Earth for us to use, “Physician heal thyself.”


Early morning
the sun is out
the field is fresh green after a rain
are there dandelion flowers?
did the bunny eat the leaves?
a young bunny is ever so still
I became still also
I start to quietly chant
in love with the little creature.





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