Monday, April 30, 2012


"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." - Maya Angelou

The reason I created this blog!  I hope our right to free speech prevails, and we keep on singing...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Freedom Gardens

With Earth Day approaching and all the work I've been doing on a charity project for Earth Day (link will be posted tomorrow), it seems appropriate to share these thoughts.
We can help reduce our dependence on imported food, big corporations, and the supply chain by ensuring a bountiful and diverse harvest from sustainable personal and community gardens (link tomorrow to the site I've been working on to help foster this).
From an article By Paul Gardener in Grit magazine:
Gardens ARE good for our souls. Not merely because they’re therapeutic or because they provide healthy foods or even because they give us a hedge against lean times but rather because, if you look at the big picture, they offer us that thing that we all crave so dearly. They offer that thing that drove our founding fathers to strike out on their own. They offer Freedom.
As we faced issues of increasing costs of oil (which by the way is the basis of all of our commercial “inputs” like fertilizers, pesticides, etc.), regular warnings about tainted foods in our stores, and economic pressures that were starting to limit our food buying power, the Dervaes family launched a site called “Freedom Gardens” and with it put a name to a movement that was already beginning to form not only here at home, but world wide.
From the Dervaes family “Freedom Gardens” site:
… “freedom” is earned and cannot be taken for granted. In fact, there are forces (lets call them market forces) trying to gain control of the food market for their profit. If they can control the supply of food through hoarding seeds, and the other means of production, we will pay them for their effort with whatever price they wish to charge. On a gut level we know this is wrong… we have the “freedom” to make our own food production choices.”
Join together in a homegrown revolution™ to liberate our lawns and break our dependence on the corporate powers and dwindling fossil fuel supplies, corporate controls, contamination and food miles while creating a sustainable future.
While I give thanks for this amazing planet we live on every day, I like the idea of "Earth Day" to take an extra moment or encourage going above and beyond daily rituals to focus on what more we can do to nurture and protect our home, Mother Earth.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.  But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.  Everyday we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, curious eyes of a child--our own eyes. All is a miracle."
-Thich Nhat Hanh
A friend blessed me these words that she shared on facebook today.  I plan to frame them for my wall of inspiration!  They speak right to my heart and soul. 
My father shared this description of his solitary day yesterday (Easter Sunday), which illustrates the point in the above quote beautifully:

Spring is a bit later here in the mountains than the rest of this latitude and much more so than further south.  The leaves are not on most of the trees but some are blooming and some have small leaves.  The redbuds are going strong and some dogwoods are out too.  The crocus, daffodils, and tulips are blooming or finishing up doing so and both the purple and white lilacs are now in full bloom.
All the fields look like well manicured very lush grass lands as the weeds are all still quite small.  However, there are broad expanses of wild flowers, sometimes a sea of yellow, the wild asparagus is just beginning to sprout (had some raw stalks today, yum, an Easter treat).
A few bugs were out at the pond and only a few fish were cruising and feeding.  It is in a deep hollow that is shaded for much of the winter.  The little pond is higher than usual and all the streams are running briskly.  It seems there was a real gully washer recently, so the little creek behind the old house was washed clean to the rock bottom by the previously high rushing water.  There was no damage and only a few trees and limbs on the many roads and trails that traverse the place.
Lovely little flowering plants dot the woodlands everywhere.  There seemed to be little wildlife moving, only the prints of deer everywhere but they were lying low this afternoon.  Did not see any there or en route where twenty or more is typical.  Same for the squirrels.  It seems they all took the day off too.
The wind was constantly singing as wave after wave rolled through the trees.  I saw a few plants and flowers that I had never before seen.  There is water seeping out everywhere.
Yesterday on Saturday, while in the nearby mountains picking up a new portable saw mill, I had the distinct pleasure of spending the afternoon learning to use it while stationed in the middle of a small Amish community in a rather isolated mountain valley.  What a wonderful experience it was to be among gentle but industrious folks.
At every break while looking about, there were teamsters hooking farm equipment to their horses in the paddock nearby or working them in the fields.  An open buggy rushed by with a gentlemen and two children in it.  A young lady in the distance appeared to be tending to rabbits in a line of hutches and crews of women and children were planting gardens or hoeing fields.
When I washed up before towing the saw mill away late in the day, I saw the inside of a building next to where I had been working.  It was a school house built of hand peeled and shaped logs with exposed beams and rafters.  There were benches and desks in the very large room and obvious lesson materials on the walls and such.
All in all, it was a busy well tended industrious and peaceful place of smiling and apparently happy people.  I did so enjoy it there.  I asked about visiting again some time and was told I would be welcome. 

Happy Easter again to all and good night.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It lifts my heart and spirit to learn of more and more families choosing to take the path less traveled these days.  This intimate sharing of the thoughts and feelings one parent experienced while making the decision to homeschool her child reminds me that others have the courage to blaze their own paths.  Thankfully, we are not alone on this journey to raise our children in a natural, loving environment.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

After reading this article about kindergarten, I find myself extremely grateful for the opportunity and ability to homeschool my children.  I hope more and more teachers will stand up for a natural approach to learning and find the support they need to do so.  And I hope that any and all parents who wish to homeschool their children will find a way to do it. 

Food for thought...

Would you pay an income tax if it was optional?!?  Or would you prefer to select exactly where that money goes even if you chose to give it all away to charity or for commonwealth? 
[Can you tell we are working on our tax return today?]

This was the first question that popped into my mind after reading the following article about various forms of government and "leadership":  The Zero Sum Games by Stephen J. Heaney

Now I find myself wondering what our country would look like if our leadership elected to "inspire, not require" the people to live in accord with one another and help those in need.  Could that be the basis of a libertarian utopia?  Could such a concept actually flourish?  Were the founders of the United States of America thinking/hoping the same thing?

I recently saw an interview with Ron Paul on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in which Ron Paul stated that issues, such as abortion, have more to do with the morality of the people than with the laws. 

Have the laws worked to stop injustices?  How many people are currently in prison in this country?  How many of them are there due to intent to harm another person?

These questions led me on an internet search for a particular quote by Thomas Jefferson regarding the proper role of government.  As a result, I found several statements worth contemplation today (all by Thomas Jefferson):

"A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

“The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power.”

“To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”

“Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent they conquered.”

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as a sorry state as the souls who live under tyranny.”

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

“That government is best which governs least, because its people discipline themselves. If we are directed from Washington (heads of an organization) when to sow and when to reap, we will soon want for bread.”

“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations...entangling alliances with none”

“The care of every man's soul belongs to himself. But what if he neglect the care of it? Well what if he neglect the care of his health or his estate, which would more nearly relate to the state. Will the magistrate make a law that he not be poor or sick? Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against their wills.”

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

“If the book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose.”

Find more words of wisdom from Thomas Jefferson here.