Mountain Herb Time

Soothing Syrup

In the Selkirk Mountains of Eastern Washington, herbal and medicinal herbs now are waiting to be harvested, St. John’s Wart among them.

For years I have waited for mullein, the great respiritary giant, to bear enough tiny yellow flowers on their long stems to make a cough syrup.  There are many recipes.  Several include combining mullein with licorice root to make the infusion.

The recipe I remember was a cold infusion: combressing the flowers in a quart jar with sugar.

But, I can’t find the recipe.  Although, the mullein are doing their part and producing lots of flowers,  I won’t let the opportunity go by.  I’ll combine two cups of water, chop dried mullein flowers and leaves in a small pan over low heat to make an infusion; bring the water to a boil, then reduce and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half; stain liquid into a bowl.  When cool, I’ll add a cup of honey and store in the refrigerator.  Labeling the jar so I won’t forget what it is.

Mullein is also known as “lungwort” because its leaves are covered with soft, fine hair, suggestive of the appearance of lungs.  Native Americans undoubtedly use it today for support of asthma and bronchitis.

Once an herbalist was invited to the Lazy Bee, as well as to three other neighboring properties, to indenifty and show us how to use the many herbs just outside our doors.  One was Heals All, a low-growing purple flower, which does have immediate healing properties.  The other day when my finger was bleeding, I picked a little and it worked like a charm.

At the Lazy Bee there’s also a hillside full of the roots needed to collect for making of rootbeer.

Maybe it is time to indentify another authentic herbalist and host another “herbal hunt.”






Laughter is So-oo Good

Red Cowboy Boots (2016_07_23 15_36_42 UTC)

There’s nothing in life as perfect as a pair of red boots –  unless, it’s discovering the benefits of laughing.

I have decided to laugh more and to become a tad bit more playful and awaken to the finding possibilities of laughter.

It’s a challenge for those of us who are Swedish.  Even Norwegians can laugh easier than we Swedes.

It’s such good medicine.

I found that I laughed a lot  at “The Rosie Project.”  A stiff professor decides to find a wife and lists her characteristics, but, instead finds he much more enjoys a gal who is not on his list.  She’s not even close to a match but when he’s with her he’s enchanted.

Don’t you just love spending time with people who bring out the “kid” in you?  The author created one in his 39-year-old professor.

Look for people who are unique in type, voice and spirit.  Then, smile  You’ll soon be laughing.


A Year With No Lilacs

It is spring. My new life is beginning. A new story begins.

This year there were more beautiful lilacs to view than ever before.  They were every delicate pastel shade.  Even the small bushes in her year were performing with might.

The girl would never forget the year there were no blossoms collected to perfume the house.

The shock of what lie ahead was so great that she forgot all about lilacs and how much she always looked forward to their sweet scent.

All of a sudden there was frantic activity to put everything to rights before the action started in a few days.  The house had to be prepared for her long two month recuperation, the new sun suite to be used instead of an upstairs bedroom.

There were groceries to stock, six long round trips to the big city for the many tests required, people to notify and summer plans to cancel.

She dressed with special care to meet the surgeon.  He sat across from her now in the little office which had one wall filled with colored pages made by his very young patients.   She wondered if he had another wall for his more senior patients who had blasted successfully through the long surgery.

He studied her.  In a compassionate tone, he said with a serious look on his kind face, “This is long surgery, often with unexpected challenges.  I’ll worry about you.  These surgeries require deep and long sedation, usually over five hours.  Of course, we’d like you to reach l04 years just like your Mother.”

(to be continued . . .)

Who Are These People?

egyptian pryamid

It’s haunting, yet breathtakingly serene, a spot in California designed by a unique Society.  Can they tell us secrets from the past?

The Egyptian Museum in San Jose, CA., does present ancient artifacts in all their glory and exceptional beauty.  The Rosicrucian Order, AMORC (Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis) does get high marks for its landscaping and buildings at 1342 Naglee Ave. . . . but, also perhaps for the home courses they teach.

They say that theirs is the largest collection in North America and it must be worth a fortune.  Displays are artfully shown in the Egyptian-like buildings and gardens.  It sits smack in the midst of one of  San Jose’s historical neighborhoods.

Within part grounds is a Peace Garden, a labyrinth, fountains, exotic plants and trees and statuary.  The buildings all speak to the Rosicrucian ideals of peace and tolerance.  The garden has plants and architecture authentic to the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt.  Medicinal plants, flowers, a reflection pond, small temples and grape arbors encourage contemplation.

Entering between tall pillars and huge doors, there is a small reception area that opens onto spacious rooms that ramble like giant question marks?  On a school day, student tour groups may be sitting quietly as museum docents tell them about life in ancient Egypt.  Solo visitors go down to the right or upwards to the left to view human mummies and even a mummified cat and trout.  Egypian Queen

One room leads deep town into a tomb.

Who are these Rosicrucians?  It’s not a religion, does not require a specific code of belief or conduct.  Rosicrucian students come from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds.

What do they do?  They are men and women from around the world who study the laws of nature in order to live in harmony with them.  Individuals study lessons in the privacy of their homes on subjects such as the nature of the soul, developing intuition, classical Greek philosophy, spiritual alchemy, energy centers in the body and self-healing techniques.

Rosicruicans say, “To our knowledge this is the only system that does this.  Understanding the natural laws that govern all realms-physical, mental, emotional, psychic, and spiritual – leads to true prosperity and peace of mind . . . it is a systematic approach to the study of higher ideals that empowers you to find the answers to your questions about the workings of the universe, the interconnectedness of all life, your higher purpose, and how it all fits together.”

Contrary to what many historians believe, the Rosicrucians say the pyramids were not only built to be tombs but were actually places of study and mystical initiation.  These mystery schools gradually evolved into great centers of learning.

Pharaoh Thutmose Ill, who ruled Egypt from 1500 to 1447 BCE, organized the first school of initiates founded upon principles and methods similar to those perpetuated today by Rosicrucians.  The Rosicrucian history moved on to Europe, then crossed the Atlantic gathering numbers of prominent persons: Thesesa of Avila, Issac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Edith Piaf, among them.Pyramid at Night

Not only is the Egytian Museum an exciting way to travel back in time to discover  the mysteries of ancient Egypt, it can be an invitation to apply for on-line membership: www, for application and dues rates.  Aside from dues, no other fees are required, nor is the purchase of books or other materials.

This Museum is one of San Jose’s most popular tourist attractions.  It also has a planetarium that offers various astronomy programs and is always free. Admission to the Museum requires a modest fee.

(Thanks Photo Pin for photos)

Gems for Your Bucket List

Marileen and John

(Marileen Farmer and John Focht  enjoy the day in the grand lobby of the Music Museum in Phoenix, AZ.)

The man was a newly retired social studies teacher.  At a Legends classical country music concert in Mesa, AZ. , I asked what he was doing for fun in his retirement,  and he said, “Visiting all the Presidential libraries.”

Taking his advice for what he thought was one of the best, we headed for the President Ronald Reagan Library in Thousand Oaks, CA.  The huge complex is outside town on top a hill,  Not only did we travel back in time to view history of his presidency, but there was a traveling exhibit taking place with real objects from Pompei’s volcanic eruption.

As we all can appreciate, Italians love wine, women, art and music.  Items from their daily life showed life then at its fullest with lovely homes, gardens with statues.  Those were lovely to see.   A little more difficult was to move onto the sight of their gray-white mummified bodies trying to out-run a volcano.  In a specially-designed room, the huge wall video depicted the volcano blasting towards us: the floor rumbled beneath our feet, smoke filled the air, sounds came from the dying.

On a more sedate note, if you are fascinated with ancient Egypt, the past is artfully created in San Jose, CA., at the Egyptian Museum designed and produced by  Rosicrucian Society members.  You can go down into an Egyptian tomb with drawings on the walls.  You’ll wind along stone corridors to see where a queen rests. In other parts of this museum there are authenticated mummies of people, a few cats and even a trout.Egypian Queen.jpg

Video documentaries of Egypt’s vast past will hold you spell-bound.  The maps and photos of the many dynasties (Cleopatra, queen of the last) reveal how huge the geographical area of their pyramids are along the Nile.  The Museum has been made to match the exact specifications for the ancient buildings, gardens, and layout.  It also gives visitors the sense of how these ancient people, as well as those today, are fascinated by the After Life, Soul and Spirit.  One unique item down in a lower level is a wall display with rungs that capture vibration tones not possible with music.  Dare to sample those frequencies.

Quite the experience.  It’s the belief of the Rosicrucian’s that the pyramids were built to be used for more than tombs, and consider them to be temples to view astrology and to study other mystical events.

The Music Museum is Phoenix is an unusual treat.  Here, you’ll wear ear muffs to delight in music played from all over the world.  As you go up to each display, music begins.  One favorite is that for John Lennon.  Several music groups play segments from his unforgettable “Imagine.”

Like many of my Iowa friends, at the Music Museum I learned that the two persons shown above have multiple talents.  Marileen wrote the composition she was playing when teaching in Saudi Arabia. If John were in Arabia, he’d probably been playing the mandolin in someone’s tent.

If you like movies or stories about the American West, you’d get a kick out of the Museum of the West located in the arts district of Scottsdale, AZ.  The building itself has won many architectural designs.  Even the concrete sidewalk is a path of unique art.  Once inside, there was a traveling exhibit.  We lucked out.  Charlie Russell’s collection of his women of the West was on display.  I once worked and lived in Great Falls, MT.  My little cottage was just up the street from his art studio.20190209_130530

The George Patton Museum may be off the beaten path.  It’s west of Blythe, CA., smack in the middle of the Mohave Desert, a place where he trained U.S. soldiers for combat in North Africa during WWII.  Here you’re find weapons, uniforms, posters, and even a copy of my novel, Lebensborn Secrets, about Himmler’s program that began in l935 for his SS and the Gestapo.

You might like this one for your bucket list: The Superstition Mountain Museum on the Apache Trail outside of Phoenix.   Do take a look at my novel, “Cries in the Desert,” just added to their gift shop.   It’s a tale of could happen even today.  Following a visit here, you might be inspired to take out a mining claim in the Tonto desert and look for Spanish gold.  People still come in droves to hike, a few to prospect.  If you venture far enough out into the desert, you might run across someone working a claim.  Quickly beg their pardon for your intrusion.  In these parts, treasure hunting is taken very seriously.  So march on with your metal detector.

Answers to 4 Questions

woman thinking

Would you like to speak and listen more deeply?  This PhotoPin gal seems to be right on task.  Perhaps she is pondering these questions:

l) Where was I inspired today by someone or something?  That’s easy: by reading Christopher Fulton’s  new book, “The Inheritance,” his story about being caught up in the JFK Assassination conspiracy.  It is not easy reading.  Like many a mystery. it wasn’t who I thought was behind the plotting and killing of the Kennedy brothers.

2) Where today was I surprised?  A few years ago, Bender & Associates presented soil compaction seminars across the nation and into Canada.  Today, I came across a huge photo album I’d put together documenting the many training courses.  The memories came flooding back.  I was so delighted and surprised to discover that I had taken the time and made the effort.  A photo album is so worth the while!

3) Today, where do I find myself being challenged and stretched to grow?  As soon as I finish writing this essay, I’ll be attempting to use a new and different newsletter template.  This is difficult because as I write paragraphs disappear, pages, too.  Where do they hide?  One needs detective skills for those answers.

4) Where today was I troubled or deeply moved by something that came into my life?  No answer to this question; however, the day has just begun.  Perhaps the answer will appear during a gathering of ladies at a luncheon given by Leesa at her “Party House” at Deep Lake.

Life is a mystery.  I am glad every day I have one to live.