An Alternate Massage


Your invitation for massage in a different way. My personal first impression.

A few days ago I didn’t know about a different type of massage.  A woman called.  “I’m new in the area.  My name is Paula.  I’m a masseuse and am calling because you have a Bed and Breakfast and might know people who might be interested.”

She didn’t leave her phone number.  Thinking about having a massage, I asked around and after a few phone calls I found that she lives on the next road over.  We made arrangements for her to bring her table and come over.

As she was opening her table in the living room in front of a blazing fire in the Blaze King stove, I learned quickly the name of the massage in which she specialized. “You won’t need to undress.  I do this when you are fully clad.  You’re wearing sweats and that’s perfect for what I do.”

“You don’t do massage?” I asked with some hesitation as I was already up on top the table. “Oh, I started out doing Swedish but everyone likes this better.”

She began slowly with gentle, subtle touch.  “I do this to reposition your body to have it self-direct from the inside for the bodies self-healing reflexes.  Most people will feel a positive difference after the first session.  Within four sessions, the majority feel up to 80 to l00 % better.

“Most situations where there’s pain or discomfort, I’m able to give some ease almost immediately.”  She demonstrated her technic.  “Notice my bent hand.  Pretend it’s your rib cage.  Suppose my fingers are the ribs and one is out of alignment,” she said as she gentled pushed one finger forward.

“Unlike practitioners who focus on muscles, using strokes to stretch or by deep pressure soften tensions, or, like chiropractors who do manipulations to bring bones and muscles into correct anatomical alignment bringing changes from the outside, I use gentle movements from the inside to help your body understand and remember its inner wisdom.  Patterns that have become progressively ingrained are disentangled.”

Following two of her one-hour sessions, I sense that my once-upon-a-time easy walking stride is returning.  My right arm, weakened severely when I tripped over barbed wire and fell on a patch of ice, is becoming stronger.  Instead of stretching tense muscles, Paula’s subtle movement may give my body the message that will be enough to unleash and reactive joints and muscles and I’ll be able to play tennis again.

Practitioners need 500 hours of study and practice to be licensed.  Orto-Biometry has been around since the l970’s when it was founded by Arthur-Lincoldn Pauls, D.O.

With a little practice, I may even be able to  property say the name of this type of massage: Orto-Biomentry.  I’m glad I’ve told you about my experience.  You, too, might like to try it.

A New Story Begins


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Writers create with words that become stories.  Perhaps we work in the same league as photographers or artists.

The “piece” we create is either read or seen by others.  But who benefits by our efforts?

Who cares if we release what we have created?  I do.  I write to learn, to bring to life characters who will teach me something I unconsciously need to know.

This is especially true now that I’ve begun writing “Ladies of the Ti-Pi,” a story revolving around six country ladies who are Good Samaritans for those facing a difficult time and who need someone to bounce off their ideas or feelings.

At a recent community luncheon, I casually mentioned that I was writing such a story to someone I’d never met before.  She said, “That does sound interesting.”  Another nearby chimed in, “Why that’s just like “The Red Tent,” and she went on to explain that that is a biblical story of when women had conversations during their monthly time in a tent.

Before the second ladies’ innocent comment, the writing of the story of the Ladies was gushing forth, the words tumbling out almost faster than I could write.  What happened to stop this happy time of wondrous writing?

Perhaps I know why.  It’s when I recall what a poetry professor would say to a student who began to tell him something he/she were writing, “Write it!  Don’t tell me.”

Yes, telling can dilute or even stop the process of writing.  Now that I’ve got that all figured out and think I know what stopped the joy of writing, I’m ready again to see what’s happening in the ti-pi, a really juicy time to explore.  (Incidentally, it’s the same kind of ti-pi pictured above that was left behind at the Oliver Ranch by the Casanova Cowboy.  Can’t say more now because his story can’t be released until after my WWII story has been published.)


Facebook Protest


Too much is just too much. Read on.

I must protest.  Facebook asks too much.  Or, is it Facebook friends?  Already I feel bombarded by the increasing numerous diversions of technology.  I’d almost like to find a little cabin in the woods and hide.  But, I can’t.  I’m already living there.

I find that time is NOT my own.  There are too many have-to’s.  The time waster is one I learned about yesterday when driving back from Priest Lake on the radio.  It’s almost unbelievable.  It’s a journey to hell.

Now . . . now.  What can be so shocking, so bad.  It’s now our apparent DUTY to leave a Facebook Legacy, to have a Facebook advocate after death to carry out even more of our last wishes.  That means a streaming record of photos, posts and information should be shared after our death on social media.  STOP!  Life is over, guys. There will be no more REST IN PEACE.  Will our tombstone or ash box carry our Facebook or other chosen media link!

As a practical person, I think that if every person around the world carries out this plan  who is going to have any time at all to work, play, savor, listen, plan or think.

Therefore, my new resolution is to protest this plan.

Must we follow the social media cycles?  Is the new Facebook Legacy a cycle?  I protest. Should the short period of time we each have on earth be to spend it in a way that rarely benefits.   Death is death.  Can’t we leave a legacy of memories?  Without Facebook?

Isn’t a well-written obituary of a life the best end?





How to Do the Right Thing


When starting any day, do the first best thing advises Beverly Greenslade.  That thought probably helped her downsize and move her jam-packed home in Colville, WA., to the Palm Desert area in California with such calm deliberation and ease.

Alexander Green says people are either essentialists or non-essentialists  It’s better to be an essentialist because then you live by choice, not default.  Doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason because you choose to this not that.  An essentialist sees that only a FEW things really matter.

For my artist friend, the talented Gloria de los Santos who just completed the cover art for Lebensborn Secrets, it will be to return home from the hospital to laugh for the last months of her life, dying as she is from a massive brain tumor.  When and if she is able, I hope to share my favorite humorous movie, “Forget Paris.”  Or, perhaps Barbara Thisted who recovers from a stroke, and someone who enjoys telling a good joke, might also enjoy.

An essentialist chooses carefully in order to make maximum contribution to their greatest priority.

Others, the non-essentialists say, “I have to,” believing everything is essential, usually adding something instead of subtracting.  Green warns that those who don’t choose deliberately pursue more and more only never to feel fulfilled as they sacrifice what really matters — time with family and friends, for instance for something in the long run that ends up less — the promotion for example, or accumulating things not needed that have little value.

(Nearly ten percent of American households not only fill their homes and garages but need to rent a storage unit.  That up 65 percent in the last fifteen years.)

Here’s how to know when you are doing the right thing:

l) Decide your best contribution.  What are you particularly good at?  What inspires you?   What are your talents?

2) To achieve what is important, sacrifice what isn’t.  Cut, condense, simplify your daily routine to achieve more by taking out rather than adding more.

LISTENING, PONDERING, SAVORING are good traits of an essentialist.  Give yourself time to do these to increase passion and joy.  I’ll pause today to appreciate the luminosity of the sun upon the land and forest this warm fall day as I send warm thoughts to Gloria and Barbara.

The Brazen American Female Spy


I am awed by this femme-fatale spy and the life she lived before and during WWII.

Men couldn’t help themselves.  They told her secrets.  Women intuitively hated her, but came to her for help.  Her society mother could not control her.

In the photos we see of her today, the intensity and mystery of her green eyes has the force to pull us in with an unbelievable power.  She’s someone we’ll never forget.

British and American intelligence forces before and during WWII gave her the code name: Cynthia.  The achievements of Betty Pack and her dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions remained classified until now.  It’s told by Howard Blum in “The Last Goodbye.”

Betty risked her life to seduce diplomats and military men, leaving a diplomat husband and two children alone and adrift, when she went off to ply a craft she developed with her own intuition and guts.

Blum’s fierce narrative non-fiction only bruises the surface of what truly happened to this extra-ordinary woman who wrote and published a novel at the age of twelve spelling out what one day she’d do.

She used not only her wit and beauty but her journalistic skills to live a life of high intrigue.  As I read of her accomplishments and the few letters that she wrote and he included — her words direct, inviting, compelling and captivating — I could only wish that Blum might have included more such letters so I could feel her authentic voice.

Betty, or Elizabeth, as she sometimes called herself, experienced life and the feeling of being truly alive.  She had ardor and passion but she always wanted something more, according to Blum, her biographer.  She never felt content or at peace.  So many times she sensed love, but it never lasted and she’d go on to the next.

Maybe you can’t have it all.








Let’s Go Hiking




Hiking can be the pause that refreshes. Today we are off to find Silver Creek campground trailhead to Abcromby Mountain, a tower we can see from the Lazy Bee.

The air is especially fresh this lovely late summer day.  We’ll take a thermos of homebrewed soup, dust off a log somewhere along the trail and breathe in the fragrance of earth, sky and tall pine trees.

We’ll be looking for late blooming mullein stalks.  Their bright yellow flowers are late this year.  On top their stalks we are hoping to find the flowers in full bloom and bring them home to start an herbal tea which relieves coughing.

Family and friends take time out of their busy lives to clear their minds by going on hikes.  Suzy, Teri, Brady, Nathanial, Jack and Claire recently flew to Hawaii and found themselves caught on a cliff during a hurricane.  Fortunately, they came across a hiker’s shelter to spend the night.

In Iowa, John and Judy Focht watch for a tornado as they hike.  Mainly, the photos they share are of tranquil Iowa scenes.  Once an Iowa resident, I always loved the Pike’s Peak Park trails above the little town of McGregor near the Mississippi River.

Our favorite hike was in Glacier National Park.  A reservation was made for Sperry Lodge early in the spring for a fall hike thirty miles across mountains to reach this remote lodge.  You got there by foot or by horseback.  The narrow and twisting paths brought us eyeball to eyeball with white mountain goats.  Fortunately, the only grizzly bear was down below in a valley.

There are many hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest and you can see awesome views, or just relax on a well-maintained path to let your brain relax so that your brain restores some prefrontal cortex mediated executive processes.

In other words, hiking is good mental exercise.  Tests show there is an advantage to spending time unplugging from technology and getting outside in nature to be among forests, fields and skies.


Beauty of an Indian Pow Wow

A Pow Wow is Beauty of Spirit.

The sacred beauty, offered by Native Americans, is enjoyed by us as book vendors at a recent Pow Wow.

It was a fine time to be out of doors sitting at our vendor book booth.  The air in Riverfront Park, Spokane, WA., showed off late August breezes at their finest, the  hearty drumming coming from below felt amazingly soothing, the dancers passing by in their exquisite regalia as they went down to the sacred circle were a joy to see.

One intuits a pace of life here so relaxed that everything happening becomes easy with little effort.

This place, this Pow Wow, taking up the whole of this huge park in downtown, from dummers to dancers to booth vendors, was a time not to rush, because any problem coming up seemed to melt away.  The only rule was that any vehicle coming or going had to be escorted by security. We asked if we could camp behind our booth.  No problem.  Neither were we held to any schedule of when we must be at our display.

This  well-organized happening caused to me to question why it all seemed so tranquil.  Could it be the layers of stress in which we all exist?

There is the stress we lay upon ourselves as we frantically work to check off our to-do-lists.  Then, there is another layer of how we perceive the small group in which we find ourselves expect us to be (our fellow vendors and the Native Americans running and organizing the show).

The third layer would be the total community spirit.  In San Miguel d’Alende, Mexico, one hundred miles or so north of Mexico City high in the mountains, we’ve experienced a similar ease as at this Pow Wow.  Pace of life all happenings flow slower, easier; consequently become more enjoyable and relaxing.

It was a great week end.  We met many Native Americans and heard many ancestor stories. We made new friendships and will remember fondly the best reason for writing the books we do.   It’s just like my Dad told me, “You’ll never make much money being a writer.  But, if you enjoy doing so, you’ll have a good life.”

A Study of Seduction


Cowboy Casanova is finished.   Throughout the story, he stands tall, his legs with a slight bow, a smile that never fails to turn a rotten situation better. As women appear in his life, I studied seduction to understand the secret behind his charisma.

It starts thousands of years ago when power was mainly won by physical violence and maintained by men with their brute strength.

The king or emperor had to be merciless.  Most men followed the king’s example.  I wondered what was a woman to do?  The way the world worked, she had no weapon that would make a man do what she wanted.

However, she learned that if she could lure a man away from war, politics, or in the case of Casanova Cowboy away from his helter-skelter way of life, and IF she could get him to spend time in her world, she could entice him with what she had to offer.

King David, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony all became slaves of clever women like Bathsheba, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra ( in Casanova Cowboy’s life, it is Alexis).  They dazzle with their appearances and lifestyles and tease a man’s imagination.

I discovered that a woman can work on a man’s mind by keeping him wanting more of her elevated moods (such a Stormy with her playful emotions and ideas).  To plan and create enchantment, find ways to get inside their world, to see it with their eyes and in that way learn what makes them tick.

She realizes men are vulnerable to visual, women to words.  Women have the power to draw people with their character, their words, and the ability to stir emotions.  Some men are easier studies than others.

Chiefly, however, most men have one weakness – sex.  This is mainly true except in the case of Casanova Cowboy.  But you have to read his story to underway why that is so.

But, it will be some time before his story can be told.  Another of my novels, that of a French girl during WWII, is being republished under a new title and cover.  Lebensborn Secrets is soon off to the publisher.  There’s a lot of seduction in this story, too, although it’s more a study of Nazi public relations and how they  dazzled and held the world in fear for so many years.





Eyes of Wonder


Once upon a time there was a little boy.  He was clutching the dollar in his little hand in a  dollar store trying to decide which toy to buy.

He spots a pair of lacy wings and asks his mother, “I want these and I want to wear these now.” He was so anxious.

His mother suggests that once they get home it would be a good time for her to attach the wings.

In the car going home, he holds onto them so carefully.  Inside the house his mother fastens them onto his back.  She begins to put away the groceries as he runs into the living room.

She hears his little feet patter to the sofa.  Then a big thud, silence and then sobs as the lad cries with heartbroken sobs, “They didn’t work.”

It dawns on his mother that he really thought he could fly.  There was no doubt in her mind that she’d seen him picturing himself in the dragon wings soaring through the air.

“All I know,” said the mother, “When I collected him in my arms and told him that the wings were pretend and they wouldn’t work, he’d lost a little of childlike wonder for the world.

“There are moments that steal your joy in life, the things that jade the way you perceive the world, making you realize that all things aren’t possible, that you are limited.  I told him that he would be happy again, but I knew that now there was a little chink in his armor, a spot weakened.

“If in that moment I could have made him wings that would fly, I would have made a pair of the best wings hopes and dreams could build.  Yes, he’s only four but I would have done it even it he flew into a power pole, got hurt and I’d end up hearing a doctor say, “Why would you give wings to a four year old?”

This is a true story and one that I hope my son Tony will read to my Grandson David.  I wonder what David will say after he hears what happened to the boy who wanted wings to fly.

What wings are you thinking about wearing today?








Shale Drilled Ethane Goes by Ship




A few years ago when fracking came into the news, economists became enthusiastic about the great potential for the U.S. to ship oil and its by-products to other countries.  It had potential for making the U.S. even greater by providing fuel independence.  We’d be more an exporter instead of importer.

Now, the first ship has arrived in the Houston, TX., Ship Channel.  It will be the first ship to carry ethane from a Gulf Coast terminal.  It’s owner is Enterprise which has a new ethane facility in Texas and is ready to begin shipping..

The extracted by-product, HGL, is in demand for the manufacture of plastics and other products. When fracking made the U.S. natural gas supplies abundant, it also made cheap ethane available.

HGL is made of methane, propane, butane, isobutene, natural gas, refinery olefins and ethane.  There are several petrochemical plants and export facilities in the U.S. being built right now to increase the amounts of ethane extracted from natural gas.

Begin watching for these new ships transporting natural gas and its by-products.  When all the new petrochemical and export plants are working in 2018, it is expected to increase the demand.  Ethane production is expect to increase to 1.5 million barrels a day by the end of next year.