"Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever." - Author Unknown.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Last night, alone, 
he saw the rising moon set silver fires among his stalks of corn
and watched the tassels burn like candlewicks. 
At dawn he saw the noisy crows return. 
They know him for a friend, 
this man of sticks in boots that dangle just above the dirt, 
the handle of a rake shoved through his shirt.
On summer days when grass around him sways 
like wave that follows wave upon the ocean, 
I've seen him shake, a dancer on a stake, 
as if he feels a music in the motion. 
And once I saw his round astonished eyes observe 
with more than painted-on surprise 
a black snake flow like water down a hole, 
and heard him sing upon his wooden pole.

~ Unkown

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Roasted Dandelion Root “Coffee”

Roasted Dandelion Root “Coffee”Iris flourish

When brewed properly, dandelion root coffee closely resembles the rich flavor of traditional coffee, and it contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
  1. Gather:
    One 5-gallon bucket of dandelion roots (to yield about 10 gallons of coffee).
  2. Prepare the Roots:
    To wash the roots, fill the bucket with water and agitate the roots with your hands. Pour off the muddy water and repeat this process a few times until the water runs clear and you have a pile of luscious golden roots. Don’t worry if there’s still some dirt left on them—you’ll wash them again after chopping. With a sturdy knife, cut the roots into chunks. Put these into a large bowl (or sink), fill with water, then rub the roots and rinse until clean. Drain until fairly dry or pat with a towel. Chop about 2 cups of root chunks at a time in your food processor until they’re chopped into small, coarse bits.
  3. Roasting the Roots:
    Spread the coarsely ground roots on cookie sheets about 1/2-inch thick. Place as many sheets as you can fit into your oven, set at 250°F, and leave the oven door slightly ajar to let moisture escape. The roasting process takes about 2 hours. Stir frequently and rotate the cookie sheets occasionally to ensure even drying and roasting. As the roots dry, they’ll shrink and darken to a rich coffee color—but be careful not to let them burn. Cool completely and store in glass jars. Flavorful additions such as anise, cinnamon, ginger, and carob can be added if you like.
  4. Brewing the Coffee:
    You can either grind the roots in a coffee mill and brew in a coffee pot, or you can place the coarsely ground roots in a tea infuser and boil in a pot of water. Use 1 tablespoon of roasted roots for each cup of water (1/3 cup per quart of water). Adjust to your taste if you like it stronger or weaker. Add a dash of cream and sugar if you like, and enjoy a steaming cup of Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gypsy Window Hanging, Thingy, Whatyoumightcallitmacallit

I spent a couple of days trying to work out my design for 'this'.  I had an idea of what I wanted so I toyed with it and this is what I came up with.  I love it! I have never fallen in love with any of my own pieces of  * cough (ahem) 'art' but I love, love, love this one.  I might actually have to clean my bedroom window and hang it up because I can't stop looking at it.

A closer view of the wired wrapped glass discs

It looks so pretty and enchanting when the sun light fliters through and in some places bounces off the discs and crystals.  The Copper pipes and brass bells sound magical. *sigh*

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One of My Baubles

Turquoise Beads wrapped with stainless steel wire, the Toggle & dangling Leaf are Pewter.  The bracelet measures 7.5 inches long.

This bracelet is wrapped by hand, one bead at time so although I tried  it is not perfectly symmetrical. It's sturdy, stainless steel wire is pretty strong and should never tarnish.

I am a self taught, non-professional jewelry maker and this is one of my first pieces. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. "Your son is here," she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's 

limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused.

Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her, "Who was that man?" he asked.

The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.

"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman's Name? "

The nurse with tears in her eyes answered, "Mr. William Grey........."

The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.

Story from our friends at Operation Ooh-Rah

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Show Off Ant

Oh sure,  if I had a 3-part segmented body and long skinny legs I'm sure I could do that too.


A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
~ Proverbs 12:10

I am an Agnostic, but if I did believe in God, I would say that 'Dog', not 'Man' is His 'Magnum Opus'. It is my opinion that Dogs are the most 'God-like' creatures on earth. They are the epitome of Unconditional Love, forgiving of the most heinous wrongs inflicted on them at the hands of Man. Dogs are loyal far beyond any earthly definition of 'loyalty' -And-  what is most intriguing is 'God' spelled backwards is 'Dog'. Coincidence....? Somehow I don't think so....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I have this whole other life going on inside my head, where I don't slay dragons, I make friends with them.....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tree of Life Pendent

This tutorial will show you, in detail, how to create the wire-wrapped Tree of Life Ornament shown in the image above. My goal with these instructions is to be very thorough, yet easy to understand. Let's get started!
  1. 1
    Step 1
    First, gather all of the supplies you'll need for the project. You'll want to get the following items:
    *6mm beads and smaller, including seed beads (see next image)
    *A 4-inch metal ring
    *Two (2) pairs of needle nose pliers
    *A pair of wire cutting pliers
    *Twelve (12) 12-inch strands of 24-gauge wire
  2. 2
    Step 2
    This photo shows the variety of beads used for this particular ornament, including the following:
    4mm pearls, 4mm glass rectangle beads, 2 sizes of seed beads, 4mm crystals, 6mm & 4mm faceted glass rounds, and 6mm shaped glass beads.
  3. 3
    Step 3
    Take one strand of the wire and thread it through the wire ring, making sure the 2 sides are even. Wrap each side around the ring twice for a total of four coils. Make sure they are pulled tight around the ring. See image.
  4. 4
    Step 4
    Repeat step 2 with the remaining 11 wires. Pull all wires to one side of the ring and verify the coils are nice and tight and close together.
  5. 5
    Step 5
    Start on one side of the wires and begin braiding the first 3 strands. You'll want to create a braid that is approximately 1-inch. Once braided, flip up and move on to the next 3 strands. Continue this process until all wires have been braided. You should end up with 8 braids.
  6. 6
    Step 6
    Gather the braids as shown in this photo and begin to twist them together.
  7. 7
    Step 7
    Twist up a little ways until you're ready to separate your first branch. Take 2-4 strands, depending on how thick you want this branch to be, and separate it from the group of wires.
  8. 8
    Step 8
    Repeat Step 6 until you have the beginnings of a tree with many branches and all of your wires have been used. Personally, I like to split my tree in two at some point and then separate the branches again.
  9. 9
    Step 9
    Now twist these branches, just like you did the big group of wires, but don't twist them to the ring...yet. You'll want to also start breaking your larger branches into smaller ones. See the picture for ideas on how to break down branches. This is when you'll need to twist the branches to within about 1/4"-1/2" from the ring.
  10. 10
    Step 10
    Separate the individual wires and make sure they are some-what distributed evenly around the ring. NOTE: If you've twisted the wires too far, do not un-twist them! They will probably break later on! Instead put bends in the branches; this use more wire and pull them towards the center of the ring. (see the final image to see how I did this.)
  11. 11
    Step 11

    Add a bead or beads to the first wire next to the roots. Wrap the wire around the ring once (see image).
  12. 1

    Step 12

    Add another bead to this wire. Wrap again and add another bead. This is to cover the ring from view and make it appear to just be beads. Finish this branch by wrapping it around the ring 3 times, clip off the excess, and pinch tight with pliers.
  13. 13
    Step 13
    Repeat Step 11 for the remaining wires on this branch. Push the finished section tight against the roots. This will make room for the rest of your branches.
  14. 14
    Step 14
    Repeat steps 11 and 12 on the other side of the roots. Continue repeating these two steps, changing sides after each branch.
  15. 15
    Step 15
    Continue this process for the rest of your branches and remember to push them tight against the roots. The last couple branches will be the most difficult because you'll be running out of room on your ring, but this is good because you'll have a nice full tree.
  16. 16
    1. Pendant Size Tree: If you need to make a smaller Tree of Life for a pendant or even a tiny one for earrings, you'll simply want to use a smaller ring and also decrease the number of wires used. Just remember, you'll always want to have a multiple of three (3, 6, 9...) because you'll be braiding the roots of the tree.
    2. Adding charms: If you'd like to add charms to your tree, just add them while your twisting the branches or before you add beads to the branch, depending on where you want the charm to hang.
    3. Fuller Trees: If you prefer the fuller looking trees, don't twist the branches as close to the edge as I did here. You're beads will then thread closer to the center of the tree and it will appear fuller. The style in this tutorial is just a personal preference of appearance.
Latest versions

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

The oak represents courage and endurance and the protective power of faith. The tree's noble presence and nurturing habit reassured ancient peoples that, with the good will of their gods, their leader, and their warriors, they could prevail against all odds. As the Tree of the Dagda, the oak offers protection and hospitality without question, although its true rewards are only apparent to the honest and brave. The ancient Celts deplored lies and cowardice. To be judged mean spirited could result in exclusion from the clan, which was one of the most shameful and most feared of all possible punishments. Like the oak, we would do well to receive without prejudice all those who seek our help, sharing what we have without resentment or reservation. The oak reminds us all that the strength to prevail, come what may, lies in an open mind and a generous spirit. Inflexibility, however, is the oak's one weakness and the tree is prone to lose limbs in storms. The oak therefore carries the warning that stubborn strength that resists will not endure and may break under strain.

 Every house has a front door.
If you wish to enter, the door must be approached and your presence made known. The door may then be opened. The very word "door" comes from the Gaelic and Sanskrit "duir" - a word for solidity, protection and the Oak tree. In the essential forest, the Oak is King. He stands mightily solid with great branches, matched only by still greater roots. He is often struck by lightning. The force of the strike and the heat bursts the sap and stem apart leaving the trunk gnarled and withered. Yet he still manages to survive, over the years, decades and centuries. His growth is slow but sure. His children grow into magnificent replicas of himself and he is a marker point, a cornerstone and a refuge in the forest.

The Non-Conformist

Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out.  ~Unknown
Seemly realistic expectations, assumed logical progression, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement: these are the traits that a nonconformist does not possess. While the rest of the world moves like clockwork doing the things they despise in order to get the things they want, the nonconformist focuses on his own hard and fast rules of life.
Nonconformists are rebels, nonconformists are innovators, and, most of all, nonconformists never give up: their ultimate dreams of success are at stake if they do. They also understand that hard work is universal because no matter what profession you take up (whether it’s a job you hate or a job you like), without commitment, no dream of theirs will ever come to fruition.
So at this point, you may be thinking, “Cool! I want to defy social norms to chase and achieve my dreams too. But John, how do I get started?”
That’s why I’m here, right? In order to become a successful nonconformist, you must implement and master 7 important steps. Are you ready for this?

1. Take the path less beaten

How are you going to stand out if everyone is on the same path? Millions of workers continue on in the rat race everyday, hoping for that sweet payoff history tells us that we’re going to get. Well, let me teach you a bit of history: times change. What worked in the past doesn’t work as well in the present. We go through the same stages of life (school, work, retirement) in the hope that we will one day reach our dreams, but we never do. That is why we must have the courage to do something else; to do something different and unique so we can achieve success that much faster.

2. Value opinions that are different from yours

Notable nonconformist, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said that we tend to value more those with similar opinions to ours than those whose opinions are different. Instead, we should have an open mind and value everyone’s opinions equally. It sounds crazy to a close-minded person that you can make thousands of dollars online instead of by working under someone else for years as an employee, but open their mind and it all becomes possible. It is better to think about what those differences in opinion mean instead of closing your mind altogether.

3. Find AND follow your passion

Most people don’t know what their passion is and decide early on that there’s no point in finding it. It’s unfortunate, because those that DO find their passion, eventually use it as fuel in their life’s work. Those who are the most successful not only find their passion, but follow it to the end. Bill Gates had a passion for computers, started following it early on and now he’s very well off. Tony Robbins had a passion for inspiring people, and now he’s successful as well. Get it yet? Find and follow your passion.
4. Give before you get
As I’ve said earlier, a sense of entitlement isn’t a good habit to cultivate. Whether you want a job, a business, or you just want a personal favor, you must always give before you receive anything. A lot of people tend to just blatantly ask for opportunities. Always follow the “giving mentality”: When applying for a job, what can you bring to the company? When starting a business, what problem can you solve? When asking for a favor, what have you done for that person first?
Focus on giving value, and the rest you seek will follow.

5. Aim unrealistically

When you aim high, the sky is the limit. There really is no downside to aim just a bit out of your perception. The onlookers will tell you that you’ll never reach it. But that’s a good thing. Let that drive your enduring effort to excel at your passion. Who knows? While aiming for the moon, you might land among the stars.

6. Embrace your uniqueness

By chance, let’s say that you disregard my advice and decide conforming is easier. But try as you might to conform, deep down you know that you are a different person. You must embrace the fact that you are different to truly stand out from the crowd. So what if you still have an obsession with Sesame Street? Say it proud and say it loud! In the end, the only happiness you can control is your own. It’s much more difficult to deny who you are than it is to accept yourself.

7. Take up responsibility for your own life

This is probably the most important step on this list. To accept responsibility for where your life goes means to accept all of your shortcomings as yours and yours alone. Do you want to live like the rest, working for money instead of working for enjoyment? Working for mere things, instead of experiences? Make your own decision and don’t let anyone else decide for you. Take the path less traveled where you’ll have no idea where you’ll end up; because you know where you’ll be if you follow the crowd.

John Anyasor is a college student (like everybody else) but he’s taking advantage of the opportunities he has there by pursuing his interests and testing assumptions. He writes on his personal development blog, HiLife2B. There, he gives challenges readers’ minds on life and its improvement. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Characteristics of eccentric persons

credit to: http://www.gnomesondope.com/?s=eccentric&search=Search

On Being Eccentric

A profile emerged with fifteen characteristics that applied to most eccentric persons, ranging from the obvious to the trivial. We found that an eccentric may be described in the following ways, more or less in descending order of frequency. Gnomes On Dope (G.O.D.) ( Quoting from research by Dr. David Weeks)

Characteristics of eccentric persons

  • Nonconforming
  • Creative
  • Strongly motivated by curiosity
  • Idealistic: wants to make the world a better place and the people in it happier
  • Happily obsessed with one or more hobbyhorses (usually five or six)
  • Aware from early childhood that he is different
  • Intelligent
  • Opinionated and outspoken, convinced that he is right and that the rest of the world is out of step
  • Noncompetitive, not in need of reassurance or reinforcement from society
  • Unusual in his eating habits and living arrangements
  • Not particularly interested in the opinions or company of other people, except in order to persuade them to his – the correct – point of view
  • Possessed of a mischievous sense of humor
  • Single
  • Usually the eldest or an only child
  • Bad speller
The first five characteristics listed here are the most important and apply to virtually every eccentric. Nonconformity is, of course, the principal defining trait of the breed.
A profile emerged

with fifteen characteristics that applied to most eccentrics, ranging from the obvious to the trivial. We found that an eccentric may be described in the following ways, more or less in descending order of frequency. ( Quoting from research by Dr. David Weeks)
Less likely to be addicted to consumer culture than the general population.
Very unlikely to be substance abusers or alcoholics. Dr. David Weeks “fewer than 30 of the more than 1,000 eccentrics he sampled had been substance abusers or alcoholics.”
Nonconformity, extreme curiosity and irreverence for the strictures of culture continually resurface as the most distinguishable eccentric traits , and these are indeed qualities that most of us consider admirable.
  • They’re permanently non-conforming from a very early age, and there’s a great overlap between eccentric children and gifted children. They develop differently, though.
  • The eccentrics become very, very creative but they’re motivated primarily by curiosity. They have extreme degrees of curiosity, and they’re very independent-minded.
  • Their other motivation is fairly idealistic. They want to make the world a better place, and they want to make other people happy.
  • They have these happy obsessive preoccupations, and a wonderful, unusual sense of humor, and this gives them a significant meaning in life. And they are far healthier than most people because of that.
  • They have very low stress. They’re not worried about conforming to the rest of society, low stress, high happiness equates with psychological health.
  • They use their solitude very constructively, and physical health, because of that.
  • They only visit their doctors perhaps once every eight or nine years, which is about twenty times less than most of us do. (David Weeks)
  • “Time and again, the eccentrics in our study clearly evinced that shining sense of positivism and buoyant self-confidence that comes from being comfortable in one’s own skin.” Dr. David Weeks.
The ongoing creativity of the eccentric is far more enduring and permanent and they draw from their inner wealth of experience, and actually it’s the people who are eccentric who have the most vivid dreams who turn out to be the most original thinkers, and they’re the only people in the world that I know of who have both vivid dreams at night, when they’re asleep, and also a vivid visual imagination by day.
One of the most common misconceptions about eccentricity is that it is a mild form of madness-in other words, that eccentric behavior is a symptom of mental illness.

Especially great care must be taken to distinguish between eccentricity and neurosis, lest we commit the error the authors of that psychiatric textbook warned us against. While it is true that the behavior of neurotics is also aberrant, there is an enormous qualitative difference between the two. Neurotics are repetitively dysphoric: they suffer from panic attacks, phobias, and high anxiety levels on account of their differentness, and therefore they want to be cured. Neurosis is often thrust upon the sufferer from the outside; it is an unwanted difficulty in life.
Eccentricity, on the other hand, is taken on at least partly by free choice, and is something positive and pleasurable to the individual. Simply put, neurotics are miserable because they think they’re not as good as everyone else, while eccentrics know they’re different and glory in it. An eccentric knows he is right and, far from wanting to change his ways, is likely to wish to convert everyone else to his way of thinking.
An even more essential distinction needs to be drawn between eccentricity and psychosis, though it may sometimes seem a blurry one to the lay observer. One common trait of eccentrics is that they often experience mental images that are more vivid than those of normal people. Some extreme eccentrics have visions, which is a not uncommon symptom of schizophrenia. The important distinction is that the schizophrenic has no control over his visions and the voices he hears: they intrude themselves upon him forcibly and give rise to a terrifying sensation of powerlessness.
The eccentric, on the other hand, is likely to find his visions a source of delight, and he has much more control over them. The psychotic state severely disrupts thought processes, leaving the person dysfunctional, whereas the brain of an eccentric usually functions perfectly well-it just does so in peculiar and largely unknown (but not unknowable) ways.
Eccentricity can also mimic certain personality disorders, as illustrated by two examples.
First, in cases of hysterical personality disorder the patient sometimes behaves flamboyantly, drawing attention to himself in public in extravagant, histrionic ways.
Second, a person with a schizoid personality prefers to be on his own, showing an extreme aversion to groups, a tendency that usually results in a remarkable concentration on strange, obsessive hobbies. The traits of both these disorders may be detected in the behavior of some eccentrics. While many eccentrics are known for their flamboyant public personalities (Emperor Norton) being one excellent example) and others have obsessive hobbies, the same fundamental distinction must be made: the person suffering from the personality disorder is dysfunctional and ordinarily has little choice in the matter, while for the eccentric it is a positive, pleasurable experience.
A schizoid person and an eccentric might both become obsessive butterfly collectors, say, but whereas the schizoid will do anything to satisfy the compulsion to collect, and may feel threatened on all sides by impediments to his collecting, for the eccentric it will be a source of delight, an avocation to which he freely devotes time and energy. The one is reactive, bringing stress to himself and to others; the other is creative and joyful.
We should emphasize at the outset that even though eccentricity is not a form of mental illness, eccentric people have no special immunity from diseases of the mind. Just as you would expect in any large group of people, regardless of how it was chosen, some of the subjects in the study suffered from mental illnesses. Yet we found by administering standard diagnostic tests that eccentric persons actually have a higher general level of mental health than the population at large. Original thinking, it seems, may be better for you than dull conformity.
We love eccentric people , and yet we are profoundly ambivalent about them. Our collective imagination is piqued by the bizarre behavior of someone like Howard Hughes, the richest man in the world (or close enough), who lived the last days of his life like a mystical hermit. We are fascinated by them, yet we may also be simultaneously repelled and threatened.
Eccentric persons have thrown off the constraints of normal life to let themselves do exactly as they please-and anyone who doesn’t like it be damned. The rest of us are vaguely unsettled by that degree of freedom. Why should we continue to groom ourselves properly and comport ourselves according to social convention, while those who flout convention seem to be having the time of their life, and also, in many cases, enjoying perfect health and great personal and professional success?
That ambiguity reflects society’s ambivalence toward anyone who is different. Most of us have made peace with people who are of a different race or religion, with homosexuals, with the very short or very fat, but it is an uneasy peace, whether or not we admit it. There is something deep inside that yearns to be reassured that we are “right,” and those who are fundamentally different threaten that inner conservative streak.
Eccentric persons are especially troubling to us because they cannot be easily pigeonholed, and often pass unnoticed among the rest of us, for while some eccentrics proclaim their differences by bizarre dress and grooming, most do not.
Yet it is precisely that serendipitous aspect of eccentricity that delights us. We love the idea of encountering the outlandish and whimsical in our lives, even though we may fear to find it in ourselves.
Creativity is at the heart of eccentricity.
One of the principal reasons eccentric persons continually challenge the established order is because they want to experiment, to try out new ways of doing things. That quality is most conspicuous in artists and scientists, who are significantly more likely to be eccentric than the rest of us. The study included seventy five artists, whose lives are, obviously, devoted to creative activity, as well as many inventors, who use their brainpower to bring into existence entirely new and presumably useful machines. But some of our eccentric persons were driven, it seems, not by traditional aesthetic or scientific impulses but rather by a powerful need to create in its purest, generalized form.

Closely allied to creativity is the eccentric persons intense curiosity. Most eccentric people told us that they first became aware that they were different from everyone else when they were children, because they were constantly searching for underlying answers. When they asked their parents “Why?” they were never content with “Just because,” and even less happy with “Because I said so.”
Curiosity is the only human motivation that is primarily intellectual; some psychologists call it the intrinsic motivation, because the process of discovery is its own reward. All of us are curious about some things, perhaps intensely curious, but if it becomes too difficult to find the answer, our interest will gradually fade.
For the eccentric, however, finding out the answer becomes an obsession. The nineteenth-century British naturalist Charles Waterton, while conducting research in the South American rain forest, spent several months sleeping with a foot dangling out of his hammock, in the hope of experiencing the bite of a vampire bat. He was, he said, “frightfully disappointed” to be left untouched by “the provoking brutes.” Waterton has also been plausibly described as the first man to wear a crew cut.

an eccentric observation

“Psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies, as well as the insurance industry, have a vested interest in diagnosis and treatment. There’s a whole corporate system that propels people into treatment and rewards those who think in terms of treatment paradigms for individuals where the actual problem is not in the individual, necessarily, but in the culture itself.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears.” Thoreau
“Being eccentric helps to cope with an insane the world” ~Hardly Himself