Tag Archives: survivor

Catch Up Mondays: Mindfulness – Revisited

This was originally posted on August 6, 2012.  I have passed this book on and wish I had kept it for myself.  I guess I will order myself another copy.

About a year ago I saw Goldie Hawn featured on the Dr. Oz television show.  They were discussing a book she had recently written, “10 Mindful Minutes”.  Goldie Hawn had started the Hawn Foundation to support research into developing ways of helping children become healthy and eager learners who can reach their full potential.  A program developed by her foundation, MindUP is used by educators around the world to teach children how their minds work and how their thoughts and feelings affect their behavior.  It gives them tools to help deal with stress, negative feelings, calm their minds, remain focused and develop compassion and empathy for others to ultimately be happy themselves.  I ordered the book thinking it could be just as helpful for adults like me suffering with environmental illness and the depression and isolation it can cause.

The book arrived and I opened it up eager to start reading.  Just as quickly I put it down because I couldn’t stay focused.  I have learned that for me it is best not to force a book (especially one dealing with health and emotional healing) on myself.  When the time is right, I will pick it up.  All I could manage to read during the time were my mystery novels and biographies,  books that took me away from my life rather than forcing me to deal with it.

One night I was lying in bed too tired to be up, too awake to be sleeping and not wanting to watch a movie.  I attempted to sleep.  As I turned to lay my glasses on the night table, 10 Mindful Minutes was there where I had placed it months before.  I picked up the book and started reading.  I found it difficult to put down.

I learned that I needed to be more present in my life, practice mindful sensing (taste, sight, hearing and touch) and the importance of being positive.  I learned more about the brain and the “fight or flight” signals and how easily we can be hijacked by the amygdala in the brain.

The one thing that I know I need to do but am having a hard time getting started so that it becomes a routine is allowing myself ten mindful minutes where I sit and breathe and there are no other distractions.  It is probably the easiest thing to do but the hardest to discipline myself into doing.  Maybe now that I have said it and put it in writing, I can conquer it.

While the book is written with parents in mind for helping their own children grow and be a happier person, I think it is well worth reading for everyone.

Homelessness Part 2 (Not so graphic, but not for the squeamish)

Hello All.  Daughter left yesterday and I am crammed the rest of the week with doctor appointments and my dear granddaughter’s birthday.  I will be a little more present the rest of the week and hopefully back in full swing by next week.  In the meantime, I am posting Part 2 of Vanessa’s five-part series on surviving homelessness.

This is the second in a five-part series by my friend at Planet Thrive on surviving homelessness.  In this post, Vanessa talks about food, water, and hygiene.

(my current digs, one person bivy tent with tarp)

Food, Water and Hygiene

This is a continuation of the blog post on June 1st.  These are difficult topics to cover since I have found almost every person is different with respects to diet, containers used for storage, etc.

Food:  Since I spend a majority of my time in the woods, my diet consists mostly of canned foods and dried foods so they do not spoil.  I have a small insulated cooler when I do get produce, but the ice melts fast and I have to eat the food within 2-3 days otherwise I will risk a food borne illness.  Because of my space limitations in the car I cannot have a plug-in cooler or a larger one, it’s just not practical.  Some things to consider when looking at keeping perishables:

* If you opt for some kind of plug in cooler you need to keep track of your usage otherwise you will completely drain your car battery.  I have gone through three batteries since 2009 just from charging my cell phone, laptop and camera batteries.

* Keep your cooler from direct sunlight to keep the ice from melting too fast.  It is best to cover them in blankets when possible; clothing is ok but not optimal.

*Always clean you cooler after every use and wipe down with whatever you use as an antiseptic.  I use Dr. Bronners Sal Suds and then wipe down with 80 proof vodka (40% alcohol).

I try to keep my dry foods light and quick to cook.  For example, you will use at least half a canister of propane to cook dried beans.  Canned kidney beans cook in just 5-10 minutes.  Raw potatoes (red or white) need to be boiled for about 15 minutes, not including the time it takes to heat the water to boiling. Forget about fresh meat unless you have at least one and a half canisters to do this properly.  Canisters can be expensive running about $2.50 per generic brand canisters.  These can be purchased virtually anywhere from Kmart to Wal-Mart to any hardware store (if you can tolerate them).  I also have a small Snowpeak, Gigapeak backpacking stove.  This is extremely valuable and necessary for survival in remote areas and is not a luxury.  Many times weather conditions are so bad that a regular kitchen cannot be set up.  When the weather is cold you desperately need hot fluids at the very least to keep you warm (and keep your morale up).  A backpacking stove can be set in small sheltered areas like rocks, downed logs, behind snowdrifts, large trees or you can build a small wind break out of limbs and boughs and rocks.  I have to add the following disclaimer:  DO NOT use your back packing stove near grass, bushes or other dry material in the spring, summer and fall.  You need to clear an area around the stove free of combustibles to prevent starting a forest fire.  Portable propane stoves can be one burner or up to four.  The larger stoves however take larger propane tanks, not bottles, and would not be practical for stowing in the car.  I have a cheap knockoff of Coleman called “Century” that my Mom got from a garage sale.  That would be the best thing is to get a lightly used stove from a garage sale.  If you need to buy new there are many generic brands that are just as good as Coleman.  Here is what you need to look for:

*   Portability and weight.  Will the stove fit in your car and be easy to retrieve, especially when you are not feeling well.

* Easy to use.  A portable stove should be easy to set up and take down with as few components as possible.

* Durability.  The Century stove I have has a lid that lifts up vertical with two metal “wings” on each side to provide some protection from the wind.  The metal is mostly painted aluminum with a steel grate.  It’s been holding up nicely.

Affordability.  Do shop around a little bit and see what is out there.  Online you can check out Campmor, Cabelas, Sierra Trading post and some of the outdoor outfitters like REI, North Face, MSR and Snowpeak.  I’ve found buying the backpacking stove, esp. MSRs, can be affordable in outdoor sporting goods stores.  I have also seen them in army surplus stores.

I also carry trioxylene tablets in my backpack/go bag.  These are sterno type tablets that ignite quickly and burn very hot.  You can use these in extreme circumstances by placing the tablet on a non-combustible surface (ie. rock) and use a small aluminum container (about 1-1 ½ cup) to heat water or cook canned soup or noodles.  These do not last very long so whatever is being cooked needs to be non-perishable food.  The trioxylene tablets were (and might still be) used in the military to cook MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) in small aluminum containers the soldiers carry.  In dire circumstances you can also use them to start a campfire.  Yes, these are more than likely toxic, but you always need a contingent plan should you get stranded and your fuel canisters run out.  These are available in most army surplus stores and maybe some outfitting/outdoor stores.

As for pots and pans, I have a mix of aluminum (I know, gasp, aluminum but I am not cooking acidic foods most of the time) to high-end titanium.  It’s best to get small to medium size pots because they heat faster, requiring less fuel and you’ll need one that fits on you backpacking stove.  Again, places to find these are the local outdoor stores, REI, Campmor, Sierra Trading Post, North Face, MSR, etc.

Here is a partial list of what is in my pantry:

Canned Kidney Beans, Black-eyed peas, Garbanzo beans, Carrots, Potatoes, tomatoes

Sardines

Canned chili, soup

Instant Brown Rice

Uncle Ben’s instant brown rice meals in pouches (teriyaki rice, Spanish rice, etc.)

Instant noodles

Apple sauce in individual servings

Canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail (In water)

Olive oil, Canola oil

aluminum foil, one gallon baggies, plastic wrap (all of which can be purchased as “non toxic”)

A whole bunch of different spices, salt

A variety of teas

Unsweetened cocoa

Sugar (honey in the summer)

Coffee (decaf and caffeinated)

As you can see the nutritional value is sorely lacking in this list.  This is why I wanted to let people know the reality that their diet is going to change and they will have more limited access to fresh produce.  This greatly impacts health and ability to heal.  Those who are living in trailers have many more options.

Lastly, do not cook in or near your tent, especially in bear country.  Change out of the clothes you cooked in to different clothes at bed time if you are sleeping in a tent.  Ideally you should cook at least 50 feet from your tent.  However, I have broken this rule while in the middle of a three-day deluge and needed to keep out of the rain as much as possible.  I cooked outside my tent in the vestibule (the part of the rain fly that extends out from the door).  Always store your food in the car at night and do not take food with you into your tent.  This is not only for your protection but for the animal as well.  Animals habituated to human food are usually destroyed by Fish and Game.  I was charged once by a black bear while backpacking and it followed us for over a mile.  It had become use to human food and was trying to get at ours even though we had our food packed in wet/dry bags in our packs to minimize the scent.

Water.  This is second to shelter for surviving outdoors.  I carry 13-16 gallons of water.  You will need to ration using the following priorities:  drinking, cooking, washing and washing clothes.  If you are near a reliable water source (campground, river, stream) you can be a little lax, but when in remote places with no water this is a precious commodity.  You always have to have a contingent plan and never let your water supply drop to less than two gallons before resupplying.  If something happens and you are stranded, these two gallons can save your life.  In the desert they say a person needs a gallon of water per day to survive.  I figured a person can go with a little less if they remain inactive during the heat of the day, stay in the shade and sip the water.  There is also a technique of sucking on a pebble to help satiate thirst.  You also can hold the water in your mouth and swallow a little at a time.  In the woods you can stretch it out a little more, but not much.

Always carry iodine tablets.  I don’t care about toxicity when my life is in danger and I need water to survive.  This last winter I was forced to get water from a questionable source and boiled 3 gallons of water to a rolling boil for 10 minutes.  Then I purified it with iodine tablets.  I did this for every use, including washing, because I didn’t want any bacteria (ie necrotizing fasciitis) to get into a wound (which by the way, you will get a lot of cuts living outside).

Hygiene:  All I can say is, “to each his own”.  Everyone has their soaps they tolerate so I am not even going to cover the breadth of what is out there.  As for myself I use Dr Bronners Almond or Tea Tree oil liquid Castile soaps.  I sometimes switch to coconut oil based soap when the air is drier.  I use EarthScience’s fragrance free shampoo and conditioner.  I have a fifth of vodka to make an antiseptic toner.  I mix it with Tea Tree oil and it’s a damn good astringent and wound cleaner.  I think my wounds heal faster with that than with anything else.  Lastly, if you live outside 24/7 and cannot tolerate campground showers, you will have to accept the indignity of taking sponge baths a majority of the time.  Many of the times it is cold, rainy, windy, etc and not good for completely stripping down to bathe.  Then again if you’re feeling adventurous, try taking a dip in a mountain stream year round.  That will test your resolve.  Also you have to consider the human factor and make damn sure no one is around to see you.  Not only is this awkward, it can be dangerous or possibly lead to being arrested for indecent exposure.

For a quick bath, just target those areas prone to stinking (you know what I mean) and folds in the skin where bacteria accumulate.  The face is also very important because you want to keep healthy looking and not disheveled d and greasy.

In the next installment I will cover clothing and survival gear.  I am saving first aid for the last part.

The photo below is from Vanessa’s photographs.  It is part of a series of chair photos to show these places are her home. 

How not to treat yourself with chronic illness

Toni Bernhard writes for Psychology Today in a blog called Turning Straw into Gold.  Toni lives with chronic illness.  In fact she spends most of her days in bed with flu like symptoms that began over ten years ago.

I have read Toni’s book How to Be Seek:  A Buddhist Inspired Guide For The Chronically Ill And Their Caregivers.  This is a wonderful book about dealing with chronic illness and can be used by anyone.  Toni has written a second book, How to Wake Up:  A Buddhist Inspired Guide To Navigating Joy and Sorrow.  In a recent post on How Not To Treat Yourself With Chronic Illness , she talks about how she treated herself when first diagnosed with chronic illness and states that this topic is expanded more in her new book.  I have Toni’s book in my list of books to be purchased and read soon.

Catch Up Mondays – Are we really who we think we are? – revisited

I first posted this on June 21, 2013.  I quoted an excerpt from my book (in bold) where I said I had another of my emotional meltdowns.  I was always having emotional meltdowns.  I was over a thousand miles from home by myself and had been there for months already when I wrote this.  I had also in that short time gone through a complete hysterectomy and my sixth sinus surgery.

I had another of my emotional meltdowns. I commented in my journal that “everything I do is really someone else or their perception of what I would want or need. The cards I send out are picked out by my daughter. The fabric for the dress I am wearing was picked out by someone else. It is nice but I am not sure it is something I would necessarily pick out for myself. It is just that this is supposed to be a special occasion and I don’t really have control over it.” This note started a long writing about how I was feeling (May 14, 2003):

I am not me anymore

The me that existed before this illness does not exist anymore

I am now bits and pieces of others and their perception of what I would buy, wear, or send

You see I must rely on others to purchase cards, clothes, shoes, and my food

The card you receive may have my signature and a short note – but it was chosen by someone else

The sewing or craft project I should like to do may be my craftsmanship – but the fabric, trim, and buttons are of someone else’s choosing based on their perception of me

I am not me anymore

What is there for me to do? It is no longer fun to create new craft ideas with materials I have not taken time to pick out piece by piece

I am not me anymore

I am lost and trapped in a world of emptiness and uncertainty

Who am I?  I don’t know anymore;  of one thing I am certain; the me I once knew is lost and may never return again

Who am I?

Somewhere deep within this body there has got to be a somebody that can care again

Somewhere deep in this soul there has to be something to want to get up in the morning and do

Somewhere deep within me there has to be found a hope for a better life

I feel as if I am slowly wasting away and disappearing all together

I don’t think the me I have known for many years will ever be back again. Too many changes physically and emotionally have taken place

I have to try and find out who I am now and learn to love and accept this new person as much as the old one

I must figure out a way to get what I need on my own

I need to figure out how to fill my empty days with something that makes me excited

My body is frail and thin. I need to build it back up so it can help me fight

I have got to find the strength to do this within or I will soon disappear deeper into the shadows

I am trying desperately to fight the battle

But at times it feels like it is a losing battle

This was taken from my journal when I was feeling so depressed at not being able to choose things for myself and I felt like I had truly lost myself.

A few days ago I had a phone conversation with my therapist.  The conversation came around to clothes and style (not knowing what mine was) and wove itself back around to who I am.  The conversation was about in the beginning of this illness everything including clothing was purchased for me because I was unable to venture into stores to do my own shopping.  My style became whatever was purchased for me or what someone else thought I would like.  What prompted this conversation was because recently I attempted a short trip into a store with my daughter wearing my mask to find myself some shirts.  After a few minutes my daughter mentioned all the nice things there were and did I find anything.  I told her that I had not.  She then came to me with things to try on; things I would never have picked out.  I ended up with one shirt.  The dilemma I have is that I really don’t know what my style is any more.  What do I like, what do I not like, what is just so so for me?

I don’t need clothes for work because I don’t work outside the home.  I don’t need fancy clothes for parties because I don’t go anywhere requiring such fancy clothes.  I do, however, want to look nice and feel good when I go to a friend’s even if we are only sitting in their backyard playing cards.  Yet I don’t know what I want.

As my therapist and I continued our talk she talked about how she had clothes for her counseling work, clothes for her volunteer work, for her gardening, etc.  Those were all different styles.  I needed to think what I do and then try to find a style that fits what I do.  I understand the concept but still don’t know what I like or don’t like.  I don’t have any idea of what really fits me well because I don’t go out, try clothes on and buy them like I did before being ill.

Maybe we really aren’t who we think we are?  Because at any moment a tragedy or life changing event happens and we are no longer the same person because of these life-changing experiences.  We also talked about how we are all constantly evolving and changing either through our careers or in my case through my illness.    Then it dawned on me!  Back in the day before I became ill I was constantly changing curtains, pillows and decorations in my home as I changed and my likes and dislikes changed.  Even back then I was changing and evolving. The same thing was happening with my clothes.  While I get the idea, I am still struggling with what my style is.  Maybe some day I will know but then again maybe I won’t.  I am going to have to surrender to the fact that I may never clearly know what I like or don’t like.  This may be a direct relationship to my illness and my now very apparent difficulty making decisions of any kind. 

My questions to you readers are:  Do you know your style?  Do you truly know who you are in terms of determining a clothing style?  Do those of you with this illness have the same struggles?  Do those of you who are not struggling with multiple chemical sensitivity or other illnesses have this battle?

In May I placed a post entitled, Who Are We?  In that post I included a snippet of a poem I wrote about identity loss.  Today, a little over a year after this post, I still can say that I don’t truly know what style I am in terms of clothes and I still struggle with making decisions.

Living the Homeless Life with MCS

Vanessa and I are friends on Planet Thrive.  Vanessa is in search of a safe place to live.  In the meantime she lives out of her car and her tent year-round.  Vanessa has posted a five-part series on Living Homeless on  the Planet Thrive website.  I have spoken with Vanessa and received her permission to post them here on my blog.    Vanessa is a true survivor with a vast knowledge of living outdoors. I asked Vanessa to write a short bio to give some background before I begin the five-part series.  This is what she wrote:

Vanessa is presently living in the western U.S. in search of places to live relatively free of herbicides, pesticides, wood smoke, vehicle exhaust, etc.  She lives in her car and tent (as weather permits).  She has depleted her life savings waiting for assistance so she can move on with her life by affording housing and medical treatments.  Vanessa is a strong advocate for preventing people from becoming homeless which is why she wrote the five-part series on being homeless and coping with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).  Prior to being re-injured in 2007 she was employed with the State of Montana, practiced martial arts, beading, camping and going out with her friends.  She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with several years in the insurance industry and business licensing.  Having several years experience in camping and hiking, this has helped her to survive living outdoors for the past four years.  Vanessa writes blog posts on Planet Thrive documenting her journey of survival, coping with humor, interactions with people, law enforcement and animals, while dealing with MCS.  In addition to blogging her new hobbies include reading, studying botany and photography.”

I have asked Vanessa to allow me to also include some of her photography  in my future pieces.

Catch Up Mondays: Isolation – revisited

This post was first posted on May 26, 2012.  Isolation affects not only those of us with chemical sensitivity or other environmental illnesses.  It affects anyone who suffers from chronic illness.  We can’t go where others go, can’t eat what others do, don’t have the energy to do what everyone else is doing, and find it hard to explain this to those going about life like we used to be able to do.  I have written other posts on isolation here, here, and here.

“I pray to God for answers. I ask for His support and encouragement. If I have to live in this pain, in this bubble, in this life of isolation and loneliness the rest of my life, I don’t know what I will do.

Recently I was in contact with a friend who is also a mold survivor.  We talked about this blog and topics that should be covered other than excerpts from my book.  She asked if I was going to talk about Isolation.  I said that I had considered it as one of my topics.  In fact isolation seems to be a general topic and matter of woe among fellow mold sufferers and those suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

I soon began to realize that once my life had changed and I was no longer able to attend indoor functions, be among large crowds, go shopping or out to lunch, I also wasn’t being called or visited.  A majority of my treatment took me far away from home to Dallas, TX.  The longer I was there, the less I heard from others.  It was hard going through all that I went through by myself.  I thought when I finally came home, I would be totally well and everything would be the same as it always was.  I soon began to realize what it must feel like for a soldier to return after many months away at battle.  In my book I write:

I also began realizing what soldiers must feel like after returning from an extended tour of duty. How do you assimilate back into your life? Things keep going on and moving forward but you aren’t there to participate in the moving forward. People carry on conversations but you feel like you were dropped in the middle of a story without access to the beginning. So you just sit there, and you listen but don’t speak.

Things were different when I returned home.  I was still sick and still not able to visit in the homes of friends or go out.  So much had happened after being gone for almost a year (2003) that I felt lost in conversations.  Someone would talk about something that had happened and I wouldn’t have the faintest idea what they were talking about because I hadn’t been there, hadn’t been involved in life at home and hadn’t witnessed changes that took place.  In this depressed state I wrote:

Life Passes Her By

She sits and stares out the window and she doesn’t recognize anything

Life has passed her by and nothing is the same

Where was she when all this happened? She was here but

 Life passed her by

Buildings were built and buildings were torn down

    People arrived and left;

 People were born and people died

Life passed her by

People divorced and others married;

People found new jobs and new hobbies

Where was she—she was there

but she did not participate in life

It passed her by

She reaches out but touches nothing;

 Life is just past her grasp

She stretches and bends and tries again

But life passes her by

She talks to people but it is a jumble to understand what they say

The life she missed is just out of her reach

Life passed her by

I learned through a lot of therapy that there were things I could do to try to lift myself up from the loneliness and desperation.  In another post I will talk about things I and others have done.

Catch Up Monday: Victim or Survivor? Revisited

I have talked many times about my illness and my daily battle with depression.  I have also said that I am a survivor.  In surviving I have had to focus  more on surviving and less on the unhealthy aspects of being the victim.  I placed the following post on this blog May 7, 2012.

We all have had bad things happen to us.  Some have been in accidents, some have had someone treat them badly, and others like myself have developed unusual and life threatening illnesses.    As Joel Osteen has said, “Trouble is inevitable, misery is optional.”

For the first several years I was angry at what happened to me, angry at my workplace where I got sick, angry at friends I lost because I could no longer do what I did before, and angry at the defense’s medical doctors for not believing me and that my workplace had made me ill.

I was a victim and stayed in the victim role with all my anger penetrating deep into my soul.  During my treatment I was constantly with others who were as ill as I was.  We shared stories and tried to comfort each other.  However, they felt as angry and victimized as I did, and the more I was around them the more angry and victimized I felt.  It was a perpetual cycle that seemed impossible to stop.  Finally through the help of my family, a few close friends, my wonderful therapist and the doctors I had who cared for me and believed me I began to realize that being angry was not going to make me any better.  Being a victim and acting like a victim was not healthy.    I had to make a choice:  would I continue to feel sorry for myself and what I couldn’t do or would I focus on what I could still do?  My choice was to focus on what I could do and to try to find things that made me happy.  I surrounded myself with my new grandchildren and their unconditional love.  I began to try to sew again after years of being too sick and unable to handle the stimulation of shapes and patterns. I was still a wife, mother, sister, and daughter despite all the changes that had taken place in me.   I struggled for years after my illness with my identity.  (I will elaborate more on this in another post).

I hope that anyone dealing with severe illness or some other tragedy is able to look beyond the anger and get to a place where they can forgive and allow themselves to pull out of the victim role and begin a healing journey.  Anger has its place but continued anger is not healthy and is bad for soul.

Catch-UP Monday: Why is that lady wearing a mask? A repeat

Me wearing my mask.

Me wearing my mask.

I have watched as little children innocently ask their mothers this very question. The answers vary from a mother suddenly noticing that I have a mask on and answering I don’t know to a mother replying maybe she is sick and doesn’t want to get us sick. My chemical sensitivities are such that to be able to go into the grocery store for a short period I must wear a charcoal mask to lessen the severity of what I breathe in and lessen my reactions to those chemicals. I have had people see me and suddenly veer off in a different direction for fear that I could spread some dreaded disease to them when in fact they are the ones I am protecting myself from (the cologne, laundry soaps, fabric softeners, etc.). When I was in Dallas in 2003 a friend and I who also wears a mask had made an excursion to  window shop at a store we had seen that had very nice clothes in the window.  We decided to stop because she wanted to see if she thought she could tolerate the clothes or if the store would be too fragrant for her to be able to get the smells out of the clothes.  I write about this in my book. 

By this time Lisa had begun gaining weight and needed clothes.  We had driven by this store that featured clothes in the window that she thought might be safe for her.  We decided to stop by there one morning.  So here we were both in our masks knocking on the door to get the clerk’s attention.  We finally got her attention and asked her to come to the door.  We wanted to ask her if she would be willing to bring something out for us to look at.  She cautiously opened the door; the whole time she kept looking at us in our masks and back to her register.  I think she thought for sure that we were going to rob her.  When we explained why we wearing the masks, she was very accommodating.  There was also a time when we were standing outside another store waiting for a clerk to bring something out and a man approached us and asked why we were wearing masks.  We tried to explain it to him.  So, he said you are allergic to perfume and we just said yes.  As he walked away he asked if we were sisters because we both had on masks.  That generated a good laugh by both of us.

The mask presents many issues.  In winter it causes my glasses to fog up.  In warm weather the heat from wearing the mask is so stifling that I feel as if I could pass out. 

John Muir, an inspiration

A fellow member and chemical sensitivity sufferer on Planet Thrive wrote this blog post on the site.  I loved the way she wrote it and received permission to share this with you.  As part of MCS Awareness Month, I am highlighting her post.  I should also tell you that she lives out of a tent camping where she can find a safe place to be.  “V”, I thank you for your lovely words.  Thanks to her words, I now want to read this book myself.  Following is from her post:

I have been reading John Muir’s book My First Summer In the Sierra. He was a brillant man in many respects. Very observant, intelligent and articulate in describing his surroundings. It’s no wonder that many of his books and writings have survived over a hundred years.

One fine spring morning when the temperature was actually warm enough that I could wear just one layer of clothing, I was inspired to write a “Muir-esque” entry in my journal.

“Where I stand, God stands. All the forest is my place of worship. God, the All-Father, Creator and giver of life and wisdom is omnipresent. From the lowest of life to the mountains tall his beauty and grace are living testiment to his existence. No greater, grander or splendid was there ever a church or house of worship as what I stand in today. Mountains stand as examples on how to live. Firm foundations set deep, peaks forever reaching high into the heavens. How we should live by this example.

By love, wisdom and grace there go I into the woods, hills, desert and mountains, never seeking God the All Father for he is with me always.”

After writing this I couldn’t help by wonder if John Muir were alive today and wrote in the style he did, would he still be regarded as a great writer and philosopher or would he be titled “mentally ill” due to his grand and over reaching writing style.

Sneak Peek

I have so many draft posts saved that I want to talk about.  But I am still feeling under the weather and my brain just won’t let me read the articles that I linked to those drafts and come up with a coherent post.

Instead, I am going to give you a sneak peek of my cover.  I am also in the process of working out my webpage and awaiting the final photo enhancements to send in to the publisher.  Tomorrow I am going to see if I can get in soon to see my acupuncturist/osteopath to get a handle on my body aches and fatigue.  As soon as I can get it under control I will be back with more posts.

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