Thursday, October 10, 2019

Indigenous People's Celebration

To kick off Indigenous People's Celebration here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Buffy Sainte-Marie, blacklisted in this country by both Lyndon Johnson's and Richard Nixon's administration, performed at the Lensic Performing Arts Center Thursday, October 10, 2019. It is a fundraiser for Indigenous Solutions, Tewa Women United and the Friendship Club.
Painting by Bob Haozous
Exhibit at the Wheelwright Museum, 2018-2019.
"History is not always glorious.
Sometimes our history is melancholy.
We must accept that. 
This life is terrible
and people do terrible things to each other.
If we are to live for the sake of good and strong, 
then we should have as much of the background as possible."
Deng Ming-Dao

Perhaps the time is upon us to really understand the history of our country, the United States of America. For centuries we have celebrated Columbus "discovering the New World."  Well, as we all know, there were indigenous peoples inhabiting the Americas from the Bering Strait separating Russia from Alaska to Cape Horn, the Southern most tip of South America long before Columbus' "discovery."

Indigenous Peoples' Day/Celebration gives us an opportunity to rethink American history. Here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Indigenous Peoples' Day is actually more like four days of celebration with weekend and Monday events on the Plaza downtown. Each day is opened with a blessing followed by Pueblo dance groups. Pojoaque, New Mexico, at its Poeh Cultural Center, is honoring the return of historical Tewa Pueblo pottery from the Smithsonian Institutions's National Museum of American Indian with Tewa Pueblo dances, food, speakers and pottery demonstrations. On Monday in Albuquerque The Red Nation has created a march and rally in the downtown at 1st and Central.

As the Native Peoples in our country regain their knowing held in their collective genes about caring for and honoring Mother Earth, may we too tap into their knowledge. Mother Earth is in peril because humans have abused our planet, and continue to do so, with our gluttonous consumption. Are we ready for another way to BE on Mother Earth?

Reclamation, 2017-2018
Rose B. Simpson
          "I was born part of this earth.
          My Grandmother Earth.
          I was born part of this earth.
          My Mother all living beings.
          I was born part of this earth.
          My Grandfather, the sky.
          I was born part of this earth.
          The eight Grandfathers.
          I was born part of this earth.
          The four corners of the earth.
          I was born part of this earth.
          The great wind giant of the North.
          I was born part of this earth.
          The red road of the dead.
          I was born part of this earth.
          The blue and black road of destruction.
          I was born part of this earth.
          The old ones say
          the old way's gone,
          the old ones say.
          I was born part of this earth.
Daniel Western

Baby,  2010-2014
Rose B. Simpson
The Answer That Ended Creation B, 2011
Rose B. Simpson
As we contemplate the richness of Earth based spirituality exemplified by all of the local Pueblo native peoples, may we reconnect with and deeply care for Mother Earth, and

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Water, Part II

Dry Santa Fe River bed after a monsoon rain, 2018
Our most precious and once abundant resource on our planet, water, is in peril, as are so many of Mother Earth's other natural resources and nonhuman inhabitants, because of overpopulation by humans. Too many humans all vying for territory and resources is not a popular issue to discuss. Climate change seems to be a "safer" topic even though our inept President poo poos the idea that there is such an issue.

If the idea of using watersheds to draw state lines were in place, just imagine how different our lives and the valuing of water would BE. Here's a discussion of this idea, that makes perfect sense. Alas, our state lines were arbitrarily drawn, hence all the bickering over the flow of water and water rights. 

 500 gallon barrel + rocky depression 
for harvesting roof water via
 canales at 6798' MuRefuge. 
In the foreground Tufted Evening Primrose (Oenothera Caespitosa),
caterpillar food for a specific hawkmoth (Sphingidae family).
As the leaves are riveted with holes,
there are obviously caterpillars, although I have yet to find one.
This year, unlike last year, the Santa Fe River has been running since March. Abundant snow in the Sangre de Christo Mountains which has melted and filled the reservoirs supplying water to the city of Santa Fe has produced enough water to release from these catchments. It is delightful to see and hear running water making its way from the mountains to our East to the Rio Grande River to our West. 

Rabbits are plentiful in our area. And just the other morning returning from an early morning walk with  Shasta crossing the bridge into Frenchy's Field we saw a very scrawny coyote drinking from the river. The coyote was watchful of Shasta and Shasta was quite interested in her distant relative. 

Shasta amidst our culinary herbs with her favorite ball
Shasta is a blackWater Dragon baby and water soothes her Qi.
When she moved here, she asked Sandy, one of her
animal communicators, "what happened to all the water?"
In Northern California she was use to going to the ocean,

to Auntie T's whose property dropped to massive wetlands,
to Mono Lake, plus our backyard flooded when the
Winter rains came. Now she loves to walk across
the bridge over the Santa Fe River when the water
is running and look down at all the water.
She is never in a hurry to leave the bridge.
This Summer is much drier than last with the monsoon rains not as frequent nor delivering much rain when it does thunder and lightening. Already much of New Mexico is returning to "drought" conditions. Fortunately with all of the native vegetation planted here AND all the sheet mulching not much water is required by the plants on our property, except of course newly planted natives. 

Growing vegetables, of course, is a different story. These plants are hand watered deeply every other day with a hose filled with "city water". The 500 gallon barrel on the Northeast side of the house is essentially empty. The water was used mostly on the vegetables. Growing food here in New Mexico is not for the faint of heart. It is laborious work demanding daily attention. The soil needs much amending in spite of using compost. I imagine it is going to be quite a few years before signs of soil restoration occur.

Another stunning design "drawn" in the Santa Fe River bed after the 2018 monsoon rains.
As we are mindful of our water usage and remember from where our water that flows from our households taps originates, may we each

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Autumnal Equinox

Center by Rose B. Simpson
now showing at the Wheelwright Museum
in Santa Fe, N.M., through early October.




The autumnal equinox – when day and night are in balance – marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. 
Santa Fe Botanical Garden "Upcoming Events email"

The word equinox comes from the Latin for “equal night”. 
And that’s exactly what happens at 
the beginning of autumn and spring – 
the days are divided neatly into a 12-hour day and night 
for just two days a year, 
after which they start splitting apart.

Andrew Griffin, Independent 

From the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, Earth is at the center this time of the year, Fall. It reminds us of the turning not only of our planet but of all that is natural. BEing in tune with the cycles is a way to maintain our balance

"Earth came to represent the time and space of transition from one stage to another, particularly the passage between the apex of Yang (Fire) and ascendance of Yin (Metal)...

Earth represents the still point, the balance between the polar movements, when neither one nor the other ascends...

Our Earth phase stabilizes us so that we can handle the gyrations of our oscillating process."
from Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine
by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold (1991)

At this time of another seasonal shift when day and night are in balance, may we too find our center and balance.  In our present day chaotic world, as we strive to do so, let us 

Sunday, September 8, 2019


Responsibility is defined as "the state ... of having a duty to deal with something" and "(responsibility to/toward) a moral obligation to behave correctly toward or in respect of." As humans I believe we have a responsibility to fully deal with and heal our individual trauma and/or complete the "life lesson" that is solely ours as a human in our present lifetime. 

When we are born, as a baby we have no defenses. We are filled with innocence. We are open and connected to Tao, God or whatever we as an individual believes is THE Higher Power. Then in our human body we experience some kind of "rude awakening" from BEing connected to this Higher Power. In addition, as we are born into this world, we bring with us a lesson to learn while living this life. Some of us tackle that lesson, others are asleep to doing so. 

Rose Simpson's sculpture done while studying in Japan
and now on exhibit at the Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.
Photo taken by Michael Stoyka . . . thank you!
For me practicing BEing awake has been augmented by the dogs that have come to live with me. For Sun, the last of my four Siberian Huskies, her Work for her lifetime was merging the domesticated and the wild. I cut her life short, and thus her Work, when I had her euthanized prematurely. Her spirit hovered and did not leave her favorite spot at MuRefuge for over a year. Sun was the last dog I had euthanized.

Sun is pictured above standing in the snow wearing
in her sled dog harness that matched her eyes. She loved to
pull me on my skis in the Eastern Sierra snow.
After Star (who came to live with us when we knew we were getting a Siberian Husky puppy, Sun, who would need a grounding presence) experienced a natural death, at which time she morphed into a huge male wolf, I missed having a dog as the time passed. Months later as MuRefuge seemed so empty without a dog, I became obsessed with finding another dog! I spent hours on the internet searching for a young dog about the age Star was when she came to live with us. Then Dwight suggested perhaps searching for a puppy instead of looking for a 1 1/2 to 2 year old dog. Within moments of changing course so to speak, up came a litter of puppies for adoption in Lake County. We drove to see the puppies. Dwight picked up one of the puppies and as soon as I took her into my arms she nuzzled my neck: "Sun"! This puppy possessed Sun's soul. When this puppy was eight weeks old, we brought her home, Rose picking up where Sun left off so to speak. From the day she returned to her familiar home, she lived on the fast track as she seemed to deeply know that this life would be short. And indeed it was short: less than four years in spite of the left leg amputation for "bone cancer" which was done to hopefully extend her life.  For six months Rose ran with her usual lightening, agile speed of a sight hound as though she still had all four legs.

Pictures above and below of
Rose running along Picnic Grounds Road which is located
along the Western side of Mono Lake, California.

Once Rose realized she was without one hind left leg, she fell into a deep, deep place of grieving her loss. Less than eight months after her leg was amputated she succumbing to another cancerous growth in her remaining hind leg and she left her body. She was quite pleased with herself that she was able to complete the Work of merging the wild and the domesticated which Sun was unable to do.

Dwight was none too sure about bringing another dog into our lives since he was still reeling from the death of Rose only a few months prior. Me, I just wanted a healthy FOUR legged dog!

Shasta after her bath during her first full day with us.
As you can see she has a "shell shocked" look about her.
It comes as no surprise to me that our dog, Shasta, who came to live with us
when she was six months old, brought with her a trauma issue to deal with. Her first six months fraught with safety and survival issues. Yet to me there seemed to be more. I was fortunate to hear about Jen Ortman, a stellar animal communicator, who immediately upon seeing Shasta's picture, "saw" her soul was that of little gypsy girl two life times ago when she was used in satanic ritualLuckily the Marin Humane Society adopter, who had previously placed her in an inappropriate home, chose me to adopt her even though there were almost a hundred people on "the wait list" to adopt her. "From the get go" Shasta was a handful with her guarding behavior she had developed in her previous brief home. Perhaps this behavior was a response to her little gypsy girl's life where she had so few possessions and little or no "control" of her life. It quickly became evident she did not realize she was a dog. With consistency in her now forever home and guidance from several animal communicators, Shasta's guarding behavior markedly decreased and she showed signs of dog behaviors like grooming and "marking." 


When we hit a rough spot in the road, this discomfort offers us a path to accepting responsibility to bring forth the trauma and all the emotions held in our bodies. Allowing the emotions to come up and discharging these emotions lays a new foundation to becoming a fully developed sentient BEing. Most abdicate their responsibility by taking what looks like the easy path. However, it is my belief that it takes tremendous energy to keep the memory of our initial trauma at bay thus affording imbalance in our physical form. This imbalance leads to illness and often a arduous death.

"Remember that you are always your own person.... 
never give up responsibility for you own life. 
No one lives your life for you."
Deng Ming-Dao

As we each accept responsibility to complete our life lesson, may we

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Rainbows and Cross Quarter Day

"I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun -
With joyful interpenetration for all"

Gary Snyder

6790' MuRefuge's side yard 
The cross quarter day "Lammas Day" or Lughnasadh is traditionally observed on August 1. It marks the beginning of the wheat harvest. In the Celtic view Lughnasadh was the wedding of the Sun god Lugh to the Earth goddess "causing the ripening of the crops."

Double rainbows from parking lot of Frenchy's Field 
Here in the high mountainous desert this is the time of the monsoon rains which provide much needed moisture for the native vegetation that thrives here on very little water. With the late afternoon rains come spectacular rainbows. During one week's time we were treated with a series of magnificent rainbows. All of these pictures were taken by Katie Stoyka during her recent Summer visit.

Front of 6790' MuRefuge
Backyard of 6790' MuRefuge
with Shasta
During our delightful encounters with all of the stunning rainbows, we also had a joyful

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Transplant Shock

5 foot tall recently transplanted Pinon Pine (Pinus edulis).
The New Mexico State tree since 1948
and my favorite tree.

The above Pinon Pine was purchased from the Plants of the Southwest 
but grown by a man living "off the grid" in Colorado. This tree along 
with five other Pinon Pines and a number of Bristlecone Pines were
harvested and arrived in Santa Fe, NM, at the height of thSummer 
heat tree over a number of weeks to see if the evident "transplant shock" abated. This tree, like me, felt like a survivor. With subsequent forays to 
Plants of the Southwest to buy habitat plants native to the area, I noted 
new growth and fewer brown, dead needles. Several Sundays ago 
decided indeed I would like to purchase the tree. It took 4 employees to
get the 15 gallon pot with tree out of the its hole in the ground. It fit into 
the back of our Prius with Shasta moving to the front seat and her bed 
relocated. It did weigh the back end down of Stella a lot. One of the 
employees who assisted with getting the tree into the car estimated pot,
dirt and tree weighed about 200+ pounds . . . HEAVY! He also said we
should take a picture of Stella with her 200+ pound cargo to post online 
as advertising for Prius.

The tree in her pot sat several days outside of our garage door waiting 
for the ideal "root" planting time biodynamically. With the burlap removal, 
per planting instructions, the hard red soil and a number of very large "nightcrawlers," aka worms, fell away.  It was challenging for my husband 
and me to tussle the tree, her severed roots and remaining red dirt into 
the wheelbarrow. I had already dug a HUGE hole and had 2 bags of compost 
at hand to fill the hole. Once back connected with Mother Earth's soil, she 
sighed a great sigh of relief to be free of the burlap and plastic pot

More compost was needed to complete the transplanting so back to Plants 
of the Southwest who make wonderful compost from steer manure, straw, 
etc. they sell by the bag. Gail Haggard, owner of the Plants of the Southwest for over 40 years, was greatly distressed with my story of planting this Pinon Pine and refunded all of the $160 paid for the tree immediately. "I do not 
want  to worry. I do not want you to worry about this survival of this tree. 
If it survives 'It is God's gift to you.'"

Well, any of you who know me personally know that "worrying" is what I do best. From the time I brought this beautiful Pinon Pine home to balance out the front with a second Pinon Pine, I was "worried" I would kill this tree . . . as if it was up to little ole me. For me the worrying often is a catalyst to seek solutions, in this case flower essences and essential oil. In a 4 ounce blue glass bottle filled with filtered water, 8 drops each of Arnica, Self Heal and Five Flower, aka Rescue Remedy, all FES Essences from Nevada City, and 8 drops of organic Lavender essential oil were added. Initially I generously sprayed the tree 6 or more times a day and watered morning and evening. The monsoon rains have begun sporadically so watering has been decreased to only in the evening. After a couple of weeks after transplanting this Pinon Pine, the "magic potent" is sprayed only 3 or 4 times per day.

This beautiful Pinon Pine loves her new home and wants to put down roots as Dwight, Shasta and I also desire to do in ours. Pine trees in general seem to send out more extensive lateral roots as opposed to Junipers which send down roots to a far greater depth. The latter survives drought much better than pines as evidenced in the local Juniper-Pinon Pine forest where one sees many large dead Pinon Pines, remnants of the drought in the 1950's, but no dead One Seed Junipers

In previous posts: minimizing transplant shock and rerooting I discussed the beginning of our move from California and relocation in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From my time long ago as "college professor" I was aware of the impact of changes in life or "stressors" as Hans Selye called them. Not only did this "pioneering Hungarian born Canadian endocrinologist" identify stressors, he also described the predictable stages of the body responding to stressors. He called these stages the general adaptation syndrome, aka GAS. The 3 stages are

  1. Alarm stage also known as the fight or flight stage during which the body experiences a burst of energy
  2. Resistance stage in which the body attempts to resist or adapt to the stressor
  3. Exhaustion is the phase during which the body experiences a depletion of energy resources with impairment of the immune system

The process of moving or relocating one's home ranks as a very high stressor not only for humans but canines, too. After living at MuRefuge for over 30 years I was well aware that this move half way across the country to a high mountainous terrain would stress me, my husband and our dog. Even with my awareness of the stress of moving and implementing a wide range of support in relocating, my immune system was so taxed that after my 75th birthday hoopla, I succumbed to a virus affecting both my respiratory and digestive systems. I do not remember feeling so sick and so depleted with minimal energy that was totally used up by essential ADLs (activities of daily living). My shear will (genes from hardy female "pioneers") got me out of bed in the morning to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner, shop for food and wash clothes. Luckily a dear friend found a wonderful woman who would walk Shasta for an hour each morning. And another friend recommended a delightful woman to clean our house including windows and refrigerator. Awesome to have these wonderful women as part of our lives just now!

The process of transplanting the Pinon Pine brought to my consciousness that I too could use the same spray. From the first spray over my entire body the shift of subtle energy with these flower essences and essential oil is palpable energetically to me.

I, like the transplanted Pinon Pine, who in the above picture shows her new growth of small green needles, am experiencing healing with potential to not only thrive but rejoice in our Santa Fe, NM, home. In addition to the flower essences and essential oil spray, I frequently

Monday, July 22, 2019


Fendler’s Sundrops (Calylophus hartwegii fendleri)
flourishing along our front walkway.
The oldest of 6 plants has bloomed for months already
without any human watering.
There is research coming out about the necessity of local native flora for fauna.It is finding that the bare minimum of natives plants to support the local native fauna is 70% when landscaping one's yard. 

"Landowners are using nonnative plants in 
their yards because they're pretty and exotic, 
they're easy to maintain, 
and they tend to have fewer pests on them. 
But it turns out that a lot of those insects they see as pests 
are actually critical food resources 
for our breeding birds. 
For landowners who want to make a difference, 
our study shows that a simple change 
they make in their yards 
can be profoundly helpful for bird conservation." 
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute researcher. 
The study is the first 
to directly link the decline of common resident bird species 
to the lack of insect prey 
that results 
from the use of nonnative plants in landscaping.

At a recent local gathering I was talking with an individual who works for the National Park Service and he reiterated that at least 70% natives in the garden is needed for the health and well BEing of our native fauna. It seems those interested in curbing the radical decline of diversity in our birds, insects and animal are well aware of the importance of native habitat. Intuitively it has always made sense to me to grow what is native to the area in which I was gardening rather than nonnatives, aka exotics. I have found it very exciting to learn about the plants of the Southwest and all the visitors they invite. And these plants are beautiful to the human eye, as well, which numerous passerbys comment to me if I am working out in the front garden.

Here at MuRefuge 6970' the front is 100% native flora so no worries about welcoming birds, insects, including butterflies and moths, as well as rabbits, skunks and raccoons. I see hummingbirds nectaring on the plethora of blooming penstamons. There is a pair of Lesser Goldfinches who I have observed eating the seeds from the dried flower pods of the Rocky Mountain PenstamonsAnd Dwight in the late evening has seen a hawkmoth on the Tufted Evening Primrose which is larva food for a specific type of this awesome BEing.

Praying Mantis on our adobe wall.
I have also seen one of these stunning BEings 
in the Paperflower blossoms (the mound of yellow flowers pictured below).

Since I am growing food in the back yard, however, it is a different story. 

In addition to annual edibles (pictured above) an orchard has been planted as well as berries.

which gets its name from the
white dusting that covers the leaves
as the plant ages.
This is a nitrogen fixing plants so 
it is extremely beneficial 
to the well BEing of all the fruit trees
and berries.
Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)
which is also a nitrogen fixing plant
hence the reason to plant it amidst the
red raspberries (depicted here) 

as well as blackberries.
I also grow herbs for salve making as well as two Chinese yellow flowering Chrysanthemums from which I gather the flowers in the Fall and dry for making a tea. This is a wonderful potent for the liver so I drink it daily to keep my exfoliating glaucoma in check. The eyes are the opening for the liver meridian in the view of Oriental Medicine.
These exotics are balanced with a variety blooming native perennials and grasses which I find very pleasing to my senses. And Shasta loves lying in the midst of the Desert 4 o'clocks which surround the Desert Willow.

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’)
which is not really a willow at all
but of the Catalpa family. Looking closely at the
above flowers you will notice they look remarkably
like the Catalpa tree flowers as do the seeds pods
which develop in the Fall.
Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
with her berries just ready for the
enjoyment of the fruit eating birds.

at absurd human behavior.