Jun 30, 2014

A walk in the woods

A butterfly flittered onto my arm as I was walking and for a while it rested there, taking a ride. It was a privilege to have it sojourn in all it's beauty  as I passed on my way.  The woods are like a haven to many creatures and I feel at peace resting there too. Twin fauns lie in the undergrowth with their large eyes and ears illumined by the late afternoon light. They are accustomed to sharing this space and remain in their place, even as I stand regarding them, telling them not to worry. A pileated woodpecker has also grown confident around us and has been busy breaking up rotten logs on the ground by our footpath. To sit and watch it work at close range is a wonder as it's red head is so large and powerful and it's drumming echos at long range.
After all the rain the mushrooms seem to be exploding out of the ground. Every time I walk past, there is something new. I loved finding the huge amanita with its bridal veil and vast cap standing to attention like it has been there all it's life. But it comes and goes mysteriously, only gracing us with its presence a few days a year.
I find nature to be a respite from the challenges of daily life. My brain clears of all it's noise and I find my equillibrium as I reflect on the natural. What a priviledge to have to go to work through a walk in the woods.

Jun 22, 2014


“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Jun 1, 2014

Why is it so often assumed people with disabilities are unhappy?

Why is it often assumed people with disabilities are unhappy, asks Tom Shakespeare.

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This has been a good spring for morel mushrooms. We were able to experience spring in Missouri where we found a good batch and then returning to Minnesota we found a whole lot more. They are surprising little things, popping up overnight both in expected and unexpected places. The surprise find was in the lawn, lots of big yellows but we also found them on slopes under dying elms as was expected as well. In one spot we met another forager who had trained his lab to sniff them out. Needless to say there were not many left there. The bounty is always short lived so having been in two states helped prolong the season.

Our favourite way of eating them is dipped in egg wash then seasoned flour and fried in butter. Soooo good. Here is a picture of my husband with his days find:


This last year we have had a number of young men staying with us for whom heroin and prescription pain killers have been an addiction. They are not street people, but nice middle class boys whose lives have gone terribly wrong.  I guess for them it started with past trauma, mental illness or both, their homes seem clean cut with church going parents but things in reality were not all that great at home. These kids are smart with plenty of opportunity but they just were not coping due to underlying emotional issues. This story so far applies to many and often turns out just fine, but the medical profession let them down with easy access to opioids, poor counselling, and then the drugs were readily available, cheap and cool. Their friends who took them 'got them' and one bad choice led to another and then to addiction and now here they are, post rehab, emotionally dysfunctional, and on the edge of looking for another quick high.

My heart breaks with the reality that I care for them, share my home with them, but like their parents, I know that there is no guarantee that it will work out. We are doing our best but it is hard to fight for another pesons life when they don't want to fight for it themselves, please pray for us and these boys. We all need it. Here is a great article that describes the problem: