Tremors II…

With every great movie, comes the sequel. Aftermath at the laundromat: glass workers replace partially broken windows that, on the day of the dent (earthquake bent), nearly went – a case that could\’ve CRACKED me up(side the head).


Many buildings in town are riddled with broken windows as well as gas & water lines. Immediately following the quake, electricity was out in every town across the county. That added up to an astounding 34,000 people without power! All week here work is being done: from homeowners digging cracked pipes, to PG&E surveying in the streets. There were even a handful of homes that fell from their foundations  to condemnation.

Officials assess damages: Arnold came (thank goodness) to tell us this: California is here for Humboldt County!\” Urban search and rescue teams from around the state have responded swiftly to the Eureka earthquake, and now assist the crisis in Haiti as well. Our Governor boasted that this state has some of the best emergency response teams around …probably due to the high risk of natural disaster that exists for us daily (i.e. fire, earthquake, mudslide). More rescue boats are on order! PEACE

"The Couch"

I take a chance to follow Mike, on a mountain bike, the other day – six miles downhill on The Couch. Soaking wet, but warm. It has rained so far today, but there is a clearing in the clouds.

Top of Fickle Hill, is windy with a chill; we quickly descent. Talk about Head First! I fly over the bars into a sweet bush that cushions the tuck and roll. Consequently, I learn how to keep one’s butt down descending the watery path.

Further down-trail I am sucked into the middle of a puddle. I hesitantly surrender to its muddy brown center – only to find it saving me, from a tree, that is indeed, flip flopping over the path, just ahead!

We ford a handful of streams-turned-creek by speeding down the bank to pedal through moving current to climb the opposite shore. There are trees here that sprout thirty trunks, all covered in fleecy bright green moss. Here, shrouded in a cloud of redwood jungle. Giant ferns grasp as I pass, lightly. This place is unearthly; yet wholly rooted – grounding.

It’s lovely. I am left SOAR, counting bruises and scrapes. I don’t know if the Couch Trail has – for me – lived up to its name …yet. But you go on the chance that maybe (just maybe), perhaps, one day, it will be a lazy boy lay, for case- EH!


Run FROM The Cure!

I see great potential for the use of cannabis as medicine, so I am sharing what I know with you today. I post this in the hopes of hearing new perspectives on the matter, not because I have an agenda. I want to express myself and also know what other people think. In communicating our unique viewpoints, I find I learn more. Each person’s input is an important source of experiential information! We are our own caretakers: every one responsible for our own well-being. We have the right to choose freely, the medicines we employ.

Before I delve too deeply into cannabis, let me state that my platform’s foundation is firm on food! I am a believer that it’s all about what we eat. Whole food, plant-based nutrition empowers the physical body to apply its innate (and immense!) healing potential. When supported in this way, we rarely need anything else to fuel recovery and stay balanced. Real food is the best medicine we can consume – efficiently boosting our immune system into action as the body’s own insurance plan against disease. (For more on whole food based nutrition, visit my Juice Plus website!)

Now then: let’s focus on the medical efficacy of marijuana in the pursuit of compassionate care. I guess I\’m wondering, why, if hemp oil is demonstrating that it works for people, doesn\’t it get more attention? To answer my own question, I think cannabis is misrepresented to the public. We have failed to make the important distinction that separates this plant from a real drug.

The problem is complex. Since pharmaceutical companies cannot patent & profit from plants,  they are not motivated to explore this avenue. And since cannabis is a schedule I \’drug\’ (meaning it has NO medicinal value – a fate worse than cocaine and meth, which are considered schedule II) our ability to show a higher standard for cannabis has been suppressed. It has taken a long time for the medical community to acknowledge a therapeutic effect, but finally, the AMA admits that cannabis has value – read the article (scroll past video at top of page)!

Cannabis deserves a fresh look. Our primary interest should be to find what works for people.  Unfortunately, the capital motivated marketplace doesn’t always do what is socially responsible.  It is hard to see past the stigma that cannabis now carries.  But too many people are asking for change in thirteen states all across the country! Every one of us knows someone who could benefit.

\’Law-abiding\’ citizens will have no first hand knowledge of cannabis, so I will share some of it utility. In meeting marijuana for the first time (without stigma) someone might find the bud to be a potent ally for healing a host of disease; they might find hemp seed oil is a nutritional supplement that contains the perfect ratio of Essential Fatty Acids; or they could see innumerable industrial applications for hemp (uses that eager American farmers want the right to utilize i.e. food, textiles, soap, paper, and even auto body panels). There are too many practical uses to name, but hemp\’s reputation remains discredited by a political system that can\’t hear it\’s people.

The very best we can do is educate. Be proactive in your own heath and healing! As we  are allowed to do more research, doctors will become more familiar with marijuana\’s \”medical use\”. Here is an opportunity! Watch Rick Simpson\’s movie: RUN FROM THE CURE, viewed in 7 easy segments; it advocates a new approach to the treatment of cancer and other disease via hemp oil. His website is full of useful information about hemp oil as medicine. Rick provides testimonials that clearly illustrate outcomes [There are four videos posted on the front page. The last two are the best, especially, \”Hey Michael J Fox a parkinsons cure\”!]. It is wonderful to see the healing effects of this magical plant from people who have experienced healing first hand! Also, watch Sam\’s Story to learn about autism and cannabis.

Basics from Rick Simpson\’s \”Make the Medicine\” page:

Will I get high?
Following the dosage previously described, many people can take the full treatment and never get high. In regards to hemp, getting \”high\” is a joke, even if a person does take too much oil the effect wears off quickly and no harm is done. No one has ever died from the use of hemp medicine. (Watch  the parkinsons video to hear what happens when he took too much oil!)

Is this the same as hemp seed oil?

No! This is hemp oil, made from the bud and small leaves of the hemp plant. It is the essential oil of the hemp plant. Health food store sells oil made from hemp seed that is often mislabeled as hemp oil. Although seed oil is very beneficial, it does not contain enough THC to have any effect on cancer and other serious illnesses.

Are hemp and marijuana the same?
The word marijuana is one of over four hundred slang terms used worldwide to describe the cannabis and/or hemp plant.

How do I use it?
High quality hemp oil can be vaporized, ingested or used topically. Add the oil to creams and salves for external use. …Hemp oil will lower blood pressure and if you are on blood pressure medication, you may find that this medication is no longer needed. The same is true for diabetics. I have seen hemp oil control blood sugar to the extent that insulin was no longer needed.

I am not a doctor and I do not have the right to tell people what they should do. Personally, I would not consider taking any cancer treatments currently in use by our medical system, I do not recommend that hemp oil be taken along with chemotherapy. What would be the sense of making your own cure and then allowing the medical system to give you massive doses of poison?

Safety THIRD

I know in the past I have made a point to recognize Safety First. The times they are a\’ changing. Thanks to Mike Rowe, host of a dirty show, I have learned, that certain jobs are inherently UN-safe. Some tasks can only be accomplished by sacrificing complete safety. And so, we must relegate safety to third place, but look on the bright side: it still takes the bronze!
Right to Bear Arms

\”Head first! Feet second! Safety third!\”
In honor of the new rule, I took an adventurous backpacking trip to the Lost Coast …then spent three weeks recovering. Needless to say, the trip was SIIICK (in more ways than one), and the photos accompanying this post are from the journey (seahorse bear arms). While I may get more descriptive on the physicality later, for now I want to share a special highlight:

{Imagine awesome picture. Insert here.}
\”Buck on the Beach! Stag in the Surf!\”
While walking up the coast, we meet a deer dashing in our direction! He is thrashing about wildly and using his body to carve through breaking waves! At first – to me – he seems distressed. But after a moment of watching, we realize that we are *lucky* (very) to bear witness to this deer, having fun! On a run! Completely undone! Chasing down the sun! He is out of breath, exerting all his energy crashing in our ocean\’s churning wake!

Running, in a final burst of power, the stag swings his back end into a breaking wave.  It crashes down around him, dramatically washing up on the land. He stands completely still in this moment and the surf foams before him onto hard-packed sand. What majesty! It is a shocking image. We had stopped abruptly at first sight and just stood there – dumbfounded – starring in awe now.

The awesome animal catches sight of us at last. After a moment\’s searching-questioning-vibe-rant-animal-human-telepathic-communication, the deer starts straight up the beach in front of him and steadily climbs the grassy cliffs that lift and welcome him back into the loving bosom of the woods. He is disappearing into the hillside, breathless all the while. The moment is indescribable and unforgettable: a great thrill. Can you imagine?!

This is the shape of a sea horse
of course, ORANGE you glad?

(Safety always.)

EUREKA! Tremors…

Earthquake Memoirs

It’s an exciting time to be alive! Currently, I sit in Old Town Coffee and Chocolates, at the front by the door. I come here often for wifi; it is my favorite shop, with a relaxed atmosphere and warm vibe. The place has two great rooms with old brick walls, wood floors and big square panes of glass filling the window front. As I write, people who have just arrived are asking whether it’s safe to sit here. That is because the PANES TAKEN during the earthquake are still missing, and being replaced right now by a local glass man! As you will see, in Eureka, we are still shifting a bit since the big shake!
What we experienced on January 9, 2010 at four twenty seven PM was nothing less than groundbreaking, earthshattering madness! I had an inkling at the time, but when I heard 6.5 it boggled my mind! The quake was 25 miles beneath the ocean floor, just off our coast. Although it only lasted 30 seconds, the quick quiver has had far reaching consequences (see Tremors II…).
Saturday morning: I turn off my alarm at quarter to eight and snooze at ten til. I am sleeping in, and through two phone calls from a laundry date. An hour or so later I roll over fo’ real. So does Mike, who needs a shuttle to the Trail. We throw clothes hampers and cycles in the car and head to town with Kallie.
After tuning bikes, I run a shuttle up Fickle Hill for three bike boys. Then cruise the van down country roads and pop into the Coffee Break drive-thru for scone and a smile! Continuing to Jacoby Creek, I read in the cool, wet redwood/fern forest. Before long three dirt-splattered devils come speeding by with doggie close behind. Mike and Kallie have matching mud freckles! Everyone gets dropped off to unwind and I am headed to the laundromat on 7th and E.

It takes awhile for five loads of laundry on a busy day, but I take it in stride, absorbed with searching for quarters (exactly enough!), throwing clothes willy nilly, specially handling sleeping bags, and car cleaning in the meantime. There are five minutes left on my last load. I walk inside to the wall of dryers, and while standing over my hamper (meditating on dryness) THE WHOLE PLACE SHAKES!

It had been a totally normal and wonderful morning until that moment; then it got exciting! The shock of EVERYTHING moving at ONCE makes me think I am suddenly dreaming. When standing on solid ground, one does not expect their balance to be challenged by LAND! I can\’t make sense of it – dreaming? The laundromat feels like a sloop at sea!

The structure jerks wildly back and forth, from floor to ceiling. It is hard to aptly describe, because in an instant: all things coincide. I am astonished. In quick succession a second and third jolt follow, extinguishing electricity in a loud buzz as lights fail, washers stop swishing, and clothes dryers drop dead. The hum of what was, now lies quiet. But the rock of rolling continues. Transformation complete, we be afloat on the sea!
Someone says, “Go!” and we all start for the exit. Things are still swinging and a piece of the front window breaks out  as we pass (adds drama). As we duck and file out the door, I hear myself utter, “Is this an earthquake?” Someone answers, \”yes,\”  and although I already know, confirmation gets the message through. If this were one of those ridiculous disaster movies, we were in perfect form! I am beginning to understand why those flicks are characterized by a lack of logic. Our acting was unbelievable, because we ourselves were unbelieving!
Even standing in the parking lot, we are incredulous because you could feel fluid earth still swinging underneath you – a soft shifting. Previous earthquakes that I have experienced were just a quick jerk: the couch I am sitting on shutters back and forth as if a car hit the building and it\’s over in a fraction of a second. This earthquake’s shakes, however, stay as rolling waves, leaving us with the feeling of floating.
We just stand there for a full thirty seconds, huddled in the lot and looking around as movement fades, like ripples over water. When it feels fairly solid, I jet to the van and try Bro, but the cell towers are on overload. So I dart into the laundromat, grab clothes from the flattened dryer, throw them in the hamper and drive home to find him. My heart is pumping pure adrenaline.
When I get home, everyone and the dogs are fine, but still running around in shock and amazement. I join the party, checking everything out to see what’s going on. No one had electric; people were on the streets to check their houses before dark. We are scrambling in chaos for awhile: looking for lights, keys and phones – in such confusion from a house that is upside down and torn over! Everything fell off it’s shelf and one of our bookcases actually did a face plant in the center of the bedroom. Some of my pottery died in the fall, but the best ones survived.
Anyway, we leave that be – it isn’t a priority. Instead, taking an hour to put our hands on headlamps, and then in order to find important things like keys. I had both our sets at the laundromat. I thought I gave them back… but I wasn\’t really thinking. I was sure I had them…  but where? Or …I can\’t remember. There is a huge blank about the moments during and immediately after the earthquake – so we search. And just as I was about to drive back to the mat, Bro finds them in his hamper. SHEW!
It wasn’t until several hours later that we put together how those keys got away. I had just walked in to the mat from our van. I was investigating a pair of pants; meditating on dryness – when the tremor came. As it shook, we all dropped everything and evacuated. Luckily, \”everything\” fell straight into the basket below, so when I hastily grabbed the hamper to go, I had the keys for Bro.
Once found, we drove around town to see what was going on. There was no way of hearing anything, but getting through on the phones was becoming better, so dad hopped online to tell us what was going on. All good. So we met up with a friend for \”Mission: Beer\”. We headed to a part of Eureka  that we heard still had electric, and sure enough found Safeway (packed to the brim). There were abandoned carts and sticky floors inside and two of the five front windows were broken. When we made it through long lines and back to the parking lot, there was a woman standing there, just leaning on her car,  starring in awe. As she looks on, the lady asks, “What’s it like in there?” with wonder. The glazed look in her eyes was sublime. We chuckled, “You’ll be fine.”