Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Choose Your Path - You Do Have Choices!

Another election has come and gone in the United States, and many people are convinced their next four years will be determined by the outcome.

But you and I both know that’s not really the case.

The reality is that good things and bad things happen to all of us, but we make our own decisions. We make the decisions that ultimately determine our fate.

Choose Your Path
Imagine having a mind that is “programmed” to make the right decisions. Imagine instinctively moving through each area of your life on the best path to success and prosperity.

That’s what NLP does for you-- it gives you the mental programming to change the way you think.  It puts you in control. Your life changes as you automatically follow the best path.

  • Marti and John Browne are both certified as a NLP Master Practitioners and Time Empowerment Master Practitioners, trained by Dr. Matt James and Empowerment Partnerships.


  • They use NLP techniques along with Time Empowerment Techniques to help clients make massive shifts in any area of their lives including business, relationships and career.  These are successful techniques also used to overcome and release self limiting beliefs, anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt and grief in just a few sessions.


  • They are both also certified as a Reiki Masters/Teachers and are certified Master Hypnotherapists and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioners and are able to use all of these additional tools in a personal breakthrough session designed specifically for you.


 For more information and to book an appointment with Marti and/or John:

Call Now:  760-868-1434 or 760-265-1055

Browne Hypnosis Center

(Located in Phelan, CA in the High Desert)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hope for Cancer Victims and Survivors

Cancer Prevention and Cures with the help of  Good Nutrition

Did you know that there are a number of foods that can help prevent Cancer as well as help cure Cancer?

I wish I had known about this when my oldest sister had cancer and died from it in 2001 right after the tragic event on 9-11.

I recently read about some fantastic healthy foods that can not only help to prevent Cancer but also help cure Cancer.  Of course they need to be Non-GMO and organic.  (It is important to research the effects of eating GMO food and foods that are not organic.)

Here is another fantastic fruit that has awesome health attributes: the Cherimoya Fruit

I saw this fruit for the first time late summer and early fall at the farmers market we go to in Wrightwood, CA on Fridays at 4pm -7pm. It is so tastey.  It has a sweet flavor and the consistency of a mango.

The guy selling this fruit told me it grows here in Southern CA in Fallbrook and is of the apple family.

He said he thought it would grow here in the High Desert so I saved some seeds and started some seedlings.  I look forward to seeing how well they grow in Phelan, in the High Desert.

There are also other holistic healing modalities that can help Cancer victims and Cancer survivors.  

Hypnosis, NLP, Time Empowerment, EFT and Reiki are also very effective holistic healing modalities used to enhance the healing process not only for Cancer but also for many other things.  Marti and John Browne are both trained Master Practitioners in these modalities. 

For more information about each of these healing modalities click on the tabs at the top of this blog.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pomegranates Grow Well in the High Desert

How to Make
Raw Pomegranate Juice

We have more pomegranates this year than ever on our pomegranate tree.

I love pomegranates and have been eyeballing this basket filled with pomegranates I picked off of our tree last year.   They have tasty dried seeds in them, however are quite difficult to dig out so they may end up being recycled in our compost pile.

It is now time to harvest our this year's crop of pomegranates.

I just happened to get an email this morning from Ronnie and Minh, who are amazing Raw Foodists.  Ronnie just created a YouTube video on how easy it is to make your own pomegranate juice.

He selects a pomegranate that is already cracked and picks it before the birds get to it.

First he cuts it in half and places it face down in a pan of water.  Then he breaks apart the halves under the water in the pan and the seeds fall out easily into the pan. He throws out the white casing that was around the seeds and the outside shell.

Then, he sets a small strainer on top of a glass and uses a wood cooking utensil to squish the juice easily into the glass leaving the seeds in the strainer.

I am so happy to find out how easy it is to get the seeds out of pomegranates now and make my own yummy pomegranate juice.

Watch Ronnie's video on how to make Raw Pomegranate Juice

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Heaven Is Real - Amazing Story

Heaven is real, says neurosurgeon who claims to have visited the afterlife
By Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News | The Sideshow – Tue, Oct 9, 2012

Dr. Eben Alexander claims to have visited the afterlife (Twitter)Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife.

But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.
"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek.
So what exactly does heaven look like?
Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them."
He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:
"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."
"You have nothing to fear."
"There is nothing you can do wrong."
From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God.
After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.
"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right."
There is an amazing video on Yahoo today about this but I couldn't figure out how to load it into my blog.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Amazing Akashic Record Reading

 My Client Meets Her Spirit Guide

I had a client the other day that has a particular challenge that she is going through regarding her health that wanted an Akashic Record Reading to get some answers.  Some very unique things came up in the reading that I think are going to have a powerful impact on the process of her complete healing.  Without going into those details at this time I want to share another portion of the reading that she has given me permission to share.

After the initial part of opening the records and getting some amazing information, we had a little more time, so I asked the Masters, Teachers and Loved Ones in charge of my client's Akashic Records if there was any other information they could give her at this time that would help her with the current issue she was wanting information about, or if there was another past life or entity that could give her information or help her with this particular issue she was wanting help with, and if so to please bring it to us.

This time, instead of imagining a pillar of light forming about 18" in front of her she asked if she could have a giant Sequoia tree be there instead, and I said, "Of course".

As we imagined this giant Sequoia tree in front of her, and a tube of light connecting from her heart into the heart of this tree, all of a sudden a beautiful eagle with a huge wing span descended and landed in the top of this tree.  My client asked me what color it was and I said it is mostly different shades of brown and some black on it and a little bit of white and I knew it wasn't a bald eagle.  She asked if it was her eagle...and I said, " is your eagle.  He wants you to know that he is your spirit guide."

I looked over at my client and her eyes were all teary.  I asked her what was happening and she told me about a baby eagle that she had watched being born and growing up a little and then get electrocuted and killed.  An eagle family and this baby eagle had been filmed and was being shown on a program on TV.  My client had become very connected with this baby eagle particularly, and to this story.  She felt so devastated when this baby eagle got electrocuted by some power lines and was grieving the loss of this baby eagle.

The eagle that landed in this Sequoia tree had the same coloration and looked like a more grown up version of this baby.  Her spirit guide eagle told her many encouraging and comforting things and reassured her that he would always be there in an instant whenever she called for him.  He told her that she was on the right path and doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing and is fulfilling her purposes in this life and learning the lessons she is supposed to be learning. 
Her spirit guide eagle had chosen to incarnate in this life on planet Earth for a very short time to bring her and others several messages, one message being that people need to check with their power company to see what they have done to make their power lines 'raptor safe' so this kind of accident can be avoided in the future.

Her spirit guide eagle also said that when he chose to incarnate into this lifetime he also chose to pass on to the "Other Side" by being electrocuted because it empowered him with what he needed to have, to be able to be her particular spirit guide.  What was a very sad ending for the life of the baby eagle on this Earth, for my client, has been transformed into a beautiful beginning of a new relationship with her very own eagle spirit guide that she can count on.

Akashic Record Readings are really amazing tools for getting all kinds of answers to various questions and guidance for particular issues that come up on our journey through this lifetime.  To find out more about what an Akashic Record Reading can do for you, click this link or click on the tab at the top of my blog labeled Akashic Readings 

If you want a breakthrough in a particular area of your life or answers to questions you haven't gotten answers to yet contact me, the results are amazing!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gardening in the High Desert with Straw Bale Raised Beds and More...

Straw Bale Raised Bed Garden

Straw Bale Raised Bed Gardening

So many plants grow well here in the High Desert in Southern California and especially in Straw Bale Raised Garden Beds.

We have Haogen Melons, Cantaloupe, Eggplant, Red and Orange Bell Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Habenjero Peppers and Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries planted in this Straw Bale Bed.

Squash and Watermelon in Raised Straw Bale Bed Garden

Squash and Cucumbers in Raised Straw Bale Bed Garden in Back

If you want to find out more about making straw bale raised bed gardens, you can take a look at the post I blogged about How to Make a Straw Bale Raised Bed Garden earlier this year.

Patio Garden Potato Planters

Potato Gardening

I planted organic sweet potatoes and yams in these Patio Garden Potato Planters that I blogged about earlier this year and they are doing really well.  We really look forward to harvesting them when they are ready.  I recently got some Korean Purple Sweet Potatoes that I'm preparing to plant as well.  They taste so yummy and I heard that they have a lower glycemic index...always good to watch that sugar intake no matter how healthy you are.

Tomato Gardening

Topsy Turvey Hanging Tomato Planters are a great way to save space and keep some of the creepy crawlers off of your tomatoes.  I made these using 5 gallon buckets left over from some of our horse feed.

My husband John, drilled a hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket for me to insert my seedling tomato into.  I used coffee filters  in the bottom to keep the dirt from coming out the hole and filled the bucket with composted soil and special nutrients like fish emulsion for growing healthy tomatoes and then topped it off with a little mulch and put the lid on it that John had drilled holes in to make it easy to  water them through.

I bought some burlap that I'm going to use to cover these hanging tomato planters with when I get a "Round To It".

Raised Bed Tomato Gardening

Here is another one of our tomato gardens that we made using another kind of a raised bed made with old bleached out telephone poles.  It is a good idea to make sure there is no creosote left in them if you are going to use telephone poles or railroad ties. It is not good to have creosote leaching into your plants.

We double dig the soil first and amend it with organic compost and then place the telephone poles.  Once we have the phone poles in place, we fill the center with all organic composted soil and special amendments that are great for growing the best tomatoes.  We use T bars and concrete wire running down the center of the garden so we can plant tomatoes on each side and tie them up to the concrete wire.  We used to make tomato cages out of the concrete wire but they take up too much space and we get a huge crop of tomatoes doing it this way.

I plant Marigolds among my tomatoes which helps keep some bugs away plus I put crushed egg shells around the bottom of each tomato plant. Most kinds of worms don't like to crawl on egg shells.

We also have carrots and parsnips planted among our tomato plants in this raised bed.

Gardening on  No Climb Fencing

Pumpkins and Runner Beans Growing on No Climb Fencing
We use all sorts of places on our ranch to plant things.  Of course we fence off the chickens, alpacas and horses so they can't eat our precious crops.

Antique Yard Art in the Garden

Antique Yard Art in the Garden Bed
It is always fun for me to add a little "Yard Art" in and around our various gardens.

Here's a few antiques among the black berries and a giant pumpkin plant we planted.  Be sure to visit my blog often for more garden photos and stories.

There is already a giant pumpkin forming on the backside of this fence in a catch pen area of our alpaca pens.  Be sure to check back for photos of this giant pumpkin growing.

I'll be blogging more soon about berries, fruits and other vegetables we've planted that grow well here in the High Desert in Southern California.

Feel free to comment on this post about Gardening in the High Desert.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Law of Attraction and The Bottle Tree

 We are Amazing Electro - Magnetic Beings when it comes to The Law of Attraction

I was getting ready to blog about my High Desert Day Trip to The Bottle Tree Ranch on Old Route 66 in Oro Grande, CA and I received an e-mail from The Bottle Tree.  I thought back to recall whether I had given a business card to Elmer, at the Bottle Tree Ranch the other day. That would be the only way he'd have my e-mail and I hadn't given him one.  But then again, I don't think he spends much time on the internet if even at all.

So who was this Bottle Tree emailing me and why at this particular moment?  I clicked on the e-mail and opened it up.  It was an email from a gal in Israel that I had purchased this wonderful lemon room fragrance from through her shop on Etsy about a year ago.

The Bottle Tree in Kibbutz Ein-Tzurim, Israel
Since I just blogged about The Bottle Tree Ranch in the Mohave Desert in Oro Grande, CA, I think I'll blog about this amazing shop in Israel that I highly recommend.  This photo would be their version of a Bottle Tree which is a whole lot different than Elmer's creations.  I think this is a fun idea to hang a collection of unusually shaped bottles from a tree and so I started making one in one of our Redbud trees on our ranch.  It makes for a great conversation piece.  I also have a collection of bottles hanging on wooden dowels in the corners of my wood lattice grape arbor that my husband, John built for me for one of my Mother's Day gifts this year. It looks very unique.
Lemon Growing in a Bottle
How the heck did they do that? If you ever go visit The Bottle Tree in Israel then you can find out how they do it in Kibbutz Ein-Tzurim at the Bottle Tree. When you visit,you can stay in their guest rooms right on the Kibbutz.  I have been to a couple of other Kibbutzs in Israel when I visited back in 1984 and 1986 but I didn't know about this one then.  They say they have all kinds of fun activities for children and adults and a beautiful refreshing pool.

I've been studying the Law of Attraction a lot lately so I'll take this as another unique way that we manifest things in our lives.  I'm learning to pay more attention to the "little nudges" in life these days.  We have a Meetup that we facilitate called Manifesting Your Dreams that you can read about on the tab at the top of this blog. It is limited to a small group of very committed people that want to create major breakthroughs in their lives and live the life of their dreams. 

Feel free to comment on this post or about something unique that you have manifested with the Law of Attraction

The Bottle Tree Ranch on Historic Old Route 66

Our Day Trip to the Bottle Tree Ranch

The Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande, CA
I heard about this amazing Bottle Tree Ranch on Historic Old Route 66 in Oro Grande, CA quite sometime ago and have wanted to go see it.

Monday, John and I were out and about doing errands and at the spur of the moment decided to see if we could find it.  We looked it up on the internet on our trusty cell phone and discovered it was down the highway from Linda Marie's Enchanted Treasures, another place I wanted to visit!

Off we went and it was even more amazing than I imagined.  I have never seen so many bottles in one place. He has over 500 bottles and is still collecting.

Not only does Elmer Long have zillions of bottles but he also has zillions of antiques and all sorts of things he has re-purposed.

Elmer Long at Bottle Tree

We were so fortunate that Elmer Long was home because he came out and visited with us for a very long time and told us all sorts of interesting history of the things he has collected and made.  What an amazing artist he is.

He invited us into his home and gave us a tour of some creations he has in there.  He showed us his kitchen sink that sits on an old gurney.  He says he only runs hot water to it because he gets enough cold water while he's waiting for the hot water to come through!

He showed us a beautiful lamp that is made out of apiece of drift wood he pulled out of the ground one day while on a hike.

He even has all these amazing things made out of buffalo jaw bones that he picked up on one of his trips out of state, one of which is hanging above this Ludlow sign with a bunch of old keys hanging from it.

Elmer Long in His Younger Years
Among some photos that he has below this large LUDLOW sign are a couple of photos when Elmer was younger and when he first started The Bottle Tree Ranch in 2002.

He says he's getting old now but that doesn't stop him from creating something new just about every day.  He showed us all sorts of things he is in the middle of creating.

He always puts interesting things on top of all of his bottle tree creations like old typewriters, old adding machines, old sewing machines and old milk cans.  One bottle tree is even topped with his old Lionel train set.

He pumps water into a large water storage container and lets it drip constantly to make sure the local birds and rabbits etc. get plenty of water to drink in his Mohave Desert location in Oro Grande, CA.

A Few of Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Creations

Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Creations
Bottle Tree Creations by Elmer Long
A number of movies have been filmed at this Bottle Tree Ranch and Elmer told us that he gets visitors from all over the world.  People find out about the Bottle Tree Ranch on the internet and make special trips to the US just to come see it!  Historic Old Route 66 has a lot of amazing attractions including The Bottle Tree Ranch in the Mohave Desert.  We had a great time and highly recommend going to see it.  If Elmer is there he will come out and spend time with you.  He is a treasure  himself.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Pajama Game Musical Comes to Phelan

The Pajama Game Musical

I remember when The Pajama Game came out as a movie when I was a kid.  Doris Day starred in it and she was one of my all time favorite movie stars back then.

The Pajama Game Playbill
My husband, John loves the theater and I noticed in one of our local tri-community newspapers that The Pajama Game was being performed right here in Phelan in the High Desert.  For an early Father's Day present, I treated him to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Phelan, Mexico Lindo, and then to The Pajama Game performance last night at Serrano High School Performing Arts Center. 

The Snowline Players did a marvelous job in this wonderful musical.  What a diversified cast of characters and very talented.  Some of the cast that shared the stage are even members of the same family.   

The Snowline Players are a non-profit organization dedicated since 1961 to providing quality entertainment, learning experiences, and scholarships in the theater arts to people of all ages in the tri-community. 


A page inside the Playbill
"The musical comedy, the Pajama Game was based on seven and a Half cents, a comic novel about labor relations written by Richard Bissell.  Babe Williams is an employee at the Sleep Tite pajama factory who becomes the spokesperson for her fellow workers when management refuses to give them a 7 1/2 cent raise.  Complicating matters is the fact that Management is represented by the handsome shop superintendent, Sid Sorokin, who happens to be in love with Babe.  A subplot involves Babe's freewheeling co-worker, Gladys, and her insanely jealous boyfriend, a factory-manager and efficiency expert, Hines.  The Pajama game won 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book.

The play takes place in 1954, in and around the sleep Tite pajama factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa." (from a page in the Playbill)

There is still time to enjoy a night out or a matinee of this light hearted play. Performances are on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00PM and on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00PM for the Matinees - this weekend and next weekend. The last performance is on Sunday June 24th at 2:00PM.

It is a great way to celebrate Father's Day and support our local community in the High Desert.  We look forward to going to more performances put on by The Snowline Players.

Did you know?

"Pajamas (or pyjamas) are often shortened to PJs, jim jams, or jammies.  the original pajamas are loose, lightweight trousers fitted with drawstring waistbands and worn in south and West Asia by both sexes.  The word originally derived from the Persian word (Peyjama, meaning "leg garment) was incorporated into the English language during British Raj.  They were introduced in England as lounging attire in the 17th century but soon went out of fashion.  about 1870 they reappeared in the Western world as sleeping attire for men, after British colonials brought them back when returning home." (from another page in The Pajama Game Playbill)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Clay Pot Tower Gardens

Tower Herb Garden
I've been wanting to make some Clay Pot Tower Gardens for some of my herbs for quite awhile and finally got around to building a few.

My friend Sun, gave me some clay pots when she was moving so I wanted to use them in a creative way.  I used some in one of my tower gardens and one for the base of a pot I planted some strawberries in from a strawberry bed I'm dismantling.

Strawberry Planter

I'm in the process of redoing my herb garden and will be taking the tables out, leveling the ground and putting mulch down.  Then I will put all the planters back in and install a drip system.  We had a mister system in there and it wasn't that great of an idea so now...Plan "B"... a drip system.

I built a couple of Clay Pot Tower Gardens for some of my herbs for the entrance of my herb garden the other day.  Here in the High Desert we get a little done here and a little done there between juggling schedules, taking care of all of  our ranch animals,high winds and whatever else gets us distracted!  So once I get this herb garden creation finished, perhaps I'll post another photo.

Clay Pot Tower Herb Gardens

I have  a couple of hundred seedlings going that will be ready to plant in our Straw Bale Raised Bed Gardens after the last frost which could be really soon!  We really enjoy gardening and it's a good thing, because it is a work in progress on our ranch!

Comments Welcome!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

High Desert Home Show in Victorville CA

There's still time to go to the High Desert Home Show at the Victorville Fairgrounds today.  It's open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM today.  We had originally planned to go on Friday when it first opened but we had high winds and pouring rain so we decided to go yesterday after meeting with the High Desert Branch of the California Writer's Club.

Even though it is a smaller scale Home Show compared to the ones in Los Angeles, there are lots of great vendors that inspired us with lots of creative ideas to get busy with this spring!

Our main focus for going to this Home Show was to look at landscaping ideas, gardening, composting, recycling, re-purposing, becoming more self sufficient and health care.  We definitely found what we were looking for and more!

Perfection Landscape

Our good friend, Cindy Poore, a Landscape Specialist with Perfection Landscape, was so generous to gift us with VIP tickets to come to the Home show this year.

She has a fantastic landscaping company right here in our local town of Phelan.  Cindy has very unique gifts and talents in designing special havens for her clients.  She has a great sense of color and has a wealth of knowledge for what grows well here in the High Desert.

If you are thinking of giving your property a face lift, we highly recommend Cindy Poore.
Call: 760-868-6104

Landscaping Etc.

Landscaping - Skin Care - Far Infrared Saunas

We saw quite a variety of fountains, patio furniture and other yard art on display along with all sorts of rocks that can be used in landscaping up here in the High Desert.  There were several Spa booths, outdoor screen rooms, window and flooring booths and a great booth that had several styles of Far Infrared Saunas.  There were all kinds of booths that had unique decor for inside the home.  The Mink Oil products were even there so of course we stocked up on them again...gotta have that Mink Oil for my gardening hands!

Meet Greg Anderson

 World Wide Worm Farm in Apple Valley!

What an amazing guy with such amazing talent.  He composts, recycles and re-purposes all sorts of unique things.  He creates awesome yard art out name it...he does it!  He showed me a photo of a bumble bee he made out of coffee cans.  Check out the Tin Man he made out of tin cans that is hanging in his booth to the right of him.

He showed me photos of his amazing raised bed gardens and cold frames he created as well.  I'm definitely going to go buy some earth worms from him as soon as our raised straw bale gardens are finished composting.  So if you want some worms from Greg for your gardens, give him a call: 760-792-9660.  He even uses recycled paper for his business cards!  He practices what he preaches!

Learn How to Become More Self Sufficient

Compost, recycle, re-purpose, bug control, plumbing supplies, wind power and solar supplies
There were so many educational booths at this High Desert Home Show that had a lot of very informative ways about how to become more self sufficient in these challenging times we are in.  Home shows are great places to go to get ideas and find people that can help you get the things done that you aren't able to do yourself!

Cooking, Local Artists, Boy Scouts, Highway Patrol, Health Education Etc.

 There were all kinds of cooking supplies, pots and pans, cutlery, gadgets, home decor, health supplies and just about anything you can imagine for inside and outside the home was on display.

 Favorite Country Sheds

Sheds on display from Shed World

 Shed world had a wide variety of sheds and out buildings on display that can be used for so many things on property up here in the High Desert.  These are a few of my favorites from them.

Another Great High Desert Home Show
We are looking forward to implementing all the great ideas we got from going to the High Desert Home Show this year.

Comments Welcome.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Alpacas Have Character!

"Say What?"

Our alpacas were taking turns yawning this morning and I just happened to catch "Tezzie" on camera!  Looks like he's singing a tune or saying something really important.  If I learn how to attach sound to this, I might add a song later!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ode to the Redbud Tree

One of my favorite trees is the Redbud tree. We had many in our yard in Glendale, MO, a suburb of St. Louis, MO, where I grew up.  It was one of my mother's favorite trees as well.  When we moved to the High Desert in Southern CA I got several from the forest service and planted them on our ranch.  They have started blooming once again and the butterflies and the bees are are having the time of their lives enjoying the tasty nectar.  Even the humming birds love them!  This is a photo I took of one of our Redbud trees yesterday afternoon while out enjoying all of our fruit trees beginning to bloom.

Butterfly in the Redbud Tree
The Redbud is a small tree which grows in the forest, on the borders of fields, on hillsides or in valleys...and now on our ranch in the High Desert of Southern CA!  The leaves are alternate and heart shaped, three to five inches long, turning to a bright clear yellow in the autumn.  The Redbuds bright magenta, pea shaped flowers grow in clusters along the twigs and small branches, and usually appear before the leaves in early spring.

Redbud Tree in full bloom with heat shaped leaves beginning to unfold

A Bit of Oklahoma History

Maimee Lee Robinson Browne, my husband John's grandmother, was instrumental in getting the Redbud Tree to be the official tree of the state of Oklahoma in 1937.  Redbud in Poetry as expressed in verse collected by Maimee Lee Robinson Browne is a beautiful book of poetry that was published in 1964, honoring the Redbud Tree and acknowledging her for all the work she did to get this accomplished.  She was the leader of a state-wide campaign to plant the Redbud tree.  The beautification program took hold all over the state. There are over thirty thousand Redbud trees in Sulphur, OK.  They must be a sight to behold when they are all in bloom in the spring.  That is a lot of Redbuds compared to the seven on our ranch!

"Whereas in the beginning of this great commonwealth, when the sturdy and hardy pioneers thereof trekked across its rolling hills and plains, one of the first sights to greet them spread out in glorious panorama, was the Redbud tree-a tree, that as it arose in the spring from verdant fields, was emblematic of the eternal renewal of all life; a tree that in its beauty renewed the worn spirit and gave hope to the tired heart of a people seeking homes in a new land, and...." a partial quote from the Senate Joint Resolution Number 5 declaring the Redbud the official tree of the state of Oklahoma on March 30, 1937.

Bees enjoying the nectar from the Redbud blossoms

Beauty in Our Forests

Deep in the forests in spring
When the redbird makes her first call
She sees only the green of the cedar
and the Redbud through brown leaves of fall.

Brilliant buds tempt travelers to gather
Small sprays to take on their way,
Denuding the forests of slender
and wasting God's glory each day.

To protect this miracle of springtime
When drab colors become radiant hue,
Help God keep beauty in our forests
For birds and mankind to view.


Redbud Tree in Full Cycle

 This Redbud tree still has its seed pods on from last fall and is in full bloom with its flowers and the beginnings of the heart shaped leaves unfolding.

Comments are Welcome!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Another Chicken Soup for a Chilly Day!

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup

Another awesome chicken soup recipe from Marti's Kitchen Concoctions inspired by a chilly windy day in the High Desert.  Once again, I start out with a baked whole chicken that I de-bone and boil the bones to make scrumptious chicken broth and cube some of the pieces of chicken meat to add to the soup after the veggies are cooked.

Boiling Chicken Bones for Soup Broth

Cubed Chicken for Chicken Soup
Organic Vegetables for Chicken Soup

Today's chicken vegetable soup has organic onions, garlic, celery, carrots, red cabbage, broccoli, kale, home grown squash from our fall 2011 garden that I froze, peas, pink salt from the Andes, and last but not least organic salt free spices that I get from Costco!

Chopped Vegetables Ready to Saute
Veggies Simmering in Chicken Broth

After I saute the veggies in a little sunflower or sesame oil, I add some of the chicken broth and simmer them for a little while.  This gives the veggies a chance to really soak up the flavor of the broth, pink salt and salt free spices.

Chicken Vegetable Soup in Crock Pot
I put all the ingredients in a crock pot to simmer on low until time to eat!  A crisp organic lettuce salad goes really well with chicken soup.  I make a great Italian Dressing using organic olive oil, Bragg's raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar and those yummy organic spices I get from Costco.  Bon Appetite!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hand Dyeing Fiber for Doll Hair

I got another special order for four colors of doll hair that I hand dye using Cotswold sheep curls or mohair curls from Angora goats. Here's a mini version of one of my processes including a few photos on  how I hand dyed one of the colors of blond for this special order of hand dyed Cotswold sheep curls.

First I soak my already washed and processed white sheep curls in a white vinegar and water solution in a tub in the sink until they are saturated.  This helps the dye to be colorfast.

Then I  heat up my dye pot with water, a little more white vinegar and whatever color of  fiber dye I'm going to use.  When it is nice and hot I add the sheep curls making sure they are covered with the dye solution.  I like to use a vegetable steamer to put the curls in when I'm dyeing small amounts because it makes it easy to lift them out and drain them before cooling them off.

After I take them out of the dye pot I cool them off for a bit before putting them through the final rinse to rinse off any excess dye.
Draining and Cooling off to Room Temperature

Continued Cooling Off Process

Final Rinse to Remove any Excess Dye

Once I have completed the final rinse I put them in my washing machine and spin the excess water out using only the spin cycle.  It is important not to agitate the fiber during the hand dyeing process or you may end up wit a blob of felted curls!

If it is nice weather outside, I dry the fiber on a net drying table I have set up outside.  If it is rainy or stormy weather outside then I use a Hamilton Beach electric sweater dryer that came from Bed bath and Beyond a couple of years ago.  It has four trays....perfect for drying these four colors!

 I usually start out with my lightest color to hand dye and continue to the darkest.  Here is a photo of the four colors I completed for this particular special order.  I also hand dye a wide variety of other colors for spinning and felting projects and create special sampler packages so people can experiment with lots of different fibers in smaller quantities.  I'll be getting out my dye pots to do a large variety of colors in a month or so after I purchase more fleeces from spring shearing.  Meanwhile, I carry white year around for making Santa Beards and other spinning and felting projects.

Hand Dyed Fiber for Doll Hair
These fibers can be purchased in my La Tea Da Designs Etsy Shop