Friday, May 15, 2015

Whitney's Painting

My daughter Whitney is becoming a great artist. She gave me permission to post this painting that she created just this morning. I always tease that I taught her everything she knows, but in reality, she has far surpassed me in technical ability and creative soul. 


I want to express my gratitude to my friend Nate who came out from Indiana to help with my recovery. He has been taking me to my appointments and making sure that I get out of the house. Yesterday we visited the Manressa Grotto in the Kalispel Country.  

Peace Panel Poster


I suppose I should have blogged the poster before the event. 

Interfaith Peace Panel

The Buddhist Club at Eastern Washington University organized an interfaith peace panel with representatives from Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and indigenous spirituality. My friend Geshe Phelgye moderated the panel and invited me to participate. As always, it feels overwhelming to speak in a public forum where people might misunderstand my heart. I can only speak for myself, and not for anyone else in my communities. 

The panelists were amazing. Every one of them impacted me in a positive way. I took notes and hopefully quoted each panelist as accurately as possible. 

We watched a video before the event where Desmond Tutu was praising the current Dalai Lama. He said, “There is no way in which injustice, oppression, and evil can have the last word.”

Later, as Geshe-La introduced the panel, he said, “Prayer alone is not enough... Along with prayer, we need to engage with others to promote peace" and “Peace only happens when we communicate.”

Imam Yasser Shahin began his presentation by reciting part of the Quran. He said, “In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” I have heard this phrase before, but in light of our discussion, I appreciated the reminder that God is both merciful and compassionate. 

He said that saying hello to people will spread harmony more than keeping to oneself. “Peace starts with knowledge.” He encouraged the people to study other cultures and religions. He also said, “If you know that drawing the Prophet Mohammad offends many people, then you should stop drawing the Prophet Mohammad” and “It’s okay to debate, but we should refrain from arguing.”

The Reverend Happy Watkins told a touching story about meeting his mother in a bus. In front of all the people, she placed her hand upon him and prayed for the Lord to watch over her son. He said, “My mother had no idea what the future held, but she prayed to the future-holder.” His words reminded me of my own struggle after suffering a stroke. Likewise, I have no idea what the future holds for me. Lots of people make predictions and give advice, but only the Creator knows what my future will be. 

He also said, “We have conquered the air and land, but we are not yet wise enough to displace war and hate” and “There’s hope for this Universe of the God we serve.”

Rev. Watkins spoke about the three institutions that give hope for our future: 1) The Institution of the Family, 2) The Institution of the Home, and 3) The Institution of the Kitchen Table.

Lama Lakshay said, “To hurt is not very pleasant.” He told a story about hurting a baby yak, and as a result of that hurt, the yak no longer trusted him.

Pastor Shelley Wee told a story about a young boy from her childhood who was kind of an outcast from the others. He was disliked and teased. Once day, he was singing, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." She recalled thinking, "I wish you wouldn't do that. People will only treat you worse."

Much later, she realized that the boy was part of her group in every way. He attended the same school. He came from the same racial background and the same socioeconomic class. He even attended the same church. She wondered how she could ever come to love people who were different, when she struggled so much with someone who was the same. I really appreciated the vulnerability and emotional honesty of her question. 

After each panelist spoke, the audience got the chance to ask questions. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that the event allowed enough time to truly answer each question. For example, one man asked how our faith traditions could improve in promoting peace among the LGBT community. One or two people attempted a response, but I sensed something lacking.

This is not a critique of Geshe-La. My only hope is that we can continue to engage in courageous conversations in the future around these difficult topics. 

Geshel-La, Imam Yasser Shahin, Rev. Happy Watkins, Lama Laskey Zangpo, Pastor Shelley Wee, and I. 

Lama Laskey, Pastor Shelley, and I conversed briefly after the event. 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Among the camas...

Camas flowers in the sunset...

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Every year I get the same pictures, but I love these plants. It always makes me happy to see them again after a cold winter. 

Lomatium Macrocarpum

Lately, I have been curious if anyone still eats lomatium macrocarpum. I apologize that I don't know any of the traditional names for this plant, but many of our ethnobotany books claim that it's edible. Please let me know if you know anything about this root. 

Bitterroot Flowers

Sunset through the trees...

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Camas Therapy


My friend Stanton brought me to Drumheller Springs to see the camas in full bloom. I'm still not strong enough to actually dig the roots, but I didn't want to miss a visit with the flowers. Our short walk was my physical therapy for the day, but seeing the native plants was therapy for my soul.

La Terapia de Camasia

Mi amigo Stanton me llevó a las Mantiales Drumheller  para ver la camasia en su floración total. Aún no tengo fuerza como para excavar las raíces, pero no quería perder una visita con las flores. Nuestra caminata breve sirvió como terapia física, pero el acto de ver las plantas nativas me sirvió de terapia para el alma. 

As far as I can tell, no one has every translated camas into Spanish. If anyone knows, please tell me, but for now, I think I'll call camas by an adaptation of its Latin name. In Latin, the plant is called cammassia quamash, so in Spanish, I will call it: la camasia. 

Según puedo ver, nadie ha traducido la palabra camas al español. Si alguién lo sabe, por favor dígamelo. Pero por ahora pienso que llamaré la camas por una adaptación de su nombre latín. En latín, la planta se llama cammassia quamash. Por tanto, en español, la llamaré: la camasia.   

The camas flowers will soon begin to wilt. The weather has changed so much; I think the flowers are several weeks early. 

Pronto las flores de camasia empezarán a marchitar. El clima ha cambiado tanto; pienso que las flores han llegado temprano por varias semanas. 

A ladybug in the camas flower. 

Un ladybig entre la flor de camasia. 

This plant is often called Indian carrot or yampa (perideridia gairdneri).

Frecuentemente, esta planta se llama "zanahoria indígena" o yampa. 

From left to right: 
Wild onion. 
Indian carrot (yampa).
Indian carrot (yampa).

De izquierda a derecha:
Cebolla silvestre. 
Zanahoria indígena. 
Zanahoria indígena.

The roots of Indian carrot. 

Las raíces de zanahoria indígena.

Some of the bitterroots (Lewisia rediviva) were beginning to bloom. 

Algunas de las raíces amargas empiezan a florecer. 

Lomatium trinernatum with camas. 

Lomatium triternatum con la camasia. 

Lomatium trinernatum flowers remind me of tiny galaxies. 

Las flores de lomatium trinernatum me parecen pequeñas galaxias. 

Arrowleaf balsamroot (balsamorhiza sagittata).

El nombre de esta flor se traduce literalmente al español como "hoja flecha raíz balsámico."

The balsamroot flowers are just beginning to wilt. 

Las flores de raíz balsámica están empezando a marchitar. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


After lunch, my mother, daughter, and I visited the old Moses Homestead. It was wonderful for me to show my daughter where my great grandparents once lived. When we arrived, my mother remembered that my dad brought her to this same location many years ago. 

Después del almuerzo, my mamá, mi hija, y yo visitamos la vieja hacienda Moisés. Fue also maravillosa para mí poder mostrarle a mi hija el lugar donde vivían mis bisabuelos. Cuando llegamos, mi mamá recordó que mi papá la llevó a este mismo sitio hace muchos años atrás.  

We were caught in a wind storm mixed with hail and snow. When it started to thunder, I told them that we had better leave. 

Nos tocó una tormenta de viento mezclada con granizo y nieve. Cuando empezó a tronar, les dije que sería mejor que fuéramos de allí. 


My mom brought me out to lunch this afternoon. She has been such a wonderful support ever since I suffered a stroke several weeks ago. Now she is supporting my recovery. 

Mi mamá me llevó a comer hoy en la tarde. Ella ha sido un apoyo desde que sufrí un derrame cerebral hace algunas semanas. Ahora está apoyando mi recuperación. 

Rhonda and Whitney had lunch with us. 

Rhonda y Whitney comerieron con nosotros. 

All the waiters at the restaurant know me. When they saw me walking with a cane, they all came out of the kitchen and greeted me. It was a very sweet gesture. 

Todos los meseros en el resaurante me conocen. Cuando me vieron caminar con un bastón, todos salieron de la cocina y me saludaron. Fue un gesto lindo.  

Many people have expressed concern about seeing me out of my house. You should know that part of physical therapy requires me to go outside and walk every day. Walking and other physical activities will help my brain to re-wire itself.

Algunas personas han expresado su precupación al verme salir de la casa. Deberían saber que parte de mi terapia física me requiere salir afuera y caminar todos los días. Caminar y otras actividades físicas ayudarán a que se sane mi cerebro. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Prom Date

A young man - the son of family friends - came to our house today and asked my daughter to the prom. He was so nervous, but he was gracious and polite. He even brought a bouquet of flowers. She said yes. 

I was sitting on the couch, but I heard everything. It was so sweet. I found myself getting misty. I'm officially old - my baby is going to the prom. 

Un joven - el hijo de amigos de nuestra familia - llegó a la casa hoy y le pidió a mi hija a que vaya al baile de graduación. Estaba tan nervioso, pero fue muy amable y cortés. También le dió un ramo de flores. Ella dijo sí.

Yo estaba sentado en el sofá, pero escuché todo. Fue tan dulce. Me sentí muy sentimental, y lloré un poco. Oficialmente soy viejo. Mi bebé se va al baile de graduación. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

South Perry Pizza

When I woke up this morning, I had an unbearable craving for South Perry Pizza. More importantly, I couldn't stop thinking about my friend Erin. My wife treats me really well, so she drove me all the way to South Perry to fulfill my wish. 

Everybody wants me to stay home and sleep, but man, I get so damned bored sitting in my house all day every day. Boredom cannot be good for my healing. And besides, my physical therapist said that I really am supposed to get out and walk a couple times a day. 

My baby girl Whitney had pizza with me today. 

Here's my new look with short hair. I don't like the new hairstyle, 
but I am thankful to be alive. My hair will grow back. 

At South Perry Pizza, I was really hoping that I would see Erin by some chance, but it didn't work out. As we were leaving, I asked several of the waiters if they knew her. They all said no. Hmmmm. So then, I left a note for her on the bar and just asked them to give it to Erin when she came in. I had no idea if she would find her note or not, but I decided to just trust the universe to deliver the message to its proper destination. 

We saw these beautiful spring flowers outside the pizza place. I was just thinking, "I should take a picture of those flowers," when Whitney jumped out of the car and said, "I should take a picture of those flowers." Apparently, she learned something from me. 

When I got home, Erin re-posted my note on FB, so I guess the message found its recipient. Everything must have worked out. She said the note made her sniffle. :)

Before the Stroke

This afternoon, my daughter and I took some pictures, and we found a few shots that I took a few days before the stroke. This is a photograph of the sun shining through the dried branches of cow parsnip. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Whitney's Braces

Whitney is following in the footsteps of her father. She got braces on her teeth. 
Hopefully, she will have them fewer than six and a half years... 

Los Brackets de Whitney

Whitney está siguiendo en la huellas de su padre. Recibió brackets en los dientes.  
Espero que los tengo menos de seis años y medio...

Yarrow Sprouts

It has been several weeks since I blogged, mostly because I have been so sick. I'm slowly improving, just in time to notice the yarrow sprouting from the ground in my back yard. It encourages me greatly to see new life in spring. 


Brote de Milnerama

He pasado varias semenas sin escribir en mi blog, mayormente porque he estado enfermo. Ahora estoy mejorando, justo a tiempo para notar que las plantas de milenrama están brotando de la tierra en mi jardín. Me anima mucho ver la vida nueva en primavera. 


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