23 February 2017

I’m back at the farm, and back to blogging.   This is what I arrived to:


A gate at the bottom of our driveway.   Austin had mentioned it in an email, but I forgot and it was a shock.   The gate is completely effective at keeping our dogs from bothering the neighbor kids on their way to school.  It is also a complete nuisance when you need to go anywhere by vehicle.   Ugh.   The lovely cardboard hanging beside the gate is a sign saying “NO LIVE BIRDS — CHICKS AVAILABLE”   We get a car or two at the bottom of the driveway every day hooting to ask about roosters – even with this sign.

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I don’t have much more to say.  I’m pooped!  I cleverly executed the Fijian grandparent maneuver and brought one of my grandchildren home: Victor, who is almost 9.  That leads to two little blog-notes about insects:


Mozzies. (who knew young Canadian blood was so sweet to mosquitoes?  The rest of us weren’t being bitten.)


Bees.    Our bee guy brought a dozen students here to learn about bee-keeping, and the little person in the back is Victor in Granddaddy’s extra bee suit.   Highlight of his day was getting to use the “smoke gun” to “paralyze them”

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We had a hen that was crazy because Austin stole her eggs from the bush, so she came in our kitchen and tried to set on a 30-egg tray on the counter.  And we have a whole family of crooked-necked ducks still to be documented.  So much excitement at the farm!

It was pretty exciting in Canada, too.


Funny white stuff.


Unusable clothes lines.


And my First-Ever experience of  “poutine” !!!

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Happy week, Everybody!

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16 February 2017 – vacation edition


Needed:  One Wife

Should be good-natured, hard-working, love farm life, be able to tolerate bad jokes  …. oh, and be SINGLE at present.

Applicants can respond to this blog for beginning the vetting process.  (“must pass muster with Mom” – that’s me.)

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This came about because I am pre-writing  four weeks of blogs for when I am gone.  I asked Akka and Junia for ideas.  Akka said, “Kiki starting kindy.”  (DONE!)

Ju said, “Advertise for a wife for me.”   I said, “YES !!:”    He said,  “NO, I didn’t mean it – no, no, no.”   But he never came up with a better idea.  So …….    the  ad  STANDS – and I look forward to poring through the thousands of applicants.

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This time next week, I should be back at the farm, and a regular Flora and Fauna blog should be posted on 23 February.   Happy week, everybody.

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9 February 2017 – vacation edition


Two days ago would have been my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday if she were still living.

She died on 29 July 2015.   Austin has been working to beautify her grave and set the headstone.  We were going to have a final party for her, but then I got called away to Canada.  (Most likely the party will be postponed until after my return.)

Anyway, two days after her passing I posted the above photo of her with Kiki  in my companion blog that I have given up on.   As much as Beamer (my nickname for her) LOVED children, this was the greatest testament to her spirit at the end of her life.

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Because this post is SO short, I feel moved to share another source of hilarity: a book of “equations” by Craig Damrauer, titled Equations for Living.   Here are two examples:

Cleanliness = Godliness – 1

Parallel parking = Bumper cars – Amusement park

It is worth buying his book if you can find it.  You can find some of his equations here.

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The vacation editions of my blog are for while I am traveling.  Flora and Fauna will resume its regular weekly posts on 23 February 2017.

Happy week, everybody.

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2 February 2017 – vacation edition


This is Palu.  She is Junia’s mum.   She died awhile back, and when she did, I posted this series of anecdotes about her on Facebook with some quotes from the Baha’i Writings that I thought were applicable.    (She was quite a character – are you ready?)

ONE –  There was a Holy Day celebration – a picnic – my first year in Fiji.  Most of us sat visiting/talking – but Palu was up watching the children play.  Then I saw she was walking around the public park picking up all the old trash from the ground.   Palu NEVER just sat still.

Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, for the professions of most men, be they high or low, differ from their conduct. It is through your deeds that ye can distinguish yourselves from others. Through them the brightness of your light can be shed upon the whole earth.


TWO – Palu and I went to visit our good friend Victor who was in the hospital. Soon Palu was visiting the man in the bed beside him, a total stranger. Isa! She knew this man needed her herbal tonic as much as Victor did so she went to my house and brewed two large bottles for each of them.

Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path    


Palu and Ladies 2007  R.jpg

THREE – Palu LOVED to laugh and saw the humor in simple things.  Here you see her on the far left, her face overcome with merriment.

If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look?


FOUR – Palu was as blind to rank and status as anyone I’ve ever known.  She walked up to the Deputy Prime Minister to thank him for something just as un-self-consciously as she brought a crazy homeless man with her to a meeting.  She was absolutely the same in front of everyone she met.   

He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body.


FIVE – Palu was simple, and the simplicity led people to underestimate her.  I was present once when a visiting dignitary threw out a question to the group.  This person totally ignored Palu’s correct response… and praised the very same answer from a more educated person later.  Palu didn’t even notice – she was that humble.

Be ye anchored fast as the high mountains, be stars that dawn over the horizon of life, be bright lamps in the gatherings of unity, be souls humble and lowly in the presence of the friends, be innocent in heart.


SIX – When people stole things from Palu (this happened ALL the time) – she’d get sad, not angry.

Never become angry with one another. …. Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God.


SEVEN – Ok, I did see Palu angry one time – not at a person but at a store.  She’d responded to a TV ad to buy various items for “only $1 down, (conditions apply)”  She took her $1 to the store and they would not let her buy the item.  She told us about it and called it “Bullshit!”

The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor.


EIGHT – Palu, constantly on the go, got her wings clipped when her husband was bedridden and needed her constant care.  This was a trial to her, but she faithfully cared for him for as long as she could, and she did not complain.

Know ye that trials and tribulations have, from time immemorial, been the lot of the chosen Ones of God and His beloved, and such of His servants as are detached from all else but Him.


NINE – About 3 years before her death Palu had a stroke and never recovered use of her right side.  I expected she’d be very unhappy because she was now forced into such inactivity – but she was still cheerful and content, doing whatever little things she could.

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity


TEN – Here is where I stopped with the Palu stories, though I have plenty more:    Because of Palu, I got my first wisps of understanding the divine Teaching that God’s love and tenderness surrounds the poor, and that the poor who endure patiently have a high spiritual station.

Be not troubled in poverty nor confident in riches, for poverty is followed by riches, and riches are followed by poverty. Yet to be poor in all save God is a wondrous gift, belittle not the value thereof, for in the end it will make thee rich in God, and thus thou shalt know the meaning of the utterance, “In truth ye are the poor,” and the holy words, “God is the all-possessing,” shall even as the true morn break forth gloriously resplendent upon the horizon of the lover’s heart, and abide secure on the throne of wealth.

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The vacation editions are for while I am traveling.  Flora and Fauna will resume its regular weekly posts on 23 February 2017.

Happy week, everybody.

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