There is always a lovely surprise waiting for visitors to the Garland Community Garden.  On Thursday I came upon one of our Yuccas in blooming just in time for the fall pollinators.  There were no blooms on it the day before.   


Monarchs are making like crazy—eggs and caterpillars. I know.  I’ve had plenty of time to observe them lately.  I’ve spent about 3 hours a day from Sunday through Thursday down at the Garland Community Garden, mowing and pulling weeds in anticipation of our weekend version of the North Texas monsoon which actually began a bit early on Thursday night. 

During my time in the garden these past few days, I have found several Monarch eggs on our milkweed plants, one pupa and three Monarch caterpillars.  The Monarch  (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly.  They love the Garland Community Garden as we have about 150 square feet total of the garden planted in milkweed. 

Throughout the week we’ve observed many of them mating and frolicking about.  Thus the eggs and caterpillars are no surprise.  Already at my house I have a caterpillar that has made a pupa and another that has assumed the “j” position to make a pupa.  Looks like we will have a bumper crop of these lovely creatures this fall.

Below is a typical green Monarch pupa.  The caterpillar apparently attached itself to the side of a recycled blue laundry basket we use for pulled weed and grass that was parked near a milkweed.   A caterpillar or pupa found in the wild has 5% chance of survival.  When rescued by humans, that survival rate jumps to 95%.  However, pupas are not easy to remove as the substance they secrete to attach themselves to their host is a very strong adhesive.  We found one Thursday pm the basket and Jane removed it by tying thread around the stem and then using a needle to gently lift off the circle of secretions around the stem.

After releasing the pupa from the side of the laundry basket, Jane carefully tied it to the top of a plastic container.  I put a caterpillar in that I had also found that morning and we gave it to one of our members along with plenty of milkweed leaves.  The caterpillar was large so it was likely a pupa beside the other one at the top of the container by Friday morning.



Thursday Evening at about 5PM and Friday Evening at about 7 PM
(In that short 24 hour period, the hungry caterpillar had devoured everything in the container except the flower.)

Just yesterday evening I went to get milkweed leaves for another caterpillar that Margie had found when leaving my home on Monday after a Loving Garland Green meeting.  Lo and behold, there another fat caterpillar shown above, chomping on the milkweed.  By Friday morning the caterpillar Margie found had morphed into a pupa.  Now tonight as you can see in the photo to the right, the fat boy is now in a j-shape at the top of the container.  By morning this one too will be a pupa.  In about ten days it will eclose as a Monarch butterfly.


Making music in Garland Texas is alive and well.

Not only is this a great week for Monarchs and gardens, it’s a great week for people who make local music and people who like to listen to local music in Garland.  Thursday night Charlie and I went to the MillHouse in downtown Garland for some great pizza and to listen to “The Back Porch Series”—recorded live on Air Texas Select Radio—hosted by Shaun Outen and sponsored by the MillHouse.

As I watched the performers on stage and listened to their music, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between this event and one that took place almost 93 years ago in 1925 when on November 28 the Grand Ole Opry was first broadcast out of Nashville.  We had seven different performers and many of the songs they performed were songs they had written.  They were all great. Let’ hope “The Back Porch Series” becomes, like the Grand Ole Opry, a regular event in downtown Garland.

The Modern-Day Version of the First Grand Ole Opry at the MillHouse Pizzeria was born on Thursday September 20, 2018


Downtown Garland is alive with music played by local musicians.  Not only at the MillHouse, but at the Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery, also located on our downtown square.  The Intrinsic features live music from local musicians along with its great brews and barbecue.

Jamming Weekends at the Square

But the opportunity to enjoy live music doesn’t begin and end with Intrinsic and the MillHouse.  Weather permitting, many of our local musicians gather on the green in the center area of our square for informal jams on Friday and Saturday nights.  These musical gatherings draw their own growing audiences of fans who return to listen to the night music on the square weekend after weekend.

House Concerts in Garland

House concerts are once again gaining popularity.  It’s a creative approach that performing artists and musicians are taking to reach new audiences and a great opportunity for artists to play to an intimate and appreciative audience.  In 1920’s and 1930’s rent parties flourished in Detroit, New York and Chicago as a way to pay the rent.  Many musicians today are looking for a way to make money doing what they love.

There may be other house concerts in Garland, but the only concerts I’m aware of taking place in homes in Garland are those at “The Marigold House.”  I’ve never been to a house concert before, (unless you count piano recitals when I was a kid) but on Saturday, September 22, I’m attending my first house concert at the Marigold House.   Pianist Bobby Orozco will be performing many familiar tunes along with his original pieces.


Garland Area MakerSpace Booth

I spent all day yesterday (Saturday September 15) amongst my favorite people—makers at the Garland MarketPlace, a bimonthly event organized by Kirk Lovett. It was a beautiful sunshine day and the Garland Area Makerspace had our second booth there.

If you make things that you also like to sell, be sure to contact Kirk to schedule a spot for the first and third Saturdays of October—a great month to sell things as people are already starting to think about purchasing gifts for the holidays. (Kirk.Eventive@Live.Com or 469-275-9616).


We had a great space right on Main Street.  People driving down Main could see our sign as they approached the square.  If you squint, you can see some of the things we had for sale:  to the left on the ground were those great shopping bags made from recycle feed sacks we obtain just down the street on Main from our local Roach Feed and Seed; a sign advertising our next event (Rock Painting) on October 13 at 7PM at 216 Each Kingsbridge; beautiful paper mache sculptures made by Carol Currie; dazzling ceiling fan pulls by Janell Jenkins: and to the far right you’ll see the GAM Maker Girl.  On the other side that you can’t see we had a table where we showed kids and their parents how to make tea light lanterns from soda cans and another table where we showed them how to make plarn (plastic yarn) from recycled plastic grocery sacks.  One of our missions is to make parents and grandparents into Maker heroes by showing them how to make things with the kids in their lives.  Even though our main goal was to share knowledge with the community about makerspaces, we still made $65 at this event.

Some of the Vendor Scenes from the September Garland MarketPlace

Vendors at the Garland MarketPlace are great for business.  They bring visitors to the downtown square who otherwise might not be down there on a particular day.  For example, I'm fairly certain that none of the five makers who were in charge of our booth would have been downtown yesterday.  Yet there we were, and as a group we spent over $100 downtown at local merchants and at the booths of the vendors.  Remember, that's only five people and there were a lot more people than that mingling about the square yesterday.  A lesson learned here perhaps is to be nice to makers because we are GREAT for the local economy.

That's another great thing about the Garland MarketPlace and the Garland Area Makerspace. They are both great opportunities to make connections that matter. Ms. Leeson represents artists and craft makers on a consignment basis. She was selling some of the works of her clients at the Garland MarketPlace.  Note:  Bellona was a Roman goddess of War and a consort of the war god Mars—a fact I did not know until I asked Brianne if the name of her company had a special significance.

Kella, a multitalented maker, had a booth right next to the Garland Area Makerspace.  Kella writes children’s books under the pen name of Judy Shea; sells some of her great nature photographs; makes lovely teacup and saucer bird feeders.

An interesting point about DeWayne and Suzanne is they are both great teachers to children in their lives regarding the value of making your way by being creative and inventing your own enterprise.  DeWayne's son is usually with him at his vegetable and fruit stand (This Saturday, however, he was playing in a Soccer game).  Suzanne's granddaughter who obviously admires and loves her Granny is always by her side.


Jimmy and his family make lovely, original wall hangings and other decorative art for the home.  As for Tamales over Texas.  They can't be beat!



More Scenes with People and Maker Things at the Garland MarketPlace


Well, we didn't have royalty and we didn't have any representatives from our local City Council that I saw, but we did have a former maker Mayor and even another who is hoping to be elected as Mayor in 2019--Daniel Carrillo.  One thing you can say for the both of them:  They each recognize and honor the importance of makers to their local community.  Doug, a maker in his own right and also an talented photographer reminded us of the "Eyes of Garland" exhibit at our Local Granville Arts Center.  Those who came to the MarketPlace also got to meet Daniel Carrillo an Hispanic who may be throwing his hat in the ring for Mayor in the 2019 race. Daniel was suggesting with some flyers he was handing out that he would like to help guide Garland in the right direction by being our Mayor in 2019.

Former Mayor Douglas Athas, a great supporter of makers, shown above looking rested, healthy and fit after a few months of early retirement from City government.  To the left in the background is John Jones one of several technophile members of the Garland Area Makerspace.  Jonsey, a talented graphic artist and website designer (a guy who knows so much about computers that he repairs them too) recently taught an Introduction to PhotoShop class at our local Garland downtown library for our September Garland Area MakerSpace Meeting--Speaking of which:  Does anyone have a lot or building that you would like to donate to us for a makerspace?


The photo below is of Daniel Carrillo who is at least thinking about the possibility of becoming Garland's next Mayor in 2019 as he was handing out flyers requesting support.  I know nothing about Mr. Carrillo beyond the fact that he is Hispanic and he appears to understand the importance of makers to their local economy as he was in attendance at the Garland MarketPlace yesterday.


Queen on Charlie's chest.  Sunday Aug19, 2018

Our imposter caterpillar eclosed this morning--11 days after I rescued it in the Garland Community Garden. Charlie and I released it amongst his flowers but not before it lit on Charlie's chest for a few seconds.

As I've said before, he is indeed the butterfly whisperer.


Jane and I had a busy morning in the garden this morning.  For the past week we've been seeing an increase in the number of all kinds of butterflies but primarily Gulf Fritillaries, Monarchs, Queens and Viceroys.   In my own yard I've seen several yellow swallowtails too.

This morning near the milkweed in the pollinator bed, Jane discovered what we at first thought was a monarch caterpillar, but on closer examination we saw that it had three sets of filaments (those antennae like protuberances on their backs that some incorrectly refer to as tentacles or antennae).  The Monarch caterpillar only has two sets of filaments but the Queen has three sets.  The poor thing was away from the milkweed on some tall Bermuda grass. Half of one of its filaments was missing.  I decided that it should be rescued so I brought it home with me.  This is my second caterpillar rescue for 2018.  In the spring I rescued a Monarch caterpillar and let it go as a female Monarch butterfly.  I'm sure there will be many more to come in addition to tagging adult Monarchs.  Last year Loving Garland Green tagged 100 monarchs.  This year we ordered 200 tags.  Tagging in North Texas begins around Labor Day.

The photo above shows a Monarch caterpillar with its two sets of filaments Photo by Monika Maeckle

Above is a photo I took of the queen caterpillar.  He/she is now safely ensconced in a condo with plenty of milkweed leaves to munch on. I will say that the Queen caterpillar does not eat as fast or greedily as the Monarch caterpillar (but you didn't hear that from me.


The unusual, new, and the familiar made their appearances.

Garland Texas is filled with makers.  Yesterday, August 4 was the first Saturday of the month and thus the Garland MarketPlace on the historic Garland Square and I got to renew old acquaintances and make some new ones. I was pleased to see that Garland was well represented among the makers who also came from other nearby communities such as Sachse, Rockwall, Mesquite and east Dallas.

Bron Kendrick with his pewter sculptures and Cowboy Bob books.

Now I know where to go when I get ready to learn more about mold making and greeting cards.  Bron who was born and raised in Kansas worked for Hallmark cards there for five years.  It was there that he learned all about casting pewter for small sculptures.  His children’s book is all about Cowboy Bob—a funny character who flies through the air and lands on the bad guys.  He is an inspiration showing how anyone can be a hero and not be perfect.  The ten stories in this little book written and illustrated by Bron have some history woven into them.  It is available on Amazon.

Bron Kendrick
Storybook Pewter


Edgar Limones, owner and creator of Dog’s Little House, with his wife and daughter.

Edgar designs and builds unusual doghouses.  If you think your dog deserves a doghouse that looks like Frank Lloyd Wright designed it, then Edgar is your man.  This craftsman and wood worker is located right here in Garland, Texas.  This was their first public event featuring their lovely wooden designs.

Dog’s Little House
Edgar Limones



Billee Curry, owner What a Gemstone Jewelry “inspired Jewelry of Light”

Billee is another new friend I made on Saturday.  She has been in business since 2009.  Her lovely jewelry features gemstones such as crystal quartz, aquamarine, turquoise, amethyst, garnet, apatite, carnelian, citrine, black onyx, black spinel, pearl, red coral and more.

What a Gemstone Jewelry
Inspired jewelry of Light



Bob Michel of Charis Honey Farms

Bob has been a regular at the Garland MarketPlace for a few years now.  I always make sure to stop by and chat with him.  His honey is locally gathered and wonderful.  Be sure to try it if you haven’t.  Bob mentioned that honey production is down a bit this season due in part to the drought—not good news for us honey lovers as we can expect to pay more for our honey this fall.  But that’s the good thing about the organic world—next year is always another story.

Charis Honey Farms
Bob Michel



Ama holding her latest creation--peach and lavender jelly.

Ama, who is a regular at the Garland MarketPlace, gets all the fruits for making her jams and jellies from our nearby farms.  For example, the peaches to make here latest creation came from Hamms orchard in Terrell, Texas.  Here jams and jellies are delicious.  Last year her lemon and lavender combination won first place at the Texas State Fair.  I saw some lovely crocheted potholders—a new addition to her product offerings.  Her mother made them.  Ama sells them for her mother’s “mad money.”

Ama’s Kitchen
Canned goods just like your Grandma’s



Teresa Diegel, Independent Chalk Couture Designer

There are various DIY companies cropping up all over now that are modeled somewhat after franchises.  A DIY creator like Teresa purchases supplies from these larger companies and then markets them locally at farmers markets such as the Garland Market Place by showing all the creative things that can be done with the products.  Chalk Couture is the company from which Teresa purchases her products to sell.  Their home décor creating products include Chalkology Paste, Chalk transfers, Chalkology Ink and special boards to applying the Chalkology products.

The end result of these designs looks like an artist has been at the blackboard.

Teresa Diegel



Sabria Davis amongst the Five-Dollar Bling

If you must have the bling and you don’t have the cash for a lot of it, then Sabria’s booth is the one to stop by.  She has a wide selection of costume jewelry from paparazzi and each piece is priced at only Five Dollars.  Paparazzi is another company like Chalk Couture who sell special product lines for others to creatively market.

Sabria Davis
Fabulously Yours by Bri
Paparazzi YoursByBri/



Dyetanya Williams with her two sons behind a display of DSherell soaps and bath products

Dyetanya has a wide array of soaps, scrubs, oils, deodorants and bath products—all made by her.  She hopes in a few years to have a storefront where people can watch the process for some of these products such as her soap in the making.

DSherell Bath Products
Dyetanya Williams



 Jeff Richter, a good advertisement for his product

Beard Commander has its headquarters in Waxahachie, Texas.  Their specialties include balms, oils, shampoos and conditioners for beards.  They have added a sideline of BC Seasons and Rubs.

Beard Commander
Jeff Richter
Balms Oils Shampoos and conditioners for beards
214-980-1133 BC Seasons and Rubs
BC Seasons and
Waxahachie, TX



Damien McDaniel Freelance Artist

Damien is another talented regular at the Garland MarketPlace.  He does all kinds of illustrations but at the MarketPlace Damien does excellent caricatures of the visitors.

Damien T. McDaniel
Freelance Artist
Caricatures, Graphic Design, Tattoo Design, Motion Graphics



Rocks N Mud is coming to the Internet soon.  They make unusual jewelry.  In fact, I purchased a necklace for a friend who has a birthday coming up.  It is a round pearl held in place by a dragon’s claw.  My friend is a fan of the TV show “Game of Thrones.”

For now if you want to find out where they will be next:



Gray’Z, Inc.

Who can resist a cheerful twosome like this?  Their homemade candles and air fresheners come in all kinds of aromas—from mulberry to latte; from crème Brulee to baby powder.

Aromas that drive you crazy



Always in a thumbs up mode, Michel Funke, founder of family run business, Bubba Funke Jelly ( is also a full time fifth-grade teacher.  His wife, Christy is a professional videographer.  Most often Christy is there helping Michel in the booth, but this Saturday was on a shoot in Los Angeles.  I eat Michel’s jalapeno cherry jelly almost daily on my toast but I learned that his spicy jellies can also be used as rubs on meats such as pork and chicken.


The Texas Salsa, the healthiest taco chips in Texas, had a booth at the Garland Area Market Place.



 Susanne Matthews and her granddaughter from Granny’s Gourmet (214) 809-9984

Granny’s Gourmet, a regular feature of the Garland MarketPlace features fantastic baked goods.  I had one of her individual lemon pies on Saturday and it was delicious.  If you want some special bread or pies for a party or family gathering, give Susanne a call.



Kirk Lovett


E-MAIL: Kirk.Eventive@Live.Com
PHONE: Tel: 469-275-9616

Get inspired!  Visit the Garland MarketPlace the first and third Saturday of the month and see entrepreneurs of all ages, shapes, colors, religions, and ethnic backgrounds taking action to make their dreams come true.   Learn first-hand from the people who are doing it.



Nicholas Kircus in the Garland Community Garden July 24, 2018

The spirit of volunteerism touches hearts—both the young and the old.  Nicholas Kircus is among the community volunteers who help to keep our Garland Community alive and well with his labor.  Nicholas, an honor student, has been coming to the garden at 7:30 in the morning and working for an hour before football practice pulling the relentless Bermuda grass from our beds.  Without volunteers like Nicholas, our community would not have nearly so many nice places like the garden and public services such as the Good Samaritans—most volunteers work behind the scenes unseen providing valuable assistance the rest of us never see.

It is especially heartening to see our youth involved in community volunteerism as the patterns we set in our youth are often with us throughout our lifetimes.  Nicholas is a young man who appears to be living a life of balanced responsibility and discipline.  After he leaves the garden between 8:30 and 9 AM, he goes on to football practice at North Garland High School.  Nicholas, a senior this year, plays center for the team.  I asked him this morning if he had picked out a college to attend after he graduated.  He has narrowed it down to two:  Texas A&M and Oklahoma University.  In addition to caring about his community, Nicholas is also an honor student.  Either school will be lucky to have such a responsible young man among their student body.


One of the peach trees in my front yard - July 17, 2018

This morning I was thinking when I was down at the garden watering and harvesting some produce to take to Good Samaritans tomorrow about the blackberry bushes in the garden.  25 of the 30 blackberry plants we have at the Garland Community Garden came from shoots of four blackberry plants in my own front yard.  In addition, I have donated 30 blackberry plants over the past three years to Loving Garland Green’s various plant sales.  It’s amazing the outreach to the community that these four plants have achieved.  And of course, in a very organic way as steward of these plants, I too am connected to these plants and to the web of my community.

After watering at the Garland Community Garden,  I was home and picking some blackberries from the bushes in my front yard when I thought of this connection again.  

I was watering my three peach trees, which are loaded to the max this year, when two beautiful Japanese women stopped to talk.  I think they were tourists.  Their English was limited and my Japanese nonexistent, but somehow we communicated any way.

Once again I forgot to take a photo.  (I guess the heat was making me light-headed.)  One of the women asked for a healthy peach, or so I thought.  She was actually asking for a branch that had a healthy peach on it.  Finally I understood and gave her a branch that had a healthy peach on it.  Either I was mistaken about the two women being tourists or perhaps they were going to graft the branch onto a tree of the person they were visiting somewhere here in the neighborhood. 

Again I thought of connections to Garland and to my neighborhood in particular.  Perhaps this is the only opportunity for my immortality.  I’ll live on through the plants I’ve shared with others. 

These two women randomly stopping to talk reminded me once again of that time back in May and June of 2013 when I dug up my front lawn and planted a garden.  My back yard is a forest so I decided to dig up my front yard and replace my lawn with a garden, more or less modeled after a woodland forest garden. 

In 2013 I had lived in my home for 9 years.  At least once or twice a week I was in the front yard, mowing grass or pulling weed or fertilizing the lawn and not one person ever stopped by to chat.  During the first week of my efforts at digging up my lawn, several people, complete strangers, stopped by to talk with me.  After that first week I started keeping track of the number of people stopping.  From about mid May until the end of June 2013, I counted 112 people who stopped to talk with me.


Conclusion:  Gardens bring people together. (Many of the folks who stopped by are still my friends today.)



Two members from our first Eco Makers Meeting:  Doug Windham and Ellen Gerardis 

Eco Maker Cluster Group Met on Monday

July is filling up fast with volunteer activities for me here in Garland, Texas.  Two days ago on Monday we held our first get-acquainted Garland Area MakerSpace Cluster group at my home--Eco Makers. Although the material we will explore will not be limited to plastics, plastic will likely be a prominent feature among our materials that we use to make items.  In fact we plan to explore how recycled plastic might even become the product itself.  It's possible that recycled plastic could grow into the rate of exchange for membership fees in our Makerspace.

According to an Israeli study undertaken in 2012 known as the 5x2 initiative, there is a strategy that organizations can follow to multiply the impact of collaboration that includes the following factors that I’ve applied to our worldwide problem of plastic waste as follows.

  1. An external social problem, defined and recognized by the government/authorities  [Example:  Plastic Waste]
  2. Relatedness to the organization’s business value [Among many other results that the Garland Area Makerspace are expecting, we are also expecting an uplifting of our local economy as a result of job creation resulting from new and useful products designed by Garland Area MakerSpace makers.]
  3. An ability to contribute added value to the problem’s solution that goes beyond budget investment  [We can create our own local plastics recycling center that is positioned to meet the increasing need from manufacturers for recycled plastics.]
  4. An opportunity to leverage organizational capabilities [As a nonprofit we are eligible for grants to get this project off the ground and operating eventually as a job creation source for our community.]

Potential partner organizations that bring professionalism, and (internally) lacking capabilities  [We have access to many local organizations (private and commercial) to support us in building a successful plastics recycling center to meet the increasing market needs for recycled plastic.]

Some of our recycled plastics will of course be used as materials for local makers too.

Garland Area Makerspace might be able to capitalize on recycling plastic waste

It might be possible that recycled plastic becomes the currency to pay for our building, operating expenses and tools--thus making membership free.  The sale of our recycled plastics to third party customers would be the source of this capital.  Yes, like any new manufacturing business, it will take some time to get established but the possibility with all its potential is there.



Here I am holding two solar-powered ultrasonic repellent devices at the Garland Community Garden

Tuesday Additions to the Garden:  Supporting our "Send them Back to the Woods" Policy

In keeping with our garden policy as a national wildlife habitat we are already preparing for the fall when snakes and mice (food for snakes begin to seek refuge from the cold in compost and brush piles.  Yesterday (Tuesday July 10) Jane and I installed two solar-powered ultrasonic repellent devices at the Garland Community Garden. We will be inserting many other brands of these devices at the garden.  These devices are safe for use around pets and children.  They have no troublesome chemical or nuisance pesticides, no trap resulting in dead animals to deal with.  This particular device sends out vibrations and sounds every 30 seconds which are said to effectively repel snakes, mice, moles and raccoons.   We want to keep the critters in the riparian area that border the garden, in between us and the creek.


Artie Moskowitz of 3D Printer Farms demonstrates removal of supportive material from plastic prosthetic hand as Mark Busnell, Vice President of Garland Area Makerspace watches

Garland Area MakerSpace Monthly Meeting Tuesday July 10
Free Prosthetics for People all over the world!

I attended another great meeting of the Garland Area Makerspace and as usual, learned a lot.  Artie Moskowitz brought the parts of several prosthetic hands for us assemble.  In addition to building the hands we also learned about the nonprofit group E-NABLE who support efforts to build prosthetic hands for people all over the world.  Most of the people who are recipients of these prosthetic hands are children who otherwise would never have such a device.  This is true even for children in the USA.  Often insurance companies won't pay any part of the expense of a prosthetic for a child because they will outgrow it.  The beauty of these hands is the cost is nominal at no more than $15.  On the more inexpensive 3D printers, it takes about 8 hours to print out the part.  Once you get the hang of it, a prosthetic hand can be assembled in an hour.

Ivan, showing his metal hand in the foreground.

The story of N-EABLE is another story of the difference that one person can make in the lives of so many.  In 2011 Ivan Owen created a crazy metal functioning hand to wear to a steampunk convention.  Afterward, Ivan decided to make a you tube video of it.  That video led to an email to Ivan from a carpenter in South Africa who had lost his fingers.  That led to a collaboration across 10,000 miles for a year to create a replacement finger for him.  That then led to the mother of a 5-year old boy contacting them to see about the creation of a small version of a hand for a little boy named Liam who lives in South Africa who was born with no fingers on his right hand.

Instead of patenting the design for this new hand and making a profit, Ivan decided to publish the design files as open-source and public domain so that not only Liam could have a hand but so that people could download and print these devices for anyone that needed one too anywhere in the world.

E-NABLE started with about 100 people who were simply offering to print files on their 3D printers that were already in existence. Then designers started joining and innovating, collaborating and re-sharing the improved design back into the universe.  Within the first year e-Nable community grew to over 3,000 people who create over 750 hands for people around the world.  All these 3D printed hands and arms are free to the end-users thanks to volunteers.

Turns out you don't have to be a geek to make one of these hands.  In fact, teachers are teaching school children how to build these hands for other children.  

Artie mentioned last night that he would be happy to teach some teachers here in Garland how to do this.  He has plenty of experience.  Not only does he own his own 3D printer company, Artie has himself printed and assembled over 50 prosthetic devices for people all over the world in the past couple of years.

If you are interested, here is Artie's contact information:

Artie Moskowitz

3D printer farms . com





Today was a quiet Fourth of July for me as there was no downtown Parade in Garland Texas.  I miss that.  Firewheel just isn’t the same feeling of old time Americana that we get in downtown Garland.  I really prefer the feeling of small town local when it comes to the Fourth of July.  I remember a great Fourth of July a few years ago with my family.  There was the wonderful parade and then the festivities continued in Central Park.  It was so nice.  No one was in a hurry and it didn’t feel crowded.  I would like to see those kinds of celebrations again and I’ll bet a lot of people are with me on this opinion.


Old Glory flew down at the Garland Community Garden today.

In lieu of a parade, I took our flag down to the garden and spent a few early morning hours futzing over the plants.  Most of the blackberry bushes are spent so there was pruning to do and of course watering—always to be done in this weather.  I enjoyed chatting with my friends Burgi and Jane who were also there.

Then I came home and finished reading ELPASO, a large and somewhat historical novel written by Winston Groom, also author of Forest Gump—an interesting story that I would give a B-.

After that I made three shopping bags from feed sacks I got at Roach’s last week.  Bubbles decided to get in the photo too.


As part of my research for Eco Makers (a maker cluster segment of Garland Area Makerspace), I continued reading about recycled materials—plastics in particular.  Plastics and gardening are inexhaustible topics. Even if I had two lifetimes it’s not likely that would be enough time to learn all there is to know about either plastics or gardening.  There is much to learn; however, both topics although seemingly polar opposite may be closely linked to our survival as a species.

While 80% of plastics can be recycled, only 10% is recycled.  We have some work to do.  We are about in the same neighborhood when it comes to food and protecting the environment that grows our food.  95% of the food we eat is grown in soil.  Today 33 percent of the Earth’s soils are considered degraded (symptoms include increased crusting from overuse of herbicides, increased erosion often from overuse of herbicides, decreased nutrient cycling, and increased desertification).  All symptoms of degradation result in a decrease of a given soil to support the full potential of a plant.  Another thing about gardens is that urban gardens in particular will become increasingly important for communities as we move deeper into the 21st century. 

Community leaders need to wise up with their codes and write a few new ones—not nitpicking rules about whether someone’s lawn is up to snuff but rules that really do make a difference such as not allowing residents to haul off organic matter such as leaves from their yards.  Leaves should remain as close as possible to where they fall.  They can be mulched and doing is a lot less labor than raking and bagging them to be hauled off to a landfill where they will be taken out of the natural cycle and sequestered for hundreds of years.  Those leaves represent organic matter for future topsoil.  Much of the soil that is left will eventually be carried away and down our storm sewers through erosion. 

Another good rule might be to put some limits on the amount of herbicides and pesticides citizens can pour on their lawns and plants.  They aren’t the only ones they hurt when they do this. 

Cities all over the world are becoming pesticide free zones.  Paris is one of those cities.  After 10 years now, the dense urban area of Paris has more honeybees than its surrounding agricultural areas that also follow the industrial monoculture type of agriculture practices found in the USA.

We are leaving our children our legacy of waste.  If nothing else, it seems like we should do all we can to teach them how to clean up some up our mess:  how to recycle plastics and how to reduce use of it as well as how to grow some of the food they eat.  When people grow some of the food they eat, they are more aware of the interrelatedness of their behavior to the cycle of life.