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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.

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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 Storybookpewter.com 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.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THIS MAKER:
Bron Kendrick
Storybook Pewter
214-780-8866
storybookpewter.com

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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.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Dog’s Little House
www.dogslittlehouses.com
Edgar Limones
Shionarad@gmail.cm
972-972-5514

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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.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
What a Gemstone Jewelry
Inspired jewelry of Light
469-222-7783
www.facebook.com/WhatAGemstoneJewelry

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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
469-233-2870
www.CharisHoneyFarms.com
Charis.HoneyFarms@gmail.com

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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
770-378-5510
Canned goods just like your Grandma’s

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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.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Teresa Diegel
TJDesignsChalk.com
tdiegel@gmail.com
713-806-1018  

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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
FabulouslyYoursByBri.com
Facebook.com/Fabulously YoursByBri/

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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
Dsherell.onlineweb.shop
d.sherellco@gmail.com
469-515-1659

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 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
Jeff@Beardcommander.com
214-980-1133 BC Seasons and Rubs
BC Seasons and Rubs.com
Scott@Beardcommander.com
Waxahachie, TX

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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
www.facebook.com/Damien.t.mcdaniel
501-837-1143

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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:

Rocksnmud2929@gmail.com

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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.

Email:  grayzincoffices@gmail.com
Aromas that drive you crazy
www.grayzaromas.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/grayzinc/

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Always in a thumbs up mode, Michel Funke, founder of family run business, Bubba Funke Jelly (Bubbafunkejelly.com) 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.

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

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 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.

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Kirk Lovett

WANT TO BE ONE OF THE VALUED MARKETPLACE VENDORS AND START TAKING ACTION TO MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE?

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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

214-725-6154

 

 

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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.

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Artie Moskowitz holding a prosthetic hand that he manufactured using a 3-D printer.  Artie has made over 50 of these hands for people all over the world.

I’m so excited!  Artie Moskowitz, owner of 3D Printer Farms, will be back to lead another class for Garland Area MakerSpace at our July 10th monthly meeting—at the North Branch of the Garland Texas Library.*

Back in May Artie demonstrated the ZMorph—desktop technology offered by his company that is capable of 3D printing; CNC machining; and laser cutting.  The Zmorph has lots of capability and even more safety features, making it ideal for use in libraries for classes for young students.

For the July class Artie will bring the plastic parts (made on the 3D printer) and he will teach the Garland makers how to assemble them into a prosthetic hand.  Artie has been making and assembling prosthetics for a nonprofit corporation that distributes them to people worldwide who might not otherwise afford them.  We will also learn more about this organization at this Garland Area MakerSpace meeting.

 

 

Measurements are taken from the person needing the prosthetic hand. These measurements and related drawings are then input into software such as Fusion 360 and the parts for the prosthetic hands are printed (joint by joint) on a 3D printer.  After printing (manufacture of the parts) the prosthesis is then assembled by hand.

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*Garland Area Makerspace

Tuesday – July 10 – 7 PM

North Branch Garland Texas Library

3845 North Garland Avenue 75040

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Four pounds of produce from my front yard - harvested Sunday June 24, 2018

I thought about a gentle reminder I got this morning from a dear friend of mine in regard to my deep distress over the President's treatment of the families of immigrants in South Texas.  She said that at least he signed that executive order halting the disbursement of children to cities thousands of miles from their families with no mechanism in place for later tracing and reuniting them.  "That's something to be thankful for", she said.

And I thought:  "Yes that is indeed something to feel grateful for and I do."  I allowed myself to feel thankful that this has been accomplished.

It's interesting what gratitude does to us.  For me it brings a feeling of relief from stress somewhat like the exhalation of a sigh.  Perhaps the feelings of gratitude  are feelings of love.  At any rate gratitude, like love certainly produces a sense of well-being, a state of grace.  Also, gratitude seems to come upon me in waves once I allow myself to be grateful about one small thing. And that's what happened to me this morning.

After truly feeling grateful that children will no long be sent away, I felt grateful for having a friend like Deborah to remind me to be thankful for what is, even if I feel like at the time it is not enough.  That is important.  Then thinking of Deborah reminded me of all the other friends and family I have that I am also grateful for and I allowed myself to feel gratitude for them.

I went into my poor, neglected yard and harvested four pounds of vegetables and fruit.  When I first planted this garden five years ago, I carefully weighed and tracked every single thing I harvested.  That first year I harvested 625 pounds of produce and figured the value, given current market value at just over $1000.  I was indeed grateful.  Today I remembered all the food my garden has yielded for me over the past five years and I am grateful.  I even weighed the produce today--something I haven't done from my garden for at least three years.

Gratitude is expressing thanks to the world and to our friends for the gifts we are given.  Gratitude comes with its own rewards.  I've kept a gratitude journal off and on now for over 15 years.  A friend of mine in California gave it to me.  I'll faithfully write in several days of gratitude and then I'll put the journal away and sometimes not pick it up again until months even years later.  I'll have to look for it again now that I've thought of it.  I've never been one to keep a regular diary of any sort.

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Gratitude is not to be confused with complacency. Just because one feels grateful, it does not necessarily mean a task is finished.  It is often a necessary wide spot in the road of an uphill climb where we stop to rest and gather strength with the remembrance of good things that have been achieved.

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Moto and Liz in the Garden.  Moto took a self-photo of us today shown above and sent it to me with the following message:

 
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To escape TV images of our President who, against all better judgment for a case of dignified restraint in face of the human rights crisis our nation faces, continues to act like a side show barker stirring sensationalism for his agenda to keep his base stirred up with hatred, I went to the garden today to turn my attention to the beauty of nature and positive activity.

As usual, I was not disappointed. The garden always seems to yield up treasures that I am in need of at the moment. Today after pulling grass from beds and watering the thirsty plants, Moto, a 25-year-old man stopped by the garden.  Moto is from Japan.  Moto is on a two-week visit with a friend he worked with in Japan who lives in Garland.  In spite of  the fact that the USA flattened Hiroshima (his hometown) Moto still loves the USA and its people.   Of course, Moto is too young to have been around in August of 1945 but he grew up with the stories and in spite of it all has chosen love over hate..

I walked in the garden with Moto, showing him around and describing many of the plants in our garden.  He kept saying over and over how beautiful and peaceful the garden is. And how wonderful Texas is.

Being with Moto today reminded me of the enduring qualities of both love and nature—two of the most wonderful resources to be found on our planet.  Dr. Harold Jacobsen, a scientist from the Manhattan Project told us that Hiroshima would be barren of life and nothing would grow for 75 years. 

Nature had other plans.  The following spring new shoots were seen springing up from the debris all over the city.  Hundreds of trees are still standing today that were around the vicinity when the bomb went off.  Though broken and badly charred, they survived and soon were healthy again.  Each A-bombed tree is called a “Hibaku Jumoku” – survivor tree.  According to the City of Hiroshima there are about 170 survivor trees representing 32 different species.

 

One of the 170 survivor trees in Hiroshima - Photo Credit:  Norm Galloway - https://www.flickr.com/photos/nalogg/3324546883

Love and Nature will endure in spite of all appearances to the contrary.  Moto and “Hibaku Jumoku” affirm this truth.

Thank you for sharing time with me today, Moto.

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Speaking on Behalf of Love and Hope against all odds

The huge majority of people knocking on our back door from Guatemala and San Salvador are not criminals.  They are parents with their children who are trying to escape horrendous conditions in their own country—conditions that the USA played a part in creating over 50 years ago by orchestrating coup d’états and overthrowing their democratically elected leaders for the benefit of corporations such as the National Fruit Company. I hope that Americans will seek the whole truth of our history with these Latin American countries and not merely listen to snippets and video clips of hatred designed to further political agendas of a few.  If we send these families back, for many of them it will be a death sentence.  I’m extremely disheartened and sad about this situation.   

Once upon a time our government made room for people asking for asylum and we granted it.  I think that time is here again for this generosity of spirit from the American people. 

For those who read scripture:  Hebrews 13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

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Disclaimer:  My thoughts and my comments on this situation as for any of my posts are my own and in making them I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else or in an official capacity for any of the many groups that I belong to.  This is a message completely from my heart and no one else’s.   I speak for myself as an American who believes that more Americans should come forward and speak out.  Silence too and failure to speak up also influences outcomes.

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East London’s Maker Mile – This is a cluster of makers who have a central Machines Room (Second from left) that serves as a meeting point for the makers in this area. [Drawing from World Economic Forum]

Innovative Makers in Londons Maker Mile

Following is detail regarding a few of the makers from London’s Maker Mile:

Bert and May offers a range of handmade and reclaimed tiles. Their encaustic cement tiles are ideal for using on walls, hearths, splash backs, and floors and outdoor in the garden.  All their tiles are created using natural pigments in a vast range of colors and styles to suit any aesthetic.  https://www.bertandmay.com

Machines Room – This 2000 square foot space has a full range of machines for processes such as laser & vinyl cutting, 3D printing to CNC. They host events and exhibitions (available for hire). During the day, the area functions as a co-making and co-working space. (Currently, for the Garland Area Makerspace, the North Branch of the Garland Library serves as our Machines Room.) Read more about the Machine rooms at https://www.fabhub.io

Music Hack Space - Music Hackspace is a platform for experimenting and interacting with sound and technology. They incorporate diverse methodologies and aim to create an open playground and exchange of ideas and sounds that embraces new and old technologies. Newly available open source platforms, both hardware and software, are granting far wider accessibility to new interactions with music and audio than have not been possible before. It’s with these technologies that we base our program of workshops, artist talks and meet-ups, and hope to encourage people of all backgrounds and skill levels to create and engage with music in previously unrealized ways.

Music Hackspace was founded by Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut in 2011, beginning as a subgroup of the London Hackspace in Hoxton with early activities consisting of weekly meet-ups where participants could present and discuss their projects to an engaged audience with a set of common interests: sound, music, creativity and technology.    http://musichackspace.org/

Opendesk is another innovative maker community found on London's Maker Mile. Open Desk is an online furniture store that uses open-source design and manufacturing to circumvent the traditional global furniture supply chain. Opendesk allows customers to select furniture online and matches them with the closest fabrication lab where their product will be made on site. This cuts the most expensive and most polluting step of the supply chain – logistics – out of the process.

Garlands Maker Cluster has already begun

Local authorities, academic institutions and major corporations are waking up to the potential of the movement, which is shaping up to be a key player in urban transformation over the coming decades.  I hope we can soon say the same for the Garland leadership.  Garland Area Makerspace (GAM) is creating our own version of London's "Maker Mile"—We may someday be reflected upon as an interesting case study too in regard to the power that is unleashed when makers come together.  

The Garland Area Makerspace currently does not have its own large space. But beginning in July we are expanding by creating smaller maker interest groups who meet in people's homes. As mentioned, our first maker interest group, Eco Makers, will meet in my home twice a month to study and create things from recycled materials--plastics and soda cans to start.  I expect other GAM groups to form as well—music hackers, woodworkers, fabric designers, etc.

Who knows where Eco Makers will go? Perhaps we will grow to create our own version of Precious Plastics--an interesting project to emerge from Maker Mile in London. Started in 2013 by Dave Hakkens, Precious Plastic is an open-source project that reengineers plastic trash into everyday essentials like bowls and cups, as well as larger items such as tables.

Local authorities, academic institutions and major corporations are waking up to the potential of the movement, which is shaping up to be a key player in urban transformation over the coming decades. Get better educated about what makerspaces are and can be for Garland.  

GAM will continue to remain as a cohesive group that meets once a month in the North Branch Garland library while at the same time branching out to collaborate and develop our own special areas of maker interests.

Eventually, I would like to see a diagram of Makers for Garland that is similar to the diagram for London’s Maker Mile, only clustered around our downtown area where we all work together in support of the prosperity of our local economy.

In terms of clusters of makers in our community, we already have them--in our libraries, our schools and at the Gilbreath-Reed Technological Center in Garland.  We all need to figure out a way to come together and unite==despite our different locations.