Posted by: herrootsrundeep | May 1, 2014

Not long after 9/11, a car drove up to the maze, and one man got out. So, to make conversation (since he was all by himself!), I said, “oh, you are from New York!”. He said, “yes, I am meeting my daughter from Nashville here, we heard this was a good place to connect and get away from it all.”  (so, about then, I was flying high). Then, since she was not here yet, I said, “what do you do?”.

He said, “I am a firefighter”.  (so, about then, I was just about as high as my Eagle flies)

I drew in my breath to see what he was going to say next, and he said, “Well, actually, I am the New York City Fire Marshall.”

Tears came to my eyes, and I called over Donna, working in the maze, to meet him. He said, “oh, I have something for you all”, and went to his car to get FDNY pins for us. I will never forget it. I have been telling that story for that many years–because only because of the maze would a farmer cowgirl ever get to meet THE New York City Fire Marshall. 

So, now, today, just now, we are back  in contact again–and wait till he sees our maze this year! I hope he invites his daughter back!

Maze Connections–that is what our maze is, it is for adults (and children tee hee) to learn about the world, and Nature, and farming,and how to keep this world goin’ round, from the Equator to the Milky Way!




Posted by: herrootsrundeep | April 3, 2014

The reason for mayflies

Steelhead Trout must swim back from the sea each year to the clear, cold, rocky streams where they were born in the Snake River Basin in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. They have a deadline they must meet! They must be at their spawning grounds by May or it’ll be too late. They change their gills so that they can collect oxygen from fresh water. They change the food they eat, switching from seafood like shrimp and small fish to insects like caddisflies and mayflies. So, you see, if there  were no mayflies, it would mess up the whole foodchain!  :) 

They even change the way their bodies float in the water–it’s so much harder to float in fresh water! :)  They must leap over waterfalls, climb up fishladders–there are 8 dams on the Colombia and Snake Rivers.  They must travel oh, maybe 900 miles, the distance from Thompson, CT, to Newfoundland! They must swim against currents.  That is what is known as a hard day’s work! 

Anyway, speaking of the reason for mayflies, I saw a garden snake in the garden as I was working in the Lavender Labyrinth yesterday, and it did take me by surprise–I looked at him for a few minutes–he looked at me, and I knew then that there was a good reason for mayflies! 🙂


Posted by: herrootsrundeep | March 17, 2014

A Stradivarius in Rhode Island

My grandfather worked for a very important person when he moved to Rhode Island from Nova Scotia: Austin T. Levy was important not only because he provided jobs for people in The Great Depression, but also for the fact that he gave great thought to where he placed his mills for weavingfiber. When he wanted to build another mill, he thought, “well, we don’t want to make this town overcrowded and ruin the quality of life for the people here. So, we will build the new mill in a town that needs jobs–but we want to make sure the town has a school so the workers will have a place to send their school-aged children.” So, Levy picked the town of Woodstock, CT, and built a woolen mill and became a board member at theschool. Long story short, this is now where Rogers Corporation is located–still providing jobs for alot of people!
Personally, Austin T. Levy was important to my family because he gave my grandfather a job–the only reason he left the beautiful Nova Scotia–was to find a job–and then the job happened to be one that used my grandfather’s skills so well that it gave him a sense of pride and self-confidence, that he went toodling around Rhode Island and CT, looking for land to build a farm that would use his skills and give his 8-year-old son the same life-long skills.To show you how important Truman’s job was at Stillwater Worsted fiber mills, he was the one that was sent to Levy’s other mills, even in other countries, to do maintenance and repair work. He even did work on Levy’s house, a beautiful mansion. And this is where I get to tell you about the title of the blog–Austin T. Levy even had a love of music–so what do you have if you love music–and very well-to-do? A Stradivarius Violin! So, not many workers were invited into Levy’s house to do work, but Truman was true-ly trusted and respected. Guess “who” Levy gave his Stradivarius to? The Boston Symphony Orchestra, o’course!

Yesterday morning at this same time, I was reading about the plane crash of the plane that started out in Kuala Lumpur, the “muddy confluence of two rivers”, and thought how strange the whole situation seemed to be, “where is this 400-ton piece of steel”. Then, during the day, talking about it with my worldly friend, and her also conflicted about it, I thought, “this is a mystery I want to follow”. 

     Now, this morning, a clue! Two people, an Austrian and an Ital’n flying with stolen passports, how unnerving is this!   Plus, to muddy the waters a  little more–some of the 9/11 attack was planned from this same muddy spot. 

     I know some of you may be thinking, “why is a farmer in CT, worried about this?”.  Well, it is such a small world now.   When I ask people at the Creamery where they are from, and in one day, these are the answers, well, see for yourself:  “oh, just south of London”



The “Paris” answer was perfect, because I had just been explaining to a lady how the Labyrinth is not just an “easier” maze; it is a method of physically working out your emotions and your life, a way to de-stress in a matter of 45 minutes.  “Plus”, I said, “you can either go to Paris–or Thompson–to walk in a Labyrinth!”. She vehemently said, “I don’t know why anyone would want to go in a labyrinth in Paris or Thompson!”, and in walked acouple of guys. I was so taken aback by her answer, that I could not scoop her ice cream-my hand was shaking so much–so I said to the guys “where are you from?”, and one of them said, “Paris–and we are here to walk your Labyrinth!”.Oh, how wonderful I felt, the Labyrinth saved me again from a “muddy confluence”.  (Note:  “Kuala Lumpur”  means “muddy confluence”. 

Posted by: herrootsrundeep | February 19, 2014

The Ecuadorean Work Ethic

The Ecuadorean Work Ethic

Usually working at 10,000-15,000-foot-altitude. Even on the Equator, there is a 17,000-ft mountain!

Posted by: herrootsrundeep | February 19, 2014

The Ecuadorean Work Ethic:  “Aim high. Move forward. Gain altitude along with attitude”.

Posted by: herrootsrundeep | February 19, 2014

Sacred Valleys, Sacred Mountains, Sacred Peoples

Sacred Valleys, Sacred Mountains, Sacred Peoples

No matter where you are, this is the view in Ecuador!

Posted by: herrootsrundeep | February 19, 2014

where the people are as beautiful as the land


GMy Ecuadorean Caballero! For weeks before we went to Ecuador, I had been praying that the type of horse I would be riding would be a Paso Fino–and, of course when I asked the Cowboy in Vilcabamba, if we would be be riding Paso Finks, he said, “Si! Suave!”. I was smitten, riding these suave, “smooth”, fine-gaited horses is pure joy! Even listening to their footsteps on the cobblestone streets is music to my ears. When we rode Paso Finos in Puerto Rico, the caballero had us practice on wooden riding rink just to hear the fine-gaitedness.  Anyway, riding in Ecuador is pure joy, especially in the mountains around Vilcabamba, “the Sacred Valley”. So, essentially, I am riding in a sacred valley, up sacred mountains on my sacred horse. My cowboy guide was also good as it gets. He told me history of the valley and who owned those cows, and stopped to introduce me to the lady washing her clothes in the canal, and introduced me to cowboys coming down the mountain. That was a good thing because my Paso Fino would not cross thethe raging river, so the second cowboy took my reins and led us across the river, with a lot of coaxing, O’course :))))). We actually had to cross that particular river because the bridge was out, so you can just picture how “big and wide” it was! The next two rivers we crossed were small and ankle-deep with no fuss from my fancy little fine-gaited friend. Oh, I do love her!  Anyway, my Caballero started to regale me with stories of which houses were built by rich Americans who came down to this beautiful sacred valley and then left because it was too remote! I mean, they could obviously “see” how remote it is! No wonder the world despises Americans! Most of the houses on the mountain outside Vilcabamba were empty and abandoned, because of course they were for sale for millions. He even showed me one with an elevator, and of course that was abandoned. We then rode for hours in quiet meditation because the landscape was mesmerizing qr and of course, sacred. The first time he broke the silence was to point out the Huilco tree, which is what this sacred valley was originally named after, by the Peruvians. Because, of course the Peruvians could get some sort of drug out of the leaves. “Peruvians can get drugs out of anything”, said the Caballero, “whereas Ecuadorians can find food in everything. That is why there is no hunger in Ecuador, none.”.


Posted by: herrootsrundeep | February 17, 2014

Mesmerizing and indigenous

In Ecuador, a lot of the meals are served “family-style”, in what is actually a farmhouse, ” La Choza”. So, one night we were eating at La Choza, and we noticed alot of activity in the back room. All-of-the-sudden, while we were completely immersed in an Ecuadorean’s farmhouse, people started coming from everywhere, dressed up in very colorful, handmade indigenous clothes.Someone was playing the flute, someone else was playing the pan flute, another on drums, one on the banjo, the harp–and boom, there were girls and aunts and mothers and sisters all dressed exactly alike, but just with 100 different colors, dancing onto the stage, and for the next THREE hours, dance. Everytime a song ended, thay would all dance out and come back in completely different clothes and colors, .  The men, boys, brothers, uncles, fathers would all parade in, dancing to the same music, with astonishingly beautiful clothes, usuallyeach wearing three different-colored ponchos. One of the dances, the guys’ faces were completely covered in long delicate chin-length  gold chains, not gaudy, just exquisitely beautiful and perfect, and they danced so o beautifully  and indigenously. It was sacred. I guess I was really into it, because later one of the other customers asked me if I was their full-time choreographer! :))  She said because I watched every single dancer’s moves, and kept time to the music, and she even noted that the dancers would look at me, she said as if for approval. I guess that is an indication of how deep-immersion culture it was. How beautiful the flute, the low indigenous singing, but the one guy who really held my attention could whistle without moving his mouth, and it was just like, the music was everywhere, but not attributed to any one particular person. The whistling was in such a deepindigenous tone, calling to you very deep like you had definitely heard this somewhere before. I watched him for a long time to see how he did it, but I could never figure it out. I talked to them all after (the only customer who did) and asked them if they knew how good they were. They were so unassuming, so used to it as part of their culture, and that everyone could do it the same way. One guy said to me, “we’re indigenous, you know”. I was even more mesmerized by their inability to be “full of themselves”, they were so amazed that I was talking to them.We were all sitting on the huge farmer’s furniture just like we had seen in the mountain houses in Costa Rica, covered in black-and-white cowhide, so they loved my leather shoes, covered with black-and-white holstein hide.Their perfectly smooth features, long dark black hair braided down to their waist. No I will post pictures if I can find which one of my three Tablets I had with me that night.

Posted by: herrootsrundeep | February 17, 2014


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