It’s Time For Business to Speak Up to Eliminate Violence Against Women | Richard Branson

Like all rights abuses, acts of violence against women anywhere compromise the dignity of people everywhere. No country, culture, race or socio-economic class is immune. It’s time to break our silence, to take action and renounce all forms of violence and discrimination.

Source: It’s Time For Business to Speak Up to Eliminate Violence Against Women | Richard Branson

To Anyone and Everyone Who Just Left the Morman Church…

I’ve never been Mormon, but I have been in a tightly controlled Christian fundamentalist group. I left in 1985, a couple of months before my 30th birthday. So I know how big a step you’ve taken this weekend. I am excited so many of you have made the choice to turn away from the threats of bigoted religion and control, and I’m happy that you’ve got the company of so many others making the same choice.

But you all have lives to get back to, and a lot of you may not have the benefit of continued encouragement. As the days and weeks go by, you may find yourself struggling on alone, feeling guilty and lonely, especially if this is the first time you’ve stepped away from the church.

Don’t try to go on alone. Build your own community – friends, family, new acquaintances – be there for them and let them be there for you. Because it’s not easy to finish the walk you’ve started this weekend. I hope you stay free. I hope you build happy and long lives filled with laughter, love, and tolerance.

Because a good and happy life, lived day by day and step by step, is the best way to show them you made the right choice this weekend.

Late Bloomers and the Big Picture

Why Are Some People Late Bloomers? Great two-part article over at

If you’re a late bloomer like I am, you’ll find yourself nodding in recognition of your thought patterns and behavior. “Yes, that’s what I do!” Which is always fun.

If you are not a late bloomer, but have to live/work/play with someone who is, this may bring you comfort. It’s not easy being around someone who “never gets anything done before rushing off to another topic/endeavor/hobby/whatever.” Leaves you a bit dizzy I suspect.

I think it’s interesting that late bloomers tend to be wanderers like this. This has always been my way, and trust me, it’s doesn’t get you lots of kudos in our society. We’re the kids whose report cards always say, “daydreams too much.” Guilty, yes. But I still got all the work done and made good grades, so I don’t know why the teachers were complaining.

I remember all those job announcements that wanted someone who was “detail-oriented.” There were so many in fact, that I worked that feature into my resume just so I could get work. I knew I wasn’t detail-oriented, but at that time, I thought it meant I was lazy and careless. It’s really only been in the last fifteen years or so that I figured out I was a Big Picture person. Now I know it’s why I loved the subject of ecology from the very first class in college, and why I now embrace the theory of holistic living. I have always, even as a child, looked at the world as one big interconnected THING, with every piece affecting other pieces and nothing standing alone and all of it connected to the universe too.

The idea still gives me chills.

It’s why I could see, just from looking at a globe, that all the continents fit together like a big jigsaw, and that they must have been one piece once. I was just a kid, maybe 8 years old or something. I know now that at that very time, in the early sixties, geologists were fighting tooth and nail over that very idea, because it was a brand-new theory and it went against everything geologists believed about how the earth worked. You do know which side won that argument, right?

I didn’t see it because I’m a genius. I saw it because my brain sees the Big Picture.

I’m happy being this way and I no longer apologize for it. The nice thing about  being a late bloomer is that I know I’m not done yet. I still have so much to do!

Doctors Urge Patience, And Longer Labor, To Reduce C-Sections : Shots – Health News : NPR

For many women, a safe, healthy labor lasts longer than the times cited as normal, according to guidelines from the nation’s obstetricians. Giving women more time ups the odds of a vaginal delivery.

Source: Doctors Urge Patience, And Longer Labor, To Reduce C-Sections : Shots – Health News : NPR

In Our Garden: Ceanothus, Dark Star and Centennial

We have two varieties of Ceanothus. Centennial is a plant we’ve had in the yard for years and are one of the few plants we left in when we started the landscaping. Now we have ten more. It’s a low-growing (less than 2 ft)  spreading plant with dark green leaves and purple flowers.

Dark Star will get 4-8 feet tall and is a tougher, more spindly plant. It also has gorgeous purple flowers. Both plants are used by birds, bees, and butterflies.

Ceanothus Centennial
Ceanothus Centennial
Ceanothus Dark Star
Ceanothus Dark Star

In Our Garden: Rhamnus Calif Leatherleaf, aka Coffeeberry

How can you not like a plant named Coffeeberry? Too bad it’s not really a coffee bean plant. I first saw this plant several years ago when we were on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. It was a full grown bush, taller than me, in full bloom and just gorgeous. I knew I wanted one someday. Now we have seven of them. The berries start out green, go to red, then black. Alas, they are not edible. This bush is good for birds and butterflies.

Rhamnus Calif Leatherleaf, Coffeeberry
Rhamnus Calif Leatherleaf, Coffeeberry

In Our Garden: Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’

Advertent readers will know why I’m partial to a plant called Verbena. If you don’t know, go read my book, Moon Over Donamorgh.

Yes, Seamus would be proud that I have Verbena in my garden. It’s a lovely and delicate plant already blooming with tiny purple flowers. The flowers are edible and I just may try them. Verbena is also a favorite of bees and butterflies. Look very closely in the center of this photograph to see one of the flowers. It’s a bit washed out in the photo.

Verbena Lilacina de la Mina
Verbena Lilacina de la Mina

In Our Garden: Baccharis pilularis pilularis, aka Dwarf Coyote Bush

No, that’s not a mistake in the name – there really are two “pilularis” there. Perhaps to indicate the dwarf variety? It’s a guess. We’ve actually had this plant in our yard for over 30 years and it’s still going strong. Gets a little leggy, so needs pruning. I don’t think ours is the dwarf plant, which are supposed to stay a little cleaner close to the ground. These bushes are pollinators, but they’re more toward the harsh side of things, such as predator wasps, native flies, and beetles. But the native butterflies also like it, and anyway, the wasps are important so I’m glad to feed them.

Baccharis P. Dwarf Coyote Bush
Baccharis P. Dwarf Coyote Bush

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