Rhino Cooks for Company

Rhino’s dream came true last weekend. He played host to a house party extraordinaire. Green Hope Farm was Hotel New Hampshire! Rhino lived his dream of a full sink. At one point, the census chez Green Hope rose to eleven. There were three Emily’s in residence. There was not a single lonely moment at the sink! Rhino was in heaven.

As fate would have it, Friday brought a timely used book arrival from alibris. A circa 1970’s cookbook by famed texan chef Helen Corbitt called “Helen Corbitt Cooks for Company”. When Rhino was not hoofing it in the kitchen, he was pouring through Helen’s tome.


While the house guests hooted that poor Helen’s dress matched her wallpaper, Rhino read on, aware of the need to get inspired to cook the next meal. Rhino knew all too well that the next meal is always moments away when you have almost a dozen human vacuum cleaners twenty somethings in residence, all expecting breakfast, second breakfast, elevens, lunch, tea, supper, and dinner.

Helen weighed in on mid morning entertaining (and I paraphrase here and everywhere else Helen’s guiding wisdom is shared) noting that successful morning coffees require getting up at a devastatingly early hour but are still a great time to entertain small or large groups of women as men wouldn’t be caught dead at a coffee hour. Rhino looked at all the coffee mugs on his counter used by men as well as women for mid morning coffee and could only wonder.

About brunches Helen commented that for women, for debutantes, for introducing an author or a favorite politician, for women’s club affairs even for men, brunches are enjoyable. Rhino felt good. The brunch after second breakfast had clearly been a good idea. The empty refrigerator and Helen told him so.

After a mid morning restock at the season’s last farmer’s market and the grocery store, Rhino was ready to face lunch, tea, supper, and dinner. Helen suggested he make friends with foreign kitchens. He hoped the chicken stir fry and shrimp curry were enough of an effort, but by dinner time he needed to bring in truly foreign reserves. Chinese take out. Rhino consoled himself that as Helen had flown naranja juice in from Argentina for a gig at Neiman-Marcus, Chinese take out from Lebanon NH couldn’t be that wrong.

After card games, evening snacks, more evening snacks, and then bedtime snacks, the crowd dispersed to their various beds. Rhino read on. First breakfast was only hours away. Helen described a foreign theme dinner for men to celebrate British cuisine. It went off without a hitch because what man would not like her hashed brown potatoes with sour cream. So true Helen. For man, woman or rhino, hash browns with sour cream are hard to beat, though sadly not the first thing Rhino thought of when he thought about British cuisine.

Rhino moved on to Helen’s discussion of cocktail buffets and holiday fetes. Helen suggested a cocktail buffet should look heavily laden even when it is not. It was good news to know that faking it was okay with Helen because any buffet Rhino got together on Sunday morning was going to involve slim pickings. Every piece of fruit in the house had vanished between midnight and one am and the refrigerator had that hollow look again. Helen suggested that holiday entertaining (and wasn’t this weekend really a sort of pre Halloween holiday weekend?) could be a seated dinner or an informal pick up supper to kick the gong around.

Rhino wondered what was indicated when one kicked a gong around. Clearly, he would have to ask texan friend Jan Barker about that, but it was later than Rhino had been up in months, maybe years, and therefore a bit too late to call even Jan who has much more party in her than the average rhino.

Rhino finished off his reading with an inspiring chapter on buffets in which Helen said that she always found it easier to do a dinner two nights in a row with a luncheon or supper on the third day. This was heartening as Rhino was about to do just that. He fell into a deep and dreamless sleep.

At breakfast Rhino winged it with waffles, bagels, some left over Chinese take out, scrambled and fried eggs and of course, six or eight boxes of breakfast cereals. Green Hope Farm maple syrup added a little panache to the outlay and the carbo load gave Rhino a few hours to dodge out and restock again.

By Sunday dusk the house guests had rolled out. There had been dancing, there had been kicking the gong around (sorry Jan, we figured it out without you), and there certainly had been eating. All non resident hobbits were gone and so too were two quarts of beef stew, two quarts of chicken stew, ten ham and cheese pasties, 10 mini quiches, fourteen boxes of chinese take out, all left over chicken stir fry, all left over shrimp stir fry, two quarts of maple syrup, a double batch of waffles, an 18X24 inch pan of pecan shortbread bars, four dozen eggs, several gallons of mango tango, a cornucopia of fruit, every dairy product in a three mile radius including several pounds of various cheese with accompanying crackers and a tower of bagels .

It was the best of times. It was bliss. But Rhino was a bit tired. I took a candid of him when the last dish had been washed.


A New Take on Mercury Retrograde

Before resident astrologer, Jane Taupier, arrived in our midst, Mercury retrogrades were something we dreaded.

We found them to be times when equipment unexpectedly fritzed out on us, things got lost in the mail, or simply got lost in translation. We found them to be times when we made more mistakes than usual and generally misunderstood each other. We found them to be times when we needed to slow down, listen a lot more carefully, and ask for things to be repeated to us several times. I would bet my bottom dollar it was a Mercury retrograde when I sent an entire set to someone in Reno who did not want it. Mercury retrogrades have been times when we have misunderstood what people wanted to order. So, if we seem to be going over things excessively when you call, it is probably because it’s Mercury retrograde and we are trying to compensate for the confused energies around communication. And computer crashes, unfixable losses of filemaker files, technology glitches, that kind of thing? Mercury retrogrades.

After Jane’s inservice about Mercury retrogrades, I know we will still have these kind of difficulties, but now we are all more aware of the gifts of these astrological times. Gifts! I am almost giddy at the thought. Thanks to Jane, when I post a sign in the office next week to remind everyone its Mercury retrograde, there can be a genuine smiley face on the sign!

My understanding of Mercury retrograde is that it is a time period in which the planet Mercury, as viewed from Earth, appears to stop in its orbit and actually move backwards. While this is not literally happening, it appears in our skies as if it is. Mercury is named after the wing footed Roman god of communications, commerce, education, and everyday routines. Astrologically the planet Mercury is understood to be associated with these things. So when this planet of communication, commerce, and everyday life appears in our skies to stop and go backward, it pulls associated energies in a backwards direction too and there are more delays, standstills, misunderstandings, and snafus in communications, commerce, and everyday life.

This used to make us wobble nervously through the three or four stretches of Mercury retrograde we go through each year.

Enter Jane, with a much more helpful spin on Mercury retrogrades.

Jane explained that this apparent going backward over the same territory makes the time period of Mercury retrograde a chance to re-consider our situation, rehash events, review what has happened, and re-evaluate our decisions. In other words, we are given a second chance to understand things better. If we accept this time of reflection with grace, it gives us the opportunity to move forward again after the retrograde with more wisdom, less baggage, and a chance to change some of our decisions because of what we have learned.

Jane explained to us the specifics of this coming Mercury retrograde which begins on Saturday October 28th and ends November 18th with some slowing down of Mercury in the days beforehand and the days afterwards as well. This retrograde is happening in the part of the sky associated with the astrological sign of Scorpio, so it will bring a return focus on Scorpio issues. She suggested secrets, hidden truths, and unseen negative habits might come to the surface during this retrograde. This retrograde will also offer a chance to release old and unfruitful emotional patterns such as resentment, suspicion, fear, anger, paranoia, possessiveness, and thoughts of revenge. Some of this will be emotional baggage that we didn’t even know was there because that is the nature of shadow work. We don’t see the things hidden in our shadow until they come to light. And this retrograde is probably going to bring quite a lot of things in our individual and collective shadows to light.

With Jupiter conjunct to Mercury Jane offered that this retrograde will bring a BIGGER than usual reconsideration of things. With Saturn squaring Mercury and Jupiter she suggested there might be a serious re-examination of the role of authority figures in our lives. The fact that the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are in Scorpio right now also indicate that this retrograde will be a zesty one.

Jane suggested that because the hidden truths and hidden problems that surface have been very well buried, it will take patience with ourselves and careful listening to know what is surfacing to be reclaimed or released. Most importantly, this release can be a truly healing time if we can be gentle with ourselves and not move into judgment as things come forward to be seen and resolved one way or another.

This all seems like good news. So, how do we harness and run with this energy instead of resisting the flow of this excavation and release process? We sat around our morning circle yesterday and came up with some Flower Essences that will support this particular Mercury retrograde process more fully and perhaps all Mercury retrogrades in general. The Angels also chimed in with their suggestions as I assembled this list to post here.

Release of old negative patterns and counter productive habits: All Ego Contracts Null & Void, The Sacred Feminine

Release of fear: Old Blush China Rose, Scarlet Runner Bean, Aspen*

Release of paranoia: Red Clover, Scarlet Runner Bean, Anxiety

Release of bitterness: Eggplant, Meadowsweet

Release of thoughts of revenge: Love Prevails, The Alignment Garden, and Don’t Worry- Bee Happy** trio, Cherokee Trail of Tears

Release of judgment: Crab Apple, Don’t Worry- Bee Happy**, Nasturtium, Wild Rose

Release of conflict: Mary Queen of Scots Rose

Release of Sour Grapes: Grape

Release of fanaticism: Maple, Crab Apple

Release of blame: Hyssop and Heliotrope for self blame, Sage for blaming others

Release of illusions of duality: Cherokee Trail of Tears

Release of painful memories: Honeysuckle, Flow Free

Release of addictive patterns: All Ego Contracts Null & Void, Recovery, Banana (sugar), Grape( alcohol), White Nicotiana ( tobacco), Coffee ( caffeine)

Release of illusions so we see the truth more clearly: Eyes of Mary, Bottle Gentian

Release of competitiveness: Agnes Rose, Jealousy, Old Blush China Rose, The Sunflower Spiral, All Ego Contracts Null & Void

Release of particularly big knots of confusion: Ladies Nodding Tresses**

Release of family baggage: Black Currant, Bloodroot, Pipsissewa*

Release of the hold authority figures have on us: Cardinal de Richelieu Rose, All Ego Contracts Null & Void, Flow Free

Taking back our own authority in our lives: Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher, St David’s Rose*

Release of materialism: Ginger, Maple, Rose a Parfum de l’Hay,

Release of the experience of self as only a physical body: Mallow, Maple, Eyes of Mary, Rosemary, Pearly Everlasting,**

Release of possessiveness: Ginger, Flow Free, Rose a Parfum de l’Hay

Release of childhood trauma: Abandonment & Abuse, Inner Child, Logan’s Force of Truth*

Release of insecurity: Anxiety, Old Blush China Rose, All Ego Contracts Null & Void, The Watchman*

Smoothing the flow of these releases: Flow Free, Lime, Agrippina Rose

Calming the emotions during release: Orange, Healthy Coat, Feverfew, Sarah Van Fleet Rose

Support to expect the unexpected: Anxiety, Flow Free

Bringing the shadow into the light: Bee Balm, Elderberry

Forgiveness: Love Prevails, The Alignment Garden, and Don’t Worry- Bee Happy** trio, Heliotrope, Hyssop

Support during disorientation of letting go: Grounding, New Beginnings, Phoenix Rising, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Red Mangrove, The Sunflower Spiral, Joe Pye Weed

Co-dependence issues: To Thine own Self be True, All Ego Contracts Null & Void, Abandonment & Abuse, Recovery

Containing the new truths: California Poppy, The Sacred Feminine, Corn, Astrantia Roma*

Accepting loss: Grief & Loss, Omey Island, Witch Hazel*, Hellebore*

Rebuilding sense of community and sense of self after all these releases: Peach, Willow,

Courage to do the work: Alex Mackenzie Rose, Borage, Nuuphretia Lavarissa,

Support for the physical vehicle to make the changes: Mutabilis Rose, California Poppy, Gallandia Rose, Golden Armor

Finding a roadmap for where you are: Sage (when you still have some basic frame of reference for where you are), Russian Sage (for when you are not sure which way is up)

Communicating more clearly: Cosmos, Lemon, Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher, Celandine*

Listening Better: Allamanda, Daffodil, Lemon, Spiderwort, To Hear the Angels Sing

Patience with ourselves: Don’t Worry- Bee Happy**, Blackberry

Please feel free to copy this list! Please feel free to discard these suggestions and go with your own wisdom about what Flower Essences would support you!

*Flower Essences from Research list, available on request
** Flower Essences on New Essences for 2006 list, available on request
The Flower Essence suggestions without asterisks can be found in our Guide in brief as well as extended descriptions or on the website in a brief form. Email us at green.hope.farm@valley.net if you want any of our written materials mailed off to you. We also can send the New Essence list or the Research Essence list to you by email. I hope to post these two documents on the website soon, but in the meantime, I am happy to send you this data in any form that works for you.

The Afghan has Landed


First there was a trial afghan, knit from leftover stash yarn in shades of red, white, and blue. This was an afghan to prove to the world that my leftover wool had a reason for being. This was an afghan to keep everyone warm, even May May who thinks she needs an afghan during her supervisory shifts in the office. This was an afghan to take the log cabin afghan pattern out on the road and see if it had wheels.

It did.


The second afghan was for Emily “just because” I couldn’t get it done in time for her birthday.

The third afghan was for Ben to celebrate a year in the working world after college when I couldn’t get it finished in time to give it to him for his graduation from college.

Then there was afghan four. By then my recipients were cynical about delivery date promises. Certain people fell on the floor clutching their afghans with hysterical laughter when I told William he would receive his after an intensive three weeks of knitting last February for the Knitting Olympics.

William sweetly, patiently and without the cynicism of his siblings heard me move the E.E.D. (Expected Delivery Date) from the end of the Knitting Olympics in February to the end of the World Cup Soccer to the end of the Tour de France to the end of his soccer season in October.


As he got spiffed for his first sixth grade dance EVER last Thursday night ( I know! A Thursday night!) it was time to wrap that baby around William and get a photo. He looks so pleased at my insisting on a photo doesn’t he? And that red eye goes so well with his choice of afghan colors!

Truth be told, I think William liked the photo op with his fifth grade teacher Ms. Gallagher much better. She came for supper before going to chaperone the dance. Will was her date for the occasion.

So cheshire cat Will went off to the dance with me yelling after him, “I always said I would finish that afghan before your first junior high dance!”

The house became quiet. My knitting needles grew cold. I considered my project options. I would started to knit an afghan for Rhino, but he already has an afghan. There may be a hole where the dishwasher was but Rhino is warm.

I knew I would find a purpose for that mighty oversized sock!

No, it was time to start afghan five for the last of my children without an afghan. And looks like when I have it ready on Xmas her birthday Valentine’s day election day 2008 some occasion in the future, it will be just in time and much appreciated.


My Learning Curve since the Last Blog

A seventeen year old classmate of Emily’s had a heart attack after football practice on Wednesday of this week. The fast reaction of the school trainers who did CPR and then defibrillated this child before the town rescue squad arrived saved his life. When the dust settled, I felt chastened by my last blog, recognizing my need to be deeply grateful for the single focused man made healing tools we have that can and do save lives. So grateful thanks to all the amazing human minds that came up with the many tools that saved this child. including the defibrillator. It may just do one thing but it is an enormously wonderful thing it does.

This child’s heart attack shook everyone in our small community. While Sophie Cardew and I planted more bulbs on Thursday afternoon, we talked about this event and also spoke of a childhood friend of Sophie’s who recently died at age nineteen of heart disease. I considered floating out some kind of statistical factoid to comfort Sophie about the remote probability of something going wrong with her young heart or another friend’s young heart. But I realized how little this kind of statistical analysis helps any of us. Unusual things do happen. I can’t know that something like this won’t happen in her life again.

It occurred to me that it might be better to mention to her how well she had coped with some extremely challenging life situations she has already lived through and suggest that while none of us could know what life would throw at us, she could see in her experience of coping well with traumatic loss and difficulties that she would be able to cope with whatever did come her way. I said this and we both felt comforted. We could dig away in the earth, putting in the last of my mammoth bulb order, resting in the truth that though we had not expected what life had given us, we had both negotiated it without turning to self destructive patterns of addictive behavior or by otherwise checking out of the situation. We had stayed present and felt what we felt. By the time we hauled the last load of composted manure to dig into the bulb beds and stuck the last crocus bulb into the well turned soil, we were feeling tired but strong. It was a good moment.

I have been glad to have our new Venus Garden Essence “Don’t Worry- Bee Happy” at my side this week because an event like this child’s heart attack makes it very hard for my mind to understand the whole gestalt of “Don’t Worry- Bee Happy. Out in the gardens, Sophie and I agreed that we never worry about the things that actually happen anyways. So letting go of worry seems sensible. All worry, we could agree, is a big waste of time. But sometimes the Bee Happy thing can feel a bit callous to me. I guess it is a question of really understanding that being happy isn’t some indication that you don’t care about your fellow man. I can send love and pray for this child, his family, and his school community yet it helps no one if I take this as a reason to be unhappy. I am glad to have the Essence there to help me unravel the kind of mind tangles I can get into about this issue.

In any case, this child is mending well, he’s talking coherently while surrounded by loving family and friends, and the hospital is busy with its diagnostic tools, figuring out what happened and how to prevent this from happening again. And have been reminded how every healing modality adds to the light and helps us all.

Lucky Planets

Emily recently learned in an environmental science class that if there are two cars and one bicyclist on a stretch of deserted highway, there is a greater likelihood than there should be statistically that all three vehicles will meet on the highway simultaneously. Coincidentally, Lizzy had just been to a physics lecture that explained why this happens. It happens because we all have a slight gravitational field pulling us towards each other.

Of course because I am me, I have to run with this fun fact way beyond what either the environmental science teacher or the physics professor had in mind.

So, I have begun to think of each of us as planets with our own gravitational fields. We each have a physical body with unique surface contours and the invisible inner terrain of a planet. We have an emotional field extending out from our physical body and also interpenetrating our physical body. We also have a mental body and a memory body interpenetrating all these other fields. It’s like we have an atmosphere, one that may be clogged up with emotional and mental pollution or lit up by great love.

Why dwell on this delightful notion of all of us orbiting each other in a wild dance of planets?

People often ask me where to begin with Flower Essences. Something happened this week that made me realize it doesn’t matter AT ALL where you begin. Pick any situation or any symptom. Then pick some Essences. Or visa versa. No matter what you pick, any Essences you choose will bring a skill set so dovetailed to supporting your multi dimensional energy system, your multi faceted planet, that the Essences support is rarely going to be a straight forward tale of Essence A helped only Problem B, end of story.

The story is going to be way better than that!

The process of healing with Flower Essences is not a linear journey in which the issue you wanted to heal with your choice of Essences resolves ONLY that issue. Any Flower Essences you work with address all your different energy fields and therefore offer support on many levels for many different issues. Whatever issue you started to work on will rarely be the only thing that got healing support.

Why are Flower Essences so outside a linear and limited healing framework?

Flower Essences are not man made tools, so they are not limited by the human mind.

Flower Essences are not creations of a limited consciousness. They are schematics of successful divine systems offering the wisdom of their evolution. Their blueprints offer electrical information to help unravel every possible kind of knot within our equally complex though often not as evolved matrixes. The electrical solutions are as multi faceted as our electrical systems and therefore go in all directions in our systems to offer support.

It’s not that all Flowers have finished their evolutionary work, because many are still evolving. Flower Essences’ strengths as healing tools come because Flower Essences more completely relay their healing information than other modalities of healing.

With a Flower Essence, no wisdom needs to be left behind because it was squeezed through one person’s limited understanding during its creation. Let’s say, I was trying to make a vibrational remedy in a lab. Even if I had Einstein’s brain, I would never get as far as a Flower gets naturally. Maybe I could drum up one vibrational frequency that would help one small facet of a problem, a tool for one issue.

I would say this is the problem with man made healing tools. The tool can only be as good as the limitations of the mind that conceived it. And we got limitations! But Flower Essences come to us as a transfer of electrical information. Flower Essences are a system of healing coming from the divine mind of Nature not the limited human mind.

It is the divinity of Nature and divinity of the Flowers that creates the multi dimensional healing electrical pattern of the Flower. It is Nature and the Flowers that transfer this pattern into the Flower Essence. The only limitations of a Flower Essence comes from how the humans CONTAIN the Essence. This is why we spend so much time and effort to provide the highest vibrational container we can for Green Hope Farm’s Flower Essences. This is why we use Red Shiso. This is why we try to do everything with love, as well as bottle everything to the specifications of the Angels of Flower Essences. We can’t make these great tools in any real sense of the word, but we can get out of the way and not mess with their perfection.

Back to that initial experience of picking an issue then choosing Flower Essence support. One analogy for this is to think of any problem we are aware of in our energy field as a strand hanging out of a knotted ball of string. This hanging strand gets our attention as a problem to be solved, even though it may not be our most serious problem. Not to worry, the irritating strand gets things started. We want to untangle this strand from the knotted ball and unravel the issue.

With Flower Essences this impulse can start a long chain of healing events. With other modalities, given their narrower focus on the single strand issue, the possibilities for radical healing are more limited.

If we can start in with Flower Essences and then let ourselves be led on this journey from Essence to Essence without necessarily understanding exactly what is going on, then we free up the process to heal ourselves in profound and unexpected ways. When we surrender any need to control, we let Flower Essences work in their powerful albeit mysterious ways. We open to receive the enormous, multi faceted gifts of divine mind. The whole knotted ball can become looser and looser until not only the precipitating issue and its strand of string unravels, but many, many other incredible knots unravel as well.

This is the difference between a divine tool and a tool created from the limited framework of a human mind. The Essences are a divine gift from the divine mind. We need not try to control or even understand what Flower Essences give us or what our own divine energy system makes of them. We just need to go along for the ride and see the wonderful things that unfold as knots fall apart and unravel.

This is why, despite all my words and descriptions of Flower Essences, I really hope you just wander with them in a construct that has nothing to do with what I have written. My mind is as limited as the next mind and so when I write about Essences I have profoundly narrowed the description of their gifts! Fortunately, that doesn’t narrow their actual gifts!

In my own personal process with Flower Essences, I try to surrender my ideas about what Flower Essences to work with to the Angel’s guidance, messages in dreams, what my hands pull off the Essence shelves, unexplained hankerings for this Essence or that Essence, and other approaches that sidestep my mind’s more analytical and limited approach. Yes, for mundane strands from my knotted ball like poison ivy, I use Healthy Coat, but I also try to avail myself to the suggestions that make no sense. These are the ones I suspect often do the most profound unravelling of my knotty ball of string.

As I have mentioned before in the blog, the Angels recently asked me to put drops of Flow Free, a combination remedy from the Animal Wellness Collection, in a quart jar of water each day and to drink this without fail. Often I add other Essences, but this is the backbone of the jar of water. One morning this past weekend, I grabbed a few moments of quiet to work on Will’s afghan ( YES! It is done! Photo soon! ). I was knitting in a spot where I could see a patch of sunlight shining through my sparkling quart jar of Flow Free Essence in water. I wasn’t really paying much attention to the scene when suddenly I noticed there was a brilliant patch of pink light in front of me. I have never had any training in seeing auras, but sometimes, through no volition of my own, I see colors around people or see color in the skies over Green Hope Farm. I often see pink in the Green Hope skies and I have come to think of this as yet another way the Angels make their loving presence felt in my life. So as I knit, I enjoyed this companionship. I reached for my Flow Free water and after a sip, I put the jar down in a different place and the light moved. As I moved my quart of water around so went the pink light. The pink light was part of the Flow Free water.

This startled me out of my limited linear mind. Yes, I slip into it all too frequently. In this case, I had settled on a mind idea that I was taking the Flow Free to help me adjust to going from a summer household of six big bodies to a fall household in which everyone but me is away with activities elsewhere. This pink light threw all my assumptions into the air. I had to face a richer, more mysterious truth. I have no idea what the Flow Free is for in my life or why it would have this brilliant beautiful pink light with it.

But mercifully, if I have learned anything on this journey with Flower Essences, it is that I don’t need to know what an Essence is doing, that I can truly rest in the truth that this divine and safe tool is helping my energy system in ways only a divine mind could fathom. All I need to bring to the table is a willingness to follow the process and go with the flow, so to speak. Love and gratitude for these tools may not be necessary, but it floods forward anyways.

And so I took another sip and considered this. We certainly are lucky planets, each and every one of us. So much love offered by divine mind in such ordinary ways. That Flower Essence water you are sipping? Who knows what gifts it brings? And that Rose you smelled on the way to work? No doubt it flooded the atmosphere of your own personal planet with the grace of its divine love. We are lucky planets that meet and greet all creation in this dance of gravitational pull. And the gifts of our daily orbits are something only divine mind can understand.

I am grateful though that our hearts are not as limited as our minds. Our hearts can flood to the full and thus receive with gratitude these gifts of divine mind. What good news that is.