Sunday, August 9, 2020

Making Jellies and Jams Summer of a pandemic - reflections from Peg 1918 and today.

Good morning now Sept 27, 2020,staying home here near Haha Wakpa, the Mississippi River, grateful to have a roof over our head and able to reflect on life and the current pandemic, and listening to my Tibetan teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, about how to dance with fear, and learning the Chod practices to live in the midst of the life and death reality of a pandemic.  He invites us to consider this as a global retreat and can bring the best out of us...Time to rest and to re awaken to our life purpose of listening to life and self care.  Now in Sept, still taking care of ourselves and took a 16 mile bike ride from
Mississippi River looking west from Anoka County (Fridley) to Hennepin County (Brooklyn Center) on Sept 24, 2020. 
Mississippi River east side early autumn photo Sept 24, 2020
Blog author, Tom Weaver at Golden Lake North Rice Creek Trail, Sept 13 by Jon Nisja
Tom Weaver with compass plant prairie along North Rice Lake Trail 
And the bounty of fruit harvested and made into jam and jelly found in and around the area here in MniShota Makoce.  Jams and Jellies to share during waniyetu, the winter times. 
Reflections on the bounty of the tree nation, the chan oyate with fruits....Juneberries found on some 7 trees North Mississippi Park in Minneapolis about a mile from our home. 
 June berries in June, on the tree, the purple ones are more ripe and sweet....
June berries washed in the kitchen ---
June Berry Pie, out of the oven ----fun to eat with a scoop of ice cream.....

Took a June day trip with my friend Doug Beumer, on the left up to Lake Itasca with a bike ride around the lake of some 17 miles. Here we are at the headwaters of the Mississippi .   Hope to drive up again this fall to see the colors.  Douglas Lodge ?  And Now for other berries and fruits. 

Next after juneberries at chokecherries, that have a big pit and thus are making jelly and use a jelly bag

Chokecherries on the shrubs by the Greenway    
Red leafed bushes with ripe cherries below

Not a fan of the "updated" way to blog on this currently free way to write online.  Difficult to insert text with the various photos - Above all the fruits harvested this year to put away for winter during this pandemic....From the top  -1)  Juneberries (Amelancher a rose family plant with small seeds) ,  2) Chokecherry, larger seeds, pits and make jelly using a jelly bag.  4 batches of jelly this year in July mostly.  3) Wild plum made one batch of jam, from fruits harvested in August Elm Creek Park Preserve
4) Crabapple-apple jelly,  Chestnut Crab apples in Golden Valley with Apples added, one batch, and 5) in Sept went to buy Aronia shrubs

.Part of this for me, is to more deeply reconnect with my earth centered connection to the Dakota and Lakota nations through our MN Hollow Horn Bear Tiospaye by re-reading Lakota America, A New History of Indigenous Power, Yale University Press 2019 by Finnish Author Pekka Hamalainen, that was given to us by brother Jim Weaver late in 2019.  Lots of teachings about the role of epidemics, esp small pox in the history of Turtle Island (North America).  Here is a map from page 16 of the book.

 "The ancestral Sioux shifted slowly and moved west"
AND from my mom's memoir, who was 8 years of age during the Spanish Flu Epidemic.
From Peg Weaver's self published Remembrings of an 83 year old grandma, regarding 1918, WWI and the concurrent flu pandemic  p 11 "
When I seven or eight years old, my father had abscesses at the base of his spine which required several major operations, a surgeon, Dr. Frick, coming from Toledo to perform the first one. Because this was during a disastrous influenza epidemic during World War I, the Findlay hospital being short of nurses was glad to have my mother stay at the hospital to care for my father (where, incidentally, she learned the proper way to make beds with mitered sheet corners). During that time I lived with Grandmother, Grandfather Glessner and Aunt Mary. When more surgery was done in Toledo, removing several inches of his tail-bone, the surgeon thought that my father might never walk again. These were grim days in my home, worry about my father's recovery and about meeting the medical expenses since health insurance didn't exist.
After my father came home for the hospital, for months he was confined to bed, lying on a cot in the bungalow dining room, where I remember my mother dressing his bloody wounds. When the roof of our bungalow caught on fire, the fire department was called but went to the wrong address, a bakery, which the firemen couldn't enter because it was a "coal-less Monday", the day when businesses closed to save fuel for the war effort. Finally, the firemen arrived to discover that my mother had put out the fire, carrying buckets of water up a ladder to the attic. We all moved to by grandparents' until the hole in the roof was repaired.
During the war I remember going down into the basement to get "fresh eggs" out of sticky, icky, cold waterglass, a process for preserving eggs. Anti-German feeling was so strong that my mother destroyed her German text books. At school I bought War Savings Bonds and learned to knit small "squares" of irregular shapes to send "over there" for washcloths. Geraldine, my fourteen-inch tall wooden doll, was named for my dance teacher, Geraldine Moss, had eye-lashed eyes that blinked and moveable joints fitted with springs so that she could assume and maintain all sorts of poses. My mother made two timely outfits for her: a Red Cross nurse's and a soldier's. With the soldier's garb (an olive-drab, jaunty over-seas cap, proper-fitting jacket, jodpur-like pants and puttees) she won a prize in a Toledo contest.
When General Black-Jack Pershing was at a reception at the Findlay Elks Club after the war, I was thrilled to shake the hand of the war hero who led American troops in Europe. His handsome son accompanied him, which was exciting for us grade school girls. "

Also reflecting on postage stamps, and the reflection of history....Really enjoyed collecting stamps as a boy and having stamp exchanges with other kids around the world when I was young.  Australia, Southern Rhodesia, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, New Zealand, Japan and more.  Got a sense of world geography through that - and later with a German Friend to collect and exchange as an adult.  History and cultural things for understanding.

Here is the US Stamp of a series that has a lot of white guys mostly presidents and all, and this is Chief Hollow Horn Bear, a Lakota, and the great grandfather of relative whose chan nupa, prayer pipe was returned to his relatives to pray with beginning in 1989 at the Hollow Horn Bear Sun dance near St Francis SD.  I started praying there in July 1990- and here is the flyer from that dance where I met Joe Eagle Elk and Rudy Runs Above who were guides for us on how to pray and dance in a good way.
Here is one of the dancers prior to the dance  in 2018 at the cook shack with a mature prairie turnip, Marvin who is another descendant of the chief.  Such great memories.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Faribault Resort Destination 1919 Post WWI and Flu Pandemic -Lessons for Today.

Curious here in 2020, during the time of refuge, requested by leadership to prevent farther spread of a corona virus believed to have jumped as an RNA virus from wet market animals in Wuhan in Central China in 2019, and we have been asked this past month in March to physically and socially distance. I flash back to the times here on Turtle Island of 100 years ago.  Here is a 1919 cover of a map sponsored by businesses in my hometown of Faribault MN, inviting tourists, now with automobiles more in the cities, to replace horses as a primary mode of transportation.....Learning about history and how things do repeat over time.  Thinking about Ford's Model T, that made the new travel technology affordable for regular folks.  "On October 1, 1908, the first production Model T Ford is completed at the company’s Piquette Avenue plant in Detroit. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford would build some 15 million Model T cars. It was the longest production run of any automobile model in history until the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed it in 1972." From
FROM TODAY's 2020 Eagle Eye view of His/Herstory - Inspired that the Dakhota name, Minnewasta, meaning "Mni -Water, Waste' Good' is the name of the Roberd's Lake resort in 1919, soon after WW I, "The war to end all wars" and the event that took more lives internationally than the human conflict dis-ease of WAR, more "we are right", likely another corona virus in 2020 hindsight from Wiki"The Spanish flu was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic. Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million people—about a quarter of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.
Curious who made it to Roberd's Lake outside of Faribault in 1919, in the midst of the pandemic?  Plan to post a link to a Facebook page that many Faribault and Rice County natives and current residents add to and comment. Thinking of local fresh eggs, and fresh caught fish ---the fold up map in side was delivered to the current owners not long ago accompanied by Jeff Jarvis and local historian, artist and native of Rice County.   
 Here is the folded map that I labeled "1919RandMcNallyFaribault15HammondHwy2JeffersonHwy61" in the scan made prior to giving the map to the current owners...Note the few roads, and 61 and 2 from Northfield through Dundas back in those early days of auto travel.

And here is a 1923 Rice County Map North of Faribault.
And with some of the green road, major, and then the gravel red roads in 1923,  Rice County MN in 1923  ---
Grateful that life all goes on, new threads of life...we are generating as some of the old dominoes fall. Letting go of what no longer serves.....and now what is emerging. From Charles Eisenstein "A corona is a crown. “Novel coronavirus pandemic” means “a new coronation for all.”
Already we can feel the power of who we might become. A true sovereign does not run in fear from life or from death. A true sovereign does not dominate and conquer (that is a shadow archetype, the Tyrant). The true sovereign serves the people, serves life, and respects the sovereignty of all people. The coronation marks the emergence of the unconscious into consciousness, the crystallization of chaos into order, the transcendence of compulsion into choice. We become the rulers of that which had ruled us. The New World Order that the conspiracy theorists fear is a shadow of the glorious possibility available to sovereign beings. No longer the vassals of fear, we can bring order to the kingdom and build an intentional society on the love already shining through the cracks of the world of separation.

Friday, November 22, 2019

DRAWDOWN 100 Solutions for Reversing Climate Change - Climate Reality Leadership and 24 hours of Education 2019

In March of 2019 I read this now to be classic summary of how to face climate reality and work together to deal with the new realities in the 21st Century. Looking back on my environmental educator journey and the formation of Faribault Area Committee for Environmental Quality in the early 1970's after the first "Earth Day" in April 1970, when I spoke at the U of M about how dumb our country was to use defoliants in Viet Nam...and how they were keeping military secrets..Then too, it was often about oil and the illusion of control of resources over compassion for people and ecosystems.
 Talking to Grade School kids around 1971 in my home town of Faribault Minnesota, McKinley Grade School talking about air pollution with a prop of a gas mask.  Photo in the Faribault Daily News--Also in the early 1970's, I began the research about family history when my grandpa, Noah Elwood Weaver died in 1973, I started to ask my dad about our family roots and especially the history of our Weaver and Eicher Family farms in Ohio -

And learning about current farming practice by reading stories such as I just found in Yes! Magazine that I subscribe to....The Way Climate Change Unites Us. Building Bridges
 Here is my grandpa, Noah Elwood Weaver about 1910 in the spring on the Eicher Family farm.  His soon to be wife, Edna Helena Eicher was raised on this farm in Montgomery Co Ohio, where a variety of apple trees could be found.
 Here is Emma Esther Eicher, Edna's older sister, help her mom and my great grandma, Lane "Helena" Paul Eicher make apple butter inside the old Eicher homestead just prior to her death in 1913 after a surgery for her goiter, an enlarged thyroid that led to her gaining a lot of weight.

Apples and trees, planting of many types have played a big role in the Weaver family tree in my experience.
 Here in 1945 are my two younger brothers, Jim born 1940 and Jack born 1943, in the Weaver back yard on the hill the Dakhota call "Tate'paha"" windy hill, and behind them are 2 of the some 9 apple trees that had been planted by others prior to my parents buying the property in 1943.  We would harvest apples in the fall, and make apple sauce using a hand foley food mill and can the apple sauce

In the mid 1930's when my parents were still living in Ohio, they helped plant a variety of trees on the Chase Farm in Hancock County where Peg Glessner (Weaver)'s, mom, Inez Chase Glessner had been raised. Here is a photo of how they sheltered the seedings, ash, maple and tulip trees that my dad took in 1934. 
Property Weaver-Agerter Legacy on the Straight River Rice County 
 I learned the values of planting trees that are recognized through photosynthesis. As we all know "Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis, from the Greek φῶς, phōs, "light", and σύνθεσις, synthesis, "putting together". In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product."

Part of the story, 16 acres along the Straight River near Faribault, that my parents and their friends the Agerters stewarded from 1942 - 1983.  In the summer of 1983 the land was transferred to the Nature Conservancy and River Bend Nature Center as the PH Weaver legacy gift. 
Camp Fire cooking with the Berhow family by the shed build on the "prop", Peg Weaver, in front with Ruth, Byron (By) and Marde Berhow in the back. The Berhows were some of my parents best friends in Faribault as they both arrived in town around 1939 and had young kids at the same time.
This author in the early 1970's, with some of the pines growing after Dewey Van Orsow and his scout troop planted trees in the part of the 16 acres.   
Summary of the 700 seedlings of 6 species that were planted by the boy scouts in 1971.

Letter from Ron Osterbauer, Feb 1982, River Bend Nature Center to Peg Koering of the Nature Conservancy  with cc to Charlie Turnbull and Orwin Rustad of Faribault on the board of directors.
Map at River Bend Nature Center, as photographed by this author in the Autumn of 2019, noticing the Weaver Cabin Remants near the the bend of the river,
Visited Rice County this autumn we stopped by a family orchard on St Paul Road on the east side of Faribault on our way through Cannon City, Northfield and back to the Twin Cities.  Stopped by this orchard that the Minnesota Trump family has run since 1954.  Check out this link:
Tasty non pasteurized cider too   -- And once again I picked a bunch of local apples here in the Twin Cities and processed them by hand in this foley food mill, and then canned them to put in the freezer for sharing over the next year. 

 Here as some of the sauce jars of cranberry apple and regular apple sauce at the end of harvest season this October.  Some tomatos, fennel seed to celebrate too.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

1846- 48 Visions of the Mississippi River Vally from painter Henry Lewis

 Haha Wakpa (Dakhota) image painted by Henry Lewis after his 1946-48 journeys to sketch the Mississippi River Valley.
 The Bdote, the confluence of the HahaWakpa (Mississippi River) coming out of the gorge-valley and the Mnisota Wakpa, (Minnesota River) that gives the state our name)  - St Peter's to the white Christian Settlers of the time coming from the right.  Notice the prairie on winta tanka, the big island.
The wide valley of the Mnisota Wakpa in the 1840's.....

From The Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated, Henry Lewis, c 1967 Minnesota Historical Society, Originally published in German 1854, Das Illustrirte Mississippithal by Arnz and Company Duesseldorf

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Climate Reality Leadership Training Aug 2019 - Connections with butterflies and more

Minnesota Trainees, with mentor Mike Murphy to my right, who sent out this photo. 
Attending the Minneapolis-St Paul Climate Reality Leadership Training here Minnesota this past weekend, Aug 2-4 to continue to make a stand for protecting our planet from excess use of fossil fuels by we 2 leggeds.    Thanks to Chicago Bob Shiel for his invitation to join with him to attend the 42nd training.    My own experience with the butterfly and moth nations is what came up for us during the training, where we learned to share our experience in Nature/Creation, and how living here on planet earth, mother earth, ina maka has being changing and evolving . According to the Dakota online dictionary, from the U of M Kim anana is Dakhota for butterfly -- So many memories of my earth journey, being amazed by the transformative nature of butterflies and moths.....and seeing the change in the habitats just here in my home state of Minnesota is quite humbling.  Will share a few thoughts on my journey especially having listened to Robin's fire fly story who told her Richfield MN story on Sunday before over 1100 plus folks at the Convention Center.  She was a member of our Minnesota Table #24 during the weekend, and was inspirational for us.

 Bob Shiel took this photo on the weekend training, and here, as I  carrying the spiral notebook that includes many of Al Gore slide deck we can build a presentation from.

Here is a black and white photo of me with a homemade butterfly net, in 1954, taken by my dad, out in front of the family cabin Sunset Beach, Pelican Lake at age 7.  Somehow,  I was already moved by these colorful 6 leggeds, and had curiosity to learn more about them.   Had the Peterson Field Guide to butterflies and then learned about the larvae, specific to each species.

In 1959, at age 12 prior to attending 6th grade, I visited Ohio and both sets of grandparents, and I think Inez Chase Glessner, made me this homemade butterfly net, during my stay in Findlay, prior to my travel to the Greater Miami River Valley, where granddad Weaver, AKA Noah Elwood Weaver, captured this photo of me at Ft Ancient -- At a family reunion of his second wife, Virginia Magee's, expanded family, I remember collecting pipevine, zebra and spicebush swallowtails, that really excited my curiosity, and remains burned into my memory as a peak life experience for a young boy!

As late as 1964, I am seen as likely a Junior in High School, with the new family 1964 Chrysler station wagon, with a butterfly net - adding to my collection.     I recall I did one Science Project about Butterflies and Moths, the lepidoptera during high school - and am still fascinated by the variety and colors of so many species.  Check out
Here are the two frames of Minnesota Butterflies and Minnesota Moths that I created that were on display at the Palmer Weaver Family Cabins for many years in the late 1960's through the early 21st Century.   
As the family historian, one of the things I have been archiving is this tray with framed butterflies.  It was given to "Len" Leonard Cowles Glessner and his wife of 50 years, Emeline "Emma" Chappelear Glessner in 1927 to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary from friends in California. Likely species native to California. 

And just yesterday, in the neighbors garden about 1/2 mile from the Mississippi River, I took this photo of a Tiger Swallowtail drinking nectar from a native species to north america, the turks cap lily, Lilium superbum.