Sunday, February 25, 2018


Dear Readers - this is to introduce you to the Cornucopia Institute - and also a belated report from my friends at Frey Vineyards who were affected by the fire a few months ago. This is a report from Katrina Frey from Cornicopia's Opinion/ Editorial section.

 I came across Cornucopia Institute at the recent MOSES conference which I attended in LaCrosse, WI. While it may not be obvious, I am very involved with organic / biodynamic farming and gardening.  -- Jean

The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

An Update on Frey Vineyards

October 17th, 2017 
Cornucopia’s Take: The Frey family has been a longtime leader in the organic and Biodynamic communities. They were an important voice in responding to powerful elements in the wine industry who wanted to change the federal regulations banning artificial preservatives in organic wine (sulfites).
The family has lost their homes but certainly not their spirit to continue, and we are so happy that none of them were killed or injured in the terrible fires that have burned north of San Francisco.


Recently I flew from San Francisco to Washington D.C. leaving SFO at 5 p.m. and arriving IDA at 1 a.m. I had to catch another flight at 8 a.m. I was too cheap to spend the money for a few hours in a hotel room. “Not enough time.” I thought. So, I spent the night in the airport sleeping on the vinyl benches.
The whole surreal experience reminded me of Dante’s description of one of the rings in the Purgatorio. With the dim fluorescent lighting, I couldn’t even cast a shadow like a "shade". It put me in touch with homelessness. I realized that a great deal of our lives are lived in these in between places where we have to spend time - the waiting rooms of life where we are stuck between things.
That's why I admire my wife - she's a knitter and a resourceful, practical person. She keeps herself occupied. Apparently knitters do not suffer the agony of waiting. She just kept click-clicking away. Knitters were not mentioned by Dante. (But knitters should not get the "big head" they weren't mentioned in Paradisio either.) Eventually the clicking of her needles only added to my misery.
If I feel I do not have enough time available to accomplish any one of my very self-important tasks, I'll sit in dull resentment. Rather than computer solitaire, I’ll apparently take sub-loathing in Purgatory. Not in the dark. Not in the light. Not quite living. Not quite dead. To paraphrase Chis Kristofferson, “...not quite truth, not quite fiction a walking contradiction taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home.”

Read the complete chapter here:

And, then buy the book! Bubblish has the links to the online retailers.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


I have sorted the posts by every six months so you can more easily find so new starters for your deeper research.

Cold Hard Truth – Monet And The Debacle Of The Heart

A grudge is like a rock in the belly. It's like a weight that holds your spirit down. It's like a wall that keeps you from enjoying life with the other person.

The truth is that when you treat others with a cold hard heart, you wind up being the one who is treated hard and cold… and it eventually blows up your life. Things break apart. People drift away.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


FEB 21 – MAR 20: 
Magnanimity Becomes Love
OPPOSITE: Criticism, Comment

You are invited to follow along with the calendar and post your insights each month.

1) HOW DOES THIS WORK? During the specific period from the 21st of one month to the 20th of the next, consider the virtue transition set - and the opposite. Observe nature and yourself.

It is never clear to me during the period how the transformation can or will be achieved in nature - or within myself. But, this is a meditative exercise and we are asking you to share your experience of the transformation of one virtue to the other. Just re-read the transition as stated. Then observe nature - or a part of nature - and consider the transition statement again. Then, how is it for you? And, consider the opposite. See if an insight, feeling or phrase arises for you. Write that down and post it. How you get that insight - may or may not be similar to anyone else's experience. That's why this is research. There is no one answer.

2) Then, when you are approaching the 20th of the month - the end of the period - you are welcome to come back to the bLog and post brief (150 - 200 words or so) insights in the COMMENTS section on the appropriate post. You can post at any time.

3) The next period begins the 21st.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Originally published in July 2014 under a different title. There is a lot of brokenness these days. It is all about Love and Armor. I have posted past posts in separate pages so you can read the summaries and read them again if you wish. Enjoy!
How quiet it is after the shouting. Why is there no way to take back those words? How bitterness seems to hang in the air like a color or light or a tone of dread from a wind chime that won’t stop. The look in the baby’s eyes. How the cord of wood outside feels like neatly stacked body parts. The small mole which I do not have the time nor the inclination to have looked at. Where the water in the cove goes when the tide goes out – where your love goes when our tide goes out. Why I always have this feeling that this always is my fault. The way you lift your lip in that little snarl which looks like you are smelling something foul. I am probably to blame for the bitter coffee, too? Why the hell the neighbors slam their window? If we only have one car how can I go away? We don’t talk about Tenderness yet.

     This is all about Love and Armor and Tenderness. Vulnerability and Brokenness. Maybe we can meet in our Brokenness. Brokenness is a small playground around the corner where we can sit on the low kiddie swings and talk about imperfections and failures and Angels. There are needles strewn about and empty whisky bottles.  It is ugly. The children don’t want to play there. Occasionally there are gun shots when the drug dealers shoot off cheap pistols they are taking in trade for heroin. This is were we must go with our Hearts in re-usable shopping bags. Such is love in our tattooed era. We have skin in this game.

     The guts to do it.
     The 12 nerves of the solar plexus to fire off all together when I whisper “Love Will” and cause a total reversal and spontaneous healing. Virgo of the inner constellation.
     The creation of a new Heart comprised of both. Two beats - systole and diastole. Giving and receiving.
     But I hesitate. It’s a risk. I am unsure.
     Healing is a risk.
     Neither one of us is good at giving or receiving. We need practice. Meet in our brokenness and practice.
It’s one of those things we don’t talk about when we don’t talk.

© Copyright 2014, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 16, 2018


     I am a husband. The women in my wife’s weekly knitting circle, cover the relationship spectrum: women who are married, a divorcee, a widow, one LGBT and one “old maid”. 
     In this group, the word “husband” is more normally associated with the words: “gutters”, “sofa”, "recycling" or “track lighting” than with the term “French Tickler”. 
     Why am I not surprised? My beloved wife and I have been married 40+ years and in all those years my weekly “honey do” list, generated by my winsome wife, has not once included “do honey”. And worse, almost weekly these gals shake their heads and lament that the men in their lives have all sagged to late middle-age entropy and are no longer exciting! But, what they count as “exciting” is never sexual. 
     I’ve asked my wife. She says sex never comes up.  I’ll bet. 
     What is a "hot topic" in the knitting group is lamenting that the men won’t  re-face the kitchen cabinets, re-paint the kitchen, or deck the attic floor! And, they can’t drag them to Sheep&WoolCon. 
     For myself, this is frightening. I am not competent with carpentry. I am a guy who posted on Facebook a photo of the hole in the bedroom ceiling I punched when I stepped off of a rafter in the attic.
    Thankfully, my “get up and go” hasn’t “got up and went”. I speak a little French. (Wink, wink.) And, I like to dance. Never underestimate the magnetic power of good Swing Dance or Texas 2-Step.

     You men out there, consider this a warning flag. Apparently it gets worse. When couples divorce or the husband dies, sex and home repair apparently are the MOST sought after!  
     The divorcee of the group affirmed that middle-aged men on internet dating sites she frequents, the ones who can talk about re-facing cabinets are THE most sought after.

     I wanted to be a vigilant husband. Observant. Defiant. I do not to step into personal adaptation. Adaptation to the ordinary, the day-to-day, the common, the boring for me! 
     I do not want to join the species of middle-aged husbands who are known by their most favorite flannel shirts. They are the routine of the day. These men in plaid flannel are the "albatrosses", hanging around the neck of the women in the knitting circle.
     Our former Italian teacher stopped by the knitting group last Sunday afternoon just to visit. So, I came downstairs from ironing my flannel shirts. 
     The topic slipped quickly to the teacher’s husband who would not let her go to Italy alone for three months! Then, all the women piled on! 
     And, the piling on was unsportsmanlike. Words and accusations were thrown about: Was it fear that an Italian lover would sweep her away? Or fear of eating his own cooking?  Or was he simply a middle-aged slug?
     I didn't interrupt but slimed my way back upstairs.

(C) Copyright 2018, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


“Some say the heart is just like a wheel, if you bend it, you just can’t mend it.” Some say the heart is just like the sun, brightly raying and enthusiastic. Some say the heart is just like a young girl doing cartwheels across the lawn on a spring evening. Some say the heart is just like a fist, clenched tight, pounding on the chest, ready to strike. Some say the heart is like an infant ready to be born, tender, vulnerable, open to the future. Some say the heart is like a prisoner in lock-down, in seclusion shouting all night. Some say the heart is two halves, two palms out stretched to receive, open like an empty skull.

Some say the heart is here to be a mechanical pump. Some say it is here to break and ache in youthful rawness. Some say the heart is the foot-warmer of the gods, to create naive enthusiasm for the cold, cold heavens. Some say the heart is to warm others with generosity. Some say the heart is here to touch and be touched with tenderness. Some say the heart is here to create joy, to hold the delicate place where all creativity begins.
Some say the heart is the place which knows rather than thinks. Some say the heart is predatory, cold, hard and lusting – the home of broken promises. Some say the heart bears our sorrows. Some say the heart is the place where our blood runs cold with fear and dread. The place of anger, rage, blame and retribution. The heart shows no mercy to the eyes.

The heart wants to rhythmically give and take in what is called loving mutuality. The heart sends you on journeys which your brain never could have imagined. The heart weaves a web of mutuality to others including your enemies. The heart wants the pride of ownership of your share of the world but, once possessed the heart seeks humility and, wants you to guard against lust and vanity. In this way, the heart wants you to sacrifice yourself for yourself and for your brothers and sisters ruthlessly.
The heart wants you to experience the eternal moment between systole and diastole which is the doorway to the mystical.

© Copyright 2014, Jean W. Yeager