Monday, October 19, 2015


As promised, I have returned!  Sorry, but these people are keeping me busy here.  Plus now it's a paying gig, which I think you all know is a great blessing to me right now!

Firstly, I should tell you that Joyce and Tony are two of the most hospitable and wonderful people I've met.  They have included me in everything and made me feel so incredibly welcome and at home.  Secondly, it's so funny how incredibly different they are.  Joyce is a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, and emulates his peaceful and Zen demeanor so beautifully.  She teaches ESL to a group of monastic Vietnamese sisters here, and is really tied into the community in some lovely ways (did I tell you i meditated for world peace with an interfaith group of lovely Catholics, Muslims, Jewish, Christian and Buddhist women in a Muslim Mosque - and me the token pagan) .  It makes me more mindful just being around her.  She has been to several of "Thay's" retreats and leads a lovely sangha here on Friday afternoons.  I've yet to snap a photo of her because I'm always so immersed in our interesting conversations (we have very similar spiritual beliefs, backgrounds and outlooks on life).  Here is the lovely outdoor sangha room where we meditate:

This is how it looks inside - imagine a fire and 6 lovely women on purple cushions & zafus with warm yummy purple blankets...

This is how it looks from the outside...

And this is the view from the inside...

And this is the inside sangha room.  

After we meditated for 20 minutes (which challenged me a bit, but put me in such a zen state), we walked outside to the lawn and did a walking meditation all in "honorable silence".  When you walk you are asked to be fully in your body and to be mindful of your connection with the earth.  Can I just say that when the bottom of me feet touched the grass in this way, surrounded by these lovely women in such a peaceful and beautiful place, I was brought to tears and almost to my knees.  But, since sobbing out loud seems contraindicated when observing "honorable silence", i pulled myself together and walked very slowly and deliberately, but sputtering a little under my breath.  Then back inside for another 20 minutes meditation and then a reading and lovely talk.  On top of that, they gifted me again with a lovely massage with Oonoch, the incredibly beautiful Korean practitioner who studied Chinese Medicine.  I had been told by my friend Laura that I really needed Myofacial Release and that is what she did on me just intuitively without knowing.  It hurts like a mofo, but my body feels amazing now.  I love and hate her very much.

This is the back of the house where we walked, overlooking one of the gardens & rolling native prairie that is their back yard:

This is Tony, Mo's dad.  He is a bit of a dichotomy - a very successful financial planner, with a record breaking team at Merril Lynch.  He has a loyal base of customers that have been with him some for 30 years.  He is of Sikh heritage and was living in Muslim Pakistan as a Christian up until 16 when he hiked from Pakistan to Europe on $500.  Then he came to America with nothing more than $25 in his pocket.  Spending time with him and his customers (I was invited to this great comedy show with them - Guys in Ties - check it out on you tube) it's easy to see why his customers stay.  He is an incredibly loving and loyal person.  He has one of the most incredible smiles I've ever seen (especially with a couple drinks on board - teehee).  He has taken a financial advisory role with me and has opened my eyes to a new way of viewing my financial future - which  you all know i need.   

We are working on a six year plan for the farm and I'm going to really enjoy helping them create something they can make a little money at and really enjoy in retirement. And, then there's all my furry, feathered and fluffy friends:

Scratchin' around the garden beds...

in the hen house...

eatin' the scrap maters we pulled from the garden, but my fav...

That's Momma and baby in their lil' special house. And, now for my new best friend...

Meet Lucy.  I Love Lucy.  And, she loves me too BTW, cause I know just how to scritch her.  I have videos of her making a Mancoon (sp?) spectacle of herself just like Charlie. Please, don't tell him, Although I think they would probably have a furry love affair if they met. 

OMG - I just figured out how to upload videos!

I had a lil' adventure on my own in Davenport.  Got to visit with Mo, and do some exploring in the east village close to where she lives.  And I discovered this amazing little park:

FAQ - What is a pocket park?   A “pocket park” is a small, outdoor park usually developed on an otherwise forgotten space in a “pocket” surrounded by other buildings.  

How cool is that?!  The local residents just come and make art there.  Checkout the guy behind the bench.  There was one in the tree that actually inspired me to take the pics. I could smack myself for forgetting him (not very Zen of me).  But, here's my fave... it's a close up of the back of the bench...

It's something I had just said to Mo, half an hour earlier and then said to myself.  Walking in the park and seeing it there, I remembered where I had heard it first.  Sound familiar Dave?

Ok, guys, there's so much more to say, but I am tuckered.  I'm on some weird wakeup at 3 am every night schedule, so I have to get some zzzz's in before then.  I love and miss you all.  Please, respond to my blog.  I love the feedback!  XOXOXOXOzzzzzz


  1. I couldn't wait til tomorrow on the plane to see what's keeping you so busy. I'm living your life vicariously & loving it. Have a safe trip to NYC. Miss you & love you. Bob says thank you for your good wishes.

  2. Hi Mom! We love the pictures in Iowa2, especially of the chickens and the adorable park. So glad you are having such a zen time. And I love the pics but I'm looking forward to more videos! We promise not to tell Charlie you're cheating on him. We just miss you so much but we are glad you are enjoying your work and connecting with the Iowa folk so well. LOVES HUGS AND SMOOCHES from the family!

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