Connectivity In Herbology

As I am reading The Book of Life by D. Harkness, I just read about the lavender that will soon be hanging, and how this writing connects:
The herbs and things that were purchased by my Dr. Wife of the Chinese ancestry, whose mother still keeps hours in the herb shop below her apartment
The shop in Flagstaff where my wife was matching up the Native American versions of the same plants and herbs they use in the Chinese named versions
The herbs hanging and drying at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
My imaginary, very minor witches and magic folks as compared to the witches of Harkness (great and strong women characters)
My own daughter who is an east meets west child, who we hope forwards the medical ideals of her family ancestry through herbs and right eating
And yes, the actual tea from those same herbs and snails and puppy dog tails that I drank, and once again have put me back on the trail of health
All from a simple passage of writing, which proves, the herb is mightier than the sword (scalpel)


Three Tennis Men Gone

Today my friend Eddie left Hawaii for Arizona. He has Lou Gehrig’s disease, and more than likely I will never see him again. We put some things together there that included the challenge courts and the Diamond Head ladder. He gave me a lot of candy and I gave him rides home. He was a good guy, and I will miss him.
Joe Wolf, who played tennis and raised his boys at DHTC, passed away a little while ago. We still see his wife and I have had his kid in classes. Joe was one of the top mountain climbers in the world. I enjoyed playing with him. He was in such great shape from the mountains to include his lungs and legs, that he could wear guys out in matches by going for three hours and not breaking a sweat. They, on the other hand, were spent.
Herb Neils was a rancher and Montana man. For his 80th birthday present to himself, he razed his barn and rebuilt it from the good pieces and trees from his own land. He was felled too early. He was a Diamond Head player and champion in Big Sky country. When the boys would take out his daughter, he would tell them what time to have her home by, while patting his six shooter in his holster. When we had BBQ, he provided venison and other meats that he had hunted either in Hawaii or Montana.
They don’t make them like these three guys, as they are originals. They are missed. I am glad I played with them and was their friend.


Talkin’ bout my generation! Or more precisely, their generation(s). We got one that is a banker/real estate 5 dialect speaking Chinese powerhouse working in Chinatown San Francisco USA, a Nancy Kwan in Flower Drum Song on steroids. We got one that is now a business woman in Mainland China. We got one that is a chef at 5 Diamond resort in Scottsdale, AZ. We got one that has worked in Costa Rica for exotic animals, and in AZ for domestics-prepping her Veterinary Medicine application on the heels of her Dual Degrees in Psychology/Biology at Northern Arizona University. We got one in the top academic school in her area-talking about leading the family as 14th generation of Chinese doctors (who’s who of Chinese medicine family), and the little ones who are now heading to the esteemed double whammy of science/math heavy Arizona State University Polytechnic Schools. Talking about your generation! People try to put us down, just because we get around! (The Who)

Have you spent time in Chinatown with two Chinese girls? Have you had dim sum with two Chinese girls? Have you had accupuncture, suction cupping, and herbal remedies practiced to great avail on you? Have you heard the “Rape of Nanking”?; and why my wife says that she doesn’t need to see a movie about it-she is Chinese. Have you heard firsthand account of what happens to a family of doctors and professors at the hands of the Communist party? She feeds me the way eastern medicine does, and we try to stay away from bleached sugar and rices, which are the undoing of western culture. The daughter is at the school where the “Father of Modern China” went. Get back to that practicing of medicine Chinese daughter, make the ancestors proud. Now you Swedes, you were a hard working lot too. What is your story? Off the boat in NY, to Minnesota to farm, a bold group to Arizona, then one man swims to this island, to be rescued by the Chinese girls. On to great things Chinese Viking-with a sword in hand, and fighting stars tucked into your martial arts robe. Fight and heal. Fight and heal.

So much music, what mood strikes you? Spotify or Pandora, make your own list, do it on your phone, live on youtube, whatever, whereever. But I can say, as I remember my father’s collection and him waking us with Dave Brubeck, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Trini Lopez,Keith Jarret or various classical, showtunes, or maybe comedy like Smothers Brothers or Charlie Manna. He had the music chops to get us started, like a great record store. He still has his album collection in his house in Prescott. When I was in kindergarten in the house on Avalon in Phoenix, he gave me his old record player and his 45s and 78s from the golden age of rock and roll. Honeycomb won’t you be my baby? You must miss the record store browse. Like you miss the library, public or university, and real books. It is even a little sad that my dictionary is less used now. Oh, grey haired nostalgic boy, listen to Phillip Glass and shed a tear.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, my heart is sore from all the coughing lately. Alas, better than getting dusted in the copper mines, or smoking Camel no-filters. This boy of massive asthma and walking pnemonia says, hack, hack. This Swede wants to talk about two other Swedes. The men from ABBA bought houses on a small island where they would craft the songs for the ladies to sing. They said that they would come to work daily, like regular guys, as you want to catch a glimpse of the dragon. The dragon being the great song. But, the dragon is hard to see, and very elusive. If you are napping, or out shopping, or doing all kinds of other time wasting things, you won’t see him. You must come to work with your tools, and be ready to grease the elbow and grind the nose just like regular blue collar guys. On this fine Hawaii morning, 4 a.m. to be exact, I walk out to get my cup of coffee to “come to work”, and what do I see? Our version of the elusive, and good luck to boot. Not one, but two geckos are on the floor. As I was writing this, one of them is chirping. I am up, got the tool box, got my uniform, and I have seen the dragon(s). Mama mia!

We decided that this particular fruit, good for the smoothy, and just the right combination of sweet and sour, had the added benefit of being good to throw at an intruder’s face. It is covered with thorns. “Officer, he’s the one with the television under his arm, and the bloody holes in his face.” The man who brings these to us described in detail how the birds will get them down by drilling a hole with their beaks, then the stem weakens and they drop off. He installed an owl, but the word got around in birdland, he’s a hell of a watchbird, but never seems to turn his neck. Some of the more learned birds thought that this was strange for an owl, who generally can turn them all the way around. None of them checked for feathers vs. plastic covering. With the head never turning, they had decimated the fruit in back of the plastic owl, with all those in front safe and sound.