Monday, December 29, 2008


Meet Wendelynne Bridget Kinzy Engelhardt...

James Engelhardt and Dana Kinzy are delighted to announce the birth of their daughter, Wendelynne Bridget Kinzy Engelhardt. Baby Wendy was born on the 22nd day of December 2008 at 9:05 p.m. She weighed 5 lbs 15 oz and was 21.5 inches long.
(Tanya's note: Isn't she beautiful? I can't wait to hold her in my arms and welcome her to The Farm. Until then, Brown Wolf, Red Wolf's brother and best friend, will watch over her and tell her all sorts of stories about The Farm. All of The Farm family celebrates Little Wendy's arrival in a big way. We'll put a photo of her on the Christmas tree for everyone to see, and we'll toast in gratitude for her safe arrival and for her wonderful Mom and Dad.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Wendelynne Bridget Kinzy Engelhardt was born Monday evening, December 22nd, in Lincoln, NE, to Farm family members, Dana and James. As of my last conversation with James about two hours after she was born, Wendy was nursing and doing well. She weighed in at just under 6 lbs. and is 21" long. James described her hair as "wavy blond."

As soon as I get a photo of sweet little Wendy, it'll be on the blog!

Giving huge thanks to the Universe for this little one, for her safe arrival, and for her wonderful parents!

PS: Merry Christmas from Boone.....

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Think about what you want to bring to fruition in the coming year, carefully designing how you express your desires....attention always to what you conjure...

Write them down....

Bless them with your purest energy and highest intent, giving thanks to the Universe for all that's good...

Toss the wishes into the fire and jump right over the flames, taking all precaution not to burn your butt....:0) :0) merry....celebrate.

Happy Solstice from Namasté......

Saturday, December 20, 2008


A couple of posts back, readers of Namasté and A Very Mary Design took their first trip to Rink's with us. Remember the hat photos??

Today we met for another Saturday morning of looking for treasures and hanging out... Click here for Very Mary's account...."A Virtual Field Trip"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BACK FROM MIAMI's been a traveling holiday vacation so far. I'm so grateful my job situation is such that I have a month of holiday break at this time of year, particularly given that the exceptional nature of this break has required time on the road in celebration of my mom and in support of my friends, Laida and Pepín and their family.

I wish I could report wonderful news about Pepín...December 15th marked the 3rd month he's been in ICU following heart surgery...I'll never forget the smile on his face when he saw me donning the yellow surgical gown required for entering his room last Sunday morning...I looked like an oversized banana, and he got a chuckle out of that.

I've never felt so disinfected in my life...antibacterial soaps...latex gloves...surgical masks.....Machines whirled all around him...machines for constant dialysis, feeding, breathing, antibiotics, elimination...Monitors for air regulation, vital signs, kidney output....Enough tubes and lines to circle the farm....

Unfortunately, yesterday he suffered a set-back in terms of his digestive process and had to have an endoscopy (sp.??)....Any procedure brings about other complications and possible infections....Antidepressants control his level of sadness and fear....

Yet, despite all the above, one sees his sweet face and senses the amazing spirit housed within his sick, frail body...I got him to smile big smiles....And he sent me millions of messages as he held my hand firmly, constantly, so, so lovingly....Pepín is one of the most decent, noble, loving people I've ever met. He always puts others ahead of himself.

I massaged his feet and channelled the strongest reiki I've ever sensed through his body, so much that at one point I was dizzied from the force of the energy....I implored his heart to strengthen and nourish the rest of his body with the blood supply it so desperately needs. I talked to his kidneys...liver...stomach...spleen....blood, asking them to come together and begin the level of healing his body must have....

I believe in miracles....I pray earnestly for his complete healing and total wellness.

May it be so....


Thursday, December 11, 2008


Ninety years ago yesterday (December 10, 1918), my mom was born to Robert Louis and Bertha Eliza (Sloop) Stevenson. In honor of the day, my sister and I came to Boone to be with her. Over the course of the day, Petie received over 25 phone calls, scads of birthday cards, 6 or 7 floral bouquets, and several visits from friends and family.

It's been a bittersweet year for Mom. When Daddy passed away in March, she was by his side and since then has adjusted to life without her beloved Zeb. Her devotion to family now leads her to spend every Sunday caring for Grandma Ruth (age 106, 11 months), and she keeps all sorts of goodies in the pantry for Samuel (who stops in to visit her regularly).

To this day, people all over town call her to get her opinion on their illnesses or seek her advice. Mom's an angel on earth, a woman whose faith sustains her every day and whose love touches the lives of all who know her.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Economists Appraise Bhutan's Happiness Model
Thursday 04 December 2008
by: Don Duncan, The San Francisco Chronicle

Thimphu, Bhutan - In the thick of a global financial crisis, many economists have come to this Himalayan kingdom to study a unique economic policy called Gross National Happiness, based on Buddhist principles.

When considering economic development, policymakers here take into account respect for all living things, nature, community participation and the need for balance between work, sleep and reflection or meditation.

"Happiness is very serious business," Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thinley said. "The dogma of limitless productivity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable and unfair for future generations."

From his ornate pedestal at the 4th annual Gross National Happiness conference last week, Thinley said it is common knowledge in Buddhism that every creation requires destruction.

"New thoughts and ideas emerge from chaos and devastation," he said. "If Gross National Happiness (is to) be the new order, the old (order) certainly seems to be giving way."

Gross National Happiness, or GNH, evolved over centuries in Bhutan but was launched formally in 1972 as an economic alternative by then-King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

At the time, he was criticized for overseeing the stagnation of one of the world's smallest economies based mainly on agriculture and forestry.

As a result, the former king shifted focus of development from productivity to human well-being in four areas: (1) sustainable economic development, (2) preservation and promotion of cultural values, (3) conservation of the environment, and (4) good governance.

Since then, government policy in Bhutan has been guided by GNH principles in a succession of five-year plans, according to Thinley.

The term "happiness," some observers say, often causes Western economists and development experts to not take Bhutan's economic approach seriously. And when they do, they tend to use such terms as "human development" or "pluralistic growth."

"People are shy to use the word happiness," said Dasho Karma Ura, president of the Center for Bhutan Studies in the capital Thimphu, which launched the informational Web site last week. "Defining happiness is not what is important. What is important is providing the conditions through which people can achieve happiness as they understand it."

Application Limited

Some critics point out that GNH developed under an autocracy and is unworkable in a country with a large population - Bhutan has only 642,000 inhabitants.

"There is much of Gross National Happiness that is just not implementable outside of Bhutan right now," said Nick Marks of the New Economics Foundation, a London-based think tank.

As an example, Marks says GNH refuses to take advantage of its potential lumber industry. Sixty-five percent of its territory is forested. "Bhutan doesn't want to lose what it has," he said.
To be sure, the Bhutanese government has not always considered everyone's happiness.

The preservation-of-culture tenet has been used by the majority Drukpa peoples to stop illegal immigration from neighboring Nepalese, who have a different language, dress and religion. In the early 1990s, more than 100,000 Nepalese were forced or coerced out of Bhutan. Those who stayed saw their rights heavily curtailed.

Thinley says such inequalities are ending thanks to the country's new-found democracy. In March, democratic elections for seats to the country's first parliament were held and the nation's first Constitution was ratified in July.

By the end of the current five-year plan, "there will be absolute parity in terms of distribution and the provision of all kinds of services," Thinley said.

Idea Is Spreading

Still, Bhutan's way of doing business is gaining international traction.

Late last month, the narrow, hilly streets of Thimphu filled with foreign economists, educators and public policy consultants, who attended the Gross National Happiness Conference.

"We can no longer approach the 21st century with the instruments of the 20th century," said Nicholas Rosellini, head of the U.N. mission in Bhutan.

Indeed, GNH guidelines are being adopted in Brazil, India and Haiti.

But the most extensive programs are occurring in Canada, Australia, the United States and France. The Canadian Index on Well-being, Measuring Australia's Well-being project and State of the USA are all trying to measure the well-being of its inhabitants.

Sabina Alkire, professor of economics at Oxford University, says such surveys are geared to measuring the quality of life irrespective of gross domestic product. "Happiness is a mysterious and profound thing, and any means of measuring it is imperfect," she said. "But it is much less imperfect than GDP."

The most significant GNH project, however, appears to be in France. The Quality of Life Commission, initiated by President Nicolas Sarkozy in August, with help from such notable economists as Nobel prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Armatya Sen, is expected to launch its findings next year.

"I think that on all sides of the political spectrum there is recognition of these deficiencies, and a recognition that it is important that we develop better metrics, no matter whether you are on the left or the right," Stiglitz said at a conference on development in Cleveland earlier this year.

Meanwhile, some Bhutanese have noted a U.S. swing toward GNH in the campaign speeches of President-elect Barack Obama.

"Obama is using the same vocabularies," said Dasho Karma Ura. "He wants to bring health care back, wants to improve education, environmental responsibility.... We are basically talking about the same things."

National Happiness

Gross National Happiness is an approach to development unique to Bhutan. While conventional development stresses economic growth as the ultimate objective, GNH is based on the premise that true development takes place only when material and spiritual development occur side by side. For GNH to grow, government must concentrate on four key areas:

• Promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development.
• Preservation and promotion of cultural values.
• Conservation of the environment.
• Good government.

In a bid to popularize the concept internationally, the Bhutanese government is devising a GNH index that is expected to be ready as early as the end of the year. Unlike the gross domestic product index, however, a GNH index measures the quality of life based on 72 standards.

"We've been chasing gross domestic product for decades, and now societies are starting to say we need to look beyond GDP and start measuring well-being," said Jon Hall, a project leader at the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


The old apple tree and the chimney of the homeplace where my great
grandparents, Greene & Etta Michael, lived.

Grandpa Michael built this chimney himself. It's all that remains of the homestead.

Grandpa's barn--the view one would see if standing on the porch of the
old house. The chimney faces the barn.

Grandma asleep in her chair
Dulcie Ruth Michael Shook
106 years 10 months old