Friday, October 24, 2014


Every year we plan a leaf tour.  We oooh and awe at the flames and spikes of autumn color.  We had a re-winding and fast forwarding day  interspersed with russets and golds and fields of greens.

This year was no exception, but turned into an exceptional  unplanned experience and memory bank treasure.

The morning of the leaf tour, Chessie, our cat of long ago, came my imagination as I published The Joy of Buckwheat post. In the Buckwheat Story, Chessie Studies Flowers photo seemed to fit the visual image I felt that day.  Why is Chessie on my mind?

Our Leaf Tour Rewind
Off we go to Weko Beach, sand, dunes, water, and snow fences waiting for winter. On the road into the beach glittering sunlight sparkles through tall painted trees.  I noticed craggy rock outcroppings, steep grades and gullies recalling Pennsylvania and Virginia forest views in past autumns.  

The dune grass is unusually green this year due to frequent rain.  We pause awestruck by water and sky, stillness and motion.  We search for flickers of Chicago skyscrapers across the vast expanse of water.  We notice the curve of the Earth on the horizon.

Refreshed by the energy of nature, we wandered onward, free of agendas and timed schedules.

*  "Time Tunnel Approaching!"

We had planned to dine at Wheatberry Restaurant in Buchanan, Michigan.  Hardy fare with a Southern feel and music accompaniment set the stage as we looked out the panorama windows at sun coin leaves and the river nearby.  The tables were simply set, tablecloths were plain brown paper.  I liked that, recycle and no wash up required. 

I felt the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.  I saw again in my imagination Big Ridge mountain and our home in Tennessee where our collie kept our young kids in our yard.  As I sat and touched the table, I felt connected to a restaurant meal in Tennessee.  I remembered friends had treated me on my way out of town, moving from misty mountains into the vast stretch of the great plains.

The food at Wheatberry was note perfect.  Hot yellow corn bread slices with country butter greeted us!  We all remembered corn bread baked in a big old cast iron skillet.  Hand mashed potatoes, lumpy like I enjoy them, were thick and creamy, with skins on, tasting of butter and cream.  Small or large plates were available for any appetite.  Three Sisters plate featured bean mix with onions and peppers, topped with polenta.  Thick tomato basil soup, with a touch of cream, was sprinkled with cheese.  The deserts reminded me of The Pioneer Woman cooking show.  Blueberry crumble served steamy hot with chilly ice cream, key lime pie made with fresh squeezed lime juice and coconut crust topped the day.

After eating we continued wandering down and about.  I recognized the territory of Route 12 in SW MI.  Somehow I had always connected Rt 12 with The Chessie Car, a railroad box car on display in a field complete with logo of the C and O (Chesapeake and Ohio) railroad.  I love old railroads, scenes from the past.  As a child I loved the Chessie cars, they had a cat painted on them!

We went down Rt. 12....The Chessie Car wasn't there!   I looked.

"Where is it?"

I know we had seen the boxcar many times on past ventures.  We tuned into New Buffalo, Michigan and turned left at the next intersection route 239, heading for the interstate and home.  I always daydream when someone else drives.  I like that.  Daydreaming straight ahead and staring at the road, I suddenly and for no reason I turned my head to the right and saw the Chessie Car Logo shaking me out of my daydream.  I guess I had daydreamed the wrong route number!

"Turn in here!"  

We turned into a small road way leading to the New Buffalo Railroad Museum.  "It won't be open late Sunday afternoon," I thought.

"It was open!"

* "Time Tunnel Approaching!"

Inside the museum were a wealth of photographs, moving model trains complete with roundhouse and sidetracks, small boxcar, engine and caboose models of the Chessie Line and other rail lines, articles, and posters about trains in the past picturing coal burning engines (oh boy) the black and white smoke I knew so well emitted was emitted from ancient smokestacks.  When the trains came, we ran and closed the windows!  My parents and I lived on a wooded hill above a roundhouse.  The whistles and chugs of engines running, switching, and grinding echoed day and night.  We knew what the different whistles meant!  I can even make out a freight  train whistle to this day. 

I remembered my Dad and our electric train set up.  I loved picking up the Lionel Train cars, I loved the tracks, I loved the farmhouse scenery complete with small toy animals I had hand painted.  Each one different, including collies of all different coat colors.

Then I wandered into a sunny corner on the ground floor of the museum.  My intuition paid off big time!

First I saw the old Royal and Underwood Typewriters.  I snapped their photos. 

Then, I turned slowly to survey the old framed pictures on the wall to the left.

My heart leaped up!  I smiled!

There  were three glass framed drawings of of cats!  Not just any cat but the Chessie Cat!

 Our Determined Chessie

The top picture was of the Chessie Logo drawing for the C and O Railroad, The Chessie Line.  A tabby kitten rested under a blanked with her paw and face peeking out  That's how our own cat, Chessie, got her name.  She was in the same position when she was a tiny kitten.  We had seen a Chessie car that day on a freight train.  Chessie, our kitten, had a name!

The middle picture showed Chessie and Kittens, all three in the same position with kittens on smaller scale.

The bottom picture looked like our grey Tom, face and all.  His portrait was a headstudy.  His name is Peake. 

I flashed back to the Chessie Handkerchief my aunt had given me, complete with Chessie, Peake, and Kittens in color embossed into the cotton!  On the handkerchief, Peake is painted in full body image, smiling proudly with his eyes closed.

OH MY!  I stood in awe and wonder and marveled at the artist's skills.

Later, we even toured the Chessie boxcar and Pullman sleeper car.  Both were open!

When we left the museum, coming into the present moment, there were Canada Geese in a nearby pond.  Several were grazing and some rested.  Two geese slowly strutted across the driveway in front of us, walking mindfully like a person practicing Tai Chi.  A sentinel goose kept close watch.  We turned toward home, elated satisfied happy campers on our day trip through time.

               Capping off Autumn Fest view of North Lake Park, Grand Mere Dunes

Just yesterday, while stopped for a passing freight train, we spotted a (gasp) Chessie boxcar on the train.  We haven't seen one for years.  I always look.  Still in operation, the Chessie Line lives again.

What are the odds of seeing her?  A freight train whistle is blowing right now as I write.

"Paired particles separated my millions of light-years will move in instantaneous concert with each other because time and distance are themselves an illusion,"    
John Stewart Bell, physicist

Related Posts
The Joy of Buckwheat  (Oct 2014)
Wander and Ponder  (Oct 2013)
The Little Chessie that Could  (Sept 2011)
Silver Stars and Moonbeams  (March 2011)
Phantoms  (May 2011)

* Dinosaur Train, PBS Kids, Learn about dinosaurs from ages past. Travel through the time tunnel.  Animated Comedy and Education for kids of all ages.  Oct 24, 2014, The Haunted Roundhouse, Volaticotherium a small furry mammal, similar to today's flying squirrel announces, "Just call me Vlad!"

Wheatberry Restaurant, Buchanan, Michigan USA

The Pioneer Woman, frontier food for hearty folk

New Buffalo Railroad Museum, Michigan USA, route 239

Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, the Chessie Line

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor 

Shell Collage, Weko Beach, photos by Dahlis
Autumn Flowers, water color painting by K.B. Wilson
Determined Chessie, photo by Paul
North Lake Park, Autumn, photo by Rob

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Chessie Studies Flowers

As autumn rolls around, I remember fields of summer buckwheat in bloom.  We rolled down our car windows.  The air was thick and sultry, no air conditioning then. We inhaled the fresh air as we drove.  

"It smells like a barn!"  I looked for cows in the fields but there were none in sight.

"That's buckwheat  blooming!"  My Mother smiled.

I covered my nose.

However, I love buckwheat pancakes, one of the few carbohydrate foods I would eat.  My Mom made them out of a ready mix box, just add milk and egg.  I said "no" naturally to white flower pancakes, waffles, noodles and breads.  Why?  If I didn't like it, I didn't eat it. 

I watched the cakes sizzle on the griddle~I think it was the yummy fat I really liked. I ate my dark colored buckwheat cakes free of syrup, but loved them with pure butter, lots of it.  I didn't care for melted butter on the buckwheat, but preferred cold chunks of fresh cut butter instead.  I think it is my love of separation of flavors and foods that I chose this way of enjoyment.  I can taste these nutritious treats vicariously through memories streaming in as I write.  My mouth waters. 

I found out buckwheat is not a wheat.  It is a seed of a broad leaf plant related to rhubarb.  Buckwheat seeds are shaped like little triangles.  The flowers are soft white with a touch of pink in the center.  Five petals shape little stars.


Cocoa Buckwheat Muffin

Buckwheat flour and cereal can be cooked into a variety of nutritious dishes including cookies and muffins using cocoa powder or chocolate chips if desired.  One of my favorite Buckwheat Recipes is * Old World Cauliflower Soup.  I like to combine buckwheat cereal with oats and quinoa as a mixed cereal or add a spoonful of buckwheat cereal to soups and stews.

Benefits of buckwheat include:  blood vessel elasticity, gluten free (it is a seed, not a grain). Buckwheat is a complex carbohydrate that may help balance glucose levels.  Buckwheat is a good source of fiber and protein providing all amino acids.  ** "It is also nature's best source of the bioflavanoid rutin."  *** "In combination with the proteins trypsin and bromelain rutin can be used for osteoarthritis."

Mildred's Easy Buckwheat Applesauce Pancake Recipe 
makes 6-8 medium sized pancakes
1 cup organic buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
whisk together

in another bowl
beat 1 egg and add
1 cup unsweetened organic almond milk
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
stir and pour over dry ingredients

Mix well, form batter.
Optional: You can add pecans, walnuts, and/or raisins.  Season to taste with cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, or cumen.  For extra sweetness, add 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar to the mix.  

I use grape seed oil for frying buckwheat cakes over medium heat, turn after 5 minutes. Test for doneness,  


Related Posts:
Field of Greens, Kale Kale the Gangs All Here (Mar 2014)
Addiction and Discovery, Exploring Food and more (Aug 2014)

* Pocono Cream of Buckwheat Cereal, organic, The Birkett MillsOld World Cauliflower Soup Recipe on package and more

Order a beautifully illustrated  buckwheat recipe cookbook, just $3.00 USD. 
The Birkett Mills
163 Main Street
P.O.Box 440
Penn Yan N.Y. 14527 USA
Bob's Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Flour, and Bob's Red Mill Creamy Organic Buckwheat Cereal 
Eden Organic Buckwheat Hulled Whole Grain 
** nutrient information on package

*** Web MD online, information about Rutin

World's Healthiest Foods online, read about benefits of buckwheat and other favorite foods, lists of nutrients contained in foods plus recipes.

Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Chessie Studies Flowers by Paul
Cocoa Buckwheat Muffin by Dahlis

Sunday, October 12, 2014



The Dream of the Stormy Mountain

Years Ago:
* We took a summer family vacation to Colorado.  I can still feel the clear mountain air, the crisp chill it brought.  Thunderstorms crept over the mountains like black panthers and vanished again.  The mountains were grey ghosts, shrouded in mist.  I can still taste the icy mountain water, buckwheat pancakes thick with melted butter and pure maple syrup, and steaming coffee in the morning.  Blue and orange wildflowers sparkled like glitter in the sunrise along the gravel paths. Mulleins, were blooming.  Their flowers were butter yellow, poking up on slender stalks like living prehistoric candles between the jagged rocks.

Our young family went for a scenic drive up Long's Peek.  The road seemed only one lane wide as we snaked up the ancient mountain.  There was no guardrail.  It was a leap of faith to look down.  There were no turn-a-rounds.  The day got progressively colder and greyer we we climbed.  Cotton clouds rolled and tumbled like lamb's wool.  Chill settled over us like a damp blanket.  Was this summer?  Our car rounded a sharp bend.  I looked up, I shouted, "There it is!"    

I am sure my puzzled family wondered what "it" was.  "It" was an instant color reply of a dream!  That solid iron grey mountain top, spikes of pines raking heaven, those windswept clouds frosted in silver and cerulean blue.  I had already seen them in my dream!  I grabbed the camera and quickly captured the shot.  

Wander and Ponder
Reflecting back to experiencing the mountain dream, I remembered shaking myself awake.  At the time, I felt the dream mountain meant something, but what?  I brushed aside the mist in my mind, forgetting, yet not forgetting until now.  I knew, in a time to come, I would take brush to canvas and solidify the frosty moment.  Turning my mental camera lens into clear focus, I remembered the message "Paint Your Dreams" from another dream scene set in my personal art gallery.  "What Dreams?" I questioned.

Back to the Mountain
While trekking slowly on foot along the narrow mountain path, I daydreamed back to learning about meditation.  Zen:  the ever present NOW.  What is space and time as it rewinds, stands still, or fast forwards?  Does time exist at all?  By siting quietly and clearing my mind, meditation's centering discipline helped me to quiet storms of uncertainty inside.  I felt more calm, focused, relaxed and more able to cope with the twenty-four hour on-call job called motherhood.  

As I reflected more, I remembered practicing brush calligraphy and Chinese ink painting just for fun.  Bamboo and mountains were my favorite subjects.  Years ago we all enjoyed art exhibits in Washington, D.C. and watched Tai Chi practice.  Tai Chi looked so compelling to me, like slow motion synchronized concentration.  I wanted to attend Tai Chi class then, but I swept the idea aside with family activities and creative projects overflowing.  "No time, maybe later," as I reached for the ringing phone while the Collie barked and the kids romped.

Painting the Dream Mountain: The Dream That Came Full Circle
Finally the time came to collect art materials and memories.  With three colors and one ancient brush I slashed and burned the image onto the canvas in record time.  I cut the thick pure cerulean blue into the Payne's Grey fog.  I blended the titanium white into the blue until the color glowed like crystal.  I used my favorite brush, worn thin with time and love.  The dream shot straight from the heart effortlessly and with great joy.  I called the painting Silver Lining, symbolizing brighter times ahead.  Healing light shone in the silver clouds behind the silence of the stormy mountain.

The Vision: the dream, the scene, the painting had come full circle.  A physician friend felt that in my dream, I was already present on the mountain.  After wallowing in artist's block, like reconnecting with a lost friend, my explosive painting energy returned while painting Long's Peek. 


Long's Peek Full Circle
We first saw Long's Peek cloaked in grey clouds, recently the same mountain is splashed bright with sunshine.  Someone asked me, "When have you recently practiced stillness and silence?"

In the shadow of Long's Peek:  I felt a quiet and still mind.  I heard a welcome silence, free of cell phones, devices and various, machines as I absorbed stillness and solidity from the ancient mountain.  Gentle exercises of Tai Chi and Qigong practiced while gazing at Long's Peek with a silent group brought meditation in motion to The Dream That Came Full Circle.


* Reprinted, in part from Silver Butterfly:  Create A Vision, Awaken Your Creative Spirit
A Tai Chi Journey with a Mystic Twist, free illustrated  PDF E-book by Dahlis Roy

Related Topics:  Key Words, Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation

Related Posts:

EnLIGHTENED Travel  (Oct 2014)
Going Within Clouds   (Sept 2014)
Wander and Ponder (Oct 2013)

Travel Light with Tai Chi  (July 2012)
Carry Water Chop Wood (June 2011)

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Images by Dahlis
Paintings: Silver Lining:  The Dream of the Stormy Mountain, 1987
Zen Circle, ink brush just for fun, this one has a heart center
Angel on the Mountain, Long's Peek in sunshine and mist, 2014

Tai Chi Moving Stillness, photo by K. B. Wilson

Sunday, October 5, 2014

enLIGHTENED travel

 Angel on the Mountain

                IN LIGHT?"             IN THE LIGHT?              INNER LIGHT?

Enlightenment:  What does it mean?  "In Light!"  "I got a light bulb in my head!"  "I have a sudden desire to create something."  "Something isn't working, I have to make a 180 degree U-turn."  My intuition tells me I should....." (fill in the blank).  

Years ago my friend Louise told me, "I think enlightenment does not come all at once, but in small steps like climbing a rock at a time.  Sometimes we slip back, but when we look upward, there is another reaching out a helping hand (or paw or hoof) to boost our climb again.  Every path is unique."


"Travel is Never Easy." 

Well!  Let's change that!  I set my mind to "leaving, arriving, and returning" on a trip enjoying perfect health and relaxation.   It sure isn't "easy" for a quiet artist, a cave painter at heart, to actually leave home and get into the hurried, noisy, blaring lights world...Help!

"Help is Here!"

Prepare (Anticipate)
Experience (Flowing and Positive) Spontaneous, Flexible
Recall (Store and Index Memories)

I had a health setback, OH NO~  Would I be able to travel?  I asked friends for help, any positive help!  Thumbing  through books (real  books) I also "found" by osmosis: Prayer to St. Michael (Healing with the Angels by Doreen Virtue).  Compose a prayer to ask St. Michael for help to restore your energy to compete vitality.  Ask him and his team to come to you and cut cords of anything draining you.

Ask St. Michael to "clean" your home, symbol of your spiritual health (Barbara Ann Brennan, Hands of Light, Light Emerging).

Angelic Vacuum Cleaner: (Ask Your Angels, Alma Daniel).  How ridiculous!  In short, visualize an angel coming to you carrying a vacuum cleaner!  I pictured an orange machine like two balloons!  The angel can vacuum you from head to toe, remove debris from your aura, brighten and brush your body-mind-spirit!  I tried it lying down...I "saw" Ariel!  She was white, gold, and pink.  I felt better.  What a gift!

Today I tried the angel vacuum treatment standing still after Tai Chi practice...WOW!  Like a whole body acupuncture treatment...I felt clean and bright, energized.

Magnetic Unruffling:  Lie down.  Call in your angel team.  "See" how appears.  Have one angel stand at your head and one holding your feet.  Picture other helper angels "brush" and remove clutter, waving their hands over you like an energy healing session.  Feel light and relaxed!  Sleep or nap as needed.  

Salt Cleanse:  Use pure sea salt.  I put mine in a glass jar with a lid.  Place under your bed or at night table.  The salt removes negative ions that may be present.  Recently I acquired a carved heart shaped Himalayan  Salt (pink color).  This salt has balancing properties containing potassium, calcium, and other nutrients.  Use as needed.
These treatments come from Debra Basham, healer and author.

Invisible Shielding:  idea from Carolyn Myss received during a phone conversation with Judy.  Picture your energy field far out around you.  See a crystal shield protecting you. Bring it down over your whole body, front and back like a globe of tough impermeable surface where only positive energy can radiate outward and be absorbed inward.  I added a "ring of fire" bright red flames even beyond the crystal shield for extra measure!  It worked!

Tapping for Health, Emotional Freedom technique (EFT, Dr. Joseph Mercola)  Stemming from Chinese Medicine techniques, daily tapping can be part of your routine and healing experience

You can ask for these help therapies daily as needed.  I am!

Thus "Armed" I was ready to travel light~

My Silver Collie Sky "appeared" in my imagination on time Friday night before take off.  Collies are always on time!

After a relaxing night in Chicago, morning take off went smoothly, my collie by my left side where he indicated he would be!  The surprise was at 11 AM in flight, more animals appeared!  My golden Collie Lad and two white horses, Sedona Mist and Camelot, then Gypsy, a black coated dog from ancient Rome, grinning with long tail waiving.  Phoebe the spirit cat came to me and stayed on my lap!  Shadrach the wolf was there too.   Smile~my life is never dull....

Later, in the Rocky Mountains, I heard a horse neighing-I answered her~She was a brightly colored chestnut mare in the paddock near our deck lookout.  It is great to feel the energy of a horse near.  It is great to practice neighing again!

Long's Peak Revisited, a spiritual full circle experience, was brought up close and more and personal because of the daily Tai Chi and Qigong classes/groups at Aspen Lodge where we gazed at the huge mountains while practicing.

Tai Chi Spiritual Vitamins

Evening Restful

Morning Awakening

All in Harmony and Balance

Return and Recollect

What have I learned on the the Mountain?

I can dream the mountain!  I can paint the mountain!  I can photograph the mountain....I can draw on the mountain's Solidity and Stillness "anytime."  

Related Posts:
Going Within Clouds 

Let It Be, my dog is here! 
Electric Handshake  

Phoebe's Angel 
Travel Light With Tai Chi 
Carry Water Chop Wood and Invisible Journey 
Tai Chi Spiritual Vitamins and Running  with Horses  
The ABC's of Tai Chi 
Encounters with Michael, the Artist meets the Archangel 
Angels 101 
Stars and Snow, Spirit of Phoebe  
Winter Wolf

Total Memory Makeover book by Marilu Henner, Actress, Author

Healing with the Angels by Doreen Virtue

Hands of Light, Light Emerging, Energy Healing with Barbara Ann Brennan.

Ask Your Angels by Alma Daniel and other authors, learn to work with your angel companions

Carolyn Myss, author, spiritual teacher 

Help for ADD
Healing Add the 7 types  and Magnificent Mind at Any Age, Daniel Amen, M.D.

Driven to Distraction, Answers to Distraction, help for adult ADD by Edward Hallowell, M.D. 

Deepak Chopra M.D.

Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Angel on the Mountain, Long's Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado USA photo by Dahlis

Sunsplash, photo by Rob, sunrise over Los Padres Mountains, California USA, photo published with permission

Blue Shadows, oil painting by Dahlis Roy.  Turned upside down, it can be evening (Yin) or morning (Yang)!

Taking Off, Photo by Paul