Re-entry, Green Acres Village: And wow! Creative chaos!

Lots went on here at home during the five weeks I was gone. (I will put near-daily posts from the spiral journey up on their own page soon, hopefully today.) Meanwhile, the new front yard hugelkultur sprouted, on its own, both radishes and turnip greens! Only on top; the sides don’t yet have enough dirt.


In fact, what dirt was there is busy being excavated by whatever crittera has moved in. (Hugelkultur beds tend to double as wildlife habitat). Notice the soil piled in front of this side view.


Meanwhile, podmates Dan and Arielle moved the compost to a new location, in the garden itself, from behind the Overhill house. Have yet to hear their reasoning, and wish I had been consulted, since the public garden gate is nearby! Oh well! Let go, Ann.


And meanwhile, we have a huge, long-planned capital improvement project going on, due for completion before January, when it will be needed to start seeds for spring. This is to convert the flimsy DeKist garage, where son Colin had temporarily shored up its leaning sides in order to start his Garden Tower Project five years ago, into a solidly constructed structure, the front half as our new, permanent winter greenhouse (south facing, and workable each year after the leaves are off the tree in front) — that’s Leah and Rebecca, tearing off roof shingles  —

roof-from-south-both-working roof-from-east-rebecca

— my job is picking up the downed shingles and throwing into a nearby dumpster.


Meanwhile, the back half of the garage has been transformed —


into a drying room for herbs in back and a bunk room in front for the stream of visitors, interns, woofers, and others magnetized by our continuing experiment in creating a working, land-based village in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Rebecca tells me that during my weeks away, two visitors came through, stayed several nights in the Overhill living room, and both worked hard with us on projects.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Dan is also obtaining huge crocks –


Can’t remember what he said this is, but it will be done in January.

and bottles —


— in pursuit of his passion: fermentation. (He gets crocks cheap, down in Evansville.)

“Green Acres Alchemy” — how does that sound for our new business? Value-added products produced from extra produce. We’re on our way.

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5 week trip, day 34-35: Final trek up, the apocalypse bunker, “the remnant,” 23-hour return

The afternoon of our final day together, sister Katherine and I decided to take a final long walk. (What else? We’ve all been walkers all our lives, some of us more than others, but not a one who doesn’t appreciate this way of moving through life).


And, once on a road, I looked up, and of course, saw another hill I would like to climb. Kath followed gamely for awhile, until the slippery soles of her sandals decided to turn her around. Here’s the view from part-way up, Kath the tiny dot in red below.


Further up, and the ski runs of  Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain come into view.

higher-bald-mountainThis was actually the first time during my five week trip that I actually managed to climb to the very top of the designated hill. But then, guess what? It wasn’t the top! Further tops loomed beyond.

view-from-top-higher-hillsA good lesson. No matter where I am, no matter what “goal” I have managed to reach, there are always more, “higher” ones.

I did know that. Of course I knew that. And, it’s good to be reminded.

So I  “came down off the mountain” and Kath and I continued on that road, dotted with the usual Sun Valley sprawling, splendiferous homes of the 1%. I don’t take pictures of such, as there are plenty in Real Estate magazines of the area. Multimillion dollar homes, of course. (Those that don’t mention the price, and where signs might say “principals only,” are the most expensive, “exclusive.”)

But then, this strange scene, which not only made me pause, but made me take a picture.


Yep, it looks like a bunker, to survive the apocalypse. You can’t see it, but there’s a phone by one of the doors. The other door could open for a vehicle. Further back on the hill, discrete little pipes stick up. Wonder how big the bunker is. What kind of guns do they stock and how many? How many people will fit into it? Who will they leave out of their family and friends? Who might try to storm it?

Kath and I started to go back. Decided to get off that ghoulish aspect of our current cultural dystopian imagination(?) and deal with another Sun Valley special: Kath’s Vuarnet sunglasses, which, she tells me, were all the rage back in the ’50s.


(I didn’t notice.) She got them off Craig’s List, from Florida, and they cost I think she said, $200. “I ordered them, just trusted the seller!” She shakes her head, wondering how she dared. I shake my head too.  “What? That much??!”  “But they are worth much more!” she exclaimed. She then told me of going into one of the exclusive Sun Valley stores, and the clerk noticed her glasses, said he couldn’t get Vuarnets to sell anymore, and how did she get them?

At her urging, I tried the glasses on. They do lend the entire world a warm, honeyed glow.

That evening, the family “remnant” (down to six of us by this time) gathered for our final meal, an enormous feast of leftovers. As usual, we all flowed easily in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, and so on. We’re so attuned to each other on the level of dailiness, that we hardly even have to speak. The “work” just gets done. Easy and fun.


In the morning, I hitch a ride with John C. to the Boise airport in his rental car.


And that’s where the real story of this post begins. The one I want to tell. For what should have been a “grueling ordeal” was actually an amazing exercise in the value and implications of “remaining in the present moment.”

Here’s what should have been grueling:

I had booked my flight for 7 p.m., since when I made my travel arrangements, I knew I would be first hitching from Sun Valley to Boise with John (a three hour trip), but: he hadn’t yet made his flight plans. So, as not to inconvenience him, I made sure that my flight would be later than his.

But: in order to fly to Indy from Boise at that hour, and at a decent price, I would have to route through Seattle (go west to go east . . .) Then wait there for a flight to Detroit at 10:30 p.m. (the Red Eye flight), to arrive at 5:22 AM EDT, and wait for flight to Indy at 8:10 AM, to arrive at 9:30 A.M.

Even before we got to the airport I had separated the trip into eight segments in my mind, starting at 10 A.M. on that day and ending at 11 A.M. (with confusing time changes) the next day. Nearly 24 hours, approximately like this.

Drive to Boise, 3 hours.

Boise airport, 6 hours.

Seattle flight, 1.5 hours.

Seattle airport, 3 hours.

Detroit flight, 4 hours.

Detroit airport, 3 hours.

Indy flight, 1.5  hours.

Drive home, 1 hour.

In the olden days I would have despised this schedule, reached and remained in a state of fury and frustration throughout the entire ordeal.

But not this time. Instead, I appreciated the fullness inside each segment, and found myself in an extended “present moment” that lasted the length of that particular segment.

On my way home, I counted segments. Gee whiz, I’m already in segment 3, etc. Not only was the experience not grueling, it was actually fun, and decidedly instructive, especially when I realized, both during and afterwards, that despite garnering only maybe 1.5 hours of cat naps altogether during the entire process, I was not nearly as exhausted as I expected to be. Which makes me realize: what makes me exhausted is the tension I hold against the present moment. And further, makes me wonder: What would happen if I truly did move into and remain in the present moment, continuously. Would I even need to sleep?


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Charles Eisenstein on Shadow Work


Fellow blogger Laura Bruno has posted a new piece by Charles Eisenstein that perfectly captures not only the underlying lesson of this election season, but widens further to encompass this Saturn/Neptune moment in his-story, when the walls (Saturn) that divide thin and dissolve (Neptune).

The Lid Is Off

In our Green Acres Village, we call it “shadow work,” and we are consciously committed to help each other to identify, let go, and integrate emerging “projections.” To me, shadow work is the crucial work of our time, and during the NAPC (North America Permaculture Convergence) in California in September (at the start of my just completed five week spiral journey), I found myself over and over again being called into forums to speak about the shadow, both collective and individual,  — identified as those qualities within ourselves and our culture that we tend to ignore or deny, because they contradict our image of ourselves —and how, unless we continuously allow and even encourage the shadow’s release, it has the potential to destroy whatever we are attempting to create, no matter how wonderful that creation, or how  “conscious” we think we are otherwise.

Indeed, I would go so far as to say that what creates war, is at root, the shadow. This is not a new idea. Here’s Paul Levy, on Carl Jung:

Shadow Projection: The Fuel of War

The existence and maintenance of the “shadow” would not be possible without compartmentalization, what the left brain does to the right brain’s unitive spaciousness. Putting ideas, and systems of ideas, not to mention dissasociative personalities, life styles, and sub-cultures in boxes is what the left brain does best. It’s up to the right brain to recognize that all such schemas are invented, not natural. That in essence, life is unitive flow.

One of the beautiful crones I encountered on my trip west told me of her concern about her Navy Seal son, now 20 years in. How, over and over again, he appears to be able to instantly and successfully shift from some kind of top secret mission overseas with his team (five or six month stints that he cannot talk about, even to his wife) to sinking immediately into the couch with his three kids all folded into his tender, loving embrace.

How is that possible? Asks my friend, his mother.

“Compartmentalization,” he answers her.

That’s it! He knows how. However, of course, she still worries. What if the barriers between lives, between personalities, between the guy who can blow off a child’s head and the one who  loves his own children melt, dissolve? What would happen? Are his kids, her grandchildren, in danger?

To a certain extent all of us compartmentalize. Of course we do. We create and inherit segmented structures, matrices, both in space and time, in order to be and move successfully within space and time. We think it’s necessary. That without structure, chaos.

But is it necessary?

What happens now that many of us are beginning to read each other’s minds without words — and on a nearly routine basis? What happens when lies are no longer possible? What happens when we allow ourselves to re-member our connection with Nature, for whom no left-brain structures are necessary? The inherent “order” in the nature of things inhabits and emerges from within the realm of Mystery. Permaculture, and other “systems-thinking” attempt to  plumb and map that mystery (usually without acknowledging it as Mystery), turn it into some kind of “order” or “design” that we can understand, grasp and reproduce. But what if mystery is Mystery? What if, no matter what we think we know, we know nothing? What if we have to move into our right brains and our beating hearts to be able to feel, flow with, and even help fuel Mystery?

What if we are one with the universe?

What then?


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The Hidden Community Life of Trees

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5 wk trip, day 33-34: Trail Creek trek, passionate intensity, snow

After Mark scouted the situation out in the morning, we decided to trek up Trail Creek in the afternoon.

with-mark-on-trail selfie-with-mark

Then on down to a very debauched hot tub scene, five of us in there with wine (I had water), and various, never-before-told,  hilarious tales of teenage exploits. Unfortunately — or fortunately? — those photos are not yet uploaded to the cloud.

Last night’s meal was extraordinary. Not just the grilled steak and vegetables, but the conversation, which turned heated very quickly, ignited by the question, “Should we do something to commemorate the passing of Dad and Mom?” This question was inspired by the fact that John C. had created  a bench for our sister Mary, his deceased wife who died one year ago, which we had ceremoniously dedicated two days earlier.


And let me tell you, I was utterly astonished by both the passionate divergence of opinions and the attentive respect for each others’ points of view. For about 30 minutes it felt like we were being held in an intensely focused, emotional cauldron of attention while we worked out what, if anything we would do or not do.  The main divergence was between holding them forever in our hearts and commemorating them through telling our stories to each other, children and grandchildren, and the idea of doing something physical, some kind of material trace that that would commemorate not just their passing but their import in our and others’ lives. And if so, what? Another bench? Possibly. The question remains alive.

What struck me about the conversation was how we, as a regenerating family unit, are transforming the way we are with one another, each of us opening to more and more of our authentic selves and sharing this expansion in our group process. And already, after only three days, we can see/feel the results. Would that families and other groups all over the world open themselves to receive and focus the passionate intensity of this past weekend’s Full Moon.

We, as a nuclear family, did truly “transform the meaning of ‘go nuclear’.” And the results are thrilling to both participate in and to behold.

After dinner, we regaled Mark to soothe us with some of his beautiful musicianship. An hour later, I was the first to go to bed. Two views from above . . .

mark-playing-2 mark-playing-1T

Today: SNOW! Paula, who has to fly out with David for Baton Rouge later this morning, wanted to get a picture of them in the snow. So we all traipsed out, laughing, asking her to lie down and make an angel in the snow. Are you kidding?

paula-and-davidPaula was wearing sandals, and not only would our southern belle not make an angel, she walked in Mark’s footsteps all the way out and back so as not to get wet.





“I’ll make an angel!” I found myself yelling, as I promptly lay down and started to swish arms and legs back and forth.

making-the-angelBut the snow was crispy, and did not make an angel. Instead — can you believe? — we were greeted by a smiley face.


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5 wk trip, day 32-33: Beauty, beauty, everywhere!

We grew up in the desert of southern Idaho, and I spent parts of many summers in the Sawtooth mountains, still my heart’s home. Yesterday, brother Mark and brother-in-law John drove, first east, then north from Sun Valley, to scout new trails for our afternoon treks. Wish I had gone with them! Here’s Mark, with a few of the perspectives from his iphone:


Bald Mountain, Sun Valley’s premier ski area, in the far distance.



Heading north, Boulder mountains in the distance.



Little “teacup” hot springs, now only warm — and sludgy. We used to ski in to this spot. Memories . . .



sheep panorama-1-best

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Planet Earth II trailer

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5 week trip, day 31-32: Ceremony, celebration, and bull elk bugling

Our visit to the Benedictine Ascension Priory in Jerome Idaho turned into an amazing adventure. Beginning with permission given for brother Mark to lead us in Ave Maria, a Dance of Universal Peace, while circling around the chapel altar during which time the sun came out for the first time in two days, we could all feel the solemn nature of the occasion, brother-in-law John’s decision to commemorate the first anniversary of his beloved wife Mary’s death.

Here’s the pic we chose of her, Mary in a lighthearted moment:


In direct contrast to Mary’s Prayer, and her shaky handwriting, hidden evidence of the suffering she endured as a repeated cancer survivor for 40 years. (For more on Mary, see The Grieving Time).

marys-prayerThe headline of the program read:


The ceremony included readings from each of her six sibs present, a some of Mary’s favorites, including poems of Rumi, Mary Oliver and Biblical verses, then the magical Ave Marie dance in sunlight, and ending with Father Boniface’s blessing for the Kreilkamp family.

Then we traipsed outside, still in sunlight, to check out the new bench and tree donated to the Priory in Mary’s name. Here’s the tree, a honey locust —


and here’s husband John on Mary’s new bench.


Then we loaded the bench, first with the sibs present, plus John —

sibs-and-john— next with all the in-laws, too, surrounding Father Boniface, our gracious host for the occasion.

sibs-in-laws-and-brother-bonifaceNearby, I noticed a plaque dedicated to Fr. Simeon, dad’s mentor for many years. (I credit him for helping Dad to reconcile with me, his theologically errant oldest child, after nearly three decades).


Afterwards. Fr. Boniface led us on a brief tour of the Priory, focusing especially on the library, which several of us had asked to see. That visit was instructive. Here are these monks, occupying a serene oasis of trees and beauty out in the wilds of southern industrial agricultural Idaho —

View from the second-story library window of the Priory,

View from the second-story library window of the Priory

with a sacred treasury of over 20,000 volumes.

I took a few pics. Delighted to see mystic Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin’s works shelved alongside the Summa Theologica, magnum opus of St. Thomas Aquinas  . . .

library-1Buddhist and Hindu —


Islamic . . .

library-3The yellow jacket of a familiar version of the I Ching jumped out at me, along with a Sufi and Celtic volumes.


Clearly this monastery is truly catholic, i.e., universal, in its embrace of all the world’s religions. Fr. Boniface tells us the library itself is run by Fr. Hugh, who is also a lover of Hildegard! Aha! brother-in-law John took down Fr. Hugh’s contact info. Yet another clue in the mystery play unfolding prior to the upcoming Hildegard Festival in Seattle, early next year.

For dinner (the only dinner with all twelve of us present; Kris and Matt had to start driving back to Seattle at 3 a.m. this morning) —


we relished sister Paula’s famous gumbo,

gumgo  plus sister Kathy’s famous salad,

salad-saturdayand for dessert Kathy’s mouth-watering almond polenta cake with creme fraiche and kiwi.

After dinner, I gave my powerpoint presentation for the Evolution of Green Acres Village, and after we retired, a tremendous storm stirred up, flashing lightning and crashing thunder at least twenty times into our rooms, plus: two bull elk, standing only feet from this house, bugled their love all night long.

So that was how our family, in concert with wild nature, celebrated this weekend’s fiery full moon.


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5 week trip, day 30-31: Long walk with sisters Kris and Paula, Sun Valley Lodge, Indian food for dinner, story of trip to Antartica!

Yesterday morning, took a long walk with sister Kris and Paula, with brother Mark and brother-in-law David following behind.


Later, Kris and I continued on in to Sun Valley, where she regaled me with stories of her youth (the folks had moved up here from Twin Falls when I was in my 20s). Walked into the iconic Sun Valley Lodge, which we had heard was remodeled into a faux Marriot, and were surprised: NOT a Marriot, rather, just an addition of more light — always a good thing!


Some wonderful fall color plantings in front of the Lodge.


Last night, our first sibling meal, with way too many of us in the kitchen, as brother-in-law John C. tried to make ready his special Indian meal while sister Paula was also cooking tonight’s Jambalaya, one of her specialties from the south, with chicken and German smoked sausage.

After dinner, all ten of us piled into one of the bedrooms and lay around on the bed and the floor and in the hot tub just outside the window, while brother-in-law David regaled us with a special powerpoint presentation of his trip to the Antarctic last February with a group of 13 ham radio operators. Exciting and scary. Especially loved his tale of being sea sick for 9 days straight in stormy seas, lying on his bunk with one hand gripping the side of the bunk (so the latest ship roll wouldn’t toss him off) and the other hand gripping the top of the bunk (so he wouldn’t be slammed that way in different kind of roll).

Then, with no muscle tone left whatsoever, they had somehow to manage to step off to a small flat rock on Thule Island that the dingy aimed for in rocking seas plus climb 1500 feet to their first campsite.

One of us asked him afterwards, “Would you do it again?” Answer, “Yes, but to a new place.”

Tonight, after our Indian meal during which we discussed the probable origins of the name Kreilkamp — from Kruedelkamp, which became Kreyelkamp, then Kreilkamp — according to one scholar, Kruedelkamp probably means herb farmer!  — my powerpoint presentation on the Evolution of Green acres.

But today, in a little while, we will all drive down to Ascension Priory in Jerome Idaho, a favorite of our deceased father, where brother-in-law John has planned an 11 A.M. ceremony in honor of sister Mary, his wife of 40 years who died one year ago. We will leave a trace of her by planting a tree with a bench.


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5 wk trip, day 29-30: In the Pioneer Saloon, with sister Kristin

At last, the first sibling reunion since sister Mary and our parents all died, three expected deaths within four years; we meet again in our old stomping grounds, the Wood River Valley in Idaho. Ensconced in a large rental house with six bedrooms and a hot tub  on the deck (two of us are out there right now just after 6 am), we hunker down for the expected snow and rain.

Here’s me and Kris, the oldest and the youngest, the smallest and the biggest, last night at the Pioneer Saloon in Ketchum, where some of us used to congregate in youth, and where we met last night for our first dinner of the reunion, and then went to Atkinson’s to get food for the house fridge.


Don’t really know how much I will blog during this five-day reunion. Perhaps just pics once in a while. It’s the grand finale of my five week trip, uncannily timed for the upcoming extraordinary Aries Full Moon (see this and this).


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