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Purple Mountain Sage




PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: STORM OVER HEAD

 
By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
 
September 1,2012 (Boulevard)--Do you remember your last storm? Those who live in the mountains get to experience the power of nature up close, sometimes too close. As clouds build from the vast openness of the sky, turn ever darker, the lightening begins touching the earth randomly. Thunder pounds us with larger and deeper sounds than any other thing in nature. Clouds darken the sky as I await the storm. The smell of rain is in the air. Birds flap and flutter and prepare to run for cover. The dusty leaves of sage and Manzanita seem to open wider as if inviting a cool drink, sensing the coming rain.

PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: HOW A CHILD IS LIKE A TREE

 
By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
 
August 23, 2012 (Boulevard)--I have a tree at Sacred Rocks, planted 5 years ago, a Purple Robe Locus. The tree specialist explained to me about watering, and nutrients, and pruning. Because I am away a lot, I have to trust people to do those things for good tree health. Last fall the wind whipped a large branch off, nearly cutting the tree in half. I thought we would lose the tree. But no! It survived.

PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: HOW TO HAVE FUN IN A JUNKYARD, OR RAMBLINGS FROM A CURIOUS MOUNTAIN WOMAN

 
By Sharon Courmousis
  
August 14, 2012 (Boulevard)--Yep! Curious is my middle name. Some are curious about how to make things themselves, like woodworking, gardening, or handcrafts. Some are curious about how made stuff works, like mechanical, electrical, or electronics. Some are curious about bodies, like health practioners, or minds, like psychologists and psychiatrists. My own curiosity seems to be about seemingly random concepts and actions.

PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: CAMPING, MOI?

 
By Sharon Courmousis
 
May 14, 2012 (Boulevard)--“A little dust won't kill you”, said my parents as we packed up for the family camping trip. Being the oldest of four and an obedient child, I did resolve to have a miserable time. My pout lasted all of eight minutes after we arrived. Gosh! The rocks I collected were every one more beautiful than the last. We four kids ran off into the desert with admonitions, "Watch out for the snakes" fading fast. Middle brother muttering, "Why would I want to see snakes?" Oldest brother and I grinning, "Let's find some!". Youngest brother whining, "I'm gonna tell if you touch one!"  

PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: CACOPHONY AND EUPHONY

 

March 13, 2012 (Boulevard) -- What is the distinction between sound and noise?  Wikipedia tells us in common use, the word noise means any unwanted sound, but sound can be desirable. Cacophony is ‘noise’ while euphony is sound.

 

TIPS FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: PLAN ON IT!

 By Sharon Cormousis

 
December 2, 2011 (Boulevard) -- There are only a few weeks until we roll into 2012; we are going into the hibernating time of year. The leaves have mostly fallen, the air is crisp and often nearly thirty degrees lower at night and we drag out our flannel sheets, boots and long-sleeve shirts.
 
For me, this is one of the best times of the year. From the aspect of nature, there are several mountain plants that only produce during this season. Despite long periods of little rain, the hills are very green with the more subdued colors of sage and Manzanita. Hiking is especially enjoyable because we are able to concentrate on something else beside rattlers.

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: JUST OPEN YOUR EYES

 By Sharon Courmousis Sacred Rocks Reserve


Increase your enjoyment of living!


October 30, 2011 (Boulevard) -- At 6:20 am I walked into the sun. Tormented by drama in my mind, it took a while to sink in. It was a cool morning, about 64 degrees. I was walking up a sweat. And then I saw. I saw the beginnings of color of the sunrise. The clouds were gently dancing across the sky that was bluing before my eyes. The underside of the clouds became tinged with yellow with the shining of the sun.  

PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY, AND MAKE YOUR PLANS….

 
By Sharon Courmousis
 
September 21, 2011 (Boulevard, California)--A dear friend lies in hospice for her final days on earth; it is sad, so sad. And not fair. It is incomprehensible, from our perspective. We mouth all the platitudes such as “I cannot imagine what it would feel like to lose my mother” or “I feel for you” and other kind words. We really cannot imagine the feelings until it happens to us, and it will.
 
Do you believe this quote?
 
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Teilhard de Chardin, priest, philosopher, geologist, mystic 1881-1995
 

TIPS FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: HOW TO HONE YOUR SENSE OF 360—AND PROTECT YOURSELF

 

Increase your enjoyment of living!

By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

 

June 20, 2011 (Boulevard)--We observe at every news show and every news stand headliners about three types of people: victims, predators, and others [counselors, officers of public safety, family and friends]. While ghoulishly fascinated with the horrifying acts of predators, we feel sympathy for the victims.  But what is even more important is to feel a burning determination never to be a victim yourself and to learn how to deter the bad guys. We need to make it so by learning strategies to be safer. We need to teach others in our circle of influence.

 

You can train yourself to be alert at all times to what is going on around you. This training applies to driving, to walking, to parking, to walking into your home, to stepping outside to take out the garbage. People who live in nature and in rural places have an edge on city dwellers because danger can come from one wrong step – like on a rattlesnake.

  

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: THE INQUIRING MIND, A DARING ADVENTURE!

 

 

Someone once said, “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”

 

By Sharon Courmousis

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: ON KINDNESS

 

Increase your enjoyment of living

 

By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

 

February 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- Recently, I read about February 14-20 being the “Random Acts of Kindness” Week. Most of us have heard this phrase, but where did it come from and what does it really mean?

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: THE IN-BREATHING TIME OF YEAR

 

By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

 

January 14, 2012 (Boulevard)--The natural rhythms of nature and our own physical systems help us understand about cycles. Last month we worked on completion. The completion of 2010 and shedding the old skin, the sadness of loss, the pain of outcomes not desired. It is now the New Year and time to look forward to the fresh and clean. It is time to bring in new information into our lives and re-generate plans for the coming twelve months.

PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: A NEW KIND OF CHRISTMAS


Thoughts on giving, plus egg nog recipes for your holiday season


By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

 

December 15, 2010 (Boulevard)--The presents are wrapped and the little dears are tucked up tight. All the games and toys and electronics advertised on TV – wrapped up under the tree. Oh, wait, that was last year, or the one before. This Christmas everyone seems to be downsizing IF they are lucky enough to even have a home, and a job, and something extra. So the question is HOW do you make this a wonderful Christmas if the day itself is not really about the quantity of gifts?

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: CELEBRATIONS


By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

Increase your enjoyment of living

November 30, 2010 (Boulevard)--This is the time of year when we turn our eyes toward celebration. The thesaurus also calls celebration by the words commemoration, festivity, party, gala, observance, and remembrance. Unless a person is a true hermit, it is hard to celebrate by oneself. Some folks have few or far flung families. Some folks feel alone. Others create their own families, their own circle of friends that are like family.

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: RANDOM THOUGHTS TO IMPACT OUR PLANET

 


Increase your enjoyment of living

by Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
"Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find.” ~ Quoted in Time

“There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.” ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

 

 

Recipe: Lime and Coriander Char-Grilled Chicken

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: KEEP COOL & STILL BE EARTH FRIENDLY

By Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

 

Increase your enjoyment of living

June 27, 2010 (San Diego's East County) 

 

“Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.” ~ Ada Louise Huxtable

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: UNSTUFFING

 

by: Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

Increase your enjoyment of living

 “We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.” -- Billy Graham
 

Unstuffing

 

Cooler weather and wild storms have caused spring to come later this year. Signs of spring for me are seen in the plants and animals around Sacred Rocks. The Yucca plants, like huge asparagus, are popping up all over the mountains. I photographed peachy blossoms, pinkish with deep purple at the outside edges -- one I saw was a brilliant eggplant color. Astonishing beauty without human intervention, a gift.

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: FIND YOUR INNER AVATAR

 


Increase your enjoyment of living

 

By Sharon Courmousis Sacred Rocks Reserve

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~ John Muir

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: HUNKERING DOWN

 

 

by: Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve

Increase your enjoyment of living


"A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. " -- John Muir

 

This month's column includes:

Hunkering Down - essay

Chocolate cake with fudge icing - recipe

ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: A THINKING TIME OF YEAR

 

By Sharon Courmousis

 

 

"Perhaps dreams are like seeds. Some take hold and produce fruit, some are barren, and some spurt and then die. What lessons are there for me? Do I know myself better now than a year ago? What could be possible for 2010?-- Purple Mountain Sage

Increase your enjoyment of living!

January 24, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Savor these tantalizing offerings to nurture both your appetite and your spirits.  In this issue:  

RECIPE: YAMS IN ORANGE SHELLS


ESSAY: A THINKING TIME OF YEAR

NEW COLUMN! ADVICE FROM THE PURPLE MOUNTAIN SAGE: Reflections, Tips & Recipes from East County's Backcountry

 

by Sharon Courmousis, Sacred Rocks Reserve
 

The Gift of Today

 

The land is getting ready for winter. Flowers have died back mostly. The leaves have changed colors and dropped to the ground, a carpet of reddish-yellow, soon fading into earth colors. The seeds have popped from their husks and been harvested by birds. Squirrels have tucked away tons of acorns. Daylight pales early. Temperatures drop quickly as the sun disappears over the western sky. I want to sink into my own ‘cave’ with a fire in the fireplace, a good book, visitors dropping in for a cup of chili (recipe below) and a rowdy game at the community table.

 

The holidays are coming soon, and this time of year can bring joy… or dread.

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