Rivenrock Gardens Cactus Blog

resistance to change

I am sometimes ‘resistant to change’….
I think this makes me good at growing cactus… because it’s done fairly-much the same as it was a thousand years ago…. I don’t need to be very open to new operating parameters as far as the growth and harvest goes.
But governmental regulations, and all of the myriad logistics involved in marketing and accounting can confound me at times. And even something as small as an internet browser can become such a comfortable space to be in that I don’t want to change it even if it’s not working well anymore…
Such was ‘Explorer’ browser for me…. people have been trying to get me to switch to Foxfire, and now Google Chrome, I’d try them, but the buttons and everything I use was not in the ‘right place’, and I didn’t want to take the time to learn it all.
But Explorer kept messing up for me, dropping my FB posts, freezing my screen…. eventually in desperation I tried Chrome with an open mind, because Explorer was no longer working at all.
I still don’t like the layout, my favorites are not all set up, but it’s working well, and I do like the spell-check, LOL….. there will be far fewer typos now I guess.
I think this is also why I drive my cars for a long time… and get many miles on them before I move over… I like my old comfortable wallet, and will have a new one gotten for a birthday in storage for years, because I don’t want to get rid of the old one. Finally, one day it’ll fall apart, and as quick as that, I get used to the new one… and it is my favorite.
My sugar container is the same green one I got from my folks second-hand in ’82… if it works, why get rid of it? And when it no longer works right, you recycle it (probably not much use to anyone at that point)….

on electrical tape

   It seems to me the mind is like a terminal board…. and most folks have most of the wires running between the terminals properly for the most part…. everyone has  a few wires crossed leaking energy onto other wires when they are activated.. sometimes there’s a wire not connected at one end and it’ll slip around sometimes touching a terminal, triggering it… some terminals have multiple wires and are super-charged… those give exceptional abilities to that terminal… this might be good or bad impulse…. also those wires mean another terminal that either has no wire so has no function evident, or has an improper wiring…. the schematic is pretty complex…. it’s a giant file system…. each terminal connected to a folder leading to a trigger of an event, or an ability, thought or impulse…. are the papers inside filed correctly? In order and easily retrievable? What substances or thoughts might try to push those papers down? What cuts the wires? What makes splices?
Good electrical tape is worth its weight in gold when you really need it.

Tips for Management

Tips for Management


Business, family or friend…
I suppose it’s about the same.
 I suppose even with growing plants or raising animals….
 it’s all in the management techniques….
I treat the plants like I think a manager should treat people….
I give them the right tools (fertile soil, water and sun) step back and them them do their thing,
 I help where problems arise (pests, broken pipelines)…
… You only get out what you put in….
 ~Kahlil Gibran~
And what is it to work with love?
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
 even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
 It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit.
 Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,
 it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference,
you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes,
your grudge distils a poison in the wine.

Lessons from the Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was made into a movie in 1939… but it was written decades earlier.

Like any long-lived work of fiction, it has depth….

There are life-lessons in this story that are relevant to every culture in any time of human history.

The business/life blog called www.findyourpeak.com blogged about some of the lessons in The wizard of Oz….

Here’s some snippets I found particularly likeable….



“The Tin Man didn’t have a heart, but he still had the capacity to care.  I am sure you have heard that it is better to give than to receive, but you also should know that if you want success, the best way to get it is to help someone else be successful.  If you focus on providing value first, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.”


“Don’t let fear stand in the way of your success.  Realize right now that you are going to fail, probably many times throughout your life, but those failures should not dissuade you from trying again.  In words borrowed from another great film, Rocky Balboa, “It ain’t about how hard you are hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!”  The Lion was scared, but he didn’t let that hold him back, and neither should you.”


“The Scarecrow is my favorite character, and arguably the most complex.  Throughout the movie he not only shows his intelligence even though he lacks a brain, but he also shows his leadership.  At the end, The Wizard gives him a degree, but it comes only after he has done plenty of great thinking.  Don’t be stalled by your lack of credentials.  Yes, education is important, and I wouldn’t suggest anyone not pursue higher education if possible, but it is not mandatory in order to succeed.  You don’t have to look far to find the Michael Dell’s and Bill Gates of the world that succeeded on their own merits rather than on credentials.  Get out there, be persistent, don’t be afraid to fail, and go after your dreams!”


“Our main character is just a little girl, but she learns something that many business people have not yet realized.  You have to surround yourself with good people, and you can’t do everything on your own….. The Wizard provides challenges along the way to reveal the strengths that everyone already had but were not aware they possessed.  You need to build a team around you that can help you along your road to success no matter the color of bricks.  You never want to be the smartest person in the room, find people that are experts in their field, and focus on what you do best!”


“The Wizard is a very interesting character in that he held dominion over Oz for essentially no reason at all.  Unlike the other characters that had their ability within them but did not realize it, The Wizard had no ability yet he ruled on the fact that he presented himself in such a way that everyone thought he was great and powerful.”


In general humans are what we call a ‘social animal’…… like canines and equines we tend to want to band together for mutual benefit. This is true whether it is a business, commune, family or society, we are greater together than the sum of our parts. What one person cannot do well another might be able to do easily and with greater efficiency….. and we all have some talent and love for something that makes us excell in that endeavor. Find YOUR talent, pursue your dreams and engage yourself with your life. When you provide talent and skill to the process, you benefit others also.


‘Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.’  ~Aristotle

“Your Talent Is God’s Gift To You….Using Your Talent Is Your Gift To God” ~Anon

Passion and creativity walk hand in hand, and where these two are given full rein, excellence is their child ~John Dicus

Han Shan

Han Shan was a Chinese philosopher/poet who lived in a wild area deep in the mountains at a place he called ‘Cold Mountain’.
He was said by the nearby people to be crazy…. his hair always messed up, and his clothes on crooked…. he’d beg for food from monks at a  monastery, they’d feed him while trying to tell him to ‘act right’… they got upset because he had ‘inappropriate laughter’ and other …’issues’ that made people uncomfortable to be around him. He was probably from an aristocratic family because some of his poems mention falcons, and using horses for racing and hunting…. things the common people did not do. He also mentions trying to apply for government positions, but says he has illnesses that are exposed by the doctors. After he died hikers and wanderers that visited his caves and cliffs found poems carved into the trees and stones…. they are beautiful in a strange way… and a bit of a look into a person that was perhaps wounded, and trying to heal himself in the wilds.
I’ve lived at Cold Mountain – how many autumns.
Alone, I hum a song – utterly without regret.
Hungry, I eat one grain of Immortal medicine
Mind solid and sharp; leaning on a stone.

On top of Cold Mountain the lone round moon
Lights the whole clear cloudless sky.
Honor this priceless natural treasure
Concealed in five shadows, sunk deep in the flesh.

My home was at Cold Mountain from the start,
Rambling among the hills, far from trouble.

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind –

Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.

I spur my horse past the ruined city;
the ruined city, that wakes the traveler’s thoughts:
ancient battlements, high and low;
old grave mounds, great and small.

… Where the shadow of a single tumbleweed trembles
and the voice of the great trees clings forever,
I sigh over all these common bones —
No roll of the immortals bears their names

Children I implore you
get out of the burning house now
three carts wait outside
to save you from a homeless life
relax in the village square
… before the sky everything’s empty
no direction is better or worse
east is just as good as west
those who know the meaning of this
are free to go where they want

Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there’s been no rain
The pine sings, but there’s no wind.
Who can leap the world’s ties
And sit with me among the white clouds?

Here’s a message for the faithful
what is it that you cherish
to find the Way to see your nature
your nature is naturally so
what Heaven bestows is perfect
looking for proof leads you astray
leaving the trunk to search among the twigs
all you get is stupid

Cold Cliff’s remoteness
Is what I love
No one travels this way
Clouds lie around on the peaks
A lone gibbon howls on the ridge
What else do I cherish?
It’s good to grow old content
Cold and heat change my
Appearance;the pearl
Of my mind stays safe

all dogs go to heaven

We have had a good and happy life…. we don’t have a lot of friends or family, but what we have we appreciate…

We’ve known many more animals than we have people…. and we miss both the animals and people that have passed on…..

People have all kinds of theories on what lies in store for us after we leave these earthly bodies…. but it’s all conjecture.

I can say I believe I saw into the next world when a loved one passed on fifty miles away….. but I don’t know….

the mind is vague and hides many things, and I cannot always tell reality from a vision….

even those who say there is nothing cannot prove there is nothing… everything is theories and conjecture….

and I have my own theories… and they mean no more than anyone else’s……

but just as a funeral is for the benefit of the living left behind, so too does belief in an afterlife matter to many left behind…..

as for the dead, they have or don’t have life in whatever form it is or is not….

but to many here, it is sweet to think of a blissful place, with eternal sunshine, wracked bodies healed, and in youthful bloom….

it is comforting to think of our deceased loved ones living happily, and awaiting us there….

and that is good…. live happily…. and without worry…. whatever happens will happen to us, and if it is Paradise that’s great, and if it is nothing that’s fine too…. because we won’t know or be aware of the loss of the dream…..

We all are going through life like actors in a giant cosmic film …. but we do have some authority to change the screenplay…. we can make ourselves be a villain if we wish, or we can be ‘the good guy’….. I prefer to play ‘the villain’ in film… but in the film of my life, that’s not the role I aim for. Remember, YOU have the highlighter to your screenplay in real life….. you also have the scissors to cut out any text or action that you’ve written in before….. you can change your own screenplay…..

I got this e-mail from my parents…. I find it touching because if nothing else it shows how good people can be…..


Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed
away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how
much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so
that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her
that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with
you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have
her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her.
She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her
so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith
and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then
Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because
she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to
heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post
office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front
porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened
it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped
to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its
opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &
Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and
I recognized her right away.
Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it
stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need
our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in
so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and
have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping
you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I
picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and
remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am
wherever there is love.

Love, God



Someone in the ‘dead letter’ portion of the Post Office has a good heart…..

always try to do good…..


letter to my old master


This is a letter worth reading….



On Learning How to Live

Life is such an awesome experience. I’m humbled by the opportunities I’ve been given, and the trust that’s been shown to us by the people who trust us to provide them with good cactus.
In my life I’ve had the benefit to be raised by loving, caring and disciplined parents and good family. Just like a seedling, there’s nothing like getting off to a good start when small.
Appreciation and accountability is important in life. So too is an examination of life. The fellow who wrote this post speaks eloquently, succinctly, with heart and the ageless wisdom found in depth.
It touched me greatly…. and I wish to pass it on.

Live your life!

Have you ever filled out a form, and as soon as you turned it in you wished you’d added another line?
Ever spoken to someone, and when they drove off, you recalled something else you’d wanted to tell them?
LIFE is like that also….. when people are on their deathbed they think of their life and the people they loved….

It is said that no-one lays on their deathbed and complains that they should have put more hours in at work…. and striven harder for success..

Instead it seems the common wish expressed is one of sadness, that the dying did not fully live life, spend more time with family…. material posessions don’t really matter to people at the end…. and no matter how much money you made, you’ll never be able to fully stave off the end….


Here’s a good article, written by a hospice nurse…. she details some of the thoughts of the dying that she met during decades of this work…..

They break down to five concerns…

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never
became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical
details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end.
That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what  others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.



Life is for living

Don’t waste your life… live it
Don’t be a human ‘doing’…. be a human ‘being’!

“The real question is not whether life exists after death.
The real question is whether you are alive before death”

Slow Dance
by David L. Weatherford

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
… Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.