poem in pictures: river. tree. lizard. knee

look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better

Albert Einstein

guadalupe state park, hill country, texas






cypress trees with knees








d. ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016:  a tender love story about family and one woman’s journey toward her true self.  Free for kindle unlimited users.  Softcover available for Prime shipping.

Chihuly Beauty

“Persian Ceiling Chihuly Garden and Glass” Seattle, 2012, 35×14.5′

Can you tell my work is strongly influenced by that of Dale Chihuly?

I have been priviledged to view his work three tomes in person. Each time, I was stunned by it’s beauty and magnitude. 

If you have the chance to see his work, do so. You will be forever changed!

Oh! My foot!

Feet 2 days old don toye via flickr

image:  (unaltered) courtesy of Don Toye via Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

Feet are like good mothers:  always there; getting us where we need to go; rarely complaining.  And if you are like me, you hardly give them a second thought.  Until they hurt.  Even then, you might only give them a little rub, a short soak or put them up for a while and expect that they will be ready to carry on soon enough.

But what if these very same feet were intelligent communicators, maps if you will, of what might be happening throughout your body, indicators of inflammation, dysfunction, or disease.  Would you pay more attention to them then?

According to practitioners of reflexology, this is exactly the case.

Each part and function of the body is represented by a corresponding reflex point on the body’s extremities, most particularly the feet, which contain clusters of ultra-sensitive nerve endings (Gillanders, 2007).

Seven thousand nerve endings to be exact.

When a trained reflexologist stimulates these points, also found in the hands and the ears, it creates an electrochemical impluse that can release tension, soothe inflammation, and help the body remedy brewing malfunctions in tissues, cells, and organs through the nerve pathways.

woman holding feet simpleinsomnia via cc

image:  courtesy of simpleinsomnia via Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

Reflexology can be a stand alone treatment or it can be combined with therapeutic massage quite successfully.  If you are having a stand alone reflexology session, you do not have to disrobe, but can remain comfortably reclined, only having to remove your shoes.  A therapist doing reflexology will usually also add lower leg massage to the session, so if this is your choice, wear leggings or shorts that can be pulled up over the knee.  I personally prefer to work both hands and both feet plus the lower legs during an hour long (an hour and a half is better) stand alone session, including aromatherapy and Healing Touch to round out the session.

Therapists can also do targeted treatments designed specifically to help heal an injury or malfunction such as plantar fasciitis, for example.

foot reflexology sign via cc

The theory and practice of reflexology is based on the notion that there are ten (five on each foot) longitudinal lines of energy running from toe to brain throughout the entire length of the body.  It is assumed that when there is an imbalance in one area of a zone, all other organs, tissues and cells in that zone can also be affected.

A sensitivity in any one  spot of the foot creates an imbalance throughout the entire length of that zone.  For example, a sensitivity in the right kidney could be the cause of an eye condition because the kidney and the eye are in the same zone (Gillanders, 2007).

The multitude of reflexology points on the feet are as small as the head of a pin and overlapping.  A quick  internet search of “foot reflexology maps” will reveal a plethora of maps, each somewhat different from the next.  So, you and your therapist will notice sensitivities and discuss what makes sense for you, given your history and understanding of any other symptoms that may be currently presenting.

photocapy foot sign cc

image:  courtesy of photocapy via Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

If you haven’t tried this ancient, effective complimentary medicine therapy, please do!  Most who do are very relaxed and pleased to join the “Foot Joy Club,” returning their aching feet for more foot love time after happy time.


Gillanders, Ann (2007).  The Complete Reflexology Tutor, Octopus Publishing Group, p. 11   and p. 28.




Happy Places: collaboration a la carte


A few of my favorite entrepreneurs and sociopreneurs have joined efforts under one roof:  Keziah and Michelle Hernandez with My Tea Soul, Amos Lozano with  Famous Juice Company, Christine Sauve of Munch On & Beyond,  Fred with The Vegeria (formerly next door to Viva Books), and Kaz Sephton with the Golden Horn of Plenty thrift store benefiting rescued dogs.


Image:  (left-right) Michelle, Amos(back), Kez, & Chris making funny faces

None of these like-minded individuals could quite afford to make their dream jobs happen alone so they teamed up and the result is magical.

I visited their spot in the universe a few weeks ago to place some art for sale on the walls alongside some other fun-funky pieces and had a blast!


image:  Keziah (left) and Michelle of My Tea soul

Yes.  I had fun but I also had a BLAST of unique, energy-filled, tasty, plant-based, fresh foods and juices each vendor makes on site and serves a la carte.

When Michelle asked if I wanted to “do a shot,” my mind did a little jig.   I haven’t done that in the traditional sense of the words for thirty-plus years and thankfully not since that kind of juice makes me dance on the tables (naked).  But then I realized, she was offering freshly juiced lemon and ginger in a shot glass from the Famous Juice Company.  WHOA!  This stuff burns all the way down, but in a good, strangely addicting, satisfying way.  Plus, doing this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach then waiting thirty minutes to eat will super alkalize your system and serve as a powerful anti-inflammatory.


image:  Amos, the famous juicer

Amos, the famous juicer, has a contagious smile and an effervescent personality that is just as delicious as his juices.  Multiple juice combinations of all colors are freshly-juiced daily and available in 16 oz. glass bottles to carry out for $8.  Yes.  I said glass bottles!  If you bring the bottle back, you get a discount on your next juice purchase.  I am exceedingly impressed with the Eco-consciousness of this young business-owner and I love his business tag-line:  Eat plants, Move often.  Plus, the juice combos are satisfying and tasty.  I tried “Popeye” (kale, spinach, ginger…) and loved it!


Though I am an omnivore, I found plenty to eat for lunch by grazing through the interesting choices available from the several vendors.  From Munch On and Beyond, I sampled the jalapeño/cilantro hummus and the mango/pineapple fruit roll-ups.  From My Tea Soul, I chose a quinoa salad and Oh! My Brownies.


image:  me eating the OTHER two of three OH! MY Brownies at home the afternoon I bought them…YUM!!

Everything was exquisitely delicious, especially the moist, flavorful brownies, as you can see.  And this is no small feat, since everything made by each vendor is plant-based and gluten, dairy, & egg free.  I know this because, having been GF since 2000 and for the past year now practicing a Paleo lifestyle, I’ve baked my share of brick-heavy lumps that I had to trash.


image:  trail mix from Munch On:  almonds, walnuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds with raisins

This restaurant is not exactly sit-down with service though there are two tables and chairs for eating-in and a sofa and chairs on which nibblers can settle comfortably should they so choose.  The vendors do offer catering for events and parties, especially for the Paleo/Vegan/GF communities and grab-and-go munchies for the work-a-day folks including cupcakes, tarts, pies, trail mixes, salads, tamales, teas, juices, and so much more.  There is no coffee for sale at this time and neither is there a microwave in-house, as some object to microwaves.


Eating my quinoa and loving the vibe of this cool enterprise, I overheard someone say, “This is a happy place!”   I must say, “I agree!”  And besides that it is good.  Yes.  The food is good, but beyond that, the intentions and actions of these individuals is good, socially and environmentally pro-active and positive!  These are #formidablePeople and I am pleased to tell my audiences about them.

Please do visit them at  13469 Wetmore Rd,San Antonio, TX 78247 in the Wetmore Shopping Center (on Wetmore Rd. near Thousand Oaks).  Or give them a call (210) 592-8366 to know more.

Have some tea.  See some art. Buy something fun from the thrift store.  Eat. I promise.  Once you’ve found this place, you’ll be as happy as I am!

d. ellis phelps is the author of Making Room for George, Moon Shadow Sanctuary Press, 2016.